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Ty v. CA
GR# 127406, NOV. 27, 2000, 346 SCRA 86
Article 40 Exception to the Rule

FACTS: In 1977, Reyes married Anna Maria Villanueva in a civil
ceremony. They had a church wedding in the same year as well. In
1980, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of QC declared
their marriage as null and void; the civil one for lack of marriage
license and the subsequent church wedding due to the lack of
consent of the parties. In 1979, prior to the JDRC decision, Reyes
married Ofelia. Then in 1991, Reyes filed for an action for declaration
of nullity of his marriage with Ofelia. He averred that they lack a
marriage license at the time of the celebration and that there was no
judicial declaration yet as to the nullity of his previous marriage with
Anna. Ofelia presented evidence proving the existence of a valid
marriage license including the specific license number designated.
The lower court however ruled that Ofelias marriage with Reyes is
null and void. The same was affirmed by the CA applying the
provisions of the Art 40 of the FC.

ISSUE: Whether or not the absolute nullity of the previous of
marriage of Reyes can be invoked in the case at bar.

HELD: Art. 40 of the FC provides that, The absolute nullity of a
previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the
basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage
void. This means that before one can enter into a second marriage
he must first require a judicial declaration of the nullity of the
previous marriage and such declaration may be invoked on the basis
solely of a final judgment declaring the previous marriage as void.
For purposes other than remarriage, other evidences may be
presented and the declaration can be passed upon by the courts. In
the case at bar, the lower court and the CA cannot apply the
provision of the FC. Both marriages entered by Reyes were
solemnized prior to the FC. The old CC did not have any provision
that states that there must be such a declaration before remarriage
can be done hence Ofelias marriage with Reyes is valid. The
provisions of the FC (took effect in 87) cannot be applied
retroactively especially because they would impair the vested rights
of Ofelia under the CC which was operational during her marriage
with Reyes.


Alcantara v. Alcantara
GR# 167746, AUG. 28, 2007
531 SCRA 446

FACTS: Restituto filed a petition for annulment of marriage against
Rosita alleging that on 8 Dec 1982 he and Rosita, without securing
the required marriage license, went to the Manila City Hall for the
purpose of looking for a fixer who could arrange a marriage for
them before a certain Rev. Navarro. They got married on the same
day. Restituto and Rosita went through another marriage ceremony
in Tondo, Manila, on 26 March 1983. The marriage was again
celebrated without the parties securing a marriage license. The
alleged marriage license, procured in Carmona, Cavite, appearing on
the marriage contract, is a sham, as neither party was a resident of
Carmona, and they never went to Carmona to apply for a license
with the local civil registrar of the said place. In 1988, they parted
ways and lived separate lives. Petitioner prayed that after due
hearing, judgment be issued declaring their marriage void and
ordering the Civil Registrar to cancel the corresponding marriage
contract and its entry on file. Rosita however asserts the validity of
their marriage and maintains that there was a marriage license
issued as evidenced by a certification from the Office of the Civil
Registry of Carmona, Cavite. Restituto has a mistress with whom he
has three children. Restituto only filed the annulment of their
marriage to evade prosecution for concubinage. Rosita, in fact, has
filed a case for concubinage against Restituto.

ISSUE: Whether or not their marriage is valid.

HELD: The requirement and issuance of a marriage license is the
States demonstration of its involvement and participation in every
marriage, in the maintenance of which the general public is
interested. Petitioner cannot insist on the absence of a marriage
license to impugn the validity of his marriage. The cases where the
court considered the absence of a marriage license as a ground for
considering the marriage void are clear-cut. In this case, the
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marriage contract between the petitioner and respondent reflects a
marriage license number. A certification to this effect was also issued
by the local civil registrar of Carmona, Cavite. The certification
moreover is precise in that it specifically identified the parties to
whom the marriage license was issued, namely Restituto Alcantara
and Rosita Almario, further validating the fact that a license was in
fact issued to the parties herein. Petitioner, in a faint attempt to
demolish the probative value of the marriage license, claims that
neither he nor respondent is a resident of Carmona, Cavite. Even
then, we still hold that there is no sufficient basis to annul petitioner
and respondents marriage. Issuance of a marriage license in a city
or municipality, not the residence of either of the contracting parties,
and issuance of a marriage license despite the absence of
publication or prior to the completion of the 10-day period for
publication are considered mere irregularities that do not affect the
validity of the marriage. An irregularity in any of the formal requisites
of marriage does not affect its validity but the party or parties
responsible for the irregularity are civilly, criminally and
administratively liable. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. The
presumption is always in favor of the validity of the marriage. Every
intendment of the law or fact leans toward the validity of the marriage
bonds. The Courts look upon this presumption with great favor. It is
not to be lightly repelled; on the contrary, the presumption is of great
weight.


Sy v. CA
GR# 127263 / APR. 12, 2000 330
SCRA 550

The case: For review is the decision of the Court of Appeals which
affirmed the decision of the regional Trial Court of San Fernando,
Pampanga, denying the petition for declaration of absolute nullity of
marriage of the spouses Filipina Sy and Fernando Sy.
The facts: Petitioner Filipina Sy and private respondent Fernando Sy
contracted marriage on November 15, 1973 at the Church of our
Lady of Lourdes in Quezon City. Both were then 22 years old. Their
union was blessed with two children. On September 15, 1983,
Fernando left their conjugal dwelling. Since then, the spouses lived
separately and their two children were in the custody of their mother.
On February 11, 1987, Filipina filed a petition for legal separation
before the RTC of San Fernando, Pampanga and was later
amended to a petition for separation of property. Judgment was
rendered dissolving their conjugal partnership of gains and approving
a regime of separation of properties based on the Memorandum of
Agreement executed by the spouses. In May 1988, Filipina filed a
criminal action for attempted parricide against her husband. RTC
Manila convicted Fernando only of the lesser crime of slight physical
injuries and sentenced him to 20 days imprisonment. Petitioner filed
a petition for the declaration of absolute nullity of her marriage to
Fernando on the ground of psychological incapacity on August 4,
1992. RTC and Court of Appeals denied the petition and motion for
reconsideration. Hence, this appeal by certiorari, petitioner for the
first time, raises the issue of the marriage being void for lack of a
valid marriage license at the time of its celebration. The date of issue
of marriage license and marriage certificate is contained in their
marriage contract which was attached in her petition for absolute
declaration of absolute nullity of marriage before the trial court. The
date of the actual celebration of their marriage and the date of
issuance of their marriage certificate and marriage license are
different and incongruous.

The Issues:
Whether or not the marriage between petitioner and private
respondent is void from the beginning for lack of marriage license at
the time of the ceremony?
Whether or not private respondent is psychologically incapacitated at
the time of said marriage celebration to warrant a declaration of its
absolute nullity?

Held:
A marriage license is a formal requirement; its absence renders the
marriage void ab initio. The pieces of evidence presented by
petitioner at the beginning of the case, plainly and indubitably show
that on the day of the marriage ceremony, there was no marriage
license. The marriage contract also shows that the marriage license
number 6237519 was issued in Carmona, Cavite yet neither
petitioner nor respondent ever resided in Carmona. From the
documents she presented, the marriage license was issued almost
one year after the ceremony took place. Article 80 of the Civil Code
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is clearly applicable in this case, there being no claim of exceptional
character enumerated in articles 72-79 of the Civil Code. The
marriage between petitioner and private respondent is void from the
beginning. The remaining issue on the psychological capacity is now
mooted by the conclusion of this court that the marriage of petitioner
to respondent is void ab initio for lack of marriage license at the time
heir marriage was solemnized.

Petition is granted. The marriage celebrated on November 15, 1973
between petitioner Filipina Sy and private respondent Fernando Sy is
hereby declared void ab initio for lack of marriage license at the time
of celebration.


Cario v. Cario GR# 132529 / FEB. 02, 2001
351 SCRA 127
Article 40

In 1969 SPO4 Santiago Carino married Susan Nicdao Carino. He
had 2 children with her. In 1992, SPO4 contracted a second
marriage, this time with Susan Yee Carino. In 1988, prior to his
second marriage, SPO4 is already bedridden and he was under the
care of Yee. In 1992, he died 13 days after his marriage with Yee.
Thereafter, the spouses went on to claim the benefits of SPO4.
Nicdao was able to claim a total of P140,000.00 while Yee was able
to collect a total of P21,000.00. In 1993, Yee filed an action for
collection of sum of money against Nicdao. She wanted to have half
of the P140k. Yee admitted that her marriage with SPO4 was
solemnized during the subsistence of the marriage b/n SPO4 and
Nicdao but the said marriage between Nicdao and SPO4 is null and
void due to the absence of a valid marriage license as certified by
the local civil registrar. Yee also claimed that she only found out
about the previous marriage on SPO4s funeral.

ISSUE: Whether or not the absolute nullity of marriage may be
invoked to claim presumptive legitimes.

HELD: The marriage between Nicdao and SPO4 is null and void due
the absence of a valid marriage license. The marriage between Yee
and SPO4 is likewise null and void for the same has been
solemnized without the judicial declaration of the nullity of the
marriage between Nicdao and SPO4. Under Article 40 of the FC, the
absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes
of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such
previous marriage void. Meaning, where the absolute nullity of a
previous marriage is sought to be invoked for purposes of
contracting a second marriage, the sole basis acceptable in law, for
said projected marriage to be free from legal infirmity, is a final
judgment declaring the previous marriage void. However, for
purposes other than remarriage, no judicial action is necessary to
declare a marriage an absolute nullity. For other purposes, such as
but not limited to the determination of heirship, legitimacy or
illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate, dissolution of property
regime, or a criminal case for that matter, the court may pass upon
the validity of marriage even after the death of the parties thereto,
and even in a suit not directly instituted to question the validity of
said marriage, so long as it is essential to the determination of the
case. In such instances, evidence must be adduced, testimonial or
documentary, to prove the existence of grounds rendering such a
previous marriage an absolute nullity. These need not be limited
solely to an earlier final judgment of a court declaring such previous
marriage void.

The SC ruled that Yee has no right to the benefits earned by SPO4
as a policeman for their marriage is void due to bigamy; she is only
entitled to properties, money etc owned by them in common in
proportion to their respective contributions. Wages and salaries
earned by each party shall belong to him or her exclusively (Art. 148
of FC). Nicdao is entitled to the full benefits earned by SPO4 as a
cop even if their marriage is likewise void. This is because the two
were capacitated to marry each other for there were no impediments
but their marriage was void due to the lack of a marriage license; in
their situation, their property relations is governed by Art 147 of the
FC which provides that everything they earned during their
cohabitation is presumed to have been equally contributed by each
party this includes salaries and wages earned by each party
notwithstanding the fact that the other may not have contributed at
all.


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Ablaza v. Republic
GR# 158298/Aug 11, 2010
628 SCRA 27

Facts: Isidro Ablaza petitioner, is the brother of Cresencio Ablaza
filed a petition for the declaration of the absolute nullity of the
marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila on the ground that their
marriage was celebrated without a marriage license, due to such
license being issued only on January 9, 1950, thereby rendering the
marriage void ab initio for having been solemnized without a
marriage license. He insisted that his being the surviving brother of
Cresenciano who had died without any issue entitled him to one-half
of the real properties acquired by Cresenciano before his death,
thereby making him a real party in interest; and that any person,
himself included, could impugn the validity of the marriage between
Cresenciano and Leonila at any time, even after the death of
Cresenciano, due to the marriage being void ab initio. RTC ruled in
favor of the respondent. On appeal Isidro raised the lone issue: The
trial court erred in dismissing the petition for being filed out of time
and that the petitioner is not a party to the marriage.

Issue: Whether or not Isidro not being a party in the said marriage
has right to bring an action for the declaration of the absolute nullity
of the marriage.

Ruling: Section 2, paragraph (a), of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC explicitly
provides the limitation that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity
of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or wife. The
following actions for declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage are
excepted from the limitation, to wit:
1. Those commenced before March 15, 2003, the effectivity
date of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC; and
2. Those filed vis--vis marriages celebrated during the
effectivity of the Civil Code and, those celebrated under the
regime of the Family Code prior to March 15, 2003.
Since the marriage in question is governed by the Civil Code the
Court ruled that only the party who can demonstrate a "proper
interest" can file the action.
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Interest within the meaning of the rule
means material interest, or an interest in issue to be affected by the
decree or judgment of the case, as distinguished from mere curiosity
about the question involved or a mere incidental interest. One having
no material interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the
court as plaintiff in an action. When the plaintiff is not the real party in
interest, the case is dismissible on the ground of lack of cause of
action.

Necessarily, therefore, the right of the petitioner to bring the action
hinges upon a prior determination of whether Cresenciano had any
descendants, ascendants, or children (legitimate or illegitimate), and
of whether the petitioner was the late Cresencianos surviving heir.
Such prior determination must be made by the trial court, for the
inquiry thereon involves questions of fact.


Carlos v. Sandoval
GR# 179922 / DEC. 16, 2008
574 SCRA 116

Facts: On May 13, 1992, Teofilo died intestate. He was survived by
respondents Felicidad and their son, Teofilo Carlos II (Teofilo II).
Upon Teofilo's death, Parcel Nos. 5 & 6 were registered in the name
of respondent Felicidad and co-respondent, Teofilo II. Petitioner and
respondent entered into compromised agreements to divide the land
equally. In August 1995, petitioner filed an action with the following
causes: (a) declaration of nullity of marriage; (b) status of a child; (c)
recovery of property; (d) reconveyance; and (e) sum of money and
damages. In his complaint, petitioner asserted that the marriage
between his late brother Teofilo and respondent Felicidad was a
nullity in view of the absence of the required marriage license. He
likewise maintained that his deceased brother was neither the
natural nor the adoptive father of respondent Teofilo Carlos II.
Ruling: The innovation incorporated in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC sets
forth a demarcation line between marriages covered by the Family
Code and those solemnized under the Civil Code. The Rule extends
only to marriages entered into during the effectivity of the Family
Code which took effect on August 3, 1988.

It is emphasized, however, that the Rule does not apply to cases
already commenced before March 15, 2003 although the marriage
involved is within the coverage of the Family Code.
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Petitioner commenced the nullity of marriage case against
respondent Felicidad in 1995. The marriage in controversy was
celebrated on May 14, 1962. Which law would govern depends upon
when the marriage took place. The marriage having been
solemnized prior to the effectivity of the Family Code, the applicable
law is the Civil Code which was the law in effect at the time of its
celebration. But the Civil Code is silent as to who may bring an
action to declare the marriage void.

The absence of a provision in the Civil Code cannot be construed as
a license for any person to institute a nullity of marriage case. Such
person must appear to be the party who stands to be benefited or
injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails
of the suit. Plaintiff must be the real party-in-interest. For it is basic in
procedural law that every action must be prosecuted and defended
in the name of the real party-in-interest. Interest within the meaning
of the rule means material interest or an interest in issue to be
affected by the decree or judgment of the case, as distinguished
from mere curiosity about the question involved or a mere incidental
interest. One having no material interest to protect cannot invoke the
jurisdiction of the court as plaintiff in an action.


Bolos v. Bolos
GR# 186400/October 20, 2010
634 SCRA 429

Facts: On July 10, 2003, petitioner Cynthia Bolos (Cynthia) filed a
petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage to respondent
Danilo Bolos (Danilo) under Article 36 of the Family Code where the
RTC ruled in her favor.

The appellate court stated that the requirement of a motion for
reconsideration as a prerequisite to appeal under A.M. No. 02-11-10-
SC did not apply in this case as the marriage between Cynthia and
Danilo was solemnized on February 14, 1980 before the Family
Code took effect.

Cynthia appealed to the SC and one of the issues raised is that A.M.
NO. 02-11-10-SC entitled rule on declaration of absolute nullity of
void marriages and annulment of voidable marriages is applicable to
marriages solemnized before the effectivity of the family code and
the phrase under the family code in A.M. NO. 02-11-10-SC pertains
to the word petitions rather than to the word marriages.

Issue: Whether or not A.M. NO. 02-11-10-SC pertains to petitions
during the effectivity of the Family Code and not to marriages.

Ruling: The categorical language of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC leaves no
room for doubt. The coverage extends only to those marriages
entered into during the effectivity of the Family Code which took
effect on August 3, 1988. The rule sets a demarcation line between
marriages covered by the Family Code and those solemnized under
the Civil Code. The Court finds Itself unable to subscribe to
petitioners interpretation that the phrase under the Family Code in
A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC refers to the word petitions rather than to the
word marriages.


Juliano-Llave v. Rep (Tamano)
GR# 169766, March 30, 2011

Facts: Sen. Tamano married Estrellita twice -initially under the
Islamic laws and tradition and under a civil ceremony officiated by an
RTC Judge at Malabang, Lanao del Sur. In the marriage contract,
Sen. Tamano's civil status was indicated as 'divorced.' Haja Putri
Zorayda A. Tamano (Zorayda) and her son Adib Ahmad A. Tamano
filed a complaint with the RTC of Quezon City for the declaration of
nullity of marriage between Estrellita and Sen. Tamano for being
bigamous. Estrellita filed a Motion to Dismiss on the basis that Sen.
Tamano and Zorayda are both Muslims who were married under the
Muslim rites. The RTC rendered the aforementioned judgment
declaring Estrellita's marriage with Sen. Tamano as void ab initio. CA
affirmed decision. She asserts that such law automatically applies to
the marriage of Zorayda and the deceased without need of
registering their consent to be covered by it, as both parties are
Muslims whose marriage was solemnized under Muslim law.

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Issue: Whether the marriage between Estrellita and the late Sen.
Tamano was bigamous.
Whether Zorayda and Adib, has legal standing to file a declaration of
nullity of marriage of Estrellita and Sen. Tamano.

Ruling: Muslim personal laws cannot benefit Estrillita, Firstly, Article
13(1) thereof provides that the law applies to "marriage and divorce
wherein both parties are Muslims, or wherein only the male party is a
Muslim and the marriage is solemnized in accordance with Muslim
law or this Code in any part of the Philippines. Article 13 of PD 1083
does not provide for a situation where the parties were married both
in civil and Muslim rites. Moreover, the Muslim Code took effect only
on February 4, 1977, and this law cannot retroactively override the
Civil Code which already bestowed certain rights on the marriage of
Sen. Tamano and Zorayda.

Estrellita claims that only the husband or the wife in a void
marriage can file a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage under
A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC. However, this interpretation does not apply if
the reason behind the petition is bigamy.


REPUBLIC VS ORBECIDO
G.R. No. 154380
October 5, 2005

FACTS:
In 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myro Villanueva
in Lam-an, Ozamis City.
In 1986, Orbecido discovered that his wife had had been
naturalized as an American citizen.
Sometime in 2000, Orbecido learned from his son that his
wife had obtained a divorce decree and married an American.
Orbecido filed with the Trial Court a petition for Authority to
Remarry invoking Article 26 Paragraph 2 of the Family Code, the
Court granted the petition.
The Republic, herein petitioner, through the Office of the
Solicitor General, sought for reconsideration but it was denied by the
Trial Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not the allegations of the respondent was proven
as a fact according to the rules of evidence.

HELD: Before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our
own courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and
demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it. Such foreign
law must also be proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice of
foreign laws. Like any other fact, such laws must be alleged and
proved. Furthermore, respondent must also show that the divorce
decree allows his former wife to remarry as specifically required in
Article 26. Otherwise, there would be no evidence sufficient to
declare that he is capacitated to enter into another marriage.
However, in the present petition there is no sufficient
evidence submitted and on record, we are unable to declare, based
on respondents bare allegations that his wife, who was naturalized
as an American citizen, had obtained a divorce decree and had
remarried an American, that respondent is now capacitated to
remarry. Such declaration could only be made properly upon
respondents submission of the aforecited evidence in his favor.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition by the Republic of the
Philippines is GRANTED. The assailed Decision dated May 15,
2002, and Resolution dated July 4, 2002, of the Regional Trial Court
of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Branch 23, are hereby SET ASIDE.


Corpuz v. Sto. Tomas
GR# 186571/ Aug 11, 2010
628 SCRA 266

FACTS: Gerbert Corpuz (Gerbert) was a former Filipino citizen who
acquired Canadian citizenship through naturalization. He later
married a Filipina, Daisylyn Sto. Tomas (Daisy). Gerbert left for
Canada soon after the wedding because of his work. He returned
after 4 months to surprise Daisy, but discovered that she was having
an affair with another man. Hurt and disappointed, Gerbert returned
to Canada and filed a petition for divorce. The Superior Court of
Justice in Ontario, Canada granted his petition for divorce.

2 years after the divorce, Gerbert found another Filipina to love.
Gerbert went to the Civil Registry Office and registered the Canadian
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divorce decree on his and Daisys marriage certificate. Despite the
registration of the divorce decree, an official of the National Statistics
Office (NSO) informed him that the marriage between him and
Daisy still subsists under Philippine law. To be enforceable, the
foreign divorce decree must first be judicially recognized by a
competent Philippine court, pursuant to a NSO Circular.

Gerbert filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce
and/or declaration of marriage as dissolved with the RTC. Daisy did
not file any responsive pleading and offered no opposition to the
petition. In fact, Daisy alleged her desire to file a similar case but was
prevented by financial constrains. She, thus, requested that she be
considered as a party-in-interest with a similar prayer to Gerberts.

The RTC denied Gerberts petition. The RTC concluded that Gerbert
was NOT THE PROPER PARTY to institute the action for judicial
recognition of the foreign divorce decree as he is a NATURALIZED
CANADIAN CITIZEN. It ruled that ONLY THE FILIPINO spouse can
avail of the remedy, under Art. 26, 2 of the Family Code.

ISSUE: WON Art. 26, 2 extends to aliens the right to petition a court of
this jurisdiction for the recognition of a foreign divorce decree.

HELD: NO. The alien spouse can claim no right under Art. 26, 2 of
the Family Code as the substantive right it establishes is in favor of
the FILIPINO SPOUSE.

Art. 26, 2 was included in the law to avoid the absurd situation where
the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after
obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse. The
legislative intent is for the benefit of the Filipino spouse, by clarifying
his or her marital status, settling the doubts created by the divorce
decree. Essentially, Art. 26, 2 provided the Filipino spouse a
substantive right to have his or her marriage to the alien spouse
considered as dissolved, capacitating him or her to remarry. Without
Art. 26, 2, the judicial recognition of the foreign decree of divorce,
whether in a proceeding instituted precisely for that purpose or as a
related issue in another proceeding, would be of no significance to
the Filipino spouse since our laws do not recognize divorce as a
mode of severing the marital bond.

An action based on Art. 26, 2 is not limited to the recognition of the
foreign divorce decree. If the court finds that the decree capacitated
the alien spouse to remarry, the courts can declare that the Filipino
spouse is likewise capacitated to contract another marriage.
However, no Philippine court can make a similar declaration for the
alien spouse, whose status and legal capacity are generally


Toring v. Toring
GR# 165321 / AUG. 3, 2010
626 SCRA 389

Facts: Ricardo and Teresita were married on September 4, 1978, On
February 1, 1999, more than twenty years after their wedding,
Ricardo filed a petition for annulment before the RTC. He claimed
that Teresita was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
essential obligations of marriage prior to, at the time of, and
subsequent to the celebration of their marriage. Ricardo opined that
his wife was a very extravagant, materialistic, controlling and
demanding person, who mostly had her way in everything; had a
taste for the nightlife and was very averse to the duties of a
housewife; was stubborn and independent, also most unsupportive,
critical and uncooperative; was unresponsive to his hard work and
sacrifices for their family; and was most painfully unmindful of him.
Dr. Cecilia R. Albaran testified that a major factor that contributed to
the demise of the marriage was Teresitas Narcissistic Personality
Disorder that rendered her psychologically incapacitated to fulfill her
essential marital obligations. She based her diagnosis on the
information she gathered from her psychological evaluation on
Ricardo and Richardson (Ricardo and Teresitas eldest son).

Issue: Whether or not Teresita is psychologically incapacitated.

Ruling: We find the petition unmeritorious, In so far as the present
factual situation is concerned, what should not be lost in reading and
applying our established rulings is the intent of the law to confine the
application of Article 36 of the Family Code to the most serious
cases of personality disorders; these are the disorders that result in
the utter insensitivity or inability of the afflicted party to give meaning
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and significance to the marriage he or she contracted. Furthermore,
the psychological illness and its root cause must have been there
from the inception of the marriage. From these requirements arise
the concept that Article 36 of the Family Code does not really
dissolve a marriage; it simply recognizes that there never was any
marriage in the first place because the affliction already then
existing was so grave and permanent as to deprive the afflicted
party of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the
matrimonial bond he or she was to assume or had assumed. We find
the totality of the petitioners evidence to be insufficient to prove that
Teresita was psychologically incapacitated to perform her duties as a
wife.

The requirements for nullity outlined in Santos and Molina need not
necessarily come from the allegedly incapacitated spouse. In other
words, it is still essential although from sources other than the
respondent spouse to show his or her personality profile, or its
approximation, at the time of marriage; the root cause of the inability
to appreciate the essential obligations of marriage; and the gravity,
permanence and incurability of the condition. In the present case,
the only other party outside of the spouses who was ever asked to
give statements for purposes of Teresitas psychological evaluation
was Richardson, the spouses eldest son who would not have been
very reliable as a witness in an Article 36 case because he could not
have been there when the spouses were married and could not have
been expected to know what was happening between his parents
until long after his birth.


Camacho-Reyes v. Reyes
GR# 185286 / Aug 18, 2010
628 SCRA 461

Facts: Petitioner Maria Socorro Camacho-Reyes met respondent
Ramon Reyes at the University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman, in
1972 when they were both nineteen (19) years old. They were simply
classmates then in one university subject when respondent cross-
enrolled from the UP Los Baos campus. The casual
acquaintanceship quickly developed into a boyfriend-girlfriend
relationship. Petitioner was initially attracted to respondent who she
thought was free spirited and bright, although he did not follow
conventions and traditions. Since both resided in Mandaluyong City,
they saw each other every day and drove home together from the
university. At that time, respondent held a job in the family business,
the Aristocrat Restaurant. Petitioners good impression of the
respondent was not diminished by the latters habit of cutting
classes, not even by her discovery that respondent was taking
marijuana. Thereafter, the newlyweds lived with the respondents
family in Mandaluyong City. All living expenses were shouldered by
respondents parents, and the couples respective salaries were
spent solely for their personal needs. Initially, respondent gave
petitioner a monthly allowance of P1,500.00 from his salary. When
their first child was born on March 22, 1977, financial difficulties
started. Rearing a child entailed expenses. A year into their
marriage, the monthly allowance of P1,500.00 from respondent
stopped. Further, respondent no longer handed his salary to
petitioner. When petitioner mustered enough courage to ask the
respondent about this, the latter told her that he had resigned due to
slow advancement within the family business. Respondents game
plan was to venture into trading seafood in the province, supplying
hotels and restaurants, including the Aristocrat Restaurant. However,
this new business took respondent away from his young family for
days on end without any communication. To prod respondent into
assuming more responsibility, petitioner suggested that they live
separately from her in-laws. However, the new living arrangement
engendered further financial difficulty. While petitioner struggled to
make ends meet as the single-income earner of the household,
respondents business floundered. Thereafter, another attempt at
business, a fishpond in Mindoro, was similarly unsuccessful.
Respondent gave money to petitioner sporadically. Compounding
the familys financial woes and further straining the parties
relationship was the indifferent attitude of respondent towards his
family. That his business took him away from his family did not seem
to bother respondent; he did not exert any effort to remain in touch
with them while he was away in Mindoro. After two (2) years of
struggling, the spouses transferred residence and, this time, moved
in with petitioners mother. But the new set up did not end their
marital difficulties. In fact, the parties became more estranged.
Petitioner continued to carry the burden of supporting a family not
just financially, but in most aspects as well. In 1985, petitioner, who
9

had previously suffered a miscarriage, gave birth to their third son. At
that time, respondent was in Mindoro and he did not even inquire on
the health of either the petitioner or the newborn. A week later,
respondent arrived in Manila, acting nonchalantly while playing with
the baby, with nary an attempt to find out how the hospital bills were
settled. In 1989, due to financial reverses, respondents fishpond
business stopped operations. Although without any means to support
his family, respondent refused to go back to work for the family
business. Respondent came up with another business venture,
engaging in scrap paper and carton trading. As with all of
respondents business ventures, this did not succeed and added to
the trail of debt which now hounded not only respondent, but
petitioner as well. Not surprisingly, the relationship of the parties
deteriorated. Sometime in 1996, petitioner confirmed that respondent
was having an extra-marital affair. She overheard respondent talking
to his girlfriend, a former secretary, over the phone inquiring if the
latter liked respondents gift to her. Petitioner soon realized that
respondent was not only unable to provide financially for their family,
but he was, more importantly, remiss in his obligation to remain
faithful to her and their family. One of the last episodes that sealed
the fate of the parties marriage was a surgical operation on
petitioner for the removal of a cyst. Although his wife was about to
be operated on, respondent remained unconcerned and unattentive;
and simply read the newspaper, and played dumb when petitioner
requested that he accompany her as she was wheeled into the
operating room. After the operation, petitioner felt that she had had
enough of respondents lack of concern, and asked her mother to
order respondent to leave the recovery room. Still, petitioner made a
string of final attempts to salvage what was left of their marriage.
Petitioner approached respondents siblings and asked them to
intervene, confessing that she was near the end of her rope. Yet,
even respondents siblings waved the white flag on respondent.
Adolfo Reyes, respondents elder brother, and his spouse,
Peregrina, members of a marriage encounter group, invited and
sponsored the parties to join the group. The elder couple scheduled
counseling sessions with petitioner and respondent, but these did not
improve the parties relationship as respondent remained
uncooperative. In 1997, Adolfo brought respondent to Dr.
Natividad A. Dayan for a psychological assessment to determine
benchmarks of current psychological functioning. As with all other
attempts to help him, respondent resisted and did not continue with
the clinical psychologists recommendation to undergo
psychotherapy. At about this time, petitioner, with the knowledge of
respondents siblings, told respondent to move out of their house.
Respondent acquiesced to give space to petitioner. With the de facto
separation, the relationship still did not improve. Neither did
respondents relationship with his children.

Issue: WON the respondent is psychologically incapacitated

Ruling: The lack of personal examination and interview of the
respondent, or any other person diagnosed with personality disorder,
does not per se invalidate the testimonies of the doctors. The clinical
psychologists and psychiatrists assessment were not based solely
on the narration or personal interview of the petitioner. Other
informants such as respondents own son, siblings and in-laws, and
sister-in-law (sister of petitioner), testified on their own observations
of respondents behavior and interactions with them, spanning the
period of time they knew him. A recommendation for therapy does
not automatically imply curability. In general, recommendations for
therapy are given by clinical psychologists, or even psychiatrists, to
manage behavior. In Kaplan and Saddocks textbook entitled
Synopsis of Psychiatry, treatment, ranging from psychotherapy to
pharmacotherapy, for all the listed kinds of personality disorders are
recommended. In short, Dr. Dayans recommendation that
respondent should undergo therapy does not necessarily negate the
finding that respondents psychological incapacity is incurable.

Moreover, Dr. Dayan, during her testimony, categorically
declared that respondent is psychologically incapacitated to perform
the essential marital obligations.









10

Baccay v, Baccay
GR No. 173138, Dec. 1, 2010;
636 SCRA 350

Facts: Noel married Maribel because Maribel claims that she is
pregnant with Noels child. After the marriage ceremony, Noel and
Maribel agreed to live with Noels family in their house at Rosal, Pag-
asa, Quezon City. During all the time she lived with Noels family,
Maribel remained aloof and did not go out of her way to endear
herself to them. She would just come and go from the house as she
pleased. Maribel never contributed to the familys coffer leaving Noel
to shoulder all expenses for their support. Also, she refused to have
any sexual contact with Noel. Surprisingly, despite Maribels claim of
being pregnant, Noel never observed any symptoms of pregnancy in
her. He asked Maribels office mates whether she manifested any
signs of pregnancy and they confirmed that she showed no such
signs. Then, sometime in January 1999, Maribel did not go home for
a day, and when she came home she announced to Noel and his
family that she had a miscarriage and was confined at the Chinese
General Hospital where her sister worked as a nurse. Noel
confronted her about her alleged miscarriage sometime in February
1999. The discussion escalated into an intense quarrel which woke
up the whole household. Noels mother tried to intervene but Maribel
shouted Putang ina nyo, wag kayo makialam at her. Because of
this, Noels mother asked them to leave her house. Around 2:30
a.m., Maribel called her parents and asked them to pick her up.
Maribel left Noels house and did not come back anymore. Noel tried
to communicate with Maribel but when he went to see her at her
house nobody wanted to talk to him and she rejected his phone calls.
Noel filed declaration of nullity on the ground of Psychological
Incapacity.

Issue: WON Maribel is psychologically incapacitated.

Ruling: In Republic of the Phils. v. Court of Appeals,[23] the Court
laid down the guidelines in resolving petitions for declaration of nullity
of marriage, based on Article 36 of the Family Code, to wit:
(1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to
the plaintiff. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of the existence
and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and
nullity.The Family Code echoes this constitutional edict on marriage
and the family and emphasizes their permanence, inviolability and
solidarity.
(2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be
(a) medically or clinically identified,
(b) alleged in the complaint,
(c) sufficiently proven by experts and
(d) clearly explained in the decision.
Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity must be
psychological not physical, although its manifestations and/or
symptoms may be physical. The evidence must convince the court
that the parties, or one of them, was mentally or psychically ill to
such an extent that the person could not have known the obligations
he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given valid
assumption thereof. Although no example of such incapacity need
be given here so as not to limit the application of the provision under
the principle of ejusdem generis, nevertheless such root cause must
be identified as a psychological illness and its incapacitating nature
fully explained. Expert evidence may be given by qualified
psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.
(3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at the time of the
celebration of the marriage. The evidence must show that the illness
was existing when the parties exchanged their I dos. The
manifestation of the illness need not be perceivable at such time, but
the illness itself must have attached at such moment, or prior thereto.
(4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically
permanent or incurable. Such incurability may be absolute or even
relative only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily absolutely
against everyone of the same sex. Furthermore, such incapacity
must be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations, not
necessarily to those not related to marriage, like the exercise of a
profession or employment in a job. Hence, a pediatrician may be
effective in diagnosing illnesses of children and prescribing medicine
to cure them but may not be psychologically capacitated to
procreate, bear and raise his/her own children as an essential
obligation of marriage.
(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of
the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage. Thus,
mild characteriological peculiarities, mood changes, occasional
emotional outbursts cannot be accepted as root causes. The illness
11

must be shown as downright incapacity or inability, not a refusal,
neglect or difficulty, much less ill will. In other words, there is a natal
or supervening disabling factor in the person, an adverse integral
element in the personality structure that effectively incapacitates the
person from really accepting and thereby complying with the
obligations essential to marriage.
(6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by
Articles 68 up to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and
wife as well as Articles 220, 221 and 225 of the same Code in regard
to parents and their children. Such non-complied marital obligation(s)
must also be stated in the petition, proven by evidence and included
in the text of the decision.
(7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial
Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not
controlling or decisive, should be given great respect by our courts. x
x x.
x x x x
(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and
the Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state. No decision
shall be handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a
certification, which will be quoted in the decision, briefly stating
therein his reasons for his agreement or opposition, as the case may
be, to the petition. The Solicitor General, along with the prosecuting
attorney, shall submit to the court such certification within fifteen (15)
days from the date the case is deemed submitted for resolution of
the court. The Solicitor General shall discharge the equivalent
function of the defensor vinculi contemplated under Canon 1095.
(Emphasis ours.)
In this case, the totality of evidence presented by Noel was not
sufficient to sustain a finding that Maribel was psychologically
incapacitated.









Agraviador v. Agraviador
GR No. 170729, Dec 8, 2010;
637 SCRA 519

Facts: On May 23, 1973, the petitioner and the respondent
contracted marriage in a ceremony officiated by Reverend Juanito
Reyes at a church in Tondo, Manila. The petitioners family was
apprehensive about this marriage because of the nature of the
respondents work and because she came from a broken family. Out
of their union, the petitioner and the respondent begot four (4)
children, namely: Erisque, Emmanuel, Evelyn, and Eymarey.
On March 1, 2001, the petitioner filed with the RTC a petition for the
declaration of nullity of his marriage with the respondent, under
Article 36 of the Family Code, as amended.[5] The case was
docketed as Civil Case No. 01-081. He alleged that the respondent
was psychologically incapacitated to exercise the essential
obligations of marriage as she was carefree and irresponsible, and
refused to do household chores like cleaning and cooking; stayed
away from their house for long periods of time; had an affair with a
lesbian; did not take care of their sick child; consulted a witch doctor
in order to bring him bad fate; and refused to use the family name
Agraviador in her activities.
The petitioner likewise claimed that the respondent refused to have
sex with him since 1993 because she became very close to a male
tenant in their house. In fact, he discovered their love notes to each
other, and caught them inside his room several times.

Issue: WON respondent is psychologically incapacitated.

Ruling: We resolve to deny the petition for lack of merit, and hold that
no sufficient basis exists to annul the marriage, pursuant to Article 36
of the Family Code and its related jurisprudence.
The totality of evidence presented failed to establish the
respondents psychological incapacity
The petition for declaration of nullity of marriage is anchored on
Article 36 of the Family Code which provides that "[a] marriage
contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital
obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity
becomes manifest only after its solemnization." It introduced the
12

concept of psychological incapacity as a ground for nullity of
marriage, although this concept eludes exact definition. The initial
common consensus on psychological incapacity under Article 36 of
the Family Code was that it did not involve a species of vice of
consent. Justices Sempio-Diy and Caguioa, both members of the
Family Code revision committee that drafted the Code, conceded
that the spouse may have given free and voluntary consent to a
marriage but was, nonetheless, incapable of fulfilling such rights and
obligations. Dr. Arturo Tolentino likewise stated in the 1990 edition
of his commentaries on the Family Code that this psychological
incapacity to comply with the essential marital obligations does not
affect the consent to the marriage.
These guidelines incorporate the basic requirements we
established in Santos. A later case, Marcos v. Marcos, further
clarified that there is no requirement that the defendant/respondent
spouse should be personally examined by a physician or
psychologist as a condition sine qua non for the declaration of nullity
of marriage based on psychological incapacity. Accordingly, it is no
longer necessary to introduce expert opinion in a petition under
Article 36 of the Family Code if the totality of evidence shows that
psychological incapacity exists and its gravity, juridical antecedence,
and incurability can be duly established.


Pimentel v. Pimentel
GR# 172060/Sept 13, 2010
630 SCRA 437

Facts: On 25 October 2004, Maria Chrysantine Pimentel y Lacap
(private respondent) filed an action for frustrated parricide against
Joselito R. Pimentel (petitioner). On 7 February 2005, petitioner
received summons to appear before the RTC for Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage under Section 36 of the Family Code on the
ground of psychological incapacity. Petitioner moved to
suspend on the ground of prejudicial question.

Issue: Is there a prejudicial question in the case at bar?

Ruling: There is a prejudicial question when a civil action and a
criminal action are both pending, and there exists in the civil action
an issue which must be preemptively resolved before the criminal
action may proceed because howsoever the issue raised in the civil
action is resolved would be determinative of the guilt or innocence of
the accused in the criminal case. A prejudicial question is defined
as:

x x x one that arises in a case the resolution of
which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved
therein, and the cognizance of which pertains to
another tribunal. It is a question based on a fact
distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately
connected with it that it determines the guilt or
innocence of the accused, and for it to suspend the
criminal action, it must appear not only that said case
involves facts intimately related to those upon which
the criminal prosecution would be based but also that
in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the
civil case, the guilt or innocence of the accused
would necessarily be determined.

The relationship between the offender and the victim is a key
element in the crime of parricide, which punishes any person who
shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate,
or any of his ascendants or descendants, or his spouse. The
relationship between the offender and the victim distinguishes the
crime of parricide from murder or homicide. However, the issue in
the annulment of marriage is not similar or intimately related to
the issue in the criminal case for parricide. Further, the
relationship between the offender and the victim is not
determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused.









13

8. Declaration Of Nullity; Arts. 36, 40, 45; Section 19 (1) AM 02-
10-11 SC; Arts. 147 & 148

Valdes v. RTC Br. 102, QC
GR# 122749 / JULY 31, 1996
260 SCRA 221

Facts: Antonio Valdes and Consuelo Gomez were married on 05
January 1971. Begotten during the marriage were five children. In a
petition, dated 22 June 1992, Valdes sought the declaration of nullity
of the marriage pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code. Consuelo
Gomez sought a clarification of that portion of the decision directing
compliance with Articles 50, 51 and 52 of the Family Code. She
asserted that the Family Code contained no provisions on the
procedure for the liquidation of common property in "unions without
marriage." Parenthetically, during the hearing on the motion, the
children filed a joint affidavit expressing their desire to remain with
their father, Antonio Valdes. The Court declared plaintiff and
defendant will own their 'family home' and all their other properties
for that matter in equal shares following Article 147 of the Family
Code on liquidation of properties of common-law spouses, hence,
this petition.

Issue: Whether or not Article 147 of FC is correctly applied in the
case at bar.

Ruling: The trial court correctly applied the law. In a void marriage,
regardless of the cause thereof, the property relations of the parties
during the period of cohabitation is governed by the provisions of
Article 147 or Article 148, such as the case may be, of the Family
Code. Article 147 is a remake of Article 144 of the Civil Code as
interpreted and so applied in previous cases. The trial Court did not
commit a reversible error in ruling that petitioner and private
respondent own the "family home" and all their common property in
equal shares, as well as in concluding that, in the liquidation and
partition of the property owned in common by them, the provisions
on co-ownership under the Civil Code, not Articles 50, 51 and 52, in
relation to Articles 102 and 129,[12] of the Family Code, should aptly
prevail. The rules set up to govern the liquidation of either the
absolute community or the conjugal partnership of gains, the
property regimes recognized for valid and voidable marriages (in the
latter case until the contract is annulled ),are irrelevant to the
liquidation of the co-ownership that exists between common-law
spouses.


MBTC v. Pascual
GR# 163744 / FEB. 29, 2008
547 SCRA 246

Facts: Nicholson Pascual and Florencia Nevalga were married on
January 19, 1985. During the union, Florencia bought from spouses
Clarito and Belen Sering a 250-square meter lot with a three-door
apartment standing thereon located in Makati City. In 1994, Florencia
filed a suit for the declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of
the Family Code. On April 30, 1997, Florencia, together with spouses
Norberto and Elvira Oliveros, obtained a PhP 58 million loan from
petitioner Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank). To secure
the obligation, Florencia and the spouses Oliveros executed several
real estate mortgages (REMs) on their properties, including one
involving a lot. Florencia secured a waiver from Nicholson. Due to
the failure of Florencia and the spouses Oliveros to pay their loan
obligation when it fell due, Metrobank, initiated a foreclosure
proceedings over the properties. Getting wind of the foreclosure
proceedings, Nicholson filed on June 28, 2000, before the RTC in
Makati City, a Complaint to declare the nullity of the mortgage of the
disputed property. Nicholson alleged that the property, which is still
conjugal property, was mortgaged without his consent.

Issue: Whether or not the properties in contest form part of the
conjugal properties of Nicholson and Florencia.

Ruling: The property is deemed conjugal. While the declared nullity
of marriage of Nicholson and Florencia severed their marital bond
and dissolved the conjugal partnership, the character of the
properties acquired before such declaration continues to subsist as
conjugal properties until and after the liquidation and partition of the
partnership.

14

In the case at bar, Florencia constituted the mortgage on the
disputed lot on April 30, 1997, or a little less than two years after the
dissolution of the conjugal partnership on July 31, 1995, but before
the liquidation of the partnership. Be that as it may, what governed
the property relations of the former spouses when the mortgage was
given is the aforequoted Art. 493. Under it, Florencia has the right to
mortgage or even sell her one-half (1/2) undivided interest in the
disputed property even without the consent of Nicholson. However,
the rights of Metrobank, as mortgagee, are limited only to the 1/2
undivided portion that Florencia owned. Accordingly, the mortgage
contract insofar as it covered the remaining 1/2 undivided portion of
the lot is null and void, Nicholson not having consented to the
mortgage of his undivided half.


Dio v. Dio
GR# 178044/January 19, 2011
Facts: Alain M. Dio (petitioner) and Ma. Caridad L. Dio
(respondent) were childhood friends and sweethearts. They started
living together in 1984 until they decided to separate in 1994. In
1996, petitioner and respondent decided to live together again. On
14 January 1998, they were married before Mayor Vergel Aguilar of
Las Pias City. On 30 May 2001, petitioner filed an action for
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage against respondent, citing
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. In its
18 October 2006 Decision, the trial court granted the petition on the
ground that respondent was psychologically incapacited to comply
with the essential marital obligations at the time of the celebration of
the marriage. On a motion for reconsideration, the Trial court
rendered a decision that A DECREE OF ABSOLUTE NULLITY OF
MARRIAGE shall be issued after liquidation, partition and distribution
of the parties properties under Article 147 of the Family Code.

Issue: Whether or not erred when it ordered that a decree of
absolute nullity of marriage shall only be issued after liquidation,
partition, and distribution of the parties properties under Article 147
of the Family Code.

Ruling: For Article 147 of the Family Code to apply, the following
elements must be present:
1. The man and the woman must be capacitated to marry each
other;
2. They live exclusively with each other as husband and wife; and
3. Their union is without the benefit of marriage, or their marriage
is void.9
All these elements are present in this case and there is no question
that Article 147 of the Family Code applies to the property relations
between petitioner and respondent.
We agree with petitioner that the trial court erred in ordering that a
decree of absolute nullity of marriage shall be issued only after
liquidation, partition and distribution of the parties properties under
Article 147 of the Family Code. The ruling has no basis because
Section 19(1) of the Rule does not apply to cases governed under
Articles 147 and 148 of the Family Code. Section 19(1) of the Rule
provides:
Sec. 19. Decision. - (1) If the court renders a decision granting the
petition, it shall declare therein that the decree of absolute nullity or
decree of annulment shall be issued by the court only after
compliance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code as
implemented under the Rule on Liquidation, Partition and Distribution
of Properties.


Atienza vs. Brillantes,
AM # MTJ 92-706/March 29, 1995
243 SCRA 32

Facts: Complainant alleges that he has two children with Yolanda De
Castro, who are living together at No. 34 Galaxy Street, Bel-Air
Subdivision, Makati, Metro Manila. He stays in said house, which he
purchased in 1987, whenever he is in Manila. In December 1991,
upon opening the door to his bedroom, he saw respondent sleeping
on his (complainant's) bed. Upon inquiry, he was told by the
houseboy that respondent had been cohabiting with De Castro.
Complainant did not bother to wake up respondent and instead left
the house after giving instructions to his houseboy to take care of his
children. Thereafter, respondent prevented him from visiting his
children and even alienated the affection of his children for him.
Complainant claims that respondent is married to one Zenaida
Ongkiko with whom he has five children, as appearing in his 1986
15

and 1991 sworn statements of assets and liabilities. Furthermore, he
alleges that respondent caused his arrest on January 13, 1992, after
he had a heated argument with De Castro inside the latter's office.
For his part, respondent alleges that complainant was not married to
De Castro and that the filing of the administrative action was related
to complainant's claim on the Bel-Air residence, which was disputed
by De Castro. Respondent denies that he caused complainant's
arrest and claims that he was even a witness to the withdrawal of the
complaint for Grave Slander filed by De Castro against complainant.
According to him, it was the sister of De Castro who called the police
to arrest complainant.
Respondent also denies having been married to Ongkiko,
although he admits having five children with her. He alleges that
while he and Ongkiko went through a marriage ceremony before a
Nueva Ecija town mayor on April 25, 1965, the same was not a valid
marriage for lack of a marriage license. Upon the request of the
parents of Ongkiko, respondent went through another marriage
ceremony with her in Manila on June 5, 1965. Again, neither party
applied for a marriage license. Ongkiko abandoned respondent 17
years ago, leaving their children to his care and custody as a single
parent.

Ruling: Article 40 is applicable to remarriages entered into after the
effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988 regardless of the
date of the first marriage. Besides, under Article 256 of the Family
Code, said Article is given "retroactive effect insofar as it does not
prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the
Civil Code or other laws." This is particularly true with Article 40,
which is a rule of procedure. Respondent has not shown any vested
right that was impaired by the application of Article 40 to his case.
The fact that procedural statutes may somehow affect the litigants'
rights may not preclude their retroactive application to pending
actions. The retroactive application of procedural laws is not violative
of any right of a person who may feel that he is adversely affected
(Gregorio v. Court of Appeals, 26 SCRA 229 [1968]). The reason is
that as a general rule no vested right may attach to, nor arise from,
procedural laws (Billones v. Court of Industrial Relations, 14 SCRA
674 [1965]).


9. RA 9262 Law on Violation against Women and their
Children; Support; Art. 213 FC

Go Tan v. Tan
GR# 168852 / SEPT. 30, 2008
567 SCRA 231

Facts: On April 18, 1999, Sharica Mari L. Go-Tan (petitioner) and
Steven L. Tan (Steven) were married. Out of this union, two female
children were born, Kyra Danielle[4] and Kristen Denise. On January
12, 2005, barely six years into the marriage, petitioner filed a Petition
with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Protective Order (TPO)
against Steven and her parents-in-law, Spouses Perfecto C. Tan and
Juanita L. Tan (respondents) before the RTC. She alleged that
Steven, in conspiracy with respondents, were causing verbal,
psychological and economic abuses upon her in violation of Section
5, paragraphs (e)(2)(3)(4), (h)(5), and (i)[7] of R.A No. 9262,
otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their
Children Act of 2004. Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss with
Opposition to the Issuance of Permanent Protection Order Ad
Cautelam and Comment on the Petition, contending that the RTC
lacked jurisdiction over their persons since, as parents-in-law of the
petitioner, they were not covered by R.A. No. 9262. The RTC issued
a Resolution[12] dismissing the case as to respondents on the
ground that, being the parents-in-law of the petitioner, they were not
included/covered as respondents under R.A. No. 9262 under the
well-known rule of law "expressio unius est exclusio alterius.

Issue: Whether or not the case should be dismiss because RA 9262
does not cover parents-in-law.

Ruling: Section 3 of R.A. No. 9262 defines ''[v]iolence against
women and their children'' as "any act or a series of acts committed
by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or
against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or
dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against
her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the
family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual,
psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats
16

of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary
deprivation of liberty."
While the said provision provides that the offender be related or
connected to the victim by marriage, former marriage, or a sexual or
dating relationship, it does not preclude the application of the
principle of conspiracy under the RPC.


Ang v. CA/ Sagud
GR# 182835 / APR. 20, 2010

Facts: Complainant Irish Sagud (Irish) and accused Rustan were
classmates at Wesleyan University in Aurora Province. Rustan
courted Irish and they became on-and-off sweethearts towards the
end of 2004. When Irish learned afterwards that Rustan had taken a
live-in partner (now his wife), whom he had gotten pregnant, Irish
broke up with him. Before Rustan got married, however, he got in
touch with Irish and tried to convince her to elope with him, saying
that he did not love the woman he was about to marry. Irish rejected
the proposal and told Rustan to take on his responsibility to the other
woman and their child. Rustan used two cellphone numbers for
sending his messages. Irish replied to his text messages but it was
to ask him to leave her alone. In the early morning of June 5, 2005,
Irish received through multimedia message service (MMS) a picture
of a naked woman with spread legs and with Irishs face
superimposed on the figure. After she got the obscene picture, Irish
got other text messages from Rustan. He boasted that it would be
easy for him to create similarly scandalous pictures of her. And he
threatened to spread the picture he sent through the internet. One of
the messages he sent to Irish, written in text messaging shorthand,
read: Madali lang ikalat yun, my chatrum ang tarlac rayt pwede ring
send sa lahat ng chatter. Rustan further claims that he also went to
Lorentess because Irish asked him to help her identify a prankster
who was sending her malicious text messages. Rustan got the
senders number and, pretending to be Irish, contacted the person.
Rustan claims that he got back obscene messages from the
prankster, which he forwarded to Irish from his cellphone.

Issue: Whether or not a dating relationship existed between Rustan
and Irish as this term is defined in R.A. 9262;
Whether or not accused Rustan sent Irish by cellphone message the
picture with her face pasted on the body of a nude woman, inflicting
anguish, psychological distress, and humiliation on her in violation of
Section 5(h) of R.A. 9262.

Ruling: -"Dating relationship" refers to a situation wherein the parties
live as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or are
romantically involved over time and on a continuing basis during the
course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary
socialization between two individuals in a business or social context
is not a dating relationship. (Underscoring supplied.)
Here, Rustan claims that, being "romantically involved," implies that
the offender and the offended woman have or had sexual relations.
According to him, "romance" implies a sexual act. He cites Websters
Comprehensive Dictionary Encyclopedia Edition which provides a
colloquial or informal meaning to the word "romance" used as a
verb, i.e., "to make love; to make love to" as in "He romanced her."
But it seems clear that the law did not use in its provisions the
colloquial verb "romance" that implies a sexual act. It did not say that
the offender must have "romanced" the offended woman. Rather, it
used the noun "romance" to describe a couples relationship, i.e., "a
love affair.

-Section 3(a) of R.A. 9262 punishes "any act or series of acts" that
constitutes violence against women. This means that a single act of
harassment, which translates into violence, would be enough. The
object of the law is to protect women and children. Punishing only
violence that is repeatedly committed would license isolated ones.

The Court laid down the elements of the crime of violence against
women through harassment are:

1. The offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the
offended woman;
2. The offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or
series of acts of harassment against the woman; and
3. The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or
psychological distress to her.


17

Ocampo v. Arcaya-Chua
AM OCA IPI # 07-2630-RTJ APR 23, 2010
619 SCRA 59

Facts: In an Order dated March 22, 2007, respondent Judge denied
the motion to dismiss. Francisco Ocampo questioned the dismissal
of his motion since Milan never presented any evidence to controvert
the evidence which he submitted in support of his motion to dismiss.

Francisco Ocampo, thereafter, filed a motion for reconsideration,
which was likewise denied by respondent Judge Arcaya-Chua in an
Order dated April 3, 2007. On that date, respondent Judge issued a
Temporary Protection Order (TPO), requiring complainant Ocampo
to turn over the custody of their minor daughters to his wife, to stay
away from his wife's residence at 1211 West Ayala Condominium,
252 Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, to refrain from committing acts that
would harass, intimidate or threaten and create an unreasonable risk
to the health, safety or welfare of their minor daughters and his wife,
and to provide monthly support of P50,000.00 to their minor
daughters and his wife, exclusive of expenses for medication and
education.

Francisco Ocampo faulted respondent Judge Arcaya-Chua for
issuing the TPO as the period to file his answer had not yet expired
when respondent Judge issued the said Order. Moreover, he was
directed to give monthly support of P50,000.00 to his wife and minor
daughters, even if his wife alleged that he is not the father of the said
minors and in the absence of any factual finding as to the resources
of the giver and the necessities of the recipient. In directing the
payment of support to his wife, respondent Judge also ignored the
factual circumstances relating to the adulterous relations of his wife
and the pendency of the legal separation case based on his wife's
sexual infidelity and abandonment.

Francisco Ocampo further alleged that respondent Judge caused the
implementation of the TPO as if it was a matter of life and death.
When her branch sheriff was not available, respondent Judge
dispatched another sheriff to implement the Order. At that time,
Francisco Ocampo, his minor daughters and family were having
their Holy Week vacation. The sheriff went inside the house and
opened the rooms against the will of the occupants and without
regard to their privacy. When the sheriff learned that Francesca and
Fatima were still sleeping, he demanded that they be roused from
their sleep, even as Ocampo assured him that he will peacefully
bring his minor daughters to his wife. The sheriff also insisted that
Francisco Ocampo pay the support of P50,000.00 right there and
then, although he was told by Francisco that he did not have such
amount of money. Francesca and Fatima refused to go with the
sheriff, but because of the court order, Francisco Ocampo told them
to go with him.

Issue: Whether or not the issuance of the TPO is proper.

Ruling: As regards the alleged suddenness of the scheduled TPO
hearing, Justice Salazar-Fernando found respondent Judge Arcaya-
Chua's explanation acceptable.

Justice Salazar-Fernando was convinced by the reasons why
respondent Judge issued the TPO. A preliminary determination of
the facts of the case justified the issuance of the TPO as it appeared
that the subject minors therein were the illegitimate children of the
petitioner, Milan Ocampo, having been conceived through artificial
insemination without the required written authorization or ratification
of the husband, complainant Francisco Ocampo. The pertinent
provision of the Family Code states:

ART. 164. Children conceived or born during the marriage of the
parents are legitimate.

Children conceived as a result of artificial insemination of the wife
with the sperm of the husband or that of a donor or both are likewise
legitimate children of the husband and his wife, provided that both of
them authorized or ratified such insemination in a written instrument
executed and signed by them before the birth of the child. The
instrument shall be recorded in the civil registry together with the
birth certificate of the child.

Moreover, Milan Ocampo appended evidence of complainant
Ocampo's alleged perversity and violent behavior. A sworn affidavit
of Emelita S. Valentino, narrating alleged perverse behavior of
18

complainant Ocampo, as well as the certification from the Philippine
National Police of Meycauayan, stating acts of violence committed
by complainant Ocampo on Milan, were appended to the Petition.
The totality of the evidence thus presented, while not exactly
conclusive, justified a prima facie determination of the necessity of a
TPO.

On the other hand: in the case of A.M. No. RTJ-07-2049 OFFICE OF
THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR vs JUDGE EVELYN S. ARCAYA-
CHUA, the Court held:

Respondent Judge Arcaya-Chua is guilty of gross ignorance of the
law for issuing a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) in favor of
petitioner Albert Chang Tan in SP Case No. M-6373, since a TPO
cannot be issued in favor of a man against his wife under R.A. No.
9262, the AntiViolence Against Women and Their Children Act of
2004. Indeed, as a family court judge, Judge Arcaya-Chua is
expected to know the correct implementation of R.A. No. 9262.


10. Art. 40, FC; AM 02-10-11 SC; March 15, 2003; NCC; Rule 108

Nial v. Bayadog
GR# 133778 / MAR. 14, 2000
328 SCRA 122

Facts: Pepito Nial was married to Teodulfa Bellones on September
26, 1974. Out of their marriage were born herein petitioners.
Teodulfa was shot by Pepito resulting in her death on April 24, 1985.
One year and 8 months thereafter or on December 11, 1986, Pepito
and respondent Norma Badayog got married without any marriage
license. In lieu thereof, Pepito and Norma executed an affidavit dated
December 11, 1986 stating that they had lived together as husband
and wife for at least five years and were thus exempt from securing a
marriage license. On February 19, 1997, Pepito died in a car
accident. After their father's death, petitioners filed a petition for
declaration of nullity of the marriage of Pepito to Norma alleging that
the said marriage was void for lack of a marriage license. The case
was filed under the assumption that the validity or invalidity of the
second marriage would affect petitioner's successional rights. Norma
filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that petitioners have no
cause of action since they are not among the persons who could file
an action for "annulment of marriage" under Article 47 of the Family
Code.

Issue: Whether or not a person not a party in a marriage can file an
action for declaration of nullity of marriage.

Ruling: Even assuming that Pepito and his first wife had separated in
fact, and thereafter both Pepito and respondent had started living
with each other that has already lasted for five years, the fact
remains that their five-year period cohabitation was not the
cohabitation contemplated by law. It should be in the nature of a
perfect union that is valid under the law but rendered imperfect only
by the absence of the marriage contract. Pepito had a subsisting
marriage at the time when he started cohabiting with respondent. It is
immaterial that when they lived with each other, Pepito had already
been separated in fact from his lawful spouse. The subsistence of
the marriage even where there was actual severance of the filial
companionship between the spouses cannot make any cohabitation
by either spouse with any third party as being one as "husband and
wife".

Voidable and void marriages are not identical. A marriage that is
annulable is valid until otherwise declared by the court; whereas a
marriage that is void ab initio is considered as having never to have
taken place
21
and cannot be the source of rights. The first can be
generally ratified or confirmed by free cohabitation or prescription
while the other can never be ratified. A voidable marriage cannot be
assailed collaterally except in a direct proceeding while a void
marriage can be attacked collaterally. Consequently, void marriages
can be questioned even after the death of either party but voidable
marriages can be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties and
not after death of either, in which case the parties and their offspring
will be left as if the marriage had been perfectly valid.





19

Ablaza v. Republic
GR# 158298 / AUG. 11, 2010
628 SCRA 27

Facts: On October 17, 2000, the petitioner filed in the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) in Cataingan, Masbate a petition for the declaration of
the absolute nullity of the marriage contracted on December 26,
1949 between his late brother Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila
Honato.1 The case was docketed as Special Case No. 117 entitled
In Re: Petition for Nullification of Marriage Contract between
Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila Honato; Isidro Ablaza, petitioner.

The petitioner alleged that the marriage between Cresenciano and
Leonila had been celebrated without a marriage license, due to such
license being issued only on January 9, 1950, thereby rendering the
marriage void ab initio for having been solemnized without a
marriage license. He insisted that his being the surviving brother of
Cresenciano who had died without any issue entitled him to one-half
of the real properties acquired by Cresenciano before his death,
thereby making him a real party in interest; and that any person,
himself included, could impugn the validity of the marriage between
Cresenciano and Leonila at any time, even after the death of
Cresenciano, due to the marriage being void ab initio.

Issue: Whether or not the brother has legal standing in a suit of
declaration of nullity of marriage.

Ruling: "A void marriage does not require a judicial decree to restore
the parties to their original rights or to make the marriage void but
though no sentence of avoidance be absolutely necessary, yet as
well for the sake of good order of society as for the peace of mind of
all concerned, it is expedient that the nullity of the marriage should
be ascertained and declared by the decree of a court of competent
jurisdiction."

Only the party who can demonstrate a "proper interest" can file the
action.
16
Interest within the meaning of the rule means material
interest, or an interest in issue to be affected by the decree or
judgment of the case, as distinguished from mere curiosity about the
question involved or a mere incidental interest. One having no
material interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court
as plaintiff in an action. When the plaintiff is not the real party in
interest, the case is dismissible on the ground of lack of cause of
action.


Carlos v. Sandoval
GR# 179922 / DEC. 16, 2008
574 SCRA 116

Facts: On May 13, 1992, Teofilo died intestate. He was survived by
respondents Felicidad and their son, Teofilo Carlos II (Teofilo II).
Upon Teofilo's death, Parcel Nos. 5 & 6 were registered in the name
of respondent Felicidad and co-respondent, Teofilo II. Petitioner and
respondent entered into compromised agreements to divide the land
equally. In August 1995, petitioner filed an action with the following
causes: (a) declaration of nullity of marriage; (b) status of a child; (c)
recovery of property; (d) reconveyance; and (e) sum of money and
damages. In his complaint, petitioner asserted that the marriage
between his late brother Teofilo and respondent Felicidad was a
nullity in view of the absence of the required marriage license. He
likewise maintained that his deceased brother was neither the
natural nor the adoptive father of respondent Teofilo Carlos II.

Issue: Whether or not the brother of one of the spouse has a legal
standing in a declaration of nullity case.

Ruling: The advent of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of
Void Marriages marks the beginning of the end of the right of the
heirs of the deceased spouse to bring a nullity of marriage case
against the surviving spouse. But the Rule never intended to deprive
the compulsory or intestate heirs of their successional rights.
While A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC declares that a petition for declaration
of absolute nullity of marriage may be filed solely by the husband or
the wife, it does not mean that the compulsory or intestate heirs are
without any recourse under the law. They can still protect their
successional right, for, as stated in the Rationale of the Rules on
Annulment of Voidable Marriages and Declaration of Absolute Nullity
of Void Marriages, compulsory or intestate heirs can still question the
validity of the marriage of the spouses, not in a proceeding for
20

declaration of nullity but upon the death of a spouse in a proceeding
for the settlement of the estate of the deceased spouse filed in the
regular courts.
Clearly, a brother is not among those considered as compulsory
heirs. But although a collateral relative, such as a brother, does not
fall within the ambit of a compulsory heir, he still has a right to
succeed to the estate. Articles 1001 and 1003 of the New Civil Code
provide:
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.
ART. 1003. If there are no descendants, ascendants,
illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse, the collateral
relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the
deceased in accordance with the following articles.
(Underscoring supplied)
Indeed, only the presence of descendants, ascendants or illegitimate
children excludes collateral relatives from succeeding to the estate of
the decedent. The presence of legitimate, illegitimate, or adopted
child or children of the deceased precludes succession by collateral
relatives.
32
Conversely, if there are no descendants, ascendants,
illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse, the collateral relatives
shall succeed to the entire estate of the decedent.


Cario v. Cario GR# 132529 / FEB. 02, 2001
351 SCRA 127
Article 40

Facts: In 1969 SPO4 Santiago Carino married Susan Nicdao Carino.
He had 2 children with her. In 1992, SPO4 contracted a second
marriage, this time with Susan Yee Carino. In 1988, prior to his
second marriage, SPO4 is already bedridden and he was under the
care of Yee. In 1992, he died 13 days after his marriage with Yee.
Thereafter, the spouses went on to claim the benefits of SPO4.
Nicdao was able to claim a total of P140,000.00 while Yee was able
to collect a total of P21,000.00. In 1993, Yee filed an action for
collection of sum of money against Nicdao. She wanted to have half
of the P140k. Yee admitted that her marriage with SPO4 was
solemnized during the subsistence of the marriage b/n SPO4 and
Nicdao but the said marriage between Nicdao and SPO4 is null and
void due to the absence of a valid marriage license as certified by
the local civil registrar. Yee also claimed that she only found out
about the previous marriage on SPO4s funeral.

ISSUE: Whether or not the nullity of the first marriages on the ground
of lack of marriage license validates the subsequent marriage even
without judicial declaration.

Ruling: No. It is beyond cavil, therefore, that the marriage between
petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased, having been solemnized
without the necessary marriage license, and not being one of the
marriages exempt from the marriage license requirement, is
undoubtedly void ab initio. It does not follow from the foregoing
disquisition, however, that since the marriage of petitioner and the
deceased is declared void ab initio, the death benefits under
scrutiny would now be awarded to respondent Susan Yee. To
reiterate, under Article 40 of the Family Code, for purposes of
remarriage, there must first be a prior judicial declaration of the
nullity of a previous marriage, though void, before a party can enter
into a second marriage, otherwise, the second marriage would also
be void. Accordingly, the declaration in the instant case of nullity of
the previous marriage of the deceased and petitioner Susan Nicdao
does not validate the second marriage of the deceased with
respondent Susan Yee. The fact remains that their marriage was
solemnized without first obtaining a judicial decree declaring the
marriage of petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased void. Hence,
the marriage of respondent Susan Yee and the deceased is,
likewise, void ab initio.









21

11. Arts. 40 & 41, FC; Art. 349 RPC; Civil & Criminal Bigamy; Art.
83, NCC;


Morigo v. People
GR# 145226 / FEB. 06, 2004
422 SCRA 376

Facts: Appellant Lucio Morigo and Lucia Barrete were sweethearts.
Lucia left for Canada to work there. While in Canada, they
maintained constant communication. In 1990, Lucia came back to
the Philippines and proposed to petition appellant to join her in
Canada. Both agreed to get married, thus they were married on
August 30, 1990 at the Iglesia de Filipina Nacional at Catagdaan,
Pilar, Bohol. On September 8, 1990, Lucia reported back to her work
in Canada leaving appellant Lucio behind. On August 19, 1991,
Lucia filed with the Ontario Court (General Division) a petition for
divorce against appellant which was granted by the court on January
17, 1992 and to take effect on February 17, 1992. On October 4,
1992, appellant Lucio Morigo married Maria Jececha Lumbago4 at
the Virgen sa Barangay Parish, Tagbilaran City, Bohol. On
September 21, 1993, accused filed a complaint for judicial
declaration of nullity of marriage in the Regional Trial Court of Bohol,
docketed as Civil Case No. 6020. The complaint seek (sic) among
others, the declaration of nullity of accuseds marriage with Lucia, on
the ground that no marriage ceremony actually took place. On
October 19, 1993, appellant was charged with Bigamy in an
Information5 filed by the City Prosecutor of Tagbilaran [City], with the
Regional Trial Court of Bohol.

Issue: WON Lucio is guilty of bigamy.

Ruling: The first element of bigamy as a crime requires that the
accused must have been legally married. But in this case, legally
speaking, the petitioner was never married to Lucia Barrete. Thus,
there is no first marriage to speak of. Under the principle of
retroactivity of a marriage being declared void ab initio, the two were
never married "from the beginning." The contract of marriage is null;
it bears no legal effect. Taking this argument to its logical conclusion,
for legal purposes, petitioner was not married to Lucia at the time he
contracted the marriage with Maria Jececha. The existence and the
validity of the first marriage being an essential element of the crime
of bigamy, it is but logical that a conviction for said offense cannot be
sustained where there is no first marriage to speak of. The petitioner,
must, perforce be acquitted of the instant charge.

A judicial declaration of nullity of a previous marriage is necessary
before a subsequent one can be legally contracted. One who enters
into a subsequent marriage without first obtaining such judicial
declaration is guilty of bigamy. This principle applies even if the
earlier union is characterized by statutes as "void."

The law abhors an injustice and the Court is mandated to liberally
construe a penal statute in favor of an accused and weigh every
circumstance in favor of the presumption of innocence to ensure that
justice is done. Under the circumstances of the present case, we
held that petitioner has not committed bigamy.


Jarillo v. People
GR# 164435 / SEPT. 29, 2009
601 SCRA 236

Facts: Victoria Jarillo and Rafael Alocillo were married in a civil
wedding ceremony and church ceremony. Appellant Victoria Jarillo
thereafter contracted a subsequent marriage with Emmanuel Ebora
Santos Uy, in civil ceremony in November 26, 1979 and on April 16,
1995, appellant and Emmanuel Uy exchanged marital vows anew in
a church wedding in Manila. In 1999, Emmanuel Uy filed against
Jarillo a case for annulment of marriage before the Regional Trial
Court of Manila. Thereafter, appellant Jarillo was charged with
bigamy before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City. Jarillo insisted
that (1) her 1974 and 1975 marriages to Alocillo were null and void
because Alocillo was allegedly still married to a certain Loretta
Tillman at the time of the celebration of their marriage; (2) her
marriages to both Alocillo and Uy were null and void for lack of a
valid marriage license; and (3) the action had prescribed, since Uy
knew about her marriage to Alocillo as far back as 1978.

Issue: Whether or not Jarillo can validly be convicted for bigamy.
22


Ruling: The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of petitioners
two marriages to Alocillo cannot be considered a valid defense in the
crime of bigamy. The moment petitioner contracted a second
marriage without the previous one having been judicially declared
null and void, the crime of bigamy was already consummated
because at the time of the celebration of the second marriage,
petitioners marriage to Alocillo, which had not yet been declared null
and void by a court of competent jurisdiction, was deemed valid and
subsisting. Neither would a judicial declaration of the nullity of
petitioners marriage to Uy make any difference.


Tenebro v. CA
GR#150758 / FEB. 18, 2004
423 SCRA 272

Facts: Veronico Tenebro married 3 time, first with Hilda Villareyes,
second, Leticia Ancajas, Nilda Villegas. Acajas filed a complaint for
bigamy against Tenebro. Tenebro (1) denies the existence of his first
marriage to Villareyes, and (2) argues that the declaration of the
nullity of the second marriage on the ground of psychological
incapacity, which is an alleged indicator that his marriage to Ancajas
lacks the essential requisites for validity, retroacts to the date on
which the second marriage was celebrated. Hence, petitioner argues
that all four of the elements of the crime of bigamy are absent, and
prays for his acquittal.

Issue: Whether or not the crime of bigamy is consummated despite
the filing of declaration for nullity of marriage on the subsequent
marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.

Ruling: Yes, bigamy has been consummated. As soon as the second
marriage to Ancajas was celebrated on April 10, 1990, during the
subsistence of the valid first marriage, the crime of bigamy had
already been consummated. There is no cogent reason for
distinguishing between a subsequent marriage that is null and void
purely because it is a second or subsequent marriage, and a
subsequent marriage that is null and void on the ground of
psychological incapacity, at least insofar as criminal liability for
bigamy is concerned.

Although the judicial declaration of the nullity of a marriage on the
ground of psychological incapacity retroacts to the date of the
celebration of the marriage insofar as the vinculum between the
spouses is concerned, it is significant to note that said marriage is
not without legal effects. Among these effects is that children
conceived or born before the judgment of absolute nullity of the
marriage shall be considered legitimate. There is therefore a
recognition written into the law itself that such a marriage, although
void ab initio, may still produce legal consequences. Among these
legal consequences is incurring criminal liability for bigamy. To hold
otherwise would render the States penal laws on bigamy completely
nugatory, and allow individuals to deliberately ensure that each
marital contract be flawed in some manner, and to thus escape the
consequences of contracting multiple marriages, while beguiling
throngs of hapless women with the promise of futurity and
commitment.


Antone v. Beronilla
GR No. 183824. Dec. 8, 2010
637 SCRA 615

Facts: On 12 March 2007, petitioner Myrna P. Antone executed an
Affidavit-Complaint for Bigamy against Leo R. Beronilla. She alleged
that her marriage with respondent in 1978 had not yet been legally
dissolved when the latter contracted a second marriage with one
Cecile Maguillo in 1991. Pending the setting of the case for
arraignment, herein respondent moved to quash the Information on
the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense. He
informed the court that his marriage with petitioner was declared null
and void by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16, Naval, Biliran on 26
April 2007; that the decision became final and executory on 15 May
200 and that such decree has already been registered with the
Municipal Civil Registrar on 12 June 2007. He argued that since the
marriage had been declared null and void from the beginning, there
was actually no first marriage to speak of. Absent a first valid
marriage, the facts alleged in the Information do not constitute the
23

crime of bigamy. In its comment/opposition to the motion,[11] the
prosecution, through herein petitioner, maintained that the
respondent committed an act which has all the essential requisites of
bigamy. The prosecution pointed out that the marriage of petitioner
and respondent on 18 November 1978 has not yet been severed
when he contracted a second marriage on 16 February 1991, for
which reason, bigamy has already been committed before the court
declared the first marriage null and void on 27 April 2007.

Issue: Whether or not the crime of bigamy is present in the case at
bar.

Ruling: The application of Mercado to the cases following Morigo
even reinforces the position of this Court to give full meaning to
Article 40 of the Family Code. Thus, in 2004, this Court ruled in
Tenebro v. Court of Appeals:
Although the judicial declaration of the nullity of a marriage
on the ground of psychological incapacity retroacts to the date of the
celebration of the marriage insofar as the vinculum between the
spouses is concerned, xxx said marriage is not without legal effects.
Among these effects is that children conceived or born before the
judgment of absolute nullity of the marriage shall be considered
legitimate. There is therefore a recognition written into the law itself
that such a marriage, although void ab initio, may still produce legal
consequences. Among these legal consequences is incurring
criminal liability for bigamy. xxx. (Emphasis supplied.)
Finally, in Re: Complaint of Mrs. Corazon S. Salvador against
Spouses Noel and Amelia Serafico, this Court pronounced:
In a catena of cases, the Court has consistently held that a judicial
declaration of nullity is required before a valid subsequent marriage
can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a bigamous marriage,
reprehensible and immoral. xxx
To conclude, the issue on the declaration of nullity of the
marriage between petitioner and respondent only after the latter
contracted the subsequent marriage is, therefore, immaterial for the
purpose of establishing that the facts alleged in the information for
Bigamy does not constitute an offense.



12. Arts. 41 - 44, 49 FC; Art. 83 (2) NCC;

Armas v. Calisterio
GR# 136467 , Apr. 06, 2000
330 SCRA 201

Facts: Teodorico died intestate and was the second husband
of Marietta who had previously been married to James William
Bounds, who disappeared without trace in 1947. Teoderico and
Marietta married after 11 years without securing a court declaration
of that James was presumptively dead. Sister of Teoderico assails
that Marietta is disqualified to be an heir because the marriage
between her and Teodorico is void ab initio for being bigamous.

Issue: Whether or not the failure of securing a court declaration that
the previous husband of Marietta is presumptively dead makes her
marriage to Teodorico void ab initio because of bigamy.

Ruling: No, Before the effectivity of the Family Code, judicial
declaration of absence of the absentee spouse is not necessary as
long as the prescribed period of absence is met. It is equally
noteworthy that the marriage in these exceptional cases is, by the
explicit mandate of Article 83, to be deemed valid "until declared null
and void by a competent court."

Art. 83.
XXXXX
2) The first spouse had been absent for seven consecutive years at
the time of the second marriage without the spouse present having
news of the absentee being alive, or if the absentee, though he has
been absent for less than seven years, is generally considered as
dead and believed to be so by the spouse present at the time of
contracting such subsequent marriage, or if the absentee is
presumed dead according to articles 390 and 391. The marriage so
contracted shall be valid in any of the three cases until declared null
and void by a competent court.




24

Navarro v. Domagtoy
A.M. No. MTJ-96-1088- JULY 19, 1996
259 SCRA 129

This is a complaint filed against Municipal Circuit Trial Court
Judge Hernando Domagtoy, which, he contends, exhibits gross
misconduct as well as inefficiency in office and ignorance of the
law. First, respondent judge solemnized the wedding (September 27,
1994)between Gaspar A. Tagadan and Arlyn F. Borga, despite the
knowledge that the groom is merely separated from his first
wife.Second, he performed a marriage ceremony (October 27,
1994) outside his jurisdiction. The Judge contends that, he merely
relied on the Affidavit issued by the Municipal Trial Judge of
Basey, Samar, confirming the fact that Mr. Tagadan and his first wife
have not seen each other for almost seven years. ith respect to the
second charge, he maintains that in solemnizing the marriage
between Sumaylo and del Rosario, he did not violate Article 7,
paragraph 1 of the Family Code which states that: "Marriage may be
solemnized by: (1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the
court's jurisdiction;" and that article 8 thereof applies to the case in
question.

Issue: Whether or not the acts of Respondent Judge is considered
grave mistake which amounts to his being sanctioned.

Ruling: Even if the spouse present has a well-founded belief that the
absent spouse was already dead, a summary proceeding for the
declaration of presumptive death is necessary in order to contract a
subsequent marriage, a mandatory requirement which has been
precisely incorporated into the Family Code to discourage
subsequent marriages where it is not proven that the previous
marriage has been dissolved or a missing spouse is factually or
presumptively dead, in accordance with pertinent provisions of law.

Article 7 and 8 do not apply. An appellate court Justice or a Justice
of this Court has jurisdiction over the entire Philippines to solemnize
marriages, regardless of the venue, as long as the requisites of the
law are complied with. However, judges who are appointed to
specific jurisdictions, may officiate in weddings only within said areas
and not beyond. Where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his
court's jurisdiction, there is a resultant irregularity in the formal
requisite laid down in Article 3, which while it may not affect the
validity of the marriage, may subject the officiating official to
administrative liability.


Rep. v. Nolasco
GR# 94053 / MAR. 17, 1993
220 SCRA 20

On 5 August 1988, respondent Gregorio Nolasco filed before the
Regional Trial Court of Antique, Branch 10, a petition for the
declaration of presumptive death of his wife Janet Monica Parker,
invoking Article 41 of the Family Code. The petition prayed that
respondent's wife be declared presumptively dead or, in the
alternative, that the marriage be declared null and void. The Republic
of the Philippines opposed the petition that Nolasco did not possess
a "well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead, and
second, Nolasco's attempt to have his marriage annulled in the same
proceeding was a "cunning attempt" to circumvent the law on
marriage.

Issue: Whether or not there is a reason to declare Janet
presumptively dead.

Ruling: No, there are four (4) requisites for the declaration of
presumptive death under Article 41 of the Family Code:
1. That the absent spouse has been missing for four
consecutive years, or two consecutive years if the
disappearance occurred where there is danger of
death under the circumstances laid down in Article
391, Civil Code;
2. That the present spouse wishes to remarry;
3. That the present spouse has a well-founded belief
that the absentee is dead; and
4. That the present spouse files a summary
proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death
of the absentee.
The Court believes that respondent Nolasco failed to conduct a
search for his missing wife with such diligence as to give rise to a
25

"well-founded belief" that she is dead. The investigation allegedly
conducted by respondent in his attempt to ascertain Janet Monica
Parker's whereabouts is too sketchy to form the basis of a
reasonable or well-founded belief that she was already dead. When
he arrived in San Jose, Antique after learning of Janet Monica's
departure, instead of seeking the help of local authorities or of the
British Embassy, he secured another seaman's contract and went
to London, a vast city of many millions of inhabitants, to look for her
there.


Valdez v. Republic
GR# 180863 / SEPT. 08, 2009
598 SCRA 646

Facts: Petitioner married Sofio on January 11, 1971 in Pateros,
Rizal. In March 1972, Sofio left their conjugal dwelling. Petitioner and
their child waited for him to return. Three years passed without any
word from Sofio. In October 1975, Sofio showed up at Bancay 1st.
He and petitioner talked for several hours and they agreed to
separate. They executed a document to that effect. That was the last
time petitioner saw him. After that, petitioner didnt hear any news of
Sofio, his whereabouts or even if he was alive or not. Believing that
Sofio was already dead, petitioner married Virgilio Reyes on June
20, 1985.
3
Subsequently, however, Virgilios application for
naturalization filed with the United States Department of Homeland
Security was denied because petitioners marriage to Sofio was
subsisting.
4
Hence, on March 29, 2007, petitioner filed a Petition
before the RTC of Camiling, Tarlac seeking the declaration of
presumptive death of Sofio.

Issue: Whether or not Sofio can be declared presumptively dead.

Ruling: It can be gleaned that, under the Civil Code, the presumption
of death is established by law

and no court declaration is needed for
the presumption to arise. Since death is presumed to have taken
place by the seventh year of absence, Sofio is to be presumed dead
starting October 1982. Consequently, at the time of petitioners
marriage to Virgilio, there existed no impediment to petitioners
capacity to marry, and the marriage is valid under paragraph 2 of
Article 83 of the Civil Code (7 years of absence is considered
presumptively dead). Further, considering that it is the Civil Code
that applies, proof of "well-founded belief" is not required. Petitioner
could not have been expected to comply with this requirement since
the Family Code was not yet in effect at the time of her marriage to
Virgilio. To retroactively apply the provisions of the Family Code
requiring petitioner to exhibit "well-founded belief" will, ultimately,
result in the invalidation of her second marriage, which was valid at
the time it was celebrated. Such a situation would be untenable and
would go against the objectives that the Family Code wishes to
achieve.


Republic v. Tango
GR # 161062 / JULY 31,2009
594 SCRA 560

Facts: The trial court had declared the wife of respondent Ferventino
U. Tango (Ferventino), Maria Jose Villarba (Maria), presumptively
dead under Article 41 of the Family Code. This prompted the Office
of the Solicitor General (OSG), for the Republic, to file a Notice of
Appeal. The Court of Appeals, treating the case as an ordinary
appealed case under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, affirmed the
RTCs Order, only questioning that the evidence presented by
respondent was hearsay.

Issue: Whether or not judgment on the declaration of presumptive
death can be remedied by ordinary appeal.

Ruling: No, by express provision of law, the judgment of the court in
a summary proceeding shall be immediately final and executory. As
a matter of course, it follows that no appeal can be had of the trial
courts judgment in a summary proceeding for the declaration of
presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the
Family Code. It goes without saying, however, that an aggrieved
party may file a petition for certiorari to question abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the
Court of Appeals in accordance with the Doctrine of Hierarchy of
Courts. To be sure, even if the Courts original jurisdiction to issue a
writ of certiorari is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court of
26

Appeals in certain cases, such concurrence does not sanction an
unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. From the decision of
the Court of Appeals, the losing party may then file a petition for
review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court with the
Supreme Court. This is because the errors which the court may
commit in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment
which are the proper subject of an appeal.


Title II. LEGAL SEPARATION (Articles 55-67)

De facto Separation vs. Legal Separation/Article 63;
See also Arts 86 (4), 99 & 126, 100 & 127, 135 (6), 204; Title XI,
Chapter 2, Arts 239-248;
Rule of Procedure on Legal Separation (A.M. No. 02-11-11 SC);
Rule on Provisional Orders (AM 02-11-12 SC);
See RA 9262 compare Section 19 with Article 58;
Rules on Revocation of Donations; Incapacity to Succeed by
Will or Intestate Succession

Manzano vs. Sanchez
A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329. MAR. 08, 2001
354 SCRA 1

Facts:

Complainant avers that she was the lawful wife of the late David
Manzano, having been married to him on 21 May 1966 in San
Gabriel Archangel Parish, Araneta Avenue, Caloocan City.1 Four
children were born out of that marriage.2 On 22 March 1993,
however, her husband contracted another marriage with one
Luzviminda Payao before respondent Judge.3 When respondent
Judge solemnized said marriage, he knew or ought to know that the
same was void and bigamous, as the marriage contract clearly
stated that both contracting parties were "separated."

Respondent Judge, on the other hand, claims in his Comment that
when he officiated the marriage between Manzano and Payao he did
not know that Manzano was legally married. What he knew was that
the two had been living together as husband and wife for seven
years already without the benefit of marriage, as manifested in their
joint affidavit.4 According to him, had he known that the late
Manzano was married, he would have advised the latter not to marry
again; otherwise, he (Manzano) could be charged with bigamy. He
then prayed that the complaint be dismissed for lack of merit and for
being designed merely to harass him.

Issue:

WON the respondent Judge committed gross ignorance of the law
when he solemnized a marriage between two contracting parties
who were both bound by a prior existing marriage.

Held:

Article 34 of the Family Code provides:
No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a
woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five
years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. The
contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit
before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The
solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained
the qualifications of the contracting parties and found no legal
impediment to the marriage.

For this provision on legal ratification of marital cohabitation to apply,
the following requisites must concur:
1. The man and woman must have been living together as husband
and wife for at least five years before the marriage;
2. The parties must have no legal impediment to marry each other;
3. The fact of absence of legal impediment between the parties must
be present at the time of marriage;
4. The parties must execute an affidavit stating that they have lived
together for at least five years [and are without legal impediment to
marry each other]; and
5. The solemnizing officer must execute a sworn statement that he
had ascertained the qualifications of the parties and that he had
found no legal impediment to their marriage.6

27

Not all of these requirements are present in the case at bar. It is
significant to note that in their separate affidavits executed on 22
March 1993 and sworn to before respondent Judge himself, David
Manzano and Luzviminda Payao expressly stated the fact of their
prior existing marriage. Also, in their marriage contract, it was
indicated that both were "separated."

Respondent Judge knew or ought to know that a subsisting previous
marriage is a diriment impediment, which would make the
subsequent marriage null and void.7

The fact that Manzano and Payao had been living apart from their
respective spouses for a long time already is immaterial. Article 63(1)
of the Family Code allows spouses who have obtained a decree of
legal separation to live separately from each other, but in such a
case the marriage bonds are not severed. Elsewise stated, legal
separation does not dissolve the marriage tie, much less authorize
the parties to remarry. This holds true all the more when the
separation is merely de facto, as in the case at bar.

Neither can respondent Judge take refuge on the Joint Affidavit of
David Manzano and Luzviminda Payao stating that they had been
cohabiting as husband and wife for seven years. Just like separation,
free and voluntary cohabitation with another person for at least five
years does not severe the tie of a subsisting previous marriage.
Marital cohabitation for a long period of time between two individuals
who are legally capacitated to marry each other is merely a ground
for exemption from marriage license. It could not serve as a
justification for respondent Judge to solemnize a subsequent
marriage vitiated by the impediment of a prior existing marriage.

Clearly, respondent Judge demonstrated gross ignorance of the law
when he solemnized a void and bigamous marriage. The maxim
"ignorance of the law excuses no one" has special application to
judges,8 who, under Rule 1.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct,
should be the embodiment of competence, integrity, and
independence. It is highly imperative that judges be conversant with
the law and basic legal principles.9 And when the law transgressed
is simple and elementary, the failure to know it constitutes gross
ignorance of the law.10
Baez vs. Baez
GR# 132592 / JAN. 23, 2002
374 SCRA 340
Are multiple appeals allowed?

Facts:

The Regional Trial Court of Cebu decided Civil Case No. CEB-
16765, decreeing among others the legal separation between
petitioner Aida Baez and respondent Gabriel Baez on the ground
of the latters sexual infidelity; the dissolution of their conjugal
property relations and the division of the net conjugal assets; the
forfeiture of respondents one-half share in the net conjugal assets in
favor of the common children; the payment to petitioners counsel of
the sum of P100,000 as attorneys fees to be taken from petitioners
share in the net assets; and the surrender by respondent of the use
and possession of a Mazda motor vehicle and the smaller residential
house located at Maria Luisa Estate Park Subdivision to petitioner
and the common children within 15 days from receipt of the decision.

Thereafter, petitioner filed an urgent ex-parte motion to modify said
decision, while respondent filed a Notice of Appeal.

The trial court granted petitioner Aida Banez urgent ex-parte motion
to modify the decision on October 1, 1996 by approving the
Commitment of Fees dated December 22, 1994; obliging petitioner
to pay as attorneys fees the equivalent of 5% of the total value of
respondents ideal share in the net conjugal assets; and ordering the
administrator to pay petitioners counsel, Atty. Adelino B. Sitoy, the
sum of P100,000 as advance attorneys fees chargeable against the
aforecited 5%.[4]

In another motion to modify the decision, petitioner Aida Baez
sought moral and exemplary damages, as well as litigation
expenses. On October 9, 1996, she filed a motion for execution
pending appeal. Respondent Gabriel Baez filed a consolidated
written opposition to the two motions, and also prayed for the
reconsideration of the October 1, 1996 order.

28

After several exchanges of petitions and motions, the CA rendered a
decision setting aside the October 1, 1996 decision and further
denying the motions for reconsideration by petitioner. Hence, she
filed the instant case before the SC alleging that the CA erred in
setting aside the questioned order. She further alleged that an action
for legal separation is among the cases where multiple appeals may
be taken. According to her, the filing of a record on appeal, pursuant
to Section 2(a), Rule 41 of the Rules of Court,[13] is required in this
case. However, since respondent failed to file the record on appeal
within the reglementary period as provided under the Rules of court
(Sec 1-b, Rule 50), the same should be dismissed

Issue:

WON multiple appeals may be allowed in an action for legal
separation?

Held:

NO

xxx Multiple appeals are allowed in special proceedings, in actions
for recovery of property with accounting, in actions for partition of
property with accounting, in the special civil actions of eminent
domain and foreclosure of mortgage. The rationale behind allowing
more than one appeal in the same case is to enable the rest of the
case to proceed in the event that a separate and distinct issue is
resolved by the court and held to be final.

In said case, the two issues raised by therein petitioner that may
allegedly be the subject of multiple appeals arose from the same
cause of action, and the subject matter pertains to the same lessor-
lessee relationship between the parties. Hence, splitting the appeals
in that case would only be violative of the rule against multiplicity of
appeals.

The same holds true in an action for legal separation. The issues
involved in the case will necessarily relate to the same marital
relationship between the parties. The effects of legal separation,
such as entitlement to live separately, dissolution and liquidation of
the absolute community or conjugal partnership, and custody of the
minor children, follow from the decree of legal separation.[19] They
are not separate or distinct matters that may be resolved by the court
and become final prior to or apart from the decree of legal
separation. Rather, they are mere incidents of legal separation.[20]
Thus, they may not be subject to multiple appeals.

Petitioners alternative prayers that in case we do not dismiss the
appeal, we return the records to the trial court and require
respondent to file a record on appeal, or we return the records to the
trial court and retain only the pleadings and orders relevant to the
appeal, are untenable. If we grant the first, we are effectively saying
that the instant case is one involving multiple appeals, which it is not.
If we allow the second, we are effectively applying by analogy,
Section 6, Rule 44 and Section 6, Rule 135 of the Rules of Court,
without petitioner showing support therefor in law or jurisprudence.


Pacete vs. Carriaga
GR# 53880 / MAR. 17, 1994
231 SCRA 321

Arts 58, 60; See also Arts 101 & 103 NCC; No defaults; AM 02-
11-11 SC

FACTS:

Concepcion Alanis and Enrico Pacete were married on April 30,
1938 and had a child. Enrico contracted a second marriage with
Clarita dela Concepcion. Alanis learned of it on Aug 1, 1979.

Concepcion Alanis filed a complaint on October 1979, for the
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage between her erstwhile husband
Enrico Pacete and Clarita de la Concepcion, as well as for legal
separation between her and Pacete, accounting and separation of
property. She averred in her complaint that she was married to
Pacete on April 1938 and they had a child named Consuelo; that
Pacete subsequently contracted a second marriage with Clarita de la
Concepcion and that she learned of such marriage only on August
29

1979. Reconciliation between her and Pacete was impossible since
he evidently preferred to continue living with Clarita.

The defendants were each served with summons. They filed an
extension within which to file an answer, which the court partly
granted. Due to unwanted misunderstanding, particularly in
communication, the defendants failed to file an answer on the date
set by the court. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a motion to declare the
defendants in default, which the court forthwith granted. The court
received plaintiffs evidence during the hearings held on February 15,
20, 21, and 22, 1980. CFI granted legal separation, conjugal
properties half-and-half. Thus, this certiorari.

ISSUE:

WON CFI gravely abused its discretion in decreeing the legal
separation of Enrico Pacete (P) and PR, and held to be null and void
ab initio the marriage of P and Clarita Concepcion

HELD:

Yes, The Civil Code provides that no decree of legal separation
shall be promulgated upon a stipulation of facts or by confession of
judgment. In case of non-appearance of the defendant, the court
shall order the prosecuting attorney to inquire whether or not
collusion between parties exists. If there is no collusion, the
prosecuting attorney shall intervene for the State in order to take
care that the evidence for the plaintiff is not fabricated.

The above stated provision calling for the intervention of the state
attorneys in case of uncontested proceedings for legal separation
(and of annulment of marriages, under Article 88) is to emphasize
that marriage is more than a mere contract.

Article 103 of the Civil Code, now Article 58 of the Family Code,
further mandates that an action for legal separation must in no case
be tried before six months shall have elapsed since the filing of the
petition, obviously in order to provide the parties a cooling-off
period. In this interim, the court should take steps toward getting the
parties to reconcile.
The significance of the above substantive provisions of the law is
further or underscored by the inclusion of a provision in Rule 18 of
the Rules of Court which provides that no defaults in actions for
annulments of marriage or for legal separation. Therefore, if the
defendant in an action for annulment of marriage or for legal
separation fails to answer, the court shall order the prosecuting
attorney to investigate whether or not a collusion between the parties
exists, and if there is no c collusion, to intervene for the State in
order to see to it that the evidence submitted is not fabricated.


Sabalones vs. CA
GR# 106169 / FEB. 14, 1994
230 SCRA 79
Article 61 (Administration issues pendente lite) See also, and
compare with, Article 124

Facts:

Petitioner Samson Sabalones being a diplomat was assigned in
different countries and left to his wife the administration of some of
their conjugal properties for 15years. After his retirement he returned
to the Philippines but not to his wife and children.

After 4 years he filed an action for juridical authorization to sell their
property in San Juan which belongs to the conjugal partnership and
would use the proceeds of the sale for his hospital and medical
treatments.

Respondent (wife) opposed the authorization and filed an action for
legal separation. Respondent alleges that that the house in San Juan
was being occupied by her and their children and the lot in Forbes
Park is being leased to Nobimichi Izumi, and that her husband never
returned to them being the legitimate family and lived in a separate
house in Fairview with Thelma Curameng and their children.

Judge Umali found that petitioner contracted a bigamous marriage
with Thelma Curameng. Court granted the decree of legal separation
and the petitioner is not entitled to share in the conjugal properties
and he is not entitled to support from his respondent wife.
30


Decision of lower court was appealed and was granted the writ of
preliminary injunction filed by the respondent to enjoin the petitioner
from interfering in the administration of their properties. Petitioner
argues that the law provides for joint administration of conjugal
properties and no injunctive relief can be issued against the other
because no right will be violated.

Issue:

WON article124 is applicable as regards to joint administration of
conjugal properties


Held:

Grant for preliminary injunction is valid; it is necessary to protect the
interest of the respondent and her children and prevent the
dissipation of the conjugal assets. Injunction has not permanently
installed the respondent as the administrator of the whole conjugal
assets

Presence of 2 requirements of valid injunction:

o Existence of rights of the respondents to a share of the
conjugal estate
o There is evidence that entrusting the estate to the petitioner
may result to the irresponsible disposition of assets that would cause
injury to his wife and children

Primary purpose of the provisional remedy of injunction is to
preserve the status quo of the subject of the action of the relations
between the parties and thus protect the rights of the plaintiffs
respecting these matters during the pendency of the suit.

Twin requirements of valid injunction:
o Existence of a right
o Actual or threatened violation

Article 61: after further petition for legal separation has been filed,
the trial court shall in the absence of a written agreement between
the couple would appoint either one of the spouses or a 3rd person
to act as the administrator.


Ong v. Ong
GR# 153206 / OCT. 23, 2006
505 SCRA 76

<missing>
X
X
X
X
x

SSS v. Aguas
GR# 165546 / FEB. 27, 2006
483 SCRA 383

Facts:

Pablo Aguas died on December 8, 1996. Pablos surviving spouse,
Rosanna H. Aguas, filed a claim with the SSS for death benefits.
Rosanna indicated in her claim that Pablo was likewise survived by
his minor child, Jeylnn. Her claim for monthly pension was settled.

In April 1997, the SSS received a sworn letter from Leticia Aguas-
Macapinlac, Pablos sister, contesting Rosannas claim for death
benefits. She alleged that Rosanna abandoned the family abode
approximately more than six years before, and lived with another
man, and that Pablo had no legal children with Rosanna.

The SSS suspended the payment of Rosanna and Jeylnns monthly
pension. In an investigation, it was reported that the deceased had
no legal children with Rosanna and that Rosanna left the deceased
six years before his death and lived with Romeo while she was still
pregnant with Jenelyn.

31

Rosanna was advised to refund to the SSS the amount representing
the total death benefits released to her and Jenelyn. Rosanna and
Jeylnn file a claim/petition for the Restoration/Payment of Pensions
with the Social Security Commission (SSC). Janet H. Aguas, who
also claimed to be the child of the deceased and Rosanna, now
joined them as claimant.

SSC rendered a decision denying the claims for lack of merit and
ordering Rosanna to immediately refund the SSS. On Appeal, the
CA rendered a decision in favor of Rosanna.

Issue:

Whether or not respondents are entitled to the pension benefit.
Held:

The petition is partly meritorious.

Jeylnns claim is justified by the photocopy of her birth certificate
which bears the signature of Pablo. Under Article 164 of the Family
Code, children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents
are legitimate. Impugning the legitimacy of a child is a strictly
personal right of the husband or, in exceptional cases, his heirs. In
this case, there is no showing that Pablo challenged the legitimacy of
Jeylnn during his lifetime. Hence, Jeylnns status as a legitimate child
can no longer be contested.

The presumption of legitimacy under Article 164, however, can not
extend to Janet because her date of birth was not substantially
proven. Such presumption may be availed only upon convincing
proof of the factual basis. Respondents submitted a photocopy of
Janets alleged birth certificate. However, the Court cannot give said
birth certificate the same probative weight as Jeylnns because it was
not verified in any way by the civil register.

On the claims of Rosanna, it bears stressing that for her to qualify as
a primary beneficiary, she must prove that she was "the legitimate
spouse dependent for support from the employee." The claimant-
spouse must therefore establish two qualifying factors: (1) that she is
the legitimate spouse, and (2) that she is dependent upon the
member for support.

Rosanna presented a copy of their marriage certificate verified with
the civil register. But whether or not Rosanna has sufficiently
established that she was still dependent on Pablo at the time of his
death remains to be resolved. Indeed, a husband and wife are
obliged to support each other, but whether one is actually dependent
for support upon the other is something that has to be shown; it
cannot be presumed from the fact of marriage alone.

The obvious conclusion then is that a wife who is already separated
de facto from her husband cannot be said to be "dependent for
support" upon the husband, absent any showing to the contrary.
Conversely, if it is proved that the husband and wife were still living
together at the time of his death, it would be safe to presume that
she was dependent on the husband for support, unless it is shown
that she is capable of providing for herself.

Only Jeylnn is entitled to the SSS death benefits accruing from the
death of Pablo, as it was established that she is his legitimate child.
On the other hand, the records show that Janet was merely
"adopted" by the spouses, but there are no legal papers to prove it;
hence, she cannot qualify as a primary beneficiary. Finally, while
Rosanna was the legitimate wife of Pablo, she is likewise not
qualified as a primary beneficiary since she failed to present any
proof to show that at the time of his death, she was still dependent
on him for support even if they were already living separately.


Van Dorn vs. Romillo, Jr.,
No. L-68470 / OCT. 08, 1985
139 SCRA 13

Facts:

Alice Van Dorn, a Filipino citizen and Richard Upton, an American
citizen, were married in Hongkong in 1972. After the marriage, they
resided in the Philippines and begot two children. In 1982, the parties
32

were divorced in Nevada, United States. Alice has re-married in
Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn.

In 1983, Richard filed suit against Alice with the RTC stating that her
business in Ermita, Manila is conjugal property of the parties. He
asks that Alice be ordered to render an accounting of that business,
and that Richard be declared with right to manage the conjugal
property. Alice moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the
cause of action is barred by previous judgment in the divorce
proceedings before the Nevada Court wherein respondent had
acknowledged that he and petitioner had "no community property" as
of June 11, 1982. The Court below denied the Motion to Dismiss.
Hence, this petition.

In her petition, Alice contends that Richard is estopped from claiming
on the alleged conjugal property because of the representation he
made in the divorce proceedings before the American Court that they
had no community of property; hence, barred by prior judgment.
Richard avers that the Divorce Decree issued by the Nevada Court
cannot prevail over the prohibitive laws of the Philippines and its
declared national policy; the acts and declaration of a foreign Court
cannot, especially if the same is contrary to public policy, divest
Philippine Courts of jurisdiction to entertain matters within its
jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether or not Richard still has the right over the alleged conjugal
properties.

Ruling:

There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in
any of the States of the United States. The decree is binding on
Richard as an American citizen. It is true that owing to the nationality
principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine
nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the
same being considered contrary to our concept of public police and
morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be
recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to
their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released
Richard from the marriage from the standards of American law,
under which divorce dissolves the marriage.

Thus, pursuant to his national law, Richard is no longer the husband
of Alice. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as her
husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is
bound by the Decision of his own country's Court, which validly
exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not
repudiate, he is estopped by his own representation before said
Court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.

To maintain that, under our laws, Alice has to be considered still
married to Richard and still subject to a wife's obligations under
Article 109 of the Civil Code cannot be just. Alice should not be
obliged to live together with, observe respect and fidelity, and render
support to Richard. The latter should not continue to be one of her
heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be
discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to
be served.


Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera
GR# 80116 / JUNE 30, 1989
174 SCRA 652

Facts:

Petitioner Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, and Private
Respondent Erich Ekkehard Geiling, a German national, were
married in Germany. The couple lived together for some time in
Malate, Manila where their only child, Isabella Pilapil Geiling, was
born on April 20, 1980.

After about three and a half years of marriage, such disharmony
eventuated in private respondent initiating a divorce proceeding
against petitioner in Germany before the Schoneberg Local Court in
January, 1983. He claimed that there was failure of their marriage
and that they had been living apart since April, 1982. Petitioner, on
33

the other hand, filed an action for legal separation, support and
separation of property.

On January 15, 1986, Schoneberg Local Court promulgated a
decree of divorce on the ground of failure of marriage of the
spouses. However, on June 27, 1986, or more than five months after
the issuance of the divorce decree, private respondent filed two
complaints for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging that,
while still married to said respondent, petitioner "had an affair with a
certain William Chia as early as 1982 and with yet another man
named Jesus Chua sometime in 1983".

Issue:

Whether or not the complainant, a foreigner, does not qualify as an
offended spouse having obtained a final divorce decree under his
national law prior to his filing the criminal complaint.

Held:

Under Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of adultery,
as well as four other crimes against chastity, cannot be prosecuted
except upon a sworn written complaint filed by the offended spouse.

Corollary to such exclusive grant of power to the offended spouse to
institute the action, it necessarily follows that such initiator must have
the status, capacity or legal representation to do so at the time of the
filing of the criminal action. Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code
thus presupposes that the marital relationship is still subsisting at the
time of the institution of the criminal action for, adultery. This is a
logical consequence since the raison d'etre of said provision of law
would be absent where the supposed offended party had ceased to
be the spouse of the alleged offender at the time of the filing of the
criminal case.

Thus, private respondent, being no longer the husband of petitioner,
had no legal standing to commence the adultery case under the
imposture that he was the offended spouse at the time he filed suit.

Limbona v. Comelec
GR# 181097 / JUNE 25, 2008
555 SCRA 391

Facts:
Petitioner Norlainie Mitmug Limbona (Norlainie), her husband,
Mohammad G. Limbona (Mohammad), and respondent Malik
"Bobby" T. Alingan (Malik) were mayoralty candidates in Pantar,
Lanao del Norte for May 2007 National and Local Elections. Malik
filed a petition for disqualification against Mohammed on the ground
that it failed to comply with the one-year residence rule. COMELEC
disqualified Mohammad. Consequently, Norlainie filed a new
certificate of candidacy as substitute candidate for Mohammad.
Issue: WON Norlaine is disqualified for running as mayor on the
ground of failure to comply with one-year residence.
Ruling:
We note the findings of the Comelec that petitioner's domicile of
origin is Maguing, Lanao del Norte, which is also her place of birth;
and that her domicile by operation of law (by virtue of marriage) is
Rapasun, Marawi City. The Comelec found that Mohammad,
petitioner's husband, effected the change of his domicile in favor of
Pantar, Lanao del Norte only on November 11, 2006. Since it is
presumed that the husband and wife live together in one legal
residence, then it follows that petitioner effected the change of her
domicile also on November 11, 2006. Articles 68 and 69 of the
Family Code provide:
Art. 68. The husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe
mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and
support.
34

Art. 69. The husband and wife shall fix the family domicile. In case
of disagreement, the court shall decide. The court may exempt one
spouse from living with the other if the latter should live abroad or
there are other valid and compelling reasons for the exemption.
However, such exemption shall not apply if the same is not
compatible with the solidarity of the family. Considering that
petitioner failed to show that she maintained a separate residence
from her husband, and as there is no evidence to prove otherwise,
reliance on these provisions of the Family Code is proper and is in
consonance with human experience.
Thus, for failure to comply with the residency requirement, petitioner
is disqualified to run for the office of mayor of Pantar, Lanao del
Norte. However, petitioner's disqualification would not result in
Malik's proclamation who came in second during the special election.

Ilusorio v. Bildner
GR# 139789 / 139808 / MAY 12, 200
332 SCRA 169

Facts:

Once again we see the sad tale of a prominent family shattered by
conflicts on expectancy in fabled fortune.

On March 11, 1999, Erlinda K. Ilusorio, the matriarch who was so
lovingly inseparable from her husband some years ago, filed a
petition with the Court of Appeals1 for habeas corpus to have
custody of her husband in consortium.

On April 5, 1999, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision
dismissing the petition for lack of unlawful restraint or detention of
the subject, Potenciano Ilusorio.

Thus, on October 11, 1999, Erlinda K. Ilusorio filed with the Supreme
Court an appeal via certiorari pursuing her desire to have custody of
her husband Potenciano Ilusorio.2 This case was consolidated with
another case3 filed by Potenciano Ilusorio and his children, Erlinda I.
Bildner and Sylvia K. Ilusorio appealing from the order giving
visitation rights to his wife, asserting that he never refused to see
her.

On May 12, 2000, we dismissed the petition for habeas corpus4 for
lack of merit, and granted the petition5 to nullify the Court of Appeals'
ruling6 giving visitation rights to Erlinda K. Ilusorio.7
What is now before the Court is Erlinda's motion to reconsider the
decision.8

On September 20, 2000, we set the case for preliminary conference
on October 11, 2000, at 10:00 a. m., without requiring the mandatory
presence of the parties.

Issue(s):

The Court laid down the issues to be resolved, to wit:
(a) To determine the propriety of a physical and medical examination
of petitioner Potenciano Ilusorio;
(b) Whether the same is relevant; and
(c) If relevant, how the Court will conduct the same.9

Held:

Nevertheless, for emphasis, we shall discuss the issues thus:
First. Erlinda K. Ilusorio claimed that she was not compelling
Potenciano to live with her in consortium and that Potenciano's
mental state was not an issue. However, the very root cause of the
entire petition is her desire to have her husband's custody.13 Clearly,
Erlinda cannot now deny that she wanted Potenciano Ilusorio to live
with her.

Second. One reason why Erlinda K. Ilusorio sought custody of her
husband was that respondents Lin and Sylvia were illegally
restraining Potenciano Ilusorio to fraudulently deprive her of property
rights out of pure greed.14 She claimed that her two children were
using their sick and frail father to sign away Potenciano and Erlinda's
property to companies controlled by Lin and Sylvia. She also argued
that since Potenciano retired as director and officer of Baguio
35

Country Club and Philippine Oversees Telecommunications, she
would logically assume his position and control. Yet, Lin and Sylvia
were the ones controlling the corporations.15

The fact of illegal restraint has not been proved during the hearing at
the Court of Appeals on March 23, 1999.16 Potenciano himself
declared that he was not prevented by his children from seeing
anybody and that he had no objection to seeing his wife and other
children whom he loved.
Erlinda highlighted that her husband suffered from various ailments.
Thus, Potenciano Ilusorio did not have the mental capacity to decide
for himself. Hence, Erlinda argued that Potenciano be brought before
the Supreme Court so that we could determine his mental state.

We were not convinced that Potenciano Ilusorio was mentally
incapacitated to choose whether to see his wife or not. Again, this is
a question of fact that has been decided in the Court of Appeals.
As to whether the children were in fact taking control of the
corporation, these are matters that may be threshed out in a
separate proceeding, irrelevant in habeas corpus.

Third. Petitioner failed to sufficiently convince the Court why we
should not rely on the facts found by the Court of Appeals. Erlinda
claimed that the facts mentioned in the decision were erroneous and
incomplete. We see no reason why the High Court of the land need
go to such length. The hornbook doctrine states that findings of fact
of the lower courts are conclusive on the Supreme Court.17 We
emphasize, it is not for the Court to weigh evidence all over again.18
Although there are exceptions to the rule,19 Erlinda failed to show
that this is an exceptional instance.

Fourth. Erlinda states that Article XII of the 1987 Constitution and
Articles 68 and 69 of the Family Code support her position that as
spouses, they (Potenciano and Erlinda) are duty bound to live
together and care for each other. We agree.

The law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live
together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity.20 The sanction
therefor is the "spontaneous, mutual affection between husband and
wife and not any legal mandate or court order" to enforce
consortium.21

Obviously, there was absence of empathy between spouses Erlinda
and Potenciano, having separated from bed and board since 1972.
We defined empathy as a shared feeling between husband and wife
experienced not only by having spontaneous sexual intimacy but a
deep sense of spiritual communion. Marital union is a two-way
process.

Marriage is definitely for two loving adults who view the relationship
with "amor gignit amorem" respect, sacrifice and a continuing
commitment to togetherness, conscious of its value as a sublime
social institution.22


Ilusorio v. Bildner
GR# 139789 / 139808 / JULY 19, 2001
361 SCRA 427

Facts:

The undisputed facts are as follows:

Erlinda Kalaw Ilusorio is the wife of lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio.

Potenciano Ilusorio is about 86 years of age possessed of extensive
property valued at millions of pesos. For many years, lawyer
Potenciano Ilusorio was Chairman of the Board and President of
Baguio Country Club.

On July 11, 1942, Erlinda Kalaw and Potenciano Ilusorio contracted
matrimony and lived together for a period of thirty (30) years. In
1972, they separated from bed and board for undisclosed reasons.
Potenciano lived at Urdaneta Condominium, Ayala Ave., Makati City
when he was in Manila and at Ilusorio Penthouse, Baguio Country
Club when he was in Baguio City. On the other hand, Erlinda lived in
Antipolo City.

36

Out of their marriage, the spouses had six (6) children, namely:
Ramon Ilusorio (age 55); Erlinda Ilusorio Bildner (age 52); Maximo
(age 50); Sylvia (age 49); Marietta (age 48); and Shereen (age 39).
On December 30, 1997, upon Potencianos arrival from the United
States, he stayed with Erlinda for about five (5) months in Antipolo
City. The children, Sylvia and Erlinda (Lin), alleged that during this
time, their mother gave Potenciano an overdose of 200 mg instead
of 100 mg Zoloft, an antidepressant drug prescribed by his doctor in
New York, U.S.A. As a consequence, Potencianos health
deteriorated.

On February 25, 1998, Erlinda filed with the Regional Trial Court,
Antipolo City a petition[10] for guardianship over the person and
property of Potenciano Ilusorio due to the latters advanced age, frail
health, poor eyesight and impaired judgment.

On May 31, 1998, after attending a corporate meeting in Baguio City,
Potenciano Ilusorio did not return to Antipolo City and instead lived at
Cleveland Condominium, Makati.

On March 11, 1999, Erlinda filed with the Court of Appeals a petition
for habeas corpus to have the custody of lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio.
She alleged that respondents[11] refused petitioners demands to
see and visit her husband and prohibited Potenciano from returning
to Antipolo City.

Issue(s):

May a wife secure a writ of habeas corpus to compel her husband to
live with her in conjugal bliss? The answer is no. Marital rights
including coverture and living in conjugal dwelling may not be
enforced by the extra-ordinary writ of habeas corpus.

Held:

As heretofore stated, a writ of habeas corpus extends to all cases of
illegal confinement or detention,[13] or by which the rightful custody
of a person is withheld from the one entitled thereto. It is available
where a person continues to be unlawfully denied of one or more of
his constitutional freedoms, where there is denial of due process,
where the restraints are not merely involuntary but are unnecessary,
and where a deprivation of freedom originally valid has later become
arbitrary.[14] It is devised as a speedy and effectual remedy to
relieve persons from unlawful restraint, as the best and only
sufficient defense of personal freedom.

The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to
inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint, and to relieve a
person therefrom if such restraint is illegal.
To justify the grant of the petition, the restraint of liberty must be an
illegal and involuntary deprivation of freedom of action.[17] The
illegal restraint of liberty must be actual and effective, not merely
nominal or moral.

The evidence shows that there was no actual and effective detention
or deprivation of lawyer Potenciano Ilusorios liberty that would justify
the issuance of the writ. The fact that lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio is
about 86 years of age, or under medication does not necessarily
render him mentally incapacitated. Soundness of mind does not
hinge on age or medical condition but on the capacity of the
individual to discern his actions.

Being of sound mind, he is thus possessed with the capacity to make
choices. In this case, the crucial choices revolve on his residence
and the people he opts to see or live with. The choices he made may
not appeal to some of his family members but these are choices
which exclusively belong to Potenciano. He made it clear before the
Court of Appeals that he was not prevented from leaving his house
or seeing people. With that declaration, and absent any true restraint
on his liberty, we have no reason to reverse the findings of the Court
of Appeals.

With his full mental capacity coupled with the right of choice,
Potenciano Ilusorio may not be the subject of visitation rights against
his free choice. Otherwise, we will deprive him of his right to privacy.
Needless to say, this will run against his fundamental constitutional
right.

The Court of Appeals exceeded its authority when it awarded
visitation rights in a petition for habeas corpus where Erlinda never
37

even prayed for such right. The ruling is not consistent with the
finding of subjects sanity.

When the court ordered the grant of visitation rights, it also
emphasized that the same shall be enforced under penalty of
contempt in case of violation or refusal to comply. Such assertion of
raw, naked power is unnecessary.

The Court of Appeals missed the fact that the case did not involve
the right of a parent to visit a minor child but the right of a wife to visit
a husband. In case the husband refuses to see his wife for private
reasons, he is at liberty to do so without threat of any penalty
attached to the exercise of his right.

No court is empowered as a judicial authority to compel a husband to
live with his wife. Coverture cannot be enforced by compulsion of a
writ of habeas corpus carried out by sheriffs or by any other
process. That is a matter beyond judicial authority and is best left to
the man and womans free choice.

WHEREFORE, in G. R. No. 139789, the Court DISMISSES the
petition for lack of merit. No costs.
In G. R. No. 139808, the Court GRANTS the petition and nullifies the
decision of the Court of Appeals insofar as it gives visitation rights to
respondent Erlinda K. Ilusorio. No costs.


Ong vs. CA
GR# 63025 / NOV. 29, 1991
204 SCRA 299

Facts:

Plaintiff Ramong Ong filed a complaint for the annulment of auction
sale of a parcel of land, allegedly owned conjugally by the plaintiff
and his former wife Teodora Ong, in favor of Francisco Boix. The
auction sale was made due to failure of the wife to pay her loan
obtained from Francisco Boix who lent her money in relation to her
own logging business in Camarines Sur.

Plaintiff argued that the subject property is really conjugal which the
wife in the case at bar could not legally bind, and considering that the
indebtedness was contracted by the wife only, the levy of the subject
property not owned exclusively by the wife owned jointly with the
husband is improper.

Plaintiff based his argument on the fact that the property was
"declared, under Tax No. 05378, in the name of Teodora B. Ong
while the house erected thereon was declared under Tax No. 06022
in the name of Ramon C. Ong and Teodora B. Ong (Exhibits "B", "2-
B", "2-C, "4") (Decision, p. 4). It was the contention of the plaintiff
that since the surname "Ong" (which is the surname of the husband
Ramon C. Ong) was carried by Teodora in the aforesaid declaration,
that indicates that the subject property was acquired during the
marriage. By reason thereof, the property in dispute is presumed to
be owned jointly by both spouses.

Issue:

WON the property is conjugal.

Held:

NO, it is paraphernal.

The mere use of the surname of the husband in the tax declaration
of the subject property is not sufficient proof that said property was
acquired during the marriage and is therefore conjugal. It is
undisputed that the subject parcel was declared solely in the wife's
name, but the house built thereon was declared in the name of the
spouses. Under such circumstances, coupled with a careful scrutiny
of the records of the present case, We hold that the lot in question is
paraphernal, and is therefore, liable for the personal debts of the
wife.

The presumption that property is conjugal (Art. 160, New Civil Code)
refers to property acquired during the marriage. When there is no
showing as to when the property was acquired by a spouse, the fact
that the title is in the spouse's name is an indication that the property
belongs exclusively to said spouse.
38


As correctly pointed out by the respondent Court, the party who
invokes the presumption that all property of the marriage belongs to
the conjugal partnership (Art. 160, New Civil Code) must first prove
that the property was acquired during the marriage. Proof of
acquisition during the marriage is a condition sine qua non for the
operation of the presumption in favor of the conjugal partnership.
(Cobb-Perez, et al. vs. Lantin, et al., 23 SCRA 637; Jose Ponce de
Leon vs. Rehabilitation Finance Corp., 36 SCRA 289). In the same
manner, the recent case of PNB vs. Court of Appeals, 153 SCRA
435 affirms that:

When the property is registered in the name of the a spouse only
and there is no showing as to when the property was acquired by
said spouse, this is an indication that the property belongs
exclusively to said spouse. And this presumption under Art. 160 of
the Civil Code cannot prevail when the title is in the name of only one
spouse and the rights of innocent third parties are involved.
Furthermore, even assuming for the sake of argument that the
property in dispute is conjugal, the same may still be held liable for
the debts of the wife in this case. Under Art. 117 of the Civil Code,
the wife may engage in business although the husband may object
(but subject to certain conditions). It is clear from the records that the
wife was engaged in the logging business with the husband's
knowledge and apparently without any objection on his part. The
acts of the husband show that he gave his implied consent to the
wife's engagement in business. According to Justice Ameurfina-
Herrera (then Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals) in her
concurring opinion, the rule that should govern in that case is that the
wife's paraphernal properties, as well as those of their conjugal
partnership, shall be liable for the obligations incurred by the wife in
the course of her business (Arts. 117, 140, 172, 203, and 236, Civil
Code; Art. 10, Code of Commerce, cited in Commentaries on Phil.
Commercial Laws, Martin, T.C. Vol. 1, 1970 Revised Edition, pp. 14-
15). After all, whatever profits are earned by the wife from her
business go to the conjugal partnership. It would only be just and
equitable that the obligations contracted by the wife in connection
with her business may also be chargeable not only against her
paraphernal property but also against the conjugal property of the
spouses.

Go vs. CA
GR# 114791 /MAY 29, 1997
272 SCRA 752

FACTS:

Private respondents spouses Hermogenes and Jane Ong were
married on June 7, 1981, in Dumaguete City. The video coverage of
the wedding was provided by petitioners at a contract price of
P1,650.00. Three times thereafter, the newlyweds tried to claim the
video tape of their wedding, which they planned to show to their
relatives in the United States where they were to spend their
honeymoon, and thrice they failed because the tape was apparently
not yet processed. When they return, however, they found out that
the tape had been erased by petitioners and therefore, could no
longer be delivered.

Furious at its loss, private respondents filed on September 23, 1981
a complaint for specific performance and damages against
petitioners before the Regional Trial Court, 7th Judicial District,
Branch 33, Dumaguete City. After a protracted trial, the court a quo
rendered a decision declaring defendants Alex Go and Nancy Go
jointly and severally liable to plaintiffs Hermogenes Ong and Jane C.
Ong.

Dissatisfied with the decision, petitioners elevated the case to the
Court of Appeals which, on September 14, 1993, dismissed the
appeal and affirmed the trial courts decision.Hence, this petition.


ISSUE: WON the husband, petitioner Alex Go is jointly and severally
liable with his wife Nancy Go regarding the pecuniary liabilities
imposed


HELD:

No. Petitioner Alex Go is absolved from any liability to private
respondents and that petitioner Nancy Go is solely liable to said
39

private respondents for the judgment award. Under Article 117 of the
Civil Code (now Article 73 of the Family Code), the wife may
exercise any profession, occupation or engage in business without
the consent of the husband.

In the instant case, SC is convinced that it was only petitioner Nancy
Go who entered into the contract with private respondent.
Consequently, SC rules that she is solely liable to private
respondents for the damages awarded below, pursuant to the
principle that contracts produce effect only as between the parties
who execute them.


Agapay vs. Palang
GR# 116668 / JULY 28, 1997
276 SCRA 340

Facts:

Miguel Palang contracted his first marriage with Carlina (or Cornelia)
on July 16, 1949. A few months after the wedding, in October 1949,
he left for work in Hawaii. Miguel and Carlinas only child, Herminia
Palang, was born on May 12, 1950. During his visit in 1964 to the
Philippines, he stayed with his brother in Zambales. The trial court
found that as early as 1957, Miguel had attempted to divorce Carlina
in Hawaii. When he returned for good in 1972, Miguel refused to stay
with Carlina but stayed alone in a house in Pozorrubio, Pangasinan.
On July 15, 1973, 63 yr old Miguel contracted a second marriage
with 19 yr old Erlinda Agapay. Two months earlier, Miguel and
Erlinda jointly purchased a parcel of agricultural land located at San
Felipe, Binalonan Pangasinan. A house and lot in Binalonan,
Pangasinan was also purchased by Erlinda as sole vendee, but this
was disclaimed by the notary public saying that the money used to
buy the property was given by Miguel. On October 1975, Miguel and
Cornelia Palang executed a deed of donation as a form of
compromise agreement. The parties agreed to donate their conjugal
property to their only child, Herminia Palang. Miguel and Erlinda had
a son, Kristopher A. Palang. In 1979, Miguel and Erlinda were
convicted of concubinage upon Carlinas complaint. Two years later,
Miguel died.

On July 11, 1979, Carlina Palang and her daughter Herminia filed an
action for recovery of ownership and possession of the Riceland and
house and lot both located at Binalonan, Pangasinan allegedly
purchased by Miguel during his cohabitation with Erlinda Agapay.
The RTC dismissed the case and ruled in favour of Agapay. On
appeal, the respondent court reversed the trial courts decision and
declared Carlina and Herminia Palang the owners of the properties
in question.

Issue: WON the house and lot in Pangasinan is a valid donation by
Miguel to Erlinda.
Held:

With respect to the house and lot, Erlinda allegedly bought the same
for P20,000.00 on September 23, 1975 when she was only 22 years
old. The testimony of the notary public who prepared the deed of
conveyance for the property reveals the falsehood of this claim. Atty.
Constantino Sagun testified that Miguel Palang provided the money
for the purchase price and directed that Erlinda's name alone be
placed as the vendee.

The transaction was properly a donation made by Miguel to Erlinda,
but one which was clearly void and inexistent by express provision of
law because it was made between persons guilty of adultery or
concubinage at the time of the donation, under Article 739 of the Civil
Code. Moreover, Article 87 of the Family Code expressly provides
that the prohibition against donations between spouses now applies
to donations between persons living together as husband and wife
without a valid marriage, for otherwise, the condition of those who
incurred guilt would turn out to be better than those in legal union.









40

Arcaba vs. Batocael
GR# 146683 / NOV.22, 2001
370 SCRA 414

FACTS:
Cirila Arcaba filed a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of
the CA, declaring as void a deed of donation inter vivos executed by
the late Francisco T. Comille in her favor, and its subsequent
resolution denying reconsideration.

On January 16, 1956, Francisco Comille and his wife Zosima
Montallana became the registered owners of a lot located at the
corner of Calle Santa Rosa (now Balintawak Street) and Calle
Rosario (now Rizal Avenue) in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.
After the death of Zosima on October 3, 1980, Francisco and his
mother-in-law, Juliana Bustalino Montallana, executed a deed of
extrajudicial partition with waiver of rights, in which the latter waived
her share consisting of one-fourth (1/4) of the property to Francisco.
On June 27, 1916, Francisco registered the lot in his name with the
Registry of Deeds.

Having no children to take care of him after his retirement, Francisco
asked his niece Leticia Bellosillo, the latter's cousin, Luzviminda
Paghacian, and petitioner Cirila Arcaba, then a widow, to take care
of his house, as well as the store inside.
Conflicting testimonies were offered as to the nature of the
relationship between Cirila and Francisco. Leticia Bellosillo said
Francisco and Cirila were lovers since they slept in the same room,
while Erlinda Tabancura, another niece of Francisco, claimed that
the latter had told her that Cirila was his mistress. On the other hand,
Cirila said she was a mere helper who could enter the master's
bedroom only when the old man asked her to and that Francisco in
any case was too old for her. She denied they ever had sexual
intercourse.

When Leticia and Luzviminda were married, only Cirila was left to
take care of Francisco. Cirila testified that she was a 34-year old
widow while Francisco was a 75-year old widower when she began
working for the latter; that he could still walk with her assistance at
that time; and that his health eventually deteriorated and he became
bedridden. Erlinda Tabancura testified that Francisco's sole source
of income consisted of rentals from his lot near the public streets. He
did not pay Cirila a regular cash wage as a househelper , though he
provided her family with food and lodging.

A few months before his death, Francisco executed an instrument
denominated "Deed of Donation Inter Vivos," in which he ceded a
portion of the lot consisting of 150 square meters, together with his
house, to Cirila, who accepted the donation in the same instrument.
Francisco left the larger portion of 268 square meters in his name.
The deed stated that the donation was being made in consideration
of "the faithful services [Cirila Arcaba] had rendered over the past ten
(10) years." On October 4, 1991, Francisco died without any
children.

On February 18, 1993, respondents who are the decedent's
nephews and nieces and his heirs by intestate succession, filed a
complaint against petitioner 'for declaration of nullity of a deed of
donation inter vivos, recovery of possession, and damages, alleging
that Cirila was the common-law wife of Francisco and the donation
inter vivos made by Francisco in her favor is void under Article 87 of
the Family Code which provides that Every donation or grant of
gratuitous advantage, direct or indirect, between the spouses during
the marriage shall be void, except moderate gifts which the spouses
may give each other on the occasion of any family rejoicing. The
prohibition shall also apply to persons living together as husband and
wife without a valid marriage.

ISSUE:
Whether the Court of Appeals correctly applied Article 87 of the
Family Code to the circumstances of this case

HELD:
After a review of the records, we rule in the affirmative.

Was Cirila Francisco's employee or his common-law wife? Cirila
admitted that she and Francisco resided under one roof for a long
time, It is very possible that the two consummated their relationship,
since Cirila gave Francisco therapeutic massage and Leticia said
they slept in the same bedroom. At the very least, their public
41

conduct indicated that theirs was not just a relationship of caregiver
and patient, but that of exclusive partners akin to husband and wife.
Aside from Erlinda Tabancura's testimony that her uncle told her that
Cirila was his mistress, there are other indications that Cirila and
Francisco were common-law spouses. Seigfredo Tabancura
presented documents apparently signed by Cirila using the surname
"Comille." These documents show that Cirila saw herself as
Francisco's common-law wife, otherwise, she would not have used
his last name.

Finally, the fact that Cirila did not demand from Francisco a regular
cash wage is an indication that she was not simply a caregiver-
employee, but Francisco's common law spouse. She was, after all,
entitled to a regular cash wage under the law. It is difficult to believe
that she stayed with Francisco and served him out of pure
beneficence. Human reason would thus lead to the conclusion that
she was Francisco's common-law spouse.

Respondents having proven by a preponderance of evidence that
Cirila and Francisco lived together as husband and wife without a
valid marriage, the inescapable conclusion is that the donation made
by Francisco in favor of Cirila is void under Art. 87 of the Family
Code.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the
decision of the trial court is hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.


Valencia v. Locquiao
412 SCRA 600

Facts: On May 22, 1944, Herminigildo and Raymunda
Locquiao(donor) executed a deed of donation propter nuptias which
was written in the Ilocano dialect, denominated as Inventario Ti
Sagut in favor of their son, respondent Benito Locquiao (hereafter,
respondent Benito) and his prospective bride, respondent Tomasa
Mara. By the terms of the deed, the donees were gifted with four (4)
parcels of land, including the land in question, as well as a male cow
and one-third (1/3) portion of the conjugal house of the donor
parents, in consideration of the impending marriage of the donees.
Respondents- donees took their marriage vows on June 4, 1944 and
the fact of their marriage was inscribed at the back of O.C.T. No.
18383. They registered the Inventario Ti Sagut with the Office of the
Register of Deeds on May 15, 1970. In due course, the original title
was cancelled and in lieu thereof Transfer Certificate of Title No.
84897 was issued in the name of the respondents Benito and
Tomasa.
When the donor died, the 6 heirs left , including Respondent Benito,
executed a Deed of Partition with Recognition of Rights on March 18,
1973 wherein they distributed among only three (3) of them, the
twelve (12) parcels of land left by their common progenitors,
excluding the land in question and other lots disposed of by the
Locquiao spouses earlier.
Disagreements arose among them. Petitioners Romana and
Constancia filed a Complain for the annulment of Transfer Certificate
of Title No. 84897 against respondents Benito and Tomasa before
the RTC of Pangasinan on December 23, 1985. Petitioners alleged
that the issuance of the transfer certificate of title was fraudulent; that
the Inventario Ti Sagut is spurious; that the notary public who
notarized the document had no authority to do so, and; that the
donation did not observe the form required by law as there was no
written acceptance on the document itself or in a separate public
instrument.
Issue: Whether or not the donation propter nuptias is valid?
Held: Yes the donation propter nuptias is valid.
Unlike ordinary donations, donations propter nuptias or donations by
reason of marriage are those made before its celebration, in
consideration of the same and in favor of one or both of the future
spouses. The distinction is crucial because the two classes of
donations are not governed by exactly the same rules, especially as
regards the formal essential requisites.
Under the Old Civil Code, donations propter nuptias must be made in
a public instrument in which the property donated must be
42

specifically described. However, Article 1330 of the same Code
provides that acceptance is not necessary to the validity of such
gifts. In other words, the celebration of the marriage between the
beneficiary couple, in tandem with compliance with the prescribed
form, was enough to effectuate the donation propter nuptias under
the Old Civil Code.
Under the New Civil Code, the rules are different. Article 127 thereof
provides that the form of donations propter nuptias are regulated by
the Statute of Frauds. Article 1403, paragraph 2, which contains the
Statute of Frauds requires that the contracts mentioned thereunder
need be in writing only to be enforceable. However, as provided in
Article 129, express acceptance is not necessary for the validity of
these donations. Thus, implied acceptance is sufficient.

It is settled that only laws existing at the time of the execution of a
contract are applicable thereto and not later statutes, unless the
latter are specifically intended to have retroactive effect.
Consequently, it is the Old Civil Code which applies in this case
since the donation propter nuptias was executed in 1944 and the
New Civil Code took effect only on August 30, 1950. As a
consequence, applying Article 1330 of the Old Civil Code in the
determination of the validity of the questioned donation, it does not
matter whether or not the donees had accepted the donation. The
validity of the donation is unaffected in either case.


Sunga-Chan v. CA
GR# 164401 / JUNE 25, 2008
555 SCRA 275

Facts:

In 1977, Lamberto Chua and Jacinto Sunga formed a partnership,
Shellite Gas Appliance Center (Shellite). After Jacinto's death in
1989, his widow, Cecilia Sunga, and married daughter, petitioner
Lilibeth Sunga-Chan, continued with the business without Chua's
consent. Chua's subsequent repeated demands for accounting and
winding up went unheeded, prompting him to file a Complaint for
Winding Up of a Partnership Affairs, Accounting, Appraisal and
Recovery of Shares and Damages with Writ of Preliminary
Attachment.

RTC rendered judgment in favor of Chua, and found Cecilia and
Sunga-Chan solidarily liable for any and all claims of Chua. RTCs
judgment was upheld by the CA. Then the sheriff levied upon and
sold at public auction Sunga-Chans property in Paco, Manila, over
which a building leased to PNB stood. Sunga-Chan questions the
levy on execution of the subject property on the ground that it is an
absolute community property with her husband Norberto Chan.

Issue:

Whether the absolute community of property of spouses Lilibeth
Sunga Chan and Norberto Chan can be lawfully made to answer for
the liability of Lilibeth Chan under the judgment.

Held:

Yes.

The records show that spouses Sunga-Chan and Norberto were
married after the effectivity of the Family Code. Withal, their absolute
community property may be held liable for the obligations contracted
by either spouse. Specifically, Art. 94 of said Code pertinently
provides: Art. 94. The absolute community of property shall be liable
for: x x x (2) All debts and obligations contracted during the marriage
by the designated administrator-spouse for the benefit of the
community, or by both spouses, or by one spouse with the consent
of the other; (3) Debts and obligations contracted by either spouse
without the consent of the other to the extent that the family may
have been benefited. Absent any indication otherwise, the use and
appropriation by petitioner Sunga-Chan of the assets of Shellite even
after the business was discontinued on May 30, 1992 may
reasonably be considered to have been used for her and her
husband's benefit.




43

Villanueva et., al vs. CA et al.
GR# 143286 / APR. 14, 2004
427 SCRA 439

Facts:

Plaintiff Eusebia Napisa Retuya, is the legal wife of defendant
Nicolas Retuya, having been married to the latter on October 7,
1926. Out of the lawful wedlock, they begot five (5) children, namely,
Natividad, Angela, Napoleon, Salome, and Roberta. Spouses Retuya
resided at Tipolo, Mandaue City. During their marriage they acquired
real properties and all improvements situated in Mandaue City, and
Consolacion, Cebu. Also, defendant, Nicolas Retuya, is co-owner of
a parcel of land situated in Mandaue City which he inherited from his
parents Esteban Retuya and Balbina Solon as well as the
purchasers of hereditary shares of approximately eight (8) parcels of
land in Mandaue City. In 1945, defendant Nicolas Retuya no longer
lived with his legitimate family and cohabited with defendant, Pacita
Villanueva, wherein defendant, Procopio Villanueva, is their
illegitimate son. Nicolas, then, was the only person who received the
income of the above-mentioned properties Defendant, Pacita
Villanueva, from the time she started living in concubinage with
Nicolas, has no occupation, she had no properties of her own from
which she could derive income.
In 1985, Nicolas suffered a stroke and cannot talk anymore.
Natividad Retuya knew of the physical condition of her father
because they visited him at the hospital. From the time defendant
Nicolas Retuya suffered a stroke on January 27, 1985 and until the
present, it is defendant Procopio Villanueva, one of Nicolas
illegitimate children who has been receiving the income of these
properties. Witness Natividad Retuya went to Procopio to negotiate
because at this time their father Nicolas was already senile and has
a childlike mind. She told defendant, Procopio that their father was
already incapacitated and they had to talk things over and the latter
replied that it was not yet the time to talk about the matter.

Plaintiff, then, complained to the Barangay Captain for
reconciliation/mediation but no settlement was reached, hence, the
said official issued a certification to file action. Written demands were
made by plaintiff, through her counsel, to the defendants, including
the illegitimate family asking for settlement but no settlement was
reached by the parties. Further, plaintiffs witness, Natividad Retuya,
testified that the parcel of land covered by tax declaration marked
Exhibit "T" was the property bought by her father from Adriano
Marababol for at the time of purchase of the property, defendant
Pacita Villanueva had no means of livelihood.

ISSUE:

Whether the subject properties are conjugal.

HELD:

Petitioners claim that the subject properties are exclusive properties
of Nicolas except for Lot No. 152, which they claim is Pacitas
exclusive property. This issue is easily resolved. The Family Code
provisions on conjugal partnerships govern the property relations
between Nicolas and Eusebia even if they were married before the
effectivity of Family Code. Article 105 of the Family Code explicitly
mandates that the Family Code shall apply to conjugal partnerships
established before the Family Code without prejudice to vested rights
already acquired under the Civil Code or other laws. Thus, under the
Family Code, if the properties are acquired during the marriage, the
presumption is that they are conjugal. The burden of proof is on the
party claiming that they are not conjugal. This is counter-balanced by
the requirement that the properties must first be proven to have been
acquired during the marriage before they are presumed conjugal.
Petitioners argue that Eusebia failed to prove this pre-requisite. We
disagree.

The question of whether the subject properties were acquired during
the marriage of Nicolas and Eusebia is a factual issue. Both the trial
and appellate courts agreed that the subject properties were in fact
acquired during the marriage of Nicolas and Eusebia. The tax
declarations covering the subject properties, along with the
unrebutted testimony of Eusebias witnesses, establish this fact. We
give due deference to factual findings of trial courts, especially when
affirmed by the appellate court. A reversal of this finding can only
occur if petitioners show sufficient reason for us to doubt its
correctness. Petitioners in the present case have not.
44


Moreover, on whether Lot No. 152 is conjugal or not, the answer
came from petitioners themselves. Nicolas and Eusebia were
married on 7 October 1926. Nicolas and Pacita started cohabiting in
1936. Eusebia died on 23 November 1996. Pacita and Nicolas were
married on 16 December 1996. Petitioners themselves admit that Lot
No. 152 was purchased on 4 October 1957. The date of acquisition
of Lot No. 152 is clearly during the marriage of Nicolas and Eusebia.

Since the subject properties, including Lot No. 152, were acquired
during the marriage of Nicolas and Eusebia, the presumption under
Article 116 of the Family Code is that all these are conjugal
properties of Nicolas and Eusebia. The burden is on petitioners to
prove that the subject properties are not conjugal. The presumption
in Article 116, which subsists "unless the contrary is proved," stands
as an obstacle to any claim the petitioners may have. The burden of
proving that a property is exclusive property of a spouse rests on the
party asserting it and the evidence required must be clear and
convincing. Petitioners failed to meet this standard.

The cohabitation of a spouse with another person, even for a long
period, does not sever the tie of a subsisting previous marriage.
Otherwise, the law would be giving a stamp of approval to an act that
is both illegal and immoral. What petitioners fail to grasp is that
Nicolas and Pacitas cohabitation cannot work to the detriment of
Eusebia, the legal spouse. The marriage of Nicolas and Eusebia
continued to exist regardless of the fact that Nicolas was already
living with Pacita. Hence, all property acquired from 7 October 1926,
the date of Nicolas and Eusebias marriage, until 23 November 1996,
the date of Eusebias death, are still presumed conjugal. Petitioners
have neither claimed nor proved that any of the subject properties
was acquired outside or beyond this period.

Finally, petitioners reliance on Article 148 of the Family Code is
misplaced. A reading of Article 148 readily shows that there must be
proof of "actual joint contribution" by both the live-in partners before
the property becomes co-owned by them in proportion to their
contribution. The presumption of equality of contribution arises only
in the absence of proof of their proportionate contributions, subject to
the condition that actual joint contribution is proven first. Simply put,
proof of actual contribution by both parties is required, otherwise
there is no co-ownership and no presumption of equal sharing.
Petitioners failed to show proof of actual contribution by Pacita in the
acquisition of Lot No. 152. In short, petitioners failed to prove that
Pacita bought Lot No. 152 with her own money, or that she actually
contributed her own money to acquire it.


De Leon v. De Leon
GR# 185063 / JULY 23, 2009
593 SCRA 768

Facts:

On July 20, 1965, Bonifacio O. De Leon, then single, and the
Peoples Homesite and Housing Corporation (PHHC) entered into a
Conditional Contract to Sell for the purchase on installment of a
191.30 square-meter lot situated in Fairview, Quezon City.
Subsequently, on April 24, 1968, Bonifacio married Anita de Leon in
a civil rite officiated by the Municipal Mayor of Zaragosa, Nueva
Ecija. To this union were born Danilo and Vilma. Following the full
payment of the cost price for the lot thus purchased, PHHC
executed, on June 22, 1970, a Final Deed of Sale in favor of
Bonifacio. Accordingly, Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 173677
was issued on February 24, 1972 in the name of Bonifacio, "single."
Subsequently, Bonifacio, for PhP 19,000, sold the subject lot to her
sister, Lita, and husband Felix Rio Tarrosa (Tarrosas), petitioners
herein. The conveying Deed of Sale dated January 12, 1974 (Deed
of Sale) did not bear the written consent and signature of Anita. On
February 29, 1996, Bonifacio died. Three months later, the Tarrosas
registered the Deed of Sale. They secured the issuance in their
names from the Quezon City Register of Deeds. Anita, Danilo, and
Vilma filed a reconveyance suit before the RTC in Quezon City. In
their complaint, Anita and her children alleged, among other things,
that fraud attended the execution of the Deed of Sale and that
subsequent acts of Bonifacio would show that he was still the owner
of the parcel of land. The Tarrosas, in their Answer with Compulsory
Counterclaim, averred that the lot Bonifacio sold to them was his
exclusive property inasmuch as he was still single when he acquired
it from PHHC. As further alleged, they were not aware of the
45

supposed marriage between Bonifacio and Anita at the time of the
execution of the Deed of Sale. RTC ruled in favor of Anita and her
children. CA held that the Tarrosas failed to overthrow the legal
presumption that the parcel of land in dispute was conjugal.

Issue:

WON the property in question is part of the conjugal property of
Bonifacio and Anita.

Ruling:

Article 160 of the 1950 Civil Code, the governing provision in effect
at the time Bonifacio and Anita contracted marriage, provides that all
property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal
partnership unless it is proved that it pertains exclusively to the
husband or the wife. For the presumption to arise, it is not, as Tan v.
Court of Appeals teaches, even necessary to prove that the property
was acquired with funds of the partnership. Only proof of acquisition
during the marriage is needed to raise the presumption that the
property is conjugal. In fact, even when the manner in which the
properties were acquired does not appear, the presumption will still
apply, and the properties will still be considered conjugal.

In the case at bar, ownership over what was once a PHHC lot and
covered by the PHHC-Bonifacio Conditional Contract to Sell was
only transferred during the marriage of Bonifacio and Anita. It is well
settled that a conditional sale is akin, if not equivalent, to a contract
to sell. In both types of contract, the efficacy or obligatory force of the
vendors obligation to transfer title is subordinated to the happening
of a future and uncertain event, usually the full payment of the
purchase price, so that if the suspensive condition does not take
place, the parties would stand as if the conditional obligation had
never existed. In other words, in a contract to sell ownership is
retained by the seller and is not passed to the buyer until full
payment of the price, unlike in a contract of sale where title passes
upon delivery of the thing sold.

It cannot be over-emphasized that the 1950 Civil Code is very
explicit on the consequence of the husband alienating or
encumbering any real property of the conjugal partnership without
the wifes consent. To a specific point, the sale of a conjugal piece of
land by the husband, as administrator, must, as a rule, be with the
wifes consent. Else, the sale is not valid. So it is that in several
cases we ruled that the sale by the husband of property belonging to
the conjugal partnership without the consent of the wife is void ab
initio, absent any showing that the latter is incapacitated, under civil
interdiction, or like causes. The nullity, as we have explained,
proceeds from the fact that sale is in contravention of the mandatory
requirements of Art. 166 of the Code. Since Art. 166 of the Code
requires the consent of the wife before the husband may alienate or
encumber any real property of the conjugal partnership, it follows
that the acts or transactions executed against this mandatory
provision are void except when the law itself authorized their validity.

As a final consideration, the Court agrees with the CA that the sale of
one-half of the conjugal property without liquidation of the
partnership is void. Prior to the liquidation of the conjugal
partnership, the interest of each spouse in the conjugal assets is
inchoate, a mere expectancy, which constitutes neither a legal nor
an equitable estate, and does not ripen into a title until it appears that
there are assets in the community as a result of the liquidation and
settlement.26 The interest of each spouse is limited to the net
remainder or "remanente liquido" (haber ganancial) resulting from
the liquidation of the affairs of the partnership after its dissolution.27
Thus, the right of the husband or wife to one-half of the conjugal
assets does not vest until the dissolution and liquidation of the
conjugal partnership, or after dissolution of the marriage, when it is
finally determined that, after settlement of conjugal obligations, there
are net assets left which can be divided between the spouses or their
respective heirs.









46

Hernandez v. Mingoa
GR# 146548 / DEC 18, 2009
608 SCRA 394

FACTS:

Domingo Hernandez, Sr. was awarded a piece of real property in
1958 by the PHHC as part of the governments housing program at
the time. Title over the said property was issued in 1966 in the name
of Hernandez, Sr., after full payment for the property was received by
the PHHC.

Neither [petitioners] nor Hernandez, Sr., took possession of the said
property. On the other hand, the [respondents] took possession of
the said property in 1966 and are in actual and physical possession
thereof up to the present, and have made considerable
improvements thereon, including a residential house where they
presently reside.

From 1966 (the time when the [respondents] were able to possess
the property) to 1983 (the time when the [petitioners] had knowledge
that the TCT in the name of Hernandez, Sr. had already been
cancelled by the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City) covers almost a
span of 17 years; and from 1983 to 1995 (the time when the Heirs
filed the original action) is a period of another 12 years.

The Deed of Transfer of Rights, executed by Hernandez, Sr. in
Camisuras favor, expressly states that the former, in consideration
of the amount of P6,500.00, transfers his rights over the subject
property to the latter. Notably, such deed was simultaneously
executed with the SPA on February 14, 1963.

Petitioners contend that the lack of consent on the part of Sergia
Hernandez (the spouse) rendered the SPAs and the deed of sale
fictitious, hence null and void in accordance with Article 1409 of the
Civil Code.




ISSUE:

Whether or not the consent of the spouse is necessary for the
validity of alienation of conjugal property?

HELD:

No. The consent of Domingo Hernandez, Sr. to the contract is
undisputed, thus, the sale of his share in the conjugal property
was valid. With regard to the consent of his wife, Sergia Hernandez,
to the sale involving their conjugal property, the trial court found that
it was lacking because said wifes signature on the SPA was
falsified. However, Sergias lack of consent to the sale did not render
the transfer of her share invalid.

It bears stressing that the subject matter herein involves conjugal
property. Said property was awarded to Domingo Hernandez, Sr. in
1958. The assailed SPAs were executed in 1963 and 1964. Title in
the name of Domingo Hernandez, Sr. covering the subject property
was issued on May 23, 1966. The sale of the property to Melanie
Mingoa and the issuance of a new title in her name happened in
1978. Since all these events occurred before the Family Code took
effect in 1988, the provisions of the New Civil Code govern these
transactions. We quote the applicable provisions, to wit:
Art. 165. The husband is the administrator of the conjugal
partnership.
Art. 166. Unless the wife has been declared a non compos mentis or
a spendthrift, or is under civil interdiction or is confined in a
leprosarium, the husband cannot alienate or encumber any real
property of the conjugal partnership without the wifes consent. If she
refuses unreasonably to give her consent, the court may compel her
to grant the same. x x x.
Art. 173. The wife may, during the marriage, and within ten years
from the transaction questioned, ask the courts for the annulment of
any contract of the husband entered into without her consent, when
such consent is required, or any act or contract of the husband which
tends to defraud her or impair her interest in the conjugal partnership
property. Should the wife fail to exercise this right, she or her heirs,
after the dissolution of the marriage, may demand the value of
property fraudulently alienated by the husband.
47

In Sps. Alfredo v. Sps. Borras,41 we held that:
The Family Code, which took effect on 3 August 1988, provides that
any alienation or encumbrance made by the husband of the conjugal
partnership property without the consent of the wife is void. However,
when the sale is made before the effectivity of the Family Code, the
applicable law is the Civil Code.

Article 173 of the Civil Code provides that the disposition of conjugal
property without the wife's consent is not void but merely voidable.

Thus, the failure of Sergia Hernandez to file with the courts an action
for annulment of the contract during the marriage and within ten (10)
years from the transaction necessarily barred her from questioning
the sale of the subject property to third persons.


Matthews v. Taylor
GR # 164584, June 22, 2009
590 SCRA 394

Facts:

On June 30, 1988, respondent Benjamin A. Taylor (Benjamin), a
British subject, married Joselyn C. Taylor (Joselyn), a 17-year old
Filipina. On June 9, 1989, while their marriage was subsisting,
Joselyn bought from Diosa M. Martin a 1,294 square-meter lot
(Boracay property) situated at Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, Malay,
Aklan, for and in consideration of P129,000.00. The sale was
allegedly financed by Benjamin. Joselyn and Benjamin, also using
the latters funds, constructed improvements thereon and eventually
converted the property to a vacation and tourist resort known as the
Admiral Ben Bow Inn. All required permits and licenses for the
operation of the resort were obtained in the name of Ginna
Celestino, Joselyns sister.

However, Benjamin and Joselyn had a falling out, and Joselyn ran
away with Kim Philippsen. On June 8, 1992, Joselyn executed a
Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of Benjamin, authorizing
the latter to maintain, sell, lease, and sub-lease and otherwise enter
into contract with third parties with respect to their Boracay property.
On July 20, 1992, Joselyn as lessor and petitioner Philip Matthews
as lessee, entered into an Agreement of Lease (Agreement)
involving the Boracay property for a period of 25 years, with an
annual rental of P12,000.00. The agreement was signed by the
parties and executed before a Notary Public. Petitioner thereafter
took possession of the property and renamed the resort as Music
Garden Resort.

Issue(s):

The marital consent of respondent benjamin taylor is not
required in the agreement of lease dated 20 july 1992. Granting
arguendo that his consent is required, benjamin taylor is deemed to
have given his consent when he affixed his signature in the
agreement of lease as witness in the light of the ruling of the
supreme court in the case of spouses pelayo vs. Melki perez, g.r. no.
141323, june 8, 2005.

The parcel of land subject of the agreement of lease is the
exclusive property of jocelyn c. Taylor, a filipino citizen, in the light of
cheesman vs. Iac, g.r. no. 74833, january 21, 1991.

The courts a quo erroneously applied article 96 of the family
code of the philippines which is a provision referring to the absolute
community of property. The property regime governing the property
relations of benjamin taylor and joselyn taylor is the conjugal
partnership of gains because they were married on 30 june 1988
which is prior to the effectivity of the family code. Article 96 of the
family code of the philippines finds no application in this case.

The honorable court of appeals ignored the presumption of
regularity in the execution of notarial documents.


The honorable court of appeals failed to pass upon the
counterclaim of petitioner despite the fact that it was not contested
and despite the presentation of evidence establishing said claim.



48

Held:

We find and so hold that Benjamin has no right to nullify the
Agreement of Lease between Joselyn and petitioner. Benjamin,
being an alien, is absolutely prohibited from acquiring private and
public lands in the Philippines. Considering that Joselyn appeared to
be the designated vendee in the Deed of Sale of said property, she
acquired sole ownership thereto. This is true even if we sustain
Benjamins claim that he provided the funds for such acquisition. By
entering into such contract knowing that it was illegal, no implied
trust was created in his favor; no reimbursement for his expenses
can be allowed; and no declaration can be made that the subject
property was part of the conjugal/community property of the
spouses. In any event, he had and has no capacity or personality to
question the subsequent lease of the Boracay property by his wife on
the theory that in so doing, he was merely exercising the prerogative
of a husband in respect of conjugal property. To sustain such a
theory would countenance indirect controversion of the constitutional
prohibition. If the property were to be declared conjugal, this would
accord the alien husband a substantial interest and right over the
land, as he would then have a decisive vote as to its transfer or
disposition. This is a right that the Constitution does not permit him
to have.

Claiming that the Agreement was null and void since it was entered
into by Joselyn without his (Benjamins) consent, Benjamin instituted
an action for Declaration of Nullity of Agreement of Lease with
Damages against Joselyn and the petitioner. Benjamin claimed that
his funds were used in the acquisition and improvement of the
Boracay property, and coupled with the fact that he was Joselyns
husband, any transaction involving said property required his
consent.

In fine, the Agreement of Lease entered into between Joselyn and
petitioner cannot be nullified on the grounds advanced by Benjamin.
Thus, we uphold its validity.

With the foregoing disquisition, we find it unnecessary to address the
other issues raised by the petitioner.

Borromeo v. Descallar
GR # 159310, Feb. 24, 2009
580 SCRA 175

Facts:

Wilhelm Jambrich, an Austrian, was assigned by his employer to
work here in the Philippines where he met respondent Antonietta
Descallar, a separated mother of two boys, with whom he had a live-
in relationship with. During the course of their relationship, a Deed of
Absolute Sale was issued in their favor by Agro-Macro Subdivision
respecting a house and lot where they transferred and lived together.
When the deed was presented before the Registry of Deeds for
registration, a Transfer Certificate of Title was issued only in the
name of respondent and the registration was refused on the part of
Jambrich on the ground that he was an alien and could not acquire
alienable lands of the public domain. Consequently, Jambrichs
name was erased from the deed of sale. In the meantime, Jambrich
adopted the sons of respondent. However, not long after, the couple
broke up and lived separately without settlement of their properties.
While still in the Philippines, Jambrich met petitioner Camilo
Borromeo with whom he was indebted in the amount of P150,000
relative to the purchases he made from the latter which he was not
able to pay. Believing that his interest in his property with the Agro-
Macro Subdivision still exist, he sold the same by way of Deed of
Absolute Sale/Assignment to petitioner. When petitioner was about
to register the deed, he discovered, however, that the property was
already transferred in the name of respondent and had already been
mortgaged. Petitioner then filed a complaint for recovery of the real
property. Petitioner alleged that the Deed of Absolute Sale over the
properties which identified both Jambrich and respondent as buyers
do not reflect the true agreement of the parties since respondent did
not pay a single centavo of the purchase price and was not in fact a
buyer; that it was Jambrich alone who paid for the properties using
his exclusive funds; that Jambrich was the real and absolute owner
of the properties; and, that petitioner acquired absolute ownership by
virtue of the Deed of Absolute Sale/Assignment which Jambrich
executed in his favor.

49

In her Answer, respondent belied the allegation that she did not pay
a single centavo of the purchase price. On the contrary, she claimed
that she "solely and exclusively used her own personal funds to
defray and pay for the purchase price of the subject lots in question,"
and that Jambrich, being an alien, was prohibited to acquire or own
real property in the Philippines.
The RTC rendered a decision in favor of petitioner. The decision was
however reversed by CA on appeal.

ISSUE:

WON the petitioner as the successor-in-interest of Jambrich, who is
a resident alien, has validly obtained the right over the subject
property without violating the prohibition under the Constitution.

HELD:

YES.

As the rule now stands, the fundamental law explicitly prohibits non-
Filipinos from acquiring or holding title to private lands, except only
by way of legal succession or if the acquisition was made by a
former natural-born citizen.29

Therefore, in the instant case, the transfer of land from Agro-Macro
Development Corporation to Jambrich, who is an Austrian, would
have been declared invalid if challenged, had not Jambrich conveyed
the properties to petitioner who is a Filipino citizen. In United Church
Board for World Ministries v. Sebastian,30 the Court reiterated the
consistent ruling in a number of cases31 that if land is invalidly
transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a Filipino citizen
or transfers it to a Filipino, the flaw in the original transaction is
considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid.
Applying United Church Board for World Ministries, the trial court
ruled in favor of petitioner, viz.:

[W]hile the acquisition and the purchase of (sic) Wilhelm Jambrich of
the properties under litigation [were] void ab initio since [they were]
contrary to the Constitution of the Philippines, he being a foreigner,
yet, the acquisition of these properties by plaintiff who is a Filipino
citizen from him, has cured the flaw in the original transaction and
the title of the transferee is valid.

The rationale behind the Courts ruling in United Church Board for
World Ministries, as reiterated in subsequent cases,32 is this since
the ban on aliens is intended to preserve the nations land for future
generations of Filipinos, that aim is achieved by making lawful the
acquisition of real estate by aliens who became Filipino citizens by
naturalization or those transfers made by aliens to Filipino citizens.
As the property in dispute is already in the hands of a qualified
person, a Filipino citizen, there would be no more public policy to be
protected. The objective of the constitutional provision to keep our
lands in Filipino hands has been achieved.


Villegas v. Lingan
GR# 153839 / JUNE 29, 2007
526 SCRA 63
Accurate ruling?

FACTS:

Isaac Villegas was the registered owner of a parcel of land in
Tuguegarao, Cagayan. In order to secure the payment of a loan from
the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Isaac constituted a
real estate mortgage over the said parcel of land in favor of DBP.
The said loan and mortgage was subsequently transferred by the
DBP to the Home Mutual Development Fund (HMDF).When the
Isaac failed to settle his loan, the real estate mortgage he constituted
over the property was foreclosed, the property was sold at public
auction and, as the HMDF was itself the highest bidder at such
public auction, a certificate of sheriffs sale was issued and,
thereafter, registered with the Register of Deeds on March 8, 1996.

By virtue of a power of attorney executed by Villegas wife, Marilou
C. Villegas in favor of Gloria Roa Catral, the latter redeemed the
property from the HMDF.

On May 17, 1996, Gloria R. Catral (Catral), by virtue of the same
power of attorney, executed a Deed of Sale in favor of respondent.
50


Isaac claims that the power of attorney executed in favor of Catral,
his mother-in-law, created a principal-agent relationship only
between his wife, Marilou Catral-Villegas (Marilou) as principal, and
Catral, as agent, and then only for the latter to administer the
properties of the former; that he never authorized Catral to
administer his properties, particularly, herein subject property; and
that Catral had no authority to execute the Deed of Absolute Sale in
favor of the respondent, since from the very wordings of the power of
attorney, she had no special authority to sell or convey any specific
real property.

On December 19, 1996, the RTC dismissed the Complaint and on
appeal, CA affirmed in toto the RTC Judgment. Hence, this petition
for review.

ISSUES:

(1) WON the wife of the petitioner Isaac, as successor-in-
interest, may validly redeem the property in question
(2) WON the petitioner husband Isaac has a cause of action
against his respondent wife Marilou

HELD:

1. YES.
Section 6 of Act No. 3135 provides that in all cases in which an
extrajudicial sale is made under the special power hereinbefore
referred to, the debtor, his successors-in-interest or any judicial
creditor or judgment creditor of said debtor, or any person having a
lien on the property subsequent to the mortgage or deed of trust
under which the property is sold, may redeem the same at any time
within the term of one year from and after the date of sale; and such
redemption shall be governed by the provisions of section 464 to
466, inclusive, of the Code of Civil Procedure, in so far as these are
not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.

Section 27, Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides
that real property sold as provided in the last preceding section, or
any part thereof sold separately, may be redeemed in the manner
hereinafter provided, by the following persons: xxxx a)The judgment
obligor, or his successor-in-interest in the whole or any part of the
property;

The successor-in-interest of the judgment debtor referred to in the
above provision includes a person who succeeds to his property by
operation of law, or a person with a joint interest in the property, or
his spouse or heirs.

Under the above provision, petitioner could have redeemed the
property from Marilou after she had redeemed it. The pleadings filed
and the records of this case do not show that petitioner exercised
said right. Consequently, as correctly held by the CA, Marilou
acquired ownership of the subject property. All rights and title of the
judgment obligor are transferred upon the expiration of the right of
redemption. And where the redemption is made under a property
regime governed by the conjugal partnership of gains, Article 109 of
the Family Code provides that property acquired by right of
redemption is the exclusive property of the spouses redeeming the
property.

2. NO.
A cause of action is an act or omission of the defendant in violation
of the legal right of the plaintiff.

A complaint states a cause of action when it contains three essential
elements:(1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and
under whatever law it arises; (2) an obligation of the defendant to
respect such right; and (3) the act or omission of the defendant
violates the right of the plaintiff.

In the present case, there is no property right that exists in favor of
the petitioner, and, with more reason, no such obligation arises in
behalf of the defendant, herein respondent, to respect such
right.There was no violation of a legal right of the petitioner.

It must be stressed that there is no allegation or proof that Marilou
redeemed the property in behalf of the petitioner. Marilou did not act
as agent of the petitioner. Rather, she exercised the right of
redemption in her own right as successor-in-interest of the petitioner.
51

Under the circumstances, should there be any right violated, the
aggrieved party is Marilou, petitioners wife. The property in question
was the exclusive property of Marilou by virtue of her redemption.
Thus, petitioner has no valid cause of action against the respondent.

Divested of all interest over the property, the petitioner has ceased to
be the proper party who may challenge the validity of the sale.
Moreover, since, as a rule, the agency, as a contract, is binding only
between the contracting parties, then only the parties, as well as the
third person who transacts with the parties themselves, may question
the validity of the agency or the violation of the terms and conditions
found therein. This rule is a corollary of the foregoing doctrine on the
rights of real parties in interest. xxxxx Petition is denied.


Section 3. Conjugal Partnership Property (Articles 116-120);
Article 160 NCC

Pisuea vs. Heirs of Petra Unating
GR# 132803 / AUG 31, 1999
313 SCRA 384

Facts:

Salvador Upod and Dolores Bautista are the heirs of Petra Unating
and Aquilino Villar. They claimed that the land in dispute known as
Lot 1201 was registered in the name of Petra Unating married to
Aquilino Villar. However, sometime in 1950, after the death of Petra
Unating, Aquilino Villar entered into an oral partnership agreement
for ten years with Agustin Navarra involving the swampy portion of
the lot in question consisting of around four hectares which was
converted into a fishpond with the investment capital of Agustin
Navarra and the net income shall be divided equally between
Aquilino Villar and his children Felix Villar and Catalina Villar on one
hand, and Agustin Navarra on the other hand.

In 1958 when Agustin Navarra died, the heirs of Petra Unating
repossessed the land in question until the defendant Jessie Pisuea,
son-in-law of Agustin Navarra, disturbed their possession sometime
in 1974. And finally, sometime in 1982, the defendant, with the
company of several men, including policemen, forcibly took physical
possession of the said land from the heirs of Petra Unating. Thus,
they filed the instant action for recovery of possession and ownership
of a parcel of land against Jessie Pisuea.

On the other hand, defendant countered that the whole land in
dispute was sold by Felix Villar and Catalina Villar to Agustin
Navarra, as evidenced by Escritura de Venta Absoluta. And he and
his wife purchased the said land from the heirs of Agustin Navarra.

After trial, the court a quo ruled that since the disputed lot was the
conjugal property of Spouses Petra Unating and Aquilino Villar, its
purported sale by Felix and Catalina Villar, to Agustin Navarra could
be considered as valid. However, this validity pertained only to the
share of the late Petra Unating considering that at the time of the
sale, Aquilino Villar was still alive. The Court of Appeals affirmed in
toto the said decision.

Issue:

W/N the lot in dispute is paraphernal property of Petra Unating hence
would be covered by the CPG.

Held:

The Court ruled that the lot in dispute can properly be considered as
a paraphernal property of Petra Unating. Concededly, properties
acquired during the marriage are presumed to be conjugal. However,
this prima facie presumption cannot prevail over the cadastral courts
specific finding, reached in adversarial proceedings, that the lot was
inherited by Petra Unating from her mother.

Consequently, by virtue of the Deed of Sale they executed, Felix and
Catalina effectively transferred to Agustin Navarra on February 4,
1949, their title over their two-thirds share in the disputed lot.
However, they could not have disposed of their fathers share in the
same property at the time, as they were not yet owners. At the most,
being the only children, they had an inchoate interest in their fathers
share. When Aquilino Villar died in 1953 without disposing of his
one-third share in the disputed property, Felix and Catalinas
52

inchoate interest in it was actualized, because succession vested in
them the title to their fathers share and, consequently, to the entire
lot. Thus, that title passed to Agustin Navarra, pursuant to Article
1434 of the present Civil Code, which was already in force at the
time of Aquilinos death in 1953.


Ching vs. CA
GR# 124642 / FEB. 23, 2004
423 SCRA 356

FACTS:
This petition for review, under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court,
assails the Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated November
27, 1995, as well as the Resolution on April 2, 1996 denying the
petitioners motion for reconsideration. The impugned decision
granted the private respondents petition for certiorari and set aside
the Orders of the trial court dated December 15, 1993 and February
17, 1994 nullifying the attachment of 100,000 shares of stocks of the
Citycorp Investment Philippines under the name of petitioner Alfredo
Ching.

Philippine Blooming Mills Company, Inc. (PBMCI) obtained a loan
ofP9,000,000.00 from the Allied Banking Corporation (ABC). By
virtue of this loan, the PBMCI, through its Executive Vice-President
Alfredo Ching, executed a promissory note for the said amount
promising to pay on December 22, 1978 at an interest rate of 14%
per annum. As added security for the said loan, on September 28,
1978, Alfredo Ching, together with Emilio Taedo and Chung Kiat
Hua, executed a continuing guaranty with the ABC binding
themselves to jointly and severally guarantee the payment of all the
PBMCI obligations owing the ABC to the extent of P38,000,000.00.

On December 28, 1979, the ABC extended another loan to the
PBMCI in the amount ofP13,000,000.00 payable in eighteen months
at 16% interest per annum. As in the previous loan, the PBMCI,
through Alfredo Ching, executed a promissory note to evidence the
loan maturing on June 29, 1981.

PBMCI defaulted in the payment of all its loans, hence ABC filed a
complaint for sum of money with prayer for a writ of preliminary
attachment against the PBMCI to collect the P12,612,972.88
exclusive of interests, penalties and other bank charges. Impleaded
as co-defendants in the complaint were Alfredo Ching, Emilio
Taedo and Chung Kiat Hua in their capacity as sureties of the
PBMCI.

ISSUE:
1. Whether the petitioner-wife has the right to file the motion to
quash the levy on attachment on the 100,000 shares of stocks in the
Citycorp Investment Philippines;
2. Whether or not the RTC committed a grave abuse of its
discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the
assailed orders.

HELD:
On the first issue, we agree with the petitioners that the petitioner-
wife had the right to file the said motion, although she was not a
party in Civil Case.
In this case, the petitioner-wife filed her motion to set aside the levy
on attachment of the 100,000 shares of stocks in the name of
petitioner-husband claiming that the said shares of stocks were
conjugal in nature; hence, not liable for the account of her husband
under his continuing guaranty and suretyship agreement with the
PBMCI. The petitioner-wife had the right to file the motion for said
relief.
Article 160 of the New Civil Code provides that all the properties
acquired during the marriage are presumed to belong to the conjugal
partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the
husband, or to the wife. The presumption of the conjugal nature of
the properties acquired during the marriage subsists in the absence
of clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence to overcome the same.
In this case, the evidence adduced by the petitioners in the RTC is
that the 100,000 shares of stocks in the Citycorp Investment
Philippines were issued to and registered in its corporate books in
the name of the petitioner-husband when the said corporation was
incorporated on May 14, 1979. This was done during the
subsistence of the marriage of the petitioner-spouses. The shares of
stocks are, thus, presumed to be the conjugal partnership property of
53

the petitioners. The private respondent failed to adduce evidence
that the petitioner-husband acquired the stocks with his exclusive
money. The barefaced fact that the shares of stocks were registered
in the corporate books of Citycorp Investment Philippines solely in
the name of the petitioner-husband does not constitute proof that the
petitioner-husband, not the conjugal partnership, owned the same.
The ruling of this Court in Wong v. Intermediate Appellate Court
buttresses the case for the petitioners. In that case, we ruled that he
who claims that property acquired by the spouses during their
marriage is not conjugal partnership property but belongs to one of
them as his personal property is burdened to prove the source of the
money utilized to purchase the same. In this case, the private
respondent claimed that the petitioner-husband acquired the shares
of stocks from the Citycorp Investment Philippines in his own name
as the owner thereof. It was, thus, the burden of the private
respondent to prove that the source of the money utilized in the
acquisition of the shares of stocks was that of the petitioner-husband
alone. As held by the trial court, the private respondent failed to
adduce evidence to prove this assertion.
For the conjugal partnership to be liable for a liability that should
appertain to the husband alone, there must be a showing that some
advantages accrued to the spouses. Certainly, to make a conjugal
partnership responsible for a liability that should appertain alone to
one of the spouses is to frustrate the objective of the New Civil Code
to show the utmost concern for the solidarity and well being of the
family as a unit. The husband, therefore, is denied the power to
assume unnecessary and unwarranted risks to the financial stability
of the conjugal partnership.
In this case, the private respondent failed to prove that the conjugal
partnership of the petitioners was benefited by the petitioner-
husbands act of executing a continuing guaranty and suretyship
agreement with the private respondent for and in behalf of PBMCI.
The contract of loan was between the private respondent and the
PBMCI, solely for the benefit of the latter. No presumption can be
inferred from the fact that when the petitioner-husband entered into
an accommodation agreement or a contract of surety, the conjugal
partnership would thereby be benefited. The private respondent was
burdened to establish that such benefit redounded to the conjugal
partnership.
It could be argued that the petitioner-husband was a member of the
Board of Directors of PBMCI and was one of its top twenty
stockholders, and that the shares of stocks of the petitioner-husband
and his family would appreciate if the PBMCI could be rehabilitated
through the loans obtained; that the petitioner-husbands career
would be enhanced should PBMCI survive because of the infusion of
fresh capital. However, these are not the benefits contemplated by
Article 161 of the New Civil Code. The benefits must be those
directly resulting from the loan. They cannot merely be a by-product
or a spin-off of the loan itself. In this case, the petitioner-husband
acted merely as a surety for the loan contracted by the PBMCI from
the private respondent.

On the second issue, we find and so hold that the CA erred in setting
aside and reversing the orders of the RTC. The private respondent,
the petitioner in the CA, was burdened to prove that the RTC
committed a grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or
lack of jurisdiction. The tribunal acts without jurisdiction if it does not
have the legal purpose to determine the case; there is excess of
jurisdiction where the tribunal, being clothed with the power to
determine the case, oversteps its authority as determined by law.
There is grave abuse of discretion where the tribunal acts in a
capricious, whimsical, arbitrary or despotic manner in the exercise of
its judgment and is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.
It was incumbent upon the private respondent to adduce a
sufficiently strong demonstration that the RTC acted whimsically in
total disregard of evidence material to, and even decide of, the
controversy before certiorari will lie. A special civil action for
certiorari is a remedy designed for the correction of errors of
jurisdiction and not errors of judgment. When a court exercises its
jurisdiction, an error committed while so engaged does not deprive it
of its jurisdiction being exercised when the error is committed.
After a comprehensive review of the records of the RTC and of the
CA, we find and so hold that the RTC did not commit any grave
abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in
issuing the assailed orders.

IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is GRANTED.
The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are SET ASIDE
AND REVERSED. The assailed orders of the RTC are AFFIRMED.
54

Ferrer v. Ferrer
GR# 166496 / NOV. 29, 2006
508 SCRA 570

Facts:

Petitioner id the widow of Alfredo Ferrer, a half- brother of
Respondents. She filed a Complaint for payment of conjugal
improvements, sum of money, and accounting with prayer for
injunction and damages. She alleged that before her marriage to
Alfredo, the latter acquired a piece of lot, covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 67927. He applied for a loan with the
SSS to build improvements thereon, including a residential house
and a two-door apartment building. However, it was during their
marriage that payment of the loan was made using the couples
conjugal funds. From their conjugal funds, petitioner posited, they
constructed a warehouse on the lot. Moreover, petitioner averred
that respondent Manuel occupied one door of the apartment building,
as well as the warehouse; however, in September 1991, he stopped
paying rentals thereon, alleging that he had acquired ownership over
the property by virtue of a Deed of Sale executed by Alfredo in favor
of respondents, Manuel and Ismael and their spouses. TCT No.
67927 was cancelled, and TCT. No. 2728 was issued and registered
in the names of respondents.

According to petitioner, that when Alfredo died on 29 September
1999, or at the time of the liquidation of the conjugal partnership, she
had the right to be reimbursed for the cost of the improvements on
Alfredos lot. She alleged that the cost of the improvements
amounted to P500,000.00; hence, one-half thereof should be
reimbursed and paid by respondents as they are now the registered
owners of Alfredos lot.

Issue:

Whether or not Petitioner has the right to be reimbursed for the cost
of improvements under Article 120 of the Family Code?

Held:

No. Petitioner was not able to show that there is an obligation on the
part of the respondents to respect or not to violate her right. The
right of the spouse as contemplated in Article 120 of the Family Code
to be reimbursed for the cost of the improvements, the obligation to
reimburse rests on the spouse upon whom ownership of the entire
property is vested. There is no obligation on the part of the
purchaser of the property, in case the property is sold by the owner-
spouse.

Indeed, Article 120 provides the solution in determining the
ownership of the improvements that are made on the separate
property of the spouses at the expense of the partnership or through
the acts or efforts of either or both spouses. Thus, when the cost of
the improvement and any resulting increase in value are more than
the value of the property at the time of the improvement, the entire
property of one of the spouses shall belong to the conjugal
partnership, subject to reimbursement of the value of the property of
the owner-spouse at the time of the improvement; otherwise, said
property shall be retained in ownership by the owner-spouse,
likewise subject to reimbursement of the cost of the improvement.
The subject property was precisely declared as the exclusive
property of Alfredo on the basis of Article 120 of the Family Code.

What is incontrovertible is that the respondents, despite the
allegations contained in the Complaint that they are the buyers of the
subject premises, are not petitioners spouse nor can they ever be
deemed as the owner-spouse upon whom the obligation to
reimburse petitioner for her costs rested. It is the owner-spouse who
has the obligation to reimburse the conjugal partnership or the
spouse who expended the acts or efforts, as the case may be.
Otherwise stated, respondents do not have the obligation to respect
petitioners right to be reimbursed.








55

MBTC v. Pascual
GR# 163744 / FEB. 29, 2008
547 SCRA 246

Facts:

Respondent Nicholson Pascual and Florencia Nevalga were married
on January 19, 1985. During the union, Florencia bought from
spouses Clarito and Belen Sering a 250-square meter lot with a
three-door apartment standing thereon located in Makati City. The
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) covering the purchased lot (Lot no.
156283) was issued in the name of Florencia married to Nelson
Pascual a.k.a. Nicholson Pascual.

In 1994, Florencia filed a suit for the declaration of nullity of marriage
under Article 36 FC, w/c was granted by the Quezon City RTC in
1995. In the same decision, the RTC, inter alia, ordered the
dissolution and liquidation of the ex-spouses conjugal partnership of
gains, w/c the latter failed.

On April 30, 1997, Florencia, together with spouses Norberto and
Elvira Oliveros, obtained a P58 million loan from petitioner
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank). To secure the
obligation, Florencia and the spouses Oliveros executed several real
estate mortgages (REMs) on their properties, including one lot no.
156283. Due to the failure of Florencia and the sps Oliveros to pay
their loan obligation, MBTC foreclosed the property.
Nicholson filed on June 28, 2000, before the Makati RTC a
Complaint to declare the nullity of the mortgage of the disputed
property, alleging that the property, which is still conjugal property,
was mortgaged without his consent.

MBTC alleged that the disputed lot, being registered in Florencias
name, was paraphernal. Florencia was declared in default. The RTC
rendered judgment finding for Nicholson. The CA affirmed the RTC
but deleted the award moral damages and attorneys fees.

Issue: Whether or not the subject property is conjugal partnership
property under Article 116 of the Family Code.

Held:

The court ruled in favor of Nicholson. The disputed property is
conjugal.

While Metrobank is correct in saying that Art. 160 of the Civil Code,
not Art. 116 of the Family Code, is the applicable legal provision
since the property was acquired prior to the enactment of the Family
Code, it errs in its theory that, before conjugal ownership could be
legally presumed, there must be a showing that the property was
acquired during marriage using conjugal funds. Art. 160 of the New
Civil Code provides that all property of the marriage is presumed to
be conjugal partnership, unless it be prove[n] that it pertains
exclusively to the husband or to the wife. This article does not
require proof that the property was acquired with funds of the
partnership. The presumption applies even when the manner in
which the property was acquired does not appear.

As Nicholson aptly points out, if proof obtains on the acquisition of
the property during the existence of the marriage, then the
presumption of conjugal ownership applies. Proof of acquisition
during the marital coverture is a condition sine qua non for the
operation of the presumption in favor of conjugal ownership. When
there is no showing as to when the property was acquired by the
spouse, the fact that a title is in the name of the spouse is an
indication that the property belongs exclusively to said spouse.


Muoz v. Ramirez
GR # 156125/Aug 25, 2010
629 SCRA 38
FACTS:

Subject of the present case is a seventy-seven (77)-square meter
residential house and lot located at 170 A. Bonifacio Street,
Mandaluyong City (subject property), covered by Transfer Certificate
of Title (TCT) No. 7650 of the Registry of Deeds of Mandaluyong
City in the name of the petitioner. The residential lot in the subject
property was previously covered by TCT No. 1427, in the name of
Erlinda Ramirez, married to Eliseo Carlos (respondents). On April 6,
56

1989, Eliseo, a Bureau of Internal Revenue employee, mortgaged
TCT No. 1427, with Erlindas consent, to the Government Service
Insurance System (GSIS) to secure a P136,500.00 housing loan,
payable within twenty (20) years, through monthly salary deductions
of P1,687.66. The respondents then constructed a thirty-six (36)-
square meter, two-story residential house on the lot.

On July 14, 1993, the title to the subject property was transferred to
the petitioner by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale, dated April 30,
1992, executed by Erlinda, for herself and as attorney-in-fact of
Eliseo, for a stated consideration of P602,000.00. On September 24,
1993, the respondents filed a complaint with the RTC for the
nullification of the deed of absolute sale, claiming that there was no
sale but only a mortgage transaction, and the documents transferring
the title to the petitioners name were falsified.

The respondents alleged that in April 1992, the petitioner granted
them a P600,000.00 loan, to be secured by a first mortgage on TCT
No. 1427; the petitioner gave Erlinda a P200,000.00 advance to
cancel the GSIS mortgage, and made her sign a document
purporting to be the mortgage contract; the petitioner promised to
give the P402,000.00 balance when Erlinda surrenders TCT No.
1427 with the GSIS mortgage cancelled, and submits an affidavit
signed by Eliseo stating that he waives all his rights to the subject
property; with the P200,000.00 advance, Erlinda paid GSIS
P176,445.27 to cancel the GSIS mortgage on TCT No. 1427; in May
1992, Erlinda surrendered to the petitioner the clean TCT No. 1427,
but returned Eliseos affidavit, unsigned; since Eliseos affidavit was
unsigned, the petitioner refused to give the P402,000.00 balance and
to cancel the mortgage, and demanded that Erlinda return the
P200,000.00 advance; since Erlinda could not return the
P200,000.00 advance because it had been used to pay the GSIS
loan, the petitioner kept the title; and in 1993, they discovered that
TCT No. 7650 had been issued in the petitioners name, cancelling
TCT No.1427 in their name.

The petitioner countered that there was a valid contract of sale. He
alleged that the respondents sold the subject property to him after he
refused their offer to mortgage the subject property because they
lacked paying capacity and were unwilling to pay the incidental
charges; the sale was with the implied promise to repurchase within
one year, during which period (from May 1, 1992 to April 30, 1993),
the respondents would lease the subject property for a monthly
rental of P500.00; when the respondents failed to repurchase the
subject property within the one-year period despite notice, he caused
the transfer of title in his name on July 14, 1993.

In a Decision dated January 23, 1997, the RTC dismissed the
complaint. It found that the subject property was Erlindas exclusive
paraphernal property that was inherited from her father.

The CA decided the appeal on June 25, 2002. Applying the second
paragraph of Article 158 of the Civil Code and Calimlim-Canullas v.
Hon. Fortun, the CA held that the subject property, originally
Erlindas exclusive paraphernal property, became conjugal property
when it was used as collateral for a housing loan that was paid
through conjugal funds Eliseos monthly salary deductions; the
subject property, therefore, cannot be validly sold or mortgaged
without Eliseos consent, pursuant to Article 124 of the Family Code.
Thus, the CA declared void the deed of absolute sale, and set aside
the RTC decision.

ISSUE:

Whether the subject property is paraphernal or conjugal.

HELD:

As a general rule, all property acquired during the marriage, whether
the acquisition appears to have been made, contracted or registered
in the name of one or both spouses, is presumed to be conjugal
unless the contrary is proved.

In the present case, clear evidence that Erlinda inherited the
residential lot from her father has sufficiently rebutted this
presumption of conjugal ownership. Pursuant to Articles 92 and 109
of the Family Code, properties acquired by gratuitous title by either
spouse, during the marriage, shall be excluded from the community
property and be the exclusive property of each spouse. The
residential lot, therefore, is Erlindas exclusive paraphernal property.
57


The court held that they cannot subscribe to the CAs misplaced
reliance on Article 158 of the Civil Code and Calimlim-Canullas.

As the respondents were married during the effectivity of the Civil
Code, its provisions on conjugal partnership of gains (Articles 142 to
189) should have governed their property relations. However, with
the enactment of the Family Code on August 3, 1989, the Civil Code
provisions on conjugal partnership of gains, including Article 158,
have been superseded by those found in the Family Code (Articles
105 to 133). Article 105 of the Family Code states:
x x x x

The provisions of this Chapter [on the Conjugal Partnership of Gains]
shall also apply to conjugal partnerships of gains already established
between spouses before the effectivity of this Code, without
prejudice to vested rights already acquired in accordance with the
Civil Code or other laws, as provided in Article 256. Thus, in
determining the nature of the subject property, we refer to the
provisions of the Family Code, and not the Civil Code, except with
respect to rights then already vested.

Article 120 of the Family Code, which supersedes Article 158 of the
Civil Code, provides the solution in determining the ownership of the
improvements that are made on the separate property of the
spouses, at the expense of the partnership or through the acts or
efforts of either or both spouses. Under this provision, when the cost
of the improvement and any resulting increase in value are more
than the value of the property at the time of the improvement, the
entire property of one of the spouses shall belong to the conjugal
partnership, subject to reimbursement of the value of the property of
the owner-spouse at the time of the improvement; otherwise, said
property shall be retained in ownership by the owner-spouse,
likewise subject to reimbursement of the cost of the improvement.

In the present case, we find that Eliseo paid a portion only of the
GSIS loan through monthly salary deductions. From April 6, 1989 to
April 30, 1992, Eliseo paid about P60,755.76, not the entire amount
of the GSIS housing loan plus interest, since the petitioner advanced
the P176,445.27 paid by Erlinda to cancel the mortgage in 1992.
Considering the P136,500.00 amount of the GSIS housing loan, it is
fairly reasonable to assume that the value of the residential lot is
considerably more than the P60,755.76 amount paid by Eliseo
through monthly salary deductions.

Thus, the subject property remained the exclusive paraphernal
property of Erlinda at the time she contracted with the petitioner; the
written consent of Eliseo to the transaction was not necessary. The
NBI finding that Eliseos signatures in the special power of attorney
and affidavit were forgeries was immaterial.


Imami v. MBTC
GR # 187023/Nov. 17, 2010
635 SCRA 357

Facts:

On August 28, 1981, Evangeline D. Imani (petitioner) signed a
Continuing Suretyship Agreement in favor of respondent Metrobank,
with Cesar P. Dazo, Nieves Dazo, Benedicto C. Dazo, Cynthia C.
Dazo, Doroteo Fundales, Jr., and Nicolas Ponce as her co-sureties.
As sureties, they bound themselves to pay Metrobank whatever
indebtedness C.P. Dazo Tannery, Inc. (CPDTI) incurs, but not
exceeding Six Million Pesos (P6,000,000.00). Later, CPDTI obtained
loans of P100,000.00 and P63,825.45, respectively. The loans were
evidenced by promissory notes signed by Cesar and Nieves Dazo.
CPDTI defaulted in the payment of its loans. Metrobank made
several demands for payment upon CPDTI, but to no avail. This
prompted Metrobank to file a collection suit against CPDTI and its
sureties, including herein petitioner. RTC ruled in favor of Metrobank.
Metrobank then filed with the RTC a motion for execution, which was
granted on December 7, 1999. A writ of execution was issued
against CPDTI and its co-defendants. The sheriff levied on a
property covering a lot registered in the name of petitioner. Petitioner
argued that the subject property belongs to the conjugal partnership;
as such, it cannot be held answerable for the liabilities incurred by
CPDTI to Metrobank. Neither can it be subject of levy on execution
or public auction. Hence, petitioner prayed for the nullification of the
58

levy on execution and the auction sale, as well as the certificate of
sale in favor of Metrobank.

Issue:

WON or not the property in question is conjugal.

Ruling:

All property of the marriage is presumed to be conjugal. However, for
this presumption to apply, the party who invokes it must first prove
that the property was acquired during the marriage. Proof of
acquisition during the coverture is a condition sine qua non to the
operation of the presumption in favor of the conjugal partnership.
Thus, the time when the property was acquired is material. Similarly,
the certificate of title could not support petitioners assertion. As aptly
ruled by the CA, the fact that the land was registered in the name of
Evangelina Dazo-Imani married to Sina Imani is no proof that the
property was acquired during the spouses coverture. Acquisition of
title and registration thereof are two different acts. It is well settled
that registration does not confer title but merely confirms one already
existing.


Section 4. Charges Upon & Obligations of the Conjugal
Partnership (Articles 121-123)


Ayala Invest & Dev't. Corp. vs. CA
GR# 118305 / FEB. 12, 1998
286 SCRA 272
Facts:

Philippine Blooming Mills (PBM) obtained a loan from Ayala
Investment and Development Corporation (AIDC). As added security
for the credit line extended to PBM, Alfredo Ching, EVP of PBM,
executed security agreements making himself jointly and severally
answerable with PBM's indebtedness to AIDC.

PBM failed to pay the loan. Thus, AIDC filed a case for sum of
money against PBM and Alfredo Ching. After trial, the court rendered
judgment ordering PBM and Alfredo Ching to jointly and severally
pay AIDC the principal amount of P50,300,000.00 with interests.
Pending appeal and upon motion of AIDC, the lower court issued a
writ of execution and the Deputy Sheriff caused the issuance and
service upon spouses Ching of a notice of sheriff sale on three (3) of
their conjugal properties. Spouses Ching filed a case of injunction to
enjoin the auction sale alleging that the judgment cannot be enforced
against the conjugal partnership levied on the ground that, among
others, the subject loan did not redound to the benefit of the said
conjugal partnership.

Both the RTC and the CA ruled that the conjugal partnership of gains
of spouses Ching is not liable for the payment of the debts secured
by the husband Alfredo Ching.


Issue:

Whether the conjugal partnership should not be made liable for the
surety agreement entered into by the husband in favor of his
employer.

Held:

Yes.If the husband himself is the principal obligor in the contract, i.e.,
he directly received the money and services to be used in or for his
own business or his own profession, that contract falls within the
term ". . . obligations for the benefit of the conjugal partnership."
Here, no actual benefit may be proved. It is enough that the benefit
to the family is apparent at the time of the signing of the contract.
From the very nature of the contract of loan or services, the family
stands to benefit from the loan facility or services to be rendered to
the business or profession of the husband.

On the other hand, if the money or services are given to another
person or entity, and the husband acted only as a surety or
guarantor, that contract cannot, by itself, alone be categorized as
falling within the context of "obligations for the benefit of the conjugal
59

partnership." The contract of loan or services is clearly for the benefit
of the principal debtor and not for the surety or his family. No
presumption can be inferred that, when a husband enters into a
contract of surety or accommodation agreement, it is "for the benefit
of the conjugal partnership." Proof must be presented to establish
benefit redounding to the conjugal partnership.

Article 121, paragraph 3, of the Family Code is emphatic that the
payment of personal debts contracted by the husband or the wife
before or during the marriage shall not be charged to the conjugal
partnership except to the extent that they redounded to the benefit of
the family. Here, the property in dispute also involves the family
home. The loan is a corporate loan not a personal one. Signing as a
surety is certainly not an exercise of an industry or profession nor an
act of administration for the benefit of the family.


Carlos vs. Abelardo
GR# 146504 / ARP. 09, 2002
380 SCRA 361

Facts:

Petitioner averred in his complaint filed on October 13, 1994 that in
October 1989, respondent and his wife Maria Theresa Carlos-
Abelardo approached him and requested him to advance the amount
of US$25,000.00 for the purchase of a house and lot located at
#19952 Chestnut Street, Executive Heights Village, Paranaque,
Metro Manila. To enable and assist the spouses conduct their
married life independently and on their own, petitioner, in October
31, 1989, issued a check in the name of a certain Pura Vallejo, seller
of the property, who acknowledged receipt thereof.1 The amount
was in full payment of the property.

When petitioner inquired from the spouses in July 1991 as to the
status of the amount he loaned to them, the latter acknowledged
their obligation but pleaded that they were not yet in a position to
make a definite settlement of the same.2Thereafter, respondent
expressed violent resistance to petitioners inquiries on the amount
to the extent of making various death threats against petitioner.3

On August 24, 1994, petitioner made a formal demand for the
payment of the amount of US$25,000.00 but the spouses failed to
comply with their obligation.4Thus, on October 13, 1994, petitioner
filed a complaint for collection of a sum of money and damages
against respondent and his wife before the Regional Trial Court of
Valenzuela, Branch 172, docketed as Civil Case No. 4490-V-94. In
the complaint, petitioner asked for the payment of the US$25,000.00
or P625,000.00, its equivalent in Philippine currency plus legal
interest from date of extra-judicial demand.5Petitioner likewise
claimed moral and exemplary damages, attorneys fees and costs of
suit from respondent.6

As they were separated in fact for more than a year prior to the filing
of the complaint, respondent and his wife filed separate answers.
Maria Theresa Carlos-Abelardo admitted securing a loan together
with her husband, from petitioner.7She claimed, however, that said
loan was payable on a staggered basis so she was surprised when
petitioner demanded immediate payment of the full amount.8

In his separate Answer, respondent admitted receiving the amount of
US$25,000.00 but claimed that:

a. Defendant (respondent) xxx revived that otherwise dormant
construction firm H.L. CARLOS CONSTRUCTION of herein plaintiff
which suffered tremendous setback after the assassination of
Senator Benigno Aquino;
b. Working day and night and almost beyond human endurance,
defendant devoted all his efforts and skill, used all his business and
personal connection to be able to revive the construction business of
plaintiff;
c. Little-by-little, starting with small construction business, defendant
was able to obtain various construction jobs using the name H.L.
CARLOS CONSTRUCTION and the income derived therefrom were
deposited in the name of such firm of plaintiff,
d. Defendant xxx was made to believe that the earnings derived from
such construction will be for him and his family since he was the one
working to secure the contract and its completion, he was allowed to
use the facilities of the plaintiff;
60

e. The plaintiff seeing the progress brought about by defendant xxx
to his company proposed a profit sharing scheme to the effect that all
projects amounting to more than P10 million shall be for the account
of plaintiff; lower amount shall be for defendants account but still
using H.L. CARLOS CONSTRUCTION.
f. But, to clear account on previous construction contracts that
brought income to H.L.CARLOS CONSTRUCTION, out of which
defendant derived his income, plaintiff gave the amount of
US$25,000.00 to defendant to square off account and to start the
arrangement in paragraph (e) supra;
g. That, the said US$25,000.00 was never intended as loan of
defendant. It was his share of income on contracts obtained by
defendant;

Respondent denied having made death threats to petitioner and by
way of compulsory counterclaim, he asked for moral damages from
petitioner for causing the alienation of his wifes love and affection,
attorneys fees and costs of suit.10

On June 26, 1996, the Regional Trial Court rendered a decision in
favor of petitioner.

Issue:

The court of appeals erred in finding insufficient evidence to
prove that the amount of us$25,000.00 was a loan obtained by
private respondent and his wife from petitioner.

The court of appeals erred in holding that the us$25,000.00
was given as private respondents share in the profits of H.L. Carlos
Construction, Inc. and that the filing of the complaint is a hoax.

The court of appeals erred in nullifying the award of
damages for lack of proof thereof.

Held:

Early in time, it must be noted that payment of personal debts
contracted by the husband or the wife before or during the marriage
shall not be charged to the conjugal partnership except insofar as
they redounded to the benefit of the family. The defendants never
denied that the check of US$25,000.00 was used to purchase the
subject house and lot. They do not deny that the same served as
their conjugal home, thus benefiting the family. On the same
principle, acknowledgment of the loan made by the defendant-wife
binds the conjugal partnership since its proceeds redounded to the
benefit of the family. Hence, defendant-husband and defendant-wife
are jointly and severally liable in the payment of the loan.

Defendant-husband cannot allege as a defense that the amount of
US $25,000.00 was received as his share in the income or profits of
the corporation and not as a loan. Firstly, defendant-husband does
not appear to be a stockholder nor an employee nor an agent of the
corporation, H. L. Carlos Construction, Inc. Since he is not a
stockholder, he has no right to participate in the income or profits
thereof. In the same manner that as he is not an employee nor an
agent of H. L. Carlos Construction, Inc., he has no right to receive
any salary or commission therefrom. Secondly, the amount
advanced for the purchase of the house and lot came from the
personal account of the plaintiff. If, indeed, it was to be construed as
defendant-husbands share in the profits of the corporation, the
checks should come from the corporations account and not from the
plaintiffs personal account, considering that the corporation has a
personality separate and distinct from that of its stockholders and
officers.

Even granting that the checks amount to US $3,000.000.00 given by
the plaintiff to the defendant-spouses was their share in the profits of
the corporation, still there is no sufficient evidence to establish that
the US $25,000.00 is to be treated similarly. Defendant-husband in
invoking the defense of compensation argued that if indeed they
were indebted to the plaintiff, the latter could have applied their share
in the proceeds or income of the corporation to the concurrent
amount of the alleged loan, instead of giving the amount of
P3,000,000.00 to them. This argument is untenable. Article 1278 of
the Civil Code provides that compensation shall take place when two
persons, in their own right, are debtors and creditors of each other.
As its indicates, compensation is a sort of balancing between two
obligations. In the instant case, the plaintiff and the defendant-
husband are not debtors and creditors of each other. Even granting
61

that the defendant-husbands claim to the profits of the corporation is
justified, still compensation cannot extinguish his loan obligation to
the plaintiff because under such assumption, the defendant is
dealing with the corporation and not with the plaintiff in his personal
capacity. Hence, compensation cannot take place.

The Court of Appeals, thus, erred in finding that respondents liability
was not proved by preponderance of evidence. On the contrary, the
evidence adduced by petitioner sufficiently established his claim that
the US$25,000.00 he advanced to respondent and his wife was a
loan.

The loan is the liability of the conjugal partnership pursuant to Article
121 of the Family Code:
Article 121. The conjugal partnership shall be liable for:
xxx
(2) All debts and obligations contracted during the marriage by the
designated administrator-spouse for the benefit of the conjugal
partnership of gains, or by both spouses or by one of them with the
consent of the other;
(3) Debts and obligations contracted by either spouse without the
consent of the other to the extent that the family may have been
benefited;
If the conjugal partnership is insufficient to cover the foregoing
liabilities, the spouses shall be solidarily liable for the unpaid balance
with their separate properties.
Xxx

While respondent did not and refused to sign the acknowledgment
executed and signed by his wife, undoubtedly, the loan redounded to
the benefit of the family because it was used to purchase the house
and lot which became the conjugal home of respondent and his
family. Hence, notwithstanding the alleged lack of consent of
respondent, under Art. 21 of the Family Code, he shall be solidarily
liable for such loan together with his wife.

We also find sufficient basis for the award of damages to petitioner,
contrary to the findings of the Court of Appeals that petitioner is not
entitled thereto.

SBTC v. Mar Tierra Corp
GR# 143382 / NOV. 29, 2006
508 SCRA 419

Facts:

Respondent Mar Tierra Corporation, through its president, Wilfrido C.
Martinez, applied for a P12,000,000 credit accommodation with
petitioner Security Bank and Trust Company (SBTC). Petitioner
approved the application and entered into a credit line agreement
with respondent corporation. It was secured by an indemnity
agreement executed by individual respondents Wilfrido C. Martinez,
Miguel J. Lacson and Ricardo A. Lopa who bound themselves jointly
and severally with respondent corporation for the payment of the
loan. The respondent corporation finally availed of its credit line and
received P9M. Out of that amount, it was able to pay about P4M
while the remaining balance remained outstanding as the corporation
suffered business reversals and eventually ceased operating. To
enforce its claim against the corporation on the remaining balance of
the loan, petitioner filed a complaint for a sum of money with a prayer
for preliminary attachment against respondent corporation and
individual respondents in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati.
The RTC rendered a decision holding respondent corporation and
individual respondent Martinez jointly and severally liable to
petitioner for the remaining balance of the loan including interest and
attorneys fee. It, however, found that the obligation contracted by
individual respondent Martinez did not redound to the benefit of his
family, hence, it ordered the lifting of the attachment on the conjugal
house and lot of the spouses Martinez.

Dissatisfied with the RTC decision, petitioner appealed to the CA but
the appellate court affirmed the trial courts decision in toto.
Petitioner sought reconsideration but it was denied. Hence, this
petition.

ISSUE:

WON the conjugal partnership may be held liable for an indemnity
agreement entered into by the husband to accommodate a third
party?
62

HELD:

NO.

Under Article 161(1) of the Civil Code, 8 the conjugal partnership is
liable for "all debts and obligations contracted by the husband for the
benefit of the conjugal partnership." But when are debts and
obligations contracted by the husband alone considered for the
benefit of and therefore chargeable against the conjugal partnership?
Is a surety agreement or an accommodation contract entered into by
the husband in favor of his employer within the contemplation of the
said provision?
We ruled as early as 1969 in Luzon Surety Co., Inc. v. de Garcia 9
that, in acting as a guarantor or surety for another, the husband does
not act for the benefit of the conjugal partnership as the benefit is
clearly intended for a third party.

In Ayala Investment and Development Corporation v. Court of
Appeals, 10 we ruled that, if the husband himself is the principal
obligor in the contract, i.e., the direct recipient of the money and
services to be used in or for his own business or profession, the
transaction falls within the term "obligations for the benefit of the
conjugal partnership." In other words, where the husband contracts
an obligation on behalf of the family business, there is a legal
presumption that such obligation redounds to the benefit of the
conjugal partnership. [11]

On the other hand, if the money or services are given to another
person or entity and the husband acted only as a surety or
guarantor, the transaction cannot by itself be deemed an obligation
for the benefit of the conjugal partnership. [12] It is for the benefit of
the principal debtor and not for the surety or his family. No
presumption is raised that, when a husband enters into a contract of
surety or accommodation agreement, it is for the benefit of the
conjugal partnership. Proof must be presented to establish the
benefit redounding to the conjugal partnership. [13] In the absence of
any showing of benefit received by it, the conjugal partnership
cannot be held liable on an indemnity agreement executed by the
husband to accommodate a third party. [14]
In this case, the principal contract, the credit line agreement between
petitioner and respondent corporation, was solely for the benefit of
the latter. The accessory contract (the indemnity agreement) under
which individual respondent Martinez assumed the obligation of a
surety for respondent corporation was similarly for the latters benefit.
Petitioner had the burden of proving that the conjugal partnership of
the spouses Martinez benefited from the transaction. It failed to
discharge that burden.

To hold the conjugal partnership liable for an obligation pertaining to
the husband alone defeats the objective of the Civil Code to protect
the solidarity and well being of the family as a unit. [15] The
underlying concern of the law is the conservation of the conjugal
partnership. [16] Hence, it limits the liability of the conjugal
partnership only to debts and obligations contracted by the husband
for the benefit of the conjugal partnership.


Buado v. CA
GR# 145222 / APR. 24, 2009
586 SCRA 397

Facts:

Spouses Buado filed a complaint for damages against Erlinda Nicol
with Branch 19 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacoor, Cavite,
which originated from Erlinda Nicols civil liability arising from the
criminal offense of slander filed against her by petitioners. RTC
rendered a decision ordering Erlinda to pay damages. It became final
and executory and later on issued a a writ of execution. Finding
Erlinda Nicols personal properties insufficient to satisfy the
judgment, the Deputy Sheriff issued a notice of levy on real property
on execution addressed to the Register of Deeds of Cavite.
Eventually, a notice of sheriffs sale was issued. Two (2) days before
the public auction sale on 28 January 1993, an affidavit of third-party
claim from one Arnulfo F. Fulo was received by the deputy sheriff
prompting petitioners to put up a sheriffs indemnity bond. The
auction sale proceeded with petitioners as the highest bidder. A
certificate of sale was issued in favor of petitioners.

63

Almost a year later on 2 February 1994, Romulo Nicol, the husband
of Erlinda Nicol, filed a complaint for annulment of certificate of sale
and damages with preliminary injunction against petitioners and the
deputy sheriff. Respondent, as plaintiff therein, alleged that the
defendants, now petitioners, connived and directly levied upon and
execute his real property without exhausting the personal properties
of Erlinda Nicol. Respondent averred that there was no proper
publication and posting of the notice of sale. Furthermore,
respondent claimed that his property which was valued at
P500,000.00 was only sold at a very low price of P51,685.00,
whereas the judgment obligation of Erlinda Nicol was only
P40,000.00. The case was assigned to Branch 21 of the RTC of
Imus, Cavite.

In response, petitioners filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of
lack of jurisdiction and that they had acted on the basis of a valid writ
of execution. Citing De Leon v. Salvador, petitioners claimed that
respondent should have filed the case with Branch 19 where the
judgment originated and which issued the order of execution, writ of
execution, notice of levy and notice of sheriffs sale. RTC dismissed
respondents complaint and ruled that Branch 19 has jurisdiction
over the case. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial
court and held that Branch 21 has jurisdiction to act on the complaint
filed by appellant. Hence, the instant petition attributing grave abuse
of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeals.

Issue: WON the obligation of the wife arising from her criminal
liability is chargeable to the conjugal partnership

Held:

No.There is no dispute that contested property is conjugal in nature.
Article 122 of the Family Code explicitly provides that payment of
personal debts contracted by the husband or the wife before or
during the marriage shall not be charged to the conjugal partnership
except insofar as they redounded to the benefit of the family.

Unlike in the system of absolute community where liabilities incurred
by either spouse by reason of a crime or quasi-delict is chargeable to
the absolute community of property, in the absence or insufficiency
of the exclusive property of the debtor-spouse, the same advantage
is not accorded in the system of conjugal partnership of gains. The
conjugal partnership of gains has no duty to make advance
payments for the liability of the debtor-spouse.

Parenthetically, by no stretch of imagination can it be concluded that
the civil obligation arising from the crime of slander committed by
Erlinda redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership.

To reiterate, conjugal property cannot be held liable for the personal
obligation contracted by one spouse, unless some advantage or
benefit is shown to have accrued to the conjugal partnership.


Section 5. Administration of the Conjugal Partnership Property
(Articles 124-125); Article 165, 173, 1390 NCC; Rule on Forum
Shopping; Article 124 FC v. Guardianship v. Summary
Proceedings;


Roxas vs. CA
GR# 92245 / JUNE 26, 1991
198 SCRA 541

Facts:

Melania Roxa (Petitioner) is married to Antonio Roxas, but are living
separately. Melania found out that Antonio had entered into a
contract of lease with defendant Antonio M. Cayetano sometime on
March 30, 1987 covering a portion of their conjugal lot situated in
Quezon City without her previous knowledge, much less her marital
consent. Apparently, she was to put up a flea market in the lot and
has already filed for a Mayors permit but the same was denied on
renewal because Cayetano also applied for the same permit and
was earlier granted. She then filed a complaint for annulment of the
contract of lease entered into without her consent against Cayetano,
who filed a motion to dismiss the same on the ground of lack of
cause of action.


64

Issue:

W/N a husband, as the administrator of the conjugal partnership,
may legally enter into a contract of lease involving conjugal real
property without the knowledge and consent of the wife.



Held:

Under the New Civil Code (NCC), "Art. 165. The husband is the
administrator of the conjugal partnership," in view of the fact that the
husband is principally responsible for the support of the wife and the
rest of the family. If the conjugal partnership does not have enough
assets, it is the husband's capital that is responsible for such
support, not the paraphernal property. Responsibility should carry
authority with it.

The husband is not an ordinary administrator, for while a mere
administrator has no right to dispose of, sell, or otherwise alienate
the property being administered, the husband can do so in certain
cases allowed by law. He is not required by law to render an
accounting. Acts done under administration do not need the prior
consent of the wife.

However, administration does not include acts of ownership. For
while the husband can administer the conjugal assets unhampered,
he cannot alienate or encumber the conjugal realty. Thus, under Art.
166 of NCC "unless the wife has been declared a non-compos
mentis or a spendthrift, or is under civil interdiction or is confined in a
leprosarium, the husband cannot alienate or encumber any real
property of the conjugal partnership the wife's consent. If she refuses
unreasonably to give her consent, the court may compel her to grant
the same." This rule prevents abuse on the part of the husband, and
guarantees the rights of the wife, who is partly responsible for the
acquisition of the property, particularly the real property. Contracts
entered into by the husband in violation of this prohibition are
voidable and subject to annulment at the instance of the aggrieved
wife. (Art. 173 of the Civil Code)

Guiang vs. CA
GR# 125172 / JUNE 26, 1998
291 SCRA 372

FACTS:
The sale of a conjugal property requires the consent of both the
husband and the wife. The absence of the consent of one renders
the sale null and void, while the vitiation thereof makes it merely
voidable. Only in the latter case can ratification cure the defect.

This is a petition for review of the decision of the CA affirming the
lower court and denying reconsideration, declaring a certain deed of
sale, which involved the conjugal property of private respondent and
her husband, null and void.

Plaintiff Gilda and Judie Corpuz are legally married spouses and
have three children, namely: Junie, Harriet and Jodie or Joji, 18, 17
and 15 years old respectively. The couple Gilda and Judie Corpuz,
with plaintiff-wife Gilda Corpuz as vendee, bought a 421 sq. meter lot
located in Barangay Gen. Paulino Santos (Bo. 1), Koronadal, South
Cotabato, from Manuel Callejo who signed as vendor through a
conditional deed of sale for a total consideration of P14,735.00. The
consideration was payable in installment, with right of cancellation in
favor of vendor should vendee fail to pay three successive
installments.
Gilda and Judie sold one-half portion of their Lot No. 9, Block 8,
(LRC) Psd-165409 to the defendants-spouses Antonio and
Luzviminda Guiang, who have since then occupied the one-half
portion and built their house thereon and are thus adjoining
neighbors of the Corpuzes.
Gilda left for Manila in June 1989. She was trying to look for work
abroad, in the Middle East, with the consent of her husband.
Unfortunately, she became a victim of an unscrupulous illegal
recruiter. She was not able to go abroad. She stayed for sometime in
Manila however, coming back to Koronadal, South Cotabato, on
March 11, 1990.
After his wife's departure for Manila, Judie seldom went home to the
conjugal dwelling. He stayed most of the time at his place of work at
Samahang Nayon Building, a hotel, restaurant, and a cooperative.
Daughter Herriet Corpuz went to school at King's College, Bo. 1,
65

Koronadal, South Cotabato, but she was at the same time working
as household help of, and staying at, the house of Mr. Panes. Her
brother Junie was not working. Her younger sister Jodie (Jojie) was
going to school. Her mother sometimes sent them money
January 1990, Harriet Corpuz learned that her father intended to sell
the remaining one-half portion including their house, of their homelot
to defendants Guiangs. She wrote a letter to her mother informing
her, who then replied that she was objecting to the sale. Harriet,
however, did not inform her father about this; but instead gave the
letter to Mrs. Luzviminda Guiang so that she [Guiang] would advise
her father.
However, Judie pushed through and sold to Luzviminda on March 1,
1990 thru a document known as "Deed of Transfer of Rights" the
remaining one-half portion of their lot and the house standing
thereon for a total consideration of P30,000.00 of which P5,000.00
was to be paid in June, 1990. Transferor Judie Corpuz's children
Junie and Harriet signed the document as witness.
4 days after the deed of transfer, obviously to cure whatever defect
in defendant Judie Corpuz's title over the lot transferred, Luzviminda
as vendee executed another agreement over Lot 9, Block 8, (LRC)
Psd-165408, this time with Manuel Jimenez Callejo, a widow of the
original registered owner from whom the couple Judie and Gilda
Corpuz originally bought the lot, who signed as vendor for a
consideration of P9,000.00. Defendant Judie Corpuz signed as a
witness to the sale. The new sale describes the lot sold as Lot 8,
Block 9, (LRC) Psd-165408 but it is obvious from the mass of
evidence that the correct lot is Lot 8, Block 9, (LRC) Psd-165409, the
very lot earlier sold to the couple Gilda and Judie Corpuz.
March 11, 1990, plaintiff returned home and found her children
staying with other households. Gilda gathered her children together
and stayed at their house. Her husband was nowhere to be found.
She was informed by her children that their father had a wife already.
For staying in their house sold by her husband, plaintiff was
complained against by defendant Luzviminda Guiang and her
husband Antonio Guiang before the Barangay authorities of
Barangay General Paulino Santos, for trespassing. On March 16,
1990, the parties thereat signed a document known as "amicable
settlement". In full, the settlement provides for, to wit:
That respondent, Mrs. Gilda Corpuz and her three children, namely:
Junie, Hariet and Judie to leave voluntarily the house of Mr. and Mrs.
Antonio Guiang, where they are presently boarding without any
charge, on or before April 7, 1990.
FAIL NOT UNDER THE PENALTY OF THE LAW.

Believing that she had received the shorter end of the bargain,
plaintiff to the Barangay Captain of Barangay Paulino Santos to
question her signature on the amicable settlement. She was referred
however to the Officer-In-Charge, Mr. de la Cruz, who in turn told her
that he could not do anything on the matter. This particular point not
rebutted. The Barangay Captain who testified did not deny that Mrs.
Gilda Corpuz approached him for the annulment of the settlement.
He merely said he forgot whether Mrs. Corpuz had approached him.
We thus conclude that Mrs. Corpuz really approached the Barangay
Captain for the annulment of the settlement. Annulment not having
been made, plaintiff stayed put in her house and lot.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether the contract of sale (Deed of Transfer of Rights) was
merely voidable.

2. Whether the contract was ratified by private respondent when she
entered into an amicable settlement with them.

HELD:

First Issue: Void or Voidable Contract?
Petitioners insist that the questioned Deed of Transfer of Rights was
validly executed by the parties-litigants in good faith and for valuable
consideration. The absence of private respondent's consent merely
rendered the Deed voidable under Article 1390 of the Civil Code.
The error in petitioners' contention is evident. Article 1390, par. 2,
refers to contracts visited by vices of consent, i.e., contracts which
were entered into by a person whose consent was obtained and
vitiated through mistake, violence, intimidation, undue influence or
fraud.
In this instance, private respondent's consent to the contract of sale
of their conjugal property was totally inexistent or absent. This being
the case, said contract properly falls within the ambit of Article 124 of
the Family Code, which was correctly applied by the lower court:
66

Art. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal
partnerhip properly shall belong to both spouses jointly. In case of
disgreement, the husband's decision shall prevail, subject recourse
to the court by the wife for proper remedy, which must be availed of
within five years from the date of the contract implementing such
decision.
In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to
participate in the administration of the conjugal properties, the other
spouse may assume sole powers of administration. These powers
do not include the powers of disposition or encumbrance which must
have the authority of the court or the written consent of the other
spouse. In the absence of such authority or consent, the disposition
or encumbrance shall be void. However, the transaction shall be
construed as a continuing offer on the part of the consenting spouse
and the third person, and may be perfected as a binding contract
upon the acceptance by the other spouse or authorization by the
court before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors.

The legal provision is clear. The disposition or encumbrance is void.
It becomes still clearer if we compare the same with the equivalent
provision of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Under Article 166 of the
Civil Code, the husband cannot generally alienate or encumber any
real property of the conjugal partnership without the wife's consent.
The alienation or encumbrance if so made however is not null and
void. It is merely voidable. The offended wife may bring an action to
annul the said alienation or encumbrance. Thus the provision of
Article 173 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, to wit:

Art. 173. The wife may, during the marriage and within ten years
from the transaction questioned, ask the courts for the annulment of
any contract of the husband entered into without her consent, when
such consent is required, or any act or contract of the husband which
tends to defraud her or impair her interest in the conjugal partnership
property. Should the wife fail to exercise this right, she or her heirs
after the dissolution of the marriage, may demand the value of
property fraudulently alienated by the husband.(n)

This particular provision giving the wife ten (10) years . . . during the
marriage to annul the alienation or encumbrance was not carried
over to the Family Code. It is thus clear that any alienation or
encumbrance made after August 3, 1988 when the Family Code took
effect by the husband of the conjugal partnership property without
the consent of the wife is null and void.
Furthermore, it must be noted that the fraud and the intimidation
referred to by petitioners were perpetrated in the execution of the
document embodying the amicable settlement. Gilda Corpuz alleged
during trial that barangay authorities made her sign said document
through misrepresentation and coercion. In any event, its execution
does not alter the void character of the deed of sale between the
husband and the petitioners-spouses, as will be discussed later. The
fact remains that such contract was entered into without the wife's
consent.
In sum, the nullity of the contract of sale is premised on the absence
of private respondent's consent. To constitute a valid contract, the
Civil Code requires the concurrence of the following elements: (1)
cause, (2) object, and (3) consent, the last element being indubitably
absent in the case at bar.

Second Issue: Amicable Settlement
Insisting that the contract of sale was merely voidable, petitioners
aver that it was duly ratified by the contending parties through the
"amicable settlement" they executed on March 16, 1990 in Barangay
Case No. 38.
The position is not well taken. The trial and the appellate courts have
resolved this issue in favor of the private respondent. Doctrinally and
clearly, a void contract cannot be ratified. Neither can the "amicable
settlement" be considered a continuing offer that was accepted and
perfected by the parties, following the last sentence of Article 124.
The order of the pertinent events is clear: after the sale, petitioners
filed a complaint for trespassing against private respondent, after
which the barangay authorities secured an "amicable settlement"
and petitioners filed before the MTC a motion for its execution. The
settlement, however, does not mention a continuing offer to sell the
property or an acceptance of such a continuing offer. Its tenor was to
the effect that private respondent would vacate the property. By no
stretch of the imagination, can the Court interpret this document as
the acceptance mentioned in Article 124.
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS
the challenged Decision and Resolution. Costs against petitioners.
SO ORDERED.
67

Jader-Manalo vs. Camaisa
GR# 147978 / JAN. 23, 2002
374 SCRA 498

Facts:

Petitioner made a definite offer to buy the properties to respondent
Edilberto Camaisa with the knowledge and conformity of his wife,
respondent Norma Camaisa . After some bargaining, petitioner and
Edilberto agreed upon the purchase price of the property to be paid
on installment basis. Such agreement was a handwritten by
petitioner and signed by Edilberto. When petitioner pointed out the
conjugal nature of the properties, Edilberto assured her of his wifes
conformity and consent to the sale.

The formal typewritten Contracts to Sell were thereafter prepared by
petitioner.She and Edilberto met for the formal signing of the
typewritten Contracts to Sell. After Edilberto signed the contracts,
petitioner delivered to him two checks. The contracts were given to
Edilberto for the formal affixing of his wifes signature.

The following day, petitioner received a call from respondent Norma
(wife), requesting a meeting to clarify some provisions of the
contracts. During the meeting, handwritten notations were made on
the contracts to sell, so they arranged to incorporate the notations
and to meet again for the formal signing of the contracts.

When petitioner met again with respondent spouses for the formal
affixing of Normas signature, she was surprised when respondent
spouses informed her that they were backing out of the agreement
because they needed spot cash for the full amount of the
consideration. Petitioner reminded respondent spouses that the
contracts to sell had already been duly perfected and Normas
refusal to sign the same would unduly prejudice petitioner. Still,
Norma refused to sign the contracts prompting petitioner to file a
complaint for specific performance and damages against respondent
spouses before the Regional Trial Court.



Issue:

Whether or not there is a perfected contract to sell of the conjugal
property?

Held:

There is no perfected sale.

The properties subject of the contracts in this case were conjugal;
hence, for the contracts to sell to be effective, the consent of both
husband and wife must concur.

The law requires that the disposition of a conjugal property by the
husband as administrator in appropriate cases requires the written
consent of the wife, otherwise, the disposition is void. Thus,

Article 124 of the Family Code provides:
Art. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal
partnership property shall belong to both spouses jointly. In case of
disagreement, the husbands decision shall prevail, subject to
recourse to the court by the wife for a proper remedy, which must be
availed of within five years from the date of the contract
implementing such decision.

In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to
participate in the administration of the conjugal properties, the other
spouse may assume sole powers of administration. These powers
do not include the powers of disposition or encumbrance which must
have the authority of the court or the written consent of the other
spouse. In the absence of such authority or consent the disposition
or encumbrance shall be void. However, the transaction shall be
construed as a continuing offer on the part of the consenting spouse
and the third person, and may be perfected as a binding contract
upon the acceptance by the other spouse or authorization by the
court before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors.
(Underscoring ours.)

Respondent Norma Camaisa admittedly did not give her written
consent to the sale. Even granting that respondent Norma actively
68

participated in negotiating for the sale of the subject properties,
which she denied, her written consent to the sale is required by law
for its validity. Significantly, petitioner herself admits that Norma
refused to sign the contracts to sell. Respondent Norma may have
been aware of the negotiations for the sale of their conjugal
properties. However, being merely aware of a transaction is not
consent.


Jardeleza vs. Jardeleza
GR# 112014 / DEC. 05, 2000
347 SCRA 10

FACTS:

Dr. Ernesto Jardeleza, Sr. and Gilda L. Jardeleza were married long
before 03 August 1988, when the Family Code took effect. The
union produced five children, namely: petitioner, Ernesto, Jr.,
Melecio, Glenda and Rolando, all surnamed L. Jardeleza.

On 25 March 1991, Dr. Ernesto Jardeleza, Sr. then 73 years old,
suffered a stroke and lapsed into comatose condition. Thereafter,
petitioner commenced with the Regional Trial Court a petition for
appointment of judicial guardian over the person and property of Dr.
Jardeleza, Sr. and prayed for the issuance of letters of guardianship
to his mother, Gilda L. Jardeleza.

Subsequently, petitioner filed with the trial court a motion for the
issuance of letters of guardianship to him, rather than to his mother.
This was opposed by respondents.
On 20 August 1993, the trial court issued an order dismissing the
petition for guardianship. The trial court concluded, without
explanation, that the petition is superfluous and would only serve to
duplicate the powers of the wife under the explicit provisions of
Article 124, second paragraph, of the Family Code.





ISSUE:

Whether Article 124 of the Family Code renders superfluous the
appointment of a judicial guardian over the person and estate of an
incompetent married person.

HELD:

Very recently, in a related case Uy vs. Jardeleza, we ruled that
Article 124 of the Family Code was not applicable to the situation of
Dr. Ernesto Jardeleza, Sr. and that the proper procedure was an
application for appointment of judicial guardian under Rule 93 of the
1964 Revised Rules of Court.

Uy vs. Jardeleza where the court ruled:

ART. 124. xxx In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or
otherwise unable to participate in the administration of the conjugal
properties, the other spouse may assume sole powers of
administration. These powers do not include the powers of
disposition or encumbrance which must have the authority of the
court or the written consent of the other spouse.

The situation contemplated under Art. 124 is one where the spouse
is absent, or separated in fact or has abandoned the other or
consent is withheld or cannot be obtained. Such rules do not apply to
cases where the non-consenting spouse is incapacitated or
incompetent to give consent. In such case, the proper remedy is a
judicial guardianship proceedings under Rule 93 of the 1964 Revised
Rules of Court.

WHEREFORE, the Court grants the petition, reverses and sets aside
the resolutions of the Regional Trial Court, Iloilo City, in Special
Proceedings No. 4689. The Court remands the case to the trial court
for further proceedings consistent with this decision.





69

Uy (Jardeleza) vs. CA (Jardeleza)
GR# 10955 / NOV. 29, 2000
346 SCRA 246

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Villanueva v. Chiong
GR# 159889 / JUNE 05, 2008
554 SCRA 197
Facts:

Respondents Florentino and Elisera Chiong were married sometime
in January 1960 but have been separated in fact since 1975. During
their marriage, they acquired a Lot situated at Poblacion, Dipolog
City. Sometime in 1985, Florentino sold the one-half western portion
of the lot to petitioners for P8,000, payable in installments.
Thereafter, Florentino allowed petitioners to occupy the lot and build
a store, a shop, and a house thereon. Shortly after their last
installment payment on December 13, 1986,[5] petitioners
demanded from respondents the execution of a deed of sale in their
favor. Elisera, however, refused to sign a deed of sale. On May 13,
1992, Florentino executed the questioned Deed of Absolute Sale in
favor of petitioners. On July 19, 2000, the RTC, in its Joint Decision,
annulled the deed of absolute sale dated May 13, 1992, and ordered
petitioners to vacate the lot and remove all improvements therein.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC's decision.

Issue:(1) Is the subject lot an exclusive property of Florentino or a
conjugal property of respondents?
(2) Was its sale by Florentino without Elisera's consent valid?

Ruling:

Anent the first issue, petitioners' contention that the lot belongs
exclusively to Florentino because of his separation in fact from his
wife, Elisera, at the time of sale dissolved their property relations, is
bereft of merit. Respondents' separation in fact neither affected the
conjugal nature of the lot nor prejudiced Elisera's interest over it.
Under Article 178 of the Civil Code, the separation in fact between
husband and wife without judicial approval shall not affect the
conjugal partnership. The lot retains its conjugal nature. Anent the
second issue, the sale by Florentino without Elisera's consent is not,
however, void ab initio. In Vda. de Ramones v. Agbayani, citing
Villaranda v. Villaranda, we held that without the wife's consent, the
husband's alienation or encumbrance of conjugal property prior to
the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988 is not void, but
merely voidable.

Applying Article 166, the consent of both Elisera and Florentino is
necessary for the sale of a conjugal property to be valid. In this
case, the requisite consent of Elisera was not obtained when
Florentino verbally sold the lot in 1985 and executed the Deed of
Absolute Sale on May 13, 1992. Accordingly, the contract entered by
Florentino is annullable at Elisera's instance, during the marriage and
within ten years from the transaction questioned, conformably with
Article 173. Fortunately, Elisera timely questioned the sale when she
filed Civil Case No. 4383 on July 5, 1991, perfectly within ten years
from the date of sale and execution of the deed.


De la Cruz v. Segovia
GR# 149801 / JUNE 26, 2008
555 SCRA 453

FACTS
Sometime in July 1985, Florindala wanted to purchase the Lot 503
and 505 located in Sta Mesa Manila for P180,000.00. Short of fund,
she asked her sister Leonila to take the Lot 503 for P80,000. But
Leonila with only P36,000 hard=earned savings, Florinda advanced
her P64,000 for the full payment of the said lot. It was only on
September 1991, did these sisters entered a payment scheme
70

agreement. However, Florinda filed with RTC on March 1996, a
complaint annulling said agreement on the ground, among others
that since her husband, Renato did not sign, it is void.

ISSUE
Whether or not subject Agreement is void absent the husbands
signature.

HELD
No. The absence of Renatos signature in the agreement bears little
significance to its validity. Art 124 of the FC provides that the
administration of the conjugal partnership is now a joint undertaking
of the husband and the wife, in the event that one spouse is
incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in the administration
of the conjugal partnership, the other spouse may assume sole
powers of administration. However, the power of administration
does not include the power to dispose or encumber property
belonging to the conjugal partnership. It requires the WRITTEN
consent of the other spouse, of authority of the court for the
disposition or encumbrance of conjugal property, without which the
disposition is void. The foregoing The foregoing provision finds no
application in this case because the transaction between Florinda
and Leonila in reality did not involve any disposition of property
belonging toFlorinda. At the outset, by paying the P36,000, Leonila
shall have the Lot 503 and remaining balance be paid subsequently.
Clearly, the transaction between sisters is that of a loan and not a
sale of property. Though the lots are named under Florinda and her
husband, it merely served as a security over the P64,000 advanced
by Florinda. Even assuming that the transaction involves disposition
of asset, the mere fact of Renato ,not signing on the agreement
cannot negate the fact of his consent. First, he was present when
the agreement was drawn by his wife and Leonila. Second, it was in
fact presented to him for signature, but Florinda insisted that her
signature already carried that of her husband.






Ravina v. Villa Abrille
GR# 160708 / OCT. 16, 2009
604 SCRA 120
Facts:

Respondent Mary Ann Pasaol Villa Abrille and Pedro Villa Abrille are
husband and wife. They have four children, who are also parties to
the instant case and are represented by their mother, Mary Ann.

In 1982, the spouses acquired a 555-square meter parcel of land
denominated as Lot 7, located at Kamuning Street, Juna
Subdivision, Matina, Davao City, and covered by Transfer Certificate
of Title (TCT) No. T-88674 in their names. Said lot is adjacent to a
parcel of land which Pedro acquired when he was still single and
which is registered solely in his name under TCT No. T-26471.

Through their joint efforts and the proceeds of a loan from the
Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the spouses built a
house on Lot 7 and Pedros lot. The house was finished in the early
1980s but the spouses continuously made improvements, including
a poultry house and an annex.

In 1991, Pedro got a mistress and began to neglect his family. Mary
Ann was forced to sell or mortgage their movables to support the
family and the studies of her children. By himself, Pedro offered to
sell the house and the two lots to herein petitioners, Patrocinia and
Wilfredo Ravina. Mary Ann objected and notified the petitioners of
her objections, but Pedro nonetheless sold the house and the two
lots without Mary Anns consent, as evidenced by a Deed of Sale
dated June 21, 1991. It appears on the said deed that Mary Ann did
not sign on top of her name.

On July 5, 1991 while Mary Ann was outside the house and the four
children were in school, Pedro together with armed members of the
Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and acting in
connivance with petitioners began transferring all their belongings
from the house to an apartment.

When Mary Ann and her daughter Ingrid Villa Abrille came home,
they were stopped from entering it. They waited outside the gate
71

until evening under the rain. They sought help from the Talomo
Police Station, but police authorities refused to intervene, saying that
it was a family matter. Mary Ann alleged that the incident caused
stress, tension and anxiety to her children, so much so that one
flunked at school. Thus, respondents Mary Ann and her children
filed a complaint for Annulment of Sale, Specific Performance,
Damages and Attorneys Fees with Preliminary Mandatory Injunction
against Pedro and herein petitioners (the Ravinas) in the RTC of
Davao City.
During the trial, Pedro declared that the house was built with his own
money. Petitioner Patrocinia Ravina testified that they bought the
house and lot from Pedro, and that her husband, petitioner Wilfredo
Ravina, examined the titles when they bought the property.

Issue:

The court of appeals erred when it declared x x x the sale of
lot covered by tct no. 88674 in favor of spouses ravina, together with
the house thereon, as null and void since it is clearly contrary to law
and evidence.
.
The court of appeals erred when it ruled that petitioners
patrocin[i]a ravina and wilfredo ravina are not innocent purchasers
for value, the same being contrary to law and evidence.

The court of appeals erred when it ruled that petitioners
patrocin[i]a ravina and wilfredo ravina are liable for damages, the
same being contrary to law and evidence.

Held:

Article 160 of the New Civil Code provides, All property of the
marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it
be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife.

There is no issue with regard to the lot covered by TCT No. T-26471,
which was an exclusive property of Pedro, having been acquired by
him before his marriage to Mary Ann. However, the lot covered by
TCT No. T-88674 was acquired in 1982 during the marriage of Pedro
and Mary Ann. No evidence was adduced to show that the subject
property was acquired through exchange or barter. The presumption
of the conjugal nature of the property subsists in the absence of
clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence to overcome said
presumption or to prove that the subject property is exclusively
owned by Pedro. Petitioners bare assertion would not suffice to
overcome the presumption that TCT No. T-88674, acquired during
the marriage of Pedro and Mary Ann, is conjugal. Likewise, the
house built thereon is conjugal property, having been constructed
through the joint efforts of the spouses, who had even obtained a
loan from DBP to construct the house.

Significantly, a sale or encumbrance of conjugal property concluded
after the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988, is
governed by Article 124 of the same Code that now treats such a
disposition to be void if done (a) without the consent of both the
husband and the wife, or (b) in case of one spouses inability, the
authority of the court. Article 124 of the Family Code, the governing
law at the time the assailed sale was contracted, is explicit:

ART. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal
partnership property shall belong to both spouses jointly. In case of
disagreement, the husbands decision shall prevail, subject to
recourse to the court by the wife for proper remedy which must be
availed of within five years from the date of the contract
implementing such decision.

In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to
participate in the administration of the conjugal properties, the other
spouse may assume sole powers of administration. These powers
do not include the powers of disposition or encumbrance which must
have the authority of the court or the written consent of the other
spouse. In the absence of such authority or consent, the disposition
or encumbrance shall be void. However, the transaction shall be
construed as a continuing offer on the part of the consenting spouse
and the third person, and may be perfected as a binding contract
upon the acceptance by the other spouse or authorization by the
court before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors.
(Emphasis supplied.)
The particular provision in the New Civil Code giving the wife ten (10)
years to annul the alienation or encumbrance was not carried over to
72

the Family Code. It is thus clear that alienation or encumbrance of
the conjugal partnership property by the husband without the
consent of the wife is null and void.

Hence, just like the rule in absolute community of property, if the
husband, without knowledge and consent of the wife, sells conjugal
property, such sale is void. If the sale was with the knowledge but
without the approval of the wife, thereby resulting in a disagreement,
such sale is annullable at the instance of the wife who is given five
(5) years from the date the contract implementing the decision of the
husband to institute the case.
Here, respondent Mary Ann timely filed the action for annulment of
sale within five (5) years from the date of sale and execution of the
deed. However, her action to annul the sale pertains only to the
conjugal house and lot and does not include the lot covered by TCT
No. T-26471, a property exclusively belonging to Pedro and which he
can dispose of freely without Mary Anns consent.

On the second assignment of error, petitioners contend that they are
buyers in good faith. Accordingly, they need not inquire whether the
lot was purchased by money exclusively belonging to Pedro or of the
common fund of the spouses and may rely on the certificates of title.

The contention is bereft of merit. As correctly held by the Court of
Appeals, a purchaser in good faith is one who buys the property of
another without notice that some other person has a right to, or
interest in, such property and pays a full and fair price for the same
at the time of such purchase, or before he has notice of the claim or
interest of some other person in the property. To establish his status
as a buyer for value in good faith, a person dealing with land
registered in the name of and occupied by the seller need only show
that he relied on the face of the sellers certificate of title. But for a
person dealing with land registered in the name of and occupied by
the seller whose capacity to sell is restricted, such as by Articles 166
and 173 of the Civil Code or Article 124 of the Family Code, he must
show that he inquired into the latters capacity to sell in order to
establish himself as a buyer for value in good faith.

In the present case, the property is registered in the name of Pedro
and his wife, Mary Ann. Petitioners cannot deny knowledge that
during the time of the sale in 1991, Pedro was married to Mary Ann.
However, Mary Anns conformity did not appear in the deed. Even
assuming that petitioners believed in good faith that the subject
property is the exclusive property of Pedro, they were apprised by
Mary Anns lawyer of her objection to the sale and yet they still
proceeded to purchase the property without Mary Anns written
consent. Moreover, the respondents were the ones in actual, visible
and public possession of the property at the time the transaction was
being made. Thus, at the time of sale, petitioners knew that Mary
Ann has a right to or interest in the subject properties and yet they
failed to obtain her conformity to the deed of sale. Hence, petitioners
cannot now invoke the protection accorded to purchasers in good
faith.

Now, if a voidable contract is annulled, the restoration of what has
been given is proper. The relationship between the parties in any
contract even if subsequently annulled must always be characterized
and punctuated by good faith and fair dealing. Hence, in
consonance with justice and equity and the salutary principle of non-
enrichment at anothers expense, we sustain the appellate courts
order directing Pedro to return to petitioner spouses the value of the
consideration for the lot covered by TCT No. T-88674 and the house
thereon.

However, this court rules that petitioners cannot claim
reimbursements for improvements they introduced after their good
faith had ceased. As correctly found by the Court of Appeals,
petitioner Patrocinia Ravina made improvements and renovations on
the house and lot at the time when the complaint against them was
filed. Ravina continued introducing improvements during the
pendency of the action.
Thus, Article 449 of the New Civil Code is applicable. It provides
that, (h)e who builds, plants or sows in bad faith on the land of
another, loses what is built, planted or sown without right to
indemnity.

On the last issue, petitioners claim that the decision awarding
damages to respondents is not supported by the evidence on record.

73

The claim is erroneous to say the least. The manner by which
respondent and her children were removed from the family home
deserves our condemnation. On July 5, 1991, while respondent was
out and her children were in school, Pedro Villa Abrille acting in
connivance with the petitioners surreptitiously transferred all their
personal belongings to another place. The respondents then were
not allowed to enter their rightful home or family abode despite their
impassioned pleas.

Firmly established in our civil law is the doctrine that: Every person
must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his
duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty
and good faith. When a right is exercised in a manner that does not
conform with such norms and results in damages to another, a legal
wrong is thereby committed for which the wrong doer must be held
responsible. Similarly, any person who willfully causes loss or injury
to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or
public policy shall compensate the latter for the damages caused. It
is patent in this case that petitioners alleged acts fall short of these
established civil law standards.


Aggabao v. Parulan
GR # 165803 / Sept. 1, 2010
629 SCRA 563

Facts:

Respondent Ma. Elena allegedly made a sale of two parcels of land
with their improvements considered as conjugal property by
presenting a special power of attorney to sell (SPA) purportedly
executed by respondent husband Dionisio in her favor. The sale by
Ma. Elena was made in favor of the spouses vendees/petitioners,
who allegedly acted in good faith and paid the full purchase price,
despite the showing by the husband that his signature on the SPA
had been forged and that the SPA had been executed during his
absence from the country and while he and Ma. Elena have been
estranged from one another. When Dionisio learned about the
alleged sale, he filed for an action for the declaration of the nullity of
the deed of absolute sale executed by Ma. Elena, and the
cancellation of the title issued to the petitioners by virtue thereof. The
RTC ruled in his favor and declared that the SPA was forged. The
decision of the RTC was affirmed by the CA. Hence the present case
filed by petitioners imputing error to the CA for not applying the
ordinary prudent mans standard in determining their status as
buyers in good faith. The petitioners submit that Article 173 of the
Civil Code, not Article 124 of the Family Code, governed the property
relations of the respondents because they had been married prior to
the effectivity of the Family Code; and that the second paragraph of
Article 124 of the Family Code should not apply because the other
spouse held the administration over the conjugal property. They
argue that notwithstanding his absence from the country Dionisio still
held the administration of the conjugal property by virtue of his
execution of the SPA in favor of his brother; and that even assuming
that Article 124 of the Family Code properly applied, Dionisio ratified
the sale through Atty. Parulans counter-offer during the March 25,
1991 meeting.
ISSUE: WON Article 173 of the Civil Code and Article 124 of the
Family Code should apply to the sale of the conjugal property
executed without the consent of Dionisio.

Held:

NO

To start with, Article 254[27] the Family Code has expressly repealed
several titles under the Civil Code, among them the entire Title VI in
which the provisions on the property relations between husband and
wife, Article 173 included, are found.

Secondly, the sale was made on March 18, 1991, or after August 3,
1988, the effectivity of the Family Code. The proper law to apply is,
therefore, Article 124 of the Family Code, for it is settled that any
alienation or encumbrance of conjugal property made during the
effectivity of the Family Code is governed by Article 124 of the
Family Code.[28]

Article 124 of the Family Code provides:

74

Article 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal
partnership property shall belong to both spouses jointly.

In case of disagreement, the husbands decision shall prevail,
subject to recourse to the court by the wife for proper remedy, which
must be availed of within five years from the date of the contract
implementing such decision.

In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to
participate in the administration of the conjugal properties, the other
spouse may assume sole powers of administration. These powers
do not include disposition or encumbrance without authority of the
court or the written consent of the other spouse. In the absence of
such authority or consent, the disposition or encumbrance shall be
void. However, the transaction shall be construed as a continuing
offer on the part of the consenting spouse and the third person, and
may be perfected as a binding contract upon the acceptance by the
other spouse or authorization by the court before the offer is
withdrawn by either or both offerors.

Thirdly, according to Article 256[29] of the Family Code, the
provisions of the Family Code may apply retroactively provided no
vested rights are impaired. In Tumlos v. Fernandez,[30] the Court
rejected the petitioners argument that the Family Code did not apply
because the acquisition of the contested property had occurred prior
to the effectivity of the Family Code, and pointed out that Article 256
provided that the Family Code could apply retroactively if the
application would not prejudice vested or acquired rights existing
before the effectivity of the Family Code. Herein, however, the
petitioners did not show any vested right in the property acquired
prior to August 3, 1988 that exempted their situation from the
retroactive application of the Family Code.

Fourthly, the petitioners failed to substantiate their contention that
Dionisio, while holding the administration over the property, had
delegated to his brother, Atty. Parulan, the administration of the
property, considering that they did not present in court the SPA
granting to Atty. Parulan the authority for the administration.

Nonetheless, we stress that the power of administration does not
include acts of disposition or encumbrance, which are acts of strict
ownership. As such, an authority to dispose cannot proceed from an
authority to administer, and vice versa, for the two powers may only
be exercised by an agent by following the provisions on agency of
the Civil Code (from Article 1876 to Article 1878).

Specifically, the apparent authority of Atty. Parulan, being a special
agency, was limited to the sale of the property in question, and did
not include or extend to the power to administer the property.[31]

Lastly, the petitioners insistence that Atty. Parulans making of a
counter-offer during the March 25, 1991 meeting ratified the sale
merits no consideration. Under Article 124 of the Family Code, the
transaction executed sans the written consent of Dionisio or the
proper court order was void; hence, ratification did not occur, for a
void contract could not be ratified.[32]

On the other hand, we agree with Dionisio that the void sale was a
continuing offer from the petitioners and Ma. Elena that Dionisio had
the option of accepting or rejecting before the offer was withdrawn by
either or both Ma. Elena and the petitioners. The last sentence of the
second paragraph of Article 124 of the Family Code makes this
clear, stating that in the absence of the other spouses consent, the
transaction should be construed as a continuing offer on the part of
the consenting spouse and the third person, and may be perfected
as a binding contract upon the acceptance by the other spouse or
upon authorization by the court before the offer is withdrawn by
either or both offerors.











75

Section 6. Dissolution of the Conjugal Partnership Regime
(Articles 126-128)


Partosa-Jo vs. CA
GR# 82606 / DEC. 18, 1992
216 SCRA 692

Facts:

The herein private respondent, Jose Jo, admits to having cohabited
with three women and fathered fifteen children. The first of these
women, Prima Partosa-Jo, claims to be his legal wife whom he begot
a daughter, Monina Jo. The other women and their respective
offspring are not parties of this case. In 1980, Prima filed a complaint
against Jose for judicial separation of conjugal property. The RTC
rendered a decision and in the dispositive portion it stated support
but not the separation of conjugal properties. On appeal, The
petitioner contends that the respondent court has misinterpreted
Articles 175, 178 and 191 of the Civil Code. She submits that the
agreement between her and the private respondent was for her to
temporarily live with her parents during the initial period of her
pregnancy and for him to visit and support her. They never agreed to
separate permanently. And even if they did, this arrangement was
repudiated and ended in 1942, when she returned to him at
Dumaguete City and he refused to accept her.

Issue:

WON the refusal of the husband to accept his wife constitutes
abandonment which is a ground for the dissolution of their property
regime.

Ruling:

The petitioner invokes Article 178 (3) of the Civil Code, which reads:

Art. 178. The separation in fact between husband and wife
without judicial approval, shall not affect the conjugal partnership,
except that:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) If the husband has abandoned the wife without just cause for
at least one year, she may petition the court for a receivership, or
administration by her of the conjugal partnership property or
separation of property.

Abandonment implies a departure by one spouse with the avowed
intent never to return, followed by prolonged absence without just
cause, and without in the meantime providing in the least for one's
family although able to do so. There must be absolute cessation of
marital relations, duties and rights, with the intention of perpetual
separation. 6 This idea is clearly expressed in the above-quoted
provision, which states that "a spouse is deemed to have abandoned
the other when he or she has left the conjugal dwelling without any
intention of returning."

