G.R. No. L-23079February 27, 1970RUBEN AUSTRIA, CONSUELO AUSTRIA-BENTA and LAURO AUSTRIA MOZO,petitioners,vs.HON. ANDRES REYES, Judge, Court of First Instance of Rizal, PERFECTO CRUZ, BENITACRUZ-MENEZ ISAGANI CRUZ, ALBERTO CRUZ and LUZ CRUZ-SALONGA respondents.CASTRO, J.:On July 7, 1956 Basilia Austria vda. de Cruz filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal(Special Proceedings 2457) a petition for probate, ante mortem, of her last will andtestament. The probate was opposed by the present petitioners Ruben Austria,Consuelo Austria-Benta and Lauro Austria Mozo, and still others who, like thepetitioner, are nephews and nieces of Basilia. This opposition was, however, dismissedand the probate of the will allowed after due hearing.The bulk of the estate of Basilia, admittedly, was destined under the will to pass on tothe respondents Perfecto Cruz, Benita Cruz-Meñez, Isagani Cruz, Alberto Cruz, and LuzCruz-Salonga, all of whom had been assumed and declared by Basilia as her own legallyadopted children.On April 23, 1959, more than two years after her will was allowed to probate, Basiliadied. The respondent Perfecto Cruz was appointed executor without bond by the samecourt in accordance with the provisions of the decedent's will, notwithstanding theblocking attempt pursued by the petitioner Ruben Austria.Finally, on November 5, 1959, the present petitioners filed in the same proceedings apetition in intervention for partition alleging in substance that they are the nearest ofkin of Basilia, and that the five respondents Perfecto Cruz, et al., had not in fact beenadopted by the decedent in accordance with law, in effect rendering these respondentsmere strangers to the decedent and without any right to succeed as heirs.Notwithstanding opposition by the respondent Perfecto Cruz, as executor of the estate,the court a quo allowed the petitioners' intervention by its order of December 22,1959, couched in broad terms, as follows: "The Petition in Intervention for Partitionfiled by the above-named oppositors [Ruben Austria, et al.,] dated November 5, 1959 ishereby granted."In the meantime, the contending sides debated the matter of authenticity or lack of itof the several adoption papers produced and presented by the respondents. Onmotion of the petitioners Ruben Austria, et al., these documents were referred to theNational Bureau of Investigation for examination and advice. N.B.I. report seems tobear out the genuineness of the documents, but the petitioners, evidently dissatisfiedwith the results, managed to obtain a preliminary opinion from a Constabularyquestioned-document examiner whose views undermine the authenticity of the saiddocuments. The petitioners Ruben Austria, et al., thus moved the lower court to referthe adoption papers to the Philippine Constabulary for further study. The petitionerslikewise located former personnel of the court which appeared to have granted thequestioned adoption, and obtained written depositions from two of them denying anyknowledge of the pertinent adoption proceedings.