Jamby loses appeal in inheritance case

By Sandy Araneta, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 10 2012 07:16 AM | Updated as of Sep 10 2012 07:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) recently affirmed a decision handed down last February that dismissed a petition filed by former senator Jamby Madrigal regarding her right to the properties left by her late billionaire aunt Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Collantes.

In the petition, Madrigal questioned the last will and testament of Madrigal-Collantes.

The CA’s former Eleventh Division, in a resolution dated Aug. 22, 2012 penned by Associate Justice Socorro Inting, denied Madrigal’s motion for reconsideration questioning the orders of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) dated July 14, 2010 and Nov. 9, 2010.

Concurring with the resolution were Associate Justices Fernanda Lampas-Peralta and Mario Lopez.

The CA sustained the orders of the Makati RTC.

In their resolution, the CA said Madrigal failed to raise any new issues or arguments to warrant the reversal of the appellate court’s Feb. 29, 2012 decision.

“After carefully considering the grounds raised in the subject motion, this Court finds that the said grounds and the arguments in support thereof have been amply treated, discussed and passed upon in the assailed decision. The additional arguments proffered therein constitute neither cogent nor compelling reason to modify, much less reverse, it,” the CA said.

The CA in its February decision found that the Makati RTC, through Judge Zenaida Galapate-Laguilles of the Branch 143, did not commit grave abuse of discretion in dismissing Madrigal’s notice of appeal and record on appeal on the probate of her aunt, who died on March 24, 2008.

The appellate court said Madrigal “failed to present any persuasive reason which could convince us as well as the lower court to relax the rules.”

Madrigal sought to take part in the disposition, settlement and distribution of Madrigal-Collantes’ estate to her heirs, and even to those not mentioned in her will.

The estate was estimated at around P26 billion.

Court records showed when the billionaire died at age 87, Madrigal was left out of her will.

This prompted Madrigal to invalidate the will before the trial court.

Upon her death, Madrigal-Collantes left her estate to her husband, former foreign minister Manuel Collantes, as the lone compulsory heir.

The couple did not have any children.

Collantes died a year later on May 29, 2009.

Among the properties being contested by Madrigal are houses in Ayala Alabang and South Forbes Park in Makati.

According to the Makati RTC, Madrigal-Collantes’ will had covered the entirety of her estate and had been properly disposed of in her last will executed Oct. 5, 2006, two years prior to her death.

Over a year after her death, two nephews and heirs, Juan Vicente de Leon-Rufino and Vicente de Leon-Rufino, initiated a petition for issuance of letters testamentary/ administration before Makati RTC branch 143, since Madrigal-Collantes as testatrix was already dead.

Such action was opposed by Madrigal through a notice of appeal and record on appeal.

Both were junked by the Makati RTC, prompting her to elevate the matter to the CA.