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G.R. No. 138493
June 15, 2000

TeofistaBabiera claims that she was born to the spouses

Eugenio and HermogenaBabiera then 65 and 54 years old
respectively, at the time of her birth. PresentacionBabiera-Catotal,
daughter of the late spouses Eugenio and Hermogena counters
this claim, saying that she saw with her own eyes that Teofista
was actually born to their housemaid named Flora Guinto.
Presentacion testified that Teofista was born through the help of
a hilot and that her mother Flora forged the Teofistas birth
certificate, making it appear that HermogenaBabiera was the
mother by forging Hermogenas signature. Presentacion further
claims that Teofistas real surname is Guinto, her mother being
single; the father, a carpenter, refused to sign the birth certificate.
Teofista on her defense, claims that Presentacion has no legal
capacity to file the instant petition pursuant to Article 171 of the
Family Code which states that only the father could impugn the
child's legitimacy, and that the same was not subject to a collateral

Whether or not such petition may prosper considering

Teofistas claim that Presentacion has no legal capacity to file the
instant petition and can the presumption of regularity in the
issuance of her birth certificate be upheld.

Yes, the petition may prosper. The case at bar is not

covered by Article 171 for the prayer therein is not to declare that
Teofista is an illegitimate child of Hermogena, but to establish
that the former is not the latter's child at all. The present action
does not impugn Teofistas filiation to Spouses Eugenio and
HermogenaBabiera, because there is no blood relation to impugn
in the first place. Presentacion only aims to assail and cancel
Teofistas birth certificate for the void and simulated birth
certificate of the latter would affect the formers hereditary rights.
Also, Teofistas birth certificate cannot be taken into
consideration for there were already irregularities regarding the
birth certificate itself. It was not signed by the local civil
registrar.More importantly, the Court of Appeals observed that
the mothers signature therein was different from her signatures
in other documents presented during the trial. The most
significant piece of evidence, however, is the deposition of
HermogenaBabiera which states that she did not give birth to
Teofista, and that the latter was not hers nor her husband


G.R. No. L-49162
July 28, 1987

In 1967, Arlene Salgado was introduced to PericoJao.

After such introduction, Jao courted Arlene. Not long thereafter,
they had sexual intercourse and subsequently, they lived together.
1968, Arlene became pregnant. Jao paid for all the expenses
related to Arlenes pregnancy but when the child, Janice was
born, Jao insisted that she could not be the father of such child.

When the case was filed with the RTC, the RTC ordered the NBI
for a group blood testing. The group blood testing result showed
that Janice could not have been the possible offspring of Jao and
Whether or not group blood testing could be conclusive
evidence to impugn the legitimacy of Janice.
Yes, group blood testing could be admitted as conclusive
evidence to impugn the legitimacy of Janice. For the past three
decades, the use of blood typing in cases of disputed parentage
has already become an important legal procedure. There is now
almost universal scientific agreement that blood grouping tests
are conclusive as to non-paternity, although inconclusive as to
paternity that is, the fact that the blood type of the child is a
possible product of the mother and alleged father does not
conclusively prove that the child is born by such parents; but, if
the blood type of the child is not the possible blood type when
the blood of the mother and that of the alleged father are cross
matched, then the child cannot possibly be that of the alleged
Medical science has shown that there are four types of
blood in man which can be transmitted through heredity.
Although the presence of the same type of blood in two persons
does not indicate that one was begotten by the other, yet the fact
that they are of different types will indicate the impossibility of
one being the child of the other. Thus, when the supposed father
and the alleged child are not in the same blood group, they
cannot be father and child by consanguinity.

GR. No. 174680
March 24, 2008

On January 15, 2001, respondent, Felicidad A. TayagGallor, filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration
over the estate of Ismael Tayag. The respondent alleged that she
is one of the illegitimate children of the late Ismael Tayag and
Ester Angeles.
On September 7, 2000, Ismael Tayag died intestate,
leaving behind two real properties both of which are in the
possession of petitioner, and a motor vehicle which the latter sold
on 10 October 2000 preparatory to the settlement of the
decedents estate.
Petitioner allegedly promised to give
respondent and her brothers P100, 000.00 each as their share in
the proceeds of the sale. However, petitioner only gave each of
them half the amount she promised.
In a Motion dated August 31, 2001, petitioner reiterated
her sole ownership of the properties and presented the transfer
certificates of title thereof in her name. She also averred that it is
necessary to allege that respondent was acknowledged and
recognized by Ismael Tayag as his illegitimate child. There being
no such allegation, the action becomes one to compel recognition
which cannot be brought after the death of the putative father.
To prevent further encroachment upon the courts time,
petitioner moved for a hearing on her affirmative defenses.
The motion was denied.


Whether or not respondents petition for the issuance of

letters of administration sufficiently states a cause of action
considering that respondent merely alleged therein that she is an
illegitimate child of the decedent, without stating that she had
been acknowledged or recognized as such by the latter.
The appellate court held that the mere allegation that
respondent is an illegitimate child suffices. Rule 79 of the Rules
of Court provides that a petition for the issuance of letters of
administration must be filed by an interested person. The Court,
applying the provisions of the Family Code which had then
already taken effect, ruled that since Graciano was claiming
illegitimate filiation under the second paragraph of Article 172 of
the Family Code, i.e., open and continuous possession of the
status of an illegitimate child, the action was already barred by the
death of the alleged father.
In contrast, respondent in this case had not been given
the opportunity to present evidence to show whether she had
been voluntarily recognized and acknowledged by her deceased
father because of petitioners opposition to her petition and
motion for hearing on affirmative defenses. There is, as yet, no
way to determine if her petition is actually one to compel
recognition which had already been foreclosed by the death of
her father, or whether indeed she has a material and direct
interest to maintain the suit by reason of the decedents voluntary
acknowledgment or recognition of her illegitimate filiation.

G.R. No. 143256

August 28, 2001


The late Spouses Dr. Jose K. Fernandez, and Generosa

A. de Venecia being childless by the death of their son, purchased
from a certain Miliang for P20.00 a one month baby boy. The
boy being referred to was later on identified as Rodolfo
Fernandez, the herein appellant. Appellant was taken care of by
the couple and was sent to school and became a dental
technician. He lived with the couple until they became old and
disabled. On August 31, 1989, after the death of Dr. Jose,
appellant and Generosa de Venecia executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition dividing and allocating to themselves the estate
left by the deceased. Same day, Generosa sold her share to
Rodolfos son, Eddie Fernandez. After learning the transaction,
Romeo, Potenciano, Francisco, Julita, William, Mary, Alejandro,
Gerardo, Rodolfo and Gregorio, all surnamed Fernandez, being
nephews and nieces of the deceased Jose K. Fernandez, their
father Genaro being a brother of Jose, filed on September 21,
1994, an action to declare the Extra-Judicial Partition of Estate
and Deed of Sale void ab initio. They claimed that Rodolfo is not
a legitimate nor a legally adopted child of spouses Dr. Jose
Fernandez and Generosa de Venecia Fernandez, hence Rodolfo
could not inherit from the spouses.

Whether or not Rodolfo is a legitimate or a legally

adopted child of Jose Fernandez and Generosa de Venecia
No, Rodolfo is neither a legitimate nor a legally adopted
child of Jose Fernandez and Generosa de Venecia Fernandez.

Rodolfo failed to come up with evidences to prove his filiation.

The only public document he could show was the Application for
Recognition of Back Pay Rights under Act No. 897. 897. Such is
a public document but nevertheless, it was not executed to admit
the filiation of Jose K. Fernandez with him. Rodolfo also claims
that he enjoyed and possessed the status of being a legitimate
child of the spouses openly and continuously until they died.
Open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate
child is meant the enjoyment by the child of the position and
privileges usually attached to the status of a legitimate child such
as bearing the paternal surname, treatment by the parents and
family of the child as legitimate, constant attendance to the child's
support and education, and giving the child the reputation of
being a child of his parents. However, it must be noted that
possession of status of a child does not in itself constitute an
acknowledgment; it is only a ground for a child to compel
recognition by his assumed parent. His baptismal certificate,
although public documents, is evidence only to prove the
administration of the sacraments on the dates therein specified,
but not the veracity of the statements or declarations made
therein with respect to his kinsfolk. It may be argued that a
baptismal certificate is one of the other means allowed by the
Rules of Court and special laws of proving filiation but in this
case, the authenticity of the baptismal certificate was doubtful
when Fr. Raymundo Q. de Guzman of St. John the Evangelist
Parish of Lingayen-Dagupan, Dagupan City issued a certification
on October 16, 1995 attesting that the records of baptism on
June 7, 1930 to August 8, 1936 were all damaged. The pictures he
presented do not also constitute proof of filiation.
G.R. No. 124814
October 21, 2004

This controversy stemmed from a petition for recognition and
support filed by Florencia Regodos in behalf of her minor son,
private respondent Camelo Regodos.
During the trial, Florencia testified that she was the mother of
private respondent who was born on September 9, 1982 and that
she was the one supporting the child. She recounted that after her
husband left her in the early part of 1981, she went to Escalante,
Negros Occidental to look for work and was eventually hired as
petitioners household help. It was while working there as a maid
that, petitioner brought her to Bacolod City where they checked
in at the Visayan Motel and had sexual intercourse. Petitioner
promised to support her if she got pregnant.
Florencia claimed she discovered she was carrying petitioners
child 27 days after their sexual encounter. The sexual intercourse
was repeated in March 1982 in San Carlos City. Later, on
suspicion that Florencia was pregnant, petitioners wife sent her
home. But petitioner instead brought her to Singcang, Bacolod
City where he rented a house for her. On September 9, 1982,
assisted by a hilot in her aunts house in Tiglawigan, Cadiz City,
she gave birth to her child, private respondent Camelo Regodos.
Petitioner Camelo Cabatanias version was different. He testified
that he was a sugar planter and a businessman. Sometime in
December, 1981, he hired Florencia as a servant at home. During
the course of her employment, she would often go home to her
husband in the afternoon and return to work the following

morning. This displeased petitioners wife, hence she was told to

look for another job.
In the meantime, Florencia asked permission from petitioner to
go home and spend New Years Eve in Cadiz City. Petitioner met
her on board the Ceres bus bound for San Carlos City and invited
her to dinner. While they were eating, she confided that she was
hard up and petitioner offered to lend her save money. Later,
they spent the night in San Carlos City and had sexual
intercourse. While doing it, he felt something jerking and when
he asked her about it, she told him she was pregnant with the
child of her husband. They went home the following day.
In March 1982, Florencia, then already working in another
household, went to petitioners house hoping to be reemployed
as a servant there. Since petitioners wife was in need of one, she
was re-hired. However petitioners wife noticed that her stomach
was bulging and inquired about the father of the unborn child.
She told petitioners wife that the baby was by her husband.
Because of her condition, she was again told to go home and they
did not see each other anymore.
Petitioner was therefore surprised when summons was served on
him by Florencias counsel. She was demanding support for
private respondent Camelo Regodos. Petitioner refused, denying
the alleged paternity. He insisted she was already pregnant when
they had sex. He denied going to Bacolod City with her and
checking in at the Visayan Motel. He vehemently denied having
sex with her on January 2, 1982 and renting a house for her in
Singcang, Bacolod City.

TC: gave more probative weight to the testimony of Florencia

despite its discovery that she misrepresented herself as a widow
when, in reality, her husband was alive. Deciding in favor of
private respondent, the trial court declared:

The child was presented before the Court, and if the Court is to
decide this case, based on the personal appearance of the child
then there can never be a doubt that the plaintiff-minor is the
child of the defendant with plaintiff-minors mother, Florencia

Whether or not respondent may compulsorily be

recognized by petitioner.
No. Respondent failed to show conclusive evidence as to
establish his filiation with petitioner. Aside from Florencias selfserving testimony that petitioner rented a house for her, private
respondent failed to present sufficient proof of voluntary
recognition. A certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the
putative father is not competent evidence of paternity when there
is no showing that the putative father had a hand in the
preparation of said certificate. The local civil registrar has no
authority to record the paternity of an illegitimate child on the
information of a third person.
More importantly, the fact that Florencias husband is
living and there is a valid subsisting marriage between them gives
rise to the presumption that a child born within that marriage is

legitimate even though Florencia may have declared against its

legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. Only the
husband or in exceptional cases, his heirs may impugned the
presumed legitimacy of the child.
With regards the personal appearance of the child, the
Supreme Court provided that in this age of genetic profiling and
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis, the extremely subjective
test of physical resemblance or similarity of features will not
suffice as evidence to prove paternity and filiation before the
courts of law.
Eleno and Rafaela Sayson begot five children, namely, Mauricio,
Rosario, Basilisa, Remedios and Teodoro. Eleno died on November
10, 1952, and Rafaela on May 15, 1976. Teodoro, who had married
Isabel Bautista, died on March 23, 1972. His wife died nine years
later, on March 26,1981. Their properties were left in the
possession of Delia, Edmundo, and Doribel, all surnamed Sayson,
who claim to be their children.
On April 25, 1983, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, and Remedios,
together with Juana C. Bautista, Isabel's mother, filed a complaint
for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and
Isabel Sayson. It was filed in the RTC of Albay. The action was
resisted by Delia, Edmundo and Doribel Sayson, who alleged
successional rights to the disputed estate as the decedent's lawful

On July 11, 1983, Delia, Edmundo and Doribel filed their own
complaint, this time for the accounting and partition of the intestate
estate of Eleno and Rafaela Sayson, against the couple's four
surviving children. And filed in the RTC of Albay. The complainants
asserted the defense they raised , that Delia and Edmundo were the
adopted children and Doribel was the legitimate daughter of
Teodoro and Isabel. As such, they were entitled to inherit Teodoro's
share in his parents' estate by right of representation.
Both cases were decided in favor of the herein private respondents
on the basis of practically the same evidence.
The Judge declared in his decision dated May 26, 1986, that Delia
and Edmundo were the legally adopted children of Teodoro and
Isabel Sayson by virtue of the decree of adoption. Doribel was their
legitimate daughter as evidenced by her birth certificate.
Consequently, the three children were entitled to inherit from Eleno
and Rafaela by right of representation. In his decision dated
September 30, 1986, Judge Jose S. Saez dismissed Civil Case,
holding that the defendants, being the legitimate heirs of Teodoro
and Isabel as established by the aforementioned evidence, excluded
the plaintiffs from sharing in their estate.
Both cases were appealed to the Court of Appeals, where they were
consolidated and affirmed. In Civil Case, the appealed decision is
modified in that Delia and Edmundo Sayson are disqualified from
inheriting from the estate of the deceased spouses Eleno and
Rafaela Sayson, but is affirmed in all other respects.
Whether or not the birth certificate is a formidable evidence ?

On the question of Doribel's legitimacy, we hold that the findings of
the trial courts as affirmed by the respondent court must be
sustained. Doribel's birth certificate is a formidable piece of
evidence. It is one of the prescribed means of recognition under
Article 265 of the Civil Code and Article 172 of the Family Code. It is
true, as the petitioners stress, that the birth certificate offers only
prima facie evidence of filiation and may be refuted by contrary
evidence. However, such evidence is lacking in the case at bar.
Mauricio's testimony that he was present when Doribel was born to
Edita Abila was understandably 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 x x x 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

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 purpose.


et al.
G.R. No. 138961
March 7, 2002
Corazon Garcia alleges that she was cohabiting with
William Liyao from 1965 up to Williams death in December,
1975 even though Corazon is still legally married but living
separately to a Ramon Yulo. William Liyao himself was legally
married to Juanita Tanhoti-Liyao at the time of his cohabitation
with Corazon. Corazon and deceased lived together with the
company of Corazons two children from her subsisting
marriage- Enrique and Bernadette, both surnamed Yulo. In 1974,
they begot a child, William Liyao, Jr. It was alleged that William
Liyao paid for all the expenses for the subsistence of William Jr.
and also that of Corazon and her two children from her
subsisting marriage during their cohabitation. William Jr. was said
to be in continuous possession and enjoyment of the status of the
child of said William Liyao, having been recognized and
acknowledged as such child by the decedent during his lifetime.
Upon the death of his alleged father, William Jr. prays that he be
recognized as an illegitimate child and an heir by the family of the
deceased from his subsisting marriage. The deceaseds legitimate
children on their part, alleges that the deceased could not have
fathered petitioner for their father and mother have never been


Whether or not petitioner may impugn his legitimacy with

that of his mothers subsisting marriage and establish his claim of
filiation with the late William Liyao.
Holding that Corazons marriage with Ramon Yulo is still
subsisting, it is presumed that petitioner is the legitimate child of
Ramon Yulo and not the illegitimate child of William Liyao.
Under the New Civil Code, a child born and conceived during a
valid marriage is presumed to be legitimate. This presumption is
grounded in a policy to protect innocent offspring from the
odium of illegitimacy. The presumption of legitimacy of the child,
however, is not conclusive and consequently, may be overthrown
by evidence to the contrary. Article 255 of the New Civil Code
provides: Children born after one hundred and eighty days
following the celebration of the marriage, and before three
hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the
spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate. No evidence other
than that of physical impossibility of the husband having access
to his wife within the first one hundred and twenty days of the
three hundred which preceded the birth of the child can be
admitted. Such physical impossibility may be caused by: (a) By the
impotence of the husband; (b) by the fact that husband and wife
were living separately in such a way that access was not possible;
(c) by the serious illness of the husband.
Petitioner cannot impugn his own legitimacy. Article 255
of the Civil Code provides that only the husband, or in proper
cases, his heirs under the conditions set forth under Article 262
of the Civil Code can impugn such legitimacy. And, in the case at
bar, the petition was initiated by petitioner himself through his
mother, Corazon Garcia, and not through Enrique and

Bernadette Yulo who are the undisputed children of Corazon and

Ramon Yulo. The child himself cannot choose his own filiation.
G.R. No. 142877
October 2, 2001

Danilo and Carolina de Jesus were married on 23 August

1964. It was within this marriage that the petitioners, Jinkie and
Jacqueline were born. In 1991 though, Juan Dizon acknowledged
petitioners as his own illegitimate children through a notarized
document. Thereafter, Juan died intestate and petitioners filed a
prayer that they be given their legitime and be recognized as
illegitimate children by the surviving spouse and legitimate
children of Juan Dizon.

Whether or not petitioners legitimacy as children of

Danilo may be impugned and they be recognized as illegitimate
children of Juan Dizon.
No. The petitioners were born under the subsisting
marriage of Danilo and Carolina. It is presumed that children
born in wedlock are legitimate. This presumption
becomes conclusive in the absence of proof that there is physical
impossibility of access between the spouses during the first 120
days of the 300 days which immediately precedes the birth of the
child due to (a) the physical incapacity of the husband to have
sexual intercourse with his wife; (b) the fact the husband and wife
are living separately in such a way that sexual intercourse is not
possible; or (c) serious illness of the husband, which absolutely

prevents sexual intercourse. And only the father, or in

exceptional instances the latter's heirs, can contest in an
appropriate action the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. Since
the petitioners failed to show records of the impossibility of their
parents access to each other during the first 120 days of the 300
days which preceded their birth, they cannot assail their
presumed legitimacy. Failing therefore to impugn their legitimacy,
petitioners cannot claim that they are the acknowledged
illegitimate children of the deceased, Juan Dizon.


et al.
G.R. No. 123450
August 31, 2005

Gerardo B. Concepcion and Ma. Theresa Almontewere

married on December 29, 1989. A year later, they begot Jose
Gerardo. On December 19, 1991, Gerardo filed a petition to
annul his marriage to Ma. Theresa on the ground of bigamy. This
was because it was found out that Ma. Theresa had already
married a Mario Gopiao nine years before their marriage. Such
marriage of Ma. Theresa to Mario was never annulled. The trial
court ruled that Gerardo and Ma. Theresas marriage was
bigamous and that her marriage to Mario is valid and subsisting.
It declared the child as being illegitimate. The Court of Appeals
affirmed the lower courts decision but on appeal, reversed its
ruling and held that Jose Gerardo was not the son of Ma. Theresa
by Gerardo but by Mario during her first marriage.

a) Whether or not the child born out of a bigamous

marriage is considered legitimate.
b) Whether or not Gerardo could assail Jose Gerardos
Yes, a child born out of a bigamous marriage is
considered legitimate. The legitimacy would come from the
validity of the first marriage and not on the bigamous marriage
for that bigamous marriage is void from the very beginning(ab
initio). Ma. Theresa was married to Mario Gopiao, and that she
had never entered into a lawful marriage with the Gerardo since
the so-called marriage with the latter was void ab initio. Ma.
Theresa was legitimately married to Mario Gopiao when the child
Jose Gerardo was born on December 8, 1990. Therefore, the
child Jose Gerardo under the law is the legitimate child of the
legal and subsisting marriage between Ma. Theresa and Mario
Gopiao; he cannot be deemed to be the illegitimate child of the
void and non-existent marriage between Ma. Theresa and
Gerardo.The status and filiation of a child cannot be
compromised. Article 164 of the Family Code is clear. A child
who is conceived or born during the marriage of his parents is
As a guaranty in favor of the child and to protect his
status of legitimacy, Article 167 of the Family Code provides that
the child shall be considered legitimate although the mother may
have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced
as an adulteress.
No, Gerardo is not in a position to assail Jose Gerardos
legitimacy. He has no standing in law to dispute the status of Jose
Gerardo. Only Ma. Theresas husband Mario or, in a proper
case, his heirs, who can contest the legitimacy of the child Jose

Gerardo born to his wife.Impugning the legitimacy of a child is a

strictly personal right of the husband or, in exceptional cases, his
heirs. Since the marriage of Gerardo and Ma. Theresa was void
from the very beginning; he never became her husband and thus
never acquired any right to impugn the legitimacy of her child.

with Angelita. Tomas brother even testified that Tomas himself

admitted to him that the subject child was adopted.


Bienvenida. It was Bienvenida who was able to produce
the competent evidences to establish the childs filiation with her
and her husband. She substantiated her claim with sufficient
clinical records, presenting the proper and credible witnesses who
assisted her in her childs birth. Not to mention the fact that it
could be readily observed that Bienvenida and the child have
strong similarities in their faces, eyes, eyebrows and head shapes.
Resemblance between a minor and his alleged parent is
competent and material evidence to establish parentage. Whereas,
Angelita had been known to have undergone ligation years before
the alleged birth of the child and the admission of Tomas own
brother that Tomas was sterile makes it impossible that he and
Angelita could have produced subject child. More importantly,
the birth certificate of the child stated Tomas Lopez and private
respondent were legally married which is false because even
private respondent had admitted she is a common-law wife. This
false entry puts to doubt the other data in said birth certificate.


G.R. No. 125901
March 8, 2001

Edgardo and BienvenidaTijing are husband and wife, they

have six children, youngest of whom is Edgardo Tijing Jr. In
August 1989, Angelita Diamante fetched Bienvenida for an
urgent laundry job. Bienvenida left to Angelita her 4-month old
child, Edgardo Jr. as she usually let Angelita take care of her child
while she was doing laundry. When Bienvenida returned from
work to get her son, Angelita was nowhere to be found, and
despite her and her husbands efforts, they could not locate
Angelita and their childs whereabouts.
Four years later, Bienvenida read about the death of
Tomas Lopez, the common-law husband of Angelita, whose
interment is in Bulacan. She went there and allegedly saw her son
Edgardo Jr., now named John Thomas Lopez. John is now being
claimed by Angelita as her own son, sired by her common-law
husband Tomas Lopez during their cohabitation. Bienvenida now
alleges that the child cannot possibly be born to Angelita and
Tomas for it was the latters own brother who admitted that
Tomas was rendered sterile, caused by an accident. Tomas begot
no children from his legal marriage nor with the cohabitation


Who among the claimants is the true parent of the subject


Respondents Fe Angela and her son Martin Prollamante sued
Martins alleged biological father, petitioner Arnel Agustin, for
support and support pendente lite before the Quezon City RTC.

In their complaint, respondents alleged that Arnel courted Fe,

after which they entered into an intimate relationship. Arnel
supposedly impregnated Fe on her 34th birthday but despite
Arnels insistence on abortion, Fe decided to give birth to their
child out of wedlock, Martin. The babys birth certificate was
purportedly signed by Arnel as the father. Arnel shouldered the
pre-natal and hospital expenses but later refused Fes repeated
requests for Martins support despite his adequate financial
capacity and even suggested to have the child committed for
adoption. Arnel also denied having fathered the child.
On January 2001, while Fe was carrying five-month old Martin at
the Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club parking lot, Arnel sped
off in his van, with the open car door hitting Fes leg. This
incident was reported to the police. Several months later, Fe was
diagnosed with leukemia and has, since then, been undergoing
chemotherapy. Fe and Martin then sued Arnel for support.
Fe and Martin moved for the issuance of an order directing all
the parties to submit themselves to DNA paternity testing, which
Arnel opposed by invoking his constitutional right against selfincrimination and moving to dismiss the complaint for lack of
cause of action.
The trial court denied the MTD and ordered the parties to submit
themselves to DNA paternity testing at the expense of the
applicants. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, thus
this petition.


W/N the respondent court erred in denying the petitioners

Motion to Dismiss and directing parties to subject to DNA
paternity testing and was a form of unreasonable search.

No. The trial court properly denied the petitioners motion to
dismiss because the private respondents complaint on its face
showed that they had a cause of action against the petitioner. The
elements of a cause of action are: (1) the plaintiffs primary right
and the defendants corresponding primary duty, and (2) the
delict or wrongful act or omission of the defendant, by which the
primary right and duty have been violated. The cause of action is
determined not by the prayer of the complaint but by the facts
No. In Ople v. Torres, the Supreme Court struck down the
proposed national computerized identification system embodied
in Administrative Order No. 308, we said:In no uncertain terms,
we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar all
incursions into individual privacy. The right is not intended to
stifle scientific and technological advancements that enhance
public service and the common good... Intrusions into the right
must be accompanied by proper safeguards that enhance public
service and the common good.
Historically, it has mostly been in the areas of legality of searches
and seizures, and the infringement of privacy of
communication where the constitutional right to privacy has been
critically at issue. Petitioners case involves neither and, as already

stated, his argument that his right against self-incrimination is in

jeopardy holds no water.

drop his middle name as this would help him adjust more easily
to integrate himself into Singaporean society.

For too long, illegitimate children have been marginalized by

fathers who choose to deny their existence. The growing
sophistication of DNA testing technology finally provides a
much needed equalizer for such ostracized and abandoned
progeny. We have long believed in the merits of DNA testing and
have repeatedly expressed as much in the past. This case comes at
a perfect time when DNA testing has finally evolved into a
dependable and authoritative form of evidence gathering. We
therefore take this opportunity to forcefully reiterate our stand
that DNA testing is a valid means of determining paternity.


WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby

DENIED. The Court of Appeals decision is hereby
AFFIRMED in toto.


Petitioner Julian Lin Wang a minor represented by his mother
Anna Lisa Wang filed a petition dated 19 September 2002 for
change of name of entry in the civil registry of Julian Lin Wang.
Petitioner sought to drop his middle name and have his registered
name changed from Julian Lin Carulasan Wang to Julian Lin
Wang. Petitioner theorizes that it would be for his best interest to

Whether or not the law the law provides for his middle name to
be changed.

The touchstone for the grant of a change of name is that there be
proper and reasonable cause for which the change is sought. to
justify a request for the change of name, the petitioner must show
not only some proper reason therefore but also that he will be
prejudiced by the use of his true and official name. Among the
grounds for the change of name which have been held valid are:
a.) When the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or extremely
difficult to write or pronounce. b.) When the change results as a
legal consequence
c.) When the change will avoid confusion.
d.) When one has continuously used and been known since
childhood by a Filipino name and was not aware of the alien
e.) A sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name and

f.) When the surname causes embarrassment and there is no

showing that the desired change of name was for a fraudulent

Parental authority over recognized natural children who

were under the age of majority was vested in the father or the
mother recognizing them. If both acknowledge the child,
authority was to be exercised by the one to whom it was awarded
by the courts; if it was awarded to both, the rule as to legitimate
children applied. In other words, in the latter case, parental
authority resided jointly in the father and the mother.


On March 5, 2002, petitioner Joey D. Briones filed a

Petition for Habeas Corpus to obtain custody of his minor child
Michael Kevin Pineda.The petitioner alleges that the minor
Michael Kevin Pineda is his illegitimate son with respondent
Loreta P. Miguel. He was born in Japan on September 17, 1996
as evidenced by his Birth Certificate. The respondent Loreta P.
Miguel is now married to a Japanese national and is presently
residing in Japan. The petitioner prays that the custody of his son
Michael Kevin Pineda be given to him as his biological father and
has demonstrated his capability to support and educate him.

De santos vs Angeles


Whether or not the natural father may be denied the

custody and parental care of his own child in the absence of the
mother who is away.
Having been born outside a valid marriage, the minor is
deemed an illegitimate child of petitioner and Respondent Loreta.
Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines explicitly
provides that "illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall
be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be
entitled to support in conformity with this Code." This is the rule
regardless of whether the father admits paternity.

Antonio De Santos married Sofia Bona and had a child,

which is herein petitioner (Maria Rosario De Santos)
Their relationship became strained to the breaking point,
thereafter Antonio fell in love with a fellow doctor, Conchita
Talag (herein private respondent)
Antonio sought a formal dissolution of his first marriage
thru a divorce from a Nevada court, and aware that said
decree was a worthless scrap of paper in our jurisdiction,
they proceeded to Tokyo and got married, and they had
eleven children
Sofia died in Guatemala, and less than a month later,
Antonio and private respondent got married in tagaytay
under Philippine laws
Antonio died intestate having properties with an estimated
value of 15,000
Private respondent went to court asking for letter of
administration in her favor and alleged that the decedent
was survived by twelve legitimate heirs, namely, herself,

their ten surviving children and petitioner, which were

granted by the court there having no opposition.
Six years after, petitioner decide to intervene and argued
that private respondents children were illegitimate where
the court ruled in favor of private respondent and declared
the children legitimated and thereupon instituted and
declared them as heirs of Antonio
Petitioner sought reconsideration but was denied, hence
this petition


WON court erred in declaring the ten children of private

respondent as legitimated


Art 269 of the Civil Code provides that only natural children
can be legitimated. Children born outside wedlock of
parents who, at the time of the conception of the former,
were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each
other, are natural
In the present case, it is clear that all the children born to
private respondent and Antonio were conceived and born
when the latters valid marriage to petitioners mother was
still subsisting. The marriage under question is considered
void from the beginning because bigamous, contracted
when a prior valid marriage was still subsisting. It follows
that the children begotten of such union cannot be
considered natural children proper for at the time of their

conception, their parents were disqualified from marrying

each other due to the impediment of a prior subsisting
In this case, the term natural children by legal fiction was
invented, thus giving rise to another category of illegitimate
children, clearly not to be confused with natural children as
defined in art 269 but by fiction of law to be equated with
acknowledged natural children and consequently, enjoying
the status, rights and obligations of the latter.
Private respondent contends that, an acknowledged natural
children have the right to be legitimated, hence
respondents children have the right to be legitimated, as in
fact they were deemed legitimated by the subsequent valid
marriage of their parents in the Philippines
This contention of private respondent is not meritorious,
legitimation is not a right which is demandable by a child, it
is a privilege available only to natural children proper, as
defined under art 269. Although natural children by legal
fiction have the same rights as acknowledged natural
children, it is a quantum leap in the syllogism to conclude
that, they likewise have the right to be legitimated. Art 269
itself clearly limits the privilege of legitimation to natural
children as defined thereunder, there was, therefore from
the outset, an intent to exclude children conceived or born
out of illicit relations from the purview of the law.
Much more is involved here than the mere privilege to be
legitimized. The rights of other children like the petitioner in
this case, may be adversely affected as her testamentary
share may well be reduced in the event that her ten
surviving half siblings should be placed on par with her,

when each of them is rightfully entitled to only half of her

Wherefore, petitioner is declared as the sole legitimate
child of the decedent

Republic v. CA
G.R. No. 92326 January 24, 1992
On February 2, 1988, Zenaida Corteza Bobiles filed a petition to
adopt Jason Condat, then six (6) years old and who had been living
with her family since he was four (4) months old, before the
Regional Trial Court of Legaspi City. The petition for adoption was
filed by private respondent Zenaida C. Bobiles on February 2, 1988,
when the law applicable was Presidential Decree No. 603, the Child
and Youth Welfare Code. Under said code, a petition for adoption
may be filed by either of the spouses or by both of them. However,
after the trial court rendered its decision and while the case was
pending on appeal in the Court of Appeals, Executive Order No. 209,
the Family Code, took effect on August 3, 1988. Under the said new
law, joint adoption by husband and wife is mandatory. Petitioner
contends that the petition for adoption should be dismissed
outright for it was filed solely by private respondent without joining
her husband, in violation of Article 185 of the Family Code which
requires joint adoption by the spouses. It argues that the Family
Code must be applied retroactively to the petition filed by Mrs.
Bobiles, as the latter did not acquire a vested right to adopt Jason
Condat by the mere filing of her petition for adoption.
1.) Can the Family Code be applied retroactively to the petition for
adoption filed by Zenaida C. Bobiles and;
2.) Granting that the FC should be applied retroactively should the
adoption in favor of private respondent only, her husband not being
a petitioner.

1.)Article 246 of the Family Code provides for retroactive effect of

appropriate relevant provisions thereof, subject to the qualification
that such retrospective application will not prejudice or impair
vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other
laws. A vested right is one whose existence, effectivity and extent
does not depend upon events foreign to the will of the holder. The
term expresses the concept of present fixed interest which in right
reason and natural justice should be protected against arbitrary
State action, or an innately just and imperative right which
enlightened free society, sensitive to inherent and irrefragable
individual rights, cannot deny. Vested rights include not only legal or
equitable title to the enforcement of a demand, but also an
exemption from new obligations created after the right has vested.
Under the Child and Youth Welfare Code, private respondent had
the right to file a petition for adoption by herself, without joining
her husband therein. When Mrs. Bobiles filed her petition, she was
exercising her explicit and unconditional right under said law. Upon
her filing thereof, her right to file such petition alone and to have
the same proceed to final adjudication, in accordance with the law
in force at the time, was already vested and cannot be prejudiced or
impaired by the enactment of a new law. When private respondent
filed her petition in Special Proceeding No. 1386, the trial court
acquired jurisdiction thereover in accordance with the governing
law. Jurisdiction being a matter of substantive law, the established
rule is that the jurisdiction of the court is determined by the statute
in force at the time of the commencement of the action. We do not
find in the present case such facts as would constitute it as an
exception to the rule.
2.)Petitioner argues that, even assuming that the Family Code
should not apply retroactively, the Court of Appeals should have
modified the trial court's decision by granting the adoption in favor
of private respondent Zenaida C. Bobiles only, her husband not
being a petitioner. We do not consider this as a tenable position

and, accordingly, reject the same. Although Dioscoro Bobiles was

not named as one of the petitioners in the petition for adoption
filed by his wife, his affidavit of consent, attached to the petition as
Annex "B" and expressly made an integral part thereof, shows that
he himself actually joined his wife in adopting the child. The
pertinent parts of his written consent and the foregoing
declarations, and his subsequent confirmatory testimony in open
court, are sufficient to make him a co-petitioner. Under the
circumstances then obtaining, and by reason of his foreign
residence, he must have yielded to the legal advice that an affidavit
of consent on his part sufficed to make him a party to the petition.
This is evident from the text of his affidavit. Punctiliousness in
language and pedantry in the formal requirements should yield to
and be eschewed in the higher considerations of substantial justice.
The future of an innocent child must not be compromised by
arbitrary insistence of rigid adherence to procedural rules on the
form of pleadings.

G.R. No. 105308 September 25, 1998
Herbert Cang and Anna Marie Clavano are married and
begot 3 children Keith, Charmaine and Joseph. Anna learned of her
husband extra marital affair hence filed a petition for legal
separation which the court granted. Herbert went to the US to get
divorce, the court granted it and granted sole custody of the
children to Anna. Herbert took an American wife and thus became a
naturalized American citizen. He divorced his American wife and
never remarried. When Herbert was working in the US, he remitted
money for his children's expenses and another, deposited in the
bank in the name of his children. Ronald and Maria Clavano (
siblings of Anna ) filed for the adoption of the 3 children. Anna
Marie likewise filed an affidavit of consent alleging that her husband

had "evaded his legal obligation to support" his children and that
her husband had "long forfeited his parental rights" over the

notwithstanding the amendments to the law, the written consent

of the natural parent to the adoption has remained a requisite for
its validity.

Upon learning, Herbert immediately returned to the

Philippines and filed an opposition Pending resolution of the
petition for adoption, Herbert moved to reacquire custody.
Therefore RTC issued an order finding that Anna in effect
relinquished custody over the children and, therefore, such custody
should be transferred to the father. The court then directed the
Clavanos to deliver custody over the minors to Herbert. Thereafter
RTC issued a decree granting the petition for adoption of the 3
children to the Clavanos.

In reference to abandonment of a child by his parent, the act of

abandonment imports "any conduct of the parent which evinces a
settled purpose to forego all parental duties and relinquish all
parental claims to the child." It means "neglect or refusal to
perform the natural and legal obligations of care and support
which parents owe their children."
Physical estrangement alone, without financial and moral
desertion, is not tantamount to abandonment.
He maintained regular communication with his wife and
children through letters and telephone. He used to send
packages by mail and catered to their whims.
The conclusion of the courts below that petitioner
abandoned his family needs more evidentiary support other
than his inability to provide them the material comfort
that his admittedly affluent in-laws could provide. There
should be proof that he had so emotionally abandoned
them that his children would not miss his guidance and
counsel if they were given to adopting parents.
The letters he received from his children prove that
petitioner maintained the more important emotional tie
between him and his children. The children needed him not
only because he could cater to their whims but also because
he was a person they could share with their daily activities,
problems and triumphs
the actuality that petitioner carried on an affair with a
paramour cannot be taken as sufficient basis for the
conclusion that petitioner was necessarily an unfit father.
"bad" husband does not necessarily make a "bad" father.

Upon appeal, Herbert asserted that the petition for

adoption was fatally defective and tailored to divest him of parental
authority because: (a) he did not have a written consent to the
adoption; (b) he never abandoned his children; (c) Keith and
Charmaine did not properly give their written consent; and (d) the
petitioners for adoption did not present as witness the
representative of the Department of Social Welfare and
Development who made the case study report required by law. CA
affirmed the decree of adoption on the ground that the consent of
the parent who has abandoned the child is not necessary.
WON Herberts consent is required for adoption to be valid?
WON Herbert has abandoned their children w/c dispenses his
required consent?
Held: YES and NO
When Clavanos filed the petition for adoption on September 25,
1987, the applicable law was the Child and Youth Welfare Code, as
amended by Executive Order No. 91. It is thus evident that

The law is clear that either parent may lose parental

authority over the child only for a valid reason. No such
reason was established in the legal separation case.


G.R. No. 79955 January 27, 1989
Conrado Fajardo and Gina Carreon are common law
spouses who had a daughter named Angelie Anne Cervantes.
Fajardo offered Angelie for adoption to Cervantes spouses.
Cervantes filed petition for adoption w/ the RTC w/c granted their
petition. Then Cervantes, received a letter from the respondents
demanding to be paid the amount of P150,000.00, otherwise, they
would get back their child. Cervantes refused to accede to the
demand. Gina took the child and refused to return Angelie saying
that she had no desire to give up her child for adoption and that the
affidavit of consent to the adoption she had executed was not fully
explained to her. However, she would return the child to the
petitioners if she were paid the amount of P150,000.00. Cervantes
filed a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.
WON the writ should be issued?
Held: YES
In all controversies regarding the custody of minors, the foremost
consideration is the moral, physical and social welfare of the child
concerned, taking into account the resources and moral as well as
social standing of the contending parents. Never has this Court
deviated from this criterion.
Fajardos common law relationship will not accord the
minor that desirable atmosphere where she can grow and
develop into an upright and moral-minded person

Gina also has a child with another married man w/c became
Angelies sister. For a minor (like Angelie Anne C. Cervantes)
to grow up with a sister whose "father" is not her true
father, could also affect the moral outlook and values of
said minor.
Upon the other hand, Cervantes who are legally married
appear to be morally, physically, financially, and socially
capable of supporting the minor and giving her a future
better than what the natural mother

Besides, Angelie has been legally adopted by petitioners with the

full knowledge and consent of respondents. A decree of adoption
has the effect, among others, of dissolving the authority vested in
natural parents over the adopted child, except where the adopting
parent is the spouse of the natural parent of the adopted.
In this case, parental authority over the adopted shall be
exercised jointly by both spouses.
Adopting parents have the right to the care and custody of
the adopted child and exercise parental authority and
responsibility over him.

G.R. No. 85044 June 3, 1992
Adelberto Bundoc, who is 10 years old, shot Jennifer
Tamargo with an air rifle causing injuries which resulted in her
death. Damages was filed by by petitioner Macario Tamargo
Jennifer's adopting parent against Sps Bundoc while they were still
living. Prior to the incident, spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura had
filed a petition to adopt Adelberto. The petition for adoption was
granted after the said incident. In their Answer, spouses Bundoc,
Adelberto's natural parents, reciting the result of the foregoing
petition for adoption, claimed that not they, but rather the adopting
parents sps. Rapisura were indispensable parties to the action since
parental authority had shifted to the adopting parents from the
moment the successful petition for adoption was filed. RTC
dismissed the complaint ruling that natural parents of Adelberto
indeed were not indispensable parties to the action.
They filed an appeal. Spouses Bundoc argues that parental
authority was vested in the latter as adopting parents as of the time
of the filing of the petition for adoption that is, before Adelberto had
shot Jennifer which an air rifle. The Bundoc spouses contend that
they were therefore free of any parental responsibility for
Adelberto's allegedly tortious conduct. Under Article 36 of the Child
and Youth Welfare Code, a decree of adoption shall be entered,
which shall be effective he date the original petition was filed.
WON the effects of adoption, insofar as parental authority is
concerned may be given retroactive effect so as to make the
adopting parents the indispensable parties in a damage case filed
against their adopted child, for acts committed by the latter, when
actual custody was yet lodged with the biological parents?

Held: NO
The law imposes civil liability under vicarious liability, upon the
father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, for any
damages that may be caused by a minor child who lives with them.
Parental liability is made a natural or logical consequence of
the duties and responsibilities of parents their parental
authority which includes the instructing, controlling and
disciplining of the child.
The shooting occured when parental authority was still
lodged in Bundoc spouses, the natural parents of the minor
It would thus follow that the natural parents who had then
actual custody of the minor Adelberto, are the
indispensable parties to the suit for damages.
Under Article 58 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code, Parents and
guardians are responsible for the damage caused by the child
under their parental authority in accordance with the civil Code.
Article 221 of the Family Code of the Philippines has similarly
insisted upon the requisite that the child, doer of the tortious act,
shall have beer in the actual custody of the parents sought to be
held liable for the ensuing damage.
parental authority cannot be properly regarded as having
been retroactively transferred to and vested in the adopting
parents at the time the air rifle shooting happened.
retroactive effect may not be given to the decree of
adoption so as to impose a liability upon the adopting
parents accruing at a time when adopting parents had no
actual or physically custody over the adopted child
Retroactive affect may perhaps be given to the granting of
the petition for adoption where such is essential to permit
the accrual of some benefit or advantage in favor of the
adopted child.

Under the above Article 35, parental authority is provisionally

vested in the adopting parents during the period of trial custody
before the issuance of a decree of adoption, precisely because the
adopting parents are given actual custody of the child during such
trial period.
trial custody period either had not yet begun or had already
been completed at the time of the air rifle shooting
actual custody of Adelberto was then with his natural
parents, not the adopting parents.

WON Lahoms grounds already prescribed?

G.R. No. 143989
July 14, 2003
Spouses Dr. Diosdado Lahom and Isabelita Lahom are
married but was not blessed w/ a child. They decided to take into
their care Isabelita's nephew Jose Melvin Sibulo. After several years,
they decided to file a petition for adoption. RTC issued an order
granting the petition that made all the more intense than before the
feeling of affection of the spouses for Melvin. A sad turn of events
came many years later. Mrs. Lahom commenced a petition to
rescind the decree of adoption because Jose Melvin refused to take
up the surname Lahom.
Prior to the institution of the case, RA 8552 or the Domestic
Adoption Act, went into effect. The new statute deleted from the
law the right of adopters to rescind a decree of adoption. Therefore
Jose Melvin moved for the dismissal of the petition on this grounds.
Lahom argued that R.A. No. 8552 should not retroactively apply to
cases where the ground for rescission of the adoption vested under
the regime of then Article 348 of the Civil Code and Article 192 of
the Family Code.
Petition is ordered dismissed on the ground that RA 8552
deleted the right of an adopter to rescind an adoption earlier
granted under the Family Code and it appears clear that the legal
grounds for the petition have been discovered and known to
petitioner for more than five (5) years hence, the action if any, had
already prescribed. Hence appeal.
WON adoption decreed on 05 May 1972 may still be revoked or
rescinded by an adopter after the effectivity of R.A. No. 8552?

Held: YES and YES

R.A. No. 8552 secured these rights and privileges for the adopted.
The new law withdrew the right of an adopter to rescind the
adoption decree and gave to the adopted child the sole right to
sever the legal ties created by adoption.
In Republic vs. Court of Appeals, the Court concluded that
the jurisdiction of the court is determined by the statute in
force at the time of the commencement of the action. The
Supreme Court ruled that the controversy should be
resolved in the light of the law governing at the time the
petition was filed.
It was months after the effectivity of R.A. No. 8552 that
herein petitioner filed an action to revoke the decree of
adoption granted in 1975. By then, the new law, had
already abrogated and repealed the right of an adopter
under the Civil Code and the Family Code to rescind a
decree of adoption.
While R.A. No. 8552 has unqualifiedly withdrawn from an
adopter a consequential right to rescind the adoption
decree even in cases where the adoption might clearly turn
out to be undesirable, it remains, nevertheless, the
bounden duty of the Court to apply the law.
The exercise of the right within a prescriptive period is a condition
that could not fulfill the requirements of a vested right entitled to
protection. Matters relating to adoption, including the withdrawal
of the right of an adopter to nullify the adoption decree, are
subject to regulation by the State. Concomitantly, a right of action
given by statute may be taken away at anytime before it has been


G.R. No. 148311. March 31, 2005

WON an illegitimate child may use the surname of her mother as

her middle name when she is subsequently adopted by her natural

Honorato Catindig filed a petition to adopt his minor

illegitimate child Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. He prayed that
Stephanies middle name Astorga be changed to "Garcia," her
mothers surname, and that her surname "Garcia" be changed to
"Catindig," his surname. The court granted the decree of adoption
but named Stephanie as STEPHANIE NATHY CATINDIG. Cantindig
filed a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration praying that
Stephanie should be allowed to use the surname of her natural
mother (GARCIA) as her middle name. RTC denied this petition on
the ground that there is no law or jurisprudence allowing an
adopted child to use the surname of his biological mother as his
middle name.

Held: YES
Law Is Silent as to the Use Of Middle Name. The middle name or
the mothers surname is only considered in Article 375(1) to
identity of names and surnames between ascendants and
descendants, in which case, the middle name or the mothers
surname shall be added. Notably, the law is likewise silent as to
what middle name an adoptee may use.
For civil purposes, the adopted shall be deemed to be a
legitimate child of the adopters and both shall acquire the
reciprocal rights and obligations including the right of the
adopted to use the surname of the adopters
Justice Caguioa said that it should be mandatory that the
child uses the surname of the father and permissive in the
case of the surname of the mother.

The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General

(OSG), agrees with petitioner that Stephanie should be permitted to
use, as her middle name, the surname of her natural mother
because it is necessary to preserve and maintain Stephanies
filiation with her natural mother because under Article 189 of the
Family Code, she remains to be an intestate heir of the latter. Thus,
to prevent any confusion and needless hardship in the future, her
relationship or proof of that relationship with her natural mother
should be maintained. And there is no law expressly prohibiting
Stephanie to use the surname of her natural mother as her middle
name. What the law does not prohibit, it allows. Lastly it is
customary for every Filipino to have a middle name, which is
ordinarily the surname of the mother.

Being a legitimate child by virtue of her adoption, it follows that

Stephanie is entitled to all the rights provided by law to a
legitimate child without discrimination of any kind, including the
right to bear the surname of her father and her mother
it is a Filipino custom that the initial or surname of the
mother should immediately precede the surname of the
Article V of RA 8552 (law on adoption) provide that the
adoptee remains an intestate heir of his/her biological
Hence, Stephanie can well assert or claim her hereditary
rights from her natural mother in the future
It is a settled rule that adoption statutes, being humane and
salutary, should be liberally construed to carry out the beneficent

purposes of adoption. The interests and welfare of the adopted

child are of primary and paramount consideration, hence, every
reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill
these noble and compassionate objectives of the law.
since there is no law prohibiting an illegitimate child
adopted by her natural father, like Stephanie, to use, as
middle name her mothers surname, we find no reason why
she should not be allowed to do so.

Libi vs IAC

Respondent spouses (Gotiong) are the legitimate parents of

Julie Ann Gotiong while petitioners are the parents of
Wendell Libi, then a minor between 18 and 19 years of age.
Julie Ann and Wendell were sweethearts but the former
broke up her relationship with the latter after finding him to
be sadistic and irresponsible
Wendell kept on pestering Julie Ann with demands for
reconciliation until he resorted to threats against Julie Ann
On January 14, 1979, Julie Ann and Wendell died each from
a single shot wound inflicted with the same firearm, a smith
and Wesson revolver licensed in the name of petitioner
Cresencio Libi which was recovered from the scene of the
Parents of Julie Ann filed a civil case against the parents of
Wendell to recover damages arising from the latters
vicarious liability under article 2180 of the civil code which
was dismissed by the trial court but reversed by the CA,
hence this petition


WON the court erred in making the parents of Wendell

civilly liable


No, Under the present case, court correctly declared that

the parents of Wendell are and should be held liable for the
civil liability arising from criminal offenses committed by
their minor child under their legal authority and control, or
who live in their company, unless it is proven that the
former acted with the diligence of a good father of a family
to prevent such damages. That primary liability is premised
on the provisions of art 101 of the RPC with respect to
damages ex delicto, such primary liability shall be imposed
pursuant to 2180 of the civil code
In imposing sanctions for the so called vicarious liability of
petitioners. Courts hold that the subsidiary liability of
parents for damages caused by their minor children
imposed by art 2180 of the civil code covers obligations
arising from both quasi delicts and criminal offenses. Court
believes that the civil liability of parents for quasi delict of
their minor children as contemplated in art 2180 of the civil
code is primary and not subsidiary


David vs CA
Petitioner Daisie David worked as secretary of private
respondent Ramon Villar, who is married man and a father
of four children

WON the petition for habeas corpus was proper


Their relationship became intimate and they had a child

named Christopher J. and followed by two more children
namely Christine and Cathy Mae
Their relationship became known to private respondents
wife and their children were eventually accepted by the
legal family of private respondent
Thereafter, private respondent asked petitioner to allow
Christopher , then six years old, to go with his family to
Boracay wherein petitioner agreed, but after the trip private
respondent refused to give back the child and said that he
had enrolled Christopher at the Holy Family Academy for
the next school year
Petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus which was
granted by the trial court but was reversed by the CA, hence
this petition

Yes, rule 102 of the rules of court provides that the writ of
habeas corpus shall extend to all cases of illegal
confinement or detention by which any person is deprived
of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person
is withheld from the person entitled thereto
In the case at bar, Christopher is an illegitimate child since
at the time of his conception his father, private respondent,
was married to another woman other than the childs
mother. As such, pursuant to art 176 of the Family Code,

Christopher is under the parental authority of his mother,

who as a consequence of such authority is entitled to have
custody of him. Since admittedly, petitioner has been
deprived of her rightful custody of the child by private
respondent, she is entitled for the issuance of the writ of
habeas corpus
The fact that private respondent has recognized the minor
child may be a ground for ordering him to give support to
the latter, but not for giving him custody of the child.


March 15, 1995


Petitioner Reynaldo Espiritu and respondent Teresita

Masauding first met in Iligan City where Reynaldo was employed
by the National Steel Corporation and Teresita was employed as a
nurse in a local hospital. Teresita left for Los Angeles, California
to work as a nurse. Reynaldo was sent by his employer, the
National Steel Corporation, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as its
liaison officer and Reynaldo and Teresita then began to maintain
a common law relationship of husband and wife. On 1986, their
daughter, Rosalind Therese, was born. While they were on a brief
vacation in the Philippines, Reynaldo and Teresita got married,
and upon their return to the United States, their second child, a
son, this time, and given the name Reginald Vince, was born on

The relationship of the couple deteriorated until they

decided to separate. Instead of giving their marriage a second
chance as allegedly pleaded by Reynaldo, Teresita left Reynaldo
and the children and went back to California. Reynaldo brought
his children home to the Philippines, but because his assignment
in Pittsburgh was not yet completed, he was sent back by his
company to Pittsburgh. He had to leave his children with his
sister, Guillerma Layug and her family.
Teresita, meanwhile, decided to return to the Philippines
and filed the petition for a writ of habeas corpus against herein
two petitioners to gain custody over the children, thus starting
the whole proceedings now reaching this Court. The trial court
dismissed the petition for habeas corpus. It suspended Teresita's
parental authority over Rosalind and Reginald and declared
Reynaldo to have sole parental authority over them but with
rights of visitation to be agreed upon by the parties and to be
approved by the Court.

Whether or not the petition for a writ of habeas corpus to

gain custody over the children be granted.
Supreme Court dismissed the writ of habeas corpus
petition by the mother and retain the custody of the children to
the father. The illicit or immoral activities of the mother had
already caused emotional disturbances, personality conflicts, and
exposure to conflicting moral values against the children.
The children are now both over seven years old. Their
choice of the parent with whom they prefer to stay is clear from
the record. From all indications, Reynaldo is a fit person. The
children understand the unfortunate shortcomings of their

mother and have been affected in their emotional growth by her

G.R. No. 113054
March 16, 1995
Petitioner Leouel Santos, Sr., an army lieutenant, and Julia
Bedia a nurse by profession, were married in Iloilo City in 1986.
Their union beget only one child, Leouel Santos, Jr. who was
born July 18, 1987. From the time the boy was released from the
hospital until sometime thereafter, he had been in the care and
custody of his maternal grandparents, private respondents herein,
Leopoldo and Ofelia Bedia.
On September 2, 1990, petitioner along with his two
brothers, visited the Bedia household, where three-year old
Leouel Jr. was staying. Private respondents contend that through
deceit and false pretensions, petitioner abducted the boy and
clandestinely spirited him away to his hometown in Bacong,
Negros Oriental.
The spouses Bedia then filed a "Petition for Care,
Custody and Control of Minor Ward Leouel Santos Jr.," before
the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, with Santos, Sr. as
respondent. After an ex-parte hearing on October 8, 1990, the
trial court issued an order on the same day awarding custody of
the child Leouel Santos, Jr. to his grandparents, Leopoldo and
Ofelia Bedia.

Petitioner appealed this Order to the Court of Appeals. In its

decision dated April 30, 1992, respondent appellate court
affirmed the trial court's order.
Petitioner assails the decisions of both the trial court and
the appellate court to award custody of his minor son to his
parents-in-law, the Bedia spouses on the ground that under Art.
214 of the Family Code, substitute parental authority of the
grandparents is proper only when both parents are dead, absent
or unsuitable. Petitioner's unfitness, according to him, has not
been successfully shown by private respondents.

Who should properly be awarded custody of the minor

Leouel Santos, Jr.
The minor should be given to the legitimate father. When
a parent entrusts the custody of a minor to another, such as a
friend or godfather, even in a document, what is given is merely
temporary custody and it does not constitute a renunciation of
parental authority. Only in case of the parents' death, absence or
unsuitability may substitute parental authority be exercised by the
surviving grandparent.
The court held the contentions of the grandparents are
insufficient as to remove petitioner's parental authority and the
concomitant right to have custody over the minor. Private
respondents' demonstrated love and affection for the boy,
notwithstanding, the legitimate father is still preferred over the
The latter's wealth is not a deciding factor, particularly
because there is no proof that at the present time, petitioner is in

no position to support the boy. While petitioner's previous

inattention is inexcusable, it cannot be construed as
abandonment. His appeal of the unfavorable decision against him
and his efforts to keep his only child in his custody may be
regarded as serious efforts to rectify his past misdeeds. To award
him custody would help enhance the bond between parent and
son. The Court also held that his being a soldier is likewise no bar
to allowing him custody over the boy. So many men in uniform,
who are assigned to different parts of the country in the service
of the nation, are still the natural guardians of their children.
Also, petitioner's employment of trickery in spiriting away
his boy from his in-laws, though unjustifiable, is likewise not a
ground to wrest custody from him.


G.R.No. 118870
March 29, 1996

Ray Perez is a doctor practicing in Cebu while Nerissa,

his wife, (petitioner) is a registered nurse. After six miscarriages,
two operations and a high-risk pregnancy, Nerissa finally gave
birth to Ray Perez II in New York on July 20, 1992. Ray stayed
with her in the U.S. twice and took care of her when she became
pregnant. Unlike his wife, however, he had only a tourist visa
and was not employed.
On January 17, 1993, the couple and their baby arrived
in Cebu. After a few weeks, only Nerissa returned to
the U.S. She alleged that they came home only for a five-week

vacation and that they all had round-trip tickets. However, her
husband stayed behind to take care of his sick mother and
promised to follow her with the baby. According to Ray, they
had agreed to reside permanently in the Philippines but once
Nerissa was in New York, she changed her mind and continued
working. She was supposed to come back immediately after
winding up her affairs there.
When Nerissa came home a few days before Ray IIs first
birthday, the couple was no longer on good terms. They had
quarrels. Nerissa did not want to live near her in-laws and rely
solely on her husbands meager income of P5,000.00. On the
other hand, Ray wanted to stay here, where he could raise his son
even as he practiced his profession. He maintained that it would
not be difficult to live here since they have their own home and a
car. Despite mediation by the priest, the couple failed to
Nerissa filed a petition to surrender the custody of their
son to her. The trial court issued an Order awarding custody to
Nerissa citing the second paragraph of Article 213 of the Family
Code which provides that no child under seven years of age shall
be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling
reasons to order otherwise. Upon appeal by Ray Perez, the Court
of Appeals reversed the trial courts order and held that granting
custody to the boys father would be for the childs best interest
and welfare.

Whether or not Nerissa has rightful custody of a child?

Yes. Aside from Article 213 of the Family Code, the
Revised Rules of Court also contains a similar provision. Rule 99,

Section 6 (Adoption and Custody of Minors) provides: SEC. 6.

