SAGRADO LABRADOR vs. CA

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF MELECIO LABRADOR.


SAGRADO LABRADOR vs. CA

G.R. Nos. 83843-44              

April 5, 1990

FACTS:


Melecio Labrador left behind a parcel of land and a holographic will. His heirs were Sagrado, Enrica, Cristobal, Jesus, Gaudencio, Josefina, Juliana, Hilaria and Jovita. Sagrado Labrador filed a petition for the probate of Melecio’s holographic will.


The first paragraph of the second page of the holographic will states:


And this is the day in which we agreed that we are making the partitioning and assigning the respective assignment of the said fishpond, and this being in the month of March, 17th day, in the year 1968, and this decision and or instruction of mine is the matter to be followed. And the one who made this writing is no other than MELECIO LABRADOR, their father.


Jesus Labrador opposed the petition on the ground that the will has been revoked by implication of law because prior to his death, Melecio sold the said parcel of land to oppositors Jesus and Gaudencio. Earlier however, Jesus Labrador sold said parcel of land to Navat. Sagrado thereupon filed against his brothers, Gaudencio and Jesus, for the annulment of said purported Deed of Absolute Sale over a parcel of land which Sagrado allegedly had already acquired by devise from their father Melecio Labrador through the holographic will.  


The trial court allowed the probate of the holographic will and declared the sale of the land null and void.


On appeal, the CA denied the allowance of the probate for being undated and reversed the order of reimbursement for the sale of the land. MR was denied hence this petition.


ISSUE: Whether or not the alleged holographic will of Melecio Labrador is dated, as provided for in Article 810 of the New Civil Code.


RULING:


Yes. The holographic will of Melecio Labrador is dated. The SC held that the will has been dated in the hand of the testator himself in perfect compliance with Article 810. The Court emphasized that the law does not specify a particular location where the date should be placed in the will. The only requirements are that the date be in the will itself and executed in the hand of the testator. These requirements are present in the subject will.


Respondents claim that the date 17 March 1968 in the will was when the testator and his beneficiaries entered into an agreement among themselves about "the partitioning and assigning the respective assignments of the said fishpond," and was not the date of execution of the holographic will; hence, the will is more of an "agreement" between the testator and the beneficiaries thereof to the prejudice of other compulsory heirs like the respondents.


Respondents according to the SC are in error. The intention to show 17 March 1968 as the date of the execution of the will is plain from the tenor of the succeeding words of the paragraph. As aptly put by petitioner, the will was not an agreement but a unilateral act of Melecio Labrador who plainly knew that what he was executing was a will. The act of partitioning and the declaration that such partitioning as the testator's instruction or decision to be followed reveal that Melecio Labrador was fully aware of the nature of the estate property to be disposed of and of the character of the testamentary act as a means to control the disposition of his estate.


Anent the second issue of finding the reimbursement of the P5,000 representing the redemption price as erroneous, respondent court's conclusion is incorrect. When private respondents sold the property (fishpond) with right to repurchase to Navat for P5,000, they were actually selling property belonging to another and which they had no authority to sell, rendering such sale null and void. Petitioners, thus "redeemed" the property from Navat for P5,000, to immediately regain possession of the property for its disposition in accordance with the will. Petitioners therefore deserve to be reimbursed the P5,000.


The probate of the holographic will of Melecio Labrador was allowed.

 


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