G.R. No.

182367

December 15, 2010

CHERRYL B. DOLINA, Petitioner, vs. GLENN D. VALLECERA, Respondent. DECISION ABAD, J.: This case is about a mother’s claim for temporary support of an unacknowledged child, which she sought in an action for the issuance of a temporary protection order that she brought against the supposed father. The Facts and the Case In February 2008 petitioner Cherryl B. Dolina filed a petition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary protection order against respondent Glenn D. Vallecera before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tacloban City in P.O. 2008-02-071 for alleged woman and child abuse under Republic Act (R.A.) 9262.2 In filling out the blanks in the pro-forma complaint, Dolina added a handwritten prayer for financial support3 from Vallecera for their supposed child. She based her prayer on the latter’s Certificate of Live Birth which listed Vallecera as the child’s father. The petition also asked the RTC to order Philippine Airlines, Vallecera’s employer, to withhold from his pay such amount of support as the RTC may deem appropriate. Vallecera opposed the petition. He claimed that Dolina’s petition was essentially one for financial support rather than for protection against woman and child abuses; that he was not the child’s father; that the signature appearing on the child’s Certificate of Live Birth is not his; that the petition is a harassment suit intended to force him to acknowledge the child as his and give it financial support; and that Vallecera has never lived nor has been living with Dolina, rendering unnecessary the issuance of a protection order against him. On March 13, 20084 the RTC dismissed the petition after hearing since no prior judgment exists establishing the filiation of Dolina’s son and granting him the right to support as basis for an order to compel the giving of such support. Dolina filed a motion for reconsideration but the RTC denied it in its April 4, 2008 Order,5 with an admonition that she first file a petition for compulsory recognition of her child as a prerequisite for support. Unsatisfied, Dolina filed the present petition for review directly with this Court. The Issue Presented

The sole issue presented in this case is whether or not the RTC correctly dismissed Dolina’s action for temporary protection and denied her application for temporary support for her child. The Court’s Ruling Dolina evidently filed the wrong action to obtain support for her child. The object of R.A. 9262 under which she filed the case is the protection and safety of women and children who are victims of abuse or violence.6 Although the issuance of a protection order against the respondent in the case can include the grant of legal support for the wife and the child, this assumes that both are entitled to a protection order and to legal support. Dolina of course alleged that Vallecera had been abusing her and her child.1avvphil But it became apparent to the RTC upon hearing that this was not the case since, contrary to her claim, neither she nor her child ever lived with Vallecera. As it turned out, the true object of her action was to get financial support from Vallecera for her child, her claim being that he is the father. He of course vigorously denied this. To be entitled to legal support, petitioner must, in proper action, first establish the filiation of the child, if the same is not admitted or acknowledged. Since Dolina’s demand for support for her son is based on her claim that he is Vallecera’s illegitimate child, the latter is not entitled to such support if he had not acknowledged him, until Dolina shall have proved his relation to him.7 The child’s remedy is to file through her mother a judicial action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition.8 If filiation is beyond question, support follows as matter of obligation.9 In short, illegitimate children are entitled to support and successional rights but their filiation must be duly proved.10 Dolina’s remedy is to file for the benefit of her child an action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition in order to establish filiation and then demand support. Alternatively, she may directly file an action for support, where the issue of compulsory recognition may be integrated and resolved.11 It must be observed, however, that the RTC should not have dismissed the entire case based solely on the lack of any judicial declaration of filiation between Vallecera and Dolina’s child since the main issue remains to be the alleged violence committed by Vallecera against Dolina and her child and whether they are entitled to protection. But of course, this matter is already water under the bridge since Dolina failed to raise this error on review. This omission lends credence to the conclusion of the RTC that the real purpose of the petition is to obtain support from Vallecera. While the Court is mindful of the best interests of the child in cases involving paternity and filiation, it is just as aware of the

disturbance that unfounded paternity suits cause to the privacy and peace of the putative father’s legitimate family.12 Vallecera disowns Dolina’s child and denies having a hand in the preparation and signing of its certificate of birth. This issue has to be resolved in an appropriate case. ACCORDINGLY, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the Regional Trial Court of Tacloban City’s Order dated March 13, 2008 that dismissed petitioner Cherryl B. Dolina’s action in P.O. 2008-02-07, and Order dated April 4, 2008, denying her motion for reconsideration dated March 28, 2008. SO ORDERED. ROBERTO A. ABAD Associate Justice

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A.M. No. 2002-12-SC

January 22, 2003

RE: ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT FOR NON-PAYMENT OF DEBT AGAINST NAHREN HERNAEZ CARPIO, J.: The Case Every employee of the judiciary must be an example of integrity, uprightness and honesty. The willful failure to pay just debts is conduct unbecoming a public official and is a ground for disciplinary action. The Facts In a letter-complaint dated June 14, 2002 addressed to Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., complainant Roberta Entena ("Entena" for brevity) wrote that Nahren Hernaez ("Hernaez" for brevity), a Utility Worker II of the Leave Division of this Court, is a lessee in one of her apartments. Entena claims that Hernaez has been occupying said apartment but failed to pay the monthly rentals from July 2001 until the present. Entena filed an action for ejectment against Hernaez and the latter promised to pay the rents but until now, no payment has been made. Pertinent portions of Entena's letter-complaint read: "xxx xxx xxx

"Muli po akong lumalapit sa inyo at lubos na umaasa na tutugunan po ninyo ang aking hinaing tungkol kay Nahren Hernaez, na inyong kawani. "xxx xxx xxx."

In a Memorandum dated July 10, 2002, Atty. Eden T. Candelaria, Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Administrative Officer of this Court, directed Hernaez to comment on Entena's lettercomplaint within five days from receipt thereof. Hernaez failed to comply with the said directive. Thus, another notice dated July 29, 2002 was sent to Hernaez to submit the required comment within a non-extendible period of three working days from receipt thereof. In her Comment dated August 5, 2002, Hernaez claims that her parents were the real lessees of Entena. Hernaez avers that her parents requested her to live with them temporarily to look after their welfare since they are already old and sickly. She was merely delivering the rental payments of her parents to Entena. She alleges that she had been demanding official receipts from Entena but to no avail. She further alleges that, as suggested by her lawyer, she would vacate the premises on or before August 17, 2002. Atty. Candelaria's Findings and Recommendation The parties were required to appear on August 29, 2002 (before the Office of Administrative Services for investigation. As requested by Entena's lawyer, the investigation was postponed and the initial investigation was conducted on September 3, 2002. Atty. Candelaria made the following findings: "During the investigation conducted by this Office on 3 September 2002, it was initially gathered that the true lessees of the complainant were Mr. and Mrs. Vicente De La Cuesta, the parents of herein respondent, in the amount of P6,000.00 a month. Respondent used to live with them in the said premises. However, in January of 2001, Mr. and Mrs. De La Cuesta left for the province to stay there for good leaving respondent and her family in the apartment. Complainant and respondent never had any written contract of lease on the premises vacated by her parents. However, respondent continued to occupy the premises and even paid rentals for the first three (3) months of her family's stay in the premises from January 2001. Thereafter, no other payments were made by respondent. For respondent's failure to pay her monthly rentals, a complaint was filed before the Tanggapan ng Barangay, Sikatuna Village 3, Quezon City. On 7 July 2001, complainant and respondent appeared before the Barangay Lupon where the latter acknowledged that as of 31 July 2001 her outstanding rental arrears amounts to P27,000.00 and she (respondent) promised to pay the same by the end of

the month (July 2001). However, respondent never made good her promise to pay as agreed and persistently failed to pay the succeeding monthly rentals. Again, a conference was scheduled before the Barangay Lupon on 3 September 2001 for the same case but respondent never appeared thereat. As a consequence, her non-appearance was made the basis for the issuance of a certification to file action in court by the Lupon. In a handwritten note dated 16 February 2002, Ms. Hernaez promised to vacate the premises by the end of the month of February 2002. However, she failed to fulfill the same. On March 1, 2002, Ms. Hernaez executed a promissory note and acknowledged her indebtedness to complainant in the amount of P51,000.00 and promised to pay the same even after she vacate the property. Based from the records, it appears that as of August 2002, the total rental arrears of Ms. Hernaez amounted to Eighty Five Thousand Pesos (P85,000.00). As alleged by complainant, she surreptitiously vacate the premises on August 31, 2002. At the time this administrative case was filed in this Office, a case for ejectment and collection of unpaid rentals against Ms. Hernaez is now pending trial before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court. During the scheduled conference of this case, complainant expressed willingness to enter into a compromise agreement with respondent which the latter readily agreed. After two successive conferences scheduled on different dates with the parties, no amicable settlement was arrived at due to the stubborn attitude of respondent. Complainant even proposed that payment be made on a staggered basis and promised to withdraw her complaint if respondent would only fulfill her obligations. Despite said offer, respondent never bothered to settle her account not even for a cent. In view of respondent's failure to settle her obligations with complainant, the latter decided to push through with this administrative complaint, hence, this recommendation." Atty. Candelaria recommended that Hernaez be suspended for ten (10) working days for willful failure to pay her just debts, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely. Atty. Candelaria is of the view that although this is Hernaez's first offense, reprimand is too light a penalty for the offense committed. Atty. Candelaria opines that Hernaez's continuing failure to pay her rentals in arrears is indicative of her lack of intention to pay her just and valid debts. Moreover, Hernaez clandestinely left the premises and never bothered to inform Entena of her whereabouts. Hernaez, being an employee of the highest court of the land, should have been an epitome of integrity and honesty. The Court's Ruling

"Siya po ay aking inihabla ng Ejectment, marami na po siyang beses na nangako sa akin na magbabayad siya, ngunit dumaan na po ang mga araw at buwan na kanyang ipinangako subalit magpasahanggang ngayon ay hindi pa din po niya ako binabayaran. "Ang sabi po niya ay ituloy ko ang aking habla laban sa kanya, dahil sa siya ay isang kawani ng Kataas-taasang Hukuman na pinangungunahan ninyo ay kayang kaya daw po niyang patagalin ang kaso, at mahihirapan daw po akong mapaalis siya sa kanyang inuupuhang apartment. Totoo po ba ito? "Ang kabuuan po ng kanyang pagkakautang sa upa ay P69,000.00, ito po ay mula po noong Hulyo 2001, hanggang May 2002. "Bakit po ang isang tulad niya na ang tungkuling pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng mamamayan bilang kawani ng Kataastaasang Hukuman ay siya pa po ang nagsasamantala sa isang katulad ko na ang tanging pinagkukunan ng aking inaasahan at ikinabubuhay ay ang paupahang apartment, ay siya pa ang nagbibigay ng sakit ng aking loob lalo pa't ako na isang matanda na.

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We agree with Atty. Candelaria's finding that Hernaez should be held administratively liable for willful failure to pay her just debts. Section 46, Chapter 6 of Book V, Title I, Subtitle A (Civil Service Commission) of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O No. 292) provides: "SEC. 46. Discipline: General Provisions. — (A) No officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be suspended or dismissed except for cause as provided by law and after due process. (b) The following shall be grounds for disciplinary action: xxx xxx xxx

penalty of reprimand for the first offense, suspension for one to thirty days for the second offense, and dismissal for the third offense. The penalty imposed by law is not directed at Hernaez's private life but at her actuations which are unbecoming a public official. 2 However, this case is Hernaez's first offense which should merit only the penalty of reprimand and not suspension of ten days as recommended by Atty. Candelaria. Consistent with Section 23 of the Omnibus Rules and the ruling in Christine G. Uy v. Bonifacio Magallanes, Jr., Process Server, RTC, Branch 30, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, 3 the appropriate penalty on Hernaez is a severe reprimand. Being an employee of the highest court of the land, Hernaez has failed to live up to the strictest standards of honesty, uprightness and integrity in the public service. The image of a court of justice is mirrored in the conduct, official and otherwise, of the personnel who work thereat, from the highest Justice to the lowest personnel. Court employees have been enjoined to adhere to the exacting standards of morality and decency in their professional and private conduct in order to preserve the good name and integrity of the courts of justice. 4 However, we cannot order Hernaez to pay civil indemnity to Entena because this is an administrative case and the Court is not a collection agency. 5 WHEREFORE, respondent Nahren D. Hernaez, Utility Worker II of the Leave Division of this Court, is SEVERELY REPRIMANDED for her willful failure to pay her just debts, tantamount to conduct unbecoming a court employee. She is further WARNED that the commission of the same or similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely by this Court. SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C .J., Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, AustriaMartinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr., and Azcuna, JJ., concur. Bellosillo, J., on leave.

(22) Willful failure to pay just debts or willful failure to pay taxes due to the government;" "Just debts" as defined in Section 23, Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E.O. 292 refers to: 1. claims adjudicated by a court of law, or 2. claims the existence and justness of which are admitted by the debtor. In the instant case, Hernaez admitted the existence of her indebtedness and the justness thereof. In the conference before the Barangay Lupon held on July 7, 2001, Hernaez promised to pay her rentals in arrears from March 15, 2001 to July 31, 2001 in the amount of P27,000.00. Hernaez also promised to pay said amount by the end of July 2001. However, Hernaez never made good her promise prompting the Barangay Lupon to issue a Certification to File Action in Court on September 13, 2001. Thus, Entena filed an ejectment case against Hernaez before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch XXXV, docketed as Civil Case No. 35-28346. Hernaez, in a handwritten note dated February 16, 2002, promised to vacate the premises by the end of February 2002 but failed to do so. She is indebted to Entena in the accumulated amount of P85,000.00, which amount Hernaez does not dispute. Out of this amount, Hernaez executed on March 1, 2002 a promissory note to Entena for P51,000.00. The balance represents the rentals accumulated from March 2002 to August 31, 2002 when Hernaez left the premises. 1 Verily, by her unjust refusal to pay her admitted debts, Hernaez's administrative liability under the Revised Administrative Code is beyond dispute. Section 23 of the same Omnibus Rules classifies the willful failure to pay just debts as a light offense and prescribes the

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G.R. No. 127578 February 15, 1999 MANUEL DE ASIS, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. JAIME T. HAMOY, Branch 130, RTC, Kalookan City and GLEN CAMIL ANDRES DE ASIS represented by her mother/guardian VIRCEL D. ANDRES, respondents. PURISIMA, J.: Petition for certiorari under Rule 65 oft he Revised Rules of Court seeking to nullify the decision of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial court's Orders, dated November 25, 1993 and February 4, 1994, respectively, denying petitioner's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint in Civil Case No. C-16107, entitled "Glen Camil Andres de Asis, etc. vs. Manuel de Asis", and the motion for reconsideration. The pertinent facts leading to the filing of the petition at bar are as follows: On October 14, 1988, Vircel D. Andres, (the herein private respondent) in her capacity as the legal guardian of the minor, Glen Camil Andres de Asis, brought an action for maintenance and support against Manuel de Asis, docketed as Civil Case No. Q-88-935 before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 94, alleging that the defendant Manuel de Asis (the petitioner here) is the father of subject minor Glen Camil Andres de Asis, and the former refused and/or failed to provide for the maintenance of the latter, despite repeated demands. In his Answer, petitioner denied his paternity of the said minor and theorized that he cannot therefore be required to provide support for him. On July 4, 1989, private respondent Vircel D. Andres, through counsel, sent in a manifestation the pertinent portion of which, reads; 1. That this proposed Amended Answer, defendant (herein petitioner) has made a judicial admission/declaration that "1). defendant denies that the said minor child (Glen Camil) is his child 2) he (petitioner) has no obligation to the plaintiff Glen Camil . . . 2. That with the aforesaid judicial admission/declarations by the defendant, it seems futile and a useless exercise to claim support from said defendant. 3. That under the foregoing circumstances it would be more practical that plaintiff withdraws the complains against the defendant subject to the condition that the defendant should not pursue his counterclaim in the above-entitled case, . . . 1

By virtue of the said manifestation, both the plaintiff and the defendant agreed to move for the dismissal of the case. Acting thereupon, the Regional Trial Court a quo issued the following Order of August 8, 1989, dismissing Civil Case No. Q-88-935 with prejudice, to wit: Acting on the manifestation of Atty. Romualdo C. delos Santos, counsel for the defendant, that counsel for the plaintiff Atty. Ismael J. Andres has no objection that this case be withdrawn provided that the defendant will withdraw the counterclaim, as prayed for, let the case be dismissed with prejudice. SO ORDERED. 2 On September 7, 1995, another Complaint for maintenance and support was brought against Manuel A. de Asis, this time in the name of Glen Camil Andres de Asis, represented by her legal guardian/mother, Vircel D. Andres. Docketed as Civil Case No. C-16107 before Branch 130 of the Regional Trial Court of Kalookan, the said Complaint prayed, thus: WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that judgment be rendered ordering defendant: 1. To pay plaintiff the sum of not less than P2,000.00 per month for every month since June 1, 1987 as support in arrears which defendant failed to provide plaintiff shortly after her birth in June 1987 up to present; 2. To give plaintiff a monthly allowance of P5,000.00 to be paid in advance on or before the 5th of each and every month. 3. To give plaintiff by way of support pendente lite a monthly allowance of P5,000.00 per month, the first monthly allowance to start retroactively from the first day of this month and the subsequent ones to be paid in advance on or before the 5th of each succeeding month. 4. To pay the costs of suit. Plaintiff prays for such other relief just and equitable under the premises. 3 On October 8, 1993, petitioner moved to dismiss the Complaint on the ground of res judicata, alleging that Civil Case C-16107 is barred by the prior judgment which dismissed with prejudice Civil Case Q -88-935. In the Order dated November 25, 1993 denying subject motion to dismiss, the trial court ruled that res judicata is inapplicable in an action for support for the reason that renunciation or waiver of future support is prohibited by law. Petitioner's motion for

reconsideration of the said Order met the same fate. It was likewise denied. Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari. But on June 7, 1996, the Court of Appeals found that the said Petition devoid of merit and dismissed the same. Undaunted, petitioner found his way to this court via the present petition, posing the question whether or not the public respondent acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in upholding the denial of the motion to dismiss by the trial court, and holding that an action for support cannot be barred by res judicata. To buttress his submission, petitioner invokes the previous dismissal of the Complaint for maintenance and support, Civil Case Q-88-935, filed by the mother and guardian of the minor, Glen Camil Andres de Asis, (the herein private respondent). In said case, the complainant manifested that because of the defendant's judicial declaration denying that he is the father of subject minor child, it was "futile and a useless exercise to claim support from defendant". Because of such manifestation, and defendant's assurance that he would not pursue his counterclaim anymore, the parties mutually agreed to move for the dismissal of the complaint. The motion was granted by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, which then dismissed the case with prejudice. Petitioner contends that the aforecited manifestation, in effect admitted the lack of filiation between him and the minor child, which admission binds the complainant, and since the obligation to give support is based on the existence of paternity and filiation between the child and the putative parent, the lack thereof negates the right to claim for support. Thus, petitioner maintains that the dismissal of the Complaint by the lower court on the basis of the said manifestation bars the present action for support, especially so because the order of the trial court explicitly stated that the dismissal of the case was with prejudice. The petition is not impressed with merit. The right to receive support can neither be renounced nor transmitted to a third person. Article 301 of the Civil Code, the law in point, reads: Art. 301. The right to receive support cannot be renounced, nor can it be transmitted to a third person. Neither can it be compensated with what the recipient owes the obligor. . . . Furthermore, compromise. future support cannot be the subject of a

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Once the needs of plaintiff arise. Art. Neither are we persuaded by petitioner's theory that the dismissal with prejudice of Civil Case Q-88-935 has the effect of res judicata on the subsequent case for support. concur. The right to life cannot be renounce. and this civil status. and much less. 2035. WHEREFORE.given to such a claim until an authoritative declaration has been made as to the existence of the cause. notwithstanding the fact the previous case filed against the same defendant was dismissed. Manuel Advincula. Coral v. The raison d' etre behind the proscription against renunciation. 5 . cannot be the subject of compromise (pars. 297). It violates the compromise of the right to support. 4 In the case at bar. 2035. 648.G. The case of Advincula vs. . The civil status of a son having been denied. Furthermore. The manifestation sent in by respondent's mother in the first case. Manuela Advincula. which the defendant moved to dismiss. Since the right to claim for support is predicated on the existence of filiation between the minor child and the putative parent. (2) The validity of a marriage or legal separation. support which is the means to attain the former. This is contrary to public policy. and that the right to receive support cannot be renounced nor can it be transmitted to a third person neither can it be compensated with what the recipient owes the obligator (Art . . as heretofore shown. the admission made by counsel for the wife of the facts alleged in a motion of the husband. 2035. ibid. it is apparent that no effect can be . such an admission is at most evidentiary and does not conclusively establish the lack of filiation. it is indisputable that the present action for support can be brought. the right to support can not be waived or transferred to third parties and future support cannot be the subject of compromise (Art. the petition under consideration is hereby DISMISSED and the decision of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. Panganiban and Gonzaga-Reyes. Conformably. Vitug. p. 1 & 4. which acknowledged that it would be useless to pursue its complaint for support. she has the right to bring an action for support. thus: The new Civil Code provides that the allowance for support is provisional because the amount may be increased or decreased depending upon the means of the giver and the needs of the recipient (Art. the second action for support may still prosper. (5) The jurisdiction of courts. Glen Camil. from which the right to support is derived being in issue. Furthermore. theorizing that the dismissal of the first case precluded the filing of the second case. who was the plaintiff in the first case. 3135. hence. respondent minor's mother. a similar case was instituted by Manuela.. paternity and filiation or the lack of the same is a relationship that must be judicially established and it is for the court to declare its existence or absence. for it is only then that her cause for action is accrues. this Court ruled.. affecting as it does the civil status of a persons and future support. Romero. Gallego. the petitioner. transmission and/or compromise of the right to support is stated. prohibition against any Thus. Acknowledgment. the case was dismissed. instituted a case for acknowledgment and support against her putative father. Thereafter. (3) Any ground for legal separation (4) Future support. Civil Code). Hence. 5 It is true that in order to claim support. 6 Although in the case under scrutiny. the admission may be binding upon the respondent. amounted to renunciation as it severed the vinculum that gives the minor. the first dismissal cannot have force and effect and can not bar the filing of another action. thus: The right to support being founded upon the need of the recipient to maintain his existence. the minor. JJ. In disposing such case. No pronouncement as to costs. Advincula 7 comes to the fore. xxx xxx xxx It appears that the former dismissal was predicated upon compromise.). SO ORDERED. On motion of both parties and for the reason that the "plaintiff has lost interest and is no longer interested in continuing the case against the defendant and has no further evidence to introduce in support of the complaint". was not an adjudication upon the merits. 1956 Ed. xxx xxx xxx To allow renunciation or transmission or compensation of the family right of a person to support is virtually to allow either suicide or the conversion of the recipient to a public burden. the right of herein plaintiff-appellant to reiterate her suit for support and acknowledgment is available. (6) Future legitime. cited in IV Civil Code by Padilla. as a waiver of the right to claim for support. petitioner would like us to believe that such manifestation admitting the futility of claiming support from him puts the issue to rest and bars any and all future complaint for support. 38 O. as her needs arise. (emphasis supplied).301). he is not entitled to renounce or transfer the right for this would mean sanctioning the voluntary giving up of life itself. cannot be renounced.Art. This being true. the agreement entered into between the petitioner and respondent's mother for the dismissal of the complaint for maintenance and support conditioned upon the dismissal of the counterclaim is in the nature of a compromise which cannot be countenanced. 3553. asking for the same relief against the same defendant. provides. In Advincula. that: No compromise upon the following questions shall be valid: (1) The civil status of persons. However. notwithstanding the dismissal of Civil Case Q-88935 and the lower court's pronouncement that such dismissal was with prejudice. the right to claim support from his putative parent. filiation and/or paternity must first be shown between the claimant and the parent. And it also appearing that the dismissal of Civil Case No. manifested that she was withdrawing the case as it seemed futile to claim support from petitioner who denied his paternity over the child. It cannot be left to the will or agreement of the parties. in which the latter prayed that his obligation to support be extinguished cannot be considered as an assent to the prayer.

both parties came to this Court for relief. On November 29. We have said time and again that where there is an ambiguity caused by an omission or a mistake in the dispositive portion of the decision. As the decretal portion clearly made no disposition of Civil Case No. which can no longer be corrected at this late hour. and b) no such separation was decreed by the trial court in the dispositive portion of its decision. Judge German G. The private respondent contends that the decision of the trial court can longer be reviewed at this time because it has a long since become final and executory. also against him and docketed as Civil Case No. The dispositive portion of the decision in question was incomplete insofar as it carried no ruling on the complaint for judicial separation of conjugal property although it was extensively discussed in the body of the decision. 82606 December 18. When their motions for reconsideration were denied. in the Regional Trial Court of Negros Oriental. CRUZ. third paragraph of the Civil Code. Jose Jo.G. Not having done so. And now to the merits of Civil Case No. the Court may resort to the pleading filed by the parties and the findings of fact and the conclusions of law expressed in the text or body of the decision.: The herein private respondent. the dispositive portion of which read: WHEREFORE. The drafting of the decision was indeed not exactly careful. which affirmed the ruling of the trial court in the complaint for support. petitioner. The petitioner's counsel.000.00 to the plaintiff Prima Partosa. should have taken immediate steps for the rectification for the omission so that the ruling expressed in the text of the decision could have been embodied in the decretal portion. While admitting that no mention was made of Civil Case No. Jo elevated the decision to the Court of Appeals. she is now concluded by the said decision. 4 by virtue of which the conjugal partnership of property would be terminated. alias Consing. It was only when the respondent court observed that there was no dispositive portion regarding that case and so ordered its dismissal that she found it necessary to come to this Court for relief. 1992 PRIMA PARTOSA-JO. this court hereby holds that the plaintiff Prima Partosa was legally married to Jose Jo alias Ho Hang. we hereby make such modification. The Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint on the ground that the separation of the parties was due to their agreement and not because of abondonment. therefore. where she and Jo were living together "because that was our agreement. The respondent court should have made the necessary modification instead of dismissing Civil Case No. The first of these women.000. Negros Oriental where she may live separately from the defendant being entitled under the law to separate maintenance being the innocent spouse and to pay the amount of P19. The two cases were consolidated and tried jointly. 1983. the technicality invoked in this case should not be allowed to prevail over considerations of substantive justive. and. and to expedite these proceedings. 2 In doing so. who declared under oath that she left Dumaguete City. The respondent court relied mainly on the testimony of the petitioner. respondents. is entitled to support as the lawfully wedded wife and the defendant is hereby ordered to give a monthly support of P500. in view of all the foregoing arguments and considerations. This petition deals only with the complaint for judicial separation of conjugal property. She submits that the agreement between her and the private respondent was for her to temporarily live with her parents 6 . In 1980. Its conclusion was that the only remedy availabe to the petitioner was legal separation under Article 175 of the Civil Code. The private respondent's petition for review on certiorari was dismissed for tardiness in our resolution dated February 17. the defendant in this case. the herein petitioner. 36. The petitioner should have called the attention of the trial court to the omission so that the proper rectification could be made on time. 178 and 191 of the Civil Code. that case should be considered impliedly dismissed. which is subject of separate proceedings as enunciated herein. vs. the petitioner argues that a disposition of the case was nonetheless made in the penultimate paragraph of the decision reading as follows: It is." It held that a agreement to live separately without just cause was void under Article 221 of the Civil Code and could not sustain any claim of abandonment by the aggrieved spouse. the technical defect is not insuperable. The petitioner has a point. and to give to the plaintiff the amount of P40. Nevertheless. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and HO HANG (with aliases JOSE JO and CONSING). The petitioner contends that the respondent court has misinterpreted Articles 175. to be paid on or before the 5th day of every month. 178 and 191 of the Civil Code. the petitioner filed a complaint against Jo for judicial separation of conjugal property. 1 The complaint for judicial separation of conjugal property was dismissed for lack of a cause of action and on the ground that separation by agreement was not covered by Article 178 of the Civil Code. admits to having cohabited with three women and fathered fifteen children. Monina Jo. in addition to an earlier action for support. there was a definite disposition of the complaint for support but none of the complaint for judicial separation of conjugal property.00 for the construction of the house in Zamboanguita. The petitioner says she believed this to be disposition enough and so did not feel it was necessary for her to appeal.00 in the concept of attorney's fees. J. where we also affirmed the legality of the marriage between Jose and Prima and the obligation of the former to support her and her daughter. No. After all. holding that the petitioner and the private respondent were legally married and that the properties mentioned by the petitioner were acquired by Jo during their marriage although they were registered in the name of the apparent dummy. We deal first with the second ground. 51 and thus upholding mere form over substance. As will be noticed.R. Lee. Such alertness could have avoided this litigation on a purely technical issue. particularly since the order embodied in that paragraph was in her favor. hereby ordered that all properties in question are considered properties of Jose Jo. 51. 51. claims to be his legal wife whom he begot a daughter. subject to separation of property under Article 178. this Court may clarify such an ambiguity by an amendment even after the judgment have become final.200. rendered an extensive decision. 51 in the dispositive portion of the decision of the trial court.00 to the plaintiff by way of support in arrears and to pay the plaintiff the amount of P3. In the interest of substantive justice. noting this. 3 The trial court made definite findings on the complaint for judicial separation of conjugal property. therefore. 1988. docketed as Civil Case No. Jr. 51. There is no question therefore that the penultimate paragraph of the decision of the trial court was a ruling based upon such findings and so should have been embodied in the dispositive portion. The other women and their respective offspring are not parties of these case. Branch 35. It is here submitted that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that: a) the judicial separation of conjugal property sought was not allowed under Articles 175.

concur. The past has caught up with the private respondent. Any of the following shall be considered sufficient cause for judicial separation of property: xxx xxx xxx (6) That at the time of the petition. and not according to the law prevailing at the time of rendition of the appealed judgement. the petitioner may also invoke the second ground allowed by Article 128. which states that "a spouse is deemed to have abandoned the other when he or she has left the conjugal dwelling without any intention of returning. It is these properties that should now be divided between him and the petitioner." The record shows that as early as 1942. this arrangement was repudiated and ended in 1942. 51 is hereby decided in favor the plaintiff. beginning 1968 until the determination by this Court of the action for support in 1988. WHEREFORE. The court will therefore reverse a judgement which was correct at the time it was originally rendered where. A spouse is deemed to have abondoned the other when he or she has left the conjugal dwelling without any intention of returning. in which actions. The spouse who has left the conjugal dwelling for a period of three months or has failed within the same period to give any information as to his or her whereabouts shall be prima facie presumed to have no intention of returning to the conjugal dwelling. except that: xxx xxx xxx (3) If the husband has abandoned the wife without just cause for at least one year. significantly. Griño-Aquino and Bellosillo. In addition. They never agreed to separate permanently. the petitioner herein. Abandonment implies a departure by one spouse with the avowed intent never to return. Court of Appeals: 7 The greater weight of authority is inclined to the view that an appellate court. The obligations to the family mentioned in the preceding paragraph refer to martial. Civil Case No. and 2. The petitioner invokes Article 178 (3) of the Civil Code. Failure of one spouse to comply with his or her obligations to the family without just cause. the private respondent refused to give financial support to the petitioner. Jo has freely admitted to cohabiting with other women and siring many children by them. 135. the spouse have been separated in fact for at least one year and reconciliation is highly improbable. As the private respondent is a Chinese citizen. the aggrieved spouse may petition the court for receivership. share and share alike. on the assumption that they were acquired during coverture and so belong to the spouses half and half. or administration by her of the conjugal partnership property or separation of property. Their separation thus falls also squarely under Article 135 of the Family Code. The private respondent has not established any just cause for his refusal to comply with his obligations to his wife as dutiful husband. when she returned to him at Dumaguete City and he refused to accept her. 178. he must now make an accounting to his lawful wife of the properties he denied her despite his promise to their of his eternal love and care. SO ORDERED. parental or property relations. the aggrieved spouse may petition for judicial separation on either of these grounds: 1. for the fact is that he has failed without just cause to comply with his obligations to the family as husband or parent. providing as follows: Art. The separation in fact between husband and wife without judicial approval. 6 This idea is clearly expressed in the above-quoted provision. And even if they did. Moreover. The amendments introduced in the Family Code are applicable to the case before us although they became effective only on August 3. It was his refusal to provide for the petitioner and their daughter that prompted her to file the actions against him for support and later for separation of the conjugal property. coupled with the refusal by the private respondent to give support to the petitioner. shall not affect the conjugal partnership. even if she said spouse does not leave the other spouse. in reviewing a judgment on appeal. 5 There must be absolute cessation of marital relations. As we held in Ramirez v. whom he denied admission to their conjugal home in Dumaguete City when she returned from Zamboanguita. the division must include such properties properly belonging to the conjugal partnership as may have been registered in the name of other persons in violation of the Anti-Dummy Law. 1988. and without in the meantime providing in the least for one's family although able to do so. which states: Art. Abondonment by a spouse of the other without just cause. 128. he even denied being married to her. This division shall be implemented by the trial court after determination of all the properties pertaining to the said conjugal partnership. followed by prolonged absence without just cause. will dispose of a question according to the law prevailing at the term of such disposition.. with the intention of perpetual separation. the petition is GRANTED and the assailed decision of the respondent court is MODIFIED. and the conjugal property of the petitioner and the private respondent is hereby ordered divided between them. If a spouse without just cause abandons the other or fails to comply with his or her obligations to the family. Padilla. Apart form refusing to admit his lawful wife to their conjugal home in Dumaguete City. The physical separation of the parties. for judicial separation of property. The fact that she was not accepted by Jo demonstrates all too clearly that he had no intention of resuming their conjugal relationship. she may petition the court for a receivership. the private respondent had already rejected the petitioner. subject to such precautionary conditions as the court may impose.during the initial period of her pregnancy and for him to visit and support her. which reads: Art. there has been an intermediate change in the law which renders such judgement erroneous at the time the case was finally disposed of on appeal. by statute. of for authority to be the sole administrator of the conjugal partnership property. duties and rights. 7 . The order of judicial separation of the properties in question is based on the finding of both the trial and respondent courts that the private respondent is indeed their real owner. including those that may have been illegally registered in the name of the persons. JJ. After his extramarital flings and a succession of illegitimate children. Under the this provision. sufficed to constitute abandonment as a ground for the judicial separation of their conjugal property. The above-quoted provision has been superseded by Article 128 of the Family Code.

The appellate court also ruled that since this case is an action for support. in JDRC No. Costs against the appellant. the truth being that he and respondent never lived together as husband and wife. 69166. No. as culled from the records. and that he was merely prevailed upon by respondent to sign the marriage contract to save her from embarrassment and possible administrative prosecution due to her pregnant state.12 Finally.10 Petitioner additionally argues that there was no need for the appearance of a prosecuting attorney in this case because it is only an ordinary action for support and not an action for annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage. 2008 REINEL ANTHONY B. When the couple went back to the Office of the Civil Registrar. The false affidavit should never be allowed or admitted as a substitute to fill the absence of a marriage license. in lieu of a marriage license. De Castro is the legitimate child of the petitioner. Since the child’s birth. and had regularly engaged in sex thereafter. Petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals. with Judge Jose C. Prompted by the rule that a marriage is presumed to be subsisting until a judicial declaration of nullity has been made. arguing that the lower court committed grave abuse of discretion when. as required by the Family Code in actions for declaration of nullity of a marriage. Echoing the findings and rulings of the appellate court. she argues that the legitimacy of their marriage cannot be attacked collaterally.2 declaring that (1) Reianna Tricia A. the Court of Appeals frowned upon petitioner’s refusal to undergo DNA testing to prove the paternity and filiation. There was no participation of the State. Thus. De Castro. if not evasive in answering questions about their sexual encounters. The proceedings before the trial court should have been limited to the obligation of petitioner to support the child and his wife on the basis of the marriage apparently and voluntarily entered into by petitioner and respondent. as the legitimate child of the appellant and the appellee and (2) declaring the marriage on 13 March 1995 between the appellant and the appellee valid until properly annulled by a competent court in a proceeding instituted for that purpose. Citing several authorities. respondent alleged that she is married to petitioner and that the latter has "reneged on his responsibility/obligation to financially support her "as his wife and Reinna Tricia as his child.G. J. the Decision dated 16 October 2000. On 13 November 1995. follow. and not in the instant proceedings. but the motion was denied by the Court of Appeals. as well as his refusal to state with certainty the last time he had carnal knowledge with respondent. the appellate court declared that the child was born during the subsistence and validity of the parties’ marriage. respondent filed a complaint for support against petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City (trial court. petitioner contends that the trial court properly annulled his marriage with respondent because as shown by the evidence and admissions of the parties. she pointed out that compared to her candid and straightforward testimony. In a resolution dated 16 February 2004. on the basis of mere belief and conjecture. De Castro. petitioner claims that in view of the nullity of his marriage with respondent and his vigorous denial of the child’s paternity and filiation. after the ceremony. On 4 June 1998. it was improper for the trial court to declare the marriage of petitioner and respondent as null and void in the very same case. The burden of proof to show that the marriage is void rests upon petitioner. respondent. and thus obliged to give her support. the Court of Appeals gravely erred in declaring the child as his legitimate child. petitioner and respondent went back to their respective homes and did not live together as husband and wife. petitioner. Thus. to see to it that there is no collusion between the parties. but it is a matter that can be raised in an action for declaration of nullity. The facts of the case. He also averred that they never lived together as husband and wife and that he has never seen nor acknowledged the child. premises considered. petitioner argues that the trial court had jurisdiction to determine the invalidity of their marriage since it was validly invoked as an affirmative defense in the instant action for support. and (2) that the marriage between petitioner and respondent is valid until properly nullified by a competent court in a proceeding instituted for that purpose. it declared petitioner as the natural father of the child."6 Moreover. and could not have been. respondent gave birth to a child named Reinna Tricia A. in order to push through with the plan. vs. claiming that their marriage is void ab initio since the marriage was facilitated by a fake affidavit. Brach 70. administering the civil rites. No. The Court of Appeals denied the appeal. In addition.: This is a petition for review of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR CV. However. DE CASTRO.9 Hence this petition. ANNABELLE ASSIDAO-DE CASTRO. it ordered him to provide support to the child when the latter is not.11 petitioner claims that a void marriage can be the subject of a collateral attack. Before us. respondent has been the one supporting her out of her income as a government dentist and from her private practice. would be time-consuming for the parties. they executed an affidavit dated 13 March 1995 stating that they had been living together as husband and wife for at least five years. the Court required respondent and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to file their respective comments on the petition. his own child. Nevertheless. wherein he voluntarily admitted that he is the legitimate father of the child. In its Decision dated 16 October 2000. the Court of Appeals noted the affidavit dated 7 April 1998 executed by petitioner. Petitioner and respondent met and became sweethearts in 1991. in lieu of a marriage license."4 Petitioner denied that he is married to respondent.7 The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE.5 the trial court ruled that the marriage between petitioner and respondent is not valid because it was solemnized without a marriage license. she adds that despite the challenge from her and from the trial court. In any case. and that he was not able to get parental advice from his parents before he got married. 4626. National Capital Judicial Region. Moreover. the OSG avers that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that it was improper for the trial court to declare null and void the marriage of petitioner and respondent in the action for 8 . The refiling of another case for declaration of nullity where the same evidence and parties would be presented would entail enormous expenses and anxieties. but can only be repudiated or contested in a direct suit specifically brought for that purpose. He stresses that the affidavit they executed. petitioner was uncertain.8 Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. contained a false narration of facts.14 respondent claims that the instant petition is a mere dilatory tactic to thwart the finality of the decision of the Court of Appeals. Bernabe. They had their first sexual relation sometime in October 1994. They planned to get married. the marriage license had already expired.3 In her complaint. of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City. is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATIONS (1) declaring Reianna Tricia A. 160172 February 13. the marriage was celebrated without a marriage license. The couple got married on the same date. through the prosecuting attorney or fiscal. petitioner strongly objected to being subjected to DNA testing to prove paternity and filiation. thus they applied for a marriage license with the Office of the Civil Registrar of Pasig City in September 1994. DECISION TINGA.15 For its part. presiding judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City.R. With regard to the filiation of her child.13 In her Comment. and would increase the burden of the courts. saying that petitioner’s "forgetfulness should not be used as a vehicle to relieve him of his obligation and reward him of his being irresponsible. there is no necessity to institute another independent proceeding for the declaration of nullity of the marriage between the parties.

DANTE O. the court may pass upon the validity of marriage even in a suit not directly instituted to question the same so long as it is essential to the determination of the case.16 it states that courts may pass upon the validity of a marriage in an action for support." "D. Thus. legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child. or a criminal case for that matter. other than for purposes of remarriage. dissolution of property regime.20 Likewise. The false affidavit which petitioner and respondent executed so they could push through with the marriage has no value whatsoever. 1995 at Better Living. so long as it is essential to the determination of the case. it concludes the trial court correctly held that the marriage between petitioner and respondent is not valid. whereas a defect in any of the essential requisites shall render the marriage voidable. Bayadog. Bayadog. is that correct? A Yes. They were not exempt from the marriage license requirement. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.24 However. in fact. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR CV No. shame and embarrassment concomitant with the scandalous cohabitation of persons outside a valid marriage due to the publication of every applicant’s name for a marriage license." "H-1" to "H-3"). Metro Manila. In one of the pictures (Exhs. thus stating: 1.28 The Certificate of Live Birth29 of the child lists petitioner as the father. DE CASTRO who was born on November 3. whether the trial court had the jurisdiction to determine the validity of the marriage between petitioner and respondent in an action for support and second. there was no "scandalous cohabitation" to protect. petitioner became pregnant which ultimately led to their marriage. admitted that he is the father of the child. such as but not limited to determination of heirship. one can prove illegitimate filiation through the record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment. "E. or any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. thus— ATTY. there was no cohabitation at all. 1995. defendant is seen putting the wedding ring on petitioner’s finger and in another picture (Exhs." "F.26 In the instant case." "C-1" and "C-2. Citing the case of Niñal v.22 Under the Family Code. the OSG agrees with the findings of the trial court that the child is an illegitimate child of petitioner and thus entitled to support. to prove the existence of grounds rendering such a marriage an absolute nullity. the Court holds that the trial court had jurisdiction to determine the validity of the marriage between petitioner and respondent.23 In the instant case. you signed the Affidavit. The clause "on the basis of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void" in Article 40 of the Family Code connotes that such final judgment need not be obtained only for purpose of remarriage. the pictures taken of the occasion reveal otherwise (Exhs. in an affidavit waiving additional 9 . As a result of their sexual dalliances. settlement of estate. no judicial action is necessary to declare a marriage an absolute nullity. since the right to support from petitioner hinges on the existence of a valid marriage. While they were sweethearts." "E-1" and "E-2") respondent is seen in the act of kissing the petitioner." "B-1. respondent herself in effect admitted the falsity of the affidavit when she was asked during cross-examination. 69166 are SET ASIDE and the decision of the Regional Trial Court Branch 70 of Pasig City in JDRC No. the absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio. At times. However." "G. a final judgment of declaration of nullity is necessary even if the purpose is other than to remarry. Reiterating Niñal.support. they would go to a motel to have sex. "D. we held: However. in Nicdao Cariño v.21 the Court ruled that it is clothed with sufficient authority to pass upon the validity of two marriages despite the main case being a claim for death benefits." "D-1" and "D-2")." "D-1" and "D-2. though invalid.19 Thus. sir. and that their affidavit (of a man and woman who have lived together and exclusively with each other as husband and wife for at least five years) was false. Parañaque." "C. Moreover." "F-1" and "F-2.31 WHEREFORE. testimonial or documentary. I am the legitimate father of REIANNA TRICIA A. in Niñal v. Yee Cariño.27 Thus." "E-1" and "E-2. petitioner. SO ORDERED. we held that the Court may pass upon the validity of a marriage even in a suit not directly instituted to question the validity of said marriage. In addition. First." "G-1" and "G-2" and "H. When such need arises. Instead. it is a mere scrap of paper. The aim of this provision is to avoid exposing the parties to humiliation. they presented an affidavit stating that they had been living together for more than five years. whether the child is the daughter of petitioner. Their failure to obtain and present a marriage license renders their marriage void ab initio.25 tax exemption in favor of respondent.30 We are likewise inclined to agree with the following findings of the trial court: That Reinna Tricia is the child of the respondent with the petitioner is supported not only by the testimony of the latter.18 Two key issues are presented before us. or the open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child. This is without prejudice to any issue that may arise in the case. The law dispenses with the marriage license requirement for a man and a woman who have lived together and exclusively with each other as husband and wife for a continuous and unbroken period of at least five years before the marriage." to "B-3. The validity of a void marriage may be collaterally attacked. and therefore entitled to support. "B. the petition is granted in part. CARPIO: Q But despite of (sic) the fact that you have not been living together as husband and wife for the last five years on or before March 13. evidence must be adduced. For other purposes. he used to visit petitioner at the latter’s house or clinic. the evidence presented during the proceedings in the trial court showed that the marriage between petitioner and respondent was solemnized without a marriage license. Anent the second issue. TINGA Associate Justice The falsity of the affidavit cannot be considered as a mere irregularity in the formal requisites of marriage. 4626 dated 16 October 2000 is hereby REINSTATED. it is clear from the evidence presented that petitioner and respondent did not have a marriage license when they contracted their marriage. but also by respondent’s own admission in the course of his testimony wherein he conceded that petitioner was his former girlfriend." "E. as earlier ruled.17 In addition. we find that the child is petitioner’s illegitimate daughter. an admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. While respondent claims that he was merely forced to undergo the marriage ceremony. Anent the first issue.

while the private respondent resides at 497 Pamaong Street. and People vs. (2) In case of a marriage between a Muslim and non-Muslim. Bohol. nor over the parties. Upon her motion. 5 years old. 2. solemnized not in accordance with Muslim law or this Code. she was appointed the children's guardian by order of the court dated August 25. Tagbilaran City. Rollo). P. No. Its order was based on Section 13 of the Special Rules of Procedure in the Sharia Courts which provides: Section 13. may not be divested of its jurisdiction over the parties (the husband having voluntarily submitted to its jurisdiction by filing a motion therein for joint custody of his children) by the Fourth Sharia District Court in Marawi City by the husband's filing therein three (3) months later his own petition for custody and guardianship of his children (p. Title II of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (PD 1083) provides: BOOK TWO TITLE II Chapter One APPLICABILITY CLAUSE Art. or wherein only the male party is a Muslim. Rollo). Proc. Ocaya. 1083). petitioner. 011-87. GRIÑO-AQUINO. District Judge of the Fourth Sharia Judicial District Court and NABIL AL-AWADHI. Article 13. 011-87 is not a Philippine Muslim but a Kuwaiti national. she filed an action for support and guardianship of her three (3) minor children (who are in her custody) in the Regional Trial Court. divorce. 45. the private respondent is a Kuwaiti student. of the respondent Sharia District Court over the parties and the subject matter of the case. 143. to wit: (a) Motion to dismiss or to quash. 011-87. assailing the order dated January 12. Lat vs. 1988. ABDULMAJID J. Only the Sharia District Judge filed a Comment on the petition. 1987 (p. In its order dated November 20. or intervention. 1987 (Annex B. petitions or motions. 23. vs. J. herself. It may not be ousted from its jurisdiction by a co-equal court (People vs. Application (1) � The provisions of this Title shall apply to marriage and divorce wherein both parties are Muslims. Respondent" for custody and guardianship of their minor children named Abdul Wahab Nabil. 6 months old.G. No. he filed on November 4. Rollo). Petitioner. 67 SCRA 425. 1083). 13. PLDT. Nabil Al-Awadhi Defendant"). Citizens Legal Assistance Office for petitioner. Talib Umpar for private respondent. However. After having been summoned. Rollo). Bellosillo. The Regional Trial Court. 1987. at Tagbilaran City which had assumed jurisdiction over petitioner's complaint for support and guardianship of her children on August 25. claims for customary dower (mahr). p. mandamus. the Sharia District Court denied her motion to dismiss (Annex C. vs. Hence. support and maintenance. 4170. � The court shall not allow the filing of the following pleadings.R. The rule is that once a court has assumed jurisdiction of a case. (f) Petition for certiorari.D. p. The petitioner and the private respondent were married in Kuwait on August 1. 83 SCRA 218). (2) That he resides at 49-7 Pamaong Extension. 1988 JOCELYN RULONA-AL AWADHI. breach of contract to marry. 64 SCRA 63. and (3) improper venue (Annex B. this petition for review raising only the legal issue of jurisdiction. betrothal. the petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the grounds that: (1) the court has no jurisdiction over the subject of the petition. her husband filed in the same court a motion to be allowed to exercise joint parental authority over their children (Annex C. for they were married in Kuwait (Annex A. p. and the cities of Iligan and Marawi (Art. not in Marawi City where the Sharia court sits. (c) Motion for extension of time to file pleadings or any other paper. or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court. Rollo). the essential requisites and legal impediments to marriage. Denila vs. No. p. (4) That their Muslim marriage was not solemnized in any part of the Philippines. On or about August 25. and (i) Any dilatory motion for postponement. 111 SCRA 20. (Emphasis supplied. (h) Motion for new trial or re-opening of trial. (d) Motion to declare defendant in default. Rollo) was also denied by the court on January 12. or lack of it. par. 1987 a petition for custody and guardianship of their minor children in the Fourth Sharia District Court in Marawi City (Annex A. 20.10. 1988 of the Sharia Judicial District Court of Marawi City which denied her motion to dismiss Special Proceedings No. guardianship and custody of minors. ASTIH. 81969 September 26.) In view of the following admitted facts: (1) That the plaintiff husband in Spl. (2) there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause. 40.: A petition for review on certiorari was filed by Jocelyn Rulona-Al Awadhi. Jocelyn Rulonba. Rollo). Pleadings and Motions Disallowed. The petitioner is a Filipino nurse and a Roman Catholic. and (5) That they do not reside within the Fourth Sharia District. (b) Motion for a bill of particulars. solemnization and registration of marriage and divorce. 21. Calape. HON. the private respondent did not. and Sabihab Al Abdullah Nabil. It was docketed therein as Special Proceeding No. The petitioner resides with her children in Sta. Branch II. 10 . embracing the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. 138-d. No. Tagbiliran City. respondents. 1987. (3) Subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraphs. p.D. and the marriage is solemnized in accordance with Muslim law or this Code in any part of the Philippines. entitled "Jocelyn Rulona-Al Awadhi Petitioner. Bohol. (g) Petition for relief from judgment. the Civil Code of the Philippines shall apply. Her husband. parental authority. The defendant. entitled "Nabil AlAwadhi. least of all. nor over the custody and guardianship of their children (Art. Rollo).Muslim (a Roman Catholic Christian). paternity and filiation. vs. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration of that order (Annex D. 3 years old. P. third party complaints. and the property relations between husband and wife shall be governed by this Code and other applicable Muslim laws. for both of them reside in the province of Bohol. 1981. (3) That the defendant wife (herein petitioner Jocelyn Rulona) is a Filipino citizen and a non. (e) Reply. Branch 2. without waiting for the action of the Tagbilaran Court. p. rights and obligations between husband and wife. 24. Adare Nabil. in Tagbilaran City (Civil Case No. its jurisdiction shall continue until the case is finished. Rollo). Cruz. p. it should have been self-evident to the Fourth Sharia District Court that it had no jurisdiction over the spouses of their marriage. 10. Layno. 19.

(3) The provisions of this Code shall be applicable only to Muslims and nothing herein shall be construed to operate to the prejudice of a Non-Muslim. Dec. Zulueta vs. 1974). Narvasa. All the proceedings in special Proceeding No. 6.. Sibonghanoy. Those communities are found in the ten (10) Mindanao provinces and six (6) cities comprised within the five (5) Sharia judicial districts which were created under Article 138 of the Muslim Code. A summary rule prohibiting the filing of a motion to dismiss should not be a bar to the dismissal of the action for lack of jurisdiction when the jurisdictional infirmity is patent on the face of the complaint itself.Moreover. The Code of Muslim Personal Laws was promulgated to fulfill "the aspiration of the Filipino Muslims to have their system of laws enforced in their communities" (Exec. Cruz.D. they do not come within the ambit of the Sharia courts' jurisdiction. Inc. 3. 442. a futile and invalid exercise. Instead of invoking a procedural technicality. The application of the Muslim Code to the Christian wife will be prejudicial to her. Court of Appeals. Crisostomo vs. concur. Article 3 of the Muslim Code (P. As neither the petitioner nor the private respondent and their children live in or are members of those communities. Pan American World Airways. SO ORDERED. Gancayco and Medialdea. No. Nueva Vizcaya Chamber of Commerce vs. 23. Court of Appeals. WHEREFORE. 11 . the petition for certiorari is granted.. for. Costs against the private respondent. as they were. 32 SCRA 54. without jurisdiction. Conflict of provisions �. all its proceedings would be. the respondent court should have recognized its lack of jurisdiction over the parties and promptly dismissed the action. JJ. Order No.. 35-36. 97 SCRA 856). 49 SCRA 1. 23 SCRA 29. 1083 expressly provides: Art.. 011-87 of the Fourth Sharia District Court at Marawi City are annulled and the petition therein is dismissed. in view of the fundamental procedural doctrine that the jurisdiction of a court may be challenged at anytime and at any stage of the action (Tijam vs.

1 A motion for reconsideration filed by Angelito was denied on August 5. among others. the court rendering it must have jurisdiction over the subject matter and of the parties. SAN PABLO CITY AND GIL C. 85692 July 3l. that thereafter. in the joint motion to dismiss signed by Gil and Lourdes as well as their counsels. that the said allowance was increased to P20.R. Thus. and that they were waiving any claim or counterclaim against each other. pre-condition to filing of complaint. hence.M. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. 2) That by reason. and an additional sum of P200. 2. the parties eventually filed a joint motion to dismiss alleging: 1) That plaintiff has decided to withdraw her complaint or to cause the dismissal of the same against the defendant. 1983. The motion was granted in an order of the Regional Trial Court in San Pablo City dated August 11. GANCAYCO. (2) Where a person has otherwise been deprived of personal liberty calling for habeas corpus proceedings. We disagree. attested by the Lupon or Pangkat Chairman or unless the settlement has been repudiated. Conciliation. J. she had to wash clothes for other people in order to survive so she became sickly. Identity of subject matter and identity of cause of action . 29. and that she needed a monthly allowance of P500. there can be no question that the causes of action in both cases are the same.1981. 1980.00 to cover expenses for milk. Two motions for the reconsideration of the order of denial were also denied. it must be established that the petitioner is the natural child of Gil. The original action for support for petitioner Angelito filed by his mother. it is categorically stated that she seriously doubts that Angelito is the son of Gil. Lourdes Flores. Obviously. she was given a weekly allowance of Pl0. 4 The other issue relating to prior resort to barangay arbitration proceedings as a pre-condition to the filing of a complaint before the court can be resolved by a cursory examination of Section 6 of Presidential Decree No. the parties may go directly to court in the following cases: (1) Where the accused is under detention. However. 1987. Maglalang with hereditary rights. so that Article 283 of the Civil Code is not applicable. she filed a complaint for support against Gil C. on April 29.G. Angelito filed in the same court a complaint for support and declaration of his status as natural child of Gil C. Lourdes S.1988 affirming the appealed order.00 monthly for support pendente lite. the judgment or order must be final. The case was dismissed with prejudice. and support pendente lite.: The application of the principle of res judicata is the main issue in this case. that the latter's birth was not recorded in the local civil registrar's office due to inadvertence. He alleges that the cause of action in his complaint is different from the one in the first complaint and that there is no identity of parties. 1987. Zosimo D. Angelito. On March 13. that for four years since the birth of the child.00 for the support and education of the child. the case was dismissed with prejudice. the issue of the alleged filiation of Angelito had been put to rest when Lourdes admitted that Gil is not the father of petitioner. to wit: SECTION 6. amounts to res judicata which bars the prosecution of any similar case. 2 By virtue of the said order. MAGLALANG. The motion to dismiss was granted by the trial court in an order dated June 2. the petitioner. respondents. A motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground of res judicata and for lack of cause of action was filed by Gil. action or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon as provided in Section 2 hereof shall be filed or instituted in court or any other government office for adjudication unless there has been a confrontation of the parties before the Lupon Chairman or the Pangkat and no conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the Lupon Secretary or the Pangkat Secretary. 3 No rule is more settled in this jurisdiction than that there is res judicata when the following requisites are present1. for the reason that after pondering about the matter for a considerable length of time. 11TH DIV.00 a month for her own maintenance until the child graduated from elementary school. However. On February 11. As earlier observed. and 12 . that there must be identity of parties. 1987. COURT OF APPEALS. While it may be true that in the first case the ostensible cause of action is for support while in the second suit it is for support and acknowledgment as a natural child. We affirm. (3) Actions coupled with provisional remedies such as preliminary injunction. � No complaint. The secondary issue is whether or not a case involving the civil status of a person should first be referred to the appropriate barangay officials for possible settlement in accordance with the barangay arbitration law. petitioner. 3. attachment. the questioned order of dismissal with prejudice issued by the trial court.. which order had already become final and executory. Thus. before petitioner may be afforded support. As above-stated. even considering that the plaintiff in the first case was Lourdes. respectively. she now seriously doubts that the said defendant is the person with whom she had her child named Angelito. By the same token. BR. there is Identity of parties in the two cases. Lourdes filed a motion for leave of court in the same case for Angelito Maglalang to continue and revive the case for support inasmuch as he had already attained the age of majority. delivery of personal property. Tanalega for petitioner. MAGLALANG.1966. 1989 ANGELITO F. 3) That the parties hereto waive and forego any and all their other claims and counter-claims under their complaint and answer. Flores is the natural mother of Angelito Maglalang who was born on July 6. alleging. the herein petition the primordial issue being is whether or not res judicata has set in. Maglalang in the then Court of First Instance of San Pablo City. Poonin & Associates for private respondent. vs. Hence. she litigated not only in her own behalf but also in representation of her minor child. Article 283 of the New Civil Code is not applicable to the herein plaintiff and the defendant and to the above-named child of the plaintiff. 1987. thereof. as well as attorney's fees. 1988. she begot a son.00 a month until September. 1508. The same evidence is required in both cases. Angelito elevated the case to the Court of Appeals wherein in due course a decision was rendered on June 20. and 4. the law on barangay arbitration. The said motion was denied on March 23. Petitioner then filed the complaint for support and acknowledgment as a natural child against Gil. petition. is predicated on the claim that Gil is the natural father of petitioner. No. that it must be a judgment on the merits. F. that she once served as a domestic helper of Gil during which time they had sexual relations and that as a consequence thereof. plaintiff is no longer interested to prosecute this case. that she was no longer interested in prosecuting the case. However. that she was given an allowance of P15.

e. The possibility of settlement at this level is encouraged even in such cases before the issue is brought to the courts.. More so when there is cogent basis for the civil status being sought to be established. concur. In the instant case. Narvasa. WHEREFORE. JJ.(4) Where the action may otherwise be barred by the Statute of Limitations. the dismissal of the case for lack of cause of action is called for. No costs. the requirement of prior resort to barangay arbitration was not satisfied. Cruz. 13 . Thus.. Griño-Aquino and Medialdea. it is dear that a case involving the civil status of a person i. The reason is obvious. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. From the foregoing. the acknowledgment of a natural child is not among the cases where prior resort to barangay arbitration is not necessary. SO ORDERED.

Before his demise. the trial court approved said compromise agreement and rendered a decision based on said compromise agreement. Genaro Ruiz. petitioners. KAPUNAN. COURT OF APPEALS and HONORATO HONG. Meanwhile. SR. acknowledged his obligation for support in arrears in the amount of P363. CEB-5268. While CA-G. Genaro Ruiz. 1985. 1990.. 122123) is a piece of land. 121298 and G. et. This deed of sale contained the same contents as in the April 23. CEB-7555. vs. Sr. Sr. 23032. 1986. judgment is hereby [rendered] in favor of the plaintiff as follows: 1. namely Genaro C.R.. On October 16.R. and b) ordering Amor Ruiz. The trial court.R. Amor Ruiz was also borrowing money from Honorato Hong in her personal capacity. Honorato Hong moved to amend his complaint to include other reliefs and in order for the complaint to conform to the evidence already presented. and Maria Lourdes C. 1988 whereby Genaro Ruiz.00 in favor of Genaro Ruiz. vs. Hong also prayed for a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the sheriff in CEB-5268 (Support Case) from conducting the auction sale. died. Hong issued a check in the amount of P100. docketed as CA-G. and 14 . The transfer of title.. Angelo C. with the following decretal portion: WHEREFORE. 1989. It was agreed that the transfer of title to Hong’s name would be undertaken by the vendor. 1986. Sr. et al. Sr. on January 26. On September 14. Branch 12. In this Support case. he was constrained to obtain loans from his neighbor. JR. Amor Ruiz. Maria Lourdes C. respondents. The relationship between Genaro Ruiz. SP No. 1986. the trial court in CEB-7555 (Specific Performance Case) granted the Motion to Amend Complaint and a writ of preliminary injunction was issued enjoining the sheriff from issuing the Certificate of Sale in CEB-5268 (Support Case). Making permanent the writ of preliminary injunction issued herein. he was declared in default. Genaro Ruiz. Cebu is the real property of Honorato Hong where he operated a lumberyard. the trial judge issued a writ of execution directing the sheriff to enforce the same. however. the trial court in CEB7555 (Specific Performance Case) rendered a decision on the merits on September 28. Maria Lourdes withheld the deed of sale from him over the subject property. et al. SP No. No. This order of the trial court allowing the issuance of the Preliminary Injunction was assailed by the petitioners on a petition for certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals. a pre-trial conference was held. 1989. ANGELO RUIZ. et. a) ordering defendant Amor Ruiz to deliver TCT No. On April 23. GENARO RUIZ. respondents. Sr.R. 1986 deed of sale and was also duly notarized. Sr. wife of Genaro Ruiz. Amor Ruiz and daughter. No. 1988. Branch 24. asserting that their right over the land was more superior than that of the private respondent. joined by her three (3) children. 8485-B in CEB-5268 to be null and void. x---------------------------------------------------------x G. a compromise agreement was entered into by the parties on October 27. This was docketed as Civil Case No. Amor Ruiz demanded the return of the certificate of title from Honorato Hong alleging that she would Defendant Genaro Ruiz.1 Honorato Hong filed a third party claim. Sr. finally decided to convey the land to Honorato Hong for a consideration of P350. The deed of sale was duly notarized. 2001 undertake the registration of the sale and transfer of title to his name. to vacate the property with plaintiff having the option to refund her of her expenses in constructing her improvements thereon or paying the value which the lot may have acquired by reason of said improvements. Ex-parte presentation of evidence by plaintiff therefore ensued. as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale dated April 23. Ruiz. Sometime in July. docketed as Civil Case No. Sr.000. Ruiz.. Honorato Hong. did not act on the latter motion so the auction sale of the subject lot in CEB5268 proceeded as scheduled with Amor Ruiz as the lone bidder. Genaro Ruiz. The action was for the delivery of the title of the subject land which was sold to him by Genaro Ruiz. No. 1990. levy and execution sale of Lot No. already in his late seventies was a very sickly man. however. Amor C. 2001 GENARO RUIZ. Consequently. In the Answer.00. Adjacent to this land which is located in Tabunok. Ruiz. they claimed that there was never a sale of the questioned land to Honorato Hong by Genaro Ruiz. AMOR C. 1989. On June 19. and his wife. She used the subject land as security so that sometime in November. Sr. al.00 plus attorney’s fees of P20. Honorato Hong filed a case for Specific Performance with damages and a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction against Genaro Ruiz. 1989. Talisay. The antecedent facts are as follows: Genaro Ruiz.G. in addition to the sums of money earlier obtained from him. 1989. Sr. 1986. Honorato Hong and Amor Ruiz executed a Memorandum of Agreement whereby Hong took possession of the TCT of said land for safekeeping. failed to file an answer. 2. the other defendants filed their answer. He used the subject land which was his exclusive property as collateral. Ruiz. Declaring the writ of attachment. the levy and the execution in CEB-5268 (Support Case) were valid. thus. 1986. On November 9. 3.. He further alleged that they connived in filing the Support case in order to take the property back from him. representing part of the balance of the purchase price. No. Sr. Upon learning about what his wife did and to appease Honorato Hong. RUIZ and MARIA LOURDES RUIZ. Honorato Hong subsequently filed an amended complaint in CEB7555 (Specific Performance Case) reiterating his assertion that Genaro Ruiz. sold his property to Honorato Hong. 2135 registered under the name of Genaro Ruiz. 122123 July 31. 2135 covering the same to him. On August 27. 8485-B and consequently. Apparently. When Genaro Ruiz. J. Sr. and the children. 1989. Sr. Jr. Hong amended his complaint to implead other defendants. Cebu City a complaint for Support with prayer for a writ of attachment against her husband. and his wife. executed another deed of sale in favor of Hong on July 22. 23032 was pending. with the RTC. Sr.R. petitioners. Sr. Amor Ruiz was estranged but Honorato Hong was a good friend to both of them. herein petitioners. all the foregoing considered. never materialized. Declaring plaintiff to be the owner of Lot No. and/or Amor Ruiz. assail the conveyance.: The subject of controversy in these consolidated cases (G.000. In order to defray the cost of his continuous medication and hospitalization.000. 8485-B covered by TCT No. 121298 July 31. Hong also prayed that the Sheriff be restrained from issuing the Certificate of Sale in favor of the Ruizes and that the latter surrender to him the owner’s duplicate copy of the title covering the questioned land. On July 27. Sr. Cebu City. Sr. COURT OF APPEALS and HONORATO HONG.. Ruiz filed with the Regional Trial Court.Sr. al.000. On August 18. On September 6. Petitioners who are the heirs of Genaro Ruiz.R. The subject of the writ of attachment was Lot 8485-B which was declared the exclusive property of Genaro Ruiz.. failed to comply with his obligation. Lot No.

No. (CA-G.R. petitioners filed another petition with this Court. Thus. that at that time. petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals. 122123 alleging that: RESPONDENT COURT GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION. CONSIDERING THE LATTER’S UNQUESTIONABLE OWNERSHIP AND RIGHT OF POSSESSION THEREOF. 1986 (Ibid. Barcelona answered in the negative in this wise: A writ of possession is complementary to a writ of execution (Cometa v. the respondent court affirmed the decision of the trial court in toto.3 Hence.6 On February 10. that consequently he was constrained to obtain loans and cash advances from the plaintiff using the land in question. or his successors-in-interest.8 On January 29. On July 31. are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.000. the sum of P30. par. the Orders: (1) of the Regional Trial Court. Nevertheless. IN UPHOLDING THE TRIAL COURT’S REFUSAL TO IMPLEMENT THE WRIT OF POSSESSION IT ISSUED OVER LOT NO. at Cebu City. AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION. 35673). the owner of Lot 8485-B.R. SP No. with prayer for Preliminary Injunction. Exhibit "A". docketed as G. Branch 12. CV No.000.00 in moral damages. Defendants’ counterclaim is.00 for attorney’s fees and P5. if herein respondent Hong is adjudged as. a Certificate of Sale was accordingly issued in favor of Amor Ruiz. In fact. On the strength of this CA decision. docketed as G. P10. Amor Ruiz and children were then placed in possession and control of certain portions of Lot 8485-B.9 While there are exceptions to this rule.R. dismissed for lack of merit.R. we do not find any cogent reason to depart from such rule in the case at bar. No. 1986. petitioners filed the instant petition for review. No. Discaya. Petitioners again moved for the full implementation of the writ of possession in their favor which was denied by the trial court in CEB-5268 (Support Case) on June 1. However. a definite Deed of Sale was issued in favor of Amor Ruiz. x x x This is precisely the very nature of Civil Case No. the aforementioned decision is now on appeal before this Court. This is a finding which we need not disturb.2 Dissatisfied with the decision. is well-nigh conclusive upon this Court. an action for support in Arrears filed by herein petitioners.4 Meanwhile.. also duly notarized. which was his exclusive property inherited from the estate of Laureano Ruiz his father (Exhibits "B" & "B-3"). 1986. herein petitioners are not entitled to its possession. Settled is the rule that factual findings of the trial court. Intermediate Appellate Court. No.5 The dispositive portion reads as follows: WHEREFORE. CEB-5266. CEB-7555.181 SCRA 384 (1990]) x x x. and the levy by the sheriff on property by virtue of a writ of execution may be considered as made under authority of the court only when the property levied upon unquestionable belongs to the judgment debtor Sy v. SO ORDERED. Branch 24. et al. The pertinent findings of the trial court which is worth quoting are as follows: xxx the evidence for the plaintiff shows that Genaro Ruiz had been separated from his wife. that ultimately. 121298 and G. There is no dispute that both the trial court and the respondent court found that the subject land was already sold to Honorato Hong as early as April 23. 1995.00 for litigation expenses. the CA in CA-G. Hong filed a motion for reconsideration alleging that a writ of possession can not be issued in favor of Amor Ruiz since he was in actual physical possession of the subject lot pursuant to Rule 39. indeed. an action filed by respondent Hong for Specific Performance and Damages. 121298. arthritis and other ailments which necessitated his continuous medication and hospitalization. 8485-B IN FAVOR OF PETITIONERS. asserting that: THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN UPHOLDING THE TRIAL COURT’S RULING IN THE SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE CASE NULLIFYING THE WRIT OF ATTACHMENT AND AUCTION SALE PROCEEDING IN THE SUPPORT CASE AND ORDERING PETITIONER TO DELIVER TO RESPONDENT THE TITLE OF LOT NO. in the SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE case allowing the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction and the writ itself enjoining the Sheriff of Cebu from issuing the Certificate of Sale in favor of Amor Ruiz. especially when affirmed by the Court of Appeals. 23032 promulgated a decision annulling and setting aside the Orders of the RTC dated August 27. For. 151 SCRA 568 [1987]. 8.00. as evidenced by a duly notarized deed of sale.R. Deed of Absolute 15 . 1995. SO ORDERED. 1986 for a valuable consideration. We find no merit in the petitions. a decision has already been rendered in the SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE case declaring Hong as the lawful and absolute owner of said property in question. 1990 which granted the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the Sheriff of Cebu from issuing the Certificate of Sale in favor of Amor Ruiz.R.000. Since no redemption was made by Genaro Ruiz. 8485-B in CEB-5268 (Support Case) was indeed more superior. Ordering defendant Amor Ruiz to pay plaintiff actual damages hereby assessed at P20. we find this issue as requiring pre-emptive resolution. Petitioners assert that they have a better right over the subject land claiming that as against a deed of sale which was unregistered. and (2) of the Regional Trial Court. the court issuing a writ of execution is supposed to enforce its authority only over properties of the debtor. petitioners went up to the Court of Appeals raising the pivotal issue as to whether the respondent court can be compelled to order the respondent sheriff to deliver possession of Lot 8485-B to herein petitioners. the attachment of Lot No. 1996. The real issue in these consolidated cases is: Who between the parties has a preferred right over the subject land? Petitioners assail the findings of the respondent court in both cases that they had no more right over the land since the subject land was already sold to Honorato Hong as early as April 23.7 From this adverse decision. Sr.. Section 35. 122123). et al. Amor Ruiz.4. the CA speaking through J. Stated otherwise. he sold and conveyed the property to the plaintiff by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale dated April 23. levied upon and sold in public auction by respondent sheriff for the satisfaction of the judgment in Civil Case No. on March 23. then respondent court has no power whatsoever to enforce its authority over such property since it belongs to a person other than the judgment debtor. Directly raised therein is the issue of ownership of Lot No. and consequently.000. al. the Court resolved to consolidate the two petitions (G. et. 8485-B. PD 1521. BECAUSE OF AN ALLEGED DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE WHICH WAS NOT REGISTERED AS MANDATED UNDER SECTION 1. as his security therefor (see Answer of Genaro Ruiz in Civil Case No. as evidenced by a deed of sale which was duly notarized and reiterated in another deed of sale executed on July 22. 1994. as it is hereby. CEB-3268 marked Exhibit "D" & "D-1"). 1992. Genaro Ruiz was in his late 70s with only one eye and suffering from kidney. on an on-and-off basis for several years preceding his death in July 1989. 8485-B which has been previously attached. also at Cebu City with the same tenorrestraining sheriff Camaso in issuing the Certificate of Sale in favor of Amor Ruiz.

3). Record). convincing and more than merely preponderant. Undoubtedly. p. Amor Ruiz asked for the owner’s copy of the certificate of title which had been entrusted by her to Hong in 1985 for safekeeping per their memorandum of agreement (Exhibit "2") and also to serve as security for loans obtained by Amor Ruiz herself from Honorato Hong (Exhibits "W". it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that judgment be rendered in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiffs and to issue an order to lift the order of attachment on the real property. Said allegation is highly impossible with his frail physical condition. their right over the land which they acquired through a registered attachment in the action for Support (CEB-5268) can not be more superior and preferred than that of private respondent. the registered owner categorically stated that he had already sold the land to Honorato Hong on April 23. Amor Ruiz came to Hong telling him that she and her husband had reconciled and assuring him that she will be the one to work for the transfer of the title of the land in Hong’s name. if the land was sold to him as early as April 23.000. Honorato Hong was never able to have the sale registered nor the title transferred in his name inasmuch as the TCT was never returned by Amor Ruiz. Knowledge of an unregistered sale is equivalent to registration.00 representing part of the remaining balance of the purchase price which in addition to the various installments in the form of loans/cash advances to Genaro Ruiz totalled P350. still no documents were delivered to Honorato Hong. 1986. The torrens system cannot be used as a shield for the commission of fraud (Gustillo v. particularly mentioned that he was constrained to sell the subject land to Honorato Hong on April 23. he filed this case. 51 of P.10 This is because registration is the operative act that binds or affects the land insofar as third persons are concerned. The records disclose that after the sale. except for one duplicate copy which he retained to Genaro Ruiz to effectuate the transfer of the title to him it being the standard practice for the vendor of a piece of land. specially when he was confined in the hospital. he was forced to get cash advances from Mr. it strains credulity to offer the same land for sale again on July 22. a concrete fence around the property.12 But where a party has knowledge of a prior existing interest which is unregistered at that time he acquired a right to the same land. 496 (now Sec. p. Rogelio Lucmayon.00 (Exhibits "W" also marked "12" & "12-A"). the plaintiff issued Solidbank Check No. Thus. While it is true that in case of a conflict between a vendee and an attaching creditor. it can not therefore be gainsaid that petitioner was not aware that private respondent had a prior existing interest over the land. This knowledge of the conveyance to Honorato Hong can not be denied. in his Answer submitted in the case for Support filed against him by petitioners (CEB-5268). 1986 and such sale was reiterated in a deed of sale executed on July 22. By these overt acts. 1986 with practically the same contents (Exhibit "K") this time notarized before Atty. happy that the spouses had reconciled and confident that there were no more hitches.D. 1986 so his wife had no basis to attach the subject land. These cash advances accumulated and since he has no other guarantee but his only parcel of land. Record) after payment of the capital gains tax (Exhibits "M" & "N". They have in their favor the presumption of regularity. Realizing that he had been duped. Defendant who is now 75 years old with one eye and has an illness of arthritis. is impossible to go abroad. tsn 2/21/90. more particularly on Lot 8485-B he sold on April 23. kidney trouble. However. Amor Ruiz failed to return with a new certificate of title along with the Deed of Sale and pertinent papers. Marino E. Moreover.. attempt to challenge the authenticity of the document executed on July 22.000. 442). They assert. After the passage of several weeks. xxx WHEREFORE. 1986. he requested Genaro Ruiz to execute a second Deed of Absolute Sale dated July 22. Martinquilla. 1986. the non-registration of the affidavit admitting their sale of a portion of 110 square meters of the subject land to petitioners cannot be invoked as a defense because (K)nowledge of an unregistered sale is equivalent to registration (Winkleman v. Genaro Ruiz. at that time of the levy in the Support case. "BB" and "CC"). After the execution of the deed of sale and notarization of the same by Atty. Genaro Ruiz. and also to allow Ruiz to talk to his wife about the matter. Thus. however. 21). that Honorato Hong could not have surrendered the TCT to Amor Ruiz if he was indeed the owner already of the subject land. later even giving her a check for P5. But where the party has knowledge of a prior existing interest which is unregistered at the time he acquired a right to the same land. his knowledge of that prior unregistered interest has the effect of registration as to him. As far as private respondent Zenaida Angeles and her husband Justiniano are concerned. 14 This was a declaration made by the owner himself.I. provides that the registration of the deed is the operative act to bind or affect the land insofar as third persons are concerned.000. 1986 by insisting that there was actually no sale of the subject land to the private respondent. as against a vendee who had previously bought the same property from the registered owner but who failed to register his deed of sale. thirdly. As held in Fernandez v. "Y". "AA". 1529). 604).Sale). For this purpose. page 203. a statement which could be considered as a declaration against interest.13 Section 50 of Act No. Because of his illness. the title was free from all liens and encumbrances. April 23. Defendant further pray for the dismissal of the instant complaint and to grant defendant’s counterclaim. Exhibit "K-1". roofing. Taboan Branch. Genaro Ruiz. On the same date. Documents acknowledged before notaries public are public documents and public documents are admissible in evidence without necessity of preliminary proof as to their authenticity and due execution. private respondent was able to introduce improvements on the land such as a concrete two-door commercial building. Sr. a fact admitted by the latter in her testimony (tsn. an attaching creditor who registers the order of attachment and the sale of the property to him as the highest bidder acquires a valid title to the property. Honorato Hong left the original of the deed of sale together with all the copies thereof. 1986. "X". turned over the transfer certificate of title to Amor Ruiz. Hong was able to obtain a BIR certificate authorizing registration of the property in his name (Exhibit "L". and other illnesses. Court of Appeals.00. Sometime in July 1986. Thus. Acts of ownership and possession were exercised by the private respondent over the land. page 205 & 206. and to contradict the same. it is defendant who is more in dire need of support in order to sustain his medicines. 1986 for the reason that since that date he no longer owned it. petitioners can not claim that they had no knowledge of such conveyance to Honorato Hong. Such statement must be given weight and credence as against the party who declares otherwise and has no proof to rebut the same.15 Petitioners. Plaintiff. Sr. the sale of the property was evidenced by duly notarized deeds of sale executed on April 23. his knowledge of that prior unregistered interest has the effect of registration as to him.. among others. 1986. had already conveyed the subject land to Honorato Hong as early as April 23. Veluz. By virtue of this Deed of Absolute Sale. 165589 (Exhibit "Q") to payee Genaro B. Notwithstanding private respondent’s failure to have the sale registered. 1986. the following day as shown by the ledger of the bank account of Honorato Hong (Exhibit "V". The check was encashed by Genaro Ruiz at Solidbank. Sr. Genaro Ruiz. he sold it absolutely on April 23. secondly. We quote: xxx 4. "Z". 3/14/90. 43 Phil. Maravilla. concrete floor of the whole area and G. Honorato Hong. would not have made an allegation if it were not true.11 It is upon registration that there is notice to the whole world. 1986 and again on July 22. 1986. premises considered. 16 . Ruiz in the amount of P100. there must be evidence that is clear. Honorato Hong attempted to transfer the title to his name by means of the single duplicate copy that he retained in his possession but the same was not acceptable to the BIR. 48 Phil. Sr.

entitled to the injunctive relief enjoining the sheriff in the Support case from issuing a Certificate of Sale covering Lot 8585-B in favor of the petitioners. Petitioners. the judgment debtor had no more right to or interest in the property because he had already sold it to another. 23032. we find no reversible error with the finding that all the attendant circumstances in the case at bar lead to the inevitable conclusion that the subject land was indeed already sold to Honorato Hong by virtue of a Deed of Sale long before it was subjected to an execution sale on June 13. This Court in said special case had declared void the writ of injunction issued by the trial court and declared that the issuance of a certificate of sale is ministerial and mandatory in view of the completion of the auction sale. Landig vs. Commercial Company. G. this served as a security for the money Amor Ruiz borrowed from Honorato Hong for herself. petitioners are not entitled to the writ of possession of the subject land. his interest had already been conveyed to appellee. this defies logic. No. "fully and irretrievably" . title. Likewise. Quite embarrassed with the actuations of his wife. 1995 in G. To this assertion. 1951). Amor Ruiz as judgment creditor and purchaser at the execution sale acquired nothing.. to the effect that upon the execution and delivery of the final certificate of sale in favor of the purchaser of land sold in an execution sale. 23032 where the court ruled on the validity of the levy and execution sale of the questioned property and allowed the issuance of the certificate of sale in their favor. x x x Accordingly. and straightforward manner which inspired confidence. logical. the judgment debtor Genaro Ruiz no longer had any right or interest in the property. 122123 are hereby AFFIRMED. July 31. Sr. we bind ourselves to respect such findings of the trial court.20 we held that: x x x It is our considered view that what should determine the issue are the provisions of the last paragraph of Section 35.." It follows that. the respondent court only have this to say: It is misleading for defendants-appellants to insist that this Court in CA-G. at this time. and Ynares-Santiago. This Court had explicitly ruled that the award of the questioned land to the highest bidder shall be subjected to the outcome of the claims made by plaintiff-appellee. Rule 39. JJ. the Certificate of Sale to be issued by the Sheriff shall make express mention of the existence of such third-party claim.19 In Dagupan Trading Co. such reiteration of the execution of the deed of sale in favor of the private respondent certainly buttresses the vendor’s intention of selling the land to the vendee. as rightful owner of the subject land. interest and claim of the judgment debtor to the property as of the time of the levy. and attach the subject property. interest and claim of the judgment debtor to the property as of the time of the levy. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Since said decision has already become final and executory on June 9. the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 31. Consequently. Petitioners capitalize on the Court of Appeals decision in CA-G. Puno.We can not give merit to these contentions of the petitioner. If to the petitioner. This Court in CA-G. The two deeds of sale duly notarized are more than enough proof of such conveyance." Now We ask: What was the interest and claim of Sammy Maron on the one-eighth portion of the property inherited by him and his co-heirs. Pardo. 1986 Deed of Sale for the purpose of registering it in his name. had actually nothing more to pass on to his wife and children. 121298 and the Decision dated February 10. SO ORDERED. Inasmuch as. thus.R. Cognizant with the rule that findings of facts are well within the province of the trial court for they have clearly observed the demeanor of the witnesses when testifying in court. explained: "The issuance of a Certificate of Sale is obviously an incident of a validly conducted auction sale. We quote the respondent court’s ruling on the matter: Section 35. concur. WHEREFORE. No. Obviously. SP No. (Chairman). petitioners obviously did not acquire any more right over the subject land from its predecessor. the testimony of the plaintiff is credible in itself.R. No. 23032 would show that what was ruled upon therein was the validity of the injunction issued by the trial court enjoining the issuance of the certificate of sale. 24) and CEB-5309 (Br. 23032 had finally settled the issue on the validity of the levy and the execution sale of the questioned property. is mandatory and reduce to being a ministerial act of the Sheriff because the rule employs the word ‘must’ connoting ‘imperativeness’. As observed by the trial court: Apart from being unrebutted. Jr.R. Sr. xxx This testimony was delivered in an earnest. she was able to get the TCT from Honorato Hong and never returned or delivered it to him. therefore. caused the execution of another deed of sale bearing the same contents and amount of consideration in the April 23. at the time of the levy? The answer must necessarily be that he had none. A reading of the decision in CA-G.R. v. title. C. SP No. As such. Licuaco. something that can not be said of Amor Ruiz whose conduct and demeanor rendered her undeserving of credence. the TCT was obviously free from all liens and encumbrances since Genaro Ruiz. because for a considerable time prior to the levy. such purchaser "shall be substituted to and acquire all the right. then the purchaser acquired nothing. 13 Phil. Macam. At that time of the levy in the Support case. 357-358. Genaro Ruiz. if at that time. U.J. But.. on the other hand. Davide. 1992.R. private respondent is.17 then their right to possess the land is unquestionable. Revised Rules of Court provides that a purchaser of real property at an execution sale "shall be substituted to and acquire all the right. Sr. 23). 1995 in G. subsequent levy made on the property for the purpose of satisfying the judgment rendered against Sammy Maron in favor of the Manila Trading Company was void and of no effect (Buson vs."18 From the foregoing. We agree more with the observation that the action for Support was precisely filed to adversely affect the conveyance of the land to Honorato Hong. it should be noted that a Memorandum of Agreement was executed between Honorato Hong and Amor Ruiz whereby the former would keep in his possession the TCT for safekeeping. 17 .as the Court of Appeals held. Genaro Ruiz.R. and/or Honorato Hong could not have anticipated that petitioners would file an action for Support against Genaro Ruiz. on official leave. never presented any proof to rebut the same but only flimsy surmises and conjectures.16 Anent the allegation that Honorato Hong would not have returned the TCT if the land was sold to him. Sr.S. since the subject property sold by virtue of a writ of execution has been claimed by Hong.R. SP No. L-3597. 1989. as repeatedly declared by Genaro Ruiz in his pleadings in CEB-5263 (Br. On the pretext that Amor Ruiz would undertake the transfer of title to Hong’s name. SP No.

vs. private respondents alleged that Fe had amorous relations with the petitioner. Fe was diagnosed with leukemia and has. Unable to bear the prospect of losing his wife and children. as an unrecognized child. that she resorted to various devious ways and means to alienate (him) from his wife and family…. 2002. Arnel terminated the affair although he still treated her as a friend such as by referring potential customers to the car aircon repair shop"7 where she worked. He also claims that the order and resolution of the trial court. with the open car door hitting Fe’s leg. been undergoing chemotherapy. HON. The elements of a cause of action are: (1) the plaintiff’s primary right and the defendant’s corresponding primary duty. but also because she proved to be scheming and overly demanding and possessive. Arnel sped off in his van. Fe and Martin moved for the issuance of an order directing all the parties to submit themselves to DNA paternity testing pursuant to Rule 28 of the Rules of Court. on August 11. Arnel manifested that he had filed criminal charges for falsification of documents against Fe (I. On March 5. Arnel supposedly impregnated Fe on her 34th birthday on November 10. 162571 June 15. The baby’s birth certificate was purportedly signed by Arnel as the father. which is supposedly proscribed by law. 2001. claiming that he had ended the relationship long before the child’s conception and birth. As a result. It is undisputed and even admitted by the parties that there existed a sexual relationship between Arnel and Fe. as respondents have alleged. In July 2001. Fe and Martin sued Arnel for support. long before Martin’s conception. under the law.16 In the complaint. In May 2000.5 In their complaint. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss the complaint and ordered the parties to submit themselves to DNA paternity testing at the expense of the applicants. this petition. Fe started calling Arnel’s wife and family. Arnel vehemently denied having sired Martin but expressed willingness to consider any proposal to settle the case. after which they entered into an intimate relationship.R. J. If not. 2000 at the Capitol Medical Hospital in Quezon City. Q-02-46669). In a nutshell. Arnel also denied having fathered the child. Arnel shouldered the pre-natal and hospital expenses but later refused Fe’s repeated requests for Martin’s support despite his adequate financial capacity and even suggested to have the child committed for adoption. Arnel and his entire family went to the United States for a vacation. According to Arnel.14 In his motion. Upon their return in June 2000. Thus.: At issue in this petition for certiorari 1 is whether or not the Court of Appeals (CA) gravely erred in exercising its discretion.S. Branch 106. Arnel claimed that the signature and the community tax certificate (CTC) attributed to him in the acknowledgment of Martin’s birth certificate were falsified. he could not get through Fe and the discussion became so heated that he had no "alternative but to move on but without bumping or hitting any part of her body. Arnel denied having sired Martin because his affair and intimacy with Fe had allegedly ended in 1998. respondents alleged that Arnel courted Fe in 1992. Agustin. The cause of action is determined not by the prayer of the complaint but by the facts alleged. On January 19. Martin. petitioner. Arnel refused to acknowledge the child as his because their "last intimacy was sometime in 1998. by which the primary right and duty have been violated. 2002. 2001. The petitioner’s contentions are without merit. Despite Arnel’s insistence on abortion.G. considering that his signature on the birth certificate was a forgery and that. amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Martin. 18 . First of all. a certain Jun. Later on.6 In his amended answer. The only remaining question is whether such sexual relationship produced the child. DECISION CORONA. REPRESENTED BY HIS MOTHER/GUARDIAN FE ANGELA PROLLAMANTE. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. What started as a romantic liaison between two consenting adults eventually turned out to be a case of fatal attraction where (Fe) became so obsessed with (Arnel). 1999. petitioner and Martin are strangers to each other and Martin has no right to demand and petitioner has no obligation to give support. effectively converted the complaint for support to a petition for recognition. Arnel admitted that their relationship started in 1993 but "he never really fell in love with (Fe) not only because (she) had at least one secret lover. He claimed that Fe had at least one other secret lover. 2002. He attached the certification of the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory that his signature in the birth certificate was forged. Martin. petitioner admitted that he had sexual relations with Fe but denied that he fathered Martin.4 which denied petitioner’s motion to dismiss private respondents’ complaint for support and directed the parties to submit themselves to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) paternity testing. In his answer. to the point of even entertaining the idea of marrying him. and (2) the delict or wrongful act or omission of the defendant. COURT OF APPEALS AND MINOR MARTIN JOSE PROLLAMANTE. then Martin should be supported by his father Arnel. If it did. since then. According to petitioner. petitioner raises two issues: (1) whether a complaint for support can be converted to a petition for recognition and (2) whether DNA paternity testing can be ordered in a proceeding for support without violating petitioner’s constitutional right to privacy and right against selfincrimination."8 Exasperated. has no right to ask for support and must first establish his filiation in a separate suit under Article 28317 in relation to Article 26518 of the Civil Code and Section 1. 02-5723 and 02-7192) and a petition for cancellation of his name appearing in Martin’s birth certificate (docketed as Civil Case No. respondents. AGUSTIN. Petitioner refuses to recognize Martin as his own child and denies the genuineness and authenticity of the child’s birth certificate which he purportedly signed as the father. petitioner Arnel L. we now tackle the main issues.12 Arnel opposed said motion by invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination.10 In his pre-trial brief filed on May 17. No. 2005 ARNEL L. Fe followed Arnel to the Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club parking lot to demand that he acknowledge Martin as his child. as a result of which she gave birth to Martin out of wedlock.15 The petition is without merit. Nos.11 On July 23. while Fe was carrying five-month old Martin at the Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club parking lot."9 Finally. Respondents Fe Angela and her son Martin Prollamante sued Martin’s alleged biological father. Preliminaries aside. an illegitimate child is not entitled to support if not recognized by the putative father. Rule 10519 of the Rules of Court. This incident was reported to the police. in issuing a decision2 and resolution3 upholding the resolution and order of the trial court.13 He also moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of cause of action. the trial court properly denied the petitioner’s motion to dismiss because the private respondents’ complaint on its face showed that they had a cause of action against the petitioner. On January 19. Fe decided otherwise and gave birth to their child out of wedlock. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. for support and support pendente lite before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City. theirs was a stormy on-and-off affair. The CTC erroneously reflected his marital status as single when he was actually married and that his birth year was 1965 when it should have been 1964. Arnel found out that Fe had another erstwhile secret lover. Arnel learned that Fe was telling people that he had impregnated her.

Whether or not respondent Martin is entitled to support depends completely on the determination of filiation. COMELEC26 where the Court en banc was faced with the issue of filiation of then presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. the use of DNA test as evidence is still open to challenge. may maintain partition proceedings for the division of the inheritance against his coheirs x x x. the declaration of filiation is entirely appropriate to these proceedings. must prove his filiation to the latter.22 promulgated in 1997. Given that this is the very first time that the admissibility of DNA testing as a means for determining paternity has actually been the focal issue in a controversy. (Underscoring supplied) Although the instant case deals with support rather than inheritance. in Tecson. is one which in the opinion of this court must be answered in the affirmative.20 we allowed the integration of an action to compel recognition with an action to claim one’s inheritance: …In Paulino. but who has not been in fact legally acknowledged. verbal and written. we have held in numerous cases. Fortunately. (had) not as yet been accorded official recognition by our courts. Court of Appeals. being a relatively new science. In Tijing vs. one copy from the mother and the other from the father. DNA testing. a brief historical sketch of our past decisions featuring or mentioning DNA testing is called for. one to compel recognition and the other to claim inheritance. For it was said. this Court has acknowledged the strong weight of DNA testing… 19 . provided always that the conditions justifying the joinder of the two distinct causes of action are present in the particular case. Paternity (would) still have to be resolved by such conventional evidence as the relevant incriminating acts. As early as [1922] we had occasion to rule thereon in Briz vs. Thus. as the appropriate case comes. To paraphrase Tayag. we held that an illegitimate child. but the prescription of the action. may be joined in one complaint is not new in our jurisprudence. we opened the possibility of admitting DNA as evidence of parentage. given how intimately related the main issues in both cases are. the basis or rationale for integrating them remains the same. et al. On the second issue. petitioner posits that DNA is not recognized by this Court as a conclusive means of proving paternity. These contentions have no merit. We reasoned that "the purpose of DNA testing (was) to ascertain whether an association exist(ed) between the evidence sample and the reference sample. Of course." In 2001. courts should not hesitate to rule on the admissibility of DNA evidence. The first real breakthrough of DNA as admissible and authoritative evidence in Philippine jurisprudence came in 2002 with our en banc decision in People v. We also said that it is necessary to allege in the complaint that the putative father had acknowledged and recognized the illegitimate child because such acknowledgment is essential to and is the basis of the right to inherit." A year later. the action becomes one to compel recognition which cannot be brought after the death of the putative father. in People v. is undoubtedly to some extent supported by our prior decisions. He also contends that compulsory testing violates his right to privacy and right against self-incrimination as guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution. is not the absence of a cause of action for failure of the petitioner to allege the fact of acknowledgment in the complaint. Court of Appeals. we stated: In case proof of filiation or paternity would be unlikely to satisfactorily establish or would be difficult to obtain. 763 [1922]) wherein we said: The question whether a person in the position of the present plaintiff can in any event maintain a complex action to compel recognition as a natural child and at the same time to obtain ulterior relief in the character of heir. Certainly. Court of Appeals. the alleged father and child are analyzed to establish parentage. that courts should apply the results of science when competently obtained in aid of situations presented. however. was not quite so steadfast in the previous decade. that a natural child having a right to compel acknowledgment. The samples collected (were) subjected to various chemical processes to establish their profile. we stated as an obiter dictum that "while eyewitness identification is significant. which examines genetic codes obtained from body cells of the illegitimate child and any physical residue of the long dead parent could be resorted to. Further. we cautioned against the use of DNA because "DNA. although petitioner contends that the complaint filed by herein private respondent merely alleges that the minor Chad Cuyugan is an illegitimate child of the deceased and is actually a claim for inheritance. though not heretofore explicitly formulated by this court. to be entitled to support and successional rights from the putative or presumed parent. In Tayag v. Eventually. Teehankee21 where the appellant was convicted of murder on the testimony of three eyewitnesses. however. such was valid and in accordance with jurisprudence. being a novel scientific technique. and the doctrine must be considered well settled. The University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI) DNA Analysis Laboratory has now the capability to conduct DNA typing using short tandem repeat (STR) analysis. and the declaration of heirship is appropriate to such proceedings. as in Tayag. The DNA from the mother. there is no absolute necessity requiring that the action to compel acknowledgment should have been instituted and prosecuted to a successful conclusion prior to the action in which that same plaintiff seeks additional relief in the character of heir. that the two causes of action. (43 Phil. In Pe Lim v. as enunciated in Tijing v. The obvious reason is that in partition suits and distribution proceedings the other persons who might take by inheritance are before the court. In the 1995 case of People v.The assailed resolution and order did not convert the action for support into one for recognition but merely allowed the respondents to prove their cause of action against petitioner who had been denying the authenticity of the documentary evidence of acknowledgement. But even if the assailed resolution and order effectively integrated an action to compel recognition with an action for support." Our faith in DNA testing. Vallejo24 where the rape and murder victim’s DNA samples from the bloodstained clothes of the accused were admitted in evidence. or mother x x x. Applying the foregoing principles to the case at bar. it is not as accurate and authoritative as the scientific forms of identification evidence such as the fingerprint or the DNA test result (emphasis supplied). since to reject said result is to deny progress. A separate action will only result in a multiplicity of suits. by the putative father.25 we acquitted the accused charged with rape for lack of evidence because "doubts persist(ed) in our mind as to who (were) the real malefactors. v. Janson. Court of Appeals:23 A final note. There being no allegation of such acknowledgment.. Yes. Briz. therefore. In other words. there is nothing so peculiar to the action to compel acknowledgment as to require that a rule should be here applied different from that generally applicable in other cases. et al. A positive match would clear up filiation or paternity. Parentage will still be resolved using conventional methods unless we adopt the modern and scientific ways available. x xx The conclusion above stated. The ratio decidendi in Paulino. a complex offense (had) been perpetrated but who (were) the perpetrators? How we wish we had DNA or other scientific evidence to still our doubts!" In 2004. we have now the facility and expertise in using DNA test for identification and parentage testing. In neither of these situations has it been thought necessary for the plaintiff to show a prior decree compelling acknowledgment. from the allegations therein the same may be considered as one to compel recognition. The analysis is based on the fact that the DNA of a child/person has two (2) copies. and the same person may intervene in proceedings for the distribution of the estate of his deceased natural father.

33 In Jimenez v. to order DNA tests:41 § 516-a. an accused whose very life is at stake can be compelled to submit to DNA testing. we can benefit from the wealth of persuasive jurisprudence that has developed in other jurisdictions. Petitioner’s case involves neither and. and the qualification of the analyst who conducted the tests. We addressed this as follows: The contention is untenable. No further judicial or administrative proceedings are required to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity. skin tissue. In Ople v. his argument that his right against selfincrimination is in jeopardy holds no water. New York allowed a party who had already acknowledged paternity to subsequently challenge his prior acknowledgment. we said: In no uncertain terms. in this civil case.. Torres. DNA testing and its results.29 and other bodily substances. In that case. it was determined that the gene type and DNA profile of appellant are identical to that of the extracts subject of examination.30 We have also declared as constitutional several procedures performed on the accused such as pregnancy tests for women accused of adultery. and which was appreciated by the court a quo is relevant and reliable since it is reasonably based on scientifically valid principles of human genetics and molecular biology. has proven instructive. Maria Corazon Abogado de Ungria was duly qualified by the prosecution as an expert witness on DNA print or identification techniques.36 where we struck down the proposed national computerized identification system embodied in Administrative Order No. Ed. in an action for annulment filed by her husband. to be sure. Lumb40 shows that DNA testing is so commonly accepted that. or DNA. so we must be cautious as we traverse these relatively uncharted waters. we are just beginning to integrate these advances in science and technology in the Philippine criminal justice system. under Daubert. the process of DNA testing and the reasons for its admissibility in the context of our own Rules of Evidence: Deoxyribonucleic Acid. petitioner herein who does not face such dire consequences cannot be ordered to do the same. In the decade that followed. DHFRP29/10 and CSF1PO 10/11. courts should consider. (a) An acknowledgment of paternity executed pursuant to section one hundred eleven-k of the social services law or section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law shall establish the paternity of and liability for the support of a child pursuant to this act. DNA paternity testing first came to prominence in the United States. His hollow invocation of his constitutional rights elicits no sympathy here for the simple reason that they are not in any way being violated. it has mostly been in the areas of legality of searches and seizures. Based on Dr. but against testimonial compulsion. sweat.S. but all of them were constitutionally sound. Such acknowledgment must be reduced to writing and filed pursuant to section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law with the registrar of the district in which the birth occurred and in which the birth certificate has been filed. In the case at bar. rather invasive and involuntary. Merrell Dow (509 U. specifically Section 516 of the New York Family Court Act. Specifically. The right against self-incrimination is simply against the legal process of extracting from the lips of the accused an admission of guilt. It does not apply where the evidence sought to be excluded is not an incrimination but as part of object evidence. Under Philippine law.31 expulsion of morphine from one’s mouth32 and the tracing of one’s foot to determine its identity with bloody footprints.Moreover. DNA rapidly found widespread general acceptance. ordering the procedure has become a ministerial act. with the notable exception of identical twins.27 we affirmed the conviction of the accused for rape with homicide. as embodied in both Sections 12 and 17 of Article III of the Constitution. xxx xxx xxx In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence. her orifice being too small for his penis. the prevailing doctrine in the U. 2d 469) it was ruled that pertinent evidence based on scientifically valid principles could be used as long as it was relevant and reliable. upon receipt of the challenge. as already stated. Over the years. Fortunately.35 are now similarly acceptable.37 and the infringement of privacy of communication38 where the constitutional right to privacy has been critically at issue. is a molecule that encodes the genetic information in all living organisms. Yatar claimed that the compulsory extraction of his blood sample for DNA testing. Yatar. We did a lengthy discussion of DNA. mucus. violated his right against self-incrimination. The kernel of the right is not against all compulsion. 125 L. in our en banc decision in People v. the DNA in a person’s blood is the same as the DNA found in his saliva. The Supreme Court of St. we see no reason why. Verily. which are identical with semen taken from the victim’s vaginal canal. including the introduction of new kinds of scientific techniques. per our ruling in Yatar. in some instances.S. to verify his claim that she was impotent..34 we even authorized the examination of a woman’s genitalia. 579 (1993). DNA samples from semen recovered from a rape victim’s vagina were used to positively identify the accused Joel "Kawit" Yatar as the rapist. a DNA match exists between the semen found in the victim and the blood sample given by the appellant in open court during the course of the trial. we upheld the constitutionality of compulsory DNA testing and the admissibility of the results thereof as evidence. the principal evidence for which included DNA test results. Applying the Daubert test to the case at bar. bone. under the law. The case of Wilson v. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and technological advancements that enhance public service and the common good. If. de Ungria’s testimony. were allowed greater discretion over which testimony they would allow at trial. how they were handled. Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards that enhance public service and the common good. evidence is relevant when it relates directly to a fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence or nonexistence. Lawrence County. Most importantly. whether proper standards and procedures were followed in conducting the tests. where it yielded its first official results sometime in 1985. the Family Court examiner had the duty. and vaginal and rectal cells. The Court pointed out that. in a criminal case. earwax. The blood sample taken from the appellant showed that he was of the following gene types: vWA 15/19. In Daubert v. inter alia. A person’s DNA is the same in each cell and it does not change throughout a person’s lifetime. the DNA evidence obtained through PCR testing and utilizing STR analysis. the following factors: how the samples were collected. we have expressly excluded several kinds of object evidence taken from the person of the accused from the realm of self-incrimination. Admittedly. 308. Acknowledgment of paternity. we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar all incursions into individual privacy. Significantly. DNA typing is one such novel procedure. TH01 7/8. as well as the testing itself. (b) An acknowledgment of paternity executed pursuant to section one hundred eleven-k of the social services law or section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law may be rescinded by either signator’s filing of a petition with the court to vacate the acknowledgment within the earlier of sixty days of the date of signing the acknowledgment or the date of an administrative or a judicial proceeding 20 . the procedure followed in analyzing the samples.39 Several cases decided by various State Supreme Courts reflect the total assimilation of DNA testing into their rules of procedure and evidence. Nor does petitioner’s invocation of his right to privacy persuade us.28 hair. Dr. urine. because of polymorphisms in human genetic structure. the possibility of contamination of the samples. Some of these procedures were. These include photographs. Judges. no two individuals have the same DNA. Cañizares. the root and shaft of hair. Historically.

(b) Whenever the court directs a genetic marker pursuant to this section. if and only if such acknowledgment meets the requirements set forth in section 452(a)(7) of the social security act. In this case. with whom C. her child and the alleged father to submit to one or more genetic marker or DNA tests of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by an accreditation body designated by the secretary of the federal department of health and human services and performed by a laboratory approved by such an accreditation body and by the commissioner of health or by a duly qualified physician to aid in the determination of whether the alleged father is or is not the father of the child. (emphasis supplied) DNA testing also appears elsewhere in the New York Family Court Act:42 §532. previously thought to be an offspring of the marriage between A. had been adjudicated as T. In its order of disposition.W. only requested the tests after the Department of Social Services. or material mistake of fact.45 the Michigan Supreme Court while ruling on the constitutionality of a provision of law allowing nonmodifiable support agreements pointed out that it was because of the difficulty of determining paternity before the advent of DNA testing that such support agreements were necessary: As a result of DNA testing. whether established through the parents’ acknowledgment of paternity or through an administrative or judicial process. the court shall vacate the acknowledgment of paternity and shall immediately provide a copy of the order to the registrar of the district in which the child’s birth certificate is filed and also to the putative father registry operated by the department of social services pursuant to section three hundred seventy-two-c of the social services law.G. sought an increase in his support obligation to her. refusal to submit to typing or identification profiling. in fact. If a party petitions to rescind an acknowledgment and if the court determines that the alleged father is not the father of the child. the court may direct any qualified public health officer to conduct such test. However. equitable estoppel. at the time of conception. upon a written finding by the court that it is not in the best interests of the child on the basis of res judicata.H. compensation of expert..W. had.E. result of typing or identification profiling. filing summary report. No such test shall be ordered. burden of proof. to have the said judgment vacated. in accordance with this article. establishing paternity was a far more difficult ordeal than at present. or if the court finds that an acknowledgment is invalid because it was executed on the basis of fraud. may be suspended during the challenge to the acknowledgment except for good cause as the court may find. G. It is worth noting that amendments to Michigan’s Paternity law have included the use of DNA testing:46 §722. If the record or report of the results of any such genetic marker or DNA test or tests indicate at least a ninetyfive percent probability of paternity.44 the 4th Department of the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division allowed G. unless such party is financially unable to pay. a report made as subdivision (a) of this section may be received pursuant to rule forty-five hundred eighteen of the law and rules if offered by any party. Neither signator’s legal obligations. For purposes of this section. with the burden of proof on the party challenging the voluntary acknowledgment.999999% accuracy). six years after G. If the moving party is financially unable to pay such cost. since its first reported results in 1985. those methods could not affirmatively pinpoint a particular male as being the father. The record or report of the results of any such genetic marker or DNA test ordered pursuant to this section or pursuant to section one hundred eleven-k of the social services law shall be received in evidence by the court pursuant to subdivision (e) of rule forty-five hundred eighteen of the civil practice law and rules where no timely objection in writing has been made thereto and that if such timely objections are not made. Greg G. Genetic marker and DNA tests. C.716 Pretrial proceedings. including the obligation for child support arising from the acknowledgment. objection. paid by the moving party. costs of tests.M. the court shall immediately provide a copy of the order to the child support enforcement unit of the social services district that provides the mother with such services.(including a proceeding to establish a support order) relating to the child in which either signator is a party. Allowing parties the option of entering into private agreements in lieu of proving paternity eliminated the risk that the mother would be unable meet her burden of proof. After the expiration of sixty days of the execution of the acknowledgment. but rather on whether the mother could prove to a court of law that she was only sexually involved with one man--the putative father. either signator may challenge the acknowledgment of paternity in court only on the basis of fraud. however.E. (c) A determination of paternity made by any other state. In Greco v. blood or tissue typing determinations as to mother. the "date of an administrative or a judicial proceeding" shall be the date by which the respondent is required to answer the petition. the child's biological father. In Erie County Department of Social Services on behalf of Tiffany M.G. the admission of such record or report shall create a rebuttable presumption of paternity.W.. in every contested paternity action. In addition. shall order the mother. Consequently. duress.. who had been 21 . ("In fact. Coleman. admissibility of records or reports of test results. if appropriate. or material mistake of fact.’s father by default. presumption. or DNA test provided in in evidence civil practice adjudicated as T. Of course. if practicable. if unrebutted. DNA matching has progressed to 'general acceptance in less than a decade'"). the paternity of and liability for the support of a child pursuant to this article and article four of this act. child. while prior bloodtesting methods could exclude some males from being the possible father of a child. in the first instance. and C. on the court’s own motion or the motion of any party. or the presumption of legitimacy of a child born to a married woman.’s father. court order. duress.43 a decision of the Mississippi Supreme Court. (c) The cost of any test ordered pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section shall be. and shall establish. when the settlement agreement between the present parties was entered in 1980. v. was actually the child of R. at the time the parties before us entered into the disputed agreement. maintained an adulterous relationship.C. The first reported results of modern DNA paternity testing did not occur until 1985.M. Contested paternity actions at that time were often no more than credibility contests.E. the court may direct that the cost of any such test be apportioned between the parties according to their respective abilities to pay or be assessed against the party who does not prevail on the issue of paternity. if the mother of the child who is the subject of the acknowledgment is in receipt of child support services pursuant to title six-A of article three of the social services law. v. the accuracy with which paternity can be proven has increased significantly since the parties in this lawsuit entered into their support agreement…(current testing methods can determine the probability of paternity to 99. DNA tests were used to prove that H. Upon receiving a party’s challenge to an acknowledgment.E. the court may direct payment from the funds of the appropriate local social services district. however.. summary disposition.E.W.H.W.G. even after six years. must be accorded full faith and credit. the court shall order genetic marker tests or DNA tests for the determination of the child’s paternity and shall make a finding of paternity. admissibility. they shall be deemed waived and shall not be heard by the court.. and alleged father. (emphasis supplied) In R. once he had shown through a genetic marker test that he was not the child’s father. qualifications of person conducting typing or identification profiling. Thus. proving paternity was a very significant obstacle to an illegitimate child's access to child support.H. obtaining child support depended not merely on whether the putative father was. a) The court shall advise the parties of their right to one or more genetic marker tests or DNA tests and. otherwise.

speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. human leukocyte antigens. or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction."52 In Land Bank of the Philippines v. and J.47 the Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled that DNA test results showing paternity were sufficient to overthrow the presumption of legitimacy of a child born during the course of a marriage: The presumption of legitimacy having been rebutted by the results of the blood test eliminating Perkins as Justin's father. and it must be so patent or gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. and the DNA identification profile and summary report are admissible as provided in subsection (4). serum proteins. The proper recourse of the aggrieved party from a decision of the CA is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. allow the disclosure of the fact of the refusal unless good cause is shown for not disclosing the fact of refusal. the remedy of certiorari is only available "when any tribunal. Mississippi Dept. passion. to determine whether the alleged father is likely to be. (1) In a proceeding under this act before trial. the administration of justice would not survive. As we have discussed.J. being firmly anchored in law and jurisprudence. but are not limited to.94% probability of paternity concluded by the DNA testing.A. demonstrated that even default judgments of paternity could be vacated after the adjudicated father had. the proper remedy available to the aggrieved party is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the said Rules. v. We have long believed in the merits of DNA testing and have repeatedly expressed as much in the past. in addition to any other remedies available. the American association of blood banks.C. was correct.49 decided by the Supreme Court of South Dakota. The respondent court acted entirely within its jurisdiction in promulgating its decision and resolution. (2) A blood or tissue typing or DNA identification profiling shall be conducted by a person accredited for paternity determinations by a nationally recognized scientific organization. and alleged father submit to blood or tissue typing determinations. the contracting laboratory shall conduct additional genetic paternity testing until all but 1 of the putative fathers is eliminated. This case comes at a perfect time when DNA testing has finally evolved into a 22 .C. having excluded himself as the father of Amundson’s child through DNA testing. red cell isoenzymes. paternity is presumed. an error committed while so engaged does not deprive it of the jurisdiction being exercised when the error is committed.F. illegitimate children have been marginalized by fathers who choose to deny their existence. through DNA testing. nor any plain. In such a scenario.. Epilogue For too long. (b) If a trial is held. If it did. Contrary to Amundson's position. which may include. including. even considering the evidence in the light most favorable to Perkins.C. unless the dispute involves 2 or more putative fathers who have identical DNA.F. (emphasis supplied) In the instant case. determinations of red cell antigens. If the court orders a blood or tissue typing or DNA identification profiling to be conducted and a party refuses to submit to the typing or DNA identification profiling. the fact that a default judgment was entered. He then obtained a ruling ordering Amundson to reimburse him for the amounts withheld from his wages for child support. Perkins. of Human Services. however. which the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld. board or officer has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction. On the other hand. prejudice or personal hostility that would amount to grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeals. Kohl. she submit(ted) no authority that require(d) Kohl to support her child. even after trial on the merits had concluded without such order being given. The Mississippi High Court reiterated this doctrine in Williams v. (did) not foreclose Kohl from obtaining a money judgment for the amount withheld from his wages. the father of the child. Under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.Sec. and any error made would have only been an error in judgment. The growing sophistication of DNA testing technology finally provides a much needed equalizer for such ostracized and abandoned progeny. and there is no appeal. or is not. established non-paternity. The raison d’etre for the rule is when a court exercises its jurisdiction. every error committed by a court would deprive it of its jurisdiction and every erroneous judgment would be a void judgment. first filed the case for paternity and support with the District Court. the court. in other words. Amundson. upon application made by or on behalf of either party.. but subsequently vacated. but not limited to. we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the public respondent for upholding the orders of the trial court which both denied the petitioner’s motion to dismiss and ordered him to submit himself for DNA testing. Significantly. If the results of the analysis of genetic testing material from 2 or more persons indicate a probability of paternity greater than 99%. prejudice. or the act complained of was perpetrated by a quasi-judicial officer or agency with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.51 The foregoing considered. child. or DNA identification profiling." In M. the court may do either of the following: (a) Enter a default judgment at the request of the appropriate party. the mother. shall order that the mother. when J. (emphasis supplied) In Rafferty v.F. we discussed at length the nature of such a petition and just what was meant by "grave abuse of discretion": Grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction or. if the error subject of the recourse is one of jurisdiction. In S. Williams. where the power is exercised in an arbitrary manner by reason of passion. R. (6) Upon the establishment of the presumption of paternity as provided in subsection (5).50 another case decided by the Supreme Court of Mississippi.S. the Court of Appeals53 where we dismissed a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65. either party may move for summary disposition under the court rules. xxx xxx xxx (5) If the probability of paternity determined by the qualified person described in subsection (2) conducting the blood or tissue typing or DNA identification profiling is 99% or higher. It was only upon appeal from dismissal of the case that the appellate court remanded the case and ordered the testing. The case of Kohl v. In this case. child support and visitation orders could still be vacated once DNA testing established someone other than the named individual to be the biological father. where the issue or question involved affects the wisdom or legal soundness of the decision— not the jurisdiction of the court to render said decision—the same is beyond the province of a special civil action for certiorari. or on its own motion. the decision of the respondent court. 6. we find that no reasonable jury could find that Easter is not Justin's father based upon the 99. the petitioner has in no way shown any arbitrariness. was able to have the default judgment against him vacated. it was held that even if paternity was established through an earlier agreed order of filiation. v. or personal hostility. The special civil action for certiorari is a remedy designed for the correction of errors of jurisdiction and not errors of judgment. The Court said "(w)hile Amundson may have a remedy against the father of the child.W. this section does not abrogate the right of either party to child support from the date of birth of the child if applicable under section 7. Hence. neither party requested genetic testing.48 the North Dakota Supreme Court upheld an order for genetic testing given by the Court of Appeals.

SP No. JJ. 23 . We therefore take this opportunity to forcefully reiterate our stand that DNA testing is a valid means of determining paternity. SO ORDERED.. WHEREFORE. the petition is hereby DENIED. (Chairman). 80961 is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.dependable and authoritative form of evidence gathering. 2004 in CA-G.R. Sandoval-Gutierrez. Carpio-Morales. Panganiban. The Court of Appeals’ decision dated January 28. in view of the foregoing. concur. and Garcia. Costs against petitioner.

If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money.00. rendered a decision 6 annulling the orders of the trial court.B. the petition for review on certiorari.000. is: 1.000. 6834450. and for all clerical services in the same. 1991. private respondents counter that an action for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale of real property is incapable of pecuniary estimation and. had been sold for P4. petitioners filed a reply to which private respondents filed.000. the estimated value thereof shall be alleged by the claimant and shall be the basis in computing the fees.R. arguing that outright dismissal of their complaint was not warranted on the basis of the alleged nonpayment of the correct amount of docket fees. this amount should be considered the estimated value of the land for the purpose of determining the docket fees. — (a) For filing an action or a permissive counter-claim or money claim against an estate not based on judgment. Declaring void ab initio the Deed of Absolute Sale for being absolutely simulated.00 250.000. J. GLICERIO MA. so. 1998 SPOUSES ROSALINA S.000.00 5.00 In a real action.000.00 — Docket fee for the Judicial Development Fund under Official Receipt No. Clerks of Regional Trial Courts.00. ELAYDA II. subject matter of the contract.00 7. THE COURT OF APPEALS. 1991. 2 On September 26. the assessed value of the property. praying for the following reliefs: 1. or a complaint in intervention. therefore. P100. in which they claimed an interest as heirs. 1991.000.000. More than P20. §7(b)(1). Hence. (emphasis added) Petitioners argue that an action for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale of real property is a real action and. FEDERICO ELAYDA and DANILO ELAYDA. vs. or the stated value of the property in litigation. The trial court held the fees should be based on the value of the property. Since private respondents alleged that the land.00 P120.00 as provided in Rule 141.00 or more but less than P60. in an opinion by Justice J. 7 and Bautista v. they cite the cases of Lapitan v.00 3. 2. §7(b)(1) of the Rules of Court. the amount of the docket fees to be paid by private respondent should be based either on the assessed value of the property. as amended by the Resolution of the Court dated September 12. or its estimated value as alleged in the complaint. The appellate court held that an action for rescission or annulment of contract is not susceptible of pecuniary estimation and. Other reliefs and remedies as are just and equitable in the premises are also prayed for. 1990. subject matter of the contract sought to be annulled or rescinded.00 but less than P40. Scandia. based on the alleged value of the two (2) parcels of land subject matter of the contract of sale sought to be annulled. 1991. 3 On September 30.000. or whether the action should be considered as one which is not capable of pecuniary estimation and therefore the fee charged should be a flat rate of P400.000. 104796 March 6. P40. Rule 141 of the Rules of Court provides: Sec. the docket fees should be the fixed amount of P400.00 2. the value of the real property.640. petitioners moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case by reason of private respondents' nonpayment of the correct amount of docket fees. Petitioners contended that in addition to the fees already paid based on the claim for P100. Reyes.00 5. Ordering the nullification or rescission of the Contract of Conditional Sale (Supplementary Agreement) for having violated the rights of plaintiffs (private respondents) guaranteed to them under Article 886 of the Civil Code and/or violation of the terms and conditions of the said contract. and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal 24 .00 or more but less than P80. 1991. MENDOZA. Inc. therefore.000. On October 21. Ordering defendants (petitioners) to pay plaintiffs (private respondents) attorney's fees in the amount of P100.00 — Docket fee for the General Fund under Official Receipt No. complaint.: The question for decision is whether in assessing the docket fees to be paid for the filing of an action for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale. Petitioners moved for reconsideration. this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. but the Court of Appeals reversed and held that the flat rate should be charged.000.L.00 or more but less than P150. the trial court 5 denied petitioners' motion to dismiss but required private respondents to pay the amount of docket fees based on the estimated value of the parcels of land in litigation as stated in the complaint. the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation. For each P1. P80. The facts are as follows: On August 8. 1991.G. Hence this petition for review on certiorari. subject matter of the action. pursuant to the last paragraph of §7(b) of Rule 141.00 2.000. DE LEON.00 3. All other actions not involving property 400. if the totalsum claimed. the docket fees should not be based on the value of the real property. Actions where the value of the subject matter cannot be estimated P400. Lim. private respondents filed opposition to the motion to dismiss.00 in excess of P150. No. a rejoinder. P60. 1 Upon the filing of the complaint. DE LEON and ALEJANDRO L. 4 On October 9.00 6.00 in Rule 141. petitioners. on February 26. On the other hand.00 for attorney's fees. respondents.00 (b) For filing: 1. the clerk of court required private respondents to pay docket and legal fees in the total amount of P610. or for filing with leave of court a thirdparty. private respondents filed in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint for annulment or rescission of a contract of sale of two (2) parcels of land against petitioners. fourth-party.000.000. 6834215 10.00 150. 1992. and 3. 1877773 150. brought the matter to the Court of Appeals which. etc. In support of their argument.00 — for the Legal Research Fund under Official Receipt No. but their motion was denied in a resolution dated March 25.00.00 to petitioners. on October 17. 7. held: A review of the jurisprudence of this Court indicates that in determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation. broken down as follows: P450. private respondents should have paid docket fees in the amount of P21.00 4. Not more than P20. Special civil actions except judicial foreclosure of mortgage which shall be governed by paragraph (a) above 400. should be used as basis. 8 In Lapitan this Court. They therefore.00 400.000. or if there is none. 1992 of the appellate court.00 200. Private respondents filed a motion for reconsideration but their motion was denied by the trial court.00 or more but less than P100. exclusive of interest.00 600. considering that the amount paid by them was that assessed by the clerk of court.378.

vs. and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance. 1901). 3870.. No award for damages may be had in an action for rescission without first conducting an inquiry into matters which would justify the setting aside of a contract. (She should pay also the two pesos legal research fund fee. As it said: We would like to add the observations that since the action of petitioners [private respondents] against private respondents [petitioners] is solely for annulment or rescission which is not susceptible of pecuniary estimation. Halili. the action should not be confused and equated with the "value of the property" subject of the transaction. September 30. De Ursua v. V-144 as basically one for rescission or annulment of contract which is not susceptible of pecuniary estimation (1 Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court. 781-483). and specific prayer in the complaint. then the assessment should be deferred and finally assessed only after the court had finally decided the case. 1967. or for actual or compensatory damages. so to speak. or a consequence of. Actions for specific performance of contracts have been expressly pronounced to be exclusively cognizable by courts of first instance: De Jesus vs. L-15159. a "rescission" being counterpart. 1967 (legality or illegality of the conveyance sought for and the determination of the validity of the money deposit made). 1959 (validity of mortgage). the right to support created by the relation. demand an inquiry into other factors which the law has deemed to be more within the competence of courts of first instance. April 29. arising from issues like those raised in Arroz v. Manufacturer's Distributors.P. 55. Inc. 1970 Ed. WHEREFORE. sans any prayer for recovery of money and/or value of the transaction. et al. February 28. Yu Siu Liong. Baito v. which cannot be done because the rules require that filing fees should be based on what is alleged and prayed for in the face of the complaint and paid upon the filing of the complaint. July 31. in the same manner that courts of first instance would have to make findings of fact and law in actions not capable of pecuniary estimation expressly held to be so by this Court. L13285. that by the very nature of the case. The rationale of the rule is plainly that the second class cases. difficult to see why a prayer for damages in an action for rescission should be taken as the basis for concluding such action as one capable of pecuniary estimation — a prayer which must be included in the main action if plaintiff is to be compensated for what he may have suffered as a result of the breach committed by defendant. besides the determination of damages.. or by the plaintiff himself. It is. Lapitan vs. 1960 (the relations of the parties. SO ORDERED. in actions for support). held that an action for rescission of contract is one which cannot be estimated and therefore the docket fee for its filing should be the flat amount of P200. L-26816. concur. In both cases. Inc. JJ. an amount already paid by plaintiff. §141. The Court of Appeals correctly applied these cases to the present one. Melo. §5(10). And no cogent reason appears. Issues of the same nature may be raised by a party against whom an action for rescission has been brought. L-12707. which were the lowest courts of record at the time that the first organic laws of the Judiciary were enacted allocating jurisdiction (Act 136 of the Philippine Commission of June 11. 1963 (the validity or nullity of documents upon which claims are predicated). the assessment and collection of the legal fees should not be intertwined with the merits of the case and/or what may be its end result. like in suits to have the defendant perform his part of the contract (specific performance) and in actions for support. v. 1966. However. August 25. Alojado. p. Puno and Martinez. L-24668. the court would certainly have to undertake an investigation into facts that would justify one act or the other. if she has not paid it. the principal relief sought. although eventually the result may be the recovery of land. April 18. Pelayo. 1968. Consequently. Thus. the allegations. of "specific performance".. Bunayog v. L-22153. this Court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money. Conformably with this discussion of actions "where the value of the case cannot be estimated. therefore. where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money. Sarmiento. et al." the Court in Bautista v. De Rivera. why an action for rescission (or resolution) should be differently treated. and not later on precluded from recovering damages by the rule against splitting a cause of action and discouraging multiplicity of suits. the charter of the U. Judge Garcia.00 as then fixed in the former Rule 141. December 23. it is the nature of the action as one for rescission of contract which is controlling. 24 SCRA 479. and that to sustain private respondents' [petitioners'] position on what the respondent court may decide after all. Regalado. Said this Court: We hold that Judge Dalisay did not err in considering Civil Case No. as required in Section 4 of Republic Act No. or where the money claim is purely incidental to. Tunas. the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.courts or in the courts of first instance would depend on the amount of the claim. March 31. the fee for docketing it is P200. and none is here advanced by the parties. or for annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a mortgage. Law Center). etc. Scandia. now respondent Matilda Lim. L-13105. 1950 (validity of a judgment). Lim. 25 .. L21285.

He further alleged that the writ proceeded from an order of default and a judgment rendered by the trial court in complete disregard of his "highly meritorious defense. Baguio City. Pondevida the accumulated arrears of P20. and only after private respondent moved that petitioner be declared in default.12 A careful review of the facts and circumstances of this case fails to persuade this Court to brand the issuance of the writ of execution by the trial court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals with the vice of grave abuse of discretion. adultery of the child's mother would be a valid defense to show that the child is a fruit of adulterous relations for. the sheriff levied upon a motor vehicle.000. 2002 AUGUSTUS CAEZAR R. its acceptance negating the plain meaning of the provision subject of the petition.2 Petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground that the complaint failed to state a cause of action." there was no legal or factual basis for the claim of support. The aforesaid provision peremptorily calls for immediate execution of all judgments for support and makes no distinction between those which are the subject of an appeal and those which are not.4 Despite denial of his motion. J. unless ordered by the trial court. petitioner. was disregarded since it fell short of the statutory requirements of "fraud. how could he be allowed to prove the defense of adultery when it was not even hinted that he was married to the mother of Francheska Joy. Petitioner insisted that as the judgment sought to be executed did not yet attain finality there should be an exceptional reason to warrant its execution. Petitioner consents to submit to Dioxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Testing to resolve the issue of paternity.e. This is an exception to the general rule which provides that the taking of an appeal stays the execution of the judgment and that advance executions will only be allowed if there are urgent reasons therefor. Petitioner also seeks the setting aside of the default order and the judgment rendered thereafter for the reason that should he be allowed to prove his defense of adultery. PONDEVIDA. P50. Leasing & Fin. denied paternity of the child. Section 4. of the Rules of Court clearly states that. petitioner failed to file his answer within the reglementary period. which test he claims has a reputation for accuracy. private respondent moved for execution of the judgment of support.B. judgments in actions for support are immediately executory and cannot be stayed by an appeal. citing as reason therefor private respondent's immediate need for schooling. respondents. the claim of support would be most likely denied. We are unable to accept such a plea for enough has been done by petitioner to delay the execution of the writ. BELLOSILLO. No. 61.: Quite apprehensive that she would not be able to send to school her three (3)-year old daughter Francheska Joy S. After finding that the claim of filiation and support was adequately proved. accident. As the records show. Lastly. Petitioner averred that the writ of execution was issued despite the absence of a good reason for immediate enforcement.00 every month to be paid on or before the 15th of each month starting 15 April 2000. it would not be the child of the defendant and therefore not entitled to support. Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure judgments for support are immediately executory and cannot be stayed by an appeal.13 Also. assisted by BERNADETTE C.R. Petitioner argues that under the rules a judgment for support which is subject of an appeal cannot be executed absent any good reason for its immediate execution. petitioner filed before the Court of Appeals a Motion for Leave to Deposit in Court Support Pendente Lite promising to deposit the amount due as support every 15th of the month.. Bernadette S.000.000. Petitioner would also have us annul the writ of execution on the ground that he was not notified of its issuance.14 He was not even deterred from appealing before us and needlessly taking up our time and energy by posing legal questions that can be characterized.6 Pursuant to the writ. a Honda City. Hence.5 Forthwith. with Plate No. Thus. mistake or excusable negligence.00 for expenses of litigation. We are thus not prepared to abrogate the writ of execution issued in favor of private respondent for substantial justice would be better served if petitioner be precluded from 26 . Thus. i. on 19 January 2000 private respondent moved that petitioner be declared in default. in such case. in his reply. the trial court rendered its Decision on 12 May 2000 ordering petitioner to recognize private respondent Francheska Joy S.G. the court received the evidence of private respondent ex parte. it did not help petitioner any to argue that there were no good reasons to support its immediate execution. was denied by the trial court. There is no evidence indeed to justify the setting aside of the writ on the ground that it was issued beyond the legitimate bounds of judicial discretion. Petitioner is reminded that to the plain words of a legal provision we should make no further explanation. the interpretation which petitioner attempts to foist upon us would only lead to absurdity. Corp. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was also denied. Rule 39. To consider then petitioner's argument that there should be good reasons for the advance execution of a judgment would violate the clear and explicit language of the rule mandating immediate execution. Absoluta sententia expositore non indiget. which motion was granted. petitioner impugned the validity of the writ as he argued that it was issued without notice to him.00 per month from the day she was born. The second challenge hurled against the validity of the writ concerning the lack of notice and hearing was likewise dismissed with the appeals court favoring substantial justice over technicalities." Finally. UMT 884. Gan1 demanding support for their "love child. petitioner appealed the Judgment to the Court of Appeals. Pondevida. in partial fulfillment of the writ of execution petitioner surrendered a sedan which apparently was not his as it was later ordered released to a third party who laid claim over the levied vehicle. PONDEVIDA. 145527 May 28."10 His motion for reconsideration having been denied. plus P20. Petitioner stressed the fact that he received copy of the motion for immediate execution two (2) weeks after its scheduled hearing. as flimsy and trivial. which the trial court granted by issuing a writ of execution. ANTONIO C. HON. Pondevida as his illegitimate child and support her with P20. vs." and found within the premises of petitioner's warehouse in Caloocan City.9 On 31 August 2000 the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition on the ratiocination that under Sec. in his capacity as RTC Sheriff of Baguio City. He argued that since Francheska's certificate of birth indicated her father as "UNKNOWN. In its Order declaring petitioner in default the trial court noted that petitioner's Motion to Admit Answer was filed more than ninety (90) days after the expiration of the reglementary period.00 on or before the 15th of every month from 15 May 2000 as alimony pendente lite should he desire to pursue further remedies against private respondent. petitioner's justification for belatedly filing his answer. however. registered in the name of "A. and FRANCHESKA JOY C. GAN..7 Meanwhile. Indeed. Pondevida wrote petitioner Augustus Caezar R.11 Petitioner claims that in an action by a child against his putative father. Leased to: G & G Trading. TOLENTINO.00 as attorney's fees and P25. Likewise petitioner was ordered to pay Francheska Joy S." Petitioner. An exasperated Bernadette thereafter instituted in behalf of her daughter a complaint against petitioner for support with prayer for support pendente lite.000. at best. REYES. Petitioner likewise attacks the validity of the writ asserting that it was issued in violation of his right to notice and hearing. in his capacity as Presiding Judge of RTC-Br. miscommunication with his lawyer. ALBERT G. but to date has not deposited any amount in complete disavowal of his undertaking.000. petitioner came to us impugning the dismissal of his petition for certiorari. 4.3 His motion.8 On 9 June 2000 petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals imputing grave abuse of discretion to the trial court for ordering the immediate execution of the judgment. Parenthetically.

in Civil Case No. concur. however much the accumulated amount. Neither may they enrol in several classes and schools and take up numerous subjects all at once to make up for the years they missed in school. It is not for us at this instance to review or revise the Decision rendered by the trial court for to do so would pre-empt the decision which may be rendered by the Court of Appeals in the main case for support. De Leon. WHEREFORE.. Costs against petitioner. Pondevida to DNA testing to settle the issue of paternity. the children may in the meantime have suffered because of lack of food or have missed and lost years in school because of lack of funds. Lastly. then procedural rules which were primarily drafted to protect parties in the realm of constitutional guarantees would acquire a new sanctity at the expense of equity and justice. finding no reversible error in the Decision sought to be reviewed. afterwards. Baguio City. Quisumbing. together with private respondent Bernadette C. is AFFIRMED. and Corona. Soriano16 is relevant. The 31 August 2000 Decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing the Petition for Certiorari instituted by petitioner Augustus Caezar C. 27 . One cannot delay the payment of such funds for support and education for the reason that if paid long afterwards. Jr. It appears in this case that there has been too much temporizing in the execution of the writ which must not be allowed to thwart the constitutional mandate for speedy disposition of cases. The children with such belated payment for support and education cannot act as gluttons and eat voraciously and unwisely. Mendoza. to make up for the years of hunger and starvation. his interest and welfare are always the paramount concerns. thus: The money and property adjudged for support and education should and must be given presently and without delay because if it had to wait the final judgment.15 Truly. the instant petition is DENIED. we note that no useful purpose would be served if we dwell on petitioner's arguments concerning the validity of the judgment by default and his insistence that he be subjected. a technicality should be an aid to justice and not its great hindrance and chief enemy. We are not intimating that in every case the right to notice of hearing can be disregarded.. 4234-R. if the writ of execution would be voided on this ground alone. 61.interposing another barrier to the immediate execution of the support judgment. As has been said. An excerpt from the early case of De Leon v. There may be instances where. JJ. Gan and upholding the validity of the 2 June 2000 Writ of Execution issued by the Regional Trial Court – Br. it would be a travesty of justice to refuse him support until the decision of the trial court attains finality while time continues to slip away. due to non-payment of the funds when needed. in view of the poverty of the child. The futility of his arguments is very apparent. its payment cannot cure the evil and repair the damage caused. That is not so. In all cases involving a child. SO ORDERED.

vs. John Paul. the Court hereby declares the marriage between petitioner Adriana Chua and respondent Jose Lam null and void for being bigamous by nature. Quezon City. they have agreed that the custody of their child will be with her. respondent. 1984. 1994 of the Makati RTC wherein he and Adriana agreed to contribute P250. she was forced to agree with Jose on the dissolution of their conjugal partnership of gains and the separation of present and future properties. 1997 and the Resolution dated October 27.12 we held that another action for support could be filed again by the same plaintiff 9. No evidence was presented regarding the amount of support needed by John Paul or the capacity of Jose to give support.3 After her testimony. Jose filed the present petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Nothing herein shall diminish the rights both parties with respect to their son. Jose Lam. 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. On April 28. Summons was duly served on Jose Lam on March 22. 1994. J. The Pasay RTC admitted into evidence the Marriage Contract dated May 25. to wit: 8. City Prosecutor Bonifacio Barrera to conduct an investigation for determination whether or not there was collusion between the parties and to submit his report thereon. that she was also the one spending for all the expenses of their only child. assigning only a single error of the trial court: THE LOWER COURT SERIOUSLY ERRED IN ORDERING APPELLANT TO GIVE A MONTHLY SUPPORT OF P20. 1994. the trial court issued an Order dated April 13. material and indispensable. Petitioner-Appellee vs. In the child. SO ORDERED. She testified that her marriage with Jose was arranged by her parents in the traditional Chinese way. THE LOWER COURT HAS DULY ADMITTED THE FACT THAT THERE WAS A DECISION ISSUED BY ANOTHER COURT REQUIRING APPELLANT TO CONTRIBUTE THE AMOUNT OF P250. petitioner. It is hereby agreed by the First Party and the Second Party that the First Party and the Second Party shall initially contribute P250. until the son reaches majority age. 1994. 1994. Said common fund shall be managed and administered by the Second Party. Jose filed a Motion for Reconsideration8 thereof but only insofar as the decision awarded monthly support to his son in the amount of P20. they had long been separated in bed and board.00 AS THE LATTER’S SHARE IN THE COMMON FUND FOR SUPPORT OF THE CHILD.000. is of no moment and cannot limit and/or affect the support ordered by the latter court. 1994. CV. in order to save what was left of the conjugal properties. Hence. the Pasay RTC rendered its Decision6 the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING.000. Hence. Respondent-Appellant. ADRIANA CHUA. REQUIRE APPELLANT TO PAY TWICE THE MONTHLY SUPPORT FOR HIS CHILD. Jose was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage but said incapacity was not then apparent. On August 4.000. On July 6. such as.00. to wit: THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DECIDING LEGAL QUESTIONS OF SUBSTANCE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE IN FINDING THAT THE TRIAL COURT’S RULING THAT THE COMPROMISE AGREEMENT BETWEEN PETITIONER AND RESPONDENT WHERE THEY BOUND THEMSELVES TO CONTRIBUTE THE AMOUNT OF TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P250. Adriana filed an Urgent Motion to Re-Open4 on the ground that she was able to secure additional new evidence which were significant. and another Marriage Contract dated May 6. and obligations of best interest of the custody. Jose then appealed the Pasay RTC’s decision to the Court of Appeals. mismanaging the conjugal partnership of gains. Asst. IN EFFECT. He argued that there was already a provision for support of the child as embodied in the decision9 dated February 28. said agreement was approved by the Regional Trial Court of Makati City (Branch 149) in a Decision dated February 28. subject to exercised through required. SUBJECT TO PERIODIC ACCOUNTING AND TO BE MANAGED BY APPELLEE. entitled. 1994.00) TO A COMMON FUND FOR THE BENEFIT OF THEIR CHILD DOES NOT BAR THE TRIAL COURT IN ANNULMENT CASE TO AGAIN AWARD SUPPORT IN FAVOR OF THE CHILD. no responsive pleading was filed by him. 1977 between Jose and one Celia Santiago. 1984 by Hon. No. Guillermo L. 1997. 2004 JOSE LAM. John Paul." The case commenced on March 11.000. 1997 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.00. they begot one son. The lone witness was Adriana herself. the trial court granted the motion to re-open the case and held a hearing for the reception of additional evidence.00 each to a common fund for the benefit of the child. respondent Jose Lam is hereby ordered to give a monthly support to his son John Paul Chua Lam in the amount of P20.: Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Decision1 dated June 11. never worked for a living and instead kept asking for money from her to buy his sports cars. the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision affirming the Pasay RTC’s decision in all respects. The Pasay RTC and the Court of Appeals are both correct insofar as they ruled that the amount of support is by no means permanent. to be used solely and exclusively for the benefit of their son. On June 23. subject to periodic accounting. Jose filed a motion for reconsideration of the Decision but in a Resolution dated October 27.10 Jose further alleged in his motion that his contribution to the common fund had even amounted to P500. No. 1995. "Adriana Chua.2 The trial court then set the case for hearing. 1994. likewise raising a single error of the appellate court. 1994 upon the filing of a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage by Adriana Chua against Jose Lam in the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City (Branch 109).5 showing that Jose had been married twice before he married Adriana in 1984. BESIDES. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ.000.00 TO HIS SON BECAUSE THIS WOULD. Despite the lapse of fifteen days after service of summons. Loja of the Metropolitan Trial Court. Likewise. John Paul Chua Lam.R. The Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City and the Office of the Civil Registrar General are hereby ordered to cancel the marriage between Adriana Chua and Jose Lam celebrated on January 13.00 each to a common fund.11 On June 11.R. that her married life was abnormal because Jose very seldom came home. On August 22. Adriana alleged in the petition that: she and Jose were married on January 13.000.G. 51107. indulged in womanizing and irresponsible activities.000. to be increased as 28 . City Prosecutor Barrera filed his Report stating that "there seems to be no collusion between the parties". 1982 between Jose and one Evan Lock. subject to visitation rights of Jose.7 On November 3.000. 1994. directing Asst. Advincula. counsel for Adriana formally offered the documentary evidence. the Pasay RTC issued an Order denying Jose Lam’s motion for reconsideration ruling that the compromise agreement entered into by the parties and approved by the Makati RTC before the marriage was declared null and void ab initio by the Pasay RTC. such psychological incapacity of Jose became manifest only after the celebration of the marriage when he frequently failed to go home. In Advincula vs. the Second Party shall retain care and visitation rights by the First Party to be mutual arrangements. 131286 March 18. out of said marriage.00. 1997. the Court of Appeals denied the same.

therefore. Adriana presented. First. Canlubang Sugar Estates. 1994 where Adriana presented the marriage certificates and claimed for the support of their child sans the presence of Jose.14 But on a motion to re-open filed by her on June 23. the evidence presented by respondent regarding her claim for support for John Paul is glaringly insufficient and cannot be made a valid basis upon which the Pasay RTC could have determined the monthly amount of P20. 1994 and subsequently allowed Adriana to present evidence of two previous marriages contracted by Jose with other women to prove that the marriage between Adriana and Jose was null and void for being bigamous. Nonetheless. the trial court set the case for reception of evidence on July 6. and is foreign to the issues submitted for its determination. however. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Rule 18 of the Revised Rules of Court17 in relation to Article 48 of the Family Code. pursuant to Articles 194. The amendment of the petition to reflect the new issues and claims against Jose was.000. medical attendance. The ground relied on for nullity of the marriage was changed from the psychological incapacity of Jose to that of existence of previous marriages of Jose with two different women with an additional claim for support of the child. to wit: Art. 1994 was sent to Jose. for during the entire period that a needy party is entitled to support. but which is not brought before it by any statement or claim of the parties.20 Consequently. Insofar as the declaration of nullity of the marriage between Adriana and Jose for being bigamous is concerned. Fourth. the decision rendered by the Pasay RTC could be declared as invalid for having been issued beyond its jurisdiction. Therefore where a court enters a judgment or awards relief beyond the prayer of the complaint or the scope of its allegations the excessive relief is not merely irregular but is void for want of jurisdiction. as approved by the Makati RTC and embodied in its decision dated February 28. there is no merit to the claim of Jose that the compromise agreement between him and Adriana. and with the means of the giver. the only ground alleged in the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage filed by Adriana with the Pasay RTC is the psychological incapacity of Jose without any prayer for the support of her child. 1994 hearing that respondent Adriana first claimed support for John Paul when she testified in open court. 1994 wherein the trial court granted the Urgent Motion to Re-Open of respondent Adriana and forthwith allowed her to present her evidence to prove that petitioner herein contracted previous marriages with different women. is a nullity. The right to support is of such nature that its allowance is essentially provisional. there can be no default pursuant to Section 6. as embodied in the compromise agreement between herein parties which had been approved by the Makati RTC. dwelling. depending upon the needs of the child and the capabilities of the parents to give support. It is an axiomatic rule that while a jurisdictional question may be raised at any time. his or her alimony may be modified or altered. education and transportation. The provision for a common fund for the benefit of their child John Paul. in accordance with his increased or decreased needs. Petitioner Jose is estopped from questioning the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Adriana and therefore. It cannot be regarded as subject to final determination. . 29 . 194. substantially changed by the admission of the additional evidence. the Pasay RTC did not give Jose an opportunity to be present on July 6. John Paul. The petition of Adriana was. he likewise did not raise the issue of jurisdiction of the Pasay RTC to receive evidence and render judgment on his previous marriages with other woman which were not alleged in the petition filed by Adriana. admits of an exception where estoppel has supervened. Second. the record does not show that he received the notice in due time. 1994. as no formal amendment was ever made by Adriana except the insertion of the handwritten phrase "And for respondent to support the child of petitioner in an amount this Honorable Court may deem just and reasonable"15 found at the ultimate paragraph of the petition. in keeping with the financial capacity of the family. this. it is a serious error for the trial court to have rendered judgment on issues not presented in the pleadings as it was beyond its jurisdiction to do so. We further held in said case that: . In the petitions he filed in the Court of Appeals and with us. Third. A party who has been declared in default is entitled to service of substantially amended or supplemental pleadings. in effect. indispensable so as to authorize the court to act on the issue of whether the marriage of Jose and Adriana was bigamous and the determination of the amount that should have been awarded for the support of John Paul. nor has it power to decide questions except as presented by the parties in their pleadings. clothing. 1994 with a notice of hearing on June 27.19 to wit: It is also a general principle of law that a court cannot set itself in motion. There is nothing on record to show that petitioner Jose was notified of the substantial changes in the petition of Adriana. When the trial court rendered judgment beyond the allegations contained in the copy of the petition served upon Jose.18 it is with more reason that petitioner should likewise be entitled to notice of all proceedings. did not assail the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Adriana in his motion for reconsideration which he filed with the Pasay RTC. Although copy of the motion filed on June 23. Furthermore. (Emphasis supplied) Pursuant to the foregoing principle. as allowed by the Pasay RTC. is a bar to any further award of support in favor of their child John Paul. 1994. this Court will now discuss the propriety of the proceedings conducted by the Pasay RTC and the decision it rendered. the records do not show that petitioner was sent a copy of the Order dated July 6. formally offered her evidence in support of the petition and submitted the case for decision as of May 12. such amount should be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and the necessities of the recipient. the Pasay RTC had acted in excess of its jurisdiction and deprived petitioner Lam of due process. 1994 for the presentation of evidence by Adriana and to refute the same. the lower courts are reminded of the ruling of the Court in Asian Transmission Corporation vs. the Court will only resolve the lone issue raised by Jose in the present petition for review on certiorari which is the award of support for his child. Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance. Having settled the issue on the authority of the trial court to award support for the child in an action for declaration of nullity of marriage of the child’s parents. cannot be considered final and res judicata since any judgment for support is always subject to modification. Judgment for support does not become final. considering that Jose. 201 and 202 of the Family Code. Such substantial changes were not reflected in the petition filed with the trial court.00 for the support to be given to John Paul by petitioner Jose. and is open to collateral attack. .13 Thus. It is only at the July 6. Anything that is decided beyond them is coram non-judice and void. neither does the record show that he was notified of the subsequent hearing held on July 6. The appellate court also ruled that a judgment of a court upon a subject within its general jurisdiction. 1994 in the case for voluntary dissolution of conjugal partnership of gains.16 Considering that in cases of declaration of nullity of marriage or annulment of marriage. the Court will not undo the judgment of the Pasay RTC declaring the marriage of Adriana and Jose null and void for being bigamous. The Court notes four circumstances that taint the regularity of the proceedings and the decision rendered by the trial court.notwithstanding the fact that the previous case for support filed against the same defendant was dismissed. The Pasay RTC should have been aware that in determining the amount of support to be awarded.

00 to P25. 202. Your Honor. dismissing the appeal and denying the motion for reconsideration. 1994 at Makati. Court: Get the original copy of the complaint. The parties are hereby enjoined to faithfully comply with the conditions of their Agreement as embodied in this petition and the same shall. Art. SO ORDERED. even beyond the age of majority. finding the aforequoted agreement to be in order. 1997.None. which is quoted below in verbatim: Atty. how do you feel about it? A . Art. medical attendance.000. or to and from place of work.R. Court: Q . the same is hereby APPROVED. until the son reaches majority age. be deemed to be a decision and/or award in the matters treated in the aforesaid settlement. SO ORDERED. the Court has no other recourse but to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals and Pasay RTC insofar as the award of support is concerned and order the remand of the case to Pasay RTC for further proceedings as to the issue regarding support. likewise only insofar as the matter on support is concerned.22 shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient. The amount of support. 1994 and the Order of the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City (Branch 109).Is there a prayer for support? Atty.After discovering that your husband had contracted two valid marriages prior to your marriage. 1997 and October 27.How much support do you want? A . are REVERSED and SET ASIDE for being null and void. subject to exercised through The matter of support is a question that may be raised and threshed out before the Makati RTC as it was the court that approved the Compromise Agreement. It is hereby agreed by the First Party and the Second Party that the First Party and the Second Party shall initially contribute P250. Let the records of Civil Case No. Accordingly. the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. Support in the cases referred to in the preceding article shall be reduced or increased proportionately.Considering the bigamous marriage contract by your husband with you. to be increased as required. portions of which read as follows: 8. 51107. 94-0331 with respect to the claim of Adriana Chua against Jose Lam for the support of John Paul Chua Lam and conduct hearings for further reception of evidence for the proper determination of the proper amount of support to be awarded to the child John Paul Chua Lam. In the interest of orderly administration of justice. and not being contrary to law. Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school.Yes. and obligations of best interest of the custody. what do you want to request to the Honorable Court? A . the Second Party shall retain care and visitation rights by the First Party to be mutual arrangements. 9.000. such testimony does not establish the amount needed by the child nor the amount that the parents are reasonably able to give. WHEREFORE. as between the parties.00 each to a common fund. morals or public policy. Let a copy of this petition as well as the foregoing Decision be recorded in the proper local civil registries and registries of property at the expense of the herein petitioners pursuant to Article 139 of the Family Code. Such being the case. The Decision dated August 4. clothing. Said common fund shall be managed and administered by the Second Party. In this case. the conjugal partnership of gains existing between the said spouses is dissolved and a decree of complete separation is established in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Family Code of the Philippines. subject to periodic accounting. dated June 11. In the child. respectively. 201. in the cases referred to in Articles 19521 and 196. according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same. CV. 1995. WHEREFORE. are hereby SET ASIDE but only insofar as the award of support in favor of John Paul Chua Lam is concerned. Metro Manila. It is incumbent upon the trial court to base its award of support on the evidence presented before it.23 Evidently. Lorbes: Q . Consequently. We take note of the Compromise Agreement. Q .I felt it is unfair to my life. arbitrary and without any basis. Your Honor. approved by and embodied in the decision of the Makati RTC. the manner by which the trial court arrived at the amount of support awarded to John Paul was whimsical. trade or vocation.The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some profession. 94-0331 be remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City (Branch 109) which is DIRECTED to reopen the trial of Civil Case No.000. Nothing herein shall diminish the rights both parties with respect to their son. No. the only evidence presented by respondent Adriana regarding her claim for support of the child is her testimony. to be used solely and exclusively for the benefit of their son. education and transportation of the child.24 30 . and the monthly expenses incurred for the sustenance.00 Q . add and sign it for the support of the boy. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. or before the Pasay RTC where the petition for declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage is filed. 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. Lorbes: A . dwelling. A .P20. herein petitioner Jose was deprived of due process when the trial court proceeded to hear the case on a motion to re-open and render judgment without giving Jose the requisite notice and the opportunity to refute the new claim against him. the Court deems it proper that the issue on support should be resolved by the Pasay RTC where the claim for support of the child was initiated by Adriana. Verily. dated August 22. GIVEN this 28th day of February.I want to request the Court that the respondent be ordered to support my little boy. 1994 hearing that a prayer for support be written and inserted in the petition filed by respondent Adriana does not constitute proper amendment and notice upon petitioner Jose. The trial court’s action of merely ordering in open court during the July 6.

the marriage goes awry. and Maxima Adato. his grandparents’ house and the family business were all named and identified. The seminal ruling in Santos v. respondent registered a complaint.00 for working in the family distillery went straight to respondent. and working in the family business.000. the RTC declared the marriage between petitioner and respondent null and void as the two were psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. partitioned.00. petitioner’s parents were also decreed to give a monthly support for the three minor children in the amount of P34. 1979 in Makati City VOID AB INITIO on ground of psychological incapacity of both parties pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code with all the effects and consequences of all the existing provisions of law.. As is customary among those of Chinese descent. Petitioner. LIM and CHERYL STA.8 Hence. Makati City. CRUZ on December 8. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) appealed to the CA.e. all living. 74822.00 and. and distributed in accordance with the provisions of Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code. CRUZ on December 8. It ruled thus: WHEREFORE. petitioner filed a petition and sought the declaration of nullity of his marriage to respondent on the ground of the latter’s psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. 2002.R. CV No. on July 22. 2010 who continued to insist that they independently from petitioner’s family. primarily on the Psychiatric Report. and. Cagayan de Oro. the all too familiar antecedents of man-meets-woman. petitioner filed an amended petition including an allegation of his own psychological incapacity. which consisted of the testimonies of Dr. was a boarder in petitioner’s uncle’s house. this petition for review on certiorari positing the singular issue of whether the marriage between petitioner and respondent is null and void on the ground of the parties’ psychological incapacity. petitioner presented evidence. Within that year. The RTC disposed of the case. Despite all these amenities. spent a semestral break from college. The Conjugal Partnership of the Spouses shall be liquidated. similar petitions continue to hound the lower courts. The marriage between herein parties is hereby declared subsisting and valid. vs. in case of his inability to do so. i. This incident landed on the pages of a tabloid newspaper.000. which was recorded in the police blotter of the Makati City police. (2) juridical antecedence. J. the assailed Decision dated March 25. Respondent likewise filed a criminal complaint for Concubinage and Physical Injuries against petitioner which was eventually dismissed by the investigating prosecutor for lack of merit. about a prior incident where she caught petitioner in their house in a compromising situation with the stay-in caregiver of petitioner’s grandmother. However.: This petition raises a far-from-novel issue. (3) incurability. jewelry. the Court shall take into account the choice of each of the child. Let copies thereof be sent to the Office of Local Civil Registrar of Makati City and the National Statistics Office.5 During their stay in Forbes Park. to wit: WHEREFORE. the setup and living arrangement rankled respondent. Petitioner’s salary of P6. Three years thereafter. household and medical expenses were paid and provided by petitioner’s grandparents. even with the stringent requirements for the grant of declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity. After less than a year of courtship via long distance phone calls. premises considered. CRUZ-LIM. Naturally. and a land title in petitioner’s name. premises considered. Court of Appeals9 cites three (3) factors characterizing psychological incapacity to perform the essential marital obligations: (1) gravity. The appellate court granted the OSG’s appeal and reversed the trial court. despite filing an Answer to the petition denying the allegations therein. Makati City. The couple was blessed with three (3) children: Lester Edward. petitioner’s co-employee in the distillery. respectively. Quezon City who are directed to CANCEL from their respective Civil Registries the marriage of EDWARD N. with a reception at Midtown Ramada Hotel. the instant appeal is GRANTED. We deny the petition. which included petitioner’s passport. Petitioner Edward N. CHERYL STA. waived her right to present evidence. At that time. unless the Court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. questioning the RTC’s finding that the parties were psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. considering that all of them are over seven (7) years of age. Also. a psychiatrist. they get married after a whirlwind relationship. 1979. Villegas’ Psychiatric Report. which reversed the decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). petitioner and respondent took up residence with the former’s grandparents and parents in Forbes Park. Abante. October 14. respondent filed with the RTC of Makati City an action for support against petitioner and petitioner’s parents. petitioner offered in evidence Dr. We expounded on the foregoing. Subsequently.000. MA. Respondent. this caused embarrassment and humiliation to petitioner and to the rest of his family and relatives. where petitioner. not surprisingly. to wit: The incapacity must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required 31 . while respondent was a secretarial student.4 and Mariano III.3 Candice Grace. 176464 February 4. Based on the foregoing.G. Cecilia C. in Civil Case No. which concluded that the parties were suffering from personality disorders. given the facility with which married persons are diagnosed with personality disorders. the Court hereby DECLARES the marriage of EDWARD N. Thereafter. Accordingly.6 On October 29. on that same day.R. DECISION NACHURA. 1979 in Makati City. petitioner and respondent became sweethearts in early 1979. Following the exchange of pleadings between the parties. 99-1852. Villegas. or on December 8. and respondent. respondent finally left petitioner and brought with her their three (3) children. the invalidity of a marriage on the ground of either or both of the parties’ psychological incapacity. 1990 proved to be a black-letter day for the union of petitioner and respondent. as both he and respondent were diagnosed with personality disorders—dependent personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. who resides in Makati City. LIM. Respondent. That morning. LIM and MA. 2002 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. a college student. Respondent forcibly opened their cabinet and cleaned out the contents thereof. CHERYL STA. Lim and respondent Maria Cheryl Sta. 1999. First. Branch 140. CruzLim met in 1978 in Cebu. the trial court directed petitioner to give a monthly support of P6. petitioner was twenty-six (26) years old. live separately and EDWARD N. The instant petition for review on certiorari assails the decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. In addition. the two were wed at the Don Bosco Church in Makati City. where petitioner.7 Disagreeing completely with the RTC’s disposition. No. As regards the custody of the children. who resides in Gingoog City.

Q.And is there any other witness or person that you have met for the purpose of evaluating the behavior and personality of petitioner? A.Yes. self-doubt. it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage. isolated. had the special albatross to prove that he and his wife were suffering from "the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. it is the opinion of the examiner that the respondent is suffering from HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER associated with an immaturity that renders her psychologically incapacitated to perform the duties and responsibilities of marriage. On the other hand. she could not recognize realities in their family set-up and will insist on her fantasized wishes. Based on the family background. Later. Within 10 years in marriage.Do you affirm before this Honorable Court the conclusions that you have arrived at to be correct? A. Very clannish. petitioner presented the Psychiatric Report of Dr. while the mother was extremely asocial. just to get attention and to emphasize her wants. will be difficult to assess. while Cheryl is suffering from Histrionic Personality Disorder associated with immaturity. Villegas. He has difficulty expressing disagreements with others. Most of the family members tend to rebel. exhibitions and dramatizations.Yes. Q. clinical evidence showed that Mr. rather than lack of motivation or energy. he tried hard to grant his wife’s wishes."11 Instead. submissive and passive adult. despite his prominent Filipino exposure. Q. it is the opinion of the examiner that the petitioner Mr. which became the center of jealousy and rivalry among the siblings. lack of selfconfidence. withdrawn and seclusive. However. can you conclude that this deficiencies or defects that you found are sufficient ground to nullify the marriage under Article 36? A. in a communal style of living. That was on January 10. Villegas testified in the lower court as to the findings contained in the Psychiatric Report. although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage.After my intensive interview about the circumstances of their marriage. Cheryl was initially congenial. On the other hand. He felt so secure with his grandparents. pattern of behavior.And were you able to actually conduct an examination for the purposes that you have stated? A. the grandparents are recognized as the authority.Can you tell the Court how you happened to know the petitioner? A. passivity. Apparently. ma’am. He allowed them to assume responsibilities for major areas of his life.Yes. Surrogate parenting from his grandparents satisfied his dependency needs. he had difficulties initiating change due to lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities. How much of the Dependent Disorder was due to developmental defect and how much was due to strong Chinese culture and traditions. But despite physical closeness. moodiness.10 petitioner. Court of Appeals. Thus. even if it were otherwise. and it must be incurable or. January 14 and January 17. because they started early in their developmental stage and therefore became so engrained in their personality structure. Villegas’ testimony consisted of the following: Q. Emmy Adato. as the party alleging his own psychological incapacity and that of his spouse. his immediate family still practice a strong cultural Chinese tradition within his home.In your capacity as expert. but to no avail. I was able to interview a long time employee that they have in their company in the person of Mrs. ma’am.12 In addition. that left no room for him to develop his own abilities. that repelled him from both of them. born and grew up in a Philippine environment. in the form of attention-seeking devices. ma’am. Emmy Adato who herself know the petitioner since he was eight (8) years old. 1990 together with their three children. but at the end. Q. So that even an abusive spouse may be tolerated for long periods. as in his family decision and independence. A persevering worker.Yes. especially with his wife. she’ll go into tantrums. Both existed prior to marriage. Edward Lim is suffering from DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER that renders him psychologically incapacitated to perform the duties and responsibilities of marriage. and depression. encouraging too much dependence. with the elders in this case. tendency to be submissive and passive were developed. but he finds solace and security in visiting his grave every Sunday since then. Both are severe and grave in degree. in order not to disturb the sense of attachments.And what was the conclusion after you conducted the evaluation of the character of petitioner. ma’am. but became obviously manifested only after the celebration. as well as that of the respondent? A. The father was exceptionally temperamental and moody. Her attention-getting devices will be endless and her suggestibility to the influence of others is very fertile. Ms. ma’am. He was raised and educated in Philippine school. Edward Lim is suffering from a Dependent Personality Disorder. which lasted only for a short period of time. specifically related to a difficult heterosexual adjustment. Edward did not build close attachments to his parents.1avvphi1 The root cause of the above clinical condition on the part of Edward was due to overindulgence and overprotection of his surrogate parents. hostilities.How many times were you able to examine or meet the petitioner? A. obedient. The death of his grandfather in 1994 was a big blow to him.I met him three (3x) times. pessimism. Given the foregoing stringent requisites and without going into the non-exclusive list found in Republic v.He was referred to me by his counsel for psychological and psychiatric evaluation related to his application for nullity of marriage in this Honorable Court. Both disorders are considered permanent and incurable. due to marital stresses and demands. the root cause was due to unsatisfied dependency needs that finds gratification in adult stage. her immaturity interfered with her behavioral pattern and adjustment. xxxx Q. because they hampered their normal functioning. because of fear of loss of support or approval. family background of the petitioner and also the family background of the respondent. he became depressed and had suicidal intentions. Under stressful situation. Dr. on direct examination.Do you conclude also these deficiencies are continuous and permanent? 32 . and outcome of their marriage. ma’am. the conclusions drawn are reprinted in full: PSYCHODYNAMICS OF THE CASE: Edward is of Chinese descent. all family members has to stay in one roof. Q. that render both of them psychologically incapacitated to perform the duties and responsibilities of marriage. ma’am. Q. anger. When not granted. a psychiatrist of forty (40) years. ma’am. that he subordinated his needs to them. the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved.in marriage. On the part of Cheryl. manifested in her clinical symptoms. He developed into a kind. His wife left him in October. based on the informations and clinical data gathered from the petitioner and my other informant. Dr. year 2000. whom he missed very much.

Q. Q.Yes.Yes. I could still appreciate how much he feels. Q.Doctor.So practically. Q. Doctor. Villegas testified as follows: Q.For each session.Yes. A psychiatric interview is a very structured interview… Q.None. ma’am. his statements that he has been giving me are very sincere on his part. Villegas’ sparse testimony does not lead to the inevitable conclusion that the parties were psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations.No. Would you say that even if petitioner would marry again.Yes. Villegas with nary a link drawn between the "psychodynamics of the case" and the factors characterizing the psychological incapacity.Did you not have any suspicion that the petitioner might be giving you some informations which would given (sic) some presumption to nullifying his marriage? A. ma’am.What are these signs and symptoms? A. Dr.Yes.It would depend again on the personality profile of the would be partner that he will be having. ma’am.You made a conclusion about the personality of both the petitioner and the respondent.You did not conduct a series of tests to determine or evaluate further? A. ma’am.I have no basis to doubt that kind of information that he might be lying. ma’am.Did you attempt to communicate with the respondent of this case for the purpose of interviewing her? A.Would you conclude therefore – would you consider it as valid ground for the annulment of the marriage? A. Q. you have testified that it was only the petitioner whom you have examined and evaluated with (sic)? A.Three (3) times ma’am. but it would again depend on the personality profile of the would-be partner that he will be having.Even on my interview.You did not interview the surrogate parents of petitioner? A. ma’am. the signs and symptoms are obviously manifested by the parties. ma’am. Q.For each session? A.No other person whom you have interviewed? A. very typical ground that can bring about… Q. Q. the same manifestations would exist in the second marriage? A. Q.Yes.Yes. Q.Yes. so devastated.And the family background you have made on Cheryl. she gave you some background of the respondent here? A. the information regarding the marriage of parties in this case came from the petitioner? A. so frustrated and disappointed about family life.Yes.It lasted for about one and a half hours to two and a half hours. Q. Q. Villegas’ testimony did not illuminate on the parties’ alleged personality disorders and their incapacitating effect on their marriage: 33 . ma’am.The family background. for example.13 On cross examination by the prosecutor.So you were able to examine him for a duration of six (6) hours. that the respondent is in Cagayan De Oro? A. Even on questioning from the trial court. During the one and a half to two hours of interview based on his reactions.No. Q. Q. Q. Dr.Yes.And despite your invitation.And the interview you have made on Adato. So it is not really absolute in his case. ma’am.14 It was folly for the trial court to accept the findings and conclusions of Dr. Q.Yes. [A]nd I have made this through the petitioner who has contacted his children in Cagayan De Oro.Yes. ma’am.And the duration of interview or examination on petitioner is how long? A. you were able to make the conclusions which you have made in your report? A. sir. the way he grimaces and also. ma’am. Dr. In the six (6) or seven (7) hours. ma’am. ma’am. Q.A. the respondent also came from the petitioner? A. ma’am. she did not appear to you? A. ma’am.So you are telling us.No.So based from your Report on the circumstances of marriage. of this case are very. the employee of petitioner. the way he answers me. I already kn[e]w that I will not be referring this case to a psychological evaluation because the signs and symptoms are already very clear. But the clearer picture of the case presented to me is a very clear picture already of the psychiatric disorder which did not necessitated (sic) the assistance of a psychologist because it is obvious.But most of the informations you have gathered from her were pertaining to the petitioner? A.When did you find out that you don’t have to resort to psychological evaluation? A. the evaluation you have made were based on the interview only on both the employee and the petitioner himself? A.You have not collaborated with any psychologists so as to get some psychological evaluation on petitioner? A. despite the fact that that happened already about eleven years ago. Q. Q.And the other person whom you have interviewed was the employee of the petitioner? A. which gave the rootcause. in a personality profile. ma’am.Yes.How many times did you meet the petitioner? A. ma’am. that he even. Q. ma’am. more or less. Q.

When the children were growing up. easily influenced by others or (2) needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life.None. (8) is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself. intensity. Note: do not include realistic fears of retribution.e. The supposed personality disorders of the parties. She lived with a stepfather and therefore their family relationship were only preoccupied by earning a living and no attention were given to the children. Lim three (3) times. The enduring pattern is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (i. Q.The petitioner. theatricality. to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant. The pattern is stable and of long duration. Fourth Edition (DSM IV). circumstances. you have interviewed Mr. no amount of psychiatric assistance or medicines can help him improve his personality.I found out from her family background that the parents were separated. as indicated by five (or more) of the following: (1) is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention. if there are some doubts in our clinical interviews. (8) considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are. The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations. except the husband? A. 301.. Did you discover the antecedents of this disorder? A. your honor. or personality.16 provides general diagnostic criteria for personality disorders: A. An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture. Curiously. This pattern is manifested in two (2) or more of the following areas: (1) cognition (i. who supplied you this information? A. What tests did you give to him aside from the interview? A.17 34 . (2) interaction with others is often characterized inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior.By the way. and (6) feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself.e. specifically Cheryl – (interrupted). (3) has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval. a medication) or a general medical condition (e. The enduring pattern is not better accounted for as a manifestation or a consequence of another mental disorder. I would say that it is ingrained in his personality and therefore. F. nowhere in Dr. The alleged personality disorders of the parties have the following specified diagnostic criteria: 301. Dr.e. ways of perceiving and interpreting self. beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.5 HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking. Q. (7) urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends. Q. the range. a drug of abuse. (5) has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail. thinking. and exaggerated expression of emotion. as indicated by five (or more) of the following: (1) has difficulty making everyday decisions without excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.g. other people. (7) is suggestible. Significantly. (6) shows self-dramatization. could have been fully established by psychometric and neurological tests which are designed to measure specific aspects of people’s intelligence..As far as the gravity of the disorder of petitioner is concerned do you have any suggestions as to the cure of the same? A. an (3) displays rapidly shifting and shallow expressing of emotions.What did you find out? A. head trauma).. your honor. Q. and i.. you gave a conclusion that the respondent is suffering from Histrionic Personality Disorder associated with immaturity. (4) consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self.Now. and events) (2) affectivity (i.I did not give him any test because a psychological examination is given by a psychologist who acts as a laboratory aide to a psychiatrist and therefore. Q.15 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. E. ma’am.Doctora. (5) goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others. (4) has difficulty intiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy). C.Q. considering that such diagnoses were made.. Villegas’ global conclusion of both parties’ personality disorders was not supported by psychological tests properly administered by clinical psychologists specifically trained in the tests’ use and interpretation. D.Yes. by B. The enduring pattern leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social. and its onset can be traced back at least to adolescence or early adulthood.Because the psychological/psychiatric incapacity has been formed or developed during his early years of development.You never discussed the matter with the respondent or any of her relatives. Villegas’ Psychiatric Report and in her testimony does she link particular acts of the parties to the DSM IV’s list of criteria for the specific personality disorders. beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.e. occupational or other important areas of functioning.6 DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER A pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation. that is the time we refer the case to a psychologist for a sort of clarification in our clinical interviews. appropriateness of emotional response) (3) interpersonal functioning (4) impulse control lability.

NACHURA Associate Justice 35 . CV No. a copy of DSM IV. or any of the psychology textbooks. cannot tie the hands of the trial court and prevent it from making its own factual finding on what happened in this case. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. A judge should not substitute his own psychological assessment of the parties for that of the psychologist or the psychiatrist. ANTONIO EDUARDO B. Certainly. SO ORDERED.18 WHEREFORE. but rather in the assistance that he can render to the courts in showing the facts that serve as a basis for his criterion and the reasons upon which the logic of his conclusion is founded. and unsupported by separate psychological tests. The probative force of the testimony of an expert does not lie in a mere statement of his theory or opinion. as in all other litigations involving technical or special knowledge. the petition is hereby DENIED. The expert opinion of a psychiatrist arrived at after a maximum of seven (7) hours of interview. 74822 is hereby AFFIRMED. does not transform a lawyer or a judge into a professional psychologist. as applied to a certain set of facts.R. a judge must first and foremost resolve the legal question based on law and jurisprudence. However. a judge has the bounden duty to rule on what the law is.Concededly.

respondent sent a demand letter2 in her behalf to Aquino wherein he asked for the continuance of the monthly child support Aquino used to give. He notes that complainant is a college graduate and a former bank employee who speaks and understands English."5 On 14 February 2001. she and respondent started having a sexual relationship.00. assured by respondent's claim that the lawyer was free to marry her. and dire financial need at that time.000. Aquino allegedly offered to issue four postdated checks in equal amounts within four months. He denies forcing her to sign the document and strongly refutes her allegation that she did not know what the Affidavit was for and that she signed it without even reading it. However. respondent was able to appropriate for himself money that rightfully belonged to her daughter. from the usual. the same Affidavit adverted to by complainant.000. Disbarment and suspension of a lawyer.00. After several days. A classic case of "he said.00 cash and P58.: The allegations raised in this complaint for disbarment are more sordid. She narrates that this twist in the events began after respondent started calling on her shortly after he had sent the demand letter in her behalf. Sometime in 2002. respondent allegedly convinced complainant to sign an Affidavit of Disclaimer3 ("Affidavit") categorically stating that even as Aquino was denoted as the father in the birth certificate4 of her daughter. an extra-marital liaison. After several meetings with complainant. Aquino. assisted by Atty. In making false promises that all her problems would be solved. On 9 February 2001. He then advised her to study the proposal thoroughly and with a practical mindset. Tolentino. convincing and satisfactory proof. No. Her former classmate who was then a Barangay Secretary referred her to respondent.000.A. they had met through his 36 . He points out that. Furthermore. however. When Aquino rejected the amount. Rongcal (respondent). if not tawdry. close scrutiny of these claims is called for. Complainant narrates that she and respondent met sometime in December 2000 when she was looking for a lawyer to assist her in suing Arnulfo Aquino ("Aquino").00 for the surgical operation their daughter would need for her congenital heart ailment. for support. and his services as counsel for the prospective claim for support against Aquino. Jr. respondent. being the most severe forms of disciplinary sanction.10 Subsequently. she said. to ask support for the child.00. Although she did not say why. He likewise vehemently denies pocketing P58."11 complainant then being in her thirties. Rule 1. Tolentino. Tolentino"). she could still pursue a case against Aquino in the future because the Affidavit is not a public document. respondent admits of his sexual liaison with complainant.00 as alleged in the complaint. Expectedly. Complainant avers that respondent failed to protect her interest when he personally prepared the Affidavit and caused her to sign the same. Taking advantage of the trust and confidence she had in him as her counsel and paramour. DECISION TINGA. by complainant's own admission. He." the parties' conflicting versions of the facts as culled from the records are hereinafter presented. she signed the document "without even taking a glance at it.00 and promised to give her the balance of P58. As such. Complainant finally agreed to this arrangement and voluntarily signed the Affidavit that respondent prepared. should be imposed with great caution and only in those cases where the misconduct of the lawyer as an officer of the court and a member of the bar is established by clear. Rule 16. as he gave her the draft before the actual payment was made. As regards their illicit relationship. Respondent allegedly started courting her.00 of the settlement proceeds. He denies that he tricked her into believing that his marriage was already annulled. in truth. financial security for her daughter. he was. plus no less than P300.000. According to him. 2006 CATHERINE JOIE P. the biological father of her minor daughter. he still failed in his promise to give her a job.00 in cash and she allegedly told respondent that he could keep the remaining P38. The resulting amount was P188. When complainant allegedly signed the Affidavit. He learned that because of Aquino's infidelity. Vitug (complainant) against Atty. sometime in April or May 2001. it was more of a "chemistry of (sic) two consensual (sic) adults. necessary as it was the only way that Aquino would agree to give her daughter medical and educational support.00 soon thereafter.000. Respondent purportedly assured complainant that despite the Affidavit.000.000. She argues that respondent's aforementioned acts constitute a violation of his oath as a lawyer as well as the Code of Professional Responsibility ("Code"). She was not allowed to read the contents of the Affidavit. Because she completely trusted him at this point. At around this point. According to him. he assumed that it was for his attorney's fees. respondent informed her that he could not give her the said amount because he used it for his political campaign as he was then running for the position of Provincial Board Member of the 2nd District of Pampanga. aggravated by his assurance that his marriage had already been annulled. ATTY. He admits sending a demand letter to her former lover. Rule 16. While the criminal case was dismissed. she requested that he negotiate for an out-of-court settlement of no less than P500. her weak emotional state. vs. respondent devotes considerable effort to demonstrate that complainant very well knew he was married when they commenced what was to him. Federico S.000. RONGCAL. respondent handed her his personal check6 in the amount of P150. the emissary handed to her the sum of P150. Complainant disagreed.000. respondent allegedly deceived her into yielding to his sexual desires. J.00 in two (2) postdated checks to answer for the medical expenses of her daughter. he did not file the case against Aquino and referred her instead to Atty. complainant needed a lawyer who would file the aforementioned action for support. and Canon 7.000.000.02.01. Diosdado M. Respondent supposedly assured her that the document meant nothing. Complainant maintains that inspite of their sexual relationship and the fact that respondent kept part of the money intended for her daughter. the civil case was decided on 30 August 2004 by virtue of a compromise agreement.C. respondent allegedly advised complainant that Aquino gave him P150.01. Strangely. to the accompaniment of sweet inducements such as the promise of a job. not P58. DIOSDADO M.7 It was only when said cases were filed that she finally understood the import of the Affidavit. Complainant's former high school classmate Reinilda Bansil Morales.00. his relationship with his wife was strained so that in order to settle things the spouses were willing to give complainant a lump sum provided she would execute an affidavit to the effect that Aquino is not the father of her daughter. He also explained to her the pros and cons of pursuing the case. complainant. he and Aquino communicated through an emissary. denies luring her with sweet words and empty promises. Instead of turning them over to her. Aquino then proposed to rediscount the checks at an interest of 4% a month or a total of P12.000. VITUG. Soon he had progressed to making sexual advances towards complainant. giving her financial aid. particularly Rule 1. ("Atty.1 Under consideration is the administrative complaint for disbarment filed by Catherine Joie P. 6313 September 7.02. negotiations ensued until the amount was lowered to P200. referred her to him. not the real father. Respondent relayed this proposal to complainant who asked for his advice. Complainant acknowledges that she succumbed to these advances. complainant filed a criminal case for child abuse as well as a civil case against Aquino. which obviously worked to her disadvantage.00. respondent presents a different version.8 Hence. she filed the instant complaint9 dated 2 February 2004. she claims. first.000. as his own marriage had already been annulled. who was also his fellow barangay official.

On several occasions[. however. clearly showed that he is wanting in good moral character. The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the said Report and Recommendation in a Resolution16 dated 17 December 2005. she filed the instant complaint. Respondent further alleges that while the demand for support from Aquino was being worked out. and which act is not "so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree"20 in order to merit disciplinary sanction. the loss thereof is a ground for the revocation of such privilege. but grossly immoral. In July 2003. We disagree. Tolentino. He. including suspension and disbarment. through the above mentioned acts. He reiterates his own version of the facts. From a lawyer. x x x15 It was then recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for six (6) months and that he be ordered to return to complainant the amount of P58. she allegedly started to pester respondent for financial assistance and urged him to file the Petition for Support against Aquino. He took advantage of her seeming financial woes and emotional dependency.21 As officers of the court. flagrant.00 to complainant. they had allegedly first met at his residence where she was actually introduced to his wife. or shameless act that shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members of the community.] respondent kept on calling complainant and dropped by her house and gave P2. giving a more detailed account of the events that transpired between him and complainant. she again asked for financial assistance for the last time. While we find respondent liable. respondent ignored her demand. referred her to Atty. After presenting the parties' conflicting factual versions.00 within two months. Morales. One of the conditions prior to admission to the bar is that an applicant must possess good moral character. Ms.colleague. respondent does not deny that he had an extra-marital affair with complainant. which he turned down. But months passed and the promised job never came so that she had to return to Lubao. he also advised her "to look for the right man"12 and to stop depending on him for financial assistance. xxxx Without doubt.00 for a sari-sari store she was putting up and she wanted him to relay the message to respondent. Respondent agreed. Arguing that the IBP based its Resolution solely on complainant's bare allegations that she failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence.000. complainant allegedly went to see a friend of respondent. otherwise. According to this friend. finding the same to be fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules. True enough. and was elected President of the Association of Barangay Council ("ABC") and as such was an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Guagua.24 It is a willful. are (sic) expected those qualities of truthspeaking. complainant begged him to continue the assistance until June when her alleged fiancé from the United States would have arrived. Respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration with Motion to Set Case for Clarificatory Questioning18 ("Motion") dated 9 March 2006 with the IBP and a Motion to Reopen/Remand Case for Clarificatory Questioning dated 22 March 2006 with the Supreme Court. As the money she received from Aquino was about to be exhausted. putting in doubt his professional reputation as a member of the BAR and renders him unfit and unworthy of the privileges which the law confers to him. he alleges. She told him that she was in need of P5. In August 2002. the Investigating Commissioner rendered his Report and Recommendation14 dated 2 September 2005.13 After the parties submitted their respective position papers and supporting documents. Respondent.25 While it is has been held in disbarment cases that the mere fact of sexual relations between two unmarried adults is not sufficient to warrant administrative sanction for such illicit behavior. Since then he had stopped communicating to her. he portrays complainant as a shrewd and manipulative woman who depends on men for financial support and who would stop at nothing to get what she wants. to wit: Respondent. Second. complainant called his residence several times and actually spoke to his wife.27 Even if not all forms of extra-marital relations are punishable under penal law. as he was the one who prepared and notarized the Affidavit. the Investigating Commissioner gave credence to that of complainant and concluded that respondent clearly violated the Code. complainant moved to a rented house in Olongapo City because a suitor had promised her a job in the Subic Naval Base. While respondent acceded to her pleas.000. we adjudicate the matter differently from what the IBP has recommended. Altogether. Since then. Said requirement persists as a continuing condition for the enjoyment of the privilege of law practice. report and recommendation."17 respondent was meted out the penalty of suspension for one (1) year with a stern warning that a repetition of similar acts will merit severe sanctions. albeit brief and discreet.23 A grossly immoral act is one that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a high degree. complainant showed him a prepared complaint against respondent that she would file with the Supreme Court should the latter not accede to her request. a circumstance so disturbing to respondent that he had to beg complainant not to call him there.26 it is not so with respect to betrayals of the marital vow of fidelity. and "considering Respondent's obviously taking advantage of the lawyer-client relationship and the financial and emotional problem of his client and attempting to mislead the Commission. Sometime in January 2004. Thus. lawyers must not only in fact be of good moral character but must also be seen to be of good moral character and leading lives in accordance with the highest moral standards of the community. Pampanga. respondent finally ended his relationship with complainant. they have ceased to meet and have communicated only through an emissary or by cellphone. high sense of honor. he posits the case should be re-opened for clarificatory questioning in order to determine who between them is telling the truth.000. the case was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines ("IBP") for investigation. reporting in this wise. intellectual honesty and the strictest observance of fiduciary responsibility all of which throughout the passage of time have been compendiously described as MORAL CHARACTER.000. Subsequently. but still he agreed to give her monthly financial assistance of P6. Third.00 for six (6) months.22 The Court has held that to justify suspension or disbarment the act complained of must not only be immoral. a friend and former high school classmate of hers. full candor. sexual relations outside marriage is considered disgraceful and immoral as it manifests deliberate disregard of the sanctity of marriage and the marital vows protected by the Constitution and affirmed by our laws. On the charge of immorality. unfortunately took advantage and (sic) every opportunity to entice complainant to his lascivious hungerness (sic). He also informed her that he could not assist her in filing the case. In a Resolution19 dated 27 April 2006. He was likewise ordered to return P58.000. Sensing that he was being blackmailed.28 37 . a violation of the high moral standards of the legal profession justifies the impositions (sic) of the appropriate penalty. It signals the numerous visits and regular calls all because of [l]ewd design.00 as aid while waiting allegedly for the reply of (sic) their demand letter for support. In 2003. He ran for the position of Provincial Board Member in 2001. he was known in his locality and it was impossible for complainant not to have known of his marital status especially that she lived no more than three (3) kilometers away from his house and even actively helped him in his campaign. the IBP denied the Motion on the ground that it has no more jurisdiction over the case as the matter had already been endorsed to the Supreme Court. he was the Punong Barangay from 1994 to 2002. On 21 July 2004. Pampanga.

being at that time in her thirties. The Affidavit consists of four short sentences contained in a single page.00. complainant insists that she should have received more as there were two postdated checks amounting to P58. precisely the fact on which the finding of immorality is rooted.000. She herself admitted that they were introduced by her friend and former classmate. She also knew that respondent is an active barangay official who even ran as Provincial Board Member in 2001.000. if it were true that she preferred "to change [her] life for the better.000. The next question to consider is whether this act is aggravated by his alleged deceitful conduct in luring complainant who was then in low spirits and in dire financial need in order to satisfy his carnal desires. She alleged that respondent even urged her "to use her head as Arnulfo Aquino will not give the money for Alexandra's medical and educational support if she will not sign the said Affidavit of Disclaimer. she never refuted respondent's allegations that she had met and talked to his wife on several occasions.000. we only have complainant's bare allegations that cannot be considered evidence. Hence. We cannot and should not rule on mere conjectures. Moreover.00 and pocketed the remaining P58. We scrutinized the records and found not a single evidence to prove that there existed two postdated checks issued by Aquino in the amount of P58. Considering that she previously had an affair with Aquino. Neither does complainant's allegation that respondent lied to her about his marital status inspire belief.00. would not be easily fooled into sexual congress by promises of a job and of free legal assistance.00 more – and complainant said he could have it and he assumed it was for his attorney's fees. 38 . Furthermore. It was not unlawful for respondent to assist his client in entering into a settlement with Aquino after explaining all available options to her. she alleged that he likewise acted as counsel for Aquino. if not badgering. We note that there is no clear evidence as to how much Aquino actually gave in settlement of complainant's claim for support. It also goes to show that she was pondering on whether to sign the same. It is unlikely she was not able to read it before she signed it."30 as alleged in her complaint. it shows that she was aware of the on-going negotiation with Aquino for the settlement of her claim for which the latter demanded the execution of the Affidavit. complainant charged respondent of taking advantage of his legal skills and moral control over her to force her to sign the clearly disadvantageous Affidavit without letting her read it and without explaining to her its repercussions. an educated woman like herself who was of sufficient age and discretion. However. a more in-depth investigation is called for to ascertain in whose favor the substantial evidence level tilts. She admitted that she knew his residence phone number and that she had called him there. is a violation of the Code. We rule in the negative. With the inconclusive state of the evidence. especially when there is no showing that she is suffering from any mental or physical disability as to justify such recklessness and/or helplessness on her part. the circumstance that he gave her P2. so as not to have known of his marital status. it would be unnatural for her to have just plunged into a sexual relationship with respondent whom she had known for only a short time without verifying his background. he allegedly issued to her his personal check in the amount of P150. In the absence of contrary evidence.000. we are constrained to remand the case to the IBP for further reception of evidence solely on this aspect. We find complainant's assertions dubious. It was only in his Motion for Reconsideration where respondent belatedly proffers an explanation. The law encourages the amicable settlement not only of pending cases but also of disputes which might otherwise be filed in court. The IBP relied only on the written assertions of the parties. Respondent essentially agrees that the amount is in fact more than P150. we find otherwise. While acting as her counsel.01 of the Code which states that a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful.33 Moreover. there is on record a photocopy of a check issued by respondent in favor of complainant for P150. him for financial support.000. The inevitable conclusion is that she signed the Affidavit voluntarily and without any coercion whatsoever on the part of respondent. that she helped him in his campaign. are insufficient to conclude that complainant deceived her into having sexual relations with her. a document disadvantageous to his client. Ms. Curiously. it proves that he courted her despite being a married man.000.00. We feel a discussion is in order.00 as aid does not induce belief that he fueled her financial dependence as she never denied pleading with.29 Respondent's numerous visits and regular calls to complainant do not necessarily prove that he took advantage of her. Besides. there is no showing that he knew for sure that Aquino is the father of complainant's daughter as paternity remains to be proven. The parties are in agreement that complainant received the amount of P150. apparently finding no need to subject the veracity of the assertions through the question and answer modality.34 Suspicion."32 If her own allegation is to be believed.00 but presented no evidence of an agreement for attorney's fees to justify his presumption that he can keep the same. Surely. she does not deny being a college graduate or that she knows and understands English.00 to complainant. We cannot fathom how she could abandon all cares to respondent who she had met for only a couple of months and thereby risk the welfare of her child by signing without even reading a document she knew was related to the support case she intended to file. She was clearly in need of financial support from Aquino especially that her daughter was suffering from a heart ailment. The question remains as to whether his act of preparing and notarizing the Affidavit. Curiously. As complainant voluntarily and intelligently agreed to a settlement with Aquino. On the other hand. Again. that she lived near his residence.35 Complainant further charged respondent of misappropriating part of the money given by Aquino to her daughter. what will prevail is the presumption that the respondent has regularly performed his duty in accordance with his oath. is not enough.By his own admission. respondent admits that there is actually an amount of P38.00 – but only P38. He avers that he cannot recall what the check was for but he supposes that complainant requested for it as she did not want to travel all the way to Olongapo City with a huge sum of money. Likewise obscure is her assertion that respondent did not fully explain to her the contents of the Affidavit and the consequences of signing it. The IBP did not make any categorical finding on this matter but simply ordered respondent to return the amount of P58. The Affidavit is written in short and simple sentences that are understandable even to a layman. While the IBP concluded the question in the affirmative. Instead of turning over the whole amount.00 that respondent never turned over to her.000.000. We find the circumstances rather suspicious but evidence is wanting to sustain a finding in favor of either party in this respect. the record is bereft of evidence as to whether respondent also acted as Aquino's counsel in the settlement of the case. she cannot later blame her counsel when she experiences a change of heart. We believe that her aforementioned allegations of deceit were not established by clear preponderant evidence required in disbarment cases. Morales who was a fellow barangay official of respondent.31 We are left with the most logical conclusion that she freely and wittingly entered into an illicit and immoral relationship with respondent sans any misrepresentation or deceit on his part.000. At best. Next. immoral or deceitful conduct.00 in violation of his fiduciary obligation to her as her counsel.000. dishonest. respondent is obviously guilty of immorality in violation of Rule 1. Complainant's allegations that she succumbed to respondent's sexual advances due to his promises of financial security and because of her need for legal assistance in filing a case against her former lover. We find credence in respondent's assertion that it was impossible for her not to have known of his subsisting marriage. or that she knew a lot of his friends. who was also a married man. no matter how strong.

we believe that a fine of P15.00 for his conduct unbecoming a magistrate despite his retirement during the pendency of the case.45 In Zaguirre v.41 cohabited with a married woman. Quisumbing.47 where respondent judge consorted with a woman not his wife. J. we find Atty. premises considered. Diosdado M. and furnished the Bar Confidant. Jr. in Fr. Let a copy of this decision be entered in the personal record of respondent as an attorney and as a member of the Bar.000. of course. concur.40 abandoned his family to cohabit with his paramour. he was fined P10.We also are unable to grant complainant's prayer for respondent to be made liable for the cost of her child's DNA test absent proof that he misappropriated funds exclusively earmarked for the purpose. heed the stern injunction on decreeing disbarment where any lesser penalty..00 would suffice. Neither shall we entertain complainant's claim for moral damages and attorney's fees. one that is distinct from a civil or a criminal action.J.36 It is an investigation by the Court into the fitness of a lawyer to remain in the legal profession and be allowed the privileges as such. We. The charge of misappropriation of funds of the client is REMANDED to the IBP for further investigation.000. WHEREFORE. would accomplish the end desired. is without prejudice to the outcome of the aspect of this case involving the alleged misappropriation of funds of the client. There is a string of cases where the Court meted out the extreme penalty of disbarment on the ground of gross immorality where the respondent contracted a bigamous marriage. Sinnott v.38 The complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the lawyer's alleged misconduct is in no sense a party. Castillo. the Court suspended him indefinitely. Carpio-Morales. therefore. report and recommendation within ninety (90) days from receipt of this Decision. herein respondent had expressed remorse over his indiscretion and had in fact ended the brief illicit relationship years ago. We note that from the very beginning of this case.00 with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely. SO ORDERED. Carpio. Its primary objective is to protect the Court and the public from the misconduct of its officers with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and the proper and honest administration of justice by requiring that those who exercise this important function shall be competent. Suffice it to state that an administrative case against a lawyer is sui generis.000.48 Considering further that this is his first offense.39 Respondent's misconduct is of considerable gravity. but there was no conclusive evidence that he sired a child with her. He therein sought understanding from the Court pointing out the polygamous nature of men and that the illicit relationship was a product of mutual lust and desire.43 or was found to be a womanizer.44 The instant case can be easily differentiated from the foregoing cases.42 lured an innocent woman into marriage.. This. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Court Administrator for circulation to all courts in the country. However. Judge Barte.37 As such. honorable and reliable men and women in whom courts and clients may repose confidence. 39 . Rongcal GUILTY of immorality and impose on him a FINE of P15. such as temporary suspension. it involves no private interest and affords no redress for private grievance.46 respondent was found to have sired a child with another woman who knew he was married. Velasco. Chairperson. We take these as signs that his is not a character of such severe depravity and thus should be taken as mitigating circumstances in his favor. Appalled at his reprehensible and amoral attitude. and has generally no interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. .

private respondents. 1979. service of summons on the putative parent shall be as provided for under Rule 14. Branch XLVII in Civil Case No. prohibition or mandamus or alternatively.00 for attorney's fees. petitioner represented by his mother and natural guardian. Ordering the defendant to give plaintiff the amount of P2. is unmeritorious. 1985. ARLENE F. and 3. Thus. 3 On September 19. the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Costs against private respondents. the first. 1984 which was denied in the Order of September 12. 1984. We find merit in the petition. filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of January 25. in which cases the action is brought against the putative parent's heirs. Secondly. prior recognition of the minor natural child in a document other than a record of birth or a will. Teodoro Hernaez. Rule 72 of the Rules of Court. It appears from the records that on September 2. this action should be considered a proceeding in personam. Thereafter. petitioner filed a motion to require private respondent Teodoro Hernaez to deposit support in arrears or to be cited for contempt. 1985 of the Intermediate Appellate Court (now Court of Appeals) 1 in AC-G. filed a petition for certiorari.00 to the minor until he reaches the age of majority or completes his education or training commencing February 10. in a case for compulsory recognition. Teodoro G. 1984 on the ground that the motion was filed out of time and the petition did not comply with Section 3 of Rule 38 of the Revised Rules of Court. and the second. No.. Hon. First of all. 1986. which held as void the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. DOUGLAS F. Jr. NIEL F.. an action for the annulment of judgment with preliminary injunction with the Intermediate Appellate Court.00 monthly support. the monthly support shall be paid within the first five (5) days of the succeeding months. On June 29. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT. TEODORO HERNAEZ. Petitioner. WHEREFORE. It is petitioner's contention that the requirement of publication is not necessary in an action for compulsory acknowledgment and support of an illegitimate child since said action is not one of the instances enumerated in Section 1 of Rule 72 of the Revised Rules of Court requiring publication of the petition before jurisdiction can be acquired by the Court. On March 20. However. et al. Branch XLVII. 1985 which was also granted by the trial court on February 20. implicit in both Articles 283 7 and 285 8 of the Civil Code is the general rule that an action for compulsory recognition should the brought against the putative father. Private respondents then filed a motion for clarification inquiring as to whether their appeal which was granted on January 25. SR. and the decision dated March 23.R. vs. 1984 shall be paid within the first five (5) days of July. and MA. one (1) month after this Decision shall have become final and executory.e. which shall be deposited with the Cashier of the Regional Trial Courts of Manila at City Hall. 1984. An action for compulsory recognition of minor natural children is not among cases of special proceedings mentioned in Section 1. ESTRELLA G. al. NOCON. Teodoro G. HERNAEZ. Teodoro Hernaez thru his new counsel. Private respondents' claim that notice of an action for compulsory recognition should also be given to the wife and legitimate children of the putative parent. on April 10.. petitioner moved to dismiss the appeal as the decision of the trial court has become final and executory. HERNAEZ. HON. 1986. or when after the death of the parent a document should appear of which nothing had been heard and in which either or both of the parents recognize the child. 1985. filed another Petition for Relief from Judgment alleging that he was not aware of the decision of the lower court. EVELYN PALMES.. two (2) months after the first installment. Ordoñez Benitez. Declaring plaintiff. In fine. private respondents' counsel requested for 10 days within which to comply with the questioned decision. private respondent's wife. which is absent in the instant case. Evelyn Palmes. Consequently. FERDINAND R. judgment is hereby rendered: 1. the party in the best position to oppose the same is the putative parent himself. Regina G. 1984. During the hearing of the motion for contempt. JR. Said action shall be brought against the putative parent only. SP-05928. 1984 4 for lack of merit and on the ground that the decision had already become final and executory. HERNAEZ. instead of complying with said decision. 1984 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. private respondents appealed which was granted in an order dated January 25..1984.: This petition seeks the review of the decision dated November 6. ESTRELLITA F.G. petitioner. 1986 was subsequently denied because of the order of February 20.. WINSTON F. together with their six children likewise filed a Petition for Relief from Judgment with Motion to Intervene because they were not included as parties in the instant case. The monthly support for June. Manila. Teodoro Hernaez filed a Motion to Give Due Course to Appeal or Petition for Relief on August 8. Under the "expressio unius est exclussio alterius" principle on statutory construction. in Civil Case No. Sr. Teodoro Palmes Hernaez. respondents. which petitions and motion were denied in the order of December 21. HERNAEZ. E-02786 declaring petitioner Teodoro Palmes Hernaez. The case at bar does not fall under Rule 105 of the Rules of Court since the same applies only to cases falling under Article 281 of the Civil Code where there has been a voluntary recognition of the minor natural child. On the same date. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. such an action should be governed by the rules on ordinary civil actions. Hernaez and entitled to a P400. Hernaez. Realizing the defect in his notice of appeal. i. HERNAEZ. from whom plaintiff's mother or her duly authorized representative may withdraw the same. Hernaez. The total amount in arrears shall be paid in two equal installments. E-02786 is hereby REINSTATED and AFFIRMED. on the other hand. 5 which declared the decision of the trial court null and void for lack of summons by publication being an action in rem. No. 73864 May 7. Ordering said defendant to give a monthly support of P400. an action for compulsory recognition is an ordinary civil action. From said order. as the recognized natural child of private respondent Teodoro G. vs. HERNAEZ. 1980. A decision dated March 23. petitioner instituted this Petition for Review. 6 Their motion for reconsideration having been denied on February 21. et. 2 As the appeal was filed beyond the reglementary period of 15 days as mandated by Section 39 of Batas Pambansa 129. Teodoro Hernaez filed a notice of appeal of said decision which he received on May 31. The trial court issued an order declaring that there is no need for a clarification. 9 the exceptions being the instances when either the putative parent died during the minority of the child. 1985. 2. Jr. 1992 TEODORO PALMES HERNAEZ. HERNAEZ. represented by his mother and natural guardian.R. J. filed a complaint with the then Juvenile and Domestic Court (now Regional Trial Court) against Teodoro Hernaez for acknowledgment and support with support pendente lite. 40 . 1984 was rendered by said court. his heirs may be made party defendants only under the circumstances mentioned in Article 285. 1985. the recognized natural child of defendant.000. Estrella Hernaez.

41 .SO ORDERED.

SP No. On 21 January 2003. and FOKKER C. as owner of the said truck and employer of Pinion.00. The factual and procedural antecedents of this case are as follows: On 1 March 2002.000. WHEREFORE. 76206 denying due course to the petition for certiorari filed by petitioner under Rule 65.: For this Court to grant this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Proceeding on the assumption that the cause of action is the claim of (sic) for damages in the total amount of P490.000. however. the driver of a truck involved in a traffic accident. vs. Petitioner claims that actions for damages based on quasi-delict are actions that are capable of pecuniary estimation. he was not aware that the court would grant no further extension. Damages are being claimed only as a result of the alleged fault or negligence of both defendants under Article 2176 of the Civil Code in the case of defendant Pinion and under Article 2180 also of the Civil Code in the case of defendant Iniego. but from the petitioner’s refusal to pay the actual damages. the dispositive portion thereof reads: WHEREFORE. But since fault or negligence (quasi-delicts) could not be the subject of pecuniary estimation.5 On 22 November 2004. Manila. acting as presiding judge of the RTC.00 in order that it may fall under the jurisdiction of the RTC.R. Second. in CA-G.1Petitioner. The complaint stemmed from a vehicular accident that happened on 11 December 1999. Pertinent portions of the 21 January 2003 Order are reproduced hereunder: What this court referred to in its Order sought to be reconsidered as not capable of pecuniary estimation is the CAUSE OF ACTION. J. But is the main cause of action the claim for damages? This court is of the view that the main cause of action is not the claim for damages but quasi-delict. that the moral and exemplary damages claimed by private respondent be excluded from the computation of the total amount of damages for jurisdictional purposes because the said moral and exemplary damages arose. and against petitioner Artemio Iniego.00.000. elevating the 21 October 2002 Omnibus Order and the 21 January 2003 Order of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). And Municipal Circuit Trial Courts). which was denied by the Court of Appeals on 26 January 2005. CHICO-NAZARIO. in his official capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court. The HONORABLE JUDGE GUILLERMO G.000. hence.00. among other things.2 DENIED DUE COURSE and On 7 November 2002. he has to convince us that the moral and exemplary damages claimed by the private respondent should be excluded from the computation of the above-mentioned jurisdictional amount because they arose from a cause of action other than the negligent act of the defendant. Petitioner asserts.00. On 28 August 2002. the jurisdiction in such cases falls upon either the municipal courts (the Municipal Trial Courts. this court has jurisdiction. he has to convince us that actions for damages based on quasi-delict are actions that are capable of pecuniary estimation.00. which is quasi-delict and NOT the amount of damage prayed for. No. the motion for Petitioner elevated the 21 October 2002 and 21 January 2003 Orders of the RTC to the Court of Appeals on petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. The order dated 12 August 2002 was sent to a wrong address.000. Branch 42. private respondent Fokker Santos filed a complaint for quasi-delict and damages against Jimmy T. I Actions for damages based on quasi-delicts are primarily and effectively actions for the recovery of a sum of money for the damages suffered because of the defendant’s alleged tortious acts. not from the quasi-delict. depending on the value of the damages claimed. The Motion to Admit Motion to Dismiss has to be granted and the Motion to declare Defendant IÑEGO [in default] has to be DENIED. public respondent Judge Guillermo G. the motion to declare defendant Iniego in default and the said defendant’s motion to dismiss are denied. when a freight truck allegedly being driven by Pinion hit private respondent’s jitney which private respondent was driving at the time of the accident. and therefore would fall under the jurisdiction of the municipal courts if the claim does not exceed the jurisdictional amount of P400. The plaintiff opines that this court has exclusive jurisdiction because the cause of action is the claim for damages. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. City of Manila.3 ARTEMIO INIEGO. or the Regional Trial Courts.4 the foregoing. in view of reconsideration is DENIED. Branch 42. this court has exclusive jurisdiction. Respondents. 166876 March 24. in view of all the foregoing. Eighth Division. Petitioner urges us to reverse the 28 October 2004 Decision and 26 January 2005 Resolution of the Court of Appeals. Metropolitan Trial Courts. which exceeds P400. the petition is DENIED DUE COURSE and dismissed for lack of merit. petitioner moved for reconsideration. The explanation of defendant IÑEGO has merit.00. On 21 October 2002. Since it was not received. moral damages in the amount of P300. Pinion. Municipal Trial Courts In Cities. issued the assailed Omnibus Order denying the Motion to Dismiss of the petitioner and the Motion to Declare Defendant in Default of the private respondent. petitioner has to persuade us on two engaging questions of law. Excluding attorney’s fees in the amount of P50.000. public respondent issued an Order denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. then the total amount of damages claimed by the private respondent must exceed P400. the Court of Appeals promulgated the assailed Decision. that his 3rd Motion for additional Time to file or any appropriate [pleading] would be granted. The dispositive portion of the 28 October 2004 Decision of the Court of Appeals reads: WHEREFORE. thus defendant IÑEGO did not receive it.000. City of Manila. First. xxxx WHEREFORE. But believing in good faith. petitioner filed a Motion to Admit and a Motion to Dismiss the 42 . Pertinent portions of the Omnibus Order and the dispositive portion thereof read: In his opposition to the motion to declare him in default and his Motion to Admit defendant IÑEGO alleged that he never received the Order dated 12 August 2002. the total amount of damages being claimed is P490. PURGANAN. R.000. Branch 42.00. this present petition. The complaint prays for actual damages in the amount of P40. Purganan. Hence.G.000. without being presumptuous. and exemplary damages in the amount of P150. 2006 complaint on the ground. petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Omnibus Order of 21 October 2002. and are therefore capable of pecuniary estimation. On 24 August 2002. Petitioner argues further that should this Court find actions for damages capable of pecuniary estimation. that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the cause of action of the case. he filed the aforesaid Motion received by the Court on 23 August 2002. SANTOS.00 in Metro Manila. On 28 October 2004. private respondent filed a Motion to Declare defendant in Default allegedly for failure of the latter to file his answer within the final extended period.

restitution. although the ground used to challenge said jurisdiction was an alleged forum shopping.13 (Emphasis supplied. depending on the amount of damages claimed. The Court of Appeals affirmed respondent Judge in this respect. For such fault or negligence to be actionable. Subsection (d) of said section provides that where the claims in all such joined causes of action are principally for recovery of money. 129." Fault or negligence. Justice Jose B. only the claim for actual damages in the amount of P40.P. We cannot give credence to petitioner’s arguments.L. where the basic issue is something other than the right to recover a sum of money. and are cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance [now Regional Trial Courts]. This money claim is the principal relief sought. As such. of the Rules of Court allows a party to assert as many causes of action as he may have against the opposing party. the principal relief sought like suits to have the defendant perform his part of the contract (specific performance) and in actions for support. inclusive of the moral and exemplary damages claimed. MINITA V. for the sake of argument. x x x. and not the delict or wrong committed by the defendant. which is a quasi-delict..00 will be considered. It is crystal clear from B.) Actions for damages based on quasi-delicts are primarily and effectively actions for the recovery of a sum of money for the damages suffered because of the defendant’s alleged tortious acts. whether the claims for damages arise from the same or from different causes of action. Reyes: In determining whether an action is one the subject matter of which is not capable of pecuniary estimation this Court has adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the principal action or remedy sought. Inc. in relation to which the suit is prosecuted. No costs. The distinction he made between damages arising directly from injuries in a quasi-delict and those arising from a refusal to admit liability for a quasi-delict is more apparent than real. the claim is considered capable of pecuniary estimation. The relief available to the offended party in such cases is for the reparation.In a recent case. we find that the total amount of damages claimed by the private respondent nevertheless still exceeds the jurisdictional limit of P400. the RTC has jurisdiction. which are thus sought to be recovered by the plaintiff. It bears to point out that the complaint filed by private respondent before the RTC actually bears the caption "for DAMAGES.7 From this. that what must be determined to be capable or incapable of pecuniary estimation is not the cause of action.. All claims for damages should be considered in determining the jurisdiction of the court regardless of whether they arose from a single cause of action or several causes of action. actions for damages based on quasi-delicts are actions that are capable of pecuniary estimation. are AFFIRMED insofar as they held that the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction. Despite our concurrence in petitioner’s claim that actions for damages based on quasi-delict are actions that are capable of pecuniary estimation. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated 28 October 2004 and 26 January 2005. considering that the total amount claimed. other than the fault or negligence of the defendant) should not be included in the computation of the jurisdictional amount. as amended by Republic Act No. since it is the claim for all kinds of damages that is the basis of determining the jurisdiction of courts. The damages claimed in such actions represent the monetary equivalent of the injury caused to the plaintiff by the defendant. Jurisdiction in the case at bar remains with the RTC. and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in the courts of first instance [now Regional Trial Courts] would depend on the amount of the claim.000. However.000. 7691. SO ORDERED. since it is the claim for all kinds of damages that is the basis of determining the jurisdiction of courts. and not the amount of damage prayed for. whether or not the different claims for damages are based on a single cause of action or different causes of action. Scandia. the petition for review on certiorari is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. respectively.8 Respondent Judge’s observation is erroneous. In sum. the money. and is not merely incidental thereto or a consequence thereof. or payment of such damage.00 and remains under the jurisdiction of the RTC. chattels. According to petitioner. this court has considered such actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be estimated in terms of money. According to respondent Judge.15 Hence. II The amount of damages claimed is within the jurisdiction of the RTC. is not actionable by itself. Petitioner argues that in actions for damages based on quasidelict. Section 5. is inextricably intertwined with the claim for damages."11 The case of Lapitan v. the "subject matter of the action" is "the physical facts. If it is primarily for the recovery of a sum of money. is P490..000. CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice 43 . without distinction.12 has guided this Court time and again in determining whether the subject matter of the action is capable of pecuniary estimation. they fall within the jurisdiction of either the RTC or the municipal courts. 129. as the damages sought by respondent originate from the same cause of action: the quasi-delict. therefore. Rule 2. the Court spoke through the eminent Mr. In Lapitan. respondent Judge concluded that since fault or negligence in quasi-delicts cannot be the subject of pecuniary estimation. and therefore there is no reasonable cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the claim for moral and exemplary damages. the aggregate amount claimed shall be the test of jurisdiction. the moral and exemplary damages claimed by the respondents in the case at bar are not direct and proximate consequences of the alleged negligent act. the thing real or personal. and there can be no action based on quasidelict without a claim for damages. without which any alleged offended party has no cause of action or relief. and the MeTC will have jurisdiction. et al. Blg. Even assuming.e. We therefore rule that the subject matter of actions for damages based on quasi-delict is capable of pecuniary estimation. Petitioner points out that the complaint itself stated that such moral and exemplary damages arose from the alleged refusal of defendants to honor the demand for damages."10 On the other hand. where the money claim is purely incidental to. The fault or negligence of the employee and the juris tantum presumption of negligence of his employer in his selection and supervision are the seeds of the damages claimed. there must be a resulting damage to a third person. it is the total amount thereof which shall govern. the amount of damages claimed is within the jurisdiction of the RTC. and not the applicability of Section 19(1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. their inclusion in the computation of damages for jurisdictional purposes is still proper. what he referred to in his assailed Order as not capable of pecuniary estimation is the cause of action.6 we did affirm the jurisdiction of a Municipal Circuit Trial Court in actions for damages based on quasi-delict. WHEREFORE. The fault or negligence of the defendant.9 A cause of action is "the delict or wrongful act or omission committed by the defendant in violation of the primary rights of the plaintiff. whether the claims for damages arise from the same or from different causes of action. which the Court of Appeals claims is not capable of pecuniary estimation. but the subject matter of the action. lands. or for annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a mortgage. In this case.14 If the claims for moral and exemplary damages are not included in the computation for purposes of determining jurisdiction. and the like. claims for damages arising from a different cause of action (i.00. or a consequence of. that the claims for moral and exemplary damages arose from a cause of action other than the quasi-delict.

44 . It is. shall conform to such rules and regulations that may be issued by PAL. Inc. (8) Discipline and administration of the security guards shall be the sole responsibility of the CONTRACTOR to the end that CONTRACTOR shall be able to render the desired security service requirements of PAL.000.: This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to annul the decision of the Labor Arbiter dated 12 August 1991 in NLRC Case No. or agents. loss or damage arising from the negligence of or carelessness of the guards of the CONTRACTOR or of anyone of its employ to any person or persons or to its or their property whether in the premises of PAL or elsewhere. The dispute arose from these antecedents: On 23 December 1987. respectively. allegedly “in its capacity as Trustee for Sixteen or so Security Guards. ammunitions and facilities needed for the rendition of the security services as aforesaid. vs. any and all liability or on account of any such injury.909. et al. and not as to the means and methods for accomplishing such result. Pertinent portions of the complaint read as follows: 3. salaries and compensation of the guards or employees of the CONTRACTOR shall be within its full control but shall in no way contravene existing laws on the matter. By virtue of said contract and upon its effectivity. their performance of work and services under this Agreement. work out with CONTRACTOR such rules and regulations before their implementation. CONTRACTOR.00 representing termination pay benefit due the alleged 16 additional security guards. In November 1990. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the parties from meeting for a review of the rates should circumstances warrant. guard or agent under this Agreement. respondents. and PAL shall in no manner be answerable or accountable for any accident or injury of any kind which may occur to any guard or guards of the CONTRACTOR in the course of. Among the pertinent terms and conditions of the agreement are as follows: (4) The CONTRACTOR shall assign to PAL an initial force of EIGHTY ONE (81) bodies … which may be decreased or increased by agreement in writing … . and also for attorney’s fees in an amount equivalent to 10% of whatever might be recovered. respondent asked for sixteen (16) security guards to render twelve (12) hours each. At its discretion. on or sometime in August 1989.00 for each of the 16 guards as damages for the delay in the performance of PAL’s obligation. xxx (20) This Agreement shall take effect on 06 December 1987 an shall be in force for a period of SIX (6) MONTHS – 05 JUNE 1988 thereafter it shall continue indefinitely unless sooner terminated upon thirty (30) days notice served upon by one party to the other. The determination of wages. as amended and the Medical Care Act. 1996] PHILIPPINE AIRLINES. petitioner. and shall indemnify PAL for any liability or expense it may incur by reason thereof and to hold PAL free and harmless from any such liability. respondent required eighty-six (86) security guards whom complainant USSI supplied. For this purpose. 120506. (7) CONTRACTOR shall select. 00-11-06008-90 and the resolutions of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) promulgated on 27 October 1994 and 31 May 1995 dismissing the appeal filed by the petitioner and denying the motion for reconsideration. a complaint[2] against PAL for the recovery of P75. INC. No. employees. Sometime in August of 1988.. at the expense of CONTRACTOR. as amended. (10) The security guards employed by CONTRACTOR in performing this Agreement shall be paid by the CONTRACTOR and it is distinctly understood that there is no employeeemployer relationship between CONTRACTOR and/or his guards on the one hand. engage and discharge the guards. the different Presidential Decrees. and the CONTRACTOR hereby covenants and agrees to assume. with the necessary firearms. HON. assuming all responsibilities therefor … . which PAL failed and refused to pay despite demands. Sundays and Holidays included. It is further understood that CONTRACTOR as the employer of the security guards agrees to comply with all relevant laws and regulations. It further asked for an award of not less than P15. (USSI) and petitioner Philippine Airlines. Orders and with the rules and regulations promulgated by competent authorities implementing said acts. is subject to the control and direction of PAL merely as to the result as to be accomplished by the work or services herein specified. UNICORN SECURITY SERVICES. xxx (13) For and in consideration of the services to be rendered by CONTRACTOR under these presents. PAL paid each of the security guards actually assigned at the time of the termination of the agreement an amount equivalent to their onemonth salary to compensate for the lack of notice. and shall otherwise direct and control their services herein provided or heretofore to be set forth or prescribed. however. Labor Code. (9) Should PAL at any time have any justifiable objection to the presence in its premises of any of CONTRACTOR’s officer.600. however. loss or damage. CONTRACTOR hereby warrants that it will perform such work or services in such manner as will achieve the result herein desired by PAL. as it does hereby assume. J. National Capital Region. control and supervision of the work and services herein agreed upon. PAL insisted that what USSI did was merely to pick out 16 guards from the 86 already assigned by it and directed them to render overtime duty. USSI provided what was requested. October 28. CONTRACTOR shall have entire charge. or as a consequence of. and PAL on the other. Annex “A”. 17 & 18 hereof. JR.(P275. of course. private respondent Unicorn Security Services. PAL requested 16 additional security guards. therefore. .40) PER HOUR multiplied by 905 hours equivalent to PESOS TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED NINE & 58/100 CTVS. in its operations. Although it is understood and agreed between parties hereto that CONTRACTOR in the performance of its obligations under this Agreement.R. USSI. INC. the same to be payable on or before the 15th of each month for services on the first half of the month and on or before the end of the month for services for the 2nd half of the month. (PAL) executed a security service agreement. understood that the CONTRACTOR undertakes to pay the wages or salaries and cost of living allowance of the guards in accordance with the provisions of the Labor Code. Instead. xxx (6) Without any expense on the part of PAL. except as provided for in Articles 16. which forms part of this Agreement.58) the basis of eight (8) working hours per office/guard a day. Philippine currency.” filed with the NLRC Arbitration Branch. On 16 February 1990.. PAL shall pay CONTRACTOR the amount of PESOS NINE & 40/100 CTVS (P9. including compulsory coverage under the Social Security Act. or for any injury. it shall send such objection in writing to CONTRACTOR and the latter shall immediately take proper action. DECISION DAVIDE. CONTRACTOR shall see to it that the guards assigned to PAL … are provided. contains such rules and regulations and CONTRACTOR is expected to comply with them.[1] USSI was designated therein as the CONTRACTOR.[G. LABOR ARBITER CORNELIO LINSANGAN. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. and FRED BAUTISTA. PAL terminated the security service agreement with USSI without giving the latter the 30-day prior notice required in paragraph 20 thereof. Inc.. PAL may.

it should be the first to show good example for emulation. an award for attorney’s fees must perforce be assessed. why did it pay separation pay unto the 86 regular employed guards. Unequivocably. Labor Arbiter Linsangan opined: Evidence adduced clearly show that sometime in December 1987. In February 1990 and for reasons of its own.00 representing the equivalent of one-month’s separation pay due the 16 individual security guards. as the law views such as peculiar relationship.000. such money claims insofar as they have to be paid. in law. Thus established. and (4) the real parties in interest -. which is purely civil in character and falls outside of the Labor Arbiter’s jurisdiction. hence. based on which the required number of security guards were assigned to. or by following up the status of the case. 5. (2) the sum of P5. the security guards have been constituted as indirect employees of the client just as the client becomes the indirect employer of the guards. As earlier stated. have to be resolved or adjudicated.the 16 security guards -. as aforementioned were rendering 12 hours each from date of assignment up to and until their termination. it caused to pay the separation pay benefits of the 86-security guards for the equivalent amount of one (1) month’s pay. To justify the awards. respondent fails. as the 16 guards who were required to render 12-hour shifts were picked out from the original 86 guards already assigned and were already given a one-month salary in lieu of the 30-day notice of termination of the agreement.[9] having been stamped on the upper right hand corner by PAL’s Legal Department. the issue of whether or not Labor Arbiters have jurisdiction over money claims affecting security guards assigned by security agencies (like complainant herein) to their client-companies such as PAL is. Attached to the supplemental motion dismiss were.00) Pesos.00. 10% interest from the date of filing of the case until the whole obligations shall have been fully settled.00 by way of exemplary damages due each of the 16 security guards. On 12 August 1991. pursuant to PAL’s instructions. the sum equivalent to ten percent (10%) of whatever sums or sum may be recovered in the case. PAL being widely known as a progressively-minded employer. 00-1106008-90 and assigned to Labor Arbiter Cornelio L. 45 . which. 26 August 1991. On 3 September 1991. demands were made by complainant. such that the original number of eighty-six (86) guards.” In holding that he had jurisdiction over the case. respondent opted to rely solely on the ground set forth in its Motion to Dismiss as well as Supplement thereto. In February 1990.600. In effect. except the 16 who. the termination pay benefits due the 16 security guards amount to P75.4. as it did. in effecting such termination. no employeremployee relationship and. If that was so.600. for and as attorney’s fees. and (3) another sum equivalent to 10% of the total award for and as attorney’s fees. Complainants are now compelled to litigate their plainly valid. more or less.never showed any interest in the case either by attending any hearing or conference. among other things. The complaint was docketed as NLRC-NCR Case No. Attached thereto was a machine copy of the Notice of Judgment/Final Order. Respondent has not only incurred in delay in the performance of its obligation but also contravened the tenor thereof. PAL argued that the case involved the interpretation of the security service agreement. failing or neglecting to so do up to the present time. therefore. Neither did it submit. In its Opposition.600. just or demandable claim.” PAL filed a supplemental motion to dismiss[5] wherein it cites the following reasons for the dismissal of the complaint: (1) the clear stipulations in the agreement (paragraphs 4 and 10) that there exists no employer-employee relationship between PAL on the one hand and USSI and the guards on the other. xerox copies of confirmation letter of USSI to PAL to show that no additional guards were in fact provided. just or demandable claim on account of which services of counsel have been required and thereby obligated themselves to pay. (3) USSI had no legal personality to file the case as alleged trustee of the 16 security guards. aforementioned security service contract was executed. its position paper. were required to render twelve (12) hours each.e. neglects or refuses to pay. PAL filed a motion to dismiss the complaint[3] on the grounds that the Labor Arbiter had no jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the complaint and that USSI had no cause of action against PAL. As to the additional 16. with the date of its receipt. nor adduce. benefits. etc. respondent caused to terminate not only the contract but also the services of the security guards. plus. its actuations were not consistent with good faith. It was in that decision that Labor Arbiter Linsangan mentioned for the first time that the resolution of the motion to dismiss and supplemental motion to dismiss “was deferred until [the] case is decided on the merits” considering “the ground not to be indubitable. it is clear that there was absolutely no legal/justifiable reason why said 16 guards applied and who rendered 12 hours each per day had to be discriminated against. an additional sixteen (16) were needed and. Art. more or less. it did not. 6. per day. or assumed by respondent [herein petitioners] which. PAL claimed that USSI did not allege the existence of an employer-employee relationship between PAL and USSI or its guards. It should. complainants are. settled. and that in fact.[4] USSI pointed out that PAL forgot or overlooked the fact that “insofar as labor standards. respondent has smarted itself on its mistaken belief that there was. said respondent caused to pay the equivalent of one (1) month’s notice unto all the security guards. or posted at.00 each for all complainants though the correct amount is left solely to the sound discretion of the Honorable Labor Arbiter. (2) there were no 16 additional guards. Linsangan. Following PAL’s failure or refusal to pay. and for reasons of its own.. evidence (documentary or otherwise) to rebut or controvert complainant’s claims especially since the money equivalent of the one month separation pay due the 16 guards has been duly quantified as amounting to Seventy Five Thousand Six Hundred (P75.000. entitled to be indemnified with damages for no less than P15. in fact. as the contract provides. the various premises of respondent -PAL. despite directive made thereon. it failed and refused to grant similar equivalent. hence. Conceivably. 7. liability therefor is shifted to. as it continue refusing. are the ultimate responsibility of the client-firms. the contract of security service. there is no legal basis for it to pay. he handed down a decision[7] ordering PAL to pay: (1) the sum of P75. despite demands. As computed. by law. he stated: As heretofore and invariably held in similar cases. accordingly supplied who. PAL caused to terminate. It failed to file. be increased or reduced at respondent’s request. Said number of security guards may. paragraph 10 of the agreement provides that there is no employer-employee relationship between the CONTRACTOR and/or his guards on the one hand and PAL on the other. PAL filed its Appeal[8] wherein it indicated that it received a copy of the decision on 26 August 1991. they must arise from an employer-employee relationship. It is clear from Article 217 of the Labor Code that for claims to be within the jurisdiction of Labor Arbiters. In this instant case. In amplification thereof. has been constituted as an indirect employer. as between the guards and itself.[6] Labor Arbiter Linsangan did not resolve the motion to dismiss and the supplemental motion to dismiss. without any valid reasons therefor. asking at the same time why that was so. 107 and 109 of the Labor Code expressly provide that…. i. especially since. be held liable for exemplary damages and having required complainant to litigate a plainly valid.

of August 1991 it had until 2 September 1991 to appeal. USSI points out that the grounds relied upon by PAL are based on factual a issue. namely. USSI contends that the negligence of PAL’s counsel should not be deemed “compelling reason to warrant relaxation of the rule. but if reckoned from what its counsel innocently believed to be PAL’s date of receipt of the decision. Labor Arbiter Linsangan issued an order[15] denying the motion to quash. It tried to explain therein why it thought all along that it received a copy of the decision on 26 August 1991.[12] On 1 October 1991. Greg Soriano upon finding the Decision among the documents in the incoming documents rack. He then forwarded the same to the secretary of the undersigned counsel.” As to the second assigned error. and hence the last day to appeal was 2 September 1991. 6. Del Rosario and as Annex “A” hereof. assuming arguendo that the claims of the security guards were valid. Upon investigation the undersigned counsel learned that on 23 August 1991 (Friday) a server-messenger went to PAL Legal Department to serve said decision. Greg Soriano marked as Annex “B” hereof. the undersigned counsel’s innocent reliance on the date of receipt stamped on the copy of the Decision furnished him was clearly due to an innocent mistake and/or excusable neglect. because PAL paid the other 86 security guards when the service agreement was terminated.[19] PAL then filed this special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court alleging that (1) public respondents committed serious and patent error in failing to declare that the Labor Arbiter had no jurisdiction over the instant case. thus: 4.” In its Manifestation and Motion in Lieu of Comment. PAL insisted that it received a copy of the decision on 26 August 1991. the appeal could be said to have been seasonably filed. PAL filed a motion to quash[13] the writ of execution. justice and equity dictates that respondent PAL should be considered to have filed its Appeal within the reglementary period for Appeal. 5. PAL argues that since USSI’s cause of action was founded on the security service agreement. Attached herewith is the affidavit of Mr. Thereafter. It ruled that whether or not the decision was received by an employee other than the receiving clerk or messenger was of no moment. Hence. In its opposition[11] to this motion. (2) even as an indirect employer. PAL appealed[16] to the NLRC the aforesaid order of 8 October 1991 on the ground that it was issued with grave abuse of discretion. not on the 26th. notwithstanding the fact that Ms. Del Rosario told him (server) that she was not authorized to receive documents for an in behalf of PAL. the NLRC and Labor Arbiter Linsangan maintain that they had jurisdiction over the case because of Articles 107 and 109 of the Labor Code which constitute PAL as indirect employer of the 16 security guards. especially in this case where the appeal was meritorious. On 31 May 1995. and (3) respondent NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in declaring PAL’s appeal to have been filed out of time. In their Comment. immediately stamped “Received 26 August 1991” thereon. It argues that the case touched upon the rights of the 16 security guards as employees. Moreover. it had until 5 September 1991 to file its appeal.[17] the Second Division of the NLRC dismissed PAL’s appeal for having been filed out if time. (2) The Labor Arbiter gravely abused its discretion in ordering PAL to pay the separation pay of the 16 security guards assigned at PAL’s premises by USSI. (4) the payment made to the 86 security guards upon the termination of the agreement without the prior 30-day notice was not for separation pay but a benefit in lieu of the 30-day notice required under paragraph 20 of the agreement. USSI had no personality to file the complaint. PAL asserts that it is not liable to pay separation pay because (1) it was not the employer of the security guards. The decision had then become final and executory. for there is nothing whatsoever to show that it was expressly authorized by the security guards to act as their “trustee. Considering the foregoing circumstances. As regards PAL’s plea for the relaxation of the rule on perfection of appeals. April Rose del Rosario to receive the same. Ms. and (5) since PAL was not the employer of the security guards. the NLRC denied the motion for reconsideration[18] for the reason that it cannot accept PAL’s excuse as it may “open the floodgates to abuse”. as held by the Labor Arbiter. Ms. In its resolution of 27 October 1994. reckoned from the finding of the Labor Arbiter. which was 26 August 1991. hence. that Articles 107 and 109 of the Labor Code which provide for joint and several liability for payment of wages by the direct and indirect employer find no application in the present case because the 16 security guards employed by USSI were not after unpaid wages. and non-payment of the separation pay is not a violation of the said law. It sustained the labor Arbiter’s finding that PAL had received a copy of the decision on 23 August 1991.[20] the Office of the Solicitor General agrees with PAL that the Labor Arbiter did not have jurisdiction over the complaint because there was no employer-employee relationship between PAL and the 16 security guards. the same was within the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiter. 46 . In its third assigned error. and that thereunder no employeremployee relationship existed between PAL and the security guards who were USSI’s employees. the discrimination made by PAL in paying the 86 and not the 16 security guards. its liability was limited to violations of labor standards law. thus. and that in the interest of justice and considering that the appeal was filed only one day late. The receiving clerks at that time were all out of the office so that the server persuaded a secretary.USSI countered this Appeal with a motion for execution of judgment[10] on the ground that since PAL. there being a question involving separation pay due the latter. and that the lapse of the period to appeal had already deprived the Commission of jurisdiction over the case. as the proper performance of employee’s duties was PAL’s concern. 7. the receiving clerk/messenger Mr. the rule on perfection of appeals should have been relaxed to prevent a miscarriage of justice. [14] On 8 October 1991. Attached herewith is the affidavit of Ms. (3) the security service agreement with USSI did not provide for payment of separation pay. Del Rosario then stamped the date of receipt on the service’s copy without stamping (the date of receipt) PAL’s copy of the decision which was left by the server. was only one day. In its Comment. and that for the NLRC to excuse the delay of one day in filing the appeal would open the floodgates of abuse. on the honest and sincere belief that the same just arrived that day (26 August 1991). in no way could it terminate their services. Del Rosario placed PAL’s copy of the Decision on the incoming documents rack of the receiving clerk. since they are used only to help secure and not override substantial justice. we advised public respondents to file their own comment if they so desired. On 10 October 1991. the delay in the perfection of the appeal. In view of the stand of the Office of the Solicitor General. that the 16 security guards were entitled to separation pay. the appeal interposed on 3 September was late by one day. On 30 September 1991. the Labor Arbiter had no jurisdiction over the complaint. On 26 August 1991 (Monday). Moreover. PAL submits that rules of procedure ought not to be applied in a very rigid technical sense. Ms. Labor Arbiter Linsangan issued a writ of execution. The undersigned counsel believing that the said decision was received on 26 August 1991 reckoned/counted the ten (10) day period for appeal from said date. received a copy of the decision on the 23rd. thus.

4. While USSI is an independent contractor under the security service agreement and PAL may be considered an indirect employer. In all these cases. In the event that the contractor or subcontractor fails to pay the wages of his employees in accordance with this Code. the Labor Arbiter had no jurisdiction over the claim in NLRC-NCR Case No. 106. The preceding Article referred to. In the instant case. the employer shall be jointly and severally liable with his contractor or subcontractor to such employees to the extent of the work performed under the contract. (d) discipline and supervised them or controlled their conduct.[22] Considering then that no employer-employee relationship existed between PAL and the security guards. Yet.” PAL explained how this discrepancy occurred and how its counsel was misled into 47 . exemplary and other forms of damages arising from employer-employee relations. including questions involving legality of strikes and lockouts. If accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. whether fixed or ascertained on a time.” No valid claim for wages or separation pay can arise from the security service agreement in question by reason of its termination at the instance of PAL. 10. 2. 0011-06008-90. of board.” On this score the Labor Arbiter acted with grave abuse of discretion for disregarding the rules he was bound to observe. and only to that extent and for that purpose that the latter is considered a direct employer. lodging. Social Security. res judicata.. 9. as amended. We have pronounced in numerous cases[21] that in determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship. and it was only in his decision that he mentioned that the resolution of the motion to dismiss “was deferred until this case is decided on the merits” because the ground thereof was not “indubitable. if any.. those cases that workers may file involving wages. and compensation. -Whenever an employer enters into a contract with another person for the performance of the former’s work.00) regardless of whether accompanied with a claim for reinstatement. Claims for actual. association or corporation which. Even if we disregard the explicit covenant in said agreement that “there exist no employer-employee relationship between CONTRACTOR and/or his guards on the one hand. task. Indirect employer. 107. “AUG. or commission basis. The term “wage” is defined in Article 97(f) of the Labor Code as “the remuneration of earnings. The agreement contains no provision for separation pay.[23] there is stamped by the PAL Legal Department the date of its receipt of the decision. and (e) determined their wages. (b) assigned them to PAL according to the number agreed upon. 23 1991. that status did not make PAL the employer of the security guards in every respect. No. especially the terms and conditions embodied in paragraphs 4. PAL was able to prove in the annexes attached to its supplemental motion to dismiss that the 16 guards were actually picked out from the original group and were just required to render overtime service. moral. A careful perusal thereof. 00-11-0600890. and 6. Contractor or subcontractor. the Labor Arbiter did not. Besides. piece. viz. Article 217 of the Labor Code (P. Analogous to the instant case is Canlubang Security Agency Corp. “AUG. The concept of indirect employer only relates or refers to the liability for unpaid wages. (3) the power to dismiss. in the same manner and extent that he is liable to employees directly employed by him. it is solidarily liable with USSI. all other claims. Articles 106 and 109 simply mean that the party with whom an independent contractor deals is solidarily liable with the latter for unpaid wages. (2) the payment of wages. which is applicable to the situation contemplated in Section 107. 00-11-06008-90. contracts with an independent contractor for the performance of any work. We agree with petitioner PAL that the Labor Arbiter was without jurisdiction over the subject matter of NLRC-NCR Case No. 5. partnership. We shall now turn to the issue of tardiness of the appeal. any motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.” It is not also denied by respondents that on the right upper hand corner of PAL’s copy of the Notice of Judgment/Final Orders. hours of work and other terms and conditions of employment. or prescription shall be immediately resolved by the Labor Arbiter by a written order. engaged or hired and discharged the security guards. not being an employer. and (f) paid them salaries or wages. and PAL on the other” all other considerations confirm the fact that PAL was not the security guards’ employer. at its own expense. PAL may be considered an indirect employer only for purposes of unpaid wages since Article 106. involving an amount exceeding five thousand pesos(P5. improper venue. We agree with the Solicitor General that these Articles are inapplicable to PAL under the facts of this case. which is cognizable by the appropriate regular court of justice. Unfair labor practice cases. job or project. -The provisions of the immediately preceding Article shall likewise apply to any person. vests upon Labor Arbiter exclusive original jurisdiction only over the following: 1. which is Article 106. On the contrary. Read together. As correctly pointed out by PAL. 26 1991. 13 and 20 quoted earlier in this ponencia. therefore. 6. including those of persons in domestic or house hold service. an employer-employee relationship is an indispensable jurisdictional requisite. NLRC. or other method of calculating the unwritten contract of employment for work done or to be done. arising from employer-employee relations. task. Except claims for Employees Compensation. A breach thereof could only give rise to damages under the Civil Code. the security guards with firearms and ammunitions. the following elements are generally considered: (1) the selection and engagement of the employee. (c) provided. vs. Termination disputes. The record does indeed show that on the original copy of the Notice of Judgment/Final Order. and (4) the power to control the employee’s conduct. As correctly posited by the Office of the Solicitor General. shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of this Code. The Labor Arbiter cannot avoid the jurisdictional issue or justify his assumption of jurisdiction on the pretext that PAL was the indirect employer of the security guards under Article 107 in relation to Articles 106 and 109 of the Labor Code and. 442). under Section 15 of Rule V of the New Rules of Procedure of the NLRC.[24] there is stamped the date of receipt thereof by PAL Legal Department. Medicare and maternity benefits. as determined by the Secretary of Labor. salaries. however designated. demonstrates beyond doubt that USSI-and not PAL – was the employer of the security guards. the security service agreement between PAL and USSI provides the key to such consideration. the employees of the contractor and of the latter’s subcontractor.The instant petition is impressed with merit. there is no substantial proof that USSI in fact provided 16 additional guards. 7.000. or other facilities customarily furnished by the employer to the employee. viz. because no employer-employee relationship existed between PAL and the security guards provided by USSI under the security service agreement. 3. rates of pay. The Labor Arbiter’s lack of jurisdiction was too obvious from the allegations in the complaint and its annex (the security service agreement) in NLRC-NCR Case No.D. Article 107 provides: ART. capable of being expressed in terms of money. Cases arising from any violation of Article 264 of this Code. It was USSI which (a) selected. 8. or for services rendered or to be rendered and includes the fair and reasonable value. The Labor Arbiter then should have forthwith resolved the motion to dismiss and the supplemental motion to dismiss. partly reads as follows: ART. including the alleged 16 additional security guards. speaks of wages.

Narvasa. C. Francisco and Panganiban..[32] and City Fair Corp vs. Besides. The questioned decision of the Labor Arbiter dated 12 August 1991 and the resolution of the Second Division of the National Labor Relations Commission promulgated on 27 October 1994 and 31 May 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE.so palpably clear on the face of the complaint -. the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. vs. This belief in good faith rendered excusable any negligence it might have committed. 0011-06008-90 is DISMISSED. NLRC. 00-11-06008-90 and that the 16 security guards are not in fact entitled to separation pay under the security service agreement. the delay in the perfection of the appeal was only one day. Melo. NLRC.[30] A one-day delay in the perfection of the appeal was excused in Pacific Asia Overseas Shipping Corp.believing that PAL received a copy of the decision only on 26 August 1991.[28] and (d) special circumstances of the case combined with its legal merits[29] or the amount and the issue involved. JJ. Considering that the Labor Arbiter had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of NLRC-NCR Case No. the higher interest of justice favors a relaxation of the rule on perfection of appeals in labor cases. SO ORDERED.[26] (b) fundamental consideration of substantial justice. [31] Insular life Assurance Co. 48 . vs.[33] In the instant case. (Chairman). the Labor Arbiter’s lack of jurisdiction -. [27] (c) prevention of miscarriage of justice or of unjust enrichment.[25] Among the acceptable reasons recognized by this Court are (a) counsel’s reliance on the footnote of the notice of the decision of the Labor Arbiter that “the aggrieved party may appeal… within ten (10) working days”. and failure to perfect an appeal has the effect of rendering the judgment final and executory. concur. NLRC. and NLRC-NCR Case No. While it is an established rule that the perfection of an appeal in the manner and within the period prescribed by law is not only mandatory but jurisdictional.and the perpetuation of unjust enrichment if the appeal is disallowed are enough combination of reasons that warrant a relaxation of the rules on perfection of appeals in labor cases. as where the tardy appeal is from a decision granting separation pay which was already granted in an earlier final decision. WHEREFORE.J. it is equally settled that the NLRC may disregard the procedural lapse where there is an acceptable reason to excuse tardiness in the taking of the appeal.

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