Archive for the ‘case digests’ Category


G.R. No. L-32473             October 6, 1930

55 PHIL 1

By: Karen P. Lustica


FACTS: Eulogio de Leon and Flaviana Perez, man and wife, had but one child, Domingo de Leon. The wife and son survived Eulogio de Leon, who died in the year 1915. During her widowhood, Flaviana Perez lived with Pedro Madridejo, a bachelor. The registry of births of the municipality of Siniloan, Laguna, shows that on June 1, 1917, a child was born to Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez, which was named Melecio Madridejo, the necessary data being furnished by Pedro Madridejo (Exhibit B). On June 17, 1917, a 24-day old child of Siniloan, Laguna, as a son of Flaviana Perez, no mention being made of the father (Exhibit 2).


On July 8, 1920, Flaviana Perez, being at death’s door, was married to Pedro Madridejo, a bachelor, 30 years of age, by the parish priest of Siniloan (Exhibit A). She died on the following day, July 9, 1920, leaving Domingo de Leon, her son by Eulogio de Leon, and the plaintiff-appellee Melecio Madridejo, as well as her alleged second husband, Pedro Madridejo. Domingo de Leon died on the 2nd of May, 1928.




  1. WON there was a valid marriage in articulo mortis
  2. WON the subsequent marriage of Melecio’s parents legitimated him.



  1. YES.
  2. NO.




  1. With regard to the first assignment of error, the mere fact that the parish priest of Siniloan, Laguna, who married Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez, failed to send a copy of the marriage certificate to the municipal secretary does not invalidate the marriage in articulo mortis, it not appearing that the essential requisites required by law for its validity were lacking in the ceremony, and the forwarding of a copy of the marriage certificate is not one of said essential requisites.


  1. Article 121 of the Civil Code provides:

Art. 121. Children shall be considered as legitimated by a subsequent marriage only when they have been acknowledged by the parents before or after the celebration thereof.

According to this legal provision, in order that a subsequent marriage may be effective as a legitimation, the natural children born out of wedlock must have been acknowledged by the parents either before or after its celebration. The Civil Code has established two kinds of acknowledgment: voluntary and compulsary. Article 131 provides for the voluntary acknowledgment by the father or mother as follows:

Art. 131. The acknowledgment of a natural child must be made in the record of birth, in a will, or in some other public document.

Article 135 provides for the compulsary acknowledgment by the father, thus:

Art. 135. The father may be compelled to acknowledge his natural child in the following cases:

  1. When an indisputable paper written by him, expressly acknowledging his paternity, is in existence.
  2. When the child has been in the uninterrupted possession of the status of a natural child of the defendant father, justified by the conduct of the father himself of that of his family.
  3. In cases of rape, seduction, or abduction, the provisions of the Penal Code with regard to the acknowledgment of the issue, shall be observed.

Article 136 providing for the compulsory acknowledgment by the mother, reads:

Art. 136. The mother may be compelled to acknowlegde her natural child:

  1. When the child is, with respect to the mother, included in any of the cases mentioned in the next preceding article.
  2. When the fact of the birth and the identity of the child are fully proven.


Applying the provisions to the case, as with the father, no document has been adduced to show that he has voluntarily acknowledged Melecio Madridejo as his son, except the registry certificate of birth. This, of course, is not the record of birth mentioned in the law, for it lacks the requisites of article 48 of the Law of Civil Registry. It, no doubt, is a public instrument, but it has neither been executed nor signed by Pedro Madridejo, and contains no statement by which he acknowledges Melecio Madridejo to be his son.

As to the mother, it does not appear that Flaviana Perez supplied the data set forth in the civil registry of births or in the baptismal register which constitutes final proof only of the baptism, and not of the kinship or parentage of the person baptized (Adriano vs. De Jesus, 23 Phil., 350). Furthermore, church registers of baptism are no longer considered public documents (United States vs. Evangelista, 29 Phil., 215).


Melecio Madridejo, then, was not voluntarily acknowledged by Pedro Madridejo or Flaviana Perez, either before or after their marriage.


The compulsory acknowledgment by the father established in article 135 of the Civil Code, and by the mother according to article 136, requires that the natural child take judicial action against the father or mother, or against the persons setting themselves up as the heirs of both, for the purpose of compelling them to acknowledge him as a natural son through a judgment of the court.


In the instant action brought by Melecio Madridejo not only has he not demanded to be acknowledged as a natural child, which is the condition precedent to establishing his legitimation by the subsequent marriage and his right to the estate of his uterine brother, Domingo de Leon, but he has not even impleaded either his father Pedro Madridejo, or the heirs of his mother, Flaviana Perez, in order that the court might have authority to make a valid and effective pronouncement of his being a natural child, and to compel them to acknowledge him as such.


It is evident that Melecio Madridejo has not been acknowledged by Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez, either voluntarily or by compulsion, before or after their marriage, and therefore said marriage did not legitimate him.


DISPOSITION: The judgment is reversed, the complaint dismissed, and the defendants absolved with costs against the appellee without prejudice to any right he may have to establish or compel his acknowledgment as the natural son of Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez.



G.R. No. L-61873     | October 3l, 1984

133 SCRA 106





The four-year old niece of Elias and Susana Borromeo reported to Matilde Taborada, mother of Susana, that Susana was shouting frantically for help because Elias was killing her. The 71-year old Matilde Taborada told the child to go to Geronimo Taborada, her son, who was then working in their mango plantation. Upon hearing the report of the child, Geronimo informed his father and together they went to Susana’s hut. The windows and the door were closed and Geronimo could only peep through the bamboo slats at the wall where he saw Susana lying down, motionless, apparently dead beside her one-month old child who was crying. Elias Borromeo was lying near Susana still holding on to a bloody kitchen bolo.


Elias said that because they were legally and validly married, he should only be liable for “homicide” and not “parricide”. He thinks such because there was no marriage contract issued on their wedding day and after that. However, in his testimony, he admitted that the victim was his wife and that they were married in a chapel by a priest.


ISSUE: WON the marriage was valid though there was no marriage contract issued.




RATIO: Person living together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any counter presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the parties were not what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in constant violation of decency and law. (Son Cui vs. Guepangco, 22 Phil. 216) The presumption in favor of matrimony is one of the strongest known in law. The law presumes morality, and not immorality; marriage, and not concubinage: legitimacy, and not bastardy. There is the presumption that persons living together as husband and wife are married to each other. The reason for this presumption of marriage is well stated in Perido vs. Perido, 63 SCRA 97, thus:


The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is that of marriage. Marriage is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment of the law leans toward legal matrimony. …


And, the mere fact that no record of the marriage exists in the registry of marriage does not invalidate said marriage, as long as in the celebration thereof, all requisites for its validity are present. The forwarding of a copy of the marriage certificate to the registry is not one of said requisites. (Pugeda vs. Trias, 4 SCRA 849).


Anent the second and third assi

DISPOSITION: The appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED.

gned errors, suffice it to say that the penalty for parricide is reclusion perpetua to death.


G.R. No. 145226      | February 06, 2004

422 SCRA 376


FACTS: In 1990, Lucia came back to the Philippines and proposed to petition appellant to join her in Canada. Both agreed to get married, thus they were married on August 30, 1990 at the Iglesia de Filipina Nacionalat Catagdaan, Pilar, Bohol.


On September 8, 1990, Lucia reported back to her work in Canada leaving appellant Lucio behind.


On August 19, 1991, Lucia filed with the Ontario Court (General Division) a petition for divorce against appellant which was granted by the court on January 17, 1992 and to take effect on February 17, 1992.


On October 4, 1992, appellant Lucio Morigo married Maria Jececha Lumbago at the Virgen sa Barangay Parish, Tagbilaran City, Bohol.


On September 21, 1993, accused filed a complaint for judicial declaration of nullity of marriage in the Regional Trial Court of Bohol, docketed as Civil Case No. 6020. The complaint seek (sic) among others, the declaration of nullity of accused’s marriage with Lucia, on the ground that no marriage ceremony actually took place.


ISSUE: WON Morigo must have filed declaration for the nullity of his marriage with Barrete before his second marriage in order to be free from the bigamy case.




RATIO: Under the principle of retroactivity of a marriage being declared void ab initio, the two were never married from the beginning. The contract of marriage is null; it bears no legal effect. Taking this argument to its logical conclusion, for legal purposes, petitioner was not married to Lucia at the time he contracted the marriage with Maria Jececha. The existence and the validity of the first marriage being an essential element of the crime of bigamy, it is but logical that a conviction for said offense cannot be sustained where there is no first marriage to speak of. The petitioner, must, perforce be acquitted of the instant charge.

