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"It is well settled that the statutory provisions as to the prior or preferred right of certain persons to the

HON. MATEO L. ALCASID, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Albay, ANTONIO CONDA, as appointment of administrator under section 1, Rule 81, as well as the statutory provisions as to causes for
regular administrator of the estate of Jose V. Samson, JOSEFINA N. SAMSON, GLENDA SAMSON, removal of an executor or administrator under section 653 of Act No. 190, now section 2, Rule 83, do not
MANUEL SAMSON and FELIX SAMSON, Petitioners, v. AMADO V. SAMSON, JESUS V. SAMSON, apply to the selection or removal of special administrator. As the law does not say who shall be appointed
PURIFICACION SAMSON MORALES; DOLORES SAMSON-ACAYAN and PAZ as special administrator and the qualifications the appointee must have, the judge or court has discretion in
SAMSON-YOROBE, Respondents. the selection of the person to be appointed, discretion which must be sound, that is, not whimsical or
contrary to reason, justice or equity."cralaw virtua1aw library

FACTS: It is well to mark that, in the present case, the special administrator was not actually removed by the court,
but that he was superseded by the regular administrator by operation of law. Rule 81, section 3, of the
On October 18, 1954, herein respondents filed an application in the Court of First Instance of Albay for Rules of Court specifically provides that —
the issuance of letters of administration in favor of one of them, Jesus V. Samson, for the estate of the late
Jose V. Samson. On the same date, Jesus V. Samson was appointed special administrator of the estate. "When letters testamentary or of administration are granted on the estate of the deceased, the power of
the special administrator shall cease, and he shall forthwith deliver to the executor or administrator the
The application was opposed by petitioners Josefina N. Samson, the widow of Jose V. Samson and her goods, chattels, money and estate of the deceased in his hands."cralaw virtua1aw library
three minor children Glenda N. Samson, Manuel N. Samson and Felix N. Samson. They asked for the
granting of letters of administration in favor of Josefina N. Samson, in the place of Jesus V. Samson. After No question of abuse of discretion can therefore arise on account of the order of April 8, 1956, requiring
hearings that dragged for almost two years, Judge Alcasid, on March 12, 1956, issued an order Jesus V. Samson to turn over the administration to the regular administrator, such result being ordained by
appointing Antonio Conda, Municipal Treasurer of Libon, Albay, as regular administrator. In that order the law. Upon the other hand, the conditions of the estate justified the appointment and qualification of a
special administrator Jesus V. Samson was instructed, at the same time, that "twenty (20) days from the regular administrator, because the special administration had lasted nearly two years, and the prompt
receipt of this order he shall turn over all properties and funds of the estate in his possession to the regular settlement of the estate had been unduly delayed. The Albay court said in its order of March
administrator as soon as the latter qualified." On April 3, 1956, upon motion of the widow, the court issued
an order requiring the special administrator to "deliver the properties and funds of the estate now in his
possession to the regular administrator within three (3) days from receipt of this order" ". . . . It is also the sense of this Court that the appointment of any of their immediate relations would not
end the bitter conflict that has so far raged as can be seen from the voluminous records of this case which
It also appears that on March 27, 1956, respondents filed an appeal from the order of the court granting have accumulated within a very short time. The appointment of a disinterested person as regular
letters of administration in favor of Antonio Conda, and their record on appeal was approved on April 17, administrator would be conducive to a smooth and peaceful administration of the properties of the estate.
1956. On April 20, 1956, they filed a motion seeking to set aside the approval of the bond posted by At any rate, the appointment of Jesus V. Samson as special administrator was but done in a state of
Antonio Conda as well as the letters of administration issued in his favor. This motion was denied. emergency."cralaw virtua1aw library

The Court of Appeals, upon certiorari applied for by the special administrator and the heirs siding with him, All told, the case boils down to this: The removal of the special administrator is at the court’s sound
held that, on the authority of our decision in Cotia v. Pecson, 1 49 Off. Gaz., 4313, the order appointing discretion, and the orders of March 12 and May 9, 1956 show that there were good reasons to terminate
Antonio Conda as regular administrator was stayed by the appeal taken against it, and thereafter, Conda the special administration. This being so, the heirs can not seek to prolong the tenure of the removed
should not have been allowed to qualify in the meantime, unless execution pending appeal should be special administrator by appealing Conda’s appointment as regular administrator. It may be argued that
ordered. The Court of Appeals set aside the appointment of Conda and annulled his bond. during the appeal, the estate should be under special administration; but it does not appear that Amadeo
Samson and his partisans have so asked the court nor have they proposed another administrator and
therefore, their complaint against the court’s action is unmeritorious.
We see no abuse of discretion in the orders of the Court of First Instance complained of. The decision of
This Court has repeatedly decided that the appointment and removal of a special administrator are the Court of Appeals is reversed and the original petition for certiorari filed by the special administrator is
interlocutory proceedings incidental to the main case, and lie in the sound discretion of the court. ordered dismissed, and the writ denied, with costs against the respondents in this Court, Jesus V. Samson,
Et. Al. SO ordered.
Thus, in Roxas v. Pecson, supra, this Court
#33. Hilado v CA GR No. 164108 May 8, 2009 merits of petitioners claims against Benedicto are to be settled in the civil cases where they were raised,
and not in the intestate proceedings. In the event the claims for damages of petitioners are granted, they
Facts: would have the right to enforce the judgment against the estate. Yet until such time, to what extent may they
be allowed to participate in the intestate proceedings?
The well-known sugar magnate Roberto S. Benedicto died intestate on 15 May 2000. He was
survived by his wife, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto (administratrix Benedicto), and his only Anybody with a contingent claim based on a pending action for quasi-delict against a decedent may be
daughter, Francisca Benedicto-Paulino.[1] At the time of his death, there were two pending civil cases reasonably concerned that by the time judgment is rendered in their favor, the estate of the decedent would
against Benedicto involving the petitioners. have already been distributed, or diminished to the extent that the judgment could no longer be enforced
against it. While there is no general right to intervene on the part of the petitioners, they may be allowed to
seek certain prayers or reliefs from the intestate court not explicitly provided for under the Rules, if the
On 25 May 2000, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for the
prayer or relief sought is necessary to protect their interest in the estate, and there is no other modality
issuance of letters of administration in her favor, pursuant to Section 6, Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of
under the Rules by which such interests can be protected. It is under this standard that we assess the three
Court. The petition was raffled to Branch 21, presided by respondent Judge Amor A. Reyes. Said petition
prayers sought by petitioners.
acknowledged the value of the assets of the decedent to be P5 Million, net of liabilities.[3] On 2 August 2000,
the Manila RTC issued an order appointing private respondent as administrator of the estate of her
deceased husband, and issuing letters of administration in her favor. In the List of Liabilities attached to the To recall, petitioners had sought three specific reliefs that were denied by the courts a quo. The first is that
inventory, private respondent included as among the liabilities, the above-mentioned two pending claims petitioners be furnished with copies of all processes and orders issued in connection with the intestate
then being litigated before the Bacolod City courts.[6] Private respondent stated that the amounts of liability proceedings, as well as the pleadings filed by the administrator of the estate. Such a running account would
corresponding to the two cases as P136,045,772.50 for Civil Case No. 95-9137 and P35,198,697.40 for allow them to pursue the appropriate remedies should their interests be compromised, such as the right,
Civil Case No. 11178.[7] under Section 6, Rule 87, to complain to the intestate court if property of the estate concealed, embezzled,
or fraudulently conveyed.
On 24 September 2001, petitioners filed with the Manila RTC a Manifestation/Motion Ex Abundanti
Cautela,[9] praying that they be furnished with copies of all processes and orders pertaining to the intestate At the same time, the fact that petitioners interests remain inchoate and contingent counterbalances their
proceedings. Private respondent opposed the manifestation/motion, disputing the personality of petitioners ability to participate in the intestate proceedings. We are mindful of respondents submission that if the Court
to intervene in the intestate proceedings of her husband. Petitioners also filed other pleadings or motions were to entitle petitioners with service of all processes and pleadings of the intestate court, then anybody
with the Manila RTC, alleging lapses on the part of private respondent in her administration of the estate, claiming to be a creditor, whether contingent or otherwise, would have the right to be furnished such
and assailing the inventory that had been submitted thus far as unverified, incomplete and inaccurate. pleadings, no matter how wanting of merit the claim may be. Acknowledging their right to access the
records, rather than entitling them to the service of every court order or pleading no matter how relevant to
their individual claim, will be less cumbersome on the intestate court, the administrator and the heirs of the
On 2 January 2002, the Manila RTC issued an order denying the manifestation/motion, on the ground that
decedent, while providing a viable means by which the interests of the creditors in the estate are preserved.
petitioners are not interested parties within the contemplation of the Rules of Court to intervene in the
intestate proceedings.[11] After the Manila RTC had denied petitioners motion for reconsideration, a petition
for certiorari was filed with the Court of Appeals. Nonetheless, in the instances that the Rules on Special Proceedings do require notice to any or all
interested parties the petitioners as interested parties will be entitled to such notice. The instances when
notice has to be given to interested parties are provided in: (1) Sec. 10, Rule 85 in reference to the time and
On 27 February 2004, the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision[12] dismissing the petition and declaring
place of examining and allowing the account of the executor or administrator; (2) Sec. 7(b) of Rule 89
that the Manila RTC did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow petitioners to intervene in the intestate
concerning the petition to authorize the executor or administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage
proceedings; cited the fact that the claims of petitioners against the decedent were in fact contingent or
or otherwise encumber real estates; and; (3) Sec. 1, Rule 90 regarding the hearing for the application for an
expectant, as these were still pending litigation in separate proceedings before other courts.
order for distribution of the estate residue. After all, even the administratrix has acknowledged in her
submitted inventory, the existence of the pending cases filed by the petitioners.
We now turn to the remaining reliefs sought by petitioners; that a deadline be set for the submission by
Whether or not the lower courts erred in denying them the right to intervene in the intestate proceedings of administratrix Benedicto to submit a verified and complete inventory of the estate, and upon submission
the estate of Roberto Benedicto. thereof: the inheritance tax appraisers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue be required to assist in the
appraisal of the fair market value of the same; and that the intestate court set a deadline for the submission
Held: by the administratrix of her verified annual account, and, upon submission thereof, set the date for her
examination under oath with respect thereto, with due notice to them and other parties interested in the
collation, preservation and disposition of the estate. We cannot grant said reliefs.
It appears that the claims against Benedicto were based on tort, as they arose from his actions in
connection with Philsucom, Nasutra and Traders Royal Bank. Civil actions for tort or quasi-delict do not fall
within the class of claims to be filed under the notice to creditors required under Rule 86. Evidently, the
Section 1 of Rule 83 requires the administrator to return to the court a true inventory and appraisal of all the
real and personal estate of the deceased within three (3) months from appointment, while Section 8 of Rule
85 requires the administrator to render an account of his administration within one (1) year from receipt of
the letters testamentary or of administration. We do not doubt that there are reliefs available to compel an
administrator to perform either duty, but a person whose claim against the estate is still contingent is not the
party entitled to do so.

Concerning complaints against the general competence of the administrator, the proper remedy is
to seek the removal of the administrator in accordance with Section 2, Rule 82.
G.R. No. L-28054 June 15, 1972 In a pleading dated December 9, 1966, Atty. Arturo del Rosario filed an opposition to the petition of
petitioner-appellant for the probate of the will and codicils of Rosina Marguerite Wolfson in Special
INTESTATE ESTATE OF ROSINA MARGUERITE WOLFSON, deceased, RICARDO VITO Proceedings No. 67302 on the grounds, among others, that Rosina's estate is the subject of Special
CRUZ, petitioner-appellee. vs TESTATE ESTATE of ROSINA MARGUERITE WOLFSON, deceased, Proceedings No. 63866 before Branch VIII previously filed by petitioner-appellant Macias in behalf of
MANUEL Y. MACIAS, petitioner-appellant, ARTURO M. DEL ROSARIO, oppositor-appellee. respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz and before which he (Atty. Arturo del Rosario) filed on August 13, 1966 a
petition for the conversion of the said intestate proceedings into one for the probate of Rosina's will and
codicils, which was then pending resolution (Annexes "4", "4-A" & "4-B", pp. 23-27, ROA).
Rosina Marguerite Wolfson died on September 14, 1965 in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. On Likewise, special administrator Ricardo Vito Cruz filed a motion dated December 13, 1966 to
January 10, 1966, Atty. Manuel Y. Macias, herein petitioner-appellant, unaware that Rosina died with a will dismiss the said petition of petitioner-appellant in Special Proceedings No. 67302 on the grounds, among
and testament, filed in behalf of Ricardo Vito Cruz a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in others:
his favor over the estate in the Philippines of the late Rosina, which was docketed as Special Proceedings (1) that Rosina's estate is already the subject of Special Proceedings No. 63866 before Branch VIII
No. 63866, entitled "Intestate Estate of Rosina Marguerite Wolfson, deceased," and was assigned to (invoking Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court);
Branch VIII of the Manila Court of First Instance, then presided over by then Judge, now Court of Appeals
Justice, Manuel P. Barcelona. (2) that on August 13, 1966, Atty. Arturo del Rosario filed in behalf of Wells Fargo Bank a petition to convert
Accordingly, Ricardo Vito Cruz was appointed Special Administrator for the estate of Rosina, qualified the intestate proceeding in Special Proceedings No. 63866 into a testate proceeding for the probate of the
therefor, took his oath and assumed the duties thereof. last will and codicils of Rosina;

