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ART.

134 135 FC
GARCIA vs. MANZANO
103 PHIL 798
G.R. No. L-13414

February 4, 1919

JUAN GARCIA Y PALICIO, plaintiff-appelle,


vs.
JOSEFA DE MANZANO, as administratrix of the
estate of her husband Narciso Lopez
Manzano, defendant-appellant.
Godofredo Reyes for appellants.
Eduardo Gutierrez Repide and Felix Socias for
appellee.
MOIR, J.:
In order to understand this case, a brief explanation
of the facts is considered necessary.
Narciso Lopez Manzano was a merchant in Atimonan,
Tayabas, who went to Spain in May, 1910, and died
there the 8th of September, 1913. He gave a general
power-of-attorney to his son, Angel L. Manzano on
the 9th of February, 1910, and on the 25th of March
a second general power-of-attorney to his wife, Josefa
Samson.
Narciso L. Manzano had various commercial dealings
before leaving for Spain.
Manzano was the owner of a half interest in a small
steamer, the San Nicolas, the other half being owned
by Ocejo, Perez & Co., with whom there was a
partnership agreement to run the steamer for a few
years. When this period expired Ocejo, Perez & Co.,
refused to continue the contact and demanded that
Manzano buy or sell. As he did not want to sell at the
price offered and could not buy, Juan Garcia bought
the half interest held by Ocejo, Perez & Co., on the
15th of October, 1910. Angel L. Manzano, acting
under his power-of-attorney, sold in July, 1911, the
other half of the boat to the plaintiff, but as Garcia is
a Spaniard and could not register the boat in his
name at the Custom House, the boat was registered
in the name of Agustin Garcia, a son of the plaintiff,
who at that time, July 2d, 1913, was a minor about
twenty years old. Agustin Garcia shortly thereafter

died, leaving his parents as his heirs at law, and as


such heirs plaintiff's wife was made a party.
On the 23rd of July, 1912, Angel L. Manzano, by
virtue of the power-of-attorney from his father,
Narciso L. Manzano, executed a contract, Exhibit A,
made a part of the complaint, by which Juan Garcia
agreed to extend a credit to Narciso L. Manzano in
the sum of P12,000, and this credit was used by the
house of Manzano. To secure it a mortgage was given
in the same document on three parcels of land in
Atimonan, with their improvements. The registration
of this mortgage was refused by the registrar.
The court of First Instance of Tayabas, on the 18th of
April, 1914, named Josefa Samson y San Pedro,
administratrix of the property of Narciso L. Manzano,
and commissioners were duly appointed, and notice
was published, and no claims having been presented
against the estate to the commissioners, they so
reported to the court on the 7th of December, 1914.
On the 29th of July, 1915, the Court of First Instance
ordered the partition of the property amongst the
heirs of Narciso L. Manzano.
On the 15th day of May, 1915, the plaintiff filed his
action in the Court of First Instance of Tayabas to
foreclose the so-called mortgage in Exhibit a. Josefa
de Manzano filed a pleading stating that the estate
had already been divided; that the property
mentioned in Exhibit A of the plaintiff had been
assigned, A and B, to her and her children and C
entirely to her; that her son Angel had ceded his
share to her; that all the other children were minors
and suggesting that she be made guardian ad
litem for the minors. In a second motion filed
the 25th of August, 1915, the defendant's attorney
states the amended complaint had not been
presented as stipulated in open court and prays the
court that instead of the administratrix the heirs of
Narciso L. Manzano be considered defendants and
the names of the heirs including Josefa de Manzano
are given.
Plaintiff filed his amended complaint on the 24th of
August, making them individually defendants, the
minors to be represented by their guardian ad litem,
and asking for a judgment against each and all of
them for P14,087.59, being the amount then due on
the open account and for P2,700 as attorney's fees,
all secured by the so-called mortgage; and that in
case the judgment was not paid, that the mortgaged
property be sold to pay the debt.

[1]

The defendants, "Josefa de Manzano y otros," filed an


answer on September 4, 1915, stating they knew
such a mortgage document set up in the complaint
existed, but as they were not certain that Exhibit A
was an exact copy, they denied the document; they
denied its efficacy and legal effect; they denied the
jurisdiction of the court to hear and decide the case,
and alleged that the action had prescribed.
They alleged no facts in their answer.
The defendants also filed a counter-claim against
Juan Garcia and his wife, Conception Castro, in which
they allege that Narciso L. Manzano was the owner of
one-half of the small steamer San Nicolas and Juan
Garcia the owner of the half; that Garcia taking
advantage of the youth and inexperience of Angel L.
Manzano falsely and maliciously made him believe
that he had authority under the power-of-attorney
from his father to sell the half interest in the San
Nicolas, and that he did so. That Angel L. Manzano
had no authority to sell the interest in the steamer,
but that since the date of said sale, July, 1912,
(1911?) the plaintiff had illegally appropriated all
rents and profits of the boat to his own use, which
amount to P30,000 per year, after paying for all
repairs, etc., and they ask the court to absolve them
from the complaint, to declare them the owners of
one-half of the steamer San Nicolas, and to order the
plaintiffs to render a detailed account of all the
profits received from the San Nicolas, and to order
one-half of the profits paid to the defendants.
There are other immaterial questions presented by
the counterclaim.
The trial court held there was not legal mortgage and
gave judgment for the plaintiff against Josefa Samson
only, for the amount admitted by her letter to be
due, i.e., P12,752.85, and dismissed the claim
against the other defendants and also dismissed the
counterclaim of defendants. The plaintiffs did not
appeal. All of the defendants presented a motion for
a new trial, but only the defendant Josefa de
Manzano excepted to the order of the court denying
the motion for new trial, and she sets up the
following assignments of error in the decision giving
judgment against her individually. (The alleged errors
of the trial court regarding the counterclaim are set
out later.)
1. The court exceeded its jurisdiction in
deciding a question and granting a relief not
comprised within the pleadings and
contentions of the parties.

2. The trial court acted without jurisdiction


on judging and holding that there was a
novation of the debt.
3. The trial court erred in an essential mater
in holding that there was a novation of the
debt.
The argument presented in support of the first error
assigned is that the action was against the
administratrix of the estate and not against the heirs
individually. What are the facts? The original action
was presented against Josefa de Manzano as
administratrix of her deceased husband, Narciso L.
Manzano, on May 15, 1915. The defendant's
attorneys
on
the 6th
of August filed
a
pleading stating that the estate had been distributed
by the court on the 27th of July, and giving the
names of the heirs and stating that some are minors
for whom the mother "is the guardian" and agreeing
that she be named guardian ad litem for the minors
which was done by the court's order dated the 4th of
September, and she took the oath prescribed by law
for such guardian.

order of the court admitting the amended complaint,


but his admission was supplied by the facts of
defendants themselves. All the parties were before
the court individually and the court could only give
judgment against them individually if they were
obligated individually.
When the whole record shows that the trial
proceeded on the theory set up in an amended
complaint this court will not inquire as to whether the
court actually entered an order admitting the
amended complaint. There is no error in this part of
the decision.
The other two errors assigned will be considered
together.
The nature of the action having been changed from
one against the administratrix to one against the
heirs individually, the action against the other heirs
was dismissed and judgment was given by the Court
against Josefa Samson de Manzano individually,
basing its decision on the following letter:

On the 25th of August the same attorneys filed


another pleading saying the time stipulated by the
parties in open court for filing an amended complaint
had passed, that the complaint had not been
presented and "Wherefore they respectfully request
the Honorable Court that, in place of the defendantadministratrix, the heirs of the late Narciso L.
Manzano, whose names are Josefa Samson de
Manzano, widow, Paz Manzano, Matilde Manzano,
Soledad Manzano, Carmelo Manzano, Narciso
Manzano,
and
Jose
Manzano, be
considered
defendants in this case," The first two of legal age
and the others minors, and they pray that Josefa
Samson be named guardian ad litem for the minors,
which the court did. The plaintiff's amended
complaint making all the above heirs and Angel L.
Manzano defendants by name had been filed in the
clerk's office the day before but it is assumed the
defendants were not then aware of the fact.

September 10, 1913.

The defendants filed their answer on September 4th


1915, which is headed "Josefa de Manzano y Otros,
demandados." The court's judgment is against them
individually.

(Sgd.) JOSEFA DE MANZANO.

It is difficult to conceive what more defendants could


want in order to make them individually defendants,
or what effect they intended their pleadings to have
if they were not to be considered as defendants. The
only thing that might be considered as lacking is an

Mr. Juan Garcia.


Manila, Philippine Islands.
Dear Sir: In reply to your favor which I have
received together with a copy of my current
account kept in your city, showing a balance
of P12,752.852, I have to state that I find
the same entirely satisfactory.
I hope to be able to remit a part of the sum
during the month of October.
I remain,
Yours respectfully.

This letter was written two days after the death of


Narciso L. Manzano. Is it a novation of the obligation
of her husband?
Article 1205 of the Civil Code reads as follows:

[2]

Novation which consists in the substitution


of a new debtor in the place of the original
one may be made without the knowledge of
the later, but not without the consent of the
creditor.
If the creditor Garcia had consented to the
substitution of debtors in this case, he would not
have presented his original action against the
administratrix of Narciso L. Manzano and later
against all the heirs, but against Josefa de Manzano
only.
As much as justice may plead for it, we can see
nothing in the letter which would made appellant
personally liable.
There is no denial that the debt is a justice one
against the estate. The judgment is based on the
letter which was not intended by the writer to make
her personally liable, and was not considered by the
plaintiff to make her personally responsible. There
was not novation of the obligation and the part of the
judgment holding her liable must be reversed.
The defendants set up the following assignment of
errors as to their counterclaim against plaintiffs:
1. The trial court erred in holding that the
power of attorney executed in favor of Angel
L. Manzano was not revoked, at least in so
far as it might concern the plaintiff Juan
Garcia Palicio.
2. The court below erred in holding that the
power of attorney executed by Narciso L.
Manzano in favor of Angel L. Manzano
authorized the latter to alienate the
vessel San Nicolas.
3. The trial court erred in holding that the
sale of the vessel San Nicolas was approved
by Narciso L. Manzano.
4. The trial court erred in holding that Angel
L. Manzano, in executing the sale, did not do
so under the pressure of undue influences.
As to the first two alleged errors the defendants
argue that the power-of-attorney to the wife revoked
the one to the son, in accordance with article 1735 of
the Civil code, and that even if not revoked the
power-of-attorney did not authorize the sale of the

boat by Angel L. Manzano. Article 1735 of the Civil


code is as follows:
The appointment of a new agent for the
same business produces a revocation of the
previous agency from the day on which
notice was given to the former agent,
excepting the provisions of the next
preceding article.
There is no proof in the record that the first agent,
the son, knew of the power-of-attorney to his mother.
It was necessary under the law for the defendants, in
order to establish their counterclaim, to prove that
the son had notice of the second power-of-attorney.
They have not done so, and it must be considered
that Angel L. Manzano was acting under a valid
power-of-attorney from his father which had not been
legally revoked on the date of the sale of the half
interest in the steamer to the plaintiff's son, which
half interest was legally inherited by the plaintiffs.
The defendant's next argument is that the power-ofattorney, if valid, does not authorize the sale of the
half interest in the boat to the plaintiff.
There is no pretense that the boat was not sold for a
fair price, there is no denial that the value was
received in full, but he defendants allege that the
power-of-attorney under which Angel L. Manzano
acted, even if a valid power, did not authorize the
sale of the boat, and they want it back it with onehalf of the profits derived from its use by the plaintiff.
The document under which Angel L. Manzano sold
the boat reads in part as follows:
To enable him to buy or sell, absolutely or
under pacto de retro, any of the rural or
urban estates that now own and may
acquire in the future, at such price as he
may deem most advantageous, which he
shall collect in cash or by installments and
under such conditions as he may consider
proper, and he shall set forth the
encumbrances on the properties and their
origin. I bind myself to warrant and defend,
in accordance with law, the titles to such
properties; and if the properties alienated by
this agreement should be redeemed, he is
empowered to redeem them by paying the
price that may have been fixed, and, for this

purpose,
shall
instrument.

execute

the

proper

The power-of-attorney authorizes the sale of real


property, the buying of real property and mortgaging
the same the borrowing of money and in fact is
general and complete.
The power does not expressly state that the agent
may sell the boat, but a power so full and complete
authoring the sale of real property, must necessarily
carry with it the right to sell a half interest in a small
boat. The record further shows the sale was
necessary in order to get money or a credit without
which it would be impossible to continue the
business which was being conducted in the name of
Narciso L. Manzano and for his benefit.
We consider that the authorization is so complete
that it carries with it full authority to sell the one-half
interest in the boat which was then owned by Narciso
L. Manzano.
The last assignment of error is not supported by any
reasonable evidence in the record.
That part of the judgement ordering the defendant
Josefa Samson de Manzano to pay the plaintiff
P12,752.85 is revoked, and the judgment in so far as
it dismisses the counterclaim of the defendants is
affirmed, without any declaration of costs. So
ordered.
Arellano, C.J., Carson,
JJ., concur.
Johnson, J., took no part.

Street

and

Avancea,

PARTOSA-JO vs. CA
216 SCRA 692
FACTS:
The petitioner, Prima Partosa-Jo, is the legal wife of
Jose Jo, herein private respondent. The latter
admitted to have cohabited with 3 women and
fathered 15 children. Prima filed a complaint against
the husband for judicial separation of conjugal
property in addition to an earlier action for support
which was consolidated. RTC decision was a definite
disposition of the complaint for support but none of
that for the judicial separation of conjugal property.
Jose elevated the decision to CA which affirmed

[3]

rulings of the trial court. The complaint on the


separation of property was dismissed for lack of
cause of action on the ground that separation by
agreement was not covered in Art. 178 of the Civil
Code. Prima contested that the agreement between
her and Jose was for her to temporarily live with her
parents during the initial period of her pregnancy and
for him to visit and support her. They never agreed
to be separated permanently. She even returned to
him but the latter refused to accept her.
ISSUE:
WON there is abandonment on the part of Jose Jo to
warrant judicial separation of conjugal property.
HELD:
SC is in the position that respondent court should
have made the necessary modification instead of
dismissing the case filed. For abandonment to exist,
there must be an absolute cessation of marital
relations, duties and rights, with the intention of
perpetual separation. The fact that Jo did not accept
her demonstrates that he had no intention of
resuming their conjugal relationship. From 1968 until
1988, Jose refused to provide financial support to
Prima. Hence, the physical separation of the parties,
coupled with the refusal by the private respondent to
give support to the petitioner, sufficed to constitute
abandonment as a ground for the judicial separation
of their conjugal property.
Wherefore, the petition was granted and in favor of
the petitioner and that the court ordered the conjugal
property of the spouses be divided between them,
share and share alike.
The division will be
implemented after the determination of all the
properties pertaining to the said conjugal partnership
including those that may have been illegally
registered in the name of the persons.

DELA CRUZ vs. DELA CRUZ


22 SCRA 333

ART. 136

BERMAS CASE
14 SCRA 327
LACSON vs. SAN JOSE LACSON
24 SCRA 837
FACTS:
Alfonso and Carmen were married on February 14,
1953. They had four children. On January 9, 1963
Carmen left the conjugal home in Bacolod and
resided in Manila. On March 12, 1963 she filed a
complaint in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations
Court (JDRC) for custody of all their children as well
as support for them and herself. However, through
the assistance of their respective lawyers, the
spouses reached an amicable settlement as to
custody of their children, support, and separation of
property. On April 27, 1963, they filed a joint petition
with the CFI of Negros Occidental, submitting that
they had mutually agreed upon the dissolution of
their conjugal partnership. The terms included a)
separation of property, b) all earnings of each spouse
shall belong to that spouse exclusively, c) the
custody of the two elder children shall be awarded to
Alfonso and the two younger children to Carmen, d)
Alfonso shall compensate Carmen a monthly
allowance of P300.00 for the support of the children,
and e) each petitioner shall have reciprocal rights of
visitation and every summer the former spouses
shall swap the children. For that particular year,
however, Carmen was allowed custody of all four
children until June of 1963, when she was supposed
to return the two older children to Alfonsos custody.
Finding the foregoing joint petition as conformable to
the law, the CFI issued an order approving their
compromise agreement on the very same day. On
May 7, however, Carmen filed a motion with the JDRC
alleging that the compromise agreement was the
only way she could get custody of all the children
and praying that she be relieved of the agreement
pertaining to the custody and visitation of the
children and that she now be awarded full custody.
Naturally, Alfonso opposed the motion and the JDR
ruled in his favor. Carmen went to the Court of
Appeals and the CA certified the case to the Supreme
Court. Carmen went to the CFI and filed a motion for

reconsideration, basically claiming the same thing.


Alfonso opposed. The CFI favored Alfonso and
ordered Carmen to return the two older children by
June, on pain of contempt. It is from this decision that
the instant case springs. Carmen instituted
certiorari proceedings with the CA against the CFI,
saying the CFI committed grave abuse of discretion
and acted in excess of jurisdiction in ordering the
immediate execution of the compromise agreement.
The CA declared void the portion of the agreement
pertaining to the custody of children.

Issues:
1.

2.

a.
Were the assailed compromise
agreement and the judgment of the CFI
grounded on said agreement conformable
to law?
b.
Whether the custody of the four
children be granted to the mother?

No mother shall be separated from her child under


seven years of age, unless the court finds compelling
reasons for such measure. It is indicated in the
second sentence in the new civil code article 363
Nonetheless, this Court is loath to uphold the
couples agreement regarding the custody of the
children under new civil code article 365. The court
views who take of this case, they find it unnecessary
to pass upon the other errors assigned in the three
appeals. ACCORDINGLY, the decision dated May 11,
1964 and the resolution dated July 31, 1964 of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. 32384-R (subject matter
of G.R. L-23482), and the orders dated May 28, 1963
and June 24, 1963 of the Juvenile and Domestic
Relations Court (subject matter of G.R. L-23767) are
affirmed. G.R. L-24259 is hereby remanded to the
Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental for
further proceedings, in accordance with this decision.

Answer: a. Yes. b. Yes.


Reasoning:
Only as far as the separation of property of
spouses and the dissolution of the conjugal
partnership, in accordance with Article 191 of the
Civil Code. The spouses did not appear to have any
creditors who would have been prejudiced by their
arrangement. At the time of the decision the spouses
had been separated five years and so the property of
severing their financial and proprietary interests was
manifest. However, the Court maintained that
approving the separation of property and dissolution
of conjugal partnership did not amount to recognition
or legalization of de facto separation. As to the
custody of the children, they were all below 7 years
of age at the time of the agreement and CA was
correct in awarding the custody to the mother, it
violates article 363 of the Civil Code.

Holding:

[4]

ART. 137 148

AGAPATAY vs. PALANG


276 SCRA 340
FACTS:
Miguel Palang contracted marriage with Carlina in
Pangasinan on 1949. He left to work in Hawaii a few
months after the wedding. Their only child Herminia
was born in May 1950. The trial court found evident
that as early as 1957, Miguel attempted to Divorce
Carlina in Hawaii. When he returned for good in
1972, he refused to lived with Carlina and stayed
alone in a house in Pozzorubio Pangasinan.
The 63 year old Miguel contracted a subsequent
marriage with 19 year old Erlinda Agapay, herein
petitioner. 2 months earlier, they jointly purchased a
parcel of agricultural land located at Binalonan
Pangasinan. A house and lot in the same place was
likewise purchased. On the other hand, Miguel and
Carlina executed a Deed of Donation as a form of
compromise agreement and agreed to donate their
conjugal property consisting of 6 parcels of land to
their child Herminia.
Miguel and Erlindas cohabitation produced a son
named Kristopher. In 1979, they were convicted of
concubinage upon Carlinas complaint. 2 years later,
Miguel died. Carlina and her daughter instituted this
case for recovery of ownership and possession with
damages against petitioner. They sought to get back
the land and the house and lot located at Binalonan
allegedly purchase by Miguel during his cohabitation
with petitioner. The lower court dismissed the
complaint but CA reversed the decision.
ISSUE:
Whether the agricultural land and the house and lot
should be awarded in favor of Erlinda Agapay.
HELD:
The sale of the riceland on May 17, 1973, was made
in favor of Miguel and Erlinda. However, their
marriage is void because of the subsisting marriage
with Carlina. Only the properties acquired by both
parties through their actual joint contribution shall be
owned by them in proportion to their respective
contributions. It is required that there be an actual
contribution. If actual contribution is not proved,

there will be no co-ownership and no presumption of


equal shares.
Erlinda established in her testimony that she was
engaged in the business of buy and sell and had a
sari-sari store. However, she failed to persuade the
court that she actually contributed money to but the
subjected riceland. When the land was acquired, she
was only around 20 years old compared to Miguel
who was already 64 years old and a pensioner of the
US Government. Considering his youthfulness, its
unrealistic how she could have contributed the
P3,750 as her share. Thus, the court finds no basis
to justify the co-ownership with Miguel over the
same. Hence, the Riceland should, as correctly held
by CA, revert to the conjugal partnership property of
the deceased and Carlina.
It is immaterial that Miguel and Carlina previously
agreed to donate their conjugal property in favor of
Herminia. Separation of property between spouses
during the marriage shall not take place except by
judicial order or without judicial conferment when
there is an express stipulation in the marriage
settlements. The judgment resulted from the
compromise was not specifically for separation of
property and should not be so inferred.
With respect to the house and lot, Atty Sagun, notary
public who prepared the deed of conveyance for the
property revealed the falshood of Erlindas claim that
she bought such property for P20,000 when she was
22 years old. The lawyer testified that Miguel
provided the money for the purchase price and
directed Erlindas name alone be placed as the
vendee.
The transaction made by Miguel to Erlinda was
properly a donation and which was clearly void and
inexistent by express provision of the law because it
was made between persons guilty of adultery or
concubinage at the time of the donation. Moreover,
Article 87 of the Family Code, expressly provides that
the prohibition against donation between spouses
now applies to donations between persons living
together as husband and wife without a valid
marriage, for otherwise, the condition of those who
incurred guilt would turn out to be better than those
in legal union.

[5]

YAPTINCHAY vs. TORRES


28 SCRA 489

VDA. De CONSEQUERA vs. GSIS


27 SCRA 315
FACTS:
Jose Consuegra was employed as a shop foreman of
the Office of the District Engineer in Surigao Del

[6]

Norte. When he was still alive, he contracted two


marriages:
1st Rosario Diaz = 2 children : Jose Consuegra Jr.
and Pedro but both predeceased him
2nd Basilia Berdin = 7 children. (this was
contracted in GF while the first marriage subsisted)
Being a GSIS member when he died, the proceeds of
his life insurance were paid by the GSIS to Berdin and
her children who were the beneficiaries named in the
policy. Since he was in the govt service for 22.5028
years, he was entitled to retirement insurance
benefits, for which no beneficiary was designated.
Both families filed their claims with the GSIS, which
ruled that the legal heirs were Diaz who is entitled to
one-half or 8/16 of the retirement benefits and Berdin
and her children were entitled to the remaining half,
each to receive an equal share of 1/16.
Berdin went to CFI on appeal. CFI affirmed GSIS
decision.
ISSUE:
To whom should the retirement insurance benefits be
paid?
HELD:
Both families are entitled to half of the
retirement benefits.
The beneficiary named in the life insurance does NOT
automatically become the beneficiary in the
retirement insurance. When Consuegra, during the
early part of 1943, or before 1943, designated his
beneficiaries in his life insurance, he could NOT have
intended those beneficiaries of his life insurance as
also the beneficiaries of his retirement insurance
because the provisions on retirement insurance
under the GSIS came about only when CA 186 was
amended by RA 660 on June 18, 1951.
Sec. 11(b) clearly indicates that there is need for the
employee to file an application for retirement
insurance benefits when he becomes a GSIS member
and to state his beneficiary. The life insurance and
the retirement insurance are two separate and
distinct systems of benefits paid out from 2 separate
and distinct funds.

In case of failure to name a beneficiary in an


insurance policy, the proceeds will accrue to the
estate of the insured. And when there exists two
marriages, each family will be entitled to one-half of
the estate.

VALDES vs. RTC


260 SCRA 221
CARIO vs. CARIO
351 SCRA 127
MAXEY vs. CA
129 SCRA 187
G.R. No. L-45870 May 11, 1984
MARGARET MAXEY assisted by Santiago
Magbanua; FLORENCE MAXEY assisted by
Ofrecinio
Santos;
and
LUCILLE
MAXEY, petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and THE
SPOUSES BEATO C. MACAYRA and ALACOPUE
MONDAY, respondents.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
This petition for review involves the rights of a
woman over properties acquired in 1912 principally
through the efforts of the man she was living with
and at a time when the two were not yet legally
married.
The facts of the case are briefly stated in the decision
of the Court of Appeals as follows:
The record reveals that Melbourne
Maxey and Regina Morales (both
deceased)
lived
together
as
husband and wife in Banganga,
Davao; that out of said union were
born six (6) children, among them
are the herein plaintiffs, namely:
John or Carlos, Lucille, Margaret,
Florence, Fred and George, all
surnamed Maxey; that during the
period of their (Melbourne and

[7]

Regina) cohabitation, or in 1911


and 1912, respectively, the late
Melbourne Maxey acquired the
parcels of land described under Par.
4 of the com;plaint as evidenced by
the documents of sale marked as
Exhibits 4-a and 5-1 (same as
Exhibits Facts), Melbourne Maxey,
through his attorney-in-fact Julia
Pamatluan Maxey, sold in favor of
the defendants-spouses in 1953
the parcels of land under litigation
which fact of sale was not
controverted by the perties (Par.
1, /stipulation of Facts); that since
thereof, the defendants-spouses
have taken immediate possession
thereof continuously up to the
present.
Plaintiffs instituted the present
case on January 26, 1962, before
the Court of First Instance of
Davao, praying for the annulment
of the documents of sale covering
the subject parcels of land and to
recover possession thereof with
damages
from
the
herein
defendants-spouses,
alleging,
among others, that the aforesaid
realties were common properties of
their parents, having been acquired
during their lifetime and through
their joint effort and capital; and
that the sales of the of the said
lands in favor of the defendantsspouses in 1953, after the death of
their mother, Regina Morales, was
executed
by
their
father,
Melbourne Maxey, without their
knowledge and consent; and that
they came to know of the above
mentioned sales only in 1961.
On the other hand, defendantsspouses
deny
the
material
allegations of the complaint and
assert by way of affirmative
defenses that they are the true and
lawful owners and possessors of
the properties 'm question having
purchased the same in good faith
and for value from Melbourne
Maxey during his lifetime in 1953,
based upon the reasonable belief
that the latter is the me and

exclusive owner of the said parcels


of land and that since then, they
have been in possession thereof
openly,
exclusively
and
continuously in concept of owners.
Defendants - spouses further
counter
for
damages
and
attorney's
fees
and
in
the
alternative, for the value of the
improvements
they
have
introduced in the premises.
Melbourne Maxey and Regina Morales started living
together in 1903. Their children claim that their
parents were united in 1903 in a marriage performed
"in the military fashion". Both the trial court and the
appellate court rejected this claim of a "military
fashion" marriage.
The couple had several children. John Carlos was
born in 1903, followed by Lucille, Margaret, Florence,
Fred, and George. Except for the youngest son, all
the children were born before the disputed properties
were acquired. The father, Melbourne Maxey, was a
member of the 1899 American occupation forces who
afterwards held high positions in the provincial
government and in the Philippine public schools
system.
As earlier mentioned in the cited statement of facts,
the disputed properties were acquired in 1911 and
1912 before the 1919 church marriage. Regina
Morales Maxey died in 1919 sometime after the
church wedding. The husband remarried and in 1953,
his second wife Julia Pamatluan Maxey, using a power
of attorney, sold the properties to the respondent
spouses, Mr. and Mrs. Beato C. Macayra.
The trial court applied Article 144 of the Civil Code
which provides:
When a man and a woman live
together as husband and wife, but
they are not married, or their
marriage
is
void
from
the
beginning, the property acquired
by either or both of them through
their work or industry or their
wages and salaries shall be
governed by the rules on coownership.
The court stated that "when a man and a woman
lived together as husband and wife, justice demands

that the woman should be entitled to the share of the


property. Certainly she cannot be considered mere
adornment or only for man's comfort and passion."
The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
Evidence,
testimonial
and
document considered the Court
hereby rendered judgment in favor
of the plaintiffs and against
defendant declaring that:
1. Declaring the abovementioned
sales as null and void;
2. Ordering defendant-spouses to
return the said lands, and to pay
for the value of the use of the same
at the rate of P1,000.00 a year
from 1953 until delivered, together
with
interests
corresponding
thereto at the legal rate;
3. Ordering defendant-spouses to
pay to plaintiff actual damages in
the sum of P500.00 and attorney
fees in the sum of P3,000.00.
Defendants counterclaim is hereby
ordered dismissed.
The Court of Appeals, however, found the parcels of,
land to be exclusive properties of the late Melbourne
Maxey. It set aside the decision of the trial court,
decease valid the deeds of sale, and ruled that the
appellants are the absolute owners of the properties
in question.
The appellate decision sustained the
arguments of the respondent spouses:

following

Plaintiffs' evidence is completely


devoid of any showing that these
properties
in
question
were
acquired through the joint efforts of
Melbourne Maxey and Regina
Morales. Indeed, if at all, plaintiffs'
evidence tend to establish the fact
that Melbourne Maxey by virtue of
his positions as Deputy Governor of
Zamboanga (p. 36, t.s.n. de la
Victoria) School Supervisor in the
East Coast of Davao (p. 36,
t.s.n., Id.) was more than in a

[8]

position
to
purchase
these
properties by his own efforts, his
own earnings and without the help
of Regina Morales. On the other
hand, we have the declaration of
Juana A. Morales, a widow of 68
years of age when she testified, the
sister-in-law of Regina Morales
Juana A. Morales confirmed the fact
that Melbourne Maxey held the
positions of teacher, provincial
treasurer, deputy governor, district
supervisor
and
lastly
superintendent
of
schools,
respectively (p. 203, t.s.n., de la
Victoria). But more important is her
declaration that her sister-in-law
Regina Morales had no property of
her own whence she could have
derived any income nor was Regina
gainfully employed. (pp. 203-204,
t.s.n., Id.) It must be remembered
that the showing must be CLEAR
that Regina Morales contributed to
the acquisition of these properties.
Here the evidence is not only NOT
CLEAR, indeed, there
is
no
evidence at all that Regina Morales
contributed to the acquisition of
the properties in question. In the
case of Aznar, et al vs. Garcia, et
al, supra, the Supreme Court had
before it the common-law wife's
own testimony claiming that the
properties in controversy were the
product of their joint industry. Her
assertions
however,
were
completely brushed aside because
aside from her claim that she took
a hand in the management and/or
acquisition of the same, "there
appears no evidence to prove her
alleged
contribution
or
participation in the, acquisition of
the properties involved therein."
(Id. p. 1069). In the case at bar,
besides the absence of any
evidence showing that Regina
Morales contributed by her efforts
to
the
acquisition
of
these
properties in controversy, both
plaintiffs and defendants' evidence
show
that
it
was
through
Melbourne Maxey's efforts alone
that
these
properties
were
acquired. Indeed, that Regina
Morales had no means at all to

have contributed in any manner to


all its acquisition.
The petitioners raise the following issues in this
petition:
1. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
IN DECLARING THAT THE LATE
SPOUSES MELBOURNE MAXEY AND
REGINA MORALES WERE MARRIED
ONLY IN 1919, BECAUSE THE
TRUTH IS THAT THEY MARRIED AS
EARLY AS 1903.
2. THE COURT OF APPEALS,
LIKEWISE, ERRED IN DECLARING
THE PROPERTIES IN QUESTION AS
THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTIES OF
THE LATE MELBOURNE MAXEY, TO
THE EXCLUSION OF HIS WIFE
REGINA MORALES, BECAUSE THE
MENTIONED PROPERTIES WERE
ACTUALLY ACQUIRED BY THE JOINT
EFFORTS AND INDUSTRY OF BOTH
OF THEM AND THEREFORE, THESE
PROPERTIES
ARE
COMMON
PROPERTIES.
3. THE COURT OF APPEALS FINALLY
ERRED IN UNREASONABLY GIVING
THE TERM "JOINT EFFORTS" NOT
ONLY A VERY, VERY LIMITED
MEANING BUT A CONCEPT WHICH
IS
ENTIRELY
ABSURD
AND
UNREALISTIC
BECAUSE
IN
CONSTRUING THE TERM, THE
COURT OF APPEALS HAS REFUSED
TO ACCEPT AN INTERPRETATION
WHICH IS MOST CONSISTENT WITH
COMMON PRACTICE AND CUSTOMS
AS WELL AS IN ACCORD WITH THE
BEST TRADITION OF THE FILIPINO
WAY OF LIFE.
The Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeals
correctly rejected the argument that Act No. 3613,
the Revised Marriage Law, recognized "military
fashion" marriages as legal. Maxey and Morales were
legally married at a church wedding solemnized on
February 16, 1919. Since Act No. 3613 was approved
on December 4, 1929 and took effect six months
thereafter, it could not have applied to a relationship
commenced in 1903 and legitimized in 1919 through
a marriage performed according to law. The marriage
law in 1903 was General Order No. 70. There is no

provision in General Order No. 68 as amended nor in


Act No. 3613 which would recognize as an exception
to the general rule on valid marriages, a so called
"Military fashion" ceremony or arrangement.
The Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeals
both ruled that Melbourne Maxey and Regina Morales
were married only in 1919. This is a finding of fact
which we do not disturb at this stage of the case.
There is no showing that this factual finding is totally
devoid of or unsupported by evidentiary basis or that
it is inconsistent with the evidence of record.
The other issue raised in this Petition questions the
Court of Appeals' finding that the parcels of land in
question were exclusive properties of the late
Melbourne Maxey.
The petitioners argue that even assuming that the
marriage of Melbourne Maxey and Regina Morales
took place only in February 17, 1919, still the
properties legally and rightfully belonged in equal
share to the two because the acquisition of the said
properties was through their joint efforts and
industry. The second and third errors mentioned by
the petitioners are grounded on the alleged wrong
interpretation given by the Court of Appeals to the
phrase "joint efforts". The petitioners suggest that
their mother's efforts in performing her role as
mother to them and as wife to their father were more
than sufficient contribution to constitute the parcels
of land in question as common properties acquired
through the joint efforts to their parents.
The Court of Appeals, however, was of the opinion
that Article 144 of the Civil Code is not applicable to
the properties in question citing the case of Aznar et
al. v. Garcia (102 Phil. 1055) on non-retroactivity of
codal provisions where vested rights may be
prejudiced or impaired. And, assuming that Article
144 of the Civil Code is applicable, the Court of
Appeals held that the disputed properties were
exclusively those of the petitioner's father because
these were not acquired through the joint efforts of
their parents. This conclusion stems from the
interpretation given by the Court of Appeals to the
phrase
"joint
efforts"
to
mean
"monetary
contribution". According to the Court
... This view with which this
ponente personally wholeheartedly
agrees for some time now has been
advocated by sympathizers of
equal rights for women, notably in
the Commission on the Status of

[9]

Women of the United Nations. In


our very own country there is
strong advocacy for the passage of
a presidential decree providing that
"the labors of a spouse in
managing the affairs of the
household
shall
be
credited
with compensation." Unfortunately,
until the happy day when such a
proposal shall have materialized
into law, Courts are bound by
existing
statutes
and
jurisprudence,
which
rigidly
interpret the phrase "joint efforts"
as monetary contributions of the
man and woman living together
without benefit of marriage, and to
date, the drudgery of a woman's
lifetime
dedication
to
the
management of the household
goes unremunerated, and has no
monetary value. Thus, in the case
of Aznar
vs.
Garcia(supra) the
Supreme Court held that the man
and the woman have an equal
interest in the properties acquired
during the union and each would
be entitled to participate therein if
said properties were the product of
their joint effort. In the same case
it was stated that aside` from the
observation of the trial court that
the appellee was an illiterate
woman, there appears no evidence
to prove appellee's contribution (in
terms of pesos and centavos) or
participation in the acquisition of
the properties involved; therefore,
following the aforecited ruling of
the Court, appellee's claim for onehalf (1/2) of the properties cannot
be granted.
In so concluding, the respondent Court of Appeals
accepted the private respondents' argument that it
was unlikely for the petitioners' mother to have
materially contributed in the acquisition of the
questioned properties since she had no property of
her own nor was she gainfully engaged in any
business or profession from which she could derive
income unlike their father who held the positions of
teacher deputy governor, district supervisor, and
superintendent of schools.
We are constrained to adopt a contrary view.
Considerations of justice dictate the retroactive

application of Article 144 of the Civil Code to the


case at bar. Commenting on Article 2252 of the Civil
Code which provides that changes made and new
provisions and rules laid down by the Code which
may prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in
accordance with the old legislation shall have no
retroactive effect, the Code Commission stated:
Laws shall have no retroactive
effect, unless the contrary is
provided. The question of how far
the new Civil Code should be made
applicable to past acts and events
is attended with the utmost
difficulty. It is easy enough to
understand the abstract principle
that laws have no retroactive effect
because vested or acquired rights
should be respected. But what are
vested or acquired rights? The
Commission did not venture to
formulate a definition of a vested
or acquired right seeing that the
problem is extremely committed.
What constitutes a vested or
acquired right well be determined
by the courts as each particular
issue is submitted to them, by
applying the transitional provisions
set forth, and in case of doubt, by
observing Art. 9 governing the
silence or obscurity of the law. In
this manner, the Commission is
confident that the judiciary with its
and high sense of justice will be
able to decide in what cases the
old Civil Code would apply and in
what cases the new one should be
binding This course has been
preferred by the Commission,
which did not presume to be able
to foresee and adequately provide
for each and every question that
may arise. (Report of the Code
Commission, pp. 165-166).
Similarly, with respect to Article 2253 which provides
inter alia that if a right should be declared for the
first tune in the Code, it shall be effective at once,
even though the act or event which gives rise thereto
may have been done or may have occurred under
the prior legislation, provided said new right does not
prejudice or impair any vested or acquired right, of
the same origin, the Code Commission commented:

... But the second sentence gives a


retroactive effect to newly created
rights provided they do not
prejudice or impair any vested or
acquired right. The retroactive
character of the new right is the
result of the exercise of the
sovereign power of legislation,
when the lawmaking body is
persuaded that the new right is
called for by considerations of
justice and public policy. But such
new right most not encroach upon
a vested right. (Report of the Code
Commission, p. 167).
The requirement of non-impairment of vested rights
is clear. It is the opinion of the Court of Appeals that
vested rights were prejudiced. We do not think so.
Prior to the effectivity of the present Civil Code on
August 30, 1950, the formation of an informal civil
partnership between a man and wife not legally
married and their corresponding right to an equal
share in properties acquired through their joint
efforts and industry during cohabitation was
recognized through decisions of this Court. (Aznar et
al. vs. Garcia, 102 Phil. 1055; Flores vs. Rehabilitation
Finance Corporation, 94 Phil. 451; Marata vs. Dionio,
L-24449, December 31, 1925; Lesaca v. Lesaca, 91
Phil. 135.)
With the enactment of the new Civil Code, Article 144
codified the law established through judicial
precedents but with the modification that the
property governed by the rules on co-ownership may
be acquired by either or both of them through their
work or industry. Even if it is only the man who
works, the property acquired during the man and
wife relationship belongs through a fifty-fifty sharing
to the two of them.
This new article in the Civil Code recognizes that it
would be unjust and abnormal if a woman who is a
wife in all aspects of the relationship except for the
requirement of a valid marriage must abandon her
home and children, neglect her traditional household
duties, and go out to earn a living or engage in
business before the rules on co-ownership would
apply. This article is particularly relevant in this case
where
the
"common-law"
relationship
was
legitimated through a valid marriage 34 years before
the properties were sold.

[10]

The provisions of the Civil Code are premised on the


traditional and existing, the normal and customary
gender roles of Filipino men and women. No matter
how large the income of a working wife compared to
that of her husband, the major, if not the full
responsibility of running the household remains with
the woman. She is the administrator of the
household. The fact that the two involved in this case
were not legally married at the time does not change
the nature of their respective roles. It is the woman
who traditionally holds the family purse even if she
does not contribute to filling that purse with funds.
As pointed out by Dean Irene R. Cortes of the
University of the Philippines, "in the Filipino family,
the wife holds the purse, husbands hand over their
pay checks and get an allowance in return and the
wife manages the affairs of the household. . . . And
the famous statement attributed to Governor General
Leonard Wood is repeated: In the Philippines, the
best man is the woman." (Cortes, "Womens Rights
Under the New Constitution". WOMAN AND THE LAW,
U.P. Law Center, p. 10.)
The "real contribution" to the acquisition of property
mentioned in Yaptinchay vs. Torres (28 SCRA 489)
must include not only the earnings of a woman from
a profession, occupation, or business but also her
contribution to the family's material and spiritual
goods through caring for the children, administering
the household, husbanding scarce resources, freeing
her husband from household tasks, and otherwise
performing the traditional duties of a housewife.
Should Article 144 of the Civil Code be applied in this
case? Our answer is "Yes" because there is no
showing that vested rights would be impaired or
prejudiced through its application.
A vested right is defined by this Court as property
which has become fixed and established, and is no
longer open to doubt or controversy; an immediately
fixed right of present or future enjoyment as
distinguished from an expectant or contingent right
(Benguet Consolidated Mining Co. vs. Pineda, 98 Phil.
711; Balbao vs. Farrales, 51 Phil. 498). This cannot be
said of the "exclusive" right of Melbourne Maxey over
the properties in question when the present Civil
Code became effective for standing against it was
the concurrent right of Regina Morales or her heirs to
a share thereof. The properties were sold in 1953
when the new Civil Code was already in full force and
effect. Neither can this be said of the rights of the
private respondents as vendees insofar as one half of
the questioned properties are concerned as this was
still open to controversy on account of the legitimate

claim of Regina Morales to a share under the


applicable law.
The disputed properties were owned in common by
Melbourne Maxey and the estate of his late wife,
Regina Morales, when they were sold. Technically
speaking, the petitioners should return one-half of
the P1,300.00 purchase price of the land while the
private respondents should pay some form of rentals
for their use of one-half of the properties. Equitable
considerations, however, lead us to rule out rentals
on one hand and return of P650.00 on the other.
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is
hereby granted. The judgment of the Court of
Appeals is reversed and set aside insofar as one-half
of the disputed properties are concerned. The private
respondents are ordered to return one-half of said
properties to the heirs of Regina Morales. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

JUANIZA vs. JOSE


89 SCRA 306
FACTS:
Eugenio Jose, a registered owner and operator of the
passenger jeepney involved in an accident of
collision with a freight train of the PNR that took
place in November 1969 resulted in the 7 deaths and
5 physical injuries of its passengers. That time,
Eugenio was married to Socorro but had been
cohabiting with Rosalia Arroyo, defendant-appellant
for 16 years as husband and wife. Trial court
decision rendered them jointly and severally liable to
pay damages to the heir of the deceased, Victor
Juaniza. A motion was prayed for by Rosalia for the
decision to be reconsidered.
ISSUE:
WON Eugenio and Rosalia are co-owners of the
jeepney.

partnership with the lawful wife. The common-law


wife not being the registered owner cannot be held
liable for the damages caused by its operation.
There is therefore no basis for her liability in the
damages arising from the death of and physical
injuries suffered by the passengers.
______________________________________________________
____
Facts: Eugenio Jose was the registered owner and
operator of the passenger jeepney involved in an
accident of collision with a freight train of the
Philippine National Railways that took place on
November 23, 1969 which resulted in the death to
seven (7) and physical injuries to five (5) of its
passengers. At the time of the accident, Eugenio Jose
was legally married to Socorro Ramos but had been
cohabiting with defendant-appellant, Rosalia Arroyo,
for sixteen (16) years in a relationship akin to that of
husband and wife.
Motion for reconsideration was filed by Rosalia Arroyo
praying that the decision be reconsidered insofar as
it condemns her to pay damages jointly and severally
with her co-defendant, but was denied.
Issue: Whether or not Article 144 of the Civil Code
(now Article 148 of FC) is applicable in a case where
one of the parties in a common-law relationship is
incapacitated to marry.
Ruling: It has been consistently ruled by this Court
that the co-ownership contemplated in Article 144 of
the Civil Code requires that the man and the woman
living together must not in any way be incapacitated
to contract marriage. Since Eugenio Jose is legally
married to Socorro Ramos, there is an impediment
for him to contract marriage with Rosalia Arroyo.
Under the aforecited provision of the Civil Code,
Arroyo cannot be a co-owner of the jeepney. The
jeepney belongs to the conjugal partnership of Jose
and his legal wife. There is therefore no basis for the
liability of Arroyo for damages arising from the death
of, and physical injuries suffered by, the passengers
of the jeepney which figured in the collision.

HELD:
The co-ownership provided in Article 147 applied
only when the parties are not incapacitated to marry.
Hence, the jeepney belongs to the conjugal

THE FAMILY
ART. 149 151, ART. 2035

[11]

MENDOZA vs. CA
19 SCRA 756
FACTS:
Manotok was the administrator of a parcel of land
which it leased to Benjamin Mendoza; that the
contract of lease expired on December 31, 1988; that
even after the expiration of the lease contract,
Benjamin Mendoza, and after his demise, his son,
Romeo, continued to occupy the premises and thus
incurred a total of P44,011.25 as unpaid rentals from
January 1, 1989 to July 31, 1996; that on July 16,
1996, Manotok made a demand on Benjamin
Mendoza to pay the rental arrears and to vacate the
premises within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the
demand letter; that despite receipt of the letter and
after the expiration of the 15-day period, the
Mendozas refused to vacate the property and to pay
the rentals. The complaint prayed that the court
order Mendoza and those claiming rights under him
to vacate the premises and deliver possession
thereof to Manotok, and to pay the unpaid rentals
from January 1, 1989 to July 31, 1996 plus P875.75
per month starting August 1, 1996, subject to such
increase allowed by law, until he finally vacates the
premise.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals
committed error in giving efficacy to a lease contract
signed in 1988 when the alleged signatory was
already dead since 1986.
RULING:
This is a case for unlawful detainer. It appears that
respondent corporation leased the property subject
of this case to petitioners father. After expiration of
the lease, petitioner continued to occupy the
property but failed to pay the rentals. On July 16,
1996, respondent corporation made a demand on
petitioner to vacate the premises and to pay their
arrears.
An action for unlawful detainer may be filed when
possession by a landlord, vendor, vendee or other
person of any land or building is unlawfully withheld
after the expiration or termination of the right to hold
possession by virtue of a contract, express or

implied. The only issue to be resolved in an unlawful


detainer case is physical or material possession of
the property involved, independent of any claim of
ownership by any of the parties involved. In the case
at bar, petitioner lost his right to possess the
property upon demand by respondent corporation to
vacate the rented lot. Petitioner cannot now refute
the existence of the lease contract because of his
prior admissions in his pleadings regarding his status
as tenant on the subject property.

GUERRERO vs. RTC


229 SCRA 274
FACTS:
Guerrero and Pedro are brothers in law , their
respective wives being sisters. Filed by petitioner as
an accion publicana against private respondent, this
case assumed another dimension when it was
dismissed by respondent Judge on the ground that
the parties being brother-in-law the complaint should
have alleged that earnest efforts were first exerted
towards a compromise.
ISSUE: WON brothers by affinity are considered
members of the same family.
HELD:
Considering that Art. 151 herein-quoted starts with
the negative word No, the requirement is
mandatory 4 that the complaint or petition, which
must be verified, should allege that earnest efforts
towards a compromise have been made but that the
same failed, so that [i]f it is shown that no such
efforts were in fact made, the case must be
dismissed.
No. The court already ruled in Gayon v. Gayon 6 that
the enumeration of brothers and sisters as
members of the same family does not comprehend
sisters-in-law

MENDOZA vs. BIONSON


80 SCRA 82
[12]

HONTIVEROS vs. RTC


309 SCRA 340
FACTS:
Petitioner spouses Augusto and Maria Hontiveros
filed a complaint for damages against private
respondents Gregorio Hontiveros and Teodora Ayson.
The petitioners alleged that they are the owners of a
parcel of land in Capiz and that they were deprived of
income from the land as a result of the filing of the
land registration case.
In the reply, private
respondents denied that they were married and
alleged that Gregorio was a widower while Teodora
was single. They also denied depriving petitioners of
possession of and income from the land. On the
contrary, according to the private respondents, the
possession of the property in question had already
been transferred to petitioners by virtue of the writ of
possession. Trial court denied petitioners motion
that while in the amended complaint, they alleged
that earnest efforts towards a compromise were
made, it was not verified as provided in Article 151.
ISSUE:
WON the court can validly dismissed the complaint
due to lack of efforts exerted towards a compromise
as stated in Article 151.
HELD:
SC held that the inclusion of private respondent
Teodora Ayson as defendant and Maria Hontiveros as
petitioner takes the case out of the scope of Article
151. Under this provision, the phrase members of
the same family refers to the husband and wife,
parents and children, ascendants and descendants,
and brothers and sisters whether full or half-blood.
Religious relationship and relationship by affinity are
not given any legal effects in this jurisdiction.
Teodora and Maria as spouses of the Hontiveros are
regarded as strangers to the Hontiveros family for
purposes of Article 151.

SUPPORT
Art. 195 208

DE ASIS vs. CA
303 SCRA 176
FACTS:
Vircel Andres as legal guardian of Glen Camil Andres
de Asis, filed an action in 1988 for maintenance and
support against the alleged father Manuel De Asis
who failed to provide support and maintenance
despite repeated demands. Vircel later on withdrew
the complaint in 1989 for the reason that Manuel
denied paternity of the said minor and due to such
denial, it seems useless to pursue the said action.
They mutually agreed to move for the dismissal of
the complaint with the condition that Manuel will not
pursue his counter claim. However in 1995, Vircel
filed a similar complaint against the alleged father,
this time as the minors legal guardian/mother.
Manuel interposed maxim of res judicata for the
dismissal of the case. He maintained that since the
obligation to give support is based on existence of
paternity between the child and putative parent, lack
thereof negates the right to claim support.
ISSUE:
WON the minor is barred from action for support.
HELD:
The right to give support cannot be renounced nor
can it be transmitted to a third person. The original
agreement between the parties to dismiss the initial
complaint was in the nature of a compromise
regarding future support which is prohibited by law.
With respect to Manuels contention for the lack of
filial relationship between him and the child and
agreement of Vircel in not pursuing the original
claim, the Court held that existence of lack thereof of
any filial relationship between parties was not a
matter which the parties must decide but should be
decided by the Court itself. While it is true that in
order to claim support, filiation or paternity must be
first shown between the parties, but the presence or
lack thereof must be judicially established and
declaration is vested in the Court. It cannot be left to
the will or agreement of the parties. Hence, the first
dismissal cannot bar the filing of another action
asking for the same relief (no force and effect).
Furthermore, the defense of res judicata claimed by
Manuel was untenable since future support cannot be
the subject of any compromise or waiver.

LIM vs. LIM


G.R. No. 163209
Oct. 30, 2009

midwife of Chua Giak in what the trial court


described a very compromising situation.3[3]
Cheryl, for herself and her children, sued
petitioners,

The Case

Edward,

Chua

Giak

and

Mariano

(defendants) in the Regional Trial Court of Makati


City, Branch 140 (trial court) for support.
For review1[1] is the Decision2[2] of the
Court of Appeals, dated 28 April 2003, ordering

court ordered Edward to provide monthly support of


P6,000 pendente lite.4[4]

petitioners Prudencio and Filomena Lim (petitioners)

The Ruling of the Trial Court

to provide legal support to respondents Cheryl,


Lester Edward, Candice Grace and Mariano III, all
surnamed Lim (respondents).

On 31 January 1996, the trial court rendered


judgment
jointly

The Facts

ordering
provide

respondents,

In 1979, respondent Cheryl S. Lim (Cheryl)


married Edward Lim (Edward), son of petitioners.

Edward and their children resided at the house of


petitioners in Forbes Park, Makati City, together with
Edwards ailing grandmother, Chua Giak and her
husband Mariano Lim (Mariano). Edwards family
business, which provided him with a monthly salary

and

petitioners

monthly

support

to
to

with Edward shouldering P6,000 and

Giaks subsidiary liability. 5[5]


The

defendants

questioning their liability.

sought

reconsideration,

The trial court, while

denying reconsideration, clarified that petitioners


and Chua Giak were held jointly liable with Edward
because of the latters inability x x x to give
sufficient support x x x.6[6]

of P6,000, shouldered the family expenses. Cheryl


had no steady source of income.

Edward
P40,000

petitioners the balance of P34,000 subject to Chua

Cheryl bore Edward three children, respondents


Lester Edward, Candice Grace and Mariano III. Cheryl,

The trial

Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals


assailing, among others, their liability to support
respondents. Petitioners argued that while Edwards
income is insufficient, the law itself sanctions its

On 14 October 1990,

Cheryl abandoned

the Forbes Park residence, bringing the children with


her (then all minors),

after a violent confrontation

with Edward whom she caught with the in-house

effects by providing that legal support should be in


keeping with the financial capacity of the family

3
4

6
[13]

under Article 194 of the Civil Code, as amended by

Petitioners sought reconsideration but the

Executive Order No. 209 (The Family Code of the

Court of Appeals

Philippines).7[7]

Resolution dated 12 April 2004.

denied their motion in the

termination12[12]

material to this appeal, that is, whether there is basis


to hold petitioners, as Edwards parents, liable with
him to support respondents, the Court of Appeals

The

issue

is

over

their

children, 14[14]

whether

latters offspring ends with them.


petitioners

are

respondents.

Neither the text of the law nor the teaching


of jurisprudence supports this severe constriction of
The Ruling of the Court

In connection with this


provision, Article 200 paragraph (3)
of the Family Code clearly provides
that should the person obliged to
give support does not have
sufficient means to satisfy all
claims,
the
other
persons
enumerated in Article 199 in its
order shall provide the necessary
support. This is because the closer
the relationship of the relatives,
the stronger the tie that binds
them.
Thus, the obligation to
support is imposed first upon the
shoulders of the closer relatives
and only in their default is the
obligation moved to the next
nearer relatives and so on.8[8]

authority

concurrently liable with Edward to provide support to

held:
The law on support under
Article 195 of the Family Code is
clear on this matter. Parents and
their
legitimate
children
are
obliged to mutually support one
another and this obligation extends
down
to
the
legitimate
grandchildren
and
great
grandchildren.

the

petitioners submit that the obligation to support the

The Issue

Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. On the issue

during

sued for support, Cheryl and Edward exercised

Hence, this petition.

In its Decision dated 28 April 2003, the

suspension13[13]

childrens minority. Because at the time respondents


parental

The Ruling of the Court of Appeals

or

the scope of familial obligation to give support. In the

We rule in the affirmative. However, we


modify

the

appealed

judgment

by

limiting

petitioners liability to the amount of monthly support


needed by respondents

Lester Edward, Candice

Grace and Mariano III only.

first place, the governing text are the relevant


provisions in Title VIII of the Civil Code, as amended,
on Support, not the provisions in Title IX on Parental
Authority. While both areas share a common ground
in that parental authority encompasses the obligation
to provide legal support, 15[15] they differ in other
concerns including the duration of the obligation and

Petitioners Liable to Provide Support

its

concurrence

degrees.16[16]

but only to their Grandchildren

among

Thus,

relatives

although

the

of

differing

obligation

to

provide support arising from parental authority ends


upon the emancipation of the child,17[17] the same
obligation arising from spousal and general familial

By

statutory9[9]

and

jurisprudential

mandate,10[10] the liability of ascendants to provide


legal support to their descendants is beyond cavil.
Petitioners themselves admit as much they limit

ties ideally lasts during the obligee's lifetime.. Also,


while parental authority under Title IX (and the
correlative

provisions11[11] found in Title IX of the Civil Code, as


amended, on Parental Authority, petitioners theorize

12
13

that their liability is activated only upon default of


parental

authority,

conceivably

either

by

its

14

15

10

16

11

17
[14]

rights)

pertains

to

parents,

passing to ascendants only upon its termination or

their petition to the narrow question of when their


liability is triggered, not if they are liable. Relying on

parental

suspension, the obligation to provide legal support

sufficiently provide for their children shifts a portion

Code, as amended, and pray that they be allowed to

passes on to ascendants not only upon default of the

of their obligation to the ascendants in the nearest

fulfill their obligation by maintaining respondents at

parents but also for the latters inability to provide

degree,

petitioners

both

in

the

paternal

(petitioners)

and

19

sufficient support. As we observed in another case

maternal [19] lines, following the ordering in Article

raising

ascendants

199. To hold otherwise, and thus subscribe to

obligation to give support in light of the fathers

petitioners theory, is to sanction the anomalous

sufficient means:

scenario of tolerating extreme material deprivation of

the

ancillary

issue

of

an

children

because

of

parental

inability

to

petitioners

partial

The

option

is

The

application

of

Article

204

which

provides that

give
The person obliged to give
support shall have the option to
fulfill the obligation either by
paying the allowance fixed, or by
receiving and maintaining in the
family dwelling the person who has
a right to receive support. The
latter alternative cannot be
availed of in case there is a
moral or legal obstacle thereto.
(Emphasis supplied)

removed are more than able to fill the void.

However,

residence.

unavailable to petitioners.

adequate support even if ascendants one degree


Professor Pineda is of the
view that grandchildren cannot
demand support directly from their
grandparents if they have parents
(ascendants of nearest degree)
who are capable of supporting
them. This is so because we have
to follow the order of support under
Art. 199. We agree with this view.

Makati

concurrent

obligation extends only to their descendants as this


word is commonly understood to refer to relatives, by
blood of lower degree. As petitioners grandchildren

xxxx
There is no showing that
private respondent is without
means to support his son;
neither is there any evidence to
prove that petitioner, as the
paternal grandmother, was willing
to voluntarily provide for her
grandson's legal support. x x
x18[18] (Emphasis supplied; internal
citations omitted)

by blood, only respondents Lester Edward, Candice

is subject to its exception clause. Here, the persons

Grace and Mariano III belong to this category. Indeed,

entitled

Cheryls right to receive support from the Lim family

grandchildren

extends only to her husband Edward, arising from

petitioners the option in Article 204

to

receive
and

support

are

petitioners

daughter-in-law.

Granting

will secure to

Cheryls

the grandchildren a well-provided future; however, it

support

will also force Cheryl to return to the house which, for

the trial court awarded cannot be determined from

her, is the scene of her husbands infidelity. While not

the records. Thus, we are constrained to remand the

rising to the level of a legal obstacle, as indeed,

their

marital

share

from

20

bond. [20]
the

Unfortunately,

amount

of

monthly

21

case to the trial court for this limited purpose. [21]

Cheryls charge against Edward for concubinage did


not prosper for insufficient evidence, her steadfast

Petitioners Precluded from Availing

insistence on its occurrence amounts to a moral


impediment bringing the case within the ambit of the

of the Alternative Option Under


Here, there is no question that Cheryl is
unable

to

discharge

her

obligation

to

Article 204 of the Civil Code, as Amended

exception

clause

of Article

204,

precluding

its

application.

provide
As an alternative proposition, petitioners

WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We

school-bound. It is also undisputed that the amount

wish to avail of the option in Article 204 of the Civil

AFFIRM the Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated

of support Edward is able to give to respondents,

19

28 April 2003, and its Resolution dated 12 April 2004

20

and Filomena Lim are liable to provide support only

sufficient legal support to her children, then all

with the MODIFICATION that petitioners Prudencio

P6,000 a month, is insufficient to meet respondents


basic needs. This inability of Edward and Cheryl to

to respondents Lester Edward, Candice Grace and

18

21
[15]

Mariano III, all surnamed Lim. We REMAND the case


to the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 140,
for further proceedings consistent with this ruling.

FUNERAL
Art. 305 310

[16]