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Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

Silverio v Republic order. The birth certificate of petitioner contained no error. All entries
therein, including those corresponding to his first name and sex, were all
FACTS: Petitioner was born and registered as male. He admitted that he is correct. Hence, no correction is necessary. Article 413 of the Civil Code
a male transsexual, that is, anatomically male but feels, thinks and acts as a provides that all other matters pertaining to the registration of civil status
female and that he had always identified himself with girls since shall be governed by special laws. However, there is no such special law in
childhood. He underwent psychological examination, hormone treatment, the Philippines governing sex reassignment and its effects. Under the Civil
breast augmentation and sex reassignment surgery. From then on, petitioner Register Law, a birth certificate is a historical record of the facts as they
lived as female and was in fact engaged to be married. He then sought to existed at the time of birth. Thus, the sex of a person is determined at birth,
have his name in his birth certificate changed from Rommel Jacinto to visually done by the birth attendant (the physician or midwife) by
Mely, and his sex from male to female. The trial court rendered a examining the genitals of the infant. Considering that there is no law legally
decision in favor of the petitioner. Republic of the Philippines thru the OSG recognizing sex reassignment, the determination of a persons sex made at
filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals. CA rendered a the time of his or her birth, if not attended by error is immutable
decision in favor of the Republic. For these reasons, while petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body
and appearance through the intervention of modern surgery, no law
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is entitled to change his name and sex in authorizes the change of entry as to sex in the civil registry for that reason.
his birth certificate. Thus, there is no legal basis for his petition for the correction or change of
the entries in his birth certificate. The remedies petitioner seeks involve
RULING: Article 376 of the Civil Code provides that no person can change questions of public policy to be addressed solely by the legislature, not by
his name or surname without judicial authority which was amended by RA the courts. Hence, petition is denied.
9048 Clerical Error Law which 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. In addition, he must show that he will be
prejudiced by the use of his true and official name. In this case, he failed to
show, or even allege, any prejudice that he might suffer as a result of using
his true and official name. Article 412 of the Civil Code provides that no
entry in the civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

In Re: Petition For Change Of Name and/or Correction/Cancellation of have his registered name in the Civil Registry changed from Julian Lin
Entry in Civil Registry of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang also Known as Carulasan Wang to Julian Lin Wang. The reason given for the change of
Julian Lin Wang, to be Amended/Corrected as Julian Lin Wang, Julian name sought in the petition is that Julian may be discriminated against when
Lin Wang, Duly Represented by His Mother Anna Lisa Wang v. Cebu he studies in Singapore because of his middle name since in Singapore
City Civil Registrar, Duly Represented by the Registrar Oscar B. Molo middle names or the maiden surname of the mother is not carried in a
person's name.
After trial, the RTC denied the petition because the reason given did not fall
Case Doctrines: within the grounds recognized by law. The RTC ruled that since the State
The registered name of a legitimate, legitimated and recognized has an interest in the name of a person it cannot just be changed to suit the
illegitimate child contains a given name, a middle name and a surname. convenience of the bearer of the name. The RTC said that legitimate
Before a person can be authorized to change his name given him either in children have the right to bear the surnames of the father and the mother,
his certificate of birth or civil registry, he must show proper or reasonable and there is no reason why this right should be taken from Julio considering
cause, or any compelling reason which may justify such change. Otherwise, that he was still a minor. When he reaches majority age he could then
the request should be denied. decide whether to change his name by dropping his middle name, added the
That the continued use of a middle name would cause confusion and RTC.
difficulty does not constitute proper and reasonable cause to drop it from
one's registered complete name. ISSUES: Was the RTC correct in denying the petition?

FACTS: Julian was born in Cebu City on February 20, 1998 to parents HELD: Yes. Middle names serve to identify the maternal lineage or
Anna Lisa Wang and Sing-Foe Wang who were then not yet married to filiation of a person as well as further distinguish him from others who may
each other. When his parents subsequently got married on September 22, have the same given name and surname as he has. When an illegitimate
1998, they executed a deed of legitimation of their son so that the childs child is legitimated by subsequent marriage of his parents or acknowledged
name was changed from Julian Lin Carulasan to Julian Lin Carulasan by the father in a public instrument or private handwritten instrument, he
Wang. then bears both his mother's surname as his middle name and his father's
Since the couple planned to live in Singapore where Julian will study surname as his surname, reflecting his status as a legitimated child or an
together with a sister who was born in Singapore, Anna Lisa decided to file acknowledged natural child. The registered name of a legitimate,
a petition in the Regional Trial Court seeking to drop his middle name and

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

legitimated and recognized illegitimate child thus contains a given name, a In addition, petitioner is only a minor. Considering the nebulous foundation
middle name and a surname. on which his petition for change of name is based, it is best that the matter
The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and entities for of change of his name be left to his judgment and discretion when he
purposes of identification, and that a change of name is a privilege and not a reaches the age of majority. As he is of tender age, he may not yet
right, so that before a person can be authorized to change his name given understand and appreciate the value of the change of his name and granting
him either in his certificate of birth or civil registry, he must show proper or of the same at this point may just prejudice him in his rights under our
reasonable cause, or any compelling reason which may justify such laws. (In Re: Petition for Change of Name and/or Correction of Entry in
change. Otherwise, the request should be denied. the Civil Registry of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang G.R. 159966, March 30
To justify a request for change of name, petitioner must show not only some 2005, 454 SCRA 2155).
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 Republic Of The Philippines Vs Cipriano Orbecido III
name which have been held valid are: (a) when the name is ridiculous, FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision and
dishonorable or extremely difficult to write or pronounce; (b) when the resolution of the Regional Trial Court of Molave, Zamboaga del Sur,
change results as a legal consequence, as in legitimation; (c) when the Branch 23, granting respondents petition for authority to remarry invoking
change will avoid confusion; (d) when one has continuously used and been par. 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code.
known since childhood by a Filipino name, and was unaware of alien On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III and Lady Myros Villanueva were
parentage; (e) a sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of married in Lam-an, Ozamis City and were blessed with a son and a
former alienage, all in good faith and without prejudicing anybody; and (f) daughter. In 1986, Lady Myros left for the U. S. bringing along their son
when the surname causes embarrassment and there is no showing that the and after a few years she was naturalized as an American citizen.
desired change of name was for a fraudulent purpose or that the change of Sometime in 2000, respondent Orbecido learned from his son who was
name would prejudice public interest. living with his wife in the States that his wife had remarried after
In the case at bar, the only reason advanced by petitioner for the dropping obtaining her divorce decree. Thereafter, he filed a petition for authority to
his middle name is convenience. However, how such change of name remarry with the trial court invoking par. 2 of Art. 26 of the Family Code.
would make his integration into Singaporean society easier and convenient Having no opposition, on May 15, 2002, the Regional Trial Court of
is not clearly established. That the continued use of his middle name would Zamboanga del Sur granted the petition of the respondent and allowed him
cause confusion and difficulty does not constitute proper and reasonable to remarry.
cause to drop it from his registered complete name.

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

The Solicitor Generals motion for reconsideration was denied. In view of However, the legislative intent must be taken into consideration and rule of
that, petitioner filed this petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of reason must be applied. The Supreme Court ruled that par. 2 of Art. 26
the Regional Trial Court. Herein petitioner raised the issue of the should be construed and interpreted to include cases involving parties who,
applicability of Art. 26 par. 2 to the instant case. at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later
on, one of then becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a
ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT CAN REMARRY UNDER divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry
THE ARTICLE 26 OF THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES. as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the
marriage. To rule otherwise would be sanction absurdity and injustice.
HELD: Respondent Orbecido who has the burden of proof, failed to submit Were the interpretation of a statute according to its exact and literal import
competent evidence showing his allegations that his naturalized American would lead to mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose of the
wife had obtained a divorce decree and had remarried. Therefore, the legislature, it should be construed according to its spirit and reason,
Petition of the Republic of the Philippines is GRANTED. The Decision and disregarding as far as necessary the letter of the law. A stature may
Resolution of the RTC Br. 32 of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur is hereby SET therefore be extended to case not within the literal meaning of its terms, so
ASIDE. long as they come within its spirits or intent.
Art. 26 (2) Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is
validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the Manuel vs Republic
alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall
have capacity to remarry under the Philippine laws. FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the
Article 26 par. 2 of the Family Code only applies to case where at the time Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Baguio
of the celebration of the marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen and a City, Branch 3, convicting the petitioner of bigamy.
foreigner. The instant case is one where at the time the marriage was The petitioner married Rubylus Gaa on July 28, 1975 in Makati. On the
solemnized, the parties were two Filipino citizens, but later on, the wife was same year, Gaa was charged with estafa. The petitioner visited her in jail
naturalized as an American citizen and subsequently obtained a divorce after three months and never saw her again.
granting her capacity to remarry, and indeed she remarried an American In January 1996, petitioner, then 39 years old met complainant Tina B.
citizen while residing in the U. S. A. Therefore, the 2nd par. of Art. 26 does Gandalera, 21 years old, in Dagupan City. Petitioner visited her several
not apply to the instant case. times in Baguio City, at one time he brought his parents whom assured the
complainant and her parents that the petitioner is single. On April 22, 1996,

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

they had a civil marriage in Baguio, settling at Irisan, Baguio. In their bigamous marriage to be considered valid, which are: (1) the prior spouse
marriage contract, petitioner wrote that he was "single". have been absent for four consecutive years, (2) the spouse present has a
After three years of marriage, complainant allege that petitioner was home well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead, and (3) a judicial
only twice or thrice a year and that whenever complainant asks for declaration of presumptive death of the absent spouse (Armas vs Calisterio
sustenance, the petitioner would slap her. On January 2001, the petitioner 330 SCRA 201), the third rule of which is designed to harmonize with
finally left and did not return. Petitioner allege that the reason he left was Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code which defines and penalizes bigamy.
that her wife has a lover evidenced by the "love-bite" he saw on her neck. 2. No, there is no error of law committed by the Court of Appeals. The
The RTC of Baguio ruled against the petitioner, sentencing him to an petitioner is liable for moral damages in accordance to Articles 19, 20, and
indeterminate penalty from six years to ten month as minimum and ten 21 of the Civil Code. Article 19 contends that a person must, in the exercise
years as maximum, and indemnity in the amount of Php 200,000.00 by way of his rights and in the performance of his duty, act with justice, give
of moral damages. After appealing with the Court of Appeals, the sentence everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith; Article 20: every
was reduced to two years, four months and one day minimum and ten years person who, willfully or negligently causes damage to another shall
maximum. indemnify the latter the same; and Article 21: any person who willfully
causes loss or injury to another, in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
ISSUES: customs and public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed reversible error of law The petitioner's collective acts of fraud and deceit before, during and after
when it ruled that petitioner's first wife cannot be legally presumed dead his marriage, by his and his parents' assurance that he is single, were willful,
under Article 390 of the Civil Code as there was no judicial declaration of deliberate and with malice and caused injury to the complainant. Also, the
presumptive death as provided for under Article 41 of the Family Code. petitioner's acts are against public policy as they undermine and subvert the
2. Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed reversible error of law family as a social institution,and against good morals, and the interest and
when it affirmed the award of Php 200,000.00 as moral damages as it has general welfare of society. Therefore, the award of Php 200,000. 00 cost for
no basis in fact and in law. moral damages is just and reasonable.

RULING: In The Matter Of The Adoption Of Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia.

1. No, the Court of Appeals did not commit an error of law. The Family
Code, having a retroactive effect, amended Article 390 of the Civil Code, FACTS: Honorato Catindig filed a petition to adopt his minor illegitimate
wherefore adding the third rule in the requirements for a subsequent child Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia. He prayed that the child's middle

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

name Astorga be changed to Garcia, her mother's surname, and that her provided by law to a legitimate child without discrimination of any kind,
surname Garcia be changed to Catindig, his surname. including the right to bear the surname of her father and her mother.
Trial court granted the petition and declared Stephanie as his legitimate
child and heir, and pursuant to Art. 189 of the Family Code, she is now Rosario Banguis-Tambuyat v. Wenifreda Balcom-Tambuyat
known as Stephanie Nathy Catindig.
Honorato filed a motion for clarification and/or reconsideration that FACTS:
Stephanie should be allowed to use the surname Garcia as her middle name. Adriano Tambuyat and respondent Wenifreda Balcom Tambuyat
The Republic, through the OSG, agreed with Honorato for her relationship were married on September 16, 1965.
with her natural mother should be maintained and preserved, to prevent any During their marriage, Adriano acquired several real properties,
confusion and hardship in the future, and under Article 189 she remains to including a 700 sq. m. parcel of land located at Brgy. Muzon, San
be an intestate heir of her mother. Jose del Monte, Bulacan, which was bought on November 17,
1991. The Deed of Sale was signed by Adriano alone as vendee.
ISSUE: Whether or not an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her natural One of the signing witnesses was petitioner Rosario Banguis
father, use the surname of her natural mother as her middle name. Tambuyat, who signed therein as Rosario Tambuyat. All this
time petitioner Banguis remained married to Eduardo Nolasco.
RULING: Yes. there is no law prohibiting an illegitimate child adopted by When TCT covering the subject property was issued, it was made
her natural father, like Stephanie, to use, as middle name her mothers under the name of Adriano M. Tambuyat married to Rosario E.
surname, we find no reason why she should not be allowed to do so. Banguis.
Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 9255, (An When Adriano died intestate on June 7, 1998, Wenifreda filed a
Act Allowing Illegitimate Children To Use The Surname Of Their Father) Petition for Cancellation of the subject TCT. She alleged that she
is silent as to what middle name a child may use. Article 365 of the CC was the surviving spouse of Adriano. That the TCT was
merely provides that an adopted child shall bear the surname of the erroneously registered and made in the name of Adriano M.
adopter. Article 189 of the Family Code, enumerating the legal effects of Tambuyat married to Rosario E. Banguis. That per annexed
adoption, is likewise silent on the matter. marriage contract, Banguis was still married to Nolasco. Wenifreda
Republic Act No. 8552, (Domestic Adoption Act of 1998) an legitimate prayed that the TCT be cancelled. That a new certificate of title be
child by virtue of her adoption, Stephanie is entitled to all the rights made out in Adrianos name, with her as the spouse indicated, and
that Banguis be ordered to surrender her copy of TCT.

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

On her defense, Banguis claimed that she and Adriano were ISSUE: Whether the cancellation of the TCT filed by Wenifreda be granted
married on Sept. 2, 1988, and thereafter lived together as married by the court.
couple; that their union produced a son; and that the trial court has
no jurisdiction over the petition for cancellation, which is merely a HELD: YES
summary proceeding considering that a thorough determination Under Section 108 of PD 1529, the proceeding for the erasure,
will have to be made as to whether the property is conjugal or alteration, or amendment of a certificate of title may be resorted to
exclusive property, and since she and Adriano have a child whose in seven instances, included are (1) when any error, omission or
rights will be adversely affected by any judgment in the case. mistake was made in entering a certificate or any memorandum
The RTC decided in favor of Wenifreda and directed the RD of thereon or on any duplicate certificate and (2) when there is
Meycauayan to cancel the TCT of Banguis and in lieu thereof to reasonable ground for the amendment or alteration of title. The
issue a new certificate of title in the name of Adriano M. Tambuyat present case falls under the two instances because the RD of
married to Wenifreda Winnie Balcom Tambuyat. RTC justified Bulacan committed and error in issuing the disputed TCT, in the
its decision by using Sec. 108 of PD 1529 which states: court name of Adriano M. Tambuyat married to Rosario E. Banguis
authorization is required for any alteration or amendment of a when, in truth and in fact, respondent Wenifreda and not Banguis
certificate of title when any error, omission or mistake was made in is Adrianos lawful spouse. As correctly ruled by the appellate
entering a certificate or any memorandum thereon, or on any court, the preponderance of evidence points to the fact that
duplicate certificate, or when there is reasonable ground for the Wenifreda is the legitimate spouse of Adriano. Thus, it cannot be
amendment or alteration of the title. said that Adriano and Banguis were husband and wife to each
The CA sustained the trial courts decision, noting that Banguis other it cannot even be said that they have a common law
name was included in the TCT by error or mistake. It held that the relationship at all.
evidence adduced proved that Wenifreda and not Banguis is Philippine Law does not recognize common law marriages. A man
the lawful wife of Adriano that there is a valid and subsisting and woman not legally married who cohabit for many years as
marriage between Nolasco and Banguis, and the latter admitted to husband and wife, who represent themselves to the public as
such fact during the course of the proceedings in the trial court husband and wife, and who are reputed to be husband and wife in
and that Banguiss opposition to Wenifredas petition for the community where they live may be considered legally married
cancellation of TCT is not real and genuine as to place the latters in common law jurisdictions but not in the Philippines. While it is
title to the subject property in doubt. true that our laws do not just brush aside the fact that such

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

relationships are present in our society, and that they produce a decree of his marriage with Eugenia from the Dominican Republic. On the
community of properties and interests which is governed by law, same day, he married Soledad.
authority exists in case law to the effect that such form of co In 1977, Atty. Luna organized a new law firm with several other lawyers.
ownership requires that the man and woman living together must The new law office thru Atty. Luna obtained a condominium unit which
not in any way be incapacitated to contract marriage. that the they bought on an installment basis. After full payment, the condominium
provisions of the Civil Code, unless expressly providing to the title was registered in the names of the lawyers with pro-indivisio shares.
contrary as in Article 144, when referring to a spouse When the law office was dissolved, the condominium title was still
contemplate a lawfully wedded spouse. registered in the names of the owners, with Atty. Lunas share fixed at
25/100. Atty. Luna established a new law firm with Atty. Dela Cruz. After
Virginia D. Calimag Vs. Hiers of Silvertra N. Macapaz, represented by Atty. Lunas death in 1997, his share in the condominium unit, his law
Anastacio P. Macapaz, Jr. books and furniture were taken over by Gregorio, his son in the first
SEE ORIGINAL. 2016 CASE marriage. His 25/100 share in the condominium was also rented out to Atty.
Dela Cruz.
Raquel G. Kho Vs. Republic of the Philippines Vs. Veronica B. Kho Soledad, the second wife, then filed a complaint against the heirs of Atty.
SEE ORIGINAL. 2016 CASE Luna. According to him, the properties were acquired by Atty. Luna and her
during their marriage, and because they had no children, 3/4 of the property
Soledad L. Lavadia, v Heirs Of Juan Luces Luna, Represented By became hers, 1/2 being her share in the net estate, and the other half
Gregorio Z. Luna And Eugenia Zaballero-Luna bequeathed to her in a last will and testament of Atty. Luna.
The RTC ruled against her, and awarded the properties to the heirs of Atty.
FACTS: Luna from the first marriage, except for the foreign law books, which were
Atty. Luna, a practicing lawyer up until his death, married Eugenia in 1947. ordered turned over to her.
Their marriage begot seven children, including Gregorio. After two decades Both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals
of marriage, Atty. Luna and his wife agreed to live separately as husband modified the RTC judgment by awarding all the properties, including the
and wife, and executed an Agreement For Separation and Property law books to the heirs of Atty. Luna from the first marriage.
Settlement whereby they agreed to live separately and to dissolve their
conjugal property. On January 2, 1076, Atty. Luna obtained a divorce

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

ISSUE: W/N CA erred in holding that the Agreement For Separation and marriage settlement before or at the time of the marriage. Article 119 of the
Property Settlement between Atty. Luna and Eugenia (the first wife) is Civil Code clearly so provides, to wit:
ineffectual, hence the conjugal property was not dissolved. Article 119. The future spouses may in the marriage settlements agree upon
absolute or relative community of property, or upon complete separation of
RULING: In deciding the case, the Supreme Court answered it by way of property, or upon any other regime. In the absence of marriage settlements,
determining whether the divorce decree between Atty. Luna and Eugenia or when the same are void, the system of relative community or conjugal
was valid, which will decide who among the contending parties were partnership of gains as established in this Code, shall govern the property
entitled to the properties left behind by Atty. Luna. relations between husband and wife.
The Supreme Court: Atty. Lunas marriage with Soledad was bigamous, and void from the very
The divorce between Atty. Luna and Eugenia was void: beginning, hence, their property relations is governed by the rules on co-
From the time of the celebration of the first marriage on September 10, ownership:
1947 until the present, absolute divorce between Filipino spouses has not In the Philippines, marriages that are bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous
been recognized in the Philippines. The non-recognition of absolute divorce are void. Article 71 of the Civil Code clearly states:
between Filipinos has remained even under the Family Code, even if either Article 71. All marriages performed outside the Philippines in accordance
or both of the spouses are residing abroad.Indeed, the only two types of with the laws in force in the country where they were performed, and valid
defective marital unions under our laws have been the void and the voidable there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except bigamous,
marriages. As such, the remedies against such defective marriages have polygamous, or incestuous marriages as determined by Philippine law.
been limited to the declaration of nullity of the marriage and the annulment Bigamy is an illegal marriage committed by contracting a second or
of the marriage. subsequent marriage before the first marriage has been legally dissolved, or
No judicial approval of the Agreement for Separation and Property before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of
Settlement: a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings.[23] A bigamous marriage is
Considering that Atty. Luna and Eugenia had not entered into any considered void ab initio.
marriage settlement prior to their marriage on September 10, 1947, the Due to the second marriage between Atty. Luna and the petitioner being
system of relative community or conjugal partnership of gains governed void ab initio by virtue of its being bigamous, the properties acquired during
their property relations. This is because the Spanish Civil Code, the law the bigamous marriage were governed by the rules on co-ownership,
then in force at the time of their marriage, did not specify the property conformably with Article 144 of the Civil Code, viz:
regime of the spouses in the event that they had not entered into any

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

Article 144. When a man and a woman live together as husband and wife, Noveras v Noveras
but they are not married, or their marriage is void from the beginning, the
property acquired by either or both of them through their work or industry FACTS: David and Leticia Noveras are US citizens who own properties in
or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules on co- the USA and in the Philippines. They have 2 children, Jerome and Jena.
ownership.(n) Leticia states that sometime in 2003, David abandoned his family to live
In such a situation, whoever alleges co-ownership carried the burden of with his mistress. Further, she states that David executed an affidavit where
proof to confirm such fact. To establish co-ownership, therefore, it became he renounced all his rights and interest in the conjugal and real properties in
imperative for the petitioner to offer proof of her actual contributions in the the Philippines. After learning of the extra-marital affair, Leticia filed a
acquisition of property. Her mere allegation of co-ownership, without petition for divorce before the Superior Court of California. Upon issuance
sufficient and competent evidence, would warrant no relief in her favor. As of the judicial decree of divorce in June 2005, the US properties were
the Court explained in Saguid v. Court of Appeals: awarded to Leticia. Leticia then filed a petition for judicial separation of
In the cases of Agapay v. Palang, and Tumlos v. Fernandez, which involved conjugal property before the RTC of Baler, Aurora. The RTC regarded the
the issue of co-ownership of properties acquired by the parties to a petition for judicial separation of conjugal property as a petition for
bigamous marriage and an adulterous relationship, respectively, we ruled liquidation of property since the spouses marriage has already been
that proof of actual contribution in the acquisition of the property is dissolved. It classified their property relation as absolute community
essential. The claim of co-ownership of the petitioners therein who were because they did not execute a marriage settlement before their marriage
parties to the bigamous and adulterous union is without basis because they ceremony. Then, the trial court ruled that in accordance with the doctrine of
failed to substantiate their allegation that they contributed money in the processual presumption, Philippine law should apply because the court
purchase of the disputed properties. Also in Adriano v. Court of Appeals, cannot take judicial notice of the US law since the parties did not submit
we ruled that the fact that the controverted property was titled in the name any proof of their national law. The court awarded the properties in the
of the parties to an adulterous relationship is not sufficient proof of co- Philippines to David, subject to the payment of the childrens legitimes.
ownership absent evidence of actual contribution in the acquisition of the Upon Leticias appeal to the CA, the CA ruled that the Philippine properties
property. be divided equally between the spouses and that both should pay their
Considering that Zenaida failed to adduce evidence of ownership of the children P520k. David argues that the Court should have recognized the
properties subject of the case, the subject properties were awarded in favour California judgment that awarded him the Philippine properties and that
of the heirs of Atty. Luna from the first marriage. allowing Leticia to share in the PH properties is tantamount to unjust
Petition denied. enrichment considering she already owns all the US properties.

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

ISSUES: community of properties. The records of this case are replete with evidence
1. Whether the marriage between David and Leticia has been dissolved that Leticia and David had indeed separated for more than a year and that
2. Whether the filing of the judicial separation of property is proper reconciliation is highly improbable. First, while actual abandonment had not
been proven, it is undisputed that the spouses had been living separately
HELD: since 2003 when David decided to go back to the Philippines to set up his
1. No. the trial court erred in recognizing the divorce decree which severed own business. Second, Leticia heard from her friends that David has been
the bond of marriage between the parties. Under Section 24 of Rule 132, the cohabiting with Estrellita Martinez, who represented herself as Estrellita
record of public documents of a sovereign authority or tribunal may be Noveras. Editha Apolonio, who worked in the hospital where David was
proved by: (1) an official publication thereof or (2) a copy attested by the once confined, testified that she saw the name of Estrellita listed as the wife
officer having the legal custody thereof. Such publication must be of David in the Consent for Operation form. Third and more significantly,
authenticated by a seal of a consular official. Section 25 of the same Rule they had filed for divorce and it was granted by the California court in June
states that whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the 2005. Having established that Leticia and David had actually separated for
purpose of evidence, the attestation must state that the copy is a correct at least one year, the petition for judicial separation of absolute community
copy of the original. The attestation must be under the official seal of the of property should be granted.
attesting officer. Based on the records, only the divorce decree was
presented in evidence. The required certificates to prove its authenticity, as Norma A. Del Socorro, For And In Behalf Of Her Minor Child
well as the pertinent California law on divorce were not presented. Absent a Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem v Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem
valid recognition of the divorce decree, it follows that the parties are still
legally married in the Philippines. The trial court thus erred in proceeding Foreign law should not be applied when its application would work
directly to liquidation. undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum.
2. Yes. Art 135 of the Family Code provides that: Art. 135. Any of the
following shall be considered sufficient cause for judicial separation of FACTS:
property: xxxx (6) That at the time of the petition, the spouses have been Norma A. Del Socorro and Ernst Van Wilsem contracted marriage in
separated in fact for at least one year and reconciliation is highly Holland. They were blessed with a son named Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem.
improbable. Separation in fact for one year as a ground to grant a judicial Unfortunately, their marriage bond ended by virtue of a Divorce Decree
separation of property was not tackled in the trial courts decision because, issued by the appropriate Court of Holland. Thereafter, Norma and her son
the trial court erroneously treated the petition as liquidation of the absolute came home to the Philippines. According to Norma, Ernst made a promise

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

to provide monthly support to their son. However, since the arrival of applied when its application would work undeniable injustice to the citizens
petitioner and her son in the Philippines, Ernst never gave support to or residents of the forum. To give justice is the most important function of
Roderigo. Norma filed a complaint against Ernst for violation of R.A. No. law; hence, a law, or judgment or contract that is obviously unjust negates
9262 for the latters unjust refusal to support his minor child with petitioner. the fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws. Applying the foregoing,
The trial court dismissed the complaint since the facts charged in the even if the laws of the Netherlands neither enforce a parents obligation to
information do not constitute an offense with respect to the accused, he support his child nor penalize the non-compliance therewith, such
being an alien. obligation is still duly enforceable in the Philippines because it would be of
great injustice to the child to be denied of financial support when the latter
ISSUE: Does a foreign national have an obligation to support his minor is entitled thereto.
child under Philippine law?
Villagracia v Fifth (5th) Shari' A District Court
RULING: Yes, since Ernst is a citizen of Holland or the Netherlands, we
agree with the RTC that he is subject to the laws of his country, not to FACTS: On February 15, 1996, Roldan E. Mala purchased a 300-square-
Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged to give support to his child, as meterparcel of land located in Poblacion, Parang, Maguindanao, from one
well as the consequences of his failure to do so. This does not, however, Ceres Caete. On March 3, 1996, a TCT No. T-15633 covering the parcel
mean that Ernst is not obliged to support Normas son altogether. In of land was issued in Roldans name. At the time of the purchase, Vivencio
international law, the party who wants to have a foreign law applied to a B. Villagracia occupied the parcel of land. By 2002, Vivencio secured a
dispute or case has the burden of proving the foreign law. In the present Katibayan ng Orihinal na Titulo Blg. P-60192 issued by the Land
case, Ernst hastily concludes that being a national of the Netherlands, he is Registration Authority allegedly covering the same parcel of land. It was
governed by such laws on the matter of provision of and capacity to only on October 30, 2006, when Roldan had the parcel of land surveyed,
support. While Ernst pleaded the laws of the Netherlands in advancing his found out that Vivencio occupied the said parcel of land. Failing to settle
position that he is not obliged to support his son, he never proved the same. with Vivencio at the barangay level, Roldan filed an action to recover the
It is incumbent upon Ernst to plead and prove that the national law of the possession of the parcel of land with respondent Fifth Sharia District
Netherlands does not impose upon the parents the obligation to support their Court. In its decision dated June 11, 2008, respondent Fifth Sharia District
child. Foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our Court ruled that Roldan, as registered owner, had the better right to possess
courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. Like any other fact, the parcel of land. It ordered Vivencio to vacate the property, turn it over to
they must be alleged and proved. Moreover, foreign law should not be Roldan, and pay damages as well as attorneys fees. A notice of writ of

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

execution was sent to Vivencio, giving him 30 days from receipt of the
notice to comply with the decision. Meanwhile, Vivencio filed a petition for RULING:
relief from judgment with prayer for issuance of writ of preliminary 1. The law conferring the jurisdiction of Sharia District Courts is the Code
injunction. He cited Article 155, paragraph (2) of the Code of Muslim of the Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines. Under Article 143 of the
Personal Laws of the Philippines and argued that Sharia District Courts Muslim Code, Sharia District Courts have concurrent original jurisdiction
may only hear civil actions and proceedings if both parties are Muslims. with existing civil courts over real actions not arising from customary
Considering that he is a Christian, hence the respondent Fifth Sharia contracts wherein the parties involved are Muslims.
District Court had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of Roldans action for When ownership is acquired over a particular property, the owner has the
recovery of possession of a parcel of land. However, respondent Fifth right to possess and enjoy it. If the owner is dispossessed of his or her
Sharia District Court denied Vivencios petition for relief from judgment property, he or she has a right of action to recover its possession from the
for lack of merit. Hence this petition for certiorari with prayer for issuance dispossessor. When the property involved is real, such as land, the action to
of temporary restraining order to enjoin the implementation of the writ of recover it is a real action; otherwise, the action is a personal action. In such
execution issued against Vivencio. Roldan argued that since respondent actions, the parties involved must be Muslims for Sharia District Courts to
Fifth Sharia District Court had jurisdiction to decide the action for recovery validly take cognizance of them. In this case, the allegations in Roldans
of possession, he argued that the proceedings before it were valid. petition for recovery of possession did not state that Vivencio is a Muslim.
Respondent Fifth Sharia District Court acquired jurisdiction over the When Vivencio stated in his petition for relief from judgment that he is not
person of Vivencio upon service on him of summons. When Vivencio failed a Muslim, Roldan did not dispute this claim. When it became apparent that
to file his answer, he effectively waived his right to participate in the Vivencio is not a Muslim, respondent Fifth Sharia District Court should
proceedings [before the Fifth Sharia District Court] and he cannot argue have motu proprio dismissed the case. Under Rule 9, Section 1 of the Rules
that his rights were prejudiced. of Court, if it appears that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject
matter of the action based on the pleadings or the evidence on record, the
ISSUES: court shall dismiss the claim.
1. Whether or not a Sharia District Court has jurisdiction over a real Respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had no authority under the law to
action where one of the parties is not a Muslim. decide Roldans action because not all of the parties involved in the action
2. Whether or not proceedings before respondent Sharia District are Muslims. Thus, it had no jurisdiction over Roldans action for recovery
Court were valid since the latter acquired jurisdiction over the of possession. All its proceedings in SDC Special Proceedings Case No. 07-
person of Vivencio. 200 are void.

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

2. In this case, Roldan sought to enforce a personal obligation on Vivencio court decided in her favor but the Office of the Solicitor General appealed
to vacate his property, restore to him the possession of his property, and pay before the Supreme Court invoking that the same was a violation of Rules
damages for the unauthorized use of his property. Thus, Roldans action for 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court because the said petition did not implead
recovery of possession is an action in personam. This action being in the local civil registrar.
personam, service of summons on Vivencio was necessary for respondent
Fifth Sharia District Court to acquire jurisdiction over Vivencios person. ISSUE: The issue in this case is the validity of the change of sex or gender
However, as discussed, respondent Fifth Sharia District Court has no and name of respondent as ruled by the lower court.
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action, with Vivencio not being a
Muslim. Therefore, all the proceedings before respondent Sharia District HELD: The contention of the Office of the Solicitor General that the
Court, including the service of summons on Vivencio, are void. petition is fatally defective because it failed to implead the local civil
registrar as well as all persons who have or claim any interest therein is not
Republic vs. Cagandahan, without merit. However, it must be stressed that private respondent
furnished the local civil registrar a copy of the petition, the order to publish
FACTS: Jennifer Cagandahan filed before the Regional Trial Court Branch on December 16, 2003 and all pleadings, orders or processes in the course
33 of Siniloan, Laguna a Petition for Correction of Entries in Birth of the proceedings. In which case, the Supreme Court ruled that there is
Certificate of her name from Jennifer B. Cagandahan to Jeff Cagandahan substantial compliance of the provisions of Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules
and her gender from female to male. It appearing that Jennifer Cagandahan of Court. Furthermore, the Supreme Court held that the determination of a
is suffering from Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia which is a rare medical persons sex appearing in his birth certificate is a legal issue which in this
condition where afflicted persons possess both male and female case should be dealt with utmost care in view of the delicate facts present in
characteristics. Jennifer Cagandahan grew up with secondary male this case.
characteristics. To further her petition, Cagandahan presented in court the In deciding the case, the Supreme Court brings forth the need to elaborate
medical certificate evidencing that she is suffering from Congenital Adrenal the term intersexuality which is the condition or let us say a disorder that
Hyperplasia which certificate is issued by Dr. Michael Sionzon of the respondent is undergoing. INTERSEXUALITY applies to human beings
Department of Psychiatry, University of the Philippines-Philippine General who cannot be classified as either male or female. It is the state of a living
Hospital, who, in addition, explained that Cagandahan genetically is thing of a gonochoristic species whose sex chromosomes, genitalia, and/or
female but because her body secretes male hormones, her female organs did secondary sex characteristics are determined to be neither exclusively male
not develop normally, thus has organs of both male and female. The lower nor female. It is said that an organism with intersex may have biological

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

characteristics of both male and female sexes. In view of the foregoing, the respondent as a male will harm other members of society who are equally
highest tribunal of the land consider the compassionate calls for recognition entitled to protection under the law, the Supreme Court affirmed as valid
of the various degrees of intersex as variations which should not be subject and justified the respondents position and his personal judgment of being a
to outright denial. male.
The current state of Philippine statutes apparently compels that a person be
classified either as a male or as a female, but this Court is not controlled by Republic v Albios
mere appearances when nature itself fundamentally negates such rigid
classification. That is, Philippine courts must render judgment based on law FACTS:
and the evidence presented. In the instant case, there is no denying that On October 22, 2004, Fringer, an American citizen, and Albios were
evidence points that respondent is male. In determining respondent to be a married, as evidenced by a Certificate of Marriage. On December 6, 2006,
female, there is no basis for a change in the birth certificate entry for Albios filed with the RTC a petition for declaration of nullity of her
gender. The Supreme Court held that where the person is biologically or marriage with Fringer, alleging that immediately after their marriage, they
naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would separated and never lived as husband and wife because they never really
be what the individual, like respondent, having reached the age of majority, had any intention of entering into a married state or complying with any of
with good reason thinks of his/her sex. Sexual development in cases of their essential marital obligations.
intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is Fringer did not file his answer. On September 13, 2007, Albios filed a
at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is fixed. The motion to set case for pre-trial and to admit her pre-trial brief. After the pre-
Court will not consider respondent as having erred in not choosing to trial, only Albios, her counsel and the prosecutor appeared. Fringer did not
undergo treatment in order to become or remain as a female. Neither will attend the hearing despite being duly notified of the schedule.
the Court force respondent to undergo treatment and to take medication in The RTC declared the marriage void ab initio. The RTC opined that the
order to fit the mold of a female, as society commonly currently knows this parties married each other for convenience only. Albios stated that she
gender of the human species. Respondent is the one who has to live with his contracted Fringer to enter into a marriage to enable her to acquire
intersex anatomy. To him belongs the human right to the pursuit of American citizenship and that in consideration thereof, she agreed to pay
happiness and of health. Thus, to him should belong the primordial choice him the sum of $2,000.00. However, she did not pay Fringer $2,000.00
of what courses of action to take along the path of his sexual development because the latter never processed her petition for citizenship.
and maturation. In the absence of evidence that respondent is an The OSG filed an appeal before the CA. The CA affirmed the RTC ruling
incompetent and in the absence of evidence to show that classifying which found that the essential requisite of consent was lacking.

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage contracted for the sole purpose of givenconsent requires that the contracting parties willingly and deliberately
acquiring American citizenship void ab initio on the ground of lack of enter into the marriage. Consent must be real in the sense that it is not
consent? vitiated nor rendered defective by any of the vices of consent under Articles
45 and 46 of the Family Code, such as fraud, force, intimidation, and undue
HELD: The marriage between the parties is valid influence. Consent must also be conscious or intelligent, in that the parties
CIVIL LAW: validity of marriage must be capable of intelligently understanding the nature of, and both the
In 1975, the seminal case of Bark v. Immigration and Naturalization beneficial or unfavorable consequences of their act.
Service, established the principal test for determining the presence of Based on the above, consent was not lacking between Albios and Fringer.
marriage fraud in immigration cases. It ruled that a arriage is a sham if the In fact, there was real consent because it was not vitiated nor rendered
bride and groom did not intend to establish a life together at the time they defective by any vice of consent. Their consent was also conscious and
were married.This standard was modified with the passage of the intelligent as they understood the nature and the beneficial and inconvenient
Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendment of 1986 (IMFA), which now consequences of their marriage, as nothing impaired their ability to do so.
requires the couple to instead demonstrate that the marriage was not ntered That their consent was freely given is best evidenced by their conscious
into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws of the United purpose of acquiring American citizenship through marriage. Such plainly
States.The focus, thus, shifted from determining the intention to establish a demonstrates that they willingly and deliberately contracted the marriage.
life together, to determining the intention of evading immigration laws. It There was a clear intention to enter into a real and valid marriage so as to
must be noted, however, that this standard is used purely for immigration fully comply with the requirements of an application for citizenship. There
purposes and, therefore, does not purport to rule on the legal validity or was a full and complete understanding of the legal tie that would be created
existence of a marriage. between them, since it was that precise legal tie which was necessary to
In the 1969 case of Mpiliris v. Hellenic Lines, which declared as valid a accomplish their goal.
marriage entered into solely for the husband to gain entry to the United
States, stating that a valid marriage could not be avoided erely because the Balogbog vs. CA
marriage was entered into for a limited purpose.The 1980 immigration case
of Matter of McKee, further recognized that a fraudulent or sham marriage FACTS: Ramonito and Generoso Balogbog filed an action for partition and
was intrinsically different from a nonsubsisting one. accounting against their Aunt Leoncia and Uncle Gaudioso for partition and
Under Article 2 of the Family Code, for consent to be valid, it must be (1) accounting of their grandparents estate at the Court of First Instance of
freely given and (2) made in the presence of a solemnizing officer. A reely

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

Cebu City which was granted by the latter. Leoncia and Gaudioso appealed Leoncia and Gaudioso contended that the marriage of Gavino and Catalina
to the Court of Appeals but the latter affirmed the lower courts decision. should have been proven in accordance with Arts. 53 and 54 of the Civil
Basilio Balogbog and Genoveva Arnibal died intestate in 1951 and 1961 Code of 1889 because this was the law in force at the time of the alleged
respectively. They have three children, Leoncia, Gaudioso and Gavino, marriage was celebrated.
their older brother who died in 1935. Ramoncito and Generoso was Art. 53 provides that marriages celebrated under the Civil Code of 1889
claiming that they were the legitimate children of Gavino by Catalina Ubas should be proven only by a certified copy of the memorandum in the Civil
and that, as such they were entitled to the one-third share in the estate of Registry, unless the books thereof have not been kept or have been lost, or
their grandparents. However, Leoncia and Gaudioso claimed they are not unless they are questioned in the courts, in which case any other proof, such
aware that their brother has 2 sons and that he was married. They started to as that of the continuous possession by parents of the status of husband and
question the validity of the marriage between their brother Gavino and wife, may be considered, provided that the registration of the birth of their
Catalina despite how Gaudioso himself admitted during a police children as their legitimate children is also submitted in evidence.
investigation proceeding that indeed Ramonito is his nephew as the latter is
the son of his elder brother Gavino. ISSUE: Whether or not Gavino and Catalinas marriage is valid.
In the efforts of Ramoncito and Generoso to prove the validity of their
parents marriage, they presented Priscilo Trazo, 81 years old then mayor of HELD: Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the trial court and Court
Asturias from 1928 to 1934 and Matias Pogoy who both testified that he of Appeals in rendering Gavino and Catalinas marriage as valid and thus
knew Gavino and Catalina to be husband and wife and that they have three entitle Ramonito and Generoso one third of their grandparents estate.
children. Catalina herself testified that she was handed a receipt The court further states that Arts. 42 to 107 of the Civil Code of 889 of
presumably the marriage certificate by Fr. Jomao-as but it was burned Spain did not take effect, having been suspended by the Governor General
during the war. of the Philippines shortly after the extension of that code of this
On the other hand,Leoncia claimed that her brother Gavino died single at country. Therefore, Arts. 53 and 54 never came into force. Since this case
the family residence in Asturias. She obtained a certificate from the local was brought in the lower court in 1968, the existence of the marriage must
Civil Registrar of Asturias to the effect that the office did not have a record be determined in accordance with the present Civil Code, which repealed
of the names of Gavino and Catalina which was prepared by Assistant the provisions of the former Civil Code, except as they related to vested
Municipal Treasurer Juan Maranga who testified in the hearing as well. rights, and the rules of evidence. Under the Rules of Court, the presumption
is that a man and a woman conducting themselves as husband and wife are
legally married.

Persons and Family Relations Digest Compilation

HELD: Yes. Her contention is bereft of merit. It is shown that the spouses
Albeit, a marriage contract is considered primary evidence of marriage, Ong made their claim after the wedding but were advised to return after
failure to present it would not mean that marriage did not take place. Other their honeymoon. The spouses advised Go that their honeymoon is to be
evidence may be presented where in this case evidence consisting of the done abroad and wont be able to return for two months. It is contrary to
testimonies of witnesses was held competent to prove the marriage of human nature for any newlywed couple to neglect to claim the video
Gavino and Catalina in 1929, that they have three children, one of whom, coverage of their wedding; the fact that the Ongs filed a case against Nancy
Petronilo, died at the age of six and that they are recognized by Gavinos Go belies such assertion. Considering the sentimental value of the tapes and
family and by the public as the legitimate children of Gavino. the fact that the event therein recorded a wedding which in our culture is
a significant milestone to be cherished and remembered could no longer
Nancy Go and Alex Go vs Court of Appeals be reenacted and was lost forever, the trial court was correct in awarding the
Ongs moral damages in compensation for the mental anguish, tortured
FACTS: In 1981, Hermogenes Ong and Jane Ong contracted with Nancy feelings, sleepless nights and humiliation that the Ongs suffered and which
Go for the latter to film their wedding. After the wedding, the newlywed under the circumstances could be awarded as allowed under Articles 2217
inquired about their wedding video but Nancy Go said its not yet ready. and 2218 of the Civil Code.

She advised them to return for the wedding video after their honeymoon. Anent the issue that Nancy Gos husband should not be included in the suit,

The newlywed did so but only to find out that Nancy Go can no longer this argument is valid. Under Article 73 of the Family Code, the wife may
exercise any profession, occupation or engage in business without the
produce the said wedding video because the copy has been erased.
consent of the husband. In this case, it was shown that it was only Nancy
The Ongs then sued Nancy Go for damages. Nancys husband, Alex Go,
Go who entered into a contract with the spouses Ong hence only she
was impleaded. The trial court ruled in favor of the spouses Ong and
(Nancy) is liable to pay the damages awarded in favor of the Ongs.
awarded in their favor, among others, P75k in moral damages. In her
defense on appeal, Nancy Go said: that they erased the video tape because
as per the terms of their agreement, the spouses are supposed to claim their
wedding tape within 30 days after the wedding, however, the spouses
neglected to get said wedding tape because they only made their claim after
two months; that her husband should not be impleaded in this suit.

ISSUE: Whether or not Nancy Go is liable for moral damages.