G.R. NO. 11960, 27 December 1958
Agustin Padura contracted two marriages during his lifetime. With his first wife, Gervacia Landig, he had one child whom they named Manuel Padura, and with his second, Benita Garing; he had two children named Fortunato Padura and Candelaria Padura.
Agustin Padura died on April 26, 1908, leaving a last will and testament, duly probated in the Court of First Instance of Laguna, wherein he bequeathed his properties among his children, Manuel, Candelaria and Fortunato, and his surviving spouse, Benita Garing. Under the probate proceedings, Fortunate was adjudicated four parcels of land.
Fortunato Padura died unmarried, without having executed a will; and not having any issue, the said parcels of land were inherited exclusively by her mother, Benita Garing. She applied for and later was issued a Torrens Certificate of Title in her name, but subject to the condition that the properties were reservable in favor of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came.
Candelaria Padura died leaving as her only heirs, her four legitimate children, Cristeta, Melania, Anicia and Pablo, all surnamed Baldovino. Six years later, Manuel Padura also died. Surviving him are his legitimate children, Dionisia, Felisa, Flora, Gornelio, Francisco, Juana, and Severino, all surnamed Padura.
Upon the death of Benita Garing (the reservista), appellants and appellees took possession of the reservable properties. The legitimate children of the deceased Manuel Padura and Candelaria Baldovino were declared to be the rightful reservees, and as such, entitled to the reservable properties (the original reservees Candelaria Padura and Manuel Padura, having predeceased the reservista).
Whether the reserved properties be apportioned among them equally.
In the relations between one reservatario and another of the same degree, there is no call for applying Art. 891 any longer; wherefore, the respective share of each in the reversionary property should be governed by the ordinary rules of intestate succession. Upon the death of the ascendant reservista, the reservable property should pass, not to all the reservatorios as a class, but only to those nearest in degree to the descendant (prepositus), excluding those reservatarios of more remote degree. And within the third degree of relationship from the descendant (prepositus), the right of representation operates in favor of nephews.
“Following the order prescribed by law in legitimate succession, when there are re1atives of the descendant within the third degree, the right of the nearest relative, called reservatario, over the property which the reservista (person holding it subject to reservation) should return to him, excludes that of the one more remote. The right of representation cannot be alleged when the one claiming same as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which such property came, inasmuch as the right granted by the Civil Code in Article 811 is in the highest degree personal and for the exclusive benefit of designated persons who are within the third degree of the person from whom the reservable property came. Therefore, relatives of the fourth and the succeeding degrees can never be considered as reservatarios, since the law does not recognize them as such.
In spite of what has been said relative to the right of representation on the part of one alleging his right as reservatario who is not within the third degree of relationship, nevertheless there is right of representation on the part of reservatarios who are within the third degree mentioned by law, as in the case of nephews of the deceased person from whom the reservable property came.
Proximity of degree and right of representation are basic principles of ordinary intestate succession; so is the rule that whole blood brothers and nephews are entitled to a share double that of brothers and nephews of half-blood. If in determining the rights of the reservatarios inter se, proximity of degree and the right of representation of nephews are made to apply, the rule of double share for immediate collaterals of the whole blood should be likewise operative.
*Case digest by Geraldine M. Cabucos, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019