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USON v. DEL ROSARIO GR No.

L-4963, January 29, 1953


92 PHIL 530
FACTS: Faustino Nebreda died in 1945 leaving
as an only heir his estranged wife Maria Uson,
the petitioner. The latter sued to recover the
ownership and possession of five parcels of
land occupied by defendant Maria del Rosario,
decedent's
common-law-spouse
and
her
children. As a defense, defendant presented a
deed of separation agreed upon and signed
Faustino and Uson containing among others an
statement giving a parcel of land to Uson as an
alimony and the latter renouncing her rights to
any inheritance from Faustino.
The defendant also contends that while it is
true that the four minor defendants are
illegitimate children of the decedent and under
the old Civil Code are not entitled to any
successional rights, however, under the new
Civil Code they are given the status and rights
of natural children and are entitled to the
successional rights which the law accords to
the latter (article 2264 and article 287, new
Civil Code), and because these successional
rights were declared for the first time in the
new code, they shall be given retroactive effect
even though the event which gave rise to them
may have occurred under the prior legislation
(Article 2253, new Civil Code).
ISSUE: Are the contentions of the defendants
correct?
HELD: No. It is evident that when the decedent
died in 1945 the five parcels of land he was
seized of at the time passed from the moment
of his death to his only heir, his widow Maria
Uson (Article 657, old Civil Code). As this Court
aptly said, "The property belongs to the heirs
at the moment of the death of the ancestor as
completely as if the ancestor had executed and
delivered to them a deed for the same before
his death" (Ilustre vs. Alaras Frondosa, 17 Phil.,
321). From that moment, therefore, the rights
of inheritance of Maria Uson over the lands in
question became vested.
The claim of the defendants that Uson had
relinquished her right over the lands in
question in view of her expressed renunciation
to inherit any future property that her husband
may acquire and leave upon his death in the
deed of separation they had entered into
cannot be entertained for the simple reason
that future inheritance cannot be the subject of
a contract nor can it be renounced.
Nor does the contention that the provisions of
the New Civil Code shall apply and be given
retroactive effect. Article 2253 above referred
to provides indeed that rights which are
declared for the first time shall have retroactive
effect even though the event which gave rise
to them may have occurred under the former
legislation, but this is so only when the new
rights do not prejudice any vested or acquired
right of the same origin... As already stated in
the early part of this decision, the right of
ownership of Maria Uson over the lands in
question became vested in 1945 upon the
death of her late husband and this is so
because of the imperative provision of the law
which commands that the rights to succession
are transmitted from the moment of death
(Article 657, old Civil Code). The new right
recognized by the new Civil Code in favor of
the illegitimate children of the deceased
cannot, therefore, be asserted to the
impairment of the vested right of Maria Uson
over the lands in dispute.
Borja v. Borja 46 SCRA 577
FACTS:

Francisco de Borja filed a petition for probate of


the will of his wife who died, Josefa Tangco,
with the CFI of Rizal. He was appointed
executor and administrator, until he died; his
son Jose became the sole administrator.
Francisco had taken a 2nd wife Tasiana before
he died; she instituted testate proceedings with
the CFI of Nueva Ecija upon his death and was
appointed special administatrix. Jose and
Tasiana
entered
upon
a
compromise
agreement, but Tasiana opposed the approval
of the compromise agreement. She argues that
it was no valid, because the heirs cannot enter
into such kind of agreement without first
probating the will of Francisco, and at the time
the agreement was made, the will was still
being probated with the CFI of Nueva Ecija.
ISSUE:
W/N the compromise agreement is valid, even
if the will of Francisco has not yet been
probated.
HELD:
YES, the compromise agreement is valid.
The agreement stipulated that Tasiana will
receive P800,000 as full payment for her
hereditary share in the estate of Francisco and
Josefa.
There was here no attempt to settle or
distribute the estate of Francisco de Borja
among the heirs thereto before the probate of
his will. The clear object of the contract was
merely the conveyance by Tasiana Ongsingco
of any and all her individual share and interest,
actual or eventual, in the estate of Francisco de
Borja and Josefa Tangco. There is no stipulation
as to any other claimant, creditor or legatee.
And as a hereditary share in a decedents
estate is transmitted or vested immediately
from the moment of the death of such
causante or predecessor in interest (Civil Code
of the Philippines, Art. 777) there is no legal
bar to a successor (with requisite contracting
capacity) disposing of her or his hereditary
share immediately after such death, even if the
actual extent of such share is not determined
until the subsequent liquidation of the estate.

Bonilla v. Barcena, 71 SCRA 491

FACTS: On March 31, 1975 Fortunata Barcena,


mother of minors Rosalio Bonilla and Salvacion
Bonilla and wife of Ponciano Bonilla, instituted
a civil action in the CFI of Abra, to quiet title
over certain parcels of land located in Abra.
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint on the ground that Fortunata
Barcena is dead and, therefore, has no legal
capacity to sue. In the hearing for the motion
to dismiss, counsel for the plaintiff confirmed
the death of Fortunata Barcena, and asked for
substitution by her minor children and her
husband; but the court after the hearing
immediately dismissed the case on the ground
that a dead person cannot be a real party in
interest and has no legal personality to sue.
ISSUE: W/N the CFI erred in dismissing the
complaint.
HELD: While it is true that a person who is dead
cannot sue in court, yet he can be substituted
by his heirs in pursuing the case up to its
completion.
The records of this case show that the death of
Fortunata Barcena took place on July 9, 1975
while the complaint was filed on March 31,
1975. This means that when the complaint was
filed on March 31, 1975, Fortunata Barcena
was still alive, and therefore, the court had
acquired jurisdiction over her person.

Under Section 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court


whenever a party to a pending case dies it
shall be the duty of his attorney to inform the
court promptly of such death and to give the
name and residence of his executor,
administrator,
guardian
or
other
legal
representatives. This duty was complied with
by the counsel for the deceased plaintiff when
he manifested before the respondent Court
that Fortunata Barcena died on July 9, 1975
and asked for the proper substitution of parties
in the case.
The respondent Court, however, instead of
allowing the substitution, dismissed the
complaint on the ground that a dead person
has no legal personality to sue.
This is a grave error. Article 777 of the Civil
Code provides that the rights to the
succession are transmitted from the moment of
the death of the decedent.
From the moment of the death of the decedent,
the heirs become the absolute owners of his
property, subject to the rights and obligations
of the decedent, and they cannot be deprived
of their rights thereto except by the methods
provided for by law. The moment of death is
the determining factor when the heirs acquire
a definite right to the inheritance whether such
right be pure or contingent. The right of the
heirs to the property of the deceased vests in
them even before judicial declaration of their
being heirs in the testate or intestate
proceedings.

When Fortunata Barcena, therefore, died, her


claim or right to the parcels of land in litigation
in Civil Case No. 856, was not extinguished by
her death but was transmitted to her heirs
upon her death. Her heirs have thus acquired
interest in the properties in litigation and
became parties in interest in the case. There is,
therefore, no reason for the respondent Court
not to allow their substitution as parties in
interest for the deceased plaintiff.
The claim of the deceased plaintiff which is an
action to quiet title over the parcels of land in
litigation affects primarily and principally
property and property rights and therefore is
one that survives even after her death.
It is, therefore, the duty of the respondent
Court to order the legal representative of the
deceased plaintiff to appear and to be
substituted for her. But what the respondent
Court did, upon being informed by the counsel
for the deceased plaintiff that the latter was
dead, was to dismiss the complaint.
This should not have been done for under
Section 17, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, it is
even the duty of the court, if the legal
representative fails to appear, to order the
opposing party to procure the appointment of a
legal representative of the deceased.
Unquestionably, the respondent Court has
gravely abused its discretion in not complying
with the clear provision of the Rules of Court in
dismissing the complaint of the plaintiff in Civil
Case No. 856 and refusing the substitution of
parties in the case.
-

Jimenez v. FernandezParas, J. (1990)PET: Sulpicia


Jimenez et al.RESPs: Vicente Fernandez, Teodora
GradoFacts:

Land in question (2, 932 sqm) formerly


belonged to Fermin Jimenez.Fermin Jimenez
had 2 sons: Carlos and Fortunato. Fortunato
predeceased
Fermin
leaving
behind
a
daughter, Sulpicia.After the death of Fermin
Jimenez, the entire parcel of land was
registered under Act 496 in the name of Carlos
Jimenez and Sulpicia Jimenez (uncle and niece)
in equal shares pro-indiviso.Carlos Jimenez
died on July 9, 1936 and his illegitimate
daughter, Melecia Cayabyab, also known as
Melecia Jimenez, took possession of the
eastern portion of the property consisting of
436 square meters.Melecia Jimenez sold said
436 square meter-portion of the property to
EdilbertoCagampan and defendant Teodora
Grado executed a contract entitled "Exchange
of Real Properties" whereby the former
transferred said 436 square meter-portion
tothe latter, who has been in occupation
since.August 1969 -- PET executed an affidavit
adjudicating unto herself the other half of the
property appertaining to Carlos Jimenez, upon
manifestation that she isthe only heir of her
deceased uncle. A TCT was then issued in
petitioner's namealone over the entire 2,932
square meter property.PET, joined by her
husband, instituted the present action for the
recovery of the eastern portion of the property
consisting of 436 square meters occupied by
defendant Teodora Grado and her son.Lower
court: Dismissed the complaint.CA: Affirmed
lower court
.Issue:1.WON Melecia Cayabyab had any right
over the eastern part of the propertyshe took
possession of and later sold? No. (See Ratio 1 &
2)2.WON Melecia Cayabyab had acquired any
right over the said part of the property through
prescription? No. (Ratio 3)3.WON PET is barred
from recovering the parcel of land through
laches? No.(Ratio 4)Ratio:1.From the start the
respondent court erred in not declaring that
MeleciaJimenez Cayabyab also known as
Melecia Jimenez, is not the daughter of Carlos
Jimenez and therefore, had no right over the
property in question. Respondents failed to
present concrete evidence to prove that
Melecia Cayabyab was really the daughter of
Carlos Jimenez.2.(RELEVANT) Assuming that
Melecia
Cayabyab
was
the illegitimate
daughterof Carlos Jimenez there can be no
question that Melecia Cayabyab had no right
tosucceed to the estate of Carlos Jimenez and
could not have validly acquired, nor legally
transferred to Edilberto Cagampan that portion
of the property subjectof this petition.oArt. 777
of the CC: The rights to the succession are
transmitted from the moment of the death of
the decedentoArt. 2263 of the CC: Rights to the
inheritance of a person who died withor
without a will, before the effectivity of this
Code, shall be governed by the Civil Code of
1889, by other previous laws, and by the Rules
of CourtoSince Carlos Jimenez, owner of onehalf pro-indiviso portion of that parcel of died
on July 9, 1936 way before the effectivity of the
Civil Code of thePhilippines, the successional
rights pertaining to his estate must be
determinedin accordance with the Civil Code of
1889.oTo be an heir under the rules of Civil
Code of 1889 (which was the law in force when
Carlos Jimenez died and which should be the
governing law in so faras the right to inherit
from his estate was concerned), a child must
be eithera child legitimate, legitimated, or
adopted, or else an acknowledged natural chi
ld for illegitimate not natural are disqualified
to inherit.oMelecia Cayabcab could not even be
considered an acknowledged natural child
because Carlos Jimenez was then legally
married to Susana Abalos and therefore not

qualified to marry Maria Cayabyab and


consequently Melecia Cayabyab was an
illegitimate spurious child and not entitled to
any successional rights in sofar as the estate of
Carlos Jimenez was concerned.3.No possession
by any person of any portion of the land
covered by said original certificate of titles,
could defeat the title of the registered owner
ofthe land covered by the certificate of title.
Sulpicia's title over her one-half undivided
property remained good and continued to be
good when she segregatedit into a new titlein
1969. Sulpicia's ownership over her one-half of
the land and which is the land in dispute was
always covered by a Torrens title, and
therefore, no amount of possession thereof by
the
respondents,
could
ever
defeat
herproprietary rights thereon.4.It is apparent,
that the right of PET to institute this action to
recover possession of the portion of the land in
question based on the Torrens Title of Sulpicia
Jimenez, T.C.T. No. 82275 and the Court has
invariably in past casesupheld that "the right of
the appellee to file an action to recover
possession based on its Torrens Title is
imprescriptible and not barred under the
doctrine of laches.Dispositive: Petition Granted
Quison Vs. Salud
De vera vs. Galauran
Arsenio de Vera, as surviving spouse of the
deceased Isabel Domingo, acting for himself
and as guardian ad litem of six minors heirs,
instituted an action against Cleotilde Galauran
in the Court of First Instance of Rizal for the
annulment of a deed of sale of a registered
parcel of land. It is alleged in the complaint
that Arsenio de Vera and his wife Isabel
Domingo, now deceased, have mortgaged their
property to the defendant to secure a loan
received from him, but said defendant illegally
made them sign a deed which they then
believed to be of mortgage and which turned
out later to be of pacto de retro sale; and that
the six minor children named in the complaint
are the legitimate children and legitimate heirs
of the deceased Isabel Domingo. A demurrer
was interposed by the defendant alleging that
the plaintiffs have no cause of action, for they
have not been declared legal heirs in a special
proceeding. The demurrer was sustained, and,
on failure of plaintiffs to amend, the action was
dismissed. Wherefore, this appeal.
Unless there is pending a special proceeding
for the settlement of the estate of a deceased
person, the legal heirs may commence an
ordinary action arising out of a right belonging
to the ancestor, without the necessity of a
previous and separate judicial declaration of
their status as such. (Rosa Hernandez vs.
Padua, 14 Phil., 194; Mendoza Vda. de
Bonnevie vs. Cecilio Vda. de Pardo, 59 Phil.,
486; Government of the Philippine Islands vs.
Serafica, 33 Off. Gaz., 334; Uy Coque vs. Navas
L. Sioca, 45 Phil., 430.) If the deceased turns
out to have debts, the creditors or the heirs
themselves may initiate a special proceeding. If
the heirs are minors, a guardian ad litem may
be appointed for them. (Secs. 116 and 117, Act
No. 190.)
In the complaint it is asked that a guardian ad
litem be appointed for the minor plaintiffs. The
lower court should have granted this petition
instead of sustaining the demurrer and
dismissing the action.
The order of dismissal is hereby reversed and
the case remanded to the lower court for

further proceedings,
defendant-appellee.

with

costs

against

Torres vs. Lopez


Suroza vs. Honrado
In 1973, Marcelina Suroza supposedly executed
a notarial will bequeathing her house and lot to
a certain Marilyn Suroza. In 1974, Marcelina
died. Marina Paje was named as the executrix
in the said will and she petitioned before CFI
Rizal that the will be admitted to probate. The
presiding judge, Honrado admitted the will to
probate
and
assigned
Paje
as
the
administratrix. Honrado also issued an
ejectment order against the occupants of the
house and lot subject of the will.
Nenita Suroza, daughter in law of Marcelina
(her husband, son of Marcelina was confined in
the Veterans Hospital), learned of the probate
proceeding when she received the ejectment
order (as she was residing in said house and
lot).
Nenita opposed the probate proceeding. She
alleged that the said notarial will is void
because (a) the instituted heir therein Marilyn
Suroza is actually Marilyn Sy and she is a
stranger to Marcelina, (b) the only son of
Marcelina, Agapito Suroza, is still alive and is
the compulsory heir, (c) the notarial will is
written in English a language not known to
Marcelina because the latter was illiterate so
much so that she merely thumbmarked the
will, (d) the notary public who notarized will
admitted that Marcelina never appeared before
him and that he notarized the said will merely
to accommodate the request of a lawyer friend
but with the understanding that Marcelina
should later appear before him but that never
happened.
Honrado still continued with the probate
despite the opposition until testamentary
proceeding closed and the property transferred
to Marilyn Sy.
Nenita then filed this administrative case
against Honrado on the ground of misconduct.
ISSUE: Whether or not Honrado is guilty of
misconduct for admitting into probate a void
will.
HELD: Yes. Despite the valid claim raised by
Nenita,
he
still
continued
with
the
testamentary proceeding, this showed his
wrongful intent. He may even be criminally
liable for knowingly rendering an unjust
judgment or interlocutory order or rendering a
manifestly unjust judgment or interlocutory
order by reason of inexcusable negligence or
ignorance.
The will is written in English and was thumb
marked by an obviously illiterate Marcelina.
This could have readily been perceived by
Honrado that that the will is void. In the
opening paragraph of the will, it was stated
that English was a language understood and
known to the testatrix. But in its concluding
paragraph, it was stated that the will was read
to the testatrix and translated into Filipino
language. That could only mean that the will
was written in a language not known to the
illiterate testatrix and, therefore, it is void
because of the mandatory provision of Article
804 of the Civil Code that every will must be
executed in a language or dialect known to the
testator. Had Honrado been careful and
observant, he could have noted not only the

anomaly as to the language of the will but also


that there was something wrong in instituting
to Marilyn Sy as sole heiress and giving nothing
at all to Agapito who was still alive.
-

Honrado was fined by the Supreme Court.

