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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-18799

March 26, 1965

HON. JOSE F. FERNANDEZ, Judge of Court of First Instance, Negros


Occidental,
ASUNCION MARAVILLA, ET AL., petitioners,
vs.
HERMINIO MARAVILLA, respondent.
Jose Gutierrez David for petitioners.
Paredes, Poblador, Cruz and Nazareno for respondent.
RE S O L U T I O N*
BARRERA, J.:
The present case concerns merely a question of the propriety of the appointment
of Eliezar Lopez as co-special administrator of the estate left by the deceased,
Digna Maravilla. In the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental where this
case originated, the surviving spouse, Herminio Maravilla, was appointed special
administrator pending the appointment of a regular administrator. After the
disallowance of the probate of the will by the trial court wherein Herminio
Maravilla was named as executor, some of the intestate heirs of the deceased
petitioned the trial court to appoint Eliezar Lopez as special co-administrator to
protect their interests during the pendency of the appeal taken by Herminio
Maravilla against the disallowance of the will. The trial court granted the petition
and extended an appointment in favor of Eliezar Lopez as special coadministrator. Herminio Maravilla, questioning the propriety and necessity for the
appointment of a special co-administrator, filed a petition for certiorari in the
Court of Appeals. Lopez answered the petition contending that the Court of
Appeals cannot take cognizance of the case as it is not in aid of its appellate
jurisdiction inasmuch as the properties involved in the administration are worth
more than P200,000.00. The Court of Appeals, acting adversely on the
contention of Lopez, rendered a decision setting aside the appointment of Lopez

as co-special administrator. Lopez came to this court for relief. This Court, in its
original decision, ruled that the question involved being one of administration of
the entire estate valued at more than P200,000.00 the matter came within its
exclusive appellate jurisdiction. Nevertheless, this Court exercising its own
jurisdiction, set aside the order of the trial court appointing Lopez as co-special,
administrator. Lopez filed a motion for reconsideration and this court, on May 22,
1964, denied the same. Subsequently, a second motion for reconsideration was
filed predicated on the contention that it having, been found that the Court of
Appeals had no appellate jurisdiction over the case, the findings contained in its
decision could not be the basis for the setting aside of the order of the trial court.
On December 23, 1964, this Court issued a resolution to the following effect:
Considering the second motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioners,
the respondent's opposition thereto, and the petitioners' rejoinder, and
considering further that under the appealed order of the lower court, the
appointment of Eliezar Lopez as special co-administrator would bring no
material damage to respondent special administrator Herminio Maravilla,
the decision of this Court is hereby amended, to sustain the aforesaid
order, pending final determination of the main case (G.R. No. L-23225) or
until a different set of circumstances than those alleged by petitioners as
now prevailing, would justify another action by this Court in the, main case.
SO ORDERED.
Maravilla in turn filed a motion for reconsideration of this resolution, and for the
first time represented to this Court that in the appointment of Eliezar Lopez, the
lower court acted arbitrarily and in abuse of its discretion in not affording
Maravilla the opportunity to be heard and to present evidence to show why
Eliezar Lopez should not be appointed as co-special administrator. In view of this
Last motion for reconsideration, the Court required Eliezar Lopez to present his
answer and later set the incident for hearing. During the oral argument, reference
was made to the manner in which the lower court proceeded in the matter of the
appointment of Eliezar Lopez. Maravilla's counsel vehemently contended that the
lower court acted hastily and harshly in depriving counsel full opportunity to
present his side of the case. He also called attention to an order of the lower
court dated February 15, 1965 directing Eliezar Lopez:

(1) to file a supplemental inventory within a period of thirty (30) days from
February 15, 1965 to expire on March 15, 1965, supplying the alleged
omission committed by Maravilla in the inventory that was filed by him in
the proceedings;
(2) to sue for the annulment of all contracts that are allegedly illegal and
invalid entered into by Maravilla during or before his administration; and
(3) to receive free quedans from the Hawaiian Philippines, Inc. in order to
be able to pay the disbursements due and to deposit the balance thereof.
It being apparent that confusion will result if this order is implemented thus
defeating the purpose of co-administration which presupposes joint and
coordinative action, this Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the
implementation of said order pending the resolution of this incident by this
Court.
1wph1.t

During the hearing, counsel for Maravilla offered to withdraw from the temporary
administration of the estate in favor of an impartial third party if only for the sake
of saving the entire estate from the confusion which will necessarily result if the
present hostile special co-administrators are permitted to remain.
Considering all circumstances of this case, and in view of the resolution of this
Court dated December 28, 1964 sustaining the appointment of Eliezar Lopez as
co-special administrator only "pending final determination of the main case, G.R.
No. L-23225, or until a different set of circumstances than those alleged by
petitioners as now prevailing, would justify another action by the court," it would
seem justifiable to reconsider the entire matter in the face of the subsequent
developments that have supervened. However, the matter of appointment of cospecial administrator being primarily within the sound discretion of the trial court,
we deem it proper to remand this case to the trial court for further proceedings,
with the suggestion that due consideration be given to the offer of Maravilla to
withdraw as special administrator in favor of an impartial third party, which would
seem to be a fair and just solution of the controversy and would amply protect the
interest of both parties.
WHEREFORE, this case is hereby ordered remanded to the court of origin for
further proceedings in consonance with the views herein expressed. So ordered.

Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon,


Regala, Bengzon, J.P. and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.
Makalintal, J., took no part.