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VIRGINIA GARCIA FULE, and HONORABLE SEVERO A.

MALVAR, Presiding Judge, Court


of First Instance of Laguna, Branch Vl vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, *
PRECIOSA B. GARCIA and AGUSTINA B. GARCIA

G.R. No. L-40502 November 29, 1976


Topic: Rule 73. Sec 1, Venue/Jurisdiction
Ponente: MARTIN, J.

FACTS:

Virginia G. Fule (illegitimate sister) filed with the CFI of Laguna a petition for letters of
administration alleging that on April 26, 1973, Amado G. Garcia, a property owner of Calamba,
Laguna, died intestate in the City of Manila, leaving real estate and personal properties in
Calamba, Laguna, and in other places, within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court. At the
same time, she moved ex parte for her appointment as special administratix over the estate.
Judge Malvar granted the motion.

A motion for reconsideration was filed by Preciosa B. Garcia, the surviving spouse of the
deceased, contending that:
1) The decedent resided in QC for 3 months before his death as shown by his death
certificate and therefore venue was improperly laid.
2) The CFI of Calamba lacks jurisdiction over the petition.

Contrary to this, Virginia contends that the deceased last resided in Calamba. She claims that the
deceased has properties in Calamba and was even elected as Constitutional Delegate for the
First District of Laguna.

NOTE: There are other contentions raised by Preciosa regarding the propriety of the appointment
of Virginia as the adminstratrix given that Preciosa was the surviving spouse, but for the purpose
of this digest I focused only on the topic.

CFI denied Preciosas motion.


CA Upon petition for certiorari under rule 65, CA reversed CFI decision and ruled in favor of
Preciosa. Hence this Certiorari 65 to the SC.

ISSUE:
Was the venue of this case properly laid? What does the rules pertain as to the use of the word
RESIDES? NO. CALAMBA IS NOT THE PROPER VENUE

RULING:
Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: If the decedent is an inhabitant of the
Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall be proved, or
letters of administration granted, and his estate settled, in the Court of First Instance in the
province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign
country, the Court of First Instance of any province in which he had estate.

Resides should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or
physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical presence
in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means merely residence, that
is, personal residence, not legal residence or domicile. Residence simply requires bodily
presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile requires bodily presence in that place
and also an intention to make it ones domicile. No particular length of time of residence is
required though; however, the residence must be more than temporary.
In the present case, SC ruled that the last place of residence of the deceased should be the
venue of the court. Amado G. Garcia was in Quezon City, and not at Calamba, Laguna base on
his death certificate. A death certificate is admissible to prove the residence of the decedent at the
time of his death.

Withal, the conclusion becomes imperative that the venue for Virginia C. Fules petition for letters
of administration was improperly laid in the Court of First Instance of Calamba, Laguna. Therefore
Preciosa B. Garcia was granted as a special administratix.

RATIO:

Petitioner, was able to secure an appointment from the CFI of Laguna as Special Administratrix of
the estate of Amado Garcia. Private respondent contends that venue was improperly laid, arguing
that the last residence of the deceased should be the one indicated in his death certificate which
is Quezon City. The Supreme Court ruled that the word Resides used in Section 1, Rule 73 of
the Revised Rules of Court pertains to merely personal residence, not legal residence or
domicile. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while
domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it ones domicile. No
particular length of time of residence is required though; however, the residence must be more
than temporary.