You are on page 1of 9

BONDAGJY V. BONDAGJY their neighbor's house for a fee of P40.

00 after the
children come home from school. Whenever Fouzi sees
Facts: them in school, the children would be happy to see
Respondent Fouzi (then 31 years of age) and Sabrina him but they were afraid to ride in his car. Instead,
(then 20 years of age) were married on February they would ride the jeepney in going home from
3,1988, at the Manila Hotel, Ermita, Manila under school. Petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court,
Islamic rites. On October 21, 1987, or four (4) months Branch 256, Muntinlupa City an action for nullity of
before her marriage, Sabrina became a Muslim by marriage, custody and support, ordered the parties to
conversion. However, the conversion was not maintain status quo until further orders from said
registered with the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of court. On March 2, 1999, petitioner filed another
the Philippines. Out of their union, they begot two (2) motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction
children, namely, Abdulaziz, born on June 13, 1989, over the subject matter of the case since P.D. No. 1083
and Amouaje, born on September 29, 1990. The is applicable only to Muslims. On March 3, 1999, Fouzi
children were born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. At the time filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss and argued
of their marriage, unknown to petitioner, respondent that at the inception of the case, both parties were
was still married to a Saudi Arabian woman whom Muslims, Fouzi by birth and Sabrina by
helater divorced. After their marriage, the conversion. The Shari'a District Court held that P.D. No.
couple moved in with respondent's family in 1083 on Custody and Guardianship does not apply to
Makati City. In 1990,the parties migrated and settled in this case because the spouses were not yet divorced.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where they lived for more than The Shari' a District Court found petitioner unworthy to
two years. Sometime in December 1995, the children care for her children. The Shari'a Court found that
lived in the house of Sabrina's mother in 145 Tanguile respondent Fouzi was capable both personally and
Street, Ayala Alabang. Fouzi alleged that he could not financially to look after the best interest of his minor
see his children until he got an order from the court. children.
Even with a court order, he could only see his children
in school at De La Salle-Zobel, Alabang, Muntinlupa Issue:
City .On December 15, 1996, Sabrina had the children Whether or not a wife, a Christian who converted to
baptized as Christians and their names changed from Islam before her marriage to a Muslim and converted
Abdulaziz Bondagjy to Azziz Santiago Artadi and from back to Catholicism upon their separation, still bound
Amouaje Bondagjy by the moral laws of Islam in the determination of her
to Amouage Selina Artadi. Respondent alleged that on fitness to be the custodian of her children?
various occasions Sabrina was seen withdifferent men
at odd hours in Manila ,and that she would wear short Ruling:
skirts, sleeveless blouses, and bathing suits. Such The Supreme Court in the case stated that the welfare
clothing are detestable under Islamic law on customs. of the minors is the controllingconsideration on the
Fouzi claimed that Sabrina let their children sweep issue. The Court also said that the factors that
determine the fitness of any parent are: [1] the ability mothers middle name and surname; and that he is
to see to the physical, educational, social and moral now a widower and qualified to be her adopting
welfare of the children, and [2] the ability to give them parent. He prayed
a healthy environment as well as physical and financial that Stephanies middle name be changed to Garcia,
support taking into consideration the respective her mothers surname, and that her surname Garcia
resources and social and moral situations of the be changed to Catindig his surname.
parents. The standard in the determination of sufficien The RTC granted the petition for
cy of proof, however, is not restricted toMuslim laws. adoption, and ordered that pursuant to article 189
The Family Code shall be taken into consideration in of the Family Code, the minor shall be known as
deciding whether a non-Muslim woman is incompetent. Stephanie Nathy Catindig. Honorato filed a motion for
What determines her capacity is the standard classification and/or reconsideration praying that
laid down by the Family Code now that she is not a Stephanie be allowed to use the surname of her
Muslim .Indeed, what determines the fitness of any natural mother (Garcia) as her middle name. The lower
parent is the ability to see to the physical, educational, court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration
social and moral welfare of the children, and the ability holding that there is no law or jurisprudence allowing
to give them a healthy environment as well as physical an adopted child to use the surname of his biological
and financial support taking into consideration the mother as his middle name.
