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TITLE: Fule vs.

Court of Appeals
CITATION: 74 SCRA 189
TOPIC: Situs of the settlement of the estate

FACTS:
Fule filed a petition for letters of administration with ex-parte motion for her appointment as special
administratrix over the estate of Amado Garcia (Amado) before the CFI of Laguna, at Calamba, alleging
that Amado died intestate who owns a property in Calamba, Laguna, leaving real estate and personal
properties, within the jurisdiction of the court, which the court granted.

Preciosa, the wife of Amado, filed an MR, contending that the appointment of Fule as special
administratrix was issued without jurisdiction since no notice of the petition for letters of administration
has been served upon all persons interested in the estate. Pending resolution on the MR, Preciosa filed a
motion to remove Fule as special administratrix.

A notice of hearing for the petition of letters was posted in the Bayanihan, a weekly publication of
general circulation in Southern Luzon.

Preciosa then later received a supplemental petition for the appointment of regular administrator filed
by Virginia modifying the original petition which was opposed for the reasons, among others, that it
attempts to confer jurisdiction on CFI Laguna, of which the court was not possessed at the beginning
because of the deficient original petition.

An opposition was filed by Preciosa on both original and supplemental petition, raising the issues of
jurisdiction, venue, lack of interest of Virginia in the estate of Amado and the disqualification of Virginia
as administratix.

The judge issued an order denying the motion to remove Virginia as special administratix, appointed
Virginia as special administratix and admitting the supplemental petition of Virginia.

Hence, Preciosa moved to dismiss the petition because (1) jurisdiction over the petition or over the
parties in interest has not been acquired by the court; (2) venue was improperly laid; and (3) Virginia is
not a party in interest as she is not entitle to inherit from Amado. The Judge of CFI Laguna resolved that
the special administratix is granted to Virginia; regarding the issue on jurisdiction, that it was already
resolved when the court denied the MR of the appointment of Virginia and the supplemental petition
which the court admitted cured the defect of failure to indicate the place of residence of the decedent
at the time of his death; the judge further held that Preciosa submitted to the jurisdiction of the court
and had waived her objections thereto by praying to be appointed as special administratix of the estate.

Virginia presented the death certificate of Amado showing that his residence at the time of his death
was Quezon City. Virginia also testified that Amado was residing in Calamba, Laguna at the time of his
death, and that he was a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention for the first district of Laguna.

Dungog, Yasie, T. Special Proceedings (Thursday 7:30 – 9:30 PM)


While Preciosa presented the residence certificate of decedent Amado showing that three months
before his death his residence was in Quezon City.

A special action for certiorari was filed by Preciosa before the CA, which the court rendered judgment
annulling the proceedings before the CFI Laguna for lack of jurisdiction.

ISSUE:

Whether the CA was correct in its findings that the CFI Calamba, Laguna lacks juridiction over the matter.

RULING:
Yes.

Section 1, Rule 73, on the clause “so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of
the location of the estate,” is in reality a matter of venue. It could not have been intended to define the
jurisdiction over the subject matter, because such legal provision is contained in a law of procedure
dealing merely with procedural matters. Procedure is one thing, jurisdiction over the subject matter is
another. The power or authority of the court over the subject matter “existed and was fixed before
procedure in a given cause began.”

The Court ruled that the last place of residence of the deceased Amado was at 11 Carmel Ave. Carmel
Subd., QC, and not at Calamba, Laguna. A death certificate is admissible to prove the residence of the
decedent at the time of his death. The pieces of evidence presented would give the Court the
conclusion becomes imperative that the venue of Virginia's petition for letters of administration was
improperly laid in the CFI Calamba, Laguna. The CA had reason to hold that in asking to substitute
Virginia as special administratrix, Preciosa did not necessarily waive her objection to the jurisidiction or
venue but merely resort to practical alternative remedy to assert her rights as surviving spouse, while
insisting on the enforcement of the Rule fixing the proper venue of the proceedings at the last residence
of the decedent.

The term “resides” connotes ex vi termini “actual residence” as distinguished from “legal residence or
domicile.” the term “resides,” like, the terms “residing and residence, is elastic and should be interpreted
in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. In the application of
venue statues and rules- Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such nature- residence
rather than domicile is the significant factor. Even where the statute uses the word “domicile” still it is
construed as meaning residence and not domicile in the technical sense. Some cases make a distinction
between the terms “residence” and “domicile” but as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms
are synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the term “inhabitant”. in other words, “resides”
should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical
habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and
actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means merely residence, that is personal residence,
not legal residence or domicile. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given

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lace, while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it one’s
domicile. No particular length of time of residence is required though; however, the residence must be
more than temporary.

TITLE: Eusebio vs. Eusebio


CITATION: 100 Phil. 593

FACTS:
Petitioner Eugenio Eusebio filed with the CFI of Rizal a petition for his appointment as administrator of
the estate of his father, Andres Eusebio. He alleged that his father, who died on November 28, 1952,
resided in Quezon City. Eugenio’s siblings, stating that they are illegitimate children of Andres, opposed
the petition and alleged that Andres was domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga. They prayed that the
case be dismissed upon the ground that venue had been improperly laid.

The CFI of Rizal granted Eugenio’s petition and overruled his siblings’ objection.

ISSUE:
Whether or not venue had been properly laid in Rizal.

RULING:
No.

Don Andres Eusebio up to October 29, 1952, was and had always been domiciled in San Fernando,
Pampanga. He only bought a house and lot at 889-A Espana Extension, Quezon City because his son, Dr.
Jesus Eusebio, who treated him, resided at No. 41 P. Florentino St., Quezon City. Even before he was able
to transfer to the house he bought, Andres suffered a stroke and was forced to live in his son’s residence.
It is well settled that “domicile is not commonly changed by presence in a place merely for one own’s
health” even if coupled with “knowledge that one will never again be able, on account of illness, to
return home. Having resided for over seventy years in Pampanga, the presumption is that Andres
retained such domicile.

Andres had no intention of staying in Quezon City permanently. There is no direct evidence of such
intent – Andres did not manifest his desire to live in Quezon City indefinitely; Eugenio did not testify
thereon; and Dr. Jesus Eusebio was not presented to testify on the matter. Andres did not part with, or
alienate, his house in San Fernando, Pampanga. Some of his children remained in that municipality. In
the deed of sale of his house at 889 – A Espana Ext., Andres gave San Fernando, Pampanga, as his
residence. The marriage contract signed by Andres when he was married in articulo mortis to
Concepcion Villanueva two days prior to his death stated that his residence is San Fernando, Pampanga.

Dungog, Yasie, T. Special Proceedings (Thursday 7:30 – 9:30 PM)


if Andres Eusebio established another domicile, it must have been one of choice, for which the following
conditions are essential, namely: (1) capacity to choose and freedom of choice; (2) physical presence at
the place chosen; and (3) intention to stay therein permanently. Although Andres complied with the first
two requisites, there is no change of domicile because the third requisite is absent.

Anent the contention that appellants submitted themselves to the authority of the CFI of Rizal because
they introduced evidence on the residence of the decedent, it must be noted that appellants specifically
made of record that they were NOT submitting themselves to the jurisdiction of the court, except for the
purpose only of assailing the same.

The court found that the decedent was, at the time of his death, domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The Court of First Instance of Rizal had no authority, therefore, to appoint an administrator of the estate
of the deceased, the venue having been laid improperly.

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EUSEBIO VS. EUSEBIO AND FULE VS. COURT OF APPEALS ON THE TOPIC OF
“RESIDENCY”

TITLE: Eusebio vs Eusebio


CITATION: 100 Phil. 593

FACTS: Petitioner filed with the Court of First Instance of Quezon City for his appointment as the
administrator of the estate of his father, Andres Eusebio, who resided in Quezon City. Respondents
objected the said petition on the basis that they were the illegitimate children of Andres and that he was
domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga. They were praying that the case should be dismissed on the
ground of improper venue. The lower court overruled the objection and granted the petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not Andres Eusebio was domiciled in Quezon City or San Ferndando, Pampanga.

RULING:
The Supreme Court ruled that it was not disputed that Andres Eusebio was and had always been
domiciled in San Ferndando, Pampanga where he had his home as well as some other properties. It
being apparent from the foregoing that the domicile of origin of the decedent was San Fernando,
Pampanga, where he resided for over seventy (70 years, the presumption is that he retained such
domicile, and, hence, residence, in the absence of satisfactory proof to the contrary, for it is well-
settled that "a domicile once acquired is retained until a new domicile is gained".

Under the circumstances surrounding the case at bar, if Andres Eusebio established another domicile,
it must have been one of choice, for which the following conditions are essential, namely: (1) capacity
to choose and freedom of choice; (2) physical presence at the place chosen; and (3) intention to stay
therein permanently. There was no intention on the part of the decedent to change his domicile. Hence,

Dungog, Yasie, T. Special Proceedings (Thursday 7:30 – 9:30 PM)


at the time of his death, he was domiciled in San Fernando, Pampanga. The CFI of Quezon City had no
authority to her the petition and thus venue was improperly laid.

TITLE:Garcia Fule vs Court of Appeals


CITATION: 165 Phil. 785

FACTS: The petitioner Virginia Fule filed a petition for letters of administration and moved ex parte for
her appointment as special administratrix over the estate of Amado Garcia before the Court of First
Instance of Laguna. The lower court granted the petition. Preciosa Garcia filed an opposition raising the
issues of jurisdiction, venue, lack of interest of Virginia Fule in the subject estate and her disqualification
as special administratrix. During hearing, Virginia presented Amado’s death certificate showing that his
residence at the time of his death was Quezon City. On her part, Preciosa presented residence certificate
of the decedent for 1973 showing that three months before his death, his residence was in Quezon City.
Virginia also testified that Amado G. Garcia was residing in Calamba, Laguna at the time of his death, and
that he was a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention for the first district of Laguna. Preciosa’s
opposition was denied by the lower court. On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered judgment annulling
the proceedings before the CFI of Laguna.

ISSUE: Whether or not Amado Garcia was a resident of Quezon City or Calamba Laguna.

RULING: The Supreme Court held the term “residence” as contemplated under Section 1, Rule 73 of the
Revised Rules of Court is of such nature - residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Even
where the statute uses the word "domicile" still it is construed as meaning residence and not do-micile
in the technical sense. Some cases make a distinction between the terms "residence" and "domicile" but
as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and convey the same meaning as
the term "inhabitant." In other words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular sense,
meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode. It
signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means
merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or domicile. Residence simply requires
bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile requires bodily presence in that place
and also an intention to make it one's domicile. No particular length of time of residence is required
though; however, the residence must be more than temporary. Hence, Amado Garcia was a resident of
Quezon City at the time of his death and not in Calamba, Laguna.

SYNOPSIS:
In Eusebio vs Eusebio, residence means domicile. What is required is to establish the domicile of choice
of the decedent which must be satisfied under the following conditions, namely: (1) capacity to choose
and freedom of choice; (2) physical presence at the place chosen; and (3) intention to stay therein
permanently. There was no intention on the part of the decedent to change his domicile. On the other
hand, in Garcia Fule vs CA, residence means inhabitant and not the legal domicile per se. It should be
viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a

Dungog, Yasie, T. Special Proceedings (Thursday 7:30 – 9:30 PM)


person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay
thereat. The decedent in this case was actually and physically residing in Quezon City at the time of his
death.

TITLE: Ventura vs. Ventura


CITATION: G.R. No. L-26306, April 27, 1988

NOTE: APPELLANTS= Maria Ventura- illegitimate daughter of the deceased Gregorio Ventura; Miguel
Ventura- brother of Maria, son of Gregorio; Juana Cardona- mother of Maria, surviving spouse of
Gregorio. APPELLEES= Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura are Gregorio’s legitimate children with his
former wife, the late Paulina Sirapliciano but the paternity of appellees was denied by the deceased in
his will.

FACTS:
Gregorio Ventura filed a petition for the probate of his will which did not include the appellees. In the
said will, the appellant Maria Ventura, although an illegitimate child, was named and appointed by the
testator to be the executrix of his will and the administratrix of his estate. Such will was admitted to
probate.

Thereafter, Gregorio Ventura died. Maria Ventura was appointed executrix and the corresponding letters
testamentary was issued in her favor. She submitted an inventory of the estate of Gregorio Ventura. She
filed her accounts of administration which was opposed by the spouses the appellees. Oppositions
assailed the veracity of the report as not reflecting the true income of the estate and the expenses which
allegedly are not administration expenses.

Mercedes Ventura and Gregoria Ventura filed a motion to remove the executrix Maria Ventura based on
the following grounds: (1) that she is 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 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, finding 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, removed Maria Ventura as executrix and administratrix of the estate and appointed in her place
Mercedes Ventura and Gregoria Ventura as joint administratrices of the estate.

Dungog, Yasie, T. Special Proceedings (Thursday 7:30 – 9:30 PM)


ISSUE:
Whether not the removal of Maria Ventura as executrix is legally justified.

RULING:
Yes. However, this issue has become moot and academic in view of the decision of this Court in related
cases.

Aside from the instant special proceedings, there are other civil cases involving the estate of the
deceased Gregorio Ventura. One was filed by herein appellee Gregoria Ventura against her father,
Gregorio Ventura. Later Mercedes Ventura joined cause with Gregoria Ventura. They claimed that they
are the legitimate children of Gregorio Ventura and his wife Paulina Simpliciano. The lower court
rendered its judgmentin their favor. Thereafter, Mercedes Ventura filed a motion to annul the provisions
of the will of the deceased Gregorio Ventura, which motion was opposed by Miguel Ventura and Juana
Cardona and later by Maria Ventura.

The trial court then annulled the institution of the heirs in the probated will of Gregorio Ventura. The
motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid order filed by executrix Maria Ventura was denied.
Accordingly, Maria Ventura appealed. The court held final and executory that appellees Mercedes and
Gregoria Ventura are the legitimate children of the deceased Gregorio Ventura and his wife, Paulina
Simpliciano, and as such are entitled to the annulment of the institution of heirs made in the probated
will of said deceased.

Under Article 854 of the Civil Code, “the preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory
heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of
the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they
are not inofficious,” and as a result, intestacy follows, thereby rendering the previous appointment of
Maria Ventura as executrix moot and academic, This would now necessitate the appointment of another
administrator, under the following provision:

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, administration 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 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
been defined as those persons who are entitled under the statute of distribution to the decedent’s
property. It is generally said that “the nearest of kin, whose interest in the estate is more preponderant,
is preferred in the choice of administrator. ‘Among members of a class the strongest ground for

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preference is the amount or preponderance of interest. As between next of kin, the nearest of kin is to
be preferred.

As decided by the lower court and sustained by the Supreme Court, Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura are
the legitimate children of Gregorio Ventura and his wife, the late Paulina Simpliciano. Therefore, as the
nearest of kin of Gregorio Ventura they are entitled to preference over the illegitimate children of
Gregorio Ventura, namely: Maria and Miguel Ventura. Hence, under the aforestated preference provided
in Section 6 of Rule 78, the person or persons to be appointed administrator are Juana Cardona, as the
surviving spouse, or Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura as nearest of kin, or Juana Cardona and Mercedes
and Gregoria Ventura in the discretion of the Court, in order to represent both interests.

TITLE: Villamor vs. Court of Appeals


CITATION: 162 SCRA 574

FACTS:
On July 1971, MacariaLabingisa Reyes sold a portion of 300 square meters of the lot to the Spouses Julio
and Marina and Villamor for the total amount of P21,000.00. On November 11, 1971, Macaria executed
a "Deed of Option" in favor of Villamor in which the remaining 300 square meter portion (TCT No.
39934) of the lot would be sold to Villamor under certain conditions, one of which:

That the only reason why the Spouses-vendees Julio Villamor and Marina V. Villamor, agreed to
buy the said one-half portion at the above-stated price of about P70.00 per square meter, is
because I, and my husband Roberto Reyes, have agreed to sell and convey to them the
remaining one-half portion still owned by me, whenever the need of such sale arises, either on
our part or on the part of the spouses (Julio) Villamor and Marina V. Villamor, at the same price
of P70.00 per square meter, excluding whatever improvement may be found the thereon.

According to Macaria, when her husband, Roberto Reyes, retired in 1984, they offered to repurchase the
lot sold by them to the Villamor spouses but Marina Villamor refused and reminded them instead that
the Deedof Option, in fact, gave them the option to purchase the remaining portion of the lot. The
Villamors, on the other hand, claimed that they had expressed their desire to purchase the remaining
300 square meter portion of the lot but the Reyeses had been ignoring them. Thus, on July 13, 1987,
after conciliation proceedings in the barangay level failed, they filed a complaint for specific performance
against the Reyeses. Trial Court decided in favour of the Villamors, but this was reversed by the CA.
Present case is a petition for review on certiorari of the CA’s decision.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there was a VALID Deed of Option whereby the private respondents agreed to sell their
lot to petitioners whenever the need of such sale arises, either on our part (private respondents) or on
the part of JulioVillamor and Marina Villamor.

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RULING:
While the Deed of Option was valid, it already lapsed. It is of judicial notice that the price of real estate
inMetro Manila is continuously on the rise. To allow the petitioner to demand the delivery of the
propertysubject of this case thirteen (13) years or seventeen (17) years after the execution of the deed at
the price of only P70.00 per square meter is inequitous. For reasons also of equity and in consideration
of the fact that theprivate respondents have no other decent place to live, this Court, in the exercise of
its equity jurisdiction is not inclined to grant petitioners' prayer.

COMPARATIVE REPORT

1. VENTURA VS. VENTURA

DOCTRINE:
As a general rule, the court cannot set aside the order of preference.

The rules of court provides for the order of preference in the appointment of an administrator.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, administration 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 next of kin, requests to have appointed, if competent and willing to serve.”

The “next of kin” has been defined as those persons who are entitled under the statute of distribution to
the decedent’s property. It is generally said that “the nearest of kin, whose interest in the estate is more
preponderant, is preferred in the choice of administrator. ‘Among members of a class the strongest
ground for preference is the amount or preponderance of interest. As between next of kin, the nearest
of kin is to be preferred.

2. VILLAMOR VS. CA

The general rule that the court cannot set aside the order of preference allows for exceptions. The order
of preference is not absolute for it depends on the attendant facts and circumstances of each case.

One exception as presented in the case at bar, thus: “In case the persons who have the preferential right
to be appointed are not competent or are unwilling to serve, administration may be granted to such
other person as the court may appoint.”

- NOTHING FOLLOWS -

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