27. Kalaw vs Relova

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  Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT ManilaFIRST DIVISION G.R. No. L-40207 September 28, 1984ROSA . ALA!, petitioner, vs. ON. #U$GE %EN#AM&N RELO'A, Pre()*)+ #*e o t/e C& o %t+(, %r+/ '&, L)p C)t3, +* GREGOR&O . ALA!, respondents. Leandro H. Fernandez for petitioner. Antonio Quintos and Jose M. Yacat for respondents.  MELENC&O- ERRERA, J.: On Septeber !, ! #!, private respondent $R%$ORIO &. &'('), claiin* to be the sole heir of his deceased sister, Natividad &. &ala+, filed a petition before the ourt of First Instance of -atan*as, -ranch VI, (ipa it, for the probate of her holo*raphic )ill e/ecuted on Deceber 01, ! 23.The holo*raphic )ill reads in full as follo+s4M (ast +ill and TestaentIn the nae of $od, 'en.I Natividad &. &ala+ Filipino 25ears of a*e, sin*le, and a resident of (ipa it, bein* of sound and disposin* ind and eor, do hereb declare thus to be  last +ill and testaent.!. It is  +ill that I6ll be burried in the ceeter of the catholic church of (ipa it. In accordance +ith the ri*hts of said hurch, and that  e/ecutri/ hereinafter naed provide and erect at the e/pose of  state a suitable onuent to perpetuate  eor./// /// ///The holo*raphic )ill, as first +ritten, naed ROS' &. &ala+, a sister of the testatri/ as her sole heir.7ence, on Noveber !8, ! #!, petitioner ROS' &. &ala+ opposed probate alle*in*, in substance, that the holo*raphic )ill contained alterations, corrections, and insertions +ithout the proper authentication b the full si*nature of the testatri/ as re9uired b 'rticle 3!1 of the ivil ode readin*4   'rt. 3!1. In case of an insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration in a holo*raphic +ill the testator ust authenticate the sae b his full si*nature.ROS'6s position +as that the holo*raphic )ill, as first +ritten, should be *iven effect and probated so that she could be the sole heir thereunder. 'fter trial, respondent :ud*e denied probate in an Order, dated Septeber 5, ! # 5, readin* in part4The docuent %/hibit ;; +as subitted to the National -ureau of Investi*ation for e/aination. The N-I reported that the hand+ritin*, the si*nature, the insertions and<or additions and the initial +ere ade b one and the sae person. onse9uentl, %/hibit ;; +as the hand+ritin* of the decedent, Natividad &. &ala+. The onl 9uestion is +hether the +in, %/hibit 66, should be aditted to probate althou*h the alterations and<or insertions or additions above=entioned +ere not authenticated b the full si*nature of the testatri/ pursuant to 'rt. 3!1 of the ivil ode. The petitioner contends that the oppositors are estopped to assert the provision of 'rt. 3!1 on the *round that the theselves a*reed thru their counsel to subit the Docuent to the N-I FOR %>'MIN'TIONS. This is untenable. The parties did not a*ree, nor +as it ipliedl understood, that the oppositors +ould be inestoppel.The ourt finds, therefore, that the provision of 'rticle 3!1 of the ivil ode is applicable to %/hibit ;;. Findin* the insertions, alterations and<or additions in %/hibit;; not to be authenticated b the full si*nature of the testatri/ Natividad &. &ala+, the ourt +ill den the adission to probate of %/hibit ;;.)7%R%FOR%, the petition to probate %/hibit ;; as the holo*raphic +ill of Natividad &. &ala+ is hereb denied.SO ORD%R%D.Fro that Order, $R%$ORIO oved for reconsideration ar*uin* that since the alterations and<or insertions +ere the testatri/, the denial to probate of her holo*raphic )ill +ould be contrar to her ri*ht of testaentar disposition. Reconsideration +as denied in an Order, dated Noveber 0, ! #5,on