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ALFELOR v.

HALASAN o Among the plaintiffs were Teresita Sorongon and her children (petitioners
March 31, 2006| Callejo, Sr., J. | What Need Not Be Proved; Judicial Admissions Joshua and Maria Katrina Alfelor). Teresita claims to be the surviving spouse
Digester: Anna Mickaella Lingat of Jose Alfelor, one of the children of the deceased Alfelor spouses.
 Respondent Josefina Halasan filed a Motion for Intervention, claiming that she is
SUMMARY: Teresita Sorongon and her children (petitioners Joshua and Maria Katrina the surviving spouse and primary compulsory heir of Jose Alfelor.
Alfelor) are plaintiffs in a Complaint for Partition, claiming their share in her husband’s o Josefina argues that the alleged second marriage to Teresita was void ab initio
inheritance in the grandparents’ estate. Josefina Halasan filed a Motion for Intervention, for having been contracted during the subsistence of a previous marriage.
claiming that she is the surviving spouse and primary compulsory heir of Jose Alfelor. o She also argues that Joshua and Maria Katrina were not her husband’s
Josefina claims that she was the first and subsisting wife of Alfelor and that they were children.
married in 1956. Teresita, in her Reply-in-Intervention, declared that she knew of the o During the hearing, she attached to her pleading a copy of her marriage
previous marriage of Alfelor with Josefina. She was married to Alfelor in 1966 which contract with Jose Alfelor indicating their marriage on February 1, 1956 and a
was consented to by Alfelor and Josefina’s relatives. Jose did not annul the first Reply-in-Intervention filed by the heirs of the deceased where Teresita
marriage because he believes in good faith that he has the right to remarry after Josefina declared that she knew “of the previous marriage of the late Jose Alfelor
disappeared for more than seven years. with that of the herein intervenor (Josefina).”
o However, Josefina did not appear in court.
RTC dismissed Josefina’s complaint because she failed to appear and testify in court to  Teresita testified and alleged the ff:
substantiate her claim. On appeal, CA reversed the RTC ruling and held that Teresita o Teresita narrated that she was married to Jose Alfelor on February 12, 1966
had already admitted (both verbally and in writing) that Josefina had been married to the (civil rites) and on April 30, 1966 (religious rites). Among the secondary
deceased. Under Section 4, Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of Evidence, a judicial sponsors were Josefina’s own relatives (her brother Atty. Margarito Halasan
admission no longer requires proof. and her father Valentino Halasan).
o She did not know Josefina personally but she knew that her husband has been
SC upheld the ruling of the CA. Teresita and her co-heirs admitted the existence of the previously married to Josefina and that the two did not live together as
first marriage in their Reply-in-Intervention. Likewise, when called to testify, Teresita husband and wife.
admitted several times that she knew that her late husband had been previously married o Jose’s relatives consented to the marriage because there had been no news of
to another. This admission constituted a “deliberate, clear and unequivocal” statement. Josefina for almost ten years. A few months after Josefina and Jose’s marriage,
As it was made in the course of judicial proceedings, such statement qualified as a Josefina disappeared.
judicial admission. o Jose did not annul his marriage to Josefina because he believed in good faith
that he had the right to remarry, not having seen her for more than seven
Considering this admission of Teresita, petitioners’ mother, the Court rules that years. This opinion was shared by Jose’s sister who was a judge.
respondent Josefina Halasan sufficiently established her right to intervene in the o Teresita met Josefina in 2001 and that the latter narrated that she had been
partition case. She has shown that she has legal interest in the matter in litigation. married three times, and was happily married to an Englishman.
SC ordered the RTC to admit Halasan’s Complaint-in-Intervention.  RTC: denied the motion and dismissed Josefina’s complaint, ruling that she was
not able to prove her claim.
DOCTRINE: A party who judicially admits a fact cannot later challenge that fact as o Failed to appear and testify in court to substantiate her claim
judicial admissions are a waiver of proof; production of evidence is dispensed with. A o No witness was presented to identify her marriage contract as to the existence
judicial admission also removes an admitted fact from the field of controversy. of an original copy or any public officer who has custody thereof
Consequently, an admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted by the party o Determinative factor was good faith of Teresita in contracting the second
making such admission and are conclusive as to such party, and all proofs to the marriage as she had no knowledge that Jose had been previously married.
contrary or inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether objection is interposed by o Teresita and her children were the legal and legitimate heirs of Alfelor
the party or not. The allegations, statements or admissions contained in a pleading are (recognized by Jose Alfelor as children in his SALN, among other documents)
conclusive as against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take a position contrary  RTC MR: denied
of or inconsistent with what was pleaded. o Josefina’s arguments:
 Josefina insists that under Section 4, Rule 129 of RoC, an admission need
FACTS: not be proved.