The present case is analogous to, but must be distinguished from Mercado v. Tan.. In the latter case, the judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage was likewise obtained after the second marriage was already celebrated. We held therein that:

A judicial declaration of nullity of a previous marriage is necessary before a subsequent one can be legally contracted. One who enters into a subsequent marriage without first obtaining such judicial declaration is guilty of bigamy. This principle applies even if the earlier union is characterized by statutes as void.

It bears stressing though that in Mercado, the first marriage was actually solemnized not just once, but twice: first before a judge where a marriage certificate was duly issued and then again six months later before a priest in religious rites. Ostensibly, at least, the first marriage appeared to have transpired, although later declared void ab initio.

In the instant case, however, no marriage ceremony at all was performed by a duly authorized solemnizing officer. Petitioner and Lucia Barrete merely signed a marriage contract on their own. The mere private act of signing a marriage contract bears no semblance to a valid marriage and thus, needs no judicial declaration of nullity. Such act alone, without more, cannot be deemed to constitute an ostensibly valid marriage for which petitioner might be held liable for bigamy unless he first secures a judicial declaration of nullity before he contracts a subsequent marriage.

The law abhors an injustice and the Court is mandated to liberally construe a penal statute in favor of an accused and weigh every circumstance in favor of the presumption of innocence to ensure that justice is done. Under the circumstances of the present case, we held that petitioner has not committed bigamy. Further, we also find that we need not tarry on the issue of the validity of his defense of good faith or lack of criminal intent, which is now moot and academic.


DISPOSITION: The instant petition is GRANTED. The petitioner Lucio Morigo y Cacho is ACQUITTED from the charge of BIGAMY on the ground that his guilt has not been proven with moral certainty.


Posted: September 10, 2017 in case digests, civil law


G.R. No. 182438               | July 2, 2014

728 SCRA 675


FACTS: Joey Umadac and Claire Bingayen were scheduled to marry each other on March 29, 2003 at the Sta. Rosa Catholic Parish Church of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. However, on the day of the wedding, the supposed officiating priest, Fr. Mario Ragaza, refused to solemnize the marriage upon learning that the couple failed to secure a marriage license. As a recourse, Joey, who was then dressed in barong tagalong, and Claire, clad in a wedding gown, together with their parents, sponsors and guests, proceeded to the Independent Church of Filipino Christians, also known as the Aglipayan Church. They requested the petitioner, an Aglipayan priest, to perform a ceremony to which the latter agreed despite having been informed by the couple that they had no marriage certificate.


The petitioner prepared his choir and scheduled a mass for the couple on the same date. He conducted the ceremony in the presence of the groom, the bride, their parents, the principal and secondary sponsors and the rest of their invited guests.


Petitioner entered the plea of “not guilty” to the crime charged on arraignment.


The prosecution’s witnesses, Joseph and Mary Anne Yere, testified on the incidents of the ceremony. Joseph was the veil sponsor while Mary Anne was the cord sponsor in the wedding. Mary Anne testified that she saw the bride walk down the aisle. She also saw the couple exchange their wedding rings, kiss each other, and sign a document. She heard the petitioner instructing the principal sponsors to sign the marriage contract. Thereafter, they went to the reception, had lunch and took pictures. She saw the petitioner there. She also identified the wedding invitation given to her by Joey.


Florida Umadac, the mother of Joey, testified that she heard the couple declare during the ceremony that they take each other as husband and wife. Days after the wedding, she went to the municipal local civil registrar of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte with Atty. Mariano R. Nalupta Jr. where she was given a certificate that no marriage license was issued to the couple.


The petitioner, while admitting that he conducted a ceremony, denied that his act of blessing the couple was tantamount to a solemnization of the marriage as contemplated by law.


ISSUE: WON the petitioner was guilty of violating Article 352 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for allegedly performing an illegal marriage ceremony.




RATIO: Petitioner conducted an illegal marriage ceremony. The crime as provided for in Art 352 of the RPC refers to the performance of marriages under Articles 3 and 6 of the Family Code which reads:


Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:


x x x


(3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.


x x x


Art. 6. No prescribed form or religious rite for the solemnization of the marriage is required. It shall be necessary, however, for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife. This declaration shall be contained in the marriage certificate which shall be signed by the contracting parties and their witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer.