Matias vs. Salud


Facts:
1. This case is an appeal from a CFI Cavite
order denying the probate of the will of Gabina
Raquel. The document consist of 3 pages and it
seems that after the attestation clause, there
appears the siganture of the testatrix 'Gabina
Raquel', alongside is a smudged in violet ink
claimed by the proponents as the thumbmark
allegedly affixed by the tetratrix. On the third
page at the end of the attestation clause
appears signatures on the left margin of each
page, and also on the upper part of each left
margin appears the same violet ink smudge
accompanied by the written words 'Gabina
Raquel' with 'by Lourdes Samonte' underneath
it.
2. The proponent's evidence is to the effect
that the decedent allegedly instructed Atty.
Agbunag to drat her will and brought to her on
January 1950. With all the witnesses with her
and the lawyer, the decedent affixed her
thumbmark at the foot of the document and
the left margin of each page. It was also
alleged that she attempted to sign using a sign
pen but was only able to do so on the lower
half of page 2 due to the pain in her right
shoulder. The lawyer, seeing Gabina unable to
proceed instructed Lourdes Samonte to write
'Gabina Raquel by Lourdes Samonte' next to
each thumbmark, after which the witnesses
signed at the foot of the attestation clause and
the left hand margin of each page.
3. The probate was opposed by Basilia Salud,
the niece of the decedent.
4. The CFI of cavite denied the probate on the
ground that the attestation clause did not state
that the testatrix and the witnesses signed
each and every page nor did it express that
Lourdes was specially directed to sign after the
testatrix.
Issue: Whether or not the thumbprint was
sufficient compliance with the law despite the
absence of a description of such in the
attestation clause
HELD: YES
The absence of the description on the
attestation clause that another person wrote
the testatrix' name at her request is not a fatal
defect, The legal requirement only ask that it
be signed by the testator, a requirement
satisfied by a thumbprint or other mark affixed
by him.
As to the issue on the clarity of the ridge
impression, it is held to be dependent on the
aleatory circumstances. Where a testator
employs an unfamiliar way of signing and that
both the attestation clause and the will are
silent on the matter, such silence is a factor to
be considered against the authenticity of the
testament. However, the failure to describe the
signature itself alone is not sufficient to refuse
probate when evidence fully satisfied that the
will was executed and witnessed in accordance
with law.
Barut vs. Cabacungan
Facts: 1.Pedro Barut applied for the probate of
the will of Maria Salomon. It is alleged in the
petition that testatrix died on Nov. 1908 in

Sinait, Ilocos Sur leaving the will dated March


3, 1907. The said will was witnessed by 3
persons. From the terms it appears that the
petitioner received a larger part of decedent's
property. After this disposition, the testatrix
revoked all other wills and stated that since she
is unable to read nor write, the will was read to
her and that she has instructed Severino
Agapan, one of the witnesses to sign her name
in her behalf.
2. The lower court ruled that the will is not
entitled to probate on the sole ground that the
handwriting of the person who signed the
name of the testatrix does not appear to be
that of Agapan but that of another witness.
Issue: Whether or not a will's validity is
affected when the person instructed by a
testator to write his name did not sign his
name
HELD: No, it is immaterial who wrote the name
of the testator provided it is written at her
request and in her present, and in the presence
of the witnesses. This is the only requirement
under Sec. 618 of the Civil Code of procedure
at that time.

Balonan vs Abellana
Anacleta Abellana left a will. In said will, she let
a certain Juan Bello sign the will for her. The
will consists of two pages. The first page is
signed by Juan Abello and under his name
appears typewritten Por la testadora Anacleta
Abellana. On the second page, appears the
signature of Juan Bello under whose name
appears the phrase, Por la Testadora Anacleta
Abellana this time, the phrase is
handwritten.
ISSUE: Whether or not the signature of Bello
appearing above the typewritten phrase Por la
testadora Anacleta Abellana comply with the
requirements of the law prescribing the
manner in which a will shall be executed.
HELD: No. Article 805 of the Civil Code provides
that:
Every will, other than a holographic will, must
be subscribed at the end thereof by the
testator himself or by the testators name
written by some other person in his presence,
and by his express direction, and attested and
subscribed by three or more credible witnesses
in the presence of the testator and of one
another.
In the case at bar the name of the testatrix,
Anacleta Abellana, does not appear written
under the will by said Abellana herself, or by
Juan Abello. There is, therefore, a failure to
comply with the express requirement in the law
that the testator must himself sign the will, or
that his name be affixed thereto by some other
person in his presence and by his express
direction.
Note that the phrase Por la testadora Anacleta
Abellana was typewritten and above it was
the signature of Abello so in effect, when
Abello only signed his name without writing
that he is doing so for Anacleta, he actually
omitted the name of the testatrix. This is a
substantial violation of the law and would
render the will invalid.
Nera vs. Remando
When a certain will was being signed, it was
alleged that the testator and some subscribing
witnesses were in the inner room while the
other subscribing witnesses were in the outer
room. What separates the inner room from the
outer room was a curtain. The trial court

ignored this fact in its determination of the


case as it ruled that the determination of this
specific fact will not affect the outcome of the
case.
-

ISSUE: What is the true test of the testators or


the witness presence in the signing of a will?
HELD: The Supreme Court emphasized that the
true test of presence of the testator and the
witnesses in the execution of a will is not
whether they actually saw each other sign, but
whether they might have seen each other sign,
had they chosen to do so, considering their
mental and physical condition and position with
relation to each other at the moment of
inscription of each signature.
The position of the parties with relation to each
other at the moment of the subscription of
each signature, must be such that they may
see each other sign if they choose to do so.
The Supreme Court, in this case, determined
that all the parties were in the same small
room when each other signed. Hence, they
were in each others presence (though the
facts of the case didnt elaborate the SC just
ruled so). The SC ruled that if some of the
witnesses were really in the outer room (a fact
which was not established according to the SC)
separated by a curtain, then the will is invalid,
the attaching of those signatures under
circumstances not being done in the
presence of the witness in the outer room.