It turned out that Rosina left a will executed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York (3) that two proceedings over the same estate will only complicate matters and delay its closure; and
and three codicils executed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, U.S.A., naming therein
the Wells Fargo Bank as sole executor and the University of Michigan as the residuary beneficiary. (4) that in filing his petition for the probate of the will and codicils of Rosina in Special Proceedings No.
On September 24, 1965, said will and codicils of Rosina were presented for probate in the Superior Court of 67302 before Branch VI, petitioner-appellant concealed from the presiding judge of Branch VI the fact that
the State of California, U.S.A. appellant previously filed Special Proceedings No. 63866 in his (Ricardo Vito Cruz) behalf as well as the
fact that Arturo del Rosario had already filed his pleading of August 13, 1966 for the conversion of the
On October 11, 1965, the said will and codicils were duly probated by said California court (Annex intestate proceedings into a testate one (Annex "6", pp. 48-59, ROA).
4-A, pp. 28-35, rec. on appeal).
In a document dated November 10, 1965, duly notarized and authenticated, the Wells Fargo Bank, In a pleading dated December 16, 1966, petitioner-appellant filed his reply and opposition
as the sole executor designated in Rosina's will and codicils, appointed lawyers James M. Ross, Ewald respectively to the opposition of Atty. Arturo del Rosario and the motion to dismiss of Ricardo Vito Cruz,
Selph, Rafael D. Salcedo, Arturo del Rosario, Jesus Bito, Joaquin L. Misa and Mariano Lozada, all of contending
Manila, Philippines, as its attorney-in-fact, with authority among others to file ancillary administration
(1) that the grounds advanced by Atty. Arturo del Rosario and Ricardo Vito Cruz are not legal grounds for
proceedings for the estate of Rosina and to act as administrator or administrators of the estate
the dismissal of Special Proceedings No. 67302, because he is seeking in this Special Proceedings No.
(Annex "4-A", pp. 28-35, rec. on appeal).
67302 his own appointment as regular, not ancillary, administrator of Rosina's estate, based simply on his
Pursuant to his appointment as attorney-in-fact of executor Wells Fargo Bank, Atty. Arturo del interest in the estate, without need of any authority from Wells Fargo Bank, which does not and cannot
Rosario, filed on August 13, 1966, a petition, in Special Proceedings No. 63866 before Branch VIII of the possibly have anything to do with these proceedings because its (Wells Fargo Bank) appointment by the
Manila Court of First Instance, praying that, inasmuch as the decedent left a will and codicils which were California Superior Court as executor of Rosina's estate does not extend ex-proprio vigore to the
duly probated by the Superior Court of California, U.S.A., the intestate proceedings in Special Proceedings Philippines;
No. 63866 be converted into a petition for the probate of Rosina's will and codicils (Annex "4-C", pp. 38-42,
(2) that it is enough that a person has an interest in the will or in the property either as executor or otherwise
rec. on appeal).
to justify his intervention in the proceedings, citing Section 1 of Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court and
On October 25, 1966, petitioner-appellant Macias, in his own behalf and without informing his
Santos vs. Castillo;[1]
client Ricardo Vito Cruz, filed a similar but separate and independent petition, which was docketed as
Special Proceedings No. 67302 and assigned to Branch VI of the Manila Court of First Instance, then (3) that Special Proceedings No. 63866, which is an intestate proceeding merely for the administration of
presided by Judge Gaudencio Cloribel, alleging that he has a legal interest in Rosina's estate and praying Rosina's estate, is not a probate proceeding; and
for the probate of Rosina's will and codicils as well as for his (Macias') appointment as special administrator
(pp. 12-17, ROA). (4) that to dismiss and/or consolidate Special Proceedings No. 67302 with Special Proceedings No. 63866,
would frustrate the implementation of Rosina's will to provide, a suitable memorial in the City of Manila to
Because of petitioner-appellant's claim that he has a legal interest in Rosina's estate, Judge her parents and to provide help and assistance to her former Filipino dependents and those of their parents
Cloribel of Branch VI in an order dated October 27, 1966 set the hearing of the petition on December 17, (Annex "7", pp. 70-85, ROA).
1966 and appointed Macias special administrator (Annex "2", pp. 18-20, ROA). Accordingly,
petitioner-appellant Macias was issued letters of special administration on November 12, 1966 (Annex "3", In an order dated December 17, 1966, Judge Cloribel of Branch VI postponed the hearing of
pp. 21-22, ROA). Special Proceedings No. 67302 on the ground that the oppositors had raised a prejudicial question to the
effect that another case involving the very same matter is pending in Branch VIII presided over by Judge In an order dated February 11, 1967, pursuant to the agreement of the parties and the order dated
Barcelona (Annex "8", p.86, ROA). December 23, 1966 in Special Proceedings No. 67302 for the transfer of said special proceedings from
Branch VI, Honorable Manuel Barcelona, then Presiding Judge of Branch VIII allowed its consolidation with
In a pleading dated December 21, 1966, petitioner-appellant filed in both Special Proceedings Special Proceedings No. 63866 in his Branch VIII (Annex "17", pp. 127-128, ROA).
Nos. 63866 and 67302, a motion for the consolidation and joint hearing of both cases as they relate to the
same estate of Rosina (Annex "9", pp. 87-90, ROA). On the same day, February 11, 1967, Arturo M. del Rosario and Ricardo Vito Cruz filed before
Branch VIII a joint motion for an order authorizing the clerk of court to receive the evidence relative to the
In a pleading dated December 22, 1966 filed in both Special Proceedings Nos. 63866 and 67302, probate of the will (Annex "18", pp. 129-130, ROA).
Severino Baron, Anselmo A. Reyes, Paulino Andrada, Alfredo V. Walcott, Narciso S. Villanueva, Leonardo On February 13, 1967, respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz, thru counsel, filed a written manifestation before
Baron, Godofredo L. Duaño and Catalino S. Calimutan all mentioned in Julian's memorandum to Rosina Branch VIII praying for the resolution of his motion to dismiss Special Proceedings No. 67302 since it is now
endorsed petitioner-appellant's petition for his appointment as regular administrator with the will annexed of transferred to Branch VIII (Annex "18-A", p. 131, ROA).
Rosina's estate (Annex "10", pp. 91-95, ROA).
In a well-reasoned order dated February 20, 1967, Honorable Manuel Barcelona, then Presiding
In a manifestation dated December 23, 1966, Ricardo Vito Cruz stated that he does not object to Judge of Branch VIII, dismissed Special Proceedings No. 67302 (Annex "19", pp. 132-142, ROA).
the transfer of Special Proceedings No. 67302 to Branch VIII, with the qualification that he does not agree On March 8, 1967, petitioner-appellant filed a motion for the reconsideration of the aforesaid order of
with the allegations in the rest of the prayer of petitioner-appellant in his urgent motion for consolidation of February 20, 1967, followed by an urgent motion dated March 2, 1967 for suspension of hearings until after
cases filed on December 21, 1966 for the reasons he (Ricardo Vito Cruz) stated in his motion to dismiss resolution of his said motion for reconsideration (Annexes "20" & "21", pp. 143-158, ROA).
filed on December 13, 1966 (Annex "11", pp. 94-95, ROA).
In an order dated December 23, 1966, Judge Cloribel of Branch VI ordered the transfer of Special On March 9, 1967, respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz filed his opposition to the motion for the
Proceedings No. 67302 to Branch VIII if "the Presiding Judge therein has no objection to said transfer" reconsideration of the order of February 20, 1967 (Annex "22", pp. 159-172, ROA), to which
(Annex "12", p. 96, ROA). petitioner-appellant filed his reply dated March 15, 1967 (Annex "23", pp. 173-188, ROA).

On January 6, 1967, petitioner-appellant filed his opposition to the petition of Ricardo Vito Cruz for
appointment as regular administrator of Rosina's estate in Special Proceedings No. 63866, because, On April 6, 1967, respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz filed a rejoinder to the reply (Annex "24", pp.
among others, of the alleged corrupt practices of Ricardo Vito Cruz with a view to his unjust enrichment at 189-193, ROA), to which petitioner-appellant filed a surrejoinder dated April 16, 1967 (Annex "25", pp.
the expense of the estate and his alleged wasteful administration of the same (Annex "13", pp. 97-105, 194-203, ROA).
On January 12, 1967, petitioner-appellant filed an urgent motion for the resolution of his urgent In an order dated April 22, 1967, the Court denied the motion for reconsideration of petitioner-appellant
motion for, consolidation of the two cases and for their joint hearing on January 14, 1967 and of his (Annex "26", pp. 204-208, ROA), who filed his notice of appeal therefrom dated May 19, 1967 (Annex "27",
urgent ex parte motion for the probate of the will and codicils of Rosina (Annex "14", pp. 106-109, ROA). pp. 209-210, ROA).
Respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz, through counsel, filed an opposition thereto in a pleading dated ISSUE:
January 12, 1967 claiming that he did not agree to the consolidation of Special Proceedings No. 67302 nor
to its joint hearing with Special Proceedings No. 63866, and praying that Special Proceedings No. 67302 be
WON the Presiding Judge of Branch VIII has no authority to dismiss Special Proceedings No. 67302 and
dismissed outright (Annex "15", pp. 110-114, ROA).
should hear jointly said Special Proceedings No. 67302 and Special Proceedings No. 63866

