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2.

Effect of a mothers declaration, FC 167

Chua Keng Giap v. IAC, 158 SCRA 18

Facts:
Chua Keng Giap, filed a petition for the settlement of the estate of the late Sy Kao .
Private respondent moved to dismiss for lack of a cause of action and of the
petitioner's capacity to file the petition. The latter, it was claimed, had been declared
as not the son of the spouses Chua Bing Guan and Sy Kao in S.P. No. Q-12592, for the
settlement of the estate of the late Chua Bing Guan. The decision in that case had
long become final and executory.
The motion was denied by Judge Jose P. Castro, who held that the case invoked
decided the paternity and not the maternity of the petitioner. Holding that this was
mere quibbling, the respondent court reversed the trial judge in a petition for
certiorari filed by the private respondent. The motion for reconsideration was
denied for late filing. The petitioner then came to this Court to challenge these
rulings.
The petitioner argues at length that the question to be settled in a motion to dismiss
based on lack of a cause of action is the sufficiency of the allegation itself and not
whether these allegations are true or not, for their truth is hypothetically admitted.
CONTENTIONS:
Respondent:
A. Res judicata: The latter, it was claimed, had been declared as not the son of the
spouses Chua Bing Guan and Sy Kao in S.P. No. Q-12592, for the settlement of the
estate of the late Chua Bing Guan.
B. Mothers testimonials: SY Kua herself testified that she is not her son.
Petitioner:
A. paternity and not the maternity of the petitioner is to be decided. Therefore, the
testimony of the mother should not be credited.

ISSUE: W/N Chua Keng Giap is the son of Chua Bing and Sy Kua.
Held: NO.
The petitioner is beating a dead horse. The issue of his claimed filiation has long
been settled, and with finality, by no less than this Court. That issue cannot be
resurrected now because it has been laid to rest in Sy Kao v. Court of
Appeals, decided on September 28, 1984. In that case, Sy Kao flatly and
unequivocally declared that she was not the petitioner's mother.
Who better than Sy Kao herself would know if Chua Keng Giap was really her son?
More than anyone else, it was Sy Kao who could say as indeed she has said these
many years--that Chua Keng Giap was not begotten of her womb.

3. In subsequent marriages, FC 168 in relation to Republic Act No. 10655, An Act


Repealing the Crime of Premature Marriage under Article 351 Of Act No. 3815,
otherwise known as The Revised Penal Code, March 2015, 169

People v Quitoriano, January 20, 1997

FACTS

Edgardo Quitoriano was charged of the crime of rape. He allegedly raped the victim,
Edna Pergis, on December 24, 1992.In June 1993, her aunt, Teresa Pergis,
discovered that Edna was pregnant. On August 2, 1993, private complainant filed a
complaint for rapeagainst accused-appellant. She gave birth on October 31, 1993.
Private complainant gave birth more than ten months after the alleged rape;
therefore, the child could not have been the accused

ISSUES : WON the child could have been the accuseds child

HELD
Yes. The fact that private complainant gave birth more than ten months after the
alleged rape does not discredit her testimony. Dr. Honesto Marquez, a physician
from the Marinduque Provincial Hospital, explained that the normal gestation
period is 40 weeks or 280 days, but it can also extend beyond 40 weeks if the
woman is having her first pregnancy. It is undisputed that the child delivered by
private complainant on October 31, 1993 was her first. Hence, it is not impossible
that the child was conceived in December, 1992, the date of the alleged rape.

DOCTRINE:
4. ID.; ID.; ID.; THE FACT THAT THE VICTIM GAVE BIRTH MORE THAN TEN (10)
MONTHS AFTER THE ALLEGED RAPE DOES NOT DISCREDIT HER TESTIMONY;
CASE AT BENCH. The fact that private complainant gave birth more than ten
months after the alleged rape does not discredit her testimony. Dr. Honesto
Marquez, a physician from the Marinduque Provincial Hospital, explained that the
normal gestation period is 40 weeks or 280 days, but it can also extend beyond 40
weeks if the woman is having her first pregnancy. It is undisputed that the child
delivered by private complainant on October 31, 1993 was her first. Hence, it is not
impossible that the child was conceived in December, 1992, the date of the alleged
rape.
4. Presumptions, FC 170, 171

5. Who may impugn, FC 170-171

Benitez-Badua v. CA, 229 SCRA 468

FACTS:
Spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian had various properties. They both
died intestate. The special proceedings for administration of the properties were
filed with the trial court. Vicente's sister Victoria B. Lirio filed for issuance of letters
of administration in favor of the nephew. Marissa opposed the petition, saying that
she is the sole heir of deceased Vicente and that she is capable of administering his
estate. She submitted the pieces of documentary evidence and testified that the
spouses treated her as their own daughter. The relatives of Vicente tried to prove
through testimonial evidence, that the spouses failed to beget a child during their
marriage. Victoria categorically declared that Marissa was not the biological child of
the spouses who were unable to physically procreate.

Trial court relied on Arts. 166 and 170 of the Family Code and ruled in favor of
Marissa. On appeal, the CA reversed the lower court decision and declared Marissa
Benitez-Badua is not the biological child of the late spouses.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Marissa Benitez-Badua is the legitimate child and the sole heir of the
late spouses.

RULING:
No. The SC find no merit to the petition.

Articles 164, 166, 170 and 171 of the Family Code cannot be applied in the case at
bar. The above provisions do not contemplate a situation where a child is alleged
not to be the biological child of a certain couple.

In Article 166, it is the husband who can impugn the legitimacy of the child by:
(1) it was physically impossible for him to have sexual intercourse, with his wife
within the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately preceded the birth of
the child;
(2) that for biological or other scientific reasons, the child could not have been his
child;

(3) that in case of children conceived through artificial insemination, the written
authorization or ratification by either parent was obtained through mistake, fraud,
violence, intimidation or undue influence.

Articles 170 and 171 speak of the prescription period within which the husband or
any of his heirs should file an action impugning the legitimacy of the child. In this
case, it is not where the heirs of the late Vicente are contending that Marissa is not
his child or a child by Isabel, but they are contending that Marissa was not born to
Vicente and Isabel.

Marissa was not the biological child of the dead spouses. Marissa's Certificate of Live
Birth was repudiated by the Deed of Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate of the
late Isabel by Vicente, saying that he and his brother-in-law are the sole heirs of the
estate.

Liyao, Jr. vs. Tanhoti-Liyao, 378 SCRA 563

FACTS:
Petitioner, represented by his mother Corazon, filed an action for compulsory
recognition as the illegitimate (spurious) son of the late William Liyao against
herein respondents, the legitimate wife and children of the deceased.

Corazon is legally married but living separately from her husband allegedly
for more than ten years at the time of the institution of this civil case. She cohabited
with the late William until his death. Petitioner alleged that he was in continuous
possession and enjoyment of the status of the child of said William Liyao, having
been recognized and acknowledged as such child by the decedent during his
lifetime and presented witnesses and evidence to prove his allegations. On the other
hand, respondents painted a different picture of the story. RTC rendered judgment
in favour of petitioner.

CA reversed the ruling of RTC, favoured the presumption of legitimacy of the child
and gave weight to the testimonies of the witnesses of the respondents that Corazon
and her husband were seen together during the period she cohabited with the
deceased.

ISSUE:
WON the petition initiated by Corazon to compel recognition by respondents can
prosper.
WON petitioners action to impugn his legitimacy is proper.

RULING:
No. It is settled that a child born within a valid marriage is presumed legitimate even
though the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been
sentenced as an adulteress.(Art 167,FC)
No. We cannot allow petitioner to maintain his present petition and subvert
the clear mandate of the law that only the husband, or in exceptional
circumstances, his heirs, could impugn the legitimacy of a child born in a valid
and subsisting marriage. The child himself cannot choose his own filiation. If the
husband, presumed to be the father does not impugn the legitimacy of the child,
then the status of the child is fixed, and the latter cannot choose to be the child of his
mothers alleged paramour. On the other hand, if the presumption of legitimacy is
overthrown, the child cannot elect the paternity of the husband who successfully
defeated the presumption. (Art 170-171, FC)

Republic v Magpayo, GR 189476, Feb. 2, 2011

FACTS: Born in Makati on September 9, 1972, Julian Edward Emerson Coseteng


Magpayo (respondent) is the son of Fulvio M. Magpayo Jr. and Anna Dominique
Marquez-Lim Coseteng who, as respondents certificate of live birth shows,
contracted marriage on March 26, 1972.

Claiming, however, that his parents were never legally married, respondent filed on
July 22, 2008 at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City a Petition to change
his name to Julian Edward Emerson Marquez Lim Coseteng. The petition, docketed
as SPP No. Q-0863058, was entitled "IN RE PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAMEOF
JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON COSETENG MAGPAYO TO JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON
MARQUEZ-LIM COSETENG."

In support of his petition, respondent submitted a certification from the National


Statistics Office stating that his mother Anna Dominique "does not appear in [its]
National Indices of Marriage. Respondent also submitted his academic records
from elementary up to college showing that he carried the surname "Coseteng," and
the birth certificate of his child where "Coseteng" appears as his surname. In the
1998, 2001 and 2004 Elections, respondent ran and was elected as Councilor of
Quezon Citys 3rd District using the name "JULIAN M.L. COSETENG."

On order of Branch 77 of the Quezon City RTC, respondent amended his petition by
alleging therein compliance with the 3-year residency requirement under Section 2,
Rule 103] of the Rules of Court.

The notice setting the petition for hearing on November 20, 2008 was published in
the newspaper Broadside in its issues of October 31-November 6, 2008, November
7-13, 2008, and November 14-20, 2008. And a copy of the notice was furnished the
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

No opposition to the petition having been filed, an order of general default was
entered by the trial court which then allowed respondent to present evidence ex
parte

By Decision of January 8, 2009, the trial court granted respondents petition and
directed the Civil Registrar ofMakati City to:

1. Delete the entry "March 26, 1972" in Item 24 for "DATE AND PLACE OF
MARRIAGE OF PARTIES" [in herein respondents Certificate of live Birth];
2. Correct the entry "MAGPAYO" in the space for the Last Name of the [respondent]
to "COSETENG";
3. Delete the entry "COSETENG" in the space for Middle Name of the [respondent];
and
4. Delete the entry "Fulvio Miranda Magpayo, Jr." in the space for FATHER of the
[respondent] (emphasis and underscoring supplied; capitalization in the original)

The Republic of the Philippines (Republic) filed a motion for reconsideration but it
was denied by the trial court by Order of July 2, 2009, hence, it, thru the OSG, lodged
the present petition for review to the Court on pure question of law.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the petition for change of name involving change of
civil status should be made through appropriate adversarial proceedings.
2. Whether or not the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction when it
directed the deletion of the name of respondents father from his birth
certificate.
HELD:

The petition is impressed with merit. (in favor of the Republic)

1. A person can effect a change of name under Rule 103 (CHANGE OF NAME) using
valid and meritorious grounds including (a) when the name is ridiculous,
dishonorable or extremely difficult to write or pronounce; (b) when the change
results as a legal consequence such as legitimation; (c) when the change will avoid
confusion; (d) when one has continuously used and been known since childhood by
a Filipino name, and was unaware of alien parentage; (e) a sincere desire to adopt a
Filipino name to erase signs of former alienage, all in good faith and without
prejudicing anybody; and (f) when the surname causes embarrassment and there is
no showing that the desired change of name was for a fraudulent purpose or that
the change of name would prejudice public interest.

*** Respondents reason for changing his name cannot be considered as one of, or
analogous to, recognized grounds, however.

The present petition must be differentiated from Alfon v. Republic of the


Philippines. In Alfon, the Court allowed the therein petitioner, Estrella Alfon, to use
the name that she had been known since childhood in order to avoid confusion.
Alfon did not deny her legitimacy, however. She merely sought to use the surname
of her mother which she had been using since childhood. Ruling in her favor, the
Court held that she was lawfully entitled to use her mothers surname, adding that
the avoidance of confusion was justification enough to allow her to do so. In the
present case, however, respondent denies his legitimacy.

The change being sought in respondents petition goes so far as to affect his legal
status in relation to his parents. It seeks to change his legitimacy to that of
illegitimacy. Rule 103 then would not suffice to grant respondents supplication.
Labayo-Rowe v. Republic categorically holds that "changes which may affect the
civil status from legitimate to illegitimate . . . are substantial and controversial
alterations which can only be allowed after appropriate adversary proceedings . . ."

******** Since respondents desired change affects his civil status from legitimate to
illegitimate, Rule 108 applies. It reads:

SECTION 1. Who may file petition.Any person interested in any act, event, order
or decree concerning the civil status of persons which has been recorded in the civil
register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or correction of any entry
relating thereto, with the [RTC] of the province where the corresponding civil
registry is located.

SEC. 3. Parties.When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is


sought, the civil registrar and all persons who have or claim any interest which
would be affected thereby shall be made parties to the proceeding.

SEC. 4. Notice and publication. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall, by an
order, fix the time and place for the hearing of the same, and cause reasonable
notice thereof to be given to the persons named in the petition. The court shall also
cause the order to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a
newspaper of general circulation in the province. (emphasis, italics and
underscoring supplied)

2. Rule 108 clearly directs that a petition which concerns ones civil status should be
filed in the civil registry in which the entry is sought to be cancelled or corrected
that of Makati in the present case, and "all persons who have or claim any interest
which would be affected thereby" should be made parties to the proceeding.

As earlier stated, however, the petition of respondent was filed not in Makati where
his birth certificate was registered but in Quezon City. And as the above-mentioned
title of the petition filed by respondent before the RTC shows, neither the civil
registrar of Makati nor his father and mother were made parties thereto.

Rule 103 regarding change of name and in Rule 108 concerning the cancellation or
correction of entries in the civil registry are separate and distinct.

Aside from improper venue, he failed to implead the civil registrar of Makati and all
affected parties as respondents in the case."A petition for a substantial correction or
change of entries in the civil registry should have as respondents the civil registrar,
as well as all other persons who have or claim to have any interest that would be
affected thereby."

Rule 108 clearly mandates two sets of notices to different "potential oppositors."
The first notice is that given to the "persons named in the petition" and the second
(which is through publication) is that given to other persons who are not named in
the petition but nonetheless may be considered interested or affected parties, such
as creditors. That two sets of notices are mandated under the above-quoted Section
4 is validated by the subsequent Section 5, also above-quoted, which provides for
two periods (for the two types of "potential oppositors") within which to file an
opposition (15 days from notice or from the last date of publication).

The purpose precisely of Section 4, Rule 108 is to bind the whole world to the
subsequent judgment on the petition. The sweep of the decision would cover even
parties who should have been impleaded under Section 3, Rule 108 but were
inadvertently left out.

Geronimo v Santos, G.R. No. 197099, Sept. 25, 2015

Civil Law; Family Code; Filiation. The presumption of legitimacy in the Family Code
actually fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock, and that civil status cannot be
attacked collaterally. The legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a direct
action brought for that purpose, by the proper parties, and within the period limited
by law.

FACTS: Eugenio and Emiliano Geronimo, the defendants, executed a document


declaring themselves as the only heirs of spouses Rufino and Caridad Geronimo.
Consequently, they took possession and were able to transfer the tax declaration of
the subject property to their names.

Karen Santos, on the other hand, claims to be the only child of deceased
Rufino and Caridad Geronimo. She filed a complaint for the annulment of document
and recovery of the possession against the defendants, brothers of his father. She
alleged that with the death of her parents, the property belonging to her parents
was passed on to her by the law of intestacy.

The defendant denied the allegation that the plaintiff was the only child and
sole heir of their brother stating that the deceased Rufino and Caridad were
childless and took in as their ward Karen, the child of Caridads sister. To strengthen
their defense, they claimed that the birth certificate of the plaintiff was a simulated
document. The birth certificate had alterations as confirmed by an NSO
representative.

They alleged that it is impossible for Rufino and Caridad to register the
plaintiff in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur because they never lived or sojourned in that place.
Also, Caridad, an elementary teacher in Bulacan, never filed a maternity leave during
the period of her service, as supported by a certification from the Schools Division
Superintendent.

The RTC ruled that the respondent is a legitimate child of the putative
parents. The trial court found that respondents filiation was duly established by the
certificate of live birth which was presented in evidence. It dismissed the
petitioners claim that the certificate was tampered. It further stated that even
granting arguendo that the birth certificate is questionable, the filiation of
respondent has already been sufficiently proven by evidence of her open and
continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child under Article 172 of the
Family Code.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that under Article 170, the action to
impugn the legitimacy of the child must be reckoned from either of these two dates:
the date the child was born to the mother during the marriage, or the date when the
birth of such child was recorded in the civil registry. The appellate court found no
evidence or admission that Caridad indeed gave birth to respondent on a specific
date.

It further resolved that the birth certificate presented in this case does not
qualify as the valid registration of birth in the civil register because it was not signed
by the physician or midwife in attendance at the childs birth or the parents of the
newborn child, contrary to what the law required. However, the CA ultimately ruled
that the respondent was able to prove her filiation via open and continuous
possession of the status of a legitimate child as supported by secondary evidence
presented.

The evidence consists of the following: (1) the plaintiff was allowed by her
putative parents to bear their family name Geronimo; (2) they supported her and
sent her to school paying for her tuition and other school expenses; (3) she was the
beneficiary of the burial benefits of Caridad before the GSIS; (4) after the death of
Rufino, Caridad applied for and was appointed legal guardian of the person and
property of the plaintiff from the estate left by Rufino; and (5) both Caridad and the
plaintiff executed an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of Rufino on the basis of
the fact that they are both the legal heirs of the deceased.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in allowing the introduction of
secondary evidence and rendered judgment notwithstanding the existence of
primary evidence of birth certificate.

HELD: NEGATIVE. Secondary evidence may be admitted only in a direct action


under Article 172 because the said provision of law is meant to be instituted as a
separate action, and proof of filiation cannot be raised as a collateral issue as in the
instant case which is an action for annulment of document and recovery of
possession. However, this rule is applicable only to actions where the legitimacy or
illegitimacy of a child is at issue.

In the case at bar, filiation is not an issue. What petitioner alleges is that the
respondent is not a child of the deceased spouses at all. Thus, both the RTC and the
Court of Appeals correctly admitted secondary evidence similar to the proof
admissible under Art. 172 of the Family Code.
However, the Supreme Court ruled that the lower courts declaration that the
respondent is a legitimate child and sole heir of the deceased spouses is based on
misapprehension of facts. The irregularities consisting of the superimposed entries
on the date of birth and the name of the informant made the document questionable,
as supported by the corroborating testimony of the NSO representative. In addition,
even the respondent herself did not offer any evidence to explain such irregularities.
These irregularities and the totality of the circumstances surrounding the alleged
birth of respondent are sufficient to overthrow the presumption of regularity
attached to the respondents birth.

With the declaration that the birth certificate is a nullity or falsity ruled then
the respondent is not the child of Rufino, and therefore not entitled to inherit from
the estate.

6. Prescription of action to impugn legitimacy

Gaspay v. CA, 238 SCRA 163

Facts:
Flaviano Gaspay died intestate on 10/14/83, then married to Agueda Denoso
(childless). On 7/6/88 private respondent Guadalupe Gaspay Alfaro alleged at trial
court that shes acknowledged Illegitimate Child of Flaviano with Claudia Pason,
prayed for issuance of letters of admin of Flavianos estate.

Petitioners are Jr. (adopted son) and Eriberta (next of kin) who filed for an MTD
(motion to dismiss) saying that Guadalupe is a stranger.

TC denied the motion to dismiss saying that such was based on indubitable grounds
but TC nonetheless dismissed petition saying that testimonial and documentary
evidence failed to prove status of Guadalupe, failed to show Guadualupe consenting
to the acknowledgement as Illegitimate Child and that such action should have been
filed in the lifetime of Flaviano.

CA reversed TC on 9/30/91 saying that:


Evid is ample to prove filiation as Illegitimate Child
Evid is sufficient to show that Guad consented to the acknowledgement as
Illegitimate Child
Action can be instituted after death of putative father

Issue: WON Guadalupe is an Illegitimate Child?

Held:
YES. TC did not discount the testimony of Martin Garin (agent to logging
concessionaire of Flaviano for 18 years) who verified handwriting and signature of
Flaviano in a letter addressed to Lupe and Toming (Guadalupe and his husband
Bartolome Alfaro) regarding the hospitalization expenses of Guadalupes daughter.
CA said that TC must have assumed that Flavianos handwriting must have
metamorphosed during the years but it could be possible that handwriting of
Flaviano never changed at all. Also when Guadalupe filed said action, she still used
Gaspay affixed to her legal surname as married to Alfaro, thereby shouting to the
world her consent to the acknowledgment of an Illegitimate Child. As to the action
being instituted after death of putative father, CA said action based on
acknowledgement may be brought even after death of putative father. She thereby
proved entitlement to the admin of estate. Moreover, the petitioners neglected to
apply for a letter admin 30 days after the death of Flaviano Gaspay.

E. Proof of Filiation

1. Of legitimate children, FC 172-173

Ong v CA, 272 SCRA 725

FACTS:
-Respondents Alferdo Ong Jr. and Robert Ong are children of Saturnina Caballes
allegedly by Manuel Ong.

-Manuel (representing himself as Alfredo Go) was introduced to Saturnina by


Vicente Sy and Constancia Lim (in 1953 at a night club in cebu). They had a
relationship and lived together for 4 months. It was also established that prior to
meeting Manuel, Saturnina cohabited with a paralytic.

-Alfredo Ong Jr. (registered as Alfredo Go Jr.) was born in 1955 and Robert Ong
(registered as Roberto Caballes) 1956. Roberto is surnamed Caballes because the
midwife informed Saturnina that it should be the case since she werent married
with Manuel. Manuels support dwindled. He stopped seeing her. She discovered his
identity and asked for support but he refused.

-In 1961 they asked for support but Manuel denied them. In two occasions Dolores
Dy, Manuels commonlaw wife, treated private respondents like close relatives of
Manuel Ong by giving them on November 2, 1979 and January 6, 1977 tokens of
affection, such as family pictures of Dolores Dy and Manuel Ong and by visiting them
in their house on A. Lopez Street in 1980.

-Manuel Ong also gave money to Alfredo, first, as the latters high school graduation
gift and second, for the latters educational support. Manuel Ong even told Alfredo to
comeback with a list of what he needs for school but when he came back with some
friends in September 1982, Manuel turned down his request and ordered him to
leave and threatened to call the police if he did not leave.
-September 30, 1982, Alfredo filed a complaint for recognition and support against
Manuel Ong. The complaint was amended on November 25, 1982 to include Robert
as co-plaintiff. Manuel died in May 1990 while the case is pending.

TC-declared Alfredo and Robert illegitimate children of Manuel in accordance with


Art. 283, pars. 2 and 4 of the Civil Code.

CA-affirm TC, cited Art. 283, par. 3 as an additional ground for ordering the
recognition of private respondents as illegitimate children.

Issue: WON Alfredo and Roberto are illegitimate children of Manuel

Held/Ratio:
Yes. Alfredo and Roberto are sons of Manuel.
Using Article 283 Paragraph. 4 (The father is obliged to recognize) when the child
has in his favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father.

Art. 283 operates as a blanket provision covering all cases in the preceding ones, so
that evidence, even though insufficient to constitute proof under the other
paragraphs, may nonetheless be enough to qualify the case under par. 4.

In this case, the testimony of Saturnina Caballes that she had illicit sexual relation
with Manuel Ong over a long period (1954-1957) which, had it been openly done,
would have constituted cohabitation under par. 3 is proof that private respondents
were conceived and born during such relationship and constitutes evidence of Ongs
paternity. This relationship was further established through the testimony of
Constancia Lim. The evidence for private respondents is not negated by the
admission of Saturnina Caballes that she had relation with another man before,
because the relationship terminated at least a year before the birth of Alfredo Ong,
Jr. and two years before the birth of the second child Robert Caballes.

SC agree that this DOES NOT fall in Art 283 (2) When the child is in continuous
possession of status of a child of the alleged father by the direct acts of the latter or
his family--- the times during which Manuel Ong met Alfredo and gave the latter
money cannot be considered proof of continuous possession of the status of a child.
The fathers conduct toward his son must be spontaneous and uninterrupted for this
ground to exist.

Does NOT fall in Art 283 (3) When the child was conceived during the time when the
mother cohabited with the supposed father----------While Saturnina Caballes
testified that she and Manuel Ong lived together for four months as husband and
wife in order to justify a finding of cohabitation, the relationship was not open and
public so as to constitute cohabitation.
Petitioner claims that Manuel is sterile (due to illness during World War). For
despite living with 2 other women, Dolores and Victoria Veloria (later established as
Victoria Balili) but they didnt have a child. CA dismissed this for there is no medical
proof and Manuel acknowledged a Lourdes Balili (born 1939) as his natural child
with a Victoria Balili.

An adult male is presumed to have normal powers of virility and the burden of
evidence to prove the contrary rests upon him who claims otherwise. Petitioner has
not overcome this presumption.

Diaz vs. Court of Appeals, 129 SCRA 621, June 22, 1984

FACTS:

On September 10, 1949, Leodegario (decedent) died intestate (while the Spanish
Civil Code was still in effect), leaving no surviving spouse nor descendants.
Petitioner Maria B. Diaz claims him to be the brother in full blood of her mother
Filomena and of her aunt Pastora (who are legitimate children of Isidro Azarraga).
On the other hand, private respondents claim that Leodegario was the illegitimate
son of Isidro and Valentina Abarracoso. On October 15, 1949, Maria Diaz (the
original petitioner herein before she was substituted by her legal heirs as she died
during the pendency of the suit), filed in the Court of First Instance of Capiz the basic
petition for the issuance of Letters of Administration in her favor for the settlement
of Leodegario's estate. On October 25, 1949, one Amador Azarraga (one of Isidros
illegitimate children) filed a formal opposition praying that he, instead of Maria, be
appointed as Administrator. The legal battle for the right to administer Leodegarios
estate was continued after both Maria and Amadors deaths by their heirs.
[CA ruled in favour of Amador btw]

ISSUE:

The question here is to determine who should be Leodegario's intestate heir? Is it


Maria, the legitimate daughter of Filomena (one of Isidros legitimate children)? Or
should it be the other children of ISIDRO (the illegitimate children, like Amador)?

