Parenthetically the settlementfamily home deed cannot be considered a public

Parenthetically the settlementfamily home deed cannot

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administrative offices generally. Parenthetically, the settlement/family home deed cannot be considered a public document. This is because the following cast doubt on the document’s authenticity, to wit: The date of its execution was not indicated; 1.) 235 VOL. 765, AUGUST 5, 2015 235 Butiong vs. Plazo The amount of consideration was superimposed; 2.) It was not presented to the Registry of Deeds of Nasugbu, Batangas for annotation; and 3.) Not even the supposed notary public, Alfredo de Guzman, or the purported buyer, the 4.) Spouses Rolando and Ma. Cecilia Bondoc, were presented as witnesses. Concededly, the absence of notarization in the resort deed and/or the lacking details in the settlement/family home deed did not necessarily invalidate the transactions evidenced by the said documents. However, since the said deeds are private documents, perforce, their due execution and authenticity becomes subject to the requirement of proof under the Rules on Evidence , Section 20, Rule 132 of which provides: 20. Sec. Proof of private document.— Before any private document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity 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 the maker. (b) The Complaining Heirs insist that the settlement/family home and the resort deed are void as their signatures thereon are forgeries as opposed to the Villafrias who profess the deeds’ enforceability. After the Complaining Heirs presented proofs in support of their claim that their signatures were forged, the burden then fell upon the Villafrias to disprove the same, or conversely, to prove the authenticity and due execution of the said deeds. The Villafrias failed in this regard . As aforestated, the Villafrias did not present as witnesses (a) the notary public who purportedly notarized the questioned instrument, (b) the wit- 236 236 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Butiong vs. Plazo nesses who appear[ed] in the instruments as eyewitnesses to the signing, or (c) an expert to prove the authenticity and genuineness of all the signatures appearing on the said instruments. Verily, the rule that, proper foundation must be laid for the admission of documentary evidence; that is, the identity and authenticity of the document must be reasonably established as a prerequisite to its admission, was prudently observed by the lower court when it refused to admit the settlement/family home and the resort deeds as their veracity are doubtful. 17 Aggrieved, petitioners, substituted by their son Ruel Villafria, filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated November 24, 2006 raising the trial court’s lack of jurisdiction. It was
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alleged that when the Complaint for Judicial Partition with Annulment of Title and Recovery of Possession was filed, there was yet no settlement of Pedro’s estate, determination as to the nature thereof, nor was there an identification of the number of legitimate heirs. As such, the trial court ruled on the settlement of the intestate estate of Pedro in its ordinary jurisdiction when the action filed was for Judicial Partition.
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