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Jamby left out of will, Collantes gets mansion

jamby-family.jpg MANILA – An inheritance feud threatens to erupt over the fabulous fortune left by Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Collantes, with no less than her niece, Senator Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal questioning her being left out in the last will and testament of the late billionaire.

The senator has hired a lawyer, Ernesto Francisco Jr., who last week sent a letter to the beneficiaries of the late society icon questioning the validity of the will and how the estate was partitioned, according to sources close to the family. The childless DoÃ’a Chito, 87, died on March 24, leaving her husband, Marcos-era Foreign Minister Manuel Collantes, as the lone compulsory heir.

Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo ‘Jamby’ Madrigal confirmed she was contesting the last and will testament of her late aunt, billionaire
Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Collantes, where she did not receive any inheritance. But Madrigal said she would like to keep the matter a “private family Affair” until “it becomes a public issue.” “I don’t know where the press releases are coming from, certainly not from me. But you will get to know the truth, it will be one of the biggest telenovelas and you will be there to know,” she told reporters.

“I will talk about it at the proper time.” She said reports, such as the P100 million supposedly advanced to her by Collantes to bankroll her senatorial campaign, were not accurate. “I will divulge the figures too. When you find out, you might fall over.
(But) the issue here is justice and principle, I am not after the money,” Madrigal said. She said her side of the issue was never taken up because the stories that were coming out from other sources were apparently “hatchet jobs” designed to besmirch her reputation.

The estate proceedings involving Collantes’ properties have been going on at the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 for the past two years, according to Madrigal’s lawyer, Ernesto Francisco.

Collantes’ will was probated before the same court. Francisco said he had indeed sent a letter to Collantes’ beneficiaries, questioning the validity of the will and how the estate was partitioned.

According to a copy of the will obtained by Standard Today, his late wife left Collantes a South Forbes Park house and another house in Ayala Alabang.

But a far larger chunk of the Madrigal fortune, 40 percent of DoÃ’a Chito’s undetermined residuary estate, was bequeathed to Ma. Susana Madrigal, the senator’s elder sister. Another 40 percent was bequeathed to a still minor grandchild, Vicente P. Gustav Warns, and the remaining 20 percent to another niece, lawyer Gizela M. Gonzalez-Montinola, wife of Aurelio Montinola III, president of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

DoÃ’a Chito appointed the BPI president two years ago to become the executor and trustee of her last will and testament along with corporate lawyer Perry Pe. Pe and Gonzalez-Montinola are partners in the Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc and De Los Angeles law firm.

The Madrigal will was probated by the Makati Regional Trial Court in 2006, and it is not clear what legal grounds, if any, Senator Madrigal could invoke to invalidate it to presumably include herself among her aunt’s beneficiaries.

According to sources close to the Madrigals, DoÃ’a Chito had already advanced her niece’s share of the Madrigal fortune, P100 million, according to one account, when she underwrote Jamby’s senatorial campaign in 2004.

Ironically, the Madrigal matriarch detailed specific instructions in her will that she would not brook any inheritance feud about her undisclosed fortune even in her after-life.

“I do not wish any conflict between my beneficiaries involving my estate after my death,” DoÃ’a Chito, a top corporate lawyer in her younger days, said.

“Anyone of the beneficiaries, who should contest or question the acts or decisions of my executor/trustee in any proceedings, whether judicial or otherwise, shall be disqualified to be a beneficiary of my residuary estate.”

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