HELD:
MARIA, Leodegario was legitimate. School records from UST list him as "Leodegario
Azarraga y Lozada". Although those records by themselves are not proof of
legitimate filiation, they constitute strong evidence thereof. The several letters
wherein he signed simply as "Leodegario Azarraga" neither disprove legitimacy.
Even nowadays, the dropping of the maternal surname in correspondence or
written documents is commonplace for convenience and/or brevity. The Last Will
and Testament of Pastora Azarrag, executed on August 3, 1961, which,
althoughstanding alone does not establish DECEDENT's legitimacy, enhances that
conclusion. That Will was duly probated on January 9, 1967 without objection and
specifically indicates that the DECEDENT (No. 8), Pastora (No. 10) and Filomena
(No. 9) [petitioner mother] are "brother and sisters of the full blood they being
children of Isidro Azarrag and Calixta Lozada". While the will alone cannot be proof
of pedigree, it is not being considered as an independent evidence but collectively
with other evidence on record.
Significant also in this regard is the narration of facts in Sison vs. Azarraga, 30 Phil.
129 (1915), of which case we can take judicial notice, eloquently showing that not
only had the decedent been already given his share of the inheritance but that he
was also appointed executor of his father Isidro's estate, as well as a guardian of
petitioner and her brother Jesus. This serves to corroborate Maria's testimony that
it was her uncle, the said decedent, who attended to her personal and proprietary
interests.
CA decision reversed, totality of evidence proves Leodegarios legitimacy

Tison vs. Court of Appeals, 276 SCRA 582, July 31, 1997

Facts:
The petitioners Corazon Tison and Rene Dezoller are niece and nephew of the
deceased Tedora Dezoller Guerrero, who appears to be the sister of their father
Hermogenes Dezoller. Teodora Dezoller Guerrero died on March 5, 1983 without
any ascendant or descendant, and was survived only by her husband, Martin
Guerrero, and herein petitioners. Petitioners' father, Hermogenes, died on October
3, 1973, hence they seek to inherit from Teodora Dezoller Guerrero by right of
representation.
The records reveal that upon the death of Teodora Dezoller Guerrero, her surviving
spouse executed an Affidavit of Extrajudicial Settlement adjudicating unto himself,
allegedly as sole heir, the land in dispute. Martin sold the lot to herein private
respondent Teodora Domingo and thereafter, a TCT was issued in the latters name.
Martin Guerrero died. Subsequently, herein petitioners filed an action for
reconveyance claiming that they are entitled to inherit one-half of the property in
question by right of representation. Tedoro Domingo however, attacks the
legitimacy of Hermogenes.
During the hearing, petitioner Corazon Dezoller Tison was presented as the lone
witness, with documentary evidences offered to prove petitioners filiation to their
father and their aunt. Petitioners thereafter rested their case and submitted a
written offer of the exhibits.
Subsequently, private respondent filed a Demurrer to Plaintiffs Evidence on the
ground that petitioners failed to prove their legitimate filiation with the deceased
Teodora Guerrero.
The trial court dismissed the complaint for reconveyance. Respondent Court of
Appeals upheld the dismissal, declaring that the documentary evidence presented
by herein petitioners, such as the baptismal certificates, family picture, and joint
affidavits are all inadmissible and insufficient to prove and establish filiation. Hence,
this appeal.

Issues:
1. Whether or not a third person (private respondent), not the father nor an heir,
may attack the legitimacy of the petitioners.
2. Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to inherit one-half of the property in
question by right of representation.

Ruling:
1. The private respondent is not the proper party to impugn the legitimacy of herein
petitioners.
There is no presumption of the law more firmly established and founded on
sounder morality and more convincing reason than the presumption that
children born in wedlock are legitimate. And well settled is the rule that the
issue of legitimacy cannot be attacked collaterally.
Only the husband can contest the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. He is the
one directly confronted with the scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his
wife produces; and he should decide whether to conceal that infidelity or expose
it, in view of the moral and economic interest involved. It is only in exceptional
cases that his heirs are allowed to contest such legitimacy. Outside of these
cases, none even his heirs can impugn legitimacy; that would amount to an
insult to his memory.
The necessity of an independent action directly impugning the legitimacy is
more clearly expressed in the Mexican Code (Article 335) which provides: The
contest of the legitimacy of a child by the husband or his heirs must be made by
proper complaint before the competent court; any contest made in any other way
is void. This principle applies under our Family Code. Articles 170 and 171 of the
code confirm this view, because they refer to the action to impugn the
legitimacy. This action can be brought only by the husband or his heirs and within
the periods fixed by law.
Upon the expiration of the periods provided in Article 170, the action to impugn
the legitimacy of a child can no longer be brought. The status conferred by the
presumption, therefore, becomes fixed, and can no longer be questioned. The
obvious intention of the law is to prevent the status of a child born in wedlock from
being in a state of uncertainty for a long time. It also aims to force early action to
settle any doubt as to the paternity of such child, so that the evidence material to
the matter, which must necessarily be facts occurring during the period of the
conception of the child, may still be easily available.
2. The following provisions of the Civil Code provide for the manner by which the
estate of the decedent shall be divided in this case, to wit:
Art. 975. When children of one or more brothers or sisters of the deceased survive,
they shall inherit from the latter by representation, if they survive with their uncles
or aunts. But if they alone survive, they shall inherit in equal portions.
Art. 995. In the absence of legitimate descendants and ascendants, and
illegitimate children and their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, the
surviving spouse shall inherit the entire estate, without prejudice to the rights of
brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, should there be any, under Article 1001.
Art. 1001. Should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or
widower, the latter shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers
and sisters or their children to the other half.
Upon the death of Teodora Dezoller Guerrero, one-half of the subject property
was automatically reserved to the surviving spouse, Martin Guerrero, as his
share in the conjugal partnership. Applying the aforequoted statutory
provisions, the remaining half shall be equally divided between the widower and
herein petitioners who are entitled to jointly inherit in their own right. Hence,
Martin Guerrero could only validly alienate his total undivided three-fourths
(3/4) share in the entire property to herein private respondent. Resultantly,
petitioners and private respondent are deemed co-owners of the property
covered by the Transfer Certificate of Title in the proportion of an undivided
one-fourth (1/4) and three-fourths (3/4) share thereof, respectively.

Trinidad vs. Court of Appeals, 289 SCRA 188, April 20, 1998

Facts:

Patricio Trinidad and Anastacia Briones were the parents of three (3) children,
namely, Inocentes, Lourdes and Felix. When Patricio died in 1940, survived by the
above named children, he left four (4) parcels of land, all situated at Barrio Tigayon,
Kalibo Aklan.

Arturio Trinidad, born on July 21, 1943, claimed to be the legitimate son of the late
Inocentes Trinidad. Sometime after the marriage, he demanded from the defendants
to partition the land into three equal shares and to give him the (1/3) individual
share of his late father, but the defendants refused.
Arturio Trinidad filed, an action for partition of four parcels of land. Defendants
denied that plaintiff was the son of the late Inocentes Trinidad.
Defendants contended that Inocentes was single when he died in 1941, before
plaintiffs birth. Defendants also denied that plaintiff had lived with them, and
claimed that the parcels of land described in the complaint had been in their
possession since the death of their father in 1940 and that they had not given
plaintiff a share in the produce of the land.

Arturio presented witnesses to prove his position. Jovita Gerardotestified that


Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato are the parents of Arturio; that Felix and
Lourdes as the uncle and aunt of Arturio; and also identified pictures where the
respondents were with Arturio and his family.(At this stage of the trial, Felix
Trinidad [died] without issue and he was survived by his only sister, Lourdes
Trinidad.) Another witness, ISABEL MEREN, 72 years old and a widow testified that
she knows Inocentes Trinidad as the father of Arturio Trinidad; that she knew
Inocentes Trinidad and Felicidad Molato as the parents of Arturio and that she was
present when they were married in New Washington, Aklan, by a protestant pastor
by the name of Lauriano Lajaylajay. She further testified that upon the death of
Inocentes, Lourdes took Arturio and cared for him. ARTURIO TRINIDAD, himself,
was presented as witness. As proof that he is the son of Inocentes Trinidad and
Felicidad Molato, he showed a certificate of baptism, and a certificate of loss issued
by the LCR that his birth certificate was burned during World War 2. He also
testified that he lived with Felix and Lourdes and provided for his needs.

On the other hand, defendants presented Pedro Briones who testified that Inocentes
was not married when he died in 1940s. Lourdes Trinidad also testified that she was
not aware that his brother married anybody and denied that Arturio lived with
them. Beatriz Sayon also testified that Inocentes died in 1941, and that Felicidad
Molato had never been married to Inocentes. The trial court rendered a twenty-page
decision in favor of Arturio. The CA reversed the decision.

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner presented sufficient evidence of his parents marriage
and his filation.

Ruling:
The partition of the late Patricios real properties requires preponderant proof that
petitioner is a co-owner or co-heir of the decedents estate. His right as a co-owner
would, in turn, depend on whether he was born during the existence of a valid and
subsisting marriage between his mother (Felicidad) and his putative father
(Inocentes).
When the question of whether a marriage has been contracted arises in litigation,
said marriage may be proven by relevant evidence. To prove the fact of marriage,
the following would constitute competent evidence: the testimony of a witness to
the matrimony, the couples public and open cohabitation as husband and wife after
the alleged wedlock, the birth and the baptismal certificates of children born during
such union, and the mention of such nuptial in subsequent documents.

In the case at bar, petitioner secured a certification from the Office of the Civil
Registrar of Aklan that all records of births, deaths and marriages were lost, burned
or destroyed during the Japanese occupation of said municipality. Although the
marriage contract is considered the primary evidence of the marital union,
petitioners failure to present it is not proof that no marriage took place, as other
forms of relevant evidence may take its place. In place of a marriage contract, two
witnesses were presented by petitioner: Isabel Meren and Jovita Gerardo. It further
gives rise to the disputable presumption that a man and a woman deporting
themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage.
Petitioner also presented his baptismal certificate in which Inocentes and Felicidad
were named as the childs father and mother, and family pictures.
The totality of petitioners positive evidence clearly preponderates over private
respondents self-serving negations.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the assailed Decision and Resolution are
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The trial courts decision is REINSTATED.
Heirs of Conti v CA, G.R. No. 118464, December 21, 1998

Facts:

Lourdes Sampayo and Ignacio Conti were the co-owners of property located
in Lucena City. Lourdes died intestate without issue.
Subsequently, private respondents, all claiming to be correlative relatives of
the deceased Lourdes, filed an action for partition and damages before the
RTC-Lucena City.
Ignacio Conti refused the partition on the ground that private respondents
failed to produce any document to prove that they were the rightful heirs of
Lourdes. Ignacio died and was substituted as party-defendants by his
children.
To prove their filiation to Lourdes, private respondents presented Lydia
Sampayo-Reyes and Adelaida Sampayo. Lydia testified that she was one of
the nieces of Lourdes, being the daughter of Josefina Sanpayo, the only living
sibling of Lourdes. They presented her original copy of certificate of live birth
showing that her parents are Inocentes Reyes and Josefina Sampayo.
Lydia also testified that the other siblings of Lourdes who were already dead
were Remedios, Luis, and Manuel. To prove that Josefina, Remedios, Manuel,
and Luis were siblings of Lourdes, their baptismal certificate together with a
photocopy of the birth certificate of Manuel were offered as evidence to show
that their parents, like Lourdes, were Antonio Sampayo and Brigida Jaraza.
The baptismal certificates were presented in lieu of the birth certificates
because the office of the civil registrar were burned on two separate
occasions, thus all civil registration records were totally burned.
Adelaida Sampayo testified that she was the spouse of Manuel, the brother of
the deceased Lourdes.
To rebut the claim of the private respondents, petitioner claimed that the late
Ignacio Conti paid for the real taxes of the subject property and spent for the
necessary repairs and improvements thereon because by agreement Lourdes
would leave her share of the property them.
However, the trial court found no will, either testamentary or holographic,
was presented to substantiate their claim. So it declared that the private
respondents are the rightful heirs of Lourdes. The CA affirmed the decision of
the RTC.
The CA also declared that a prior and separate judicial declaration of heirship
was not necessary and that private respondents became the co-owners of the
portions of the property owned and registered in the name of Lourdes upon
her death and, consequently, entitled to the immediate possession thereof
and all other incidents/right of ownership as provided by law including the
right to demand partition under Art. 777 of the civil code.
Hence, petitioner pursued the case arguing that a complaint for partition to
claim a supposed share of the deceased co-owner cannot prosper without
prior settlement of the latters estate and compliance with the legal
requirements, especially publication, and private respondents failed to prove
by competent evidence their relationship with the deceased.

Issue:

Whether or not the argument of the petitioner is correct?

Ruling:

The Petitioner is wrong. A prior settlement of estate is not essential


before the heirs can commence any action originally pertaining to the
deceased.
Conformably with Articles 777 and 494 of the civil code, from the death of
Lourdes her rights as co-owner, incidental to which is the right to ask for
partition at any time or to terminate the co-ownership, were transmitted
to her rightful heirs. So, in demanding partition, private respondent
merely exercised the right originally pertaining to the decedent, their
predecessor-in-interest.
Petitioners theory of publication is also wrong because the action is not
for the partition of the state of Lourdes but only for the segregation of
Lourdes one-half share to the subject property which they inherited from
her through intestate succession. This is a simple case of ordinary
partition between co-owners over which publication is not required.

De Jesus vs. Estate of Juan Gamboa Dizon, 366 SCRA 499

FACTS:

Danilo B. de Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus got married in August 1964. It was
during this marriage that Jacqueline A. de Jesus and Jinkie Christie A. de Jesus,
herein petitioners, were born. In a notarized document, dated June 7, 1991, Juan G.
Dizon acknowledged Jacqueline and Jinkie de Jesus as being his own illegitimate
children by Carolina Aves de Jesus. Juan died intestate in March 1992, leaving
behind considerable assets consisting of shares of stock in various corporations and
some real property. It was on the strength of his notarized acknowledgement that
petitioners filed a complaint for Partition with Inventory and Accounting of the
Dizon estate with the RTC.
Respondent, the surviving spouse and legitimate children of the decedent, including
the corporations of which the deceased was a stockholder, sought the dismissal of
the case, arguing that the complaint, even while denominated as being one for
partition, would nevertheless call for altering the status of petitioners from being
the legitimate children of the spouses Danilo and Carolina de Jesus to instead be the
illegitimate children of Carolina de Jesus and deceased Juan Dizon.
ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioners are illegitimate children of decedent Juan Dizon entitled
to inherit from him

RULING:

No. A scrutiny of the records would show that petitioners were born during the
valid marriage of their parents Danilo and Carolina. The certificates of birth also
identified Danilo de Jesus as their father. There is a presumption in law that children
born in wedlock are legitimate. This presumption indeed becomes conclusive in the
absence of proof that there is physical impossibility of access between the spouses
during the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately precedes the birth of
the child due to (a) the physical incapacity of the husband to have sexual intercourse
with his wife; (b) the fact the husband and wife are living separately in such a way
that sexual intercourse is not possible; or (c) serious illness of the husband, which
absolutely prevents sexual intercourse. Quite remarkably, upon the expiration of the
periods set forth in Article 170, and in proper cases Article 171,of the Family Code
(which took effect on August 3, 1988), the action to impugn the legitimacy of a child
would no longer be legally feasible and the status conferred by the presumption
becomes fixed and unassailable.

In an attempt to establish their illegitimate filiation to the late Juan, petitioners, in


effect, would impugn their legitimate status as being children of Danilo and Carolina
de Jesus. This step cannot be aptly done because the law itself establishes the
legitimacy of children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents. The
presumption of legitimacy fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock, and only
the father, or in exceptional instances the latters heirs, can contest in an
appropriate action the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. Thus, it is only when the
legitimacy of a child has been successfully impugned that the paternity of the
husband can be rejected.

Aguilar v Siasat, G.R. No. 200169, Jan. 28 2015

FACTS:

Spouses Alfredo Aguilar and Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar (the Aguilar spouses) died,
intestate and without debts, on August 26, 1983 and February 8, 1994, respectively.
Included in their estate are two parcels of land (herein subject properties) covered
by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T-25896 and T-(15462) 1070 of the Registries
of Deeds of Bago and Bacolod (the subject titles).
In June 1996, petitioner Rodolfo S. Aguilar filed with the RTC of Bacolod City
(Bacolod RTC) a civil case for mandatory injunction with damages against
respondent Edna G. Siasat. Docketed as Civil Case No. 96-9591 and assigned to
Branch 49 of the Bacolod RTC, the Complaint alleged that petitioner is the only son
and sole surviving heir of the Aguilar spouses; that he (petitioner) discovered that
the subject titles were missing, and thus he suspected that someone from the Siasat
clan could have stolen the same; that he executed affidavits of loss of the subject
titles and filed the same with the Registries of Deeds of Bacolod and Bago; that on
June 22, 1996, he filed before the Bacolod RTC a Petition for the issuance of second
owners copy of Certificate of Title No. T-25896,which respondent opposed; and that
during the hearing of the said Petition, respondent presented the two missing
owners duplicate copies of the subject titles. Petitioner thus prayed for mandatory
injunctive relief, in that respondent be ordered to surrender to him the owners
duplicate copies of the subject titles in her possession; and that damages, attorneys
fees, and costs of suit be awarded to him.

In her Answer, respondent claimed that petitioner is not the son and sole surviving
heir of the Aguilar spouses, but a mere stranger who was raised by the Aguilar
spouses out of generosity and kindness of heart; that petitioner is not a natural or
adopted child of the Aguilar spouses; that since Alfredo Aguilar predeceased his
wife, Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar, the latter inherited the conjugal share of the former;
that upon the death of Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar, her brothers and sisters inherited
her estate as she had no issue; and that the subject titles were not stolen, but
entrusted to her for safekeeping by Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar, who is her aunt. By
way of counterclaim, respondent prayed for an award of moral and exemplary
damages, and attorneys fees.

During trial, petitioner testified and affirmed his relationship to the Aguilar spouses
as their son. To prove filiation, he presented the following documents, among
others:

His school records at the Don J.A. Araneta Elementary School, Purok No. 2,
Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC), Bacolod City (Exhibit "C" and
submarkings), wherein it is stated that Alfredo Aguilar is petitioners parent;
His Individual Income Tax Return (Exhibit "F"), which indicated that
Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar is his mother;
Alfredo Aguilars Social Security System (SSS) Form E-1 dated October 10,
1957 (Exhibit "G"), a public instrument subscribed and made under oath by
Alfredo Aguilar during his employment with BMMC, which bears his
signature and thumb marks and indicates that petitioner, who was born on
March 5, 1945, is his son and dependent;
Alfredo Aguilars Information Sheet of Employment with BMMC dated
October 29, 1954 (Exhibit "L"), indicating that petitioner is his son;
Petitioners Certificate of Marriage to Luz Abendan (Exhibit "M"), where it is
declared that the Aguilar spouses are his parents; and
Letter of the BMMC Secretary (Exhibit "O") addressed to a BMMC supervisor
introducing petitioner as Alfredo Aguilars son and recommending him for
employment.
Certification dated January 27, 1996 issued by the Bacolod City Civil Registry
to the effect that the record of births during the period 1945 to 1946 were
"all destroyed by nature," hence no true copies of the Certificate of Live Birth
of petitioner could be issued as requested (Exhibit "Q").

Petitioner also offered the testimonies of his wife, Luz Marie Abendan-Aguilar
(Abendan-Aguilar), and Ester Aguilar-Pailano (Aguilar-Pailano), his aunt and sister
of Alfredo Aguilar. Abendan-Aguilar confirmed petitioners identity, and she
testified that petitioner is the son of the Aguilar spouses and that during her
marriage to petitioner, she lived with the latter in the Aguilar spouses conjugal
home built on one of the subject properties. On the other hand, 81-year old Aguilar-
Pailano testified that she is the sister of Alfredo Aguilar; that the Aguilar spouses
have only one son herein petitioner who was born at BMMC; that after the death
of the Aguilar spouses, she and her siblings did not claim ownership of the subject
properties because they recognized petitioner as the Aguilar spouses sole child and
heir; that petitioner was charged with murder, convicted, imprisoned, and later on
paroled; and that after he was discharged on parole, petitioner continued to live
with his mother Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar in one of the subject properties, and
continues to live there with his family.

For her evidence, respondent testified among others that she is a retired teacher;
that she does not know petitioner very well, but only heard his name from her aunt
Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar; that she is not related by consanguinity or affinity to
petitioner; that she attended to Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar while the latter was under
medication in a hospital until her death; that Candelaria Siasat-Aguilars hospital
and funeral expenses were paid for by Nancy Vingno; that Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar
executed an affidavit to the effect that she had no issue and that she is the sole heir
to her husband Alfredo Aguilars estate; that she did not steal the subject titles, but
that the same were entrusted to her by Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar; that a prior
planned sale of the subject properties did not push through because when
petitioners opinion thereto was solicited, he expressed disagreement as to the
agreed price.

Respondent likewise offered the testimony of Aurea Siasat-Nicavera (Siasat-


Nicavera), 74 years old, who stated that the Aguilar spouses were married on June
22, 1933 in Miag-ao, Iloilo; that she is the sister of Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar; that
she does not know petitioner, although she admitted that she knew a certain
"Rodolfo" whose nickname was "Mait"; that petitioner is not the son of the Aguilar
spouses; and that Alfredo Aguilar has a sister named Ester Aguilar-Pailano.

Respondent also offered an Affidavit previously executed by Candelaria Siasat-


Aguilar (Exhibit "2")announcing among others that she and Alfredo have no issue,
and that she is the sole heir to Alfredos estate.
RTC: From the evidence thus adduced before this Court, no solid evidence attesting
to the fact that plaintiff herein is either a biological son or a legally adopted one was
ever presented. Neither was a certificate of live birth of plaintiff ever introduced
confirming his biological relationship as a son to the deceased spouses Alfredo and
Candelaria S. Aguilar. As a matter of fact, in the affidavit of Candelaria S. Aguilar
(Exhibit 2) she expressly announced under oath that Alfredo and she have no issue
and that she is the sole heir to the estate of Alfredo is (sic) concrete proof that
plaintiff herein was never a son by consanguinity nor a legally adopted one of the
deceased spouses Alfredo and Candelaria Aguilar.

This being the case, Petitioner is not deemed vested with sufficient interest in this
action to be considered qualified or entitled to the issuance of the writ of mandatory
injunction and damages prayed for.

CA: WE cannot sustain plaintiff-appellants argument. Use of a family surname


certainly does not establish pedigree. Insofar as the SSS Form E-1 and Information
Sheet of Employment of Alfredo Aguilar are concerned, WE cannot accept them as
sufficient proof to establish and prove the filiation of plaintiff-appellant to the
deceased Aguilar spouses. While the former is a public instrument and the latter
bears the signature of Alfredo Aguilar, they do not constitute clear and convincing
evidence to show filiation based on open and continuous possession of the status of
a legitimate child. Filiation is a serious matter that must be resolved according to the
requirements of the law. All told, plaintiff-appellants evidence failed to hurdle the
"high standard of proof" required for the success of an action to establish ones
legitimate filiation when relying upon the provisions regarding open and continuous
possession or any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.

Having resolved that plaintiff-appellant is not an heir of the deceased spouses


Aguilar, thereby negating his right to demand the delivery of the subject TCTs in his
favor, this Court cannot grant the writ of mandatory injunction being prayed for.

ISSUE(S): Whether or not petitioner is the legitimate child of Sps. Aguilar


HELD: Yes

RATIO:

The filiation of illegitimate children, like legitimate children, is established by (1) the
record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or (2) an
admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten
instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the absence thereof, filiation
shall be proved by (1) the open and continuous possession of the status of a
legitimate child; or (2) any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special
laws. The due recognition of an illegitimate child in a record of birth, a will, a
statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing is, in itself, a
consummated act of acknowledgment of the child, and no further court action is
required. In fact, any authentic writing is treated not just a ground for compulsory
recognition; it is in itself a voluntary recognition that does not require a separate
action for judicial approval. Where, instead, a claim for recognition is predicated on
other evidence merely tending to prove paternity, i.e., outside of a record of birth, a
will, a statement before a court of record or an authentic writing, judicial action
within the applicable statute of limitations is essential in order to establish the
childs acknowledgment.

A scrutiny of the records would show that petitioners were born during the
marriage of their parents. The certificates of live birth would also identify Danilo de
Jesus as being their father. There is perhaps no presumption of the law more firmly
established and founded on sounder morality and more convincing reason than the
presumption that children born in wedlock are legitimate. This presumption indeed
becomes conclusive in the absence of proof that there is physical impossibility of
access between the spouses during the first 120 days of the 300 days which
immediately precedes the birth of the child due to (a) the physical incapacity of the
husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife; (b) the fact that the husband and
wife are living separately in such a way that sexual intercourse is not possible; or (c)
serious illness of the husband, which absolutely prevents sexual intercourse. Quite
remarkably, upon the expiration of the periods set forth in Article 170, and in
proper cases Article 171, of the Family Code (which took effect on 03 August 1988),
the action to impugn the legitimacy of a child would no longer be legally feasible and
the status conferred by the presumption becomes fixed and unassailable.

Thus, applying the foregoing pronouncement to the instant case, it must be


concluded that petitioner who was born on March 5, 1945, or during the marriage
of Alfredo Aguilar and Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar28 and before their respective
deaths29 has sufficiently proved that he is the legitimate issue of the Aguilar
spouses. As petitioner correctly argues, Alfredo Aguilars SSS Form E-1 (Exhibit "G")
satisfies the requirement for proof of filiation and relationship to the Aguilar
spouses under Article 172 of the Family Code; by itself, said document constitutes
an "admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten
instrument and signed by the parent concerned."

Petitioner has shown that he cannot produce his Certificate of Live Birth since all the
records covering the period 1945-1946 of the Local Civil Registry of Bacolod City
were destroyed, which necessitated the introduction of other documentary evidence
particularly Alfredo Aguilars SSS Form E-1 (Exhibit "G") to prove filiation. It was
erroneous for the CA to treat said document as mere proof of open and continuous
possession of the status of a legitimate child under the second paragraph of Article
172 of the Family Code; it is evidence of filiation under the first paragraph thereof,
the same being an express recognition in a public instrument.

To repeat what was stated in De Jesus, filiation may be proved by an admission of


legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and
signed by the parent concerned, and such due recognition in any authentic writing
is, in itself, a consummated act of acknowledgment of the child, and no further court
action is required. And, relative to said form of acknowledgment, the Court has
further held that:

In view of the pronouncements herein made, the Court sees it fit to adopt the
following rules respecting the requirement of affixing the signature of the
acknowledging parent in any private handwritten instrument wherein an admission
of filiation of a legitimate or illegitimate child is made:

1) Where the private handwritten instrument is the lone piece of evidence


submitted to prove filiation, there should be strict compliance with the requirement
that the same must be signed by the acknowledging parent; and
2) Where the private handwritten instrument is accompanied by other relevant and
competent evidence, it suffices that the claim of filiation therein be shown to have
been made and handwritten by the acknowledging parent as it is merely
corroborative of such other evidence. Our laws instruct that the welfare of the child
shall be the "paramount consideration" in resolving questions affecting him. Article
3(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child of which the
Philippines is a signatory is similarly emphatic:

Article 3
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private
social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or
legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary
consideration.

It is thus "(t)he policy of the Family Code to liberalize the rule on the
investigation of the paternity and filiation of children, especially of illegitimate
children x x x." Too, "(t)he State as parens patriae affords special protection to
children from abuse, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their
development."

This case should not have been so difficult for petitioner if only he obtained a copy
of his Certificate of Live Birth from the National Statistics Office (NSO), since the
Bacolod City Civil Registry copy thereof was destroyed. He would not have had to go
through the trouble of presenting other documentary evidence; the NSO copy would
have sufficed. This fact is not lost on petitioner; the Certification dated January 27,
1996 issued by the Bacolod City Civil Registry (Exhibit "Q") contained just such an
advice for petitioner to proceed to the Office of the Civil Registrar General at the
NSO in Manila to secure a copy of his Certificate of Live Birth, since for every
registered birth in the country, a copy of the Certificate of Live Birth is submitted to
said office.

As to petitioner's argument that respondent has no personality to impugn his


legitimacy and cannot collaterally attack his legitimacy, and that the action to
impugn his legitimacy has already prescribed pursuant to Articles 170 and 171 of
the Family Code, the Court has held before that -Article 26331 refers to an action to
impugn the legitimacy of a child, to assert and prove that a person is not a man's
child by his wife. However, the present case is not one impugning petitioner's
legitimacy. Respondents are asserting not merely that petitioner is not a legitimate
child of Jose, but that she is not a child of Jose at all.32

Finally, if petitioner has shown that he is the legitimate issue of the Aguilar spouses,
then he is as well heir to the latter's estate. Respondent is then left with no right to
inherit from her aunt Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar's. estate, since succession pertains,
in the first place, to the descending direct line.

2. Of illegitimate children, FC 175 , 176

Jison vs. CA, 286 SCRA 495

FACTS:

Private respondent, Monina Jison, instituted a complaint against petitioner,


Francisco Jison, for recognition as illegitimate child of the latter. The case was filed
20 years after her mothers death and when she was already 39 years of age.