 Children and heirs of the late spouses Telesforo and Cecilia Alfelor filed a  She pointed out that Teresita admitted in her Reply-in-Intervention that
Complaint for Partition before RTC Davao City. Teresita knew of Jose’s previous marriage to her.
 In accordance with Article 80 of NCC, Jose’s marriage with Teresita was  A party who judicially admits a fact cannot later challenge that fact as judicial
void ab initio. admissions are a waiver of proof; production of evidence is dispensed with. A
o RTC still denied MR judicial admission also removes an admitted fact from the field of controversy.
o Josefina filed a Petition for Certiorari before the CA.  Consequently, an admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted by the
 CA: reversed RTC (in favor of Josefina) party making such admission and are conclusive as to such party, and all proofs to
o Teresita’s arguments: the contrary or inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether objection is
 In their comment, she countered that Josefina failed to present evidence interposed by the party or not. The allegations, statements or admissions contained
to prove the fact of the previous marriage. in a pleading are conclusive as against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take
 Regarding her admission of the first marriage in her Reply-in- a position contrary of or inconsistent with what was pleaded.
Intervention, she claims that it was mere hearsay, without probative value,
as she heard of the alleged prior marriage of Alfelor only from other Whether CA erred in ordering the admission of Josefina’s Intervention? – NO
persons, not based on her own personal knowledge.  Under Section 1, Rule 19 of ROC, intervention shall be allowed when a person has
 Josefina did not dispute the fact of having left and abandoned Jose after (1) a legal interest in the matter in litigation;
their alleged marriage and doesn’t even use Alfelor’s surname. (2) or in the success of any of the parties;
 Josefina only appeared for the first time in 1988 during the filing of the (3) or an interest against the parties;
case for partition of the estate. (4) or when he is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or
o CA reversed RTC. disposition of property in the custody of the court or an officer thereof.
o CA held that Teresita had already admitted (both verbally and in writing) that  Intervention is "a proceeding in a suit or action by which a third person is
Josefina had been married to the deceased. permitted by the court to make himself a party, either joining plaintiff in claiming
o Under Section 4, Rule 129 of the Revised Rules of Evidence, a judicial what is sought by the complaint, or uniting with defendant in resisting the claims of
admission no longer requires proof. plaintiff, or demanding something adversely to both of them; the act or proceeding
o Consequently, there was no need to prove and establish the fact that Josefa by which a third person becomes a party in a suit pending between others; the
was married to the decedent. admission, by leave of court, of a person not an original party to pending legal
o An admission made in a pleading cannot be controverted by the party making proceedings, by which such person becomes a party thereto for the protection of
such admission, and is conclusive as to such party; and all contrary or some right of interest alleged by him to be affected by such proceedings."
inconsistent proofs submitted by the party who made the admission should be  Considering this admission of Teresita, petitioners’ mother, the Court rules that
ignored whether objection is interposed by the other party or not. respondent Josefina Halasan sufficiently established her right to intervene in the
partition case. She has shown that she has legal interest in the matter in litigation.
RULING: The petition is DISMISSED; ruling of CA is affirmed.
NOTES:
Whether the first wife of a decedent, a fact admitted by the other party who claim Section 1, Rule 19, ROC
to be the second wife, should be allowed to intervene in an action for partition of SEC. 1. Who may intervene. – A person who has a legal interest in the matter in
the husband’s share in the estate? - YES litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so
 Petitioner’s arguments: situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in
o While Teresita initially admitted knowledge of Jose’s previous marriage to the custody of the court or of an officer thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to
Josefina in the said Reply-in-Intervetion, Teresita also testified during the intervene in the action. The court shall consider whether or not the intervention will
hearing that the matter was merely “told” to her and thus should be unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties, and
considered hearsay. whether or not the intervenor’s rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding.
o Josefina failed to appear and substantiate her Complaint-in-Intervention and
only submitted a machine copy of a purported marriage contract with Alfelor.
COURT:
 Teresita and her co-heirs admitted the existence of the first marriage in their Reply-
in-Intervention.
 Likewise, when called to testify, Teresita admitted several times that she knew that
her late husband had been previously married to another. This admission
constituted a “deliberate, clear and unequivocal” statement. As it was made in the
course of judicial proceedings, such statement qualified as a judicial admission.