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  • 7/26/2019 Santos vs Manarang.pdf


    Today is Sunday, December 14, 2014

    Republic of the Philippines




    G.R. No. L-8235 March 19, 1914

    ISIDRO SANTOS,plaintiff-appellant,


    LEANDRA MANARANG, administratrix,defendant-appellee.

    W. A. Kincaid and Thomas L. Hartigan for appellant.

    Ramon Salinas for appellee.

    TRENT, J.:

    Don Lucas de Ocampo died on November 18, 1906, possessed of certain real and personal property which, by his

    last will and testament dated July 26, 1906, he left to his three children. The fourth clause of this will reads as


    I also declare that I have contracted the debts detailed below, and it is my desire that they may be religiously

    paid by my wife and executors in the form and at the time agreed upon with my creditors.

    Among the debts mentioned in the list referred to are two in favor of the plaintiff, Isidro Santos; one due on April 14,

    1907, for P5,000, and various other described as falling due at different dates (the dates are not given) amounting to

    the sum of P2,454. The will was duly probated and a committee was regularly appointed to hear and determine such

    claims against the estate as might be presented. This committee submitted its report to the court on June 27, 1908.

    On July 14, 1908, the plaintiff, Isidro Santos, presented a petition to the court asking that the committee be requiredto reconvene and pass upon his claims against the estate which were recognized in the will of testator. This petition

    was denied by the court, and on November 21, 1910, the plaintiff instituted the present proceedings against the

    administratrix of the estate to recover the sums mentioned in the will as due him. Relief was denied in the court

    below, and now appeals to this court.

    In his first assignment of error, the appellant takes exception to the action of the court in denying his petition asking

    that the committee be reconvened to consider his claim. In support of this alleged error counsel say that it does not

    appear in the committee's report that the publications required by section 687 of the Code of Civil Procedure had

    been duly made. With reference to this point the record affirmatively shows that the committee did make the

    publications required by law. It is further alleged that at the time the appellant presented his petition the court had

    not approved the report of the committee. If this were necessary we might say that, although the record does not

    contain a formal approval of the committee's report, such approval must undoubtedly have been made, as will

    appear from an inspection of the various orders of the court approving the annual accounts of the administratrix, in

    which claims allowed against the estate by the committee were written off in accordance with its report. This is

    shown very clearly from the court's order of August 1, 1912, in which the account of the administratrix was approved

    after reducing final payments of some of the claims against the estate to agree with the amounts allowed by the

    committee. It is further alleged that at the time this petition was presented the administration proceedings had not

    been terminated. This is correct.

    In his petition of July 14, 1909, asking that the committee be reconvened to consider his claims, plaintiff states that

    his failure to present the said claims to the committee was due to his belief that it was unnecessary to do so

    because of the fact that the testator, in his will, expressly recognized them and directed that they should be paid. The

    inference is that had plaintiff's claims not been mentioned in the will he would have presented to the committee as a

    matter of course; that plaintiff was held to believe by this express mention of his claims in the will that it would be

    unnecessary to present them to the committee; and that he did not become aware of the necessity of presentingthem to the committee until after the committee had made its final report.

    Under these facts and circumstances, did the court err in refusing to reconvene the committee for the purpose of

    considering plaintiff's claim? The first step towards the solution of this question is to determine whether plaintiff's

    claims were such as a committee appointed to hear claims against an estate is, by law, authorized to pass upon.


  • 7/26/2019 Santos vs Manarang.pdf


    n ess was suc a c a m p a n s argumen as no oun a on. ec on empowers e comm ee o ry an

    decide claims which survive against the executors and administrators, even though they be demandable at a future

    day "except claims for the possession of or title to real estate." Section 700 provides that all actions commenced

    against the deceased person for the recovery of money, debt, or damages, pending at the time the committee is

    appointed, shall be discontinued, and the claims embraced within such actions presented to the committee. Section

    703 provides that actions to recover title or possession of real property, actions to recover damages for injury to

    person or property, real and personal, and actions to recover the possession of specified articles of personal

    property, shall survive, and may be commenced and prosecuted against the executor or administrator; "but all other

    actions commenced against the deceased before his death shall be discontinued and the claims therein involved

    presented before the committee as herein provided." Section 708 provides that a claim secured by a mortgage or

    other collateral security may be abandoned and the claim prosecuted before the committee, or the mortgage may beforeclosed or the security be relied upon, and in the event of a deficiency judgment, the creditor may, after the sale

    of mortgage or upon the insufficiency of the security, prove such deficiency before the committee on claims. There

    are also certain provisions in section 746 et seq., with reference to the presentation of contingent claims to the

    committee after the expiration of the time allowed for the presentation of claims not contingent. Do plaintiff's claims

    fall within any of these sections? They are described in the will as debts. There is nothing in the will to indicate that

    any or all of them are contingent claims, claims for the possession of or title to real property, damages for injury to

    person or property, real or personal, or for the possession of specified articles of personal property. Nor is it asserted

    by the plaintiff that they do. The conclusion is that they were claims proper to be considered by the committee.

    This being true, the next point to determine is, when and under what circumstances may the committee be recalled

    to consider belated claims? Section 689 provides:

    That court shall allow such time as the circumstances of the case require for the creditors to present their

    claims the committee for examination and allowance; but not, in the first instance, more than twelve months,

    or less than six months; and the time allowed shall be stated in the commission. The court may extend the

    time as circumstances require, but not so that the whole time shall exceed eighteen months.

    It cannot be questioned that thus section supersedes the ordinary limitation of actions provided for in chapter 3 of

    the Code. It is strictly confined, in its application, to claims against the estate of deceased persons, and has been

    almost universally adopted as part of the probate law of the United States. It is commonly termed the statute of

    nonclaims, and its purpose is to settle the affairs of the estate with dispatch, so that residue may be delivered to the

    persons entitled thereto without their being afterwards called upon to respond in actions for claims, which, under the

    ordinary statute of limitations, have not yet prescribed.

    The object of the law in fixing a definite period within which claims must be presented is to insure the speedysettling of the affairs of a deceased person and the early delivery of the property of the estate in the hands of

    the persons entitled to receive it. (Estate of De Dios, 24 Phil. Rep., 573.)

    Due possibly to the comparative shortness of the period of limitation applying to such claims as compared with the

    ordinary statute of limitations, the statute of nonclaims has not the finality of the ordinary statute of limitations. It may

    be safely said that a saving provision, more or less liberal, is annexed to the statute of nonclaims in every

    jurisdiction where is found. In this country its saving clause is found in section 690, which reads as follows:

    On application of a creditor who has failed to present his claim, if made within six months after the time

    previously limited, or, if a committee fails to give the notice required by this chapter, and such application is

    made before the final settlement of the estate, the court may, for cause shown, and on such terms as are

    equitable, renew the commission and allow further time, not exceeding one month, for the committee to

    examine such claim, in which case it shall personally notify the parties of the time and place of hearing, andas soon as may be make the return of their doings to the court.

    If the committee fails to give the notice required, that is a sufficient cause for reconvening it for further consideration

    of claims which may not have been presented before its final report was submitted to the court. But, as stated

    above, this is not the case made by the plaintiff, as the committee did give the notice required