Petitioner was married to Lilia Lopez Jison since 1940 and sometime in 1945, he
impregnated Esperanza Amolar, Moninas mother. Monina alleged that since
childhood, she had enjoyed the continuous, implied recognition as the illegitimate
child of petitioner by his acts and that of his family. It was likewise alleged that
petitioner supported her and spent for her education such that she became a CPA
and eventually a Central Bank Examiner. Monina was able to present total of 11
witnesses.

ISSUE: WON Monina should be declared as illegitimate child of Francisco Jison.

HELD:

Under Article 175 of the Family Code, illegitimate filiation may be established in the
same way and on the same evidence as that of legitimate children. Article 172
thereof provides the various forms of evidence by which legitimate filiation is
established.

To prove open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child,


there must be evidence of the manifestation of the permanent intention of the
supposed father to consider the child as his, by continuous and clear manifestations
of parental affection and care, which cannot be attributed to pure charity. Such acts
must be of such a nature that they reveal not only the conviction of paternity, but
also the apparent desire to have and treat the child as such in all relations in society
and in life, not accidentally, but continuously.
The following facts was established based on the testimonial evidences offered by
Monina:
1. That Francisco was her father and she was conceived at the time when her
mother was employed by the former;
2. That Francisco recognized Monina as his child through his overt acts and
conduct.

SC ruled that a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative father is
not competence evidence as to the issue of paternity. Franciscos lack of
participation in the preparation of baptismal certificates and school records render
the documents showed as incompetent to prove paternity. With regard to the
affidavit signed by Monina when she was 25 years of age attesting that Francisco
was not her father, SC was in the position that if Monina were truly not Franciscos
illegitimate child, it would be unnecessary for him to have gone to such great lengths
in order that Monina denounce her filiation. Moninas evidence hurdles the high
standard of proof required for the success of an action to establish ones illegitimate
filiation in relying upon the provision on open and continuous possession. Hence,
Monina proved her filiation by more than mere preponderance of evidence.

Since the instant case involves paternity and filiation, even if illegitimate, Monina
filed her action well within the period granted her by a positive provision of law. A
denial then of her action on ground of laches would clearly be inequitable and
unjust. Petition was denied.

Heirs of Gabatan vs CA, GR 150206, March 13, 2009


TOPIC: Proof of filiation of illegitimate children

FACTS:
The respondent alleges that she is the sole owner of a land located in
Cagayan de Oro City which she inherited from her mother, Hermogena, the
only child of Juan Gabatan and his wife, Laureana Clarito.
Respondent alleged that upon the death of Juan Gabatan, his land was
entrusted to his brother, Teofilo Gabatan (Teofilo), and Teofilos wife, Rita
Gabatan, for administration.
It was also claimed that prior to her death Hermogena demanded for the
return of the land but to no avail. After Hermogenas death, respondent also
did the same but petitioners refused to heed the numerous demands to
surrender the subject property.
Petitioners denied that respondents mother Hermogena was the daughter of
Juan Gabatan with Laureana Clarito and that Hermogena or respondent is the
rightful heir of Juan Gabatan. They further contend that Juan Gabatan died
single in 1934 and without any issue and that Juan was survived by one
brother and two sisters, namely: Teofilo (petitioners predecessor-in-
interest), Macaria and Justa.
These siblings and/or their heirs, inherited the subject land from Juan
Gabatan and have been in actual, physical, open, public, adverse, continuous
and uninterrupted possession thereof in the concept of owners for more than
fifty (50) years and enjoyed the fruits of the improvements thereon, to the
exclusion of the whole world including respondent.
October 20, 1995 = the RTC rendered a decision in favor of respondent
CA affirmed such decision declaring that respondents claim of filiation with
Juan Gabatan was sufficiently established during trial.
o The proof was a Deed of Absolute Sale on July 30, 1966 containing
such declaration which was signed by Teofilo and the latters nearest
relatives by consanguinity, is a tangible proof that they acknowledged
Hermogenas status as the daughter of Juan Gabatan.
o Teofilo formally recognized Hermogenas right to heirship from Juan
Gabatan which ultimately passed on to respondent.
o
ISSUE: W/N Hermogena Clareto "GABATAN" is the child and sole heir of Juan
Gabatan;

HELD: No.

Our laws dictate that the best evidence of such familial tie was the record
of birth appearing the Civil Register, or an authentic document or a final
judgment in the absence of these, any proof that the child enjoyed the
continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child only in the
absence of these two classes of evidence is the anyone allowed to present
other porrof admissible under the Rules of Court of the proof of paternity
and filiation

The Court has consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make a declaration of
heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can only be made in
a special proceeding.

To prove the relationship of respondents mother to Juan Gabatan, our laws dictate
that the best evidence of such familial tie was the record of birth appearing in the
Civil Register, or an authentic document or a final judgment. In the absence of these,
respondent should have presented proof that her mother enjoyed the continuous
possession of the status of a legitimate child. Only in the absence of these two
classes of evidence is the respondent allowed to present other proof admissible
under the Rules of Court of her mothers relationship to Juan Gabatan.

However, respondents mothers (Hermogenas) birth certificate, which would have


been the best evidence of Hermogenas relationship to Juan Gabatan, was never
offered as evidence at the RTC. Neither did respondent present any authentic
document or final judgment categorically evidencing Hermogenas relationship to
Juan Gabatan.

Respondent relied on the testimony of her witnesses but none of these witnesses
had personal knowledge of the fact of marriage of Juan to Laureana or the fact of
birth of Hermogena to Juan and Laureana. They were not yet born or were very
young when Juan supposedly married Laureana or when Hermogena was born and
they all admitted that none of them were present at Juan and Laureanas wedding or
Hermogenas birth. These witnesses based their testimony on what they had been
told by, or heard from, others as young children. Their testimonies were, in a word,
hearsay.

Aside from the testimonies of respondents witnesses, both the RTC and the CA
relied heavily on a photocopy of a Deed of Absolute Sale presented by respondent
and which appeared to be signed by the siblings and the heirs of the siblings of Juan
Gabatan.

However, the admission of this Deed of Absolute Sale, including its contents and the
signatures therein, as competent evidence was vigorously and repeatedly objected
to by petitioners counsel for being a mere photocopy and not being properly
authenticated. After a close scrutiny of the said photocopy of the Deed of Absolute
Sale, the Court cannot uphold the admissibility of the same.

Under the best evidence rule, when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a
document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document
itself. Although the best evidence rule admits of exceptions and there are instances
where the presentation of secondary evidence would be allowed, such as when the
original is lost or the original is a public record, the basis for the presentation of
secondary evidence must still be established. Thus, in Department of Education
Culture and Sports v. Del Rosario, we held that a party must first satisfactorily
explain the loss of the best or primary evidence before he can resort to secondary
evidence. A party must first present to the court proof of loss or other satisfactory
explanation for non-production of the original instrument.

In the case at bar, a perusal of the transcript of the testimony of Felicisima Nagac
Pacana (who identified the photocopy of the Deed of Absolute Sale) plainly shows
that she gave no testimony regarding the whereabouts of the original, whether it
was lost or whether it was recorded in any public office.

Filiation

To reiterate, to prove the relationship of respondents mother to Juan Gabatan, our


laws dictate that the best evidence of such familial tie was the record of
birth appearing in the Civil Register, or an authentic document or a final
judgment. In the absence of these, respondent should have presented proof that her
mother enjoyed the continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child.
Only in the absence of these two classes of evidence is the respondent allowed to
present other proof admissible under the Rules of Court of her mothers relationship
to Juan Gabatan. (Heirs of Gabatan vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 150206, March 13,
2009)

As to the third element, appellant himself admitted that the deceased is his
child. While Noemars birth certificate was not presented, oral evidence of filial
relationship may be considered. As earlier stated, appellant stipulated to the fact
that he is the father of Noemar during the pre-trial conference and likewise made
the same declaration while under oath. Maria also testified that Noemar and Junior
are her sons with appellant, her husband. These testimonies are sufficient to
establish the relationship between appellant and Noemar (People v. Sales, G.R. No.
177218, October 3, 2011)

Dela Cruz , et al vs. Gracia, G.R. No. 177728, July 31, 2009

FACTS:
Jenie was denied the registration of her child's birth because the document attached
to the Affidavit to use the Surname of the Father (AUSF) entitled "Autobiography,"
did not include the signature of the deceased father, and because he was born out
of wedlock and the father unfortunately died prior to his birth and has no
more capacity to acknowledge his paternity to the child.

Jenie and the child promptly filed a complaint for injunction/registration of name
against Gracia. The trial court held that even if Dominique, the father, was the
author of the unsigned handwritten Autobiography, the same does not contain any
express recognition of paternity.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the unsigned handwritten instrument of the deceased father of
minor Christian can be considered as a recognition of paternity.

RULING:
Yes. Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by RA 9255, permits an illegitimate
child to use the surname of his/her father if the latter had previously recognized
him/her as his offspring through an admission made in a pubic of private
handwritten instrument.

Article 176, as amended, does not explicitly state that there must be a signature by
the putative father in the private handwritten instrument.

The following rules respecting the requirement of affixing the signature of the
acknowledging parent in any private handwritten instrument wherein an admission
of filiation of a legitimate or illegitimate child is made:
1) Where the private handwritten instrument is the lone piece of evidence
submitted to prove filiation, there should be strict compliance with the
requirement that the same must be signed by the acknowledging parent; and
2) Where the private handwritten instrument is accompanied by other relevant
and competent evidence, it suffices that the claim of filiation therein be
shown to have been made and handwritten by the acknowledging parent as
it is merely corroborative of such other evidence.

Lucas v Lucas, G.R. No. 190710, June 6, 2011

FACTS:

Petitioner, Jesse Lucas filed a Petition to Establish Filiation with a Motion for the
Submission of Parties to DNA Testing before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Jesse
alleged that he is the son of his mother Elsie who got acquainted with respondent,
Jesus S. Lucas in Manila. He also submitted documents which include (a) petitioners
certificate of live birth; (b) petitioners baptismal certificate; (c) petitioners college
diploma, showing that he graduated from Saint Louis University in Baguio City with
a degree in Psychology; (d) his Certificate of Graduation from the same school; (e)
Certificate of Recognition from the University of the Philippines, College of Music;
and (f) clippings of several articles from different newspapers about petitioner, as a
musical prodigy.

Jesus learned of this and he filed a Special Appearance and Comment manifesting
that the petition was adversarial in nature and therefore summons should be served
on him. Meanwhile, Jesse filed a Very Urgent Motion to Try and Hear the Case which
the RTC found to be sufficient in form and hence set the case for hearing. Jesus filed
a Motion for Reconsideration arguing that DNA testing cannot be had on the basis of
a mere allegation pointing to him as Jesses father.

Acting on Jesus Motion for Reconsideration, the RTC dismissed the case and held
that Jesse failed to establish compliance with the four procedural aspects for a
paternity action enumerated in the case of Herrera v. Alba namely, a prima
facie case, affirmative defences, presumption of legitimacy, and physical
resemblance between the putative father and the child.

This prompted Jesse to file a Motion for Reconsideration which the RTC granted. A
new hearing was scheduled where the RTC held that ruling on the grounds relied
upon by Jesse for filing the instant petition is premature considering that a full-
blown trial has not yet taken place. Jesus filed a Motion for Reconsideration which
was denied by the RTC. He then filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of
Appeals (CA). The CA ruled in favour of Jesus, it noted that Jesse failed to show that
the four significant aspects of a traditional paternity action had been met and held
that DNA testing should not be allowed when the petitioner has failed to establish a
prima facie case.
ISSUE:

Whether aprima facie showing is necessary before a court can issue a DNA testing
order

HELD:

Yes, but it is not yet time to discuss the lack ofa prima facie case vis--vis the motion
for DNA testing since no evidence has, as yet, been presented by petitioner.

RATIO:

Misapplication of Herrera v. Alba by the Regional Trial Court and the Court of
Appeals. The statement in Herrera v. Alba that there are four significant procedural
aspects in a traditional paternity case which parties have to face has been widely
misunderstood and misapplied in this case. A party is confronted by these so-called
procedural aspects during trial, when the parties have presented their respective
evidence. They are matters of evidence that cannot be determined at this initial
stage of the proceedings, when only the petition to establish filiation has been filed.
The CAs observation that petitioner failed to establish a prima facie case is herefore
misplaced. A prima facie case is built by a partys evidence and not by mere
allegations in the initiatory pleading.

Section 4 of the Rule on DNA Evidence merely provides for conditions that
are aimed to safeguard the accuracy and integrity of the DNA testing. It states that
the appropriate court may, at any time, either motu proprio or on application of any
person, who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, order a DNA testing. Such
order shall issue after due hearing and notice to the parties upon a showing of the
following: (a) A biological sample exists that is relevant to the case;(b) The
biological sample: (i) was not previously subjected to the type of DNA testing now
requested; or (ii) was previously subjected to DNA testing, but the results may
require confirmation for good reasons; (c) The DNA testing uses a scientifically valid
technique; (d) The DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce new
information that is relevant to the proper resolution of the case; and (e) The
existence of other factors, if any, which the court may consider as potentially
affecting the accuracy or integrity of the DNA testing. This Rule shall not preclude a
DNA testing, without need of a prior court order, at the behest of any party,
including law enforcement agencies, before a suit or proceeding is commenced. This
does not mean, however, that a DNA testing order will be issued as a matter of right
if, during the hearing, the said conditions are established.

In some states, to warrant the issuance of the DNA testing order, there must be a
show cause hearing wherein the applicant must first present sufficient evidence to
establish a prima facie case or a reasonable possibility of paternity or good cause
for the holding of the test. In these states, a court order for blood testing is
considered a search, which, under their Constitutions (as in ours), must be
preceded by a finding of probable cause in order to be valid. Hence, the requirement
of a prima facie case, or reasonable possibility, was imposed in civil actions as a
counterpart of a finding of probable cause. Courts in variousjurisdictions have
differed regarding the kind of procedures which are required, but those
jurisdictions have almost universally found that a preliminary showing must be
made before a court can constitutionally order compulsory blood testing in
paternity cases. We agree, and find that, as a preliminary matter, before the court
may issue an order for compulsory blood testing, the moving party must show that
there is a reasonable possibility of paternity. As explained hereafter, in cases in
which paternity is contested and a party to the action refuses to voluntarily undergo
a blood test, a show cause hearing must be held in which the court can determine
whether there is sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case which warrants
issuance of a court order for blood testing The same condition precedent should be
applied in our jurisdiction to protect the putative father from mere harassment
suits. Thus, during the hearing on the motion for DNA testing, the petitioner must
present prima facie evidence or establish a reasonable possibility of paternity.

Gotardo v Buling, GR 165166, August 15, 2012 (see above)

Perla v Baring, GR 172471, November 12, 2012

Facts:

Mirasol filed a complaint for support for her son Randy against Antonio. Mirasol
testified that Antonio courted her and eventually became her first boyfriend. When
Mirasol became pregnant, Antonio assured her that he would support her.

Eventually, however, Antonio started to evade her. Mirasol gave birth to Randy. She
presented Randys Certificate of Live Birth and Baptismal Certificate indicating her
and Antonio as parents of the child. According to her, when Antonio landed a job as
seaman, he abandoned them and failed to give any support to his son. Randy
recounted having met Antonio for the first time in 1994 in the house of his Aunt
Lelita, Antonios sister, where he was vacationing. During their encounter, Randy
called Antonio "Papa" and kissed his hand while the latter hugged him.

Antonio denied having fathered Randy. Although he admitted to having known


Mirasol, denied courting her and that she never became his common-law wife nor
was she treated as such. Regarding Randys Certificate of Live Birth, Antonio
testified as to several inaccuracies in the entries thereon.
Issues:
1. Are the birth and baptismal certificates competent proofs of paternity when
putative father had no hand in preparation?
2. Was Mirasol and Randy able to prove filiation through the open and
continuous possession of status of Randy?
Held:
No to both issues.
Mirasol and Randy failed to establish Randys illegitimate filiation to Antonio.
Issue 1. Respondents presented the Certificate of Live Birth of Randy identifying
Antonio as the father. However, said certificate has no probative value to establish
Randys filiation to Antonio since the latter had not signed the same. It is settled that
"a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative father is not
competent evidence of paternity when there is no showing that the putative father
had a hand in the preparation of said certificate.
xxx
Anent Randys baptismal certificate, we cannot agree with the CA that the same is a
good proof of Antonios paternity of Randy. Just like in a birth certificate, the lack of
participation of the supposed father in the preparation of a baptismal certificate
renders this document incompetent to prove paternity. And "while a baptismal
certificate may be considered a public document, it can only serve as evidence of the
administration of the sacrament on the date specified but not the veracity of the
entries with respect to the childs paternity. Thus, x x x baptismal certificates are per
se inadmissible in evidence as proof of filiation and they cannot be admitted
indirectly as circumstantial evidence to prove the same.

Issue 2. Neither does the testimony of Randy establish his illegitimate filiation. That
during their first encounter in 1994 Randy called Antonio "Papa" and kissed his
hand while Antonio hugged him and promised to support him; or that his Aunt
Lelita treated him as a relative and was good to him during his one-week stay in her
place, cannot be considered as indications of Randys open and continuous
possession of the status of an illegitimate child under the second paragraph of
Article 172(1). "[T]o prove open and continuous possession of the status of an
illegitimate child, there must be evidence of the manifestation of the permanent
intention of the supposed father to consider the child as his, by continuous and clear
manifestations of parental affection and care, which cannot be attributed to pure
charity. Such acts must be of such a nature that they reveal not only the conviction
of paternity, but also the apparent desire to have and treat the child as such in all
relations in society and in life, not accidentally, but continuously." Here, the single
instance that Antonio allegedly hugged Randy and promised to support him cannot
be considered as proof of continuous possession of the status of a child. To
emphasize, "[t]he fathers conduct towards his son must be spontaneous and
uninterrupted for this ground to exist." Here, except for that singular occasion in
which they met, there are no other acts of Antonio treating Randy as his son. Neither
can Antonios paternity be deduced from how his sister Lelita treated Randy. To this
Court, Lelitas actuations could have been done due to charity or some other
reasons.
3. Compulsory recognition, cf. RPC 345

People v Abella, G.R. No. 177295, January 6, 2010

Under automatic review is the Decision dated September 21, 2006 of the Court of
[1]

Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 02085 which affirmed with modification the
Judgment promulgated on June 3, 2003 by Branch 25 of the Regional Trial Court
[2]

(RTC) of Naga City convicting accused-appellant Marlon Barsaga Abella of the crime
of rape, defined and penalized under Articles 266-A and 266-B of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended, sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua,
ordering him to pay civil indemnity and damages, and further ordering him to
acknowledge and support his offspring with the private offended party.
In a Minute Resolution dated June 27, 2007, we required the parties to file their
[3]

respective supplemental briefs. The parties, however, manifested that they have
exhausted their arguments before the CA and, thus, will no longer file any
supplemental brief. [4]

The antecedent facts are culled from the records of this case. Consistent with our
ruling in People v. Cabalquinto and People v. Guillermo, this Court withholds the
[5] [6]

real name of the private offended party and her immediate family members as well
as such other personal circumstance or information tending to establish her
identity. The initials AAA represent the private complainant and the initials BBB
refer to the mother of the private complainant.
The accusatory portion of the information reads:
That sometime on December 1999, in the afternoon, at Barangay San Vicente,
Municipality of Pamplona, Province of Camarines Sur, Philippines and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, while armed with
Balisong and under the influence of liquor, by means of force and intimidation and
with lewd design, did then and there willfully and feloniously enter the house of
herein complainant and then and there have sexual intercourse with AAA, a woman
of feeble mind, against her will to her damage and prejudice.
Acts contrary to law.
Accused-appellant Abella pleaded not guilty upon arraignment. The pre-trial [7]

conference followed and, thereafter, trial ensued.


The prosecution presented five (5) witnesses, namely, AAA, BBB, Dr. Emelito [8] [9]

Alegre, Dr. Imelda Escuadra and Corazon Alipante, and documentary exhibits
[10] [11] [12]

consisting of the Ultrasound Report of AAA dated September 14, 2000 issued by Dr.
[13]

Alegre, the Medical Certificate of AAA dated July 14, 2000 and Clinical Record of
[14] [15]

AAA dated June 13, 2000 issued by Dr. Alcantara, the Psychiatric Evaluation of AAA [16]

dated September 25, 2001 of Dr. Escuadra, and the Certificate of Live Birth of the [17]

daughter of AAA issued by the Office of the Civil Registrar of the City of Naga.
The defense, on the other hand, presented the testimonies of the accused-
appellant and his father, Danilo Abella, and documentary exhibits consisting of
[18] [19]

two (2) Barangay Blotters dated March 15 and September 16, 2000 issued by the
[20]

Barangay Captain of San Vicente, Municipality of Pamplona, Province of Camarines


Sur.
After trial, the RTC convicted the accused-appellant. The trial court found the 38-
year old AAA as a credible witness and her testimony candid and truthful despite
her moderate mental retardation or intellectual quotient of a 7 to 8-year old child. In
contrast, the trial court found that the defenses of denial and alibi of the accused-
appellant were flimsy and farfetched. It further ruled that the child conceived and
delivered by AAA was fathered by the accused-appellant. The dispositive portion of
the judgment reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered finding
accused MARLON ABELLA y BARSAGA guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime
of Rape, and hereby sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Accused is likewise directed to recognize [xxx] as his illegitimate daughter, and
provide for her support as soon as his financial means permit. Furthermore, he is
hereby ordered to pay complainant the sum of P75,000.00 as indemnity, P50,000.00
as moral damages and P50,000.00 as exemplary damages. With costs de officio.
Considering that the accused has been undergoing detention during the pendency of
the trial of this case, the same is hereby credited in the service of his sentence.
The decision of the RTC was directly elevated to this Court. The accused-appellant
filed his Brief on August 23, 2005 while the plaintiff-appellee filed its Brief on
[21] [22]

December 19, 2005. In a Minute Resolution dated February 15, 2006, we


[23]

transferred this case to the CA for appropriate action conformably with our ruling in
People v. Mateo. [24]

The CA summarized the evidence of the parties as follows:


Dr. Emelito Alegre, a radiologist and sonologist, testified that he had conducted an
ultrasound examination on AAA on 10 July 2000.Through the conduct of the
necessary measurements and ultrasound examination, he confirmed AAAs
pregnancy. At the time of the examination, AAA was already 30.7 weeks pregnant.
The testimony of the Municipal health Officer, Dr. Marietta Alcantara, in turn, was
dispensed with on account of the admission of the defense of the existence and
genuineness of the medical certificate that she had executed in relation to the
instant case.
Dr. Imelda Escuadra of the Women and Children Protection Unit of Bicol Medical
Center, Naga City, and a specialist in the field of psychiatry testified that AAA was
referred to her clinic for examination and evaluation by the Department of Social
Work and Development (DSWD). During the first examination, she noticed that AAA
was pregnant, was coughing, but responsive, coherent and relevant with no auditory
nor visual hallucinations or delusions shown. AAA, as she had observed, was not
psychotic at the time of the examination.
Dr. Escuadra added that AAA had recurrent thoughts of the rape incident and the
threats to kill her if she would divulge the matter. It was also observed that AAA was
not oriented as regards to persons and dates and that she showed poor grasp of
general information. During the last examination on 24 July 2000, AAA looked
depressed and claimed that her baby was moving.
Dr. Escuadra further testified that AAAs mental ability particularly on the arithmetic
aspect was poor, as she could not even count from 1-100. She concluded that
although AAAs chronological age was 38 years old, she manifested a mental age of
between 7-8 years old. AAAs intelligence quotient was only 51, which is classified as
moderate mental retardation. Aside from her mental disadvantage, AAA also suffers
from dwarfism being only three (3) feet and eight (8) inches tall.
Corazon Alipante, a psychologist of the Bicol Medical Center who conducted the
psychological testing on AAA, confirmed that the latters mental capacity is
functioning within the moderate mental retardation level with an average intelligent
quotient of 51 and that her perception of reality is impaired.
AAA testified that she knew the appellant personally since he was a child because
they lived in the same neighborhood. She narrated that sometime at around 1:00
oclock in the afternoon while she was alone at home the appellant entered their
house and started molesting her.Appellant pulled down her shorts with his left hand
while covering her mouth with his right hand. Appellant then placed himself on top
of her and inserted his penis into her vagina. At that time, she did not shout as the
appellant was holding a knife. AAA recalled that when appellant inserted his penis
into her vagina, she had felt pain. Afraid for her life, she did not tell her parents
about the rape incident.
Continuing with her narration, AAA stated that several months after the incident,
her stomach became big. Thinking that she was just ill, she drank some bitter
solution upon her mothers instruction. As her stomach continued to grow, AAA was
forced to tell her mother about the rape incident. Thereafter, AAA consulted a
doctor who confirmed that she was pregnant. Consequently she gave birth to a baby
girl.
BBB, AAAs mother, on the other hand, testified that the appellant is the cousin of
her husband. She claimed that she noticed her daughter becoming pale and thinner.
She also noticed that AAAs stomach was getting bigger and thus decided to bring her
to a doctor, who in turn informed her that her daughter might be pregnant. An
ultrasound examination confirmed that AAA was indeed pregnant. BBB then asked
her daughter who was responsible for her pregnancy, AAA replied that it was the
appellant.
BBB further claimed that prior to the confirmation of the pregnancy, the appellant
had given her some mahogany seeds which he said AAA should take so that she will
have her menstruation. But since the mahogany seeds made AAA weaker, BBB
discontinued it and decided to consult a doctor instead. Upon learning that it was
the appellant who had raped her daughter, BBB immediately reported the matter to
the Municipal Hall of Pamplona. Thereafter, the appellant was arrested.
BBB also testified that appellants parents had tried to settle the case by offering the
sum of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00). They however declined said offer, as
it was not even commensurate to the expenses they have already spent for their
daughter and her child. AAA gave birth to a baby girl on 16 August [2000] but the
appellant and his family had never given them any financial support.
Aside from the testimony of the [accused]-appellant, the defense also called
Danilo Abella, appellants father, to the stand. Both testimonies were principally
anchored on denial, and attributed that the filing of this case against the accused
was ill motivated and was due to the bad blood and personal animosities between
their family and that of the complainant. Appellant contends that a certain Mang
Ben, a construction worker of the China Geo, was the one responsible in
impregnating the complainant.
After its review of the evidence, the CA agreed with the findings of the RTC and
affirmed the conviction of the accused-appellant. However, as prayed for by the
plaintiff-appellee, the appellate court deleted the award of exemplary damages in
favor of AAA for lack of basis, thus:
WHEREFORE, the foregoing considered, the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED with the
MODIFICATION that the award for exemplary damages is DELETED. No costs.

The accused-appellant did not move for the reconsideration of the appellate courts
judgment. He instead elevated for review his conviction before us.
Accused-appellant reiterates the issues and arguments he has raised before the
courts below as follows:
I
The trial court gravely erred in failing to consider the motive behind the filing of the
instant case against the accused-appellant.
II
The court a quo gravely erred in convicting the accused-appellant of the crime
charged although his actual participation in the alleged act was not proven with
certainty.
Accused-appellant asserts that he should be acquitted of the crime charged. AAA
allegedly testified unsurely as to the identity of her assailant and that she testified
incoherently as to the details surrounding the rape incident. Accused-appellant
points out that AAA mentioned that she was raped by a certain Mang Ben. AAA then
testified that the accused-appellant was holding a knife while her pants were being
pulled by him with his left hand and her mouth being covered with his right hand.
She also allegedly said that the accused-appellant opened his knife when he was
about to molest her but he left after opening the knife.
Accused-appellant insists that AAA was coached to testify against him in furtherance
of the hostility between their families. He claims that AAAs mental disability made
her so subservient to her parents that she would believe everything that they tell
her. He further argues that the alleged P20,000.00 offer of accused-appellants family
to settle this criminal case happened before this case was actually filed which
proves that the said offer was either concocted by AAAs family or they were
extorting money.
The plaintiff-appellee maintains that the prosecution has proven the guilt of the
accused-appellant of the crime charged. AAA allegedly testified clearly and
convincingly that she was raped by accused-appellant. The plaintiff-appellee points
out that AAA clarified on the witness stand that it was accused-appellant, and not
Mang Ben, who raped her; that she did not say that the accused-appellant
simultaneously pointed a knife at her, covered her mouth, and pulled down her
pants she rather testified that, after her mouth was covered and pants pulled down,
the accused-appellant forced her to lay down and then drew a knife; and that AAA
said that the accused-appellant left after raping her. Assuming there were
inconsistencies in AAAs testimony, the same pertain to insignificant details which
rather support, not destroy, her credibility.
The plaintiff-appellee claims that the contention that the crime charged against the
accused-appellant was prompted by revenge or ill-motive on the part of AAAs family
was baseless and that the mental disability of AAA did not affect her credibility and
veracity of her testimony. The psychiatric evaluation of AAA allegedly proves that
she was generally coherent and relevant and that her extensive examination on the
witness stand shows that she could distinguish good from bad and truth from lies.
We affirm the conviction of the accused-appellant.
Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code provides that the crime of rape is
committed by a man having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the
following circumstances: (1) through force, threat or intimidation; (2) when the
offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; (3) by means of
fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and (4) when the offended
party is under 12 years of age or is demented, even though none of the
circumstances mentioned above be present. In People v. Andaya, it was held that
[25]

sexual intercourse with a woman who is a mental retardate with the mental age of a
child below 12 years old constitutes statutory rape with or without the attendance
of force, threat, or intimidation.
In the case before us, the prosecution has established beyond reasonable doubt that
the accused-appellant had carnal knowledge of AAA, a demented person, through
force, threat or intimidation. AAA was psychiatrically evaluated as an adult woman
with the mental age of a 7 to 8-year old child and that she gave birth to a child
despite her mental inability to give her consent to a sexual relationship. These facts
support the allegation of sexual abuse. AAA also identified without uncertainty the
accused-appellant as her attacker and related distinctly that he forcibly laid her
down, held her at knifepoint, and sexually abused her. She testified on direct
examination as follows:
PROS. TADEO:
xxx xxx xxx
Q: Do you know the accused in this Q: How about with the family of
case? Marlon, if you know, by
A: Yes sir. consanguinity?
Q: What is his name? A: None sir.
A: Marlon Abella. Q: In the information, it appears that
Q: Is he in court, please identify him? you are the offended party, why are
A: Yes sir. you accusing Marlon for rape?
Q: Please point to him. A: He raped me.
A: (Witness pointed to the accused Q: Do you remember when was that?
Marlon Abella) A: No sir.
Q: Since when have you known Q: What time was that?
Marlon? A: 1:00 oclock in the afternoon.
A: Since he was a child. xxx xxx xxx
Q: Why do you know him? Q: Where were you raped?
A: He is my neighbor. A: In our house.
Q: Do you have any relationship with Q: Do you mean to say that the
Marlon? accused in this case entered your
A: None sir. house?
A: Yes sir. A: He removed his shorts.
Q: After he entered your house, what PROS. TADEO:
happened next? xxx xxx xxx
A: He raped me. Q: While removing his shorts, what
Q: When you said he raped you, how did you do?
did he start molesting you? A: He also undressed me.
A: He pulled down my shorts. Q: How about you, what did you do?
Q: What hands did he use in pulling A: I did not shout.
down your shorts? COURT:
A: One hand. Q: Why?
Q: What hand, his right or left? A: I was afraid.
A: Left hand. Q: Why were you afraid?
Q: While his left hand was pulling A: He had a sharp weapon.
down your short pants, what was his PROS. TADEO:
right hand doing? Q: What kind of sharp weapon was
A: He covered my mouth. that?
Q: After your short pants was pulled A: A knife.
down, what happened next? Q: Where did you see that knife, in
A: He laid on top of me. what part of his body?
Q: What happened next? Do you have A: On his waist.
panty at that time? Q: While he was about to molest you,
A: Yes sir. did he remove that knife from his
Q: What happened to your panty? waist?
A: He pulled down my panty. A: Yes sir.
Q: You said a while ago that he placed Q: Where did he place it?
himself on top of you, what happened A: He was holding it.
next? Q: What did he do with it?
A: He laid on top of me. A: He told me that if I tell the matter
Q: Why, what was your position? he will kill me.
A: I was lying down. Q: Did he tell you those words?
Q; When you lied down, was it on your A: Yes sir.
own volition? xxx xxx xxx
A: No sir. COURT:
Q: Who asked you to lie down or did Q: What do you mean when you said
the accused forced you to lie down? he did something to you? Did he insert
A: He forced me to lie down. his penis to your vagina?
Q: How? A: Yes sir.
A: He grabbed me by my shoulder. Q: What did you do when he inserted
Q: After you were forced to lie down, his penis to your vagina?
what did the accused do next? A: None because I was afraid.
A: He inserted his organ. xxx xxx xxx
Q: Before he inserted his organ, was Q: What did you feel when he inserted
he wearing something on his body? his organ to your vagina?
A: Only a T-shirt, without pants. A: Painful.
COURT: Q: Did you not like it?
Q: Where was his shorts? A: I did not.
We find no real conflict in the Q: Do you know to distinguish truth
testimony of AAA as to the identity of from lies?
her assailant. A close scrutiny of the A: I am not telling a lie.
testimony of AAA that a certain Mang Q: You are not telling a lie because
Ben raped her shows her evident what you are telling us is the truth?
confusion to the suggestive questions A: Yes sir.
and insinuations of the defense Q: Therefore, you can tell the court
counsel and to the hypothetical and distinguish truth from a lie?
questions of the trial court, thus: A: Yes sir.
ATTY. MANLAGNIT: Q: And you know what is good from
Q: When you first know Marlon you what is bad?
said he was still a child at that time, A: Yes sir.
you have of age, am I correct? Q: You testified on cross that you
A: Yes sir. obeyed what your parents told you
Q: You said you know Marlon because that you were reminded that you were
he lives nearby or he is one of your raped by Marlon, is that right?
neighbors, is that correct? A: Yes sir.
A: Yes sir. Q: Was that reminder made to you by
Q: And as a matter of fact, there are your parents correct or wrong?
other neighbors staying near your A: Correct.
house? Q: Why do you say that the reminder
A: Yes sir. by your parents was correct?
Q: How many neighbors aside from A: Because they told me.
Marlon? Q: Supposed your parents told that it
A: Many. was Mang Ben who raped you, will
Q: Would you say 10? you obey your parents?
A: More than. A: Yes sir.
Q: 12? Q: So you will testify before this court
A: Yes sir. that Mang Ben raped you because that
Q: You also know your neighbors? was what your parents told you?
A: Yes sir. A: Yes sir.
Q: Could you name a few for us? Q: Did Mang Ben actually rape you?
A: Mang Ben. A: Yes sir.
Q: Who else? Q: How many times did Mang Ben
A: Julia. rape you?
Q: Who else? A: Only one.
A: My sister. Q: Did you not tell that to your parents
Q: And your sister has already a that Mang Ben raped you?
husband? A: Yes sir.
A: Yes sir. Q: Aside from Mang Ben, will you tell
Q: And your sister and her husband the court if the penis of Mang Ben was
are living near your house? inserted into your vagina?
A: Yes sir. A: Yes sir.
xxx xxx xxx Q: How many times did that happen to
COURT: you that the penis of Mang Ben was
inserted into your vagina?
A: Only one. Q: On direct examination you said it
Q: Which came first, when Mang Ben was only the accused who raped you.
raped you or when Marlon raped you? However, during the clarificatory
A: Marlon. question by the court you also said
Q: Do you know of any person who that you were also raped by Mang Ben.
raped you other than Mang Ben and Tell the court, which is now correct,
Marlon? was it only Marlon who raped you or it
A: None. was also Mang Ben who raped you?
AAAs puzzling answers are A: Only Marlon.
understandable considering her Q: When you said only Marlon, are you
undisputed low mental ability to telling the court that Mang Ben did not
comprehend the true import of the rape you?
questions.Nonetheless, on further A: He did not.
clarificatory questions of the trial Q: Are you very sure of your answer?
court, AAA rectified her answers and A: Yes, it was Marlon.
testified consistently that she was Q: Did you not testify on clarificatory
raped by the accused-appellant, and question from the court that you were
not by a certain Mang Ben, thus: also raped by Mang Ben?
COURT: A: No, only Marlon.
xxx xxx xxx Q: So your answer which you gave to
Q: Do you know the government the court a while ago when you were
prosecutor? asked whether you were also raped by
A: Yes sir. Mang Ben was not true?
Q: Suppose your mother tells you that A: It is not true.
you were raped by the government Q: Let us assume that your parents tell
prosecutor, will you tell that to the you that Mang Ben raped you, will you
court? testify that in court?
A: No sir. xxx xxx xxx
Q: Supposed you were told by your A: No sir.
parents that you were not raped by Q: So if your parents will tell you
Marlon, will you testify before this something which is not true, will you
court that you were raped by Marlon? tell the court that you will not obey
A: I will not obey. your parents?
xxx xxx xxx A: I will not obey them.
Moreover, we accord great weight and respect to the conclusion of the trial court
that AAA is candid, sincere, straightforward and simple in her testimony as well as
to the ruling of the appellate court that the alleged flaws in her statements do not
affect her credibility and veracity of her testimony that the accused-appellant raped
her, and that the defenses of denial and alibi of the accused-appellant cannot prevail
over the positive testimony of AAA.
By well-entrenched jurisprudence, the issue of credibility of witnesses is a question
best addressed to the province of the trial court because of its unique position of
having observed that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the witnesses'
deportment on the stand while testifying which opportunity is denied to the
appellate courts and [a]bsent any substantial reason which would justify the
reversal of the trial court's assessments and conclusions, the reviewing court is
generally bound by the former's findings, particularly when no significant facts and
circumstances are shown to have been overlooked or disregarded which when
considered would have affected the outcome of the case. In People v. Santos, this
[26] [27]

policy has been emphasized as follows:


We stress the well-settled doctrine that the lower court's assessment of the
credibility of a witness is accorded great respect owing to its direct opportunity to
observe the latter's demeanor during trial. In People v. Ayuda, we held:
It is doctrinally settled that the factual findings of the trial court, especially on
the credibility of the rape victim, are accorded great weight and respect and
will not be disturbed on appeal. This is so because the trial court has the
advantage of observing the victim through the different indicators of truthfulness or
falsehood, such as the angry flush of an insisted assertion, the sudden pallor of a
discovered lie, the tremulous mutter of a reluctant answer, the forthright tone of a
ready reply, the furtive glance, the blush of conscious shame, the hesitation, the
yawn, the sigh, the candor or lack of it, the scant or full realization of the solemnity
of an oath, or the carriage and mien. ... [Emphasis ours]
The foregoing doctrine is more stringently applied if the trial court is sustained by
the appellate court.
It has been stressed, moreover, that the bare denials and uncorroborated alibis of an
accused cannot overcome the positive identification of the accused and
straightforward recounting of the accuseds commission of a crime. In People v.
Nieto, this Court held:
[28]

It is an established jurisprudential rule that a mere denial, without any strong


evidence to support it, can scarcely overcome the positive declaration by the victim
of the identity and involvement of appellant in the crimes attributed to him. The
defense of alibi is likewise unavailing.Firstly, alibi is the weakest of all defenses,
because it is easy to concoct and difficult to disprove. Unless substantiated by clear
and convincing proof, such defense is negative, self-serving, and undeserving of any
weight in law. Secondly, alibi is unacceptable when there is a positive identification
of the accused by a credible witness. Lastly, in order that alibi might prosper, it is
not enough to prove that the accused has been somewhere else during the
commission of the crime; it must also be shown that it would have been impossible
for him to be anywhere within the vicinity of the crime scene.
In the present case, we do not perceive any cogent reason to justify the reversal of
the trial and appellate courts high regard of the truthfulness of AAAs testimony and
we find the bare denials and uncorroborated alibis of the accused-appellant devoid
of any evidentiary value. We quote with approval the pertinent disquisitions of the
trial court on the testimonies of the witnesses as follows:
By the very nature of the crime of rape, the same precludes any eyewitness to the
incident, except the victim and the perpetrator. Hence, to prove the same will
depend largely from the testimony of the victim, and the acquittal of the accused will
not lie on the strength of his defense. Thus, the case for the prosecution will rise or
fall on the basis of the victims testimony, which the court will consider with utmost
caution.
In the instant case, victim AAA was a mental retardate, which the court finds, not
only on the basis of the expert testimony of Dr. Escuadra but also on the basis of its
observations. It noted that even if the victim had a mental age of a 7 to 8 year-old
child, yet, she was candid, sincere, straightforward and simple in her testimony in
court despite the grueling cross-examination conducted by Atty. Manlangit. The
aforesaid demeanor of the complainant only showed that she was telling the truth.
Complainant never wavered in her testimony, that it was Marlon who raped her, the
circumstances or details under which she was raped; and in positively identifying
Marlon in court. The court likewise noted the limited mental ability and poor
aptitude of the complainant when she was extensively grilled and cross-examined,
and even upon clarificatory questions from the court, thus giving the impression to
the court that she was just being obedient and was coached by her parents in filing
this instant case against Marlon. She likewise admitted that a certain Mang Ben also
raped her, but, later corrected herself. Such was understandable. Even Atty.
Manlangit noted that the victim was already tired and exhausted while testifying in
court. (TSN, p. 43, Sept. 24, 2002) Besides, there was no testimony from the
complainant that she was merely instructed by her parents to file the rape case
against Marlon even if the same were not true. The court considered the
inconsistencies in complainants testimony as minor inconsistencies which even
strengthen her testimony. Xxx xxx xxx
The Court notes that the appellate courts own evaluation of the evidence concurred
with the findings and conclusions of the trial court as follows:
We likewise find no merit in the insinuations made by the [accused]-appellant that
the instant complaint was motivated by the malevolent design of the complainants
family to put him down or the greedy scheme of the latter to extort money from his
family. At best, these insinuations, trivial and inane, are merely conclusory and
unfounded. It cannot tarnish AAAs account of how the [accused]-appellant had
sexually assaulted her.
As aptly observed by the court a quo, it is hard to fathom that a parent would use
her children as engines of malice, especially if the same would subject them to
humiliation, nay stigma. No mother would expose her child to possible public
ridicule if the only motive is to get back at the [accused]-appellant. Said the trial
court:
Marlon and his father, Danilo, attributed ill-will, personal animosities and bad blood
between their family and that of the complainant as the reasons behind why a
fabricated case was filed against Marlon. It is incomprehensible to the mind of the
court that because at one time or another Marlon chased complainants father with a
hoe, or the complainants brothers unlawfully entered the premises of the accused,
or that they peeped or pried upon Marlons privacy, causing the latter to chase them
with a bolo as the reasons why, out of revenge, a rape case was concocted and filed
against him. Such are flimsy excuses, which do not deserve belief from any
reasonable being. This Court could not, in the exercise of sound judgment, accept the
flimsy reasons advanced by the accused that the victim, a mental retardate, was only
coached by her parents in implicating the accused as the person responsible for the
crime. A mother will never compromise the reputation of her daughter in order to
implicate a person with a crime he did not commit. Besides, it was quite absurd and
illogical that families in feud would make their mental retardate a tool to give a
scripted and concocted testimony in court that she was raped just to send her
familys enemy to jail. It is unnatural for a parent to use his offspring as an engine of
malice especially if it will subject a daughter to embarrassment and even stigma. No
parent in their right mind would possibly stoop so low as to subject their daughter
to the hardship and shame concomitant to a rape just to assuage their own hurt
feelings. [Citations omitted]
The criminal information failed to allege the qualifying circumstance that the
accused-appellant knew of the mental disability of the private offended party, thus,
his conviction of statutory or simple rape committed with the use of a deadly
weapon, instead of qualified rape, is in order.
We also accord high respect to the ruling of the trial court, as well as to the
appellate courts deference thereto, that the accused-appellant was the
biological father of the two-year old daughter of AAA as a result of the rape
incident and in view of their striking facial similarities and features. The order
to acknowledge and support accused-appellants offspring is in accordance
with Article 345 of the Revised Penal Code.
This Court, however, modifies the award of civil indemnity and damages in favor of
AAA. In line with recent case laws, the compensation to be awarded in favor of the
private offended party in cases of statutory rape or simple rape committed with the
use of a deadly weapon should be in the amounts of P75,000.00 as civil indemnity
and another P75,000.00 as moral damages. Exemplary or corrective damages are
[29]

imposed by way of example or correction for the public good and when the crime
was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances. According to current
[30]

jurisprudence, exemplary damages should be awarded in favor of the private


offended party in the amount of P30,000.00 in statutory or simple rape cases. In [31]

the present case, the award of P75,000.00 as civil indemnity and another
P75,000.00 as moral damages in favor of AAA is appropriate. The award of
P30,000.00 as exemplary damages should also be imposed as a public example in
order to protect hapless individuals from [sexual] molestation and because of the
[32]

presence of the aggravating circumstance of the commission of the crime in the


dwelling of AAA.
[33]

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision dated September 21, 2006 of
the CA in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 02085, which affirmed with modification the Judgment
promulgated on June 3, 2003 by Branch 25 of the RTC of Naga City, is hereby
AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that accused-appellant is hereby ordered to
pay the private offended party civil indemnity in the amount of Seventy-Five
Thousand Pesos (P75,000.00), moral damages also in the amount of Seventy-Five
Thousand Pesos (P75,000.00), and exemplary damages in the amount of Thirty
Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00), plus interest on all damages awarded at the legal rate
of 6% from this date until fully paid. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
People v. Gersamio, G.R. No. 207098, July 08, 2015

DOCTRINE: The SC affirms the deletion of the portion of the trial courts decision
ordering Gersamio to acknowledge paternity and to support AAAs child in the
absence of evidence. In this case, AAA was already five and a half months pregnant
when she was medically examined in September 2002. Obviously, the rape that
happened on August 28, 2002 was not the cause of that pregnancy. With these,
Gersamio cannot be ordered to recognize and to support AAAs child.

FACTS: August 28, 2002: In the afternoon, Gersamio, with lewd design, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously by means of force, violence and
intimidation and having carnal knowledge with the complainant [AAA], 15
years old, a minor, at the time of the incident against her will. Evidence was
established that: AAAs first sexual ordeal at the hands of Gersamio happened
sometime in 1999, when she was only 13 years old, having been born on 11 April
1986. It was repeated for several times. The last incident of rape occurred on 28
August 2002. On the said date, AAA was about to enter their house, Gersamio, who
was then hiding behind a coconut tree, suddenly grabbed and dragged her towards
the back of their house a banana plantation. AAA could not do anything but cry as
he pointed a knife at her neck. He commanded AAA to lie down but she resisted,
prompting the former to kick the latter in her thigh. When AAA was already lying on
the ground, he removed her t-shirt, short pants and underwear. He also threatened
to kill AAA. Defenseless, AAA simply cried. He inserted his penis inside AAAs
vagina. He warned AAA that he would kill her should she tell anyone what happened
between them.

On 2 September 2002, AAAs grandmother, BBB, discovered her pregnancy because


of the changes in her physical appearance. When asked about the father of her child,
it was then that AAA disclosed to BBB her harrowing experiences at the hands of
Gersamio, which began in 1999 when she was only 13 years old, the last of which
was on 28 August 2002. Such sexual advances by him resulted in her pregnancy. At
once, BBB went to his house and confronted him regarding what he did to AAA.
Nonetheless, in order to save AAA and their whole family from shame as he is AAAs
uncle, being the first cousin of AAAs mother, BBB would just like to keep the matter
among themselves and merely asked him to acknowledge and support the child of
AAA. He, however, denied the accusation and he even got mad at BBB. Leaving with
no other choice, AAA, accompanied by BBB, sought the assistance of their Barangay
Captain and they told the former the whole incident. The Barangay Captain then
advised them to have a medical examination, which they did.

The Trial Court held him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged,
ordering him to pay AAA for moral damages; and acknowledge or recognize AAAs
offspring resulting from the rape; and support AAAs child in the event his means
improves after serving his sentence.
The CA deleted, however, the portion ordering him to acknowledge paternity and to
support AAAs child, as the issue of whether the child is Gersamios is yet to be
resolved in a full-blown trial.

ISSUE: Whether or not AAAs child should be recognized and supported by


Gersamio.

HELD: NO. A meticulous perusal of the records shows no compelling reason to


overturn the findings of both lower courts on the matter of AAAs credibility and
that, indeed, Gersamio raped her and his guilt was sufficiently proven by the
prosecution beyond reasonable doubt.

Even though the result of AAAs physical examination conducted in September 2002
showed that she was already five and a half months pregnant at that time, it does
not necessarily follow that the appellant could not have authored the 28 August
2002 rape against her. Contrary to Gersamios view, AAAs pregnancy is immaterial
to the issue since pregnancy is not an essential element of the crime of rape. So,
whether the child whom the rape victim bore was fathered by the accused, or by
some unknown individual, is of no moment. What is important and decisive is that
the accused had carnal knowledge of the victim against the latters will or without
her consent, and such fact was testified to by the victim in a truthful manner.

The SC affirms the deletion of the portion of the trial courts decision ordering the
appellant to acknowledge paternity and to support AAAs child in the absence of
evidence thereof. In this case, AAA was already five and a half months pregnant
when she was medically examined in September 2002. Obviously, the rape that
happened on 28 August 2002 was not the cause of that pregnancy. Though there
were allegations of repeated rape from 1999 up to 28 August 2002, only two
Informations for rape was filed, i.e., the rape incidents in 1999 and on 28 August
2002. And, the appellant was acquitted for the rape committed in 1999 for
prosecutions failure to specify with certainty the exact month in 1999 the offense
was committed. With these, Gersamio cannot be ordered to recognize and to
support AAAs child.

Needless to say, the foregoing does not affect the earlier findings of this Court on the
guilt of the appellant for the crime of rape committed on 28 August 2002. To repeat,
not only is the impregnation of the rape victim not an element of rape; it must also
be stressed that AAA stated that the appellant repeatedly rape her since 1999 until
28 August 2002. Although the appellant cannot be held liable for such alleged rapes,
as this case does not cover other incidents of rape prior to 28 August 2002, AAAs
testimony on this point provides a possible explanation for her childbirth on 5
January 2003 as her child turned one on 5 January 2004.
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 25 April 2012 finding the
appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape is hereby
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS that the appellant is further ordered to pay AAA
civil indemnity and exemplary damages in the amounts of P50,000.00 and
P30,000.00.

F. Legitimated Children

who may be legitimated, FC 177, RA 9858

Abadilla vs Tabiliran, 249 SCRA 447

FACTS:

Ma. Blyth Abadilla, a Clerk of Court, filed a complaint against Judge Tabiliran on the
grounds of gross immorality, deceitful conduct, and corruption unbecoming of a
judge. With respect to the charge on gross immorality, she contended that the judge
scandalously and publicly cohabited with Priscilla Baybayan during subsistence of
his marriage with Teresita Banzuela. Tabiliran and Priscilla got married in May
1986. On the other hand, with respect to the charge on deceitful conduct, petitioner
claims that the judge caused his 3 illegitimate children with Priscilla be registered as
legitimate by falsely executing separate affidavits stating the delayed registration
was due to inadvertence, excusable negligence or oversight when in fact, he knew
these children cannot be legally registered as legitimate. The judge averred that 25
years had already elapsed since the disappearance of her wife in 1966 when he
married Priscilla hence the cohabitation was neither bigamous nor
immoral. However, as early as 1970, based on the record, Priscilla had begotten her
3 children (1970, 1971 and 1975).

ISSUE: WON the 3 children can be considered legitimate.

HELD:

The 3 children cannot be legitimated nor in any way be considered legitimate since
the time they were born, there was an existing valid marriage between Tabiliran
and Teresita. Only natural children can be legitimated. Children born outside of
wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not
disqualified by any impediment to marry each other, are natural.

Under Article 177 of the Family Code, only children conceived and born outside of
wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not
disqualified by any impediment to marry each other may be legitimated. Reasons
for this limitation:
1) The rationale of legitimation would be destroyed;
2) It would be unfair to the legitimate children in terms of successional rights;
3) There will be the problem of public scandal, unless social mores change;
4) It is too violent to grant the privilege of legitimation to adulterous children as it
will destroy the sanctity of marriage;
5) It will be very scandalous, especially if the parents marry many years after the
birth of the child.

2. How legitimation takes place, FC 178, FC 180

BBB v AAA, G.R. No. 193225, February 9, 2015

FACTS:
AAA and BBB are husband and wife. BBB comes before the Court to modify the
issuance of a Permanent Protection Order by the RTC against him.
AAA and BBB met in 1991 when AAA was still a med student and had a chile CCC
prior to her marriage to BBB. Then after the marriage AAA bore two more children
DDD and EEE. Due to BBB alleged womanizing AAA filed for PPO against him due to
immoral and illicit environment which was granted by the RTC and affirmed by the
CA.
He comes before the Court raising one of his issues the support he is obligated to
give in regards to AAAs son CCC. He claims that CCC is not his biological child and
that his natural children are already in his custody hence the petition for support is
moot. Hence, BBB claims that CCC has no right to support as his legitimated child.

ISSUE:
Whether CCC is entitled from support from BBB?

HELD/RULING:
Yes.
Article 177 of the Family Code provides that Only children conceived and
born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the
former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other may be
legitimated. Article 178 states that legitimation shall take place by a
subsequent valid marriage between parents.

It is undisputed that BBB is not CCCs father but BBB falsely acknowledge
CCC as his son. However as provided for by the Code: Art. 1431. Through
estoppel an admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the
person making it, and cannot be denied or disproved as against the person
relying thereon.

The principle of estoppel finds application and it now bars BBB from making
an assertion contrary to his previous representations. He should not be
allowed to evade a responsibility arising from his own misrepresentations.
He is bound by the effects of the legitimation process. CCC remains to be
BBBs son, and pursuant to Article 179 of the Family Code, the former is
entitled to the same rights as those of a legitimate child, including the receipt
of his fathers support.

Notwithstanding the above, there is no absolute preclusion for BBB from


raising before the proper court the issue of CCCs status and filiation.
However, BBB cannot do the same in the instant petition before this Court
now.

Court held that the civil status [of a child] cannot be attacked collaterally.
The childs legitimacy cannot be contested by way of defense or as a
collateral issue in another action for a different purpose. The petition sprang
out of AAAs application for a PPO before the RTC. Hence, BBBs claim that
CCC is not his biological son is a collateral issue, which this Court has no
authority to resolve now.

Additional relevant provisions:

All told, the Court finds no merit in BBBs petition, but there exists a necessity to
remand the case for the RTC to resolve matters relative to who shall be granted
custody over the three children, how the spouses shall exercise visitation rights, and
the amount and manner of providing financial support.

The RTC and the CA found substantial evidence and did not commit reversible
errors when they issued the PPO against BBB. Events, which took place after the
issuance of the PPO, do not erase the fact that psychological, emotional and
economic abuses were committed by BBB against AAA. Hence, BBBs claim that he
now has actual sole care of DDD and EEE does not necessarily call for this Courts
revocation of the PPO and the award to him of custody over the children.
Pursuant to Articles 201 and 202 of the Family Code, BBBs resources and means
and the necessities of AAA and the children are the essential factors in determining
the amount of support, and the same can be reduced or increased proportionately.
The RTC is reminded to be circumspect in resolving the matter of support, which is a
mutual responsibility of the spouses.

3. Retroactivity and effects, FC 180-181

4. Action to impugn legitimation, FC 182

5. Rights of legitimated children, FC 179