Casiano Vs Maloto G R No L 32328
Casiano vs Maloto
G.R. No. L-32328 September 30, 1977
Facts: Aldina Maloto Casiano, Constancio Maloto, Panfilo Maloto, and Felino Maloto, niece and nephews, respectively, of the late Adriana Maloto, in the belief that the decedent died intestate, commenced on November 4, 1963 in CFI-Iloilo an intestate proceeding. They partitioned the properties of Adriana among themselves, and said partition was approved by the court. Four years later, Aldina and Constancio, herein petitioners, went to the same court asking to re-open the case alleging that Adriana actually left a will. They moved for the annulment of the intestate proceeding and the allowance of the said will. Panfilo and Felino opposed the motion. The court dismissed the motion on the ground that it was filed out of time. Petitioners filed before the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari and mandamus which was later dismissed by the Court saying that the proper remedy was to file a separate proceeding for the probate of the alleged will. Petitioners then filed with CFI Iloilo a petition for probate of the said will but the court dismissed the same on the ground of res adjudicata and that the earlier intestate proceeding had made a finding that the will of the decedent was destroyed and revoked. Hence, this petition for review.
Issue: Whether or not the petition for probate was barred by the judgment of an earlier intestate proceeding.
Held: Negative. The Court ruled that the petition for probate of the alleged will was the proper remedy, and should not have been dismissed. The earlier intestate proceeding is not a bar for the petition for probate of the will as to constitute res adjudicata. The court also ruled that it was not proper for the court in the intestate proceeding to make a finding that the discovered will had been destroyed and revoked. (The lower court was directed to proceed with the hearing of the probate of the will).