administrative offices generally.Parenthetically, the settlement/family home deed cannot beconsidered a public document. This is because the following cast doubton the document’s authenticity, to wit:The date of its execution was not indicated;1.)235VOL. 765, AUGUST 5, 2015235Butiong vs. PlazoThe amount of consideration was superimposed;2.)It was not presented to the Registry of Deeds of Nasugbu, Batangasfor annotation; and3.)Not even the supposed notary public, Alfredo de Guzman, or thepurported buyer, the4.) Spouses Rolando and Ma. Cecilia Bondoc,were presented as witnesses.Concededly, the absence of notarization in the resort deed and/or thelacking details in the settlement/family home deed did not necessarilyinvalidate the transactions evidenced by the said documents. However, sincethe said deeds are private documents, perforce, their due execution andauthenticity becomes subject to the requirement of proof underthe Rules on Evidence, Section 20, Rule 132 of which provides:20. Sec.Proof of private document.—Before any private documentoffered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution andauthenticity must be proved either:By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or(a)By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of themaker.(b)The Complaining Heirs insist that the settlement/familyhome and the resort deed are void as their signatures thereonare forgeries as opposed to the Villafrias who profess thedeeds’ enforceability. After the Complaining Heirspresented proofs in support of their claim that theirsignatures were forged, the burden then fell upon theVillafrias to disprove the same, or conversely, to prove theauthenticity and due execution of the said deeds. TheVillafrias failed in this regard.As aforestated, the Villafrias did not present as witnesses(a) the notary public who purportedly notarized thequestioned instrument, (b) the wit-236236SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATEDButiong vs. Plazonesses who appear[ed] in the instruments as eyewitnesses to thesigning, or (c) an expert to prove the authenticity and genuineness of allthe signatures appearing on the said instruments. Verily, the rule that,proper foundation must be laid for the admission of documentaryevidence; that is, the identity and authenticity of the document must bereasonably established as a prerequisite to its admission, was prudentlyobserved by the lower court when it refused to admit thesettlement/family home and the resort deeds as their veracity aredoubtful.17Aggrieved, petitioners, substituted by their son RuelVillafria, filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated November24, 2006 raising the trial court’s lack of jurisdiction. It was
alleged that when the Complaint for Judicial Partition withAnnulment of Title and Recovery of Possession was filed,there was yet no settlement of Pedro’s estate, determination asto the nature thereof, nor was there an identification of thenumber of legitimate heirs. As such, the trial court ruled on thesettlement of the intestate estate of Pedro in its ordinaryjurisdiction when the action filed was for Judicial Partition.
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Law, Supreme Court of the United States, Pleading, Appellate court, Trial court