the *round that ;'rticle 3!1 of the ivil ode bein* , clear and e/plicit, ?it@ re9uires no necessit for interpretation.;Fro that Order, dated Septeber 5, ! #5, denin* probate, and the Order dated Noveber 0, ! #5 denin* reconsideration, ROS' filed this Petition for Revie+ on certiorari on the sole le*al 9uestion of +hether or not the srcinal unaltered   te/t after subse9uent alterations and insertions +ere voided b the Trial ourt for lacA of authentication b the full si*nature of the testatri/, should be probated or not, +ith her as sole heir.Ordinaril, +hen a number   of erasures, corrections, and interlineations ade b the testator in a holo*raphic )ill lite not been noted under his si*nature, ... the )ill is not thereb invalidated as a +hole, but at ost onl as respects the particular +ords erased, corrected or interlined. 1  Manresa *ave an Identical coentar +hen he said ;la oision de la salvedad no anula el testaento, se*un la re*la de Burisprudencia establecida en la sentencia de 1 de 'bril de !3 C.; 2  7o+ever, +hen as in this case, the holo*raphic )ill in dispute had onl one substantial provision, +hich +as altered b substitutin* the ori*inal heir +ith another, but +hich alteration did not carr the re9uisite of full authentication b the full si*nature of the testator, the effect ust be that the entire )ill is voided or revoAed for the siple reason that nothin* reains in the )ill after that +hich could reain valid. To state that the )ill as first +ritten should be *iven efficac is to disre*ard the seein* chan*e of ind of the testatri/. -ut that chan*e of ind can neither be *iven effect because she failed to authenticate it in the anner re9uired b la+ b affi/in* her full si*nature,The rulin* in Velasco, supra, ust be held confined to such insertions, cancellations, erasures or alterations in a holo*raphic )ill, +hich affect onl the efficac of the altered +ords theselves but not the essence and validit of the )ill itself. 's it is, +ith the erasures, cancellations and alterations ade b the testatri/ herein, her real intention cannot be deterined +ith certitude. 's Manresa had stated in his coentar on 'rticle 233 of the Spanish ivil ode, +hence 'rticle 3!1 of the ne+ ivil ode +as derived4... No infrin*e lo dispuesto en este articulo del odi*o ?el 233@ la sentencia 9ue no declara la nulidad de un testaento olo*rafo 9ue conten*a palabras tachadas, enendadas o entre ren*lones no salvadas por el testador baBo su firnia se*un previene el parrafo tercero del iso, por9ue, en realidad, tal omision solo puede afectar a la validez o eficacia de tales palabras,  nunca al testamento mismo , a por estar esa disposicion en parrafo aparte de a9uel 9ue deterine las condiciones necesarias para la valide del testaento olo*rafo, a por9ue, de aditir lo contrario, se Ile*aria al absurdo de 9ue pe9uefias eniendas no salvadas, 9ue en nada afectasen a la parte esencial  respectiva del testaento, vinieran a anular este,  a por9ue el precepto contenido en dicho parrafo ha de entenderse en perfecta aronia  con*ruencia con el art. 02 de la le del Notariado 9ue declara nulas las adiciones apostillas entrerren*lonados, raspaduras  tachados en las escrituras atrices, siepre 9ue no se salven en la fora prevenida, paro no el docuento 9ue las conten*a,  con aor otivo cuando las palabras enmendadas, tac!adas, o entrerrenglonadas no tengan importancia ni susciten dudaalguna acerca del pensamiento del testador  , o constituan eros accidentes de orto*rafia o de pure escrituraria, sin trascendencia al*una?l@.Mas para 9ue sea aplicable la doctrina de e/cepcion contenida en este ultio fallo,  es preciso ue las tac!aduras, enmiendas o entrerrenglonados sin salvar saan de pala bras ue no afecter# alteren ni uarien de modo substancial la e$press voluntad del testador manifiesta en el documento . 'si lo advierte la sentencia de 0 de Noviebre de ! !2, 9ue declara nulo un testaento olo*rafo por no estar salvada por el testador la enienda del *uariso ultio del aEo en 9ue fue e/tendido   ?%phasis ours@. )7%R%FOR%, this Petition is hereb disissed and the Decision of respondent :ud*e, dated Septeber 5, ! #5, is hereb affired in toto . No costs.SO ORD%R%D. %lana, &utierrez, Jr. and 'e la Fuente, JJ., concur.(elova, J., too) no part.    Seprte Op)+)o+(   TEE ANEE, J., concurrin*4I concur. Rosa, havin* appealed to this ourt on a sole 9uestion of la+, is bound b the trial court6s factual findin* that the peculiar alterations in the holo*raphic +ill crossin* out Rosa6s nae and instead insertin* her brother $re*orio6s nae as sole heir and ;sole e/ecutri/; +ere ade b the testatri/ in her o+n hand+ritin*. ?I find it peculiar that the testatri/ +ho +as obviousl an educated person +ould unthinAin*l aAe such crude alterations instead of consultin* her la+er and +ritin* an entirel ne+ holo*raphic +i* in order to avoid an doubts as to her chan*e of heir. It should be noted that the first alteration crossin* out ;sister Rosa &. &ala+; and insertin* ;brother $re*orio &ala+; as sole heir is not even initialed b the testatri/. Onl the second alteration crossin* out ;sister Rosa &. &ala+; and insertin* ;brother $re*orio &ala+; as ;sole e/ecutri/; is initialed.@ Probate of the radicall altered +ill replacin* $re*orio for Rosa as sole heir is properl denied, since the sae +as not dul authenticated b the full si*nature of the e/ecutri/ as andatoril re9uired b  'rticle 3!1 of the ivil ode. The ori*inal unaltered +ill nain* Rosa as sole heir cannot, ho+ever, be *iven effect in vie+ of the trial court6s factual findin* that the testatri/ had b her o+n hand+ritin* substituted $re*orio for Rosa, so that there is no lon*er an +ill nain* Rosa as sole heir. The net result is that the testatri/ left no valid +ill and both Rosa and $re*orio as her ne/t of Aill succeed to her intestate estate.  Seprte Op)+)o+(TEE ANEE, J., concurrin*4I concur. Rosa, havin* appealed to this ourt on a sole 9uestion of la+, is bound b the trial court6s factual findin* that the peculiar alterations in the holo*raphic +ill crossin* out Rosa6s nae and instead insertin* her brother $re*orio6s nae as sole heir and ;sole e/ecutri/; +ere ade b the testatri/ in her o+n hand+ritin*. ?I find it peculiar that the testatri/ +ho +as obviousl an educated person +ould unthinAin*l aAe such crude alterations instead of consultin* her la+er and +ritin* an entirel ne+ holo*raphic +i* in order to avoid an doubts as to her chan*e of heir. It should be noted that the first alteration crossin* out ;sister Rosa &. &ala+; and insertin* ;brother $re*orio &ala+; as sole heir is not even initialed b the testatri/. Onl the second alteration crossin* out ;sister Rosa &. &ala+; and insertin* ;brother $re*orio &ala+; as ;sole e/ecutri/; is initialed.@ Probate of the radicall altered +ill replacin* $re*orio for Rosa as sole heir is properl denied, since the sae +as not dul authenticated b the full si*nature of the e/ecutri/ as andatoril re9uired b  'rticle 3!1 of the ivil ode. The ori*inal unaltered +ill nain* Rosa as sole heir cannot, ho+ever, be *iven effect in vie+ of the trial court6s factual findin* that the testatri/ had b her o+n hand+ritin* substituted $re*orio for Rosa, so that there is no lon*er an +ill nain* Rosa as sole heir. The net
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