Category Archives: CIVIL CODE


G.R. No. L-23678 (June 6, 1967)

Testate of Amos Bellis vs. Edward A. Bellis, et al


Amos G. Bellis was a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States. He had five legitimate children with his first wife (whom he divorced), three legitimate children with his second wife (who survived him) and, finally, three illegitimate children.

6 years prior Amos Bellis’ death, he executed two(2) wills, apportioning the remainder of his estate and properties to his seven surviving children.  The appellants filed their oppositions to the project of partition claiming that they have been deprived of their legitimes to which they were entitled according to the Philippine law. Appellants argued that the deceased wanted his Philippine estate to be governed by the Philippine law, thus the creation of two separate wills.


Whether or not the Philippine law be applied in the case in the determination of the illegitimate children’s successional rights


Court ruled that provision in a foreigner’s will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored in view of those matters that Article 10 — now Article 16 — of the Civil Code states said national law should govern.

Where the testator was a citizen of Texas and domiciled in Texas, the intrinsic validity of his will should be governed by his national law. Since Texas law does not require legitimes, then his will, which deprived his illegitimate children of the legitimes, is valid.

The Supreme Court held that the illegitimate children are not entitled to the legitimes under the texas law, which is the national law of the deceased.

N.B. To see why the Renvoi doctrine was not applied in this case, click HERE for the explanation.


G.R. No. L-63915 (146 SCRA 446) April 24, 1985

Tañada vs. Tuvera


Petitioners sought a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders, invoking the right to be informed on matters of public concern as recognized by the 1973 constitution.


Whether or not the publication of presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders is necessary before its enforcement.


Yes, publication is necessary.

Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that “laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided ” The Court has ruled that publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date-for then the date of publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its publication-but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect. Article 2 does not dismiss with the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity.

The publication of all presidential issuances “of a public nature” or “of general applicability” is mandated by law. Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden or. the people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall within this category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to particular persons or class of persons such as administrative and executive orders need not be published on the assumption that they have been circularized to all concerned.

Publication is, therefore, mandatory.