G.R. No. L-22595, November 1, 1927

FACTS:

Joseph G. Brimo, a Turkish citizen,  executed a will which provided that his properties be disposed of in accordance with the laws in force in the Philippines. There is also a condition that, if any legatee who must disrespect the will , as expressed, is prevented from receiving his legacy.

Andre Brimo, one of the brothers of the deceased, opposed on the basis that the partition in question puts into effect the provisions of Joseph G. Brimo’s will which are not in accordance with the laws of his Turkish nationality, for which reason they are void as being in violation of article 10 of the Civil Code (now Article 16(2) ) . 

However, no evidence in the record that the national law of the testator was violated in the testamentary dispositions in question which, not being contrary to our laws in force, must be complied with.

ISSUES: 

(1) Whether the approval of the scheme of partition on the ground that it is not in accordance with the laws of Joseph’s Turkish nationality is erroneous.

(2) Whether the conditions as it is expressed in the will were legal and valid

HELD:

(1) NO, the approval of the scheme of partition in respect was not erroneous. No evidence in the record that the national law of the testator Joseph G. Brimo was violated in the testamentary dispositions in question which, not being contrary to our laws in force, must be complied with

The fact is that the Andre did not prove that said testamentary dispositions are not in accordance with the Turkish laws, inasmuch as he did not present any evidence showing what the Turkish laws are on the matter, and in the absence of evidence on such laws, they are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines.

The refusal to give the oppositor another opportunity to prove such laws does not constitute an error. It is discretionary on the part of the court to postpone or not to postpone a particular proceeding in a case, and when the person applying for it has already been given ample opportunity to present the evidence that he wishes to introduce, the court commits no abuse of discretion in denying it.

(2) NO . If the condition imposed upon the legatee is that he respect the testator’s order that his property be distributed in accordance with the laws of the Philippines and not in accordance with the laws of his nation, said condition is illegal, because, according to article 10 of the Civil Code, said laws govern his testamentary disposition, and, being illegal, shall be considered unwritten, thus making the institution unconditional.

All of the remaining clauses of said will with all their dispositions and requests are perfectly valid and effective, not appearing that said clauses are contrary to the testator’s national laws.

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