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IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATE OF Arayat properties and (2) the abandonment of the properties

DECEASED ISMAEL REYES, THE HEIRS OF OSCAR R. by his co-heirs.


REYES vs. CESAR R. REYES
Petitioners claim that private respondent is already barred
FACTS: from claiming the Arayat properties since he only filed this
petition 16 years after the death of Ismael Reyes and after
Spouses Ismael Reyes and Felisa Revita Reyes are the the prices of the real properties in Cubao have already
registered owners of parcels of land situated in Arayat Street, escalated tremendously.
Cubao, Quezon City covered by Transfer Certificates of Title
Nos. 4983 and 3598. The spouses have seven children, ISSUE: Whether or not a trial court, acting as an
namely: Oscar, Araceli, Herminia, Aurora, Emmanuel, Cesar intestate court, hear and pass questions of ownership
and Rodrigo, all surnamed Reyes. involving properties claimed to be part of the decedent’s
estate?
In 1973, Ismael Reyes died intestate. Prior to his death,
Ismael Reyes was notified by the BIR of his income tax HELD: NO.
deficiency which arose out of his sale of a parcel land A probate court or one in charge of the proceedings whether
located in Tandang Sora, Quezon City. For failure to settle testate or intestate cannot adjudicate or determine title to
his tax liability and since no payment was made by the heirs, properties claimed to be a part of the estate and which are
the property covered by TCT No. 4983 was levied, sold and claimed to belong to others. The jurisdiction of the probate
eventually forfeited. court merely relates to matters having to do with the
Petitioners’ predecessor Oscar Reyes availed of the settlement of the estate and the probate of wills of deceased
BIR’s tax amnesty and he was able to redeem the persons, and the appointment and removal of administrators,
property . executors, guardians and trustees.[18] The question of
ownership is as a rule, an extraneous matter which the
Later, the Office of the City Treasurer sent a notice to Felisa Probate Court cannot resolve with finality.[19] Thus, for the
Revita Reyes informing her that the Arayat properties will be purpose of determining whether a certain property should or
sold at public for her failure to settle the real estate tax should not be included in the inventory of estate proceeding,
delinquency from 1974-1981.Oscar Reyes entered into an the probate court may pass upon the title thereto, but such
amnesty compromise agreement with the City Treasurer and determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is
settled the accounts of Felisa R. Reyes.[9] subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve
title
On May 10, 1989, private respondent Cesar Reyes, brother
of Oscar Reyes, filed a petition for issuance of letters of The general rule that question of title to property cannot be
administration with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City passed upon in the probate court admits of exceptions, i.e. if
praying for his appointment as administrator of the estate of the claimant and all other parties having legal interest in the
the deceased Ismael Reyes which estate included 50% of property consent, expressly or impliedly, to the submission of
the Arayat properties covered by TCT Nos. 4983 and 3598. the question to the probate court for adjudication, such has
no application in the instant case since petitioner-appellee
The probate court subsequently issued letters of and oppositor-appellant are not the only parties with legal
administration in favor of Cesar Reyes where the latter was interest in the subject property as they are not the only heirs
ordered to submit a true and complete inventory of of the decedent; that it was never shown that all parties
properties pertaining to the estate of the deceased. Oscar interested in the subject property or all the heirs of the
Reyes filed his conditional opposition thereto on the decedent consented to the submission of the question of
ground that the Arayat properties do not form part of the ownership to the intestate court.
estate of the deceased as he (Oscar) had acquired the
properties by redemption and or purchase.[11] Settled is the rule that the Regional Trial Court acting as a
probate court exercises but limited jurisdiction, thus it has no
Cesar Reyes filed an inventory of real and personal power to take cognizance of and determine the issue of title
properties of the deceased which included the Arayat to property claimed by a third person adversely to the
properties with a total area of 1,009 sq. meters.On the other decedent, unless the claimant and all other parties having
hand, Oscar Reyes filed his objection to the inventory legal interest in the property consent, expressly or impliedly,
reiterating that the Arayat properties had been forfeited in to the submission of the question to the Probate Court for
favor of the government and he was the one who adjudgment, or the interests of third persons are not thereby
subsequently redeemed the same from the BIR using his prejudiced.
own funds.
The facts in this case, however, do not call for the application
Petitioners argue that a probate court’s jurisdiction is not of the exception to the rule. It bears stress that the purpose
limited to the determination of who the heirs are and what why the probate court allowed the introduction of evidence
shares are due them as regards the estate of a deceased on ownership was for the sole purpose of determining
person since the probate court has the power and whether the subject properties should be included in the
competence to determine whether a property should be inventory which is within the probate court’s competence.
excluded from the inventory of the estate or not, thus the
Court a quo committed a reversible error when it included This ruling then, cannot be a final adjudication on the present
the Arayat properties in the inventory of the estate of Ismael and existing legal ownership of the properties. Whatever is
Reyes despite the overwhelming evidence presented by declared herein ought not to preclude oppositor from
petitioner-oppositor Oscar Reyes proving his claim of prosecuting an ordinary action for the purpose of having his
ownership. claims or rights established over the properties.
Petitioners contend that their claim of ownership over the
Arayat properties as testified to by their predecessor Oscar
was based on two (2) grounds: (1) his redemption of the
In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of Ismael The foregoing rule however provides for an
Reyes vs Cesar Reyes exception, that is: if the claimant and all other
parties having legal interest in the property
345 SCRA 541 – Civil Law – Wills and consent, expressly or impliedly, to the submission
Succession – Jurisdiction of the Probate Court of the question to the Probate Court for
adjudgment, or the interests of third persons are
The spouses Ismael and Felisa Reyes owned two not thereby prejudiced. In this case, not all
parcels of land (Lot A and Lot B) collectively parties, not all heirs, gave their consent to the
referred to as the Arayat properties located in probate court
Arayat, Cubao, Quezon City.

In 1973, Ismael died intestate. He was survived


by his wife Felisa, his children Oscar Reyes,
Cesar Reyes, and five other children. Before his
death however, Lot A was forfeited in favor of the
government due to his failure to pay the tax.

In 1976, Oscar was able to redeem the said


property.

In 1982, Lot B was also forfeited again in favor of


the government due to Felisa’s failure to pay
taxes. In 1986, Oscar was again able to redeem
Lot B.

In 1989, Cesar (brother of Oscar) filed a petition


to be the administrator of the estate of Ismael
which consists of the 50% of the Arayat
properties. Oscar filed his opposition thereto on
the ground that the estate Ismael was no longer
the owner of the said properties and that in fact
Oscar became the owner because he was the
one who redeemed the Arayat properties; that the
other heirs abandoned their shares; that Cesar’s
petition was filed belatedly because he only filed it
16 years after the death of their father.

The probate court however allowed the petition of


Cesar and approved the inclusion of the Arayat
properties into the estate of Ismael.

ISSUE: Whether or not the decision of the


probate court is proper.

HELD: Yes. The jurisdiction of the probate court


merely relates to matters having to do with the
settlement of the estate and the probate of wills of
deceased persons, and the appointment and
removal of administrators, executors, guardians
and trustees. The question of ownership is as a
rule, an extraneous matter which the Probate
Court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the
purpose of determining whether a certain property
should or should not be included in the inventory
of estate proceeding, the probate court may pass
upon the title thereto, but such determination
is provisional, not conclusive, and is subject to
the final decision in a separate action to resolve
title.
G.R. Nos. 187308 & 187517 the [sic] Register of Deeds with the approval of the
Commissioner of Land Registration, may apply by petition to
HILARIA BAGAYAS, Petitioner, the court upon the ground that x x x
vs.
ROGELIO BAGAYAS, FELICIDAD BAGAYAS, ROSALINA 1. Subsequently, however, petitioner filed, on August
BAGAYAS, MICHAEL BAGAYAS, and MARIEL 1, 2008, twin petitionsbefore the same RTC,
BAGAYAS, Respondents docketed as LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35, for the
amendment of TCT Nos. 375657 and 375658 to
On June 28, 2004, petitioner filed a complaint for annulment include her name and those of her heirs and
of sale and partition before the RTC, docketed as Civil Case successors-in-interest as registered owners to the
No. 04-42, claiming that Rogelio, Feli`cidad, Rosalina, extent of one-third of the lands covered therein. The
Michael, and Mariel, all surnamed Bagayas (respondents) petitions were anchored on Section 108 of
intended to exclude her from inheriting from the estate of her Presidential Decree No. (PD) 1529, otherwise
legally adoptive parents, Maximino Bagayas (Maximino) and known as the "Property Registration Decree," which
Eligia Clemente (Eligia), by falsifying a deed of absolute sale provides as follows:
(deed of absolute sale) purportedly executed by the
deceased spouses (Maximino and Eligia) transferring two Section 108. Amendment and alteration of certificates. No
parcels of land (subject lands) registered in their names to erasure, alteration, or amendment shall be made upon the
their biological children, respondent Rogelio and Orlando registration book after the entry of a certificate of title or of a
Bagayas (Orlando).Said deed, which was supposedly memorandum thereon and the attestation of the same be
executed on October 7, 1974,8 bore the signature of Eligia [sic] Register of Deeds, except by order of the proper Court
who could not have affixed her signature thereon as she had of First Instance. A registered owner [sic] of other person
long been dead since August 21, 1971.By virtue of the same having an interest in registered property, or, in proper cases,
instrument, however, the Bagayas brothers were able to the [sic] Register of Deeds with the approval of the
secure in their favor TCT Nos. 375657 and 3756 over the Commissioner of Land Registration, may apply by petition to
subject lands. the court upon the ground that x x x

Rogelio claimed that after their parents had died, he and ISSUE(S):
Orlando executed a document denominated as Deed of
Extra judicial Succession (deed of extra judicial succession) whether or not the dismissal of the earlier complaint on the
over the subject lands toeffect the transfer of titles thereof to ground that it is in the nature of a collateral attack on the
their names. Before the deed of extra judicial succession certificates of title constitutes a bar to a subsequent petition
could be registered, however, a deed of absolute sale under Section 108 of PD 1529.
transferring the subject lands to them was discovered from
the old files of Maximino, which they used by "reason of Whether she can be declared an heir in an ordinary civil
convenience" to acquire title to the said lands case

RTC dismissed the case. RTC held he was an adopted child HELD:

The RTC further held that, even though petitioner is an RATIO:


adopted child, she could not ask for partition of the subject
lands as she was not able to prove any of the instances that In dismissing Civil Case No. 04-42, the RTC declared that
would invalidate the deed of absolute sale. Moreover, the petitioner could not ask for the partition of the subject lands,
action for annulment of sale was improper as it constituted a even though she is an adopted child, because "she was not
collateral attack on the title of Rogelio and Orlando. able to prove any of the instances that would invalidate the
deed of absolute sale purportedly executed by Maximino and
it observed that the action for the declaration of nullity of Eligia. This conclusion came about as a consequence of the
deed of sale is not the direct proceeding required by law to RTC’s finding that, since the subject lands belonged
attack a Torrens certificate of title exclusively to Maximino, there was no need to secure the
consent of his wife who was long dead before the sale took
No appeal was taken from the RTC’s Decision dated March place. For this reason, the forgery of Eligia's signature on the
24, 2008or the Resolution dated June 17, 2008, thereby questioned deed was held to be inconsequential. However,
allowing the same to lapse into finality. on reconsideration, the RTC declared that it committed a
mistake in holding the subject lands as exclusive properties
Subsequently, however, petitioner filed, on August 1, 2008, of Maximino "since there was already an admission by the
twin petitionsbefore the same RTC, docketed as LRC Nos. defendants during the pre-trial conference that the subject
08-34 and 08-35, for the amendment of TCT Nos. 375657 properties are the conjugal properties of the spouses
and 375658 to include her name and those of her heirs and Maximino Bagayas and Eligia Clemente.Nonetheless, the
successors-in-interest as registered owners to the extent of RTC sustained its dismissal of Civil Case No. 04-42 on the
one-third of the lands covered therein. The petitions were ground that it constituted a collateral attack upon the title of
anchored on Section 108 of Presidential Decree No. (PD) Rogelio and Orlando.
1529, otherwise known as the "Property Registration
Decree," which provides as follows: the RTC erroneously dismissed petitioner’s petition for
annulment of sale on the ground that it constituted a
Section 108. Amendment and alteration of certificates. No collateral attack since she was actually assailing Rogelio and
erasure, alteration, or amendment shall be made upon the Orlando’s title to the subject lands and not any Torrens
registration book after the entry of a certificate of title or of a certificate of title over the same.
memorandum thereon and the attestation of the same be
[sic] Register of Deeds, except by order of the proper Court Be that as it may, considering that petitioner failed to appeal
of First Instance. A registered owner [sic] of other person from the dismissal of Civil Case No. 04-42, the judgment
having an interest in registered property, or, in proper cases, therein is final and may no longer be reviewed.
The crucial issue, therefore, to be resolved is the propriety of title issued in favor of Rogelio and Orlando but the partition
the dismissal of LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35 on the ground of of the estate of Maximino and Eligia who are both deceased.
res judicata. As held in Philippine Veterans Bank v. Valenzuela,50 the
prevailing rule is that proceedings under Section 108 of PD
It must be pointed out that LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35 1529 are summary in nature, contemplating corrections or
praying that judgment be rendered directing the Registry of insertions of mistakes which are only clerical but certainly not
Deeds of Tarlac to include petitioner's name, those of her controversial issues.51Relief under said legal provision can
heirs and successors-in-interest as registered owners to the only be granted if there is unanimity among the parties, or
extent of one-third of the lands covered by TCT Nos. hat there is no adverse claim or serious objection on the part
375657and 375658, were predicated on the theory43 that of any party in interest
Section 108 of PD 1529 is a mode of directly attacking the
certificates of title issued to the Bagayas brothers. On the In fine, while LRC Nos. 08-34 and 08-35 are technically not
contrary, however, the Court observes that the amendment barred by the prior judgment in Civil Case No. 04-42 as they
of TCT Nos. 375657 and 375658 under Section 108 of PD involve different causes of action, the dismissal of said
1529 is actually not the direct attack on said certificates of petitions for the amendment of TCT Nos.375657 and 375658
title contemplated under Section 4844 of the same law. is nonetheless proper for reasons discussed above. The
Jurisprudence instructs that an action or proceeding is remedy then of petitioner is to institute intestate proceedings
deemed to be an attack on a certificate of title when its for the settlement of the estate of the deceased spouses
objective is to nullify the same, thereby challenging the Maximino and Eligia.
judgment pursuant to which the certificate of title was
decreedCorollary thereto, it is a well-known doctrine that the
issue as to whether the certificate of title was procured by
falsification or fraud can only be raised in an action expressly
instituted for such purpose. As explicated in Borbajo v.
Hidden View Homeowners, Inc.

in fact, based on settled jurisprudence, Section 108 of PD


1529 is limited only to seven instances or situations, namely:
(a) when registered interests of any description, whether
vested, contingent, expectant, or inchoate, have terminated
and ceased; (b) when new interests have arisen or been
created which do not appear upon the certificate; (c) when
any error, omission or mistake was made in entering a
certificate or any memorandum thereon or on any duplicate
certificate; (d) when the name of any person on the
certificate has been changed; (e) when the registered owner
has been married, or, registered as married, the marriage
has been terminated and no right or interest of heirs or
creditors will thereby be affected; (f) when a corporation,
which owned registered land and has

been dissolved, has not conveyed the same within three


years after its dissolution; and (g) when there is reasonable
ground for the amendment or alteration of title

Petitioner claims that the determination of the RTC in Civil


Case No.04-42 that she is an adopted child and that the
signature of her adoptive mother Eligia in the deed of
absolute sale transferring the subject land to Rogelio and
Orlando was forged amounts to a new interest that should be
reflected on the certificates of title of said land, or provides a
reasonable ground for the amendment thereof.

