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G.R. No.

193707 Deccember 10, 2014

Norma A. Del Soccoro for and in behalf of her

Minor child, Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsen
Ernst Johan Brinkham Van Wilsem


Petitoner Norma A. Del Socorro and respondent Ernst Johan Brinkham Van
Wilsm contracted marriage in Holland. They were blessed with a son named
Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem. Unfortuantely, their marriage bond ended by
virtue of a Divorce Decree. According to the petitioner, respondent made a
promise to provide monthly support to their son. However, respondent never
gave support to the son, Roderigo. On August 28, 2009, petitioner, through
her counsel, sent demand letter for support from respondent but the latter
refused to receive the same. Because of the foregoing circumstances,
petitioner filed a complaint affidavit against respondent for violation of Sec.
5, paragraph E(2) of R.A. No. 9262 for the latters unjust refusal to support
his minor child with petitioner. Thereafter, the Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu
City issued a Resolution recommending the filing of an information for the
crime charged against herein respondent. The RTC dismissed the instant
criminal case against respondent on the ground that the facts chraged in the
information do not constitute an offense with respect to the respondent who
is an alien. Likewise, the motion for reconsideration was denied for lack of


Whether a foreign national has an obligation to suppor his minor child under
the Philipine law


The Court finds the petition meritorious but it does not fully agree with the
petitoners contention. Petitoner invokes as a rule that Article 195 of the
Family Code, provides for the parents obligation to support his child. On the
other hand, respondent contends that by reason of Divorce Decree, he is not
obligated to petitioner for any financial support. On this point, the Court
agrees with the respondent that petitioner cannot rely on Article 195 of the
Family Code in demanding support from respondent, who is a foreign citizen,
since Article 15 of the New Civil Code stresses the principle of nationality.
This does not, however, mean that respondent is not obliged to support
petitioners son altogether. The Court held that it is incumbent upon
respondent to plead and prove that the national law of the Netherlands does
not impose upon parents the obligation to support their child. Hence, in view
of the respondents failure to prove the national law of the Netherlands in his
favor, the doctrine of processual presumption shall govern. Under this
doctrine, if the foreign law involved is not properly pleaded and proved, our
courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or domestic
or internal law. Therefore, the petition is granted.

G.R. No. 165166 August 15, 2012

Charles Gotardo
Divina Buling


Respondent Divina Buling filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of
Maasin, Southerm Leyte for compulsory recognition and support pendente
lite, claiming that the petitioner is the father of her child Gliffze. In his
answer, the petitioner denied the imputed paternity of Gliffze. The
respondent testified for herself and presented Rodulfo Lopez as witness.
Evidence for the respondent showed that she met the petitioner on
December 1, 1992 at the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank where
she had been hired as a casual employee, while the petitioner worked as
accounting supervisor. The petitioner took the witness tand and testified for
himself. He denied the imputed paternity, claiming that he first had sexual
contact with the respondent in the first week of August 1994 and she could
not have been pregnant for 12 weeks when he was informed of the
pregnancy on September, 15, 1994. The RTC dismissed the complaint of
insufficiency of evidence proving Gliffzes filiation. On appeal, the CA
departed from the RTCs appreciation of the respondents testimony. The CA
consequently set aside the RTC decision and ordered the petitioner to
recognize his minor son and ordered him to give a Php2, 000.00 monthly
child support. The petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was


Whether the CA committed a reversible error when it set aside the RTCs
findings and ordered the petitioner to recognize and provide legal support to
his minor son Gliffze.


No. The Court does not find any reversible error int he CAs ruling. In Herrera
v. Alba, the Court stressed that there are four significant procedural aspects
of a traditional paternity action that parties have to face: a prima facie case,
affirmative defenses, presumption of legitimacy, and physical resemblance
between the putative father and the child. In this case, the respondent
established a prima facie case that the petitioner is the putative father of
Gliffze through testimony that she had been sexually involved only with one
man, the petitioner, at the time of her conception. Rodulfo corraborated her
testiimony that the petitioner and the respondent had intimate relationship.
The Court held that since filiation is beyond question, support follows as a
matter of obligation; a parent is obliged to support his child, whether
legitimate or illegitimate. Hence, the petition is denied for lack of merit.

G.R. 185895 January 9, 2013

Ma. Carmina C. Calderon represented by her
Attorney-in-Fact, Marycris V. Baldevia
Jose Antonio F. Roxas and Court of Appeals


Petitioner and private respondent were married on December 4, 1985 and

their union produced four children. Petitoner filed an Amended Complaint for
the declaration of nullity of their marriage on the ground of psychological
incapacity under Art. 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines. On May 19,
1998, the trial court issued an Order granting petitioners application for
support pendente lite. On motion of petitioners counsel, the trial court
issued an Order directing private respondent to give support in the amount
of Php42, 292.00 per month. On February 11, 2003, private respondent fled a
Motion to Reduce Support citing, among other grounds, that the monthly
support for the children as fixed by the court was even higher than his then
Php20, 800.00 monthly salary as city councilor. After hearing, the trial court
issued an Order granting the motion to reduce support and denying
petitoners motion. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal but the same was
dismissed by the CA on the ground that granting the appeal would disturb
the RTC decision which had long become final and executory. The CA further
noted that petitioner failed to avail of the proper remedy to question an
interlocutory order.


Whether the March 7, 2005 and May 4 2005 Orders on the matter of support
pendente lite are interlocutory or final

The petition is bereft of merit. As a rule, an interlocutory order merely
resolves incidental matters and leaves something more to be done to resolve
the merits of the case. In contrast, a judgment or order is considered final if
the order disposes of the action or proceeding completely, or terminates a
particular stage of the same action. In this case, private respondents
obligation to give monthly support in the amount fixed by the RTC in the
assailed orders may be enforced by the court itself, as what transpired in the
early stage of the proceedings when the court cited the private respondent
in contempt of court and ordered him arrested for his refusal/failure to
comply with the order granting support pendete lite. A few years later,
private respondent filed a motion to reduce suport while petitioner filed her
own motion to increase the same, and in addition sought spousal support
and support in arrears. The Court held that this fact underscores the
provisional character of the order granting support pendente lite. Petitioners
theory that the assailed orders have ceased to be provisional due to the
arrearages incured by the private respondent is therefore untenable. Hence,
the petition is denied for lack of merit.
G.R. 156343 October 18, 2004

Joey D. Briones
Maricel P. Miguel, Francisca P. Miguel and Loreta P. Miguel


Petitioner Joey D. Briones filed a petition for habeas corpus against respondents to
obtain custody of her minor child Michael Kevin Pineda. A writ of habeas corpus was
then issued by the Court ordering the respondents to produce before the court the
living body of minor Michael Kevin Pineda. The petitioner alleges that the minor
Michael Kevin Pineda is his illegitimate son with respondent Loreta P. Miguel. The
child was born in Japan as evidenced by his Birth Certificate. The petitioner further
alleges that he caused the minor child to be brought to the Philippines so that he
could take care of him and send him to school. On May 2, 2001, respondents Maricel
P. Miguel and Francisca P. Miguel came to the house of the petitioner in Caloocan
City on the pretext that they were visiting the minor child and requested that they
be allowed to bring the chile for recreation at the SM department store. They
promised him that they will bring him back but they did not. Respondent Loreta
averred that she was the one who took Michael Kevin Pineda from the petitioner
when she returned to the Philippines and that the latter readily agreed and
consented. The CA awarded the custody of Michael Kevin Pineda Miguel to his
mother, Respondent Loreta P. Miguel applying Article 213 of the Family Code.

Whether the petitioner, as the natural father, may be denied the custody and
parental care of his own child in the absence of the mother.
The petition has no merit. Article 213 of the Family Code provides that, generally, no
child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother, except when
the court finds cause to order otherwise. In this case, there is no question that
Respondent Loreta, being the mother of and having sole parental authority over the
minor, is entitled to have custody of him. She has the right to keep him in her
company. She cannot be deprived of that right and she may not even renounce or
tranfer it except in the cases authorized by law. The Court held that bearing in mind
the welfare and the best interest of the mnor as the controlling factor, the CA did
not err in awarding care, custody, and control of the child to Respondent Loreta.
There is no showing at all that she is unfit to take cahrge of him. Therefore, the
petition is denied.

A.M. No. RTJ-12-2326 January 30, 2013

Geoffrey Beckett
Judge Olegario R. Sarmiento, Jr.


Geoffrey Beckett, an Australian national, was previously married to Eltesa

Densing Beckett, a Filipina. Out of the marriage was born on June 29, 2001,
Geoffrey Beckett Jr. (Geoffrey, Jr.). In 2006, Eltesa filed a case against Beckett
for violation of Republic Act No. 7610 followed by a suit for the declartion of
nullity of their marriage. Both cases ended in the sala of Judge Olegario
Sarmiento Jr. (respondent or Judge Sarmiento). The couples initial legal
battle ended when Judge Sarmiento rendered judgment based on a
compromise agreement. Eltesa and Beckett agreed that the latter shall have
full and permanent custody over Geoffrey, Jr., but subject to the visitorial
rights of Eltesa. In 2010 visit, Beckett consented to have Geoffrey, Jr., stay
with Eltesa provided she return the child on January 9, 2011. The agreed
date came but Geoffrey, Jr. remained with Eltesa. Beckett later applied for
the issuance of writ of habeas corpus. Despite Geoffrey Jr.s outburst during
the trial, Judge Sarmineto issued an Order directing Eltesa to return Geoffrey,
Jr. to Beckett. Eltesa moved for reconsideration. On the other hand, Beckett
sought the immediate implementation of the said March 1, 2011 order. But
instead of enforcing the said order, Judge Sarmiento, in open court, issued
another order giving Eltesa provisional custody over Geoffrey, Jr. And at the
same time directing DSWD to conduct a social case study on the child.


Whether respondent Judge Sarmiento is guilty of gross ignorance of the law


No. The Court cannot go along with complainants argument. It is a well-

settled rule that no child under seven years of age shall be separated from
the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.
And if already over seven years of age, the childs choice as to which parents
he prefers to be under custody shall be respected, unless the parent chosen
proves to be unfit. In this case, respondent judge cannot be held guilty of the
charges hurled by the complainant against him for the reason that absent a
finding of strong reasons to rule otherwise, the preference of a child over 7
years of age to whom he desired to live with shall be respected. Moreover,
custody, even if previously granted by a competent cour in favor of a parent,
is not, to reiterate, permanent. The Court held that the charge against
respondent judge for gross ignorance of the law is bereft of merit. Geoffrey,
Jr., chose to live with his mother for a reason, which respondent judge,
consistent with the pormotion of the best interst of the child, provisionally
granted through the issuance of the disputed order. Therefore, the complaint
is dismissed.