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G.R. No.

L-22523 September 29, 1967


IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE MINOR, EDWIN VILLA Y MENDOZA. LUIS E.
SANTOS, JR. and EDIPOLA V. SANTOS, petitioners-appellants,
vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, oppositor-appellee.
ANGELES, J .:
The above-named spouses filed the petition before the court a quo on January 8, 1963, praying that the
minor Edwin Villa y Mendoza, 4 years old, be declared their (petitioner's) son by adoption.
It was established that the petitioners are both 32 years of age, Filipinos, residing in the City of Manila.
They were married in 1957 and have maintained a conjugal home of their own. They do not have a child
of their own blood. Neither spouse has any legitimate, legitimated, illegitimate, acknowledged natural
child, or natural child by legal fiction, nor has any one of them been convicted of a crime involving moral
turpitude. Edwin Villa y Mendoza, 4 years old, is a child of Francisco Villa and Florencia Mendoza who
are the common parents of the petitioner-wife Edipola Villa Santos and the minor. Luis E. Santos, Jr., is a
lawyer, with business interests in a textile development enterprise and the IBA electric plant, and is the
general manager of Medry Inc. and the secretary-treasurer of Bearen Enterprises. His income is
approximately P600.00 a month. His co-petitioner-wife, is a nurse by profession, with an average monthly
earning of about P300.00.
It was also shown that Edwin Villa y Mendoza was born on May 22, 1958, Exhibit C. He was a sickly child
since birth. Due to the child's impairing health his parents entrusted him to the petitioners who reared and
brought him up for the years thereafter, and as a result, there developed between the petitioners and the
child, a deep and profound love for each other. The natural parents of the minor testified that they have
voluntarily given their consent to the adoption of their son by the petitioners, and submitted their written
consent and conformity to the adoption, and that they fully understand the legal consequences of the
adoption of their child by the petitioners.
We are not aware of any provision in the law, and none has been pointed to Us by the Office of the
Solicitor General who argues for the State in this case, that relatives, by blood or by affinity, are prohibited
from adopting one another. The only objection raised is the alleged "incongruity" that will result in the
relation of the petitioner-wife and the adopted, in the circumstance that the adopted who is the legitimate
brother of the adopter, will also be her son by adoption.
With respect to the objection that the adoption in this particular case will result in a dual relationship
between the parties, that the adopted brother will also be the son of the adopting elder sister, that fact
alone should not prevent the adoption. One is by nature, while the other is by fiction of law. The
relationship established by the adoption is limited to the adopting parents and does not extend to their
other relatives, except as expressly provided by law. Thus, the adopted child cannot be considered as a
relative of the ascendants and collaterals of the adopting parents, nor of the legitimate children which they
may have after the adoption except that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of
adoption. Neither are the children of the adopted considered as descendants of the adopter (Tolentino,
Civil Code, Vol. I, 1960 Ed., p. 652, citing 1 Oyuelos 284; Perez, Gonzales and Castan; 4-11 Enneccerus,
Kipp & Wolff 177; Muoz P. 104).

G.R. No. 92326 January 24, 1992
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and ZENAIDA C. BOBILES, respondents.
REGALADO, J .:
On February 2, 1988, Zenaida Corteza Bobiles filed a petition to adopt Jason Condat, then six (6) years
old and who had been living with her family since he was four (4) months old, before the Regional Trial
Court of Legaspi City, docketed therein as Special Proceeding No. 1386.
3

Compliance with the jurisdictional requirements having been proved at the hearing, the testimonies of
herein private respondent, together with that of her husband, Dioscoro Bobiles, and one Ma. Luz
Salameno of the Department of Social Welfare and Development were taken and admitted in the
proceedings.
On March 20, 1988, the trial court rendered judgment disposing as follows:
ACCORDINGLY, it is declared that henceforth, the minor child, JASON CONDAT, be
freed from all legal obligations of obedience and maintenance with respect to his natural
parents, and be, to all intents and purposes, the child of the spouses Dioscoro and
Zenaida Bobiles, and the surname of the child be changed to "Bobiles" which is the
surname of the petitioner.
Furnish the Office of the Solicitor General, Manila, the Department of Social Welfare and
Development, Regional Office, Region V, Legaspi City, and the Local Civil Registrar of
Tiwi, Albay, with copies of this decision.
6

Herein petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which, as earlier stated, affirmed the aforesaid
decision of the court below. Hence, this present petition with the following assignment of errors:
1. The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the Family Code cannot be applied
retroactively to the petition for adoption filed by Zenaida C. Bobiles; and
2 The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court's decision which
granted the petition to adopt Jason Condat in favor of spouses Dioscoro Bobiles and
Zenaida C. Bobiles.
7

The petition for adoption was filed by private respondent Zenaida C. Bobiles on February 2, 1988, when
the law applicable was Presidential Decree No. 603, the Child and Youth Welfare Code. Under said code,
a petition for adoption may be filed by either of the spouses or by both of them. However, after the trial
court rendered its decision and while the case was pending on appeal in the Court of Appeals, Executive
Order No. 209, the Family Code, took effect on August 3, 1988. Under the said new law, joint adoption by
husband and wife is mandatory.
On the foregoing consideration, petitioner contends that the petition for adoption should be dismissed
outright for it was filed solely by private respondent without joining her husband, in violation of Article 185
of the Family Code which requires joint adoption by the spouses. It argues that the Family Code must be
applied retroactively to the petition filed by Mrs. Bobiles, as the latter did not acquire a vested right to
adopt Jason Condat by the mere filing of her petition for adoption. We are not persuaded.
Article 246 of the Family Code provides for retroactive effect of appropriate relevant provisions thereof,
subject to the qualification that such retrospective application will not prejudice or impair vested or
acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws.
A vested right is one whose existence, effectivity and extent does not depend upon events foreign to the
will of the holder.
Under the Child and Youth Welfare Code, private respondent had the right to file a petition for adoption by
herself, without joining her husband therein. When Mrs. Bobiles filed her petition, she was exercising her
explicit and unconditional right under said law.

G.R. No. 94147 June 8, 1994
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE RODOLFO TOLEDANO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial
Court, Third Judicial Region, Branch 69, Iba, Zambales and SPOUSES ALVIN A. CLOUSE and
EVELYN A. CLOUSE,respondents.
PUNO, J .:
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision
1
of the Regional Trial Court of Iba,
Zambales, Branch 69, in Special Proceeding No. RTC-140-I, entitled, "In the Matter of the Adoption of the
Minor named Solomon Joseph Alcala", raising a pure question of law.
The sole issue for determination concerns the right of private respondents spouses Alvin A. Clouse and
Evelyn A. Clouse who are aliens to adopt under Philippine Law.
On February 21, 1990, in a verified petition filed before the Regional Trial Court of Iba, Zambales, private
respondents spouses Clouse sought to adopt the minor, Solomon Joseph Alcala, the younger brother of
private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse. In an Order issued on March 12, 1990, the petition was set for
hearing on April 18, 1990. The said Order was published in a newspaper of general circulation in the
province of Zambales and City of Olongapo for three (3) consecutive weeks.
The principal evidence disclose that private respondent Alvin A. Clouse is a natural born citizen of the
United States of America. He married Evelyn, a Filipino on June 4, 1981 at Olongapo City. On August 19,
1988, Evelyn became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America in Guam. They are physically,
mentally, morally, and financially capable of adopting Solomon, a twelve (12) year old minor.
Since 1981 to 1984, then from November 2, 1989 up to the present, Solomon Joseph Alcala was and has
been under the care and custody of private respondents. Solomon gave his consent to the adoption. His
mother, Nery Alcala, a widow, likewise consented to the adoption due to poverty and inability to support
and educate her son. = petition granted.
Petitioner, through the Office of the Solicitor General appealed to us for relief, contending:
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE PETITION FOR ADOPTION OF
ALVIN AND EVELYN CLOUSE, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO ADOPT
UNDER PHILIPPINE LAW.
We rule for petitioner.
Under Articles 184 and 185 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 209, otherwise known as "The Family Code of
the Philippines", private respondents spouses Clouse are clearly barred from adopting Solomon Joseph
Alcala.
Article 184, paragraph (3) of Executive Order No. 209 expressly enumerates the persons who are not
qualified to adopt, viz.:
(3) An alien, except:
(a) A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative by
consanguinity;
(b) One who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his or her Filipino
spouse; or
(c) One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with
his or her spouse a relative by consanguinity of the latter.
Aliens not included in the foregoing exceptions may adopt Filipino
children in accordance with the rules on inter-country adoption as may
be provided by law.
There can be no question that private respondent Alvin A. Clouse is not qualified to adopt Solomon
Joseph Alcala under any of the exceptional cases in the aforequoted provision. In the first place, he is not
a former Filipino citizen but a natural born citizen of the United States of America. In the second place,
Solomon Joseph Alcala is neither his relative by consanguinity nor the legitimate child of his spouse. In
the third place, when private respondents spouses Clouse jointly filed the petition to adopt Solomon
Joseph Alcala on February 21, 1990, private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse was no longer a Filipino
citizen. She lost her Filipino citizenship when she was naturalized as a citizen of the United States in
1988.
Private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse, on the other hand, may appear to qualify pursuant to paragraph
3(a) of Article 184 of E.O. 209. She was a former Filipino citizen. She sought to adopt her younger
brother. Unfortunately, the petition for adoption cannot be granted in her favor alone without violating
Article 185 which mandates a joint adoption by the husband and wife. It reads:
Article 185. Husband and wife must jointly adopt, except in the following cases:
(1) When one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child; or
(2) When one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other.
Article 185 requires a joint adoption by the husband and wife, a condition that must be read along
together with Article 184.
3

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. CLAUDE A. MILLER and JUMRUS S.
MILLER, respondents.
D E C I S I O N
PARDO, J .:
On July 29, 1988, the spouses Claude A. Miller and Jumrus S. Miller, filed with the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 59, Angeles City, a verified petition to adopt the minor Michael Magno Madayag.
"Claude A. Miller, 38 years old and Jumrus S. Miller, 40 years of age, both American citizens, are
husband and wife, having been married on June 21, 1982.
They were childless and "do not expect to have sibling out of their union on account of a medical problem
of the wife."
Claude A. Miller was a member of the United States Air Force, as airman first class, assigned at Clark Air
Base since January 26, 1985.
"The family maintains their residence at Don Bonifacio Subdivision, Balibago, Angeles City, since 1985."
[1]

"The minor Michael Magno Madayag is the legitimate son of Marcelo S. Madayag, Jr. and Zenaida
Magno. Born on July 14, 1987, at San Fernando, La Union, the minor has been in the custody of
respondents since the first week of August 1987. Poverty and deep concern for the future of their son
prompted the natural parents who have no visible means of livelihood to have their child adopted by
respondents. They executed affidavits giving their irrevocable consent to the adoption by respondents."
"WHEREFORE, finding that petitioners possess all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications for
adoption, the instant petition is hereby Granted, and this Court decrees the minor MICHAEL MAGNO
MADAYAG freed from all obligation of obedience and support with respect to natural parents and is
hereby declared the child of the herein petitioners by adoption. The minor's surname shall be changed
from "MADAYAG" to "MILLER", which is the surname of the herein petitioners."
[3]

The issue raised is whether the court may allow aliens to adopt a Filipino child despite the prohibition
under the Family Code,
[4]
effective on August 3, 1988
[5]
when the petition for adoption was filed on July
29, 1988, under the provision of the Child and Youth Welfare Code
[6]
which allowed aliens to adopt.
Therefore, an alien who filed a petition for adoption before the effectivity of the Family code, although
denied the right to adopt under Art. 184 of said Code, may continue with his petition under the law
prevailing before the Family Code.
[11]



FIRST DIVISION


IN RE: PETITION FOR G.R. Nos. 168992-93
ADOPTION OF MICHELLE P.
LIM, Present:

MONINA P. LIM, PUNO, C.J., Chairperson,
Petitioner. CARPIO,
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x CORONA,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, and
IN RE: PETITION FOR BERSAMIN, JJ.
ADOPTION OF MICHAEL JUDE
P. LIM,
Promulgated:
MONINA P. LIM,
Petitioner. May 21, 2009
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x


The Facts

The following facts are undisputed. Petitioner is an optometrist by profession. On 23 June 1974, she
married Primo Lim (Lim). They were childless. Minor children, whose parents were unknown, were
entrusted to them by a certain Lucia Ayuban (Ayuban). Being so eager to have a child of their own,
petitioner and Lim registered the children to make it appear that they were the childrens parents. The
children
[2]
were named Michelle P. Lim (Michelle) and Michael Jude P. Lim (Michael). Michelle was barely
eleven days old when brought to the clinic of petitioner. She was born on 15 March 1977.
[3]
Michael was
11 days old when Ayuban brought him to petitioners clinic. His date of birth is 1 August 1983.
[4]


The spouses reared and cared for the children as if they were their own. They sent the children to
exclusive schools. They used the surname Lim in all their school records and documents. Unfortunately,
on 28 November 1998, Lim died. On 27 December 2000, petitioner married Angel Olario (Olario), an
American citizen.

Thereafter, petitioner decided to adopt the children by availing of the amnesty
[5]
given under
Republic Act No. 8552
[6]
(RA 8552) to those individuals who simulated the birth of a child. Thus, on 24
April 2002, petitioner filed separate petitions for the adoption of Michelle and Michael before the trial
court docketed as SPL PROC. Case Nos. 1258 and 1259, respectively. At the time of the filing of the
petitions for adoption, Michelle was 25 years old and already married, while Michael was 18 years and
seven months old.

The trial court ruled that since petitioner had remarried, petitioner should have filed the petition jointly with
her new husband. The trial court ruled that joint adoption by the husband and the wife is mandatory citing
Section 7(c), Article III of RA 8552 and Article 185 of the Family Code.

Issue

Petitioner appealed directly to this Court raising the sole issue of whether or not petitioner, who has
remarried, can singly adopt.
----RULING:
It is undisputed that, at the time the petitions for adoption were filed, petitioner had already
remarried. She filed the petitions by herself, without being joined by her husband Olario. We have no
other recourse but to affirm the trial courts decision denying the petitions for adoption. Dura lex sed
lex. The law is explicit. Section 7, Article III of RA 8552 reads:

SEC. 7. Who May Adopt. - The following may adopt:

(a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal
rights, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral
turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen
(16) years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her
children in keeping with the means of the family. The requirement of sixteen (16) year
difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter
is the biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptees parent;

(b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino
nationals: Provided, That his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the
Philippines, that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous
years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until
the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or
consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity
to adopt in his/her country, and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter
his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter: Provided, further, That the requirements
on residency and certification of the aliens qualification to adopt in his/her country may
be waived for the following:

(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth
(4
th
) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or

(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino
spouse; or

(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with
his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4
th
) degree of consanguinity or affinity
of the Filipino spouses; or

(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship
and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.

Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other;
or

(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate
son/daughter: Provided, however, That the other spouse has signified his/her
consent thereto; or

(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the illegitimate
son/daughter of the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses.
(Emphasis supplied)


The use of the word shall in the above-quoted provision means 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. 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. The rule also insures harmony between the spouses.
[12]


The law is clear. There is no room for ambiguity. Petitioner, having remarried at the time the
petitions for adoption were filed, must jointly adopt. Since the petitions for adoption were filed only by
petitioner herself, without joining her husband, Olario, the trial court was correct in denying the petitions
for adoption on this ground.
Neither does petitioner fall under any of the three exceptions enumerated in Section 7. First, the
children to be adopted are not the legitimate children of petitioner or of her husband Olario. Second, the
children are not the illegitimate children of petitioner. And third, petitioner and Olario are not legally
separated from each other.

The fact that Olario gave his consent to the adoption as shown in his Affidavit of Consent does not
suffice. There are certain requirements that Olario must comply being an American citizen. He must meet
the qualifications set forth in Section 7 of RA 8552 such as: (1) he must prove that his country has
diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines; (2) he must have been living in the Philippines for
at least three continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption; (3) he must maintain such
residency until the adoption decree is entered; (4) he has legal capacity to adopt in his own country; and
(5) the adoptee is allowed to enter the adopters country as the latters adopted child. None of these
qualifications were shown and proved during the trial.

These requirements on residency and certification of the aliens qualification to adopt cannot
likewise be waived pursuant to Section 7. The children or adoptees are not relatives within the fourth
degree of consanguinity or affinity of petitioner or of Olario. Neither are the adoptees the legitimate
children of petitioner.


Effects of Adoption

Petitioner contends that joint parental authority is not anymore necessary since the children have
been emancipated having reached the age of majority. This is untenable.

Parental authority includes caring for and rearing the children for civic consciousness and efficiency
and the development of their moral, mental and physical character and well-being.
[13]
The father and the
mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children.
[14]
Even the
remarriage of the surviving parent shall not affect the parental authority over the children, unless the court
appoints another person to be the guardian of the person or property of the children.
[15]


It is true that when the child reaches the age of emancipation that is, when he attains the age of
majority or 18 years of age

emancipation terminates parental authority over the person and property of
the child, who shall then be qualified and responsible for all acts of civil life.
[17]
However, parental
authority is merely just one of the effects of legal adoption. Article V of RA 8552 enumerates the effects of
adoption, thus:

ARTICLE V

EFFECTS OF ADOPTION

SEC. 16. Parental Authority. - Except in cases where the biological parent is the
spouse of the adopter, all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee
shall be severed and the same shall then be vested on the adopter(s).

SEC. 17. Legitimacy. - The adoptee shall be considered the legitimate
son/daughter of the adopter(s) for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all
the rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate sons/daughters born to them
without discrimination of any kind. To this end, the adoptee is entitled to love, guidance,
and support in keeping with the means of the family.

SEC. 18. Succession. - In legal and intestate succession, the adopter(s) and the
adoptee shall have reciprocal rights of succession without distinction from legitimate
filiation. However, if the adoptee and his/her biological parent(s) had left a will, the law on
testamentary succession shall govern.
Adoption has, thus, the following effects: (1) sever all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and
the adoptee, except when the biological parent is the spouse of the adopter; (2) deem the adoptee as a
legitimate child of the adopter; and (3) give adopter and adoptee reciprocal rights and obligations arising
from the relationship of parent and child, including but not limited to: (i) the right of the adopter to choose
the name the child is to be known; and (ii) the right of the adopter and adoptee to be legal and
compulsory heirs of each other.
[18]
Therefore, even if emancipation terminates parental authority, the
adoptee is still considered a legitimate child of the adopter with all the rights
[19]
of a legitimate child such
as: (1) to bear the surname of the father and the mother; (2) to receive support from their parents; and
(3) to be entitled to the legitime and other successional rights. Conversely, the adoptive parents shall,
with respect to the adopted child, enjoy all the benefits to which biological parents are entitled
[20]
such as
support
[21]
and successional rights.
[22]


We are mindful of the fact that adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, hold the interests and
welfare of the child to be of paramount consideration. They are designed to provide homes, parental care
and education for unfortunate, needy or orphaned children and give them the protection of society and
family, as well as to allow childless couples or persons to experience the joys of parenthood and give
them legally a child in the person of the adopted for the manifestation of their natural parental instincts.
Every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill these noble and compassionate
objectives of the law.
[23]
But, as we have ruled in Republic v. Vergara:
[24]


We are not unmindful of the main purpose of adoption statutes, which is the
promotion of the welfare of the children. Accordingly, the law should be construed
liberally, in a manner that will sustain rather than defeat said purpose. The law must also
be applied with compassion, understanding and less severity in view of the fact that it is
intended to provide homes, love, care and education for less fortunate children.
Regrettably, the Court is not in a position to affirm the trial courts decision favoring
adoption in the case at bar, for the law is clear and it cannot be modified without
violating the proscription against judicial legislation. Until such time however, that
the law on the matter is amended, we cannot sustain the respondent-spouses petition for
adoption. (Emphasis supplied)


Petitioner, being married at the time the petitions for adoption were filed, should have jointly filed the
petitions with her husband. We cannot make our own legislation to suit petitioner.

Petitioner, in her Memorandum, insists that subsequent events would show that joint adoption could
no longer be possible because Olario has filed a case for dissolution of his marriage to petitioner in the
Los Angeles Superior Court.

We disagree. The filing of a case for dissolution of the marriage between petitioner and Olario is of
no moment. It is not equivalent to a decree of dissolution of marriage. Until and unless there is a judicial
decree for the dissolution of the marriage between petitioner and Olario, the marriage still subsists. That
being the case, joint adoption by the husband and the wife is required. We reiterate our ruling above that
since, at the time the petitions for adoption were filed, petitioner was married to Olario, joint adoption is
mandatory.


G.R. No. L-43955-56 July 30, 1979
RENATO LAZATIN alias RENATO STA. CLARA, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE JUDGE JOSE C. CAMPOS, JR., NORA L. DE LEON, BERNARDO DE LEON, ARLENE
DE LEON and IRMA L. VELOSO, respondents.

TEEHANKEE,
The Court dismisses the petition which seeks to overrule respondent judge's orders declaring that
petitioner has failed to establish by competent evidence his alleged status as an adopted child of the
deceased Lazatin spouses and prays for judgment of this Court "declaring as established the fact of (his)
adoption as a son of the deceased spouses entitling him to succeed in their estates as such."
Respondent judge correctly ruled that he could not allow petitioner (who had filed a motion to intervene in
the proceedings to probate the will of the late Margarita de Asis Vda. de Lazatin and to settle her estate
as her adopted son, after having earlier filed a motion to intervene in the intestate proceedings of her pre-
deceased husband as his admitted illegitimate [not natural] son), over the opposition of private
respondents, to introduce evidence that he had "enjoyed ... the status of an adopted child of the without
his first producing competent and documentary that there had been judicial proceedings for his by the
said spouses which resulted in the final judgment of a competent court decreeing his adoption.
On January 13, 1974, Dr. Mariano M. Lazatin died intestate in Pasay City, survived by his wife, Margarita
de Asis, and his adopted twin daughters, respondent Nora L. de Leon, married to respondent Bernardo
de Leon, and respondent Irma Lazatin, married to Francisco Veloso.
One month after Mariano's death, his widow, Margarita de Asis, commenced an intestate proceeding
before the Court of First Instance of Pasay, docketed as Sp. Proc. No. 2326-P. Mariano, Oscar, Virgilio
and Yvonne, claiming to be admitted illegitimate (not natural) children of Dr. Lazatin with one Helen
Munoz, intervened. Subsequently, one Lily Lazatin also intervened, claiming to be another admitted
illegitimate (not natural) child.
Two months after or on April 11, 1974, the widow, Margarita de Asis, also died, leaving a & holographic
will executed on May 29, 1970, providing, among others, for a legacy of cash, jewelry, and stocks to
respondent Arlene de Leon, a granddaughter; a legacy of support to Rodolfo Gallardo, a son of her late
sister; and a legacy of education to Ramon Sta. Clara, son of petitioner Renato Lazatin alias Renato Sta.
Clara.
During her lifetime, Margarita de Asis kept a safety deposit box at the People's Bank and Trust Company,
Roxas Boulevard branch, which either she or respondent Nora L. de Leon could open. Five days after
Margarita's death, respondent Nora L. de Leon, accompanied by her husband, respondent Bernardo de
Leon, opened the safety deposit box and removed its contents: (a) shares of stock; (b) her adoption
papers and those of her sister, respondent Irma L. Veloso; and (c) jewelry belonging to her and to her
mother. Respondent Nora L. de Leon claims that she opened the safety deposit box in good faith,
believing that it was held jointly by her and her deceased mother. Her sole reason for opening the box
was to get her stock certificates and other small items deposited therein. When she was to close the
deposit box, the bank personnel informed her that she needed an authority from the court to do so, in
view of her mother's death and so, she removed everything from the box.
Upon the order of the probate court, presided over by Judge Arsenio B. Alcantara, the safety deposit box
was opened on November 6, 1974, at which time it was found to be empty, because prior thereto
respondent Nora L. de Leon had already removed its contents.
On November 22, 1974, or seven months after, the death of Margarita de Asis, petitioner intervened for
the first time in the proceedings to settle the estate of the late Dr. Mariano M. Lazatin (Sp. Proc. No.
2326- P), as an admitted illegitimate (not natural) child.
Under the same date of November 22, 1974, petitioner's son, Ramon, filed a petition in the estate
proceedings of Margarita de Asis to examine private respondents on the contents of the safety deposit
box, Whereupon, on January 31, 1975, the probate court ordered respondent Nora L. de Leon to deliver
the properties taken from the safety deposit box to the Clerk of Court. Subsequently, however, the two
cases (Sp. Proc. No. 2326-P, Mariano Lazatin, and 2341-P, Margarita de Asis) were transferred to the
sala of respondent Judge Jose C. Campos, Jr.
On May 29, 1975, Judge Campos issued an order requiring counsel for respondents Nora L. de Leon and
Bernardo de Leon to produce all those papers and items removed from the safety deposit box and to
deliver the same to the custody of the court within one week. Within the period ordered, respondent Nora
L. de Leon deposited with the Clerk of Court, not the items themselves, but two keys to a new safety
deposit box which could only be opened upon order of the court.
On August 20, 1975, petitioner Renato to Lazatin alias Renato Sta. Clara filed a motion to intervene in the
estate of Margarita de Asis, Sp. Proc. No. 2341-P, as an adopted child, on the basis of an affidavit
executed by Benjamin Lazatin, brother of the deceased Dr. Mariano M. Lazatin, the petitioner was an
"illegitimate son" of Dr. Lazatin and was later adopted by him. This affidavit was later modified on August
19, 1975 to state that petitioner was adopted by both Mariano M. Lazatin and his wife Margarita de Asis.
Petitioner then filed on March 16, 1976, in both cases, a motion to declare as established the fact of
adoption in view of respondent Nora L. de Leon's refusal to comply with the orders of respondent court to
deposit the items she had removed from the safety deposit box of Margarita de Asis. As authority
therefor, petitioner invokes the sanction of Rule 29, Section 3 of the Rules of Court, since according to
him, the order of the court for the production of the items in the safety deposit box can be considered as
an order for production and inspection of documents under Rule 27.
Private respondents opposed the motion, and on March 26, 1976, respondent court denied petitioner's
motion. On April 26, 1976, respondent Nora L. de Leon deposited with respondent court the items she
had removed from the safety deposit box. An inventory was conducted by respondent court, with notice to
the parties, and the items surrendered consisted only of pieces of jewelry and stock certificates.
On June 3,1976, respondent court, ruling on petitioners motion for definite resolution on his previous n
declare as established the fact of adoption, issued the f order: t.hqw
As far as the case of Renato Sta. Clara is his Petition to establish his status as an
adopted child, The Court has ruled that he has failed to establish such status. The any
motion for reconsideration unless based on some documentary proof.
Hence, the petition at bar.
At the continuation of the proceedings below for declaration of heirship and for probate of the alleged
holographic the deceased Margarita de Asis Vda. de Lazatin, petitioner has failed to establish his status
as an alleged child of Margarita de Asis (unless, as reserved to him by the court below, he can show
some documentary proof),and whose intervention in the estate of the deceased Dr. Mariano Lazatin is as
an admitted illegitimate child, win have to decide whether he will pursue his first theory of having the of
such admitted illegitimate child of said deceased. Whatever be his theory and his course of action and
whether or not he may be duly showed to intervene in the proceedings below as such alleged admitted
illegitimate child, his recourse in the event of an adverse ruling against him is to make a formal offer of
proof and of his excluded evidence, oral and documentary, and seek a reversal on an appeal in due
course.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is dismissed and the questioned orders denying petitioner's petition below
"to declare as established in this proceeding the fact of [his] adoption" are hereby affirmed. The temporary
restraining order issued on June 16, 1976 and amended on July 21, 1976 is ordered lifted, effective
immediately. Without costs.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-23828 February 28, 1966
PAULINA SANTOS and AURORA SANTOS, petitioners,
vs.
GREGORIA ARANZANSO and DEMETRIA VENTURA, respondents.
BENGZON, J.P., J .:
A petition for adoption of Paulina Santos and Aurora Santos was filed by Simplicio Santos and Juliana
Reyes in the Court of First Instance of Manila on June 4, 1949.
1
Paulina Santos was then 17 years old
and Aurora Santos, 8 years old. The petition, which was under oath, alleged inter alia, that the
whereabouts of the minors' nearest of kin, particularly their parents, were unknown; that since the
outbreak of the war said minors have been abandoned by their respective parents; and that for years,
since their infancy, said children have continuously been in petitioners' care and custody. A guardian ad
litem Crisanto de Mesa, was thereafter appointed for the minors. Said guardian ad litem forthwith gave his
written consent to the adoption. Paulina Santos, being over fourteen years of age, likewise gave her
written consent thereto.
2

Subsequently eight years later on October 21, 1957, Juliana Reyes died, in Manila, without
testament. On November 25, 1957 Simplicio Santos filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila a petition
for the settlement of the intestate estate of Juliana Reyes.
3
In said petition he stated among other things
that the surviving heirs of the deceased are: he, as surviving spouse, Paulina Santos and Aurora Santos,
27 and 17 years of age, respectively. In the same petition, he asked that he be appointed administrator of
the estate.
Gregoria Aranzanso, alleging that she is first cousin to the deceased, filed on January 2, 1958 an
opposition to the petition for appointment of administrator. For her grounds she asserted that Simplicio
Santos" marriage to the late Juliana Reyes was bigamous and thus void: and that the adoption of Paulina
Santos and Aurora Santos was likewise void ab initio for want of the written consent of their parents, who
were then living and had not abandoned them. An answer to the opposition was filed by Simplicio Santos
on March 7, 1958 and oppositor Aranzanso filed a reply thereto on March 17, 1958.
Demetria Ventura, alleging likewise that she is the first cousin of the deceased Juliana Reyes and adding
that she is the mother of the child Paulina Santos, filed on March 19, 1959 an opposition to the petition of
Simplicio Santos to be named administrator, and, moreover, thereunder adopted, as her own, the
pleadings filed by Gregoria Aranzanso.
By order of April 6, 1959, the Court of First Instance decided the point in dispute, ruling that the validity of
the adoption in question could not be assailed collaterally in the intestate proceedings (Sp. Proc. No.
34354). From the order Gregoria Aranzanso and Demetria Ventura appealed to the Court of Appeals.
In its decision, promulgated on September 14, 1964, the Court of Appeals reversed the appealed order,
finding instead that the adoption was null and void ab initio due to the absence of consent thereto by the
natural parents of the minor children, which it deemed a jurisdictional defect still open to collateral attack.
After denial of their motion for reconsideration by the Court of Appeals, Paulina Santos and Aurora
Santos appealed to this Court by way of petition for review, filed on November 18, 1964, to which due
course was given. Five months after submission of this case for decision or on October 14, 1965
petitioners herein filed a petition for preliminary injunction, and later, on October 26, 1965, a supplemental
petition therefor, to stop the trial court from allowing Gregorio Aranzanso and Demetria Ventura, as well
as of two other persons, namely, Consuelo and Pacita Pasion, to intervene in the settlement proceedings
or to withdraw cash advances from the estate..
The principal issue on the merits in this appeal is whether respondents-oppositors Aranzanso and
Ventura, could assail in the settlement proceedings the adoption decree in favor of Paulina and Aurora
Santos. In sustaining their right to make such a collateral attack, the respondent Court of Appeals rested
as abovementioned on the premise that failure to obtain the consent of the natural parents was a
jurisdictional defect rendering the adoption void ab initio. In its view, said consent was not properly
dispensed with, not only because the evidence adduced in the adoption proceedings was insufficient to
support a finding that the parents had abandoned the children, but also since the adoption court fatally
omitted to expressly and specifically find that such abandonment in fact occurred.
In this regard it should be stated that the Court of Appeals completely relied on American jurisprudence
and authorities to the effect that parental consent to the adoption is a jurisdictional requisite (E.g., 2
C.J.S., Adoption of Children, Section 45[a] p. 435; Whetmore vs. Fratello, 282 P2d 667, 670). The point to
remember, however, is that under our law on the matter, consent by the parents to the adoption is not an
absolute requisite:
SEC. 3. Consent to adoption.There shall be filed with the petition a written consent to the
adoption signed by the child if over fourteen years of age and not incompetent, and by each of its
known living parents who is not insane or hopelessly intemperate or has not abandoned such
child, or if there are no such parents by the general guardian or guardian ad litem of the child, or if
the child is in the custody of an orphan asylum, children's home, or benevolent society or person,
by the proper officer or officers of such asylum, home, or society, or by such person; but if the
child is illegitimate and has not been recognized, the consent of its father to the adoption shall not
be required. (Rule 100, Old Rules of Court.)
4

Stated otherwise, if the natural parents have abandoned their children, consent to the adoption by the
guardianad litem suffices. This brings as to the question whether in the proceedings at bar the Court of
Appeals can still review the evidence in the adoption case and conclude that it was not sufficiently
established therein that the parents of Paulina and Aurora Santos had abandoned them.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT, Field Office No. 1, San Fernando, La
Union, represented by CORAZON M. LAYUG, complainant, vs. JUDGE ANTONIO M.
BELEN, Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, Lingayen, Pangasinan, and ELMA P. VEDAA,
Social Welfare Officer II, Office of the Clerk of Court, Regional Trial Court, Lingayen,
Pangasinan, respondents.
D E C I S I O N
REGALADO, J .:
In this administrative complaint initiated by Corazon M. Layug, Social Welfare Officer IV of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Field Office No. 1 stationed in San Fernando,
La Union, respondent Judge Antonio M. Belen of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, of Lingayen,
Pangasinan, is charged with rendering an erroneous decree of adoption in violation of Article 33 of
Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise known as The Child and Youth Welfare Code, and the
corresponding Supreme Court circular thereon, namely, Circular No. 12 dated October 2, 1986.
Respondent Elma P. Vedaa, Social Welfare Officer II, Office of the Clerk of Court, Regional Trial
Court of Lingayen, Pangasinan is charged with disregarding the provisions of the same Circular No. 12 of
this Court in connection with the aforementioned special proceeding.
As appears from the records, the spouses Desiderio Soriano and Aurora Bernardo-Soriano, both of
whom are naturalized American citizens, filed a verified petition for adoption of their niece, the minor
Zhedell Bernardo Ibea, which was docketed as Special Proceeding No. 5830 of the Regional Trial Court
of Lingayen, Pangasinan, and assigned to Branch 38 thereof. In due time, respondent Judge Belen
granted the petition in a decision dated June 25, 1992, after finding that petitioner spouses were highly
qualified to adopt the child as their own.
Among other evidence adduced before him, respondent judge based his decree primarily on the
findings and recommendation of the DSWD that the adopting parents on the one hand and the adoptee
on the other hand have already developed love and emotional attachment and parenting rules have been
demonstrated to the minor. On these considerations, respondent judge decided and proceeded to
dispense with trial custody. Said DSWD findings and recommendations, as respondent judge asserted in
his judgment, are contained in the Adoptive Home Study Report and Child Study Report prepared by
the local office of the DSWD through respondent Elma P. Vedaa.
[1]

However, when the minor Zhedell Bernardo Ibea sought to obtain the requisite travel clearance from
the DSWD in order to join her adoptive parents in the United States, the department uncovered what it
considered as an anomalous adoption decree regarding said minor. It turned out that the DSWD did not
have any record in its files regarding the adoption and that there was never any order from respondent
judge for the DSWD to conduct a Home and Child Study Report in the case. Furthermore, there was no
directive from respondent judge for the social welfare officer of the lower court to coordinate with the
DSWD on the matter of the required reports for said minors adoption.
As the adoption never passed through the DSWD, it filed the present administrative complaint
against respondent judge charging him with violating Article 33 of Presidential Decree No. 603 which
requires, inter alia, that petitions for adoption shall be granted only after the DSWD has conducted and
submitted a case study of the adoptee, the natural parents and the adoptive parents. It was also alleged
by the DSWD that respondent Elma P. Vedaa had asked for an undisclosed amount of money from the
adopting parents in order to expedite the adoption case with the DSWD.
[2]

Indeed, Article 33 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code provides in no uncertain terms that:
No petition for adoption shall be granted unless the Department of Social Welfare, or the Social Work
and Counselling Division, in case of Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, has made a case study of
the child to be adopted, his natural parents as well as the prospective adopting parents, and has
submitted its report and recommendations on the matter to the court hearing such petition. The
Department of Social Welfare shall intervene on behalf of the child if it finds, after such case study, that
the petition should be denied.

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
G.R. No. L-30576 February 10, 1976
ROBIN FRANCIS RADLEY DUNCAN and MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN, petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF RIZAL (Branch X) PRESIDED OVER BY HON. JUDGE HERMINIO
C. MARIANO, respondent.

ESGUERRA, J .:
a) Sometime in May, 1967, a child, less than a week old (only 3 days old)
7
was given to petitioners Robin
Francis Radley Duncan and his wife Maria Lucy Christensen, for them to adopt, by Atty. Corazon de Leon
Velasquez. The child was later on baptized as Colin Berry Christensen Duncan with the aforementioned
espouses appearing in the records of said baptism as the parents of said child;
8

b) Atty. Corazon de Leon Velasquez on the other hand, received the infant from the child's unwed mother
who told the former never to reveal her (the mother's) identity because she wanted to get married and did
not want to destroy her future. The mother instructed Atty. Corazon de Leon Velasquez to look for a
suitable couple who will adopt the child. The mother did not provide for the maintenance and support of
her child;
9

c) In the petition for adoption filed by petitioners in September, 1967, Atty. Corazon de Leon Velasquez,
as the de facto guardian or loco parentis of the child subject of the adoption petition, gave the written
consent required by law;
10

d) Learning, from the testimony of witness Atty. Corazon de Leon Velasquez that the natural mother of
the child sought to be adopted was still alive, the court then pressed upon the witness to reveal the
identity of said mother. The witness refused to divulge the same on the ground that there existed an
attorney and client relationship between them. She had been instructed by her client not to reveal the
latter's identity. She could not now violate such privilege communication.
11

After examining the facts and the arguments presented, it appears to this Court that there is only one
principal issue involved, i.e., whether or not the person who gave the consent for adoption, which in this
case is Atty. Corazon de Leon Velasquez, is the proper person required by law to give such consent.
The law applicable is. Art. 340 of the Civil Code, which provides:
Art. 340. The written consent of the following to adoption shall be necessary:
(1) The person to be adopted, if fourteen years of age or over;
(2) The parents, guardian or person in charge of the person to be adopted.
On the other hand, the Rules of Court (Rule 99) has this to say on those who are required to give consent
in adoption:
Sec. 3. Consent to adoption. There shall be filed with the petition a written consent to
the adoption signed by the child, if fourteen years of age or over and not incompetent,
and by the child's spouse, if any, and by each of its known living parents who is not an
insane or hopelessly intemperate or has not abandoned such child, or if there are no
such parents by the general guardian, or guardian ad litem of the child, or if the child is in
the custody of an orphan asylum, children's home, or benevolent society or person, by
the proper officer or officers of such asylum, home, or society, or by such person; but if
the child is illegitimate and has not been recognized, the consent of its father to the
adoption shall not be required.
Going by the set of facts in this case, only one of two persons particularly described by law may be
considered here as legally capable of giving the required written consent. They are:
Under Art. 340 of the Civil 'Code, the "parent, guardian or person in charge of the person to be adopted"
while the other one is that mentioned in Section 3, Rule 99 of the Rules of Court, describing it as each of
the known living parents "who has not abandoned such child." The father's consent here is out of the
question as the child is illegitimate and unrecognized.
The trial court in its decision had sought refuge in the ancient Roman legal maxim "Dura lex sed lex" to
cleanse its hands of the hard and harsh decision it rendered. While this old adage generally finds apt
application in many other legal cases, in adoption of children, however, this should be softened so as to
apply the law with less severity and with compassion and humane understanding, for adoption is more for
the benefit of unfortunate children, particularly those born out of wedlock, than for those born with a silver
spoon in their mouths. All efforts or acts designed to provide homes, love, care and education for
unfortunate children, who otherwise may grow from cynical street urchins to hardened criminal offenders
and become serious social problems, should be given the widest attitude of sympathy, encouragement
and assistance. The law is not, and should not be made, an instrument to impede the achievement of a
salutary humane policy. As often as is legally and lawfully possible, their texts and intendments should be
construed so as to give all the chances for human life to exist with a modicum promise of a useful and
constructive existence.
HERBERT CANG, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and Spouses RONALD V. CLAVANO and
MARIA CLARA CLAVANO, respondents.
D E C I S I O N
ROMERO, J .:
Can minor children be legally adopted without the written consent of a natural parent on the ground
that the latter has abandoned them? The answer to this interesting query, certainly not one of first
impression, would have to be reached, not solely on the basis of law and jurisprudence, but also the hard
reality presented by the facts of the case.
Petitioner Herbert Cang and Anna Marie Clavano who were married on January 27, 1973, begot
three children, namely: Keith, born on July 3, 1973; Charmaine, born on January 23, 1977, and Joseph
Anthony, born on January 3, 1981.
During the early years of their marriage, the Cang couples relationship was undisturbed. Not long
thereafter, however, Anna Marie learned of her husbands alleged extramarital affair with Wilma Soco, a
family friend of the Clavanos.
Upon learning of her husbands alleged illicit liaison, Anna Marie filed a petition for legal separation
with alimony pendente lite
[3]
with the then Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Cebu
[4]
which
rendered a decision
[5]
approving the joint manifestation of the Cang spouses providing that they agreed to
live separately and apart or from bed and board. They further agreed:
(c) That the children of the parties shall be entitled to a monthly support of ONE THOUSAND
PESOS (P1,000.00) effective from the date of the filing of the complaint. This shall constitute a
first lien on the net proceeds of the house and lot jointly owned by the parties situated at Cinco
Village, Mandaue City;
(d) That the plaintiff shall be entitled to enter into any contract or agreement with any person or
persons, natural or juridical without the written consent of the husband; or any undertaking or
acts that ordinarily requires husbands consent as the parties are by this agreement legally
separated;
[6]

Petitioner then left for the United States where he sought a divorce from Anna Marie before the
Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada. Said court issued the divorce decree that also
granted sole custody of the three minor children to Anna Marie, reserving rights of visitation at all
reasonable times and places to petitioner.
[7]

Thereafter, petitioner took an American wife and thus became a naturalized American citizen. In
1986, he divorced his American wife and never remarried.
While in the United States, petitioner worked in Tablante Medical Clinic earning P18,000.00
to P20,000.00 a month
[8]
a portion of which was remitted to the Philippines for his childrens expenses
and another, deposited in the bank in the name of his children.
Meanwhile, on September 25, 1987, private respondents Ronald V. Clavano and Maria Clara Diago
Clavano, respectively the brother and sister-in-law of Anna Marie, filed Special Proceedings No. 1744-
CEB for the adoption of the three minor Cang children before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. ------------
-------------------------
Underlying the policies and precepts in international conventions and the domestic statutes with
respect to children is the overriding principle that all actuations should be in the best interests of the
child. This is not, however, to be implemented in derogation of the primary right of the parent or parents
to exercise parental authority over him. The rights of parents vis--vis that of their children are not
antithetical to each other, as in fact, they must be respected and harmonized to the fullest extent possible.
Keith, Charmaine and Joseph Anthony have all grown up. Keith and Charmaine are now of legal age
while Joseph Anthony is approaching eighteen, the age of majority. For sure, they shall be endowed
with the discretion to lead lives independent of their parents. This is not to state that this case has been
rendered moot and academic, for their welfare and best interests regarding their adoption, must be
determined as of the time that the petition for adoption was filed.
[67]
Said petition must be denied as it was
filed without the required consent of their father who, by law and under the facts of the case at bar, has
not abandoned them.

G.R. No. 164948 June 27, 2006
DIWATA RAMOS LANDINGIN Petitioner,
vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
On February 4, 2002, Diwata Ramos Landingin, a citizen of the United States of America (USA), of
Filipino parentage and a resident of Guam, USA, filed a petition
3
for the adoption of minors Elaine Dizon
Ramos who was born on August 31, 1986;
4
Elma Dizon Ramos, who was born on September 7,
1987;
5
and Eugene Dizon Ramos who was born on August 5, 1989.
6
The minors are the natural children
of Manuel Ramos, petitioners brother, and Amelia Ramos.
Landingin, as petitioner, alleged in her petition that when Manuel died on May 19, 1990,
7
the children
were left to their paternal grandmother, Maria Taruc Ramos; their biological mother, Amelia, went to Italy,
re-married there and now has two children by her second marriage and no longer communicated with her
children by Manuel Ramos nor with her in-laws from the time she left up to the institution of the adoption;
the minors are being financially supported by the petitioner and her children, and relatives abroad; as
Maria passed away on November 23, 2000, petitioner desires to adopt the children; the minors have
given their written consent
8
to the adoption; she is qualified to adopt as shown by the fact that she is a 57-
year-old widow, has children of her own who are already married, gainfully employed and have their
respective families; she lives alone in her own home in Guam, USA, where she acquired citizenship, and
works as a restaurant server. She came back to the Philippines to spend time with the minors; her
children gave their written consent
9
to the adoption of the minors. Petitioners brother, Mariano Ramos,
who earns substantial income, signified his willingness and commitment to support the minors while in
petitioners custody.
Petitioner prayed that, after due hearing, judgment be rendered in her favor, as follows:
WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed to this Honorable Court that after publication and hearing,
judgment be rendered allowing the adoption of the minor children Elaine Dizon Ramos, Elma Dizon
Ramos, and Eugene Dizon Ramos by the petitioner, and ordering that the minor childrens name follow
the family name of petitioner.
The OSG appealed
20
the decision to the Court of Appeals on December 2, 2002. In its brief
21
for the
oppositor-appellant, the OSG raised the following arguments:
I
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE PETITION FOR ADOPTION DESPITE THE LACK OF
CONSENT OF THE PROPOSED ADOPTEES BIOLOGICAL MOTHER.
On April 29, 2004, the CA rendered a decision
22
reversing the ruling of the RTC. It held that petitioner
failed to adduce in evidence the voluntary consent of Amelia Ramos, the childrens natural mother.
Moreover, the affidavit of consent of the petitioners children could not also be admitted in evidence as the
same was executed in Guam, USA and was not authenticated or acknowledged before a Philippine
consular office, and although petitioner has a job, she was not stable enough to support the children.
Clearly, the written consent of the biological parents is indispensable for the validity of a decree of
adoption. Indeed, the natural right of a parent to his child requires that his consent must be obtained
before his parental rights and duties may be terminated and re-established in adoptive parents. In this
case, petitioner failed to submit the written consent of Amelia Ramos to the adoption.
We note that in her Report, Pagbilao declared that she was able to interview Amelia Ramos who arrived
in the Philippines with her son, John Mario in May 2002. If said Amelia Ramos was in the Philippines and
Pagbilao was able to interview her, it is incredible that the latter would not require Amelia Ramos to
execute a Written Consent to the adoption of her minor children. Neither did the petitioner bother to
present Amelia Ramos as witness in support of the petition.

G.R. No. 85044 June 3, 1992
MACARIO TAMARGO, CELSO TAMARGO and AURELIA TAMARGO, petitioners,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, THE HON. ARISTON L. RUBIO, RTC Judge, Branch 20, Vigan, Ilocos
Sur; VICTOR BUNDOC; and CLARA BUNDOC, respondents.

FELICIANO, J .:
On 20 October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, then a minor of 10 years of age, shot Jennifer Tamargo with an
air rifle causing injuries which resulted in her death. Accordingly, a civil complaint for damages was filed
with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 20, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, docketed as Civil Case No. 3457-V, by
petitioner Macario Tamargo, Jennifer's adopting parent, and petitioner spouses Celso and Aurelia
Tamargo, Jennifer's natural parents against respondent spouses Victor and Clara Bundoc, Adelberto's
natural parents with whom he was living at the time of the tragic incident. In addition to this case for
damages, a criminal information or Homicide through Reckless Imprudence was filed [Criminal Case No.
1722-V] against Adelberto Bundoc. Adelberto, however, was acquitted and exempted from criminal
liability on the ground that he bad acted without discernment.
Prior to the incident, or on 10 December 1981, the spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura had filed a
petition to adopt the minor Adelberto Bundoc in Special Proceedings No. 0373-T before the then Court of
First Instance of Ilocos Sur. This petition for adoption was grunted on, 18 November 1982, that
is, after Adelberto had shot and killed Jennifer.
In their Answer, respondent spouses Bundoc, Adelberto's natural parents, reciting the result of the
foregoing petition for adoption, claimed that not they, but rather the adopting parents, namely the spouses
Sabas and Felisa Rapisura, were indispensable parties to the action since parental authority had shifted
to the adopting parents from the moment the successful petition for adoption was filed.
Petitioners in their Reply contended that since Adelberto Bundoc was then actually living with his natural
parents, parental authority had not ceased nor been relinquished by the mere filing and granting of a
petition for adoption.
The trial court on 3 December 1987 dismissed petitioners' complaint, ruling that respondent natural
parents of Adelberto indeed were not indispensable parties to the action.
Petitioners went to the Court of Appeals on a petition for mandamus and certiorari questioning the trial
court's Decision dated 3 December 1987 and the Orders dated 18 April 1988 and 6 June 1988, The Court
of Appeals dismissed the petition, ruling that petitioners had lost their right to appeal.
In the present Petition for Review, petitioners once again contend that respondent spouses Bundoc are
the indispensable parties to the action for damages caused by the acts of their minor child, Adelberto
Bundoc.
Accordingly, we conclude that respondent Bundoc spouses, Adelberto's natural parents, were
indispensable parties to the suit for damages brought by petitioners, and that the dismissal by the trial
court of petitioners' complaint, the indispensable parties being already before the court, constituted grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Review is hereby GRANTED DUE COURSE and
the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 6 September 1988, in C.A.-G.R. No. SP-15016 is hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioners' complaint filed before the trial court is hereby REINSTATED
and this case is REMANDED to that court for further proceedings consistent with this Decision. Costs
against respondent Bundoc spouses. This Decision is immediately executory.

G.R. Nos. 89224-25 January 23, 1992
MAURICIO SAYSON, ROSARIO SAYSON-MALONDA, BASILISA SAYSON-LIRIO, REMEDIOS
SAYSON-REYES and JUANA C. BAUTISTA, petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, DELIA SAYSON, assisted by her husband, CIRILO
CEDO, JR., EDMUNDO SAYSON AND DORIBEL SAYSON, respondents.
At issue in this case is the status of the private respondents and their capacity to inherit from their alleged
parents and grandparents. The petitioners deny them that right, asserting if for themselves to the
exclusion of all others.
The relevant genealogical facts are as follows.
Eleno and Rafaela Sayson begot five children, namely, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, Remedios and
Teodoro. Eleno died on November 10, 1952, and Rafaela on May 15, 1976. Teodoro, who had married
Isabel Bautista, died on March 23, 1972. His wife died nine years later, on March 26, 1981. Their
properties were left in the possession of Delia, Edmundo, and Doribel, all surnamed Sayson, who claim to
be their children.
On April 25, 1983, Mauricio, Rosario, Basilisa, and Remedios, together with Juana C. Bautista, Isabel's
mother, filed a complaint for partition and accounting of the intestate estate of Teodoro and Isabel
Sayson. It was docketed as Civil Case No. 1030 in Branch 13 of the Regional Trial Court of Albay. The
action was resisted by Delia, Edmundo and Doribel Sayson, who alleged successional rights to the
disputed estate as the decedents' lawful descendants.
In his decision dated September 30, 1986,
4
Judge Jose S. Saez dismissed Civil Case No. 1030, holding
that the defendants, being the legitimate heirs of Teodoro and Isabel as established by the
aforementioned evidence, excluded the plaintiffs from sharing in their estate.
Both cases were appealed to the Court of Appeals, where they were consolidated. In its own decision
dated February 28, 1989,
5
the respondent court disposed as follows:
WHEREFORE, in Civil Case No. 1030 (CA-G.R. No. 11541), the appealed decision is
hereby AFFIRMED. In Civil case No. 1042 (CA-G.R. No. 12364), the appealed decision
is MODIFIED in that Delia and Edmundo Sayson are disqualified from inheriting from the
estate of the deceased spouses Eleno and Rafaela Sayson, but is affirmed in all other
respects.
SO ORDERED.
That judgment is now before us in this petition for review by certiorari. Reversal of the respondent court is
sought on the ground that it disregarded the evidence of the petitioners and misapplied the pertinent law
and jurisprudence when it declared the private respondents as the exclusive heirs of Teodoro and Isabel
Sayson.
The contention of the petitioners is that Delia and Edmundo were not legally adopted because Doribel
had already been born on February 27, 1967, when the decree of adoption was issued on March 9, 1967.
The birth of Doribel disqualified her parents from adopting. The pertinent provision is Article 335 of the
Civil Code, naming among those who cannot adopt "(1) Those who have legitimate, legitimated,
acknowledged natural children, or natural children by legal fiction."
In sum, we agree with the lower courts that Delia and Edmundo as the adopted children and Doribel as
the legitimate daughter of Teodoro Sayson and Isabel Bautista, are their exclusive heirs and are under no
obligation to share the estate of their parents with the petitioners. The Court of Appeals was correct,
however, in holding that only Doribel has the right of representation in the inheritance of her grandparents'
intestate estate, the other private respondents being only the adoptive children of the deceased Teodoro.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, and the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is
AFFIRMED in toto, with costs against the petitioners.
Narvasa, C.J., Grio-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.


April 30, 1963
G.R. No. L-18284
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE MINOR, ANA ISABEL HENRIETTE ANTONIA
CONCEPCION GEORGIANA, ISABEL VALDES JOHNSTON, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, oppositor-appellee.
Domingo T. Zavalla for oppositor-appellee.
FOR ALL THE FOREGOING, the order of the court below prescribing the use of the surname "Valdes" by
the adopted minor Ana Isabel Henriette Antonio Concepcion Georgiana, is hereby affirmed. Without
costs.


G.R. No. 97906 May 21, 1992
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and MAXIMO WONG, respondents.
Public Attorney's Office for private respondent.

REGALADO, J .:
Petitioner seeks to set aside the judgment of respondent Court of
Appeals
1
in affirmance of the decision of the court a quo
2
granting the petition filed by herein private
respondent Maximo Wong for the change of his name to Maximo Alcala, Jr. which was his name prior to
his adoption by Hoong Wong and Concepcion Ty Wong.
The facts are undisputed. Private respondent Maximo Wong is the legitimate son of Maximo Alcala, Sr.
and Segundina Y. Alcala. When he was but two and a half years old and then known as Maximo Alcala,
Jr., and his sister Margaret Alcala, was then nine years old, they were, with the consent of their natural
parents
3
and by order of the court in Special Case No. 593
4
issued on September 9, 1967, adopted by
spouses Hoong Wong and Concepcion Ty Wong, both naturalized Filipinos. Hoong Wong, now
deceased, was an insurance agent while Concepcion Ty Wong was a high school teacher. They decided
to adopt the children as they remained childless after fifteen years of marriage. The couples showered
their adopted children with parental love and reared them as their own children.
Upon reaching the age of twenty-two, herein private respondent, by then married and a junior
Engineering student at Notre Dame University, Cotabato City, filed a petition to change his name to
Maximo Alcala, Jr. It was averred that his use of the surname Wong embarrassed and isolated him from
his relatives and friends, as the same suggests a Chinese ancestry when in truth and in fact he is a
Muslim Filipino residing in a Muslim community, and he wants to erase any implication whatsoever of
alien nationality; that he is being ridiculed for carrying a Chinese surname, thus hampering his business
and social life; and that his adoptive mother does not oppose his desire to revert to his former surname.
As earlier stated, on July 2, 1986, the matter was resolved in favor of private respondent, the trial court
decreeing that, the jurisdictional requirements having been fully complied with, petitioner's prayer to
change his name from Maximo Wong to Maximo Alcala, Jr. was granted.
5
On appeal to respondent
court, and over the opposition of petitioner Republic through the Solicitor General, the decision of the
court below was affirmed in full, hence, this petition for review oncertiorari.
The lone issue to be settled is whether or not the reasons given by private respondent in his petition for
change of name are valid, sufficient and proper to warrant the granting of said petition.
A name is said to have the following characteristics: (1) It is absolute, intended to protect the individual
from being confused with others. (2) It is obligatory in certain respects, for nobody can be without a name.
(3) It is fixed, unchangeable, or immutable, at least at the start, and may be changed only for good cause
and by judicial proceedings. (4) It is outside the commerce of man, and, therefore, inalienable and
intransmissible by act inter vivos or mortis causa. (5) It is imprescriptible.
11
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, JAIME B. CARANTO,
and ZENAIDA P. CARANTO, respondents.
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision
[1]
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
24453 which affirmed in toto the decision of Branch XVI of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite City,
granting private respondents petition for the adoption of Midael C. Mazon with prayer for the correction of
the minors first name Midael to Michael.
The petition below was filed on September 2, 1988 by private respondents spouses Jaime B.
Caranto and Zenaida P. Caranto for the adoption of Midael C. Mazon, then fifteen years old, who had
been living with private respondent Jaime B. Caranto since he was seven years old. When private
respondents were married on January 19, 1986, the minor Midael C. Mazon stayed with them under their
care and custody. Private respondents prayed that judgement be rendered:
a) Declaring the child Michael C. Mazon the child of petitioners for all intents and purposes;
b) Dissolving the authority vested in the natural parents of the child; and
c) That the surname of the child be legally changed to that of the petitioners and that the first
name which was mistakenly registered as MIDAEL be corrected to MICHAEL.
The RTC set the case for hearing on September 21, 1988, giving notice thereof by publication in a
newspaper of general circulation in the Province of Cavite and by service of the order upon the
Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of the Solicitor General.
The Solicitor General opposed the petition insofar as it sought the correction of the name of the child
from Midael to Michael. He argued that although the correction sought concerned only a clerical and
innocuous error, it could not be granted because the petition was basically for adoption, not the correction
of an entry in the civil registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
Thereafter the case was heard during which private respondents Zenaida Caranto, Florentina Mazon
(natural mother of the child), and the minor testified. Also presented was Carlina Perez, social worker of
the Department of Social Welfare and Development, who endorsed the adoption of the minor, being of
the opinion that the same was in the best interest of the child.
On May 30, 1989, the RTC rendered its decision. The RTC dismissed the opposition of the Solicitor
General. on the ground that Rule 108 of the Rules of Court (Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the
Civil Registry) applies only to the correction of entries concerning the civil status of persons. It cited Rule
108, 1, which provides that any person interested in an act, event, order or decree concerning the civil
status of the persons which has been recorded in the civil register, may file a verified petition for the
cancellation or correction of any entry relating thereto. It held that the correction of names in the civil
registry is not one of the matters enumerated in Rule 108, 2 as entries subject to cancellation or
correction. According to the trial court, the error could be corrected in the same proceeding for adoption
to prevent multiplicity of actions, and inconvenience to the petitioners.
The dispositive portion of the RTC decision reads:
WHEREFORE, judgement is hereby rendered granting the herein petition and declaring that:
1. Michael C. Mazon is, for all legal intents and purposes, the son by adoption of petitioners
Jaime B. Caranto and Zenaida P. Caranto;
2. Henceforth, the minors name shall be Michael Caranto, in lieu of his original name of
Michael Mazon, or Midael Mazon, as appearing in his record of birth;
3. The Local Civil Registrar of Cavite City, the birthplace of said minor, is hereby directed to
accordingly amend (and) correct the birth certificate, of said minor; and
4. This judgement shall retroact to September 2, 1988, the date of filing of the herein petition.
The Solicitor General appealed to the Court of Appeals reiterating his contention that the correction
of names cannot be affected in the same proceeding for adoption. As additional ground for his appeal, he
argued that the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the Case for adoption because in the notice
published in the newspaper, the name given was Michael, instead of Midael, which is the name of the
minor given in his Certificate of Live Birth.
On January 23,1992, the Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the decision of the RTC. The Court of
Appeals ruled that the case of Cruz v. Republic,
[2]
invoked by the petitioner in support of its plea that the
trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case, was inapplicable because that case involved a
substantial error. Like the trial court, it held that to require the petitioners to file a separate petition for
correction of name would entail additional time and expenses for them as. well as for the Government
and the Courts.
Hence this petition for review. Private respondents were required to comment. Despite opportunity
given to them, however, they did not file any comment.
The first issue is whether on the facts stated, the RTC acquired jurisdiction over the private
respondents petition for adoption. Petitioners contention is that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction
over the petition for adoption because the notice by publication did not state the true name of the minor
child. Petitioner invokes the ruling in Cruz v. Republic.
[3]
There the petition for adoption and the notice
published in the newspaper gave the baptismal name of the child -(Rosanna E. Cruz) instead of her
name in the record of birth (Rosanna E. Bucoy). it was held that this was a substantial defect in the
petition and the published order of hearing. Indeed there was a question of identity involved in that case.
Rosanna E. Cruz could very well be a different person from Rosanna E. Bucoy, as common experience
would indicate.
The present case is different. It involves an obvious clerical error in the name of the child sought to
be adopted. In this case the correction involves merely the substitution of the letters ch for the letter d,
so that what appears as Midael as given name would read Michael. Even the Solicitor General admits
that the error is a plainly clerical one. Changing the name of the child from Midael C. Mazon to Michael
C Mazon cannot possibly cause any confusion, because both names can be read and pronounced with
the same rhyme (tugma) and tone (tono, tunog, himig). The purpose of the publication requirement is to
give notice so that those who have any objection to the adoption can make their objection known. That
purpose has been served by publication of notice in this case.
For this reason we hold that the RTC correctly granted the petition for adoption of the minor Midael
C. Mazon and the Court of Appeals, in affirming the decision of the trial court, correctly did so.
With regard to the second assignment of error in the petition, we hold that both the Court of Appeals
and the trial court erred in granting private respondents prayer for the correction of the name of the child
in the civil registry.
Contrary to what the trial court thought, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court applies to this case and
because its provision was not complied with, the decision of the trial court, insofar as it ordered the
correction of the name of the minor, is void and without force or effect.
The trial court was clearly in error in holding Rule 108 to be applicable only to the correction of errors
concerning the civil status of persons. Rule 108, 2 plainly states:
2. Entries subject to cancellation or correction. - Upon good and valid grounds, the following entries in
the civil register may be cancelled or corrected: (a) births; (b) marriages; (c) deaths; (d) legal separation;
(e) judgments of annulments of marriage; (f) judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (g)
legitimations; (h) adoptions; (i) acknowledgments of natural children; (j) naturalization; (k) election, loss or
recovery of citizenship; (l) civil interdiction; (m) judicial determination of filiation; (n) voluntary
emancipation of a minor; and (o) changes of name.
This case falls under letter (o), referring to changes of name. Indeed, it has been the uniform
ruling of this Court that Art. 412 of the Civil Code - to implement which Rule 108 was inserted in the rules
of Court in 1964 - covers those harmless and innocuous changes, such as correction of a name that is
clearly misspelled.
[4]
Thus, in Yu vs. Republic
[5]
it was held that to change Sincio to Sencio which
merely involves the substitution of the first vowel i in the first name into the vowel e amounts merely to
the righting of a clerical error. In Labayo-Rowe v. Republic
[6]
it was held that the change of petitioners
name from Beatriz Labayo/Beatriz Labayu to Emperatriz Labayo is a mere innocuous alteration wherein a
summary proceeding is appropriate.
Rule 108 thus applies to the present proceeding. Now 3 of this Rule provides:
3. Parties. - When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is sought, the civil registrar
and all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties to
the proceeding.
The local civil registrar is thus required to be made a party to the proceeding. He is an indispensable
party, without whom no final determination of the case can be had.
[7]
As he was not impleaded in this
case much less given notice of the proceeding, the decision of the trial court, insofar as it granted the
prayer for the correction of entry, is void. The absence of an indenpensable party in a case renders
ineffectual all the proceeding subsequent to the filling of the complaint including the judgment.
[8]

Nor was notice of the petition for correction of entry published as required by Rule 108, 4 which
reads:
4. Notice and publication. - Upon filling of the petition, the court shall, by an order, fix the time and place
for the hearing of the same, and cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the persons named in the
petition. The court shall also cause the order to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive
weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province.
While there was notice given by publication in this case, it was notice of the petition for adoption
made in compliance with Rule 99, 4. In that notice only the prayer for adoption of the minor was
stated. Nothing was mentioned that in addition the correction of his name in the civil registry was also
being sought. The local civil registrar was thus deprived of notice and, consequently, of the opportunity to
be heard.
The necessary consequence of the failure to implead the civil registrar as an indispensable party and
to give notice by publication of the petition for correction of entry was to render the proceeding of the trial
court, so far as the correction of entry was concered, null and void for lack of jurisdiction both as to party
and as to the subject matter.
[9]

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the decision of the Court of Appeals is MODIFIED by
deleting from the decision of the Regional Trial Court the order to the local civil registrar to change the
name MIDAEL to MICHAEL in the birth certificate of the child. In other respects relating to the adoption
of Midael C. Mazon, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Regalado (Chairman), Romero, and Puno, JJ., concur.


[G.R. No. 117209. February 9, 1996]
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HON. JOSE R. HERNANDEZ, in his capacity as
Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 158, Pasig City and SPOUSES VAN
MUNSON y NAVARRO and REGINA MUNSON y ANDRADE, respondents.
D E C I S I O N
REGALADO, J .:
The facts are undisputed. On March 10, 1994, herein private respondent spouses, Van Munson y
Navarro and Regina Munson y Andrade, filed a petition
[2]
to adopt the minor Kevin Earl Bartolome Moran,
duly alleging therein the jurisdictional facts required by Rule 99 of the Rules of Court for adoption, their
qualifications as and fitness to be adoptive parents, as well as the circumstances under and by reason of
which the adoption of the aforenamed minor was sought. In the very same petition, private respondents
prayed for the change of the first name of said minor adoptee to Aaron Joseph, the same being the name
with which he was baptized in keeping with religious tradition, and by which he has been called by his
adoptive family, relatives and friends since May 6, 1993 when he arrived at private respondents
residence.
[3]

At the hearing on April 18, 1994, petitioner opposed the inclusion of the relief for change of name in
the same petition for adoption. In its formal opposition dated May 3, 1995,
[4]
petitioner reiterated its
objection to the joinder of the petition for adoption and the petitions for change of name in a single
proceeding, arguing that these petitions should be conducted and pursued as two separate proceedings.
After considering the evidence and arguments of the contending parties, the trial court ruled in favor
of herein private respondents in this wise:
WHEREFORE, minor child Kevin Earl Bartolome Moran is freed from all legal obligations of obedience
and maintenance with respect to his natural parents, and for all legal intents and purposes shall be known
as Aaron Joseph Munson y Andrade, the legally adopted child of Van Munson and Regina Munson
effective upon the filing of the petition on March 10, 1994. As soon as the decree of adoption becomes
final and executory, it shall be recorded in the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Pasig, Metro Manila
pursuant to Section 8, Rule 99 and Section 6, Rule 103, respectively, of the Rules of Court, and shall be
annotated in the record of birth of the adopted child, which in this case is in Valenzuela, Metro Manila,
where the child was born. Likewise, send a copy of this Order to the National Census and Statistics
Office, Manila, for its appropriate action consisten(t) herewith.
[5]

Clearly, the law allows the adoptee, as a matter of right and obligation, to bear the surname of the
adopter, upon issuance of the decree of adoption. It is the change of the adoptees surname to follow that
of the adopter which is the natural and necessary consequence of a grant of adoption and must
specifically be contained in the order of the court, in fact, even if not prayed for by petitioner.
However, the given or proper name, also known as the first or Christian name, of the adoptee must
remain as it was originally registered in the civil register. The creation of an adoptive relationship does
not confer upon the adopter a license to change the adoptees registered Christian or first name. The
automatic change thereof, premised solely upon the adoption thus granted, is beyond the purview of a
decree of adoption. Neither is it a mere incident in nor an adjunct of an adoption proceeding, such that a
prayer therefor furtively inserted in a petition for adoption, as in this case, cannot properly be granted.
WHEREFORE, on the foregoing premises, the assailed order of respondent judge is hereby
MODIFIED. The legally adopted child of private respondents shall henceforth be officially known as
Kevin Earl Munson y Andrade unless a change thereof is hereafter effected in accordance with law. In all
other respects, the order is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Romero, Puno, and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

[G.R. No. 148311. March 31, 2005]
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF STEPHANIE NATHY ASTORGA GARCIA
HONORATO B. CATINDIG, petitioner.
D E C I S I O N
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J .:
May an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her natural father, use the surname of her natural
mother as her middle name? This is the issue raised in the instant case.
The facts are undisputed.
On August 31, 2000, Honorato B. Catindig, herein petitioner, filed a petition
[1]
to adopt his minor
illegitimate child Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. He alleged therein, among others, that Stephanie
was born on June 26, 1994;
[2]
that her mother is Gemma Astorga Garcia; that Stephanie has been using
her mothers middle name and surname; and that he is now a widower and qualified to be her adopting
parent. He prayed that Stephanies middle name Astorga be changed to Garcia, her mothers surname,
and that her surname Garcia be changed to Catindig, his surname.
On March 23, 2001,
[3]
the trial court rendered the assailed Decision granting the adoption, thus:
After a careful consideration of the evidence presented by the petitioner, and in the absence of any
opposition to the petition, this Court finds that the petitioner possesses all the qualifications and none of
the disqualification provided for by law as an adoptive parent, and that as such he is qualified to maintain,
care for and educate the child to be adopted; that the grant of this petition would redound to the best
interest and welfare of the minor Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. The Court further holds that the
petitioners care and custody of the child since her birth up to the present constitute more than enough
compliance with the requirement of Article 35 of Presidential Decree No. 603.
WHEREFORE, finding the petition to be meritorious, the same is GRANTED. Henceforth, Stephanie
Nathy Astorga Garcia is hereby freed from all obligations of obedience and maintenance with respect to
her natural mother, and for civil purposes, shall henceforth be the petitioners legitimate child and legal
heir. Pursuant to Article 189 of the Family Code of the Philippines, the minor shall be known as
STEPHANIE NATHY CATINDIG.
Upon finality of this Decision, let the same be entered in the Local Civil Registrar concerned pursuant to
Rule 99 of the Rules of Court.
Let copy of this Decision be furnished the National Statistics Office for record purposes.
SO ORDERED.
[4]

On April 20, 2001, petitioner filed a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration
[5]
praying that
Stephanie should be allowed to use the surname of her natural mother (GARCIA) as her middle name.
On May 28, 2001,
[6]
the trial court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration holding that there is
no law or jurisprudence allowing an adopted child to use the surname of his biological mother as his
middle name.
Hence, the present petition raising the issue of whether an illegitimate child may use the surname of
her mother as her middle name when she is subsequently adopted by her natural father.



G.R. No. 167405 February 16, 2006
ANA JOYCE S. REYES, Petitioner,
vs.
HON. CESAR M. SOTERO, Presiding Judge, RTC of Paniqui, Tarlac, Branch 67, ATTY. PAULINO
SAGUYOD, the Clerk of Court of Branch 67 of the RTC at Paniqui, Tarlac in his capacity as Special
Administrator, CORAZON CHICHIOCO, ANGELITO LISING, ERLINDA ESPACIO, GONZALO
ZALZOS and ERNESTO LISING,Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J .:
On September 15, 1998, respondent Corazon L. Chichioco filed a petition for the issuance of letters of
administration and settlement of estate of the late Elena Lising before the RTC of Paniqui, Tarlac, where
it was docketed as Spec. Proc. No. 204 and raffled to Branch 67. Chichioco claimed that she was the
niece and heir of Lising who died intestate on July 31, 1998. Named as co-heirs of Chichioco were
Rosario L. Zalzos, Florante Zalzos, Erlinda Lising, Manuel Lising, Evelyn Lising, Josephine Lising, Alfredo
Lising and respondents Ernesto Lising and Erlinda Espacio.
According to Chichioco, the deceased left real properties located in the municipalities of Ramos and
Paniqui, Tarlac, as well as assorted pieces of jewelry and money which were allegedly in the possession
of petitioner Ana Joyce S. Reyes, a grandniece of the deceased. Chichioco prayed that she be appointed
administrator of the estate, upon payment of a bond, pending settlement and distribution of Lisings
properties to the legal heirs.
1

On November 6, 1998, petitioner Reyes filed an Opposition
2
to the petition, claiming that she was an
adopted child of Lising and the latters husband, Serafin Delos Santos, who died on November 30, 1970.
She asserted that the petition should be dismissed and that the appointment of an administrator was
unnecessary, since she was the only heir of Lising who passed away without leaving any debts. She
further asserted that Chichioco is unfit to serve as administrator of Lisings estate because of her
"antagonistic interests" against the decedent. Chichioco and her alleged co-heirs have questioned the
decedents title to a piece of real property which forms a large part of the estate.
Petitioner also submitted a Certification
5
issued by the Clerk of Court of the RTC-Tarlac City, stating that
a judgment was rendered in Spec. Proc. No. 1410 on December 21, 1968 decreeing petitioners adoption
by Elena Lising and Serafin Delos Santos.
Simultaneously, Chichioco and the other alleged co-heirs filed a motion before the RTC to enjoin
petitioner from conducting business in a property belonging to the estate. Respondent Chichioco alleged
that petitioner converted the basement of Lisings residence into a billiard hall without authority of the
special administrator.
28

Acting on said motion, the RTC issued a resolution on September 18, 2002, the dispositive part of which
reads:
WHEREFORE, the Oppositor Ana Joyce Reyes is hereby enjoined from conducting business activity in
any of the properties left by the decedent. The Special Administrator is also empowered to take control
and possession of the listed personal and real properties of the decedent and those that may be found to
be owned or registered in the name of the same.
SO ORDERED.
29

A. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER HAD TO PROVE THE
VALIDITY OF HER ADOPTION DUE TO IMPUTATIONS OF IRREGULARITIES IN VIEW OF
SECTION 47 OF RULE 39.
35

B. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE DISMISSAL IN SP NO. 53457
WAS NOT A DISMISSAL ON THE MERITS.
36

The petition is meritorious.
On the first assigned error, we agree with petitioner that she need not prove her legal adoption by any
evidence other than those which she had already presented before the trial court. To recall, petitioner
submitted a certification from the local civil registrars office that the adoption decree was registered
therein and also a copy of Judicial Form No. 43 and a certification issued by the clerk of court that the
decree was on file in the General Docket of the RTC-Tarlac City. Both certifications were issued under the
seal of the issuing offices and were signed by the proper officers. These are thus presumed to have been
regularly issued as part of the official duties that said public officers perform.
37


ISABELITA S. LAHOM, petitioner, vs. JOSE MELVIN SIBULO (previously referred to as DR.
MELVIN S. LAHOM), respondent.
D E C I S I O N
VITUG, J .:
The bliss of marriage and family would be to most less than complete without children. The
realization could have likely prodded the spouses Dr. Diosdado Lahom and Isabelita Lahom to take into
their care Isabelitas nephew Jose Melvin Sibulo and to bring him up as their own. At the tender age of
two, Jose Melvin enjoyed the warmth, love and support of the couple who treated the child like their
own. Indeed, for years, Dr. and Mrs. Lahom fancied on legally adopting Jose Melvin. Finally, in 1971, the
couple decided to file a petition for adoption. On 05 May 1972, an order granting the petition was issued
that made all the more intense than before the feeling of affection of the spouses for Melvin. In keeping
with the court order, the Civil Registrar of Naga City changed the name Jose Melvin Sibulo to Jose
Melvin Lahom.
A sad turn of events came many years later. Eventually, in December of 1999, Mrs. Lahom
commenced a petition to rescind the decree of adoption before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch
22, of Naga City.
Petitioner, however, would insist that R.A. No. 8552 should not adversely affect her right to annul the
adoption decree, nor deprive the trial court of its jurisdiction to hear the case, both being vested under the
Civil Code and the Family Code, the laws then in force.
It was months after the effectivity of R.A. No. 8552 that herein petitioner filed an action to revoke the
decree of adoption granted in 1975. By then, the new law,
[22]
had already abrogated and repealed the
right of an adopter under the Civil Code and the Family Code to rescind a decree of
adoption. Consistently with its earlier pronouncements, the Court should now hold that the action for
rescission of the adoption decree, having been initiated by petitioner after R.A. No. 8552 had come into
force, no longer could be pursued.