Proceedings as to child whose parents are separated.Appeal. When husband and wife are divorced or living separately and
apart from each other, and the questions as to the care, custody,
and control of a child or children of their marriage is brought
before a Court of First Instance by petition or as an incident to
any other proceeding, the court, upon hearing the testimony as
may be pertinent, shall award the care, custody, and control of
each such child as will be for its best interest, permitting the child
to choose which parent it prefers to live with if it be over ten
years of age, unless the parent chosen be unfit to take charge of
the child by reason of moral depravity, habitual drunkenness,
incapacity, or poverty x x x. No child under seven years of age
shall be separated from its mother, unless the court finds there
are compelling reasons therefor.
The provisions of law quoted above clearly mandate that
a child under seven years of age shall not be separated from his
mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to order
otherwise. The use of the word shall in Article 213 of the
Family Code and Rule 99, Section 6 of the Revised Rules of
Court connotes a mandatory character.
The general rule that a child under seven years of age
shall not be separated from his mother finds its reason in the
basic need of a child for his mothers loving care. Only the most
compelling of reasons shall justify the courts awarding the
custody of such a child to someone other than his mother, such
as her unfitness to exercise sole parental authority. In the past the
following grounds have been considered ample justification to
deprive a mother of custody and parental authority: neglect,
abandonment, unemployment and immorality, habitual
drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity
and being sick with a communicable disease.

It has long been settled that in custody cases, the

foremost consideration is always the welfare and best interest of
the child. In fact, no less than an international instrument, the
Convention on the Rights of 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.
In the case, financial capacity is not a determinative factor
inasmuch as both parties have demonstrated that they have ample
means. Nerissas present work schedule is not so unmanageable
as to deprive her of quality time with her son. Quite a number of
working mothers who are away from home for longer periods of
time are still able to raise a family well, applying time
management principles judiciously. Also, delegating child care
temporarily to qualified persons who run day-care centers does
not detract from being a good mother, as long as the latter
exercises supervision, for even in our culture, children are often
brought up by housemaids under the eagle eyes of the mother.
Although Rays is a general practitioner, the records show
that he maintains a clinic, works for several companies on
retainer basis and teaches part-time. He cannot possibly give the
love and care that a mother gives to his child.


G.R. No. 132223
June 19, 2001

Bonifacia Vancil, is the mother of Reeder C. Vancil, a US

Navy serviceman who died on 1986. During his lifetime, Reeder
had two children named Valerie and Vincent by his common-law
wife, Helen G. Belmes. Bonifacia obtained a favorable court
decision appointing her as legal and judicial guardian over the
persons and estate of Valerie and Vincent.
On August 13, 1987, Helen submitted an opposition to
the subject guardianship proceedings asseverating that she had
already filed a similar petition for guardianship before the RTC of
Pagadian City. On June 27, 1988, Helen followed her opposition
with a motion for the Removal of Guardian and Appointment of
a New One, asserting that she is the natural mother in actual
custody of and exercising parental authority over the subject
minors at Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur where they are
permanently residing. She also states that at the time the petition
was filed, Bonifacia was a resident of Colorado, U.S.A. being a
naturalized American citizen.
On October 12, 1988, the trial court rejected and denied
Helens motion to remove and/or to disqualify Bonifacia as
guardian of Valerie and Vincent Jr. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals rendered its decision reversing the RTC. Since Valerie
had reached the age of majority at the time the case reached the
Supreme Court, the issue revolved around the guardianship of

Who between the mother and grandmother of minor

Vincent should be his guardian?
Respondent Helen Belmes, being the natural mother of
the minor, has the preferential right over that of petitioner
Bonifacia to be his guardian. Article 211 of the Family Code
provides: "Art. 211. The father and the mother shall jointly
exercise parental authority over the persons of their common
children. In case of disagreement, the fathers decision shall
prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary. xxx."
Indeed, being the natural mother of minor Vincent, Helen has
the corresponding natural and legal right to his custody.
"Of considerable importance is the rule long accepted by
the courts that the right of parents to the custody of their minor
children is one of the natural rights incident to parenthood, a
right supported by law and sound public policy. The right is an
inherent one, which is not created by the state or decisions of the
courts, but derives from the nature of the parental relationship."
Bonifacia contends that she is more qualified as guardian
of Vincent. Bonifacias claim to be the guardian of said minor can
only be realized by way of substitute parental authority pursuant
to Article 214 of the Family Code, thus: "Art. 214. In case of
death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental
authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent. xxx."
Bonifacia, as the surviving grandparent, can exercise
substitute parental authority only in case of death, absence or
unsuitability of Helen. Considering that Helen is very much alive
and has exercised continuously parental authority over Vincent,
Bonifacia has to prove, in asserting her right to be the minors
guardian, Helens unsuitability. Bonifacia, however, has not

proffered convincing evidence showing that Helen is not suited

to be the guardian of Vincent. Bonifacia merely insists that
Helen is morally unfit as guardian of Valerie considering that her
live-in partner raped Valerie several times. But Valerie, being now
of major age, is no longer a subject of this guardianship
Even assuming that Helen is unfit as guardian of minor
Vincent, still Bonifacia cannot qualify as a substitute guardian.
She is an American citizen and a resident of Colorado. Obviously,
she will not be able to perform the responsibilities and
obligations required of a guardian. In fact, in her petition, she
admitted the difficulty of discharging the duties of a guardian by
an expatriate, like her. To be sure, she will merely delegate those
duties to someone else who may not also qualify as a guardian.
There is nothing in the law which requires the courts to
appoint residents only as administrators or guardians. However,
notwithstanding the fact that there are no statutory requirements
upon this question, the courts, charged with the responsibilities
of protecting the estates of deceased persons, wards of the estate,
etc., will find much difficulty in complying with this duty by
appointing administrators and guardians who are not personally
subject to their jurisdiction. Notwithstanding that there is no
statutory requirement; the courts should not consent to the
appointment of persons as administrators and guardians who are
not personally subject to the jurisdiction of our courts here.


G.R. No. 143363
February 6, 2002

Defendant-appellant St. Marys Academy of Dipolog City

conducted an enrollment drive for the school year 1995-1996. A
facet of the enrollment campaign was the visitation of schools
from where prospective enrollees were studying. As a student of
St. Marys Academy, Sherwin Carpitanos was part of the
campaigning group.
Accordingly, on the fateful day, Sherwin, along with other
high school students were riding in a Mitsubishi jeep owned by
defendant Vivencio Villanueva on their way to Larayan
Elementary School, Dapitan City. The jeep was driven by James
Daniel II then 15 years old and a student of the same school.
Allegedly, the latter drove the jeep in a reckless manner and as a
result the jeep turned turtle. Sherwin Carpitanos died as a result
of the injuries he sustained from the accident. The parents of
Sherwin filed a case against James Daniel II and his parents,
James Daniel Sr. and Guada Daniel, the vehicle owner, Vivencio
Villanueva and St. Marys Academy before the RTC of Dipolog
City and claimed for damages.

Whether or not the petitioner St. Marys Academy is

liable for damages for the death of Sherwin Carpitanos.
determination of any liability of the school. The Court held that

for the school to be liable there must be a finding that the act or
omission considered as negligent was the proximate cause of the
injury caused because of negligence, must have causal connection
to the accident. There is no showing of such.
Hence, with the overwhelming evidence presented by
petitioner and the respondent Daniel spouses that the accident
occurred because of the detachment of the steering wheel guide
of the jeep, it is not the school, but the registered owner of the
vehicle who shall be held responsible for damages for the death
of Sherwin Carpitanos.
G.R. No. 150644

August 28, 2006

The sisters Maowee Daban Lacson and Maonaa Daban
Lacson are legitimate daughters of petitioner Edward V. Lacson
and his wife, Lea Daban Lacson. Maowee was born on December
4, 1974, while Maonaa, a little less than a year later. Not long after
the birth of Maonaa, petitioner left the conjugal home in Molo,
Iloilo City, virtually forcing mother and children to seek,
apparently for financial reason, shelter somewhere else. For a
month, they stayed with Leas mother-in-law, Alicia Lacson, then
with her (Leas) mother and then with her brother Noel Daban.
After some time, they rented an apartment only to return later to
the house of Leas mother. As the trial court aptly observed, the
sisters and their mother, from 1976 to 1994, or for a period of
eighteen (18) years, shuttled from one dwelling place to another
not their own.

Whether or not petitioner is obliged to give support.
Petitioner admits being obliged, as father, to provide
support to both respondents, Maowee and Maonaa. It is his
threshold submission, however, that he should not be made to
pay support in arrears, i.e., from 1976 to 1994, no previous
extrajudicial, let alone judicial, demand having been made by the
respondents. He invokes the following provision of the Family
Code to complete his point:Article 203 The obligation to give
support shall be demandable from the time the person who has a
right to receive the same needs it for maintenance, but it shall not
be paid except from the date of judicial or extrajudicial demand.
To petitioner, his obligation to pay under the afore
quoted provision starts from the filing of Civil Case No. 22185 in
1995, since only from that moment can it be said that an effective
demand for support was made upon him