. . .


 The Supreme Court explained that what made the petitioner’s act a marriage ceremony and not just a mere blessing was that while there is no prescribed form or religious rite, all that was required was “for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife.”


As to the first requirement, the petitioner admitted that the parties appeared before him and this fact was testified to by witnesses. On the second requirement, we find that, contrary to the petitioner’s allegation, the prosecution has proven, through the testimony of witnesses, that the contracting parties personally declared that they take each other as husband and wife.  Thus, it is clear that petitioner conducted a marriage ceremony and not a mere blessing.


The marriage ceremony was also illegal.  The Supreme Court stated that:


Under Article 3(3) of the Family Code, one of the essential requisites of marriage is the presence of a valid marriage certificate. In the present case, the petitioner admitted that he knew that the couple had no marriage license, yet he conducted the “blessing” of their relationship.


Undoubtedly, the petitioner conducted the marriage ceremony despite knowledge that the essential and formal requirements of marriage set by law were lacking. The marriage ceremony, therefore, was illegal. The petitioner’s knowledge of the absence of these requirements negates his defense of good faith.


We also do not agree with the petitioner that the lack of a marriage certificate negates his criminal liability in the present case. For purposes of determining if a marriage ceremony has been conducted, a marriage certificate is not included in the requirements provided by Article 3(3) of the Family Code, as discussed above.


Neither does the non-filing of a criminal complaint against the couple negate criminal liability of the petitioner. Article 352 of the RPC, as amended, does not make this an element of the crime.


DISPOSITION: We DENY the petition and affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals.


Posted: September 10, 2017 in case digests, civil law


G.R. No. L-4904       | February 5, 1909

12 PHIL 731


FACTS: Rosalia Martinez and Angel Tan were married before a justice of the peace in Leyte. They executed an expediente de matrimonio civil. It is written in Spanish and consists, first, of a petition directed to the justice of the peace, dated on the 25th of September, 1907, signed both by Martinez and Tan, in which they state that they have mutually agreed to enter into a contract of marriage before the justice of the peace, and ask that the justice solemnize the marriage. Marriage was solemnized with two witnesses. The couple did not live together and when Martinez went home to Ormoc, her relatives convinced her to file charges claiming that the marriage was not valid since she signed the document in her own home thinking that it was a paper authorizing Tan to ask the consent of her parents to the marriage.


ISSUE: WON the plaintiff and the defendant were married




RATIO: General orders, No. 68, section 6, is as follows:


No particular form from the ceremony of marriage is required, but the parties must declare in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage, that they take each other as husband and wife.


Zacarias Esmero, one of the witnesses, testified that upon the occasion in question the justice of the peace said nothing until after the document was signed and then addressing himself to the plaintiff and the defendant said, “You are married.” The petition signed the plaintiff and defendant contained a positive statement that they had mutually agreed to be married and they asked the justice of the peace to solemnize the marriage. The document signed by the plaintiff, the defendant, and the justice of the peace, stated that they ratified under oath, before the justice, the contents of the petition and that witnesses of the marriage were produced. A mortgage took place as shown by the certificate of the justice of the peace, signed by both contracting parties, which certificates gives rise to the presumption that the officer authorized the marriage in due form, the parties before the justice of the peace declaring that they took each other as husband and wife, unless the contrary is proved, such presumption being corroborated in this case by the admission of the woman to the effect that she had contracted the marriage certified to in the document signed by her, which admission can only mean the parties mutually agreed to unite in marriage when they appeared and signed the said document which so states before the justice of the peace who authorized the same.


It was proven that both the plaintiff and the defendant were able to read and write the Spanish language, and that they knew the contents of the document which they signed; and under the circumstances in this particular case were satisfied, and so hold, that what took place before the justice of the peace on this occasion amounted to a legal marriage.


DISPOSITION: The judgment of the court below acquitting the defendant of the complaint is affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant.

Teotico vs. Del Val

G.R. No. L-18753, March 26, 1965 – Anna



Maria Mortera y Balsalobre Vda. de Aguirre died on July 14, 1955 in the City of Manila with no ascendants or descendants. She left properties worth P600,000.00 and  a will written in Spanish which she executed at her residence at No. 2 Legarda St., Quiapo, Manila. She affixed her signature at the bottom of the will and on the left margin of each and every page thereof in the presence of three witnesses  who in turn affixed their signatures below the attestation clause and on the left margin of each and every page of the will in the presence of the testatrix and of each other. Said will was acknowledged before a Notary Public  by the testatrix and her witnesses.

In said will Maria stated among others that  she was possessed of the full use of her mental faculties; that she was free from illegal pressure or influence of any kind from the beneficiaries of the will and from any influence of fear or threat and that she freely and spontaneously executed said will.

She left P20,000.00 to Rene A. Teotico, married to her  niece named Josefina Mortera; and the usufruct of her interest in the Calvo building to the said spouses. However,  the naked ownership of the building was left in equal parts to the legitimate children of said spouses. She also instituted Josefina Mortera as her sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed of in the will.

Thereafter,  Vicente B. Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will before the Court of First Instance of Manila. However, Ana del Val Chan, claiming to be an adopted child of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix, as well as an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the same testatrix.



(1) Has oppositor Ana del Val Chan the right to intervene in this proceeding?;

(2) Has the will in question been duly admitted to probate?;

(3) Did the probate court commit an error in passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will and in determining who should inherit the portion to be vacated by the nullification of the legacy made in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico?



  1. Under the terms of the will, oppositor has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate either as heir, executor, or administrator, nor does she have any claim to any property affected by the will, because nowhere in the will was any provision designating her as heir, legatee or devisee of any portion of the estate. She has also no interest in the will either as administratrix or executrix. Neither has she any claim against any portion of the estate because she is not a co-owner thereof.

Additionally, if the will is denied probate, she would not acquire any interest in any portion of the estate left by the testatrix. She would acquire such right only if she were a legal heir of the deceased, but she is not under our Civil Code. It is true that she  claims to be an acknowledged natural child of Jose  and also an adopted daughter of Francisca. But the law does not give her any right to succeed to the estate of Maria because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father. Thus, Article 992 of our Civil Code provides: “An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; … .”

It thus appears that the oppositor has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in this probate proceeding contrary to the ruling of the court a quo.


  1. On the secon issue, the claim that the will was not properly attested to is contradicted by the evidence of record. The will was duly executed because it was signed by the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses and the notary public in the manner provided for by law.

The claim that the will was procured by improper pressure and influence is also belied by the evidence.

Moreover, the mere claim that Josefina and her husband Rene had the opportunity to exert pressure on the testatrix simply because she lived in their house several years prior to the execution of the will and that she was old and suffering from hypertension in that she was virtually isolated from her friends for several years prior to her death is insufficient to disprove what the instrumental witnesses had testified in court.  The exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence and must be of a kind that would overpower and subjugate the mind of the testatrix as to destroy her free agency and make her express the will of another rather than her own


  1. On the third issue, the question of whether the probate court could determine the intrinsic validity of the provisions of a will has been decided by this Court in a long line of decisions. In Castañeda v. Alemany, the Court had stated, thus:

To establish conclusively as against everyone, and once for all, the facts that a will was executed with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to make a will, is the only purpose of the proceedings under the new code for the probate of a will.  The judgment in such proceedings determines and can determine nothing more. In them the court has no power to pass upon the validity of any provisions made in the will. It can not decide, for example, that a certain legacy is void and another one is valid.


Pursuant to the foregoing precedents the pronouncement made by the court a quo declaring invalid the legacy made to Dr. Rene Teotico in the will Exhibit A must be set aside as having been made in excess of its jurisdiction. Another reason why said pronouncement should be set aside is that the legatee was not given an opportunity to defend the validity of the legacy for he was not allowed to intervene in this proceeding. As a corollary, the other pronouncements touching on the disposition of the estate in favor of some relatives of the deceased should also be set aside for the same reason.












Linart vs. Ugarte

G.R. No. L-2599, October 27, 1905 – Leo



Ramon Iturralde y Gonzalez having died intestate on the 28th of December, 1900, Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde asked that she be judicially declared the legitimate heir of the deceased.

There being no legitimate heirs to the estate either in the direct ascendant or descendant line of succession, the petitioner presented herself as a collateral  descendant, that is to say, as the legitimate niece of the deceased.

However, Carmen Linart, through her guardian, Rafaela Pavia, claimed one-half of all of the estate of the deceased, Ramon Iturralde y Gonzalez, and asked at the same time that Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde, who had been declared the lawful heir of the deceased.

