ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
August-1995 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 93117 August 1, 1995 - LOPEZ SUGAR CORPORATION v. SECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-92-836 August 2, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JESUS V. MATAS

  • OCA I.P.I. No. 95-12-P August 3, 1995 - MARILES I. VILLANUEVA v. RODOLFO B. POLLENTES

  • G.R. No. 88326 August 3, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM A. FULINARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102422 August 3, 1995 - ANTONIO CATATISTA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113290-91 August 3, 1995 - PEDRO O. PALMERIA, SR. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113521-31 August 3, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANOLITO D. ESPINOZA

  • G.R. No. 93628 August 4, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDITHA S. DE GUZMAN

  • G.R. No. 97535 August 4, 1995 - MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY v. LA CAMPANA FOOD PRODUCTS, INC.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-93-983 August 7, 1995 - GUILLERMA DE LOS SANTOS-REYES v. JUDGE CAMILO O. MONTESA

  • G.R. No. 106784 August 7, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLITO SALODAGA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. P-93-800 & P-93-800-A August 9, 1995 - RTC MAKATI MOVEMENT AGAINST GRAFT AND CORRUPTION v. INOCENCIO E. DUMLAO

  • G.R. No. 115132-34 August 9, 1995 - IMELDA R. MARCOS v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-92-880 August 11, 1995 - CENTRUM AGRI-BUSINESS REALTY CORPORATION v. BETHEL KATALBAS-MOSCARDON

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1243 August 11, 1995 - ANTONIO P. CHIN v. TITO G. GUSTILO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 76801 August 11, 1995 - LOPEZ REALTY, INC., ET AL. v. FLORENTINA FONTECHA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94979 August 11, 1995 - ALFONSO GABALDON CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97484 August 11, 1995 - SANTIAGO B. SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111289 August 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTOR TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113793 August 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN M. GANZAGAN, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-931 August 14, 1995 - VICENTE G. RUDAS v. LEONILA R. ACEDO

  • G.R. No. 99840 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO M. FEDERICO

  • G.R. No. 107994 August 14, 1995 - PHIL. AGRICULTURAL COMM’L. AND IND’L. WORKERS UNION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 108084 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO SABAL

  • G.R. No. 109696 August 14, 1995 - THELMA P. OLEA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113219 August 14, 1995 - ANICETO G. MATEO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113652 August 14, 1995 - VICTORIANO A. CORMERO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113782-84 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO C. ALIVIADO

  • G.R. No. 114051 August 14, 1995 - DAVID INES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114692 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABNER MALUNES

  • G.R. No. 115022 August 14, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO D. REYES

  • G.R. No. 117014 August 14, 1995 - HONORIO SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118118 August 14, 1995 - ALFREDO GUIEB v. LUIS M. FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 119617 August 14, 1995 - B. STA RITA AND CO., INC., ET. AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91852 August 15, 1995 - TALISAY-SILAY MILLING CO., INC., ET AL. v. ASOCIACION DE AGRICULTORES DE TALISAY-SILAY, INC.

  • G.R. No. 100686 August 15, 1995 - PEPSI COLA DISTRIBUTORS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 111359 August 15, 1995 - CALTEX REGULAR EMPLOYEES v. CALTEX (PHILIPPINES), INC.

  • G.R. No. 110034 August 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AVELINO GAZMEN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113995 August 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAMALIEL T. PAYAWAL

  • G.R. No. 93728 August 21, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL HERRERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107534 August 21, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL I. CABINTOY

  • G.R. No. 111091 August 21, 1995 - CLARO J. PRECLARO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117246 August 21, 1995 - BENIGNO MANUEL, ET AL. v. NICODEMO T. FERRER

  • G.R. No. 119891 August 21, 1995 - BEN STA. RITA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1108 August 23, 1995 - MARIANETTE VILLAREAL v. ROLANDO T. RARAMA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-87-104 August 23, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JOSE M. ESTACION, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-1270 August 23, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. RENATO A. FUENTES

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-3-89-RTC August 23, 1995 - IN RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE RTC BRANCH 16

  • G.R. No. 79968 August 23, 1995 - PETER RODRIGUEZ v. PROJECT 6 MARKET SERVICE COOPERATIVE, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 88278 August 23, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONALD BALLAGAN

  • G.R. No. 101690 August 23, 1995 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 105455 August 23, 1995 - EXCELSA INDUSTRIES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110401 August 23, 1995 - EDGARDO GUEVARA, ET AL. v. HERMINIO I. BENITO

