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- versus - G.R. No. L-23253

RESPONDENTS, unto this Honorable Court, most respet!ull"
submit this Position Paper and aver the !ollo#in$%
The ensuin$ battle !or ustod" o! the minor hildren is not
onl" a thorn" issue but also a hi$hl" sensitive and heart-rendin$
a&air. Suh is the ase here. Even the usuall" tehnial sub'et o!
'urisdition beame emotionall" har$ed.
(n the midst o! on!usion,
the hild is al#a"s the vitim, #ere it not !or her innoene made
her !ra$ile a$ainst their biolo$ial parents #ho have
presumptuousl" abandoned them.
Petitioner, PACITA CHUA, is the natural mother o! )ett" Chua
S", alias *rae Caban$ban$, #hose ustod" is the issue at hand.
married, both +ilipino iti,ens and o! le$al a$e #ho has the ustod"
o! )ett" Chua S" alias *rae Caban$ban$.
This position paper is a response to the Petition o! Paita Chua
!or the issuane o! a #rit o! habeas orpus re$ardin$ her laims
to#ards the ustod" o! her dau$hter )ett" Chua S" a.-.a. *rae
.adri/an vs. .adri/an, *.R. NO. 012345, 6ul" 07, 7884.
Paita Chua 9Paita:, #hen still in prime "outh, supported
hersel! b" #or-in$ in ni$htlubs as a hostess. She had sexual
relationships #ith di&erent men #ithout the bene;t o! marria$e.
(n 0218, Paita had a hild #ith a ertain Chua )en. The hild,
ho#ever, died durin$ in!an".
The petitioner, then on, ohabited #ith S" Sia <a" #hom she
had hildren in the name o! Robert and )ett" Chua-S" a.-.a *rae
Caban$ban$ 9)ett" or *rae:. The latter hild #as born on
Deember 01, 0214. Therea!ter, Paita and S" Sia <a" separated.
+indin$ no hoie a!ter the separation, the petitioner lin$ered
a$ain in ni$htlubs and $amblin$ 'oints until she met =itor Tan
=illareal 9=itor: !rom #hih she beame the latter>s mistress.
(n 02?8, another hild, a $irl, #as born to her. @hen this hild
#as still an in!ant, she $ave the hild a#a" to a comadre in Cebu
a!ter her separation #ith =itor in 02?0.
Respondents )artolome and +lora Cababan$, a hildless
ouple, aAuired the ustod" o! hild )ett" sometime in .a" 021B
#ho #as then barel" !our months old. The" have sine brou$ht her
up as their o#n and had the hild hristened as *rae Caban$ban$
on September 07, 021B.
(n Otober 021B, the petitioner avers that #hile she and =itor
#ere still livin$ to$ether, the latter surreptitiousl" too- the hild
a#a" and $ave her to the Caban$ban$s, alle$edl" in reompense
!avor. +uthermore, she supposedl" ame to -no# o! the
#hereabouts o! her dau$hter, onl" in 02?8 #hen the $irl, #ho #as
then about three "ears old, #as brou$ht to her b" =itor, #ho
shortl" therea!ter returned the hild to the Caban$ban$s alle$edl"
thru threats, intimidation, !raud and deeit.
)" letter dated 6une ?, 02?3 addressed to the Caban$ban$
spouses, #ith op" !urnished to =itor, Paita thru ounsel
demanded the surrender to her o! the ustod" o! )ett" or *rae.
+ailin$ to seure ustod", the petitioner ;led on 6une 05, 02?3 a
petition !or habeas orpus in the Court o! (nstane o! Ri,al, pra"in$
that the Court $rants her ustod" and reo$ni,es her parental
authorit" over the $irl.
On 6une 01, 02?3, a #rit #as issued ommandin$ the
provinial sheri& o! Ri,al or an" o! his deput" to produe the bod" o!
)ett" Chua-S" or *rae Caban$ban$ be!ore the ourt a Auo on 6une
04, 02?3, at B%38 a.m. Ho#ever, !or reasons not stated in the
reord, the hild #as not produed be!ore the lo#er ourt ordered.
C!ter due trial, the lo#er ourt on .a" 70, 02?5 promul$ated
its deision in !avor o! the Caban$ban$ spouses statin$ that it #ill
be !or the #el!are o! the hild )ett" Chua-S" or *rae Caban$ban$
to be under their ustod".
Dpset b" the deision o! the Cppellate Court, the Petitioner
#ent into this Honorable Court to see- reonsideration o! her bein$
the la#!ul person to aAuire the ustod" o! the hild, #hih the
Respondents stron$l" disa$reed. Hene this ase.
(. @hether or not the CC erred in preventin$
the Petitioner to ta-e the ustod" o! her
biolo$ial hild #ho is less than seven 94:
"ears old in !avor o! the Respondent.
@e respet!ull" adopt our ar$uments Petitioner Paita Chua is
not entitled to the Custod" o! )ett" Chua-S" alias E*rae
02B4 Constitution provides the Auintessene o! the !amil" as
an inviolable soial institution%
ECrt. G=. The State shall de!end% xxx The ri$ht o! hildren to
assistane, inludin$ proper are and nutrition, and speial
protetion !rom all !orms o! ne$let, abuse, ruelt", exploitation
and other onditions pre'udiial to their development.F
On the ase at hand, Paita and spouses Caban$ban$, havin$
been in an endless battle o! ustod", abuses the ver" essene o!
protetion !or )ett" Chua-S", #hih the supreme la# serve to
(n the ase o! Pere, v. CC 9*R no. 00BB48:,the $eneral rule
that a hild under seven "ears o! a$e shall not be separated !rom
his mother ;nds its raison d'être in the basi need o! a hild !or his
motherHs lovin$ are. Onl" the most ompellin$ o! reasons shall
'usti!" the ourtHs a#ardin$ the ustod" o! suh a hild to someone
other than his mother, suh as her un;tness to exerise sole
parental authorit". (n the past the !ollo#in$ $rounds have been
onsidered ample 'usti;ation to deprive a mother o! ustod" and
parental authorit"% ne$let, a"a!o#$%, &$#'(o)#$% a!
*##o+a(*%), habitual drun-enness, dru$ addition, maltreatment o!
the hild, insanit" and bein$ si- #ith a ommuniable disease.
Crt. 337 o! Civil Code provides that the ourts ma" deprive
the parents o! their authorit" or suspend the exerise o! the same i!
the" should treat their hildren #ith exessive harshness or should
$ive them orruptin$ orders, ounsels, or examples, or should ma-e
them be$ or a"a!o them.
@e are ;rm in assertin$ that )ett" is abandoned b" her
biolo$ial mother Paita. Cordin$ to Republi Ct 2173%
A"a!o$! C,*(! re!ers to a hild #ho has no proper parental are
or $uardianship, or #hose parent9s: have deserted himIher !or a
period o! at least three 93: ontinuous months, #hih inludes a
Cordin$ to PD ?83 The Child Cnd @el!are Code%
ECrt. 70. Dependent, Abandoned or Ne$leted Child. - The
dependent, abandoned or ne$leted hild shall be under the
parental authorit" o! a suitable or aredited person or institution
that is arin$ !or him as provided !or under the !our preedin$
artiles JF 9Emphasis Supplied:
C!orementioned in the !ats, she surrendered the ustod" o!
the hild to the Caban$ban$>s #ithout brin$in$ an ation a$ainst
the alle$ed adopters o! her hild, until a!ter span o! several "ears.
Her mere ination in those "ears is enou$h to onstrue the !at that
she abandoned the hild in the hands o! the Respondents.
Cnother $round in the ineli$ibilit" o! Paita Chua !or the
ustod" is the unemplo"ment and immoralit".
The Petitioner #ill
not den" the !at that she used to support hersel! b" #or-in$ in
ni$htlubs as a hostess. She had sexual relationships #ith di&erent
men #ithout the bene;t o! marria$e, #hih the appellate ourt sa#
it as a 'usti;able $round in den"in$ her petition !or ustod". (t is true
that the Petitioner Paita brou$ht the hild in the li$ht o! this #orld.
)ut the evidene o! Edeep sorro#F #as not reKeted in the
irumstanes in #hih she didn>t exhibits the love, a&etion, and
onern !or her hild. ConseAuentl", she beame a mere bab"
ma-er to en'o" support that the !ather o! her hild, or the
Respondents, #ill provide.
To reiterate, the appellate ourt ited Crt 3?3 o! the Civil
Code, oupled #ith the observations made b" the Code Commission
#ith respet to the said le$al provision, undersores its mandator"
harater. (t prohibits in no unertain terms the separation o! a
mother and her hild belo# seven "ears, unless such separation is
grounded upon compelling reasons as determined by a court.
9Emphasis supplied:
Presidential Deree No. ?83 provides the !ollo#in$%
Chapter 5
Crt. 12. Crimes. - Criminal liabilit" shall attah to an" parent #ho%
90: Coneals or abandons the hild #ith intent to ma-e suh hild
lose his ivil status.
97: Cbandons the hild under suh irumstanes as to deprive
him o! the love, are and protetion he needs.
93: Sells or abandons the hild to another person !or valuable
Crt. 010. Termination o! Ri$hts o! Parents. - @hen a hild shall have been
ommitted to the Department o! Soial @el!are or an" dul"
liensed hild plaement a$en" or individual pursuant to an
order o! the ourt, his parents or $uardian shall therea!ter
Pere, v. CC, Supra
exerise no authorit" over him exept upon suh onditions as
the ourt ma" impose.
(t has lon$ been settled that in ustod" ases, the -o+$#o.%
/o.*!$+a%*o *. a(0a). %,$ 0$(-a+$ a! "$.% *%$+$.% o- %,$
/,*(!. (n !at, no less than an international instrument, the
Convention on the Ri$hts o! the Child provides% "In all actions
concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social
welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or
legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary
consideration" Courts invariabl" loo- into all relevant !ators
presented b" the ontendin$ parents, suh as their material
resoures, soial and moral situations.
+urther, the petitioner is tr"in$ to dissuade this Honorable
Court under the $uise o! the laim o! ustod" o! the hild to enrih
hersel! #ith the #ealth o! the Respondents as ma" be proven b" the
reords in the pre-trial onduted b" the ourt a Auo, petitioner
expressed her #illin$ness that the hild remain #ith the
Caban$ban$s provided the latter #ould, in exhan$e , $ive her a
'eep and some mone".
.undane as it is, aordin$ to the !ats, the Petitioner ame
in, #ithout lean hands, ;ve 91: "ears a!ter she surrendered the
ustod" o! her hild, not to love, nourish and !ul;ll her obli$ations as
the hild>s mother, but to use the hild as a Elotter" ti-etF to
ensure support not onl" !rom the Caban$ban$s but to her previous
partner S" Sia <a".
!igilantibus non dormientibus ae"uitas subvenit
(n all
aspets, let it be -no#n that inherent and statutor" ri$hts
appurtenant to the #ell-bein$ o! a hild is under onsideration and
that it is deemed not merel" on the #ei$hts o! the !ats presented
but on the most sared #el!are o! hildren #ho are deserves
maternal love and are not onl" !rom either the natural or his or her
!oster !amil" but !rom the State. Thus, he #ho omes into eAuit"
must ome #ith lean hands.
1&!2$#$% D$$#$! - Ha"$a. Co+'&.
(n the .atter o! the Petition !or )ett" Chua !or the (ssuane o!
a @rit o! Habeas Corpus, Respondents herein onur ompletel"
#ith the resolution o! the Court o! Cppeals promul$ated on .a" 70,
02?5, the dispositive portion o! #hih reads as !ollo#s%
$I% !IE& '( )*E ('+E,'I%,, the -ourt has come to the
conclusion that it will be for the welfare of the child .etty -hua Sy
also known as ,race -abangbang to be under the custody of
+espondents /r and /rs .artolome -abangbang 0etition
dismissed %o pronouncement as to costs1
+atual ;ndin$s in the lo#er ourts are ;nal and onlusive.
@ell-established is the priniple that !atual ;ndin$s o! the trial
ourt and Court o! Cppeals are bindin$ and onlusive on the
Pere, v. CC, Supra
EAuit" aids the vi$ilant, not those #ho slumber on their ri$hts.
Honorable Supreme Court and $enerall" not revie#able on appeal
as provided b" Crtile =(((, Setion 1, para$raph 9e: #hih reads as
E)he Supreme -ourt shall have the following powers2 345 +eview,
revise, reverse, modify, or a6rm on appeal or certiorari, as the law
or the +ules of -ourt may provide, 7nal 8udgments and orders of
lower courts in2 3e5 All cases in which only an error or "uestion of
law is involved
The Court has onsistentl" held that said #rit #ill not lie to
orret errors o! !at or la#.
(t #ill not be permitted to per!orm the
!untions o! a #rit o! error !or the purpose o! revie#in$ mere errors
in the proeedin$s o! the ourt.

Petitioner, havin$ ;led be!ore this Court, is deemed to have
#aived the ri$ht to dispute an" ;ndin$ o! !at made b" the trial
The $rant o! the #rit o! habeas corpus #as held to be
dependent on three reAuisites% 90: that the Petitioner has the ri$ht
to the ustod" o! the minor, 97: that the ri$ht!ul ustod" o! the
minor is bein$ #ithheld !rom the Petitioner b" the Respondent, and
93: that it is to the best interest o! the minor onerned to be in the
ustod" o! the Petitioner and not the Respondent.
The Petitioner no lon$er possesses the ri$ht to the ustod" o!
the minor. Petitioner>s prolon$ed absenes o! more than 00 "ears
are also $rounds !or her parental authorit" to be revo-ed as
provided b" Crtile 70?. Setion 93: o! the +amil" Code o! the
Philippines #hih reads as !ollo#s%
$In default of parents or a 8udicially appointed guardian, the
following person shall e9ercise substitute parental authority
over the child in the order indicated2 3:5 )he child's actual
custodian, over twenty;one years of age, unless un7t or
The reord in the lo#er ourt also reveals a host o!
irumstanes resultin$ !rom the Petitioner>s o#n ination and
ulpable ne$li$ene to exerise her parental authorit", #hih, in
their totalit", si$ni;es the PetitionerHs intention to ompletel" !ore$o
all parental responsibilities and !orever relinAuish all parental laim
in respet to the hild as provided b" Crtile 730 o! the +amil" Code
#hih reads as !ollo#s%
$)he court in an action 7led for the purpose in a related case may also
suspend parental authority if the parent or the person e9ercising the
3<5 )reats the child with e9cessive harshness or cruelty=
345 ,ives the child corrupting orders, counsel or e9ample=
3:5 -ompels the child to beg= or
D.S. v 6a"me, 75 Phil 28
*alve, vs. Court o! Cppeals 734 SCRC ?B1
Savellano vs. Dia,, et al.. <-04255, 6ul" 30, 02?3L Cabrera vs. Tiano, <-04722, 6ul"
30, 02?3.
Sombon$ v. Court o! Cppeals 717 SCRC ??7, ?45 9022?:
3#5 Sub8ects the child or allows him to be sub8ected to acts of
)he grounds enumerated above are deemed to include cases which
have resulted from culpable negligence of the parent or the person
e9ercising parental authority
If the degree of seriousness so warrants, or the welfare of the child so
demands, the court shall deprive the guilty party of parental authority
or adopt such other measures as may be proper under the
@HERE+ORE, premises onsidered it is most respet!ull"
pra"ed that 'ud$ment be rendered a$ainst the Petitioner #ho has
not proven that she is entitled to the ri$ht!ul ustod" o! )ett" Chua
S" or *rae Caban$ban$.
(n an old stor", #hen t#o opposin$ mothers are !aed in a
hoie bet#een dividin$ the bod" o! her hild in hal!, or
relinAuishin$ her ri$ht over the #el!are and best interest o! the
hild, the real mother hose the latter over the !ormer, !or the
natural state o! motherhood is selKess, #hih #e never see, not
even one, on the e"es o! the Petitioner.
Mue,on Cit", Philippines. 81 September 7805.
N$0 E+a U*3$+.*%) 4 1D P+o2+a#
I 1D B 4 G+o&' I
Diliman, Mue,on Cit"
.ar- Cnthon" C. Torres Elsa .. Canete
.arissa ). +raniso Romando .. .aros
De-" 6o" Dula" Ner" ). Cspili
6essa O. .ain Samm" )o" ). *u,man
Sarah =. .anuel R"an Sabun$an
6oana C. Da"ao Diana 6ean *ervaio
Robert 6R., =. )ula"un$a# .ar 6eannele Roldan
6ohnson =illaruel Romulo =. Conha
6enni!er S. Cari/o-Rebusta Emiren <"-a *. dela Cru,
*inoo C. Domin$o Rihard C. Dela Pe/a
Co') F&+*.,$!5