Anda di halaman 1dari 263

THE

FUNDAMENTAL
QUESTIONS OF CIVIL
LAW

I. The Law
1. LORENZO M. TANADA vs. JUAN C. TUVERA
G. R. No. 63915
April 24, 1985
FACTS
In this case petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent
public officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the Official Gazette
of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders,
proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative
orders. Petitioners contend that in order for these laws to be effective it must
be published in the Official Gazette.
The respondents, on the other hand, contend that the case should be
dismissed on the ground that petitioners have no legal personality. Without
showing that the non-publication of these laws would bring injury to the
petitioners, they have no cause of action, as provided for under the Rules of
Court.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not petitioners have legal standing
2. Whether or not various laws in question should be published to be valid
and enforceable.
RULING
The petitioners have legal standing. The Supreme Court has already decided
in various cases that a party has a cause of action when the question posed
is one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the
enforcement of a public duty. Under such, the people are regarded as the
real party in interest and the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are
instituted need not show that he has any legal or special interest in the
result, it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in
the execution of the laws.
As to the necessity of publication, the Supreme Court ruled that laws should
be published. The clear object of such is to give the general public adequate
notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as
citizens. Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the
application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It would be the
height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the
transgression of a law of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a
constructive one.
2

The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of


general applicability" is mandated by law. Obviously, presidential decrees
that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise
impose a burden or the people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall
within this category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to
particular persons or class of persons such as administrative and executive
orders need not be published on the assumption that they have been
circularized to all concerned.
2. BPI vs. CASA MONTESSORI INTERNATIONALE
G. R. No. 149454 & 149507
May 28, 2004
FACTS
CASA Montessori International opened an account with BPI, with CASAs
President as one of its authorized signatories. It discovered that 9 of its
checks had been encashed by a certain Sonny D. Santos whose name turned
out to be fictitious, and was used by a certain Yabut, CASAs external auditor.
He voluntarily admitted that he forged the signature and encashed the
checks.
RTC granted the Complaint for Collection with Damages against BPI ordering
to reinstate the amount in the account, with interest. CA took account of
CASAs contributory negligence and apportioned the loss between CASA and
BPI, and ordred Yabut to reimburse both.
BPI contends that the monthly statements it issues to its clients contain a
notice worded as follows: If no error is reported in 10 days, account will be
correct and as such, it should be considered a waiver.
ISSUE
Whether or not waiver or estoppel results from failure to report the error in
the bank statement
RULING
Such notice cannot be considered a waiver, even if CASA failed to report the
error. Neither is it estopped from questioning the mistake after the lapse of
the ten-day period.
This notice is a simple confirmation or "circularization" -- in accounting
parlance -- that requests client-depositors to affirm the accuracy of items
recorded by the banks. Its purpose is to obtain from the depositors a direct
corroboration of the correctness of their account balances with their
respective banks.

Every right has subjects -- active and passive. While the active subject is
entitled to demand its enforcement, the passive one is duty-bound to suffer
such enforcement. On the one hand, BPI could not have been an active
subject, because it could not have demanded from CASA a response to its
notice. CASA, on the other hand, could not have been a passive subject,
either, because it had no obligation to respond. It could -- as it did -- choose
not to respond.
Estoppel precludes individuals from denying or asserting, by their own deed
or representation, anything contrary to that established as the truth, in legal
contemplation. Our rules on evidence even make a juris et de jure
presumption that whenever one has, by ones own act or omission,
intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing to be
true and to act upon that belief, one cannot -- in any litigation arising from
such act or omission -- be permitted to falsify that supposed truth.
In the instant case, CASA never made any deed or representation that misled
BPI. The formers omission, if any, may only be deemed an innocent mistake
oblivious to the procedures and consequences of periodic audits. Since its
conduct was due to such ignorance founded upon an innocent mistake,
estoppel will not arise. A person who has no knowledge of or consent to a
transaction may not be estopped by it. "Estoppel cannot be sustained by
mere argument or doubtful inference x x x." CASA is not barred from
questioning BPIs error even after the lapse of the period given in the notice.
3. CONSUNJI vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 137873
April 20, 2001
FACTS
Jose Juego, a construction worker of D. M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14 floors from
the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City to his death. He was crushed to death
when the platform he was then on board and performing work, fell. And the
falling of the platform was due to the removal or getting loose of the pin
which was merely inserted to the connecting points of the chain block and
platform but without a safety lock. Jose Juegos widow, Maria, filed in the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig a complaint for damages against the
deceaseds employer, D.M. Consunji, Inc.
The employer raised, among other defenses, the widows prior availment of
the benefits from the State Insurance Fund. Respondent avers, among others
that the widow cannot recover for from the company anymore an civil
damages on the account that it has recovered damages under the Labor
Code.

After trial, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of the widow and awarded
actual and compensatory damages. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC in
toto.
ISSUE
Whether or not private respondent is barred from availing of death benefits
under the Civil Code after recovering from damages provided for under the
Labor Code.
RULING
The Supreme Court has already ruled in various cases that a recovery of
damages under the Workers Compensation Act is a bar to a recovery under
an ordinary civil action. It ruled that an injured worker has a choice of either
remedies. The Supreme Court allowed some exceptions. In the case at bar,
the CA ruled that the widow had a right to file an ordinary action for civil
actions because she was not aware and was ignorant of her rights and
courses of action.
When a party having knowledge of the facts makes an election between
inconsistent remedies, the election is final and bars any action, suit, or
proceeding inconsistent with the elected remedy, in the absence of fraud by
the other party. The first act of election acts as a bar. Equitable in nature, the
doctrine of election of remedies is designed to mitigate possible unfairness
to both parties. It rests on the moral premise that it is fair to hold people
responsible for their choices. The purpose of the doctrine is not to prevent
any recourse to any remedy, but to prevent a double redress for a single
wrong. The choice of a party between inconsistent remedies results in a
waiver by election.
However, waiver requires a knowledge of the facts basic to the exercise of
the right waived, with an awareness of its consequences. That a waiver is
made knowingly and intelligently must be illustrated on the record or by the
evidence. A person makes a knowing and intelligent waiver when that person
knows that a right exists and has adequate knowledge upon which to make
an intelligent decision.
In the case at bar, the widow was not aware of her rights and remedies and
thus her election to claim from the Insurance Fund does not constitute a
waiver on her part to claim from the petitioner-company. Petitioners
argument that Art 3 of the New Civil Code, stating that Ignorance of the law
excuses no one cannot stand.
The Supreme Court ruled that
the application of Article 3 is limited to mandatory and prohibitory laws. This
may be deduced from the language of the provision, which, notwithstanding
a persons ignorance, does not excuse his or her compliance with the laws.
The rule in Floresca allowing private respondent a choice of remedies is
5

neither mandatory nor prohibitory. Accordingly, her ignorance thereof cannot


be held against her .
4. DUENAS vs. SANTOS SUBDIVISION HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
G. R. No. 149417
June 4, 2004
FACTS
Petitioner Dueas is the daughter of the late Cecilio Santos who, during his
lifetime, owned a parcel of land with a total area of 2.2 hectares located at
General T. De Leon, Valenzuela City , Metro Manila. In 1966, Cecilio had the
realty subdivided into smaller lots, the whole forming the Cecilio J. Santos
Subdivision. The Land Registration Commission approved the project and the
National Housing Authority issued the required Certificate of Registration and
License to Sell. At the time of Cecilios death in 1988, there were already
several residents and homeowners in Santos Subdivision. Sometime in 1997,
the members of the SSHA submitted to the petitioner a resolution asking her
to provide within the subdivision an open space for recreational and other
community activities, in accordance with the provisions of P.D. No. 957, as
amended by P.D. No. 1216. Petitioner, however, rejected the request, thus,
prompting the members of SSHA to seek redress from the NHA. The Regional
Director HLURB opined that the open space requirement of P.D. No. 957 was
not applicable to Santos Subdivision. SSHA filed a motion for reconsideration,
which averred among others that: P.D. No. 957 should apply retroactively to
Santos Subdivision. HLURB-NCR dismissed the complaint. It ruled that while
SSHA failed to present evidence showing that it is an association duly
organized under Philippine law with capacity to sue. SSHA then appealed to
the HLURB Board of Commissioners. The latter body, however, affirmed the
action taken by the HLURB-NCR office. Respondent sought relief from the
Court of Appeals which granted the petition and accordingly ordered the case
to be remanded to the HLURB. Petitioner moved for reconsideration which
the Court of Appeals denied.
ISSUE
Whether or not PD No. 957 should be retroactively applies in this case
RULING
The petitioner assails the appellate courts finding based on the Supreme
Courts previous ruling in Eugenio v. Exec. Sec. Drilon which allowed P.D. No.
957, as amended, to apply retroactively.
The Supreme Court ruled that Eugenio v. Exec. Sec. Drilon is inapplicable in
this case. The issue in Eugenio was the applicability of P.D. No. 957 to
purchase agreements on lots entered into prior to its enactment where there
was non-payment of amortizations, and failure to develop the subdivision. It
held therein that although P.D. No. 957 does not provide for any retroactive
6

application, nonetheless, the intent of the law of protecting the helpless


citizens from the manipulations and machinations of unscrupulous
subdivision and condominium sellers justify its retroactive application to
contracts entered into prior to its enactment. Hence, the SC ruled that the
non-payment of amortizations was justified under Section 23 of the said
decree in view of the failure of the subdivision owner to develop the
subdivision project.
Unlike Eugenio, non-development of the subdivision is not present in this
case, nor any allegation of non-payment of amortizations. Further, it has
held in a subsequent case that P.D. No. 957, as amended, cannot be applied
retroactively in view of the absence of any express provision on its
retroactive application. Thus:
Article 4 of the Civil Code provides that laws shall have no
retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. Thus, it is necessary
that an express provision for its retroactive application must be made
in the law. There being no such provision in both P.D. Nos. 957 and
1344, these decrees cannot be applied to a situation that occurred
years before their promulgation.
The SC has examined the text of P.D. No. 1216 and has not found any clause
or provision expressly providing for its retroactive application. Basic is the
rule that no statute, decree, ordinance, rule or regulation shall be given
retrospective effect unless explicitly stated. Hence, there is no legal basis to
hold that P.D. No. 1216 should apply retroactively.

5. PNB vs. NEPOMUCENO PUBLICATIONS


G. R. No. 139479
December 27, 2002
FACTS
Petitioner PNB granted respondents 4 million pesos of credit line to finance a
movie project. The loan was secured by mortgages on respondents real and
personal properties. Respondents defaulted in their obligation. Petitioner
sought foreclosure of the mortgaged properties. The auction sale was rescheduled several times without need of republication of the notice of sale.
Subsequently, the respondents filed an action for annulment of the
foreclosure sale claiming that such was void because, among others, there
was lack of publication of the notice of foreclosure sale.
The trail court ordered the annulment and set aside the foreclosure
proceedings. Upon appeal, the CA affirmed the lower court.
ISSUE
7

Whether or not publication of foreclosure sale can be validly waived by


agreement of the parties.
RULING
Act. No. 3135, as amended, governing extrajudicial foreclosure of
mortgages on real property is specific with regard to the posting and
publication requirements of the notice of sale, to wit:
"Sec. 3. Notice shall be given by posting notices of the sale for not less
than twenty days in at least three public places of the municipality or
city where the property is situated, and if such property is worth more
than four hundred pesos, such notice shall also be published once a
week for at least three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general
circulation in the municipality or city."
It is well settled that what Act No. 3135 requires is: (1) the posting of notices
of sale in three public places; and, (2) the publication of the same in a
newspaper of general circulation. Failure to publish the notice of sale
constitutes a jurisdictional defect, which invalidates the sale.
Petitioner, however, insists that the posting and publication requirements
can be dispensed with since the parties agreed in writing that the auction
sale may proceed without need of re-publication and re-posting of the notice
of sale.
The Supreme Court is not convinced. Petitioner and respondents have
absolutely no right to waive the posting and publication requirements of Act
No. 3135.
While it is established that rights may be waived, Article 6 of the Civil Code
explicitly provides that such waiver is subject to the condition that it is not
contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or
prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law.
The principal object of a notice of sale in a foreclosure of mortgage is not so
much to notify the mortgagor as to inform the public generally of the nature
and condition of the property to be sold, and of the time, place, and terms of
the sale. Notices are given to secure bidders and prevent a sacrifice of the
property. Clearly, the statutory requirements of posting and publication are
mandated, not for the mortgagors benefit, but for the public or third
persons. In fact, personal notice to the mortgagor in extrajudicial foreclosure
proceedings is not even necessary, unless stipulated. As such, it is imbued
with public policy considerations and any waiver thereon would be
inconsistent with the intent and letter of Act No. 3135.

6. FILINVEST DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs. CIR, et al.


G. R. No. 146941
August 9, 2007
FACTS
Filinvest Development Corporation filed a claim for refund or in the
alternative the issuance of a tax credit certificate (TCC) with the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) representing excess creditable
withholding taxes for taxable years 1994, 1995, 1996.
The CIR did not resolve the claim for refund and the two-year prescriptive
period was about to lapse which prompted the petitioner to file a petition for
review before the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA). In the petition, it prayed for
refund or in the alternative the issuance of TCC amounting
P3,173,868.00.The amount of P1,004,236.00 representing excess/unutilized
creditable withholding taxes for 1994 was no longer included as it was
already barred by prescription.
Eventually, CTA dismissed the petition for review. Motion for review was filed
before the Court of Appeals which was dismissed so as the motion for
reconsideration, denied.
Then here comes the petition before the Supreme Court which was also
denied but later in the motion for reconsideration it was at last granted. The
petitioner alleged among others that the CA erred in relying on CTA cases
where they cited in its decision as jurisprudential basis to support its ruling.
ISSUE
Whether or not decisions of the CTA are jurisprudential basis for coming up a
decision.
RULING
The SC ruled that the CA was wrong in relying decisions of the CTA as
jurisprudential basis in resolving the case.
By tradition and in our system of administration, the Supreme Court has the
last word on what the law is, and that its decisions applying or interpreting
the laws or the Constitution form part of the legal system of the country, all
other courts should take their bearings from the decisions of this court.
The principle of stare decisis et non quieta movere, as embodied in ART 8 of
the CIVIL CODE of the Philippines,enjoins adherence to judicial precedents. It
requires our courts to follow a rule already established in a final decision of
the SC. That decision becomes a judicial precedent to be followed in
subsequent cases by all courts in the land.

7. DAVID REYES vs. JOSE LIM


G. R. No. 134241
August 11, 2003
FACTS
Petitioner Reyes filed a complaint for annulment of contract and damages
against respondent Lim and Harrison Lumber. In his complaint he alleged
that he and Lim entered into a contract to sell a parcel of land wherein the
other respondent Harrison Lumber was occupying as lessee. That petitioner
had informed Harrison Lumber to vacate the property and if they failed to
vacate, he will hold them liable for the penalty of 400,000 a month as
provided in the contract to sell. He further alleged that Lim connived with
Harrison Lumber not to vacate the property until the 400,000 monthly
penalties would have accumulated and equaled the unpaid purchase price of
18,000. Harrison in their answer denies the allegation of connivance between
them and Lim to defraud Reyes. They alleged that Reyes approved their
request to extend their time to vacate the premise due to the difficulty in
finding a new location for their business. While Lim in his answer alleged that
he was ready and willing to pay the balance of the purchase price and
requested a meeting with Reyes but Reyes kept on postponing the meeting
and instead offered to return the 10,000,000 down payment because Reyes
has a hard time in removing the lessee to the property but Lim rejected the
offer and proceeded to verify the status of Reyes title to the property, and he
learned that it was already sold to Line One Corporation.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not the act of Reyes constitute unjust enrichment
2. Whether or not the principle of unjust enrichment applies to procedural
remedies
RULING
The principle that no person may unjustly enrich himself at the expense of
another is embodied in Article 22 of the Civil Code. This principle applies not
only to substantive rights but also to procedural remedies. One condition for
invoking this principle is that the aggrieved party has no other action based
on contract, quasi-contract, crime, quasi-delict or any other provision of law.
Courts can extend this condition to the hiatus in the Rules of Court where the
aggrieved party, during the pendency of the case, has no other recourse
based on the provisional remedies of the Rules of Court. Thus, a court may
not permit a seller to retain, pendente lite, money paid by a buyer if the
seller himself seeks rescission of the sale because he has subsequently sold
the same property to another buyer. By seeking rescission, a seller
necessarily offers to return what he has received from the buyer. Such a
seller may not take back his offer if the court deems it equitable, to prevent
unjust enrichment and ensure restitution, to put the money in judicial
deposit.
10

There is unjust enrichment when a person unjustly retains a benefit to the


loss of another, or when a person retains money or property of another
against the fundamental principles of justice, equity and good conscience. In
this case, it was just, equitable and proper for the trial court to order the
deposit of the P10 million down payment to prevent unjust enrichment by
Reyes at the expense of Lim.
8. ROMMEL JACINTO, DANTES SILVERIO vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.
G. R. No. 174689
October 19, 2007
FACTS
On November 26, 2002, petitioner Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio filed a
petition for the change of his first name and sex in his birth certificate in the
RTC of Manila, Branch 8. Petitioner was born in the City of Manila to the
spouses Melecio Silverio and Anita Dantes on April 4, 1962. His name was
registered as "Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio" in his certificate of live birth.
His sex was registered as "male."
He alleged that he is a male transsexual, that is, "anatomically male but
feels, thinks and acts as a female" and that he had always identified himself
with girls since childhood. Feeling trapped in a mans body, he underwent
psychological examination, hormone treatment and breast augmentation. His
attempts to transform himself to a "woman" culminated on January 27, 2001
when he underwent sex reassignment surgery in Bangkok, Thailand. He was
thereafter examined by Dr. Marcelino Reysio-Cruz, Jr., a plastic and
reconstruction surgeon in the Philippines, who issued a medical certificate
attesting that he had in fact undergone the procedure.
From then on, petitioner lived as a female and was in fact engaged to be
married. He then sought to have his name in his birth certificate changed
from "Rommel Jacinto" to "Mely," and his sex from "male" to "female."
The trial court ruled in favor of petitioner. The granting of the petition would
be more in consonance with the principles of justice and equity. The Republic
of the Philippines, thru the OSG, filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of
Appeals. It alleged that there is no law allowing the change of entries in the
birth certificate by reason of sex alteration.The Court of Appeals ruled that
the trial courts decision lacked legal basis. There is no law allowing the
change of either name or sex in the certificate of birth on the ground of sex
reassignment through surgery. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but it
was denied. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE

11

Whether or not petitioners claim that the change of his name and sex in his
birth certificate is allowed under Articles 407 to 413 of the Civil Code, Rules
103 and 108 of the Rules of Court and RA 9048.
RULING
The petition lacks merit.
A Persons First Name Cannot Be Changed On the Ground of Sex
Reassignment
The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and entities for
purposes of identification. A change of name is a privilege, not a right.
Petitions for change of name are controlled by statutes. Article 376 of the
Civil Code was amended by RA 9048 (Clerical Error Law).
RA 9048 now governs the change of first name. Under the law, jurisdiction
over applications for change of first name is now primarily lodged with the
aforementioned administrative officers. In sum, the remedy and the
proceedings regulating change of first name are primarily administrative in
nature, not judicial.
RA 9048 likewise provides the grounds for which change of first name may
be allowed. Petitioners basis in the change of his first name was his sex
reassignment. However, a change of name does not alter ones legal
capacity or civil status. RA 9048 does not sanction a change of first name on
the ground of sex reassignment.
Before a person can legally change his given name, he must present proper
or reasonable cause or any compelling reason justifying such change. He
must show that he will be prejudiced by the use of his true and official name.
In this case, he failed to show, any prejudice that he might suffer as a result
of using his true and official name.
In sum, the petition in the trial court was not within that courts primary
jurisdiction as the petition should have been filed with the local civil registrar
concerned, assuming it could be legally done. It was an improper remedy
because the proper remedy was administrative, provided under RA 9048. It
was also filed in the wrong venue as the proper venue was in the Office of
the Civil Registrar of Manila where his birth certificate is kept. More
importantly, it had no merit since the use of his true and official name does
not prejudice him at all.
No Law Allows The Change of Entry In The Birth Certificate As To Sex On the
Ground of Sex Reassignment

12

The determination of a persons sex appearing in his birth certificate is a


legal issue and the court must look to the statutes.
Section 2(c) of RA 9048 defines what a "clerical or typographical error" is and
that no correction must involve the change of nationality, age, status or sex
of the petitioner. Under RA 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving
the change of sex is not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is a
substantial change for which the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of the
Rules of Court.
There is no such special law in the Philippines governing sex reassignment
and its effects. This is fatal to petitioners cause.
Under the Civil Register Law, a birth certificate is a historical record of the
facts as they existed at the time of birth. Thus, the sex of a person is
determined at birth, visually done by the birth attendant (the physician or
midwife) by examining the genitals of the infant. Considering that there is no
law legally recognizing sex reassignment, the determination of a persons
sex made at the time of his or her birth, if not attended by error, is
immutable.
For these reasons, while petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body
and appearance through the intervention of modern surgery, no law
authorizes the change of entry as to sex in the civil registry for that reason.
Thus, there is no legal basis for his petition for the correction or change of
the entries in his birth certificate.
Neither May Entries in the Birth Certificate As to First Name or Sex Be
Changed on the Ground of Equity
The changes sought by petitioner will have serious and wide-ranging legal
and public policy consequences. First, the petition was petitioners first step
towards his eventual marriage to his male fianc. However, marriage, one of
the most sacred social institutions, is a special contract of permanent union
between a man and a woman. One of its essential requisites is the legal
capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female. To
grant the changes sought by petitioner will substantially reconfigure and
greatly alter the laws on marriage and family relations. It will allow the union
of a man with another man who has undergone sex reassignment (a male-tofemale post-operative transsexual). Second, there are various laws which
apply particularly to women such as the provisions of the Labor Code on
employment of women, certain felonies under the Revised Penal Code and
the presumption of survivorship in case of calamities under Rule 131 of the
Rules of Court, among others. These laws underscore the public policy in
relation to women which could be substantially affected if petitioners
petition were to be granted.
13

It is true that Article 9 of the Civil Code mandates that "[n]o judge or court
shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or
insufficiency of the law." However, it is not a license for courts to engage in
judicial legislation. The duty of the courts is to apply or interpret the law, not
to make or amend it.
To reiterate, the statutes define who may file petitions for change of first
name and for correction or change of entries in the civil registry, where they
may be filed, what grounds may be invoked, what proof must be presented
and what procedures shall be observed. If the legislature intends to confer on
a person who has undergone sex reassignment the privilege to change his
name and sex to conform with his reassigned sex, it has to enact legislation
laying down the guidelines in turn governing the conferment of that
privilege.
The Court cannot render judgment judgment to change name or sex on the
ground of equity
It is true that Article 9 of the Civil Code mandates that "[n]o judge or court
shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or
insufficiency of the law." However, it is not a license for courts to engage
in judicial legislation. The duty of the courts is to apply or interpret the
law, not to make or amend it.
The Court cannot enact a law where no law exists. It can only apply or
interpret the written word of its co-equal branch of government, Congress.
9. RADIN C. ALCIRA vs. NLRC
G. R. No. 149859
June 9, 2004
FACTS
The petitioner, Radin Alcira, was hired by the respondent Middleby
Philippines Corporation as engineering support services supervisor under
probationary status for 6 months. Afterwards, the service of the petitioner
was terminated by the respondent on the ground that the latter was not
satisfied on the performance of the former. As a result, the petitioner filed a
complaint foe illegal dismissal in the National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC) against the respondent.
Petitioner contended that his termination in the service tantamount to illegal
dismissal since he attained the status of a regular employee as of the time of
dismissal. He presented the appointment paper showing that he was hired on
May 20, 1996, consequently, his dismissal on November 20, 1996 was illegal
because at that time, he was already a regular employee since the 6-month
probationary period ended on November 16, 1996.
14

The respondent, on the other hand, asserted that during the petitioners
probationary period, he showed poor performance on his assigned tasks, was
late couple of times and violated the companys rule. Thus, the petitioner
was terminated and his application to become a regular employment was
disapproved. The respondent also insisted that the removal of the petitioner
from office was within the probationary period.
The Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint on the ground that the dismissal
of the petitioner was done before his regularization because the 6- month
probationary period, counting from May 20, 1996 shall end on November 20,
1996. The NLRC affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter. The Court of
Appeals affirmed the decision of NLRC. Hence, the present recourse.
ISSUE
Whether the petitioner was already a regular employee in respondents
company at the time of his dismissal from the service
RULING
The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. The status of the petitioner at the
time of his termination was still probationary. His dismissal on November 20,
1996 was within the 6- month probationary period. Article 13 of the Civil
Code provides that when the law speaks of years, months, and days and
nights, it shall be understood that years are of 365 days, months of 30 days,
days of 24 hours and nights are from sunset to sunrise. Since, one month is
composed of 30 days, then, 6 months shall be understood to be composed of
180 days. And the computation of the 6- month period is reckoned from the
date of appointment up to the same calendar date of the 6th month
following. Since, the number of days of a particular month is irrelevant,
petitioner was still a probationary employee at the time of his dismissal.
Wherefore, the petition is dismissed.
10. LUCIO MORIGO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILS
G. R. No. 145226
February 6, 2004
FACTS
Lucio Morigo and Lucia Barrete were boardmates, after school year, they lost
contact with each other. In 1984, Lucio Morigo was surprised to receive a
card from Lucia Barrete from Singapore. The former replied and after an
exchange of letters, they became sweethearts.
In 1986, Lucia returned to the Philippines but left again for Canada to work
there. While in Canada, they maintained constant communication. In 1990,
Lucia came back to the Philippines and proposed to petition appellant to join
her in Canada. Both agreed to get married, thus they were married on
15

August 30, 1990 at the Iglesia de Filipina Nacional at Catagdaan, Pilar, Bohol.
On September 8, 1990, Lucia reported back to her work in Canada leaving
appellant Lucio behind.
On August 19, 1991, Lucia filed with the Ontario Court (General Division) a
petition for divorce against appellant which was granted by the court on
January 17, 1992 and to take effect on February 17, 1992.
On October 4, 1992, appellant Lucio Morigo married Maria Jececha Lumbago.
On September 21, 1993, accused filed a complaint for judicial declaration of
nullity of marriage in the Regional Trial Court of Bohol. The complaint seek
among others, the declaration of nullity of accuseds marriage with Lucia, on
the ground that no marriage ceremony actually took place.
On October 19, 1993, appellant was charged with Bigamy in an Information
filed by the City Prosecutor of Tagbilaran, with the Regional Trial Court of
Bohol. The petitioner moved for suspension of the arraignment on the ground
that the civil case for judicial nullification of his marriage with Lucia posed a
prejudicial question in the bigamy case. His motion was granted, but
subsequently denied upon motion for reconsideration by the prosecution.
When arraigned in the bigamy case, petitioner pleaded not guilty to the
charge. Trial thereafter ensued.
On August 5, 1996, the RTC of Bohol handed down its judgment in Criminal
Case No. 8688, convicting the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of Bigamy and sentences him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment
ranging from Seven (7) Months of Prision Correccional as minimum to Six (6)
Years and One (1) Day of Prision Mayor as maximum.
In convicting herein petitioner, the trial court discounted petitioners claim
that his first marriage to Lucia was null and void ab initio. The trial court
ruled that want of a valid marriage ceremony is not a defense in a charge of
bigamy. The parties to a marriage should not be allowed to assume that their
marriage is void even if such be the fact but must first secure a judicial
declaration of the nullity of their marriage before they can be allowed to
marry again.
On October 23, 1997, while the criminal case was pending before the
appellate court, the trial court rendered a decision in Civil Case No. 6020
declaring the marriage between Lucio and Lucia void ab initio since no
marriage ceremony actually took place. No appeal was taken from this
decision, which then became final and executory.
However, the appelate court affirmed the decision of the lower court in toto.
In affirming the assailed judgment of conviction, the appellate court stressed
16

that the subsequent declaration of nullity of Lucios marriage to Lucia could


not acquit Lucio. The reason is that what is sought to be punished by Article
349 of the Revised Penal Code is the act of contracting a second marriage
before the first marriage had been dissolved. Hence, the CA held, the fact
that the first marriage was void from the beginning is not a valid defense in a
bigamy case.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioner committed bigamy.
RULING
The petitioner submits that he should not be faulted for relying in good faith
upon the divorce decree of the Ontario court. He highlights the fact that he
contracted the second marriage openly and publicly, which a person intent
upon bigamy would not be doing. The petitioner further argues that his lack
of criminal intent is material to a conviction or acquittal in the instant case.
The crime of bigamy, just like other felonies punished under the Revised
Penal Code, is mala in se, and hence, good faith and lack of criminal intent
are allowed as a complete defense. He stresses that there is a difference
between the intent to commit the crime and the intent to perpetrate the act.
Hence, it does not necessarily follow that his intention to contract a second
marriage is tantamount to an intent to commit bigamy.
For the respondent, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) submits that
good faith in the instant case is a convenient but flimsy excuse. The Solicitor
General relies upon our ruling in Marbella-Bobis v. Bobis, which held that
bigamy can be successfully prosecuted provided all the elements concur,
stressing that under Article 40 of the Family Code, a judicial declaration of
nullity is a must before a party may re-marry. Whether or not the petitioner
was aware of said Article 40 is of no account as everyone is presumed to
know the law. The OSG counters that petitioners contention that he was in
good faith because he relied on the divorce decree of the Ontario court is
negated by his act of filing Civil Case No. 6020, seeking a judicial declaration
of nullity of his marriage to Lucia.
Before we delve into petitioners defense of good faith and lack of criminal
intent, we must first determine whether all the elements of bigamy are
present in this case. In Marbella-Bobis v. Bobis,20 we laid down the elements
of bigamy thus:
(1) the offender has been legally married;
(2) the first marriage has not been legally dissolved, or in case his or
her spouse is absent, the absent spouse has not been judicially
declared presumptively dead;
(3) he contracts a subsequent marriage; and
17

(4) the subsequent marriage would have been valid had it not been for
the existence of the first.
Applying the foregoing test to the instant case, we note that during the
pendency of civil case, the RTC of Bohol Branch 1, rendered judgment
decreeing the annulment of the marriage entered into by petitioner Lucio
Morigo and Lucia Barrete on August 23, 1990 in Pilar, Bohol and further
directing the Local Civil Registrar of Pilar, Bohol to effect the cancellation of
the marriage contract.
The trial court found that there was no actual marriage ceremony performed
between Lucio and Lucia by a solemnizing officer. Instead, what transpired
was a mere signing of the marriage contract by the two, without the
presence of a solemnizing officer. The trial court thus held that the marriage
is void ab initio, in accordance with Articles 3 and 4 of the Family Code. As
the dissenting opinion in CA-G.R. CR No. 20700, correctly puts it, "This simply
means that there was no marriage to begin with; and that such declaration
of nullity retroacts to the date of the first marriage. In other words, for all
intents and purposes, reckoned from the date of the declaration of the first
marriage as void ab initio to the date of the celebration of the first marriage,
the accused was, under the eyes of the law, never married." The records
show that no appeal was taken from the decision of the trial court in Civil
Case No. 6020, hence, the decision had long become final and executory.
The first element of bigamy as a crime requires that the accused must have
been legally married. But in this case, legally speaking, the petitioner was
never married to Lucia Barrete. Thus, there is no first marriage to speak of.
Under the principle of retroactivity of a marriage being declared void ab
initio, the two were never married "from the beginning." The contract of
marriage is null; it bears no legal effect. Taking this argument to its logical
conclusion, for legal purposes, petitioner was not married to Lucia at the
time he contracted the marriage with Maria Jececha. The existence and the
validity of the first marriage being an essential element of the crime of
bigamy, it is but logical that a conviction for said offense cannot be sustained
where there is no first marriage to speak of. The petitioner, must, perforce be
acquitted of the instant charge.
In the instant case, however, no marriage ceremony at all was performed by
a duly authorized solemnizing officer. Petitioner and Lucia Barrete merely
signed a marriage contract on their own. The mere private act of signing a
marriage contract bears no semblance to a valid marriage and thus, needs
no judicial declaration of nullity. Such act alone, without more, cannot be
deemed to constitute an ostensibly valid marriage for which petitioner might
be held liable for bigamy unless he first secures a judicial declaration of
nullity before he contracts a subsequent marriage.
18

11. PAULA T. LLORENTE vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G. R. No. 124371
November 23, 2000
FACTS
On February 22, 1937, Lorenzo and petitioner Paula were married before a
parish priest in Nabua, Camarines Sur.
On November 30, 1943, Lorenzo was admitted to United States citizenship
and Certificate of Naturalization No. 5579816 was issued in his favor by the
United States District Court, Southern District of New York.
Upon the liberation of the Philippines by the American Forces in 1945,
Lorenzo was granted an accrued leave by the U. S. Navy, to visit his wife
and he visited the Philippines. He discovered that his wife Paula was
pregnant and was living in and having an adulterous relationship with his
brother, Ceferino Llorente.
Lorenzo refused to forgive Paula and live with her . He then returned to the
United States and on November 16, 1951 filed for divorce with the Superior
Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Diego. Paula was
represented by counsel, John Riley, and actively participated in the
proceedings. On November 27, 1951, the Superior Court of the State of
California, for the County of San Diego found all factual allegations to be true
and issued an interlocutory judgment of divorce.
On December 4, 1952, the divorce decree became final.
Lorenzo went back to the Philippines and on January 16, 1958 married Alicia
F. Llorente in Manila.
From 1958 to 1985, Lorenzo and Alicia lived together as husband and
wife.Their twenty-five (25) year union produced three children, Raul, Luz and
Beverly, all surnamed Llorente.
On March 13, 1981, Lorenzo executed a Last Will and Testament. The will
was notarized by Notary Public Salvador M. Occiano, duly signed by Lorenzo
with attesting witnesses Francisco Hugo, Francisco Neibres and Tito
Trajano. In the will, Lorenzo bequeathed all his property to Alicia and their
three children.
On December 14, 1983, Lorenzo filed with the Regional Trial Court, Iriga,
Camarines Sur, a petition for the probate and allowance of his last will and
testament wherein Lorenzo moved that Alicia be appointed Special
Administratrix of his estate.
19

On January 24, 1984, finding that the will was duly executed, the trial court
admitted the will to probate but before the proceedings could be terminated ,
Lorenzo died.
Paula filed with the same court a petition for letters of administration over
Lorenzos estate in her favor contending that she was Lorenzos surviving
spouse, that such properties were acquired during their marriage and that
Lorenzos will would encroach her legitime.
Alicia filed in the testate proceeding , a petition for the issuance of letters
testamentary.
On October 14, 1985, without terminating the testate proceedings, the trial
court gave due course to Paulas petition.
The Regional Trial Court found that the divorce decree granted to the late
Lorenzo Llorente is void and inapplicable in the Philippines, therefore the
marriage he contracted with Alicia Fortunato on January 16, 1958 at Manila is
likewise void. This being so the petition of Alicia F. Llorente for the issuance
of letters testamentary is denied. Likewise, she is not entitled to receive any
share from the estate even if the will especially said so her relationship with
Lorenzo having gained the status of paramour which is under Art. 739 (1).
Petitioner, Paula Llorente is appointed legal administrator of the estate of
the deceased, Lorenzo Llorente.
ISSUE
Who are entitled to inherit from the late Lorenzo N. Llorente?
RULING
The trial court held that the will was intrinsically invalid since it contained
dispositions in favor of Alice, who in the trial courts opinion was a
mere paramour. The trial court threw the will out, leaving Alice, and her two
children, Raul and Luz, with nothing.
The Court of Appeals also disregarded the will. It declared Alice entitled to
one half (1/2) of whatever property she and Lorenzo acquired during their
cohabitation, applying Article 144 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
The hasty application of Philippine law and the complete disregard of the will,
already probated as duly executed in accordance with the formalities of
Philippine law, is fatal, especially in light of the factual and legal
circumstances here obtaining.

20

Lorenzo N. Llorente became an American citizen long before and at the time
of: (1) his divorce from Paula; (2) marriage to Alicia; (3) execution of his will;
and (4) death, is duly established, admitted and undisputed.
Thus, as a rule, issues arising from these incidents are necessarily governed
by foreign law.
Art. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law
of the country where it is situated.
However, intestate and testamentary succession, both with respect to the
order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the
intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the
national law of the person whose succession is under consideration,
whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country
wherein said property may be found.
But the hasty disregard of both the RTC and CA of Lorenzos Will by calling to
the fore the RENVOI doctrine, claiming that American law follows domiciliary
rule is unjustified. There is no such thing as American law for the whole
nation of the US, for the country comprises of a group of States, each State
having its own applicable law, enforceable only within that state.
As to the validity of the foreign divorce , jurisprudence reiterates that once it
is proven that an individual is no longer a Filipino, thus an alien, when he
obtains a divorce abroad, its effects shall be recognized in the Philippines.
The Supreme Court held that the divorce obtained by Lorenzo H. Llorente
from his first wife Paula was valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a
matter of comity.
Now, the effects of this divorce (as to the succession to the estate of the
decedent) are matters best left to the determination of the trial court.
Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who shall inherit from
Lorenzo are issues best proved by foreign law which must be
pleaded and proved. Whether the will was executed in accordance
with the formalities required is answered by referring to Philippine
law. In fact, the will was duly probated.
The decision of the CA is set aside and that of the RTC is reversed.
Court REMANDS the cases to the court of origin for determination of
the intrinsic validity of Lorenzo N. Llorentes will and determination
of the parties successional rights allowing proof of foreign law with
instructions that the trial court shall proceed with all deliberate
21

dispatch to settle the estate of the deceased within the framework


of the Rules of Court.

II. Who is a Person under the


Civil Code?
1.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. FERNANDO FELIPE
G. R. No. L-40432
July 19, 1982
FACTS
22

Herein accused Fernando Felipe was convicted by the lower court of the
crime of rape committed by him against his niece-in-law Ruth Pancho. As a
result of the incident the victim got pregnant, who was then 25 years old.
When the accused appealed his case, one of his defenses was the fact that
the victims child was born on March 13, 1972 and that the victim could not
have been raped on July 9, 1971 because there are only 247 days between
these dates. Accused claimed that the normal period of gestation is 280 days
and the Civil Code considers 300 days as the length of uterine development
of a child.
ISSUE
Whether or not the victims child is considered a normal child.
RULING
Yes, the victims child was normal. As aptly contended by the Solicitor
General in his brief, "a child born 8 months and seven days after conception
is considered normal. ...; that in certain instances the Civil Code considers
300 days as the length of the uterine development of a child, but by
providing that a premature child is one which has an intra-uterine life of less
than seven months (Art. 41, Civil Code) the Code impliedly recognizes that a
child which had an intra-uterine life of 8 months, as in the case at bar, is a
normal child."
2.MILAGROS JOAQUINO vs. LOURDES REYES
G. R. No. 154645
July 13, 2004
FACTS
Under the law capacity to act is the power to do acts with legal effects, this
however is not inherent it can only be acquired at the same time it can also
be restricted. Among its limitations is by reason of family relations.
(digesters own interpretation of the case in relation to the topic)
This case is originally an action for reconveyance filed by the legal wife
herein respondent Lourdes Reyes against the paramour of her husband
herein petitioner Milgaros Joaquino. This case involved a disputed property in
BF homes which was registered under the name of Milagros acquired by the
deceased husband of Lourdes before his death and during the subsistence of
their marriage. Lourdes (wife) alleged that the said property is a Conjugal
Property because the same was acquired by her husband from his salaries
and earnings. Milagros (paramour) on the other hand claimed that the same
was acquired by her form her exclusive income.
The trial court and the Court of Appeals both ruled in favor of the wife and
ordered the reconveyance of the said property
23

ISSUE
Whether the property is conjugal (owned by Rodolfo and Lourdes) or
exclusive (owned by Milagros) or co-owned by Rodolfo and Milagros.
RULING
The property is conjugal. It was clearly shown that the property was bought
during the marriage of Rodolfo and Lourdes, a fact that gives rise to the
presumption that it is conjugal. More important, they have established that
the proceeds of the loan obtained by Rodolfo were used to pay for the
property; and that the loan was, in turn, paid from his salaries and earnings,
which were conjugal funds under the Civil Code.
Under the circumstances, therefore, the purchase and the subsequent
registration of the realty in the paramours name was tantamount to a
donation by Rodolfo to Milagros (paramour). By express provision of Article
739(1) of the Civil Code, such donation was void, because it was "made
between persons who were guilty of adultery or concubinage at the time of
the donation."
The prohibition against donations between spouses must likewise apply to
donations between persons living together in illicit relations; otherwise, the
latter would be better situated than the former.36 Article 87 of the Family
Code now expressly provides thus:
"Art. 87. Every donation or grant of gratuitous advantage, direct or
indirect, between the spouses during the marriage shall be void,
except moderate gifts which the spouses may give each other on the
occasion of any family rejoicing. The prohibition shall also apply to
persons living together as husband and wife without a valid marriage."
(Italics supplied).
3. BOARD OF OPTOMETRY vs. HON. ANGEL B. COLET
G. R. No. 122241
July 30, 1996
FACTS
Herein private respondents Acebedo Optical Co., Inc., Republica A. Panol, and
the alleged "presidents" of Optometry Practitioner Association of the
Philippines (OPAP), Cenevis Optometrist Association (COA), Association of
Christian-Muslim Optometrist (ACMO), Southern Mindanao Optometrist
Association of the Philippines (SMOAP) questioned the validity of RA 8050
known as the Revised Optometry Law in a petition for declaratory relief and
for prohibition and injunction, with a prayer for a temporary restraining order.
The Regional Trial Court then issued the now assailed order granting a writ of
preliminary injunction enjoining, restraining, restricting, and forbidding the
24

respondents therein (herein petitioners), their agents, officers, and


employees from performing or undertaking any act in implementation or
enforcement of R.A. No. 8050, or any of its provisions.
In the said petition filed by the private respondents each allegedly
represented by its president. The body of the petition, however, gave no
details as to the juridical personality and addresses of these alleged
associations, save for Acebedo Optical Co., Inc. It merely listed the names of
the alleged presidents as well as their profession and home addresses.
Hence this instant petition.
ISSUE
Whether or not private respondents have the requisite capacity (locus standi)
RULING
No, private respondents failed to establish their locus standi. Only natural
and juridical persons or entities authorized by law may be parties in a civil
action, and every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the
real party in interest. 18 Under Article 44 of the Civil Code, an association is
considered a juridical person if the law grants it a personality separate and
distinct from that of its members.
There is serious doubt as to the existence of private respondents OPAP, COA,
ACMO, and SMOAP. For one, the body of the petition in Civil Case No. 9574770 makes no mention of these associations nor state their addresses.
Further, nowhere is it claimed therein that they are juridical entities. These
run counter to Section 4, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court, which provides that
facts showing the capacity of a party to sue or the legal existence of an
organized association of persons that is made a party must be averred.
Second, not even in the sworn statements. of the alleged presidents
representing the "associations," which were offered in evidence in support of
the application for a writ of preliminary injunction, were such "associations"
mentioned or named. Finally, in their Comment on the instant petition, the
private respondents chose to remain silent on the issue of the juridical
personality of their "associations."
For having failed to show that they are juridical entities, private respondents
OPAP, COA, ACMO, and SMOAP must then be deemed to be devoid of legal
personality to bring an action.

4. IMELDA ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS vs. COMELEC


G. R. No. 119976
September 18, 1995
25

FACTS
Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the
position of Representative of the First District of Leyte. She indicated in her
COC that resided in the constituency she sought to be elected for seven
months. Thus, private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, the incumbent
Representative of the First District of Leyte and a candidate for the same
position, filed a "Petition for Cancellation and Disqualification" 5 with the
Commission on Elections alleging that petitioner did not meet the
constitutional requirement for residency which under the Constitution
requires one year residency for candidates for the House of Representatives.
In her answer, herein petitioner asserted that that her domicile is Tacloban
City, a component of the First District, to which she always intended to return
whenever absent and which she has never abandoned. That there was only
an honest mistake on her part when she wrote in her COC seven months
(residency) while in fact she intended it to be since childhood. Not
convinced, COMELEC granted the petition for Disqualification, holding that
Imelda is deemed to have abandoned Tacloban City as her place of domicile
when she lived and even voted in Ilocos and Manila.
ISSUE
Whether or not herein petitioner (Imelda) abandoned her domicile of origin
and as consequence thereof is she qualified to run as representative of the
First District of Leyte
RULING
Imelda did not lose her domicile of origin. Domicile of origin is not easily lost.
To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate:
1. An actual removal or an actual change of domicile;
2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of
residence and establishing a new one; and
3. Acts which correspond with the purpose.
In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria, the
residence of origin should be deemed to continue. The evidence adduced by
private respondent plainly lacks the degree of persuasiveness required to
convince this court that an abandonment of domicile of origin in favor of a
domicile of choice indeed occurred. To effect an abandonment requires the
voluntary act of relinquishing petitioner's former domicile with an intent to
supplant the former domicile with one of her own choosing (domicilium
voluntarium).
Article 50 of the Civil Code decrees that "[f]or the exercise of civil rights and
the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of natural persons is their
place of habitual residence." In Ong vs. Republic 20 this court took the
26

concept of domicile to mean an individual's "permanent home", "a place to


which, whenever absent for business or for pleasure, one intends to return,
and depends on facts and circumstances in the sense that they disclose
intent." 21 Based on the foregoing, domicile includes the twin elements of
"the fact of residing or physical presence in a fixed place" and animus
manendi, or the intention of returning there permanently.
Residence, in its ordinary conception, implies the factual relationship of an
individual to a certain place. It is the physical presence of a person in a given
area, community or country. The essential distinction between residence and
domicile in law is that residence involves the intent to leave when the
purpose for which the resident has taken up his abode ends. One may seek a
place for purposes such as pleasure, business, or health. If a person's intent
be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his intent is to leave as soon as his
purpose is established it is residence.
For political purposes the concepts of residence and domicile are dictated by
the peculiar criteria of political laws. As these concepts have evolved in our
election law, what has clearly and unequivocally emerged is the fact that
residence for election purposes is used synonymously with domicile.
In Faypon vs. Quirino, court held that the absence from residence to pursue
studies or practice a profession or registration as a voter other than in the
place where one is elected does not constitute loss of residence. So settled is
the concept (of domicile) in our election law that in these and other election
law cases, this Court has stated that the mere absence of an individual from
his permanent residence without the intention to abandon it does not result
in a loss or change of domicile.
Therefore, petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run
for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte.
5. ROMMEL JACINTO DANTES SILVERIO vs. REPUBLIC
G. R. No. 174689
October 19, 2007
FACTS
Herein petitioner underwent a sex reassignment surgery from a man to a
woman. As a result he now files this petition to change his name in his birth
certificate from "Rommel Jacinto" to "Mely," and his sex from "male" to
"female, as he is engaged and wish to get married. The trial court rendered
a decision in favor of herein petitioner.
However, the Republic of the Philippines thru the Solicitor General
petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals. It alleged that there is
allowing the change of entries in the birth certificate by reason
alteration. The court of Appeals then rendered a decision in favor
27

filed a
no law
of sex
of the

Republic based on the ground that there is no law allowing the change of
either name or sex in the certificate of birth on the ground of sex
reassignment through surgery. Hence, this petition.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not a persons first name can be changed on the rgounf of sexre-assignment.
2. Whether or not petitioner can change his sex from male to female in his
birth certificate via judicial petition.
RULING
The governing rule for change of first name is RA 9048 and grounds provided
thereof are:
(1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous,
tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;
(2) The new first name or nickname has been habitually and
continuously used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known by
that first name or nickname in the community; or
(3) The change will avoid confusion.
RA 9048 does not sanction a change of first name on the ground of sex
reassignment. And it is worthy to note that a change of name does not alter
ones legal capacity or legal status, thus to allow petitioner would contravene
the law.
There is also no laws that allows the change of entry in the birth certificate
as to sex on the ground of sex reassignement. Under the Civil Register Law, a
birth certificate is a historical record of the facts as they existed at the time
of birth. Thus, the sex of a person is determined at birth, visually done by the
birth attendant (the physician or midwife) by examining the genitals of the
infant. Considering that there is no law legally recognizing sex reassignment,
the determination of a persons sex made at the time of his or her birth, if
not attended by error, is immutable (absolute).
For these reasons, while petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body
and appearance through the intervention of modern surgery, no law
authorizes the change of entry as to sex in the civil registry for that reason.
Thus, there is no legal basis for his petition for the correction or change of
the entries in his birth certificate.
Moreover, the changes sought by petitioner will have serious and wideranging legal and public policy consequences. First, even the trial court itself
found that the petition was but petitioners first step towards his eventual
marriage to his male fianc. However, marriage, one of the most sacred
social institutions, is a special contract of permanent union between a man
and a woman. One of its essential requisites is the legal capacity of the
28

contracting parties who must be a male and a female. To grant the changes
sought by petitioner will substantially reconfigure and greatly alter the laws
on marriage and family relations. It will allow the union of a man with
another man who has undergone sex reassignment (a male-to-female postoperative transsexual).Petition is denied.

III. The Basics of Human


Relations
1. CEBU COUNTRY CLUB INC. vs. RICARDO F. ELIZAGAQUE
G. R. No. 163273
January 18, 2008
FACTS
San Miguel Corporation, a special company proprietary member of CCCI,
designated respondent Ricardo F. Elizagaque, its Senior Vice President and
Operations Manager for the Visayas and Mindanao, as a special nonproprietary member. The designation was thereafter approved by the CCCIs
Board of Directors. Respondent then purchased a CCCI share where he was
issued a Proprietary Ownership Certificate.
Thereafter, respondent applied a CCCI proprietary membership but this was
deferred. Later, his application was finally voted upon by the Board of
Directors and he was informed that it was disapproved.
Respondent wrote a letter of reconsideration but he was not answered,
letter he wrote another letter inquiring as to the reasons why his application
has been denied but still did not receive any reply from CCCI.
Respondent filed an action for damages against petitioner. Both the Trial
Court and the Court of Appeal rendered decision in favor of herein
respondent relying on the basic of human relations found under Articles 19
and 21 of the Civil Code. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioner is liable to herein respondent for damages.
RULING
Yes, in rejecting respondents application for proprietary membership, we
find that petitioners violated the rules governing human relations, the basic
principles to be observed for the rightful relationship between human beings
and for the stability of social order.
29

Obviously, the CCCI Board of Directors, under its Articles of Incorporation,


has the right to approve or disapprove an application for proprietary
membership. But such right should not be exercised arbitrarily. Articles 19,
20 and 21 of the Civil Code on the Chapter on Human Relations provide
such restrictions
The trial court and the Court of Appeals aptly held that petitioners committed
fraud and evident bad faith in disapproving respondents applications. This
fraud and bad faith on the part of CCCI was evident when it amended its ByLaws as to how its members are elected changing it to a required unanimous
approval of all directors present, this without informing the respondent of
such change and as to why his application was disapproved.
In GF Equity, Inc. v. Valenzona, we expounded Article 19 and correlated it
with Article 21, thus:
This article, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the principle
of abuse of rights, sets certain standards which must be observed not only in
the exercise of one's rights but also in the performance of one's duties.
These standards are the following: to act with justice; to give everyone his
due; and to observe honesty and good faith. The law, therefore, recognizes a
primordial limitation on all rights; that in their exercise, the norms of human
conduct set forth in Article 19 must be observed. A right, though by itself
legal because recognized or granted by law as such, may
nevertheless become the source of some illegality. When a right is
exercised in a manner which does not conform with the norms
enshrined in Article 19 and results in damage to another, a legal
wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be held
responsible. But while Article 19 lays down a rule of conduct for the
government of human relations and for the maintenance of social order, it
does not provide a remedy for its violation. Generally, an action for damages
under either Article 20 or Article 21 would be proper. (Emphasis in the
original).
2. GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 97336
February 19, 1993
FACTS
Private respondent, a Filipina filed an action for damages against petitioner
an Iranian Moslem for alleged breach of promise to marry.
Repondent averred that because of his persuasive promise to marry her, she
allowed herself to be deflowered by him , agreed to lived with him and
surrendered here honor and womanhood. Additionally, by reason of that
deceitful promise, private respondent and her parents in accordance with
Filipino customs and traditions made some preparations for the wedding
that was to be held at the end of October 1987 by looking for pigs and
30

chickens, inviting friends and relatives and contracting sponsors. All these
petitioner denied. Trial court and Court of Appeals awarded damages in favor
of respondent based on Art. 21 of the Civil Code. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE
Whether or not in a breach of promise to marry Art. 21 of the Civil Code can
be applied.
RULING
Yes, Art. 21 is applicable where a man's promise to marry is in fact the
proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a woman and his
representation to fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate cause
of the giving of herself unto him in a sexual congress, proof that he had, in
reality, no intention of marrying her and that the promise was only a subtle
scheme or deceptive device to entice or inveigle her to accept him and to
obtain her consent to the sexual act, could justify the award of damages
pursuant to Article 21 not because of such promise to marry but because of
the fraud and deceit behind it and the willful injury to her honor and
reputation which followed thereafter. It is essential, however, that such injury
should have been committed in a manner contrary to morals, good customs
or public policy.
In the instant case, it was the petitioner's "fraudulent and deceptive
protestations of love for and promise to marry plaintiff that made her
surrender her virtue and womanhood to him and to live with him on the
honest and sincere belief that he would keep said promise, and it was
likewise these fraud and deception on appellant's part that made plaintiff's
parents agree to their daughter's living-in with him preparatory to their
supposed marriage." In short, the private respondent surrendered her
virginity, the cherished possession of every single Filipina, not because of
lust but because of moral seduction.
The essential feature of seduction in law is more than mere sexual
intercourse, or a breach of a promise of marriage; it connotes essentially the
idea of deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of confidence on the part
of the seducer to which the woman has yielded.
Article 21 on the other hand does not apply if the sexual intercourse was due
to mutual lust or where the sexual act is accomplished without any deceit or
qualifying circumstance of abuse of authority or influence, but the woman,
already of age, has knowingly given herself to a man, it cannot be said that
there is an injury which can be the basis for indemnity. Petition is denied.
3. ASJ CORPORATION, et al. vs. EFREN AND MAURA EVANGELISTA
G. R. No. 158086
February 14, 2008
31

FACTS
Respondents, under the name and style of R.M. Sy Chicks, are engaged in
the large-scale business of buying broiler eggs, hatching them, and selling
their hatchlings (chicks) and egg by-products in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija. For
the incubation and hatching of these eggs, respondents availed of the
hatchery services of ASJ Corp., a corporation duly registered in the name of
San Juan and his family.
Initially, the service fees were paid upon release of the eggs and by-products
to respondents. But as their business went along, respondents delays on
their payments were tolerated by San Juan, who just carried over the
balance, as there may be, into the next delivery, out of keeping goodwill with
respondents.
However, respondent continued to fail in its payments, prompting San Juan
to refuse the release of the chicks and by-products. At one instance,
petitioner still refused to release the same despite offer of respondent partial
payment of the amount due having in mind that the products left in the
hands of the petitioner were more than their amount due. Petitioner
allegedly threatened to impound their vehicle and detain them at the
hatchery compound if they should come back unprepared to fully settle their
accounts with him.
Thus, respondent filed with the RTC an action for damages based on
petitioners retention of the chicks and the by-products. The Trial Court and
Court of Appeals rendered judgment in favor of herein respondent based on
Art. 19 of the Civil Code.
ISSUE
Whether or not award of damages based on Art. 19 of the Civil Code in favor
of respondents was proper.
RULING
Yes, Art. 19 of the Civil Code can be properly applied when San Juan
threatened the respondents. Under Article 19 of the Civil Code, an act
constitutes an abuse of right if the following elements are present: (a) the
existence of a legal right or duty; (b) which is exercised in bad faith; and (c)
for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another.Here, while petitioners
had the right to withhold delivery, the high-handed and oppressive acts of
petitioners on threatening the repsodentns, as aptly found by the two courts
below, had no legal leg to stand on.
Moreover, Respondents offer to partially satisfy their accounts is not enough
to extinguish their obligation. Under Article 1248 of the Civil Code, the
creditor cannot be compelled to accept partial payments from the debtor,
32

unless there is an express stipulation to that effect. More so, respondents


cannot substitute or apply as their payment the value of the chicks and byproducts they expect to derive because it is necessary that all the debts be
for the same kind, generally of a monetary character. Needless to say, there
was no valid application of payment in this case.
Furthermore, it was respondents who violated the very essence of reciprocity
in contracts, consequently giving rise to petitioners right of retention. This
case is clearly one among the species of non-performance of a reciprocal
obligation. Reciprocal obligations are those which arise from the same cause,
wherein each party is a debtor and a creditor of the other, such that the
performance of one is conditioned upon the simultaneous fulfillment of the
other. From the moment one of the parties fulfills his obligation, delay by the
other party begins.
Since respondents are guilty of delay in the performance of their obligations,
they are also liable to pay petitioners actual damages. Petition partly
granted.
4. FAR EAST BANK vs. THEMISTOCLES PACILAN, JR.
G. R. No. 157314
July 29, 2005
FACTS
Respondent had a current savings account with petitioner-bank, since then
he issued post- dated checks to different payees.
In April 4, 1988 petitioner had an overdraft , which led to the subsequent
dishonor of that check. But a day after that she made a deposit in order to
cover up for the said overdraft, her deposit was accepted by the bank.
Subsequently, when the respondent verified with petitioner bank about the
dishonor of Check, he discovered that his current account was closed on the
ground that it was "improperly handled."
The respondent wrote to petitioner bank complaining that the closure of his
account was unjustified. When he did not receive a reply from petitioner
bank, the respondent filed with the RTC, a complaint for damages against
petitioner bank and accountant Villadelgado.
Both the Trial Court and the Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of
respondent based on Art. 19 of the Civil Code. Respondent claimed that his
reputation was tainted by the act of petitioner-bank. The facts of the case
also revealed that respondent had several times in the past mishandled his
account where he overdrawn 156 times in 1986 , 117 times in 1987 and 26
times in 1988. In all these instances, the account was overdrawn due to the
issuance of checks against insufficient funds.
33

ISSUE
Whether or not Art.19 of the Civil Code was properly applied in respondents
favor
RULING
No, because of the absence of bad faith on the part of petitioner-bank and it
has no intention of prejudicing the respondent. This case is a case of damage
without injury or often called damnum absque injuria.
The elements of abuse of rights are the following: (a) the existence of a legal
right or duty; (b) which is exercised in bad faith; and (c) for the sole intent of
prejudicing or injuring another.Malice or bad faith is at the core of the said
provision.The law always presumes good faith and any person who seeks to
be awarded damages due to acts of another has the burden of proving that
the latter acted in bad faith or with ill-motive.Good faith refers to the state of
the mind which is manifested by the acts of the individual concerned. It
consists of the intention to abstain from taking an unconscionable and
unscrupulous advantage of another.Bad faith does not simply connote bad
judgment or simple negligence, dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity
and conscious doing of a wrong, a breach of known duty due to some
motives or interest or ill-will that partakes of the nature of fraud.Malice
connotes ill-will or spite and speaks not in response to duty. It implies an
intention to do ulterior and unjustifiable harm. Malice is bad faith or bad
motive.
Under the Rules and Regulations of petitioner-bank it reserves the right to
close an account if the depositor frequently draws checks against insufficient
funds and/or uncollected deposits. It is clearly understood that the depositor
is not entitled, as a matter of right, to overdraw on this deposit and the bank
reserves the right at any time to return checks of the depositor which are
drawn against insufficient funds or for any other reason.
There were also several instances when the respondent issued checks
deliberately using a signature different from his specimen signature on file
with petitioner bank.[16] All these circumstances taken together justified the
petitioner banks closure of the respondents account on April 4, 1988 for
"improper handling."
The respondent had thus failed to discharge his burden of proving bad faith
on the part of petitioner bank or that it was motivated by ill-will or spite in
closing his account on April 4, 1988 and in inadvertently accepting his
deposit on April 5, 1988.
Further, it has not been shown that these acts were done by petitioner bank
with the sole intention of prejudicing and injuring the respondent.
34

Whatever damages the respondent may have suffered as a consequence,


e.g., dishonor of his other insufficiently funded checks, would have to be
borne by him alone. It was the respondents repeated improper and irregular
handling of his account which constrained petitioner bank to close the same
in accordance with the rules and regulations governing its depositors current
accounts. Petition is granted.
5. VICENTE S. ALMARIO vs. PHILIPPINES AIRLINES, INC.
G. R. No. 170928
September 11, 2007
FACTS
Almario is a 39 pilot of the Philippine Airlines (PAL). By reason of his
promotion he was sent by PAL to training in Manila and in Australia for 5months with cost and expense borne by PAL. However, after his training and
with only 8months of rendering service to PAL he tendered resignation. PAL
objected and claimed that as part of their agreement under their CBA he is
supposed to render 3 more years of service after his training in order for PAL
to recover the expenses it incurred in Almarios training. Almario denied
having such agreement and insisted on his resignation. Thus, PAL filed n
action for reimbursement with the RTC as to the cost of the training expenses
of Almario.
The trial Court rendered judgment in favor of Almario and held that there
was no such provision found in the CBA. Upon appeal by both parties the
Court of Appeals reversed the lower courts decision and held Almario liable
under its CBA and based on Art. 22 of the Civil Code, hence this petition.
ISSUE
Whether or not Almario should be held liable under that Article 22 of the Civil
Code (unjust enrichment) with respect to his training costs.

RULING
Yes, Almario is liable based on the principle embodied in Art 22 of the Civil
Code on unjust enrichment. Enrichment of the defendant consists in every
patrimonial, physical, or moral advantage, so long as it is appreciable in
money. It may consist of some positive pecuniary value incorporated into
the patrimony of the defendant, such as: (1) the enjoyment of a thing
belonging to the plaintiff; (2) the benefits from service rendered by the
plaintiff to the defendant; (3) the acquisition of a right, whether real or
personal; (4) the increase of value of property of the defendant; (5) the
improvement of a right of the defendant, such as the acquisition of a right of
preference; (6) the recognition of the existence of a right in the defendant;
and (7) the improvement of the conditions of life of the defendant.
35

Admittedly, PAL invested for the training of Almario to enable him to acquire
a higher level of skill, proficiency, or technical competence so that he could
efficiently discharge the position of A-300 First Officer. Given that, PAL
expected to recover the training costs by availing of Almarios services for at
least three years. The expectation of PAL was not fully realized, however,
due to Almarios resignation after only eight months of service following the
completion of his training course. He cannot, therefore, refuse to reimburse
the costs of training without violating the principle of unjust enrichment.
6. ANTONIO CHIENG, substituted by WILLIAM CHIENG vs. SPOUSES
EULOGIIO AND TERESITA SANTOS
G. R. No. 169647
August 31, 2007
FACTS
August 17, 1989, petitioner Chieng extended a loan in favor of respondent
spouses Eulogio and Teresita Santos.
As security for such loan, the
respondents executed in favor of petitioner a Deed of Real Estate Mortgage
over a piece of land. On even date, the Deed of Real Estate Mortgage was
registered with the Registry of Deeds and was duly annotated on TCT.
Thereafter, respondent issued several checks in favor of petitioner as
payment for the loan. Some of these checks were dishonored, prompting the
petitioner to file a criminal case against respondent Eulogio for violation of
BP Blg. 22 before the RTC. During the pre-trial conference of these cases,
petitioner and respondent Eulogio entered into a compromise agreement,
which was contained in the Order of the court, that the total indebtedness of
Mr. Santos as of July 15, 1991 amounts to P200,000.00 Pesos including
interest since the beginning and excluding those already paid for.
Respondent failed to comply with his obligation in the compromise
agreement.
On 17 June 1993, petitioner filed with the RTC, an action for foreclosure of
mortgage constituted on respondents real property docketed as Civil Case.
ISSUE
Whether petitioner, by filing Criminal Cases for violation of Batas Pambansa
Blg. 22 against respondent Eulogio, was already barred or precluded from
availing himself of the other civil remedy of the foreclosure of the real estate
mortgage.
RULING
No. A mortgage-creditor may, in the recovery of a debt secured by a real
estate mortgage, institute against the mortgage-debtor either a personal
36

action for debt or a real action to foreclose the mortgage. These remedies
available to the mortgage-creditor are deemed alternative and not
cumulative. An election of one remedy operates as a waiver of the other.
When petitioner filed Criminal Cases for violation of BP. 22 against
respondent Eulogio, petitioners civil action for the recovery of the amount of
the dishonored checks was impliedly instituted therein pursuant to Section
1(b) of Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure.
However, it should be stressed that respondents have not yet fully paid the
loan. In fact, respondents themselves admitted that they still owe petitioner
the balance of the loan.
To allow respondents to benefit from the loan without paying its whole
amount to petitioner, and to preclude the petitioner from recovering the
remaining balance of the loan, would constitute unjust enrichment at the
expense of petitioner. The principle that no person may unjustly enrich
himself at the expense of another (Nemo cum alterius detrimento locupletari
potest) is embodied in Article 22 of the New Civil Code, to wit:
ART. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any
other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense
of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
As can be gleaned from the foregoing, there is unjust enrichment when (1) a
person is unjustly benefited, and (2) such benefit is derived at the expense of
or with damages to another. The main objective of the principle of unjust
enrichment is to prevent one from enriching oneself at the expense of
another. It is commonly accepted that this doctrine simply means that a
person shall not be allowed to profit or enrich himself inequitably at
anothers expense. One condition for invoking this principle is that the
aggrieved party has no other action based on contract, quasi-contract,
crime, quasi-delict or any other provision of law.
The principle of unjust enrichment obliges the respondents to pay the
remaining balance of the loan plus interest. Relieving the respondents of
their obligation to pay the balance of the loan would, indeed, be to sanction
unjust enrichment in favor of respondents and cause unjust poverty to
petitioner.
In the exercise of our mandate as a court of justice and equity, we hold, pro
hac vice, that respondents are still liable to pay the remaining balance of the
loan.
7. SPOUSES JAMES and FLORENCE TAN vs. CARMINA MANDAP
G. R. No. 150925
May 27, 2004
37

FACTS
Respondents are the legitimate children of the marriage of Dionisio Mandap,
Sr., and Maria Contreras Mandap. When the Mandap spouses parted ways,
their children opted to stay with Maria. To help support the children, Maria
filed a Civil Case
for the dissolution and separation of the conjugal
partnership.
Two separate lots, each with an area of 88 square meters covered by TCT
Nos. 44730 and 55847, respectively, located in Felix Huertas Street, Sta.
Cruz, Manila, with improvements thereon, were adjudicated by the Juvenile
and Domestic Relations Court in favor of Dionisio Mandap, Sr.
Meanwhile, Dionisio Mandap, Sr., until his death on October 2, 1991 at age
64, lived with Diorita Dojoles, with whom he had two children. He suffered
from diabetes since 1931, became totally blind in 1940, and was crippled for
about 10 years until his death. However, before his death on May 25, 1989,
he conveyed the subject properties to his common-law wifes sister, Elenita
Dojoles Vasquez; and her husband, Crispulo Vasquez.
On September 11, 1989, the Vasquez spouses conveyed the parcel of land
covered by TCT No. 186748 in favor of petitioners. TCT No. 188862 covering
the subject lot was then issued in favor of the latter.
On September 5, 1989, prior to the sale to petitioners, the respondents filed
an action for cancellation of title with damages, before the RTC of Manila
against Diorita Dojoles and the Vasquez spouses, alleging that the sale of
subject properties by their father was fictitious, and without any
consideration. Further, the consent of their father was vitiated due to his
physical infirmities.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not the sale between Mandap Sr. and the Vasqueses is valid.
2. Whether or not the sale between the Vasqueses and petitioners is valid.
RULING
1. The sale was not valid. At the time Dionisio Mandap, Sr., purportedly sold
the lots in question to the Vasquez spouses, he was already totally blind and
paralyzed. He could not possibly have read the contents of the deeds of sale.
He could not have consented to a contract whose terms he never knew nor
understood. It cannot be presumed Mandap, Sr., knew the contents of the
deeds of sale disposing of his properties. Applying Article 1332 of the Civil
Code the party seeking to enforce the contract, petitioners should have
presented evidence showing that the terms of the deeds of sale to the
Vasquez spouses were fully explained to Mandap, Sr. But petitioners failed to
comply with the strict requirements of Article 1332, thereby casting doubt on
the alleged consent of the vendor. Since the vendor in this case was totally
blind and crippled at the time of the sale, entirely dependent on outside
38

support, every care to protect his interest conformably with Article 24 of the
Civil Code must be taken. Article 24 is clear on this that In all contractual,
property or other relations, when one of the parties is at a disadvantage on
account of his moral dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness,
tender age or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection.
Petitioners presented no evidence disproving that (1) Mandap, Sr. was totally
blind and suffering from acute diabetes such that he could no longer discern
the legal consequences of his acts, and (2) that undue influence was exerted
upon him, which vitiated his consent. Thus, the presumption of fraud and
undue influence was not rebutted.
Petitioners do not dispute the fact that the notary public who notarized the
deeds of sale was not duly commissioned and that Mandap, Sr., did not
personally appear before a notary public.
2. Invalid. Based on the evidence on record, the sale in favor of the Vasquez
spouses is void. Hence, it follows that the sale to petitioners is also void,
because petitioners merely stepped into the shoes of the Vasquez spouses.
Since the Vasquezes as sellers had no valid title over the parcel of land they
sold, petitioners as buyers thereof could not claim that the contract of sale is
valid.
8. SAMSON CHING vs. CLARITA NICDAO, et al.
G. R. No. 141181
April 27, 2007
FACTS
On October 21, 1997, petitioner Ching, a Chinese national, instituted criminal
complaints for 11 counts of violation of BP 22 against respondent Nicdao.
Consequently, 11 Information were filed with the First MCTC of DinalupihanHermosa, Province of Bataan, which, except as to the amounts and check
numbers they were uniformly read.
At about the same time, 14 other criminal complaints, also for violation of BP
22, were filed against respondent Nicdao by Emma Nuguid, said to be the
common law spouse of petitioner Ching. Allegedly 14 checks, amounting to
P1,150,000.00, were issued by respondent Nicdao to Nuguid but were
dishonored for lack of sufficient funds. The Informations were filed with the
same MCTC .
At her arraignment, Nicdao entered the plea of "not guilty" to all the charges.
A joint trial was then conducted for Criminal Case.
On direct-examination, Nicdao stated that she only dealt with Nuguid. She
vehemently denied the allegation that she had borrowed money from both
39

petitioner Ching and Nuguid in the total amount of P22,950,000.00.


Respondent Nicdao admitted, however, that she had obtained a loan from
Nuguid but only for P2,100,000.00 and the same was already fully paid. As
proof of such payment, she presented a Planters Bank demand draft dated
August 13, 1996 in the amount of P1,200,000.00. The annotation at the back
of the said demand draft showed that it was endorsed and negotiated to the
account of petitioner Ching.
In addition, Nicdao also presented and identified several cigarette wrappers
at the back of which appeared computations. She explained that Nuguid
went to the grocery store everyday to collect interest payments. The
principal loan was P2,100,000.00 with 12% interest per day. Nuguid allegedly
wrote the payments for the daily interests at the back of the cigarette
wrappers that she gave to respondent Nicdao.
The principal loan amount of P2,100,000.00 was allegedly delivered by
Nuguid to respondent Nicdao in varying amounts of P100,000.00 and
P150,000.00. Nicdao refuted the averment of petitioner Ching that prior to
1995, they had another transaction.
With respect to the P20,000,000.00 check, respondent Nicdao admitted that
the signature thereon was hers but denied that she issued the same to
petitioner Ching. Anent the other ten (10) checks, she likewise admitted that
the signatures thereon were hers while the amounts and payee thereon were
written by either Jocelyn Nicdao or Melanie Tolentino, who were employees of
Vignette Superstore and authorized by her to do so.
Respondent Nicdao clarified that, except for the P20,000,000.00 check, the
other ten (10) checks were handed to Nuguid on different occasions. Nuguid
came to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments.
Respondent Nicdao said that she purposely left the checks undated because
she would still have to notify Nuguid if she already had the money to fund
the checks.
After the said incident, respondent Nicdao was surprised to be notified by
HSLB that her check in the amount of P20,000,000.00 was just presented to
the bank for payment. She claimed that it was only then that she
remembered that sometime in 1995, she was informed by her employee that
one of her checks was missing. At that time, she did not let it bother her
thinking that it would eventually surface when presented to the bank.
Nicdao was acquitted in CA.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioner Ching is entitled to civil aspect of the case even
the criminal case has been decided in favor of the respondent
40

RULING
No. In Sapiera v. Court of Appeals, the Court enunciated that the civil liability
is not extinguished by acquittal: (a) where the acquittal is based on
reasonable doubt; (b) where the court expressly declares that the liability of
the accused is not criminal but only civil in nature; and (c) where the civil
liability is not derived from or based on the criminal act of which the accused
is acquitted. Thus, under Article 29 of the Civil Code
ART. 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the
ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a civil
action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. Such
action requires only a preponderance of evidence. Upon motion of the
defendant, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for
damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.
Salazar also enunciated that the civil action based on the delict is
extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action
that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist
or where the accused did not commit the act or omission imputed to him.
For reasons that will be discussed shortly, the Court holds that respondent
Nicdao cannot be held civilly liable to petitioner Ching.
The acquittal of respondent Nicdao likewise effectively extinguished her civil
liability
A painstaking review of the case leads to the conclusion that respondent
Nicdaos acquittal likewise carried with it the extinction of the action to
enforce her civil liability. There is simply no basis to hold respondent Nicdao
civilly liable to petitioner Ching.
First, the CAs acquittal of respondent Nicdao is not merely based on
reasonable doubt. Rather, it is based on the finding that she did not commit
the act penalized under BP 22. In particular, the CA found that the
P20,000,000.00 check was a stolen check which was never issued nor
delivered by respondent Nicdao to petitioner Ching. As such, according to the
CA, petitioner Ching "did not acquire any right or interest over Check No.
002524 and cannot assert any cause of action founded on said check," and
that respondent Nicdao "has no obligation to make good the stolen check
and cannot, therefore, be held liable for violation of B.P. Blg. 22."
Second, in acquitting respondent Nicdao, the CA did not adjudge her to be
civilly liable to petitioner Ching. In fact, the CA explicitly stated that she had
already fully paid her obligations.
41

On the other hand, its finding relative to the P20,000,000.00 check that it
was a stolen check necessarily absolved respondent Nicdao of any civil
liability thereon as well.
Third, while petitioner Ching attempts to show that respondent Nicdaos
liability did not arise from or was not based upon the criminal act of which
she was acquitted (ex delicto) but from her loan obligations to him (ex
contractu), however, petitioner Ching miserably failed to prove by
preponderant evidence the existence of these unpaid loan obligations.
Significantly, it can be inferred from the following findings of the CA in its
decision acquitting respondent Nicdao that the act or omission from which
her civil liability may arise did not exist. On the P20,000,000.00 check, the
CA found as follows:
True, indeed, the missing pre-signed and undated check no. 002524 surfaced
in the possession of complainant Ching who, in cahoots with his paramour
Emma Nuguid, filled up the blank check with his name as payee and in the
fantastic amount of P20,000,000.00, dated it October 6, 1997, and presented
it to the bank on October 7, 1997, along with the other checks, for payment.
Therefore, the inference that the check was stolen is anchored on competent
circumstantial evidence. The fact already established is that Emma Nuguid ,
previous owner of the store, had access to said store. Moreover, the
possession of a thing that was stolen , absent a credible reason, as in this
case, gives rise to the presumption that the person in possession of the
stolen article is presumed to be guilty of taking the stolen article (People v.
Zafra, 237 SCRA 664).
9. MANOLO P. SAMSON vs. REYNALDO B. DAWAY
G. R. Nos. 160054-55
July 21, 2004
FACTS
On March 7, 2002, two information for unfair competition under Section
168.3 (a), in relation to Section 170, of the Intellectual Property Code
(Republic Act No. 8293), similarly worded save for the dates and places of
commission, were filed against petitioner Manolo P. Samson, the registered
owner of ITTI Shoes.
It is written there that above-named accused,
owner/proprietor of ITTI Shoes/Mano Shoes Manufactuirng Corporation
located at Robinsons Galleria, EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously distribute, sell and/or offer
for sale CATERPILLAR products such as footwear, garments, clothing, bags,
accessories and paraphernalia which are closely identical to and/or colorable
imitations of the authentic Caterpillar products and likewise using
trademarks, symbols and/or designs as would cause confusion, mistake or
deception on the part of the buying public to the damage and prejudice of
CATERPILLAR, INC
42

On April 19, 2002, petitioner filed a motion to suspend arraignment and


other proceedings in view of the existence of an alleged prejudicial question
involved in Civil Case No. Q-00-41446 for unfair competition pending with the
same branch; and also in view of the pendency of a petition for review filed
with the Secretary of Justice assailing the Chief State Prosecutors resolution
finding probable cause to charge petitioner with unfair competition.
ISSUE
Whether or not there is a prejudicial question of the said case
RULING
Petitioner failed to substantiate his claim that there was a prejudicial
question.
At any rate, there is no prejudicial question if the civil and the criminal action
can, according to law, proceed independently of each other. Under Rule 111,
Section 3 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, in the cases provided
in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, the independent civil action
may be brought by the offended party. It shall proceed independently of the
criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
In the case at bar, the common element in the acts constituting unfair
competition under Section 168 of R.A. No. 8293 is fraud. Pursuant to Article
33 of the Civil Code, in cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a
civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal
action, may be brought by the injured party. Hence, Civil Case, which as
admitted by private respondent also relate to unfair competition, is an
independent civil action under Article 33 of the Civil Code. As such, it will not
operate as a prejudicial question that will justify the suspension of the
criminal cases at bar.
10. REYNALDO V. TUANDA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN
G. R. No. 110544
October 17, 1995
FACTS
On 9 February 1989, private respondents Delia Estrellanes and Bartolome
Binaohan were designated as industrial labor sectoral representative and
agricultural labor sectoral representative respectively, for the Sangguniang
Bayan of Jimalalud, Province of Negros Oriental by then Secretary Luis T.
Santos of the Department of Local Government. Private respondents
Binaohan and Estrellanes took their oath of office on 16 February 1989 and
17 February 1989, respectively.

43

Subsequently, petitioners filed an undated petition with the Office of the


President for review and recall of said designations. The latter, however, in a
letter dated 20 March 1989, denied the petition and enjoined Mayor
Reynaldo Tuanda to recognize private respondents as sectoral
representatives.
On 4 May 1990, private respondents filed a petition for mandamus with the
RTC, docketed as Special Civil Action for recognition as members of the
Sangguniang Bayan. It was dismissed on 23 July 1991.
Thereafter, on 20 June 1991, petitioners filed an action with the RTC of
Dumaguete City to declare null and void the designations of private
respondents as sectoral representatives in Civil Case entitled "Reynaldo
Tuanda, et al. versus Secretary of the Department of Local Government, et
al."
On 21 July 1991, a Criminal Case was filed before the Sandiganbayan entitled
"People of the Philippines versus Reynaldo Tuanda, et al." charging
petitioners for refusing to pay despite demand the amount P95,350.00 and
P108,900.00 representing respectively their per diems, salaries and other
privileges and benefits, and such undue injury continuing to the present to
the prejudice and damage of Bartolome Binaohan and Delia Estrellanes.
On 9 September 1991, petitioners filed a motion with the Sandiganbayan for
suspension of the proceedings in Criminal Case on the ground that a
prejudicial question exists in Civil Case pending .
ISSUE
Whether or not the legality or validity of private respondents' designation as
sectoral representatives (civil case) is a prejudicial question justifying
suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case against petitioners
RULING
The issue in the civil case constitutes a valid prejudicial question to warrant
suspension of the arraignment and further proceedings in the criminal case
against petitioners.
All the elements of a prejudicial question are clearly and unmistakably
present in this case. There is no doubt that the facts and issues involved in
the civil action (No. 36769) and the criminal case (No. 16936) are closely
related. The filing of the criminal case was premised on petitioners' alleged
partiality and evident bad faith in not paying private respondents' salaries
and per diems as sectoral representatives, while the civil action was
instituted precisely to resolve whether or not the designations of private
respondents as sectoral representatives were made in accordance with law.
44

More importantly, the resolution of the civil case will certainly determine if
there will still be any reason to proceed with the criminal action.
Petitioners were criminally charged under the Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practices
Act (RA 3019, sec, 3[e]) due to their refusal, allegedly in bad faith and with
manifest partiality, to pay private respondents' salaries as sectoral
representatives. This refusal, however, was anchored on petitioners'
assertion that said designations were made in violation of the Local
Government Code (B.P. Blg. 337) and thus, were null and void. Therefore,
should the Court of Appeals uphold the trial court's decision declaring null
and void private respondents' designations as sectoral representatives for
failure to comply with the provisions of the Local Government Code (B.P. Blg.
337, sec. 146[2]), the charges against petitioners would no longer, so to
speak, have a leg to stand on. Petitioners cannot be accused of bad faith and
partiality there being in the first place no obligation on their part to pay
private respondents' claims. Private respondents do not have any legal right
to demand salaries, per diems and other benefits. In other words, the Court
of Appeals' resolution of the issues raised in the civil action will ultimately
determine whether or not there is basis to proceed with the criminal case.
Private respondents insist that even if their designations are nullified, they
are entitled to compensation for actual services rendered. We disagree. As
found by the trial court and as borne out by the records, from the start,
private respondents' designations as sectoral representatives have been
challenged by petitioners. They began with a petition filed with the Office of
the President copies of which were received by private respondents on 26
February 1989, barely eight (8) days after they took their oath of office.
Hence, private respondents' claim that they have actually rendered services
as sectoral representatives has not been established.
11. MEYNARDO L. BELTRAN vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G. R. No. 137567
June 20, 2000
FACTS
Petitioner Meynardo Beltran and wife Charmaine E. Felix were married on
June 16, 1973 at the Immaculate Concepcion Parish Church in Cubao, Quezon
City.
On February 7, 1997, after twenty-four years of marriage and four children,
petitioner filed a petition for nullity of marriage on the ground of
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code.
In her Answer to the said petition, petitioner's wife Charmaine Felix alleged
that it was petitioner who abandoned the conjugal home and lived with a
certain woman named Milagros Salting. Charmaine subsequently filed a
45

criminal complaint for concubinage under Article 334 of the RPC against
petitioner and his paramour before the City Prosecutor's Office of Makati
who, in a Resolution dated September 16, 1997, found probable cause and
ordered the filing of an Information against them.
On March 20, 1998, petitioner, in order to forestall the issuance of a warrant
for his arrest, filed a Motion to Defer Proceedings Including the Issuance of
the Warrant of Arrest in the criminal case. Petitioner argued that the
pendency of the civil case for declaration of nullity of his marriage posed a
prejudicial question to the determination of the criminal case.
ISSUE
Whether or not the pendency of the petition for declaration of nullity of his
marriage based on psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family
Code is a prejudicial question that should merit the suspension of the
criminal case for concubinage filed against him by his wife
RULING
Petitioner's contentions are untenable.
The rationale behind the principle of prejudicial question is to avoid two
conflicting decisions. It has two essential elements: (a) the civil action
involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the
criminal action; and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or
not the criminal action may proceed. 11
The pendency of the case for declaration of nullity of petitioner's marriage is
not a prejudicial question to the concubinage case. For a civil case to be
considered prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the suspension of the
latter pending the final determination of the civil case, it must appear not
only that the said civil case involves the same facts upon which the criminal
prosecution would be based, but also that in the resolution of the issue or
issues raised in the aforesaid civil action, the guilt or innocence of the
accused would necessarily be determined.
Art. 40 of the Family Code provides:
The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of
remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous
marriage void.
Analogous to this case is that of Landicho vs. Relova cited in Donato vs. Luna
where this Court held that:
. . . Assuming that the first marriage was null and void on the ground alleged
by petitioner, that fact would not be material to the outcome of the criminal
case. Parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for
46

themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the judgment of
the competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so
declared can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration
the presumption is that the marriage exists. Therefore, he who contracts a
second marriage before the judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage
assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.
Thus, in the case at bar it must also be held that parties to the marriage
should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same
must be submitted to the judgment of the competent courts and only when
the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be held as void, and so long
as there is no such declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists
for all intents and purposes. Therefore, he who cohabits with a woman not
his wife before the judicial declaration of nullity of the marriage assumes the
risk of being prosecuted for concubinage. The lower court therefore, has not
erred in affirming the Orders of the judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court
ruling that pendency of a civil action for nullity of marriage does not pose a
prejudicial question in a criminal case for concubinage.

IV. Marriage and Family


Relations
i. On Valid and Invalid Marriages
1. EDWIN A. ACEBEDO vs. EDDIE P. ARQUERO
A. M. No. P-94-1054
March 11, 2003
FACTS
Edwin A. Acebedo charged Eddie P. Arquero, Process Server of the MTC of
Brookes Point, Palawan for immorality.

47

Complainant alleged that his wife, Dedje Irader Acebedo, a former


stenographer of the MTC Brookes Point, and respondent unlawfully and
scandalously cohabited as husband and wife at Bancudo Pulot, Brookes
Point, Palawan as a result of which a girl, Desiree May Irader Arquero, was
born to the two on May 21, 1989.
By Memorandum, the OCA, disagreeing with the recommendation of the
Investigating Judge that the case should be dismissed, recommends that
respondent be held guilty of immorality and that he be suspended from
office for a period of one (1) year without pay. Thus the OCA ratiocinates:
. . . [R]espondent admitted the fact that for eight (8) to nine (9) months, he a
single man maintained relations with Dedje Irader Acebedo, wife of herein
complainant, attended with sexual union. Based on his testimony, we
observed that respondent justified his having a relationship with Dedje I.
Acebedo solely on the written document purportedly a Kasunduan or
agreement entered into by complainant and his wife, consenting to and
giving freedom to either of them to seek any partner and to live with him or
her. Being a court employee respondent should have known that said
agreement was void despite it having been notarized. Even granting that
Dedjie I. Acebedo was separated from her husband during their short lived
relation, to hold on to said scandalous agreement and enter an immoral
relationship with a very much married woman and a co-court-employee at
that is highly improper. It is contrary to the Code of Conduct and Ethical
Standards of Public Officials and Employees which provides that public
employees of which respondent is one, xxx shall at times (sic) respect the
rights of others, and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good
morals, good customs, public policy, public order, public safety and public
interest. Moreover, respondent cannot seek refuge and sling mud at
complainant for having executed an Affidavit dated September 13, 1994,
acknowledging that he bore a woman other than his wife, a child. It would
seem that respondent would want to apply the principle of in pari delicto in
the instant case. Respondent would have it appear that a married man with
an extra-marital relation and an illegitimate child is precluded from
complaining if his wife enters into a relationship with another man.
ISSUE
Whether or not the Kasunduan is valid.
RULING
No. Respondent justified his pursuing a relationship with complainants wife
with the spouses having priorly entered into a settlement with respect to
their marriage which was embodied in a Kasunduan, the pertinent portions
of which are reproduced hereunder:

48

Kami, EDWIN AGUINALDO ACEBEDO at DEDJE IRADER ACEBEDO, may sapat


na taong gulang, mag-asawa, Pilipino, at kasalukuyang nakatira sa Poblacion,
Brokes (sic) Point, Palawan, ay malayang nagkasundo ng mga sumusunod:
1. Na, yayamang hindi kami magkasundo bilang mag-asawa, at magiging
miserable lamang ang aming mga buhay kung aming ipagpapatuloy pa ang
aming pagsasama bilang mag-asawa, kami ay malayang nagkasundo ngayon
na maghiwalay na bilang mag-asawa, at ang bawat isa sa amin ay may
kalayaan na humanap na ng kaniyang makakasama sa buhay bilang asawa
at hindi kami maghahabol sa isat isa sa alin pa mang hukuman;
Being an employee of the judiciary, respondent ought to have known that
the Kasunduan had absolutely no force and effect on the validity of the
marriage between complainant and his wife. Article 1 of the Family Code
provides that marriage is an inviolable social institution whose nature,
consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to
stipulation. It is an institution of public order or policy, governed by rules
established by law which cannot be made inoperative by the stipulation of
the parties.
2. ALEJANDRO ESTRADA vs. SOLEDAD ESCRITOR
A. M. No. P-02-1651
August 4, 2003
FACTS
Alejandro Estrada wrote to Judge Jose F. Caoibes, Jr., requesting for an
investigation of rumors that Soledad Escritor, court interpreter, is living with
a man not her husband. They allegedly have a child of eighteen to twenty
years old. Estrada is not personally related either to Escritor or her partner.
Nevertheless, he filed the charge against Escritor as he believes that she is
committing an immoral act that tarnishes the image of the court, thus she
should not be allowed to remain employed therein as it might appear that
the court condones her act.
Respondent Escritor testified that when she entered the judiciary in 1999,
she was already a widow, her husband having died in 1998. She admitted
that she has been living with Luciano Quilapio, Jr. without the benefit of
marriage for twenty years and that they have a son. But as a member of the
religious sect known as the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watch Tower and
Bible Tract Society, their conjugal arrangement is in conformity with their
religious beliefs. In fact, after ten years of living together, she executed on
July 28, 1991 a "Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness," insofar as the
congregation is concerned, there is nothing immoral about the conjugal
arrangement between Escritor and Quilapio and they remain members in
good standing in the congregation.
49

ISSUE
Whether or not respondent should be found guilty of the administrative
charge of "gross and immoral conduct."
RULING
No. Applying benevolent neutrality recognizes, government must pursue its
secular goals and interests but at the same time strives to uphold religious
liberty to the greatest extent possible within flexible constitutional limits.
Thus, although the morality contemplated by laws is secular, benevolent
neutrality could allow for accommodation of morality based on religion,
provided it does not offend compelling state interests. It still remains to be
seen if respondent is entitled to such doctrine as the state has not been
afforded the chance has demonstrate the compelling state interest of
prohibiting the act of respondent, thus the case is remanded to the RTC.
Benevolent neutrality is inconsistent with the Free Exercise Clause as far as it
prohibits such exercise given a compelling state interest. It is the
respondents stance that the respondents conjugal arrangement is not
immoral and punishable as it comes within the scope of free exercise
protection. Should the Court prohibit and punish her conduct where it is
protected by the Free Exercise Clause, the Courts action would be an
unconstitutional encroachment of her right to religious freedom. The Court
cannot therefore simply take a passing look at respondents claim of religious
freedom, but must instead apply the compelling state interest test. The
government must be heard on the issue as it has not been given an
opportunity to discharge its burden of demonstrating the states compelling
interest which can override respondents religious belief and practice.
3. PHILIPPINE TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE COMPANY vs. NLRC and
GRACE DE GUZMAN
G. R. No. 118978
May 23, 1997
FACTS
On September 2, 1991, private respondent was once more asked to join
petitioner company as a probationary employee, the probationary period to
cover 150 days. In the job application form that was furnished her to be filled
up for the purpose, she indicated in the portion for civil status therein that
she was single although she had contracted marriage a few months earlier,
that is, on May 26, 1991.
It now appears that private respondent had made the same representation in
the two successive reliever agreements which she signed on June 10, 1991
and July 8, 1991. When petitioner supposedly learned about the same later,
its branch supervisor in Baguio City, Delia M. Oficial, sent to private
respondent a memorandum requiring her to explain the discrepancy. In that
50

memorandum, she was reminded about the company's policy of not


accepting married women for employment.
In her reply, private respondent stated that she was not aware of PT&T's
policy regarding married women at the time, and that all along she had not
deliberately hidden her true civil status. Petitioner nonetheless remained
unconvinced by her explanations. Private respondent was dismissed from the
company effective January 29, 1992, which she readily contested by
initiating a complaint for illegal dismissal, coupled with a claim for nonpayment of cost of living allowances (COLA), before the Regional Arbitration
Branch of the National Labor Relations Commission in Baguio City.
ISSUE
Whether or not the policy is valid.
RULING
No. Petitioner's policy is not only in derogation of the provisions of Article 136
of the Labor Code on the right of a woman to be free from any kind of
stipulation against marriage in connection with her employment, but it
likewise assaults good morals and public policy, tending as it does to deprive
a woman of the freedom to choose her status, a privilege that by all accounts
inheres in the individual as an intangible and inalienable right.Hence, while it
is true that the parties to a contract may establish any agreements, terms,
and conditions that they may deem convenient, the same should not be
contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. Carried
to its logical consequences, it may even be said that petitioner's policy
against legitimate marital bonds would encourage illicit or common-law
relations and subvert the sacrament of marriage.
Parenthetically, the Civil Code provisions on the contract of labor state that
the relations between the parties, that is, of capital and labor, are not merely
contractual, impressed as they are with so much public interest that the
same should yield to the common good. It goes on to intone that neither
capital nor labor should visit acts of oppression against the other, nor impair
the interest or convenience of the public. In the final reckoning, the danger
of just such a policy against marriage followed by petitioner PT & T is that it
strikes at the very essence, ideals and purpose of marriage as an inviolable
social institution and, ultimately, of the family as the foundation of the
nation. That it must be effectively interdicted here in all its indirect,
disguised or dissembled forms as discriminatory conduct derogatory of the
laws of the land is not only in order but imperatively required.

51

4. MARIETTA B. ANCHETA, vs. RODOLFO S. ANCHETA


G. R. No. 145370
March 4, 2004,
FACTS
After their marriage on March 5, 1959, the petitioner and the respondent
resided in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. They had eight children during their
coverture. On December 6, 1992, the respondent left the conjugal home and
abandoned the petitioner and their children. On January 25, 1994, petitioner
Marietta Ancheta filed a petition with the RTC, against the respondent for the
dissolution of their conjugal partnership and judicial separation of property
with a plea for support and support pendente lite.
On April 20, 1994, the parties executed a Compromise Agreement where
some of the conjugal properties were adjudicated to the petitioner and her
eight children, including the following:
b. A parcel of land (adjoining the two lots covered by TCT Nos. 120082 and
TCT No. 120083-Cavite) located at Bancal, Carmona, Cavite, registered in the
name of the family Ancheta. Biofood Corporation under TCT No. 310882,
together with the resort Munting Paraiso, Training Center, four-storey
building, pavilion, swimming pool and all improvements. All of the shares of
stocks of Ancheta Biofoods Corporation were distributed one-third (1/3) to
the petitioner and the eight children one-twelfth (1/12) each.
In the meantime, the respondent intended to marry again. On June 5, 1995,
he filed a petition with the RTC, for the declaration of nullity of his marriage
with the petitioner on the ground of psychological incapacity.
During the hearing on the said date, there was no appearance for the
petitioner. The public prosecutor appeared for the State and offered no
objection to the motion of the respondent who appeared with counsel. The
trial court granted the motion and declared the petitioner in default, and
allowed the respondent to adduce evidence ex-parte. The respondent
testified in his behalf and adduced documentary evidence. On July 7, 1995,
the trial court issued an Order granting the petition and declaring the
marriage of the parties void ab initio.
ISSUE
Whether or not the decision of the lower court is valid.
RULING
Invalid. In the case of Republic v. Court of Appeals, this Court laid down the
guidelines in the interpretation and application of Art. 48 of the Family Code,
one of which concerns the role of the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the
Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the State:
52

(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the
Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall be
handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a certification, which will be
quoted in the decision, briefly stating therein his reasons for his agreement
or opposition, as the case may be, to the petition. The Solicitor General,
along with the prosecuting attorney, shall submit to the court such
certification within fifteen (15) days from the date the case is deemed
submitted for resolution of the court. The Solicitor General shall discharge
the equivalent function of the defensor vinculi contemplated under Canon
1095.38
A grant of annulment of marriage or legal separation by default is fraught
with the danger of collusion. Hence, in all cases for annulment, declaration of
nullity of marriage and legal separation, the prosecuting attorney or fiscal is
ordered to appear on behalf of the State for the purpose of preventing any
collusion between the parties and to take care that their evidence is not
fabricated or suppressed. If the defendant-spouse fails to answer the
complaint, the court cannot declare him or her in default but instead, should
order the prosecuting attorney to determine if collusion exists between the
parties. The prosecuting attorney or fiscal may oppose the application for
legal separation or annulment through the presentation of his own evidence,
if in his opinion, the proof adduced is dubious and fabricated.
5. LEONCIA and GAUDIOSO BALOGBOG vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 83598
March 7, 1997
FACTS
Petitioners are the children of Basilio Balogbog and Genoveva Arzibal who
died intestate. They had an older brother, Gavino, who predeceased their
parents. Private respondents brought an action for partition and accounting
against petitioners, claiming that they were the legitimate children of Gavino
by Catalina Ubas and that they are entitled to the 1/3 share of Gavino in the
estate of their grandparents. Petitioners alleged that their brother Gavino
died single and without issue.
The mayor of Asturias, Cebu testified that he had attended the wedding of
Gavino and Catalina sometime in 1929, in which Rev. Father Emiliano Jomaoas officiated and Egmidio Manuel, then a municipal councilor, acted as one of
the witnesses.
A family friend of private respondents also testified that private respondents
are the children of Gavino and Catalina. According to him, the wedding of
Gavino and Catalina was solemnized in the Catholic Church of Asturias, Cebu
and that he knew this because he attended their wedding. He testified that
Gavino died in 1935 in his residence, in the presence of his wife. (This
53

contradicts petitioners' claim made in their answer that Gavino died in the
ancestral house.) He said that he was the one who made the coffin of Gavino
and the coffin of the couple's son who died when he was six.
Catalina Ubas testified that after the wedding, she was handed a "receipt,"
presumably the marriage certificate, by Fr. Jomao-as, but it was burned
during the war. She said that she and Gavino lived together and begot three
children. She stated that after the death of Gavino, she lived in common law
relation with a man for a year and then they separated.
Private respondents produced a certificate that the Register of Marriages did
not have a record of the marriage of Gavino and Catalina, another certificate
from the Office of the Treasurer that there was no record of the birth of
Ramonito in that office and, for this reason, the record must be presumed to
have been lost or destroyed during the war, and a certificate by the Parish
Priest of Asturias that there was likewise no record of birth of Ramonito in the
church, the records of which were either lost or destroyed during the war.
The CFI of Cebu City declared private respondents heirs of the deceased
Basilio and Genoveva Balogbog entitling them to inherit from their grand
parents. The CA affirmed the decision of the CFI. It held that petitioners failed
to overcome the legal presumption that a man and a woman deporting
themselves as husband and wife are in fact married, that a child is presumed
to be legitimate.
ISSUE
Whether or not testimonial evidence is a competent proof to prove that fact
of marriage.
RULING
Under the Rules of Court, the presumption is that a man and a woman
conducting themselves as husband and wife are legally married. This
presumption may be rebutted only by cogent proof to the contrary. In this
case, petitioners' claim that the certification presented by private
respondents (to the effect that the record of the marriage had been lost or
destroyed during the war) was belied by the production of the Book of
Marriages by the assistant municipal treasurer of Asturias. Petitioners argue
that this book does not contain any entry pertaining to the alleged marriage
of private respondents' parents.
In Pugeda v. Trias, the SC held that in the absence of the record of marriage,
evidence consisting of the testimonies of witnesses are competent to prove
the marriage. Although a marriage contract is considered primary evidence
of marriage, the failure to present it is not proof that no marriage took place.
Other evidence may be presented to prove marriage. Here, private
respondents proved, through testimonial evidence, that Gavino and Catalina
were married in 1929; that they had three children, one of whom died in
54

infancy; that their marriage subsisted until 1935 when Gavino died; and that
their children, private respondents herein, were recognized by Gavino's
family and by the public as the legitimate children of Gavino.
Neither is there merit in the argument that the existence of the marriage
cannot be presumed because there was no evidence showing in particular
that Gavino and Catalina, in the presence of two witnesses, declared that
they were taking each other as husband and wife. An exchange of vows can
be presumed to have been made from the testimonies of the witnesses who
state that a wedding took place, since the very purpose for having a wedding
is to exchange vows of marital commitment. The law favors the validity of
marriage, because the State is interested in the preservation of the family
and the sanctity of the family is a matter of constitutional concern. The
decision appealed from is AFFIRMED.
6. RESTITUTO M. ALCANTARA vs. ROSITA A. ALCANTARA and HON.
COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 167746
August 28, 2007
FACTS
A petition for annulment of marriage was filed by petitioner against private
respondent alleging that he and respondent, without securing a marriage
license, went to the Manila City Hall to look for a fixer who could arrange a
marriage for them. The fixer arranged their wedding before a certain Minister
of the Gospel of the CDCC BR Chapel. They got married on December 8,
1982 at the stairs of the Manila City Hall and not in CDCC BR Chapel.
Petitioner and respondent went through another marriage ceremony at the
San Jose de Manuguit Church in Tondo, Manila. The marriage was likewise
celebrated without the parties securing a marriage license. The alleged
marriage license appearing on the marriage contract is a sham because it
was procured from Carmona, Cavite where he nor the private respondent
was a resident of the place. Petitioner also alleged that the certification
states that the Marriage License number is 7054133 while the marriage
contract bears the number 7054033 for their marriage license number.
Private respondent asserts the validity of their marriage and maintains that
there was a marriage license issued as evidenced by a certification from the
Office of the Civil Registry. Petitioner has a mistress with whom he has three
children. Petitioner only filed the annulment of their marriage to evade
prosecution for concubinage. Private respondent, in fact, has filed a case for
concubinage against petitioner before the MTC of Mandaluyong City.
Respondent prays that the petition for annulment of marriage be denied for
lack of merit.
The RTC of Makati dismissed the petition. The CA affirmed the RTC and held
that the marriage license of the parties is presumed to be regularly issued
55

and petitioner had not presented any evidence to overcome the


presumption.
Moreover, the parties marriage contract being a public
document is a prima facie proof of the questioned marriage under Section
44, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.
ISSUE
Whether or not the marriage of petitioner and private respondent is void on
the ground of lack of marriage license.
RULING
The marriage involved herein having been solemnized prior to the effectivity
of the Family Code, the applicable law to determine its validity is the Civil
Code which was the law in effect at the time of its celebration.
A valid marriage license is a requisite of marriage under Article 53 of the Civil
Code, the absence of which renders the marriage void ab initio pursuant to
Article 80(3) in relation to Article 58 of the same Code. The requirement and
issuance of a marriage license is the States demonstration of its
involvement and participation in every marriage, in the maintenance of
which the general public is interested.
Petitioner cannot insist on the absence of a marriage license to impugn the
validity of his marriage. To be considered void on the ground of absence of a
marriage license, the law requires that the absence of such marriage license
must be apparent on the marriage contract, or at the very least, supported
by a certification from the local civil registrar that no such marriage license
was issued to the parties. In this case, the marriage contract between the
petitioner and respondent reflects a marriage license number. A certification
to this effect was also issued by the local civil registrar of Carmona, Cavite.
The certification moreover is precise in that it specifically identified the
parties to whom the marriage license was issued further validating the fact
that a license was in fact issued to the parties herein. Apart from these,
petitioner, by counsel, admitted that a marriage license was, indeed, issued
in Carmona, Cavite.
There is no sufficient basis to annul petitioner and respondents marriage.
Issuance of a marriage license in a city or municipality, not the residence of
either of the contracting parties, and issuance of a marriage license despite
the absence of publication or prior to the completion of the 10-day period for
publication are considered mere irregularities that do not affect the validity
of the marriage. An irregularity in any of the formal requisites of marriage
does not affect its validity but the party or parties responsible for the
irregularity are civilly, criminally and administratively liable. The parties
utilized the same marriage license during their church wedding which
bolsters the conclusion that the church ceremony was confirmatory of their
civil marriage, thereby cleansing whatever irregularity or defect attended the
56

civil wedding. Petition is DENIED. The decision of the CA affirming the


decision of the RTC is AFFIRMED.
7. SUSAN NICDAO CARIO vs. SUSAN YEE CARIO
G. R. No. 132529
February 2, 2001
FACTS
During the lifetime of the late SPO4 Santiago S. Cario, he contracted two
marriages, the first was on June 20, 1969, with petitioner Susan Nicdao
Cario; and the second was on November 10, 1992, with respondent Susan
Yee Cario. SPO4 Santiago S. Cario died on November 23, 1992, under the
care of Susan Yee, who spent for his medical and burial expenses. Both
petitioner and respondent filed claims for monetary benefits and financial
assistance pertaining to the deceased from various government agencies.
Respondent Susan Yee admitted that her marriage to the deceased took
place during the subsistence of, and without first obtaining a judicial
declaration of nullity of, the marriage between petitioner and the deceased.
She, however, claimed that she had no knowledge of the previous marriage
and that she became aware of it only at the funeral of the deceased, where
she met petitioner who introduced herself as the wife of the deceased.
Respondent contended that the marriage of petitioner and the deceased is
void ab initio because the same was solemnized without the required
marriage license. In support thereof, respondent presented: 1) the marriage
certificate of the deceased and the petitioner which bears no marriage
license number; and 2) a certification from the Local Civil Registrar that there
is no record of marriage license of the spouses Santiago Carino and Susan
Nicdao.
The RTC ruled in favor of respondent, Susan Yee, thereby ordering Susan
Nicdao to pay the former half of the amount that was paid to her in the form
of death benefits from the death of Santiago Carino. The CA affirmed in toto
the decision of the RTC.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not the marriage between the deceased and the petitioner is
valid.
2. Whether or not the marriage between the deceased and the respondent is
valid.
3. Whether or not the respondent has a better right over the petitioner with
respect to the death benefits of the deceased.
RULING
Under Article 40 of the Family Code, the absolute nullity of a previous
marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a
57

final judgment declaring such previous marriage void. Meaning, where the
absolute nullity of a previous marriage is sought to be invoked for purposes
of contracting a second marriage, the sole basis acceptable in law, for said
projected marriage to be free from legal infirmity, is a final judgment
declaring the previous marriage void. However, for purposes other than
remarriage, no judicial action is necessary to declare a marriage an absolute
nullity. For other purposes, such as but not limited to the determination of
heirship, legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate,
dissolution of property regime, or a criminal case for that matter, the court
may pass upon the validity of marriage even after the death of the parties
thereto, and even in a suit not directly instituted to question the validity of
said marriage, so long as it is essential to the determination of the case. In
such instances, evidence must be adduced, testimonial or documentary, to
prove the existence of grounds rendering such a previous marriage an
absolute nullity.
Under the Civil Code, which was the law in force when the marriage of
petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased was solemnized in 1969, a valid
marriage license is a requisite of marriage, and the absence thereof, subject
to certain exceptions, renders the marriage void ab initio.
The marriage between petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased, having
been solemnized without the necessary marriage license, and not being one
of the marriages exempt from the marriage license requirement, is
undoubtedly void ab initio. Such being the case, the presumed validity of the
marriage of petitioner and the deceased has been sufficiently overcome. It
then became the burden of petitioner to prove that their marriage is valid
and that they secured the required marriage license. But petitioner avoided
the issue and chose to refrain from pursuing an argument that will put her
case in jeopardy. Hence, the presumed validity of their marriage cannot
stand.
However, it does not follow that since the marriage of petitioner and the
deceased is declared void ab initio, the death benefits under scrutiny
would now be awarded to Susan Yee. Under Article 40 of the Family Code, for
purposes of remarriage, there must first be a prior judicial declaration of the
nullity of a previous marriage, though void, before a party can enter into a
second marriage, otherwise, the second marriage would also be void.
Accordingly, the declaration in the instant case of nullity of the previous
marriage of the deceased and petitioner Susan Nicdao does not validate the
second marriage of the deceased with respondent Susan Yee. The fact
remains that their marriage was solemnized without first obtaining a judicial
decree declaring the marriage of petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased
void. Hence, the marriage of respondent Susan Yee and the deceased is,
likewise, void ab initio.
58

8. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JOSE A. DAYOT


G. R. No. 175581
March 28, 2008
FACTS
On 24 November 1986, Jose and Felisa were married at the Pasay City Hall
that was solemnized by Rev. Tomas V. Atienza. In lieu of a marriage license,
Jose and Felisa executed a sworn affidavit attesting that both of them had
attained the age of maturity, and that being unmarried, they had lived
together
as
husband
and
wife
for
at
least
five
years.
Jose filed a Complaint for Annulment and/or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
with the RTC of Binan, Laguna. He contended that his marriage with Felisa
was a sham, as no marriage ceremony was celebrated between the parties;
that he did not execute the sworn affidavit stating that he and Felisa had
lived as husband and wife for at least five years; and that his consent to the
marriage
was
secured
through
fraud.
Felisa denied Jose's allegations and defended the validity of their marriage.
Felisa expounded that while her marriage to Jose was subsisting, the latter
contracted marriage with Rufina Pascual on 31 August 1990. On 3 June 1993,
Felisa filed an action for bigamy against Jose. Subsequently, she filed an
administrative complaint against Jose with the Office of the Ombudsman,
since Jose and Rufina were both employees of a government agency.
The RTC dismissed the Complaint. Jose's claim that he did not consent to the
marriage was belied by the fact that he acknowledged Felisa Tecson as his
wife when he wrote the latters name in the duly notarized statement of
assets and liabilities he filled up one year after he discovered the marriage
contract he is now claiming to be sham and false. In his company I.D., he
wrote the name of Felisa as the person to be contacted in case of emergency.
The CA affirmed the RTC.
Jose filed a Motion for Recon alleging that the affidavit of marital cohabitation
executed by him and Felisa was false. The CA reversed its earlier decision
and declared the marriage between Jose and Felisa void ab initio because of
the absence of marriage license. The Republic of the Philippines, through the
OSG, filed a Petition for Review before this Court in G.R. No. 175581, praying
that the CAs Amended Decision be reversed and set aside. Felisa filed a
separate Petition for Review (G.R. No. 179474) similarly assailing the CA's
Amended
Decision.
The
Court
consolidated
the
two
Petitions.
ISSUE
Whether or not the falsity of an affidavit of marital cohabitation, where the
parties have in truth fallen short of the minimum five-year requirement,
effectively renders the marriage void ab initio for lack of a marriage license.
59

RULING
The exception of a marriage license under Article 76 applies only to those
who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and
desire to marry each other. The minimum requisite of five years of
cohabitation cannot be dispensed with. This requirement partakes of a
mandatory character.
The declaration of the Civil Code that every intendment of law or fact leans
towards the validity of marriage will not salvage the parties' marriage, and
extricate them from the effect of a violation of the law. The marriage of Jose
and Felisa was entered into without the requisite marriage license or
compliance with the stringent requirements of a marriage under exceptional
circumstance. The solemnization of a marriage without prior license is a clear
violation of the law and would lead or could be used, at least, for the
perpetration of fraud against innocent and unwary parties, which was one of
the evils that the law sought to prevent by making a prior license a
prerequisite for a valid marriage. To permit a false affidavit to take the place
of a marriage license is to allow an abject circumvention of the law.
The falsity of the allegation in the sworn affidavit relating to the period of
Jose and Felisa's cohabitation, which would have qualified their marriage as
an exception to the requirement for a marriage license, cannot be a mere
irregularity, for it refers to a quintessential fact that the law precisely
required to be deposed and attested to by the parties under oath. If the
essential matter in the sworn affidavit is a lie, then it is but a mere scrap of
paper, without force and effect. Hence, it is as if there was no affidavit at all.
Jurisprudence has laid down the rule that the five-year common-law
cohabitation period under Article 76 means a five-year period computed
back from the date of celebration of marriage, and refers to a period of legal
union had it not been for the absence of a marriage. It covers the years
immediately preceding the day of the marriage, characterized by exclusivity
- meaning no third party was involved at any time within the five years - and
continuity
that
is
unbroken.

9. ENGRACE NIAL vs. NORMA BAYADOG


G. R. No. 133778
March 14, 2000
FACTS
60

Pepito Nial was married to Teodulfa Bellones on September 26, 1974. Out of
their marriage were born herein petitioners. Teodulfa was shot by Pepito
resulting in her death. One year and 8 months thereafter or on December 11,
1986, Pepito and respondent got married without any marriage license. In
lieu thereof, Pepito and Norma executed an affidavit stating that they had
lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and were thus
exempt from securing a marriage license. On February 19, 1997, Pepito died
in a car accident. After their father's death, petitioners filed a petition for
declaration of nullity of the marriage of Pepito to Norma alleging that the
said marriage was void for lack of a marriage license. The case was filed
under the assumption that the validity or invalidity of the second marriage
would affect petitioner's successional rights. Norma filed a motion to dismiss
on the ground that petitioners have no cause of action since they are not
among the persons who could file an action for "annulment of marriage"
under Article 47 of the Family Code.
The RTC of Toledo City, Cebu, dismissed the petition.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not the second marriage of plaintiffs' deceased father with
defendant is null and void ab initio.
2. Whether or not the heirs of a deceased person file a petition for the
declaration of nullity of his marriage after his death.
RULING
The five-year common-law cohabitation period, which is counted back from
the date of celebration of marriage, should be a period of legal union had it
not been for the absence of the marriage. This 5-year period should be the
years immediately before the day of the marriage and it should be a period
of cohabitation characterized by exclusivity meaning no third party was
involved at anytime within the 5 years and continuity that is unbroken.
In this case, at the time of Pepito and respondent's marriage, it cannot be
said that they have lived with each other as husband and wife for at least
five years prior to their wedding day. From the time Pepito's first marriage
was dissolved to the time of his marriage with respondent, only about twenty
months had elapsed. Even assuming that Pepito and his first wife had
separated in fact, and thereafter both Pepito and respondent had started
living with each other that has already lasted for five years, the fact remains
that their five-year period cohabitation was not the cohabitation
contemplated by law. It should be in the nature of a perfect union that is
valid under the law but rendered imperfect only by the absence of the
marriage contract. Pepito had a subsisting marriage at the time when he
started cohabiting with respondent. It is immaterial that when they lived with
each other, Pepito had already been separated in fact from his lawful spouse.
The subsistence of the marriage even where there was actual severance of
61

the filial companionship between the spouses cannot make any cohabitation
by either spouse with any third party as being one as "husband and wife.
Therefore, the second marriage is not covered by the exception to the
requirement of a marriage license, it is void ab initio because of the absence
of such element.
Void marriages can be questioned even after the death of either party that is
why the action or defense for nullity is imprescriptible and can be collaterally
attacked. Contrary to the trial court's ruling, the death of petitioner's father
extinguished the alleged marital bond between him and respondent. The
conclusion is erroneous and proceeds from a wrong premise that there was a
marriage bond that was dissolved between the two. It should be noted that
their marriage was void hence it is deemed as if it never existed at all and
the death of either extinguished nothing.
Article 40 of the Family Code expressly provides that there must be a judicial
declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage, though void, for the purpose
of remarriage. However, other than for purposes of remarriage, no judicial
action is necessary to declare a marriage an absolute nullity. For other
purposes, such as but not limited to determination of heirship, legitimacy or
illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate, dissolution of property regime, or
a criminal case for that matter, the court may pass upon the validity of
marriage even in a suit not directly instituted to question the same so long
as it is essential to the determination of the case. This is without prejudice to
any issue that may arise in the case. When such need arises, a final
judgment of declaration of nullity is necessary even if the purpose is other
than to remarry. The clause "on the basis of a final judgment declaring such
previous marriage void" in Article 40 of the Family Code connotes that such
final judgment need not be obtained only for purpose of remarriage.
10. HERMINIA BORJA-MANZANO vs. JUDGE ROQUE R. SANCHEZ
A. M. No. MTJ-00-1329
March 8, 2001
FACTS
Complainant Herminia Borja-Manzano charges respondent Judge with gross
ignorance of the law in a sworn Complaint-Affidavit filed with the Office of the
Court Administrator on 12 May 1999. Complainant avers that she was the
lawful wife of the late David Manzano, having been married to him on 21 May
1966. On 22 March 1993, her husband contracted another marriage with
Luzviminda Payao before respondent Judge.
Respondent Judge claims that when he officiated the marriage between
Manzano and Payao he did not know that Manzano was legally married. What
he knew was that the two had been living together as husband and wife for
seven years already without the benefit of marriage, as manifested in their
62

joint affidavit. According to him, had he known that the late Manzano was
married, he would have advised the latter not to marry again; otherwise, he
(Manzano) could be charged with bigamy. In their separate affidavits
executed and sworn to before respondent Judge, Manzano and Payao
expressly stated the fact of their prior existing marriage. And that since their
respective marriages had been marked by constant quarrels, they had both
left their families and had never cohabited or communicated with their
spouses anymore. Also, in their marriage contract, it was indicated that both
were "separated." Respondent Judge alleges that on the basis of those
affidavits, he agreed to solemnize the marriage in question in accordance
with Article 34 of the Family Code.
The Court Administrator recommended that respondent Judge be found guilty
of gross ignorance of the law and be ordered to pay a fine of P2,000, with a
warning that a repetition of the same or similar act would be dealt with more
severely.
ISSUE
Whether or not the marriage between Manzano and Payao properly fall under
the marriage contemplated in Article 34 of the Family Code.
RULING
Article 34 of the Family Code provides:
No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who
have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without
any legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall
state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law
to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that
he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties and found no
legal impediment to the marriage.
The fact that Manzano and Payao had been living apart from their respective
spouses for a long time already is immaterial. Article 63(1) of the Family
Code allows spouses who have obtained a decree of legal separation to live
separately from each other, but in such a case the marriage bonds are not
severed. Elsewise stated, legal separation does not dissolve the marriage tie,
much less authorize the parties to remarry. This holds true all the more when
the separation is merely de facto, as in the case at bar.
Neither can respondent Judge take refuge on the Joint Affidavit of David
Manzano and Luzviminda Payao stating that they had been cohabiting as
husband and wife for seven years. Just like separation, free and voluntary
cohabitation with another person for at least five years does not severe the
tie of a subsisting previous marriage. Marital cohabitation for a long period of
time between two individuals who are legally capacitated to marry each
other is merely a ground for exemption from marriage license. It could not
63

serve as a justification for respondent Judge to solemnize a subsequent


marriage vitiated by the impediment of a prior existing marriage.
Respondent Judge demonstrated gross ignorance of the law when he
solemnized a void and bigamous marriage.
The recommendation of the Court Administrator is ADOPTED, with the
MODIFICATION that the amount of fine to be imposed upon respondent Judge
Roque Sanchez is increased to P20,000.
11. REINEL ANTHONY B. DE CASTRO vs. ANNABELLE ASSIDAO-DE
CASTRO
G. R. No. 160172
February 13, 2008
FACTS
Petitioner and respondent met and became sweethearts in 1991. They
applied for a marriage license with the Office of the Civil Registrar of Pasig
City in September 1994. When the couple went back to the Office of the Civil
Registrar, the marriage license had already expired. To push through with the
plan, in lieu of a marriage license, they executed an affidavit stating that
they had been living together as husband and wife for at least five years.
The couple got married. Nevertheless, after the ceremony, petitioner and
respondent went back to their respective homes and did not live together as
husband
and
wife.
Respondent gave birth to a child. Since the childs birth, respondent has
been the one supporting her out of her income as a government dentist and
from
her
private
practice.
On 4 June 1998, respondent filed a complaint for support against petitioner
before the RTC of Pasig City. She alleged that she is married to petitioner and
that the latter has reneged on his responsibility/obligation to financially
support
her
as
his
wife
and
their
child.
Petitioner denied that he is married to respondent, claiming that their
marriage is void ab initio since the marriage was facilitated by a fake
affidavit; and that he was merely prevailed upon by respondent to sign the
marriage contract to save her from embarrassment and possible
administrative prosecution due to her pregnant state; and that he was not
able to get parental advice from his parents before he got married. He also
averred that they never lived together as husband and wife and that he has
never
seen
nor
acknowledged
the
child.
The RTC ruled that the marriage between petitioner and respondent is not
valid because it was solemnized without a marriage license. However, it
64

declared petitioner as the natural father of the child, and thus obliged to give
her support. Petitioner elevated the case to the CA. The CA denied the
appeal. Prompted by the rule that a marriage is presumed to be subsisting
until a judicial declaration of nullity has been made, the appellate court
declared that the child was born during the subsistence and validity of the
parties
marriage.
Petitioner stresses that the affidavit they executed, in lieu of a marriage
license, contained a false narration of facts, the truth being that he and
respondent never lived together as husband and wife. The false affidavit
should never be allowed or admitted as a substitute to fill the absence of a
marriage
license.
ISSUE
Whether or not the false affidavit executed by the parties affects the validity
of their marriage.
RULING
Under the Family Code, the absence of any of the essential or formal
requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, whereas a defect in any of
the essential requisites shall render the marriage voidable. In the instant
case, it is clear from the evidence presented that petitioner and respondent
did not have a marriage license when they contracted their marriage.
Instead, they presented an affidavit stating that they had been living
together for more than five years.
The falsity of the affidavit cannot be considered as a mere irregularity in the
formal requisites of marriage. The law dispenses with the marriage license
requirement for a man and a woman who have lived together and exclusively
with each other as husband and wife for a continuous and unbroken period of
at least five years before the marriage. The aim of this provision is to avoid
exposing the parties to humiliation, shame and embarrassment concomitant
with the scandalous cohabitation of persons outside a valid marriage due to
the publication of every applicants name for a marriage license. In the
instant case, there was no scandalous cohabitation to protect; in fact, there
was no cohabitation at all. The false affidavit which petitioner and
respondent executed so they could push through with the marriage has no
value whatsoever; it is a mere scrap of paper. They were not exempt from
the marriage license requirement. Their failure to obtain and present a
marriage
license
renders
their
marriage
void
ab
initio.
Petition is granted in part. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the CA are
SET
ASIDE
and
the
decision
of
the
RTC
is
REINSTATED.

65

12. HEIRS OF JOSE SY BANG, et al. vs. ROLANDO SY, et al.


G. R. No. 114217
October 13, 2009
FACTS
Respondent Rolando Sy filed a Complaint for Partition against spouses Jose
Sy Bang and Iluminada Tan, spouses Julian Sy and Rosa Tan, Zenaida Sy, Ma.
Emma Sy, Oscar Sy, Rosalino Sy, Lucio Sy, Enrique Sy, Rosauro Sy,
Bartolome Sy, Florecita Sy, Lourdes Sy, Julieta Sy, Rosita Ferrera-Sy, and
Renato Sy before the then CFI of Quezon.
Respondents Rolando Sy, Rosalino Sy, Lucio Sy, Enrique Sy, Rosauro Sy,
Bartolome Sy, Julieta Sy, Lourdes Sy, and Florecita Sy are the children of Sy
Bang by his second marriage to respondent Rosita Ferrera-Sy, while
petitioners Jose Sy Bang, Julian Sy and Oscar Sy are the children of Sy Bang
from his first marriage to Ba Nga, and petitioners Zenaida Tan and Ma. Emma
Sy are the children of petitioner spouses Jose Sy Bang and Iluminada Tan.
Sy Bang died intestate in 1971, leaving behind real and personal properties,
including several businesses.
On May 9, 1996, Rosita Ferrera-Sy filed a Motion for Payment of Widows
Allowance. She alleged that her deceased husband, Sy Bang, left an
extensive estate. The properties of the estate were found by the trial court
to be their conjugal properties. From the time of Sy Bangs death in 1971
until the filing of the motion, Rosita was not given any widows allowance by
the parties in possession and control of her husbands estate, or her share in
the conjugal partnership. The Motion for Payment of Widows Allowance was
granted by the Court. Meanwhile, on September 30, 1996, respondents filed
a Joint Petition for the Guardianship of the Incompetent Rosita Ferrera-Sy
before the RTC of Lucena City, Branch 58 (Guardianship court).
During the trial, petitioners stressed that Sy Bangs marriage to Rosita
Ferrera is void. They claimed that respondents have falsified documents to
lead the courts into believing that Rositas marriage to Sy Bang is valid. A
DOJ Resolution finding probable cause to file the falsification charges against
respondents was issued. On the strength of the DOJ resolution, petitioners
contended that the criminal cases for falsification expose Rosita as a mere
common-law wife and not a widow; hence, there is no legal justification to
give her the widows allowance.
ISSUE
Whether or not the marriage between Sy Bang and Rosita Ferrera is valid.
RULING
66

A finding of probable cause does not conclusively prove the charge of


falsification against respondents. Probable cause need not be based on
clear and convincing evidence of guilt, neither on evidence establishing
guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and definitely not on evidence establishing
absolute certainty of guilt.
Hence, until the marriage is finally declared void by the court, the same is
presumed valid and Rosita is entitled to receive her widows allowance to be
taken from the estate of Sy Bang.
13. MERCEDITA MATA ARAES vs. JUDGE SALVADOR M. OCCIANO
A. M. No. MTJ-02-1390
April 11, 2002
FACTS
Petitioner charges respondent judge with Gross Ignorance of the Law
because he solemnized her marriage to her late groom Dominador B. Orobia
without the requisite marriage license and at Nabua, Camarines Sur which is
outside his territorial jurisdiction. They lived together as husband and wife on
the strength of this marriage until her husband passed away. However, since
the marriage was a nullity, petitioner's right to inherit the "vast properties"
left by Orobia was not recognized. She was likewise deprived of receiving the
pensions of Orobia. Petitioner prays that sanctions be imposed against
respondent judge for his illegal acts and unethical misrepresentations.
Respondent judge averred that he was requested by Juan Arroyo to
solemnize the marriage of the parties. Having been assured that all the
documents to the marriage were complete, he agreed to solemnize the
marriage in his sala at the MTC of Balatan, Camarines Sur. Arroyo requested
if respondent judge could solemnize the marriage in Nabua, instead of
having it in Balatan because of the health condition of Orobia, to which
request he acceded. When he discovered that the parties did not possess the
requisite marriage license, he refused to solemnize the marriage. However,
due to the earnest pleas of the parties, the influx of visitors, and the delivery
of provisions for the occasion, he proceeded to solemnize the marriage out of
human compassion. After the solemnization, he reiterated the necessity for
the marriage license and admonished the parties that their failure to give it
would render the marriage void. Petitioner and Orobia assured respondent
judge that they would give the license to him on the same day. When they
failed to comply, respondent judge followed it up with Arroyo but the latter
only gave him the same reassurance that the marriage license would be
delivered to his sala. Respondent judge vigorously denies that he told the
contracting parties that their marriage is valid despite the absence of a
marriage license.

