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[G.R. No. 118387. October 11, 2001]


MARCELO LEE, ALBINA LEE-YOUNG, MARIANO LEE, PABLO LEE, HELEN LEE, CATALINO K. LEE, EUSEBIO LEE, EMMA LEE, and TIU
CHUAN,petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and HON. LORENZO B. VENERACION and HON. JAIME T. HAMOY, in their capacities as
Presiding Judge of Branch 47, Regional Trial Court of Manila and Branch 130, Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City, respectively
and RITA K. LEE, LEONCIO LEE TEK SHENG in their personal capacities and ROSA K. LEE-VANDERLEK, MELODY K. LEE-CHIN, LUCIA
K. LEE TEK SHENG, JULIAN K. LEE, HENRY K. LEE, MARTIN K. LEE, VICTORIANO K. LEE, NATIVIDAD K. LEE-MIGUEL, and THOMAS
K. LEE, represented by RITA K. LEE, respondents.
DECISION
DE LEON, JR., J.:
This Petition for Review on Certiorari, with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction, seeks
the reversal of the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals dated October 28, 1994 in CA-G.R. SP NO. 31786 [2]. The assailed decision of the Court of
Appeals upheld the Orders issued by respondents Judges Hon. Lorenzo B. Veneracion [3] and Hon. Jaime T. Hamoy [4] taking cognizance of two (2)
separate petitions filed by private respondents before their respective salas for the cancellation and/or correction of entries in the records of
birth of petitioners pursuant to Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court.
This is a story of two (2) sets of children sired by one and the same man but begotten of two (2) different mothers. One set, the private
respondents herein, are the children of Lee Tek Sheng and his lawful wife, Keh Shiok Cheng. The other set, the petitioners herein, are allegedly
children of Lee Tek Sheng and his concubine, Tiu Chuan.
Rita K. Lee, Leoncio Lee Tek Sheng, Rosa K. Lee-Vanderlek, Melody K. Lee-Chin, Lucia K. Lee Tek Sheng-Ong, Julian K. Lee, Henry K. Lee, Martin
K. Lee, Victoriano K. Lee, Natividad K. Lee-Miguel and Thomas K. Lee (hereinafter referred to as private respondents) filed two (2) separate
petitions for the cancellation and/or correction of entries in the records of birth of Marcelo Lee, Albina Lee-Young, Mariano Lee, Pablo Lee, Helen
Lee, Catalino K. Lee, Eusebio Lee, and Emma Lee (hereinafter referred to as petitioners). On December 2, 1992, the petition against all
petitioners, with the exception of Emma Lee, was filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila and docketed as SP. PROC. NO. 9263692[5] and later assigned to Branch 47 presided over by respondent Judge Lorenzo B. Veneracion. On February 3, 1993, a similar petition
against Emma Lee was filed before the RTC of Kalookan and docketed as SP. PROC. NO. C-1674 [6] and assigned to the sala of respondent Judge
Jaime T. Hamoy of Branch 130.
Both petitions sought to cancel and/or correct the false and erroneous entries in all pertinent records of birth of petitioners by deleting and/or
canceling therein the name of Keh Shiok Cheng as their mother, and by substituting the same with the name Tiu Chuan, who is allegedly
the petitioners true birth mother.
The private respondents alleged in their petitions before the trial courts that they are the legitimate children of spouses Lee Tek Sheng and Keh
Shiok Cheng who were legally married in China sometime in 1931. Except for Rita K. Lee who was born and raised in China, private
respondents herein were all born and raised in the Philippines.
Sometime in October, 1948, Lee Tek Sheng, facilitated the arrival in the Philippines from China of a young girl named Tiu Chuan. She was
introduced by Lee Tek Sheng to his family as their new housemaid but far from becoming their housemaid, Tiu Chuan immediately became Lee
Tek Shengs mistress. As a result of their illicit relations, Tiu Chuan gave birth to petitioners.
Unknown to Keh Shiok Cheng and private respondents, every time Tiu Chuan gave birth to each of the petitioners, their common father, Lee Tek
Sheng, falsified the entries in the records of birth of petitioners by making it appear that petitioners mother was Keh Shiok Cheng.
Since the birth of petitioners, it was Tiu Chuan who gave maternal care and guidance to the petitioners. They all lived in the same compound
Keh Shiok Cheng and private respondents were residing in. All was well, therefore, before private respondents discovery of the dishonesty and
fraud perpetrated by their father, Lee Tek Sheng.
The tides turned after Keh Shiok Chengs demise on May 9, 1989. Lee Tek Sheng insisted that the names of all his children, including those of
petitioners, be included in the obituary notice of Keh Shiok Chengs death that was to be published in the newspapers. It was this seemingly
irrational act that piqued private respondents curiosity, if not suspicion. [7]

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Acting on their suspicion, the private respondents requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an investigation into the
matter. After investigation and verification of all pertinent records, the NBI prepared a report that pointed out, among others, the false entries
in the records of birth of petitioners, specifically the following:
1. As per Birth Certificate of MARCELO LEE (Annex F-1), their father, LEE TEK SHENG made it appear that he is the 12 th child of Mrs. KEH SHIOK
CHENG, but upon investigation, it was found out that her Hospital Records, the mother who gave birth to MARCELO LEE had given birth for the
1st time, as per diagnosis of the attending physician, Dr. R. LIM, it was GRAVIDA I, PARA I which means first pregnancy, first live birth
delivery (refer to: MASTER PATIENTS RECORDS SUMMARY Annex I). Also, the age of the mother when she gave birth to MARCELO LEE as per
record was only 17 years old, when in fact and in truth, KEH SHIOK CHENGs age was then already 38 years old. The address used by their
father in the Master Patient record was also the same as the Birth Certificate of MARCELO LEE (2425 Rizal Avenue, Manila). The name of
MARCELO LEE was recorded under Hospital No. 221768, page 73.
2. As per Birth Certificate of ALBINA LEE (Annex F-2), it was made to appear that ALBINA LEE was the third child which is without any
rationality, because the 3rd child of KEH SHIOK CHENG is MELODY LEE TEK SHENG (Annex E-2). Note also, that the age of the mother as per
Hospital Records jump (sic) from 17 to 22 years old, but the only age gap of MARCELO LEE and ALBINA LEE is only 2 years.
3. As per Birth Certificate of MARIANO LEE (Annex F-3), it was made to appear that MARIANO LEE was the 5 th child, but the truth is, KEH SHIOK
CHENGs 5th child is LUCIA LEE TEK SHENG (Annex E-4). As per Hospital Record, the age of KEH SHIOK CHENG was only 23 years old, while the
actual age of KEH SHIOK CHENG, was then already 40 years old.
4. As per Birth Certificate of PABLO LEE (Annex F-4), it was made to appear that PABLO LEE was the 16 th child of KEH SHIOK CHENG which is
impossible to be true, considering the fact that KEH SHIOK CHENG have stopped conceiving after her 11 th child. Also as per Hospital Record,
the age of the mother was omitted in the records. If PABLO LEE is the 16 th child of KEH SHIOK CHENG, it would only mean that she have (sic)
given birth to her first born child at the age of 8 to 9 years, which is impossible to be true.
Based on the birth record of MARIANO LEE in 1953, the recorded age of KEH SHIOK CHENG was 23 years old. Two years after PABLO LEE was
born in 1955, the difference is only 2 years, so it is impossible for PABLO LEE to be the 16 th child of KEH SHIOK CHENG, as it will only mean that
she have (sic) given birth at that impossible age.
5. As per Birth Certificate of HELEN LEE (Annex F-5), it was made to appear that she is the 6 th child of KEH SHIOK CHENG, but as per Birth
Certificate of JULIAN LEE (Annex E-5), he is the true 6thchild of KEH SHIOK CHENG. Per Hospital Record, KEH SHIOK CHENG is only 28 years old,
while KEH SHIOK CHENGS true age at that time was 45 years old.
6. EMMA LEE has no record in the hospital because, as per complainants allegation, she was born at their house, and was later admitted at
Chinese General Hospital.
7. As per Birth Certificate of CATALINO LEE (Annex F-7), it was made to appear that he is the 14 th child of KEH SHIOK CHENG, and that the age
of KEH SHIOK CHENG a.k.a. Mrs. LEE TEK SHENG, jumped from 28 years old at the birth of HELEN LEE on 23 August 1957 to 38 years old at the
birth of CATALINO LEE on 22 April 1959.
8. As per Birth Certificate of EUSEBIO LEE, the alleged last son of KEH SHIOK CHENG, the age of the mother is 48 years old. However, as per
Hospital Record, the age of Mrs. LEE TEK SHENG, then was only 39 years old. Considering the fact, that at the time of MARCELOs birth on 11
May 1950. KEH SHIOK CHENGs age is 38 years old and at the time of EUSEBIOs birth, she is already 48 years old, it is already impossible that
she could have given birth to 8 children in a span of only 10 years at her age. As per diagnosis, the alleged mother registered on EUSEBIOs
birth indicate that she had undergone CEASARIAN SECTION, which Dr. RITA K. LEE said is not true.
In view of the foregoing facts, the NBI concluded that:
10.
In conclusion, as per Chinese General Hospital Patients Records, it is very obvious that the mother of these 8 children is certainly
not KEH SHIOK CHENG, but a much younger woman, most probably TIU CHUAN. Upon further evaluation and analysis by these Agents, LEE TEK
SHENG, is in a quandary in fixing the age of KEH SHIOK CHENG possibly to conform with his grand design of making his 8 children as their own
legitimate children, consequently elevating the status of his 2 nd family and secure their future. The doctor lamented that this complaint would
not have been necessary had not the father and his 2nd family kept on insisting that the 8 children are the legitimate children of KEH SHIOK
CHENG.[8]
It was this report that prompted private respondents to file the petitions for cancellation and/or correction of entries in petitioners records of
birth with the lower courts.

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The petitioners filed a motion to dismiss both petitions - SP. PROC. NO. 92-63692 and SP. PROC. NO. C-1674 - on the grounds that: (1) resort to
Rule 108 is improper where the ultimate objective is to assail the legitimacy and filiation of petitioners; (2) the petition, which is essentially an
action to impugn legitimacy was filed prematurely; and (3) the action to impugn has already prescribed. [9]
On February 12, 1993, respondent Judge Veneracion denied the motion to dismiss SP. PROC. NO. 92-63692 for failure of the herein petitioners
(defendants in the lower court) to appear at the hearing of the said motion. [10] Then on February 17, 1993, Judge Veneracion issued an Order,
the pertinent portion of which, reads as follows:
Finding the petition to be sufficient in form and substance, the same is hereby given due course. Let this petition be set for hearing on March
29, 1993 at 8:30 in the morning before this Court located at the 5th Floor of the City Hall of Manila.
Notice is hereby given that anyone who has any objection to the petition should file on or before the date of hearing his opposition thereto with
a statement of the grounds therefor.
Let a copy of this Order be published, at the expense of the petitioners, once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general
circulation in the Philippines.
Let copies of the verified petition with its annexes and of this Order be served upon the Office of the Solicitor General, and the respondents, and
be posted on the Bulletin Board of this Court, also at the expense of the petitioners.
SO ORDERED.[11]
On the other hand, respondent Judge Hamoy issued an Order dated April 15, 1993 taking cognizance of SP. PROC. No. C-1674, to wit:
It appearing from the documentary evidence presented and marked by the petitioners that the Order of the Court setting the case for hearing
was published in Media Update once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks, that is on February 20, 27, and March 6, 1993 as evidenced by
the Affidavit of Publication and the clippings attached to the affidavit, and by the copies of the Media Update published on the
aforementioned dates; further, copy of the order setting the case for hearing together with copy of the petition had been served upon the
Solicitor General, City Prosecutor of Kalookan City, Civil Registrar of Kalookan City and the private respondents, the Court holds that the
petitioners have complied with the jurisdictional requirements for the Court to take cognizance of this case.
xxx

xxx

x x x.

SO ORDERED.[12]
Petitioners attempts at seeking a reconsideration of the above-mentioned orders of Judge Veneracion and Judge Hamoy failed, hence their
recourse to the Court of Appeals via a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order
and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Petitioners averred that respondents judges had acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed orders allowing the petitions for the cancellation and/or correction of entries in petitioners records
of birth to prosper in the lower courts.
In their petition before the Court of Appeals, the petitioners raised the following arguments: (1) Rule 108 is inappropriate for impugning the
legitimacy and filiation of children; (2) Respondents judges are sanctioning a collateral attack against the filiation and legitimacy of children; (3)
Respondents judges are allowing private respondents to impugn the legitimacy and filiation of their siblings despite the fact that their
undisputed common father is still alive; (4) Respondents judges are entertaining petitions which are already time-barred; and (5) The petitions
below are part of a forum-shopping spree.[13]
Finding no merit in petitioners arguments, the Court of Appeals dismissed their petition in a Decision dated October 28, 1994. [14] Petitioners
Motion for Reconsideration of the said decision was also denied by the Court of Appeals in a Resolution dated December 19, 1994. [15]
Hence, this petition.
I. Petitioners contend that resort to Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court is improper since private respondents seek to have the entry for the
name of petitioners mother changed from Keh Shiok Cheng to Tiu Chuan who is a completely different person. What private respondents
therefore seek is not merely a correction in name but a declaration that petitioners were not born of Lee Tek Shengs legitimate wife, Keh Shiok

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Cheng, but of his mistress, Tiu Chuan, in effect a bastardization of petitioners. [16] Petitioners thus label private respondents suits before the
lower courts as a collateral attack against their legitimacy in the guise of a Rule 108 proceeding.
Debunking petitioners above contention, the Court of Appeals observed:
xxx

xxx

x x x.

As correctly pointed out by the private respondents in their comment x x x, the proceedings are simply aimed at establishing a particular fact,
status and/or right. Stated differently, the thrust of said proceedings was to establish the factual truth regarding the occurrence of certain
events which created or affected the status of persons and/or otherwise deprived said persons of rights. [17]
xxx

xxx

x x x.

It is precisely the province of a special proceeding such as the one outlined under Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court to establish the status
or right of a party, or a particular fact.[18] The petitions filed by private respondents for the correction of entries in the petitioners records of
birth were intended to establish that for physical and/or biological reasons it was impossible for Keh Shiok Cheng to have conceived and given
birth to the petitioners as shown in their birth records. Contrary to petitioners contention that the petitions before the lower courts were
actually actions to impugn legitimacy, the prayer therein is not to declare that petitioners are illegitimate children of Keh Shiok Cheng, but to
establish that the former are not the latters children. There is nothing to impugn as there is no blood relation at all between Keh Shiok Cheng
and petitioners.[19]
Further sanctioning private respondents resort to Rule 108, the Court of Appeals adverted to our ruling in the leading case of Republic vs.
Valencia[20] where we affirmed the decision of Branch XI of the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Cebu City ordering the correction in the
nationality and civil status of petitioners minor children as stated in their records of birth from Chinese to Filipino, and legitimate to
illegitimate, respectively. Although recognizing that the changes or corrections sought to be effected are not mere clerical errors of a
harmless or innocuous nature, this Court, sitting en banc, held therein that even substantial errors in a civil register may be corrected and the
true facts established provided the parties aggrieved by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding.[21] In the said
case, we also laid down the rule that a proceeding for correction and/or cancellation of entries in the civil register under Rule 108 ceases to be
summary in nature and takes on the characteristics of an appropriate adversary proceeding when all the procedural requirements under
Rule 108 are complied with. Thus we held:
Provided the trial court has conducted proceedings where all relevant facts have been fully and properly developed, where opposing counsel
have been given opportunity to demolish the opposite partys case, and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed and considered, the
suit or proceeding is appropriate.
The pertinent sections of rule 108 provide:
SEC. 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.
SEC. 4. Notice and publication. - Upon the filing 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 in a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province.
SEC. 5. Opposition. The civil registrar and any person having or claiming any interest under the entry whose cancellation or correction is
sought may, within fifteen (15) days from notice of the petition, or from the last date of publication of such notice, file his opposition thereto.
Thus, the persons who must be made parties to a proceeding concerning the cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register are - (1)
the civil registrar, and (2) all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby. Upon the filing of the petition, it
becomes the duty of the court to - (1) issue an order fixing the time and place for the hearing of the petition, and (2) cause the order for
hearing to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province. The following are
likewise entitled to oppose the petition: - (1) the civil registrar, and (2) any person having or claiming any interest under the entry whose
cancellation or correction is sought.
If all these procedural requirements have been followed, a petition for correction and/or cancellation of entries in the record of birth even if
filed and conducted under Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court can no longer be described as summary. There can be no doubt that when
an opposition to the petition is filed either by the Civil Registrar or any person having or claiming any interest in the entries sought to be

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cancelled and/or corrected and the opposition is actively prosecuted, the proceedings thereon become adversary
proceedings.[22] (Underscoring supplied.)
To the mind of the Court of Appeals, the proceedings taken in both petitions for cancellation and/or correction of entries in the records of birth of
petitioners in the lower courts are appropriate adversary proceedings.
We agree. As correctly observed by the Court of Appeals:
In the instant case, a petition for cancellation and/or correction of entries of birth was filed by private respondents and pursuant to the order of
the RTC-Manila, dated February 17, 1993, a copy of the order setting the case for hearing was ordered published once a week for three (3)
consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. In the RTC-Kalookan, there was an actual publication of the order
setting the case for hearing in Media Update once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks. In both cases notices of the orders were ordered
served upon the Solicitor General, the Civil Registrars of Manila and Kalookan and upon the petitioners herein. Both orders set the case for
hearing and directed the Civil Registrars and the other respondents in the case below to file their oppositions to the said petitions. A motion to
dismiss was consequently filed by herein petitioners Marcelo, Mariano, Pablo, Helen, Catalino and Eusebio, all surnamed Lee, and Albina LeeYoung in the RTC-Manila, and an opposition was filed by Emma Lee in the RTC-Kalookan.
In view of the foregoing, we hold that the petitions filed by the private respondents in the courts below by way of a special proceeding for
cancellation and/or correction of entries in the civil registers with the requisite parties, notices and publications could very well be regarded as
that proper suit or appropriate action.[23] (Underscoring supplied.)
The petitioners assert, however, that making the proceedings adversarial does not give trial courts the license to go beyond the ambit of Rule
108 which is limited to those corrections contemplated by Article 412 of the New Civil Code or mere clerical errors of a harmless or innocuous
nature.[24] The petitioners point to the case of Labayo-Rowe vs. Republic,[25] which is of a later date than Republic vs. Valencia,[26] where this
Court reverted to the doctrine laid down in earlier cases, [27] starting with Ty Kong Tin vs. Republic, [28] prohibiting the extension of the application
of Rule 108 beyond innocuous or harmless changes or corrections. Petitioners contend that as held in Go, et al. vs. Civil Registrar,[29] allowing
substantial changes under Rule 108 would render the said rule unconstitutional as the same would have the effect of increasing or modifying
substantive rights.
At the outset, it should be pointed out that in the cited case of Labayo-Rowe vs. Republic,[30] the reason we declared null and void the portion of
the lower courts order directing the change of Labayo-Rowes civil status and the filiation of one of her children as appearing in the latters
record of birth, is not because Rule 108 was inappropriate to effect such changes, but because Labayo-Rowes petition before the lower court
failed to implead all indispensable parties to the case.
We explained in this wise:
x x x. An appropriate proceeding is required wherein all the indispensable parties should be made parties to the case as required under Section
3, Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court.
In the case before Us, since only the Office of the Solicitor General was notified through the Office of the Provincial Fiscal, representing the
Republic of the Philippines as the only respondent, the proceedings taken, which is summary in nature, is short of what is required in cases
where substantial alterations are sought. Aside from the Office of the Solicitor General, all other indispensable parties should have been made
respondents. They include not only the declared father of the child but the child as well, together with the paternal grandparents, if any, as
their hereditary rights would be adversely affected thereby. All other persons who may be affected by the change should be notified or
represented x x x.
xxx

xxx

x x x.

The right of the child Victoria to inherit from her parents would be substantially impaired if her status would be changed from legitimate to
illegitimate. Moreover, she would be exposed to humiliation and embarrassment resulting from the stigma of an illegitimate filiation that she
will bear thereafter. The fact that the notice of hearing of the petition was published in a newspaper of general circulation and notice thereof
was served upon the State will not change the nature of the proceedings taken. Rule 108, like all the other provisions of the Rules of Court, was
promulgated by the Supreme Court pursuant to its rule-making authority under Section 13, Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution, which directs
that such rules shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. If Rule 108 were to be extended beyond innocuous or harmless
changes or corrections of errors which are visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding, so as to comprehend substantial and controversial
alterations concerning citizenship, legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage, without observing the proper proceedings as
earlier mentioned, said rule would thereby become an unconstitutional exercise which would tend to increase or modify substantive rights. This
situation is not contemplated under Article 412 of the Civil Code.[31] (Underscoring supplied).

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Far from petitioners theory, this Courts ruling in Labayo-Rowe vs. Republic[32] does not exclude recourse to Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of
Court to effect substantial changes or corrections in entries of the civil register. The only requisite is that the proceedings under Rule 108 be
an appropriate adversary proceeding as contra-distinguished from a summary proceeding. Thus:
If the purpose of the petition [for cancellation and/or correction of entries in the civil register] is merely to correct the clerical errors which are
visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding, the court may, under a summary procedure, issue an order for the correction of a
mistake. However, as repeatedly construed, changes which may affect the civil status from legitimate to illegitimate, as well as sex, are
substantial and controversial alterations which can only be allowed after appropriate adversary proceedings depending upon the nature of the
issues involved. Changes which affect the civil status or citizenship of a party are substantial in character and should be threshed out in a
proper action depending upon the nature of the issues in controversy, and wherein all the parties who may be affected by the entries are
notified or represented and evidence is submitted to prove the allegations of the complaint, and proof to the contrary admitted. x x
x.[33] (Underscoring supplied.)
It is true that in special proceedings formal pleadings and a hearing may be dispensed with, and the remedy granted upon mere application or
motion. But this is not always the case, as when the statute expressly provides. [34] Hence, a special proceeding is not always summary. One
only has to take a look at the procedure outlined in Rule 108 to see that what is contemplated therein is not a summary proceeding per
se. Rule 108 requires publication of the petition three (3) times, i.e., once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks (Sec. 4). The Rule also
requires inclusion as parties of all persons who claim any interest which would be affected by the cancellation or correction (Sec. 3). The civil
registrar and any person in interest are also required to file their opposition, if any, within fifteen (15) days from notice of the petition, or from
the last date of publication of such notice (Sec. 5). Last, but not the least, although the court may make orders expediting the proceedings, it is
after hearing that the court shall either dismiss the petition or issue an order granting the same (Sec. 7).
Thus, we find no reason to depart from our ruling in Republic vs. Valencia,[35] that Rule 108, when all the procedural requirements thereunder
are followed, is the appropriate adversary proceeding to effect substantial corrections and changes in entries of the civil register. It must
be conceded, however, that even after Republic vs. Valencia[36] there continues to be a seesawing of opinion on the issue of whether or not
substantial corrections in entries of the civil register may be effected by means of Rule 108 in relation to Article 412 of the New Civil Code. The
more recent cases of Leonor vs. Court of Appeals[37] and Republic vs. Labrador[38] do seem to signal a reversion to the Ty Kong Tin ruling which
delimited the scope of application of Article 412 to clerical or typographical errors in entries of the civil register.
In Republic vs. Labrador, the Court held that Rule 108 cannot be used to modify, alter or increase substantive rights, such as those involving the
legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child. We ruled thus:
This issue has been resolved in Leonor vs. Court of Appeals. In that case, Respondent Mauricio Leonor filed a petition before the trial court
seeking the cancellation of the registration of his marriage to Petitioner Virginia Leonor. He alleged, among others, the nullity of their legal
vows arising from the non-observance of the legal requirements for a valid marriage. In debunking the trial courts ruling granting such
petition, the Court held as follows:
On its face, the Rule would appear to authorize the cancellation of any entry regarding marriages in the civil registry for any reason by the
mere filing of a verified petition for the purpose. However, it is not as simple as it looks. Doctrinally, the only errors that can be canceled or
corrected under this Rule are typographical or clerical errors, not material or substantial ones like the validity or nullity of a marriage. A clerical
error is one which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding; error made by a clerk or a transcriber; a mistake in copying or writing
(Black vs. Republic, L-10869, Nov. 28, 1958); or some harmless and innocuous change such as a correction of name that is clearly misspelled or
of a misstatement of the occupation of the parent (Ansalada vs. Republic, L-10226, Feb. 14, 1958).
Where the effect of a correction in a civil registry will change the civil status of petitioner and her children from legitimate to illegitimate, the
same cannot be granted except only in an adversarial x x x.
Clearly and unequivocally, the summary procedure under Rule 108, and for that matter under Article 412 of the Civil Code cannot be used by
Mauricio to change his and Virginias civil status from married to single and of their three children from legitimate to illegitimate. x x x
Thus, where the effect of a correction of an entry in a civil registry will change the status of a person from legitimate to illegitimate, as in
Sarah Zitas case, the same cannot be granted in summary proceedings. [39]
It is, therefore, high time that we put an end to the confusion sown by pronouncements seemingly in conflict with each other, and perhaps, in
the process, stem the continuing influx of cases raising the same substantial issue.

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The basis for the pronouncement that extending the scope of Rule 108 to substantial corrections is unconstitutional is embodied in the early
case of Ty Kong Tin vs. Republic[40] that first delineated the extent or scope of the matters that may be changed or corrected pursuant to Article
412 of the New Civil Code. The Supreme Court ruled in this case that:
x x x. After a mature deliberation, the opinion was reached that what was contemplated therein are mere corrections of mistakes that are
clerical in nature and not those that may affect the civil status or the nationality or citizenship of the persons involved. If the purpose of the
petition is merely a clerical error then the court may issue an order in order that the error or mistake may be corrected. If it refers to a
substantial change, which affects the status or citizenship of a party, the matter should be threshed out in a proper action depending upon the
nature of the issue involved. Such action can be found at random in our substantive and remedial laws the implementation of which will
naturally depend upon the factors and circumstances that might arise affecting the interested parties. This opinion is predicated upon the
theory that the procedure contemplated in article 412 is summary in nature which cannot cover cases involving controversial issues. [41]
This doctrine was taken a step further in the case of Chua Wee, et al. vs. Republic[42] where the Court said that:
From the time the New Civil Code took effect on August 30, 1950 until the promulgation of the Revised Rules of Court on January 1, 1964, there
was no law nor rule of court prescribing the procedure to secure judicial authorization to effect the desired innocuous rectifications or
alterations in the civil register pursuant to Article 412 of the New Civil Code. Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court now provides for such a
procedure which should be limited solely to the implementation of Article 412, the substantive law on the matter of correcting entries in the
civil register. Rule 108, like all the other provisions of the Rules of Court, was promulgated by the Supreme Court pursuant to its rule-making
authority under Section 13 of Art. VIII of the Constitution, which directs that such rules of court shall not diminish or increase or modify
substantive rights. If Rule 108 were to be extended beyond innocuous or harmless changes or corrections of errors which are visible to the eye
or obvious to the understanding, so as to comprehend substantial and controversial alterations concerning citizenship, legitimacy of paternity
or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage, said Rule 108 would thereby become unconstitutional for it would be increasing or modifying substantive
rights, which changes are not authorized under Article 412 of the New Civil Code. [43] (Underscoring supplied).
We venture to say now that the above pronouncements proceed from a wrong premise, that is, the interpretation that Article 412 pertains only
to clerical errors of a harmless or innocuous nature, effectively excluding from its domain, and the scope of its implementing rule, substantial
changes that may affect nationality, status, filiation and the like. Why the limited scope of Article 412? Unfortunately,Ty Kong Tin does not
satisfactorily answer this question except to opine that the procedure contemplated in Article 412 is summary in nature and cannot, therefore,
cover cases involving controversial issues. Subsequent cases have merely echoed the Ty Kong Tin doctrine without, however, shedding light on
the matter.
The flaw in Ty Kong Tin lies in its theory that Article 412 contemplates a summary procedure.
First of all, Article 412 is a substantive law that provides as follows:
No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order.
It does not provide for a specific procedure of law to be followed except to say that the corrections or changes must be effected by judicial
order. As such, it cannot be gleaned therefrom that the procedure contemplated for obtaining such judicial order is summary in nature.
Secondly, it is important to note that Article 412 uses both the terms corrected and changed. In its ordinary sense, to correct means to
make or set right; to remove the faults or errors from [44]while to change means to replace something with something else of the same kind
or with something that serves as a substitute.[45] The provision neither qualifies as to the kind of entry to be changed or corrected nor does it
distinguish on the basis of the effect that the correction or change may have. Hence, it is proper to conclude that all entries in the civil register
may be changed or corrected under Article 412. What are the entries in the civil register? We need not go further than Articles 407 and 408 of
the same title to find the answer.
Art. 407. Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of persons shall be recorded in the civil register.
Art. 408. The following shall be entered in the civil register:
(1) Births; (2) marriages; (3) deaths; (4) legal separations; (5) annulments of marriage; (6) judgments declaring marriages void from the
beginning; (7) legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9) acknowledgments of natural children; (10) naturalization; (11) loss, or (12) recovery of
citizenship; (13) civil interdiction; (14) judicial determination of filiation; (15) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and (16) changes of name.

8
It is beyond doubt that the specific matters covered by the preceding provisions include not only status but also nationality. Therefore, the Ty
Kong Tin pronouncement that Article 412 does not contemplate matters that may affect civil status, nationality or citizenship is erroneous. This
interpretation has the effect of isolating Article 412 from the rest of the articles in Title XVI, Book I of the New Civil Code, in clear contravention
of the rule of statutory construction that a statute must always be construed as a whole such that the particular meaning to be attached to any
word or phrase is ascertained from the context and the nature of the subject treated. [46]
Thirdly, Republic Act No. 9048 [47] which was passed by Congress on February 8, 2001 substantially amended Article 412 of the New Civil
Code, to wit:
SECTION 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or Nickname.- No entry in a civil register shall be
changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which can be
corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its
implementing rules and regulations.
The above law speaks clearly. Clerical or typographical errors in entries of the civil register are now to be corrected and changed without need
of a judicial order and by the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general. The obvious effect is to remove from the ambit of Rule 108 the
correction or changing of such errors in entries of the civil register. Hence, what is left for the scope of operation of Rule 108 are substantial
changes and corrections in entries of the civil register. This is precisely the opposite of what Ty Kong Tin and other cases of its genre had said,
perhaps another indication that it was not sound doctrine after all.
It may be very well said that Republic Act No. 9048 is Congress response to the confusion wrought by the failure to delineate as to what exactly
is that so-called summary procedure for changes or corrections of a harmless or innocuous nature as distinguished from that appropriate
adversary proceeding for changes or corrections of a substantial kind. For we must admit that though we have constantly referred to
an appropriate adversary proceeding, we have failed to categorically state just what that procedure is. Republic Act No. 9048 now
embodies that summary procedure while Rule 108 is that appropriate adversary proceeding. Be that as it may, the case at bar cannot
be decided on the basis of Republic Act No. 9048 which has prospective application. Hence, the necessity for the preceding treatise.
II. The petitioners contend that the private respondents have no cause of action to bring the cases below as Article 171 of the Family Code
allows the heirs of the father to bring an action to impugn the legitimacy of his children only after his death. [48]
Article 171 provides:
The heirs of the husband may impugn the filiation of the child within the period prescribed in the preceding article only in the following cases:
(1) If the husband should die before the expiration of the period fixed for bringing this action;
(2) If he should die after the filing of the complaint, without having desisted therefrom; or
(3) If the child was born after the death of the husband.
Petitioners contention is without merit.
In the recent case of Babiera vs. Catotal,[49] we upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals that affirmed the judgment of the RTC of Lanao del
Norte declaring the birth certificate of one Teofista Guinto as null and void ab initio, and ordering the Local Civil Registrar of Iligan City to cancel
the same from the Registry of Live Births. We ruled therein that private respondent Presentacion Catotal, child of spouses Eugenio Babiera and
Hermogena Cariosa, had the requisite standing to initiate an action to cancel the entry of birth of Teofista Babiera, another alleged child of the
same spouses because she is the one who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the
suit.[50]
We likewise held therein that:
x x x Article 171 of the Family Code is not applicable to the present case. A close reading of the provision shows that it applies to instances in
which the father impugns the legitimacy of his wifes child. The provision, however, presupposes that the child was the undisputed offspring of
the mother. The present case alleges and shows that Hermogena did not give birth to petitioner. In other words, the prayer therein is not to
declare that petitioner is an illegitimate child of Hermogena, but to establish that the former is not the latters child at all. x x x. [51]

9
Similarly, we ruled in Benitez-Badua vs. Court of Appeals[52] that:
Petitioners insistence on the applicability of Articles 164, 166, 170 and 171 of the Family Code to the case at bench cannot be sustained. x x x.
xxx

xxx

x x x.

A careful reading of the above articles will show that they do not contemplate a situation, like in the instant case, where a child is alleged not
be the child of nature or biological child of a certain couple. Rather, these articles govern a situation where a husband (or his heirs) denies as
his own a child of his wife. Thus, under Article 166, it is the husband who can impugn the legitimacy of said child by proving: (1) it was
physically impossible for him to have sexual intercourse, with his wife within the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately preceded the
birth of the child; (2) that for biological or other scientific reasons, the child could not have been his child; (3) that in case of children conceived
through artificial insemination, the written authorization or ratification by either parent was obtained through mistake, fraud, violence,
intimidation or undue influence. Articles 170 and 171 reinforce this reading as they speak of the prescriptive period within which the husband
or any of his heirs should file the action impugning the legitimacy of said child. Doubtless then, the appellate court did not err when it refused
to apply these articles to the case at bench. For the case at bench is not one where the heirs of the late Vicente are contending that petitioner
is not his child by Isabel. Rather, their clear submission is that petitioner was not born to Vicente and Isabel. Our ruling in Cabatbat-Lim vs.
Intermediate Appellate Court, 166 SCRA 451, 457 cited in the impugned decision is apropos, viz:
Petitioners recourse to Article 263 of the New Civil Code [now Art. 170 of the Family Code] is not well taken. This legal provision refers to an
action to impugn legitimacy. It is inapplicable to this case because this is not an action to impugn the legitimacy of a child, but an action of the
private respondents to claim their inheritance as legal heirs of their childless deceased aunt. They do not claim that petitioner Violeta Cabatbat
Lim is an illegitimate child of the deceased, but that she is not the decedents child at all. Being neither legally adopted child, nor an
acknowledged natural child, nor a child by legal fiction of Esperanza Cabatbat, Violeta is not a legal heir of the deceased. [53]
III. Petitioners claim that private respondents cause of action had already prescribed as more than five (5) years had lapsed between the
registration of the latest birth among the petitioners in 1960 and the filing of the actions in December of 1992 and February of 1993. [54]
We disagree. As correctly pointed out by the Court of Appeals, inasmuch as no law or rule specifically prescribes a fixed time for filing the
special proceeding under Rule 108 in relation to Article 412 of the New Civil Code, it is the following provision of the New Civil Code that applies:
Art. 1149. All other actions whose periods are not fixed in this Code or in other laws must be brought within five years from the time the right
of action accrues.
The right of action accrues when there exists a cause of action, which consists of three (3) elements, namely: a) a right in favor of the plaintiff
by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is created; b) an obligation on the part of the defendant to respect such right; and c) an
act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff. It is only when the last element occurs or takes place that it
can be said in law that a cause of action has arisen.[55]
It is indubitable that private respondents have a cause of action. The last element of their cause of action, that is, the act of their father in
falsifying the entries in petitioners birth records, occurred more than thirty (30) years ago. Strictly speaking, it was upon this occurrence that
private respondents right of action or right to sue accrued. However, we must take into account the fact that it was only sometime in 1989
that private respondents discovered that they in fact had a cause of action against petitioners who continue to use said falsified birth records.
Hence, it would result in manifest injustice if we were to deprive private respondents of their right to establish the truth about a fact, in this
case, petitioners true mother, and their real status, simply because they had discovered the dishonesty perpetrated upon them by their
common father at a much later date. This is especially true in the case of private respondents who, as their fathers legitimate children, did not
have any reason to suspect that he would commit such deception against them and deprive them of their sole right to inherit from their
mothers (Keh Shiok Chengs) estate. It was only sometime in 1989 that private respondents suspicions were aroused and confirmed. From
that time until 1992 and 1993, less than five (5) years had lapsed.
Petitioners would have us reckon the five-year prescriptive period from the date of the registration of the last birth among the petitionerssiblings in 1960, and not from the date private respondents had discovered the false entries in petitioners birth records in 1989. Petitioners
base their position on the fact that birth records are public documents, hence, the period of prescription for the right of action available to the
private respondents started to run from the time of the registration of their birth certificates in the Civil Registry.
We cannot agree with petitioners thinking on that point.

10
It is true that the books making up the Civil Register and all documents relating thereto are public documents and shall be prima facie evidence
of the facts therein contained.[56] Petitioners liken their birth records to land titles, public documents that serve as notice to the whole
world. Unfortunately for the petitioners, this analogy does not hold water. Unlike a title to a parcel of land, a persons parentage cannot be
acquired by prescription. One is either born of a particular mother or not. It is that simple.
IV. Finally, petitioners accuse private respondents of forum shopping. They enumerate the other actions filed by private respondents against
them prior to the filing of their Rule 108 petitions in the lower courts, as follows:
(1) A criminal complaint for falsification of entries in the birth certificates filed against their father as principal and against defendants as
alleged accessories;
(2) A petition for the cancellation of the naturalization certificate of their father, Lee Tek Sheng; and
(3) A petition for partition of Keh Shiok Chengs estate.[57]
According to the petitioners, all the three (3) actions above-mentioned, as well as the Rule 108 petitions, subject of the case before us, raise the
common issue of whether petitioners are the natural children of Keh Shiok Cheng or Tiu Chuan. They contend that in all these cases, the judge
or hearing officer would have to resolve this issue in order to determine whether or not to grant the relief prayed for. [58]
Forum shopping is present when in the two or more cases pending there is identity of parties, rights or causes of action and reliefs sought.
[59]
Even a cursory examination of the pleadings filed by private respondents in their various cases against petitioners would reveal that at the
very least there is no identity of rights or causes of action and reliefs prayed for. The present case has its roots in two (2) petitions filed under
Rule 108, the purpose of which is to correct and/or cancel certain entries in petitioners birth records. Suffice it to state, the cause of action in
these Rule 108 petitions and the relief sought therefrom are very different from those in the criminal complaint against petitioners and their
father which has for its cause of action, the commission of a crime as defined and penalized under the Revised Penal Code, and which seeks the
punishment of the accused; or the action for the cancellation of Lee Tek Shengs naturalization certificate which has for its cause of action the
commission by Lee Tek Sheng of an immoral act, and his ultimate deportation for its object; or for that matter, the action for partition of Keh
Shiok Chengs estate which has for its cause of action the private respondents right under the New Civil Code to inherit from their mothers
estate.
We therefore concur in the finding of the Court of Appeals that there is no forum shopping to speak of in the concept that this is described and
contemplated in Circular No. 28-91 of the Supreme Court.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 28, 1994 is AFFIRMED.

G.R. No. L-2474

May 30, 1951

MARIANO ANDAL, assisted by mother Maria Dueas as guardian ad litem, and MARIA DUEAS, plaintiffs,
vs.
EDUVIGIS MACARAIG, defendant.
Reyes and Dy-Liaco for appellants.
Tible, Tena and Borja for appellees.
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:
Mariano Andal, a minor, assisted by his mother Maria Dueas, as guardian ad litem, brought an action in the Court of First Instance of
Camarines Sur for the recovery of the ownership and possession of a parcel of land situated in the barrio of Talacop, Calabanga, Camarines Sur.
The complaint alleges that Mariano Andal is the surviving son of Emiliano Andal and Maria Dueas; that Emiliano Andal died on September 24,
1942; that Emiliano Andal was the owner of the parcel of land in question having acquired it from his mother Eduvigis Macaraig by virtue of a
donation propter nuptias executed by the latter in favor of the former; that Emiliano Andal had been in possession of the land from 1938 up to
1942, when Eduvigis Macaraig, taking advantage of the abnormal situation then prevailing, entered the land in question.

11
The lower court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs (a) declaring Mariano Andal the legitimate son of Emiliano Andal and such entitled
to inherit the land in question; (b) declaring Mariano Andal owner of said land; and (c) ordering the defendant to pay the costs of suit.
Defendant took the case to this Court upon the plea that only question of law are involved.
It appears undisputed that the land in question was given by Eduvigis Macaraig to her son Emiliano Andal by virtue of a donation propter
nuptias she has executed in his favor on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Dueas. If the son born to the couple is deemed legitimate, then
he is entitled to inherit the land in question. If otherwise, then the land should revert back to Eduvigis Macaraig as the next of kin entitled to
succeed him under the law. The main issue, therefore, to be determined hinges on the legitimacy of Mariano Andal in so far as his relation to
Emiliano Andal is concerned. The determination of this issue much depends upon the relationship that had existed between Emiliano Andal and
his wife during the period of conception of the child up to the date of his birth in connection with the death of the alleged father Emiliano Andal.
The following facts appear to have been proven: Emiliano Andal became sick of tuberculosis in January 1941. Sometime thereafter, his brother,
Felix, went to live in his house to help him work his house to help him work his farm. His sickness became worse that on or about September
10, 1942, he became so weak that he could hardly move and get up from his bed. On September 10, 1942, Maria Duenas, his wife, eloped with
Felix, and both went to live in the house of Maria's father, until the middle of 1943. Since May, 1942, Felix and Maria had sexual intercourse and
treated each other as husband and wife. On January 1, 1943, Emiliano died without the presence of his wife, who did not even attend his
funeral. On June 17, 1943, Maria Dueas gave birth to a boy, who was given the name of Mariano Andal. Under these facts, can the child be
considered as the legitimate son of Emiliano?
Article 108 of the Civil Code provides:
Children born after the one hundred and eighty days next following that of the celebration of marriage or within the three hundred days next
following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.
This presumption may be rebutted only by proof that it was physically impossible for the husband to have had access to his wife during the first
one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred next preceding the birth of the child.
Since the boy was born on June 17, 1943, and Emiliano Andal died on January 1, 1943, that boy is presumed to be the legitimate son of
Emiliano and his wife, he having been born within three hundred (300) days following the dissolution of the marriage. This presumption can only
be rebutted by proof that it was physically impossible for the husband to have had access to his wife during the first 120 days of the 300 next
preceding the birth of the child. Is there any evidence to prove that it was physically impossible for Emiliano to have such access? Is the fact
that Emiliano was sick of tuberculosis and was so weak that he could hardly move and get up from his bed sufficient to overcome this
presumption?
Manresa on this point says:
Impossibility of access by husband to wife would include (1) absence during the initial period of conception, (2) impotence which is patent,
continuing and incurable, and (3) imprisonment, unless it can be shown that cohabitation took place through corrupt violation of prison
regulations. Manresa, 492-500, Vol. I, cited by Dr. Arturo Tolentino in his book "Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code, Vol. 1, p.90)."
There was no evidence presented that Emiliano Andal was absent during the initial period of conception, specially during the period comprised
between August 21, 1942 and September 10, 1942, which is included in the 120 days of the 300 next preceding the birth of the child Mariano
Andal. On the contrary, there is enough evidence to show that during that initial period, Emiliano Andal and his wife were still living under the
marital roof. Even if Felix, the brother, was living in the same house, and he and the wife were indulging in illicit intercourse since May, 1942,
that does not preclude cohabitation between Emiliano and his wife. We admit that Emiliano was already suffering from tuberculosis and his
condition then was so serious that he could hardly move and get up from bed, his feet were swollen and his voice hoarse. But experience shows
that this does not prevent carnal intercourse. There are cases where persons suffering from this sickness can do the carnal act even in the most
crucial stage because they are more inclined to sexual intercourse. As an author has said, "the reputation of the tuberculosis towards eroticism
(sexual propensity) is probably dependent more upon confinement to bed than the consequences of the disease." (An Integrated Practice of
Medicine, by Hyman, Vol. 3, p.2202). There is neither evidence to show that Emiliano was suffering from impotency, patent, continuous and
incurable, nor was there evidence that he was imprisoned. The presumption of legitimacy under the Civil Code in favor of the child has not,
therefore, been overcome.
We can obtain the same result viewing this case under section 68, par. (c) of Rule 123, of the Rules of Court, which is practically based upon the
same rai'son d'etre underlying the Civil Code. Said section provides:
The issue of a wife cohabiting with the husband who is not impotent, is indisputably presumed to be legitimate, if not born within one hundred
eighty days immediately succeeding the marriage, or after the expiration of three hundred days following its dissolution.

12
We have already seen that Emiliano and his wife were living together, or at least had access one to the other, and Emiliano was not impotent,
and the child was born within three (300) days following the dissolution of the marriage. Under these facts no other presumption can be drawn
than that the issue is legitimate. We have also seen that this presumption can only be rebutted by clear proof that it was physically or naturally
impossible for them to indulge in carnal intercourse. And here there is no such proof. The fact that Maria Dueas has committed adultery can
not also overcome this presumption (Tolentino's Commentaries on the Civil Code, Vol. I, p. 92).
In view of all the foregoing, we are constrained to hold that the lower court did not err in declaring Mariano Andal as the legitimate son of the
spouses Emiliano Andal and Maria Dueas.
Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed, without pronouncement as to costs.
G.R. No. L-49542 September 12, 1980
ANTONIO MACADANGDANG, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and ELIZABETH MEJIAS, respondents.

MAKASIAR, J.:
This petition for review seeks to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 54618-R which reversed the decision of the Court
of First Instance of Davao, Branch IX dismissing the action for recognition and support filed by respondent Elizabeth Mejias against petitioner
Antonio Macadangdang, and which found minor Rolando to be the illegitimate son of petitioner who was ordered to give a monthly support of
P350.00 until his alleged son reaches the age of majority (p. 47, rec.; p. 10, ROA).
The records show that respondent Elizabeth Mejias is a married woman, her husband being Crispin Anahaw (pp. 61-62, t.s.n., Sept. 21, 1972;
pp. 10-11, Brief for Respondent [P. 198, rec.]) She allegedly had intercourse with petitioner Antonio Macadangdang sometime in March, 1967 (p.
38, t.s.n., June 7, 1972 in CC No. 109). She also alleges that due to the affair, she and her husband separated in 1967 (p. 63, t.s.n., Sept. 21,
1972). On October 30, 1967 (7 months or 210 days following the illicit encounter), she gave birth to a baby boy who was named Rolando
Macadangdang in baptismal rites held on December 24,1967 (Annex "A", List of Exhibits).
The records also disclose that on April 25, 1972, respondent (then plaintiff) filed a complaint for recognition and support against petitioner (then
defendant) with the Court of First Instance of Davao, Branch IX. This case was docketed as Civil Case No. 263 (p. 1, ROA).
Defendant (now petitioner) Macadangdang filed his answer on June 30, 1972, opposing plaintiff's claim and praying for its dismissal (p. 3, ROA).
On August 9, 1972, the lower court in a pre-trial conference, issued a Pre-trial Order formalizing certain stipulations, admissions and factual
issues on which both parties agreed (pp. 4, 5, and 6, ROA). Correspondingly, upon agreement of the parties, an amended complaint was filed by
plaintiff on October 17, 1972 (pp. 7,8 and 9, ROA).
In its decision rendered on February 27, 1973, the lower court dismissed the complaint,. The decision invoked positive provisions of the Civil
Code and Rules of Court and authorities (pp. 10-18, ROA).
On April 18, 1973, plaintiff appealed the CFI decision to the Court of Appeals (p. 59, In her appeal, appellant assigned these errors:
1. The Honorable Trial Court erred in applying in the instant case the provisions of Arts. 255 and 256 of the Civil Code and Secs. 4[a], 4[b] and
4[c], Rule 131, of the Revised Rules of Court (p. 18, rec.);
2. The Honorable Trial Court erred in holding that plaintiff-appellant cannot validly question the legitimacy of her son, Rolando Macadangdang,
by a collateral attack without joining her legal husband as a party in the instant case (p. 18, rec.).
In its decision handed down on June 2, 1978, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's decision (p. 47, and thus declared minor Rolando
to be an illegitimate son of Antonio Macadangdang (p. 52, rec.).
On November 6, 1978, the Court of Appeals denied appellant's motions for reconsideration for lack of merit. (p. 56, rec.).

13
Hence, petitioner filed this petition on January 12, 1979.
The issues boil down to:
1. Whether or not the child Rolando is conclusively presumed the legitimate issue of the spouses Elizabeth Mejias and Crispin Anahaw; and
2. Whether or not the wife may institute an action that would bastardize her child without giving her husband, the legally presumed father, an
opportunity to be heard.
The crucial point that should be emphasized and should be straightened out from the very beginning is the fact that respondent's initial illicit
affair with petitioner occurred sometime in March, 1967 and that by reason thereof, she and her husband separated. This fact surfaced from the
testimony of respondent herself in the hearing of September 21, 1972 when this case was still in the lower court. The pertinent portions of her
testimony are thus quoted:
By Atty. Fernandez:
Q What did you feel as a result of the incident where Antonio Macadangdang used pill and took advantage of your womanhood?
A I felt worried, mentally shocked and humiliated.
Q If these feelings: worries, mental shock and humiliation, if estimated in monetary figures, how much win be the amount?
A Ten thousand pesos, sir.
Q And because of the incidental what happened to your with Crispin Anahaw.
xxx xxx xxx
WITNESS:
A We separate, sir. (pp. 61-63, T.s.n., Civil Case No. 263, Sept. 21, 1972; emphasis supplied).
From the foregoing line of questions and answers, it can be gleaned that respondent's answers were given with spontaneity and with a clear
understanding of the questions posed. There cannot be any other meaning or interpretation of the word "incident" other than that of the initial
contact between petitioner and respondent. Even a layman would understand the clear sense of the question posed before respondent and her
categorical and spontaneous answer which does not leave any room for interpretation. It must be noted that the very question of her counsel
conveys the assumption of an existing between respondent and her husband.
The finding of the Court of Appeals that respondent and her husband were separated in 1965 cannot therefore be considered conclusive and
binding on this Court. It is based solely on the testimony of respondent which is self-serving. Nothing in the records shows that her statement
was confirmed or corroborated by another witness and the same cannot be treated as borne out by the record or that which is based on
substantial evidence. It is not even confirmed by her own husband, who was not impleaded.
In the case of Tolentino vs. De Jesus (L-32797, 56 SCRA 167 [1974], this Court restated that the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are
conclusive on the parties and on the Supreme Court, unless (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmise, and
conjectures; (2) the inference made is manifestly mistaken; (3) there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) the judgment is based on
misapprehension of facts; (5) the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case and its findings are contrary to the admission of both
appellant and appellee; (6) the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court; (7) said findings of facts are
conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (8) the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioner's
main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondent; and (9) when the finding of facts of the Court of Appeals is premised on the absence
of evidence and is contradicted by evidence on record [Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation vs. Yap, L-36232, December 19, 1974; Roque
vs. Buan, L-22459, 21 SCRA 642 (1967); Ramos vs. Pepsi-cola Bottling Company of the Philippines, L-225533, 19 SCRA 289 (1967); emphasis
supplied].
Again, in Roque vs. Buan, supra, this Court reiterated the aforestated doctrine adding four more exceptions to the general rule. This case
invoked the same ruling in the previous case of Ramos vs. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, etc., supra.

14
In the recent case of Francisca Alsua-Betts, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al. (L-46430-31, July 30, 1979), which petitioner aptly invokes, this
Court thus emphasized:
... But what should not be ignored by lawyers and litigants alike is the more basic principle that the "findings of fact" described as "final" or
"conclusive" are those borne out by the record or those which are based upon substantial evidence. The general rule laid down by the Supreme
Court does not declare the absolute correctness of all the findings of fact made by the Court of Appeals. There are exceptions to the general
rule, where we have reviewed the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals ... (emphasis supplied).
The following provisions of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court should be borne in mind:
Art. 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its
dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.
Against this presumption, no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the physical impossibility of the husband's having access to his wife
within the first one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the child.
This physical impossibility may be caused:
(1) By the impotence of the husband;
(2) By the fact that the husband and wife were separately, in such a way that access was not possible;
(3) By the serious illness of the husband.
Art. 256. The child shall be presumed legitimate, although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as
an adulteress.
Art. 257. Should the wife commit adultery at or about the time of the conception of the child, but there was no physical impossibility of access
between her and her husband as set forth in article 255, the child is prima facie presumed to be illegitimate if it appears highly improbable, for
ethnic reasons, that the child is that of the husband. For the purposes of this article, the wife's adultery need not be proved in a criminal case.
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 4. Quasi-conclusive presumptions of legitimacy
(a) Children born after one hundred eighty days following the celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its
dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed legitimate.
Against presumption no evidence be admitted other than that of the physical impossibility of the husband's having access to his wife within the
first one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the child.
This physical impossibility may be caused:
[1] By the impotence of the husband
[2] By the fact that the husband and the wife were living separately, in such a way that access was not possible;
[3] By the serious illness of the husband;
(b) The child shall be presumed legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an
adulteress.
(c) Should the wife commit adultery at or about the time of the conception of the child, but there was no physical impossibility of access
between her and her husband as set forth above, the child is presumed legitimate, unless it appears highly improbable, for ethnic reasons, that

15
the child is that of the husband. For the purpose of the rule, the wife's adultery need not be proved in a criminal case. ... (Rule 131, Rules of
Court).
Whether or not respondent and her husband were separated would be immaterial to the resolution of the status of the child Rolando. What
should really matter is the fact that during the initial one hundred twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the renamed
child, no concrete or even substantial proof was presented to establish physical impossibility of access between respondent and her spouse.
From her very revealing testimony, respondent declared that she was bringing two sacks of rice to Samal for her children; that her four children
by her husband in her mother's house in the said town; that her alleged estranged husband also lived in her mother's place (p. 73, pp. 21 & 22,
64 & 65, t.s.n., Sept. 21, 1972). It should also be noted that even during her affair with petitioner and right after her delivery, respondent went
to her mother's house in Samal for treatment. Thus, in the direct examination of Patrocinia Avila (the boy's yaya), the following came out:
Q Why were you taking care of the child Rolando, where was Elizabeth Mejias?
A Because Elizabeth went to her parents in Same Davao del Norte for treatment because she had a relapse (p. 13, t.s.n., of Sept. 21, 1972).
From the foregoing and since respondent and her husband continued to live in the same province, the fact remains that there was always the
possibility of access to each other. As has already been pointed out, respondent's self-serving statements were never corroborated nor
confirmed by any other evidence, more particularly that of her husband.
The baby boy subject of this controversy was born on October 30, 1967, only seven (7) months after March, 1967 when the "incident" or first
illicit intercourse between respondent and petitioner took place, and also, seven months from their separation (if there really was a separation).
It must be noted that as of March, 1967, respondent and Crispin Anahaw had already four children; hence, they had been married years before
such date (t.s.n., pp. 21-22, Sept. 21, 1972). The birth of Rolando came more than one hundred eighty 180 days following the celebration of the
said marriage and before 300 days following the alleged separation between aforenamed spouses.
Under the aforequoted Article 255 of the Civil Code, the child Rolando is conclusively presumed to be the legitimate son of respondent and her
husband.
The fact that the child was born a mere seven (7) months after the initial sexual contact between petitioner and respondent is another proof
that the said child was not of petitioner since, from indications, he came out as a normal full-term baby.
It must be stressed that the child under question has no birth certificate of Baptism (attached in the List of Exhibits) which was prepared in the
absence of the alleged father [petitioner]. Note again that he was born on October 30, 1967. Between March, 1967 and October 30, 1967, the
time difference is clearly 7 months. The baby Rolando could have been born prematurely. But such is not the case. Respondent underwent a
normal nine-month pregnancy. Respondent herself and the yaya, Patrocinia Avila, declared that the baby was born in the rented house at
Carpenter Street, which birth was obvisouly normal; that he was such a healthy baby that barely 5 days after his birth, he was already cared for
by said yaya when respondent became sick (pp. 28, 29 & 43, t.s.n., Sept. 21, 1972); and that when he was between 15 days and 2 months of
age, respondent left him to the care of theyaya when the former left for Samal for treatment and returned only in February, 1968 (pp. 30-32,
t.s.n., Sept. 21, 1972). From the aforestated facts, it can be indubitably said that the child was a full-term baby at birth, normally delivered, and
raised normally by the yaya. If it were otherwise or if he were born prematurely, he would have needed special care like being placed in an
incubator in a clinic or hospital and attended to by a physician, not just a mere yaya. These all point to the fact that the baby who was born on
October 30, 1967 or 7 months from the first sexual encounter between petitioner and respondent was conceived as early as January, 1967. How
then could he be the child of petitioner?
In Our jurisprudence, this Court has been more definite in its pronouncements on the value of baptismal certificates. It thus ruled that while
baptismal and marriage certificates may be considered public documents, they are evidence only to prove the administration of the sacraments
on the dates therein specified but not the veracity of the states or declarations made therein with respect to his kinsfolk and/or citizenship
(Paa vs. Chan, L-25945, Oct. 31, 1967). Again, in the case of Fortus vs. Novero (L-22378, 23 SCRA 1331 [1968]), this Court held that a baptismal
administered, in conformity with the rites of the Catholic Church by the priest who baptized the child, but it does not prove the veracity of the
declarations and statements contained in the certificate that concern the relationship of the person baptized. Such declarations and
statements, in order that their truth may be admitted, must indispensably be shown by proof recognized by law.
The child Rolando is presumed to be the legitimate son of respondent and her spouse. This presumption becomes conclusive in the absence of
proof that there was physical impossibility of access between the spouses in the first 120 days of the 300 which preceded the birth of the child.
This presumption is actually quasi-conclusive and may be rebutted or refuted by only one evidence the physical impossibility of access
between husband and wife within the first 120 days of the 300 which preceded the birth of the child. This physical impossibility of access may
be caused by any of these:

16
1. Impotence of the husband;
2. Living separately in such a way that access was impossible and
3. Serious illness of the husband.
This presumption of legitimacy is based on the assumption that there is sexual union in marriage, particularly during the period of conception.
Hence, proof of the physical impossibility of such sexual union prevents the application of the presumption (Tolentino, Commentaries &
Jurisprudence on the Civil Code, Vol. 1, p. 513 citing Bevilaqua, Familia p. 311).
The modern rule is that, in order to overthrow the presumption of legitimacy, it must be shown beyond reasonable doubt that there was no
access as could have enabled the husband to be the father of the child. Sexual intercourse is to be presumed where personal access is not
disproved, unless such presumption is rebutted by evidence to the contrary; where sexual intercourse is presumed or proved, the husband must
be taken to be the father of the child (Tolentino, citing Madden, Persons and Domestic Relations, pp. 340-341).
To defeat the presumption of legitimacy, therefore, there must be physical impossibility of access by the husband to the wife during the period
of conception. The law expressly refers to physical impossibility. Hence, a circumstance which makes sexual relations improbable, cannot defeat
the presumption of legitimacy; but it may be proved as a circumstance to corroborate proof of physical impossibility of access (Tolentino, citing
Bonet 352; 4 Valverde 408).
Impotence refers to the inability of the male organ to copulation, to perform its proper function (Bouvier's Law Dictionary 514). As defined in the
celebrated case of Menciano vs. San Jose (89 Phil. 63), impotency is the physical inability to have sexual intercourse. It is not synonymous with
sterility. Sterility refers to the inability to procreate, whereas, impotence refers to the physical inability to perform the act of sexual intercourse.
In respect of the impotency of the husband of the mother of a child, to overcome the presumption of legitimacy on conception or birth in
wedlock or to show illegitimacy, it has been held or recognized that the evidence or proof must be clear or satisfactory: clear, satisfactory and
convincing, irresistible or positive (S.C. Tarleton vs. Thompson, 118 S.E. 421, 125 SC 182, cited in 10 C.J.S. 50).
The separation between the spouses must be such as to make sexual access impossible. This may take place when they reside in different
countries or provinces, and they have never been together during the period of conception (Estate of Benito Marcelo, 60 Phil. 442). Or, the
husband may be in prison during the period of conception, unless it appears that sexual union took place through corrupt violation of or allowed
by prison regulations (1 Manresa 492-500).
The illness of the husband must be of such a nature as to exclude the possibility of his having sexual intercourse with his wife; such as, when
because of a injury, he was placed in a plaster cast, and it was inconceivable to have sexual intercourse without the most severe pain
(Tolentino, citing Commissioner vs. Hotel 256 App. Div. 352, 9 N.Y. Supp. p. 515); or the illness produced temporary or permanent impotence,
making copulation impossible (Tolentino, citing Q. Bonet 352).
Thus, in the case of Andal vs. Macaraig (89 Phil. 165), this Court ruled that just because tuberculosis is advanced in a man does not necessarily
mean that he is incapable of sexual intercourse. There are cases where persons suffering from tuberculosis can do the carnal act even in the
most crucial stage of health because then they seemed to be more inclined to sexual intercourse. The fact that the wife had illicit intercourse
with a man other than her husband during the initial period, does not preclude cohabitation between said husband and wife.
Significantly American courts have made definite pronouncements or rulings on the issues under consideration. The policy of the law is to
confer legitimacy upon children born in wedlock when access of the husband at the time of conception was not impossible (N.Y. Milone vs.
Milone, 290 N.Y. S. 863, 160 Misc. 830) and there is the presumption that a child so born is the child of the husband and is legitimate even
though the wife was guilty of infidelity during the possible period of conception (N.Y. Dieterich vs. Dieterich, 278 N.Y. S. 645, Misc. 714; both
cited in 10 C.J.S., pp. 18,19 & 20).
So firm was this presumption originally that it cannot be rebutted unless the husband was incapable of procreation or was absent beyond the
four seas, that is, absent from the realm, during the whole period of the wife's pregnancy (10 C.J.S. p. 20).
The presumption of legitimacy of children born during wedlock obtains, notwithstanding the husband and wife voluntarily separate and live
apart, unless the contrary is shown (Ala. Franks vs. State, 161 So. 549, 26 . App. 430) and this includes children born after the separation [10
C.J.S. pp. 23 & 24; emphasis supplied].
It must be stressed that Article 256 of the Civil Code which provides that the child is presumed legitimate although the mother may have
declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress has been adopted for two solid reasons. First, in a fit of anger, or

17
to arouse jealousy in the husband, the wife may have made this declaration (Power vs. State, 95 N.E., 660). Second, the article is established as
a guaranty in favor of the children whose condition should not be under the mercy of the passions of their parents. The husband whose honor if
offended, that is, being aware of his wife's adultery, may obtain from the guilty spouse by means of coercion, a confession against the
legitimacy of the child which may really be only a confession of her guilt. Or the wife, out of vengeance and spite, may declare the as not her
husband's although the statement be false. But there is another reason which is more powerful, demanding the exclusion of proof of confession
or adultery, and it is, that at the moment of conception, it cannot be determined when a woman cohabits during the same period with two men,
by whom the child was begotten, it being possible that it be the husband himself (Manresa, Vol. I, pp. 503-504).
Hence, in general, good morals and public policy require that a mother should not be permitted to assert the illegitimacy of a child born in
wedlock in order to obtain some benefit for herself (N.Y. Flint vs. Pierce, 136 N.Y. S. 1056, cited in 10 C.J.S. 77).
The law is not willing that the child be declared illegitimate to suit the whims and purposes of either parent, nor Merely upon evidence that no
actual act of sexual intercourse occurred between husband and wife at or about the time the wife became pregnant. Thus, where the husband
denies having any intercourse with his wife, the child was still presumed legitimate (Lynn vs. State, 47 Ohio App. 158,191 N.E. 100).
With respect to Article 257 aforequoted, it must be emphasized that adultery on the part of the wife, in itself, cannot destroy the presumption of
legitimacy of her child, because it is still possible that the child is that of the husband (Tolentino, citing 1 Vera 170; 4 Borja 23-24).
It has, therefore, been held that the admission of the wife's testimony on the point would be unseemly and scandalous, not only because it
reveals immoral conduct on her part, but also because of the effect it may have on the child, who is in no fault, but who nevertheless must be
the chief sufferer thereby (7 Am. Jur. Sec. 21, pp. 641-642).
In the case of a child born or conceived in wedlock, evidence of the infidelity or adultery of the wife and mother is not admissible to show
illegitimacy, if there is no proof of the husband's impotency or non-access to his wife (Iowa Craven vs. Selway, 246 N.W. 821, cited in 10
C.J.S. 36).
At this juncture, it must be pointed out that only the husband can contest the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. He is the one directly
confronted with the scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces; and he should decide whether to conceal that infidelity or
expose it, in view of the moral or economic interest involved (Tolentino, citing Bevilaqua, Familia, p. 314).
The right to repudiate or contest the legitimacy of a child born in wedlock belongs only to the alleged father, who is the husband of the mother
and can be exercised only by him or his heirs, within a fixed time, and in certain cases, and only in a direct suit brought for the purpose (La
Ducasse vs. Ducasse, 45 So. 565, 120 La. 731; Saloy's Succ. 10 So. 872, 44 La. Ann., cited in 10 C.J.S. 77; emphasis supplied).
Thus the mother has no right to disavow a child because maternity is never uncertain; she can only contest the Identity of the child (La Eloi
vs. Mader, 1 Rollo. 581, 38 Am. D. 192).
Formerly, declarations of a wife that her husband was not the father of a child in wedlock were held to be admissible in evidence; but the
general rule now is that they are inadmissible to bastardize the child, regardless of statutory provisions obviating incompetency on the ground
of interest, or the fact that the conception was antenuptial. The rule is said to be founded in decency, morality and public policy (Wallace vs.
Wallace 137 Iowa 37,114 N.W. 527,14 L.R.A. [N.S.] 544,126 Am. St. Rep. 253,15 Ann. Cas. 761, Am. Jur. 26).
From the foregoing, particularly the testimony of respondent and her witnesses, this Court has every reason to believe that Crispin Anahaw was
not actually separated from Elizabeth Mejias; that he was a very potent man, having had four children with his wife; that even if he and were
even separately (which the latter failed to prove anyway) and assuming, for argument's sake, that they were really separated, there was the
possibility of physical access to each other considering their proximity to each other and considering further that respondent still visited and
recuperated in her mother's house in Samal where her spouse resided with her children. Moreover, Crispin Anahaw did not have any serious
illness or any illness whatsoever which would have rendered him incapable of having sexual act with his wife. No substantial evidence
whatsoever was brought out to negate the aforestated facts.
Crispin Anahaw served as a refuge after respondent's reckless and immoral pursuits or a "buffer" after her flings. And she deliberately did not
include nor present her husband in this case because she could not risk her scheme. She had to be certain that such scheme to bastardize her
own son for her selfish motives would not be thwarted.
This Court finds no other recourse except to deny respondent's claim to declare her son Rolando the illegitimate child of petitioner. From all
indications, respondent has paraded herself as a woman of highly questionable character. A married woman who, on first meeting, rides with a
total stranger who is married towards nightfall, sleeps in his house in the presence of his children, then lives with him after their initial sexual

18
contact the atmosphere for which she herself provided is patently immoral and hedonistic. Although her husband was a very potent man,
she readily indulged in an instant illicit relationship with a married man she had never known before.
Respondent had shown total lack of or genuine concern for her child (Rolando) for, even after birth, she left him in the care of a yaya for several
months. This is not the normal instinct and behavior of a mother who has the safety and welfare of her child foremost in her mind. The filing of
this case itself shows how she is capable of sacrificing the psycho-social future (reputation) of the child in exchange for some monetary
consideration. This is blatant shamelessness.
It also appears that her claim against petitioner is a disguised attempt to evade the responsibility and consequence of her reckless behavior at
the expense of her husband, her illicit lover and above all her own son. For this Court to allow, much less consent to, the bastardization of
respondent's son would give rise to serious and far-reaching consequences on society. This Court will not tolerate scheming married women
who would indulge in illicit affairs with married men and then exploit the children born during such immoral relations by using them to collect
from such moneyed paramours. This would be the form of wrecking the stability of two families. This would be a severe assault on morality.
And as between the paternity by the husband and the paternity by the paramour, all the circumstances being equal, the law is inclined to follow
the former; hence, the child is thus given the benefit of legitimacy.
Finally, Article 220 of the Civil Code reinforces the aforesaid principle when it provides thus:
Art. 220. In case of doubt, an presumptions favor the solidarity of the family. Thus, every of law or facts leans toward the validity of marriage,
the indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of children the community of property during marriage, the authority of parents over
their children, and the validity of defense for any member of the family in case of unlawful aggression.
WHEREFORE, THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS DATED JUNE 2, 1978, AND ITS RESOLUTION DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1978 ARE HEREBY
REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. COSTS AGAINST PRIVATE RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 128314. May 29, 2002]
RODOLFO V. JAO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PERICO V. JAO, respondents.
DECISION
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
Rodolfo and Perico Jao were the only sons of the spouses Ignacio Jao Tayag and Andrea V. Jao, who died intestate in 1988 and 1989,
respectively. The decedents left real estate, cash, shares of stock and other personal properties.
On April 17, 1991, Perico instituted a petition for issuance of letters of administration before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 99,
over the estate of his parents, docketed as Special Proceedings No. Q-91-8507. [1] Pending the appointment of a regular administrator, Perico
moved that he be appointed as special administrator. He alleged that his brother, Rodolfo, was gradually dissipating the assets of the
estate. More particularly, Rodolfo was receiving rentals from real properties without rendering any accounting, and forcibly opening vaults
belonging to their deceased parents and disposing of the cash and valuables therein.
Rodolfo moved for the dismissal of the petition on the ground of improper venue. [2] He argued that the deceased spouses did not reside in
Quezon City either during their lifetime or at the time of their deaths. The decedents actual residence was in Angeles City, Pampanga, where
his late mother used to run and operate a bakery. As the health of his parents deteriorated due to old age, they stayed in Rodolfos residence
at 61 Scout Gandia Street, Quezon City, solely for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment and hospitalization. Rodolfo submitted
documentary evidence previously executed by the decedents, consisting of income tax returns, voters affidavits, statements of assets and
liabilities, real estate tax payments, motor vehicle registration and passports, all indicating that their permanent residence was in Angeles City,
Pampanga.
In his opposition,[3] Perico countered that their deceased parents actually resided in Rodolfos house in Quezon City at the time of their
deaths. As a matter of fact, it was conclusively declared in their death certificates that their last residence before they died was at 61 Scout
Gandia Street, Quezon City.[4] Rodolfo himself even supplied the entry appearing on the death certificate of their mother, Andrea, and affixed his
own signature on the said document.

19
Rodolfo filed a rejoinder, stating that he gave the information regarding the decedents residence on the death certificates in good faith and
through honest mistake. He gave his residence only as reference, considering that their parents were treated in their late years at the Medical
City General Hospital in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. Their stay in his house was merely transitory, in the same way that they were taken at
different times for the same purpose to Pericos residence at Legaspi Towers in Roxas Boulevard. The death certificates could not, therefore, be
deemed conclusive evidence of the decedents residence in light of the other documents showing otherwise. [5]
The court required the parties to submit their respective nominees for the position. [6] Both failed to comply, whereupon the trial court ordered
that the petition be archived.[7]
Subsequently, Perico moved that the intestate proceedings be revived. [8] After the parties submitted the names of their respective nominees,
the trial court designated Justice Carlos L. Sundiam as special administrator of the estate of Ignacio Jao Tayag and Andrea Jao. [9]
On April 6, 1994, the motion to dismiss filed by petitioner Rodolfo was denied, to wit:
A mere perusal of the death certificates of the spouses issued separately in 1988 and 1989, respectively, confirm the fact that Quezon City was
the last place of residence of the decedents. Surprisingly, the entries appearing on the death certificate of Andrea V. Jao were supplied by
movant, Rodolfo V. Jao, whose signature appears in said document. Movant, therefore, cannot disown his own representation by taking an
inconsistent position other than his own admission. xxx xxx xxx.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing consideration, this court DENIES for lack of merit movants motion to dismiss.
SO ORDERED.[10]
Rodolfo filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals, which was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 35908. On December 11, 1996, the Court
of Appeals rendered the assailed decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, no error, much less any grave abuse of discretion of the court a quo having been shown, the petition for certiorari is hereby
DISMISSED. The questioned order of the respondent Judge is affirmed in toto.
SO ORDERED.[11]
Rodolfos motion for reconsideration was denied by the Court of Appeals in the assailed resolution dated February 17, 1997. [12] Hence, this
petition for review, anchored on the following grounds:
I
RESPONDENT COURT HAD DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN A WAY NOT IN ACCORD WITH THE LAW AND IS DIRECTLY CONTRADICTORY
TO THE APPLICABLE DECISION ALREADY RENDERED BY THIS HONORABLE COURT.
II
RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE RULING OF THIS HONORABLE COURT IN THE CASE OF EUSEBIO VS. EUSEBIO, 100 PHILS.
593, WHICH CLEARLY INTERPRETED WHAT IS MEANT BY RESIDENCE IN SEC. 1 OF RULE 73 OF THE RULES OF COURT.
III
RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PHYSICAL PRESENCE IN A PLACE AT THE TIME OF DEATH IS DETERMINATIVE OF DECEDENTS
RESIDENCE RATHER THAN THE INTENTION OF THE DECEDENTS TO ESTABLISH THEIR PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN ANOTHER PLACE.
IV
RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN APPLYING BY ANALOGY THE RESIDENCE CONTEMPLATED IN SEC. 2 OF RULE 4 FOR THE PURPOSE OF SERVING
SUMMONS TO A DEFENDANT IN A PERSONAL ACTION TO THE RESIDENCE CONTEMPLATED IN SEC. 1 OF RULE 73 FOR THE PURPOSE OF
DETERMINING VENUE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ESTATE OF A DECEASED.

20
V
RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN GIVING MORE WEIGHT TO THE ENTRY OF PETITIONER AND PRIVATE RESPONDENT IN THE RESPECTIVE DEATH
CERTIFICATES OF THE DECEDENTS RATHER THAN THE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE SHOWING THE CLEAR INTENTION OF THE DECEDENTS TO
ESTABLISH THEIR PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN ANGELES CITY.
VI
RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN APPLYING THE PRINCIPLE OF ESTOPPEL AS AGAINST PETITIONER WHICH CAN NOT BE MORE PERSUASIVE THAN
THE CLEAR INTENTION OF THE DECEDENTS THEMSELVES TO ESTABLISH PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN ANGELES CITY.
VII
RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI DESPITE THE CLEAR ABUSE OF DISCRETION ON THE PART OF THE
TRIAL COURT IN INSISTING TO TAKE COGNIZANCE OF SP. PROCEEDING NO. Q-91-8507. [13]
The main issue before us is: where should the settlement proceedings be had --- in Pampanga, where the decedents had their permanent
residence, or in Quezon City, where they actually stayed before their demise?
Rule 73, Section 1 of the Rules of Court states:
Where estate of deceased persons be settled. If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or
an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate settled, in the Court of First Instance in the province in
which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Court of First Instance of any province in which he
had estate. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all
other courts. The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of his
estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding, except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction
appears on the record. (underscoring ours)
Clearly, the estate of an inhabitant of the Philippines shall be settled or letters of administration granted in the proper court located in the
province where the decedent resides at the time of his death.
Petitioner Rodolfo invokes our ruling in the case of Eusebio v. Eusebio, et al.,[14] where we held that the situs of settlement proceedings shall be
the place where the decedent had his permanent residence or domicile at the time of death. In determining residence at the time of death, the
following factors must be considered, namely, the decedent had: (a) capacity to choose and freedom of choice; (b) physical presence at the
place chosen; and (c) intention to stay therein permanently. [15] While it appears that the decedents in this case chose to be physically present in
Quezon City for medical convenience, petitioner avers that they never adopted Quezon City as their permanent residence.
The contention lacks merit.
The facts in Eusebio were different from those in the case at bar. The decedent therein, Andres Eusebio, passed away while in the process of
transferring his personal belongings to a house in Quezon City. He was then suffering from a heart ailment and was advised by his doctor/son
to purchase a Quezon City residence, which was nearer to his doctor. While he was able to acquire a house in Quezon City, Eusebio died even
before he could move therein. In said case, we ruled that Eusebio retained his domicile --- and hence, residence --- in San Fernando,
Pampanga. It cannot be said that Eusebio changed his residence because, strictly speaking, his physical presence in Quezon City was just
temporary.
In the case at bar, there is substantial proof that the decedents have transferred to petitioners Quezon City residence. Petitioner failed to
sufficiently refute respondents assertion that their elderly parents stayed in his house for some three to four years before they died in the late
1980s.
Furthermore, the decedents respective death certificates state that they were both residents of Quezon City at the time of their
demise. Significantly, it was petitioner himself who filled up his late mothers death certificate. To our mind, this unqualifiedly shows that at
that time, at least, petitioner recognized his deceased mothers residence to be Quezon City. Moreover, petitioner failed to contest the entry in
Ignacios death certificate, accomplished a year earlier by respondent.

21
The recitals in the death certificates, which are admissible in evidence, were thus properly considered and presumed to be correct by the
court a quo. We agree with the appellate courts observation that since the death certificates were accomplished even before petitioner and
respondent quarreled over their inheritance, they may be relied upon to reflect the true situation at the time of their parents death.
The death certificates thus prevailed as proofs of the decedents residence at the time of death, over the numerous documentary evidence
presented by petitioner. To be sure, the documents presented by petitioner pertained not to residence at the time of death, as required by
the Rules of Court, but to permanent residence or domicile. In Garcia-Fule v. Court of Appeals,[16] we held:
xxx xxx xxx the term resides connotes ex vi termini actual residence as distinguished from legal residence or domicile. This term
resides, like the terms residing and residence, is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or
rule in which it is employed. In the application of venue statutes and rules Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such nature
residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Even where the statute uses the word domicile still it is construed as meaning
residence and not domicile in the technical sense. Some cases make a distinction between the terms residence and domicile but as
generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the term inhabitant. In other words,
resides should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual
residence or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means merely
residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or domicile. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given
place, while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it ones domicile. No particular length of time of
residence is required though; however, the residence must be more than temporary. [17]
Both the settlement court and the Court of Appeals found that the decedents have been living with petitioner at the time of their deaths and for
some time prior thereto. We find this conclusion to be substantiated by the evidence on record. A close perusal of the challenged decision
shows that, contrary to petitioners assertion, the court below considered not only the decedents physical presence in Quezon City, but also
other factors indicating that the decedents stay therein was more than temporary. In the absence of any substantial showing that the lower
courts factual findings stemmed from an erroneous apprehension of the evidence presented, the same must be held to be conclusive and
binding upon this Court.
Petitioner strains to differentiate between the venue provisions found in Rule 4, Section 2, [18] on ordinary civil actions, and Rule 73, Section 1,
which applies specifically to settlement proceedings. He argues that while venue in the former understandably refers to actual physical
residence for the purpose of serving summons, it is the permanent residence of the decedent which is significant in Rule 73, Section
1. Petitioner insists that venue for the settlement of estates can only refer to permanent residence or domicile because it is the place where
the records of the properties are kept and where most of the decedents properties are located.
Petitioners argument fails to persuade.
It does not necessarily follow that the records of a persons properties are kept in the place where he permanently resides. Neither can it be
presumed that a persons properties can be found mostly in the place where he establishes his domicile. It may be that he has his domicile in a
place different from that where he keeps his records, or where he maintains extensive personal and business interests. No generalizations can
thus be formulated on the matter, as the question of where to keep records or retain properties is entirely dependent upon an individuals
choice and peculiarities.
At any rate, petitioner is obviously splitting straws when he differentiates between venue in ordinary civil actions and venue in special
proceedings. In Raymond v. Court of Appeals [19] and Bejer v. Court of Appeals,[20] we ruled that venue for ordinary civil actions and that for
special proceedings have one and the same meaning. As thus defined, residence, in the context of venue provisions, means nothing more
than a persons actual residence or place of abode, provided he resides therein with continuity and consistency. [21] All told, the lower court and
the Court of Appeals correctly held that venue for the settlement of the decedents intestate estate was properly laid in the Quezon City court.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is DENIED, and the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 35908 is AFFIRMED.

G.R. No. L-83942 December 29, 1988


ROMEO S. AMURAO, petitioner, vs.HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ROMUEL JEROME BUENAVENTURA, represented by her natural mother and
guardian ad litem FE ROSARIO BUENAVENTURA, respondents. GRINO-AQUINO, J.:
The petitioner was sued for support by the offspring of his illicit relations with a 19-year old college student. The petitioner denied paternity and refused to give
support.

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At the commencement of the trial on July 25, 1977, the trial court made a
last-minute effort to simplify the issues by calling the parties and their counsel to a conference in her chambers. The result was an agreement of the parties, a gist of
which was written down in the minutes of the hearing, duly signed by the parties and their counsel, attested by the Deputy Clerk of Court, and embodied in the
court's order of September 26, 1977 as follows:
When this case was called for trial this morning, parties jointly moved for a conference in chambers. The same was granted. After said conference, parties agreed to
submit themselves to a blood-grouping test to determine the paternity of plaintiff before the National Bureau of Investigation; and to be bound by the results of the
said government agency in the following manner: a) if the finding is to the effect that herein plaintiff may be the offspring of defendant, paternity shall be
admitted and this case will proceed for trial only on the issue of amount of support; and b) if the finding is negative, then this case shall be dismissed without further
trial. The Court finds the same well taken.
WHEREFORE, plaintiff-minor. his natural mother and defendant are hereby ordered to submit themselves to a blood-grouping test before the National Bureau of
Investigation on or before October 17, 1977 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning for a determination of plaintiffs paternity. (Emphasis supplied.) (pp. 29-30, Original
Records; p. 20, Rollo.)
On the basis of the blood grouping tests performed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the NBI submitted to the Court Report No. 77-100 dated October
17, 1977, finding that:
The said child (Romuel Jerome Buenaventura) is a possible offspring of the alleged father Romeo Amurao with Fe Rosario Buenaventura as the natural mother. (p.
20, Rollo.)
Exactly one year later, on September 26, 1978, the petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the court's order dated September 26, 1977, impugning its validity.
The motion was denied by the trial court. The petitioner sought a review of the order by the Supreme Court through a petition for certiorari (G.R. No. 51407). The
petition was denied by this Court on May 4, 1980.
A motion to declare the petitioner in contempt of court for failure to pay support pendente lite was filed by the private respondent minor. At the hearing of the
contempt motion the parties presented evidence on the petitioner's capability to give support. After the hearing on the contempt motion, the case was set for trial on
July 8, 1983, with due notice to both parties, for the presentation of further evidence by the petitioner (defendant) on the main case. However, neither the petitioner,
nor his counsel, appeared at the hearing. The court declared the case submitted for decision. On August 8, 1985, it rendered judgment for the private respondent
ordering the petitioner to pay the former support of P500 per month plus attorney's fees of P3,000, and costs. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA-G.R.
No. CV 07645) which rendered judgment on March 7, 1988, as follows:
WHEREFORE, judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the support fixed in the judgment appealed from is increased to One
Thousand Five Hundred (P1,500.00) Pesos, payable within the first five days of each month at the plaintiffs residence. Defendant-appellant is hereby ordered to pay
support pendente lite of P200.00 in arrears since October 1978 up to the termination of this appeal. Costs against defendant-appellant. (p. 24, Rollo.)
Once more, the case is before Us for review upon a petition alleging that the Court of Appeals erred:
1. in finding that the petitioner had admitted his paternity in relation to the minor Romuel Jerome Buenaventura and that hence said minor is entitled to receive
support from him;
2. in upholding the trial court's decision based on the evidence (consisting among others of the petitioner's balance sheets, audit reports and admissions regarding
his income) presented by the parties at the hearing of the plaintiffs contempt motion;
3. in increasing the amount of support granted by the trial court; and
4. in applying Article 290 of the Civil Code instead of Articles 296 and 297 of the same Code.
The petition for review is devoid of merit.
The first, second, third, and fourth issues raised by the petition are factual issues which this Court may not review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
Whether or not the petitioner made an admission of paternity under the terms of the trial court's order dated September 26, 1977, thereby binding himself to give
support to his child, the private respondent herein, is a finding of fact.
So is the Court's determination of the amount of support payable to the private respondent. It was perfectly proper for the Court to consider the evidence presented
by the parties at the hearing of the plaintiff s contempt motion against the defendant, as evidence also on the merits of the main case. The parties did not have to

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repeat the ritual of presenting the same evidence all over again to the court. The defendant (herein petitioner), by failing to appear at the hearing of the main case
on July 8, 1983 (p. 17, Rollo), waived his right to adduce additional evidence. Hence, he may not be heard to complain that he was denied due process.
Whether or not the Court of Appeals correctly determined that the minor, who filed his action for support in 1977 when he was only an infant five (5) months old, is
now (as an 11-year old student) entitled to an increase in the amount of support awarded to him by the trial court, is also a factual issue which We may not reexamine and review.
In any event, We find no reversible error in the decision of the Court of Appeals. The increase in the child's support is proper and is sanctioned by the provisions of
Articles 290, 296 and 297 of the Civil Code.
WHEREFORE, the petition is denied for lack of merit. This decision is immediately executory.
G.R. No. L-75377 February 17, 1988 CHUA KENG GIAP, petitioner, vs.HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and CHUA LIAN KING respondents.
We are faced once again with still another bid by petitioner for the status of a legitimate heir. He has failed before, and he will fail again.
In this case, the petitioner insists that he is the son of the deceased Sy Kao and that it was error for the respondent court to reject his claim. He also says his motion for reconsideration
should not have been denied for tardiness because it was in fact filed on time under the Habaluyas ruling. 1
This case arose when Chua Keng Giap filed on May 19, 1983, a petition for the settlement of the estate of the late Sy Kao in the regional trial court of Quezon City. The private respondent
moved to dismiss for lack of a cause of action and of the petitioner's capacity to file the petition. The latter, it was claimed, had been declared as not the son of the spouses Chua Bing
Guan and Sy Kao in S.P. No. Q-12592, for the settlement of the estate of the late Chua Bing Guan. The decision in that case had long become final and executory. 2
The motion was denied by Judge Jose P. Castro, who held that the case invoked decided the paternity and not the maternity of the petitioner. 3 Holding that this was mere quibbling, the
respondent court reversed the trial judge in a petition for certiorari filed by the private respondent. 4 The motion for reconsideration was denied for late filing. 5 The petitioner then came to
this Court to challenge these rulings.
The petitioner argues at length that the question to be settled in a motion to dismiss based on lack of a cause of action is the sufficiency of the allegation itself and not whether these
allegations are true or not, for their truth is hypothetically admitted. 6 That is correct. He also submits that an order denying a motion to dismiss is merely interlocutory and therefore
reversible not in a petition for certiorari but on appeal. 7 That is also correct Even so, the petition must be and is hereby denied.
The petitioner is beating a dead horse. The issue of his claimed filiation has long been settled, and with finality, by no less than this Court. That issue cannot be resurrected now because it
has been laid to rest in Sy Kao v. Court of Appeals, 8 decided on September 28, 1984. In that case, Sy Kao flatly and unequivocally declared that she was not the petitioner's mother.
The Court observed through Justice Hugo E. Gutierrez, Jr.
Petitioner Sy Kao denies that respondent Chua Keng Giap is her son by the deceased Chua Bing Guan. Thus, petitioner's opposition filed on December 19, 1968, is based principally on
the ground that the respondent was not the son of Sy Kao and the deceased but of a certain Chua Eng Kun and his wife Tan Kuy.
After hearing on the merits which lasted for ten years, the court dismissed the respondent's petition on March 2, 1979 on a finding that he is not a son of petitioner Sy Kao and the
deceased, and therefore, had no lawful interest in the estate of the latter and no right to institute the intestacy proceedings.
The respondent tried to appeal the court's resolution but his appeal was denied by the lower court for having been filed out of time. He then filed a mandamus case with the Court of
appeals but the same was dismissed. Respondent, therefore, sought relief by filing a petition for certiorari, G.R. No. 54992, before this Court but his petition was likewise dismissed on
January 30, 1982, for lack of merit. His subsequent motions for reconsideration met a similar fate.
xxx xxx xxx
To allow the parties to go on with the trial on the merits would not only subject the petitioners to the expense and ordeal of obligation which might take them another ten years, only to prove
a point already decided in Special Proceeding No. Q-12592, but more importantly, such would violate the doctrine of res judicata which is expressly provided for in Section 49, Rule 39 of
the Rules of Court.
There is no point in prolonging these proceedings with an examination of the procedural objections to the grant of the motion to dismiss. In the end, assuming denial of the motion, the
resolution of the merits would have to be the same anyway as in the aforesaid case. The petitioner's claim of filiation would still have to be rejected.
Discussion of the seasonableness of the motion for reconsideration is also unnecessary as the motion would have been validly denied just the same even if filed on time.
Who better than Sy Kao herself would know if Chua Keng Giap was really her son? More than any one else, it was Sy Kao who could say as indeed she has said these many years-that Chua Keng Giap was not begotten of her womb.

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WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.