Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. 73831 February 27, 1987
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES represented by the BOARD OF LIQUIDATORS, petitioners,
vs.
HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and CITY OF ZAMBOANGA, respondents.

CRUZ, J.:
The instant case presents an issue of first impression, the respondent court having decided a
question of substance not heretofore determined by this Court. The matter is now before Us in this
petition for review praying for the reversal of the decision below escheating a parcel of land in favor
of the City of Zamboanga.
The property in dispute was among the lands taken over by the United States Government under the
Philippine Property Act of 1946 enacted by the American Congress. It was registered in 1930 under
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 9509 of the Register of Deeds of Zamboanga in the name of Kantiro
Koyama, a Japanese national, who has not been heard from since the end of World War II. 1 Under
the said Act, the land was supposed to be transferred to the Republic of the Philippines, pursuant to its
Section 3 reading as follows:
All property vested in or transferred to the President of the United States, the Alien
Property Custodian, or any such officer or agency as the President of the United
States may designate under the Trading with the Enemy act, as amended, which was
located in the Philippines at the time of such vesting, or the proceeds thereof, and
which shall remain after the satisfaction of any claim payable under the Trading with
the Enemy Act, costs and expenses of administration as may by law be charged
against such property or proceeds, shall be transferred by the president of the United
States to the Republic of the Philippines.
The transfer was never made, however, and the property remained registered in the name of
Koyama. Nevertheless, the lot has since 1978 been covered by Tax Declaration No. 42644 in the
name of the Republic of the Philippines with the Board of Liquidators as administrator. 2
Earlier, in 1976, the Republic of the Philippines had filed escheat proceedings against the said
property, claiming that the registered owner of the land "had been absent for the past ten years or
more and he, therefore, may be presumed dead for the purpose of appointing his successor." It also
alleged that since he left no heirs or persons entitled to the aforementioned property, the State
should inherit the same in accordance with Rule 91 of the Rules of Court. 3
After the required publications, hearing was held at which the City of Zamboanga did
not appear and no claim or opposition was filed by any party. The Solicitor General

allowed the appearance of the Board of Liquidators as administrator of the disputed
land and the City Fiscal of Zamboanga City did not object. 4 Finally, the trial court
declared the property —
... escheated to the State in favor of the City of Zamboanga where the property is
located for the benefit of public schools and public charitable institutions and centers
in the City of Zamboanga.
Not satisfied with the decision, the petitioner elevated the same to the Intermediate Appellate Court,
where it was affirmed. The respondent court held that the City of Zamboanga — which had later
intervened with leave of court — was entitled to the property in question under the provision of
Section 3, Rule 91 of the Rules of Court, providing that —
Sec. 3. Hearing and judgment. — Upon satisfactory proof in open court on the date
fixed in the order that such order has been published as directed and that the person
died intestate, seized of real or personal property in the Philippines, leaving no heir
or person entitled to the same, and no sufficient cause being shown to the contrary,
the court shall adjudge that the estate of the deceased in the Philippines, after the
payment of just debts and charges, shall escheat; and shall, pursuant to law, assign
the personal estate to the municipality or city where he last resided in the Philippines,
and the real estate to the municipalities or cities, respectively, in which the same is
situated. If the deceased never resided in the Philippines, the whole estate may be
assigned to the respective municipalities or cities where the same is located. Such
estate shall be for the benefit of public schools, and public charitable institutions and
centers in said municipalities or cities.
The court, at the instance of an interested party, or on its own motion, may order the
establishment of a permanent trust, so that only the income from the property shall
be used.
In so ruling, the respondent court rejected the position taken by the petitioner which it asks us now to
consider as its justification for the reversal of the appealed decision. That position, simply stated, is
that there was a mere oversight on the part of the American government which prevented the
formality of a transfer of the property to the Philippine government. That neglect should not divest
the Republic of the property which under the spirit and intendment of the Philippine Property Act of
1946 should belong to it as successor-in-interest of the United States. 5
Oversight or not, says the respondent court, the fact is that the property was not transferred as
required by the said law. Hence, it was properly escheated to the City of Zamboanga, on the
unrebutted presumption that the registered owner was already dead, and there being no heirs or
other claimants to the land in question. Moreover, the Board of Liquidators had no personality to
claim the land because it had the authority to administer only those properties that had been
transferred by the U.S. Alien Property Custodian to the Republic of the Philippines. 6
We reverse, We rule for the petitioner.
It is clear, and the respondent City of Zamboanga does not deny it, that there was mere
inadvertence on the part of the American government in omitting to transfer the disputed land to the
Republic of the Philippines. The obvious purpose of the Act was to turn over to the Philippine

government all enemy properties situated in its territory that had been seized and were being held
for the time being by the United States, which was then exercising sovereignty over the Philippines.
The transfer of such enemy properties to the Philippine Republic was one of the acts by which the
United States acknowledged the elevation of this country to the status of a sovereign state on July 4,
1946.
While it is true that there are no records of such transfer, we may presume that such transfer was
made. The lack of such records does not mean that it was not made as this would run counter to the
mandate of the Philippine Property Act of 1946, which, to repeat, intended to vest title in the
Philippines enemy properties found in its territory. It would be more reasonable to suppose that the
President of the United States, or the person acting under his authority, complied with, rather than
neglected (and so violated) this requirement of Section 3 of the said Act, if only on the basis of the
presumption of the regularity of official functions. In the extreme, we can even say that this section
legally effected the transfer, to be evidenced later by the formality of the corresponding deed, and
that the lack of such deed does not mean that no transfer was made. Otherwise, we would have to
face the dubious conclusion that the said property is still owned and so still subject to disposition by
the United States.
In support of its position, the City of Zamboanga argues, without much spirit, that anyway the land in
question has an area of only 4,533 square meters and that for all practical purposes it can be better
administered and used by the city authorities. 7 Perhaps so; but surely that is not the point. We are
dealing here not with the pragmatic question of who can benefit more from the disputed property but with
the legal question of who is its legal owner. That is the point.
We hold that where it comes to ordinary real properties the owners of which may be presumed dead
and left no heirs, the same may be escheated, conformably to Rule 91 of the Rules of Court, in favor
of the political subdivisions in which they are located. The said Rule, however, does not cover
properties taken from enemy nationals as a result of World War II and required to be transferred to
the Republic of the Philippines by the United States in accordance with its own enactment commonly
known as the Philippine Property Act of 1946. Such properties, including the land in dispute, belong
to the Philippine government not by virtue of the escheat proceedings but on the strength of the
transfer authorized and required by the said Act.
It may really be that, for practical reasons, the disputed property should be entrusted to the City of
Zamboanga, for the purposes indicated in the Rules of Court. That may still be effected. But this will
require a transfer of the land to the city by the Republic of the Philippines, to which it belongs and
which has the power to dispose of it.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is reversed and another one is hereby entered declaring the
Republic of the Philippines to be the legal owner of the land subject of the instant petition. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION

respectively. 1984 FELICIANO FRANCISCO. In the said petition for certiorari. claiming to be a first cousin of Estefania San Pedro. now Intermediate Appellate Court. The antecedent facts as recited in the appealed decision of the Court of Appeals showed that: Petitioner is the duly appointed guardian of the incompetent Estefania San Pedro in Special Proceedings No. dated April 27. and. J. in his order of April 17. L-57438 January 3. and June 26. in his instead. Nicomedes M. the petition was based on the failure of the guardian to submit an inventory of the estate of his ward and to render an accounting. No.000. Jajardo for petitioner. 1974 respondent Pelagio Francisco. vs. It would seem that petitioner subsequently rendered an accounting but failed to submit an inventory. petitioner. for which reason the court on March 20. relying on the deed of sale as the best evidence of the price paid for the sale of the land. petitioner Feliciano Francisco challenged the validity of the Order of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. respondents. the respondent Judge reconsidered his finding. Among other grounds. 1981. 532 of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan presided over by respondent Judge.R. however. respondent judge acknowledged that his finding was "rather harsh and somewhat unfair to the said guardian. COURT OF APPEALS and PELAGIO FRANCISCO. granting execution pending appeal of its decision by relieving petitioner Feliciano Francisco as guardian of incompetent Estefania San Pedro and appointing respondent herein. dismissing the petition for certiorari filed by petitioner Feliciano Francisco docketed as CA-G. On August 30.000. GUERRERO.R. Fifth Judicial District. 12172 entitled "Feliciano Francisco versus Judge Jesus R. Crescini & Associates Law Office for private respondent." . Pelagio Francisco. said to be nieces of the incompetent. together with two others.00 for the sale of a residential land and not P12. 1975 gave petitioner ten (10) days within which to do so. On motion of petitioner. in his order dated September 12. The respondent Judge found the claim to be true. No. Branch II. 1980. otherwise he would be removed from guardianship Petitioner thereafter submitted an inventory to which respondent Pelagio Francisco filed an objection on the ground that petitioner actually received P14. 1981.00 only as stated in the deed of sale and reported by him in his inventory.G. petitioned the court for the removal of petitioner and for the appointment in his stead of respondent Pelagio Francisco. HON. De Vega and Pelagio Francisco".: This petition for review on certiorari seeks the annulment of the decision and resolution of the defunct Court of Appeals. 1980 relieved the petitioner as guardian. now Regional Trial Court.

2 Petitioner. contending that he was only 72 years of age and still fit to continue with the management of the estate of his ward as he had done with zeal for the past twelve years. considering the rather advanced age of the present guardian. Pelagio Francisco filed an "Omnibus Motion" with the court a quo with the prayer (1) to restrain guardian from exercising office. docketed as CA-G. 1981. as he is hereby. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied. relieving the present guardian.R. and (3) appoint new guardian . petitioner filed with the defunct Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari challenging the validity of the order of the trial court granting the execution pending appeal of its decision and appointing respondent Pelagio Francisco as the new guardian despite the fact that respondent is five (5) years older than petitioner. . For this purpose. On February 2. (referring to CA-G. 3 The trial court. the court holding that "an indefinite continuance in office would defeat the intent and purpose of the said order of September 12. the court stated that 'an indefinite discontinuance in office would defeat the intent and purpose of the said order of September 12. 1981. 1980. that he should nevertheless be.. In issuing the order. SO ORDERED. 6the court a quo appointed respondent Pelagio Francisco as the new guardian of the person and property of the incompetent Estefania San Pedro. 12172. retired to take effect upon the appointment by this court and the assumption of office of his replacement. SP-1217)" On December 5. respondent Judge ordered the retirement of petitioner on the ground of old age." 4 Petitioner moved for reconsideration of the said order. after which the matter will be deemed submitted for resolution and final action by the court. on December 9. No.Nevertheless. on motion of private respondent. (2) order guardian to surrender to court all properties of the ward. this petition. the court. 1980.. on December 17. 1980. on January 27. 1981. before the appeal was perfected. however. 7 On March 13. this Court is inclined and so decrees." Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. required petitioner to submit within three days his nomination for guardian of Estefania San Pedro as required in its order of September 12. Subsequently. 1980' and paid the appeal bond. 1 Meanwhile. 5 but the trial court overruled the same on March 4. Accordingly. In an order dated November 13. 1981 to submit within three (3) days his nomination for guardian of Estefania San Pedro as required in its order of September 12. who shall be taken from the recommendees of the parties herein. disregarded the opposition and required petitioner on January 27. the present guardian is hereby given twenty (20) days from receipt of a copy of this order within which to submit his proposal for a replacement for himself and to comment on petitioner's recommendee and the latter a like period within which to comment on the present guardian's proposed substitute. 1980 filed his opposition to the omnibus motion claiming that the same was premature. 1980 relieving the present guardian. 1980. on March 11. No. 1981.R. 1980 the court denied his motion. Hence. 1981 he filed the record on appeal. petiti/ner filed a notice of appeal 'from the order issued by the court on November 13. 1980. The order states in part as follows: ".

Given this finding. 2). SO ORDERED. 2). 1981 which required petitioner to recommend his own replacement. denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration. WHEREFORE. Rule 97. 9 The respondent appellate court." (Rule 39. otherwise the court would appoint a new guardian. the order amounts to a finding that petitioner. (2 Moran. It is of course true that the order of removal is not yet final. in its resolution dated June 26. without pronouncement as to costs. Indeed. In the case at bar. petitioner has not demonstrated that in ordering execution pending appeal. unless it modify control or inquire into the exercise of this be shown that there has been an abuse of that discretion. When this ground is considered in relation to the delay of the petitioner in the making of an accounting and the submission of an inventory. the respondent Judge committed a grave abuse of discretion. 1981. 260 [1979]. namely. 8 Petitioner subsequently filed another motion for reconsideration advancing the following arguments: that to grant execution pending appeal would render petitioner's appeal moot and academic that "advanced age" was not one of the. considering his "rather advanced age. respondent Court ruled: The order of March 11. this case concerns the validity only of the orders of January 27. Sec. calling attention to the fact that . On this point. Comments on the Rules of Court. we cannot say that respondent acted with grave and irreparable damage and that the order of September 12. grounds raised by private respondent in the court below. 1981. the retirement of petitioner was ordered on the ground of old age. that Francisco is in fact older than petitioner. Appellate courts win not interfere to discretion. As already stated.The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition on April 23. that the court a quo abuse its discretion in appointing respondent as guardian despite the fact that private respondent is five (5) years older than petitioner. which would be frustrated if it is not immediately executed. Considering the time -it normally takes for appeals to be finally determined as well as the purpose of the order under appeal. the pertinent portion of its decision reading as follows: The Rules of Court authorizes executions pending appeal "upon good reasons to be stated in a special order. Nor does it appear that petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of March 11. the petition for certiorari is DISMISSED. 1981. it is clear that petitioner's continuance in office would not be in the best interest of the ward. 1980 is not yet final. Sec." was no longer capable of managing the estate of his ward. 1981 and March 4. It does not appear that petitioner objected to the appointment of respondent Francisco on the ground now invoked. 1981 appointing respondent Francisco as guardian was never assailed in the petition in this case. the court finding it unnecessary to repeat the discussion of the arguments which it had already considered and only entertained the argument regarding the competency of the respondent as the new guardian. the granting of execution pending appeal ties within the sound discretion of a court.

therefore. and the present and past history of a prospective appointee. For this reason. SO ORDERED. the selection of a guardian must. as wen as the probability of his. We sustain the immediate retirement of petitioner Feliciano Francisco as guardian. 14 A guardian. the court may consider the financial situation. if it was error at all. prudence and trustworthiness. 16 Considering the difficult and complicated responsibilities and duties of a guardian. suit this very purpose. 13 A guardian is or becomes incompetent to serve the trust if he is so disqualified by mental incapacity. 10 In the petition at bar. conviction of crime. in which one person. not that of the guardian. A guardianship is a trust relation of the most sacred character.11 A guardianship is designed to further the ward's well-being. this finds direct support in the delay of the accounting and inventory made by petitioner. guardianship indicates not only those responsibilities. Thus. the motion for reconsideration is DENIED for lack of merit.12 Having in mind that guardianship proceeding is instituted for the benefit and welfare of the ward. the point now raised does not appear to have been urged in the lower court so that the latter could have rectified the error. It has been stated that while custody involves immediate care and control.15 We agree with the trial court and the appellate court that there is need for petitioner Feliciano Francisco to be retired from the guardianship over the person and property of incompetent Estefania San Pedro. the morals. in determining the selection of a guardian. The conclusion reached by the trial court about the "rather advanced age" of petitioner at 72 years old (petitioner is now 76 years old) finding him unfit to continue the trust cannot be disturbed. once appointed may be removed in case he becomes insane or otherwise incapable of discharging his trust or unsuitable therefor. called a "guardian" acts for another called the "ward" whom the law regards as incapable of managing his own affairs. WHEREFORE.respondent Francisco is older than petitioner. To sustain petitioner as guardian would. moral delinquency or physical disability as to be prevented from properly discharging the duties of his office. While age alone is not a control criterion in determining a person's fitness or qualification to be appointed or be retained as guardian. affirming thereby the rulings of both the trial court and the appellate court. as wen as to render any assistance that the ward may personally require. the sound judgment. it is not proper ground for certiorari before this Court. much less for a motion for reconsideration. or failed for thirty (30) days after it is due to render an account or make a return. the physical condition. be detrimental to the ward. and (b) The Honorable Court of Appeals committed grave misapprehension and misinterpretation of facts when it declared that petitioner did not question the appointment of private respondent as guardian in his stead on the ground that the latter is older than the former by five (5) years. therefore. . being able to exercise the powers and duties of guardian for the full period during which guardianship will be necessary. As correctly pointed out by the appellate court. petitioner contends that (a) The Honorable Court of Appeals has committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the removal of petitioner as guardian of the ward Estefania San Pedro on the ground of old age is a good ground for the execution of the decision pending appeal. It is intended to preserve the ward's property. character and conduct. In short. but those of one in loco parentis as well. it may be a factor for consideration. or has wasted or mismanaged the estate.

. (Jose Matienzo vs.. Nos... Martin Servidad. respectively. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. there is more than sufficient reason for the immediate execution of the lower court's judgment for the replacement of the first guardian. We likewise agree with the respondent appellate court in denying in its resolution of June 26. LIM. We hold and rule that respondent appellate court correctly sustained the propriety of said execution pending appeal. Chairperson. 1981 for lack of merit the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner questioning the appointment of private respondent Pelagio Francisco. C.With respect to the issue of execution pending appeal in appointing respondent Pelagio Francisco as guardian to succeed petitioner while the latter's appeal was still pending... SO ORDERED.J. CARPIO. 107 SCRA 276. PUNO. 1981 and June 26. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO.. Petitioner.. and .. LIM. 102 SCRA 597. x . We also find no abuse of discretion committed by the appellate court. 1980... control or inquire into the exercise of this discretion. 1981. relieving the present guardian (Feliciano Francisco). Garcian vs.. We agree with the reason given by the appellate court in sustaining execution pending appeal that "an indefinite continuance in office would defeat the intent and purpose of the order of September 12... Dano 96 SCRA 160).... Present: MONINA P. are hereby AFFIRMED.. Director of Lands vs. Court of Appeals. Inasmuch as the primary objective for the institution of guardianship is for the protection of the ward. WHEREFORE... execution pending appeal is a matter of sound discretion on the part of the trial court." As to the issue concerning the appointment of respondent Pelagio Francisco as the new guardian. FIRST DIVISION IN RE: PETITION FOR G.. 17 and the appellate court will not interfere.R. 18 which We find none herein. Upon urgent and compelling reasons. 168992-93 ADOPTION OF MICHELLE P. The rule is well-established that appellate courts may not entertain issues brought before it for the first time on appeal..x CORONA.. unless there has been an abuse thereof. the assailed decision and resolution of the respondent court dated April 27. Costs against petitioner.

2009 x-----------------------------------------------.-x DECISION CARPIO. which dismissed without prejudice the consolidated petitions for adoption of Michelle P. LIM. Branch 22 (trial court). General Santos City. JJ. .: The Case This is a petition for review on certiorari filed by Monina P. PROC. LIM. Lim (petitioner) seeking to set aside the Decision [1] dated 15 September 2004 of the Regional Trial Court.IN RE: PETITION FOR BERSAMIN. 1258 and 1259. Lim. Lim and Michael Jude P. Case Nos. in SPL. May 21. Petitioner. ADOPTION OF MICHAEL JUDE P. J. Promulgated: MONINA P.

Petitioner is an optometrist by profession. Michelle was barely eleven days old when brought to the clinic of petitioner. petitioner and Lim registered the children to make it appear that they were the childrens parents. Thereafter.[3] Michael was 11 days old when Ayuban brought him to petitioners clinic. Michelle was 25 years old and already married. Lim (Michael).[4] The spouses reared and cared for the children as if they were their own. she married Primo Lim (Lim). Thus. . His date of birth is 1 August 1983. Minor children. petitioner decided to adopt the children by availing of the amnesty[5]given under Republic Act No. on 28 November 1998. They used the surname Lim in all their school records and documents. 8552[6] (RA 8552) to those individuals who simulated the birth of a child. On 23 June 1974. She was born on 15 March 1977. petitioner filed separate petitions for the adoption of Michelle and Michael before the trial court docketed as SPL PROC. Unfortunately. Lim died. whose parents were unknown. Being so eager to have a child of their own. On 27 December 2000. The children[2] were named Michelle P. Lim (Michelle) and Michael Jude P. were entrusted to them by a certain Lucia Ayuban (Ayuban). They were childless. on 24 April 2002. Case Nos. At the time of the filing of the petitions for adoption. 1258 and 1259.The Facts The following facts are undisputed. They sent the children to exclusive schools. while Michael was 18 years and seven months old. respectively. petitioner married Angel Olario (Olario). an American citizen.

petitioner should have filed the petition jointly with her new husband. such as residency and certification of his qualification. the trial court rendered judgment dismissing the petitions. Article III of RA 8552 and Article 185 of the Family Code. The trial court ruled that joint adoption by the husband and the wife is mandatory citing Section 7(c). the trial court ruled that petitioner did not fall under any of the exceptions under Section 7(c). [8] Petitioners husband Olario likewise executed an Affidavit of Consent[9] for the adoption of Michelle and Michael. The trial court ruled that since petitioner had remarried. In the Certification issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).[10] The DSWD issued a similar Certification for Michael. [7] Michael also gave his consent to his adoption as shown in his Affidavit of Consent. Michelle was considered as an abandoned child and the whereabouts of her natural parents were unknown. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the decision but the motion was denied in the Order dated 16 June 2005. which the husband. As to the argument that the adoptees are already emancipated and joint adoption is merely for the joint exercise of parental . must comply.Michelle and her husband gave their consent to the adoption as evidenced by their Affidavits of Consent. there are additional requirements. [11] The Ruling of the Trial Court On 15 September 2004. under the law. Petitioners argument that mere consent of her husband would suffice was untenable because. In denying the motion. Article III of RA 8552. who was not even made a party in this case.

while Michael was already 18 years of age. The Courts Ruling Petitioner contends that the rule on joint adoption must be relaxed because it is the duty of the court and the State to protect the paramount interest and welfare of the child to be adopted. at the time the petitions were filed. Parental authority is not anymore necessary since they have been emancipated having attained the age of majority. Hence. who has remarried. the present petition.authority. . Issue Petitioner appealed directly to this Court raising the sole issue of whether or not petitioner. Petitioner argues that the legal maxim dura lex sed lex is not applicable to adoption cases. We deny the petition. can singly adopt. She argues that joint parental authority is not necessary in this case since. the trial court ruled that joint adoption is not only for the purpose of exercising parental authority because an emancipated child acquires certain rights from his parents and assumes certain obligations and responsibilities. Michelle was 25 years old and already married.

of good moral character. Section 7. Who May Adopt. or is the spouse of the adoptees parent.Joint Adoption by Husband and Wife It is undisputed that. at the time the petitions for adoption were filed. (b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals: Provided.The following may adopt: (a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age. The requirement of sixteen (16) year difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee. We have no other recourse but to affirm the trial courts decision denying the petitions for adoption. that he/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country. has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude. at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee. in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights. without being joined by her husband Olario. petitioner had already remarried. The law is explicit. That his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines. . or . She filed the petitions by herself. and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter: Provided. Article III of RA 8552 reads: SEC. further. and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family. emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children. Dura lex sed lex. That the requirements on residency and certification of the aliens qualification to adopt in his/her country may be waived for the following: (i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity. that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered. 7.

or (iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other. except in the following cases: (i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other. In case husband and wife jointly adopt. joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses. (Emphasis supplied) The use of the word shall in the above-quoted provision means that joint adoption by the husband and the wife is mandatory. however. This is in consonance with the concept of joint parental authority over the child which is the ideal situation. or (ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter: Provided.(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse.That the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto. or one spouse adopts the illegitimate son/daughter of the other. or (c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities. Husband and wife shall jointly adopt. As the child to be adopted is elevated to the level of a legitimate child. or (iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4 th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouses. it is but natural to .

the trial court was correct in denying the petitions for adoption on this ground. must jointly adopt. Second. And third. without joining her husband. Petitioner. The fact that Olario gave his consent to the adoption as shown in his Affidavit of Consent does not suffice. There is no room for ambiguity. and (5) the adoptee is allowed to enter the adopters country as the latters adopted child. He must meet the qualifications set forth in Section 7 of RA 8552 such as: (1) he must prove that his country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines. These requirements on residency and certification of the aliens qualification to adopt cannot likewise be waived pursuant to . Olario. First. (2) he must have been living in the Philippines for at least three continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption. Since the petitions for adoption were filed only by petitioner herself.require the spouses to adopt jointly. the children to be adopted are not the legitimate children of petitioner or of her husband Olario. There are certain requirements that Olario must comply being an American citizen.[12] The law is clear. (4) he has legal capacity to adopt in his own country. the children are not the illegitimate children of petitioner. having remarried at the time the petitions for adoption were filed. (3) he must maintain such residency until the adoption decree is entered. The rule also insures harmony between the spouses. None of these qualifications were shown and proved during the trial. Neither does petitioner fall under any of the three exceptions enumerated in Section 7. petitioner and Olario are not legally separated from each other.

unless the court appoints another person to be the guardian of the person or property of the children. Neither are the adoptees the legitimate children of petitioner. [14]Even the remarriage of the surviving parent shall not affect the parental authority over the children. when he attains the age of majority or 18 years of age[16] emancipation terminates parental authority over the person and property of the child. who shall then be qualified and responsible for all acts of civil life. The children or adoptees are not relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity of petitioner or of Olario. parental authority is merely just one of the effects of legal adoption. [17]However.Section 7. Article V of RA 8552 enumerates the effects of adoption. This is untenable. Parental authority includes caring for and rearing the children for civic consciousness and efficiency and the development of their moral. thus: ARTICLE V EFFECTS OF ADOPTION . Effects of Adoption Petitioner contends that joint parental authority is not anymore necessary since the children have been emancipated having reached the age of majority. [13] The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children. [15] It is true that when the child reaches the age of emancipation that is. mental and physical character and well-being.

The adoptee shall be considered the legitimate son/daughter of the adopter(s) for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate sons/daughters born to them without discrimination of any kind. and (ii) the right of the adopter and adoptee to be legal and compulsory heirs of each other. Succession. 16. Conversely. SEC. the adopter(s) and the adoptee shall have reciprocal rights of succession without distinction from legitimate filiation. Legitimacy. and support in keeping with the means of the family.SEC. enjoy all the benefits to which biological parents are entitled [20]such as support[21] and successional rights. all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee shall be severed and the same shall then be vested on the adopter(s).[22] . the adoptee is still considered a legitimate child of the adopter with all the rights[19] of a legitimate child such as: (1) to bear the surname of the father and the mother. However. To this end. 17. except when the biological parent is the spouse of the adopter. Parental Authority. . and (3) give adopter and adoptee reciprocal rights and obligations arising from the relationship of parent and child.Except in cases where the biological parent is the spouse of the adopter. . (2) deem the adoptee as a legitimate child of the adopter. . guidance. and (3) to be entitled to the legitime and other successional rights. even if emancipation terminates parental authority. the following effects: (1) sever all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee. the adoptive parents shall. including but not limited to: (i) the right of the adopter to choose the name the child is to be known. Adoption has. 18. the adoptee is entitled to love. SEC. (2) to receive support from their parents.In legal and intestate succession. [18]Therefore. if the adoptee and his/her biological parent(s) had left a will. thus. with respect to the adopted child. the law on testamentary succession shall govern.

The law must also be applied with compassion. Until such time however. love. The filing of a case for dissolution of the marriage between petitioner and Olario is of no moment. should have jointly filed the petitions with her husband. We cannot make our own legislation to suit petitioner. parental care and education for unfortunate. being humane and salutary. that the law on the matter is amended. Regrettably. being married at the time the petitions for adoption were filed. We disagree. Accordingly. in a manner that will sustain rather than defeat said purpose. Vergara:[24] We are not unmindful of the main purpose of adoption statutes. Petitioner. needy or orphaned children and give them the protection of society and family. the law should be construed liberally. care and education for less fortunate children. we cannot sustain the respondent-spouses petition for adoption. for the law is clear and it cannot be modified without violating the proscription against judicial legislation. in her Memorandum. Every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill these noble and compassionate objectives of the law. hold the interests and welfare of the child to be of paramount consideration. It is not . which is the promotion of the welfare of the children.[23] But. They are designed to provide homes. understanding and less severity in view of the fact that it is intended to provide homes. insists that subsequent events would show that joint adoption could no longer be possible because Olario has filed a case for dissolution of his marriage to petitioner in the Los Angeles Superior Court. the Court is not in a position to affirm the trial courts decision favoring adoption in the case at bar.We are mindful of the fact that adoption statutes. as well as to allow childless couples or persons to experience the joys of parenthood and give them legally a child in the person of the adopted for the manifestation of their natural parental instincts. as we have ruled in Republic v. (Emphasis supplied) Petitioner.

joint adoption is mandatory. WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED. J. That being the case. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. 1930 CHIN AH FOO (alias CHAN FOO WOO) and YEE SHEE (alias YEE SUI YENG). Costs against petitioner. widow of Chin Ah Kim. WeAFFIRM the Decision dated 15 September 2004 of the Regional Trial Court. Branch 22 in SPL. 1258 and 1259. General Santos City. joint adoption by the husband and the wife is required. we DENY the petition. MALCOLM. No. Wolfson for respondent judge. Case Nos. PEDRO CONCEPCION. A. PROC. We reiterate our ruling above that since. petitioners. Until and unless there is a judicial decree for the dissolution of the marriage between petitioner and Olario.: . the marriage still subsists.R. Lazaro Pormarejo for respondent Lee Voo. and LEE VOO. vs. at the time the petitions for adoption were filed. L-33281 March 31.equivalent to a decree of dissolution of marriage. Judge of First Instance of Manila. Harvey and O'Brien for petitioners. respondents. petitioner was married to Olario. J.

of the Penal Code discloses that the permission of the court who orders the confinement of one accused of a grave felony in an insane asylum is a prerequisite for obtaining release from the institution. subsequently to permit the insane person to leave the asylum without the acquiescence of the Director of Health. unless the latter has acted during the lucid interval. Thereafter. the trial judge rendered judgment declaring the accused not responsible for the crime. of section 1048 of the Administrative Code on article 8 of the Penal Code. if any. On November 15. counsel for the oppositors challenged the jurisdiction of the court. When the imbecile or lunatic has committed an act which the law defines as a grave felony. An imbecile or lunatic. and who has ordered the confinement of the insane person in an asylum. but requiring the reclusion of the accused for treatment in San Lazaro Hospital. 1927.The question for decision in this certiorari proceeding concerns the power of a Judge of First Instance. and dismissing the case. the court shall order his confinement in one of the asylums established for persons thus afflicted. section 1048 of the Administrative Code . in accordance with article 8 of the Penal Code. provides as to the discharge of a patient from custody from a hospital for the insane the following: When in the opinion of the Director of Health any patient in any Government hospital or other place for the insane is temporarily or permanently cured. which they did. These various legal proceedings culminated in Doctors Domingo and De los Angeles being delegated to examine and certify the mental condition of Chan Sam. paragraph 1. An examination of article 8. In compliance with this order. in case the patient is confined by order of the court. or may be released without danger. the factor determinative of the question has to do with the effect. After this report had been submitted. who contended that Chan Sam was still insane. Otherwise stated. and that he had made threats that if he ever obtained his liberty he would kill the wife and the children of the deceased and probably other members of his own family who were living in Hongkong. Article 8 of the Penal Code. Chan Sam was confined for approximately two years in San Lazaro Hospital. the respondent judge sustained the court's right to make an order in the premises and allowed Chan Sam to leave the San Lazaro Hospital to be turned over to the attorney-in-fact of his wife so that he might be taken to Hongkong to join his wife in that city. The respondent judge has based his action in this case on this provision of the law. pursuant to which the trial judge purported to act in issuing his order of release. it is argued. efforts to obtain his release were made induced by the desire of his wife and father-in-law to have him proceed to Hongkong. with the admonition that the accused be not permitted to leave the said institution without first obtaining the permission of the court. which he shall not be permitted to leave without first obtaining the permission of the same court. and shall notify the Judge of the Court of First Instance who ordered the commitment. one Chan Sam (alias Chin Ah Woo). During this period. who has in effect acquitted a man charged with murder on the plea of insanity. On the other hand. has superseded or supplemented article 8 of the Penal Code. However. was charged in the Court of First Instance of Manila with the murder of Chin Ah Kim. Opposition to the allowance of the motions came from the wife and children of the murdered man. which. Section 1048 of the Administrative Code. he may discharge such patient. provides that among those exempt from criminal liability are: 1.

Chester Thompson. Contrasting the two provisions of Philippine law which have been mentioned. A plea of not guilty was interposed. 204). the relator. or such other hospital for the insane as the Director of Health may direct. 2122. it did so without any consideration as to the effect of the new law on article 8 of the Penal Code. paragraph 1. The most reasonable supposition is that when the Legislature placed the provision." In at least two cases. the court. Bascos ([1922]. 177). killed George Meade Emory in the City of Seattle. ruled against the Director of Health. Guendia ([1917].." Due to differences in statutory provisions. The Attorney-General. and where the procedure which should be followed was outlined by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington. But it is a well-known rule of statutory construction that when there is no express repeal none is presumed to be intended. the Director of Health raised this same question. This latter construction is reinforced by that portion of section 1048 of the Administrative Code which requires the Director of Health to notify the Judge of First Instance who ordered the commitment. On the 3rd day of May. 49 Wash. and People vs. any person confined by order of the court in an asylum pursuant to the provisions of article 8 of the Penal Code. in case the patients is confined by order of the court. United States vs. Snell ([1908]. In this respect. The judgments in the cited cases concluded with this order: "The defendant shall be kept in confinement in the San Lazaro Hospital. said: On the 7th day of July. 37 Phil. In the decision in the cited case.. on the statute books. The relator was tried in the latter court before the respondent as presiding judge. 1907. while the authority of the Director of Health can be sustained in other cases not falling within the jurisdiction of the courts. and shall not be permitted to depart therefrom without the prior approval of the Court of First Instance of the Province of Iloilo (Pangasinan). without proper judicial authority. of the Penal Code. and by reason thereof was informed against in the superior court of King county for the crime of murder. However. 1906. it is self-evident that for section 1048 of the Administrative Code to prevail exclusively it would be necessary to find an implied repeal of a portion of article 8 of the Penal Code. speaking through Justice Rudkin. where the law is much the same as Philippine Law. now incorporated in the Administrative Code as section 1048. 337). It is likewise a canon of statutory construction that when two portions of the law can be construed so that both can stand together. In 1916. or that the head of the Philippine Health Service has been asked to express his opinion. we believe that the authority of the courts can be sustained in cases where the courts take action.. We refer to the case of State vs. this court has relied on article 8. the respondent entered an order reciting that the . and the jury be returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. There is no pretense that the Director of Health has exercised his authority in this case. the American authorities on the question are not very helpful. one case has been found where the facts were practically identical with the ones before us. 44 Phil. and the place of trial was changed to the superior court of Pierce county. and that the entire discretion as to the sanity of any patient whatever was vested by this section exclusively in the Director of Health. this should be done. who at that time was Honorable Ramon Avanceña. saying that "the Legislature could not have intended to vest in the Director of Health the power to release. applied to all cases of confinement of persons adjudged to be insane in any Government hospital or other places for the insane. from which section 1048 of the Administrative Code was derived. He then took the view that section 7 of Act No.grants to the Director of Health authority to say when a patient may be discharged from an insane asylum.

the physician certified to the warden of the penitentiary that he had reasonable cause to believe that the relator had become sane since his commitment. we think that the Attorney-General was right in expressing the opinion that the Director of Health was without power to release. .. "An act relating to the criminal insane. The foregoing is our understanding of the law on the subject. and was a safe person to be at large. It was further ordered that. 1907. 1908. the powers of the courts and the Director of Health are complementary each with the other. on the 12th day of June. Considering article 8 of the Penal Code as in force and construing this article and section 1048 of the Administrative Code. On the 19th day of February. The relator was committed to the county jail and thereafter transferred to the insane ward of the penitentiary in obedience to this order. and that he had become sane and mentally responsible. our . Application was there-upon made to this court for a writ of mandamus. setting up the facts leading to his commitment. As a practical observation. and committed him to the county jail of Pierce county. requiring the respondent to set the petition down for hearing." Laws of 1907. and this can best be accomplished through the joint efforts of the courts and the Director of Health in proper cases. commitment. The following represents our deductions and conclusions. their trial. custody. Article 8 of the Penal Code has not been impliedly repealed by section 1048 of the Administrative Code. After such examination. In other words. xxx xxx xxx We are of opinion. it may further be said that it is well to adopt all reasonable precautions to ascertain if a person confined in an asylum as insane should be permitted to leave the asylum. that his discharge or going at large would be manifestly dangerous to the peace and safety of the community. and praying for his discharge from custody. 1907. that he had been acquitted of the crime of murder by reason of insanity. but the respondent refused to set the matter down for hearing or to entertain jurisdiction of the proceeding. A petition in due form was thereupon presented to the respondent judge. and is that any person confined by order of the court in an asylum in accordance with article 8 of the Penal Code cannot be discharged from custody in an insane asylum until the views of the Director of Health have been ascertained as to whether or not the person is temporarily or permanently cured or may be released without danger. Article 8 of the Penal Code and section 1048 of the Administrative Code can be construed so that both can stand together. any person confined by order of the court in an asylum pursuant to the provisions of article 8 of the Penal Code. and the case is now before us on the return to the alternative writ. the relator should be taken from the county jail of Pierce county and transferred to the state penitentiary at Walla Walla. that the procedure adopted by the relator is in conformity with the law. to be there confined in the ward set apart for the confinement. page 33. and the writ will issues as prayed. . entitled. and custody. after service thereof upon the prosecuting attorney of Pierce county. . therefore. and keeping of the criminal insane until the further order of the court and until discharge therefrom by due process of law. The warden thereupon granted the relator permission to present a petition to the court that committed him. and is now confined in the latter institution. as provided in section 6 of the act of February 21. After thorough discussion. We think also that the converse proposition is equally tenable. Various defenses were interposed by the respondents to the petition. without proper judicial authority. and in such condition that he is a safe person to be at large.relator was then insane. he applied to the physician in charge of the criminal insane at the state penitentiary for an examination of his mental condition and fitness to be at large. but we have not been impressed with any of them except the ones which go to the merits.

The writ prayed for will issue and the temporary restraining order will be made permanent. Petitioner claims that. filed by petitioner Edgardo Veluz. 1929. He acted as her guardian. respondents. and March 17. 88180 denying the petition for habeas corpus of Eufemia E. since 2000. 2005. PABELLO. he filed a petition for habeas corpus5 in the Court of Appeals on January 13. this petition. vs. her nephew. Thus.view is that while the respondent Judge acted patiently and cautiously in the matters which came before him. 2005. respondents Luisa R. VILLANUEVA and TERESITA R. a court should limit itself to determining whether or not a person is unlawfully being deprived of liberty. DECISION CORONA. 2005. 7 Hence. No. petitioner. respectively. Rodriguez. In the morning of January 11.R. as well as his motion for reconsideration. filed by EDGARDO E. 2005 of the Court of Appeals3 in CA-G. LUISA R. SP No.R. 2005 and September 2. The Court of Appeals ruled that petitioner failed to present any convincing proof that respondents (the legally adopted children of Eufemia) were unlawfully restraining their mother of her liberty. without costs. Eufemia E. J. The writ of habeas corpus is available not only if the rightful custody of a person is being withheld from the person entitled thereto but also if .: This is a petition for review1 of the resolutions2dated February 2.4 She was living with petitioner. in determining whether or not a writ of habeas corpus should issue. allegedly suffering from a poor state of mental health and deteriorating cognitive abilities. Villanueva and Teresita R. He also failed to establish his legal right to the custody of Eufemia as he was not her legal guardian. RODRIGUEZ. yet he exceeded his authority when he issued his orders of December 26. 2008 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF HABEAS CORPUS OF EUFEMIA E. VELUZ. Rodriguez was a 94-year old widow. Claiming that respondents were restraining Eufemia of her liberty. in a resolution dated February 2. 1930. 169482 January 29. He made repeated demands for the return of Eufemia but these proved futile. without first having before him the opinion of the Director of Health. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but it was also denied. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. Pabello took Eufemia from petitioner Veluz’ house.6 the Court of Appeals denied his petition. There is no need to consider legal custody or custodial rights.

illegal restraint of liberty. respondents decided to take custody of Eufemia on January 11. These demands were unheeded. he nonetheless insists that respondents themselves have no right to her custody. What is important is Eufemia’s personal freedom. petitioner was appointed as the "encargado" or administrator of the properties of Eufemia as well as those left by the deceased Maximo.9 Respondents point out that it was petitioner and his family who were staying with Eufemia. Eufemia and the respondents were compelled to file a complaint for estafa against petitioner in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. The latter willingly went with them. the writ of habeas corpus may issue so that his physical body may be brought before the court that will determine whether or not there is in fact an unlawful deprivation of liberty. Eufemia and the respondents demanded an inventory and return of the properties entrusted to petitioner. A prime specification of an application for a writ ofhabeas corpus. Significantly. In this case. in order to justify the grant of the writ of habeas corpus. In view of all this. Maximo Rodriguez. Sometime in the 1980s. In the latter part of 2002. In their comment. is an actual and effective. the issue is not whether the custody of Eufemia is being rightfully withheld from petitioner but whether Eufemia is being restrained of her liberty. the purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to determine whether or not a particular person is legally held. and not merely nominal or moral. "The writ of habeas corpus was devised and exists as a speedy and effectual remedy . The writ of habeas corpus extends to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty or by which the rightful custody of a person is being withheld from the one entitled thereto. as long as it is alleged that a person is being illegally deprived of liberty. it contemplates two instances: (1) deprivation of a person’s liberty either through illegal confinement or through detention and (2) withholding of the custody of any person from someone entitled to such custody. a writ of habeas corpus can cover persons who are not under the legal custody of another. for him. According to petitioner. Thus. and by reason of their mother’s deteriorating health. he took charge of collecting payments from tenants and transacted business with third persons for and in behalf of Eufemia and the respondents who were the only compulsory heirs of the late Maximo. respondent Luisa was Eufemia’s halfsister8 while respondent Teresita was Eufemia’s niece and petitioner’s sister.the person who disappears or is illegally being detained is of legal age and is not under guardianship. although petitioner admits that he did not have legal custody of Eufemia. Thus.10 It is issued when one is either deprived of liberty or is wrongfully being prevented from exercising legal custody over another person. Eufemia paid for the rent of the house. the restraint of liberty must be in the nature of an illegal and involuntary deprivation of freedom of action. Fundamentally. As such. We rule for the respondents. petitioner failed to prove either his right to the custody of Eufemia or the illegality of respondents’ action. Prior to their adoption.11 Thus. 12 In general. 2005. respondents state that they are the legally adopted daughters of Eufemia and her deceased spouse. not the other way around as petitioner claimed. the utilities and other household needs. the issue of legal custody is irrelevant. Hence. in fact. Consequently.

Nothing on record reveals that she was forcibly taken by respondents. the writ will be refused. respondents. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. are taking care of her. again the writ will be refused. ROJAS and DEPUTY DIRECTOR REYNALDO 0. and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal. GATDULA. Petitioners. While habeas corpus is a writ of right. if otherwise. Respondent.the petitioner is entitled to the writ. it will not issue as a matter of course or as a mere perfunctory operation on the filing of the petition."13 (emphasis supplied) In passing upon a petition for habeas corpus. the petition should be dismissed. It found that she was not: There is no proof that Eufemia is being detained and restrained of her liberty by respondents.to relieve persons from unlawful restraint. No.15 If the alleged cause is thereafter found to be unlawful. MAGTANGGOL B. being Eufemia’s adopted children. Costs against petitioner.R. the petition is hereby DENIED. prima facie. the Court of Appeals made an inquiry into whether Eufemia was being restrained of her liberty. then the writ should be granted and the petitioner discharged. 2013 SECRETARY LEILA M. .21(emphasis supplied) The Court finds no cogent or compelling reason to disturb this finding. DIRECTOR NONNATUS R. and as the best and only sufficient defense of personal freedom. vs. A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus is restraint of liberty.19 If the respondents are not detaining or restraining the applicant or the person in whose behalf the petition is filed. DE LIMA. 16 Needless to state. SO ORDERED. Inquiry into the cause of detention will proceed only where such restraint exists. 22 WHEREFORE. The essential object and purpose of the writ ofhabeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from voluntary. Any restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient. ESMERALDA.18 It is only if the court is satisfied that a person is being unlawfully restrained of his liberty will the petition for habeas corpus be granted. On the contrary.14 If he is not.17 Judicial discretion is called for in its issuance and it must be clear to the judge to whom the petition is presented that. a court or judge must first inquire into whether the petitioner is being restrained of his liberty. 204528 February 19. 20 In this case.

ET AL. "to cease and desist from framing up Petitioner [Gatdula] for the fake ambush incident by filing bogus charges of Frustrated Murder against Petitioner [Gatdula] in relation to the alleged ambush incident. would be filed in lieu of their Answer. It was raffled to the sala of Judge Silvino T. he ordered the parties to file their respective memoranda within five (5) working days after that hearing." 3 Instead of deciding on whether to issue a Writ ofAmparo. return is not the required pleading but answer".RESOLUTION LEONEN. Magtanggol B. SP No.7The judge noted that the Rules of Court apply suppletorily in Amparo cases. Director Nonnatus R. Since the period to file an Answer had not yet lapsed by then. Gatdula. . 10 Even without a Return nor an Answer. J. et al. not an Answer.4 He also set the case for hearing on 1 March 2012. respondent Magtanggol B. liberty or security of the respondent Gatdula. Pampilo. the judge issued summons and ordered De Lima.8 He opined that the Revised Rules of Summary Procedure applied and thus required an Answer. et al. production and inspection orders. manifested that a Return. It is not clear from the records how these pieces of evidence may be related to the alleged threat to the life. During that hearing. 12-127405 granting respondent's application for the issuance of inspection and production orders x x x.9 Judge Pampilo proceeded to conduct a hearing on the main case on 7 March 2012. The RTC also granted the interim reliefs prayed for. et al.5 In an Order dated 2 March 2012. on the same day.6 Judge Pampilo insisted that "[s]ince no writ has been issued. the judge also decided that the memorandum of De Lima. The production and inspection orders were in relation to the evidence and reports involving an on-going investigation of the attempted assassination of Deputy Director Esmeralda. the RTC denied the Motion for Reconsideration dated 23 March 2012 filed by De Lima. From the records."1 This is raised through a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 from the"Decision" rendered by the Regional Trial Court dated 20 March 2012. In an Order dated 8 October 2012. to file an Answer. it appears that on 27 February 2012. in Manila from implementing its Decision x x x in Civil Case No. is appropriate for Amparo cases. The hearing was held allegedly for determining whether a temporary protection order may be issued. De Lima.: Submitted for our resolution is a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin "the Regional Trial Court. Gatdula filed aPetition for the Issuance of a Writ of Amparo in the Regional Trial Court of Manila. for brevity). counsel for De Lima. the RTC rendered a "Decision"granting the issuance of the Writ of Amparo.11 On 20 March 2012. Jr.2 This case was docketed as In the Matter of the Petition for Issuance of Writ of Amparo of Atty. et al. Gatdula wanted De Lima. Rojas and Deputy Director Reynaldo O. Branch 26. 12-127405. The Amparo was directed against petitioners Justice Secretary Leila M. Esmeralda of the National Bureau of Investigation (DE LIMA. et al. namely: temporary protection.

et al. (iv) determine the cause. The RTC and the Parties must understand the nature of the remedy of Amparo to put its procedures in the proper context. No.14 The Rule on the Writ of Amparo was issued as an exercise of the Supreme Court's power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights.15 It aims to address concerns such as. and (vi) bring the suspected offenders before a competent court.21 After evaluation. 24 Unlike an Answer. x x x (Emphasis supplied). Dismissal is proper if the petition and the supporting affidavits do not show that the petitioner's right to life.25 Clearly these matters are important to the judge so that s/he can calibrate the means and methods that will be required to further the protections. The court compels the respondents to appear before a court of law to show whether the grounds for more permanent protection and interim reliefs are necessary. Sandiganbayan.M. – Any party may appeal from the final judgment or order to the Supreme Court under Rule 45. extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. 19. liberty12 and security13 as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution. and time of death or disappearance as well as any pattern or practice that may have brought about the death or disappearance.17 It is initiated through a petition18 to be filed in a Regional Trial Court. 25 September 2007). among others. 19 The judge or justice then makes an "immediate" evaluation20 of the facts as alleged in the petition and the affidavits submitted "with the attendant circumstances detailed". The appeal may raise questions of fact or law or both. 16 Due to the delicate and urgent nature of these controversies. liberty or security is under threat or the acts complained of are not unlawful. . Hence. or the Supreme Court. 07-9. the procedure was devised to afford swift but decisive relief.12-SC. The respondents are required to file a Return23after the issuance of the writ through the clerk of court. they are also required to state the actions they had taken to: (i) verify the identity of the aggrieved party. It is the Court’s view that the "Decision" dated 20 March 2012 granting the writ of Amparo is not the judgment or final order contemplated under this rule. De Lima. The remedy of the Writ of Amparo is an equitable and extraordinary remedy to safeguard the right of the people to life. the Return has other purposes aside from identifying the issues in the case. Respondents are also required to detail the actions they had taken to determine the fate or whereabouts of the aggrieved party. On the other hand. that will be due to the petitioner. viz: SEC. (iii) identify witnesses and obtain statements concerning the death or disappearance. The Return serves as the responsive pleading to the petition. as enunciated in Section 19 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo (A. if any. the judge has the option to issue the Writ of Amparo22 or immediately dismiss the case. If the respondents are public officials or employees. thus came to this Court assailing the RTC "Decision" dated 20 March 2012 through a Petition for Review on Certiorari (With Very Urgent Application for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order/Writ of Preliminary Injunction) via Rule 45. the Court of Appeals. a Petition for Review under Rule 45 may not yet be the proper remedy at this time. (ii) recover and preserve evidence related to the death or disappearance of the person identified in the petition.Petitioners Sec. location. the issuance of the writ itself sets in motion presumptive judicial protection for the petitioner. Appeal. manner.

liberty and security are violated or are threatened to be violated. It is the Return that serves as the responsive pleading for petitions for the issuance of Writs of Amparo. The temporary protection. The "Decision" dated 20 March 2012 assailed by the petitioners could not be the judgment or final order that is appealable under Section 19 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. 31 Until the full satisfaction of the judgment. the case may also be terminated through consolidation should a subsequent case be filed – either criminal or civil. and for this purpose may call upon the assistance of any military or civilian agency of the government. the insistence on filing of an Answer was inappropriate. These measures must be detailed enough so that the judge may be able to verify and monitor the actions taken by the respondents. The "Decision" is thus an interlocutory order. The requirement to file an Answer is contrary to the intention of the Court to provide a speedy remedy to those whose right to life. to wit: The Branch Clerk of Court of Court [sic] is hereby DIRECTED to issue the Writ of Amparo. In utter disregard of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. the judgment will be satisfied. .27 After the hearing. First. this is when the threats to the petitioner’s life. Parenthetically. 29 The judgment should contain measures which the judge views as essential for the continued protection of the petitioner in theAmparo case. InAmparo cases. Judge Pampilo’s basis for requiring an Answer was mentioned in his Order dated 2 March 2012: Under Section 25 of the same rule [on the Writ ofAmparo]. This is clear from the tenor of the dispositive portion of the "Decision".There will be a summary hearing26 only after the Return is filed to determine the merits of the petition and whether interim reliefs are warranted. liberty and security cease to exist as evaluated by the court that renders the judgment. It is this judgment that could be subject to appeal to the Supreme Court via Rule 45. the hearing will be done ex parte. the court will render the judgment within ten (10) days from the time the petition is submitted for decision. the Branch Clerk of Court is hereby DIRECTED to effect the service of the Writ ofAmparo in an expeditious manner upon all concerned. the Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily insofar as it is not inconsistent with the said rule. the extraordinary remedy of Amparo allows vigilant judicial monitoring to ensure the protection of constitutional rights.32 The confusion of the parties arose due to the procedural irregularities in the RTC. Considering the summary nature of the petition. If the Return is not filed. This "Decision" pertained to the issuance of the writ under Section 6 of the Rule on the Writ ofAmparo. Likewise. as suggested by the fact that temporary protection. Judge Pampilo insisted on issuing summons and requiring an Answer. production and inspection orders areinterim reliefs that may be granted by the court upon filing of the petition but before final judgment is rendered.28 If the allegations are proven with substantial evidence. the court shall grant the privilege of the writ and such reliefs as may be proper and appropriate. production and inspection orders were given together with the decision.30 After the measures have served their purpose. not the judgment under Section 18. Section 5 of the Revised Rules of Summary Procedure shall apply.

the issues could not have been properly joined. the application of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure is seriously misplaced. xxxx It is clear from this rule that this type of summary procedure only applies to MTC/MTCC/MCTCs. B. (2) All other cases. is the trial court’s third irregularity: it required a memorandum in lieu of a responsive pleading (Answer) of De Lima. The second irregularity was the holding of a hearing on the main case prior to the issuance of the writ and the filing of a Return. It is mind-boggling how this rule could possibly apply to proceedings in an RTC. hence.33 The 1991 Revised Rules of Summary Procedure is a special rule that the Court has devised for the following circumstances: SECTION 1. Answer – Within ten (10) days from service of summons. – This rule shall govern the summary procedure in the Metropolitan Trial Courts. (3) Violations of municipal or city ordinances.Section 5. this Court limited the application of summary procedure to certain civil and criminal cases. Without a Return. x x x. It is a remedy by which a party seeks to establish a status. where the total amount of the plaintiff’s claim does not exceed x x x. or both. . A writ of Amparo is a special proceeding. rules and regulations.000. (2) Violations of the rental law. the Municipal Trial Courts in Cities. except probate proceedings. x x x. the Municipal Trial Courts. Aside from that. et al. and the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in the following cases falling within their jurisdiction: A. Scope. based on the foregoing. Civil Cases: (1) All cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer. the respondents are required to file their Answer ten (days) from receipt of this Order. a right or particular fact. (4) All other criminal cases where the penalty prescribed by law for the offense charged is imprisonment not exceeding six months. the defendant shall file his Answer to the complaint and serve a copy thereof on the plaintiff. Criminal Cases: (1) Violations of traffic laws. x x x WHEREFORE.00). Worse.34 It is not a civil nor a criminal action. or a fine not exceeding one thousand pesos (P1.

the RTC stated: "Accordingly this court GRANTS the privilege of the writ and the interim reliefs prayed for by the petitioner. a memorandum is a prohibited pleading under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. the privilege shall be denied.The Return in Amparo cases allows the respondents to frame the issues subject to a hearing. however. The Petition for Review is not the proper remedy to assail the interlocutory order denominated as"Decision" dated 20 March 2012.35 The fourth irregularity was in the "Decision" dated 20 March 2012 itself. In the body of its decision. on the other hand. the judgment should detail the required acts from the respondents that will mitigate. liberty or security. The privilege of the Writ of Amparo should be distinguished from the actual order called theWrit of Amparo. the court shall grant the privilege of the writ and such reliefs as may be proper and appropriate. Procedural rules are meant to assist the parties and courts efficiently deal with the substantive issues pertaining to a case." (Emphasis supplied). not after. A memorandum. After examining the petition and its attached affidavits." (Emphasis supplied). Judgment. It undermines the salutary purposes for which the Rule on the Writ of Amparo were promulgated. will cause grave injustice to the parties involved.M. if not totally eradicate. The privilege includes availment of the entire procedure outlined in A. This gives the impression that the decision was the judgment since the phraseology is similar to Section 18 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo: "SEC. is prohibited. is a synthesis of the claims of the party litigants and is a final pleading usually required before the case is submitted for decision. Hence. — The court shall render judgment within ten (10) days from the time the petition is submitted for decision. One cannot substitute for the other since these submissions have different functions in facilitating the suit. . A Petition for Certiorari. Petitions filed to avail of the privilege of the Writ of Amparo arise out of very real and concrete circumstances. A judgment which simply grants "the privilege of the writ" cannot be executed. 18. Judicial responses cannot be as tragically symbolic or ritualistic as "granting the privilege of the Writ of Amparo. delay and confusion result. the Return and the evidence presented in the summary hearing. It is tantamount to a failure of the judge to intervene and grant judicial succor to the petitioner. It is the responsibility of counsels for the parties to raise issues using the proper procedure at the right time. otherwise. the violation of or the threat to the petitioner's life. When it is the judge himself who disregards the rules of procedure. More importantly. 07-9-12-SC." 1âwphi1 The procedural irregularities in the RTC affected the mode of appeal that petitioners used in elevating the matter to this Court. 36Simply dismissing the present petition. on the other hand. it should be done prior to the hearing. No. If the allegations in the petition are proven by substantial evidence. the Rule on the Writ of Amparo.

(3) the merits of the case. Jr.38 WHEREFORE. Petitioners. VIVARES and SPS. (5) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory. Section 5 (5) of the Constitution. after respondent Gatdula filed the Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of Amparo. liberty. and JOHN DOES. MARGARITA and DAVID SUZARA. of Branch 26 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila for his proper guidance together with a WARNING that further deviation or improvisation from the procedure set in A. vs. Jr. (4) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the suspension of the rules. 37 The rules can be suspended on the following grounds: (1) matters of life. since participation in society is an equally powerful desire.M. (2) the existence of special or compelling circumstances.In many instances.R. No. 202666 September 29. Pampilo.. Respondents. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to cause the personal service of this Resolution on Judge Silvino T. ESCUDERO. DECISION VELASCO. the Court RESOLVES to: (1) NULLIFY all orders that are subject of thisResolution issued by Judge Silvino T. No.: The individual's desire for privacy is never absolute. (2) DIRECT Judge Pampilo to determine within forty-eight (48) hours from his receipt of thisResolution whether the issuance of the Writ ofAmparo is proper on the basis of the petition and its attached affidavits. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. 2014 RHONDA AVE S. and by virtue of its powers under Article VIII. 07-9-12-SC shall be meted with severe consequences. THERESA'S COLLEGE. MYLENE RHEZA T. the Court adopted a policy of liberally construing its rules in order to promote a just. Thus each individual is continually engaged in a personal adjustment process in which he balances the desire for privacy with the desire for disclosure and communication of himself to others. honor or property. JR. in the interest of justice. Pampilo. in light of the environmental conditions and social norms set by the society in which he lives. and (6) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby. ST. . SO ORDERED. J. speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding. as a prophylactic to the irregularities committed by the trial court judge.

1 2 The Facts Nenita Julia V. Possession of alcoholic drinks outside the school campus. which include: (a) Julia and Julienne drinking hard liquor and smoking cigarettes inside a bar. . Thereafter. to wit: 1. for appropriate action. What is more. Proc. were. 4. Posing and uploading pictures on the Internet that entail ample body exposure. along with several others. 19251-CEB. learned from her students that some seniors at STC posted pictures online. and 6. Escudero’s students logged in to their respective personal Facebook accounts and showed her photos of the identified students. In turn. obscene or lewd acts. 2. Engaging in immoral. while changing into their swimsuits for a beach party they were about to attend. STC found the identified students to have deported themselves in a manner proscribed by the school’s Student Handbook. Escudero (Escudero). Sometime in January 2012. which dismissed their habeas data petition. 2012 Decision of the Regional Trial Court. they readily identified Julia. Julia and Julienne. contains sexually suggestive messages. both minors. Escudero then asked her students if they knew who the girls in the photos are. Julienne. 3 Back at the school.. dressed only in brassieres. showed the photosto Kristine Rose Tigol (Tigol). These pictures were then uploaded by Angela Lindsay Tan (Angela) on her Facebook profile. Cebu City. 4 5 Upon discovery. No. indecent. following an investigation. took digital pictures of themselves clad only in their undergarments." Petitioners herein assail the July 27. Clothing that advocates unhealthy behaviour. Branch 14 in Cebu City (RTC) in SP. Privacy and Freedom (1967) The Case Before Us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. STC’s Discipline-in-Charge. viewable by any Facebook user. 5. Using STC’s computers.M. and (b) Julia and Julienne along the streets of Cebu wearing articles of clothing that show virtually the entirety of their black brassieres. in fact. through one of her student’s Facebook page. otherwise known as the "Rule on the Writ of Habeas Data. Daluz (Julia) and Julienne Vida Suzara (Julienne). 08-1-16-SC. depicts obscenity. language or symbols.Alan Westin. and Chloe Lourdes Taboada (Chloe). a computer teacher at STC’s high school department. depicting themselves from the waist up. Theresa's College (STC). Mylene Rheza T. among others. Smoking and drinking alcoholicbeverages in public places. 3. Escudero reported the matter and. No. Escudero’s students claimed that there were times when access to or the availability of the identified students’ photos was not confined to the girls’ Facebook friends. graduating high school students at St. during the period material. in relation to Section 19 of A. but were. Apparel that exposes the underwear.

That same day. 2012. are the victims in this case. as required. Julienne. Purisima informed their parents the following day that. the Facebook accounts of petitioners’ children were intruded upon. the mother of Julia. including Assistant Principal Mussolini S. the RTC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) allowing the students to attend the graduation ceremony. arguing that. All the data and digital images that were extracted were boldly broadcasted by respondents through their memorandum submitted to the RTC in connection with Civil Case No. Roswinda Jumiller. Julia. on the date of the commencement exercises. cannot be used and reproduced without their consent. the interplay of the foregoing constitutes an invasion of their . 2012. 5. data. Dr. and 6. as part of their penalty. joined the fray as an intervenor. Purisima). petitioners filed before the RTC a Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of Habeas Data. they are barred from joining the commencement exercises scheduled on March 30. 6 A week before graduation. docketed as SP. Angela. and the other students in the pictures in question. as well as the copying of information. to the office of Sr. CEB-38594. filed a Petition for Injunction and Damages before the RTC of Cebu City against STC. thus. The photos of their children in their undergarments (e. Purisima Pe (Sr. Corollarily. The privacy setting of their children’s Facebook accounts was set at "Friends Only.g. have a reasonable expectation of privacy which must be respected. thus. being involved in the field of education. containing printed copies of the photographs in issue as annexes. after viewing the photos. 19251-CEB on the basis of the following considerations: 8 1. however. and not the offenders. docketed as Civil Case No. they were castigated and verbally abused by the STC officials present in the conference. its adverted motion for reconsideration on the issuance ofthe TRO remained unresolved. 2012. knew or ought to have known of laws that safeguard the right to privacy. Tan (Tan). Celeste Ma. Sr.. Despite the issuance of the TRO. et al. the minors were called "immoral" and were punished outright. whose privacy has been invaded. CEB-38594. Angela’s mother. reported. To petitioners. Yap (Yap). 2012." They. They claimed that during the meeting. No. STC’s high school principal and ICM Directress. bra) were taken for posterity before they changed into their swimsuits on the occasion of a birthday beach party. respondents knew or ought to have known that the girls. and digital images happened at STC’s Computer Laboratory. defendants inCivil Case No. In it. Armenia M. barred the sanctioned students from participating in the graduation rites.STC. On March 28. or on March 23. Escudero. Thereafter. 3. to which STC filed a motion for reconsideration. The intrusion into the Facebook accounts. 2. Proc. Worse.. The photos accessed belong to the girls and. Thus. What is more. Tan prayed that defendants therein be enjoined from implementing the sanction that precluded Angela from joining the commencement exercises.petitioner Rhonda Ave Vivares (Vivares). nevertheless.On March 1. and Tigol. Respondents. 4. 7 On March 25. CEB-38594 filed their memorandum. 2012. violated their rights by saving digital copies of the photos and by subsequently showing them to STC’s officials.

judgment be rendered declaring all information. through an Order dated July 5. Through the same Order. In time. the court a quoheld that the photos. (c) the instant case is not one where a writ of habeas data may issue. laying down the following grounds for the denial of the petition. Not satisfied with the outcome. one of the preconditions for the issuance of the writ of habeas data. STC gathered the photographs through legal means and for a legal purpose. however. Finding the petition sufficient in form and substance. is the pivotal point of whether or not there was indeed an actual or threatened violation of the right to privacy in the life. having been uploaded on Facebook without restrictions as to who may view them. (b) petitioners are engaging in forum shopping. Our Ruling . herein respondents were directed to file their verified written return. data. the RTC. prayed that: (a) a writ of habeas databe issued. 10 The Issues The main issue to be threshed out inthis case is whether or not a writ of habeas datashould be issued given the factual milieu. that is. within five (5) working days from service of the writ. the RTC noted. respondents complied with the RTC’s directive and filed their verified written return. The dispositive portion of the Decision pertinently states: WHEREFORE. the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.and (d) there can be no violation of their right to privacy as there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on Facebook. the RTC rendered a Decision dismissing the petition for habeas data. and (c) after trial. in view of the foregoing premises. thus. lost their privacy in some way. The parties and media must observe the aforestated confidentiality. issued the writ of habeas data.children’s privacy and. liberty. to have been illegally obtained inviolation of the children’s right to privacy. reproduced. (b) respondents be ordered to surrender and deposit with the court all soft and printed copies of the subjectdata before or at the preliminary hearing. Moreover. petitioners now come before this Court pursuant to Section 19 of the Rule on Habeas Data. together with the supporting affidavits. Ruling of the Regional Trial Court On July 27. spread and used. 9 To the trial court. viz: (a) petitioners are not the proper parties to file the petition. Besides. or security of the minors involved in this case. xxxx SO ORDERED. and digital images accessed. petitioners failed to prove the existence of an actual or threatened violation of the minors’ right to privacy. saved or stored. the implementation of the school’s policies and rules on discipline. Crucial in resolving the controversy. 2012. 2012.

the petition may be filed by: (a) Any member of the immediate family of the aggrieved party. Who May File. the Writ of Habeas Datawas not enacted solely for the purpose of complementing the Writ of Amparoin cases of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances. and freedom of information of an individual. liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee. and (2) that any information uploaded in OSNs leavesan indelible trace in the provider’s databases. information. However. however. among others. liberty or security on the other. at least by substantial evidence. defined habeas dataas "a procedure designed to safeguard individual freedom from abuse in the information age. particularly in instances in which such information is being collected through unlawful means in order to achieve unlawful ends.this requisite begs this question: given the nature of an online social network (OSN)––(1) that it facilitates and promotes real-time interaction among millions.Availment of the writ requires the existence of a nexus between the right to privacy on the one hand. will not issue on the basis merely of an alleged unauthorized access to information about a person. 16 a. sans the spatial barriers. and the right to life. Procedural issues concerning the availability of the Writ of Habeas Data The writ of habeas datais a remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in life. A comparative law scholar has. honor. 11 12 In developing the writ of habeas data. Section 2 of the Rule on the Writ of Habeas Data provides: Sec. or . the existence of a person’s right to informational privacy and a showing. It seeks to protect a person’s right to control information regarding oneself. Viewed from the perspective of the case at bar. family. if not billions. in fact. namely: the spouse." The writ. We must first resolve the procedural issues in this case. collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person. privacy. The writ of habeas data is not only confined to cases of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances Contrary to respondents’ submission. liberty or security of the victim are indispensable before the privilege of the writ may be extended. a habeas datapetition will not prosper. in cases of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances. – Any aggrieved party may file a petition for the writ of habeas data. of an actual or threatened violation of the right to privacy in life. or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering. the Court aimed to protect an individual’s right to informational privacy. It is an independent and summary remedy designed to protect the image. which are outside the control of the end-users––is there a right to informational privacy in OSN activities of its users? Before addressing this point. 13 14 15 Without an actionable entitlement in the first place to the right to informational privacy. bridging the gap created by physical space.We find no merit in the petition. and to provide a forum to enforce one’s right to the truth and to informational privacy. of users. home and correspondence of the aggrieved party. 2. children and parents. Thus.

as a whole. To "engage" in something is different from undertaking a business endeavour. Habeas Data. collecting. Habeas data. it is erroneous to limit its applicability to extralegal killings and enforced disappearances only. home and correspondence of the aggrieved party. the above underscored portion of Section 2. is. collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person. more specifically the right to informational privacy. (emphasis Ours) The provision. the annotations to the Rule preparedby the Committee on the Revision of the Rules of Court. as when one pursues a business. collecting or storing said data or information about the aggrieved party or his or her family. would not have been made. (emphasis supplied) Had the framers of the Rule intended to narrow the operation of the writ only to cases of extralegal killings or enforced disappearances. To be sure. What matters is that the person or entity must be gathering. family. 18 b. rectification. when taken in its proper context. it not being an entity engaged in the gathering. In fact. suppression or destruction of the database or information or files in possession or in control of respondents. As provided under Section 1 of the Rule: Section 1. storing. or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering. in default of those mentioned in the preceding paragraph. collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person." As such. or storing data about the aggrieved party and his or her correspondences. or about his or her family. can be availed of as an independent remedy to enforce one’s right to privacy. and collecting of data. erroneous. – The writ of habeas datais a remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in life. home and correspondence of the aggrieved party. the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Datamay also be availed of in cases outside of extralegal killings and enforced disappearances. was designed "to safeguard individual freedom from abuse in the information age. pointed out that: 17 The writ of habeas data. collecting or storing of data or information Respondents’ contention that the habeas data writ may not issue against STC. irresistibly conveys the idea that habeas data is a protection against unlawful acts or omissions of public officials and of private individuals or entities engaged in gathering. after explaining that the Writ of Habeas Data complements the Writ of Amparo. however. Meaning of "engaged" in the gathering. To "engage" means "to do or take part in something. nothing in the Rule would suggest that the habeas data protection shall be available only against abuses of a person or entity engaged in the businessof gathering. (emphasis Ours) Clearly then. nonetheless. to stress. and is in the nature 19 ." It does not necessarily mean that the activity must be done in pursuit of a business.(b) Any ascendant. Such individual or entity need not be in the business of collecting or storing data. The remedies against the violation of such right can include the updating. while valid to a point. family. liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee. descendant or collateral relative of the aggrieved party within the fourth civil degreeof consanguinity or affinity. Whether such undertaking carries the element of regularity. reflecting a variance of habeas data situations.

all agree that given the millions of OSN users. and (3) decisional privacy. with technological advancements having an influential part therein. what is relevant to the case at bar is the right to informational privacy––usually defined as the right of individuals to control information about themselves. x x x It is imperative that the courts respond appropriately to changing times. some of which would have otherwise remained personal. would mean unduly limiting the reach of the writ to a very small group. greatly evolved. viz: (1) locational or situational privacy. In the same vein. W. i. the very purpose of OSNs is socializing––sharing a myriad of information. for any other reason or even for no reason at all. privacy is no longer grounded in reasonable expectations. Several commentators regarding privacy and social networking sites. however. "[i]n this [Social Networking] environment. H v. by developing what may be viewed as the Philippine model of the writ of habeas data. 20 21 22 23 With the availability of numerous avenues for information gathering and data sharing nowadays. and in the process decreasing the effectiveness of the writ asan instrument designed to protect a right which is easily violated in view of rapid advancements in the information and communications technology––a right which a great majority of the users of technology themselves are not capable of protecting. having an expectation of informational privacy is not necessarily incompatible with engaging in cyberspace activities. there is more reason that every individual’s right to control said flow of information should be protected and that each individual should have at least a reasonable expectation of privacy in cyberspace. recognized that "[t]he law has to take into account the changing realities not only technologically but also socially or else it will lose credibility in the eyes of the people. in effect. Of the three. 25 26 The question now though is up to whatextent is the right to privacy protected in OSNs? Bear in mind that informational privacy involves personal information. promulgated on January30." 24 It is due to this notion that the Court saw the pressing need to provide for judicial remedies that would allow a summary hearing of the unlawful use of data or information and to remedy possible violations of the right to privacy. Having resolved the procedural aspect of the case. 27 b. Puno’s speech. the Court. The Common Right to Privacy. This evolution was briefly recounted in former Chief Justice Reynato S. including those that occur in OSNs. Facebook’s Privacy Tools: a response to the clamor for privacy in OSN activities . but rather in some theoretical protocol better known as wishful thinking." Consistent with this. in its Decision in the landmark case. is immaterial and such will not prevent the writ from getting to said person or entity.e. At the same time. private persons and entities whose business is data gathering and storage.. recognized that. where he explained the three strands of the right to privacy. acting cautiously and with wisdom. not to mention each system’s inherent vulnerability to attacks and intrusions. (2) informational privacy. generally speaking. 2013. To agree with respondents’ above argument. The right to informational privacy on Facebook a. the South African High Court. We now proceed to the core of the controversy.of a personal endeavour. The Right to Informational Privacy The concept of privacyhas. through time.

allows the user to form or maintain one-to-one relationships with other users. the link is established and both users are permitted to view the other user’s "Public" or "Friends Only" posts. posted on his or her personal bulletin or "wall. but without defeating its purpose. photos. designed to set up barriers to broaden or limit the visibility of his or her specific profile content.the digital image can be viewed only by the user. The foregoing are privacy tools. (b) Friends of Friends ." Ideally. according to its developers. In his or her bulletin board. some or all of the other users to see his or her posts. videos. "Friending. www. Facebook extends its users an avenue to make the availability of their Facebook activities reflect their choice as to "when and to what extent to disclose facts about [themselves] – and to put others in the position of receiving such confidences. available to Facebook users. from another user’s point of view. people use "to stay connected with friends and family. It is akin to having a room filled with millions of personal bulletin boards or "walls. to pictures. these privacy settings are not foolproof. and (d) Only Me . a user/owner can post anything––from text. 29 To address concerns about privacy. Since gaining popularity. although it makes every effort to protect a user’s information.Once the request is accepted.only the user’s Facebook friends and their friends can view the photo. the selected setting will be based on one’s desire to interact with others. statuses. the purpose of an OSN is precisely to give users the ability to interact and to stay connected to other members of the same or different social media platform through the sharing of statuses. the South Gauteng High Court recognized this ability of the users to "customize their privacy settings. to discover what’s going on in the world.Briefly. and to share and express what matters to them. and photos. whereby the user gives his or her "Facebook friend" access to his or her profile and shares certain information to the latter. W." except for the user’sprofile picture and ID." the contents of which are under the control of each and every user. among others." but did so with this caveat: "Facebook states in its policies that. In other words.the photo is made visible only to particular friends and/or networks of the Facebook user. by selecting his or her desired privacy setting: (a) Public .com (Facebook). depending on the services provided by the site. (b) Friends .facebook. coupled with the opposing 34 ." 30 31 32 33 For instance. Facebook was armed with different privacy tools designed to regulate the accessibility of a user’s profile as well as information uploaded by the user. includingthe one involved in the case at bar. the OSN phenomenon has paved the way to the creation of various social networking sites. which." the user invites another to connect their accounts so that they can view any and all "Public" and "Friends Only" posts of the other.the default setting." therefore.only the user’s Facebook friends can view the photo. (c) Custom . every Facebook user can view the photo. among others. In H v." 28 Facebook connections are established through the process of "friending" another user. a Facebook user canregulate the visibility and accessibility of digital images(photos). to music and videos––access to which would depend on whether he or she allows one. By sending a "friend request. among others.

Aspetitioner’s children testified. 39 40 . for instance. including respondents. It is through the availability of said privacy tools that many OSN users are said to have a subjective expectation that only those to whomthey grant access to their profile will view the information they post or upload thereto. in context. downloaded copies ofthe pictures and showed said photos to Tigol. it was Angelawho uploaded the subjectphotos which were only viewable by the five of them. however. said photo would still be deemed public by the courts as if the user never chose to limit the photo’s visibility and accessibility. does not mean thatany Facebook user automatically has a protected expectation of privacy inall of his or her Facebook activities. such that if. will not only strip these privacy tools of their function but it would also disregard the very intention of the user to keep said photo or information within the confines of his or her private space. through the employment of measures to prevent access thereto or to limit its visibility. STC did not violate petitioners’ daughters’ right to privacy Without these privacy settings. of the user’s invocation of his or her right to informational privacy. In other words. be correct. However. 35 This. 38 We must now determine the extent that the images in question were visible to other Facebook users and whether the disclosure was confidential in nature. such is not the case. fewer Facebook users can view that user’s particular post. insist that Escudero intruded upon their children’s Facebook accounts. are barred from accessing said post without their knowledge and consent. it is first necessary that said user. as the privacy setting becomes more limiting. were under "very private" or "Only Friends" setting safeguarded with a password. allegedly. Ultimately. using these privacy tools would be a feckless exercise. respondents’ contention that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in Facebook would. utilization of these privacy tools is the manifestation. Petitioners. this was a breach of the minors’ privacy since their Facebook accounts. Such position.manifest the intention to keepcertain posts private. they posit that their children’s disclosure was only limited since their profiles were not open to public viewing. 36 37 Therefore. Before one can have an expectation of privacy in his or her OSN activity. Therefore. And this intention can materialize in cyberspace through the utilization of the OSN’s privacy tools. To them.need to withhold certain information as well as to regulate the spreading of his or her personal information. Needless to say. did the minors limit the disclosure of the photos such that the images were kept within their zones of privacy? This determination is necessary in resolving the issue of whether the minors carved out a zone of privacy when the photos were uploaded to Facebook so that the images will be protected against unauthorized access and disclosure. a user uploads a photo or any personal information to his or her Facebook page and sets its privacy level at "Only Me" or a custom list so that only the user or a chosen few can view it. a Facebook user who opts to make use of a privacy tool to grant or deny access to his or her post orprofile detail should not be denied the informational privacy right which necessarily accompanies said choice. in support of their thesis about their children’s privacy right being violated. people who are not their Facebook friends. In other words. according to them. Otherwise. in this case the children of petitioners. if adopted. although who these five are do not appear on the records.in cyber world.

usually by the hundreds. where the Defendant did not employ protective measures or devices that would have controlled access to the Web page or the photograph itself. who are their friends in [F]acebook. thus deserving scant consideration. these students then logged into their Facebook account [sic]. and accessed from there the various photographs x x x. who are the minors’ Facebook "friends. We cannot give muchweight to the minors’ testimonies for one key reason: failure to question the students’ act of showing the photos to Tigol disproves their allegation that the photos were viewable only by the five of them. and 48 . the less privacy one can reasonably expect. particularly under circumstances suchas here. In this regard. Messages sent to the public at large inthe chat room or e-mail that is forwarded from correspondent to correspondent loses any semblance of privacy." 47 (2) A good number of Facebook users "befriend" other users who are total strangers. that the photos were." it can be surmised that the photographs in question were viewable to everyone on Facebook.Escudero. Without any evidence to corroborate their statement that the images were visible only to the five of them. and that it is reasonable to assume. At the computer lab." 41 In this regard. not confined to their friends in Facebook. 43 Considering that the default setting for Facebook posts is"Public.. The ensuing pronouncement in US v. self-serving. on the other hand. stated in her affidavit that "my students showed me some pictures of girls cladin brassieres. Maxwell held that "[t]he more open the method of transmission is. or (2) by the public at large. Gines-Perez is most instructive: 44 [A] person who places a photograph on the Internet precisely intends to forsake and renounce all privacy rights to such imagery. (3) The sheer number of "Friends" one user has. United States v. x x x They then said [that] there are still many other photos posted on the Facebook accounts of these girls. at best. the cyber community is agreed that the digital images under this setting still remain to be outside the confines of the zones of privacy in view of the following: (1) Facebook "allows the world to be more open and connected by giving its users the tools to interact and share in any conceivable way." showed her the photos using their own Facebook accounts. and without their challenging Escudero’s claim that the other students were able to view the photos. therefore. 42 It is well to note that not one of petitioners disputed Escudero’s sworn account that her students.e. absent any proof that petitioners’ children positively limited the disclosure of the photograph. their statements are. They even told me that there had been times when these photos were ‘public’ i. 45 Also." 46 That the photos are viewable by "friends only" does not necessarily bolster the petitioners’ contention. they cannot invoke the protection attached to the right to informational privacy. This student [sic] of mine informed me that these are senior high school [students] of STC. If suchwere the case. This only goes to show that no special means to be able to viewthe allegedly private posts were ever resorted to by Escudero’s students. in reality. viewable either by (1) their Facebook friends.

respondent STC can hardly be taken to task for the perceived privacy invasion since it was the minors’ Facebook friends who showed the pictures to Tigol. 49 50 It is well to emphasize at this point that setting a post’s or profile detail’s privacy to "Friends" is no assurance that it can no longer be viewed by another user who is not Facebook friends with the source of the content. it is suggested. even assuming that the photos in issue are visible only to the sanctioned students’ Facebook friends. depending upon B’s privacy setting). 51 As applied. However. Clearly. 52 In sum. The user’s own Facebook friend can share said content or tag his or her own Facebook friend thereto. petitioners failed to prove their contention that respondents reproduced and broadcasted the photographs. the reputation of the minors enrolled in a conservative institution. there can be no quibbling that the images in question. as it encourages broadcasting of individual user posts. the fault. the records are bereft of any evidence. Respondents were mere recipients of what were posted." contrary to petitioners’ argument. thereby resulting into the "democratization of fame. along with its other features and uses. A and B are not Facebook friends. despite its being visible only tohis or her own Facebook friends. A’s Facebook friend. tags B in A’s post.(4) A user’s Facebook friend can "share" the former’s post. with visibility set at "Friends Only" cannot easily. the privacy setting of which was set at "Friends. If C. Curiously enough. however. is confirmation of Facebook’s proclivity towards user interaction and socialization rather than seclusion or privacy. are personal in nature. likely to affect." Thus. the audience who can view the post is effectively expanded––and to a very large extent. which is set at "Friends. be said to be "very private. This. if indiscriminately circulated. more so automatically. neither the minors nor their parents imputed any violation of privacy against the students who showed the images to Escudero. lies with the friends of the minors. CEB-38594. . it has been said that OSNs have facilitated their users’ self-tribute. if any. the photos of minor students scantily clad. regardless of whether the user tagged by the latter is Facebook friends or not with the former. other than bare assertions that they utilized Facebook’s privacy settings to make the photos visible only to them or to a select few." the initial audience of 100 (A’s own Facebook friends) is dramatically increased to 300 (A’s 100 friends plus B’s 200 friends or the public. They did not resort to any unlawful means of gathering the information as it was voluntarily given to them by persons who had legitimate access to the said posts. what petitioners attributed to respondents as an act of offensive disclosure was no more than the actuality that respondents appended said photographs in their memorandum submitted to the trial court in connection with Civil Case No. In fact. that a profile. or to be more precise. they cannot now insist that they have an expectation of privacy with respect to the photographs in question. These are not tantamount to a violation of the minor’s informational privacy rights." To illustrate. when the post is shared or when a person is tagged. the respective Facebook friends of the person who shared the post or who was tagged can view the post. suppose A has 100 Facebook friends and B has 200. or even a post. Without proof that they placed the photographs subject of this case within the ambit of their protected zone of privacy. Furthermore. Also. contrary to petitioners’ assertion. or "tag" others who are not Facebook friends with the former. In fact. As a result.

Furthermore. Equity serves the vigilant. there’s no substitute for parental involvement and supervision. STC cannot be faulted for being steadfast in its duty of teaching its students to beresponsible in their dealings and activities in cyberspace. On Cyber Responsibility It has been said that "the best filter is the one between your children’s ears. and more importantly. they should be cautious enough to control their privacy and to exercise sound discretion regarding how much information about themselves they are willing to give up. absenta showing that. requires that claimants themselves take utmost care in safeguarding a right which they allege to have been violated. These are indispensable. As a cyberspace communitymember. by entering or uploading any kind of data or information online. one has to be proactive in protecting his or her own privacy." 58 59 As such. becomes more manifest and palpable. the result may have been different. especially minors. through the "Me Only" privacy setting. or that the user’s contact list has been screened to limit access to a select few. Too. to use them if they desire to keep the information private.as well as the dangers that these children are wittingly or unwittingly exposed to in view of their unsupervised activities in cyberspace." This means that selfregulation on the part of OSN users and internet consumers ingeneral is the best means of avoiding privacy rights violations. through the "Custom" setting. voluntarily surrendered by them can be opened. for in such instances. information. Accordingly. 1âwphi1 It is. OSN users should be aware of the risks that they expose themselves to whenever they engage incyberspace activities. incumbent upon internet users to exercise due diligence in their online dealings and activities and must not be negligent in protecting their rights. the participation of the parents in disciplining and educating their children about being a good digital citizen is encouraged by these institutions and organizations. Demanding relief from the courts. fail. otherwise private. We cannot afford protection to persons if they themselves did nothing to place the matter within the confines of their private zone. particularly in OSNs. the intention to limit access to the particular post. it violated the students’ rights. whenit enforced the disciplinary actions specified in the Student Handbook.Had it been proved that the access tothe pictures posted were limited to the original uploader. 53 54 55 56 57 Respondent STC is clearly aware of this and incorporating lessons on good cyber citizenship in its curriculum to educate its students on proper online conduct may be mosttimely. Furthermore. in the process. read. it is believed that "to limit such risks. Internet consumers ought to be aware that. and to keep track of changes in the available privacy . they are automatically and inevitably making it permanently available online.Responsible social networking or observance of the "netiquettes" on the part of teenagers has been the concern of many due to the widespreadnotion that teenagers can sometimes go too far since they generally lack the people skills or general wisdom to conduct themselves sensibly in a public forum. instead of being broadcasted to the public at large or all the user’s friends en masse. It is in this regard that many OSN users. In fact. OSN users must be mindful enough to learn the use of privacy tools. or copied by third parties who may or may not be allowed access to such. thus. the perpetuation of which is outside the ambit of their control. considering the complexity of the cyber world and its pervasiveness. as here. it is not only STC but a number of schools and organizations have already deemed it important to include digital literacy and good cyber citizenshipin their respective programs and curricula in view of the risks that the children are exposed to every time they participate in online activities.

189476 Present: CARPIO MORALES. JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON COSETENGMAGPAYO (A..A. JR. In light of the foregoing. No pronouncement as to costs. 2012 of the Regional Trial Court. BRION. In finding that respondent STC and its officials did not violate the minors' privacy rights. . Proc. WHEREFORE. No. THE Petitioner.K. J. the Court need not belabor the other assigned errors. Branch 14 in Cebu City in SP. No. such as those of Facebook. especially because Facebook is notorious for changing these settings and the site's layout often. The Decision dated July 27. and VILLARAMA.versus - G. the petition is hereby DENIED.settings. Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila THIRD DIVISION REPUBLIC OF PHILIPPINES. JJ. SO ORDERED. JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON MARQUEZ-LIM BERSAMIN. and SERENO. We find no cogent reason to disturb the findings and case disposition of the court a quo. 19251-CEB is hereby AFFIRMED.R. premises considered.. . Chairperson.

J. respondent filed on July 22. docketed as SPP No. however. 2008 at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City a Petition tochange his name to Julian Edward Emerson Marquez Lim Coseteng. 1972. that his parents were never legally married. Promulgated: February 2. 1972. Magpayo Jr. Respondent. The petition. and Anna Dominique Marquez-Lim Coseteng who. was entitled IN RE PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME OF JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON COSETENG MAGPAYO TO JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON MARQUEZ-LIM COSETENG. 2011 x-------------------------------------------------x DECISION CARPIO MORALES. contracted marriage on March 26.: Born in Makati on September 9. Q-0863058. . Julian Edward Emerson Coseteng Magpayo(respondent) is the son of Fulvio M. Claiming. as respondents certificate of live birth [1]shows.COSETENG).

an order of general default was entered by the trial court which then allowed respondent to present evidence ex parte. respondent submitted a certification from the National Statistics Office stating that his mother Anna Dominique does not appear in [its] National Indices of Marriage.L. respondent ran and was elected as Councilor of Quezon Citys 3rd District using the name JULIAN M. 2008 was published in the newspaper Broadside in its issues of October 31-November 6.[7] The notice setting the petition for hearing on November 20. COSETENG. November 7-13. [6] respondent amended his petition by alleging therein compliance with the 3year residency requirement under Section 2. [5] On order of Branch 77 of the Quezon City RTC. 2008. No opposition to the petition having been filed.[10] the trial court granted respondents petition and directed the Civil Registrar of MakatiCity to: 1. and the birth certificate of his child where Coseteng appears as his surname. and November 14-20.[2]Respondent also submitted his academic records from elementary up to college[3]showing that he carried the surname Coseteng. 2009. 2001 and 2004 Elections.In support of his petition. Rule 103 of the Rules of Court.[9] By Decision of January 8. 1972 in Item 24 for DATE AND PLACE OF MARRIAGE OF PARTIES [in herein respondents Certificate of live Birth].[8] And a copy of the notice was furnished the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). [4] In the 1998. 2008. 2008. . Delete the entry March 26.

2. Correct the entry MAGPAYO in the space for the Last Name
of the [respondent] to COSETENG;

3. Delete the entry COSETENG in the space for Middle
Name of the [respondent]; and

4. Delete the entry Fulvio Miranda Magpayo, Jr. in the
space for FATHER of the [respondent] (emphasis and
underscoring supplied;capitalization in the original)

The Republic of the Philippines(Republic) filed a motion for
reconsideration but it was denied by the trial court by Order of
July 2, 2009,[11]hence, it, thru the OSG, lodged the present petition
for review to the Court on pure question of law.

The Republic assails the decision in this wise:
I.

. . . THE PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAMEINVOLVES
THE CHANGE
OF [RESPONDENTS] CIVIL
STATUS
FROM
LEGITIMATE TO ILLEGITIMATE AND, THEREFORE, SHOULD BE
MADE THROUGH APPROPRIATE ADVERSARIAL PROCEEDINGS

II.

THE TRIAL COURT EXCEEDED ITS JURISDICTION WHEN IT
DIRECTED THE DELETION OF THE NAME OF RESPONDENTS
FATHER FROM HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE.[12](emphasis and
underscoring supplied)

The Republic contends that the deletion of the entry on the
date and place of marriage of respondents parents from his birth
certificate has the effect of changing his civil status from
legitimate to illegitimate, hence, any change in civil status of a
person must be effected through an appropriate adversary
proceeding.[13]

The Republic adds that by ordering thedeletion of
respondents parents date of marriage and the name of
respondents father from the entries in respondents birth
certificate,[14] the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction, such order
not being in accord with respondents prayer reading:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed
that the Honorable Court issue an orderallowing the change of name of
petitioner from JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON COSETENG MAGPAYO to
JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON MARQUEZ-LIM COSETENG, and that the
Honorable Court order the Local Civil Registrar and all other relevant
government agencies to reflect the said change of name in their
records.

Petitioner prays for other reliefs deemed proper under the
premises.[15] (underscoring supplied)

Respondent counters that the proceeding before the trial court
was adversarial in nature. He cites the serving of copies of the
petition and its annexes upon the Civil Registrar of Makati, the
Civil Registrar General, and the OSG; the posting of copies of the
notice of hearing in at least four public places at least ten days
before the hearing; the delegation to the OSG by the City
Prosecutor of Quezon City to appear on behalf of the Republic; the
publication of the notice of hearing in a newspaper of general
circulation for three consecutive weeks; and the fact that no
oppositors appeared on the scheduled hearing. [16]

The petition is impressed with merit.

A person can effect a change of name under Rule 103
(CHANGE OF NAME) using valid and meritorious grounds
including(a) when the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or
extremely difficult to write or pronounce; (b) when the change
results as a legal consequence such as legitimation; (c) when the
change will avoid confusion; (d) when one has continuously used
and been known since childhood by a Filipino name, and was
unaware of alien parentage; (e) a sincere desire to adopt a Filipino
name to erase signs of former alienage, all in good faith and
without prejudicing anybody; and (f) when the surname causes
embarrassment and there is no showing that the desired change
of name was for a fraudulent purpose or that the change of name
would prejudice public interest. [17] Respondents reason for
changing his name cannot be considered as one of, or analogous
to, recognized grounds, however.

The present petition must be differentiated from Alfon v.
Republic of thePhilippines.[18] In Alfon, the Court allowed the
therein petitioner, Estrella Alfon, to use the name that she had
been known since childhood in order to avoid confusion. Alfon did
not deny her legitimacy, however. She merely sought to use the
surname of her mother which she had been using since
childhood. Ruling in her favor, the Court held that she was lawfully
entitled to use her mothers surname, adding that the avoidance
of confusion was justification enough to allow her to do so. In the
present case, however, respondent denies his legitimacy.

The change being sought in respondents petition goes so far
as to affect his legal status in relation to his parents. It seeks to

the civil registrarand all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties to the proceeding.The court shall also cause the order to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province. Republic[19]categorically holds that changes which may affect the civil status from legitimate to illegitimate . Notice and publication. SEC. event. Who may file petition. . with the [RTC] of the province where the corresponding civil registry is located.When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is sought. Rule 103 then would not suffice to grant respondents supplication. and cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the persons named in the petition. italics and underscoring supplied) . order or decree concerning the civil status of persons which has been recorded in the civil register.Any person interested in any act. . xxxx SEC. may file a verified petition for thecancellation or correction of any entry relating thereto. Parties. 3. the court shall. by an order. Since respondents desired change affects his civil status from legitimate to illegitimate. Rule 108 applies. 4. . . Labayo-Rowe v. Upon the filing of the petition.(emphasis. are substantial and controversial alterations which can only be allowed after appropriate adversary proceedings . It reads: SECTION 1.change his legitimacy to that of illegitimacy. fix the time and place for the hearing of the same.

They may not be substituted one for the other for the sole purpose of expediency. Capote[20] in support of his claim that his change of name was effected through an appropriate adversary proceeding. and all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby should be made parties to the proceeding. the petition of respondent was filed not in Makatiwhere his birth certificate was registered but in Quezon City. Respondent nevertheless cites Republic v. As earlier stated. however: The procedure recited in Rule 103regarding change of name and in Rule 108 concerning the cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry are separate and distinct. (emphasis. . .[21] illuminates. however.Rule 108 clearly directs that a petition which concerns ones civil status should be filed in the civil registry in which the entry is sought to be cancelled or corrected that of Makati in the present case. Republic v. To hold otherwise would render nugatory the provisions of the Rules of Court allowing the change of ones name or the correction of entries in the civil registry only upon meritorious grounds. capitalization and underscoring supplied) . . And as the above-mentioned title of the petition filed by respondent before the RTC shows. neither the civil registrar of Makati nor his father and mother were made parties thereto. Belmonte.

Emperatriz alleged that her name appearing in the birth certificates is Beatriz. respondent cannot be said to have sufficientlycomplied with Rule 108. and to correct her civil status in Victorias birth . aside from improper venue. Vicente Miclat. It cannot be gainsaid that change of status of a child in relation to his parents is a substantial correction or change of entry in the civil registry. Labayo-Rowe[23] highlights the necessity of impleading indispensable parties in a petition which involves substantial and controversial alterations. The trial court found merit in Emperatrizs petition and accordingly directed the local civil registrar to change her name appearing in her childrens birth certificates from Beatriz to Emperatriz. and her civil status appearing in the birth certificate of her daughter Victoria as married on 1953 Bulan are erroneous because she was not married to Vicente Miclat who was the one who furnished the data in said birth certificate. as reflected above. as well as all other persons who have or claim to have any interest that would be affected thereby. and Victoria Miclat. the therein petitioner Emperatriz Labayo-Rowe (Emperatriz) filed a petition for the correction of entries in the birth certificates of her children. For. Jr. Pampanga.Even assuming arguendo that respondent had simultaneously availed of these two statutory remedies.In that case. but her full name is Emperatriz. he failed to implead the civil registrar ofMakati and all affected parties as respondents in the case. in the Civil Registry of San Fernando. which is her nickname. Republic v. Labrador[22] mandates that a petition for a substantial correction or change of entries in the civil registry should have as respondents the civil registrar.

This situation is not contemplated under Article 412 of the Civil Code.or legitimacy of marriage. italics and underscoring supplied) . Moreover. increase or modify substantive rights. The fact that the notice of hearing of the petition was published in a newspaper of general circulation and notice thereof was served upon the State will notchange the nature of the proceedings taken. Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution. all other indispensable parties should have been made respondents. was promulgated by the Supreme Court pursuant to its rule-making authority under Section 13. as their hereditary rights would be adversely affected thereby. like all the other provisions of the Rules of Court. the Court nullified the trial courts order directing the change of Emperatriz civil status and the filiation of her child Victoria in light of the following observations: x x x x Aside from the Office of the Solicitor General. On petition before this Court after the Court of Appeals found that the order of the trial court involved a question of law. The truth is best ascertained under an adversary system of justice. Rule 108. without observing the proper proceedings as earlier mentioned. together with the paternal grandparents. All other persons who may be affected by the change should be notified or represented. The right of the child Victoria to inherit from her parents would be substantially impaired if her status would be changed from legitimate to illegitimate. if any. legitimacy of paternity or filiation. If Rule 108 were to be extended beyond innocuous or harmless changes or corrections of errors which are visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding. so as to comprehend substantial and controversial alterations concerning citizenship. [24] (emphasis. They include not only the declared fatherof the child but the child as well. said rule would thereby become an unconstitutionalexercise which would tend to increase or modify substantive rights.certificate from married to single and the date and place of marriage to no marriage. she would be exposed to humiliation and embarrassment resulting from the stigma of an illegitimate filiation that she will bear thereafter. which directs that such rules shall not diminish.

4. also above-quoted. file his opposition thereto. The court shall alsocause the order to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province. 5. Notice and publication. by an order. the courtshall. within fifteen (15) days from notice of the petition.Upon the filing of the petition. That two sets of notices are mandated under the above-quoted Section 4 is validated by the subsequent Section 5. which provides for two periods (for the two types of potential oppositors) within which to file an . SEC. (emphasis and underscoring supplied) A reading of these related provisions readily shows that Rule 108 clearly mandates two sets of notices to different potential oppositors.As for the requirement of notice and publication.The civil registrar and any person having or claiming any interest under the entry whose cancellation or correction is sought may. or from the last date of publication of such notice. fix the time and place for the hearing of the same. The first notice is that given to the persons named in the petition and the second (which is through publication) is that given to other persons who are not named in the petition but nonetheless may be considered interested or affected parties. Opposition. such as creditors. Rule 108 provides: SEC. and cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the persons named in the petition.

Gustilo in fact filed before the trial court aCONSTANCIA wherein he acknowledged June as his daughter.[25] In that case. Nadina Maravilla (Nadina) filed a petition for correction of entries in the birth certificate of her daughter June from June Salvacion Maravilla to June Salvacion Gustilo. like Nadina. Court of Appeals. his son Jose Vicente Gustilo filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for annulment of the Order of the trial court granting the change of Junes family name to Gustilo. On appeal by Barco. by Barcos claim. her daughters real father. days from notice or from the last date of This is the overriding principle laid down in Barco v. But since a petitioner. natural guardian of her minor daughter Mary Joy Ann Gustilo. The trial court granted the petition. After Gustilo died.Thus the Court explained: . Armando Gustilo being.opposition (15 publication). The appellate court dismissed the petition for annulment and complaint-in-intervention. is not expected to exhaustively identify all the affected parties. alleging that Mary Joy had a legal interest in the annulment of the trial courts Order as Mary Joy was. this Court ruled that she should have been impleaded in Nadinas petition for correction of entries of the birth certificate of Mary Joy. filed before the appellate court a motion for intervention. Milagros Barco (Barco). according to Nadina. the subsequent publication of the notice cured the omission of Barco as a party to the case. also fathered by Gustilo.

Carlito and his siblings requested the correction in their birth certificates of the citizenship of their mother Epifania to Filipino.[27] Carlito Kho (Carlito) and his siblings named the civil registrar as the sole respondent in the petition they filed for the correction of entries in their respective birth certificates in the civil registry of Butuan City. instead of Chinese. Barco is among the parties referred to in Section 3 of Rule 108. x x x x. and the deletion of the word married opposite the phrase Date of marriage of parents because their parents ─ Juan and Epifania ─ were not married. And Carlito requested the correction in the birth certificates of their children of his and his wifes date of marriage to reflect the actual date of their marriage as appearing in their marriage certificate. It cannot be established whether Nadina knew of Mary Joys existence at the time she filed the petition for correction.Undoubtedly. as any judicial determination that June was the daughter of Armando would affect her wards share in the estate of her father. Indeed. xxxx The purpose precisely of Section 4. The sweep of the decision would cover even parties who should have been impleaded under Section 3. Rule 108 is to bind the whole world to the subsequent judgment on the petition. For example. x x x x. in Republic v. a petitioner cannot be presumed to be aware of all the legitimate or illegitimate offsprings of his/her spouse or paramour. Kho. doubt may always be cast as to whether a petitioner under Rule 108 would know of all the parties whose interests may be affected by the granting of a petition. italics and underscoring supplied) Meanwhile. and correction of entries in the birth certificates of Carlitos minor children.[26](emphasis. Rule 108 but were inadvertently left out. Her interest was affected by the petition for correction. In the course of the hearing of the .

What is clear then in Barco and Kho is the mandatory directive under Section 3 of Rule 108 to implead the civil registrar andthe parties who would naturally and legally be affected by the grant of a petition for correction or cancellation of entries. Carlito also sought the correction of the name of his wife from Maribel to Marivel. and Carlito respecting the actual date of his marriage to his wife. On the issue of whether the failure to implead Marivel and the Khos parents rendered the trial of the petition short of the required adversary proceedings and the trial courts judgment void. the publication of the notice of hearing cures the failure to implead an indispensable party. . and. Non-impleading.petition. however. as party-respondent of one who is inadvertently left out or is not established to be known by the petitioner to be affected by the grant of the petition or actually participates in the proceeding is notified through publication. this Court held that when all the procedural requirements under Rule 108 are followed. The trial court granted the petition. The Khos mother Epifania took the witness stand where she declared that she was not married to Juan who died before the filing of the Khos petition. their mother Epifania herself took the witness stand declaring that she was not married to their father. the Court noted that the affected parties were already notified of the proceedings in the case since the petitionersiblings Khos were the ones who initiated the petition respecting their prayer for correction of their citizenship. with respect to the Khos petition for change of their civil status from legitimate to illegitimate. In so ruling.

amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Agustin. petitioner. The January 8. COURT OF APPEALS AND MINOR MARTIN JOSE PROLLAMANTE. GRANTED. No. which denied petitioners motion to dismiss private respondents complaint for support and directed the parties to submit themselves to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) paternity testing.R. Branch 106. when a petition for cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register involves substantial andcontroversial alterations including those on citizenship. [1] [2] [3] [4] Respondents Fe Angela and her son Martin Prollamante sued Martins alleged biological father. or legitimacy of marriage. [5] . June 15. 2005] ARNEL L. the petition is. AGUSTIN. in issuing a decision and resolution upholding the resolution and order of the trial court. HON. vs. legitimacy of paternity or filiation. THIRD DIVISION [G. 2009 Decision of Branch 77 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City in SP Proc. WHEREFORE. DECISION CORONA. petitioner Arnel L. for support and support pendente lite before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City. SO ORDERED. No. in light of the foregoing discussions. REPRESENTED BY HIS MOTHER/GUARDIAN FE ANGELA PROLLAMANTE. Q0863058 is NULLIFIED. a strict compliance with the requirements of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court is mandated.: At issue in this petition for certiorari is whether or not the Court of Appeals (CA) gravely erred in exercising its discretion. respondents.IN FINE. 162571. J.

In July 2001. 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. Despite Arnels insistence on abortion. As a result. long before Martins conception. The babys birth certificate was purportedly signed by Arnel as the father. Fe was diagnosed with leukemia and has. on August 11. but also because she proved to be scheming and overly demanding and possessive. 2002. The CTC erroneously reflected his marital status as single when he was actually married and that his birth year was 1965 when it should have been 1964. with the open car door hitting Fes leg. Arnel also denied having fathered the child. been undergoing chemotherapy. [7] [8] [9] [10] . In May 2000. On January 19. Arnel learned that Fe was telling people that he had impregnated her. Fe followed Arnel to the Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club parking lot to demand that he acknowledge Martin as his child. Arnel found out that Fe had another erstwhile secret lover. Fe and Martin sued Arnel for support. a certain Jun. theirs was a stormy on-and-off affair. while Fe was carrying five-month old Martin at the Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club parking lot. Arnel terminated the affair although he still treated her as a friend such as by referring potential customers to the car aircon repair shop where she worked. Exasperated. after which they entered into an intimate relationship. Fe started calling Arnels wife and family. According to Arnel. Unable to bear the prospect of losing his wife and children. 2001. Arnel denied having sired Martin because his affair and intimacy with Fe had allegedly ended in 1998. He claimed that Fe had at least one other secret lover. 2001. Arnel admitted that their relationship started in 1993 but he never really fell in love with (Fe) not only because (she) had at least one secret lover. he could not get through Fe and the discussion became so heated that he had no alternative but to move on but without bumping or hitting any part of her body. Arnel supposedly impregnated Fe on her 34thbirthday on November 10. Upon their return in June 2000. What started as a romantic liaison between two consenting adults eventually turned out to be a case of fatal attraction where (Fe) became so obsessed with (Arnel). that she resorted to various devious ways and means to alienate (him) from his wife and family. Arnel sped off in his van. Finally. Arnel claimed that the signature and the community tax certificate (CTC) attributed to him in the acknowledgment of Martins birth certificate were falsified. On January 19. since then. [6] In his amended answer. On March 5. This incident was reported to the police. Martin. 1999. respondents alleged that Arnel courted Fe in 1992. Later on. 2000 at the Capitol Medical Hospital in Quezon City. Arnel and his entire family went to the United States for a vacation. Fe decided otherwise and gave birth to their child out of wedlock. Arnel refused to acknowledge the child as his because their last intimacy was sometime in 1998. to the point of even entertaining the idea of marrying him.In their complaint.

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. In his answer. In his motion. as a result of which she gave birth to Martin out of wedlock. 02-5723 and 02-7192) and a petition for cancellation of his name appearing in Martins birth certificate (docketed as Civil Case No. private respondents alleged that Fe had amorous relations with the petitioner. petitioner admitted that he had sexual relations with Fe but denied that he fathered Martin. The only remaining question is whether such sexual . [11] On July 23. First of all. considering that his signature on the birth certificate was a forgery and that. It is undisputed and even admitted by the parties that there existed a sexual relationship between Arnel and Fe. Nos. [12] Arnel opposed said motion by invoking his constitutional right against selfincrimination. [15] The petition is without merit. He also moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of cause of action. an illegitimate child is not entitled to support if not recognized by the putative father. 2002. Arnel manifested that he had filed criminal charges for falsification of documents against Fe (I. and (2) the delict or wrongful act or omission of the defendant. Arnel vehemently denied having sired Martin but expressed willingness to consider any proposal to settle the case. [16] In the complaint. this petition. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. petitioner raises two issues: (1) whether a complaint for support can be converted to a petition for recognition and (2) whether DNA paternity testing can be ordered in a proceeding for support without violating petitioners constitutional right to privacy and right against self-incrimination. [13] [14] The trial court denied the motion to dismiss the complaint and ordered the parties to submit themselves to DNA paternity testing at the expense of the applicants. Fe and Martin moved for the issuance of an order directing all the parties to submit themselves to DNA paternity testing pursuant to Rule 28 of the Rules of Court. The elements of a cause of action are: (1) the plaintiffs primary right and the defendants corresponding primary duty. He attached the certification of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory that his signature in the birth certificate was forged. Q-0246669). Thus. by which the primary right and duty have been violated.S. The cause of action is determined not by the prayer of the complaint but by the facts alleged. under the law.In his pre-trial brief filed on May 17. 2002. claiming that he had ended the relationship long before the childs conception and birth. In a nutshell.

has no right to ask for support and must first establish his filiation in a separate suit under Article 283 in relation to Article 265 of the Civil Code and Section 1. although petitioner contends that the complaint filed by herein private respondent merely alleges that the minor Chad Cuyugan is an illegitimate child of the deceased and is actually a claim for inheritance. effectively converted the complaint for support to a petition for recognition. We also said that it is necessary to allege in the complaint that the putative father had acknowledged and recognized the illegitimate child because such acknowledgment is essential to and is the basis of the right to inherit. as respondents have alleged. Petitioner refuses to recognize Martin as his own child and denies the genuineness and authenticity of the childs birth certificate which he purportedly signed as the father. such was valid and in accordance with jurisprudence. There being no allegation of such acknowledgment. Preliminaries aside.relationship produced the child. one to compel recognition and the other to claim inheritance. that the two causes of action. Rule 105 of the Rules of Court. [17] [18] [19] The petitioners contentions are without merit. the action becomes one to compel recognition which cannot be brought after the death of the putative father. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. we allowed the integration of an action to compel recognition with an action to claim ones inheritance: [20] In Paulino. we now tackle the main issues. therefore. must prove his filiation to the latter. If it did. is not the absence of a cause of action for failure of the petitioner to allege the fact of acknowledgment in the complaint. petitioner and Martin are strangers to each other and Martin has no right to demand and petitioner has no obligation to give support. He also claims that the order and resolution of the trial court. then Martin should be supported by his father Arnel. to be entitled to support and successional rights from the putative or presumed parent. may be joined in one complaint is not new in our jurisprudence. Further. The ratio decidendi inPaulino. But even if the assailed resolution and order effectively integrated an action to compel recognition with an action for support. Court of Appeals. which is supposedly proscribed by law. from the allegations therein the same may be considered as one to compel recognition. Applying the foregoing principles to the case at bar. If not. we held that an illegitimate child. The assailed resolution and order did not convert the action for support into one for recognition but merely allowed the respondents to prove their cause of action against petitioner who had been denying the authenticity of the documentary evidence of acknowledgement. In Tayag v. Martin. as an unrecognized child. According to petitioner. . but the prescription of the action. Martin.

there is no absolute necessity requiring that the action to compel acknowledgment should have been instituted and prosecuted to a successful conclusion prior to the action in which that same plaintiff seeks additional relief in the character of heir. or mother x x x. 763 [1922]) wherein we said: The question whether a person in the position of the present plaintiff can in any event maintain a complex action to compel recognition as a natural child and at the same time to obtain ulterior relief in the character of heir. petitioner posits that DNA is not recognized by this Court as a conclusive means of proving paternity. On the second issue. In other words. (43 Phil. and the doctrine must be considered well settled. a brief historical sketch of our past decisions featuring or mentioning DNA testing is called for.As early as [1922] we had occasion to rule thereon in Briz vs. though not heretofore explicitly formulated by this court. Whether or not respondent Martin is entitled to support depends completely on the determination of filiation. . and the declaration of heirship is appropriate to such proceedings. may maintain partition proceedings for the division of the inheritance against his coheirs x x x. He also contends that compulsory testing violates his right to privacy and right against self-incrimination as guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution. but who has not been in fact legally acknowledged. is undoubtedly to some extent supported by our prior decisions. x x x The conclusion above stated. provided always that the conditions justifying the joinder of the two distinct causes of action are present in the particular case. is one which in the opinion of this court must be answered in the affirmative. et al. These contentions have no merit. Thus. In neither of these situations has it been thought necessary for the plaintiff to show a prior decree compelling acknowledgment. given how intimately related the main issues in both cases are. Certainly. To paraphrase Tayag. that a natural child having a right to compel acknowledgment. as in Tayag. there is nothing so peculiar to the action to compel acknowledgment as to require that a rule should be here applied different from that generally applicable in other cases. (Underscoring supplied) Although the instant case deals with support rather than inheritance. we have held in numerous cases. Given that this is the very first time that the admissibility of DNA testing as a means for determining paternity has actually been the focal issue in a controversy. the declaration of filiation is entirely appropriate to these proceedings. and the same person may intervene in proceedings for the distribution of the estate of his deceased natural father. Briz. A separate action will only result in a multiplicity of suits. The obvious reason is that in partition suits and distribution proceedings the other persons who might take by inheritance are before the court. the basis or rationale for integrating them remains the same.

Court of Appeals. we have now the facility and expertise in using DNA test for identification and parentage testing. Yes. that courts should apply the results of science when competently obtained in aid of situations presented. [21] Our faith in DNA testing. For it was said. The DNA from the mother. a complex offense (had) been perpetrated but who (were) the perpetrators? How we wish we had DNA or other scientific evidence to still our doubts! [25] . Parentage will still be resolved using conventional methods unless we adopt the modern and scientific ways available. one copy from the mother and the other from the father. courts should not hesitate to rule on the admissibility of DNA evidence. however. was not quite so steadfast in the previous decade. the use of DNA test as evidence is still open to challenge. Court of Appeals: [23] A final note. Vallejo where the rape and murder victims DNA samples from the bloodstained clothes of the accused were admitted in evidence. [24] A year later. since to reject said result is to deny progress. (had) not as yet been accorded official recognition by our courts. we cautioned against the use of DNA because DNA. however. InPe Lim v. Teehankee where the appellant was convicted of murder on the testimony of three eyewitnesses. Of course. it is not as accurate and authoritative as the scientific forms of identification evidence such as the fingerprint or the DNA test result (emphasis supplied). We reasoned that the purpose of DNA testing (was) to ascertain whether an association exist(ed) between the evidence sample and the reference sample. Paternity (would) still have to be resolved by such conventional evidence as the relevant incriminating acts. Janson. in People v. by the putative father. The first real breakthrough of DNA as admissible and authoritative evidence in Philippine jurisprudence came in 2002 with ouren banc decision in People v. Eventually. being a relatively new science. we stated as an obiter dictum that while eyewitness identification is significant. as enunciated in Tijing v. we acquitted the accused charged with rape for lack of evidence because doubts persist(ed) in our mind as to who (were) the real malefactors. The University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has now the capability to conduct DNA typing using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. we opened the possibility of admitting DNA as evidence of parentage. The analysis is based on the fact that the DNA of a child/person has two (2) copies. being a novel scientific technique. as the appropriate case comes. promulgated in 1997. [22] In 2001. The samples collected (were) subjected to various chemical processes to establish their profile. verbal and written. the alleged father and child are analyzed to establish parentage. Fortunately.In the 1995 case of People v.

so we must be cautious as we traverse these relatively uncharted waters. urine. xxx xxx xxx In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence. Dr. Specifically. The blood sample taken from the appellant showed that he was of the following gene types: vWA 15/19. A positive match would clear up filiation or paternity.S. and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. the procedure followed in analyzing the samples. de Ungrias testimony. Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria was duly qualified by the prosecution as an expert witness on DNA print or identification techniques. TH01 7/8. inter alia. the possibility of contamination of the samples. is a molecule that encodes the genetic information in all living organisms. with the notable exception of identical twins. A persons DNA is the same in each cell and it does not change throughout a persons lifetime. the prevailing doctrine in the U. or DNA. in Tecson. skin tissue. In the case at bar. this Court has acknowledged the strong weight of DNA testing Moreover. we affirmed the conviction of the accused for rape with homicide. Most importantly. Admittedly. it was determined that the gene type and DNA profile of appellant are identical to that of the extracts subject of examination. DNA testing. Yatar. a DNA match exists between the semen found in the victim and the blood sample given by the appellant in open court during the course of the trial. bone.In 2004. mucus. We did a lengthy discussion of DNA. we are just beginning to integrate these advances in science and technology in the Philippine criminal justice system. . sweat. because of polymorphisms in human genetic structure. the DNA in a persons blood is the same as the DNA found in his saliva. no two individuals have the same DNA. which examines genetic codes obtained from body cells of the illegitimate child and any physical residue of the long dead parent could be resorted to. In Tijing vs. has proven instructive. Court of Appeals. Verily. how they were handled. Based on Dr. the following factors: how the samples were collected. courts should consider. the root and shaft of hair. Fortunately. which are identical with semen taken from the victims vaginal canal. we can benefit from the wealth of persuasive jurisprudence that has developed in other jurisdictions. the process of DNA testing and the reasons for its admissibility in the context of our own Rules of Evidence: [27] Deoxyribonucleic Acid. in our en banc decision in People v.. we stated: [26] In case proof of filiation or paternity would be unlikely to satisfactorily establish or would be difficult to obtain. COMELEC where the Court en banc was faced with the issue of filiation of then presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. whether proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests. et al. the principal evidence for which included DNA test results. DHFRP29/10 and CSF1PO 10/11. earwax. and vaginal and rectal cells. v.

as embodied in both Sections 12 and 17 of Article III of the Constitution. It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is not an incrimination but as part of object evidence.S. underDaubert. In Jimenez v. in an action for annulment filed by her husband. DNA testing and its results. we said: [36] In no uncertain terms. but against testimonial compulsion. Over the years. violated his right against selfincrimination. we have expressly excluded several kinds of object evidence taken from the person of the accused from the realm of self-incrimination. 308. Ed. to verify his claim that she was impotent. Torres. Judges.In Daubert v. We addressed this as follows: The contention is untenable. Some of these procedures were. including the introduction of new kinds of scientific techniques. evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or non-existence. [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] Nor does petitioners invocation of his right to privacy persuade us. were allowed greater discretion over which testimony they would allow at trial. the DNA evidence obtained through PCR testing and utilizing STR analysis. her orifice being too small for his penis. 125 L. and other bodily substances. Under Philippine law. we upheld the constitutionality of compulsory DNA testing and the admissibility of the results thereof as evidence. per our ruling in Yatar. DNA samples from semen recovered from a rape victims vagina were used to positively identify the accused Joel Kawit Yatar as the rapist. The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion. expulsion of morphine from ones mouth and the tracing of ones foot to determine its identity with bloody footprints. DNA typing is one such novel procedure. are now similarly acceptable. Applying the Daubert test to the case at bar. In Ople v. 2d 469) it was ruled that pertinent evidence based on scientifically valid principles could be used as long as it was relevant and reliable. Significantly. but all of them were constitutionally sound. we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar all incursions into individual privacy. we even authorized the examination of a womans genitalia. These include photographs. to be sure. and which was appreciated by the court a quo is relevant and reliable since it is reasonably based on scientifically valid principles of human genetics and molecular biology. as well as the testing itself. We have also declared as constitutional several procedures performed on the accused such as pregnancy tests for women accused of adultery. In that case. Merrell Dow (509 U. where we struck down the proposed national computerized identification system embodied in Administrative Order No. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and technological . hair. 579 (1993). The right against self-incrimination is simply against the legal process of extracting from the lips of the accused an admission of guilt. Caizares. Yatar claimed that the compulsory extraction of his blood sample for DNA testing. rather invasive and involuntary.

Lumb shows that DNA testing is so commonly accepted that. The Court pointed out that. Historically.. Lawrence County. as already stated. specifically Section 516 of the New York Family Court Act. the Family Court examiner had the duty. The Supreme Court of St. in a criminal case.advancements that enhance public service and the common good. under the law. Such acknowledgment must be reduced to writing and filed pursuant to section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law with the registrar of the district in which the birth occurred and in which the birth certificate has been filed. we see no reason why. in some instances. where it yielded its first official results sometime in 1985. Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards that enhance public service and the common good. and the infringement of privacy of communication where the constitutional right to privacy has been critically at issue. [39] The case of Wilson v. his argument that his right against self-incrimination is in jeopardy holds no water. If. Several cases decided by various State Supreme Courts reflect the total assimilation of DNA testing into their rules of procedure and evidence. (a) An acknowledgment of paternity executed pursuant to section one hundred eleven-k of the social services law or section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law shall establish the paternity of and liability for the support of a child pursuant to this act. Petitioners case involves neither and. (b) An acknowledgment of paternity executed pursuant to section one hundred eleven-k of the social services law or section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law may be rescinded by either signators filing of a petition with the court to vacate the acknowledgment within the earlier of sixty days of the date of signing the acknowledgment or the date of an administrative or a judicial proceeding (including a proceeding to establish a support order) relating to the child in which either signator is a party. His hollow invocation of his constitutional rights elicits no sympathy here for the simple reason that they are not in any way being violated. ordering the procedure has become a ministerial act. upon receipt of the challenge. petitioner herein who does not face such dire consequences cannot be ordered to do the same. DNA rapidly found widespread general acceptance. For purposes of this section. No further judicial or administrative proceedings are required to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity. an accused whose very life is at stake can be compelled to submit to DNA testing. the "date of an administrative or a judicial proceeding" shall be the date by which the . [37] [38] DNA paternity testing first came to prominence in the United States. to order DNA tests: [40] [41] 516-a.. Acknowledgment of paternity. it has mostly been in the areas of legality of searches and seizures. New York allowed a party who had already acknowledged paternity to subsequently challenge his prior acknowledgment. In the decade that followed. in this civil case.

Neither signators legal obligations. costs of tests. the court shall immediately provide a copy of the order to the child support enforcement unit of the social services district that provides the mother with such services. (emphasis supplied) DNA testing also appears elsewhere in the New York Family Court Act: [42] 532. whether established through the parents acknowledgment of paternity or through an administrative or judicial process. After the expiration of sixty days of the execution of the acknowledgment. (c) A determination of paternity made by any other state. or the presumption of legitimacy of a child born to a married woman. may be suspended during the challenge to the acknowledgment except for good cause as the court may find. on the courts own motion or the motion of any party. upon a written finding by the court that it is not in the best interests of the child on the basis of res judicata. if and only if such acknowledgment meets the requirements set forth in section 452(a)(7) of the social security act. If a party petitions to rescind an acknowledgment and if the court determines that the alleged father is not the father of the child. admissibility of records or reports of test results. with the burden of proof on the party challenging the voluntary acknowledgment. The record or report of the results of any such genetic marker or DNA test ordered pursuant to this section or pursuant to section one hundred . Genetic marker and DNA tests. equitable estoppel. must be accorded full faith and credit. however.respondent is required to answer the petition. the court shall vacate the acknowledgment of paternity and shall immediately provide a copy of the order to the registrar of the district in which the childs birth certificate is filed and also to the putative father registry operated by the department of social services pursuant to section three hundred seventy-two-c of the social services law. if appropriate. or material mistake of fact. including the obligation for child support arising from the acknowledgment. in accordance with this article. In addition. shall order the mother. duress. duress. if the mother of the child who is the subject of the acknowledgment is in receipt of child support services pursuant to title six-A of article three of the social services law. her child and the alleged father to submit to one or more genetic marker or DNA tests of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by an accreditation body designated by the secretary of the federal department of health and human services and performed by a laboratory approved by such an accreditation body and by the commissioner of health or by a duly qualified physician to aid in the determination of whether the alleged father is or is not the father of the child. No such test shall be ordered. the court shall order genetic marker tests or DNA tests for the determination of the childs paternity and shall make a finding of paternity. or material mistake of fact. Upon receiving a partys challenge to an acknowledgment. either signator may challenge the acknowledgment of paternity in court only on the basis of fraud. a) The court shall advise the parties of their right to one or more genetic marker tests or DNA tests and. or if the court finds that an acknowledgment is invalid because it was executed on the basis of fraud.

E. to have the said judgment vacated. at the time of conception. with whom C.s father by default. if practicable..M. if unrebutted.. unless such party is financially unable to pay. had. was actually the child of R. previously thought to be an offspring of the marriage between A.G. even after six years.H. DNA tests were used to prove that H. paid by the moving party. C.W. the court may direct payment from the funds of the appropriate local social services district. the accuracy with which paternity can be proven has increased significantly since the parties in this lawsuit entered into their support agreement(current testing methods can determine the probability of paternity to 99. only requested the tests after the Department of Social Services. a decision of the Mississippi Supreme Court.E. (c) The cost of any test ordered pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section shall be.H.C.G.s father. [43] In Erie County Department of Social Services on behalf of Tiffany M. however. the paternity of and liability for the support of a child pursuant to this article and article four of this act. six years after G. in the first instance.. G. [44] In Greco v. had been adjudicated as T. Coleman. (b) Whenever the court directs a genetic marker or DNA test pursuant to this section. the court may direct that the cost of any such test be apportioned between the parties according to their respective abilities to pay or be assessed against the party who does not prevail on the issue of paternity. However.W. (emphasis supplied) In R. the admission of such record or report shall create a rebuttable presumption of paternity. sought an increase in his support obligation to her..W.E. who had been adjudicated as T. a report made as provided in subdivision (a) of this section may be received in evidence pursuant to rule forty-five hundred eighteen of the civil practice law and rules if offered by any party.. the court may direct any qualified public health officer to conduct such test.W. the 4thDepartment of the New York Supreme Courts Appellate Division allowed G.999999% accuracy).M. v. and C.G. they shall be deemed waived and shall not be heard by the court. the Michigan Supreme Court while ruling on the constitutionality of a provision of law allowing non-modifiable support agreements pointed out that it was because of the difficulty of determining paternity before the advent of DNA testing that such support agreements were necessary: [45] As a result of DNA testing.E. In its order of disposition.H. at the . v.W. and shall establish. If the record or report of the results of any such genetic marker orDNA test or tests indicate at least a ninety-five percent probability of paternity. maintained an adulterous relationship.E. In this case. If the moving party is financially unable to pay such cost. Greg G. otherwise. once he had shown through a genetic marker test that he was not the childs father.eleven-k of the social services law shall be received in evidence by the court pursuant to subdivision (e) of rule forty-five hundred eighteen of the civil practice law and rules where no timely objection in writing has been made thereto and that if such timely objections are not made.

admissibility. child.716 Pretrial proceedings. refusal to submit to typing or identification profiling. to determine whether the alleged father is likely to be. serum proteins. filing summary report. Allowing parties the option of entering into private agreements in lieu of proving paternity eliminated the risk that the mother would be unable meet her burden of proof. It is worth noting that amendments to Michigans Paternity law have included the use of DNA testing: [46] 722. in every contested paternity action. when the settlement agreement between the present parties was entered in 1980. establishing paternity was a far more difficult ordeal than at present. in addition to any other remedies available. DNAmatching has progressed to 'general acceptance in less than a decade'"). If the court orders a blood or tissue typing orDNA identification profiling to be conducted and a party refuses to submit to the typing or DNA identification profiling. Contested paternity actions at that time were often no more than credibility contests. upon application made by or on behalf of either party. shall order that the mother. determinations of red cell antigens. allow the disclosure of the fact of the refusal unless good cause is shown for not disclosing the fact of refusal. Thus.time the parties before us entered into the disputed agreement. which may include. in fact. while prior blood-testing methods could exclude some males from being the possible father of a child. red cell isoenzymes. but are not limited to. or DNAidentification profiling. court order. the child's biological father. the father of the child. the court may do either of the following: (a) Enter a default judgment at the request of the appropriate party. child. the court. or is not. human leukocyte antigens. but rather on whether the mother could prove to a court of law that she was only sexually involved with one man--the putative father. or on its own motion. 6. Consequently. compensation of expert. result of typing or identification profiling. . blood or tissue typing determinations as to mother. proving paternity was a very significant obstacle to an illegitimate child's access to child support. those methods could not affirmatively pinpoint a particular male as being the father. obtaining child support depended not merely on whether the putative father was. ("In fact. qualifications of person conducting typing or identification profiling. and alleged father. Sec. summary disposition. (1) In a proceeding under this act before trial. (b) If a trial is held. The first reported results of modern DNA paternity testing did not occur until 1985. Of course. and alleged father submit to blood or tissue typing determinations. burden of proof. since its first reported results in 1985. objection. presumption.

. If the results of the analysis of genetic testing material from 2 or more persons indicate a probability of paternity greater than 99%.C.F. first filed the case for paternity and support with the District Court. the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld an order for genetic testing given by the Court of Appeals.(2) A blood or tissue typing or DNA identification profiling shall be conducted by a person accredited for paternity determinations by a nationally recognized scientific organization. this section does not abrogate the right of either party to child support from the date of birth of the child if applicable under section 7. unless the dispute involves 2 or more putative fathers who have identical DNA. R. (6) Upon the establishment of the presumption of paternity as provided in subsection (5). the contracting laboratory shall conduct additional genetic paternity testing until all but 1 of the putative fathers is eliminated. was able to have the default judgment against him vacated.F. paternity is presumed.C. [48] The case of Kohl v. decided by the Supreme Court of South Dakota. even after trial on the merits had concluded without such order being given. Amundson.. In S. (emphasis supplied) In Rafferty v. we find that no reasonable jury could find that Easter is not Justin's father based upon the 99. xxx xxx xxx (5) If the probability of paternity determined by the qualified person described in subsection (2) conducting the blood or tissue typing or DNAidentification profiling is 99% or higher. the mother. and J. the American association of blood banks. neither party requested genetic testing.C. and the DNA identification profile and summary report are admissible as provided in subsection (4). established non-paternity. even considering the evidence in the light most favorable to Perkins.94% probability of paternity concluded by the DNA testing. when J. In this case. Significantly.W. the Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled that DNA test results showing paternity were sufficient to overthrow the presumption of legitimacy of a child born during the course of a marriage: [47] The presumption of legitimacy having been rebutted by the results of the blood test eliminating Perkins as Justin's father. Perkins. Kohl. demonstrated that even default judgments of paternity could be vacated after the adjudicated father had. He then obtained a ruling ordering Amundson to reimburse him for the amounts withheld from his wages for child [49] . including. but not limited to. It was only upon appeal from dismissal of the case that the appellate court remanded the case and ordered the testing. either party may move for summary disposition under the court rules. through DNA testing.J. which the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld. v.F. having excluded himself as the father of Amundsons child through DNA testing.

Hence. (did) not foreclose Kohl from obtaining a money judgment for the amount withheld from his wages. the . In such a scenario. in other words.A. she submit(ted) no authority that require(d) Kohl to support her child. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. the remedy of certiorari is only available when any tribunal. prejudice. The special civil action for certiorari is a remedy designed for the correction of errors of jurisdiction and not errors of judgment. child support and visitation orders could still be vacated once DNA testing established someone other than the named individual to be the biological father. [50] [51] The foregoing considered.S. Contrary to Amundson's position. the administration of justice would not survive. every error committed by a court would deprive it of its jurisdiction and every erroneous judgment would be a void judgment. or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Mississippi Dept. where the power is exercised in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion. but subsequently vacated. The Court said (w)hile Amundson may have a remedy against the father of the child. it was held that even if paternity was established through an earlier agreed order of filiation. or personal hostility. In M. we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the public respondent for upholding the orders of the trial court which both denied the petitioners motion to dismiss and ordered him to submit himself for DNA testing. If it did. Williams. of Human Services. board or officer has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction. Under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.support. and there is no appeal. The proper recourse of the aggrieved party from a decision of the CA is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. and it must be so patent or gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. another case decided by the Supreme Court of Mississippi. In Land Bank of the Philippines v. the fact that a default judgment was entered. The raison detre for the rule is when a court exercises its jurisdiction. we discussed at length the nature of such a petition and just what was meant by grave abuse of discretion: [52] [53] Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction or. or the act complained of was perpetrated by a quasi-judicial officer or agency with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. where the issue or question involved affects the wisdom or legal soundness of the decisionnot the jurisdiction of the court to render said decisionthe same is beyond the province of a special civil action for certiorari. The Mississippi High Court reiterated this doctrine in Williams v. if the error subject of the recourse is one of jurisdiction. nor any plain. an error committed while so engaged does not deprive it of the jurisdiction being exercised when the error is committed. On the other hand. v. the Court of Appeals where we dismissed a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65.

proper remedy available to the aggrieved party is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
said Rules. (emphasis supplied)
In the instant case, the petitioner has in no way shown any arbitrariness, passion,
prejudice or personal hostility that would amount to grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the Court of Appeals. The respondent court acted entirely within its jurisdiction in
promulgating its decision and resolution, and any error made would have only been an
error in judgment. As we have discussed, however, the decision of the respondent court,
being firmly anchored in law and jurisprudence, was correct.
Epilogue
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 dated January 28, 2004 in CA-G.R. SP No. 80961 is hereby
AFFIRMED in toto.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.

THIRD DIVISION
JUANITA
RAMOS,
WORAK,
RAMOS,

TRINIDAD G.R. No. 185920
ALMA
RAMOS
MANUEL
T.
JOSEFINA
R.

ROTHMAN,SONIA R. POST,
ELVIRA P. MUNAR, and
OFELIA R. LIM,
Petitioners,

Present:
CARPIO
MORALES, J.,Chairperson,
BRION,

- versus -

BERSAMIN,
ABAD,* and

DANILO
PANGILINAN,
RODOLFO
SUMANG,
LUCRECIO BAUTISTA and
ROLANDO ANTENOR,

VILLARAMA, JR., JJ.

Respondents.
Promulgated:
July 20, 2010
x------------------------------------------------ -x
DECISION

CARPIO MORALES, J.:
Respondents filed in 2003 a complaint [1]for illegal dismissal
against E.M. Ramos Electric, Inc., a company owned by Ernesto M.
Ramos (Ramos), the patriarch of herein petitioners. By
Decision[2] of April 15, 2005, the Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of
respondents and ordered Ramos and the company to pay the
aggregate
amount
ofP1,661,490.30 representing
their

backwages, separation pay, 13th month pay & service incentive
leave pay.

The Decision having become final and executory and no
settlement having been forged by the parties, the Labor Arbiter
issued on September 8, 2005 a writ of execution [3] which the
Deputy Sheriff of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC)
implemented by levying a property in Ramos name covered by
TCT No. 38978, situated in Pandacan, Manila (Pandacan property).

Alleging that the Pandacan property was the family home,
hence, exempt from execution to satisfy the judgment award,
Ramos and the company moved to quash the writ of execution.
[4]
Respondents, however, averred that the Pandacan property is
not the Ramos family home, as it has another in Antipolo, and the
Pandacan property in fact served as the companys business
address as borne by the companys letterhead. Respondents
added that, assuming that the Pandacan property was indeed the
family home, only the value equivalent to P300,000 was exempt
from execution.

By Order[5] of August 2, 2006, the Labor Arbiter denied the
motion to quash, hence, Ramos and the company appealed to the
NLRC which affirmed the Labor Arbiters Order.

Ramos and the company appealed to the Court of Appeals
during the pendency of which Ramos died and was substituted by
herein petitioners. Petitioners also filed before the NLRC, as thirdparty claimants, a Manifestation questioning the Notice to Vacate
issued by the Sheriff, alleging that assuming that the Pandacan
property may be levied upon, the family home straddled two (2)
lots, including the lot covered by TCT No. 38978, hence, they

the third-party claim.cannot be asked to vacate the house. holding . by Decision of May 7. 2009. The Labor Arbiter was later to deny.

the appellate court. holding that to do so would give petitioners. married to Juanita Trinidad. 2008. the phrase having merely described Ramos civil status. As to petitioners claim that the property was covered by the regime of conjugal partnership of gains and as such only Ramos share can be levied upon.that Ramos death and petitioners substitution as his compulsory heirs would not nullify the sale at auction of the Pandacan property. 2009. The NLRC brushed aside petitioners contention that they should have been given a fresh period of 1 year from the time of Ramos death on July 29. its value was way belowP300. 2009 to redeem the property. claiming that at the time the Pandacan property was constituted as the family home in 1944. the NLRC ruled that petitioners failed to substantiate such claim and that the phrase in the TCT indicating the registered owner as Ernesto Ramos. 153 of the Family Code was applicable. noting that petitioners failed to exercise their right to redeem the Pandacan property within the one 1 year period or until January 16. petitioners alleged that the NLRC erred in ruling that the market value of the property wasP2. did not mean that both owned the property. and that Art. 2008 or until July 30. held that the Pandacan property was not exempted from execution.000. In the assailed Decision [7] of September 24. And the NLRC[6]would later affirm the Labor Arbiters ruling. in denying petitioners appeal.000 as assessed by the City Assessor of Manila and appearing in the documents submitted before the Labor Arbiter. they no longer had to resort to judicial or extrajudicial constitution. for while Article 153[8] of the Family Code provides that the family home is deemed constituted on a house and lot from the time it is . a better right than the Ramos. hence.177. as mere heirs. Before the appellate court. Filipinos.

[10]lays down the rules relative to the levy on execution over the family home. v. Indeed.[9] Kelley. Planters Products. inalienable and free from attachment. The petition is devoid of merit. which confers upon a particular family the right to enjoy such properties. there was still a need to either judicially or extrajudicially constitute the Pandacan property as petitioners family home before it can be exempted. The only question raised in the present petition for review on certiorari is the propriety of the Court of Appeals Decision holding that the levy upon the Pandacan property was valid. hence. It cannot be seized by creditors except in certain special cases. Inc. Jr. and as petitioners failed to comply therewith. the general rule is that the family home is a real right which is gratuitous.occupied as a family residence. constituted over the dwelling place and the land on which it is situated. which must remain with the person constituting it and his heirs. viz: . there was no error in denying the motion to quash the writ of execution. [it] did not mean that the article has a retroactive effect such that all existing family residences are deemed to have been constituted as family homes at the time of their occupation prior to the effectivity of the Family Code. The appellate court went on to hold that what was applicable law were Articles 224 to 251 of the Civil Code.

There must be proof that the alleged familyhome was constituted jointly by the husband and wife or by an unmarried head of a family. there is no need to constitute the family home judicially or extrajudicially. or on the property of the unmarried head of the family. the debts for which the family home is made answerable must have been incurred after August 3. the alleged family home must be shown to have been constituted either judicially or extrajudicially pursuant to the Civil Code. The actual value of the family home shall not exceed. 1988). distinction must be made as to what law applies based on when it was constituted and what requirements must be complied with by the judgment debtor or his successors claiming such privilege. If the family home was constructedbefore the effectivity of the Family Code or before August 3. All existing family residences as of August 3. or of the exclusive properties of either spouse with the latters consent. at the time of its constitution.000 in rural areas.No doubt. a family home is generally exempt from execution provided it was duly constituted as such. 1988. It must be the house where they and theirfamily actually reside and the lot on which it is situated. Moreover. Under the Family Code. then it must have been constituted either judicially or .Hence.000 in urban areas and P200. 1988) are constituted as such by operation of law. the amount of P300. The exemption is effective from the time of the constitution of the family home as such and lasts as long as any of its beneficiaries actually resides therein. Allfamily homes constructed after the effectivity of the Family Code (August 3.Otherwise (that is. The family home must be part of the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership. 1988 are considered family homes and areprospectively entitled to the benefits accorded to a family home under the Family Code. two sets of rules are applicable. (emphasis supplied) For the family home to be exempt from execution. 1988. if it was incurred prior to August 3.

Moreover. and its valuemust not exceed certain amounts depending upon the area where it is .extra-judicially as provided underArticles 225. there is no need to constitute extrajudicially or judicially. for family homes constructed after the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3. its constitution must have beenwith consent of the other.[11] Judicial constitution of the family home requires the filing of a verified petition before the courts and the registration of the courts order with the Registry of Deeds of the area where the property is located. Meanwhile. On the other hand. extrajudicial constitution is governed by Articles 240 to 242[12] of the Civil Code and involves the execution of a public instrument which must also be registered with the Registry of Property. the family home should belong to the absolute community or conjugal partnership. or if exclusively by one spouse. Failure to comply with either one of these two modes of constitution will bar a judgment debtor from availing of the privilege. 154[13] actually resides therein. 229-231 and 233 of the Civil Code. and the exemption is effective from the time it was constituted and lasts as long as any of its beneficiaries under Art. 1988.

Further. SO ORDERED. And in both cases.located. WHEREFORE. This claim for exemption proved. it is not sufficient that exemption merely alleges that a family home. they must comply with the procedure mandated by the Civil Code.There being absolutely no proof that the Pandacan property was judicially or extrajudicially constituted as the Ramosfamily home. whether under Family Code. the laws protective mantle cannot be availed of by petitioners.[17]and the only property left was the Pandacan property. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. 155 [14] for which the family home is made answerable must have been incurred after August 3. the records show that the sheriff exhausted all means to execute the judgment but failed because Ramos bank accounts[16] were already closed while other properties in his or the companys name had already been transferred.[15] the Civil Code or the the person claiming such property is must be set up and In the present case. since petitioners claim that the family home was constituted prior to August 3. 1988. L-32026 January 16. 1988. the petition is DENIED. 1986 . No. the debts incurred for which the exemption does not apply as provided under Art. or as early as 1944.Parenthetically.

1960. The evidence presented by petitioner in support of her petition established that she and Roberto L. The primordial purpose of this declaration is to provide for an administrator of the property . 1953 Ed. 2. Civil Code by Francisco. that sometime in April 1962 her husband left the conjugal home due to some misunderstanding over personal matters. ERLINDA REYNOSO REYES. (2) The rights of third parties against the absentee. especially those who have rights which would depend upon the death of the absentee. respondents. JOSE P. 101-102. 1953 Ed.RE: PETITION FOR DECLARATION OF ABSENCE OF ROBERTO L. 381 to 396) are: (1) The interest of the person himself who has disappeared. It will thus be noted that said provisions of the New Civil Code are concerned with absence only with reference to its effects on property (2 Manresa. and (3) The general interest of society which may require that property does not remain abandoned without someone representing it and without an owner (Civil Code by Francisco.: This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Cavite dismissing the petition filed by petitioner-appellant Erlinda Reynoso Reyes to have her husband Roberto Reyes declared an absentee.). In a petition filed on October 25. refers to the second period or stage of absence. Article 384. PATAJO. p. petitioner. and five (5) years in case the absentee has left a person in charge of the administration of his property. It said: A perusal of Rule 107 of the Rules of Court on absentees reveals that it is based on the provisions of Title XIV of the New Civil Code on absence. Reyes alleging that her husband had been absent from their conjugal dwelling since April 1962 and since then had not been heard from and his whereabouts unknown. After hearing the Court a quo dismissed the petition on the ground that since Roberto L. this article provides that after the lapse of two (2) years without any news about the absentee or since the receipt of the last news. that since then petitioner has not received any news about the whereabouts of her husband.931. his absence may be declared by the Court. REYES. The petition further alleged that her husband left no will nor any property in his name nor any debts. HON. vs. Reyes left no properties there was no necessity to declare him judicially an absentee. Vol. 932.). pp. J. 930. invoking the provisions of Rule 107 of the New Rules of Court and Article 384 of the Civil Code. that they have not acquired any properties during their marriage and that they have no outstanding obligation in favor of anyone. which is reproduced from Article 184 of the old Code. ALEJANDRO. New Civil Code. Cavite City. Court of First Instance of Cavite. And the reason and purpose of the provisions of the New Civil Code on absence (Arts. in his capacity as Judge. and specifically indicates the precise moment when the same may begin. Branch II. 2. that her only purpose in filing the petition is to establish the absence of her husband. Thus. Vol. Reyes were married on March 20. and relied upon by herein petitioner. 1969 Erlinda Reynoso prayed for the declaration of the absence of her husband Roberto L.

127-128).. in this connection. 68). it is not enough that a person is declared an absentee. 1. It cannot be said that because of the comma (.. This is clear from the provisions of Article 382 which enjoins the judge to 'take the necessary measures to safeguard the rights and interests of the absentee. The same observation and commentary can be said of the corresponding complimenting provisions of Rule 107 of the Rules of Court. Reyes has any rights. 64 Phil. the two-year period mentioned in the first part of the law has no reference to or bearing on the property of the absentee. emphatically states that there must be an immediate necessity for the representation of the absentee in some specific urgent matters (Vol. the spouse of the absentee is asking for separation of property (Article 191. and in the other case (5 years) the absentee has provided for his absence by appointing an administrator of his property dispensing in a way the giving of news about himself (2 Manresa. 182-183). . nor the evidence shows. that the first period or stage of absence as covered by Article 381 of the New Civil Code provides for provisional measures-the appointment by the Court of a person to represent the absentee' in all that may be necessary'-when a mere presumption of his absence arises. For the celebration of civil marriage.. 197: . Civil Code) or his . As this Court said inJones vs. For the purposes of the civil marriage law. pp. General Orders. The need to have a person judicially declared an absentee is when he has properties which have to be taken cared of or administered by a representative appointed by the Court (Article 384. The law (see Articles 381. It is thus imperative that the declaration of absence be for a specific purpose. and that purpose can be no other than the protection of the interest or property of the absentee. No. that the spouse present does not know his or her former spouse to he living. Castan. The declaration of absence made in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code has for its sole purpose to enable the taking of the necessary precautions for the administration of the estate of the absentee. Moreover. Considering that neither the petition alleges. that such former spouse is generally reputed to be dead and the spouse present so believes at the time of the celebration of the marriage (section III.. Civil Code). It should be noted that the appointment of a 'representative' of the absentee is for the protection of the interest of the latter.) between the words 'news' and 'and'. Manresa states that the only reason for the different periods is because in one case (2 years) the absentee has not left a person in charge of the administration of his property. Hortiguela. We affirm the order of the lower Court dismissing the petition. that Roberto L. in his commentary. the law only requires that the former spouse has been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the second marriage. 382 and 383) requires the judge to appoint a representative for the absentee precisely to safeguard the property or interest of the latter. It is worth to note. (On page 183). however. interest or property in the Philippines. trustee or administrator who shall safeguard the rights and interest of the absentee.of the absentee. it is not necessary to have the former spouse judicially declared an absentee. particularly Sections 6 and 7 thereof which make it mandatory upon the Court to appoint a representative. there is no point in judicially declaring him an absentee. paragraph 2.

SO ORDERED. on Monday. – No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order. Section 1 of Republic Act No. [REPUBLIC ACT NO. 88 Phil. Martinez. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. Peyer vs.” . The petition to declare the husband an absentee and the petition to place the management of the conjugal properties in the hands of the wife may be combined and adjudicated in the same proceedings. Republic of the Philippines Congress of the Philippines Metro Manila Fifteenth Congress Second Regular Session Begun and held in Metro Manila. Reyes an absentee.wife is asking the Court that the administration of an classes of property in the marriage be transferred to her (Article 196. the twenty-fifth day of July. except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname. judgment is hereby rendered AFFIRMING the order of the lower Court dismissing the petition to declare Roberto L. two thousand eleven. is hereby amended to read as follows: “SECTION 1. 9048. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or Nickname. Civil Code). the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person where it is patently clear that there was a clerical or typographical error or mistake in the entry. 72. hereinafter referred to as the Act. which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations. 80). 10172] AN ACT FURTHER AUTHORIZING THE CITY OR MUNICIPAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OR THE CONSUL GENERAL TO CORRECT CLERICAL OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS IN THE DAY AND MONTH IN THE DATE OF BIRTH OR SEX OF A PERSON APPEARING IN THE CIVIL REGISTER WITHOUT NEED OF A JUDICIAL ORDER. With costs against petitionerappellant. AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED NINETY FORTY-EIGHT Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: SECTION 1.

and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records: Provided.” SEC. as the case may be. or for change of first name or nickname. medical records. which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding. but not limited to. The petition shall be supported with the following documents: (1) A certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry or entries sought to be corrected or changed. age. baptismal certificate and other documents issued by religious authorities. (2) At least two (2) public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries upon which the correction or change shall be based. and (3) Other documents which the petitioner or the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general may consider relevant and necessary for the approval of the petition. subscribed and sworn to before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The petition for change of . 2. The petitioner shall state the particular erroneous entry or entries. transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous. however. Section 2. such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth. paragraph (3) of the Act is likewise amended to read as follows: “SEC. Form and Contents of the Petition. which are sought to be corrected and/or the change sought to be made. That no correction must involve the change of nationality. –The petition for correction of a clerical or typographical error. or status of the petitioner. No petition for correction of erroneous entry concerning the date of birth or the sex of a person shall be entertained except if the petition is accompanied by earliest school record or earliest school documents such as. The affidavit shall set forth facts necessary to establish the merits of the petition and shall show affirmatively that the petitioner is competent to testify to the matters stated. 3. shall be in the form of an affidavit. the following terms shall mean: (1) xxx xxx (2) xxx xxx (3) ‘Clerical or typographical error’ refers to a mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing. Section 5 of the Act is hereby amended to read as follows: “SEC.SEC. Definition of Terms. 5. 2. – As used in this Act. nor shall any entry involving change of gender corrected except if the petition is accompanied by a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant. copying. mistake in the entry of day and month in the date of birth or the sex of the person or the like.

” SEC. – The city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general shall be authorized to collect reasonable fees as a condition for accepting the petition.) FELICIANO (Sgd. rules or regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. – If any provision of this Act shall at any time be found to be unconstitutional or invalid. (Sgd. decrees. shall be published at least once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. 6.) JUAN BELMONTE JR. An indigent petitioner shall be exempt from the payment of the said fee. 4. the remainder thereof not affected by such declaration shall remain in full force and effect. SEC. 8. or for correction of erroneous entry concerning the day and month in the date of birth or the sex of a person. the petitioner shall submit a certification from the appropriate law enforcements. Repealing Clause. 5. 7. The petition and its supporting papers shall be filed in three (3) copies to be distributed as follows: first copy to the concerned city or municipal civil registrar. second copy to the Office of the Civil Registrar General. agencies that he has no pending case or no criminal record. Furthermore. Approved. or the consul general. Section 8 of the Act is hereby amended to read as follows: “SEC.” SEC. SEC. Payment of Fees.first name or nickname. PONCE Speaker of the House ENRILE of Representatives President of the Senate . The fees collected by the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general pursuant to this Act shall accrue to the funds of the Local Civil Registry Office concerned or the Office of the Consul General for modernization of the office and hiring of new personnel and procurement of supplies. Effectivity Clause. as the case may be. Separability Clause. subject to government accounting and auditing rules. and third copy to the petitioner. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation. – Any laws.

) BENIGNO S. 3113 and House Bill No. G.R.) MARILYN B.This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. BERSAMIN. 4530 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on May 30. BRION. No. SUMERA represented ZENAIDA SUMERA WATANABE.) EMMA LIRIO-REYES Secretary of the Senate Approved: AUG 15 2012 (Sgd.. by Promulgated: . BARUA-YAP Secretary General House of Representatives (Sgd. . and NISAIDA NISHINA. respectively.. (Sgd. SERENO. J. 2012 and June 5. 186053 Present: CARPIO MORALES.versus - Chairperson. JR. 2012. JJ. AQUINO III President of the Philippines THIRD DIVISION REPUBLIC THEPHILIPPINES. VILLARAMA. OF Petitioner.

106-M-2007. Kenichi Hakamada. docketed as Special Proceedings No. represented by her mother Zenaida Sumera Watanabe (Zenaida). her mother married another Japanese. 1987[2] in Malolos.[5] . J.: Nisaida Sumera Nishina (respondent). 1987. filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos.[3] Her father later died. [4] On July 19. Bulacan a verified petition for cancellation of birth record and change of surname in the civil registry of Malolos. Bulacan. 2010 x----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION CARPIO MORALES. November 15. respondent alleged the following: She was born on October 31. 1989.Respondent. Bulacan to her Filipino mother Zenaida and Japanese father Koichi Nishina who were married on February 18.[1] In her petition.

issued through late registration in 1993. and that in light of the decree of adoption. it surfaced that her birth was in fact originally registered at the Malolos Civil Registry under the name Nisaida Sumera Nishina. The adoption decree was filed and recorded in the civil registry of Manila in 2006. particularly the surname of [respondent] from NISAIDA SUMERANISHINA to NISAIDA [14] SUMERAWATANABE. 2007. by Order[13] of October 8.[11] hence.[8]who later adopted her by a decree [9]issued by the Tokyo Family Court of Japan on January 25. . her surname Nishina in the original birth certificate be changed to Watanabe. Takayuki Watanabe. 2001.[12] After hearing the petition.[10] In 2007. 93-06684 and to change it [in its stead] Registry No.Hakamada. her filing before the RTC of her petition praying that her second birth certificate bearing the surname Hakamada.granted respondents petition and directed the Local Civil Registry of Malolos to cancel the second birth record of Nisaida Sumera Hakamada issued in 1993 [bearing] Registry No. 87-04983.[6] Her mother and Hakamada eventually divorced. her mother married another Japanese. 1996. be cancelled. respondents mother caused the late registration of her birth in 1993 under the surname of her mothers second husband. Branch 83 of the RTC.[7] On May 29.As they could not find any record of her birth at the Malolos civil registry.

\ (a) Ordinary appeal. (A. No motion for extension of time to file a motion for new trial or reconsideration shall be allowed. a notice of appeal. 2007 Order was received on December 13. on behalf of petitioner. 3.SC. underscoring and italics supplied) . the appellant shall file a notice of appeal and a record on appeal within thirty (30) days from notice of the judgment or final order. Where a record on appeal is required. alleging that petitioner adopted a wrong mode of appeal since it did not file arecord on appeal as required under Sections 2 and 3.A copy of the October 8. However. No record on appeal shall be required except in special proceedings and other cases ofmultiple or separate appeals where the law or these Rules so require. No. 2001) The period of appeal shall be interrupted by a timely motion for new trial or reconsideration. (emphasis. an appeal in habeas corpus cases shall be taken within forty-eight (48) hours from notice of the judgment or final order appealed from.M. In such cases. Modes of appeal. 2. The appeal shall be taken within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final order appealed from. The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party. respondent filed a motion to dismiss[16] the appeal. Rule 41 (appeal from the RTCs) of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure reading: SEC. June 19.[15] Before the Court of Appeals. Period of ordinary appeal. xxxx SEC. the record on appeal shall be filed and served in like manner. 2007 by the OSG which filed. 01-1-03.

Perfection of appeal. xxxx Opposing the motion. petitioner should have filed both notice of appeal and a record on appeal within 30 days from receipt of the October 8.xxxx SEC. [19] Its motion for reconsideration having been denied by Resolution[20] ofDecember 22. effect thereof. Orders or judgments from which appeals may be taken. petitioner countered that a record on appeal is required only in proceedings wheremultiple appeals may arise. [17] By Resolution[18] of September 2. 2007 Order granting respondents petition. 9. 2008. x x x. petitioner filed the present petition for review on certiorari. An interested person may appeal in special proceedings from an . viz: SECTION 1. holding that since respondents petition before the RTC is classified as a special proceeding. the appellate court dismissed petitioners appeal. A partys appeal by record on appeal is deemed perfected as to him with respect to the subject matter thereof upon the approval of the record on appeal filed in due time. Rule 109 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure specifies the orders or judgments in special proceedings which may be the subject of an appeal. Section 1. a situation not obtaining in the present case. 2008. petitioner never perfected its appeal. The petition is meritorious. and by not filing a record on appeal.

a final determination in the lower court of the rights of the party appealing. or the distributive share of the estate to which such person is entitled. in whole or in part.[22] . (e) Constitutes. The above-quoted rule contemplatesmultiple appeals during the pendency of special proceedings. A record on appeal in addition to the notice of appeal is thus required to be filed as the original records of the case should remain with the trial court [21] to enable the rest of the case to proceed in the event that a separate and distinct issue is resolved by said court and held to be final. trustee or guardian.order or judgment rendered by a Court of First Instance or a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. in proceedings relating to the settlement of the estate of a deceased person. (b) Determines who are the lawful heirs of a deceased person. and (f) Is the final order or judgment rendered in the case. or any claim presented on behalf of the estate in offset to a claim against it. where such order or judgment: (a) Allows or disallows a will. (c) Allows or disallows. except that no appeal shall be allowed from the appointment of a special administrator. any claim against the estate of a deceased person. (d) Settles the account of an executor. administrator. or the administration of a trustee or guardian. and affects the substantial rights of the person appealing unless it be an order granting or denying a motion for a new trial or for reconsideration.

this Court reversed the appellate court. unlike in the present case. a record on appeal was obviously necessary as the proceedings before the trial court involved the administration. But even if the appeal were proper.In the present case. [24] The Court also held that the appeal was filed on time. the order is final and appealable. Their notice of appeal and record on appeal were denied due course by the trial court on the ground that the appealed order is interlocutory and not subject to appeal. On petition for review. management and settlement of the decedents estatematters covered by Section 1 of Rule 109 wherein multiple appeals could. 2008 in CA G. the petition is GRANTED. call for them. On certiorari by the decedents children. In Zaycowhich was a petition for letters of administration of a deceased persons estate. 2008 and December 22. In Zayco.The Court of Appeals Resolutions of September 2. holding that [a]n order appointing an administrator of a deceased persons estate is a final determination of the rights of the parties in connection with the administration. the appellate court sustained the trial court. WHEREFORE. the filing of a record on appeal was not necessary since no other matter remained to be heard and determined by the trial court after itissued the appealed order granting respondents petition for cancellation of birth record and change of surname in the civil registry. CV No. Hinlo. management and settlement of the decedents estate. Jr. it was belatedly filed. 90346 are REVERSED and SET . The appellate courts reliance on Zayco v.[23] in denying petitioners motion for reconsideration is misplaced. hence.R. the decedents children appealed the trial courts order appointing the grandson of the decedent as administrator of the estate. and did in that case.

The appeal of petitioners before the appellate court isREINSTATED.ASIDE. . SO ORDERED.