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Rule 78 – Letters Testamentary and Of Administration declare her as owner of ½ of the profits and gains
derived therefrom.
A. Qualification Diaz-Millarez’ Contention: Jose and she used to live as husband
and wife for 23 years and as such she is entitled to
1. LIM V DIAZ-MILLAREZ (1966) ½ of the property held in common by them. Since
Case: CIRILO LIM, Petitioner-Appellant, vs. BASILISA DIAZ- she contributed capital and labor to the tobacco
MILLAREZ, oppositor-appellee. business in which she and Jose were engaged and
Ponente: Regala, J. from which they gave P22,000 in cash to Lim, she
would be entitled to ½ of the capital and ½ of the
DOCTRINE: One is considered to be unsuitable for appointment proceeds and profits derived from such capital.
as administrator when he has adverse interest of some kind or Lim’s Contention: The money he received from Jose was handed
hostility to those immediately interested in the estate. The to one Tan Suaco for investment in the tobacco
determination of a person's suitability for the office of judicial business.
administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound judgment of the TC: In favor of Diaz-Millarez. Ordered Lim to make an accounting
court exercising the power of appointment and said judgment is not of the P22,000 invested in the tobacco business to
to be interfered with on appeal unless the said court is clearly in be submitted to court.
error. CA: Affirmed TC. Remanded case to TC. TC to appoint a qualified
certified public accountant to examine the
QUICK FACTS: When Jose Millarez died, Lim, claiming to be his documentary evidence and to determine how much
nephew, filed a petition for appointment as judicial administrator. over and above the amount of P12,500 was
Diaz-Millarez, claiming to be Jose’s wife, filed an opposition on the invested by Jose.
ground that Lim has an adverse interest in the estate due to a civil
case between them declaring the right of Diaz-Millarez to ½ of the CFI of Negros Occidental – Expediente is dismissed. However,
estate. SC held that a person who has an adverse interest of some upon the final termination of said civil case, the parties concerned
kind or hostility to those immediately interested in the estate is not without prejudice can file another application for the judicial
suitable for appointment as administrator. administration of the property involved in this administration. This
expediente was filed way back on February 26, 1954 that is more
FACTS: than 5 years and neither a special nor a regular administrator has
been appointed so that the dismissal of the expediente would not
Nature: be prejudicial to any of the parties interested in the same.
CFI of Negros Occidental – Petition for appointment as judicial
administrator of the estate of Jose Millarez – filed by Cirilo Lim CA – certified the appeal to SC for the reason that
CA – Appealed order of TC but CA certified case to SC because there is no question of fact involved.
there is no question of fact involved.
SC – Appealed order of TC ISSUE: WON Cirilo may be appointed as judicial administrator of
* An ordinary civil case is pending in the CA over the same the estate of Jose.
properties when the petition was filed.
DECISION: No. SC affirmed CA.
Jose Millarez died intestate. Cirilo Lim (Lim), claiming to be Jose’s
nephew, filed with CFI of Negros Occidental a petition for his HELD: The claim of Diaz-Millarez is based on her declared right
appointment as judicial administrator of the estate of Jose. He to one-half of the estate of Jose. It cannot be denied that im, as a
alleged that Jose left no relatives such as descendants, relative of the deceased, has some interest adverse to that of Diaz-
ascendants or surviving spouse, except collaterals. Basilia Diaz- Millarez. Shown to have some liabilities to Diaz-Millarez and to the
Millarez (Diaz-Millarez), claiming to be a widow of Jose, filed an estate as a whole, Lim can not compatibly perform the duties of an
opposition. administrator. In this jurisdiction, one is considered to be
unsuitable for appointment as administrator when he has adverse
Diaz-Millarez’ Contention: She is the legitimate wife of Jose; Lim interest of some kind or hostility to those immediately interested in
has an adverse interest in the estate; and the properties of the the estate
estate are the subject matter of litigation between her as plaintiff
and Lim as defendant in a civil case. Notes:
The determination of a person's suitability for the office of judicial
Lim’s Contention: Diaz-Millarez is not the legitimate wife of Jose administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound judgment of the
and that the civil case was already decided in favor of Lim by court exercising the power of appointment and said judgment is not
TC and is now pending appeal in CA. to be interfered with on appeal unless the said court is clearly in
error.
*In the ordinary civil case (pending in CA while petition for judicial
administrator was filed): 2. MEDINA V CA (1973)
Nature: Ownership of properties belonging to Jose. CASE: SERAFIN MEDINA and ROSALIA M. DEL CARMEN,
Facts: Diaz-Millarez sought to recover from Lim ½ of the assisted by DOMINADOR DEL CARMEN, petitioners,
total amount of P22,000 allegedly delivered to him vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, THE HONORABLE
by her and Jose on various occasions and to COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF ZAMBALES and BEDA
GONZALES, respondents.
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PONENTE. Teehankee, J. of enabling himself to buy and acquire that property to the loss and
prejudice of the estate contrary to law.
DOCTRINE.
An administrator is deemed unsuitable and should be removed CFI. Denied motion to revoke appointment and also rejected Del
where his personal interests conflict with his official duties, by Carmen’s motion to appoint Serafin Medina as regular
virtue of the equally established principle that an administrator is administrator, as heir and son and next of kin of the decedent, who
a quasi trustee, disqualified from acquiring properties of the has no adverse interests in his favor and against the estate and is
estate, and who should be indifferent between the estate and a qualified and competent resident of Olongapo City.
claimants of the property except to preserve it for due
administration, and who should be removed when his interest CA. Denied petition finding the petition insufficient in substance to
conflicts with such right and duly. merit due course and that 1) it is not disputed that the lower court
One is considered to be unsuitable for appointment as has jurisdiction to appoint Gonzales as special administrator and 2)
administrator when he has adverse interest of some kind of the lower court has already resolved the objections to Gonzales’
hostility to those immediately interested in the estate. continuation as a special administrator.

QUICK FACTS. Bitukang Manok property was sold by ISSUE: WoN CA erred in affirming CFI’s decision to appoint
Encarnacion, special administrator of the Agustin Medina’s estate, Gonzales as special administrator?
to Rosalia Del Carmen which was opposed by Gonzales in his
personal capacity. CFI denied his opposition prompting Gonzales DECISION. Partly Yes! SC modified CFI/CA decision. CFI order
to appeal the decision w/ the CA. In the meantime, Gonzales was appointing Gonzales as special administrator, with regard to the
appointed as special administrator of the estate and in that Bitukang Manok property, created a clear conflict of interest that
capacity seeks to interfere with the use of the Bitukang Manok could cause grave damage and prejudice to the estate and subject
property allegedly in behalf of the estate when in fact he is it to unnecessary suits.
going against the official stand of the estate which upholds the
sale. HELD.
On the consideration of the specific and limited powers of special
FACTS. administrators and that their appointment merely (being)
Nature. temporary and subsists only until a regular administrator is duly
CFI. Motion to revoke the order appointing Gonzales as special appointed, the Court has resolved to allow the appointment of
administrator of the estate and petition to appoint Serafin Medina respondent Gonzales as special administrator to stand, insofar as
as regular administrator of the estate. taking care of the other properties of the estate are concerned, to
CA. Action for certiorari with preliminary injunction the exclusion of the Bitukang Manok property already sold by the
SC. Action for review of CA decision estate to petitioner Rosalia del Carmen…and directed the lower
court to name a suitable person/entity who is competent and
On 6Mar70, CFI Judge Amores approved and confirmed the deed qualified and doesnot suffer from any proscribed conflict of
of sale executed by the special administrator Encarnacion of the interest, (and preferably upon the common agreement of the heirs,
―Bitukang Manok‖ property (which is part of the intestate estate of to avoid any further bickerings) as regular administrator
the decedent Agustin Medina) in favor of petitioner Rosalia Del
Carmen, a daughter-heir of the decedent. Uldrico Medina and Note:
assignee Beda Gonzales filed an opposition to the said order As to the appointment of Atty. De Castro as special administrator,
alleging having interest over the estate and that certain heirs have replacing Encarnacion and prior to appointment of Gonzales,
already sold their shares/interest over the estate in his/their favor. considering that he was a clerk of court:
The judge denied their opposition on the ground that Medina’s The Court does not look with favor on such practice of clerks of
interest is confined solely to his desire to partake of whatever court or other court employees being appointed as
share he has over the estate while Gonzales interest was merely administrators of estates of decedents pending settlement
subrogated to the interest of the assignor-heirs who have already before the probate court. The objectivity and impartiality of such
received more benefits from the estate prior to its distribution. clerks of court or other employees so appointed as
administrators in discharging their regular functions may be
Gonzales appealed the decision of the CFI judge w/ regard to the easily compromised by extraneous considerations.
confirmation of the sale of the Bitukang Manok property in his
personal capacity (This case is still pending w/ the CA when this 3. MALOLES II V PHILLIPS (2000)
case was decided). Subsequently, Gonzales was appointed not as Doctrine
a regular administrator but as special administrator of the estate General rule: The Court shall respect the choice of the testator in
replacing Atty. De Castro after posting a bond and tried to interfere the institution of an executor of his will.
with the harvests of the Bitukang Manok property allegedly on Exceptions: Appointed executor is
behalf of the estate. 1) incompetent,
2) refuses the trust,
Del Carmen filed an urgent motion to revoke the appointment of 3) or fails to give bond, OR
Gonzales on the ground that Gonzales is now assuming 4) the decedent dies intestate
the inconsistent positions of administering the estate especially the Effect: Court will appoint another administrator  See Rule 78,
Bitukang Manok property and at the same time appealing from the Sec. 6
order approving the sale of that property for the purpose
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SPECIAL PROCEDURE | UP COLLEGE OF LAW | MEETING 5 REVISED E2014

Quick Facts persons to administer the estate.20 None of these circumstances is


The executrix, Phillips, whom the decedent chose in his will filed present in this case.
for a motion for issuance of letters testamentary. The nephew, The following are also part of the ratio decidendi, but are not
Maloles, of the decedent, who had no compulsory heirs, filed a related to the topic:
motion for intervention with the court, saying he has a better right 1) He is not a compulsory heir. It is a fundamental rule of
as executor, being the nearest of kin and creditor of the decedent. testamentary succession that one who has no
compulsory or forced heirs may dispose of his entire
Facts estate by will.
Cast of characters: 2) He is not an ―interested person1.‖ An "interested person"
Dr. Arturo de Santos – testator, later on, decedenet is one who would be benefited by the estate, such as an
Pacita Phillips – respondent, executrix heir, or one who has a claim against the estate, such as
Octavio Maloles – petitioner, nephew of decedent a creditor, and whose interest is material and direct, not
merely incidental or contingent (Teotico v. Del Val Chan,
Dr. de Santos had no compulsory heirs, and filed a petition for 1965). Even if Maloles is the nearest of kin of decedent,
probate of his will, which left everything to the Arturo de Santos he cannot be considered an "heir" of the testator. It is a
Foundation. He named Phillips as the executrix. RTC Makati fundamental rule of testamentary succession that one
Branch 61 granted the probate after finding that there were no who has no compulsory or forced heirs may dispose of
oppositors and compulsory heirs. his entire estate by will.

A year later, Dr. de Santos died. Minor issues:


1) W/N Branch 65 acquired jurisdiction over the case. YES.
Octavio Maloles filed a motion for intervention claiming to be the 1) After the allowance of the will, Branch 61, as the probate
nearest of kin as nephew of decedent and saying that he 1) had a court that granted probate of the will of decedent, had
better right to becoming executor, and 2) was a creditor of the nothing else to do except to issue a certificate of
decedent. He prayed for issuance of letters of administration in his allowance of the will. The settlement of estate belongs to
name. Branch 65, which Phillips chose as the venue for the
case. Although Rule 73 Sec. 1 applies insodar as the
Meanwhile, Phillipes also filed a motion for issuance of letters venue of the petition for probate of the will of Dr. De
testamentary. Later, however, she withdrew her motion. RTC Santos is concerned, it does not bar other branches of
Branch 61 granted. As for Maloles, he was required by Branch 61 the same court from taking cognizance of the settlement
to prove his claim that Branch 61 still had jurisdiction. As Maloles of the estate of the testator after his death.
filed his memorandum of authorities, Phillips, who earlier withdrew 2) W/N Phillips is guilty of forum shopping in filing her case
her motion for the issuance of letters testamentary at Branch 61, at Branch 65 when she knows fully well that there was a
refilled a petition with Branch 65. Maloles opposed, saying that the pending case with Branch 61. NO.
case at Branch 61 was still pending. The petition for probate was filed by Dr. De Santos, the
testator, solely for the purpose of authenticating his will.
Branch 65: ordered transfer of the case to Branch 61 Upon the allowance of his will, the proceedings were
Branch 61: denied Maloles’ motion for intervention. Maloles goes terminated. On the other hand, the petition for issuance
to CA. of letters testamentary was filed by private respondent,
as executor of the estate of Dr. De Santos, for the
CA: affirmed denial. purpose of securing authority from the Court to
administer the estate and put into effect the will of the
Branch 65: recalls his earlier decision to transfer said case, and testator. The estate settlement proceedings commenced
granted Maloles’ motion for intervention. by the filing of the petition terminates upon the
distribution and delivery of the legacies and devises to
Issue the persons named in the will. Clearly, there is no identity
W/N Maloles, as creditor and nearest of kin of decedent, has a between the two petitions, nor was the latter filed during
right to intervene and oppose the petition for issuance of letters the pendency of the former. There was, consequently, no
testamentary filed by Phillips forum shopping.