  • G.R. Nos. 113513-14 August 23, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY CONTE

  • G.R. Nos. 114061 & 113842 August 23, 1995 - KOREAN AIRLINES CO., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114841-42 August 23, 1995 - ATLANTIC GULF AND PACIFIC COMPANY OF MANILA, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114920 August 23, 1995 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 115987 August 23, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO REOVEROS

  • G.R. No. 116132-33 August 23, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AURELIO U. DELOVINO

  • G.R. No. 121234 August 23, 1995 - HUBERT J. P. WEBB v. RAUL E. DE LEON

  • Adm. Matter No. P-92-768 August 28, 1995 - CASIANO WENCESLAO v. RESTITUTO MADRAZO

  • G.R. No. 104664 August 28, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELYBOY O. SO

  • G.R. No. 111386 August 28, 1995 - METAL FORMING CORPORATION v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

  • G.R. No. 115407 August 28, 1995 - MIGUEL P. PANDERANGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118531 August 28, 1995 - JULIANA D. DEL ROSARIO v. JOB MADAYAG

  • G.R. No. 107762 August 29, 1995 - ALBERTO S. ACENAS II v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113161 August 29, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOMA O. GOCE

  • G.R. No. 96125 August 31, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMBROSIO RONQUILLO

  • G.R. No. 111017 August 31, 1995 - BLISS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 117246   August 21, 1995 - BENIGNO MANUEL, ET AL. v. NICODEMO T. FERRER

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 117246. August 21, 1995.]

    BENIGNO MANUEL, LIBERATO MANUEL, LORENZO MANUEL, PLACIDA MANUEL, MADRONA MANUEL, ESPERANZA MANUEL, AGAPITA MANUEL, BASILISA MANUEL, EMILIA MANUEL and NUMERIANA MANUEL, Petitioners, v. HON. NICODEMO T. FERRER, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 37, Lingayen, Pangasinan, MODESTA BALTAZAR and ESTANISLAOA MANUEL, Respondents.

    Eufrocino L. Bermudez, for Petitioners.

    Marcelo C. Espinoza for Modesta Baltazar.

    Nolan R. Evangelista for Estanislaoa Manuel.


    SYLLABUS


    1. CIVIL LAW; WILLS AND SUCCESSION; ART. 992, CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES; "BARRIER" BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE LEGITIMATE AND ILLEGITIMATE FAMILY; CONSTRUED. — Article 992 of the Civil Code, a basic postulate, enunciates what is so commonly referred to in the rules on succession as the "principle of absolute separation between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family." The doctrine rejects succession ab intestato in the collateral line between legitimate relatives, on the one hand, and illegitimate relatives, on other hand, although it does not totally disavow such succession in the direct line. Since the rule is predicated on the presumed will of the decedent, it has no application, however, on testamentary dispositions. This "barrier" between the members of the legitimate and illegitimate family in intestacy is explained by a noted civilist. (Desiderio Jurado, Comments and Jurisprudence on Succession, 8th ed., 1991, pp. 423-424.) His thesis: "What is meant by the law when it speaks of brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, as legal or intestate heirs of an illegitimate child? It must be noted that under Art. 992 of the Code, there is a barrier dividing members of the illegitimate family from members of the legitimate family. It is clear that by virtue of this barrier, the legitimate brothers and sisters as well as the children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, of such brothers and sisters, cannot inherit from the illegitimate child. Consequently, when the law speaks of ‘brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces’ as legal heirs of an illegitimate child, it refers to illegitimate brothers and sisters as well as to the children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, of such brothers and sisters." The Court, too, has had occasions to explain this "iron curtain," firstly, in the early case of Grey v. Fabie (40 O.G. [First S] No. 3, p. 196 citing 7 Manresa 110) and, then, in the relatively recent cases of Diaz v. Intermediate Appellate Court (150 SCRA 645) and De la Puerta v. Court of Appeals. (181 SCRA 861) In Diaz, we have said: "Article 992 of the New Civil Code . . . prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of Article 992. Between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family; the legitimate family is, in turn, hated by the illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former, and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment." The rule in Article 992 has consistently been applied by the Court in several other cases. Thus, it has ruled that where the illegitimate child had half-brothers who were legitimate, the latter had no right to the former’s inheritance; (Corpus v. Corpus, 85 SCRA 567) that the legitimate collateral relatives of the mother cannot succeed from her illegitimate child; (Cacho v. Udan, 13 SCRA 693) that a natural child cannot represent his natural father in the succession to the estate of the legitimate grandparent; (Llorente v. Rodriguez, 10 Phil. 585; Allarde v. Abaya, 57 Phil. 909) that the natural daughter cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle who is a legitimate brother of her natural father; (Anuran v. Aquino and Ortiz, 38 Phil. 29) and that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father. (Leonardo v. Court of Appeals, 120 SCRA 890) Indeed, the law on succession is animated by a uniform general intent, and thus no part should be rendered inoperative (Javellana v. Tayo, 6 SCRA 1042) by, but must always be construed in relation to, any other part as to produce a harmonious whole. (Sotto v. Sotto, 43 Phil 688; Araneta v. Concepcion, 99 Phil 709)

    2. ID.; ID.; ORDER OF PREFERENCE AND CONCURRENCE IN INTESTACY.; GRAPHIC PRESENTATION. — We might, in easy graphic presentation, collate the order of preference and concurrence in intestacy expressed in Article 978 through Article 1014, inclusive, of the Civil Code; viz:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Order of Preference Order of Concurrence

    (a) Legitimate children (a) Legitimate Children

    and Descendants and Descendants,

    Illegitimate Children

    and Descendants,

    and Surviving Spouse

    (b) Legitimate Parents (b) Legitimate Parents

    and Ascendants and Ascendants, Illegitimate

    Children and Descendants,

    and Surviving Spouse

    (c) Illegitimate Children (c) Illegitimate Children

    and Descendants (in the and Descendants and

    absence of ICDs and LPAs, Surviving Spouse

    the illegitimate Parents)

    (d) Surviving Spouse (d) Surviving Spouse

    and Illegitimate Parents

    (e) Brothers and Sisters/ (e) Brothers and Sisters/

    Nephews and Nieces Nephews and Nieces

    and Surviving Spouse

    (f) Other Collateral Relatives (f) Alone

    (within the fifth civil degree)

    (g) State (g) Alone

    3. ID.; ID.; WHEN AWARD IS NEITHER A COMPULSORY HEIR NOR A LEGAL HEIR. — A ward (ampon), without the benefit of formal (judicial) adoption, is neither a compulsory nor a legal heir. (Lim v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 69679, 18 October 1988)

    4. ID.; DAMAGES; WHEN NOT JUSTIFIED; CASE AT BAR. — An adverse result of a suit in law does not mean that its advocacy is necessarily so wrongful as to justify an assessment of damages against the actor. (Rubio v. Court of Appeals, 141 SCRA 488, Tiu v. Court of Appeals, 228 SCRA 51)


    D E C I S I O N


    VITUG, J.:


    The property involved in this petition for review on certiorari is the inheritance left by an illegitimate child who died intestate without any surviving descendant or ascendant.

    Petitioners, the legitimate children of spouses Antonio Manuel and Beatriz Guiling, initiated this suit. During his marriage with Beatriz, Antonio had an extra-marital affair with one Ursula Bautista. From this relationship, Juan Manuel was born. Several years passed before Antonio Manuel, his wife Beatriz, and his mistress Ursula finally crossed the bar on, respectively, 06 August 1960, 05 February 1981 and 04 November 1976.

    Juan Manuel, the illegitimate son of Antonio, married Esperanza Gamba In consideration of the marriage, a donation propter nuptias over a parcel of land, with an area of 2,700 square meters, covered by Original Certificate of Title ("OCT") No. P-20594 was executed in favor of Juan Manuel by Laurenciana Manuel. Two other parcels of land, covered by OCT P-I 9902 and Transfer Certificate of Title ("TCT") No. 41134, were later bought by Juan and registered in his name. The couple were not blessed with a child of their own. Their desire to have one impelled the spouses to take private respondent Modesta Manuel-Baltazar into their fold and so raised her as their own "daughter."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On 03 June 1980, Juan Manuel executed in favor of Estanislaoa Manuel a Deed of Sale Con Pacto de Retro (with a 10-year period of redemption) over a one-half (12) portion of his land covered by TCT No. 41134. Juan Manuel died intestate on 21 February 1990. Two years later, or on 04 February 1992, Esperanza Gamba also passed away.

    On 05 March 1992, a month after the death of Esperanza, Modesta executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication claiming for herself the three parcels of land covered by OCT P-20594, OCT P-19902 and TCT No. 41134 (all still in the name of Juan Manuel). Following the registration of the document of adjudication with the Office of the Register; of Deeds, the three titles (OCT P-20594, OCT P-19902 and TCT No. 41134) in the name of Juan Manuel were canceled and new titles, TCT No. 184223, TCT No. 184224 and TCT No. 184225, were issued in the name of Modesta Manuel-Baltazar. On 19 October 1992, Modesta executed in favor of her co-respondent `Estanislaoa Manuel a Deed of Renunciation and Quitclaim over the unredeemed one-half (12) portion of the land (now covered by TCT No. 184225) that was sold to the latter by Juan Manuel under the 1980 Deed of Sale Con Pecto de Retro. These acts of Modesta apparently did not sit well with petitioners. In a complaint filed before the Regional Trial Court of Lingayen, Pangasinan, the petitioners sought the declaration of nullity of the aforesaid instruments.

    The case, there being no material dispute on the facts, was submitted to the court a quo for summary judgment.

    The trial court, in its now assailed 15th August 1994 decision, dismissed the complaint holding that petitioners, not being heirs ab intestato of their illegitimate brother Juan Manuel; were not the real parties-in-interest to institute the suit. Petitioners were also ordered to jointly and severally (solidarily) pay (a) respondent Modesta Manuel-Baltazar the sum of P5,000.00 for moral damages, P5,000.00 for exemplary damages, P5,000.00 for attorney’s fees and P500.00 for litigation expenses and (b) Estanislaoa Manuel the sum of P5,000.00 for moral damages, P5,000.00 for exemplary damages and P500.00 for attorney’s fees.

    Petitioners’ motion for reconsideration was denied by the trial court.

    The petition before us raises the following contentions: That —

    "1. THE LOWER COURT (HAS) FAILED TO CONSIDER THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 994 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE, AS THE CONTROLLING LAW APPLICABLE BY VIRTUE OF THE ADMITTED FACTS, AND NOT ARTICLE 992 OF THE SAME CODE.

    "2. THE LOWER COURT, IN NOT ANNULLING ALL THE ACTS OF, AND VOIDING ALL DOCUMENTS EXECUTED BY, RESPONDENT MODESTA BALTAZAR, WHO ARROGATED UNTO HERSELF THE RIGHTS OF AN HEIR TO THE ESTATE OF DECEDENT JUAN MANUEL, (HAS) VIRTUALLY GRANTED SAID RESPONDENT THE STATUS OF AN HEIR MANIFESTLY CONTRARY TO LAW, MORALS AND PUBLIC POLICY.

    "3. TO ENFORCE ONE’S RIGHT WHEN THEY ARE VIOLATED IS NEVER A LEGAL WRONG." 1

    Petitioners argue that they are the legal heirs over one-half of Juan’s intestate estate (while the other half would pertain to Juan’s surviving spouse) under the provision of the last paragraph of Article 994 of the Civil Code, providing thusly:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "ARTICLE 994. In default of the father or mother, an illegitimate child shall be succeeded by his or her surviving spouse, who shall be entitled to the entire estate.

    "If the widow or widower should survive with brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, she or he shall inherit one-half of the estate, and the latter the other half ." (Emphasis supplied.)

    Respondents, in turn, submit that Article 994 should be read in conjunction with Article 992 of the Civil Code, which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "ARTICLE 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relative inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child." (Emphasis supplied.)

    Article 992, a basic postulate, enunciates what is so commonly referred to in the rules on succession as the "principle of absolute separation between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family." The doctrine rejects succession ab intestato in the collateral line between legitimate relatives, on the one hand, and illegitimate relatives, on other hand, although it does not totally disavow such succession in the direct line. Since the rule is predicated on the presumed will of the decedent, it has no application, however, on testamentary dispositions.

    This "barrier" between the members of the legitimate and illegitimate family in intestacy is explained by a noted civilist. 2 His thesis:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "What is meant by the law when it speaks of brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, as legal or intestate heirs of an illegitimate child? It must be noted that under Art. 992 of the Code, there is a barrier dividing members of the illegitimate family from members of the legitimate family. It is clear that by virtue of this barrier, the legitimate brothers and sisters as well as the children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, of such brothers and sisters, cannot inherit from the illegitimate child. Consequently, when the law speaks of brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces as legal heirs of an illegitimate child, it refers to illegitimate brothers and sisters as well as to the children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, of such brothers and sisters." (Emphasis supplied)

    The Court, too, has had occasions to explain this "iron curtain," firstly, in the early case of Grey v. Fabie 3 and, then, in the relatively recent cases of Diaz v. Intermediate Appellate Court 4 and De la Puerta v. Court of Appeals. 5 In Diaz, we have said:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Article 992 of the New Civil Code . . . prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of Article 992. Between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism an incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family; the legitimate family is, in turn, hated by the illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former, and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life; the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The rule in Article 992 has consistently been applied by the Court in several other cases. Thus, it has ruled that where the illegitimate child had half-brothers who were legitimate, the latter had no right to the former’s inheritance; 6 that the legitimate collateral relatives of the mother cannot succeed from her illegitimate child; 7 that a natural child cannot represent his natural father in the succession to the estate of the legitimate grandparent; 8 that the natural daughter cannot succeed to the estate of her deceased uncle who is a legitimate brother of her natural father; 9 and that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father. 10 Indeed, the law on succession is animated by a uniform general intent, and thus no part should be rendered inoperative 11 by, but must always be construed in relation to, any other part as to produce a harmonious whole. 12

    In passing, we might, in easy graphic presentation, collate the order of preference and concurrence in intestacy expressed in Article 978 through Article 1014, inclusive, of the Civil Code; viz:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Order of Preference Order of Concurrence

    (a) Legitimate Children (a) Legitimate Children and

    Descendants Descendants, Illegitimate

    Children and Surviving

    Spouse

    (b) Legitimate Parents (b) Legitimate Parents and

    Ascendants Ascendants, Illegitimate

    Children and Descendants,

    and Surviving Spouse

    (c) Illegitimate children and (c) Illegitimate Children

    Descendants (in the and Descendants and

    absence of ICDs and Surviving Spouse

    LPAs, the Illegitimate Parents)

    (d) Surviving Spouse (d) Surviving Spouse and

    Illegitimate Parents

    (e) Brothers and (e) Brothers and

    Sisters/Nephews and Sisters/Nephews and

    Nieces Nieces and Surviving

    Spouse

    (f) Other Collateral Relatives (f) Alone

    (within the fifth civil degree)

    (g) State (g) Alone

    In her answer to the complaint, Modesta candidly admitted that she herself is not an intestate heir of Juan Manuel. She is right. A ward (ampon), without the benefit of formal (judicial) adoption, is neither a compulsory nor a legal heir. 13

    We must hold, nevertheless, that the complaint of petitioners seeking the nullity of the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Modesta, the three (3) TCT’s issued to her favor, as well as the Deed of Renunciation and Quitclaim in favor of Estanislaoa Manuel, was properly dismissed by the trial court. Petitioners, not being the real "parties-in-interest" 14 in the case, had neither the standing nor the cause of action to initiate the complaint.

    The Court, however, sees no sufficient reason to sustain the award of amounts for moral and exemplary damages, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. An adverse result of a suit in law does not mean that its advocacy is necessarily so wrongful as to justify an assessment of damages against the actor. 15

    WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan (Branch 37) is AFFIRMED, except insofar as it has awarded moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorney’s fees and litigation expenses, in favor of private respondents, which portion is hereby DELETED. No special pronouncement on costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Feliciano, Romero and Melo, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 7-8.

    2. Desiderio Jurado, Comments and Jurisprudence on Succession, 8th ed., 1991, pp. 423-424.

    3. 40 OG. (firsts) No. 3, p. 196 citing 7 Manresa 110.

    4. 1505 SCRA 645.

    5. 181 SCRA 851.

    6. Corpus v. Corpus, Ss SCRA 567.

    7. Cacho v. Udan, 13 SCRA 693.

    8. Llorente v. Rodriguez, 10 Phil. 585; Allarde v. Abaya, 57 Phil. 909.

    9. Anuran v. Aquino and Ortiz, 38 Phil. 29.

    10. Leonardo v. Court of Appeals, 120 SCRA 890.

    11. Javellana v. Tayo, 6 SCRA 1042.

    12. Sotto v. Sotto, 43 Phil. 688; Araneta v. Concepcion, 99 Phil. 709.

    13. Lim v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 69679, 18 October 1988.

    14. A real-party-in-interest plaintiff is one who has a legal right while a real-party-in-interest defendant is one who has a correlative obligations whose acts or omission violates the legal right of the former (Gan Hock v. Court of Appeals, 197 SCRA 223 [1991]). Necessarily, a party in interest in a civil case is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment of the suit or the party entitled to avail of the suit. (Salonga v. Warner, Barnes & Co., Ltd., 88 Phil 125; Lanzar v. Guerrero, 29 SCRA 107)

    15. Rubio v. Court of Appeals, 141 SCRA 488; Tiu v. Court of Appeals, 228 SCRA 51.

    G.R. No. 117246   August 21, 1995 - BENIGNO MANUEL, ET AL. v. NICODEMO T. FERRER


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED