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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS CASE DIGESTS (ESCHEATS / GUARDIANSHIP)

1. CASTORIO ALVARICO vs SOLA


In other words, a private individual may not bring an action
FACTS: Fermina A. Lopez, a widown, was an awardee of for reversion or any action which would have the effect of
Lots Nos. 4, 5, 3-B, 3-C and 6-B, Sgs-3451 and being the canceling a free patent and the corresponding certificate of
winning bidder at the auction sale of these parcels by the title issued on the basis thereof, such that the land covered
Bureau of Lands. On May 28, 1983, Fermina executed a Deed thereby will again form part of the public domain. Only the
of Self-Adjudication and Transfer of Rights over Lot 5 in Solicitor General or the officer acting in his stead may do so.
favor of Amelita, who agreed to assume all the obligations, Since AmelitaSola's title originated from a grant by the
duties, and conditions imposed upon Fermina under MSA government, its cancellation is a matter between the grantor
Application No. V-81066. The document of transfer was filed and the gr antee.30 Clearly
with the Bureau of Lands. then, petitioner has no standing at all to question the validity
Bureau of Lands issued an order approving the transfer of of Amelita's title. It follows that he cannot "recover" the
rights and granting the amendment of the application from property because, to begin with, he has not shown that he is
Fermina to Amelita. Consequently, an OCT was issued in the the rightful owner thereof.
name of Amelita and her husband.
2. MALTOS vs HEIRS OF EUSEBIO BORROMEO
On June 24, 1993, herein petitioner filed Civil Case No. CEB-
1419110 for reconveyance against Amelita. He claimed that FACTS: Eusebio Borromeo (Eusebio) was granted a Free
on January 4, 1984, Fermina donated the land to him and Patent No. 586681 over a piece of agricultural land covered by
immediately thereafter, he took possession of the same. He Original Certificate of Title No. P-9053. Eusebio sold the land
averred that the donation to him had the effect of withdrawing to Eliseo Maltos (Eliseo) during the five-year prohibitory
the earlier transfer to Amelita. period (violating Section 118 of the Public Land Act).

For her part, Amelita maintained that the donation to petitioner Eusebio died and his heirs claimed that prior to his death, he
is void because Fermina was no longer the owner of the allegedly told his wife, Norberta and his children to nullify the
property when it was allegedly donated to petitioner, the sale made to Eliseo and have the Transfer Certificate of Title
property having been transferred earlier to her. She added that No. T-5477 cancelled because the sale was within the five-
the donation was void because of lack of approval from the year prohibitory period.
Bureau of Lands, and that she had validly acquired the land as
Fermina's rightful heir. She also denied that she is a trustee of Norberta and her children (heirs of Borromeo) filed a
the land for petitioner. After trial, the RTC rendered a decision Complaint for Nullity of Title and Reconveyance of Title
in favor of petitioner. On appeal, RTC decision was reversed. against Eliseo and the Register of Deeds. Eliseo filed his
Answer, arguing that the sale was made in good faith and that
ISSUE: Whether or not a person imputing bad faith on the in purchasing the property, he relied on Eusebio's title. Further,
transfer of land patents may assailed the validity of an OCT the parties were in pari delicto. Since the sale was made
subsequently issued to the transferee of the land patents. during the five-year prohibitory period, the land would revert
to the public domain and the proper party to institute reversion
HELD: No. The answer is in the negative. this allegation of proceedings was the Office of the Solicitor General. The
bad faith on the part of Amelita Sola in acquiring the title is Register of Deeds of Agusan del Sur also filed an Answer,
devoid of evidentiary support. For one, the execution of public arguing that the deed of sale was presented for Registration
documents, as in the case of Affidavits of Adjudication, is after the five-year prohibitory period, thus, it was ministerial
entitled to the presumption of regularity, hence convincing on its part to register the deed.
evidence is required to assail and controvert them. Second, it
is undisputed that OCT No. 3439 was issued in 1989 in the The trial court ruled that the sale was null and void because it
name of Amelita. It requires more than petitioner's bare was within the five (5) year prohibitory period. Since the
allegation to defeat the Original Certificate of Title which on property was sold within the five-year prohibitory period, such
its face enjoys the legal presumption of regularity of issuance. transfer resulted in the cancellation of the grant and the
A Torrens title, once registered, serves as notice to the whole reversion of the land to the public domain. The Court of
world. All persons must take notice and no one can plead Appeals, however, reversed the Decision of the trial court and
ignorance of its registration. held that since Eusebio sold his property within the five-year
prohibitory period, the property should revert to the state.
Even assuming that respondent Amelita Sola acquired title to However, the government has to file an action for reversion
the disputed property in bad faith, only the State can institute because "reversion is not automatic." While there is yet no
reversion proceedings under Sec. 101 of the Public Land Act, action for reversion instituted by the Office of the Solicitor
to wit: All actions for reversion to the Government of lands of General, the property should be returned to the heirs of
the public domain or improvements thereon shall be instituted Borromeo.
by the Solicitor General or the officer acting in his stead, in
the proper courts, in the name of the Republic of the ISSUES:
Philippines.
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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS CASE DIGESTS (ESCHEATS / GUARDIANSHIP)
(Issue related to Escheat) Whether or not the sale of an officer acting in his stead, in the proper courts, in the name of
agricultural land by a free patent during the five-year Commonwealth of the Philippines.
prohibited period will result to its automatic reversion as part NOTE: Section 29 of the Public Land Act is an exception to
of the public domain? the rule that reversion is not automatic (meaning, reversion
can be automatic). Section 29 provides:
(Other issue) Whether the return of the value of the products After the cultivation of the land has begun, the purchaser, with
gathered from the land by the defendants and the expenses the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce,
incurred in the construction of the dike—all useful and may convey or encumber his rights to any person, corporation,
necessary expenses—should be ordered to be returned by the or association legally qualified under this Act to purchase
defendants to the plaintiffs? agricultural public lands, provided such conveyance or
encumbrance does not affect any right or interest of the
RULING: (On the 1st issue) The sale of a parcel of Government in the land: And provided, further, That the
agricultural land covered by a free patent during the five-year transferee is not delinquent in the payment of any installment
prohibitory period under the Public Land Act is void. due and payable. Any sale and encumbrance made without the
Reversion of the parcel of land is proper. However, reversion previous approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and
under Section 101 of the Public Land Act is not automatic. Commerce shall be null and void and shall produce the effect
The Office of the Solicitor General must first file an action for of annulling the acquisition and reverting the property and all
reversion. rights to the State, and all payments on the purchase price
theretofore made to the Government shall be forfeited. After
The purpose of reversion is "to restore public land the sale has been approved, the vendor shall not lose his right
fraudulently awarded and disposed to private individuals or to acquire agricultural public lands under the provisions of this
corporations to the mass of public domain. Act, provided he has the necessary qualifications.

The contention that pari delict shall apply is untenable. The 3. GOYENA vs LEDESMA-GUSTILO
doctrine of in pari delicto non oritur actio is inapplicable when
public policy will be violated (the sale of an agricultural land FACTS: On July 8, 1996, respondent filed at the RTC of
covered by a free patent during the five-year prohibited period Makati a “PETITION FOR LETTERS OF GUARDIANSHIP”
is against public policy because the main purpose in the grant over the person and properties of her sister Julieta, the
of a free patent of homestead is to preserve and keep in the pertinent allegations of which read:
family of the homesteader that portion of public land which
the State has given to him so he may have a place to live with • That for the most part during the year 1995 and 1996,
his family and become a happy citizen and a useful member of Julieta Ledesma has been a patient in the Makati Medical
the society) Center where she is under medical attention for old age,
(On the second issue) Although the rule of in pari delicto general debility, and a “mini”-stroke which she suffered in the
should not apply to the sale of the homestead, because such United States in early 1995;
sale is contrary to the public policy enunciated in the
homestead law, the loss of the products realized by the • That Julieta Ledesma is confined to her bed and can
defendants and the value of the necessary improvements made not get up from bed without outside assistance, and she has to
by them on the land should not be excepted from the be moved by wheel chair;
application of the said rule because no cause or reason can be
cited to justify an exception. It has been held that the rule of in • That Julieta Ledesma owns real estate and personal
pari delicto is inapplicable only where the same violates a properties in Metro Manila and in Western Visayas, with an
well-established public policy. aggregate estimated assessed and par value of P1 Million
Relevant sections of Public Land Act cited in the case: Pesos[;]

SECTION 118. Except in favor of the Government or any of • That Julieta Ledesma is not in a position to care for
its branches, units, or institutions, or legally constituted herself, and that she needs the assistance of a guardian to
banking corporations, lands acquired under free patent or manage her interests in on-going corporate and agricultural
homestead provisions shall not be subject to encumbrance or enterprises;
alienation from the date of the approval of the application and • That the nearest of kin of Julieta Ledesma are her
for a term of five years from and after the date of issuance1 of sisters of the full blood, namely, petitioner Amparo Ledesma
the patent or grant, nor shall they become liable to the Gustilo, Teresa Ledesma
satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the expiration of
said period; but the improvements or crops on the land may be Goyena filed an Opposition to the petition for letters of
mortgaged] or pledged to qualified persons, associations, or guardianship alleging that that Julieta Ledesma is competent
corporations. and sane and there is absolutely no need to appoint a guardian
SECTION 101. All actions for the reversion to the to take charge of her person/property and that Amparo-
Government of lands of the public domain or improvements Ledesma is not fit to be appointed as the guardian of Julieta
thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor-General or the Ledesma since their interests are antagonistic.
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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS CASE DIGESTS (ESCHEATS / GUARDIANSHIP)
As for the fourth letter, it has also no relevance to the issue in
On October 4, 1996, the trial court found Julieta “incompetent the case at bar. The letter is not even addressed to respondent
and incapable of taking care of herself and her property” and but to a certain Connie (a sister-in-law of Julieta).
appointed respondent as guardian of her person and properties
and appointed Amparo-Ledesma as the guardian of Julieta. Petitioner’s assertion that respondent’s intent in instituting the
guardianship proceedings is to take control of Julieta’s
Goyena file an MR which the trial court denied. On appeal, properties and use them for her own benefit is purely
CA affirmed the decision of the trial court and denied speculative and finds no support form the records. The claim
Goyena's MR. that respondent is hostile to the best interests of Julieta also
lacks merit. That respondent removed Julieta from the Makati
Hence, this petition. Medical Center where she was confined after she suffered a
stroke does not necessarily show her hostility towards Julieta,
ISSUE: Whether or not the appellate court and the trial court given the observation by the trial court, cited in the present
erred in finding that respondent is suitable for appointment as petition, that Julieta was still placed under the care of doctors
guardian of the person and properties of Julieta? after she checked out and was returned to the hospital when
she suffered another stroke.
RULING: No. Finally, this Court notes two undisputed facts in the case at
bar, to wit: 1) Petitioner opposed the petition for the
Clearly, the issues raised and arguments in support of appointment of respondent as guardian before the trial court
petitioner’s position require a review of the evidence, hence, because, among other reasons, she felt she was disliked by
not proper for consideration in the petition at bar. This Court respondent, a ground which does not render respondent
cannot thus be tasked to go over the proofs presented by the unsuitable for appointment as guardian, and 2) Petitioner
parties and analyze, assess, and weigh them to ascertain if the concealed the deteriorating state of mind of Julieta before the
trial court and appellate court were correct in according them trial court, which is reflective of a lack of good faith.
superior credit.

Although the general rule is that this Honorable Court is not a


trier of facts, its jurisdiction being limited to reviewing and 4. CAÑIZA vs COURT OF APPEALS
revising only errors of law, it is nonetheless subject to the
exceptions which have been laid down in a number of FACTS: 94 years of age, Carmen Cañiza, a retired
decisions of this Honorable Court. Goyena, however, failed to pharmacist, and former professor of the College of Chemistry
show that the trial court committed any error. and Pharmacy of UP, was declared incompetent by judgment
of the RTC Quezon City in a guardianship proceeding
Petitioner can neither rely on certain letters of Julieta to instituted by her niece, Amparo A. Evangelista.
establish her claim that there existed a rift between the two She was adjudged because of advanced age and physical
which amounts to antagonistic interests. The first letter sent by infirmities which included cataracts in both eyes and senile
Julieta to respondent merely shows Julieta’s lack of interest in dementia. Amparo A. Evangelista was appointed legal
future investments, not necessarily a business disagreement, guardian of her person and estate
and certainly not per se amounting to antagonistic interests
between her and respondent to render the latter unsuitable for Cañiza was the absolute owner of a house and lot at No. 61
appointment as guardian. Tobias St., Quezon City. On September 17, 1990, her guardian
Amparo Evangelista commenced a suit in the (MetroTC) of
The second letter shows that: 1) respondent did not visit Quezon City to eject the spouses Pedro and Leonora Estrada
Julieta when she was confined at the Makati Medical Center from said premises.
on account of her stroke, 2) there was disagreement as to who
should run the hacienda, with Julieta favoring a certain (MeTC)
ChelingZabaljaurigue, and 3) respondent took over (Petitioner Contentions)
management of the hacienda with their brother Carlos
(Ledesma) supporting her. No inference as to the existence of 1. That out of kindness, she had allowed the Estrada Spouses,
antagonistic interests between respondent and Julieta can thus their children, grandchildren and sons-in-law to temporarily
be made. reside in her house, rent-free;
2. That Cañiza already had urgent need of the house on
The third letter has no relevance to the issue of whether or not account of her advanced age and failing health, "so funds
the lower courts erred in finding that respondent is not could be raised to meet her expenses for support, maintenance
unsuitable for appointment as guardian. The letter in fact and medical treatment.;"
discloses, that it was Julieta’s nephew Julio Ledesma, and not
respondent, who ignored the “request.” 3. That through her guardian, Cañiza had asked the Estradas
verbally and in writing to vacate the house but they had
refused to do so;
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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS CASE DIGESTS (ESCHEATS / GUARDIANSHIP)
vested in her guardian the right or authority to drive the
4. And that "by the defendants' act of unlawfully depriving defendants out."
plaintiff of the possession of the house in question, they . ..
(were) enriching themselves at the expense of the (SC)
incompetent, because, while they .. . (were) saving money by Through her guardian, Cañiza came to this Court praying for
not paying any rent for the house, the incompetent . . .(was) reversal of the Appellate Court's judgment. She contends in
losing much money as her house could not be rented by the main that the latter erred in (a) holding that she should
others." have pursued an accion publiciana, and not an accion
interdictal; and in (b) giving much weight to "a Xerox copy of
5. Also alleged was that the complaint was "filed within one an alleged holographic will, which is irrelevant to this case."
(1) year from the date of first letter of demand dated February
3, 1990." (Defendant Contentions)
(Defendant Contentions) The Estradas insist that the case against them was really not
one of unlawful detainer; theyargue that since possession of
1. Defendants declared that they had been living in Cañiza's the house had not been obtained by them by any “contract,
house since the 1960's; express or implied," as contemplated by Section 1, Rule 70 of
the Rules of Court, their occupancy of the premises could not
2. That in consideration of their faithful service they had been be deemed one "terminable upon mere demand (and hence
considered by Cañiza as her own family, and the latter had in never became unlawful) within the context of the law."
fact executed a holographic will on September 4, 1988 by
which she "bequeathed" to the Estradas the house and lot in Neither could the suit against them be deemed one of forcible
question. entry, they add, because they had been occupying the property
with the prior consent of the "real owner, “Carmen Cañiza,
Judgment was rendered by the MetroTC on April 13, 1992 in which "occupancy can even ripen into full ownership once the
Cañiza's favor, the Estradas being ordered to vacate the holographic will of petitioner Carmen Cañiza is admitted to
premises and pay Cañiza P5, 000.00 byway of attorney's fees. probate." They conclude, on those postulates, that it is beyond
the power of Cañiza's legal guardian to oust them from the
(RTC) disputed premises.
On appeal, the decision was reversed by the QC RTC.
Carmen Cañiza died on March 19, 1994, and her heirs — the
The RTC held that the "action by which the issue of aforementioned guardian, Amparo Evangelista, and Ramon C.
defendants' possession should be resolved is accion Nevado, her niece and nephew, respectively—were by this
publiciana, the obtaining factual and legal situation . . . Court's leave, substituted for her.
demanding adjudication by such plenary action for recovery of
possession cognizable in the first instance by the Regional In essence, the amended complaint states:
Trial Court."
1) that the Estradas were occupying Cañiza's house by
(CA) tolerance — having been "allowed to live temporarily . . .
Cañiza sought to have the Court of Appeals reverse the (therein) for free, out of . . . (Cañiza's) kindness;"
decision of October 21, 1992, but failed in that attempt. In a
decision promulgated on June 2, 1993, the Appellate Court 2) that Cañiza needed the house "urgently" because her "health
affirmed the RTC's judgment in toto. . . . (was) failing and she . . . (needed) funds . . . to meet her
expenses for her support, maintenance and medical treatment;"
It ruled that:
3) that through her general guardian, Cañiza requested the
(a) the proper remedy for Cañiza was indeed an accion Estradas several times, orally and in writing, to give back
publiciana in the RTC, not an accion interdictal in the possession of the house;
MetroTC, since the "defendants have not been in the subject
premises as mere tenants or occupants by tolerance, they have 4) that the Estradas refused and continue to refuse to give back
been there as a sort of adopted family of Carmen Cañiza," as the house to Cañiza, to her continuing prejudice; and
evidenced by what purports to be the holographic will of the
plaintiff; and 5) that the action was filed within one (1) year from the last
demand to vacate.
(b) while "said will, unless and until it has passed probate by
the proper court, could not be the basis of defendants' claim to ISSUES:
the property, . . . it is indicative of intent and desire on the part
of Carmen Cañiza that defendants are to remain and are to (a) Whether or not an ejectment action is the appropriate
continue in their occupancy and possession, so much so that judicial remedy for recovery of possession of the property in
Cañiza's supervening incompetency cannot be said to have dispute;
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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS CASE DIGESTS (ESCHEATS / GUARDIANSHIP)
comfortable and suitable maintenance of the ward and his
(SPECPRO-related) family, if there be any; and if such income and profits be
(b) Assuming desahucioto be proper, whether or not insufficient for that purpose, the guardian may sell or
Evangelista, as Cañiza's legal guardian had authority to bring encumber the real estate, upon being authorized by order to do
said action; and so, and apply to such of the proceeds as may be necessary to
such maintenance."
(c) Assuming an affirmative answer to both questions, whether
or not Evangelista may continue to represent Cañiza after the (c) Yes, Evangelista may continue to represent Cañiza.
latter’s death.
While it is indeed well-established rule that the relationship of
RULING: guardian and ward is necessarily terminated by the death of
either the guardian or the ward, the rule affords no advantage
(a) Yes, the appropriate remedy is Action for Ejectment to the Estradas. Amparo Evangelista, as niece of Carmen
(Desahucio) Cañiza, is one of the latter's only two (2) surviving heirs, the
other being Cañiza's nephew, Ramon C. Nevado.
This Court adjudged that a person who occupies the land of They were in fact substituted as parties in the appeal at bar in
another at the latter's tolerance or permission without any place of the deceased, in accordance with Section 17, Rule 3
contract between them is necessarily bound by an implied of the Rules of Court. To be sure, an EJECTMENT case
promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which a survives the death of a party. Cañiza's demise did not
summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against extinguish the desahucio suit instituted by her through her
him, The situation is not much different from that of a tenant guardian. That action, not being a purely personal one,
whose lease expires but who continues in occupancy by survived her death; her heirs have taken her place and now
tolerance of the owner, in which case there is deemed to be an represent her interests in the appeal at bar.
unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession as of the
date of the demand to vacate. In other words, one whose stay EXTRA DOCTRINE
is merely tolerated becomes a deforciant illegally occupying
the land or property the moment he is required to leave. A WILL HAS NO EFFECT WHATEVER AND NO RIGHT
CAN BE CLAIMED THEREUNDER UNTIL IT IS
(b) Yes, Evangelista had authority. ADMITTED TO PROBATE. — A will is essentially
ambulatory; at any time prior to the testator's death, it may be
Amparo Evangelista was appointed by a competent court the changed or revoked; and until admitted to probate, it has no
general guardian of both the person and the estate of her aunt, effect whatever and no right can be claimed thereunder, the
Carmen Cañiza. Her Letters of Guardianship dated December law being quite explicit: "No will shall pass either real or
19, 1989 clearly installed her as the "guardian over the person personal property unless it is proved and allowed in
and properties of the incompetent CARMEN CAÑIZA with accordance with the Rules of Court" (ART. 838, CIVIL
full authority to take possession of the property of said CODE). An owner's intention to confer title on the future to
incompetent in any province or provinces in which it may be persons possessing property by his tolerance, is not
situated and to perform all other acts necessary for the inconsistent with the former's taking back possession in the
management of her properties . . ." By that appointment, it meantime for any reason deemed sufficient. And that in this
became Evangelista's duty to care for her aunt's person, to case there was sufficient cause for the owner's resumption of
attend to her physical and spiritual needs, to assure her well- possession is apparent: she needed to generate income from
being, with right to custody of her person in preference to the house on account of the physical infirmities afflicting her,
relatives and friends. It also became her right and duty to get arising from her extreme age.
possession of, and exercise control over, Cañiza's property,
both real and personal, it being recognized principle that the 5. NERI vs HEIRS OF HADJI YUSOP UY
ward has no right to possession or control of his property
during his incompetency. That right to manage the ward's FACTS: Anunciacion Neri had seven children: two from her
estate carried with it right to take possession thereof and first marriage with Gonzalo Illut (Eutropia and Victoria) and
recover it from anyone who retains it and bring and defend five from her second marriage with Enrique Neri (Napoleon,
such actions as may be needful for this purpose. Actually, in Alicia, Visminda, Douglas and Rosa). Throughout the
bringing the action of desahucio, Evangelista was merely marriage of spouses Enrique and Anunciacion, they acquired
discharging the duty to attend to "the comfortable and suitable several properties.
maintenance of the ward" explicitly imposed on her by Anunciacion died intestate. Her husband, Enrique, in his
Section 4, Rule 96 of the Rules of Court. personal capacity and as natural guardian of his minor children
Rosa and Douglas, together with Napoleon, Alicia, and
"SEC. 4.Estate to be managed frugally, and proceeds applied Visminda executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate
to maintenance of ward. — A guardian must manage the estate with Absolute Deed of Sale, adjudicating among themselves
of his ward frugally and without waste, and apply the income the said properties, and conveyed them to the late spouses
and profits thereof, so far as may be necessary, to the Hadji Yusop Uy and Julpha Ibrahim Uy.
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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS CASE DIGESTS (ESCHEATS / GUARDIANSHIP)
Respondent, thereafter, filed his Omnibus Motion to declare
The children of Enrique filed a complaint for annulment of that petitioner has waived the presentation of his Offer of
sale of the said properties against spouses Uy before the RTC, Exhibits and Evidence since they were not formally offered;
assailing the validity of the sale for having been sold within To expunge the documents of the petitioner from records; and
the prohibited period. The complaint was later amended to to grant leave to the Oppositor to file Demurrer to Evid. A
include Eutropia and Victoria as additional plaintiffs for subsequent Demurrer was filed and was granted.
having been excluded and deprived of their legitimes as
children of Anunciacion from her first marriage. MR was filed by petitioner and appealed the case to CA;
failed, now to the SC.
ISSUE: Whether or not the extrajudicial settlement of the
estate is valid ISSUE: Whether respondent is considered incompetent as per
the Rules who should be placed under guardianship?
RULING: No. The Supreme Court held that the petitioners
herein are legitimate children of Anunciacion from her first RULING: No. The only medical document on record is the
and second marriages with Gonzalo and Enrique, respectively, Report of Neuropsychological Screening. Said report, was
and consequently, are entitled to inherit from her in equal ambivalent at best, although had negative findings regarding
shares. memory lapses on the part of respondent, it also contained
finding that supported the view that respondent on the average
Hence, in the execution of the Extra-Judicial Settlement of the was indeed competent.
Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale in favor of spouses Uy, all
the heirs of Anunciacion should have participated. 7. ABAD vs BIASON

Considering that Eutropia and Victoria were admittedly FACTS: Petitioner Eduardo Abad (Abad) filed a petition for
excluded and that then minors Rosa and Douglas were not guardianship over the person and properties of Maura B. Abad
properly represented therein, the settlement was not valid and (Maura) with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Dagupan City.
binding upon them.
Abad alleged that he maintains residence in Quezon City and
6. OROPESA vs OROPESA that he is Maura's nephew. He averred that Maura, who is
single, more than ninety (90) years old and a resident of
FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule Pangasinan, due to her advanced age, Maura is already sickly
45 of the Decision rendered by the CA affirming the Order of and can no longer manage to take care of herself and her
the RTC in a Special Proceedings which dismissed Nilo properties unassisted thus becoming an easy prey of deceit and
Oropesa’s, peitioner, petition for guardianship over the exploitation.
properties of his father, respondent, Cirilo Oropesa.
Leonardo Biason (Biason) opposed the Appointment of
Petitioner filed with the RTC of Parañaque City, a petition for Eduardo Abad as Guardian of the Person and Properties of
him and a certain Ms. Louie Ginez to be appointed as Maura B. Abiad. Specifically, Biason alleged that he is also a
guardians over the property of his father, respondent, Cirilo nephew of Maura and that he was not notified of the pendency
Oropesa. of the petition for the appointment of the latter's guardian. He
vehemently opposed the appointment of Abad as Maura's
In said petition, petitioner alleged that respondent has been guardian as he cannot possibly perform his duties as such
afflicted with several maladies and has been sickly for over 10 since he resides in Quezon City while Maura maintains her
years already having suffered a stroke that his judgment and abode in Pangasinan. Biason prayed that he be appointed as
memory were impaired and such has been evident after his Maura's guardian since he was previously granted by the latter
hospitalization. That due to his age and medical condition, he with a power of attorney to manage her properties.
cannot, without outside aid, manage his property wisely, and
has become easy prey for deceit and exploitation by people RTC rendered a Decision appointing Biason as Maura's
around him, particularly his girlfriend, Ms. Luisa Agamata. guardian.