The father of the petitioner was in the same collateral degree of succession as Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde. Pablo Linart, the father of Carmen Linart, was the legitimate son of Maria Josefa Iturralde y Gonzalez, another sister of Ramon Iturralde y Gonzalez

The court below on the 24th of February, 1905, entered judgment declaring that the petitioner had the same right to participate in the inheritance as had Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde, and ordered the latter to render an account of the estate, enjoining her, at the same time, from disposing of any part thereof until such accounting had been made and the estate distributed.



Who has better right over the estate of Ramon Iturralde y Gonzalez.



The High Court reverse the decision of the lower court and held that Carmen Linart has no right to succeed the deceased with said Maria Juana Ugarte e Iturralde, who was once declared to be the lawful heir, and who is now in possession of the estate, as to whom we hereby dissolve the injunction issued from the Court of First Instance, following the rule that the relative nearest in degree excludes those more distant, with the exception of the right of representation in proper cases (art. 921, par. 1 of the Civil Code); and  that the right of representation in the collateral line shall take place only in favor of children of brothers or sisters whether they be of whole or half blood (art. 925, par. 2).

The error which the appellant claims was committed in the court below is very clearly shown. The court below held that the grandniece was entitled to the same share of the estate that the niece was entitled to, when, as a matter of law, the right of representation in the collateral line can only take place in favor of the children of brothers or sisters of the intestate, and the plaintiff in this case is not a daughter of one of the sisters of the deceased. G.R. No. L-18753             1965 -03-26









G.R. No. 113725, June 06, 2000 – Gem



In a Codicil appended to the Last Will and Testament of testatrix Aleja Belleza, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, predecessor-in-interest of the herein petitioner, Johnny S. Rabadilla, was instituted as a devisee of a parcel of land. The said Codicil, which was duly probated before the then CFI of Negros Occidental. Pursuant to the same Codicil, the subject land was transferred to the deceased, Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, and the Transfer Certificate of Title thereto was issued in his name.Dr. Jorge Rabadilla died and was survived by his wife Rufina and children Johnny (petitioner), Aurora, Ofelia and Zenaida, all surnamed Rabadilla.

Respondent brought a complaintbefore the RTC in Bacolod City, against the above-mentioned heirs of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, to enforce the provisions of subject Codicil. The Complaint alleged that the defendant-heirs violated the conditions of the Codicil.

The plaintiff then prayed for the reconveyance/return of the subject land to the surviving heirs of the late Aleja Belleza, because it is alleged that petitioner failed to comply with the terms of the will; that since 1985, Johnny failed to deliver the fruits; and that the the land was mortgaged to the Philippine National Bank, which is a violation of the will.

In his defense, Johnny avers that the term “near descendants” in the will of Aleja pertains to the near descendants of Aleja and not to the near descendants of Dr. Rabadilla, hence, since Aleja had no near descendants at the time of his death, no can substitute Dr. Rabadilla on the obligation to deliver the fruits of the devised land.



WON the testamentary institution of Dr. Rabadilla is a modal institution.



YES. The Court of Appeals erred not in ruling that the institution of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla under subject Codicil is in the nature of a modal institution and therefore, Article 882 of the New Civil Code is the provision of law in point.From the provisions of the Codicil litigated upon, it can be gleaned unerringly that the testatrix intended that subject property be inherited by Dr. Jorge Rabadilla. It is likewise clearly worded that the testatrix imposed an obligation on the said instituted heir and his successors-in-interest to deliver one hundred piculs of sugar to the herein private respondent, Marlena Coscolluela Belleza, during the lifetime of the latter. However, the testatrix did not make Dr. Jorge Rabadilla’s inheritance and the effectivity of his institution as a devisee, dependent on the performance of the said obligation. It is clear, though, that should the obligation be not complied with, the property shall be turned over to the testatrix’s near descendants. The manner of institution of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla under subject Codicil is evidently modal in nature because it imposes a charge upon the instituted heir without, however, affecting the efficacy of such institution.



Miciano vs. Brimo

G.R. No. L-22595, November 1, 1927 – Krist



The judicial administrator of the estate of the deceased, Joseph Brimo, filed a scheme of partition. However, one of the brothers of the deceased opposed the said partition.

According to the scheme and its provision, that the deceased requests that all his relatives respect his wishes, otherwise those who opposed the same shall be cancelled in said disposition in favor of the oppositor.

The apellant in the case, who opposed the same, based his opposition on the fact that the deceased was a Turkish citizen, that his disposition should be in accordance with the laws of his nationality.



WON the disposition shall be made in accordance with Philippine Laws

WON there shall be cancellation of disposition/s in favor of the appellant-oppositor



No, although the disposition provides an express provision that it shall be governed by Philippine Laws and those who opposed the condition of the provisions given shall be cancelled from the disposition, the fact is that the condition itself is void for being contrary to law. Article 792 of the Civil Code provides:

“Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever, even should the testator otherwise provide.”


It is contrary to law because it expressly ignores the decedent’s national law, according to Article 10 of the Civil Code, such national law shall govern his testamentary dispositions.

Therefore, the institution of the legatees are unconditional and are valid, as well as those favorable to herein appellant-oppositor.



Austria vs. Reyes

G.R. No. L-23079 | 1970-02-27 – Karen



Basilia Austria vda. de Cruz filed with the CIF of Rizal  a petition for probate, ante mortem, of her last will and testament. The probate was opposed by the present petitioners. This opposition was dismissed and the probate of the will was allowed after due hearing.


The bulk of the estate of Basilia, admittedly, was destined under the will to pass on to the respondents all of whom had been assumed and declared by Basilia as her own legally adopted children.


More than two years after her will was allowed to probate, Basilia died. The respondent Perfecto Cruz was appointed executor without bond by the same court in accordance with the provisions of the decedent’s will, notwithstanding the blocking attempt pursued by the petitioner Ruben Austria.


Finally, the present petitioners filed in the same proceedings a petition in intervention for partition alleging in substance that they are the nearest of kin of Basilia, and that the five respondents Perfecto Cruz, et al., had not in fact been adopted by the decedent in accordance with law, in effect rendering these respondents mere strangers to the decedent and without any right to succeed as heirs.



WON the institution of the heirs would retain efficacy in the event there exists proof that the adoption of the same heirs by the decedent was false





Ratio: Article 850 of the Civil Code which reads, “The statement of a false cause for the institution of an heir shall be considered as not written, unless it appears from the will that the testator would not have made such institution if he had known the falsity of such cause.”


Before the institution of heirs may be annulled under article 850 of the Civil Code, the following requisites must concur: First, the cause for the institution of heirs must be stated in the will; second, the cause must be shown to be false; and third, it must appear from the face of the will that the testator would not have made such institution if he had known the falsity of the cause.


From the use of the terms, “sapilitang tagapagmana” (compulsory heirs) and “sapilitang mana” (legitime), that the impelling reason or cause for the institution of the respondents was the testatrix’s belief that under the law she could not do otherwise. If this were indeed what prompted the testatrix in instituting the respondents, she did not make it known in her will. Surely if she was aware that succession to the legitime takes place by operation of law, independent of her own wishes, she would not have found it convenient to name her supposed compulsory heirs to their legitimes. Her express adoption of the rules on legitimes should very well indicate her complete agreement with that statutory scheme. But even this, like the petitioners’ own proposition, is highly speculative of what was in the mind of the testatrix when she executed her will. One fact prevails, however, and it is that the decedent’s will does not state in a specific or unequivocal manner the cause for such institution of heirs. We cannot annul the same on the basis of guesswork or uncertain implications.


The phrases, “mga sapilitang tagapagmana” and “sapilitang mana,” were borrowed from the language of the law on succession and were used, respectively, to describe the class of heirs instituted and the abstract object of the inheritance. They offer no absolute indication that the decedent would have willed her estate other than the way she did if she had known that she was not bound by law to make allowance for legitimes. Her disposition of the free portion of her estate (libre disposicion) which largely favored the respondent Perfecto Cruz, the latter’s children, and the children of the respondent Benita Cruz, shows a perceptible inclination on her part to give to the respondents more than what she thought the law enjoined her to give to them. Compare this with the relatively small devise of land which the decedent had left for her blood relatives, including the petitioners Consuelo Austria-Benta and Lauro Mozo and the children of the petitioner Ruben Austria. Were we to exclude the respondents Perfecto Cruz, et al. from the inheritance, then the petitioners and the other nephews and nieces would succeed to the bulk of the testate by intestacy — a result which would subvert the clear wishes of the decedent.


Dispositive: The present petition is denied, at petitioners cost.