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K. Support 1.

Concept, Art. 194, FC o Lim-Lua v. Lua, G.R. No. 175279, June 5, 2013

SUSAN LIM-LUA VS. DANILO LUA G.R. Nos. 175279-80 June 5, 2013


Susan Lim-Lua filed a petition against Danilo Lua for a declaration of nullity of marriage with a prayer for support
pendente lite for herself and her two children amounting to P500,000.00 per month. Citing respondent’s huge earnings
from salaries and dividends in several companies and businesses here and abroad.

After due hearing, RTC cited Art. 203 of the Family Code, stating that support is demandable from the time plaintiff
needed the said support but is payable only from the date of judicial demand, and thus also granted support pendente
lite of P250,000.00.

The husband filed for Motion for Reconsideration asserting that petitioner is not entitled to spousal support considering
that she does not maintain for herself a separate dwelling from their children and respondent has continued to support
the family for their sustenance and well- being in accordance with family’s social and financial standing.

The husband also assert that the P250,000 monthly support and the 1,750,000.00 retroactive support is
unconscionable and beyond the intendment of the law for not having considered the needs of the respondent

MR denied thus he appealed to the CA wherein it reduced the monthly support to P115,000.00 which ruling was no
longer questioned by both parties.

The controversy between the parties resurfaced when respondent’s compliance with the final CA decision indicated
that he deducted from the total amount in arrears (P2,645,000.00) the sum of P2,482,348.16, representing the value of
the two cars for the children, their cost of maintenance and advances are given to the petitioner and his children.

CA ruled in favor of the husband that the expenses incurred by the husband be considered advances which may be
properly deducted from the support in arrears due to the petitioner and the two children.

Thus ordered the deduction of the amount of PhP3,428,813.80 from the current total support in arrears of Danilo to his
wife, Susan Lim Lua and their two children.


Whether certain expenses already incurred by the respondent may be deducted from the total support in arrears owing
to the petitioner and her children.


The SC partly granted CA’s decision. First, is to resume payment of his monthly support of PhP115,000.00 pesos starting
from the time payment of this amount was deferred by him. Second, that only the amount of Php 648,102.29 may be
allowed as deductions from the accrued support pendente lite for petitioner and her children and
not PhP3,428,813.80 (rendered by the CA).

2. Actual Need vs. Capacity to Pay, Art. 201-202, FC

LAM vs. CHUA G.R. No. 131286 March 18, 2004

Facts: A petition for declaration of nullity of marriage by Adriana Chua against Jose Lam in the Regional Trial Court of
Pasay City (Branch 109). Adriana alleged in the petition that: she and Jose were married on January 13, 1984; out of
said marriage, they begot one son, John Paul Chua Lam; Jose was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
essential marital obligations of marriage but said incapacity was not then apparent; such psychological incapacity of
Jose became manifest only after the celebration of the marriage when he frequently failed to go home, indulged in
womanizing and irresponsible activities, such as, mismanaging the conjugal partnership of gains; in order to save what
was left of the conjugal properties, she was forced to agree with Jose on the dissolution of their conjugal partnership
of gains and the separation of present and future properties; said agreement was approved by the Regional Trial
Court of Makati City (Branch 149) in a Decision dated February 28, 1994; they had long been separated in bed and
board; they have agreed that the custody of their child will be with her, subject to visitation rights of Jose. Adriana
prayed that the marriage between her and Jose be declared null and void but she failed to claim and pray for the
support of their child, John Paul.


Should Jose give the corresponding support

Ruling: The Pasay RTC should have been aware that in determining the amount of support to be awarded, such
amount should be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and the necessities of the recipient, pursuant to
Articles 194, 201 and 202 of the Family Code. It is incumbent upon the trial court to base its award of support on the
evidence presented before it. The evidence must prove the capacity or resources of both parents who are jointly
obliged to support their children as provided for under Article 195 of the Family Code; and the monthly expenses
incurred for the sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation of the child.

3. Who is entitled to support, Art. 195-197, FC


BRIONES vs. MIGUEL G.R. No. 156343 October 18, 2004


On March 5, 2002, petitioner Joey D. Briones filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus against respondents Maricel Pineda
Miguel and Francisca Pineda Miguel, to obtain custody of his minor child Michael Kevin Pineda. On April 25, 2002, the
petitioner filed an Amended Petition to include Loreta P. Miguel, the mother of the minor, as one of the respondents.

A Writ of Habeas Corpus was issued by this Court on March 11, 2002 ordering the respondents to produce before this
Court the living body of the minor Michael Kevin Pineda on March 21, 2002 at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

The petitioner alleges that the minor Michael Kevin Pineda is his illegitimate son with respondent Loreta P. Miguel. He
was born in Japan on September 17, 1996 as evidenced by his Birth Certificate. The respondent Loreta P. Miguel is
now married to a Japanese national and is presently residing in Japan. Respondent Loreta P. Miguel prays that the
custody of her minor child be given to her and invokes Article 213, Paragraph 2 of the Family Code and Article 363 of
the Civil Code of the Philippines

Whether or not as the natural father, may be denied the custody and parental care of his own child in the absence of
the mother who is away.

Ruling: Petitioner concedes that Respondent Loreta has preferential right over their minor child. He insists, however,
that custody should be awarded to him whenever she leaves for Japan and during the period that she stays there. In
other words, he wants joint custody over the minor, such that the mother would have custody when she is in the
country. But when she is abroad, he -- as the biological father -- should have custody.

According to petitioner, Loreta is not always in the country. When she is abroad, she cannot take care of their child.
The undeniable fact, he adds, is that she lives most of the time in Japan, as evidenced by her Special Power of
Attorney dated May 28, 2001, granting to her sister temporary custody over the minor.

At present, however, the child is already with his mother in Japan, where he is studying,9 thus rendering petitioner’s
argument moot. While the Petition for Habeas Corpus was pending before the CA, petitioner filed on July 30, 2002, an
"Urgent Motion for a Hold Departure Order," alleging therein that respondents were preparing the travel papers of the
minor so the child could join his mother and her Japanese husband. The CA denied the Motion for lack of merit.

Having been born outside a valid marriage, the minor is deemed an illegitimate child of petitioner and Respondent
Loreta. Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines explicitly provides that "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." This is the rule regardless of whether the father admits paternity

QUIMIGING vs. ICAO G.R. No. L-26795 July 31, 2970


Carmen Quimiguing, the petitioner, and Felix Icao, the defendant, were neighbors in Dapitan City and had close and
confidential relations. Despite the fact that Icao was married, he succeeded to have carnal intercourse with plaintiff
several times under force and intimidation and without her consent. As a result, Carmen became pregnant despite
drugs supplied by defendant and as a consequence, Carmen stopped studying. Plaintiff claimed for support at P120
per month, damages and attorney’s fees. The complaint was dismissed by the lower court in Zamboanga del Norte
on the ground lack of cause of action. Plaintiff moved to amend the complaint that as a result of the intercourse, she
gave birth to a baby girl but the court ruled that “no amendment was allowable since the original complaint averred
no cause of action”.


Whether or not, the CFI erred in dismissing Carmen’s complaint.

Ruling: Yes. The Supreme Court held that “a conceive child, although as yet unborn, is given by law a provisional
personality of its own for all purposes favorable to it, as explicitly provided in Article 40 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines”. The conceive child may also receive donations and be accepted by those persons who will legally
represent them if they were already born as prescribed in Article 742.

Lower court’s theory on article 291 of the civil code declaring that support is an obligation of parents and illegitimate
children does not contemplate support to children as yet unborn violates article 40 aforementioned.

Another reason for reversal of the order is that Icao being a married man forced a woman not his wife to yield to his
lust and this constitutes a clear violation of Carmen’s rights. Thus, she is entitled to claim compensation for the
damage caused.

WHEREFORE, the orders under appeal are reversed and set aside. Let the case be remanded to the court of origin for
further proceedings conformable to this decision. Costs against appellee Felix Icao.

FRANCISCO vs. ZANDUETA G.R. No. 43794 August 9, 1935


Eugenio Francisco, represented by his natural mother and curator ad litem, Rosario Gomez, instituted an action for
support against petitioner Luis Francisco in a separate case, alleging that he is the latter’s acknowledged son and as
such is entitled to support. Luis denied the allegation, claimed that he never acknowledged Eugenio as his son and
was not present at his baptism and that he was married at time of Eugenio’s birth.

Despite the denial of paternity however, respondent judge Francisco Zandueta issued an order granting Eugenio
monthly pension, pendente lite. Luis moved for reconsideration but was denied, hence the writ for certiorari. Praying
to have the trial transferred, counsel of herein petitioner, in compromise, agreed that his client would pay the monthly
pension during the pendency of the case. Issue: Whether or not Eugenio Francisco is entitled to support without first
establishing his status as petitioner’s son Ruling: No. The answer as to whether or not petitioner’s counsel really agreed
to have him pay the pension during the case’s pendency is not necessary to the solution of the case. As in the case of
Yangco vs Rohde, the fact of the civil status must be proven first before a right of support can be derived. The Court
ruled that it is necessary for Eugenio to prove, through his guardian ad litem, his civil status as the petitioner’s son. As
such, no right of support can be given because the very civil status of sonship, from which the right is derived, is in

It held that “(t)here is no law or reason which authorizes the granting of support to a person who claims to be a son in
the same manner as to a person who establishes by legal proof that he is such son. In the latter case the legal
evidence raises a presumption of law, while in the former there is no presumption, there is nothing but a mere
allegation, a fact in issue, and a simple fact in issue must not be confounded with an established right recognized by
a final judgment.” Additionally, the respondent judge was without jurisdiction to order for the monthly support in light
of herein private respondent’s absence of aforementioned status.
SANTERO vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. L-61700 September 14, 1987

Facts: Pablo Santero, the only legitimate son of Pascual and Simona Santero, had three children with Felixberta
Pacursa namely, Princesita, Federico and Willie (herein petitioners). He also had four children with Anselma Diaz
namely, Victor, Rodrigo, Anselmina, and Miguel (herein private respondents). These children are all natural children
since neither of their mothers was married to their father. In 1973, Pablo Santero died.

During the pendency of the administration proceedings with the CFI-Cavite involving the estate of the late Pablo
Santero, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court questioning the decision of CFI-Cavite
granting allowance (allegedly without hearing) in the amount of Php 2,000.00, to private respondents which includes
tuition fees, clothing materials and subsistence out of any available funds in the hands of the administrator. The
petitioners opposed said decision on the ground that private respondents were no longer studying, that they have
attained the age of majority, that all of them except for Miguel are gainfully employed, and the administrator did not
have sufficient funds to cover the said expenses.

Before the Supreme Court could act on saod petition, the private respondents filed another motion for allowance
with the CFI-Cavite which included Juanita, Estelita and Pedrito, all surnamed Santero, as children of the late Pablo
Santero with Anselma Diaz, praying that a sum of Php 6,000.00 be given to each of the seven children as their
allowance from the estate of their father. This was granted by the CFI-Cavite.

Later on, the CFI-Cavite issued an amended order directing Anselma Diaz, mother of private respondents, to submit a
clarification or explanation as to the additional three children included in the said motion. She said in her clarification
that in her previous motions, only the last four minor children were included for support and the three children were
then of age should have been included since all her children have the right to receive allowance as advance
payment of their shares in the inheritance of Pablo Santero. The CFI-Cavite issued an order directing the administrator
to get back the allowance of the three additional children based on the opposition of the petitioners.

Issue: a) Are the private respondents entitled to allowance? b) Was it proper for the court a quo to grant the motion
for allowance without hearing?

Ruling: Yes, they are entitled. Being of age, gainfully employed, or married should not be regarded as the
determining factor to their right to allowance under Articles 290 and 188 of the New Civil Code.

Records show that a hearing was made. Moreover, what the said court did was just to follow the precedent of the
court which granted previous allowance and that the petitioners and private respondents only received Php 1,500.00
each depending on the availability of funds.

GOTARDO vs. BULING G.R. No. 165166 August 15, 2012

Facts: On September 6, 1995, respondent Divina Buling filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Maasin,
Southern Leyte, Branch 25, for compulsory recognition and support 460endent lite, claiming that the petitioner is the
father of her child Gliffze. In his answer, the petitioner denied the imputed paternity of Gliffze. For the parties’ failure to
amicably settle the dispute, the RTC terminated the pre-trial proceedings. Trial on the merits ensued. The respondent
testified for herself and presented Rodulfo Lopez as witness. Evidence for the respondent showed that she met the
petitioner on December 1, 1992 at the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank, Maasin, Southern Leyte branch
where she had been hired as a casual employee, while the petitioner worked as accounting supervisor.
The respondent responded by filing a complaint with the Municipal Trial Court of Maasin, Southern Leyte for damages
against the petitioner for breach of promise to marry. Later, however, the petitioner and the respondent amicably
settled the case. The respondent gave birth to their son Gliffze on March 9, 1995. When the petitioner did not show up
and failed to provide support to Gliffze, the respondent sent him a letter on July 24, 1995 demanding recognition of
and support for their child. When the petitioner did not answer the demand, the respondent filed her complaint for
compulsory recognition and support 460endent lite.

The petitioner took the witness stand and testified for himself. He denied the imputed paternity, claiming that he first
had sexual contact with the respondent in the first week of August 1994 and she could not have been pregnant for
twelve (12) weeks (or three (3) months) when he was informed of the pregnancy on September 15, 1994. During the
pendency of the case, the RTC, on the respondent’s motion, granted a P2, 000.00 monthly child support, retroactive
from March 1995.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner should provide support.

Ruling: One can prove filiation, either legitimate or illegitimate, through the record of birth appearing in the civil
register or a final judgment, an admission of filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and
signed by the parent concerned, or the open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate or illegitimate
child, or any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. We have held that such other proof of
one’s filiation may be a “baptismal certificate, a judicial admission, a family bible in which [his] name has been
entered, common reputation respecting [his] pedigree, admission by silence, the [testimonies] of witnesses, and other
kinds of proof [admissible] under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Since filiation is beyond question, support follows as a
matter of obligation; a parent is obliged to support his child, whether legitimate or illegitimate. Support consists of
everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in
keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

Thus, the amount of support is variable and, for this reason, no final judgment on the amount of support is made as the
amount shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and the necessities of the recipient. It may be
reduced or increased proportionately according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and
the resources or means of the person obliged to support.

Edna-Mabugay-Otamias v. Republic of the Philippines (Case Digest) G.R. No. 189516

Edna Mabugay-Otamias was married to Colonel Francisco Otamias on 1978. The couple had five children. On
September 2000, they separated because of Colonel Otamias’ alleged infidelity. After the separation, their children
remained with Edna. She then demanded support equivalent to 75 percent of the colonel’s retirement benefits.
However, Colonel Otamias executed an affidavit stating that he can commit only 50 percent of his retirement
benefits to his children and wife. Because of this, they entered into a compromise agreement. On February 26, 2003,
the colonel executed a Deed of Assignment where he waived 50 percent of his salary and pension in favor of Edna
and his children. Colonel Otamias retired on April 1, 2003, and the agreement had been honored until January 6,
2006. According to Edna, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) decided not to honor the agreement.

