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FRANCISCA ALSUA-BETTS, JOSEPH O. BETTS, JOSE MADARETA, ESTEBAN P.

RAMIREZ, and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR ALBAY PROVINCE, pe ! !"ne#$, %$. COURT OF APPEALS, AMPARO ALSUA BUENVIAJE, FERNANDO BUENVIAJE, FERNANDO ALSUA, #ep#e$en ed &' (!$ )*a#d!an, CLOTILDE S. ALSUA and PABLO ALSUA, #e$p"nden $. FACTS+ Nov. 25, 1949- Don Jesus Alsua and his wife, Do;a Florentina ella, to!ether with all their livin! "hildren, Fran"is"a, #a$lo ,Fernando Alsua thru this %udi"ial !uardian &lotilde 'a(son, and A()aro Alsua de *uenvia%e, entered into a dul+ notari,ed a!ree(ent, over the e-istin!. a$a"a and "a"ao lands and ur$an lands re!istered in the #rovin"e of Al$a+ and in the &it+ of .anila. /n Januar+ 5, 1955, Don Jesus and Doa Florentina0 Doa 1ina+ 2se)aratel+ e-e"uted their res)e"tive holo!ra)hi" wills in whi"h were in "onfor(it+ and in i()le(entation of the e-tra%udi"ial )artition of Nove($er 25, 1949. 1heir holo!ra)hi" wills si(ilarl+ )rovided for the institution of the other to his or her share in the "on%u!al )ro)erties, the other half of the "on%u!al assets havin! $een )artitioned to "onstitute their le!iti(e a(on! their four livin! "hildren in the 3-tra%udi"ial #artition of 1949. 1he wi!s also de"lared that in the event of future a"4uisitions of other )ro)erties $+ either of the(, one-half would $elon! to the other s)ouse, and the other half shall $e divided e4uall+ a(on! the four "hildren. Don Jesus Alsua e-e"uted a se)arate $ut si(ilar holo!ra)hi" will on the sa(e da+, Jan. 5, 1955 in e-a"tl+ the sa(e ter(s and "onditions of the will of his wife. ')ouses Don Jesus and Doa 1ina+ filed $efore the &F5 of Al$a+ their res)e"tive )etitions for the )ro$ate of their res)e"tive holo!ra)hi" wins in two se)arate s)e"ial )ro"eedin!s. ')ouses then e-e"uted their (utual and re"i)ro"al "odi"ils a(endin! and su))le(entin! their holo!ra)hi" wills in whi"h the "odi"il also )rovided that one half of all the )ro)erties0 "on%u!al and )ara)hernal2 is $ein! "onve+ed to and )ortioned a(on! the le!iti(ate heirs, $ut the+ are reservin! the other half and the+ re"i)ro"all+ $e4ueathed to ea"h other as well as the )ro)erties the+ are to a"4uire su$se4uentl+ and that the survivin! s)ouse would $e na(ed e-e"utor in )ro)erties or ad(inistrator. Dona 1ina+ died, 6)on the death of Doa 1ina+ Don Jesus was na(ed e-e"utor. Don Jesus "an"elled his holo!ra)hi" will in the )resen"e of his $oo77ee)er8se"retar+ 9e instru"ted his new law+er to draft a new will dul+ si!ned $+ Don Jesus and the attestin! witnesses . 1he will had three essential features: 0a2 it e-)ressl+ "an"elled, revo7ed and annulled all the )rovisions of
Don Jesus; holo!ra)hi" will of Januar+ 5, 1955 and his "odi"il of Au!ust 14, 195<; 0$2 it )rovided for the "ollation of all his )ro)erties donated to his four livin! "hildren $+ virtue of 3-tra%udi"ial A!ree(ent of 1949, and that su"h )ro)erties $e ta7en into a""ount in the )artition of his estate a(on! the "hildren; and 0"2 it instituted his "hildren as le!atees8devisees of "ertain s)e"ifi" )ro)erties, and as to the rest of the )ro)erties and whatever (a+ $e su$se4uentl+ a"4uired in the future, $efore his death, were to $e !iven to Fran"is"a and #a$lo, na(in! Fran"es"a as e-e"utrito serve without a $ond.

After all de$ts, funeral "har!es and other e-)enses of the estate of Doa 1ina+ had $een )aid, all her heirs in"ludin! Don Jesus, su$(itted to the )ro$ate "ourt for a))roval a deed of )artition, the "ourt a))roved the )artition of 1959 and on Januar+ <, 19<1 de"lared the ter(ination of the )ro"eedin!s on the estate of Doa 1ina+. Don Jesus Alsua died.

Fran"is"a filed a )etition for the )ro$ate of the new will. 5t was o))osed $+ her si$lin!s #a$lo and Fernando, on the !round that Don Jesus was not of sound (ind at the ti(e of the e-e"ution of the will. 1he will was disallowed. 1he dau!hter ar!ued that the other "hildren, #a$lo and Fernando, are in esto))el to 4uestion the "o()eten"e of Don Jesus $+ virtue of the a!ree(ent )reviousl+ entered.

ISSUE+ =/N 3sto))el is a))li"a$le in )ro$ate )ro"eedin!s> HELD+ NO. T(e p#!n,!p-e ". e$ "ppe- !$ n" app-!,a&-e !n p#"&a e p#",eed!n)$. #ro$ate )ro"eedin!s involve )u$li" interest, and the a))li"ation therein of the rule of esto))el, when it will $lo"7 the as"ertain(ent of the truth as to the "ir"u(stan"es, surroundin! the e-e"ution of a testa(ent, would see( ini(i"al to )u$li" )oli"+. 1he "ontrovers+ as to the "o()eten"+ of Don Jesus to e-e"ute his will "annot $e deter(ined $+ the a"ts of his sons to the will in for(all+ a!reein! in writin! with Fran"is"a that their father $e a))ointed $+ the "ourt e-e"utor of the will of their (other. 1he '& allowed the )ro$ate of the will u)on findin! that Don Jesus "o()lied with the re4uire(ents of law as to the e-e"ution of the will.