67

Petitioner and Orobia filed their Application for Marriage License on 5 January
2000. It was stamped in this Application that the marriage license shall be
issued on 17 January 2000. However, neither petitioner nor Orobia claimed it.
The Office of the Civil Registrar General issued a Certification that it has no
record of such marriage that allegedly took place on 17 February 2000.
Likewise, the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Nabua, Camarines Sur
issued another Certification that it cannot issue a true copy of the Marriage
Contract of the parties since it has no record of their marriage.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not a marriage solemnized by a judge outside its territorial
jurisdiction is valid.
2. Whether or not the subsequent issuance of marriage license cures the
defect of lack of marriage license.
RULING
Under the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, or B.P. 129, the authority of
the regional trial court judges and judges of inferior courts to solemnize
marriages is confined to their territorial jurisdiction as defined by the
Supreme Court. As held by the SC in Navarro vs. Domagtoy, a priest who is
commissioned and allowed by his local ordinance to marry the faithful is
authorized to do so only within the area or diocese or place allowed by his
Bishop. An appellate court Justice or a Justice of this Court has jurisdiction
over the entire Philippines to solemnize marriages, regardless of the venue,
as long as the requisites of the law are complied with. However, judges
who are appointed to specific jurisdictions, may officiate in
weddings only within said areas and not beyond. Where a judge
solemnizes a marriage outside his court's jurisdiction, there is a
resultant irregularity in the formal requisite laid down in Article 3,
which while it may not affect the validity of the marriage, may
subject the officiating official to administrative liability."
In the case at bar, the territorial jurisdiction of respondent judge is limited to
the municipality of Balatan, Camarines Sur. His act of solemnizing the
marriage of petitioner and Orobia in Nabua, Camarines Sur therefore is
contrary to law and subjects him to administrative liability. His act may not
amount to gross ignorance of the law but nonetheless, he cannot avoid
liability for violating the law on marriage.
Respondent judge should also be faulted for solemnizing a marriage without
the requisite marriage license. In People vs. Lara, the SC held that a marriage
which preceded the issuance of the marriage license is void, and that the
subsequent issuance of such license cannot render valid or even add an iota
of validity to the marriage. Except in cases provided by law, it is the marriage
license that gives the solemnizing officer the authority to solemnize a
marriage. Respondent judge did not possess such authority when he
68

solemnized the marriage of petitioner. In this respect, respondent judge


acted in gross ignorance of the law.
Respondent Judge is fined P5,000.00 pesos with a STERN WARNING that a
repetition of the same or similar offense in the future will be dealt with more
severely.
14. ZENAIDA S. BESO vs. JUDGE JUAN DAGUMAN
A. M. No. 99-1211
January 28, 2000
FACTS
Complainant charged respondent judge with solemnizing marriage outside of
his jurisdiction and of negligence in not retaining a copy and not registering
the marriage contract with the office of the Local Registrar.
Complainant alleges that she and her fianc, Bernardito Yman, got married
and their marriage was solemnized by respondent judge in his residence of
J.P.R. Subdivision in Calbayog City, Samar. After their wedding, her husband
abandoned her without any reason at all. When she inquired about their
Marriage Contract, the Local Civil Registrar of Calbayog City informed her
that their marriage was not registered. She was also informed by respondent
judge that all the copies of the Marriage Contract were taken by her husband
and that no copy was retained by respondent judge.
Respondent Judge averred that the civil marriage had to be solemnized by in
Calbayog City though outside his territory as municipal Judge of Sta.
Margarita, Samar because he was physically indisposed and unable to report
to his station in Sta. Margita. And that without prior appointment, the
contracting parties unexpectedly came to his residence, urgently requesting
the celebration of their marriage right then and there, first, because
complainants said she must leave that same day to be able to fly from
Manila for abroad as scheduled; second, that for the parties to go to another
town for the marriage would be expensive and would entail serious problems
of finding a solemnizing officer and another pair of witnesses or sponsors;
third, if they failed to get married on that specific date, complainant would
be out of the country for a long period and their marriage license would lapse
and necessitate another publication of notice; fourth, if the parties go
beyond their plans for the scheduled marriage, complainant feared it would
complicate her employment abroad; and, last, all other alternatives as to
date and venue of marriage were considered impracticable by the parties.
ISSUE
1. Whether or not a marriage celebrated outside of the territorial jurisdiction
of a judge is valid.
69

2. Whether or not respondent judge is negligent in not retaining a copy and


not registering the marriage contract with the Local Civil Registrar.
RULING
Article 8 of the Family Code clearly states, a marriage can be held outside
the judge's chambers or courtroom only in the following instances: 1.] at the
point of death; 2.] in remote places in accordance with Article 29, or 3.] upon
the request of both parties in writing in a sworn statement to this effect.
In this case, there is no pretense that either complainant Beso or her fianc
Yman was at the point of death or in a remote place. Neither was there a
sworn written request made by the contracting parties to respondent Judge
that the marriage be solemnized outside his chambers or at a place other
than his sala.
Respondent Judge should be reminded that
A priest who is commissioned and allowed by his ordinary to marry the
faithful, is authorized to do so only within the area of the diocese or
place allowed by is Bishop. An appellate court justice or a Justice of
this Court has jurisdiction over the entire Philippines to solemnize
marriages, regardless of the venue, as long as the requisites of the law
are complied with. However, Judges who are appointed to specific
jurisdictions may officiate in weddings only within said areas and not
beyond. Where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his court's
jurisdiction, there is a resultant irregularity in the formal requisite laid
down in Article 3, which while it may not affect the validity of the
marriage, may subject the officiating official to administrative liability.
Considering that respondents Judge's jurisdiction covers the municipality of
Sta. Margarita-Tarangan-Pagsanjan, Samar only, he was not clothed with
authority to solemnize a marriage in the City of Calbayog.
Article 23 of the Family Code states that it is the duty of the person
solemnizing the marriage to furnish either of the contracting parties, the
original of the marriage contract referred to in Article 6 and to send the
duplicate and triplicate copies of the certificate not later than fifteen days
after the marriage, to the local civil registrar of the place where the marriage
was solemnized. Proper receipts shall be issued by the local civil registrar to
the solemnizing officer transmitting copies of the marriage certificate. The
solemnizing officer shall retain in his file the quadruplicate copy of the
marriage certificate, the original of the marriage license and, in proper
cases, the affidavit of the contracting party regarding the solemnization of
the marriage in a place other than those mentioned in Article 8.
15. MA. ARMIDA PEREZ-FERRARIS vs. BRIX FERRARIS
70

G. R. No. 162368

July 17, 2006

FACTS
On February 20, 2001, the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 151
rendered a Decision denying the petition for declaration of nullity of
petitioner's marriage with Brix Ferraris. The trial court noted that suffering
from epilepsy does not amount to psychological incapacity under Article 36
of the Civil Code and the evidence on record were insufficient to prove
infidelity. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied in an Order
dated April 20, 2001 where the trial court reiterated that there was no
evidence that respondent is mentally or physically ill to such an extent that
he could not have known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them,
could not have given valid assumption thereof.
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed in toto the
judgment of the trial court. She then filed a motion for reconsideration but
was denied for lack of merit. Thus, she filed a petition for review on certiorari
with this Court. The petition for review was denied for failure of petitioner to
show that the appellate tribunal committed any reversible error. Petitioner
filed the instant motion for reconsideration.
ISSUE
Whether or not the marriage in this case should be annulled based on
psychological incapacity.
RULING
No. The term "psychological incapacity" to be a ground for the nullity of
marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code, refers to a serious
psychological illness afflicting a party even before the celebration of the
marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of
awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is
about to assume. As all people may have certain quirks and idiosyncrasies,
or isolated characteristics associated with certain personality disorders, there
is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine the
meaning of "psychological incapacity" to the most serious cases of
personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or
inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. It is for this reason
that the Court relies heavily on psychological experts for its understanding of
the human personality. However, the root cause must be identified as a
psychological illness and its incapacitating nature must be fully explained,
which petitioner failed to convincingly demonstrate.
16. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. LYNETTE CABANTUG-BAGUIO
G. R. No. 171042
June 30, 2008
FACTS
71

On August 12, 1997, Respondent Lynette contracted marriage to Martini.


Less than three (3) years later respondent filed before the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Cebu City a complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage on
the ground of Martinis psychological incapacity to comply with the essential
marital duties and obligations under Articles 68-70 of the Family Code.
Respondent presented a psychological evaluation report by Dr. Gerong, a
clinical psychologist, stating that Martini shows immature personality
disorder, dependency patterns, and self-centered motive. This situation is
serious, grave, existing already during the adolescent period, and incurable
because personality and character are stable whether it is normal and
adaptive.
The RTC found Martini psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
essential marital obligations of marriage, and that the same incapacity
existed at the time the couple exchanged their marriage vows. The Solicitor
General, via appeal, challenged before the Court of Appeals (CA) the trial
courts decision. The CA affirmed the trial courts decision. A Motion for
Reconsideration was filed but the same was denied. Hence, the present
petition for review is filed.
ISSUE
Whether or not the marriage between respondent Lynette and Martini is null
and void on the ground of the latters psychological incapacity.
RULING
The Supreme Court ruled that the marriage between respondent Lynette and
Martini valid because respondent failed to prove the psychological incapacity
of the latter. Even when the rules have been relaxed and the personal
examination of the defendant by a psychiatrist or psychologist is no longer
mandatory for the declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the
Family Code, the totality of evidence presented during trial by private
respondent must still prove the gravity, juridical antecedence and
incurability of the alleged psychological incapacity. Psychological Incapacity
to be a ground for the nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code
refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the
celebration of the marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to
deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the
matrimonial bond one is about t assume.
The mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities
does not constitute psychological incapacity. Moreover, does failure of the
parties to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons. It is
essential that the parties to a marriage must be shown to be insensitive to or
incapable of meeting their duties and responsibilities due to some
psychological illness, which insensitivity or incapacity should have been
existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage even if it becomes
manifest only after its solemnization. Respondents marriage with martini
72

may have failed then, but it cannot be declared void ab initio on the ground
of psychological incapacity in light of the insufficient evidence presented.
17. EONILO ANTONIO versus MARIE IVONNE F. REYES
G. R. No. 155800
March 10, 2006
FACTS
This is a landmark case on Psychological Incapacity which proclaims, under
certain circumstances, habitual lying as constitutive of psychological
incapacity which may lead to nullity of marriage. The petitioner-husband
claimed that respondent persistently lied about herself, the people around
her, her occupation, income, educational attainment and other events or
things.
ISSUE
Whether or not repeated lying is abnormal and pathological and amounts to
psychological incapacity of the respondent
RULING
Yes. The Court acknowledges that the definition of psychological incapacity,
as intended by the revision committee, was not cast in intractable specifics.
Judicial understanding of psychological incapacity may be informed by
evolving standards, taking into account the particulars of each case, current
trends in psychological and even canonical thought, and experience. The
case sufficiently satisfies the guidelines in Molina. Molina has proven
indubitably useful in providing a unitary framework that guides courts in
adjudicating petitioners for declaration of nullity under Article 36. At the
same time, the Molina guidelines are not set in stone, the clear legislative
intent mandating a case-to-case perception of each situation, and Molina
itself arising from this evolutionary understanding of Article 36.
Respondents ability to invent and fabricate stories and personalities enabled
her to live a world of make-believe. This made her psychologically
incapacitated as it rendered her incapable of giving meaning and
significance to her marriage. One unable to adhere to reality cannot be
expected to adhere as well to any legal or emotional commitments.
The root cause of respondents psychological incapacity has been medically
or clinically identified, alleged in the complaint, sufficiently proven by
experts, and clearly explained in the trial courts decision. The initiatory
complaint alleged that respondent, from the start, had exhibited unusual and
abnormal behavior of perennially telling lies, fabricating ridiculous stories,
and inventing personalities and situations, of writing letters to petitioner
using fictitious names, and of lying about her actual occupation, income,
educational attainment, and family background, among others.
73

18. RENNE ENRIQUE BIER vs. MA. LOURDES A. BIER


G. R. No. 173294
February 27, 2008
FACTS
On July 26, 1992, petitioner Renne Enrique Bier married with the herein
respondent Ma. Lourdes A. Bier after six months of courtship. As petitioner
was based in Saudi Arabia, the parties decided to maintain two residences,
one in the Philippines and another in Saudi Arabia. Everything went well for
the first three years of their marriage. However, after three years thereof,
the couple experiencing marital problems as respondent ceased to be the
person petitioner knew and married.
According to the petitioner, respondent started becoming aloof towards the
later and began to spend more time with her friends than with him, refusing
even to have sexual relations with him for no apparent reason. She became
an alcoholic and a chain-smoker. She also started neglecting her husband's
needs and the upkeep of their home, and became an absentee wife. After
being gone from their home for days on end, she would return without
bothering to account for her absence. As a result, they frequently quarreled.
Finally, on April 10, 1997, respondent suddenly left for the United States.
Petitioner has not heard from her
since.
Hence, this petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground
that respondent was psychologically incapacitated to fulfill her essential
marital obligations to petitioner.
ISSUE
Whether the totality of the evidence presented was enough to establish that
respondent was psychologically incapacitated to perform her essential
marital obligations.
RULING
The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. Petitioner was able to establish
that respondent was remiss in her duties as a wife and had become a happygo-lucky woman who failed to attend to her husband's needs and who
eventually abandoned him. However, the totality of her acts, as testified to
by petitioner and his brother, was not tantamount to a psychological
incapacity, as petitioner would have us believe. Habitual alcoholism, chainsmoking, failure or refusal to meet one's duties and responsibilities as a
married person and eventual abandonment of a spouse do not suffice to
nullify a marriage on the basis of psychological incapacity, if not shown to be
due to some psychological (as opposed to physical) illness. The Court has
been consistent in holding that if a petition for nullity based on psychological
74

incapacity is to be given due course, its gravity, root cause, incurability and
the fact that it existed prior to or at the time of celebration of the marriage
must always be proved. These must be strictly complied with as the
granting of a petition for nullity of marriage based on psychological
incapacity must be confined only to the most serious cases of personality
disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give
meaning and significance to the marriage. This is specially so since the
Family Code does not define psychological incapacity. The determination
thereof is left solely to the discretion of the courts and must be made on a
case-to-case basis.
19. EDWARD KENNETH NGO TE vs. ROWENA ONG GUTIEREZ YU-TE
G. R. No. 161793
February 13, 2009
FACTS
On January 1996 when petitioner was a sophomore and respondent, a
freshman met in a gathering organized by the Filipino-Chinese association in
their college. Edward was then attracted to Rowenas friend; but as the latter
had already a boyfriend, the young man courted Rowena.
Sharing the same angst towards their families, the two understood one
another and develop a degree of closeness towards each other. On March
1996, or around three months after their first meeting, Rowena asked
Edward that they elope. At first, he refused, bickering that he has young and
jobless. Her persistence, however, made him relent. Thus, they left Manila
and sailed to Cebu that month; he, providing their travel money and she,
purchasing the boat ticket. However, Edwards money lasted only for a
month, the two decided to go back to Manila on April 1996 since they could
not find a job. Rowena proceeded to her uncles house and Edward in his
parents home. While they were separated Rowena kept on calling Edward
threatening him that she would commit suicide, thus Edward agreed to stay
with Rowena at her uncles place.
On April 23, 1996, Rowenas uncle brought them to a court to get married.
He was then 25 years old and she 20. The two then continued to stay at her
uncles house where Edward was treated like a prisoner- he was not allowed
to go out unaccompanied. Her uncle also showed Edward his guns and
warned the latter not to leave Rowena. When Edward got the chance to talk
to his brother, the latter persuade him to go home. Edward relayed the
message to Rowena; however Rowena suggested that he should get his
inheritance so they could leave separately.
After a month, Edward escaped from the house of Rowenas uncle, and
stayed with his parents.
75

On June 18, 2000, Edward filed a petition before the RTC of Quezon City for
the annulment of his marriage to Rowena on the basis of the latters
psychological incapacity.
The trial court, on June 30, 2001, rendered its decision declaring the
marriage null and void on the ground that both parties were psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. On review the
appellate court reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC.
ISSUE
Whether or not the marriage between the parties is null and void on the
ground of psychological incapacity?
RULING
The court ruled that the seriousness of the diagnosis and the gravity of the
disorders considered it find as decisive the psychological evaluation made by
the expert witness: and, thus rules that the marriage of the parties is null
and void on ground of both parties psychological incapacity.
Indeed, petitioner, who is afflicted with dependent personality disorder,
cannot assume the essential marital obligations of living together, observing
love, respect and fidelity and rendering help and support, for he is unable to
make decisions without advice from the others, allows others most of his
important decisions, such as where to live, tends to agree with people even
when he believes they are wrong, has a difficulty doing things on his own.
The same may also be said to respondent. Her being afflicted with antisocial
personality disorders makes her unable to assume the essential marital
obligations. This findings takes into account her disregard of the rights of
others, her abuse, mistreatment and control of others without remorse, her
tendency to blame others, and her intolerance of the conventional behavioral
limitations imposed by the society.
Both parties being afflicted with grave, severe and incurable psychological
incapacity, the precipitous marriage which they contracted on April 23, 1996
is thus, declared null and void.
20. BENJAMIN TING vs. CARMEN VELEZ-TING
G. R. No. 166652
March 31, 2009
FACTS
Petitioner and Respondent met during medical school sometime in 1972 and
got married on July 26, 1975 in Cebu City . They begot six [6] children during
their marriage.
76

After being married to petitioner for more than eighteen [18] years,
respondent filed a verified petition before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu
City on October 21, 1993 for the declaration of nullity of their marriage
based on Article 36 of the Family Code. She claimed that petitioner suffers
from psychological incapacity even from the time of celebration of their
marriage, which only became manifested thereafter through the petitioners
alcoholism, violent nature brought about by excessive drinking, compulsive
gambling habits which led him to sell their family car and a property, and the
petitioners irresponsibility and immaturity as shown by his failure to support
his family.
Respondent presented as witness a certain Dr. Oate, a psychiatrist, who,
instead of conducting the usual interview, evaluated the petitioner through
only the transcript of stenographic notes taken during petitioners deposition.
The psychiatrist concluded that the petitioners compulsive drinking,
gambling and physical abuse of respondent are clear indications that he
suffers from a personality disorder. On his side, petitioner presented Dr.
Obra, a psychiatrist and a consultant at the Department of Psychiatry in Don
Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center , as his expert witness. Dr. Obra
evaluated petitioners psychological behavior based on the transcript of
stenographic notes, as well as the psychiatric evaluation report prepared by
a Dr. Pentz, a psychiatrist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa , and
Dr. Obras interview with petitioners brothers. Contrary to Dr. Oates
findings, Dr. Obra observed that there is nothing wrong with petitioners
personality.
The Regional Trial Court nevertheless declared the marriage null and void
which was also lastly upheld by the Court of Appeals upon appeal. Hence,
this petition.
ISSUE
Were the lower court and the Court of Appeals correct in declaring the
marriage null and void by the basis that respondents presented evidence is
sufficient enough to support the ground of psychological incapacity?
RULING
The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. The totality of evidence adduced
by the respondent is insufficient to prove that the petitioner is
psychologically unfit to discharge the duties expected of him as a husband
even during the time their marriage was celebrated.
The psychological illness that must have afflicted a party at the inception of
the marriage should be a malady so grave and permanent as to deprive one
of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond he or
she is to assume. In the case at bar, respondent failed to prove that the
77

petitioners defects were already existent at the time of the celebration of


their marriage. She merely cited that prior to their marriage, petitioner was
known to occasionally drink and gamble with his friends, but such statement
by itself, is insufficient to prove any pre-existing psychological defect on the
part of her husband. Neither did the evidence adduce that such defects are
incurable.
The two psychiatrists presented as expert witnesses provided diametrically
contradicting psychological evaluations. Nevertheless, great weight should
be given unto the report of Dr. Obra because, aside from analyzing the
petitioners depositions, he went the extra mile by taking into consideration
the psychological evaluation report furnished by another psychiatrist based
in South Africa , as well as conducting personal interviews with the
petitioners brothers. The balance tilts in favor of Dr. Obra.
It should be remembered that the presumption is always in favor of the
validity of marriage. In this case, presumption has not been simply rebutted
and must, perforce, prevail. Petition GRANTED.
21. LESTER BENJAMIN HALILI vs. CHONA SANTOS- HALILI
G. R. NO. 165424
JUNE 9, 2009
FACTS
Petitioner Lester Benjamin Halili filed a petition to declare his marriage to
respondent Chona Santos- Halili null and void on the basis of his
psychological incapacity to perform the essential obligations of marriage in
the RTC, Pasig City, Br. 158. He alleged that he wed respondent in civil rites
thinking that it was a joke. After the ceremonies, they never lived together
as husband and wife, but maintained the relationship. However, they started
fighting constantly a year later, at which point petitioner decide to stop
seeing respondent and started dating other women. Immediately thereafter,
he received prank calls telling him to stop dating other women as he was
already a married man. It was only upon making an inquiry that he found out
that the marriage was not fake. Eventually, the RTC found petitioner to be
suffering from a mixed personality disorder, as diagnosed by his expert
witness, Dr. Natividad Dayan. The court a quo held that petitioners
personality disorder was serious and incurable and directly affected his
capacity to comply with his essential marital obligations to respondent. It
declared the marriage null and void. It was reversed by the CA and affirmed
by the SC. However, the SC recognized the motion for reconsideration they
filed.
ISSUE
Whether the marriage is null and void on the ground of psychological
incapacity on the part of petitioner.
78

RULING
In the recent case of Te vs. Yu- Te and the Republic, this Court reiterated that
courts should interpret the provision on psychological incapacity (as a
ground for the declaration of nullity of a marriage) on a case to case basisguided by experience, the findings of experts and researchers in
psychological disciplines and by decisions of church tribunals.
In Te, this Court defined dependent personality disorder as:
[a] personality disorder characterized by a pattern of dependent and
submissive behaviour. Such individuals usually lack self-esteem and
frequently belittle their capabilities; they fear criticism and are easily hurt by
others comments. At times they actually bring about dominance by others
through a quest for overprotection. Dependent personality disorder usually
begins in early adulthood. Individuals who have this disorder may be unable
to make everyday decisions without advice or reassurance from others, may
allow others to make most of their important decisions (such as where to
live), tend to agree with people even when they believe they are wrong, have
difficulty starting projects or doing things that are demeaning in order to get
approval from other people, feel uncomfortable or helpless when alone and
are often preoccupied with fears of being abandoned.
It has been sufficiently established that petitioner has a psychological
condition that was grave and incurable and had a deeply rooted cause. This
Court, in the same Te case, recognized that individuals with diagnosable
personality disorders usually have long- term concerns, and thus therapy
may be long- term. Particularly, personality disorders are long-standing,
inflexible ways of behaving that are not so much severe mental disorders as
dysfunctional styles of living. These disorders affect all areas of functioning
and, beginning in childhood or adolescence, create problems for those who
display them and for others. From the foregoing, it has been shown that
petitioner is indeed suffering from psychological incapacity that effectively
renders him unable to perform the essential obligations of marriage.
Accordingly, the marriage between petitioner and respondent is declared null
and void.
22. MARIETTA AZCUETA vs. REPUBLIC AND CA
G. R. No. 180668
May 26, 2009
FACTS
Marietta Azcueta (Marietta) filed a petition for declaration of absolute nullity
of her marriage to Rodolfo Azcueta (Rodolfo) before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC). Marietta averred that Rodolfo was psychologically incapacitated to
comply with the essential obligations of marriage. Marietta complained that
79

despite her encouragement, Rodolfo never bothered to look for a job and
always depended on his mother for financial assistance and for his
decisions. It was Rodolfos mother who found them a room near the Azcueta
home and paid the monthly rental. Rodolfo also pretended to have found
work and gave Marietta money which actually came from Rodolfos
mother. When Marietta confronted him, Rodolfo cried like a child and told
her his parents could support their needs. They had sex only once a month
which Marietta never enjoyed. When they discussed this, Rodolfo told
Marietta that sex was sacred and should not be enjoyed or abused. Rodolfo
also told her he was not ready for a child. When Marietta asked Rodolfo if
they could move to another place, he did not agree and she was forced to
leave and see if he would follow her. He did not. Rodolfos first cousin, who
at one time lived with Rodolfos family, corroborated Mariettas testimony
that Rodolfo was not gainfully employed and relied on the allowance given
by his mother who also paid the rentals for the room the couple lived in. The
psychiatrist who examined Marietta testified that she found the latter to be
mature, independent, focused, and responsible, had a direction and ambition
in life, and was not psychologically incapacitated to perform the duties and
responsibilities of marriage. Based on information gathered from Marietta,
the same psychiatrist found Rodolfo to be suffering from Dependent
Personality Disorder characterized by loss of self-confidence, constant selfdoubt, and inability to make his own decisions and dependency on other
people. The psychiatrist explained that the root cause of the disorder was a
cross-identification with Rodolfos mother who was the dominant figure in the
family considering that Rodolfos father, a seaman, was always out of the
house. She added that the problem began during the early stages of
Rodolfos life but manifested only after his marriage. She stated that the
problem was severe, because he would not be able take on the
responsibilities of a spouse, and incurable, because it began in early
development and had been deeply ingrained in his personality. She, thus,
concluded that Rodolfo was psychologically incapacitated to perform his
marital duties and responsibilities. Rodolfo failed to appear and file an
answer despite service of summons on him. The City Prosecutor found no
collusion between the parties. Based on the evidence presented by Marietta,
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) declared the marriage void ab initio. The
Solicitor General appealed the RTCs decision, arguing that the psychiatric
report was based solely on the information given by Marietta, and there was
no showing that the alleged psychological disorder was present at the start
of the marriage or that it was grave, permanent and incurable. The Court of
Appeals reversed the RTCs decision. Marietta, thus, brought the case to the
Supreme Court on a petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE
Whether or not Rodolfo is psychologically incapacitated to justify a
declaration that his marriage to Marietta is void ab initio under Article 36 of
the Family Code.
80

RULING
Rodolfo was psychologically incapacitated to perform his marital duties
because of his Dependent Personality Disorder. His marriage to Marietta was
declared void ab initio. Marietta sufficiently discharged her burden to prove
her husbands psychological incapacity. As held in Marcos vs. Marcos [397
Phil. 840 (2000)], there is no requirement that the respondent spouse should
be personally examined by a physician or psychologist as condition sine qua
non for the declaration of nullity of marriage based on psychological
incapacity. What matters is whether the totality of evidence presented is
adequate to sustain finding of psychological incapacity. Mariettas testimony
was corroborated in material points by Rodolfos close relative, and
supported by the psychiatrists testimony linking the manifestations of
Rodolfos psychological incapacity and the psychological disorder itself. It is a
settled principle of civil procedure that the conclusions of the trial court
regarding the credibility of witnesses are entitled to great respect from the
appellate courts because the trial court had an opportunity to observe the
demeanor of witnesses while giving testimony which may indicate their
candor or lack thereof. Since the trial court itself accepted the veracity of
Mariettas factual premises, there is no cause to dispute the conclusion of
psychological incapacity drawn there from by her expert witness. The root
cause of Rodolfos psychological incapacity was alleged in the petition,
medically or clinically identified, sufficiently proven by testimony of an expert
witness with more than 40 years experience in the field of psychology and
psychological incapacity, and clearly explained in the trial courts decision.
As held in Te vs. Te (G.R. No. 161793, 13 February2009), (b)y the very
nature of Article 36, courts, despite having the primary task and burden of
decision-making, must not discount but, instead, must consider as decisive
evidence the expert opinion on the psychological and mental temperaments
of the parties.Rodolfos psychological incapacity was also established to
have clearly existed at the time of and even before the celebration of
marriage. Witnesses were united in testifying that from the start of the
marriage, Rodolfos irresponsibility, overdependence on his mother and
abnormal sexual reticence were already evident. These manifestations of
Rodolfos Dependent Personality Disorder must have existed even prior to
the marriage being rooted in his early development and a by-product of his
upbringing and family life. Furthermore, Rodolfos psychological incapacity
had been shown to be grave so as to render him unable to assume the
essential obligations of marriage. The Court of Appeals opinion that
Rodolfos requests for financial assistance from his mother might have been
due to embarrassment for failing to contribute to the family coffers and that
his motive for not wanting a child was a responsible realization since he
was unemployed, were dismissed by the High Court for being speculative
and unsupported by evidence. The Supreme Court likewise disagreed with
the Court of Appeals finding that Rodolfos irresponsibility and
overdependence on his mother could be attributed to immaturity, noting that
81

at the time of his marriage, Rodolfo was almost 29 years old. Also, the expert
testimony identified a grave clinical or medical cause for Rodolfos abnormal
behavior Dependent Personality Disorder. A person afflicted with
Dependent Personality Disorder cannot assume the essential marital
obligations of living together, observing love, respect and fidelity and
rendering help and support, for he is unable to make everyday decisions
without advice from others, allows others to make most of his important
decisions (such as where to live), tends to agree with people even when he
believes they are wrong, has difficulty doing things on his own, volunteers to
do things that are demeaning in order to get approval from other people,
feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone and is often preoccupied with
fears of being abandoned. (Te vs. Te,supra)One who is unable to support
himself, much less a wife; one who cannot independently make decisions
regarding even the most basic matters that spouses face every day; and one
who cannot contribute to the material, physical and emotional well-being of
his spouse, is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the marital
obligations within the meaning of Article36 of the Family Code. This is not to
say, however, that anyone diagnosed with Dependent Personality Disorders
automatically deemed psychologically incapacitated to perform his/her
marital obligations. The court must evaluate the facts, as guided by expert
opinion, and carefully examine the type of disorder and the gravity thereof
before declaring the nullity of a marriage under Article 36.Finally, it has been
established that Rodolfos condition is incurable, having been deeply
ingrained in his system since his early years.
23. DIGNA A. NAJERA vs. EDUARDO J. NAJERA
G. R. No. 164817
July 3, 2009
FACTS
Petitioner filed with the RTC a verified Petition for Declaration of Nullity of
Marriage with Alternative Prayer for Legal Separation, with Application for
Designation as Administrator Pendente Lite of the Conjugal Partnership of
Gains. Petitioner alleged at the time of the celebration of marriage,
respondent was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential
marital obligations of the marriage, and such incapacity became manifest
only after marriage. At the time of their marriage, petitioner was already
employed with the Special Services Division of the Provincial Government of
Pangasinan, while respondent was jobless. He did not exert enough effort to
find a job and was dependent on petitioner for support. Only with the help of
petitioners elder brother, who was a seaman, was respondent able to land a
job as a seaman in 1988 through the Intercrew Shipping Agency. While
employed as a seaman, respondent did not give petitioner sufficient financial
support and she had to rely on her own efforts and the help of her parents in
order to live. When he came home from his ship voyage, he started to
quarrel with petitioner and falsely accused her of having an affair with
82

another man. He took to smoking marijuana and tried to force petitioner into
it. When she refused, he insulted her and uttered unprintable words
against her. He would go out of the house and when he arrived home, he
was always drunk. Respondent filed his Answer wherein he denied the
material allegations in the petition and averred that petitioner was incurably
immature, of dubious integrity, with very low morality, and guilty of
infidelity. He claimed that the subject house and lot were acquired through
his sole effort and money. The Office of the Solicitor General filed its Notice of
Appearance. The RTC issued an Order terminating the pre-trial conference
after the parties signed a Formal Manifestation/Motion, which stated that
they had agreed to dissolve their conjugal partnership of gains and divide
equally their conjugal properties. The RTC rendered a Decision that decreed
only the legal separation of the petitioner and respondent, but not the
annulment of their marriage. Petitioner appealed the RTC Decision and
Resolution to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
Decision of the RTC.
ISSUE
Whether or not the totality of petitioners evidence was able to prove that
respondent is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential
obligations of marriage warranting the annulment of their marriage under
Article 36 of the Family Code.
RULING
The guidelines incorporate the three basic requirements earlier mandated by
the Court in Santos v. Court of Appeals: "psychological incapacity must be
characterized by (a) gravity (b) juridical antecedence, and (c)
incurability. The foregoing guidelines do not require that a physician
examine the person to be declared psychologically incapacitated. In fact,
the root cause may be "medically or clinically identified." What is important
is the presence of evidence that can adequately establish the party's
psychological condition. For indeed, if the totality of evidence presented is
enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, then actual medical
examination of the person concerned need not be resorted to.
In this case, the Court agrees with the Court of Appeals that the totality of
the evidence submitted by petitioner failed to satisfactorily prove that
respondent was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential
obligations of marriage. The root cause of respondents alleged
psychological incapacity was not sufficiently proven by experts or shown to
be medically or clinically permanent or incurable.
As found by the Court of Appeals, Psychologist Cristina Gates conclusion
that respondent was psychologically incapacitated was based on facts
relayed to her by petitioner and was not based on her personal knowledge
and evaluation of respondent; thus, her finding is unscientific and
83

unreliable. Moreover, the trial court correctly found that petitioner failed to
prove with certainty that the alleged personality disorder of respondent was
incurable as may be gleaned from Psychologist Cristina Gates testimony.
The Court agrees with the Court of Appeals that the evidence presented by
petitioner in regard to the physical violence or grossly abusive conduct of
respondent toward petitioner and respondents abandonment of
petitioner without justifiable cause for more than one year are grounds for
legal separation only and not for annulment of marriage under Article 36 of
the Family Code.
24. ROWENA PADILLA-RAMBAUA vs. EDWARD RAMBAUA
G. R. 166738
August 14 2009
FACTS
Petitioner had a secret marriage with respondent because the latter's
parents are against their relationship.
The parties lived together as husband and wife for the first six months of
their marriage, after which, the respondent insisted to live apart allegedly
because it might affect the respondents application for PAL scholarship
where, the respondent stated single regarding his status and, in order to
avoid public knowledge about their marriage as such marriage may
antagonize the respondents parents.
The parents of respondent, particularly his mother discovered about the
secret marriage and the parties continued to live separately in order to
appease respondents mother. Subsequently, respondent failed to send
greeting cards to petitioner or even greet her a happy birthday.
Later on, the respondents mother died and he blamed the petitioner for
allegedly causing the death of his mother due to ill feelings towards them.
When petitioner and her mother visited respondent in Davao, they found out
that respondent have been cohabiting with another woman.
Petitioner then filed an action to render null and void the marriage between
her and the respondent on the ground of psychological incapacity
considering the pronouncement of a clinical psychologist, Dr. Tayag, which
states that respondent have a narcissistic personality disorder which is
declared to be grave, severe and incurable.
The Regional Trial Court declared the marriage null and void due to
psychological incapacity. This was subsequently reversed by the Court of
Appeals stating that the illness must be shown as downright incapacity or
inability, not a refusal, neglect, or difficulty to perform the essential
obligations of marriage. Hence, this present action.
84

ISSUE
Whether or not respondent is psychologically incapacitated, whether or not
the OSG certification under the case of Republic vs. Molina is indispensable
and whether or not the deficiency of Dr. Tayags report was cured by his
testimony.
RULING
PETITION DENIED.
RATIO DECEDENDI: A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, as a remedial measure, removed
the mandatory nature of an OSG certification and may be applied
retroactively to pending matters. In effect, the measure cures in any pending
matter any procedural lapse on the certification prior to its promulgation. Our
rulings in Antonio v. Reyes and Navales v. Navales have since confirmed and
clarified that A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC has dispensed with the Molina guideline
on the matter of certification, although Article 48 mandates the appearance
of the prosecuting attorney or fiscal to ensure that no collusion between the
parties would take place. Thus, what is important is the presence of the
prosecutor in the case, not the remedial requirement that he be certified to
be present. From this perspective, the petitioners objection regarding the
Molina guideline on certification lacks merit.
In santos vs. Santos, it was held that am action based on psychological
incapacity must be characterized by a.) gravity b.) incurability and c.)
juridical antecedence. It must be confined to the most serious cases of
personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or
inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.
The petitioners evidence merely showed that the respondent: (a) reneged
on his promise to cohabit with her; (b) visited her occasionally from 1993 to
1997; (c) forgot her birthday in 1992, and did not send her greeting cards
during special occasions; (d) represented himself as single in his visa
application; (e) blamed her for the death of his mother; and (f) told her he
was working in Davao when in fact he was cohabiting with another woman in
1997.
In the present case, the respondents stubborn refusal to cohabit with the
petitioner was doubtlessly irresponsible, but it was never proven to be rooted
in some psychological illness. As the petitioners testimony reveals,
respondent merely refused to cohabit with her for fear of jeopardizing his
application for a scholarship, and later due to his fear of antagonizing his
family. The respondents failure to greet the petitioner on her birthday and to
send her cards during special occasions, as well as his acts of blaming
petitioner for his mothers death and of representing himself as single in his
visa application, could only at best amount to forgetfulness, insensitivity or
85

emotional immaturity, not necessarily psychological incapacity. Likewise, the


respondents act of living with another woman four years into the marriage
cannot automatically be equated with a psychological disorder, especially
when no specific evidence was shown that promiscuity was a trait already
existing at the inception of marriage. In fact, petitioner herself admitted that
respondent was caring and faithful when they were going steady and for a
time after their marriage; their problems only came in later.
With regard to Dr. Tayag's testimony, what she medically described was not
related or linked to the respondents exact condition except in a very general
way. In short, her testimony and report were rich in generalities but
disastrously short on particulars, most notably on how the respondent can be
said to be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder; why and to what
extent the disorder is grave and incurable; how and why it was already
present at the time of the marriage; and the effects of the disorder on the
respondents awareness of and his capability to undertake the duties and
responsibilities of marriage. All these are critical to the success of the
petitioners case.
Further, her testimony was short on factual basis for her diagnosis because it
was wholly based on what the petitioner related to her. As the doctor
admitted to the prosecutor, she did not at all examine the respondent, only
the petitioner. Neither the law nor jurisprudence requires, of course, that the
person sought to be declared psychologically incapacitated should be
personally examined by a physician or psychologist as a condition sine qua
non to arrive at such declaration.
25. RODOLFO ASPILLAGA vs. AURORA ASPILLAGA
G. R. No. 170925
October 26, 2009
FACTS
Aurora left for Japan to study Japanese culture, literature and language.
Despite the distance, Rodolfo and Aurora maintained communication as
lovers. In 1980, after Aurora returned to the Philippines, she and Rodolfo got
married. They begot two children, but Rodolfo claimed their marriage was
tumultuous.
He described Aurora as domineering and frequently
humiliated him even in front of his friends. He complained that Aurora was a
spendthrift as she overspent the family budget and made crucial family
decisions without consulting him. Rodolfo added that Aurora was tactless,
suspicious, given to nagging and jealousy as evidenced by the latters filing
against him a criminal case (concubinage) and an administrative case. He
left the conjugal home, and filed on March 7, 1995, a petition for annulment
of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity on the part of Aurora.
He averred that Aurora failed to comply with the essential obligations of
marriage. Aurora, for her part, alleged that sometime in 1991, Rodolfo gave
86

her plane ticket to Japan to enable her to assume her teaching position in a
university for a period of three months. In August 1991, upon her return to
Manila, she discovered that while she was in Japan, Rodolfo brought into their
conjugal home her cousin, Lecita Rose A. Besina, as his concubine. Aurora
alleged that Rodolfos cohabitation with her cousin led to the disintegration
of their marriage and their eventual separation. In May 1992, Rodolfo
abandoned their conjugal home to live with Besina. During trial, expert
witness Dr. Eduardo Maaba explained his psychiatric evaluation of the parties
as well as his recommendation that the petition be granted. In this report,
he stated that both petitioner and respondent harbor psychological
handicaps which could be traced from unhealthy maturational development.
However, respondents mistrust, shallow heterosexual relationships resulted
in incapacitation in her ability to comply with the obligation of marriage. Dr.
Maaba recommended that the petition to annul the marriage be granted, on
the grounds existing psychological incapacitation of both petitioner and
respondent, which will hamper their capacity to comply with their marital
obligations. Dissolution of the marital bond will offer both of them, peace of
mind. RTC found the parties psychologically incapacitated to enter into
marriage. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the RTC
decision and declared the marriage of Rodolfo and Aurora Aspillaga valid.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but the motion was also denied.
ISSUE
Whether the marriage is void on the ground of the parties psychological
incapacity
RULING
The petition failed. In Santos v. Court of Appeals, Psychological incapacity
required by Art. 36 must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical
antecedence, and (c) incurability. The incapacity must be grave or serious
such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties
required in marriage; it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating
the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the
marriage; and it must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure
would be beyond the means of the party involved. In the instant case, Dr.
Maaba failed to link the parties psychological disorders to his conclusion that
they are psychologically incapacitated to perform their obligations as
husband and wife. The fact that these psychological conditions will hamper
(as Dr. Maaba puts it) their performance of their marital obligations does not
mean that they suffer from psychological incapacity as contemplated under
Article 36 of the Family Code.
Mere difficulty is not synonymous to
incapacity. Moreover, there is no evidence to prove that each partys
condition is so grave or is of such nature as to render said party incapable of
carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage. There is likewise no
evidence that the claimed incapacity is incurable and permanent.
87

Noteworthy, Rodolfo and Aurora initially had a blissful marital union for
several years. They married in 1982, and later affirmed the ceremony in
church rites in 1983, showing love and contentment with one another after a
year of marriage. The letter of petitioner dated April 1, 1990 addressed to
respondent revealed the harmonious relationship of the couple continued
during their marriage for about eight years from the time they married each
other. From this, it can be inferred that they were able to faithfully comply
with their obligations to each other and to their children. Aurora was shown
to have taken care of her children and remained faithful to her husband while
he was away. She even joined sales activities to augment the family income.
She appeared to be a very capable woman who traveled a lot and pursued
studies here and abroad. It was only when Rodolfos acts of infidelity were
discovered that the marriage started to fail. At this juncture while this Court
is convinced that indeed both parties were both found to have psychological
disorders, nevertheless, there is nothing in the records showing that these
disorders are sufficient to declare the marriage void due to psychological
incapacity.
26. VERONICA CABACUNGAN ALCAZAR vs. REY ALCAZAR
G. R. No. 174451
October 13, 2009
FACTS
Veronica and Rey were married on August 22, 2009. After the wedding the
couple lived for five days at the residence of the respondent in Occidental
Mindoro, when they returned to Manila the respondent did not stay with the
petitioner until the former left for Saudi Arabia few months following their
wedding. In abroad the respondent never communicated with the petitioner
and the telephone calls of the latter were even rejected by the respondent.
After one and a haft year in abroad the respondent returned to the country
without even informing the petitioner as to his whereabouts. Veronica filed
an action to annul her marriage with the respondent under article 45 (5) of
the Family Code. As a ground the petitioner alleged that the respondent is
psychologically incapacitated to comply his marital obligation. The lower
court dismissed the petition because it was not established that at least one
of the spouses is either physically or mentally ill to comply the marital
obligations.
ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent in psychologically incapacitated to comply his
marital obligations.
RULING
Petition was dismissed. Article 45(5) of the Family Code refers to lack of
power to copulate. Incapacity to consummate denotes the permanent
inability on the part of the spouses to perform the complete act of sexual
88

intercourse. Non-consummation of a marriage may be on the part of the


husband or of the wife and may be caused by a physical or structural defect
in the anatomy of one of the parties or it may be due to chronic illness and
inhibitions or fears arising in whole or in part from psychophysical conditions.
No evidence was presented that respondent was in any way physically
incapable to consummate his marriage with petitioner. Petitioner even
admitted during her cross-examination that she and respondent had sexual
intercourse after their wedding and before respondent left for abroad. There
obviously being no physical incapacity on respondents part, then, there is no
ground for annulling petitioners marriage to respondent.
27. ROSA YAP PARAS vs. JUSTO J. PARAS
G. R. No. 147824
August 2, 2007
FACTS
In 1964, Rosa Yap married Justo J. Paras in Bindoy, Negros Oriental. They
had four children. Twenty-nine years after Rosa filed with the RTC of
Dumaguete City, a complaint for annulment of her marriage with Justo,
under Article 36 of the Family Code. She alleged that Justo is
psychologically incapacitated to exercise the essential obligations of
marriage as shown by the following circumstances: (a) he dissipated her
business assets and forged her signature in one mortgage transaction; (b)
he lived with a concubine and sired a child with her; (c) he did not give
financial support to his children; and (d) he has been remiss in his duties
both as a husband and as a father. RTC rendered a decision upholding the
validity of the marriage on the grounds that Justo did not abandon the
conjugal home as he was forced to leave after Rosa posted guards at the
gates of their house; (b) the conjugal assets were sufficient to support the
family needs, thus, there was no need for Justo to shell out his limited
salary;and (c) the charge of infidelity is unsubstantiated.The RTC observed
that the relationship between the parties started well, negating the
existence of psychological incapacity on either party at the time of the
celebration of their marriage. Justo filed an appeal to the Court of Appeals
in which the latter affirmed the decision rendered by the RTC on the
ground that Justos alleged defects or idiosyncracies were sufficiently
explained by the evidence, therefore, not enough ground to taint the
validity of their marriage.
ISSUE
Whether or not the totality of evidence presented shall be sufficient to
sustain a finding of psychological incapacity on the part of Justo to justify
the annulment of marriage
RULING
The petition was denied. The grounds raised by petitioner were
89

insufficient to declare the marriage void due to an incurable psychological


incapacity. These grounds, we must emphasize, do not manifest that he
was truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that he must assume
and discharge as a married person. While they may manifest the "gravity"
of his alleged psychological incapacity, they do not necessarily show
incurability, such that while his acts violated the covenants of marriage,
they do not necessarily show that such acts show an irreparably hopeless
state of psychological incapacity which prevents him from undertaking the
basic obligations of marriage in the future. As provided under the law, the
root cause of the psychological incapacity must be (a) medically or
clinically identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven by
experts, and (d) clearly explained in the decision. Article 36 of the Family
Code requires that the incapacity must be psychological -- not physical,
although its manifestations and/or symptoms may be physical. The
evidence must convince the court that the parties, or one of them, was
mentally or psychically ill to such an extent that the person could not
have known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could not
have given valid assumption thereof. The complete facts should allege the
physical manifestations, if any, as are indicative of psychological
incapacity at the time of the celebration of the marriage but expert
opinion need not be alleged. Neither should Article 36 be equated with
legal separation, in which the grounds need not be rooted in psychological
incapacity but on physical violence, moral pressure, moral corruption, civil
interdiction, drug addiction, sexual infidelity, and abandonment. The
evidence presented by petitioner refers only to grounds for legal
separation, not for declaring a marriage void.
28. NILDA V. NAVALES vs. REYNALDO NAVALES
G. R. No. 167523
June 27, 2008
FACTS
Petitioner filed a Petition for Review assailing the decision of the CA & RTC,
Toledo City, Cebu. It was in 1986 that Reynaldo met Nilda in a local bar
where Nilda was a waitress. Because of his fear that Nilda may be wed to an
American, Reynaldo proposed to Nilda and they got married in 1988.
Reynaldo is aware that Nilda has an illegitimate child out of wedlock. The 1st
year of their marriage went well until Nilda began to work when she
neglected some of her duties as a wife. She later worked as a gym instructor
and according to Reynaldos allegations; her job makes her flirt with her male
clients. She also drives home with other guys even though Reynaldo would
be there to fetch her. She also projected herself as single. And she refused to
have a child with Reynaldo because that would only destroy her figure.
Reynaldo then filed a petition to have their marriage be annulled. He
presented her cousin as a witness that attested that Nilda was flirting with
other guys even with Reynaldos presence. Reynaldo also presented the
90

findings of a psychologist who concluded that based on Nildas acts, Nilda is


a nymphomaniac, who has a borderline personality, a social deviant, an
alcoholic, and suffering from anti-social personality disorder, among others,
which illnesses are incurable and are the causes of Nildas psychological
incapacity to perform her marital role as wife to Reynaldo. Nilda on her part
attacked Reynaldos allegations. She said that it is actually Reynaldo who is a
womanizer and that in fact she has filed a case of concubinage against him
which was still pending. She also said that she only needs the job in order to
support herself because Reynaldo is not supporting her. She also showed
proof that she projected herself as a married woman and that she handles an
aerobics class which is exclusive to females only. The RTC and the CA ruled in
favor of Reynaldo.
ISSUE
Whether or not the marriage between Reynaldo and Nilda is null and void on
the ground of Nilda's psychological incapacity
RULING
No, she was not psychologically incapacitated. Thus, the petition must be
granted because there were no other pleadings, motions, or position papers
filed by the Public Prosecutor or Office of the Solicitor General and no
contradicting evidence presented by them before the judgment was
rendered. And even if the SC would consider the case based on the merits,
the petition would still be granted. The acts presented by Reynaldo are
insufficient to establish a psychological or mental defect that is serious,
incurable or grave as contemplated by Article 36 of the Family Code. Article
36 contemplates downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and
to assume basic marital obligations. Mere difficulty, refusal or neglect
in the performance of marital obligations or ill will on the part of the
spouse is different from incapacity rooted on some debilitating
psychological condition or illness. Indeed, irreconcilable differences, sexual
infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity and irresponsibility, and the
like, do not by themselves warrant a finding of psychological incapacity
under Article 36, as the same may only be due to a person's refusal or
unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage and not due to
some psychological illness that is contemplated by said rule. The SC also
finds the finding of the psychological expert to be insufficient to prove the
psychological incapacity of Nilda. The testimonies presented by people the
expert interviewed were not concretely established as the fact as to how
those people came up with their respective information was not as well
shown. There is no proof as well that Nilda had had sex with different guys
a condition for nymphomia. There being doubt as to Nildas psychological
incapacity the SC ruled that this case be resolved in favor of the validity of
marriage.

91

29. REPUBLIC VS COURT OF APPEALS AND MOLINA


G. R. No. 108763
February 13, 1997
FACTS
In 1985, plaintiff Roridel O. Molina married Reynaldo Molina which union bore
a son. After a year of marriage, Reynaldo showed signs of immaturity and
irresponsibility as a husband and father as he preferred to spend more time
with his friends, depended on his parents for assistance, and was never
hones with his wife in regard to their finances resulting in frequent quarrel
between them. The RTC granted Roridel petition for declaration of nullity of
her marriage which was affirmed by the CA.
ISSUE
Whether or not irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities
constitute psychological incapacity
RULING
There is no clear showing that psychological defect spoken of is incapacity. It
appears to more of a difficulty, if not outright refusal or neglect in the
performance of some marital obligations. Mere showing of irreconcilable
difference and conflicting personalities in no wise constitutes psychological
incapacity. It is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their
responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must
be shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some psychological not
physical illness. The interpretation and application of Art. 36 of the Family
Code are hereby handed down: 1. burden of proof belongs to the plaintiff 2.
root cause of phsychological incapacity must be:a. medically or clinically
identified b.alleged in the complaint c.
sufficiently proven by experts
d.clearly explained in the decision 3.Incapacity must exist at the time of
marriage 4. Incapacity must be incurable 5.
Gravity of illness disables the
party to assume the essential marital obligations. 6.The essential marital
obligations are those in Articles 68-71, and Arts. 220,221 and 225 of the
Family Code 7.Interpretations of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal
of the Catholic Church should be given great respect 8.Prosecution and
Solicitor General must appear as counsel for the State.
30. IMELDA BOBIS VS ISAGANI BOBIS
G. R. No. 138509
July 31, 2000
FACTS
Petitioner Imelda filed a complaint on bigamy against Isagani Bobis. They
were married on January 25, 1996. Unknown to her, he had previous
marriage with Maria Dulce Javier on October 21, 1985 without said marriage
having been annulled, nullified or terminated. There was also a third
marriage with a certain Julia Sally Hernandez. Sometime thereafter,
92

respondent initiated a civil action for the judicial declaration of absolute


nullity of his first marriage on the ground that it was celebrated without a
marriage license. Respondent filed a motion to suspend the proceedings in
the criminal case. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same
was denied. She argued that respondent should have first obtained a judicial
declaration of nullity of his first marriage before entering into the second
marriage in as much as the alleged prejudicial question justifying suspension
of the bigamy case is no longer a legal truism pursuant to Article 40 of the
Family Code.
ISSUE
Whether or not the subsequent filing of a civil action for declaration of nullity
of a previous marriage constitutes a prejudicial question to a criminal case
for bigamy
RULING
No. There was clear intent on the part of the respondent to invoke the issue
of prejudicial question in order to escape the bigamy case filed against him.
Where the law provides that when there are two marriages; a first marriage
and a subsequent marriage were it not for the presence of the first marriage,
the subsequent marriage could have been valid. Parties to a marriage should
not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, only competent courts
having such authority. Prior to such declaration of nullity, the validity of the
first marriage is beyond question. A party who contracts a second marriage
then assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy. The lower court erred
in suspending the criminal case for bigamy. When respondent was indicted
for bigamy, the fact that he entered into two marriage ceremonies appeared
indubitable. It was only after he was sued by petitioner for bigamy that he
thought of seeking a judicial declaration of nullity of his first marriage. The
obvious intent is that respondent merely resorted to the civil action as a
potential prejudicial question for the purpose of frustrating or delaying his,
criminal prosecution. Pursuant Article 40 of the Family Code, respondent,
without first having obtained the judicial declaration of nullity of the first
marriage, can not be said to have validly entered into the second marriage.
The reason is that, without a judicial declaration of its nullity, the first
marriage is presumed to be subsisting. In the case at bar, respondent was for
all legal intents and purposes regarded as a married man at the time he
contracted his second marriage with petitioner. Any decision in the civil
action for nullity would not erase the fact that respondent entered into a
second marriage during the subsistence of a first marriage. Thus, a decision
in the civil case is not essential to the determination of the criminal charge. It
is, therefore, not a prejudicial question.
31. VERONICO TENEBRO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 150758
February 18, 2004
93

FACTS
Letecia Ancajas filed a complaint for bigamy against Veronico Tenebro.
Tenebro contracted marriage with Ancajas on April 10, 1990. The two lived
together continuously and without interruption until the latter part of 1991,
when Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had been previously married to a
certain Hilda Villareyes in 1986. Petitioner thereafter left the conjugal
dwelling which he shared with Ancajas, stating that he was going to cohabit
with Villareyes. In 1993, petitioner contracted yet another marriage with a
certain Nilda Villegas. Ancajas thereafter filed a complaint for bigamy against
petitioner. Tenebro countered that his marriage with Villareyes cannot be
proven as a fact there being no record of such. He further argued that his
second marriage, with Ancajas, has been declared void ab initio due to
psychological incapacity. Hence, he cannot be charged for bigamy.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not Tenebro is guilty of bigamy.
2. Whether or not the declaration of the nullity of Tenebro's second marriage
on the ground of psychological incapacity resulted to bigamy as not having
been committed
RULING
Yes. Tenebro is guilty of bigamy. Under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code,
the elements of the crime of Bigamy are: (1) that the offender has been
legally married; (2) that the first marriage has not been legally dissolved or,
in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse could not yet be
presumed dead according to the Civil Code; (3) that he contracts a second or
subsequent marriage; and (4) that the second or subsequent marriage has
all the essential requisites for validity. As a second or subsequent marriage
contracted during the subsistence of petitioners valid marriage to Villareyes,
petitioners marriage to Ancajas would be null and void ab initio completely
regardless of petitioners psychological capacity or incapacity. Since a
marriage contracted during the subsistence of a valid marriage is
automatically void, the nullity of this second marriage is not per se an
argument for the avoidance of criminal liability for bigamy. The law penalizes
the mere act of contracting a second or a subsequent marriage during the
subsistence of a valid marriage. There is no cogent reason for distinguishing
between a subsequent marriage that is null and void purely because it is a
second or subsequent marriage, and a subsequent marriage that is null and
void on the ground of psychological incapacity, at least insofar as criminal
liability for bigamy is concerned. Moreover, the declaration of the nullity of
the second marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity is not an
indicator that petitioners marriage to Ancajas lacks the essential requisites
for validity. The requisites for the validity of a marriage are classified by the
Family Code into essential and formal. In this case, all the essential and
94

formal requisites for the validity of marriage were satisfied by petitioner and
Ancajas.
32. VICTORIA JARILLO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G. R. No. 164435
September 29, 2009
FACTS
In1974, Victoria Jarillo and Rafael Alocillo were married in a civil wedding
ceremony. Appellant Victoria Jarillo thereafter contracted a subsequent
marriage with Emmanuel Ebora Santos Uy on November 26, 1979. In 1999,
Emmanuel Uy filed against the appellant annulment of marriage. Thereafter,
appellant Jarillo was charged with bigamy. Parenthetically, accused-appellant
filed against Alocillo, on October 5, 2000, declaration of nullity of their
marriage. On July 9, 2001, the court a quo finds accused Victoria Soriano
Jarillo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of bigamy. The motion for
reconsideration was denied by the same court. On appeal to the CA,
petitioners conviction was affirmed. In the meantime, petitioners 1974 and
1975 marriages to Alocillo was declared null and void ab initio on the ground
of Alocillos psychological incapacity. In her motion for reconsideration,
petitioner invoked said declaration of nullity as a ground for the reversal of
her conviction. However, the CA denied reconsideration.
ISSUE
Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed reversible in proceeding with
the case despite the pendency of a case which is prejudicial to the outcome
of the case.
RULING
It is true that right after the presentation of the prosecution evidence,
petitioner moved for suspension of the proceedings on the ground of the
pendency of the petition for declaration of nullity of petitioners marriages to
Alocillo, which, petitioner claimed involved a prejudicial question. In her
appeal, she also asserted that the petition for declaration of nullity of her
marriage to Uy, initiated by the latter, was a ground for suspension of the
proceedings. The RTC denied her motion for suspension, while the CA struck
down her arguments. Petitioners conviction of the crime of bigamy must be
affirmed. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of petitioners two
marriages to Alocillo cannot be considered a valid defense in the crime of
bigamy. The moment petitioner contracted a second marriage without the
previous one having been judicially declared null and void; the crime of
bigamy was already consummated because at the time of the celebration of
the second marriage, petitioners marriage to Alocillo, which had not yet
been declared null and void by a court of competent jurisdiction, was
deemed valid and subsisting. Neither would a judicial declaration of the
nullity of petitioners marriage to Uy make any difference. A plain reading of
95

Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, therefore, would indicate that the
provision penalizes the mere act of contracting a second or subsequent
marriage during the subsistence of a valid marriage.
33. ARTHUR TE vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 126746
November 29, 2000
FACTS
Arthur Te and Liliana Choa were married in civil rites on September 14,
1988. They did not live together after the marriage although they would
meet each other regularly. On May 20, 1990, while his marriage with private
respondent was subsisting, petitioner contracted a second marriage with a
certain Julieta Santella. Private respondent filed an information charging
petitioner with bigamy at the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Meanwhile,
on July 20, 1990, petitioner filed in the RTC of Quezon City an action for the
annulment of his marriage to private respondent on the ground that he was
forced to marry her. He alleged that private respondent concealed her
pregnancy by another man at the time of their marriage and that she was
psychologically incapacitated to perform her essential marital obligations. On
November 8, 1990, private respondent also filed with the Professional
Regulation Commission (PRC) an administrative case against petitioner and
Santella for the revocation of their respective engineering licenses on the
ground that they committed acts of immorality by living together and
subsequently marrying each other despite their knowledge that at the time
of their marriage, petitioner was already married to private respondent.
Petitioners motions were denied by the RTC and confirmed by the Court of
Appeals.
ISSUE
Whether or not the criminal and administrative cases filed against Arthur Te
be suspended pending the civil case for declaration of nullity of marriage.
RULING
The Court of Appeals did not err when it ruled that the pendency of the civil
case for annulment of marriage filed by petitioner against private respondent
did not pose a prejudicial question which would necessitate that the criminal
case for bigamy be suspended until said civil case is terminated. The
outcome of the civil case for annulment of petitioners marriage to private
respondent had no bearing upon the determination of petitioners innocence
or guilt in the criminal case for bigamy, because all that is required for the
charge of bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the
time the second marriage is contracted. Petitioners argument that the nullity
of his marriage to private respondent had to be resolved first in the civil case
before the criminal proceedings could continue, because a declaration that
their marriage was void ab initio would necessarily absolve him from criminal
liability, is untenable. The prevailing rule is found in Article 40 of the Family
Code, which was already in effect at the time of petitioners marriage to
96

private respondent in September 1988. Said article states that the absolute
nullity of a previous marriage may not be invoked for purposes of remarriage
unless there is a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void. Thus,
under the law, a marriage, even one which is void or voidable, shall be
deemed valid until declared otherwise in a judicial proceeding. The concept
of prejudicial question involves a civil and a criminal case. We have
previously ruled that there is no prejudicial question where one case is
administrative and the other is civil.
34. SALVADOR S. ABUNADO and ZENAIDA BIAS ABUNADO vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G. R. No. 159218
March 30, 2004
FACTS
Salvador married Narcisa Arceno on September 18, 1967. In 1988, Narcisa
left for Japan to work, while her marriage with Savador still subsisting, the
latter contracted a second marriage with Zenaida Bias before Judge
Panontongan in San Mateo , Rizal on January 10, 1989. When she learned
that her husband was having an extra-marital affair and has left their
conjugal home, she returned to the Philippines in 1992. An annulment case
was filed by Savador against Narcisa and subsequently, a case of bigamy
was filed by Narcisa against Salvador and Zenaida. The RTC of Makati
granted Salvador a judicial declaration of nullity of his marriage with Narcisa.
While on May 18, 2001, the RTC of San Mateo , Rizal rendered a decision
convicting Salvador for bigamy which on appeal, affirmed by the Court of
Appeals.
ISSUE
Whether Salvador contracted a subsequent marriage with Zenaida while his
first marriage with Narcisa was still subsisting.
RULING
The subsequent marriage was contracted while the first marriage was still
subsisting. It should be noted that bigamy can be successfully prosecuted
provided all its elements concur, two of which are a previous marriage and a
subsequent marriage which possesses all the requisites for validity. The
subsequent judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage was
immaterial because prior to the declaration of nullity, the crime had already
been consummated. For that reason, the petitioners assertion that his
petition for annulment/declaration of nullity of marriage was a prejudicial
question, hence, the proceedings in the bigamy case should have been
suspended during the pendency of the annulment case, cannot be given due
course since it would only delay the prosecution of bigamy. The outcome of
the civil case for annulment of petitioners marriage to Narcisa had no
bearing upon the determination of petitioners innocence or guilt in the
criminal case for bigamy, because all that is required for the charge of
bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the
second marriage is contracted. Thus, under the law, a marriage, even one
97

which is void or voidable, shall be deemed valid until declared otherwise in a


judicial proceeding. In this case, even if petitioner eventually obtained a
declaration that his first marriage was void ab initio, the point is, both the
first and the second marriage were subsisting before the first marriage was
annulled.
35. ANTONIA ARMAS vs. MARIETTA CALISTERIO
G. R. No. 136467
April 6, 2000
FACTS
Teodorico Calisterio died intestate, leaving several parcels of land, survived
by his wife, Marietta Calisterio. Teodorico was the second husband of
Marietta who had previously been married to James Bounds on January 13,
1946. James Bounds disappeared without a trace on February 11, 1947.
Teodorico and Marietta were married eleven years later on May 8, 1958,
without Marietta having secured a court declaration that James was
presumptively dead.
Antonia Armas y Calisterio, surviving sister of the late Teodorico Calisterio
filed a petition claiming to be the sole surviving heir of Toedorico contending
that the marriage between Marietta and Toedorico is null and void being
bigamous. She prayed that her son Sinfroniano C. Armas Jr., be appointed
administrator of the estate, and the inheritance be adjudicated to her. RTC
declared Antonia Armas as the sole heir of the estate of Teodorico. Court of
Appeals reversed the decision. Petitioner appealed. CA denied motion for
reconsideration.
ISSUE
Whether or not the marriage of spouses Teodorico Calisterio and Marietta is
null and void for being bigamous.
RULING
The marriage between the deceased Teodorico and respondent Marietta was
solemnized on 08 May 1958. The law in force at that time was the Civil
Code, not the Family Code which took effect only on 03 August 1988.
Paragraph (2) of the law gives exceptions from the above rule. For the
subsequent marriage referred to in the three exceptional cases therein
provided, to be held valid, the spouse present (not the absentee spouse) so
contracting the later marriage must have done so in good faith. 6 Bad faith
imports a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of
wrong it partakes of the nature of fraud, a breach of a known duty through
some motive of interest or ill will.

98

In the case at bar, it remained undisputed that respondent Marietta's first


husband, James William Bounds, had been absent or had disappeared for
more than eleven years before she entered into a second marriage in 1958
with the deceased Teodorico Calisterio. This second marriage, having been
contracted during the regime of the Civil Code, should thus be deemed valid
notwithstanding the absence of a judicial declaration of presumptive death of
James Bounds.

99

36. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G. R. No. 159614
December 9, 2005
FACTS
Alan B. Alegro filed a petition in the Regional Trial Court of Catbalogan,
Samar for the declaration of presumptive death of his wife, Rosalia (Lea) A.
Julaton.
Alan and Lea were married on January 20, 1995 in Catbalogan, Samar. He
testified that, Lea arrived home late in the evening and always out of their
house. Alan narrated that, when he reported for work , Lea was still in the
house, but when he arrived home later in the day, Lea was nowhere to be
found.
Alan went to the house of Leas parents, but he was told that she was not
there. Alan sought the help of Barangay Captain Juan Magat, who promised
to help him locate his wife. He also inquired from his and Leas friends of
latter whereabouts but to no avail.
Alan left for Manila on August 27, 1995. He failed to find out Leas
whereabouts despite his repeated talks with Janeth, Lea's friend . He decided
to work as a part-time taxi driver so that during his free time he would look
for Lea in the malls but still to no avail. He returned to Catbalogan in 1997
and again looked for his wife but failed.
On June 20, 2001, Alan reported Leas disappearance to the local police
station. The police authorities issued an Alarm Notice on July 4, 2001. Alan
also reported Leas disappearance to the National Bureau of Investigation
(NBI) on July 9, 2001.
After Alan rested his case, neither the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor nor
the Solicitor General adduced evidence in opposition to the petition.
On January 8, 2002, the court rendered judgment granting the petition.
The OSG appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals (CA) which rendered
judgment on August 4, 2003, affirming the decision of the RTC.
ISSUE
Whether or not Alan B. Alegro failed to prove that he had a well-founded
belief that Lea was already dead and failed to exercise reasonable and
diligent efforts to locate his wife.
RULING
Article 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines reads:
100

Art. 41. A marriage contracted by any person during the subsistence of a


previous marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the
subsequent marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive
years and the spouse present had a well-founded belief that the absent
spouse was already dead. In case of disappearance where there is danger
under the circumstances set forth in the provisions of Article 391 of the Civil
Code, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient.
The belief of the present spouse must be the result of proper and honest to
goodness inquiries and efforts to ascertain the whereabouts of the absent
spouse and whether the absent spouse is still alive or is already dead.
Whether or not the spouse present acted on a well-founded belief of death of
the absent spouse depends upon the inquiries to be drawn from a great
many circumstances occurring before and after the disappearance of the
absent spouse and the nature and extent of the inquiries made by present
spouse.
The respondent did report and seek the help of the local police authorities
and the NBI to locate Lea, but it was only an afterthought. He did so only
after the OSG filed its notice to dismiss his petition in the RTC.
In sum, the Court finds and so holds that the respondent failed to prove that
he had a well-founded belief, before he filed his petition in the RTC, that his
spouse Rosalia (Lea) Julaton was already dead.
37. EDUARDO P. MANUEL vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.
G. R. No.165842
November 29, 2005
FACTS
July 28, 1975, Eduardo was married to Rubylus Gaa. He met Tina B.
Gandalera in Dagupan City in January 1996. Tina was then twenty one (21)
years old a Computer Secretarial student while Eduardo was thirty nine (39).
Eduardo proposed marriage on several occasions, assuring her that he was
single. Eduardo even brought his parents to Baguio City to meet Tinas
parents, and was assured by them that their son was still single. Tina and
Eduardo were married on April 22, 1996. It appeared in their marriage
contract that Eduardo was single. The couple was happy during the first
three years of their married life. Sometime in January 2001, Eduardo took all
his clothes, left, and did not return. Worse, he stopped giving financial
support. Tina made inquiries from the NSO in Manila where she learned that
Eduardo had been previously married.
For his part, Eduardo testified that Tina is a GRO and he informed her of his
previous marriage to Rubylus Gaa, but she nevertheless agreed to marry
him. Eduardo further testified that he declared he was single in his
101

marriage contract with Tina because he believed in good faith that his first
marriage was invalid. Eduardo further claimed that he was only forced to
marry his first wife because she threatened to commit suicide. Rubylus was
charged with estafa in 1975 and thereafter imprisoned. He insisted that he
married Tina believing that his first marriage was no longer valid because he
had not heard from Rubylus for more than 20 years.
The RTC and CA held petitioner guilty of bigamy under Art 349 of the RPC.
Article 41 of the Family Code should apply. Before Manuel could lawfully
marry the private complainant, there should have been a judicial declaration
of Gaas presumptive death as the absent spouse.
ISSUE
Whether or not the prosecution failed to prove the second element of the
felony, i.e., that the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case
his/her spouse is absent, the absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead
under the Civil Code.
RULING
The reason why bigamy is considered a felony is to preserve and ensure the
juridical tie of marriage established by law. The phrase or before the absent
spouse had been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment
rendered in the proper proceedings was incorporated in the Revised Penal
Code because the drafters of the law were of the impression that in
consonance with the civil law which provides for the presumption of death
after an absence of a number of years, the judicial declaration of presumed
death like annulment of marriage should be a justification for bigamy.
For the accused to be held guilty of bigamy, the prosecution is burdened to
prove the felony: (a) he/she has been legally married; and (b) he/she
contracts a subsequent marriage without the former marriage having been
lawfully dissolved. The felony is consummated on the celebration of the
second marriage or subsequent marriage. The judicial declaration of nullity
of a previous marriage is a defense.
In the present case, the prosecution proved that the petitioner was married
to Gaa in 1975, and such marriage was not judicially declared a nullity;
hence, the marriage is presumed to subsist. The prosecution also proved that
the petitioner married the private complainant in 1996, long after the
effectivity of the Family Code.
38. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC. vs. TERESITA JARQUE VDA. DE
BAILON
G. R. No. 165545
March 24, 2006
102

FACTS
April 25, 1955, Clemente Bailon contracted marriage with Alice P. Diaz in
Barcelona Sorosogon.
October 9, 1970, more than 15 years later, Clemente filed a petition with the
RTC to declare Alice presumptively dead, which was granted by the RTC.
August 18, 1983, Bailon contracted another marriage with Teresita Jarque the
respondent.
January 30, 1988, Bailon who was a member and a retiree pensioner died.
Teresita filed a claim for funeral benefits and additional death benefits which
were granted by the SSS.
Cecilia Bailon Yap, who claimed to be the daughter of Bailon and Elisa Jayona
contested before SSS the release ti Teresita the funeral and death benefits.
Cecilia claimed that Bailon contracted three marriages in his lifetime, the
first with Alice, the second with her mother, and the third with Teresita. Elisa
and seven of her children filed claims for death benefits as Bailon's
beneficiaries. SSS legal unit recommended the cancellation of payment of
death and pension benefit to Teresita. Teresita filed a petition for the
restoration of the monthly pension. SSS on its resolution found that the
marriage of Bailon to Teresita was void. SSS holds that Teresita is not the
legitimate spouse and primary beneficiary of SSS member Bailon.
Teresita filed motion for reconsideration having been denied she filed petition
for review before CA. CA reversed the order of SSS. SSS and SSC file motion
for reconsideration which was denied.
ISSUE
Whether SSS thru SSC can validly declare the marriage between respondent
and Bailon null and void.
RULING
The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. The SSC is empowered to settle
the controversy with respect to the SSS coverage, benefits and contributions,
there is no doubt. But, in exercising such prerogative, it cannot review or
reverse the decision rendered by court, as it did in this case. The law does
not grant the SSC such power.
Furthermore, since the marriages involved in this case were contracted prior
to the enactment of the Family Code, the governing law shall be the Civil
Code. Under the law, any marriage subsequently contracted by any person
during the lifetime of the first spouse of such person with any person other
than the such first spouse shall be illegal unless the first spouse has been
absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the second marriage, or if
the absentee is generally considered dead an believed to be so by the
103

spouse present at the time of the second marriage or if the absentee is


presumed dead according to Articles 390 and 391. The subsequent marriage
shall be valid until declared null and void by competent court. Thus, where a
person has entered two successive marriages, a presumption arises in favor
of the validity of the second marriage, and the burden is on the person
attacking the validity of the second marriage to prove that the first marriage
had not been dissolved. It bears noting that the voidable marriage can be
assailed only by direct proceeding. As such, such marriage can only be
assailed during the lifetime of the parties and not after the death of either, in
which case, the parties and their offspring will be left as if the marriage had
been valid. Upon the death of either, the marriage cannot be impeached,
and is made good ab initio. In the case at bar, as no step was taken to nullify
the marriage between the respondent and Bailon prior to the death of the
latter, respondent was rightfully the dependent spouse of Bailon and, thus,
entitled to all the benefits granted by SSS.
39. ANGELITA VALDEZ vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
G. R. No. 180863
September 8, 2009
FACTS
Angelita Valdez and Sofio married on January 11, 1971.
According to
petitioner, she and Sofio argued constantly because the latter was
unemployed and did not bring home any money. In March 1972, Sofio left
their conjugal dwelling. In October 1975, Sofio showed up at Bancay 1st. He
and petitioner talked for several hours and they agreed to separate. They
executed a document to that effect. That was the last time they saw each
other, after that she didn't hear any news from Sofio.
Believing that Sofio was already dead, petitioner married Virgilio Reyes on
June 20, 1985.3 Subsequently, however, Virgilio's application for
naturalization filed with the United States Department of Homeland Security
was denied because petitioner's marriage to Sofio was subsisting. Hence, on
March 29, 2007, petitioner filed a Petition before the RTC seeking the
declaration of presumptive death of Sofio.
The RTC rendered its Decision on November 12, 2007, dismissing the Petition
for lack of merit. The RTC held that Angelita "was not able to prove the wellgrounded belief that her husband Sofio Polborosa was already dead."
Petition filed a motion for reconsideration. RTC denied the motion.
ISSUE
Whether or not RTC erred in applying the provisions of the Family Code and
holding that petitioner needed to prove a well-founded belief that Sofio
was already dead.
104

RULING
It can be gleaned that, under the Civil Code, the presumption of death is
established by law and no court declaration is needed for the presumption to
arise. Since death is presumed to have taken place by the seventh year of
absence, Sofio is to be presumed dead starting October 1982. Consequently,
at the time of petitioner's marriage to Virgilio, there existed no impediment
to petitioner's capacity to marry, and the marriage is valid under paragraph
2 of Article 83 of the Civil Code. Further, considering that it is the Civil Code
that applies, proof of "well-founded belief" is not required. Petitioner could
not have been expected to comply with this requirement since the Family
Code was not yet in effect at the time of her marriage to Virgilio. The
enactment of the Family Code in 1988 does not change this conclusion. The
Family Code itself states:
"Art. 256. This Code shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does not
prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil
Code or other laws."
To retroactively apply the provisions of the Family Code requiring petitioner
to exhibit "well-founded belief" will, ultimately, result in the invalidation of
her second marriage, which was valid at the time it was celebrated. Such a
situation would be untenable and would go against the objectives that the
Family Code wishes to achieve. In sum, we hold that the Petition must be
dismissed since no decree on the presumption of Sofio's death can be
granted under the Civil Code, the same presumption having arisen by
operation of law. However, we declare that petitioner was capacitated to
marry Virgilio at the time their marriage was celebrated in 1985 and,
therefore, the said marriage is legal and valid.
40. FEDERICO SUNTAY vs. ISABEL COJUANGCO-SUNTAY
G. R. No. 132524
December 29, 1988
FACTS
On July 9, 1958, Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay (son of petitioner Federico Suntay)
and Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay were married. Out of this marriage, three
children were born namely: Margarita Guadalupe, Isabel Aguinaldo and
Emilio Aguinaldo. After 4 years, the marriage soured so that in 1962, Isabel
Cojuangco-Suntay filed a criminal case against her husband Emilio allegedly
for parricide and in retaliation, Emilio filed before the CFI a complaint for
legal separation, charging her, among others, with infidelity and praying for
the custody and care of their children who were living with their mother.
On October 3, 1967, the trial court rendered a decision the dispositive
portion of which reads:
105

WHEREFORE, the marriage celebrated between Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay and


Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay on July 9, 1958 is hereby declared null and void and
of no effect as between the parties. It being admitted by the parties and
shown by the record that the question of the case and custody of the three
children have been the subject of another case between the same parties in
another branch of this Court in Special Proceeding No. 6428, the same
cannot be litigated in this case.
On June 1, 1979, Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay predeceased his mother, the
decedent Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay. The latter is respondent Isabel's
paternal grandmother. The decedent died on June 4, 1990 without leaving a
will.
Petitioner Federico is the oppositor to respondent Isabels Petition for Letters
of Administration over the estate of Cristina Suntay. The decedent is the wife
of Federico and the grandmother of Isabel.
The marriage of Isabels parents had previously been decalred by the CFI as
null and void. Federico anchors his oppostion on this fact, alleging based
on Art. 992 of the CC, that Isabel has no right to succeed by right of
representation as she is an illegitimate child. The trial court had denied
Federicos Motion to Dismiss, hence this petition for certiorari. Federico
contends that, inter alia, that the dispositive portion of the the decision
declaring the marriage of Isabels parents null and void be upheld.
ISSUES
1. In case of conflict between the body of the decision and the dispostive
portion thereof, which should prevail?
2. Was the marriage of Isabels parents a case of a void or voidable
marriage?
3. Whether or not Isabel is an legitimate child?
RULING
Petition dismissed .
Art. 10 of the Civil Code states that in case of doubt in the interpretation and
application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right
and justice to prevail. This is also applicable and binding upon courts in
relation to its judgment. While the dispositive portion of the CFI decision
states that the marriage be declared null and void, the body had shown
that the legal basis was par. 3 Art. 85 of the Civil Code, which was in effect at
the time. Art. 85 enumerates the causes for which a marriage may be
annulled. As such the conflict between the body and the dispositive portion
of the decision may be reconcilable as noted by the Supreme Court.
The fundamental distinction between void and voidable marriages is that
void marriage is deemed never to have taken place at all. The effects of void
106

marriages, with respect to property relations of the spouses are provided for
under Article 144 of the Civil Code. Children born of such marriages who are
called natural children by legal fiction have the same status, rights and
obligations as acknowledged natural children under Article 89 irrespective of
whether or not the parties to the void marriage are in good faith or in bad
faith.
On the other hand, a voidable marriage, is considered valid and produces all
its civil effects, until it is set aside by final judgment of a competent court in
an action for annulment. Juridically, the annulment of a marriage dissolves
the special contract as if it had never been entered into but the law makes
express provisions to prevent the effects of the marriage from being totally
wiped out. The status of children born in voidable marriages is governed by
the second paragraph of Article 89 which provides that:
Children conceived of voidable marriages before the decree of annulment
shall be considered legitimate; and children conceived thereafter shall have
the same status, rights and obligations as acknowledged natural children,
and are also called natural children by legal fiction.
In view thereof, the status of Isabel would be covered by the second
paragraph of Article 89 of the Civil Code which provides that children
conceived of voidable marriages before the decree of annulment shall be
considered legitimate.

41. FILIPINA SY vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G. R. No. 127263
April 12, 2000
FACTS
Petitioner Filipina Y. Sy and private respondent Fernando Sy contracted
marriage on November 15, 1973. Both were then 22 years old. Their union
was blessed with two children. On September 15, 1983, Fernando left their
conjugal dwelling. Since then, the spouses lived separately, and their two
children were in the custody of their mother.
On August 4, 1992, Filipina filed a petition for the declaration of absolute
nullity of her marriage to Fernando on the ground of psychological incapacity
and cited as manifestations of her husband's psychological incapacity the
following: (1) habitual alcoholism; (2) refusal to live with her without fault on
her part, choosing to live with his mistress instead; and (3) refusal to have
sex with her, performing the marital act only to satisfy himself. Moreover,
Filipina alleges that such psychological incapacity of her husband existed
107

from the time of the celebration of their marriage and became manifest
thereafter.
The RTC denied the petition. Petitioner appealed to CA which affirmed the
decision of the trial court.
The CA ruled that the testimony of petitioner concerning respondent's
purported psychological incapacity falls short of the quantum of evidence
required to nullify a marriage celebrated with all the formal and essential
requisites of law. Moreover, the Court of Appeals held that petitioner failed to
show that the alleged psychological incapacity of respondent had existed at
the time of the celebration of their marriage in 1973. It reiterated the finding
of the trial court that the couple's marital problems surfaced only in 1983, or
almost ten years from the date of the celebration of their marriage. And prior
to their separation in 1983, they were living together harmoniously.
Hence, this appeal by certiorari wherein petitioner now raises for the first
time, raises the issue of the marriage being void for lack of a valid marriage
license at the time of its celebration. According to her, the date of the actual
celebration of their marriage and the date of issuance of their marriage
certificate and marriage license are different and incongruous.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not the marriage between petitioner and private respondent is
void from the beginning for lack of a marriage license at the time of the
ceremony; and
2. Whether or not private respondent is psychologically incapacitated at the
time of said marriage celebration to warrant a declaration of its absolute
nullity.
RULING
A marriage license is a formal requirement; its absence renders the marriage
void ab initio.
As a rule litigants cannot raise an issue for the first time on appeal, as this
would contravene the basic rules of fair play and justice, in a number of
instances, the Court has relaxed observance of procedural rules, noting that
technicalities are not ends in themselves but exist to protect and promote
substantive rights of litigants. Certain rules ought not to be applied with
severity and rigidity if by so doing, the very reason for their existence would
be defeated. Hence, when substantial justice plainly requires, exempting a
particular case from the operation of technicalities should not be subject to
cavil.
This case requires that the court to address the issue of the validity of the
marriage between the parties which petitioner claims is void from the
108

beginning for lack of a marriage license, in order to arrive at a just resolution


of a deeply seated and violent conflict between the parties. Note, however,
that the pertinent facts are not disputed; and what is required is a
declaration of their effects according to existing law. Pieces of evidence on
record plainly and indubitably show that on the day of the marriage
ceremony, there was no marriage license.
The remaining issue on the psychological incapacity of private respondent is
rendered moot and academic by the courts conclusion that the marriage is
void ab initio for lack of a marriage license at the time their marriage was
solemnized.
Note: Habitual alcoholism, refusal to live with her without fault on her part,
choosing to live with his mistress instead; and refusal to have sex with her,
performing the marital act only to satisfy one dont constitute psychological
incapacity. It falls short of the quantum of evidence.
The petition is GRANTED. The marriage is declared void ab initio for lack of a
marriage license at the time of celebration.
42. ANTONIA ARMAS vs. MARIETTA CALISTERIO
G. R. No. 136467
April6, 2000
FACTS
Teodorico Calisterio died intestate, leaving several parcels of land, survived
by his wife, Marietta Calisterio. Teodorico was the second husband of
Marietta who had previously been married to James Bounds on January 13,
1946. James Bounds disappeared without a trace on February 11, 1947.
Teodorico and Marietta were married eleven years later on May 8, 1958,
without Marietta having secured a court declaration that James was
presumptively dead.
Antonia Armas y Calisterio, surviving sister of the late Teodorico Calisterio
filed a petition claiming to be the sole surviving heir of Toedorico contending
that the marriage between Marietta and Toedorico is null and void being
bigamous. She prayed that her son Sinfroniano C. Armas Jr., be appointed
administrator of the estate, and the inheritance be adjudicated to her.
ISSUE
Whether or not the petitioner is considered as the compulsory heir.
RULING

109

It is evident that the basic issue focuses on the validity of the marriage
between the deceased Teodorico and respondent Marietta which would be
determinative of her right as a surviving spouse.
The conjugal property of Teodorico and Marietta , no evidence having been
adduced to indicate another property regime between the spouses, pertains
to them in common. Upon its dissolution with the death of Teodorico, the
property should rightly be divided in two equal portions -- one portion going
to the surviving spouse and the other portion to the estate of the deceased
spouse.
43. OFELIA P. TY vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 127406
November 27, 2000
FACTS
Private respondent seeks for the nullity of his marriage with herein petitioner
on the ground that they had no marriage license when they got married. He
also averred that at the time he married Ofelia P. Ty, he has a subsisting
marriage with Anna Maria Regina Villanueva.
Reyes contracted two marriages. His first marriage Villanueva was on March
29, 1977 thru a civil ceremony and they had their church wedding on August
27 of the same year. Prior to the grant for declaration of nullity for his first
marriage, respondent Reyes contracted a subsequent marriage with herein
petitioner, Ty, on April 4, 1979 in a civil ceremony and a church wedding on
April 4, 1982. It was only on August 4, 1980 wherein the Juvenile and
Domestic Relations Court of Quezon City declared the marriage of Reyes and
Villanueva as null and void ab initio for lack of a valid marriage license.
Likewise, their church wedding on August 27, 1977, was also declared null
and void ab initio for lack of consent of the parties.
On the other hand, petitioner in her defense, submitted their marriage
license 5739990 issued at Rosario , Cavite on April 3, 1979 so as to disprove
the contention of Reyes that their marriage was celebrated without a
marriage license. She likewise presented the court decision rendering private
respondent and Villanuevas marriage as null and void.
ISSUE
Whether the decree of nullity of the first marriage is required before a
subsequent marriage can be entered into validly.

RULING
110

The marriage between herein petitioner and private respondent was


celebrated in 1977, whereby the applicable law at that time was Article 83 of
the Civil Code. However, as to whether a judicial declaration of nullity of a
void marriage is necessary, the Civil Code contains no express provision to
that effect. Jurisprudence on the matter, however, appears to be conflicting.
Nonetheless, since the second marriage of private respondent was entered
into 1979, the Court applied the prevailing rule in the cases of Odayat vs.
Amante, People vs. Mendoza and People vs. Aragon . The first marriage of
private respondent being void for lack of license and consent, there was no
need for judicial declaration of its nullity before he could contract a second
marriage. In this case, therefore, we conclude that private respondents
second marriage to petitioner is valid.
Moreover, the Court held that the provisions of the Family Code cannot be
retroactively applied to the present case, for to do so would prejudice the
vested rights of petitioner and of her children.
44. Lucio Morigo vs. People of the Philippines
G. R. No. 145226
February 6, 2004
FACTS
Lucio Morigo and Lucia Barrete were boardmates for a period of four (4)
years (from 1974-1978). After that school year of 1977-78, they lost contact
with each other. Six years after, Lucio Morigo receive a card from Lucia
Barrete. After an exchange of letters, they became sweethearts. They
maintained constant communication. After six years of becoming
sweethearts, both agreed to get married, thus they were married. Lucia
reported back to her work abroad leaving appellant Lucio behind. Almost a
year after of their marriage, Lucia filed abroad a petition for divorce against
petitioner which was granted by the court. Lucio Morigo married Maria
Jececha Lumbago. Later, petitioner filed a complaint for judicial declaration
of nullity of marriage. The complaint seek among others, the declaration of
nullity of his marriage with Lucia, on the ground that no marriage ceremony
actually took place. Petitioner was charged with Bigamy.
The RTC rendered judgment against the petitioner guilty of bigamy
discounting petitioners claim that his first marriage to Lucia was null and
void ab initio and ruled that want of a valid marriage ceremony is not a
defense in a charge of bigamy, that parties to a marriage should not be
allowed to assume that their marriage is void even if such be the fact but
must first secure a judicial declaration of the nullity of their marriage before
they can be allowed to marry again and that the court of a country were
divorce was obtained by Lucia in which neither of the spouses is domiciled
has no jurisdiction to determine the matrimonial status of the parties as
such, it is not entitled to recognition anywhere. Meanwhile on appeal,
111

declaration of nullity was granted which became final and executory. Despite
declaration of nullity, Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower
court ruling that the subsequent declaration of nullity of Lucios marriage to
Lucia could not acquit Lucio. Hence, the present petition.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioner committed bigamy.
RULING
The Court ruled that petitioner did not commit bigamy hence, petition is
granted. The first element of bigamy as a crime requires that the accused
must have been legally married. In this case, the petitioner was never
married to Lucia Barrete as declared in the trial court that the marriage is
void ab initio which means that there was no marriage to begin with; and
that such declaration of nullity retroacts to the date of the first marriage. In
other words, for all intents and purposes, reckoned from the date of the
declaration of the first marriage as void ab initio to the date of the
celebration of the first marriage, the accused was, under the eyes of the law,
never married . Thus, there is no first marriage to speak of. The contract of
marriage is null; it bears no legal effect. Hence, petitioner was not married to
Lucia at the time he contracted the marriage with Maria Jececha. The
existence and the validity of the first marriage being an essential element of
the crime of bigamy, it is but logical that a conviction for said offense cannot
be sustained where there is no first marriage to speak of. There is no
marriage ceremony at all was also performed, in the instant case, by a duly
authorized solemnizing officer. Petitioner and Lucia Barrete merely signed a
marriage contract on their own. The mere private act of signing a marriage
contract bears no semblance to a valid marriage and thus, needs no judicial
declaration of nullity. Such act alone, without more, cannot be deemed to
constitute an ostensibly valid marriage for which petitioner might be held
liable for bigamy unless he first secures a judicial declaration of nullity before
he contracts a subsequent marriage. Thus, petitioner has not committed
bigamy.

ii. On Marriages Celebrated Abroad


45. GRACE GARCIA vs. REDERICK RECIO
G. R. No. 138322
October 2, 2001
FACTS
On May 18, 1989, a decree of divorce was issued by an Australian family
court dissolving the marriage of respondent Rederick Recio, then Filipino and
Editha Samson, an Australian citizen. He then married petitioner Grace
Garcia, a Filipina on January 12, 1994. On March 1998, petitioner filed a
complaint for declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of bigamy
112

that respondent had a subsisting marriage when he married her. In the


respondents answer, he contended that his first marriage to an Australian
citizen had been validly dissolved by a divorce decree obtained in Australian
in 1989 thus, he was legally capacitated to marry petitioner in 1994. On July
7, 1998, while the suit for the declaration of nullity was pending, respondent
was able to secure a divorce decree from a family court in Sydney, Australia.
The trial court declared the marriage dissolved on the ground that the
divorce issued in Australia was valid and recognized in the Philippines. The
Australian divorce had ended the marriage; thus, there was no more martial
union to nullify or annul.
ISSUES
1. Whether the divorce between respondent and Editha Samson was proven
and;
2. Whether respondent was legally capacitated to marry petitioner
RULING
A divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction,
provided such decree is valid according to the national law of the foreigner.
However, the divorce decree and the governing personal law of the alien
spouse who obtained the divorce must be proven. Our courts do not take
judicial notice of foreign laws and judgment; hence, like any other facts, both
the divorce decree and the national law of the alien must be alleged and
proven according to our law on evidence.
The court a quo erred in finding that the divorce decree ipso facto clothed
respondent with the legal capacity to remarry without requiring him to
adduce sufficient evidence to show the Australian personal law governing his
status; or at the very least, to prove his legal capacity to contract the second
marriage. The legal capacity to contract marriage is determined by the
national law of the party concerned. A duly authenticated and admitted
certificate is prima facie evidence of legal capacity to marry on the part of
the alien applicant for a marriage license. The proof is absent here.
46. WOLFGANG ROEHR vs. MARIA CARMEN RODRIGUEZ
G. R. No. 142829
June 20, 2003
FACTS
Petitioner Wolfgang O. Roehr, a German citizen and resident of Germany,
married private respondent Carmen Rodriguez, a Filipina, on December 11,
1980 in Hamburg, Germany. On August 28, 1996, respondent filed a petition
for declaration of nullity of marriage. Pending trial, petitioner obtained a
decree of divorce from the Court of First Instance of Hamburg-Blankenese,
promulgated on December 16, 1997. Custody of the children was granted to
petitioner. On May 20, 1999, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the
113

ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
action as a decree of annulment has already been promulgated. Motion to
Dismiss was granted and respondent filed a Motion for Partial
Reconsideration for the custody of the children and distribution of the
properties. Petitioner contended that there is nothing to be done anymore in
the case as there is already a decree of divorce promulgated by German
court.

ISSUES
Whether the legal effects of a divorce obtained from a foreign country such
as support and custody of the children, can be determined in our courts.
RULING
As a general rule, divorce decrees obtained by foreigners in other countries
are recognizable in our jurisdiction, but the legal effects thereof, e.g. on
custody, care and support of the children, must still be determined by our
courts. Before our courts can give the effect of res judicata to a foreign
judgment, such as the award of custody to petitioner by the German court, it
must be shown that the parties opposed to the judgment had been given
ample opportunity to do so on grounds allowed under Rule 39, Section 50 of
the Rules of Court. Accordingly, the respondent was not given the
opportunity to challenge the judgement of the German Court, therefore, legal
effects of divorce must be determined in our courts. The court held that the
trial court has jurisdiction over the issue between the parties as to who has
parental custody.
47. PAULA T. LLORENTE vs. CA and ALICIA F. LLORENTE
G. R. No. 124371
November 23, 2000
FACTS
Lorenzo Llorente and petitioner Paula Llorente were married in Camarines
Sur in Feb 22, 1937. On November 30, 1943, Lorenzo became a naturalized
US citizen. Lorenzo discovered that petitioner had an adulterous relationship
so he filed for divorce with the Superior Court of the State of California and
on December 4, 1952, the divorce became final. On January 16, 1958,
Lorenzo married Alicia F. Llorente who had no knowledge of the first marriage
and they lived together until his death on June 11, 1985. Upon learning of
Lorenzos death, Paula filed a petition for the issuance of letters
testamentary in her favour contending that she is the surviving legitimate
spouse.
ISSUE
114

Whether the foreign divorce between petitioner Paula and the late Lorenzo is
valid and if it capacitated him to remarry.
RULING
Citing Van Dorn v Romillo, the Court ruled that aliens may obtain divorces
abroad, provided they are valid according to their national law. Also citing
Pilapil vs Ibay-Somera, divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the
Philippines in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the status of
persons.
The court held that the divorce obtained by Lorenzo Llorente from his wife
Paula is valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity.

48. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.CIPRIANO ORBECIDO III


G. R. No. 154380
October 5, 2005
FACTS
Cipriano Orbecido III married then Filipina, Lady Myros Villanueva on May 24,
1981. Ciprianos wife left for the US and was naturalized as an American
citizen after a few years. He then learned that his wife obtained a divorce
decree and married a certain Stanley. Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial
court a petition for authority to remarry.
ISSUE
Whether the petition for authority to remarry be granted?
RULING
When Ciprianos wife was naturalized as an American citizen, there was still
a valid marriage that has been celebrated between her and Cipriano. The
naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid divorce capacitating her
to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the application of Paragraph 2 of
Article 26 are both present in this case. Thus Cipriano, the divorced
Filipino spouse, should be allowed to remarry.
Likewise, before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our own
courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and
demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it.] Furthermore,
respondent must also show that the divorce decree allows his former wife to
remarry as specifically required in Article 26. Otherwise, there would be no
evidence sufficient to declare that he is capacitated to enter into another
marriage.
49. MARIA REBECCA MACAPUGAY BAYOT vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. Nos. 155635 & 163979
November 7, 2008
115

FACTS
Vicente married Rebecca, an American Citizen on April 20, 1979, in
Mandaluyong City.
In 1996, Rebecca initiated divorce proceedings in the
Dominican Republic and on February 22, 1996, a decree dissolving their
marriage was issued by the Dominican court, leaving them to remarry after
completing the legal requirements. On March 21, 2001, Rebecca filed a
petition for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage on the ground of
Vicentes alleged psychological incapacity. Vicente filed a Motion to Dismiss
on the grounds of lack of cause of action and that the petition is barred by
the prior judgment of divorce. Rebecca opposed on the motion to dismiss
insisting on her Filipino citizenship, as affirmed by the DOJ and that,
therefore, there is no valid divorce to speak of. Vicente who had in the
interim contracted marriage, and Rebecca commenced several criminal
complaints against each other one of which is the charge of bigamy against
Vicente. The RTC denied Vicentes motion to dismiss and declared among
other things, that the divorce judgment invoked by Vicente is a matter of
defense best taken up during actual trial. CA granted Vicentes motion to
dismiss that Rebecca no longer had a legal right in this jurisdiction to have
her marriage with Vicente declared void, the union having been previously
dissolved by foreign divorce that Rebecca secured as an American citizen.
Pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family code, such
divorce restored Vicentes capacity to contract another marriage.
ISSUE
Whether the divorce granted by the foreign court is valid.
RULING
Citing Garcia vs Recio, a foreign divorce can be recognized here, provided
the divorce decree is proven as a fact and as valid under the national law of
the alien spouse. The fact that Rebecca was an American citizen when she
secured the divorce and that she presented a duly authenticated copy of the
decree are, sufficient proofs for the admission of their divorce in our courts.
As to Rebeccas citizenship, the court can assume that Rebecca is now a
Filipino citizen but she was not yet a recognized Filipino citizen when she
secured the judgment of divorce from the Dominican Republic. The court
pointed out that the reckoning point is not the citizenship of the divorcing
parties at birth or at the time of marriage, but their citizenship at the time a
valid divorce is obtained abroad.
It is clear that Rebecca lacks a cause of action. With the valid foreign divorce
secured by Rebecca, there is no more marital tie binding her, thus there is no
more marriage to be annulled.

116

50. EDGAR SAN LUIS vs. FELICIDAD SAN LUIS


G. R. Nos. 133743 & 134029
February 6, 2007
FACTS
Felicisimo contracted three marriages in his lifetime. The first predeceased
him and the second, named Merry Lee, was an American citizen who was
issued a Decree granting Absolute Divorce. Felicisimo then married
respondent Felicidad Sagalongos-San Luis in California. He lived with her for
18 years until his death on December 18, 1992. Respondent sought the
dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets and the settlement of
Felicisimos estate, alleging that she is widow. She prayed that the letters of
administration be issued to her. On February 4, 1994, petitioner Rodolfo San
Luis, one of the children by his first marriage filed a motion to dismiss
claiming that the respondent has no legal personality to file the petition
because she was only a mistress of Felicisimo since the latter, at the time of
his death was still married to Merry Lee. The trial court denied the motion to
dismiss. Unaware of the dismissal, respondent presented the decree of
absolute divorce issued by the State of Hawaii to prove that Felicisimos
marriage to Merry Lee had already been dissolved. She claimed that
Felicisimo had a legal capacity to marry following the decree of divorce.
ISSUE
Whether the divorce between Felicisimo and Merry Lee was valid, giving the
respondent the legal capacity to file a petition for letters of administration.
RULING
The records show that there is insufficient evidence to prove the validity of
the divorce obtained by Merry Lee as well as the marriage of the respondent
and Felicisimo under the laws of the USA. The presentation solely of the
divorce decree is insufficient and that proof of its authenticity and due
execution must be presented. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a
writing or document may be proven as a public or official record of a foreign
country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by
the officer having legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept in
the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued
by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service
stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b)
authenticated by the seal of his office.
Nevertheless, we find that the latter has the legal personality to file the
subject petition for letters of administration, as she may be considered the
co-owner of Felicisimo as regards the properties that were acquired through
their joint efforts during their cohabitation.

iii. On Consequences of a Valid Marriage


117

a. On Legal Separation
51. ESTRELLA DE LA CRUZ vs. SEVERINO DE LA CRUZ
G. R. No. L-19565
January 30, 1968
FACTS
The plaintiff, Estrella de la Cruz and the defendant, Severino de la Cruz, were
married in Bacolod City on February 1, 1938. The defendant started living in
Manila in 1955, although he occasionally returned to Bacolod City, sleeping
in his office instead of sleeping in the conjugal dwelling although in the said
year, he paid short visits during which they engaged in brief conversations.
After 1955 up to the time of the trial (complaint was filed on July 22, 1958),
the defendant had never visited the conjugal abode. In 1949, she began to
suspect the existence of illicit relations between defendant and Nenita
Hernandez. The defendant denied that he abandoned his wife and family,
averring that he has never failed, even for a single month, to give them
financial support. The defendant denied that he had a mistress.
ISSUE
Did the separation of the defendant from the plaintiff constitute
abandonment in law that would justify a separation of the conjugal
partnership properties?
RULING
The word abandon, in its ordinary sense, means to forsake entirely. When
referring to desertion of a wife by a husband, the word has been defined as
the act of a husband in voluntarily leaving his wife with intention to forsake
her entirely, never to return to her and never to resume his marital duties
towards her, or to claim his marital rights.
In the case at bar, the court believes that the defendant did not intend to
leave his wife and children permanently. The record conclusively shows that
he continued to give support to his family despite his absence from the
conjugal home.
If there is only physical separation between the spouses (and nothing more),
engendered by the husband's leaving the conjugal abode, but the husband
continues to manage the conjugal properties with the same zeal, industry,
and efficiency as he did prior to the separation, and religiously gives support
to his wife and children, as in the case at bar, we are not disposed to grant
the wife's petition for separation of property. This decision may appear to
condone the husband's separation from his wife; however, the remedies
granted to the wife by articles 167 and 178 are not to be construed as
condonation of the husband's act but are designed to protect the conjugal
partnership from waste and shield the wife from want. Therefore, a denial of
the wife's prayer does not imply a condonation of the husband's act but
merely points up the insufficiency or absence of a cause of action.
118

52. CARMEN LAPUZ SY vs. EUFEMIO S. EUFEMIO


G. R. No. L-30977
January 31, 1972
FACTS
On August 18, 1953, Carmen Lapuz filed a petition for legal separation
against Eufemio S. Eufemio alleging that she discovered her husband
cohabiting with a Chinese woman. She prayed among others, that Eufemio
should be deprived of his share of the conjugal partnership profits. In
Eufemios answer to the petition, he counter-claimed a declaration of nullity
ab initio of his marriage with petitioner on the ground of a prior subsisting
marriage with Go Hiok. Before the trial could be completed, petitioner died in
a vehicular accident. Eufemio moved to dismiss the petition for legal
separation on two grounds namely: that the petition for legal separation was
filed beyond the one-year period provided for in Article 102 of the Civil Code;
and that the death of Carmen abated the action for legal separation. On 26
June 1969, counsel for deceased petitioner moved to substitute the deceased
Carmen by her father, Macario Lapuz. Counsel for Eufemio opposed the
motion.
ISSUES
Does the death of the plaintiff before final decree in an action for legal
separation, abate the action?
RULING
The Civil Code of the Philippines recognizes this in its Article 100, by allowing
only the innocent spouse (and no one else) to claim legal separation; and in
its Article 108, by providing that the spouses can, by their reconciliation, stop
or abate the proceedings and even rescind a decree of legal separation
already rendered. Being personal in character, it follows that the death of
one party to the action causes the death of the action itself -actio personalis
moritur cum persona.
When one of the spouses is dead, there is no need for divorce, because the
marriage is dissolved. The heirs cannot even continue the suit, if the death of
the spouse takes place during the course of the suit (Article 244, Section 3).
The action is absolutely dead.
As to the petition of respondent-appellee Eufemio for a declaration of nullity
ab initio of his marriage to Carmen Lapuz, it is apparent that such action
became moot and academic upon the death of the latter, and there could be
no further interest in continuing the same after her demise, that
automatically dissolved the questioned union. Any property rights acquired
by either party as a result of Article 144 of the Civil Code of the Philippines 6
119

could be resolved and determined in a proper action for partition by either


the appellee or by the heirs of the appellant.
53. BENJAMIN BUGAYONG vs. LEONILA GINEZ
G. R. No. L-10033
January 31, 1972
FACTS
Benjamin Bugayong, a serviceman in the United States Navy, was married to
defendant Leonila Ginez on August 27, 1949, at Asingan, Pangasinan, while
on furlough leave. Immediately after their marriage, the couple lived with
their sisters who later moved to Sampaloc, Manila. After some time, or about
July, 1951, Leonila Ginez left the dwelling of her sister-in-law and informed
her husband by letter that she had gone to reside with her mother in
Asingan, Pangasinan, from which place she later moved to Dagupan City to
study in a local college there. Benjamin soon began receiving letters alleging
acs of infidelity of his wife.
On August 1952, he went to Asingan to meet with his wife and stayed with a
cousin for 2 nights and 1 day as husbad and wife. The next day, Bugayong
tried to verify the truth of the information he received but instead of
answering his query, his wife merely packed up and left, which he took as a
confirmation of acts of infidelity imputed on her.
On November 18, 1952, Bugayong filed a complaint for legel separation
against his wife, Ginez, who in an answer, denied the averments of the
complaint. The lower court dismissed the action alleging condonation of the
charges of adultery.
ISSUE
Assuming arguendo that truth of the allegations of the commission of acts
of rank infidelity amounting to adultery, has the act charged been condoned
by the plaintiff?
RULING
The act of the plaintiff in persuading her to come along with him, and the
fact that she went with him and consented to be brought to the house of his
cousin Pedro Bugayong and together they slept there as husband and wife
for one day and one night, and the further fact that in the second night they
again slept together in their house likewise as husband and wife all these
facts have no other meaning in the opinion of this court than that a
reconciliation between them was effected and that there was a condonation
of the wife by the husband. The reconciliation occurred almost ten months
after he came to know of the acts of infidelity amounting to adultery.
The legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent spouse, provided
there has been no condonation of or consent to the adultery or concubinage.
120

54. ENRICO L PACETE vs. GLICERIO CARRIAGA


G. R. No. L-53880
March 17, 1994
FACTS
On October 29, 1979, Concepcion Alanis filed a complaint for the declaration
of nullity of her marriage with Enrico Pacete as well as legal separation of
their property. She alleged that Pacete subsequently contracted a second
marriage with Clarita de la Concepcion in North Cotabato which she learned
of only on Aug 1, 1979, and that Pacete fraudulently placed several pieces of
property acquired during their marriage to Clarita and other dummies. The
defendants were served summons but they failed to file a timely Answer.
The court declared the defendants in default and ordered the issuance of a
decree of legal separation and declared numerous amounts of property as
part of the conjugal properties.
ISSUE
Whether or not the RTC gravely abused its discretion in issuing the decree of
legal separation.
RULING
The default order unquestionably is not legally sanctioned. The Civil Code
provides:
Art. 101. No decree of legal separation shall be promulgated upon a
stipulation of facts or by confession of judgment.
In case of non-appearance of the defendant, the court shall order the
prosecuting attorney to inquire whether or not collusion between the parties
exists. If there is no collusion, the prosecuting attorney shall intervene for the
State in order to take care that the evidence for the plaintiff is not
fabricated.
The special prescriptions on actions that can put the integrity of marriage to
possible jeopardy are impelled by no less than the State's interest in the
marriage relation and its avowed intention not to leave the matter within the
exclusive domain and the vagaries of the parties to alone dictate.
It is clear that the petitioner did, in fact, specifically pray for legal separation.
That other remedies, whether principal or incidental, have likewise been
sought in the same action cannot dispense, nor excuse compliance, with any
of the statutory requirements aforequoted.

b. On Rights and Duties of Husband and Wife


55. ALFONSO LACSON vs. CARMEN SAN JOSE-LACSON
121

G. R. No. L-24259

August 30, 1968

FACTS
Alfonso Lacson and Carmen San Jose-Lacson were married on February 14,
1953. To them were born four children, all alive.
Respondent spouse left the conjugal home in Bacolod City, and commenced
to reside in Manila. She filed a complaint docketed as civil case E-00030 in
the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Manila (JDRC) for custody of all
their children as well as support for them and herself.
However, the spouses, thru the assistance of their respective attorneys
succeeded in reaching an amicable settlement respecting custody of their
children, support, and separation of property thus, they filed a joint petition
dated April 21, 1963, docketed as special proceeding 6978 of the court of
first instance.
The important and pertinent portions of the petition, embodying their
amicable settlement, read as follows:
4. Petitioners have mutually agreed upon the dissolution of their
conjugal partnership subject to judicial approval as required by Article 191 of
the Civil Code of the Philippines the particular terms and conditions of their
mutual agreement being as follows:
(a) There will be separation of property petitioner Carmen San
Jose-Lacson hereby waiving any and all claims for a share in property that
may be held by petitioner Alfonso Lacson since they have acquired no
property of any consequence;
(c) The custody of the two elder children name Enrique and
Maria Teresa shall be awarded to petitioner Alfonso Lacson and th custody of
the younger children named Gerrard and Ramon shall b awarded to
petitioner CarmenSan Jose- Lacson;
(d) Petitioner Alfonso Lacson shall pay petitioner Carmen San
Jose-Lacson a monthly allowance of P300.00 for the support of the children
in her custody.
Finding the foregoing joint petition to be conformable to law the CFI issued
an order rendering judgment approving and incorporating in toto their
compromise agreement.
Thereafter, respondent spouse filed in the JDRC a motion wherein she alleged
that she entered into and signed the Joint Petition as the only means by
which she could have immediate custody of the minor children who are all
below the age of 7, and thereafter prayed that she be considered relieved of
the agreement pertaining to the custody and visitation of her minor children
and that since all the children are now in her custody, the said custody in her
favor be confirmed pendent lite but the petitioner spouse opposed the said
122

motion and moved to dismiss the complaint based, among other things, on
the grounds of res judicata and lis pendens in which the JDRC issued an order
dismissing the case.
The respondent spouse interposed an appeal to the CA wherein she raised,
among others, the issue of validity or legality of the compromise agreement
in connection only with the custody of their minor children. CA certified the
said appeal to the SC since no hearing on the facts was ever held in the court
below no evidence, testimonial or documentary, presented only a
question of law tends resolution in the appeal.
The respondent spouse likewise filed a motion for reconsideration of the
compromise judgment rendered by the CFI, wherein she also alleged, among
others, that she entered into a joint petition as the only means by which she
could have immediate custody of her minor children and to relieve her from
the said agreement. The petitioner spouse opposed the said motion and filed
a motion for execution of the compromised judgment in which the CFI denied
the respondent spouses motion for reconsideration and granted the
petitioner spouses motion for execution.
The respondent spouse interposed an appeal to the CA wherein she likewise
questioned the validity or legality of her agreement with the petitioner
spouse respecting custody of their children. The court of Appeals also
certified the said appeal to the SC since no evidence of any kind was
introduced before the trial court and appellant did not specifically ask to be
allowed to present evidence on her behalf.
The respondent spouse also instituted certiorari proceedings before the CA
averring that the CFI committed grave abuse of discretion and acted in the
excess of jurisdiction in ordering the immediate execution of the
compromised judgment, thus in effect depriving her of the right to appeal.
She prayed for (1) the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining
the respondents therein and any person acting under them from enforcing,
by contempt proceeding and other means, the writ of execution (2) the
setting aside, after hearing, of the compromise judgment and (3) the
awarding of the custody of Enrique and Maria Teresa to her, their mother. As
prayed for, the CA issued an ex parte writ of preliminary injunction and grant
the petition for certiorari and declaring null and void both (a) the
compromise judgment dated April 27, 1963 in so far as it relates to custody
and right of visitation over the two children, Enrique and Teresa, and (b) the
order dated June 22, 1963 for execution of said judgment. The petitioner
spouse moved to reconsider, but his motion for reconsideration was denied
by the CA.

123

ISSUE
Whether the compromise agreement entered into by the parties and the
judgment of the CFI grounded on the said agreement, are conformable to
law.
RULING
Supreme Court holds that the compromise agreement and the judgment of
the CFI grounded on the said agreement are valid with respect to the
separation of property of the spouses and the dissolution of the conjugal
partnership.
The law allows separation of property of the spouses and the dissolution of
their conjugal partnership provided judicial sanction is secured beforehand.
Thus, the new Civil Code provides:
In the absence of an express declaration in the marriage
settlements, the separation of property between spouses during the
marriages shall not take place save in virtue of a judicial order. (Art. 190)
The husband and the wife may agree upon the dissolution of the
conjugal partnership during the marriage, subject to judicial approval. All the
creditors of the husband and of the wife, as well as the conjugal partnership,
so that any creditors may appear at the hearing to safeguard his interest.
Upon approval of the petition for dissolution of the conjugal partnership, the
court shall take such measures as may protect the creditors and other third
persons. (Art. 191, par. 4)
In the case at bar, the spouses obtained judicial imprimatur of their
separation of property and the dissolution of their conjugal partnership. It
does not appeal that they have creditors who will be prejudiced by the said
arrangements.
It is likewise undisputed that the court have been separated in fact for at
least five years the wifes residence being in Manila, and the husbands in
the conjugal home in Bacolod City. Therefore, inasmuch as the lengthy
separation has supervened between them, the propriety of severing their
financial and proprietary interests is manifest.
However, in so approving the regime of separation of property of the spouses
and the dissolution of their conjugal partnership, this court does not thereby
accord recognition to nor legalized the de facto separation of the spouses,
which gain in the language of Arroyo vs. Vasquez de Arroyo , is a state which
is abnormal and fraught with grave danger to all concerned. We would like to
douse the monetary seething emotions of couples who, at the slightest
ruffling of domestic tranquility brought about by mere austerity of temper,
petulance of manners, rudeness of language, a want of civil attention and
accommodation, even occasional sallies of passion without more would be
minded to separate from each other. In this jurisdiction, the husband and
124

wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual respect and fidelity, and
render mutual help and support (art. 109, new civil code). There is therefore,
virtue in making it as difficult as possible for married couples impelled by no
better cause than their whims and caprices to abandon each others
company.
56. CHI MING TSOI vs. CA and GINA LAO-TSOI
G. R. No. 119190
January 16, 1997
FACTS
Herein petitioner Chi Ming Tsoi and herein private respondent Gina Lao-Tsoi
got married on May 22, 1988 at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila.
After the celebration of their marriage and wedding reception at the South
Villa Makati, they went and proceeded to the house of the formers mother
where the slept together on the same bed in the same room for the first
night of their married life. Thereafter, they went to baguio for four days but
still no sexual intercourse transpired between then since the petitioner
avoided the respondent, from may 22, 1988 to march 15,1999, the parties
slept together in the same room and on the same bed but within the said
period of time, there was no attempt of any sexual intercourse between
them. In line with the same, they submitted themselves for medical
examinations to a urologist where the respondent was found to be healthy,
normal and still a virgin while that of her husbands result were kept
confidential.
Respondent filed a petition for annulment of their marriage on the ground of
Psychological Incapacity. She insist that petitioner is impotent and is a closet
homosexual, moreover, she avers that he only married her, a Filipino citizen,
to acquire or maintain his residency status in the country and to publicly
maintain the appearance of a normal man. With this, she is not willing to
reconcile with her husband.
ON the other hand, petitioner says that he does not want his marriage with
his wife to be annulled, while he admits that since their marriage until their
separation, there was no sexual contact between them, he alleges that this
was due to the avoidance on the part of his wife, that he forced his wife to
have sex with him only once but he did not continue as she was young and
that there is still a chance for them to overcome their differences.
Consequently, the trial court rendered a decision declaring their marriage
VOID, the same was affirmed on appeal by the CA and the same goes with
that his motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE
Whether or not Petitioner and Respondents marriage was validly decreed to
have been VOID on the ground of Psychological Incapacity.
125

RULING
Yes. The declaration of the parties marriage to be Void of the ground of
psychological incapacity was valid as the refusal of one of the parties to fulfill
their essential marital obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.
One of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is To
procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of
children through sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage. Constant
non-fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness
of the marriage. IN the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of
one of the parties to fulfill the above marital obligation is equivalent to
psychological incapacity.
Moreover, neither the trial court nor the respondent court has made a
findings on who between petitioner and private respondent refuses to have
sexual contact with the other. The fact remains, however, that there has
never been coitus between them. At any rate, since the action to declare the
marriage void may be filed by either party, even the psychologically
incapacitated, the question of who refuses to have sex with the other
becomes immaterial.
It shows that there is absence of empathy between petitioner and private
respondent, which is a shared feeling between husband and wife must be
experienced not only having spontaneous sexual intimacy but a deep sense
of spiritual communion. Marital Union is two-way process. An expressive
interest in each others feelings at the time it is needed by the other can go a
long way in deepening the marital relationship. Marriage is definitely not for
children but for two to compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime social
institution.
57. NANCY GO, et al. vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 114791
May 29, 19997
FACTS
Private respondent spouses Hermogenes and Jane Ong were married on June
7, 1981, in Dumaguete City. The video coverage of the wedding was provided
by petitioners at the contract price of P 1,650.00. Three times thereafter, the
newlyweds tried to claim the video tape of their wedding, which they
planned to show to their relatives in the United States where they were to
spend their honeymoon, and thrice they failed because the tape was
apparently not yet processed. The parties then agreed that the tape would
be ready upon private respondents return.

126

When private respondents came home from their honeymoon, however, they
found out that the tape had been erased by petitioners and therefore, could
no longer be delivered.
Furious at the loss the tape which was supposed to be only record od their
wedding, private respondents a complaint for specific performance and
damages against petitioners before the Regional Trial Court declaring
defendants Alex Go and Nancy Go jointly and severally liable to plaintiffs
Hermogenes Ong and Jane Ong.
Dissatisfied with the decision, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of
Appeals which dismissed the appeal and affirmed the trial courts decision.

ISSUE
Whether or not the trial and appellate courts erred in holding the petitioner
jointly and severally liable with his wife Nancy regarding the pecuniary
liabilities imposed.
RULING
Affirmative. Under Article 117 of the Civil Code ( now Article 73 of the Family
code), the wife may exercise any profession, occupation or engage in
business without the consent of the husband. IN the instant case, we are
convinced that it was only petitioner Nancy Go who entered into the contract
with private respondent. Consequently, we rule that she is solely liable to
private respondents for the damages awarded below, pursuant to the
principle that contracts produced effect only as between the parties who
execute them.
58. MILAGROS JOAQUINO vs. LOURDES REYES
G. R. No. 154645
July 13, 2004
FACTS
Petitioner Milagros B. Joaquino had an illicit affair with the deceased Rodolfo
A. Reyes, with whom she bore three (3) children. The subject property
located in Bf Homes, Paranaque was bought by Rodolfo Reyes and the
petitioner, while in a common-law relationship, through a loan from the
Commonwealth Insurance company payable in ten (10) years. On January
23, 1982, herein respondent Lourdes Reyes filed a complaint for
reconveyance and damages before the CFI of Rizal, claiming that as a
legitimate spouse of Rodolfo Reyes, the subject property should be declared
part of the conjugal property. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of
Lourdes which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals
likewise found that the trial court should not have resolved the issue of the
127

filiations and successional rights of petitioners children since the complaint


was an ordinary civil action for reconveyance and damages.
Hence, the present petition where the petitioners avers that the trial court
correctly ruled on the issue of filiations of her children, but erred in finding
that the subject property was conjugal.
ISSUE
1.
Whether or not the subject property I conjugal
2.
Whether or not the rulings on filiations and successional rights of the
petitioners children were proper.
RULING
The petition is Denied. All properties acquired during the marriage are
presumed to be conjugal, absent any proof that the same were exclusive
properties of the husband or the wife. Matters relating to successional rights
of filiations and heirship must be ventilated in the proper probate court in a
special proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of determining such
rights.
1. Yes, under Article 145of the Civil Code of the Philippines, a conjugal
partnership of gains (CPG) is created upon marriage and last until the legal
union is dissolves by death, annulment, legal separation or judicial
separation of property. Conjugal properties are by owned in common by the
husband and wife. As to what constitute such properties are laid down in
Articles 153 of the Civil Code which provides : (1) That which is acquired by
onerous title during the marriages at the expense of the common fund,
whether the acquisition be for the partnership, or for only one spouse; (2)
That which obtained by industry, or work, or as a salary of the spouse, or
either of them; (3) the fruits, rents or interest received or due during the
marriage, coming from the common property or from the exclusive property
of each spouse.
Moreover, under Article 160 of the Code, all the properties of the marriage,
unless proven to pertain to husband, or the wife exclusively, are presumed to
belong to the CPG.
2. No, it has been ruled that matters relating to the rights of filiations and
heirship must be ventilated in the proper probate court in a special
proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of determining such rights.
Sustaining the appellate court in Aglipay vs. Palang, this court held that the
status of an illegitimate child who claimed to be an heir to a decedents
estate could not be adjudicated in an ordinary civil action which, as in this
case, was for the recovery of property.
59. ERLINDA A. AGAPAY vs. CARLINA V. PALANG
128

G. R. No. 116668

July 28, 1997

FACTS
Sometime on July 16, 1949, Miguel Palang contracted his first marriage with
private respondent Carlina Vallesterol at the Pzorrubio Roman Catholic
church in Pangasinan. They begot a child named Herminia Palang. A few
months after the wedding Miguel left to work in Hawaii and returned in 1954
for a year. His next visit to the Philippines was in 1964 and during the entire
duration of his year-long sojourn he stayed in Zambales with his brother, not
in Pangasinan with his wife and child.
On July 15, 1973, the then 63-year old Miguel contracted his second
marriage with a 19-year old Erlinda Agapay herein petitioner. However, two
months earlier, on May 17,1973 Miguel and Erlinda, as evidence, of Deed of
Sale, jointly purchased a parcel of agricultural land located at San Felipe,
Binalonan Pangasinan with an area of 10,080 sq.m. Consequently, TCT No.
101736 covering said rice land was issued in their names.
A house and lot in Binalonan, pangasnan was likewise purchased on
September 23, 1975, allegedly by Erlinda as the sole vendee. TCT no.
143120 covering said property was later issued in her name.
Miguel and Erlndas cohabitation produced a son Kristopher Palang born on
December 6,1977. In 1999 Miguel and Erlinda were convicted of concubinage
upon Carlinas complaint. Two years later, Miguel died.
Herein private respondent Carlina Palang and her daughter Herminia Palang
de la Crus, instituted the case at bar an action for recovery of ownership and
possession with damages against Erlinda Agapay.
ISSUE
Whether or not Elindas ownership of the two parcels of land acquired during
the cohabitation with Miguel is valid.
RULING
No. While Erlinda and Miguel contracted a marriage on July 15, 1973, said
union was patently void because the earlier marriage of Miguel and Carlina
was still subsisting and unaffected by the latters de facto separation. Under
Article 148, only the properties acquired by both of the parties through their
actual joint contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned by
them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. It must be
stressed that actual contribution is required by this provision, in contrast to
Article 147 which states that efforts in the care and maintenance of the
family and household, are regarded as contributions to the acquisition of
common property by one who has no salary or income or work or industry. If
129

the actual contribution of the party is not proved, there will be no coownership and no presumption of equal shares.
60. CIRILA ARCABA vs. ERLINDA TABANCURA VDA. DE BATOCAEL
G. R. No. 146683
November 22, 2001
FACTS
Francisco Comille and his wife Sozima Montallano become the registered
owner of Lot No. 437-A located at the corner of Calle Santa Rosa in Dipolog
City, Zamboanga del Norte. After the death of Sozima, Francisco and his
mother-in-law executed a deed of extrajudicial partition with waiver of rights
in which the latter waived her share consisting of one-fourth of the property
to Francisco. On July 26, 1961 Francisco registered the lot in his name with
the Registry of Deeds.
Having no children to take care of him after his retirement, Francisco asked
his niece Leticia Bellosillo, the latters cousin Luzviminda Paghacian, and
petitioner Cirila Arcaba, then a widow, to take care of his house, as well as
the store inside.
Conflicting testimonies were offered as to the nature of the relationship
between Francisco and Cirila. Leticia Bellosillo said Francisco and Cirila were
lovers since they lept with the same room, while Erlinda Tabancura, another
niece of Francicsco, claimed that the latter had told her that Cirila was his
mistress. On the other hand, Cirila said she was a mere helper who could
enter the masters bedroom only when the old man asks her to and that
Francisco in any case was too old for her. She denied they ever had sexual
intercourse.
A few months before his death, Francisco executed an instrument
denominated Deed of Donation Inter vivos in which he ceded a portion of
lot 437-A consisting of 150sq.m, together with his house, to Cirila, who
accepted the donation in the same instrument. Francisco left the larger
portion of 268sq.m in his name. The deed stated that the donation was being
in consideration of the faithful services Cirila Arcaba had rendered over the
past ten (10) years, and later registered by Cirila as its absolute owner.
ISSUE
Whether or not the donation inter vivos made by Francisco to his commonlaw wife Cirila is Void.
RULING
Yes. In Bitangcor vs. Tan, we held that the term cohabitation or living
together as husband and wife means not only residing under one roof, but
also having repeated sexual intercourse. Cohabitation, of course, means
130

more than sexual intercourse, especially when one of the parties is already
old and may no longer be interested in sex. At the very least, cohabitation is
a public assumption by a man and a woman of the marital relation, and
dwelling together as man and wife, thereby holding themselves out to the
public as such. Secret meetings or nights clandestinely spent together, even
if often repeated, do not constitute such kind of cohabitation; they are
merely meretricious. In this jurisdiction, this court has considered as
sufficient proof of common-law relationship the stipulations between the
parties, a conviction of concubinage, or the existence of illegitimate children.
Where it has been established by preponderance of evidence that two
persons lived together a husband and wife without a valid marriage, the
inescapable conclusion is that the donation made by one in favor of the other
is void under Article 87 of the Family Code.

c. On Property Relations and Concomitant Shared


Obligations
61. LILIBETH SUNGA-CHAN, et al. vs. CA, et al.
G. R. No. 164401
June 25, 2008
FACTS
In 1977, Chua and Jacinto Sungga formed a partnership to engage in the
marketing of liquefied petroleum gas. For convenience, the business,
pursued under the name, Shellite Gas Appliance Center (Shellite), was
registered as a sole proprietorship in the name of Jacinto, albeit the
partnership arrangement called for equal sharing of the net profit.
After Jacintos death in 1989, his widow, petitioner Cecilia Sunga, and
married daughter, petitioner Lilibeth Sungga-Chan, continued with the
business without Chuas consent Chuas subsequent repeated demands for
accounting and winding up went unheeded, prompting him to file a
complaint for Winding up of a partnership Affairs, Accounting, appraisal and
Recovery of Shares and Damages with Writ of Preliminary Attachment of the
RTC in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte.
After trial, the RTC rendered judgment finding for Chua, as plaintiff a quo. The
RTCs decision would subsequently be upheld by the CA. Via an Order dated
January16, 2002, the RTC granted Chuas motion for execution. Over a month
later, the RTC acting on another motion of Chua, issued an amended writ of
execution.
It seems, however, that the amended writ of execution could not be
immediately implemented, for, in an omnibus motion, Chua, inter alia, asked
131

the trial court to commission a certified public accountant (CPA) to undertake


the accounting work and inventory of the partnership assets if petitioners
refuse to do it within the time set by the court. Chua later moved to withdraw
his motion and instead ask the admission of an accounting report prepared
by CPA Cheryl A. Gahuman. In the report under the heading, Computation of
Claims, Chuas aggregate claim, arrived at using the compounding-ofinterest method, amounted to Php 14,277,344.94. Subsequently, the RTC
admitted and approved the computation of claims in view of petitioners
failure and refusal, despite notice, to appear and submit an accounting
report on winding uo of the partnership on the schedule hearings.
After another lengthy proceedings, petitioners submitted their own CPAcertified valuation and accounting report. In it, petitioners limited Chuas
entitlement from winding up partnership affairs to an aggregate amount of
PhP 3,154,736.65 only. Chua, on the other hand, submitted a new
computation, this time applying simple interest on the various items covered
by his claim. Under this methodology, Chuas aggregate claim went down to
PhP 8,733,644.75.
The RTC issued a Resolution, rejecting the accounting of report of petitioners
submitted, while approving the new computation of claims Chua submitted.
ISSUE
Whether or not the absolute community of property of spouses Lilibeth
Sunga-Chan with her husband Norberto Chan can be lawfully made to
answer for the liability of Lilibeth Sunga-Chan.
RULING
The records show that spouses Sunga-Chan and Norberto were married on
February 4, 1992, or after the affectivity of the Family Code on August 3,
1988. Withal, their absolute community property may be held liable for the
obligations contracted by either spouse. Specifically, Art. 94 of said Code
pertinently provides: Art. 94. The absolute community property shall be
liable for: (2) All debts and obligations contracted during the marriage by the
designated administrator-spouse for the benefit of the community, or by both
spouses, or by one spouse with the consent of the other. (3) Debts and
obligations contracted by either spouse without the consent of the other to
the extent that the family may have been benefited. Absent any indication
otherwise, th use and appropriation by petitioner Sunga-chan of the assets of
Shellite even after the business was discontinued on may 30, 1992 may
reasonably be considered to have been used for her and her husbands
benefit.
62. CORAZON G. RUIZ vs. CA and CONSUELO TORRES
G. R. No. 146942
April 22, 2003
132

FACTS
Petitioner Ruiz obtained four loans from private respondent Consuelo Torres
on different occasion. Prior to their maturity, the loans were consolidated
under one (1) promissory note dated March 22, 1995. The consolidated loan
of P750,000.00 was secured by a real estate mortgage and registered in the
name of petitioner. The mortgage was signed by Corazon Ruiz for herself as
an attorney-in-fact of her husband Rogello. Thereafter, petitioner obtained
three (3) more loans from private respondent, under promissory note. From
April 1995 to March 1996, petitioner paid the stipulated 3% monthly interest
on the 750,000.00 loan, but after March 1996, petitioner was unable to make
interest payments. Due to petitioners failure to pay the principal loan of
750,000.00 as well as the interest payment, so private respondent
demanded payment thereof. But when petitioner failed to pay, private
respondent sought the extra-judicial foreclosure of the aforementioned real
estate mortgage.
Now, the public auction was schedule on Oct. 8,1996. One (1) day before the
schedule auction sale, petitioner filed a complaint with the RTC of QC, with a
prayer for the issuance of a TRO to enjoin the sheriff from proceeding with
the foreclosure sale and to fix her indebtedness to private respondent to
P706,000.00. the trial court granted the prayer for the issuance of a TRO,
and on 29 October, 1996, issued a preliminary injunction. In its decision
dated May 19, 1997, it ordered the Clerk of court and Ex- Officio Sheriff to
desist with the foreclosure sale of the subject property, and it made
permanent the writ of preliminary injunction. It held that the real estate
mortgage is unenforceable because of the lack of participation and signature
of petitioners husband. It noted that although the subject real estate
mortgage stated that petitioner was attorney-in-fact for herself and her
husband, the Special Power of Attorney was never presented in the court
during trial.
The trial court further held that the promissory note in question is a
unilateral contract of adhesion drafted by private respondent. It struck down
the contract as repugnant to public policy because it was imposed by a
dominant bargaining party (private respondent) on a weaker party
(petitioner). Nevertheless, it held that petitioner still has the obligation to
pay the private respondent. Private respondents motion for reconsideration
was denied in an order dated July 21,1997. Private respondent appealed to
the CA. The appellate court set aside the decision of the trial court. It ruled
that the real estate mortgage is valid despite the non-participation of
petitioners husband in its execution because the land on which it was
constituted is paraphernal property of petitioner-wife. Consequently, she may
encumber the lot without the consent of her husband. It allowed its
foreclosure since the loan its secured was not paid. Nonetheless, the
appellate court declared as invalid the 10% compounded monthly interest
133

and the 10% surcharge per month stipulated in the promissory notes, and o
too the 1% compounded monthly interest stipulated in the promissory note
dated 21 April 1995, for being excessive, iniquitous, unconscionable, and
contrary to morals. It held that the legal rate of interest of 12% per annun
shall apply the maturity dates of the notes until full payment of the entire
amount due and that the only permissible rate of surcharge is 1% per month,
without compounding.
ISSUE
Whether the real property covered by the subject deed of mortgage dated
March 20, 1995 is paraphernal property of petitioner.
RULING
Yes. The presumption under Article 116 of the Family Code that properties
acquired during the marriage are presumed to be conjugal cannot apply in
the instant case. Before such presumption can apply, it must first be
established that the property was in fact acquired during the marriage. In
other words, proof of acquisition during the marriage is a condition sine qua
non for the operation of the presumption in favor of conjugal ownership. No
such proof was offered nor presented in the case at bar. Thus, on the basis
alone of the certificate of title, it cannot be presumed that said property was
acquired during the marriage and that it is conjugal property. Since there I no
showing as to when the property in question was acquired, the fact that the
title is in the name of the wife alone I determinative of its nature as
paraphernal, belonging exclusively to said spouse.
63. JOSEPHINE B. BELCODERO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 89667
October 20, 1993
FACTS
Sometime on July27, 1927, alayo Bosing married Juliana Oday, with whom he
had three (3) children, namely Flora, Teresita, and Gaido. In 1946, he left the
conjugal home and he forewith started to live instead with Josefa Rivera with
whom he later begot one child, named Josephine Bosing, now Josephine
Balcodero.
Three years later, Alayo purchased a parcel of land on installment basis from
the Magdallena Estate, Inc. In the deed he indicated his civil status as
married to Josefa R. Bosing the common-law wife. In a letter in which he
addressed to Magdallena Estate, Inc. he authorized the latter to transfer the
lot in the name of his wife Josefa R. Bosing. The final deed of sale was
executed by Magdallena Estate Inc, on October 24, 1959. A few days later
TCT No. 48790 was issued in the name of Josefa Bosing.

134

On June 6, 1958, Alayo married Josefa even while his prior marriage with
Juliana was still subsisting. Alayo died sometime on March 1967. About three
years later Josefa and Josephine executed a document of extra judicial
partition and sale of a lot in question, which was there described as conjugal
property of Josefa and deceased Alayo. In the deed Josefas supposed onehalf (1/2) interest as surviving spouse of Alayo, as well as her interest as
heir was conveyed to Josephine for a consideration, thereby completing for
herself, along with her own one-fourth (1/4) interest as the surviving child of
Alayo, a full ownership of property.
ISSUE
Whether or not the property in question can be reconveyed.
RULING
Yes. The property remained as belonging to the conjugal partnership of Alayo
and his legitimate wife Juliana. Under both the new Civil Code (Article 160)
and the old Civil Code (Article 1407), all property of the marriage is
presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it
pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife. This presumption has not
been convincingly rebutted.
As regards the property relations between common-law spouses, article 144
of the Civil Code merely codified the law established through judicial
precedents under the old code (Margaret Maxey vs. CA). In both regimes, the
co-ownership rule had more than once been repudiated when either or both
spouses suffered from an impediment to marry (Jeroniza vs. Jose). The
present provisions under Article 147 and Article 148 of the Family code did
not much deviate from the old rules; in any case, its provisions cannot apply
to this case without interdicting prior vested rights(Article 256,FC).
64. MARIANO ADRIANO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 124118
March 27, 2000
FACTS
Lucio Adriano, also known as Ambrocio Adriano, married Gliceria Dorado on
October 29,1933. Out of their lawful marriage, they had three children,
namely Celestina, Manolo, and Aida, private respondents in this case.
Sometime in 1942 or prior thereto, Lucio and Gliceria separated and the
latter settled in Rizal, Laguna where she died on June 11, 1968. Also in 1942
or even earlier, Lucio cohabited with Vicenta Villa, with whom he had eight
children. All his children by Vicenta Vila are the named petitioners in the
instant case.

135

On November 22,1968, or five months after the death of Gliceria, Lucio


married Vicenta. Lucio and Vicenta and their children lived in Candelaria,
Quezon until spouses separated in 1972.
On October 10, 1980, Lucio executed a last will and testament disposing of
all his properties, and assigning, among others, his second wife Vicenta and
all his children by his first and second marriages as devisees and legatees
therein. On February 11, 1981, Lucio died and private respondent Celestina
Adriano, who was instituted in Lucio;s will as its executrix, filed a petition for
the probate of the will of before the RTC of Lucena City. After due hearing and
despite the Opposition filed by Vicenta, the RTC allowed the probate of the
will and directed the issuance of letters testamentary to petitioner-executrix
Celestina Adriano.
While the proceedings for settlement of estate were pending before the RTC,
on August 17, 1988, petitioner instituted an action for annulment of Lucio
Adrianos will. In the complaint, plaintiffs-petitioners alleged that before the
marriage of Lucio and their mother Vicenta, the two lived together as
husband and wife and as such acquired properties which became the subject
inventory and administration in Spec. Pro. No. 4442. Plaintiffs claimed that
the properties bequeathed in Lucios will are undivided civil partnership
and/or conjugal properties of Lucio Adriano and Vincenta Villa, and thus, the
will sought to be probated should be declared void and ineffective insofar as
it disposes of the rightful share or properties of Vicenta.
ISSUE
Whether or not there exist a co-ownership of property between Lucio and
Vicenta during their period of cohabitation before their marriage.
RULING
Petitioners insistence that a co-ownership of properties existed between
Lucio and Vicenta during their period of cohabitation before their marriage in
1968 is without lawful basis considering that Lucios marriage with Gliceria
was still subsisting. The co-ownership in Article 144 of the civil code requires
that the man and woman living together as husband and wife without the
benefit marriage must not in any way be incapacitated to marry. Considering
that the property was acquired in 1964, or while Lucios marriage with
Gliceria subsisted, such property is presumed to be conjugal unless it be
proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife. Thus, we
ruled in Pisuea vs. Heirs of Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar that the prima
pacie presumption that properties acquired during the marriage are conjugal
cannot prevail over a courts specific finding reached in adversarial
proceedings to the contrary.
Thus, in Balcodero vs. Court of Appeal, we held that property acquired by a
man while living with a common-law wife during the subsistence of his
136

marriage is conjugal property, even when the property was titled in the name
of the common-law wife. In such cases, a constructive trust is deemed to
have been created by operation of Article 1456 of the Civil Code over the
property which lawfully pertains to the conjugal partnership of the subsisting
marriage.

65. VICENTE VILLARANDA vs. ANA MARIA VILLARANDA


G. R. No. 153447
February 23, 2004
FACTS
Vecente (petitioner) and Honorio (private respondent) were brothers. Honorio
is the husband of Ana Maria. On July 6, 1976, Vencete and Honorio executed
a deed of exchange. Under this instrument, Vecente agreed to convey his 64.
22 sq. meters to Honorio in exchange for a 500 sq. meters property in
Cagayan de Oro. After the execution of the instrument, Honorio took
possession of the 64.22 sq. meters land and constructed a building thereon.
A year later, Honorio filed with RTC for specific performance against Vecente
that Honorio could not fully use or identify and delineate his undivided 500
sq. meters portion of the property. He asked the court to compel Vecente to
do so, as well as to convey to him the 64.22 sq. m. lot in compliance with his
obligations under the deed. During the trial, the petitioner argued that the
Deed of Exchange is void as, under the Family Code, a conjugal property
cannot be disposed of without the consent of the other spouse. Since,
Honorios wife did not sign the said deed of exchange, the same is null and
void.
The RTC ruled in favor of the respondent. Petitioner filed a petition for review
on certiorari with SC.
ISSUE
Whether or not the contention of petitioner is correct.
RULING
NO. The law which is applicable in the case is the Civil Code and not the
Family Code as the contract was executed before the effectivity of the Family
Code. The law should be applied prospectively only, unless a legislation to
give them retroactive effect is expressly declared or is necessarily implied
from the language used. Under the Civil Code [art. 166 in relation to art. 173],
husband cannot alienate or encumber any real property of the conjugal
partnership without the wifes consent. But an action to annul or alienate
or encumber may be instituted by the wife during the marriage and
within 10 years from the transaction questioned. But the lack of
137

consent on her part will not make the husbands alienation or encumbrance of
real property of the conjugal partnership void, but voidable. Hence, the deed
is valid until annulled.
66. GSIS vs. MELAGROS MONTESCLAROS
G. R. No. 146494
July 14, 2004
FACTS
Nicolas is a Sangguniang Bayan member. On July 10, 1983, he got married
with Milagros. On January 4, 1985, Nicolas filed with the GSIS an application
for retirement effective February 18, 1985. In his application, he designated
Milagros as his sole beneficiary. His application was approved by the GSIS
effective January 17, 1984. He was granted a lump sum payment of annuity
for the first 5 years and monthly annuity thereafter. However, on April 22,
1992, Nicolas died. Hence, Milagros filed with GSIS a claim for survivorship
pension under PD 1146. But the GSIS denied this claim on the ground that
the law [PD 1146] does not allow a surviving spouse the right to survivorship
pension if the marriage was contracted less than 3 years before the
pensioner qualified for pension. Milagros filed a special civil action for
declaratory relief with the RTC. The RTC ruled that:
1. Milagros is eligible for survivorship pension and ordered GSIS to pay
Milagros the benefits due including interest. That under article 115
and 117 of the Family Code, retirement benefits are property
acquired by the pensioner through labor, such benefits are
belonging to the conjugal property; and
2. that the prohibition in section PD 1146 are deemed repealed by the
Family Code.
GSIS appealed to the CA. But CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. Hence,
GSIS petition to SC.
ISSUE
Whether or not the retirement benefits are part of the conjugal property.
RULING
YES. A widows right to receive pension following the demise of her husband
is also part of the husbands contractual compensation. In a pension plan
where EE participation is mandatory, the prevailing view is that EEs have
contractual or vested rights in the pension where the pension is part of the
terms of employment. The reason for providing retirement benefits is to
compensate service to the government. Retirement benefits to government
EEs are part of emolument to encourage and retain qualified EEs in the
government service.

138

67. AYALA INVESTMENT AND DEVT CORP. vs. CA


G. R. No. 118305
February 12, 1998
FACTS
The private respondent is the executive vice-president of Philippine Blooming
Mills Inc. (PBMI). The controversy started when PBMI obtained a loan from
Ayala. As surety of the loan, private respondent made himself jointly and
solidarily liable with PBMIs indebtedness to Ayala. PBMI failed to pay the loan.
Hence, Ayala filed a case of collection of sum of money. The trial court
rendered order in favor of Ayala. Hence, the conjugal properties of the private
respondent were levied and auctioned. Private respondent filed an injunction
to enjoin the auction on the ground that said loan did not redound to the
benefit of the conjugal partnership. However, while the case was pending, the
public auction was held. The subject property was awarded to Ayala as the
highest bidder. And, a certificate of sale was issued to Ayala after the
expiration of the redemption period. Hence, Ayala filed a motion to dismiss
the said injunction case by private respondent based on moot and academic
because of the consummation of the sale. But the trial court denied the
motion and declared that sale on execution as null and void. Ayala went to
CA. But the CA affirmed the trial courts decision. Ayala, now petitioner, went
to SC and argued: (1) there is no need to prove that actual benefit redounded
to the benefit of the partnership; (2) that the loan procured by private
respondent was for the advancement and benefit of the conjugal property
because employment of private respondent would be prolong, and his
prestige in the corporation would be enhanced and his career would be
boosted should PBMI survive because of the loan.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioners contention is correct.
RULING
NO. For conjugal partnership to be liable, the benefit must be one directly
resulting from the loan. It cannot merely be a by-product or a spin-off of
the loan itself. There must be showing of some advantage which clearly
accrued to the welfare of the spouses or benefits to his family or that such
obligations are productive of some benefit to the family. However, the
petitioner failed to show this.
The benefit contemplated by the exception in article 122, FC is the benefit
derived from the use of the loan. In the case at bar, the loan is a corporate
loan extended to PBMI and not by the private respondent or his family. Hence,
if the money or services are given to another person or entity and the
husband acted only as a surety or guarantor, that contract cannot, by itself,
alone be categorized as falling within the context of obligations for the benefit
of the conjugal partnership. The contract of loan or services is clearly for the
benefit of the principal debtor and not for the surety or his family.
139

68. AFREDO CHING vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G. R. No. 124642
February 23, 2004
FACTS
Alfredo Ching is an executive vice-president of Philippine Blooming Mills
Comapany, Inc. [PBMCI]. As a surety for the loan by PBMCI from Allied
Banking Corporation [ABC], he executed a promissory note. But PBMCI
defaulted in the payment of the loan. Hence, ABC filed a complaint with RTC
for sum of money with prayer for a writ of preliminary attachment
against PBMCI and impleaded Alfredo Ching as co-defendant in his capacity
as surety.
The RTC granted the prayer for writ of preliminary attachment. Hence, the
trial courts sheriff levied the petitioner Chings 100,000 shares of Citycop
stocks which were registered in the name of Alfredo Ching.
Enacarncion Ching, assisted by her husband Alfredo Ching, filed a motion to
quash on the levy of attachment on the 100, 000 shares of Citycorp stock.
She argued that the said shares were acquired using their conjugal funds, as
such it belongs to the conjugal properties. That she has the right to file the
motion to quash as co-owner of said shares. The RTC ruled in favor of the
Chings. Thus, ABC went to CA. The CA reversed the RTCs decision. It ruled
that the presumption in article 160 in the New Civil Code shall not apply if
the petitioner spouses failed to prove the source of the money used to
acquire the shares of stocks. Hence, RTC erred in its ruling as the levied stock
belonged to Alfredo as evidence by the fact that the said shares were
registered in the corporate books of Citycorp solely in his name. Hence,
petitioner spouses to SC. They averred:
1. The source of funds in the acquisition of the levied shares of stocks is
not the controlling factor when invoking the presumption of the
conjugal nature of stocks under article 160,
2. That such presumption subsists even if the property is registered only
in the name of one of the spouses.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioners contention is correct.
RULING
YES. Article 160 of the New Civil Code provides that all the properties
acquired during the marriage are presumed to belong to the conjugal
partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband,
or to the wife. It is not even necessary to prove that the properties were
acquired with funds of the partnership. As long as the properties were
acquired by the parties during the marriage, they are presumed to be
140

conjugal in nature. In fact, even when the manner in which the properties
were acquired does not appear, the presumption will still apply, and the
properties will still be considered conjugal. The presumption of the conjugal
nature of the properties acquired during the marriage subsists in the absence
of clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence to overcome the same.
In this case, the evidence adduced by the petitioners in the RTC is that
the 100,000 shares of stocks in the Citycorp were issued to and registered in
its corporate books in the name of the petitioner-husband when the said
corporation was incorporated. This was done during the subsistence of the
marriage of the petitioner-spouses. The shares of stocks are, thus, presumed
to be the conjugal partnership property of the petitioners.
69. PROCOPIO VILLANUEVA V. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 143286
April 14, 2004
FACTS
On 1926, Eusebia Retuya was legally married with Nicolas Retuya. During
their marriage, they acquired real properties. On 1945, Nicolas no longer
lived with his legitimate family. Instead, he cohabited with the petitioner
Pacita Villanueva, wherein, Procopio Villanueva is their illegitimate son. From
the time she started living in concubinage with Nicolas, Pacita Villanueva has
no occupation. Nicolas then was the only one who received the income of the
questioned properties. Nicolas suffered a stroke. He could no longer talk and
walk. Hence, Procopio was the one who was receiving the income the
questioned properties since then.
Eusebia filed a suit for reconveyance of said properties. Petitioner
Villanueva argued that the questioned properties are exclusive properties of
Nicolas. But the RTC ruled in favor of Eusebia. It ruled that the presumption
under article 116 of the Family Code is applicable in the subject properties.
Thus the RTC ruled that Eusebia had proved that the subject properties are
conjugal in nature and ordered Procopio and Pacita Villanueva to transfer the
sole administration of conjugal properties of the spouses Esebia and Nicolas
according to article 124 of the Family Code. Villanueva appealed to CA. But
the CA upheld RTCs ruling. The CA ruled that under article 116 of the Family
Code, all property acquired during the marriage, whether the acquisition
appears to have been made, contracted or registered in the name of one or
both spouses, is presumed conjugal unless the contrary is proved.
ISSUE
Whether or not the subject properties are conjugal properties of Eusebia and
Nicolas.
RULING
141

YES. The Family Code provisions on conjugal partnerships govern the


property relations between Nicolas and Eusebia even if they were married
before the effectivity of Family Code. Article 105 of the said Code explicitly
mandates that the Family Code shall apply to conjugal partnerships
established before the Family Code without prejudice to vested rights already
acquired under the Civil Code or other laws. Thus, under the Family Code, if
the properties are acquired during the marriage, the presumption is that they
are conjugal. The presumption under article 116 of the Family Code is that all
these are conjugal properties of Nicolas and Eusebia. This presumption under
article 116, which subsists, unless the contrary is proved, stands as an
obstacle to any claim the petitioners may have.
70. G-TRACTORS vs. CA AND SPS. NARCISO
G. R. No. 57402
February 28, 1985
FACTS
Private respondent is Luis Narciso. He is the husband of Josefa. He is engaged
in business as producer and exporter of Philippine mahogany logs and
operates a logging concession. Petitioner G-tractors is a domestic corporation
engaged in the business of leasing heavy equipment such as tractors,
bulldozers. Narciso leased the tractors of the petitioner for the purpose of
constructing switch roads and hauling felled tress at the jobsite of Narcisos
logging concession.
Narciso defaulted in his rental payments. Hence, petitioner instituted an
action against him to collect the said rental with interest. Petitioner got a
favorable judgment. But Narciso and G-tractor entered into a compromise.
Luis should pay it by installment. But again, Narciso failed to pay it. Hence,
petitioner filed a motion for execution. The writ of execution was issued. The
sheriff levied the properties of Narciso. The properties were awarded to the
petitioner. But included in the levied properties was the residential land of the
spouses.
Hence, Josefa filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of levy on execution
and auction sale of the alleged conjugal property. She argued that the
judgment against Narciso is not conjugal as it did not aid the conjugal
property. Therefore, their conjugal property cannot be held liable.
ISSUE
Whether or not the conjugal partnership is liable for the indebtedness
incurred by the husband in the legitimate pursuit of his career or profession.
RULING
NO. Josefa is not correct. The record shows that Narciso is a producer and
exporter of Philippine Mahogany logs and that the bulldozers leased to him
142

was used for the construction of switch roads for logging. Therefore, that
obligations were contracted in connection with his legitimate business as a
producer and exporter in mahogany logs and certainly benefited the conjugal
partnership. Under article 161 of the Civil Code, debts contracted by the
husband for an in the exercise of the industry or profession by which he
contributes to the support of the family cannot be deemed to be his exclusive
and private debts. If he incurs an indebtedness in the legitimate pursuit of his
career or profession or suffers losses in a legitimate business, the conjugal
partnership must equally bear the indebtness and the losses, unless he
deliberately acted to the prejudice of his family.
71. MILAGROS JOAQUIN vs. LOURDE REYES
G. R. No. 154645
July 13, 2004
FACTS
Lourdes Reyes is the widow of Rodulfo Reyes. Before Rodolfo died, he was
lawfully married to Lourdes. But they separated de facto. Rodolfo, despite the
subsistence of his previous marriage, cohabited with Milagros. Rodulfo was
receiving a monthly income of 15, 000 as salary. After his retirement he
received 315, 011.78 as benefits. But this did not go to Lourdes. Instead, the
money went to his paramour, Milagros. The latter, used the said money in
buying the questioned property. Lourdes sued Milagrous for reconveyance of
the property. But Milagros argued that the funds she used to buy the subject
property were her own. Milagros lost in the trial court. She went to CA. But
the CA held that the property had been paid out of the conjugal funds of
Rodolfo and Lourdes because it came from the salaries and earnings of
Rodolfo. Hence, petitioner to the SC.
ISSUE
Whether or not a property acquired using the salary and earnings of a
husband and the title thereof registered in the name of the husbands
paramour belong to the conjugal parternship.
RULING
YES. Under article 160, FC, all properties of the marriage, unless proven to
pertain to the husband or the wife exclusively, are personally to belong to the
conjugal partnership of gains (CPG). For the rebuttable presumption to arise,
however, the properties must first be proven to have been acquired during
the existence of the marriage. Under article 145, CIVIL CODE, a CPG is
created upon marriage and lasts until the legal union is dissolved by DEATH,
ANNULMENT, LEGAL SEPARATION or JUDICIAL SEPARATION OF PROPERTY.
Conjugal partnership are, by law, owned in common by the husband and wife.
As to what constitute such properties are laid out in article 153, FC, these are:

143

1. that which acquired by onerous title during the marriage at the


expense of the common fund, whether the acquisition be for the
partnership or for only one of the spouses;
2. that which is obtained by the industry, or work, or as salary of the
spouses, or of either of them;
3. the fruits rents or interests received or due during the marriage,
coming from the common property or from the exclusive property of
each spouse.
72. JADER MANALO vs. SPOUSES CAMAISA
G. R. No. 147978
January 23, 2002
FACTS
Respondents, spouses Norma and Edilberto Camaisa, advertised in the
newspaper for the sale of their 10-door apartment in Makati. Petitioner had
read it. As she was interested in buying the 2 properties, she negotiated for
the purchase. Hence, petitioner and Edilberto agreed upon the purchase
price. The payments were to be paid by installment after a down payment.
Because the properties were the conjugal properties of the spouses, Edilberto
assured petitioner that his wife would conform and consent to the sale.
Hence, after the contract was formally signed by them, petitioner delivered to
Edilberto two checks. The contracts were given to Edilberto for the formal
affirming of his wifes signature. However, when they met again, Norma
refused to sign the contract. They backed out at the contract and the checks
were returned to the petitioner. Thus, petitioner filed a complaint for specific
performance and damages against the respondent.
In the trial, petitioner argued that the contract of sale was already perfected.
Hence, Norma should sign the said contract. But the RTC dismissed the case.
Thus, petitioner went to CA. But CA affirmed the RTC. In affirming, it ruled that
the subject of the contracts were conjugal properties and as such, the
consent of both spouses is necessary to give effect to the sale. Since private
respondent Norma refused to sign the contracts, the sale was never
perfected. And, that the authority of the court to allow sale or encumbrance
of a conjugal property without the consent of the other spouse is applicable
only in cases where the said spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to
participate in the administration of the conjugal property.
ISSUE
Whether or not the Contract to Sell executed between petitioner and
respondent spouses had been perfected such that the latter could no longer
back out from the agreement.
RULING
144

NO. The properties subjects of the contracts in this case were conjugal
property. Hence, for the contracts t sell to be effective, the consent of both
husband and wife must concur. Under article 124 of the Family Code, the
disposition of a conjugal property by the husband as administrator in
appropriate cases requires the written consent of the wife, otherwise, the
disposition is void.
In the case at bar, respondent Norma Camaisa did not consent her written
consent to the sale. But art. 124, FC should only bed resorted to in cases
where the spouses who does not give consent is incapacitated. In this case,
petitioner failed to allege and prove that respondent Norma was incapacitated
to give her consent to the contract. In the absence of such showing of the
wifes incapacity, court authorization cannot be sought.
73. DAVID AND LORENZA PELAYO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 141323
June 8, 2005
FACTS
David Pelayo and Loreza are husband and wife. Their conjugal properties, the
two parcels of agricultural land, were conveyed Perez.
In the deed of
absolute sale, Lerenza signed only on the third page in the space provided for
witnesses. Hence, Perezs application for registration of the deed with the
office of the Registry of Deeds (ROD) was denied. Perez asked Lorenza to sign
on the first and second pages of the deed. But she refused. Hence, Perez
instituted a case against Lorenza for specific performance. The spouses
Pelayo, in their answer, invoked article 166, FC and argued that there was no
marital consent in the conveyance of said properties as Loreza did not give
her consent. That it was just a simulated sale. That the deed was just to
make it appear that the lots were sold to him (Perez) in order to frighten
illegal occupants of the said properties. Lorenzas signature was intentionally
omitted so that the deed could not be registered. Thus, it was a void
conveyance. However, Perez argued that the lots were given to him by the
spouses as a consideration of his services as attorney-in-fact to make the
necessary representation and negotiation with the illegal occupants therein.
That after their relationship became sour, Pelayo sent a letter to the ROD
requesting not to entertain any transaction concerning the lots title. The trial
court ruled that the conveyance was null and void as there was no marital
consent. Perez went to CA. CA reversed the trial courts ruling and ruled that
Lorenza, upon signing as witness to the execution of the deed, had knowledge
of the transaction and is deemed to have given the consent to the same.
Thus, spouse Pelayo went to the SC.
ISSUE

145

Whether or not the act of Lorenza in signing in the page for the witness
sufficient to constitute consent making the conveyance of the conjugal
property valid.
RULING
YES. Lorenza, by affixing her signature to the deed of sale on the space
provided for witnesses, is deemed to have given the implied consent to the
contract of sale. Sale is a consensual contract that is perfected by mere
consent, which may either be express or implied. A wifes consent to the
husbands disposition of conjugal property does not always have to
be explicit or set forth in any particular document, so long as it is
shown by acts of the wife that such consent or approval was indeed
given. In the case at bar, although it appears on the face of the deed of sale
that Lorenza signed only as an instrument witness, circumstances leading to
the execution of said document point to the fact that Lorenza was fully aware
of the sale of their conjugal property and consented to the sale.
74. HOMEOWNERS AND SAVINGS AND LOAN BANK [HSLB] vs.
MIGUELA DAILO
G. R. No. 153802
March 11, 2005
FACTS
Respondent Miguela Darailo and Marcelino Dailo were married. They did not
execute a marriage settlement. During their marriage, they purchased a
house and lot. But the absolute sale thereof was executed only in favor of
Marcelino as vendee to the exclusion of Miguela. Marcelino died. Before his
death, he executed SPA in favor of Lilibeth Gesmundo, authorizing the latter
to obtain a loan from petitioner HSLB to be secured by the spouses house and
lot. The said SPA was without the knowledge of Miguela. The loan became
mature and it remained outstanding. Hence, petitioner HSLB instituted
extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings on the mortgage house and lot. A
certificate of sale was issued in petitioners favor as the highest bidder. One
year lapsed but the property was not redeemed. Thus, petitioner consolidated
the ownership thereof executing an affidavit of consolidation of ownership
and a Deed of Absolute Sale.
Claiming that she had no knowledge of the mortgage constituted on the
subject property, which was conjugal in nature, respondent Miguela instituted
with the RTC a civil case for the nullity of real mortgage and certificate of
sale, and the affidavit of consolidation of ownership and for the reconveyance
of consolidation of ownership. The petitioner moved for the dismissal of the
case on the ground that the house and lot was the exclusive property of the
late Marcilino. But the RTC ruled that the mortgage was void as it was without
the consent of the wife.The CA likewise affirmed the RTCs decision. It ruled
that absence of clear and convincing evidence to rebut the presumption that
the subject property acquired during the marriage of spouses Dailo belongs to
146

their conjugal partnership. Hence, it was void under article 124 of the Family
Code. However, petitioner HSLB to the SC argued that article 124 of the
Family Code should be read together with article 493 of the Civil Code that
Marcelino had the right to mortgage the said property a co-owner.

ISSUE
Whether or not the mortgage over the disputed property is valid.
RULING
NO. The sale of conjugal property requires the consent of both the husband
and wife. Under article 124, Family Code, the absence of the consent of other
spouse renders the entire sale null and void of the conjugal property
pertaining to the husband who contracted the sale. There is no legal basis to
construe article 493 of the Civil Code as an exception to article 124 of the
Family Code. Respondent and the late Marcelito Dailo, were marred before the
effectivity of the Family Code. In the absence of a marriage settlement, the
system of relative community or conjugal partnership of gains governed the
property relations between respondent and her late husband. But with the
effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988, Conjugal Partnership of
Gains in the Family Code was made applicable to conjugal partnership of gain
already established before its effectivity unless vested rights have already
been acquired under the Civil Code or other laws.
The rules in co-ownership, unlike the absolute community of property wherein
the rules on co-ownership apply in supplementary manner, the conjugal
partnership shall be governed by the rules on contract of partnership in all is
not in conflict with what is expressly determined in the chapter on conjugal
partnership of gains or the spouses in their marriage settlements. Thus, the
property relations of respondent and her late husband shall be governed,
foremost, by chapter 4 on Conjugal Partnership of Gains of the Family Code,
suppletorily, by the rules on partnership under the Civil Code. In case of
conflict, the Family Code prevails because the Civil Code provisions on
partnership[ apply only when the Family Code is silent on the matter.
The basic established fact is that during the lifetime, without the
knowledge and consent of his wife, Marcelino Dailo, constituted a
real estate mortgage on the subject property, which formed part of
their conjugal partnership. By express provision of Article 124 of the
Family Code, in the absence of courts authority or written consent
of the other spouse, any disposition or encumbrance of the conjugal
property shall be void.

147

75. JOSEFINA FRANCISCO vs. MASTER IRON WORKS AND


CONSTRUCTION CORP. AND ROERTO ALEJO, SHERIFF IV, RTC MAKATI
CITY
G. R. No. 151967
February 16, 2005
FACTS
On January 15, 1983, Josefina Castillo was only 24 years of age when she and
Eduardo G. Francisco were married. Eduardo was then employed as the Vice
President in a private corporation. On August 31, 1984, the Imus Rural Bank
Inc. executed a deed of absolute sale for 320,000.00 in favor of Josefina
Castillo Francisco, covering two parcels of residential land with a house then
on located at St. Martin de Borres St., San Antonio Valley I, Sucat Paranaque
Metro Manila. The purchase price of the property was paid through the Bank
by check with a check no. 002334 in the amount of 320,000.00 drawn and
issued by the Commercial Bank on Manila , for which the Imus Bank issued
official receipt no. 121408 on August 31, 1984. The Register of Deeds issued
TCT nos. 87976 and 87977 in the name of Jesefina Castillo Francisco married
to Eduardo G. Francisco.
ISSUE
Whether or not the two parcel of residential land belongs to the conjugal
property of Josefina and Eduardo?
HELD: Since the subject property was acquired during the subsistence of the
marriage of Eduardo and Josefina, under the normal circumstance the same
should be presumed to be conjugal property.
Art. 144 of the NCC applies only to a relationship between a man and woman
who are not incapacitated to marry each other, or to in which the marriage of
the parties is void from the very beginning, it does not apply to cohabitation
that is adulterous or amounts to concubine for it would be absurd to create a
co-ownership when there exist a prior conjugal partnership, or absolute
community between the man and his lawful wife.
76. JESSIE PISUENA vs. UNATING, et al.
G. R. No. 132803
August 31, 1999
FACTS
The present case is rooted in an action for recovery of possession and
ownership of a parcel of land, as well as a sum of money and damages.
Before the RTC of Roxas City originally filed against herein petitioner, by
herein respondents.
The lot in dispute, known as Lot 1201, Cadastral 228 of the Cadastral of
Ivisan, Capiz, located at Barangay Cabugao, Municipality of Ivisan , Province
148

of Capiz , is a registered land in the name of Petra Unating married to


Aquilino Villar under Original Certificate of Title No. 18422, containing an
area of 83,536 square meters, more or less. Petra Unating died on October
1, 1948 while Aquilino Villar died on January 14, 1953. The spouses had two
[legitimate] children, namely Felix Villar and Catalina Villar. Felix Villar died
on October 24, 1962, while Catalina Villar died on February 21, 1967.
Felix Villar is represented by Dolores Villar Bautista, the eldest of his four
children while Catalina Villar is represented by Salvador Villar Upod, the
eldest of her three children, all as plaintiffs. Defendant, Jessie Pisuea, is the
son-in-law of Agustin Navarra. Plaintiffs contend that during the lifetime of
the registered owners, Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar, they enjoyed the
absolute ownership and possession of Lot No. 1201. However, sometime in
1950 (after the death of Petra Unating on October 1, 1948) Aquilino Villar
entered into an oral partnership agreement for ten (10) years with Agustin
Navarra involving the swampy portion of the lot in question consisting of
around four hectares. It was agreed that the area of around three hectares
shall further be developed into a fishpond while about a hectare shall be
converted into a fishpond with the investment capital of Agustin Navarra.
The upland portion of the land was not included in the transaction, hence it
remained in the possession of the plaintiffs. While alive, Agustin Navarra,
who managed the partnership, religiously gave Aquilino Villar and his coheirs their share. until Aquilino Villar died on January 14, 1953. Thereafter,
his share in the income of the partnership was delivered by Agustin Navarra
to Felix Villar and Catalina Villar. Since Agustin Navarra died in 1958, Felix
and Catalina Villar repossessed the land in question. They maintained their
possession up to the time Felix and Catalina Villar died. Thereafter, the
children of Felix and Catalina Villar continued the possession of their
predecessor-in-interest until the defendant disturbed their possession
sometime in 1974. Defendant counters that the whole land in dispute was
sold by Felix Villar and Catalina Villar to Agustin Navarra on February 2, 1949.
The contract in Spanish captioned ESCRITURA DE VENTA ABSOLUTA.
On December 31, 1968, which was more than ten years after the death of
Agustin Navarra, his heirs executed a Deed of Extra Judicial Partition and
Deed of Sale of the land in question in favor of the Spouses Jessie Pisuea
and Rosalie Navarra. From the time of the sale up to the present, the
fishpond portion was in the possession of the spouses Jessie Pisuea and
Rosalie Navarra. However, the upland portion is in the possession of
Salvador Upod and Dolores Bautista by mere tolerance of the defendant.
On June 24, 1992, the trial court ruled that since the disputed lot was the
conjugal property of Spouses Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar, its purported
sale by Felix and Catalina Villar to Agustin Navarra could be considered valid.
149

The court, however, ruled that its validity pertained only to the share of the
late Petra Unating, considering that at the time of the sale, Aquilino Villar
was still alive. It likewise held that the respondents, as heirs of Aquilino
Villar, were entitled to his one-half share in the disputed lot.
Before the Court of Appeals, Dolores Bautista and Salvador Upod assailed the
trial courts ruling upholding the validity of the Escritura de Venta Absoluta.
Jessie Pisuea, on the other hand, questioned the courts conclusion that the
subject lot was conjugal. He claimed that it was paraphernal, and that the
Deed of Sale transferred the whole lot to Agustin Navarra, his predecessor-ininterest.
The appellate court affirmed the trial courts ruling in toto, holding that the
disputed lot belonged to the conjugal partnership of Petra Unating and
Aquilino Villar.
Defendant further argues that the mention of the name Aquilino Villar in the
certificate of title is merely descriptive of the civil status of Petra Unating and
the same could not convert the property into a conjugal one.
The Court of appeals agree with the lower court when it held that 'in the
absence of any evidence of any system of property relation between Petra
Unating and Aquilino Villar, it is presumed that it is one of conjugal
partnership.' Besides, it appears that Lot 1201 was acquired during the
marriage of the Spouses Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar, since the Original
Certificate of Title indicates that Lot 1201 was registered in the name of
Petra Unating, married to Aquilino Villar. Thus, the property is presumed
conjugal.
ISSUE
Did the Honorable Court of Appeals erred in ruling that Lot 1201 belongs to
the conjugal [partnership] of Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar.?
RULING
The Supreme Court held that both the CA and the RTC held that the disputed
lot was conjugal. Real property acquired during marriage is presumed to be
conjugal. Such prima facie presumption, however, can be overturned by a
cadastral courts specific finding, which has long become final, that the lot in
question was paraphernal in character. The title to the entire property shall
pass by operation of law to the buyer once the seller acquires title over it by
hereditary succession, even if at the time of the execution of the deed of
sale, the seller owned only a portion of the property.
However, as to the efficacy of the Escritura de Venta Absoluta, petitioner
and his wife are owners of the disputed lot by virtue of the Deed of Sale they
executed, Felix and Catalina effectively transferred to Agustin Navarra on
150

February 4, 1949, their title over their two-thirds share in the disputed lot.
However, they could not have disposed of their fathers share in the same
property at the time, as they were not yet its owners. At the most, being the
only children, they had an inchoate interest in their fathers share. When
Aquilino Villar died in 1953 without disposing of his one-third share in the
disputed property, Felix and Catalinas inchoate interest in it was actualized,
because succession vested in them the title to their fathers share and,
consequently, to the entire lot. Thus, that title passed to Agustin Navarra,
pursuant to Article 1434 of the present Civil Code, which was already in force
at the time of Aquilinos death in 1953.
Consequently, upon the death of Aquilino Villar, the ownership of the whole
of Lot No. 1201 became vested in Jessie Pisuea and his wife.
Petition granted. Petitioner Jessie Pisuea and his wife, Rosalie Navarra, are
hereby declared the owners of Lot. No. 1201.

77. SPOUSES ONESIFORO AND ROSARIO ALINAS


VICTOR AND ELENA ALINAS
G. R. No. 158040
April 14, 2008

vs. SPOUSES

FACTS
Petitioner spouses separated sometime in 1982 with Rosario moving to
Pagadian City and Onesiforo moving to Manila. They left behind two lots
identified as Lot 896-B-9-A (Lot A) with a bodega standing on it and Lot 896B-9-B (Lot B) with petitioners house. Lot A was mortgaged as security for the
loan obtained from Rural Bank of Oroquieta (RBO), while Lot B was
mortgaged to SSS. Petitioners entrusted said lots to respondents, Victor
being the brother of Onesiforo, with the agreement that any rentals from the
property will be remitted to RBO and SSS to pay off the loans. Onesifore
alleged that he left blank papers with his signatures to facilitate the
administration of said property. However, sometime in 1993, the two lots
were already titled on the name of respondent spouses. Lot A have been
foreclosed by RBO and was later purchased by respondents. Lot B was also
foreclosed by SSS, however pursuant to a SPA signed by Onesiforo in favor of
Victor, the latter was able to redeem it. Onesiforos name also appeared in
an Absolute Deed of Sale dated March 10, 1989 selling Lot B to respondent
spouses. Records also show a notarized document captioned Agreement
whereby petitioner Onesiforo acknowledged that Victor used his own money
to redeem Lot B from SSS and, thus, Victor became the owner of said lot and
151

waiving whatever rights, claims, and interest petitioners or his heirs or


successors and assigns will or may have.
ISSUE
Whether or not the sale of Lot B by petitioner spouses to respondent spouses
was valid.
RULING
The sale was null and void. Although petitioners were married before the
enactment of the Family Code on August 3, 1988, the sale in question
occurred in 1989. Thus, their property relations are governed by Chapter IV
on Conjugal Partnership of Gains of the Family Code. Art. 124 of the Code
provides, The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal partnership
property shall belong to both spouses jointly. xxx In the event that one
spouse in incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in the
administration of the conjugal properties, the other spouse may assume sole
powers of administration. These powers do not include the powers of
disposition or encumbrance which must have the authority of the court or
the written authority of the other spouse. In the absence of such authority or
consent the disposition or encumbrance shall be void.xxx In Homeowners
Savings & Loan Bank vs. Dailo, the court categorically stated thus: In
Guiang vs. CA, it was held that the sale of a conjugal property requires the
consent of both husband and wife. In applying Art. 124 of the Family Code,
this court declared that the absence of the consent of one renders the entire
sale null and void, including the portion of the conjugal property pertaining to
the husband who contracted the sale. Thus, pursuant to Art. 124 and
jurisprudence, the sale of petitioners conjugal property made by petitioner
Onesiforo alone is void in its entirety. The court does not see how applying
Art. 124 of the Family Code would lead to injustice or absurdity. It should be
noted that respondent spouses were well aware that Lot B is a conjugal
property of petitioners. They also knew that the disposition being made by
Onesiforo is without the consent of his wife, as they knew that petitioners
had separated and the sale documents do not bear the signature of Rosarion.
The fact that Onesiforo had to execute two documents, the Deed of Absolute
Sale and a notarized Agreement, reveals that they had full knowledge of the
severe infirmities of the sale. As held in Heirs of Aguilar- Reyes vs. Spouses
Mijares, a purchaser cannot close his eyes to facts which should put a
reasonable man on his guard and still claim he acted in good faith. Such
being the case, no injustice is being foisted on respondent spouses as they
risked transacting with Onesiforo alone despite their knowledge that the
subject property is a conjugal property.
78. VIRGILIO MAQUILAN vs. DITA MAQUILAN
G.R. No. 155409
June 8, 2007
152

FACTS
Petitioner and private respondent are spouses who once had a blissful
married life and out of which were blessed to have a son. However, their
once sugar coated romance turned bitter when petitioner discovered that
private respondent was having illicit sexual affair with her paramour, which
thus, prompted the petitioner to file a case of adultery against private
respondent and the latters paramour. Consequently, both the private
respondent and her paramour were convicted of the crime charged. Private
respondent, through counsel, filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of
Marriage, Dissolution and Liquidation of Conjugal Partnership of Gains and
Damages, imputing psychological incapacity on the part of the petitioner.
During the pre-trial of the said case, petitioner and private respondent
entered into a COMPROMISE AGREEMENT. The said Compromise Agreement
was given judicial imprimatur by the respondent judge in the
assailed Judgment on Compromise Agreement. However, petitioner filed an
Omnibus Motion praying for the repudiation of the Compromise Agreement
and the reconsideration of the Judgment on Compromise Agreement by the
respondent judge on the grounds that his previous lawyer did not
intelligently and judiciously apprise him of the consequential effects of the
Compromise Agreement. The respondent Judge denied the aforementioned
Omnibus Motion. Displeased, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of
the aforesaid Order, but the same was denied.
The petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with the CA under
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court claiming that the RTC committed grave error
and abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
The petitioner argues that the Compromise Agreement should not have been
given judicial imprimatur since it is against law and public policy; that the
proceedings where it was approved is null and void, there being no
appearance and participation of the Solicitor General or the Provincial
Prosecutor; that it was timely repudiated; and that the respondent, having
been convicted of adultery, is therefore disqualified from sharing in the
conjugal property.
ISSUE
Whether or not a Compromise Agreement entered into by spouses, one of
whom was convicted of adultery, giving the convicted spouse a share in the
conjugal property, valid and legal.
RULING
The conviction of adultery does not carry the accessory of civil interdiction.
The crime of adultery does not carry the accessory penalty of civil
interdiction which deprives the person of the rights to manage her property
and to dispose of such property inter vivos. The Compromise Agreement
153

partially divided the properties of the conjugal partnership of gains between


the parties and does not deal with the validity of a marriage or legal
separation. It is not among those that are expressly prohibited by Article
2035.
Under Article 143 of the Family Code, separation of property may be effected
voluntarily or for sufficient cause, subject to judicial approval. The
questioned Compromise Agreement which was judicially approved is exactly
such a separation of property allowed under the law. This conclusion holds
true even if the proceedings for the declaration of nullity of marriage was still
pending.
79. ELNA MERCADO-FEHR vs. BRUNO FEHR
G. R. No. 152716
October 23, 2003
FACTS
A petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of
psychological incapacity to comply with the essential marital obligations
under Article 36 of the Family Code was filed by petitioner Elna Mercado-Fehr
against respondent Bruno Fehr before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. The
trial court declared the marriage between petitioner and respondent void ab
initio under Article 36 of the Family Code and ordered the dissolution of their
conjugal partnership of property.
ISSUE
How should the properties acquired by petitioner and respondent be
partitioned?
RULING
In light of these facts, the Supreme Court give more credence to petitioners
submission that Suite 204 was acquired during the parties cohabitation.
Accordingly, under Article 147 of the Family Code, said property should be
governed by the rules on co-ownership. The Family Code provides:
Article 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each
other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the
benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall
be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of
them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on coownership.
In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived
together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work
or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this
Article, a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party
154

of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly to the acquisition


thereof if the formers efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of their
family and of the household.
Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share
in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without
the consent of the other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.
When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of
the party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their
common children. In case of default of or waiver by any or all of the common
children or their descendants, each vacant share shall belong to the
respective surviving descendants.
80. ANTONIO A. S. VALDEZ vs. RTC OF QUEZON CITY
G. R. No. 122749
July 31, 1996
FACTS
Antonio Valdes and Consuelo Gomez were married. Begotten during the
marriage were five children. In a petition,Valdes sought the declaration of
nullity of the marriage pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code. The court
rendered the assailed judgment, to wit:
(1) Declaring their marriage null and void for mutual psychological
incapacity;
(2) The three older children shall choose which parent they would want to
stay with.
(3) To start proceedings on the liquidation of their common properties as
defined by Article 147 of the Family Code, and to comply with the provisions
of Articles 50, 51 and 52 of the same code.
Consuelo Gomez sought a clarification of that portion of the decision
directing compliance with Articles 50, 51 and 52 of the Family Code. She
asserted that the Family Code contained no provisions on the procedure for
the liquidation of common property in "unions without marriage."
Parenthetically, during the hearing on the motion, the children filed a joint
affidavit expressing their desire to remain with their father, Antonio Valdes,
herein petitioner.
His motion for reconsideration having been denied, she now comes to
superiority contending that (I) Article 147 of the Family Code does not apply
to cases where the parties are psychological incapacitated.(II) Articles 50, 51
and 52 in relation to Articles 102 and 129 of the Family Code govern the
155

disposition of the family dwelling in cases where a marriage is declared void


ab initio, including a marriage declared void by reason of the psychological
incapacity of the spouses.(III) Assuming arguendo that Article 147 applies to
marriages declared void ab initio on the ground of the psychological
incapacity of a spouse, the same may be read consistently with Article 129.
(IV) It is necessary to determine the parent with whom majority of the
children wish to stay."
ISSUE
What property relations should govern with regard to void marriages?
RULING
ORDER AFFIRMED. The court correctly applied the proper property relations
with regard to void marriages.
In deciding to take further cognizance of the issue on the settlement of the
parties' common property, the trial court acted neither imprudently nor
precipitately; a court which has jurisdiction to declare the marriage a nullity
must be deemed likewise clothed with authority to resolve incidental and
consequential matters.
Nor did it commit a reversible error in ruling that petitioner and private
respondent own the "family home" and all their common property in equal
shares, as well as in concluding that, in the liquidation and partition of the
property owned in common by them, the provisions on co-ownership under
the Civil Code, not Articles 50, 51 and 52, in relation to Articles 102 and 129,
of the Family Code, should aptly prevail.
The rules set up to govern the liquidation of either the absolute community
or the conjugal partnership of gains, the property regimes recognized for
valid and voidable marriages (in the latter case until the contract is
annulled ),are irrelevant to the liquidation of the co-ownership that exists
between common-law spouses.
The first paragraph of Article 50 of the Family Code, applying paragraphs
(2 ),(3 ),(4) and (5) of Article 43, relates only, by its explicit terms, to
voidable marriages and, exceptionally, to void marriages under Article 40 of
the Code, , the declaration of nullity of a subsequent marriage contracted by
a spouse of a prior void marriage before the latter is judicially declared void.
The latter is a special rule that somehow recognizes the philosophy and an
old doctrine that void marriages are inexistent from the very beginning and
no judicial decree is necessary to establish their nullity. In now requiring for
purposes of remarriage, the declaration of nullity by final judgment of the
previously contracted void marriage, the present law aims to do away with
any continuing uncertainty on the status of the second marriage.
156

It is not then illogical for the provisions of Article 43, in relation to Articles 41
and 42, of the Family Code, on the effects of the termination of a subsequent
marriage contracted during the subsistence of a previous marriage to be
made applicable pro hac vice.
In all other cases, it is not to be assumed that the law has also meant to
have coincident property relations, on the one hand, between spouses in
valid and voidable marriages (before annulment) and, on the other, between
common-law spouses or spouses of void marriages, leaving to ordain, in the
latter case, the ordinary rules on co-ownership subject to the provision of
Article 147 and Article 148 of the Family Code.
It must be stressed, nevertheless, even as it may merely state the obvious,
that the provisions of the Family Code on the "family home," the provisions
found in Title V, Chapter 2, of the Family Code, remain in force and effect
regardless of the property regime of the spouses.
81. NENG KAGUI KADIGUIA MALANG vs. COROCOY MOSON
G. R. No. 119064
August 22, 2000
FACTS
Hadji Abdula Malang, a Muslim, contracted marriage with Aida Limba. They
begot three sons named Hadji Mohammad Ulyssis, Hadji Ismael Malindatu
and Datulna, and a daughter named Lawanbai. Hadji Abdula was engaged in
tilling the land that was Aidas dowry. Thereafter, he bought a parcel of land
in Sousa, Cotabato. Hadji Abdula and Aida already had two children when he
married for the second time Jubaida Kado. No child was born out of his
second marriage. When Aida, the first wife, was pregnant with their fourth
child, Hadji Abdula divorced her.
In 1965, Hadji Abdula married Nayo H. Omar but they were childless.
Thereafter, Hadji Abdula contracted marriage with Hadji Mabai (Mabay) H.
Adziz and they had a daughter named Fatima (Kueng). Not long after, Hadji
Abdula married three other Muslim women named Saaga, Mayumbai and
Sabai but he eventually divorced them.
Hadji Abdula then migrated to Tambunan where, in 1972, he married
petitioner Neng Kagui Kadiguia Malang. They established residence in
Cotabato City but they were childless. Hadji Abdula acquired land in
Cotabato City. He deposited money in United Coconut Planters Bank,
Metrobank and Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank.
On December 18, 1993, while he was living with petitioner in, Hadji Abdula
died without leaving a will. On January 21, 1994, petitioner filed with the
157

Sharia District Court in Cotabato City a petition for the settlement of his
estate with a prayer that letters of administration be issued in the name of
her niece, Tarhata Lauban.
Petitioner claimed in that petition that she was the wife of Hadji Abdula; that
his other legal heirs are his three children named Teng Abdula, Keto Abdula
and Kueng Malang, and that he left seven (7) parcels of land, five (5) of
which are titled in Hadji Abdulas name married to Neng P. Malang, and a
pick-up jeepney.
On February 7, 1994, the Sharia District Court ordered the publication of the
petition. After such publication or on March 16, 1994, Hadji Mohammad
Ulyssis Malang, the eldest son of Hadji Abdula, filed his opposition to the
petition. He alleged that his fathers surviving heirs are as follows: (a)
Jubaida Malang, surviving spouse;
(b) Nayo Malang, surviving spouse; (c)
Mabay Malang, surviving spouse; (d) petitioner Neng Malang, surviving
spouse; (e) oppositor Hadji Mohammad Ulyssis Malang who is also known as
Teng Abdula, son; (f) Hadji Ismael Malindatu Malang, also known as Keto
Abdula, son, (g) Fatima Malang, also known as Kueng Malang, daughter;
(h) Datulna Malang, son, and (i) Lawanbai Malang, daughter. Oppositor Hadji
Mohammad Ulyssis Malang alleged that since he and his brother, Hadji
Ismael Malindatu Malang, had helped their father in his business, then they
were more competent to be administrators of his estate. On March 30, 1994,
Jubaida Malang, Ismael Malindatu Malang, Nayo Malang, Fatima Malang,
Mabay Malang, Datulna Malang and Lawanbai Malang filed an opposition to
the petition, adopting as their own the written opposition of Hadji
Mohammad.
In a Memorandum that petitioner filed with the Sharia District Court, she
asserted that all of the properties of the decedent located in Cotabato City
were conjugal properties while properties located outside of Cotabato City
were exclusive properties of the decedent.
The oppositors contended in their own Memorandum that all the properties
left by Hadji Abdula were his exclusive properties. First, Hadji Abdula had no
conjugal partnership with petitioner because his having contracted eight (8)
marriages with different Muslim women was in violation of the Civil Code that
provided for a monogamous marriage; a conjugal partnership presupposes a
valid civil marriage, not a bigamous marriage or a common-law relationship.
Second, the decedent adopted a complete separation of property regime in
his marital relations; while his wives Jubaida Kado, Nayo Hadji Omal and
Mabay Ganap Hadji Adzis contributed to the decedents properties, there
is no evidence that petitioner had contributed funds for the acquisition of
such properties. Third, the presumption that properties acquired during the
marriage are conjugal properties is inapplicable because at the time he
acquired the properties, the decedent was married to four (4) women.
158

Fourth, the properties are not conjugal in nature notwithstanding that some
of these properties were titled in the name of the decedent married to Neng
Malang because such description is not conclusive of the conjugal nature of
the property. Furthermore, because petitioner admitted in her verified
petition that the properties belonged to the estate of decedent, she was
estopped from claiming, after formal offer of evidence, that the properties
were conjugal in nature just because some of the properties were titled in
Hadji Abdulas name married to Neng Malang. Fifth, if it is true that the
properties were conjugal properties, then these should have been registered
in the names of both petitioner and the decedent.
In its Order of September 26, 1994, the Sharia District Court presided by
Judge Corocoy D. Moson held that there was no conjugal partnership of gains
between petitioner and the decedent primarily because the latter married
eight times. The Civil Code provision on conjugal partnership cannot be
applied if there is more than one wife because conjugal partnership
presupposes a valid civil marriage, not a plural marriage or a common-law
relationship. The court further found that the decedent was the chief, if not
the sole, breadwinner of his families and that petitioner did not contribute
to the properties unlike the other wives named Jubaida, Nayo and Mabay.
The description married to Neng Malang in the titles to the real properties
is no more than that -- the description of the relationship between petitioner
and the decedent. Such description is insufficient to prove that the properties
belong to the conjugal partnership of gains.
Under Islamic law, the regime of property relationship is complete separation
of property, in the absence of any stipulation to the contrary in the marriage
settlements or any other contract (Article 38, P.D. 1083). There being no
evidence of such contrary stipulation or contract, this Court concludes as it
had begun, that the properties in question, both real and personal, are not
conjugal, but rather, exclusive property of the decedent.
Thus, the Sharia District Court held that the Islamic law should be applied in
the distribution of the estate of Hadji Abdula. The Court ordered that the
estate shall pay the corresponding estate tax, reimburse the funeral
expenses and judicial expenses; that the net estate, consisting of real and
personal properties, located in Talayan, Maguindanao and in Cotabato City,
be distributed and adjudicated as follows:
a) Jubaida Kado Malang

------------------------- 2/64 of the estate

b) Nayo Omar Malang

------------------------- 2/64

- do -

c) Mabai Aziz Malang

------------------------- 2/64

- do -

d) Neng Kagui Kadiguia Malang ---------------- 2/64

- do -

159

e) Mohammad Ulyssis Malang----------------------14/64

- do -

f) Ismael Malindatu Malang-------------------------14/64

- do -

g) Datulna Malang
h) Lawanbai Malang

------------------------- 14/64

- do -

------------------------- 7/64

- do -

i) Fatima (Kueng) Malang ------------------------ 7/64

- do -

Total-------------------- 64/64
;that the amount of P250,000.00 given to Neng Kagui Kadiguia Malang by
way of advance be charged against her share and if her share is not
sufficient, to return the excess; and that the heirs are ordered to submit to
this court their Project of Partition for approval, not later than three (3)
months from receipt of its order.
On October 4, 1994, petitioner filed a motion for the reconsideration. The
oppositors objected. On January 10, 1995, the Sharia District Court denied
petitioners motion for reconsideration. Unsatisfied, petitioner filed a notice
of appealwhich she subsequently withdrew. On March 1, 1995, petitioner
filed the instant petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction and/or
restraining order.
ISSUE
Whether or not the regime of conjugal partnership of gains governed the
property relationship of two Muslims who contracted marriage prior to the
effectivity of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (hereafter,
P.D. 1083 or Muslim Code). The question is raised in connection with the
settlement of the estate of the decedent.
RULING
The Court concludes that the record of the case is simply inadequate for
purposes of arriving at a fair and complete resolution of the petition. Justice
and accountability dictate a remand; trial must reopen in order to supply the
factual gaps. In so ordering, the SC deemed it imperative to set out certain
guidelines in the interpretation and application of pertinent laws to facilitate
the task of respondent court. The Court identified the following collateral
issues:
First Collateral Issue: The Law(s) Governing Validity of Muslim Marriages
Celebrated Before the Muslim Code

160

All eight marriages of were celebrated during the effectivity of the Civil
Code which governs the marriages. Article 78 of the Civil Code recognized
the right of Muslims to contract marriage in accordance with their customs
and rites by providing that marriages between Mohammedans or pagans
who live in the non-Christian provinces may be performed in accordance with
their customs, rites or practices. No marriage license or formal requisites
shall be necessary. Nor shall the persons solemnizing these marriages be
obliged to comply with article 92.
However, thirty years after the approval of this Code, all marriages
performed between Muslims or other non-Christians shall be solemnized in
accordance with the provisions of this Code. But the President of the
Philippines, upon recommendation of the Commissioner of National
Integration, may at any time before the expiration of said period, by
proclamation, make any of said provisions applicable to the Muslims and
non-Christian inhabitants of any of the non-Christian provinces.
Notably, before the expiration of the thirty-year period after which Muslims
are enjoined to solemnize their marriages in accordance with the Civil Code,
P.D. 1083 or the Muslim Code was passed into law. The enactment of the
Muslim Code on February 4, 1977 rendered nugatory the second paragraph
of Article 78.
Second and Third Collateral Issues: The Validity of Muslim Multiple Marriages
Celebrated Before the Muslim Code; The Effect of People vs. Subano and
People vs. Dumpo.
Prior to the enactment of P.D. 1083, there was no law in this jurisdiction
which sanctioned multiple marriages. The only law in force governing
marriage relations between Muslims and non-Muslims alike was the Civil
Code of 1950. The Muslim Code provides in respect of acts that transpired
prior to its enactment that acts executed prior to the effectivity of the Muslim
Code shall be governed by the laws in force at the time of their execution,
and nothing therein except as otherwise specifically provided, shall affect
their validity or legality or operate to extinguish any right acquired or liability
incurred thereby.
An apparent antagonism arises when we consider that what the provisions of
the Civil Code contemplate and nurture is a monogamous marriage.
Bigamous or polygamous marriages are considered void and inexistent
from the time of their performance. The Family Code which superseded the
Civil Code provisions on marriage emphasizes that a subsequent marriage
celebrated before the registration of the judgment declaring a prior marriage
void shall likewise be void. These provisions illustrate that the marital
relation perceived by the Civil Code is one that is monogamous, and that
161

subsequent marriages entered into by a person with others while the first
one is subsisting is by no means countenanced.
Thus, when the validity of Muslim plural marriages celebrated before the
enactment of the Muslim Code was touched upon in two criminal cases, the
Court applied the perspective in the Civil Code that only one valid marriage
can exist at any given time.
In People vs. Subano, supra, the Court convicted the accused of homicide,
not parricide, since --(f)rom the testimony of Ebol Subano, father of the deceased, it
appears that the defendant has three wives and that the deceased was
the last in point of time. Although the practice of polygamy is
approved by custom among these non-Christians, polygamy, however,
is not sanctioned by the Marriage Law, which merely recognizes tribal
marriage rituals. The deceased, under our law, is not thus the lawful
wife of the defendant and this precludes conviction for the crime of
parricide.
In People vs. Dumpo, supra, Mora Dumpo was prosecuted for bigamy when,
legally married to Moro Hassan, she allegedly contracted a second marriage
with Moro Sabdapal. The Court acquitted her on the ground that it was not
duly proved that the alleged second marriage had all the essential requisites
to make it valid were it not for the subsistence of the first marriage. As it
appears that the consent of the brides father is an indispensable requisite to
the validity of a Muslim marriage, and as Mora Dumpos father categorically
affirmed that he did not give his consent to her union with Moro Sabdapal,
the Court held that such union could not be a marriage otherwise valid were
it not for the existence of the first one, and resolved to acquit her of the
charge of bigamy.
Fourth Collateral Issue: Law(s) Governing Property Relations of Muslim
Marriages Celebrated Before the Muslim Code
The validity of the marriages in the instant case is determined by the Civil
Code, we hold that it is the same Code that determines and governs the
property relations of the marriages in this case, for the reason that at the
time of the celebration of the marriages in question the Civil Code was the
only law on marriage relations, including property relations between spouses,
whether Muslim or non-Muslim.
Inasmuch as the Family Code makes
substantial amendments to the Civil Code provisions on property relations,
some of its provisions are also material, particularly to property acquired
from and after August 3, 1988.

162

Which law would govern depends upon: (1) when the marriages took place;
(2) whether the parties lived together as husband and wife; and (3) when
and how the subject properties were acquired.
Following are the pertinent provisions of the Civil Code:
Art. 119. The future spouses may in the marriage settlements agree upon
absolute or relative community of property, or upon complete separation of
property, or upon any other regime. In the absence of marriage settlements,
or when the same are void, the system of relative community or conjugal
partnership of gains as established in this Code shall govern the property
relations between husband and wife.
Art. 135. All property brought by the wife to the marriage, as well as all
property she acquires during the marriage, in accordance with article 148, is
paraphernal.
Art. 136. The wife retains the ownership of the paraphernal property.
Art. 142. By means of the conjugal partnership of gains the husband and
wife place in a common fund the fruits of their separate property and the
income from their work or industry, and divide equally, upon the dissolution
of the marriage or of the partnership, the net gains or benefits obtained
indiscriminately by either spouse during the marriage.
Art. 143. All property of the conjugal partnership of gains is owned in
common by the husband and wife,
With the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988, the following
provisions of the said Code are pertinent:
Art. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each
other live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the
benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall
be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of
them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on coownership.
In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived
together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work
or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of
this Article, a party who did not participate in the acquisition of the other
party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the
acquisition thereof if the formers efforts consisted in the care and
maintenance of the family and of the household.

163

Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share
in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without
the consent of the other, until after the termination of the cohabitation.
When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of
the party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their
common children. In case of default or of waiver by any or all of the
common children or their descendants, each vacant share shall belong to the
respective surviving descendants. In the absence of descendants, such
share shall belong to the innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall take
place upon termination of the cohabitation.
Art. 148. In cases of cohabitation not falling under the preceding Article,
only the properties acquired by both of the parties through their actual joint
contribution of money, property, or industry shall be owned by them in
common in proportion to their respective contributions. In the absence of
proof to the contrary, their contributions and corresponding shares are
presumed to be equal. The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint
deposits of money and evidences of credit.
If one of the parties is validly married to another, his or her share in the coownership shall accrue to the absolute community or conjugal partnership
existing in such valid marriage. If the party who acted in bad faith is not
validly married to another, his or her share shall be forfeited in the manner
provided in the last paragraph of the preceding Article.
The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply even if both parties are
in bad faith.
Fifth and Sixth Collateral Issues: Law(s) on Succession and Dissolution of
Property Regimes
Hadji Abdula died intestate on December 16, 1993. Thus, it is the Muslim
Code which should determine the identification of the heirs in the order of
intestate succession and the respective shares of the heirs. Meanwhile, the
status and capacity to succeed on the part of the individual parties who
entered into each and every marriage ceremony will depend upon the law in
force at the time of the performance of the marriage rite.The status and
capacity to succeed of the children will depend upon the law in force at the
time of conception or birth of the child. If the child was conceived or born
during the period covered by the governance of the Civil Code, the Civil Code
provisions on the determination of the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the child
would appear to be in point.
The Civil Code provides:
Art. 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the
celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its
164

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 husbands 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 living 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.
If the child was conceived or born during the period covered by the
governance of the Muslim Code, i.e., from February 4, 1977 up to the death
of Hadji Abdula on December 18, 1993, the Muslim Code determines the
legitimacy or illegitimacy of the child. Under the Muslim Code:
Art. 58. Legitimacy, how established. --- Legitimacy of filiation is established
by the evidence of valid marriage between the father and the mother at the
time of the conception of the child.
Art. 59. Legitimate children. --(1) Children conceived in lawful wedlock shall be presumed to be legitimate.
Whoever claims illegitimacy of or impugns such filiation must prove his
allegation.
(2) Children born after six months following the consummation of marriage or
within two years after the dissolution of the marriage shall be presumed to
be legitimate. Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other
than that of physical impossibility of access between the parents at or about
the time of the conception of the child.
Art. 60. Children of subsequent marriage. --- Should the marriage be
dissolved and the wife contracts another marriage after the expiration of her
idda, the child born within six months from the dissolution of the prior
165

marriage shall be presumed to have been conceived during the former


marriage, and if born thereafter, during the latter.
Art. 61. Pregnancy after dissolution. --- If, after the dissolution of marriage,
the wife believes that she is pregnant by her former husband, she shall,
within thirty days from the time she became aware of her pregnancy, notify
the former husband or his heirs of that fact. The husband or his heirs may
ask the court to take measures to prevent a simulation of birth.
Upon determination of status and capacity to succeed based on the
foregoing provisions, the provisions on legal succession in the Muslim Code
will apply. Under Article 110 of the said Code, the sharers to an inheritance
include:
(a) The husband, the wife;
(b) The father, the mother, the grandfather, the grandmother;
(c) The daughter and the sons daughter in the direct line;
(d) The full sister, the consanguine sister, the uterine sister and the uterine
brother.
When the wife survives with a legitimate child or a child of the decedents
son, she is entitled to one-eighth of the hereditary estate; in the absence of
such descendants, she shall inherit one-fourth of the estate. The respective
shares of the other sharers are provided for in Articles 113 to 122 of P.D.
1083.
Seventh Collateral Issue: Muslim Divorces Before the Effectivity of the Muslim
Code
R.A. 394 authorized absolute divorce among Muslims residing in nonChristian provinces, in accordance with Muslim custom, for a period of 20
years from June 18, 1949 (the date of approval of R.A. 394) to June 13, 1969.
Thus, a Muslim divorce under R.A. 394 is valid if it took place from June 18,
1949 to June 13, 1969.
--------------------------------From the seven collateral issues that have been discussed, four corollary
issues are identified as to further situate the points of controversy in the
instant case for the guidance of the lower court.
1. Which of the several marriages was validly and legally existing at the
time of the opening of the succession of Hadji Abdula when he died in 1993?
The validly and legally existing marriage would be that marriage which was
166

celebrated at a time when there was no other subsisting marriage standing


undissolved by a valid divorce or by death. This is because all of the
marriages were celebrated during the governance of the Civil Code, under
the rules of which only one marriage can exist at any given time.
Whether or not the marriage was validly dissolved by a Muslim divorce
depends upon the time frame and the applicable law. A Muslim divorce
under R.A. No. 394 is valid if it took place from June 18, 1949 to June 13,
1969, and void if it took place from June 14, 1969.
2. There being a dispute between the petitioner and the oppositors as
regards the heirship of the children begotten from different marriages, who
among the surviving children are legitimate and who are illegitimate? The
children conceived and born of a validly existing marriage as determined by
the first corollary issue are legitimate. The fact and time of conception or
birth may be determined by proof or presumption depending upon the time
frame and the applicable law.
3. What properties constituted the estate of Hadji Abdula at the time of his
death on December 18, 1993? The estate of Hadji Abdula consists of the
following:
a. Properties acquired during the existence of a valid marriage as determined
by the first corollary issue are conjugal properties and should be liquidated
and divided between the spouses under the Muslim Code, this being the law
in force at the time of Hadji Abdulas death.
b. Properties acquired under the conditions prescribed in Article 144 of the
Civil Code during the period August 30, 1950 to August 2, 1988 are conjugal
properties and should be liquidated and divided between the spouses under
the Muslim Code. However, the wives other than the lawful wife as
determined under the first corollary issue may submit their respective
evidence to prove that any of such property is theirs exclusively.
c. Properties acquired under the conditions set out in Articles 147 and 148 of
the Family Code during the period from and after August 3, 1988 are
governed by the rules on co-ownership.
d. Properties acquired under conditions not covered by the preceding
paragraphs and obtained from the exclusive efforts or assets of Hadji Abdula
are his exclusive properties.
4. Who are the legal heirs of Hadji Abdula, and what are their shares in
intestacy? The following are Hadji Abdulas legal heirs: (a) the lawful wife, as
determined under the first corollary issue, and (2) the children, as
determined under the second corollary issue. The Muslim Code, which was
167

already in force at the time of Hadji Abdulas death, will govern the
determination of their respective shares.
The evidence in this case is inadequate to resolve in its entirety the main,
collateral and corollary issues herein presented and a remand to the lower
court is in order. Accordingly, evidence should be received to supply the
following proofs:
(1) the exact dates of the marriages performed in
accordance with Muslim rites or practices; (2) the exact dates of the
dissolutions of the marriages terminated by death or by divorce in
accordance with Muslim rites and practices, thus indicating which marriage
resulted in a conjugal partnership under the criteria prescribed by the first,
second, and third collateral issues and the first corollary issue; (3) the exact
periods of actual cohabitation (common life under a common roof) of
each of the marriages during which time the parties lived together; (4) the
identification of specific properties acquired during each of the periods of
cohabitation referred to in paragraph 3 above, and the manner and source of
acquisition, indicating joint or individual effort, thus showing the asset as
owned separately, conjugally or in co-ownership; and (5) the identities of the
children (legitimate or illegitimate) begotten from the several unions, the
dates of their respective conceptions or births in relation to paragraphs 1 and
2 above, thereby indicating their status as lawful heirs
The decision dated September 26, 1994 of the Fifth Sharia District Court of
Cotabato is SET ASIDE, and the petition is REMANDED for the reception of
additional evidence and the resolution of the issues of the case based on the
guidelines set out.
82. CIRILA ARCABA vs. ERLINDA TABANCURA VDA. DE BATOCAEL
G. R. No. 146683
November 22, 2001
FACTS
Francisco Comille and his wife Zosima Montallana became the registered
owners of Lot No. 437-A located at Balintawak St. and Rizal Avenue in
Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte in January 1956. Zosima died in 1980
hence Francisco and his mother in law executed a deed of extrajudicial
partition with waiver of rights, where the latter waived her share consisting
of of the property in favor of Francisco. Since Francisco do not have any
children to take care of him after his retirement, he asked Leticia, his niece,
Leticias cousin, Luzviminda and Cirila Arcaba, the petitioner, who was then a
widow and took care of Franciscos house as well as the store inside.
According to Leticia, Francisco and Cirila were lovers since they slept in the
same room. On the other hand, Erlinda Tabancura, another niece of
Francisco claimed that the latter told her that Cirila was his mistress.
However, Cirila defensed herself that she was a mere helper who could enter
168

the masters bedroom when Francisco asked her to and that Francisco was
too old for her. She denied having sexual intercourse with Francisco. When
the nieces got married, Cirila who was then 34 year-old widow started
working for Francisco who was 75 year old widower. The latter did not pay
him any wages as househelper though her family was provided with food and
lodging. Franciscos health deteriorated and became bedridden. Tabancura
testified that Franciscos only source of income was the rentals from his lot
near the public streets.
In January 1991, few months before Francisco died, he executed a Deed of
Donation Inter Vivos where he ceded a portion of Lot 437-A composed of
150 sq m., together with his house to Cirila who accepted the same. The
larger portion of 268 sq m. was left under his name. This was made in
consideration of the 10 year of faithful services of the petitioner. Atty Lacaya
notarized the deed and was later registered by Cirila as its absolute owner.
In Octoer 1991, Francisco died and in 1993, the lot received by Cirila had a
market value of P57,105 and assessed value of P28,550. The decedents
nephews and nieces and his heirs by intestate succession alleged that Cirila
was the common-law wife of Francisco.
ISSUE
Whether or not the deed of donation inter vivos executed by Francisco in
Arcabas favor was valid.
RULING
The court in this case considered a sufficient proof of common law
relationship wherein donation is not valid. The conclusion was based on the
testimony of Tabancura and certain documents bearing the signature of
Cirila Comille such as application for business permit, sanitary permit and
the death certificate of Francisco. Also, the fact that Cirila did not demand
her wages is an indication that she was not simply a caregiver employee.
Cohabitation means more than sexual intercourse, especially when one of
the parties is already old and may no longer be interested in sex at the very
least, cohabitation is a public assumption of men and women holding
themselves out to the public as such.
Hence, the deed of donation by Francisco in favor of Cirila is void under Art.
87 of the Family Code.
83. GUILLERMA TUMLOS vs. MARIO FERNANDEZ
G. R. No. 137650
April 12, 2000
FACTS
169

Mario and Lourdes Fernandez were plaintiffs in an action for ejectment filed
against Guillerma, Gina and Toto Tumlos. In the complaint, spouses
Fernandez alleged that they are the absolute owners of an apartment
building that through their tolerance they allowed the Tumlos to occupy the
apartment for the last 7 years without payment of any rent. It was agreed
that Guillerma will pay 1,600 a month while the other defendants promised
to pay 1,000 a month which was not complied with. Demand was made
several times for the defendants to vacate the premises as they are in need
of the property for the construction of a new building.
Defendants appealed to RTC that Mario and Guillerma had an amorous
relationship and that they acquired the property in question as their love
nest. It was likewise alleged that they lived together in the said apartment
building with their 2 children for about 10 years and that Gullerma
administered the property by collecting rentals from the lessees until she
discovered that Mario deceived her as to the annulment of their marriage.
ISSUE
Whether or not Guillerma is a co-owner of the said apartment under Article
148.
RULING
SC rejected the claim that Guillerma and Mario were co-owners of the subject
property. The claim was not satisfactorily proven by Guillerma since there
were no other evidence presented to validate it except for the said affidavit.
Even if the allegations of having cohabited with Mario and that she bore him
two children were true, the claim of co-ownership still cannot be accepted.
Mario is validly married with Lourdes hence Guillerma and Mario are not
capacitated to marry each other. The property relation governing their
supposed cohabitation is under Article 148 of the Family Code. Actual
contribution is required by the said provision in contrast to Art 147 which
states that efforts in the care and maintenance of the family and household
are regarded as contributions to the acquisitions of common property by one
who has no salary, income, work or industry. Such is not included in Art 148.
If actual contribution is not proven then there can be no co-ownership and no
presumption of equal shares.
84. EUSTAQUIO MALLILIN vs. ELVIRA CASTILLO
G. R. No. 136803
June 16, 2000
FACTS
Eustaquio Mallilin Jr. and Ma. Elvira Castillo were alleged to be both married
and with children but separated from their respective spouses and cohabited
in 1979 while respective marriages still subsist. They established
Superfreight Customs Brokerage Corporation during their union of which
170

petitioner was the President and Chairman and respondent as Vice President
and Treasurer. They likewise acquired real and personal properties which
were registered solely in respondents name. Due to irreconcilable conflict,
the couple separated in 1992. Petitioner then demanded his share from
respondent in the subject properties but the latter refused alleging that said
properties had been registered solely in her name. Furthermore, respondent
denied that she and petitioner lived as husband and wife because they were
still legally married at the time of cohabitation.
Petitioner filed complaint for partition of co-ownership shares while
respondent filed a motion for summary judgment. Trial court dismissed the
former and granted the latter.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioner can validly claim his share in the acquired
properties registered under the name of the respondent considering they
both have subsisting relationship when they started living together.
RULING
The Court ruled that trial court erred that parties who are not capacitated to
marry each other and were living together could not have owned properties
in common. Under Article 148, if the parties are incapacitated to marry each
other, properties acquired by them through their joint contribution, property
or industry, shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their
contributions which, in the absence of proof to the contrary, is presumed to
be equal. Hence, there is co-ownership even though the couples in union are
not capacitated to marry each other.
Furthermore, when CA dismissed petitioners complaint for partition on
grounds of due process and equity, his right to prove ownership over the
claimed properties was denied. Such dismissal is unjustified since both ends
may be served by simply excluding from the action for partition the
properties registered in the name of Steelhouse Realty and Eloisa Castillo,
not parties in the case.
The case was remanded to lower court for further proceedings.
85. ALFRED FRITZ FRENZEL vs. EDERLINA P. CATITO
G. R. No. 143958
July 11, 2003
FACTS
Petitioner Alfred Fritz Frenzel is an Australian citizen of German descent. He
is an electrical engineer by profession, but worked as a pilot with the New
Guinea Airlines. He arrived in the Philippines in 1974, started engaging in
business in the country two years thereafter, and married Teresita Santos, a
Filipino citizen. In 1981, Alfred and Teresita separated from bed and board
without obtaining a divorce. Sometime in February 1983, Alfred arrived in
171

Sydney, Australia for a vacation. He went to King's Cross, a night spot in


Sydney, for a massage where he met respondent Ederlina Catito, a Filipina
and a native of Bajada, Davao City. Unknown to Alfred, she resided for a time
in Germany and was married to Klaus Muller, a German national. She left
Germany and tried her luck in Sydney, Australia, where she found
employment as a masseuse in the King's Cross nightclub. Alfred followed
Ederlina to the Philippines where they cohabited together in a common-law
relationship. During the period of their common-law relationship, Alfred
acquired in the Philippines real and personal properties valued more or less
at P724,000.00. Since Alfred knew that as an alien he was disqualified from
owning lands in the Philippines, he agreed that only Ederlina's name would
appear in the deeds of sale as the buyer of the real properties, as well as in
the title covering the same. Alfred and Ederlina's relationship deteriorated.
Alfred wrote Ederlina's father complaining that Ederlina had taken all his life
savings and because of this, he was virtually penniless. He further accused
the Catito family of acquiring for themselves the properties he had
purchased with his own money. He demanded the return of all the amounts
that Ederlina and her family had "stolen" and turn over all the properties
acquired by him and Ederlina during their coverture. Alfred filed a complaint
against Ederlina with the Regional Trial Court, Davao City, for specific
performance, declaration of ownership of real and personal properties, sum
of money, and damages. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of
Ederlina. Alfred appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals which affirmed
in toto the decision of the RTC. Hence, the present petition.
ISSUES
Whether or not the rule of in pari delicto applies in the instant case where
an alien petitioner who, knowing the Constitutional prohibition against aliens
to acquire lands in the Philippines, willfully funded the purchase of real
properties in the name of his Filipina lover who is married to another alien.
RULING
Petitioner answered during an examination before the trial court:
COURT:
Q.
So you understand that you are a foreigner that you cannot
buy land in the Philippines?
A.
That is correct but as she would eventually be my wife that
would be owned by us later on. (tsn, p. 5, September 3, 1986)
xxx
xxx
xxx
Q.
What happened after that?
A.
She said you foreigner you are using Filipinos to buy property.
Q.
And what did you answer?
A:
I said thank you very much for the property I bought because I
gave you a lot of money (tsn, p. 14, ibid.).
172

The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. According
to the Court, petitioner cannot feign ignorance of the constitutional
proscription, nor claim that he acted in good faith, let alone assert that he is
less guilty than the respondent. Petitioner is fully aware that he was
disqualified from acquiring and owning lands under Philippine law even
before he purchased the properties in question; and, to skirt the
constitutional prohibition, he had the deed of sale placed under the
respondent's name as the sole vendee thereof. Being a party to an illegal
contract, petitioner cannot come into a court of law and ask to have his
illegal objective carried out because one who loses his money or property by
knowingly engaging in a contract or transaction which involves his own
moral turpitude may not maintain an action for his losses. To allow petitioner
to recover the properties or the money used in the purchase of the parcels of
land would be subversive of public policy.
86. JACINTO SAGUID vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, THE REGIONAL
TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 94, BOAC, MARINDUQUE and GINA S. REY
G. R. No. 150611
June 10, 2003
FACTS
Private respondent, a married woman but separated de facto from her
husband, cohabited with petitioner. The two were able to acquire properties
during their cohabitation. Subsequently, the couple decided to separate.
Private respondent filed a complaint for Partition and Recovery of Personal
Property with Receivership against petitioner. The trial court declared
petitioner in default for failure to file a pre-trial brief and decided the case in
favor of private respondent. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the
decision of the trial court.
ISSUE
What is the property regime of private respondent and petitioner who are not
capacitated to marry each other
RULING
The Court ruled that since the private respondent and the petitioner were not
capacitated to marry each other because the former (private respondent)
was validly married to another man at the time of her cohabitation with the
latter (petitioner), their property regime is governed by Article 148 of the
Family Code, which applies to bigamous marriages, adulterous relationships,
relationships in a state of concubinage, relationships where both man and
woman are married to other persons, and multiple alliances of the same
married man. Under this regime, only the properties acquired by both of the
parties through their actual joint contribution of money, property, or industry
shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective
contributions. Proof of actual contribution is required. In the absence of proof
173

of extent of the parties' respective contributions, their share shall be


presumed equal. Here, the disputed personal properties were valued at
P111,375.00, the existence and value of which were not questioned by the
petitioner. Hence, their share therein is equivalent to one-half, i.e.,
P55,687.50 each. The Court of Appeals thus erred in affirming the decision
of the trial court which granted the reliefs prayed for by private respondent.
On the basis of the evidence established, the extent of private respondent's
co-ownership over the disputed house is only up to the amount of
P11,413.00, her proven contribution in the construction thereof. Anent the
personal properties, her participation therein should be limited only to the
amount of P55,687.50.
87. LUPO ATIENZA vs. YOLANDA DE CASTRO
G. R. No. 169698
November 29, 2006
FACTS
Petitioner Lupo Atienza, then the President and General Manager of Enrico
Shipping Corporation and Eurasian Maritime Corporation, hired the services
of respondent Yolanda U. De Castro as accountant for the two corporations.
The relationship between Lupo and Yolanda became intimate. Despite Lupo
being a married man, he and Yolanda eventually lived together and had two
children. However, after the birth of their second child, their relationship
turned sour until they parted ways. Lupo filed in the RTC of Makati City a
complaint against Yolanda for the judicial partition between them of a parcel
of land with improvements located in Bel-Air Subdivision, Makati City alleging
that the subject property was acquired during his union with Yolanda as
common-law husband and wife, hence the property is co-owned by them and
that Yolanda used his exclusive funds and that the title thereto was
transferred by the seller in Yolanda's name without his knowledge and
consent. He did not interpose any objection thereto because at the time,
their affair was still thriving. It was only after their separation and his receipt
of information that Yolanda allowed her new live-in partner to live in the
disputed property, when he demanded his share thereat as a co-owner. In
her answer, Yolanda denied Lupo's allegations. According to her, she
acquired the same property for Two Million Six Hundred Thousand Pesos
(P2,600,000.00) using her exclusive funds. She insisted having bought it thru
her own savings and earnings as a businesswoman.
ISSUES
Whether or not petitioner was able to prove his contribution to the subject
property he claimed as co-owned by him and respondent during their
adulterous cohabitation under Art. 148 of the Family Code; (2) Whether or
not Art. 148 applies to adulterous cohabitation prior to August 3, 1988.
RULING
174

The instant petition is denied.


Rather than presenting proof of his actual contribution to the purchase
money used as consideration for the disputed property, petitioner diverted
the burden imposed upon him to respondent by painting her as a shrewd and
scheming woman without the capacity to purchase any property. He
presented documents pertaining to the ins and outs of the dollar accounts of
ENRICO and EURASIAN, which unfortunately failed to prove his actual
contribution in the purchase of the said property. Surmising that petitioner is
financially well heeled than respondent, the court a quo concluded, sans
evidence, that respondent had taken advantage of petitioner.
True, the mere issuance of a certificate of title in the name of any person
does not foreclose the possibility that the real property covered thereby may
be under co-ownership with persons not named in the certificate or that the
registrant may only be a trustee or that other parties may have acquired
interest subsequent to the issuance of the certificate of title. However, as
already stated, petitioner's evidence in support of his claim is either
insufficient or immaterial to warrant the trial court's finding that the disputed
property falls under the purview of Article 148 of the Family Code. In contrast
to petitioner's dismal failure to prove his cause, herein respondent was able
to present preponderant evidence of her sole ownership. There can clearly
be no co-ownership when, as here, the respondent sufficiently established
that she derived the funds used to purchase the property from her earnings,
not only as an accountant but also as a businesswoman engaged in foreign
currency trading, money lending and jewelry retail. She presented her
clientele and the promissory notes evincing substantial dealings with her
clients. She also presented her bank account statements and bank
transactions, which reflect that she had the financial capacity to pay the
purchase price of the subject property.
Although the adulterous cohabitation of the parties commenced in 1983, or
way before the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1998, Article 148
thereof applies because this provision was intended precisely to fill up the
hiatus in Article 144 of the Civil Code. 12 Before Article 148 of the Family
Code was enacted, there was no provision governing property relations of
couples living in a state of adultery or concubinage. Hence, even if the
cohabitation or the acquisition of the property occurred before the Family
Code took effect, Article 148 governs.
88. ROGER V. NAVARRO vs. HON. JOSE L. ESCOBIDO, et al.
G. R. No. 153788
November 27, 2009
FACTS
175

Navarro entered a Lease Agreement with Option to Purchase with Kargo


Enterprises pertaining to two (2) motor vehicles. The Kargo Enterprises is
owned by spouses Karen Go and Glenn Go. Glenn Go (not Karen Go) and
Roger Navarro signed the said agreement. Navarros checks bounced for
lack of insufficiency of funds. Karen Go filed two complaints before the RTC
for replevin and/or sum of money with damages against Navarro. The RTC
issued the writs of replevin for the seizure of the motor vehicles in Navarro's
possession. RTC initially dismissed the complaints on the ground that they
failed to state a cause of action as Karen Go had no sufficient interest in the
case. But in resolving the motion for reconsideration of Karen Go, the RTC
held that Karen Go had sufficient interest but ordered the inclusion of Glenn
Go in the case as required in Sec. 4, Rule 4 of the ROC.
In the course of his petitions with the CA and SC, Navarro alleged the
following: (1) the two complaints stated no cause of action, since Karen Go
was not a party to the said Lease Agreements; (2) a complaint which failed to
state a cause of action could not be converted into one with a cause of
action by mere amendment or supplemental pleading; and (3) the inclusion
of Glenn Go as co-plaintiff drastically changed the theory of the complaints,
to his great prejudice.
ISSUE
Are spouses Karen and Glenn Go real parties in interest?
RULING
The petition is denied. Article 108 of the Family Code provides: Art. 108.
The conjugal partnership shall be governed by the rules on the
contract of partnership in all that is not in conflict with what is expressly
determined in this Chapter or by the spouses in their marriage settlements.
In this connection, Article 1811 of the Civil Code provides that "[a] partner is
a co-owner with the other partners of specific partnership property".
In
sum, in suits to recover properties, all co-owners are real parties in interest.
However, pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil Code and relevant
jurisprudence, any one of them may bring an action, any kind of action, for
the recovery of co-owned properties. Therefore, only one of the co-owners,
namely the co-owner who filed the suit for the recovery of the co-owned
property, is an indispensable party thereto. The other co-owners are not
indispensable parties. They are not even necessary parties, for a complete
relief can be accorded in the suit even without their participation, since the
suit is presumed to have been filed for the benefit of all co-owners.
Under this ruling, either of the spouses Go may bring an action against
Navarro to recover possession of the Kargo Enterprises-leased vehicles which
they co-own. This conclusion is consistent with Article 124 of the Family
Code, supporting as it does the position that either spouse may act on behalf
176

of the conjugal partnership, so long as they do not dispose of or encumber


the property in question without the other spouse's consent.
Since Glenn Go is not strictly an indispensable party in the action to recover
possession of the leased vehicles, he only needs to be impleaded as a proforma party to the suit, based on Section 4, Rule 4 of the Rules, which states:
Section 4. Spouses as parties. Husband and wife shall sue or be sued
jointly, except as provided by law.
89. MARYWIN ALBANO-SALES vs. MAYOR REYNOLAN T. SALES and CA
G. R. No. 174803
July 13, 2009
FACTS
Marywin Albano Sales filed a case against her husband, Mayor Reynolan T.
Sales, for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership and separation of
properties. Mayor Reynolan T. Sales filed a case for the declaration of nullity
of their marriage. The two cases were consolidated and tried jointly. The RTC
rendered judgment declaring the marriage of Marywin and Reynolan void on
the ground of mutual psychological incapacity. It also ordered the dissolution
of their conjugal partnership.
After the decision became final, Marywin filed a motion for execution and a
manifestation listing her assets with Reynolan for the purpose of having
them partitioned. Reynolan opposed the motion arguing that the RTC
Decision had ordered the distribution of their common properties without
specifying what they were. He also alleged that Marywin appropriated the
rentals of his properties and even disposed one of them without his consent,
in violation of Article 147 of the Family Code. Accordingly, he prayed for the
deferral of the resolution of the motion for execution, maintaining that no
partition of properties can be had until after all the matters he raised are
resolved after due notice and hearing. RTC ruled that reception of evidence
is no longer necessary because the parties were legally married prior to its
nullification and the fact that they begot a son whom they raised together
proved that their connubial relations were more than merely transient. The
CA ruled in favor of Reynolan.

RULING
The instant petition is denied.
To emphasize, what is being questioned by respondent was not really the
Decision of the RTC declaring their marriage void ab initio on the ground of
mutual psychological incapacity, but the Orders of the trial court dividing
their common properties in accordance with the proposed project of partition
177

without the benefit of a hearing. The issue on the validity of their marriage
has long been settled in the main decision and may no longer be the subject
of review.
Incidentally, however, there were matters of genuine concern
that had to be addressed prior to the dissolution of the property relations of
the parties as a result of the declaration of nullity of their marriage.
Allegations regarding the collection of rentals without proper accounting,
sale of common properties without the husband's consent and
misappropriation of the proceeds thereof, are factual issues which have to be
addressed in order to determine with certainty the fair and reasonable
division and distribution of properties due to each party. The extent of
properties due to respondent is not yet discernible without further
presentation of evidence on the incidental matters he had previously raised
before the RTC.
90. SPOUSES ROBERTO BUADO and VENUS BUADO vs. CA, et al.
G. R. No. 145222
April 24, 2009
FACTS
Spouses Roberto and Venus Buado (petitioners) filed a complaint for
damages against Erlinda Nicol (Erlinda). Said action originated from Erlinda
Nicol's civil liability arising from the criminal offense of slander filed against
her by petitioners. The trial court rendered a decision ordering Erlinda to pay
damages commanding Erlinda to pay P40,000.00 in moral damages,
attorney's fees and litigation expenses and exemplary damages and the cost
of suit of the plaintiff aside from your lawful fees. Finding Erlinda Nicol's
personal properties insufficient to satisfy the judgment, the Deputy Sheriff
issued a notice of levy on real property on execution addressed to the
Register of Deeds. Almost a year later, Romulo Nicol (respondent), the
husband of Erlinda Nicol, filed a complaint for annulment of certificate of sale
and damages with preliminary injunction against petitioners and the deputy
sheriff alleging that petitioners, connived and directly levied upon and
execute his real property without exhausting the personal properties of
Erlinda Nicol.
ISSUE
Is the husband, who was not a party to the suit but whose conjugal property
is being executed on account of the other spouse being the judgment
obligor, considered a "stranger?"
RULING
In determining whether the husband is a stranger to the suit, the character
of the property must be taken into account. In Mariano v. Court of Appeals,
which was later adopted in Spouses Ching v. Court of Appeals, this Court held
that the husband of the judgment debtor cannot be deemed a "stranger" to
the case prosecuted and adjudged against his wife for an obligation that has
178

redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership. There is no dispute that


contested property is conjugal in nature. Article 122 of the Family Code 16
explicitly provides that payment of personal debts contracted by the
husband or the wife before or during the marriage shall not be charged to
the conjugal partnership except insofar as they redounded to the benefit of
the family. Unlike in the system of absolute community where liabilities
incurred by either spouse by reason of a crime or quasi-delict is chargeable
to the absolute community of property, in the absence or insufficiency of the
exclusive property of the debtor-spouse, the same advantage is not accorded
in the system of conjugal partnership of gains. The conjugal partnership of
gains has no duty to make advance payments for the liability of the debtorspouse. Parenthetically, by no stretch of imagination can it be concluded
that the civil obligation arising from the crime of slander committed by
Erlinda redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership. To reiterate,
conjugal property cannot be held liable for the personal obligation contracted
by one spouse, unless some advantage or benefit is shown to have accrued
to the conjugal partnership.

d. On Suing Family Members


91- ROSITO
92. EDWIN N. TRIBIANA vs. LOURDES M. TRIBIANA
G. R. No. 137359
September 13, 2004
FACTS
Petitioner Edwin N. Tribiana and Lourdes M. Tribiana are husband and wife
who have lived together since 1996 but formalized their union only in 1997.
Lourdes filed a petition for habeas corpus before the Regional Trial Court of
Bacoor, Cavite, claiming that Edwin left their conjugal home with their
daughter, Khriza Mae Tribiana. Edwin has since deprived Lourdes of lawful
custody of Khriza who was then only one (1) year and four (4) months of age.
Later, it turned out that Khriza was being held by Edwin's mother, Rosalina
Tribiana. Edwin moved to dismiss Lourdes' petition on the ground that the
petition failed to allege that earnest efforts at a compromise were made
before its filing as required by Article 151 of the Family Code. Lourdes filed
her opposition to Edwin's motion to dismiss claiming that there were prior
efforts at a compromise, which failed. Lourdes attached to her opposition a
copy of the Certification to File Action from their Barangay dated 1 May 1998.
The RTC denied Edwin's motion to dismiss on the ground that the
Certification to File Action attached by Lourdes to her opposition clearly
indicates that the parties attempted to reach a compromise but failed. Edwin
then filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for prohibition and certiorari
179

under Rule 65. The appellate court denied Edwin's petition. Hence, the
present petition.
ISSUE
Whether or not a Certificate to File Action attached to respondents
Opposition to the petitioners Motion to Dismiss and not to the respondents
petition for habeas corpus effectively established that there was earnest
efforts to settle the controversy amicably and whether or not petitions for
habeas corpus are exempt from the barangay conciliation requirement
RULING
The Supreme Court dismissed the petition. Lourdes had complied with the
condition precedent under Article 151 of the Family Code. While it is true that
the petition for habeas corpus filed by Lourdes failed to allege that she
resorted to compromise proceedings before filing the petition, however, in
her opposition to Edwin's motion to dismiss, Lourdes attached a Barangay
Certification to File Action dated 1 May 1998. Edwin does not dispute the
authenticity of the Barangay Certification and its contents. The certification
effectively established that the parties tried to compromise but were
unsuccessful in their efforts. The Court further ruled that the barangay
conciliation requirement in Section 412 of the LGC does not apply to habeas
corpus proceedings where a person is "deprived of personal liberty". In such
a case, Section 412 expressly authorizes the parties "to go directly to court"
without need of any conciliation proceedings. There is deprivation of
personal liberty warranting a petition for habeas corpus where the "rightful
custody of any person is withheld from the person entitled thereto". Thus,
the Court of Appeals did not err when it dismissed Edwin's contentions on the
additional ground that Section 412 exempts petitions for habeas corpus from
the barangay conciliation requirement.

e. On Family Home
93. rosito
94. rosito
95. PERLA G. PATRICIO vs. MARCELINO G. DARIO III
G. R. No. 170829
November 20, 2006
FACTS
On July 5, 1987, Marcelino V. Dario died intestate. He was survived by his
wife, petitioner Perla G. Patricio and their two sons, Marcelino Marc Dario and
private respondent Marcelino G. Dario III.
180

On August 10, 1987, petitioner, Marcelino Marc and private respondent,


extrajudicially settled the estate of Marcelino V. Dario.
Thereafter, petitioner and Marcelino Marc formally advised private
respondent of their intention to partition the subject property and terminate
the co-ownership. Private respondent refused to partition the property
hence petitioner and Marcelino Marc instituted an action for partition before
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.
Private respondent claims that the subject property which is the family home
duly constituted by spouses Marcelino and Perla Dario cannot be partitioned
while a minor beneficiary is still living therein namely, his 12-year-old son,
who is the grandson of the decedent. He argues that as long as the minor is
living in the family home, the same continues as such until the beneficiary
becomes of age. Private respondent insists that even after the expiration of
ten years from the date of death of Marcelino on July 5, 1987, i.e., even after
July 1997, the subject property continues to be considered as the family
home considering that his minor son, Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IV, who is a
beneficiary of the said family home, still resides in the premises.
On the other hand, petitioner alleges that the subject property remained as a
family home of the surviving heirs of the late Marcelino V. Dario only up to
July 5, 1997, which was the 10th year from the date of death of the
decedent. Petitioner argues that the brothers Marcelino Marc and private
respondent Marcelino III were already of age at the time of the death of their
father, hence there is no more minor beneficiary to speak of.
ISSUE
Whether partition of the family home is proper where one of the co-owners
refuse to accede to such partition on the ground that a minor beneficiary still
resides in the said home.
RULING
The law explicitly provides that occupancy of the family home either by the
owner thereof or by any of its beneficiaries must be actual. That which is
actual is something real, or actually existing, as opposed to something
merely
possible,
or
to
something
which
is
presumptive
or
constructive. Actual occupancy, however, need not be by the owner of the
house specifically. Rather, the property may be occupied by the
beneficiaries enumerated in Article 154 of the Family Code, which may
include the in-laws where the family home is constituted jointly by the
husband and wife. But the law definitely excludes maids and overseers.
They are not the beneficiaries contemplated by the Code.

181

Article 154 of the Family Code enumerates who are the beneficiaries of a
family home: (1) The husband and wife, or an unmarried person who is the
head of a family; and (2) Their parents, ascendants, descendants, brothers
and sisters, whether the relationship be legitimate or illegitimate, who are
living in the family home and who depend upon the head of the family for
legal support.
To be a beneficiary of the family home, three requisites must concur: (1) they
must be among the relationships enumerated in Art. 154 of the Family Code;
(2) they live in the family home; and (3) they are dependent for legal support
upon the head of the family.
Moreover, Article 159 of the Family Code provides that the family home shall
continue despite the death of one or both spouses or of the unmarried head
of the family for a period of 10 years or for as long as there is a minor
beneficiary, and the heirs cannot partition the same unless the court finds
compelling reasons therefor. This rule shall apply regardless of whoever
owns the property or constituted the family home.
The rule in Article 159 of the Family Code may thus be expressed in this
wise: If there are beneficiaries who survive and are living in the family home,
it will continue for 10 years, unless at the expiration of 10 years, there is still
a minor beneficiary, in which case the family home continues until that
beneficiary becomes of age.
96. JOSE E. HONRADO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, et al.
G. R. No. 166333
November 25, 2005
FACTS
December 11, 1997, Premium Agro-Vet Products, Inc. (Premium) filed with
the RTC of Quezon City a complaint for sum of money against Jose Honrado,
who was doing business under the name and style of J.E. Honrado
Enterprises. Premium sought to collect the amount ofP240,765.00
representing the total price of veterinary products purchased on credit by
Honrado from November 18, 1996 until June 30, 1997.
In a separate case and court, Spouses Jose and Andrerita Honrado had filed a
petition with the RTC of Calamba City for the judicial constitution of the
parcel of land registered in Honrados name located in Calamba, Laguna, and
the house thereon, as their family house.
On February 23, 1999, the RTC of Quezon City rendered judgment in favor of
Premium. Entry of judgment was made on April 26, 2000. A writ of execution
was issued on March 29, 2001 followed by the Sheriffs levying on the parcel
of land.
182

In the meantime, the RTC of Calamba City rendered a Decision on April 29,
2002, declaring the property a family home.
On May 3, 2002, Honrado filed a Motion to Declare Properties Exempt from
Execution under Article 155 of the Family Code of the Philippines. It was
alleged therein that the property is exempt from execution because it is a
family home which had been constituted as such before he incurred his
indebtedness with Premium. The petitioner further asserts that he and his
family had been occupying the property as their family home as early as
1992. Under Article 153 of the Family Code, his house was constituted as a
family home in that year. Thus, even if he failed to contest the levy on his
property or move for the lifting thereof, the same cannot be deemed a
waiver of his right to claim the exemption of his family home. He avers that
his right cannot be waived, for it would be contrary to public policy.
The private respondent avers that the petitioner is estopped from claiming
that the property is exempt from execution and from assailing the levy of the
property, the sale thereof at public auction and the September 18, 2002 and
April 14, 2003 Orders of the RTC. It points out that the petitioner agreed to
the levy and sale of the property at public auction; he even surrendered the
key to the house and vacated the property after it was purchased by the
private respondent at the public auction.
ISSUE
Whether Honrados failure to assert his claim for exemption of his family
home from execution at the time of the levy or within a reasonable time is
fatal to his claim.
RULING
The petition has no merit.
The petitioner admits to having been notified of the levy of his property and
of its sale at public auction. However, he did not bother to object to the levy
and the projected sale on the ground that the property and the house
thereon was a family home. The petitioner allowed the sale at public auction
to proceed and the Sheriff to execute a certificate of sale over the property in
favor of the private respondent, as the highest bidder.
While it is true that the family home is constituted on a house and lot from
the time it is occupied as a family residence and is exempt from execution or
forced sale under Article 153 of the Family Code, such claim for exemption
should be set up and proved to the Sheriff before the sale of the property at
public auction. Failure to do so would estop the party from later claiming the
exemption.
183

97. MARY JOSEPHINE GOMEZ vs. ROEL STA. INES, et al.


G. R. No. 132537
October 14, 2005
FACTS
Mary Josephine and Socorro Gomez against Marietta dela Cruz Sta. Ines
(Marietta) alleging that they are the children of the deceased Purificacion
dela Cruz Gomez who, during her lifetime, entrusted her rice land to
Marietta, for the latter to manage and supervise. They further alleged that
they have demanded for an accounting of the produce of said rice land while
under the management of Marietta, and for the return of the TCT to the
property, but the latter refused, thus compelling the sisters to file a civil
case before the Pasig RTC.
On 24 January 1989, the trial court rendered judgment against
Marietta.
After said judgment became final and executory, a writ of execution was
issued by the Pasig RTC, by virtue of which, a parcel of land (with
improvements) registered in the name of Marietta dela Cruz Sta. Ines, was
levied upon by the Sheriff to satisfy the damages awarded in the civil case.
Said property was sold at a public auction on 25 August 1992 to Mary
Josephine as the highest bidder. The sale was registered with the Register of
Deeds on September 17, 1992.
On 12 July 1993, a complaint for annulment of said sale was filed before the
RTC by Hinahon Sta. Ines together with Noel, Roel, and Jannette, all named
Sta. Ines, husband and children of Marietta, respectively, against Mary
Josephine and Sheriff Flaviano Balgos, Jr. on the ground that said house and
lot sold during the public auction is their family residence, and is thus
exempt from execution under Section 12(a), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court,
and under Article 155 of the Family Code.
According to respondents, the house and lot was constituted jointly by
Hinahon and Marietta as their family home from the time they occupied the
same as a family residence in 1972 and that under Section 153 of the Family
Code, there is no longer any need to constitute the said property as family
home, whether judicially or extrajudicially, because it became such by
operation of law.
ISSUE
Whether a house and lot may be exempted from writ of execution in
satisfaction of debts incurred prior to the constitution of the family home.
RULING
184

Under Article 155 of the Family Code, the family home shall be exempt from
execution, forced sale, or attachment except for, among other things, debts
incurred prior to the constitution of the family home. In the case at bar, the
house and lot of respondents was not constituted as a family home, whether
judicially or extrajudicially, at the time Marietta incurred her debts. Under
prevailing jurisprudence, it is deemed constituted as such only upon the
effectivity of the Family Code on 03 August 1988, thus, the debts were
incurred before the constitution of the family home. Neither is it correct to
say that the obligation sought to be satisfied by the levy of the property was
incurred only upon the issuance of the judgment in the original case in
January of 1989. Mariettas liability, which was the basis of the judgment,
arose long before the levied property was constituted as a family home by
operation of law in August 1988. Under the circumstances, it is clear that
the liability incurred by Marietta falls squarely under one of the instances
when a family home may be the subject of execution, forced sale, or
attachment, as provided for by Article 155 of the Family Code, particularly, to
answer for debts incurred prior to the constitution of the family home.

98. VILMA G. ARRIOLA vs. JOHN NABOR C. ARRIOLA


G. R. No. 177703
January 28, 2008
FACTS
John Nabor C. Arriola (respondent) filed Special Civil Action for judicial
partition of properties of decedent Fidel Arriola against Anthony Ronald
G. Arriola and Vilma G. Arriola (petitioners). Respondent is the son of
decedent Fidel with his first wife Victoria C. Calabia, while petitioner Anthony
is the son of decedent Fidel with his second wife, petitioner Vilma.
The RTC granted the partition of a parcel of land. As the parties failed to
agree on how to partition among them the land, respondent sought its sale
through public auction, and petitioners acceded to it. However, it had to be
reset when petitioners refused to include in the auction the house (subject
house) standing on the subject land, arguing that theres no mention of the
house in the decision of the RTC.
Respondent claims that the subject house was built by decedent Fidel on his
exclusive property. There is then no dispute that the subject house is part of
the estate of the deceased. Petitioners add that said house has been their
residence for 20 years.
The case reaches all the way to the Supreme Court, hence this case.
ISSUE
185

Whether the subject house should be included in the public auction of the
subject land.
RULING
The Supreme Court ruled that the subject house is covered by the judgment
of partition. However, this ruling does not necessarily countenance the
immediate and actual partition of the subject house by way of public auction
in view of the suspensive proscription imposed under Article 159 of The
Family Code. Taken together, the averments on record establish that the
subject house is a family home within the contemplation of the provisions of
The Family Code, particularly Articles 152 and 153, the automatic
constitution of the family home from the time of its occupation as a family
residence, without need anymore for the judicial or extrajudicial processes.
Furthermore, Articles 152 and 153 specifically extend the scope of the family
home not just to the dwelling structure in which the family resides but also to
the lot on which it stands. Thus, applying these concepts, the subject house
as well as the specific portion of the subject land on which it stands are
deemed constituted as a family home by the deceased and
petitioner Vilma from the moment they began occupying the same as a
family residence 20 years back.
It being settled that the subject house (and the subject lot on which it
stands) is the family home of the deceased and his heirs, the same is
shielded from immediate partition under Article 159 of The Family Code, viz:
Article 159. The family home shall continue despite the
death of one or both spouses or of the unmarried head of the
family for a period of ten years or for as long as there is a
minor beneficiary, and the heirs cannot partition the same
unless the court finds compelling reasons therefor. This
rule shall apply regardless of whoever owns the property
or constituted the family home.(Emphasis supplied.)
Article 159 imposes the proscription against the immediate partition of the
family home regardless of its ownership. This signifies that even if the family
home has passed by succession to the co-ownership of the heirs, or has been
willed to any one of them, this fact alone cannot transform the family home
into an ordinary property, much less dispel the protection cast upon it by the
law. The rights of the individual co-owner or owner of the family home
cannot subjugate the rights granted under Article 159 to the beneficiaries of
the family home.
The family home -- consisting of the subject house and lot on which it stands
-- cannot be partitioned at this time, even if it has passed to the coownership of his heirs, the parties herein. Decedent Fidel died on March 10,
2003. Thus, for 10 years from said date or until March 10, 2013, or for a
186

longer period, if there is still a minor beneficiary residing therein, the family
home he constituted cannot be partitioned, much less when no compelling
reason exists for the court to otherwise set aside the restriction and order the
partition of the property.
Consequently, its actual and immediate partition cannot be sanctioned until
the lapse of a period of 10 years from the death of Fidel Arriola, or
until March 10, 2013.
It bears emphasis, however, that in the meantime, there is no obstacle to the
immediate public auction of the portion of the subject land, which
falls outside the specific area of the family home.
The petition was PARTLY GRANTED and the land was DECLARED part of
the co-ownership of the parties John Nabor C. Arriola, Vilma G.Arriola and
Anthony Ronald G. Arriola but EXEMPTED from partition by public auction
within the period provided for in Article 159 of the Family Code.

f. On Status and Filiation of Children


99. MACADANGDANG vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. L-49542
September 12, 1980
FACTS
The records show that respondent Elizabeth Mejias is a married woman, her
husband being Crispin Anahaw She allegedly had intercourse with petitioner
Antonio Macadangdang sometime in March, 1967. She also alleges that due
to the affair, she and her husband separated in 1967. 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.
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.
The lower court dismissed the complaint. An appeal was made to the Court
of Appeals which reversed the lower courts decision.
Hence, petitioner filed this petition on January 12, 1979.
ISSUE
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.
187

RULING
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. 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 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.
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:
1. Impotence of the husband;
2. Living separately in such a way that access was impossible
and
3. Serious illness of the husband.
The decision of the Court of Appeals was reversed.
100. JINKIE DE JESUS AND JACQUELINE DE JESUS, minors,
represented by their mother, CAROLINA DE JESUS vs. THE ESTATE OF
DECEDENT JUAN GAMBOA DIZON
G. R. No. 142877
October 2, 2001
FACTS
188

Danilo B. de Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus got married on 23 August


1964. It was during this marriage that Jacqueline A. de Jesus and Jinkie
Christie A. de Jesus, herein petitioners, were born, the former on 01 March
1979 and the latter on 06 July 1982.
In a notarized document, dated 07 June 1991, Juan G. Dizon acknowledged
Jacqueline and Jinkie de Jesus as being his own illegitimate children by
Carolina Aves de Jesus. Juan G. Dizon died intestate on 12 March 1992,
leaving behind considerable assets consisting of shares of stock in various
corporations and some real property. It was on the strength of his notarized
acknowledgement that petitioners filed a complaint on 01 July 1993 for
"Partition with Inventory and Accounting" of the Dizon estate with the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 88, of Quezon City.
Respondent, the surviving spouse and legitimate children of the decedent
Juan G. Dizon, including the corporations of which the deceased was a
stockholder argued that the complaint, even while denominated as being
one for partition, would nevertheless call for altering the status of petitioners
from being the legitimate children of the spouses Danilo de Jesus and
Carolina de Jesus to instead be the illegitimate children of Carolina de Jesus
and deceased Juan Dizon.
Finding credence in the argument of respondents, the trial court, ultimately,
dismissed the complaint of petitioners for lack of cause of action and for
being improper.
Petitioners assail the order of the trial court in the instant petition for review
on certiorari.
ISSUE
Whether recognition as being illegitimate children of the decedent, embodied
in an authentic writing, is in itself sufficient to establish their status as such
and does not require a separate action for judicial approval.
RULING
A scrutiny of the records would show that petitioners were born during the
marriage of their parents. The certificates of live birth would also identify
Danilo de Jesus as being their father.
There is perhaps no presumption of the law more firmly established and
founded on sounder morality and more convincing reason than the
presumption that children born in wedlock are legitimate. this presumption
indeed becomes conclusive in the absence of proof that there is physical
impossibility of access between the spouses during the first 120 days of the
300 days which immediately precedes the birth of the child due to (a) the
189

physical incapacity of the husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife;
(b) the fact the husband and wife are living separately in such a way that
sexual intercourse is not possible; or (c) serious illness of the husband, which
absolutely prevents sexual intercourse. Quite remarkably, upon the
expiration of the periods set forth in Article 170, and in proper cases Article
171, of the Family Code, the action to impugn the legitimacy of a child would
no longer be legally feasible and the status conferred by the presumption
becomes fixed and unassailable.
Succinctly, in an attempt to establish their illegitimate filiation to the late
Juan G. Dizon, petitioners, in effect, would impugn their legitimate status as
being children of Danilo de Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus. This step
cannot be aptly done because the law itself establishes the legitimacy of
children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents. The
presumption of legitimacy fixes a civil status for the child born in
wedlock, and only the father,13 or in exceptional instances the
latter's heirs, can contest in an appropriate action the legitimacy of
a child born to his wife. Thus, it is only when the legitimacy of a
child has been successfully impugned that the paternity of the
husband can be rejected.
The rule that the written acknowledgement made by the deceased Juan G.
Dizon establishes petitioners' alleged illegitimate filiation to the decedent
cannot be validly invoked to be of any relevance in this instance. Whether
petitioners are indeed the acknowledge illegitimate offsprings of the
decedent, cannot be aptly adjudicated without an action having been first
instituted to impugn their legitimacy as being the children of Danilo B. de
Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus born in lawful wedlock. Jurisprudence is
strongly settled that the paramount declaration of legitimacy by law cannot
be attacked collaterally. Indeed, a child so born in such wedlock shall be
considered legitimate although the mother may have declared against its
legitimacy or may have been sentenced as having been an adulteress.
The petition was DENIED.
101. GERARDO B. CONCEPCION vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 123450
August 31, 2005
FACTS
Gerardo Concepcion and Ma. Theresa Almonte were married on December
29, 1989. Almost a year later, on December 8, 1990, Ma. Theresa gave birth
to Jose Gerardo.
Their relationship turned out to be short-lived, however. On December 19,
1991, Gerardo filed a petition to have his marriage to Ma. Theresa annulled
on the ground of bigamy. He alleged that nine years before he married Ma.
190

Theresa on December 10, 1980, she had married one Mario Gopiao, which
marriage was never annulled.
The trial court ruled that Ma. Theresas marriage to Mario was valid and
subsisting when she married Gerardo and annulled her marriage to the latter
for being bigamous. It declared Jose Gerardo to be an illegitimate child as a
result. The custody of the child was awarded to Ma. Theresa while Gerardo
was granted visitation rights.
Ma. Theresa moved for the reconsideration of the above decision INSOFAR
ONLY as that portion of the decision which granted to the petitioner so-called
visitation rights arguing that there was nothing in the law granting
visitation rights in favor of the putative father of an illegitimate child. [ She
further maintained that Jose Gerardos surname should be changed from
Concepcion to Almonte, her maiden name, following the rule that an
illegitimate child shall use the mothers surname. Gerardo objected until the
case reached all the way to the Supreme Court, the present case.
ISSUE
Whether the husband in a second marriage declared to be null and void
because of bigamy, can impose his surname to their child.
RULING
The status and filiation of a child cannot be compromised. Article 164 of the
Family Code is clear. A child who is conceived or born during the marriage of
his parents is legitimate.
As a guaranty in favor of the child and to protect his status of legitimacy,
Article 167 of the Family Code provides:
Article 167. The child shall be considered legitimate although the
mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have
been sentenced as an adulteress
Gerardo invokes Article 166 (1)(b) of the Family Code. He cannot. He has no
standing in law to dispute the status of Jose Gerardo. Only Ma. Theresas
husband Mario or, in a proper case, his heirs, who can contest the legitimacy
of the child Jose Gerardo born to his wife. Impugning the legitimacy of a child
is a strictly personal right of the husband or, in exceptional cases, his
heirs. Since the marriage of Gerardo and Ma. Theresa was void from the very
beginning, he never became her husband and thus never acquired any right
to impugn the legitimacy of her child.
The presumption of legitimacy proceeds from the sexual union in marriage,
particularly during the period of conception. To overthrow this presumption
on the basis of Article 166 (1)(b) of the Family Code, it must be shown
beyond reasonable doubt that there was no access that could have enabled
191

the husband to father the child. Sexual intercourse is to be presumed where


personal access is not disproved, unless such presumption is rebutted by
evidence to the contrary.
The presumption is quasi-conclusive and may be refuted only by the
evidence of physical impossibility of coitus between husband and wife within
the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately preceded the birth of
the child.
To rebut the presumption, the separation between the spouses must be such
as to make marital intimacy impossible. This may take place, for instance,
when they reside in different countries or provinces and they were never
together during the period of conception. Or, the husband was in prison
during the period of conception, unless it appears that sexual union took
place through the violation of prison regulations.[34]
Public policy demands that there be no compromise on the status and
filiation of a child. Otherwise, the child will be at the mercy of those who may
be so minded to exploit his defenselessness.
Moreover, the law itself establishes the status of a child from the moment of
his birth. Although a record of birth or birth certificate may be used as
primary evidence of the filiation of a child, as the status of a child is
determined by the law itself, proof of filiation is necessary only when the
legitimacy of the child is being questioned, or when the status of a child born
after 300 days following the termination of marriage is sought to be
established.
A persons surname or family name identifies the family to which he belongs
and is passed on from parent to child. Hence, Gerardo cannot impose his
surname on Jose Gerardo who is, in the eyes of the law, not related to him in
any way.
102. JUAN DE DIOS CARLOS vs. FELICIDAD SANDOVAL
G. R. No. 179922
December 16, 2008
FACTS
The parents of Juan and Teofilo De Dios Carlos left many parcels of land to
the two. When Teofilo died, this issue came out. Petitioner Juan De Dios
Carlos filed a civil case asserting that the marriage between his late brother
Teofilo and respondent Felicidad was a nullity in view of the absence of the
required marriage license. He likewise maintained that his deceased brother
was neither the natural nor the adoptive father of respondent Teofilo Carlos
II.
192

On October 16, 1995, respondents submitted their answer. They denied the
material averments of petitioner's complaint. Respondents contended that
the dearth of details regarding the requisite marriage license did not
invalidate Felicidad's marriage to Teofilo. Respondents declared that Teofilo II
was the illegitimate child of the deceased Teofilo Carlos with another woman.
ISSUES
Whether a bare allegation that the respondent was adopted from an indigent
couple is sufficient to support a total forfeiture of rights arising from his
putative filiation.
RULING
Upon Teofilo's death in 1992, all his property, rights and obligations to the
extent of the value of the inheritance are transmitted to his compulsory
heirs. These heirs were respondents Felicidad and Teofilo II, as the surviving
spouse and child.
Indeed, only the presence of descendants, ascendants or illegitimate children
excludes collateral relatives from succeeding to the estate of the decedent.
The presence of legitimate, illegitimate, or adopted child or children of the
deceased precludes succession by collateral relatives. Conversely, if there
are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse,
the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the decedent.
If respondent Teofilo II is declared and finally proven not to be the legitimate,
illegitimate, or adopted son of Teofilo, petitioner would then have a
personality to seek the nullity of marriage of his deceased brother with
respondent Felicidad.
Clearly, the legal personality of petitioner to bring the nullity of marriage
case is contingent upon the final declaration that Teofilo II is not a legitimate,
adopted, or illegitimate son of Teofilo.
We agree with the CA that without trial on the merits having been conducted
in the case, petitioner's bare allegation that respondent Teofilo II was
adopted from an indigent couple is insufficient to support a total forfeiture of
rights arising from his putative filiation. However, We are not inclined to
support its pronouncement that the declaration of respondent Felicidad as to
the illegitimate filiation of respondent Teofilo II is more credible. For the
guidance of the appellate court, such declaration of respondent Felicidad
should not be afforded credence. We remind the CA of the guaranty provided
by Article 167 of the Family Code to protect the status of legitimacy of a
child, to wit:
ARTICLE 167. The child shall be considered legitimate although the
mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been
sentenced as an adulteress. (Underscoring supplied)

193

It is stressed that Felicidad's declaration against the legitimate status of


Teofilo II is the very act that is proscribed by Article 167 of the Family Code.
The language of the law is unmistakable. An assertion by the mother against
the legitimacy of her child cannot affect the legitimacy of a child born or
conceived within a valid marriage.
The case was remanded to the RTC in regard to the action on the status and
filiation of respondent Teofilo Carlos II.
103. CAMELO CABATANIA vs. COURT OF APPEALS, et. al
G. R. No. 124814
October 21, 2004
FACTS
This controversy stemmed from a petition for recognition and support filed
by Florencia Regodos in behalf of her minor son, private respondent Camelo
Regodos.
Florencia was a maid of the petitioner Camelo Cabatania. Cabatania brought
her to Bacolod City where they checked in at the Visayan Motel and had
sexual intercourse. Cabatania promised to support Florencia if she got
pregnant.
Florencia claimed she discovered she was carrying petitioners child 27 days
after their sexual encounter. The sexual intercourse was repeated in March
1982 in San Carlos City.
Petitioner Camelo Cabatanias version was different. He testified that he was
a sugar planter and a businessman. Sometime in December, 1981, he hired
Florencia as a servant at home. During the course of her employment, she
would often go home to her husband in the afternoon and return to work the
following morning. This displeased petitioners wife, hence she was told to
look for another job.
Petitioner was therefore surprised when summons was served on him by
Florencias counsel. She was demanding support for private respondent
Camelo Regodos. Petitioner refused, denying the alleged paternity. He
insisted she was already pregnant when they had sex.
The trial courts finding of a paternal relationship between petitioner and
private respondent was based on the testimony of the childs mother and
"the personal appearance of the child."
ISSUE
Whether or not theres a paternal relationship between the child and the
herein petitioner for the granting of support.
194

RULING
The fact that Florencias husband is living and there is a valid subsisting
marriage between them gives rise to the presumption that a child born
within that marriage is legitimate even though the mother may have
declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an
adulteress. The presumption of legitimacy does not only flow out of a
declaration in the statute but is based on the broad principles of natural
justice and the supposed virtue of the mother. The presumption is grounded
on the policy to protect innocent offspring from the odium of illegitimacy.
In this age of genetic profiling and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis, the
extremely subjective test of physical resemblance or similarity of features
will not suffice as evidence to prove paternity and filiation before the courts
of law.
104. MARISSA BENITEZ-BADUA vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 105625
January 24, 1994
FACTS
The facts show that the spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian
owned various properties especially in Laguna (both were already dead).
The fight for administration of Vicente's estate ensued. On September 24,
1990, private respondents Victoria Benitez-Lirio and Feodor Benitez Aguilar
(Vicente's sister and nephew, respectively) instituted Sp. Proc. praying for
the issuance of letters of administration of Vicente's estate in favor of private
respondent Aguilar. They alleged, that the decedent is survived by no other
heirs or relatives be they ascendants or descendants, whether legitimate,
illegitimate or legally adopted and that one Marissa Benitez-Badua who was
raised and cared by them since childhood is, in fact, not related to them by
blood, nor legally adopted, and is therefore not a legal heir.
On November 2, 1990, petitioner opposed the petition. She (Benitez-Badua)
alleged that she is the sole heir of the deceased Vicente Benitez and capable
of administering his estate, relying on the applicability of Articles 164, 166,
170 and 171 of the Family Code.
ISSUE
Whether or not the petitioner is a legitimate daughter and sole heir of the
deceased spouses.
RULING
Petition has no merit.
Petitioner's insistence on the applicability of Articles 164, 166, 170 and 171
of the Family Code to the case at bench cannot be sustained.
195

A careful reading of the these articles will show that they do not contemplate
a situation, like in the instant case, where a child is alleged not to 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.
105. TEOFISTA BABIERA vs. PRESENTACION B. CATOTAL
G. R. No. 138489
June 15, 2000
FACTS
Presentacion B. Catotal filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Norte,
Branch II, Iligan City, a petition for the cancellation of the entry of birth of
Teofista Babiera in the Civil Registry of Iligan City.
From the petition filed, Presentacion asserted "that she is the only surviving
child of the late spouses Eugenio Babiera and Hermogena Cariosa, who died
on May 26, 1996 and July 6, 1990 respectively; that on September 20, 1996
a baby girl was delivered by "hilot" in the house of spouses Eugenio and
Hermogena Babiera and without the knowledge of said spouses, Flora
Guinto, the mother of the child and a housemaid of spouses Eugenio and
Hermogena Babiera, caused the registration/recording of the facts of birth of
her child, by simulating that she was the child of the spouses Eugenio, then
65 years old and Hermogena, then 54 years old, and made Hermogena
Babiera appear as the mother by forging her signature; that petitioner, then
15 years old, saw with her own eyes and personally witnessed Flora Guinto
give birth to Teofista Guinto, in their house, assisted by "hilot"; that the birth
certificate of Teofista Guinto is void ab initio, as it was totally a simulated
birth, signature of informant forged.
Hence this petition on the ground that it being an attack on the legitimacy of
the respondent as the child of the spouses Eugenio Babiera and Hermogena
Cariosa Babiera.
196

ISSUE
Whether or not Article 171 of the Family Code on impugnity of filiation is
applicable in this case.
RULING
Article 171 of the Family Code is not applicable to the present case. A close
reading of this provision shows that it applies to instances in which the father
impugns the legitimacy of his wife's 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 herein is not to declare that petitioner
is an illegitimate child of Hermogena, but to establish that the former is not
the latter's child at all. Verily, the present action does not impugn petitioner's
filiation to Spouses Eugenio and Hermogena Babiera, because there is no
blood relation to impugn in the first place.

106. WILLIAM LIYAO, JR. vs. JUANITA TANHOTI-LIYAO, et. al.


G. R. No. 138961
March 7,2002
FACTS
Corazon G. Garcia is legally married to but living separately from Ramon M.
Yulo for more than ten (10) years at the time of the institution of the said civil
case. Corazon cohabited with the late William Liyao from 1965 up to the time
of Williams untimely demise on December 2, 1975. They lived together in
the company of Corazons two (2) children from her subsisting marriage,
namely:Enrique and Bernadette, both surnamed Yulo, This was with the
knowledge of William Liyaos legitimate children, Tita Rose L. Tan and Linda
Christina Liyao-Ortiga, from his subsisting marriage with Juanita Tanhoti Liyao
On June 9, 1975, Corazon gave birth to William Liyao, Jr. at the Cardinal
Santos Memorial Hospital . During her three (3) day stay at the hospital,
William Liyao visited and stayed with her. All the medical and hospital
expenses, food and clothing were paid under the account of William Liyao.
William Liyao even asked his confidential secretary, Mrs. Virginia Rodriguez,
to secure a copy of Billys birth certificate. He likewise instructed Corazon to
open a bank account for Billy with the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company
and gave weekly amounts to be deposited therein. William Liyao would bring
Billy to the office, introduce him as his good looking son and had their
pictures taken together. Since birth, Billy had been in continuous possession
197

and enjoyment of the status of a recognized and/or acknowledged child of


William Liyao by the latters direct and overt acts. William Liyao supported
Billy and paid for his food, clothing and other material needs
The trial court rendered a decision declaring the minor William Liyao, Jr. as
the illegitimate (spurious) son of the deceased William Liyao.
In ruling for herein petitioner, the trial court said it was convinced by
preponderance of evidence that the deceased William Liyao sired William
Liyao, Jr. since the latter was conceived at the time when Corazon Garcia
cohabited with the deceased. The trial court observed that herein petitioner
had been in continuous possession and enjoyment of the status of a child of
the deceased by direct and overt acts of the latter such as securing the birth
certificate of petitioner through his confidential secretary, Mrs. Virginia
Rodriguez; openly and publicly acknowledging petitioner as his son;
providing sustenance and even introducing herein petitioner to his legitimate
children.
The Court of Appeals, reversed the ruling of the trial court
ISSUES
1. May petitioner impugn his own legitimacy to be able to claim from the
estate of his supposed father, William Liyao?
2. Do the acts of Enrique and Bernadette Yulo, the undisputed children of
Corazon Garcia with Ramon Yulo, in testifying for herein petitioner amount to
impugnation of the legitimacy of the latter?
RULING
1. NO. Under the New Civil Code, a child born and conceived during a valid
marriage is presumed to be legitimate.
The fact that Corazon Garcia had been living separately from her husband,
Ramon Yulo, at the time petitioner was conceived and born is of no moment.
The presumption of legitimacy of the child, however, is not conclusive and
consequently, may be overthrown by evidence to the contrary. Article 255 of
the New Civil Code provides:
Article 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 having access to his wife within the
first one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the
birth of the child.
198

This physical impossibility may be caused:


1) By the impotence of the husband;
2) By the fact that husband and wife were living separately in such a way
that access was not possible;
3) By the serious illness of the husband.
While physical impossibility for the husband to have sexual intercourse with
his wife is one of the grounds for impugning the legitimacy of the child, it
bears emphasis that the grounds for impugning the legitimacy of the child
mentioned in Article 255 of the Civil Code may only be invoked by the
husband, or in proper cases, his heirs under the conditions set forth under
Article 262 of the Civil Code. Impugning the legitimacy of the child is a
strictly personal right of the husband, or in exceptional cases, his heirs for
the simple reason that he is the one directly confronted with the scandal and
ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces and he should be the one to
decide whether to conceal that infidelity or expose it in view of the moral and
economic interest involved. It is only in exceptional cases that his heirs are
allowed to contest such legitimacy. Outside of these cases, none - even his
heirs - can impugn legitimacy; that would amount o an insult to his memory.
It is therefor clear that the present petition initiated by Corazon G. Garcia as
guardian ad litem of the then minor, herein petitioner, to compel recognition
by respondents of petitioner William Liyao, Jr, as the illegitimate son of the
late William Liyao cannot prosper. It is settled that a child born within a valid
marriage is presumed legitimate even though the mother may have declared
against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. We
cannot allow petitioner to maintain his present petition and subvert the clear
mandate of the law that only the husband, or in exceptional circumstances,
his heirs, could impugn the legitimacy of a child born in a valid and
subsisting marriage. The child himself cannot choose his own filiation. If the
husband, presumed to be the father does not impugn the legitimacy of the
child, then the status of the child is fixed, and the latter cannot choose to be
the child of his mothers alleged paramour. On the other hand, if the
presumption of legitimacy is overthrown, the child cannot elect the paternity
of the husband who successfully defeated the presumption.
2. No. As earlier stated, it is only in exceptional cases that the heirs of the
husband are allowed to contest the legitimacy of the child. There is nothing
on the records to indicate that Ramon Yulo has already passed away at the
time of the birth of the petitioner nor at the time of the initiation of this
proceedings. Notably, the case at bar was initiated by petitioner himself
through his mother, Corazon Garcia, and not through Enrique and Bernadette
Yulo. It is settled that the legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a
199

direct action brought for that purpose, by the proper parties and within the
period limited by law.
107. VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, et al. vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 129163
April 22, 2003
FACTS
Spouses Anselmo and Macaria Baloyo, original owners of controverted Lot
323, Ilog Cadastre, had five children.
Of the five, Agueda was the first child, who had two children: Antonio Colino
and Irene Colinco, the latter predeceasing his three daughters, Ruth, Orpha
and Goldelina (who with Irene Colinco are the respondents of this case).
Second was Catalina, who was married to Juan Arbolario with whom she had
one child named Purificacion. Purificacion died a spinster without issue.
Records disclose that decedent Purificacion's father (Juan) cohabited with
another woman to whom were born petitioners, Voltaire, Fe, Lucena,
Exaltacion and Carlos (the Arbolarios) who were all born before 1951.
Third and fourth were Eduardo and Gaudencia who each conveyed their
interests in the lot, respectively, to their sister Agueda by sale and to their
two nieces, Irene and Purificacion.
Fifth and last child was Julian, who married but died without issue.
All five (who at the time of the filing of this case have already died),
executed in 1951 a notarized declaration of heirship as the only heirs of the
Baloyo spouses.
It is with these foregoing facts that respondents, executed a declaration
adjudicating upon themselves their proportionate or ideal shares in the
controverted lot and filed a civil case against the Salhay spouses to recover
possession of the portion which the Salhays claim to have been purchased
by them from Purificacion.
Before hearing, the Arbolarios joined the Salhays in contending that the
declaration of heirship and partition by the Colincos was defective for having
excluded them. They alleged that they were intestate heirs of their half
sister Purificacion; that Catalina Baloyo died in 1903 and that the
cohabitation between their father and their natural mother was by virtue of a
valid subsequent marriage.
The RTC found for the Arbolarios holding that they were the brothers and
sisters of Purificacion.
200

The CA however, reversed the RTC, holding that the union of Juan with the
mother of the Arbolarios' was extramarital, the petitioners having been born
before Catalina's death as shown in the 1951 declaration of heirship and
absent proof that the prior union of Catalina and Juan Arbolario lawfully
ended before the said year. Consequently, the CA ruled the Arbolarios as
illegitimate siblings of Purificacion and thus barred by Article 992 of the Civil
Code from inheriting intestate from the legitimate children of their father.
ISSUE
Whether the Arbolarios were illegitimate siblings of Purificacion disqualifying
them from being intestate heirs of the latter under the Civil Code.
RULING
Petition has no merit.
First.The 1951 declaration reveals that the year of Catalina's death was
intercalated. Further, the paragraph quoted by petitioners showed a
chronological progression in the heirs' years of death where Catalina's name
came after Eduardo Baloyo's who died in 1947; so it would be impossible for
Catalina to have died in 1903.
Second. There is no solid basis for the argument that the marriage of Juan
and petitioners' natural mother was valid. Even granting that Catalina died in
1903, it does not follow that just because a mans first wife has died, he is
conclusively married to the woman who bore his children absent a marriage
certificate or a generally accepted proof which is necessary to establish the
marriage as an indisputable fact.
Third. Clear and substantial evidence is required to support the claim of
petitioners that they were preterited from the 1951 declaration. Artice 261 of
the New Civil Code provides that there is no presumption of legitimacy or
illegitimacy in this jurisdiction and whoever alleges the legitimacy or
illegitimacy of a child born after the dissolution of a prior marriage or the
separation of spouses must introduce such evidence to prove his or her
allegation. It is therefore the Arbolarios, claiming to be born under a validly
contracted subsequent marriage, who must show proof of their legitimacy.
But they miserably failed to do so.
Paternity or filiation, or the lack of it, is a relationship that must be judicially
established. It stands to reason that children born within wedlock are
legitimate. Since petitioners failed to prove the fact of marriage between
their parents, they cannot invoke a presumption of legitimacy in their favor.
108. MA. THERESEA ALBERTO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 86639
June 2, 1994
201

FACTS
On Sept. 18, 1953, a child named Ma. Theresa Alberto was born out of
wedlock to one Aurora Keniva with Juan M. Alberto as the alleged Father. On
Sept. 18, 1967, Juan M. Alberto dide intestate. His widow Yolanda R. Alberto
was appointed as the administratrix of the estate of Juan M. Alberto. After the
Inventory and Appraisal and the Administratrix Accounting were approved
on August 1, 1970 and on April 29, 1971 respectively, the proceedings were
ordered closed and terminated.
On September 15, 1978, Ma. Therese Alberto filed a motion for leave to
intervene as oppositor and to re-open the proceedings praying that she be
declared to have acquired the status of a natural child and as such, entitled
to share in the estate of the deceased. The motion was granted by the
probate court.
Upon the presentation by the parties of their respective evidence during the
trial, the probate court was convinced that indeed, Ma. Theresa Alberto had
been in continuous possession of the status of a natural child. Thereupon, it
rendered a decision compelling the decedents heirs and estate to recognize
her as a natural daughter and to allow her to participate in the estate
proceedings.
In her contention in the Court of Appeals, the widow raised that the
petitioner was not recognized by the father based on the letter sent by the
mother of petitioner, Aurora Reniva, to the deceased, Juan M. Alberto , the
putative father of the petitioner. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision
of the probate court. Hence this petition.
ISSUE
Whether or not the estate and heirs of deceased Juan M. Alberto be ordered
to recognize petitioner as the deceaseds natural daughter on the basis of
the evidence presented presented by petitioner to establish her claim that
she has been in continuous possession of the status of a natural child.
RULING
YES, the estate and heirs of the deceased can be ordered to recognize the
petitioner as the deceased (Juan M. Albertos) daughter as it was not only the
father that recognized the petitioner but also the siblings and other members
of his family as provided in Art. 283 of the Civil Code. In addition, Art. 285 of
the Civil Code states that the action for the recognition of natural children
may be brought only during the lifetime of the presumed parents, except if
the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in which case the
latter may file the action before the expiration of four years from the
attainment of the age of majority. This fits squarely on the case of the
petitioner because she was still a minor when her father died in 1967, and
she reached the age of majority only on Sept. 18, 1974 and when the action
202

was filed by the petitioner, it was still three days before the time to file
action had prescribed.
109. CASIMIRO MENDOZA vs. CA AND TEOPISTA T. TUACAO
G. R. No. 86302
September 24, 1991
FACTS
This pertains to a case on compulsory recognition. Casimiro allegedly had an
extramarital affair with Brigida Toring, who was then single. Out of that
relationship, Teopista was born on 20 August 1930. Teopista maintains that
Casimiro acknowledged her as his illegitimate child as shared by her mother
to her and by the following circumstances, to wit: she addressed him as
Papa Miroy; when she got married, he bought a passenger truck and hired
her husband to drive it so he could have a livelihood; he gave the sale
proceeds of the truck to her and her husband; he also allowed her son, Lolito,
to build a house on his lot and gave her money as well to buy her own lot
from her brother, Vicente; he opened a joint savings account with her as a
co-depositor at the Mandaue City branch of the Philippine Commercial and
Industrial Bank, among others.
Teopista presented 3 witnesses to corroborate her testimony. Lolito indicated
that he believed that Casimiro is his grandfather because his mother said so
and because Casimiro, among others, authorized him to build a house on his
(Casimiro) property upon learning that the he lived on a rented lot. The two
other witnesses, Gaudencio and Isaac, Casimiros relatives, likewise
reinforced her claim. Gaudencio served as the intermediary after Casimiro
disclosed to him that he was seeing Brigida. He was also tasked several
times to deliver money to Brigida. Isaac, meanwhile, testified that his father,
Hipolito, Casimiros brother, and his grandmother, Brigida Mendoza,
Casimiros mother, informed him that the private respondent is the daughter
of Casimiro.
Vicente, another illegitimate child of Casimiro, testified to resist Teopistas
claim alleging that he is the only illegitimate child of Casimiro because
Teopistas father is a carpenter named Ondoy who later fled and he also
emphasized that she never visited her alleged father in the hospital when he
was confined, among others. The other witness, Julieta Ouano, Casimiros
niece, corroborated his declaration and posited that she had never met
Teopista.
The trial court rejected Teopistas claim that she was in continuous
possession of the status of a child of her alleged father by the direct acts of
the latter or of his family because she never lived with him; her son was only
allowed to construct a small house in his property; he never financially
supported her; and he did not even permit her to use his surname.
203

The Appellate Court reversed, noting that the witnesses presented by


Teopista were disinterested persons with no ax to grind against Casimiro
while the latters witnesses were an interested person who stood to lose
much of his inheritance should Teopista be declared as an illegitimate child
and the testimony of the other, seemed incredible as that witness lived in
the same barangay as Teopista since birth.
ISSUES
Did the trial court err in denying Teopistas claim that she was in open and
continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child of Casimiro? Did
the testimony of Isaac sufficiently prove such filiation?
RULING
Under Art. 283(2) of the Civil Code, the father is obliged to recognize the
child as his natural child when the child is in continuous possession of the
status of a child of the alleged father by the direct acts of the latter or of his
family. Art. 172 of the Family Code states, among others, that legitimate
filiation may be established by any other means allowed by the Rules of
Court and special laws. The Family Code also provides in Art. 175 that
illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way
and on the same evidence as legitimate children.
In establishing "the open and continuous possession of the status of an
illegitimate child", "continuous" does not mean that the concession of status
shall continue forever but only that it shall not be of an intermittent
character while it continues. It means that the father has treated the child
as his own, directly and not through others, spontaneously and without
concealment though without publicity (since the relation is illegitimate).
There must be a showing of the permanent intention of the supposed father
to consider the child as his own, by continuous and clear manifestation of
paternal affection and care. In this case, the trial court correctly ruled that
Teopista was unable to establish such open and continuous possession of the
status of an illegitimate child.
Even so, she was able to establish such status by another method. An
illegitimate child is allowed to establish his claimed filiation by "any other
means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws," according to the Civil
Code, or "by evidence or proof in his favor that the defendant is her father,"
according to the Family Code. Such evidence may consist of his baptismal
certificate, a judicial admission, a family Bible in which his name has been
entered, common reputation respecting his pedigree, admission by silence,
the testimonies of witnesses, and other kinds of proof admissible under Rule
130 of the Rules of Court. The declaration made by Isaac is in the nature of a
declaration about pedigree as provided for in Sec. 39, Rule 130, Rules of
Court.
204

In the case at bar, the mother of Casimiro and his brother, both of whom had
since passed away, made the declarations about Teopistas pedigree prior to
the time of Isaac's testimony. The declarations referred to the filiation of
Teopista and the paternity of Casimiro, which were the very issues involved
in the complaint for compulsory recognition. The declarations were made
before the complaint was filed by Teopista or before the controversy arose
between her and Casimiro. Finally, the relationship between the declarants
and Casimiro has been established by evidence other than such declaration,
consisting of the extrajudicial partition of the estate of Florencio Mendoza, in
which Casimiro was mentioned as one of his heirs. Casimiro did not disprove
such declarations when he could have done so by deposition.
Taking into account the declarations and the other circumstances, such as,
the financial doles made by Casimiro to Brigida Toring, the hiring of
Teopista's husband to drive the passenger truck of Casimiro, who later sold
the vehicle and gave the proceeds of the sale to Teopista and her husband,
the permission he gave Lolito to build a house on his land when he knew
that the latter was living on a rented lot, and the joint savings account
Casimiro opened with Teopista, the Court ruled that Teopista has proved that
she is the illegitimate daughter of Casimiro Mendoza and is entitled to be
recognized as such.
110. DOROTEA UYGUANGCO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G. R. No. 76873
October 26, 1989
FACTS
Apolinario Uyguangco died intestate in 1975, leaving his wife, Dorotea, four
legitimate children and considerable properties which they divided among
themselves. Claiming to be an illegitimate son of the deceased and having
been left out in the extrajudicial settlement of his estate, Graciano
Uyguangco filed a complaint for partition against all the petitioners.
Graciano admitted that he had none of the documents mentioned in Article
278 to show that he was the illegitimate son of Apolinario. These are "the
record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or (in) any
authentic writing." Neither could he resort to the provisions of Article 285
because he was already an adult when his alleged father died in 1975, and
his claim did not come under the exceptions. As stated in ART. 285: The
action for the recognition of natural children may be brought only during the
lifetime of the presumed parents, except in the following cases:
(1) If the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in which
case the latter may file the action before the expiration of four years from
the attainment of his majority;
205

(2) If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should
appear of which nothing had been heard and in which either or both parents
recognize the child.
In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from the
finding of the document.
Petitioners argue that the complaint for partition is actually an action for
recognition as an illegitimate child, which, being already barred, is a clear
attempt to circumvent the said provisions. The private respondent insists, on
the other hand, that he has a right to show under Article 283 that he is "in
continuous possession of the status of a child of his alleged father by the
direct acts of the latter or of his family."
ISSUE
Whether Private Respondent be allowed to prove that he is an illegitimate
child of his claimed father, who is already dead, in the absence of the
documentary evidence required by the Civil Code.
RULING
The court ruled that this case must be decided under a new set of rules
because the provisions the parties invoked has been superceded by the
Family Code. Under the Family Code, it is provided that:
Art. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the
same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.
The following provision is therefore also available to the private respondent
in proving his illegitimate filiation:
Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the
following:
(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or
(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private
handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.
In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be
proved by:
(1)
The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate
child; or
(2)
Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.
Private respondent has admitted that he has none of the documents,
however he insists that he has nevertheless been "in open and continuous
possession of the status of an illegitimate child," which is now also
admissible as evidence of filiation. Since he seeks to prove his filiation under
206

this, his action is now barred because of his alleged father's death in 1975.
Article 175 provides: The action must be brought within the same period
specified in Article 173, except when the action is based on the second
paragraph of Article 172, in which case the action may be brought during the
lifetime of the alleged parent.
It is clear that the private respondent can no longer be allowed at this time
to introduce evidence of his open and continuous possession of the status of
an illegitimate child or prove his alleged filiation through any of the means
allowed by the Rules of Court or special laws. The simple reason is that
Apolinario Uyguangco is already dead and can no longer be heard on the
claim of his alleged son's illegitimate filiation.
111. CORITO OCAMPO TAYAG vs. CA and EMILIE DAYRIT CUYUGAN
G. R. No. 95229
June 9, 1992
FACTS
This is a petition for recognition and claim of inheritance of an illegitimate
child Chad Cuyugan represented by his mother and legal guardian Emilde
Dayrit Cuyugan against the administratrix Corito Ocampo Tayag of the late
Atty. Ricardo Ocampos properties. Cuyugan claims that she and Ocampo had
an amorous relationship which bore an illegitimate son named Chad
Cuyugan. Cuyugan asserts that the young Cuyugan was recognized by
Ocampo and he acted as a putative father during his lifetime as gleaned
from indubitable letters and documents. Ocampo died intestate and left
several properties in Baguio City, Angeles City and Province of Pampanga.
The alleged illegitimate child Cuyugan is survived together with Ocampos
legitimate children Corito Ocampo Tayag, Rivina O. Tayag, Evita O. Florendo,
Felina Ocampo. Cuyugan avers that as an illegitimate son of Ocampo the
young Cuyugan is entitled for inheritance as one of the surviving heirs.
Several verbal and written demands by the plaintiff Cuyugan against
defendant Ocampo for the inventory and accounting of properties, delivery
of the inheritance and support pendent elite but the defendant Ocampo
grossly neglects. Instead, she maintained several affirmative defenses
against the claim on the issue of prescription, no legal personality to bring
the suit and lack of jurisdiction.
Ocampo argues that assuming arguendo that the action is one to compel
recognition, Cuyugans cause of action has prescribed for the reason that
since filiation is sought to be proved by means of a private handwritten
instrument signed by the parent concerned, then under paragraph 2, Article
175 of the Family Code, the action to establish filiation of the illegitimate
minor child must be brought during the lifetime of the alleged putative
father.
207

ISSUES
1. Whether there is still a need for an action to establish illegitimate filiation
prior to delivery of inheritance to an illegitimate child;
2. Whether there is a prescriptive period for recognition of a natural child.

RULING
The court ruled citing the case of in Briz vs. Briz, et al., which elucidates that:
The question whether a person in the position of the present plaintiff can any
event maintain a complex action to compel recognition as a natural child and
at the same time to obtain ulterior relief in the character of heir, is one
which, in the opinion of this court must be answered in the affirmative,
provided always that the conditions justifying the joinder of the two distinct
causes of action are present in the particular case. In, other words, there is
no absolute necessity requiring that the action to compel acknowledgment
should have been instituted and prosecuted to a successful conclusion prior
to the action in which that same plaintiff seers additional relief in the
character of heir. Certainly, there is nothing so peculiar to the action to
compel acknowledgment as to require that a rule should be here applied
different from that generally applicable in other cases. . .
The conclusion above stated, though not heretofore explicitly formulated by
this court, is undoubtedly to some extent supported by our prior decisions.
Thus, we have held in numerous cases, and the doctrine must be considered
well settled, that a natural child having a right to compel acknowledgment,
but who has not been in fact legally acknowledged, may maintain partition
proceedings for the division of the inheritance against his co-heirs . . .; and
the same person may intervene in proceedings for the distribution of the
estate of his deceased natural father, or mother . . . In neither of these
situations has it been thought necessary for the plaintiff to show a prior
decree compelling acknowledgment. The obvious reason is that in partition
suits and distribution proceedings the other persons who might take by
inheritance are before the court; and the declaration of heirship is
appropriate to such proceedings.
As to the issue of prescription, Article 175 of the Family Code finds no proper
application to the instant case since it will ineluctably affect adversely a right
of private respondent and, consequentially, of the mind child she represents,
both of which have been vested with the filing of the complaint in court. The
trial court is therefore, correct in applying the provisions of Article 285 of the
Civil Code and in holding that private respondent's cause of action has not
yet prescribed.
112. FRANCISCO L. JISON vs. COURT OF APPEALS and MONINA JISON
208

G. R. No. 124853

February 24, 1998

FACTS
In her complaint 4 filed with the RTC on 13 March 1985, MONINA alleged that
FRANCISCO had been married to a certain Lilia Lopez Jison since 1940.
At the end of 1945 or the start of 1946, however, FRANCISCO impregnated
Esperanza F. Amolar (who was then employed as the nanny of FRANCISCO's
daughter, Lourdes). As a result, MONINA was born on 6 August 1946, in
Dingle, Iloilo, and since childhood, had enjoyed the continuous, implied
recognition as an illegitimate child of FRANCISCO by his acts and that of his
family.
MONINA further alleged that FRANCISCO gave her support and spent for her
education, such that she obtained a Master's degree, became a certified
public accountant (CPA) and eventually, a Central Bank examiner. In view of
FRANCISCO's refusal to expressly recognize her, MONINA prayed for a judicial
declaration of her illegitimate status and that FRANCISCO support and treat
her as such.
ISSUE
Whether or not MONINA established her filiation as FRANCISCOS illegitimate
daughter?
RULING
The testimonial evidence offered by MONINA, woven by her narration of
circumstances and events that occurred through the years, concerning her
relationship with FRANCISCO, coupled with the testimonies of her witnesses,
overwhelmingly established the following facts:
1) FRANCISCO is MONINA's father and she was conceived at the time when
her mother was in the employ of the former;
2) FRANCISCO recognized MONINA as his child through his overt acts and
the Court of Appeals took pains to enumerate, thus:
[L]ike sending appellant to school, paying for her tuition fees, school
uniforms, books, board and lodging at the Colegio del Sagrado de Jesus,
defraying appellant's hospitalization expenses, providing her with [a]
monthly allowance, paying for the funeral expenses of appellant's mother,
acknowledging appellant's paternal greetings and calling appellant his "Hija"
or child, instructing his office personnel to give appellant's monthly
allowance, recommending appellant to use his house in Bacolod and paying
for her long distance telephone calls, having appellant spend her long
distance telephone calls, having appellant spend her vacation in his
apartment in Manila and also at his Forbes residence, allowing appellant to
209

use his surname in her scholastic and other records (Exhs Z, AA, AA-1 to AA5, W & W-5) . . .
3) Such recognition has been consistently shown and manifested throughout
the years publicly, 35 spontaneously, continuously and in an uninterrupted
manner. 36
Even the affidavit (Exh 2) which [FRANCISCO] had foisted on the trial court
. does not hold sway in the face of [MONINA's] logical explanation that she
first did agree to sign the affidavit which contained untruthful statements.
fact, she promptly complained to [FRANCISCO] who, however explained
her that the affidavit was only for the consumption of his spouse . . .

..
at
In
to

At any rate, if [MONINA] were not his illegitimate daughter, it would have
been uncalled for, if not absurd, for [FRANCISCO] of his lawyer to have
secured [MONINA's] sworn statement . . . On the contrary, in asking
[MONINA] to sign the said affidavit at the cost of P15,000. [FRANCISCO]
clearly betrayed his intention to conceal or suppress his paternity of
[MONINA] . . .
Indeed, if MONINA were truly not FRANCISCO's illegitimate daughter, it would
have been unnecessary for him to have gone to such great lengths in order
that MONINA denounce her filiation. For as clearly established before the trial
court and properly appreciated by the Court of Appeals, MONINA had
resigned from Miller & Cruz five (5) months prior to the execution of the
sworn statement in question, hence negating FRANCISCO's theory of the
need to quash rumors circulating within Miller & Cruz regarding the identity
of MONINA's father.
113. MARIA JEANETTE C. TECSON vs. COMELEC
G. R. No. 161634
March 3, 2004
FACTS
On 31 December 2003, respondent Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, also known as
Fernando Poe, Jr., filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of
President of the Republic of the Philippines under the Koalisyon ng
Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) Party. In his certificate of candidacy, FPJ,
representing himself to be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, stated his
name to be "Fernando Jr.," or "Ronald Allan" Poe, his date of birth to be 20
August 1939 and his place of birth to be Manila.
Victorino X. Fornier, initiated a petition before the Commission on Elections
to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his certificate of
candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material misrepresentation in his
certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when
210

in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his mother, Bessie
Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish
national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject.
Granting, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have
transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child
of an alien mother. Petitioner based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of
respondent on two assertions - first, Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage
to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, second,
even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly
only a year after the birth of respondent.
The COMELEC dismissed the case for lack of merit. Fornier filed a motion for
reconsideration and was denied. He brought the case to the SC by virtue of
Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, of the Revised Rules of Court, praying for a
TRO, writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin finality/execution of COMELEC
resolutions. His petition was consolidated with Tecson & Velez cases, both
challenging the jurisdiction of the COMELEC and asserting that, under Article
VII, Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution, only the Supreme Court
had original and exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the basic issue on the case..
ISSUE
Whether or not FPJ is a natural born Filipino.
RULING
Section 2, Article VII, of the 1987 Constitution expresses:
"No person may be elected President unless he is a natuAral-born citizen of
the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years
of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least
ten years immediately preceding such election."
The term "natural-born citizens," is defined to include "those who are citizens
of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or
perfect their Philippine citizenship.
The 1935 Constitution removed doubts as to whether the jus soli principle
would still apply. It adopted jus sanguinis (blood relationship) as basis of
Filipino citizenship. Sec. 1, Art. III defined citizens as:
1) citizens of Philippine Islands at time of adoption of Constitution,
2) those born in the PI of foreign parents elected to public office in the PI,
3) those whose fathers are citizens of the PI,
211

4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and upon reaching the
age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship.
5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
The following facts have been established by a weighty preponderance of
evidence either in the pleadings and the documents attached thereto or from
the admissions of the parties, through their counsels, during the oral
arguments 1. The parents of FPJ were Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley;
2. FPJ was born to them on 20 August 1939;
3. Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley were married to each other on 16
September, 1940;
4. The father of Allan F. Poe was Lorenzo Poe, albeit a Spanish subject, was
not shown to have declared his allegiance to Spain by virtue of the Treaty of
Paris and the Philippine Bill of 1902; and
5. At the time of his death on 11 September 1954, Lorenzo Poe was 84 years
old.
The marriage certificate of Kelley & Poe and FPJs birth certificate are
admissible evidence being public documents. Lorenzo Poe was born
sometime in 1870 while RP was under Spain. In the absence of any evidence
to the contrary, it will be assumed that his place of residence was his place
of residence at the time of his death, which was in San Carlos, Pangasinan.
Thus, it will also be assumed that he benefited in the en masse Filipinization
under Phil Bill of 1902. Presumption would be that he passed on his Filipino
citizenship to his son & later on to his grandson.
Under the Civil Code of Spain, which was in force in the Philippines from 08
December 1889 up until the day prior to 30 August 1950 when the Civil Code
of the Philippines took effect, acknowledgment was required to establish
filiation or paternity by judicial (compulsory done during the lifetime of
putative parent) or voluntary (record of birth, will or public document)
means. No proof of acknowledgment by Allan Poe was shown whether
voluntary or judicial.
The 1950 Civil Code added additional means of acknowledgment which is
legal (acknowledgment of an illegitimate childs full blood brothers/sisters).
The Family Code provides that filiation of legitimate children is established by
a record of birth or public document or private handwritten instrument
signed by parent concerned.
212

In the absence of such, it can be proven by open & continuous possession of


status as legitimate or other means allowed by Rules of Court & special laws.
Action may be brought by child during his/her lifetime. Same provisions
apply to establish illegitimate filiation. Ruby Kelley Mangahas (Bessie
Kelleys sister) declaration might be accepted as proof that Allan Poe
recognized his paternal relationship with FPJ. She declared that Allan lived w/
Bessie & their children in one house as one family.
The provisions of the Family Code are retroactively applied; Article 256 of the
code reads:
"Art. 256. This Code shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does not
prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil
Code or other laws."
Petitioner Fornier never alleged that Allan Poe was not the father of FPJ. By
revolving his case around the illegitimacy of FPJ, Fornier effectively conceded
paternity or filiation as a non-issue. For purposes of the citizenship of an
illegitimate child whose father is a Filipino and whose mother is an alien,
proof of paternity or filiation is enough for the child to follow the citizenship
of his putative father, as advanced by Fr. Joaquin Bernas, one of the amici
curiae.
Making distinctions between illegitimate & legitimate children and between
the illegitimate children of Filipino fathers and illegitimate children of Filipino
mothers violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. To disqualify
an illegitimate child from holding an important public office is to punish
him/her for the indiscretion of his/her parents. When the law provided that
the illegitimate child will take the citizenship of his/her mother, it was done
to help the child & not to prejudice/discriminate against him.
Pursuant to paragraph 3 of Section 1 of Article IV of the 1935 Constitution,
which reads:
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
xxx
(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines.
The provision makes no distinction between legitimate and illegitimate
children of Filipino fathers. It is enough that filiation is established or that
the child is acknowledged or recognized by the father. Thus, whether
legitimate or illegitimate, FPJ may be considered as a natural-born Filipino
citizen.
213

114. MILAGROS JOAQUINO petitioner vs. LOURDES REYES


G. R. No. 154645
July 13, 2004
FACTS
Lourdes Reyes was legally married to Rodolfo Reyes on and they have four
children, namely: Mercedes, Manuel, Miriam and Rodolfo Jr. Rodolfo died on
September 12, 1981. At the time of his death, Rodolfo Reyes was living with
his common-law wife, Milagros Joaquino, with whom she begot three (3)
children namely: Jose Romillo, Imelda May and Charina, all surnamed Reyes.
Rodolfos monthly salary at Warner Barnes & Co. was P15, 000.00 and upon
his retirement from said company, Rodolfo Reyes received a lump sum of
P315, 011.79 in full payment.
During the common-law relationship of Rodolfo and Milagros Joaquino and
while living together, they decided to buy the house and lot. A Deed of
Absolute Sale was executed in favor of petitioner and TCT No. S-90293
covering the said property was issued in the name of petitioner only.
To secure the finances with which to pay the purchase price of the property,
petitioner executed a Special Power of Attorney in favor of Rodolfo for the
latter, to secure a loan from the Commonwealth Insurance Company. An
application for mortgage loan was filed by Rodolfo Reyes with the
Commonwealth Insurance Company and a Real Estate Mortgage Contract
was executed as collateral to the mortgage loan. The monthly amortizations
were paid by Rodolfo Reyes and after his death, the balance of P109,797.64
was paid in full to the Commonwealth Insurance by the Philam Life Insurance
Co. as insurer of the deceased Rodolfo A. Reyes. On appeal to the CA,
petitioner questioned the following findings of the trial court: 1) that the
house and lot had been paid in full from the proceeds of the loan that
Rodolfo Reyes obtained from the Commonwealth Insurance Company; 2) that
his salaries and earnings, which were his and Lourdes conjugal funds, paid
for the loan and, hence, the disputed property was conjugal; and 3) that
petitioners illegitimate children, not having been recognized or
acknowledged by him in any of the ways provided by law, acquired no
successional rights to his estate.
The appellate court, however, held that the trial court should not have
resolved the issue of the filiation and the successional rights of petitioners
children. Such issues, it said, were not properly cognizable in an ordinary civil
action for reconveyance and damages and were better ventilated in a
probate or special proceeding instituted for the purpose.
ISSUE
214

Whether or not the court can take cognizance of the issue of filiation?
RULING
Indeed, it has been ruled that matters relating to the rights of filiation and
heirship must be ventilated in the proper probate court in a special
proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of determining such rights.
Sustaining the appellate court in Agapay v. Palang, this Court held that the
status of an illegitimate child who claimed to be an heir to a decedents
estate could not be adjudicated in an ordinary civil action which, as in this
case, was for the recovery of property.
Considerations of due process should have likewise deterred the RTC from
ruling on the status of petitioners children. It is evident from the pleadings of
the parties that this issue was not presented in either the original or the
Supplemental Complaint for reconveyance of property and damages; that it
was not pleaded and specifically prayed for by petitioner in her Answers
thereto; and that it was not traversed by respondents Reply to the
Supplemental Complaint. Neither did petitioners Memorandum, which was
submitted to the trial court, raise and discuss this issue. In view thereof, the
illegitimate filiation of her children could not have been duly established by
the proceedings as required by Article 887 of the Civil Code. In view of the
foregoing reasons, the CA cannot be faulted for tackling the propriety of the
RTCs ruling on the status of the children of petitioner, though she did not
assign this matter as an error. The general rule -- that only errors assigned
may be passed upon by an appellate court admits of exceptions. Even
unassigned errors may be taken up by such court if the consideration of
those errors would be necessary for arriving at a just decision or for serving
the interest of justice.

115. BELEN SAGAD ANGELES


vs. ALELI "CORAZON" ANGELES
MAGLAYA
G. R. No. 153798
September 2, 2005
FACTS
Respondent filed a petition for letters of administration and her appointment
as administratrix of the intestate estate of Francisco M. Angeles (Francisco,
hereinafter). She alleges that there is a need to appoint an administrator of
Franciscos estate and that she (respondent) is the sole legitimate child of
the deceased and Genoveva Mercado, and, together with petitioner, Belen S.
Angeles, decedents wife by his second marriage, are the surviving heirs of
the decedent; and that she has all the qualifications and none of the
disqualifications required of an administrator.
215

Petitioner opposed the basic petition and prayed that she, instead of
respondent, be made the administratrix of Franciscos estate. 3 In support of
her opposition and plea, petitioner alleged having married Francisco on
August 7, 1948 before Judge Lucio M. Tianco of the Municipal Court of Rizal, a
union which was ratified two (2) months later in religious rites at the Our
Lady of Grace Parish in Caloocan City, and that Francisco represented in their
marriage contract that he was single at that time. Petitioner also averred
that respondent could not be the daughter of Francisco for, although she was
recorded as Franciscos legitimate daughter, the corresponding birth
certificate was not signed by him. Pressing on, petitioner further alleged that
respondent, despite her claim of being the legitimate child of Francisco and
Genoveva Mercado, has not presented the marriage contract between her
supposed parents or produced any acceptable document to prove such
union. And evidently to debunk respondents claim of being the only child of
Francisco, petitioner likewise averred that she and Francisco had, during their
marriage, legally adopted Concesa A. Yamat, et al. Petitioner thus urged that
she, being the surviving spouse of Francisco, be declared as possessed of the
superior right to the administration of his estate.
In her reply to opposition, respondent alleged, inter alia, that per certification
of the appropriate offices, the January to December 1938 records of
marriages of the Civil Registrar of Bacolor, Pampanga where the alleged
1938 Francisco-Genoveva wedding took place, were destroyed. In the same
reply, respondent dismissed as of little consequence the adoption adverted
to owing to her having interposed with the Court of Appeals a petition to
nullify the decree of adoption entered by the RTC at Caloocan. Eventually, in
an Order dated July 12, 1999, 11 the trial court, on its finding that
respondent failed to prove her filiation as legitimate child of Francisco,
dismissed the petition. The Trial Court is hereby ordered to appoint
petitioner-appellant Aleli "Corazon" Angeles as administratrix of the intestate
estate of Francisco Angeles.
ISSUES
Whether or not respondent has sufficiently established her legitimate filiation
with the deceased Francisco.
RULING
Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the
following:
1. The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgments; or
2. An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private
handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.
In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be
proved by:
1. The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or
2. Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.
216

In the case at bench, other than the self-serving declaration of the petitioner,
there is nothing in the record to support petitioners claim that she is indeed
a legitimate child of the late Francisco M. Angeles and Genoveva Y. Mercado.
xxx In other words, Francisco M. Angeles was never married before or at
anytime prior to his marriage to Belen Sagad, contrary to the claim of
petitioner that Francisco M. Angeles and Genoveva Y. Mercado were married
in 1938
While petitioner may have submitted certifications to the effect that the
records of marriages during the war years . . . were totally destroyed, no
secondary evidence was presented by petitioner to prove the existence of
the marriage between Francisco M. Angeles and Genoveva Y. Mercado, even
as no witness was presented to confirm the celebration of such marriage.
Having failed to prove that she is the legitimate daughter or acknowledged
natural child of the late Francisco M. Angeles, petitioner cannot be a real
party in interest in the adoption proceedings, as her consent thereto is not
essential or required. Finally, it should be noted that on the matter of
appointment of administrator of the estate of the deceased, the surviving
spouse is preferred over the next of kin of the decedent. When the law
speaks of "next of kin", the reference is to those who are entitled, under the
statute of distribution, to the decedents property, one whose relationship is
such that he is entitled to share in the estate as distributed, or, in short, an
heir. In resolving, therefore, the issue of whether an applicant for letters of
administration is a next of kin or an heir of the decedent, the probate court
perforce has to determine and pass upon the issue of filiation. A separate
action will only result in a multiplicity of suits. Upon this consideration, the
trial court acted within bounds when it looked into and pass upon the
claimed relationship of respondent to the late Francisco Angeles.
116. JUAN CASTRO AND FELICIANA CASTRO vs. COURT OF APPEALS,
CIPRIANO NAVAL AND BENITA C. NAVAL
G. R. No. L-50974-75
May 31, 1989
FACTS
In Civil Case No. 3762 entitled Juan Castro and Feliciana Castro v. Benita
Castro, the plaintiffs filed an action for partition of properties against the
defendant alleging, among other things that they are the forced heirs of
Pedro Castro who died in Mayantoc, Tarlac on May 27, 1923 (p. 6, Record on
Appeal).
In Civil Case No. 3763 plaintiff Marcelina Bautista also filed an action for
partition of properties against defendant Benita Castro Naval alleging,
among other things, that they are also compulsory heirs of Eustaquio Castro
who died in Mayantoc, Tarlac on August 24, 1961 and that they are entitled
to the partition of the properties of said deceased (p. 32, Record on Appeal).
217

The defendants in their amended answer in both cases allege that Benita
Castro Naval is the only child of the deceased Eustaquio and that said
Eustaquio Castro is the son of Pedro Castro, therefore, the complaint for
partition has no cause of action (p. 25, Record on Appeal).
With leave of Court, plaintiffs filed their amended complaints whereby they
converted the original action for partition into an action for quieting of title.
Defendant's husband Cipriano Naval was forthwith impleaded as partydefendant (p. 32, Record on Appeal).
In the meantime, defendant Benita Naval filed a petition for appointment as
receiver and for preliminary injunction in Civil Case No. 3762. The trial court,
however, denied said petition for appointment of receiver, but granted the
petition for writ of preliminary injunction and also adjudged Marcelina
Bautista who is the plaintiff in Civil Case No. 3762 guilty of contempt and
ordering her to pay a fine of P100. 00 (p. 97, Record on Appeal).
Considering that evidence in these incidents of appointing a receiver and
preliminary injunction as well as the motion for contempt were related to the
merits of the case, the parties stipulated that evidence therein be considered
as evidence in the trial on the merits.
During the pre-trial the parties agreed that the main issue to be resolved in
this case is as to whether or not defendant Benita Castro Naval is the
acknowledged natural child of Eustaquio Castro. In view of this stipulation,
defendant Benita Naval was allowed to introduce evidence to show that she
was indeed the acknowledged natural child of Eustaquio Castro.
The evidence on record shows that Juan Castro and Feliciana Castro, plaintiffs
in Civil Case No. 3762 and Eustaquio Castro who was already dead were the
children of the deceased spouses Pedro Castro and Cornelia Santiago.
Marcelina Bautista, one of the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 3763, is the
surviving spouse of the deceased Eustaquio Castro. Eustaquio Castro died on
August 23, 1961 and Pricola Maregmen died on September 11, 1924.
It appears that defendant Benita Castro Naval, a child of Eustaquio Castro
and Pricola Maregmen, was born on March 27, 1919 in San Bartolome, Tarlac
(Exhibit A). Eustaquio Castro, who caused the registration of said birth gave
the date indicated in the civil registry that he was the father. Benita Castro
was later baptized in the Roman Catholic Church of Camiling, Tarlac, wherein
the baptismal certificate appeared that her parents are deceased Eustaquio
Castro and Pricola Maregmen (Exhibit C). When Eustaquio Castro died,
pictures were taken wherein the immediate members of the family in
mourning were present, among whom was Benita Castro Naval (Exhibits D
and D-1). On this score, the plaintiffs in their complaint in Civil Case No. 3762
218

admitted that defendant Benita C. Naval is the forced heir of Eustaquio


Castro and a compulsory heir of Eustaquio Castro in Civil Case No. 3763.
The evidence further shows that Pricola Maregmen, the natural mother of
Benita C. Naval who was a resident of Mayantoc, Tarlac, was wedded to Felix
de Maya of Anoling Canaling, Tarlac against her wishes on May 23, 1913.
While the celebration of the wedding in Anong, Camiling, Tarlac was going
on, the guests soon found out that Pricola Maregmen surreptitiously left the
party and went to the house of her first cousin Bernarda Pagarigan at Barrio
Malacampa, also in Anoling Camiling, Tarlac, and there she cried that she did
not want to get married to Felix de Maya. That evening Pricola proceeded to
Barrio San Bartolome, Mayantoc, Tarlac, where she united with her real
sweetheart, Eustaquio Castro, the father of Benita Castro Naval.
Antonio Maregmen, the brother'. of Pricola Maregmen who was then in the
wedding party learned of the disappearance of his sister. He finally found her
living with Eustaquio Castro. A few days later Eustaquio Castro accompanied
by two persons went to the parents of Pricola Maregmen at Mayantoc, Tarlac
and informed them that Pricola was already living with him as husband and
wife. Pricola's parents merely submitted to their daughter's wishes, so
Eustaquio Castro and Pricola Maregmen lived as husband and wife until the
death of Pricola on September 11, 1924.
There is no dispute that Eustaquio Castro at the time he lived with Pricola
Maregmen, was a widower, and was, therefore, free to marry Pricola. As a
result of their cohabitation Benita Castro Naval, herein defendant, was born
on March 27, 1919. After the death of her mother, when she was only five
years old, she continued to live with her father Eustaquio Castro until his
death on August 22, 1961 (Exhibit 11). Moreover, when Benita Castro Naval
got married to Cipriano Naval, it was Eustaquio Castro who gave her away in
marriage. Even after Benita's marriage, she was taken care of by her father.
(Rollo, pp. 11-13).
The trial court ruled that respondent Benita Castro Naval is the
acknowledged and recognized child of Eustaquio Castro and is, therefore,
entitled to participate in the partition of the properties left by him. These
properties are the subject of the civil cases. As stated earlier, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision.
ISSUE
Whether or not respondent Benita Castro Naval is the acknowledged and
recognized illegitimate child of Eustaquio Castro.
HELD
First, Benita Castro Naval is unquestionably the daughter of the late
Eustaquio Castro who was qualified to legally marry when she was conceived
and born. From her birth on March 27, 1919 until the father's death on
219

August 22, 1961 or for 42 years, Benita lived with her father and enjoyed the
love and care that a parent bestows on an only child. The private
respondents, themselves, admitted in their complaint in Civil Case No. 3762
that Benita is a forced heir of Eustaquio Castro.
Second, the rule on separating the legitimate from the illegitimate family is
of no special relevance here because Benita and her mother Pricola
Maregmen were the only immediate family of Eustaquio. There are no
legitimate children born of a legitimate wife contesting the inheritance of
Benita.
Third, it was Eustaquio himself who had the birth of Benita reported and
registered. There is no indication in the records that Eustaquio should have
known in 1919 that apart from reporting the birth of a child, he should also
have signed the certificate and seen to it that it was preserved for 60 years.
Or that he should have taken all legal steps including judicial action to
establish her status as his recognized natural child during the reglementary
period to do so.
Fourth, it was Eustaquio who gave away Benita during her wedding to
Cipriano Naval. The couple continued to live with the father even after the
wedding and until the latter's death.
Fifth, the certificate of baptism and the picture of the Castro family during
the wake for Eustaquio may not be sufficient proof of recognition under the
Civil Code (Reyes v. Court of Appeals, supra; People v. Villeza. 127 SCRA 349
[1984]; Cid v. Burnaman, 24 SCRA 434 [1968]; Capistrano, et al. v. Gabino, 8
Phil. 135 [1907]) but they add to the equities of this case favoring the
petitioner.
To remove any possible doubts about the correctness of the findings and
conclusions of the trial court and the Court of Appeals, we, therefore, apply
the provision of the Family Code which states that it shall have retroactive
effect since the respondents have no clear vested rights in their favor.
There can be no dispute that Benita Castro enjoyed the open and continuous
possession of the status of an illegitimate child of Eustaquio Castro and that
the action of Benita in defending her status in this case is similar to an
"action to claim legitimacy" brought during her lifetime.
117. LIGAYA GAPUSAN-CHUA vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PROSPERO
PARCON
G. R. No. L-46746
March 15, 1990
FACTS
Felisa Gapusan Parcon died intestate and without legitimate issue on April 6,
1966 in Bacolod City. Neither her surviving spouse, Prospero Parcon, nor her
220

other known relatives three (3) sisters and a nephew made any move to
settle her estate judicially.
It was Ligaya Gapusan-Chua, claiming to be an acknowledged natural
daughter of Felisa Gapusan Parcon, who instituted judicial proceedings for
the settlement of the latter's estate. About a year and eight months after
Felisa's demise, or on January 15, 1968, Ligaya filed with the Court of First
Instance of Negros Occidental a petition for the settlement of the estate and
for issuance of letters of administration in her favor. She also sought her
designation as Special Administratrix pending her appointment as regular
administratrix. The court granted Ligayas application and she was
designated as the administratrix. The husband Parcon then filed a motion for
reconsideration and asked that he be appointed instead alleging that
Ligaya's exhibits did not constitute conclusive proof of her claimed status of
acknowledged natural child, for the reason that in another document, Felisa's
application for membership in Negros Occidental Teachers' Federation
(NOTF), merely named Ligaya as her "adopted daughter and that the same
was only sold to Felisa when she was just an infant.
ISSUE
Whether or not Ligaya is indeed a daughter of Felisa and that she could be
appointed as administratrix.
RULING
It is admitted on all sides that no judicial action or proceeding was ever
brought during the lifetime of Felisa to compel her to recognize Ligaya as her
daughter. It is also evident that Ligaya's recognition as Felisa's daughter was
not made in a record of birth or a will, a circumstance which would have
made judicial approval unnecessary, only her own consent to the recognition
being required. The acknowledgment was made in authentic writings, and
hence, conformably with the legal provisions above cited, judicial approval
thereof was needed if the writings had been executed during Ligaya's
minority. 17 In other words, the question of whether or not the absence of
judicial approval negated the effect of the writings as a mode of recognition
of Ligaya is dependent upon the latter's age at the time the writings were
made. Upon the foregoing facts and considerations, Ligaya Gapusan Chua
must be held to be a voluntarily acknowledged natural child of Felisa
Gapusan Parcon. She is therefore entitled, in accordance with Article 282 of
the Civil Code, to bear her mother's surname, and to receive the hereditary
portion accorded to her by the Code.
118. ROSENDO HERRERA vs. ROSENDO ALBA, et al.
G. R. No. 148220
June 15, 2005
FACTS
221

On 14 May 1998, then thirteen-year-old Rosendo Alba ("respondent"),


represented by his mother Armi Alba, filed before the trial court a petition for
compulsory recognition, support and damages against petitioner. On 7
August 1998, petitioner filed his answer with counterclaim where he denied
that he is the biological father of respondent. Petitioner also denied physical
contact with respondents mother.
Respondent filed a motion to direct the taking of DNA paternity testing to
abbreviate the proceedings. To support the motion, respondent presented
the testimony of Saturnina C. Halos, Ph.D. When she testified, Dr. Halos was
an Associate Professor at De La Salle University where she taught Cell
Biology. She was also head of the University of the Philippines Natural
Sciences Research Institute ("UP-NSRI"), a DNA analysis laboratory. She was
a former professor at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon
City, where she developed the Molecular Biology Program and taught
Molecular Biology. In her testimony, Dr. Halos described the process for DNA
paternity testing and asserted that the test had an accuracy rate of
99.9999% in establishing paternity.
Petitioner opposed DNA paternity testing and contended that it has not
gained acceptability. Petitioner further argued that DNA paternity testing
violates his right against self-incrimination.
the trial court granted respondents motion to conduct DNA paternity testing
on petitioner, respondent and Armi Alba. Thus:
In view of the foregoing, the motion of the petitioner is GRANTED and
the relevant individuals, namely: the petitioner, the minor child, and
respondent are directed to undergo DNA paternity testing in a laboratory
of their common choice within a period of thirty (30) days from receipt of the
Order, and to submit the results thereof within a period of ninety (90) days
from completion. The parties are further reminded of the hearing set on 24
February 2000 for the reception of other evidence in support of the petition.
On 29 November 2000, the appellate court issued a decision denying the
petition and affirming the questioned Orders of the trial court. The appellate
court stated that petitioner merely desires to correct the trial courts
evaluation of evidence. Thus, appeal is an available remedy for an error of
judgment that the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction. The
appellate court also stated that the proposed DNA paternity testing does not
violate his right against self-incrimination because the right applies only to
testimonial compulsion. Finally, the appellate court pointed out that
petitioner can still refute a possible adverse result of the DNA paternity
testing.
ISSUES
222

Whether or not a DNA test is a valid probative tool in this jurisdiction to


determine filiation. Petitioner asks for the conditions under which DNA
technology may be integrated into our judicial system and the prerequisites
for the admissibility of DNA test results in a paternity suit.
RULING
Section 17, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution provides that "no person shall
be compelled to be a witness against himself." Petitioner asserts that
obtaining samples from him for DNA testing violates his right against selfincrimination. Petitioner ignores our earlier pronouncements that the
privilege is applicable only to testimonial evidence. Again, we quote relevant
portions of the trial courts 3 February 2000 Order with approval:
Obtaining DNA samples from an accused in a criminal case or from the
respondent in a paternity case, contrary to the belief of respondent in this
action, will not violate the right against self-incrimination. This privilege
applies only to evidence that is "communicative" in essence taken under
duress (People vs. Olvis, 154 SCRA 513, 1987). The Supreme Court has ruled
that the right against self-incrimination is just a prohibition on the use of
physical or moral compulsion to extort communication (testimonial evidence)
from a defendant, not an exclusion of evidence taken from his body when it
may be material. As such, a defendant can be required to submit to a test to
extract virus from his body (as cited in People vs. Olvis, Supra); the
substance emitting from the body of the accused was received as evidence
for acts of lasciviousness (US vs. Tan Teng, 23 Phil. 145); morphine forced out
of the mouth was received as proof (US vs. Ong Siu Hong, 36 Phil. 735); an
order by the judge for the witness to put on pair of pants for size was allowed
(People vs. Otadora, 86 Phil. 244); and the court can compel a woman
accused of adultery to submit for pregnancy test (Villaflor vs. Summers, 41
Phil. 62), since the gist of the privilege is the restriction on "testimonial
compulsion."56
The policy of the Family Code to liberalize the rule on the investigation of the
paternity and filiation of children, especially of illegitimate children, is
without prejudice to the right of the putative parent to claim his or her own
defenses.57 Where the evidence to aid this investigation is obtainable
through the facilities of modern science and technology, such evidence
should be considered subject to the limits established by the law, rules, and
jurisprudence.
119. MA. BLYTH B. ABADILLA vs. JUDGE JOSE C. TABILIRAN, JR.
A. M. No. MTJ-92-716
October 25, 1995
FACTS
The herein administrative case arose from a complaint, dated September 8,
1992, filed by Ma. Blyth B. Abadilla, a Clerk of Court assigned at the sala of
223

respondent, Judge Jose C. Tabiliran, Jr., of the 8th Municipal Circuit Trial Court,
Manukan, Zamboanga del Norte. Respondent stands charged with "gross
immorality, deceitful conduct, and corruption unbecoming of a judge."
In her verified complaint, complainant Abadilla, in respect to the charge of
gross immorality on the part of the respondent, contends that respondent
had scandalously and publicly cohabited with a certain Priscilla Q. Baybayan
during the existence of his legitimate marriage with Teresita Banzuela.
Adding ignominy to an ignominious situation, respondent allegedly
shamefacedly contracted marriage with the said Priscilla Baybayan on May
23, 1986. Complainant claims that this was a bigamous union because of the
fact that the respondent was then still very much married to Teresita
Banzuela.
Furthermore, respondent falsely represented himself as "single" in the
marriage contract (Exh. "A") and dispensed with the requirements of a
marriage contract by invoking cohabitation with Baybayan for five years.
Of persuasive effect on the charge of immorality is the fact that, earlier,
respondent's wife filed a complaint in the case entitled, Teresita B. Tabiliran
vs. Atty. Jose C. Tabiliran, Jr., 115 SCRA 451. Respondent stood charged
therein for abandoning the family home and living with a certain Leonora
Pillarion with whom he had a son.
In respect of the charge of deceitful conduct, complainant claims that
respondent caused to be registered as "legitimate", his three illegitimate
children with Priscilla Baybayan, namely: B. Tabiliran born on July 14, 1970,
Venus B. Tabiliran born on Sept. 7, 1971, Saturn B. Tabiliran born on Sept. 20,
1975 by falsely executing separate affidavits stating that the delayed
registration was due to inadvertence, excusable negligence or oversight,
when in truth and in fact, respondent knew that these children cannot be
legally registered as legitimate. Respondent admits that he indicated in his
marriage contract that he was then "single", but he denied the charge that
he acted with deceit or false misrepresentation, claiming that, since there
were only three words to choose from, namely: Single, Widow or Divorced, he
preferred to choose the word "single", it being the most appropriate. Besides,
both he and Priscilla executed a joint affidavit wherein his former marriage to
Banzuela was honestly divulged.
ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent is guilty of Gross Immorality and deceitful
misconduct by contracting a bigamous marriage.
RULING
By committing the immorality in question, respondent violated the trust
reposed on his high office and utterly failed to live up to the noble ideals and
224

strict standards of morality required of the law profession. (Imbing v.


Tiongson, 229 SCRA 690).
As to respondent's act of eventually marrying Priscilla Baybayan in 1986, We
are not in a position to determine the legality thereof, absent all the facts for
a proper determination. Sufficient for Our consideration is the finding of the
Investigating Judge, that the said marriage is authorized under Art. 83 (2) of
the Civil Code.
With respect to the charge of deceitful conduct, We hold that the charge has
likewise been duly established. An examination of the birth certificates (Exhs.
"J", "L", & "M") of respondent's three illegitimate children with Priscilla
Baybayan clearly indicate that these children are his legitimate issues. It was
respondent who caused the entry therein. It is important to note that these
children, namely, Buenasol, Venus and Saturn, all surnamed Tabiliran, were
born in the year 1970, 1971, and 1975, respectively, and prior to the
marriage of respondent to Priscilla, which was in 1986. As a lawyer and a
judge, respondent ought to know that, despite his subsequent marriage to
Priscilla, these three children cannot be legitimated nor in any way be
considered legitimate since at the time they were born, there was an existing
valid marriage between respondent and his first wife, Teresita B. Tabiliran.
The applicable legal provision in the case at bar is Article 269 of the Civil
Code of the Philippines (R.A. 386 as amended) which provides:
Art. 269. Only natural children can be legitimated. Children born
outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the
former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other,
are natural.
Legitimation is limited to natural children and cannot include those born of
adulterous relations (Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil. 855). The Family Code:
(Executive Order, No. 209), which took effect on August 3, 1988, reiterated
the above-mentioned provision thus:
Art. 177. Only children conceived and born outside of wedlock of
parents who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not
disqualified by any impediment to marry each other may be
legitimated.
The reasons for this limitation are given as follows:
1) The rationale of legitimation would be destroyed;
2) It would be unfair to the legitimate children in terms of successional
rights;
3) There will be the problem of public scandal, unless social mores change;
4) It is too violent to grant the privilege of legitimation to adulterous children
as it will destroy the sanctity of marriage;
5) It will be very scandalous, especially if the parents marry many years after
the birth of the child. (The Family Code, p. 252, Alicia v. Sempio Diy).
225

It is clear, therefore, that no legal provision, whether old or new, can give
refuge to the deceitful actuations of the respondent.
It is also erroneous for respondent to state that his first wife Teresita
disappeared in 1966 and has not been heard from since then. It appears that
on December 8, 1969, Teresita filed a complaint against respondent
entitled,Tabiliran vs. Tabiliran (G.R. No. 1155451) which was decided by this
Court in 1982. In the said case, respondent was sued for abandonment of his
family home and for living with another woman with whom he allegedly
begot a child. Respondent was, however, exonerated because of the failure
of his wife to substantiate the charges. However, respondent was
reprimanded for having executed a "Deed of Settlement of Spouses To Live
Separately from Bed", with a stipulation that they allow each of the other
spouse to live with another man or woman as the case may be, without the
objection and intervention of the other. It was also in the same case where
respondent declared that he has only two children, namely, Reynald Antonio
and Jose III, both surnamed Tabiliran, who are his legitimate issues. Thus, his
statements in his affidavits marked as Exhs. "M-4" and "O-4" that Saturn and
Venus are his third and second children respectively, are erroneous,
deceitful, misleading and detrimental to his legitimate children.
120. MARIA ROSARIO DE SANTOS vs. HON. ADORACION G. ANGELES
G. R. No. 105619
December 12, 1995
FACTS
On February 7, 1941, Dr. Antonio de Santos married Sofia Bona, which union
was blessed with a daughter, herein petitioner Maria Rosario de Santos. After
some time, their relationship became strained to the breaking point.
Thereafter, Antonio fell in love with a fellow doctor, Conchita Talag, private
respondent herein. Antonio sought a formal dissolution of his first marriage
by obtaining a divorce decree from a Nevada court in 1949.
Obviously aware that said decree was a worthless scrap of paper in our
jurisdiction which then, as now, did not recognize divorces, Antonio
proceeded to Tokyo, Japan in 1951 to marry private respondent, with whom
he had been cohabiting since his de facto separation from Sofia. This union
produced eleven children. On March 30, 1967, Sofia died in Guatemala. Less
than a month later, on April 23, 1967, Antonio and private respondent
contracted a marriage in Tagaytay City celebrated under Philippine laws. On
March 8, 1981, Antonio died intestate leaving properties with an estimated
value of P15,000,000.00.
On May 15, 1981, private respondent went to court 1 asking for the issuance
of letters of administration in her favor in connection with the settlement of
226

her late husband's estate. She alleged, among other things, that the
decedent was survived by twelve legitimate heirs, namely, herself, their ten
surviving children, and petitioner. There being no opposition, her petition was
granted.
After six years of protracted intestate proceedings, however, petitioner
decided to intervene. Thus, in a motion she filed sometime in November
1987, she argued inter alia that private respondent's children were
illegitimate. This was challenged by private respondent although the latter
admitted during the hearing that all her children were born prior to Sofia's
death in 1967.
On November 14, 1991, after approval of private respondent's account of her
administration, the court a quopassed upon petitioner's motion. The court,
citing the case of Francisco H. Tongoy, et al. v. Court of Appeals, et al. (23
SCRA 99 [1983]), declared private respondent's ten children legitimated and
thereupon instituted and declared them, along with petitioner and private
respondent, as the heirs of Antonio de Santos.
Petitioner sought a reconsideration of said order but this was denied in the
court's order dated January 9, 1992.
Hence, she filed the instant petition for certiorari on June 16, 1992,
contending that since only natural children can be legitimized, the trial court
mistakenly declared as legitimated her half brothers and sisters.
ISSUE
Whether or not natural children by legal fiction be legitimized?
RULING
In the case at bench, there is no question that all the children born to private
respondent and deceased Antonio de Santos were conceived and born when
the latter's valid marriage to petitioner's mother was still subsisting. That
private respondent and the decedent were married abroad after the latter
obtained in Nevada, U.S.A. a decree of divorce from his legitimate wife does
not change this fact, for a divorce granted abroad was not recognized in this
jurisdiction at the time. Evidently, the decedent was aware of this fact, which
is why he had to have the marriage solemnized in Tokyo, outside of the
Philippines. It may be added here that he was likewise aware of the nullity of
the Tokyo marriage for after his legitimate, though estranged wife died, he
hastily contracted another marriage with private respondent, this time here
in Tagaytay.
It must be noted that while Article 269, which falls under the general heading
of "Paternity and Filiation," specifically deals with "Legitimated Children,"
Article 89, a provision subsumed under the general title on "Marriage," deals
227

principally with void and voidable marriages and secondarily, on the effects
of said marriages on their offspring. It creates another category of
illegitimate children, those who are "conceived or born of marriages which
are void from the beginning," but because there has been a semblance of
marriage, they are classified as "acknowledged natural children" and,
accordingly, enjoy the same status, rights and obligations as such kind of
children. In the case at bench, the marriage under question is considered
"void from the beginning" because bigamous, contracted when a prior valid
marriage was still subsisting. It follows that the children begotten of such
union cannot be considered natural children proper for at the time of their
conception, their parents were disqualified from marrying each other due to
the impediment of a prior subsisting marriage.
What term should then be coined to distinguish them from natural children
proper (those "born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of the
conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry
each other")? A legal fiction had to be resorted to, that device contrived by
law to simulate a fact or condition which, strictly and technically speaking, is
not what it purports to be. In this case, the term "natural children by legal
fiction" was invented, thus giving rise to another category of illegitimate
children, clearly not to be confused with "natural children" as defined under
Art. 269 but by fiction of law to be equated with acknowledged natural
children and, consequently, enjoying the status, rights and obligations of the
latter. Does this cluster of rights include the right to be legitimated?
Under the Civil Code, there exists a hierarchy of children classified on the
basis of rights granted by law, which must be preserved by strictly
construing the substantive provisions of the law in force.
Under the prevailing Civil Code (which may be considered "old" in light of the
new provisions of the Family Code on "Persons"), much emphasis is laid on
the classification of children vis-a-vis their parents, and the corresponding
rights they are entitled to under the law. Thus, the title on "Paternity and
Filiation" devotes two whole chapters to legitimate children alone, and one
chapter on those deemed by law to be possessed of the rights of the former,
such as legitimated children, because of their compliance with certain
requisites laid down by law; two other chapters deal with illegitimate children
composed of recognized natural children, and those other than natural, or
spurious, whether recognized or not. The well-ordered delineation of such
distinctions among these groups demonstrates a clear intent on the part of
the framers of the Civil Code to compartmentalize and separate one from the
other, for legitimacy/illegitimacy determines the substantive rights accruing
to the different categories of children.
It must be noted that before said Code was enacted, other classes of
illegitimate children were recognized, such as, "manceres" or the offspring of
228

prostitutes and the "sacrilegious" or children of those who had received Holy
Orders. Subsequently, the Civil Code, in an effort to keep in step with modern
times, limited illegitimate filiation to those which are incestuous, adulterous
and illicit.
At the core of the institution of legitimacy held sacrosanct by Spanish
tradition and culture, lies the "inviolable social institution" known as
marriage. This union, absent any formal or substantial defect or of any vice
of consent, is virtually adamantine. On the whole, the status of a marriage
determines in large part the filiation of its resultant issue. Thus, a child born
within a valid marriage is legitimate, while one born outside of wedlock is
illegitimate. If, however, the latter's parents were, at the time of the child's
conception, not legally barred from marrying each other and subsequently do
so, the child's filiation improves as he becomes legitimized and the
"legitimated" child eventually enjoys all the privileges and rights associated
with legitimacy. Without such marriage, the natural child's rights depend on
whether he is acknowledged or recognized by his parents, but he does not
rise to the level of a legitimate child in the manner that the legitimated child
does.
A child conceived or born of a marriage which is void ab initio or one which is
declared a nullity is illegitimate since there is no marriage to speak of, but it
is the law which accords him the rights of an acknowledged natural child.
Finally, there are illegitimate children who are referred to as "spurious" or
derisively denominated as "bastards" because of their doubtful origins. There
is no marriage valid or otherwise which would give any semblance of
legality to the child's existence. Nothing links child to parent aside from the
information appearing in the birth certificate. When such child is recognized
by one or both parents, he acquires certain rights nowhere approaching
those of his legitimate counterparts.
The Civil Code provides three rights which, in varying degrees, are enjoyed
by children, depending on their filiation: use of surname, succession, and
support.
Legitimate children and legitimated children are entitled to all three. Thus,
they "shall principally use the surname of the father," 3 and shall be entitled
to support from their legitimate ascendants and descendants, 4 as well as to
a legitime consisting of one-half of the hereditary estate of both
parents, 5 and to other successional rights, such as the right of
representation. "These rights as effects of legitimacy cannot be renounced."
Natural children recognized by both parents and natural children by legal
fiction shall principally use the surname of the father. 7 If a natural child is
recognized by only one parent, the child shall follow the surname of such
229

recognizing parent. 8 Both types of children are entitled to receive support


from the parent recognizing them. 9They also cannot be deprived of their
legitime equivalent to one-half of that pertaining to each of the legitimate
children or descendants of the recognizing parent, to be taken from the free
disposable portion of the latter's estate.
Recognized illegitimate children other than natural, or spurious issues, are, in
their minority, under the parental authority of their mothers and, naturally,
take the latter's surname. The only support which they are entitled to is from
the recognizing parent, and their legitime, also to be taken from the free
portion, consists of four-fifths of the legitime of an acknowledged natural
child or two-fifths that of each legitimate child.
It must also be observed that while the legitime of a legitimate child is fairly
secured by law, the legitime of any recognized illegitimate child, taken as it
is from the free portion of the hereditary estate which the child shares with
the surviving spouse, may be reduced if it should exceed said portion.
Unrecognized illegitimate children are not entitled to any of the rights above
mentioned.
These distinctions gain more relevance if we were to consider that while a
legitimated child may enjoy the same successional rights granted to
legitimate children, a natural child by legal fiction cannot rise beyond that to
which an acknowledged natural child is entitled, insofar as his hereditary
rights are concerned.
It is thus incongruous to conclude, as private respondent maintains, that
petitioner's half siblings can rise to her level by the fact of being legitimized,
for two reasons: First, they failed to meet the most important requisite of
legitimation, that is, that they be natural children within the meaning of
Article 269; second, natural children by legal fiction cannot demand that they
be legitimized simply because it is one of the rights enjoyed by
acknowledged natural children.
It may be argued that legitimation is a right vouchsafed to acknowledged
natural children and, therefore, by the same token, to natural children by
legal fiction. This conclusion is arrived at through a syllogism as simple as it
is deceptive, which runs as follows:
The respondent's children are natural children by legal fiction.
Therefore, they have the same
acknowledged natural children.

status,

rights

and

obligations

Acknowledged natural children have the right to be legitimated.


230

as

Ergo, respondent's children have the right to be legitimated (as in fact they
were "deemed legitimated" by the subsequent valid marriage of their
parents in the Philippines in 1967).
The above line of reasoning follows the Euclidian geometric proposition that
things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. This may hold true in
the realm of instructional, as opposed to descriptive science, where the
former calls for the application of absolute, mathematical rules with precision
but not to the latter, particularly those which deal with the social sciences
where human relationships are central to a study whose main concern is not
to leave out anything of significance. The former deals with inanimate things,
those which a scientist has described as the "dead aspect of nature,"
excluding all factors regarded as superfluous to obtaining absolute results
and nothing more. It does not concern itself so much with the whole truth as
with those aspects or parts only through which the inexorable result can be
obtained. To apply the strict rules of syllogism, where the basic premise is
defective, to the arena of paternity and filiation, especially in the
determination of the status and rights of the different kinds of illegitimate
children vis-a-vis the legitimate ones, is bound to spawn mischief and results
never intended by the framers of the provisions of the law under review.
Pursued to its logical, undeviating conclusion, it may eventually be
postulated that "adulterous children shall enjoy the status, rights and
obligations of legitimate children," a doctrine which no moral philosophy
under our social and cultural milieu can countenance.
This conclusion not only presumes that children other than those who are
"natural" can be legitimized in the first place, but also grants acknowledged
natural children (and, consequently, natural children by legal fiction) a "right"
to be legitimized when no such right exists. Legitimation is not a "right"
which is demandable by a child. It is a privilege, available only to natural
children proper, as defined under Art. 269. Although natural children by legal
fiction have the same rights as acknowledged natural children, it is a
quantum leap in the syllogism to conclude that, therefore, they likewise have
the right to be legitimated, which is not necessarily so, especially, as in this
case, when the legally existing marriage between the children's father and
his estranged first wife effectively barred a "subsequent marriage" between
their parents.
The question that must be confronted next is: How are the offspring of the
second union affected by the first wife's death and the ensuing celebration of
a valid marriage between her widower and his ostensible second wife?
Natural children by legal fiction cannot be legitimized in this fashion. Our
archaic law on family relations, patterned as it is after Spanish Civil Law,
frowns upon illegal relations such that the benefits of legitimation under
Chapter 3 of Title VIII do not extend, nor were they intended to extend, to
231

natural children by legal fiction. Article 269 itself clearly limits the privilege
of legitimation to natural children as defined thereunder. There was,
therefore, from the outset, an intent to exclude children conceived or born
out of illicit relations from the purview of the law.
Another point to be considered is that although natural children can be
legitimized, and natural children by legal fiction enjoy the rights of
acknowledged natural children, this does not necessarily lead to the
conclusion that natural children by legal fiction can likewise be legitimized.
As has been pointed out, much more is involved here than the mere privilege
to be legitimized. The rights of other children, like the petitioner in the case
at bench, may be adversely affected as her testamentary share may well be
reduced in the event that her ten surviving half siblings should be placed on
par with her, when each of them is rightfully entitled to only half of her
share.
The provisions of law invoked by private respondent are couched in simple
and unmistakable language, not at all subject to interpretation, and they all
point to the correctness of petitioner's claim. If it should be asserted that we
now trench on a gray area of law that calls for interpretation, or a lacuna that
cries for filling up, then we have to pierce the shroud unintentionally created
by the letter of the law and expose its spirit as evincing intent, in this case
one which decidedly favors legitimacy over illegitimacy. The hierarchy of
children so painstakingly erected by law and the corresponding gradation of
their rights may conceivably be shattered by elevating natural children by
legal fiction who are incontestably illegitimate children to the level of natural
children proper, whose filiation would otherwise be legitimate had their
parents blessed their union with a valid marriage.
Finally, attention must be drawn to the fact that this case has been decided
under the provisions of the Civil Code, not the Family Code which now
recognizes only two classes of children: legitimate and illegitimate. "Natural
children by legal fiction" are nothing if not pure fiction.
121. MA. CRISTINA TORRES BRAZA, et al. vs. THE CITY CIVIL
REGISTRAR OF HIMAMAYLAN CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, et al.
G. R. No. 181174
December 4, 2009
FACTS
Petitioner Ma. Cristina Torres (Ma. Cristina) and Pablo Sicad Braza, Jr. (Pablo),
also known as "Pablito Sicad Braza," were married on January 4, 1978. The
union bore Ma. Cristinas co-petitioners Paolo Josef and Janelle Ann on May
8, 1978 and June 7, 1983, respectively, and Gian Carlo on June 4, 1980.

232

Pablo died on April 15, 2002 in a vehicular accident in Bandung, West Java,
Indonesia.
During the wake following the repatriation of his remains to the Philippines,
respondent Lucille Titular (Lucille) began introducing her co-respondent
minor Patrick Alvin Titular Braza (Patrick) as her and Pablo's son. Ma. Cristina
thereupon made inquiries in the course of which she obtained Patrick's birth
certificate from the Local Civil Registrar of Himamaylan City. In the
annotation and remarks portion, it was written:
Annotation/Rema :Acknowledge (sic) by the father Pablito Braza
rks
on January 13, 1997"
Remarks :

Legitimated by virtue of subsequent marriage of


parents on April 22, 1998at Manila. Henceforth, the
child shall be known as Patrick Alvin Titular Braza
Ma. Cristina likewise obtained a copy 7 of a marriage contract showing that
Pablo and Lucille were married on April 22, 1998, drawing her and her copetitioners to file on December 23, 2005 before the Regional Trial Court of
Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental a petition to correct the entries in the
birth record of Patrick in the Local Civil Register.
Contending that Patrick could not have been legitimated by the supposed
marriage between Lucille and Pablo, said marriage being bigamous on
account of the valid and subsisting marriage between Ma. Cristina and Pablo,
petitioners prayed for (1) the correction of the entries in Patrick's birth record
with respect to his legitimation, the name of the father and
his acknowledgment, and the use of the last name "Braza"; 2) a directive to
Leon, Cecilia and Lucille, all surnamed Titular, as guardians of the minor
Patrick, to submit Parick to DNA testing to determine his paternity and
filiation; and 3) the declaration of nullity of the legitimation of Patrick as
stated in his birth certificate and, for this purpose, the declaration of the
marriage of Lucille and Pablo as bigamous.
On Patricks Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction, the trial court, by
Order9 of September 6, 2007, dismissed the petition without prejudice, it
holding that in a special proceeding for correction of entry, the court, which
is not acting as a family court under the Family Code, has no jurisdiction over
an action to annul the marriage of Lucille and Pablo, impugn the legitimacy
of Patrick, and order Patrick to be subjected to a DNA test, hence, the
controversy should be ventilated in an ordinary adversarial action.
ISSUE
Whether or not the petitioners main cause of action is for the correction of
Patricks birth records and that the rest of the prayers are merely incidental
thereto.
RULING
233

Petitioners position does not lie. Their cause of action is actually to seek the
declaration of Pablo and Lucilles marriage as void for being bigamous and
impugn Patricks legitimacy, which causes of action are governed not by Rule
108 but by A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC which took effect on March 15, 2003, and
Art. 171 of the Family Code, respectively, hence, the petition should be filed
in a Family Court as expressly provided in said Code.
It is well to emphasize that, doctrinally, validity of marriages as well as
legitimacy and filiation can be questioned only in a direct action seasonably
filed by the proper party, and not through collateral attack such as the
petition filed before the court a quo.

g. On the Use of Surnames


122. ELAINE A. MOORE vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
G. R. No. L-18407
June 26, 1963
FACTS
Elaine A. Moore filed a petition before the Court of First Instance of Rizal
praying that her child by a former marriage, William Michael Velarde, be
permitted to change his name so as to read William Michael Velarde Moore.
After publishing the petition as required by law, trial was held during which
the parties submitted a stipulation of facts. Thereafter, the trial court issued
an order denying the petition whereupon petitioner interposed the present
appeal.
Petitioner is an American citizen formerly married to Joseph P. Velarde, also
an American citizen, out of whose wedlock a child by the name of William
Michael Velarde was born. This child, now 14 years old, was born on January
19, 1947 at Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The marriage of petitioner to Velarde was subsequently dissolved by a
decree of divorce issued by the Superior Court of the State of California on
May 31, 1949. After said decree became final, petitioner contracted a second
marriage with Don C. Moore on September 29, 1956 at Los Angeles,
California, U.S.A., and thereafter the minor lived continuously with the
spouses up to the present time. He was supported by Moore who has always
treated him with love and affection as if he were his true father. In view of
this harmonious relation it is petitioner's desire that the minor be able to use
the name Moore after his family name Velarde.
ISSUES
1. Whether under our laws a minor may be permitted to adopt and use the
surname of the second husband of his mother.
234

2. Whether justifiable reasons exist to allow such change of name; and


whether petitioner, as mother of the minor, has the authority or personality
to ask for such a change.
RULING
Anent the first issue, the government sustains a negative stand for the
reason that our laws do not authorize a legitimate child to use the surname
of a person who is not his father, for, as a matter of fact, Article 364 of Civil
Code specifically provides that legitimate children shall principally use the
surname of their father. Mention is also made of Article 369 of the same
Code which provides that in case of annulment of avoidable marriage the
children conceived before the annulment she principally use the surname of
the father, and considering by analogy the effect of a decree of divorce, it
concluded that the children who are conceived before such a decree should
also be understood as carrying the surname of the real father, which, in this
case, is Velarde.
We find tenable this observation of government's counsel. Indeed, if a child
born out of a lawful wedlock be allowed to bear the surname of the second
husband of the mother, should the first husband die or be separated by a
decree of divorce, there may result a confusion to his real paternity. In the
long run the change may redound to the prejudice of the child in the
community.
While the purpose which may have animated petitioner is plausible and may
run along the feeling of cordiality and spiritual relationship that pervades
among the members of the Moore family, our hand is deferred by a legal
barrier which we cannot at present overlook or brush aside.
Another factor to be reckoned with is the fact that the child concerned is still
a minor who for the present cannot fathom what would be his feeling when
he comes to mature age. Any way, if the time comes, he may decide the
matter for himself and take such action as our law may permit. For the
present we deem the action taken by petitioner premature.
123. IN RE: DIONESIO AND BOMBI ROBERTO DIVINAGRACIA vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, et al.
G. R. No. L-55538
March 15, 1982
FACTS
Zosima Naldoza was married to Dionesio Divinagracia on May 30, 1970. They
begot two children named Dionesio, Jr. and Bombi Roberto who were born on
October 23, 1970 and July 22, 1973, respectively.

235

Zosima's husband left her after she confronted him with his previous
marriage with another woman. He never returned to the conjugal abode. He
allegedly swindled Congressman Maglana in the sum of P50,000.00, one
Galagar in the sum of P10,000.00 also Eloy Gallentes and other persons.
The classmates of Dionesio, Jr. and Bombi Roberto allegedly teased them
about their father being a swindler. Two criminal cases for estafa were filed in
court against the father.
Desirous of obliterating any connection between her two minor children and
their scapegrace father, Zosima, on August 10, 1978, filed in the Court of
First Instance of Bohol a petition wherein she prayed that the surname of her
two children be changed from Divinagracia to Naldoza, her surname (Special
Proceeding No. 768). After due publication and hearing, the trial court
dismissed the petition.
The trial court did not consider as sufficient grounds for change of surname
the circumstances that the children's father was a swindler, that he had
abandoned them and that his marriage to Zosima was a second marriage
which, however, had not been annulled nor declared bigamous. It reasoned
that the children's adoption of their mother's surname would give a false
impression of family relationship.
From that decision, Zosima Naldoza appealed to this Court under Republic
Act No. 5440. Appellant's seven assignments of error may be reduced to the
question of whether there is a justification for the two children to drop their
father's surname and use their mother's surname only.
The minors Dionesio, Jr. and Bombi Roberto, who are presumably legitimate,
are supposed to bear principally the surname Divinagracia, their father's
surname (Art. 364, Civil Code).
To allow them, at their mother's behest, to bear only their mother's surname
(which they are entitled to use together with their father's surname) and to
discard altogether their father's surname thus removing the primafacie evidence of their paternal provenance or ancestry, is a serious matter
in which, ordinarily, the minors and their father should be consulted. The
mother's desire should not be the sole consideration.
ISSUE
Whether or not two minors should be allowed to discontinue using their
father's surname and should use only their mother's surname.
RULING
The change of name is allowed only when there are proper and reasonable
causes for such change (Sec. 5, Rule 103, Rules of Court). Where, as in this
236

case, the petitioners are minors, the courts should take into account whether
the change of name would redound their welfare or would prejudice them.
Where the petitioner, a legitimate daughter of a Filipino mother and a
Japanese, elected Philippine citizenship, and her older brother and sister
were using their mother's surname, and the petitioner felt embarrassed in
using her Japanese father's surname (Oshita) because of the ill-feeling
harbored by some Filipinos against the Japanese, and there was no showing
that her desire to use the maternal surname (Bartolome) was motivated by
any fraudulent purpose or that the change of surname would prejudice public
interest, her petition to change her surname from Oshita to Bartolome was
granted (Oshita vs. Republic, L-21180, March 31, 1967, 19 SCRA 700).
Where the petitioner's name in the civil registry is Maria Estrella Veronica
Primitiva Duterte, Duterte being the surname of her father Filomeno, who
was married to her mother, Estrella Alfon, but the petitioner since infancy
has used the name Estrella S. Alfon, particularly in the school and voting
records, there is reasonable ground for allowing her to change her surname
from Duterte to Alfon. Such a change would avoid confusion (Alfon vs.
Republic, G.R. No. 51201, May 29, 1980,97 SCRA 858).
The instant case is easily distinguishable from the Oshita and AIfon cases
where the petitioners were already of age.
We hold that the trial court did not err in denying the petition for change of
name. The reasons adduced for eliminating the father's surname are not
substantial enough to justify the petition. To allow the change of surname
would cause confusion as to the minors' parentage and might create the
impression that the minors are illegitimate since they would carry the
maternal surname only. That would be inconsistent with their legitimate
status as indicated in their birth records (Exh. C and D).
As was said in that In re Epstein 200 N.Y.S. 897, "the child should, and in the
course of time must, know of his parentage. " If, when he fully appreciates
the circumstances and is capable of selecting a name for himself, he wants
to use his mother's surname only and to avoid using his father's surname,
then he should be the one to apply for a change of surname. See Anno., 53
ALR2d 914.
124. IN RE: DOLORES GEMORA PADILLA vs. REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES
G. R. No. L-28274
April 30, 1982
FACTS
237

This is an appeal by the State from the decision of the Court of First Instance
of Pampanga perfected before the effectivity of Republic Act No. 5440
granting the petition of Dolores Gemora for change of surname of her minor
children: Michael, Abigail, Rafael, Gabriel and Annabelle, from "Copuaco" or
"Co" to "Padilla".
Dolores Gemora and Vincent Co, a Chinese national, were married on May 5,
1954. This matrimonial union begot five children, namely: Michael Copuaco,
Abigail Copuaco, Rafael Copuaco, Gabriel Copuaco, and Annabelle Co.
Sometime in November 1960, Vincent Co left the conjugal abode in Caloocan
City and has since never returned to, or even visited, his family. It is alleged
that he was a fugitive from justice, having been charged with several
offenses of estafa before the Court of First Instance of Manila and the City
Court of Caloocan City.
Because of his continuous absence, the Court of First Instance of Pampanga,
on petition of Dolores Gemora, issued an order dated December 29, 1964 in
Sp. Proc. No. 1776, declaring Vincent Co as an absentee.
On October 30, 1965, Dolores Gemora contracted a second marriage with
Sgt. Edward Padilla, an Americas serviceman stationed at Clark Air Base,
Angeles City. The five minor children, who had been living with said spouses,
were generously supported by Padilla and were treated by him with affection
as if they were his own children.
This harmonious relation existing between said minors and their stepfather
prompted Dolores Gemora to file the instant petition for change of the
minors' surname from "Copuaco" or "Co" to "Padilla", which petition was
granted by the lower court after due notice and hearing.
ISSUE
Whether or not a child could use a surname of a man not his father.

RULING
We find merit in the contention of the Solicitor General that our laws do not
authorize legitimate children to adopt the surname of a person who is not
their father. Said minors are the legitimate children of Vincent Co; and Article
364 of the Civil Code explicitly provides that "legitimate children ... shall
principally use the surname of their father."
To allow said minors to adopt the surname of their mother's second husband,
who is not their father, could result in confusion in their paternity. It could
also create the suspicion that said minors, who were born during the
238

coverture of their mother with her first husband, were in fact sired by Edward
Padilla, thus bringing their legitimate status into discredit.
The case before Us is not of first impression. In Moore vs. Republic, a case
involving the same factual melieu, We held that:
Our laws do not authorize a legitimate child to use the surname of a person
who is not his father. Article 364 of the Civil Code specifically provides that
legitimate children shall principally use the surname of their father, and
Article 369 of the same Code provides that in case of annulment of a
voidable marriage the children conceived before the annulment shall
principally use the surname of the father, and considering by analogy the
effect of a decree of divorce, it is correctly concluded that the children who
are conceived before such a decree should also be understood as carrying
the surname of the real father.
If a child born out of a lawful wedlock be allowed to bear the surname of the
second husband of the mother, should the first husband die or be separated
by a decree of divorce, there may result a confusion as to his real paternity.
In the long run the change may redound to the prejudice of the child in the
community. While the purpose which may have animated petitioner, the
minor's mother, is plausible and may run along the feeling of cordiality and
spiritual relationship that pervades among the members of the family of her
second husband, there is a legal barrier which cannot at present be
overlooked or brushed aside.
Apart from the legal obstacles discussed above, We consider the instant
action taken by petitioner in behalf of her minor children to be premature.
Indeed, the matter of change of their surname should better be left to the
judgment and discretion of the children themselves when they reach the age
of maturity. If in their adulthood they want to change their surname, then
they themselves or any of them may take such appropriate action as the law
may permit.

125. HATIMA C. YASIN vs. SHARIA DISTRICT COURT


G. R. No. 94986
February 23, 1995
FACTS
239

The summary case filed by the petitioner, a divorcee, to resume the use of
her maiden name was denied by the Sharia Court, holding that said petition
needed to go through a judicial process under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court
on change of name.
RULING
Rule 103 of the Rules of Court should not be applied to judicial confirmation
of the right of a divorcee woman to reuse her maiden name and surname. A
woman marrying a man is not required to seek judicial authority to use her
husbands name. In the same way, when the marriage ties no longer exists,
in case of death or divorce, as authorized in the Muslim Code, the
widow/divorcee need not seek judicial confirmation of the change in her civil
status in order to reuse her maiden name. Even under the Civil Code, the use
of the husbands surname during the marriage (Art. 370), after annulment of
the marriage (Art 371), and after the death of the husband (Art. 373), is
permissive and not obligatory, except in the case of legal separation (Art.
372). Thus, the Court ruled that women need not undergo a special
proceeding to change her name back to her maiden name after a divorce.
126. CONSTANCIA
CONSUELO DAVID
G. R. No. L-41427

TOLENTINO

vs.

COURT

OF

APPEALS

AND

JUNE 10, 1988

FACTS
This case is a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals.
On February 8, 1931, respondent Consuelo David married Arturo Tolentiono.
That on September 15, 1943, said marriage was dissolved and terminated
pursuant to the law enforced during the Japanese occupation by a decree of
absolute divorce on the ground of desertion and abandonment by the wife
for at least three (3) continuous years.
After obtaining the divorced decree, Arturo Tolentino married Pilar Adorable
but the latter died soon after the said marriage. Arturo Tolentino, then
contracted another marriage with Constancia Tolentino on April 21, 1945, the
herein present legal wife of Arturo Tolentino to whom he had three (3)
children.
Consuelo David on the other hand, continues using the surname Tolentino
even after the divorce decree was obtained even up to the filing of the
instant complaint. She contended that the usage of Tolentino surname was
authorized by the family of Arturo, particularly his brothers and sisters.

240

The Trial Court however, ruled that Consuelo David should discontinue her
usage of the surname Tolentino, which ruling was reversed by the Court of
Appeals in its decision.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not petitioners cause of action already prescribed.
2. Whether or not, the petitioner an exclude by injunction Consuelo David
from using the surname of her former husband from whom she was divorced.
RULING
Article 1150 of the Civil Code states that the time of prescription of all kinds
of actions, when there is no special provision which ordain otherwise, shall be
counted from the day they may be brought. Article 1149 further provides for
the period of prescription which is five (5) years from the right of action
accrues. Thus the action of petitioner has long prescribed because she
acquired knowledge that Consuelo David was still using the surname
Tolentino in 1951. But the filing of instant complaint was only lodged on
November 23, 1971, 20 years after she acquired the knowledge.
On the principal issue of whether or not a divorced woman may continue
using the surname of her former husband, Philippine law is understandably
silent. We have no provisions for divorce in our laws and consequently, the
use of surnames by a divorced wife is not provided for. It is significant to note
that Senator Tolentino himself in his commentary on Art. 370 of the Civil
Code states that "the wife cannot claim an exclusive right to use the
husband's surname. She cannot be prevented from using it; but neither can
she restrain others from using it." Art. 371 is not applicable to the case at
bar because Art. 371 speaks of annulment while the case before us refers to
absolute divorce where there is a severance of valid marriage ties.
The private respondent has established that to grant the injunction to the
petitioner would be an act of serious dislocation to her. She has given proof
that she entered into contracts with third persons, acquired properties and
entered into other legal relations using the surname Tolentino. The petitioner,
on the other hand, has failed to show that she would suffer any legal injury
or deprivation of legal rights inasmuch as she can use her husband's
surname and be fully protected in case the respondent uses the surname
Tolentino for illegal purposes.
The court thus rule that the use of the surname Tolentino does not impinge
on the rights of the petitioner. Considering the circumstances of this petition,
the age of the respondent who may be seriously prejudiced at this stage of
her life, having to resort to further legal procedures in reconstituting
documents and altering legal transactions where she used the surname
Tolentino, and the effects on the private respondent who, while still not
remarried, will have to use a surname different from the surnames of her
241

own children, we find it just and equitable to leave things as they are, there
being no actual legal injury to the petitioner save a deep hurt to her feelings
which is not a basis for injunctive relief.
127. ZENAIDA F. DAPAR ALIAS ZENAIDA D. BIASCAN vs. GLORIA
LOZANO BIASCAN AND MARIO BIASCAN
G. R. No. 141880
September 27, 2004
FACTS
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
from the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV- No. 57306
reversing the Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City,
Branch 120, in Civil Case No. C-16184 and its Resolution3 denying the
motion for the reconsideration thereof.
Sometime in 1966, Spouses Gloria and Mario Biascan were married by civil
rights in Quezon City. They have four (4) children. Mario Biascan, worked in
Saudi Arabia as an overseas contract worker from 1977 to 1981. It was in
1979 when he met Zenaida Dapar, who was then a domestic helper and
become Marios lover resulting to the latters failure to send support to his
family.
Zenaida returned to the Philippines in 1981. Thereafter, Marios returned to
the country. He joined Zenaida and both live together in a rented house in
Pag-asa Subdivision, Valenzuela, Metro Manila. They opened a joint account
with the Philippine National Bank (PNB). Later, Mario returned to Saudi Arabia
while Zenaida was left behind and was working in a garment factory. Mario
then sent his earnings to Zenaida to their PNB joint account. Zenaidas
relatives also sent her money to the same account she has with Mario.
On July 8, 1985, a contract to sell was executed by and between State Land
Investment Corporation, on the one hand, and "Sps. Mario M. Biascan/ &
Zenaida D. Biascan," on the other, over a parcel of land consisting of 150
square meters, described as Lot 11, Block 2, Narra St., Hillcrest Village,
Camarin Road, Novaliches, Caloocan City for P177,189.00. A Deed of Sale
was, thereafter, executed in favor of the "Sps. Mario M. Biascan and Zenaida
D. Biascan to which the issuance of a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) was
based. . Thereafter, on May 3, 1993, the RTC of Caloocan City rendered its
Decision14 in Civil Case No. C-259, declaring that Zenaida was a co-owner of
the subject lot but which decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals.
Hence the filing of the instant petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE

242

Whether or not there Zenaida Dapar is a co-owner of the property purchased


by her and Mario and if there was usurpation on the part of Zenaida in using
Mario Biascans surname.
RULING
The trial court ruled that the law on co-ownership governed the property
relations of Mario and Zenaida, who were living in an adulterous relationship
or in a state of concubinage at the time the house and lot in question was
acquired. The trial court further explained that under Article 148 of the
Family Code, properties acquired by both of the parties through their actual
joint contribution of money shall be owned in common in proportion to their
respective contributions, and in the event that the amount of such
contributions could not be determined, as in the present case, they shall be
presumed to be equal. The trial court concluded that the shares of Mario and
Zenaida as described in TCT No. 207197 was in accordance with the sharing
prescribed in Article 148. As such, there was no legal basis to order the
reconveyance of the one-half share of the petitioner in favor of Gloria
Biascan.
The usurpation of name under Article 377 of the Civil Code implies some
injury to the interests of the owner of the name. It consists in the possibility
of confusion of identity between the owner and the usurper, and exists when
a person designates himself by another name. The elements are as follows:
(1) there is an actual use of anothers name by the defendant; (2) the use is
unauthorized; and (3) the use of anothers name is to designate personality
or identify a person. None of the foregoing exist in the case at bar.
Respondent Gloria Biascan did not claim that the petitioner ever attempted
to impersonate her. Mario Biascan allowed the petitioner to use his surname.
It would appear that the very first time that Zenaida Dapars name had the
surname Biascan was when defendant Mario Biascan had executed the
affidavit of undertaking in connection with his employment in Saudi Arabia,
wherein he designated as his beneficiary Zenaida Dapar Biascan.
128. ELISEA LAPERAL vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
G. R. No. 18008
October 30, 1962
FACTS
The petitioner, a bona fide resident of Baguio City, was married with Mr.
Enrique R. Santamaria on March 1939. However, a decree of legal
separation was later on issued to the spouses. Aside from that, she ceased
to live with Enrique. During their marriage, she naturally uses Elisea L.
Santamaria. She filed this petition to be permitted to resume in using her
maiden name Elisea Laperal. This was opposed by the City Attorney of
Baguio on the ground that it violates Art. 372 of the Civil Code. She was
243

claiming that continuing to use her married name would give rise to
confusion in her finances and the eventual liquidation of the conjugal assets.
ISSUE
Whether or not, Rule 103 which refers to change of name in general will
prevail over the specific provision of Art. 372 of the Civil Code with regard to
married woman legally separated from his husband.
RULING
In legal separation, the married status is unaffected by the separation, there
being no severance of the vinculum. The finding that petitioners continued
use of her husband surname may cause undue confusion in her finances was
without basis. It must be considered that the issuance of the decree of legal
separation in 1958, necessitate that the conjugal partnership between her
and Enrique had automatically been dissolved and liquidated. Hence, there
could be no more occasions for an eventual liquidation of the conjugal
assets.
Furthermore, applying Rule 103 is not a sufficient ground to justify a change
of the name of Elisea for to hold otherwise would be to provide for an easy
circumvention of the mandatory provision of Art. 372.
129. MA. AMELITA VILLAROSA vs. HRET, et al.
G. R. No. 143351
September 14, 2000
FACTS
This case is an election protest filed by private respondent Ricardo V. Quintos
(hereafter QUINTOS) against petitioner Amelita C. Villarosa (hereafter
VILLAROSA) before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (hereafter
HRET).
VILLAROSA and QUINTOS were the only candidates for the office of
Representative of the Lone Legislative District of Occidental Mindoro in the
11 May 1998 synchronized national and local elections. On 27 May 1998 the
Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed VILLAROSA as the winning
candidate with a margin of 3,032 votes.
On 4 June 1998 QUINTOS filed an election protest against VILLAROSA
contesting the results of the election in all the 882 precincts in the eleven
municipalities of Occidental Mindoro on the following grounds: (1) the ballots
were misread and counted in favor of protestee; (2) there was rampant
substitute voting, i.e., persons other than the registered voters voted; (3)
violence and intimidation were committed by protestee and her followers
against known supporters of protestant to enhance protestees candidacy; 4)
previously prepared ballots for the protestee were deposited in the ballot
boxes; and (5) illiterate Mangyan voters voting for protestant were assisted
244

by self-appointed assistors of protestee, who wrote JTV on the ballots


contrary to the instruction of said illiterate voters. Quintos contested the
proclaimation of Amelita Villarosa whether JTV vote should be counted in
favour of Villarosa. JTV is the nickname of Villarosas husband who is the
incumbent representative of Occidental Mindoro.
ISSUE
Whether or not JTV vote should be counted in favour Villarosa when said
acronym is the nickname of Villarosas husband.
RULING
From all the foregoing, bad faith or malice on the part of VILLAROSA was
evident when, in her certificate of candidacy and campaign materials, she
appropriated the initials or nickname of her husband, the incumbent
Representative of the district in question whom she wanted to succeed in
office. She tried to make a mockery of a process whose credibility is essential
in preserving democracy. Nullus commodum potest de injuria sua propia. No
one should be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong.
Howsoever viewed, public respondent HRET did not commit any abuse of
discretion in holding that the only issue for its determination was whether
JTV votes or variations thereof should be counted in favor of VILLAROSA
and in ruling that such votes are stray votes.
130. JENIE SAN JUAN DELA CRUZ AND MINOR CHRISTIAN DELA CRUZ
AQUINO, et al. vs. RONALD PAUL S. GRACIA
G. R. No. 177728
July 31, 2009
FACTS
Jenie San Juan Dela Cruz, herein referred to as petitioner, cohabited with
Christian Dominique Sto. Tomas Aquino, without the benefit of marriage.
During the period of the said cohabitation, petitioner got pregnant. Almost
two months before the birth of their first born child, Christian Dominique
Aquino died. When their child, Christian Dela Cruz Aquino, co-petitioner was
born, petitioner applied for registration of the childs birth using Dominiques
surname Aquino with the Office of the City Registrar, Antipolo City, attaching
among others the live birth of the child, an affidavit to use the surname of
the father, an affidavit of acknowledgment executed by Dominiques father
and an autobiography written by Dominiques own handwriting which
autobiography did not bear Dominiques signature and which application for
registration under the surname Aquino was denied by respondent Ronal Paul
Gracia in his capacity as the Civil Registrar of Antipolo City, hence this
petition.
ISSUE
245

Whether or not an unsigned autobiography personally written by Dominique


(deceased) constitutes an admission of paternity in a private handwritten
instrument that would warrant permission for the child to use the surname
of the deceased father.
RULING
The court via Petition for Review on Certiorari ruled in the affirmative. Article
176 of the Family Code, as amended, does not, indeed explicitly state that
the private handwritten instrument acknowledging the childs paternity must
be signed by the putative father. Furthermore, Article 175, Family Code
states that illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate affiliation in
the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children. Article 172
states that filiation of legitimate children may be established by the record of
birth appearing in the civil registrar or final judgment or secondly by means
of an admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private
handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concern.

h. On Adoption of Children
131. IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF STEPHANIE NATHY
ASTORGA GARCIA
G. R. No. 148311
March 31, 2005
FACTS
On August 31, 2000, Honorato B. Catindig, herein petitioner, filed a petition
to adopt his minor illegitimate child Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. He
alleged therein, among others, that Stephanie was born on June 26, 1994;
that her mother is Gemma Astorga Garcia; that Stephanie has been using
her mothers middle name and surname; and that he is now a widower and
qualified to be her adopting parent. He prayed that Stephanies middle
name Astorga be changed to Garcia, her mothers surname, and that her
surname Garcia be changed to Catindig, his surname. After careful
consideration of the trial court, herein petition for adoption was granted and
Pursuant to Article 189 of the Family Code of the Philippines, the minor shall
be known as STEPHANIE NATHY CATINDIG. On April 20, 2001, petitioner filed
a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration praying that Stephanie
should be allowed to use the surname of her natural mother (GARCIA) as her
middle name. On May 28, 2001, the trial court denied petitioners motion for
reconsideration holding that there is no law or jurisprudence allowing an
246

adopted child to use the surname of his biological mother as his middle
name. Hence, the present petition
ISSUE
Whether or not, an illegitimate child may use the surname of her mother as
her middle name when she is subsequently adopted by her natural father.
RULING
There is no law regulating the use of a middle name. Article 176 of the Family
Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 9255, otherwise known as An Act
Allowing Illegitimate Children To Use The Surname Of Their Father, is silent
as to what middle name a child may use. Being a legitimate child by virtue of
her adoption, Stephanie is entitled to all the rights provided by law to a
legitimate child, without discrimination of any kind, including the right to
bear the surname of her father and her mother. This is consistent with the
intention of the members of the Civil Code and Family Law Committees. In
fact, it is a Filipino custom that the initial or surname of the mother should
immediately precede the surname of the father. Additionally, as aptly stated
by both parties, Stephanies continued use of her mothers surname (Garcia)
as her middle name will maintain her maternal lineage.

132. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. COURT OF APPEALS & SPS.


JAMES ANTHONY HUGHES AND LENITA MABUNAY HUGHES
G. R. No. 100835
October 26, 1993
FACTS
James Anthony Hughes, an American married Lenita Mabuhay Hughes, a
Filipina, who was later naturalized as US Citizen. Sometime in 1990, Spouses
Hughes filed a petition to adopt three minor children who are minor niece
and nephews of Lenita, in the person of Ma. Cecilia, Neil, Mario, all surnamed
Mabunay who lived with them even prior to filing of petition. The minors as
well as their parents consented to the adoption. The Regional Trial Court of
Angeles City granted the petition, which decision was also later affirmed by
the Court of Appeals, hence the filing of this petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE
Whether or not the spouses Hughes can legally adopt the children.
RULING
The court ruled that James Anthony Hughes cannot adopt. Under article 184
of the family code, James being an alien cannot adopt and he is not under
247

the exceptions provided for in the law. Lenita on the other hand cannot also
adopt being barred under article 185 which states among others that she
and her husband must jointly adopt the children not being their illegitimate
or legitimate children. James cannot be a nominal party. It must be noted
that adoption creates a status that is closely assimilated to the legitimate
paternity and filiation with corresponding rights and duties that necessarily
flow from adoption such as exercise of parental authority, use of surname of
adopter by adoptee, support and successional rights.
133. IN RE: PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME: JULIAN LIN CARULASAN
WANG vs. CEBU CITY CIVIL REGISTRAR
G. R. No. 159966
March 30, 2005
FACTS
Petitioner Julian Lin Carulasan Wang, a minor, represented by his mother
Anna Lisa Wang, filed a petition dated 19 September 2002 for change of
name and/or correction/cancellation of entry in the Civil Registry of Julian Lin
Carulasan Wang. Petitioner sought to drop his middle name and have his
registered name changed from Julian Lin Carulasan Wang to Julian Lin Wang.
Petitioner theorizes that it would be for his best interest to drop his middle
name as this would help him to adjust more easily to and integrate himself
into Singaporean society.
ISSUE
Does the law allow one to drop the middle name from his registered name on
the cause mentioned?
RULING
The touchstone for the grant of a change of name is that there be proper
and reasonable cause for which the change is sought. To justify a request for
change of name, petitioner must show not only some proper or compelling
reason therefore but also that he will be prejudiced by the use of his true and
official name. Among the grounds for change of name which have been held
valid are: (a) when the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or extremely difficult
to write or pronounce; (b) when the change results as a legal consequence,
as in legitimation; (c) when the change will avoid confusion; (d) when one
has continuously used and been known since childhood by a Filipino name,
and was unaware of alien parentage; (e) a sincere desire to adopt a Filipino
name to erase signs of former alienage, all in good faith and without
prejudicing anybody; and (f) when the surname causes embarrassment and
there is no showing that the desired change of name was for a fraudulent
purpose or that the change of name would prejudice public interest.
134. ISABELITA LAHOM vs. JOSE MELVIN SIBULO
248

G. R. No. 143989

July 14, 2003

FACTS
Dr. Diosdado Lahom and his wife Isabelita Lahom, herein referred to as
petitioner adopted her nephew Jose Melvin Sibulo at the age of two. The
adoption decree was granted on 5 May 1972. However, due to sad turn of
events, Mrs. Lahom after the death of her husband commence the filing of a
petition to rescind the decree of adoption a December of 1999, before RTC
Branch 22 of Naga City, contending among others that respondent refused to
use his adopted surname and instead used his surname Sibulo, disregarding
the feelings of herein petitioner. Furthermore, respondent remained callous
and utterly indifferent towards petitioner and his insensible attitude strained
their parent-child relationship which caused the petitioner to suffer
wounded feelings. Respondent on the other hand moved for the dismissal of
the petition, arguing that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the case and
that petitioner had no cause of action in view of the effectivity of Republic
Act No. 8552 on March 22, 1998.
The Regional Trial Court, having been designated as a Family Court has
jurisdiction to try this instant case. As to the matter of no cause of action, the
court quoted Art. VI, Section 19 of R.A. No. 8552 which deleted the right of
an adopter to rescind an adoption earlier granted under the Family Code,
thus there is lack of cause of action on petitioners part. Furthermore, the
action to rescind the decree of adoption has long prescribed as provided for
under section 5, Rule 100 of the Revised Rules of Court. Therefore,
Petitioners Petition to rescind the decree of adoption against respondent is
hereby dismissed, hence the filing of this petition for review on certiorari
under Rule 45.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not the subject adoption decreed on 5 May 1972, may still be
revoked or rescinded by an adopter after the effectivity of R. A. No. 8552?
2. Whether or not the adopters action prescribed?
RULING
The court ruled in the affirmative. Republic Act No. 8552 which took effect on
22 March 1998, secured the rights and privileges of the adopted. Most
importantly it affirmed the legitimate status of the adopted child, not only in
his new family but in the society as well. The new law withdrew the right of
an adopter to rescind the adoption decree and gave to the adopted child the
sole right to sever the legal ties created by adoption. In the instant case, it
was months after the effectivity of R.A. No. 8552 that herein petitioner filed
an action to revoke the decree of adoption granted in 1975 which law has
already been abrogated and repealed. Hence, the action for rescission of the
adoption decree could no longer be pursued. Futhermore, the action to set
aside the adoption is subject to the five-year bar rule under Rule 100 of the
249

Rules of Court and that the adopter would lose the right to revoke the
adoption decree after the lapse of that period.
135. HERBERT CANG vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SPS. RONALD and
MARIA CLARA CLAVANO
G. R. No. 105308
September 25, 1998
FACTS
Herbert and Anna Marie Cang were husband and wife who have three
children. Later, the spouses were legally separated and the court awarded
the custody of the children to Anna Marie. Herbert, on the other hand, went
to the United States and got naturalized as an American citizen but
continuously supported his children as required by the court.
Later on, Anna Marie entrusted the custody of the children to her childless
brother and sister-in-law. The latter filed a special proceedings for the
adoption of the children. Only Anna Maries consent was attached to the
petition without including Herberts consent. She submits that his consent is
not necessary because the latter has abandoned the children. Upon learning
such fact, Herbert immediately sent a telegram manifesting his opposition to
the adoption proceedings. He presented as evidence the letters of the
children to him showing their love and affection and the certification of US
banks showing that even prior to the petition for adoption, he had deposited
amounts for the benefit of the children.
Notwithstanding the opposition, the lower court issued the decree of
adoption in favor of Anna Maries brother and ruled that Herberts written
consent is not necessary based on the findings that he had abandoned the
children. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioner had abandoned his children as to warrant
dispensation of his consent to their adoption.
RULING
While parental authority may be waived, as in law it may be subject to a
compromise, there was no factual finding in the legal separation case that
petitioner was such an irresponsible person that he should be deprived of
custody of his children or that there are grounds under the law that could
deprive him of parental authority. In fact, in the legal separation case, the
court thereafter ordered the transfer of custody over the children from Anna
Marie back to petitioner. The order was not implemented because of Anna
Marie's motion for reconsideration thereon.
250

The law is clear that either parent may lose parental authority over the child
only for a valid reason. No such reason was established in the legal
separation case. In the instant case for adoption, the issue is whether or not
petitioner had abandoned his children as to warrant dispensation of his
consent to their adoption. Deprivation of parental authority is one of the
effects of a decree of adoption. But there cannot be a valid decree of
adoption in this case precisely because, the finding of the court a quo on the
issue of petitioner's abandonment of his family was based on a
misappreciation that was tantamount to non-appreciation, of facts on record.
Since the incorporation of the law concerning adoption in the Civil Code,
there has been a pronounced trend to place emphasis in adoption
proceedings, not so much on the need of childless couples for a child, as on
the paramount interest, of a child who needs the love and care of parents.
After the passage of the Child and Youth Welfare Code and the Family Code,
the discernible trend has impelled the enactment of Republic Act No. 8043 on
Intercountry, Adoptionand Republic Act No. 8552 establishing the rules on
the domestic adoption of Filipino children.
The case at bar applies the relevant provisions of policies in the "Domestic
Adoption Act of 1998.
Underlying the policies and precepts in international conventions and the
domestic statutes with respect to children is the overriding principle that all
actuations should be in the best interests of the child. This is not, however,
to be implemented in derogation of the primary right of the parent or parents
to exercise parental authority over him. The rights of parents vis--vis that of
their children are not antithetical to each other, as in fact, they must be
respected and harmonized to the fullest extent possible.
Keith, Charmaine and Joseph Anthony have all grown up. Keith and
Charmaine are now of legal age while Joseph Anthony is approaching
eighteen, the age of majority. For sure, they shall be endowed with the
discretion to lead lives independent of their parents. This is not to state that
this case has been rendered moot and academic, for their welfare and best
interests regarding their adoption, must be determined as of the time that
the petition for adoption was filed. Said petition must be denied as it was
filed without the required consent of their father who, by law and under the
facts of the case at bar, has not abandoned them.
136. IN RE: PETITION FOR ADOPTION OF MICHELLE P. LIM, MONINA P.
LIM
G. R. Nos. 168992-93
May 21, 2009
FACTS
Petitioner is an optometrist by profession. She married Primo Lim (Lim). They
were childless. Minor children,were entrusted to them by a certain Lucia
251

Ayuban (Ayuban) because their parents were unknown. The couple was so
eager to have a child of their own, petitioner and Lim registered the children
to make it appear that they were the childrens parents. The y name the
children Michelle P. Lim (Michelle) and Michael Jude P. Lim (Michael). Michelle
was barely eleven days old when brought to the clinic of petitioner. She was
born on 15 March 1977. Michael was 11 days old when Ayuban brought him
to petitioners clinic. His date of birth is 1 August 1983. The spouses reared
and cared for the children as if they were their own. They sent the children to
exclusive schools. They used the surname "Lim" in all their school records
and documents. Unfortunately, Lim died. Petitioner married Angel Olario
(Olario), an American citizen. Petitioner decided to adopt the children by
availing of the amnesty given under Republic Act No. 85526 (RA 8552) to
those individuals who simulated the birth of a child. Thus, petitioner filed
separate petitions for the adoption of Michelle and Michael before the trial
court. At the time of the filing of the petitions for adoption, Michelle was 25
years old and already married, while Michael was 18 years and seven months
old. Michelle and her husband gave their consent to the adoption and so is
Michael who also gave his consent to his adoption. In the Certification issued
by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Michelle was
considered as an abandoned child and the whereabouts of her natural
parents were unknown. The DSWD issued a similar Certification for Michael.
The trial court rendered judgment dismissing the petitions. The trial court
ruled that since petitioner had remarried, petitioner should have filed the
petition jointly with her new husband. The trial court ruled that joint adoption
by the husband and the wife is mandatory citing Section 7(c), Article III of RA
8552 and Article 185 of the Family Code.
ISSUE
Whether or not petitioner, who has remarried, can singly adopt.
RULING
The law is clear. There is no room for ambiguity. Petitioner, having remarried
at the time the petitions for adoption were filed, must jointly adopt. Since the
petitions for adoption were filed only by petitioner herself, without joining her
husband, Olario, the trial court was correct in denying the petitions for
adoption on this ground. Neither does petitioner fall under any of the three
exceptions enumerated in Section 7. First, the children to be adopted are not
the legitimate children of petitioner or of her husband Olario. Second, the
children are not the illegitimate children of petitioner. And third, petitioner
and Olario are not legally separated from each other. The fact that Olario
gave his consent to the adoption as shown in his Affidavit of Consent does
not suffice. There are certain requirements that Olario must comply being an
American citizen. He must meet the qualifications set forth in Section 7 of RA
8552 such as: (1) he must prove that his country has diplomatic relations
with the Republic of the Philippines; (2) he must have been living in the
Philippines for at least three continuous years prior to the filing of the
252

application for adoption; (3) he must maintain such residency until the
adoption decree is entered; (4) he has legal capacity to adopt in his own
country; and (5) the adoptee is allowed to enter the adopters country as the
latters adopted child. None of these qualifications were shown and proved
during the trial. These requirements on residency and certification of the
aliens qualification to adopt cannot likewise be waived pursuant to Section
7. The children or adoptees are not relatives within the fourth degree of
consanguinity or affinity of petitioner or of Olario. Neither are the adoptees
the legitimate children of petitioner. Petitioner contends that joint parental
authority is not anymore necessary since the children have been
emancipated having reached the age of majority. This is untenable. Parental
authority includes caring for and rearing the children for civic consciousness
and efficiency and the development of their moral, mental and physical
character and well-being. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise
parental authority over the persons of their common children. Even the
remarriage of the surviving parent shall not affect the parental authority over
the children, unless the court appoints another person to be the guardian of
the person or property of the children. It is true that when the child reaches
the age of emancipation that is, when he attains the age of majority or 18
years of age16 emancipation terminates parental authority over the
person and property of the child, who shall then be qualified and responsible
for all acts of civil life. However, parental authority is merely just one of the
effects of legal adoption.

i. On Support
137. PERLA PATRICIO vs. MARCELINO DARIO III. et al.
G. R. No. 170829
November 20, 2006
FACTS
Marcelino Dario died intestate and leaving a parcel of land with residential
house and pre- school building. He was survived by his wife Perla Patricio,
the petitioner and sons namely, Marcelino Marc Dario and herein respondent,
Marcelino Dario IIII who has a minor child named as Marcelino Lorenzo Dario
IV living with them. Thereafter, the heirs agreed to extrajudicially settled the
estate of the deceased and accordingly, the Transfer Certificate Title was
issued in the names of the herein parties. The petitioner and Marcelino Marc
then asked the respondent to partition the property left but respondent
refused to do so. As such, petitioner and Marcelino Marc filed an action for
partition before Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Respondent asserted that the family home cannot be partitioned while his
minor son who is the grandson of the decedent is still living therein. He
insisted that as long as his son is living in the family home, the same
continues as such until the beneficiary becomes of age.
253

Petitioner, on the other hand, alleged that the property remained as family
home of the surviving heirs of the decedent only up to the 10th year from
the death of the latter. She argued that since the children of the decedent
were already of age at the time of the death of their father, there is no minor
beneficiary to speak of.
RTC rendered its decision ordering that the property be divided: 4/6 for the
petitioner and 1/6 for Marcelino Marc as well as for the respondent.
Respondent appealed the decision of RTC to the Court of Appeals (CA) which
was denied by the latter. However, on Motion for Reconsideration, the CA
dismissed the complaint for partition contending that the family home should
continue despite the death of the one or both of the spouses as long as there
is a minor beneficiary thereof. The CA considered Marcelino Lorenzo as the
minor beneficiary of the family home.
Hence, the present recourse.
ISSUES
1. Whether the family home be partitioned despite the refusal of the
respondent on the ground that a minor beneficiary still resides in the said
home?
2. Whether Marcelino Lorenzo can be considered as a beneficiary of the
family home?
RULING
1. The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. The Family Code provides that
the family home shall continue despite the death of the one or both of the
spouses or of the unmarried head of the family for a period of 10 years or for
as long as there is a minor beneficiary, and the heirs cannot partition the
same unless the court finds compelling reason therefore. This rule shall apply
regardless of whoever owns the property or constituted the family home. As
such, if there are beneficiaries who survive and are living in the family home,
it will continue for 10 years, unless at the expiration of 10 years, there is still
a minor beneficiary, in which case the family home continues until the
beneficiary becomes of age. The minor child of the respondent is not
considered as the beneficiary of the family home as to bar its partition for
reasons subsequently explain in the next paragraph. Thus, the subject
property could be partitioned since there are no longer minor beneficiaries of
the family home and no persons can be compelled to stay in a co- ownership
indefinitely.
2. Anent to the 2nd issue, the Supreme Court ruled in the negative. The
Family Code provides that the beneficiaries of the family home are: husband
and wife, or unmarried person who is the head of the family; and the
254

parents, ascendants, descendants, brothers and sisters whether legitimate or


illegitimate, who are living in the family home and who depend upon the
head of the family for legal support. Thus, it is required inorder for the
descendant to become a beneficiary of the family home that he is living in
the family home and he is dependent for legal support upon the head of the
family. In the instant case, although, Marcelino Lorenzo is the descendant of
the decedent and living in the property in issue, he is not dependent for
support upon the decedent or the head of the family because the legal
support he needed is given by his father, the herein respondent. Thus, not all
the requisites are present inorder for Marcelino Lorenzo to be treated as
minor beneficiary of the family home. Consequently, the property in issue
could be partitioned since Marcelino Lorenzo is not among the beneficiaries
of the family home.
138. CARMEN QUIMIGUING vs. FELIX ICAO
G. R. No. L-26795
July 31, 1970
FACTS
Carmen Quimiguing, assisted by her parents, filed a complaint for support
and damages against Felix Icao in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga
del Norte. She averred that the parties were neighbors in Dapitan City, and
had close and confidential relations; that Icao, although married, succeeded
in having carnal intercourse with plaintiff several times by force and
intimidation, and without her consent; that as a result she became pregnant,
despite efforts and drugs supplied by defendant, and plaintiff had to stop
studying. Hence, she claimed support at P120.00 per month, damages and
attorney's fees.
Icao moved to dismiss for lack of cause of action since the complaint did not
allege that the child had been born; and after hearing arguments, the trial
judge sustained defendant's motion and dismissed the complaint.
Thereafter, plaintiff moved to amend the complaint to allege that as a result
of the intercourse, plaintiff had later given birth to a baby girl; but the court,
sustaining defendant's objection, ruled that no amendment was allowable,
since the original complaint averred no cause of action. Wherefore, the
plaintiff appealed directly to this Court.
ISSUE
Whether or not an unborn child is entitled to support or damages?
RULING
A conceived child, although as yet unborn, is given by law a provisional
personality of its own for all purposes favorable to it, as explicitly provided in
Article 40 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. The unborn child, therefore,
255

has a right to support from its progenitors, particularly of the defendantappellee even if the said child is only "en ventre de sa mere;" just as a
conceived child, even if as yet unborn, may receive donations as prescribed
by Article 742 of the same Code, and its being ignored by the parent in his
testament may result in preterition of a forced heir that annuls the institution
of the testamentary heir, even if such child should be born after the death of
the testator Article 854, Civil Code).
A married man to force a woman not his wife to yield to his lust constitutes a
clear violation of the rights of his victim that entitles her to claim
compensation for the damage caused. Any person who wilfully causes loss
or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or
public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage(Article 21, Civil
Code). Furthermore, under paragraph 3 of Art. 2219 moral damages may be
recovered in cases of seduction, abduction, rape and other lascivious acts.
Independently of the right to Support of the child she was carrying, plaintiff
herself had a cause of action for damages under the terms of the complaint;
and the order dismissing it for failure to state a cause of action was doubly in
error.
139. CECILIO MENDOZA vs. COURT OF APPEALS and LUISA MENDOZA
G. R. No. L-23102
April 27, 1967
FACTS
Cecilio and Luisa were married; the former went to United State to pursue his
studies, Cecilio also works in a hospital and he was earning $200 a month.
The wife filed an action for support against the husband on the ground that
she was neglected and abandoned without means of sustenance taking into
consideration that she is also pregnant.
The husband filed a motion to dismiss for failure to observed earnest effort
toward a compromise before filing a complaint against member of a family
under Art 222 of the civil code (now article 151 Family Code).
ISSUE
Whether or not support may be subject of a valid compromise.
RULING
A future support cannot be a subject of a valid compromise this is an
exception to the general rule that no suit between members of the family
shall prosper unless earnest efforts toward a compromise have been
previously exerted.

256

140. FELICIANO SANCHEZ vs. FRANCISCO ZULUETA


G. R. No. 45616
May 16, 1939
FACTS
In civil case of the Court of First Instance of Cavite, wherein Josefa Diego and
Mario Sanchez are plaintiffs and Feliciano Sanchez is defendant, the plaintiffs
ask that the defendant be sentenced to pay them a monthly allowance for
support.
The complaint alleges that the plaintiffs are the wife and child, respectively,
of the defendant; that the latter, since 1932, refused and still refuses to
support the plaintiffs; that the latter have no means of subsistence, while the
defendant receives from the United States Army a monthly pension of
P174.20; that the defendant abandoned the plaintiffs without any justifiable
cause
and
now
refuses
to
allow
them
to
live
with
him.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
The defendant alleges, as special defense, that the plaintiff Josefa Diego
abandoned without his knowledge or consent and committed adultery which
she had a child as a result of the illicit relations, which is the other plaintiff
Mario Sanchez.
The lower court granted the prayer of the plaintiff by way of allowance
pendente lite, In opposition to his petition, the defendant alleged that Mario
Sanchez is not his legitimate child but is the adulterous child and he asked
for an oppurtunity to adduce evidence in support of this defense. The court,
without acceding to this petition of the defendant to adduce evidence,
favorably acted upon the application of the plaintiffs and ordered the
defendant to pay a monthly allowance pendente lite. In view of these facts,
the defendant filed a petition for prohibition before the Court of Appeals
against the judge of the Court of First Instance and the plaintiffs. The Court of
Appeals denied the petition, and from this resolution, the defendant comes
to this court on certiorari.
ISSUES
1. Whether the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in not
allowing the defendant to present evidence?
2. Whether or not the proof of adulterous child is a valid ground not to give
support?
RULING
The Supreme Court ruled that the Court of Appeals erred in not allowing the
defendant to present his evidence for the purpose of determining whether it
is sufficient prima facie to overcome the application. Adultery on the part of
the wife is a valid defense against an action for support. Consequently, as to
the child, it is also a defense that it is the fruit of such adulterous relations,
257

for in that case, it would not be the child of the defendant and, hence, would
not be entitled to support as such. But as this defense should be established,
and not merely alleged, it would be unavailing if proof thereof is not
permitted. It is not of course necessary to go fully into the merits of the case,
it being sufficient the court ascertain the kind and amount of evidence which
it may deem sufficient to enable it to justly resolve the application, one way
or the other, in view of the merely provisional character of the resolution to
be entered.
The failure to accompany the opposition therewith did not justify the court in
ignoring said opposition, just because of this omission, inasmuch as an
opportunity to present evidence has been asked. It may be that the
defendant could not get hold of affidavits in support of his opposition, but he
may have on hand other evidence of greater weight. If the defendant has a
valid defense which calls for proof, and he asks for an opportunity to present
evidence, it is error to deny him this opportunity.al law library
The decision rendered by the Court Appeals is reversed, and it is ordered
that the petitioner be given an opportunity to present evidence in support of
his defense against the application for support pendente lite, to the extent
which the court determine, without special pronouncement as to the costs.
141. MARIA QUINTANA vs. GELASIO LERMA
G. R. No. L-7426
February 5, 1913
FACTS
This is an appeal from a judgment in favor of the plaintiff for a sum of money
due upon a contract between the plaintiff and defendant husband and wife,
for support.
The action is by a wife against her husband for support. It is based upon a
written contract. The evidence shows that the parties were lawfully married
in 1901 and that in February, 1905, they entered into a written agreement of
separation whereby each renounced certain rights as against the other and
divided the conjugal property between them, the defendant undertaking in
consideration of the premises to pay the plaintiff within the first three days of
each month the sum of P20 for her support and maintenance.
In the original answer, the defendant set up as a special defense that the
wife had forfeited her right to support by committing adultery. This allegation
was stricken out by the court on motion, upon the ground that under the
provisions of article 152 of the Civil Code the commission of adultery is not
recognized as a ground upon which the obligation to support ceases.
Notwithstanding that such special defense was stricken out by order of the
court, the defendant, after plaintiff had filed an amended complaint, inserted
258

the same defense in his answer to the amended complaint. The court upon
the trial, however, refused to recognize such defense or to permit any
evidence to be introduced in support thereof, to which the defendant duly
excepted.
ISSUE
Is the the special defense of the defendant that the wife had forfeited her
right to support by committing adultery tenable?
RULING
Article 1432 of the Civil Code provides: "In default of express declarations in
the marriage contract, the separation of the property of the consorts, during
marriage, shall only take place by virtue of a judicial decree, except in the
case provided by article 50."
Under this article the agreement in suit is void. The wife, however, has a
right of action against her husband for support under the provisions of the
Civil Code and, although the contract in question is void, her right of action
does not for that reason fail.
The special defense of adultery set up by the defendant in his answer both to
the original and the amended complaint is a good defense, and if properly
proved and sustained will defeat the action.
The judgment of the court below is reversed and the cause remanded for a
new trial, with instructions to permit the interposition of the special defense
of adultery and such amendments of the complaint and answer as may be
necessary to carry this judgment into effect.
142. JOSE LAM vs. ADRIANA CHUA
G. R. No. 131286
March 18, 2004
FACTS
Adriana Chua filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage against
Jose Lam.Adriana prayed that the marriage between her and Jose be
declared null and void but she failed to claim and pray for the support of
their child, John Paul.
Based on the allegations and evidence presented by the petitioner, the court
(RTC) granted the petition and ruled that the marriage of the petitioner and
the respondent was null and void for being bigamous by nature.
Jose filed a Motion for Reconsideration thereof but only insofar as the
decision awarded monthly support to his son in the amount of P20,000.00.
He argued that there was already a provision for support of the child as
259

embodied in the decision dated February 28, 1994 of the Makati RTC wherein
he and Adriana agreed to contribute P250,000.00 each to a common fund for
the benefit of the child.
On August 22, 1995, the Pasay RTC issued an Order denying Jose Lams
motion for reconsideration ruling that the compromise agreement entered
into by the parties and approved by the Makati RTC before the marriage was
declared null and void ab initio by the Pasay RTC, is of no moment and
cannot limit and/or affect the support ordered by the latter court.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision rendered by RTC.
ISSUE
Whether or not, the compromise agreement between petitioner and
respondent where they bound themselves to contribute the amount of two
hundred fifty thousand pesos (p250,000.00) to a common fund for the
benefit of their child does not bar the trial court in annulment case to again
award support in favor of the child.
RULING
The Pasay RTC and the Court of Appeals are both correct insofar as they
ruled that the amount of support is by no means permanent. In Advincula vs.
Advincula, we held that another action for support could be filed again by
the same plaintiff notwithstanding the fact that the previous case for support
filed against the same defendant was dismissed. We further held in said case
that:
. . .Judgment for support does not become final. The right to support is of
such nature that its allowance is essentially provisional; for during the entire
period that a needy party is entitled to support, his or her alimony may be
modified or altered, in accordance with his increased or decreased needs,
and with the means of the giver. It cannot be regarded as subject to final
determination.
Thus, there is no merit to the claim of Jose that the compromise agreement
between him and Adriana, as approved by the Makati RTC and embodied in
its decision dated February 28, 1994 in the case for voluntary dissolution of
conjugal partnership of gains, is a bar to any further award of support in
favor of their child John Paul. The provision for a common fund for the benefit
of their child John Paul, as embodied in the compromise agreement between
herein parties which had been approved by the Makati RTC, cannot be
considered final and res judicata since any judgment for support is always
subject to modification, depending upon the needs of the child and the
capabilities of the parents to give support.
260

143. DOLORES MONTEFALCON, et al. vs. RONNIE S. VASQUEZ


G. R. No. 165016
June 17, 2008
FACTS
In 1999, petitioner Dolores P. Montefalcon filed a Complaint [4] for
acknowledgment and support against respondent Ronnie S. Vasquez before
the RTC of Naga City. . Alleging that her son Laurence is the illegitimate child
of Vasquez, she prayed that Vasquez be obliged to give support to copetitioner Laurence Montefalcon, whose certificate of live birth he signed as
father.[5] According to petitioners, Vasquez only gave a total of P19,000 as
support for Laurence since Laurence was born in 1993. Vasquez allegedly
also refused to give him regular school allowance despite repeated demands.
Petitioner Dolores added that she and Vasquez are not legally married, and
that
Vasquez
has
his
own
family.
A sheriff tried to serve the summons and complaint on Vasquez in Aro-aldao,
Nabua, Camarines Sur. Vasquez's grandfather received them as Vasquez was
in Manila. Vasquez's mother returned the documents to the clerk of court,
who
informed
the
court
of
the
non-service
of
summons.
Petitioners then filed a motion to declare Vasquez in default. The court
denied
it
for
lack
of
proper
service
of
summons.
In 2000, the court issued an alias summons on Vasquez at "10 Int. President
Garcia St., Zone 6, Signal Village, Taguig, Metro Manila" upon petitioners'
motion. Albeit a Taguig deputy sheriff served it by substituted service on
Vasquez's caretaker Raquel Bejer, the sheriff's return incorrectly stated
"Lazaro"
as
Vasquez's
surname.
On petitioners' motion, the trial court declared Vasquez in default for failure
to file an answer despite the substituted service of summons. Vasquez was
furnished with court orders and notices of the proceedings at his last known
address, but these were returned as he had allegedly moved to another
place and left no new address
In 2001, the court granted petitioners' prayers, explaining that they had no
ill-motive and that Dolores gave a truthful testimony. The court added that
Vasquez admitted the truth of the allegations by his silence. It further
explained that Laurence's certificate of live birth, being a public document, is
irrefutably a prima facie evidence of illegitimate filiation.
In the same year, Vasquez surfaced. He filed a notice of appeal to which
petitioners opposed. Appeal was granted by the court. [13] Before the
appellate court, he argued that the trial court erred in trying and deciding
the case as it "never" acquired jurisdiction over his person, as well as in
261

awarding P5,000-per-month support, which was allegedly "excessive and


exorbitant." The appellate court noted that the service of summons on
Vasquez was "defective" as there was no explanation of impossibility of
personal service.
ISSUES
1. Whether there is a valid substituted service of summons on Vasquez to
clothe the trial court with jurisdiction over his person.
2. Whether he is obliged to give support to co-petitioner Laurence.
RULING
Proof of prior attempts at personal service may have been submitted by the
plaintiff during the hearing of any incident assailing the validity of the
substituted service[24] had Vasquez surfaced when the case was heard. In
fact, he was declared in default. It was only when a judgment against him
was rendered by the trial court that he questioned the validity of service of
summons before the appellate court. Such failure to appear, and then later
to question the court's jurisdiction over his person, should not be taken
against
herein
petitioners.
Between Vasquez's self-serving assertion that he only came to know of the
case when his mother told him about the trial court's decision and the
sheriff's return on the substituted service which carries a presumption of
regularity, the latter is undoubtedly deserving of more faith and credit. The
sheriff's certificate of service of summons isprima facie evidence of the facts
set out in it.
Under Article 195 (4).of the Family Code, a parent is obliged to support his
illegitimate child. The amount is variable. There is no final judgment thereof
as it shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and the
necessities of the recipient.It may be reduced or increased proportionately
according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and
the resources or means of the person obliged to support. Support comprises
everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical
attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial
capacity of the family..Under the premises, the award of P5,000 monthly
support to Laurence is reasonable, and not excessive nor exorbitant.
In sum, we rule that the Court of Appeals erred in invalidating the substituted
service of summons and remanding the case. As there was valid substituted
service of summons under the circumstances of this case, the lower court
acquired jurisdiction over his person and correctly ordered him to pay past
and present monthly support to his illegitimate child as well as attorney's
fees and litigation expenses to petitioners. WHEREFORE, the petition
is GRANTED.
262

144. EDWARD V. LACSON vs. MAOWEE DABAN LACSON


G. R. No. 150644
August 28, 2006
FACTS
Petitioner husband left the conjugal home. Since their separation, wife
did not ask the husband for support, relying initially on a note of
commitment by the husband to give support. Wife, in behalf of her two
daughters, filed a complaint against husband for support RTC when first
child was about to graduate from college. Husband contends that his
lack of regular income and the unproductivity of the land he inherited,
not his neglect, accounted for his failure at times to give regular support.
Petitioner claims that he should not be made to pay support in arrears,
since no previous extrajudicial nor judicial demand have been made by
the respondents.
ISSUE
Whether or not the husband is liable for support.
RULING
SC held that requisite demand for support appears to have been already
been made through the note that husband left in his wife Asking one to
comply with his obligation to support owing to the urgency of the
situation is no less than a demand because it came by way of a request
or plea. Any third person may furnish support to a needy individual with
the right of reimbursement from the person obliged to give support.
Amount of support which those related by marriage and family
relationship is generally obliged to give each other shall be in proportion
to resources or means of the giver and to the needs of the recipient.

263