Respondent filed his Opposition to the petition for Abad filed an appeal to the CA. He contends that the fact that
guardianship filed by his (ever caring and loving) son. he was not a resident of Pangasinan should not be a ground for
his disqualification as he had actively and efficiently managed
During trial, petitioner presented his evidence which consists the affairs and properties of his aunt even if he is residing in
of his, his sister, and respondent’s former nurse’s testimony. Metro Manila. Moreover, he was expressly chosen by Maura
to be her guardian. Abad further averred that no hearing was
After presenting evidence, petitioner rested his case but failed conducted to determine the qualifications of Biason prior to
to file his written formal offer of evidence. his appointment as guardian. He claimed that the RTC also
overlooked Maura's express objection to Biason's
appointment.
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CA issued a Decision affirming RTC.

Abad filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari

Abad bewails his disqualification as guardian on the sole basis


of his residence. He emphasizes that it is not a requirement for
a guardian to be a resident of the same locality as the ward, or
to be living with the latter under the same roof in order to
qualify for the appointment. The more significant
considerations are that the person to be appointed must be of
good moral character and must have the capability and sound
judgment in order that he may be able to take care of the ward
and prudently manage his assets.

Unfortunately, pending the resolution of the instant petition,


Biason died. Maura averred that Biason's death rendered moot
and academic the issues raised in the petition. She thus prayed
that the petition be dismissed and the guardianship be
terminated. Abad also supported Maura's prayer for the
termination of the guardianship by asseverating that her act of
filing of a petition-in-intervention is indicative of the fact that
she is of sound mind and that she can competently manage her
business affairs.

ISSUE: W/N COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED


WHEN IT DENIED THE PETITIONER'S APPEAL AND
ERRONEOUSLY UPHELD RESPONDENT BIASON'S
APPOINTMENT AS GUARDIAN BASED ON SOLE
GROUND OF RESIDENCE

RULING: With Biason's demise, it has become impractical


and futile to proceed with resolving the merits of the petition.
It is a well-established rule that the relationship of guardian
and ward is necessarily terminated by the death of either the
guardian or the ward. The supervening event of death rendered
it pointless to delve into the propriety of Biason's appointment
since the juridical tie between him and Maura has already
been dissolved. The petition, regardless of its disposition, will
not afford Abad, or anyone else for that matter, any substantial
relief.

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