Tabuada vs. Rosal


Dorotea Perez left a will. The will has two
pages. On the first page, which contains the
entire testamentary dispositions, were the
signatures of the three instrumental witnesses
and that of Dorotea Perez. The signatures of
the three instrumental witnesses were on the
left margin while Perez signature was on the
bottom. On the second page, which contains
the
attestation
clause
and
the
acknowledgement, were the signatures of the
three attesting witnesses and that of Dorotea
Perez. The attestation clause failed to state the
number of pages used in the will. Taboada
petitioned for the admission to probate of the
said will. The judge who handled the petition
was Judge Ramon Pamatian. He denied the
petition.
Taboada
filed
a
motion
for
reconsideration but Pamatian was not able to
act on it because he was transferred to another
jurisdiction. The case was inherited by Judge
Rosal who also denied the MFR on the grounds
that a) that the testator and the instrumental
witnesses did not all sign on the left margin of
the page as prescribed by law; that the testator
and the witnesses should have placed their
signature in the same place b) that the
attestation clause failed to state the number of
pages used in writing the will this, according
to Judge Rosal violated the requirement that
the attestation clause shall state the number of
pages or sheets upon which the will is written,
which requirement has been held to be
mandatory as an effective safeguard against
the possibility of interpolation or omission of
some of the pages of the will to the prejudice
of the heirs to whom the property is intended
to be bequeathed.
ISSUE: Whether or not the will should be
admitted to probate.
HELD: Yes. The law must be interpreted
liberally.
-

Further, there is substantial compliance with


the law. It would be absurd that the legislature
intended to place so heavy an import on the
space or particular location where the
signatures are to be found as long as this
space or particular location wherein the
signatures are found is consistent with good
faith.
The failure to include in the attestation clause
of the number of pages used in writing the will
would have been a fatal defect. But then again,
the matter should be approached liberally.
There were only two pages in the will left by
Perez. The first page contains the entirety of
the testamentary dispositions and signed by
the testatrix at the end or at the bottom while
the instrumental witnesses signed at the left
margin. The other page which is marked as
Pagina dos comprises the attestation clause
and
the
acknowledgment.
Further,
the
acknowledgment itself states that This Last
Will and Testament consists of two pages
including this page.

Icasiano vs. Icasiano


Facts: 1. Celso Icasiano, filed a petition for the
probate of the will of Josefa Villacorte and for
his appointment as executor thereof. It appears
from the evidence that the testatrix died on
September 12, 1958. She executed a will in
Tagalog, and through the help of her lawyer, it
was prepared in duplicates, an original and a
carbon copy.
2. On the day that it was subscribed and
attested, the lawyer only brought the original
copy of the will while the carbon duplicate
(unsigned) was left in Bulacan. One of the
witnesses failed to sign one of the pages in the
original copy but admitted he may have lifted 2
pages simultaneously instead when he signed
the will. Nevertheless, he affirmed that the will
was signed by the testator and other witnesses
in his presence.
Issue: Whether or not the failure of one of the
subscribing witnesses to affix his signature to a
page is sufficient to deny probate of the will
RULING: No, the failure to sign was entirely
through pure oversight or mere inadvertence.
Since the duplicated bore the required
signatures, this proves that the omission was
not intentional. Even if the original is in
existence, a duplicate may still be admitted to
probate since the original is deemed to be
defective, then in law, there is no other will bu
the duly signed carbon duplicate and the same
can be probated. The law should not be strictly
and literally interpreted as to penalize the
testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a
single witness over whose conduct she has no
control of. Where the purpose of the law is to
guarantee the identity of the testament and its
component pages, and there is no intentional
or deliberate deviation existed. Note that this
ruling should not be taken as a departure from
the rules that the will should be signed by the
witnesses on every page. The carbon copy
duplicate was regular in all respects.
Abangan vs. Abangan
Facts:
1. On September 1917, the CFI of Cebu
admitted to probate Ana Abangan's will
executed on July 1916. It is from this decision
which the opponent appealed. It is alleged that
the records do not show the testatrix knew the
dialect in which the will was written.
Issue: Whether or not the will was validly
probated
-

YES. The circumstance appearing on the will


itself, that it was executed in Cebu City and in
the dialect of the place where the testarix is a
resident is enough to presume that she knew
this dialect in the absence of any proof to the
contrary. On the authority of this case and that
of Gonzales v Laurel, it seems that for the
presumption to apply, the following must
appear: 1) that the will must be in a language
or dialect generally spoken in the place of
execution, and, 2) that the testator must be a
native or resident of the said locality

Cruz vs. Villasor


Facts:
1. The CFI of Cebu allowed the probate of the
last will and testament of the late Valenti Cruz.
However, the petitioner opposed the allowance
of the will alleging that it was executed through
fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, and undue
influence. He further alleged that the
instrument was executed without the testator
having been informed of its contents and
finally, that it was not executed in accordance
with law.
2. One of the witnesses, Angel Tevel Jr. was also
the notary before whom the will was
acknowledged. Despite the objection, the lower
court admitted the will to probate on the
ground that there is substantial compliance
with the legal requirements of having at least 3
witnesses even if the notary public was one of
them.
Issue: Whether or not the will is valid in
accordance with Art. 805 and 806 of the NCC
HELD: NO.
The will is not valid. The notary public cannot
be considered as the third instrumental witness
since he cannot acknowledge before himself
his having signed the said will. An
acknowledging officer cannot serve as witness
at the same time.
To acknowledge before means to avow, or to
own as genuine, to assent, admit, and 'before'
means in front of or preceding in space or
ahead of. The notary cannot split his
personality into two so that one will appear
before the other to acknowledge
his
participation int he making of the will. To
permit such situation would be absurd.
Finally, the function of a notary among others
is to guard against any illegal or immoral
arrangements, a function defeated if he were
to be one of the attesting or instrumental
witnesses. He would be interested in sustaining
the validity of the will as it directly involves
himself and the validity of his own act. he
would be in an inconsistent position, thwarting
the very purpose of the acknowledgment,
which is to minimize fraud.
Gabucan vs Manta
FACTS:
This case is about the dismissal of a petition for
the probate of the notarial will of the late
Rogaciano Gabucan on the ground that it does
not bear a thirty-centavo documentary stamp.
The probate court refused to reconsider the
dismissal in spite of petitioners manifestation
that he had already attached the documentary
stamp to the original of the will.
ISSUE:
-

