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ONDE V.

OFFICE OF THE LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF LAS PIAS CITY

FACTS:

Petitioner filed a petition for correction of entries in his certificate of live birth before the RTC and
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named respondent Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Las Pifias City as sole respondent. Petitioner
alleged that he is the illegitimate child of his parents Guillermo A. Onde and Matilde DC Pakingan,
but his birth certificate stated that his parents were married. His birth certificate also stated that his
mother's first name is Tely and that his first name is Franc Ler. He prayed that the following entries
on his birth certificate be corrected as follows:

Entry From To

1) Date and place of marriage of his parents December 23, 1983 - Bicol Not Married

2) First name of his mother Tely Matilde

3) His first name Franc Ler Francler

In its Order dated October 7, 2010, the RTC dismissed the petition for correction of entries on the
ground thatit is insufficient in form and substance. It ruled that the proceedings must be adversarial
since the first correction is substantial in nature and would affect petitioners status as a legitimate
child. It was further held that the correction in the first name of petitioner and his mother can be done
by the city civil registrar under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9048, entitled An Act Authorizing the City or
Municipal Civil Registrar or the ConsulGeneral to Correct a Clerical or Typographical Error in an
Entry and/or Change of First Name or Nickname in the Civil Registrar Without Need of a Judicial
Order, Amending for this Purpose Articles 376 and 412 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

In its Order dated March 1, 2011,the RTC denied petitioners motion for reconsideration, as it found
no proof that petitioners parents were not married on December 23, 1983.

ISSUES

(1) whether the correction on the first name of petitioner and his mother can be done by the
city civil registrar under R.A. No. 9048;

On the first issue, we agree with the RTC that the first name of petitioner and his mother as
appearing in his birth certificate can be corrected by the city civil registrar under R.A. No. 9048. We
note that petitioner no longer contested the RTCs ruling on this point. Indeed, under Section 1 of
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R.A. No. 9048, clerical or typographical errors on entries in a civil register can be corrected and
changes of first name can be done by the concerned city civil registrar without need of a judicial
order. Aforesaid Section 1, as amended by R.A. No. 10172, now reads: SECTION 1. Authority to
Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or Nickname. No entry in a
civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for

1. clerical or typographical errors and

2. change of first name or nickname,


3. the day and month in the date of birth or

4. sex of a person where it is patently clear that there was a clerical or typographical
error or mistake in the entry,

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. (Emphasis supplied.)

In Silverio v. Republic, we held that under R.A. No. 9048, jurisdiction over applications for change of
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first name is now primarily lodged with administrative officers. The intent and effect of said law is to
exclude the change of first name from the coverage of Rules 103 (Change of Name) and 108
(Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry) of the Rules of Court, until and unless an
administrative petition for change of name is first filed and subsequently denied. The remedy and the
proceedings regulating change of first name are primarily administrative in nature, not judicial. In
Republic v. Cagandahan, we said that under R.A. No. 9048, the correction of clerical or
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typographical errors can now be made through administrative proceedings and without the need for
a judicial order. The law removed from the ambit of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court the correction of
clerical or typographical errors. Thus petitioner can avail of this administrative remedy for the
correction of his and his mothers first name.

(2) whether correcting the entry on petitioners birth certificate that his parents were married
on December 23, 1983 in Bicol to "not married" is substantial in nature requiring adversarial
proceedings;

On the second issue, we also agree with the RTC in ruling that correcting the entry on petitioners
birth certificate that his parents were married on December 23, 1983 in Bicol to "not married" is a
substantial correction requiring adversarial proceedings. Said correction is substantial as it will affect
his legitimacy and convert him from a legitimate child to an illegitimate one.

In Republic v. Uy, we held that corrections of entries in the civil register including those on
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citizenship, legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage, involve substantial


alterations. Substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected and the true facts established
provided the parties aggrieved by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary
proceedings. 9

(3) whether the petition for correction of entries should be dismissed; and

On the third issue, we likewise affirm the RTC in dismissing the petition for correction of entries. As
mentioned, petitioner no longer contested the RTC ruling that the correction he sought on his and his
mothers first name can be done by the city civil registrar. Under the circumstances, we are
constrained to deny his prayer that the petition for correction of entries before the RTC herein stated
since the same petition includes the correction he sought on his and his mothers first name.

We clarify, however, that the RTCs dismissal is without prejudice. As we said, petitioner can avail of
the administrative remedy for the correction of his and his mothers first name. He can also file a
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new petition before the RTC to correct the alleged erroneous entry on his birth certificate that his
parents were married on December 23, 1983 in Bicol. This substantial correction is allowed under
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.

As we reiterated in Eleosida v. Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City: 10

x x x This is our ruling in Republic vs. Valencia where we held that even substantial errors in a civil
registry may be corrected and the true facts established under Rule 108 [of the Rules of Court]
provided the parties aggrieved by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary
proceeding. x x x

xxxx

It is true in the case at bar that the changes sought to be made by petitioner are not merely clerical
or harmless errors but substantial ones as they would affect the status of the marriage between
petitioner and Carlos Borbon, as well as the legitimacy of their son, Charles Christian. Changes of
such nature, however, are now allowed under Rule 108 in accordance with our ruling in Republic vs.
Valencia provided that the appropriate procedural requirements are complied with. x x x (Emphasis
supplied.)

We also stress that a petition seeking a substantial correction of an entry in a civil register must
implead as parties to the proceedings not only the local civil registrar, as petitioner did in the
dismissed petition for correction of entries, but also all persons who have or claim any interest which
would be affected by the correction. This is required by Section 3, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court:

SEC. 3. Parties. - When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is sought,

1. the civil registrar and

2. all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby

shall be made parties to the proceeding. (Emphasis supplied.)

In Eleosida, we cited Section 3, and Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, as the
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procedural requirements laid down by the Court to make the proceedings under Rule 108 adversary.
In Republic v. Uy, we have similarly ruled that when a petition for cancellation or correction of an
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entry in the civil register involves substantial and controversial alterations, including those on
citizenship, legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage, a strict compliance with the
requirements of the Rules of Court is mandated. Thus, in his new petition, petitioner should at least
implead his father and mother as parties since the substantial correction he is seeking will also affect
them.
Republic v. Olaybar, GR 189538, Feb. 10, 2014

FACTS:

Respondent Merlinda Olaybar requested from the National Statistics Office (NSO) a
Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) as one of the requirements for her marriage with
her boyfriend of 5 years.
Upon receipt thereof, she discovered that she was already married to a certain Ye Son
Sune, a Korean National, on June 24, 2002 at the MTCC, Palace of Justice.
She denied having contracted said marriage and claimed that she did not know the
alleged husband; she did not appear before the solemnizing officer; and that the
signature appearing in the marriage certificate is not hers.
She thus filed a Petition for Cancellation of Entries in the Marriage Contract especially the
entries in the wife portion thereof.
She impleaded the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City and her alleged husband as parties
to the case.
During trial, she testified that she could not have appeared before the supposed
solemnizing officer at the time the marriage was allegedly celebrated because she was
then in Makati working as a medical distributor in Hansao Pharma.
She also presented as witness an employee of MTCC who confirmed that the marriage of
Ye Son Sune was indeed celebrated in their office, but claimed that the alleged wife who
appeared was definitely not respondent.
Lastly, a document examiner testified that the signature appearing in the marriage
contract was forged.
The RTC granted the petition in favor of respondent. Finding that the signature appearing
in the subject marriage contract was not that of respondent, the court found basis in
granting her prayer to straighten her record and rectify the terrible mistake. The Local
Civil Registrar was directed to cancel all the entries in the WIFE portion of the alleged
marriage contract.
The petitioner Republic of the Philippines moved for the reconsideration of the decision
on the ground that:
(1) there was no clerical spelling, typographical and other innocuous errors in the
marriage contract for it to fall within the provisions of Rule 108 of the Rules of
Court; and
(2) granting the cancellation of all the entries in the wife portion of the alleged
marriage contract is, in effect, declaring the marriage void ab initio.
The court denied the motion for reconsideration.
The RTC held that it had jurisdiction to take cognizance of cases for correction of entries
even on substantial errors under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court being the appropriate
adversary proceeding required.
Considering that respondents identity was used by an unknown person to contract
marriage with a Korean national, it would not be feasible for respondent to institute an
action for declaration of nullity of marriage since it is not one of the void marriages under
Art. 35 and 36 of the Family Code.
ISSUE:

Whether the cancellation of entries in the marriage contract which, in effect, nullifies the
marriage may be undertaken in a Rule 108 proceeding

RULING:

Rule 108 of the Rules of Court provides the procedure for cancellation or correction of entries in the
civil registry. The proceedings may either be summary or adversary. If the correction is clerical, then
the procedure to be adopted is summary. If the rectification affects the civil status, citizenship or
nationality of a party, it is deemed substantial, and the procedure to be adopted is adversary. Since
the promulgation of Republic v. Valencia in 1986, the Court has repeatedly ruled that "even
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substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected through a petition filed under Rule 108, with the
true facts established and the parties aggrieved by the error availing themselves of the appropriate
adversarial proceeding." An appropriate adversary suit or proceeding is one where the trial court
20

has conducted proceedings where all relevant facts have been fully and properly developed, where
opposing counsel have been given opportunity to demolish the opposite partys case, and where the
evidence has been thoroughly weighed and considered. 21

It is true that in special proceedings, formal pleadings and a hearing may be dispensed with, and the
remedy [is] granted upon mere application or motion. However, a special proceeding is not always
summary. The procedure laid down in Rule 108 is not a summary proceeding per se. It requires
publication of the petition; it mandates the inclusion as parties of all persons who may claim interest
which would be affected by the cancellation or correction; it also requires the civil registrar and any
person in interest to file their opposition, if any; and it states that although the court may make orders
expediting the proceedings, it is after hearing that the court shall either dismiss the petition or issue
an order granting the same. Thus, as long as the procedural requirements in Rule 108 are followed,
it is the appropriate adversary proceeding to effect substantial corrections and changes in entries of
the civil register.
22

In this case, the entries made in the wife portion of the certificate of marriage are admittedly the
personal circumstances of respondent. The latter, however, claims that her signature was forged and
she was not the one who contracted marriage with the purported husband. In other words, she
claims that no such marriage was entered into or if there was, she was not the one who entered into
such contract. It must be recalled that when respondent tried to obtain a CENOMAR from the NSO,
it appeared that she was married to a certain Ye Son Sune. She then sought the cancellation of
entries in the wife portion of the marriage certificate.

In filing the petition for correction of entry under Rule 108, respondent made the Local Civil Registrar
of Cebu City, as well as her alleged husband Ye Son Sune, as parties-respondents. It is likewise
undisputed that the procedural requirements set forth in Rule 108 were complied with. The Office of
the Solicitor General was likewise notified of the petition which in turn authorized the Office of the
City Prosecutor to participate in the proceedings. More importantly, trial was conducted where
respondent herself, the stenographer of the court where the alleged marriage was conducted, as
well as a document examiner, testified. Several documents were also considered as evidence. With
the testimonies and other evidence presented, the trial court found that the signature appearing in
the subject marriage certificate was different from respondents signature appearing in some of her
government issued identification cards. The court thus made a categorical conclusion that
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respondents signature in the marriage certificate was not hers and, therefore, was forged. Clearly, it
was established that, as she claimed in her petition, no such marriage was celebrated.

Indeed the Court made a pronouncement in the recent case of Minoru Fujiki v. Maria Paz Galela
Marinay, Shinichi Maekara, Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City, and the Administrator and Civil
Registrar General of the National Statistics Office that:
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To be sure, a petition for correction or cancellation of an entry in the civil registry cannot substitute
for an action to invalidate a marriage. A direct action is necessary to prevent circumvention of the
substantive and procedural safeguards of marriage under the Family Code, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC
and other related laws. Among these safeguards are the requirement of proving the limited grounds
for the dissolution of marriage, support pendente lite of the spouses and children, the liquidation,
partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and the investigation of the public
prosecutor to determine collusion. A direct action for declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage is
also necessary to prevent circumvention of the jurisdiction of the Family Courts under the Family
Courts Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8369), as a petition for cancellation or correction of entries in
the civil registry may be filed in the Regional Trial Court where the corresponding civil registry is
located. In other words, a Filipino citizen cannot dissolve his marriage by the mere expedient of
changing his entry of marriage in the civil registry.

Aside from the certificate of marriage, no such evidence was presented to show the existence of
marriage. Rather, respondent showed by overwhelming evidence that no marriage was entered into
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and that she was not even aware of such existence. The testimonial and documentary evidence
clearly established that the only "evidence" of marriage which is the marriage certificate was a
forgery. While we maintain that Rule 108 cannot be availed of to determine the validity of marriage,
we cannot nullify the proceedings before the trial court where all the parties had been given the
opportunity to contest the allegations of respondent; the procedures were followed, and all the
evidence of the parties had already been admitted and examined. Respondent indeed sought, not
the nullification of marriage as there was no marriage to speak of, but the correction of the record of
such marriage to reflect the truth as set forth by the evidence. Otherwise stated, in allowing the
correction of the subject certificate of marriage by cancelling the wife portion thereof, the trial court
did not, in any way, declare the marriage void as there was no marriage to speak of.
SILVERIO V. REPUBLIC (2007)

FACTS:

PETITIONER ROMMEL JACINTO DANTES SILVERIO filed a


petition for the change of his first name and sex in his birth
certificate in the RTC. The Civil Registrar of Manila was
impleaded.
He alleged that
1. his name was registered as Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio
in his certificate of live birth
2. His sex was registered as MALE
3. He is a male transsexual (anatomically MALE but feels,
thinks and acts as a female)
4. He had always identified himself with girls since childhoold
5. Feels trapped in mans body
6. He underwent psychological exam, hormone treatment and
breast augmentation
7. He underwent sex reassignment surgery in Thailand
8. He was issued a medical certificate attesting that he had in
fact undergone the procedure
9. From then on, he lives as a FEMALE and was in fact
ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED
10. So he sought to have his NAME in his birth certificate
CHANGED FROM ROMMEL JACINTO TO MELY
and his SEX from MALE TO FEMALE
No opposition to the petition was made
During trial, he testified for himself.
He also presented Dr. Cruz and his American fianc Richard
Edel as witnesses
Trial court rendered a decision in favor of petitioner
1. Granting the petition would be more in consonance with
the principles of justice and equity. With his sex
reassignment, he, who has always felt, thought and acted
like a woman now possesses the physique of a female.
His misfortune to be trapped in a mans body is not his
own doing and should not be in any way taken against
him.
2. No harm, injury or prejudice will be caused to anybody or
the community in granting the petition.
3. No evidence was presented to show any cause or ground
to deny the present petition
The Republic thru the OSG filed a petition for certiorari in the
CA alleging that there is no law allowing the change of entries
in the birth certificate by reason of SEX ALTERATION
CA rendered a decision in favor of the Republic. The trial
courts decision lacked legal basis. There is no law allowing the
change of either NAME or SEX in the certificate of birth on the
ground of sex reassignment thru surgery.
Petitioner claims that the change of his name and sex in his
birth certificate is allowed under Art. 407-413 of the Civil Code,
Rules 103 and 108 of the ROC and RA 9048.

ISSUE: Can petitioners name and sex be changed on the ground of


sex reassignment

RULING: No

A Persons First Name Cannot Be Changed On the Ground of Sex Reassignment

The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and entities for purposes of
identification.11 A change of name is a privilege, not a right.12 Petitions for change of name are
controlled by statutes.
RA 9048 now governs the change of first name.14 It vests the power and authority to entertain
petitions for change of first name to the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general concerned.
Under the law, therefore, jurisdiction over applications for change of first name is now primarily
lodged with the aforementioned administrative officers. The intent and effect of the law is to exclude
the change of first name from the coverage of Rules 103 (Change of Name) and 108 (Cancellation
or Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry) of the Rules of Court, until and unless an administrative
petition for change of name is first filed and subsequently denied. 15 It likewise lays down the
corresponding venue,16 form17 and procedure. In sum, the remedy and the proceedings regulating
change of first name are primarily administrative in nature, not judicial.

RA 9048 likewise provides the grounds for which change of first name may be allowed:

SECTION 4. Grounds for Change of First Name or Nickname. The petition for change of
first name or nickname may be allowed in any of the following cases:

(1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with
dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;

(2) The new first name or nickname

has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and

he has been publicly known by that first name or nickname in the community; or

(3) The change will avoid confusion.


Petitioners basis in praying for the change of his first name was his sex reassignment. He
intended to make his first name compatible with the sex he thought he transformed himself into
through surgery. However, a change of name does not alter ones legal capacity or civil status. 18 RA
9048 does not sanction a change of first name on the ground of sex reassignment. Rather than
avoiding confusion, changing petitioners first name for his declared purpose may only create grave
complications in the civil registry and the public interest.

Before a person can legally change his given name, he must present proper or reasonable cause or
any compelling reason justifying such change.19 In addition, he must show that he will be prejudiced
by the use of his true and official name.20 In this case, he failed to show, or even allege, any
prejudice that he might suffer as a result of using his true and official name.

In sum, the petition in the trial court in so far as it prayed for the change of petitioners first name was
not within that courts primary jurisdiction as the petition should have been filed with the local civil
registrar concerned, assuming it could be legally done. It was an improper remedy because the
proper remedy was administrative, that is, that provided under RA 9048. It was also filed in the
wrong venue as the proper venue was in the Office of the Civil Registrar of Manila where his birth
certificate is kept. More importantly, it had no merit since the use of his true and official name does
not prejudice him at all. For all these reasons, the Court of Appeals correctly dismissed petitioners
petition in so far as the change of his first name was concerned.

No Law Allows The Change of Entry In The Birth Certificate As To Sex On the Ground of Sex
Reassignment

The determination of a persons sex appearing in his birth certificate is a legal issue and the court
must look to the statutes.21 In this connection, Article 412 of the Civil Code provides:

ART. 412. No entry in the civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order.

Together with Article 376 of the Civil Code, this provision was amended by RA 9048 in so far
as clerical or typographical errors are involved. The correction or change of such matters can now be
made through administrative proceedings and without the need for a judicial order. In effect, RA
9048 removed from the ambit of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court the correction of such errors. 22 Rule
108 now applies only to substantial changes and corrections in entries in the civil register.23

Section 2(c) of RA 9048 defines what a "clerical or typographical error" is:

SECTION 2. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean:

xxx xxx xxx

(3) "Clerical or typographical error" refers to a mistake committed in the performance


of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register
that is harmless and innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of
birth or the like, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can
be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or
records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the change
of nationality, age, status or sex of the petitioner. (emphasis supplied)

Under RA 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving the change of sex is
not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is a substantial change for which
the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.

The entries envisaged in Article 412 of the Civil Code and correctable under
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court are those provided in Articles 407 and 408 of
the Civil Code:24

ART. 407. Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of
persons shall be recorded in the civil register.

ART. 408. The following shall be entered in the civil register:

(1) Births; (2) marriages; (3) deaths; (4) legal separations; (5)
annulments of marriage; (6) judgments declaring marriages void from
the beginning; (7) legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9) acknowledgments of
natural children; (10) naturalization; (11) loss, or (12) recovery of
citizenship; (13) civil interdiction; (14) judicial determination of filiation;
(15) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and (16) changes of name.

The acts, events or factual errors contemplated under Article 407 of the Civil
Code include even those that occur after birth.25 However, no reasonable
interpretation of the provision can justify the conclusion that it covers the
correction on the ground of sex reassignment.

To correct simply means "to make or set aright; to remove the faults or error from" while to change
means "to replace something with something else of the same kind or with something that serves as
a substitute."26 The birth certificate of petitioner contained no error. All entries therein, including those
corresponding to his first name and sex, were all correct. No correction is necessary.

Article 407 of the Civil Code authorizes the entry in the civil registry of certain acts (such as
legitimations, acknowledgments of illegitimate children and naturalization), events (such as births,
marriages, naturalization and deaths) and judicial decrees (such as legal separations, annulments of
marriage, declarations of nullity of marriages, adoptions, naturalization, loss or recovery of
citizenship, civil interdiction, judicial determination of filiation and changes of name). These acts,
events and judicial decrees produce legal consequences that touch upon the legal capacity, status
and nationality of a person. Their effects are expressly sanctioned by the laws. In contrast, sex
reassignment is not among those acts or events mentioned in Article 407. Neither is it recognized
nor even mentioned by any law, expressly or impliedly.
"Status" refers to the circumstances affecting the legal situation (that is, the sum total of capacities
and incapacities) of a person in view of his age, nationality and his family membership. 27

The status of a person in law includes all his personal qualities and relations, more or less
permanent in nature, not ordinarily terminable at his own will, such as his being
legitimate or illegitimate, or his being married or not. The comprehensive term status
include such matters as the beginning and end of legal personality, capacity to have rights in
general, family relations, and its various aspects, such as birth, legitimation, adoption,
emancipation, marriage, divorce, and sometimes even succession. 28 (emphasis supplied)

A persons sex is an essential factor in marriage and family relations. It is a part of a persons legal
capacity and civil status. In this connection, Article 413 of the Civil Code provides:

ART. 413. All other matters pertaining to the registration of civil status shall be governed by
special laws.

But there is no such special law in the Philippines governing sex


reassignment and its effects. This is fatal to petitioners cause.

Moreover, Section 5 of Act 3753 (the Civil Register Law) provides:

SEC. 5. Registration and certification of births. The declaration of the physician or midwife
in attendance at the birth or, in default thereof, the declaration of either parent of the
newborn child, shall be sufficient for the registration of a birth in the civil register. Such
declaration shall be exempt from documentary stamp tax and shall be sent to the local civil
registrar not later than thirty days after the birth, by the physician or midwife in attendance at
the birth or by either parent of the newborn child.

In such declaration, the person above mentioned shall certify to the following facts: (a) date
and hour of birth; (b) sex and nationality of infant; (c) names, citizenship and religion of
parents or, in case the father is not known, of the mother alone; (d) civil status of parents; (e)
place where the infant was born; and (f) such other data as may be required in the
regulations to be issued.

xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)

Under the Civil Register Law, a birth certificate is a historical record of the facts as they existed at
the time of birth.29Thus, the sex of a person is determined at birth, visually done by the birth
attendant (the physician or midwife) by examining the genitals of the infant. Considering that there is
no law legally recognizing sex reassignment, the determination of a persons sex made at the time of
his or her birth, if not attended by error,30 is immutable.31

When words are not defined in a statute they are to be given their common and ordinary meaning in
the absence of a contrary legislative intent. The words "sex," "male" and "female" as used in the Civil
Register Law and laws concerning the civil registry (and even all other laws) should therefore be
understood in their common and ordinary usage, there being no legislative intent to the contrary. In
this connection, sex is defined as "the sum of peculiarities of structure and function that distinguish a
male from a female"32 or "the distinction between male and female."33Female is "the sex that
produces ova or bears young"34 and male is "the sex that has organs to produce spermatozoa for
fertilizing ova."35 Thus, the words "male" and "female" in everyday understanding do not include
persons who have undergone sex reassignment. Furthermore, "words that are employed in a statute
which had at the time a well-known meaning are presumed to have been used in that sense unless
the context compels to the contrary."36 Since the statutory language of the Civil Register Law was
enacted in the early 1900s and remains unchanged, it cannot be argued that the term "sex" as used
then is something alterable through surgery or something that allows a post-operative male-to-
female transsexual to be included in the category "female."

For these reasons, while petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body and appearance
through the intervention of modern surgery, no law authorizes the change of entry as to sex in the
civil registry for that reason. Thus, there is no legal basis for his petition for the correction or change
of the entries in his birth certificate.

Neither May Entries in the Birth Certificate As to First Name or Sex Be Changed on the
Ground of Equity

The trial court opined that its grant of the petition was in consonance with the principles of justice
and equity. It believed that allowing the petition would cause no harm, injury or prejudice to anyone.
This is wrong.

The changes sought by petitioner will have serious and wide-ranging legal and public policy
consequences. First, even the trial court itself found that the petition was but petitioners first step
towards his eventual marriage to his male fianc. However, marriage, one of the most sacred social
institutions, is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman.37 One of its
essential requisites is the legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a
female.38 To grant the changes sought by petitioner will substantially reconfigure and greatly alter the
laws on marriage and family relations. It will allow the union of a man with another man who has
undergone sex reassignment (a male-to-female post-operative transsexual). Second, there are
various laws which apply particularly to women such as the provisions of the Labor Code on
employment of women,39 certain felonies under the Revised Penal Code40 and the presumption of
survivorship in case of calamities under Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, 41 among others. These laws
underscore the public policy in relation to women which could be substantially affected if petitioners
petition were to be granted.

It is true that Article 9 of the Civil Code mandates that "[n]o judge or court shall decline to render
judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the law." However, it is not a license
for courts to engage in judicial legislation. The duty of the courts is to apply or interpret the law, not
to make or amend it.

In our system of government, it is for the legislature, should it choose to do so, to determine what
guidelines should govern the recognition of the effects of sex reassignment. The need for legislative
guidelines becomes particularly important in this case where the claims asserted are statute-based.
To reiterate, the statutes define who may file petitions for change of first name and for correction or
change of entries in the civil registry, where they may be filed, what grounds may be invoked, what
proof must be presented and what procedures shall be observed. If the legislature intends to confer
on a person who has undergone sex reassignment the privilege to change his name and sex to
conform with his reassigned sex, it has to enact legislation laying down the guidelines in turn
governing the conferment of that privilege.

It might be theoretically possible for this Court to write a protocol on when a person may be
recognized as having successfully changed his sex. However, this Court has no authority to fashion
a law on that matter, or on anything else. The Court cannot enact a law where no law exists. It can
only apply or interpret the written word of its co-equal branch of government, Congress.

Petitioner pleads that "[t]he unfortunates are also entitled to a life of happiness, contentment and
[the] realization of their dreams." No argument about that. The Court recognizes that there are
people whose preferences and orientation do not fit neatly into the commonly recognized
parameters of social convention and that, at least for them, life is indeed an ordeal. However, the
remedies petitioner seeks involve questions of public policy to be addressed solely by the
legislature, not by the courts.
Republic v. Cagandahan

FACTS:

Jennifer Cagandahan was registered as a female in her Certificate of


Live Birth. During her childhood years, she suffered from clitoral hypertrophy
and was later on diagnosed that her ovarian structures had minimized. She
likewise has no breast nor menstruation. Subsequently, she was diagnosed
of having Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), a condition where those
afflicted possess secondary male characteristics because of too much
secretion of male hormones, androgen. According to her, for all interests and
appearances as well as in mind and emotion, she has become a male person.
She filed a petition at RTC Laguna for Correction of Entries in her Birth
Certificate such that her gender or sex be changed to male and her first name
be changed to Jeff.

ISSUE: The issue in this case is the validity of the change of sex or
gender and name of respondent as ruled by the lower court.

HELD: The contention of the Office of the Solicitor General that the
petition is fatally defective because it failed to implead the local civil registrar
as well as all persons who have or claim any interest therein is not without
merit. However, it must be stressed that private respondent furnished the local
civil registrar a copy of the petition, the order to publish on December 16,
2003 and all pleadings, orders or processes in the course of the proceedings.
In which case, the Supreme Court ruled that there is substantial compliance of
the provisions of Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court. Furthermore, the
Supreme Court held that the determination of a persons sex appearing in his
birth certificate is a legal issue which in this case should be dealt with utmost
care in view of the delicate facts present in this case. Biologically, nature
endowed respondent with a mixed (neither consistently and categorically female
nor consistently and categorically male) composition. Respondent has female (XX)
chromosomes. However, respondents body system naturally produces high levels
of male hormones (androgen). As a result, respondent has ambiguous genitalia and
the phenotypic features of a male.

In deciding the case, the Supreme Court brings forth the need to elaborate the term intersexuality which
is the condition or let us say a disorder that respondent is undergoing. INTERSEXUALITY applies to human beings
who cannot be classified as either male or female. It is the state of a living thing of a gonochoristic species whose
sex chromosomes, genitalia, and/or secondary sex characteristics are determined to be neither exclusively male nor
female. It is said that an organism with intersex may have biological characteristics of both male and female sexes.
In view of the foregoing, the highest tribunal of the land consider the compassionate calls for recognition of the
various degrees of intersex as variations which should not be subject to outright denial.

Ultimately, we are of the view that where the person is biologically or


naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would be what
the individual, like respondent, having reached the age of majority, with good
reason thinks of his/her sex. Respondent here thinks of himself as a male and
considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones (androgen) there
is preponderant biological support for considering him as being male. Sexual
development in cases of intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth
inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is
fixed.

Respondent here has simply let nature take its course and has not taken
unnatural steps to arrest or interfere with what he was born with. And accordingly,
he has already ordered his life to that of a male. Respondent could have undergone
treatment and taken steps, like taking lifelong medication, [26] to force his body into
the categorical mold of a female but he did not. He chose not to do so. Nature has
instead taken its due course in respondents development to reveal more fully his
male characteristics.

In the absence of a law on the matter, the Court will not dictate on
respondent concerning a matter so innately private as ones sexuality and lifestyle
preferences, much less on whether or not to undergo medical treatment to reverse
the male tendency due to CAH. The Court will not consider respondent as having
erred in not choosing to undergo treatment in order to become or remain as a
female. Neither will the Court force respondent to undergo treatment and to take
medication in order to fit the mold of a female, as society commonly currently
knows this gender of the human species. Respondent is the one who has to live
with his intersex anatomy. To him belongs the human right to the pursuit of
happiness and of health. Thus, to him should belong the primordial choice of what
courses of action to take along the path of his sexual development and
maturation. In the absence of evidence that respondent is an incompetent[27] and in
the absence of evidence to show that classifying respondent as a male will harm
other members of society who are equally entitled to protection under the law, the
Court affirms as valid and justified the respondents position and his personal
judgment of being a male.
In so ruling we do no more than give respect to (1) the diversity of nature;
and (2) how an individual deals with what nature has handed out. In other words,
we respect respondents congenital condition and his mature decision to be a
male. Life is already difficult for the ordinary person. We cannot but respect how
respondent deals with his unordinary state and thus help make his life easier,
considering the unique circumstances in this case.

As for respondents change of name under Rule 103, this Court has held that
a change of name is not a matter of right but of judicial discretion, to be exercised
in the light of the reasons adduced and the consequences that will follow.[28] The
trial courts grant of respondents change of name from Jennifer to Jeff implies a
change of a feminine name to a masculine name. Considering the consequence that
respondents change of name merely recognizes his preferred gender, we find merit
in respondents change of name. Such a change will conform with the change of the
entry in his birth certificate from female to male.

Republic v. Kho

Facts:

On February 12, 2001, Carlito and his siblings Michael, Mercy Nona and Heddy
Moira filed before the RTC of Butuan City a verified petition for correction of
entries in the civil registry of Butuan City to effect changes in their respective birth
certificates.

Carlito also asked the court in behalf of his minor children, Kevin and Kelly, to
order the correction of some entries in their birth certificates.

In the case of Carlito, he requested the correction in his birth certificate of the
citizenship of his mother to Filipino instead of Chinese, as well as the deletion of
the word married opposite the phrase Date of marriage of parents because his
parents, Juan Kho and Epifania Inchoco (Epifania), were allegedly not legally
married.

The same request to delete the married status of their parents from their respective
birth certificates was made by Carlitos siblings Michael, Mercy Nona, and Heddy
Moira.
With respect to the birth certificates of Carlitos children, he prayed that the date of
his and his wifes marriage be corrected from April 27, 1989 to January 21, 2000,
the date appearing in their marriage certificate.

The Local Civil Registrar of Butuan City was impleaded as respondent.

On April 23, 2001, Carlito et al. filed an Amended Petition [3] in which it was
additionally prayed that Carlitos second name of John be deleted from his record of
birth; and that the name and citizenship of Carlitos father in his (Carlitos) marriage
certificate be corrected from John Kho to Juan Kho and Filipino to Chinese,
respectively.

As required, the petition was published for three consecutive weeks [4] in
Mindanao Daily Patrol-CARAGA, a newspaper of general circulation, after which
it was set for hearing on August 9, 2001.

On January 31, 2002, respondents presented documentary evidence showing


compliance with the jurisdictional requirements of the petition. They also
presented testimonial evidence consisting of the testimonies of Carlito and his
mother, Epifania. During the same hearing, an additional correction in the birth
certificates of Carlitos children was requested to the effect that the first name of
their mother be rectified from Maribel to Marivel.

By Decision[8] of September 4, 2002, the trial court directed the local civil
registrar of Butuan City to correct the entries in the record of birth of Carlito, as
follows: (1) change the citizenship of his mother from Chinese to Filipino; (2)
delete John from his name; and (3) delete the word married opposite the date of
marriage of his parents. The last correction was ordered to be effected likewise in
the birth certificates of respondents Michael, Mercy Nona, and Heddy Moira.

Additionally, the trial court ordered the correction of the birth certificates of
the minor children of Carlito to reflect the date of marriage of Carlito and Marivel
Dogmoc (Marivel) as January 21, 2000, instead of April 27, 1989, and the name
Maribel as Marivel.
With respect to the marriage certificate of Carlito and Marivel, the
corrections ordered pertained to the alteration of the name of Carlitos father from
John Kho to Juan Kho and the latters citizenship from Filipino to Chinese.

Petitioner, Republic of the Philippines, appealed the RTC Decision to the


CA, faulting the trial court in granting the petition for correction of entries in the
subject documents despite the failure of respondents to:

implead the minors mother, Marivel, as an indispensable party and

to offer sufficient evidence to warrant the corrections with regard to the


questioned married status of Carlito and his siblings parents, and the latters
citizenship.

Petitioner also faulted the trial court for ordering the change of the name
Carlito John Kho to Carlito Kho for non-compliance with jurisdictional
requirements for a change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court.

_______________________________________

By the assailed Decision of October 27, 2005, the CA denied petitioners


appeal and affirmed the decision of the trial court.

The CA found that Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court, which outlines
the proper procedure for cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry,
was observed in the case.

Regarding Carlitos minor children Kevin and Kelly, the appellate court held
that the correction of their mothers first name from Maribel to Marivel was made
to rectify an innocuous error.

As for the change in the date of the marriage of Carlito and Marivel, albeit
the CA conceded that it is a substantial alteration, it held that the date would not
affect the minors filiation from legitimate to illegitimate considering that at the
time of their respective births in 1991 and 1993, their father Carlitos first marriage
was still subsisting as it had been annulled only in 1999.

In light of Carlitos legal impediment to marry Marivel at the time they were
born, their children Kevin and Kelly were illegitimate. It followed, the CA went on
to state, that Marivel was not an indispensable party to the case, the minors having
been represented by their father as required under Section 5 of Rule 3[9] of the
Revised Rules of Court.

Further, the CA ruled that although Carlito failed to observe the


requirements of Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, he had complied nonetheless with
the jurisdictional requirements for correction of entries in the civil registry under
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. The petition for correction of entry in Carlitos birth
record, it noted, falls under letter o of the enumeration under Section 2 of Rule
108.

________________________________

In the present petition, petitioner contends that since the changes sought by
respondents were substantial in nature, they could only be granted through an
adversarial proceeding in which indispensable parties, such as Marivel and
respondents parents, should have been notified or impleaded.

Petitioner further contends that the jurisdictional requirements to change


Carlitos name under Section 2 of Rule 103 of the Rules of Court were not satisfied
because the Amended Petition failed to allege Carlitos prior three-year bona fide
residence in Butuan City, and that the title of the petition did not state Carlitos
aliases and his true name as Carlito John I. Kho.Petitioner concludes that the same
jurisdictional defects attached to the change of name of Carlitos father.

ISSUE:

Whether the failure to implead Marivel and Carlitos parents rendered the trial short
of the required adversary proceeding and the trial courts judgment void.

RULING:
Publication of the order of hearing under Section 4 of Rule 108 cured the failure to
implead an indispensable party.

The essential requisite for allowing substantial corrections of


entries in the civil registry is that the true facts be established in an
appropriate adversarial proceeding. This is embodied in Section 3, Rule
108 of the Rules of Court, which states:

Section 3. Parties. When cancellation or correction of an entry in


the civil register is sought, the civil registrar and all persons who have or
claim any interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties
to the proceeding.

Yet, even though Marivel and Carlitos parents were not


impleaded in the petition, the Court of Appeals correctly pointed out that
the defect was cured by compliance with Section 4, Rule 108, which
requires notice by publication x x x.
xxxx
The purpose precisely of Section 4, Rule 108 is to bind the whole
world to the subsequent judgment on the petition. The sweep of the
decision would cover even parties who should have been impleaded
under Section 3, Rule 108, but were inadvertently left out. x x x

xxxx

Verily, a petition for correction is an action in rem, an action


against a thing and not against a person. The decision on the petition
binds not only the parties thereto but the whole world. An in
rem proceeding is validated essentially through publication. Publication
is notice to the whole world that the proceeding has for its object to bar
indefinitely all who might be minded to make an objection of any sort
against the right sought to be established. It is the publication of such
notice that brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the
court with jurisdiction to hear and decide it. [22]
Limson v. Gonzales

FACTS:

Limson filed a criminal charge against Gonzalez for falsification, before


the Prosecutors Office of Mandaluyong City.

In the records of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), a


certain EUGENIO GONZALEZ is registered as an architect and that
Gonzalez, who uses, among others, the name EUGENIO JUAN
GONZALEZ, and who pretends to be said architect. Registered [sic]
with the PRC, is an impostor and therefore, guilty [sic] of falsification x x
x.

Gonzalez filed his CounterAffidavit, wherein he explained in detail that


his full name is EUGENIO (first given name) JUAN (second given
name) GONZALEZ (fathers family name) y REGALADO (mothers
family name).

o He alleges that in his youth, while he was still in grade school and
high school, he used the name EUGENIO GONZALEZ y
REGALADO and/or EUGENIO GONZALEZ and that thereafter, he
transferred to the University of Santo Tomas and therein took up
architecture and that upon commencement of his professional
practice in 1943, he made use of his second name, JUAN.

o Consequently, in his professional practice, he has identified


himself as much as possible as Arch. Eugenio Juan Gonzalez,
because the surname GONZALEZ was and is still, a very
common surname throughout the Philippines and he wanted to
distinguish himself with his second given name, JUAN, after his
first given name, EUGENIO. Gonzalez supposed [sic] his
allegations with various supporting documents x x x.

The Prosecutor dismissed the criminal charge against Gonzalez, finding


that indeed EUGENIO JUAN R. GONZALES [sic] is the architect
registered in the PRC.
Limson elevated the Resolution of the Prosecutor to the Secretary of
Justice.

o Before the Secretary of Justice, she utilized the basic arguments


she had raised before the Prosecutors Office, with slight
variations, in assailing said adverse Resolution of the Prosecutor.

The Secretary of Justice dismissed the appeal of Limson.

Not content with said Resolution of the Secretary of Justice, Limson


filed a motion for reconsideration which, after Opposition by Gonzalez,
was dismissed by the Secretary of Justice, on September 15, 2000 x x
x. Said dismissal was with finality.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Limson filed a new letter complaint


against Gonzalez, with the Secretary of Justice. She alleged the same
basic facts, evidence, and charges, as already resolved by the
Prosecutor and affirmed with finality, by the Secretary of Justice; but
adding the accusation that because Gonzalez used
various combinations of his name, in different signature,
on the [sic] different occasions, Gonzalez had also
violated Republic Act No. 6085 (the AntiAlias Law ).

The Secretary of Justice referred this letter complaint of Limson x x x to


the Prosecutors Office of Mandaluyong City for investigation.

DISMISSED

After submission of Affidavits, CounterAffidavits and other pertinent


pleadings, and evidences [sic], by the respective parties, before the
Prosecutor, the Prosecutor rendered a Resolution, dismissing the new
complaint x x x which Resolution reads as follows:

After a careful evaluation of the letter complaint of Revelina Limson


dated September 25, 2000 addressed to the Secretary of Justice and
endorsed to this Office x x x and the evidence adduced by the
contending parties, we find the issues raised in the aforesaid letter to be
a rehashed (sic) of a previous complaint filed by the same complainant
which has already been long resolved with finality by this Office and the
Department of Justice more particularly under I.S. No. 9711929.

WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully recommended that the instant


case be considered closed and dismissed.

Not content with said Resolution x x x, Limson filed a motion for


reconsideration; [sic]which was again opposed by Gonzalez and which
was denied by the Prosecutor x x x.

Not agreeable to said Resolution x x x, Limson filed a Petition for Review with
the Secretary of Justice x x x, to which x x x Gonzalez filed an
Answer/Opposition x x x.

The Secretary of Justice denied said Petition for Review of


Limson, on April 3, 2002 x x x as follows:

Section 12, in relation to Section 7, of Department Circular No. 70 dated July


3, 2000, provides that the Secretary of Justice may, motu propio, dismiss
outright the petition if there is no showing of any reversible error in the
assailed resolution or when issued [sic] raised therein are too unsubstantial to
require consideration. We carefully examined the petition and its attachments
and we found no such error committed by the prosecutor that would justify the
reversal of the assailed resolution which is in accord with the evidence and
law on the matter.

Moreover, there was no showing that a copy of the petition was furnished the
Prosecution Office concerned pursuant to Section 5 of said Department
Circular.2

Although Limson sought the reconsideration of the adverse resolution of April


3, 2002, the Secretary of Justice denied her motion for reconsideration on
October 15, 2002.
Decision of the CA

Limson assailed on certiorari the adverse resolutions of the Secretary of


Justice in the CA, claiming that the Secretary of Justice had thereby
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction for misappreciating her evidence establishing her charges of
falsification and violation of the AntiAlias Law against respondent.

On July 31, 2003, the CA promulgated its assailed decision dismissing the
petition for certiorari, disposing as follows:

WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing discussions, the instant Petition is


perforce DENIED. Accordingly, the Resolutions subject of this petition are
AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.3

On January 30, 2004, the CA denied Limsons motion for reconsideration.

Issues

Limson insists that the names Eugenio Gonzalez and


Eugenio Juan Gonzalez y Regalado did not refer to one
and the same individual; and that respondent was not a
registered architect contrary to his claim. According to her,
there were material discrepancies between the graduation
photograph of respondent taken in 1941 when he earned his
degree in Architecture from the University of Sto. Tomas,
Manila,5 and another photograph of him taken for his drivers
license in 1996,6 arguing that the person in the latter
photograph was not the same individual depicted in the 1941
photograph. She submits documents showing that
respondent used aliases from birth, and passed himself off
as such persons when in fact he was not. She prays that the
decision of the CA be set aside, and that the proper criminal
cases for falsification of public document and illegal use of
alias be filed against respondent

In his comment, respondent counters that the petition for


review should be denied due course for presenting only factual
issues; that the factual findings of the OCP, the Secretary of
Justice, and the CA should remain undisturbed; that he did not
commit any falsification; that he did not use any aliases; that
his use of conflicting names was the product of erroneous
entry, inadvertence, and innocent mistake on the part of other
people; that Limson was motivated by malice and ill will, and
her charges were the product of prevarication; and that he was
a distinguished architect and a respected member of the
community and society.

Ruling of the Court

And, fourthly, on the issue of the alleged use of illegal aliases, the Court
observes that respondents aliases involved the names Eugenio
Gonzalez, Eugenio Gonzales, Eugenio Juan Gonzalez, Eugenio
Juan Gonzalez y Regalado, Eugenio C.R. Gonzalez, Eugenio J.
Gonzalez, and per Limson Eugenio Juan Robles Gonzalez. But
these names contained his true names, albeit at times joined with an
erroneous middle or second name, or a misspelled family name in one
instance.
The records disclose that the erroneous middle or second names, or the
misspelling of the family name resulted from error or inadvertence left
unchecked and unrectified over time.

What is significant, however, is that such names were not fictitious


names within the purview of the AntiAlias Law; and that such names
were not different from each other.

Considering that he was not also shown to have used the names for
unscrupulous purposes, or to deceive or confuse the public, the
dismissal of the charge against him was justified in fact and in law.

An alias is a name or names used by a person or intended to be used


by him publicly and habitually, usually in business transactions, in
addition to the real name by which he was registered at birth or baptized
the first time, or to the substitute name authorized by a competent
authority; a mans name is simply the sound or sounds by which he is
commonly designated by his fellows and by which they distinguish him,
but sometimes a man is known by several different names and these
are known as aliases.9 An alias is thus a name that is different from the
individuals true name, and does not refer to a name that is not different
from his true name.

The above law was subsequently amended by R. A. No. 6085, approved on 4


August 1969. As amended, C.A. No. 142 now reads:

Section 1. Except as a pseudonym solely for literary, cinema, television, radio


or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events where the use of
pseudonym is a normally accepted practice, no person shall use any name
different from the one with which he was registered at birth in the office of the
local civil registry or with which he was baptized for the first time, or in case of
an alien, with which he was registered in the bureau of immigration upon
entry; or such substitute name as may have been authorized by a competent
court: Provided, That persons whose births have not been registered in any
local civil registry and who have not been baptized, have one year from the
approval of this act within which to register their names in the civil registry of
their residence. The name shall comprise the patronymic name and one or
two surnames.

Sec. 2. Any person desiring to use an alias shall apply for authority therefor in
proceedings like those legally provided to obtain judicial authority for a change
of name and no person shall be allowed to secure such judicial authority for
more than one alias. The petition for an alias shall set forth the persons
baptismal and family name and the name recorded in the civil registry, if
different, his immigrants name, if an alien, and his pseudonym, if he has such
names other than his original or real name, specifying the reason or reasons
for the desired alias. The judicial authority for the use of alias, the Christian
name and the alien immigrants name shall be recorded in the proper local
civil registry, and no person shall use any name or names other than his
original or real name unless the same is or are duly recorded in the proper
local civil registry.

The objective and purpose of C. A. No. 142 have their origin and basis in Act
No. 3883, An Act to Regulate the Use in Business Transactions of Names
other than True Names, Prescribing the Duties of the Director of the Bureau of
Commerce And Industry in its Enforcement, Providing Penalties for Violations
thereof, and for other purposes, which was approved on 14 November 1931
and amended by Act No. 4147, approved on 28 November 1934. The
pertinent provisions of Act No. 3883 as amended follow Section 1. It shall be
unlawful for any person to use or sign, on any written or printed receipt
including receipt for tax or business or any written or printed contract not
verified by a notary public or on any written or printed evidence of any
agreement or business transactions, any name used in connection with his
business other than his true name, or keep conspicuously exhibited in plain
view in or at the place where his business is conducted, if he is engaged in a
business, any sign announcing a firm name or business name or style without
first registering such other name, or such firm name, or business name or
style in the Bureau of Commerce together with his true name and that of any
other person having a joint or common interest with him in such contract
agreement, business transaction, or business x x x.
For a bit of history, the enactment of C.A. No. 142 as amended was made
primarily to curb the common practice among the Chinese of adopting scores
of different names and aliases which created tremendous confusion in the
field of trade. Such a practice almost bordered on the crime of using fictitious
names which for obvious reasons could not be successfully maintained
against the Chinese who, rightly or wrongly, claimed they possessed a
thousand and one names. CA. No. 142 thus penalized the act of using an
alias name, unless such alias was duly authorized by proper judicial
proceedings and recorded in the civil register.

In Yu Kheng Chiau v. Republic the Court had occasion to explain the meaning,
concept and ill effects of the use of an alias within the purview of C.A. No. 142
when we ruled

There can hardly be any doubt that petitioners use of alias Kheng Chiau
Young in addition to his real name Yu Cheng Chiau would add to more
confusion. That he is known in his business, as manager of the Robert Reid,
Inc., by the former name, is not sufficient reason to allow him its use. After all,
petitioner admitted that he is known to his associates by both names. In fact,
the Anselmo Trinidad, Inc., of which he is a customer, knows him by his real
name. Neither would the fact that he had encountered certain difficulties in his
transactions with government offices which required him to explain why he
bore two names, justify the grant of his petition, for petitioner could easily
avoid said difficulties by simply using and sticking only to his real name Yu
Cheng Chiau.

The fact that petitioner intends to reside permanently in the Philippines, as


shown by his having filed a petition for naturalization in Branch V of the
abovementioned court, argues the more against the grant of his petition,
because if naturalized as a Filipino citizen, there would then be no necessity
for his further using said alias, as it would be contrary to the usual Filipino way
and practice of using only one name in ordinary as well as business
transactions. And, as the lower court correctly observed, if he believes (after
he is naturalized) that it would be better for him to write his name following the
Occidental method, he can easily file a petition for change of name, so that in
lieu of the name Yu Kheng Chian, he can, abandoning the same, ask for
authority to adopt the name Kheng Chiau Young. (Emphasis and
underscoring supplied)

Ursua v. CA

Petitioner Cesario Ursua was a Community Environment and Natural


Resources Officer assigned in Kidapawan, Cotabato.

On 9 May 1989 the Provincial Governor of Cotabato requested the


Office of the Ombudsman in Manila to conduct an investigation on a
complaint for bribery, dishonesty, abuse of authority and giving of
unwarranted benefits by petitioner and other officials of the Department
of Environment and Natural Resources.

The complaint was initiated by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of


Cotabato through a resolution advising the Governor to report the
involvement of petitioner and others in the illegal cutting of mahogany
trees and hauling of illegally-cut logs in the area.[2]

On 1 August 1989 Atty. Francis Palmones, counsel for petitioner, wrote


the Office of the Ombudsman in Davao City requesting that he be
furnished copy of the complaint against petitioner.

Atty. Palmones then asked his client Ursua to take his letter-request to
the Office of the Ombudsman because his law firms messenger, Oscar
Perez, had to attend to some personal matters.

Before proceeding to the Office of the Ombudsman petitioner talked to


Oscar Perez and told him that he was reluctant to personally ask for the
document since he was one of the respondents before the
Ombudsman.
However, Perez advised him not to worry as he could just sign his
(Perez) name if ever he would be required to acknowledge receipt of the
complaint. [3]

When petitioner arrived at the Office of the Ombudsman in Davao City


he was instructed by the security officer to register in the visitors
logbook.

Instead of writing down his name petitioner wrote the name Oscar Perez
after which he was told to proceed to the Administrative Division for the
copy of the complaint he needed.

He handed the letter of Atty. Palmones to the Chief of the Administrative


Division, Ms. Loida Kahulugan, who then gave him a copy of the
complaint, receipt of which he acknowledged by writing the name Oscar
Perez. [4]

Before petitioner could leave the premises he was greeted by an


acquaintance, Josefa Amparo, who also worked in the same
office. They conversed for a while then he left.

When Loida learned that the person who introduced himself as Oscar
Perez was actually petitioner Cesario Ursua, a customer of Josefa
Amparo in her gasoline station, Loida reported the matter to the Deputy
Ombudsman who recommended that petitioner be accordingly charged.

On 18 December 1990, after the prosecution had completed the


presentation of its evidence, petitioner without leave of court filed a
demurrer to evidence alleging that the failure of the prosecution to prove
that his supposed alias was different from his registered name in the
local civil registry was fatal to its cause.

Petitioner argued that no document from the local civil registry was
presented to show the registered name of accused which according to
him was a condition sine qua non for the validity of his conviction.
The trial court rejected his contentions and found him guilty of violating
Sec. 1 of C.A. No. 142 as amended by R. A. No. 6085. He was
sentenced to suffer a prison term of one (1) year and one (1) day
of prision correccional minimum as minimum, to four (4) years of prision
correccional medium as maximum, with all the accessory penalties
provided for by law, and to pay a fine of P4,000.00 plus costs.

Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals.

On 31 May 1993 the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of


petitioner but modified the penalty by imposing an indeterminate term of
one (1) year as minimum to three (3) years as maximum and a fine of
P5,000.00.

Petitioner now comes to us for review of his conviction as. He reasserts


his innocence. He contends that he has not violated C.A. No. 142 as
amended by R. A. No. 6085 as he never used any alias name; neither is
Oscar Perez his alias. An alias, according to him, is a term which
connotes the habitual use of another name by which a person is also
known. He claims that he has never been known as Oscar Perez and
that he only used such name on one occasion and it was with the
express consent of Oscar Perez himself. It is his position that an
essential requirement for a conviction under C.A. No. 142 as amended
by R. A. No. 6085 has not been complied with when the prosecution
failed to prove that his supposed alias was different from his registered
name in the Registry of Births. He further argues that the Court of
Appeals erred in not considering the defense theory that he was
charged under the wrong law. [5]

ISSUE: WON petitioner violated CA 142

RULING:
CA No 142, as amended by RA 6085:

Section1.Exceptasapseudonymsolelyforliterary,cinema,television,radio
or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events where the use of
pseudonym is a normally accepted practice, no person shall use any name
differentfromtheonewithwhichhewasregisteredatbirthintheofficeofthe
localcivilregistryorwithwhichhewasbaptizedforthefirsttime,orincaseof
analien,withwhichhewasregisteredinthebureauofimmigrationuponentry;
orsuchsubstitutenameasmayhavebeenauthorizedbyacompetentcourt:
Provided,Thatpersonswhosebirthshavenotbeenregisteredinanylocalcivil
registryandwhohavenotbeenbaptized,haveoneyearfromtheapprovalof
this act within which to register their names in the civil registry of their
residence. The name shall comprise the patronymic name and one or two
surnames.

Sec.2.Anypersondesiringtouseanaliasshallapplyforauthoritythereforin
proceedingslikethoselegallyprovidedtoobtainjudicialauthorityforachange
ofnameandnopersonshallbeallowedtosecuresuchjudicialauthorityfor
more than onealias.The petition for analiasshall set forth the persons
baptismal and family name and the name recorded in the civil registry, if
different,hisimmigrantsname,ifanalien,andhispseudonym,ifhehassuch
namesotherthanhisoriginalorrealname,specifyingthereasonorreasonsfor
thedesiredalias.Thejudicialauthorityfortheuseofalias,thechristianname
and the alien immigrants name shall be recorded in the proper local civil
registry,andnopersonshalluseanynameornamesotherthanhisoriginalor
realnameunlessthesameisoraredulyrecordedintheproperlocalcivil
registry.

Clearly therefore an alias is a name or names used by a person or


intended to be used by him publicly and habitually usually in
business transactions in addition to his real name by which he is
registered at birth or baptized the first time or substitute name
authorized by a competent authority. A mans name is simply the
sound or sounds by which he is commonly designated by his
fellows and by which they distinguish him but sometimes a man is
known by several different names and these are known as aliases.
Hence, the use of a fictitious name or a different name belonging
[11]

to another person in a single instance without any sign or


indication that the user intends to be known by this name in
addition to his real name from that day forth does not fall within
the prohibition contained in C.A. No. 142 as amended. This is so in
the case at bench.

It is not disputed that petitioner introduced himself in the Office of


the Ombudsman as Oscar Perez, which was the name of the
messenger of his lawyer who should have brought the letter to that
office in the first place instead of petitioner. He did so while merely
serving the request of his lawyer to obtain a copy of the complaint
in which petitioner was a respondent. There is no question then
that Oscar Perez is not an alias name of petitioner. There is no
evidence showing that he had used or was intending to use that
name as his second name in addition to his real name. The use of
the name Oscar Perez was made by petitioner in an isolated
transaction where he was not even legally required to expose his
real identity. For, even if he had identified himself properly at the
Office of the Ombudsman, petitioner would still be able to get a
copy of the complaint as a matter of right, and the Office of the
Ombudsman could not refuse him because the complaint was part
of public records hence open to inspection and examination by
anyone under the proper circumstances.

While the act of petitioner may be covered by other provisions of law,


such does not constitute an offense within the concept of C.A. No. 142
as amended under which he is prosecuted. The confusion and fraud in
business transactions which the anti-alias law and its related statutes
seek to prevent are not present here as the circumstances are peculiar
and distinct from those contemplated by the legislature in enacting C.A.
No. 142 as amended. There exists a valid presumption that undesirable
consequences were never intended by a legislative measure and that a
construction of which the statute is fairly susceptible is favored, which
will avoid all objectionable, mischievous, indefensible, wrongful, evil and
injurious consequences. Moreover, as C.A. No. 142 is a penal statute,
[12]

it should be construed strictly against the State and in favor of the


accused. The reason for this principle is the tenderness of the law for
[13]

the rights of individuals and the object is to establish a certain rule by


conformity to which mankind would be safe, and the discretion of the
court limited. Indeed, our mind cannot rest easy on the proposition that
[14]

petitioner should be convicted on a law that does not clearly penalize


the act done by him.

4. ID.; ID.; USE OF FICTITIOUS NAME IN A SINGLE TRANSACTION


WITHOUT INTENDING TO BE KNOWN BY THIS NAME IN ADDITION
TO HIS REAL NAME, NOT A VIOLATION THEREOF. -The use of a
fictitious name or a different name belonging to another person in a single
instance without any sign or indication that the user intends to be known by
this name in addition to his real name from that day forth does not fall
within the prohibition contained in C.A. No. 142 as amended.

5. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. - This is so in the case at bench. It is not
disputed that petitioner introduced himself in the Office of the Ombudsman
as Oscar Perez, which was the name of the messenger of his lawyer who
should have brought the letter to that office in the first place instead of
petitioner. He did so while merely serving the request of his lawyer to
obtain a copy of the complaint in which petitioner was a respondent. There
is no question then that Oscar Perez is not an alias name of
petitioner. There is no evidence showing that he had used or was intending
to use that name as his second name in addition to his real name. The use
of the name Oscar Perez was made by petitioner in an isolated transaction
where he was not even legally required to expose his real identity. For,
even if he had identified himself properly at the Office of the Ombudsman,
petitioner would still be able to get a copy of the complaint as a matter of
right, and the Office of the Ombudsman could not refuse him because the
complaint was part of public records hence open to inspection and
examination by anyone under the proper circumstances. While the act of
petitioner may be covered by other provisions of law, such does not
constitute an offense within the concept of C.A. No. 142 as amended under
which he is prosecuted. The confusion and fraud in business transactions
which the anti-alias law and its related statutes seek to prevent are not
present here as the circumstances are peculiar and distinct from those
contemplated by the legislature in enacting C.A. No. 142 as
amended. There exists a valid presumption that undesirable consequences
were never intended by a legislative measure and that a construction of
which the statute is fairly susceptible is favored, which will avoid all
objectionable, mischievous, indefensible, wrongful, evil and injurious
consequences. Indeed, our mind cannot rest easy on the proposition that
petitioner should be convicted on a law that does not clearly penalize the
act done by him.
Aranas:

Interlocutory ordernot subject of appeal

Sec. 1 Rule 109 enumerates specific orders which are applicable under
the rule on multiple appeals

Lebin order by the court allowing property of estate to be sold to


contending parties.

Appeal was made

But the record on appeal was filed late.

RTC granted the motion to dismiss appeal

SC ruled that the RTC did not err in dismissing

Republic v. Marcos ruling of the probate court allowing or admitting


probate the last will and testament of Ferdinand Marcos

Republic filed an appeal in the SC


SC remanded it to the CA

CA dismissed it for being the wrong mode

Since this is a proper case for Sec. 1 Rule 109, it should have been
through recod on appeal in the CA

Quasha v. CA

Decision of the RTC granting motion for payment to the law office of
Quasha.

LCN Creditor filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied

But he filed a certiorari with CA

CA ruled in favor of LCN Creditor because there is no basis for the


payment of shares because thee claim of LCN has not yet been ruled upon

This is a distribution ahead


SC There can be advance distribution provided they put up a bond.

Republic v. Nishina

Cancellation of the birth record

Rule 108 petition

Subject of an appeal

Filing of a ROA is unnecessary because there is nothing left to be done in


court