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Unson vs.

Abella
Facts: On July 19, 1918, Doa Josefa Zalamea single, 60 years old, executed her
last will and testament with an attached inventory of her properties (Exhibits A and
A-1), in the presence of three witnesses, who signed with her all the pages of said
documents. The testatrix died on the 6th of January, 1921, and, as the record
shows, the executor appointed in the will, Pedro Unson, filed in the court of First
Instance of Laguna on the 19th of January of the same year an application for the
probate of the will and the issuance of the proper letters of administration in his
favor.
The application was opposed by Antonio Abella, Ignacia Abella, Avicencia Abella,
and Santiago Vito, alleging among others that the inventory of properties lacks an
attestation clause to it and its paging was made in Arabic numerals and not in
letters.
Issues: 1. Whether the absence of an attestation clause for the attached inventory
of properties is in compliance with the law
2. Whether the paging made in Arabic numerals instead of letters is a fatal defect
in the instrument
Held:
1. Yes
In the third paragraph of the will, reference is made to the inventory, Exhibit A-1,
and at the bottom of said will, the testatrix Josefa Zalamea says:
In witness whereof, I sign this will composed of ten folios including the page
containing the signatures and the attestation of the witnesses; I have likewise
signed the inventory attached to this will composed of ten folios in the presence of
Messrs. Gonzalo Abaya, Eugenio Zalamea, Pedro de Jesus, in this municipality of
Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippine Islands, this 19th of July, 1918.
And the attestation clause is as follows:
The foregoing will composed of ten folios including this one whereunto we have
affixed our signatures, as well as the inventory of the properties of Doa Josefa
Zalamea y Abella, was read to Doa Josefa Zalamea y Abella, and the latter affixed
her name to the last, and each and every page of this will and inventory composed
of ten folios in our presence; and she declared this to be her last will and testament
and at her request we have affixed hereunto our respective signatures in her
presence and in the presence of each other as witnesses to the will and the
inventory this 19th of July, 1918, at Pagsanjan, Laguna, P.I. (sgd)

In view of the fact that the inventory is referred to in the will as an integral part of it,
we find that the foregoing attestation clause is in compliance with section 1 of Act
No. 2645, which requires this solemnity for the validity of a will, and makes
unnecessary any other attestation clause at the end of the inventory.
As to the paging of the will in Arabic numerals, instead of in letters, we adhere to
the doctrine announced in the case of Aldaba vs. Roque "It might be said that the
object of the law in requiring that the paging be made in letters is to make
falsification more difficult, but it should be noted that since all the pages of the
testament are signed at the margin by the testatrix and the witnesses, the difficulty
of forging the signatures in either case remains the same. In other words the more
or less degree of facility to imitate the writing of the letters A, B, C, etc., does not
make for the easiness to forge the signatures.
And as in the present case there exists the guaranty of the authenticity of the
testament, consisting in the signatures on the left margins of the testament and the
paging thereof as declared in the attestation clause the holding of this court in
Abangan vs. Abangan (40 Phil., 476), might as well be repeated:
"The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door
against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to
guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject should be
interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordial ends. But, on the other hand,
also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain
and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an interpretation
whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary,
useless, and frustrative of the testator's last will, must be disregarded."
This means that, according to the particular case, the emission of paging does not
necessarily render the testament invalid.