The record shows that as early as 1942, the private respondent had
already rejected the petitioner, whom he denied admission to their
conjugal home in Dumaguete City when she returned from
Zamboanguita. The fact that she was not accepted by Jo
demonstrates all too clearly that he had no intention of resuming
their conjugal relationship.

Moreover, beginning 1968 until the determination by this Court of the
action for support in 1988, the private respondent refused to give
financial support to the petitioner. The physical separation of the
parties, coupled with the refusal by the private respondent to give
support to the petitioner, sufficed to constitute abandonment as a
ground for the judicial separation of their conjugal property.











76

Alipio vs. CA
GR# 134100 / SEPT. 29, 2000
341 SCRA 441
- Collection suits against the partnership; death of a spouse

Facts:

Jaring (Romeo) was the lessee of a 14.5 hec fishpond in
Barito,Mabuco, Hermosa, Bataan. Lease was for 5 yrs ending on
Sep. 12, 1990. In June 19, 1987 til the end of the lease period,
Jaring subleased the fishpond to sps Alipio and sps Manuel. The
stipulated rent is P485,600.00 payable in 2 installments of P300k
and P185,600.00. The second installment due on June 30, 1989.

Sublessees failed to pay entire second installment, leaving a balance
of P50,600.00 w/c they failed to pay despite Alipios demands. Thus,
he filed a case against said sublessees asking for payment of the
balance or rescission of the contract should they fail to pay the
balance.

Purita Alipio petitioned for the dismissal of the case invoking Rule 3,
Sec. 21 of the 1964 Rules of Court claiming that such was applicable
since her husband and co-sublessee passed away prior tothe filing
of this action. Said rule has been amended by Rule 3, Sec. 20,1997
Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Trial court denied Alipios petition because she was a party to
the contract & should be independently impleaded together w/the
Manuel sps. Death of her husband merely resulted in his exclusion
from the case. Petitioner & Manuels were ordered to pay balance
and P10k attys fees and costs of suit.

On appeal, the CA dismissed the case and held that the rule invoked
is not applicable. The action for recovery of a sum of money does not
survive the death of the defendant, thus the remaining defendants
cannot avoid the action by claiming thatsuch death totally
extinguished their obligation. When the action is solidary, creditor
may bring his action against any of the debtors obligated insolidum.
Alipios liability is independent of & separate from her
husbands.(Climaco vs. Siy Uy, Imperial vs. David, and Agacoili vs.
Vda de Agcaoili)
Issue:

W/N a creditor can sue the surviving spouse of a decedent in
anordinary proceeding for the collection of a sum of money
chargeableagainst the conjugal partnership.

Held:

NO. Proper remedy would be to file aclaim in the settlement of the
decedents estate or if none has beencommenced, he can file a
petition either for the issuance of letters of administration or for the
allowance of will, depending on whether itstestate/intestate. No
shortcut by lumping claim against Alipios with those against the
Manuels.

CC Art. 161 (1) provides that the obligation of the Alipios is
chargeable against their conjugal partnership since it was contracted
by the spouses for the benefit of the conjugal partnership. When
petitioners spouse died, their CPG was dissolved & debts
chargeable against it are to be paid in the settlement of estate
proceedings in accordance w/ Rule 73, Sec.2 w/c provides that the
community property will be inventoried, administered, & liquidated
and debts thereof paid, in the testate or intestate proceedings of the
deceased spouse.

In Calma vs.Tanedo the Court held that no complaint for collection of
indebtedness chargeable to the CPG can be brought against the
surviving spouse. Claim must be made in the proceedings for the
liquidation & settlement of the CPG. Surviving spouses powers of
administration ceases & is passed on to court-appointed
administrator. This was affirmed in Ventura vs. Militante where Court
held that lack of liquidation proceedings does not mean that the CPG
continues. Creditor may apply for letters of admin in his capacity as a
principal creditor.

Note that for marriages governed by CPG, obligations entered into
by sps are chargeable against their CPG & the partnership is
primarily bound for the repayments. Theyll be impleaded as
representatives of the CPG and concept of joint/solidary liability
does not apply. At best, it will not be solidary but joint.
77

Relucio vs. Lopez
GR# 138497 / JAN. 16, 2001
373 SCRA 578


Facts:
Angelina Mejia Lopez filed a petition for Appointment as Sole
Administratix of Conjugal Partnership of Properties, Forfeiture, etc.
against Alberto Lopez and herein petitioner Imelda Relucio. It was
alleged by herein private respondent that Alberto Lopez is legally
married to her, abandoned the latter and their legitimate children,
maintained an illicit relationship and cohabited with herein petitioner
and that he arrogated unto herself full and exclusive control of
administration of the conjugal property.
Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that private
respondent has no cause of action against her which was denied by
the Regional Trial Court on the ground that she is impleaded as a
necessary or indispensable party. On the Court of Appeals, the
petition on certiorari filed by the Petitioner assailing the trial courts
denial of her motion to dismiss was likewise denied. Hence, this
appeal.
Issue
[1]: Whether respondents petition for appointment as sole
administratrix of the conjugal property accounting etc. against her
husband Alberto Lopez established a cause of action against the
petitioner.
Issue [2]: Whether the petitioner is a real party in interest. Whether
the RTC correctly denied the petition of herein petitioner on the
ground that she is imleaded as a necessary or indispensable party.

Held [1]:The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. It is well settled
that a cause of action is an act or omission of one party, the
defendant in violation of the legal right of the other. The elements of
the cause of action are: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever
means and under whatever law it arises or is created; (2) an
obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not to
violate such right; (3) an act or omission on the part of such
defendant in violation of the right of the plaintiff as constituting a
breach of the obligation of the defendant to the plaintiff for which the
latter may maintain an action for recovery of damages.
A perusal of the Nature of the Complaint filed by the respondent
reveals that it is a complaint by an aggrieved party wife against her
husband. Nowhere in the allegations does it appear that relief is
sought against petitioner. The causes of action filed by respondent
showed that petitioner is a complete stranger to the causes of action
as regards judicial appointment, accounting by respondent husband,
forfeiture of share of husband and support. Clearly, there is no right-
duty relation between petitioner and respondent that can possibly
support a cause of action.

Held [2]: A real party in interest if one who stands to be benefited or
injured by the judgment of the suit. In this case, petitioner would not
be affected by any judgment in the special proceedings filed by the
respondent. It petitioner is not a real party in interest, she cannot be
an indispensable party. An indispensable party is one without whom
no there can be no final determination of an action. Nor can
petitioner be a necessary party in the case below. A necessary party
is one who is not indispensable but who ought to b joined as party if
complete relief is to be accorded those already parties, or for a
complete determination or settlement of the claim subject of the
action. In the foregoing, the trial court can issue a judge and accord
complete relief as such judgment would be perfectly valid and
enforceable against Alberto Lopez. Hence, the RTC erred in denying
the motion to dismiss of the petitioner on ground of lack of cause of
action.


De Ugalde v. De Ysasi
GR# 130623 / FEB. 29, 2008
547 SCRA 171

Facts:
On 15 February 1951, Lorea de Ugalde (petitioner) and Jon de Ysasi
(respondent) got married before Municipal Judge. Petitioner and
respondent did not execute any ante-nuptial agreement. They were
separated sometime in April 1957. On 26 May 1964, respondent
allegedly contracted another marriage with Victoria Eleanor Smith
(Smith) before a judge in Pasay City. Petitioner further alleged that
respondent and Smith had been acquiring and disposing of real and
personal properties to her prejudice as the lawful wife. Petitioner
78

alleged that she had been defrauded of rental income, profits, and
fruits of their conjugal properties. On 12 December 1984, petitioner
filed a petition for dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains
against respondent before the RTC.
Respondent countered that on 2 June 1961, he and petitioner
entered into an agreement which provided, that their conjugal
partnership of gains shall be deemed dissolved as of 15 April 1957.
Pursuant to the agreement, they submitted an Amicable Settlement
in Civil Case No. 4791 then pending before the Court of First
Instance of Negros Occidental (CFI).
The RTC dismissed the petition for dissolution of the conjugal. It
noted that petitioner and respondent entered into an amicable
settlement in Civil Case No. 4791. The amicable settlement was
approved by the CFI and petitioner may no longer repudiate it.


Issue:
Whether or nor there is a valid dissolution of the conjugal partnership
of gains in the amicable settlement entered into between the Pet.
And Respondent?



Held:
Yes. The finality of the 6 June 1961 CFI Order in Civil Case No. 4791
resulted in the dissolution of the petitioner and respondents conjugal
partnership of gains, as it is in accordance with Article 175 of the
Civil Code (now Art.126 of the Family Code), which provides as
follows:

Art. 126. The conjugal partnership of gains terminates:

(1) Upon the death of either spouse;
(2) When there is a decree of legal separation;
(3) When the marriage is annulled;
(4) In case of judicial separation of property under Article
134 to 138. (Emphasis supplied)

The finality of the 6 June 1961 Order in Civil Case No. 4791
approving the parties separation of property resulted in the
termination of the conjugal partnership of gains in accordance with
Article 126 of the Family Code.


MBTC v. Pascual
GR# 163744 / FEB. 29, 2008
547 SCRA 246

<missing>
X
X
X
X
X
X


Dio v. Dio
GR# 178044/January 19, 2011

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X
X
X
X
X
X











79

Section 7. Liquidation of the Conjugal Partnership Assets &
Liabilities (Articles 129-133)

Partosa-Jo vs. CA
GR# 82606 / DEC. 18, 1992
216 SCRA 692

Vda. De Consuegra vs. GSIS
GR No.L-28093 / JAN. 30, 1971
37 SCRA 315

Jose Consuegra, in his lifetime married twice, to Rosario Diaz on
July 15, 1937 and on May 1, 1957, to Basilia Berdim, while the 1st
marriage was still subsisting. He fathered 2 children (both already
dead) from Rosario and 7 from Basilia. When he died on Sept
26,1965, the proceeds of his GSIS life insurance policy were paid to
Basilia and their children being the beneficiaries stated in the policy.
Rosario on the other hand filed a claim over the retirement insurance
policy proceeds claiming to be Joses only legal heir. Basilia also
filed a similar claim asserting that. as beneficiaries named in the life
insurance policy, the retirement insurance policy likewise belong to
them. GSIS ruled that Rosario and Basilia are both Joses wives,
therefore the proceeds must be given to them, 1/2 portion each.
Dissatisfied, Basilia filed a petition for mandamus with preliminary
injunction to CFI praying that she and her children be declared as the
exclusive beneficiaries of the said retirement insurance proceeds.
Trial Court, quoting Lao vs Dee held that When 2 women innocently
and in good faith are legally united in holy matrimony to the same
man, they and their children, born of said wedlock, will be regarded
as legitimate children and each family be entitled to of the estate.
Basilia appealed. Hence this case.

ISSUE
To whom should this retirement insurance benefits be paid, when no
beneficiary was designated.

HELD
To both wives. GSIS intended that the life and retirement insurance
be separate and distinct therefore, beneficiary of one insurance is
not automatically the beneficiary of the other. Since the defendants
first marriage has not been dissolved or declared void, the conjugal
partnership established by that marriage has not ceased. Nor has
the first wife lost or relinquished her status as putative heir of her
husband under the NCC, she is entitled to share in his estate upon
his death should she survive him. Consequently, whether as
conjugal partner in a still subsisting marriage or as such putative heir
she has an interest in the husbands share in the property here in
dispute quoting Trial Courts decision. And with respect to the right
of the second wife, this Court observed that although the second
marriage can be presumed to be void ab initio as it was celebrated
while the first marriage was still subsisting, still there is need for
judicial declaration of such nullity. And inasmuch as the conjugal
partnership formed by the second marriage was dissolved before
judicial declaration of its nullity the only just and equitable solution is
to recognize the right of the 2nd wife to her share of in the
property acquired by her and her husband and consider the other
half as pertaining to the conjugal partnership of the first marriage.

-Adjudication of the property rights of "Good faith" Survivors
(1
sl
valid subsisting & 2
nd
, presumably void, marriages"; See
Cario v. Cario 351 SCRA 127; San Luis v. San Luis
514 SCRA 294; Articles 147 & 148 FC)


MBTC v. Pascual
GR# 163744 / FEB. 29, 2008
547 SCRA 246













80

CHAPTER 5. SEPARATION OF PROP. OF THE SPOUSES &
ADM. OF COMMON PROP. BY ONE SPOUSE DURING THE
MARRIAGE (Arts 134-142)



CHAPTER 6. REGIME OF SEPARATION OF PROPERTY (Articles
143-146)

Agapay vs. Palang
GR# 116668 / JULY 28, 1997
276 SCRA 340

<Missing>
X
X
X
X
X


Maquilan v. Maquilan
GR# 155409 / JUNE 08, 2007
524 SCRA 166

FACTS: Virgilio Maquilan filed a criminal case against his spouse
Dita Maquilan and her paramour on the ground of adultery. The two
accused were convicted and sentenced to suffer imprisonment for 1
year and 8 months to 3 years, 6 months and 21 days. On January
15, 2001, after the adultery case has been decided, Virgilio Maquilan
filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, Dissolution and
Liquidation of Conjugal Partnership of Gains and Damages with RTC
on the ground of Ditas psychological incapacity. However, during the
pre-trial of the case, the Maquilan spouses voluntarily entered into a
Compromise Agreement partially dividing their properties among
themselves and their only son. On January 2, 2002, the Compromise
Agreement was given a Judicial Imprimatur by the RTC but on
January 15, 2002, Virgilio filed an Omnibus Motion to repudiate the
Compromise Agreement and reconsider the judgment rendered on
the ground that his former lawyer failed to intelligently and judiciously
apprise him of the agreements consequential effects.
The RTC judge denied the motion. Virgilio filed a Motion for
Reconsideration but was also denied so he filed a Petition for
Certiorari and Prohibition to the Court of Appeals claiming that the
RTC committed grave error and abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction in holding the validity of the
Compromise Agreement; when it held that the Compromise
Agreement was made during the cooling off period; when it denied
his motion to Repudiate the Compromise Agreement and to
reconsider the judgment rendered; and when it conducted the
proceedings without the appearance and participation of the Office of
the Solicitor General and or the Provincial Prosecutor. The CA
dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
Thereafter, Virgilio filed a Petition for Revie on Certiorari with the SC
seeking to assail the judgment rendred by CA on the Compromise
Agreement which sought to nullify.

ISSUE: WON the partial voluntary separation of property made by
the spouses pending the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage
is valid

HELD: No. The SC ruled that the Compromise Agreement entered
into by the parties is an example of a separation of property allowed
by law. Article 143 of the FC provides that separation of property
may be effected voluntarily or for sufficient cause subject to judicial
approval. Such is applicable even if the proceeding for the
declaration of nullity of marriage is still pending. However, pursuant
to Article 136 of FC, voluntary separation of property is subject to the
rights of all creditors of the conjugal partnership of gains and other
persons with pecuniary interest.
The Court also held that the purpose of the active participation of the
public prosecutor or the Solicitor General in cases of annulment and
declaration of nullity of marriage is to ensure that the interest of the
State is protected by preventing the collusion of the parties, and
fabrication or suppression of evidence. Although the appearances of
the Solicitor General and/or the Public Prosecutor are mandatory,
the failure of the RTC to require their appearance does not per se
nullify the Compromise Agreement. The subject agreement is just an
agreement between the parties to partially separate their properties
81

and does not include anything in the merits of the case of
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage for the Court to wary any possible
collusion.
The conviction of adultery does not carry the accessory penalty of
civil interdiction which deprives the person from the right to manage
his property and dispose such inter vivos as provided for in the
Revised Penal Code.
Virgilios contention that he was not intelligently and judiciously
informed of the consequential effects of the Compromise Agreement
is also untenable. As stated in Salonga vs. Court of Appeals, the
Court ruled that negligence of the counsel binds the client and the
recognized exceptions to this rule are cases where there is reckless
gross negligence of counsel thereby denying the client of the due
process of law or when its application results in the outright
deprivation of ones property through technicality. Such exceptions
are not evident in the case.



CHAPTER 7. PROPERTY REGIMES OF UNIONS WITHOUT
MARRIAGE (Articles 147-148); - See also A.M. No. 02-11-10 SC

Valdes vs. RTC Br. 102, QC
GR# 122749 / JULY 31, 1996
260 SCRA 221

Facts:
Antonio Valdez and Consuelo Gomez were married on 05
January 1971. Begotten during the marriage were five children. In a
petition, dated 22 June 1992, Valdez sought the declaration of nullity
of the marriage pursuant to Article 36 of the Family code.
After the hearing the parties following the joinder of issues,
the trial court granted the petition directing the parties to start
proceedings on the liquidation of their common properties as defined
by Article 147 of the Family Code, and to comply with the provisions
of Articles 50, 51, and 52 of the same code, within thirty (30) days
from notice of this decision.
Consuelo Gomez sought a clarification of that portion of the decision
directing compliance with Articles 50, 51 and 52 of the Family Code.
She asserted that the Family Code contained no provisions on the
procedure for the liquidation of common property in "unions without
marriage." Parenthetically, during the hearing of the motion, the
children filed a joint affidavit expressing their desire to remain with
their father, Antonio Valdez, herein petitioner.

Issue: W/N the trial court correctly applied the law.

Held:
Yes. The trial court correctly applied the law. In a void
marriage, regardless of the cause thereof, the property relations of
the parties during the period of cohabitation is governed by the
provisions of Article 147 or Article 148, such as the case may be, of
the Family Code.
This particular kind of co-ownership applies when a man and a
woman, suffering no illegal impediment to marry each other, so
exclusively live together as husband and wife under a void marriage
or without the benefit of marriage. The term "capacitated" in the
provision (in the first paragraph of the law) refers to the legal
capacity of a party to contract marriage, i.e., any "male or female of
the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the
impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38" of the Code.

Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses
through their work and industry shall be governed by the rules on
equal co-ownership. Any property acquired during the union is prima
facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. A
party who did not participate in the acquisition of the property shall
be considered as having contributed thereto jointly if said party's
"efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family
household." Unlike the conjugal partnership of gains, the fruits of the
couple's separate property are not included in the co-ownership.
When the common-law spouses suffer from a legal impediment to
marry or when they do not live exclusively with each other (as
husband and wife), only the property acquired by both of them
through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry
shall be owned in common and in proportion to their respective
contributions. Such contributions and corresponding shares,
however, are prima facie presumed to be equal.


82

Mercado Fehr v. Fehr
GR# 152716 / OCT. 23, 2003
414 SCRA 280

FACTS:

The marriage between Elna D. Mercado and Bruno F. Fehr on March
14, 1985 is declared null and void on the ground of psychological
incapacity on the part of respondent to perform the essential
obligations of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code.
Accordingly, the conjugal partnership of property existing between
the parties is dissolved and in lieu thereof, a regime of complete
separation of property between the said spouses is established in
accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Family Code, without
prejudice to the rights previously acquired by creditors.

Custody over the two minor children, MICHAEL BRUNO MERCADO
FEHR and PATRICK FRANZ FEHR, is awarded to petitioner, being
the innocent spouse.

On August 24, 1999, the trial court issued an Order resolving the
various motions filed by respondent after the case had been decided.
After a careful scrutiny of the inventory of properties submitted by
both parties, the Court finds the following properties to be excluded
from the conjugal properties, namely:
a) the Bacolod property covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
T-137232, considering that the same is owned by petitioners
parents, Herminio Mercado and Catalina D. Mercado xxx and
b) Suite 204 of the LCG Condominium covered by Condominium
Certificate of Title No. 14735, considering that the same was
purchased on installment basis by respondent with his exclusive
funds prior to his marriage, as evidenced by a Contract to Sell dated
July 26, 1983. xxx

Accordingly, the conjugal properties of the petitioner and respondent
shall be distributed in the following manner:
TO PETITIONER ELNA MERCADO:
a. Ground Floor, LCG Condominium, with an area of 671.84 sq. m.,
covered by Condominium Certificate of Title No. 14734; and
b. Tamaraw FX (1995 model)
TO RESPONDENT BRUNO FRANZ FEHR:
a. Upper Basement, LCG Condominium, with an area of 180.81 sq.
m. and covered by Condominium Certificate of Title No. 14733; and
b. Nissan Sentra with Plate No. FDJ-533 (1994 model)

Thereafter, the parties shall own and enjoy their respective share of
the monthly rentals derived from the properties adjudicated to them
as stated above.
The Petitioner and Respondent are further enjoined to jointly support
their minor children, Michael and Patrick Fehr, for their education,
uniforms, food and medical expenses.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of said Order with
respect to the adjudication of Suite 204, LCG Condominium and the
support of the children. Petitioner alleged that Suite 204 was
purchased on installment basis at the time when petitioner and
respondent were living exclusively with each other as husband and
wife without the benefit of marriage, hence the rules on co-ownership
should apply in accordance with Article 147 of the Family Code.
Petitioner further claimed that it would not be in the best interests of
the children if she would be made to demand periodically from
respondent his share in the support of the children. She instead
proposed that the Upper Basement and the Lower Ground Floor of
the LCG Condominium be adjudicated to her so that she could use
the income from the lease of said premises for the support of the
children.

ISSUE/S:

Whether Article 147 of the Family Code should apply in the case at
bar

HELD:

It appears from the facts, as found by the trial court, that in March
1983, after two years of long-distance courtship, petitioner left Cebu
City and moved in with respondent in the latters residence in Metro
Manila. Their relations bore fruit and their first child, Michael Bruno
Fehr, was born on December 3, 1983. The couple got married on
March 14, 1985. In the meantime, they purchased on installment a
83

condominium unit, Suite 204, at LCG Condominium, as evidenced by
a Contract to Sell dated July 26, 1983 executed by respondent as
the buyer and J.V. Santos Commercial Corporation as the seller.
Petitioner also signed the contract as witness, using the name "Elna
Mercado Fehr". Upon completion of payment, the title to the
condominium unit was issued in the name of petitioner.
In light of these facts, we give more credence to petitioners
submission that Suite 204 was acquired during the parties
cohabitation. Accordingly, under Article 147 of the Family Code, said
property should be governed by the rules on co-ownership. The
Family Code provides:
Article 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry
each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife
without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their wages
and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the
property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall
be governed by the rules on co-ownership.

In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while
they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their
joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal
shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not participate in
the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to
have contributed jointly to the acquisition thereof if the formers
efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of their family and of
the household.
Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or
her share in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in
common, without the consent of the other, until after the termination
of their cohabitation.

When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the
share of the party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in
favor of their common children. In case of default of or waiver by any
or all of the common children or their descendants, each vacant
share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants.
(emphasis supplied)

Article 147 applies to unions of parties who are legally capacitated
and not barred by any impediment to contract marriage, but whose
marriage is nonetheless void, as in the case at bar. This provision
creates a co-ownership with respect to the properties they acquire
during their cohabitation.

Thus, for Article 147 to operate, the man and the woman: (1) must
be capacitated to marry each other; (2) live exclusively with each
other as husband and wife; and (3) their union is without the benefit
of marriage or their marriage is void. All these elements are present
in the case at bar. It has not been shown that petitioner and
respondent suffered any impediment to marry each other. They lived
exclusively with each other as husband and wife when petitioner
moved in with respondent in his residence and were later united in
marriage. Their marriage, however, was found to be void under
Article 36 of the Family Code because of respondents psychological
incapacity to comply with essential marital obligations.

The disputed property, Suite 204 of LCG Condominium, was
purchased on installment basis on July 26, 1983, at the time when
petitioner and respondent were already living together. Hence, it
should be considered as common property of petitioner and
respondent.

As regards the settlement of the common properties of petitioner and
respondent, we hold that the Civil Code provisions on co-ownership
should apply. There is nothing in the records that support the
pronouncement of the trial court that the parties have agreed to
divide the properties into three1/3 share each to the petitioner, the
respondent and their children. Petitioner, in fact, alleges in her
petition before this Court that the parties have agreed on a four-way
division of the properties1/4 share each to the petitioner and the
respondent, and 1/4 share each to their two children. Moreover,
respondents argument that the three-way partition is in accordance
with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code does not hold water as
said provisions relate only to voidable marriages and exceptionally to
void marriages under Article 40 of the Family Code, i.e., the
declaration of nullity of a subsequent marriage contracted by a
spouse of a prior void marriage before the latter is judicially declared
void.

84

In sum, we rule in favor of the petitioner. We hold that Suite 204 of
LCG Condominium is a common property of petitioner and
respondent and the property regime of the parties should be divided
in accordance with the law on co-ownership.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is GRANTED. The case is hereby
REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 149 for
liquidation of the properties of petitioner and respondent in
accordance with this Courts ruling.
SO ORDERED.


Cario v. Cario
GR# 132529 / FEB. 02, 2001
351 SCRA 127

Facts:
The late SPO4 Santiago S. Cario contracted two marriages: the
first, on June 20, 1969, with petitioner Susan Nicdao Cario (Susan
Nicdao), with whom he had two offsprings, namely, Sahlee and
Sandee Cario; and the second, on November 10, 1992, with
respondent Susan Yee Cario (Susan Yee), with whom he had no
children in their almost ten year cohabitation starting 1982.
In 1988, SPO4 Cario became ill and passed away in 1992, under
the care of Susan Yee, who spent for his medical and burial
expenses. Both petitioner and respondent filed claims for monetary
benefits and financial assistance from various government agencies.
Petitioner Susan Nicdao was able to collect a total of P146,000.00
from MBAI, PCCUI, Commutation, NAPOLCOM, [and] Pag-ibig,
while respondent Susan Yee received a total of P21,000.00 from
GSIS Life, Burial (GSIS) and burial (SSS). In 1993, Susan Yee
filed the instant case for collection of sum of money against Susan
Nicdao praying, inter alia, that petitioner be ordered to return to her
at least one-half of the P146,000.00 death benefits which she
(petitioner) received. Despite service of summons, petitioner failed
to file her answer, prompting the trial court to declare her in default.
Susan Yee admitted that her marriage to the deceased took place
during the subsistence of, and without first obtaining a judicial
declaration of nullity of, the marriage between petitioner and the
deceased. She claimed that she became aware of the first marriage
only at the funeral, where she met petitioner. Respondent contended
that the marriage of petitioner and the deceased is void ab initio
because the same was solemnized without the required marriage
license. In support thereof, respondent presented the marriage
certificate of the deceased and the petitioner which bears no
marriage license number and a certification dated March 9, 1994,
from the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Metro Manila, which
reads : This is to certify that this Office has no record of marriage
license of the spouses SANTIAGO CARINO (sic) and SUSAN
NICDAO, who are married in this municipality on June 20, 1969.
Hence, we cannot issue as requested a true copy or transcription of
Marriage License number from the records of this archives.
On August 28, 1995, the trial court ruled in favor of respondent,
Susan Yee, ordering defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of
P73,000.00, half of the amount which was paid to her in the form of
death benefits arising from the death of SPO4 Cario, plus
attorneys fees and costs of suit.

ISSUE: Whether the second wife of SPO4 Cario, given that the
first marriage was contracted without a marriage license and void ab
initio, is entitled to receive death benefits.

HELD: No. It does not follow that because the marriage of petitioner
and the deceased is declared void ab initio, the death benefits
under scrutiny would now be awarded to respondent.
Under the Civil Code, which was the law in force when the marriage
of petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased was solemnized in
1969, a valid marriage license is a requisite of marriage, and the
absence thereof, subject to certain exceptions, renders the marriage
void ab initio. Therefore, that the marriage between petitioner Susan
Nicdao and the deceased, having been solemnized without the
necessary marriage license, and not being one of the marriages
exempt from the marriage license requirement, is undoubtedly void
ab initio.
But the declaration in the instant case of nullity of the previous
marriage of the deceased and petitioner Susan Nicdao does not
validate the second marriage of the deceased with respondent
Susan Yee. The fact remains that their marriage was solemnized
without first obtaining a judicial decree declaring the marriage of
petitioner Susan Nicdao and the deceased void. Hence, the marriage
85

of respondent Susan Yee and the deceased is, likewise, void ab
initio.
One effect of the declaration of nullity of marriage is the separation of
the property of the spouses. Considering that the two marriages are
void ab initio, the applicable property regime would be governed by
the provisions of Articles 147 and 148 of the Family Code on
Property Regime of Unions Without Marriage. Under Article 148,
which refers to the property regime of bigamous marriages,
adulterous relationships, relationships in a state of concubine,
relationships where both man and woman are married to other
persons, multiple alliances of the same married man: the properties
acquired by the parties through their actual joint contribution shall
belong to the co-ownership. Wages and salaries earned by each
party belong to him or her exclusively. Then too, contributions in the
form of care of the home, children and household, or spiritual or
moral inspiration, are excluded in this regime.
The disputed P146,000.00 death benefits are renumerations,
incentives and benefits from governmental agencies earned by the
deceased as a police officer. Respondent Susan Yee could not be
said that she contributed money, property or industry in the
acquisition of these monetary benefits. Hence, they are not owned in
common by respondent and the deceased, but belong to the
deceased alone and respondent has no right whatsoever to claim the
same. By intestate succession, the said death benefits of the
deceased shall pass to his legal heirs. And, respondent, not being
the legal wife of the deceased is not one of them.
As to the property regime of petitioner Susan Nicdao and the
deceased, Article 147 of the Family Code governs which applies to
unions of parties who are legally capacitated and not barred by any
impediment to contract marriage, but whose marriage is nonetheless
void for other reasons, like the absence of a marriage license. In
contrast to Article 148, wages and salaries earned by either party
during the cohabitation shall be owned by the parties in equal shares
and will be divided equally between them, even if only one party
earned the wages and the other did not contribute thereto.
Conformably, even if the disputed death benefits were earned by
the deceased alone as a government employee, Article 147 creates
a co-ownership in respect thereto, entitling the petitioner to share
one-half thereof. As there is no allegation of bad faith in the present
case, one-half of the subject death benefits under scrutiny shall go
to the petitioner as her share in the property regime, and the other
half pertaining to the deceased shall pass by, intestate succession,
to his legal heirs, namely, his children with Susan Nicdao.


San Luis v. San Luis
GR# 133743 / 134029 / FEB. 06, 2007
514 SCRA 294

FACTS:

This case involves the settlement of the estate of Felicisimo T. San
Luis (Felicisimo), who was the former governor of the Province of
Laguna. During his lifetime, Felicisimo contracted three marriages.
His first marriage was with Virginia Sulit on March 17, 1942 out of
which were born six children, namely: Rodolfo, Mila, Edgar, Linda,
Emilita and Manuel. On August 11, 1963, Virginia predeceased
Felicisimo.

Five years later, on May 1, 1968, Felicisimo married Merry Lee
Corwin, with whom he had a son, Tobias. However, on October 15,
1971, Merry Lee, an American citizen, filed a Complaint for Divorce
before the Family Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii, United
States of America (U.S.A.), which issued a Decree Granting
Absolute Divorce and Awarding Child Custody on December 14,
1973.

On June 20, 1974, Felicisimo married respondent Felicidad San
Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos, before Rev. Fr. William Meyer,
Minister of the United Presbyterian at Wilshire Boulevard, Los
Angeles, California, U.S.A. He had no children with respondent but
lived with her for 18 years from the time of their marriage up to his
death on December 18, 1992.

Thereafter, respondent sought the dissolution of their conjugal
partnership assets and the settlement of Felicisimos estate. On
December 17, 1993, she filed a petition for letters of administration
before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City.

86

Petitioners, the children of Felicisimo by his first marriage, filed a
motion to dismiss contending that the venue was improperly laid and
that the respondents marriage to Felicisimo was void and bigamous
because it was performed during the subsistence of the latters
marriage to Merry Lee. They argue that paragraph 2, Article 26
cannot be retroactively applied because it would impair vested rights
and ratify the void bigamous marriage. As such, respondent cannot
be considered the surviving wife of Felicisimo; hence, she has no
legal capacity to file the petition for letters of administration.

RTC dismissed the two motions to dismiss filed by the Petitioners.
CA affirmed. Edgar, Linda, and Rodolfo filed separate motions for
reconsideration which were denied by the Court of Appeals. Hence,
the instant petition for review on certiorari with the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:

Whether the respondent has legal capacity to file the subject petition
for letters of administration.

HELD:

Anent the issue of respondent Felicidads legal personality to file the
petition for letters of administration, we must first resolve the issue of
whether a Filipino who is divorced by his alien spouse abroad may
validly remarry under the Civil Code, considering that Felicidads
marriage to Felicisimo was solemnized on June 20, 1974, or before
the Family Code took effect on August 3, 1988. In resolving this
issue, we need not retroactively apply the provisions of the Family
Code, particularly Art. 26, par. (2) considering that there is sufficient
jurisprudential basis allowing us to rule in the affirmative.

The case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. involved a marriage between a
foreigner and his Filipino wife, which marriage was subsequently
dissolved through a divorce obtained abroad by the latter. Claiming
that the divorce was not valid under Philippine law, the alien spouse
alleged that his interest in the properties from their conjugal
partnership should be protected. The Court, however, recognized the
validity of the divorce and held that the alien spouse had no interest
in the properties acquired by the Filipino wife after the divorce. Thus,
in this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from
the marriage from the standards of American law, under which
divorce dissolves the marriage.

As to the effect of the divorce on the Filipino wife, the Court ruled
that she should no longer be considered married to the alien spouse.
Further, she should not be required to perform her marital duties and
obligations.

As such, the Van Dorn case is sufficient basis in resolving a situation
where a divorce is validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse. With
the enactment of the Family Code and paragraph 2, Article 26
thereof, our lawmakers codified the law already established through
judicial precedent.1awphi1.net

Petitioners cite Articles 15 and 17 of the Civil Code in stating that the
divorce is void under Philippine law insofar as Filipinos are
concerned. However, in light of this Courts rulings in the cases
discussed above, the Filipino spouse should not be discriminated
against in his own country if the ends of justice are to be served.

An "interested person" has been defined as one who would be
benefited by the estate, such as an heir, or one who has a claim
against the estate, such as a creditor. The interest must be material
and direct, and not merely indirect or contingent.

In the instant case, respondent would qualify as an interested person
who has a direct interest in the estate of Felicisimo by virtue of their
cohabitation, the existence of which was not denied by petitioners. If
she proves the validity of the divorce and Felicisimos capacity to
remarry, but fails to prove that her marriage with him was validly
performed under the laws of the U.S.A., then she may be considered
as a co-owner under Article 144 of the Civil Code. This provision
governs the property relations between parties who live together as
husband and wife without the benefit of marriage, or their marriage is
void from the beginning. It provides that the property acquired by
either or both of them through their work or industry or their wages
and salaries shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. In a co-
ownership, it is not necessary that the property be acquired through
their joint labor, efforts and industry. Any property acquired during
87

the union is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through
their joint efforts. Hence, the portions belonging to the co-owners
shall be presumed equal, unless the contrary is proven.

Meanwhile, if respondent fails to prove the validity of both the divorce
and the marriage, the applicable provision would be Article 148 of
the Family Code which has filled the hiatus in Article 144 of the Civil
Code by expressly regulating the property relations of couples living
together as husband and wife but are incapacitated to marry. In
Saguid v. Court of Appeals, we held that even if the cohabitation or
the acquisition of property occurred before the Family Code took
effect, Article 148 governs. The Court described the property regime
under this provision as follows:

The regime of limited co-ownership of property governing the union
of parties who are not legally capacitated to marry each other, but
who nonetheless live together as husband and wife, applies to
properties acquired during said cohabitation in proportion to their
respective contributions. Co-ownership will only be up to the extent
of the proven actual contribution of money, property or industry.
Absent proof of the extent thereof, their contributions and
corresponding shares shall be presumed to be equal.


In view of the foregoing, we find that respondents legal capacity to
file the subject petition for letters of administration may arise from her
status as the surviving wife of Felicisimo or as his co-owner under
Article 144 of the Civil Code or Article 148 of the Family Code.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of
Appeals reinstating and affirming the February 28, 1994 Order of the
Regional Trial Court which denied petitioners motion to dismiss and
its October 24, 1994 Order which dismissed petitioners motion for
reconsideration is AFFIRMED. Let this case be REMANDED to the
trial court for further proceedings.





Mallilin, Jr. vs. Castillo
GR# 136803 / JUNE 16, 2000
333 SCRA 628

FACTS:
On February 24, 1993, petitioner Eustaquio Mallilin, Jr. filed a
complaint2 for "Partition and/or Payment of Co-Ownership Share,
Accounting and Damages" against respondent Ma. Elvira Castillo.
The complaint, docketed as Civil Case No. 93-656 at the Regional
Trial Court in Makati City, alleged that petitioner and respondent,
both married and with children, but separated from their respective
spouses, cohabited after a brief courtship sometime in 1979 while
their respective marriages still subsisted. During their union, they set
up the Superfreight Customs Brokerage Corporation, with petitioner
as president and chairman of the board of directors, and respondent
as vice-president and treasurer. The business flourished and
petitioner and respondent acquired real and personal properties
which were registered solely in respondents name. In 1992, due to
irreconcilable differences, the couple separated. Petitioner
demanded from respondent his share in the subject properties, but
respondent refused alleging that said properties had been registered
solely in her name.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the parties be considered as co-owners of the
properties, considering the present status of the parties as both
married and incapable of marrying each other, even assuming that
they lived together as husband and wife.

HELD:
Art. 144 of the Civil Code, applies only to cases in which a man and
a woman live together as husband and wife without the benefit of
marriage provided they are not incapacitated or are without
impediment to marry each other,15 or in which the marriage is void
ab initio, provided it is not bigamous. Art. 144, therefore, does not
cover parties living in an adulterous relationship.
However, Art. 148 of the Family Code now provides for a limited co-
ownership in cases where the parties in union are incapacitated to
marry each other. It states: In cases of cohabitation not falling under
the preceding article,16 only the properties acquired by both of the
88

parties through their actual joint contribution of money, property or
industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their
respective contributions. In the absence of proof to the contrary, their
contributions and corresponding shares are presumed to be equal.
The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint deposits of
money and evidences of credits.
If one of the parties is validly married to another, his or her share in
the co-ownership shall accrue to the absolute community or conjugal
partnership existing in such valid marriage. If the party who acted in
bad faith is not validly married to another, his or her share shall be
forfeited in the manner provided in the last paragraph of the
preceding article.
The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply even if both
parties are in bad faith.
It was error for the trial court to rule that, because the parties in this
case were not capacitated to marry each other at the time that they
were alleged to have been living together, they could not have
owned properties in common. The Family Code, in addition to
providing that a co-ownership exists between a man and a woman
who live together as husband and wife without the benefit of
marriage, likewise provides that, if the parties are incapacitated to
marry each other, properties acquired by them through their joint
contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned by them in
common in proportion to their contributions which, in the absence of
proof to the contrary, is presumed to be equal. There is thus co-
ownership eventhough the couple are not capacitated to marry each
other.
In this case, there may be a co-ownership between the parties
herein. Consequently, whether petitioner and respondent cohabited
and whether the properties involved in the case are part of the
alleged co-ownership are genuine and material. All but one of the
properties involved were alleged to have been acquired after the
Family Code took effect on August 3, 1988. With respect to the
property acquired before the Family Code took effect if it is shown
that it was really acquired under the regime of the Civil Code, then it
should be excluded.
Petitioner also alleged in paragraph 7 of his complaint that:
Due to the effective management, hardwork and enterprise of
plaintiff assisted by defendant, their customs brokerage business
grew and out of the profits therefrom, the parties acquired real and
personal properties which were, upon agreement of the parties,
listed and registered in defendants name with plaintiff as the
unregistered co-owner of all said properties.17 Esmsc
On the basis of this, he contends that an implied trust existed
pursuant to Art. 1452 of the Civil Code which provides that "(I)f two
or more persons agree to purchase property and by common
consent the legal title is taken in the name of one of them for the
benefit of all, a trust is created by force of law in favor of the others in
proportion to the interest of each." We do not think this is correct.
The legal relation of the parties is already specifically covered by Art.
148 of the Family Code under which all the properties acquired by
the parties out of their actual joint contributions of money, property or
industry shall constitute a co-ownership. Co-ownership is a form of
trust and every co-owner is a trustee for the other.18 The provisions
of Art. 1452 and Art. 1453 of the Civil Code, then are no longer
material since a trust relation already inheres in a co-ownership
which is governed under Title III, Book II of the Civil Code.


Saguid vs. CA
GR# 150611 / JUNE 10, 2003
403 SCRA 678

Facts: Seventeen-year old Gina S. Rey was married,2 but separated
de facto from her husband, when she met petitioner Jacinto Saguid
in Marinduque, sometime in July 1987.3 After a brief courtship, the
two decided to cohabit as husband and wife in a house built on a lot
owned by Jacintos father. Their cohabitation was not blessed with
any children. Jacinto made a living as the patron of their fishing
vessel "Saguid Brothers." Gina, on the other hand, worked as a fish
dealer, but decided to work as an entertainer in Japan from 1992 to
1994 when her relationship with Jacintos relatives turned sour. Her
periodic absence, however, did not ebb away the conflict with
petitioners relatives. In 1996, the couple decided to separate and
end up their 9-year cohabitation. On January 9, 1997, Gina filed a
complaint for Partition and Recovery of Personal Property with
Receivership against Jacinto. She alleged that from her salary of
$1,500.00 a month as entertainer in Japan, she was able to
contribute P70,000.00 in the completion of their unfinished house.
Also, from her own earnings as an entertainer and fish dealer, she
89

was able to acquire and accumulate appliances, pieces of furniture
and household effects, with a total value of P111,375.00. She prayed
that she be declared the sole owner of these personal properties and
that the amount of P70,000.00, representing her contribution to the
construction of their house, be reimbursed to her.

Issue: Whether or not the properties in issue are co-owned by both
parties. What law should be applied?

Ruling: It is not disputed that Gina and Jacinto were not capacitated
to marry each other because the former was validly married to
another man at the time of her cohabitation with the latter. Their
property regime therefore is governed by Article 148 of the Family
Code, which applies to bigamous marriages, adulterous
relationships, relationships in a state of concubinage, relationships
where both man and woman are married to other persons, and
multiple alliances of the same married man. Under this regime,
"only the properties acquired by both of the parties through their
actual joint contribution of money, property, or industry shall be
owned by them in common in proportion to their respective
contributions ..." Proof of actual contribution is required.

In the case at bar, although the adulterous cohabitation of the parties
commenced in 1987, which is before the date of the effectivity of the
Family Code on August 3, 1988, Article 148 thereof applies because
this provision was intended precisely to fill up the hiatus in Article
144 of the Civil Code. Before Article 148 of the Family Code was
enacted, there was no provision governing property relations of
couples living in a state of adultery or concubinage. Hence, even if
the cohabitation or the acquisition of the property occurred before the
Family Code took effect, Article 148 governs.

In the cases of Agapay v. Palang, and Tumlos v. Fernandez, the
court ruled that proof of actual contribution in the acquisition of the
property is essential. The claim of co-ownership of the petitioners
therein who were parties to the bigamous and adulterous union is
without basis because they failed to substantiate their allegation that
they contributed money in the purchase of the disputed properties.

See Articles 148, 256 (FC); Article 144 NCC
Dio v. Dio
GR# 178044/January 19, 2011



TITLE V. THE FAMILY HOME

See also Article 2035, NCC

CHAPTER 1. THE FAMILY AS AN INSTITUTION (Articles 149-
151)

Hontiveros vs. RTC Br. 25, Iloilo City
GR# 125465 / JUNE 29, 1999
309 SCRA 340

<missing>
X
X
X
X
X

Silva vs. CA
GR# 114742 / JULY 17, 1997
275 SCRA 605

<missing>
X
X
X
X
X
X






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CHAPTER 2. THE FAMILY HOME (Articles 152-162)

Taneo vs. Court of Appeals
GR# 108562 / MAR. 09, 1999
304 SCRA 308

<missing>
X
X
X
X
X
X


Honrado v. CA
GR# 166333 / NOV. 25, 2005
476 SCRA 280

Facts:
On December 11, 1997, Premium Agro-Vet Products, Inc.
(Premium) filed with the RTC of Quezon City a complaint for sum of
money against Jose Honrado, who was doing business under the
name and style of J.E. Honrado Enterprises. Premium sought to
collect the amount of P240,765.00 representing the total price of
veterinary products purchased on credit by Honrado from November
18, 1996 until June 30, 1997.
Meanwhile the Spouses Jose and Andrerita Honrado filed a
petition with the RTC of Calamba City for the judicial constitution of
the parcel of land registered in Honrados located in Calamba,
Laguna, and the house thereon, as their family house, the estimated
value of the property was not more than P240,000.00.
The case of Premium against Honrado was granted by the
RTC and a writ of execution was issued. The sheriff levied on the
property above and was awarded to Premium as the higest bidder. In
the meantime, The RTC of Calamba declared the property a family
home, hence Honrado filed a Motion to Declare Properties Exempt
from Execution under Article 155 of the Family Code.

Issue: W/N the property is exempt from execution.
Held:
While it is true that the family home is constituted on a house
and lot from the time it is occupied as a family residence and is
exempt from execution or forced sale under Article 153 of the Family
Code, such claim for exemption should be set up and proved to the
Sheriff before the sale of the property at public auction. Failure to do
so would estop the party from later claiming the exemption.
The petitioner admits to having been notified of the levy of
his property and of its sale at public auction at 9:30 a.m. on May 17,
2001 at the Municipal Hall of Calamba, Laguna. However, he did not
bother to object to the levy and the projected sale on the ground that
the property and the house thereon was a family home. The
petitioner allowed the sale at public auction to proceed and the
Sheriff to execute a certificate of sale over the property in favor of the
private respondent for P650,204.10. He even vacated the property
after the said sale. The petitioner remained silent and failed to seek
relief from the Sheriff or the court until May 3, 2002, when he filed his
motion to declare the property exempt from execution under Article
155 of the Family Code and Section 13, Rule 39 of the Rules on Civil
Procedure. Even then, there was no showing that, during the hearing
of said motion, the petitioner adduced evidence to prove the value of
the property and that it is, indeed, a family home.


Arriola v. Arriola
GR# 177703 / JAN. 28, 2008
542 SCRA 666

FACTS:

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules
of Court, assailing the Decision and Resolution of the Court of
Appeals.

John Nabor C. Arriola filed Special Civil Action with the Regional
Trial Court, Branch 254, Las Pias City (RTC) against Vilma G.
Arriola and Anthony Ronald G. Arriola for judicial partition of the
properties of decedent Fidel Arriola. Respondent is the son of
decedent Fidel with his first wife Victoria C. Calabia, while petitioner
91

Anthony is the son of decedent Fidel with his second wife, petitioner
Vilma.

On February 16, 2004, the RTC rendered a Decision, ordering the
partition of the parcel of land left by the decedent Fidel S. Arriola by
and among his heirs John Nabor C. Arriola, Vilma G. Arriola and
Anthony Ronald G. Arriola in equal shares of one-third (1/3) each
without prejudice to the rights of creditors or mortgagees thereon, if
any;

As the parties failed to agree how to partition among them the land,
John Nabor sought the sale through public auction and petitioners
acceded to it. Said auction had to be reset when petitioners refused
to include the house standing on the subject land.

ISSUE:
Whether the subject house is covered in the judgment of partition of
the lot and should be included in the sale through public auction.

HELD:

The subject house is covered by the judgment of partition.

First, as correctly held by the CA, under the provisions of the Civil
Code, the subject house is deemed part of the subject land.

In general, the right to accession is automatic (ipso jure), requiring
no prior act on the part of the owner or the principal. So that even if
the improvements including the house were not alleged in the
complaint for partition, they are deemed included in the lot on which
they stand, following the principle of accession. Consequently, the lot
subject of judicial partition in this case includes the house which is
permanently attached thereto, otherwise, it would be absurd to divide
the principal, i.e., the lot, without dividing the house which is
permanently attached thereto.

Second, respondent has repeatedly claimed that the subject house
was built by the deceased. Petitioners never controverted such
claim. There is then no dispute that the subject house is part of the
estate of the deceased; as such, it is owned in common by the
latter's heirs, the parties herein, any one of whom, under Article 494
of the Civil Code, may, at any time, demand the partition of the
subject house. Therefore, respondent's recourse to the partition of
the subject house cannot be hindered, least of all by the mere
technical omission of said common property from the complaint for
partition.
That said notwithstanding, we must emphasize that, while we treat
the subject house as part of the co-ownership of the parties, we stop
short of authorizing its actual partition by public auction at this time. It
bears emphasis that an action for partition involves two phases: first,
the declaration of the existence of a state of co-ownership; and
second, the actual termination of that state of co-ownership through
the segregation of the common property. What is settled thus far is
only the fact that the subject house is under the co-ownership of the
parties, and therefore susceptible of partition among them.

Whether the subject house should be sold at public auction as
ordered by the RTC is an entirely different matter.

Respondent claims that the subject house was built by decedent
Fidel on his exclusive property. Petitioners add that said house has
been their residence for 20 years. Taken together, these averments
on record establish that the subject house is a family home within the
contemplation of the provisions of The Family Code, particularly:

Article 152. The family home, constituted jointly by the husband and
the wife or by an unmarried head of a family, is the dwelling house
where they and their family reside, and the land on which it is
situated.

Article 153. The family home is deemed constituted on a house and
lot from the time it is occupied as a family residence. From the time
of its constitution and so long as any of its beneficiaries actually
resides therein, the family home continues to be such and is exempt
from execution, forced sale or attachment except as hereinafter
provided and to the extent of the value allowed by law.

One significant innovation introduced by The Family Code is the
automatic constitution of the family home from the time of its
occupation as a family residence, without need anymore for the
92

judicial or extrajudicial processes provided under the defunct Articles
224 to 251 of the Civil Code and Rule 106 of the Rules of Court.
Furthermore, Articles 152 and 153 specifically extend the scope of
the family home not just to the dwelling structure in which the family
resides but also to the lot on which it stands. Thus, applying these
concepts, the subject house as well as the specific portion of the
subject land on which it stands are deemed constituted as a family
home by the deceased and petitioner Vilma from the moment they
began occupying the same as a family residence 20 years back.

It being settled that the subject house (and the subject lot on which it
stands) is the family home of the deceased and his heirs, the same
is shielded from immediate partition under Article 159 of The Family
Code, viz:

Article 159. The family home shall continue despite the death of one
or both spouses or of the unmarried head of the family for a period of
ten years or for as long as there is a minor beneficiary, and the heirs
cannot partition the same unless the court finds compelling reasons
therefor. This rule shall apply regardless of whoever owns the
property or constituted the family home.

The purpose of Article 159 is to avert the disintegration of the family
unit following the death of its head. To this end, it preserves the
family home as the physical symbol of family love, security and unity
by imposing the following restrictions on its partition: first, that the
heirs cannot extra-judicially partition it for a period of 10 years from
the death of one or both spouses or of the unmarried head of the
family, or for a longer period, if there is still a minor beneficiary
residing therein; and second, that the heirs cannot judicially partition
it during the aforesaid periods unless the court finds compelling
reasons therefor. No compelling reason has been alleged by the
parties; nor has the RTC found any compelling reason to order the
partition of the family home, either by physical segregation or
assignment to any of the heirs or through auction sale as suggested
by the parties.

More importantly, Article 159 imposes the proscription against the
immediate partition of the family home regardless of its ownership.
This signifies that even if the family home has passed by succession
to the co-ownership of the heirs, or has been willed to any one of
them, this fact alone cannot transform the family home into an
ordinary property, much less dispel the protection cast upon it by the
law. The rights of the individual co-owner or owner of the family
home cannot subjugate the rights granted under Article 159 to the
beneficiaries of the family home.
Set against the foregoing rules, the family home -- consisting of the
subject house and lot on which it stands -- cannot be partitioned at
this time, even if it has passed to the co-ownership of his heirs, the
parties herein. Decedent Fidel died on March 10, 2003. Thus, for 10
years from said date or until March 10, 2013, or for a longer period, if
there is still a minor beneficiary residing therein, the family home he
constituted cannot be partitioned, much less when no compelling
reason exists for the court to otherwise set aside the restriction and
order the partition of the property.

The Court ruled in Honrado v. Court of Appeals that a claim for
exception from execution or forced sale under Article 153 should be
set up and proved to the Sheriff before the sale of the property at
public auction. Herein petitioners timely objected to the inclusion of
the subject house although for a different reason.

To recapitulate, the evidence of record sustain the CA ruling that the
subject house is part of the judgment of co-ownership and partition.
The same evidence also establishes that the subject house and the
portion of the subject land on which it is standing have been
constituted as the family home of decedent Fidel and his heirs.
Consequently, its actual and immediate partition cannot be
sanctioned until the lapse of a period of 10 years from the death of
Fidel Arriola, or until March 10, 2013.
It bears emphasis, however, that in the meantime, there is no
obstacle to the immediate public auction of the portion of the subject
land covered by TCT No. 383714, which falls outside the specific
area of the family home.

WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTLY GRANTED and the
November 30, 2006 Decision and April 30, 2007 Resolution of the
Court of Appeals are MODIFIED in that the house standing on the
land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 383714 is
DECLARED part of the co-ownership of the parties John Nabor C.
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Arriola, Vilma G. Arriola and Anthony Ronald G. Arriola but
EXEMPTED from partition by public auction within the period
provided for in Article 159 of the Family Code.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.


Kelly v. Planters Products
GR# 172263 / JULY 09, 2008
557 SCRA 499

Facts: Auther G. Kelley, Jr. acquired agricultural chemical products
on consignment from Planters Products, Inc. (PPI) in 1989. Due to
Auther's failure to pay despite demand, PPI filed an action for sum of
money against him. PPI was able to secure judgment in its favor.
Pursuant thereto, the alleged family home of spouses Kelley,
covered by TCT No. 15079 located in Naga City, was sold on
execution. Subsequently, spouses Kelley filed a complaint for
declaration of nullity of levy and sale of the said property with
damages in RTC Naga City, Branch 19. They anchor their action on
the contention that the subject property was their family home which
was exempt from execution.

Issue: Whether spouses Kelley were correct in arguing that a family
home is exempt from execution.

Held: Yes. No doubt, a family home is generally exempt from
execution provided it was duly constituted as such. There must be
proof that the alleged family home was constituted jointly by the
husband and wife or by an unmarried head of a family. It must be the
house where they and their family actually reside and the lot on
which it is situated. The family home must be part of the properties of
the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, or of the
exclusive properties of either spouse with the latter's consent, or on
the property of the unmarried head of the family. The actual value of
the family home shall not exceed, at the time of its constitution, the
amount of P300,000 in urban areas and P200,000 in rural areas.

Under the Family Code, there is no need to constitute the family
home judicially or extrajudicially. All family homes constructed after
the effectivity of the Family Code (August 3, 1988) are constituted as
such by operation of law. All existing family residences as of August
3, 1988 are considered family homes and are prospectively entitled
to the benefits accorded to a family home under the Family Code.
The exemption is effective from the time of the constitution of the
family home as such and lasts as long as any of its beneficiaries
actually resides therein. Moreover, the debts for which the family
home is made answerable must have been incurred after August 3,
1988. Otherwise (that is, if it was incurred prior to August 3, 1988),
the alleged family home must be shown to have been constituted
either judicially or extrajudicially pursuant to the Civil Code.

The rule, however, is not absolute. The Family Code, in fact,
expressly provides for the following exceptions:
Article 155. The family home shall be exempt from execution,
forced sale or attachment except:
(1) For non-payment of taxes;
(2) For debts incurred prior to the constitution of the family
home;
(3) For debts secured by a mortgage on the premises before or
after such constitution; and
(4) For debts due to laborers, mechanics, architects, builders,
materialmen and others who have rendered service or furnished
material for the construction of the building.
xxx xxx xxx
Article 160. When a creditor whose claim is not among those
mentioned in Article 155 obtains a judgment in his favor, and he has
reasonable grounds to believe that the family home is actually worth
more than the maximum amount fixed in Article 157, he may apply to
the court which rendered the judgment for an order directing the sale
of the property under execution. The court shall so order if it finds
that the actual value of the family home exceeds the maximum
amount allowed by law as of the time of its constitution. If the
increased actual value exceeds the maximum amount allowed by
law in Article 157 and results from subsequent voluntary
improvements introduced by the person or persons constituting the
family home, by the owner or owners of the property, or by any of the
beneficiaries, the same rule and procedure shall apply.
xxx xxx xxx

94

The case was remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Naga City,
Branch 19 for determination whether or not the property covered by
TCT No. 15079 is a duly constituted family home and therefore
exempt from execution.


Josef v. Santos
GR# 165060 / NOV. 27, 2008
572 SCRA 57

FACTS:

Respondent, Otelio Santos, filed a case for collection of sum of
money against petitioner, Albino Josef, for failure to pay the shoe
materials which he bought on credit from respondent which the
Marikina RTC and CA decided in favour of respondent. The SC
dismissed the petition for review and the judgment became final and
executory. A writ of execution was issued and some personal
properties and a real property was sold on public auction with the
respondent as winning bidder. The petitioner filed a petition for
certiorari with the CA claiming that the real property sold was his
family home, thus, exempt from execution. The CA denied for failure
to file a MR on the trial courts order granting the motion for
execution, hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether the sale on public auction of petitioners family home to
satisfy judgment award is legal.

RULING:

No. The trial courts Order of Execution did not resolve nor take into
account petitioners allegations in his Opposition, which are material
and relevant in the resolution of the motion for issuance of a writ of
execution. It should have made an earnest determination of the truth
to petitioners claim that the house and lot in which he and his
children resided was their duly constituted family home and that the
personal properties belonged to the children. The family home is a
real right which is gratuitous, inalienable and free from attachment,
constituted over the dwelling place and the land on which it is
situated, which confers upon a particular family the right to enjoy
such properties, which must remain with the person constituting it
and his heirs. It cannot be seized by creditors except in certain
special cases.

Upon being apprised that the property subject of execution allegedly
constitutes petitioners family home, the trial court should have
observed the following procedure:

1. Determine if petitioners obligation to respondent falls under either
of the exceptions under Article 155 of the Family Code;

2. Make an inquiry into the veracity of petitioners claim that the
property was his family home; conduct an ocular inspection of the
premises; an examination of the title; an interview of members of the
community where the alleged family home is located, in order to
determine if petitioner actually resided within the premises of the
claimed family home; order a submission of photographs of the
premises, depositions, and/or affidavits of proper individuals/parties;
or a solemn examination of the petitioner, his children and other
witnesses. At the same time, the respondent is given the opportunity
to cross-examine and present evidence to the contrary;

3. If the property is accordingly found to constitute petitioners family
home, the court should determine:
a) if the obligation sued upon was contracted or incurred prior to, or
after, the effectivity of the Family Code;
b) if petitioners spouse is still alive, as well as if there are other
beneficiaries of the family home;
c) if the petitioner has more than one residence for the purpose of
determining which of them, if any, is his family home; and
d) its actual location and value, for the purpose of applying the
provisions of Articles 157 and 160 of the Family Code.
The family home is the dwelling place of a person and his family, a
sacred symbol of family love and repository of cherished memories
that last during ones lifetime. It is the sanctuary of that union which
the law declares and protects as a sacred institution; and likewise a
shelter for the fruits of that union. It is where both can seek refuge
and strengthen the tie that binds them together and which ultimately
95

forms the moral fabric of our nation. The protection of the family
home is just as necessary in the preservation of the family as a basic
social institution, and since no custom, practice or agreement
destructive of the family shall be recognized or given effect, the trial
courts failure to observe the proper procedures to determine the
veracity of petitioners allegations, is unjustified.

Indeed, petitioners resort to the special civil action of certiorari in the
Court of Appeals was belated and without benefit of the requisite
motion for reconsideration, however, considering the gravity of the
issue, involving as it does matters that strike at the very heart of that
basic social institution which the State has a constitutional and moral
duty to preserve and protect, as well as petitioners constitutional
right to abode, all procedural infirmities occasioned upon this case
must take a back seat to the substantive questions which deserve to
be answered in full.

The trial courts order of execution was nullified and it was directed to
conduct an inquiry as to the nature of the properties as to whether or
not exempt from execution.



Cabang v. Basay
GR# 180587 / MAR. 20, 2009
582 SCRA 172

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Ramos v. Pangilinan
GR # 185920 / July 20, 2010
625 SCRA 181
[See Articles 225, 229-231, 233; 240, 242 NCC] v. Article 154 FC

Facts: Respondents filed in 2003 a complaint1 for illegal dismissal
against E.M. Ramos Electric, Inc., a company owned by Ernesto M.
Ramos (Ramos), the patriarch of herein petitioners in which the
Labor Arbiter ruled in their favor. To satisfy their claims the Labor
Arbiter levied properties of Ramos. Ramos moved for the exemption
of a property which they alleged to be a family home. Respondents
contend that Pandacan property is not the Ramos family home, as it
has another in Antipolo, and the Pandacan property in fact served as
the companys business address as borne by the companys
letterhead. Labor Arbiter denied the motion to quash of the
petitioners in which the NLRC affirmed. As to petitioners claim that
the property was covered by the regime of conjugal partnership of
gains and as such only Ramos share can be levied upon, the NLRC
ruled that petitioners failed to substantiate such claim.

Issue: WON the said property is a family home.

Ruling: Indeed, the general rule is that the family home is a real right
which is gratuitous, inalienable and free from attachment, constituted
over the dwelling place and the land on which it is situated, which
confers upon a particular family the right to enjoy such properties,
which must remain with the person constituting it and his heirs. It
cannot be seized by creditors except in certain special cases. No
doubt, a family home is generally exempt from execution provided it
was duly constituted as such. There must be proof that the alleged
family home was constituted jointly by the husband and wife or by an
unmarried head of a family. It must be the house where they and
their family actually reside and the lot on which it is situated. The
family home must be part of the properties of the absolute
community or the conjugal partnership, or of the exclusive properties
of either spouse with the latters consent, or on the property of the
unmarried head of the family. The actual value of the family home
shall not exceed, at the time of its constitution, the amount of
P300,000 in urban areas and P200,000 in rural areas.

96

Two sets of rules are applicable:
1. If the family home was constructed before the effectivity of the
Family Code or before August 3, 1988
a) Constituted either judicially or extra-judicially as provided
under Articles 225, 229-231 and 233 of the Civil Code.
b) Judicial constitution of the family home requires the filing of a
verified petition before the courts and the registration of the courts
order with the Registry of Deeds of the area where the property is
located.
c) Extrajudicial constitution is governed by Articles 240 to 242
of the Civil Code and involves the execution of a public instrument
which must also be registered with the Registry of Property.
Failure to comply with either one of these two modes of constitution
will bar a judgment debtor from availing of the privilege.
2. Family homes constructed after the effectivity of the Family Code
on August 3, 1988
a. There is no need to constitute extrajudicially or judicially, and
the exemption is effective from the time it was constituted and lasts
as long as any of its beneficiaries under Art. 154 actually resides
therein.
b. The family home should belong to the absolute community
or conjugal partnership, or if exclusively by one spouse, its
constitution must have been with consent of the other, and its value
must not exceed certain amounts depending upon the area where it
is located.
c. The debts incurred for which the exemption does not apply
as provided under Art. 155 for which the family home is made
answerable must have been incurred after August 3, 1988.












TITLE VI. PATERNITY & FILIATION

See also RA 9255 - Use of Fathers Surname
Rules Of Evidence (DNA)
RA 9262 Anti Violence against Women & Children
RA 9858 Amendment to Art. 177, FC
Article 345, Revised Penal Code (RPC)


Filial Privilege, Art 965 NCC, Sec. 25, Rule 130 [Rule Of
Evidence]

Lee v. CA
GR # 177861, July 13, 2010
625 SCRA 66

FACTS
Spouses Lee Tek Sheng (Lee) and Keh Shiok Cheng (Keh) entered
the Philippines in 1930s as immigrants from China and begot 11
children. Shortly after Keh died in 1989, the 8 children of Tiu, the
familys former maid, alleged that they too, were Lee and Kehs
children. NBI, upon the request of Lee-Keh children found that Keh
cannot be the 8s mother and that it was just part of Lees grand
design in making his 8 children from his 2nd family, legitimate, thus
elevating their status and secure their future. Although, hospital
records indicates that the name of the mother of these 8 children
was Keh, this is in fact not possible, since the declared age of these
childrens mother did not coincide with Kehs actual age at the time
of their birth. For example, Marcelo, the alleged eldest, was born by
a 17-year-old mother, when Keh was already 38, and by a 23 year
old mother, when Keh was already 40 and so forth. This prompted
the Lee-Keh children to petition the court for the deletion from the
certificate of live birth of Emma Lee (1 of the 8) the name Keh and
replace the same with Tiu to indicate the true mothers name. Upon
request by the Lee-Keh children, the court issued a subpoena ad
testifacandum to compel Tiu, the presumed mother, to testify in the
case. Tiu moved to quash the subpoena being violative of Sec 25
Rule 130 of the Rules of Court which the court granted. Lee-Keh
children filed an MR, and upon its denial, they filed civil action of
certiorari to CA. CA held, among others that, only a duces tecum
97

that can be quashed and not an ad testificandum. Emma filed an
MR which the CA denied. Hence this case.

ISSUE
Whether or not Tiu, who claims to be the stepmother of the 8
children, can be compelled to witness against her alleged step-
children.

HELD
Yes. Section 25 of Rule 130 of Rules of Court provides that
Parental and filial privilege.- No person may be compelled to testify
against his parents, other direct ascendants, children or other direct
descendants. The above is an adaptation from a similar provision in
Article 315 of the Civil Code that applies only in criminal cases. But
those who revised the Rules of Civil Procedure chose to extend the
prohibition to all kinds of actions, whether civil, criminal, or
administrative, filed against parents and other direct ascendants or
descendants. But here Tiu, who invokes the filial privilege, claims
that she is the stepmother of petitioner Emma Lee. The privilege
cannot apply to them because the rule applies only to "direct"
ascendants and descendants, a family tie connected by a common
ancestry. A stepdaughter has no common ancestry by her
stepmother. Article 965 thus provides: Art. 965. The direct line is
either descending or ascending. The former unites the head of the
family with those who descend rom him. The latter binds a person
with those from whom he descends. Consequently, Tiu can be
compelled to testify against petitioner Emma Lee.



Reyes v. Mauricio
GR # 175080, Nov 24, 2010
636 SCRA 79

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CHAPTER 1. LEGITIMATE CHILDREN (Articles 163-171)


Benitez-Badua vs. CA
GR# 105625 / JAN 24, 1994
229 SCRA 468

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Mariategui vs. CA
GR# 57062 / JAN. 24, 1992
205 SCRA 337

FACTS: On June 26, 1953, Lupo Mariategui died without a will.
During his lifetime, Lupo Mariategui contracted three marriages. With
his first wife, Eusebia Montellano, he begot four children. With his
second wife, Flaviana Montellano, he begot a daughter. Lupo
Mariategui and Felipa Velasco (Lupo's third wife) got married
sometime in 1930. They had three children. Felipa Velasco
Mariategui died in 1941. At the time of his death, Lupo Mariategui left
certain properties which he acquired when he was still unmarried.
These properties are described in the complaint as Lots of the
Muntinglupa Estate.

On December 2, 1967, Lupo's descendants by his first and second
marriages executed a deed of extrajudicial partition whereby they
adjudicated unto themselves a lot of the Muntinglupa Estate.
Thereafter, the Lot was the subject of a voluntary registration
proceedings filed by the adjudicatees and the land registration court
issued a decree ordering the registration of the lot. Subsequently, the
registered owners caused the subdivision of the said lot, for which
separate transfer certificates of title were issued to the respective
parties.

98

On April 23, 1973, Lupo's children by his third marriage with Felipa
Velasco filed with the lower court an amended complaint claiming
that Lot together with other Lots owned by their common father, Lupo
Mariategui, and that, with the adjudication of the Lot to their co-heirs,
they (children of the third marriage) were deprived of their respective
shares in the lots. Plaintiffs pray for partition of the estate of their
deceased father.

The plaintiffs elevated the case to the CA on the ground that the trial
court committed an error in not finding that the parents of the
appellants, Lupo Mariategui and Felipa Velasco were lawfully
married, and in holding that they (appellants) are not legitimate
children of their said parents, thereby divesting them of their
inheritance.

On December 24, 1980, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision
declaring all the children and descendants of Lupo Mariategui,
including appellants Jacinto, Julian and Paulina (children of the third
marriage) as entitled to equal shares in the estate of Lupo
Mariategui; directing the adjudicatees in the extrajudicial partition of
real properties who eventually acquired transfer certificates of title.

ISSUE: WON the private respondents, who belatedly filed the action
for recognition, were able to prove their successional rights over said
estate

HELD: Yes, with respect to the legal basis of private respondents'
demand for partition of the estate of Lupo Mariategui, the Supreme
Court held that the private respondents are legitimate children of the
deceased.

Lupo Mariategui and Felipa Velasco were alleged to have been
lawfully married in or about 1930. This fact is based on the
declaration communicated by Lupo Mariategui to Jacinto who
testified that when (his) father was still living, he was able to mention
to (him) that he and (his) mother were able to get married before a
Justice of the Peace of Taguig, Rizal. The spouses deported
themselves as husband and wife, and were known in the community
to be such. Although no marriage certificate was introduced to this
effect, no evidence was likewise offered to controvert these facts.
Moreover, the mere fact that no record of the marriage exists does
not invalidate the marriage, provided all requisites for its validity are
present. Under these circumstances, a marriage may be presumed
to have taken place between Lupo and Felipa.

Article 172 of the said Code provides that the filiation of legitimate
children may be established by the record of birth appearing in the
civil registrar or a final judgment or by the open and continuous
possession of the status of legitimate child. Evidence on record
proves the legitimate filiation of the private respondents. Jacintos
birth certificate is a record of birth referred to in the said article.
Again, no evidence which tends to disprove facts contained therein
was adduced before the lower court. In the case of the two other
private respondents, Julian and Paulina, they may not have
presented in evidence any of the documents required by Article 172
but they continuously enjoyed the status of children of Lupo
Mariategui in the same manner as their brother Jacinto.


Babiera vs. Catotal
GR# 138493 / JUNE 15, 2000
333 SCRA 487

Facts:
Catotal filed a petition for cancellation of the entry of birth of
Teofista (Guinto) Babiera. From that petition, Catotal asserted that
she is the only surviving child of the late spouses Eugenion Babiera
and Hermogena Carinosa, who died on May 26, 1996 and July 6,
1990 respectively. She claims that on September 20, 1996 a baby
girl was delivered by hilot in the house of spouses Eugenio and
Hermogena, and that without knowledge of said spouses, a certain
Flora Guinto, the mother of the child and housemaid of the said
spouses caused the registration/recording of the facts of birth of her
child by simulating that child was that of the spouses (then 65 and
54yrs old respectively), and made Hermogena appear as the mother
by forging her signature. She also claims that she, then 15 years old,
saw with her own eyes and personally witnessed Flora Guinto gave
birth to Teofista Guinto.

Issue: W/N Article 171 of the Family Code is applicable.
99

Held:
Article 171 of the FC is not applicable to the present case. A
close reading of this provision shows that it applies to instances in
which the father impugns the legitimacy of his wifes child. The
provision, however, presupposes that the child was the undisputed
offspring of the mother.
The present case alleges and shows that Hermogena did not
give birth to Babiera. In other words, the prayer herein is not to
declare that Babiera is an illegitimate child of Hermogena, but to
establish that Babiera is not Hermogenas child at all. Verily, the
present action does not impugn Babieras filiation to the Spouses
Eugenio and Hermogena because there is no blood relation to
impugn in the first place.


Labagala vs. Santiago
GR# 132305 / DEC. 04, 2001
371 SCRA 360


FACTS:
This petition for review on certiorari seeks to annul the decision
dated March 4, 1997, of the Court of Appeals, which reversed and
set aside the judgment dated October 17, 1990, of the Regional Trial
Court of Manila, Branch 54, finding herein petitioner to be the owner
of 1/3 pro indiviso share in a parcel of land.

Jose T. Santiago owned a parcel of land located in Rizal Avenue
Extension, Sta. Cruz, Manila. Alleging that Jose had fraudulently
registered it in his name alone, his sisters Nicolasa and Amanda
(now respondents herein) sued Jose for recovery of 2/3 share of the
property. The trial court decided in favor of the sisters, recognizing
their right of ownership over portions of the property covered by TCT
No. 64729. The Register of Deeds of Manila was required to include
the names of Nicolasa and Amanda in the certificate of title to said
property.

Jose died intestate on February 6, 1984. On August 5, 1987,
respondents filed a complaint for recovery of title, ownership, and
possession against herein petitioner, Ida C. Labagala, before the
Regional Trial Court of Manila, to, recover from her the 1/3 portion of
said property pertaining to Jose but which came into petitioner's sole
possession upon Jose's death.

Respondents insisted that the deed of sale was a forgery. Having
been able to graduate from college, Jose never put his thumb mark
on documents he executed but always signed his name in full. They
claimed that Jose could not have sold the property belonging to his
"poor and unschooled sisters who sacrificed for his studies and
personal welfare." Respondents also pointed out that it is highly
improbable for petitioner to have paid the supposed consideration of
P150,000 for the sale of the subject property because petitioner was
unemployed and without any visible means of livelihood at the time
of the alleged sale. They also stressed that it was quite unusual and
questionable that petitioner registered the deed of sale only on
January 26, 1987, or almost eight years after the execution of the
sale.

Petitioner claimed that her true name is not Ida C. Labagala as
claimed by respondent but Ida C. Santiago. She claimed not to know
any person by the name of Ida C. Labagala. She claimed to be the
daughter of Jose and thus entitled to his share in the subject
property. She maintained that she had always stayed on the
property, ever since she was a child. She argued that the purported
sale of the property was in fact a donation to her, and that nothing
could have precluded Jose from putting his thumbmark on the deed
of sale instead of his signature. She pointed out that during his
lifetime, Jose never acknowledged respondents' claim over the
property such that respondents had to sue to claim portions thereof.
She lamented that respondents had to disclaim her in their desire to
obtain ownership of the whole property.

ISSUE/S:
(1) Whether or not respondents may impugn petitioner's filiation in
this action for recovery of title and possession; and

(2) Whether or not petitioner is entitled to Jose's 1/3 portion of the
property he co-owned with respondents, through succession, sale, or
donation.

100

HELD:

On the first issue, we find petitioner's reliance on Article 263 of the
Civil Code to be misplaced. Said article provides:

Art. 263. The action to impugn the legitimacy of the child shall be
brought within one year from the recording of the birth in the Civil
Register, if the husband should be in the same place, or in a proper
case, any of his heirs.
If he or his heirs are absent, the period shall be eighteen months if
they should reside in the Philippines; and two years if abroad. If the
birth of the child has been concealed, the term shall be counted from
the discovery of the fraud.

This article should be read in conjunction with the other articles in the
same chapter on paternity and filiation in the Civil Code. A careful
reading of said chapter would reveal that it contemplates situations
where a doubt exists that a child is indeed a man's child by his wife,
and the husband (or, in proper cases, his heirs) denies the child's
filiation. It does not refer to situations where a child is alleged not to
be the child at all of a particular couple.

Article 263 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.
Moreover, the present action is one for recovery of title and
possession, and thus outside the scope of Article 263 on prescriptive
periods.

Respondents are not assailing petitioner's legitimate status but are,
instead, asserting that she is not at all their brother's child. The birth
certificate presented by respondents support this allegation.

At the pre-trial conducted on August 11, 1988, petitioner's counsel
admitted that petitioner did not have a birth certificate indicating that
she is Ida Santiago, though she had been using this name all her life.

Petitioner opted not to present her birth certificate to prove her
relationship with Jose and instead offered in evidence her baptismal
certificate. A baptismal certificate, a private document, is not
conclusive proof of filiation. More so are the entries made in an
income tax return, which only shows that income tax has been paid
and the amount thereof.

We note that the trial court had asked petitioner to secure a copy of
her birth certificate but petitioner, without advancing any reason
therefor, failed to do so. Neither did petitioner obtain a certification
that no record of her birth could be found in the civil registry, if such
were the case. We find petitioner's silence concerning the absence
of her birth certificate telling. It raises doubt as to the existence of a
birth certificate that would show petitioner to be the daughter of Jose
Santiago and Esperanza Cabrigas. Her failure to show her birth
certificate would raise the presumption that if such evidence were
presented, it would be adverse to her claim. Petitioner's counsel
argued that petitioner had been using Santiago all her life. However,
use of a family name certainly does not establish pedigree.

Further, we note that petitioner, who claims to be Ida Santiago, has
the same birthdate as Ida Labagala. The similarity is too uncanny to
be a mere coincidence.

During her testimony before the trial court, petitioner denied knowing
Cornelia Cabrigas, who was listed as the mother in the birth
certificate of Ida Labagala. In her petition before this Court, however,
she stated that Cornelia is the sister of her mother, Esperanza. It
appears that petitioner made conflicting statements that affect her
credibility and could cast along shadow of doubt on her claims of
filiation.

Thus, we are constrained to agree with the factual finding of the
Court of Appeals that petitioner is in reality the child of Leon
Labagala and Cornelia Cabrigas, and contrary to her averment, not
of Jose Santiago and Esperanza Cabrigas. Not being a child of Jose,
it follows that petitioner can not inherit from him through intestate
succession.

101

It now remains to be seen whether the property in dispute was validly
transferred to petitioner through sale or donation.

On the validity of the purported deed of sale, however, we agree with
the Court of Appeals. Clearly, there is no valid sale in this case. Jose
did not have the right to transfer ownership of the entire property to
petitioner since 2/3 thereof belonged to his sisters. Petitioner could
not have given her consent to the contract, being a minor at the time.
Consent of the contracting parties is among the essential requisites
of a contract, including one of sale, absent which there can be no
valid contract. Moreover, petitioner admittedly did not pay any
centavo for the property, which makes the sale void. Article 1471 of
the Civil Code provides:
Art. 1471. If the price is simulated, the sale is void, but the act may
be shown to have been in reality a donation, or some other act or
contract.

Neither may the purported deed of sale be a valid deed of donation.
Again, as explained by the Court of Appeals:

...Even assuming that the deed is genuine, it cannot be a valid
donation. It lacks the acceptance of the donee required by Art. 725 of
the Civil Code. Being a minor in 1979, the acceptance of the
donation should have been made by her father, Leon Labagala or
[her] mother Cornelia Cabrigas or her legal representative pursuant
to Art. 741 of the same Code. No one of those mentioned in the law -
in fact no one at all - accepted the "donation" for Ida.

In sum, we find no reversible error attributable to the assailed
decision of the Court of Appeals, hence it must be upheld.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, and the decision of the Court
of Appeals in CA-G.R. CY No. 32817 is AFFIRMED.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.





Liyao vs. Tanhoti-Liyao
GR# 138961 / MAR. 07, 2002
378 SCRA 563

Facts of the Case:

On November 29,1976, William Liyao, Jr., represented by his mother
Corazon G. Garcia, filed an action for compulsory recognition as the
illegitimate child of the late William Liyao against herein
respondents. The complaint alleged that petitioner was in
continuous possession and enjoyment of the status of the child of
said William Liyao, petitioner having been recognized and
acknowledged as such child by the decedent during his lifetime."
Petitioner further alleged that: (a) Corazon (who at that time was still
legally married to Ramon Yulo) cohabited with the late William Liyao
from 1965 up to the time of Williams untimely demise on December
2, 1975; (b) on June 9, 1975, Corazon gave birth to William Liyao, Jr.
(Billy) and all the medical and hospital expenses, food and clothing
were paid under the account of William Liyao; (c) William supported
Billy and paid for his food, clothing and other material needs; (d)
William Liyao would bring Billy to the office and other social
gatherings and introduce him as his child.
On August 31, 1993, the trial court rendered a decision declaring the
minor William Liyao, Jr. as the illegitimate (spurious) son of the
deceased William Liyao. In ruling for herein petitioner, the trial court
was convinced that deceased William Liyao sired William Liyao, Jr.
since the latter was conceived at the time when Corazon Garcia
cohabited with the deceased. The trial court observed that herein
petitioner had been in continuous possession and enjoyment of the
status of a child of the deceased by direct and overt acts of the latter;
openly and publicly acknowledging petitioner as his son; providing
sustenance and even introducing herein petitioner to his legitimate
children.
The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the ruling of the trial court
saying that the law favors the legitimacy rather than the illegitimacy
of the child. The appellate court observed that Corazon Garcia and
Ramon Yulo were still legally married during the supposed time that
William Jr. was conceived and born. Thus, in the absence of proof to
the contrary, William Jr. is presumed to be the legitimate child of
Corazon and Ramon.
102

Hence, the present petition.

Issue: WON the CA erred in denying petitioner's action for
recognition as illegitimate child.

Held:
Under the New Civil Code, a child born and conceived during a valid
marriage is presumed to be legitimate. The presumption of
legitimacy of children does not only flow out from a declaration
contained in the statute but is based on the broad principles of
natural justice and the supposed virtue of the mother. The
presumption is grounded in a policy to protect innocent offspring
from the odium of illegitimacy.
The presumption of legitimacy of the child, however, is not
conclusive and consequently, may be overthrown by evidence to the
contrary. However, impugning the legitimacy of the child is a strictly
personal right of the husband, or in exceptional cases, his heirs for
the simple reason that he is the one directly confronted with the
scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces and he
should be the one to 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 o an insult to his memory.
Thus, 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.






CHAPTER 2. PROOF OF FILIATION (Articles 172-174)

Rodriguez vs. CA
GR# 85723 / JUNE 19, 1995
245 SCRA 150

FACTS:

On October 15, 1986, an action for compulsory recognition and
support was brought before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 9,
Baguio-Benguet, by respondent Alarito (Clarito) Agbulos against
Bienvenido Rodriguez, petitioner herein. At the trial, the plaintiff
presented his mother, Felicitas Agbulos Haber, as first witness. In
the course of her direct examination, she was asked by counsel to
reveal the identity of the plaintiff's father but the defendant's counsel
raised a timely objection which the court sustained.

The plaintiff filed before this Court a petition for review on certiorari
questioning the said order in case entitled Clarito Agbulos v. Hon.
Romeo A. Brawner and Bienvenido Rodriguez." On March 18, 1988,
this Court referred the petition to the Court of Appeals (CA-G.R. SP
No. 14276), which promulgated the questioned Decision dated
November 2, 1988.

ISSUE:

Whether the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial courts
order and allowing the admission of said testimony.

HELD:

We find that had the appellate court sanctioned the trial court's
disallowance of the testimony of plaintiff's mother, private respondent
would have been deprived of a speedy and adequate remedy
considering the importance of said testimony and the erroneous
resolution of the trial court.

On the merits of his petition, petitioner contended that Felicitas
Agbulos Haber should not be allowed to reveal the name of the
father of private respondent because such revelation was prohibited
103

by Article 280 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Said Article
provided:
When the father or the mother makes the recognition separately, he
or she shall not reveal the name of the person with whom he or she
had the child; neither shall he or she state any circumstance
whereby the other party may be identified.

On the other hand, private respondent argued that his mother should
be allowed to testify on the identity of his father, pursuant to
paragraph 4, Article 283 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and
Section 30, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court.

Article 283 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provided:

In any of the following cases, the father is obliged to recognize the
child as his natural child:
(1) In cases of rape, abduction or seduction, when the period of the
offense coincides more or less with that of the conception;
(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 of his family;
(3) When the child was conceived during the time when the mother
cohabited with the supposed father;
(4) When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the
defendant is his father.

Section 30, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:

Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay
excluded. A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows
of his own knowledge, that is, which are derived from his own
perception, except as otherwise provided in these rules.

The prohibition in Article 280 against the identification of the father or
mother of a child applied only in voluntary and not in compulsory
recognition.

This conclusion becomes abundantly clear if we consider the relative
position of the progenitor of Article 280, which was Article 132 of the
Spanish Civil Code of 1889, with the other provisions on the
acknowledgement of natural children of the same Code.


Senator Arturo M. Tolentino is of the view that the prohibition in
Article 280 does not apply in an action for compulsory recognition.
According to him:

The prohibition to reveal the name or circumstance of the parent who
does not intervene in the separate recognition is limited only to the
very act of making such separate recognition. It does not extend to
any other act or to cases allowed by law. Thus, when a recognition
has been made by one parent, the name of the other parent may be
revealed in an action by the child to compel such other parent to
recognize him also (I Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil
Code of the Philippines 590 [1985]).

Justice Eduardo Caguioa also opines that the said prohibition refers
merely to the act of recognition. "It does prevent inquiry into the
identity of the other party in case an action is brought in court to
contest recognition on the ground that the child is not really natural
because the other parent had no legal capacity to contract marriage"
(I Comments and Cases on Civil Law 380 [1967] citing In re Estate of
Enriquez, 29 Phil. 167 [1915]).

The action filed by private respondent herein was brought under
Article 283 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which added new
grounds for filing an action for recognition: namely,
xxx xxx xxx
3) When the child was conceived during the time when the mother
cohabited with the supposed father;
4) When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the
defendant is his father.

Worth noting is the fact that no similar prohibition found in Article 280
of the Civil Code of the Philippines has been replicated in the present
Family Code. This undoubtedly discloses the intention of the
legislative authority to uphold the Code Commission's stand to
liberalize the rule on the investigation of the paternity of illegitimate
children.

104

Articles 276, 277, 278, 279 and 280 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines were repealed by the Family Code, which now allows the
establishment of illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the
same evidence as legitimate children (Art. 175).

Under Article 172 of the Family Code, filiation of legitimate children is
by any of the following:

The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the
following:
(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 of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate 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.
(265a, 266a, 267a)

Of interest is that Article 172 of the Family Code adopts the rule in
Article 283 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, that filiation may be
proven by "any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father."

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.
The trial court is DIRECTED to PROCEED with dispatch in the
disposition of the action for compulsory recognition.


Solinap vs. Locsin Jr.
GR# 146737 / DEC. 10, 2001
371 SCRA 711

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Heirs of Cabais vs. CA
GR# 106314-15/OCT. 08, 1999
316 SCRA 338

Facts: Petitioners are legal heirs of Pedro Cabais, who died on April
16, 1982, leaving a parcel of land situated 3 in Basud, Tabaco,
Albay, with an area of 1,638 square meters in the name of Pedro
Cabais. The said property was inherited by Pedro Cabais from his
grandmother Eustaquia Caeta by right of representation. His
mother, Felipa Caeta Buesa, who was the only daughter of
Eustaquia Caeta, predeceased the latter, leaving him as the only
legal heir of Eustaquia. The respondents contend that Pedro did not
proved his filiation with Felipa C. Buesa. That the baptismal
certificate is not sufficient to prove his filiation. On October 15, 1979,
shortly after Pedro Cabais had adjudicated to himself the property in
question, a complaint for partition and accounting was brought by
Simon Bonaobra, Heirs of Victoria Caeta and Heirs of Anastacio
Caeta against Pedro Cabais. During the pendency of case, Pedro
Cabais died. Whereupon, the respondents herein entered the
property in dispute and constructed houses thereon, depriving
petitioners of possession thereof.

Issue: WON the lower court erred in relying on the Baptismal
Certificate of Felipa C. Buesa to establish the parentage and filiation
of Pedro Cabais.

Ruling: A birth certificate, being a public document, offers prima facie
evidence of filiation and a high degree of proof is needed to
overthrow the presumption of truth contained in such public
document. This is pursuant to the rule that entries in official records
made in the performance of his duty by a public officer are prima
facie evidence of the facts therein stated. The evidentiary nature of
such document must, therefore, be sustained in the absence of
strong, complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity. On the
contrary, a baptismal certificate, a private document, which, being
hearsay, is not a conclusive proof of filiation. It does not have the
same probative value as a record of birth, an official or public
document. In Macadangdang vs. Court of Appeals, et al., this Court
declared that a baptismal certificate is evidence only to prove the
105

administration of the sacrament on the dates therein specified, but
not the veracity of the declarations therein stated with respect to his
kinsfolk.


Cenido vs. Apacionado
GR# 132474 / NOV. 19, 1999
318 SCRA 688

FACTS:
Respondent spouses Amadeo Apacionado and Herminia Sta. Ana
filed with the Rizal RTC a complaint against petitioner Renato
Cenido for, "Declaration of Ownership, Nullity, with Damages" for a
parcel of land in Binangonan, Rizal which the spouses allegedly
owned by purchase from its previous owner, Bonifacio Aparato,
whom they took care till death. The petitioner, Renato Cenido, who
filed an earlier ejectment case against the spouses which was
dismissed, claims that he is the illegitimate son of the deceased
owner of the property and as the sole surviving heir, he became the
owner of the property. This is evidenced by the tax declaration in his
name and was confirmed by the Binangonan MTC in a compromise
agreement between him and the deceaseds brother as co-heirs.
Respondent spouses replied that: (1) Cenido is not the illegitimate
son of Bonifacio, Cenido's claim of paternity being spurious; (2) the
ownership of the property was not the proper subject in the case
before the MTC, nor were the spouses parties in said case. The trial
court upheld petitioner Cenido's ownership over the property by
virtue of the recognition made by Bonifacio's then surviving brother,
Gavino, in the compromise judgment of the MTC. Concomitantly, the
court also did not sustain the deed of sale between Bonifacio and the
spouses because it was neither notarized nor signed by Bonifacio
and was intrinsically defective. The CA reversed the decision of the
trial court and held among others that the recognition of Cenido's
filiation by Gavino, Bonifacio's brother, did not comply with the
requirements of the Civil Code and the Family Code, hence, this
petition.
Victoria Cenidosa, in representation of petitioner Cenido, has
manifested, through counsel, that petitioner has already died and
that eight years before his death, Cenido sold the subject house and
lot to Maria D. Ojeda who is now old and sickly, and is thus being
represented in the instant case by her daughter, Victoria O.
Cenidosa. In the same vein, respondent Herminia Sta. Ana
Apacionado also manifested that her husband, Amadeo Apacionado,
has already died and is now being represented by his compulsory
heirs.

ISSUE:
WON Tax Declaration in the name of petitioner should be nullified
because his recognition or filiation failed to comply with requirements
of the Civil Code and Family Code.

HELD:
Yes. Under the Civil Code, natural children and illegitimate children
other than natural are entitled to support and successional rights only
when recognized or acknowledged by the putative parent. The
filiation of illegitimate children may be proved by any of the forms of
recognition of natural children, namely: (1) voluntarily, which must be
express such as that in a record of birth, a will, a statement before a
court of record, or in any authentic writing; (2) legally, i.e., when a
natural child is recognized, such recognition extends to his or her
brothers and sisters of the full blood; and (3) judicially or
compulsorily, which may be demanded by the illegitimate child of his
parents. The action for compulsory recognition of the illegitimate
child must be brought during the lifetime of the presumed parents.
This is explicitly provided in Article 285 of the Civil Code, viz:
Art. 285. The action for the recognition of natural children may be
brought only during the lifetime of the presumed parents, except in
the following cases:
(1) If the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in
which case the latter may file the action before the expiration of four
years from the attainment of his majority;
(2) If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should
appear of which nothing had been heard and in which either or both
parents recognize the child.
In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from
the finding of the document.
The illegitimate child can file an action for compulsory recognition
only during the lifetime of the presumed parent. After the parent's
death, the child cannot bring such action, except, however, in only
two instances: one is when the supposed parent died during the
106

minority of the child, and the other is when after the death of the
parent, a document should be discovered in which the parent
recognized the child as his. The action must be brought within four
years from the attainment of majority in the first case, and from the
discovery of the document in the second case. The requirement that
the action be filed during the parent's lifetime is to prevent illegitimate
children, on account of strong temptations to large estates left by
dead persons, to claim part of this estate without giving the alleged
parent personal opportunity to be heard. It is vital that the parent be
heard for only the parent is in a position to reveal the true facts
surrounding the claimant's conception.
In the case at bar, petitioner Cenido did not present any record of
birth, will or any authentic writing to show he was voluntarily
recognized by Bonifacio as his illegitimate son. In fact, petitioner
admitted on the witness stand that he had no document to prove
Bonifacio's recognition, much less his filiation. The voluntary
recognition of petitioner's filiation by Bonifacio's brother before the
MTC does not qualify as a "statement in a court of record." Under the
law, this statement must be made personally by the parent himself or
herself, not by any brother, sister or relative; after all, the concept of
recognition speaks of a voluntary declaration by the parent, or if the
parent refuses, by judicial authority, to establish the paternity or
maternity of children born outside wedlock. The compromise
judgment of the MTC does not qualify as a compulsory recognition of
petitioner. In the first place, when he filed this case against Gavino
Aparato, petitioner was no longer a minor. He was already pushing
fifty years old. Secondly, there is no allegation that after Bonifacio's
death, a document was discovered where Bonifacio recognized
petitioner Cenido as his son. Thirdly, there is nothing in the
compromise judgment that indicates that the action before the MTC
was a settlement of Bonifacio's estate with a gross value not
exceeding P20,000.00. Definitely, the action could not have been for
compulsory recognition because the MTC had no jurisdiction over
the subject matter. The Real Property Tax Code provides that real
property tax be assessed in the name of the person "owning or
administering" the property on which the tax is levied. Since
petitioner Cenido has not proven any successional or administrative
rights to Bonifacio's estate, the Tax Declaration in Cenido's name
must be declared null and void.

Tijing vs. Court of Appeals
GR# 125901 / MAR. 08, 2001
354 SCRA 17

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Estate of Ong v. Diaz
GR# 171713 / DEC. 17, 2007
540 SCRA 480

Verceles v. Posada
GR# 159785 / APR. 27, 2007
522 SCRA 518

Tayag v. Tayag-Gallor
GR# 174680 / MAR. 24, 2008
549 SCRA 68

Facts:
On 15 January 2001, respondent Felicidad A. Tayag-Gallor,
filed a petition for the issuance of letters of administration over the
estate of Ismael Tayag. She alleged in the petition that she is one of
the three (3) illegitimate children of the late Ismael Tayag and Ester
C. Angeles. The decedent was married to petitioner Victoria C.
Tayag, but the two allegedly did not have any children of their own.
On 7 September 2000, Ismael Tayag died intestate, leaving behind
two (2) real properties both of which are in the possession of
petitioner, and a motor vehicle which the latter sold on 10 October
2000 preparatory to the settlement of the decedents estate.
Petitioner allegedly promised to give respondent and her brothers
P100,000.00 each as their share in the proceeds of the sale.
However, petitioner only gave each of them half the amount she
promised.
Petitioner opposed the petition, asserting that she purchased the
properties subject of the petition using her own money. She claimed
107

that she and Ismael Tayag got married in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
on 25 October 1973, and that they have an adopted daughter,
Carmela Tayag, who is presently residing in the USA. It is allegedly
not true that she is planning to sell the properties. Petitioner
reiterated her sole ownership of the properties and presented the
transfer certificates of title thereof in her name. She also averred that
it is necessary to allege that respondent was acknowledged and
recognized by Ismael Tayag as his illegitimate child. There being no
such allegation, the action becomes one to compel recognition which
cannot be brought after the death of the putative father.

Issue: W/N respondents petition for the issuance of letters of
administration sufficiently states a cause of action considering that
respondent merely alleged therein that she is an illegitimate child of
the decedent, without stating that she had been acknowledged or
recognized as such by the latter.

Held:
Essentially, the petition for the issuance of letters of
administration is a suit for the settlement of the intestate estate of
Ismael Tayag. The right of respondent to maintain such a suit is
dependent on whether she is entitled to successional rights as an
illegitimate child of the decedent which, in turn, may be established
through voluntary or compulsory recognition.
Voluntary recognition must be express such as that in a record of
birth appearing in the civil register, a final judgment, a public
instrument or private handwritten instrument signed by the parent
concerned. Judicial or compulsory recognition, on the other hand,
may be demanded by the illegitimate child of his parents and must
be brought during the lifetime of the presumed parents.
The Court, in the case of Uyguangco v. Court of Appeals, applying
the provisions of the Family Code which had then already taken
effect, ruled that since Graciano was claiming illegitimate filiation
under the second paragraph of Article 172 of the Family Code, i.e.,
open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child,
the action was already barred by the death of the alleged father.
But respondent in this case had not been given the
opportunity to present evidence to show whether she had been
voluntarily recognized and acknowledged by her deceased father
because of petitioners opposition to her petition and motion for
hearing on affirmative defenses. There is, as yet, no way to
determine if her petition is actually one to compel recognition which
had already been foreclosed by the death of her father, or whether
indeed she has a material and direct interest to maintain the suit by
reason of the decedents voluntary acknowledgment or recognition of
her illegitimate filiation.
We find, therefore, that the allegation that respondent is an
illegitimate child of the decedent suffices even without further stating
that she has been so recognized or acknowledged. A motion to
dismiss on the ground of failure to state a cause of action in the
complaint hypothetically admits the truth of the facts alleged therein.


