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181258, March 18, 2010 Facts: The Court is mindful that the best interests of the child in cases involving paternity and filiation should be advanced. It is, however, just as mindful of the disturbance that unfounded paternity suits cause to the privacy and peace of the putative father’s legitimate family. Respondent Archbencel Ann Lopez, filed a complaint for recognition and support of filiation against petitioner BenHur Nepomuceno. She was represented by her mother, Araceli Lopez. She assailed that she is theillegitimate daughter of Nepomuceno submitting as evidence the handwritten note allegedly written and signed by Nepomuceno. She also demanded for financial support along with filial recognition. On the other hand, Nepomucenodenied the assertions reasoning out that he was compelled to execute the handwritten note due to the threats of the National People’s Army. As the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City ruled in favor of Archbencel, Nepomuceno thereafter proceeded to file a demurrer to evidence which was granted by thetrial court stating insufficiency of evidence as the reason for dismissing the caseagainst Nepomuceno. The case was elevated to the Court of Appeals and the trial court’sdecisi on was reversed. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether or not the filiation of Archbencel as illegitimate daughter of Ben-Hur Nepomuceno is established by the handwritten note submitted as documentary evidence. Held: Petition GRANTED. Arhbencel’s demand for support, being based on her claim of filiation to petitioner as his illegitimate daughter, falls under Article 195(4). As such, herentitlement to support from petitioner is dependent on the determination of her filiation. Article 195 Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles,the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extentset forth in the preceding article 1. The spouses;2. Legitimate ascendants and descendants;3. Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate andillegitimate children of the latter;4. Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimateand illegitimate children of the latter; and5. Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half-blood. Herrera v. Alba summarizes the laws, rules, and jurisprudence onestablishing filiation:ART. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimatefiliation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimatechildren. x x x xART. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established byany of the following: (1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.In the present case, Arhbencel relies, in the main, on the handwritten not eexecuted by petitioner. The note does not contain any statement whatsoever about Arhbencel’s filiation to petitioner. It is, therefore, not within the ambit of Article 172(2) vis-à-vis
For it is not even notarized.Article 175 of the Family Code which admits as competent evidence of illegitimate filiation an admission of filiation in a private handwritten instrument signed by the parent concerned. GARCIA.the latter not having signed. No. The Court is mindful that the best interests of tthechild in cases involving paternity and filiation should be advanced. And Herrera instructs that the notarial agreement must be accompanied by the putative father’s admission of filiation to be an acceptable evidence of filiation. At bottom. July 31. The note cannot also be accorded the same weight as the notarialagreeme nt to support the child referred to in Herrera. The only other documentary evidence submitted by Arhbencel.R. has no probative value to establish filiation to petitioner. a copy of her Certificate of Birth. JENIE SAN JUAN DELA CRUZ and minor CHRISTIAN DELA CRUZ “AQUINO. It is however. G. all that Arhbencel really has is petitioner’s handwritten undertaking to provide financial support to her which.”represent ed by JENIE SAN JUAN DELA CRUZ Vs RONALD PAUL S. fails to establish her claim of filiation. Here. without more. 177728. however. He has consistently denied it. 2009 . just as mindful of the disturbance that unfounded paternity suits cause to the privacy and peace of the putative father’s legitimate family. not only has petitioner not admitted filiation through contemporaneous actions.
or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father. and Affidavit of Acknowledgment executed by Dominique’s father Domingo Butch Aquino. Gracia (respondent). THEN WE BECAME GOOD COUPLES. DULUMBAYAN. 19 YEARS OF AGE TURNING 20 THIS COMING OCTOBER 31. THEN WE FELL IN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER.) No. inter alia. the child cannot use the surname of his father because he was born out of wedlock and the father unfortunately died prior to his birth and has no more capacity to acknowledge his paternity to the child (either through the back of Municipal Form No. Jenie. using Dominique’s surname Aquino. 06-539.102 – Affidavit of Acknowledgment/Admission of Paternity – or the Authority to Use the Surname of the Father). AT FIRST WE BECAME GOOD FRIENDS. with the Office of the City Civil Registrar. Dulumbayan. Aquino and Raquel Sto. then 21-year old petitioner Jenie San JuanDela Cruz (Jenie) and then 19year old Christian Dominique Sto. Dominique died.Facts: For several months in 2005. xxx AS OF NOW I HAVE MY WIFE NAMED JENIE DELA CRUZ. 2005. MY FATHER’S NAME IS DOMINGO BUTCH AQUINO AND MY MOTHER’S NAME ISRAQUEL STO. I AM THE YOUNGEST IN OUR FAMILY. and that his paternity had never been questioned. TEREZA RIZAL. which provides: Article 176. wrote in his own handwriting. during his lifetime. Rizal. Antipolo City. illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register. TERESA. RIZAL. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother. denied Jenie’s application for registration of the child’s name. However.A. TOMAS AQUINO. or on November 2. I HAVE ONE BROTHER NAMED JOSEPH BUTCH STO. he had continuously acknowledged his yet unborn child. The complaint alleged that. the pertinent portions of which read: AQUINO.T. the denial of registration of the child’s name is a violation of his right to use the surname of his deceased father under Article 176 of the Family Code. Provided. On September 4. 2005. docketed as SCA Case No. Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF) which she had executed and signed.Jenie applied for registration of the child’s birth. Ronald Paul S. AND AS OF NOW SHE IS PREGNANT AND FOR THAT WE LIVETOGETHER IN OUR HOUSE NOW. and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. After almost two months. CHRISTIAN DOMINIQUE S. 9255.In summary. in support of which she submitted the child’s Certificate of Live Birth. (Underscoring supplied) Jenie and the child promptly filed a complaint for injunction/registration of name against respondent before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City. The legitime of each . Jenie attached to the AUSF a document entitled “AUTOBIOGRAPHY” which Dominique. gave birth to her herein co-petitioner minor child Christian Dela Cruz “Aquino” at the Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Antipolo City. which was raffled to Branch 73 thereof. that during the lifetime of Dominique.Tomas Aquino at Pulang-lupa. By letter dated November 11. TOMAS AQUINO. WE MET EACH OTHER IN OUR HOMETOWN.inter alia. 2005. Theyresided in the house of Dominique’s parents Domingo B. Both affidavits attested. as amended by Republic Act (R. THAT’S ALL. Tomas Aquino(Do minique) lived together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. Teresa. the father has the right to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime. the City Civil Registrar of Antipolo City. 2005. TOMAS AQUINO.AUTOBIOGRAPHY I’M CHRISTIAN DOMINIQUE STO. who continued to live with Dominique’s parents. I RESIDE AT PULANG-LUPA STREETBRGY.
2. The recognition made in any of these documents is. it did not “unduly expand” the import of Article 176 as claimed by petitioner. a child with an unknown father bears the stigma of dishonor. as amended by r. does not. Third. which entitles the said minor to use his father’s surname. Held: Petition granted. no separate action for judicial approval is necessary. 2010 . unquestionably handwritten by Dominique.A. 181409. Paragraph 2.explicitly state that the private handwritten instrument acknowledging the child’s paternity must be signed by the putative father. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Issue: Whether or not the unsigned handwritten statement of the deceased father of minor Christian Dela Cruz can be considered as a recognition of paternity in a “private handwritten instrument” within the contemplation of article 176 of the family code. as amended by R. Intestate Estate of Manolita Gonzales vda. Series of 2004. Second. the relevant matters in the Autobiography. February 11.De Carungcong v. Rule 2 of A. No. as amended. in itself. First. Article 176 of the Family Code.a.O. indeed. 9255. or through an admission made in a public or private handwritten instrument. Article 176of the Family Code. It is to petitioner minor child’s best interests to allow him to bear the surname of the now deceased Dominique and enter it in his birth certificate.”In the eyes of society. Jenie’s testimony is corroborated by the Affidavit of Acknowledgment of Dominique’s father Domingo Aquino and testimony of his brother Joseph Butch Aquino whose hereditary rights could be affected by the registration of the questioned recognition of the child These circumstances indicating Dominique’s paternity of the child give life to his statements in his Autobiography that “JENIE DELA CRUZ” is “MY WIFE” as “WE FELLIN LOVE WITH EACH OTHER” and “NOW SHE IS PREGNANT AND FOR THAT WE LIVE TOGETHER. Dominique died about two months prior to the child’s birth. 1. hence. a consummated act of acknowledgment of the child’s paternity. People GR No. permits an illegitimate child to use the surname of his/her father if the latter had expressly recognized him/her as his offspring through the record of birth appearing in the civil register.illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child. That a father who acknowledges paternity of a child through a written instrument must affix his signature thereon is clearly implied in Article 176 of the Family Code. 9255. correspond to the facts culled from the testimonial evidence Jenie proffered. merely articulated such requirement.
dismissed it. such that the death of a spouse ipso facto ends the relationship by affinity of the surviving spouse to the deceased spouse’s blood relatives. de Carungcong. Its duration is indispensably and necessarily determined by the marriage that created it.Facts: Mediatrix G. Since Zenaida predeceased her mother. Under this view. in a decision dated August 9. Under this view. 1997 and directed the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to file an Information against Sato for violation of Article 315. however. Branch 87: Subsequently. filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals which. filed a complaint-affidavit for estafa against her brother-in-law. Dissatisfied with the trial court’s rulings. The first view admits of an exception. Held: Zenaida never became a co-owner because. the intestate estate of Manolita. The first view (the terminated affinity view) holds that relationship by affinity terminates with the dissolution of the marriage either by death or divorce which gave rise to the relationship of affinity between the parties. it exists only for so long as the marriage subsists. to P22. Manolita. the relationship by affinity is simply coextensive and coexistent with the marriage that produced it. paragraph 3(a) of the Revised Penal Code Thus. in her capacity as the duly appointed administratrix of petitioner intestate estate of her deceased mother Manolita Gonzales vda. Sato counters that Article 332 makes no distinction that the relationship may not be invoked in case of death of the spouse at the time the crime was allegedly committed. Carungcong. under the law. The rationale is that the relationship is preserved because of the living issue of the marriage in whose veins the blood of both parties is commingled.000. 1997. William Sato. her right to the three parcels of land could have arisen only after her mother’s death. the total amount stated in the deeds of sale.150. the Secretary of Justice reversed and set aside the resolution dated March 25. 2007.000. it did not dissolve the son-in-law and mother-in-law relationship between Sato and Zenaida’s mother.034. Wendy Mitsuko Sato’s supporting affidavit and the special power of attorney allegedly issued by the deceased Manolita Gonzales vda. The relationship by affinity continues even after the death of one spouse when there is a surviving issue. Manolita. de Carungcong in favor of Wendy were attached to the complaint-affidavit of Mediatrix. regardless of whether the marriage produced children or not. the following Information was filed against Sato in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. In a resolution dated March 25. the actual amount received by Sato. the relationship by affinity endures even after the . a Japanese national. represented by Mediatrix. Thus. the City Prosecutor of Quezon City dismissed the complaint. The second view (the continuing affinity view) maintains that relationship by affinity between the surviving spouse and the kindred of the deceased spouse continues even after the death of the deceased spouse. On appeal. while the death of Zenaida extinguished her marriage with Sato. Thus. Issue: Whether or not Sato has the right to claim deceased mother-in-law’s Intestate estate. the prosecution moved for the amendment of the Information so as to increase the amount of damages from P1. no such right came about and the mantle of protection provided to Sato by the relationship no longer existed. however.
the “tie of affinity” between these people and their relatives-by-marriage is not to be regarded as terminated upon the death of one of the married parties.dissolution of the marriage that produced it as a result of the death of one of the parties to the said marriage. . where statutes have indicated an intent to benefit step-relatives or in-laws. This view considers that.
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