Held: NO. 1
Rule 79, §1 provides:
He has no right as a creditor of the deceased. Since the testator
instituted or named an executor in his will, it is incumbent upon the
Court to respect the desires of the testator. ―The choice of his Opposition to issuance of letters
executor is a precious prerogative of a testator, a necessary testamentary. Simultaneous petition for administration.
concomitant of his right to dispose of his property in the manner he — Any person interested in a will may state in writing
wishes. It is natural that the testator should desire to appoint one of the grounds why letters testamentary should not issue
to the persons named therein as executors, or any of
his confidence, one who can be trusted to carry out his wishes in
them, and the court, after hearing upon notice, shall
the disposal of his estate. The curtailment of this right may be
pass upon the sufficiency of such grounds. A petition
considered a curtailment of the right to dispose‖ (Ozaeta v.
may, at the same time, be filed for letters of
Pecson, 1953). Only if the appointed executor is incompetent, administration with the will annexed.
refuses the trust, or fails to give bond may the court appoint other
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Petitioner contends that respondents, aside from being


4. REP. V MARCOS (2009) incompetent due to their conviction in a number of cases, also
Ponente: Del Castillo, J. denied the existence of the will, and are, therefore, estopped from
claiming to be the rightful executors thereof. Petitioner further
DOCTRINE: Conviction of ―failure to file an income tax return‖ is claims that said actions clearly show that respondents lack the
not a crime of moral turpitude. Hence, it cannot serve as a ground competence and integrity
for disqualification of an executor.
ISSUE:
QUICK FACTS: The RTC issued an order granting letters WoN the Marcoses are incompetent to serve as executors of the
testamentary to Imelda and Bongbong Marcos as executors of the will of the late FEM
last will and testament of the late Ferdinand Marcos. Republic
opposed, citing as ground the respondents’ incompetence. SC DECISION: NO. SC affirmed CA and ordered the RTC to issue
affirmed RTC and held that the allegation of incompetence against letters testamentary, in solidum, to Imelda and Bongbong Marcos.
Imelda is baseless because she was acquitted in the cases filed
against her. As for Bongbong, his conviction on failure to file an HELD:
income tax return is not a crime of moral turpitude so it’s not In Ozeata v. Pecson, the Court held that when a will has been
enough to make him an incompetent executor. admitted to probate, it is the duty of the court to issue letters
testamentary to the person named as executor upon his
FACTS: application. The choice of his executor is a precious prerogative of
a testator. The curtailment of this right may be considered as a
Nature: curtailment of the right to dispose.
TC: Probate of will
CA: Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 (forwarded by In the case In re Erlanger’s Estate, it was held that the courts will
SC) not name a better executor for the testator nor disqualify, by a
SC: Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 judicial veto, the widow or friend or other person selected in the
On January 11, 1996, the RTC of Pasig City, finding the will, except upon strict proof of the statutory grounds of
Last Will and Testament of Ferdinand E. Marcos (FEM) to have incompetency.
been duly executed in accordance with law, issued an
Order granting letters testamentary in solidum to Bongbong In the case at bar, petitioner conveniently omits to state that the
Marcos and Imelda Marcos as executors of the last will and two cases against Imelda have already been reversed by the SC.
testament of the late FEM. Hence, the so-called "convictions" against her cannot serve as a
Such grant is opposed by petitioner Republic of the ground for her disqualification to serve as an executor.
Philippines, on the following grounds: (1) want of integrity, and (2)
conviction of an offense involving moral turpitude. This is based on On the other hand, the eight cases filed against Bongbong Marcos
Section 1(c), Rule 78 of the Rules of Court.2 Petitioner contends involve four charges for violation of Section 45 (failure to file
that respondents have been convicted of a number of cases and, income tax returns) and four charges for violation of Section 50
hence, should be characterized as one without integrity, or at the (non-payment of deficiency taxes). The CA already acquitted him
least, with questionable integrity. of all the four charges for the Section 50 violation. As for his
conviction of failure to file income tax returns, the CA only ordered
TC - Granted letters testamentary to the Marcoses. There is him to pay a fine. Said decision is also pending appeal.
no evidence on record, oral or documentary, to substantiate and
support the said allegation. Even assuming arguendo that his conviction is later on affirmed,
the same is still insufficient to disqualify him as the "failure to file an
The petitioner filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration. income tax return" is not a crime involving moral turpitude. 3 The
Imelda filed her own motion for reconsideration on the ground that reason for this is that the mere omission is already a violation
the will is lost and that petitioner has not proven its existence and regardless of the fraudulent intent or willfulness of the individual.
validity. With regard to the filing of an income tax return, the NIRC
considers three distinct violations: (1) a false return, (2) a
Both MRs were denied. fraudulent return with intent to evade tax, and (3) failure to file a
return. Applying the foregoing considerations to the case at bar,
AC - Affirmed TC. Petition for certiorari under Rule 45 is a the filing of a "fraudulent return with intent to evade tax" is a crime
wrong mode of appeal. involving moral turpitude as it entails willfulness and fraudulent
intent on the part of the individual. The same, however, cannot be
said for "failure to file a return" where the mere omission already
constitutes a violation. Thus, the SC held that even if the conviction
2
Section 1. Who are incompetent to serve as executors or
administrators. – No person is competent to serve as executor or
administrator who:
3
xxx Moral turpitude is defined as "an act of baseness, vileness, or
(c) Is in the opinion of the court unfit to execute the duties of depravity in the private duties which a man owes his fellow men,
trust by reason of drunkenness, improvidence, or or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary
want of understanding or integrity, or by reason of conviction of rule of right and duty between man and woman, or conduct
an offense involving moral turpitude. contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals."
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of Bongbong is affirmed, the same not being a crime involving Priscilla complied, but Narcisa filed an MR. MR was denied.
moral turpitude, cannot serve as a ground for his disqualification. Narcissa appealed in SC.
With regard to the issue of estoppel, SC held that respondents are
not stopped because they merely acted within their rights when Narcissa’s contention: It was the Administrator of the David
they put in issue legal grounds in opposing the probate Estate, and not the heirs, that was ordered by the CFI to pay the
proceedings. Sideco claim. Therefore, the proper way to effect such payment is
to sell the properties that are still in the hands of the administrator
B. Procedure and apply the proceeds.

1. IN RE TESTATE ESTATE OF MARGARITA DAVID (1956) ISSUE:


Case: In the matter of the testate estate of Margarita David.
CARLOS MORAN SISON, Judicial Administrator, Petitioner- W/N the court has jurisdiction over the residuary cash in the hands
Appellee. NATIVIDAD SIDECO, ET AL., Claimants-Appellees, vs. of the heiresses and therefore can order the same to be used to
NARCISA F. DE TEODORO, heiress, Oppositor-Appellant. pay for the claims against the Testate Estate of David. Y
Ponente: Endencia
DECISION: YES, THE COURT CAN ODER PAYMENT OF
DOCTRINE: The residuary funds in the hands of the heirs are CLAIMS AGAINST THE ESTATE USING THE RESIDUARY
funds of the estate and the Court has jurisdiction over them and, CASH IN THE HANDS OF THE HEIRS.
therefore, it could compel the heirs to deliver to the administrator of
this estate the necessary portion of such fund for the payment of HELD:
claims against the Estate.
We agree with the view of the lower court that the residuary funds
QUICK FACTS: The CFI ordered the heiresses to deliver to the in the hands of the heiresses of this estate should be applied to the
administrator a portion of the residuary cash in their hands to pay payment of the Sideco claim, for it is more advantageous to use
for a judgment claim against the Estate of the testator. One of the that fund to pay the claim in question than selling the real
heirs refused to deliver the cash claiming that the court has no properties of the estate for that purpose. Besides, section 3 of Rule
jurisdiction over it and the proper way to pay for the money claims 89 of the Rules of Court provides:
is to sell properties in the hands of the administrator and apply the
proceeds. ―The personal estate of the deceased shall be first
chargeable with the payment of debts and
FACTS: expenses; and if the personal estate is not sufficient for
that purpose, or its sale would redound to the detriment
Estate of Margarita David (―David estate‖) – of the participants in the estate, the whole of the real
Carlos Moran Sison – Administrator estate, or so much thereof as is necessary, may be sold,
2 Heirs – Priscilla de la Fuente-Sison and Narcisa de la mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered for that purpose by
Fuente-Teodoro (appellant) the executor or administrator, after obtaining the
authority of the court therefor.‖
The Sideco claim – In GR# L-3846, SC ordered the Estate of
Margarita David to pay the claim of the Testate Estate of Crispulo And according to section 6 of Rule 89, the Court has authority to fix
Sideco the sum of P17,010.43 + 6% pa interest from 11 Mar 1945 the contributive shares of the devisees, legatees or heirs for the
until fully paid. payment of a claim if they have entered into possession of portions
of the estate before the debts and expenses thereof have been
To facilitate the payment of this claim, Priscilla Sison, delivered to settled and paid.
the David administrator P12,128.44 to cover the payment of her
one-half share in the claim. The other heiress, Narcisa, was Appellant argues, however, that section 3 of Rule 89, Rules of
unwilling to do the same, contending that the Estate has real Court, is not applicable to the instant case on the ground that it
properties which could be sold and with its proceeds pay the refers to the personal and real properties of the deceased which
Sideco claim. are in the hands of the administrator, and not to the properties of
the estate which are already in the hands of the heiresses. This
On 23 Jan 1952, the David administrator filed a petition with the contention is likewise untenable. The residuary funds in the hands
lower court to compel Narcisa to deliver to him her share in the of the Appellant are funds of the estate and the Court has
payment of the Sideco claim. jurisdiction over them and, therefore, it could compel
While this is pending, the Sideco administrator filed a the Appellant to deliver to the administrator of this estate the
case in CFI Manila for the David administrator to deliver necessary portion of such fund for the payment of the Sideco
the Sideco claim. claim.

CFI Manila – found that the amount of Sideco claim is residuary 2. BALUYUT V PAÑO (1976)
cash within the David estate and directed the 2 Case: ALFREDO G. BALUYUT, petitioner, vs. HON. ERNANI
heiresses to each deposit with the PNB their CRUZ PAÑO, ENCARNACION LOPEZ VDA. DE BALUYUT,
respective ½-share of the claim. JOSE ESPINO and CORAZON ESPINO, respondents.
Ponente: Aquino

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DOCTRINE: the hearing of the urgent motion, the court merely


examined Mrs. Baluyut as follows:
A hearing must be conducted before the appointment of the Court: We want also to hear her testimony.
executor to ascertain his competency. Even the naming of an Atty. Salunat: We are now therefore presenting
executor in the will by the testator is not binding on the probate the widow, your Honor, to take the witness
court, and does not automatically entitle the named executor to the stand for examination by the court.
issuance of letters testamentary. He must be able to prove his Court to witness: Can you testify in English? –
qualifications, and those who question his competency must be A. No, your Honor, Pampango.
given opportunity to contest the appointment and present Q. Ilocano? — A. No, your Honor.
evidence. Atty. Salunat: She can testify in Tagalog your
Honor, which comprehensible.
QUICK FACTS: The widow of the decedent was summarily Court: You remember when you were born,
appointed administratrix despite protests from the decedent’s Mrs. Baluyut? — A. March 25, 1901.
nephew that the widow was mentally incompetent. Q. Where did you graduate? — Madres
Dominicas.
FACTS: Q. When did you get married to Sec. Baluyut?
— A. I cannot remember the date but this was
Nature: in Lingayen.
TC. – Verified petition for letters of administration (CFI Quezon Q. What church? — A. A Catholic.
City) Court: You want to ask more questions
CA. - NA Attorney?
SC. - Special civil action of certiorari to have the appointment set Atty. Salunat: Just a few clarificatory questions,
aside your Honor.
Q. Do you know Gov. Espino? — A. Yes.
Sotero Baluyut died in 1975 and left an estate allegedly valued at Q. Why do you know him? — A. Because he is
not less than 2M pesos. A few weeks later, his nephew, Alfredo like a son to me.
Baluyut, filed in CFI Quezon City a verified petition for letters of Q. Do you know whether Gov. Espino has any
administration. He alleged that Sotero was survived by his widow, relationship with the late Don Sotero Baluyut?
Encarnacion Lopez, who was mentally incapable of acting as — A. Yes, why not.
administratrix. He surmised that Sotero had left a will, prayed that Q. Will you please tell us what is the
he be appointed regular administrator and in the meantime special relationship if there is any? — A. He is his son,
administrator. sir.
Atty. Salunat: I think that would be all, your
CFI decision (in bullet form so you can easily track the reversals): Honor.
 Feb. 24, 1975 – Court appointed Alfredo as special Court: Submitted?
administrator with a bond of 100K. Atty. Salunat: We will ask the Court to (be
Opposition: Mrs. Baluyut alleged that she was unaware allowed to) submit a rejoinder, your Honor.
that her husband had a will and that she was not  Nov. 27, 1975 – Terminated the appointments of Espino
mentally incapable. She asked to be appointed and Alfredo as special administrators and appointed Mrs.
administrator. Baluyut as administratrix with a bond of 20K. The order
 March 24, 1975 – Cancelled Alfredo’s appointment as was based on the fact that as surviving spouse, she had
special administrator. The court also noted that it asked preferential right to be appointed as administratrix, that it
Mrs. Baluyut a series of questions while she was on the was convinced of her widow’s capacity, and that her
witness stand, and found that she was ―healthy and ―sufficient understanding‖ justified her appointment.
mentally qualified.‖ Letters of administration were issued to her after she
Opposition: Alfredo moved for reconsideration. posted the bond, and then she took her office.
 March 31, 1975 – Appointed Alfredo and Jose Espino as
special administrators. Alfredo then filed a special civil action of certiorari in the SC to
Opposition: Mrs. Baluyut filed a verified amended have the appointment set aside.
opposition asking that Espino, former governor of Nueva
Vizcaya and an alleged acknowledged natural child of Mrs. Baluyut: It is the probate court and not the Juvenile and
Sotero, be appointed administrator should she not be Domestic Relations Court that should decide the issue as to her
named administratrix. She later filed an urgent motion competency to act as administratrix. She alleged that the order
praying that she be appointed administratrix, arguing that declaring her incompetent was issued in a blietzkrieg manner
Alfred has no more interest in Sotero’s estate because because it was based on a report of Dr. Lapuz that was filed in
as a collateral relative, he was excluded by Espino and court just one day before the order was issued.
other supposed descendants of Sotero who had
intervened. Alfredo opposed this urgent motion. He ISSUE: WoN the appointment of Mrs. Baluyut as administratrix
alleged that Espino was not a natural child of Sotero, and was proper.
that Mrs. Baluyut had been declared incompetent by the
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of QC, which her
sisters had instituted for guardianship of Mrs. Baluyut. At
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DECISION: No. Mrs. Baluyut’s appointment is set aside. The Ponente: Justice Romualdez
probate court is ordered to conduct further proceedings in
consonance with the guidelines in this decision. DOCTRINE: The court has the discretion court to select an
administrator of the estate of a deceased person. (Sec. 642,
HELD: subsec. 1, Code of Civil Procedure.).
1. While the probate court correctly assumed that Mrs.
Baluyut as surviving spouse enjoys preference in the The declaration of heirs is premature when made before the
granting of letters of administration (Sec. 6[a), Rule 78, proceeding has reached the stage when the estate is distributed,
Rules of Court), it does not follow that she should be which must come after the liquidation of the inheritance.
named administratrix without conducting a full-dress
hearing on her competency to discharge that trust. QUICK FACTS: Pedro de los Santos and Juan de los Santos
Even the directive of the testator in his will designating appealed to the Court which appointed Justo Buera as
that a certain person should act as executor is not administrator of the estate of Petra delos Santos and Leon
binding on the probate court and does not Nadurata intervened, claiming to be the widower of the deceased.
automatically entitle him to the issuance of letters Court finds their claim spurious, confirms the appointment,
testamentary. A hearing has to be held in order to declares the applicants Guillerma Capistrano, et al., sole heirs and
ascertain his fitness to act as executor. He might have orders the prosecution of certain persons for the crime of
been fit to act as executor when the will was executed falsification of public document and for perjury.
but supervening circumstances might have rendered him
unfit for that position. A hearing is necessary to FACTS: Guillerma Capistrano moved for the appointment of Justo
determine the suitability of the person to be appointed Buera as administrator of the estate of the deceased Petra de los
administrator by giving him the opportunity to prove Santos. The application was opposed by Pedro and Juan de los
his qualifications and affording oppositors a chance Santos who claimed to be brothers of the deceased. Then Leon
to contest the petition (Matute vs. Court of Appeals). Nadurata intervened, claiming to be the surviving spouse of the
In this case, the probate court briefly and perfunctorily deceased. Both claims were found to be falsehoods. Capistrano et
interrogated Mrs. Baluyut in order to satisfy itself on her al were found to be the nearest relatives of Petra.
mental capacity. The court did not give Alfredo a
chance to contest her qualifications. He had squarely The lower court confirms the appointment, declares the applicants
raised the issue as to her competency. The probate court Guillerma Capistrano, et al., sole heirs and orders the prosecution
assumed that Alfredo had no interest in the decedent's of Nadurata et al for the crime of falsification of public document
estate. As it turned out, he is one of the legatees named and for perjury. The three appealed.
in the decedent's alleged will.
Whether Sotero Baluyut died testate or intestate, it is ISSUES:
imperative in the interest of the orderly administration of
justice that a hearing be held to determine Mrs. Baluyut's WoN the court committed a grave abuse of discretion when it
fitness to act as executrix or administratrix. Persons overruled the objection to the appointment of Buera as
questioning her capacity should be given an administrator? NO.
adequate opportunity to be heard and to present
evidence. WoN the court’s declaration as to the sole owners of the estate of
The lower court departed from the usual course of Petra delos Santos was premature? YES.
probate procedure in summarily appointing Mrs. Baluyut
as administratrix on the assumption that Alfredo was not DECISION: Except as regards the declaration of heirs, which,
an interested party. That irregularity became more while it is supported by the evidence, is premature, the ruling
pronounced after Alfredo’s revelation that the decedent appealed from is affirmed in other respects, with costs against the
had executed a will. He anticipated that development appellants.
when he articulated in his petition his belief that Sotero
Baluyut executed wills which should be delivered to the HELD: The selection of an administrator of the estate of a
court for probate. deceased lies within the discretion of the court. As borne by the
2. It is necessary to convert the proceeding in the CFI into a evidence, the act of the lower court in overruling the objection of
testamentary proceeding. The probate of the will cannot the opponents and confirming the appointment as administrator of
be dispensed with and is a matter of public policy (Art. the person proposed by the appellants is not only indicative of
838, Civil Code; See. 1, Rule 75, Rules of Court; sound discretion, but is right and just because Nadurata et al
Guevara vs. Guevara). After the will is probated, the prior attempted to pass themselves off as relatives of the late Petra
letters of administration should be revoked and Delos Sanotos.
proceedings for the issuance of letters testamentary or of
administration under the will should be conducted (Sec. However, the declaration of heirs made by the lower court is
1, Rule 82, Rules of Court; Cartajena vs. Lijauco and premature, although the evidence sufficiently shows who are
Zaballa). entitled to succeed the deceased. The estate had hardly been
judicially opened, and the proceeding has not as yet reached the
C. Order of Preference stage of distribution of the estate which must come after the
inheritance is liquidated (sec. 753, Code of Civil Procedure).
1. CAPISTRANO V NADURATA (1922)
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2. AREVALO V BUSTAMANTE (1940) make Ariston Bustamante her only heir. Furthermore,
Ponente: Bocobo, J when she said she wanted to dispose of her property by
means of the second will ("queriendo disponer de mis
DOCTRINE: Failure to effect personal notification to legatees and bienes por virtud de este mi testamento"), it would
devisees will deprive the probate court of jurisdiction. appear to be her intention that no property of hers should
be left undisposed of in the second will. This fact is
QUICK FACTS: Probate of the second will was allowed. corroborated in the second clause wherein she names
Allowance of the second will had the effect of revoking the earlier Ariston Bustamante as her only heir to all her property
will. whether personal or real.
The Court further declared that ―It would be a dangerous precedent
FACTS: to strain the interpretation of a will in order to effect what the court
believes to be an equitable division of the estate of a deceased
Rufina Arevalo, the testatrix executed two wills: person. The only function of the courts in these cases is to carry
- One on 9 January 1936 out the intention of the deceased as manifested in the will. Once
- And another on 02 October 1937. that intention has been determined through a careful reading of the
In the first will, Rufina specifically referred to seven parcels of land will or wills, and provided the law on legitimes has not been
of considerable value and to certain personal properties. Three of violated, it is beyond the pale of judicial cognizance to inquire into
these parcels of land and all the personal properties were given to the fairness or unfairness of any devise or bequest.‖
Amando Clemente. Another three to Ariston Bustamante. And the
seventh parcel was given to Petrona Arevalo and Carmen Papa. Dissent:
In the second will, Rufina particularly referred to only five parcels of Paras, J
land and certain personal properties. All of these properties were
given to Ariston Bustamante, as her universal heir. The second will ―The first should be considered revoked only in so far as it is
does not make mention of two of the three parcels given to inconsistent with the second will. As the second will was executed
Amando Clemente under the first will. only twenty-one months after the first, the testatrix, who has been
CFI held that the second will was forged, and allowed the earlier conclusively shown to be of sound mind at the time of the
will. execution of the later will, could not have forgotten that she owned
The Supreme Court however decided otherwise. Forgery was not two other parcels of land, especially if they are of considerable
given credence and the second will was allowed. value.‖

