G.R. No. L-5971, 27 February 1911, 18 Phil. 450


At the time the will was executed, in a large room connecting with a smaller room by a doorway where a curtain hangs across, one of the witnesses was in the outside room when the other witnesses were attaching their signatures to the instrument.

The trial court did not consider the determination of the issue as to the position of the witness as of vital importance in determining the case. It agreed with the ruling in the case of Jaboneta v. Gustillo that the alleged fact being that one of the subscribing witnesses was in the outer room while the signing occurred in the inner room, would not be sufficient to invalidate the execution of the will.


What is the true test of the testator’s or the witness’ presence in the signing of a will?


The Supreme Court emphasized that the true test of presence of the testator and the witnesses in the execution of a will is not whether they actually saw each other sign, but whether they might have seen each other sign, had they chosen to do so, considering their mental and physical condition and position with relation to each other at the moment of inscription of each signature.

The position of the parties with relation to each other at the moment of the subscription of each signature, must be such that they may see each other sign if they choose to do so.

*Case digest by Honeyleth Luvie T. Hayag, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019