In a manifestation dated January 17, 1967, respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz stated that the order of HELD:
Judge Cloribel of Branch VI dated December 23, 1966 directing the transfer of Special Proceedings No.
67302 to Branch VIII if the presiding judge therein has no objection to said transfer, is not an order for the The appeal is devoid of merit.
consolidation of the two cases and that on January 14, 1967 respondent Judge Manuel Barcelona of
Branch VIII directed the transfer of Special Proceedings No. 67302 from Branch VI to Branch VIII; and WE reiterated the rule that "Under Section 1 of Rule 73, Rules of Court, 'the court first taking
moved that, the two cases being the same, Special Proceedings No. 67302 should be dismissed, otherwise cognizance of the settlement of the estates of the deceased, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all
there will be duplicity even if it will be heard jointly with Special Proceedings No. 63866 and will complicate other courts.' Pursuant to this provision, therefore all questions concerning the settlement of the estate of
matters and violate the prohibition against multiplicity of suits (Annex "15-A", pp. 115-118, ROA). the deceased Rosina Marguerite Wolfson should be filed before Branch VIII of the Manila Court of First
Instance, then presided over by former Judge, now Justice of the Court of Appeals, Manuel Barcelona,
On January 21, 1967, petitioner-appellant filed his opposition to the petition of Arturo M. del where Special Proceedings No. 63866 for the settlement of the testate estate of the deceased Rosina
Rosario dated August 11, 1966 and filed on August 13, 1966 for his appointment as ancillary administrator Marguerite Wolfson was filed and is still pending."
on the ground that he has no legal interest in the estate, invoking Section 2 of Rule 79 of the Rules of Court
and the case of Testate Estate of Rosalia Saquitan, Eulogio S. Eusebio vs. Domingo Valmores, Vicenta
Siscar, oppositor-appellant[2] (Annex "16", pp. 119-126, ROA). Paraphrasing the jurisprudence on this score, the salutary purpose of the rule is to prevent
confusion and delay. It is not inserted in the law for the benefit of the parties litigant but in the public interest
for the better administration of justice, for which reason the parties have no control over it. [4] Consequently, Considering these circumstances, the unusual interest on the part of petitioner-appellant in insisting in filing
every challenge to the validity of the will, any objection to its authentication, every demand or claim by any a separate probate proceeding and in seeking his own appointment as administrator of Rosina's estate is
heir, legatee or party in interest in intestate or testate succession must be acted upon and decided within rather curious, to say the least.
the same special proceedings, not in a separate action, and the same judge having jurisdiction in the
administration of the estate should take cognizance of the question raised, for he will be called upon to A respectable and self-respecting member of the Bar would consider indelicate such an act and
distribute or adjudicate the property to the interested parties. [5] WE stressed that the main function of a would restrain his hand in being too officious under the circumstances. He would not institute several
probate court is to settle and liquidate the estates of the deceased either summarily or through the process actions to protect his interest, when one suit will suffice, thus minimizing the clogging of the dockets of the
of administration; and towards this end, the probate court has to determine who the heirs are and their courts.
respective shares in the net assets of the estate.[6] Petitioner-appellant's pretension that he was not aware of the petition filed on August 13, 1966 by
Atty. Arturo del Rosario for the probate of the will and codicils of Rosina in the same Special Proceedings
No. 63866, even if true, does not justify his initiating another proceeding for the same purpose, separate
Generally, consolidation and joint hearing of the two cases would have been proper if they do not from and independent of Special Proceedings No. 63866. In this connection, his pretension cannot be
involve settlement of the estate of a decedent, which is covered by a special provision of the Rules of Court, believed because he was the one who filed on January 10, 1966 Special Proceedings No. 63866 in behalf
namely Section 1 of Rule 73, the specific command of which should be obeyed. At any rate, motions for of appellee Ricardo Vito Cruz whose appointment as special administrator he secured and whose
consolidation are addressed to the sound discretion of the court; and WE do not find that the trial judge appointment as regular administrator he prayed for. Upon knowing of the existence of Rosina's will and
gravely abused his discretion in reconsidering the prior order for the consolidation of the two special codicils, petitioner-appellant would reasonably be expected to examine and study the records of Special
proceedings for the settlement of the same estate and dismissing Special Proceedings No. 67302, to Proceedings No. 63866 long before he filed on October 25, 1966 his separate petition for probate of the
warrant the exercise of Our supervisory authority over the lower court which has wide discretion in this same will and codicils assigned to Branch VI, and consequently he must have necessarily discovered the
regard.[8] As a matter of fact, the Honorable Presiding Judge of Branch VIII exercised sound discretion in existence in the record of Special Proceedings No. 63866 of the petition for probate filed by Atty. Arturo del
directing the dismissal of Special Proceedings No. 67302. The trial court is not precluded from dismissing Rosario. Because such a petition would nullify his obvious desire to have a hand in the administration of
one case after ordering the consolidation and joint hearing of the two cases; because under Section 1 of Rosina's estate through his former client, appellee Ricardo Vito Cruz, feigning ignorance of the petition of
Rule 31, after ordering consolidation, the court "may make such orders concerning proceedings therein as Atty. Arturo del Rosario, he filed a separate independent petition for probate which is docketed as Special
may tend to avoid unnecessary costs or delay." Proceedings No. 67302 hoping thereby to preserve the chances of his claim being recognized by the court
and of being appointed regular administrator instead of filing the same petition in Special Proceedings No.
As hinted in the aforequoted portion of the appealed order of April 22, 1967, if petitioner-appellant 63866 for the conversion of the said proceedings from intestate to testate. This act on his part reveals a
wants to be appointed as regular administrator, he can file his petition therefor, as he in fact did, in Special motive that is hardly flattering to him as a member of the bar and as an officer of the court.
Proceedings No. 63866.
WHEREFORE, the appealed orders dated February 20, 1967 and April 22, 1967 are hereby affirmed and
Even if it were true that appellee Vito Cruz intends to suppress, as claimed by petitioner-appellant, the appeal is hereby dismissed, with costs against petitioner-appellant.
Julian's memorandum to his sister Rosina wherein Julian expressed the hope that Rosina will deliver at her
convenience to petitioner-appellant the sum of P500.00 minus taxes, such a design cannot prevent him
from presenting the said memorandum in Special Proceedings No. 63866, a copy of which he apparently
possesses because he attached the same as Appendix "A" to his brief (p.225, appellant's brief).

As a matter of fact, Julian's memorandum was presented in Special Proceedings No. 57405 over
his estate by Severino Baron and Faustino Reis, also named therein as favored recipients of the bounty of
Julian (see order of Judge Conrado Vasquez in Special Proceedings No. 57405 on pp. 25-27 of appellant's
brief in G.R. No. L-28947).
Appellant himself already presented said memorandum as his Exhibit B-Macias in said Special
Proceedings No. 57405 over Julian's estate, which is the subject of his appeal in G.R. No. L-28947.

It would seem presumptuous on the part of petitioner-appellant that Rosina's desire as expressed
in her will to provide a suitable memorial in the City of Manila to her parents and to provide help and
assistance to her former dependents and those of their parents, could not be adequately implemented by
the probate court.
It should be noted from his said memorandum that the late Julian Wolfson expressly hoped that his
sister will deliver to petitioner-appellant at her convenience only the comparatively meager sum of P500.00,
the lowest accorded to his former employees by the late Julian A. Wolfson, who expressed the same hope
that Rosina at her convenience will deliver to three of his employees P10,000.00 each and to two remaining
employees P1,000.00 each, less taxes. It is likewise significant that the deceased Julian Wolfson preferred
to leave his last instructions to Ricardo Vito Cruz, his accountant, and not to petitioner-appellant, an
experienced lawyer of long standing and Julian's former assistant for several years in his law firm.
G.R. No. L-17863 November 28, 1962 2. That the respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that the only logical conclusion is that
the P20,000.00 in Japanese money paid by the Japanese military authorities to petitioner Manuel
MANUEL H. BARREDO, ET AL., petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL., respondents. H. Barredo were paid for the redemption of promissory note secured by mortgage of the four
FACTS: The present appeal by the heirs of the late Fausto Barredo involves a tardy claim to
collect the face value of a promissory note from the intestate estate of the late Charles A. It is pertinent to state before discussing the argumentation of counsel that in view of the burning and
McDonough, represented herein by the administrator, W. I. Douglas. destruction of the buildings which were the subject of the mortgage, the petitioners manifested
their wish to abandon their security and prosecute the claim against the estate as for a simple
The promissory note was secured by a mortgage in favor of Fausto Barredo over the leasehold money debt, and that when the Barredo heirs filed their claim, no order of distribution had entered in
rights of McDonough on the greater portion of a parcel of registered land owned by Constantino the proceedings.
Factor, and over four (4) houses which McDonough had constructed on the leased land. The lease
contract between Factor and McDonough provided for a term of 10 years. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner’s tardy claim should be allowed.

Upon Fausto Barredo's death, his heirs, in a deed of extrajudicial partition, adjudicated unto HELD: No.
themselves the secured credit of the deceased, and had the same recorded on the aforesaid
certificate of title.
Section 2, Rule 87, of the Rules of Court reads:

This annotation was, however, cancelled when Manuel H. Barredo was ordered to appeal before an
SEC. 2. Time within which claims shall be filed. — In the notice provided in section 1, the court shall
officer of the Japanese Imperial Army at the Army and Navy Club and was commanded to bring
state the time for the filing of claims against the estate, which shall not be more than twelve nor less
with him all the documents pertaining to the mortgage executed by the late McDonough whose
than six months after the date of the first publication of the notice. However, at any time before an
private properties, because of his enemy citizenship, were, in the words of the Court of Appeals,
order of distribution is entered, on application of a creditor who has failed to file his claim within the
"appropriated by the triumphant invader". Manuel H. Barredo was paid P20,000.00 in Japanese war
time previously limited, the court may, for cause shown and on such terms as are equitable, allow
notes by the occupation authorities and made to sign, as he did sign, a certification stating "that in
such claim to be filed within a time not exceeding one month.
consideration of P20,000.00 which I have received today, I am requested the Register of Deeds to cancel
the mortgage of these properties"; and, as requested, the cancellation was inscribed at the back of the title.
The probate court previously fixed the period for filing claims at six (6) months reckoned from the date of
first publication, and the said notice to creditors was first published on 23 August 1945. The present
Charles McDonough died; thereupon, Special Proceedings No. 70173 of the Court of First Instance
claim was filed on 22 October 1947. There is no doubt, therefore, that the claim was filed outside of
of Manila, captioned "In re: Intestate Estate of Charles A. McDonough", was instituted; and pursue a
the period previously fixed. But a tardy claim may be allowed, at the discretion of the court, upon
court order of 17 August 1945, the administrator caused to be published in the "Philippine Progress" for
showing of cause for failure to present said claim on time.
three consecutive weeks, on 23 and 30 August 1945 and 6 September 1945, a notice to creditors requiring
them to their claims with the clerk of court within 6 months reckoned from the date of its first publication
The respondent administrator, relying on the case of the Estate of Howard J. Edmands, 87 Phil. 405,
and expiring 23 February 1946.
argues that the one-month period for filing late claims mentioned in Section 2, Rule 87, of the Rules of
Court should be counted from the expiration of the regular six-month period, but this pronouncement was
On 22 October 1947, the heirs of Fausto Barredo filed their belated claim against the estate of
but an obiter dictum that did not resolve the issue involved in said case. The true ruling appears in the case
McDonough. This claim was opposed by the administrator. After hearing the lower court allowed the
of Paulin vs. Aquino, L-11267, March 20, 1958, wherein the controverted one month period was clarified
claim, but the Court of Appeals reversed the order of allowance; hence, the Barredo heirs appealed to
as follows:
this Court, assigning the alleged errors:

The one-month period specified in this section is the time granted claimants, and the same is to
1. That the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the "one month" period referred to in Section 2
begin from the order authorizing the filing of the claims. It does not mean that the extension of one
of Rule 87 of Rules of Court is to be counted from and after the expiration of the six-month period
month starts from the expiration of the original period fixed by the court for the presentation of
fixed in the published notice to claims, and in further holding that the trial court had therefore
committed a reversible error in admitting and allowing the claim of herein petitioners; and
However, the probate court's discretion in allowing a claim after the regular period for filing claims
but before entry of an order of distribution presupposes not only claim for apparent merit but also that
cause existed to justify the tardiness in filing the claim. Here, petitioners alleged as excuse for their
tardiness the recent recovery of the papers of the late Fausto Barredo from the possession of his
lawyer who is now deceased. This ground insufficient, due to the availability, and knowledge by
the petitioners, of the annotation at the back of the certificate of title of the mortgage embodying
the instant claim, as well as the payment of P20,000.00 made by the Japanese military authorities.

The order of the trial court allowing the late claim without justification, because under Section 2,
Rule 8 of the Rules of Court, said court has no authority to admit a belated claim for no cause or for
an insufficient cause.1

In view of the conclusions thus arrived at, it becomes unnecessary to discuss whether the payment by the
Japanese was intended as a discharge of the promissory note. Suffice it to say that there is no other
cogent explanation for the payment made to the mortgagees, who were not the owners of the encumbered

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, the appealed decision is affirmed, with costs against the petitioners.
G.R. No. L-18403 September 30, 1961  That the said claim is barred forever on the ground that notice to creditors having been published
in the MORNING TIMES of Cebu City, a newspaper of general circulation in on November 16, 23
IN RE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ESTATE OF PASCUAL VILLANUEVA. MAURICIA G. DE and 30, 1950, ... the Philippine National Bank failed to file its claim within the time limited in the
VILLANUEVA,petitioner, notice, ....
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, defendant-appellant. PNB: On November 14, 1958, more than four (4) Years after the opposition of the claim presented by the
administrator, filed a pleading captioned "Petition for an Extension of time within which to File the Claim of
NATURE OF THE ACTION: A case certified by the Court of Appeals on the ground that the issues involved Philippine National Bank", alleging, among others, that Sec. 2, Rule 87 of the Rules, allows the filing of
are purely of law. claims even if the period stated in the notice to creditors elapsed:

FACTS:  upon cause shown and on such terms as equitable;

 that its failure to present the claiming with the period stated in the notice, was its lack of knowledge
of administration proceedings, for while said maintains a branch office in Agusan, the employees
Pascual Villanueva, the widow Mauricia G. Villanueva, petitioned the CFI of Agusan, for letters of
did not come to know of the proceedings, the notice has been published in the Morning Times, a
newspaper very limited circulation.