ISSUE: WON the second will has the effect of revoking the earlier Note:
will. On forgery:
CFI believed that there was forgery because of variation in the
HELD/RATIO: signature of Rufina. It was said that with the genuine signature,
the terminal stroke of the capital "R" in "Rufina" is not joined with
Yes. the letter "u," while in Exhibit C such ending is united with the letter
"u" in the two marginal signatures. Although in the central
The Court in said: signature appearing on page 2, the two letters are separated. The
1. In the second will names Ariston Bustamante her only probate court believed that this difference between the marginal
heir to all her property, both p ersonal and real, her words and the central signatures is due to the fact that the forger first
in Spanish being: "Nombro como mi unico heredero, used the check of "La Previsora" (Exhibit I) as the model in
Ariston Bustamante, de todas mis propiedades dejadas falsifying the marginal signatures, but having been shown another
ya mueble o inmueble." (Italics supplied.) It is true that in signature with the characteristic already mentioned — separation
enumerating her parcels of land, she did not specify her of the two letters — he tried to imitate said peculiarity in making
interest in the two lots of the conjugal partnership. But central signature.
this omission must have been due either to an oversight The Supreme Court said that careful scrutiny of all the questioned
or to the belief that it was premature to name said two and the standard signatures they are convinced that they have
parcels as the conjugal partnership was still being been written by the same person because they show the same
liquidated. In either case, the testatrix must have general type, quality and characteristics, with natural variations.
thought that her comprehensive words "mi unico Citing People vs. Bustos (45 Phil., 30):
heredero de todas mis propiedades dejadas ya ―It is a first principle in writing that exact coincidence
mueble o inmueble" would be sufficient to cover all between two signatures is absolute proof that one or the
her property, whether specially listed or not. other is a forgery. There must be some different before
2. In the opening paragraph of the second will, the authenticity reposes upon a general characteristics
following words appear: "hago constar a todos este mi resemblance, coupled with specific differences, such as
ultimo testamento y voluntad expresado en Castellano naturally result from the infinite variety of conditions
lenguaje que conozco y poseo, y queriendo disponer de controlling the muscles of the writer at each separate
mis bienes por virtud de este mi testamento." Though effort in forming his signature.‖
she knew that she had made a first will, she
nevertheless said that the second will was her last 3. GABRIEL V CA (1992)
one. This would seem to signify that her last will, Ponente: Regalado, J.
cancelling her previously expressed wish, was to
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DOCTRINE: Section 6(b) of Rule 78 provides that the preference period should the spouse or next of kin neglect to apply for letters
given to the surviving spouse or next of kin may be disregarded by of administration is has a permissive tone ("may be granted to one
the court where said persons neglect to apply for letters of or more of the principal creditors.") it does not exclude the next of
administration for thirty (30) days after the decedent's death. kin.
However, it is our considered opinion that such failure is not However the SC does not see any need to remove pvt respondent
sufficient to exclude the widow from the administration of the as the administrator
estate of her husband. There must be a very strong case to justify
the exclusion of the widow from the administration. SC - Modified CA. SC advised that petitioner be
appointed as co-administrator with pvt respondent.
QUICK FACTS: Petitioners seek to nullify appointment of pvt
respondent as administrator of the decedent’s estate one of their SEPARATE OPINION: None
grounds is that the probate court violated the order of preference in
appointing the administrator of the estate. 4. SILVERIO V CA (1999)
Ponente: Purisima
FACTS:
DOCTRINE: The determination of a person’s suitability for the
Nature: Appeal by certiorari for the affirmance of the CA of an office of administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound
order appointing private respondent as the administrator of the judgment of the court exercising the power of appointment.
decedent’s estate.
QUICK FACTS: Beatriz died. After 3 years, one of her sons,
Facts Edgardo, filed for Letters of Administration. Court granted the
Domingo Gabriel died on August 6, 1987, 9 months later pvt petition. Beatriz’s husband and Edgardo’s stepfather Ricardo Sr.
respondent (Roberto Dindo Gabriel) came forward alleging he is opposed.
the son of decedent and is capable of administering the estate.
Notice was given to heirs and creditors and hearings were held. FACTS:
Eventually, on December 12, 1988, pvt respondent filed for
approval of his inventory and appraisal. On February 2, 1989, filed Nature: Petition for certiorari seeking to annul the decision of CA
their opposition to and moved for recall of pvt respondent’s letters denying the petition of Ricardo Sr. in the lower court to declare
of administration. One of the issues raised was that petitioner void the appointment of Edgardo as Special Administrator, inter
Nilda Gabriel, as the legitimate daughter, should be preferred over alia.
private respondent. TC. – RTC Makati
CA.
TC - Probate court denied the opposition stating that SC.
petitioner offered no proof that she is the legitimate daughter and
they have not shown otherwise that pvt respondent is unworthy, Facts:
incapacitated or unsuitable as an administrator.
TC - Beatriz died. Her property was in the
AC - Affirmed TC on the ground that the appointment of possession of one son, Ricardo Jr and no partition has been made.
an administrator is left entirely to the sound discretion of the trial After 3 years, one of her sons, Edgardo, filed for Letter of Admin.
court which may not be interfered with unless abused The lower court granted the petition. Ricardo Sr. opposed. The
presentation of evidence was postponed many times because
ISSUE: Ricardo Sr. is living in Australia, has gone to US, is preparing to
assume office as Congressman of Bulacan, etc. the court deemed
WoN Probate court violated the order of preference in appointing these as waiver of rights so his petition/opposition was denied.
an administrator.
CA - Affirmed TC. Ricardo Sr. was barred by laches.
DECISION: Yes. The overall permissive tone of sec. 6(b) is not The rule is clear and unequivocal: It does not provide that the
sufficient to completely exclude the spouse and next of kin in surviving spouse takes precedence exclusive of and over all other
seeking appointment as administrator of the estate. heirs of the deceased in the appointment of the administrator.

HELD: Chismis: Ricardo Sr. allegedly cheated on his wife by maintaining


an illicit affair with one Carmen Zuniga. While the admin/trustee of
In the appointment of the administrator, the principal consideration the conjugal property, he bought 3 houses at Old Forbes, North
reckoned with is the interest the estate of the one to be appointed Forbes and Manila Bel Air and placed them in the name of his 3
as administrator. Section 6 of Rule 78 takes into account in illegitimate children. He used the conjugal property to invest in
establishing the order of preference in the appointment of California, USA, beyond the reach of his wife. And he was facing
administrators for the estate. The underlying assumption behind charges of tax evasion (Ricardo Sr.: it was violation of the
this rule is that those who will reap the benefit of a wise, speedy Securities Act). Hence he is not capable of assuming the
and economical administration of the estate, or, on the other hand, administration of his wife’s estate. In addition, he was crony of
suffer the consequences of waste, improvidence or Pres. Marcos.
mismanagement, have the highest interest and most influential
motive to administer the estate correctly. In Sec. 6(b), the 30-day
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Chismis, too: The value of the property in 1991 was P450M. appointment pursuant to Section 2, Rule 80 of the Revised Rules
Edgardo and his lawyer Uy allegedly agreed to give the latter 33% of Court
as attorney’s fee.
5. IN RE INTESTATE ESTATE OF CRISTINA AGUINALDO-
Fact: Edmundo, another son, filed a manifestation contesting the SUNTAY (2010)
appointment of Edgardo without his consent. He did not receive Ponente: Nachura
notice through personal service (because the court resorted to
publication). DOCTRINE: The order of preference in Rule 78 section 6 is not
absolute for it depends on the attendant facts and circumstances
Ricardo Sr. argued that Edgardo does not have the power to sell of each case. Jurisprudence has long held that the selection of an
their conjugal property. It was accumulated through the effort of administrator lies in the sound discretion of the trial court.
Ricardo, Sr.
QUICK FACTS: Beatriz died. After 3 years, one of her sons,
ISSUE: WoN the appointment of Edgardo as administrator is Edgardo, filed for Letters of Administration. Court granted the
proper. petition. Beatriz’s husband and Edgardo’s stepfather Ricardo Sr.
opposed.
DECISION: Yes. Affirmed CA.
FACTS:
HELD:
Nature: Petition for certiorari.
Intestate Estate of Uy-Coque: ―The determination of a person’s TC. – RTC Malolos.
suitability for the office of administrator rests, to a great extent, in
the sound judgment of the court exercising the power of Facts:
appointment and such judgment will not be interfered with on
appeal unless it appears affirmatively that the court below was an TC - Federico and Cristina, married, had a son,
error.‖ xxx ―Unsuitableness for appointment as administrator may Emilio I who predeceased them. Emilio I had 3 children with his
consist in adverse interest of some kind or hostility to those wife, namely: Isabel, Margarita and Emilio II. The marriage of
immediately interested in the estate.‖ Xxx Emilio I and his wife was eventually annulled. The 3 lived with their
mother at QC. Isabel is the respondent in this case.
Esler vs. Tad-y: The probate court, in the exercise of its
discretion, may disregard the order of preference to the After the annulment, and out of wedlock, Emilio I fathered 2 more
administration, set forth in the Rules of Court. Hence xxx ―If the children with 2 separate women, namely: Emilio III and Nenita.
administrator was appointed by the trial court for the estate in They were acknowledged by Emilio I as his natural children. Emilio
accordance with Rule 79, section 6 of the Rules of Court, the trial III is the petitioner in this case.
court had discretion to issue the letters of administration to any of
the persons mentioned in said section, and unless there has been Though illegitimate children of Emilio I, Emilio III and Nenita were
an abuse of discretion‖ xxx brought by their grandparents Federico and Cristina. On the other
hand, Federico and Cristina were granted visitation right over his
Villamor vs. Court of Appeals: Xxx ―in case the persons who grandchildren Isabel, Margarita and Emilio II. Said right was
have the preferential right to be appointed are not competent or terminated upon the petition of Isabel articulating her sentiments
are unwilling to serve, administration may be granted to such other on the unwanted visits of her grandparents.
person as the court may appoint.‖
After the death of Cristina, Federico adopted Emilio II and Nenita.
En el intestado del finado Bustamante:―No es ciertamente
destitucion la que le hizo cesar en el cargo al apelante, porque Cristina was predeceased by Federico and their grandchildren.
destitucion supone siempre correccion o castigo, sino revocacion Two years after her death, Isabel filed for administration. Her claim
de la orden en virtud de la cual fue nombrado Administrador excluded Emilio III and Nenita as heirs. Federico opposed and
judicical, por causa de incapacidad. Es que en esta jurisdiccion, contended that being the surviving spouse of Cristina, he is
como ya se ha resuelto, el tener interes adverso a los de una capable of administering her estate and he should be the one
Testamentaria o un Intestado, o a los de aquellos que estan appointed as its administrator; that as part owner of the mass of
interesados en ellos, es motivo suficiente de incapacidad para ser conjugal properties left by Cristina, he must be accorded legal
nombrado Administrador judicial de cualquiera de los mismos. xxx‖ preference in the administration thereof; that Isabel and her family
:D had been alienated from their grandparents for more than thirty
(30) years.
De Gala v. Gonzales and Ona: ―The appointment of a special
administrator in a probate case lies in the sound discretion of the He also nominated Emilio III as administrator in his behalf should
court, and he may be removed without reference to section 653 the court decide that he has a better right over Isabel. Emilio III
(Rule 78) of the Code of Civil Procedure.‖ was appointed by the court ratiocinating that his appointment
would be in the best interest of Federico and Cristina; appointing
NOTES: CA is not vested with the power to order the special Isabel would be otherwise because their families are estranged. It
administrator to sell real properties of the estate pending was also because Emilio III has enough experience and
determination of the validity of the regular administrator’s
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knowledge on real estate admin and in order to give order to give Rule 79 – Opposing Issuance of Letters Testamentary;
effect to the order of preference mandated by law. Petition and Contest for Letter of Administration

