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The Supreme Court has decided eight (8) cases on Parental Authority or Patria Potestas:

In Tonog vs. CA, G.R. No. 122906, the Supreme Court ruled that in the custody of their daughter
Gardin Faith being now twelve (12) years old, her preference and opinion must first be sought in
the choice of which parent should have the custody over her person. The trial court should
determine whether a mother is a fit parent for her child as a question of fact and the child has
now exceeded the statutory bar of seven years.

Being an illegitimate child, the parental authority must be of the mother. This is under the
general rule that in order to avoid many a tragedy that a mother has seen her baby torn away
from her. However, temporary custody of the illegitimate minor is awarded to the father since
the proceedings for guardianship before the trial court have not been terminated, and no
pronouncement has been made as to who should have final custody of the minor. In determining
who is entitled to the temporary custody of the child pending the guardianship proceeding, the
Court stated that the welfare of the said minor is the controlling factor, the court allowed her
father to retain in the meantime parental custody over her. The child should not be wrenched
from her familiar surroundings, and thrust into a strange environment away from the people and
places to which she had apparently formed an attachment.

In Hontiveros, Jr. vs. IAC, 132 SCRA 745, the Supreme Court ruled that in the contention of
private respondent that the mother is unfit to take care of their child, it has no legal stand because
under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, only questions of law may be raised in this Tribunal. What
the petitioner should have done is to bring out the questions of fact in Special Proceedings. It is
just too bad that the case for custody was dismissed for lack of interest on the part of the
petitioner. Clearly, the private respondent has a clear legal right under Article 17 of P.D. 603 to
the custody of her minor child, there being no compelling reason to the contrary.

In all questions on the care, custody, education and property of children, the latter's
welfare shall be paramount. No matter shall be separated from her child under seven years of
age, unless the court finds compelling reasons for such measure.

In Espiritu vs. CA , 242 SCRA 362, the Supreme Court ruled that both Rosalind and
Reginald are now over seven years of age. Both are studying in reputable schools and appear to
be fairly intelligent children, quite capable of thoughtfully determining the parent with whom
they would want to live. Once the choice has been made, the burden returns to the court to
investigate if the parent thus chosen is unfit to assume parental authority and custodial
responsibility. The court proved that the mother is unfit since the child was found suffering from
emotional shock caused by her mother's infidelity. The illicit or immoral activities of the mother
had already caused emotional disturbances, personality conflicts, and exposure to conflicting
moral values against the children.

Furthermore, Assuming that the presumption should have persuasive value for children
only one or two years beyond the age of seven years mentioned in the statute, there are
compelling reasons and relevant considerations not to grant custody to the mother. The children
understand the unfortunate shortcomings of their mother and have been affected in their
emotional growth by her behavior.
There is nothing in the records to show that Reynaldo is an "unfit" person under Article
213 of the Family Code. In fact, he has been trying his best to give the children the kind of
attention and care which the mother is not in a position to extend.