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36. SANTILLON v. MIRANDA 14 SCRA 563 Date 1965 Ponente: Bengzon Digest Author: Santos

Topic in the Syllabus:

Kinds of Compulsory Heirs

Relevant Law:

Article 892. If only one legitimate child or descendant of the deceased survives, the widow or widower shall be entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate. In case of a legal separation, the surviving spouse may inherit if it was the deceased who had given cause for the same.

If there are two or more legitimate children or descendants, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the legitimate children or descendants.

In both cases, the legitime of the surviving spouse shall be taken from the portion that can be freely disposed of by the testator. (834a)

Article 996 If a widow or widower and legitimate children or descendants are left, the surviving spouse has in the succession the same share as that of each of the children

Doctrine: When intestacy occurs, a surviving spouse concurring with only one legitimate child of the deceased is entitled to one-half of the estate of the deceased spouse under Article 996 of the Civil Code.

Decedent:Pedro Santillon Will: No will


Carlo Santillon - Son of Petitioner Perfecta Miranda - Widow of the deceased, mother of petitioner


On November 21, 1953, Pedro Santillon died without a testament

Survived by his son, herein petitioner Carlo;

and his wife, respondent Perfecta Miranda

In April 1961, Carlo filed a “Motion to Declare Shares of Heirs” and to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties with respect to their respective rights in the estate

Invoking Art. 892 of the New Civil Code, Carlo insisted that after deducting 1/2 from the conjugal properties as the conjugal share of Perfecta, the remaining

1/2 must be divided as follows: 1/4 for her and 3/4 for him.

Perfecta Miranda: claimed that besides her conjugal half, she was entitled under Art. 996 of the New Civil Code, to another 1/2 of the remaining half.

In other words, Claro claimed 3/4 of Pedro's inheritance, while Perfecta claimed 1/2.

The trial court ruled in favor of Perfecta, allowing her to inherit another ½ of the remaining half of the estate

Replying to Perfecta's claim, Claro says the article is unjust and inequitable to the extent that it grants the widow the same share as that of the children in intestate succession, whereas in testate, she is given 1/4 and the only child 1/2.

Oppositor Perfecta contends that Art. 996 should control, regardless of its alleged inequity, being as it is, a provision on intestate succession involving a surviving spouse and a legitimate child, inasmuch as in statutory construction, the plural word "children" includes the singular, "child".

From the decision of the trial court, Carlo filed this petition


Whether or not Miranda, as the widow of the deceased, is entitled to ½ of the remaining half of the estate


Yes. Miranda is entitled to the ½ of the remaining half of the estate

Art. 892 of the New Civil Code falls under the chapter on Testamentary Succession; whereas Art. 996 comes under the chapter on Legal or Intestate Succession.

Such being the case, it is obvious that Claro cannot rely on Art. 892 to support his claim to 3/4 of his father's estate. Art. 892 merely fixes the legitime of the surviving spouse and Art. 888 thereof, the legitime of children intestate succession.

While it may indicate the intent of the law with respect to the ideal shares that a child and a spouse should get when they concur with each other, it does not fix the amount of shares that such child and spouse are entitled to when intestacy occurs.

Because if the latter happens, the pertinent provision on intestate succession shall apply; i. e. Art. 996. The appealed decision is affirmed. No costs in this instance.


Topic: Kinds of Compulsory heirs; Concurring;

Birth Certificate, her status was listed as "illegitimate".

GR No. L-41971 November 29, 1983 Ponente: Melencio Herrera, J.

Divorce From The French Girl

Digest Author: Sumanga

During the Japanese occupation, SOLANO obtained a divorce from Lilly Gorand and on December 22,

Surviving spouse/Illegitimate children


Relevant Law: Article 887, NCC.; Article 854, NCC.

SOLANO and Trinidad Tuagnon executed an

(So indeed) ZONIA has a better right.

Doctrine: 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.

"Escritura de Reconocimiento de Unit Hija Natural" acknowledging ZONIA as a "natural child" and giving her the right to use the name SONIA Ana Solano y Tuagnon. The document was registered with the Local Civil Registrar on the same date.


On January 18, 1969, SOLANO executed his "Ultima


Voluntad y Testamento" instituting ZONIA as his universal heir to all his personal and real properties

Bienvenido Garcia & Emetria Garcia (claiming to be illegitimate children of Dr. Meliton Solano +) Plaintiffs:

in Camalig, Tabaco and Malinao, all in the province of Albay, exceptfor five parcels of land in Bantayan, Tabaco, Albay, which were given to Trinidad

Zonia Ana Solano (acknowledged natural child of Dr. Meliton Solano+)

Tuagnon in usufruct.


1st Wife

MELITON SOLANO, a resident of Tabaco, Albay, married Pilar Riosa. The latter died.

2nd Wife

On a world tour he met a French woman, Lilly Gorand, who became his second wife in 1928. The union was short-lived as she left him in 1929.

3rd Partner (Garcias' Mom)

In the early part of 1930, SOLANO started having amorous relations with Juana Garcia,out of which affair was born Bienvenido Garcia and Emeteria Garcia. Their birth certificates and baptismal certificates mention only the mother's name without the father's name.

The facts establish that SOLANO during his lifetime recognized the GARCIAS as his children by acts of support and provisions for their education.

4th Partner (Zonia's Mom)

In 1935, SOLANO started living with Trinidad Tuagnon. Three children were born out of this relation but only petitioner ZONIA Ana Tuagnon, is living. In her


July 7, 1969 --> Bienvenido Garcia and Emeteria Garcia (GARCIAS), claiming to be illegitimate

children of Dr. Meliton SOLANO, filed an action for recognitionagainst him.

In his Answer, SOLANO denied paternity.

During the pendency of the suit, SOLANO died.

Petitioner ZONIA Ana Solano was ordered substitutedfor the DECEDENT as the only surviving heir mentioned in his Last Will and Testament probated prior to his death in a Special Proceeding.

ZONIA entered her formal appearance as a "substitute defendant" -

claiming additionally that she was the sole heirof her father, SOLANO, and

asking that she be allowed to assume her duties as executrixof the probated Will with the least interference from the GARCIAS who were "mere pretenders to be illegitimate children of SOLANO".

The GARCIAS filed their reply -

impugning the recognition of ZONIA as an acknowledged natural child;

with the prayer that she be declared instead, like them, as an adulterous child of the DECEDENT.

The GARCIAS further moved for the impleading of the SOLANO estate in addition to ZONIA, which was opposed by the latter, but which the Trial Court granted in its Order.

The Trial Court specified the legal issuesto be treated in the parties' respective Memoranda as:

1. the question of recognition of the GARCIAS;

2. the correct status of ZONIA, and

3. the hereditary share of each of them in view of the probated Will.

Trial Court:

Declared Bienvenido and Emeteria together with Zonia Solano as illegitimate children of Dr. Meliton Solano under the class of adulterous children.

The institution of Zonia Solano as sole and universal heir of the said deceased in the will was declared null and void;

and the three (3) children shall share equally the estate or one- third (1/3) each, without prejudice to the legacy given to Trinidad Tuagnon (Zonia’s mom) and the right of any creditors of the estate.

CA: affirmed in toto.


Whether or not total intestacy resulted from the declaration of institution of sole heir from decedent’s will – NO.



The Trial Court and the Appellate Court had jurisdiction to conclude -

that upon the facts, the GARCIAS and ZONIA were in the same category as illegitimate children;

that ZONIA's acknowledgment as a "natural child" in a notarial document executed by SOLANO and Trinidad Tuagnon on December 22, 1943 was erroneous because:

at the time of her birth in 1941, SOLANO was still married to Lilly Gorand, his divorce having been obtained only in 1943, and,

therefore, did not have the legal capacity to contract marriage at the time of ZONIA's conception,

that being compulsory heirs, the GARCIAS were, in fact, pretended from SOLANO's Last' Will and Testament; and

that as a result of said preterition, the institution of ZONIA as sole heir by SOLANO is null and voidpursuant to 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."

However, (contrary to the conclusions of the Courts below, holding that the entire Will is void and intestacy ensues,) the pretention of the GARCIAS should annul the institution of ZONIA as heir only insofar as the LEGITIME of the omitted heirs is impaired.

So the Will, therefore, is valid subject to that limitation. THE TESTATOR REALLY INTENDED TO FAVOR ZONIA.

Court said under the law, he had a right to dispose of by Will, so that the disposition in her favor should be upheld as to the one-half (1/2) portion of the property that the testator could freely dispose of.

Since the legitime of illegitimate children consists of one half (1/2) of the hereditary estate, the GARCIAS and ZONIA each have a right to participation therein in the proportion of one-third (1/3) each.

ZONIA's hereditary share will, therefore, be 1/2 + (1/3 of 1/2) or 4/6 of the estate, while the GARCIAS will respectively be entitled to 1/3 of 1/2 or 1/6 of the value of the estate.


WHEREFORE, the judgment under review is hereby modified in that the hereditary share in the estate of the decedent of petitioner Zonia Ana T. Solano is hereby declared to be (1/2 + (1/3 of 1/2) or 4/6 of said estate, while that of private respondents, Bienvenido S. Garcia and Emeteria S. Garcia, shall each be (1/3 of 1/2) or (1/6) of the estate. The usufruct in favor of Trinidad Tuagnon shall be respected. The judgment is affirmed in all other respects. No costs.


GR No. [171701] Date [February 8, 2012] Ponente: [ SERENO, J.] Digest Author: [ARQUILLO, GERTRUDE]


Doctrine: Thus, while it was not proven that respondents conspired in accumulating ill-gotten wealth, they may be in possession of such ill-gotten properties or the proceeds thereof as heirs of the Marcos couple.

Thus, their lack of participation in any illegal act does not remove the character of the property as ill-gotten and, therefore, as rightfully belonging to the State.

Decedent: [Ferdinand Marcos] Will: There is a will. No text was reproduced in the case.


Petitioner: Republic of the Ph


● Petitioner: Republic of the Ph ● Respondents: FACTS: ● This is ​ Petition for Review


This is Petition for Review filed by Republic

by Sandiganbayan in

connection with the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

assailing Resolutionsissued

After the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986, the first executive act of then President Cory Aquino was to create the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

One of the civil cases filed before the Sandiganbayan to recover the Marcoses alleged ill-gotten wealth was Civil Case No. 0002, now subject of this Petition.

On 16 July 1987, the PCGG, on behalf of the Republic and assisted by OSG, filed a Complaint for Reversion, Reconveyance, Restitution, Accounting and Damages against Ferdinand E. Marcos

who was substituted by his estate upon death; Imelda and respondents Imee, Irene, Bongbong, Tomas Manotoc, & Gregorio Araneta III.

Amended Complaint impleaded other defendants (not important)

Nemesio Co, Yeung Chun Kam, Yeung Chun Ho, Yeung Chun Fan (Marcos dummies)

Imelda Cojuangco, estate of Ramon Cojuangco, and Prime Holdings

Allegations in Complaint specific to respondents:

Imee, Tomas, Irene, Gregorio, and Bongbong:

actively collaborated, with Ferdinand and Imelda among others, in unlawfully appropriating funds and property, and concealing the same; received property, shares of stocks in corporations, illegal payments such as commissions, bribes or kickbacks.

(not important) Yeung Chun Kam et. al.:illegal salting of foreign exchange by importing denim fabrics from only one supplier a Hong Kong based corporation which was also owned by defendant Hong Kong investors, at prices much higher than those being paid by other users of similar materials to the damage of Republic.

Republic’s Causes of Action:

Breach of Public Trust

Abuse of Right and Power

Unjust Enrichment


Liability for Damages

Pantranco Employees Association-PTGWO (PEA-PTGWO), a union of Pantranco employees, moved to intervene before the Sandiganbayan.

trust funds in the account of Pantranco North Express (55M) belonged to Pantranco employees, pursuant to NLRC’s money judgment in favor of the employees and against Pantranco.

PEA-PTGWO contested the allegation of Republic that the assets of Pantranco were ill-gotten because, otherwise, these assets would be returned to the government and not to the employees.

Republic presented its evidence against respondents.

Respondents objected on the ground that the documents violated the best evidence rule of the Rules of Court, as these documents were unauthenticated;

moreover, petitioner had not provided any reason for its failure to present originals.

Sandiganbayan Resolution: admitted the pieces of evidence but evidentiary value shall be left to the determination of the Court

Respondents filed their respective Demurrers to evidence.

Sandiganbayan issued the Assailed Resolution:

granted all the Demurrers to Evidence except

the one filed by Imelda R. Marcos.

Imelda categorically admitted that she and her husband owned and lawfully acquired the properties enumerated in the Complaint

evidence presented by petitioner constituted a prima facie case against her, bec value of the properties was grossly disproportionate to the Marcos spouses income.

this admission and the fact thatImelda R. Marcos was the compulsory heirand administratrixof the Marcos estate were the reasons why she was responsible for accounting for the funds and properties alleged to be ill-gotten.

Imee Bongbong, Irene, and Gregorio’s involvement were never established. They were never mentioned by any of the witnesses presented. Neither did the documentary evidence pinpoint any specific involvement of the Marcos children.

the evidence, were considered hearsay, because their originals were not presented in court, nor were they authenticated by the persons who executed them.

petitioner failed to provide any valid reason why it did not present the originals in court.

These exhibits were supposed to show

1.interests of Imee inIBC-13, BBC-2 and RPN-9, all three of which she had allegedly acquired illegally AND

2. her alleged participation in dollar salting through De Soleil Apparel.

Republic filed its Motion for Partial Reconsideration: there was a preponderance of evidence to show that respondents Marcos siblings and Gregorio had connived with their parents.

respondents were compulsory heirs to the deposed President and thus obliged to render an accounting and return the ill-gotten wealth.

Sandiganbayan issued the 2nd Assailed Resolution: denied Republic’s MR. Hence this Petition.

The Marcos siblings are being sued in 2 capacities:

as co-conspirators in the alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth; and

as the compulsory heirs of their father, Ferdinand E. Marcos

Imeewas accused of dollar salting by using Glorious Sun to import denim fabrics from one supplier at prices much higher than those paid by other users of similar materials. The Marcoses benefitted from the sequestered media networks IBC-13, BBC-2, and RPN-9, in

which Imee had a substantial interest

Irenewas accused of having conspired with her husband, Gregorio, in his being President Marcos conduit to Pantranco, paving the way for the Presidents ownership of the company in violation of Art. VII, Sec 4, par 2 of the 1973 Constitution

Petitioner contends that the documents it used to support the above allegations against the Marcos siblings fall under the Rules third exception:

these documents are public records in the custody of a public officer or are recorded in a public office.

Since these documents were collected by the PCGG, then, the conditions for the exception to apply had been met.

Docs: Sworn Statements of financial advisors of President Marcos; Affidavits and Transcript of Stenographic Notes (TSN) taken during the PCGG hearing held on 8 June 1987, Articles of Incorporation, etc.



WON Republic failed to observe the best evidence rule [YES] not important


WON Respondents, as compulsory heirs of Ferdinand, should be dropped as defendants [NO] important issue


1. Petitioner failed to observe the best evidence rule.

It is petitioner’s burden to prove the allegations in its Complaint.

For relief to be granted, the operative act on how and in what manner the Marcos siblings participated in and/or benefitted from the acts of the Marcos couple must be clearly shown through a preponderance of evidence.

Should petitioner fail to discharge this burden, the Court is constrained and is left with no choice but to uphold the Demurrer to Evidence filed by respondents.

First, petitioner does not deny that what should be proved are the contents of the documents themselves. It is imperative, therefore, to submit the original documents that could prove petitioners allegations.

Thus, the photocopied documents are in violation Rule 130, Sec. 3 of the Rules of Court, otherwise known as the best evidence rule, which mandates that the evidence must be the original document itself.

The fact that these documents were

collected by the PCGG in the course of its investigations does not make them per se public records referred to in the quoted rule.

Amended Complaint, which states that the listed properties therein were owned by Ferdinand and Imelda and their immediate family.


While TSN may be considered as a public document since it was taken in the course of the PCGGs exercise of its mandate, it was not attested to by the legal custodian

It is only during the trial of Civil Case No. 0002 before the Sandiganbayan that there could be a determination of whether these properties are indeed ill-gotten.

to be a correct copy of the original.


This omission falls short of the requirement of Rule 132, Secs. 24 and 25 of the Rules of Court.

Under the rules of succession, the heirs instantaneously became co-owners of the Marcos properties upon the death of the President.


Imee, Bongbong, and Irene, as compulsory heirs of Ferdinand, are equally obliged to render an accounting and return ill-gotten wealth.

Nothing prevents the heirs from exercising their right to transfer or dispose of the properties that constitute their legitimes, even absent their declaration or absent

Since the pending case before the Sandiganbayan survives the death of Ferdinand, it is imperative that the estate

The purpose behind this rule is the

the partition or the distribution of the estate.

be duly represented.

protection of the right to due process of every party to a litigation who may be affected by the intervening death.

upon the death of a person, each of his heirs becomes the undivided owner of the whole estate left with respect to the part or portion which might be adjudicated to him, a community of ownership being thus formed among the coowners of the estate

every part owner may sell, assign, or

In sum, the Marcos siblings are maintained

We take judicial notice of the probate proceedings regarding the will of

In Republic v. Marcos II, we upheld the

while it remains undivided.


grant by RTC of letters testamentary in solidum to Ferdinand, Jr. and Imelda as executors of the last will and testament.

mortgage his part in the common property, and the effect of such assignment or mortgage shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted him in the partition upon the dissolution of the

Unless the executors of the Marcos estate or the heirs are ready to waive in favor of

Rule 3, Sec. 7 of the Rules of Court defines


the state their right to defend or protect the estate, then they may not be dropped as defendants in the civil case pending before the Sandiganbayan.

indispensable parties as those parties-in-interest without whom there can be no final determination of an action.

as respondents, because (1) the action pending before the Sandiganbayan is one that survives death, and, therefore, the rights to the estate must be duly protected; (2) they allegedly control, possess or own ill-gotten wealth, through their direct involvement in

In order to reach a final determination of the matters concerning the estate of Ferdinand, the present case must be maintained against Imelda and Bongbong,


accumulating or acquiring such wealth may not have been proven.

as executors of the Marcos estate pursuant to Sec. 1 of Rule 87 of the Rules

Petition PARTIALLYGRANTED. The assailed Sandiganbayan Resolution dated 6 Dec

of Court:



actions may be commenced to recover from the estate, real or personal property, or an interest therein, or to enforce a lien thereon; and actions to recover damages for an injury to person or property, real or personal, may be commenced against the executors.

The action must likewise be maintained against Imee and Irene on the basis of the non-exhaustive list attached to the

Imelda, Irene, and Bongbong shall be

maintained as defendants in Civil Case No.

0002 pending before Sandiganbayan.

39. SAYSON v. CA GR No. 89224-25 Date Jan. 23, 1992 Ponente: Cruz, J. Digest Author: Charry

Topic in the Syllabus:

[insert text]

Relevant Law:

Art. 970.Representation is a right created by fiction of law, by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented, and acquires the rights which the latter would have if he were living or if he could have inherited. Art. 971.The representative is called to the succession by the law and not by the person represented. The representative does not succeed the person represented but the one who the person represented would have succeeded. Art. 981.Should children of the deceased and descendants of other children who are dead, survive, the former shall inherit in their own right, and the latter by right of representation.


While it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter, these rights do not include the right of representation.

Decedent: Eleno and Rafaela Person/s Represented: Teodoro, Isabel Representative/s: Doribel

Will: No Will


Eleno and Rafaela Person/s Represented: Teodoro, Isabel Representative/s: Doribel Will: ​ No Will Parties: 7 of


Eleno and Rafaela Sayson begot five children, namely, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, Remedios and Teodoro.

Eleno died on November 10, 1952, and Rafaela on May 15, 1976.

Teodoro, who had married Isabel Bautista, died on March 23, 1972.

His wife died nine years later, on March 26,


Their properties were left in the possession of Delia, Edmundo, and Doribel, all surnamed Sayson, who claim to be their children.

On April 25, 1983, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, and Remedios, together with Juana C. Bautista, Isabel's mother, filed a complaint for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson.

The action was resisted by Delia, Edmundo and Doribel Sayson, who alleged successional rights to the disputed estate as the decedents' lawful descendants.

Both cases were decided in favor of the herein private respondents on the basis of right of representation.

The petitioners -

seek to annul the adoption of Delia and Edmundo on the ground that Teodoro and Isabel already had a legitimate daughter at the time

but also argue that Doribel herself is not the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel, but was in fact born to one Edita Abila.

The Court of Appeals held that only Doribel has the right of representation in the inheritance of her grandparents' intestate estate.


WON Delia, Edmundo and Doribel have the capacity to inherit from their alleged grandparents by right of representation (Only Doribel)


It is true, as the petitioners stress, that the birth certificate offers onlyprima facie evidence of filiation and may be refuted by contrary evidence. However, such evidence is lacking in the case at bar.

There is no question that as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and thus the granddaughter of Eleno and Rafaela, Doribel has a right to represent her deceased father in the distribution of the intestate estate of her grandparents.

Under Article 981, quoted above, she is entitled to the share her father would have directly inherited had he survived, which shall be equal to the shares of her grandparents' other children.

But a different conclusion must be reached in the case of Delia and Edmundo, to whom the grandparents were total strangers.

While it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter, these rights do not include the right of representation.

The relationship created by the adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not extend to the blood relatives of either party.

In sum, we agree with the lower courts that Delia and Edmundo as the adopted children and Doribel as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro Sayson and Isabel Bautista, are their exclusive heirs and are under no obligation to share the estate of their parents with the petitioners.

The Court of Appeals was correct, however, in holding that only Doribel has the right of representation in the inheritance of her grandparents' intestate estate, the other private respondents being only the adoptive children of the deceased Teodoro.


WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, and the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto, with costs against the petitioners.

40. TUMBOKON v. LEGASPI GR No. G.R. No. 153736 Date August 12, 2010 Ponente: BERSAMIN, J. Digest Author: Biag

their purchase of it from Cresenciana Inog, who had supposedly acquired it by purchase from Victor Miralles.

The tug-of-war over the property between the petitioners and the respondents first led to the commencement of a criminal case.

Topic in the Syllabus:

The Spouses Nicanor Tumbokon and Rosario

After trial, the CFI found the respondents and

Compulsory Heirs

Sespeñe filed a criminal complaint for qualified

Relevant Law:

theft against respondents Apolonia and Paulina S. Magtanum and others not parties herein,

Article 887.The following are compulsory heirs:

namely: Rosendo Magtanum, Antonio

(1) Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their legitimate parents and ascendants; (2) In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants, with respect to their legitimate children and descendants;

(5) Other illegitimate children referred to in article

Magtanum, Ulpiano Mangilaya, charging them with stealing coconut fruits from the land subject of the present case.

their co-accused guilty.

(3) The widow or widower; (4) Acknowledged natural children, and natural children by legal fiction;

The respondents appealed but the CA affirmed their conviction whereby the CA rejected respondent Apolonia’s defense of ownership of the land.


Meanwhile, on September 21, 1972, or prior to


the CA’s rendition of its decision in the criminal case, the petitioners commenced this suit for

Representation is a right created by fiction of law, by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented, and acquires the rights which the latter would have if she

Decedent: Alejandra Sespeñe

recovery of ownership and possession of real property with damages against the respondents in the CFI.

were living or if she could have inherited.

Will: NO WILL.

Petitioners alleged they (petitioner Rosario Sespeñe Tumbokon) purchased the land in question from Cresenciana Inog. Cresenciana Inog, in turn, acquired the land by purchase from Victor Miralles, son-in-law


of decedent Alejandra, who had represented that he inherited the land from his mother-in-law.

that he inherited the land from his mother-in-law. FACTS: ● Under contention herein are the ownership


Under contention herein are the ownership and possession of that parcel of land with an area of 12,480 square meters, more or less.

The land – planted to rice, corn, and coconuts – was originally owned by the late Alejandra Sespeñe (Alejandra), who had had two marriages. (see diagram)

The ownership and possession of the parcel of land became controversial after Spouses Nicanor Tumbokon and Rosario Sespeñe (petitioners) asserted their right in it by virtue of

The RTC rendered a decision in favor of the

petitioners, holding that the spouses were able to establish the purchase of the land.

The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the RTC and dismissed the complaint.

The appellees trace their acquisition of the subject lot to the admitted primal owner Alejandra Sespeñe through her supposed

sale of it to her son-in-law Victor Miralles, who sold this to Cresenciana Inog, and who in turn sold it to the appellees.

In the process, they presented the Deed of Absolute Sale (Exh. "B", June 19, 1957) executed by Victor Miralles in favor of Cresenciana Inog but wherein it is provided in the said instrument that:

That this parcel of land abovementioned was inheritedfrom the deceased Alejandra Sespeñe, by the party of the First Part being the sole heir of the said Alejandra Sespeñe, having no other brothers or sisters.

This claim of being the sole heir is obviously false and erroneous for Alejandra Sespeñe had more than one intestate heir, and Victor Miralles as a

mere son-in-law could not be one of them.


Whether or not Respondent Apolonia should rightfully be declared the true and lawful owners, and entitled to the possession of the parcel of land.


Petitioners’ claim of ownership could not be legally and factually sustained.

First of all, the petitioners adduced no competent evidence to establish that Victor Miralles, the transferor of the land to Cresenciana Inog (the petitioners’ immediate predecessor in interest) had any legal right in the first place to transfer ownership.

He was not himself an heir of Alejandra, being only her son-in-law (as the husband of Ciriaca, one of Alejandra’s two daughters).

Thus, the statement in the deed of absolute sale entered into between Victor Miralles and Cresenciana Inog, to the effect that the "parcel of land was inherited from the deceased Alejandra Sespeñe" by Victor Miralles "being the sole heir of the said Alejandra Sespeñe, having no other brothers or sisters," was outrightly false.

Secondly, a decedent’s compulsory heirs in whose favor the law reserves a part of the decedent’s estate are exclusively the persons enumerated in Article 887, Civil Code (see relevant law)

Compulsory heirs mentioned in Nos. 3, 4, and 5 are not excluded by those in Nos. 1 and 2; neither do they exclude one another.

In all cases of illegitimate children, their filiation must be duly proved.

The father or mother of illegitimate children of the three classes mentioned, shall inherit from them in the manner and to the extent established by this Code.

Only two forced heirs survived Alejandra upon her death, namely:

respondent Apolonia, her daughter, and

Crisanto Miralles, her grandson.

The latter succeeded Alejandra by right of representation because his mother, Ciriaca, had predeceased Alejandra.

Representation is a right created by fiction of law, by virtue of which the representative is raised to the

place and the degree of the person represented, and acquires the rights which the latter would have if she were living or if she could have inherited.

In this case, the representative (Crisanto Miralles) was called to the succession by law and not by the person represented (Ciriaca); he thus succeeded Alejandra, not Ciriaca.

The foregoing undeniable facts rendered the hearsay testimony of Nicanor Tumbokon to the effect that he had been informed that Victor Miralles had "become automatically the heir" of Alejandra "after the death of his wife," the wife being "the only daughter" and he "the only son-in-law" a plain irrelevancy.

Thirdly, Victor Miralles’ supposed acquisition of the land by oral sale from Alejandra had no competent factual support in the records.

For one, the oral sale was incompatible with the petitioners’ anchor claim that he had acquired the land by inheritance from Alejandra.

Also, the evidence that the petitioners adduced on the oral sale was insufficient and incredible,

warranting the CA’s rejection of the oral sale under the following terms:

This supposed sale was oral, xxx and devoid of the standard particulars like what was the price, when and where was the sale made, who were present, or who knew of it.

The record is bereft too of documentary proof that Victor Miralles exercised the rights and performed the obligations of an owner for no tax declarations nor tax receipt has been submitted or even adverted to.

With Victor Miralles lacking any just and legal right in the land, except as an heir of Ciriaca, the transfer of the land from him to Cresenciana Inog was ineffectual.

As a consequence, Cresenciana Inog did not legally acquire the land, and, in turn, did not validly transfer it to the petitioners.


WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is denied, and the decision rendered on May 15, 2001 by the Court of Appeals is affirmed. Costs of suit to be paid by the petitioners. SO ORDERED.

41. REYES vs. DATU GR No. L-17818 Date: January 25, 1967 Ponente: Reyes Digest Author: de Vera

Topic in the Syllabus:

It was discovered that she had executed 2 wills

First will: Salud and Milagros Barreto as her heirs

2nd will: She revoked her first and left all her properties in favour of Milagros alone

[insert text]

The lower court rejected the first will


presented by Tirso Reyes, husband of Salud

Relevant Law:

Stating that she ain’t a daughter of the

[insert text]

decedent Maria Gerardo


The SC affirmed this ruling


Having lost the fight for a share in the estate of

[insert text]

Gerardo, Reyes falls back upon the remnant of

Decedent 1: Bibiano Barreto

the estate of the deceased BB, which was given in usufruct to his widow MG.

Will: YES BB left the will of a vast estate, consisting of 13

properties covered by their respective TCTs to the ff:

Salud Barreto

Milagros Barreto

Legacies to:

2 sisters

Rosa Barreto

Felisa Barreto

Nephew and nieces

Usufruct for the fishpond in Bulacan is reserved for his widow, Maria Gerardo Maria Gerardo: Administratrix

Decedent 2: Maria Gerardo


Gerardo: Administratrix Decedent 2: Maria Gerardo Parties: FACTS: ● MG, as administratrix, prepared a project of


MG, as administratrix, prepared a project of partition

Signed by her in her own behalf and as guardian to minor Milagros Barreto

This was approved by the CFI

Upon CFI approval delivery of the shares of the heirs followed forthwith

Salud Barreto immediately took possession of her share and secured the cancellation of the OCTs and had the issuance of the new titles in her own name.

Problem ensued when Maria Gerardo died.

He instituted this action for the recovery of ½ portion thereof.

This action afforded Milagros the opportunity to

Set up her right of ownership over all properties willed and delivered to Salud Barreto, as a spurious heir

Institute that SB is not entitled to any share in the estate of BB.

LC: ruled in favour of Milagros

Article 1081 of the Civil Code of 1889 (then in force) providing as follows:

"A partition in which a person was believed to be an heir, without being so, has been included, shall be null and void."

Reyes negated saying:

the fact that Salud happened not to be a daughter of the testator does not preclude her being one of the heirs expressly named in his testament ; for Bibiano Barretto was at liberty to assign the free portion of his estate to whomsoever he chose



Salud acquired the fishpond in question is void ab initioand Salud did not acquire valid title to it. NO.

(2) W/N Milagros’ action is barred by the statute of limitations. YES.



W/N the partition from which

Art. 1081 (OCC) is misapplied!

Salud admittedly had been instituted heir in Bibiano’s last will and testament together with Milagros.

Hence, the partition had between them could not be one such had with a party who was believed to be an heir without really

being one, and was not null and void under Art. 1081.

The legal precept of Art. 1081 does not speak of children, or descendants, but of heirs (without distinction between forced, voluntary or intestate ones),

and the fact that Salud did not happen to be a daughter of the testator does not precludeher being one of the heirs expressly named in his testament;

for Bibiano was at liberty to assign the free portion of his estate to whomsoever he chose.

While the share (½) assigned to Salud impinged on the legitime of Milagros, Salud did not for that reason cease to be a testamentary heir of Bibiano.

Nor does the fact that Milagros was allotted in her father’s will a share smaller than her legitime invalidate the institution of Salud as heir, since there was no preterition or total omission of a forced heir here.

The view that the partition in question is void for being a compromise on the civil status of Salud, in violation of Art. 1814 (OCC) is erroneous.

A compromise presupposes the settlement of a controversy through mutual concessions of the parties; and the condition of Salud as daughter of the testator Bibiano, while untrue, was at no time disputed during the settlement of the estate of testator.

There can be no compromise over issues not in dispute.

While a compromise over civil status is prohibited, the law nowhere forbids a settlement by the parties over the share that should correspond to a claimant to the estate.

At any rate, independently of the project of partition (a mere proposal for distribution of estate), it is the court alone that makes the distribution of the estate and determines the persons entitled thereto and the parts to which each is entitled.

It is that judicial decree of distribution, once final, that vests title in the distributees.

Where a court has validly issued a decree of distribution of the estate, and the same has become final, the validity or invalidity

of the project of partition becomes irrelevant.

(2) Milagros contends that as Maria could not have ignored that Salud was not her child, the act of Maria in agreeing to the partition and distribution was a fraud on her rights and entitles her to belief. This contention is unfounded.

First, there is no evidence that when

Bibiano’s estate was judicially settled and distributed, Salud knew that she was not Bibiano’s child.

Thus, if fraud was committed, it was Maria who was solely responsible; and neither Salud nor her minor children can be held liable therefor.

Second, granting there was such fraud, relief therefor can be obtained within 4 years from its discovery, and the record shows that this period had elapsed a long time ago.


CFI decision REVERSED and SET ASIDE, insofar as it orders Tirso to reconvey to Milagros the properties enumerated in said decision. The same is AFFIRMED, insofar as it denies any right of Milagros to accounting. The action for partition of the fishpond must be GIVEN DUE COURSE.

42. AZNAR v. DUNCAN GR No. L-24365 Date June 30, 1966 Ponente:MAKALINTAL, J Digest Author: Dimla

Topic in the Syllabus:

Compulsory Succession

Relevant Law:

ART. 918. Disinheritance without a specification of the cause, or for a cause the truth of which, if contradicted, is not proved, or which is not one of those set forth in this Code, shall annul the institution of heirs insofar as it may prejudice the person disinherited; but the devises and legacies and other testamentary dispositions shall be valid to such extent as will not impair the legitime.


There is no preterition if there was distribution of the legacy or devise.

Decedent: Edward Christensen Will: Yes. Here are the important parts:

3. I declare

MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN (Now Mrs. Bernard Daney), who was born in the Philippines about twenty-eight years ago, who is now residing at No. 665 Rodger Young Village, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. "4. I further declare that I now have no living ascendants, and no descendants except my above-named daughter, MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN DANEY. xxx xxx xxx

that I have but ONE (1) child, named

"7. I give, devise, and bequeath unto MARIA HELEN CHRISTENSEN, now married to Eduardo Garcia, about eighteen years of age and who, notwithstanding the fact that she was baptized Christensen, is not in any way related to me, nor has she been at any time adopted by me, and who, from all information I have now resides in Egpit, Digos, Davao, Philippines, the sum of THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED PESOS (P3,600), Philippine Currency, the same to be deposited in trust for the said Maria Helen Christensen with the Davao Branch of the Philippine National Bank, and paid to her at the rate of One Hundred Pesos (P100.00), Philippine Currency per month until the principal thereof as well as any interest which may have accrued thereon, is exhausted.'

interest which may have accrued thereon, is exhausted.' FACTS: Edward E. Christensen, a citizen of California


Edward E. Christensen, a citizen of California with domicile in the Philippines, died leaving a will executed on March 5, 1951.

The will was admitted to probate by the Court of First Instance of Davao in its decision of February 28, 1954.

In that same decision the court declared that Maria Helen Christensen Garcia (hereinafter referred to as Helen Garcia) was a natural child of the deceased.

On October 29, 1964, the Court of First Instance of Davao issued an order approving the project of

partition submitted by the executor, dated June 30, 1964, wherein the properties of the estate were divided equally between

Maria Lucy Christensen Duncan (named in the will as Maria Lucy Christensen Daney, and hereinafter referred to as merely Lucy Duncan), whom the testator had expressly recognized in his will as his daughter (natural) and

Helen Garcia, who had been judicially declared as such after his death.

The said order was based on the proposition that

since Helen Garcia had been preterited in the will

the institution of Lucy Duncan as heir was annulled, and

hence the properties passed to both of them as if the deceased had died intestate,

saving only the legacies left in favor of certain other persons, which legacies have been duly approved by the lower court and distributed to the legatees.

Duncan appealed questioning -

whether the estate, after deducting the legacies, should pertain to her and to Helen Garcia in equal shares, or

whether her inheritance of as instituted heir should be merely reduced to the extent necessary to cover the legitimate of Helen Garcia, equivalent to 1/4 of the entire estate.

This is due to the fact that under the will, Helen has been preterited, and can only be given her legitime of P3,600.

Note: Manresa defines preterition as the omission of the heir in the will, either by not naming him at all or, while mentioning him as father, son, etc., by not instituting him as heir without disinheriting him expressly, nor assigning to him some part of the properties.

The trial court ruled, and appellee now maintains, that -

there has been preterition of Helen Garcia, a compulsory heir in the direct line,

resulting in the annulment of the institution of heir pursuant to Article 854 of the Civil Code, which provides:

"ART. 854. 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."

On the other hand, appellant contends -

that this is not a case of preterition,

but is governed by Article 906 of the Civil Code, which says: "Any compulsory heir to whom the testator has left by any title less the legitime belonging to him may demand that the same be fully satisfied.”

Appellant also suggests that -

considering the provisions of the will whereby the testator expressly denied his relationship with Helen Garcia, but left to her a legacy nevertheless, although less than the amount of her legitime, she was in effect defectively disinherited within the meaning of Article 918.

under both Articles 906 and 918, Helen Garcia is entitled only to her legitime, and not to a share of the estate equal that of Lucy Duncan as if the succession were intestate.


Whether or not there was preterition which would annul the will and pass the property as intestate.

(Basically kung magiging intestate ba yung pag-pass ng property, which would allow Helen to get 1/2 of the estate, and not the given P3,600 in the will.


He refused to acknowledge Helen Garcia as his natural daughter, and limited her share to a legacy of P3,600.00 or ¼ of the estate.

Therefore, there is no preterition if the heir is given a legacy or devise.

The estate of the deceased Christensen upon his death consisted of 399 shares of stocks in the Christensen Plantation Company and a certain amount in cash.

¼ of said estate descended to Helen Garcia as her legitime. Since she became the owner of her share as of the moment of the death of the decedent (Arts. 774, 777, Civil Code), she is entitled to a corresponding portion of all the fruits or increments thereof subsequently accruing.

The solution (from three SC Spain decisions cited by Manresa) was that the heir ask that the legitime be completed and not that the institution of heirs be annulled entirely.

This solution is more in consonance with the expressed wishes of the testator in the present case as may be gathered very clearly from the provisions of his will.

He refused to acknowledge Helen Garcia as his natural daughter, and limited her share to a legacy of P3,600.00.

The fact that she was subsequently declared judicially to possess such status is no reason to assume that had the judicial declaration come during his lifetime his subjective attitude towards here would have undergone any change and that he would have willed his estate equally to her and to Lucy Duncan, who alone was expressly recognized by him.


GR No. 140371-72 Date November 27, 2006 Ponente: J. Azcuna Digest Author: LAI

Topic in the Syllabus:

Compulsory Succession; Preterition - caution in drawing up will

Decedent: [insert text] Will: Issue is if disinheritance constitutes a valid will


Petitioners: Dy Seangio, Barbara Seangio, Virginia Seangio

Respondent: Reyes (rtc judge), Alfredo Seangio, Alberto Seangio, Elisa Seangio-Santos, Victor Seangio, Alfonso Seangio, Shirley Seangio, Betty Seangio, James Seangio

Pets and Resps are all children of Segundo


In 1988, private respondents filed a petition

for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio, and

praying for the appointment of private respondent Elisa D. Seangio–Santos as special administrator and guardian ad litem of petitioner Dy Yieng Seangio.

Petitioners Dy Yieng, Barbara and Virginia, all surnamed Seangio, opposed the petition. They contended that

Dy Yieng is still very healthy and in full command of her faculties

The deceased Segundo executed a general power of attorney in favor of Virginia giving her the power to control and supervision over his business in the Philippines

Virginia is the most competent and qualified as the administrator of the estate of Segundo because she is a CPA

Segundo left a holographic will, dated September 20, 1995, disinheriting one of the private respondents, Alfredo Seangio, for cause.

In view of the purported holographic will, in the event the decedent is found to have left a will, the intestate proceedings are to be automatically suspended and replaced by the proceedings for the probate of the will.

Petition for probate of holographic will of Segundo was filed by Petitioners which they likewise reiterated that the probate proceedings should take precedence over SP (the one filed by resps) bec testate proceedings take precedence and enjoy priority over intestate proceedings

Resps filed a MTD of the probate proceedings filed by Pets, on the ground that the docs purporting to be holographic will of Segundo

doesn’t contain any disposition of the estate of deceased and doesn’t meet the qualification of a will

Accdg to them, the will only shows alleged act of disinheritance by the decedent to the eldest son and nothing else.

And all other compulsory heirs were not named nor instituted as heir, devisee or legatee, hence, there is preterition which would result to intestacy.

Because of this, it is their contention that while procedurally the court is called upon

to rule only on the extrinsic validity of the will, it is not barred from =

delving into the intrinsic validity of the same, and

ordering the dismissal of the petition for probate when on the face of the will it is clear that it contains no testamentary disposition of the property of the decedent.

RTC: Petition for probate proceedings dismissed There is preterition, as the only heirs mentioned are Alfredo and Virginia


WON the document executed by Segundo can be considered as a holographic will - YES


Main argument of Petitioners:

the holographic will does not contain any institution of an heir,

but rather, as its title clearly states, Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana, simply contains a disinheritance of a compulsory heir.

Thus, there is no preterition in the decedent’s will and the holographic will on its face is not intrinsically void

the testator intended all his compulsory heirs, petitioners and private respondents alike, with the sole exception of Alfredo, to inherit his estate.

None of the compulsory heirs in the direct line of Segundo were preterited in the holographic will since there was no institution of an heir

the continuation of the proceedings in the intestate case will work injustice to petitioners, and will render nugatory the disinheritance of Alfredo


A holographic will, as provided under Article 810

NCC, must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself.

It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be witnessed.

Segundo’s document, although it may initially come across as a mere disinheritance instrument, conforms to the formalities of a holographic will prescribed by law.

It is written, dated and signed by the hand of Segundo himself.

An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from the terms of the instrument

While it does not make an affirmative disposition of the latter’s property, the disinheritance of Alfredo, is an act of disposition in itself.

In other words, the disinheritance results in the

disposition of the property of the testator Segundo


favor of those who would succeed in the absence



Holographic wills, being usually prepared by one who is not learned in the law, should be construed more liberally than the ones drawn by an expert, taking into account the circumstances surrounding the execution of the instrument and the intention of the testator.

In this regard, the Court is convinced that the

document, even if captioned as Kasulatan ng Pag-Aalis ng Mana,was intended by Segundo to be his last testamentary act and was executed by him in accordance with law in the form of a holographic will.

Considering that the questioned document is Segundo’s holographic will, and that the law favors testacy over intestacy, the probate of the will cannot be dispensed with.

Article 838 of the Civil Code provides that no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court.

Thus, unless the will is probated, the right of a person to dispose of his property may be rendered nugatory.



44. ACAIN v. CA GR No. 72706 Date Oct. 27, 1987 Ponente: Paras, J. Digest Author: Lim

Topic in the Syllabus:

Preterition (Art. 854) - Caution in drawing up will; Effect of Preterition

Relevant Law:

Art. 854. 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.

If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the testator, the institution shall be effectual, without prejudice to the right of representation.


Preterition consists in the omission in the testator’s will of the forced heirs or anyone of them either because they are not mentioned therein, or, through mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited.

Decedent: Nemesio Acain Will: [Yes] Written in Bisaya, with a translation in English. The will contained provisions on burial rites, payment of debts, and the appointment of a certain Atty. Ignacio G. Villagonzalo as the executor of the testament. On the disposition of the testator's property, the will provided:


All my shares that I may receive from our

properties. house, lands and money which I earned jointly with my wife Rosa Diongson shall all be given by me to my brother SEGUNDO ACAIN Filipino, widower, of legal age and presently residing at 357-C Sanciangko Street, Cebu City. In case my brother Segundo Acain pre-deceased me, all the money properties, lands, houses there in Bantayan and here in Cebu City which constitute my share shall be given to me to his children, namely: Anita, Constantino,Concepcion, Quirina, laura, Flores, Antonio and Jose, all surnamed Acain.


Flores, Antonio and Jose, all surnamed Acain. Parties: FACTS: ● Nemesio Acain died leaving a will


Nemesio Acain died leaving a will in which,

Constantino and his brothers Antonio, Flores, Jose, Anita, Concepcion, Quirina, and Laura were instituted as heirs.

The will contained that shares that Nemesio Acain may receive from his properties will be given to Seguno Acain his sibling.

In case Segundo predeceases Nemesio, the share shall go to Segundo’s children. (see excerpt of will)

Segundo predeceased Nemesio.

The children of Segundo are claiming to be heirs.

Constantino filed a petition for probate of the will

Respondents Virginia Fernandez (adopted daughter of Nemesio) and his widow Rosa filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds:

(1) for the petitioner has no legal capacity to institute these proceedings; (2) he is merely a universal heir and (3) the widow and the adopted daughter have been pretirited. Said motion was denied by the trial judge.


Whether or not private respondents Virginia and Rosa have been preterited. NO for widow, YES for adopted child.


For Widow:

Insofar as the widow is concerned, Article 854 of the Civil Code may not apply as she does not ascend or descend from the testator, although she is a compulsory heir.

Even if the surviving spouse is a compulsory heir, there is no preterition even if she is omitted from the inheritance, for she is not in the direct line.

For Adopted Child:

However, the same thing cannot be said of the other respondent Virginia A. Fernandez, whose legal adoption by the testator has not been questioned by petitioner

Under Article 39 of P.D. No. 603, known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code, adoption gives to the adopted person the same rights

and duties as if he were a legitimate child of the adopter and makes the adopted person


legal heir of the adopter.

cannot be denied that she has totally


omitted and preterited in the will of the testator and that both adopted child and the widow were deprived of at least their legitime.

Neither can it be denied that they were not expressly disinherited.

Hence, this is a clear case of preterition of the legally adopted child.

Pretention annuls the institution of an heir and annulment throws open to intestate succession the entire inheritance including "la porcion libre (que) no hubiese dispuesto en virtual de legado mejora o donacion" (the free portion (that) would not have disposed in virtual legacy improvement or donation).

The only provisions which do not result in intestacy are the legacies and devises made in the will for they should stand valid and respected, except insofar as the legitimes are concerned.

The universal institution of Constantino together with his brothers and sisters to the entire inheritance of the testator results in totally abrogating the will because the nullification of such institution of universal heirs-without any other testamentary disposition in the will-amounts to a declaration that nothing at all was written.

Carefully worded and in clear terms, Article 854 of the Civil Code offers no leeway for inferential interpretation.

No legacies nor devises having been provided in the will the whole property of the deceased has been left by universal title to Constantino and his brothers and sisters.

The effect of annulling the "Institution of heirs will be, necessarily, the opening of a total intestacy except that proper legacies and devises must be respected.


PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit and the questioned decision of respondent Court of Appeals promulgated on

August 30, 1985 and its Resolution dated October 23, 1985 are hereby AFFIRMED.

45. NUGUID VS. NUGUID GR No. L-23445 Date: June 23, 1966 Ponente:Sanchez, J. Digest Author: Lo

Topic in the Syllabus: Preterition

Relevant Law:

ART. 854. 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.

Doctrine: PRETERITION vs. DISINHERITANCE Preterition"consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited."

Disinheritance,in turn, "is a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heir of his share in the legitimefor a cause authorized by law. "

Decedent: Rosario Nuguid

Will: Holographic Will

six (6) brothers and sisters, namely: Alfredo, Federico, Remedios, Conrado, Lourdes and Alberto, all surnamed Nuguid.

On May 18, 1963, petitioner Remedios Nuguid

filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal a holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid on November 17, 1951, some 11 years before her demise.

Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, concededly the legitimate father and mother of the deceased Rosario Nuguid, entered their opposition to the probate of her will.

Ground therefor, inter alia, is that by the institution of petitioner Remedios Nuguid as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors — who are compulsory heirs of the deceased in the direct ascending line — were illegally preterited and that in consequence the institution is void.

Oppositors moved to dismiss on the ground of absolute preterition.

Issue:Is there Preterition in this case?

Held:Yes. This is a clear case of preterition.

The deceased Rosario Nuguid left no descendants, legitimate or illegitimate.

But she left forced heirs in the direct ascending line her parents, now oppositors Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid.

And, the will completely omits both of them:


They thus received nothing by the

Rosario Nuguid- decedent, left a


Holographic Will

tacitly, they were deprived of their legitime;

Felix Nuguid & Paz Nuguid - Parents of Rosario

neither were they expressly disinherited.

Alfredo, Federico, Remedios, Conrado, Lourdes and Alberto, all surnamed Nuguid - Brothers and sisters of Rosario

The one-sentence will here institutes petitioner as the sole, universal heir — nothing more. No specific legacies or bequests are therein provided for. It is in

Perforce, Rosario Nuguid died intestate.

this posture that we say that the nullity is complete.

this posture that we say that the nullity is complete.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION: The disputed order, we observe, declares the will in question "a complete nullity". Article 854 of the Civil Code in turn merely nullifies "the institution of heir". Considering, however, that the will before us solely provides for the institution of petitioner as universal heir, and nothing more, the result is the same. The entire will is null.


Rosario Nuguid died on December 30, 1962,

single, without descendants, legitimate or illegitimate.

Surviving her were her -

legitimate parents, Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, and

Upon the view we take of this case, the order of November 8, 1963 under review is hereby affirmed. No costs allowed. So ordered.

46. PALACIOS v. RAMIREZ GR No. L-27952 Date February 15, 1982 Ponente: Abad Santos, J. Digest Author: Abby Martinez

Topic in the Syllabus: Preterition/Substitution

Relevant Law:

Simple or Vulgar substitution Art. 859. The testator may designate one or more persons to substitute the heir or heirs instituted in case such heir or heirs should die before him, or should not wish, or should be incapacitated to accept the inheritance.

Fideicommissary substitution:

Art. 863. A fideicommissary substitution by virtue of which the fiduciary or first heir instituted is entrusted with the obligation to preserve and to transmit to a second heir the whole or part of inheritance, shall be valid and shall take effect, provided such substitution does not go beyond one degree from the heir originally instituted, and provided further that the fiduciary or first heir and the second heir are living at time of the death of the testator.


Degree = degree of relationship; second heir must be related by one generationfrom the first heir; second heir can only be either a child or parent of the first heir.

Decedent: Jose Eugenio Ramirez Will: Yes, written in Spanish

[google translate:

The testamentary dispositions are as follows:

"A. - In bare property, to Mr. Roberto and Mr. Jorge Ramirez, both minors, residing in Manila, IF, Wright Street, No. 1818, Malate, children of his nephew Mr. Jose Ma. Ramirez, with vulgar substitution in favor of their respective descendants, and, failing that, with reciprocal vulgar substitution between both.

"The previous legacy in naked ownership of the undivided participation of the Santa-Cruz Building, the testator orders in favor of the named legatees, in attention to the fact that said property was created by the beloved father of the grantor and for being those who continued the surname Ramirez.

"B. - And in usufruct to know: -

to. - Regarding a third party, in favor of the wife of the testator, Da. Marcelle Ramirez, domiciled in IE PECO, street of General Gallieni, No. 33, Seine,

France, with vulgar substitution or trustee in favor of Da. Wanda from Wrobleski, from Palma de Mallorca, Son Rapiña, Avenida de los Reyes 13,

b. - And as for the remaining two thirds, in favor of the appointed Da. Wanda of Wrobleski, with vulgar substitution and trustee, namely: -

"As for half of said two thirds, in favor of Mr. Juan Pablo Jankowski, from Son Rapiña, Palma de Mallorca, and as for the remaining half, in favor of his nephew, Mr. Horace V. Ramirez, San Luis Building, Florida St. Ermita, Manila, IF

"In spite of the prior ordinance trustee substitutions, the usufructuaries appointed jointly with the joint owners may, at any time, sell the property object delegated to third parties, without any intervention of the trustee holders."]


any intervention of the trustee holders."] Parties: FACTS: ● Jose Eugenio Ramirez, a Filipino national, died


Jose Eugenio Ramirez, a Filipino national, died in Spain -

with only his widow, Marcelle (a French woman who lives in Paris) as compulsory heir

His will was admitted to probate by CFI Manila

The Ramirez executed a will bequeathing his estate to 4 principal beneficiaries:

His widow Marcelle Ramirez

Two grandnephews Roberto and Jorge Ramirez

His companion Wanda de Wrobleski

(NOTE: His “companion” (maybe mistress?) Wanda is an Austrian who lives in Spain)

Maria Luisa Palacios was appointed administratrix of the estate.

She submitted a project of partition as

follows, the property of the deceased to be divided in 2 parts:

One part of the estate shall go to his widow Marcelle in satisfaction of her legitime.

The other part or “free portion’ shall go to Jorge and Roberto Ramirez.

of the free portion is charged with the Marcelle’s usufruct

Remaining with a usufruct in favor of Wanda

Jose and Roberto opposed the project of partition

Wanda’s substitutes, (Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horace Ramirez) are not related to her

the provisions for fideicommissary substitutions are also invalid because the first heirs are not related to the second heirs or substitutes within the first degree

that the grant of a usufruct over real property in the Philippines in favor of Wanda Wrobleski, who is an alien, violates Section 5, Article III of the Philippine Constitution

CFI: Approved the project of partition


WON the provision for vulgar and fideicommissary substitution with respect to Wanda’s usufruct in favor of Juan Pablo and Horacio Ramirez is valid


As to the vulgar aspect - the substitution is VALID

It is true even though Wanda survived the testator, because dying before the testator is not the only case for vulgar substitution. It also includes refusal or incapacity to accept the inheritance as provided in Art. 859 of the Civil Code.

As to the fideicommissary aspect - the substitution is VOID The substitutes (Juan Pablo and Horace) are not related to Wanda, the heir originally instituted.

Art 863 of the Civil Code validates a fideicommissary substitution “provided such substitution does not go beyond one degree from the heir originally instituted.”

There is no absolute duty imposed on Wanda to transmit the usufruct to the substitutes as required by Arts. 865 and 867 of the Civil Code.

In fact, the administratrix admits “that the testator contradicts the establishment of a fideicommissary substitution when he permits the properties subject of the usufruct to be sold upon mutual agreement of the usufructuaries and the naked owners.”

One degree means one generation

The Code thus clearly indicates that the second heir must be related to and be one generation from the first heir.

From this, it follows that the fideicommissary can only be either a child or a parent of the first heir. These are the only relatives who are one generation or degree from the fiduciary.

The testator cannot impose any lien, substitution, or condition on his widow’s legitime

Art. 900 of the Civil Code “If the only survivor is the widow or widower, she or he shall be entitled to one-half of the hereditary estate.

Since Marcelle alone survived the deceased, she is entitled to one-half of his estate over which he could impose no burden, encumbrance, condition or substitution of any kind whatsoever

The usufruct in favor of Wanda, albeit a real right, does not vest title to the land in the usufructuary and it is the vesting of title to land in favor of aliens which is proscribed by the Constitution. (MOOT)


IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the estate of Jose Eugenio Ramirez is hereby ordered distributed as follows:

One-half (1/2) thereof to his widow as her legitime; One-half (1/2) thereof which is the free portion to Roberto and Jorge Ramirez in naked ownership and the usufruct to Wanda de Wrobleski with a simple substitution in favor of Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horace V. Ramirez.

The distribution herein ordered supersedes that of the court a quo. No special pronouncement as to costs.

47. PCIB V ESCOLIN GR No. L-27860 & L-27896 Date March 29, 1974 Ponente: Barrredo, J. Digest Author: Ollero

Topic in the Syllabus:



Substitution occurs only when another heir is appointed in a will"so that he may enter into inheritance in default of the heir originally instituted


Linnie Jane Hodges Charlie Newton Hodges


The instant cases refer to the estate left by the late Charles Newton Hodges (C.N. Hodges) as well as that of his wife, Linnie Jane Hodges (a Texas national), who predeceased him by about five years and a half.

In their respective wills which were executed on different occasions, each one of them provided mutually as follows:

"I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder (after funeral and administration expenses, taxes and debts) of my estate, both real and personal, wherever situated or located, to my beloved (spouse) to have and to hold unto (him/her) — during (his/her) natural lifetime", subject to the condition that upon the death of whoever of them survived the other, the remainder of what he or she would inherit from the other is "given, devised and bequeath(ed" to the brothers and sisters of the latter.

Note: Long case (138 pages excluding Separate Opinion. Preterition is off topic but highlighted the part which it could be applicable)


highlighted the part which it could be applicable) Parties: Administrators: Avelina Magno - ​ appointed


Avelina Magno - appointed Administratrix (for Linnie’s estate) and a Special Administratrix (for Charles’)

PCIB- Much later, PCIB became the Administrator of Charles’ estate.


Charles Newton Hodges and Linnie Jane Hodges were originally from Texas, USA.

During their marriage, they had acquired and accumulated considerable assets and properties in the Philippines and in Oklahoma and Texas in the US.

They both lived, worked and were domiciled in Iloilo City for around 50 years.

Before her death, Linnie Jane executed a will leaving her estate, less her debts and funeral expenses, to her husband Charles.

Should Charles die, the will provided that the remainder of her estate go to her brothers and sisters, share and share alike.

Should any of the brothers and sisters die before the husband, Linnie willed that the heirs of the said sibling be substituted in the deceased’s sibling’s place.

When Linnie died, Charles took the will to probate court, and was appointed Executor, then later, Special Administrator.

He moved to be allowed to continue administering the family business, as per

Linnie Jane’s wishes, and to engage in sales, conveyances, leases, mortgages and other necessary transactions.

He also filed the necessary and appurtenant administration/accounting records, and income tax returns for the estate.

Charles named seven brothers and sisters of Linnie Jane as her heirs (Esta, Emma, Leonard, Aline, David, Sadie, Era and Nimroy),

but the order admitting the will to probate unfortunately omitted one of the heirs, Roy Higdon,

so Charles filed a verified motion to have Roy’s name included.

As an executor, he was bound to file tax returns for the estate he was administering under American law.

He did file such as estate tax return on August 8, 1958.

In Schedule "M" of such return, he answered "Yes" to the question as to whether he was contemplating "renouncing the will".

On the question as to what property interests passed to him as the surviving spouse, he answered:

“None, except for purposes of administering the Estate, paying debts, taxes and other legal charges.

It is the intention of the surviving husband of deceased to distribute the remaining property and interests of the

deceased in their Community estate to the devisees and legatees named in the will when the debts, liabilities, taxes and expenses of administration are finally determined and paid.”

Charles died in Iloilo in December 1962 without

having liquidated Linnie’s estate, which includes her share in the conjugal partnership.

A longtime employee of the Hodges, Avelina Magno, was appointed Administratrix (for Linnie’s estate) and a Special Administratrix (for Charles’).

Magno was appointed,

but later Harold Davies (representative of Charles’ heirs in the US) was designated Co-Special Administrator, who was then replaced by one Joe Hodges, Charles’ nephew.

Allegedly, a modus operandito settle money matters (a settlement with records the Court never saw)—which occurred between parties.

Much later, PCIB became the administrator of Charles’ estate, asserting a claim to all of his estate, including those properties/assets that passed to him upon Linnie Jane’s death.

Avelina naturally opposed this, as Linnie Jane’s other heirs (the HIGDONS) would be prejudiced, so she continued acting in her capacity as administrator (entering into sales and other such conveyances).

For these acts, the PCIB dismissed her as an employee of Charles’ estate, to which she responded by locking up the premises being used by PCIB as offices, which were among the estate’s properties.

PCIB’s Claims

Linnie Jane’s will should be governed by Philippine Law, with respect to the order of succession, the amount of successional rights, and the intrinsic validity of its testamentary provisions.

Linnie intended Philippine laws to govern her Will.

Article 16, CC, provides that "the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found", shall prevail.

However, the Conflict of Law of Texas, which is the "national law" of the testatrix, Linnie Jane Hodges, provide that the domiciliary law (Philippine law) should govern the testamentary dispositions and successional rights over movables, and the law of the situs of the property (also Philippine law as to properties

located in the Philippines) as regards immovables.

Thus applying the "Renvoi Doctrine", as approved and applied in the Christensen case (1963), Philippine law should apply.

Under Philippine and Texas law, the conjugal or community estate of spouses shall, upon dissolution, be divided equally between them.

Thus, upon Linnie’s death, ½ of the entirety of the assets of the Hodges spouses constituting their conjugal estate pertained automatically to Charles, not by way of inheritance, but in his own right as partner in the conjugal partnership.

The other one-half (1/2) portion forming part of Linnie’s estate, cannot, under a clear and specific provision of her Will, be enhanced or increased by income, earnings, rents, or emoluments accruing after her death.

All rents, emoluments and income from said estate shall belong to him (C. N. Hodges) and he is further authorized to use any part of the principal of said estate as he may need or desire."

Articles 900, 995 and 1001 provide that the surviving spouse of a deceased leaving no ascendants or descendants is entitled, as a matter of right and by way of irrevocable legitime, to at least one-half (1/2) of the estate of the deceased, and no testamentary disposition by the deceased can legally and

validly affect this right of the surviving spouse.

In fact, her husband is entitled to said one-half (1/2) portion of her estate by way of legitime. (Article 886)

Clearly, therefore, immediately upon the death of Linnie Jane Hodges, C. N. Hodges was the owner of at least 3/4 or 75% percent of all of the conjugal assets of the spouses, 50% by way of conjugal partnership share and 1/4 or 25% by way of inheritance and legitime) plus all "rents, emoluments and income" accruing to said conjugal estate from the moment of Linnie Jane Hodges' death.

As the sole and exclusive heir, Charles did not need to liquidate the estate.

Neither was there any asset left to Linnie’s estate at the time of Charles’ death, though Linnie’s estate may have referred to “all of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate” which would go to her siblings in the event of Charles death.

The provision is thus void and invalid at least as to Philippine assets.

The remedy of the Higdons, then, who are claiming dubious rights to ¼ of the conjugal estate of the Hodges, is to file a claim against the estate of Charles.

It also follows that the conveyances executed by Avelina, claiming to be merely

in continuation of the Hodges’ businesses, and which corresponding deeds of sale were confirmed by the probate court, are null and void and should be subject to reconveyance.

Avelina’s Claims

Linnie Jane merely gave Charles a life-estate or a usufruct over all her estate, and gave a vested remainder-estate or the naked title over the same estate, to her relatives.

After Linnie’s death, Charles, as administrator and executor of the will, unequivocably and clearly through oral and written declarations and sworn public statements, renounced, disclaimed and repudiated his life-estate and usufruct.

Since there was no separation or segregation of the interests of Linnie and Charles in the combined conjugal estate, as there has been no such separation or segregation, and because of Charles’ repudiation, both interests have continually earned exactly the same amount of rents, emoluments and income.


WON Linnie’s disposition in favor of her siblings void- NO.


The error in PCIB's position lies simply in the fact that it views the said disposition exclusively in the light of substitutions covered by the Civil Code when it is obvious that substitution occurs only when another heir is appointed in a will "so that he may enter into inheritance in default of the heir originally instituted," (Article 857) and, in the present case, no such possible default is contemplated.

The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Hodges are not substitutes for Hodges because, under her will, they are not to inherit what Hodges cannot, would not or may not inherit, but what he would not dispose of from his inheritance; rather, therefore, they are also heirs instituted simultaneously with Hodges, subject, however, to certain conditions, partially resolutory insofar as Hodges was concerned and correspondingly suspensive with reference to his brothers and sisters-in-law.

It is partially resolutory, since it bequeaths unto Hodges the whole of her estate to be owned and enjoyed by him as universal and sole heir with absolute dominion over them only during his lifetime, which means that while he could completely and absolutely dispose of any portion thereof inter vivos to anyone other than himself, he was not free to do so mortis causa, and all his rights

to what might remain upon his death would cease entirely upon the occurrence of that contingency, inasmuch as the right of his brothers and sisters-in-law to the inheritance, although vested already upon the death of Mrs. Hodges, would automatically become operative upon the occurrence of the death of Hodges in the event of actual existence of any remainder of her estate then.

Contrary to Avelina’s view, however, it was not the usufruct alone of Linnie’s estate, as contemplated in Article 869, that she bequeathed to Charles during his lifetime, but the full ownership thereof, although the same was to last also during his lifetime only, even as there was no restriction whatsoever against his disposing or conveying the whole or any portion thereof to anybody other than himself.

The Court saw no legal impediment to this kind of institution, except that it cannot apply to the legitime of Charles as the surviving spouse, consisting of one-half of the estate, considering that Linnie had no surviving ascendants nor descendants. (Arts. 872, 900, and 904.)

Hodges’ acts of administration and accounting strongly negate PCIB’s claims that he had adjudicated to himself all of Linnie’s estate.

While he may have used language like “herein executor (being) the only devisee or legatee of the deceased, in accordance with the last will and testament already probatedthere is no other person interested in the Philippines of the time and place of examining herein account to be given notice,” he would’ve known that doing so would impute bad faith unto him.

Also, in his very motions, Hodges asserted the rights of Linnie’s named heirs. He even moved to include Roy’s name included in the probate court’s order, lest Roy’s heirs think that they had been omitted.

Thus, he recognized, in his own way, the separate identity of his wife’s estate from his own share of the conjugal partnership up to the time of his death, more than 5 years after that of his wife.

He never considered the whole estate as a single one belonging exclusively to himself.

The only conclusion one can gather from this is that he could have been preparing the basis for the eventual transmission of his wife's estate, or, at least, so much thereof as he would not have been able to dispose of during his lifetime, to her brothers and sisters in accordance with her expressed desire, as intimated in his tax return in the US.

And assuming that he did pay the corresponding estate and inheritance taxes in the Philippines on the basis of his being sole heir, such payment is not necessarily inconsistent with his recognition of the rights of his co-heirs.

It is obvious, though, that Charles’ procrastinating in settling Linnie’s estate, and his sole administration of it, commingled his and his co-heirs interests, making it difficult to properly make an accounting of their shares.

PCIB, then, cannot administer the properties on its own. What would be just and proper is for both administrators of the two estates to act conjointly until after said estates have been segregated from each other.

Not relevant to the topic but good to know:

WON estate of Mrs. Hodges is more than 1/4 of the conjugal property. Case is remanded to trial court to allow the parties to present evidence in relation to these issues. Nevertheless, PCIB now cannot allege that the estate is less than ¼.

- Texas law provides no legitime.

- RP Law provides that the Surviving Spouse, being the sole heir gets 1/2 o the conjugal property, then 1/2 goes to the estate of the spouse. If 1/2 of the estate of the spouse goes to the surviving spouse which is the sole heir, then Charles gets 1/4 of the whole conjugal property.


Remand for determination of proper application of Art. 16, CC (renvoi), and of Charles’ alleged renunciation of his ineritance under Linnie’s will. Avelina remains to be the administrator of Linnie’s estate.

The said estate consists of ¼ of the community properties of the said spouses, as of the time of Linnie’s death on May 23, 1957, minus whatever the husband had already gratuitously disposed of in favor of third persons from said date until his death, provided, first, that with respect to remunerative dispositions, the proceeds thereof shall continue to be part of the wife's estate, unless subsequently disposed of gratuitously to third parties by the husband, and second, that should the purported renunciation be declared legally effective, no deductions whatsoever are to be made from said estate.

PCIB and Avelina should act thenceforth always conjointly, never independently from each other, as administrators.


G.R. 192828 Date: November 28, 2011 Ponente: Reyes, J. Digest Author (Consolidator): Pajo

Topic in the Syllabus:

Disinheritance (Art. 915 – 923)

Relevant Law:

Art. 916. Disinheritance can be effected only through a will wherein the legal cause therefor shall be specified.

Doctrine: Art. 916.

Decedent: Antonio Ching


Doctrine: Art. 916. Decedent: Antonio Ching Parties: Petitioners: ● Ramon Ching ● Po Wing Properties


Ramon Ching

Po Wing Properties


Joseph Cheng

Jaime Cheng

Mercedes Cheng

Lucena Santos

Subsituted by Eduardo S. Balajadia


The respondents filed a Complaint against the petitioners and Stroghold Insurance Company, Global Business Bank, Inc. (formerly PhilBank), Elena Tiu Del Pilar, Asia Atlantic Resources Ventures, Inc., Registers of Deeds of Manila and Malabon, and all persons claiming rights or titles from Ramon Ching (Ramon).

The Complaint was captioned as one for "Disinheritance, Declaration of Nullity of Agreement and Waiver, Affidavit of Extra-Judicial Settlement, Deed of Absolute Sale, Transfer Certificates of Title with Prayer for [the] Issuance of [a] Temporary Restraining Order and [a] Writ of Preliminary Injunction."

In the complaint, the respondents alleged that:

They are the heirs of Antonio Ching;

Ramon misrepresented himself as Antonio's son when he was, in fact, adopted and his birth certificate merely simulated;

Antonio was killed with Ramon as the prime suspect;

Prior to the conclusion of the investigations, Ramon made an inventory of the formers estate and illegally transferred to his name the titles to Antonios properties;

Ramon sweet-talked respondent Mercedes into surrendering to him:

a Certificate of Time Deposit of P4,000,000.00 in the name of Antonio and

the TCTs of two condo units registered under Ramons name;

Ramon illegally transferred to his own name through a forged document 40,000 shares in Po Wing Corporation;

Ramon executed an Affidavit of Extra-Judicial Settlement of Estate adjudicating solely to himself Antonio's entire estate to the prejudice of the respondents; and

Ramon sold:

Antonio's two parcels of land in Navotas to co-defendant Asia Atlantic Business Ventures, Inc.

Another parcel of land, which was part of Antonio's estate, was sold by Ramon to co-defendant Elena Tiu Del Pilar at an unreasonably low price.

The respondents thus prayed for the:

1. Issuance of a TRO to restrain Ramon or his representatives from disposing or selling any property that belongs to the estate of Antonio;

2. That Ramon be declared as disqualified from inheriting from Antonio Ching; and

3. Declaring null the unauthorized transfers made by Ramon.

The RTC denied the petitioners Motion to Dismiss and subsequent Motion for Reconsideration.


1. Whether the RTC should have granted the Motion to Dismiss with regard to the issues which could only be resolved in a special proceeding and not in an ordinary civil action.

2. Whether there can be disinheritance in intestate succession.


No reversible errors were committed by the RTC and the CA when they both ruled that the denial of the petitioners' second motion to dismiss was proper.

An action for reconveyance and annulment of title with damages is a civil action, whereas matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased person such as advancement of property made by the decedent, partake of the nature of a special proceeding, which concomitantly requires the application of specific rules as provided for in the Rules of Court.

Under Article 916 of the NCC, disinheritance can be effected only through a will wherein the legal cause therefor shall be specified.

This Court agrees with the RTC and the CA that while the respondents in their Complaint and Amended Complaint sought the disinheritance of Ramon, no will or any instrument supposedly effecting the disposition of Antonio's estate was ever mentioned.

Hence, despite the prayer for Ramon's disinheritance, the case filed does not partake of the nature of a special proceeding and does not call for the probate court's exercise of its limited jurisdiction.

Even without the necessity of being declared as heirs of Antonio, the respondents have the standing to seek for the nullification of the instruments in the light of their claims that there was no consideration for their execution, and that Ramon exercised undue influence and committed fraud against them.

Consequently, the respondents then claimed that the Affidavit of Extra-Judicial Settlement of Antonios estate executed by Ramon, and the TCTs issued upon the authority of the said affidavit, are null and void as well.

Ramon's averment that a resolution of the issues raised shall first require a declaration of the respondents' status as heirs is a mere defense which is not determinative of which court shall properly exercise jurisdiction.

In sum, this Court agrees with the CA that the nullification of the documents subject of the civil case could be achieved in an ordinary civil action, which in this specific case was instituted to protect the respondents from the supposedly fraudulent acts of Ramon.

In the event that the RTC will find grounds to grant the reliefs prayed for by the respondents, the only consequence will be the reversion of the properties subject of the dispute to the estate of Antonio.

The civil case was not instituted to conclusively resolve the issues relating to the administration, liquidation and distribution of Antonio's estate,

hence, not the proper subject of a special proceeding for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person under Rules 73-91 of the Rules of Court.

The respondents' resort to an ordinary civil action before the RTC may not be strategically sound, because a settlement proceeding should thereafter still follow, if their intent is to recover from Ramon the properties alleged to have been illegally transferred in his name.

Be that as it may, the RTC, in the exercise of its general jurisdiction, cannot be restrained from taking cognizance of respondents' Complaint and Amended Complaint as the issues raised and the prayers indicated therein are matters which need not be threshed out in a special proceeding.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED.The petitioners' (a) Opposition to the respondents' Motion to Admit Substitution of Party; and (b) Manifestation through counsel that they will no longer file a reply to the respondents' Comment/Opposition to the instant petition are NOTED.

49. TEOTICO v. DEL VAL G.R. No. L-18753 Date: March 26, 1965 Ponente: BAUTISTA ANGELO, J. Digest Author: Doms

Topic in the Syllabus:

Compulsory Succession

Relevant Law:

Article 992 of our Civil Code provides: "An

illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his

Said will was acknowledged before Notary Public Niceforo S. Agaton by the testatrix and her witnesses.

In said will the testatrix made the following preliminary statement:

that she was possessed of the full use of her mental faculties;

that she was free from illegal pressure or influence of any kind from the beneficiaries of the will and from any influence of fear or threat;

that she freely and spontaneously executed said will and

father or mother;


that she had neither ascendants nor


descendants of any kind such that she could freely dispose of all her estate.

Decedent: Maria Mortera y Balsalobre Vda. de Aguirre

Among the many legacies and devises made in the will was one of P20,000.00 to Rene A. Teotico, married to the testatrix's niece named Josefina Mortera.

Will: Yes

To said spouses the testatrix left the


usufruct of her interest in the Calvo building,

Parties: usufruct of her interest in the Calvo building, FACTS: ● Maria Mortera y Balsalobre Vda.


Maria Mortera y Balsalobre Vda. de Aguirre died on July 14, 1955 in the City of Manila leaving properties worth P600,000.00.

She left a will written in Spanish which she executed at her residence at No. 2 Legarda St., Quiapo, Manila.

She affixed her signature at the bottom of the will and on the left margin of each and every page thereof,

in the presence of Pilar Borja, Pilar C. Sanchez, and Modesto Formilleza, who in turn affixed their signatures below the attestation clause and on the left margin of each and every page of the will,

in the presence of the testatrix and of each other.

while the naked ownership thereof she left in equal parts to her grandchildren who are the legitimate children of said spouses.

The testatrix also instituted Josefina Mortera as her sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed of in the will.

On July 17, 1955, Vicente B. Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will before the CFI.

Ana del Val Chan, claiming to be -

an adopted child of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix,

as well as an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the same testatrix,

filed on September 2, 1955 an opposition to the probate of the will; alleging the following grounds:

(1) said will was not executed as required by law; (2) the testatrix was physically and mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of its execution; and (3) the will was executed under duress, threat or influence of fear.

Vicente B. Teotico, filed a motion to dismiss the opposition alleging that the oppositor had no legal personality to intervene.


Admitted the will to probate

but declaring the disposition made in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico (physician who took care of the

testatrix during her last illness) void with the statement that the portion to be vacated by the annulment should pass to the testatrix's heirs by way of intestate succession.

Petitioner Teotico, together with the universal heir Josefina Mortera, filed a motion for reconsideration of that part of the decision which declares the portion of the estate to be

vacated by the nullity of the legacy made to Dr. Rene Teotico as passing to the legal heirs,

while the oppositor filed also a motion for reconsideration of the portion of the judgment which decrees the probate of the will.

On his part, Dr. Rene Teotico requested leave to intervene and to file a motion for reconsideration with regard to that portion of the decision which nullified the legacy made in his favor.

The motions for reconsideration above adverted to having been denied, both petitioner and oppositor appealed from the decision, -

the petitioner from that portion which nullifies the legacy in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico and declares the vacated portion as subject of succession in favor of the legal heirs, and

the oppositor from that portion which admits the will to probate.


(1) W/N the oppositor Ana del Val Chan had the right to intervene in this proceeding? NO (2) W/N the will was validly executed?YES (3) W/N the probate court could determine the intrinsic validity of the provisions of a will? NO


1. NO. The oppositor has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in this probate proceeding contrary to the ruling of the court a quo.

Under the terms of the will, oppositor has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate either as heir, executor, or administrator, nor does she have any claim to any property affected by the will, because it nowhere appears therein any provision designating her as heir, legatee or devisee of any portion of the estate.

She has also no interest in the will either as administratrix or executrix.

Neither has she any claim against any portion of the estate because she is not a co-owner thereof, and while she previously had an interest in the Calvo

building located in Escolta, she had already disposed of it long before the execution of the will.

In the supposition that, the will is denied probate, would the oppositor acquire any interest in any portion of the estate left by the testatrix?She would acquire such right only if she were a legal heir of the deceased, but she is not under our Civil Code.

It is true that oppositor claims to be an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the deceased, and also an adopted daughter of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix, but such claim cannot give her any comfort for, even if it be true, the law does not give her any right to succeed to the estate of the deceased sister of both Jose Mortera and Francisca Mortera.

And this is so because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father.