 Other heirs while agreeing to the placing of estate under administration, opposed the appointment CFI: Barred by the statute of limitations
the widow.
 Atty. Teodulo R. Ricaforte entered upon the performance of his duties as administrator
 Claim was due and demandable since December 20, 1940
 Filed on July 20, 1953, after the expiration of ten years, considering that said filing was furthermore
Clerk of the Agusan CFI, issued Notice to Creditors
not present court within the period fixed by Sec. 2, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court,
 No reason having been shown to justify the extension of time for its filing, the Court resolves to
 Publication thru the Morning Times of City, a newspaper of general circulation, on Nov. 16, 23 and deny the petition for an extension of time for filing of the claim by the PNB
30, 1950, which expired on November 16, 1951.  Failure of the Bank to present on time the claim was due its own fault and can hardly be
considered excusable negligence.
PNB filed a Creditor's Claim
 Original amount: P600.00
 10% interest: 747.45  Filed an MR arguing that the statute of limitations had been suspended by the Moratorium Law,
 Total due: P1,347.45  And that the courts can extend the period limited in the notice, under special circumstances, and
 Due demandable since Dec. 20, 1940 on grounds of equity (Velasquez v. Teod 46 Phil. 757).
 Special circumstances to warrant the of the extension to present the claim:
PNB filed a Motion for Admission of claim, stating — o The lack of knowledge of the pendency of the administration proceedings;
o the legitimacy of the loan secured the deceased;
o that when it filed the claim, it did know that the period stated in the notice had already
 That the Philippine National Bank filed its claim dated July 20, 1953; expired.
 That the last action taken on the claim was an ordered this Honorable Court issued on March 20,
1954, transferring the hearing of the claim until the next calendar of the court, without objection of
the administrator; CFI:
 That the administrator has not answered the claim nor denied the same.1awphîl.nèt
 Filing of money claim on July 20, 1953 in the Office of the Clerk of Court did not suspend running of
Administrator: Opposed alleging that he had no knowledge of such. As special defenses, he interposed — the period of prescription because said claim was filed out of time and therefore invalid for all legal
 PNB had knowledge of the present administration proceedings long before July 20, 1953, because
 That the same indebtedness, if it existed, has already been paid; the second payment of the claim due to the deceased Pascual Villanueva from the Philippine War
 Barred by the statute of limitations, for more than ten (10) Years have elapsed since the cause of Damage Commission in the amount of P6,441.30, was deposited in the Agusan Agency of the
action accrued up to present time; Bank in June, 1951.
 MR denied

Whether or not the in question is already barred.


Claim was filed outside of the period provided for in the Order of the lower court, within which to present
claims against the estate.

 The period fixed in the notice lapsed on November 16, 1951

 Claim was filed on July 20, 1953 or about 1 year and 8 months late.
 Petition for Letters of Administration and the Notice to Creditors were duly published in the:
o Manila Daily Bulletin
o Morning Times, respectively
 Supposed lack of knowledge of the proceedings on the part of appellant and its employees had
been belied by uncontested and eloquent evidence, consisting of a deposit of an amount of money
by the administrator Of the estate in said Bank (Agusan Agency).
o The deposit was made on December 1, 1951, inspite of which the appellant Bank only
filed its claim on July 20, 1953.
 Lower court did not find any justifiable reason to give the extension and for one thing, there was no
period to extend, the same had elapsed.
 No need to discuss issue on Moratorium Law

STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC vs. REPUBLIC-ASAHI GLASS CORPORATION According to the Sheriff’s Return, summons were duly served on defendant-appellee SICI. However, x x x
Jose D. Santos, Jr. died the previous year (1990), and x x x JDS Construction was no longer at its address
DOCTRINE: A surety company’s liability under the performance bond it issues is solidary. The death of the at 2nd Floor, Room 208-A, San Buena Bldg. Cor. Pioneer St., Pasig, Metro Manila, and its whereabouts
principal obligor does not, as a rule, extinguish the obligation and the solidary nature of that liability. were unknown.

FACTS: [Petitioner] SICI filed its answer, alleging that the [respondent’s] money claims against [petitioner and JDS]
have been extinguished by the death of Jose D. Santos, Jr. Even if this were not the case, [petitioner] SICI
had been released from its liability under the performance bond because there was no liquidation, with the
On May 24, 1989, [respondent] Republic-Asahi Glass Corporation (Republic-Asahi) entered into a contract active participation and/or involvement, pursuant to procedural due process, of herein surety and contractor
with Jose D. Santos, Jr., the proprietor of JDS Construction (JDS), for the construction of roadways and a Jose D. Santos, Jr., hence, there was no ascertainment of the corresponding liabilities of Santos and SICI
drainage system in Republic-Asahi’s compound in Barrio Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City which was supposed to under the performance bond.
be completed within a period of two hundred forty (240). In order ‘to guarantee the faithful and satisfactory
performance of its undertakings, JDS, shall post a performance bond of seven hundred ninety five thousand
pesos (P795,000.00). JDS executed, jointly and severally with [petitioner] Stronghold Insurance Co., Inc. LOWER COURT: Dismissed the complaint of [respondent] against x x x JDS and SICI, on the ground that
(SICI) Performance Bond No. SICI-25849/g(13)9769. the claim against JDS did not survive the death of its sole proprietor, Jose D. Santos, Jr.

On May 23, 1989, [respondent] paid to JDS seven hundred ninety five thousand pesos (P795,000.00) by MR: Given due course. However, the case against defendant Jose D. Santos, Jr. (deceased) remains
way of downpayment. undisturbed.

"Two progress billings for the total amount of two hundred seventy four thousand six hundred twenty one [petitioner] SICI filed its ‘Memorandum for Bondsman/Defendant SICI (Re: Effect of Death of defendant
pesos and one centavo (P274,621.01) were submitted by JDS to [respondent], which the latter paid. Jose D. Santos, Jr.)’ reiterating its prayer for the dismissal of [respondent’s] complaint.
According to [respondent], these two progress billings accounted for only 7.301% of the work supposed to
be undertaken by JDS under the terms of the contract. COURT OF APPEALS: The CA ruled that SICI’s obligation under the surety agreement was not
extinguished by the death of Jose D. Santos, Jr. Consequently, Republic-Asahi could still go after SICI for
"Several times, [respondent’s] engineers called the attention of JDS to the alleged alarmingly slow pace of the bond.
the construction, which resulted in the fear that the construction will not be finished within the stipulated
240-day period. However, said reminders went unheeded by JDS. The appellate court also found that the lower court had erred in pronouncing that the performance of the
Contract in question had become impossible by respondent’s act of rescission. The Contract was rescinded
Dissatisfied with the progress of the work undertaken by JDS, [respondent] Republic-Asahi extrajudicially because of the dissatisfaction of respondent with the slow pace of work and pursuant to Article XIII of its
rescinded the contract pursuant to Article XIII of said contract, and wrote a letter to JDS informing the latter Contract with JDS.
of such rescission. Such rescission, according to Article XV of the contract shall not be construed as a
waiver of [respondent’s] right to recover damages from JDS and the latter’s sureties. The CA ruled that "[p]erformance of the [C]ontract was impossible, not because of [respondent’s] fault, but
because of the fault of JDS Construction and Jose D. Santos, Jr. for failure on their part to make satisfactory
[Respondent] alleged that, as a result of JDS’s failure to comply with the provisions of the contract, which progress on the project, which amounted to non-performance of the same. x x x [P]ursuant to the [S]urety
resulted in the said contract’s rescission, it had to hire another contractor to finish the project, for which it [C]ontract, SICI is liable for the non-performance of said [C]ontract on the part of JDS Construction." 5
incurred an additional expense of three million two hundred fifty six thousand, eight hundred seventy four
pesos (P3,256,874.00). Petitioner states the issue for the Court’s consideration in the following manner:

[Respondent] sent two letters to [petitioner] SICI filing its claim under the bond for not less "Death is a defense of Santos’ heirs which Stronghold could also adopt as its defense against obligee’s
than P795,000.00 but both were unheeded. claim."7

"[Respondent] then filed [a] complaint against JDS and SICI. It sought from x x x JDS payment More precisely, the issue is whether petitioner’s liability under the performance bond was automatically
of P3,256,874.00 representing the additional expenses incurred by [respondent] for the completion of the extinguished by the death of Santos, the principal.
project using another contractor, and from x x x JDS and SICI, jointly and severally, payment
of P750,000.00 as damages in accordance with the performance bond; exemplary damages in the amount ISSUE:
of P100,000.00 and attorney’s fees in the amount of at least P100,000.00.
Whether the death of Santos affects the Surety’s Liability.
HELD: Under the law and jurisprudence, respondent may sue, separately or together, the principal debtor and the
petitioner herein, in view of the solidary nature of their liability. The death of the principal debtor will not work
The Petition has no merit. to convert, decrease or nullify the substantive right of the solidary creditor. Evidently, despite the death of
the principal debtor, respondent may still sue petitioner alone, in accordance with the solidary nature of the
latter’s liability under the performance bond.
Petitioner contends that the death of Santos, the bond principal, extinguished his liability under the surety
bond. Consequently, it says, it is automatically released from any liability under the bond.

As a general rule, the death of either the creditor or the debtor does not extinguish the
obligation.8 Obligations are transmissible to the heirs, except when the transmission is prevented by the
law, the stipulations of the parties, or the nature of the obligation. 9 Only obligations that are personal10 or
are identified with the persons themselves are extinguished by death. 11

Section 5 of Rule 8612 of the Rules of Court expressly allows the prosecution of money claims arising from
a contract against the estate of a deceased debtor. Evidently, those claims are not actually
extinguished.13 What is extinguished is only the obligee’s action or suit filed before the court, which is not
then acting as a probate court.14

In the present case, whatever monetary liabilities or obligations Santos had under his contracts with
respondent were not intransmissible by their nature, by stipulation, or by provision of law. Hence, his death
did not result in the extinguishment of those obligations or liabilities, which merely passed on to his
estate.15 Death is not a defense that he or his estate can set up to wipe out the obligations under the
performance bond. Consequently, petitioner as surety cannot use his death to escape its monetary
obligation under its performance bond.

As a surety, petitioner is solidarily liable with Santos in accordance with the Civil Code, which provides as

"Art. 2047. By guaranty a person, called the guarantor, binds himself to the creditor to fulfill the obligation of
the principal debtor in case the latter should fail to do so.

"If a person binds himself solidarily with the principal debtor, the provisions of Section 4, 17 Chapter 3, Title I
of this Book shall be observed. In such case the contract is called a suretyship."


"Art. 1216. The creditor may proceed against any one of the solidary debtors or some or all of them
simultaneously. The demand made against one of them shall not be an obstacle to those which may
subsequently be directed against the others, so long as the debt has not been fully collected."

Elucidating on these provisions, the Court in Garcia v. Court of Appeals 18 stated thus:

"x x x. The surety’s obligation is not an original and direct one for the performance of his own act, but merely
accessory or collateral to the obligation contracted by the principal. Nevertheless, although the contract of a
surety is in essence secondary only to a valid principal obligation, his liability to the creditor or promisee of
the principal is said to be direct, primary and absolute; in other words, he is directly and equally bound with
the principal. x x x."19
MELENCIO GABRIEL, represented by surviving spouse, FLORDELIZA V. GABRIEL, petitioner, vs.

On November 15, 1995, respondents filed their separate complaints for illegal dismissal, illegal The NLRC rendered its second decision on October 29, 1998. The pertinent portions are hereby quoted
deductions, and separation pay against petitioner with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). thus:
On December 15, 1995, the complaint was amended, impleading as party respondent
In the case at bar, [petitioner] Melencio Gabriel was not represented by counsel during
the Bacoor Transport Service Cooperative, Inc., as both parties are members of the cooperative.
the pendency of the case. A decision was rendered by the Labor Arbiter a quo on March
17, 1997 while Mr. Gabriel passed away on April 4, 1997 without having received a copy
On March 17, 1997, the Labor Arbiter (Hon. Ricardo C. Nora) handed down his decision, thereof during his lifetime. The decision was only served on April 18, 1997 when he was
the dispositive portion of which is worded as follows: no longer around to receive the same. His surviving spouse and daughter cannot
automatically substitute themselves as party respondents. Thus, when the bailiff
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered declaring the tendered a copy of the decision to them, they were not in a position to receive them. The
illegality of [respondents] dismissal and ordering [petitioner] MelencioGabriel to requirement of leaving a copy at the partys residence is not applicable in the instant
pay the [respondents] the total amount of ONE MILLION THIRTY FOUR THOUSAND case because this presupposes that the party is still living and is just not available to
PESOS [P1,034,000,] representing [respondents] backwages and separation paY. receive the decision.

The preceding considered, the decision of the labor arbiter has not become final
Incidentally, on April 4, 1997, petitioner passed away. On April 18, 1997, a copy of the above decision
because there was no proper service of copy thereof to [petitioner] .
was delivered personally to petitioners house. According to respondents, petitioners surviving
spouse, Flordeliza Gabriel, and their daughter, after reading the contents of the decision and after they Undoubtedly, this case is for recovery of money which does not survive, and considering
had spoken to their counsel, refused to receive the same. Nevertheless, Bailiff Alfredo V. Estonactoc left a that the decision has not become final, the case should have been dismissed and the
copy of the decision with petitioners wife and her daughter but they both refused to sign and acknowledge appeal no longer entertained.
receipt of the decision.[7]
The labor arbiters decision was subsequently served by registered mail at petitioners residence
Aggrieved by the decision of the NLRC, respondents elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (CA) by
and the same was received on May 28, 1997. On May 16, 1997, counsel for petitioner filed an entry of
way of a petition for certiorari. On August 4, 2000, the CA reversed the decisions of the NLRC:
appearance with motion to dismiss the case for the reason that petitioner passed away last April 4, 1997.
Xxx Thus, we disagree with the ratiocination of the NLRC that the death of the private
On June 5, 1997, petitioner appealed the labor arbiters decision to the National Labor respondent on April 4, 1997 ipso facto negates recovery of the money claim against the
Relations Commission, First Division. successors-in-interest . Rather, this situation comes within the aegis of Section 3, Rule
III of the NLRC Manual on Execution of Judgment, which provides:
On July 3, 1997, respondents filed a motion to dismiss petitioners appeal on the ground that the surety
SECTION 3. Execution in Case of Death of Party. Where a
bond is defective and the appeal was filed out of time, which move was opposed by petitioner.
party dies after the finality of the decision/entry of judgment of order,
execution thereon may issue or one already issued may be enforced
Subsequently, on April 28, 1998, the NLRC promulgated its first decision, the dispositive portion of which in the following cases:
a) x x x ;
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appealed decision is hereby reversed and set b) In case of death of the losing party, against his
aside. The above-entitled case is hereby dismissed for lack of employer-employee successor-in-interest, executor or administrator;
c) In case of death of the losing party after execution is
actually levied upon any of his property, the same may be
sold for the satisfaction thereof, and the sheriff making the
sale shall account to his successor-in-interest, executor or
administrator for any surplus in his hands.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied by the CA in a resolution
dated February 7, 2001.

