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Kristine Joy S.

Esgana Succession (6:30 – 9:00/7:30 – 9:00 Mon/Tue)

TITLE: Morales vs. Olondriz


CITATION: G.R. No. 198994, February 3, 2016

PRINCIPLES:
 Preterition is the complete and total omission of a compulsory heir from the testator’s inheritance
without the heir’s express disinheritance.

 Under the Civil Code, the preterition of a compulsory heir in the direct line shall annul the
institution of heirs, but the devises and legacies shall remain valid insofar as the legitimes are not
impaired. Consequently, if a will does not institute any devisees or legatees, the preterition of a
compulsory heir in the direct line will result in total intestacy.

FACTS:
Alfonso Juan P. Olondriz, Sr. died on June 9, 2003. He was survived by his widow, Ana Maria Ortigas de
Olondriz, and his children: Alfonso Juan O. Olondriz, Jr., Alejandro Marino O. Olondriz, Isabel Rosa O.
Olondriz, Angelo Jose O. Olondriz, and Francisco Javier Maria Bautista Olondriz.

Believing that the decedent died intestate, the respondent heirs filed a petition with the Las Piñas RTC for
the partition of the decedent's estate and the appointment of a special administrator on July 4, 2003. On July
11, 2003, the RTC appointed Alfonso Juan O. Olondriz, Jr. as special administrator.

However, on July 28, 2003, Iris Morales filed a separate petition with the RTC alleging that the decedent
left a will dated July 23, 1991. Morales prayed for the probate of the will and for her appointment as special
administratrix.

Notably, the will omitted Francisco Javier Maria Bautista Olondriz, an illegitimate son of the decedent. The
respondent heirs moved to dismiss the probate proceedings because Francisco was preterited from the will.

The RTC observed: (1) that Morales expressly admitted that Francisco Javier Maria Bautista Olondriz is an
heir of the decedent; (2) that Francisco was clearly omitted from the will; and (3) that based on the
evidentiary hearings, Francisco was clearly preterited. Thus, the RTC reinstated Alfonso Jr. as administrator
of the estate and ordered the case to proceed in intestacy.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there was no preterition because Francisco received a house and lot inter vivos as an advance
on his legitime.

RULING:
Yes.
Preterition consists in the omission of a compulsory heir from the will, either because he is not named or,
although he is named as a father, son, etc., he is neither instituted as an heir nor assigned any part of the
estate without expressly being disinherited — tacitly depriving the heir of his legitime. Preterition requires
that the omission is total, meaning the heir did not also receive any legacies, devises, or advances on his
Kristine Joy S. Esgana Succession (6:30 – 9:00/7:30 – 9:00 Mon/Tue)

legitime. In other words, preterition is the complete and total omission of a compulsory heir from the
testator’s inheritance without the heir’s express disinheritance.

The decedent's will evidently omitted Francisco Olondriz as an heir, legatee, or devisee. As the decedent's
illegitimate son, Francisco is a compulsory heir in the direct line. Unless Morales could show otherwise,
Francisco's omission from the will leads to the conclusion of his preterition. Under the Civil Code, the
preterition of a compulsory heir in the direct line shall annul the institution of heirs, but the devises and
legacies shall remain valid insofar as the legitimes are not impaired. Consequently, if a will does not
institute any devisees or legatees, the preterition of a compulsory heir in the direct line will result in total
intestacy.

During the proceedings in the RTC, Morales had the opportunity to present evidence that Francisco received
donations inter vivos and advances on his legitime from the decedent. However, Morales did not appear
during the hearing dates, effectively waiving her right to present evidence on the issue. We cannot fault the
RTC for reaching the reasonable conclusion that there was preterition.