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G.R. NO. 156021, SEPT. 23, 2005 5. Petitioner maintains that they were not made parties to the case in which the
decision sought to be annulled was rendered and, thus could not have availed of
DOCTRINE: the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment and
Extrinsic Fraud. – An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud lies only if the other appropriate remedies, contrary to the ruling of the CA. They aver that
fraud is extrinsic or collateral in character. Fraud is regarded as extrinsic where it prevents respondent’s offer of a false compromise and his failure to notify them of the
a party from having a trial or from presenting his entire case to the court, or where it probate of the will constitute extrinsic fraud that necessitates the annulment of
operates upon matters pertaining no to the judgment itself but to the manner in which it is the RTC’s judgment.
procured. The overriding consideration when extrinsic fraud is alleged is that the fraudulent
scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court. ISSUE: Whether or not the proceedings in the RTC was attended by extrinsic fraud that
necessitates the annulment of the RTC’s judgment.
1. Respondent Francisco Provido (respondent) filed a petition for the probate of the HELD: Petition is devoid of merit.
Last Will and Testament of the late Soledad Provido Elevencionado (decedent), An action for annulment of judgment is a remedy in law independent of the case where the
who died on Oct. 26, 2000 in Janjuay, Iloilo. Respondent that he was the heir of judgment sought to be annulled was rendered. The purpose of such action is to have the
the decedent and the executor of her will. The RTC allowed the probate of the final and executory judgment set aside so that there will be a renewal of litigation. It is
will of the decedent and directed the issuance of letters testamentary to resorted to in cases where the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief
respondent. from judgment, or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of
the petitioner, and is based only on two grounds: extrinsic fraud, and lack of jurisdiction or
2. More than 4 months later or on Oct. 4, 2001, petitioners filed a motion for denial of due process. A person need not be a party to the judgment sought to be annulled,
reopening of the probate proceedings. Likewise, they filed an opposition to the and it is only essential that he can prove his allegation that the judgment was obtained by
allowance of the will of the decedent. As well as the issuance of letters the use of fraud and collusion and he would be adversely affected thereby.
testamentary to respondent, claiming that they are the intestate heirs of the
decedent. On Jan. 11, 2002, RTC issued an order denying the petitioners’ motion An action to annul a final judgment on the ground of fraud only lies if the fraud is extrinsic
for being unmeritorious. Moreover, the RTC’s decision was already final and or collateral in character. Fraud is regarded as extrinsic where it prevents a party from
executory even before petitioner’s filing of the motion to reopen. having a trial or from presenting his entire case to the court, or where it operates upon
matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the manner in which it is procured. The
3. Petitioners thereafter filed a petition with an application for preliminary overriding consideration when extrinsic is alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the
injunction with the CA, seeking the annulment of the RTC’s Decision and Order. prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court.
They argued that the RTC decision should be annulled and set aside on the ground
of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC. In the present case, to sustain their allegation of extrinsic fraud, petitioners assert that as a
result of respondent’s deliberate omission or concealment of their names, ages and
4. CA dismissed the petition. It found that there was no showing that petitioners residences as the other heirs of the decedent in his petition for allowance of the will, they
failed to avail of or resort to the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition were not notified of the proceedings, and thus they were denied their day in court. In
for relief from judgment, or other appropriate remedies through no fault of their addition, they claim that respondent’s offer of a false compromise even before the filing of
own. Moreover, the CA declared as baseless petitioners’ claim that the the petition prevented them from appearing and opposing the petition for probate.
proceedings in the RTC was attended by extrinsic fraud. Neither was there any
showing that they availed of this ground in a motion for new trial or petition for The Court is not convinced. According to the Rules, notice is required to be personally given
relief from judgment in the RTC. Petitioner sought reconsideration but the same to known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator. A perusal of the will shows that
was denied. respondent was instituted as the sole heir of the decedent. Petitioners, as nephews and
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nieces of the decedent, are neither compulsory nor testate heirs who are entitled to be No. The petitioner in this case avers that, as the nearest next of kin and creditor of the
notified of the probate proceedings under the Rules. Respondent had no legal obligation to testator, his interest in the matter is material and direct. Even if petitioner is the nearest
mention petitioners in the petition for probate, or to personally notify them of the same. next of kin of Dr. De Santos, he cannot be considered an “heir” of the testator. It is
a fundamental rule of testamentary succession that one who has no compulsory or forced
Besides, assuming arguendo that petitioners are entitled to be so notified, the purported heirs may dispose of his entire estate by will. Thus, Article 842 of the Civil Code provides:
infirmity is cured by the publication of the notice. After all, personal notice upon the heirs
is a matter of procedural convenience and not a jurisdictional requisite. “One who has no compulsory heirs may dispose by will of all his estate or any part of it in
favor of any person having capacity to succeed.”
The non-inclusion of petitioners’ names in the petition and alleged failure to personally
notify them of the proceedings do not constitute extrinsic fraud. Petitioners were not
“One who has compulsory heirs may dispose of his estate provided he does not contravene
denied their day in court, as they were not prevented from participating in the proceedings
the provisions of this Code with regard to the legitimate of said heirs.”
and presenting their case before the probate court.

Compulsory heirs are limited to the testator’s —

Octavio Maloles II vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 133359, January 31, 2000 1. Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their legitimate
parents and ascendants;
2. In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants, with respect to their
legitimate children and descendants;
3. The widow or widower;
On July 20, 1995, Dr. Arturo de Santos, Filipino and a resident of Makati City, filed a petition 4. Acknowledged natural children, and natural children by legal fiction;
for probate of his will 1 in the Regional Trial Court. He alleged that he had no compulsory 5. Other illegitimate children referred to in Article 287 of the Civil Code.
heirs; that he had named in his will as sole legatee and devisee the Arturo de Santos
Foundation, Inc.; that he disposed by his will his properties with an approximate value of
Petitioner, as nephew of the testator, is not a compulsory heir who may have
not less than P2,000,000.00; and that copies of said will were in the custody of the named
been preterited in the testator’s will. Nor does he have any right to intervene in the
executrix, private respondent Pacita de los Reyes Phillips.
settlement proceedings based on his allegation that he is a creditor of the deceased. Since
the testator instituted or named an executor in his will, it is incumbent upon the Court
Petitioner Octavio S. Maloles II filed a motion for intervention claiming that, as the only to respect the desires of the testator. Only if the appointed executor is
child of Alicia de Santos (testator’s sister) and Octavio L. Maloles, Sr., he was the sole full- incompetent, refuses the trust, or fails to give bond may the court appoint other persons
blooded nephew and nearest of kin of Dr. De Santos. He likewise alleged that he was a to administer the estate. None of these circumstances is present in this case.
creditor of the testator. Petitioner thus prayed for the reconsideration of the order allowing
the will and the issuance of letters of administration in his name.


Whether or not the petitioner, being a creditor of the late Dr. Arturo de Santos, has a right Facts:
to intervene and oppose the petition for issuance of letters testamentary filed by the
The decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay (Cristina) died intestate on 4 June 1990. Cristina
was survived by her spouse, Dr. Federico Suntay (Federico) and five grandchildren: three
legitimate grandchildren, including herein respondent, Isabel; and two illegitimate...
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grandchildren, including petitioner Emilio III, all by Federico's and Cristina's only child, On 13 November 2000, Federico died.
Emilio A. Suntay (Emilio I), who predeceased his parents.
Almost a year thereafter or on 9 November 2001, the trial court rendered a decision
The illegitimate grandchildren, Emilio III and Nenita, were both reared from infancy by the appointing Emilio III as administrator of decedent Cristina's intestate estate
spouses Federico and Cristina. Their legitimate grandchildren, Isabel and her siblings,
Margarita and Emilio II, lived with their mother Isabel Cojuangco, following the On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC, revoked
separation... of Isabel's parents, Emilio I and Isabel Cojuangco. Isabel's parents, along with the Letters of Administration issued to Emilio III, and appointed respondent as
her paternal grandparents, were involved in domestic relations cases, including a case for administratrix of the subject estate
parricide filed by Isabel Cojuangco against Emilio I. Emilio I was eventually... acquitted.
As previously adverted to, on appeal by certiorari, we reversed and set aside the ruling of
In retaliation, Emilio I filed a complaint for legal separation against his wife, charging her the appellate court. We decided to include Emilio III as co-administrator of Cristina's
among others with infidelity. The trial court declared as null and void and of no effect the estate, giving weight to his interest in Federico's estate.
marriage of Emilio I and Isabel Cojuangco
Isabel contends that the explicit provisions of Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court on
Intent on maintaining a relationship with their grandchildren, Federico and Isabel filed a the order of preference for the issuance of letters of administration cannot be ignored
complaint for visitation rights to spend time with Margarita, Emilio II, and Isabel in the and that Article 992 of the Civil Code must be followed. Isabel further asserts that Emilio
same special lower court. The Juvenile Domestic Relations Court in Quezon City (JDRC-
III had demonstrated adverse interests and disloyalty to the estate, thus, he does not
QC)... granted their prayer for one hour a month of visitation rights which was
deserve to become a co-administrator thereof.
subsequently reduced to thirty minutes, and ultimately stopped, because of respondent
Isabel's testimony in court that her grandparents' visits caused her and her siblings stress Issues:
and anxiety.
Isabel bewails that: (1) Emilio III is an illegitimate grandchild and therefore, not an heir of
On 27 September 1993, more than three years after Cristina's death, Federico adopted his the decedent; (2) corollary thereto, Emilio III, not being a "next of kin" of the decedent,
illegitimate grandchildren, Emilio III and Nenita. has no interest in the estate to justify his appointment as... administrator thereof; (3)
Emilio III's actuations since his appointment as administrator by the RTC on 9 November
On 26 October 1995, respondent Isabel, filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
2001 emphatically demonstrate the validity and wisdom of the order of preference in
Malolos, Bulacan, a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over Cristina's
Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court; and (4) there is no basis for joint... administration
as there are no "opposing parties or factions to be represented."
Federico, opposed the petition
Federico filed a Motion to Dismiss Isabel's petition for letters of administration on the
To begin with, the case at bar reached us on the issue of who, as between Emilio III and
ground that Isabel had no right of representation to the estate of Cristina, she being an
Isabel, is better qualified to act as administrator of the decedent's estate. We did not
illegitimate grandchild of the latter as a result of Isabel's parents' marriage being declared
choose. Considering merely his demonstrable interest in the subject estate, we ruled that
null... and void. However, in Suntay v. Cojuangco-Suntay, we categorically declared that
Isabel and her siblings, having been born of a voidable marriage as opposed to a void Emilio III should likewise administer the estate of his illegitimate grandmother, Cristina, as
marriage based on paragraph 3, Article 85 of the Civil Code, were legitimate children of a co-administrator. In the context of this case, we have to make a choice and therefore,
Emilio I,... who can all represent him in the estate of their legitimate grandmother, the reconsider our decision of 16 June 2010.
decedent, Cristina.
The general rule in the appointment of administrator of the estate of a decedent is laid
Undaunted by the set back, Federico nominated Emilio III to administer the decedent's down in Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court
estate on his behalf in the event letters of administration issues to Federico.
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Textually, the rule lists a sequence to be observed, an order of preference, in the Hewing closely to the aforementioned cases is our ruling in Ventura v. Ventura[21] where
appointment of an administrator. This order of preference, which categorically seeks out we allowed the appointment of the surviving spouse and legitimate children of the
the surviving spouse, the next of kin and the creditors in the appointment of an decedent as co-administrators. However, we drew a distinction between the... heirs
administrator, has... been reinforced in jurisprudence. categorized as next of kin, the nearest of kin in the category being preferred, thus:

The paramount consideration in the appointment of an administrator over the estate of a The "next of kin" has been defined as those persons who are entitled under the statute...
decedent is the prospective administrator's interest in the estate. of distribution to the decedent's property [citations omitted]. It is generally said that "the
nearest of kin, whose interest in the estate is more preponderant, is preferred in the
The rationale behind the rule is that those who will reap the benefit of a wise, speedy and choice of administrator. 'Among members of a class the strongest ground for preference
economical administration of the estate, or, in the alternative, suffer the consequences of is the... amount or preponderance of interest. As between next of kin, the nearest of kin is
waste,... improvidence or mismanagement, have the highest interest and most influential to be preferred.'"
motive to administer the estate correctly.[10] In all, given that the rule speaks of an order
of preference, the person to be appointed administrator of a decedent's estate... must In our Decision under consideration, we zeroed in on Emilio III's demonstrable interest in
demonstrate not only an interest in the estate, but an interest therein greater than any the estate and glossed over the order of preference set forth in the Rules. We gave
other candidate. weight to Emilio III's demonstrable interest in Cristina's estate and without a closer
scrutiny of... the attendant facts and circumstances, directed co-administration thereof.
It is to this requirement of observation of the order of preference in the appointment of
administrator of a decedent's estate, that the appointment of co-administrators has been The collected teaching is that mere demonstration of interest in the estate to be settled
allowed, but as an exception. We again refer to Section 6(a) of Rule 78 of the Rules of does not ipso facto entitle an interested person to co-administration thereof. Neither
Court... which specifically states that letters of administration may be issued to both the does squabbling among the heirs nor adverse interests necessitate the discounting of
surviving spouse and the next of kin. In addition and impliedly, we can refer to Section 2 the... order of preference set forth in Section 6, Rule 78. Indeed, in the appointment of
of Rule 82 of the Rules of Court which say that "x x x [w]hen an executor or administrator administrator of the estate of a deceased person, the principal consideration reckoned
dies,... resigns, or is removed, the remaining executor or administrator may administer with is the interest in said estate of the one to be appointed as administrator.[31] Given
the trust alone, x x x." Isabel's unassailable interest in the estate as one of the decedent's legitimate
grandchildren and undoubted nearest "next of kin," the appointment of Emilio III as co-
In a number of cases, we have sanctioned the appointment of more than one administrator of the same estate, cannot be a demandable right. It is a... matter left
administrator for the benefit of the estate and those interested therein.[13] We entirely to the sound discretion of the Court[32] and depends on the facts and the
recognized that the appointment of administrator of the estate of a decedent or the... attendant circumstances of the case.[33]
determination of a person's suitability for the office of judicial administrator rests, to a
great extent, in the sound judgment of the court exercising the power of appointment. These considerations do not warrant the setting aside of the order of preference mapped
out in Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court. They compel that a choice be made of one
Under certain circumstances and for various reasons well-settled in Philippine and over the other.
American jurisprudence, we have upheld the appointment of co-administrators: (1) to
have the benefits of their judgment and perhaps at all times to have different interests
1. The bitter estrangement and long-standing animosity between Isabel, on the
represented;[15] (2) where justice and equity demand that opposing parties or factions be
one hand, and Emilio III, on the other, traced back from the time their paternal
represented in the management of the estate of the deceased; (3) where the estate is
grandparents were alive, which can be characterized as adverse interest of
large or, from any cause, an intricate and perplexing one to settle;[16] (4) to... have all
some kind by, or hostility of, Emilio III to
interested persons satisfied and the representatives to work in harmony for the best
interests of the estate;[17] and when a person entitled to the administration of an estate
desires to have another competent person associated with him in the... office.[18] Isabel who is immediately interested in the estate;
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2. Corollary thereto, the seeming impossibility of Isabel and Emilio III working that office, arguing that "[t]he decision of the [RTC] dated 9 November 2001 is
harmoniously as co-administrators may result in prejudice to the decedent's estate, not among the judgments... authorized by the Rules of Court which may be
ultimately delaying settlement thereof; and immediately implemented or executed;"

3. Emilio III, for all his claims of knowledge in the management of Cristina's estate, has 2. The delay in Emilio III's filing of an inventory was due to Isabel's vociferous
not looked after the estate's welfare and has acted to the damage and prejudice thereof. objections to Emilio III's attempts to act as administrator while the RTC decision
was under appeal to the Court of Appeals;
Contrary to the assumption made in the Decision that Emilio III's demonstrable interest in
the estate makes him a suitable co-administrator thereof, the evidence reveals that Emilio 3. The complained partial inventory is only initiatory, inherent in the nature
III has turned out to be an unsuitable administrator of the estate. Respondent Isabel... thereof, and one of the first steps in the lengthy process of settlement of a
points out that after Emilio III's appointment as administrator of the subject estate in decedent's estate, such that it cannot constitute a complete and total listing of
2001, he has not looked after the welfare of the subject estate and has actually acted to the decedent's properties; and
the damage and prejudice thereof as evidenced by the following:
4. The criminal cases adverted to are trumped-up charges where Isabel, as private
1. Emilio III, despite several orders from the probate court for a complete inventory, complainant, has been unwilling to appear and testify, leading the Judge of the
omitted in the partial inventories[34] he filed therewith properties of the estate[35] Regional Trial Court, Branch 44 of Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, to warn the
including several parcels of land, cash, bank deposits,... jewelry, shares of stock, motor prosecutor of a possible motu... propio dismissal of the cases.
vehicles, and other personal properties, contrary to Section 1,[36] paragraph a, Rule 81 of
the Rules of Court. While we can subscribe to Emilio III's counsel's explanation for the blamed delay in the
filing of an inventory and his exposition on the nature thereof, partial as opposed to
2. Emilio III did not take action on both occasions against Federico's settlement of the complete, in the course of the settlement of a decedent's estate, we do not find any
decedent's estate which adjudicated to himself a number of properties properly belonging clarification on
to said estate (whether wholly or partially), and which contained a declaration that the...