First. While the RTC may have made a definitive ruling on


petitioner's adoption, as well as the forgery of Eligia's
signature on the questioned deed, no partition was decreed,
as the action was, in fact, dismissed. Consequently, the
declaration that petitioner is the legally adopted child of
Maximino and Eligia did not amount to a declaration of
heirship and co-ownership upon which petitioner may
institute an action for the amendment of the certificates of
title covering the subject land. More importantly, the Court
has consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make a
declaration of heirship in an ordinary civil action, for matters
relating to the rights of filiation and heirship must be
ventilated in a special proceeding instituted precisely for the
purpose of determining such rights

Second. Petitioner cannot avail of the summary proceedings


under Section 108 of PD 1529 because the present
controversy involves not the amendment of the certificates of
TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE VENTURA vs. been defined as those persons who are entitled under
VENTURA the statute of distribution to the decedent's property. It
is generally said that "the nearest of kin, whose
G.R. No. L-26306, April 27, 1988 Marydale C. Manato interest in the estate is more preponderant, is
preferred in the choice of administrator. 'Among
FACTS: Gregorio Ventura filed a petition for the members of a class the strongest ground for
probate of his will which did not include the appellees. preference is the amount or preponderance of interest.
In the said will, the appellant Maria Ventura, although As between next of kin, the nearest of kin is to be
an illegitimate child, was named and appointed by the preferred."
testator to be the executrix of his will and the
administratrix of his estate. In due course, said will was As decided by the lower court and sustained by the
admitted to probate on January 14,1954. Gregorio Supreme Court, Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura are
Ventura died. Maria Ventura was appointed executrix the legitimate children of Gregorio Ventura and his
and the corresponding letters testamentary was issued wife, the late Paulina Simpliciano. Therefore, as the
in her favor. On June 17,1960, she filed her accounts nearest of kin of Gregorio Ventura they are entitled to
of administration for the years 1955 to 1960, inclusive. preference over the illegitimate children of Gregorio
Said account of administration was opposed by the Ventura, namely: Maria and Miguel Ventura. Hence,
spouses Mercedes Ventura and Pedro Corpuz and by under the aforestated preference provided in Section 6
ExequielVictorio and Gregoria Ventura. Both of Rule 78, the person or persons to be appointed
oppositions assailed the veracity of the report as not administrator are Juana Cardona, as the surviving
reflecting the true income of the estate and the spouse, or Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura as nearest
expenses which allegedly are not administration of kin, or Juana Cardona and Mercedes and Gregoria
expenses. The grounds of aforesaid joint motions to Ventura in the discretion of the Court, in order to
remove the executrix Maria Ventura are: (1) that she is represent both interests.
grossly incompetent; (2) that she has maliciously and
purposely concealed certain properties of the estate in
the inventory; (3) that she is merely an illegitimate
daughter who can have no harmonious relations with
the appellees; (4) that the executrix has neglected to
render her accounts and failed to comply with the
Order of the Court of December 12, 1963, requiring
her to file her accounts of administration for the years
1961 to 1963 ; and (5) that she is with permanent
physical defect hindering her from efficiently
performing her duties as an executrix.

On October 5, 1965, the court a quo, finds that the


executrix Maria Ventura has squandered the funds of
the estate, was inefficient and incompetent, has failed
to comply with the orders of the Court in the matter of
presenting up-to-date statements of accounts and
neglected to pay the real estate taxes of the estate.
Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not the removal of Maria Ventura


as executrix is legally justified.

HELD: Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court: When


and to whom letters of administration granted.-If no
executor is named in the will, or the executor or
executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to
give bond, or a person dies intestate, a petition shall
be granted:

(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may


be or next of kin, or both, in the discretion of the court,
or to such person as such surviving husband or wife,
or both, in the discretion of the court, or to such person
as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin,
requests to have appointed, if competent and willing to
serve;" In the case at bar, the surviving spouse of the
deceased Gregorio Ventura is Juana Cardona while
the next of kin are: Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura
and Maria and Miguel Ventura. The "next of kin" has
NILDA GABRIEL, EVA GABRIEL, EDGAR GABRIEL, would have the right of succession over a portion of the
GEORGE GABRIEL, ROSEMARIE GABRIEL, MARIBEL exclusive property of the decedent, aside from her share in
GABRIEL, CYNTHIA GABRIEL, RENATO GABRIEL, the conjugal partnership. For such reason, she would have
GERARDO GABRIEL, JOJI ZORAYDA GABRIEL, DANIEL as much, if not more, interest in administering the entire
GABRIEL and FELICITAS JOSE-GABRIEL, petitioners, vs. estate correctly than any other next of kin.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. MANUEL E. YUZON,
Judge, Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XI, and It is true that Section 6(b) of Rule 78 provides that the
ROBERTO DINDO GABRIEL, respondents. preference given to the surviving spouse or next of kin may
be disregarded by the court where said persons neglect to
[G.R. No. 101512. August 7, 1992.] apply for letters of administration for thirty (30) days after the
decedent's death. However, it is our considered opinion that
FACTS: Roberto Gabriel filed with the RTC Manila a petition such failure is not sufficient to exclude the widow from the
for letters of administration alleging that he is the son of the administration of the estate of her husband. There must be a
decedent, Domingo Gabriel. Respondent identified the 8 very strong case to justify the exclusion of the widow from
petitioners as other heirs of the decedent. The petition was the administration. In the case at bar, there is no compelling
set and the order was published in a newspaper of general reason sufficient to disqualify Felicitas Jose-Gabriel from
circulation, once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. No appointment as administratrix of the decedent's estate.
opposition have been filed, thus respondent was allowed to Moreover, just as the order of preference is not absolute and
present his evidence ex parte. Probate court issued an order may be disregarded for valid cause despite the mandatory
appointing respondent as administrator of the intestate tenor in the opening sentence of Rule 78 for its observance,
estate of the late Domingo Gabriel on a bond of P30,000.00. so may the 30-day period be likewise waived under the
Petitioners filed their "Opposition and Motion" praying for the permissive tone in paragraph (b) of said rule which merely
recall of the letters of administration and the issuance of provides that said letters, as an alternative, "may be granted
such letters instead to petitioner Nilda Gabriel, as the to one or more of the principal creditors." On the
legitimate daughter of the deceased, or any of the other equiponderance of the foregoing legal positions, we see no
oppositors. Petitioners filed an "Opposition to the petition and reason why, for the benefit of the estate and those interested
Motion," alleging that (1) they were not duly informed by therein, more than one administrator may not be appointed
personal notice of the petition for administration; (2) since that is both legally permissible and sanctioned in
petitioner Nilda Gabriel, as the legitimate daughter, should practice. Section 6(a) of Rule 78 specifically states that
be preferred over private respondent; (3) private respondent letters of administration may be issued to both the surviving
has a conflicting and/or adverse interest against the estate spouse and the next of kin.
because he might prefer the claims of his mother; and (4)
most of the properties of the decedent have already been Under both Philippine and American jurisprudence, the
relinquished by way of transfer of ownership to petitioners appointment of co-administrators has been upheld for
and should not be included in the value of the estate sought various reasons, viz: (1) to have the benefit of their judgment
to be administered by private respondent. The probate court and perhaps at all times to have different interests
issued an order denying the opposition of petitioners. represented; (2) where justice and equity demand that
Likewise, the Court of Appeals rendered judgment opposing parties or factions be represented in the
dismissing that petition for certiorari. management of the estate of the deceased; (3) where the
estate is large or, from any cause, an intricate and perplexing
ISSUE: Whether or not the order of preference in the one to settle; (4) to have all interested persons satisfied and
appointment of administrator in the settlement of estate the representatives to work in harmony for the best interests
according to the Rules be set aside and that the appointment of the estate; and (5) when a person entitled to the
of an administrator is left entirely to the sound discretion of administration of an estate desires to have another
the trial court which may not be interfered with unless abuse. competent person associated with him in the office. Under
the circumstances obtaining herein, the Court deem it just,
HELD: NO. Evidently, the foregoing provision of the Rules equitable and advisable that there be a co-administration of
prescribes the order of preference in the issuance of letters the estate of the deceased by petitioner Felicitas Jose-
of administration, categorically seeks out the surviving Gabriel and private respondent Roberto Dindo Gabriel.
spouse, the next of kin and the creditors, and requires that
sequence to be observed in appointing an administrator. It
would be a grave abuse of discretion for the probate court to
imperiously set aside and insouciantly ignore that directive
without any valid and sufficient reason therefor. In the
appointment of the administrator of the estate of a deceased
person, the principal consideration reckoned with is the
interest in said estate of the one to be appointed as
administrator. This is the same consideration which Section 6
of Rule 78 takes into account in establishing the order of
preference in the appointment of administrators for the
estate. The underlying assumption behind this rule is that
those who will reap the benefit of a wise, speedy and
economical administration of the estate, or, on the other
hand, suffer the consequences of waste, improvidence or
mismanagement, have the highest interest and most
influential motive to administer the estate correctly. This is
likewise the same consideration which the law takes into
account in establishing the preference of the widow to
administer the estate of her husband upon the latter's death,
because she is supposed to have an interest therein as a
partner in the conjugal partnership. Under the law, the widow
WILSON S. UY, as Judicial Administrator of the Intestate applications or motions for such modifications or revocations
Estate of the Deceased JOSE K. C. UY, petitioner, vs. THE are made by the interested parties. In the instant case, the
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ANASTACIO C. estate of the deceased has not yet been settled and the case
RUFON, As Presiding Judge of Branch 52, of the is still within the jurisdiction of the court. The foregoing
Regional Trial Court, Sixth Judicial Region, sitting at discussion renders moot the second issue raised by
Bacolod City, and JOHNNY K. H. UY, respondents. petitioner

[G.R. No. 167979. March 16, 2006.]

FACTS: Jose K.C. Uy (Deceased) died intestate and is


survived by his spouse, SyIokIngUy, and his five children,
namely, Lilian S. Uy, Lilly S. Uy, Livian S. Uy-Garcia, Lilen S.
Uy and Wilson S. Uy (Petitioner). A special proceeding was
instituted and Lilia was appointed as special administrator of
the estate of the deceased. Petitioner moved to reconsider
the order appointing Lilia with prayer that letters of
administration be issued to him instead which was
subsequently granted. Letters of administration were granted
to petitioner. Johnny K. H. Uy (Private Respondent) filed a
motion to intervene, praying that he be appointed as
administrator of the estate in lieu of petitioner. He alleged
that he is the brother and a creditor of the deceased, and
has knowledge of the properties that should be included in
the estate. The trial court initially denied private respondent's
motion to intervene, but it reconsidered it and appointed
private respondent as co-administrator of the estate. The trial
court found that private respondent substantially complied
with the order directing him to bring into the estate properties
owned by or registered in the name of the deceased not
subject of any adverse claim or controversy when he listed
the alleged properties suspected to be concealed,
embezzled or conveyed away by the persons named therein.
Petitioner appealed to the CA by petition for certiorari which
was dismissed.

ISSUE: Whether the trial court acted with grave abuse of


discretion in appointing private respondent as co-
administrator to the estate of the deceased; and

HELD: NO.In the instant case, the order of preference was


not disregarded by the trial court. Instead of removing
petitioner, it appointed private respondent, a creditor, as co-
administrator since the estate was sizeable and petitioner
was having a difficult time attending to it alone. In fact,
petitioner did not submit any report regarding the estate
under his administration. A co-administrator performs all the
functions and duties and exercises all the powers of a
regular administrator, only that he is not alone in the
administration. The practice of appointing co-administrators
in estate proceedings is not prohibited. In Gabriel v. Court of
Appeals, this Court reaffirmed that jurisprudence allows the
appointment of co-administrators under certain
circumstances, to wit: Under both Philippine and American
jurisprudence, the appointment of co-administrators has
been upheld for various reasons, viz: (1) to have the benefit
of their judgment and perhaps at all times to have different
interests represented; (2) where justice and equity demand
that opposing parties or factions be represented in the
management of the estate of the deceased; (3) where the
estate is large or, from any cause, an intricate and perplexing
one to settle; (4) to have all interested persons satisfied and
the representatives to work in harmony for the best interests
of the estate; and (5) when a person entitled to the
administration of an estate desires to have another
competent person associated with him in the office. Thus,
petitioner's argument that the trial court cannot re-open the
issue of the appointment of an administrator without
removing the incumbent administrator is erroneous. In
probate proceedings, considerable latitude is allowed a
probate court in modifying or revoking its own orders as long
as the proceedings are pending in the same court and timely
RUFINA LUY LIM vs. COURT OF APPEALS essence of procedural one, involving a mode of practice
which may be waived.
G.R. No. 124715 January 24, 2000
As a rule, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter
(Rule 73 – Settlement of Estate of Deceased Persons – which the probate court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for
Venue and Process; the purpose of determining whether a certain property should
or should not be included in the inventory of estate
Rules 81, 83, 84, and 87 of the Rules of Court) properties, the Probate Court may pass upon the title
thereto, but such determination is provisional, not conclusive,
FACTS: and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to
resolve title.
Petitioner Rufina Luy Lim is the surviving spouse of late
Pastor Y. Lim whose estate is the subject of probate
proceedings in Special Proceedings Q-95-23334, entitled, "In
Re: Intestate Estate of Pastor Y. Lim Rufina Luy Lim,
represented by George Luy, Petitioner". Private respondents
are corporations formed, organized and existing under
Philippine laws and which owned real properties covered
under the Torrens system. Petitioner, as surviving spouse
and duly represented by her nephew George Luy, filed a joint
petition for the administration of the estate. Private
respondent corporations, whose properties were included in
the inventory of the estate then filed a motion for the lifting of
lis pendens and motion for exclusion of certain properties
from the estate of the decedent. The RTC granted the private
respondents' twin motions. Subsequently, Rufina Luy Lim
filed a verified amended petition, which averred that although
the corporations dealt and engaged in business with the
public, all their capital, assets and equity were however,
personally owned by the late Pastor Y. Lim. Hence, the
alleged stockholders and officers appearing in the respective
articles of incorporation of these business entities were mere
dummies of the decedent and they were listed therein only
for purposes of registration with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. The Regional Trial Court acting on the
petitioner's motion issued an order to set aside its previous
order and ordered the Registry of Deeds to reinstate the
annotation of lis pendens. Private respondent then filed a
special civil action for certiorari with an urgent prayer for a
restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction before the
Court of Appeals, which granted its prayer.

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent Court of Appeals erred in


reversing the orders of the lower court which merely allowed
the preliminary or provisional inclusion of the private
respondents as part of the estate, with the respondent Court
of Appeals arrogating unto itself the power to repeal, to
disobey or to ignore the clear and explicit provisions of Rules
81, 83, 84, and 87 of the Rules of Court.

HELD:

No. The Court held that the Court of Appeals correctly


observed that the Regional Trial Court acted without
jurisdiction in issuing the questioned order.

Settled is the rule that a Regional Trial Court, acting as a


probate court, exercises but limited jurisdiction, and thus has
no power to take cognizance of and determine the issue of
title to property claimed by a third person adversely to the
decedent, unless the claimant and all other parties having
legal interest in the property consent, expressly or impliedly,
to the submission of the question to the probate court for
adjudgment, or the interests of third persons are not thereby
prejudiced, the reason for the exception being that the
question of whether or not a particular matter should be
resolved by the court in the exercise of its general jurisdiction
or of its limited jurisdiction as a special court (e.g. probate,
land registration, etc.), is in reality not a jurisdictional but in
VDA. DE REYES vs. COURT OF APPEALS the Statute of Frauds: partition among heirs or renunciation
G.R. No. 92436 July 26,1991 of an inheritance by some of them is not exactly a
(Rule 74 – Summary Settlement of Estate) conveyance of real property for the reason that it does not
FACTS: During his lifetime, one Gavino Reyes owned a involve transfer of property from one to the other, but rather a
parcel of land of approximately 70 hectares, more or less, confirmation or ratification of title or right of property by the
located at Sangayad, Ulong-Tubig, Carmona, Cavite. He heir renouncing in favor of another heir accepting and
sought to bring said land under the operation of the Torrens receiving the inheritance.Additionally, the validity of such oral
System of registration of property. Unfortunately, he died in partition in 1936 has been expressly sustained by this Court
1921 without the title having been issued to him. The in the Resolution of 20 August 1990 in G.R. No. 92811.25
application was prosecuted by his son, Marcelo Reyes, who But even if We are to assume arguendo that the oral partitio
was the administrator of his property. executed in 1936 was not valid for some reason or another,
In 1936 the above property was surveyed and subdivided by we would still arrive at the same conclusion for upon the
Gavino's heirs. In the subdivision plan, each resultant lot was death of Gavino Reyes in 1921, his heirs automatically
earmarked, indicated for and assigned to a specific heir. It became co-own, era of his 70-hectare parcel of land. The
appears therein that two lots, one of which is Lot No. 1A-14 rights to the succession. are transmitted horn the moment of
(Exh. "6-A"), were allotted to Rafael Reyes, Sr., one of death of the decedent, The estate of the decedent would
Gavino's children. Per testimony of Juan Poblete, the then be held in co-ownership by the heirs. The co-heir or co-
children thereafter secured tax declarations for the owner may validly dispose of his share or interest in the
irrespective shares. In 1941, or about twenty (20) years after property subject to the condition that the portion disposed of
the death of Gavino, the original certificate of title for the is eventually allotted to him in the division upon termination
whole property-OCT No. 255-was issued. It was, however, of the co-ownership.
kept by Juan Poblete, son-in-law of Marcelo Reyes, who was
by then already deceased. The heirs of Gavino were not In the case at bar, the lot sold by Rafael Reyes, Sr. to private
aware of this fact. On 3 December 1943, Rafael Reyes, Sr. respondent Dalmacio Gardiola is his share in the estate of
sold a parcel of land with an area of 23,431 square meters, his deceased father, Gavino Reyes. It is the same property
more or less, to private respondent Dalmacio Gardiola (Exh. which was eventually adjudicated to his son and heir, Rafael
"5"). According to the vendee, this parcel corresponds to Lot Reyes, Jr., represented in turn by his heirs-petitioners
No.1-A-14 of the subdivision plan aforestated. The deed of herein-in the extrajudicial settlement of 1967. The same did
sale, however, did not specifically mention Lot No. I-A-14. not operate to divest the vendee of the share of Rafael
The vendee immediately took possession of the property and Reyes, Sr. in the estate of Gavino. Petitioners, as mere
started paying the land taxes therein. In 1967, the surviving successors-in-interest of Rafael Reyes, Jr., son of Rafael
heirs gave effect to the subdivision plan created on 1936. Reyes, Sr., can only acquire that which Rafael, Jr. could
They formally partitioned the property. Therefore, the heirs transmit to them upon his death. The latter never became the
received their share of this land. Including Rafael Reyes, Jr. owner of Lot No. 1-A-14 because it was sold by his father in
Son of Rafael Sr. TCTs were issued to him representing the 1943. The issuance of TCT No. T-27257 in the name of
land which should have been received by his father. Now, Rafael Reyes, Jr., in so far as Lot No. 1-14-A is concerned,
the heirs of Rafael Jr. sued Gardiola, saying that they are the was clearly erroneous because he never became its owner.
true owners of the land, as shown by the torrens title over An extrajudicial settlement does not create a right in favor of
the land. Gardiola’s defense was that he bought the land an heir. As this Court stated in the Barcelona case, it is but a
from Rafael Sr. and that Rafael Jr. could not have inherited confirmation or ratification of title or right to property. Thus,
this land for it was disposed of by his father way before he since he never had any title of right to Lot No. 1-14-A, the
inherited it. The trial court ruled in favor of Rafael Jr.’s heirs. mere execution of the settlement did not improve his
Stating that there was no evidence that the Gavino’s children condition, and the subsequent registration of the deed did
had a written partition agreement. CA reversed not create any right or vest any title over the property in favor
of the petitioners as heirs of Rafael Reyes, Jr, The latter
ISSUES: Whether or not the CA IS correct in reversing the cannot give them what he never had before. Nemo dare
trial court? potest quod non habet.

HELD: The Court of Appeals correctly held that the partition There is one more point that should be stressed here.
made by the children of Gavino Reyes in 1936, although Petitioners' immediate predecessor-in-interest, Rafael
oral, was valid and binding. There is no law that requires Reyes, Jr., never took any action against private
partition among heirs to be in writing to be valid. In respondents from the time his father sold the lot to the latter.
Hernandez vs. Andal, supra, this Court, interpreting Section Neither did petitioners bring any action to recover from
1 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court, held that the requirement private respondents the owner. Ship and possession of the
that a partition be put in a public document and registered lot from the time Rafael Reyes, Jr. died. As categorically
has for its purpose the protection of creditors and at the admitted by petitioners in their complaint and amended
same time the protection of the heirs themselves against complaint, it was only in or about September 1969 when,
tardy claims. The object of registration is to serve as after the delivery of TCT No. 27257 by Candido Hebron to
constructive notice to others. It follows then that the intrinsic them, that they definitely discovered that they were the
validity of partition not executed with the prescribed owners of the property in question. And yet, despite full
formalities does not come into play when there are no knowledge that private respondents were in actual physical
creditors or the rights of creditors are not affected. Where no possession of the property, it was only about thirteen and
such rights are involved, it is competent for the heirs of an one half (13 1/2) years later that they decided to file an
estate to enter into an agreement for distribution in a manner action for recovery of possession. As stated earlier, the
and upon a plan different from those provided by law. There original complaint was filed in the trial court on 14 March
is nothing in said section from which it can be inferred that a 1983. There was then absolutely no basis for the trial court to
writing or other formality is an essential requisite to the place the burden on private respondents to bring an action
validity of the partition. Accordingly, an oral partition is valid. for reconveyance within four (4) years from their discovery of
Barcelona, et al. vs. Barcelona, et al., supra, provides the the issuance of the transfer certificate of title in the name of
reason why oral partition is valid and why it is not covered by Rafael Reyes, Jr.
Petitioner, as the records confirm, did not participate in the
extrajudicial partition. Patently then, the two-year prescriptive
MARIA ELENA RODRIGUEZ PEDROSA vs. THE HON. period is not applicable in her case. The applicable
COURT OF APPEALS prescriptive period here is four (4) years as provided in
Gerona vs. De Guzman, 11 SCRA 153 (1964), which held
G.R. No. 118680 March 5, 2001 that: [The action to annul] a deed of extrajudicial settlement
upon the ground of fraud...may be filed within four years from
(Rule 74 – Summary Settlement of Estate) the discovery of the fraud. Such discovery is deemed to have
taken place when said instrument was filed with the Register
FACTS: of Deeds and new certificates of title were issued in the
name of respondents exclusively.
 On April 8, 1946, the spouses Miguel Rodriguez and
Rosalina J. de Rodriguez initiated proceedings for the legal It is clear that Section 1 of Rule 74 does not apply to the
adoption of herein petitioner, Maria Elena Rodriguez partition in question which was null and void as far as the
Pedrosa and the said petition for adoption was granted plaintiffs were concerned. The rule covers only valid
partitions. The partition in the present case was invalid
 On April 29, 1972, Miguel died intestate. Thereafter, because it excluded six of the nine heirs who were entitled to
petitioner and Rosalina entered into an extrajudicial equal shares in the partitioned property. Under the rule, no
settlement of Miguels estate, adjudicating between extrajudicial settlement shall be binding upon any person
themselves in equal proportion the estate of Miguel. who has not participated therein or had no notice thereof. As
the partition was a total nullity and did not affect the excluded
 On November 21, 1972, private respondents filed an heirs, it was not correct for the trial court to hold that their
action to annul the adoption of the petitioner but CFI denied right to challenge the partition had prescribed after two years
the petition and upheld the validity of the adoption. from its execution in 1941.
Thereafter, the private respondents appealed said decision
to the Court of Appeals.

 On March 11, 1983, while said appeal was pending, the


Rodriguezes entered into an extrajudicial settlement with
respondent Rosalina for the partition of the estate of Miguel
and of another sister, Pilar. Rosalina acted as the
representative of the heirs of Miguel Rodriguez. Pilar had no
heirs except his brothers and sisters.

 The Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition covered


fourteen parcels of land that were divided among Jose,
Carmen, Mercedes, Ramon and the heirs of Miguel,
represented solely by Rosalina.

 When the petitioner sent her daughter, Loreto Jocelyn, to


claim their share of the properties from the Rodriguezes. The
latter refused saying that Maria Elena and Loreto were not
heirs since they were not their blood relatives.

 Petitioner, then, filed a complaint to annul the 1983


partition. The said complaint was filed on January 28, 1987.
Said complaint was later amended on March 25, 1987 to
include the allegation that earnest efforts toward a
compromise were made between the plaintiffs and the
defendants, but the same failed.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the complaint for annulment of the Deed of


Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition had already
prescribed.

HELD:

The Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Partition executed


by private respondents on March 11, 1983 did not prescribe.
Section 4, Rule 74 provides for a two year prescriptive period
(1) to persons who have participated or taken part or had
notice of the extrajudicial partition, and in addition (2) when
the provisions of Section 1 of Rule 74 have been strictly
complied with, i.e., that all the persons or heirs of the
decedent have taken part in the extrajudicial settlement or
are represented by themselves or through guardians.
ALUAD vs. ALUAD “anyone of them who should survive” is out of sync. For the
deed of donation clearly stated that it would take effect upon
GR No. 176943 October 17, 2008 the death of the donor, hence, said phrase could only have
referred to the donor. The donation being then mortis causa,
(Rule 76 - Allowance or Disallowance of Will) the formalities of a will should have been observed but they
were not, as it was witnessed by only two, not three or more
FACTS: witnesses following Article 805 of the Civil Code. It is void
and transmitted no right to petitioner’s mother. But even
Petitioner’s mother Maria Aluad and respondent Zenaido assuming arguendo that the formalities were observed, since
Aluad were raised by the childless spouses Matilde and it was not probated, no right to the two lots was transferred
Crispin Aluad. Crispin was the owner of six lots at Capiz. to Maria. Matilde thus validly disposed the lot to Zenaido by
After his death, Matilde adjudicated the lots to herself and her last will and testament, subject to the qualification that
thereafter, she executed a Deed of Donation of Real her will must be probated. With respect to the conveyed lot,
Property inter vivos in favor of Maria covering all the six lots. the same had been validly sold by Matilde to Zenaido.
The Deed provided that such will become effective upon the
death of the Donor, but in the event that the Donee should
die before the Donor, the present donation shall be deemed
rescinded. Provided, however, that anytime during the
lifetime of the Donor or anyone of them who should survive,
they could use, encumber or even dispose of any or even all
of the parcels of land. Matilde sold one of the lots to Zenaido
and subsequently, Matilde executed a last will and testament
devising four of the lots to Maria and the remaining lot to
Zenaido. Maria died a few months after Matilde’s death.
Thereafter, Maria’s heirs (herein petitioners) filed before the
RTC a complaint for declaration and recovery of ownership
and possession of the two lots conveyed and donated to
Zenaido, alleging that no rights have been transmitted to the
latter because such lots have been previously alienated to
them to Maria via the Deed of Donation. The lower court
decided in favor of the petitioners however, CA reversed said
decision upon appeal of Zenaido which held that the Deed of
Donation was actually a donation mortis causa, not inter
vivos and as such, it had to, but did not, comply with the
formalities of a will. Due to the denial of the petitioner’s
Motion for Reconsideration, the present Petition for Review
has been filed.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Deed of Donation is a donation inter


vivos and if such deed is valid. If so, whether or not Matilde
Aluad has the right to convey the lots to Zenaido Aluad.

HELD:

The Court held that the donation to Maria Aluad (petitioner’s


mother) was one of mortis causa, it having the following
characteristics: (1.) It conveys no title or ownership to the
transferee before the death of the transferor; or what
amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should retain
the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property
while alive; (2.) That before the death of the transferor, the
transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will, ad
nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by
means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the
properties conveyed; and (3.) That the transfer should be
void if the transferor should survive the transferee.

The phrase in the earlier quoted Deed of Donation “to


become effective upon the death of the Donor” admits of no
other interpretation than to mean that Matilde did not intend
to transfer the ownership of the six lots to petitioner’s mother
during the former’s lifetime. Further, the statement “anytime
during the lifetime of the Donor or anyone of them who
should survive, Page 30 of 112 they could use, encumber or
even dispose of any or even all the parcels of land herein
donated” means that Matilde retained ownership of the lots
and reserved in her the right to dispose them. For the right to
dispose of a thing without other limitations than those
established by law is an attribute of ownership. The phrase
TAN vs. THE HON. FRANCISCO C. GEDORIO, JR.

G.R. NO. 166520 March 14, 2008

(Rule 78 – Letters Testamentary and of Administration,


When and to Whom Issued)

FACTS:

Gerardo Tan (Gerardo) died leaving no will. Private


respondents, who are claiming to be the children of
Gerardo Tan, filed with the RTC a Petition for the
issuance of letters of administration. Herein
Petitioners, claiming to be legitimate heirs of Gerardo
Tan, filed an Opposition to the Petition.

Private respondents then moved for the appointment


of a special administrator. They prayed that their
attorney-in-fact, Romualdo D. Lim (Romualdo), be
appointed as the special administrator, which was
opposed by Petitioners. Petitioners contend further
that Romualdo does not have the same familiarity,
experience or competence as that of their co-petitioner
Vilma C. Tan (Vilma) who was already acting as de
facto administratrix of his estate since his death.

For Vilma’s failure to comply the court’s directives in


her capacity as de facto administratrix, the RTC Judge
consequently issued an Order appointing Romualdo as
special administrator of Gerardo’s Estate. Petitioners
filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the foregoing
Order, claiming that petitioner Vilma should be the one
appointed as special administratix as she was
allegedly next of kin of the deceased, which was
denied by respondent Judge Gedorio, the then RTC
Executive Judge.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA erred in denying petitioner’s


plea to be given primacy in the administration of their
father’s estate.

HELD:

No. The appeal is devoid of merit. The order of


preference petitioners speak of is found in Section 6,
Rule 78 of the Rules of Court. However, this Court has
consistently ruled that the order of preference in the
appointment of a regular administrator as provided in
the afore-quoted provision does not apply to the
selection of a special administrator. The preference
under Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court for the
next of kin refers to the appointment of a regular
administrator, and not of a special administrator, as the
appointment of the latter lies entirely in the discretion
of the court, and is not appealable.
Camaya v. Patulandong important, covered by a transfer certificate of title issued in
423 SCRA 480 the name of such third parties, the respondent court should
have denied the motion of the respondent administrator and
FACTS: excluded the property in question from the inventory of the
property of the estate. It had no authority to deprive such
On November 17, 1972, Rufina Reyes (testatrix) executed a third persons of their possession and ownership of the
notarized will wherein she devised Lot no. 288-A to her property. The probate court exceeded its jurisdiction when it
grandson Anselmo Mangulabnan. During her lifetime, the declared the deed of sale and the titles of the Camayas as
testatrix herself filed the petition for the probate of her will null and void, it having had the effect of depriving them
before the CFI. Later, on June 27, 1973, the testatrix possession and ownership of the property.
executed a codicil modifying her will by devising the said Lot
288-A in favor of her four children Bernardo (the executor), 2.As to the second issue, petitioners argue that by allowing
Simplicia, Huillerma and Juan (all surnamed Patulandong), the codicil to probate, it in effect amended the final judgment
and her grandson Mangulabnan – to the extent of 1/5 each. in the partition case which is not allowed by law; and that
petitioner Camayas are innocent purchasers for value and
Mangulabnan later sought the delivery to him by executor enjoy the legal presumption that the transfer was lawful.
Patulandong of the title of Lot 288-A, but Patulandong Petitioners’ argument does not persuade. Though the
refused to heed the request because of the codicial which judgment in the partition case had become final and
modified the will of the testatrix. Thus, Mangulabnan filed an executory as it was not appealed, it specifically provided in
‘action for partition’ against Patulandong in the RTC. The its dispositive portion that the decision was “without prejudice
court in this partition ordered the partitioning of the property. [to] … the probate of the codicil.” The rights of the prevailing
However, the court holds that ‘the partition is without parties in said case were thus subject to the outcome of the
prejudice to the probate of the codicil in accordance with the probate of the codicil.
Rules of Court.’ So, by virtue of the decision in partition case,
Mangulabnan caused the cancellation of the title of the The probate court being bereft of authority to rule upon the
testatrix over Lot 288-A, and another TCT was issued in his validity of petitioners’ titles, there is no longer any necessity
name. Mangulabnan later sold to herein petitioners Camayas to dwell on the merits of petitioners Camayas’ claim that they
Lot no. 288-A by a Deed of Sale, and thus, a TCT was are innocent purchasers for value and enjoy the legal
issued under the name of the Camayas. presumption that the transfer was lawful.

However, come now the decision of the probate court The petition is granted in part. The decision of the probate
admitting the codicil, and disposing that the Deed of Sale in court allowing the codicil is affirmed. But, the declaration of
favor of the Camayas, and the corresponding TCT issued in the aforesaid Deed of Sale, and the order to reissue
their name are null and void, and that the Register of Dees corresponding certificates of titles to the four children of the
was ordered to issue instead corresponding certificates of testratrix, and her grandson Mangulabnan are set aside,
titles to the aforesaid four children of the testatrix, and her without prejudice to the respondent’s ventilation of their right
grandson Mangulabnan to the extent of 1/5 each pursuant to in an appropriate action.
the codicil.

The Camayas and Mangulabnan filed an MR. But the


probate court denied this. The CA affirmed the decision of
the probate court. Thus, the case was brought to the SC via
a petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUES:

1.Whether the probate court exceeded its jurisdiction when it


declared null and void and ordered the cancellation of the
TCT of Camayas and the deed of sale.

2.Whether the final judgment in partition case bars the


allowance of the codicil.

HELD:

1.As to the first issue, the probate court exceeded its


jurisdiction when it declared the deed of sale as null and
void, and also as to the cancellation of the TCTs under the
name of the Camayas. It is well-settled rule that a probate
court or one in charge of proceedings whether testate or
intestate cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties
claimed to be a part of the estate and which are equally
claimed to belong to outside parties. All that said court could
do as regards said properties is to determine whether they
should not be included in the inventory. If there is no dispute,
well and good; but if there is, then the parties, the
administrator, and the opposing parties have to resort to an
ordinary action for final determination of the conflicting
claims of title because the probate court cannot do so.
Having been apprised of the fact that the property in
question was in the possession of third parties and more
CUIZON VS. RAMOLETE

FACTS:

As early as 1961, Marciano Cuizon applied for the


registration of several parcels of land in Mandaue City
docketed as L.R. Case No. N-179. In 1970, he distributed his
property between his two daughters, Rufina and Irene, to
whom the salt beds subject of the controversy was given. In
1971, Irene executed a Deed of Sale with Reservation of
Usufruct involving the said salt beds in favor of petitioners
Franciso et al. Although the decision in L.R. Case No. N-179
was rendered way back in 1972, the decree of registration
and the corresponding O.C.T. was issued only in 1976 in the
name of Marciano Cuizon. In that same year, T.C.T No.
10477 covering the property in question was issued to Irene.
The latter died in 1978. During the extrajudicial settlement of
the estate, Rufina, the mother of Francisco et al., adjudicated
to herself all the property of Irene including the salt beds in
question. She then executed a deed of Confirmation of Sale
wherein she confirmed and ratified the 1971 deed of sale
and renounced and waived whatever rights and interests and
participation she may have in the property in question in
favor of the petitioners. The deed was annotated in T.C.T.
No. 10477. Subsequently, T.C.T. No. 12665 was issued in
favor of the petitioners. In 1978, Domingo Antigua, who
allegedly was chosen by the heirs of Irene to act as
administrator, was appointed administrator by the CFI of
Cebu. Antigua included the salt bed in the inventory of
Irene’s estate and asked the Cebu CFI to order petitioners to
deliver the salt to him. The Cebu CFI granted the same.

ISSUE:

Whether a court handling the intestate proceedings has


jurisdiction over parcels of land already covered by a TCT
issued in favor owners who are not parties to the intestate
proceedings if the said parcels of have been?

RULING:

No. It is a well-settled rule that a probate court or one in


charge of proceedings whether testate or intestate cannot
adjudicate or determine title to properties claimed to be a
part of the estate and which are equally claimed to belong to
outside parties. All said court could do is to determine
whether they should or should not be included in the
inventory of properties to be administered by the
administrator. If there is dispute, then the administrator and
the opposing parties have to resort to an ordinary action for a
final determination of the conflicting claims of title because
the probate court cannot do so. In the instant case, the
property involved is not only claimed by outside parties but it
was sold seven years before the death of the decedent and
is duly titled in the name of the vendees who are not party to
the proceedings. In Bolisay vs. Alcid, the Court held that “if a
property covered by Torrens Title is involved, the
presumptive conclusiveness of such title should be given
due weight, and in the absence of strong compelling
evidence to the contrary, the holder thereof should be
considered as the owner of the property in controversy until
his title is nullified or modified in an appropriate ordinary
action.” Having been apprised of the fact that the property in
question was covered by a TCT issued in the name of third
parties, the respondent court should have denied the motion
of the respondent administrator and excluded the property in
question from the inventory of the property of the estate.
HILADO VS. CA RULING:

Facts: Notwithstanding Section 2 of Rule 72, intervention as set


forth under Rule 19 does not extend to creditors of a
The well-known sugar magnate Roberto S. Benedicto died decedent whose credit is based on a contingent claim. The
intestate on 15 May 2000. He was survived by his wife, definition of "intervention" under Rule 19 simply does not
private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto (administratrix accommodate contingent claims.
Benedicto), and his only daughter, Francisca Benedicto-
Paulino. At the time of his death, there were two pending civil Section 1 of Rule 19 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
cases against Benedicto involving the petitioners. The first, requires that an intervenor "has a legal interest in the matter
was then pending with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an
Bacolod City, Branch 44, with petitioner Alfredo Hilado as interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely
one of the plaintiffs therein. The second was then pending affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in
with the RTC of Bacolod City, Branch 44, with petitioners the custody of the court x x x" While the language of Section
Lopez Sugar Corporation and First Farmers Holding 1, Rule 19 does not literally preclude petitioners from
Corporation as one of the plaintiffs therein. intervening in the intestate proceedings, case law has
consistently held that the legal interest required of an
intervenor "must be actual and material, direct and
immediate, and not simply contingent and expectant."
Thereafter, private respondent Julita Campos Benedicto filed
with the RTC of Manila a petition for the issuance of letters of
administration in her favor, pursuant to Section 6, Rule 78 of
the Revised Rules of Court. the Manila RTC issued an order Civil actions for tort or quasi-delict do not fall within the class
appointing private respondent as administrator of the estate of claims to be filed under the notice to creditors required
of her deceased husband, and issuing letters of under Rule 86. These actions, being as they are civil, survive
administration in her favor. In January 2001, private the death of the decedent and may be commenced against
respondent submitted an Inventory of the Estate, Lists of the administrator pursuant to Section 1, Rule 87.
Personal and Real Properties, and Liabilities of the Estate of
her deceased husband. In the List of Liabilities attached to #2
the inventory, private respondent included as among the
liabilities, the above-mentioned two pending claims then In the same manner that the Rules on Special Proceedings
being litigated before the Bacolod City courts. do not provide a creditor or any person interested in the
estate, the right to participate in every aspect of the testate
or intestate proceedings, but instead provides for specific
instances when such persons may accordingly act in those
Subsequently, petitioners filed with the Manila RTC a proceedings, we deem that while there is no general right to
Manifestation/Motion Ex Abundanti Cautela, praying that intervene on the part of the petitioners, they may be allowed
they be furnished with copies of all processes and orders to seek certain prayers or reliefs from the intestate court not
pertaining to the intestate proceedings. petitioners filed an explicitly provided for under the Rules, if the prayer or relief
omnibus motion praying that the Manila RTC set a deadline sought is necessary to protect their interest in the estate, and
for the submission by private respondent of the required there is no other modality under the Rules by which such
inventory of the decedent's estate. Petitioners also filed other interests can be protected.
pleadings or motions with the Manila RTC, alleging lapses on
the part of private respondent in her administration of the Allowing creditors, contingent or otherwise, access to the
estate, and assailing the inventory that had been submitted records of the intestate proceedings is an eminently
thus far as unverified, incomplete and inaccurate. preferable precedent than mandating the service of court
processes and pleadings upon them. In either case, the
interest of the creditor in seeing to it that the assets are
being preserved and disposed of in accordance with the
Manila RTC issued an order denying the rules will be duly satisfied.
manifestation/motion, on the ground that petitioners are not
interested parties within the contemplation of the Rules of
Court to intervene in the intestate proceedings. CA likewise
dismissed the petition. Nonetheless, in the instances that the Rules on Special
Proceedings do require notice to any or all "interested
ISSUE: parties" the petitioners as "interested parties" will be entitled
to such notice. The instances when notice has to be given to
WON creditors whose credit is based on contingent claim interested parties are provided in: (1) Sec. 10, Rule 85 in
have the right to participate in the settlement proceeding by reference to the time and place of examining and allowing
way of intervention under Rule 19 the account of the executor or administrator; (2) Sec. 7(b) of
Rule 89 concerning the petition to authorize the executor or
Won petitioners, as persons interested in the intestate estate administrator to sell personal estate, or to sell, mortgage or
of the deceased person, are entitled to copies of all otherwise encumber real estates; and; (3) Sec. 1, Rule 90
processes and orders pertaining to the intestate regarding the hearing for the application for an order for
proceedings. 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.
Heirs of Teves v. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 109963 October 13, 1999

Spouses Marcelina Cimafranca and Joaquin Teves died


intestate and without debts in 1943 and 1953, respectively.
During their lifetime, the spouses own two parcels of
land registered in the name of Marcelina and another lot
registered in the name of Joaquin and his two sisters.
However, Joaquin’s sisters died without issue, causing the
entire property to pass to him. After Marcelina and Joaquin
died, their children executed extrajudicial settlements
purporting to adjudicate unto themselves the ownership over
the two parcels of land and to alienate their shares thereto in
favor of their sister Asuncion Teves for a consideration. The
division of the subject lot was embodied in two deeds. The
first Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Sale was entered
into on June 13, 1956 while the second deed was executed
on April 21, 1959. The Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and
sale was executed on December 14, 1971. After the death of
Asuncion Teves, her children, private respondents,
extrajudicially settled her property, adjudicating unto
themselves said lots.

On May 9, 1984, herein petitioners, heirs of Marcelina and


Joaquin, filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of
Negros Occidental against private respondents for the
partition and reconveyance of the aforesaid parcels of land,
alleging
that the extrajudicial settlements were spurious.

ISSUE: Should the extrajudicial settlements be upheld?

Yes. An extrajudicial settlement is a contract and it is a well-


entrenched doctrine
that the law does not relieve a party from the effects of a
contract, entered into with all the required formalities and
with full awareness of what he was doing, simply because
the contract turned out to be a foolish or unwise investment.

Therefore, although plaintiffs-appellants may regret having


alienated their hereditary shares in favor of their sister
Asuncion, they must now be considered bound by their own
contractual acts. The subject extrajudicial settlements were
never registered. However, in the case of Vda. de Reyes vs.
CA, the Court, interpreting Section 1 of Rule 74 of the Rules
of
Court, upheld the validity of an oral partition of the
decedent’s estate and declared that the non-registration of
an extrajudicial settlement does not affect its intrinsic validity.
It was held in this case that the requirement that a partition
be put in a public document and registered has for its
purpose the protection of creditors and at the same time the
protection of the heirs themselves against tardy claims. The
object of registration is to serve as constructive notice to
others. Thus, despite its non-registration, the extrajudicial
settlements are legally effective and binding among the heirs
of Marcelina Cimafranca since their mother had no creditors
at the time of her death.
Heirs of Teves v. Court of Appeals evidentiary value of the extrajudicial settlements. The deeds
G.R. No. 109963 October 13, 1999 are public documents and it has been held by this Court that
a public document executed with all the legal formalities is
FACTS: entitled to a presumption of truth as to the recitals contained
therein. 22 In order to overthrow a certificate of a notary public
This is a petition for certiorari assailing the decision of CA to the effect that the grantor executed a certain document
which affirmed the decision of RTC. and acknowledged the fact of its execution before him, mere
preponderance of evidence will not suffice. Rather, the
MarcelinaCimafranca and Joaquin Teves had nine children, evidence must be so clear, strong and convincing as to
namely Teotimo, Felicia, Pedro, Andres, Asuncion, Gorgonio, exclude all reasonable dispute as to the falsity of the
Cresenciano, Arcadia and Maria. Andres, however, certificate. When the evidence is conflicting, the certificate
predeceased both his parents and died without issue. After will be upheld. 23 The appellate court's ruling that the
MarcelinaCimafranca and Joaquin Teves died, intestate and evidence presented by plaintiffs-appellants does not
without debts, in 1943 and 1953, respectively, their children constitute the clear, strong, and convincing evidence
executed extrajudicial settlements purporting to adjudicate necessary to overcome the positive value of the extrajudicial
unto themselves the ownership over two parcels of land settlements executed by the parties, all of which are public
belonging to their deceased parents and to alienate their documents, being essentially a finding of fact, is entitled to
shares thereto in favor of their sister Asuncion Teves.The great respect by the appellate court and should not be
validity of these settlements executed pursuant to section 1 disturbed on appeal. 24
of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court is the primary issue in the
present case.

On May 9, 1984, plaintiffs-appellants Ricardo and Arcadia However, notwithstanding their non-inclusion in the
Teves filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of settlement, the action which Pedro and Cresenciano might
Negros Oriental for the partition and reconveyance of two have brought for the reconveyance of their shares in the
parcels of land located in Dumaguete, designated as Lots property has already prescribed. An action for reconveyance
769-A and 6409, against the heirs of Asuncion Teves. based upon an implied trust pursuant to article 1456 of the
Civil Code prescribes in ten years from the registration of the
Petitioners argued that the extrajudicial partition was null and deed or from the issuance of the title. 27 Asuncion Teves
void for the signatures of some were forge hence the same acquired title over Lot 6409 in 1972, but the present case
does not have force and effect. was only filed by plaintiffs-appellants in 1984, which is more
than 10 years from the issuance of title.28
RTC decision was in favor of respondents. RTC upheld the
validity of the extrajudicial partition and sale and the action
for reconveyance was barred by laches. CA affirmed. Hence
this petition. With regards to the requisite of registration of extrajudicial
settlements, it is noted that the extrajudicial settlements
ISSUE: covering Lot 769-A were never registered. However, in the
case of Vda. de Reyes vs. CA, 35 the Court, interpreting
Whether or not the extrajudicial settlement and sale are section 1 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court, upheld the validity
valid. of an oral partition of the decedent's estate and declared that
the non-registration of an extrajudicial settlement does not
HELD: affect its intrinsic validity. It was held in this case that —

Yes. The extrajudicial settlement of a decedent's estate is [t]he requirement that a partition be put in a public document
authorized by section 1 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court, and registered has for its purpose the protection of creditors
which provides in pertinent part and at the same time the protection of the heirs themselves
that — against tardy claims. The object of registration is to serve as
constructive notice to others. It follows then that the intrinsic
If the decedent left no will and no debts and the heirs are all validity of partition not executed with the prescribed
of age, or the minors are represented by their judicial or legal formalities does not come into play when there are no
representatives duly authorized for the purpose, the parties creditors or the rights of creditors are not affected. Where no
may, without securing letters of administration, divide the such rights are involved, it is competent for the heirs of an
estate among themselves as they see fit by means of a estate to enter into an agreement for distribution in a manner
public instrument filed in the office of the register of deeds, . . and upon a plan different from those provided by law.
.
Thus, despite its non-registration, the extrajudicial
xxxxxxxxx settlements involving Lot 769-A are legally effective and
binding among the heirs of MarcelinaCimafranca since their
Thus, for a partition pursuant to section 1 of Rule 74 to be mother had no creditors at the time of her death.
valid, the following conditions must concur: (1) the decedent
left no will; (2) the decedent left no debts, or if there were
debts left, all had been paid; (3) the heirs are all of age, or if
they are minors, the latter are represented by their judicial Decision affirmed.
guardian or legal representatives; (4) the partition was made
by means of a public instrument or affidavit duly filed with the
Register of Deeds. 21

We uphold, finding no cogent reason to reverse, the trial and


appellate courts' factual finding that the evidence presented
by plaintiffs-appellants is insufficient to overcome the
IN RE: PALAGANAS v. ERNESTO PALAGANAS previously probated and allowed in the country where it was
executed.
G.R. No. 169144, 26 January 2011
RULING
Abad, J.:
Yes.Our laws do not prohibit the probate of wills executed by
FACTS foreigners abroad although the same have not as yet been
probated and allowed in the countries of their execution. A
On November 8, 2001 Ruperta C. Palaganas, a Filipino who foreign will can be given legal effects in our jurisdiction.
became a naturalized United States citizen, died single and Article 816 of the Civil Code states that the will of an alien
childless. In the last will and testament she executed in who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made in
California, she designated her brother, Sergio C. Palaganas, accordance with the formalities prescribed by the law of the
as the executor of her will for she had left properties in the place where he resides, or according to the formalities
Philippines and in the US. observed in his country.

On May 19, 2003 respondent Ernesto C. Palaganas, another In insisting that Ruperta’s will should have been first
brother of Ruperta, filed with the Regional Trial Court of probated and allowed by the court of California, petitioners
Malolos, Bulacan, a petition for the probate of Ruperta’s will Manuel and Benjamin obviously have in mind the procedure
and for his appointment as special administrator of her for the reprobate of will before admitting it here. But,
estate. On October 15, 2003, however, petitioners Manuel reprobate or re-authentication of a will already probated and
Miguel Palaganas and Benjamin Gregorio Palaganas, allowed in a foreign country is different from that probate
nephews of Ruperta, opposed the petition on the ground that where the will is presented for the first time before a
Ruperta’s will should not be probated in the Philippines but in competent court. Reprobate is specifically governed by Rule
the U.S. where she executed it. Manuel and Benjamin 77 of the Rules of Court. Contrary to petitioners’ stance,
added that, assuming Ruperta’s will could be probated in the since this latter rule applies only to reprobate of a will, it
Philippines, it is invalid nonetheless for having been cannot be made to apply to the present case. In reprobate,
executed under duress and without the testator’s full the local court acknowledges as binding the findings of the
understanding of the consequences of such act. Ernesto, foreign probate court provided its jurisdiction over the matter
they claimed, is also not qualified to act as administrator of can be established.
the estate.

Meantime, since Ruperta’s foreign-based siblings, Gloria


Villaluz and Sergio, were on separate occasions in the
Philippines for a short visit, respondent Ernesto filed a
motion with the RTC for leave to take their deposition, which
it granted. On April, 13, 2004 the RTC directed the parties to
submit their memorandum on the issue of whether or not
Ruperta’s U.S. will may be probated in and allowed by a
court in the Philippines.

On June 17, 2004 the RTC issued an order: (a) admitting to


probate Ruperta’s last will; (b) appointing respondent
Ernesto as special administrator at the request of Sergio, the
U.S.-based executor designated in the will; and (c) issuing
the Letters of Special Administration to Ernesto.

Aggrieved by the RTC’s order, petitioner nephews Manuel


and Benjamin appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA),
arguing that an unprobated will executed by an American
citizen in the U.S. cannot be probated for the first time in the
Philippines.

On July 29, 2005 the CA rendered a decision, affirming the


assailed order of the RTC, holding that the RTC properly
allowed the probate of the will, subject to respondent
Ernesto’s submission of the authenticated copies of the
documents specified in the order and his posting of required
bond. The CA pointed out that Section 2, Rule 76 of the
Rules of Court does not require prior probate and allowance
of the will in the country of its execution, before it can be
probated in the Philippines. The present case, said the CA,
is different from reprobate, which refers to a will already
probated and allowed abroad. Reprobate is governed by
different rules or procedures. Unsatisfied with the decision,
Manuel and Benjamin came to this Court.

ISSUE

Whether or not a will executed by a foreigner abroad may


be probated in the Philippines although it has not been
DE GUZMAN VS. LIMCOLIOC asked for the reconsideration of the appointment of Nicolasa,
she did not deny these allegations and merely stated that
FACTS: they do not justify her appointment as administratrix. For
failure of Angela to deny these allegations, thus taking them
Proceso de Guzman died on January 1, 1937, without for granted, the court was justified in considering them when
leaving a will. The deceased was first married to Agatona it denied the reconsideration of its resolution and when it
Santos, with whom he had four children, named Nicolasa, sustained the appointment of Nicolasa. 3. If the properties
Apolinario, Ana and Tomasa. After Agatona's death, the left by the deceased Proceso de Guzman were acquired
deceased contracted a second marriage with Angela during his marriage with Agatona Santos, his children,
Limcolioc, with whom he did not have any child. among them Nicolasa, have more interest therein than his
now widow, Angela Limcolioc, who would only be entitled, by
On the 7th of the same month of January, 1937, the Court of way of usufruct, to a portion equal to that corresponding to
First Instance of Rizal appointed Nicolasa de Guzman one of the children who has received no betterment.
judicial administratrix of the properties of the deceased
Proceso de Guzman. On the 8th of the same month of
January, 1937, Angela Limcolioc, widow of the deceased,
asked that this appointment be set aside and that she had
named administratrix instead, on that ground of her
preference as the widow. The court denied this petition and
sustained the appointment of Nicolasa. From these
resolutions, Angela appealed.

ISSUE:

Whether the trial court erred in not appointing her


administratrix of the estate of the deceased Proceso de
Guzman and in appointing Nicolasa de Guzman as such
administratrix without first setting the case for hearing.

RULING:

The application filed by Nicolasa de Guzman for her


appointment alleges that during the marital life of the
deceased with his first wife Agatona Santos, both, through
their mutual labor, acquired all the properties left by the
deceased, not having acquired any property during his
second marriage with Angela Limcolioc. The court bore these
allegations in mind. It is true that the case was not heard for
the purpose of establishing these allegations, but when
Angela asked for the reconsideration of the appointment of
Nicolasa, she did not deny these allegations and merely
stated that they do not justify her appointment as
administratrix. For failure of Angela to deny these
allegations, thus taking them for granted, the court was
justified in considering them when it denied the
reconsideration of its resolution and when it sustained the
appointment of Nicolasa.

ISSUE: Should the widow be appointed administrator by


virtue of her preference in the Rules?

HELD: NO.

RULE: The principal consideration reckoned with in the


appointment of the administrator of the estate of a deceased
person is the interest in said estate of the one to be
appointed as such administrator. But this preference
established by law is not absolute, if there are other reasons
justifying the appointment of an administrator other than
surviving spouse.

In this case,

1. Nicolasa de Guzman, in her application for her


appointment, alleged that during the marital life of the
deceased with his first wife Agatona Santos, both, through
their mutual labor, acquired all the properties left by the
deceased, not having acquired any property during his
second marriage with Angela Limcolioc. 2. When Angela
HEIRS OF CASTILLO VS. GABRIEL the will, regular administration is delayed. The new Rules
have broadened the basis for the appointment of an
FACTS: administrator, and such appointment is allowed when there is
delay in granting letters testamentary or administration by
On January 25, 1989, Crisanta Yanga-Gabriel, wife of any cause, e.g. , parties cannot agree among themselves. It
Lorenzo Almoradie, died in Malabon City leaving behind a needs to be emphasized that in the appointment of a special
sizable inheritance consisting mostly of real estate and administrator (which is but temporary and subsists only until
shares of stock. A month after her death, Crisanta’s mother a regular administrator is appointed), the probate court does
commenced an intestate proceedings before RTC of not determine the shares in the decedents estate, but merely
Malabon City docketed as Spc. Proc. No. 192-MN. She appoints who is entitled to administer the estate. The issue of
prayed among others that the letters of administration be heirship is one to be determined in the decree of distribution,
issued to her son, Mariano Yanga, brother of Crisanta. RTC and the findings of the court on the relationship of the parties
appointed Lorenzo as administrator. However, the marriage in the administration as to be the basis of distribution. Thus,
between Lorenzo and Crisanta was declared void for being the preference of respondent is sound, that is, not whimsical,
bigamous. Then, RTC removed Lorenzo as administrator or contrary to reason, justice, equity or legal principle. The
and appointed Mariano. petitioners strenuous invocation of Section 6, Rule 78 of the
Rules of Court is misplaced. The rule refers to the
On October 16, 1989, Belinda Dahlia Castillo filed a motion appointment of regular administrators of estates; Section 1,
for intervention, claiming that she is the only legitimate child Rule 80, on the other hand, applies to the appointment of a
of Lorenzo and Crisanta but on June 2, 1990 Belinda Castillo special administrator. It has long been settled that the
died. On November 3, 1989, Roberto Y. Gabriel filed before appointment of special administrators is not governed by the
RTC a petition for probate of an alleged will and for the rules regarding the appointment of regular administrators
issuance of letters testamentary in his favour. He alleged that
he discovered his mother’s will on Oct. 25, 1989 in which he
was instituted as the sole heir and designated as alternate
executor for the named executor therein, Francisco Yanga,
brother of Crisanta, who had predeceased the latter. The
RTC of Malabon City dismissed the intestate proceedings of
Spec. Proc. No. 192-MN. The probate court appointed
Roberto Y. Gabriel as special administrator of his mother’s
estate. However, on April 16, 2001, Roberto died. His widow
Dolores filed a Manifestation and Motion where she informed
the probate court about her husband’s death and prayed that
she be admitted as substitute in place of her late husband
and be appointed as administratix as well. Heirs of Belinda
opposed to it contended that she was not Crisanta’s next of
kin. RTC appointed Dolores as special administratix. The
Heirs of Belinda moved to reconsider but it was denied by
the probate court. CA affirmed the decision of the lower
court.

ISSUE:

Whether the appointment of Dolores as special administratix


by probate court is proper

HELD:

Yes. The Court has repeatedly held that the appointment of a


special administrator lies in the sound discretion of the
probate court. A special administrator is a representative of a
decedent, appointed by the probate court to care for and
preserve his estate until an executor or general administrator
is appointed. When appointed, a special administrator is
regarded not as a representative of the agent of the parties
suggesting the appointment, but as the administrator in
charge of the estate, and, in fact, as an officer of the court.
As such officer, he is subject to the supervision and control of
the probate court and is expected to work for the best
interests of the entire estate, especially its smooth
administration and earliest settlement. The principal object of
appointment of temporary administrator is to preserve the
estate until it can pass into hands of person fully authorized
to administer it for the benefit of creditors and heirs. In many
instances, the appointment of administrators for the estates
of decedents frequently become involved in protracted
litigations, thereby exposing such estates to great waste and
losses unless an authorized agent to collect the debts and
preserve the assets in the interim is appointed. The occasion
for such an appointment, likewise, arises where, for some
cause, such as a pendency of a suit concerning the proof of
INTESTATE ESTATE OF DON MARIANO SAN PEDRO V.
COURT OF APPEALS

> This is a claim of a huge parcel of land covering lands in


the provinces Nueva ecija, Bulacan, and in cities including
Quezon city.

> This case involves 2 cases, which prior to being decided


by the SC were consolidated. The first case was a complaint
for recovery of possession and damages against Ocampo,
Buhain, and Dela Cruz. In the complaint, it was alleged that
the defendants (Ocampo - Dela Cruz) were able to secure
from the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City titles to a portions
of the claimed estate. In the end, the lower courts ruled in
favor of Ocampo - Dela Cruz, declaring

that the Torrens titles of the defendants cannot be defeated


by the alleged Spanish title, Titulo Propriedad no. 4316.

> The 2nd case is a petition for letters of adiministration over


the intestate estate of the late Mariano San Pedro Y
Esteban. This involves a prayer to be declared as
administrator. This case eventually ended in the same
manner as the first case - the Titulo de Prorpriedad was
declared void and of no legal force, therefore the lands
covered by the Titulo are not within the estate of the
deceased.

> Issue: W/N the Titulo de Propriedad is null and void and
therefore the lands covered or claimed under such title are
not included in the estate of the deceased...

> The Titulo is null and void. It has been defeated by the title
of the defendants under the Torrens system.

> It is settled that by virtue of Pd no 892 which tool effect on


Feb 16 1976 the syte of registration under the Spanish
Mortgage Law was abolished and all holders of Spanish
titles or grants should cause their lands coverd thereby to be
registered under the Land Registration Act within 6mos from
date of effectivity of the said decree.

> Proof of compliance (Certificate of Title) with the said


decree should have been presented during trial.
ISABEL P. PORTUGAL and JOSE DOUGLAS PORTUGAL Revised Rules of Court. Said rule is an exception to the
JR., VS. general rule that when a person dies leaving a property, it
LEONILA PORTUGAL-BELTRAN should be judicially administered and the competent court
Borlagdatan, April should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order
established in Sec. 6, Rule 78 in case the deceased left no
FACTS: will, or in case he did, he failed to name an executor therein.

It appears from the records that Jose Portugal (Portugal, Sr.) Petitioners claim, however, to be the exclusive heirs of
contracted two marriages. Portugal. A probate or intestate court, no doubt, has
jurisdiction to declare who are the heirs of a deceased.
1st marriage with Paz Lazo in 1942 whom he had a daughter
named Leonila Perpetua Aleli Portugal (respondent) 2nd
marriage with Isabel de la Puerta in 1948, who gave birth to
a boy named Jose Douglas Portugal, Jr. (petitioners).

By virtue of a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition and Waiver of


Rights executed by Portugal Sr. and his 4 siblings, over the
estate of their father, a parcel of land n Caloocan was issued
a TCT in the name of “Jose Q. Portugal, married to Paz C.
Lazo”.

Paz died in 1984, while Portugal Sr. died intestate in 1985.

In 1988, Leonila executed an “Affidavit of Adjudication by


Sole Heir of Estate of Deceased Person”, adjudicating to
herself the Caloocan parcel of land, and was subsequently
registered (1988) in her name “Leonila Portugal Beltran,
married to Merardo M. Beltran, Jr.”

In 1996, Isabel and Portugal, Jr. (petitioners) filed a


complaint against Leonila for cancellation of Affidavit of
Adjudication and TCT issued in her name, alleging that
Leonila is not related whatsoever to the deceased Portugal,
Sr., hence, not entitled to inherit the Caloocan parcel of land,
and accordingly prayed that said TCT be cancelled and a
new one be issued in their (petitioner’s) name.

A Pre-Trial Order was issued & after trial, the trial court
dismissed the case for lack of cause of action and lack of
jurisdiction without resolving the issues as stated in the pre-
trial order, on the ground that petitioner’s status and right as
putative heirs had not been established before a probate
court.

Aggrieved, petitioners appealed to CA, citing the case of


Carino vs. Carino. In this case, the SC ratiocinates that the
court may pass upon the validity of marriage even after the
death of the parties thereto, and even in a suit not directly
instituted to question the validity of said marriage, so long as
it is essential to the determination of the case.

However, the CA found Carino to be inapplicable. The


appellate court held that in Carino case, the main issue was
the validity of the two marriages, whereas in the instant case,
the main issue is the annulment of title to property. Thus, the
CA affirmed the TC’s dismissal of the case.

Hence, the present petition.

ISSUE:
WON petitioners have to institute a special proceeding to
determine their status as heirs before they can pursue the
case for annulment of respondent’s Affidavit of Adjudication
and of the TCT issued in her name.

RULING: NO.
In the case at bar, respondent, believing rightly or wrongly
that she was the sole heir to Portugal’s estate, executed on
February 15, 1988 the questioned Affidavit of Adjudication
under the second sentence of Rule 74, Section 1 of the
ANCHETA v. GUERSEY-DALAYGON

GR NO. 139868; June 8, 2006

TOPIC: Rule 77 –Allowance of Will Proved Outside of the


Philippines and Administration of Estate Thereunder

Facts: Spouses Audrey O’Neill (Audrey) and W. Richard


Guersey (Richard) were American citizens who have resided
in the Philippines for 30 years. They have an adopted
daughter, Kyle Guersey Hill (Kyle). Audrey died in 1979. She
left a will wherein she bequeathed her entire estate to
Richard consisting of Audrey’s conjugal share in real estate
improvements at Forbes Park, current account with cash
balance and shares of stock in A/G Interiors. Two years after
her death, Richard married Candelaria Guersey-Dalaygon.
Four years thereafter, Richard died and left a will wherein he
bequeathed his entire estate to respondent, except for his
shares in A/G, which he left to his adopted daughter.

Petitioner, as ancillary administrator in the court where


Audrey’s will was admitted to probate, filed a motion to
declare Richard and Kyle as heirs of Audrey and a project of
partition of Audrey’s estate. The motion and project of
partition were granted. Meanwhile, the ancillary administrator
with regards to Richard’s will also filed a project of partition,
leaving 2/5 of Richard’s undivided interest in the Forbes
property was allocated to respondent Candelaria, while 3/5
thereof was allocated to their three children. Respondent
opposed on the ground that under the law of the State of
Maryland, where Richard was a native of, a legacy passes to
the legatee the entire interest of the testator in the property
subject to the legacy.

Issue: Whether or not the decree of distribution may still be


annulled under the circumstances.

Held: A decree of distribution of the estate of a deceased


person vests the title to the land of the estate in the
distributees, which, if erroneous may be corrected by a
timely appeal. Once it becomes final, its binding effect is like
any other judgment in rem.

However, in exceptional cases, a final decree of distribution


of the estate may be set aside for lack of jurisdiction or fraud.
Further, in Ramon vs. Ortuzar, the Court ruled that a party
interested in a probate proceeding may have a final
liquidation set aside when he is left out by reason of
circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or
inadvertence not imputable to negligence.

Petitioner’s failure to proficiently manage the distribution of


Audrey’s estate according to the terms of her will and as
dictated by the applicable law amounted to extrinsic fraud.
Hence the CA Decision annulling the RTC Orders dated
February 12, 1988 and April 7, 1988, must be upheld.
DIOSDADO S. MANUNGAS, Petitioner, versus MARGARITA AVILA Rule 83, do not apply to the selection or removal of special
and FLORENCIA AVILAPARREÑO, Respondents administrator. x x x As the law does not say who shall be
G.R. No. 193161 Promulgated: August 22, 2011 appointed as special administrator and the qualifications the
appointee must have, the judge or court has discretion in the
selection of the person to be appointed, discretion which must
FACTS: be sound, that is, not whimsical or contrary to reason, justice or
Engracia Manungas was the wife of Florentino Manungas (no equity.
children of their own).They adopted Samuel David Avila (Avila)
on August 12, 1968.Florentino Manungas died intestate on May While the trial court has the discretion to appoint anyone as a
29, 1977, while Avila predeceased his adoptive mother. special administrator of the estate, such discretion must be
Avila was survived by his wife Sarah Abarte Vda. de exercised with reason, guided by the directives of equity, justice
Manungas. Engracia Manungas (administatrix) filed a Motion for and legal principles. It may, therefore, not be remiss to reiterate
Partition of Estate on March 31, 1980 in the intestate estate that the role of a special administrator is to preserve the estate
proceedings of Florentino Manungas (she stated herself, Avila until a regular administrator is appointed. As stated in Sec. 2,
and Ramon Manungas [natural son of Florentino] as forced Rule 80 of the Rules:
heirs). Avila’s widow executed a Waiver of Rights and
Participation on October 29, 1980. Section 2. Powers and duties of special adminsitrator. — Such
Decree of Final Distribution was issued in the intestate estate special administrator shall take possession and charge of the
proceedings (distributing the properties to Engracia Manungas goods, chattels, rights, credits, and estate of the deceased
and Ramon Manungas).October 25, 1995, the RTC of andpreserve the same for the executors or administrator
Panabo City, appointed Parreño, the niece of Engracia afterwards appointed, and for that purpose may commence
Manungas, as the Judicial Guardian of the properties and and maintain suits as administrator. He may sell only such
person of her incompetent aunt.Engracia Manungas, through perishable and other property as the court orders sold. A special
Parreño, instituted a Civil Case against the spouses Diosdado administrator shall not be liable to pay any debts of the
Salinas Manungas and Milagros Pacifico for illegal detainer and deceased unless so ordered by the court.
damages with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in Panabo City
(they’re occupying the property because they said Diosdado is Given this duty on the part of the special administrator, it would,
an illegitimate son of Florentino). Answer was filed beyond the therefore, be prudent and reasonable to appoint someone
reglementary period, not considered by the MTC = summary interested in preserving the estate for its eventual distribution to
judgment was issued in favor of Engracia. Spouses Salinas the heirs. Such choice would ensure that such person would not
appealed in the RTC of Davao City(affirmed decision of MTC). expose the estate to losses that would effectively diminish his or
August 7, 1998, Diosdado instituted a petition for the issuance of her share. While the court may use its discretion and depart
letters of administration over the Estate of Engracia Manungas from such reasoning, still, there is no logical reason to appoint a
(Estate of Manungas) in his favor before the RTC, Branch 2 person who is a debtor of the estate and otherwise a stranger to
in Tagum City, Davao (Diosdado is Florentino’s illegitimate son = the deceased. To do so would be tantamount to grave abuse of
Engracia’s heir).Petition was opposed by Margarita Avila Loreto discretion.
(Loreto) and Parreño alleging that Diosdado was incompetent as Hence, the CA ruled that the trial court erred in issuing the
an administrator of the Estate of Manungas claiming that a) he November 4, 2002 Order, acting with grave abuse of discretion
was not a Manungas, b) that he was not an heir of Engracia in appointing Diosdado as the special administrator of Engracia
Manungas, c) he was not a creditor of Engracia Manungas or Manungas’ estate:
her estate and d) that he was in fact a debtor of the estate (liable In any case, the trial court erred in revoking the
to Engracia Manungas for PhP 177,000 because of the MTC appointment of Florencia Avila Parreño as Special Administrator
decision). on the ground that it found merit in Diosdado’s contention that he
RTC appointed Parreno AGAIN as the administrator of the is the illegitimate child of the late Florentino Manangus. The
Manunga Estate.Diosdado filed a Motion for Reconsideration evidence on record shows that Diosdado is not related to
with a Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary the late Engracia and so he is not interested in preserving
Injunction. Parreño’s appointment as special administrator of the the latter’s estate. On the other hand, Florencia, who is a
Estate of Manungas a) ceased upon Engracia Manungas’ death former Judicial guardian of Engracia when she was still alive and
(her appointment as special administrator was without basis), who is also the niece of the latter, is interested in protecting and
b) Parreño was not fit to become a special administrator (already preserving the estate of her late aunt Engracia, as by doing so
been fined by the court for failing to render a timely accounting she would reap the benefit of a wise administration of the
of Engracia Manungas’ property as her judicial guardian), c) decedent’s estate. Hence, the Order of the lower court
Parreño is a mere niece, a collateral relative, of Engracia revoking the appointment of Florencia Avila Parreño as
Manungas, while he is the illegitimate son of Florentino special administrator constitutes not only a reversible error,
Manungas.RTC reversed decision, appointed Diosdado as but also a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
administrator. CA reversed RTC, appointed Parreno as excess of jurisdiction. In the instant case, the lower court
Administrator. exercised its power in a despotic, arbitrary or capricious
manner, as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or to a
ISSUE: WON Diosdado should be an administrator of the virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in
Manungas Estate (on the basis that he’s an illegitimate child of contemplation of law.
Florentino).
To reiterate, the subject of the intestate proceedings is the estate
HELD: NO. The mere fact that Diosdado is an heir to the estate of Engracia Manungas. It must be remembered that the estate of
of Florentino Manungas does not mean that he is entitled or Florentino Manungas was already the subject of intestate
even qualified to become the special administrator of the Estate proceedings that have long been terminated with the proceeds
of Manungas.Jurisprudence teaches us that the appointment of distributed to the heirs with the issuance of a Decree of Final
a special administrator lies within the discretion of the court. Distribution.[27] With the termination of the intestate estate
[24]
In Heirs of Belinda Dahlia A. Castillo v. Lacuata-Gabriel, it was proceedings of Florentino Manungas, Diosdado, as an
stated that: illegitimate heir of Florentino Manungas, is still not an heir of
It is well settled that the statutory provisions as to the prior or Engracia Manungas and is not entitled to receive any part of the
preferred right of certain persons to the appointment of Estate of Manungas. In fact, Diosdado is a debtor of the estate
administrator under Section 1, Rule 81, as well as the statutory and would have no interest in preserving its value. There is no
provisions as to causes for removal of an executor or reason to appoint him as its special administrator. The trial court
administrator under section 653 of Act No. 190, now Section 2, acted with grave abuse of discretion in appointing Diosdado as
special administrator of the Estate of Manungas. The CA
correctly set aside the November 4, 2002 Order of the RTC.
Romero vs. CAGR. No. 188921, April 18, 2012

Facts: On 1974, when Judge Romero died his wife, Aurora


was appointed as legalguardian. During the pendency of
Settlement Proceedings of the estate of theirdeceased
father, Leo and David Romero filed a Complaint for
Annulment of Sale, Nullification of Title, and Conveyance of
Title against their mother Aurora C.Romero and brother
Vittorio C. Romero alleging that their brother Vittorio

through fraud, misrepresentation and duress

succeeded in registering the several properties in his name
through of Deeds of Sale executed by their mother,
Aurora.The RTC dismissed the complaint. Likewise, the RTC
denied their MR, citingSection 3, Rule 87 of the Rules of
Court which bars an heir or a devisee frommaintaining an
action to recover the title or possession of lands until such
lands
have actually been assigned. The court ruled that “plaintiffs
must first cause the
termination of settlement proceedings to its logical
conclusion before their casecould be entertained by
the Court. Leo and David filed Petition for Certiorari before
the CA alleging grave abuse of discretion in the Resolutions
issued by theRTC of Lingayen, Pangasinan. The CA
dismissed the petition. Petitioners assertthat the jurisdiction
of the RTC sitting as a probate or intestate court relates only
tomatters having to do with the settlement of the estate of
deceased persons or theappointment of executors, but does
not extend to the determination of questions ofownership
that arise during the proceedings. Hence this appeal.

Issue: Whether or not a separate civil action for annulment of


sale andreconveyance of title, despite the pendency of
the settlement proceedings for theestate of the late Judge
Dante Y. Romero may prosper.

Ruling : NO.
Section 3, Rule 87 bars petitioners from filing the present
action.
The said provision states that:

Sec. 3.
Heir may not sue until share assigned.


When an executor oradministrator is appointed and
assumes the trust, no action to recover the title
or possession of lands or for damages done to such lands
shall be maintained againsthim by an heir or devisee until
there is an order of the court assigning such lands tosuch
heir or devisee or until the time allowed for paying debts
has expired.

rendered judgment thereon, or when a special proceeding
had been instituted but had been finally closed and
Ypon v Ricaforte (Succession) terminated, and hence, cannot be re-opened.
GR No. 198680, July 8, 2013 In this case, none of the foregoing exceptions, or those of
HEIRS OF MAGDALENO YPON, NAMELY, ALVARO YPON, similar nature, appear to exist.
ERUDITA Y. BARON, CICERO YPON, WILSON YPON, (Remedial law related):
VICTOR YPON, AND HINIDINO Y. PEÑALOSA, 1. Cause of action is defined as the act or omission by which
PETITIONERS, vs. a party violates a right of another. It is well-settled that
GAUDIOSO PONTERAS RICAFORTE A.K.A. "GAUDIOSO the existence of a cause of action is determined by the
E. YPON," AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF allegations in the complaint. In this relation, a complaint is
TOLEDO CITY, RESPONDENTS. said to assert a sufficient cause of action if, admitting what
appears solely on its face to be correct, the plaintiff would
FACTS: be entitled to the relief prayed for. Accordingly, if the
On July 29, 2010, the Ypons filed a complaint for allegations furnish sufficient basis by which the complaint
Cancellation of Title and Reconveyance with Damages can be
(subject maintained, the same should not be dismissed, regardless of
complaint) against respondent Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte. the defenses that may be averred by the defendants.
In their complaint, they alleged that Magdaleno Ypon 2. Under Section 3, Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of
(Magdaleno) died intestate and childless on June 28, 1968 Court, a civil action is defined as one by which a party sues
Claiming to be the sole heir of Magdaleno, Gaudioso another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the
executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and caused the prevention or redress of a wrong while a special
cancellation of the aforementioned certificates of title, proceeding is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a
leading to their subsequent transfer in his name status, a right, or a particular fact. It is then decisively
In his Answer, Gaudioso alleged that he is the lawful son of clear that the declaration of heirship can be made only in a
Magdaleno as evidenced by: (a) his certificate of Live special proceeding inasmuch as the petitioners here are
Birth; (b) two (2) letters from Polytechnic School; and (c) a seeking the establishment of a status or right.
certified true copy of his passport. Further, by way of
affirmative defense, he claimed that: (a) petitioners have no
cause of action against him; (b) the complaint fails to
state a cause of action; and (c) the case is not prosecuted by
the real parties-in-interest, as there is no showing that
the petitioners have been judicially declared as Magdaleno’s
lawful heirs.
DECISION OF LOWER COURTS:
(1) RTC-Toledo: dismissed the case for lack of cause of
action.
The Court also denied their motion for reconsideration due to
the counsel’s failure to state the date on which his
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Certificate of
Compliance was issued.
Direct to the Supreme Court (pure questions of law)

ISSUE:
Whether or not the RTC’s dismissal of the case on the
ground that the subject complaint failed to state a cause of
action was proper

RULING:
Yes, it was proper.
General Rule
The rule is that the determination of a decedent’s lawful heirs
should be made in the corresponding special
proceeding precludes the RTC, in an ordinary action for
cancellation of title and reconveyance, from granting the
same. In the case of Heirs of Teofilo Gabatan v. CA, the
Court, citing several other precedents, held that the
determination of who are the decedent’s lawful heirs must be
made in the proper special proceeding for such
purpose, and not in an ordinary suit for recovery of
ownership and/or possession, as in this case.
The trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the
civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only
be made in a special proceeding.
Exception
By way of exception, the need to institute a separate special
proceeding for the determination of heirship may be
dispensed with for the sake of practicality, as when the
parties in the civil case had voluntarily submitted the issue to
the trial court and already presented their evidence regarding
the issue of heirship, and the RTC had consequently
Cristina Reillo vs Galicano San Jose they already admitted that there are other heirs which were
excluded in the deed of extrajudicial settlement. Their
Remedial Law – Special Proceedings – Counterclaims – allegation that the parcel of land adjudicated by their mother
Fraudulent Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement – Publication is her inheritance is not tenable because the same was not
indicated in the deed of extrajudicial settlement. In fact, what
Quiterio San Jose and Antonina Espiritu Santo are husband was stated was that she was the sole heir.
and wife. Both died intestate in 1970 and 1976 respectively.
They have five children, to wit: Virginia, Virgilio, Galicano, Anent the issue of the counterclaim, Reillo et al’s
Victoria, and Catalina. counterclaim is permissive in nature and not a compulsory
one because their claim is not “necessarily connected with
In 1998, Virginia with the help of her husband(Zosimo the transaction or occurrence constituting the subject matter
Fernando, Sr.) and her children (Cristina Reillo et al) of the opposing party’s claim”. Their counterclaim consists of
executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate where a claim that there are 12 other parcels of land owned by
they made it appear that Virginia was the only heir of the Quiterio and Antonina. Such allegation is already entirely
spouses Quiterio and Antonina. They adjudicated among different from the action brought by Galicano et al., hence it
themselves the estate and then later sold it to Ma. Teresa is permissive and it can even be brought in a separate
Piñon. proceeding. As a permissive pleading, it requires the
payment of docket fees and the RTC cannot be faulted for
Later, the other siblings found out about what Virginia did not directing Reillo et al to do so. The payment is incumbent
and so in October 1999, they filed a complaint in RTC-Rizal upon Reillo et al and the obligation cannot be shifted to the
for the annulment of the deed of extrajudicial settlement as RTC.
well as the subsequent deed of sale.

In their answer, Reillo et al (children of the now deceased


Virginia) admitted that their grandparents (Quiterio and
Antonina) indeed had five children and that their mom isn’t
the only heir. However, they alleged that what their mom
adjudicated to herself is her inheritance; that other than the
parcel of land their mom adjudicated to herself, their
grandparents have 12 other parcels of land which are under
the possession of Galicano et al; that as such, they are filing
a “compulsory” counterclaim for the partition of the other 12
parcels of land.

Galicano et al then filed a motion for the court to render


judgment on the pleadings. The trial court granted the
motion. The RTC ruled that the admission of Reillo et al that
there are 4 other heirs is proof that the extrajudicial
settlement is void because the other heirs were excluded.
The RTC also ruled that Reillo et al’s counterclaim is not
compulsory but rather it is a permissive counterclaim. As
such, Reillo et al should have paid docket fees therefor but
they failed to do so hence their counterclaim is dismissed.
The RTC then ordered the heirs to partition the estate
according to the laws of intestate succession. On appeal, the
Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision of the RTC.

Reillo et al appealed the decision of the CA on the ground


that the judgment on the pleading is void; that it is the RTC’s
fault why they failed to pay the docket fees for its failure to
direct them; and that the order for partition is void because it
does not come with an order of publication pursuant to Rule
74 of the Rules of Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not the order for partition issued by the


trial court is void because there was no corresponding order
for publication pursuant to the provisions of Rule 74 of the
Rules of Court.

HELD: No. The applicable rule is Rule 69 of the Rules of


Court. Since the extrajudicial settlement is void, the property
is reverted back to its previous state which is: that it is part of
the estate of Quiterio and Antonina. As such, the estate is
deemed undivided among the heirs. And every action to end
an indivision among heirs is deemed an action for partition.
Therefore Rule 69 applies and under this rule, there is no
need to publish the partition in a newspaper of general
circulation.

Anent the issue of the judgment on the pleadings, the same


is valid because Reillo et al failed to raise an issue when
SPOUSES BENATIRO vs HEIRS OF CUYOS fraud, but on the ground that the assailed order is void for
lack of due process.
G.R. No. 161220 July 30, 2008
Section 2 of Rule 47 of the Rules of Court provides that:
FACTS: Grounds for annulment of judgment. — The annulment may
be based only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of
Spouses Evaristo Cuyos and Agatona Arrogante Cuyos had jurisdiction.
nine children, namely: Francisco, Victoria, Columba, Lope,
Salud, Gloria, Patrocenia, Numeriano, and Enrique. On However, jurisprudence recognizes denial of due process as
August 28, 1966, Evaristo died leaving six parcels of land additional ground therefor.
located in Tapilon, Daanbantayan, Cebu.
The veracity of Atty. Taneo’s report was doubtful. There was
Before the CFI, after filing a petition to have herself no evidence showing that the heirs indeed convened for the
appointed administrator, and after filing an opposition purpose of arriving at an agreement regarding the estate
thereto, Gloria & Fransisco, assisted by their corresponding properties, since they were not even required to sign
counsels, agreed to have Gloria appointed as administratrix anything to show their attendance of the alleged meeting.
of the estate & letters of administration of the estate of the The Commissioner's Report, which embodied the alleged
late Evaristo Cuyos were issued in favor of Mrs. Gloria agreement of the heirs, did not bear the signatures of the
Cuyos Talian after posting a nominal bond of P1,000.00. The alleged attendees to show their consent and conformity
Clerk of Court, Atty. Taneo was appointed to act as thereto. It was imperative that all the heirs must be present
Commissioner to effect the agreement of the parties and to in the conference and be heard to afford them the
prepare the project of partition. In his Commissioner’s report opportunity to protect their interests. The CFI adopted and
dated July 29, 1976, Atty. Taneo stated that he issued approved the Report despite the absence of the signatures
subpoenae supplemented by telegrams to all the heirs to of all the heirs showing conformity thereto. The CFI's order
cause their appearance on February 28 and 29, 1976 in based on a void Commissioner's Report, is a void judgment
Tapilon, Daanbantayan, Cebu, where the properties are for lack of due process.
located, for a conference or meeting to arrive at an
agreement; that out of the nine heirs, only respondents The CFI's order being null and void may be assailed
Gloria, Salud and Enrique Cuyos failed to attend. He anytime, the respondents' right to due process is the
reported that those who were present agreed not to partition paramount consideration in annulling the assailed order. An
the properties of the estate but instead agreed to first sell it action to declare the nullity of a void judgment does not
for the sum of P40,000.00 & divide the proceeds equally. prescribe. Since the CFI judgment is void, it has no legal
Columba bought the properties. The CFI appointed Lope and binding effect, force or efficacy for any purpose. In
Cuyos (Cuyos) as the new administrator of the estate based contemplation of law, it is non-existent. Hence, the execution
on Gloria’s absence & change of residence. The Court of the Deed of Sale by Lope in favor of Columba pursuant to
ordered the Administratrix to execute the deed of sale said void judgment, the issuance of titles pursuant to said
afterthe payment of the sum ofP36,000 which shall remain in Deed of Sale, and the subsequent transfers are void ab
custodia legis, then divided among the heirs after payment of initio.
necessary taxes.
The petition was denied
Cuyos executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over the six
parcels of land in favor of Columba for a consideration of the
sum of P36,000.00. Original Certificates of Titles were issued
in favor of the latter.

In Feb 1998, Gloria, Patrocenia , Numeriano, Enrique &


Salud filed with the CA a petition for annulment of the order
of the CFI of Cebu, alleging that the CFI’s order was null and
void and of no effect, the same being based on a
Commissioner's Report, which was patently false and
irregular; that such report practically deprived them of due
process in claiming their share of their father's estate, clearly
showing that extrinsic fraud caused them to be deprived of
their property.

The CA granted the petition and declared the CFI order &
the Certificates of Title issued in the name of Columba
Cuyos-Benatiro null & void, hence this petition for review on
certiorari.

ISSUE:

WON extrinsic fraud existed in the case at bar serving as a


sufficient ground to annul the CFI’s order.

HELD:

The Court held that the CFI;s order should be annulled not
on the ground of extrinsic fraud, as there is no sufficient
evidence to hold Atty. Taneo or any of the heirs guilty of
TEOFILO BAUTISTA, represented by FRANCISCO
MUÑOZ, Attorney-in-Fact v. ALLEGRIA BAUTISTA, et al.

529 SCRA 187 (2007)

Since the deed of extra-judicial partition is invalid, it confers


no rights upon the transferees under the principle of nemo
dat quod non habet.

During her lifetime, Teodora Rosario was the owner of a


211.80 square meter parcel of land (the property) in
Pangasinan. She died intestate leaving the said property
behind to her spouse Isidro Bautista, and five children
namely: Teofilo, Alegria, Angelica, Pacita, and Gil Bautista.
Later on, Isidro and four of his five children, Pacita, Gil,
Alegria and Angelica (Teofilo not included), executed a Deed
of Extra-Judicial Partition of the property where Isidro waived
his share in favor of his four children.

Alegria and Angelica, sold the ½ of the property they have


acquired to Pacita and her common-law husband Pedro
Tandoc, by Deed of Absolute Sale. Pacita, with Pedro‘s
consent, later sold ½ of the property in favor of Cesar
Tamondong, Pedro‘s nephew via Deed of Absolute Sale.
Teofilo, represented by his Attorney-in-Fact Francisco
Muñoz, then filed a complaint in the Regional Trial Court
against his siblings claiming that his co-heirs defrauded him
of his rightful share of the property and that the Deed of Sale
executed by Pacita in favor of Cesar was fictitious because
she was already seriously ill that time.

The RTC ruled in favor of Teofilo declaring null and void and
no force and effect the documents mentioned. On appeal by
Tandoc and Tamondong, the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed
the trial court‘s decision and dismissed Teofilo‘s complaint on
the ground of prescription. The CA denied the Motion for
Reconsideration filed by Teofilo. Thus, this Petition for
Review on Certiorari.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the extra-judicial partition executed by Teofilo


Bautista‘s co-heirs is valid

HELD:

The Court of Appeals applied the prescriptive periods for


annulment on the ground of fraud and for reconveyance of
property under a constructive trust.

The extra-judicial partition executed by Teofilo‘s co-heirs was


invalid, however. As previously held by this Court in Segura
v. Segura, ―no extra-judicial settlement shall be binding
upon any person who has not participated therein or had no
notice thereof.‖ As the partition was a total nullity and did not
affect the excluded heirs, it was not correct for the trial court
to hold that their right to challenge the partition had
prescribed after two years.
The deed of extra-judicial partition in the case at bar being
invalid, the action to have it annulled does not prescribe.

Since the deed of extra-judicial partition is invalid, it


transmitted no rights to Teofilo‘s co-heirs. Consequently, the
subsequent transfer by Angelica and Alegria of ½ of the
property to Pacita and her husband Pedro, as well as the
transfer of ½ of the property to Cesar Tamondong is invalid,
hence, conferring no rights upon the transferees under the
principle of nemo dat quod non habet.
G.R. No. 194366 October 10, 2012 While the settlement of the estate is null and void, the
subsequent sale of the properties made by Enrique and his
NAPOLEON D. NERI, ALICIA D. NERI-MONDEJAR, children, Napoleon, Alicia and Visminda, in favor of the
VISMINDA D. NERI-CHAMBERS, ROSA D. NERI-MILLAN, spouses is valid but only with respect to their proportionate
DOUGLAS D. NERI, EUTROPIA D. ILLUT-COCKINOS shares.
AND VICTORIA D. ILLUT-PIALA, Petitioners,
vs. With respect to Rosa and Douglas who were minors at the
HEIRS OF HADJI YUSOP UY AND JULPHA* IBRAHIM time of the execution of the settlement and sale, their natural
UY, Respondents. guardian and father, Enrique, represented them in the
transaction. However, on the basis of the laws prevailing
facts: at that time, Enrique was merely clothed with powers of
administration and bereft of any authority to dispose of
 Anunciacion Neri had seven children: first marriage with their 2/16 shares in the estate of their mother.
Gonzalo Illut, namely: Eutropia and Victoria and second
marriage with Enrique Neri, namely: Napoleon, Alicia, Administration includes all acts for the preservation of the
Visminda, Douglas and Rosa. property and the receipt of fruits according to the natural
purpose of the thing. Any act of disposition or alienation,
 Throughout the marriage of spouses Enrique and or any reduction in the substance of the patrimony of
Anunciacion, they acquired several homestead child, exceeds the limits of administration. Thus, a father
properties located in Samal, Davao del Norte. or mother, as the natural guardian of the minor under
parental authority, does not have the power to dispose or
 In 1977, Anunciacion died intestate. Enrique, in his encumber the property of the latter. Such power is
personal capacity and as natural guardian of his minor granted by law only to a judicial guardian of the ward’s
children Rosa and Douglas, with Napoleon, Alicia, and property and even then only with courts’ prior approval
Visminda executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement of the secured in accordance with the proceedings set forth by the
Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale on 7/7/1979, Rules of
adjudicating among themselves the said homestead Court.http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2012/oct20
properties and thereafter, conveying them to the late 12/gr_194366_2012.html - fnt14
spouses Uy for a consideration of P 80,000.00.
Consequently, the disputed sale entered into by Enrique
 In June 1996, the children of Enrique filed a in behalf of his minor children without the proper judicial
complaint for annulment of sale of the homestead authority, unless ratified by them upon reaching the age
properties against spouses Uy before the RTC, of majority, is unenforceable in accordance with Articles
assailing the validity of the sale for having been sold 1317 and 1403(1) of the Civil Code.
within the prohibited period. The complaint was later
amended to include Eutropia and Victoria additional However, records show that Napoleon and Rosa had
plaintiffs for having been excluded and deprived of their ratified the extrajudicial settlement of the estate with
legitimes as children of Anunciacion from her first absolute deed of sale. In their Joint-Affidavit and
marriage. Manifestation before the RTC, “they both confirmed, respect
and acknowledge the validity of the Extra-Judicial Settlement
 RTC Ruling: Rendered the sale void because Eutropia of the Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale in 1979.” The
and Victoria were deprived of their hereditary rights and ratification thus purged all the defects existing at the time of
that Enrique had no judicial authority to sell the shares its execution and legitimizing the conveyance of Rosa’s 1/16
of his minor children, Rosa and Douglas. share in the estate of Anunciacion to spouses Uy. The same,
however, is not true with respect to Douglas for lack of
 CA Ruling: Reversed the RTC ruling and declared the evidence showing ratification.
extrajudicial settlement and sale valid. While recognizing
Rosa and Douglas to be minors at that time, they were
deemed to have ratified the sale when they failed to
question it upon reaching the age of majority. It also
found laches to have set in because of their inaction for
a long period of time.

Issues: Whether the father or mother, as the natural


guardian of the minor under parental authority, has the power
to dispose or encumber the property of the minor?

RULING:

All the petitioners are legitimate children of Anunciacion from


her first and second marriages and consequently, they are
entitled to inherit from her in equal shares, pursuant to
Articles 979 and 980 of the Civil Code. In the execution of
the Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate with Absolute
Deed of Sale in favor of spouses Uy, all the heirs of
Anunciacion should have participated. Considering that
Eutropia and Victoria were admittedly excluded and that then
minors Rosa and Douglas were not properly represented
therein, the settlement was not valid and binding upon them.
Finally, it should be noted that on the matter of
appointment of administrator of the estate of the
Angeles vs. Maglaya 469 SCRA 364 (2005) deceased, the surviving spouse is preferred over the
next of kin of the decedent. When the law speaks of
Facts: on March 25, 1998, respondent filed a petition for 'next of kin', the reference is to those who are entitled,
letters of administration and her appointment as under the statute of distribution, to the decedent's
administratrix of the intestate estate of Francisco M. Angeles. property; one whose relationship is such that he is
Petitioner opposed the petition and prayed that she be made entitled to share in the estate as distributed, or, in short,
the administratrix of Francisco's estate. Petitioner alleged an heir. In resolving, therefore, the issue of whether an
having married Francisco on August 7, 1948, and that applicant for letters of administration is a next of kin or
Francisco represented in their marriage contract that he was an heir of the decedent, the probate court perforce has
single at that time. Petitioner also averred that to determine and pass upon the issue of filiation. A
respondent could not be the daughter of Francisco for, separate action will only result in a multiplicity of suits.
although she was recorded as Francisco's legitimate Upon this consideration, the trial court acted within
daughter, the corresponding birth certificate was not signed bounds when it looked into and pass upon the claimed
by him. Respondent alleged, inter alia, that per certification relationship of respondent to the late Francisco Angeles.
of the appropriate offices, records of marriages of the Civil
Registrar where the alleged 1938 Francisco-Genoveva
wedding took place, were destroyed. Respondent presented
her birth certificate and four witnesses. After presentation of
evidence, the petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the
ground of failure to state a cause of action. RTC granted the
motion. It was reversed by the CA and made the respondent
the administratix.

Issue: Whether the respondent was a legitimate child of the


decedent? Is she entitled to be an administratix?

Held: No. A party in whose favor the legal presumption exists


may rely on and invoke such legal presumption to establish a
fact in issue. He need not introduce evidence to prove that
fact. For, a presumption is prima facie proof of the fact
presumed. However, it cannot be over-emphasized, that
while a fact thus prima facie established by legal
presumption shall, unless overthrown, stand as proved, the
presumption of legitimacy under Article 164 of the Family
Code may be availed only upon convincing proof of the
factual basis therefore, i.e., that the child's parents were
legally married and that his/her conception or birth occurred
during the subsistence of that marriage. Else, the
presumption of law that a child is legitimate does not arise.
To stress, no marriage certificate or marriage contract,
doubtless the best evidence of Francisco's and Genoveva's
marriage, if one had been solemnized, was offered in
evidence. No priest, judge, mayor, or other solemnizing
authority was called to the witness box to declare that he
solemnized the marriage between the two. None of the four
witnesses respondent presented could say anything about,
let alone affirm, that supposed marriage. At best, their
testimonies proved that respondent was Francisco's
daughter.

Ironical as it may seem, respondent herself undermined her


very own case. As it were, she made certain judicial
admission negating her own assertion ' as well as the
appellate court's conclusion - that Francisco was legally
married to Genoveva. Respondent declared that Genoveva
died in 1988, then if there was a legitimate marriage between
Francisco and Genenova in 1938, the 1948 wedding
between Francisco and petitioner would be void and the
petitioner would not be considered an heir of the deceased.
However, it was still declared by the respondent’s petition
that the only surviving heirs of the deceased was the
respondent herself as the daughter and the petitioner as the
surviving spouse of the deceased, thus negating her own
stand.
of the deceased couple consisting primarily of a
farm land in San Miguel, Bulacan. Letters of
VDA. DE PEREZ v. TOLETE administration were issued in her favor.

G.R. No. 76714 7. Perez filed motions praying for certain life insurance
companies(Philippine Life Insurance Company and
June 2, 1994 Philippine American Life Insurance Company) be
directed to deliver the proceeds of the life insurance
Digest Author: Ana Alvarez policy taken by the deceased Cunanan spouses.

8. In another motion, Perez asked that Dr. Rafael


Cunanan, Sr. be ordered to deliver to her a
DOCTRINE: Philippine Trust Company passbook savings
deposit, and the Family Savings Bank time deposit
With regard to notices, the will probated abroad should be certificates
treated as if it were an “original will” or a will that is
presented for probate for the first time and accordingly must 9. Atty. Federico Alday filed a notice of appearance as
comply with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule 76, which require counsel for the heirs of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan,
publication and notice to the known heirs, legatees and namely, Dr. Rafael Cunanan, Sr., Priscilla Cunanan
devisees, and to the executor, if he is not the petitioner. Bautista, Lydia Cunanan Ignacio, Felipe F. Cunanan
and Loreto Cunanan Concepcion (Cunanan heirs).
He also manifested that before receiving petitioner’s
motion his clients were unaware of the filing of the
FACTS: testate estate case and therefore, “in the interest of
simple fair play,” they should be notified of the
1. Dr. Jose F. Cunanan and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Perez- proceedings.
Cunanan became American citizens. They lived in
the US with their children Jocelyn, Jacqueline and
Josephine.
Note: I just took the allegations of both parties that relate to
2. Dr. Jose Cunanan executed a last will and Specpro
testament, bequeathing to his wife “all the
remainder” of his real and personal property at the
time of his death “wheresoever situated.” In the
event he would survive his wife, he bequeathed all 10. Perez then filed a counter manifestation basically
his property to his children and grandchildren with alleging that the Cunanan collaterals had not legal
Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as trustee. He appointed or proprietary interests to protect and no right to
his wife as executrix of his last will and testament intervene. Probate court granted Perez’s motion.
and Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as substitute
executor. 11. Cunanan heirs filed a motion to nullify the
proceedings and to set aside the appointment of, or
to disqualify, petitioner as special administratrix of
the estates. They alleged that that being the
“If my wife, EVELYN PEREZ-CUNANAN, and I shall die “brothers and sisters and the legal and surviving
under such circumstances that there is not sufficient heirs” of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan, they had been
evidence to determine the order of our deaths, then it shall “deliberately excluded” in the petition for the
be presumed that I predeceased her, and my estate shall be probate of the separate wills of the Cunanan
administered and distributed, in all respects, in accordance spouses thereby misleading the Bulacan court to
with such presumption” (Rollo, p. 41). believe that petitioner was the sole heir of the
spouses; that such “misrepresentation” deprived
them of their right to “due process in violation of
Section 4, Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court.
3. Four days later, Dr. Evelyn P. Cunanan executed
her own last will and testament containing the same 12. In her opposition, Perez asserted:
provisions as that of the will of her husband.
a. that she was the “sole and only heir” of her
4. Dr. Cunanan and his entire family perished when daughter, Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan to
they were trapped by fire that gutted their home. the exclusion of the “Cunanan collaterals;”
hence they were complete strangers to the
5. Thereafter, Dr. Rafael G. Cunanan, Jr. as trustee proceedings and were not entitled to
and substitute executor of the two wills, filed notice;
separate proceedings for the probate thereof with
the Surrogate Court of the County of Onondaga, b. that she could not have “concealed” the
New York. These two wills were admitted to probate name and address of Dr. Rafael G.
and letters testamentary were issued in his favor. Cunanan, Jr. because his name was
prominently mentioned not only in the two
6. Subsequently, SaludTeodroro Perez, the mother of wills but also in the decrees of the
Dr. Evelyn filed with the RTC a petition for the American surrogate court;
reprobate of the two wills ancillary to the probate
proceedings in New York. She also asked that she c. that the rule applicable to the case is Rule
be appointed the special administratrix of the estate 77, not Rule 76, because it involved the
allowance of wills proved outside of the addressed to the designated or other known heirs,
Philippines and that nowhere in Section 2 legatees, and devisees of the testator”
of Rule 77 is there a mention of notice
being given to the executor who, by the
same provision, should himself file the
necessary ancillary proceedings in this
country;

13. In their reply, the Cunanan heirs stressed that


petitioner and the Cunanan heirs had entered into
an agreement in the United States “to settle and
divide equally the estates,” and that under Section
2 of Rule 77 the “court shall fix a time and place for
the hearing and cause notice thereof to be given as
in case of an original will presented for allowance”

a. They further asserted that by virtue of


Section 2 of Rule 77 of the Rules of Court,
the provision of Sections 3, 4 and 5 of
Rule 76 on the requirement of notice to all
heirs, executors, devisees and legatees
must be complied with.

14. A lot of motions and exchanges happened between


the parties and along the line the original Perez
petitioner was substituted by her daughter because
she was ailing.

ISSUE:

W/N the Cunanan heirs should have been notified. ( This is


the specpro issue but the main issue was regarding the
effectivity of the will here in the Philippines and the requisites
it needed to comply with for it to take effect Also if both wills
should be jointly probated. It dealt more with Conflicts of
laws). YES.

HELD:

YES.

1. Petitioner has always considered herself the sole


heir of Dr. Evelyn Perez-Cunanan and because she
does not consider herself an heir of Dr. Jose F.
Cunanan, she noticeably failed to notify his heirs of
the filing of the proceedings.

2. The rule that the court having jurisdiction over the


reprobate of a will shall “cause notice thereof to be
given as in case of an original will presented for
allowance” means that with regard to notices, the
will probated abroad should be treated as if it were
an “original will” or a will that is presented for
probate for the first time.

3. Accordingly, compliance with Sections 3 and 4 of


Rule 76, which require publication and notice by
mail or personally to the “known heirs, legatees,
and devisees of the testator resident in the
Philippines” and to the executor, if he is not the
petitioner, are required.

4. The brothers and sisters of Dr. Jose F. Cunanan,


contrary to petitioner’s claim, are entitled to notices
of the time and place for proving the wills. Under
Section 4 of Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court,
the “court shall also cause copies of the notice of
the time and place fixed for proving the will to be