G.R. No. L-24584 October 30, 1975
ILUMINADA DE GALA-SISON, As Administratrix of the Intestate Estate of the late Generoso de Gala, Petitioner, vs. HON. MANOLO L. MADDELA, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Quezon and SOCORRO MANALO, Respondents.
Norberto J. Quimsibing for petitioner.chanrobles virtual law library
Agcaoili and Dimaano for private respondent.
Petition for certiorari to annul the orders, dated August 21, 1964 and May 10, 1965, in Special Proceeding No. 2887 of respondent Judge Manolo L. Maddela of the Court of First Instance of Quezon insofar as said orders require petitioner-administratrix to deposit the amount of P39,240.15 in her possession with a reputable banking institution.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Prior to the afore-mentioned orders in question, the Court of First Instance of Quezon, then presided over by Judge Vicente Santiago, issued an order on August 29, 1952, in Special Proceeding No. 2887, directing the administratrix (a) to include in her inventory of properties left by the deceased certain pieces of jewelry described in Exhibit "Y" of oppositor Socorro Manalo, and (b) to deposit cash in her possession amounting to P40,998.56 with a reputable banking institution. On appeal, the Court of Appeals in its decision of February 2, 1961 in case CA-G.R. No. 10711-R, 1affirmed the lower court's order of August 29, 1952. However, on a petition for certiorari, 2this Court, finding that the amount of P1,698.41 was spent by the petitioner Iluminada de Gala-Sison, as administratrix, which expense was approved by the court on August 2, 1950, so that the amount ordered to be deposited should be reduced by P1,698.41 to P39,240.15, rendered on July 31, 1963 a decision modifying the appealed order of August 29, 1952 to read as follows:
On October 7, 1963, respondent Socorro Manalo moved for the execution of the decision of July 31, 1963, and the respondent Judge issued on October 16, 1963 an order requiring, within ten (10) days from the receipt of the order, the administratrix Iluminada de Gala-Sison (1) "to file an amended inventory including therein the pieces of jewelry listed in Socorro Manalo's Exhibit 'Y' "; and (2) "to deposit with any reputable banking institution the remainder of the amount of P40,938.56, which may be in her possession, after deducting the expenses approved by the court and the allowances and inheritances authorized by the court, as specified in its order issued in this case dated July 7, 1950, to be given to the widow and the heirs of the deceased Generoso de Gala."chanrobles virtual law library
Under date of November 29, 1963, the petitioner filed an Amended Inventory in compliance with the said order. However, the petitioner-administratrix did not comply with the portion of said order which required her to deposit the remainder of the amount of P40,938.56 which may be in her possession. Instead, she filed on November 29, 1963 a Manifestation stating that "there is really no necessity for any deposit to be made with a banking institution which the probate court then believed was necessary way back on August 29, 1952 when the accountable fund was still a sizable one," since from the remainder of said amount of P40,938.56 ordered to be deposited, several deductions should be made consisting in the following:
On August 21, 1964, the respondent Judge issued an order, the pertinent portion of which reads:
On September 17, 1964, petitioner filed simultaneously (1) a motion for reconsideration of the order of August 21, 1964; (2) a motion for payment to herself the amount of P22,000.00 as her advance or allowance against her distributive share and for the approval thereof; (d) a petition for allowance and payment, from the properties and assets of the estate, of the sum of P20,000.00 as her fees and compensation as administratrix; and (4) a verified accounting of the petitioner-administratrix for approval by the court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
On May 10, 1965, the respondent Judge issued an order the dispositive portion of which reads:
On May 26, 1965, the petitioner filed a motion for new trial and/or reconsideration of the order dated May 10, 1965, alleging, among others, that the lower court erred in holding that the disbursements itemized in her verified accounting are unsupported by receipts and that her payments of attorney's fees were for her benefit as heir; and praying that said order of May 10, 1965, be set aside and reconsidered to the end that the administratrix among others may be granted a day in court for the presentation of her evidence or receipts supporting her verified accounting and disbursements itemized therein and that thereafter her said accounting be approved; that she be allowed payment of P22,000.00 as her advance or allowance against the distributive share as similar advances and allowances had been granted by the oppositor Socorro Manalo and the surviving spouse Felisa Alabastro; and that she be granted allowance and payment of her administratrix' compensation and fees for her administration of the intestate estate.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Before action could be taken by the lower court on petitioner's motion for new trial and/or reconsideration, petitioner interposed the present petition for certiorari before this Court, alleging that respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the challenged orders. The gist of petitioner's contention is that she cannot be compelled to deposit in a bank what she no longer has, considering that she is entitled to the deductions which she made from the original amount, for (a) as sole surviving child of decedent, she is entitled to advances and allowances from the inheritance, and (b) as administratrix, she is to be reimbursed for her expenditures and to deduct her fees as such administratrix.