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JUAN GOROSTIAGA v.

MANUELA SARTE

G.R. No. L-45622 May 5, 1939 MORAN, J.:

Digested by: John Henry C. Romero

Doctrines:

1. “A ruling of physical and mental incapacity by a court in a petition for


guardianship, which was filed before the institution of a civil case takes
precedence in all the subsequent actions filed.”

2. “All proceedings in a civil case which was subsequently filed without


taking consideration of the outcome of the petition for guardianship which first
filed, should be considered as null and void for lack of jurisdiction over the
incompetent person.”

Facts:

Juan Gorostiaga, instituted an action against Manuela Sarte to recover a


sum of money amounting to P2, 285.51. Subsequently, an answer was filed by
the lawyer of Sarte, wherein a general denial was made, and interposing the
defense that Sarte, was physically and mentally incapacitated to manage her
estate. During the trial, Sarte, failed to appear in Court, and due to such
absence, a decision was rendered in favor of Gorostiaga.

Thereafter, a motion under section 113 of Act No. 190 was filed by the
general guardian of Sarte, praying that all the proceedings had against the Sarte
be declared null and void for lack of jurisdiction over her person.

The motion was based on the fact that prior to the institution of the civil
case for collection, a petition for guardianship was already filed with the lower
court in favor of defendant Sarte, on the ground that she was incompetent to
manage her estate due to physical and mental incapacity. The Court granted the
petition in favor of Sarte, along with the appointment of a general guardian.
Consequently, the incapacity thus declared existed at least at the date of the
filing of the petition for guardianship, that is, exactly nine days prior to the
institution of the action for collection of sum of money in the present case.

The motion under Section 113 of Act no. 190 based on the petition for
guardianship was denied; hence, the subject of this appeal.

Issue:

Should the decision of the trial court in the collection suit be declared null
and void for failing to consider the outcome of the petition for guardianship which
was first filed?

Ruling:

YES. The order of the trial court in the collection suit should be declared
null and void. It is a basic jurisprudential tenet that in order for a person to be
tried and sentenced, the person must be served with the summons or notice, as
invalid service of summons or notice, renders the proceedings null and void.

It appears thus clear that during all the proceedings in the case at bar,
from the time of the filing of the complaint to the rendition of the judgment,
Sarte, was physically and mentally unfit to manage her affairs, as found by the
court in the petition for guardianship and there having been no summons and
notices of the proceedings served to her and her guardian, because no guardian
was then appointed for her, the court trying the collection suit acquired no
jurisdiction over her person.
IN THE MATTER OF THE CHANGE OF NAME OF YAP EK SIU v. REPUBLIC
OF THE PHILIPPINES

G.R. No. L-25437 April 28, 1969 FERNANDO, J.:

Digested by: John Henry C. Romero

Doctrine:

1. “The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and


entities for purposes of identification, and that a change of name is a privilege
and not a matter of right.”

2. “A person can be authorized to change his name given him either in his
certificate of birth or civil registry must show proper or reasonable cause, or any
compelling reason which may justify such change. Otherwise, the request should
be denied.”

Facts:

Herein petitioner, Yap Ek Siu, instituted an action to change his name to


William Tanchon, with the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Negros Oriental. Yap,
alleged in his petition that he could avail of the privilege due to the following
reasons:

a. That since his childhood days, his Filipino playmates called him William;
b. That he desires to have his family name of Yap changed to Tanchon in due
respect to his father named Pio Tanchon;
c. That he is still a Chinese citizen, and that his intention in filing this
petition for change of name is not to escape or evade his civil obligations;
and
d. That he has filed his income tax returns for the year 1964.

The lower court, granted the petition based on the abovementioned


allegations. Thereafter, the Republic appealed the decision arguing that Yap has
not met the required standard in order to avail of the privilege. Hence, this
appeal.

Issue:

Whether Yap has satisfied the standard which would warrant a change of
name?

Ruling:

NO. Yap has failed to satisfy the required standard to warrant the privilege
of change of name.

The Court enunciated the decision in Yu Chu Han v. Republic, which


provides for the standard. Thus: “This Court has already had the occasion to
express the view that the State has an interest in the names borne by individuals
and entities for purpose of identification and that a change of name is a privilege
and not a matter of right, so that before a person can be authorized to change
his name given him either in his certificate of birth or civil registry he must show
proper or reasonable cause, or any compelling reason which may justify such
change. Otherwise, the request should be denied." (Ong Peng Oan v. Republic,
L-8035, November 29, 1957)

The following may be considered, among others, as proper and reasonable


causes that may warrant the grant of a petition for change of name:

(1) When the name is ridiculous, tainted with dishonor, or is extremely


difficult to write or pronounce;

(2) When the request for change is a consequence of a change of status,


such as when a natural child is acknowledged or legitimated; and

(3) When the change is necessary to avoid confusion.

In the case at bar, petitioner Yap has not proven that his name is
ridiculous, or tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce.
Neither has he claimed that he wants to change his name by reason of a change
in his status. Further, there is nothing in the record that would show that
petitioner's continuous use of his present name would cause confusion.

On the contrary, the change of petitioner's name would give rise to


confusion, for his real name, Yap Ek Siu appears in all his important and
personal documents and according to him, and he has never used the name
William in all his business dealings. Further, since he is a Chinese citizen, he
should also use a Chinese name. For a Chinese citizen to use a Filipino name,
will only create embarrassment and confusion in his social and business
dealings on the ground that he might be mistaken to be a Filipino when in fact
and in truth he is a Chinese."

Thus, Yap is not entitled to the privilege of changing his name.