ISSUE: whether the claim survives.


With regard to respondents monetary claim, the same shall be governed by Section 20 (then Section 21),
Rule 3 of the Rules of Court which provides:

SEC. 20. Action on contractual money claims. When the action is for recovery of money
arising from contract, express or implied, and the defendant dies before entry of final
judgment in the court in which the action was pending at the time of such death, it shall
not be dismissed but shall instead be allowed to continue until entry of final judgment. A
favorable judgment obtained by the plaintiff therein shall be enforced in the manner
provided in these Rules for prosecuting claims against the estate of a deceased person.

In relation to this, Section 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court states:

SEC. 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. If not filed, barred ; exceptions. All
claims for money against the decedent arising from contract, express or implied,
whether the same be due, not due, or contingent, ... and judgment for money against the
decedent, must be filed within the time limited in the notice; otherwise they are barred
forever, except that they may be set forth as counterclaims in any action that the
executor or administrator may bring against the claimants.

Thus, in accordance with the above Rules, the money claims of respondents must be filed against the
estate of petitioner Melencio Gabriel.[25]
#39. Union Bank v Santibanez GR No. 149926 February 23, 2005

Facts: Issues:

On May 31, 1980, the First Countryside Credit Corporation (FCCC) and Efraim M. Santibaez entered a) whether or not the partition in the Agreement executed by the heirs is valid;
into a loan agreement[3] in the amount of P128,000.00. The amount was intended for the payment of the b) whether or not the heirs assumption of the indebtedness of the deceased is valid
purchase price of one (1) unit Ford 6600 Agricultural All-Purpose Diesel Tractor. In view thereof, Efraim and
his son, Edmund, executed a promissory note in favor of the FCCC, the principal sum payable in five equal
annual amortizations of P43,745.96 due on May 31, 1981 and every May 31 st thereafter up to May 31, Held:
In testate succession, there can be no valid partition among the heirs until after the will has been probated.
On December 13, 1980, the FCCC and Efraim entered into another loan agreement,[4] this time in the The law enjoins the probate of a will and the public requires it, because unless a will is probated and notice
amount of P123,156.00. Again, Efraim and his son, Edmund, executed a promissory note for the said thereof given to the whole world, the right of a person to dispose of his property by will may be rendered
amount in favor of the FCCC. Aside from such promissory note, they also signed a Continuing Guaranty nugatory. The authentication of a will decides no other question than such as touch upon the capacity of the
Agreement[5] for the loan dated December 13, 1980. testator and the compliance with those requirements or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity
Sometime in February 1981, Efraim died, leaving a holographic will. [6] Edmund, as one of the heirs, of a will.[22]
was appointed as the special administrator of the estate of the decedent.[7] During the pendency of the
testate proceedings, the surviving heirs, Edmund and his sister Florence Santibaez Ariola, executed a Joint The joint agreement[25] executed by Edmund and Florence, partitioning the tractors among
Agreement[8] dated July 22, 1981, wherein they agreed to divide between themselves and take possession themselves, is invalid, specially so since at the time of its execution, there was already a pending
of the three (3) tractors; that is, two (2) tractors for Edmund and one (1) tractor for Florence. Each of them proceeding for the probate of their late fathers holographic will covering the said tractors.
was to assume the indebtedness of their late father to FCCC, corresponding to the tractor respectively
taken by them. Moreover, it is within the jurisdiction of the probate court to determine the identity of the heirs of the
decedent.[28] In the instant case, there is no showing that the signatories in the joint agreement were the
On August 20, 1981, a Deed of Assignment with Assumption of Liabilities [9] was executed by and only heirs of the decedent. When it was executed, the probate of the will was still pending before the court
between FCCC and Union Savings and Mortgage Bank, wherein the FCCC as the assignor, among others, and the latter had yet to determine who the heirs of the decedent were. Thus, for Edmund and respondent
assigned all its assets and liabilities to Union Savings and Mortgage Bank. Florence S. Ariola to adjudicate unto themselves the three (3) tractors was a premature act, and prejudicial
to the other possible heirs and creditors who may have a valid claim against the estate of the deceased.
Demand letters[10] for the settlement of his account were sent by petitioner Union Bank of the
Philippines (UBP) to Edmund, but the latter failed to heed the same and refused to pay. Thus, on February The question that now comes to fore is whether the heirs assumption of the indebtedness of the
5, 1988, the petitioner filed a Complaint[11] for sum of money against the heirs of Efraim Santibaez, Edmund decedent is binding. We rule in the negative.
and Florence, before the RTC of Makati City.
The Court notes that the loan was contracted by the decedent. The petitioner, purportedly a creditor of
On December 7, 1988, respondent Florence S. Ariola filed her Answer[13] and alleged that the loan the late Efraim Santibaez, should have thus filed its money claim with the probate court in accordance with
documents did not bind her since she was not a party thereto. Considering that the joint agreement signed Section 5, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court, which provides:
by her and her brother Edmund was not approved by the probate court, it was null and void; hence, she was
not liable to the petitioner under the joint agreement. Section 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. If not filed barred; exceptions. All claims for money
The trial court found that the claim of the petitioner should have been filed with the probate court against the decedent, arising from contract, express or implied, whether the same be due, not due, or
before which the testate estate of the late Efraim Santibaez was pending, as the sum of money being contingent, all claims for funeral expenses for the last sickness of the decedent, and judgment for money
claimed was an obligation incurred by the said decedent. The trial court also found that the Joint Agreement against the decedent, must be filed within the time limited in the notice; otherwise they are barred forever,
apparently executed by his heirs, Edmund and Florence, on July 22, 1981, was, in effect, a partition of the except that they may be set forth as counterclaims in any action that the executor or administrator may bring
estate of the decedent. However, the said agreement was void, considering that it had not been approved against the claimants. Where an executor or administrator commences an action, or prosecutes an action
by the probate court, and that there can be no valid partition until after the will has been probated. already commenced by the deceased in his lifetime, the debtor may set forth by answer the claims he has
against the decedent, instead of presenting them independently to the court as herein provided, and mutual
The appellate court found that the appeal was not meritorious and held that the petitioner should have claims may be set off against each other in such action; and if final judgment is rendered in favor of the
filed its claim with the probate court as provided under Sections 1 and 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court. It defendant, the amount so determined shall be considered the true balance against the estate, as though
further held that the partition made in the agreement was null and void, since no valid partition may be had the claim had been presented directly before the court in the administration proceedings. Claims not yet
until after the will has been probated. According to the CA, page 2, paragraph (e) of the holographic will due, or contingent, may be approved at their present value.
covered the subject properties (tractors) in generic terms when the deceased referred to them as all other
properties. Moreover, the active participation of respondent Florence S. Ariola in the case did not amount to The filing of a money claim against the decedents estate in the probate court is mandatory.[30] As we
a waiver. held in the vintage case of Py Eng Chong v. Herrera:[31]
This requirement is for the purpose of protecting the estate of the deceased by informing the executor or
administrator of the claims against it, thus enabling him to examine each claim and to determine whether it
is a proper one which should be allowed. The plain and obvious design of the rule is the speedy settlement
of the affairs of the deceased and the early delivery of the property to the distributees, legatees, or heirs.
`The law strictly requires the prompt presentation and disposition of the claims against the decedent's
estate in order to settle the affairs of the estate as soon as possible, pay off its debts and distribute the

. As the petitioner failed to file its money claim with the probate court, at most, it may only go after
Edmund as co-maker of the decedent under the said promissory notes and continuing guaranty, of course,
subject to any defenses Edmund may have as against the petitioner.