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Macadangdang v. CA 1.

W/N finding of the CA that respondent and her husband were separated
in 1965 cannot therefore be considered conclusive and binding on this
Petitioner: ANTONIO MACADANGDANG Court.
Respondent: THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and ELIZABETH 2. W/N the child Rolando is conclusively presumed the legitimate child of
MEJIAS the spouses Elizabeth Mejias and Crispin Anahaw.
Ponente: J. MAKASIAR
Ruling:
Short Facts and Doctrine/s: 1. NO.
Respondent is a married woman. She alleged that due to the affair with 2. YES.
petitiner, she and her husband separated. 7 months or 210 days following
the illicit encounter, she gave birth to a baby boy who was named Rolando. Ratio:
She then filed a complaint for recognition and support against petitioner. The 1. The finding of the CA that respondent and her husband is separated is
SC in reversing the decision of the CA held that the finding of the CA that based solely on the testimony of respondent which is self-serving. Nothing in
respondent and her husband is separated is based solely on the testimony the records shows that her statement was confirmed or corroborated by
of respondent which is self-serving. Under Article 255 of the Civil Code, the another witness and the same cannot be treated as borne out by the record
child Rolando is conclusively presumed to be the legitimate son of or that which is based on substantial evidence. It is not even confirmed by
respondent and her husband. The modern rule is that, in order to overthrow her own husband, who was not impleaded.
the presumption of legitimacy, it must be shown beyond reasonable
doubt that there was no access as could have enabled the husband to be The findings of facts of the CA are conclusive on the parties and on the SC,
the father of the child. The separation between the spouses must be such as unless (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation,
to make sexual access impossible. This may take place when they reside in surmise, and conjectures; (2) the inference made is manifestly mistaken; (3)
different countries or provinces. In this case, respondent failed to overthrow there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) the judgment is based on
such presumption of legitimacy. misapprehension of facts; (5) the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues
of the case and its findings are contrary to the admission of both appellant
Facts: and appellee; (6) the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are contrary to
Elizabeth Mejias is married with Crispin Anahaw. She allegedly had those of the trial court; (7) said findings of facts are conclusions without
intercourse with petitioner Macadangdang. She also alleges that due to citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (8) the facts set forth
the affair, she and her husband separated. 7 months or 210 days in the petition as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not
following the illicit encounter, she gave birth to a baby boy who was disputed by the respondent; and (9) when the finding of facts of the Court of
named Rolando Macadangdang in baptismal rites in 1967. The records Appeals is premised on the absence of evidence and is contradicted by
also disclose that on April 25, 1972, respondent filed a complaint for evidence on record
recognition and support against petitioner with the CFI of Davao.
Macadangdang filed his answer opposing plaintiff's claim and praying Since respondent and her husband continued to live in the same province,
for its dismissal. the fact remains that there was always the possibility of access to each
The lower court dismissed the complaint. Mejias appealed before the other.
CA, wherein the latter reversed the lower courts decision and thus
declared minor Rolando to be an illegitimate son of Macadangdang. 2. Under Article 255 of the Civil Code, the child Rolando is conclusively
presumed to be the legitimate son of respondent and her husband. The baby
Issues: 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 countries or provinces, and they have never been together during the period
March, 1967, respondent and Crispin Anahaw had already four children; of conception. Or, the husband may be in prison during the period of
hence, they had been married years before such date. The birth of Rolando conception, unless it appears that sexual union took place through corrupt
came more than one hundred eighty 180 days following the celebration of violation of or allowed by prison regulations.
the said marriage and before 300 days following the alleged separation
between aforenamed spouses. The presumption of legitimacy of children born during wedlock obtains,
notwithstanding the husband and wife voluntarily separate and live apart,
The fact that the child was born a mere seven (7) months after the initial unless the contrary is shown and this includes children born after the
sexual contact between petitioner and respondent is another proof that the separation .
said child was not of petitioner since, from indications, he came out as a
normal full-term baby. With respect to Article 257 aforequoted, it must be emphasized that adultery
on the part of the wife, in itself, cannot destroy the presumption of legitimacy
The child Rolando is presumed to be the legitimate son of respondent and of her child, because it is still possible that the child is that of the husband. It
her spouse. This presumption becomes conclusive in the absence of proof has, therefore, been held that the admission of the wife's testimony on the
that there was physical impossibility of access between the spouses in the point would be unseemly and scandalous, not only because it reveals
first 120 days of the 300 which preceded the birth of the child. This immoral conduct on her part, but also because of the effect it may have on
presumption is actually quasi-conclusive and may be rebutted or refuted by the child, who is in no fault, but who nevertheless must be the chief sufferer
only one evidence the physical impossibility of access between husband thereby. Only the husband can contest the legitimacy of a child born to his
and wife within the first 120 days of the 300 which preceded the birth of the wife. He is the one directly confronted with the scandal and ridicule which the
child. This physical impossibility of access may be caused by any of these: infidelity of his wife produces; and he should decide whether to conceal that
1. Impotence of the husband; infidelity or expose it, in view of the moral or economic interest involved.
2. Living separately in such a way that access was Thus the mother has no right to disavow a child because maternity is never
impossible and uncertain; she can only contest the Identity of the child.
3. Serious illness of the husband.
Disposition:
The modern rule is that, in order to overthrow the presumption of legitimacy, Decision of the CA was reversed.
it must be shown beyond reasonable doubt that there was no access as
could have enabled the husband to be the father of the child. Sexual
intercourse is to be presumed where personal access is not disproved,
unless such presumption is rebutted by evidence to the contrary; where
sexual intercourse is presumed or proved, the husband must be taken to be
the father of the child. To defeat the presumption of legitimacy, therefore,
there must be physical impossibility of access by the husband to the wife
during the period of conception. The law expressly refers to physical
impossibility. Hence, a circumstance which makes sexual relations
improbable, cannot defeat the presumption of legitimacy; but it may be
proved as a circumstance to corroborate proof of physical impossibility of
access.

The separation between the spouses must be such as to make sexual


access impossible. This may take place when they reside in different