· Thus, Article 992 of our Civil Code provides:

"An illegitimate child has no right to inherit

ab intestatofrom the legitimate children and

relatives of his father or mother;


The oppositor cannot also derive comfort from the fact that she is an adopted child of Francisca Mortera because under our law the relationship established by adoption is limited solely to the adopter and the adopted and does not extend to the relatives of the adopting parents or of the adopted child except only as expressly provided for by law.

Hence, no relationship is created between the adopted and the collaterals of the adopting parents. As a consequence, the adopted is an heir of the adopter but not of the relatives of the adopter.

2. YES. Will was validly executed.

The claim that the will was not properly attested to is contradicted by the evidence of record.

Pilar Borja testified -

that the testatrix was in perfect state of health at the time she executed the will for she carried her conversation with her intelligently;

that the testatrix signed immediately above the attestation clause and on each and every page thereof at the left-hand margin in the presence of the three instrumental witnesses and the notary public;

that it was the testatrix herself who asked her and the other witnesses to act as such; and

that the testatrix was the first one to sign and later she gave the will to the witnesses who read and signed it.

Pilar G. Sanchez also testified-

that she knew the testatrix since 1945;

that it was the testatrix herself who asked her to be a witness to the will;

that the testatrix was the first one to sign and she gave the will later to the witnesses to sign and afterwards she gave it to the notary public;

that on the day of the execution of the will the testatrix was in the best of health.

Modesto Formilleza also testified -

that he was asked by the testatrix to be one of the witnesses to the will;

that he read and understood the attestation clause before he signed the document, and

all the witnesses spoke either in Spanish or in Tagalog.

He finally said that the instrumental witnesses and the testatrix signed the will at the same time and place and identified their signatures.

This evidence which has not been successfully refuted proves conclusively that the will was duly executed because it was signed by the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses and the notary public in the manner provided for by law.

The mere claim -

that Josefina Mortera and her husband Rene Teotico had the opportunity to exert pressure on the testatrix simply because she lived in their house several years prior to the execution of the will and

that she was old and suffering from hypertension in that she was virtually isolated from her friends for several years prior to her death is insufficient to disprove what the instrumental witnesses had testified that the testatrix freely and voluntarily and with full consciousness of the solemnity of the occasion executed the will under consideration.

The exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence and must be of a kind that would overpower and subjugate the mind of the testatrix as to destroy her free agency and make her express the will of another rather than her own(Coso v. Deza, 42 0. G. 596).

The burden is on the person challenging the will that such influence was exerted at the time of its execution, a matter which here was not done, for the evidence presented not only is insufficient but was disproved by the testimony of the instrumental witnesses.

3. NO. Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be

entertained in Probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed in accordance with the requirements of the law."

Pursuant to the foregoing precedents the pronouncement made by the court a quo declaring invalid the legacy made to Dr. Rene Teotico in the will Exhibit A must be set aside as having been made in excess of its jurisdiction.

Another reason why said pronouncement should be set aside is that the legatee was not given an opportunity to defend the validity of the legacy for he was not allowed to intervene in this proceeding.

As a corollary, the other pronouncements touching on the disposition of the estate in favor of some relatives of the deceased should also be set aside for the same reason.


WHEREFORE, with the exception of that portion of the decision which declares that the will in question has been duly executed and admitted the same to probate, the rest of the decision is hereby set aside. This case is ordered remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings. No pronouncement as to costs

50. AGUINALDO-SUNTAY v. COJUANGCO-SUNTAY GR No. 183053 June 16, 2010 Ponente: Nanchura Digest Author: Santos

Topic in the Syllabus:

Article 992; the Successional Bar

Relevant Law:

Article 992 - An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. (943a)

Emilio I had 2 children out of wedlock.

One with Isabel Santos, and they begot one child named Nenita Suntay.

Nenita was also acknowledged as a natural child of Emilio and was brought up ever since childhood by Federico and Cristina

Another one with Concepcion Mendoza and they begot Emillio III

Despite the illegitimate status of Emillio III, he was reared ever since he was a mere baby, nine months old, by spouses Federico and Cristina andwas acknowledged as a natural child of Emilio I.


After the death of Cristina, Federico adopted


their illegitimate grandchildren, Emilio III and

Decedent: Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay Will: No will.



On October 26, 1995, respondent Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor

for the issuance of letters of administration in her favor FACTS: ● The decedent, Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay


The decedent, Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay married Dr. Federico Suntay;

Cristina died intestate

They begot only one son, Emilio Aguinaldo-Suntay I,

however, he predeceased his parents

During the lifetime of Emilio I,

he married Isabel Cojuangco, and

they begot three children, Isabel, Margarita, and Emilio II

His marriage with Isabel Cojuangco was eventually annulled and

that the Isabel, Margarita, and Emilio II all lived together with their mother in Quezon City

Disavowing the allegations in the petition of his

grandchild respondent Isabel, Federico filed his opposition on December 21, 1995

Stated that he is the surviving spouse of Cristina; he should be appointed as

administrator and he is better suited to be

as such

That they (Isabela et al) have not been in contact with their grandparents for 30 years

The petition of Isabel did not include Emilio

III and Nenita

Emilio III filed his Opposition-in-Intervention, echoing the arguments of Federico

During the proceedings, Federico died.

He was substituted by Emilio III

RTC: Appointed Emilio III as administrator

CA: Reversed the decision of the RTC, appointed Isabel Cojuangco as administrator.

The CA argued that Emilio III cannot represent the estate of Cristina as the administrator because he is an illegitimate child


Between Emilio III and Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay, who is better qualified to act as administrator of the decedent’s estate?


Emilio III must also be appointed as administrator.

The Court herein held that Emilio III is better suited to be the administrator of Cristina’s estate.

The CA erred in excluding Emilio III from the administration of the decedent’s estate.

As Federico’s adopted son, Emilio IIIs interest in the estate of Cristina is as much apparent to this Court as the interest therein of respondent,considering that the CA even declared that under the law, [Federico], being the surviving spouse, would have the right of succession over a portion of the exclusive property of the decedent, aside from his share in the conjugal partnership.

The successional bar between the legitimate and illegitimate relatives of a decedent, does not apply in this instance where facts indubitably demonstrate the contrary Emilio III, an illegitimate grandchild of the decedent, was actually treated by the decedent and her husband as their own son, reared from infancy, educated and trained in their businesses, and eventually legally adopted by decedents husband, the original oppositor to respondent's petition for letters of administration.


WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 74949 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

Letters of Administration over the estate of decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay shall issue to both petitioner Emilio A.M. Suntay III and respondent Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay upon payment by each of a bond to be set by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 78, Malolos, Bulacan, in Special Proceeding Case No. 117-M-95.

The Regional Trial Court, Branch 78, Malolos, Bulacan is likewise directed to make a determination and to declare the heirs of decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay according to the actual factual

milieu as proven by the parties, and all other persons with legal interest in the subject estate.

It is further directed to settle the estate of decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay with dispatch.

No costs.

51. CHUA vs. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE GR No. L-29901 Date August 31, 1977 Ponente: Martin, J. Digest Author: Sumanga

Topic in the Syllabus:

Requisites of Reserva Troncal

Relevant Law:

Art. 891. The ascendant who inheritts from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendat, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and belong to the line from which said property came.


In order that a property may be impressed with a reservable character the following requisites must exist, to wit:

(1) that the property was acquired by a descendant from an asscendant or from a brother or sister by gratuitous title;

(2) that said descendant died without an issue;

(3) that the property is inherited by another ascendant by operation of law; and

(4) that there are relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came.

Decedent: Juanito Frias Chua (Prepositus) Will: No will

​ Juanito Frias Chua (Prepositus) Will: ​ No will Parties: FACTS: ● The crux of the



The crux of the problem in instant petition is focused on the first requisite of reserva troncal

Jose Frias Chua contracted 2 marriages. First with Patricia Militar in which begot 3 children - Ignacio, Manuel and Lorenzo.

When Patricia died, he married Consolacion de la Torre and had one child - Juanito Frias Chua.

Manuel Frias Chua died without leaving any issue.

Jose Frias Chua died intestate leaving his widow Consolacion de la Torre and his son Juanito Frias Chua of the second marriage and sons Ignacio Frias Chua and Lorenzo Frias Chua of his first marriage.

However, after an intestate proceeding the court adjudicated half of Lot No. 399 and a sum of P8,000 in question to Consolacion

and the other half to their only son, Juanito.

The two sons in the first marriage, Lorenzo and Ignacio, received P3,000 and P1,550 respectively

Juanito also died intestate without issue.


weekafter his death Consolacion de la

Torre executed a declaration of heirship adjudicating in her favor the pro-indiviso share of her son Juanito in the lot in question, it resulted to a TCT being issued in her name

Consolacion died intestate leaving no direct heir either in the descending or ascending line except her brother and sisters.

Thereafter, Ignacio and the legitimate heirs (Dominador and Remedios) of Lorenzo filed


complaint praying that the one-half

portion of the Lot No. 399 formerly belonging to Juanito which passed to Consolacion upon his death be declared as a reservable propertyfor the reason that the lot in question was subject to reserval troncal pursuant to Article 891 NCC.

CFI (respondent court) dismissed complaint, hence this case.


Whether property in question was acquired by Juanito Frias Chua from his father Jose Frias Chua gratuitously (as first requisite of Reserva Troncal). YES


All of the requisites of reserva troncal are present in this case.

In order that a property may be impressed with a reservable character the following requisites must exist, to wit: (1) that the property was acquired by a descendant from an ascendant or from a brother or sister by gratuitous title; (2) that said descendant died without an issue; (3) that the property is

inherited by another ascendant by operation of law; and (4) that there are relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came.

Thus, as borne out by the records, Juanoito Frias Chua of the second marriage died intestate in 1952; he died without leaving any issue; his pro-indiviso of 1/2 share of Lot No. 399 was acquired by his mother, Consolacion de la Torre died, Juanito Frias Chua who died intestate had relatives within the third degree. These relatives are Ignacio Frias Chua and Dominador Chua and Remedios Chua, the suppose legitimate children of the deceased Lorenzo Frias Chua, who are the petitioners herein

According to Manresa, "The transmission is gratuitous or by gratuitous title when the recipient does not give anything in return." It matters not whether the property transmitted be or be not subject to any prior charges; what is essential is that the transmission be made gratuitously, or by an act of mere liberality of the person making it, without imposing any obligation on the part of the recipient; and that the person receiving the property gives or does nothing in return.

"The essential thing is that the person who transmits it does so gratuitously, from pure generosity, without requiring from the transferee any prestation." It is evident from the record that the transmission of the property in question to Juanito Frias Chua of the second marriage upon the death of his father Jose Frias Chua was by means of a hereditary succession and therefore gratuitous.

As long as the transmission of the property to the heirs is free from any condition imposed by the deceased himself and the property is given out of pure generosity, it is gratuitous


IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is hereby set aside. The petitioners Ignacio Frias Chua, Dominador Chua and Remedios Chua are declared owners of 1/2 undivided portion of Lot 399; and the Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental is hereby ordered to cancel. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 31796 covering Lot No. 399 issued in the name of Consolacion de la Torre and to issue a new Certificate of Title in the names of Consolacion de la Torre, 1/2 undivided portion; Ignacio Frias Chua, 1/4 undivided portion; and Dominador Chua and Remedios Chua, 1/4 undivided portion, of said lot. Without pronouncement as to costs.