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Guardians and Guardianship

Rule 92 to 97 of the Rules of Court


as amended by A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC
Goyena vs. Ledesma-Gustilo
On the ISSUE of whether the appointment of
Amparo as guardian of Julieta is proper, the Supreme
Court HELD that both the CA and RTC were correct
because when it appears that the judge has exercised
care and diligence in selecting the guardian, and has
given due consideration to the reasons for and against
his action which are urged by the interested parties, his
action should not be disturbed unless it is made very
clear that he has fallen into grievous error.
In the case at bar, petitioner has not shown that
the lower courts committed any error. While it is
correct to say that no person should be appointed
guardian if his interest conflict with those of the ward
(Guerrero vs. Teran, 13 Phil. 212), there are really no
antagonistic interests to speak of between petitioner
[Amparo] and Julieta, they being co-owners of certain
properties, it has been duly established that Amparo is
capable and that she can best take care of Julieta’s
concerns and well being, conversely, the ground stated
by Pilar does not render Amparo unsuitable for
appointment as guardian.
Caniza vs. Court of Appeals
On the ISSUE of whether Amparo
Evangelista had the authority to bring the
ejectment case, the Supreme Court HELD that in
bringing the said action, Evangelista was merely
discharging the duty to attend to "the
comfortable and suitable maintenance of the
ward" explicitly imposed on her by Section 4,
Rule 96 of the Rules of Court.
Amparo Evangelista was appointed by a competent court the
general guardian of both the person and the estate of her aunt,
Carmen Cañiza. By that appointment, it became Evangelista's duty
to care for her aunt's person, to attend to her physical and spiritual
needs, to assure her wellbeing, with right to custody of her person
in preference to relatives and friends. It also became her right and
duty to get possession of, and exercise control over, Cañiza's
property, both real and personal, it being recognized principle that
the ward has no right to possession or control of his property during
her incompetency. That right to manage the ward's estate carries
with it the right to take possession thereof and recover it from
anyone who retains it, and bring and defend such actions as may be
needful for this purpose.
Neri vs. Heirs of Hadji Yusop Uy
On the ISSUE of whether the Extra-Judicial Settlement of the
Estate with Absolute Deed of Sale in favor of spouses Uy was valid,
the Supreme Court declared that it is NULL and VOID. Any act of
disposition or alienation, or any reduction in the substance of the
patrimony of child, exceeds the limits of administration. Thus, a
father or mother, as the natural guardian of the minor under parental
authority, does not have the power to dispose or encumber the
property of the latter. Such power is granted by law only to a judicial
guardian of the ward’s property and even then, only with courts prior
approval secured in accordance with the proceedings set forth by the
Rules of Court.
In the case at bar, two of the heirs were
admittedly excluded and that then minors Rosa
and Douglas were not properly represented
therein, the settlement was not valid and
binding upon them and consequently, a total
nullity. The disputed sale entered into by
Enrique in behalf of his minor children without
the proper judicial authority, unless ratified by
them upon reaching the age of majority, is
unenforceable.
Oropesa vs. Oropesa

On the ISSUE of whether respondent Cirilo Oropesa is


considered an “incompetent” person who should be placed
under guardianship, the Supreme Court held that persons
who, though of sound mind but by reason of age, disease,
weak mind or other similar causes, are incapable of taking
care of themselves and their property without outside aid are
considered incompetents who may properly be placed under
guardianship. A finding that a person is incompetent should
be anchored on clear, positive and definitive evidence which
the petitioner failed to show.
In this case, the petitioner failed to formally offer
his documentary evidence, his proof of his father’s
incompetence consisted purely of testimonies given by
himself and his sister (who were claiming interest in
their father’s real and personal properties) and their
father’s former caregiver who was acting under their
direction. These testimonies, which did not include any
expert testimony, were insufficient to convince the
court of petitioner’s cause of action and instead lead it
to grant the demurrer to evidence filed by the
respondent.
Abad vs. Biason

On the ISSUE of whether or not the death of


Leonardo Biason (the appointed guardian)
terminates the guardianship between him and
Maura Abad (the ward), the Supreme Court
held that it is a well-established rule that the
relationship of guardian and ward is necessarily
terminated by the death of either of the
guardian or the ward.
In this case, petitioner Eduardo Abad was
challenging Biason’s qualification and the
procedure by which the RTC, as affirmed by the
Court of Appeals, appointed him as guardian for
Maura. However, with Biason’s demise, it has
become impractical and futile to proceed with
resolving the merits of the petition which
rendered it pointless to delve into the propriety
of Biason’s appointment since the juridical tie
between him and Maura has already been
dissolved.
ADOPTION AND CUSTODY OF
MINORS
Rule 99 to 100 of the Rules of Court
Republic Act No. 8552
Republic Act No. 8043
A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC
Castro vs. Gregorio
On the ISSUE of whether the petition for
the annulment of the adoption of Jed and
Regina should be granted, the court HELD
in the affirmative because the law on
adoption requires that the adoption by the
father of a child born out of wedlock obtain
not only the consent of his wife but also the
consent of his legitimate children.
Here, the adoption of Jed and
Regina who are illegitimate children
of Atty. Jose, was not done jointly by
Atty. Jose and his wife, Rosario, and
without the consent of their
daughter, Joanne, hence, the
petition for the annulment of the
adoption was granted.
Cang vs. Court of Appeals
On the ISSUE of whether a written
consent of the natural parent is required at
all times for the grant of a petition for
adoption, the court HELD in the negative
because the same can be dispensed with if
the parent has abandoned the child or that
such parent is insane or hopelessly
intemperate.
Here, the petition for adoption of Keith, Charmaine,
and Joseph Anthony filed by their maternal uncle and his
wife bearing the consent of their biological mother, was SET
ASIDE by the Supreme Court considering that in the
opposition filed by their biological father, Herbert, it was
satisfactory proven that the latter did not abandon them
because physical and estrangement alone, without financial
and moral desertion, is not tantamount to abandonment.
While Herbert was physically absent as he was then in the US,
he was not remiss in his natural and legal obligations of love,
care and support for his children. He maintained regular
communication with his wife and children through telephone
calls and letters. He used to send packages by mail and
catered to their whims.
Vda. De Jacob vs. Court of Appeals
On the ISSUE of whether Pedro
Pilapil is the legally adopted son of Dr.
Alfredo E. Jacob, the court HELD in the
negative considering that the burden of
proof in establishing adoption is upon
the person claiming such relationship
which Pilapil failed to prove.
Here, the evidence presented by Pedro during the
settlement of the estate of Dr. Jacob such as the Order
purportedly made in open court declaring him as legally adopted
child of the latter was negated by Judge Moya who testified that
he did not dictate decision in adoption cases and the branch of
the court where he was assigned are always indicated, yet the
questioned Order did not contain said branch. The documents
signed by Pilapil and the other acts performed by him gave no
indication that he recognized his own alleged adoption. No proof
was presented that Dr. Jacob had treated Pilapil as his adopted
child. Likewise, both the Bureau of Records Management in
Manila and the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Camarines
Sur issued Certifications that there was no record that Pilapil had
been adopted by Dr. Jacob. Hence, Pilapil failed to prove his
claim of being the legally adopted son of Dr. Jacob.
Republic vs. Court of Appeals

On the ISSUE of whether a prayer


for the correction of name can be
granted in a petition for adoption, the
court HELD in the affirmative
provided that the requirements under
Rule108 of the Rules of Court should be
complied with.
Here, respondent-spouses Caranto
failed to comply with Section 3 of Rule
108 by not impleading the Local Civil
Registrar as an indispensable party,
hence, the court deleted from the
decision of the Regional Trial Court the
order to the LCR to change the name
“Midael” to “Michael” in the child’s
certificate of live birth.
Reyes vs. Mauricio
On the ISSUE of whether Eugenio can collaterally
attack the status of Leonida in the complaint for
annulment of contract, the court HELD in the
negative because the legitimacy of the child
cannot be contested by way of defense or as a
collateral issue in another action for a different
purpose, there is a necessity for an independent
action directly impugning said legitimacy.
Here, the contention of Eugenio that
Leonida has no legal personality to file the
case for the annulment of the “Kasunduan”
between him and Librada considering that
Leonida is not a legal heir but a mere ward
of Godofredo and Librada, was leave out
by the court considering that the filiation of
Leonida cannot be collaterally attacked by
Eugenio as his defense in said case.
In the Matter of Adoption of Stephanie
Nathy Astorga-Garcia
On the ISSUE of whether or not an illegitimate
child, upon adoption of her natural father, use the
surname of her natural mother as her middle name,
the court HELD in the affirmative. An adopted child is
entitled to all the rights provided by law to a
legitimate child without discrimination of any kind,
including the right to bear the surname of her father
and her mother. It is both personal as well as public
interest that every person must have a name.
Here, the petition filed by Honorato
Catinding to adopt his minor illegitimate child,
Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia and prayed
that Stephanie's middle name be changed from
“Astorga” to "Garcia," and that her surname be
changed from "Garcia" to "Catindig," is valid since
there is no law prohibiting an illegitimate child
adopted by her natural father to use as middle
name her mother’s surname, the courts finds no
reason why she should not be allowed to do so.
In Re: Adoption of Michelle
& Michael Lim
On the ISSUE of whether or not the petitioner who was
remarried can singly adopt, the court HELD in the negative
because the law explicitly states in Section 7, Article III of RA
8552 that a husband and wife SHALL jointly adopt. The use
of the word “shall” mean that joint adoption by the husband
and the wife is mandatory. This is in consonance with the
concept of joint parental authority over the child which is the
ideal situation and that as the child to be adopted is
elevated to the level of a legitimate child, it is but natural to
require the spouses to adopt jointly to insure harmony
between the spouses.
Here, the petitioner filed the petition to
adopt Michelle and Michael by herself, without
being joined by her husband Olario. Neither does
petitioner falls under any of the exceptions
enumerated in Section 7 (1) the children to be
adopted are not the legitimate children of
petitioner or her husband Olario; (2) the children
are not the illegitimate children of petitioner; (3)
petitioner and Olario are not legally separated
from each other hence the trial court was correct
in denying the petition.
Nery vs. Sampana
On the ISSUE on whether or not the certification
of the alien’s qualification to adopt Nery is needed
when the alien adopter jointly adopts a relative within
the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity of his/her
Filipino spouse, the court HELD in negative because
under the law the alien adopter can jointly adopt a
relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or
affinity of his/her Filipino spouse, and the certification
of the alien’s qualification to adopt is waived.
However, in this case Atty. Sampana
unjustifiably failed to file the petition for
adoption and having no valid reason not to file
the said petition he misinformed Nery of the
status of the petition thus neglecting the legal
matter entrusted to him hence, the Supreme
Court deemed it proper to suspend him for three
(3) years as a consequence for violating the Code
of Professional Responsibility and to return to
Nery the amount of the attorney’s fees with
interest.
Bartolome vs. Social Security System

On the ISSUE on whether or not the


petitioner as a biological parent qualifies as
John’s dependent parent and retain the rights of
succession to the estate of John who was the
subject of adoption, the court HELD in the
affirmative because the law provides that when
the adoptive parent died and the adoptee is still
a minor, parental authority should be deemed to
have reverted in favour of the biological parents.
Here, the denial of the petitioner’s claim for
the death benefits under PD 626 as John’s sole
remaining beneficiary for the reason that she was
no longer considered as the parent of John Colcol
has no merit since biological parents retain their
rights of succession to the estate of their child
who was the subject of adoption. The adopter’s
death at the time of the John’s minority resulted
in the restoration of petitioner’s parental
authority.
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