W/N the probate correct was correct in


dismissing the petition on the ground of failure
to affix the documentary stamp to the will
HELD:
The Court held that the lower court manifestly
erred
in
declaring
that,
because
no
documentary stamp was affixed to the will,
there was no will and testament to probate
and, consequently, the alleged action must of
necessity be dismissed.
What the probate court should have done was
to require the petitioner or proponent to affix
the requisite thirty-centavo documentary
stamp to the notarial acknowledgment of the
will which is the taxable portion of that
document. The documentary stamp may be
affixed at the time the taxable document is
presented in evidence.

Abellana vs Ledesma
Garcia vs. Vasquez
Facts:
1. Gliceria del Rosario executed 2 wills, one in
June 1956, written in Spanish, a language she
knew an spoke. The other will was executed in
December 1960 consisting of only one page,
and written in Tagalog. The witnesses to the
1960 will declared that the will was first read
'silently' by the testatrix before signing it. The
probate court admitted the will.
2. The oppositors alleged that the as of
December 1960, the eyesight of the deceased
was so poor and defective that she could not
have read the provisions contrary to the
testimony of the witnesses.
Issue: Whether or not the will is valid
RULING: The will is not valid. If the testator is
blind, Art. 808 of the New Civil Code (NCC)
should apply.If the testator is blind or incapable
of reading, he must be apprised of the contents
of the will for him to be able to have the
opportunityto object if the provisions therein
are not in accordance with his wishes.
The
testimony
of
her
opthalmologist
established that notwithstanding an operation
to remove her cataract and being fitted with
the lenses, this did not improve her vision. Her
vision remained mainly for viewing distant
objects and not for reading. There was no
evidence that her vision improved at the time
of the execution of the 2nd will. Hence, she
was incapable of reading her own will. The
admission of the will to probate is therefor
erroneous.
Acain vs. LAC
FACTS:
Constantitno filed for probate of the will of his
decased brother Nemesio. The spouse and
adopted child of the decedentopposed the
probate of will because of preterition. RTC
dismissed the petition of the wife. CA reversed
and the probatethus was dismissed
ISSUE:
Whether or not there was preterition of
compulsory heirs in the direct line thus their
omission shall not annul the
institution of heirs
.RULING:
Preterition consists in the omission of the
forced heirs because they are not mentioned
there in, or trough mentioned theyare neither
instituted
as
heirs
nor
are
expressly
disinherited. As for the widow there is no

preterit ion because she is not inthe direct line.


However, the same cannot be said for the
adopted child whose legal adoption has not
been questioned bythe petitioner. Adoption
gives to the adopted person the same rights
and duties as if he where a legitimate child of
theadopter and makes the adopted person a
legal heir hence, this is a clear case of
preterition.The
universal
institution
of
petitioner together with his brothers and sisters
to the entire inheritance of the testator
resultsin totally abrogating the will because the
nullification of such institution of universal
heirs
without
any
other
testamentarydisposition in the will amounts to
a declaration that nothing was written. No
legacies and devisees having been provided
inthe will, the whole property of the deceased
has been left by universal title to petitioner and
his brothers and sisters.
Cagro vs. Cagro
Dela Cerna vs. Potot
Facts:
1. The spouses Bernabe Dela Serna and
Gerasisa Rebabca executed a joint will where
they gave two (2) parcels of land to manuela
Rebaca, a niece, as they didn't have their own
child. When Bernabe died, the said will was
probated in 1939.
2. Another petition for probate of the same will
insofar as Gervasia was concerned was filed in
1952 but due to the failure of the petitioner
(Manuela) to appears, the same was dismissed
in 1954.
3. The CFI held the petition (Bernabe probate)
to be null and void as it is contrary to law.
While the Court of Appeals reversed and held
that the decree of probate in 1939 was issued
by a court of probate jurisdiction and
conclusive as to the due execution of the will.
Hence this appeal.
Issue: Whether or not the will is valid
RULING: The Supreme Court affirmed the CA
decision and held that Once a decree of
probate becomes final in accordance with the
rules of procedure, it is res judicata. THe final
decree of probate entered in 1939 in the CFI of
Cebu is conclusive as to the last will of Bernabe
despite the fact that even then the Civil Code
already decreed the invalidity of joint wills.
(There was an error on the court but the decree
has now become final.)
The probate court committed an error of law
which should have been corrected on appeals
but which did not affect the jurisdiction of the
probate court, nor the conclusive effect of its
final decision. A decision which is binding upon
the whole world.
Nevertheless, the probate in 1939 only affected
the share of Bernabe and could not include the
disposition of the share of his wife which was
still alive then, her properties were still not
within the jurisdiction of the court. Hence, the
validity of the will with respect to her, must be
on her death, be re-examined and adjudicated
de novo -- since a joint will is considered a
separate will of each testator.
Diaz vs. De Leon
Facts:
1. Jesus de Leon executed 2 wills, the second
will was not deemed in conformance to the
requirements under the law. After executing his
first will, he asked it to be immediately

returned to him. As it was returned, he


instructed his servant to tear it. This was done
in the testator's presence and his nurse. After
sometime, he was asked by his physician about
the incident wherein he replied that the will has
already been destroyed.
-

Issue: Whether or not there was a valid


revocation of the will
RULING: Yes. His intention to revoke is manifest
from the facts that he was anxious to withdraw
or change the provisions he made in the first
will. This fact was shown from his own
statements to the witnesses and the mother
superior of the hospital where he was
subsequently confined. The original will which
was presented for probate is deemed
destroyed hence, it cannot be probated as the
last will and testament of testator.

