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166 Sayson v.

G.R. Nos. 89224-25 January 23, 1992
TOPIC: Order of Intestate Succession

NOTES: Ang related lang sa topic ay ang Obiter ni Cruz na
naka BOLD ratio. The rest old doctrine na:

The relationship only exist between the adopted and

the Adopting parent
Civil Status cannot be attacked collaterally
Adopted cannot represent their parents in succession

1. The family tree:

2. In this case Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, Remedios and the Mother of Isabel filed for probate of the Esatate of Teodoro
and Isabel. Edmundo, Delia and Doribel , oppose.
3. Edmundo, Delia and Doribel filed a probate for the Estate of Elenor and Rafaela.
4. The position of Mauricio et al. Edmundo and Delia cannot inherit from Teodoro and Isabel because they were not legally adopted. When Doribel
was born, 10 days before the court decree the adoption, Teodoro and Isabel became disqualified to adopt Edmundo
and Delia.
Doribel is not legitimate because she is the daughter of one Edita Abila, who manifested in a petition for
guardianship of the child that she was her natural mother.

ISSUE(S): Who can inherit from who

HELD: From, Elenor and Rafaela, ONLY DORIBEL
From Teodoro, all the siblings
Mauricio's testimony that he was present when Doribel was born to Edita Abila was understandbly suspect, coming as it
did from an interested party. The affidavit of Abila denying her earlier statement in the petition for the guardianship of

Doribel is of course hearsay, let alone the fact that it was never offered in evidence in the lower courts. Even without it,
however, the birth certificate must be upheld in line with Legaspi v. Court of Appeals, where we ruled that "the evidentiary
nature of public documents must be sustained in the absence of strong, complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or
Another reason why the petitioners' challenge must fail is the impropriety of the present proceedings for that purpose.
Doribel's legitimacy cannot be questioned in a complaint for partition and accounting but in a direct action seasonably filed
by the proper party.
The presumption of legitimacy in the Civil Code . . . does not have this purely evidential character. It serves
a more fundamental purpose. It actually fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock, and that civil
status cannot be attacked collaterally. The legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a direct action
brought for that purpose, by the proper parties, and within the period limited by law.
The legitimacy of the child cannot be contested by way of defense or as a collateral issue in another action for a different
In consequence of the above observations, we hold that Doribel, as the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel Sayson,
and Delia and Edmundo, as their adopted children, are the exclusive heirs to the intestate estate of the deceased couple,
conformably to the following Article 979 of the Civil Code:
Art. 979. Legitimate children and their descendants succeed the parents and other ascendants, without
distinction as to sex or age, and even if they should come from different marriages.
An adopted child succeeds to the property of the adopting parents in the same manner as a legitimate
The philosophy underlying this article is that a person's love descends first to his children and grandchildren
before it ascends to his parents and thereafter spreads among his collateral relatives. It is also supposed that one
of his purposes in acquiring properties is to leave them eventually to his children as a token of his love for them
and as a provision for their continued care even after he is gone from this earth.