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TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE REVEREND FATHER PASCUAL RIGOR.

THE PARISH PRIEST OF


THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF VICTORIA, TARLAC, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
BELINA RIGOR, NESTORA RIGOR, FRANCISCA ESCOBAR DE RIGOR and JOVITA ESCOBAR DE
FAUSTO, respondents-appellees.

G.R. No. L-22036 April 30, 1979

FACTS:

AQUINO, J.:

Father Rigor, the parish priest of Pulilan, Bulacan, died on August 9, 1935, leaving a will executed on
October 29, 1933 which was probated by the Court of First Instance of Tarlac in its order of December 5,
1935. In addition to the devices contained therein, the will had a provision to the effect that the testator
intended to devise the ricelands to his nearest male relative who would become a priest. It was stated
therein that the parish priest of Victoria would administer the ricelands only in two situations: one,
during the interval of time that no nearest male relative of the testator was studying for the priesthood
and two, in case the testator's nephew became a priest and he was excommunicated.

ISSUE:

Whether or not a device in favour of a person whose identity at the time of the testators death cannot be
ascertained, may be efficacious.

RULING:

No.

The Supreme Court held that the said bequest refers to the testator's nearest male relative living at the time
of his death and not to any indefinite time thereafter. "In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or
legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, except in case of representation, when it is proper" (Art.
1025, Civil Code).

The said testamentary provisions should be sensibly or reasonably construed. To construe them as
referring to the testator's nearest male relative at anytime after his death would render the provisions
difficult to apply and create uncertainty as to the disposition of his estate. That could not have been his
intention.

The reasonable view is that he was referring to a situation whereby his nephew living at the time of his
death, who would like to become a priest, was still in grade school or in high school or was not yet in the
seminary. In that case, the parish priest of Victoria would administer the ricelands before the nephew
entered the seminary. But the moment the testator's nephew entered the seminary, then he would be
entitled to enjoy and administer the ricelands and receive the fruits thereof. In that event, the trusteeship
would be terminated.

Following that interpretation of the will the inquiry would be whether at the time Father Rigor died in
1935 he had a nephew who was studying for the priesthood or who had manifested his desire to follow
the ecclesiastical career. That query is categorically answered in paragraph 4 of appellant priest's petitions
of February 19, 1954 and January 31, 1957. He unequivocally alleged therein that "not male relative of the
late (Father) Pascual Rigor has ever studied for the priesthood."

Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable
conclusion is that the bequest in question was ineffectual or inoperative. Therefore, the administration of
the ricelands by the parish priest of Victoria, as envisaged in the wilt was likewise inoperative.

It should be understood that the parish priest of Victoria could become a trustee only when the testator's
nephew living at the time of his death, who desired to become a priest, had not yet entered the seminary
or, having been ordained a priest, he was excommunicated. Those two contingencies did not arise, and
could not have arisen in this case because no nephew of the testator manifested any intention to enter the
seminary or ever became a priest.

The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that this case is covered by article 888 of the old Civil Code, now
article 956, which provides that if "the bequest for any reason should be inoperative, it shall be merged
into the estate, except in cases of substitution and those in which the right of accretion exists."

This case is also covered by article 912(2) of the old Civil Code, now article 960 (2), which provides that
legal succession takes place when the will "does not dispose of all that belongs to the testator." There
being no substitution nor accretion as to the said ricelands the same should be distributed among the
testator's legal heirs. The effect is as if the testator had made no disposition as to the said ricelands.

INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE VITO BORROMEO, PATROCINIO BORROMEO-HERRERA,


petitioner,
vs.
FORTUNATO BORROMEO and HON. FRANCISCO P. BURGOS, Judge of the Court of First Instance of
Cebu, Branch II, respondents.

G.R. No. L-41171 July 23, 1987

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:

Vito Borromeo, a widower and permanent resident of Cebu City, died on March 13, 1952, in Paranaque,
Rizal at the age of 88 years, without forced heirs but leaving extensive properties in the province of Cebu.

On April 19, 1952, Jose Junquera filed with the Court of First Instance of Cebu a petition for the probate of
a one page document as the last will and testament left by the said deceased, devising all his properties to
Tomas, Fortunato and Amelia, all surnamed Borromeo, in equal and undivided shares, and designating
Junquera as executor thereof.

After due trial, the probate court held that the document presented as the will of the deceased was a
forgery.

The testate proceedings was converted into an intestate proceedings.

After determining the intestate heirs of the decedent, the court ordered that the assets of the intestate
estate of Vito Borromeo shall be divided into 4/9 and 5/9 groups and distributed in equal and equitable
shares among the 9 declared intestate heirs.
On August 25, 1972, respondent Fortunato Borromeo, who had earlier claimed as heir under the forged
will, filed a motion before the trial court praying that he be declared as one of the heirs of the deceased
Vito Borromeo, alleging that he is an illegitimate son of the deceased and that in the declaration of heirs
made by the trial court, he was omitted, in disregard of the law making him a forced heir entitled to
receive a legitime like all other forced heirs. As an acknowledged illegitimate child, he stated that he was
entitled to a legitime equal in every case to four-fifths of the legitime of an acknowledged natural child.

Finding that the motion of Fortunato Borromeo was already barred by the order of the court dated April
12, 1969 declaring the persons named therein as the legal heirs of the deceased Vito Borromeo, the court
dismissed the motion on June 25, 1973.

Fortunato Borromeo filed a motion for reconsideration. In the memorandum he submitted to support his
motion for reconsideration, Fortunato changed the basis for his claim to a portion of the estate. He
asserted and incorporated a Waiver of Hereditary Rights dated July 31, 1967, supposedly signed by Pilar
N. Borromeo, Maria B. Putong, Jose Borromeo, Canuto V. Borromeo, Jr., Salud Borromeo, Patrocinio
Borromeo-Herrera, Marcial Borromeo, Asuncion Borromeo, Federico V. Borromeo, Consuelo B. Morales,
Remedios Alfonso and Amelinda B. Talam In the waiver, five of the nine heirs relinquished to Fortunato
their shares in the disputed estate. The motion was opposed on the ground that the trial court, acting as a
probate court, had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the claim; that respondent Fortunato Borromeo is
estopped from asserting the waiver agreement; that the waiver agreement is void as it was executed
before the declaration of heirs; that the same is void having been executed before the distribution of the
estate and before the acceptance of the inheritance; and that it is void ab initio and inexistent for lack of
subject matter.

On December 24, 1974, after due hearing, the trial court concluding that the five declared heirs who
signed the waiver agreement assigning their hereditary rights to Fortunato Borromeo had lost the same
rights, declared the latter as entitled to 5/9 of the estate of Vito Borromeo.

It is argued by the petitioner that the document entitled " waiver of Hereditary Rights" executed on July
31, 1967, aside from having been cancelled and revoked on June 29, 1968, by Tomas L. Borromeo,
Fortunato Borromeo and Amelia Borromeo, is without force and effect because there can be no effective
waiver of hereditary rights before there has been a valid acceptance of the inheritance the heirs intend to
transfer. Pursuant to Article 1043 of the Civil Code, to make acceptance or repudiation of inheritance
valid, the person must be certain of the death of the one from whom he is to inherit and of his right to the
inheritance. Since the petitioner and her co-heirs were not certain of their right to the inheritance until
they were declared heirs, their rights were, therefore, uncertain. This view, according to the petitioner, is
also supported by Article 1057 of the same Code which directs heirs, devicees, and legatees to signify
their acceptance or repudiation within thirty days after the court has issued an order for the distribution
of the estate.

Respondent Fortunato Borromeo on the other hand, contends that under Article 1043 of the Civil Code
there is no need for a person to be first declared as heir before he can accept or repudiate an inheritance.
What is required is that he must first be certain of the death of the person from whom he is to inherit and
that he must be certain of his right to the inheritance. He points out that at the time of the signing of the
waiver document on July 31, 1967, the signatories to the waiver document were certain that Vito
Borromeo was already dead as well as of their rights to the inheritance as shown in the waiver document
itself.
ISSUE:

Whether or not an acceptance or renunciation of inheritance, in order to be valid, must be preceded by a


court declaration that the person making the acceptance or renunciation is indeed an heir.

RULING:

No.

The prevailing jurisprudence on waiver of hereditary rights is that "the properties included in an existing
inheritance cannot be considered as belonging to third persons with respect to the heirs, who by fiction of
law continue the personality of the former. Nor do such properties have the character of future property,
because the heirs acquire a right to succession from the moment of the death of the deceased, by principle
established in article 657 and applied by article 661 of the Civil Code, according to which the heirs
succeed the deceased by the mere fact of death. More or less, time may elapse from the moment of the
death of the deceased until the heirs enter into possession of the hereditary property, but the acceptance
in any event retroacts to the moment of the death, in accordance with article 989 of the Civil Code. The
right is vested, although conditioned upon the adjudication of the corresponding hereditary portion." The
heirs, therefore, could waive their hereditary rights in 1967 even if the order to partition the estate was
issued only in 1969.

In this case, however, the purported "Waiver of Hereditary Rights" cannot be considered to be effective.
For a waiver to exist, three elements are essential: (1) the existence of a right; (2) the knowledge of the
existence thereof; and (3) an intention to relinquish such right. The intention to waive a right or
advantage must be shown clearly and convincingly, and when the only proof of intention rests in what a
party does, his act should be so manifestly consistent with, and indicative of an intent to, voluntarily
relinquish the particular right or advantage that no other reasonable explanation of his conduct is
possible.

The circumstances of this case show that the signatories to the waiver document did not have the clear
and convincing intention to relinquish their rights, Thus: (1) On October 27, 1967. Fortunato, Tomas, and
Amelia Borromeo filed a pleading entitled "Compliance" wherein they submitted a proposal for the
amicable settlement of the case. In that Compliance, they proposed to concede to all the eight (8) intestate
heirs of Vito Borromeo all properties, personal and real, including all cash and sums of money in the
hands of the Special Administrator, as of October 31, 1967, not contested or claimed by them in any action
then pending in the Court of First Instance of Cebu. In turn, the heirs would waive and concede to them
all the 14 contested lots. In this document, the respondent recognizes and concedes that the petitioner,
like the other signatories to the waiver document, is an heir of the deceased Vito Borromeo, entitled to
share in the estate. This shows that the "Waiver of Hereditary Rights" was never meant to be what the
respondent now purports it to be. Had the intent been otherwise, there would not be any reason for
Fortunato, Tomas, and Amelia Borromeo to mention the heirs in the offer to settle the case amicably, and
offer to concede to them parts of the estate of the deceased; (2) On April 21 and 30, 1969, the majority of
the declared heirs executed an Agreement on how the estate they inherited shall be distributed. This
Agreement of Partition was approved by the trial court on August 15, 1969; (3) On June 29, 1968, the
petitioner, among others, signed a document entitled Deed of Assignment" purporting to transfer and
assign in favor of the respondent and Tomas and Amelia Borromeo all her (Patrocinio B. Herrera's) rights,
interests, and participation as an intestate heir in the estate of the deceased Vito Borromeo. The stated
consideration for said assignment was P100,000.00; (4) On the same date, June 29, 1968, the respondent
Tomas, and Amelia Borromeo (assignees in the aforementioned deed of assignment) in turn executed a
"Deed of Reconveyance" in favor of the heirs-assignors named in the same deed of assignment. The stated
consideration was P50,000.00; (5) A Cancellation of Deed of Assignment and Deed of Reconveyance was
signed by Tomas Borromeo and Amelia Borromeo on October 15, 1968, while Fortunato Borromeo signed
this document on March 24, 1969.

IMPERIAL V CA
G.R. NO. 102037
JULY 17, 1996

Petitioner: Melanio Imperial


Respondents: Court of Appeals and Guillermo Solleza, et al.
Ponente: Panganiban, J.

FACTS

Lot No. 1052 and Lot No. 1091, both situated in Lucban, Quezon, were originally owned by Maria
Imperial. She was survived by her two children: Adela and Melanio. Adela died on May 4, 1986 and
survived by her husband Guillermo Solleza and Rosa, Victoria, Virgilio and Guillermo, Jr. children.

On May 1, 1979, Adela and Melanio agreed to register the lots in the name of Melanio to expedite the
titling of the parcels of land. Adela executed a 'Kasulatan ng Pagtalikod sa Karapatan,' waiving her rights
over the lots. On the same date, Melanio executed a 'Pagwawalang Bisa sa Pagtalikod sa Karapatan,'
declaring that the document was simulated.

By virtue of the waiver, Melanio was able to obtain titles over the lots in his name. Melanio also executed
a document, 'Sa Sino Mang Makatalastas Nito,' acknowledging the one-half share of his sister in Lot No.
1091 and 1052.

On May 4, 1985, Melanio sold lot No. 1052 covered by OCT No. 27941 for the sum of 20,000php. The sale
was discovered by Rosa Solleza. Adela's heirs filed the case praying that inasmuch as lot No. 1052 had
been sold by defendant Melanio without giving any share of proceeds to Adela, lot No. 1091 should be
reconveyed or returned to the estate of Adela.

RTC Lucena Branch 60

Court ordered Melanio to pay plaintiffs 10,000php plus 16% interest; 7,500php for litigation expenses;
5,000php as exemplary damages; DECLARED MELANIO AS THE TRUE AND RIGHTFUL OWNER OF
LOT NO. 1091 BECAUSE ADELA SOLD HER SHARE TO MELANIO ON LOT NO. 1091

Ruling of the CA

Lot Nos. 1052 and 1091 were owned in common by Melanio and Adela; Adela never sold 1/2 share of lot
1091 to Melanio. When Melanio appropriated for himself the entire proceeds from the sale of lot 1052, he
was deemed to have waived his share in lot 1091. LOT 1091 SHOULD NOW BE SOLELY OWNED BY
ADELA.

Melanio claims that he had already paid Adela the amounts of 4,575php on June 16, 1979; 200php on
November 8, 1979 and another 200php on May 7, 1980, representing 1/2 of the price of Lot No. 1091
ISSUE

Whether Adela (and her heirs) lay exclusive claim over Lot No. 1091 as their own where Melanio who
owns one-half of the undivided share of the area of two lots sells one of the lots without giving to his co-
heir the latter's share of the proceeds

RULING

Inasmuch as the terms of the agreement between Adela and Melanio provide for one-half undivided
share for Melanio over Lots 1091 and 1052, and Melanio in effect waived his rights over one-half of the
remaining Lot 1091 when he sold and appropriated solely as his own proceeds from the sale of Lot 1052,
law and equity dictate Lot 1091 should now belong to the estate of the late Adela Imperial Solleza,
represented by her heirs.

The trial court erred in saying that Adela sold her share to Melanio on Lot No. 1091.
o The last receipt is dated May 7, 1980. Adela Imperial died on May 4, 1986. No deed was
executed by Adela in favor of Melanio.
o The receipts do not show it is payment of Adela's one-half share of the lot.
o The amounts remitted by Melanio were the shares of Adela for the sale of subdivision
lots in lot No. 1091. This is based on the document, 'Sa Sino Mang Makatalastas Nito,'
affirming the 1/2 share of Adela.
The receipts show:
o P4575 (bilang kabahagi ng lote no. 1091 sa Lucban, Quezon)
o P200 (partial for lot 1091)
o P200 (bilang kabahagi sa lote 1091)
Melanio did not ask for the execution of a Deed of Sale within the period of 6 years from the date
of the last receipt until Adela's death on May 4, 1986.
Buhay De Roma v. CA (July 23, 1987)
Facts: Candeleria De Roma adopted two daughters, Buhay and Rosalinda. She died intestate.
When administration proceedings was ongoing, Buhay was appointed administratrix and filed
an inventory of the estate. Opposed by Rosalinda on the ground that certain properties donated
by their mother to Buhay and fruits thereof had not been included. The Parcels of Land totaled
P10,297.50 and the value is not disputed. The TC issued an order in favor of Buhay because when
Candelaria donated the properties to Buhay she said in the Deed of Donation sa pamamagitan
ng pagbibigay na din a mababawing muli which the TC interpreted as a prohibition to collate
and besides the legitimes of the two daughters were not impaired. On appeal, it was reversed as
it merely described the donation as irrevocable not an express prohibition to collate.
Issue: Whether or not these lands are subject to collation.
Held: The pertinent Civil Code provisions are:
Art. 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the
mass of the estate any property or right which he may have received from the decedent, during
the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may be
computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition.
(1035a)
Art. 1062. Collation shall not take place among compulsory heirs if the donor should have so
expressly provided, or if the donee should repudiate the inheritance, unless the donation should
be reduced as inofficious. (1036)
The SC affirmed the appellate courts decision and that it merely described the donation as
irrevocable. The Fact that a donation is irrevocable does not necessarily exempt the donated
properties from collation as required under the provisions of the NCC. Given the precise
language of the deed of donation the decedent donor would have included an express
prohibition to collate if that had been the donors intention. Absent such indication of that
intention, the rule not the exemption should be applied.-MJA

Vivencio Legasto vs. Maria Verzosa, Et. Al.

GR No. 32344; 31 March 1930

Doctrines:

1. The Partition made by a testator inter vivos in pursuance of a will which has been disallowed is
null and void.
2. The gift of realty made in a public instrument is null and void when the deed fails to show the
acceptance, or where the formal notice of the acceptance, made in a separate instrument, is either
not given to the donor or else not noted in the deed of gift and in the separate acceptance.

Facts:

1. Sabina Almadin executed a will devising certain parcels of land to her four nieces, Maria Verzosa,
Oliva Verzosa, Toribia Verzosa, and Ruperta Palma, designating the parcels to be given to each.
2. Almadin partitioned her property among her nieces, executing separate deeds of assignment and
sworn statements as to the purchase of properties and claims for payment of land tax.
3. The assignee-nieces, took possession of their respective parcels ceded by Almadin and have been
the exclusive owners from then on.
4. Almadin passed away in 22 February 1926, and on 12 March, Catalina Almadin, represented by
Atty. Marino, propounded her will.
5. Vivencio Legastio, special administrator appointed by CFI, filed the complaint claiming the
delivery of parcels of land in his complaint. By virtue of CFI decision, and affirmed by Court of
Appeals, the will was not admitted to probate.
Issue:

1. W/N the partition made by Almadin among her nieces was valid and enforceable.
2. W/N the conveyances made by Almadin of the parcels of land in litigation in favor of nieces, can
be considered valid and enforceable
Held:

1. No
2. No
Ratio:

1. A testator may, by an act inter vivos partition his property, but he must first make a will with all
the formalities provided for by law. Without a will, there can be no testator. It is an indispensable
condition precedent to a testator partitioning his estate inter vivos that he have made a valid will
disposing of said estate among his heirs; and if this will be declared null and void, the partition
made by the testator in pursuance of its provisions is likewise null and void, for where these
provisions cease to exist, the partition made in conformity therewith also becomes null and void,
as the cessation of the cause implies the cessation of the effect.
Almadins will was disallowed for the reason that it did not contain all the essential requisites
provided by law for its validity. Since Almadins will is null and void for lack of legal requisites,
consequently, the partition of which she made of her estate during her lifetime is likewise void.
2. A person who disposes of his property gratis inter vivos is not called a testator, but a donor. In
employing the word testator, the law evidently desired to distinguish between one who freely
donates his property in life and one who disposes of it by will to take effect after his death.
Art 633 provides that in order that a donation of real property be valid, it must be made by public
instrument, in which property donated must be specifically described, and that acceptance may
be made in the same deed of gift or in a separate instrument, but in the latter case notice thereof
should be given the donor in due form, and a note to that effect inserted in both instruments.
The documents contain all the requisites for public instruments, however, the do not show the
acceptance of the donees. The sworn statements conducted refer to a sale and not to a gift and
cannot be considered as public instruments of gifts showing the acceptance of the donees. Such
sworn statements are mere acknowledgements made under oath of the fact of the transfer and
not deeds of transferring title.

April 2, 1951

G.R. No. L-3404


ANGELA I. TUASON, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
ANTONIO TUASON, JR., and GREGORIO ARANETA, INC., defendants-
FACTS: In 1941 the sisters Angela I. Tuason and Nieves Tuason de Barreto and their brother Antonio
Tuason Jr., held a parcel of land with an area of 64,928.6 sq. m. covered by Certificate of Title No. 60911 in
Sampaloc, Manila, in common, each owning an undivided 1/3 portion

The share of Nieves was sold to Gregorio Araneta Inc., a domestic corporation, and a new Certificate of
Title No. 61721 was issued in lieu of the old title No. 60911 covering the same property. The three co-
owners agreed to have the whole parcel subdivided into small lots and then sold, the proceeds of the sale
to be later divided among them.

Before, during and after the execution of this contract , Atty. J. Antonio Araneta was acting as the
attorney-in-fact and lawyer of the two co-owners, Angela I. Tuason and her brother Antonio Tuason Jr.
At the same time he was a member of the Board of Director of the third co-owner, Araneta, Inc.

On September 16, 1944, Angela I. Tuason revoked the powers conferred on her attorney-in-fact and
lawyer, J. Antonio Araneta because of alleged breach of the terms of the "Memorandum of Agreement"
and abuse of powers granted to it in the document, she had decided to rescind said contract and she
asked that the property held in common be partitioned. Later, Angela filed a complaint in the Court of
First Instance of Manila asking the court to order the partition of the property in question and that she be
given 1/3 of the same including rents collected during the time that the same including rents collected
during the time that Araneta Inc., administered said property.

The suit was administered principally against Araneta, Inc. Plaintiff's brother, Antonio Tuason Jr., one of
the co-owners evidently did not agree to the suit and its purpose, for he joined Araneta, Inc. as a co-
defendant.however the court dismissed the complaint without pronouncement as to costs. The plaintiff
appealed from that decision.

Some of the reasons advanced by appellant to have the memorandum contract (Exh. 6) declared null and
void or rescinded are that she had been tricked into signing it; that she was given to understand by
Antonio Araneta acting as her attorney-in-fact and legal adviser that said contract would be similar to
another contract of subdivision of a parcel into lots and the sale thereof entered into by Gregorio Araneta
Inc., that the defendant company has violated the terms of the contract by not previously showing her the
plans of the subdivision, the schedule of prices and conditions of the sale, in not introducing the
necessary improvements into the land and in not delivering to her her share of the proceeds of the rents
and sales.

ISSUE: Whether or not the contract should be declared null and void because its terms, particularly
paragraphs 9, 11 and 15 which violate the provisions of Art. 400 of the Civil Code

RULING:

ART. 400. No co-owner shall be obliged to remain a party to the community. Each may, at any time,
demand the partition of the thing held in common.

Nevertheless, an agreement to keep the thing undivided for a specified length of time, not exceeding ten
years, shall be valid. This period may be a new agreement.

We agree with the trial court that the provisions of Art. 400 of the Civil Code are not applicable. The
contract far from violating the legal provision that forbids a co-owner being obliged to remain a party to
the community, precisely has for its purpose and object the dissolution of the co-ownership and of the
community by selling the parcel held in common and dividing the proceeds of the sale among the co-
owners. The obligation imposed in the contract to preserve the co-ownership until all the lots shall have
been sold, is a mere incident to the main object of dissolving the co-owners. By virtue of the document,
the parties thereto practically and substantially entered into a contract of partnership as the best and most
expedient means of eventually dissolving the co-ownership, the life of said partnership to end when the
object of its creation shall have been attained.

Looking at the case from a practical standpoint as did the trial court, we find no valid ground for the
partition insisted upon the appellant.

In view of the foregoing, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed. There is no pronouncement as to
costs.

Full text

PhilippineLaw.info Jurisprudence 1951 April


PhilippineLaw.info Jurisprudence Phil. Rep. Vol. 88

G.R. No. L-3404, Tuason v. Tuason and Gregorio Araneta Inc., 88 Phil. 428
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
April 2, 1951

G.R. No. L-3404


ANGELA I. TUASON, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
ANTONIO TUASON, JR., and GREGORIO ARANETA, INC., defendants-appellees.
Alcuaz & Eiguren for appellant.
Araneta & Araneta for appellees.
MONTEMAYOR, J.:
In 1941 the sisters Angela I. Tuason and Nieves Tuason de Barreto and their brother Antonio Tuason Jr.,
held a parcel of land with an area of 64,928.6 sq. m. covered by Certificate of Title No. 60911 in Sampaloc,
Manila, in common, each owning an undivided 1/3 portion. Nieves wanted and asked for a partition of
the common property, but failing in this, she offered to sell her 1/3 portion. The share of Nieves was
offered for sale to her sister and her brother but both declined to buy it. The offer was later made to their
mother but the old lady also declined to buy, saying that if the property later increased in value, she
might be suspected of having taken advantage of her daughter. Finally, the share of Nieves was sold to
Gregorio Araneta Inc., a domestic corporation, and a new Certificate of Title No. 61721 was issued in lieu
of the old title No. 60911 covering the same property. The three co-owners agreed to have the whole
parcel subdivided into small lots and then sold, the proceeds of the sale to be later divided among them.
This agreement is embodied in a document (Exh. 6) entitled "Memorandum of Agreement" consisting of
ten pages, dated June 30, 1941.

Before, during and after the execution of this contract (Exh. 6), Atty. J. Antonio Araneta was acting as the
attorney-in-fact and lawyer of the two co-owners, Angela I. Tuason and her brother Antonio Tuason Jr.
At the same time he was a member of the Board of Director of the third co-owner, Araneta, Inc.

The pertinent terms of the contract (Exh. 6) may be briefly stated as follows: The three co-owners agreed
to improve the property by filling it and constructing roads and curbs on the same and then subdivide it
into small lots for sale. Araneta Inc. was to finance the whole development and subdivision; it was
prepare a schedule of prices and conditions of sale, subject to the subject to the approval of the two other
co-owners; it was invested with authority to sell the lots into which the property was to be subdivided,
and execute the corresponding contracts and deeds of sale; it was also to pay the real estate taxes due on
the property or of any portion thereof that remained unsold, the expenses of surveying, improvements,
etc., all advertising expenses, salaries of personnel, commissions, office and legal expenses, including
expenses in instituting all actions to eject all tenants or occupants on the property; and it undertook the
duty to furnish each of the two co-owners, Angela and Antonio Tuason, copies of the subdivision plans
and the monthly sales and rents and collections made thereon. In return for all this undertaking and
obligation assumed by Araneta Inc., particularly the financial burden, it was to receive 50 per cent of the
gross selling price of the lots, and any rents that may be collected from the property, while in the process
of sale, the remaining 50 per cent to be divided in equal portions among the three co-owners so that each
will receive 16.33 per cent of the gross receipts.

Because of the importance of paragraphs 9, 11 and 15 of the contract (Exh. 6), for purposes of reference we
are reproducing them below:

(9) This contract shall remain in full force and effect during all the time that it may be necessary for the
PARTY OF THE SECOND PART to fully sell the said property in small and subdivided lots and to fully
collect the purchase prices due thereon; it being understood and agreed that said lots may be rented
while there are no purchasers thereof;

(11) The PARTY OF THE SECOND PART (meaning Araneta Inc.) is hereby given full power and
authority to sign for and in behalf of all the said co-owners of said property all contracts of sale and deeds
of sale of the lots into which this property might be subdivided; the powers herein vested to the PARTY
OF THE SECOND PART may, under its own responsibility and risk, delegate any of its powers under
this contract to any of its officers, employees or to third persons;

(15) No co-owner of the property subject-matter of this contract shall sell, alienate or dispose of his
ownership, interest or participation therein without first giving preference to the other co-owners to
purchase and acquire the same under the same terms and conditions as those offered by any other
prospective purchaser. Should none of the co-owners of the property subject-matter of this contract
exercise the said preference to acquire or purchase the same, then such sale to a third party shall be made
subject to all the conditions, terms, and dispositions of this contract; provided, the PARTIES OF THE
FIRST PART (meaning Angela and Antonio) shall be bound by this contract as long as the PARTY OF
THE SECOND PART, namely, the GREGORIO ARANETA, INC. is controlled by the members of the
Araneta family, who are stockholders of the said corporation at the time of the signing of this contract
and/or their lawful heirs;
On September 16, 1944, Angela I. Tuason revoked the powers conferred on her attorney-in-fact and
lawyer, J. Antonio Araneta. Then in a letter dated October 19, 1946, Angela notified Araneta, Inc. that
because of alleged breach of the terms of the "Memorandum of Agreement" (Exh. 6) and abuse of powers
granted to it in the document, she had decided to rescind said contract and she asked that the property
held in common be partitioned. Later, on November 20, 1946, Angela filed a complaint in the Court of
First Instance of Manila asking the court to order the partition of the property in question and that she be
given 1/3 of the same including rents collected during the time that the same including rents collected
during the time that Araneta Inc., administered said property.

The suit was administered principally against Araneta, Inc. Plaintiff's brother, Antonio Tuason Jr., one of
the co-owners evidently did not agree to the suit and its purpose, for he evidently did not agree to the
suit and its purpose, for he joined Araneta, Inc. as a co-defendant. After hearing and after considering the
extensive evidence introduce, oral and documentary, the trial court presided over by Judge Emilio Pea
in a long and considered decision dismissed the complaint without pronouncement as to costs. The
plaintiff appealed from that decision, and because the property is valued at more than P50,000, the appeal
came directly to this Court.

Some of the reasons advanced by appellant to have the memorandum contract (Exh. 6) declared null and
void or rescinded are that she had been tricked into signing it; that she was given to understand by
Antonio Araneta acting as her attorney-in-fact and legal adviser that said contract would be similar to
another contract of subdivision of a parcel into lots and the sale thereof entered into by Gregorio Araneta
Inc., and the heirs of D. Tuason, Exhibit "L", but it turned out that the two contracts widely differed from
each other, the terms of contract Exh. "L" being relatively much more favorable to the owners therein the
less favorable to Araneta Inc.; that Atty. Antonio Araneta was more or less disqualified to act as her legal
adviser as he did because he was one of the officials of Araneta Inc., and finally, that the defendant
company has violated the terms of the contract (Exh. 6) by not previously showing her the plans of the
subdivision, the schedule of prices and conditions of the sale, in not introducing the necessary
improvements into the land and in not delivering to her her share of the proceeds of the rents and sales.

We have examined Exh. "L" and compared the same with the contract (Exh. 6) and we agree with the trial
court that in the main the terms of both contracts are similar and practically the same. Moreover, as
correctly found by the trial court, the copies of both contracts were shown to the plaintiff Angela and her
husband, a broker, and both had every opportunity to go over and compare them and decide on the
advisability of or disadvantage in entering into the contract (Exh. 6); that although Atty. Antonio Araneta
was an official of the Araneta Inc.; being a member of the Board of Directors of the Company at the time
that Exhibit "6" was executed, he was not the party with which Angela contracted, and that he committed
no breach of trust. According to the evidence Araneta, the pertinent papers, and sent to her checks
covering her receive the same; and that as a matter of fact, at the time of the trial, Araneta Inc., had spent
about P117,000 in improvement and had received as proceeds on the sale of the lots the respectable sum
of P1,265,538.48. We quote with approval that portion of the decision appealed from on these points:

The evidence in this case points to the fact that the actuations of J. Antonio Araneta in connection with the
execution of exhibit 6 by the parties, are above board. He committed nothing that is violative of the
fiduciary relationship existing between him and the plaintiff. The act of J. Antonio Araneta in giving the
plaintiff a copy of exhibit 6 before the same was executed, constitutes a full disclosure of the facts, for said
copy contains all that appears now in exhibit 6.

Plaintiff charges the defendant Gregorio Araneta, Inc. with infringing the terms of the contract in that the
defendant corporation has failed (1) to make the necessary improvements on the property as required by
paragraphs 1 and 3 of the contract; (2) to submit to the plaintiff from time to time schedule of prices and
conditions under which the subdivided lots are to be sold; and to furnish the plaintiff a copy of the
subdivision plans, a copy of the monthly gross collections from the sale of the property.

The Court finds from the evidence that he defendant Gregorio Araneta, Incorporated has substantially
complied with obligation imposed by the contract exhibit 6 in its paragraph 1, and that for improvements
alone, it has disbursed the amount of P117,167.09. It has likewise paid taxes, commissions and other
expenses incidental to its obligations as denied in the agreement.

With respect to the charged that Gregorio Araneta, Incorporated has failed to submit to plaintiff a copy of
the subdivision plains, list of prices and the conditions governing the sale of subdivided lots, and
monthly statement of collections form the sale of the lots, the Court is of the opinion that it has no basis.
The evidence shows that the defendant corporation submitted to the plaintiff periodically all the data
relative to prices and conditions of the sale of the subdivided lots, together with the amount
corresponding to her. But without any justifiable reason, she refused to accept them. With the indifferent
attitude adopted by the plaintiff, it was thought useless for Gregorio Araneta, Incorporated to continue
sending her statement of accounts, checks and other things. She had shown on various occasions that she
did not want to have any further dealings with the said corporation. So, if the defendant corporation
proceeded with the sale of the subdivided lots without the approval of the plaintiff, it was because it was
under the correct impression that under the contract exhibit 6 the decision of the majority co-owners is
binding upon all the three.

The Court feels that recission of the contract exhibit 6 is not minor violations of the terms of the
agreement, the general rule is that "recission will not be permitted for a slight or casual breach of the
contract, but only for such breaches as are so substantial and fundamental as to defeat the object of the
parties in making the agreement" (Song Fo & Co. vs. Hawaiian-Philippine Co., 47 Phil. 821).
As regards improvements, the evidence shows that during the Japanese occupation from 1942 and up to
1946, the Araneta Inc. although willing to fill the land, was unable to obtain the equipment and gasoline
necessary for filling the low places within the parcel. As to sales, the evidence shows that Araneta Inc.
purposely stopped selling the lots during the Japanese occupantion, knowing that the purchase price
would be paid in Japanese military notes; and Atty. Araneta claims that for this, plaintiff should be
thankfull because otherwise she would have received these notes as her share of the receipts, which
currency later became valueles.

But the main contention of the appellant is that the contract (Exh. 6) should be declared null and void
because its terms, particularly paragraphs 9, 11 and 15 which we have reproduced, violate the provisions
of Art. 400 of the Civil Code, which for the purposes of reference we quote below:

ART. 400. No co-owner shall be obliged to remain a party to the community. Each may, at any time,
demand the partition of the thing held in common.

Nevertheless, an agreement to keep the thing undivided for a specified length of time, not exceeding ten
years, shall be valid. This period may be a new agreement.

We agree with the trial court that the provisions of Art. 400 of the Civil Code are not applicable. The
contract (Exh., 6) far from violating the legal provision that forbids a co-owner being obliged to remain a
party to the community, precisely has for its purpose and object the dissolution of the co-ownership and
of the community by selling the parcel held in common and dividing the proceeds of the sale among the
co-owners. The obligation imposed in the contract to preserve the co-ownership until all the lots shall
have been sold, is a mere incident to the main object of dissolving the co-owners. By virtue of the
document Exh. 6, the parties thereto practically and substantially entered into a contract of partnership as
the best and most expedient means of eventually dissolving the co-ownership, the life of said partnership
to end when the object of its creation shall have been attained.

This aspect of the contract is very similar to and was perhaps based on the other agreement or contract
(Exh. "L") referred to by appellant where the parties thereto in express terms entered into partnership,
although this object is not expressed in so many words in Exh. 6. We repeat that we see no violation of
Art. 400 of the Civil Code in the parties entering into the contract (Exh. 6) for the very reason that Art. 400
is not applicable.

Looking at the case from a practical standpoint as did the trial court, we find no valid ground for the
partition insisted upon the appellant. We find from the evidence as was done by the trial court that of the
64,928.6 sq. m. which is the total area of the parcel held in common, only 1,600 sq. m. or 2.5 per cent of the
entire area remained unsold at the time of the trial in the year 1947, while the great bulk of 97.5 per cent
had already been sold. As well observed by the court below, the partnership is in the process of being
dissolved and is about to be dissolved, and even assuming that Art. 400 of the Civil Code were
applicable, under which the parties by agreement may agree to keep the thing undivided for a period not
exceeding 10 years, there should be no fear that the remaining 1,600 sq. m. could not be disposed of
within the four years left of the ten-years period fixed by Art. 400.

We deem it unnecessary to discuss and pass upon the other points raised in the appeal and which counsel
for appellant has extensively and ably discussed, citing numerous authorities. As we have already said,
we have viewed the case from a practical standpoint, brushing aside technicalities and disregarding any
minor violations of the contract, and in deciding the case as we do, we are fully convinced that the trial
court and this Tribunal are carrying out in a practical and expeditious way the intentions and the
agreement of the parties contained in the contract (Exh. 6), namely, to dissolve the community and co-
ownership, in a manner most profitable to the said parties.

In view of the foregoing, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed. There is no pronouncement as to
costs.

So ordered.
Garcia v. Calaliman
G.R. No. L-26855 April 17, 1989

On February 11, 1946, one Gelacio Garcia died intestate, leaving a parcel of
unregistered land. On his death the property was inherited by his nephews, nieces,
grandnephews who are the descendants of his late brothers, Pedro, Simeon,
Buenaventura and Marcos.

The heirs, Juanita Bertomo, Joaquin Garcia, Porfirio Garcia, Dioscoro Garcia,
Flora Garcia, Consolacion Garcia, Remedios Garcia, Trinidad Garcia, Baltazar Garcia
signed a document entitled, Extra-judicial Partition and Deed of Sale.

The heirs, Juanita Bertomo, Joaquin Garcia, Porfirio Garcia, Dioscoro Garcia,
Flora Garcia, Consolacion Garcia, Remedios Garcia, Trinidad Garcia, Baltazar Garcia
signed a document entitled, Extra-judicial Partition and Deed of Sale.

Heirs Francisco Garcia, Paz Garcia, and Maria Garcia, petitioners herein, filed
against the spouses Jose Calaliman and Paciencia Trabadillo, private respondents an
action for legal redemption of the 3/4 portion of the parcel of land inherited by the heirs
from the late Gelacio Garcia, which portion was sold by their co-heirs to the defendants.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners took all the necessary steps to effectuate their
exercise of the right of legal redemption within the period fixed by Art. 1088 of the Civil
Code.

Yes. Written notice is indispensable, actual knowledge of the sale acquired in


some other manners by the redemptioner, notwithstanding. He or she is still entitled to
written notice, as exacted by the Code, to remove all uncertainty as to the sale, its terms
and its validity, and to quiet any doubt that the alienation is not definitive. The law not
having provided for any alternative, the method of notifications remains exclusive,
though the Code does not prescribe any particular form of written notice nor any
distinctive method for written notification of redemption

MARINA DIZON-RIVERA, executrix-appellee,


vs.
ESTELA DIZON, TOMAS V. DIZON, BERNARDITA DIZON, JOSEFINA DIZON, ANGELINA
DIZON and LILIA DIZON, oppositors-appellants.
33 SCRA 554 (1970)

The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect, rather
than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative. Of the two projects of partition submitted by
the contending parties, that project which will give the greatest effect to the testamentary disposition should
be adopted. Thus, where the testatrix enumerated the specific properties to be given to each compulsory heir
and the testatrix repeatedly used the words "I bequeath" was interpreted to mean a partition of the estate by
an act mortis causa, rather than as an attempt on her part to give such properties as devises to the designated
beneficiaries. Accordingly, the specific properties assigned to each compulsory heir were deemed to be in
full or partial payment of legitime, rather than a distribution in the nature of devises.
The tenor of the decision notwithstanding, it is important to note the provision of Article 886 which reads:
"Legitime is that part of the testator's property which he cannot dispose of because the law has reserved it for
certain heirs who are, therefore, called compulsory heirs." Article 886 is couched upon a negative prohibition
"cannot dispose of". In the will under consideration, the testatrix disposed of practically her entire estate by
designating a beneficiary for each property. Necessarily, the testamentary dispositions included that portion
of the estate called "legitime." It is thus imperative to reconcile the tenor of Article 1080 (which is the basis of
the following decision) with Article 886.

FACTS: In 1961, Agripina Valdez (widow) died and was survived by seven compulsory heirs: 6 legitimate
children and 1 legitimate granddaughter. Marina is the appellee while the others were the appellants

1. Valdez left a w ill executed in February 1960 and written in Pampango. The beneficiaries were the 7
compulsory heirs and six grandchildren
2. In her will, Valdez distributed and disposed of her properties (assessed at P1.8 million) which
included real and personal properties and shares of stocks at Pampanga Sugar Central Devt Co
3. During the probate proceedings, Marina (appellee) was name the executor of the deceaseds estate
4. In her will, Valdez commanded that her property be divided in accordance with her testamentary
disposition where she devised and bequeathed specific real properties comprising almost her entire
estate among her heirs. Based on the partition, Marina and Tomas were to receive more than the
other heirs
5. Subsequently, Marina filed her project of partition adjudicating the estate as follows:
a. the legitime computed for each compulsory heir was P129,254.96, which was comprised of cash
and/or properties specifically given to them based on the will
b. Marina and Tomas were adjudicated the properties that they received in the will less the
cash/properties to complete their respective legitime
6. The other heirs opposed the partition and proposed a counter-partition on the estate where Marina
and Tomas were to receive considerably less
7. The lower court approved the executors project of partition citing that Art 906 and 907 NCC
specifically provide that when the legitime is impaired or prejudiced, the same shall be completed.
The court cited that if the proposition of the oppositors was upheld, it will substantially result in a
distribution of intestacy which is a violation of Art 791 NCC

ISSUE: WON the last will of the deceased is to be considered controlling in this case

HELD: Yes. Art 788 and 791 NCC provide that "If a testamentary disposition admits of different
interpretations, in case of doubt, that interpretation by which the disposition is to be operative shall be
preferred" and "The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some
effect, rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of interpreting
a will, that is to be preferred which will prevent intestacy." In Villanueva v. Juico, the SC held that "the
intentions and wishes of the testator, when clearly expressed in his will, constitute the fixed law of
interpretation, and all questions raised at the trial, relative to its execution and fulfillment, must be settled
in accordance therewith, following the plain and literal meaning of the testator's words, unless it clearly
appears that his intention was otherwise."

The testator's wishes and intention constitute the first and principal law in the matter of testaments, and to
paraphrase an early decision of the Supreme Court of Spain, when expressed clearly and precisely in his last
will, amount to the only law whose mandate must imperatively be faithfully obeyed and complied with by
his executors, heirs and devisees and legatees, and neither these interested parties nor the courts may
substitute their own criterion for the testator's will. Thus, the oppositors proposition for partition cannot be
given effect.

ON PARTITION: The testamentary disposition of the decedent was in the nature of a partition. In her will,
the decedent noted that after commanding that upon her death all her obligations as well as the expenses of
her last illness and funeral and the expenses for the probate of her last will and for the administration of her
property in accordance with law, be paid, she expressly provided that "it is my wish and I command that
my property be divided" in accordance with the dispositions immediately thereafter following, whereby
she specified each real property in her estate and designated the particular heir among her seven
compulsory heirs and seven other grandchildren to whom she bequeathed the same. This was a valid
partition of her estate, as contemplated and authorized in the first paragraph of Art 1080 NCC, providing
that "Should a person make a partition of his estate by an act inter vivos or by will, such partition shall be
respected, insofar as it does not prejudice the legitime of the compulsory heirs."

CAB: This was properly complied with in the executors project of partition as the oppositors were
adjudicated the properties respectively distributed and assigned to them by the decedent in her will and the
differential to complete their legitimes were taken from the cash and/or properties of Marina and Tomas,
who were obviously favored by the decedent in her will.

Aside from the provisions of Art 906 and 907, other codal provisions support the executrix-appellee's project
of partition as approved by the lower court rather than the counter-project of partition proposed by
oppositors-appellants whereby they would reduce the testamentary disposition or partition made by the
testatrix to one-half and limit the same, which they would consider as mere devises and legacies, to one-half
of the estate as the disposable free portion, and apply the other half of the estate to payment of the legitimes
of the seven compulsory heirs. Oppositors' proposal would amount substantially to a distribution by
intestacy and pro tanto nullify the testatrix's will, contrary to Art 791 NCC.

EFFECT OF PARTITION: 'A partition legally made confers upon each heir the exclusive ownership of the
property adjudicated to him", from the death of her ancestors, subject to rights and obligations of the latter,
and, she cannot be deprived of her rights thereto except by the methods provided for by law

DEVISES: The adjudication and assignments in the testatrix's will of specific properties to specific heirs
cannot be considered all devises, for it clearly appears from the whole context of the will and the dispositions
by the testatrix of her whole estate (save for some small properties of little value already noted at the
beginning of this opinion) that her clear intention was to partition her whole estate through her will.
Furthermore, the testatrix's intent that her testamentary dispositions were by way of adjudications to the
beneficiaries as heirs and not as mere devisees, and that said dispositions were therefore on account of the
respective legitimes of the compulsory heirs is expressly borne out in the fourth paragraph of her will,
immediately following her testamentary adjudications in the third paragraph in this wise: "FOURTH: I
likewise command that in case any of those I named as my heirs in this testament any of them shall die
before I do, his forced heirs under the law enforced at the time of my death shall inherit the properties I
bequeath to said deceased."
COLLATION: Collation is not applicable in this case because here, distribution and partition of the entire
estate was made by the testatrix, without her having made any previous donations during her lifetime which
would require collation to determine the legitime of each heir nor having left merely some properties by will
which would call for the application of Art 1061 to 1063 of the Civil Code on collation.

CAN THE OPPOSITORS DEMAND MORE THAN THEIR LEGITIME? No. Their right was merely to
demand completion of their legitime under Article 906 of the Civil Code and this has been complied with in
the approved project of partition, and they can no longer demand a further share from the remaining portion
of the estate, as bequeathed and partitioned by the testatrix principally to the executrix-appellee.

Gertrudes De Los SANTOS, plaintiff-appellee, vs.


Maximo De La CRUZ, defendant-appellant.
G.R. No. L-29192, February 22, 1971
FACTS:

Pelagia de la Cruz died intestate and without issue. She had a niece named Marciana who is the
mother of herein defendant, Maximo. Gertrudes, who is Pelagias grandniece, and several co-heirs
including Maximo, entered into an Extrajudicial Partition Agreement purposely for the distribution of
Pelagias estate. They agreed to adjudicate three (3) lots to Maximo, in addition to his share, on condition
that the latter would undertake the development and subdivision of the estate which was the subject
matter of the agreement. Due to Maximos failure to comply with his obligation, Gertrudes filed a
complaint for specific performance. In Maximos answer, he stated that Gertrudes had no cause of action
against him because the said agreement was void with respect to her, for the reason that she was not an
heir of Pelagia and was included in the agreement by mistake. The lower court held that Maximo, being a
party to the extrajudicial partition agreement, was estopped from raising in issue the right of the plaintiff
to inherit from Pelagia, hence, he must abide by the terms of the agreement. Maximo filed a Motion for
New Trial but was denied. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, Gertrudes de los Santos, a grandniece of the decedent, is an heir of the latter.

RULING:

Plaintiff-appellee being a mere grandniece of Pelagia de la Cruz, could not inherit from the latter by
right of representation.

Article 972. The right of representation takes place in the direct descending line,
but never in the ascending.

In the collateral line, it takes place only in favor of the children of brothers or
sisters, whether they be of the full or half blood.

Much less could plaintiff-appelle inherit in her own right.

Article 962. In every inheritance, the relative nearest in degree excludes the
more distant ones, saving the right of representation when it properly takes
place.
In the present case, the relatives nearest in degree to Pelagia de la Cruz are her nephews and
nieces, one of whom is defendant-appellant. Necessarily, plaintiff-appellee, a grandniece is excluded by
law from the inheritance.