Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1922 > September 1922 Decisions > G.R. No. L-18754 September 26, 1922 - GUILLERMA CAPISTRANO, ET AL. v. LEON NADURATA, ET AL.

046 Phil 726:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-18754. September 26, 1922. ]

GUILLERMA CAPISTRANO ET AL., Petitioners-Appellees, v. LEON NADURATA ET AL., opponents-appellants.

Diokno & Paguia for Appellants.

Vicente Sotto for Appellees.

SYLLABUS


1. ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATE OF A DECEDENT; DISCRETION. — It lies within the discretion of the court to select an administrator of the estate of a deceased person. (Sec. 642, subsec. 1, Code of Civil Procedure.)

2. ID.; ID.; ABUSE. — The evidence shows that the opponent L. N. is not the surviving spouse of the deceased and that the opponents P. S. and J. S. are not, as they pretend to be, brothers of the said deceased. Held: That the lower court did not commit an abuse of discretion, but on the contrary, the act of said court in overruling the objection of the opponents and confirming the appointment as administrator of the person proposed by the applicants is not only indicative of sound discretion, but is right and just.

3. ID.; DECLARATION OF HEIRS; WHEN PREMATURE. — The declaration of heirs is premature when made before the proceeding has reached the stage when the estate is distributed, which must come after the liquidation of the inheritance. (Sec. 753, Code of Civil Procedure.)


D E C I S I O N


ROMUALDEZ, J. :


This is a proceeding commenced by the appellees for the appointment of Justo Buera as administrator of the estate of Petra de los Santos, deceased. The application filed by the appellees was opposed by the appellants Pedro and Juan de los Santos who prayed that the first of them be appointed administrator. Then Leon Nadurata intervened, asserting himself to be the surviving spouse of the intestate Petra de los Santos, and praying that the letters of administration be issued to him.

A lengthy discussion was made in the lower of the question whether or not Leon Nadurata is the husband of the said deceased, and whether the applicants, or the opponents Santos, are her nearest relatives.

The lower court had appointed Justo Buera special administrator; and after a hearing, it decided the controversy, declaring Leon Nadurata not to be the surviving spouse of Petra de los Santos and that the latter’s nearest relatives are not the opponents Pedro de los Santos and Juan de los Santos who allege themselves to be, but are not, brothers of the deceased, but the applicants Capistrano, who are her true brothers by the same mother. Upon these findings, the lower court confirmed the appointment of Justo Buera as administrator of the estate. From this judgment Leon Nadurata, Pedro de los Santos, and Juan de los Santos appealed, assigning as error: (a) The overruling of their opposition to the confirmation of the appointment of Justo Buera as administrator; (b) the declaration that the applicants are the sole heirs of the deceased to the exclusion of said opponents; and (c) the ordering of the prosecution of certain persons enumerated and referred to in said decision for the crime of falsification of public document and for perjury.

The first error was not committed. The selection of an administrator of the estate of a deceased lies within the discretion of the court (sec. 642, 1 Code of Civil Procedure). And the record does not contain anything tending to show an abuse of discretion on the part of the lower court. On the contrary, the act of the lower court in overruling the objection of the opponents and confirming the appointment as administrator of the person proposed by the appellants is not only indicative of sound discretion, but is right and just; for the evidence shows that Leon Nadurata is not surviving spouse of Petra de los Santos, who died widow and not twice widow, and that the opponents Pedro de los Santos and Juan de los Santos are not, as they pretend to be, brothers of the aforesaid deceased.

However, the declaration of heirs made by the lower court is premature, although the evidence sufficiently shows who are entitled to succeed the deceased. The estate had hardly been judicially opened, and the proceeding has not as yet reached the stage of distribution of the estate which must come after the inheritance is liquidated (sec. 753, Code of Civil Procedure).

The order contained in the judgment, directing the prosecuting officer to prosecute the persons therein mentioned, finds sufficient support in the evidence. Although we are convinced by the evidence that Exhibits 1 and 2 are not authentic by any means, yet we prefer to leave it, with the court to take cognizance of the criminal action, to declare whether they were criminally falsified or not. But, as stated, we are persuaded by the evidence of record that the trial court committed no error in directing the prosecuting officer to take such action as may de deemed proper for the punishment of those criminally responsible, as revealed by the evidence and found in the course of this proceeding.

Except as regards the declaration of heirs, which, while it is supported by the evidence, is premature, the ruling appealed from is affirmed in other respects, with costs against the appellants. So ordered.

Araullo, C.J. Street, Malcolm, Avanceña, Villamor, Ostrand, and Johns, JJ., concur.




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