Simplicia de los Santos having died on June 19, 1907, her surviving husband, Gregorio Maeapinlac, submitted her will to the Court of First Instance of Pampanga for probate. Mariano Alimurong, a nephew of the deceased, opposed the proceedings and... requested that "the will of the deceased, Dona Simplicia de los Santos, be declared null and void for either of the two reasons" which he expresses, and which are:
"(1) Because the will was not executed and signed by the witnesses in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure now in force.
"(2) Because it was executed under duress and undue and illegal influence on the part of the persons benefited thereby or of a person acting in their interests."
The trial having been held and evidence adduced, the trial court declared the following facts to be proven:
"(1) That at 6 o'clock on the evening of June 17, 1907, Simplicia de los Santos, who was sick but in full possession of all her faculties, executed her will, which is the document attached to the record, Exhibit No. 1 of the petitioner.
"(2) That after the execution of such will on Monday, the testatrix died early on the morning of the following Wednesday.
"(3) That, as a preliminary act, a rough copy of the said will was made up, which rough copy was read to the testatrix, and the latter ordered an additional clause to be added thereto, in connection with a legacy that she desired to make in favor of... some of her old servants who had rendered good service.
"(4) That, after the rough copy was amended by the addition of the above-mentioned clause, a clear copy thereof was made up and was again read to the testatrix, who approved it in all of its parts, and, as she was unable to sign, she requested Amando de Ocampo... to sign for her and the latter wrote the following words with his own hand. 'At the request of the testatrix D,1 Simplicia de los Santos, I signed - Amando de Ocampo.' Immediately afterwards and also in the presence of the same testatrix... and of each other, the witnesses Jose Juico, Gabino Panopio, Eusebio Dayao, Juan Angeles, Jose Torres, Alejo San Pedro, and Gregorio Sangil signed at the bottom of the will.
"In view of the said facts the lower court concludes - the will executed by Simplicia de los Santos must be admitted to probate. The provisions of section 618 of the Code of Procedure in Civil Actions and Special Proceedings are fully complied with. The will... bears the name of the testatrix written by Amando de Ocampo in her presence and by her express direction, and has been witnessed and signed by more than three trustworthy witnesses, in the presence of the testatrix and of each other."
whether or not the will was signed in accordance with the law
It is shown by the evidence that the will was wholly written in the handwriting of the subscribing witness, Gregorio Sangil, and at the foot thereof the following words appear in a new paragraph and sufficiently apart:
"At the request of the testatrix, Da. Simplicia de los Santos, I signed.
"For Simplicia de los Santos.
"Amando de Ocampo."
As a question of fact, the authenticity of the words "For Simplicia de ]os Santos," prefixed to the signature, is impugned as not having been written at the time of the execution of the will.
And, as a question of law, it is claimed that the form of signing for the testatrix "At the request of the testatrix Da. Simplicia de los Santos, I signed: Amando de Ocampo," is not in accordance with the requirements of the law.
Therefore, it can be considered as nonexistent, and the other as the only form of signature by the testatrix, the authenticity of which has not been impugned or which the trial court admits as conclusive, and is the only one taken into account in its findings... of fact. Although the said words "For Simplicia de los Santos" be considered as inserted subsequently, which we neither affirm nor deny, because a specific determination either way is unnecessary, in our opinion the signature for the... testatrix placed outside of the body of the will contains the name of the testatrix as if she signed the will, and also the signature of the witness who, at her request, wrote the name of the testatrix and signed for her, affirming the truth of this fact,... attested by the other witnesses then present. And this fully complies with the provisions of section 618 of the Act.
The judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered.