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Change of Name 1. MA.

LOURDES BARRIENTOS ELEOSIDA, for and in behalf of her minor child, CHARLES CHRISTIAN ELEOSIDA, petitioner, vs. LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF QUEZON CITY, and CARLOS VILLENA BORBON G.R. No. 130277. May 9, 2002 Puno, J Nature: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Order[1] of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 89, which dismissed motu proprio the petition of Ma. Lourdes Eleosida to correct some entries in the birth certificate of her son, Charles Christian. The birth certificate shows, among others, that the child's full name is Charles Christian Eleosida Borbon. He was born on May 24, 1992 to Ma. Lourdes Barrientos Eleosida and Carlos Villena Borbon. The birth certificate also indicates that the child's parents were married on January 10, 1985 in Batangas City . Facts: On January 30, 1997, petitioner Ma. Lourdes Eleosida filed a petition before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City seeking to correct the following entries in the birth certificate of her son, Charles Christian: first, the surname "Borbon" should be changed to "Eleosida;" second, the date of the parents' wedding should be left blank; and third, the informant's name should be "Ma. Lourdes B. Eleosida," instead of "Ma. Lourdes E. Borbon." In support of her petition, petitioner alleged that she gave birth to her son out of wedlock on May 24, 1992; that she and the boy's father, Carlos Borbon, were never married; and that the child is therefore illegitimate and should follow the mother's surname. The petition impleaded the Local Registrar of Quezon City and Carlos Villena Borbon as respondents. On April 23, 1997, the trial court issued a notice of hearing. On June 26, 1997, the trial court issued another order setting the date for the presentation of evidence on July 23, 1997. RTC Ruling: On August 25, 1997, the trial court motu proprio dismissed the petition for lack of merit. It ruled: It is an established jurisprudence that, only CLERICAL ERRORS OF A HARMLESS AND INNOCUOUS NATURE like: misspelled name, occupation of the parents, etc., may be the subject of a judicial order (contemplated under Article 412 of the New Civil Code), authorizing changes or corrections and: NOT as may affect the CIVIL STATUS, NATIONALITY OR CITIZENSHIP OF THE PERSONS INVOLVED. Issue: Whether corrections of entries in the certificate of live birth pursuant to Article 412 of the Civil Code, in relation to Rule 108 of the Rules of Court may be allowed even if the errors to be corrected are substantial and not merely clerical errors of a harmless and innocuous nature. Held: Yes. Ratio: Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court provides the procedure for cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry. The

proceedings under said rule may either be summary or adversary in nature. If the correction sought to be made in the civil register is clerical, then the procedure to be adopted is summary. If the rectification affects the civil status, citizenship or nationality of a party, it is deemed substantial, and the procedure to be adopted is adversary.[10] This is our ruling in Republic vs. Valencia[11] where we held that even substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected and the true facts established under Rule 108 provided the parties aggrieved by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding. An appropriate adversary suit or proceeding is one where the trial court has conducted proceedings where all relevant facts have been fully and properly developed, where opposing counsel have been given opportunity to demolish the opposite party's case, and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed and considered. The Court further laid down the procedural requirements to make the proceedings under Rule 108 adversary, thus: The pertinent sections of Rule 108 provide: SEC. 3. Parties.--When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is sought, the civil registrar and all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties to the proceeding. SEC. 4. Notice and publication.--Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall, by an order, fix the time and place for the hearing of the same, and cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the persons named in the petition. The court shall also cause the order to be published once in a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province. SEC. 5. Opposition.--The civil registrar and any person having or claiming any interest under the entry whose cancellation or correction is sought may, within fifteen (15) days from notice, file his opposition thereto. Thus, the persons who must be made parties to a proceeding concerning the cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register are--(1) the civil registrar, and (2) all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby. Upon the filing of the petition, it becomes the duty of the court to--(1) issue an order fixing the time and place for the hearing of the petition, and (2) cause the order for hearing to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province. The following are likewise entitled to oppose the petition:--(1) the civil registrar, and (2) any person having or claiming any interest under the entry whose cancellation or correction is sought. It is true in the case at bar that the changes sought to be made by petitioner are not merely clerical or harmless errors but substantial ones as they would affect the status of the marriage between petitioner and Carlos Borbon, as well as the legitimacy of their son, Charles Christian. Changes of such nature, however, are now allowed under Rule 108 in accordance with our ruling in Republic vs. Valencia provided that the appropriate procedural requirements are complied with. IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is GRANTED and the Order dated August 25, 1997 of the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 89, subject of the petition at bar is set aside. The case is REMANDED to the court a quo for further proceedings. 2. Republic vs. Kho