decedent did not leave any descendants or heirs, except for Federico, entitled to succeed Isabel's accusation that Emilio III had deliberately omitted properties in the inventory,
to her estate.[37] which properties of Cristina he knew existed and which he claims to be knowledgeable
In compliance to our Resolution dated 18 April 2012 requiring Emilio III to respond to the
following imputations of Isabel that: The general denial made by Emilio III does not erase his unsuitability as administrator
rooted in his failure to "make and return x x x a true and complete inventory" which
[Emilio III] did not file an inventory of the assets until November 14, 2002; became proven fact when he actually filed partial inventories before the probate court
and by his... inaction on two occasions of Federico's exclusion of Cristina's other
[T]he inventory [Emilio III] submitted did not include several properties of the decedent; compulsory heirs, herein Isabel and her siblings, from the list of heirs.
[T]hat properties belonging to the decedent have found their way to different individuals As administrator, Emilio III enters into the office, posts a bond and executes an oath to
or persons; several properties to Federico Suntay himself; and faithfully discharge the duties of settling the decedent's estate with the end in view of
distribution to the heirs, if any. This he failed to do. The foregoing circumstances of Emilio
[W]hile some properties have found their way to [Emilio III], by reason of falsified
documents;[38] III's omission and inaction become even more significant and speak volume of his
unsuitability as administrator as it demonstrates his interest adverse to those immediately
Emilio III refutes Isabel's imputations that he was lackadaisical in assuming and performing
interested in the estate of the decedent, Cristina.
the functions of administrator of Cristina's estate:
In this case, palpable from the evidence on record, the pleadings, and the protracted
1. From the time of the RTC's Order appointing Emilio III as administrator, Isabel, in
litigation, is the inescapable fact that Emilio III and respondent Isabel have a deep
her pleadings before the RTC, had vigorously opposed Emilio III's assumption of
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aversion for each other. To our mind, it becomes highly impractical, nay, improbable, for While the rtc considered the respondents were the nearest kin of their deceased parents
the two to... work as co-administrators of their grandmother's estate. The allegations of in their appointment as joint special administrators, this is not a mandatory requirement
Emilio III, the testimony of Federico and the other witnesses for Federico and Emilio III for the appointment. It has long been settled thatthe selection and removal of a special
that Isabel and her siblings were estranged from their grandparents further drive home administrators is not governed by the rules regarding the selection andremoval of regular
the point that administrators. the probate court may appoint or remove special administrators based on
thegrounds other than those enumerated in the rules at its discretion.The appointment or
Emilio III bears hostility towards Isabel. More importantly, it appears detrimental to the removal of a special administrators, being discretionary, is thus interlocutory and may
decedent's estate to appoint a co-administrator (Emilio III) who has shown an adverse beassailed through a petition for certiorari under rule 65 of the rules of court.Wherefore,
interest of some kind or hostility to those, such as herein respondent Isabel, immediately the petition is partially granted, the decision with respect to the revocation of the
interested... in the said estate. specialadministration in favor of renato ocampo and erlinda ocampo is reinstated.
The appointment of melinda carlaocampo as regular administratrix is set aside.


No. 187879
July 5, 2010Nachura
Petitioners are the surviving wife and the children of leonardo ocampo who died Jan. 23,
2004. Leonardoand his siblings respondents are the legitimate children and only heirs
of spouses Vicenta and Maxima Ocampowho died intestate.Petitioners initiated a petition
for intestate proceedings and alleged that upon the death of Vicente and
Maximarespondents and their brother Leonardo jointly controlled the estate of their
parents. however, when leonardodied, respondents took possession, control and mgt of
properties to the exclusion of petitioners.Respondent filed their opposition but was
denied by the rtc. respondent reiterated their prayer for appointment of joint special
administrators.Petitioners argued that they had been deprived of their fair share of
income of the estate and the appointment ofrespondents as special joint administrator
would further cause injustice to them.
:A special administrator is an officer of the court who is subject to its supervision and
control, expected towork for the best interest of the entire estate, with a view to its
smooth administration and speedy settlement.When appointed, he or she is not regarded
as an agent or representative of the parties suggesting theappointment. The principal
object of the appointment of a temporary administrator is to preserve the estate untilit
can pass to the hands of a person fully authorized to administer it for the benefit of
creditors and heirs, pursuantto Section 2 of Rule 80 of the Rules of Court.