Testate  Estate  of  Adriana  Maloto  v.  CA,  G.R.  No.

 76464,  February  
29,1988  
 

FACTS:  
Adriana   Maloto   died   on   October   1963   in   Iloilo   City,   her   place   of   residence.   On  
November   1963,   Aldina   Maloto   Casiano,   Constancio   Maloto,   Panfilo   Maloto,   and  
Felino   Maloto,   niece   and   nephews   respectively,   of   Adriana   Maloto   commenced   an  
intestate   proceeding   in   the   CFI   of   Iloilo   that   was   docketed   as   Spec.   Pro.   No.   1736.  
They   executed   an   intestate   proceeding   and   divided   the   estate   in   the   proportion   of  
one-­‐fourth  (1/4)  share  for  each.  The  CFI  judge  approved  the  partition.  
 
Subsequently,   on   April   1,   1967,   a   document   purporting   to   be   the   last   will   and  
testament  of  Adriana  Maloto  was  delivered  to  the  CFI  of  Iloilo.  Aldina  et  al.  were  all  
named  as  heirs  but  Aldina  and  Constancio  appeared  to  have  bigger  shares  in  the  will  
than  what  they  received  in  the  extrajudicial  partition.  There  were  also  dispositions  
in   favor   of   Asilo   de   Molo,   the   Roman   Catholic   Church   of   Molo,   and   Purificacion  
Miraflor.    
 
Aldino   and   Constancio,   along   with   the   other   devisees   and   legatees,   filed   a   motion   in  
S.P.  No.  1736  for,  among  others,  the  allowance  of  the  will  of  Adriana  Maloto.  The  CFI  
judge   denied   the   motion   on   the   ground   that   the   said   motion   had   been   filed   out   of  
time.   The   petitioners   (Aldino   et   al.)   filed   a   petition   for   certiorari   and   mandamus  
with  the  SC  but  it  was  denied  on  the  ground  of  improper  remedy.  
 
The   petitioners   then   commenced   S.P.   No.   2176   in   the   CFI   of   Iloilo   for   the   probate   of  
the  alleged  last  will  and  testament.  The  probate  court  dismissed  the  petition  on  the  
basis  of  the  finding  of  said  court  in  S.P.  No.  1736  that  the  alleged  will  sought  to  be  
probated  had  been  destroyed  and  revoked  by  the  testatrix  
 
 
ISSUE:  WON  the  will  was  revoked  by  Adriana  
 
 
HELD:    
à   REVOCATION   THEREOF;   PHYSICAL   ACT   OF   DESTRUCTION;   ANIMUS  
REVOCANDI,  A  NECESSARY  ELEMENT.  —  The  physical  act  of  destruction  of  a  will,  
like   burning   in   this   case,   does   not   per   se   constitute   an   effective   revocation,   unless  
the  destruction  is  coupled  with  animus  revocandi  on  the  part  of  the  testator.  It  is  not  
imperative  that  the  physical  destruction  be  done  by  the  testator  himself.  It  may  be  
performed  by  another  person  but  under  the  express   direction  and  in  the  presence  of  
the  testator.  Of  course,  it  goes  without  saying  that  the  document  destroyed  must  be  
the  will  itself.    
 
In  this  case,  while  animus  revocandi,  or  the  intention  to  revoke,  may  be  conceded,  for  
that   is   a   state   of   mind,   yet   that   requisite   alone   would   not   suffice.   "Animus  

 of  subject  matter.   in   dismissing   the   petition   for   certiorari.   For   a   judgment   to   be   a   bar   to   a   subsequent   case.   No. Both witnesses. the very institution of testamentary succession will be shaken to its very foundations.  or  cancelling  the  will  carried  out  by  the   testator  or  by  another  person  in  his  presence  and  under  his  express  direction     [There is paucity of evidence to show compliance with these requirements.   was   without   jurisdiction   to   rule   on   the   probate   of   the   contested  will.   and   (4)   there   is.P. Guadalupe. much less the will of Adriana Maloto.   said   that   the   more   appropriate   remedy   is   a   separate   proceeding   for   the   probate   of   the   alleged  will. was not satisfactorily established to be a will at all.  and  hence  prevents  the  revocation  of  the   .P.   that   judgment   could   not   in   any   manner   be   construed  to  be  final  with  respect  to  the  probate  of  the  subsequently  discovered  will  of  the  decedent.  the  motion  to  reopen  the  proceedings  was  filed  out  of  time.  No.  identity  of  parties. the document or papers burned by Adriana's maid.  Indeed.  obliterating.  No.   in   the   intestate   proceeding.  tearing. For one. And then.   As   such.   Moreover.   although   final.   is   equivalent  to  the  non-­‐fulfillment  of  a  suspensive  conditions.  and  of  cause  of  action     No  final  judgment  rendered  insofar  as  the  probate  of  Adriana  Maloto's  will  is  concerned.  1736  stated  in  its  order  that  “Movants  should  have   filed   a   separate   actionfor   the   probate   of   the   will”. Otherwise. For another.       The  probate  court  had  no  jurisdiction  to  entertain  the  petition  for  the  probate  of  the  alleged  will  of   Adriana  Maloto  in  S.   (2)   the   former   judgment   was   rendered   by   a   court   having   jurisdiction   over   the   subject   matter   and   the   parties.   The   intention   to   revoke   must   be   accompanied   by   the   overt   physical  act  of  burning.  This  is  understandably  so  because  the   trial   court.revocandi  is  only  one  of  the  necessary  elements  for  the  effective  revocation  of  a  last   will   and   testament.”] à As to Res Judicata: The   doctrine   of  res  adjudicata  finds   no   application   in   the   present   controversy. were one in stating that they were the only ones present at the place where the stove (presumably in the kitchen) was located in which the papers proffered as a will were burned… “It is an important matter of public interest that a purported will is not denied legalization on dubious grounds.   1736   is   not   a   bar   to   the   present   petition   for   the   probate  of  the  alleged  will  of  Adriana  Maloto       à As to {in}DEPENDENT RELATIVE REVOCATION: The   failure   of   a   new   testamentary   disposition   upon   whose   validity   the   revocation   depends.   between  the  first  and  the  second  action.  it  is  not  proper  to  make  a  finding  in  an  intestate  proceeding  that  the  discovered  will  has   been  revoked.   Neither  is  it  a  judgment  on  the  merits  of  the  action  for  probate.   the   order   of   the   probate   court   in   S.  1736. the burning was not in her presence.   Even   this   Court.   the   following   requisites   must   concur:   (1)   the   presence   of   a   final   former   judgment.  In  fact.  the  probate  court  in  S.       The   decision   of   the   trial   court   in   Special   Proceeding   No.   (3)   the   former   judgment   is   a   judgment   on   the   merits.   involved   only   the   intestate   settlement   of   the   estate   of   Adriana.     Thus. the burning was not proven to have been done under the express direction of Adriana.   1736. Guadalupe and Eladio.P.

original   will.   It   must   appear   that   the   revocation   is   dependent   upon   the   valid   execution  of  a  new  wil       .   But   a   mere   intent   to   make   at   some   time   a   will   in   the   place   of   that   destroyed   will   not   render   the   destruction   conditional.