Did Colonel Otamias’ execution of the Deed of Assignment make him effectively waive his rights to 50 percent of his
retirement benefits in favor of his family?

Yes. According to Article 6 of the Civil Code, rights may be waived unless it is contrary to law or public policy. In this
case, the waiver was made in order to ensure the support of the retired colonel of his family, a right granted to them
by the Family Code. The waiver is in no way contrary to public policy or any law for that matter. Thus, it is deemed to
be valid.
4. When demandable, Art. 203, FC
LACSON vs. LACSON G.R. No. 150644 August 28, 2006

Facts: The sisters Maowee Daban Lacson and Maonaa Daban Lacson are legitimate daughters of petitioner Edward
V. Lacson and his wife, Lea Daban Lacson. Maowee was born on December 4, 1974, while Maonaa, a little less than a
year later. Not long after the birth of Maonaa, petitioner left the conjugal home in Molo, Iloilo City, virtually forcing
mother and children to seek, apparently for financial reason, shelter somewhere else. For a month, they stayed with
Lea’s mother-in-law, Alicia Lacson, then with her (Lea’s) mother and then with her brother Noel Daban. After some
time, they rented an apartment only to return later to the house of Lea’s mother. As the trial court aptly observed, the
sisters and their mother, from 1976 to 1994, or for a period of eighteen (18) years, shuttled from one dwelling place to
another not their own.

Issue: Whether or not petitioner is obliged to give support.

Ruling: Petitioner admits being obliged, as father, to provide support to both respondents, Maowee and Maonaa. It is
his threshold submission, however, that he should not be made to pay support in arrears, i.e., from 1976 to 1994, no
previous extrajudicial, let alone judicial, demand having been made by the respondents. He invokes the following
provision of the Family Code to complete his point:Article 203 – The obligation to give support shall be demandable
from the time the person who has a right to receive the same needs it for maintenance, but it shall not be paid
except from the date of judicial or extrajudicial demand.

To petitioner, his obligation to pay under the afore quoted provision starts from the filing of Civil Case No. 22185 in
1995, since only from that moment can it be said that an effective demand for support was made upon him

5. Who must pay support, Arts. 195-197, 199-200

LIM vs. LIM G.R. No. 163209 October 30, 2009

Facts: In 1979, respondent Cheryl S. Lim (Cheryl) married Edward Lim (Edward), son of petitioners. Cheryl bore Edward
three children, respondents Lester Edward, Candice Grace and Mariano III. Cheryl, Edward and their children resided
at the house of petitioners in Forbes Park, Makati City, together with Edward’s ailing grandmother, Chua Giak and her
husband Mariano Lim (Mariano). Edward’s family business, which provided him with a monthly salary of P6,000,
shouldered the family expenses. Cheryl had no steady source of income.

On 14 October 1990, Cheryl abandoned the Forbes Park residence, bringing the children with her (then all minors),
after a violent confrontation with Edward whom she caught with the inhouse midwife of Chua Giak in what the trial
court described "a very compromising situation." Cheryl, for herself and her children, sued petitioners, Edward, Chua
Giak and Mariano (defendants) in the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 140 (trial court) for support. The trial
court ordered Edward to provide monthly support of P6,000 pendente lite.

Issue: Whether petitioners are concurrently liable with Edward to provide support to respondents.

Ruling: By statutory and jurisprudential mandate, the liability of ascendants to provide legal support to their
descendants is beyond cavil. Petitioners themselves admit as much – they limit their petition to the narrow question of
when their liability is triggered, not if they are liable. Relying on provisions found in Title IX of the Civil Code, as
amended, on Parental Authority, petitioners theorize that their liability is activated only upon default of parental
authority, conceivably either by its termination or suspension during the children’s minority. Because at the time
respondents sued for support, Cheryl and Edward exercised parental authority over their children, petitioners submit
that the obligation to support the latter’s offspring ends with them.
MANGONON vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 125041 June 30, 2006

Facts: On 17 March 1994, petitioner Ma. Belen B. Mangonon filed, in behalf of her then minor children Rica and Rina,
a Petition for Declaration of Legitimacy and Support, with application for support pendente lite with the RTC Makati. In
said petition, it was alleged that on 16 February 1975, petitioner and respondent Federico Delgado were civilly
married by then City Court Judge Eleuterio Agudo in Legaspi City, Albay. At that time, petitioner was only 21 years old
while respondent Federico was only 19 years old. As the marriage was solemnized without the required consent per
Article 85 of the New Civil Code, it was annulled on 11 August 1975 by the Quezon City Juvenile and Domestic
Relations Court.

On 25 March 1976, or within seven months after the annulment of their marriage, petitioner gave birth to twins Rica
and Rina. According to petitioner, she, with the assistance of her second husband Danny Mangonon, raised her twin
daughters as private respondents had totally abandoned them. At the time of the institution of the petition, Rica and
Rina were about to enter college in the United States of America (USA) where petitioner, together with her daughters
and second husband, had moved to and finally settled in. Rica was admitted to the University of Massachusetts
(Amherst) while Rina was accepted by the Long Island University and Western New England College. Despite their
admissions to said universities, Rica and Rina were, however, financially incapable of pursuing collegiate education
because of the following: i) The average annual cost for college education in the US is about US$22,000/year, broken
down as follows: Tuition Fees US$13,000.00 Room & Board 5,000.00 Books 1,000.00 Yearly Transportation & Meal
Allowance 3,000.00 Total US$ 22,000.00 Or a total of US$44,000.00, more or less, for both Rica and Rina

Issue: Whether or not Federico is obliged to provide support

Ruling: In this case, this Court believes that respondent Francisco could not avail himself of the second option. From
the records, we gleaned that prior to the commencement of this action, the relationship between respondent
Francisco, on one hand, and petitioner and her twin daughters, on the other, was indeed quite pleasant. The
correspondences exchanged among them expressed profound feelings of thoughtfulness and concern for one
another’s well-being. The photographs presented by petitioner as part of her exhibits presented a seemingly typical
family celebrating kinship. All of these, however, are now things of the past. With the filing of this case, and the
allegations hurled at one another by the parties, the relationships among the parties had certainly been affected.
Particularly difficult for Rica and Rina must be the fact that those who they had considered and claimed as family
denied having any familial relationship with them. Given all these, we could not see Rica and Rina moving back here
in the Philippines in the company of those who have disowned them.

Finally, as to the amount of support pendente lite, we take our bearings from the provision of the law mandating the
amount of support to be proportionate to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.
Guided by this principle, we hold respondent Francisco liable for half of the amount of school expenses incurred by
Rica and Rina as support pendente lite. As established by petitioner, respondent Francisco has the financial resources
to pay this amount given his various business endeavors.

DE GUZMAN vs. PEREZ G.R. No. 156013 July 25, 2006

Facts: Petitioner and private respondent Shirley F. Aberde became sweethearts while studying law in the University of
Sto. Tomas. Their studies were interrupted when private respondent became pregnant. She gave birth to petitioner’s
child, Robby Aberde de Guzman, on October 2, 1987. Private respondent and petitioner never got married. In 1991,
petitioner married another woman with whom he begot two children.

Petitioner sent money for Robby’s schooling only twice — the first in 1992 and the second in 1993. In 1994, when Robby
fell seriously ill, petitioner gave private respondent P7,000 to help defray the cost of the child’s hospitalization and
medical expenses. Other than these instances, petitioner never provided any other financial support for his son.

In 1994, in order to make ends meet and to provide for Robby’s needs, private respondent accepted a job as a
factory worker in Taiwan where she worked for two years. It was only because of her short stint overseas that she was
able to support Robby and send him to school. However, she reached the point where she had just about spent all
her savings to provide for her and Robby’s needs. The child’s continued education thus became uncertain.
Issue: May a parent who fails or refuses to do his part in providing his child the education his station in life and financial
condition permit, be charged for neglect

Ruling: The law is clear. The crime may be committed by any parent. Liability for the crime does not depend on
whether the other parent is also guilty of neglect. The law intends to punish the neglect of any parent, which neglect
corresponds to the failure to give the child the education which the family’s station in life and financial condition
permit. The irresponsible parent cannot exculpate himself from the consequences of his neglect by invoking the other
parent’s faithful compliance with his or her own parental duties.

Petitioner’s position goes against the intent of the law. To allow the neglectful parent to shield himself from criminal
liability defeats the prescription that in all questions regarding the care, custody, education and property of the child,
his welfare shall be the paramount consideration. However, while petitioner can be indicted for violation of Article
59(4) of PD 603, the charge against him cannot be made in relation to Section 10(a) of RA 7610 which provides: SEC.
10. Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the Child’s Development.
– (a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for other
conditions prejudicial to the child’s development including those covered by Article 59 of PD No. 603, as amended,
but not covered by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall suffer the penalty ofprision mayor in its minimum

The law expressly penalizes any person who commits other acts of neglect, child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be
responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child’s development including those covered by Article 59 of PD 603
"but not covered by the Revised Penal Code." The "neglect of child" punished under Article 59(4) of PD 603 is also a
crime (known as "indifference of parents") penalized under the second paragraph of Article 277 of the Revised Penal
Code. Hence, it is excluded from the coverage of RA 7610.

Mabugay-Otamias v. Republic, G.R. No. 189516, June 08, 2016


DEL SOCORRO VS. WILSEM G.R. No. 193707 December 10, 2014


Norma A. Del Socorro and Ernst Van Wilsem contracted marriage in Holland. They were blessed with a son named
Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem. Unfortunately, their marriage bond ended by virtue of a Divorce Decree issued by the
appropriate Court of Holland. Thereafter, Norma and her son came home to the Philippines. According to Norma, Ernst
made a promise to provide monthly support to their son. However, since the arrival of petitioner and her son in the
Philippines, Ernst never gave support to Roderigo.Respondent remarried again a Filipina and resides again the
Philippines particulary in Cebu where the petitioner also resides. Norma filed a complaint against Ernst for violation of
R.A. No. 9262 for the latter’s unjust refusal to support his minor child with petitioner. The trial court dismissed the complaint
since the facts charged in the information do not constitute an offense with respect to the accused, he being an alien


1. Does a foreign national have an obligation to support his minor child under the Philippine law?
2. Whether or not a foreign national can be held criminally liable under R.A. No. 9262 for his unjustified failure to support
his minor child.


1. YES. While it is true that Respondent Ernst is a citizen of Holland or the Netherlands, we agree with the RTC that he is
subject to the laws of his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged to give support to his child, as well
as the consequences of his failure to do so. This does not, however, mean that Ernst is not obliged to support Norma’s
son altogether. In international law, the party who wants to have a foreign law applied to a dispute or case has the
burden of proving the foreign law. In the present case, Ernst hastily concludes that being a national of the Netherlands,
he is governed by such laws on the matter of provision of and capacity to support. While Ernst pleaded the laws of the
Netherlands in advancing his position that he is not obliged to support his son, he never proved the same. It is incumbent
upon Ernst to plead and prove that the national law of the Netherlands does not impose upon the parents the obligation
to support their child. Foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take
judicial notice of them. Like any other fact, they must be alleged and proved. Moreover, foreign law should not be
applied when its application would work undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum. To give justice
is the most important function of law; hence, a law, or judgment or contract that is obviously unjust negates the
fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws. Applying the foregoing, even if the laws of the Netherlands neither enforce
a parent’s obligation to support his child nor penalize the non-compliance therewith, such obligation is still duly
enforceable in the Philippines because it would be of great injustice to the child to be denied of financial support when
the latter is entitled thereto.

2. YES. The court has jurisdiction over the offense (R.A 9262) because the foreigner is living here in the Philippines and
committed the offense here.

a. Right of third persons who pay, Art. 206-207, FC

LACSON vs. LACSON G.R. No. 150644 August 28, 2006

Facts: The sisters Maowee Daban Lacson and Maonaa Daban Lacson are legitimate daughters of petitioner Edward
V. Lacson and his wife, Lea Daban Lacson. Maowee was born onDecember 4, 1974, while Maonaa, a little less than a
year later. Not long after the birth of Maonaa, petitioner left the conjugal home in Molo, Iloilo City, virtually forcing
mother and children to seek, apparently for financial reason, shelter somewhere else. For a month, they stayed with
Lea’s mother-in-law, Alicia Lacson, then with her (Lea’s) mother and then with her brother Noel Daban. After some
time, they rented an apartment only to return later to the house of Lea’s mother. As the trial court aptly observed, the
sisters and their mother, from 1976 to 1994, or for a period of eighteen (18) years, shuttled from one dwelling place to
another not their own.

It appears that from the start of their estrangement, Lea did not badger her husband Edward for support, relying
initially on his commitment memorialized in a note dated December 10, 1975 to give support to his daughters. As
things turned out, however, Edward reneged on his promise of support, despite Lea’s efforts towards having him fulfill
the same. Lea would admit, though, that Edward occasionally gave their children meager amounts for school
expenses. Through the years and up to the middle part of 1992, Edward’s mother, Alicia Lacson, also gave small
amounts to help in the schooling of Maowee and Maonaa, both of whom eventually took up nursing at St. Paul’s
College in Iloilo City. In the early part of 1995 when Lea, in behalf of her two daughters, filed a complaint against
Edward for support before the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, Branch 33, Maowee was about to graduate.

In that complaint dated January 30, 1995, as amended, docketed as Civil Case No. 22185, Maowee and
Maonaa, thru their mother, averred that their father Edward, despite being gainfully employed and owning several
pieces of valuable lands, has not provided them support since 1976. They also alleged that, owing to years of
Edward’s failure and neglect, their mother had, from time to time, borrowed money from her brother Noel Daban. As
she would later testify, Lea had received from Noel, by way of a loan, as much as P400,000.00to P600,000.00.

In his Answer, Edward alleged giving to Maowee and Maonaa sufficient sum to meet their needs. He explained,
however, that his lack of regular income and the unproductivity of the land he inherited, not his neglect, accounted
for his failure at times to give regular support. He also blamed financial constraint for his inability to provide the
P12,000.00 monthly allowance prayed for in the complaint.

As applied for and after due hearing, the trial court granted the sisters Maowee and Maonaa support pendente lite
at P12,000.00 per month, subject to the schedule of payment and other conditions set forth in the court’s
corresponding order of May 13, 1996. The RTC rendered on June 26, 1997 judgment finding for the plaintiff sisters, as
represented by their mother. In that judgment, the trial court, following an elaborate formula set forth therein, ordered
their defendant father Edward to pay them a specific sum which represented 216 months, or 18 years, of support in
arrears. In time, Edward moved for reconsideration, but his motion was denied by the appellate court.

Issue: Whether or not the Noel Daban can rightfully exact reimbursement from the petitioner.

Ruling: Yes. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. Pursuant to Article 207 of the Family
Code, Noel Daban can rightfully exact reimbursement from the petitioner. The provision reads:

When the person obliged to support another unjustly refuses or fails to give support when urgently needed by
the latter, any third person may furnish support to the needy individual, with right of reimbursement from the person
obliged to give support.

Mention may also be made that, contextually, the resulting juridical relationship between the petitioner and
Noel Daban is a quasi-contract, an equitable principle enjoining one from unjustly enriching himself at the expense of

Petitioner, unlike any good father of a family, has been remiss in his duty to provide respondents with support
practically all throughout their growing years. At bottom, the sisters have been deprived by a neglectful father of the
basic necessities in life as if it is their fault to have been born. This disposition is thus nothing more than a belated
measure to right a wrong done the herein respondents who are no less petitioner’s daughters. 6. How given, Art. 203,
par. 3 and Art. 204, FC

7. Exemption from levy and attachment, Art. 205 and 208, FC

8. Contractual Support or support in a will, Art. 208, FC

9. Support pendent lite, Rule 61, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure


January 29, 1996

Facts: Hilario Ruiz executed a holographic will where he named the following as his heirs: (a.) Edmond Ruiz – only son;
(b.) Maria Pilar Ruiz – adopted daughter; (c.) Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria Angeline - 3
granddaughters, all daughters of Ruiz. Testator bequeathed to his heirs substantial cash, personal and real properties
and named Edmond Ruiz executor of his estate. Hilario Ruiz died and the cash component of his estate was
immediately distributed among Ruiz and respondents. Edmond, the named executor, did not take any action for the
probate of his father's holographic will. Four years after, Pilar filed before the RTC a petition for the probate and
approval of the deceased’s will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to Edmond Ruiz. Edmond opposed the
petition on the ground that the will was executed under undue influence. The house and lot in Valle Verde, Pasig
which the testator bequeathed to the 3 granddaughters was leased out by Edmond to third persons. Probate court
ordered Edmond to deposit with the Branch Clerk of Court the rental deposit and payments totalling P540,000.00
representing the one-year lease of the Valle Verde property. Edmond moved for the release of P50,000.00 to pay the
real estate taxes on the real properties of the estate. The probate court approved the release of P7,722.00. Edmond
withdrew his opposition to the probate of the will. Probate court admitted the will to probate and ordered the
issuance of letters testamentary to Edmond conditioned upon the filing of a bond in the amount of P50,000.00 Testate
Estate of Hilario Ruiz, with Edmond Ruiz as executor, filed an "Ex-Parte Motion for Release of Funds. Prayed for release
of the rent payments deposited with the Branch Clerk of Court. Montes opposed and praying that the release of rent
payments be given to the 3 granddaughters. Probate court denied the release of funds and granted the motion of
Montes due to Edmond’s lack of opposition. Probate Court ordered the release of the funds to Edmond but only "such
amount as may be necessary to cover the expenses of administration and allowances for support" of the testator's
three granddaughters subject to collation and deductible from their share in the inheritance. CA sustained probate
court’s order.

Issues: Whether or not the probate court, after admitting the will to probate but before payment of the estate's debts
and obligations, has the authority:
a) to grant an allowance from the funds of the estate for the support of the testator's grandchildren b) to order the
release of the titles to certain heirs c) to grant possession of all properties of the estate to the executor of the will.

Ruling: No. Grandchildren are not entitled to provisional support from the funds of the decedent's estate. The law
clearly limits the allowance to "widow and children" and does not extend it to the deceased's grandchildren,
regardless of their minority or incapacity.

Section 3 of Rule 83 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: Allowance to widow and family. — The widow and minor
or incapacitated children of a deceased person, during the settlement of the estate, shall receive therefrom under
the direction of the court, such allowance as are provided by law.

In settlement of estate proceedings, the distribution of the estate properties can only be
a. after all the debts, funeral charges, expenses of administration, allowance to the widow, and estate tax have been
paid; or b. before payment of said obligations only if the distributees or any of them gives a bond in a sum fixed by
the court conditioned upon the payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs, or when provision is
made to meet those obligations.

In the case at bar, the probate court ordered the release of the titles to the Valle Verde property and the Blue Ridge
apartments to the private respondents after the lapse of six months from the date of first publication of the notice to
creditors c. Hilario Ruiz allegedly left no debts when he died but the taxes on his estate had not hitherto been paid,
much less ascertained. d. The estate tax is one of those obligations that must be paid before distribution of the estate.
i. If not yet paid, the rule requires that the distributees post a bond or make such provisions as to meet the said tax
obligation in proportion to their respective shares in the inheritance. ii. at the time the order was issued the properties
of the estate had not yet been inventoried and appraised.

The probate of a will is conclusive as to its due execution and extrinsic validity and settles only the question of whether
the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed it in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law e. Questions
as to the intrinsic validity and efficacy of the provisions of the will, the legality of any devise or legacy may be raised
even after the will has been authenticated i. The intrinsic validity of Hilario's holographic will was controverted by
petitioner before the probate court in his Reply to Montes' Opposition to his motion for release of funds and his motion
for reconsideration of the August 26, 1993 order of the said court. ii. Therein, petitioner assailed the distributive shares
of the devisees and legatees inasmuch as his father's will included the estate of his mother and allegedly impaired his
legitime as an intestate heir of his mother. iii. The Rules provide that if there is a controversy as to who are the lawful
heirs of the decedent and their distributive shares in his estate, the probate court shall proceed to hear and decide
the same as in ordinary cases.

The right of an executor or administrator to the possession and management of the real and personal properties of
the deceased is not absolute and can only be exercised "so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and
expenses of administration

a. Support during the proceedings for declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage or legal separation, Art. 198, FC

REYES vs. INES-LUCIANO G.R. No. L-48219 February 28, 1979

Facts: Manuel Reyes attacked his wife twice with the intent to kill. A complaint was filed on June 3, 1976: the first
attempt on March was prevented by her father and the second attempt, wherein she was already living separately
from her husband, was stopped only because of her driver’s intervention. She filed for legal separation on that ground
and prayed for support pendente lite for herself and her three children. The husband opposed the application for
support on the ground that the wife committed adultery with her physician. The respondent Judge Ines-Luciano of the
lower court granted the wife pendente lite. The husband filed a motion for reconsideration reiterating that his wife is
not entitled to receive such support during the pendency of the case, and that even if she is entitled to it, the amount
awarded was excessive. The judge reduced the amount from P5000 to P4000 monthly. Husband filed a petition for
certiorari in the CA to annul the order granting alimony. CA dismissed the petition which made the husband appeal to
the SC.
Issue: Whether or not support can be administered during the pendency of an action.

Ruling: Yes – provided that adultery is established by competent evidence. Mere allegations will not bar her right to
receive support pendente lite. Support can be administered during the pendency of such cases. In determining the
amount, it is not necessary to go into the merits of the case. It is enough that the facts be established by affidavits or
other documentary evidence appearing in the record. [The SC on July, 1978 ordered the alimony to be P1000/month
from the period of June to February 1979, after the trial, it was reverted to P4000/month based on the accepted
findings of the trial court that the husband could afford it because of his affluence and because it wasn’t excessive.

L. Parental Authority and Custody Art. XV, Sec. 3 (1) and (2) of 1987 Constitution; Art. 20, FC Patria Potestas

1. Characteristics of Parental Authority, Art. 210, FC

SILVA vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 114742 July 17, 1997

Facts: Carlitos Silva and Suzanne Gonzales had a live-in relationship and they had two children, namely, Ramon
Carlos and Rica Natalia. Silva and Suzanne eventually separated. Silva and Suzanne had an understanding that Silva
would have the children in his company on weekends. The legal conflict began when Silva claimed that Suzanne
broke that understanding on visitation rights. Silva filed a petition for custodial rights over the children before the
Regional Trial Court Branch 78 of Quezon City. The petition was opposed by Gonzales who claimed that Silva often
engaged in "gambling and womanizing" which she feared could affect the moral and social values of the children.
The Quezon City RTC ruled in favor of Silva giving him visitorial rights to his children during Saturdays and/or Sundays.

The court however explicitly stated that in no case should Silva take the children out without the written consent of
Suzanne. Suzanne filed an appeal from the RTC’s decision to the Court of Appeals. In the meantime, Suzanne had
gotten married to a Dutch national. She eventually immigrated to Holland with her children Ramon Carlos and Rica

The Court of Appeals overturned the ruling of the Quezon City RTC. The CA, stated that as alleged by Suzanne, Silva’s
womanizing would have a negative influence on the children.

Issues: a) Whether or not Silva has visitation rights. b) Whether or not the mother has parental authority over the

Ruling: The High Court set aside the ruling of the Court of Appeals and reinstated the Quezon City RTC’s decision
favoring Silva’s visitation rights on weekends with Suzanne’s written permission. The Supreme Court ruled that the
biological father has visitorial right over his illegitimate children in view of the constitutionally protected inherent and
natural right of parents over their children. The Court clarified: “Parents have the natural right, as well as the moral and
legal duty, to care for their children, see to their proper upbringing and safeguard their best interest and welfare. This
authority and responsibility may not be unduly denied the parents; neither may it be renounced by them. Even when
the parents are estranged and their affection for each other is lost, their attachment to and feeling for their offspring
remain unchanged. Neither the law nor the courts allow this affinity to suffer, absent any real, grave or imminent
threat to the well-being of the child.”

The mother has exclusive parental authority over her illegitimate child (Art. 176 of the Family Code). The biological
father has visitorial right over his illegitimate children in view of the constitutionally protected inherent and natural right
of parents over their children. This right is personal to the father; no other person, like grandparents, can exercise this
right for him. Silva (the father) may have won with the Supreme Court’s upholding of his visitation rights, but this
favorable decision did not prevent Suzanne (the mother) in the exercise of her parental authority from immigrating to
Holland with her two children. The right to visitation and the duty to pay child support are distinct and separate. If the
mother and the father of the illegitimate child can agree on the terms and conditions of the visitation, then there will
be no problem. In case of disagreement however, the father must file a petition asking the court to settle the terms
and conditions.
Imbong vs Ochoa

Substantial: Right to Life; Health; Religion; Free Speech; Privacy; Due Process Clause; Equal Protection Clause

Procedural: Actual Case; Facial Challenge; Locus Standi; Declaratory Relief; One Subject One Title Rule

G.R. No. 204819 April 8, 2014

JAMES M. IMBONG and LOVELY-ANN C. IMBONG, for themselves and in behalf of their minor children, LUCIA CARLOS
HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., Executive Secretary, HON. FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Secretary, Department of Budget and
Management, HON. ENRIQUE T. ONA, Secretary, Department of Health, HON. ARMIN A. LUISTRO, Secretary,
Department of Education, Culture and Sports and HON. MANUELA. ROXAS II, Secretary, Department of Interior and
Local Government, Respondents.


Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10354, otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012
(RH Law), was enacted by Congress on December 21, 2012.

Challengers from various sectors of society are questioning the constitutionality of the said Act. The petitioners are
assailing the constitutionality of RH Law on the following grounds:


1. The RH Law violates the right to life of the unborn.

2. The RH Law violates the right to health and the right to protection against hazardous products.
3. The RH Law violates the right to religious freedom.
4. The RH Law violates the constitutional provision on involuntary servitude.
5. The RH Law violates the right to equal protection of the law.
6. The RH Law violates the right to free speech.
7. The RH Law is “void-for-vagueness” in violation of the due process clause of the Constitution.
8. The RH Law intrudes into the zone of privacy of one’s family protected by the Constitution

PROCEDURAL: Whether the Court may exercise its power of judicial review over the controversy.

1. Power of Judicial Review

2. Actual Case or Controversy
3. Facial Challenge
4. Locus Standi
5. Declaratory Relief
6. One Subject/One Title Rule


Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the:

1. Right to life
2. Right to health
3. Freedom of religion and right to free speech
4. Right to privacy (marital privacy and autonomy)
5. Freedom of expression and academic freedom
6. Due process clause
7. Equal protection clause
8. Prohibition against involuntary servitude


Whether the Court can exercise its power of judicial review over the controversy.

1. Actual Case or Controversy

2. Facial Challenge
3. Locus Standi
4. Declaratory Relief
5. One Subject/One Title Rule



Judicial Review Jurisprudence is replete with the rule that the power of judicial review is limited by four exacting
requisites: (a) there must be an actual case or controversy; (b) the petitioners must possess locus standi; (c) the
question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (d) the issue of constitutionality must be the
lis mota of the case.

Actual Controversy: An actual case or controversy means an existing case or controversy that is appropriate or ripe
for determination, not conjectural or anticipatory, lest the decision of the court would amount to an advisory opinion.
It must concern a real, tangible and not merely a theoretical question or issue. There ought to be an actual and
substantial controversy admitting of specific relief through a decree conclusive in nature, as distinguished from an
opinion advising what the law would be upon a hypothetical state of facts. Corollary to the requirement of an actual
case or controversy is the requirement of ripeness. A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged
has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. For a case to be considered ripe for adjudication, it is
a prerequisite that something has then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come
into the picture, and the petitioner must allege the existence of an immediate or threatened injury to himself as a
result of the challenged action. He must show that he has sustained or is immediately in danger of sustaining some
direct injury as a result of the act complained of

Facial Challenge: A facial challenge, also known as a First Amendment Challenge, is one that is launched to assail the
validity of statutes concerning not only protected speech, but also all other rights in the First Amendment. These
include religious freedom, freedom of the press, and the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition
the Government for a redress of grievances. After all, the fundamental right to religious freedom, freedom of the press
and peaceful assembly are but component rights of the right to one’s freedom of expression, as they are modes
which one’s thoughts are externalized.
Locus Standi: Locus standi or legal standing is defined as a personal and substantial interest in a case such that the
party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the challenged governmental act. It requires a personal
stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure the concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of
issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions.

Transcendental Importance: the Court leans on the doctrine that “the rule on standing is a matter of procedure,
hence, can be relaxed for non-traditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens, taxpayers, and legislators when the public
interest so requires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of overreaching significance to society,
or of paramount public interest.”

One Subject-One Title: The “one title-one subject” rule does not require the Congress to employ in the title of the
enactment language of such precision as to mirror, fully index or catalogue all the contents and the minute details
therein. The rule is sufficiently complied with if the title is comprehensive enough as to include the general object
which the statute seeks to effect, and where, as here, the persons interested are informed of the nature, scope and
consequences of the proposed law and its operation. Moreover, this Court has invariably adopted a liberal rather
than technical construction of the rule “so as not to cripple or impede legislation.” The one subject/one title rule
expresses the principle that the title of a law must not be “so uncertain that the average person reading it would not
be informed of the purpose of the enactment or put on inquiry as to its contents, or which is misleading, either in
referring to or indicating one subject where another or different one is really embraced in the act, or in omitting any
expression or indication of the real subject or scope of the act.”

Declaration of Unconstitutionality: Orthodox view: An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no
duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never
been passed. Modern view: Under this view, the court in passing upon the question of constitutionality does not annul
or repeal the statute if it finds it in conflict with the Constitution. It simply refuses to recognize it and determines the
rights of the parties just as if such statute had no existence. But certain legal effects of the statute prior to its
declaration of unconstitutionality may be recognized. Requisites for partial unconstitutionality: (1) The Legislature must
be willing to retain the valid portion(s), usually shown by the presence of a separability clause in the law; and (2) The
valid portion can stand independently as law.



1. Majority of the Members of the Court believe that the question of when life begins is a scientific and medical issue
that should not be decided, at this stage, without proper hearing and evidence. However, they agreed that
individual Members could express their own views on this matter.

Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution states: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and
strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life
of the unborn from conception.”

In its plain and ordinary meaning (a canon in statutory construction), the traditional meaning of “conception”
according to reputable dictionaries cited by the ponente is that life begins at fertilization. Medical sources also
support the view that conception begins at fertilization.

The framers of the Constitution also intended for (a) “conception” to refer to the moment of “fertilization” and (b) the
protection of the unborn child upon fertilization. In addition, they did not intend to ban all contraceptives for being
unconstitutional; only those that kill or destroy the fertilized ovum would be prohibited. Contraceptives that actually
prevent the union of the male sperm and female ovum, and those that similarly take action before fertilization should
be deemed non-abortive, and thus constitutionally permissible.

The intent of the framers of the Constitution for protecting the life of the unborn child was to prevent the Legislature
from passing a measure prevent abortion. The Court cannot interpret this otherwise. The RH Law is in line with this intent
and actually prohibits abortion. By using the word “or” in defining abortifacient (Section 4(a)), the RH Law prohibits not
only drugs or devices that prevent implantation but also those that induce abortion and induce the destruction of a
fetus inside the mother’s womb. The RH Law recognizes that the fertilized ovum already has life and that the State has
a bounded duty to protect it.

However, the authors of the IRR gravely abused their office when they redefined the meaning of abortifacient by
using the term “primarily”. Recognizing as abortifacients only those that “primarily induce abortion or the destruction
of a fetus inside the mother’s womb or the prevention of the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the
mother’s womb” (Sec. 3.01(a) of the IRR) would pave the way for the approval of contraceptives that may harm or
destroy the life of the unborn from conception/fertilization. This violates Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. For the
same reason, the definition of contraceptives under the IRR (Sec 3.01(j)), which also uses the term “primarily”, must be
struck down.

2. The RH Law does not intend to do away with RA 4729 (1966). With RA 4729 in place, the Court believes adequate
safeguards exist to ensure that only safe contraceptives are made available to the public. In fulfilling its mandate
under Sec. 10 of the RH Law, the DOH must keep in mind the provisions of RA 4729: the contraceptives it will
procure shall be from a duly licensed drug store or pharmaceutical company and that the actual distribution of
these contraceptive drugs and devices will be done following a prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.

Meanwhile, the requirement of Section 9 of the RH Law is to be considered “mandatory” only after these devices and
materials have been tested, evaluated and approved by the FDA. Congress cannot determine that contraceptives
are “safe, legal, non-abortificient and effective”.

3. The Court cannot determine whether or not the use of contraceptives or participation in support of modern RH
measures (a) is moral from a religious standpoint; or, (b) right or wrong according to one’s dogma or belief.
However, the Court has the authority to determine whether or not the RH Law contravenes the Constitutional
guarantee of religious freedom.

The State may pursue its legitimate secular objectives without being dictated upon the policies of any one religion. To
allow religious sects to dictate policy or restrict other groups would violate Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution or the
Establishment Clause. This would cause the State to adhere to a particular religion, and thus, establishes a state
religion. Thus, the State can enhance its population control program through the RH Law even if the promotion of
contraceptive use is contrary to the religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners.

4. Section 23A (2)(i) of the RH Law, which permits RH procedures even with only the consent of the spouse
undergoing the provision (disregarding spousal content), intrudes into martial privacy and autonomy and goes
against the constitutional safeguards for the family as the basic social institution. Particularly, Section 3, Article XV
of the Constitution mandates the State to defend: (a) the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with
their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood and (b) the right of families or family
associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them. The RH
Law cannot infringe upon this mutual decision-making, and endanger the institutions of marriage and the family.

The exclusion of parental consent in cases where a minor undergoing a procedure is already a parent or has had a
miscarriage (Section 7 of the RH Law) is also anti-family and violates Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution, which
states: “The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the
development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” In addition, the portion of Section
23(a)(ii) which reads “in the case of minors, the written consent of parents or legal guardian or, in their absence,
persons exercising parental authority or next-of-kin shall be required only in elective surgical procedures” is invalid as it
denies the right of parental authority in cases where what is involved is “non-surgical procedures.”
However, a minor may receive information (as opposed to procedures) about family planning services. Parents are
not deprived of parental guidance and control over their minor child in this situation and may assist her in deciding
whether to accept or reject the information received. In addition, an exception may be made in life-threatening

5. The Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of Section 14 of the RH Law, which mandates the State to
provide Age-and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. Although educators might raise their
objection to their participation in the RH education program, the Court reserves its judgment should an actual
case be filed before it.

Any attack on its constitutionality is premature because the Department of Education has not yet formulated a
curriculum on age-appropriate reproductive health education.

Section 12, Article II of the Constitution places more importance on the role of parents in the development of their
children with the use of the term “primary”. The right of parents in upbringing their youth is superior to that of the State.

The provisions of Section 14 of the RH Law and corresponding provisions of the IRR supplement (rather than supplant)
the right and duties of the parents in the moral development of their children.

By incorporating parent-teacher-community associations, school officials, and other interest groups in developing the
mandatory RH program, it could very well be said that the program will be in line with the religious beliefs of the

6. The RH Law does not violate the due process clause of the Constitution as the definitions of several terms as
observed by the petitioners are not vague.

The definition of “private health care service provider” must be seen in relation to Section 4(n) of the RH Law which
defines a “public health service provider”. The “private health care institution” cited under Section 7 should be seen
as synonymous to “private health care service provider.

The terms “service” and “methods” are also broad enough to include providing of information and rendering of
medical procedures. Thus, hospitals operated by religious groups are exempted from rendering RH service and
modern family planning methods (as provided for by Section 7 of the RH Law) as well as from giving RH information
and procedures.

The RH Law also defines “incorrect information”. Used together in relation to Section 23 (a)(1), the terms “incorrect”
and “knowingly” connote a sense of malice and ill motive to mislead or misrepresent the public as to the nature and
effect of programs and services on reproductive health.

7. To provide that the poor are to be given priority in the government’s RH program is not a violation of the equal
protection clause. In fact, it is pursuant to Section 11, Article XIII of the Constitution, which states that the State shall
prioritize the needs of the underprivileged, sick elderly, disabled, women, and children and that it shall endeavor
to provide medical care to paupers.

The RH Law does not only seek to target the poor to reduce their number, since Section 7 of the RH Law prioritizes poor
and marginalized couples who are suffering from fertility issues and desire to have children. In addition, the RH Law
does not prescribe the number of children a couple may have and does not impose conditions upon couples who
intend to have children. The RH Law only seeks to provide priority to the poor.

The exclusion of private educational institutions from the mandatory RH education program under Section 14 is valid.
There is a need to recognize the academic freedom of private educational institutions especially with respect to
religious instruction and to consider their sensitivity towards the teaching of reproductive health education
8. The requirement under Sec. 17 of the RH Law for private and non-government health care service providers to
render 48 hours of pro bonoRH services does not amount to involuntary servitude, for two reasons. First, the
practice of medicine is undeniably imbued with public interest that it is both the power and a duty of the State to
control and regulate it in order to protect and promote the public welfare. Second, Section 17 only encourages
private and non-government RH service providers to render pro bono Besides the PhilHealth accreditation, no
penalty is imposed should they do otherwise.

However, conscientious objectors are exempt from Sec. 17 as long as their religious beliefs do not allow them to
render RH service, pro bono or otherwise


1. In this case, the Court is of the view that an actual case or controversy exists and that the same is ripe for judicial
determination. Considering that the RH Law and its implementing rules have already taken effect and that
budgetary measures to carry out the law have already been passed, it is evident that the subject petitions present
a justiciable controversy. As stated earlier, when an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have
infringed the Constitution, it not only becomes a right, but also a duty of the Judiciary to settle the dispute.

Moreover, the petitioners have shown that the case is so because medical practitioners or medical providers are in
danger of being criminally prosecuted under the RH Law for vague violations thereof, particularly public health
officers who are threatened to be dismissed from the service with forfeiture of retirement and other benefits. They
must, at least, be heard on the matter now.

2. In this jurisdiction, the application of doctrines originating from the U.S. has been generally maintained, albeit with
some modifications. While the Court has withheld the application of facial challenges to strictly penal statues, it
has expanded its scope to cover statutes not only regulating free speech, but also those involving religious
freedom, and other fundamental rights. The underlying reason for this modification is simple. For unlike its
counterpart in the U.S., this Court, under its expanded jurisdiction, is mandated by the Fundamental Law not only
to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, but also to
determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. Verily, the framers of Our Constitution envisioned
a proactive Judiciary, ever vigilant with its duty to maintain the supremacy of the Constitution.

Consequently, considering that the foregoing petitions have seriously alleged that the constitutional human rights to
life, speech and religion and other fundamental rights mentioned above have been violated by the assailed
legislation, the Court has authority to take cognizance of these kindred petitions and to determine if the RH Law can
indeed pass constitutional scrutiny. To dismiss these petitions on the simple expedient that there exist no actual case or
controversy, would diminish this Court as a reactive branch of government, acting only when the Fundamental Law
has been transgressed, to the detriment of the Filipino people.

3. Even if the constitutionality of the RH Law may not be assailed through an “as-applied challenge, still, the Court
has time and again acted liberally on the locus standi requirement. It has accorded certain individuals standing to
sue, not otherwise directly injured or with material interest affected by a Government act, provided a
constitutional issue of transcendental importance is invoked. The rule on locus standi is, after all, a procedural
technicality which the Court has, on more than one occasion, waived or relaxed, thus allowing non-traditional
plaintiffs, such as concerned citizens, taxpayers, voters or legislators, to sue in the public interest, albeit they may
not have been directly injured by the operation of a law or any other government act.

The present action cannot be properly treated as a petition for prohibition, the transcendental importance of the
issues involved in this case warrants that the Court set aside the technical defects and take primary jurisdiction over
the petition at bar. One cannot deny that the issues raised herein have potentially pervasive influence on the social
and moral well being of this nation, specially the youth; hence, their proper and just determination is an imperative
need. This is in accordance with the well-entrenched principle that rules of procedure are not inflexible tools designed
to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. Their strict and rigid application, which
would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate, rather than promote substantial justice, must always be eschewed.

4. Most of the petitions are praying for injunctive reliefs and so the Court would just consider them as petitions for
prohibition under Rule 65, over which it has original jurisdiction. Where the case has far-reaching implications and
prays for injunctive reliefs, the Court may consider them as petitions for prohibition under Rule 65.
5. The RH Law does not violate the one subject/one bill rule. In this case, a textual analysis of the various provisions of
the law shows that both “reproductive health” and “responsible parenthood” are interrelated and germane to
the overriding objective to control the population growth. As expressed in the first paragraph of Section 2 of the
RH Law:

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – The State recognizes and guarantees the human rights of all persons including their
right to equality and nondiscrimination of these rights, the right to sustainable human development, the right to health
which includes reproductive health, the right to education and information, and the right to choose and make
decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions, ethics, cultural beliefs, and the demands of
responsible parenthood.

Considering the close intimacy between “reproductive health” and “responsible parenthood” which bears to the
attainment of the goal of achieving “sustainable human development” as stated under its terms, the Court finds no
reason to believe that Congress intentionally sought to deceive the public as to the contents of the assailed

Accordingly, the Court declares R.A. No. 10354 as NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL except with respect to the following
provisions which are declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL:

1) Section 7 and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they: a) require private health facilities and non-
maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group to refer patients, not in an
emergency or life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to another health facility which is
conveniently accessible; and b) allow minor-parents or minors who have suffered a miscarriage access to modem
methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or guardian/s;

2) Section 23(a)(l) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar as they
punish any healthcare service provider who fails and or refuses to disseminate information regarding programs and
services on reproductive health regardless of his or her religious beliefs.

3) Section 23(a)(2)(i) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they allow a married individual, not in an
emergency or life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to undergo reproductive health
procedures without the consent of the spouse;

4) Section 23(a)(2)(ii) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they limit the requirement of parental
consent only to elective surgical procedures.

5) Section 23(a)(3) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5.24 thereof, insofar as they
punish any healthcare service provider who fails and/or refuses to refer a patient not in an emergency or life-
threatening case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to another health care service provider within the same
facility or one which is conveniently accessible regardless of his or her religious beliefs;
6) Section 23(b) and the corresponding provision in the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar as they punish
any public officer who refuses to support reproductive health programs or shall do any act that hinders the full
implementation of a reproductive health program, regardless of his or her religious beliefs;

7) Section 17 and the corresponding prov1s10n in the RH-IRR regarding the rendering of pro bona reproductive health
service in so far as they affect the conscientious objector in securing PhilHealth accreditation; and

8) Section 3.0l(a) and Section 3.01 G) of the RH-IRR, which added the qualifier “primarily” in defining abortifacients
and contraceptives, as they are ultra vires and, therefore, null and void for contravening Section 4(a) of the RH Law
and violating Section 12, Article II of the Constitution.

2. Who exercises parental authority and custody, Art. 211, FC

TONOG vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 122906 February 7, 2002

Facts: In 1989, Dinah B. Tonog gave birth to Gardin Faith Belarde Tonog, her illegitimate daughter with Edgar V.
Daguimol. A year after the birth of Gardin, Dinah left for the USA where she found a work as a registerednurse. Gardin
was left in the care of her father and paternal grandparents.

Edgar filed a petition forguardianship over Gardin in the RTC of Quezon City. In March 1992, the court granted the
petition and appointed Edgar as legal guardian of Gardin. In May 1992, Dinah filed a petition for relief from judgment.
She averred that she learned of the judgment only on April 1, 1992. The trial court set aside its original judgment and
allowed Dinah to file her opposition to Edgar's petition. Edgar, in turn, filed a motion for reconsideration.

In 1993, Dinah filed a motion to remand custody of Gardin to her. In 1994, the trial court issued a resolution denying
Edgar's motion for reconsideration and granting Dinah's motion for custody of Gardin. Dinah moved for the
immediate execution of the resolution.