G.R. No. 170340 June 29, 2007 Carpio Morales, J: Nature: Challenged via petition for review on certiorari is the October 27, 2005 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 78124 which affirmed the September 4, 2002 Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Butuan City, Branch 5 granting the prayer of respondents Carlito I. Kho (Carlito), Michael Kho, Mercy Nona Kho-Fortun, and Heddy Moira Kho-Serrano for the correction of entries in their birth certificates as well as those of Carlitos minor children Kevin and Kelly Dogmoc Kho. Facts: On February 12, 2001, Carlito and his siblings Michael, Mercy Nona and Heddy Moira filed before the RTC of Butuan City a verified petition for correction of entries in the civil registry of Butuan City to effect changes in their respective birth certificates. Carlito also asked the court in behalf of his minor children, Kevin and Kelly, to order the correction of some entries in their birth certificates. In the case of Carlito, he requested the correction in his birth certificate of the citizenship of his mother to "Filipino" instead of "Chinese," as well as the deletion of the word "married" opposite the phrase "Date of marriage of parents" because his parents, Juan Kho and Epifania Inchoco (Epifania), were allegedly not legally married. The same request to delete the "married" status of their parents from their respective birth certificates was made by Carlitos siblings Michael, Mercy Nona, and Heddy Moira. With respect to the birth certificates of Carlitos children, he prayed that the date of his and his wifes marriage be corrected from April 27, 1989 to January 21, 2000, the date appearing in their marriage certificate. On April 23, 2001, Carlito et al. filed an Amended Petition3 in which it was additionally prayed that Carlitos second name of "John" be deleted from his record of birth; and that the name and citizenship of Carlitos father in his (Carlitos) marriage certificate be corrected from "John Kho" to "Juan Kho" and "Filipino" to "Chinese," respectively. On September 14, 2001,7 the OSG entered its appearance with an authorization to the city prosecutor of Butuan City to appear in the case and render assistance to it (the OSG). On January 31, 2002, respondents presented documentary evidence showing compliance with the jurisdictional requirements of the petition and testimonial evidence consisting of the testimonies of Carlito and his mother, Epifania. During the same hearing, an additional correction in the birth certificates of Carlitos children was requested to the effect that the first name of their mother be rectified from "Maribel" to "Marivel." RTC Ruling: The trial court directed the local civil registrar of Butuan City to correct the entries in the record of birth of Carlito, as follows: (1) change the citizenship of his mother from "Chinese" to "Filipino"; (2) delete "John" from his name; and (3) delete the word "married" opposite the date of marriage of his parents. The last correction was ordered to be effected likewise in the birth certificates of respondents Michael, Mercy Nona, and Heddy Moira. As well as the prayer for the correction in the birth certificates of Carlitos minor children are granted. Further, the trial court granted the correction prayed for in Carlitos marriage certificate.

Petitioner, Republic of the Philippines, appealed the RTC Decision to the CA, faulting the trial court in granting the petition for correction of entries in the subject documents despite the failure of respondents to implead the minors mother, Marivel, as an indispensable party and to offer sufficient evidence to warrant the corrections with regard to the questioned "married" status of Carlito and his siblings parents, and the latters citizenship. CA Ruling; By the assailed Decision of October 27, 2005, the CA denied petitioners appeal and affirmed the decision of the trial court. Issue: Whether the failure to implead Marivel and Carlitos parents rendered the trial short of the required adversary proceeding and the trial courts judgment void. Held: No. Ratio: A similar issue was earlier raised in Barco v. Court of Appeals.21 That case stemmed from a petition for correction of entries in the birth certificate of a minor, June Salvacion Maravilla, to reflect the name of her real father (Armando Gustilo) and to correspondingly change her surname. The petition was granted by the trial court. Barco, whose minor daughter was allegedly fathered also by Gustilo, however, sought to annul the trial courts decision, claiming that she should have been made a party to the petition for correction. Failure to implead her deprived the RTC of jurisdiction, she contended. In dismissing Barcos petition, this Court held that the publication of the order of hearing under Section 4 of Rule 108 cured the failure to implead an indispensable party. The essential requisite for allowing substantial corrections of entries in the civil registry is that the true facts be established in an appropriate adversarial proceeding. This is embodied in Section 3, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, which states: Section 3. Parties. When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is sought, the civil registrar and all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties to the proceeding. xxxx Undoubtedly, Barco is among the parties referred to in Section 3 of Rule 108. Her interest was affected by the petition for correction, as any judicial determination that June was the daughter of Armando would affect her wards share in the estate of her father. x x x. Yet, even though Barco was not impleaded in the petition, the Court of Appeals correctly pointed out that the defect was cured by compliance with Section 4, Rule 108, which requires notice by publication x x x. xxxx The purpose precisely of Section 4, Rule 108 is to bind the whole world to the subsequent judgment on the petition. The sweep of the decision would cover even parties who should have been impleaded under Section 3, Rule 108, but were inadvertently left out. x x x xxxx Verily, a petition for correction is an action in rem, an action against a thing and not against a person. The decision on the petition binds not only the parties thereto but the whole world. An in rem proceeding is validated essentially through publication. Publication is notice to the whole world that the proceeding has

for its object to bar indefinitely all who might be minded to make an objection of any sort against the right sought to be established. It is the publication of such notice that brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the court with jurisdiction to hear and decide it.22 Given the above ruling, it becomes unnecessary to rule on whether Marivel or respondents parents should have been impleaded as parties to the proceeding. It may not be amiss to mention, however, that during the hearing on January 31, 2002, the city prosecutor who was acting as representative of the OSG did not raise any objection to the non-inclusion of Marivel and Carlitos parents as parties to the proceeding. Parenthetically, it seems highly improbable that Marivel was unaware of the proceedings to correct the entries in her childre ns birth certificates, especially since the notices, orders and decision of the trial court were all sent to the residence 23 she shared with Carlito and the children. It is also well to remember that the role of the court in hearing a petition to correct certain entries in the civil registry is to ascertain the truth about the facts recorded therein.24 With respect to the date of marriage of Carlito and Marivel, their certificate of marriage25 shows that indeed they were married on January 21, 2000, not on April 27, 1989. Explaining the error, Carlito declared that the date "April 27, 1989" was supplied by his helper, adding that he was not married to Marivel at the time his sons were born because his previous marriage was annulled only in 1999.26 Given the evidence presented by respondents, the CA observed that the minors were illegitimate at birth, hence, the correction would bring about no change at all in the nature of their filiation. With respect to Carlitos mother, it bears noting that she declared at the witness stand that she was not married to Juan Kho who died in 1959.27 Again, that testimony was not challenged by the city prosecutor. The documentary evidence supporting the deletion from Carlitos and his siblings birth certificates of the entry "Married" opposite the date of marriage of their parents, moreover, consisted of a certification issued on November 24, 1973 by St. Joseph (Butuan City) Parish priest Eugene van Vught stating that Juan Kho and Epifania had been living together as common law couple since 1935 but have never contracted marriage legally.28 A certification from the office of the city registrar, which was appended to respondents Amended Petition, likewise stated that it has no record of marriage between Juan Kho and Epifania.29 Under the circumstances, the deletion of the word "Married" opposite the "date of marriage of parents" is warranted. With respect to the correction in Carlitos birth certificate of his name from "Carlito John" to "Carlito," the same was properly granted under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. As correctly pointed out by the CA, the cancellation or correction of entries involving changes of name falls under letter "o" of the following provision of Section 2 of Rule 108:30 Section 2. Entries subject to cancellation or correction. Upon good and valid grounds, the following entries in the civil register may be cancelled or corrected: (a) births; (b) marriages; (c) deaths; (d) legal separation; (e) judgments of annulment of marriage; (f) judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (g) legitimations; (h) adoptions; (i) acknowledgments of natural children; (j) naturalization; (k) election, loss or recovery of citizenship; (l) civil interdiction; (m) judicial determination of filiation; (n) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and (o)changes of name. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Hence, while the jurisdictional requirements of Rule 103 (which governs petitions for change of name) were not complied with, observance of the provisions of Rule 108 suffices to effect the correction sought for.

More importantly, Carlitos official transcript of record from the Urious College in Butuan City,31 certificate of eligibility from the Civil Service Commission,32 and voter registration record33 satisfactorily show that he has been known by his first name only. No prejudice is thus likely to arise from the dropping of the second name. The correction of the mothers citizenship from Chinese to Filipino as appearing in Carlitos birth record was also proper. Of note is the fact that during the cross examination by the city prosecutor of Epifania, he did not deem fit to question her citizenship. Such failure to oppose the correction prayed for, which certainly was not respondents fault, does not in any way change the adversarial nature of the proceedings. Also significant to note is that the birth certificates of Carlitos siblings uniformly stated the citizenship of Epifania as "Filipino." To disallow the correction in Carlitos birth record of his mothers citizenship would perpetuate an inconsistency in the natal circumstances of the siblings who are unquestionably born of the same mother and father. Outside the ambit of substantial corrections, of course, is the correction of the name of Carlitos wife from "Maribel" to "Marivel." The mistake is clearly clerical or typographical, which is not only visible to the eyes, but is also obvious to the understanding34 considering that the name reflected in the marriage certificate of Carlito and his wife is "Marivel." Apropos is Yu v. Republic35 which held that changing the appellants Christian name of "Sincio" to "Sencio" amounts merely to the righting of a clerical error. The change of name from Beatriz Labayo/Beatriz Labayu to Emperatriz Labayo was also held to be a mere innocuous alteration, which can be granted through a summary proceeding.36 The same ruling holds true with respect to the correction in Carlitos marriage certificate of his fathers name from "John Kho" to "Juan Kho." Except in said marriage certificate, the name "Juan Kho" was uniformly entered in the birth certificates of Carlito and of his siblings.37 WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. 3. Kilosbayan Foundation vs. Executive Secretary Ermita G.R. No. 177721 July 3, 2007 Azcuna, J. Nature: Petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Facts: On May 16, 2007, respondent Executive Secretary, in representation of the Office of the President, announced an appointment in favor of respondent Gregory S. Ong as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to fill up the vacancy created by the retirement on April 28, 2007 of Associate Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. The appointment was reported the following day, May 17, 2007, by the major daily publications. On May 18, 2007, the major daily publications reported that the appointment was "recalled" or "held in abeyance" by Malacaang in view of the question relating to the citizenship of respondent Gregory S. Ong. There is no indication whatever that the appointment has been cancelled by the Office of the President. On May 19, 2007, the major daily publications reported that respondent Executive Secretary stated that the appointment is "still there except that the validation of the issue is being done by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC)." Petitioners contend that the appointment extended to respondent Ong through respondent Executive Secretary is patently unconstitutional, arbitrary, whimsical and issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

Petitioners claim that respondent Ong is a Chinese citizen, that this fact is plain and incontestable, and that his own birth certificate indicates his Chinese citizenship. Petitioners attached a copy of said birth certificate as Annex "H" to the petition. The birth certificate, petitioners add, reveals that at the time of respondent Ongs birth on May 25, 1953, his father was Chinese and his mother was also Chinese. Petitioners invoke the Constitution: Section 7 (1) of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides that "No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme Court or

any lower collegiate court unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines ." Sec. 2 of Art. IV defines "natural-born citizens as those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine Citizenship."1

Petitioners maintain that even if it were granted that eleven years after respondent Ongs birth his father was finally granted Filipino citizenship by naturalization, that, by itself, would not make respondent Ong a natural-born Filipino citizen. Petitioners thereupon pray that a writ of certiorari be issued annulling the appointment issued to respondent Ong as Associate Justice of this Court. Subsequently, on May 24, 2007, petitioners filed an Urgent Motion for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), praying that a TRO be issued, in accordance with the Rules of Court, to prevent and restrain respondent Executive Secretary from releasing the appointment of respondent Ong, and to prevent and restrain respondent Ong from assuming the office and discharging the functions of Associate Justice of this Court. Executive Secretarys Comment: Respondent Executive Secretary accordingly filed his Comment, essentially stating that the appointment of respondent Ong as Associate Justice of this Court on May 16, 2007 was made by the President pursuant to the powers vested in her by Article VIII, Section 9 of the Constitution, thus: SEC. 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and Judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation. Respondent Executive Secretary added that the President appointed respondent Ong from among the list of nominees who were duly screened by and bore the imprimatur of the JBC created under Article VIII, Section 8 of the Constitution. Said respondent further stated: "The appointment, however, was not released, but instead, referred to the JBC for validation of respondent Ongs citizenship." Ongs Comment: Respondent Ong submitted his Comment with Opposition, maintaining that he is a natural-born Filipino citizen; that petitioners have no standing to file the present suit; and that the issue raised ought to be addressed to the JBC as the Constitutional body mandated to review the qualifications of those it recommends to judicial posts. Furthermore, the petitioners in his view failed to include the President who is an indispensable party as the one who extended the appointment. As to his citizenship, respondent Ong traces his ancestral lines to one Maria Santos of Malolos, Bulacan, born on November 25, 1881, who was allegedly a Filipino citizen5 who married Chan Kin, a Chinese citizen; that these two had a son, Juan Santos; that in 1906 Chan Kin died in China, as a result of which Maria Santos reverted to her Filipino citizenship; that at that time Juan Santos was a minor; that Juan Santos thereby also became a Filipino citizen;6 that respondent Ongs mother, Dy Guiok Santos, is the daughter of the spouses Juan Santos and Sy Siok Hian, a Chinese citizen, who were married in 1927; that, therefore, respondents mother was a Filipino citizen at birth; that Dy Guiok Santos later

married a Chinese citizen, Eugenio Ong Han Seng, thereby becoming a Chinese citizen; that when respondent Ong was eleven years old his father, Eugenio Ong Han Seng, was naturalized, and as a result he, his brothers and sisters, and his mother were included in the naturalization. Respondent Ong subsequently obtained from the Bureau of Immigration and the DOJ a certification and an identification that he is a natural-born Filipino citizen under Article IV, Sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution, since his mother was a Filipino citizen when he was born. Petitioners, in turn, filed a Consolidated Reply, in which they asserted their standing to file this suit on the strength of previous decisions of this Court, e.g., Kilosbayan, Incorporated v. Guingona8 and Kilosbayan, Incorporated v. Morato,9 on the ground that the case is one of transcendental importance. They claim that the Presidents appointment of respondent Ong as Supreme Court Justice violates the Constitution and is, therefore, attended with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Finally, they reiterate that respondent Ongs birth certificate, unless corrected by judicial order in non-summary proceedings for the purpose, is binding on all and is prima facie evidence of what it states, namely, that respondent Ong is a Chinese citizen. The alleged naturalization of his father when he was a minor would not make him a natural-born Filipino citizen. Issue1: Whether the petitioners have legal standing to raise the issue? Held: Yes. Ratio: Petitioners have standing to file the suit simply as peoples organizations and taxpayers since the matter involves an issue of utmost and far-reaching Constitutional importance, namely, the qualification nay, the citizenship of a person to be appointed a member of this Court. Standing has been accorded and recognized in similar instances. Issue2: Whether the President should be impleaded? Held: No. Ratio: As to having to implead the President as an alleged necessary party. This is not necessary since the suit impleads the Executive Secretary who is the alter ego of the President and he has in fact spoken for her in his Comment. Furthermore, the suit does not seek to stop the President from extending the appointment but only the Executive Secretary from releasing it and respondent Ong from accepting the same. Issue3: Whether the Supreme Court is the proper forum to litigate the issue? Held: Yes. Ratio: As to the proper forum for litigating the issue of respondent Ongs qualification for memberhip of this Court. This case is a matter of primordial importance involving compliance with a Constitutional mandate. As the body tasked with the determination of the merits

of conflicting claims under the Constitution,11 the Court is the proper forum for resolving the issue, even as the JBC has the initial competence to do so. Issue4 (Principal issue): Is respondent Ong a natural-born Filipino citizen? Held: No. He is still required to submit evidentiary documents. Ratio: In his petition to be admitted to the Philippine bar, docketed as B.E. No. 1398-N filed on September 14, 1979, under O.R. No. 8131205 of that date, respondent Ong alleged that he is qualified to be admitted to the Philippine bar because, among others, he is a Filipino citizen; and that he is a Filipino citizen because his father, Eugenio Ong Han Seng, a Chinese citizen, was naturalized in 1964 when he, respondent Ong, was a minor of eleven years and thus he, too, thereby became a Filipino citizen. As part of his evidence, in support of his petition, be submitted his birth certificate and the naturalization papers of his father. His birth certificate 12 states that he was a Chinese citizen at birth and that his mother, Dy Guiok Santos, was a Chinese citizen and his father, Eugenio Ong Han Seng, was also a Chinese citizen. It was on the basis of these allegations under oath and the submitted evidence of naturalization that this Court allowed respondent Ong to take the oath as a lawyer. It is clear, therefore, that from the records of this Court, respondent Ong is a naturalized Filipino citizen. The alleged subsequent recognition of his natural-born status by the Bureau of Immigration and the DOJ cannot amend the final decision of the trial court stating that respondent Ong and his mother were naturalized along with his father. Furthermore, as petitioners correctly submit, no substantial change or correction in an entry in a civil register can be made without a judicial order, and, under the law, a change in citizenship status is a substantial change. Republic Act No. 9048 provides in Section 2 (3) that a summary administrative proceeding to correct clerical or typographical errors in a birth certificate cannot apply to a change in nationality. Substantial corrections to the nationality or citizenship of persons recorded in the civil registry should, therefore, be effected through a petition filed in court under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. The series of events and long string of alleged changes in the nationalities of respondent Ongs ancestors, by various births, marriages and deaths, all entail factual assertions that need to be threshed out in proper judicial proceedings so as to correct the existing records on his birth and citizenship. The chain of evidence would have to show that Dy Guiok Santos, respondent Ongs mother, was a Filipino citizen, contrary to what still appears in the records of this Court. Respondent Ong has the burden of proving in court his alleged ancestral tree as well as his citizenship under the time-line of three Constitutions.17 Until this is done, respondent Ong cannot accept an appointment to this Court as that would be a violation of the Constitution. For this reason, he can be prevented by injunction from doing so. CHANGE OF NAME VS CORRECTION OF ENTRIES

CORONA, J.: This petition for review on certiorari1 seeks to set aside the Court of Appeals (CA) decision2 dated January 13, 2003 in CA-G.R. CV No. 66128, which affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 23 of San Juan, Southern Leyte dated September 14, 1999 granting a petition for change of name. FACTS: Respondent Trinidad R. A. Capote: filed a petition for of name of her ward from Giovanni N. Gallamaso toGiovanni Nadores. The minor, whose mother is residing and working abroad, was left under the care of [respondent] since he was yet nine (9) years old up to the present and he is the illegitimate natural child of Corazon P. Nadores and Diosdado Gallamaso. [He] was born on July 9, 1982 [,] prior to the effectivity of the New Family Code and as such, his mother used the surname of the natural father despite the absence of marriage between them; and [Giovanni] has been known by that name since birth [as per his birth certificate registered at the Local Civil Register of San Juan, Southern Leyte]; The father, Diosdado Gallamaso, from the time [Giovanni] was born and up to the present, failed to take up his responsibilities [to him] on matters of financial, physical, emotional and spiritual concerns. [Giovannis pleas] for attention along that line [fell] on deaf ears. She prayed for an order directing the local civil registrar to effect the change of name on Giovannis birth certificate. TRIAL COURT: gave due course to the petition.5 Publication of the petition in a newspaper of general circulation in the province of Southern Leyte once a week for three consecutive weeks was likewise ordered. It also directed that the local civil registrar be notified and that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) be sent a copy of the petition and order.7 RESPONDENT: moved for leave of court to present her evidence ex parte before a court-appointed commissioner, since there was no opposition. OSG, acting through the Provincial Prosecutor, did not object; TRIAL COURT: granted the motion. After the reception of evidence, the trial court rendered a decision ordering the change of name from Giovanni N. Gallamaso to Giovanni Nadores. OSG: filed an appeal with a lone assignment of error: the court a quo erred in granting the petition in a summary proceeding. CA: ruled that the proceedings were sufficiently adversarial in nature, affirmed the RTC decision ordering the change of name. change ISSUE 1: Whether rule 103 or 108 will apply HELD 1: Rule 103. The Rules of Court provides the requirements and procedure for change of name. Here, the appropriate remedy is covered by Rule 103,15 a separate and distinct proceeding from Rule 108 on mere cancellation and correction of entries in the civil registry (usually dealing only with innocuous or clerical errors thereon). The law and facts obtaining here favor Giovannis petition. Giovanni availed of the proper remedy, a petition for change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, and complied with all the procedural requirements. After hearing, the trial court found (and the appellate court affirmed) that the evidence presented during the hearing of Giovannis petition sufficiently established that, under Art. 176 of the Civil Code, Giovanni is entitled to change his name as he was never recognized by his father while his mother has always recognized him as her child. A change of name will erase the impression that he was ever recognized by his father. It is also to his best interest as it will facilitate his mothers intended petition to have him join


514 SCRA 76 G.R. No. 157043, February 2, 2007

her in the United States. This Court will not stand in the way of the reunification of mother and son. ISSUE 2: Whether the proceeding is adversarial HELD 2: Yes. A proceeding is adversarial where the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party and afforded the latter an opportunity to contest it. Respondent gave notice of the petition through publication as required by the rules.25 With this, all interested parties were deemed notified and the whole world considered bound by the judgment therein. In addition, the trial court gave due notice to the OSG by serving a copy of the petition on it. Thus, all the requirements to make a proceeding adversarial were satisfied when all interested parties, including petitioner as represented by the OSG, were afforded the opportunity to contest the petition. There is no doubt that this petition does not fall under Rule 108 for it is not alleged that the entry in the civil registry suffers from clerical or typographical errors. The relief sought clearly goes beyond correcting erroneous entries in the civil registry, although by granting the petition, the result is the same in that a corresponding change in the entry is also required to reflect the change in name. In this regard, [appellee] Capote complied with the requirement for an adversarial proceeding by posting in a newspaper of general circulation notice of the filing of the petition. The lower court also furnished the OSG a copy thereof. Despite the notice, no one came forward to oppose the petition including the OSG. The fact that no one opposed the petition did not deprive the court of its jurisdiction to hear the same nor does it make the proceeding less adversarial in nature. The lower court is still expected to exercise its judgment to determine whether the petition is meritorious or not and not merely accept as true the arguments propounded. Considering that the OSG neither opposed the petition nor the motion to present its evidence ex parte when it had the opportunity to do so, it cannot now complain that the proceedings in the lower court were not adversarial enough.

they are brother and sister since they have different surnames. Carulasan sounds funny in Singapores Mandarin language since they do not have the letter "R" but if there is, they pronounce it as "L." It is for these reasons that the name of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang is requested to be changed to Julian Lin Wang. RTC: rendered a decision denying the petition. It found that the reason given for the change of name sought in the petitionthat is, that petitioner Julian may be discriminated against when studies in Singapore because of his middle namedid not fall within the grounds recognized by law. The change sought is merely for the convenience of the child. It added that when petitioner Julian reaches the age of majority, he could then decide whether he will change his name by dropping his middle name. Petitioner: filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision but this was denied. She then filed this Petition for Review on Certiorari (Under Rule 45)6 arguing that the trial court has decided a question of substance not theretofore determined by the Court, that is: whether or not dropping the middle name of a minor child is contrary to Article 1747 of the Family Code. COURT: required the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment on the petition. OSG: filed itsComment11 positing that the trial court correctly denied the petition for change of name. argues that under Article 174 of the Family Code, legitimate children have the right to bear the surnames of their father and mother, and such right cannot be denied by the mere expedient of dropping the same. There is also no showing that the dropping of the middle name "Carulasan" is in the best interest of petitioner, since mere convenience is not sufficient to support a petition for change of name and/or cancellation of entry. the petitioner has not shown any compelling reason to justify the change of name or the dropping of the middle name, for that matter. ISSUE: Whether the change of name / dropping of the middle name of the petitioner should be granted HELD: NO. To justify a request for change of name, petitioner must show not only some proper or compelling reason therefore but also that he will be prejudiced by the use of his true and official name. Among the grounds for change of name which have been held valid are: (a) when the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or extremely difficult to write or pronounce; (b) when the change results as a legal consequence, as in legitimation; (c) when the change will avoid confusion; (d) when one has continuously used and been known since childhood by a Filipino name, and was unaware of alien parentage; (e) a sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of former alienage, all in good faith and without prejudicing anybody; and (f) when the surname causes embarrassment and there is no showing that the desired change of name was for a fraudulent purpose or that the change of name would prejudice public interest. In the case at bar, the only reason advanced by petitioner for the dropping his middle name is convenience. However, how such change of name would make his integration into Singaporean society easier and convenient is not clearly established. That the continued use of his middle name would cause confusion and difficulty does not constitute proper and reasonable cause to drop it from his registered complete name. In addition, petitioner is only a minor. Considering the nebulous foundation on which his petition for change of name is based, it is best that the matter of change of his name be left to his judgment and discretion when he reaches the age of majority. 26 As he is of tender age, he may not yet understand and appreciate the value of the change of his name and granting of the same at this point may just prejudice him in his rights under our laws.


454 SCRA 155 G.R. No. 159966


This is a Petition seeking to drop the petitioners middle name and have his registered name changed from Julian Lin Carulasan Wang to Julian Lin Wang. FACTS: Julian Lin Carulasan Wang was born in Cebu City on February 20, 1998 to parents Anna Lisa Wang and Sing-Foe Wang who were then not yet married to each other. When his parents subsequently got married on September 22, 1998, ...they executed a deed of legitimation of their son so that the childs name was changed from Julian Lin Carulasan to Julian Lin Carulasan Wang. The parents of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang plan to stay in Singapore for a long time because they will let him study there together with his sister named Wang Mei Jasmine who was born in Singapore. Since in Singapore middle names or the maiden surname of the mother are not carried in a persons name, they anticipate that Julian Lin Carulasan Wang will be discriminated against because of his current registered name which carries a middle name. Julian and his sister might also be asking whether


RTC: rendered its decision granting the petition of the Ceruilas. 1. DECLARING the certificate of live birth of the Minor Maria Rosilyn Telin Delantar as registered under the Local Civil Registry No. 85-27325 of the office of the City Civil Registrar of Manila as null and void ab initio: and 2. ORDERING the City Civil Registrar of Manila and the National Statistics Office, Manila, to expunge from their respective marriage registers the entry of the birth of said minor and such other documents pertaining thereto, if any. ROSILYN, represented by her legal guardian, the DSWD, filed, with the CA, a petition for the annulment of judgment in the petition for cancellation of entry of her birth certificate.13 She claimed that she and her guardian were not notified of the petition and the subsequent judgment and learned about the same only from the news on May 16, 1997.14 She argued that the RTC decision was issued without jurisdiction and in violation of her right to due process; that the Judge did not have authority to declare her to be illegitimate; and that mere correction of entries, not cancellation of the entire certificate, is the appropriate remedy CA: rendered the herein assailed decision, instant Petition is GRANTED ISSUE 1: Is the petition for annulment and cancellation of the birth certificate of Rosilyn an ordinary civil action or a special proceeding? HELD 1: Considering that the petition, based on its allegations, does not question the fact of birth of Rosilyn, all matters assailing the truthfulness of any entry in the birth certificate properly, including the date of birth, fall under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court which governs cancellation or correction of entries in the Civil Registry. Thus, the petition filed by the Ceruilas, alleging material entries in the certificate as having been falsified, is properly considered as a special proceeding pursuant to Section 3(c), Rule 1 and Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. ISSUE 2: whether the Ceruilas comply with the requirements of Rule 108 HELD 2: NO. SEC. 3. Parties. --- When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is sought, the civil registrar and all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties to the proceeding. Indeed, not only the civil registrar but also all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected by a proceeding concerning the cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register must be made parties thereto.35 As enunciated in Republic vs. Benemerito,36 unless all possible indispensable parties were duly notified of the proceedings, the same shall be considered as falling much too short of the requirements of the rules.37 Here, it is clear that no party could be more interested in the cancellation of Rosilyns birth certificate than Rosilyn herself. Her filiation, legitimacy, and date of birth are at stake. In the present case, only the Civil Registrar of Manila was served summons, who, however, did not participate in the proceedings. This alone is clearly not sufficient to comply with the requirements laid down by the rules.

477 SCRA 134 G.R. No. 140305, December 9, 2005

AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: FACTS: Rosilyn complained against her father, Simplicio Delantar (Simplicio) for child abuse, particularly prostitution. Simplicio was incarcerated at the Pasay City Jail starting August 22, 1996 which prompted the filing of a petition for involuntary commitment of Rosilyn in favor of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as the whereabouts of the mother, Librada Ceruila, was unknown. RTC: granted the petition and Simplicios motion to vacate said judgment was denied. CERUILAS: filed a petition before the RTC of Manila, entitled "IN THE MATTER OF CANCELLATION AND ANNULMENT OF THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE OF MARIA ROSILYN TELIN DELANTAR," praying that the birth certificate of Rosilyn be canceled and declared null and void for the reasons that said birth certificate was made an instrument of the crime of simulation of birth and therefore invalid and spurious, and it falsified all material entries therein. a. The name of her mother which should not be petitioner Librada A. Telin; b. The signature of informant referring to Librada T. Delantar being a forgery; c. The name of Simplicio Delantar as the biological father, considering that, as already mentioned, he is merely the foster father and co-guardian in fact of Maria Rosilyn and the name of the natural father in (sic) unknown; d. The date of marriage of the supposed parents, since the parents reflected in said certificate were (sic) actually full blood brother and sister and therefore marriage between the two is virtually impossible; e. The status of Maria Rosilyn as a legitimate child as the same (sic) is actually not legitimate; f. The date of actual birth of Marial (sic) Rosilyn, since the known father merely made it appear that she was born at the time the informations for the birth certificate were supplied by him to the civil registrar or (sic) proper recording; g. The name of the physician who allegedly attended at the time of birth of Maria Rosilyn, being a fictitious Dr. Santos. RTC: issued an Order setting the case for hearing on March 19, 1997 and directed the publication of said order once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. The Order also stated that any person who is interested in the petition may interpose his/her comment or opposition thereto on or before the scheduled hearing. Summons was sent to the Civil Register of Manila.8 However, no representative appeared during the scheduled hearing.

Petitioners further claim that the lack of summons on Rosilyn was cured by the publication of the order of the trial court setting the case for hearing for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.

Summons must still be served, not for the purpose of vesting the courts with jurisdiction, but to comply with the requirements of fair play and due process.40 This is but proper, to

afford the person concerned the opportunity to protect her interest if she so chooses. Indeed, there were instances when we ruled that even though an interested party was not impleaded in the petition, such defect was cured by compliance with Sec. 4, Rule 108 on publication. In said cases, however, earnest efforts were made by the petitioners in bringing to court all possible interested parties.

BRAZA vs CITY CIVIL REGISTRAR OF HIMAMAYLAN CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL 607 SCRA 638, G.R. No. 181174, December 4, 2009 CARPIO MORALES, J.: FACTS: Petitioner Ma. Cristina Torres (Ma. Cristina) and Pablo Sicad Braza, Jr. (Pablo), also known as "Pablito Sicad Braza," were married1 on January 4, 1978. The union bore Ma. Cristinas copetitioners Paolo Josef2 and Janelle Ann3 on May 8, 1978 and June 7, 1983, respectively, and Gian Carlo4 on June 4, 1980. Pablo died5 on April 15, 2002 in a vehicular accident in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. During the wake following the repatriation of his remains to the Philippines, respondent Lucille Titular (Lucille) began introducing her co-respondent minor Patrick Alvin Titular Braza (Patrick) as her and Pablo's son. Ma. Cristina thereupon made inquiries in the course of which she obtained Patrick's birth certificate6 from the Local Civil Registrar of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental with the following entries: Name of Child : Date of Birth : Mother : Father : Date Received at the Local Civil Registrar : Annotation : Annotation/Remarks : PATRICK ALVIN CELESTIAL TITULAR 01 January 1996 Lucille Celestial Titular Pablito S. Braza January 13, 1997 "Late Registration" "Acknowledge (sic) by the father Pablito Braza on January 13, 1997" Legitimated by virtue of subsequent marriage of parents on April 22, 1998at Manila. Henceforth, the child shall be known as Patrick Alvin Titular Braza

Contending that Patrick could not have been legitimated by the supposed marriage between Lucille and Pablo, said marriage being bigamous on account of the valid and subsisting marriage between Ma. Cristina and Pablo, petitioners prayed for (1) the correction of the entries in Patrick's birth record with respect to his legitimation, the name of the father and his acknowledgment, and the use of the last name "Braza"; 2) a directive to Leon, Cecilia and Lucille, all surnamed Titular, as guardians of the minor Patrick, to submit Parick to DNA testing to determine his paternity and filiation; and 3) the declaration of nullity of the legitimation of Patrick as stated in his birth certificate and, for this purpose, the declaration of the marriage of Lucille and Pablo as bigamous. PATRICK: filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction TRIAL COURT: dismissed the petition without prejudice, it holding that in a special proceeding for correction of entry, the court, which is not acting as a family court under the Family Code, has no jurisdiction over an action to annul the marriage of Lucille and Pablo, impugn the legitimacy of Patrick, and order Patrick to be subjected to a DNA test, hence, the controversy should be ventilated in an ordinary adversarial action. PETITIONERS: filed motion for reconsideration, but was denied. Hence, the petition for review. ISSUE: Whether the court a quo may pass upon the validity of marriage and questions on legitimacy even in an action to correct entries in the civil registrar. HELD: NO. In a special proceeding for correction of entry under Rule 108 (Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Original Registry), the trial court has no jurisdiction to nullify marriages and rule on legitimacy and filiation. Rule 108 of the Rules of Court vis a vis Article 412 of the Civil Code15 charts the procedure by which an entry in the civil registry may be cancelled or corrected. The proceeding contemplated therein may generally be used only to correct clerical, spelling, typographical and other innocuous errors in the civil registry. A clerical error is one which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding; an error made by a clerk or a transcriber; a mistake in copying or writing, or a harmless change such as a correction of name that is clearly misspelled or of a misstatement of the occupation of the parent. Substantial or contentious alterations may be allowed only in adversarial proceedings, in which all interested parties are impleaded and due process is properly observed. The allegations of the petition filed before the trial court clearly show that petitioners seek to nullify the marriage between Pablo and Lucille on the ground that it is bigamous and impugn Patricks filiation in connection with which they ask the court to order Patrick to be subjected to a DNA test. Petitioners position does not lie. Their cause of action is actually to seek the declaration of Pablo and Lucilles marriage as void for being bigamous and impugn Patricks legitimacy, which causes of action are governed not by Rule 108 but by A.M. No. 0211-10-SC which took effect on March 15, 2003, and Art. 17118 of the Family Code, respectively, hence, the petition should be filed in a Family Court as expressly provided in said Code.1avvphi1 It is well to emphasize that, doctrinally, validity of marriages as well as legitimacy and filiation can be questioned only in a direct action seasonably filed by the proper party, and not through collateral attack such as the petition filed before the court a quo.

Remarks :

Ma. Cristina likewise obtained a copy7 of a marriage contract showing that Pablo and Lucille were married on April 22, 1998, drawing her and her co-petitioners to file on December 23, 2005 before the Regional Trial Court of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental a petition8 to correct the entries in the birth record of Patrick in the Local Civil Register.


637 SCRA 654, G.R. No. 186027 MENDOZA, J.:

December 8, 2010

This petition for review on certiorari assails the December 9, 2008 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA), in CA G.R. CV No. 00568MIN, which affirmed the September 28, 2005 Order of the Regional Trial Court of Dipolog City, Branch 8 (RTC), in a petition for correction of entries, docketed as Special Proceedings No. R-3427 (SP No. R-3427), filed by respondent Merlyn Mercadera (Mercadera) under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. FACTS: Merlyn Mercadera (Mercadera), represented by her sister and duly constituted Attorney-in-Fact, Evelyn M. Oga (Oga), sought the correction of her given name as it appeared in her Certificate of Live Birth - fromMarilyn L. Mercadera to Merlyn L. Mercadera before the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Dipolog City pursuant to Republic Act No. 9048 (R.A. No. 9048). The Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Dipolog City, however, refused to effect the correction unless a court order was obtained "because the Civil Registrar therein is not yet equipped with a permanent appointment before he can validly act on petitions for corrections filed before their office as mandated by Republic Act 9048." MERCADERA: filed a Petition For Correction of Some Entries as Appearing in the Certificate of Live Birth under Rule 108 before the Regional Trial Court of Dipolog City (RTC). The petition was docketed as Special Proceedings No. R-3427 (SP No. R3427). Section 2 of Rule 108 RTC: issued an order, Finding the petition sufficient in form and substance OSG: entered its appearance for the Republic of the Philippines and deputized the Office of the City Prosecutor to assist in the case only on the very day of the hearing. RTC: reset the hearing Mercadera: moved for leave of court to present evidence ex parte, being no opposition. Without any objection from the City Prosecutor. RTC: designated the branch clerk of court to receive evidence for Mercadera. Granted Mercaderas petition and directed the Office of the City Civil Registrar of Dipolog City to correct her name appearing in her certificate of live birth, Marilyn Lacquiao Mercadera, to MERLYN Lacquiao Mercadera OSG: timely interposed an appeal praying for the reversal and setting aside of the RTC decision. It mainly anchored its appeal on the availment of Mercadera of the remedy and procedure under Rule 108. CA: was not persuaded, affirmed the questioned RTC Order. ISSUE: whether petition filed by Mercadera before the RTC falls under Rule 103 or 108 HELD: RULE 108. Rule 103 procedurally governs judicial petitions for change of given name or surname, or both, pursuant to Article 376 of the Civil Code.16 This rule provides the procedure for an independent special proceeding in court to establish the status of a person involving his relations with others, that is, his legal position in, or with regard to, the rest of the community. 17 In petitions for change of name, a person avails of a remedy to alter the "designation by which he is known and called in the community in which he lives and is best known."18 When granted, a persons identity and interactions are affected as he bears a new "label or appellation for the convenience of the world at large in addressing him, or in speaking of, or dealing with him."19 Judicial

permission for a change of name aims to prevent fraud and to ensure a record of the change by virtue of a court decree. The proceeding under Rule 103 is also an action in rem which requires publication of the order issued by the court to afford the State and all other interested parties to oppose the petition. When complied with, the decision binds not only the parties impleaded but the whole world. As notice to all, publication serves to indefinitely bar all who might make an objection. "It is the publication of such notice that brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the court with jurisdiction to hear and decide it." Essentially, a change of name does not define or effect a change of ones existing family relations or in the rights and duties flowing therefrom. It does not alter ones legal capacity or civil status.21 However, "there could be instances where the change applied for may be open to objection by parties who already bear the surname desired by the applicant, not because he would thereby acquire certain family ties with them but because the existence of such ties might be erroneously impressed on the public mind."22 Hence, in requests for a change of name, "what is involved is not a mere matter of allowance or disallowance of the request, but a judicious evaluation of the sufficiency and propriety of the justifications advanced x x x mindful of the consequent results in the event of its grant Rule 108, on the other hand, implements judicial proceedings for the correction or cancellation of entries in the civil registry pursuant to Article 412 of the Civil Code.24 Entries in the civil register refer to "acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of persons,"25 also as enumerated in Article 408 of the same law.26Before, only mistakes or errors of a harmless and innocuous nature in the entries in the civil registry may be corrected under Rule 108 and substantial errors affecting the civil status, citizenship or nationality of a party are beyond the ambit of the rule. The petition filed by Mercadera before the RTC correctly falls under Rule 108 as it simply sought a correction of a misspelled given name. To correct simply means "to make or set aright; to remove the faults or error from." To change means "to replace something with something else of the same kind or with something that serves as a substitute."36 From the allegations in her petition, Mercadera clearly prayed for the lower court "to remove the faults or error" from her registered given name "MARILYN," and "to make or set aright" the same to conform to the one she grew up to, "MERLYN." It does not take a complex assessment of said petition to learn of its intention to simply correct the clerical error in spelling. Mercadera even attempted to avail of the remedy allowed by R.A. No. 9048 but she unfortunately failed to enjoy the expediency which the law provides and was constrained to take court action to obtain relief.