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The instant petition must be dismissed. In the case at bar, there is pending before the court a quo a motion for new trial and/or reconsideration filed by the petitioner-administratrix. In said motion, she prays for a chance to submit "receipts proving the disbursements itemized in her verified accounting, and therefore begs leave for a new trial to offer such evidence". She also alleges therein that she will submit evidence which will show that her disbursements "are properly and legally chargeable to the estate". She therefore prayed for the reconsideration of the denial of her motion for payment of P22,000.00 "as her advance or allowance against her distributive share" and the payment of her fees as administratrix. It is very obvious that the court a quo should be given an opportunity to act on these matters because the correctness of the order requiring petitioner to deposit the amount of P39,240.15 with a banking institution is dependent upon the ascertainment by the court of the correctness of the account of the administratrix. Contrary to petitioner's contention, the matters relating to the advances to her as heir, her compensation as administratrix and her other disbursements cannot be considered separately from the order to deposit the amount of P39,240.15, for as the respondent court observed: "It is ... very obvious that should said petitions be granted, she shall be relieved thereby of her obligation to deposit the amount of P39,314.15 as ordered by this Court." Our decision of July 31, 1963 which modified the appealed order of the Quezon Court of First Instance in effect reaffirmed the authority of the probate court to pass upon the correctness of the disbursements made by the administratrix, as clearly shown by the dispositive portion thereof, which directed the deposit of the balance of the original amount of P40,938.56 in the possession of the administratrix after deducting the expenses, allowances and inheritances approved or authorized by the court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Pursuant to Section 7 of Rule 85 of the Rules, 3 a judicial administrator is entitled, by way of compensation as such, to either (a) P4.00 per day "for the time actually and necessarily employed" by him as such administrator, or (b) a "commission upon the value of so much of the estate as comes into his possession and was finally disposed of by him" according to the schedule therein provided. The administrator may be allowed a greater or additional sum "where the estate is large, and the settlement has been attended with great difficulty, and has required a high degree of capacity on the part of the executor or administrator". It must be noted that petitioner is seeking as her compensation as administratrix an amount greater than that ordinarily allowed under the rules on the ground that the estate is large, its settlement "having been attended with great difficulty (since 1947 or almost 17 years ago) and required a high degree of capacity". In order to entitle the executor or administrator to additional compensation, the estate must be large, the settlement extraordinarily difficult, and a high degree of capacity demonstrated by him. The amount of his fee in special cases under the Rules is a matter largely in the discretion of the probate court, which will not be disturbed on appeal, except for an abuse of discretion. 4Whether or not the probate court abused its discretion would depend on the attendant facts. We do not have before Us any competent evidence on the basis of which We can ascertain the veracity of petitioner's claims. Upon the other hand, such evidence could be presented before the court a quo. Similarly, any review of the order of the probate court denying petitioner's motions on the ground that the different disbursements contained in her accounts "are not only unsupported by receipts but likewise not properly and legally chargeable against the estate of the deceased ..." would involve a consideration of the supporting evidence which We do not have before Us. Indeed, petitioner alleges in her petition that it is for the purpose of submitting the "supporting proofs" to her account that she filed the motion for new trial with the court a quo. It likewise appears from the records that the court below was given almost no time to pass upon the motion, the same being dated May 26, 1965 and this petition for certiorari being dated June 1, 1965. On the basis of the foregoing facts, the present petition for certiorari is indeed premature. We consider it pertinent to state that:
And We have emphasized that before a petition for certiorari can be brought against an order of the trial court, all remedies available in that court must first be exhausted. Thus, a petition for certiorari may not be granted where there is an appeal or other adequate remedy, like a motion for reconsideration, which is pending in the court below. 6The lower court must be granted by the aggrieved party sufficient opportunity to correct the error it may have committed. 7It is true that there are several exceptions to this rule, such as where the order complained of is void for being violative of due process; 8or there are special circumstances which warrant immediate and more direct action; 9 or where execution had been ordered and the need for relief is extremely urgent; 10or the lower court has taken an unreasonably long time to resolve the motions before it and further delay would prejudice the party concerned; 11or where the motion will raise the same point which has already been squarely stated before the court; 12or the proceeding in which the order occurred is a patent nullity as the court acted without jurisdiction. 13However, the case at bar does not fall within any of the above exceptions.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby dismissed, with costs against the petitioner.
Barredo, (Actg. Chairman), Aquino, Concepcion, Jr. and Martin, JJ., concur.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Fernando (Chairman), J., is on leave.
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