Employer of dead man hires new lawyer

Siblings in PH want to claim decedent’s $20,794 in bank account

An employer, who was appointed as an administrator of the estate of Filipino electrician who has already died and left $20,794 in a bank account, hired attorney Joey P. San Nicolas as his new counsel in the probate matter.

San Nicolas filed Thursday in the Superior Court a notice of his appearance as counsel for Juan A. Gacayan, who is the administrator of the estate of decedent Eduardo Ocampo David.

San Nicolas requested the court to send to his office all pleadings and other papers in this probate.

Rosemond Santos was the original counsel for Gacayan. Santos withdrew as counsel last March 19. She did not indicate her reason.

With the withdrawal of Santos, Gacayan filed pro se, or without a lawyer, a petition for decree of final distribution last April 16. He told the court that upon David’s instruction, the money should be distributed to him.

Gacayan in court documents said he is the employer and family friend of David.

He said the 60-year-old David, who has never been married and has no children, died without leaving any will.

Gacayan said David died without any debts.

As this developed, former United Filipino Organization president Annamae Adaza said yesterday that David’s sister, Gina David Cuenco, who is based in the Philippines, called her Thursday upon learning about the news article in Saipan Tribune that Gacayan filed a petition before the court to inherit the $20,794.

The late electrician Eduardo Ocampo David riding in a jeepney in this file photo during his vacation in the Philippines in 2018. David went back to Saipan, but he died on Oct. 15, 2018 after more than a week in the intensive care unit at the Commonwealth Health Center apparently after a heart attack. He left $20,794 in his savings account with the Bank of Guam. (Contributed Photo)

Adaza said Cuenco and her other siblings will claim the money.

Adaza said it was her and the Office of the Honorary Philippine Consul to the CNMI who facilitated the papers to transport David’s remains to the family in the Philippines last November.

David died at the Commonwealth Health Center on Oct. 15, 2018 after a heart attack.

Adaza said they were able to send the remains only last November because Super Typhoon Yutu struck Saipan last Oct. 24 and 25.

Adaza said months before his death, David went to the Philippines and informed his siblings that he wanted to go back to Saipan just to withdraw his money.

Apparently soon after returning to Saipan, David suffered a heart attack. He died after more than a week in the intensive care unit at the Commonwealth Health Center.

Elmer Pineda, an employee of Kensington Hotel, said Thursday that he visited David several times at CHC.

Pineda said David’s closest relative on Saipan is cousin Alex Ocampo, an employee of GPPC, Inc.

Pineda said David, whom he believes started working on Saipan in 1989, worked for two years at Nikko Hotel (former Kensington Hotel).

He said David also worked on Tinian before.

Pineda said he knew David because their families stay in the same place in Pampanga, Philippines.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho ordered Gacayan to appear at the June 20 hearing and explain how a non-family individual can inherit money from a decedent without a will.

Aside from Cuenco, David had five other siblings—Olivia O. David, Elizabeth D. Sta. Ana, Avelino O. David, Marlene O. David, and Monalisa O. David.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com
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