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9048 March 22, 2001

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
Section 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or Nickname No entry in
a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and
change of first name or nickname which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar
or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.
Section 2. Definition of Terms As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean:
(1) "City or Municipal civil registrar" refers to the head of the local civil registry office of the city or
municipality, as the case may be, who is appointed as such by the city or municipal mayor in
accordance with the provisions of existing laws.
(2) "Petitioner" refers to a natural person filing the petition and who has direct and personal interest
in the correction of a clerical or typographical error in an entry or change of first name or nickname
in the civil register.
(3) "Clerical or typographical error" refers to a mistake committed in the performance of clerical
work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and
innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth or the like, which is visible to the
eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other
existing record or records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the change of
nationality, age, status or sex of the petitioner.
(4) "Civil Register" refers to the various registry books and related certificates and documents kept
in the archives of the local civil registry offices, Philippine Consulates and of the Office of the Civil
Registrar General.
(5) "Civil registrar general" refers to the Administrator of the National Statistics Office which is the
agency mandated to carry out and administer the provision of laws on civil registration.
(6) "First name" refers to a name or nickname given to a person which may consist of one or more
names in addition to the middle and last names.
Section 3. Who May File the Petition and Where. Any person having direct and personal interest in the correction
of a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or change of first name or nickname in the civil register may file, in
person, a verified petition with the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where the record being sought to
be corrected or changed is kept.
In case the petitioner has already migrated to another place in the country and it would not be practical for such party,
in terms of transportation expenses, time and effort to appear in person before the local civil registrar keeping the
documents to be corrected or changed, the petition may be filed, in person, with the local civil registrar of the place
where the interested party is presently residing or domiciled. The two (2) local civil registrars concerned will then
communicate to facilitate the processing of the petition.
Citizens of the Philippines who are presently residing or domiciled in foreign countries may file their petition, in
person, with the nearest Philippine Consulates.
The petitions filed with the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general shall be processed in accordance with
this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.
All petitions for the clerical or typographical errors and/or change of first names or nicknames may be availed of only
Section 4. Grounds for Change of First Name or Nickname. The petition for change of first name or nickname may
be allowed in any of the following cases:
(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 by that first name or nickname in the community: or
(3) The change will avoid confusion.
Section 5. Form and Contents of the Petition. The petition shall be in the form of an affidavit, subscribed and sworn
to before any person authorized by the law to administer oaths. The affidavit shall set forth facts necessary to
establish the merits of the petition and shall show affirmatively that the petitioner is competent to testify to the matters
stated. The petitioner shall state the particular erroneous entry or entries, which are sought to be corrected and/or the
change sought to be made.
The petition shall be supported with the following documents:
(1) A certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the
entry or entries sought to be corrected or changed.
(2) At least two (2) public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries upon which the
correction or change shall be based; and
(3) Other documents which the petitioner or the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general
may consider relevant and necessary for the approval of the petition.
In case of change of first name or nickname, the petition shall likewise be supported with the documents mentioned in
the immediately preceding paragraph. In addition, the petition shall be published at least once a week for two (2)
consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. Furthermore, the petitioner shall submit a certification from
the appropriate law enforcement agencies that he has no pending case or no criminal record.
The petition and its supporting papers shall be filed in three (3) copies to be distributed as follows: first copy to the
concerned city or municipal civil registrar, or the consul general; second copy to the Office of the Civil Registrar
General; and third copy to the petitioner.
Section 6. Duties of the City or Municipal Civil Registrar or the Consul General. The city or municipal civil registrar
or the consul general to whom the petition is presented shall examine the petition and its supporting documents. He
shall post the petition in a conspicuous place provided for that purpose for ten (10) consecutive days after he finds
the petition and its supporting documents sufficient in form and substance.
The city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general shall act on the petition and shall render a decision not later
than five (5) working days after the completion of the posting and/or publication requirement. He shall transmit a copy
of his decision together with the records of the proceedings to the Office of the Civil Registrar General within five (5)
working days from the date of the decision.
Section 7. Duties and Powers of the Civil Registrar General. The civil registrar general shall, within ten (10)
working days from receipt of the decision granting a petition, exercise the power to impugn such decision by way of
an objection based on the following grounds:
(1) The error is not clerical or typographical;
(2) The correction of an entry or entries in the civil register is substantial or controversial as it
affects the civil status of a person; or
(3) The basis used in changing the first name or nickname of a person does not fall under Section
The civil registrar general shall immediately notify the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general of the
action taken on the decision. Upon receipt of the notice thereof, the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul
general shall notify the petitioner of such action.
The petitioner may seek reconsideration with the civil registrar general or file the appropriate petition with the proper
If the civil registrar general fails to exercise his power to impugn the decision of the city or municipal civil registrar or
of the consul general within the period prescribed herein, such decision shall become final and executory.
Where the petition is denied by the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general, the petitioner may either
appeal the decision to the civil registrar general or file the appropriate petition with the proper court.
Section 8. Payment of Fees. The city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general shall be authorized to collect
reasonable fees as a condition for accepting the petition. An indigent petitioner shall be exempt from the payment of
the said fee.

Section 9. Penalty Clause. - A person who violates any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be
penalized by imprisonment of not less than six (6) years but not more than twelve (12) years, or a fine of not less than
Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) but not more than One Hundred Thousand pesos (P100,000.00), or both, at the
discretion of the court.
In addition, if the offender is a government official or employee he shall suffer the penalties provided under civil
service laws, rules and regulations.
Section 10. Implementing Rules and Regulations. - The civil registrar general shall, in consultation with the
Department of Justice, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the Supreme Court Administrator, the
University of the Philippines Law Center and the Philippine Association of Civil Registrars, issue the necessary rules
and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act not later than three (3) months from the effectivity of this
Section 11. Retroactivity Clause. - This Act shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or impair
vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code and other laws.
Section 12. Separability Clause. - If any portion or provision of this Act is declared void or unconstitutional, the
remaining portions or provisions thereof shall not be affected by such declaration.
Section 13. Repealing Clause - All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations, other issuances, or parts thereof
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Section 14. Effectivity Clause. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in at least two
(2) national newspapers of general circulation.
Approved: March 22, 2001
President of the Philippines


Republic vs. Cagandahan

GR. No. 166676, September 12, 2008
Jennifer Cagandahan was registered as a female in her Certificate of Live Birth. During her childhood years,
she suffered from clitoral hypertrophy and was later on diagnosed that her ovarian structures had
minimized. She likewise has no breast nor menstruation. Subsequently, she was diagnosed of having
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), a condition where those afflicted possess secondary male
characteristics because of too much secretion of male hormones, androgen. According to her, for all
interests and appearances as well as in mind and emotion, she has become a male person. She filed a
petition at RTC Laguna for Correction of Entries in her Birth Certificate such that her gender or sex be
changed to male and her first name be changed to Jeff.
ISSUE: WON correction of entries in her birth certificate should be granted.
The Court considered the compassionate calls for recognition of the various degrees of intersex as variations
which should not be subject to outright denial. SC is of the view that where the person is biologically or
naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would be what the individual, having
reached the age of majority, with good reason thinks of his/her sex. As in this case, respondent, thinks of
himself as a male and considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones, there is
preponderant biological support for considering him as being a male. Sexual development in cases of
intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of
such persons, like respondent, is fixed.


Silverio v. Republic
October 22, 2007 (GR. No. 174689)
On November 26, 2002, Silverio field a petition for the change of his first name Rommel Jacinto to Mely
and his sex from male to female in his birth certificate in the RTC of Manila, Branch 8, for reason of his sex
reassignment. He alleged that he is a male transsexual, he is anatomically male but thinks and acts like a
female. The Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of him, explaining that it is consonance with the principle of
justice and equality.

The Republic, through the OSG, filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals alleging that there is no
law allowing change of name by reason of sex alteration. Petitioner filed a reconsideration but was denied.
Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: WON change in name and sex in birth certificate are allowed by reason of sex reassignment.
No. A change of name is a privilege and not a right. It may be allowed in cases where the name is ridiculous,
tainted with dishonor, or difficult to pronounce or write; a nickname is habitually used; or if the change will
avoid confusion. The petitioners basis of the change of his name is that he intends his first name compatible
with the sex he thought he transformed himself into thru surgery. The Court says that his true name does not
prejudice him at all, and no law allows the change of entry in the birth certificate as to sex on the ground of
sex reassignment. The Court denied the petition.


Barco vs CA
January 20, 2004

Nadina and Francisco Maravilla married in 1970.

In February 1977, they separated.

In February 1978, a year after they separated, they obtained ecclesiastical annulment of marriage
issued by the Catholic Diocese of Bacolod City.

In June 9, 1978, Nadina gave birth to a daughter, June Salvacion. On the birth certificate, Francisco
was listed as the father. Nadina signed it.

Afterwards, Nadina claimed that the real father of June is Armando Gustilo, a former congressman.

At the time of Junes birth, Gustilo was still married to Consuelo Caraycong who later died on a naval

In 1982, Nadina and Gustilo married in the US.

In 1985, the marriage between Nadina and Francisco was annulled.

In 1983, however, Nadina filed a petition for correction of Entries in the Certificate of Birth of her
daughter in RTC Makati.
a. Here, she alleged that she had been lawfully separated from Francisco since 1977 and that
they didnt have sex within the first 20 days of the 300 days preceding the birth of June.
b. And that Gustilo is the real father of June
c. She prayed that the name would be corrected as June Salvacion C. Gustilo and the father,
Armando Gustilo.
d. (Francisco signed this petition.)
e. (In accordance to Rule 108, the case was set for hearing and that the copy of the Order be
published in a newspaper of general circulation.)

Gustilo filed a Constancia where he acknowledged June as his daughter.

Nadina filed an Amended Pleading impleading Gustilo and Francisco as respondents.

OSG filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter/
nature of the suit. OSG avers that only clerical errors may be corrected in petition for correction of

MTD was denied. MR was denied.

RTC granted the petition effecting the corrections. RTC considered the fact that Nadinas uncle
was the one who prepared the birth certificate and that she was in physical discomfort when she
signed it.

In 1986, Gustilo died. Two Estate proceedings began. His son, Jose Vicent filed a petition for the
annulment of the RTC order which effected the changes in the civil status of June to the CA.

Nadina filed a Comment saying that Jose Vicente hasnt proven if he really is a child of Gustilo nor
there was extrinsic fraud or lack of jurisdiction that annul the RTC order.

There was a compromise agreement that said the only heirs of Gustilo are Nadina, June, Jose Vicente
and Mary Joy. This compromise agreement was voided on a petition filed by Jose Vicente.

Milagros Barco filed a motion for intervention with a complaint-in-intervention to the CA. In this, she
alleged that Mary Joy, born 1977, is a daughter of Gustilo and that she and Gustilo had an affair
since 1967 until Gustilo married Nadina.

CA dismissed both Jose Vicentes petition and Barcos intervention. Neither established lack of
jurisdiction and extrinsic fraud.

Barco filed an MR. MR denied.

Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

a. She raises the following issues:

Barco should have been made a party to the Nadinas petition and the failure to
implead her deprived the RTC of jurisdiction;

This RTC could not have entertained Nadinas petition, since the Courts ruling
in a long line of cases, beginning with Republic v. Valencia, that a petition for
correction of entries in the civil register is not limited to innocuous or clerical
mistakes, applies only to citizenship cases;

The petition for correction was filed out of time, as Article 263 of the Civil Code
of 1950 sets a prescriptive period for impugning the legitimacy of a child which
is one year from the recording of birth in the Civil Registry, if the husband
should be in the same place, or in a proper case, any of his heirs;

Nadinas petition should have been treated as a petition for change of name,
which can only be filed by the person whose name is sought to be changed;

The RTC Order contravenes the legal presumption that children born during the
pendency of a marriage are legitimate and the rule that legitimate children
cannot adopt the surname of a person who is not their father; and

The RTC should have excluded as hearsay the Constancia allegedly signed by
Gustilo and that the surrounding circumstances under which it was issued gave
reason to doubt its authenticity and credibility.

Essentially, the issues raised can be summed up to just one issue:

Whether or not the extraordinary remedy of annulment of judgment (RTC Order

effecting the corrections) may be granted.

Annulment of judgments is allowed only in exceptional cases.
Section 2, Rule 47 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure explicitly provides only two
grounds for annulment of judgment, namely: extrinsic fraud and lack of
jurisdiction. This express limitation is significant since previous jurisprudence recognized
other grounds as well. The underlying reason is traceable to the notion that annulling final
judgments goes against the grain of finality of judgment. Litigation must end and terminate
sometime and somewhere, and it is essential to an effective administration of justice that
once a judgment has become final the issue or cause involved therein should be laid to rest.
The basic rule of finality of judgment is grounded on the fundamental principle of public
policy and sound practice that at the risk of occasional error, the judgment of courts and the
award of quasi-judicial agencies must become final at some definite date fixed by law. Even
if the rule on annulment of judgment is grounded on equity, the relief is of an extraordinary
character, and not as readily available as the remedies obtaining to a judgment that is not
yet final.
In this case, Barco essentially asks the SC to annul the judgment on the ground of
lack of jurisdiction, that is, jurisdiction over the nature of the action or subject
matter, and jurisdiction over the parties.
First, Barco asserts that RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over her person because there
failure to implead her as a part to the petition.

SC thinks otherwise. The petition for correction is AN ACTION IN REM. Thats why
the decision binds not only the parties thereto but the WHOLE WORLD. Sec. 4, Rule
108 provides that notice of publication is sufficient compliance to confer jurisdiction
over Nadinas cause of action. An in rem proceeding is validated essentially
through publication. As such, Barco, regardless of whether or not she was
impleaded as a party, is bound to the decision of the RTC since the action is an in
rem action.
Second, Barco questions the RTC judgment granting the correction since in correction of
entries, the jurisdiction of the court is limited to innocuous and clerical errors. What is being
changed in the petition are substantial errors, that is, change in the civil status of June.

SC disagrees. In a 1986 ruling, Rep. v. Valencia, the Court has repeatedly ruled that
even substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected through a petition filed
under Rule 108, with the true facts established and the parties aggrieved by the
error availing themselves of the appropriate adversarial proceeding.

Also, Republic Act No. 9048, enacted in 2001, has effectively changed the nature of
a proceeding under Rule 108. Under this new law, "clerical or typographical errors
and change of first name or nickname" may now be corrected or changed by the
concerned city or municipal registrar or consul general, without need of any judicial
order. The obvious effect is to remove from the ambit of Rule 108 the correction or
changing of such errors in entries of the civil register. Hence, what is left for the
scope of operation of Rule 108 are substantial changes and corrections in entries of
the civil register.
Third, Barco argues that the petition for correction filed by Nadia is in fact a petition for
change of name which can only be filed by the person whose name is sought to be changed,
in this case, June. Therefore, for Barco, Nadina had no capacity to file such petition.

SC disagrees and points out that even if the petition is in fact one for a change of
name, it does not divest of the RTC of its jurisdiction over the case. Such assertion
does not allude to the courts jurisdiction.

Assuming arguendo that Nadinas petition for correction had prescribed and/or that
the action seeking the change of name can only be filed by the party whose name


is sought to be changed, this does not alter the reality that under the law the
Makati RTC had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the petition for correction.
The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, the applicable law at the time, clearly
conferred on the Makati RTC exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions in which
the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation. In
complementation of grant of jurisdiction, Section 1 of Rule 108 provides that the
verified petition to the cancellation or correction of any entry relating thereto
should be filed with the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of the
province where the corresponding civil registry is located.

Prescription and lack of capacity to bring action cannot be ignored by a court of law
in properly resolving an action, to the extent that a finding that any of these
grounds exist will be sufficient to cause the dismissal of the action. Yet, the
existence of these grounds does not oust the court from its power to decide the
case. Jurisdiction cannot be acquired through, waived, enlarged or diminished by
any act or omission of the parties. Contrariwise, lack of capacity to sue and
prescriptions as grounds for dismissal of an action may generally be rendered
unavailing, if not raised within the proper period.

It thus follows that assuming that the petition for correction had prescribed, or that
Nadina lacked the capacity to file the action which led to the change of her
daughters name, the fact that the RTC granted the Order despite the existence of
these two grounds only characterizes the decision as erroneous. An erroneous
judgment is one though rendered according to the course and practice of
the court is contrary to law. It is not a void judgment.
DECISION: petition dismissed for lack of merit.

In Re: Petition for Change of Name of Julian Lim Carulasan Wang GR No 159966 30 March 2005

Facts: A petition was filed by Anna Lisa Wang for the change of name and/or correction/cancellation of entry
in the Civil Registry of her son, a minor, Julian Lin Carulasan Wang before the RTC of Cebu City.

Julian was the son of Anna Lisa Wang and Sing-Foe Wang. They were not yet married to each other when
Julian was born. Subsequently, when Julians parents got married, the latter executed a deed of legitimation
of their son so that the childs name was changed from Julian Lin Carulasan to Julian Lin Carulasan Wang.

Reason: Since the family plans to stay in Singapore and, since in Singapore middle names or the maiden
surname of the mother are not carried in a persons name, they anticipated that Julian will be discriminated
against because of his current registered name which carries a middle name. Also, the spouses daughter
and Julian might get confused if they are really brothers and sisters because they have different surnames.
Lastly, Carulasan sounds funny in Singapores Mandarin language since they do not have the letter R but if
there is, they pronounce it as L. It is for these reasons why the name of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang is
requested to be changed to Julian Lin Wang.

RTC: denied the petition. It found that the reasons abovementioned does not fall within the grounds
recognized by law. It further ruled that the real reason behind is only convenience.

MR: Denied. The Singaporean practice of not carrying a middle name does not justify the dropping of the
middle name of a legitimate Filipino child who intends to study there. The dropping of the middle name
would be tantamount to giving due recognition to or application of the laws of Singapore instead of Philippine
law which is controlling.

Hence, this Appeal. SC required the OGS to comment on the petition.

OSG: Trial Court is correct. legitimate children have the right to bear the surnames of both their mother and
father, and such right cannot be denied by the mere expedient of dropping the same (Family Code). Mere
convenience is not sufficient to support a petition for change of name and/or cancellation of entry.

Issue: Whether the name mothers surname should be dropped in the instant case because it is a common
practice in Singapore to omit said surname?

Decision: No. Petition is denied.

The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and entities for purposes of identification, and
that A CHANGE OF NAME IS A PRIVILEGE AND NOT A RIGHT, so that before a person can be authorized to
change his name given him either in his certificate of birth or civil registry, he must show PROPER AND
REASONABLE CAUSE, or ANY COMPELLING REASON which may justify such change. Otherwise, the request
should be denied.



When the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;


When the change results as a legal consequence, as in legitimation;


When the change will avoid confusion;


When one has continuously used and been known since childhood by a Filipino name, and was
unaware of alien parentage;


A sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of former alienage, all in good faith and
without prejudicing anybody; and


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.


The question of proper and reasonable cause is left to the sound discretion of the court. The evidence
presented need only be satisfactory to the court and not all the best evidence available.

What is involved is not a mere matter of allowance or disallowance of the request, but a JUDICIOUS
evaluation of the sufficiency and propriety of the justifications advanced in support thereof, mindful of the
consequent results in the event of its grant and with the sole prerogative for making such determination
being lodged in the courts.




Middle names serve to identify the maternal lineage or filiation of a person as well as further
distinguish him from others who may have the same given name and surname as he has.



The only reason advanced by petitioner for the dropping of his middle name is convenience.
However, how such change of name would make his integration into Singaporean society easier and
convenient is not clearly established. That the continued use of his middle name would cause confusion
and difficulty does not constitute proper and reasonable cause to drop it from his registered name.


In addition, petitioner is only a minor. Considering the nebulous foundation on which his petition for
change of name is based, it is best that the matter of change of his name be left to his judgment and
discretion when he reaches the age of majority. As he is of tender age, he may not yet understand and
appreciate the value of the change of his name and granting of the same at this point may just prejudice
him in his rights under our laws.


Lee vs CA GR No. 118387 October 11, 2001



G.R. No. 138493
June 15, 2000

-Presentacion (petitioner) filed a petition for the cancellation of the entry of Birth of Teofista (respondent) in
the Civil Registry of Iligan City. Presentacion asserted that she was the only surviving child of the late
Eugenio Babiera and Hermogena Cariosa.
-Months after the spouses' death, a baby girl was delivered by 'hilot' in the spouses' house and the baby's
mother, Flora Guinto, and the housemaid simulated that the baby girl was the spouses' child.
-Petitioner personally witnessed Flora give birth to Teosita as contested that the birth certificate of Teofista
Guinto is void ab initio, as it was totally a simulated birth, signature of informant forged, and it contained
false entries, and it was medically impossible for the supposed parents to bear a child because, 1.)
Hermogena was already 54 years old; 2.) Hermogena's last child birth was in the year 1941, the year
petitioner was born.
-Teofista contends that respondent has no standing to sue, because Article 1718 of the Family Code states
that the child's filiation can be impugned only by the father or, in special circumstances, his heirs. She adds
that the legitimacy of a child is not subject to a collateral attack. She averred that she was always known as
Teifusta Babiera, and she and petitioner are full-blood sisters. Certificate of Birth, Certificate of Baptism and
Student's Report Card are shown with Hermogena's signature are Teofista's proof. She also pointed out that
the instant petition is barred by prescription in accordance with Article 170 of the Family Code.
-CA deemed inapplicable Articles 170 and 171 of the Family Code, which stated that only the father could
impugn the child's legitimacy, and that the same was not subject to a collateral attack. It held that said
provisions contemplated a situation wherein the husband or his heirs asserted that the child of the wife was
not his. In this case, the action involved the cancellation of the child's Birth Certificate for being void ab initio
on the ground that the child did not belong to either the father or the mother.

1. Does Presentacion have the legal capacity to file the special proceeding of appeal?
2. Is the special proceeding on appeal improper and is barred by the statute of limitation (prescription)?

3. Has CA failed to hold that the ancient public record of petitioner's birth is superior to the self-serving oral
testimony of respondent?

1. This argument is incorrect. Presentacion has the requisite standing to initiate the present action. Section 2,
Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, provides that a real party in interest is one "who stands to be benefited or
injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit." The interest of
Presentacion in the civil status of Teofista stems from an action for partition which the latter filed against the
former. The case concerned the properties inherited by respondent from her parents.

2. The present action involves the cancellation of petitioner's Birth Certificate; it does not impugn her
legitimacy. Thus, the prescriptive period set forth in Article 170 of the Family Code does not apply. Verily, the
action to nullify the Birth Certificate does not prescribe, because it was allegedly void ab initio.

3. While it is true that an official document such as petitioner's Birth Certificate enjoys the presumption of
regularity, the specific facts attendant in the case at bar, as well as the totality of the evidence presented
during trial, sufficiently negate such presumption.

First, there were already irregularities regarding the Birth Certificate itself. It was not signed by the local civil
registrar. More important, the Court of Appeals observed that the mother's signature therein was different
from her signatures in other documents presented during the trial.

Second, the circumstances surrounding the birth of petitioner show that Hermogena is not the former's real
mother. For one, there is no evidence of Hermogena's pregnancy, such as medical records and doctor's
prescriptions, other than the Birth Certificate itself. In fact, no witness was presented to attest to the
pregnancy of Hermogena during that time.

Moreover, at the time of her supposed birth, Hermogena was already 54 years old. Even if it were possible
for her to have given birth at such a late age, it was highly suspicious that she did so in her own home, when
her advanced age necessitated proper medical care normally available only in a hospital.

The most significant piece of evidence, however, is the deposition of Hermogena Babiera which states that
she did not give birth to petitioner, and that the latter was not hers nor her husband Eugenio's.


RP vs Capote
GR No. 157043, February 2, 2007
Case Doctrines:
A petition for change of name must be heard in an adversarial proceeding; it cannot be decided through a
summary proceeding
The fact that no one opposed the petition did not deprive the court of its jurisdiction to hear the same nor
does it make the proceeding less adversarial in nature.
A proceeding is adversarial where the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party and
afforded the latter an opportunity to contest it. All the requirements to make a proceeding adversarial were
satisfied when all interested parties were afforded the opportunity to contest the petition.

Facts: In 1998, respondent Trinidad R. A. Capote (guardian ad litem) filed a petition for change of name of
her ward from Giovanni Nadores Gallamaso to Giovanni Nadores. The petition alleged that: Giovanni is the
illegitimate natural child of Corazon P. Nadores and Diosdado Gallamaso; he was born on July 9, 1982, prior
to the effectivity of the New Family Code; his mother made him use the surname of the natural father despite
the absence of marriage between them;from the time Giovanni was born and up to the present, his father
failed to take up his responsibilities [to him] on matters of financial, physical, emotional and spiritual
concerns; Giovanni is now fully aware of how he stands with his father and he desires to have his surname
changed to that of his mothers surname; Giovannis mother might eventually petition him to join her in the
United States and his continued use of the surname Gallamaso, the surname of his natural father, may
complicate his status as natural child; and the change of name will be for the benefit of the minor.
Having found respondents petition sufficient in form and substance, the trial court gave due course to the
petition. Publication of the petition was ordered and the local civil registrar and the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG) was notified. Since there was no opposition to the petition, respondent moved for leave of
court to present her evidence ex parte before a court-appointed commissioner. The OSG, acting through the
Provincial Prosecutor, did not object; hence, the lower court granted the motion. After the reception of
evidence, the trial court rendered a decision ordering the change of name from Giovanni N. Gallamaso to
Giovanni Nadores.
Petitioner Republic of the Philippines, through the OSG, filed an appeal with a lone assignment of error: the
court a quo erred in granting the petition in a summary proceeding. Ruling that the proceedings were
sufficiently adversarial in nature as required, the CA affirmed the RTC decision ordering the change of name.
Petitioner appealed to the Supreme Court contending that the CA erred in affirming the trial courts decision
which granted the petition for change of name despite the non-joinder of indispensable parties.
The purported parents and all other persons who may be adversely affected by the childs change of name
should have been made respondents to make the proceeding adversarial.

Whether or not the petition for change of name should be granted.

Is a proceeding for change of name adversarial?
Did Capote comply with the requirement for an adversarial proceeding?
When is a proceeding considered adversarial?

1. Yes. The law and facts obtaining here favor Giovannis petition. Giovanni availed of the proper remedy, a
petition for change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, and complied with all the procedural
requirements. After hearing, the trial court found (and the appellate court affirmed) that the evidence
presented during the hearing of Giovannis petition sufficiently established that, under Art. 176 of the Civil
Code, Giovanni is entitled to change his name as he was never recognized by his father while his mother has
always recognized him as her child. A change of name will erase the impression that he was ever recognized
by his father. It is also to his best interest as it will facilitate his mothers intended petition to have him join
her in the United States. This Court will not stand in the way of the reunification of mother and son.
2. The OSG is correct in stating that a petition for change of name must be heard in an adversarial
proceeding. Unlike petitions for the cancellation or correction of clerical errors in entries in the civil registry
under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, a petition for change of name under Rule 103 cannot be decided
through a summary proceeding. There is no doubt that this petition does not fall under Rule 108 for it is not
alleged that the entry in the civil registry suffers from clerical or typographical errors. The relief sought
clearly goes beyond correcting erroneous entries in the civil registry, although by granting the petition, the
result is the same in that a corresponding change in the entry is also required to reflect the change in name.
3. Capote complied with the requirement for an adversarial proceeding by posting in a newspaper of general
circulation notice of the filing of the petition. The lower court also furnished the OSG a copy thereof. Despite
the notice, no one came forward to oppose the petition including the OSG. The fact that no one opposed the
petition did not deprive the court of its jurisdiction to hear the same nor does it make the proceeding less
adversarial in nature. The lower court is still expected to exercise its judgment to determine whether the
petition is meritorious or not and not merely accept as true the arguments propounded. Considering that the
OSG neither opposed the petition nor the motion to present its evidence ex parte when it had the
opportunity to do so, it cannot now complain that the proceedings in the lower court were not adversarial
4. A proceeding is adversarial where the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party and
afforded the latter an opportunity to contest it. Respondent gave notice of the petition through publication as
required by the rules. With this, all interested parties were deemed notified and the whole world considered
bound by the judgment therein. In addition, the trial court gave due notice to the OSG by serving a copy of
the petition on it. Thus, all the requirements to make a proceeding adversarial were satisfied when all
interested parties, including petitioner as represented by the OSG, were afforded the opportunity to contest
the petition (Republic of the Philippines vs Trinidad R. A. Capote, G.R. No. 157043, February 2,



526 SCRA 177 (2007), SECOND DIVISION

Carlito Kho (Kho) and his family applied for the correction of various details in their birth certificate. Kho
petitioned for (1) change the citizenship of his mother from Chinese to Filipino; (2) delete John from his
name; and (3) delete the word married opposite the date of marriage of his parents. The last correction
was ordered to be effected likewise in the birth certificates of respondents Michael, Mercy Nona, and Heddy
The petition from a non-adversarial nature of the change is premised on Republic Act No. 9048, which allows
first name and nickname in birth certificates without judicial order. The Municipal officer approved of the
change. The Solicitor General objected to the correction on the ground that the correction not merely clerical
but requires an adversarial proceeding. The Court of Appeals found in favor of Kho.
ISSUE: Whether or not Khos request for change in the details of their birth certificate requires an
adversarial proceeding
It cannot be gainsaid that the petition, insofar as it sought to change the citizenship of Carlitos mother as it
appeared in his birth certificate and delete the married status of Carlitos parents in his and his siblings
respective birth certificates, as well as change the date of marriage of Carlito and Marivel involves the
correction of not just clerical errors of a harmless and innocuous nature. Rather, the changes entail
substantial and controversial amendments.
For the change involving the nationality of Carlitos mother as reflected in his birth certificate is a grave and
important matter that has a bearing and effect on the citizenship and nationality not only of the parents, but
also of the offspring.
Further, the deletion of the entry that Carlitos and his siblings parents were married alters their filiation
from legitimate to illegitimate, with significant implications on their successional and other rights.
Clearly, the changes sought can only be granted in an adversary proceeding.
The enactment in March 2001 of Republic Act No. 9048, otherwise known as An Act Authorizing the City or
Municipal Civil Registrar or the Consul General to Correct A Clerical or Typographical Error In An Entry and/or
Change of First Name or Nickname in the Civil Register Without Need of Judicial Order, has been considered
to lend legislative affirmation to the judicial precedence that substantial corrections to the civil status of
persons recorded in the civil registry may be effected through the filing of a petition under Rule 108.
When all the procedural requirements under Rule 108 are thus followed, the appropriate adversary
proceeding necessary to effect substantial corrections to the entries of the civil register is satisfied.