Tampoy vs. Alberastine


Gago vs. Manuya
Facts:
1. Previously, Francisco Gago filed a petition for
the probate of a will of Miguel Mamuyac
executed on July 27, 1918. The oppositors
alleged that the said will was already annulled
and revoked. It appeared that on April 16,
1919, the deceased executed another will. The
lower court denied the probate of the first will
on the ground of the existence of the second
will.
2. Another petition was filed to seek the
probate of the second will. The oppositors
alleged that the second will presented was
merely a copy. According to the witnesses, the
said will was allegedly revoked as per the
testimony of Jose Tenoy, one of the witnesses
who typed the document. Another witness
testified that on December 1920 the original
will was actually cancelled by the testator.
3. The lower court denied the probate and held
that the same has been annulled and revoked.
Issue: Whether or not there was a valid
revocation of the will
RULING: Yes. The will was already cancelled in
1920. This was inferred when after due search,
the original will cannot be found. When the will
which cannot be found in shown to be in the
possession of the testator when last seen, the
presumption is that in the absence of other
competent evidence, the same was deemed
cancelled or destroyed. The same presumption
applies when it is shown that the testator has
ready access to the will and it can no longer be
found after his death.

Gan vs. Yap


FACTS
On November 20, 1951, Felicidad Esguerra Alto
Yap died of heart failure in the University of
SantoTomas Hospital, leaving properties in
Pulilan, Bulacan, and in the City of Manila.
On March 17, 1952, Fausto E. Gan initiated
these proceedings in the Manila court of first
instance with apetition for the probate of a
holographic will allegedly executed by the
deceased.Opposing the petition, her surviving
husband Ildefonso Yap asserted that the
deceased had not left anywill, nor executed
any testament during her lifetime.After hearing
the parties and considering their evidence, the

Hon. Ramon R. San Jose, Judge, refused


toprobate the alleged will. A seventy-page
motion for reconsideration failed. Hence this
appeal.
ISSUE
WON a holographic will be probated upon the
testimony of witnesses who have allegedly
seen it andwho declare that it was in the
handwriting of the testator?
HELD
NO. The court ruled that the execution and the
contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will
may notbe proved by the bare testimony of
witnesses who have seen and/or read such will.
The loss of theholographic will entails the loss
of the only medium of proof. Even if oral
testimony were admissible toestablish and
probate a lost holographic will, we think the
evidence submitted by herein petitioner is
sotainted
with
improbabilities
and
inconsistencies that it fails to measure up to
that "clear and distinct"proof required by Rule
77, sec. 6. 11.

Jimenez vs. Fernandez


Facts:
- Land in question (2, 932 sqm) formerly
belonged to Fermin Jimenez.
- Fermin Jimenez had 2 sons: Carlos and
Fortunato. Fortunato predeceased Fermin
leaving behind a daughter, Sulpicia.
- After the death of Fermin Jimenez, the entire
parcel of land was registered under Act 496 in
the name of Carlos Jimenez and Sulpicia
Jimenez (uncle and niece) in equal shares proindiviso.
- Carlos Jimenez died on July 9, 1936 and his
illegitimate daughter, Melecia Cayabyab, also
known as Melecia Jimenez, took possession of
the eastern portion of the property consisting
of 436 square meters.
- Melecia Jimenez sold said 436 square meterportion of the property to EdilbertoCagampan
and defendant Teodora Grado executed a
contract entitled "Exchange of Real Properties"
whereby the former transferred said 436
square meter-portion tothe latter, who has
been in occupation since.
- August 1969 -- PET executed an affidavit
adjudicating unto herself the other half of the
property appertaining to Carlos Jimenez, upon
manifestation that she isthe only heir of her
deceased uncle. A TCT was then issued in
petitioner's namealone over the entire 2,932
square meter property.
- PET, joined by her husband, instituted the
present action for the recovery of the eastern
portion of the property consisting of 436
square meters occupied by defendant Teodora
Grado and her son.
- Lower court: Dismissed the complaint.
CA: Affirmed lower court.
Issue:
1.WON Melecia Cayabyab had any right over
the eastern part of the propertyshe took
possession of and later sold? No. (See Ratio 1 &
2)
2.WON Melecia Cayabyab had acquired any
right over the said part of the property through
prescription? No. (Ratio 3)
3.WON PET is barred from recovering the
parcel of land through laches? No.(Ratio 4)
Ratio:1.From the start the respondent court
erred in not declaring that MeleciaJimenez
Cayabyab also known as Melecia Jimenez, is
not the daughter of Carlos Jimenez and
therefore, had no right over the property in
question. Respondents failed to present
concrete evidence to prove that Melecia

Cayabyab was really the daughter of Carlos


Jimenez.
2.(RELEVANT) Assuming that Melecia Cayabyab
was the illegitimate daughterof Carlos Jimenez
there can be no question that Melecia
Cayabyab had no right tosucceed to the estate
of Carlos Jimenez and could not have validly
acquired, nor legally transferred to Edilberto
Cagampan that portion of the property
subjectof this petition.oArt. 777 of the CC: The
rights to the succession are transmitted from
the moment of the death of the decedentoArt.
2263 of the CC: Rights to the inheritance of a
person who died withor without a will, before
the effectivity of this Code, shall be governed
by the Civil Code of 1889, by other previous
laws, and by the Rules of CourtoSince Carlos
Jimenez, owner of one-half pro-indiviso portion
of that parcel of died on July 9, 1936 way
before the effectivity of the Civil Code of
thePhilippines,
the
successional
rights
pertaining to his estate must be determinedin
accordance with the Civil Code of 1889.oTo be
an heir under the rules of Civil Code of 1889
(which was the law in force when Carlos
Jimenez died and which should be the
governing law in so faras the right to inherit
from his estate was concerned), a child must
be eithera child legitimate, legitimated, or
adopted, or else an acknowledged natural chi
ld for illegitimate not natural are disqualified
to inherit.oMelecia Cayabcab could not even be
considered an acknowledged natural child
because Carlos Jimenez was then legally
married to Susana Abalos and therefore not
qualified to marry Maria Cayabyab and
consequently Melecia Cayabyab was an
illegitimate spurious child and not entitled to
any successional rights in sofar as the estate of
Carlos Jimenez was concerned.
3.No possession by any person of any portion
of the land covered by said original certificate
of titles, could defeat the title of the registered
owner ofthe land covered by the certificate of
title. Sulpicia's title over her one-half undivided
property remained good and continued to be
good when she segregatedit into a new titlein
1969. Sulpicia's ownership over her one-half of
the land and which is the land in dispute was
always covered by a Torrens title, and
therefore, no amount of possession thereof by
the
respondents,
could
ever
defeat
herproprietary rights thereon.
4.It is apparent, that the right of PET to
institute this action to recover possession of
the portion of the land in question based on the
Torrens Title of Sulpicia Jimenez, T.C.T. No.
82275 and the Court has invariably in past
casesupheld that "the right of the appellee to
file an action to recover possession based on
its Torrens Title is imprescriptible and not
barred under the doctrine of laches.Dispositive:
Petition Granted.

Labrador vs. CA
Maloto vs. CA
Facts:
1. Petitioners and respondents are the
neices/nephews or Adriana Maloto who died in
1963. The four heirs believed that the
deceased did not leave a will, hesnce they
filed an intestate proceeding. However, the
parties executed an extrajudicial settlement of
the estate dividing it into four equal parts.
2. In 1967, Atty. Sulpicio Palma, ex-associate of
the deceased's counsel allegedly discovered
her last will which was purportedly dated 1940,
inside a cabinet. Hence the annulment of the
proceedings and a probate petition was filed by

the devisees and legatees. The said will was


allegedly burned by the househelp under the
instruction of the deceased
-

3. The lower court denied the probate on the


ground that the animus revocandi in the
burning of the will was sufficiently proven.
Issue: Whether or
revocation of the will

not

there

was

valid

RULING: No, there was no revocation. For a


valid revocation to occur,the 'corpus' and
'animus' must concur, one without the other
will not produce a valid revocation. The
physical act of destruction of a will must come
with an intention to revoke (animus revocandi).
In this case, there's paucity of evidence to
comply with the said requirement. The paper
burned was not established to be the will and
the burning though done under her express
direction was not done in her presence.
Under Art. 830, the physical act of destruction,
in this case the burning of the will, does not
constitute an effective revocation, unless it is
coupled with animus revocandi on the part of
the testator. Since animus is a state of mind, it
has to be accompanied by an overt physical
act of burning, tearing, obliterating or
cancelling done by the testator himself or by
another under his express direction and
presence.

Matias vs. Gonzales


Nera vs. Rimando
Facts:
1. At the time the will was executed, in a large
room connecting with a smaller room by a
doorway where a curtain hangs across, one of
the witnesses was in the outside room when
the other witnesses were attaching their
signatures to the instrument.
2. The trial court did not consider the
determination of the issue as to the position of
the witness as of vital importance in
determining the case. It agreed with the ruling
in the case of Jaboneta v. Gustillo that the
alleged fact being that one of the subscribing
witnesses was in the outer room while the
signing occurred in the inner room, would not
be sufficient to invalidate the execution of the
will.
3. The CA deemed the will valid.
Issue: Whether or not the subscribing witness
was able to see the testator and other
witnesses in the act of affixing their signatures.
HELD: YES
The Court is unanimous in its opinion that had
the witnesses been proven to be in the outer
room when the testator and other witnesses
signed the will in the inner room, it would have
invalidated the will since the attaching of the
signatures under the circumstances was not
done 'in the presence' of the witnesses in the
outer room. The line of vision of the witness to
the testator and other witnesses was blocked
by the curtain separating the rooms.
The position of the parties must be such that
with relation to each other at the moment of
the attaching the signatures, they may see
each other sign if they chose to.
In the Jaboneta case, the true test of presence
is not whether or not they actualy saw each
other sign but whether they might have seen

each other sign if they chose to doso


considering their physical, mental condition
and position in relation to each other at the
moment of the inscription of the signature.
Bueno vs. Lopez
De molo vs. Molo
Facts:
1. Marcos Molo executed 2 wills, one in August
1918 and another in June 1939. The latter will
contained a revocation clause which expressly
revoked the will in 1918. He died without any
forced heirs but he was survived by his wife,
herein petitioner Juana. The oppositors to the
probate were his nephews and nieces.
2. Only a carbon copy of the second will was
found. The widow filed a petition for the
probate of the 1939 will. It was admitted to
probate but subsequently set aside on ground
that the petitioner failed to prove its due
execution.
3. As a result, the petitioner filed another
petition for the probate of the 1918 will this
time. Again the oppositors alleged that said will
had already been revoked under the 1939 will.
They contended that despite the disallowance
of the 1939 will, the revocation clause is valid
and thus effectively nullified the 1918 will.
Issue: Whether or not the 1918 will can still be
valid despite the revocation in the subsequent
disallowed 1939 will
RULING: Yes.The court applied the doctrine laid
down in Samson v. Naval that a subsequent
will,containing a clause revoking a previous
will, having been disallowed for the reason that
it was not executed in accordance with law
cannot produce the effect of annulling the
previous will, inasmuch as the said revocatory
clause is void.
There was no valid revocation in this case. No
evidence was shown that the testator
deliberately destroyed the original 1918 will
because of his knowledge of the revocatory
clause contained in the will executed in
1939.The earlier will can still be probated
under the principle of dependent relative
revocation.The doctrine applies when a
testator cancels or destroys a will or executes
an instrument intended to revoke a will with
the intention to make a new testamentary
disposition as substitute for the old, and the
new disposition fails of effect for some reason.