Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-10033 August 30, 1917
THE CITY OF MANILA, petitioner-appellant,
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA and THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE ESTATE OF MARIA CONCEPCION SARMIENTO, interveners-appellees.
City Attorney Escaler for appellant.
William A. Kincaid and Thomas L. Hartigan for the appellee Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila.
No appearance for the other appellee.
This action was commenced in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila on the 15th day of February, 1913. Its purpose was to have declared escheated to the city of Manila certain property situated in and around said city; that said property consists of five parcels of land located ion the districts of Malate and Paco of the city of Manila, as shown in a plan, in the office of the Department of Engineering and Public Works of said city of Manila, No. B-10-27. The theory of the plaintiff is that one Ana Sarmiento was the owner of said property and died in the year 1668 without leaving "her or person entitled to the same."
After hearing the evidence, the Honorable A. S. Crossfield, in a carefully prepared opinion, reached the conclusion that the prayer of the plaintiff should be denied without any finding as to costs. From that conclusion the plaintiff appealed to this court and made a number of assignments of error.
After an examination of the evidence adduced during the trial of the cause, we find that the following facts were proved by a large preponderance of the evidence: That Ana Sarmiento resided, with her husband, in the city of Manila sometime prior to the 17th day of November, 1668; that on said date she made a will; that on the 23d day of November, 1668, she added a codicil to said will, that on the 19th day of May, 1669, she made another will making a part thereof the said codicil of November 23d, 1668; that said will contained provisions for the establishment of a "Capellania de Misas;" that the first chaplain of said capellania should be her nephew Pedro del Castillo; that said will contained a provision for the administration of said property in relation with the said "Capellania de Misas" succeeding administration should continue perpetually; that said Ana Sarmiento died about the year 1672; that for more than two hundred years the intervener, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, through his various agencies, has administered said property; that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila has rightfully and legally succeeded in accordance with the terms and provisions of the will of Ana Sarmiento.
Section 750 of Act No. 190 provides when property may be declared escheated. It provides, "when a person dies intestate, seized of real or personal property . . . leaving no heir or person by law entitled to the same," that then and in that case such property under the procedure provided for by sections 751 and 752, may de declared escheated.
The proof shows that Ana Sarmiento did not die intestate. She left a will. The will provides for the administration of said property by her nephew as well as for the subsequent administration of the same. She did not die without an heir nor without persons entitled to administer her estate. It further shows that she did not die without leaving a person by law entitled to inherit her property. In view of the facts, therefore, the property in question cannot be declared escheated as of the property of Ana Sarmiento. If by any chance the property may be declared escheated, it must be based upon the fact that persons subsequent to Ana Sarmiento died intestate without leaving heir or person by law entitled to the same.
The will clearly, definitely and unequivocally defines and designates what disposition shall be made of the property in question. The heir mentioned in said will evidently accepted its terms and permitted the property to be administered in accordance therewith. And, so far as the record shows, it is still being administered in accordance with the terms of said will for the benefit of the real beneficiary as was intended by the original owner.
The record fully and completely shows that the theory of the plaintiff is without foundation either in fact or in law.
The judgment of the lower court is, therefore, hereby affirmed, with costs in this instance. So ordered.
Arellano, C.J., Araullo, Street and Malcolm, JJ., concur.
The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation