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Emelita Basilio Gan Vs. Republic of the Philippines; G.R. No.

207147; September 14, 2016

RESOLUTION

REYES, J.:

This is a petition for review on certiorari[1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to
annul and set aside the Decision[2] dated April 26, 2013 issued by the Court of Appeals
(CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 98112.

Facts

Emelita Basilio Gan (petitioner) was born on December 21, 1956 out of wedlock to Pia
Gan, her father who is a Chinese national, and Consolacion Basilio, her mother who is a
Filipino citizen.[3] The petitioner’s birth certificate,[4] which was registered in the Office of
the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) of Libmanan, Camarines Sur, indicates that her full
name is Emelita Basilio.

On June 29, 2010, the petitioner filed a Petition[5] for correction of name with the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Libmanan, Camarines Sur. The petitioner sought to
change the full name indicated in her birth certificate from “Emelita Basilio” to “Emelita
Basilio Gan.” She claimed that she had been using the name “Emelita Basilio Gan” in
her school records from elementary until college, employment records, marriage
contract, and other government records.[6]

Ruling of the RTC

On July 15, 2010, the RTC issued an Order, which noted that the petition filed sought
not merely a correction of entry in the birth certificate, but a change of name.
Accordingly, the RTC ordered the petitioner to make the necessary amendment to her
petition to conform to the requirements of Rule 103 of the Rules of Court. [7]

The petitioner filed with the RTC an Amended Petition [8] dated August 3, 2010 for
change of name. The amended petition contained substantially the same allegations as
in the petition for correction of entry in the birth certificate. On August 10, 2010, the RTC
set the initial hearing of the petition in a newspaper of general circulation. The Office of
the Solicitor General (OSG), as counsel of the Republic of the Philippines (respondent),
filed its notice of appearance. The OSG authorized the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor of Libmanan, Camarines Sur to appear and assist the OSG in the
proceedings before the RTC.[9]
On July 19, 2011, after due proceedings; the RTC of Libmanan, Camarines Sur, Branch
29, issued an Order[10] granting the petition for change of name. The RTC, thus,
directed the LCR of Libmanan, Camarines Sur to change the petitioner’s name in her
birth certificate from “Emelita Basilio” to “Emelita Basilio Gan.” The RTC opined that,
from the evidence presented, the said petition was filed solely to put into order the
records of the petitioner and that changing her name in her birth certificate into Emelita
Basilio Gan would avoid confusion in her personal records.[11]

The respondent sought a reconsideration[12] of the RTC Order dated July 19, 2011,
alleging that the petitioner, who is an illegitimate child, failed to adduce evidence that
she was duly recognized by her father, which would have allowed her to use the
surname of her father.[13] On October 17, 2011, the RTC issued an Order[14] denying the
respondent’s motion for reconsideration.

Ruling of the CA

On appeal, the CA, in its Decision[15] dated April 26, 2013, reversed and set aside the
RTC Orders dated July 19, 2011 and October 17, 2011. The CA opined that pursuant to
Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 9255, [16] the petitioner,
as an illegitimate child, may only use the surname of her mother; she may only use the
surname of her father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by her
father.[17] The CA pointed out that the petitioner has not adduced any evidence showing
that her father had recognized her as his illegitimate child and, thus, she may not use
the surname of her father.[18]

In this petition for review, the petitioner maintains that the RTC correctly granted her
petition since she only sought to have her name indicated in her birth certificate
changed to avoid confusion as regards to her personal records.[19] She insists that her
failure to present evidence that her father recognized her as his illegitimate child is
immaterial; a change of name is reasonable and warranted, if it is necessary to avoid
confusion.[20]

Ruling of the Court

The petition is denied.

A change of name is a privilege and not a matter of right; a proper and reasonable
cause must exist before a person may be authorized to change his name. [21] “In granting
or denying petitions for change of name, the question of proper and reasonable cause is
left to the sound discretion of the court. x x x What is involved is not a mere matter of
allowance or disallowance of the request, but a judicious evaluation of the sufficiency
and propriety of the justifications advanced in support thereof, mindful of the
consequent results in the event of its grant and with the sole prerogative for making
such determination being lodged in the courts.”[22]
After a judicious review of the records of this case, the Court agrees with the CA that
the reason cited by the petitioner in support of her petition for change of name, i.e. that
she has been using the name “Emelita Basilio Gan” in all of her records, is not a
sufficient or proper justification to allow her petition. When the petitioner was born in
1956, prior to the enactment and effectivity of the Family Code, the pertinent provisions
of the Civil Code then regarding the petitioner’s use of surname provide:

Article 366. A natural child acknowledged by both parents shall principally use the surname of
the father. If recognized by only one of the parents, a natural child shall employ the surname of
the recognizing parent.

Article 368. Illegitimate children referred to in Article 287 shall bear the surname of the mother.

In her amended petition for change of name, the petitioner merely stated that she was
born out of wedlock;[23] she did not state whether her parents, at the time of her birth,
were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other, which would make her a
natural child pursuant to Article 269 of the Civil Code. If, at the time of the
petitioner’s·birth, either of her parents had an impediment to marry the other, she may
only bear the surname of her mother pursuant to Article 368 of the Civil Code.
Otherwise, she may use the surname of her father provided that she was acknowledged
by her father.

However, the petitioner failed to adduce any evidence that would show that she indeed
was duly acknowledged by his father. The petitioner’s evidence consisted only of her
birth certificate signed by her mother, school records, employment records, marriage
contract, certificate of baptism, and other government records. Thus, assuming that she
is a natural child pursuant to Article 269 of the Civil Code, she could still not insist on
using her father’s surname. It was, thus, a blatant error on the part of the RTC to have
allowed the petitioner to change her name from “Emelita Basilio” to “Emelita Basilio
Gan.”

The petitioner’s reliance on the cases of Alfon v. Republic of the Philippines,[24]Republic


of the Philippines v. Coseteng-Magpayo,[25] and Republic of the Philippines v. Lim[26] to
support her position is misplaced.

In Alfon, the name of the petitioner therein which appeared in her birth certificate was
Maria Estrella Veronica Primitiva Duterte; she was a legitimate child of her father and
mother. She filed a petition for change of name, seeking that she be allowed to use the
surname “Alfon,” her mother’s surname, instead of “Duterte.” The trial court denied the
petition, ratiocinating that under Article 364 of the Civil Code, legitimate children shall
principally use the surname of the father. The Court allowed the petitioner therein to use
the surname of her mother since Article 364 of the Civil Code used the word “principally”
and not “exclusively” and, hence, there is no legal obstacle if a legitimate child should
choose to use the mother’s surname to which he or she is legally entitled.[27]
In contrast, Articles 366 and 368 of the Civil Code do not give to an illegitimate child or a
natural child not acknowledged by the father the option to use the surname of the father.
Thus, the petitioner cannot insist that she is allowed to use the surname of her father.

In Coseteng-Magpayo, the issue was the proper procedure to be followed when the
change sought to be effected in the birth certificate affects the civil status of the
respondent therein from legitimate to illegitimate. The respondent therein claimed that
his parents were never legally married; he filed a petition to change his name from
“Julian Edward Emerson Coseteng Magpayo,” the name appearing in his birth
certificate, to “Julian Edward Emerson Marquez-Lim Coseteng.” The notice setting the
petition for hearing was published and, since there was no opposition thereto, the trial
court; issued an order of general default and eventually granted the petition of the
respondent therein by, inter alia, deleting the entry on the date and place of marriage of
his parents and correcting his surname from “Magpayo” to “Coseteng.” [28] The Court
reversed the trial court’s decision since the proper remedy would have been to file a
petition under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. The Court ruled that the change sought
by the respondent therein involves his civil status as a legitimate child; it may only be
given due course through an adversarial proceedings under Rule 108 of the Rules of
Court. The Court’s pronouncement in Coseteng-Magpayo finds no application in this
case.

Finally, Lim likewise finds no application in this case. In Lim, the petition that was filed
was for correction of entries under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court; the petition sought,
among others, is the correction of the surname of the respondent therein from “Yo” to
“Yu.” Further, the respondent therein, although an illegitimate child, had long been using
the surname of her father. It bears stressing that the birth certificate of the respondent
therein indicated that her surname was the same as her father albeit misspelled. Thus,
a correction of entry in her birth certificate is appropriate.[29]

Here, the petitioner filed a petition for change of name under Rule 103 and not a petition
for correction of entries under Rule 108. Unlike in Lim, herein petitioner’s birth certificate
indicated that she bears the surname of her mother and not of her father.

WHEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing disquisitions, the petition is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.

Carpio,* Velasco, Jr., (Chairperson), Bersamin,** and Perez, JJ., concur.

* Designated additional Member per Raffle dated October 13, 2014 viceAssociate Justice Francis H.
Jardeleza.
** Designated additional Member per Raffle dated February 17, 2016 vice Associate Justice Diosdado M.

Peralta.
[1] Rollo, pp. 4-18.
[2] Penned by Associate Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta, with Associate Justices Francisco P. Acosta
and Angelita A. Gacutan concurring; id. at 21-29.
[3] Id. at 21-22.
[4] Id. at 30-31.
[5] Id. at 33-35.
[6] Id. at 33-34.
[7] Id. at 22.
[8] Id. at 36-38.
[9] Id. at 23-24.
[10] Issued by Presiding Judge Cecilia R. Borja-Soler; id. at 39-41.
[11] Id. at 41.
[12] Id. at 42-49.
[13] Id. at 43.
[14] Id. at 50-52.
[15] Id. at 21-29.
[16] AN ACT ALLOWING ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN TO USE THE SURNAME OF THEIR FATHER,

AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE ARTICLE 176 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 209, OTHERWISE
KNOWN AS THE “FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES.” Approved on February 24, 2004.
[17] Rollo, p. 26.
[18] Id. at 27.
[19] Id. at 13.
[20] Id. at 11.
[21] See Oan v. Republic of the Philippines, 102 Phil. 468, 469-470 (1957).
[22] Julian Lin Wang v. Cebu City Civil Registrar, 494 Phil. 149, 158 (2005).
[23] Rollo, p. 36.
[24] 186 Phil. 600 (1980).
[25] 656 Phil. 550 (2011).
[26] 464 Phil. 151 (2004).
[27] Alfon v. Republic of the Philippines, supra note 24, at 603.
[28] Republic of the Philippines v. Coseteng-Magpayo, supra note 25, at 552-554.
[29] Republic of the Philippines v. Lim, supra note 26, at 155.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 198010 August 12, 2013

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER,


vs. DR. NORMA S. LUGSANAY UY, RESPONDENT.

DECISION

PERALTA, J.:

Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court are
the Court of Appeals (CA)1Decision2 dated February 18, 2011 and Resolution3 dated
July 27, 2011 in CA-G.R. CV No. 00238-MIN. The assailed decision dismissed the
appeal filed by petitioner Republic of the Philippines and, consequently, affirmed in toto
the June 28, 2004 Order4 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 27, Gingoog City in
Special Proceedings No. 230-2004 granting the Petition for Correction of Entry of
Certificate of Live Birth filed by respondent Dr. Norma S. Lugsanay Uy; while the
assailed resolution denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.

The facts of the case are as follows:

On March 8, 2004, respondent filed a Petition for Correction of Entry in her Certificate of
Live Birth.5 Impleaded as respondent is the Local Civil Registrar of Gingoog City. She
alleged that she was born on February 8, 1952 and is the illegitimate daughter of Sy
Ton and Sotera Lugsanay6 Her Certificate of Live Birth7 shows that her full name is
"Anita Sy" when in fact she is allegedly known to her family and friends as "Norma S.
Lugsanay." She further claimed that her school records, Professional Regulation
Commission (PRC) Board of Medicine Certificate,8 and passport9 bear the name
"Norma S. Lugsanay." She also alleged that she is an illegitimate child considering that
her parents were never married, so she had to follow the surname of her mother. 10 She
also contended that she is a Filipino citizen and not Chinese, and all her siblings bear
the surname Lugsanay and are all Filipinos.11

Respondent allegedly filed earlier a petition for correction of entries with the Office of
the Local Civil Registrar of Gingoog City to effect the corrections on her name and
citizenship which was supposedly granted.12 However, the National Statistics Office
(NSO) records did not bear such changes. Hence, the petition before the RTC.

On May 13, 2004, the RTC issued an Order13 finding the petition to be sufficient in form
and substance and setting the case for hearing, with the directive that the said Order be
published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Gingoog and the Province
of Misamis Oriental at least once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks at the expense
of respondent, and that the order and petition be furnished the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG) and the City Prosecutor’s Office for their information and
guidance.14 Pursuant to the RTC Order, respondent complied with the publication
requirement.

On June 28, 2004, the RTC issued an Order in favor of respondent, the dispositive
portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. THE


CITY CIVIL REGISTRAR OF GINGOOG CITY, or any person acting in his behalf is
directed and ordered to effect the correction or change of the entries in the Certificate of
Live Birth of petitioner’s name and citizenship so that the entries would be:

a) As to petitioner’s name :
First Name : NORMA
Middle Name : SY
Last Name : LUGSANAY
b) As to petitioner’s nationality/citizenship :
: FILIPINO

SO ORDERED.15

The RTC concluded that respondent’s petition would neither prejudice the government
nor any third party. It also held that the names "Norma Sy Lugsanay" and "Anita Sy"
refer to one and the same person, especially since the Local Civil Registrar of Gingoog
City has effected the correction. Considering that respondent has continuously used
and has been known since childhood as "Norma Sy Lugsanay" and as a Filipino citizen,
the RTC granted the petition to avoid confusion.16

On February 18, 2011, the CA affirmed in toto the RTC Order. The CA held that
respondent’s failure to implead other indispensable parties was cured upon the
publication of the Order setting the case for hearing in a newspaper of general
circulation for three (3) consecutive weeks and by serving a copy of the notice to the
Local Civil Registrar, the OSG and the City Prosecutor’s Office.17 As to whether the
petition is a collateral attack on respondent’s filiation, the CA ruled in favor of
respondent, considering that her parents were not legally married and that her siblings’
birth certificates uniformly state that their surname is Lugsanay and their citizenship is
Filipino.18 Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated July
27, 2011.

Hence, the present petition on the sole ground that the petition is dismissible for failure
to implead indispensable parties.
Cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry is governed by Rule 108 of the
Rules of Court, to wit:

SEC. 1. Who may file petition. – Any person interested in any act, event, order or
decree concerning the civil status of persons which has been recorded in the civil
register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or correction of any entry relating
thereto, with the Regional Trial Court of the province where the corresponding civil
registry is located.

SEC. 2. Entries subject to cancellation or correction. – Upon good and valid grounds,
the following entries in the civil register may be cancelled or corrected: (a) births; (b)
marriages; (c) deaths; (d) legal separations; (e) judgments of annulments of marriage;
(f) judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (g) legitimations; (h)
adoptions; (i) acknowledgments of natural children; (j) naturalization; (k) election, loss or
recovery of citizenship; (l) civil interdiction; (m) judicial determination of filiation; (n)
voluntary emancipation of a minor; and (o) changes of name.

SEC. 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.

SEC. 4. Notice and Publication. – Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall, by an
order, fix the time and place for the hearing of the same, and cause reasonable notice
thereof to be given to the persons named in the petition. The court shall also cause the
order to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of
general circulation in the province.

SEC. 5. Opposition. – The civil registrar and any person having or claiming any interest
under the entry whose cancellation or correction is sought may, within fifteen (15) days
from notice of the petition, or from the last date of publication of such notice, file his
opposition thereto.

SEC. 6. Expediting proceedings. – The court in which the proceeding is brought may
make orders expediting the proceedings, and may also grant preliminary injunction for
the preservation of the rights of the parties pending such proceedings.

SEC. 7. Order. – After hearing, the court may either dismiss the petition or issue an
order granting the cancellation or correction prayed for. In either case, a certified copy
of the judgment shall be served upon the civil registrar concerned who shall annotate
the same in his record.19

In this case, respondent sought the correction of entries in her birth certificate,
particularly those pertaining to her first name, surname and citizenship. She sought the
correction allegedly to reflect the name which she has been known for since childhood,
including her legal documents such as passport and school and professional records.
She likewise relied on the birth certificates of her full blood siblings who bear the
surname "Lugsanay" instead of "Sy" and citizenship of "Filipino" instead of "Chinese."
The changes, however, are obviously not mere clerical as they touch on respondent’s
filiation and citizenship. In changing her surname from "Sy" (which is the surname of her
father) to "Lugsanay" (which is the surname of her mother), she, in effect, changes her
status from legitimate to illegitimate; and in changing her citizenship from Chinese to
Filipino, the same affects her rights and obligations in this country. Clearly, the changes
are substantial.

It has been settled in a number of cases starting with Republic v. Valencia 20 that even
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 proceeding.21 The pronouncement of the Court in that case is illuminating:

It is undoubtedly true that if the subject matter of a petition is not for the correction of
clerical errors of a harmless and innocuous nature, but one involving nationality or
citizenship, which is indisputably substantial as well as controverted, affirmative relief
cannot be granted in a proceeding summary in nature. However, it is also true that a
right in law may be enforced and a wrong may be remedied as long as the appropriate
remedy is used. This Court adheres to the principle that even 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 proceeding. x x x

What is meant by "appropriate adversary proceeding?" Black’s Law Dictionary defines


"adversary proceeding" as follows:

One having opposing parties; contested, as distinguished from an ex parte application,


one of which the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party, and
afforded the latter an opportunity to contest it. Excludes an adoption proceeding. 22

In sustaining the RTC decision, the CA relied on the Court’s conclusion in Republic v.
Kho,23 Alba v. Court of Appeals,24 and Barco v. Court of Appeals,25 that the failure to
implead indispensable parties was cured by the publication of the notice of hearing
pursuant to the provisions of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. In Republic v.
Kho,26 petitioner therein appealed the RTC decision granting the petition for correction
of entries despite respondents’ failure to implead the minor’s mother as an
indispensable party. The Court, however, did not strictly apply the provisions of Rule
108, because it opined that it was highly improbable that the mother was unaware of the
proceedings to correct the entries in her children’s birth certificates especially since the
notices, orders and decision of the trial court were all sent to the residence she shared
with them.27

In Alba v. Court of Appeals,28 the Court found nothing wrong with the trial court’s
decision granting the petition for correction of entries filed by respondent although the
proceedings was not actually known by petitioner. In that case, petitioner’s mother and
guardian was impleaded in the petition for correction of entries, and notices were sent to
her address appearing in the subject birth certificate. However, the notice was returned
unserved, because apparently she no longer lived there. Thus, when she allegedly
learned of the granting of the petition, she sought the annulment of judgment which the
Court denied. Considering that the petition for correction of entries is a proceeding in
rem, the Court held that acquisition of jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner is,
therefore, not required and the absence of personal service was cured by the trial
court’s compliance with Rule 108 which requires notice by publication.29

In Barco v. Court of Appeals,30 the Court addressed the question of whether the court
acquired jurisdiction over petitioner and all other indispensable parties to the petition for
correction of entries despite the failure to implead them in said case. While recognizing
that petitioner was indeed an indispensable party, the failure to implead her was cured
by compliance with Section 4 of Rule 108 which requires notice by publication. In so
ruling, the Court pointed out that the petitioner in a petition for correction cannot be
presumed to be aware of all the parties whose interests may be affected by the granting
of a petition. It emphasized that the petitioner therein exerted earnest effort to comply
with the provisions of Rule 108. Thus, the publication of the notice of hearing was
considered to have cured the failure to implead indispensable parties.

In this case, it was only the Local Civil Registrar of Gingoog City who was impleaded as
respondent in the petition below. This, notwithstanding, the RTC granted her petition
and allowed the correction sought by respondent, which decision was affirmed in toto by
the CA.

We do not agree with the RTC and the CA.

This is not the first time that the Court is confronted with the issue involved in this case.
Aside from Kho, Alba and Barco, the Court has addressed the same in Republic v.
Coseteng-Magpayo,31 Ceruila v. Delantar,32 and Labayo-Rowe v. Republic.33

In Republic v. Coseteng-Magpayo,34 claiming that his parents were never legally


married, respondent therein filed a petition to change his name from "Julian Edward
Emerson Coseteng Magpayo," the name appearing in his birth certificate to "Julian
Edward Emerson Marquez Lim Coseteng." The notice setting the petition for hearing
was published and there being no opposition thereto, the trial court issued an order of
general default and eventually granted respondent’s petition deleting the entry on the
date and place of marriage of parties; correcting his surname from "Magpayo" to
"Coseteng"; deleting the entry "Coseteng" for middle name; and deleting the entry
"Fulvio Miranda Magpayo, Jr." in the space for his father. The Republic of the
Philippines, through the OSG, assailed the RTC decision on the grounds that the
corrections made on respondent’s birth certificate had the effect of changing the civil
status from legitimate to illegitimate and must only be effected through an appropriate
adversary proceeding. The Court nullified the RTC decision for respondent’s failure to
comply strictly with the procedure laid down in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Aside
from the wrong remedy availed of by respondent as he filed a petition for Change of
Name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, assuming that he filed a petition under
Rule 108 which is the appropriate remedy, the petition still failed because of improper
venue and failure to implead the Civil Registrar of Makati City and all affected parties as
respondents in the case.

In Ceruila v. Delantar,35 the Ceruilas filed a petition for the cancellation and annulment
of the birth certificate of respondent on the ground that the same was made as an
instrument of the crime of simulation of birth and, therefore, invalid and spurious, and it
falsified all material entries therein. The RTC issued an order setting the case for
hearing with a directive that the same be published and that any person who is
interested in the petition may interpose his comment or opposition on or before the
scheduled hearing. Summons was likewise sent to the Civil Register of Manila. After
which, the trial court granted the petition and nullified respondent’s birth certificate. Few
months after, respondent filed a petition for the annulment of judgment claiming that she
and her guardian were not notified of the petition and the trial court’s decision, hence,
the latter was issued without jurisdiction and in violation of her right to due process. The
Court annulled the trial court’s decision for failure to comply with the requirements of
Rule 108, especially the non-impleading of respondent herself whose birth certificate
was nullified.1âwphi1

In Labayo-Rowe v. Republic,36 petitioner filed a petition for the correction of entries in


the birth certificates of her children, specifically to change her name from Beatriz V.
Labayu/Beatriz Labayo to Emperatriz Labayo, her civil status from "married" to "single,"
and the date and place of marriage from "1953-Bulan" to "No marriage." The Court
modified the trial court’s decision by nullifying the portion thereof which directs the
change of petitioner’s civil status as well as the filiation of her child, because it was the
OSG only that was made respondent and the proceedings taken was summary in
nature which is short of what is required in cases where substantial alterations are
sought.

Respondent’s birth certificate shows that her full name is Anita Sy, that she is a Chinese
citizen and a legitimate child of Sy Ton and Sotera Lugsanay. In filing the petition,
however, she seeks the correction of her first name and surname, her status from
"legitimate" to "illegitimate" and her citizenship from "Chinese" to "Filipino." Thus,
respondent should have impleaded and notified not only the Local Civil Registrar but
also her parents and siblings as the persons who have interest and are affected by the
changes or corrections respondent wanted to make.

The fact that the notice of hearing was published in a newspaper of general circulation
and notice thereof was served upon the State will not change the nature of the
proceedings taken.37 A reading of Sections 4 and 5, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court
shows that the Rules mandate two sets of notices to different potential oppositors: one
given to the persons named in the petition and another given to other persons who are
not named in the petition but nonetheless may be considered interested or affected
parties.38 Summons must, therefore, be served not for the purpose of vesting the courts
with jurisdiction but to comply with the requirements of fair play and due process to
afford the person concerned the opportunity to protect his interest if he so chooses. 39
While there may be cases where the Court held that the failure to implead and notify the
affected or interested parties may be cured by the publication of the notice of hearing,
earnest efforts were made by petitioners in bringing to court all possible interested
parties.40 Such failure was likewise excused where the interested parties themselves
initiated the corrections proceedings;41 when there is no actual or presumptive
awareness of the existence of the interested parties; 42 or when a party is inadvertently
left out.43

It is clear from the foregoing discussion that when a petition for cancellation or
correction of an 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 Rule 108 ofthe
Rules of Court is mandated.44 If the entries in the civil register could be corrected or
changed through mere summary proceedings and not through appropriate action
wherein all parties who may be affected by the entries are notified or represented, the
door to fraud or other mischief would be set open, the consequence of which might be
detrimental and far reaching.45

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The Court of


Appeals Decision dated February 18, 2011 and Resolution dated July 27, 20011 in CA-
G.R. CV No. 00238-MIN, are SET ASIDE. Consequently, the June 28, 2004 Order of
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 27, Gingoog City, in Spl. Proc. No. 230-2004 granting
the Petition for Correction of Entry of Certificate of Live Birth filed by respondent Dr.
Norma S. Lugsanay Uy, is NULLIFIED.

SO ORDERED.

DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.


Associate Justice
Chairperson

ROBERTO A. ABAD JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA


Associate Justice Associate Justice

MARVIC MARIO VICTOR F. LEONEN


Associate Justice

ATTESTATION

I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had en reached in consultation before
the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court's Division.
PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
Associate Justice
Chairperson, Third Division

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson's
Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in
consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court's
Division.

MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO


Chief Justice

Footnotes
1 Mindanao Station, Cagayan de Oro 25 465 Phil. 39 (2004).
City. 26 Supra note 23.
2 Penned by Associate Justice Rodrigo 27 Republic v. Kho, supra note 23, at

F. Lim, Jr., with Associate Justices 191.


Angelita A. Gacutan and Nina G. 28 Supra note 24.

Antonio-Valenzuela, concurring; rollo, 29 Alba v. Court of Appeals, supra note

pp. 47-61. 24, at 460.


3 Penned by Associate Justice Rodrigo 30 Supra note 25.

F. Lim, Jr., with Associate Justices 31 G.R. No. 189476, February 2, 2011,

Pamela Ann Abella Maxino and Zenaida 641 SCRA 533.


T. Galapate Laguilles, concurring; rollo, 32 513 Phil. 237 (2005).

pp. 62-63. 33 250 Phil. 300 (1988).


4 Penned by Presiding Judge Rexel N. 34 Supra note 31.

Pacuribot; records, pp. 27-29. 35 Supra note 32.


5 Records, pp. 2-5. 36 Supra note 33.
6 Id. at 2. 37 Labayo-Rowe v. Republic, supra note
7 Id. at 6. 33, at 301.
8 Id. at 9. 38 Republic v. Coseteng-Magpayo, supra
9 Id. at 8. note 31, at 543.
10 Rollo, pp. 48-49. 39 Ceruila v. Delantar, supra note 32, at
11 Id. at 10. 252.
12 Id. 40 Id.
13 Records, p. 13. 41 Republic v. Kho, supra note 23, at
14 Id. 193.
15 Id. at 28-29. 42 Barco v. Court of Appeals, supra note
16 Id. at 27-28. 25, at 172.
17 Rollo, p. 15. 43 Republic v. Coseteng-Magpayo, supra
18 Id. at 20. note 31, at 545.
19 Emphasis supplied. 44 Id. at 546.
20 225 Phil. 408 (1986). 45 Labayo-Rowe v. Republic, supra note
21 Republic v. Valencia, supra, at 416. 33, at 307.
22 Id. (Citation omitted; italics in the

original)
23 G.R. No. 170340, June 29, 2007, 526

SCRA 177.
24 503 Phil. 451 (2005).
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. 206248 February 18, 2014

GRACE M. GRANDE, Petitioner, vs.PATRICIO T. ANTONIO, Respondent.

DECISION

VELASCO, JR., J.:

Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45, assailing the July
24, 2012 Decision1 and March 5, 2013 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-
G.R. CV No. 96406.

As culled from the records, the facts of this case are:

Petitioner Grace Grande (Grande) and respondent Patricio Antonio (Antonio) for a
period of time lived together as husband and wife, although Antonio was at that time
already married to someone else.3 Out of this illicit relationship, two sons were born:
Andre Lewis (on February 8, 1998) and Jerard Patrick (on October 13, 1999). 4 The
children were not expressly recognized by respondent as his own in the Record of
Births of the children in the Civil Registry. The parties’ relationship, however, eventually
turned sour, and Grande left for the United States with her two children in May 2007.
This prompted respondent Antonio to file a Petition for Judicial Approval of Recognition
with Prayer to take Parental Authority, Parental Physical Custody, Correction/Change of
Surname of Minors and for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction before the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 8 of Aparri, Cagayan (RTC), appending a notarized Deed
of Voluntary Recognition of Paternity of the children.5

On September 28, 2010, the RTC rendered a Decision in favor of herein respondent
Antonio, ruling that "[t]he evidence at hand is overwhelming that the best interest of the
children can be promoted if they are under the sole parental authority and physical
custody of [respondent Antonio]."6 Thus, the court a quo decreed the following:

WHEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, the Court hereby grants [Antonio’s]


prayer for recognition and the same is hereby judicially approved. x x x Consequently,
the Court forthwith issues the following Order granting the other reliefs sought in the
Petition, to wit:

a. Ordering the Office of the City Registrar of the City of Makati to cause the
entry of the name of [Antonio] as the father of the aforementioned minors in their
respective Certificate of Live Birth and causing the correction/change and/or
annotation of the surnames of said minors in their Certificate of Live Birth from
Grande to Antonio;

b. Granting [Antonio] the right to jointly exercise Parental Authority with [Grande]
over the persons of their minor children, Andre Lewis Grande and Jerard Patrick
Grande;

c. Granting [Antonio] primary right and immediate custody over the parties’ minor
children Andre Lewis Grandre and Jerard Patrick Grande who shall stay with
[Antonio’s] residence in the Philippines from Monday until Friday evening and to
[Grande’s] custody from Saturday to Sunday evening;

d. Ordering [Grande] to immediately surrender the persons and custody of


minors Andre Lewis Grande and Jerard Patrick Grande unto [Antonio] for the
days covered by the Order;

e. Ordering parties to cease and desist from bringing the aforenamed minors
outside of the country, without the written consent of the other and permission
from the court.

f. Ordering parties to give and share the support of the minor children Andre
Lewis Grande and Jerard Patrick Grande in the amount of ₱30,000 per month at
the rate of 70% for [Antonio] and 30% for [Grande].7(Emphasis supplied.)

