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Republic of the Philippines, petitioner vs Honorable Rodolfo Toledano (as RTC

Judge) and Sps Clouse, respondents
June 8, 1994

Evelyn married natural born citizen of the US Alvin clouse in June 4, 1981. She
herself became a naturalized citizen in August 19, 1988. Her 12-year old younger
brother, Solomon Alcala, has been under their care and custody since she got
married (1981-1984, 1989-time of decision). The spouses are now attempting to
adopt Solomon. The mother of Evelyn and Solomon, Nery Alcala has given her
consent to such adoption since she cannot support and educate her son due to
poverty. Nila Corazon (the social worker assigned to conduct the Home and Child
Study) also recommended the granting of the petition for the adoption.

RTC granted the petition and has published such order in a newspaper of general
circulation for 3 consecutive weeks when through the OSG, the petitioner, contends
that the couple isn’t qualified to adopt under the Philippine law.

WON They are qualified to adopt under the Philippine law

No. Art184 of the FC states that the H is not qualified to adopt Solomon since he
is a natural born citizen of the US who is trying to adopt a person neither his
relative nor a legitimate child of his sps. See A184.

Even W is no longer a Filipino citizen when she tried to adopt her brother in 1990.
She may appear to be qualified to adopt him under par3(A) of A184 but the
petition cannot be granted in her favor without violating A185 which reads that the
husband and wife must jointly adopt except in cases wherein the adoption
contemplated is that of illegitimate children or legitimate children of one sps.

Court further said that this is clear from the historical evolution of PD 603 (uses “H
and W may adopt) to EO 91 (uses shall) and the FC. This is to protect the Filipino
children who are put up for adoption since the concept of joint parental authority is
the ideal situation. Also, since the child will be elevated to the level of a legitimate
child, it is only necessary to require joint adoption where harmony between the sps
can be insured. As such, the Court must uphold the interest and welfare of the
child to be adopted as such are upheld by the FC.

See 186 FC as well, it was cited lang to show that joint parental authority will be
recognized in cases of adoption under A185.

Lazatin v Campos  He never presented a decree of adoption in his favor.
Petitioner: Renato Lazatin alias Renato Sta. Clara  Likewise, Renato’s motion for reconsideration was denied by the court unless
Respondents: Hon. Judge Campos, Jr. of the CFI of Pasay; Nora, Bernardo and he presented some documentary evidence to prove his adoption
Arlene De Leon; and Irma Veloso
Facts: I. W/N Renato Lazatin is Margarita De Asis’s adopted child. NO
 On January 13, 1974, Dr. Mariano M. Lazatin died intestate in Pasay City.  Adoption is a juridical act.
 He was survived by his wife, Margarita de Asis, and his adopted twin  A proceeding in rem, which creates between two person a relationship similar
daughters Nora L. De Leon (married to Bernardo de Leon) and Irma Lazatin to that which results from legitimate paternity and filiation.
(married to Francisco Veloso)  Only an adoption made through the court, or in pursuance to the procedure
 A month after Mariano Lazatin’s death, Margarita de Asis commenced an laid down under Rule 99 of the Rules of Court is valid
intestate proceeding before the CFI of Pasay. To the said proceeding, Mariano,  To establish the relation, the statutory requirements must be strictly carried
Oscar, Virgilio and Yvonne intervened since they claimed to be admitted out
illegitimate (not natural) children of Mariano with a woman named Helen  Otherwise, the adoption is an absolute nullity
Muñoz. Subsequently, one Lily Lazatin also intervened, claiming to be another  The fact of adoption is never presumed, but must be affirmatively proven by
illegitimate (not natural) child the person claiming its existence
 On April 11, 1974 (2 months after the intestate proceeding), Margarita de Asis  An adoption is effected by a court order, the records of such court constitute
died. She left a holographic will (a will written entirely in the testator’s hand), the evidence by which such adoption may be established
which was executed on 29 May 1970. It provided, among others, for:  Renato’s flow of evidence in the case below does not lead to any proof of
1. a legacy of cash, jewelry and stocks to Arlene De Leon, a granddaughter judicial adoption. Petitioner’s proof do not show or tend to show that, at one
2. a legacy of support to Rodolfo Gallardo, a son of her late sister time or another, a specific court of competent jurisdiction rendered in an order
3. a legacy of education to Ramon Sta. Clara (petitioner’s son) approving his adoption by the spouses
 During Margarita de Asis’ lifetime, she kept a safety deposit box at the 1. No judicial records of such adoption or copies thereof are
People’s Bank and Trust Company, which either she or Nora could open. presented or attempted to be presented
 Five days after Margarita’s death, Nora opened the said box and removed its 2. Petitioner merely proceeds from a nebulous assumption that he
contents (shares of stock, adoption papers of hers and her sister’s, jewelry was judicially adopted between the years 1928 and 1932
belonging to her and to her mother) 3. The particular court where the adoption was decreed or by whom
 Her sole reason for opening the box was to get the stock certificates and other the petition was heard is not even presented by Renato
small items. A bank personnel informed her that she needed an authority  The certification of the Local Civil Registrar of Manila stating that its pre-war
from the court to open the box in view of her mother’s death. So, she decided records were destroyed during the Liberation does not furnish any legal basis
to remove everything from it for a presumption of adoption in favor of petitioner
 On June 3, 1974, the private respondents filed a petition to probate the will of  This is because there was no proof that petitioner was really adopted in Manila
Margarita or that an adoption petition was filed in the CFI of Manila by the deceased
 Days after learning that Nora opened the box, Ramon Sta. Clara filed a motion spouses, where, after hearing, a judgment of approval was rendered by said
in the probate court, claiming: Court
1. that Margarita had executed a will subsequent to that submitted for  Moreover, if there was really such adoption, Renato could have conveniently
probate secured a copy of the newspaper publication of the adoption as required under
2. demanded its production Section 4, Rule 99 of the Rules of Court, or a certification of the publishing
3. prayed for the opening of the box house
 Of course, when the court ordered its opening, the box was already empty  The absence of proof of an order of adoption by the court, as provided by the
 On 22 November 1974 (7 months after Margarita’s death), Renato Lazatin statute, cannot be substituted by parol evidence that a child has lived with a
intervened for the first time as an admitted illegitimate child. person, not his parent, and has been treated as a child to establish such
 On 22 August 1975, he also filed a motion to intervene in the estate of adoption.
Margarita de Asis, this time as an adopted child on the basis of an affidavit  Even evidence of declaration of the deceased, made in his lifetime, that he
executed by Benjamin Lazatin, brother of Mariano, stating that Renato was an intended to adopt a child as his heir, and that he had adopted him, and of the
illegitimate child of Mariano who has later adopted by him fact that the child resided with the deceased, as a member of his family, from
 The affidavit was later modified to state that Renato was adopted by both infancy until he attained his majority, is not sufficient to establish the fact of
Mariano and Margarita adoption. Nor does the fact that the deceased spouses fed, clothed,
 Renato’s motion to intervene in the settlement of the estate of Margarita was educated, recognized and referred to one like petitioner as an adopted child,
denied by the lower court on the ground that the evidence presented tend to necessarily establish adoption of the child
prove that he was a recognized natural child of Mariano, but not a legally
adopted child of Margarita.
 Secondary evidence presented by Renato is admissible where the records of  In 1983, the surviving brother, sisters and mother-in-law of Teodoro filed a
adoption proceedings were actually lost or destroyed. But before this may be complaint for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of the deceased
done, Renato should first be able to establish that such records did exist. spouses Teodoro and Isabel, but this was resisted by Delia, Edmundo and Doribel
 The order of proving the evidence should be: Sayson, alleging successional rights to the disputed estate as the decedent’s
1. existence lawful descendants
2. execution  Delia, Edmundo and Doribel filed another complaint for the accounting and
3. loss of the record partition of the estate of their grandparents (Eleno and Rafaela) against the 4
 This order may be changed by the court but all should be proven surviving children, alleging that Delia and Edmundo were the adopted children of
 Renato failed to establish any proof of the existence of such records and also Teodoro and Isabel, and that Doribel was a legitimate child – as such, they were
failed to prove its loss entitled to inherit Teodoro’s share in his parents’ estate by right of representation
 The declaration of pedigree made by Benjamin Lazatin, although hearsay,  The lower court decided both cases in favor of herein respondents
could be admitted on the principle that they are natural expressions of person  Both decisions were based on findings evidenced by the decree of adoption of
who must know the truth. But, in proving an adoption, there is better proof Delia and Edmundo, and the birth certificate of Doribel
available that should be produced – the adoption papers  In the first case, it was held that the respondents, being legitimate heirs of
 Also, Renato’s claim that his adoption records are with Nora since it was Teodoro and Isabel, the herein petitioners were excluded from sharing in the
supposedly in the safety deposit box cannot be accepted because: estate of the spouses
1. the fact of the real existence of the records have not been established  In the second case, it was held that Delia, Edmundo and Doribel were entitled to
2. Renato has no proof that such papers are with Nora inherit from Eleno and Rafaela by right of representation (of their father Teodoro)
3. the order of the court to produce the items in the safety  The CA, however, held that Delia and Edmundo are NOT entitled to inherit from
deposit box could not be considered as a mode of discovery of the estate of Eleno and Rafaela, but affirmed the lower court’s decision in all
production and inspection of the documents other respects
4. Nora already surrendered the contents of the box and no  Petitioners contend that:
adoption papers of his were found 1. Delia and Edmundo were not legally adopted because Doribel had already
II. Can Renato Lazatin intervene in the settlement of the estate of been born when the decree of adoption was issued. Doribel’s birth disqualified
Margarita de Asis? - NO her parents from adopting based on Article 335 of the Civil Code, which names
 AS established, Renato could not prove that he was legally adopted by among those who cannot adopt those who have legitimate, legitimated,
Margarita acknowledged natural children, or natural children by legal fiction.
 For one to intervene in an estate proceeding, it is a requisite that he has an 2. Doribel is not a natural child of Teodoro and Isabel, but of Edita Abila who
interest in the estate, either as one who would be benefited as an heir or one manifested in a petition for guardianship of the child that she was the mother
who has a claim against the estate like a creditor of Doribel
 A child by adoption cannot inherit from the parent unless the act of adoption
has been performed in strict accord with the statute
 Until this is done, no rights are acquired by the child and neither the supposed ISSSUES:
adopting parent nor adopted child could be bound thereby I. W/N Delia and Edmundo were legally adopted children of Teodoro and
Isabel - YES
 It is too late to challenge the decree of adoption. It was issued way back in
Sayson v. Court of Appeals 1967, and therefore has become final and executory
Petitioners are the mother-in-law, brother and 3 sisters of the deceased Teodoro  Assuming that the petitioners were the proper parties, they should have
Sayson seasonably appealed or assailed the decree of adoption on the basis of Doribel’s
Respondents are 2 adopted children and a legitimate child of the deceased birth before or seasonably after the decree was issued, but they did not
Teodoro and Isabel  Mauricio also claims to have no personal knowledge of Doribel’s birth
 A challenge to the validity of the adoption cannot be made collaterally, as in
Facts: petitioners’ action for partition, but in a direct proceeding frontally addressing
Eleno (d. 1952) the issue
+ = Mauricio  A presumption arises in such cases where the validity of the judgment is thus
Rafaela (d. 1976) Rosario attacked that the necessary jurisdictional facts were proven
Basilisa  Santos v. Aranzanso – An adoption order implies the finding of the necessary
Remedios facts, and the burden of proof is on the party attacking it
Teodoro (d. 1972) + Isabel (d. 1981) = Delia (adopted)
Edmundo (adopted) II. W/N Doribel is a legitimate child of Teodoro and Isabel - YES
Doribel (legitimate)

 Doribel’s birth certificate is one of the prescribed means of recognition under
both Article 265 CC and Art. 172 FC. Although it is only prima facie evidence of
filiation, which may be refuted by evidence, such evidence is lacking in this case
 Mauricio’s testimony that he was present when Doribel was born to Edita Abila is
suspect as it comes from an interested party
 Abila’s affidavit denying her earlier statement in the petition for the guardianship
of Doribel is hearsay. It was also never offered in evidence in the lower courts.
 Even without Abila’s affidavit, the birth certificate must be upheld.
 It was held in Legaspi v. CA that the evidentiary nature of public documents
must be sustained in the absence of strong, complete, and conclusive proof of its
falsity or nullity
 Doribel’s legitimacy cannot be questioned in a complaint for partition and
accounting. It should be questioned in a direct action seasonably filed by the
proper party
 It cannot be questioned by way of defense or as a collateral issue in another
action for a different purpose

III. W/N Delia, Edmundo and Doribel are entitled to inherit from Teodoro
and Isabel - YES
 Doribel, as the legitimate daughter, and Delia and Edmundo, as their adopted
children, are exclusive heirs to the intestate estate of the deceased couple, in
conformity with Art, 979, which states that legitimate children, which includes
adopted children, succeed their parents
 The underlying philosophy of the article is that a person’s love descends first to
his children, and grandchildren before it ascends to his parents and thereafter
spreads among his collateral relatives
 It is also supposed that one of a person’s purposes in acquiring property is to
leave them eventually his children as a token of his love for them and as a
provision for their continued care after his death

IV. W/N Delia and Edmundo are entitled to inherit from Eleno and Rafaela -
 The grandparents were total strangers to Delia and Edmundo, as adopted
 An adopted child is deemed to be a legitimate child, and thus has the same
rights as legitimate child. HOWEVER, these rights do not include the right of
representation. The relationship created by the adoption is between only the
adopting parents and the adopted child, and does not extend to the blood
relatives of either party.