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G.R. No.

L-17091 September 30, 1963

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED CHUNG LIU, NGO THE HUA, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
CHUNG KIAT HUA, LILY CHUNG CHO, BONIFACIO CHUNG SIONG PEK and CHUNG KA BIO, oppositors-appellees,
CHUNG KIAT, KANG, oppositor-appellant,
PHILIPPINE TRUST COMPANY, special administrator.

FACTS:

Ngo The Hua, claiming to be the surviving spouse of the deceased Chung Liu, filed a petition to be appointed administratrix
of the estate of the deceased. Her petition was opposed by Chung Kiat Hua, Lily Chung Cho, Bonifacio Chung Sio Pek and
Chung Ka Bio, all claiming to be children of the deceased Chung Liu by his first wife, Tan Hua on the ground that Ngo The
Hua is morally and physically unfit to execute the duties of the trust as administratrix, and that she and the deceased have
secured an absolute divorce in Taiwan. They prayed that Chung Kiat Hua be appointed administrator instead being the
eldest.

Chung Kiat Kang, claiming to be a nephew of the deceased, filed his opposition to the appointment of either Ngo The Hua
or Chung Kiat Hua on the ground that to be appointed they must first prove their respective relationship to the deceased
Chung Li and prayed that he be appointed administrator.

The lower court found that Ngo The Hua and the deceased were validly divorced and that Chung Kiat Hua, Lily Chung Cho,
Bonifacio Chung Sio Pek and Chung Ka Bio are children of the deceased. So it issued the order appointing Chung Kiat Hua
as administrator of the estate of Chung Liu.

Both the petitioner and Chung Kiat Kang appealed however Ngo The Hua filed a petition to withdraw her appeal stating that
she had entered into an amicable settlement with Chung Kiat Hua.

Chung Kiat Kang contends declaration of heirs shall only take place after all debts, expenses and taxes have been paid" in
accordance with Sec. 1, Rule 91 (now Rule 90) of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE:

1. Whether the court can advance the determination the relationship of the parties to be able to appoint an administrator
with the order of preference

2. Whether Chung Kiat Kang has the right to intervene in an administration proceeding and be appointed administrator

RULING:

1. Yes. Nowhere from Sec. 1, Rule 91 (now Rule 90) may it be inferred that the court cannot make a declaration of heirs
prior to the satisfaction of these obligations. It is clear from the facts of this case that is was deemed necessary by the lower
court to determine the relationship of the parties to be able to appoint an administrator in accordance with the order
preference established in Section 5, Rule 79 (now Sec. 6, Rule 78) of the Rules of Court. Said section provides that letters
of administration shall be granted to the surviving spouse the next of kin, or to any principal creditor, in this order.

2. No. It is well-settled that for a person to be able to intervene in an administration proceeding concerning the estate of a
deceased, it is necessary for him to have interest in such estate. Appellant Chung Kiat Kang does not claim to be a creditor
of Chung Liu's estate. Neither is he an heir in accordance with the Civil Code of the Republic of China, the law that applies
in this case, Chung Liu being a Chinese citizen (Art. 16, New Civil Code). The appellant not having any interest in Chung
Liu's estate, either as heir or creditor, he cannot be appointed as co-administrator of the estate.