Legally Yours

Baretto v. Tuason

Statutory Construction. Privilegia recipiunt largum interpretationem voluntati consonan concedentis.
Baretto, et. al. v. Tuason, et. al.
G.R. Nos. L-36811, 36827, 36840, 36872 March 31, 1934

It is presented for consideration the mayorazgo founded by the deceased Don Antonio Tuason on February 25, 1794. On June 4 of the same year, the founder died in the City of Manila. One of the issues at bar is who are the persons entitled to the remedy. The recipients of the fifth of the revenues of the mayorazgo are indicated in the sixth clause of the instrument of the foundation, it states:

“It shall be his duty to set apart one-fifth of the net revenue derived from the entail each year, and that one-fifth part shall be divided into eight parts, giving one to each of my eight children, and in their absence, to my grandchildren, but upon the understanding that if one or more of my children should die without succession, the part belonging to them shall be distributed among my children and other descendants of mine according to their needs and as prudence may dictate to him, so that, when the time arrives that none of my children are alive, it shall then be always understood that said fifth part shall be applied to all those of my descendants who are poor, the apportionment to be made by him prudently according to their needs and therefore the possessor of the entail is hereby charged to discharge this duty with conscientious scruple.”

Whether or not the descendants of Don Antonio Tuason subsequent to his grandchildren are entitled to receive a fifth of revenues of his properties.

If the descendants of the younger children, subsequent to the grandchildren of the founder, are granted under certain circumstances the right to possess the mayorazgo itself, with all its properties, it does not make sense how it can be said that these descendants, subsequent to grandchildren, the sons of sons, were prohibited from receiving a fifth of the revenues of said properties. The intention of the founder was not to restrict the grant of the usufruct of the fifth of the revenue by limiting it to a certain number of generations of the younger children, but that he intended to extend it to all of the descendants of the latter. If this is so we should apply to the case the rule of law of the Partidas (Rule 28, Title 34, 7th Partido), which says: “Privilegia recipiunt largum interpretationem voluntati consonan concedentis.” (Privileges are to be interpreted with liberality in accordance with the will of him who grants them.)

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