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James Anthony Hughes, a natural born citizen of USA, married Lenita

Mabunay Hughes, a Filipino Citizen, who herself was later naturalized as a
citizen of that country.

The spouses jointly filed a petition with the RTC of Angeles City, Branch 60, to
adopt Ma. Cecilia, Neil and Maria, all surnamed Mabunay, minor niece and
nephews of Lenita, who had been living with the couple even prior to the
filing of the petition.

The minors, as well as their parents, gave consent to the adoption.

RTC granted the petition.

A petition for Review on Certiorari was filed with this Court, assailing the trial
court's decision.

This Court referred the case to CA which affirmed the RTCs decision. Hence,
the present petition.

WON the adopters are disqualified for adopting the kids.

It is clear that James Anthony Hughes is not qualified to adopt. Executive
Order No. 209, otherwise known as "The Family Code of the Philippines," is
Art. 184. The following persons may not adopt :
(1) The guardian with respect to the ward prior to the approval of the
final accounts rendered upon the termination of their guardianship
(2) Any person who has been convicted of a crime involving moral
(3) An alien, except:
(a) A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative by
(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 Filipino spouse a relative by consanguinity of
the latter.

Aliens not included in the foregoing exceptions may adopt Filipino children in
accordance with the rules in inter-country adoption as may be provided by

While James Anthony unquestionably is not permitted to adopt under any of

the exceptional cases enumerated in paragraph (3) of the aforequoted article,
Lenita, however, can qualify pursuant to paragraph (3)(a).
The problem in her case lies, instead, with Article 185 of Executive Order No.
209, expressing as follows:
Art. 185. Husband and wife must jointly adopt, except in the following
(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.

Lenita may not thus adopt alone since Article 185 requires a joint adoption by
the husband and the wife, a condition that must be read along together with
Article 184.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the decision of the respondent

court is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. No costs.




Petitioners are husband and wife who were married barely a year ago.

The minor to be adopted is the natural child of petitioner wife.

His father was Charles Joseph Week, who abandoned mother and child after
the latter's birth.He is said to have gone back to the United States.

Petitioner husband is a Danish subject, who has been granted permanent

residence in the Philippines. A former employee of Scandinavian Airlines
System, he is now Manager of M. Y. Travel International Hongkong Ltd., with a
monthly salary of P1,200.00. plus allowances.

It does not appear that either petitioner has been convicted of a crime
involving moral turpitude.

On the other hand, the minor sought to be adopted has been living with
them ever since the marriage of petitioners. Petitioner husband has treated
the minor as his son.

The Manila Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, in its special Proceedings,
DENIED appellants' application for adoption of the minor Charles Joseph
Blancaflor Weeks.

The Manila Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court contended that an alien
cannot adopt a Filipino unless the adoption would make the Filipino minor a
citizen of the alien's country. As petitioner husband in this case is a Danish
subject, it has to be held that he cannot legally adopt the minor Charles
Joseph Blancaflor Weeks, whose citizenship is of this country, following that of
his natural mother.

Issue: WON it is necessary for an alien-adopter to cause change in the citizenship of

the adoptee.

NO. As pointed out by the Solicitor General in his brief, the present Civil Code
in force (Article 335) only disqualifies from being adopters those aliens that
are either (a) non-residents or (b) who are residents but the Republic of the
Philippines has broken diplomatic relations with their government.

Outside of these two cases, alienage by itself alone does not disqualify a
foreigner from adopting a person under our law. Petitioners admittedly do not
fall in either class.

citizenship of the adopter is a matter political, and not civil, in nature, and the
ways in which it should be conferred lay outside the ambit of the Civil Code. It
is not within the province of our civil law to determine how or when
citizenship in a foreign state is to be acquired.


Margarita de Asis died, leaving a holographic will providing 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.

During her lifetime, Margarita de Asis kept a safety deposit box at the bank
which either she or respondent Nora de Leon (adopted daughter) could open.
5 days after her death, Nora 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. Nora claims that she opened the safety deposit box in good faith,
believing that it was held jointly by her and her deceased mother.

Respondents filed a petition to probate (establish the validity) the will. After
having learned that the safety box was opened, petitioner's son, Ramon Sta.
Clara, filed a motion in the probate court, claiming that the deceased had
executed a will subsequent to that submitted for probate and demanding its

Petitioner Renato to Lazatin alias Renato Sta. Clara filed a motion to intervene
in the estate of Margarita de Asis 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 to state that petitioner
was adopted by both Mariano M. Lazatin and his wife Margarita de Asis.

During the hearing, Renato presented no decree of adoption in his favor.

Instead, he attempted to prove, over private respondents' objections, that he
had recognized the deceased spouses as his parents; he had been supported
by them until their death; formerly he was known as "Renato Lazatin" but was
compelled to change his surname to "Sta. Clara" when the deceased spouses
refused to give consent to his marriage to his present wife; that at first, he

and his wife stayed at the residence of Engracio de Asis, father of Margarita,
but a few months later, they transferred to the Mercy Hospital at Taft Avenue,
Manila, owned by the deceased spouses, where they continuously resided up
to the present.

Photographs were also intended to be presented by petitioner, e.g.,

photograph of Irma Veloso where she addressed herself as sister of
petitioner; photograph of deceased Margarita de Asis and petitioner when he
was a boy; document showing that petitioners real name is "Renato Lazatin."

Respondent court first reserved its ruling when petitioner could not present
evidence on the issue of his alleged legal adoption, respondent court
discontinued the hearing and gave the parties time to file memoranda on the
question of the admissibility of the evidence sought to be introduced by

Issue: Whether or not renato has established his status as an adopted child.


Adoption is a juridical act, a proceeding which creates between two persons a

relationship similar to that which results from legitimate paternity and
filiation. Only an adoption made through the court, or in pursuance with the
procedure laid down under Rule 99 of the Rules of Court is valid in this
jurisdiction. The fact of adoption is never presumed, but must be
affirmatively proved by the person claiming its existence.

On the contrary, the absence of a record of adoption has been said to evolve
a presumption of its non-existence. The absence of proof of such order of
adoption by the court, as provided by the statute, cannot be substituted by
parol evidence that a child has lived with a person, not his parent, and has
been treated as a child to establish such adoption.

Secondary evidence is nonetheless admissible where the records of adoption

proceedings were actually lost or destroyed. But, prior to the introduction of
such secondary evidence, the proponent must establish the former existence
of the instrument.

The correct order of proof is as follows: Existence; execution; loss; contents;

although this order may be changed if necessary in the discretion of the

As earlier pointed out, petitioner failed to establish the former existence of

the adoption paper and its subsequent loss or destruction. Secondary proof
may only be introduced if it has first been established that such adoption
paper really existed and was lost.

REPUBLIC V CA and Bobiles


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 RTC of Legaspi City

The court a quo, finding the petition to be sufficient in form and substance,
set the petition for hearing on March 28, 1988. 4

The order was duly published, with copies thereof seasonably served on the
Solicitor General; Assistant Provincial Fiscal Mediavillo, Jr. of Albay; Salvador
Condat, father of the child; and the social worker assigned to the court. A
copy of said order was posted on the bulletin board of the court and in the
other places it had required for that purpose. Nobody appeared to oppose the

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

RTC granted the petition and the CA affirmed said judgment of the trial court.
Hence, this present petition

Issue: WON CA must have applied the Family code retroactively to the petition for

No. 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.

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.

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. Upon her filing thereof, her right to file
such petition alone and to have the same proceed to final adjudication, in
accordance with the law in force at the time, was already vested and cannot
be prejudiced or impaired by the enactment of a new law.

Although Dioscoro Bobiles (husband of zenaida)was not named as one of the

petitioners in the petition for adoption filed by his wife, his affidavit of
consent, attached to the petition as Annex "B" and expressly made an
integral part thereof, shows that he himself actually joined his wife in
adopting the child.

In the case at bar, the rights concomitant to and conferred by the decree of
adoption will be for the best interests of the child. His adoption is with the
consent of his natural parents. The representative of the Department of
Social Welfare and Development unqualifiedly recommended the approval of
the petition for adoption and the trial court dispensed with the trial custody
for several commendatory reasons, especially since the child had been living
with the adopting parents since infancy. Further, the said petition was with
the sworn written consent of the children of the adopters.

Hence, the Court affirmed trial court and CAs decision in granting petition for


On July 29, 1988, Spouses Miller, both American citizens, filed with the RTC,
Angeles City a verified petition to adopt Michael Magno Madayag, a Filipino
child, under the provision of the Child and Youth Welfare Code which allows
aliens to adopt. The natural parents executed affidavits giving their
irrevocable consent to the adoption and the DSWD recommended approval of
the petition on the basis of its evaluation

On May 12, 1989, the trial court rendered decision granting the petition for

On August 3, 1998, the Family Code became effective, prohibiting the

adoption of a Filipino child by aliens.

The Solicitor General appealed to the granting of the petition for adoption by
the RTC.

Issue: WON aliens may be allowed to adopt a Filipino child when the petition for
adoption was filed prior to the effectivity of the Family Code prohibiting the same

Yes. An alien qualified to adopt under the Child and Youth Welfare Code,
which was in force at the time of the filing of the petition, acquired a vested
right which could not be affected by the subsequent enactment of a new law
disqualifying him.

The enactment of the Family Code, effective August 3, 1988, will not impair
the right of respondents who are aliens to adopt a Filipino child because the
right has become vested at the time of filing of the petition for adoption and
shall be governed by the law then in force. A vested right is one whose
existence, effectivity and extent does not depend upon events foreign to the
will of the holder. Vested rights include not only legal or equitable title to the
enforcement of a demand, but also an exemption from new obligations
As long as the petition for adoption was sufficient in form and substance in
accordance with the law in governance at the time it was filed, the court
acquires jurisdiction and retains it until it fully disposes of the case. To
repeat, the jurisdiction of the court is determined by the statute in force at
the time of the commencement of the action. Such jurisdiction of a court,
whether in criminal or civil cases, once it attaches cannot be ousted by a
subsequent happenings or events, although of a character which would have

Short summary: American married to a Filipina. Filipina wife sold land and house
on it, initially w/o protest from American husband, but later contesting it, raising
that the sale was made w/o his knowledge and consent. Court held that since he is
an alien who is prohibited from owning land in RP, he cannot claim that he has a
share in the conjugal property and thus, has no legal standing to void the sale.
Thomas Cheesman (American) and Criselda (Filipino) were married in 1970,
got separated in 1981.
Before they got separated, Criselda was able to purchase a land. Although
aware of the sale and the fact that the property was only in the name of his
wife, Thomas never objected to the said transaction.
tax declarations where issued in the name of Criselda.
Criselda exercised exclusive management over the property

In 1981 Criselda sold the property, initially without protest from Thomas, to
Estelita Padilla.
Later,. Thomas complains.
Thomas filed for ANNULMENT OF THE SALE at CFI of Olongapo City : Sale
executed w/o his knowledge and consent
The buyer filed PETITION FOR RELIEF: there was fraud, mistake or excusable
negligence, seriously impairing her right to present her case adequately
CFI of Olongapo declared sale void ab initio
Estelita fild supplemental pleading asanswer to complaint of Thomas.
Summary judgment: Cfi ruled in favor of estelita.
Thomas Appealed to the IAC. IAC affirmed CFI.
IAC: Property was Criselda's paraphernal property
Presumption that all properties acquired during the marriage belongs
exclusively to the conjugal partnership DOES NOT APPLY because Thomas,
an American Citizen, is
disqualified under Consti to acquire and own real

Issue: WON Thomas can contest the validity of the Contract?

3 factual matters affirmed by both TC and CA:
(1) there was fraud, mistake or excusable negligence w/c seriously
impaired the rights of the buyer
(2) the property was bought by Criselda using the funds she had saved
previous to the marriage
(3) Criselda was the sole owner of the property

(Art XIV, Section 14, 1973 Constitution) Save in cases of hereditary

succession, no private land shall be transferred or conveyed except to
individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of
public domain
Thomas had no capacity or personality to question the subsequent sale of the
property by his wife on the theory that by doing so he is merely exercising
the prerogative of a husband in respect of conjugal property
Thomas and Criselda have no conjugal property or else Consti violated: not
only would he have interest over the land, he would have a decisive vote as
to its transfer or disposition as well
SC didn't discuss WON Thomas could recover from his wife if ever the funds
used in buying the land was not Criselda's but their shared money
Since the buyer is a buyer in GF (she was led by Thomas to believe that the
property was indeed Criselda's and not their conjugal property), she would be


Respondent Benjamin A. Taylor (Benjamin), aBritish subject, married Joselyn

C. Taylor (Joselyn), a 17-year old Filipina. While their marriage was subsisting,
Joselyn bought a lot (Boracay property)

The sale was allegedly financed by Benjamin. Joselyn and Benjamin,also

using the latters funds, constructed improvements thereon and eventually
converted the property to a vacation and tourist resort known as the Admiral
Ben Bow Inn.

Benjamin and Joselyn had a falling out, and Joselyn ran away with Kim

Joselyn executed a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) infavor of Benjamin,

authorizing the latter to maintain, sell, lease, and sub-lease and otherwise
enter into contract with third partieswith respect to their Boracay property.

Joselyn as lessor and petitioner PhilipMatthews as lessee, entered into an

Agreementof Lease (Agreement) involving the Boracayproperty for a period
of 25 years. Petitioner thereafter took possession of the property andrenamed
the resort as Music Garden Resort.

Claiming that the Agreement was null and void since it was entered into by
Joselyn without his (Benjamins) consent, Benjamin instituted an action for
Declaration of Nullity of Agreement of Lease with Damages against Joselyn
and the petitioner. Benjamin claimed that his fundswere used in the
acquisition and improvement of the Boracay property, and coupled with the
fact that he was Joselyns husband, any transaction involving said property
required his consent.

RTC DECISION: considered the Boracay property as community property of

Benjamin andJoselyn; thus, the consent of the spouses was necessary to
validate any contract involving theproperty.

CA affirmed.

Issue: WON Benjamin was the actual owner of theproperty since he provided the
funds used in purchasing the same?
Held NO.

Section 7, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution states that: aliens are
absolutely not allowed to acquire public or private lands in thePhilippines,
save only in constitutionallyrecognized exceptions.

Benjamin has no right to nullify the Agreementof Lease between Joselyn and
petitioner.Benjamin, being an alien, is absolutely prohibited from acquiring
private and publiclands in the Philippines. Considering that Joselyn appeared
to be the designated"vendee" in the Deed of Sale of said property, she
acquired sole ownership thereto.

By entering into such contract knowing that it was illegal, no implied trust
was created in hisfavor; no reimbursement for his expenses can be allowed;
and no declaration can be madethat the subject property was part of the
conjugal/community property of the spouses.