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G . R . N o .

1 5 7 5 3 7 S e p t e m b e r 7 , 2 0 1 1 THE HEIRS OF PROTACIO


The disposition by sale of a portion of the conjugal property by the surviving spouse without the prior
liquidation mandated by Article 130 of theFamily Codeis not necessarily void if said portion hasnot yet
been allocated by judicial or extrajudicial partition to another heir of the deceased spouse. At anyrate, the
requirement of prior liquidation does not prejudice vested rights.


On February 22, 1976, Jesus B. Gaviola sold two parcels of land (17,140 SQM) to Protacio B. Go, Jr.
Twenty three years later, Protacio, Jr. executed an Affidavit of Renunciation and Waiver whereby
heaffirmed under oath that it was his father, Protacio Go, Sr. (Protacio, Sr.), not he, who had
purchasedthe two parcels of land (the property).In 1987, Marta Barola Go died. She was the wife of
Protacio, Sr. and mother of the petitioners.On December 28, 1999, Protacio, Sr. and his son Rito B. Go
(joined by Ritos wife Dina B. Go) sold aportion of the property (5,560 SQM) to Ester L. Servacio
(Servacio).On March 2, 2001, the petitioners demanded the return of the property, but Servacio refused
to heed their demand.
They sued Servacio and Rito for the annulment of the sale of the property.

Following Protacio, Jr.s renunciation, the property became conjugal property; andthat the sal e of the
propert y to Servaci o wi thout the pri or l iqui dation of the communi t y propert ybetween Protacio,
Sr. and Marta was null and void.

Servacio and Rito countered that Protacio, Sr. had exclusively owned the property because he
hadpurchased it with his own money.

Affirmed the validity of the sale.
However, decl ared the propert y was the conj ugal propert y and not t he excl usi ve propert y
of Protacio, Sr., because there were three vendors in the sale to Servacio (namely: Protacio, Sr.,Rito,
and Dina).
The participation of Rito and Dina as vendors had been by virtue of their being heirs of the lateMarta.
Under Article 160 of theCivil Codethe law in effect when the property was acquired, all propertyacquired
by ei ther spouse duri ng the marri age was conj ugal unl ess there was proof that theproperty
thus acquired pertained exclusively to the husband or to the wife.
Whether or not the sal e by Protaci o, Sr. t o Servaci o was void for bei ng made without
pri or liquidation?
Article 130 of theFamily Codereads:
Upon the termination of the marriage by death, the conjugal partnership property shall be
liquidated in the same proceeding for the settlement of the estate of thedeceased.
If no judicial settlement proceeding is instituted, the surviving spouse shall liquidate the conjugal partnershipproperty
either judicially or extra-judicially within one year from the death of the deceased spouse. If upon thelapse of the six
month period no liquidation is made, any disposition or encumbrance involving the conjugalpartnership property of
the terminated marriage shall be
void. Shou l d t he s ur v i v i ng s pous e c on t r ac t a s ubs eque nt ma r r i age wi t h out c ompl i a nc e
wi t h t he f o r eg oi ng requirements, a mandatory regime of complete separation of property shall govern
the property relations of thesubsequent marriage

Article 40 Exception to the Rule
In 1977, Reyes married Anna Maria Villanueva in a civil ceremony. They had a church wedding in
the same year as well. In 1980, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of QC declared their
marriage as null and void; the civil one for lack of marriage license and the subsequent
church weddingdue to the lack of consent of the parties. In 1979, prior to the JDRC decision, Reyes
married Ofelia. Then in 1991, Reyes filed for an action for declaration of nullity of his marriage with
Ofelia. He averred that they lack a marriage license at the time of the celebration and that there was
no judicial declaration yet as to the nullity of his previous marriage with Anna. Ofelia presented
evidence proving the existence of a valid marriage licenseincluding the specific license number
designated. The lower court however ruled that Ofelias marriage with Reyes is null and void. The
same was affirmed by the CA applying the provisions of the Art 40 of the FC.
ISSUE: Whether or not the absolute nullity of the previous of marriage of Reyes can be invoked in
the case at bar.
HELD: Art. 40 of the FC provides that, The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked
for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage
void. This means that before one can enter into a second marriage he must first acquire a judicial
declaration of the nullity of the previous marriage and such declaration may be invoked on the basis
solely of a final judgment declaring the previous marriage as void. For purposes other than
remarriage, other evidences may be presented and the declaration can be passed upon by the
courts. In the case at bar, the lower court and the CA cannot apply the provision of the FC. Both
marriages entered by Reyes were solemnized prior to the FC. The old CC did not have any provision
that states that there must be such a declaration before remarriage can be done hence Ofelias
marriage with Reyes is valid. The provisions of the FC (took effect in 87) cannot be applied
retroactively especially because they would impair the vested rights of Ofelia under the CC which
was operational during her marriage with Reyes.

Rita C. Quiao (Rita) filed a complaint for legal separation against petitioner Brigido B. Quiao (Brigido).
RTC rendered a decision declaring the legal separation thereby awarding the custody of their 3 minor
children in favor of Rita and all remaining properties shall be divided equally between the spouses subject
to the respective legitimes of the children and the payment of the unpaid conjugal liabilities.

Brigidos share, however, of the net profits earned by the conjugal partnership is forfeited in favor of the
common children because Brigido is the offending spouse.

Neither party filed a motion for reconsideration and appeal within the period. After more than nine months
from the promulgation of the Decision, the petitioner filed before the RTC a Motion for Clarification, asking
the RTC to define the term Net Profits Earned.

RTC held that the phrase NET PROFIT EARNED denotes the remainder of the properties of the parties
after deducting the separate properties of each [of the] spouse and the debts. It further held that after
determining the remainder of the properties, it shall be forfeited in favor of the common children because
the offending spouse does not have any right to any share of the net profits earned, pursuant to Articles
63, No. (2) and 43, No. (2) of the Family Code.

The petitioner claims that the court a quo is wrong when it applied Article 129 of the Family Code, instead
of Article 102. He argues that Article 102 applies because there is no other provision under the Family
Code which defines net profits earned subject of forfeiture as a result of legal separation.

When a couple enters into a regime of absolute community, the husband and the wife become joint
owners of all the properties of the marriage. Whatever property each spouse brings into the marriage, and
those acquired during the marriage (except those excluded under Article 92 of the Family Code) form the
common mass of the couple's properties. And when the couple's marriage or community is dissolved, that
common mass is divided between the spouses, or their respective heirs, equally or in the proportion the
parties have established, irrespective of the value each one may have originally owned.

In this case, assuming arguendo that Art 102 is applicable, since it has been established that the spouses
have no separate properties, what will be divided equally between them is simply the net profits. And
since the legal separation decision states that the share of Brigido in the net profits shall be awarded to
the children, Brigido will still be left with nothing.

On the other hand, when a couple enters into a regime of conjugal partnership of gains under Article 142
of the Civil Code, the husband and the wife place in common fund the fruits of their separate property
and income from their work or industry, and divide equally, upon the dissolution of the marriage or of the
partnership, the net gains or benefits obtained indiscriminately by either spouse during the marriage.
From the foregoing provision, each of the couple has his and her own property and debts. The law does
not intend to effect a mixture or merger of those debts or properties between the spouses. Rather, it
establishes a complete separation of capitals.

In the instant case, since it was already established by the trial court that the spouses have no separate
properties, there is nothing to return to any of them. The listed properties above are considered part of the
conjugal partnership. Thus, ordinarily, what remains in the above-listed properties should be divided
equally between the spouses and/or their respective heirs. However, since the trial court found the
petitioner the guilty party, his share from the net profits of the conjugal partnership is forfeited in favor of
the common children, pursuant to Article 63(2) of the Family Code. Again, lest we be confused, like in the
absolute community regime, nothing will be returned to the guilty party in the conjugal partnership regime,
because there is no separate property which may be accounted for in the guilty party's favor

In the case of Grande vs Antonio (G.R. No. 206248, February 18, 2014), the Supreme Court had the
occasion to interpret Article 176 of the Family Code as amended by Republic Act 9255. The provision
Art. 176. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their
mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. However, illegitimate children
may use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father
through the record of birth appearing in the civil register, or when an admission in a public
document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father. Provided, the father has the right
to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime. The legitime
of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child.
The facts of the case as found by the Supreme Court are as follows:
In the case at bar, respondent [the father] filed a petition for judicial approval of recognition of the
filiation of the two children with the prayer for the correction or change of the surname of the minors
from Grande to Antonio when a public document acknowledged before a notary public under Sec. 19,
Rule 132 of the Rules of Court is enough to establish the paternity of his children. But he wanted
more: a judicial conferment of parental authority, parental custody, and an official declaration of his
childrens surname as Antonio.
On the issue of whether or not the respondent father could compel his illegitimate children to use his
surname, the Supreme Court ruled the father could not. In the Grande vs Antonio case, the SC
voided the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9255 insofar as the IRR makes
it mandatory for the illegitimate child to use the recognizing fathers surname, since this was
contrary to the express permissive wording of Republic Act 9255amending Art 176 which states that
illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly
recognized by the father. A relevant portion of the Supreme Courts reasoning in Grande vs
Antonio (G.R. No. 206248, February 18, 2014) is hereunder quoted:
Art. 176 gives illegitimate children the right to decide if they want to use the surname of their father
or not. It is not the father (herein respondent) or the mother (herein petitioner) who is granted by
law the right to dictate the surname of their illegitimate children.
Nothing is more settled than that when the law is clear and free from ambiguity, it must be taken to
mean what it says and it must be given its literal meaning free from any interpretation.
[16][Republic v. Lacap, G.R.
No. 158253, March 2, 2007, 517 SCRA 255; Chartered Bank Employees Association v. Ople, No. L-44717, August 28, 1985, 138 SCRA 273; Quijano v. Development Bank of the Philippines, G.R. No. 26419, October
19, 1970, 35 SCRA 270; Luzon Surety Co., Inc. v. De Garcia, No. L-25659, October 31, 1969, 30 SCRA 111]
Respondents position that the court can order the
minors to use his surname, therefore, has no legal basis.
It is best to emphasize once again that the yardstick by which policies affecting children are to be
measured is their best interest. On the matter of childrens surnames, this Court has, time and again,
rebuffed the idea that the use of the fathers surname serves the best interest of the minor child.
Thus, We exercise this power in voiding the provisions of the IRR of RA 9255 insofar as it provides
the mandatory use by illegitimate children of their fathers surname upon the latters recognition of
his paternity.
To conclude, the use of the word shall in the IRR of RA 9255 is of no moment. The clear,
unambiguous, and unequivocal use of may in Art. 176 rendering the use of an illegitimate fathers
surname discretionary controls, and illegitimate children are given the choice on the surnames by
which they will be known.
At this juncture, We take note of the letters submitted by the children, now aged thirteen (13) and
fifteen (15) years old, to this Court declaring their opposition to have their names changed to
Antonio. However, since these letters were not offered before and evaluated by the trial court, they
do not provide any evidentiary weight to sway this Court to rule for or against petitioner.
[27][Rule 132. Sec. 34.
Offer of' evidence. - The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified.]
A proper inquiry into,
and evaluation of the evidence of, the childrens choice of surname by the trial court is necessary.
One aspect of the decision in Grande vs Antonio (G.R. No. 206248, February 18, 2014) is the
invocation by the Supreme Court of the principle of the childs best interest as the yardstick by
which policies affecting children are to be measured such a principle was evaluted by the
Supreme Court in Grande vs Antonio in the context of the use of surnames when it said that [o]n the
matter of childrens surnames, this Court has, time and again, rebuffed the idea that the use of the
fathers surname serves the best interest of the minor child. On the other hand, the Supreme Court
also declared in Grande vs Antonio (G.R. No. 206248, February 18, 2014) that Art. 176 gives
illegitimate children the right to decide if they want to use the surname of their father or not. It is
not the father (herein respondent) or the mother (herein petitioner) who is granted by law the right
to dictate the surname of their illegitimate children. It will be interesting to see the future
development of the illegitimate childs apparently sole or exclusive prerogatve to use the recognizing
fathers surname as it interacts with the best interest of the child principle. Even if Congress has
apparently enshrined in Republic Act 9255 in amending Article 176 of the Family Code a policy of
allowing the child to have a final say on the matter, such a prerogative (if we are to assume that the
childs best interest has priority in the hierarchy of principles) of the child may be disapproved by our
courts in instances when the childs choice is clearly not in his best interest. After all, the discretion
to determine what is or what is not in the childs best interest lies with our courts. The difficulty will
not be in concluding that the childs best interest has primacy over the childs choice, but in deciding
at what point in the factual situation a childs choice is no longer in his best interest.
The discussion on the illegitimate childs discretion to use his recognizing fathers surname under
Article 176 of the Family Code brings to mind other provisions of the New Civil Code which makes it
obligatory upon a person to use the surname of another as an incident to that persons status. For
instance, under Article 364 of the New Civil Code, [l]egitimate and legitimated
children shallprincipally use the surname of the father and under Article 365 of the New Civil
Code, [a]n adopted child shall bear the surname of the adopter [emphasis supplied]. Even the
Supreme Court in Republic vsCapote (GR 157043, 2 Feb 2007) has held on the basis of the first
sentence of Article 176 of the Family Code ([i]llegitimate children shall use the surname and shall
be under the parental authority of their mother) that unrecognized illegitimate children shalluse
their mothers surname. Notwithstanding these seemingly compulsory provisions, it must be
remembered that even if the New Civil Code or Family Code provisions state that it is mandatory for
a person to use a certain name or surname (eg, obligatory by virtue of that persons legitimate,
illegitimate or unrecognized status as a child), a change of that surname may still be authorized by
our courts under the exception of Article 376 of the New Civil Code. Article 376 of the New Civil Code
(stating that [n]o person can change his name or surname without judicial authority) is
implemented by Rule 103 of the Rules of Court which authorizes a substantive change of surname.
For instance, inRepublic v CA & Wong (21 May 1992, GR 97906), the Supreme Court allowed an
adopted child to revert back to using the surname of his biological parents despite the seemingly
mandatory character of Article 365 of the New Civil Code which states that [a]n adopted child shall
bear the surname of the adopter. The Supreme Court in Wong, responding to the Solicitor Generals
argument that reversion to the biological parents name violates Articles 341 and 365 of the Civil
Code, which requires an adopted child to use the surname of the adopter, held that [i]f we were to
follow the argument of the Solicitor General to its conclusion, then there will never be any
possibility or occasion for any person, regardless of status, to change his name, in view of the
supposed subsequent violation of the legal imperative on the use of surnames in the event that the
petition is granted. Rule 103 of the Rules of Court would then be rendered inutile. This could hardly
have been the intendment of the law. The case ofAlfonvsRepublic(GR No. L-51201, May 29, 1980)
also illustrates this point, where the Supreme Court allowed the petitioner (legitimate child) to use
the surname of her mother Alfon instead of that of her legitimate father Duterte, on substantive
grounds under Rule 103, namely that it will avoid confusion. The point from all this is that even if
Article 176 of the Family Code (as amended byRepublic Act 9255) were construed as to compel an
illegitimate child to use his fathers surname, that illegitimate child can still use a surname (other
than that of his father) based on substantive grounds warranted by Article 376 of the New Civil Code
through a Rule 103 proceeding.

Republic v. De Gracia

Persons and Family Relations. Article 36 Family Code. Psychological Incapacity.
Republic v. De Gracia
G.R. No. 171557; February 12, 2014

Rodolfo and Natividad were married on February 15, 1969 at a church in Zamboanga Del Norte. On
December 25, 1998, Rodolfo filed a verified complaint for the declaration of nullity of marriage alleging
that Natividad was psychologically incapacitated to comply with her essential marital obligations.
Petitioner furthered that he was forced to marry her barely 3 months into their courtship in light of her
accidental pregnancy. He was 21, she was 18. Natividad left their conjugal abode and sold their house
without his consent. Thereafter, she lived with a certain Engineer Terez. After cohabiting with Terez, she
contracted a second marriage with another man. Dr. Zalsos stated that both Rodolfo and Natividad were
psychologically incapacitated finding that both parties suffered from utter emotional immaturity.

Did the Court of Appeals err in sustaining the RTCs finding of psychological incapacity?

The petition is meritorious. There exists insufficient factual or legal basis to conclude that Natividads
emotional immaturity, irresponsibility, or even sexual promiscuity, can be equated with psychological
incapacity. The RTC relied heavily on Dr. Zalsos testimony which does not explain in reasonable detail
how Natividads condition could be characterized as grave, deeply-rooted and incurable within the
parameters of psychological incapacity jurisprudence. The petition is, therefore, granted and the decision
of CA reversed and set aside.

Petitioner, vs.
Respondent.G.R. Nos. 175279-80 June 5, 2013SUMMARYMother of two seeks spousal and child
support from rich husband.FACTSOn September 3, 2003, petitioner Susan Lim-Lua filed an action for the
declaration of nullity of her marriage with respondent Danilo Y. Lua, to the RTC. In her prayer for support
pendente lite for herself and her two children, petitioner sought the amount of
P500,000.00 as monthly support, citing respondents huge earnings from salaries and
dividends in several companies and businesses here and abroad. After due hearing,RTC cited Art. 203 of
the Family Code, stating that support is demandable from the timeplaintiff needed the said support but is
payable only from the date of judicial demand,and thus also granted support pendente lite of P250,000.00
(x 7 corresponding to the 7months that lapsed). Respondent filed an MFR asserting that petitioner is not
entitled tospousal support considering that she does not maintain for herself a separate dwellingfrom their
children and respondent has continued to support the family for their sustenance and well-
being in accordance with familys social and financial standi
ng. Asto the P250,000.00 granted by the trial court as monthly support pendente lite, as wellas the
P1,750,000.00 retroactive support, respondent found it unconscionable andbeyond the intendment of the
law for not having considered the needs of therespondent. The MFR was denied. His second MFR also
having been denied,respondent filed a petition for certiorari in the CA.
CA nullified RTCs ruling and changed
the amount to P115,000.00. The appellate court said that the trial court should not havecompletely
disregarded the expenses incurred by respondent consisting of the purchaseand maintenance of the two
cars, payment of tuition fees, travel expenses, and thecredit card purchases involving groceries, dry
goods and books, which certainly inuredto the benefit not only of the two children, but their mother
(petitioner) as well, and thusordered the deduction of the amount of PhP3,428,813.80 from the current
total supportin arrears of Danilo to his wife, Susan Lim Lua and their two children. It also noted thelack of
contribution from the petitioner in the joint obligation of spouses to support their children. Petitioner
appealed.ISSUEW/N the CA erred in deducting said amount from the current total support in
arrearsDECISIONThe SC declared that the petition is PARTLY GRANTED.

As a matter of law, theamount of support which those related by marriage and family relationship is
generallyobliged to give each other shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to
the needs of the recipient. Such support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling,
clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, inkeeping with the financial capacity of the
family. The general rule is to the effect thatwhen a father is required by a divorce decree to pay to the
mother money for thesupport of their dependent children and the unpaid and accrued installments
become judgments in her favor, he cannot, as a matter of law, claim credit on account of payments
voluntarily made directly to the children. Here, the CA should not haveallowed all the expenses incurred
by respondent to be credited against the accruedsupportpendente lite
Respondent requested from the National Statistics Office (NSO) a Certificate of No Marriage
(CENOMAR) as one of the requirements for her marriage with her boyfriend of five years. Upon
receipt thereof, she discovered that she was already married to a certain Ye Son Sune, a Korean
National, on June 24, 2002, at the Office of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Palace of
Justice. She denied having contracted said marriage and claimed that she did not know the alleged
husband; she did not appear before the solemnizing officer; and, that the signature appearing in the
marriage certificate is not hers. She filed a Petition under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court for
Cancellation of Entries in the Marriage Contract, especially the entries in the wife portion thereof.
Respondent impleaded the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City, as well as her alleged husband, as
parties to the case.
During trial, respondent testified on her behalf and explained that she could not have appeared
before Judge MamertoCaliflores, the supposed solemnizing officer, at the time the marriage was
allegedly celebrated, because she was then in Makati working as a medical distributor in
HansaoPharma. She completely denied having known the supposed husband, but she revealed that
she recognized the named witnesses to the marriage as she had met them while she was working
as a receptionist in Tadels Pension House. She believed that her name was used by a certain
Johnny Singh, who owned a travel agency, whom she gave her personal circumstances in order for
her to obtain a passport. Respondent also presented as witness a certain EufrocinaNatinga, an
employee of MTCC, Branch 1, who confirmed that the marriage of Ye Son Sune was indeed
celebrated in their office, but claimed that the alleged wife who appeared was definitely not
respondent. Lastly, a document examiner testified that the signature appearing in the marriage
contract was forged.
On May 5, 2009, the RTC rendered the assailed Decision in favor of respondent and directed the
Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City to cancel all the entries in the WIFE portion of the alleged marriage
contract of the petitioner and respondent Ye Son Sune. Finding that the signature appearing in the
subject marriage contract was not that of respondent, the court found basis in granting the latter's
prayer to straighten her record and rectify the terrible mistake.
1. Did the RTC correctly apply Rule 108 of the Rules of Court?
2. is the cancellation of all entries in the wife portion of the alleged marriage contract in effect a
declaration that the marriage is void ab initio?
1. YES. Since the promulgation of Republic v. Valencia in 1986, the Court has repeatedly ruled that
"even substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected through a petition filed under Rule 108,
with the true facts established and the parties aggrieved by the error availing themselves of the
appropriate adversarial proceeding."
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court sets forth the rules on cancellation or correction of entries in the civil
registry. It provides the procedure for cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry. The
proceedings may either be summary or adversary. If the correction is clerical, then the procedure to
be adopted is summary. If the rectification affects the civil status, citizenship or nationality of a party,
it is deemed substantial, and the procedure to be adopted is adversary.
An appropriate adversary suit or proceeding is one where the trial court has conducted proceedings
where all relevant facts have been fully and properly developed, where opposing counsel have been
given opportunity to demolish the opposite party's case, and where the evidence has been
thoroughly weighed and considered.
It is true that in special proceedings, formal pleadings and a hearing may be dispensed with, and the
remedy [is] granted upon mere application or motion. However, a special proceeding is not always
summary. The procedure laid down in Rule 108 is not a summary proceeding per se. It requires
publication of the petition; it mandates the inclusion as parties of all persons who may claim interest
which would be affected by the cancellation or correction; it also requires the civil registrar and any
person in interest to file their opposition, if any; and it states that although the court may make orders
expediting the proceedings, it is after hearing that the court shall either dismiss the petition or issue
an order granting the same. Thus, as long as the procedural requirements in Rule 108 are followed,
it is the appropriate adversary proceeding to effect substantial corrections and changes in entries of
the civil register.
In this case, the entries made in the wife portion of the certificate of marriage are admittedly the
personal circumstances of respondent. The latter, however, claims that her signature was forged
and she was not the one who contracted marriage with the purported husband. In other words, she
claims that no such marriage was entered into or if there was, she was not the one who entered into
such contract. It must be recalled that when respondent tried to obtain a CENOMAR from the NSO,
it appeared that she was married to a certain Ye Son Sune. She then sought the cancellation of
entries in the wife portion of the marriage certificate. HTCSDE
In filing the petition for correction of entry under Rule 108, respondent made the Local Civil Registrar
of Cebu City, as well as her alleged husband Ye Son Sune, as parties-respondents. It is likewise
undisputed that the procedural requirements set forth in Rule 108 were complied with. The Office of
the Solicitor General was likewise notified of the petition which in turn authorized the Office of the
City Prosecutor to participate in the proceedings. More importantly, trial was conducted where
respondent herself, the stenographer of the court where the alleged marriage was conducted, as
well as a document examiner, testified. Several documents were also considered as evidence. With
the testimonies and other evidence presented, the trial court found that the signature appearing in
the subject marriage certificate was different from respondent's signature appearing in some of her
government issued identification cards. The court thus made a categorical conclusion that
respondent's signature in the marriage certificate was not hers and, therefore, was forged. Clearly, it
was established that, as she claimed in her petition, no such marriage was celebrated.
2. NO. The SC maintained that Rule 108 cannot be availed of to determine the validity of marriage,
the SC ruled that it cannot nullify the proceedings before the trial court where all the parties had
been given the opportunity to contest the allegations of respondent; the procedures were followed,
and all the evidence of the parties had already been admitted and examined. Respondent indeed
sought, not the nullification of marriage as there was no marriage to speak of, but the correction of
the record of such marriage to reflect the truth as set forth by the evidence. Otherwise stated, in
allowing the correction of the subject certificate of marriage by cancelling the wife portion thereof, the
trial court did not, in any way, declare the marriage void as there was no marriage to speak of.
In Minoru Fujiki v. Maria Paz GalelaMarinay, Shinichi Maekara, Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City,
and the Administrator and Civil Registrar General of the National Statistics Office, the SC ruled that
a "petition for correction or cancellation of an entry in the civil registry cannot substitute for an action
to invalidate a marriage. A direct action is necessary to prevent circumvention of the substantive and
procedural safeguards of marriage under the Family Code, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC and other related
laws. Among these safeguards are the requirement of proving the limited grounds for the dissolution
of marriage, support pendente lite of the spouses and children, the liquidation, partition and
distribution of the properties of the spouses and the investigation of the public prosecutor to
determine collusion. A direct action for declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage is also
necessary to prevent circumvention of the jurisdiction of the Family Courts under the Family Courts
Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8369), as a petition for cancellation or correction of entries in the civil
registry may be filed in the Regional Trial Court where the corresponding civil registry is located. In
other words, a Filipino citizen cannot dissolve his marriage by the mere expedient of changing his
entry of marriage in the civil registry."
In this case, however, the SC found that aside from the certificate of marriage, no such evidence
was presented to show the existence of marriage. Rather, respondent showed by overwhelming
evidence that no marriage was entered into and that she was not even aware of such existence. The
testimonial and documentary evidence clearly established that the only "evidence" of marriage which
is the marriage certificate was a forgery.

Republic v. Cantor

Persons and Family Relations.Article 41 Family Code.Presumptive Death.
Republic v. Cantor
G.R. No. 184621; December 10, 2013

Sometime in January 1998, Jerry F. Cantor left his wife Maria Fe Espinosa Cantor after a violent quarrel.
After more than four years of not seeing or hearing from Jerry, Maria Fe filed a petition for the declaration
of presumptive death of her husband. She alleged that she conducted a diligent search for her husband
and exerted earnest efforts to find him. The RTC granted her petition. Dissatisfied with the ruling, the
OSG filed the present petition for review on certiorari.

Did Maria Fe have a well-founded belief that Jerry was dead in pursuant with Article 41 of the Family

Whether or not one has a well-founded belief that his or her spouse is dead depends on the unique
circumstance of each case and that there is no set standard or procedure in determining the same. Maria
Fes alleged well-founded belief arose when: 1) Jerrys relatives and friends could not give her any
information on his whereabouts; and 2) she did not find Jerrys name in the patients directory whenever
she went to a hospital. It appears that Maria Fe did not actively look for her husband in hospitals and it
may be sensed that her search was not intentional or planned. Her search for Jerry was far from diligent.
Were it not for the finality of the RTC ruling, the declaration of presumptive death should have been
recalled and set aside for utter lack of factual basis.

In Re Petition for Adoption of Michelle Lim and
Michael Lim
In Re Petition for Adoption of Michelle Lim and Michael Jude Lim
GR No. 168992-93, May 21, 2009

Monina Lim, petitioner, who was an optometrist was married with Primo Lim but were
childless. Minor children, were entrusted to them by Lucia, whose parents were
unknown as shown by a certification of DSWD. The spouses registered the children
making it appears as if they were the parents. Unfortunately, in 1998, Primo died.
She then married an American Citizen, Angel Olario in December 2000. Petitioner
decided to adopt the children by availing of the amnesty given under RA 8552 to
individuals who simulated the birth of a child. In 2002, she filed separate petitions
for adoption of Michelle and Michael before the trial court. Michelle was then 25
years old and already married and Michael was 18 years and seven months old.
Michelle and her husband including Michael and Olario gave their consent to the
adoption executed in an affidavit.

ISSUE: WON petitioner who has remarried can singly adopt.

Petition was denied. The time the petitions were filed, petitioner had already
remarried. Husband and wife shall jointly adopt except in 3 instances which was not
present in the case at bar. In case spouses jointly adopts, they shall jointly exercised
parental authority. The use of the word shall signifies that joint adoption of
husband and wife is mandatory. This is in consonance with the concept of joint
parental authority since the child to be adopted is elevated to the level of a legitimate
child, it is but natural to require spouses to adopt jointly. The affidavit of consent
given by Olario will not suffice since there are certain requirements that he must
comply as an American Citizen. He must meet the qualifications set forth in Sec7 of
RA8552. The requirements on residency and certification of the aliens qualification
to adopt cannot likewise be waived pursuant to Sec 7. Parental authority is merely
just one of the effects of legal adoption. It includes caring and rearing the children
for civic consciousness and efficiency and development of their moral mental and
physical character and well-being.

Home Civil Law Syed Azhar Abbas vs Gloria Goo-Abbas

Civil Law Family Code Bigamy Void Ab Initio Marriage Lack of a Marriage License
Remedial Law Evidence Probative Value Public Records
In January 1993, Syed Azhar Abbas was invited to the house of Felicitas Goo, mother of Gloria Goo.
He said he was asked to participate in a ceremony which was meant to welcome him to the
Philippines (Abbas is a Pakistani). He said he did not know that the ceremony was actually his
marriage with Gloria Goo.
Later, Gloria filed a bigamy case against Abbas. Abbas allegedly married a certain Maria Corazon
To avoid the bigamy case, Abbas filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Gloria
To prove the validity of their marriage, Gloria presented a marriage contract signed by Abbas as well
as the solemnizing officer who celebrated their marriage. The marriage contract contained the
alleged marriage license issued to Abbas.
Abbas presented a certification issued by the Local Civil Registrar which states that the marriage
license, based on its number, indicated in the marriage contract was never issued to Abbas but to
someone else.
The RTC ruled in favor of Abbas. However, the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC on the ground
that there was no diligence to search for the real source of the marriage license issued to Abbas (for
it could be that the marriage license was issued in another municipality).
ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Abbas and Goo is void ab initio.
HELD: Yes. Their marriage lacked one of the essential requisites of marriage which is the issuance
of a valid marriage license.
The Court of Appeals is wrong in reversing the RTC. The Local Civil registrars certification enjoyed
probative value as her duty was to maintain records of data relative to the issuance of a marriage
license. There is a presumption of regularity of official acts in favor of the local civil registrar. Gloria
was not able to overcome this presumption hence it stands to favor Abbas.
The fact that Abbas did sign the marriage contract does not make it conclusive that there was in fact
a valid marriage license issued to him nor does it cure the fact that no marriage license was issued
to Abbas. Article 4 of the Family Code is clear when it says, The absence of any of the essential or
formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio. Article 35(3) of the Family Code also
provides that a marriage solemnized without a license is void from the beginning.

Pana v Heirs of Jose Juanite, Sr. and Jose Juanite, Jr.December 10, 2012FACTS:
The prosecution accused EfrenPana, his wife Melencia, and others of murder before the Regional Trial
Court of Surigao City, and eventually a decision was renderedacquittingEfren of the charge for
insufficiency of evidence but finding Melenciaandanother person guilty as charged and was sentenced
to death. The Supreme Court
affirmed RTCs decision but modified the pen
alty to Reclusion Perpetua. As for themonetary awards, the court affirmed the award of civil indemnity
and moral damages butdeleted the award for actual damages for lack of evidentiary basis. In its place
the courtmade an award of php15, 000 each by way of temperate damages. In addition, the
courtawarded Php50, 000.00 exemplary damages per victim to be paid solidarily by them. Thedecision
became executory of October 1, 2001.Upon motion for execution by the heirs of the deceased, the RTC
ordered theissuance of the writ resulting in the levy of real properties registered in the names ofEfren
and Melencia. Subsequently, a notice of levy and a notice of sale on executionwere issued. On April 3,
2002, Efren and his wife Melecia filed a motion to quash thewrit of execution claiming that the
properties levied were conjugal assets and
not paraphernal of Melecia. On September 16, 2002, the RTC denied the motion. Thespouses moved for
reconsideration but the RTC denied the same. In this case, it issubmitted that Efren and Melencia were
married when the Civil Code was still in effect.They did not execute a pre-nuptial agreement, hence CPG
governed their propertyrelations. However, both RTC and CA held that property regime changed into
ACP whenfamily code took effect it reason out that Art. 256 of the Family Code provides that theCode
shall have retroactive effect in so far as it does not prejudice or impair vested oracquired rights in
accordance with the Civil Code or other laws.Both the RTC and the Court of the Appeals are in error on
this point. While it istrue that the personal stakes of each spouses in their conjugal assets are inchoate
orunclear prior to the liquidation of the conjugal partnership of hains and, therefore none ofthem can
be said to have acquired vested rights in specific assets , it is evident thatArticle 256 of the Family Code
does not intend to reac back and automatically convertinto absolute community of property
relations all conjugal partnership of gains thatexisted before 1988 excepting only those with prenuptial
Whether or not the conjugal properties of spouses Efren and Melencia can be levied and
executed upon for the satisfaction of Melencias civil liability in the aforesaid murder case.

SUPREME COURT:YES, provided that the conditions under Article 121 of the Family Code have
First of all, the Supreme Court explained that it is clear from the facts that EfrenandMelencia were
married when the Civil code was still the operative law on marriages. The presumption, absent any
evidence to the contrary, is that they were married under the regime ofconjugal partnership of
gains.Furthermore, Article 119 of the Civil Code provides that the future spouses main inmarriage
settlements agree upon absolute or relative community or conjugal partnership of gainsor upon a
complete separation of property, or upon any other regime. The family code itself provides in Article 76
that marriage settlements cannot be modified except prior to marriage, andclearly, under this situation,
the spouses cannot modify their regime. Post marriage modificationof settlements can take place only
where (a) the absolute community or conjugal partnership wasdissolved and liquidated upon a decree of
legal separation; (b) the spouses who were legallyseparated reconciled and agreed to revive their
former property regime; (c)judicial separation of property had been had on the ground that a spouse
abandons the other without just cause or failsto comply with his obligations to the family; (d) there was
judicial separation of property underarticle 135; (e) the spouses jointly filed a petition for the voluntary
dissolution of their absolutecommunity or conjugal partnership of gains. None of these circumstances
exists in this case

et al.,
respondents.G.R. No. 169766 March 30, 2011 First Division Del Castillo,
FACTS:Before his death, Sen. Tamano married Estrellita twice -initially under the Islamic lawsand
tradition, and, subsequently, under a civil ceremony officiated by an RTC Judge. In their marriage
contracts, Sen. Tamano's civil status was indicated as divorced. Since then, Estrellitahas been
representing herself to the whole world as Sen. Tamano's wife, and upon his death,hiswidow.Private
respondents Zorayda, the alleged wife of Sen. Tamano, and Adib, her son, in their own behalf and in
behalf of the rest of Sen. Tamanoslegitimate children, filed a complaintwith the RTC for the declaration
of nullity of marriage between Estrellita and Sen. Tamano. Thecomplaint alleged that Sen. Tamano
married Zorayda under civil rites, and that this marriageremained subsisting when he married Estrellita.
Zorayda further alleged that her marriage withSen. Tamano is governed by the New Civil Code as having
been celebrated thereto. Moreover,the deceased did not and could not have divorced Zorayda by
invoking the provision of P.D.1083, otherwise known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, for the
simple reason that themarriage of the deceased with Zorayda was never deemed, legally and factually,
to have beenone contracted under Muslim law as provided under Art. 186 (2) of P.D. 1083, since they
did notregister their mutual desire to be thus covered by this law. Instead of filing an Answer,
Estrellitafiled a Motion to Dismiss where she declared that Sen. Tamano and Zorayda are both
Muslimswho were married under the Muslim rites. Estrellita argued that the RTC has no jurisdiction
totake cognizance of the case because under P.D. No. 1083, or the Code of Muslim PersonalLaws of the
Philippines, questions and issues involving Muslim marriages and divorce fall under the exclusive
jurisdiction of shari'acourts.The trial court denied Estrellita's motion and asserted its jurisdiction over
the case for declaration of nullity.

Thus, Estrellita filed a certiorari petition with the SC questioning the denialof her Motion to Dismiss. The
SC referred the petition to the CA During the pendency of thepetition before the CA, the RTC continued
to try the case since there can be no default in casesof declaration of nullity of marriage even if
the respondent failed to file an answer. Estrellita was allowed to participate in the trial while her
opposing parties presented their evidence. When itwasAEstrellita's turn to adduce evidence, the
hearings set for such purpose were postponed mostly at her instance until the trial court suspended the
proceedings in view of the CA's TROenjoining it from hearing the case. Eventually, however, the CA
resolved the petition adverse toEstrellita. Estrellita then elevated the appellate court's judgment to SC
by way of a petition for review on certiorari Subsequent to the promulgation of the CA Decision, the RTC
orderedEstrellita to present her evidence. As Estrellita was indisposed on that day, the hearing wasreset,
as well as the day before the scheduled hearing. Unhappy with the delays in theresolution of their case,
Zorayda and Adib moved to submit the case for decision, reasoning thatEstrellita had long been delaying
the case. Estrellita opposed, on the ground that she has notyet filed her answer as she still awaits the
outcome of her petition on certiorari before the SC.The SC upheld the jurisdiction of the RTC, stating as
one of the reasons that as shari'acourtsare not vested with original and exclusive jurisdiction in cases of
marriages celebrated under both the Civil Code and PD 1083, the RTC, as a court of general jurisdiction,
is not precludedfrom assuming jurisdiction over such cases. A few days before the resolution of SC, the
RTCrendered the judgment declaring Estrellita's marriage with Sen. Tamano as void ab initio. Onappeal,
the CA upheld the decision of the RTC.Estrellita argues that the CA erred in upholding the RTC judgment
as the latter wasprematurely issued, depriving her of the opportunity to file an answer and to present
her evidence to dispute the allegations against the validity of her marriage. She invokes theapplication
of the case of Judge Macias vs. Macias on her behalf. She maintains that shemerely participated in the
RTC hearings because of the trial court's assurance that theproceedings will be without prejudice to
whatever action the High Court will take on her petition

questioning the RTC's jurisdiction and yet, the RTC violated this commitment as it rendered anadverse
judgment. She also questions the lack of a report of the public prosecutor anent afinding of whether
there was collusion, this being a prerequisite before further proceeding couldbe held when a party has
failed to file an answer in a suit for declaration of nullity of marriage.Estrellita is also steadfast in her
belief that her marriage with the late senator is valid as thelatter was already divorced under the
Muslim Code at the time he married her. She asserts thatsuch law automatically applies to the marriage
of Zorayda and the deceased without need of registering their consent to be covered by it, as both
parties are Muslims whose marriage wassolemnized under Muslim law. She pointed out that Sen.
Tamano married all his wives under Muslim rites, as attested to by the affidavits of the siblings of the
deceased. Lastly, Estrellitaargues that Zorayda and Adib have no legal standing to file suit because only
the husband or the wife can file a complaint for the declaration of nullity of marriage.ISSUES:1. Whether
or not the CA erred in affirming the trial court's judgment, even though the latter was rendered
prematurely because: a) the judgment was rendered without waiting for the Supreme Court's final
resolution of her
petition; b) she has not yet filed her answer and thus was denied due process; and c) the public
prosecutor did not evenconduct an investigation whether there was collusion;2. Whether or not the
marriage between Estrellita and the late Sen. Tamanowasbigamous; and3. Whether or not Zorayda and
Adib have the legal standing to have Estrellita's marriagedeclared void
ab initio.
Estrelitas refusal to file an answer eventually led to the loss of her right to answer; and
her pending petition for certiorari or review on certiorari questioning the denial of themotion to dismiss
before the higher courts does not all suspend the trial proceedings of the principal suit before the RTC.
Estrellita argues that the trials court prematurely issued its judgment, as it shouldhave waited first for
the resolution of her Motion to Dismiss before the CA and,subsequently, before the SC. However, in
upholding the RTC, the CA correctly ailedthat the pendency of, a petition for certiorari does not suspend
the proceedingsbefore the trial court. An application for certiorari is an independent action which isnot
part or a continuation of the trial which resulted in the rendition of the judgmentcomplained of.

Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is explicit in stating that "[t]he petitionshall not interrupt the course of the
principal case unless a temporary restrainingorder or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued
against the publicrespondent from further proceeding in the case."

In fact, the trial court respected theCA's temporary restraining order and only after the CA rendered
judgment did theRTC again require Estrellita to present her evidence.
It can never be argued that Estrellita was deprived of her right to due process. Shewas never declared in
default, and she even actively participated in the trial
todefend her interest. Estrellita obviously misappreciated
. All the SCpronounced therein is that the trial court is mandated to suspend trial until it finallyresolves
the motion to dismiss that is filed before it. Nothing in the above excerptstates that the trial court
should suspend its proceedings should the issue of thepropriety or impropriety of the motion to dismiss
be raised before the appellatecourts. In Macias, the trial court failed to observe due process in the
course of theproceeding of the case because after it denied the wife's motion to dismiss, itimmediately
proceeded to allow the husband to present evidence
ex parte
andresolved the case with undue haste even when, under the rules of procedure, thewife still had time
to file an answer. In the instant case, Estrellita had no time left for filing an answer, as she filed the
motion to dismiss beyond the extended periodearlier granted by the trial court after she filed motions
for extension of time to file ananswe

Case Digests and Scratch Notes

Posted by kaye lee on 10:15 PM
Jenie San Juan dela Cruz vs Ronald Paul S. Gracia, in his capacity as City Civil Registrar
G.R. No. 177728, July 31, 2009

Jenie was denied the registration of her child's birth because the document attached to the Affidavit to use the
Surname of the Father (AUSF) entitled "Autobiography," did not include the signature of the deceased father,
and because he was born out of wedlock and the father unfortunately died prior to his birth and has no
more capacity to acknowledge his paternity to the child.

Jenie and the child promptly filed a complaint for injunction/registration of name against Gracia. The trial court held
that even if Dominique, the father, was the author of the unsigned handwritten Autobiography, the same does not
contain any express recognition of paternity.

Whether or not the unsigned handwritten instrument of the deceased father of minor Christian can be considered as a
recognition of paternity.

Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by RA 9255, permits an illegitimate child to use the surname of his/her
father if the latter had previously recognized him/her as his offspring through an admission made in a pubic of
private handwritten instrument.

Article 176, as amended, does not explicitly state that there must be a signature by the putative father in the private
handwritten instrument.
The following rules respecting the requirement of affixing the signature of the acknowledging parent in any private
handwritten instrument wherein an admission of filiation of a legitimate or illegitimate child is made:

1) Where the private handwritten instrument is the lone piece of evidence submitted to prove filiation, there
should be strict compliance with the requirement that the same must be signed by the acknowledging parent; and

2) Where the private handwritten instrument is accompanied by other relevant and competent evidence, it
suffices that the claim of filiation therein be shown to have been made and handwritten by the acknowledging parent
as it is merely corroborative of such other evidence.