The Court of First Instance by decision of found that the will was

The court of first instance by decision of found that

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Supreme Court in a decision promulgated on August 3, 1954. The Court of First Instance, by decision of June 20, 1958, found that the will was genuine and properly executed; but deferred resolution on the questions of estoppel and revocation "until such time when we shall pass upon the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will or when the question of adjudication of the properties is opportunely presented." The appellate Court held that the decree of June 20, 1958, admitting the will to probate, had become final for lack of opportune appeal; that the same was appealable independently of the issue of implied revocation. ISSUE: (a) Whether or not the decree of the Court of First Instance allowing the will to probate had become final for lack of appeal. YES (b) Whether or not the order of the Court of origin dated July 27, 1959, overruling the estoppel invoked by oppositors- appellants had likewise become final. NO RULING: a. YES. It is elementary that a probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions concerning capacity of the testator and the proper execution and witnessing of his last will and testament, irrespective of whether its provisions are valid and enforceable or otherwise. (Montañano vs. Suesa, 14 Phil. 676; Mercado vs. Santos, 66 Phil. 215; Trillana vs. Crisostomo, 89 Phil. 710). As such, the probate order is final and appealable; and it is so recognized by express provisions of Section 1 of Rule 109, that specifically prescribes that "any interested person may appeal in special proceedings from an order or judgment . . . where such order or judgment: (a) allows or disallows a will." There being no controversy that the probate decree of the Court below was not appealed on time, the same had become final and conclusive. Hence, the appellate courts may no longer revoke said decree nor review the evidence upon which it is made to rest. Thus, the appeal belatedly lodged against the decree was correctly dismissed. b. As to the issue of estoppel, we have already ruled in Guevara vs. Guevara, 98 Phil. 249, that the presentation and probate of a will are requirements of public policy, being primarily designed to protect the testator's, expressed wishes, which are entitled to respect as a consequence of the decedent's ownership and right of disposition within legal limits. Evidence of it is the duty imposed on a custodian of a will to deliver the same to the Court, and the fine and imprisonment prescribed for its violation (Revised Rule 75). It would be a non sequitur to allow public policy to be evaded on the pretext of estoppel. Whether or not the order overruling the allegation of
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R U L E 7 5 | 4 estoppel is still appealable or not, the defense is patently unmeritorious and the Court of Appeals correctly so ruled. 6. G.R. No. L-23445 June 23, 1966 REMEDIOS NUGUID, petitioner and appellant, vs. FELIX NUGUID and PAZ SALONGA NUGUID, oppositors and appellees.
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