respective resources and social and moral situations of
the parents. Article 211 of the Family Code provides Issue:
that the father and mother shall jointly exercise Whether or not an illegitimate child may use the
parental authority over the persons of their common surname of her mother as her middle name when she
children. Similarly, P.D. No. 1083 is clear that where is subsequently adopted by her natural father.
the parents are not divorced or legally separated, the
father and mother shall jointly exercise just and Ruling:
reasonable parental authority and fulfill their One of the effects of adoption is that the adopted is
responsibility over their legitimate children. deemed to be a legitimate child of the adapter for all
intents and purposes pursuant to Article 189 of the
Family Code and Section 17 of Article V of RA
IN RE ADOPTION OF STEPHANIE ASTORGA 8557.Being a legitimate by virtue of her adoption, it
follows that Stephanie is entitled to all the rights
Facts: provided by law to a legitimate child without
Honorato B. Catindig filed a petition to adopt his minor discrimination of any kind, including the right to bear
illegitimate child Stephanie AstorgaGarcia. He averred the surname of her father and her mother. This is
that Stephanie was born on June 26, 1994; that consistent with the intention of the members of the
Stephanie had been using her Civil Code and Family Law Committees. In fact, it is a
Filipino custom that the initial or surname of the
mother should immediately precede the surname of c.) When the change will avoid confusion.
the father. d.) When one has continuously used and been known
since childhood by a Filipino name and was not aware
of the alien parentage.
IN RE PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME AND/OR e.) A sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name and
CORRECTION/CANCELLATION OF ENTRY IN CIVIL f.) When the surname causes embarrassment and
REGISTRY OF JULIAN LIN CARULUSAN WANG there is no showing that the desired change of name
was for a fraudulent purpose.
Petitioner Julian Lin Wang a minor represented by his
mother Anna Lisa Wang filed a petition dated 19 JOCELYN PABLO-GUALBERTO V. CRISANTO
September 2002 for change of name of entry in the GUALBERTO
civil registry of Julian Lin Wang. Petitioner sought to
drop his middle name and have his registered name Facts:
changed from Julian Lin Carulasan Wang to Julian Crisanto Rafaelito G. Gualberto filed before the RTC a
Lin Wang. Petitioner theorizes that it would be for his petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage to
best interest to drop his middle name as this would Joycelyn w/ an ancillary prayer for custody pendente
help him adjust more easily to integrate himself into lite of their almost 4 year-old son, Rafaello, whom her
Singaporean society. wife took away w/ her from their conjugal home and
his school when she left
Issue: him. The RTC granted the ancillary prayer for custody
Whether or not the law the law provides for his pendente lite, since the wife failed toappear despite
middle name to be changed. - NO notice. A house helper of the spouses testified that the
mother does not care for the child as she very often
Ruling: goes out of the house and even saw her slapping the
The touchstone for the grant of a change of name is t child. Another witness testified that after surveillance
hat there be proper and reasonable cause for which he found out that the wife is having lesbian
the change is sought. to justify a request for the relations. The judge issued the assailed order reversing
change of name, the petitioner must show not only her previous order, and this time awarded the custody
some proper reason therefore but also that he will be of the child to the mother. Finding that the reason
prejudiced by the use of his true and official name. stated by Crisanto not to be a compelling reason as
Among the grounds for the change of name which provided in Art 213 of the Family Code.
have been held valid are:
a.) When the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or Issue:
extremely difficult to write or pronounce. Whether or not the custody of the minor child should
b.) When the change results as a legal consequence be awarded to the mother.
mootness. It in effect gave premium to the act of the
Ruling: Gallardos of not turning over the child to Bagtas.
Article 213 of the Family Code provided: Art 213. Likewise, it was tantamount to rewarding them for not
In case of separation of parents, parental authority producing the child in court in violation of the Order.
shall be exercised by the parent des granted by the RTC and CA held against Bagtas, ruling that the sole
court. The court shall take into account all relevant purpose for the filing of the petition is to cause the
consideration, especially the choice of the child over
production before the Court of the person of Maryl Joy,
seven years of age, unless the parent
not a determination of the legality or illegality of
chosen is unfit. No child under seven years of age
shall be separated from the mother unless the custody. Also, the Gallardos had a clear right for the
court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. custody as grandparents. Supreme Court remanded
This Court has held that when the parents separated, the case for a full blown trial to determine what would
legally or otherwise, the foregoing provision governs be the best interest of Maryl Joy, since her interest is
the custody of their child. Article 213 takes its bearing the most important consideration and not agreements
from Article 363 of the Civil Code, which reads: Art and even the legal right of the grandparents. In cases
363. In all question on the care, custody, education involving minors, the purpose of a petition for habeas
and property pf children, the latter welfare shall be corpus is not limited to the production of the child
paramount. No mother shall be separated from her before the court. The main purpose of the petition for
child under seven years of age, unless the court finds habeas corpus is to determine who has the rightful
compelling reason for such measure. custody over the child. It is true that Article 214 of the
Civil Code states that in case of absence or
unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental
authority shall be exercised by the surviving
SUMMARY: Maryl Joy was left by her mother with grandparent. Article 216 also states that in default of
Bagtas, with a letter evidencing her relinquishment of parents or a judicially appointed guardian, the
her rights over Maryl Joy in favor of Bagtas. Maryl Joys surviving grandparent shall exercise substitute
maternal grandparents, the Gallardos, tried to obtain parental authority over the child. However, in
custody by filing a petition for habeas corpus. Bagtas determining who has the rightful custody over a child,
and the Gallardos then entered into an agreement the childs welfare is the most important consideration.
concerning the custody. However, the Gallardos The court is not bound by any legal right of a person
violated the agreement. RTC dismissed the Gallardos over the child.
habeas corpus petition for mootness, since Maryl Joy
NATURE: Petition for Review on certiorari
was already in their custody. Bagtas appealed, saying
that the RTC should have dismissed the petition for the FACTS:
violation of the agreement and not because of
Antonio and Rosita Gallardo (Spouses Gallardo) are Bagtas and Sioson learned that Rosita Gallardo
the parents of Maricel Gallardo. After graduating brought Maryl Joy to Samar. Bagtas and Sioson
from high school, Maricel ran away to live with her prayed that the Gallardos be directed to produce
boyfriend. She became pregnant and gave birth to Maryl Joy before the RTC, that they be directed to
Maryl Joy S. Gallardo. Maricels boyfriend left her. explain why they violated the Order/Compromise
Maricel returned to her parents. On the same day, Agreement, and that they be cited in contempt.
she ran away again and lived with Noel B. Bagtas They also prayed for the dismissal of the habeas
and Lydia B. Sioson in Antipolo City. Maricel went to corpus petition filed by the Gallardos, because of
Negros Occidental and left Maryl Joy in the custody the Gallardos failure to comply with the Order
of Bagtas and Sioson. In a letter, Maricel pursuant to Section 3, Rule 17, of the Rules of
relinquished her rights over Maryl Joy to Bagtas and Court. "If, for no justifiable cause, the plaintiff fails
his wife. xxx to comply with xxx any order of the court, the
The Spouses Gallardo, Maryl Joys maternal complaint may be dismissed upon motion of the
grandparents, tried to obtain custody from Bagtas defendant or upon the courts own motion.
and Sioson. They refused. Unable to settle the RTC dismissed the habeas corpus action of the
matter, the Gallardos filed with the RTC a petition Gallardos for mootness, Maryl having been turned
for habeas corpus. over to them. It cited the Spouses Gallardo in
The RTC issued a writ of habeas corpus directing the contempt, fined them P500, and ordered them to
deputy sheriff to produce Maryl Joy before it and to produce Maryl Joy before the trial court.
summon Bagtas and Sioson to explain why they (December order)
were withholding the custody of Maryl Joy. In their motion for reconsideration, Bagtas and
The Spouses Gallardo, Bagtas, and Sioson entered Sioson alleged that the ground for the dismissal
into a compromise agreement, which the RTC of the action was erroneous. The action
approved and ordered effective, that the child should have been dismissed pursuant to
should be placed in custody of the Gallardos on failure of the Gallardos to comply with the
Friday, Saturday and Sunday; that the child should order and not because of mootness. They
be returned to Bagtas and Sioson on Sunday at 8PM prayed that Maryl Joy be returned to them to
subject to visitorial rights of the Gallardos anytime preserve the status quo ante. Bagtas and Sioson
of the day; and that the child can be brought by stated:
Bagtas and Sioson to Valenzuela but should be o The Honorable Court very clearly issued a
returned to the Gallardos on Friday morning. The conflicting Order because It has cited the
parties are ordered to comply strictly with the [Spouses Gallardo] in contempt of court
agreement under pain of contempt in case of for violating the previous Order that the
violation. (October order) child should be returned to Bagtas and
Sioson on Sunday evening, and yet the
Court has dismissed the petition for being
moot and academic. This is in effect giving that there should be an actual and effective
premium to the act of the Gallardos of not restraint or deprivation of liberty. A nominal or
turning over the child to Bagtas and moral restraint is not sufficient. Since the
Sioson. Likewise, this is tantamount to purpose of the Petition has already been served,
rewarding them for not producing the child as the child has been produced and delivered to
in court in violation of the Order. Moreover, the Gallardos, the Petition logically has become
the Court was unreasonable in stating that the moot and academic.
dismissal of the case is without prejudice to the o The Gallardos are, under the law (Art. 214,
filing of the proper action for custody of the Family Code), authorized to exercise substitute
minor by the Gallardos. Why would the parental authority over the child in case of
Gallardos still file the proper action for custody if death, absence or unsuitability of the parents,
they now have the custody of the minor? the entitlement to the legal custody of the child
RTC denied the motion for reconsideration. It ruled being necessarily included therein to make
that the sole purpose of the petition for habeas possible and/or enable the Gallardos to
corpus was the production of Maryl Joy and that the discharge their duties as substitute parents.
Spouses Gallardo exercised substitute parental o There is no inconsistency between the October
authority over Maryl Joy, therefore entitling them to and December orders, as the 2nd was issued
custody. pursuant to an incident, an interlocutory matter,
o The allegations in the Petition show that the that is, the failure of the Gallardos to comply
sole purpose for the filing of the Petition is to with the agreement. The first Order is not a
cause the production before the Court of the resolution of the case in the main, as it did not
person of Maryl Joy, not a determination of the terminate the case. The 2nd Order on the other
legality or illegality of Bagtas and Siosons hand, terminated the case, and considering that
custody of the child, Gallardos being aware of the dismissal of the case was unqualified, the
the fact that the child was left by their daughter same amounted to an adjudication on the merits
in the custody of Bagtas and Sioson. pursuant to Sec. 3, Rule 17 of the Revised Rules
o The Petition is therefore, essentially not a of Court Procedure, therefore, the agreement
petition for Habeas Corpus as contemplated in earlier entered by and between the herein
Rule 102, Revised Rules of Court which is parties is deemed terminated.
resorted to in all cases of illegal confinement by Bagtas filed an appeal with the CA, which the CA
which any person is deprived of his liberty, but dismissed. The CA affirmed the RTC:
is resorted to also where the rightful custody of o In the second part of [Section 1, Rule 102, of the
any person is withheld from the person entitled Rules of Court], habeas corpus may be resorted
thereto as contemplated in Rule 102, Revised to in cases where the rightful custody of any
Rules of Court. In order that the special remedy person is withheld from the person entitled
of Habeas Corpus be invoked, it is necessary thereto. The writ of habeas corpus is the proper
remedy to enable the Gallardos to regain the ISSUE: Was the sole purpose of the petition for habeas
custody of their minor granddaughter who was corpus the production of Maryl Joy before the trial
admittedly left by her natural mother in the care court and that it would be moot upon said production?
of Bagtas and Sioson. NO.
o In custody cases involving minors, the question
of illegal or involuntary restraint is not the Section 1, Rule 102, of the Rules of Court states
underlying rationale for the availability of the that the writ of habeas corpus shall extend to
writ of habeas corpus as a remedy; rather, the all cases where the rightful custody of any
writ is prosecuted for the purpose of person is withheld from the persons entitled
determining the right of custody of a child. By thereto. In cases involving minors, the
dismissing the petition, the trial court in effect purpose of a petition for habeas corpus is not
upheld Gallardos right of custody over the limited to the production of the child before
minor involved as against that of Bagtas. the court. The main purpose of the petition
o While it cannot be gainsaid that Gallardos for habeas corpus is to determine who has
obtained initial custody in violation of a valid the rightful custody over the child.
court order, we nonetheless sustain and validate
such rightful custody over Maryl Joy. This is Tijing v CA: The writ of habeas corpus extends
because the Gallardos are the grandparents of to all cases of illegal confinement or
Maryl Joy, hence, lawfully authorized to exercise detention by which any person is deprived of
substitute parental authority over her in the his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of
absence of her parents. What is more, in any person is withheld from the person
awarding custody to the Gallardos, the best entitled thereto. Thus, it is the proper legal
welfare of the child was taken into consideration remedy to enable parents to regain the
inasmuch as the implementation of the custody of a minor child even if the latter be
agreement would cause more psychological in the custody of a third person of his own
damage and traumatic experience to Maryl Joy. free will. It may even be said that in custody
The violation of a court order pales in cases involving minors, the question of illegal
significance when considered alongside the best and involuntary restraint of liberty is not the
interest of the minor whose welfare requires underlying rationale for the availability of the
that she be in the custody of her grandparents writ as a remedy. Rather, it is prosecuted for
rather than Bagtass. Under the factual and the purpose of determining the right of
legal milieux of the case, there is no question custody over a child.
that as grandparents of the minor, Gallardos
The RTC erred when it hastily dismissed the action
have a far superior right of custody over her
than Bagtas. for having become moot after Maryl Joy was
produced before the trial court. It should have
conducted a trial to determine who had the o The controversy does not involve the question of
rightful custody over Maryl Joy. In dismissing personal freedom, because an infant is
the action, the RTC, in effect, granted the presumed to be in the custody of someone until
petition for habeas corpus and awarded the he attains majority age. In passing on the writ in
custody of Maryl Joy to the Spouses Gallardo a child custody case, the court deals with a
without sufficient basis. matter of an equitable nature. Not bound by
any mere legal right of parent or guardian,
o Laxamana v. Laxamana: Mindful of the nature of the court gives his or her claim to the
the case, the court a quo should have conducted custody of the child due weight as a claim
a trial notwithstanding the agreement of the founded on human nature and considered
parties to submit the case for resolution on the generally equitable and just. Therefore,
basis, inter alia, of the psychiatric report of Dr. these cases are decided, not on the legal
Teresito. Thus, petitioner is not estopped from right of the petitioner to be relieved from
questioning the absence of a trial considering unlawful imprisonment or detention, as in
that said psychiatric report, which was the the case of adults, but on the courts view
courts primary basis in awarding custody to of the best interests of those whose
respondent, is insufficient to justify the decision. welfare requires that they be in custody of
The fundamental policy of the State to promote one person or another. Hence, the court is
and protect the welfare of children shall not be not bound to deliver a child into the custody of
disregarded by mere technicality in resolving any claimant or of any person, but should, in the
disputes which involve the family and the youth. consideration of the facts, leave it in such
custody as its welfare at the time appears to
It is true that Article 214 of the Civil Code states require.
that in case of absence or unsuitability of the
parents, substitute parental authority shall be o Considering that the childs welfare is an all-
exercised by the surviving grandparent. Article 216 important factor in custody cases, the Child and
also states that in default of parents or a judicially Youth Welfare Code unequivocally provides that
appointed guardian, the surviving grandparent shall in all questions regarding the care and custody,
exercise substitute parental authority over the among others, of the child, his welfare shall be
child. However, in determining who has the the paramount consideration. In the same vein,
rightful custody over a child, the childs the Family Code authorizes the courts to, if the
welfare is the most important consideration. welfare of the child so demands, deprive the
The court is not bound by any legal right of a parents concerned of parental authority over the
person over the child. In Sombong v. Court of child or adopt such measures as may be proper
Appeals: under the circumstances.
In Sombong, the Court laid down three requisites custody of Maryl Joy to the Spouses Gallardo
in petitions for habeas corpus involving without conducting any trial.
The proceedings before the RTC leave so much to
(1) the petitioner has a right of custody over be desired. While a remand of the case would mean
the minor, further delay, Maryl Joys best interest demands
that proper proceedings be conducted to determine
(2) the respondent is withholding the rightful the fitness of the Spouses Gallardo to take care of
custody over the minor, and her.
(3) the best interest of the minor demands
that he or she be in the custody of the
petitioner. DISPOSITION: Case remanded for the purpose of
receiving evidence to determine the fitness of the
In the present case, these requisites are not Gallardos to have custody of Maryl Joy.
clearly established because the RTC hastily
dismissed the action and awarded the