CA - Reversed TC. Emilio is an illegitimate child. His A. Contents of Petition


appointment is subject to suspensive condition: appointment of
Federico who was not appointed because he died hence Emilio III B. Interested Party
cannot assume administration. With regard to legitimate and
illegitimate next of kin, the legitimate one is favored. Further, an 1. ESPINOSA V BARRIOS(1940)
illegitimate cannot inherit from the legitimate ascendant or (NOTE: THIS CASE IS IN SPANISH TEXT. THIS DIGEST WAS
descendant of his parents. Besides, Isabel is as competent as PREPARED WITH AID OF GOOGLE TRANSLATE. IT IS BEST
Emilio III. TO VALIDATE FACTS AND RULING FOR YOURSELVES.).

ISSUE: W Emilio III or Isabel is better qualified to act as Case:


administrator of Cristina’s estate. Ponente: J. Imperial.

DECISION: Reversed CA. CA erred in excluding Emilio III from DOCTRINE: Person seeking to recover property which was
the administration of the decedent’s estate. subjected to partition by heirs, duly approved by Court, is not an
interested party in said proceeding and cannot hence ask for its
HELD: reopening.

1. The underlying philosophy of our law on intestate succession is QUICK FACTS: Salvacion Espinosa wanted to reopen probate
to give preference to the wishes and presumed will of the proceeding of Jagunap estate wherein heirs partitioned and
decedent, absent a valid and effective will; awarded amongst themselves property which was earlier duly
conveyed to Espinosa by the administrator of said estate.
2. The basis for Article 992 of the Civil Code, referred to as the iron
curtain bar rule, is quite the opposite scenario in the facts obtaining
FACTS:
herein for the actual relationship between Federico and Cristina,
on one hand, and Emilio III, on the other, was akin to the normal
Nature: Salvacion Espinosa filed for reopening of estate
relationship of legitimate relatives;
proceedings of Jagunap
3. Emilio III was reared from infancy by the decedent, Cristina, and
her husband, Federico, who both acknowledged him as their TC. – Denied motion for reopening of probate proceedings of
grandchild; Jagunap estate. Not proper remedy. Not an interested party.
CA. Affirmed.
4. Federico claimed half of the properties included in the estate of SC. Affirmed.
the decedent, Cristina, as forming part of their conjugal partnership
of gains during the subsistence of their marriage; Facts: Flora, as admin of estate of Jagunap, signed ―barter‖
5. Cristina’s properties forming part of her estate are still agreement with Cleto Espinosa wherein they swapped some
commingled with that of her husband, Federico, because her share parcels of land. Flora submitted to court the agreement which was
in the conjugal partnership, albeit terminated upon her death, approved. Espinosa took possession of land. He later died
remains undetermined and unliquidated; and intestate leaving Salvacion as heir.
6. Emilio III is a legally adopted child of Federico, entitled to share Later, portion swapped by Flora was sold by heirs of Jagunap to
in the distribution of the latter’s estate as a direct heir, one degree Javel. A project partition granting half of estate to Jagna and other
from Federico, not simply representing his deceased illegitimate half to seven heirs was later on approved by Court. Upon MR of
father, Emilio I. one of heirs, car and swapped lot was included in partition and
The order of preference in Rule 78 section 6 is not absolute for it Espinosa was deprived of possession of land.
depends on the attendant facts and circumstances of each case.
Jurisprudence has long held that the selection of an administrator To regain the title and possession lot, widow Salvacion Espinosa
lies in the sound discretion of the trial court. In the main, the (widow?) presented motion in the probate of Jagunap estate,
attendant facts and circumstances of this case necessitate, at asking it to be reopened, and seeked to annul the sale made to
the least, a joint administration by both Isabel and Emilio III of Javel as well as partition made by the heirs.
their grandmother’s Cristina’s, estate.
Court still denied motion. Court also denied the appeal announced
Delgado Vda. de De la Rosa v. Heirs of Marciana Rustia Vda. by the appellant for the reason that, as they had already decided,
de Damian: In the appointment of an administrator, the principal was not party to the probate of Jagunap nor had direct and
consideration is the interest in the estate of the one to be material interest in it.
appointed. The order of preference does not rule out the
appointment of co-administrators, especially in cases where justice Salvacion argued on appeal that because of the swap with Jagna,
and equity demand that opposing parties or factions be the cause of the appellant was legally approved by the court, her
represented in the management of the estates, a situation which relief is then the reopening of probate proceedings of Jagunap.
obtains here.

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ISSUE:
HELD:
WoN Salvacion Espinosa is an interested party in Jagunap probate The appellants are not considered as interested parties in the
proceeding. probate proceedings of the will of the deceased Damasa
Crisostomo, and therefore, are not entitled to appeal the decision
DECISION: No. of the lower court. In civil actions and special proceedings, unless
otherwise provided by law, the interest in order that a person may
HELD: be a party on appeal must be material and direct, so that he will be
materially and directly benefited or injured by the court's order,
Salvacion is a stranger who has no direct or material interest in the decree or judgment: and not indirect or contingent.
assets of Jagunap estate, has no right to intervene or appeal. To
enforce her right over land, she does not need to replace the The appellants in the present case merely allege in their petition
intestate nor be appointed as a special administrator in estate of for relief that they are "nephews and nieces and therefore legal
Jagunap. Remedy is not reopening of intestate proceeding of heirs of the deceased Damasa Crisostomo," without specifying the
Jagunap, but ordinary civil action for recovery of possession. degree of relationship they had to the latter. They contend that if
the will made on October 19, 1949, be disallowed, they will inherit
2. TRILLANA V CRISOSTOMO (1951) the estate left by the testatrix. The interest claimed by the
PONENTE: FERIA, J. appellants is purely contingent or dependent upon several
uncertain and future events to (1) The disallowance of the will of
DOCTRINE: In civil actions and special proceedings, unless October 19, 1948 (2) The allowance of the will of August 16, 1948,
otherwise provided by law, the interest in order that a person may and (3) invalidation of certain legacies left in said will of August 16, 1948.
be a party on appeal must be material and direct, so that he will be
materially and directly benefited or injured by the court's order, NOTES:
decree or judgment: and not indirect or contingent. Whether a revoked will must be included in the probate of the
subsequent will.
QUICK FACTS: Deceased Damasa Crisostomo allegedly made No, a revoked will may no longer be presented in the probate of
two wills. Appellants Crisostomo et. al. who are claiming to be the the subsequent will. If two wills are presented for allowance but
deceased’s nephews and nieces assert they are interested parties one of them was a revoked will, it cannot be included in the
in the present case because they may inherit from the deceased’s probate of the latter subsequent will, because it would be a waste
estate should the Court rule in a certain way. of time to allow the revoked will if the subsequent revoking will is
allowed. The revoked will may be probated and allowed only if the
FACTS: subsequent revoking will is disallowed.
The deceased, Damasa Crisostomo, allegedly made two wills: one
will was made on August 16, 1948 and the other will was executed 3. DURAN V DURAN (1967) - Supra, Copied from last meeting’s
on October 19, 1948.Trillana, the administrator of the estate, digest
presented the subsequent will executed on October 19 for probate, Case: IN RE: INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE PIO DURAN.
and was granted by the court. Crisostomo and others, claiming to CIPRIANO DURAN and MIGUEL DURAN, petitioners-
be nephews and nieces of the deceased, filed a petition for relief of appellants, vs. JOSEFINA B. DURAN, movant-oppositor
the judgment rendered by the probate court to disallow the and appellee.
subsequent will and allow the former will executed on August 16, Ponente: Bengzon J.P, J.
alleging that the proceedings during the probate of the
subsequent will was attended by fraud. DOCTRINE: (The assignment took place when no settlement
proceedings was pending.) Assigning heir cannot initiate a
Contention of the Appellants (Crisostomo et al): settlement proceedings, for until the deed of assignment is
Appellants argue that they are interested parties and therefore may annulled or rescinded, it is deemed valid and effective against him,
appeal in the present case, because in the event the will of so that he is left without that "interest" in the estate required to
October 19 is disallowed and that of August 16 is allowed, and the petite for settlement proceedings.
legacies in the latter are declared invalid or the legatees incapable
to inherit, the legacies will go to the appellants. QUICK FACTS: Prior to settlement proceedings of the decedent’s
estate, one of the heirs executed a deed of assignment and
Contention of the Appellee (Trillana) renunciation of his hereditary rights. Such heir subsequently filed a
The will of August 16, 1948 was expressly and absolutely revoked petition for intestate proceedings and motion to be appointed as
by the will of October 19, 1948, executed by the same executrix or administrator. CFI and SC dismissed petition because the heir is
deceased. The probate of the subsequent will was not attended by no more an ―interested person‖ in the estate, by virtue of the deed
fraud and the appellants show no proof of the alleged fraud executed which is valid and effective between the parties.
committed in the probate of the subsequent will.
FACTS:
ISSUE: Nature:
Are the appellants parties in interest in the present case and TC: Petition for intestate proceedings
therefore entitled to appeal the decision of the lower court? CA: NA
SC:
DECISION: NO
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Pio Duran died without testament on February 28, 1961. Although Josefina prayed to be appointed administratrix, her doing
Among his alleged heirs are Josefina Duran, as surviving spouse; so did not amount to ratification of the petition for settlement under
several brothers and sisters; nephews and nieces. the ruling in Eusebio v. Valmores since she did so merely by way
Subsequent to his death, Cipriano Duran, one of the of an alternative prayer, should her motion to dismiss fail.
surviving brothers, executed a public instrument assigning and
renouncing his hereditary rights to the decedent's estate in favor of 4. IN RE INTESTATE ESTATE OF IRENE SANTOS (1962)
Josefina, for the consideration of P2,500.00. A year later, Cipriano Ponente: Paredes, J.
filed in the Court of First Instance of Albay a petition for intestate DOCTRINE: A co-heir is an indispensable party to special
proceedings to settle Pio Duran's estate, and an ex parte motion to proceedings to settle the intestate estate of the decedent.
be appointed special administrator.
Josefina filed a motion to dismiss upon the ground that QUICK FACTS: Adela Santos, one of the nieces of the decedent,
Cipriano is not an "interested person" in the estate, in view of the Irene Santos, filed a petition to nullify the deed of assignment she
deed of transfer and renunciation; in the alternative, she asked to supposedly executed in favour of her sister, during the pendency
be appointed administratrix. Cipriano alleged that Josefina was not of the petition for letters of administration filed by her uncle, Jose
the decedent's wife. He contended that the deed of assignment Villegas. Villegas alleges that she no longer has legal interest in
was procured thru fraud, with gross inadequacy of price and the case by virtue of the deed of assignment and therefore must
vitiated by lesion. not be allowed to ―intervene‖. The SC held that Adela was a proper
Still later, another brother of the decedent, Miguel, filed a party to the case, not simply an intervenor, because in the first
petition to be joined as co-petitioner of Cipriano. Josefina moved to place, she was an original party to the special proceedings.
strike out said petition as an improper attempt to intervene in the
case. FACTS:
Nature: Jose Villegas filed a petition for letters of administration in
CFI Albay. Dismissed the petition of Cipriano for his lack of interest the Rizal CFI; Adela filed a Manifestation in the same court to
in the estate. Said lack of interest was premised on the deed of allege that her consent to the assignment to her sister of her rights
transfer executed by him. The court declared itself without power to the estate of Irene Santos was obtained through fraud
to examine in said proceedings, collaterally, the alleged fraud, TC. – Jose Villegas filed a petition for letters of administration of
inadequacy of price and lesion that would render it rescissible or his wife’s (Irene Santos) estate at the CFI of Rizal (Special
voidable. With Cipriano’s petition's dismissal, Miguel's petition to Proceeding 2100, hereinafter SP 2100). Adela Santos filed a
be joined as co-petitioner was deemed without leg to stand on. Manifestation in the same court to allege that her consent to the
assignment to her sister of her rights to the estate of Irene Santos
ISSUE: WoN Cipriano is an ―interested person‖ as provided in was obtained through fraud. She seeks to have copies of all the
Rule 79 of the Rules of Court pleadings filed by Villegas, delivered to her.
Adela Santos won, and the probate court ordered Jose Villegas to
DECISION: NO. SC affirmed CFI Albay’s decision to dismiss furnish Adela Santos with all the pleadings he will be filing in court.
Cipriano’s petition for his lack of interest in the estate. On motion for reconsideration, the vacation judge (I think this
refers to the judge who temporarily replaced the ―original‖ judge
HELD: The assignment took place when no settlement proceeding who went on vacation) ruled for Jose Villegas.
was pending. The properties subject matter of the assignment Adela Santos contested this, and when the ―original‖ judge came
were not under the jurisdiction of a settlement court. Allowing that back, he set aside the order of the ―vacation‖ judge.
the assignment must be deemed a partition as between the CA. N/A.
assignor and assignee, the same does not need court approval to SC. Ruled for Adela Santos.
be effective as between the parties.
The case of In re Irene Santos is not applicable because Facts: In PARAGRAPH form.
the situation in the Santos case involves an assignment between
co-heirs pendente lite, during the course of settlement On November 11, 1954, Irene Santos died intestate, leaving as her
proceedings. Therefore, the settlement court had already acquired only heirs her surviving spouse Jose D. Villegas and two nieces -
jurisdiction over the properties during the assignment. As a result, daughters of her deceased brother, Rizalina Santos Rivera and
any assignment regarding the same had to be approved by said Adela Santos Gutierrez.
court. And since the approval of the court is not deemed final until
the estate is closed, the assigning heir remains an interested Thereafter, Jose Villegas filed with the Rizal CFI, Pasay City
person in proceedings even after said approval. Branch, a petition for Letters of Administration (SP 2100), and was
appointed administrator of the estate.
Should it be contended that said partition was attended
with fraud, lesion or inadequacy of price, the remedy is to rescind In the petition, he named as intestate heirs, besides himself,
or to annul the same in an action for that purpose. Rizalina Santos Rivera and Adela Santos Gutierrez.

On January 15, 1955, in SP 2100, an unverified manifestation


Miguel’s petition to "join petitioner Cipriano as co-
petitioner in the latter's petition‖ amounted to a petition to intervene signed by Adela Gutierrez, accompanied by a public instrument
entitled "Kasulatan ng Bilihan at Salinan", dated January 12, 1955,
in the settlement proceedings. Since there was really no settlement
was presented to the Probate Court. It stated that Adela Santos
proceedings in the first place, the petition to intervene must be
was relinquishing all her rights to the estate of her deceased aunt,
denied.
Irene Santos.
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himself a party, either joining plaintiff in claiming what is sought by


Subsequently, Adela Santos filed a Manifestation alleging that her the complaint, or uniting with defendant in resisting the claims of
consent to the deed of assignment was obtained fraudulently. She plaintiff, or demanding something adversely to both of them; the
added that she was placing the above facts within the knowledge act or proceeding by which a third person becomes a party in a suit
of the Court so that no action may be taken giving value to the pending between others; the admission, by leave of court, of a
alleged deed of assignment and in order that she (Adela) might be person not an original party to pending legal proceedings, which
notified of each and all pleadings or orders connected with the such person becomes a party thereto for the protection of some
proceedings. The administrator Jose Villegas and Rizalina Santos right or interest alleged by him to be affected by such proceedings
filed exceptions and/or objections to the Manifestation, denying the
allegations of fraud, undue influence and the like. 5. TAYAG V TAYAG-GALLOR (2008)
Case: VICTORIA C. TAYAG, Petitioner, vs. FELICIDAD A.
TC - Ruled for Adela Santos. On MR, vacation TAYAG-GALLOR, Respondent.
judge ruled for Jose Villegas. On MR filed by Adela Santos, the Ponente: Tinga, J.
presiding judge set aside the ruling of the vacation judge.
QUICK FACTS: Felicidad, alleged illegitimate child of deceased
CA - N/A. Ismael, who died intestate, filed a petition for the issuance of
letters of administration. Petitioner Victoria, spouse of Ismael
ISSUE: WON Adela Santos Gutierrez is still entitled to be opposed and prayed for the dismissal on the ground that Felicidad
furnished with pleadings filed by the administrator (Jose Villegas) failed to state a cause of action.
in the probate proceedings and orders therein issue by the lower
court. FACTS:

DECISION: Nature:
YES. TC. – Petition for the issuance of letters of administration
It cannot be successfully denied that Adela Santos is an CA. – Appeal by Victoria
indispensable party to the proceedings in question. Her interest in SC. – Petition for certiorari by Victoria
the estate is not inchoate. It was established at the time of death
of Irene Santos on November 11, 1954. While it is true that she Facts:
executed a deed of assignment, it is also a fact that she asked the
same to be annulled. (In an action pending before the Rizal CFI, Felicidad filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration
Pasig Branch.) over the estate of Ismael Tayag who died intestate. She alleged
that she’s 1 of the 3 illegitimate children of Ismael. Victoria was the
Although Adela had filed a manifestation dropping herself from the spouse of Ismael. Ismael left 2 real properties both of which are in
probate proceedings and presenting therewith the supposed Deed the possession of Victoria and a motor vehicle which was sold
of Assignment, the record, nevertheless fails to show that action preparatory to the settlement. It was alleged that Victoria promised
thereon had been taken by the probate Court. to give each illegitimate child Php100k, but each only received half.
Felicidad further alleged that Victoria executed an affidavit stating
―Every act intended to put an end to indivision among co-heirs and that the properties were paraphernal.
legatees or devisees is deemed to be a partition, although it should
purport to be a sale, an exchange, a compromise, or any other Victoria opposed the petition by claiming that the properties were
transaction (Art. 1082, NCC).‖ No serious argument can be offered bought by her using her own money. She prayed for the dismissal
to deny the co-heirship of appellee in the estate under probate. of the suit on the ground of failure to state a cause of action. She
avers that it is necessary to allege that Felicidad was
The court that approved the partition of the estate and the acknowledged and recognized as illegitimate child by Ismael.
agreement in ratification thereof may annul both whenever, as it is Absent such allegation, the action becomes one to compel
here alleged, the approval was obtained by deceit or fraud, and the recognition which can’t be brought after the death of the putative
petition must be filed in the courts of the intestate proceedings, for father.
it is generally admitted that probate courts are authorized to vacate
any decree or judgment procured by fraud, not only while the TC - DENIED MOTION TO DISMISS
proceedings in the course of which it was issued are pending, but
even, as in this case, within a reasonable time thereafter. CA - AFFIRMED
Allegation of being an illegitimate child suffices for a
The motion in question is not one of intervention, but solely a plea cause of action
to enforce a right and that is to receive pleadings and orders
related to the case. The use of the word "intervention" in the Victoriana appeals saying that Felicidad should not be allowed to
manifestation and pleadings presented by Adela was resorted to prove her filiation in the settlement
for want of another appropriate word. In effect, all she wanted to
convey was that she should participate or continue taking part in ISSUE: WON the petition sufficiently states a cause of action
the case for being an original party therein. considering that Felicidad merely alleged that she is an
illegitimate child, without stating she’d been acknowledged or
Intervention as contemplated by the Rules is a proceeding in a suit recognized as such
or action by which a third person is permitted by the court to make
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DECISION: YES. PETITION DENIED. CA AFFIRMED. DOCTRINE: A complete inventory of the estate may be done
during the partition proceedings, especially if the estate has no
HELD: debts; in such cases, an action for letters of administration may
Petition for the issuance of letters of administration must appropriately be converted into an action for judicial partition.
be filed by an interested person (Rule 79) Where the more expeditious remedy of partition is available to the
―interested person‖ as defined in Saguinsin v. heirs, then the heirs or the majority of them may not be compelled
Lindayag to submit to administration proceedings.
One who could be benefited by the
estate (i.e. heir) FACTS:
One who has a claim against the
estate (i.e. creditor) Nature: Petition by Socorro for the issuance of letters of
Interest must be material and direct administration of the estate of her late father, Antonio Sr.
Where the right of the person filing is
dependent on a fact which has not been Petitioner Maria Socorro Avelino (Socorro) is a daughter and
established or can no longer be established, compulsory heir of the late Antonio Avelino, Sr., and his first wife
such contingent interest does not make her an (and Socorro’s mother) private respondent Angelina Avelino.
interested party Socorro’s other siblings join their mother as respondents.
Felicidad’s right to maintain the suit is dependent on
whether she is entitled to successional rights as an Socorro filed a petition (at the RTC) for letters of administration
illegitimate child. This may be established thorugh: (Oct. 24, 1991) of the estate of her father who died 18 months
since the filing. On Dec. 3, 1992, Angelina and the other siblings
Voluntary recognition
opposed by filing a motion to convert the judicial proceedings to an
Must be express (i.e. in a record,
action for judicial partition, which Socorro in turn, duly opposed.
final judgment, public instrument)
Needs no further court action  not RTC: (ruled in favor of the mother and the siblings) Since Socorro
subject to the limitation that the is the only heir not amenable to the partition, the same was
action for recognition be brought granted. MR by Socorro was denied.
during the lifetime of the putative
parent CA: (appeal thru Rule 65) Affirmed RTC. MR was also denied.
Judicial or compulsory recognition
May be demanded by the illegitimate Socorro’s arguments in her appeal to the SC:
child No partition of the estate since no determination has yet been
Must be brought within the lifetime of made of the character and extent of Antonio’s estate; cited
the presumed parents Arcilles v. Montejo, where SC held that when the existence of
Felicidad was not given the opportunity to present the decedent’s property is still at issue, administration
evidence to show whether she had been voluntarily proceedings are the proper mode of resolving the same.
recognized due to Victoria’s opposition Rules of Court does not provide for conversion of a motion for
No way to determine if her petition is actually issuance of administration letters to an action for judicial
one to compel recognition which had already partition.
been foreclosed by the death of her father – or
whether she has a material and direct interest ISSUE: WoN CA gravely abused its discretion in upholding the trial
to maintain the suit by reason of the court’s finding that partition was proper.
decedent’s voluntary acknowledgment or
recognition DECISION: No, affirmed CA and RTC.
Allegation that she is an illegitimate child suffices
A motion to dismiss on the ground of failure to state a HELD:
cause of action in the complaint hypothetically admits the When a person dies intestate, or, if testate, failed to name an
truth of the facts alleged executor in his will or the executor is incompetent, or refuses
Assuming she is an illegitimate child  her the trust, or fails to furnish the bond required by the Rules of
interest in the estate would be material and Court, then the decedent's estate will be judicially administered
direct and the competent court shall appoint a qualified administrator
in the order established in Section 6 of Rule 78; the exceptions
C. Procedure to this are found in Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 74
The heirs succeed immediately to all of the rights and
1. AVELINO V CA (2000) properties of the deceased at the moment of the latter's
Case: MARIA SOCORRO AVELINO, petitioner, vs COURT OF death; when a person dies without leaving pending obligations,
APPEALS, ANGELINA AVELINO, SHARON AVELINO, his heirs, are not required to submit the property for judicial
ANTONIO AVELINO, JR., TRACY AVELINO, PATRICK administration, nor apply for the appointment of an
MICHAEL AVELINO and MARK ANTHONY administrator by the court
AVELINO, respondents. A complete inventory of the estate may be done during the
Ponente: Quisumbing partition proceedings, especially since the estate has no debts;
the CA and the lower court committed no reversible error in
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converting petitioner's action for letters of administration into intestate proceeding was dismissed. Maria and Pedro opposed the
an action for judicial partition; where the more expeditious probate of the will.
remedy of partition is available to the heirs, then the heirs or
the majority of them may not be compelled to submit to On Sept. 10, 1946 Natividad was appointed special administratrix
administration proceedings over the objection of Maria and Pedro, who sought Maria’s
appointment as such. On Oct. 21, 1946, Maria and Pedro filed a
MR of the TC’s order appointing Natividad as special administratrix
Rule 80 – Special Administrator with prayer that Maria be appointed as special co-administratrix,
which motion was not acted upon.
A. Necessity for, and qualification of, a special administrator
TC: denied the probate of the will on the ground that the attesting
1. VDA. DE ROXAS V PECSON (1948) witnesses did not sign their names in the presence of the testator.
Case: NATIVIDAD I. VDA. DE ROXAS, petitioner, vs. Natividad’s appeal on this is now pending.
POTENCIANO PECSON, Judge of First Instance of Bulacan,
MARIA ROXAS and PEDRO ROXAS,respondents. On Dec. 29, 1947, Maria and Pedro renewed their petition for the
Ponente: Feria, J. appointment of Maria as special administratrix or special co-
administratrix.
Doctrine: Only one special administrator may be appointed to
administer temporarily the estate because a special administrator TC: On May 5, 1948, appointed Natividad as special administratrix
is but a temporary administrator who is appointed to act in lieu of with respect to all the conjugal properties of the deceased, and
the general administrator. When there is delay in granting letters Maria as special administratrix of all capital or exclusive properties
testamentary or of administration occasioned by an appeal from of the deceased.
the allowance or disallowance of will, or from any other cause, the
court may appoint a special administrator to collect and take Thus, Natividad filed the present petition for certiorari on the
charge of the estate of the deceased until the questions causing ground that respondent judge acted in excess of the court's
the delay are decided and executors or administrators thereupon jurisdiction in appointing 2 special co-administrators of the estate
appointed. of the deceased.

Quickfacts: Pablo Roxas died and was survived by his widow ISSUE: WON TC was correct in appointing Natividad as special
Natividad, a 9 year old adulterous child and his siblings Maria and administrator
Pedro. The 2 siblings filed intestate proceedings and the
appointment of Maria as administrator but this was dismissed HELD: Yes. It is well settled that the statutory provisions as to the
when Natividad filed a petition for probate of an alleged will of her prior or preferred right of certain persons to the appointment of
deceased husband where ½ of the estate was given to her and the administrator under section 1, Rule 81, as well as the statutory
other ½ to deceased’s child and for Natividad’s appointment as provisions as to causes for removal of an executor or administrator
executrix. Natividad was appointed as special administrator. After under section 653 of Act 190, now section 2, Rule 83, do not apply
denial of will to probate, TC appointed Natividad as special to the selection or removal of special administrator.4 As the law
administrator with respect to the conjugal estate and appointed does not say who shall be appointed as special administrator and
Maria as special co-administratrix with respect to the exclusive the qualifications the appointee must have, the judge or court has
property of the deceased. discretion in the selection of the person to be appointed, discretion
which must be sound, that is, not whimsical or contrary to reason,
Nature: justice or equity. There is nothing wrong in that respondent judge,
TC. First, intestate proceedings and appointment of Maria as in exercising his discretion and appointing Natividad as special
administrator, but this was dismissed when Natividad filed petition administratrix, had taken into consideration the beneficial interest
for probate of an alleged will of Pablo. of Natividad in the estate of the decedent and her being
SC. Petition for certiorari filed against Judge of CFI of Bulacan designated in the will as executrix thereof.