Edgar, thus, filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. The CA dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
Upon motion for reconsideration, CA modified its decision and let Gardin remain in the custody of Edgar until
otherwise adjudged. Dinah appealed to the Supreme Court, contending that she is entitled to the custody of the
minor, Gardin, as a matter of law. First, as the mother of Gardin Faith, the law confers parental authority upon her as
the mother of the illegitimate minor. Second, Gardin cannot be separated from her since she had not, as of then,
attained the age of seven. Employing simple arithmetic however, it appears that Gardin Faith is now twelve years old.

Issue: Who is entitled to the temporary custody of the child pending the guardianship proceeding?

Ruling: In custody disputes, it is axiomatic that the paramount criterion is the welfare and well-being of the child.
Statute sets certain rules to assist the court in making an informed decision. Insofar as illegitimate children are
concerned, Article 176 of the Family Code provides that illegitimate children shall be under the parental authority of
their mother. Likewise, Article 213 of the Family Code provides that “[n]o child under seven years of age shall be
separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.” It will be observed that in
both provisions, a strong bias is created in favor of the mother. This is especially evident in Article 213 where it may be
said that the law presumes that the mother is the best custodian. As explained by the Code Commission: The general
rule is recommended in order to avoid many a tragedy where a mother has seen her baby torn away from her. No
man can sound the deep sorrows of a mother who is deprived of her child of tender age. The exception allowed by
the rule has to be for “compelling reasons” for the good of the child.

For these reasons, even a mother may be deprived of the custody of her child who is below seven years of age for
“compelling reasons.” Instances of unsuitability are neglect, abandonment, unemployment and immorality, habitual
drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable illness. If older
than seven years of age, a child is allowed to state his preference, but the court is not bound by that choice. The
court may exercise its discretion by disregarding the child’s preference should the parent chosen be found to be unfit,
in which instance, custody may be given to the other parent, or even to a third person.
In the case at bar, we are being asked to rule on the temporary custody of the minor, Gardin Faith, since it appears
that 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. Bearing in mind that the welfare of the said minor as
the controlling factor, we find that the appellate court did not err in allowing her father to retain in the meantime
parental custody over her. Meanwhile, 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.

Moreover, whether a mother is a fit parent for her child is a question of fact to be properly entertained in the special
proceedings before the trial court. It should be recalled that in a petition for review on certiorari, we rule only on
questions of law. We are not in the best position to assess the parties’ respective merits vis-à-vis their opposing claims
for custody. Yet another sound reason is that inasmuch as the age of the minor, Gardin Faith, has now exceeded the
statutory bar of seven years, a fortiori, her preference and opinion must first be sought in the choice of which parent
should have the custody over her person.

For the present and until finally adjudged, temporary custody of the subject minor should remain with her father, the
private respondent herein pending final judgment of the trial court.

VANCIL vs. BELMES G.R. No. 132223 June 19, 2001

Facts: Bonifacia Vancil, is the mother of Reeder C. Vancil, a US Navy serviceman who died on 1986. During his
lifetime, Reeder had two children named Valerie and Vincent by his common-law wife, Helen G. Belmes. Bonifacia
obtained a favorable court decision appointing her as legal and judicial guardian over the persons and estate of
Valerie and Vincent.

On August 13, 1987, Helen submitted an opposition to the subject guardianship proceedings asseverating that she
had already filed a similar petition for guardianship before the RTC of Pagadian City. On June 27, 1988, Helen followed
her opposition with a motion for the Removal of Guardian and Appointment of a New One, asserting that she is the
natural mother in actual custody of and exercising parental authority over the subject minors at Dumingag,
Zamboanga del Sur where they are permanently residing. She also states that at the time the petition was filed,
Bonifacia was a resident of Colorado, U.S.A. being a naturalized American citizen.

On October 12, 1988, the trial court rejected and denied Helen’s motion to remove and/or to disqualify Bonifacia as
guardian of Valerie and Vincent Jr. On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision reversing the RTC. Since
Valerie had reached the age of majority at the time the case reached the Supreme Court, the issue revolved around
the guardianship of Vincent.

Issue: Who between the mother and grandmother of minor Vincent should be his guardian?

Ruling: Respondent Helen Belmes, being the natural mother of the minor, has the preferential right over that of
petitioner Bonifacia to be his guardian. Article 211 of the Family Code provides: "Art. 211. The father and the mother
shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the
father’s decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary. xxx." Indeed, being the natural mother of
minor Vincent, Helen has the corresponding natural and legal right to his custody.

"Of considerable importance is the rule long accepted by the courts that ‘the right of parents to the custody of their
minor children is one of the natural rights incident to parenthood,’ a right supported by law and sound public policy.
The right is an inherent one, which is not created by the state or decisions of the courts, but derives from the nature of
the parental relationship."

Bonifacia contends that she is more qualified as guardian of Vincent. Bonifacia’s claim to be the guardian of said
minor can only be realized by way of substitute parental authority pursuant to Article 214 of the Family Code, thus:
"Art. 214. In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental authority shall be exercised by
the surviving grandparent. xxx."
Bonifacia, as the surviving grandparent, can exercise substitute parental authority only in case of death, absence or
unsuitability of Helen. Considering that Helen is very much alive and has exercised continuously parental authority
over Vincent, Bonifacia has to prove, in asserting her right to be the minor’s guardian, Helen’s unsuitability. Bonifacia,
however, has not proffered convincing evidence showing that Helen is not suited to be the guardian of Vincent.
Bonifacia merely insists that Helen is morally unfit as guardian of Valerie considering that her live-in partner raped
Valerie several times. But Valerie, being now of major age, is no longer a subject of this guardianship proceeding.

Even assuming that Helen is unfit as guardian of minor Vincent, still Bonifacia cannot qualify as a substitute guardian.
She is an American citizen and a resident of Colorado. Obviously, she will not be able to perform the responsibilities
and obligations required of a guardian. In fact, in her petition, she admitted the difficulty of discharging the duties of
a guardian by an expatriate, like her. To be sure, she will merely delegate those duties to someone else who may not
also qualify as a guardian.

There is nothing in the law which requires the courts to appoint residents only as administrators or guardians. However,
notwithstanding the fact that there are no statutory requirements upon this question, the courts, charged with the
responsibilities of protecting the estates of deceased persons, wards of the estate, etc., will find much difficulty in
complying with this duty by appointing administrators and guardians who are not personally subject to their
jurisdiction. Notwithstanding that there is no statutory requirement; the courts should not consent to the appointment
of persons as administrators and guardians who are not personally subject to the jurisdiction of our courts here.


December 7, 2001

Facts: Respondent Fouzi (then 31 years of age) and Sabrina (then 20 years of age) were married on February 3,1988,
at the Manila Hotel, Ermita, Manila under Islamic rites. On October 21, 1987, or four (4) months before her marriage,
Sabrina became a Muslim by conversion. However, the conversion was not registered with the Code of Muslim
Personal Laws of the Philippines. Out of their union, they begot two (2) children, namely, Abdulaziz, born on June 13,
1989, and Amouaje, born on September 29, 1990. The children were born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. At the time of their
marriage, unknown to petitioner, respondent was still married to a Saudi Arabian woman whom he later divorced.

After their marriage, the couple moved in with respondent's family in Makati City. In 1990, the parties migrated and
settled in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where they lived for more than two years. Sometime in December 1995, the children
lived in the house of Sabrina's mother in 145 Tanguile Street, Ayala Alabang. Fouzi alleged that he could not see his
children until he got an order from the court. Even with a court order, he could only see his children in school at De La
Salle-Zobel, Alabang, Muntinlupa City .

On December 15, 1996, Sabrina had the children baptized as Christians and their names changed from Abdulaziz
Bondagjy to Azziz Santiago Artadi and from Amouaje Bondagjy to Amouage Selina Artadi. Respondent alleged that
on various occasions Sabrina was seen with different men at odd hours in Manila,and that she would wear short skirts,
sleeveless blouses, and bathing suits. Such clothing are detestable under Islamic law on customs. Fouzi claimed that
Sabrina let their children sweep their neighbor's house for a fee of P40.00 after the children come home from school.
Whenever Fouzi sees them in school, the children would be happy to see him but they were afraid to ride in his car.
Instead, they would ride the jeepney in going home from school. Petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch
256, Muntinlupa City an action for nullity of marriage, custody and support, ordered the parties to maintain status quo
until further orders from said court. On March 2, 1999, petitioner filed another motion to dismiss on the ground of lack
of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case since P.D. No. 1083 is applicable only to Muslims. On March 3, 1999,
Fouzi filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss and argued that at the inception of the case, both parties were
Muslims, Fouzi by birth and Sabrina by conversion.

The Shari'a District Court held that P.D. No. 1083 on Custody and Guardianship does not apply to this case because
the spouses were not yet divorced. The Shari' a District Court found petitioner unworthy to care for her children. The
Shari'a Court found that respondent Fouzi was capable both personally and financially to look after the best interest
of his minor children.
Issue: Whether or not a wife, a Christian who converted to Islam before her marriage to a Muslim and converted
back to Catholicism upon their separation, still bound by the moral laws of Islam in the determination of her fitness to
be the custodian of her children?

Ruling: The Supreme Court in the case stated that the welfare of the minors is the controlling consideration on the
issue. The Court also said that the factors that determine the fitness of any parent are: [1] the ability to see to the
physical, educational, social and moral welfare of the children, and [2] the ability to give them a healthy environment
as well as physical and financial support taking into consideration the respective resources and social and moral
situations of the parents.

The standard in the determination of sufficiency of proof, however, is not restricted to Muslim laws. The Family Code
shall be taken into consideration in deciding whether a non-Muslim woman is incompetent. What determines her
capacity is the standard laid down by the Family Code now that she is not a Muslim.

Indeed, what determines the fitness of any parent is the ability to see to the physical, educational, social and moral
welfare of the children, and the ability to give them a healthy environment as well as physical and financial support
taking into consideration the respective resources and social and moral situations of the parents. Article 211 of the
Family Code provides that the father and mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their
common children.

Similarly, P.D. No. 1083 is clear that where the parents are not divorced or legally separated, the father and mother
shall jointly exercise just and reasonable parental authority and fulfill their responsibility over their legitimate children.


January 16, 1997

Facts: Maria Paz Cordero-Ouye and Reynaldo Eslao were married. After their marriage, the couple stayed with
Teresita Eslao, mother of Reynaldo. The couple had two children namely Leslie and Angelica. Leslie was entrusted to
the care and custody of Maria's mother while Angelica was entrusted with her parents at Teresita's house. Reynaldo
died 4 years later. Maria intended to bring Angelica to her mother's place but Teresita prevailed and entrusted to the
custody of Angelica. Maria returned to her mother's house and stayed with Leslie. Years later, Maria married James
Manabu-Ouye, a Japanese-American orthodontist, and she migrated to US with him. A year after the marriage, Maria
returned to the Philippines to be reunited with her children and bring them to US. Teresita, however, resisted by way of
explaining that the child was entrusted to her when she was 10 days old and accused Maria of having abandoned
Angelica. The trial court rendered a decision where Teresita was directed to cause the immediate transfer of custody
of the child to Maria. CA affirmed with the lower court's decision.

Issue: Whether or not Teresita has the right to the custody of the child?

Ruling: Parental authority and responsibility are inalienable and may not be transferred or renounced except in cases
authorized by law. The right attached to parental authority, being purely personal, the law allows a waiver of parental
authority only in cases of adoption, guardianship and surrender to a children's home or an orphan institution. When a
parent entrusts the custody of a minor to another, such as a friend or godfather, even in a document, what is given is
merely temporary custody and it does not constitute a renunciation of parental authority. Even if a definite
renunciation is manifest, the law still disallows the same.

The father and mother, being the natural guardians of unemancipated children, are dutybound and entitled to keep
them in their custody and company. In this case, when Maria entrusted the custody of her minor child to Teresita,
what she gave to the latter was merely temporary custody and it did not constitute abandonment or renunciation of
parental authority.

Thus, Teresita does not have the right to the custody of the child.
SOMBONG vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 111876 January 31,

Facts: Petitioner was the mother of Arabella O. Sombong who was born on April 23, 1987 in Taguig, Metro Manila.
Sometime in November, 1987, Arabella, then only six months old, was brought to the Sir John Clinic, owned by Ty
located at Caloocan City, for treatment. Petitioner did not have enough money to pay the hospital bill in the balance
of P300.00. Arabella could not be discharged as a result.

Petitioner said that she paid 1,700 for the release even if the bill was only 300. The spouses Ty, who had custody of the
daughter, would not give Arabella to her. Petitioner filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for the
issuance of a Writ of Habeas Corpus against the spouses Ty. She alleged that Arabella was being unlawfully detained
and imprisoned at the Ty residence. The petition was denied due course and summarily dismissed, without prejudice,
on the ground of lack of jurisdiction given that the detention was in Caloocan.

Ty claimed that Arabella was with them for some time, but given to someone who claimed to be their guardian.The
Office of the City Prosecutor of Kalookan City, on the basis of petitioner’s complaint, filed an information against the
spouses Ty for Kidnapping and Illegal Detention of a Minor before the Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City. Ty then
revealed that the child may be found in quezon city. When Sombong reached the residence, a small girl named
Christina Grace Neri was found. Sombong claimed the child to be hers even if she wasn’t entirely sure that it was

On October 13, 1992, petitioner filed a petition for the issuance of a Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Regional Trial
Court. The court ruled in Sombong’s favor and ordered the respondents to deliver the child. The Appellate Court took
cognizance of the following issues raised by respondent: (1) The propriety of the habeas corpus proceeding vis-a-vis
the problem respecting the identity of the child subject of said proceeding; (2) If indeed petitioner be the mother of
the child in question, what the effect would proof of abandonment be under the circumstances of the case; and (3)
Will the question of the child’s welfare be the paramount consideration in this case which involves child custody.

The RTC decision was reversed. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether or not habeas corpus is the proper remedy for taking back Arabella?

Ruling: Yes but the requisites are not met. In general, the purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to determine whether
or not a particular person is legally held. A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus, in fact, is
an actual and effective, and not merely nominal or moral, illegal restraint of liberty. “The writ of habeas corpus was
devised and exists as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint, and as the best and
only sufficient defense of personal freedom. A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus is
restraint of liberty. The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of
involuntary restraint as distinguished from voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal. Any
restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient.

To justify the grant of the writ of habeas corpus, the restraint of liberty must be in the nature of an illegal and
involuntary deprivation of freedom of action. This is the basic requisite under the first part of Section 1, Rule 102, of the
Revised Rules of Court, which provides that “except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the writ of habeas corpus
shall extend to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty.”

In the second part of the same provision, however, Habeas Corpus may be resorted to in cases where “the rightful
custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto.” Thus, although the Writ of Habeas Corpus ought
not to be issued if the restraint is voluntary, we have held time and again that the said writ is the proper legal remedy
to enable parents to regain the custody of a minor child even if the latter be in the custody of a third person of her
own free will. It may even be said that in custody cases involving minors, the question of illegal and involuntary
restraint of liberty is not the underlying rationale for the availability of the writ as a remedy; rather, the writ of habeas
corpus is prosecuted for the purpose of determining the right of custody over a child.
The foregoing principles considered, the grant of the writ in the instant case will all depend on the concurrence of the
following requisites: (1) that the petitioner has the right of custody over the minor; (2) that the rightful custody of the
minor is being withheld from the petitioner by the respondent; and (3) that it is to the best interest of the minor
concerned to be in the custody of petitioner and not that of the respondent.

Petition is dismissed.

o Recto v. Trocino, A.M. No. RTJ-17-2508, Nov. 7, 2017 (En Banc)

3. Effect of disagreement, absence, death, separation or termination of marriage of parents, Art. 212-213, FC; Art. 49,
50, 62, and 63, FC

a. “Tender Age Presumption” Rule



Facts: This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 which seeks to set aside the decision of the CA which granted
private respondent Franklin joint custody with petitioner Agnes of their minor daughter Simone.

Spouses Franklin and Agnes started to have marital problems as Agnes wanted to stay in Makati City, while Franklin
insisted that they stay in Boracay Island. When Agnes came to their conjugal home in Boracay, and asked for money
and for Franklin’s permission for her to bring their daughter to Makati City for a brief vacation she has an intention not
to come back to Boracay.

Franklin then filed a petition for habeas corpus before the CA for Agnes to produce Simone in court; CA issued a
Resolution which ordered that a writ of habeas corpus be issued ordering that Simone be brought before said court.
CA granted Franklin joint custody with Agnes of their minor child. Agnes filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was

Issue: Whether or not the CA acted with grave abuse of discretion when it granted joint custody in utter disregard of
the provisions of the Family Code, as to minors seven (7) years of age and below.

Ruling: The court held that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion when it granted joint custody of the minor
child to both parents. The so-called "tender-age presumption" under Article 213 of the Family Code may be overcome
only by compelling evidence of the mother’s unfitness. The mother is declared unsuitable to have custody of her
children in one or more of the following instances: neglect, abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual
drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, or affliction with a communicable disease. Here, the
mother was not shown to be unsuitable or grossly incapable of caring for her minor child. All told, no compelling
reason has been adduced to wrench the child from the mother’s custody. Sole custody over Simone Noelle Hirsch is
hereby AWARDED to the mother, petitioner Agnes Gamboa-Hirsch.

PABLO-GUALBERTO vs. GUALBERTO G.R. No. 154994 June 28, 2005

Facts: Crisanto Rafaelito G. Gualberto V filed before the RTC a petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage to
Joycelyn w/ an ancillary prayer for custody pendente lite of their almost 4 year old son, Rafaello, whom her wife took
away w/ her from their conjugal home and his school when she left him.

The RTC granted the ancillary prayer for custody pendente lite, since the wife failed to appear despite notice. A
house helper of the spouses testified that the mother does not care for the child as she very often goes out of the
house and even saw her slapping the child. Another witness testified that after surveillance he found out that the wife
is having lesbian relations.
The judge issued the assailed order reversing her previous order, and this time awarded the custody of the child to the
mother. Finding that the reason stated by Crisanto not to be a compelling reason as provided in Art 213 of the Family

Issue: Whether or not the custody of the minor child should be awarded to the mother.

Ruling: Article 213 of the Family Code provided: “Art 213. In case of separation of parents parental authority shall be
exercised by the parent des granted by the court. The court shall take into account all relevant consideration,
especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.” No child under seven yrs
of age shall be separated from the mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise,” This Court
has held that when the parents separated, legally or otherwise, the foregoing provision governs the custody of their
child. Article 213 takes its bearing from Article 363 of the Civil Code, which reads: “Art 363. In all question on the care,
custody, education and property pf children, the latter welfare shall be paramount. No mother shall be separated
from her child under seven years of age, unless the court finds compelling reason for such measure.”

SANTOS vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 113054 March 16, 1995

Facts: Petitioner Leouel Santos, Sr., an army lieutenant, and Julia Bedia a nurse by profession, were married in Iloilo
City in 1986. Their union beget only one child, Leouel Santos, Jr. who was born July 18, 1987. From the time the boy was
released from the hospital until sometime thereafter, he had been in the care and custody of his maternal
grandparents, private respondents herein, Leopoldo and Ofelia Bedia.

On September 2, 1990, petitioner along with his two brothers, visited the Bedia household, where three-year old
Leouel Jr. was staying. Private respondents contend that through deceit and false pretensions, petitioner abducted
the boy and clandestinely spirited him away to his hometown in Bacong, Negros Oriental.

The spouses Bedia then filed a "Petition for Care, Custody and Control of Minor Ward Leouel Santos Jr.," before the
Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, with Santos, Sr. as respondent. After an ex-parte hearing on October 8, 1990, the trial
court issued an order on the same day awarding custody of the child Leouel Santos, Jr. to his grandparents, Leopoldo
and Ofelia Bedia. Petitioner appealed this Order to the Court of Appeals. In its decision dated April 30, 1992,
respondent appellate court affirmed the trial court's order.

Petitioner assails the decisions of both the trial court and the appellate court to award custody of his minor son to his
parents-in-law, the Bedia spouses on the ground that under Art. 214 of the Family Code, substitute parental authority
of the grandparents is proper only when both parents are dead, absent or unsuitable. Petitioner's unfitness, according
to him, has not been successfully shown by private respondents.

Issue: Who should properly be awarded custody of the minor Leouel Santos, Jr.

Ruling: The minor should be given to the legitimate father. When a parent entrusts the custody of a minor to another,
such as a friend or godfather, even in a document, what is given is merely temporary custody and it does not
constitute a renunciation of parental authority. Only in case of the parents' death, absence or unsuitability may
substitute parental authority be exercised by the surviving grandparent.

The court held the contentions of the grandparents are insufficient as to remove petitioner's parental authority and
the concomitant right to have custody over the minor. Private respondents' demonstrated love and affection for the
boy, notwithstanding, the legitimate father is still preferred over the grandparents.

The latter's wealth is not a deciding factor, particularly because there is no proof that at the present time, petitioner is
in no position to support the boy. While petitioner's previous inattention is inexcusable, it cannot be construed as
abandonment. His appeal of the unfavorable decision against him and his efforts to keep his only child in his custody
may be regarded as serious efforts to rectify his past misdeeds. To award him custody would help enhance the bond
between parent and son. The Court also held that his being a soldier is likewise no bar to allowing him custody over
the boy. So many men in uniform, who are assigned to different parts of the country in the service of the nation, are
still the natural guardians of their children.

Also, petitioner's employment of trickery in spiriting away his boy from his in-laws, though unjustifiable, is likewise not a
ground to wrest custody from him.

DAVID vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 111180 November 16, 1995

Facts: Petitioner Daisie T. David worked as secretary of private respondent Ramon R. Villar, a businessman in Angeles
City. Private respondent is a married man and the father of four children, all grown-up. After a while, the relationship
between petitioner and private respondent developed into an intimate one, as a r esult of which a son, Christopher J.,
was born on March 9, 1985 to them. Christo pher J. was followed by two more children, both girls, namely Christine,
born on June 9, 1986, and Cathy Mae on April 24, 1988.

The relationship became known to private respondent's wife when Daisie took Christopher J, to Villar's house at Villa
Teresa in Angeles City sometime in 1986 and introduced him to Villar's legal wife. After this, the children of Daisie were
freely brought by Villar to his house as they were eventually accepted by his legal family.In the summer of 1991, Villar
asked Daisie to allow Christopher J., then six years of age, to go with his family to Boracay. Daisie agreed, but after th
e trip, Villar refused to give back the child. Villar said he had enrolled Christopher J. at the Holy Family Academy for
the next school year. On July 30, 1991, Daisie filed a petition for habeas corpus on behalf of Christopher J.

Issue: Whether or not Daisie is entitled to the custody of the child.

Ruling: Yes. Daisie in turn filed this petition for review of the appellate court's decision. Rule 102, §1 of the Rules of
Court provides that "the writ of habeas corpus shall extend to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which
any person is d eprived of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled
thereto." It is indeed true, as the Court of Appeals observed, that the determination of the right to the custody of minor
children is relevant in cases where the parents, who are married to each other, are for some reason separated from
each other. It does not follow, however, that it cannot arise in any other situation. For example, in the case of Salvaña
v. Gaela, it was held that the writ of habeas corpus is the proper remedy to enable parents to regain the custody of a
minor daughter even though the latter be in the custody of a third person of her free will because the parents were
compelling her to marry a man against her will.

In the case at bar, Christopher J. is an illegitimate child since at the time of his conception, his father, private
respondent Ramon R. Villar, was married to another woman other than the child's mother. As such, pursuant to Art.
176 of the Family Code, Christopher J. is under the parental authority of his mother, the herein petitioner, who, as a
consequence of such authority, is entitled to have custody of him. 2 Since, admittedly, petitioner has been deprived
of her rightful custody of her child by private respondent, she is entitled to issuance of the writ of habeas corpus.

Indeed, Rule 1021 §1 makes no distinction between the case of a mother who is separated from her husband and is
entitled to the custody of her child and that of a mother of an illegitimate child who, by law, is vested with sole
parental authority, but is deprived of her rightful custody of her child.

The fact that private respondent has recognized the minor child may be a ground for ordering him to give support to
the latter, but not for giving him custody of the child. Under Art.213 of the Family Code, "no child under seven years of
age shall be separated from the mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise."

Although the question of support is proper in a proceeding for that purpose, the grant of support in this case is justified
by the fact that private respondent has expressed willingness to support the minor child. The order for payment of
allowance need not be conditioned on the grant to him of custody of the child. Under Art. 204 of the Family Code, a
person obliged to give support can fulfill his obligation either by paying the allowance fixed by the court or by
receiving and maintaining in the family dwelling the person who is entitled to support unless, in the latter case, there is
"a moral or legal obstacle thereto."
In the case at bar, as has already been pointed out, Christopher J., being less than seven years of age at least at the
time the case was decided by the RTC, cannot be taken from the mother's custody. Even now that the child is over
seven years of age, the mother's custody over him will have to be upheld because the child categorically expressed
preference to live with his mother. Under Art. 213 of the Family Code, courts must respect the "choice of the child over
seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit" and here it has not been shown that the mother is in any way
unfit to have custody of her child. Indeed, ifprivate respondent loves his child, he should not condition the grant of
support for him on the award of his custody to him (private respondent)

ESPIRITU vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 115640 March 15, 1995

Facts: Petitioner Reynaldo Espiritu and respondent Teresita Masauding first met in Iligan City where Reynaldo was
employed by the National Steel Corporation and Teresita was employed as a nurse in a local hospital. Teresita left for
Los Angeles, California to work as a nurse. Reynaldo was sent by his employer, the National Steel Corporation, to
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as its liaison officer and Reynaldo and Teresita then began to maintain a common law
relationship of husband and wife. On 1986, their daughter, Rosalind Therese, was born. While they were on a brief
vacation in the Philippines, Reynaldo and Teresita got married, and upon their return to the United States, their second
child, a son, this time, and given the name Reginald Vince, was born on 1988.

The relationship of the couple deteriorated until they decided to separate. Instead of giving their marriage a second
chance as allegedly pleaded by Reynaldo, Teresita left Reynaldo and the children and went back to California.
Reynaldo brought his children home to the Philippines, but because his assignment in Pittsburgh was not yet
completed, he was sent back by his company to Pittsburgh. He had to leave his children with his sister, Guillerma
Layug and her family.

Teresita, meanwhile, decided to return to the Philippines and filed the petition for a writ of habeas corpus against
herein two petitioners to gain custody over the children, thus starting the whole proceedings now reaching this Court.
The trial court dismissed the petition for habeas corpus. It suspended Teresita's parental authority over Rosalind and
Reginald and declared Reynaldo to have sole parental authority over them but with rights of visitation to be agreed
upon by the parties and to be approved by the Court.

Issue: Whether or not the petition for a writ of habeas corpus to gain custody over the children be granted.

Ruling: Supreme Court dismissed the writ of habeas corpus petition by the mother and retain the custody of the
children to the father. The illicit or immoral activities of the mother had already caused emotional disturbances,
personality conflicts, and exposure to conflicting moral values against the children.

The children are now both over seven years old. Their choice of the parent with whom they prefer to stay is clear from
the record. From all indications, Reynaldo is a fit person. The children understand the unfortunate shortcomings of their
mother and have been affected in their emotional growth by her behavior.

PEREZ vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R.No. 118870 March 29, 1996

Facts: Ray Perez is a doctor practicing in Cebu while Nerissa, his wife, (petitioner) is a registered nurse. After six
miscarriages, two operations and a high-risk pregnancy, Nerissa finally gave birth to Ray Perez II in New York on July 20,
1992. Ray stayed with her in the U.S. twice and took care of her when she became pregnant. Unlike his wife, however,
he had only a tourist visa and was not employed. On January 17, 1993, the couple and their baby arrived in Cebu.
After a few weeks, only Nerissa returned to the U.S. She alleged that they came home only for a five-week vacation
and that they all had round-trip tickets. However, her husband stayed behind to take care of his sick mother and
promised to follow her with the baby. According to Ray, they had agreed to reside permanently in the Philippines but
once Nerissa was in New York, she changed her mind and continued working. She was supposed to come back
immediately after winding up her affairs there.
When Nerissa came home a few days before Ray II’s first birthday, the couple was no longer on good terms. They
had quarrels. Nerissa did not want to live near her in-laws and rely solely on her husband’s meager income of
P5,000.00. On the other hand, Ray wanted to stay here, where he could raise his son even as he practiced his
profession. He maintained that it would not be difficult to live here since they have their own home and a car.
Despite mediation by the priest, the couple failed to reconcile.

Nerissa filed a petition to surrender the custody of their son to her. The trial court issued an Order awarding custody to
Nerissa citing the second paragraph of Article 213 of the Family Code which provides that no child under seven years
of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. Upon appeal
by Ray Perez, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order and held that granting custody to the boy’s father
would be for the child’s best interest and welfare.

Issue: Whether or not Nerissa has rightful custody of a child?

Ruling: Yes. Aside from Article 213 of the Family Code, the Revised Rules of Court also contains a similar provision. Rule
99, Section 6 (Adoption and Custody of Minors) provides: “SEC. 6. Proceedings as to child whose parents are
separated.Appeal. - When husband and wife are divorced or living separately and apart from each other, and the
questions as to the care, custody, and control of a child or children of their marriage is brought before a Court of First
Instance by petition or as an incident to any other proceeding, the court, upon hearing the testimony as may be
pertinent, shall award the care, custody, and control of each such child as will be for its best interest, permitting the
child to choose which parent it prefers to live with if it be over ten years of age, unless the parent chosen be unfit to
take charge of the child by reason of moral depravity, habitual drunkenness, incapacity, or poverty x x x. No child
under seven years of age shall be separated from its mother, unless the court finds there are compelling reasons
therefor.” The provisions of law quoted above clearly mandate that a child under seven years of age shall not be
separated from his mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. The use of the word “shall” in
Article 213 of the Family Code and Rule 99, Section 6 of the Revised Rules of Court connotes a mandatory character.

The general rule that a child under seven years of age shall not be separated from his mother finds its reason in the
basic need of a child for his mother’s loving care. Only the most compelling of reasons shall justify the court’s
awarding the custody of such a child to someone other than his mother, such as her unfitness to exercise sole parental
authority. In the past the following grounds have been considered ample justification to deprive a mother of custody
and parental authority: neglect, abandonment, unemployment and immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug
addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity and being sick with a communicable disease.

It has long been settled that in custody cases, the foremost consideration is always the welfare and best interest of
the child. In fact, no less than an international instrument, the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides: “In all
actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law,
administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

In the case, financial capacity is not a determinative factor inasmuch as both parties have demonstrated that they
have ample means. Nerissa’s present work schedule is not so unmanageable as to deprive her of quality time with her
son. Quite a number of working mothers who are away from home for longer periods of time are still able to raise a
family well, applying time management principles judiciously. Also, delegating child care temporarily to qualified
persons who run day-care centers does not detract from being a good mother, as long as the latter exercises
supervision, for even in our culture, children are often brought up by housemaids under the eagle eyes of the mother.

Although Ray’s is a general practitioner, the records show that he maintains a clinic, works for several companies on
retainer basis and teaches part-time. He cannot possibly give the love and care that a mother gives to his child.

o Dacasin v. Dacasin, G.R. No. 168785, February 05, 2010

1. On April 1994, petitioner and respondent got married here in the Philippines.
2. The following year respondent got pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl whom they named Stephanie.
3. In June of 1999 respondent sought and obtained from the Illinois Court a divorce decree against petitioner.
4. In its ruling, the Illinois court dissolved the marriage of petitioner and respondent, awarded to respondent sole
custody of Stephanie and retained jurisdiction over the case for enforcement purposes.
5. On 28th of January 2002, petitioner and respondent executed in Manila a contract
(Agreement) for the joint custody of Stephanie.
6. Two years after, petitioner sued respondent in the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. 7. Petitioner claimed that
respondent exercised sole custody over Stephanie.
8. Respondent sought the dismissal of the complaint due to lack of jurisdiction, since Illinois Court hold the jurisdiction in
enforcing the divorce decree.
– Whether the Trial Court have the jurisdiction over the case
– Whether the agreement or contract is valid
Case was dismissed dated March 1, 2005.
It is precluded from taking cognizance over suit considering the Illinois Court’s retention of jurisdiction to enforce its
divorce decree, including its order awarding sole custody of Stephanie to respondent. The divorce decree is binding
on petitioner following the “nationality rule” prevailing in this jurisdiction. Agreement is void
The agreement is void for contravening Article 2035 paragraph 5 of the Civil
Code prohibiting compromise agreements on jurisdiction.
1. Petitioner sought reconsideration his new argument is that the divorce decree obtained by respondent is void.
2. The divorce is no bar to the trial court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the case.
3. In its order on June 23, 2005, the trial court denied reconsideration because petitioner is under the laws of his
nationality, which is American. Hence, the petitioner filed alternative theories for the validity of the agreement:
> The agreement noted the valid divorce decree, modifying the terms of child custody from the sole to joint
> The agreement is independent of the divorce decree obtained by respondents
– Whether the trial court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of petitioner’s suit
– Whether the trial curt can enforce the Agreement on joint custody
Agreement is still void but the court calls for the remand of the case to settle
Stephanie’s custody. (Article 213 of the Family Code lost its coverage over Stephanie. Stephanie was already almost
15 during this time thus, she is entitled to choose to whom she want to be). Instead of dismissing the case, court chose
to remand the case in order to settle
Stephanie’s custody. Court decided to REVERSE the orders dated March 1, 2005 and June 23, 2005. The case
is REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with its ruling.

4. Duties of children, Art. 211, par. 2, FC Filial Privilege Rule, Art. 215. FC

5. Substitute Parental Authority a. When Applicable , Art. 214, 216, 222, FC b. Who may exercise, Art. 216 and 217, FC c.
Extent of Authority, Art. 233, FC

Caravan Travel And Tours International, Inc. v. Abejar, G.R. No. 170631, February 10, 2016


On July 13, 2000, Jesmariane R. Reyes (Reyes) was walking along the west-bound lane of Sampaguita Street, United
Parañaque Subdivision IV, Parañaque City.[11] A Mitsubishi L-300 van with plate number PKM 195[12] was travelling
along the east-bound lane, opposite Reyes.[13] To avoid an incoming vehicle, the van swerved to its left and hit
Reyes.[14] Alex Espinosa (Espinosa), a witness to the accident, went to her aid and loaded her in the back of the
van.[15] Espinosa told the driver of the van, Jimmy Bautista (Bautista), to bring Reyes to the hospital.[16] Instead of
doing so, Bautista appeared to have left the van parked inside a nearby subdivision with Reyes still in the van.[17]
Fortunately for Reyes, an unidentified civilian came to help and drove Reyes to the hospital.[18]
Upon investigation, it was found that the registered owner of the van was Caravan.[19] Caravan is a corporation
engaged in the business of organizing travels and tours.[20] Bautista was Caravan's employee assigned to drive the
van as its service driver.[21]

Caravan shouldered the hospitalization expenses of Reyes.[22] Despite medical attendance, Reyes died two (2) days
after the accident.[23]


First, whether respondent Ermilinda R. Abejar is a real party in interest who may bring an action for damages against
petitioner Caravan Travel and Tours International, Inc. on account of Jesmariane R. Reyes' death

Second, whether petitioner should be held liable as an employer, pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code.


IHaving exercised substitute parental authority, respondent suffered actual loss and is, thus, a real party in interest in
this case.

It is particularly noticeable that Article 1902 stresses the passive subject of the obligation to pay damages caused by
his fault or negligence. The article does not limit or specify the active subjects, much less the relation that must exist
between the victim of the culpa aquiliana and the person who may recover damages, thus warranting the inference
that, in principle, anybody who suffers any damage from culpa aquiliana, whether a relative or not of the victim, may
recover damages from the person responsible therefor


Respondent's Complaint is anchored on an employer's liability for quasi-delict provided in Article 2180, in relation to
Article 2176 of the Civil Code.

Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope
of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.

The resolution of this case must consider two (2) rules. First, Article 2180's specification that "[e]mployers shall be liable
for the damages caused by their employees . . . acting within the scope of their assigned tasks[.]

Second, the operation of the registered-owner rule that registered owners are liable for death or injuries caused by
the operation of their vehicles.

These rules appear to be in conflict when it comes to cases in which the employer is also the registered owner of a
vehicle. Article 2180 requires proof of two things: first, an employment relationship between the driver and the owner;
and second, that the driver acted within the scope of his or her assigned tasks. On the other hand, applying the
registered-owner rule only requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant-employer is the registered owner of the

Thus, it is imperative to apply the registered-owner rule in a manner that harmonizes it with Articles 2176 and 2180 of
the Civil Code.

In light of this, the words used in Del Carmen are particularly notable. There, this court stated that Article 2180 "should
defer to"[104] the registered-owner rule. It never stated that Article 2180 should be totally abandoned.

Therefore, the appropriate approach is that in cases where both the registered-owner rule and Article 2180 apply, the
plaintiff must first establish that the employer is the registered owner of the vehicle in question. Once the plaintiff
successfully proves ownership, there arises a disputable presumption that the requirements of Article 2180 have been
proven. As a consequence, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to show that no liability under Article 2180 has

This disputable presumption, insofar as the registered owner of the vehicle in relation to the actual driver is concerned,
recognizes that between the owner and the victim, it is the former that should carry the costs of moving forward with
the evidence.
The registration of the vehicle, on the other hand, is accessible to the public.

Here, respondent presented a copy of the Certificate of Registration[105] of the van that hit Reyes.[106] The
Certificate attests to petitioner's ownership of the van.

Petitioner itself did not dispute its ownership of the van.

Consistent with the rule we have just stated, a presumption that the requirements of Article 2180 have been satisfied

It is now up to petitioner to establish that it incurred no liability under Article 2180. This it can do by presenting proof of
any of the following: first, that it had no employment relationship with Bautista; second, that Bautista acted outside the
scope of his assigned tasks; or third, that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of Bautista.

On the first, petitioner admitted that Bautista was its employee at the time of the accident.

On the second, petitioner was unable to prove that Bautista was not acting within the scope of his assigned tasks at
the time of the accident.

On the third, petitioner likewise failed to prove that it exercised the requisite diligence in the selection and supervision
of Bautista.

Employing a person holding a non-professional driver's license to operate another's motor vehicle violates Section 24
of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code

Evidently, petitioner did not only fail to exercise due diligence when it selected Bautista as service driver; it also
committed an actual violation of law.


Petitioner's argument that it should be excused from liability because Bautista was already dropped as a party is
equally unmeritorious. The liability imposed on the registered owner is direct and primary.

It does not depend on the inclusion of the negligent driver in the action.

Instead of insisting that Bautista—who was nothing more than a necessary party—should not have been dropped as a
defendant, or that petitioner, along with Bautista, should have been dropped, petitioner (as a co-defendant insisting
that the action must proceed with Bautista as party) could have opted to file a cross-claim against Bautista as its


The Court of Appeals committed no reversible error when it awarded actual damages to respondent.

Respondent had personal knowledge of the facts sought to be proved by the Certificate, i.e. that she spent
P35,000.00 for the funeral expenses of Reyes. Thus, the Certificate that she identified and testified to is not hearsay.

Both the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court found Bautista grossly negligent in driving the van and
concluded that Bautista's gross negligence was the proximate cause of Reyes' death.

As such, petitioner must pay the exemplary damages arising from the negligence of its driver.

For the same reasons, the award of P50,000.00 by way of civil indemnity is justified.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 3, 2005 is AFFIRMED with the following


These rules appear to be in conflict when it comes to cases in which the employer is also the registered owner of a
vehicle. Article 2180 requires proof of two things: first, an employment relationship between the driver and the owner;
and second, that the driver acted within the scope of his or her assigned tasks. On the other hand, applying the
registered-owner rule only requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant-employer is the registered owner of the

Therefore, the appropriate approach is that in cases where both the registered-owner rule and Article 2180 apply, the
plaintiff must first establish that the employer is the registered owner of the vehicle in question. Once the plaintiff
successfully proves ownership, there arises a disputable presumption that the requirements of Article 2180 have been
proven. As a consequence, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to show that no liability under Article 2180 has

This disputable presumption, insofar as the registered owner of the vehicle in relation to the actual driver is concerned,
recognizes that between the owner and the victim, it is the former that should carry the costs of moving forward with
the evidence.

The victim is, in many cases, a hapless pedestrian or motorist with hardly any means to uncover the employment
relationship of the owner and the driver, or any act that the owner may have done in relation to that employment.

6. Rights and Duties of persons exercising parental authority, Art. 219-221, FC

Libi v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 70890, September 18, 1992

Facts: On January 14, 1979, Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi died, each from a single gunshot wound from a
revolver licensed in the name of petitioner Cresencio Libi. The respondents, parents of Julie Ann, filed a case against
the parents of Wendell to recover damages arising from the latter’s vicarious liability under Article 2180 of the Civil
Code. The trial court dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the IAC set aside the judgment of the lower court dismissing
the complaint of Julie Ann’s parents.

Issue: Whether or not Article 2180 of the Civil Code was correctly interpreted by the respondent Court to make
petitioners liable for vicarious liability.

Ruling: Yes. The petitioners were gravely remiss in their duties as parents in not diligently supervising the activities of
their son. Both parents were wanting in their duty and responsibility in monitoring and knowing the activities of their
son. The petitioners utterly failed to exercise all the diligence of a good father of a family in preventing their son from
committing the crime by means of the gun which was freely accessible to Wendell Libi because they have not
regularly checked whether the gun was still under lock, but learned that it was missing from the safety deposit box
only after the crime had been committed. The civil liability of parents for quasi-delicts of their minor children, as
contemplated in Article 2180, is primary and not subsidiary.

Tamargo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 85044, June 3, 1992

Facts: Domestic Adoption Act of 1998; Adelberto Bundoc, then a minor of 10 years of age, shot Jennifer Tamargo
with an air rifle causing injuries which resulted in her death. Accordingly, a civil complaint for damages was filed with
the RTC of Ilocos Sur by petitioner Macario Tamargo, Jennifer's adopting parent and petitioner spouses Celso and
Aurelia Tamargo, Jennifer's natural parents against respondent spouses Victor and Clara Bundoc, Adelberto's natural
parents with whom he was living at the time of the tragic incident.

Prior to the incident, the spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura had filed a petition to adopt the minor Adelberto Bundoc
in Special Proceedings before the then CIF of Ilocos Sur. This petition for adoption was granted that is, after Adelberto
had shot and killed Jennifer. Respondent spouses Bundoc, Adelberto's natural parents, reciting the result of the
foregoing petition for adoption, claimed that not they, but rather the adopting parents, namely the spouses Sabas
and Felisa Rapisura, were indispensable parties to the action since parental authority had shifted to the adopting
parents from the moment the successful petition for adoption was filed.

Petitioners in their reply contended that since Adelberto Bundoc was then actually living with his natural parents,
parental authority had not ceased nor been relinquished by the mere filing and granting of a petition for adoption.
The trial court dismissed petitioners' complaint, ruling that respondent natural parents of Adelberto indeed were not
indispensable parties to the action.

Issues: a) Whether or not petitioners, notwithstanding loss of their right to appeal, may still file the instant petition. b)
Whether the Court may still take cognizance of the case even through petitioners' appeal had been filed out of time.

Ruling: Supreme Court granted the petition. Retroactive affect may perhaps be given to the granting of the petition
for adoption where such is essential to permit the accrual of some benefit or advantage in favor of the adopted child.
In the instant case, however, to hold that parental authority had been retroactively lodged in the Rapisura spouses so
as to burden them with liability for a tortious act that they could not have foreseen and which they could not have
prevented would be unfair and unconscionable.

Parental liability is a natural or logical consequence of duties and responsibilities of parents, their parental authority
which includes instructing, controlling and disciplining the child. In the case at bar, during the shooting incident,
parental authority over Adelberto was still lodged with the natural parents. It follows that they are the indispensable
parties to the suit for damages. “Parents and guardians are responsible for the damage caused by the child under
their parental authority in accordance with the civil code”.

7. Disciplinary Measures, Art. 223-224, FC

8. Effects of Parental Authority upon property of children, Art. 225-227. FC

9. Termination of Parental Authority, Art. 228, 229, 232, FC; RA 7610

10. Suspension of Parental Authority, Art. 230-231, FC

11. Special parental authority a. Who exercises special parental authority, Art. 218, FC b. When Applicable c. Extent of
special parental authority, Art. 233, par. 2, FC d. Extent of responsibility/liability, Art. 219, FC

Aquinas School v. Inton, G.R. No. 184202, January 26, 2011

Facts: This case is about the private school’s liability for the outside catechist’s act of shoving a student and kicking
him on the legs when he disobeyed her instruction to remain in his seat and not move around the classroom. In 1998,
Jose Luis Inton (Jose Luis) was a grade three student at Aquinas School (Aquinas). Respondent Sister Margarita
Yamyamin (Yamyamin), a religion teacher who began teaching at that school only in June of that year, taught Jose
Luis’ grade three religion class. Jose Luis left his seat and went over to a classmate to play a joke of surprising him.
Yamyamin noticed this and sent him back to his seat. After a while, Jose Luis got up again and went over to the same
classmate. Yamyamin approached the Jose Luis and kicked him on the legs several times. She also pulled and shoved
his head on the classmate’s seat. She also made the child copy the notes on the blackboard while seating on the
floor. Respondents Jose and Victoria Inton (the Intons) filed an action for damages on behalf of their son Jose Luis
against Yamyamin and Aquinas before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City in Civil Case 67427. The Intons also
filed a criminal action against Yamyamin for violation of Republic Act 7610 to which she pleaded guilty and was
sentenced accordingly. With regard to the action for damages, the Intons sought to recover actual, moral, and
exemplary damages, as well as attorney’s fees, for the hurt that Jose Luis and his mother Victoria suffered. The RTC
dismissed Victoria’s personal claims but ruled in Jose Luis’ favor, holding Yamyamin liable to him for moral damages of
P25,000.00, exemplary damages of P25,000.00, and attorney’s fees of P10,000.00 plus the costs of suit. They elevated
the case to the CA to increase the award of damages and hold Aquinas solidarily liable with Yamyamin.

Issue: Whether or not the CA was correct in holding Aquinas solidarily liable with Yamyamin for the damages
awarded to Jose Luis.

Ruling: No. The school directress testified that Aquinas had an agreement with a congregation of sisters under which,
in order to fulfill its ministry, the congregation would send religion teachers to Aquinas to provide catechesis to its
students. Aquinas insists that it was not the school but Yamyamin’s religious congregation that chose her for the task of
catechizing the school’s grade three students, much like the way bishops designate the catechists who would teach
Religion in public schools. Aquinas did not have control over Yamyamin’s teaching methods. The Intons had not
refuted the school directress’ testimony in this regard. Aquinas still had the responsibility of taking steps to ensure that
only qualified outside catechists are allowed to teach its young students. In this regard, it cannot be said that Aquinas
took no steps to avoid the occurrence of improper conduct towards the students by their religion teacher. They
showed records, certificates and diploma that Yamyamin is qualified to teach. There is no question that she came
from a legitimate congregation of sisters. They provided Faculty Staff Manual in handling the students. They pre-
approved the content of the course she wanted to teach. They have a classroom evaluation program for her
unfortunately, she was new, therefore do not have sufficient opportunity to observe her.

St. Joseph's College v. Miranda, G.R. No. 182353, June 29, 2010

Facts: While inside the premises of St. Joseph’s College, the class where respondent Miranda belonged was
conducting a science experiment about fusion of sulfur powder andiron fillings under the tutelage of Rosalinda
Tabugo, she being the teacher and the employee, while the adviser is Estafania Abdan.

Tabugo left her class while it was doing the experiment without having adequately secured it from any untoward
incident or occurrence. In the middle of the experiment, Jayson, who was the assistant leader of one of the class
groups, checked the result of the experiment by looking into the test tube with magnifying glass. The test tube was
being held by one of his group mates who moved it close and towards the eye of Jayson. At that instance, the
compound in the test tube spurted out and several particles of which hit Jayson’s eye and the different parts of the
bodies of some of his group mates. As a result thereof, Jayson’s eyes were chemically burned, particularly his left eye,
for which he had to undergo surgery and had to spend for his medication. Upon filing of this case [in] the lower court,
his wound had not completely healed and still had to undergo another surgery.

Upon learning of the incident and because of the need for finances, [Jayson’s] mother, who was working abroad,
had to rush back home for which she spent P36,070.00 for her fares and had to forego her salary from November 23,
1994 to December 26, 1994, in the amount of at least P40,000.00.

Jason and his parents suffered sleepless nights, mental anguish and wounded feelings as a result of his injury due to
the petitioner’s fault and failure to exercise the degree of care and diligence incumbent upon each one of them.
Thus, they should be held liable for moral damages.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioners were liable for the accident.

Ruling: Yes. As found by both lower courts, proximate cause of the Jason’s injury was the concurrent failure of
petitioners to prevent to foreseeable mishap that occurred during the conduct of the science experiment. Petitioners
were negligent by failing to exercise the higher degree of care, caution and foresight incumbent upon the school, its
administrators and teachers. "The defense of due diligence of a good father of a family raised by [petitioner] St.
Joseph College will not exculpate it from liability because it has been shown that it was guilty of inexcusable laxity in
the supervision of its teachers despite an apparent rigid screening process for hiring and in the maintenance of what
should have been a safe and secured environment for conducting dangerous experiments. Petitioner school is still
liable for the wrongful acts of the teachers and employees because it had full information on the nature of dangerous
science experiments but did not take affirmative steps to avert damage and injury to students. Schools should not
simply install safety reminders and distribute safety instructional manuals. More importantly, schools should provide
protective gears and devices to shield students from expected risks and anticipated dangers

St. Mary’s Academy v. Carpitanos, G.R. No. 143363, February 6, 2002

Facts: Defendant-appellant St. Mary’s Academy of Dipolog City conducted an enrollment drive for the school year
1995-1996. A facet of the enrollment campaign was the visitation of schools from where prospective enrollees were
studying. As a student of St. Mary’s Academy, Sherwin Carpitanos was part of the campaigning group.

Accordingly, on the fateful day, Sherwin, along with other high school students were riding in a Mitsubishi jeep owned
by defendant Vivencio Villanueva on their way to Larayan Elementary School, Dapitan City. The jeep was driven by
James Daniel II then 15 years old and a student of the same school. Allegedly, the latter drove the jeep in a reckless
manner and as a result the jeep turned turtle. Sherwin Carpitanos died as a result of the injuries he sustained from the
accident. The parents of Sherwin filed a case against James Daniel II and his parents, James Daniel Sr. and Guada
Daniel, the vehicle owner, Vivencio Villanueva and St. Mary’s Academy before the RTC of Dipolog City and claimed
for damages.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner St. Mary’s Academy is liable for damages for the death of Sherwin Carpitanos.

Ruling: GRANTED and REMANDED to the RTC for determination of any liability of the school. The Court held that for the
school to be liable there must be a finding that the act or omission considered as negligent was the proximate cause
of the injury caused because of negligence, must have causal connection to the accident. There is no showing of

Hence, with the overwhelming evidence presented by petitioner and the respondent Daniel spouses that the
accident occurred because of the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep, it is not the school, but the
registered owner of the vehicle who shall be held responsible for damages for the death of Sherwin Carpitanos.

Amadora v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-47745, April 15, 1988

Facts: Like any prospective graduate, Alfredo Amadora was looking forward to the commencement exercises where
he would ascend the stage and in the presence of his relatives and friends receive his high school diploma. As it
turned out, though, fate would intervene and deny him that awaited experience. While they were in the auditorium of
their school, the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, a classmate, Pablito Damon, fired a gun that mortally hit Alfredo,
ending all his expectations and his life as well.

Daffon was convicted of homicide thru reckless imprudence. Additionally, the herein petitioners, as the victim's
parents, filed a civil action for damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code against the Colegio de San Jose-
Recoletos, its rector the high school principal, the dean of boys, and the physics teacher, together with Daffon and
two other students, through their respective parents. The complaint against the students was later dropped. After trial,
the CIF of Cebu held the remaining defendants liable to the plaintiffs. On appeal to the respondent court, however,
the decision was reversed and all the defendants were completely absolved.

Issue: Whether or not teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for the death of Alfredo

Ruling: The Court has come to the conclusion that the provision in question (Art. 2180) should apply to all schools,
academic as well as non-academic. Following the canon of reddendo singular singuli, where the school is academic,
responsibility for the tort committed by the student will attach to the teacher in charge of such student. This is the
general rule. Reason: Old academic schools, the heads just supervise the teachers who are the ones directly involved
with the students.

Where the school is for arts and trades, it is the head and only he who shall be held liable as an exception to the
general rule. Reason: Old schools of arts and trades saw the masters or heads of the school personally and directly
instructed the apprentices.

Therefore, the heads are not liable. The teacher-in-charge is not also liable because there’s no showing that he was
negligent in enforcing discipline against the accused or that he waived observance of the rules and regulations of the
school, or condoned their non-observance. Also, the fact that he wasn’t present can’t be considered against him
because he wasn’t required to report on that day. Classes had already ceased.
o Salvosa v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. L-70458, October 5, 1988

Philippine School of Business Administration v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 84698, January 4, 1992
Facts: Carlitos Bautista was a third year student at the Philippine School of Business Administration. Assailants, who
were not members of the school’s academic community, while in the premises of PSBA, stabbed Bautista to death.
This incident prompted his parents to file a suit against PSBA and its corporate officers for damages due to their
alleged negligence, recklessness and lack of security precautions, means and methods before, during and after the
attack on the victim. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the compliant states no cause of action
against them based on quasi-delicts, as the said rule does not cover academic institutions. The trial court denied the
motion to dismiss. Their motion for reconsideration was likewise dismissed, and was affirmed by the appellate court.
Hence, the case was forwarded to the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether or not PSBA is liable for the death of the student.

Ruling: Because the circumstances of the present case evince a contractual relation between the PSBA and Carlitos
Bautista, the rules on quasi-delict do not really govern. A perusal of Article 2176 shows that obligations arising from
quasi-delicts or tort, also known as extra-contractual obligations, arise only between parties not otherwise bound by
contract, whether express or implied. However, this impression has not prevented this Court from determining the
existence of a tort even when there obtains a contract.

Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code, establishes the rule in in loco parentis. Article 2180
provides that the damage should have been caused or inflicted by pupils or students of the educational institution
sought to be held liable for the acts of its pupils or students while in its custody. However, this material situation does
not exist in the present case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of Carlitos were not students of the PSBA, for whose
acts the school could be made liable. But it does not necessarily follow that PSBA is absolved form liability.

When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there is established a contract between them,
resulting in bilateral obligations which both parties is bound to comply with. For its part, the school undertakes to
provide the student with an education that would presumably suffice to equip him with the necessary tools and skills
to pursue higher education or a profession. This includes ensuring the safety of the students while in the school
premises. On the other hand, the student covenants to abide by the school's academic requirements and observe its
rules and regulations.

Failing on its contractual and implied duty to ensure the safety of their student, PSBA is therefore held liable for his

Petition denied.

St. Luke's College Of Medicine-William H. Quasha Memorial Foundation v. Perez, G.R. No. 222740, September 28, 2016

Facts:In February 2010, St. Luke's sent 4 of its 4th year medical students to the clinic, namely: Spouses Perez's daughter
Jessa, Spouses Quintos' daughter Cecille, Jerillie Ann Murillo (Murillo) and Miguel Rafael Ramos (Ramos).They were
tasked to complete a four-week clerkship rotation at the clinic and like the previous batches, they were housed in the
second floor of the clinic in the Municipality of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. When their shift ended at 5pm, the group went
for a jog and returned to the clinic at around 7pm. They went out at9pm to buy beverages, cooking oil and other
items needed for their breakfast the next day and went to sleep sometime after midnight. Ramos admitted that one
of the beverages they bought was an alcoholic beverage called The Bar, which consisted of either vodka
or gin. Ramos was awakened sometime between 3 to 3:30am when he heard Murillo shouting from the other side of
the room that there was a fire. Ramos immediately ran to the door which led to the living room and when he opened
the same, he saw thick smoke coming from living room. He ran to the bathroom to get a pail of water with which he
tried to extinguish the fire. The girls, who had followed him to the bathroom, stayed behind. He went back to the
bathroom and poured water on the girls in an attempt to alleviate the extreme heat coming from the fire.
Unfortunately, the fire resulted in the deaths of the Jessa and Cecille due to
asphyxia. As a result of the deaths, St. Luke's compensated the parents of the three deceased students in the amount
ofPhP300,000.00 each from insurance proceeds. BFP conducted an investigation and certified that the fire was purely
accidental in nature due to unattended cooking and that the students were drinking alcoholic beverages on the
night of the fire, to which the parents did not accept. They believed that there was a cover-up. Spouses Perez sought
the help of NBI. NBI then declared that the construction of the clinic building was in violation of the Revised Fire Code
of the Philippines, that the cause of the fire was due to faulty electrical wiring, and that St.
Luke’s negligence is criminal in nature.
All the windows at the second floor are also covered by permanent iron grills. There are no fire exits, fire alarms, fire
extinguishers, sprinklers, emergency lights. The main and secondary panel boards were wrongly situated at the ground
floor, above which is the location of a comfort room, where water could easily slip to the panel
boards. As a learning institution, which sends out its students to rural areas to comply with its curriculum requirement,
St.Luke's has the duty and responsibility to see to it that the premises to where it sends its students are safe.
RTC dismissed the spouses’ complaint. CA reversed. The CA held that although schools cannot be insurers of its
students against all risks, the safety of the victims was within the reach of petitioners and the hazard of a fire was not
unforeseeable. Also, while the fire was beyond the control of petitioners, their decision to house their students in a
place where there are no means of escape in case of such an emergency shows a blatant disregard for the students’

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner St. Luke’s College commit breach of contract through negligence

Ruling: Yes, petitioner is negligent. When an academic institution accepts students for enrolment, there is established a
contract between them, resulting in bilateral obligations which both parties are bound to comply with. For its part, the
school undertakes to provide the student with an education that would presumably suffice to equip him with the
necessary tools and skills to pursue higher education or a profession. On the other hand, the student covenants to
abide by the school's academic requirements and observe its rules and regulations. It is settled that in culpa
contractual, the mere proof of the existence of the contract and the failure, of its compliance justify, prima facie, a
corresponding right of relief. In the case at bar, it was amply shown that petitioners and the victims were bound by the
enrollment contracts, and that petitioners were negligent in complying with their obligation under the said contracts
to ensure the safety and security of their students. For this contractual breach, petitioners should be held liable.