Aggrieved, petitioner Grande moved for reconsideration. However, her motion was
denied by the trial court in its Resolution dated November 22, 2010 8 for being pro forma
and for lack of merit.

Petitioner Grande then filed an appeal with the CA attributing grave error on the part of
the RTC for allegedly ruling contrary to the law and jurisprudence respecting the grant
of sole custody to the mother over her illegitimate children. 9 In resolving the appeal, the
appellate court modified in part the Decision of the RTC. The dispositive portion of the
CA Decision reads:

WHEREFORE, the appeal is partly GRANTED. Accordingly, the appealed Decision of


the Regional Trial Court Branch 8, Aparri Cagayan in SP Proc. Case No. 11-4492 is
MODIFIED in part and shall hereinafter read as follows:

a. The Offices of the Civil Registrar General and the City Civil Registrar of Makati
City are DIRECTED to enter the surname Antonio as the surname of Jerard
Patrick and Andre Lewis, in their respective certificates of live birth, and record
the same in the Register of Births;

b. [Antonio] is ORDERED to deliver the minor children Jerard Patrick and Andre
Lewis to the custody of their mother herein appellant, Grace Grande who by
virtue hereof is hereby awarded the full or sole custody of these minor children;
c. [Antonio] shall have visitorial rights at least twice a week, and may only take
the children out upon the written consent of [Grande]; and

d. The parties are DIRECTED to give and share in support of the minor children
Jerard Patrick and Andre Lewis in the amount of ₱30,000.00 per month at the
rate of 70% for [Antonio] and 30% for [Grande]. (Emphasis supplied.)

In ruling thus, the appellate court ratiocinated that notwithstanding the father’s
recognition of his children, the mother cannot be deprived of her sole parental custody
over them absent the most compelling of reasons.10 Since respondent Antonio failed to
prove that petitioner Grande committed any act that adversely affected the welfare of
the children or rendered her unsuitable to raise the minors, she cannot be deprived of
her sole parental custody over their children.

The appellate court, however, maintained that the legal consequence of the recognition
made by respondent Antonio that he is the father of the minors, taken in conjunction
with the universally protected "best-interest-of-the-child" clause, compels the use by the
children of the surname "ANTONIO."11

As to the issue of support, the CA held that the grant is legally in order considering that
not only did Antonio express his willingness to give support, it is also a consequence of
his acknowledging the paternity of the minor children.12Lastly, the CA ruled that there is
no reason to deprive respondent Antonio of his visitorial right especially in view of the
constitutionally inherent and natural right of parents over their children. 13

Not satisfied with the CA’s Decision, petitioner Grande interposed a partial motion for
reconsideration, particularly assailing the order of the CA insofar as it decreed the
change of the minors’ surname to "Antonio." When her motion was denied, petitioner
came to this Court via the present petition. In it, she posits that Article 176 of the Family
Code––as amended by Republic Act No. (RA) 9255, couched as it is in permissive
language––may not be invoked by a father to compel the use by his illegitimate children
of his surname without the consent of their mother.

We find the present petition impressed with merit.

The sole issue at hand is the right of a father to compel the use of his surname by his
illegitimate children upon his recognition of their filiation. Central to the core issue is the
application of Art. 176 of the Family Code, originally phrased as follows:

Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of
their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. The legitime
of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child.
Except for this modification, all other provisions in the Civil Code governing
successional rights shall remain in force.

This provision was later amended on March 19, 2004 by RA 9255 14 which now reads:
Art. 176. – Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental
authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code.
However, illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their filiation has
been expressly recognized by their father through the record of birth appearing in the
civil register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten
instrument is made by the father. Provided, the father has the right to institute an action
before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime. The legitime of each
illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child. (Emphasis
supplied.)

From the foregoing provisions, it is clear that the general rule is that an illegitimate child
shall use the surname of his or her mother. The exception provided by RA 9255 is, in
case his or her filiation is expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth
appearing in the civil register or when an admission in a public document or private
handwritten instrument is made by the father. In such a situation, the illegitimate child
may use the surname of the father.

In the case at bar, respondent filed a petition for judicial approval of recognition of the
filiation of the two children with the prayer for the correction or change of the surname of
the minors from Grande to Antonio when a public document acknowledged before a
notary public under Sec. 19, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court15 is enough to establish the
paternity of his children. But he wanted more: a judicial conferment of parental authority,
parental custody, and an official declaration of his children’s surname as Antonio.

Parental authority over minor children is lodged by Art. 176 on the mother; hence,
respondent’s prayer has no legal mooring. Since parental authority is given to the
mother, then custody over the minor children also goes to the mother, unless she is
shown to be unfit.

Now comes the matter of the change of surname of the illegitimate children. Is there a
legal basis for the court a quo to order the change of the surname to that of
respondent?

Clearly, there is none. Otherwise, the order or ruling will contravene the explicit and
unequivocal provision of Art. 176 of the Family Code, as amended by RA 9255.

Art. 176 gives illegitimate children the right to decide if they want to use the surname of
their father or not. It is not the father (herein respondent) or the mother (herein
petitioner) who is granted by law the right to dictate the surname of their illegitimate
children.

Nothing is more settled than that when the law is clear and free from ambiguity, it must
be taken to mean what it says and it must be given its literal meaning free from any
interpretation.16 Respondent’s position that the court can order the minors to use his
surname, therefore, has no legal basis.
On its face, Art. 176, as amended, is free from ambiguity. And where there is no
ambiguity, one must abide by its words. The use of the word "may" in the provision
readily shows that an acknowledged illegitimate child is under no compulsion to use the
surname of his illegitimate father. The word "may" is permissive and operates to confer
discretion17 upon the illegitimate children.

It is best to emphasize once again that the yardstick by which policies affecting children
are to be measured is their best interest. On the matter of children’s surnames, this
Court has, time and again, rebuffed the idea that the use of the father’s surname serves
the best interest of the minor child. In Alfon v. Republic, 18 for instance, this Court
allowed even a legitimate child to continue using the surname of her mother rather than
that of her legitimate father as it serves her best interest and there is no legal obstacle
to prevent her from using the surname of her mother to which she is entitled. In fact, in
Calderon v. Republic,19 this Court, upholding the best interest of the child concerned,
even allowed the use of a surname different from the surnames of the child’s father or
mother. Indeed, the rule regarding the use of a child’s surname is second only to the
rule requiring that the child be placed in the best possible situation considering his
circumstances.

In Republic of the Philippines v. Capote,20 We gave due deference to the choice of an


illegitimate minor to use the surname of his mother as it would best serve his interest,
thus:

The foregoing discussion establishes the significant connection of a person’s name to


his identity, his status in relation to his parents and his successional rights as a
legitimate or illegitimate child. For sure, these matters should not be taken lightly as to
deprive those who may, in any way, be affected by the right to present evidence in favor
of or against such change.

The law and facts obtaining here favor Giovanni’s petition. Giovanni availed of the
proper remedy, a petition for change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, and
complied with all the procedural requirements. After hearing, the trial court found (and
the appellate court affirmed) that the evidence presented during the hearing of
Giovanni’s petition sufficiently established that, under Art. 176 of the Civil Code,
Giovanni is entitled to change his name as he was never recognized by his father while
his mother has always recognized him as her child. A change of name will erase the
impression that he was ever recognized by his father. It is also to his best interest as it
will facilitate his mother’s intended petition to have him join her in the United States.
This Court will not stand in the way of the reunification of mother and son. (Emphasis
supplied.)

An argument, however, may be advanced advocating the mandatory use of the father’s
surname upon his recognition of his illegitimate children, citing the Implementing Rules
and Regulations (IRR) of RA 9255,21 which states:

Rule 7. Requirements for the Child to Use the Surname of the Father
7.1 For Births Not Yet Registered

7.1.1 The illegitimate child shall use the surname of the father if a public document is
executed by the father, either at the back of the Certificate of Live Birth or in a separate
document.

7.1.2 If admission of paternity is made through a private instrument, the child shall use
the surname of the father, provided the registration is supported by the following
documents:

xxxx

7.2. For Births Previously Registered under the Surname of the Mother

7.2.1 If filiation has been expressly recognized by the father, the child shall use the
surname of the father upon the submission of the accomplished AUSF [Affidavit of Use
of the Surname of the Father].

7.2.2 If filiation has not been expressly recognized by the father, the child shall use the
surname of the father upon submission of a public document or a private handwritten
instrument supported by the documents listed in Rule 7.1.2.

7.3 Except in Item 7.2.1, the consent of the illegitimate child is required if he/she has
reached the age of majority. The consent may be contained in a separate instrument
duly notarized.

xxxx

Rule 8. Effects of Recognition

8.1 For Births Not Yet Registered

8.1.1 The surname of the father shall be entered as the last name of the child in the
Certificate of Live Birth. The Certificate of Live Birth shall be recorded in the Register of
Births.

xxxx

8.2 For Births Previously Registered under the Surname of the Mother

8.2.1 If admission of paternity was made either at the back of the Certificate of Live Birth
or in a separate public document or in a private handwritten document, the public
document or AUSF shall be recorded in the Register of Live Birth and the Register of
Births as follows:
"The surname of the child is hereby changed from (original surname) to (new surname)
pursuant to RA 9255."

The original surname of the child appearing in the Certificate of Live Birth and Register
of Births shall not be changed or deleted.

8.2.2 If filiation was not expressly recognized at the time of registration, the public
document or AUSF shall be recorded in the Register of Legal Instruments. Proper
annotation shall be made in the Certificate of Live Birth and the Register of Births as
follows:

"Acknowledged by (name of father) on (date). The surname of the child is hereby


changed from (original surname) on (date) pursuant to RA 9255." (Emphasis supplied.)

Nonetheless, the hornbook rule is that an administrative issuance cannot amend a


legislative act. In MCC Industrial Sales Corp. v. Ssangyong Corporation, 22 We held:

After all, the power of administrative officials to promulgate rules in the implementation
of a statute is necessarily limited to what is found in the legislative enactment itself. The
implementing rules and regulations of a law cannot extend the law or expand its
coverage, as the power to amend or repeal a statute is vested in the Legislature. Thus,
if a discrepancy occurs between the basic law and an implementing rule or regulation, it
is the former that prevails, because the law cannot be broadened by a mere
administrative issuance — an administrative agency certainly cannot amend an act of
Congress.

Thus, We can disregard contemporaneous construction where there is no ambiguity in


law and/or the construction is clearly erroneous.23 What is more, this Court has the
constitutional prerogative and authority to strike down and declare as void the rules of
procedure of special courts and quasi- judicial bodies24 when found contrary to statutes
and/or the Constitution.25 Section 5(5), Art. VIII of the Constitution provides:

Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

xxxx

(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights,
pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the
Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a
simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be
uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify
substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall
remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court. (Emphasis supplied.)
Thus, We exercise this power in voiding the above-quoted provisions of the IRR of RA
9255 insofar as it provides the mandatory use by illegitimate children of their father’s
surname upon the latter’s recognition of his paternity.

To conclude, the use of the word "shall" in the IRR of RA 9255 is of no moment. The
clear, unambiguous, and unequivocal use of "may" in Art. 176 rendering the use of an
illegitimate father’s surname discretionary controls, and illegitimate children are given
the choice on the surnames by which they will be known.

At this juncture, We take note of the letters submitted by the children, now aged thirteen
(13) and fifteen (15) years old, to this Court declaring their opposition to have their
names changed to "Antonio."26 However, since these letters were not offered before
and evaluated by the trial court, they do not provide any evidentiary weight to sway this
Court to rule for or against petitioner.27 A proper inquiry into, and evaluation of the
evidence of, the children's choice of surname by the trial court is necessary.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The July 24, 2012
Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 96406 is MODIFIED, the
dispositive portion of which shall read:

WHEREFORE, the appeal is partly GRANTED. Accordingly. the appealed Decision of


the Regional Trial Court Branch 8, Aparri Cagayan in SP Proc. Case No. 11-4492 is
MODIFIED in part and shall hereinafter read as follows:

a. [Antonio] is ORDERED to deliver the minor children Jerard Patrick and Andre
Lewis to the custody of their mother herein appellant, Grace Grande who by
virtue hereof is hereby awarded the full or sole custody of these minor children;

b. [Antonio] shall have visitation rights28 at least twice a week, and may only take
the children out upon the written consent of [Grande]:

c. The parties are DIRECTED to give and share in support of the minor children
Jerard Patrick and Andre Lewis in the amount of ₱30,000.00 per month at the
rate of 70% for [Antonio] and 30% for [Grande]; and

d. The case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court, Branch 8 of Aparri,


Cagayan for the sole purpose of determining the surname to be chosen by the
children Jerard Patrick and Andre Lewis.

Rule 7 and Rule 8 of the Office of the Civil Registrar General Administrative Order No.
1, Series of 2004 are DISAPPROVED and hereby declared NULL and VOID.

SO ORDERED.

PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.


Associate Justice
WE CONCUR:

MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO


Chief Justice

TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
CASTRO
Associate Justice
Associate Justice

(on leave)
DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
ARTURO D. BRION*
Associate Justice
Associate Justice

LUCAS P. BERSAMIN MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO


Associate Justice Associate Justice

ROBERTO A. ABAD MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR.


Associate Justice Associate Justice

(No part)
JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA**
Associate Justice
Associate Justice

BIENCENIDO L. REYES ESTELA M. PERLAS-BERNABE


Associate Justice Associate Justice

MARVIC MARIO VICTOR F. LEONEN


Associate Justice

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is hereby certified that the
conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case
was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court.

MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO


Chief Justice

Footnotes

* On leave. Hakim S. Abdulwahid and Marlene


** No part. Gonzales-Sison.
1 Rollo, pp. 23-41. Penned by Associate 2 Id. at 42-43.

.Justice Edwin D. Sorongon and 3 Id. at 25.

concurred in by Associate Justices 4 Id. at 10, 25, 44-46, 50.


5 Id. at 79. 21 Office of Civil Registrar General
6 Id. at 30. (OCRG) Administrative Order No. 1,
7 Id. at 24-25. Series of 2004, issued by the National
8 Id. at 30. Statistics Office-Office of the Civil
9 Id. at 31. Registrar General. Approved on May 14,
10 Id. at 36-38. 2004, published on May 18, 2004 on the
11 Id. at 38. Manila Times, and took effect on June 2,
12 Id. at 39. 2004.
13 Id. 22 G.R. No. 170633, October 17, 2007,
14 An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children 536 SCRA 408, 453.
to Use the Surname of Their Father 23 Regalado v. Yulo, 61 Phil. 173 (1935);

Amending for the Purpose Article 176 of Molina v. Rafferty, 37 Phil. 545 (1918).
Executive Order No. 209, Otherwise 24 The Office of the Civil Registrar

Known as the "Family Code of the General exercises quasi-judicial powers


Philippines," signed into law on under Rule 13, Title 1, of NSO
February 24, 2004 and took effect on Administrative Order 1-93, December
March 19, 2004 fifteen (15) days after its 18, 1993, Implementing Rules and
publication on Malaya and the Manila Regulations of Act No. 3753 and Other
Times on March 4, 2004. Laws on Civil Registration:
15 Rule 132, Sec. 19. Classes of RULE 13. Posting of the
Documents. – For the purpose of their Pending Application. — (1) A
presentation in evidence, documents are notice to the public on the
either public or private. pending application for delayed
Public documents are: registration shall be posted in
(a) The written official acts, or the bulletin board of the
records of the official acts of the city/municipality for a period of
sovereign authotirty, official not less than ten (10) days.
bodies and tribunals, and public (2) If after ten (10) days, no one
officers, whether of the opposes the registration, the
Philippines, or a foreign country; civil registrar shall evaluate the
(b) Documents acknowledged veracity of the statements made
before a notary public except in the required documents
last will and testaments; and submitted.
(c) Public records, kept in the (3) If after proper evaluation of
Philippines, of private all documents presented and
documents required by law to investigation of the allegations
be entered therein. contained therein, the civil
All other writings are private. registrar is convinced that the
16 Republic v. Lacap, G.R. No. 158253, event really occurred within the
March 2, 2007, 517 SCRA 255; jurisdiction of the civil registry
Chartered Bank Employees Association office, and finding out that said
v. Ople, No. L-44717, August 28, 1985, event was not registered, he
138 SCRA 273; Quijano v. Development shall register the delayed report
Bank of the Philippines, G.R. No. 26419, thereof.
October 19, 1970, 35 SCRA 270; Luzon (4) The civil registrar, in all
Surety Co., Inc. v. De Garcia, No. L- cases of delayed registration of
25659, October 31, 1969, 30 SCRA 111. birth, death and marriage, shall
17 Agpalo, Ruben, STATUTORY conduct an investigation
CONSTRUCTION 460 (6th ed., 2009); whenever an opposition is filed
citations omitted. against its registration by taking
18 No. L-51201, May 29, 1980, 97 SCRA the testimonies of the parties
858. concerned and witnesses in the
19 126 Phil. 1 (1967). form of questions and answers.
20 G.R. No. 157043, February 2, 2007, After investigation, the civil
514 SCRA 76, 83-84. registrar shall forward his
findings and recommendations
to the Office of the Civil 27 Rule 132. Sec. 34. Offer of' evidence.
Registrar-General for - The court shall consider no evidence
appropriate action. which has not been formally offered.
(5) The Civil Registrar-General The purpose for which the evidence is
may, after review and proper offered must be specified.
evaluation, deny or authorize 28 In family law. the right granted by a

the registration. court to a parent or other relative who is


25 Tan v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 166143- deprived custody of a child to visit the
47 & 166891, November 20, 2006, 507 child on a regular basis. See
SCRA 352, 370-371. DICTIONARY or LEGAL TERMS 529
26 Rollo, pp. 45-46. (3rd ed.).