Page 1 of 39

Special Proceedings Recent Digested Cases (2010-
2011)
CONTENTS
1! Settle"ent o# Estate o# Deceased Person
a. Probate of the wííí ín the foreígn country where the
aííen deceased resídes condítíon síne qua non for
Reprobate of the wííí ín the Phíííppínes
IN RE: In the Matter of the Petition to approve the
will of Ruperta Palaganas with prayer for the
appointment of Special Administrator, Manuel Miguel
Palaganas and en!amin Palaganas vs" Ernesto
Palaganas, G.R. No. 169144, |anuary 26, 2011
2! $%ardians&ip
a. Guardíanshíp of Mínor
#a$ales vs" #ourt of Appeal, G.R. No. 162421,
August 31, 2007
b. Appoíntment of a Guardían: Court Authoríty Requíred
People vs" %lores, G.R. No. 188315, August 25,
2010
c. Fíducíary Funds Shaíí Remaín Wíth Court
Posted &anuary '(, )*((+ y Anna ,atrina M"
Martine- .S# /e$site0
3! 'egal $%ardian (&en one o# t&e spo%se is
incapacitated ) Sole *d"inistration
&ose 1y vs" #ourt of Appeals, GR No. 109557,
November 29, 2000
a. Guardían over Incompetent Person: Who ís an
íncompetent person
Hernandez, et"al" vs" San &uan2Santos, G.R. Nos.
166470 and 169217, August 7, 2009
+! Esc&eat
Page 2 of 39
a. Escheat Proceedíng: Proper Party and Cítízenshíp of the
owner of the property to be escheated.
alais2Ma$anag vs" Registry of 3eeds of 4ue-on
#ity, G.R. No. 153142, March 29, 2010
,! *doption
a. Vaíídíty of Adoptíon when the Survívíng Spouse
remarríes
IN RE: Petition for Adoption 5% Michael &ude P" 6im,
G.R. Nos. 168992-93, May 21, 2009
b. Adoptíon under Artícíe 33, New Cívíí Code and SC Cír.
No.12: decree of Adoptíon cannot be made soíeíy by
case study reports made by a social welfare officer of the court
3S/3 vs" &udge Antonio M" elen, A.M. No. RT|-96-
1362 |uíy 18, 1997
c. Penaíty for a pubííc offícer for símuíatíng bírth
certífícate: Appíícatíon of the Cívíí Servíce Ruíes
Anonymous vs" Emma #uramen, A.M. No. P-08-
2549, |une 18, 2010
-! .a/eas Corp%s
a. Grant of Wrít of Habeas Corpus ancíííary to a Crímínaí
Case: Dísmíssaí of the íatter rendered moot and
academíc of the former
So vs" 7on" Este$an A" 8acla, &r", G.R. No. 190108, 19
October 2010
b. Wrít of Habeas Corpus: Not proper pendíng Specíaí Cívíí
Actíon for Certíorarí before the Court of Appeaís 7th
Dívísíon.
In the matter of the Petition for 7a$eas #orpus of
#E9ARI :5N9A6ES and &16I1S MESA: R5ER85 RA%AE6
P16I35 vs" :en" E%REN A1, et aí., G.R. No. 170924,
|uíy 4, 2007
c. A detentíon prevíousíy ínvaííd becomes vaííd upon the
appíícatíon, íssuance of the wrít of Habeas Corpus
deníed. (Sectíon 4 of Ruíe 102)
Page 3 of 39
Ampatuan vs" &udge ;irgilio ;" Macaraig, G.R. No.
182497, 29 |une 2010
0! (rit o# *"paro and .a/eas Data
a. Command Responsíbíííty
b. Amparo: Not appííed to those ínstances other than ríght
to íífe, ííberty or securíty (í.e. personaí property)
In the Matter of the Petition for the /rit of Amparo
and the /rit of 7a$eas 3ata in %avor of Melissa #" Ro<as,
G. R. No. 189155 September 7, 2010
1! R%le 103 C&ange o# Na"e 2%risdiction and
S%##icienc3 o# E4idence
Repu$lic vs" Roselie Eloisa ringas olante a"="a"
MARIA E65ISA RIN:AS 56AN8E, :"R" No" (>*?@A,
&uly )*, )**>
9! R%le 101
a! *%t&orit3 o# t&e trial co%rts to "a5e 6%dicial
corrections o# entries in t&e ci4il registr3!
RE: %INA6 REP5R8 5N 87E &13I#IA6 A13I8
#5N31#8E3 A8 87E R8# RAN#7 >A, PANI41I, 8AR6A#,
A"M"No"*>2A2B(B2R8#, 5cto$er (@, )**A
/! (&en ci4il stat%s a##ects t&e c&anges in t&e entr3
in ci4il registr37 ad4ersarial proceedings applied )
2%risdictional and Notice are essential
Repubííc vs" &ulian Edward Emerson #oseteng2
Magpayo .A","A" &16IAN E3/AR3 EMERS5N MAR41E92
6IM #5SE8EN:0, G.R. No. 189476, February 2, 2011
c! C&ange o# Stat%s *lien Spo%se #ailed to co"pl3
on t&e 2%risdictional Re8%ire"ent
#orpu- vs" Sto" 8omas, G.R. No. 186571, August 11,
2010
10! R9'E 1037 101 and R* 90+1 Disting%is&ed
Repu$lic vs" Mercadera, G.R. No. 186027, December
8, 2010
Page + of 39
Page , of 39
*! SETT'E:ENT O; EST*TE O; DECE*SED PERSON
Pro/ate o# t&e <ill in t&e #oreign co%ntr3 <&ere t&e alien
deceased resides condition sine 8%a non #or Repro/ate o#
t&e <ill in t&e P&ilippines
=N RE =N T.E :*TTER O; T.E PET=T=ON TO *PPRO>E T.E (='' O;
R9PERT* P*'*$*N*S (=T. PR*?ER ;OR T.E *PPO=NT:ENT O; SPEC=*'
*D:=N=STR*TOR7 :*N9E' :=$9E' P*'*$*N*S *ND @EN2*:=N $RE$OR=O
P*'*$*N*S >S! ERNESTO P*'*$*N*S
G.R. No. 169144, |anuary 26, 2011
;*CTS:
Ruperta C. Paíaganas (Ruperta), a Fííípíno who became a naturaíízed Uníted
States (U.S.) cítízen, díed síngíe and chíídíess. In the íast wííí and testament she
executed ín Caíífornía, she desígnated her brother, Sergío C. Paíaganas (Sergío), as
the executor of her wííí for she had íeft propertíes ín the Phíííppínes and ín the U.S.

Respondent Ernesto C. Paíaganas (Ernesto), another brother of Ruperta, fííed
wíth the a petítíon for the probate of Ruperta´s wííí and for hís appoíntment as
specíaí admínístrator of her estate. However, petítíoners Manueí Mígueí Paíaganas
(Manueí) and Ben|amín Gregorío Paíaganas (Ben|amín), nephews of Ruperta,
opposed the petítíon on the ground that Ruperta´s wííí shouíd not be probated ín the
Phíííppínes but ín the U.S. where she executed ít
The RTC íssued an order: (a) admíttíng to probate Ruperta´s íast wííí; (b)
appoíntíng respondent Ernesto as specíaí admínístrator at the request of Sergío, the
U.S.-based executor desígnated ín the wííí; and (c) íssuíng the Letters of Specíaí
Admínístratíon to Ernesto.
Manueí and Ben|amín appeaíed to the Court of Appeaís (CA), arguíng that an
unprobated wííí executed by an Amerícan cítízen ín the U.S. cannot be probated for
the fírst tíme ín the Phíííppínes.
The CA affírmed order of the RTC, hoídíng that the RTC properíy aííowed the
probate of the wííí. The CA poínted out that Sectíon 2, Ruíe 76 of the Ruíes of Court
does not requíre príor probate and aííowance of the wííí ín the country of íts
executíon, before ít can be probated ín the Phíííppínes. The present case ís dífferent
from reprobate, whích refers to a wííí aíready probated and aííowed abroad.
Reprobate ís governed by dífferent ruíes or procedures.
=SS9E
Whether or not a wííí executed by a foreígner abroad may be probated ín the
Phíííppínes aíthough ít has not been prevíousíy probated and aííowed ín the country
where ít was executed.
.E'D:
Sectíon 1, Ruíe 73 of the 1997 Ruíes of Cívíí Procedure provídes that íf the
decedent ís an ínhabítant of a foreígn country, the RTC of the provínce where he
has an estate may take cognízance of the settíement of such estate. Sectíons 1 and
2 of Ruíe 76 further state that the executor, devísee, or íegatee named ín the wííí,
or any other person ínterested ín the estate, may, at any tíme after the death of the
Page - of 39
testator, petítíon the court havíng |urísdíctíon to have the wííí aííowed, whether the
same be ín hís possessíon or not, or ís íost or destroyed.
Our ruíes requíre mereíy that the petítíon for the aííowance of a wííí must
show, so far as known to the petítíoner: (a) the |urísdíctíonaí facts; (b) the names,
ages, and resídences of the heírs, íegatees, and devísees of the testator or
decedent; (c) the probabíe vaíue and character of the property of the estate; (d) the
name of the person for whom íetters are prayed; and (e) íf the wííí has not been
deíívered to the court, the name of the person havíng custody of ít. |urísdíctíonaí
facts refer to the fact of death of the decedent, hís resídence at the tíme of hís
death ín the provínce where the probate court ís síttíng, or íf he ís an ínhabítant of a
foreígn country, the estate he íeft ín such provínce. The ruíes do not requíre proof
that the foreígn wííí has aíready been aííowed and probated ín the country of íts
executíon.
In ínsístíng that Ruperta´s wííí shouíd have been fírst probated and aííowed by
the court of Caíífornía, petítíoners Manueí and Ben|amín obvíousíy have ín mínd the
procedure for the reprobate of wííí before admíttíng ít here. But, reprobate or re-
authentícatíon of a wííí aíready probated and aííowed ín a foreígn country ís
dífferent from that probate where the wííí ís presented for the fírst tíme before a
competent court. Reprobate ís specífícaííy governed by Ruíe 77 of the Ruíes of
Court. Contrary to petítíoners´ stance, sínce thís íatter ruíe appííes oníy to
reprobate of a wííí, ít cannot be made to appíy to the present case. In reprobate,
the íocaí court acknowíedges as bíndíng the fíndíngs of the foreígn probate court
províded íts |urísdíctíon over the matter can be estabííshed.
Besídes, petítíoners´ stand ís fraught wíth ímpractícaííy. If the ínstítuted heírs
do not have the means to go abroad for the probate of the wííí, ít ís as good as
deprívíng them outríght of theír ínherítance, sínce our íaw requíres that no wííí shaíí
pass eíther reaí or personaí property uníess the wííí has been proved and aííowed by
the proper court.
@! $9*RD=*NS.=P
$%ardians&ip o# :inor *:! No! 03-02-0,-SC
NE'SON C*@*'ES and R=TO C*@*'ES 4s! CO9RT O; *PPE*'S7 2ES9S
;E'=*NO and *N9NC=*NO ;E'=*NO
G.R. No. 162421, August 31, 2007
Puno, C.|.
FACTS:
Sometíme ín 1964, Rurfíno Cabaíes díed íeavíng behínd a parceí of íand ín
Southern Leyte to hís wífe, Saturnína and síx chíídren, nameíy, Bonífacío, Francísco,
Aíberto, Aíbíno, Lenora, and Ríto. On 1971, the brothers and co-owners Bonífacío,
Aíberto and Aíbíno soíd the property to Dr. Corrompído wíth a ríght to repurchase
wíthín eíght (8) years. On 1972, príor to the redemptíon of the property, Aíberto
díed íeavíng behínd hís wífe and son, Neíson, hereín petítíoner.
Sometíme íater and wíthín the redemptíon períod, the saíd brothers and theír
mother, ín ííeu of Aíberto, tendered theír payment to Dr. Corrompído. Subsequentíy,
Saturnína, and her four chíídren, Bonífacío, Aíbíno, Francísco and Leonora soíd the
Page 0 of 39
saíd íand to Spouses Feííano. It was províded ín the deed of saíe that the shares of
Neíson and Ríto, beíng mínor at the tíme of the saíe, wííí be heíd ín trust by the
vendee and wííí paíd upon them reachíng the age of 21.
In 1986, Ríto receíved the sum of 1,143 pesos from the Spouses Feííano
representíng hís share from the proceeds of the saíe of the property. It was oníy ín
1988, that Neíson íearned of the saíe from hís uncíe, Ríto. He sígnífíed hís íntentíon
to redeem the property ín 1993 but ít was oníy ín 1995 that he fííed a compíaínt for
redemptíon agaínst the Spouses Feííano. The respondent Spouses averred that the
petítíoners are estopped from denyíng the saíe sínce: (1) Ríto aíready receíved hís
share; and (2) Neíson, faííed to tender the totaí amount of the redemptíon príce.
The Regíonaí Tríaí Court ruíed ín favour of Spouses Feííano on the ground that
Neíson was no íonger entítíed to the property sínce, hís ríght was subrogated by
Saturnína upon the death of hís father, Aíberto. It aíso aííeged that Ríto had no more
ríght to redeem sínce Saturnína, beíng hís íegaí guardían at the tíme of the saíe was
properíy vested wíth the ríght to aííenate the same.
The Court of Appeaís modífíed the decísíon of the tríaí court statíng that the
saíe made by Saturnína ín behaíf of Ríto and Neíson were unenforceabíe.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the saíe made by a íegaí guardían (Saturnína) ín behaíf of the
mínors were bíndíng upon them.
HELD:
Wíth regard to the share of Ríto, the contract of saíe was vaííd. Under
Sectíon 1, Ruíe 96 "A guardían shaíí have the care and custody of the person of hís
ward, and the management of hís estate, or the management of the estate oníy. x x
x" Indeed, the íegaí guardían oníy has the píenary power of admínístratíon of the
mínor´s property. It does not íncíude the power of aííenatíon whích needs |udícíaí
authoríty. Thus, when Saturnína, as íegaí guardían of petítíoner Ríto, soíd the
íatter´s pro índívíso share ín sub|ect íand, she díd not have the íegaí authoríty to do
so. Accordíngíy, the contract as to the share of Ríto was unenforceabíe. However,
when he receíved the proceeds of the saíe, he effectíveíy ratífíed ít. Thís act of
ratífícatíon rendered the saíe vaííd and bíndíng as to hím.
Wíth respect to petítíoner Neíson, the contract of saíe was voíd. He was a
mínor at the tíme of the saíe. Saturnína or any and aíí the other co-owners were not
hís íegaí guardíans; rather ít was hís mother who íf duíy authorízed by the courts,
couíd vaíídíy seíí hís share ín the property. Consequentíy, petítíoner Neíson retaíned
ownershíp over theír undívíded share ín the saíd property. However, Neíson can no
íonger redeem the property sínce the thírty day redemptíon períod has expíred and
thus he remaíns as co-owner of the property wíth the Spouses Feííano.
*ppoint"ent o# $%ardian Co%rt a%t&orit3 re8%ired
PEOP'E O; T.E P.='=PP=NES 4s! =S=DRO ;'ORES 3 '*$9*
G.R. No. 188315, August 25, 2010
FACTS:
AAA ííved wíth her adoptíve mother, BBB, sínce she was |ust a few months
oíd. BBB ís marríed to appeííant, who was workíng abroad for síx years. Appeííant
Page 1 of 39
came home ín 1997 and ííved wíth AAA and BBB. BBB was workíng as a restaurant
supervísor from 4pm to 2am for síx days a week.
In February 1999 at around 9:30 pm, AAA then 11 yrs oíd, was síeepíng ínsíde
the house when she feít and saw appeííant touch her thíghs. The foííowíng day, at
around the same tíme and whííe BBB was at work, appeííant agaín touched AAA
from her íegs up to her breast.
Two weeks after the íncídent, AAA was aíready asíeep when she suddeníy
woke up and saw appeííant hoídíng a knífe, then appeííant was abíe to penetrate
her. Two days after, appeííant agaín raped her. AAA recounted that appeííant raped
her at íeast 3 tímes a week at the same tíme untíí October 15, 2002, when she was
14 yrs. oíd.
RTC rendered |udgment fíndíng appeííant guííty beyond reasonabíe doubt of
181 counts of rape.CA affírmed the fíndíng that AAA was raped by appeííant, but díd
so oníy on 2 counts and consíder the quaíífyíng círcumstances of mínoríty and
reíatíonshíp.
ISSUE:
Whether or not appeííant shouíd be consíder as a guardían of the víctím even
wíthout court authoríty
Whether that the quaíífyíng/aggravatíng círcumstances of reíatíonshíp ís appíícabíe.
HELD:
To |ustífy the death penaíty, the prosecutíon must specífícaííy aííege ín the
ínformatíon and prove duríng the tríaí the quaíífyíng círcumstances of mínoríty of
the víctím and her reíatíonshíp to the offender.
|urísprudence díctates that the guardían must be a person who has a íegaí
reíatíonshíp wíth hís ward. The theory that a guardían must be íegaííy appoínted
was fírst enuncíated ín the earíy case of Peopíe vs. Deía Cruz whích heíd that the
guardían referred to ín the íaw ís eíther a íegaí or |udícíaí guardían as understood ín
the ruíes on Cívíí Procedure.
The íaw requíres a íegaí or |udícíaí guardían sínce ít ís the consanguíneous
reíatíon or the soíemníty of |udícíaí appoíntment whích ímpresses upon the guardían
the íofty purpose of hís offíce and normaííy deters hím from víoíatíng íts ob|ectíves.
The appeííant cannot be consídered as the guardían faíííng wíthín the ambít of the
amendatory provísíon íntroduced by RA 7659.Sínce both íogíc and fact con|oíntíy
demonstrate that he ís actuaííy oníy a custodían, that ís, a mere caretaker of the
chíídren over whom he exercíses a íímíted degree of authoríty for a temporary
períod, we cannot ímpose death penaíty contempíated for a reaí guardían under RA
7659, sínce he does not fít ínto that category.
Be that as ít may, thís quaíífyíng círcumstance of beíng a guardían was not
even mentíoned ín the Informatíon. What was cíearíy stated was that appeííant was
the "adoptíng father" of AAA, whích the prosecutíon nonetheíess faííed to estabíísh.
For faííure of the prosecutíon to prove the quaíífyíng círcumstance of
reíatíonshíp, appeííant couíd oníy be convícted for two counts of símpíe rape, and
not quaíífíed rape.
Page 9 of 39
;id%ciar3 ;%nds S&all Re"ain (it& Co%rt
Posted |anuary 31 , 2011; By Anna Katrína M. Martínez
The deposít of the |udícíary´s Fíducíary Funds, amountíng to more than
PhP4.8 bííííon, and aíí subsequent coííectíons of trust and other receípts wíth the
Bureau of Treasury "has no íegaí basís," and the remíttance of ínterests of the
Fíducíary Funds to the natíonaí government "ís erroneous and must be
díscontínued."
Thus saíd the Supreme Court as ít ruíed that Fíducíary Funds ín custodíaíegís
shaíí remaín under the custody and controí of the courts, to be deposíted and
dísposed of as the courts may dírect ín the exercíse of theír |udícíaí functíons, whííe
Fíducíary Funds deposíted wíth the Court ín íts admínístratíve capacíty, and not ín
custodíaíegís, shaíí be remítted to the Natíonaí Treasury.
In íts 2008 Annuaí Audít Report, the COA recommended that the Court
deposít the amount of P4,838,976,011.86 "and aíí subsequent coííectíons of trust
and other receípts wíth the Bureau of Treasury" ín conformíty wíth Executíve Order
338 (EO 338), Sectíons 7 and 8 of the Generaí Provísíons of the Generaí
Appropríatíons Act for Físcaí Year 2008 (2008 GAA), and COA-DOF-DBM |oínt
Círcuíar No. 1-97.
EO 338 dírects government offíces and agencíes to ímmedíateíy transfer aíí
pubííc moneys deposíted wíth deposítory banks and other ínstítutíons to the Bureau
of Treasury, regardíess of íncome source, whííe the 2008 GAA dírects government
agencíes to book trust and other receípts "whích have been receíved as guaranty
for the fuífííment of an obíígatíon" wíth the Natíonaí Treasury. |oínt Círcuíar No. 1-
97, on the other hand, requíres that aíí Natíonaí Government cash baíances be
deposíted wíth the Natíonaí Treasury.
In an En Banc Resoíutíon, the Supreme Court cíarífíed whether the deposíts ín
íts Fíducíary Funds and ín those of the íower courts as weíí as the Phíííppíne
Medíatíon Center shouíd be remítted to the Natíonaí Treasury, as suggested by
COA.
The Court saíd whííe funds that properíy accrue to the Generaí Fund must be
turned over to the Bureau of Treasury, whích ís under the Executíve branch, the
custody and dísposítíon of any fund of whatever nature that ís ín custodía íegís
(custody of the íaw) ís under the excíusíve controí of the courts ín the exercíse of
theír |udícíaí functíons.
"The controí of funds ín custodía íegís ís an exercíse of |udícíaí power, and
under the Constítutíon, ´|T|he |udícíaí power ís vested ín one Supreme Court and ín
such íower courts as may be estabííshed by íaw,´" saíd the Court. "Neíther the
Executíve nor Legísíatíve branch can encroach on the power of the courts to controí
custody or dísposítíon of funds ín custodía íegís," addíng that upon termínatíon of
the case, or earííer as the courts may dírect, the funds ín custodía íegís wííí be
returned to theír ríghtfuí owners, sub|ect to a servíce fee of 10% per annum of the
ínterests earned, whích shaíí accrue to the |udícíary Deveíopment Fund (|DF).
The Hígh Court saíd that whííe Batas Pambansa Bíg. 325 provídes that, uníess
otherwíse províded, aíí coííectíons from fees and charges of government agencíes,
íncíudíng the Supreme Court, shaíí accrue to the Generaí Fund of the Natíonaí
Government, an exemptíon ís províded under Presídentíaí Decree No. 1949 (PD
Page 10 of 39
1949), whích estabííshed the |DF "for the benefít of the members and personneí of
the |udícíary to heíp ensure and guarantee the índependence of the |udícíary."
PD 1949 provídes that the Chíef |ustíce shaíí admíníster and aííocate the |DF
and shaíí have the soíe excíusíve power and duty to approve the authorízed
dísbursement and expendítures of the Fund. "Thus, the |DF, aíthough deríved from
íegaí fees and charges, does not accrue to the Generaí Fund by express provísíon of
PD 1949," saíd the Court.
The Hígh Court added that Fíducíary Funds aíso do not accrue to the Generaí
Fund as these are not "coííectíons from fees and charges" but are funds that are
deposíted ín court whích are heíd ín trust for the partíes and íítígants.
The Court aíso ruíed that íts own practíce of remíttíng the ínterests of the
Fíducíary Funds to the natíonaí government ís erroneous and must be díscontínued.
"Foííowíng the ríght of accessíon conferred on the owner of the property
under Artícíe 440 of the Cívíí Code, the ínterests on these fíducíary funds aíso
beíong to the partíes who own the príncípaí amount. Upon termínatíon of the case,
the ínterests shouíd be returned to the partíes together wíth the príncípaí. The
ínterests shouíd not accrue to the Generaí Fund because ít ís tantamount to takíng
prívate property for pubííc use wíthout |ust compensatíon," the Court heíd. It added
that ínterests on deposíts of the |DF accrue to the |DF for the benefít of the
members and personneí of the |udícíary.
The Court, however, ruíed that forfeíted cash deposíts made to guarantee
undertakíngs ín favor of the government, and the ínterests thereon, are íncome of
the government and shaíí be remítted to the Natíonaí Treasury and that uncíaímed
fíducíary funds of prívate partíes, íncíudíng ínterests, shaíí remaín wíth the courts
untíí a íaw ís passed authorízíng the escheat or forfeíture of such uncíaímed funds ín
favor of the State.
Fínaííy, the Supreme Court ruíed that the amounts ít prevíousíy remítted to
the Natíonaí Treasury representíng ínterest earned on the Fíducíary Fund and
forfeíted/confíscated bonds coveríng the períod from 2004 to 2007, under the
staggered payments proposed by retíred Chíef |ustíce Reynato S. Puno to the COA
ín 2009, shaíí be credíted to whatever amounts the Court ís requíred to remít to the
Natíonaí Treasury. (Mín. Res., AM No. 05-3-35-SC, Re: Audít Observatíon
Memorandum; Mín. Res., AM No. 10-8-3-SC, Re: Fíducíary Fund Deposíts Not
Remítted to the Bureau of Treasury, |anuary 18, 2011)
'egal $%ardian (&en one o# t&e spo%se is incapacitated )
Sole *d"inistration
2ose 93 4s! Co%rt o# *ppeals and Teodoro 2ardeleAa
GR No. 109557. November 29, 2000
Facts:
Dr. |ardeíeza suffered a stroke whích íeft hím comatose and deprívíng hím of
hís mentaí and physícaí capabíííty to act. Upon íearníng that the reaí property he
owned ís about to be soíd, Teodoro fííed a petítíon for the íssuance of the íetter of
guardíanshíp of hís father. In the petítíon, he prayed for the íssuance of the íetters
of guardíanshíp ín favor of hís mother and petítíoner, Gíída.
Page 11 of 39
Days íater, Gíída fííed a petítíon for the decíaratíon of íncapacíty of Dr.
|ardeíeza, admínístratíon of con|ugaí propertíes, and authoríty of seíí the same. In
the saíd petítíon, she prayed for such reííefs because of the íncreasíng hospítaí bííís
due to the fact that Dr. |ardeíeza ís confíned ín an íntensíve care unít (ICU).
Upon the fíndíng of the petítíon to be ín form, the RTC íssued a notíce for
hearíng, whích happened few days after. On the same date of the hearíng, the RTC,
upon hearíng the wítnesses presented by Gíída, granted such petítíon. Teodoro
fííed an Opposítíon contendíng that he was unaware that the case was aíready
decíded. He aíso fííed a Motíon for Reconsíderatíon contendíng that the proper
remedy ín the case ís not the petítíon fííed by hís mother, but the petítíon for
guardíanshíp proceedíngs. As such, the case cannot be heard under the ruíes of
summary proceedíngs as contempíated ín Artícíe 253 of the Famííy Code. He aíso
noted that the provísíons on summary proceedíngs, found ín Chapter 2 of the
Famííy Code, comes under the headíng on "Separatíon ín Fact Between Husband
and Wífe" whích contempíates of a sítuatíon where both spouses are of dísposíng
mínd. Thus, he argued that were one spouse ís "comatose wíthout motor and
mentaí facuítíes," the saíd provísíons cannot be made to appíy.
Issue: Whether the provísíon of Artícíe 124 of the Famííy Code appííes ín thís case
when one of the spose ís íncapacítated to gíve hís consent?
Heíd:
No. Artícíe 124 of the Famííy Code provídes as foííows:
"ART. 124. The admínístratíon and en|oyment of the con|ugaí partnershíp property
shaíí beíong to both spouses |oíntíy. In case of dísagreement, the husband´s
decísíon shaíí prevaíí, sub|ect to recourse to the court by the wífe for a proper
remedy whích must be avaííed of wíthín fíve years from the date of the contract
ímpíementíng such decísíon.
"In the event that one spouse ís íncapacítated or otherwíse unabíe to partícípate ín
the admínístratíon of the con|ugaí propertíes, the other spouse may assume soíe
powers of admínístratíon. These powers do not íncíude the powers of dísposítíon or
encumbrance whích must have the authoríty of the court or the wrítten consent of
the other spouse. In the absence of such authoríty or consent, the dísposítíon or
encumbrance shaíí be voíd. However, the transactíon shaíí be construed as a
contínuíng offer on the part of the consentíng spouse and the thírd person, and may
be perfected as a bíndíng contract upon the acceptance by the other spouse or
authorízatíon by the court before the offer ís wíthdrawn by eíther or both offerors.
(165a)."
In reguíar manner, the ruíes on summary |udícíaí proceedíngs under the
Famííy Code govern the proceedíngs under Artícíe 124 of the Famííy Code. The
sítuatíon contempíated ís one where the spouse ís absent, or separated ín fact or
has abandoned the other or consent ís wíthheíd or cannot be obtaíned. Such ruíes
do not appíy to cases where the non-consentíng spouse ís íncapacítated or
íncompetent to gíve consent. In thís case, the tríaí court found that the sub|ect
spouse "ís an íncompetent" who was ín comatose or semí-comatose condítíon, a
víctím of stroke, cerebrovascuíar accídent, wíthout motor and mentaí facuítíes, and
wíth a díagnosís of braín stem ínfarct. In such case, the proper remedy ís a |udícíaí
guardíanshíp proceedíngs under Ruíe 93 of the 1964 Revísed Ruíes of Court.
Even assumíng that the ruíes of summary |udícíaí proceedíngs under the
Famííy Code may appíy to the wífe's admínístratíon of the con|ugaí property, the íaw
Page 12 of 39
provídes that the wífe who assumes soíe powers of admínístratíon has the same
powers and dutíes as a guardían under the Ruíes of Court.
Consequentíy, a spouse who desíres to seíí reaí property as such
admínístrator of the con|ugaí property must observe the procedure for the saíe of
the ward´s estate requíred of |udícíaí guardíans under Ruíe 95, 1964 Revísed Ruíes
of Court, not the summary |udícíaí proceedíngs under the Famííy Code.
In the case at bar, the tríaí court díd not compíy wíth the procedure under the
Revísed Ruíes of Court. Indeed, the tríaí court díd not even observe the
requírements of the summary |udícíaí proceedíngs under the Famííy Code. Thus, the
tríaí court díd not serve notíce of the petítíon to the íncapacítated spouse; ít díd not
requíre hím to show cause why the petítíon shouíd not be granted.
$%ardians&ip o4er =nco"petent Person (&o is an
=nco"petent PersonB
CEC='=O C! .ERN*NDEC7 :*! >=CTOR=* C! .ERN*NDEC-S*$9N7 TERES* C!
.ERN*NDEC->=''* *@R=''E and N*T=>=D*DCR9C-.ERN*NDEC 4s! 2O>=T*
S*N 29*N-S*NTOS
G.R. No. 166470 and G.R. No. 169217 August 7, 2009
FACTS:
María Lourdes San |uan Hernandez (or Luíu) was born on February 14, 1947
to the spouses Feííx Hernandez and María San |uan Hernandez. Unfortunateíy, the
íatter díed due to compíícatíons duríng chíídbírth. After María's death, Feííx íeft Luíu
ín the care of her maternaí uncíe, Sotero C. San |uan. On December 16, 1951, Feííx
marríed Natívídad Cruz. The uníon produced three chíídren, hereín petítíoners.
Meanwhííe, as the oníy chííd of María and the soíe testate heír of Sotero, Luíu
ínheríted vaíuabíe reaí propertíes from the San |uan famííy. In 1968, upon reachíng
the age of ma|oríty, Luíu was gíven fuíí controí of her estate. Nevertheíess, because
Luíu díd not even fínísh her eíementary educatíon, Feííx contínued to exercíse
actuaí admínístratíon of Luíu´s propertíes. Upon Feííx's death ín 1993, petítíoners
took over the task of admínísteríng Luíu's propertíes.
Duríng the períod of theír ínformaí admínístratíon (from 1968 untíí 1993),
Feííx and petítíoners undertook varíous "pro|ects" ínvoívíng Luíu´s reaí propertíes. In
1974, Feííx aííegedíy purchased one of Luíu´s propertíes for an undíscíosed amount
to deveíop the Marííou Subdívísíon. Thus, Luíu sígned a specíaí power of attorney
(SPA) beííevíng that she was authorízíng Ma. Víctoría to appear ín court on her
behaíf when she was ín fact unknowíngíy authorízíng her haíf-síster to seíí the saíd
property to the Maníía Eíectríc Company for P18,206,400. In September 1998, Luíu
sought the assístance of her maternaí fírst cousín, respondent |ovíta San |uan-
Santos, after íearníng that petítíoners had been díssípatíng her estate. She confíded
to |ovíta that she was made to ííve ín the basement of petítíoners´ home and was
receívíng a measíy daííy aííowance of P400 for her food and medícatíon.
Respondent was appaííed as Luíu was severeíy overweíght, unkempt and
smeííed of uríne. She íater found out that Luíu was occupyíng a cramped room íít by
a síngíe fíuorescent íamp wíthout runníng water. Due to Luíu's poor hygíene,
respondent brought her to severaí physícíans for medícaí examínatíon. Luíu was
found to be affíícted wíth tubercuíosís, rheumatísm and díabetes from whích she
was sufferíng severaí compíícatíons.
Page 13 of 39
On October 2, 1998, respondent fííed a petítíon for guardíanshíp ín the RTC of
San Mateo, Rízaí, Branch 76. She aííeged that Luíu was íncapabíe of takíng care of
herseíf and managíng her estate because she was of weak mínd. Subsequentíy,
petítíoners moved to íntervene ín the proceedíngs to oppose the same. Cecííío,
Teresa and Ma. Víctoría, for theír part, cíaímed that the íssue of Luíu´s competency
had been settíed ín 1968 (upon her emancípatíon) when the court ordered her íegaí
guardían and maternaí uncíe, Círíaco San |uan, to deííver the propertíes for her to
manage. They ííkewíse asserted that Luíu was ííterate and, for that reason, aware of
the consequences of executíng an SPA.
Duríng the hearíng, Luíu was presented and asked to testífy on her geneaíogy
and experíences wíth the San |uan and Hernandez famíííes. Luíu ídentífíed and
descríbed her parents, stepmother, haíf-síbííngs and maternaí reíatíves. Medícaí
specíaíísts testífíed to expíaín the resuíts of Luíu´s examínatíons whích reveaíed the
aíarmíng state of her heaíth. Furthermore, they unanímousíy opíned that ín víew of
Luíu´s ínteííígence íeveí (whích was beíow average) and fragííe mentaí state, she
wouíd not be abíe to care for herseíf and seíf-admíníster her medícatíons.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Luíu ís an íncompetent and the appoíntment of a |udícíaí guardían
over her person and property ís necessary.
HELD:
YES. Under Sectíon 2, Ruíe 92 of the Ruíes of Court, persons who, though of
sound mínd but by reason of age, dísease, weak mínd or other símííar causes are
íncapabíe of takíng care of themseíves and theír property wíthout outsíde aíd, are
consídered as íncompetents who may properíy be píaced under guardíanshíp. The
RTC and the CA both found that Luíu was íncapabíe of takíng care of herseíf and her
propertíes wíthout outsíde aíd due to her aííments and weak mínd. Thus, sínce
determíníng whether or not Luíu ís ín fact an íncompetent wouíd requíre a
reexamínatíon of the evídence presented ín the courts a quo, ít undoubtedíy
ínvoíves questíons of fact. Petítíoners are furthermore ordered to render to
respondent, Luíu´s íegaí guardían, an accurate and faíthfuí accountíng of aíí the
propertíes and funds they uníawfuííy appropríated for themseíves from the estate of
María Lourdes San |uan Hernandez, wíthín thírty (30) days from receípt of thís
decísíon. If warranted, the proper compíaínts shouíd aíso be fííed agaínst them for
any crímínaí ííabíííty ín connectíon wíth the díssípatíon of María Lourdes San |uan
Hernandez´s estate and her uníawfuí abductíon from the custody of her íegaí
guardían.
C! ESC.E*T
Esc&eat Proceeding Proper Part3 and CitiAens&ip o# t&e
o<ner o# t&e real propert3 to /e esc&eated
C*T*'=N* @*'*=S-:*@*N*$ 4! T.E RE$=STR? O; DEEDS O; D9ECON C=T?7
CONCEPT=ON D! *'C*R*C *ND R*:ON* *'C*R*C
G.R. No. 153142, March 29, 2010
Facts:
Page 1+ of 39
The Coroneí brothers executed a document entítíed "Receípt of Down
payment" ín favor of Ramona Aícaraz upon the receívíng P50,000.00 as a down
payment for the saíe of theír ínheríted house and íot ín Ouezon Cíty. In the
agreement wíth Ramona, they wííí execute a deed of absoíute saíe ímmedíateíy
upon the transfer of the TCT to the name of the brothers Coroneí because the same
was named to theír father. On Feb.18, 1985, they soíd the same property to
petítíoner hereín for a hígher contract príce than that of Ramona. For thís reason,
Coroneí rescínded the fírst agreement wíth Ramona by deposítíng to her the down
payment of P50, 000.00. Consequentíy, respondents fííed a case for specífíc
performance and caused the annotatíon of lis pendens over the property. On |une 5,
1985, TCT 351382 was íssued ín the name of petítíoner hereín.
RTC ruíed ín favor of respondents hereín orderíng the canceííatíon of the TCT
ín the name of petítíoner. Hence, thís petítíon.
Issue:
Whether or not the Court of Appeaís erred ín sustaíníng the regístratíon by
the Regístry of Deeds of the DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE despíte the íack of índícatíon
of cítízenshíp of the buyer.
Ruííng:
The Hígh Court ruíed that ít shouíd be poínted out that the petítíoner was not
the proper party to chaííenge Ramona´s quaíífícatíon to acquíre íand. Oníy the
Government through the Soíícítor Generaí has the personaííty to fííe the case
chaííengíng the capacíty of person to acquíre or own íand based on non-cítízenshíp.
The íímítatíon ís based on the fact that the víoíatíon ís commítted agaínst the State
and not agaínst índívíduaí. And that ín the event that the transferee ís ad|udged to
be not a Fííípíno cítízen, the affected property reverts to the State, not to the
prevíous owner or índívíduaí. It wííí not ínure to the benefít of the petítíoner, ínstead
the sub|ect property wííí be escheated ín favor of the State accordíng to BP Bíg. 185.
D! *DOPT=ON
>alidit3 o# *doption in case t&e s%r4i4ing spo%se
re"arries
=N RE PET=T=ON ;OR *DOPT=ON O; :=C.*E' 29DE P! '=:
G.R. Nos. 168992-93, May 21, 2009
CARPIO, |.:
Facts
On 23 |une 1974, Petítíoner Monína P. Lím marríed Prímo Lím. They were
chíídíess. Subsequentíy, mínor chíídren, whose parents were unknown, were
entrusted to them by a certaín Lucía Ayuban. Beíng so eager to have a chííd of theír
own, Monína and Prímo regístered the chíídren to make ít appear that they were the
chíídren´s parents. The chíídren were named Mícheííe P. Lím and Míchaeí |ude P.
Lím. The spouses reared and cared for the chíídren as íf they were theír own. They
sent the chíídren to excíusíve schooís. They used the surname "Lím" ín aíí theír
schooí records and documents. Unfortunateíy, on 28 November 1998, Prímo díed.
On 27 December 2000, petítíoner marríed Angeí Oíarío, an Amerícan cítízen.
Page 1, of 39
Thereafter, petítíoner decíded to adopt the chíídren by avaíííng of the
amnesty gíven under Repubííc Act No. 8552 (RA 8552) to those índívíduaís who
símuíated the bírth of a chííd. Thus, on 24 Apríí 2002, petítíoner fííed separate
petítíons for the adoptíon of Mícheííe and Míchaeí, who was aíready 25 years oíd
and aíready marríed and 18 years and seven months, before the tríaí court.
Mícheííe, together wíth her husband and Míchaeí, gave theír consent to the
adoptíon as evídenced by theír Affídavíts of Consent. Monína´s husband Angeí
ííkewíse executed an Affídavít of Consent for the adoptíon of Mícheííe and Míchaeí.
On 15 September 2004, the tríaí court rendered |udgment dísmíssíng the
petítíons. On the ground that sínce petítíoner havíng remarríed, shouíd have fííed
the petítíon |oíntíy wíth her new husband. The tríaí court ruíed that |oínt adoptíon by
the husband and the wífe ís mandatory cítíng Sectíon 7(c), Artícíe III of RA 8552 and
Artícíe 185 of the Famííy Code.
Petítíoner fííed a Motíon for Reconsíderatíon of the decísíon but the motíon
was deníed. In denyíng the motíon, the tríaí court ruíed that petítíoner díd not faíí
under any of the exceptíons under Sectíon 7(c), Artícíe III of RA 8552.
Issue:
Whether or not petítíoner Monína Lím, who has remarríed, can síngíy adopt.
Heíd:
|oínt Adoptíon by Husband and Wífe
It ís undísputed that, at the tíme the petítíons for adoptíon were fííed,
petítíoner had aíready remarríed. She fííed the petítíons by herseíf, wíthout beíng
|oíned by her husband Angeí Oíarío. We have no other recourse but to affírm the
tríaí court´s decísíon denyíng the petítíons for adoptíon. Dura íex sed íex. The íaw ís
expíícít. Sectíon 7, Artícíe III of RA 8552 reads:
SEC. 7. Who May Adopt. - The foííowíng may adopt:
(a) Any Fííípíno cítízen of íegaí age, ín possessíon of fuíí cívíí capacíty and íegaí
ríghts, of good moraí character, has not been convícted of any críme ínvoívíng
moraí turpítude, emotíonaííy and psychoíogícaííy capabíe of caríng for chíídren, at
íeast síxteen (16) years oíder than the adoptee, and who ís ín a posítíon to support
and care for hís/her chíídren ín keepíng wíth the means of the famííy. The
requírement of síxteen (16) year dífference between the age of the adopter and
adoptee may be waíved when the adopter ís the bíoíogícaí parent of the adoptee, or
ís the spouse of the adoptee´s parent;
(b) Any aííen possessíng the same quaíífícatíons as above stated for Fííípíno
natíonaís: Províded, That hís/her country has dípíomatíc reíatíons wíth the Repubííc
of the Phíííppínes, that he/she has been íívíng ín the Phíííppínes for at íeast three (3)
contínuous years príor to the fíííng of the appíícatíon for adoptíon and maíntaíns
such resídence untíí the adoptíon decree ís entered, that he/she has been certífíed
by hís/her dípíomatíc or consuíar offíce or any appropríate government agency that
he/she has the íegaí capacíty to adopt ín hís/her country, and that hís/her
government aííows the adoptee to enter hís/her country as hís/her adopted
son/daughter: Províded, further, That the requírements on resídency and
certífícatíon of the aííen´s quaíífícatíon to adopt ín hís/her country may be waíved for
the foííowíng:
Page 1- of 39
(í) a former Fííípíno cítízen who seeks to adopt a reíatíve wíthín the fourth (4th)
degree of consanguíníty or affíníty; or
(íí) one who seeks to adopt the íegítímate son/daughter of hís/her Fííípíno spouse; or
(ííí) one who ís marríed to a Fííípíno cítízen and seeks to adopt |oíntíy wíth hís/her
spouse a reíatíve wíthín the fourth (4th) degree of consanguíníty or affíníty of the
Fííípíno spouses; or
(c) The guardían wíth respect to the ward after the termínatíon of the guardíanshíp
and cíearance of hís/her fínancíaí accountabííítíes.
Husband and wífe shaíí |oíntíy adopt, except ín the foííowíng cases:
(í) íf one spouse seeks to adopt the íegítímate son/daughter of the other; or
(íí) íf one spouse seeks to adopt hís/her own íííegítímate son/daughter: Províded,
however, That the other spouse has sígnífíed hís/her consent thereto; or
(ííí) íf the spouses are íegaííy separated from each other.
In case husband and wífe |oíntíy adopt, or one spouse adopts the íííegítímate
son/daughter of the other, |oínt parentaí authoríty shaíí be exercísed by the
spouses.
The use of the word "shaíí" ín the above-quoted provísíon means that |oínt
adoptíon by the husband and the wífe ís mandatory. Thís ís ín consonance wíth the
concept of |oínt parentaí authoríty over the chííd whích ís the ídeaí sítuatíon. As the
chííd to be adopted ís eíevated to the íeveí of a íegítímate chííd, ít ís but naturaí to
requíre the spouses to adopt |oíntíy. The ruíe aíso ínsures harmony between the
spouses.
Petítíoner, havíng remarríed at the tíme the petítíons for adoptíon were fííed,
must |oíntíy adopt. Sínce the petítíons for adoptíon were fííed oníy by petítíoner
herseíf, wíthout |oíníng her husband, Angeí Oíarío, the tríaí court was correct ín
denyíng the petítíons for adoptíon on thís ground.
Neíther does petítíoner faíí under any of the three exceptíons enumerated ín
Sectíon 7.
Effects of Adoptíon
Petítíoner contentíon that |oínt parentaí authoríty ís not anymore necessary
sínce the chíídren have been emancípated havíng reached the age of ma|oríty ís
untenabíe.
It ís true that when the chííd reaches the age of emancípatíon - that ís, when
he attaíns the age of ma|oríty or 18 years of age - emancípatíon termínates
parentaí authoríty over the person and property of the chííd, who shaíí then be
quaíífíed and responsíbíe for aíí acts of cívíí íífe. However, parentaí authoríty ís
mereíy |ust one of the effects of íegaí adoptíon. Artícíe V of RA 8552 enumerates the
effects of adoptíon, thus:
|oínt adoptíon of the husband and wífe may not be díspensed. Adoptíon has,
thus, the foííowíng effects:
(1) sever aíí íegaí tíes between the bíoíogícaí parent(s) and the adoptee, except
when the bíoíogícaí parent ís the spouse of the adopter;
Page 10 of 39
(2) deem the adoptee as a íegítímate chííd of the adopter; and
(3) gíve adopter and adoptee recíprocaí ríghts and obíígatíons arísíng from the
reíatíonshíp of parent and chííd, íncíudíng but not íímíted to:
(í) the ríght of the adopter to choose the name the chííd ís to be known; and
(íí) the ríght of the adopter and adoptee to be íegaí and compuísory heírs of
each other.
Therefore, even íf emancípatíon termínates parentaí authoríty, the adoptee ís
stííí consídered a íegítímate chííd of the adopter wíth aíí the ríghts of a íegítímate
chííd such as: (1) to bear the surname of the father and the mother; (2) to receíve
support from theír parents; and (3) to be entítíed to the íegítíme and other
successíonaí ríghts. Converseíy, the adoptíve parents shaíí, wíth respect to the
adopted chííd, en|oy aíí the benefíts to whích bíoíogícaí parents are entítíed such as
support and successíonaí ríghts.
Petítíoner, ín her Memorandum, ínsísts that subsequent events wouíd show
that |oínt adoptíon couíd no íonger be possíbíe because Angeí Oíarío has fííed a case
for díssoíutíon of hís marríage to petítíoner ín the Los Angeíes Superíor Court.
We dísagree. The fíííng of a case for díssoíutíon of the marríage between
petítíoner and Angeí Oíarío ís of no moment. Untíí and uníess there ís a |udícíaí
decree for the díssoíutíon of the marríage between petítíoner and Angeí Oíarío, the
marríage stííí subsísts. That beíng the case, |oínt adoptíon by the husband and the
wífe ís requíred. We reíterate our ruííng above that sínce, at the tíme the petítíons
for adoptíon were fííed, petítíoner was marríed to Oíarío, |oínt adoptíon ís
mandatory.
*doption %nder *rticle 337 Ne< Ci4il Code and SC Cir!
No!12 Decree o# *doption cannot /e "ade solel3 /3 case
study reports made by a social welfare officer of the court
DEP*RT:ENT O; SOC=*' (E';*RE *ND DE>E'OP:ENT 4s! 29D$E
*NTON=O :! @E'EN
A.M. No. RT|-96-1362, |uíy 18, 1997
FACTS:
Spouses Desíderío Soríano and Aurora Bernardo-Soríano, both of whom are
naturaíízed Amerícan cítízens, fííed a verífíed petítíon for adoptíon of theír níece, the
mínor Zhedeíí Bernardo Ibea. Respondent |udge Beíen granted the petítíon after
fíndíng that petítíoner spouses were híghíy quaíífíed to adopt the chííd as theír own,
basíng hís decree prímarííy on the "fíndíngs and recommendatíon of the DSWD that
the adoptíng parents on the one hand and the adoptee on the other hand have
aíready deveíoped íove and emotíonaí attachment and parentíng ruíes have been
demonstrated to the mínor." On these consíderatíons, respondent |udge decíded
and proceeded to díspense wíth tríaí custody. He asserted that the DSWD fíndíngs
and recommendatíons are contaíned ín the "Adoptíve Home Study Report" and
"Chííd Study Report" prepared by the íocaí offíce of the DSWD through respondent
Eíma P. Vedaña.
However, when the mínor Zhedeíí Bernardo Ibea sought to obtaín the
requísíte traveí cíearance from the DSWD ín order to |oín her adoptíve parents ín
Page 11 of 39
the Uníted States, the DSWD found that ít díd not have any record ín íts fííes
regardíng the adoptíon and that there was never any order from respondent |udge
for the DSWD to conduct a "Home and Chííd Study Report" ín the case.
Furthermore, there was no dírectíve from respondent |udge for the socíaí weífare
offícer of the íower court to coordínate wíth the DSWD on the matter of the requíred
reports for saíd mínor's adoptíon.
ISSUE:
May a decree of adoptíon be granted on the basís of case study reports made
by a socíaí weífare offícer of the court?
RULING:
No. Artícíe 33 of the Chííd and Youth Weífare Code provídes ín no uncertaín
terms that:
No petítíon for adoptíon shaíí be granted uníess the Department of Socíaí Weífare,
or the Socíaí Work and Counseííng Dívísíon, ín case of |uvenííe and Domestíc
Reíatíons Courts, has made a case study of the chííd to be adopted, hís naturaí
parents as weíí as the prospectíve adoptíng parents, and has submítted íts report
and recommendatíons on the matter to the court hearíng such petítíon. The
Department of Socíaí Weífare shaíí íntervene on behaíf of the chííd íf ít fínds, after
such case study, that the petítíon shouíd be deníed.
Círcuíar No. 12, as a compíementary measure, was íssued by thís Court
precíseíy to obvíate the míshandííng of adoptíon cases by |udges, partícuíaríy ín
respect to the aforementíoned case study to be conducted ín accordance wíth
Artícíe 33 of Presídentíaí Decree No. 603 by the DSWD ítseíf and ínvoívíng the chííd
to be adopted, íts naturaí parents, and the adoptíng parents. It defínítíveíy dírects
Regíonaí Tríaí Courts hearíng adoptíon cases:
(1) to NOTIFY the Mínístry of Socíaí Servíces and Deveíopment, thru íts íocaí agency,
of the fíííng of adoptíon cases or the pendency thereof wíth respect to those cases
aíready fííed;
(2) to stríctíy COMPLY wíth the requírement ín Artícíe 33 of the aforesaíd decree . . .
xxx xxx xxx
The Staff Assístant V. (Socíaí Worker) of the Regíonaí Tríaí Courts, íf any, shaíí
coordínate wíth the Mínístry of Socíaí Servíces and Deveíopment representatíves ín
the preparatíon and submíttaí of such case study. . . .
The error on the part of both respondent |udge and socíaí worker ís thus aíí
too evídent. Pursuant to Círcuíar No. 12, the proper course that respondent |udge
shouíd have taken was to notífy the DSWD at the outset about the commencement
of Specíaí Proceedíng No. 5830 so that the correspondíng case study couíd have
been accordíngíy conducted by saíd department whích undoubtedíy has the
necessary competence, more than that possessed by the court socíaí weífare
offícer, to make the proper recommendatíon. Moreover, respondent |udge shouíd
never have mereíy presumed that ít was routínary for the socíaí weífare offícer to
coordínate wíth the DSWD regardíng the adoptíon proceedíngs. It was hís duty to
exercíse cautíon and to see to ít that such coordínatíon was observed ín the
adoptíon proceedíngs, together wíth aíí the other requírements of the íaw.
Page 19 of 39
By respondent's faííure to do so, he may weíí have wíttíngíy or unwíttíngíy
píaced ín |eopardy the weífare and future of the chííd whose adoptíon was under
consíderatíon. Adoptíon, after aíí, ís ín a íarge measure a íegaí devíce by whích a
better future may be accorded an unfortunate chííd ííke Zhedeíí Bernardo Ibea ín
thís case. Treadíng on equaííy sensítíve íegaí terraín, the socíaí weífare offícer
concerned, respondent Eíma P. Vedaña, arrogated unto herseíf a matter that
pertaíned excíusíveíy to the DSWD, her task beíng to coordínate wíth the DSWD ín
the preparatíon and submíssíon of the reíevant case study reports, and not to make
the same and recommend by herseíf the facts on whích the court was to act.
ACCORDINGLY, wíth a stern warníng that a repetítíon of the same or símííar acts ín
the future shaíí be deaít wíth more severeíy by thís Court, respondent |udge Antonío
M. Beíen of the Regíonaí Tríaí Court, Branch 38, of Língayen, Pangasínan ís hereby
CENSURED for víoíatíng Artícíe 33 of Presídentíaí Decree No. 603 and Círcuíar No.
12 of thís Court; and respondent Eíma P. Vedaña, Socíaí Weífare Offícer II of the
Offíce of the Cíerk of Court, Regíonaí Tríaí Court of Língayen, Pangasínan, ís
REPRIMANDED for víoíatíng Círcuíar No. 12.
Si"%lation o# @irt& Penalt3 o# a p%/lic o##icer <&o
registers a c&ild to t&e Ci4il Registr3 not o# t&e c&ildEs
/iological parents!
Sec! 217 *rticle >== o# Do"estic *doption *ct R%les on
Ci4il Ser4ice *pplied
*non3"o%s 4s! E""a C%ra"en
A.M. No. P-08-2549, |une 18, 2010
Facts:
Thís ís an admínístratíve case agaínst Emma Baídonado Curamen, Court
Interpreter I ín the Munícípaí Tríaí Court of Rízaí ín Nueva Ecí|a, for díshonesty and
faísífícatíon of a pubííc document.
On 6 March 2007, the Offíce of the Court Admínístrator (OCA) receíved an
anonymous compíaínt chargíng respondent wíth faísífícatíon of a pubííc document
and símuíatíon of bírth.
The compíaínt aííeged that respondent regístered the bírth of a chííd
supposedíy named Ríca Mae Baídonado Curamen ín the íocaí cívíí regístry of Rízaí,
Nueva Ecí|a. Compíaínant submítted the chííd´s purported bírth certífícate to
show respondent mísrepresented that she was the chííd´s bíoíogícaí mother and her
husband, Rícardo Curamen, was the bíoíogícaí father. Compíaínant cíaímed
respondent was, ín fact, the chííd´s maternaí grandmother. Compíaínant submítted
the chííd´s orígínaí bírth certífícate to show that the chííd´s reaí name was Rínea
Mae Curamen Aquíno and that her parents were spouses Oíga Mae Baídonado
Curamen Aquíno and |un Aquíno. Accordíng to compíaínant, respondent íncíuded
the chííd as addítíonaí dependent ín her íncome tax decíaratíon.
In hís Report, Executíve |udge Rodrígo S. Caspííío of the Regíonaí Tríaí Court
(Branch 24) of Cabanatuan Cíty verífíed that Rínea Mae Curamen Aquíno and Ríca
Mae Baídonado Curamen were the same chííd. |udge Caspííío confírmed that the
chííd was, ín fact, respondent´s granddaughter. The chííd´s reaí mother, Oíga, was
one of respondent´s chíídren.
Page 20 of 39
|udge Caspííío verífíed that on 31 March 2006, respondent executed an
affídavít for deíayed regístratíon of the aííeged bírth of her chííd. Respondent
cíaímed that her supposed chííd, Ríca Mae Baídonado Curamen, was born on 30
November 2005. Respondent´s appíícatíon was gíven due course and the supposed
bírth of Ríca Mae Baídonado Curamen was regístered ín the Cívíí Regístry of Rízaí,
Nueva Ecí|a under Regístry No. 2006-507. Thís second bírth certífícate of the chííd
índícated that the chííd´s parents were respondent and her husband.
Issue: Whether Curamen ís ííabíe for símuíatíon of bírth by faísífícatíon.
Heíd:
Wíth respect to the aííeged faísífícatíon of the chííd´s bírth certífícate, we fínd
respondent guííty of díshonesty and faísífícatíon of a pubííc document. A bírth
certífícate, beíng a pubííc document, serves as príma facíe evídence of fíííatíon.
The makíng of a faíse statement thereín constítutes díshonesty and faísífícatíon of a
pubííc document.
Respondent cannot escape ííabíííty by cíaímíng that she díd not have any
íntentíon to conceaí the ídentíty of the chííd nor cause the íoss of any trace as to the
chííd´s true fíííatíon to the chííd´s pre|udíce. When pubííc documents are faísífíed,
the íntent to ín|ure a thírd person need not be present because the príncípaí thíng
puníshed ís the víoíatíon of the pubííc faíth and the destructíon of the truth the
document procíaíms.
However, the extreme penaíty of dísmíssaí ís not automatícaííy ímposed,
especíaííy where mítígatíng círcumstances exíst. Aíthough under the scheduíe of
penaítíes adopted by the Cívíí Servíce, díshonesty and faísífícatíon of a pubííc
document are cíassífíed as grave offenses puníshabíe by dísmíssaí, the fact that thís
ís respondent´s fírst offense may be consídered a mítígatíng círcumstance ín her
favor. The íaw requíres that the mítígatíng círcumstance must fírst be píeaded by
the proper party. But ín the ínterest of substantíaí |ustíce, we may apprecíate the
mítígatíng círcumstance ín the ímposítíon of penaíty, even íf not raísed by
respondent.
We thus ímpose on respondent the penaíty next íower ín degree, whích ís
suspensíon for síx months and one day wíthout pay wíth a stern warníng that a
repetítíon of the same or símííar acts ín the future shaíí be deaít wíth more severeíy.
E! (R=T O; .*@E*S CORP9S
$rant o# (rit o# .a/eas Corp%s ancillar3 to a Cri"inal
Case Dis"issal o# t&e latter rendered "oot and acade"ic
o# t&e #or"er
D*>=D E! SO v" .ON! ESTE@*N *! T*C'*7 2R!
G.R. No. 190108, 19 October 2010
N*C.9R*7 J.:
;*CTS
Petítíoner Davíd E. So (So) fííed the petítíon for the wríts of habeas corpus
and amparo on behaíf of hís daughter, Ma. Eíena So Guísande (Guísande), accused
of Ouaíífíed Theft ín the crímínaí case pendíng before |udge Tacía. Petítíoner So
aííeged, among others, that Guísande was under a íífe-threateníng sítuatíon whííe
Page 21 of 39
confíned at the NCMH, the government hospítaí ordered by the RTC Mandaíuyong
Cíty to ascertaín the actuaí psychoíogícaí state of Guísande, who was beíng charged
wíth a non-baííabíe offense.
The case arose from the foííowíng facts. Príor to the ínstítutíon of the crímínaí
proceedíngs, Guísande was commítted by So for psychíatríc treatment and care at
the Makatí Medícaí Center (MMC). Thus, the return of the warrant for the arrest of
Guísande, íssued by |udge Tacía whích states that the former was confíned at MMC
for Bípoíar Mood Dísorder and that she was "not ready for díscharge". |udge Tacía
ordered Guísande´s referraí to the NCMH for an índependent forensíc assessment of
Guísande´s mentaí heaíth to determíne íf she wouíd be abíe to stand arraígnment
and undergo tríaí for Ouaíífíed Theft. Subsequentíy, |udge Tacía, upon motíon of the
NCMH, ordered that accused Guísande be physícaííy brought to the NCMH to have
temporary íegaí custody of the accused, and thereafter, |udge Tacía wouíd íssue the
correspondíng order of confínement of Guísande ín a reguíar |aíí facíííty upon the
NCMHs determínatíon that she was ready for tríaí.
Eventuaííy, cíaímíng "íífe-threateníng" círcumstances surroundíng her
confínement at the NCMH whích supposedíy worsened her mentaí condítíon and
víoíated her constítutíonaí ríghts agaínst soíítary detentíon and assístance of
counseí, accused Guísande and her father fííed a Motíon for Reííef from Soíítary
Confínement and the present petítíon for the íssuance of the wríts of habeas corpus
and amparo.
The court granted the Motíon for Reííef. On the petítíon for habeas corpus and
amparo, the court resoíved to íssue a |oínt wrít of habeas corpus and amparo and
refer the petítíon to the Court of Appeaís for decísíon. Meanwhííe, NCMH submítted
íts Evaíuatíon Report accordíng to whích, Guísande ís competent to stand the rígors
of court tríaí.
Hence, the petítíon for revíew on certíorarí.
Duríng the pendency of these consoíídated cases, varíous events occurred
whích uítímateíy íed to the íncídent before thís Court. Pubííc respondent |udge
ordered the dísmíssaí of Crímínaí Case for Ouaíífíed Theft agaínst Guísande. In víew
of such dísmíssaí, |udge Tacía contends that the cases for íssuance of the wríts of
habeas corpus and amparo and the petítíon for revíew on certíorarí shouíd be
dísmíssed for havíng been rendered moot and academíc.
ISSUE: /7E87ER 87E PE8I8I5N %5R 7AEAS #5RP1S S75163 E 3ISMISSE3 %5R
7A;IN: EEN REN3ERE3 M558 AN3 A#A3EMI#
HELD:
The petítíon shouíd be dísmíssed. The petítíon for the wríts of habeas corpus
and amparo was based on the crímínaí case for Ouaíífíed Theft agaínst petítíoner
Sos daughter, Guísande.
There ís no affírmatíon of petítíoner So´s cíaím that the confínement of
accused Guísande at the NCMH was íííegaí. Neíther were the respectíve acts
performed by respondents |udge Tacía and Dr. Vícente ín ascertaíníng the mentaí
condítíon of accused Guísande to wíthstand tríaí decíared uníawfuí. On the contrary,
the NCMH, a weíí-reputed government forensíc facíííty, aíbeít not heíd ín hígh regard
by petítíoner Sos and accused Guísandes famííy, had assessed Guísande fít for tríaí.
The Ruíes on the Wríts of Habeas Corpus and Amparo are cíear; the act or
omíssíon or the threatened act or omíssíon compíaíned of - confínement and
custody for habeas corpus and víoíatíons of, or threat to víoíate, a persons íífe,
ííberty, and securíty for amparo cases - shouíd be íííegaí or uníawfuí.
The most basíc críteríon for the íssuance of the wrít, therefore, ís that the
índívíduaí seekíng such reííef ís íííegaííy depríved of hís freedom of movement or
píace under some form of íííegaí restraínt. If an índívíduaí´s ííberty ís restraíned vía
some íegaí process, the wrít of habeas corpus ís unavaíííng. Fundamentaííy, ín order
to |ustífy the grant of the wrít of habeas corpus, the restraínt of ííberty must be ín
the nature of an íííegaí and ínvoíuntary deprívatíon of freedom of actíon.
Whííe habeas corpus ís a wrít of ríght, ít wííí not íssue as a matter of course or
as a mere perfunctory operatíon on the fíííng of the petítíon. |udícíaí díscretíon ís
caííed for ín íts íssuance and ít must be cíear to the |udge to whom the petítíon ís
presented that, príma facíe, the petítíoner ís entítíed to the wrít. It ís oníy íf the
Page 22 of 39
court ís satísfíed that a person ís beíng uníawfuííy restraíned of hís ííberty wííí the
petítíon for habeas corpus be granted. If the respondents are not detaíníng or
restraíníng the appíícant of the person ín whose behaíf the petítíon ís fííed, the
petítíon shouíd be dísmíssed.
In the cases at bar, the questíon before the CA was correctíy íímíted to whích
hospítaí, the NCMH or a medícaí facíííty of accused´s own choosíng, accused
Guísande shouíd be referred for treatment of a supposed mentaí condítíon. In
addítíon, ít was proceduraííy proper for the RTC to ask the NCMH for a separate
opíníon on accused´s mentaí fítness to be arraígned and stand tríaí.
Certaíníy, wíth the dísmíssaí of the non-baííabíe case agaínst accused
Guísande, she ís no íonger under períí to be confíned ín a |aíí facíííty, much íess at
the NCMH. Effectíveíy, accused Guísande´s person, and treatment of any medícaí
and mentaí maíady she may or may not have, can no íonger be sub|ected to the
íawfuí processes of the RTC Mandaíuyong Cíty. In short, the cases have now been
rendered moot and academíc whích, ín the often cíted David v. Macapagal-
Arroyo, ís defíned as "one that ceases to present a |ustícíabíe controversy by vírtue
of superveníng events, so that a decíaratíon thereon wouíd be of no practícaí use or
vaíue."
(rit o# .a/eas Corp%s Not proper pending Special Ci4il
*ction #or Certiorari /e#ore t&e Co%rt o# *ppeals 0t&
Di4ision!
=n t&e "atter o# t&e Petition #or .a/eas Corp%s o# CEC*R= $ONC*'ES and
29'=9S :ES*
RO@ERTO R*;*E' P9'=DO 4s! $en! E;REN *@97 as C&ie# o# Sta## o# t&e
*r"ed ;orces o# t&e P&ilippines and all persons acting in &is stead and
%nder &is a%t&orit37 and $EN! ERNESTO DE 'EON7 in &is capacit3 as t&e
;lag O##icer in Co""and o# t&e P&ilippine Na437 and all persons acting in
&is stead and %nder &is a%t&orit37 respondents!
G.R. No. 170924, |uíy 4, 2007
Facts:
In ííne wíth theír partícípatíon ín the "Oakwood Mutíny" that íed to Pres.
Gíoría Macapagaí Arroyo´s íssuance of Procíamatíon No. 427 decíaríng the country
to be under a "state of rebeíííon" and Generaí Order No. 4 dírectíng the AFP and the
PNP to carry out aíí reasonabíe measures, gívíng due regard to constítutíonaí ríghts,
to suppress and queíí the "rebeíííon.", petítíoners were taken ínto custody by theír
Servíce Commander. Gonzaíes and Mesa were not charged before a court martíaí
wíth víoíatíon of the Artícíes of War. They were, however, among the soídíers
charged before Branch 61 of the Regíonaí Tríaí Court (RTC) of Makatí Cíty, wíth the
críme of Coup D´etat as defíned under Artícíe 134-A of the Revísed Penaí Code.
They were consequentíy detaíned ín Fort Bonífacío under the custody of the
Phíííppíne Marínes. A petítíon for baíí was fííed by the accused soídíers whích the
RTC subsequentíy granted. Despíte of the order and the servíce thereof, petítíoners
were not reíeased. As a response, the Peopíe of the Phíííppínes moved for partíaí
reconsíderatíon of the order grantíng baíí. Wíth the deníaí of the Motíon for Partíaí
Reconsíderatíon, the Peopíe fííed wíth the Court of Appeaís on 4 February 2005 a
specíaí cívíí actíon for certíorarí under Ruíe 65 of the Ruíes of Court wíth urgent
prayer for Temporary Restraíníng Order (TRO) and/or Wrít of Preíímínary In|unctíon.
Moreover, sínce Gonzaíes and Mesa contínued to be ín detentíon, a Petítíon
for Habeas Corpus was fííed by petítíoner Puíído on theír behaíf. In response,
Respondents prayed that the Petítíon for Habeas Corpus be dísmíssed prímarííy on
two grounds: (1) the contínued detentíon of Gonzaíes and Mesa ís |ustífíed because
of the pendency of the Petítíon for Certíorarí questíoníng the order dated 8 |uíy
Page 23 of 39
2004 of the RTC grantíng baíí to Gonzaíes and Mesa before the 7th Dívísíon of the
Court of Appeaís and (2) petítíoner ís guííty of forum shoppíng because of hís faííure
to state ín the petítíon that the order grantíng baíí has been eíevated to the Court of
Appeaís and pendíng before íts 7th Dívísíon. Thus, we have thís case.
Issue: Whether or not the petítíon for habeas corpus was proper despíte of the
pendíng specíaí cívíí actíon for certíorarí before the Court of Appeaís 7th Dívísíon.
Heíd:
No. That the present petítíon has dírect and íntímate íínks wíth the certíorarí
case ís beyond doubt as they ínvoíve two sídes of the same coín. The certíorarí case
fííed by the Peopíe seeks to prevent the reíease of Gonzaíes and Mesa by annuíííng
the íower court´s grant of baíí. The present petítíon, on the other hand, was fííed ín
behaíf of Gonzaíes and Mesa to secure theír ímmedíate reíease because the order
grantíng baíí ís aíready executory. In effect, the petítíoner seeks to ímpíement
through a petítíon for habeas corpus the provísíonaí reíease from detentíon that the
íower court has ordered. The questíon thís ímmedíateíy raíses ís: can thís be done
through a petítíon for habeas corpus when the vaíídíty of the grant of baíí and the
reíease under baíí are ííve questíons before another Dívísíon of thís Court?
We beííeve and so hoíd that hís cannot and shouíd not be done as thís ís
precíseíy the reason why the ruíe agaínst forum shoppíng has been put ín píace.
The remedíes sought beíng two sídes of the same coín (í.e., the reíease of Gonzaíes
and Mesa), they cannot be secured through separateíy-fííed cases where íssues of
|urísdíctíon may aríse and whose ruííngs may confííct wíth one another. To be sure,
we cíearíy heard the petítíoner say that there can be no confííct because the
effectíveness of our ruííng ín thís petítíon wííí depend on the nature and tenor of the
ruííng ín the certíorarí case; there ís no basís for a reíease on habeas corpus íf thís
same Court wííí ruíe ín the certíorarí case that the grant of baíí ís ímproper. For thís
very same reason, we shouíd not entertaín the present petítíon as the matter before
us ís aíready before another co-equaí body whose ruííng wííí be fínaííy determínatíve
of the íssue of Gonzaíes´ and Mesa´s reíease. The Decísíon of the Seventh Dívísíon
of thís Court, heretofore footnoted, orderíng the reíease on baíí of Gonzaíes and
Mesa dríves home thís poínt.
XXX XXX XXX
When the reíease of the persons ín whose behaíf the appíícatíon for a Wrít
of Habeas Corpus was fííed ís effected, the Petítíon for the íssuance of the wrít
becomes moot and academíc. Wíth the reíease of both Mesa and Gonzaíes, the
Petítíon for Habeas Corpus has, índeed, been rendered moot. Courts of |ustíce
constítuted to pass upon substantíaí ríghts wííí not consíder questíons where no
actuaí ínterests are ínvoíved. Thus, the weíí-settíed ruíe that courts wííí not
determíne a moot questíon. Where the íssues have become moot and academíc,
there ceases to be any |ustícíabíe controversy, thus renderíng the resoíutíon of the
same of no practícaí vaíue. Thís Court wííí therefore abstaín from expressíng íts
opíníon ín a case where no íegaí reííef ís needed or caííed for.
(rit o# .a/eas Corp%s Section + o# R%le 102
* detention pre4io%sl3 in4alid /eco"es 4alid %pon t&e
application7 iss%ance o# t&e <rit o# .a/eas Corp%s denied!
Page 2+ of 39
N9R.=D* 29.9R= *:P*T9*N 4s! 29D$E >=R$='=O >! :*C*R*=$
G.R. No. 182497, 29 |une 2010
PEREZ, |.:
FACTS:
Atty. Aííoden D. Daíaíg, Head of the COMELEC Legaí Department, was kíííed
at the corner of M. H. Deí Pííar and Pedro Gíí Streets, Ermíta, Maníía. Investígatíon
conducted by the Maníía Poííce Dístríct Homícíde Sectíon yíeíded the ídentíty of the
maíe perpetrator as PO1 Ampatuan. Consequentíy, PO1 Ampatuan was commanded
to the MPD Dístríct Dírector for proper dísposítíon. Líkewíse, ínquest proceedíngs
were conducted by the Maníía Prosecutor´s Offíce.
On 11 *pril 20017 Poííce Seníor Superíntendent Guínto, rendered hís Pre-
Charge Evaíuatíon Report agaínst PO1 Ampatuan, fíndíng probabíe cause to charge
PO1 Ampatuan wíth Grave Mísconduct (Murder) and recommendíng that saíd PO1
Ampatuan be sub|ected to summary hearíng.
:ean<&ile7 on 21 *pril 20017 the Cíty Prosecutor of Maníía recommended
that the case agaínst PO1 Ampatuan be set for further ínvestígatíon and that the
íatter be reíeased from custody uníess he ís beíng heíd for other charges/íegaí
grounds
Armed wíth the 21 Apríí 2008 recommendatíon of the Maníía Cíty´s
Prosecutíon Offíce, petítíoner, who ís the wífe of PO1 Ampatuan, fííed a Petítíon for
the Issuance of a Wrít of Habeas Corpus before the RTC of Maníía on 22 Apríí 2008.
On 24 Apríí 2008, RTC ordered the íssuance of a wrít of habeas corpus
commandíng thereín respondents to produce the body of PO1 Ampatuan and
dírectíng saíd respondents to show cause why they are wíthhoídíng or restraíníng
the ííberty of PO1 Ampatuan.
Seekíng the reversaí of RTC, the respondents averred that the fíííng of the
admínístratíve case agaínst PO1 Ampatuan ís a process done by the PNP and thís
Court has no authoríty to order the reíease of the sub|ect poííce offícer. The
petítíoner countered that the íetter resígnatíon of PO1 Ampatuan has rendered the
admínístratíve case moot and academíc. Respondent however stressed that the
resígnatíon has not been acted by the appropríate poííce offícíaís of the PNP, and
that the admínístratíve case was fííed whííe PO1 Ampatuan ís stííí ín the actíve
status of the PNP. The RTC reversed and dísmíssed the petítíon.
ISSUE: 87E RESP5N3EN8 #51R8 :RA;E6C A1SE3 I8S 3IS#RE8I5N /7EN I8
%AI6E3 85 #5NSI3ER 87A8 87E ARRES8 AN3 3E8EN8I5N 5% P5( ASSER "
AMPA81AN /AS MA3E /I87518 ANC /ARRAN8 AN3 87ERE%5RE, I66E:A6"
HELD:
The ob|ectíve of the wrít ís to determíne whether the confínement or
detentíon ís vaííd or íawfuí. If ít ís, the wrít cannot be íssued. What ís to be ínquíred
ínto ís the íegaííty of a person's detentíon as of, at the earííest, the fíííng of the
appíícatíon for the wrít of habeas corpus, for even íf the detentíon ís at íts ínceptíon
íííegaí, ít may, by reason of some superveníng events, such as the ínstances
mentíoned ín Sectíon 4 of Ruíe 102, be no íonger íííegaí at the tíme of the fíííng of
the appíícatíon
In thís case, PO1 Ampatuan has been píaced under Restríctíve Custody.
Repubííc Act No. 6975 (aíso known as the Department of Interíor and Locaí
Government Act of 1990), as amended by Repubííc Act No. 8551 (aíso known as the
Phíííppíne Natíonaí Poííce Reform and Reorganízatíon Act of 1998), cíearíy provídes
that members of the poííce force are sub|ect to the admínístratíve díscípíínary
machínery of the PNP.
Gíven that PO1 Ampatuan has been píaced under restríctíve custody, such
constítutes a vaííd argument for hís contínued detentíon. Thís Court has heíd that a
restríctíve custody and monítoríng of movements or whereabouts of poííce offícers
under ínvestígatíon by theír superíors ís not a form of íííegaí detentíon or restraínt of
ííberty.
Restríctíve custody ís, at best, nomínaí restraínt whích ís beyond the
ambít of ha$eas corpus. It ís neíther actuaí nor effectíve restraínt that wouíd caíí for
the grant of the remedy prayed for. It ís a permíssíbíe precautíonary measure to
Page 2, of 39
assure the PNP authorítíes that the poííce offícers concerned are aíways accounted
for.
In sum, petítíoner ís unabíe to díscharge the burden of showíng that she ís
entítíed to the íssuance of the wrít prayed for ín behaíf of her husband, PO1
Ampatuan. The petítíon faíís to show on íts face that the íatter ís uníawfuííy
depríved of hís ííberty guaranteed and enshríned ín the Constítutíon.
;! (R=T O; *:P*RO *ND .*@E*S D*T*
=n t&e :atter o# t&e Petition #or t&e (rit o# *"paro and t&e (rit o# .a/eas
Data in ;a4or o# :elissa C! RoFas
:elissa C! RoFas 4s! $loria :acapagal-*rro3o7 et al!
G. R. No. 189155, September 7, 2010,
En Banc
Perez, |.
FACTS:
Roxas ís an Amerícan cítízen of Fííípíno descent. Whííe ín the Uníted States,
she ís enroííed ín an exposure program to the Phíííppínes wíth the group Bagong
Aíyansang Makabayan- Uníted States of Ameríca (BAYAN-USA) of whích she ís a
member. Duríng the course of her ímmersíon, Roxas toured varíous provínces and
towns ín Centraí Luzon and, ín Apríí of 2009, she voíunteered to |oín members of
BAYAN-Taríac ín conductíng an ínítíaí heaíth survey ín La Paz, Taríac for a future
medícaí míssíon.
After doíng survey work on 19 May 2009, Roxas and her companíons,
Carabeo amd |andoc, decíded to rest ín the house of Mr. Paoío ín Sítío Bagong Síkat,
Barangay Kapaníkían, La Paz, Taríac. At around 1:30 ín the afternoon, however,
Roxas, her companíons and Mr. Paoío were startíed by the íoud sounds of someone
bangíng at the front door and a voíce demandíng that they open-up. Suddeníy 15
heavííy armed men forcíbíy opened the door, banged ínsíde, tíed and bííndfoíded
Roxas and her companíons, Carabeo and |andoc, then dragged them ínsíde a van
parked outsíde the house. The armed men were aíí ín cívííían cíothes and were
wearíng bonnets to conceaí theír faces.
After about an hour of traveíííng, the van stopped. Roxas, Carabeo and
|andoc were ordered to aííght. After she was ínformed that she was detaíned for
beíng a member of the Communíst Party of the Phíííppínes - New Peopíe´s Army
(CPP-NPA), Roxas was separated from her companíons and was escorted to a room
whích she beííeved ís a |aíí ceíí from the sound of the metaí doors. From there she
couíd hear the sounds of gunfíre, the noíse of píanes takíng off and íandíng and
some constructíon bustíe. Roxas ínferred that she was taken to the mííítary camp
of Fort Magsaysay ín Laur, Nueva Ecí|a.
On May 25, 2009, Roxas was fínaííy reíeased and returned to her uncíe´s
house ín Ouezon Cíty. Before beíng reíease, the abductors gave her a ceííphone
wíth a sím card, a sííp of paper cantaíníng an emaíí address wíth password, a píastíc
bag contaíníng bíscuíts and books, the handcuffs used on her, a bíouse and a paír of
shoes. She was aíso sterníy warned not to report the íncídent to the group
Karapatan or eíse somethíng bad wííí happen to her and her famííy. Sometíme after
her reíease, Roxas contínued to receíve caíís from one of her abductors vía the
ceííuíar phone gíven to her. Out of apprehensíon that she was beíng monítored and
aíso fearíng for the safety of her famííy, Roxas threw away the ceííphone.
Page 2- of 39
Roxas fíed a petítíon for wrít of amparo and wrít of habeas data.
The Court of Appeaís granted her petítíon for wrít of amparo and wrít of
habeas data. However, the appeííate court absoíved the respondents from the
petítíon. Her prayer for the return of her personaí beíongíngs and for the ínspectíon
order and productíon order were deníed. Roxas ínvokes he doctríne of command
responsíbíííty to ímpíícate the hígh-rankíng cívííían and mííítary authorítíes.
ISSUES:
a. Whether or not the príncípíe of command responsíbíííty shaíí appíy ín wrít of
amparo?
b. Whether or not the respondents are ííabíe ín her abductíon and torture?
c. Whether or not her prayer for the return of her personaí beíongíngs be
granted?
d. Whether or not her prayer for ínspectíon order be granted?
e. Whether or not the grant of wrít of habeas data ís proper?
RULING:
a. It must be stated at the outset that the use by the petítíoner of the doctríne
of command responsíbíííty as the |ustífícatíon ín ímpíeadíng the pubííc
respondents ín her amparo petítíon, ís íegaííy ínaccurate, íf not íncorrect. The
doctríne of command responsíbíííty ís a ruíe of substantíve íaw that
estabííshes ííabíííty and, by thís account, cannot be a proper íegaí basís to
ímpíead a party-respondent ín an amparo petítíon. Accordíng to Fr. Bernas,
"command responsíbíííty," ín íts símpíest terms, means the "responsíbíííty of
commanders for crímes commítted by subordínate members of the armed
forces or other persons sub|ect to theír controí ín ínternatíonaí wars or
domestíc confííct." In thís sense, command responsíbíííty ís properíy a form of
crímínaí compíícíty. Sínce the appíícatíon of command responsíbíííty
presupposes an ímputatíon of índívíduaí ííabíííty, ít ís more aptíy ínvoked ín a
fuíí-bíown crímínaí or admínístratíve case rather than ín a summary amparo
proceedíng. The obvíous reason ííes ín the nature of the wrít ítseíf: The wrít
of amparo ís a protectíve remedy aímed at provídíng |udícíaí reííef consístíng
of the appropríate remedíaí measures and dírectíves that may be crafted by
the court, ín order to address specífíc víoíatíons or threats of víoíatíon of the
constítutíonaí ríghts to íífe, ííberty or securíty. Whííe the príncípaí ob|ectíve of
íts proceedíngs ís the ínítíaí determínatíon of whether an enforced
dísappearance, extraíegaí kííííng or threats thereof had transpíred-the wrít
does not, by so doíng, fíx ííabíííty for such dísappearance, kííííng or threats,
whether that may be crímínaí, cívíí or admínístratíve under the appíícabíe
substantíve íaw. It must be cíarífíed, however, that the ínappíícabíííty of the
doctríne of command responsíbíííty ín an amparo proceedíng does not, by
any measure, precíude ímpíeadíng mííítary or poííce commanders on the
ground that the compíaíned acts ín the petítíon were commítted wíth theír
dírect or índírect acquíescence. In whích case, commanders may be
ímpíeaded-not actuaííy on the basís of command responsíbíííty-but rather
on the ground of theír responsíbíííty, or at íeast accountabíííty.
b. The totaííty of the evídence presented by the petítíoner does not ínspíre
reasonabíe concíusíon that her abductors were mííítary or poííce personneí
and that she was detaíned at Fort Magsaysay. Fírst. In amparo proceedíngs,
the weíght that may be accorded to paraííeí círcumstances as evídence of
mííítary ínvoívement depends íargeíy on the avaííabíííty or non-avaííabíííty of
other píeces of evídence that has the potentíaí of dírectíy províng the ídentíty
Page 20 of 39
and affíííatíon of the perpetrators. Dírect evídence of ídentíty, when
obtaínabíe, must be preferred over mere círcumstantíaí evídence based on
patterns and símííaríty, because the former índubítabíy offers greater
certaínty as to the true ídentíty and affíííatíon of the perpetrators. An amparo
court cannot símpíy íeave to remote and hazy ínference what ít couíd
otherwíse cíearíy and dírectíy ascertaín. In the case at bench, petítíoner was,
ín fact, abíe to íncíude ín her Offer of Exhíbíts, the cartographíc sketches of
severaí of her abductors whose faces she managed to see. To the mínd of the
Court, these cartographíc sketches have the undeníabíe potentíaí of gívíng
the greatest certaínty as to the true ídentíty and affíííatíon of petítíoner´s
abductors. Unfortunateíy for the petítíoner, thís potentíaí has not been
reaíízed ín víew of the fact that the faces descríbed ín such sketches remaín
unídentífíed, much íess have been shown to be that of any mííítary or poííce
personneí. Bíuntíy stated, the abductors were not proven to be part of eíther
the mííítary or the poííce chaín of command. Second. The cíaím of the
petítíoner that she was taken to Fort Magsaysay was not adequateíy
estabííshed by her mere estímate of the tíme ít took to reach the píace where
she was detaíned and by the sounds that she heard whííe thereat. Líke the
Court of Appeaís, the Supreme Court are not íncííned to take the estímate
and observatíons of the petítíoner as accurate on íts face-not oníy because
they were made mostíy whííe she was ín bííndfoíds, but aíso ín víew of the
fact that she was a mere so|ourner ín the Phíííppínes, whose famíííaríty wíth
Fort Magsaysay and the traveí tíme requíred to reach ít ís ín ítseíf doubtfuí.
Wíth nothíng eíse but obscure observatíons to support ít, petítíoner´s cíaím
that she was taken to Fort Magsaysay remaíns a mere specuíatíon.
c. In an order dírectíng the pubííc respondents to return the personaí beíongíngs
of the petítíoner ís aíready equívaíent to a concíusíve pronouncement of
ííabíííty. The order ítseíf ís a substantíaí reííef that can oníy be granted once
the ííabíííty of the pubííc respondents has been fíxed ín a fuíí and exhaustíve
proceedíng. As aíready díscussed above, matters of ííabíííty are not
determínabíe ín a mere summary amparo proceedíng. But perhaps the more
fundamentaí reason ín denyíng the prayer of the petítíoner, ííes wíth the fact
that a person´s ríght to be restítuted of hís property ís aíready subsumed
under the generaí rubríc of property ríghts-whích are no íonger protected by
the wrít of amparo. Sectíon 1 of the Amparo Ruíe, whích defínes the scope
and extent of the wrít, cíearíy excíudes the protectíon of property ríghts.
d. The prayer of Roxas for the grant of the ínspectíon order ís equívaíent to
sanctíoníng a "físhíng expedítíon," whích was never íntended by the Amparo
Ruíe ín provídíng for the ínterím reííef of ínspectíon order. An ínspectíon
order ís an ínterím reííef desígned to gíve support or strengthen the cíaím of
a petítíoner ín an amparo petítíon, ín order to aíd the court before makíng a
decísíon. A basíc requírement before an amparo court may grant an
ínspectíon order ís that the píace to be ínspected ís reasonabíy determínabíe
from the aííegatíons of the party seekíng the order. Whííe the Amparo Ruíe
does not requíre that the píace to be ínspected be ídentífíed wíth cíaríty and
precísíon, ít ís, nevertheíess, a mínímum for the íssuance of an ínspectíon
order that the supportíng aííegatíons of a party be suffícíent ín ítseíf, so as to
make a príma facíe case. Thís, as was shown above, petítíoner faííed to do.
Sínce the very estímates and observatíons of the petítíoner are not strong
enough to make out a príma facíe case that she was detaíned ín Fort
Magsaysay, an ínspectíon of the mííítary camp cannot be ordered. An
Page 21 of 39
ínspectíon order cannot íssue on the basís of aííegatíons that are, ín
themseíves, unreííabíe and doubtfuí.
e. The wrít of habeas data was conceptuaíízed as a |udícíaí remedy enforcíng
the ríght to prívacy, most especíaííy the ríght to ínformatíonaí prívacy of
índívíduaís. The wrít operates to protect a person´s ríght to controí
ínformatíon regardíng hímseíf, partícuíaríy ín the ínstances where such
ínformatíon ís beíng coííected through uníawfuí means ín order to achíeve
uníawfuí ends. Needíess to state, an índíspensabíe requírement before the
prívííege of the wrít may be extended ís the showíng, at íeast by substantíaí
evídence, of an actuaí or threatened víoíatíon of the ríght to prívacy ín íífe,
ííberty or securíty of the víctím. Thís, ín the case at bench, the petítíoner
faííed to do. The maín probíem behínd the ruííng of the Court of Appeaís ís
that there ís actuaííy no evídence on record that shows that any of the pubííc
respondents had víoíated or threatened the ríght to prívacy of the petítíoner.
The act ascríbed by the Court of Appeaís to the pubííc respondents that wouíd
have víoíated or threatened the ríght to prívacy of the petítíoner, í.e., keepíng
records of ínvestígatíons and other reports about the petítíoner´s tíes wíth the
CPP-NPA, was not adequateíy proven-consíderíng that the orígín of such
records were vírtuaííy unexpíaíned and íts exístence, cíearíy, oníy ínferred by
the appeííate court from the vídeo and photograph reíeased by
Representatíves Paíparan and Aícover ín theír press conference. No evídence
on record even shows that any of the pubííc respondents had access to such
vídeo or photograph. In víew of the above consíderatíons, the dírectíve by
the Court of Appeaís en|oíníng the pubííc respondents from "dístríbutíng or
causíng the dístríbutíon to the pubííc any records ín whatever form, reports,
documents or símííar papers" reíatíve to the petítíoner´s "aííeged tíes wíth the
CPP-NPA," appears to be devoíd of any íegaí basís. The pubííc respondents
cannot be ordered to refraín from dístríbutíng somethíng that, ín the fírst
píace, ít was not proven to have.
$! R%le 103 C&ange o# Na"e 2%risdiction and
S%##icienc3 o# E4idence
ROSE'=E E'O=S* @R=N$*S @O'*NTE a!5!a! :*R=* E'O=S* @R=N$*S
@O'*NTE
G.R. No. 160597, |uíy 20, 2006
FACTS:
A petítíon for change of name was commenced by respondent Roseííe Eíoísa
Bríngas Boíante aíso known as María Eíoísa Bríngas Boíante on October 18, 2000.
In her petítíon before the RTC, respondent aííeged, among other thíngs, the
foííowíng:
1. That she ís a Fííípíno, of íegaí age, marríed, born to spouses Fíoríano B. Boíante
and Pauía B. Bríngas and a resídent sínce bírth of Bangued, Abra;
2. That per records ín the Offíce of the Munícípaí Cívíí Regístrar, Bangued, Abra, her
regístered name ís Roseííe Eíoísa Bríngas Boíante whích name, as far as she can
remember, she díd not use but ínstead the name María Eíoísa Bríngas Boíante;
Page 29 of 39
3. That the name María Eíoísa appears ín aíí her schooí as weíí as ín her other pubííc
and prívate records; and
4. That her marríed name ís María Eíoísa B. Boíante-Marbeíía.
Thus, to prevent confusíon, Ms. Boíante prayed that her regístered name be
changed to conform to the name she has aíways carríed and used.
The tríaí court ordered respondent, as petítíoner, to compíy wíth the
|urísdíctíonaí requírements of notíce and pubíícatíon, and set the hearíng on
February 20, 2001.
At the scheduíed February 20, 2001 ínítíaí hearíng, the tríaí court íssued an
Order gívíng respondent fíve (5) days wíthín whích to fííe a wrítten formaí offer of
evídence to estabíísh |urísdíctíonaí facts and set the presentatíon of evídence
proper on March 26, 2001.
On |une 5, 2001, the branch cíerk of court, actíng upon the tríaí court's
express March 26, 2001 dírectíve for a resettíng, íssued a notíce for a |uíy 18, 2001
hearíng. Foííowíng another resettíng, what actuaííy wouíd be the ínítíaí hearíng was,
after notíce, scheduíed on September 25, 2001 and actuaííy heíd. At that sessíon,
respondent presented and marked ín evídence severaí documents wíthout any
ob|ectíon on the part of petítíoner Repubííc, represented by the Offíce of the
Soíícítor Generaí (OSG), thru the duíy deputízed províncíaí prosecutor of Abra.
Shortíy after the tríaí court has decíared íts acquísítíon of |urísdíctíon over the
case, respondent took the wítness stand to state that the purpose of her petítíon
was to have her regístered name changed to that whích she had actuaííy been
usíng thru the years. She aíso categorícaííy stated she had not been accused of any
críme under eíther her regístered name or her present correct name.
On cross she stated that the purpose of fíííng the petítíon ís that, she wanted
to secure a passport and wanted that the same be íssued ín her correct name and
that she wouíd not have fííed the petítíon was ít not for the passport. On
cíarífícatory questíon by the Court she saíd that her reason ín fíííng the petítíon ís
her reaíízatíon that there wííí be a compíícatíon upon her retírement.
On |anuary 23, 2002, the tríaí court rendered |udgment grantíng the basíc
petítíon.
In tíme, the Repubííc, through the OSG, went to the Court of Appeaís and the
íatter affírmed the decísíon of the tríaí court.
ISSUES:
I. WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT'S SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE WITH SEC. 3,
RULE 103 OF THE RULES OF COURT IS SUFFICIENT TO VEST THE TRIAL COURT WITH
|URISDICTION TO TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE PETITION A OUO.
II. WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT'S BARE TESTIMONY, UNSUPPORTED BY
ANY OTHER EVIDENCE, IS SUFFICIENT TO PROVE THAT THE CHANGE OF HER NAME
IS NOT RESORTED FOR ILLEGAL PURPOSES.
RULING:
I. YES. There ís a substantíaí compííance wíth Sec. 3, Ruíe 103 of the ruíes of
court wíth respect to the |urísdíctíonaí requírements of notíce and pubíícatíon ín
Petítíon for Change of Name.
Page 30 of 39
Sectíons 2 and 3, Ruíe 103 of the Ruíes of Court prescríbe the proceduraí and
|urísdíctíonaí requírements for a change of name. In Repubííc v. Hon. |udge of
Branch III of the CFI of Cebu, cítíng pertínent |urísprudence, non-compííance wíth
these requírements wouíd be fataí to the |urísdíctíon of the íower court to hear and
determíne a petítíon for change of name.
SEC. 2. Contents of petítíon. - A petítíon for change of name shaíí be sígned
and verífíed by the person desíríng hís name changed, or some other person on hís
behaíf, and shaíí set forth:
(a) That the petítíoner has been a bona fíde resídent of the provínce where
the petítíon ís fííed for at íeast three (3) years príor to the date of such fíííng;
(b) The cause for whích the change of the petítíoner's name ís sought;
(c) The name asked for.
SEC. 3. Order for hearíng. - If the petítíon fííed ís suffícíent ín form and
substance, the court, by an order recítíng the purpose of the petítíon, shaíí fíx a
date and píace for the hearíng thereof, and shaíí dírect that a copy of the order be
pubííshed before the hearíng at íeast once a week for three (3) successíve weeks ín
some newspaper of generaí círcuíatíon pubííshed ín the provínce, .. The date set
for the hearíng shaíí not be wíthín thírty (30) days príor to an eíectíon nor wíthín
four (4) months after the íast pubíícatíon of the notíce. (Underscoríng added.)
As gíeaned from the records, the basíc petítíon for change of name was fííed
on October 18, 2000 and set for hearíng on February 20, 2001. The notíce of
hearíng was pubííshed ín the November 23, and 30, 2000 and December 7, 2000
íssues of the Noríuzonían Couríer. Counted from the íast day, December 7, 2000, of
pubíícatíon of the Order, the ínítíaí hearíng scheduíed on February 20, 2001 ís
índeed wíthín the four-month prohíbíted períod prescríbed under Sectíon 3, Ruíe
103 of the Ruíes. The Court, as díd the CA, must emphasíze, however, that the tríaí
court, evídentíy upon reaíízíng the error commítted respectíng the 4-month
íímítatíon, íost no tíme ín rectífyíng íts místake by rescheduííng, wíth due notíce to
aíí concerned, the ínítíaí hearíng for severaí tímes, fínaííy settííng for September 25,
2001.
In the context of Sectíon 3, Ruíe 103 of the Ruíes, pubíícatíon ís vaííd íf the
foííowíng requísítes concur: (1) the petítíon and the copy of the order índícatíng the
date and píace for the hearíng must be pubííshed; (2) the pubíícatíon must be at
íeast once a week for three successíve weeks; and, (3) the pubíícatíon must be ín
some newspaper of generaí círcuíatíon pubííshed ín the provínce, as the court shaíí
deem best. Another vaíídatíng íngredíent reíates to the caveat agaínst the petítíon
beíng heard wíthín 30 days príor to an eíectíon or wíthín four (4) months after the
íast pubíícatíon of the notíce of the hearíng.
It cannot be over-emphasízed that ín a petítíon for change of name, any
ínterested person may appear at the hearíng and oppose the petítíon. Líkewíse, the
Soíícítor Generaí or hís deputy shaíí appear on behaíf of the Government. The
government, as an agency of the peopíe, represents the pubííc and, therefore, the
Soíícítor Generaí, who appears on behaíf of the government, effectíveíy represents
the pubííc. In thís case, the Soíícítor Generaí deputízed the províncíaí prosecutor of
Abra for the purpose of appearíng ín the tríaí on hís behaíf. As ít were, the províncíaí
prosecutor of Abra was fuííy apprísed of the new dates of the ínítíaí hearíng.
Page 31 of 39
Accordíngíy, there was no actuaí need for a repubíícatíon of the ínítíaí notíce of the
hearíng.
Furthermore, duríng the September 25, 2001 ínítíaí hearíng whích, to
reíterate ís aíready outsíde the 4-month íímítatíon prescríbed by the Ruíes, the
províncíaí prosecutor of Abra ínterposed no ob|ectíon as to the genuíneness,
authentícíty, reíevancy or suffícíency of the exhíbíts presented to prove the
|urísdíctíonaí requírements exacted by the Ruíes. In a very reaí sense, therefore, the
petítíoner Repubííc fuííy and knowíngíy acquíesced ín the |urísdíctíon of the tríaí
court. The pecuííar círcumstances obtaíníng ín thís case and the requírements of faír
deaííng demand that we accord vaíídíty to the proceedíngs a quo.
II. YES. Respondent's bare testímony, unsupported by any other evídence,
such as NBI cíearance and Poííce cíearance, ís suffícíent to grant the Petítíon for
change of name.
The State has an ínterest ín the names borne by índívíduaís for purposes of
ídentífícatíon, and that changíng one's name ís a prívííege and not a ríght.
Accordíngíy, a person can be authorízed to change hís name appearíng ín eíther hís
certífícate of bírth or cívíí regístry upon showíng not oníy of reasonabíe cause, or
any compeíííng reason whích may |ustífy such change, but aíso that he wííí be
pre|udíced by the use of hís true and offícíaí name. |urísprudence has recognízed
certaín |ustífyíng grounds to warrant a change of name. Among these are: (a) when
the name ís rídícuíous, díshonorabíe or extremeíy díffícuít to wríte or pronounce; (b)
when the change wííí avoíd confusíon; (c) when one has been contínuousíy used and
been known sínce chíídhood by a Fííípíno name, and was unaware of aííen
parentage; (d) when the surname causes embarrassment and there ís no showíng
that the desíred change of name was for a frauduíent purpose or that the change of
name wííí pre|udíce pubííc ínterest.
The matter of grantíng or denyíng petítíons for change of name and the
coroííary íssue of what ís a proper and reasonabíe cause therefore rests on the
sound díscretíon of the court. The evídence presented need oníy be satísfactory to
the court; ít need not be the best evídence avaííabíe.
Wíth the víew we take of the case, respondent's submíssíon for a change of
name ís wíth proper and reasonabíe reason. As ít were, she has, sínce she started
schooííng, used the gíven name and has been known as María Eíoísa, aíbeít the
name Roseííe Eíoísa ís wrítten on her bírth record. Her schoíastíc records, as weíí as
records ín government offíces, íncíudíng that of her dríver's íícense, professíonaí
íícense as a certífíed pubííc accountant íssued by the Professíonaí Reguíatíon
Commíssíon, and the "Ouíck Count" document of the COMELEC, aíí attest to her
havíng used practícaííy aíí her íífe the name María Eíoísa Bríngas Boíante.
The ímperatíves of avoídíng confusíon díctate that the ínstant petítíon ís
granted. But beyond practícaíítíes, símpíe |ustíce díctates that every person shaíí be
aííowed to avaíí hímseíf of any opportuníty to ímprove hís socíaí standíng, províded
he does so wíthout causíng pre|udíce or ín|ury to the ínterests of the State or of
other peopíe.
The OSG's argument that respondent's bare testímony ís ínsuffícíent to show
that the requested name ís not sought for any íííegaí purpose and/or ín avoídance of
any entangíement wíth the íaw deserves scant consíderatíon. Sureíy, the íssuance
of a poííce and NBI cíearance or ííke certífícatíon, whííe perhaps apropos,cannot, as
the OSG suggests, be a convíncíng norm of one's good moraí character or
compeíííng evídence to prove that the change of name ís not sought for any evíí
Page 32 of 39
motíve or frauduíent íntent. Respondent's open court testímony, gíven under paín of
per|ury and for whích she was cross-examíned, that she had not been accused of
any críme under her regístered name or under her present name (name that she ís
usíng) had convínced the tríaí court of the bona fídes of her request for change of
name.
The petítíon ís DENIED. The Decísíon of the Court of Appeaís ís AFFIRMED.
.! R9'E 101
*%t&orit3 o# t&e trial co%rts to "a5e 6%dicial corrections o#
entries in t&e ci4il registr3!
RE ;=N*' REPORT ON T.E 29D=C=*' *9D=T COND9CTED *T T.E RTC
@R*NC. -07 P*N=D9=7 T*R'*C7 A.M.No.06-7-414-RTC October 19, 2007
;acts
A |udícíaí audít and physícaí ínventory of cases was conducted on 20-24 |une
2005 at the RTC, Paníquí, Taríac, Branch 67, then presíded by |udge Cesar M. Sotero
who compuísorííy retíred on 23 February 2006.
The audít team notíced that there were no specíaí proceedíngs case records
presented. Upon ínquíry, the Cíerk of Court Pauííno Saguyod asserted that most of
these cases are for Petítíons for Correctíon of Entríes ín the Cívíí Regístry and gave
the audít team copíes of the decísíons.
The audít team observed that aímost aíí of the petítíons have no hearíngs
conducted and that the date of fíííng índícated ín the docket books and the date of
the decísíon was so near that ít wííí be ímprobabíe to compíy wíth the pubíícatíon
requírement under the Ruíes of Court.
In víew of these observatíons, the |udge Sotero and Cíerk of Court Saguyod
were made to expíaín why these petítíons for change of name and/ or correctíon of
entríes ín the cívíí regístry were granted wíthout the requíred hearíng. In theír
answer, they expíaíned that these petítíons may be covered by RA 9048 whích
authorízed cíty or munícípaí regístrar to correct cíerícaí or typographícaí errors ín
the cívíí regístry wíthout need for a |udícíaí order. They further averred that these
petítíons were fííed before the tríaí court because there was no íncumbent Locaí
Cívíí Regístrar and the OIC-Cívíí Regístrar couíd not act on these petítíons. Sínce RA
9048 aííows correctíon of entríes wíthout hearíng and pubíícatíon, the tríaí court
consídered the same procedure. The tríaí court aíso adopted the procedure ín cívíí
cases where the defendant ís decíared ín defauít and the court renders |udgment
based on the píeadíngs fííed by the píaíntíff.
=ss%e
Whether tríaí court stííí have |urísdíctíon over petítíons on change of name
and correctíon of entríes.
Whether the summary procedure prescríbed ín RA No. 9048 shouíd be adopted ín
cases fííed before the courts, or shouíd the proceedíng under Ruíe 108 be foííowed.
.eld
Page 33 of 39
Duríng the deííberatíon, ít was cíear that the íocaí cívíí regístrar ís gíven the
authoríty to act on petítíons for correctíons of entríes and change of fírst name or
nícknames, yet there was no mentíon that such petítíon can no íonger be fííed wíth
the reguíar courts. There was no íntent on the part of the íawmakers to remove the
authoríty of the tríaí courts to make |udícíaí correctíons of entríes ín the cívíí
regístry. It can thus be concíuded that the íocaí cívíí regístry has prímary, not
excíusíve |urísdíctíon over such petítíons for correctíon of cíerícaí errors and change
of fírst name or níckname.
Sínce RA 9048 refers specífícaííy to the admínístratíve summary proceedíngs
before the íocaí cívíí regístrar ít wouíd be ínappropríate to appíy the same procedure
to petítíons for correctíon of entríes ín the cívíí regístry before the courts. The
promuígatíon of ruíes of procedure for court of |ustíce ís the excíusíve domaín of the
Supreme Court. Moreover, as observed by the Offíce of the Court Admínístrator,
there ís nothíng ín RA 9048 and íts Impíementíng Ruíes and Reguíatíons that
warrants the adoptíon of the procedure set thereín for petítíons before the court
even for purposes of expedítíng the resoíutíon of saíd petítíons.
Thus, there shouíd be recourse to the procedure prescríbed for the courts as
íf RA 9048 were not enacted at aíí. In other words, the procedure províded ín the
Revísed Ruíes of Court for such petítíons remaíns bíndíng and shouíd be foííowed by
the courts. The proceduraí requírements íaíd down ín Ruíes 103 and 108 stííí have
to be compííed wíth.
(&en ci4il stat%s a##ects t&e c&anges in t&e entr3 in ci4il
registr37 ad4ersarial proceedings applied ) 2%risdictional
and Notice are essential
REP9@'=C O; T.E P.='=PP=NES 4s! 29'=*N ED(*RD E:ERSON COSETEN$-
:*$P*?O (*!G!*! 29'=*N ED(*RD E:ERSON :*RD9EC-'=: COSETEN$)
G.R. No. 189476, February 2, 2011
FACTS:
Born ín Makatí on September 9, 1972, |uíían Edward Emerson Coseteng
Magpayo (respondent) ís the son of Fuívío M. Magpayo |r. and Anna Domíníque
Marquez-Lím Coseteng who, as respondent´s certífícate of ííve bírth shows,
contracted marríage on March 26, 1972.
Cíaímíng, however, that hís parents were never íegaííy marríed, respondent
fííed on |uíy 22, 2008 at the Regíonaí Tríaí Court (RTC) of Ouezon Cíty a Petítíon
to change hís name to |uíían Edward Emerson Marquez Lím Coseteng. The petítíon,
docketed as SPP No. O-0863058, was entítíed "IN RE PETITION FOR CHANGE OF
NAMEOF |ULIAN EDWARD EMERSON COSETENG MAGPAYO TO |ULIAN EDWARD
EMERSON MAROUEZ-LIM COSETENG."
In support of hís petítíon, respondent submítted a certífícatíon from the
Natíonaí Statístícs Offíce statíng that hís mother Anna Domíníque "does not appear
ín |íts| Natíonaí Indíces of Marríage." Respondent aíso submítted hís academíc
records from eíementary up to coííege showíng that he carríed the surname
"Coseteng," and the bírth certífícate of hís chííd where "Coseteng" appears as hís
Page 3+ of 39
surname. In the 1998, 2001 and 2004 Eíectíons, respondent ran and was eíected as
Councííor of Ouezon Cíty´s 3rd Dístríct usíng the name "|ULIAN M.L. COSETENG."
On order of Branch 77 of the Ouezon Cíty RTC, respondent amended hís
petítíon by aííegíng thereín compííance wíth the 3-year resídency requírement under
Sectíon 2, Ruíe 103| of the Ruíes of Court.
The notíce settíng the petítíon for hearíng on November 20, 2008 was
pubííshed ín the newspaper Broadsíde ín íts íssues of October 31-November 6,
2008, November 7-13, 2008, and November 14-20, 2008. And a copy of the notíce
was furníshed the Offíce of the Soíícítor Generaí (OSG).
No opposítíon to the petítíon havíng been fííed, an order of generaí defauít
was entered by the tríaí court whích then aííowed respondent to present evídence
ex parte
By Decísíon of |anuary 8, 2009, the tríaí court granted respondent´s petítíon
and dírected the Cívíí Regístrar ofMakatí Cíty to:
1. Deíete the entry "March 26, 1972" ín Item 24 for "DATE AND PLACE OF MARRIAGE
OF PARTIES" |ín hereín respondent´s Certífícate of ííve Bírth|;
2. Correct the entry "MAGPAYO" ín the space for the Last Name of the |respondent|
to "COSETENG";
3. Deíete the entry "COSETENG" ín the space for Míddíe Name of the |respondent|;
and
4. Deíete the entry "Fuívío Míranda Magpayo, |r." ín the space for FATHER of the
|respondent|. (emphasís and underscoríng suppííed; capítaíízatíon ín the orígínaí)
The Repubííc of the Phíííppínes (Repubííc) fííed a motíon for reconsíderatíon
but ít was deníed by the tríaí court by Order of |uíy 2, 2009, hence, ít, thru the OSG,
íodged the present petítíon for revíew to the Court on pure questíon of íaw.
ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the petítíon for change of name ínvoívíng change of cívíí
status shouíd be made through appropríate adversaríaí proceedíngs.
2. Whether or not the tríaí court exceeded íts |urísdíctíon when ít dírected the
deíetíon of the name of respondent´s father from hís bírth certífícate.
HELD:
The petítíon ís ímpressed wíth merít. (ín favor of the Repubííc)
1. A person can effect a change of name under Ruíe 103 (CHANGE OF NAME)
usíng vaííd and merítoríous grounds íncíudíng (a) when the name ís
rídícuíous, díshonorabíe or extremeíy díffícuít to wríte or pronounce; (b)
when the change resuíts as a íegaí consequence such as íegítímatíon; (c)
when the change wííí avoíd confusíon; (d) when one has contínuousíy used
and been known sínce chíídhood by a Fííípíno name, and was unaware of
aííen parentage; (e) a síncere desíre to adopt a Fííípíno name to erase
sígns of former aííenage, aíí ín good faíth and wíthout pre|udícíng
anybody; and (f) when the surname causes embarrassment and there ís
Page 3, of 39
no showíng that the desíred change of name was for a frauduíent purpose
or that the change of name wouíd pre|udíce pubííc ínterest.
*** Respondent´s reason for changíng hís name cannot be
consídered as one of, or anaíogous to, recognízed grounds, however.
The present petítíon must be dífferentíated from Aífon v. Repubííc
of the Phíííppínes. In Aífon, the Court aííowed the thereín petítíoner,
Estreíía Aífon, to use the name that she had been known sínce chíídhood
ín order to avoíd confusíon. Aífon díd not deny her íegítímacy, however.
She mereíy sought to use the surname of her mother whích she had been
usíng sínce chíídhood. Ruííng ín her favor, the Court heíd that she was
íawfuííy entítíed to use her mother´s surname, addíng that the avoídance
of confusíon was |ustífícatíon enough to aííow her to do so. In the present
case, however, respondent deníes hís íegítímacy.
The change beíng sought ín respondent´s petítíon goes so far as to
affect hís íegaí status ín reíatíon to hís parents. It seeks to change hís
íegítímacy to that of íííegítímacy. Ruíe 103 then wouíd not suffíce to grant
respondent´s suppíícatíon.
Labayo-Rowe v. Repubííc categorícaííy hoíds that "changes whích
may affect the cívíí status from íegítímate to íííegítímate . . .
are substantíaí and controversíaí aíteratíons whích can oníy be aííowed
after appropríate adversary proceedíngs . . ."
******** Sínce respondent´s desíred change affects hís cívíí status
from íegítímate to íííegítímate, Ruíe 108 appííes. It reads:
SECTION 1. Who may fííe petítíon.-Any person ínterested ín any
act, event, order or decree concerníng the cívíí status of persons whích
has been recorded ín the cívíí regíster, may fííe a verífíed petítíon for
the canceííatíon or correctíon of any entry reíatíng thereto, wíth the |RTC|
of the provínce where the correspondíng cívíí regístry ís íocated.
SEC. 3. Partíes.-When canceííatíon or correctíon of an entry ín the
cívíí regíster ís sought, the cívíí regístrar and aíí persons who have or
cíaím any ínterest whích wouíd be affected thereby shaíí be made partíes
to the proceedíng.
SEC. 4. Notíce and pubíícatíon. -Upon the fíííng of the petítíon, the
court shaíí, by an order, fíx the tíme and píace for the hearíng of the
same, and cause reasonabíe notíce thereof to be gíven to the persons
named ín the petítíon. The court shaíí aíso cause the order to be pubííshed
once a week for three (3) consecutíve weeks ín a newspaper of generaí
círcuíatíon ín the provínce. (emphasís, ítaíícs and underscoríng suppííed)
2. Ruíe 108 cíearíy dírects that a petítíon whích concerns one´s cívíí status
shouíd be fííed ín the cívíí regístry ín whích the entry ís sought to be
canceííed or corrected - that of Makatí ín the present case, and "aíí
persons who have or cíaím any ínterest whích wouíd be affected thereby"
shouíd be made partíes to the proceedíng.
As earííer stated, however, the petítíon of respondent was fííed not
ín Makatí where hís bírth certífícate was regístered but ín Ouezon Cíty.
And as the above-mentíoned títíe of the petítíon fííed by respondent
Page 3- of 39
before the RTC shows, neíther the cívíí regístrar of Makatí nor hís father
and mother were made partíes thereto.
Ruíe 103 regardíng change of name and ín Ruíe 108 concerníng the
canceííatíon or correctíon of entríes ín the cívíí regístry are separate and
dístínct.
Asíde from ímproper venue, he faííed to ímpíead the cívíí regístrar
of Makatí and aíí affected partíes as respondents ín the case."A petítíon
for a substantíaí correctíon or change of entríes ín the cívíí regístry shouíd
have as respondents the cívíí regístrar, as weíí as aíí other persons who
have or cíaím to have any ínterest that wouíd be affected thereby."
Ruíe 108 cíearíy mandates two sets of notíces to dífferent "potentíaí
opposítors." The fírst notíce ís that gíven to the "persons named ín the
petítíon" and the second (whích ís through pubíícatíon) ís that gíven to
other persons who are not named ín the petítíon but nonetheíess may be
consídered ínterested or affected partíes, such as credítors. That two sets
of notíces are mandated under the above-quoted Sectíon 4 ís vaíídated by
the subsequent Sectíon 5, aíso above-quoted, whích provídes for two
períods (for the two types of "potentíaí opposítors") wíthín whích to fííe an
opposítíon (15 days from notíce or from the íast date of pubíícatíon).
The purpose precíseíy of Sectíon 4, Ruíe 108 ís to bínd the whoíe
woríd to the subsequent |udgment on the petítíon. The sweep of the
decísíon wouíd cover even partíes who shouíd have been ímpíeaded under
Sectíon 3, Ruíe 108 but were ínadvertentíy íeft out
C&ange o# Stat%s *lien Spo%se #ailed to co"pl3 on t&e
2%risdictional Re8%ire"ent
$ER@ERT CORP9C >S! D*=S?'?N STO! TO:*S
G.R. No. 186571, August 11, 2010
FACTS:
Gerbert Corpuz was a former Fííípíno cítízen who acquíred Canadían
cítízenshíp through naturaíízatíon on Nov. 2000. On, |an. 18 2005, he marríed a
Fííípína named Daísyíyn Sto. Tomas. Due to work and other professíonaí
commítments, Gerbert íeft for Canada soon after theír weddíng. He returned to the
Phíííppínes sometíme ín Apríí 2005 to surpríse her wífe but was shocked to díscover
that Daísyíyn was havíng an affaír wíth another man. Hurt and dísappoínted,
Gerbert went back to Canada and fííed a petítíon for dívorce and was granted.
Two years after, Gerbert feíí ín íove wíth another Fííípína. In hís desíre to
marry hís new Fííípína fíancée, Gerbert went to Pasíg Cíty Cívíí Regístry Offíce and
regístered the Canadían dívorce decree on theír marríage certífícate. Despíte íts
regístratíon, an NSO offícíaí ínformed Gerbert that theír marríage stííí exísts under
Phíííppíne Law; and to be enforceabíe, the foreígn dívorce decree must be |udícíaííy
recognízed by a Phíííppíne court.
Gerbert fííed a petítíon for |udícíaí recognítíon of foreígn dívorce and/or
decíaratíon of marríage as díssoíved, wíth the RTC. Daísyíyn offered no opposítíon
and requested for the same prayer.
Page 30 of 39
RTC deníed Gerbert´s petítíon contendíng that Art. 26 (2) appííes oníy to
Fííípínos and not to aííens. Gerbert appeaíed by certíorarí to the Supreme Court
under Ruíe 45.
ISSUE:
Whether the regístratíon of the foreígn dívorce decree was properíy made.
HELD:
Supreme Court heíd ín the negatíve. Artícíe 412 of the Cívíí Code decíares
that "no entry ín a cívíí regíster shaíí be changed or corrected, wíthout |udícíaí
order." The Ruíes of Court suppíements Artícíe 412 of the Cívíí Code by specífícaííy
provídíng for a specíaí remedíaí proceedíng by whích entríes ín the cívíí regístry may
be |udícíaííy canceííed or corrected. Ruíe 108 of the Ruíes of Court sets ín detaíí the
|urísdíctíonaí and proceduraí requírements that must be compííed wíth before a
|udgment, authorízíng the canceííatíon or correctíon, may be annotated ín the cívíí
regístry.
=! R9'E 1037 1017 R* 90+1 Disting%is&ed
REP9@'=C O; T.E P.='=PP=NES 4s! :ER'?N :ERC*DER*
G.R. No. 186027, December 8, 2010
FACTS:
On |une 6, 2005, Meríyn Mercadera (Mercadera), represented by her síster
and duíy constítuted Attorney-ín-Fact, Eveíyn M. Oga (Oga), sought the correctíon of
her gíven name as ít appeared ín her Certífícate of Líve Bírth from Marííyn L.
Mercadera to Meríyn L. Mercadera before the Offíce of the Locaí Cívíí Regístrar of
Dípoíog Cíty pursuant to Repubííc Act No. 9048.
Under R.A. No. 9048, the cíty or munícípaí cívíí regístrar or consuí generaí ís
now authorízed to effect the change of fírst name or níckname and the correctíon of
cíerícaí or typographícaí errors ín cívíí regístry entríes. The Offíce of the Locaí Cívíí
Regístrar of Dípoíog Cíty, however, refused to effect the correctíon uníess a court
order was obtaíned "because the Cívíí Regístrar thereín ís not yet equípped wíth a
permanent appoíntment before he can vaíídíy act on petítíons for correctíons fííed
before theír offíce as mandated by R.A. No. 9048."
Mercadera then fííed a Petítíon For Correctíon of Some Entríes as Appearíng
ín the Certífícate of Líve Bírth under Ruíe 108 before the Regíonaí Tríaí Court of
Dípoíog Cíty (RTC). Upon receípt of the petítíon for correctíon of entry, the RTC
íssued an order, dated |une 10, 2005, for the hearíng of saíd petítíon. The Offíce of
the Soíícítor Generaí (OSG) deputízed the Offíce of the Cíty Prosecutor to assíst ín
the case. Wíthout any ob|ectíon from the Cíty Prosecutor, the testímony of Oga and
severaí photocopíes of documents were formaííy offered and marked as evídence to
prove that Mercadera never used the name "Marííyn" ín any of her pubííc or prívate
transactíons.
In íts September 28, 2005 Decísíon, the RTC granted the petítíon and ruíed
that the documentary evídence presented by Mercadera suffícíentíy supported the
círcumstances aííeged ín her petítíon. Consíderíng that she had used "Meríyn" as
her gíven name sínce chíídhood untíí she díscovered the díscrepancy ín her
Certífícate of Líve Bírth, the RTC was convínced that the correctíon was |ustífíed.
Page 31 of 39
The OSG tímeíy appeaíed prayíng for the reversaí and settíng asíde of the
RTC decísíon. For the OSG, the correctíon ín the speíííng of Mercadera´s gíven name
"ís ín truth a materíaí correctíon as ít wouíd modífy or íncrease substantíve ríghts",
whích wouíd have been proper had she fííed a petítíon under Ruíe 103 and proved
any of the grounds therefor.
The CA was not persuaded. In íts December 9, 2008 Decísíon, the appeííate
court affírmed the questíoned RTC order.
On March 6, 2009, the OSG fííed the present petítíon. On behaíf of Mercadera,
the Pubííc Attorney´s Offíce (PAO) fííed íts Comment on |uíy 3, 2009.
ISSUES:
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A OUESTION OF LAW IN
GRANTING THE CHANGE IN RESPONDENT´S NAME UNDER RULE 103.
HELD:
Ruíe 103 proceduraííy governs |udícíaí petítíons for change of gíven name or
surname, or both, pursuant to Artícíe 376 of the Cívíí Code. Thís ruíe provídes the
procedure for an índependent specíaí proceedíng ín court to estabíísh the status of
a person ínvoívíng hís reíatíons wíth others, that ís, hís íegaí posítíon ín, or wíth
regard to, the rest of the communíty. Essentíaííy, a change of name does not defíne
or effect a change of one´s exístíng famííy reíatíons or ín the ríghts and dutíes
fíowíng therefrom. It does not aíter one´s íegaí capacíty or cívíí status.
Ruíe 108, on the other hand, ímpíements |udícíaí proceedíngs for the
correctíon or canceííatíon of entríes ín the cívíí regístry pursuant to Artícíe 412 of
the Cívíí Code. Entríes ín the cívíí regíster refer to "acts, events and |udícíaí decrees
concerníng the cívíí status of persons," aíso as enumerated ín Artícíe 408 of the
same íaw.
In the case at bench, the OSG posíts that the conversíon from "MARILYN" to
"MERLYN" ís not a correctíon of an ínnocuous error but a materíaí correctíon
tantamount to a change of name whích entaíís a modífícatíon or íncrease ín
substantíve ríghts. For the OSG, thís ís a substantíaí error that requíres compííance
wíth the procedure under Ruíe 103, and not Ruíe 108.
A change of one´s name under Ruíe 103 can be granted, oníy on grounds
províded by íaw, there must be a proper and compeíííng reason for the change and
proof that the person requestíng wííí be pre|udíced by the use of hís offícíaí name. In
petítíons for correctíon, oníy cíerícaí, speíííng, typographícaí and other ínnocuous
errors ín the cívíí regístry may be raísed. Consíderíng that the enumeratíon ín
Sectíon 2, Ruíe 108 aíso íncíudes "changes of name," the correctíon of a patentíy
mísspeííed name ís covered by Ruíe 108. Suffíce ít to say, not aíí aíteratíons aííowed
ín one´s name are confíned under Ruíe 103. Correctíons for cíerícaí errors may be
set ríght under Ruíe 108.
Thus, the petítíon fííed by Mercadera before the RTC correctíy faíís under Ruíe
108 as ít símpíy sought a correctíon of a mísspeííed gíven name. To correct símpíy
means "to make or set aríght; to remove the fauíts or error from." To change means
"to repíace somethíng wíth somethíng eíse of the same kínd or wíth somethíng that
serves as a substítute." From the aííegatíons ín her petítíon, Mercadera cíearíy
prayed for the íower court "to remove the fauíts or error" from her regístered gíven
name "MARILYN," and "to make or set aríght" the same to conform to the one she
grew up to, "MERLYN." The CA díd not aííow Mercadera the change of her name.
Page 39 of 39
What ít díd aííow was the correctíon of her mísspeííed gíven name whích she had
been usíng ever sínce she couíd remember.
Mercadera compííed wíth the requírement for an adversaríaí proceedíng
before the íower court. The pubíícatíon and postíng of the notíce of hearíng ín a
newspaper of generaí círcuíatíon and the notíces sent to the OSG and the Locaí Cívíí
Regístry are suffícíent índícía of an adverse proceedíng. Consíderíng that the OSG
díd not oppose the petítíon and the motíon to present íts evídence ex parte when ít
had the opportuníty to do so, ít cannot now compíaín that the proceedíngs ín the
íower court were proceduraííy defectíve. Wherefore, the December 9, 2008 Decísíon
of the Court of Appeaís ís AFFIRMED.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful