When Roberto Benedicto (RSB) died, his surviving spouse Julita filed and was granted by Manila RTC the issuance of the letters of administration. Julita was then ordered to submit a list of inventory of RSB’s estate and liabilities etc. In Sept. 2001, petitioners Hilado et al filed with the Manila RTC that they be furnished with all the copies and orders pertaining to the intestate proceedings, disputing their personality to intervene. Manila RTC denied Hilado’s motion, CA affirmed.
Hilado et al argued that their right to intervene is supported not by right of intervention but by various rules on Special Proceedings.
Does Hilado et al have a right to intervene in the instant proceedings?
Although the Rules on Special Proceedings entitle “any interested persons” or “any persons interested in the estate” to participate in varying capacities in the testate or intestate proceedings, however, it appears that the claims against Benedicto were based on tort, as they arose from his actions in connection with Philsucom, Nasutra, and Traders Royal Bank.
Hence, Section 2 of Rule 72 applies. It states that “the rules for ordinary actions shall be applicable in special proceedings.”
Hence, Rule 19 Sec. 1 applies because it is a rule for ordinary actions. It provides that “a person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation x x x be allowed to intervene in the action.” While this rule does not literally preclude Hilado et al, case law consistently held that such interest “must be actual and material, direct and immediate, and not simply contingent and expectant.” (Batama Farmers Coop vs. Hon. Rosal)