Pablo Roxas died leaving properties in Bulacan and was survived ISSUE: WON TC is correct in appointing 2 special administrators
by his widow Natividad, his 9 year old adulterous child and his 2
siblings Maria and Pedro. On Aug. 3, 1946, Maria and Pedro filed HELD: No. According to sec. 25, Rule 75, "when the marriage is
a petition an intestate estate proceedings and for the dissolved by the death of the husband or wife, the community
administration of the deceased's estate in the CFI of Bulacan, property shall be inventoried, administered, and liquidated, and the
where Maria was appointed special administratrix upon an ex- debts thereof paid, in the testate or intestate proceedings of the
parte petition. deceased spouse." That is the reason why, according to sec 4,
Rule 78, the "letters testamentary, or letters of administration with
On Aug. 10, 1946, Natividad, widow of Pablo, filed a petition for the the will annexed, shall extend to all the estate of the testator in the
probate of an alleged will of her deceased husband with the same Philippines," and sec 6, Rule 79, provides for appointment of one
court and for her appointment as executrix of his estate designated administrator in case of intestacy, except in certain cases in which
in said will. In said will, the deceased bequeathed ½ of his estate 2 or more joint, but not separate and independent, administrators
to his widow Natividad and ½ to decedent’s adulterous 9 year old
child Reynaldo Roxas. Upon agreement of both parties, the 421 Am. Jur., 833; De Gala vs. Gonzales and Ona, 53 Phil., 104, 106
5taken from section 685 of the former Code of Civil Procedure, Act 190,
as amended
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may be appointed under section 3, Rule 82. Therefore the whole estate and not only in some part thereof. Natividad being
administrator appointed to administer and liquidate the exclusive entitled to one-half in usufruct of all the exclusive properties of the
property of a deceased spouse shall also administer, liquidate and decedent, she would have as much if not more interest in
distribute the community property because the estate of a administering the entire estate correctly, in order to reap the
deceased spouse which is to be settled (administered, liquidated, benefit of a wise, speedy, economical administration of the state,
distributed) consists not only of the exclusive properties of the and not suffer the consequences of the waste, improvidence or
decedent, but also of one-half of the assets of the conjugal mismanagement thereof. The good or bad administration of the
partnership, if any, which may pertain to the deceased, as property may affect rather the fruits than the naked ownership of a
determined after the liquidation thereof in accordance with articles property.
1421 to 1424 of the CC.
There is absolutely no reason for appointing 2 separate 2. MATIAS V GONZALES (1957)
administrators, especially if the estate to be settled is that of a Ponente: Concepcion, J.
deceased husband for according to art 1422 and 1423 of CC, only
after the dowry and parapherna of the wife and the debts, charges, DOCTRINE: There are authorities in support of the power of courts
and obligations of the conjugal partnership have been paid, the to appoint several special co-administrators. Inasmuch as the
capital or exclusive property of the husband may be liquidated and lower court had deemed it best to appoint more than one special
paid in so far as the inventoried estate may reach; and if the estate administrator, justice and equity demands that both factions be
inventoried should not be sufficient to pay the dowry and the represented in the management of the estate of the deceased.
parapherna of the wife and the debts, charges and obligations of
the partnership, the provision of Title XVII of CC relating to QUICK FACTS: Will submitted by Matias where she was instituted
concurrence and preference of credits shall be observed. If 2 as sole heir was denied probate by lower court. The case is still
separate administrators are appointed as done here, in every pending, upon appeal by Matias to the SC. However, special
action which one of them may institute to recover properties or administrator appointed by the lower court was relieved of his
credit of the deceased, defendant may raise the question or set up duties by respondent judge and instead replaced with Oppositors
the defense that plaintiff has no cause of action because the Basilia Salud, et al. They proceeded to secure orders from
property or credit in issue belongs to the class which is being respondent judge to collect rents and later sell properties of the
administered by the other administrator, which cannot be done if estate. SC annulled orders, and while affirming that the court can
the administrator of the entire estate is only one. appoint more than one special administer, it declared that justice
and equity demands that both factions be represented in the
As under the law only one general administrator may be appointed management of the estate of the deceased and thus, ordered
to administer, liquidate and distribute the estate of a deceased lower court to re-hear the case with regard to special administrator.
spouse, it clearly follows that only one special administrator may
be appointed to administer temporarily said estate, because a FACTS:
special administrator is but a temporary administrator who is
appointed to act in lieu of the general administrator. "When there is Nature:
delay in granting letters testamentary or of administration TC. Request by Special Administrator to collect rents and sell land.
occasioned by an appeal from the allowance or disallowance of Granted.
will, or from any other cause, the court may appoint a special SC. Orders annulled.
administrator to collect and take charge of the estate of the
deceased until the questions causing the delay are decided and Aurea Matias file a petition for the probate of a document
executors or administrators thereupon appointed" (sec. 1, Rule purporting to be the last will and testament of her aunt, Gabina
81). Although his powers and duties are limited to "collect and take Raquel, who died single on May 8, 1952, at the age of 92 years,
charge of the goods, chattels, rights, credits, and estate of the where she was designated as heir to the entire estate of the
deceased and preserve the same for the executor or administrator deceased except for some properties bequeathed to her other
afterwards appointed, and for that purpose may commence and niece and nephews (including Victorina Salud). Basilia Salud, a
maintain suits as administrator, and may sell such perishable and first cousin of the deceased, opposed the probate of her alleged
other property as the court orders sold. A special administrator will. Respondent judge sustained the opposition and denied the
shall not be liable to pay any debts of the deceased." (Sec. 2, Rule petition for probate. Matias appealed to this Court, and such
81.) appeal is still pending.

Appointing Natividad to only the conjugal property is not logical Another issue arose, this time between Aurea Matias and Basilia
and Maria as to the exclusive property is not logical as Natividad Salud regarding the person to be appointed special administrator
has or claims to have the same beneficial interest after the TC of the estate of the deceased. The former proposed Horacio
decision disapproving the will, which is now pending on appeal, as Rodriguez, whereas the latter urged the appointment of Victorina
she had prior to it, because the decision is not yet final and may be Salud. Hon. Jose Bernabe, Judge, decided the matter in favor of
reversed by the appellate court. Horacio Rodriguez and against Victorina Salud, upon the ground
that, unlike the latter, who, as a pharmacist and employee in the
Even if the will is not probated, the widow Natividad would have, Santa Isabel Hospital, resides in the City of Manila, the former, a
under the law, the right of usufruct over ½ of the exclusive property practicing lawyer and a former public prosecutor, and later, mayor
of the decedent, besides her share in the conjugal partnership. The of the City of Cavite, resides in Cavite.
beneficial interest required as a qualification for appointment as
administrator of the estate of a decedent is the interest in the
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However, respondent Judge found Rodriguez guilty of abuse of of said estate, and a special administratrix for other properties
authority and gross negligence, and, accordingly, relieved him as thereof. Thus, there were two (2) separate and independent
special administrator of the estate of the deceased upon motion of special administrators.
Basilia Salud. He then appointed Basilia Salud as special
administratrix thereof, to "be assisted and advised by her niece, The record shows that there are, at least two (2) factions among
Miss Victorina Salud," who "shall always act as aide, interpreter the heirs of the deceased, namely, one, represented by the
and adviser of Basilia Salud." Said order, likewise, provided that petitioner, and another, to which Basilia Salud and Victorina Salud
"Basilia Salud shall be helped by Mr. Ramon Plata . . . who is belong. Inasmuch as the lower court had deemed it best to
hereby appointed as co-administrator." appoint more than one special administrator, justice and
equity demands that both factions be represented in the
Aurea Matins asked that said order be set aside and that she be management of the estate of the deceased.
appointed special co-administratrix, jointly with Horacio Rodriguez,
upon the ground that Basilia Salud is over eighty (80) years of age, Other Issues:
totally blind and physically incapacitated to perform the duties of
said office, and that said movant is the universal heiress of the 1. WON Horacio Rodriguez was validly relieved of his duties as
deceased and the person appointed by the latter as executrix of special administrator
her alleged will. This motion was denied. However, later, Basilia 2. WON Basilia Salud et al were validly appointed as special
Salud tendered her resignation as special administratrix by reason administrator to the estate
of physical disability, due to old age, and recommended the
appointment, in her place, of Victorina Salud. Held:
1. No. There was no due process. Horacio Rodriguez only
Before any action could be taken thereon, or on March 21, 1956, received copy of said motion of February 24, 1956, or after
Aurea Matias sought a reconsideration of said order of March 10, the date set for the hearing (February 17, 1956). Further,
1956. Moreover, on March 24, 1956, she expressed her conformity notice of the order of respondent Judge, dated February 23,
to said resignation, but objected to the appointment, in lieu of 1956, postponing said hearing to February 27, 1956, was not
Basilia Salud, of Victorina Salud, on account of her antagonism to served on petitioner herein.
said Aurea Matias — she (Victorina Salud) having been the
principal and most interested witness for the opposition to the 2. No. There was also no due process. Petitioner had no notice
probate of the alleged will of the deceased — and proposed that that her main opponent, Basilia Salud, and the latter's
the administration of her estate be entrusted to the Philippine principal witness, Victorina Salud, would be considered for the
National Bank, the Monte de Piedad, the Bank of the Philippine management of said as Basilia Salud only prayed for the
Islands, or any other similar institution authorized by law therefor, appointment of Ramon Plate. Thus, petitioner had no
should the court be reluctant to appoint the movant as special opportunity to object to the appointment of Basilia Salud as
administratrix of said estate. This motion for reconsideration was special administratrix, and of Victorina Salud, as her assistant
denied on March 26, 1956. and adviser.

Shortly afterwards, or on June 18, 1956, respondents Ramon Plata Said order was also issued with evident knowledge of the
and Victorina Salud requested authority to collect the rents due, or physical disability of Basilia Salud. Otherwise respondent
which may be due, to the estate of the deceased and to collect all Judge would not have directed that she "be assisted and
the produce of her lands, which was granted on June 23, 1956. On advised by her niece Victorina Salud," and that the latter
June 27, 1956, said respondents filed another motion praying for "shall always act as aide, interpreter and adviser of Basilia
permission to sell the palay of the deceased then deposited in Salud."
different rice mills in the province of Cavite, which respondent
judge granted on June 10, 1956. Further, while will was denied probate by respondent judge,
the order to this effect is not, as yet, final and executor as it is
Later on, or on July 10, 1956, petitioner instituted the present pending review on appeal taken by Aurea Matias. The
action against Judge Gonzales, and Victorina Salud and Ramon probate of said alleged will being still within realm of legal
Plata, for the purpose of annulling the above mentioned orders of possibility, Aurea Matias has — as the universal heir and
respondent Judge, upon the ground that the same had been executrix designated in said instrument — a special interest to
issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess protect during the pendency of said appeal. Thus, in the case
of jurisdiction. of Roxas vs. Pecson* (46 Off. Gaz., 2058), this Court held that
a widow, designated as executrix in the alleged will and
Main Issue: WON the court can appoint more than one (1) testament of her deceased husband, the probate of which had
administrators denied in an order pending appeal, "has . . . the same
beneficial interest after the decision of the court disapproving
Held: YES. In the case at bar there is only one (1) special the will, which is now pending appeal, because the decision is
administration, the powers of which shall be exercised jointly by not yet final and may be reversed by the appellate court."
two special co-administrators. The rule, laid down in Roxas vs.
Pecson (supra), to the effect that "only one special administrator B. Powers and duties
may be appointed to administrator temporarily" the estate of the
deceased, is not squarely in point. The lower court appointed 1. DE GALA V GONZALES (1929)
therein one special administrator for some properties forming part
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Case: SERAPIA DE GALA, petitioner-appellant, vs. APOLINARIO a creditor and cannot pay any debts of the deceased. The fact that
GONZALES and SINFOROSO ONA, opponents-appellants. no appeal can be taken from the appointment of a special
Ponente: Ostrand, J. administrator indicates that both his appointment and his removal
are purely discretionary. In removing Serapia de Gala and
Doctrine: The appointment of a special administrator lies entirely appointing the present possessor of the property pending the final
in the sound discretion of the court; the function of such an determination of the validity of the will, the court probably
administrator is only to collect and preserve the property of the prevented useless litigation.
deceased and to return an inventory thereof; he cannot be sued by
a creditor and cannot pay any debts of the deceased. Note:
The Court also upheld the validity of the will. The
Quick facts: Severina Gonzales died with a will but with no issue principal points raised by the appeal are (1) that the person
so her niece, Serapia de Gala was appointed as special requested to sign the name of the testatrix signed only the latter's
administratrix. Serapia demanded from the surviving spouse, name and not her own; (2) that the attestation clause does not
Sinforoso Ona, the delivery to her of the property inventoried and mention the placing of the thumb-mark of the testatrix in the will;
of which he was in possession. Ona refused and filed a motion to and (3) that the fact that the will had been signed in the presence
remove her as special administratrix. The court granted and of the witnesses was not stated in the attestation clause but only in
appointed Ona in her place. the last paragraph of the body of the will.

Facts: The Court answered each argument: 1) When, therefore,


Nature: Appeal from the decision of the lower court admitting the the law says that the will shall be 'signed' by the testator or
will to probate and removing the special administratrix. testatrix, the law is fulfilled not only by the customary written
signature but by the testator or testatrix' thumb-mark. A statute
In Nov. 1920, Severina Gonzales executed a will in requiring a will to be 'signed' is satisfied if the signature is made by
which Serapia de Gala, a niece, was designated executrix. the testator's mark. 2) It maybe conceded that the attestation
Severina died in November, 1926, leaving no heirs by force of law. clause is not artistically drawn and that, standing alone, it does not
In 1926, Serapia, through her counsel, presented the will for quite meet the requirements of the statute, but taken in connection
probate. Apolinario Gonzales, a nephew of the deceased, filed an with the last clause of the body of the will, it is fairly clear and
opposition to the will on the ground that it had not been executed in sufficiently carries out the legislative intent; it leaves no possible
conformity with the provisions of section 618 of the Code of Civil doubt as to the authenticity of the document. 3) No merit; the fact
Procedure. Serapia de Gala was appointed special administratrix is expressly stated in that clause.
of the estate. She returned an inventory of the estate on March 31,
1927, and made several demands upon Sinforoso Ona, the 2. LIWANAG V CA (1965)
surviving husband of the deceased, for the delivery to her of the Case: GLICERIA C. LIWANAG, Special Administratrix of the
property inventoried and of which he was in possession. The CFI Estate of PIO D. LIWANAG, petitioner,
ordered Sinforoso Ona to deliver to Serapia de Gala all the vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. JESUS DE VEYRA, as
property left by the deceased. Instead of delivering the property as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila, and MANUEL
ordered, Sinforoso filed a motion asking the appointment of AGREGADO, respondents.
Serapia de Gala as special administratrix be cancelled and that he, Ponente: Concepcion
Sinforoso, be appointed in her stead which was granted. It was
principally on the ground that he had possession of the property in DOCTRINE: A special administrator can be made defendant in a
question and that his appointment would simplify the proceedings. suit against the estate in order to protect the creditors’ rights
In 1928, the court declared the will valid and admitted it to probate. because (1) the statute of limitations on prescription apply to
All of the parties appealed, Serapia de Gala from the order creditors and (2) the appointment of a regular administrator might
removing her from the office of special administratrix, and be delayed.
Apolinario Gonzales and Sinforoso Ona from the order probating
the will. QUICK FACTS: Agregado commenced an action against Liwanag
as a special administratix for the foreclosure of a REM made by
the decedent. Liwanag filed MTD contending she cannot be made
Issue:
defendant because she’s just a special administratix. CFI and CA
dismissed MTD.
Whether or not the special administrarix can be removed
on a ground not falling under section 653 of the Code of Civil FACTS:
Procedure?
Nature:
Held: CFI: Motion to dismiss an action (foreclosure of a real estate
YES. Section 653 of the Code of Civil Procedure only mortgage)
applies to executors and regular administrators, and the office of a CA: Certiorari
special administrator is quite different from that of regular SC: Certiorari. SC said that since the cause of action (foreclosure
administrator. The appointment of a special administrator lies of REM) doesn’t affect CFI’s jurisdiction, the right remedy was
entirely in the sound discretion of the court; the function of such an appeal and not certiorari
administrator is only to collect and preserve the property of the
deceased and to return an inventory thereof; he cannot be sued by

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Gliceria Liwanag (petitioner) is the special administratix of the purpose for which the mortgage was constituted
estate of Pio D. Liwanag will be defeated.
January 9, 1962 – Manuel Agregado (private respondent)
commenced an action against Liwanag for the foreclosure of 3. ANDERSON V PERKINS (1961)
a REM in his favor by the deceased Pio D. Liwanag. Case: DORA PERKINS ANDERSON, petitioner-appellee, vs.
July 18, 1962 - Liwanag filed Motion to Dismiss upon ground IDONAH SLADE PERKINS, oppositor-appellant.
that as a special administratix she cannot be sued by Ponente: Reyes, JBL
Agregado.
August 1, 1962 – CFI denied MTD. DOCTRINE:
Liwanag went to CA to annul the order by certiorari. CA a. The function of a special administrator is only to collect
issued preliminary injunction enjoining CFI from hearing the and preserve the property of the deceased until a regular
case. administrator is appointed. This includes the duty to
December 3, 1962 – CA affirmed CFI. Lifted the PI. preserve the value of the property.
b. A special administrator can be given authority to sell
ISSUE: WON Liwanag as a special administratix can be made a things that are not perishable.
defendant to a foreclosure action against the estate
QUICK FACTS: The special administrator sought to have authority
DECISION: YES. to sell certain personal properties of the estate. The surviving
spouse of the decedent opposed stating that not all of the
Liwanag’s contention: Section 2, Rule 81 of the (old) Rules of properties sought to be sold belong to the estate. CFI gave
Court, "a special administrator shall not be liable to pay any authority. Appealed to SC.
debts of the deceased," and hence , Agregado has no cause
of action against her as a special administratrix. FACTS:
SC:
Nature:
o In Liwanag v. Hon. Luis B. Reyes (1964) involving
CFI: Opposition against petition seeking authority to sell by the
the same administratix involved in a foreclosure
special administrator
action of a different mortgage and an identical MTD
CA: N/A
and issue, the SC said:
SC: Appeal
 Rule 86 Section 7 of the NEW Rules
provides that a creditor holding a claim
against the estate, secured by a April 28, 1956 – Eugene Arthur Perkins (decedent) died in
mortgage, has the following remedies: Manila, leaving personal and real property with probable value
a. abandon his security and amounting to P5 million.
prosecute his claim and share in May 10, 1956 – Dora Perkin Anderson filed a petition for
the general distribution of the probate of the supposed will of Eugene Arthur with the CFI
assets of the estate; Manila. She also asked that Alfonso Ponce Enrile be
b. foreclose his mortgage or appointed as a special administrator. CFI agreed upon
realize upon his security by an Alfonso posting bond amounting to P50k.
action in court, making the July 9, 1956 – Idonah Slade Perkins (surviving wife) opposed
executor or administrator a the probate of the will.
party defendant, and if there is a September 28, 1956 – Alfonso submitted inventory of all the
deficiency after the sale of the assets that have come to his knowledge
mortgaged property, he may September 4, 1958 – Alfonso petitioned for authority to sell, or
prove the same in the testate or give away to some charitable or educational institution or
intestate proceedings; and institutions, certain personal effects left by Eugene, such as
c. rely exclusively upon his clothes, books, gadgets, electrical appliances, etc., which
mortgage and foreclose it any were allegedly deteriorating both physically and in value, in
time within the ordinary period order to avoid their further deterioration and to save whatever
of limitations, and if he relies value might be obtained in their disposition
exclusively upon the mortgage, September 25, 1958 – The petition was heard and Alfonso
he shall not...share in the was required to submit specification of the assets to be sold
distribution of the assets. October 21, 1958 – Alfonso submitted, in place of
 Agregado clearly chose the 2nd remedy. specification, a copy of the inventory already submitted with
o The Rules do not expressly prohibit making the the items sought to be sold marked with a check in red pencil,
special administratrix a defendant in a suit with the statement that said items were too voluminous to
against the estate. Otherwise, creditors would enumerate.
find the adverse effects of the statute of July 9, 1956 (sic) – Idonah opposed the petition contending:
limitations running against them in cases where o Most of the properties sought to be sold were
the appointment of a regular administrator is conjugal properties;
delayed. If such an action will be denied on such o Unauthorized removal of the fine pieces of furniture
technical ground, and the appointment of a has been made
regular administrator will be delayed, the very December 2, 1958 – CFI approved authority to sell.
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Idonah filed MR contending: conjugal properties, over which she has a


o that said order in effect authorized the special right.
administrator to sell the entire personal estate of the ii. The records show that no proceeding had
deceased, contrary to Rule 81, section 2 of the as yet been taken to segregate the
Rules; alleged exclusive properties of Idonah
o that said order was issued without a showing that from the estate or to at least liquidate from
the goods and chattels sought to be sold were the conjugal partnership of Idonah and the
perishable, pursuant to Rule 81, section 2, Rules of deceased. Until such time, or at least an
Court; agreement be reached with Idonah that
o that the personalty sought to be sold represented she would not mind the properties being
the lifetime savings and collections of Idonah; sold in order to preserve their value, the
o that there is evidence showing unauthorized proposed sale by Alfonso would be
withdrawals from the properties of the estate, and premature.
the sale of the inventoried lot would prevent iii. No reason for the urgency of the sale
identification and recovery of the articles removed; because most of the items sought to be
and sold — pieces of furniture, kitchen and
o that there is also evidence showing Idonah’s dinner ware, electrical appliances, various
separate rights to a substantial part of the personal gadget and books — can easily be
properties. protected and preserved with proper care
CFI denied MR. Idonah appealed to SC. and storage measures in either or both of
two residential houses (in Manila and in
ISSUE: Baguio City).
o WON the things sought to be sold need to be iv. Alfonso’s claim that Idonah should have
perishable in order for the special administrator to indicated the alleged "fine furniture" which
be authorized to sell them she did not want sold and that her refusal
o WON CFI correctly gave authority to Alfonso to sell to do so is an indication of her
the properties as special administrator unmeritorious claim, is untenable. Idonah
was not given reasonable opportunity to
point out which items in the inventory she
DECISION: CFI decision set aside. did not want sold.
a. No.
b. No. 4. SILVERIO V CA (1999) - Supra, Copied from digest in Rule 78
Ponente: Purisima
A. In re perishability of the goods
Idonah contents that since the personal properties DOCTRINE: The Special Administrator may only sell properties
sought to be sold were not perishable, Alfonso as which are not perishable and personal properties not real
special administrator has no legal authority to sell properties in pursuance of his responsibility to preserve the estate
them. and it is for the best interest of the estate. A special administrator
Idonah was wrong. Section 2 Rule 81 of the Rules may be allowed to sell the properties of the estate if the purpose is
specifically provides that the special administrator to preserve the properties and its value but not payment of debts.
"may sell such perishable and other property as the
court orders sold", which shows that the special QUICK FACTS: Beatriz died. After 3 years, one of her sons,
administrator's power to sell is not limited to Edgardo, filed for Letters of Administration. Court granted the
"perishable" property only. petition. Beatriz’s husband and Edgardo’s stepfather Ricardo Sr.
opposed.
B. In re Alfonso’s authority to sell as a special administrator
The function of a special administrator is only to FACTS:
collect and preserve the property of the deceased
until a regular administrator is appointed (Sec. 2, Nature: Petition for certiorari seeking to annul the decision of CA
Rule 81). But it is not alone the specific property of denying the petition of Ricardo Sr. in the lower court to declare
the estate which is to be preserved, but its value as void the appointment of Edgardo as Special Administrator, inter
well. It is in line with this general power of the alia.
special administrator to preserve not only the TC. – RTC Makati
property of the estate but also its value, that section CA.
2, Rule 81, also empowers such administrator to SC.
sell "other property as the court ordered sold;" .
However, there was a problem in the CFI’s order Facts:
authorizing Alfonso:
i. Idonah opposed the authority contending, TC - Beatriz died. Her property was in the
among others, that a large portion of the possession of one son, Ricardo Jr and no partition has been made.
personal properties in question either After 3 years, one of her sons, Edgardo, filed for Letter of Admin.
belong to her exclusively or belong to the The lower court granted the petition. Ricardo Sr. opposed. The
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presentation of evidence was postponed many times because orP150,000,000.00, much bigger than the share of Ricardo who is
Ricardo Sr. is living in Australia, has gone to US, is preparing to a partner in the conjugal properties and an heir expects to get.
assume office as Congressman of Bulacan, etc. the court deemed
these as waiver of rights so his petition/opposition was denied. Even assuming arguendo that the appointment of Edgardo as a
special administrator was valid and that his act of retaining Atty.
CA - Affirmed TC. Ricardo Sr. was barred by laches. Cesar P. Uy as counsel for the subject estate of a contingent fee of
The rule is clear and unequivocal: It does not provide that the 33-1/3 % of any recovery was also valid, the Order of July 31,
surviving spouse takes precedence exclusive of and over all other 1996 nevertheless erred in awarding to Atty. Cesar P. Uy a 33-1/3
heirs of the deceased in the appointment of the administrator. CA % interest in the three Makati real properties. The reason is that
Judge Velez also authorized and ordered the Administrator to Atty. Uy was retained only as a counsel for the subject estate and
sell any and/or all of the aforesaid real properties for such not for Ricardo.
amount or amounts approximating their fair market value and
to pay out from the proceeds of such sale the corresponding Ricardo was already represented by the law firm of Quisumbing
attorneys fees of petitioners counsel Atty. Cesar P. Uy Torres and Evangelista in Civil case No. 17467 where the three
equivalent to 33 1/3 percent of the fair market value of the Makati properties were recovered. The said law firm was also
aforementioned three properties recovered by said petitioners representing the original plaintiff Nelia Silverio Dee. Nelia Silverio
counsel for the benefit of the intestate estate of Beatriz S. Dee who was the first to prosecute the cause of action to declare
Silverio. the defendants holding title to the Makati properties in trust for the
conjugal partnership, and for reconveyance thereof to the conjugal
Chismis: Ricardo Sr. allegedly cheated on his wife by maintaining partnership.
an illicit affair with one Carmen Zuniga. While the admin/trustee of
the conjugal property, he bought 3 houses at Old Forbes, North Judge Velez has no power to authorize Edgardo to sell the
Forbes and Manila Bel Air and placed them in the name of his 3 conjugal partnership properties and even real properties of the
illegitimate children. He used the conjugal property to invest in estate to pay the attorneys fees of Atty. Cesar P. Uy. The Special
California, USA, beyond the reach of his wife. And he was facing Administrator may only sell properties which are not perishable
charges of tax evasion (Ricardo Sr.: it was violation of the and personal properties not real properties in pursuance of his
Securities Act). Hence he is not capable of assuming the responsibility to preserve the estate and it is for the best interest of
administration of his wife’s estate. In addition, he was crony of the estate.
Pres. Marcos.
A special administrator may be allowed to sell the properties of the
Chismis, too: The value of the property in 1991 was P450M. estate if the purpose is to preserve the properties and its value but
Edgardo and his lawyer Uy allegedly agreed to give the latter 33% not payment of debts. The order of Judge Velez authorizing
as attorney’s fee. Edgardo to sell the subject properties of any portion thereof to pay
to pay (sic) alleged attorneys fees of Atty. Cesar P. Uy in the
Fact: Edmundo, another son, filed a manifestation contesting the estimated amount of P150,000,000.00 is definitely a grave abuse
appointment of Edgardo without his consent. He did not receive of judicial discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. This is not
notice through personal service (because the court resorted to preservation but dissipation of the estate.
publication).
The properties which form part of the conjugal assets and the
Ricardo Sr. argued that Edgardo does not have the power to sell estate were accumulated through the efforts of Ricardo and
their conjugal property. It was accumulated through the effort of Edgardo must not be allowed to dilute the same to his advantage
Ricardo, Sr. and to the detriment of the other heirs and therefore must be
stopped. The interest of the Edgardo in the estate is only 1/8 as
ISSUE: WoN CA Judge Velez has the power to authorize Edgardo against Ricardo and the other heirs supporting petitioner which is
S. Silverio to sell the conjugal partnership properties and even real 7/8. Judge Velez did not consider these facts in all his actuations.
properties of the estate to pay the attorneys fees of Atty. Cesar P.
Uy.
5. HEIRS OF CASTILLO V LACUATA-GABRIEL (2005)
DECISION: No. Case: HEIRS OF BELINDA DAHLIA A. CASTILLO, namely, BENA
JEAN, DANIEL, MELCHOR, MICHAEL and DANIBEL, all
HELD: In the aforesaid Order dated July 31, 1996, Judge Velez surnamed CASTILLO, Petitioners, v. DOLORES LACUATA-
approved the Agreement for Attorneys Contingent Fee which was GABRIEL, Respondent.
allegedly entered into by Atty. Cesar P. Uy with Edgardo on Ponente: Callejo, Sr.
January 21, 1991 for his approval. This alleged agreement was not
previously submitted to Judge Velez immediately after January 21, DOCTRINE: The principal object of appointment of temporary
1991 for his approval. Neither were the heirs specially Ricardo administrator is to preserve the estate until it can pass into hands
informed of the unconscionable agreement which will give to Atty. of person fully authorized to administer it for the benefit of creditors
Cesar P. Uy 33 1/3 percent of the estate to the prejudice of the and heirs. It is merely temporary. The probate court has wide
heirs. For the subject properties, which according to Atty. Cesar P. discretion as regards the appointment.
Uy is estimated to have a fair market value of P450,000,000.00,
the latter claims that he is entitled to 33 1/3 percent QUICK FACTS: Crisanta died. A will was discovered by his
adopted son, Roberto, instituting him as her sole heir. Roberto was
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appointed as special administrator. When he died, Dolores, his o Even assuming such kinship was not proven, the
wife, applied to substitute him as the special administratix of RTC ruled that the strict rules regarding the rules of
Crisanta’s estate. The heirs of Belinda (Belinda claimed to be the preference in the appointment of administrator must
only legitimate child of Crisanta and her husband) opposed stating be relaxed since special administrators are just
lack of kinship. Probate court appointed Dolores. CA affirmed. temporary.
The heirs of Belinda filed MR. RTC denied.
FACTS: The heirs filed certiorari with CA. CA dismissed and affirmed
RTC. CA found that even if Dolores was a third person to the
Nature: estate of Crisanta, she is still entitled to the administration
CFI: Opposition to the appointment of Dolores as special being the lawful heir of her husband Roberto, whose estate is
administratix. the former estate of Crisanta.
CA: Appeal by certiorari. Denied.
SC: Appeal by certiorari. Denied. ISSUE: WON the probate court was correct in appointing Dolores
as special administrator.
January 25, 1989 – Crisanta Yanga-Gabriel (decedent) died
leaving estate of P1.5 Million composed of real estate and DECISION: Yes. RTC and CA affirmed.
shares of stock. She was also survived by her husband,
Lorenzo B. Almoradie. The contention of the heirs:
Crisanta’s mother, Crisanta Santiago vda. de Yanga, o Roberto was just a nephew of Crisanta and not a
commenced intestate proceedings claiming that letters of legally adopted son.
administration be issued in favor of her son, Mariano Yanga o Even if Roberto was in fact a legally adopted son,
Jr. (Crisanta’s brother) because Lorenzo was a ―wastrel and Dolores still should not be appointed since she is
incompetent.‖ RTC Malabon nonetheless appointed Lorenzo not naturally related to Crisanta.
as administrator. o The principal consideration in the in the
The marriage between Crisanta and Lorenzo was declared appointment of administrator of a deceased
void for being bigamous. Lorenzo was removed as person’s estate is the applicant’s interest therein
administrator. Mariano was appointed. that is why there is an order of preference provided
October 16, 1989 – Belinda Dahlia Y. Almoradie Castillo, in the Rules (Rule 78 Sec 6).
claiming to be the only legitimate child of Lorenzo and o According to the heirs, the policy of this rule is that
Crisanta, filed a motion for intervention, which was held in those who will reap the benefit of a wise, speedy,
abeyance pending some incidents in the CA. economical administration of the estate, or suffer
November 3, 1989 – Roberto Y. Gabriel, legally adopted son the consequences of waste, improvidence or
of Crisanta filed before RTC Malabon a petition for probate mismanagement, have the highest interest and
after he discovered his mother’s alleged will on October 25, most influential motive to administer the estate
1989. The alleged will instituted Roberto as sole heir. correctly.
June 2, 1990 – Belinda died. o Since the intestate proceedings had long been
May 15, 1991 – the intestate proceedings were dismissed. dismissed by the CA, a regular administrator of the
Mariano appealed to the CA through certiorari (CA affirmed said estate should now be appointed.
dismissal)
July 8, 1991 – Roberto was designated as special Supreme Court:
administrator of Crisanta’s estate. o A special administrator is a representative of a
April 16, 2001 – Roberto died. His widow, Dolores L. Gabriel decedent appointed by the probate court to care for
(respondent) informed the RTC of Roberto’s death and and preserve his estate until an executor or general
prayed that she be admitted as administratix of Crisanta’s administrator is appointed. When appointed, a
estate. She alleged that she had a bachelor’s degree in law special administrator is regarded not as a
and had worked for several years in a law office. representative of the agent of the parties suggesting
August 14, 2001 – the heirs of Belinda opposed stating that the appointment, but as the administrator in charge
Dolores was not next of kin of Crisanta. of the estate, and, in fact, as an officer of the court.
August 24, 2001 – Bena Jean Castillo (one of the heirs) asked As such officer, he is subject to the supervision and
the RTC to appoint her as administratix of Crisanta’s estate. control of the probate court and is expected to work
for the best interests of the entire estate, especially
October 11, 2001 – Dolores opposed Bena Jean’s motion
its smooth administration and earliest settlement.
claiming failure to prove kinship and qualification to act as
The principal object of appointment of
administratix.
temporary administrator is to preserve the
December 5, 2001 – RTC appointed Dolores as special
estate until it can pass into hands of person
administratix upon filing bond of P200,000.00:
fully authorized to administer it for the benefit of
o RTC found that Dolores has amply proven her
creditors and heirs.
kinship with Roberto (being his widow) and
o In many instances, the appointment of
therefore kinship by law with Crisanta (Roberto had
administrators for the estates of decedents
a wife before named Lucita V. Cruz but the RTC
frequently become involved in protracted litigations,
found that this marriage was already dissolved
thereby exposing such estates to great waste and
when Roberto and Dolores was married in 1997).
losses unless an authorized agent to collect the
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debts and preserve the assets in the interim is thereby reducing his indebtedness to P5,000. The sureties now
appointed. The occasion for such an appointment, question the jurisdiction of the court to execute the bond.
likewise, arises where, for some cause, such as a
pendency of a suit concerning the proof of the will, Facts
regular administration is delayed. Cast of Characters:
o Section 1 Rule 80 expanded the basis for Soriano: First administrator
appointment of an special administrator, and such Cosme: Second administrator
appointment is allowed when there is delay in Pacheco and Cordero: sureties
granting letters of testamentary or administration.
o The appointment of a special administrator lies in Former administrator Soriano filed a P5K bond, with Pacheco and
the sound discretion of the probate court. It may Cordero as sureties. Upon accounting, Soriano was indebted to
appoint a special administrator should there be a the estate for P23K and was unable to return it to the estate. New
delay in granting letters testamentary or of administrator Cosme demanded the execution of Soriano’s bond.
administration. The basis for appointing a special CFI Laguna ordered such, after notice to the sureties. Soriano and
administrator under the Rules is broad enough to Cosme agreed to a settlement, which CFI approved. As a result,
include any cause or reason for the delay in Soriano ceded some real properties which reduced his debt from
granting letters testamentary or of administration. 23K to 5K.
Likewise, when from any cause general
administration cannot be immediately granted, a A year after, Cosme requested the sheriff to levy the properties of
special administrator may be appointed to collect the sureties and advertise public sale thereof to collect the
and preserve the property of the deceased. (De remaining unpaid debt of P5K. Sureties filed motion to be
Guzman v. Guadiz, Jr.) discharged from the bond but CFI denied. They filed Motion for
o Crisanta left a document purporting to be her will Reconsideration (MfR) to CFI and appeal to SC, but were all
where Roberto was named as the sole heir of all her denied. SC ruled that since they did not file MfR and appeal on the
properties. However, pending probate of the will, execution order, their MfR for the levy was too late. Case was
Roberto died leaving Dolores as his sole heir, giving remanded to CFI. They challenged, for the first time, that CFI had
Dolores much stake in Crisanta’s estate in case the no jurisdiction to issue execution of bond.
latter’s will is allowed probate. Thus, the preference
of respondent is sound, that is, not whimsical, or Issue
contrary to reason, justice, equity or legal principle. W/N probate court can order execution of bond
o The heir’s invocation of Section 6 Rule 78 is wrong.
The rule refers to the appointment of regular Held: YES.
administrators of estates; Section 1, Rule 80, on the 1) Probate court has the power to require the filing of the
other hand, applies to the appointment of a special bond, fix the amount thereof, and hold it accountable for
administrator. The appointment of special any breach of administrator’s duty. Surety is liable for the
administrators is not governed by the rules bond during accounting in the probate proceedings, not
regarding the appointment of regular administrators. in another separate proceeding.
2) To begin with, it lies within discretion of the court to
select an administrator of the estate of a deceased
Rule 81 – Bonds of Executors and Administrators person. Before an administrator, or an executor, enters
upon the execution of his trust, and letters testamentary
A. Kinds or of administration are issued, the person to whom they
are issued is required to give a bond in such reasonable
B. Conditions sum as the court directs, with one or more sufficient
sureties, conditioned upon the faithful performance of his
1. COSME DE MENDOZA V PACHECO (1937) trust. The administrator is accountable on his bond along
Ponente: Laurel, J. with the sureties for the performance of certain legal
obligations.
Doctrine 3) It is clear that the Court of First Instance, exercising
Probate court has the power to require the filing of the bond, fix the probate jurisdiction, is empowered to require the filing of
amount thereof, and hold it accountable for any breach of the administrator's bond, to fix the amount thereof, and to
administrator’s duty. Surety is liable for the bond during accounting hold it accountable for any breach of the administrator's
in the probate proceedings, not in another separate proceeding. duty. Possessed, as it is, with an all-embracing power
over the administrator's bond and over administration
Quick Facts proceedings, a Court of First Instance in a probate
Manuel Soriano was former administrator of the estate of Cosme., proceeding cannot be devoid of legal authority to
who filed a bond for P5,000 with respondents as sureties. When an execute and make that bond answerable for the very
account was made, Soriano was indebted to the estate. Thus, the purpose for which it was filed. It is true that the law does
lower court ordered the execution of his bond. Some time later, not say expressly or in so many words tat such court has
Soriano and the new administratrix entered into a settlement power to execute the bond of an administrator, but by
whereby Soriano ceded certain real properties to the estate, necessary and logical implication, the power is there as
eloquently as if it were phrased in unequivocal term.
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Prayer: that they be appointed as special joint administrators of the


2. OCAMPO V OCAMPO (2010) estate of Vicente and Maxima.
Ponente: Nachura, J.
RTC ruling
Doctrine Denied opposition, clarified that the judicial settlement was only for
The posting of the bond is a pre-requisite before respondents the properties of Vicente and Maxima
could enter their duties and responsibilities as joint special
administrators. The administration bond is for the benefit of the Motion for appointment of joint special administrators
creditors and the heirs, as it compels the administrator, whether This was filed by respondents with a prayer that they serve as
regular or special, to perform the trust reposed in, and discharge special administrators without posting a bond. Petitioners, in a
the obligations incumbent upon, him. Its object and purpose is to separate motion, they nominated Biñan Rural Bank to serve as
safeguard the properties of the decedent, and, therefore, the bond special administrator pending resolution of the motion for issuance
should not be considered as part of the necessary expenses of the letters of administration.
chargeable against the estate, not being included among the acts
constituting the care, management, and settlement of the RTC ruling
estate. Moreover, the ability to post the bond is in the nature of a Appointed petitioner Dalisay and respondent Renato. This was
qualification for the office of administration. opposed by respondents, saying Dalisay was incompetent and
unfit, and that they should be priority being next of kin of Vicente
Quick Facts and Maxima, and that Dalisay was a mere daughter-in-law.
Respondents, siblings of the deceased and joint special Because of this, RTC revoked the appointment of Dalisay and
adminstrators, pray that they be exempted from posting the substituted her with Erlinda. Petitioners did not contest this order
required bond, all the while exercising their duties as such. RTC and even manifested their desire for the speedy settlement of the
revoked their appointment. Hence, they filed a petition for certiorari estate.
citing grave abuse of discretion.
Motion for Exemption to file administrator’s bond
Facts Respondents filed a motion for exemption to file adminisrtator’s
Cast of characters: bond, saying they cannot raise the necessary amount.
Leonardo Ocampo: decedent
Dalisay, Vince, Melinda, Leonardo, Jr.: petitioners, surviving Motion to terminate or revoke the special administration
spouse and children Petitioners filed a Motion to terminate or revoke the special
Renato, Erlinda: respondents, siblings of decedent administration and to proceed to judicial partition or appointment of
Vicente and Maxima: legitimate parents of decedent regular administrator, contended that the special administration
was not necessary as the estate is neither vast nor complex, the
Property in question: properties of the estate being identified and undisputed, and not
Several properties in Biñan, Laguna owned by Vicente and involved in any litigation necessitating the representation of special
Maxima administrators. Petitioners, likewise, contended that respondents
had been resorting to the mode of special administration merely to
Petition for intestate proceedings delay and prolong their deprivation of what was due
5 months after the death of Leonardo, petitioners initiated a petition them. Petitioners cited an alleged fraudulent sale by respondents
for intestate proceedings in RTC Binan. Allegations: of a real property for P2,700,000.00, which the latter represented
1) Upon the death of Vicente and Maxima, respondents and to petitioners to have been sold only for P1,500,000.00, and
their brother Leonardo jointly controlled, managed, and respondents’ alleged misrepresentation that petitioners owed the
administered the estate of their parents. Under such estate for the advances to cover the hospital expenses of
circumstance, Leonardo had been receiving his share Leonardo, but, in fact, were not yet paid.
consisting of one-third (1/3) of the total income
generated from the properties of the estate. RTC ruling
2) When Leonardo died, respondents took possession, Revoked and terminated the appointment of Renato and Erlinda as
control and management of the properties to the joint special administrators for non-compliance with its Orders,
exclusion of petitioners. particularly the posting of the bond and the submission of an
Prayers: inventory of the properties and of an income statement of estate.
1) settlement of the estate of Vicente and Maxima and the Appointed Melinda as regular administratrix, subject to a 200K
estate of Leonardo. bond.
2) appointment of an administrator
Petition for certiorari
An opposition was filed by respondents. Respondents filed before CA. CA granted petition, contending that
Allegations: the posting of the bond is a prerequisite before respondents could
1) Petition was defective as it sought the judicial settlement enter their duties and responsibilities as joint special
of two estates in a single proceeding. T administrators, particularly their submission of an inventory of the
2) Settlement of the estate of Leonardo was premature, the properties of the estate and an income statement thereon.
same being dependent only upon the determination of
his hereditary rights in the settlement of his parents’
estate.
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Issue: W/N the posting of the bond is a pre-requisite before that the only unpaid obligation is the hospital bill due
respondents could enter their duties and responsibilities as joint from Leonardo’s estate, which is not subject of this case,
special administrators judicial partition may then proceed with dispatch.

Held: YES. The administration bond is for the benefit of the


creditors and the heirs, as it compels the administrator, whether
regular or special, to perform the trust reposed in, and discharge
the obligations incumbent upon, him. Its object and purpose is to
safeguard the properties of the decedent, and, therefore, the bond
should not be considered as part of the necessary expenses
chargeable against the estate, not being included among the acts
constituting the care, management, and settlement of the
estate. Moreover, the ability to post the bond is in the nature of a
qualification for the office of administration.

No grave abuse of discretion on the part of RTC in revoking the


appoint of Renato and Erlinda as joint special administrators.
Respondents had already been distributing the incomes or fruits
generated from the properties of the decedents’ estate, yet they
still failed to post their respective administrators’ bonds despite
collection of the advances from their supposed shares.

Evidence:
1) Respondents have been in possession, charge and
actual administration of the estate since 2002 up to
present, despite assumption of Melinda as regular
adminsitratrix
2) Statement of cash distribution of the estate made by
respondents
3) Deed of conditional sale of one of the properties, where
they excluded the representing heirs of Leonardo

Minor issue: W/N respondents have a better right to be special


administrators of the estate.

Held: NO.
1) While the RTC considered that respondents were the
nearest of kin to their deceased parents in their
appointment as joint special administrators, this is not a
mandatory requirement for the appointment. It has long
been settled that the selection or removal of special
administrators is not governed by the rules regarding the
selection or removal of regular administrators.[36] The
probate court may appoint or remove special
administrators based on grounds other than those
enumerated in the Rules at its discretion, such that the
need to first pass upon and resolve the issues of fitness
or unfitness[37] and the application of the order of
preference under Section 6 of Rule 78,[38] as would be
proper in the case of a regular administrator, do not
obtain. As long as the discretion is exercised without
grave abuse, and is based on reason, equity, justice, and
legal principles, interference by higher courts is
unwarranted.[39]
2) We take into account the fact that Melinda already
posted the required bond of P200,000 and filed an
Inventory of the Properties of the Estate dated April 15,
2008.[50] These acts clearly manifested her intention to
serve willingly as administratrix of the decedents’ estate,
but her appointment should be converted into one of
special administration, pending the proceedings for
regular administration. Furthermore, since it appears
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