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- versus -

SP.PROC.No. ______________

PETITIONER, by counsel respectfully alleges that:

Petitioner GEOVANNI M. MERCADO (hereafter referred to as

Petitioner for brevity) is of legal age, Filipino, married and with residential
address at Luna St., Lapaz, Iloilo City.

Respondent ANDREA C. MERCADO (hereafter referred to as

Respondent for brevity) is likewise Filipino, of legal age, married and
with residential address at Brgy. San Isidro, Jaro Iloilo City , where she may
be served with summons and processes from the Honorable Court.

Petitioner and Respondent are spouses, having been married under Catholic
rites on December 23, 2005 at the St. Clements Church, Lapaz, Iloilo City.
A copy of the parties Certificate of Marriage is hereto attached as
Annex A and made an integral part hereof.

Petitioner and Respondent begot one child, namely Rizalee G. Mercado, 5

years old, having been born on April 1, 2009.
Copies of the childrens Certificate of Live Birth are hereto attached
as Annex B and made integral parts hereof.
Since the time of their marriage, the Respondent has always
been a supportive father to their daughter, providing his family with a
comfortable life by working as the Chief Engineer of Atlantic Construction
Company in Iloilo City. Although charged with the task of being the

provider in the family, the Respondent still sees to it that he spends the
necessary quality time with their children, There was even a time that the
Petitioner braved heavy storm and flood just to come home in time to have
dinner with the children and spend quality time with them.
The Respondent on the other hand, struggled to adjust to
married life. She unforgivingly maintains a carefree disposition and
prioritizes her friends and social life over her family. In the process,
Respondent has failed to take good care of their children. Worse,
Respondent has neglected the childrens health and well-being and even
exposed the children to life-threatening situations.
The Respondent often leaves the children alone with little and
at times without adult supervision.
Sometime in 2013, the Respondent went to Hongkong for
a one-week vacation leaving her daughter to the care to her mother,
Mrs. Leticia C. Golingay. On September 3, 2013, while the
respondent was on vacation, Rizalee was hit by a passenger car in fron
of her grandmothers house. Petitoner then, received a call from her
mother, Mrs. Maricar Mercado, that his daughter was confined at
Iloilo Mission Hospital, suffering from serious physical injuries.
Immediately the petioner filed a leave of absence and attended to his
On another occasion, when the Petitioner visited his
daughter at the Respondents house, Rizalee was swimming alone in
the swimming pool without somebody to look after her.
The Respondent does not care if the child sleep or eat on time
or if they are getting enough sleep or proper nutrition. She spends so much
time chatting in the internet or watching television or hanging out with her
friends that she neglects to perform her obligations to her daugter.
Respondent would always keep to her room, in front of
the computer, chatting with her friends. This has been Respondents
routine, so much so, that she often neglects feeding their children on
time. The children would always eat past meal times because she is
too busy to be bothered.
Respondent never picks her daughter at school and leaves
everything on the maid to attend latters school affairs and meetings.
The Respondent also refuses to give the children the proper
medical attention necessary to ensure their proper development. She
rationalizes that any sickness or injury that the children may have will heal

The Respondent was so much a believer of natural
methods of healing that she refuses to apply even common medication
when the children would get sick, not even when the child is burning
with fever. In fact the Respondent refused to get the children vaccine
for immunization and it was only when the Petitioner and the
Respondent had a huge fight over it that the Respondent was forced to
have the children vaccinated.
10. Finally, the Respondents lack of love and care for her children
is manifested by her failure to take time out to teach and educate her
children during their cognitive years. She would lock herself inside the
office room in the third floor so that the children could not bother her.
Respondent would delegate the task of teaching the chil
basic lessons and skills to the maids even though the maids
themselves lacked training.
11. What is apparent is that, since the marriage, the Respondent
refuses to change her lifestyle for the children, or for family life for that
matter. She expects the children to adjust to her lifestyle even if it means
sleep deprivation, undernourishment and poor mental and psychological
growth. The environment that the Respondent has created for her children is
overly inimical to their health and well-being that the best interests of both
children are best served if they stay with the Petitioner, with temporary
visitational rights from the Respondent.
12. The Petitioner and the Respondent admittedly married in haste.
But while the Petitioner has taught himself to accept the situation and adjust
to married life and to being a family man, the Respondent continued to
maintain a single and carefreelife, prioritizing mostly her personal and
selfish interests, instead those of her child. It is as if, she refuses to recognize
and perform her responsibilities as a mother.
13. Due to Respondents extreme obsession for chatting over the
internet, Petitioner suspected that Respondent was engaging in extra-marital
affairs. He would often get jealous and they often fight about it. While the
Petitioner is adamant that they should not fight in front of the children,
Respondent would most of the time start a fight for the children to see,
which, needless to say, causes emotional scars on the children.
14. Respondent, on many occasions, threatened to leave the house
because of their constant fights over Respondents extra-marital activities
and on how to raise their children properly. Then, on October 3, 2013, while
the Petitioner was at the cemetery, the Respondent decided to leave the
household for good, bringing the two children with her.

15. Since then, Respondent had forbidden Petitioner from seeing

their common children. January 30, 2014, the Petitioner, with his mother,
went to Respondents house in Pototan to see the children. In the brief
moment that the Petitioner saw his children, he noticed right away that their
youngest child had scratches on his face which had scarred already.
Petitioner surmised that this was caused by the harsh way that the
Respondent normally treats their children, especially so since the
Respondent has long nails and refuses to cut them.
16. It was then clear that the Respondent wishes to deprive the
Petitioner of his right to the care and custody over the children. In fact, had
he not stood his ground and insisted on seeing his children that day, the
Respondent would not allow him see his children. Respondent even called
security guards to make sure that the Petitioner does not take the children
away. The Respondent claims that since she is the mother of the children,
the latter should stay only with her.
17. Article 211 of the Family Code of the Philippines provides that,
the father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over
the persons of their common children. Parents right to custody over their
children is likewise enshrined in law. Article 220 of the Family Code
provides that parents and individuals exercising parental authority over their
unemancipated children are entitled, among other rights, to keep them in
their company. In legal contemplation, the true nature of the parent-child
relationship encompasses much more than the implication of ascendancy of
one and obedience by the other. As explained by the Supreme Court in the
case of Santos, Sr. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 122906, February 7, 2002
to wit:
The right of custody accorded to parents springs from the
exercise of parental authority. Parental authority or patria
potestas in Roman Law is the juridical institution whereby
parents rightfully assume control and protection of their
unemancipated children to the extent required by the latters
needs. It is a mass of rights and obligations which the law
grants to parents for the purpose of the childrens physical
preservation and development, as well as the cultivation of
their intellect and the education of their heart and senses.
As regards parental authority, there is no power, but a
task; no complex of rights, but a sum of duties; no
sovereignty but a sacred trust for the welfare of the minor.
(Emphasis supplied)
18. Thus, parental authority and responsibility are inalienable
and may not be transferred or renounced except in cases authorized by
law. The right attached to parental authority, being purely personal, the law

allows a waiver of parental authority only in cases of adoption, guardianship

and surrender to a childrens home or an orphan institution.
19. Evidently, Petitioner has been unjustly and unlawfully deprived
by Respondent of his vested right of parental authority over histwo children
and has been ruthlessly deprived of his childrens company.
20. Thus, in view of the above-mentioned circumstances, Petitioner
should immediately be allowed to have the company of their common
children and to have their custody to make up for the time he had been
deprived of their company. The Honorable Court should likewise order that
the parties equally share parental authority and custody over their minor
21. The Respondent has the means and the capacity to bring the
children out of the country to the extreme prejudice of, and injustice, to
herein Petitioner. It is thus prayed that the Honorable Court immediately
issue a Hold Departure Order to prevent either of the parties from bringing
the children out of the country without the consent of the other parent and
the Honorable Court.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, Petitioner respectfully
prays that the Honorable Court:

Issue an Order to the Respondent to bring the minor children Rizalee

Mercado to this Honorable Court at the hour and date to be set by this
Honorable Court and, that immediately thereafter, order that the custody of
the minor be turned over to herein Petitioner to allow him to make up for the
lost time with his child.

Issue an Order awarding custody of their children to the Petitioner, with

regular visitational rights to the Respondent, or directing the Respondent to
allow Petitioner equal parental authority over their minor children.

Issue a Hold Departure Order addressed to the Bureau of Immigration and

Deportation, directing it not to allow the departure of Rizalle Mercado from
the Philippines without the permission of the Petitioner and this Honorable
Other reliefs, just and equitable under the premises, are likewise
prayed for.
Iloilo City, March 15, 2015 .


Counsel for Petitioner
#03 Lopez, Jaena St., Jaro, Iloilo City
Roll of Attorney No. 44661
PTR No. 22334, Iloilo City, January 17, 2014
IBP No. 44556, Iloilo City, January 10, 2014
MCLE Compliance No. VI-010489

Republic of the Philippines

Iloilo City
) S.S.


I, GEOVANNI M. MERCADO, of legal age, after having been duly sworn
in accordance with law, depose and state that:

1. I am the petitioner in the above-captioned case;

2. I caused the preparation of the foregoing petition;
3. I have read the contents thereof and the facts stated therein are true and
correct of my personal knowledge and/or on the basis of copies of
documents and records in my possession;
4. I have not commenced any other action or proceeding involving the same
issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or
5. To the best of my knowledge and belief, no such action or proceeding is
pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or

6. If I should thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has been

filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any
other tribunal or agency, I undertake to report that fact within five (5) days
therefrom to this Honorable Court.


SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 15th day of March

2015 at Iloilo City, Philippines, affiant exhibiting to me his TIN: 78464638
issued in Iloilo City.


and place first above written.


Notary Public for and in the
City and Province of Iloilo
Commission Serial. No. 1989
Valid until December 31, 2015
#03 Lopez, Jaena St., Jaro, Iloilo City
Roll of Attorney No. 44661
PTR No. 22334, Iloilo City, January 17, 2014
IBP No. 44556, Iloilo City, January 10, 2014
MCLE Compliance No. VI-010489

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Series of 2015.