Puno v. Puno Ent. Inc.
GR# 177066 / Sept. 11, 2009
599 SCRA 585

FACTS:
Upon the death of a stockholder, the heirs do not automatically
become stockholders of the corporation; neither are they mandatorily
entitled to the rights and privileges of a stockholder.

This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Court of Appeals
Decision and Resolution.

Carlos L. Puno, died on June 25, 1963, was an incorporator of
respondent Puno Enterprises, Inc. On March 14, 2003, petitioner
Joselito Musni Puno, claiming to be an heir of Carlos L. Puno,
initiated a complaint for specific performance against respondent.
Petitioner averred that he is the son of the deceased with the latters
common-law wife, Amelia Puno. As surviving heir, he claimed
entitlement to the rights and privileges of his late father as
stockholder of respondent. The complaint thus prayed that
respondent allow petitioner to inspect its corporate book, render an
accounting of all the transactions it entered into from 1962, and give
petitioner all the profits, earnings, dividends, or income pertaining to
the shares of Carlos L. Puno.

Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that petitioner
did not have the legal personality to sue because his birth certificate
108

names him as "Joselito Musni Muno." Apropos, there was yet a need
for a judicial declaration that "Joselito Musni Puno" and "Joselito
Musni Muno" were one and the same.

The court ordered that the proceedings be held in abeyance,
ratiocinating that petitioners certificate of live birth was no proof of
his paternity and relation to Carlos L. Puno.
Petitioner submitted the corrected birth certificate with the name
"Joselito M. Puno," certified by the Civil Registrar of the City of
Manila, and the Certificate of Finality thereof. To hasten the
disposition of the case, the court conditionally admitted the corrected
birth certificate as genuine and authentic and ordered respondent to
file its answer within fifteen days from the order and set the case for
pretrial.

On appeal, the CA ordered the dismissal of the complaint in its
Decision dated October 11, 2006. According to the CA, petitioner
was not able to establish the paternity of and his filiation to Carlos L.
Puno since his birth certificate was prepared without the intervention
of and the participatory acknowledgment of paternity by Carlos L.
Puno. Accordingly, the CA said that petitioner had no right to
demand that he be allowed to examine respondents books.
Moreover, petitioner was not a stockholder of the corporation but
was merely claiming rights as an heir of Carlos L. Puno, an
incorporator of the corporation. His action for specific performance
therefore appeared to be premature; the proper action to be taken
was to prove the paternity of and his filiation to Carlos L. Puno in a
petition for the settlement of the estate of the latter.

ISSUE/S:

The petition is without merit. Petitioner failed to establish the right to
inspect respondent corporations books and receive dividends on the
stocks owned by Carlos L. Puno.

Petitioner anchors his claim on his being an heir of the deceased
stockholder. However, we agree with the appellate court that
petitioner was not able to prove satisfactorily his filiation to the
deceased stockholder; thus, the former cannot claim to be an heir of
the latter.

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 the certificate.
The local civil registrar has no authority to record the paternity of an
illegitimate child on the information of a third person. As correctly
observed by the CA, only petitioners mother supplied the data in the
birth certificate and signed the same. There was no evidence that
Carlos L. Puno acknowledged petitioner as his son.

As for the baptismal certificate, we have already decreed that it can
only serve as evidence of the administration of the sacrament on the
date specified but not of the veracity of the entries with respect to the
childs paternity.

In any case, Sections 74 and 75 of the Corporation Code enumerate
the persons who are entitled to the inspection of corporate books.

The stockholders right of inspection of the corporations books and
records is based upon his ownership of shares in the corporation and
the necessity for self-protection. After all, a shareholder has the right
to be intelligently informed about corporate affairs. Such right rests
upon the stockholders underlying ownership of the corporations
assets and property.

Similarly, only stockholders of record are entitled to receive
dividends declared by the corporation, a right inherent in the
ownership of the shares.

Upon the death of a shareholder, the heirs do not automatically
become stockholders of the corporation and acquire the rights and
privileges of the deceased as shareholder of the corporation. The
stocks must be distributed first to the heirs in estate proceedings,
and the transfer of the stocks must be recorded in the books of the
corporation as provided under Section 63 of the Corporation Code

Thus, even if petitioner presents sufficient evidence in this case to
establish that he is the son of Carlos L. Puno, he would still not be
allowed to inspect respondents books and be entitled to receive
dividends from respondent, absent any showing in its transfer book
109

that some of the shares owned by Carlos L. Puno were transferred to
him. This would only be possible if petitioner has been recognized as
an heir and has participated in the settlement of the estate of the
deceased.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The
Court of Appeals Decision dated October 11, 2006 and Resolution
dated March 6, 2007 are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.


CHAPTER 3. ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN (Articles 175-176)

David vs. CA
GR# 111180 / NOV. 16, 1995
250 SCRA 82

Facts:
Petitioner Daisie T. David worked as secretary of private respondent
Ramon R. Villar, a married man and the father of four children. After
a while, the relationship between petitioner and private respondent
developed into an intimate one, as a result of which a son,
Christopher J., was born. Christopher J. was followed by two more
children, both girls, namely Christine and Cathy Mae.
The relationship became known to private respondent's wife when
Daisie took Christopher J, to Villar's house and introduced him to
Villar's legal wife. After this, the children of Daisie were freely brought
by Villar to his house as they were eventually accepted by his legal
family.
In the summer of 1991, Villar asked Daisie to allow Christopher J., to
go with his family to Boracay. Daisie agreed, but after the trip, Villar
refused to give back the child. Hence, on July 30, 1991, Daisie filed a
petition for habeas corpus on behalf of Christopher J.
After hearing, the Regional Trial Court, issued an Order declaring
that the rightful custody of the minor Christopher J. T. David is
hereby given to the natural mother, the herein petitioner Daisie T.
David. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that
question of custody over an illegitimate child cannot be decided in
habeas corpus. The CA further ruled that until the issue on custody
and support shall have been determined in a proper case, it is for the
best interest of Christopher J that he should temporarily remain
under the custody of respondent.
Issue : WON the custody of Christopher may be decided in a habeas
corpus case. WON petitioner is entitled to the custody of
Christopher.
Held:
Rule 1021 1 (Habeas Corpus) makes no distinction between the
case of a mother who is separated from her husband and is entitled
to the custody of her child and that of a mother of an illegitimate child
who, by law, is vested with sole parental authority, but is deprived of
her rightful custody of her child.
In the case at bar, Christopher J. is an illegitimate child since at the
time of his conception, his father, private respondent Ramon R.
Villar, was married to another woman other than the child's mother.
As such, pursuant to Art. 176 of the Family Code, Christopher J. is
under the parental authority of his mother, the herein petitioner, who,
as a consequence of such authority, is entitled to have custody of
him. Since, admittedly, petitioner has been deprived of her rightful
custody of her child by private respondent, she is entitled to issuance
of the writ of habeas corpus.
The fact that private respondent has recognized the minor child may
be a ground for ordering him to give support to the latter, but not for
giving him custody of the child. Under Art. 213 of the Family Code,
"no child under seven years of age shall be separated from the
mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to order
otherwise."
Nor is the fact that private respondent is well-off a reason for
depriving petitioner of the custody of her children, especially
considering that she has been able to rear and support them on her
own since they were born. Daisie and her children may not be
enjoying a life of affluence that private respondent promises if the
child lives with him. It is enough, however, that petitioner is earning a
decent living and is able to support her children according to her
means.






110

Tonog vs. CA
GR# 122906 / FEB. 07, 2002
376 SCRA 523

FACTS:

On September 23, 1989, petitioner Dinah B. Tonog gave birth to
Gardin Faith Belarde Tonog, her illegitimate daughter with private
respondent Edgar V. Daguimol. Petitioner was then a nursing
student while private respondent was a licensed physician. They
cohabited for a time and lived with private respondents parents and
sister in the latters house in Quezon City where the infant, Gardin
Faith, was a welcome addition to the family.

A year after the birth of Gardin Faith, petitioner left for the United
States of America where she found work as a registered nurse.
Gardin Faith was left in the care of her father (private respondent
herein) and paternal grandparents.

Private respondent filed a petition for guardianship over Gardin Faith
which the trial court affirmed. Petitioner, in turn, filed a petition for
relief from judgment. Trial court ruled in favor of the petitioners
motion for custody of their child, Gardin. Then, the private
respondent filed a petition for certiorari before the CA which the
appellate court dismissed but was subsequently approved by filing of
a Motion of Reconsideration. Hence, this petition

ISSUE:

Whether the CA erred in granting the custody of illegitimate Gardin
Faith to the father.

HELD:

SC find that the appellate court did not err in allowing her father
(private respondent herein) to retain in the meantime parental
custody over her. In custody disputes, it is axiomatic that the
paramount criterion is the welfare and well-being of the child. In
arriving at its decision as to whom custody of the minor should be
given, the court must take into account the respective resources and
social and moral situations of the contending parents.

Statute sets certain rules to assist the court in making an informed
decision. Insofar as illegitimate children are concerned, Article 176
of the Family Code provides that illegitimate children shall be under
the parental authority of their mother. Likewise, Article 213 of the
Family Code provides that [n]o child under seven years of age shall
be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling
reasons to order otherwise. It will be observed that in both
provisions, a strong bias is created in favor of the mother. This is
specially evident in Article 213 where it may be said that the law
presumes that the mother is the best custodian.

However, this is not intended to denigrate the important role fathers
play in the upbringing of their children. Indeed, we have recognized
that both parents complement each other in giving nurture and
providing that holistic care which takes into account the physical,
emotional, psychological, mental, social and spiritual needs of the
child. Neither does the law nor jurisprudence intend to downplay a
fathers sense of loss when he is separated from his child:
While the bonds between a mother and her small child are special in
nature, either parent, whether father or mother, is bound to suffer
agony and pain if deprived of custody. One cannot say that his or
her suffering is greater than that of the other parent. It is not so
much the suffering, pride, and other feelings of either parent but the
welfare of the child which is the paramount consideration.

For these reasons, even a mother may be deprived of the custody of
her child who is below seven years of age for compelling reasons.
Instances of unsuitability are neglect, abandonment, unemployment
and immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment
of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable illness. If
older than seven years of age, a child is allowed to state his
preference, but the court is not bound by that choice. The court may
exercise its discretion by disregarding the childs preference should
the parent chosen be found to be unfit, in which instance, custody
may be given to the other parent, or even to a third person.

111

In the case at bar, we are being asked to rule on the temporary
custody of the minor, Gardin Faith, since it appears that the
proceedings for guardianship before the trial court have not been
terminated, and no pronouncement has been made as to who should
have final custody of the minor. Bearing in mind that the welfare of
the said minor as the controlling factor, we find that the appellate
court did not err in allowing her father (private respondent herein) to
retain in the meantime parental custody over her. Meanwhile, the
child should not be wrenched from her familiar surroundings, and
thrust into a strange environment away from the people and places
to which she had apparently formed an attachment.

Moreover, whether a mother is a fit parent for her child is a question
of fact to be properly entertained in the special proceedings before
the trial court.

A word of caution: our pronouncement here should not be interpreted
to imply a preference toward the father (herein private respondent)
relative to the final custody of the minor, Gardin Faith. Nor should it
be taken to mean as a statement against petitioners fitness to have
final custody of her said minor daughter. It shall be only understood
that, for the present and until finally adjudged, temporary custody of
the subject minor should remain with her father, the private
respondent herein pending final judgment of the trial court in Sp.
Proc. No. Q-92-11053.


Aruego vs. CA
GR# 112193 / MAR. 13, 1996
254 SCRA 711










People vs. Magtibay
GR# 142985 / AUG. 06, 2002
386 SCRA 332

Facts: Raymundo Magtibay was convicted having committed the
crime of rape, in which case he is sentenced with reclusion perpetua.
The said rape bore a child on the victim.
Issue: What is the status of the child and what are the liabilities,
rights and obligations imposed upon the father of the child?

Ruling: Concerning the acknowledgment and support of the offspring
of rape, Article 345 of the Revised Penal Code provides for three
kinds of civil liability that may be imposed on the offender: a)
indemnification, b) acknowledgment of the offspring, unless the law
should prevent him from so doing, and c) in every case to support
the offspring. With the passage of the Family Code, the classification
of acknowledged natural children and natural children by legal fiction
was eliminated and they now fall under the specie of illegitimate
children. Since parental authority is vested by Article 176 of the
Family Code upon the mother and considering that an offender
sentenced to reclusion perpetua automatically loses parental
authority over his children, no further positive act is required of the
parent as the law itself provides for the childs status. Hence,
accused-appellant should only be ordered to indemnify and support
the victims child. However, the amount and terms of support shall be
determined by the trial court after due notice and hearing in
accordance with Article 201 of the Family Code.


Guy v. CA
GR# 163707 / SEPT. 15, 2006
502 SCRA 151

FACTS
SIma Wei (Rifino Guy Susim) died intestate on October 29,1992
leaving an estate valued at 10M. His known heirs are his surviving
spouse and their 5 children. On June 1997, minors Karen and
Kamille Wei, as represented by their mother, alleging as the duly
acknowledged illegitimate children of the decedent, filed a petition of
administration before the RTC.
112


ISSUE
Whether or not the two alleged children of the deceased are barred
by prescription from proving their filiation.

HELD
Citing Bernabe v Alejo that illegitimate children who were still
minors at the time the FC took effect and whose putative parent died
during their minority are given the right to seek recognition for a
period of up to 4 years from attaining majority age. This vested right
was not impaired by the FC.
Art 172 provides, the filiation of legitimate children is established by
any of the following:
1. The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final
judgment
2. An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a
private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.

In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall
be proved by:
1. The open and continuous possession of the status of a
legitimate or
2. Any other means allowedby the Rules of Court and special
laws.

Art 172 provides, the action claim legitimacy may be brought by the
child during his or her lifetime and shall be transmitted to the heirs
should the child during minority or in a state of insanity.
In these cases, the heirs shall have a period of 5 yrs within
which to institute the action.
Art 175 provides further that illegitimate children may establish their
illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as
legitimate children.

Under the Family Code, when filiation of an illegitimate child is
established by a record of birth appearing in the civil register or a
final judgment, or an admission of filiation in a public document or a
private handwritten instrument signed by the parent concerned, the
action for recognition may be brought by the child during his or her
lifetime.However, if the action is based upon open and continuous
possession of the status of an illegitimate child, or any other means
allowed by the rules or special laws, it may only be brought during
the lifetime of the alleged parent.

It is clear therefore that the resolution of the issue of prescription
depends on the type of evidence to be adduced by private
respondents in proving their filiation. A natural child having a right to
compel acknowledgement, but who has not been in fact
acknowledged, may retain partition proceedings for the division of
the inheritance against his coheirs; and the same person may
intervene in proceedings for the distribution of the estate of his
deceased natural father, or mother. In neither of these situations has
it been thought necessary for the plaintiff to show a prior decree
compelling acknowledgment.


De La Cruz v. Gracia
GR# 177728 / JULY 31, 2009
594 SCRA 648

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Uy v. Chua
GR# 183965 / SEPT. 18, 2009
600 SCRA 806

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CHAPTER 4. LEGITIMATED CHILDREN (Articles 177-182); RA
9858

De Santos vs. Angeles
GR# 105619 / DEC. 12, 1995
251 5CRA 206

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Abadilla vs. Tabiliran, Jr.
A.M No. MTJ-92-716. / OCT. 25, 1995
249 SCRA 447

Facts:
Repondent Judge Tabiliran was married to Teresita
Banzuela. Sometime in 1965, Banzuela left and abandoned their
family home in Zamboanga del Norte and thereafter her
whereabouts could not be known. In 1970, Tabiliran began
cohabiting with Priscilla Baybayan, with whom he had three children
born in 1970, 1971 and 1975, respectively. Tabiliran and Baybayan
got married in 1986. In the marriage contract, Tabiliran represented
himself as single. Petitioner is a clerk of court assigned in the sala of
respondent, charging Tabiliran for gross immorality.

Issue: W/N their children were legitimated by their subsequent
marriage.

Held:
As a lawyer and a judge, respondent ought to know that, despite his
subsequent marriage to Priscilla, the three children cannot be
legitimated nor in any way be considered legitimate since at the time
they were born, there was an existing valid marriage between
respondent and Banzuela. The applicable provision in this case is
Article 269 of the Civil Code, which states that: 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
an impediment to marry each other, are natural.
Legitimation is limited to natural children and cannot include those
born of adulterous relations. The reasons for this limitation are as
follows: (1) 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 the marriage; and
(5) it will be very scandalous, especially if the parents marry many
years after the birth of the child.


TITLE VII. ADOPTION

See also: See Domestic Adoption Act of 1988 (RA 8552)
as amended by RA 9523 (March 2009)
A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC - Re: Proposed Rule on Domestic Adoption
Inter country Adoption Act of 1995 (RA 8043)
Amended IRR on Inter-Country Adoption (January 8, 2004)

Republic vs. Vergara
GR# 95551 / MAR. 20, 1997
270 SRCA 206

FACTS:
On June 25, 1990, spouses Samuel R. Dye, Jr. and Rosalina Due
Dye filed a petition before the RTC of Angeles City to adopt Maricel
R. Due and Alvin R. Due, ages 13 and 12 years old, respectively,
younger siblings of Rosalina. Samuel, a member of the US Air Force,
is an American citizen who resided at the Clark Air Base in
Pampanga. Rosalina is a former Filipino who became a naturalized
American. They have two children.

After trial, the lower court rendered its decision on September 10,
1990 granting the petition and declaring Alvin and Maricel to be the
children of the spouses Dye by adoption. RTC disregarded the 16-
year age gap requirement of the law, the spouses being only 15
years and 3 months and 15 years and 9 months older than Maricel
Due, on the ground that a literal implementation of the law would
114

defeat the very philosophy behind adoption statutes, namely, to
promote the welfare of a child. The court also found that the
petitioning spouses are mentally and physically fit to adopt, possess
good moral character, sufficient financial capability and love and
affection for the intended adoptees.

The Republic filed this petition for review on a pure question of law.

ISSUE:
Whether spouses Dye are qualified under the law to adopt Maricel
and Alvin Due.

The Court finds the petition meritorious and hereby grants it.
As a general rule, aliens cannot adopt Filipino citizens as this is
proscribed under Article 184 of the Family Code which states:
Art. 184. The following persons may not adopt:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) An alien, except:
(a) A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative by
consanguinity;
(b) One who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his or her Filipino
spouse; or
(c) One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly
with his or her spouse a relative by consanguinity of the latter.

Aliens not included in the foregoing exceptions may adopt Filipino
children in accordance with the rules on inter-country adoption as
may be provided by law.

Samuel Robert Dye, Jr. who is an American and, therefore, an alien
is disqualified from adopting the minors because he does not fall
under any of the three aforequoted exceptions laid down by the law
and hee is not a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative
by consanguinity. Nor does he seek to adopt his wife's legitimate
child.

Although he seeks to adopt with his wife her relatives by
consanguinity, he is not married to a Filipino citizen, for Rosalina was
already a naturalized American at the time the petition was filed, thus
excluding him from the coverage of the exception. The law here does
not provide for an alien who is married to a former Filipino citizen
seeking to adopt jointly with his or her spouse a relative by
consanguinity, as an exception to the general rule that aliens may
not adopt.

Rosalina cannot adopt her brother and sister for the law mandates
joint adoption by husband and wife, subject to exceptions. Article 29
of Presidential Decree No. 603 (Child and Youth Welfare Code)
retained the Civil Code provision that husband and wife may jointly
adopt. The Family Code amended this rule by scrapping the optional
character of joint adoption and making it now mandatory.

Article 185 of the Family Code provides:
Art. 185. Husband and wife must adopt, except in the following
cases:
(1) When one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child;
(2) When one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other.

None of the above exceptions applies to Samuel and Rosalina Dye,
for they did not petition to adopt the latter's child but her brother and
sister.

We are not unmindful of the main purpose of adoption statutes,
which is the promotion of the welfare of children. Accordingly, the law
should be construed liberally, in a manner that will sustain rather
than defeat said purpose. The law must also be applied with
compassion, understanding and less severity in view of the fact that
it is intended to provide homes, love, care and education for less
fortunate children. Regrettably, the Court is not in a position to affirm
the trial court's decision favoring adoption in the case at bar, for the
law is clear and it cannot be modified without violating the
proscription against judicial legislation. Until such time however, that
the law on the matter is amended, we cannot sustain the
respondent-spouses' petition for adoption.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. The
Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City in Special
Proceeding No. 4203 (In the Matter of the Petition for Adoption of the
minors Maricel R Due and Alvin R. Due), dated September 10, 1990
is REVERSED AND SET ASIDE.
115

Republic vs. Miller
GR# 125932 / APR. 21, 1999
306 5CRA 183

FACTS:
On July 29, 1988, the spouses Claude A. Miller and Jumrus S. Miller,
filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 59, Angeles City, a
verified petition to adopt the minor Michael Magno Madayag. At the
hearing on September 1988, respondents adduced evidence
showing that, they are both American citizens and they were
childless on account of a medical problem of the wife. That they
maintains their residence at Angeles City. That minor Michael
Madayag is the legitimate son of Marcelo S. Madayag, Jr. and
Zenaida Magno. Born on July 14, 1987, at San Fernando, La Union,
the minor has been in the custody of respondents since the first
week of August 1987. Poverty and deep concern for the future of
their son prompted the natural parents who have no visible means of
livelihood to have their child adopted by respondents. They executed
affidavits giving their irrevocable consent to the adoption by
respondents.
On May 1989, the trial court rendered decision granting the petition
for adoption. In due time, the Solicitor General, in behalf of the
Republic, interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals. As
heretofore stated, the Court of Appeals certified the case to this
Court.

ISSUE: WON the court may allow aliens to adopt a Filipino child
despite the prohibition under the Family Code.

HELD:

The issue is not new. This Court has ruled that an alien qualified to
adopt under the Child and Youth Welfare Code, which was in force
at the time of the filing of the petition, acquired a vested right which
could not be affected by the subsequent enactment of a new law
disqualifying him.
Consequently, the enactment of the Family Code, effective August 3,
1988, will not impair the right of respondents who are aliens to adopt
a Filipino child because the right has become vested at the time of
filing of the petition for adoption and shall be governed by the law
then in force.
As long as the petition for adoption was sufficient in form and
substance in accordance with the law in governance at the time it
was filed, the court acquires jurisdiction and retains it until it fully
disposes of the case. To repeat, the jurisdiction of the court is
determined by the statute in force at the time of the commencement
of the action.
Therefore, an alien who filed a petition for adoption before the
effective of the Family Code, although denied the right to adopt
under Art. 184 of said Code, may continue with his petition under the
law prevailing before the Family Code.
Adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, hold the interests and
welfare of the child to be of paramount consideration. They are
designed to provide homes, parental care and education for
unfortunate, needy or orphaned children and give them the
protection of society and family in the person of the adopter, as well
as childless couples or persons to experience the joy of parenthood
and give them legally a child in the person of the adopted for the
manifestation of their natural parent instincts. Every reasonable
intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill these noble
and compassionate objectives of the law.


Republic vs. Toledano
GR# 94147 / JUNE 08, 1994
233 SCRA 9

FACTS:

Spouses Alvin A. Clouse and Evelyn A. Clouse who are aliens filed a
petition to adopt the minor, Solomon Joseph Alcala. They are
physically, mentally, morally, and financially capable of adopting
Solomon, a twelve (12) year old minor.

Since 1981 to 1984, then from November 2, 1989 up to the present,
Solomon Joseph Alcala was and has been under the care and
custody of private respondents. Solomon gave his consent to the
adoption. His mother, Nery Alcala, a widow, likewise consented to
116

the adoption due to poverty and inability to support and educate her
son. The RTC granted the petition.

ISSUE:

Whether the spouses may adopt Solomon.

HELD:

Under Articles 184 and 185 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 209,
otherwise known as "The Family Code of the Philippines", private
respondents spouses Clouse are clearly barred from adopting
Solomon Joseph Alcala.

Article 184, paragraph (3) of Executive Order No. 209 expressly
enumerates the persons who are not qualified to adopt,vi z.: (3) An
alien, except: (a) A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a
relative by consanguinity; (b) One who seeks to adopt the legitimate
child of his or her Filipino spouse; or (c) One who is married to a
Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his or her spouse a
relative by consanguinity of the latter. Aliens not included in the
foregoing exceptions may adopt Filipino children in accordance with
the rules on inter-country adoption as may be provided by law.

Private respondent Evelyn A. Clouse, on the other hand, may appear
to qualify pursuant to paragraph 3(a) of Article 184 of E.O. 209. She
was a former Filipino citizen. She sought to adopt her younger
brother. Unfortunately, the petition for adoption cannot be granted in
her favor alone without violating Article 185 which mandates a joint
adoption by the husband and wife. It reads: Article 185. Husband
and wife must jointly adopt, except in the following cases: (1) When
one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child; or (2) When
one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other. Article
185 requires a joint adoption by the husband and wife, a condition
that must be read along together with Article 184.





Republic vs. CA & Hughes
GR# 100835 / OCT. 26, 1993
227 SCRA 401

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Republic vs. CA & Bobiles
GR# 92326 / JAN. 24, 1992
205 SCRA 356

Facts: On February 2, 1988, Zenaida Corteza Bobiles filed a petition
to adopt Jason Condat, then six (6) years old and who had been
living with her family since he was four (4) months old, before the
Regional Trial Court of Legaspi City. Finding the petition to be
sufficient in form and substance, the Court issued an order dated
February 15, 1988 setting the petition for hearing on March 28, 1988.
Nobody appeared to oppose the petition. The trial Court ruled for the
adoption of Jason Condat by spouses Bobiles and that his last name
be changed to Bobiles. The petitioner contends that the Family Code
shall be retroactively applied because while it was on appeal the
Family Code took effect. Under the said new law, joint adoption by
husband and wife is mandatory.

Issue: WON Family Code should be applied in this case.

Ruling: Under the Child and Youth Welfare Code, private respondent
had the right to file a petition for adoption by herself, without joining
her husband therein. When Mrs. Bobiles filed her petition, she was
exercising her explicit and unconditional right under said law. Upon
her filing thereof, her right to file such petition alone and to have the
same proceed to final adjudication, in accordance with the law in
force at the time, was already vested and cannot be prejudiced or
117

impaired by the enactment of a new law. The jurisdictional, as
distinguished from the purely procedural, aspect of a case is
substantive in nature and is subject to a more stringent rule. A
petition cannot be dismissed by reason of failure to comply with a
law which was not yet in force and effect at the time. As long as the
petition for adoption was sufficient in form and substance in
accordance with the law in governance at the time it was filed, the
court acquires jurisdiction and retains it until it fully disposes of the
case.

Although Dioscoro Bobiles was not named as one of the petitioners
in the petition for adoption filed by his wife, his affidavit of consent,
attached to the petition as Annex "B" and expressly made an integral
part thereof, shows that he himself actually joined his wife in
adopting the child.

In determining whether or not to set aside the decree of adoption the
interests and welfare of the child are of primary and paramount
consideration. Ordinarily, the approval of the adoption rests in the
sound discretion of the court. This discretion should be exercised in
accordance with the best interests of the child, as long as the natural
rights of the parents over the child are not disregarded. In the
absence of a showing of grave abuse, the exercise of this discretion
by the approving official will not be disturbed.

Republic vs. CA/Wong
GR# 97906 / MAY 21, 1992
209 SCRA 189

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Cang vs. CA
GR# 105308 / SEPT. 25, 1998
296 SCRA 128

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Lahom vs. Sibulo
GR# 143989 / JULY 14, 2003
406 SCRA 135

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In re: Petition for Adoption of Michelle and Michael Jude P. Lim

GR# 168992-93 / MAY 21, 2009
588 SCRA 98

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118

TITLE VIII. SUPPORT

See also: RA 9262 & IRR

David vs. CA
GR# 111180 / NOV. 16, 1995
250 SCRA 82

Facts:
Petitioner Daisie T. David worked as secretary of private
respondent Ramon R. Villar, a businessman in Angeles City. Private
respondent is a married man and the father of four children, all
grown-up. After a while, the relationship between petitioner and
private respondent developed into an intimate one, as a result of
which a son, Christopher J., was born on March 9, 1985 to them.
Christopher J. was followed by two more children, both girls, namely
Christine, born on June 9, 1986, and Cathy Mae on April 24, 1988.
David introduced her children to the legal family of Villar, and
the said children were accepted and brought in to the house of Villar.
In the summer of 1991, Villar asked Daisie to allow Christopher J.,
then six years of age, to go with his family to Boracay. Daisie agreed,
but after the trip, Villar refused to give back the child. Villar said he
had enrolled Christopher J. at the Holy Family Academy for the next
school year. On July 30, 1991, Daisie filed a petition for habeas
corpus on behalf of Christopher J.
The RTC found for Daisie and ordered Villar to give temporary
monthly support to the three minor children. CA reversed and held
that it is in the best interest of Christopher J to remain with Villar until
the issue on custody and support have been determined in a proper
case.

Issue: W/N the minor children of Daisie and Villar is entitled to
support from the latter considering that custody is with the mother.

Held:
In the case at bar, Christopher J. is an illegitimate child since at the
time of his conception, his father, private respondent Ramon R.
Villar, was married to another woman other than the child's mother.
As such, pursuant to Art. 176 of the Family Code, Christopher J. is
under the parental authority of his mother, the herein petitioner, who,
as a consequence of such authority, is entitled to have custody of
him. The fact that private respondent has recognized the minor child
may be a ground for ordering him to give support to the latter, but not
for giving him custody of the child. Under Art. 213 of the Family
Code, "no child under seven years of age shall be separated from
the mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to order
otherwise."
Although the question of support is proper in a proceeding for that
purpose, the grant of support in this case is justified by the fact that
private respondent has expressed willingness to support the minor
child. The order for payment of allowance need not be conditioned
on the grant to him of custody of the child. Under Art. 204 of the
Family Code, a person obliged to give support can fulfill his
obligation either by paying the allowance fixed by the court or by
receiving and maintaining in the family dwelling the person who is
entitled to support unless, in the latter case, there is "a moral or legal
obstacle thereto."


Gan vs. Reyes
GR# 145527 / MAY. 28, 2002
382 SCRA 357

FACTS:
Bernadette S. Pondevida, being quite apprehensive that she would
not be able to send to school her three (3)-year old daughter
Francheska Joy S. Pondevida, wrote petitioner Augustus Caezar R.
Gan demanding support for their "love child." Petitioner, in his reply,
denied paternity of the child. An exasperated Bernadette thereafter
instituted in behalf of her daughter a complaint against petitioner for
support with prayer for support pendente lite.

Petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground that the complaint failed
to state a cause of action. He argued that since Francheska's
certificate of birth indicated her father as "UNKNOWN," there was no
legal or factual basis for the claim of support. His motion, however,
was denied by the trial court.

Despite denial of his motion, petitioner failed to file his answer within
the reglementary period. Thus, on 19 January 2000 private
119

respondent moved that petitioner be declared in default, which
motion was granted. In its Order declaring petitioner in default the
trial court noted that petitioner's Motion to Admit Answer was filed
more than ninety (90) days after the expiration of the reglementary
period, and only after private respondent moved that petitioner be
declared in default.

After finding that the claim of filiation and support was adequately
proved, the trial court rendered its Decision on 12 May 2000 ordering
petitioner to recognize private respondent Francheska Joy S.
Pondevida as his illegitimate child and support her with P20,000.00
every month to be paid on or before the 15th of each month starting
15 April 2000. Likewise petitioner was ordered to pay Francheska
Joy S. Pondevida the accumulated arrears of P20,000.00 per month
from the day she was born, P50,000.00 as attorney's fees and
P25,000.00 for expenses of litigation, plus P20,000.00 on or before
the 15th of every month from 15 May 2000 as alimony pendente lite
should he desire to pursue further remedies against private
respondent.

On 9 June 2000 petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
with the Court of Appeals imputing grave abuse of discretion to the
trial court for ordering the immediate execution of the judgment.
Petitioner averred that the writ of execution was issued despite the
absence of a good reason for immediate enforcement. Petitioner
insisted that as the judgment sought to be executed did not yet attain
finality there should be an exceptional reason to warrant its
execution. He further alleged that the writ proceeded from an order
of default and a judgment rendered by the trial court in complete
disregard of his "highly meritorious defense." Finally, petitioner
impugned the validity of the writ as he argued that it was issued
without notice to him. Petitioner stressed the fact that he received
copy of the motion for immediate execution two (2) weeks after its
scheduled hearing.

ISSUE:
Whether a judgment for support must have good reason for its
immediate execution.


HELD:

A careful review of the facts and circumstances of this case fails to
persuade this Court to brand the issuance of the writ of execution by
the trial court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals with the vice of
grave abuse of discretion. There is no evidence indeed to justify the
setting aside of the writ on the ground that it was issued beyond the
legitimate bounds of judicial discretion.

Section 4, Rule 39, of the Rules of Court clearly states that, unless
ordered by the trial court, judgments in actions for support are
immediately executory and cannot be stayed by an appeal. This is
an exception to the general rule which provides that the taking of an
appeal stays the execution of the judgment and that advance
executions will only be allowed if there are urgent reasons therefor.
The aforesaid provision peremptorily calls for immediate execution of
all judgments for support and makes no distinction between those
which are the subject of an appeal and those which are not. To
consider then petitioner's argument that there should be good
reasons for the advance execution of a judgment would violate the
clear and explicit language of the rule mandating immediate
execution.

Petitioner is reminded that to the plain words of a legal provision we
should make no further explanation. Absoluta sententia expositore
non indiget. Indeed, the interpretation which petitioner attempts to
foist upon us would only lead to absurdity, its acceptance negating
the plain meaning of the provision subject of the petition.

In all cases involving a child, his interest and welfare are always the
paramount concerns. There may be instances where, in view of the
poverty of the child, it would be a travesty of justice to refuse him
support until the decision of the trial court attains finality while time
continues to slip away.

Petitioner also seeks the setting aside of the default order and the
judgment rendered thereafter for the reason that should he be
allowed to prove his defense of adultery, the claim of support would
be most likely denied. Petitioner claims that in an action by a child
against his putative father, adultery of the child's mother would be a
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valid defense to show that the child is a fruit of adulterous relations
for, in such case, it would not be the child of the defendant and
therefore not entitled to support. Parenthetically, how could he be
allowed to prove the defense of adultery when it was not even hinted
that he was married to the mother of Francheska Joy. Petitioner
consents to submit to Dioxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Testing to resolve
the issue of paternity, which test he claims has a reputation for
accuracy.


WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the Decision sought to
be reviewed, the instant petition is DENIED. The 31 August 2000
Decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing the Petition for Certiorari
instituted by petitioner Augustus Caezar C. Gan and upholding the
validity of the 2 June 2000 Writ of Execution issued by the Regional
Trial Court Br. 61, Baguio City, in Civil Case No. 4234-R, is
AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.


De Asis vs. CA
GR# 127578 / FEB. 15, 1999
303 SCRA 176

Facts: On October 14, 1988, Vircel D. Andres, in her capacity as the
legal guardian of the minor, Glen Camil Andres de Asis, brought an
action for maintenance and support against Manuel de Asis, before
the RTC of Quezon City, alleging that the defendant Manuel is the
father of subject minor Glen, and the former refused and/or failed to
provide for the maintenance of the latter, despite repeated demands.
In his Answer, petitioner denied his paternity of the said minor and
theorized that he cannot therefore be required to provide support for
him.
On July 4, 1989, Vircel D. Andres, through counsel manifested that
because of the defendants judicial declaration denying that he is the
father of subject minor child, it was futile and a useless exercise to
claim support from defendant. Because of such manifestation, and
defendants assurance that he would not pursue his counterclaim
anymore, the parties mutually agreed to move for the dismissal of
the complaint. The motion was granted by the Quezon City RTC,
which then dismissed the case with prejudice.
On September 7, 1993, another Complaint for maintenance and
support was brought against Manuel A. de Asis, this time in the
name of Glen Camil Andres de Asis, represented by her legal
guardian/mother, Vircel D. Andres. Petitioner moved to dismiss the
Complaint on the ground of res judicata, alleging that Civil Case C-
16107 is barred by the prior judgment which dismissed with prejudice
Civil Case Q-88-935. In the Order dated November 25, 1993 denying
subject MTD, the trial court ruled that res judicata is inapplicable in
an action for support for the reason that renunciation or waiver of
future support is prohibited by law. Petitioners MR of the said Order
was likewise denied. Petitioner filed with the CA a Petition for
Certiorari which petition was found devoid of merit and dismissed.
ISSUE: Whether an action for support can be barred by res judicata.
HELD: No, the right to receive support can neither be renounced nor
transmitted to a third person. Article 301 of the Civil Code, the law in
point, reads: Art. 301. The right to receive support cannot be
renounced, nor can it be transmitted to a third person. Neither can it
be compensated with what the recipient owes the obligor. Xxx
Furthermore, future support cannot be the subject of a compromise.
Article 2035, ibid, provides, that: No compromise upon the following
questions shall be valid:(1) The civil status of persons;(2) The
validity of a marriage or legal separation;(3) Any ground for legal
separation;(4) Future support;(5) The jurisdiction of courts;(6) Future
legitime.
The raison d etre behind the proscription against renunciation,
transmission and/or compromise of the right to support is stated,
thus:The right to support being founded upon the need of the
recipient to maintain his existence, he is not entitled to renounce or
transfer the right for this would mean sanctioning the voluntary giving
up of life itself. The right to life cannot be renounced; hence,
support, which is the means to attain the former, cannot be
renounced. Xxx To allow renunciation or transmission or
compensation of the family right of a person to support is virtually to
allow either suicide or the conversion of the recipient to a public
burden. This is contrary to public policy.
The manifestation sent in by respondents mother in the first case,
which acknowledged that it would be useless to pursue its complaint
for support, amounted to renunciation as it severed the vinculum that
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gives the minor, Glen Camil, the right to claim support from his
putative parent, the petitioner. Furthermore, the agreement entered
into between the petitioner and respondents mother for the dismissal
of the complaint for maintenance and support conditioned upon the
dismissal of the counterclaim is in the nature of a compromise which
cannot be countenanced. It violates the prohibition against any
compromise of the right to support.
It is true that in order to claim support, filiation and/or paternity must
first be shown between the claimant and the parent. However,
paternity and filiation or the lack of the same is a relationship that
must be judicially established and it is for the court to declare its
existence or absence. It cannot be left to the will or agreement of the
parties. Although in this case, the admission may be binding upon
the respondent, such an admission is at most evidentiary and does
not conclusively establish the lack of filiation.
The dismissal with prejudice of Civil Case Q-88-935 has no effect of
res judicata on the subsequent case for support. In the case of
Advincula vs. Advincula, this Court ruled: The new Civil Code
provides xxx and that the right to receive support cannot be
renounced nor can it be transmitted to a third person; neither can it
be compensated with what the recipient owes the obligator (Art.
301). Furthermore, the right to support can not be waived or
transferred to third parties and future support cannot be the subject
of compromise (Art. 2035). This being true, it is indisputable that the
present action for support can be brought, notwithstanding the fact
the previous case filed against the same defendant was dismissed.
And it also appearing that the dismissal of Civil Case No. 3553, was
not an adjudication upon the merits, as heretofore shown, the right of
herein plaintiff-appellant to reiterate her suit for support and
acknowledgment is available, as her needs arise. Xxx It appears
that the former dismissal was predicated upon a compromise.
Acknowledgment, affecting as it does the civil status of persons and
future support, cannot be the subject of compromise. (pars. 1 & 4,
Art. 2035, Civil Code). Hence, the first dismissal cannot have force
and effect and can not bar the filing of another action, asking for the
same relief against the same defendant.(emphasis supplied)
Conformably, notwithstanding the dismissal of Civil Case 88-935 and
the lower courts pronouncement that such dismissal was with
prejudice, the second action for support may still prosper.

People vs. Magtibay
GR# 142985 / AUG. 06, 2002
386 SCRA 332

FACTS:

Rachelle R. Recto was being raped by herein accused-appellant
Raymundo Magtibay on September 15, 1997 at Barangay Sagada,
Oriental Mindoro. Because of accused-appellants threat on her life,
Rachelle kept silent about the incident. It was not until she became
pregnant that she was constrained to tell her mother what happened.
She eventually gave birth to a baby boy.

On August 5, 1999, the trial court rendered judgment that herein
accused Raymundo Magtibay is sentence to suffer the penalty of
reclusion perpetua.

ISSUE:

Whether the accused should acknowledge and support the child
born out of rape.

HELD:

There was no showing that Rachelle has previously been sexually
abused or she had sexual relations with other men during that time.
Thus, with respect to the acknowledgment and support of the child
born out of rape our recent ruling in People vs. Justiniano Glabo
states:
Concerning the acknowledgment and support of the offspring of
rape, Article 345 of the Revised Penal Code provides for three kinds
of civil liability that may be imposed on the offender: a)
indemnification, b) acknowledgment of the offspring, unless the law
should prevent him from so doing, and c) in every case to support
the offspring. With the passage of the Family Code, the
classification of acknowledged natural children and natural children
by legal fiction was eliminated and they now fall under the specie of
illegitimate children. Since parental authority is vested by Article 176
of the Family Code upon the mother and considering that an offender
sentenced to reclusion perpetua automatically loses parental
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authority over his children, no further positive act is required of the
parent as the law itself provides for the childs status. Hence,
accused-appellant should only be ordered to indemnify and support
the victims child. However, the amount and terms of support shall
be determined by the trial court after due notice and hearing in
accordance with Article 201 of the Family Code.


Sy v. CA
GR# 124518 / DEC. 27, 2007
541 SCRA 391


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Lacson v. Lacson
GR# 150644 / AUG. 28, 2006
499 SCRA 677


Facts: The sisters Maowee Daban Lacson and Maonaa Daban
Lacson are legitimate daughters of petitioner Edward V. Lacson and
his wife, Lea Daban Lacson. Maowee was born on December 4,
1974, while Maonaa, a little less than a year later. Not long after the
birth of Maonaa, petitioner left the conjugal home in Molo, Iloilo City,
virtually forcing mother and children to seek, apparently for financial
reason, shelter somewhere else. It appears that from the start of
their estrangement, Lea did not badger her husband Edward for
support, relying initially on his commitment memorialized in a note
dated December 10, 1975 to give support to his daughters. As things
turned out, however, Edward reneged on his promise of support,
despite Leas efforts towards having him fulfill the same. Lea would
admit, though, that Edward occasionally gave their children meager
amounts for school expenses. Through the years and up to the
middle part of 1992, Edwards mother, Alicia Lacson, also gave small
amounts to help in the schooling of Maowee and Maonaa, both of
whom eventually took up nursing at St. Pauls College in Iloilo City.
In the early part of 1995 when Lea, in behalf of her two daughters,
filed a complaint against Edward for support before the Regional
Trial Court of Iloilo City, Branch 33, Maowee was about to graduate.
Edward contended that his lack of regular income and the
unproductivity of the land he inherited, not his neglect, accounted for
his failure at times to give regular support. The RTC ordered Edward
to compensate plaintiffs support in arrears in the amount of TWO
MILLION FOUR HUNDRED NINETY-SIX THOUSAND (P2,
496,000.00) PESOS from which amount shall be deducted ONE
HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR (P124,000.00) PESOS that which they
received from defendant for two years and that which they received
by way of support pendent lite. The CA affirmed the decision, hence,
this appeal.

Issue: WON the amount of support ordered by the RTC valid in the
case at bar.

Ruling: Yes, petitioner admits being obliged, as father, to provide
support to both respondents, Maowee and Maonaa. It is his
threshold submission, however, that he should not be made to pay
support in arrears, i.e., from 1976 to 1994, no previous extrajudicial,
let alone judicial, demand having been made by the respondents.
Petitioners above posture has little to commend it. For one, it
conveniently glossed over the fact that he veritably abandoned the
respondent sisters even before the elder of the two could celebrate
her second birthday. To be sure, petitioner could not plausibly expect
any of the sisters during their tender years to go through the motion
of demanding support from him, what with the fact that even their
mother (his wife) found it difficult during the period material to get in
touch with him. For another, the requisite demand for support
appears to have been made sometime in 1975. It may be that Lea
made no extrajudicial demand in the sense of a formal written
demand in terms and in the imperious tenor commonly used by legal
advocates in a demand letter. Nonetheless, what would pass as a
demand was, however, definitely made. Asking one to comply with
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his obligation to support owing to the urgency of the situation is no
less a demand because it came by way of a request or a plea.

Noteworthy also is the fact that petitioner, from 1976 to 1994, only
gave Maowee and Maonaa token amounts for schooling when
support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance,
dwelling, clothing, medical attendance and education, or, in short,
whatever is necessary to keep a person alive. Petitioners
suggestion, therefore, that part of the proceeds of the sale went to
them and may be set off for what petitioner owes them by way of
support in arrears is unacceptable, being at best gratuitous and self-
serving. Petitioner, unlike any good father of a family, has been
remiss in his duty to provide respondents with support practically all
throughout their growing years. At bottom, the sisters have been
deprived by a neglectful father of the basic necessities in life as if it is
their fault to have been born. This disposition is thus nothing more
than a belated measure to right a wrong done the herein
respondents who are no less petitioners daughters.


Mangonon v. CA
GR# 125041 / JUNE. 30, 2006
494 SCRA 1

FACTS:
Ma. Belen B. Mangonon and Federico Delgado were civilly married.
At that time, Belen was only 21 years old while Federico, 19 years
old. The marriage was annulled as it was solemnized without the
required consent per Article 85 of the Civil Code. Within 7 months
after the annulment of their marriage, Belen gave birth to twins Rica
and Rina. She and her second husband Danny Mangonon raised her
twins as Federico had totally abandoned them. When the twins were
about to enter college in the USA (where they settled in), they,
however, were financially incapable of pursuing college education.
Demands were made upon Federico and the latters father,
Francisco, for general support and for the payment of the required
college education of the twins, but they remained unheeded.
Considering the impending deadline for admission to college and the
opening of classes, Belen and her children filed the petition for
Declaration of Legitimacy and Support before the RTC, seeking that
they be declared as legitimate children of Federico, and as
granddaughters of Francisco pursuant to Article 173 of the Family
Code; and that in default of Federico, Francisco as the grandfather
be ordered to provide general and educational support for the twins.

In his Answer, Francisco maintained that Belen and her second
husband should be responsible, the latter having voluntarily
assumed the duties and responsibilities of a natural father. Even
assuming that he is responsible for support, Francisco contends that
he could not be made to answer beyond what Belen and the father
could afford.

RTC ruled in favor of Belen and directed Federico and Francisco to
provide a monthly support (pendente lite) for the education of the
twins. CA affirmed the RTC decision. Unsatisfied with the decision,
Belen brought this instant petition. Here, Federico argues that
assuming he is indeed the father of the twin sisters, he has the
option under the law as to how he would provide support. Francisco,
on the other hand, posits that because Belen and her twins are now
US citizens, they cannot invoke the Family Code provisions on
support as [l]aws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status,
condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of
the Philippines, even though living abroad.

At the time of the filing of the present Petition, Rica was able to
obtain a tuition fee grant and a Federal Stafford loan from the US
government. In order to defray the remaining balance of Ricas
education for said school year, Belen claims that she had to secure a
loan under the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Meanwhile,
Rina was given a financial grant, federal work study assistance and a
Federal Stafford loan.

ISSUE: Who should be made liable for support of the twins?

HELD:
The obligation to give support rests principally on those more closely
related to the recipient. However, the more remote relatives may be
held to shoulder the responsibility should the claimant prove that
those who are called upon to provide support do not have the means
to do so. Franciscos assertion that Belen had the means to support
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her daughters education is belied by the fact that Belen was even
forced by her financial status in the USA to secure the loan from the
federal government. The fact that she was compelled to take out a
loan is enough indication that she did not have enough money to
enable her to send her daughters to college by herself. Moreover,
even the twins themselves were forced by the circumstances to
secure loans under their names so as not to delay their entrance to
college.

There being prima facie evidence showing that Belen and Federico
are the parents of Rica and Rina, Belen and Federico are primarily
charged to support their childrens college education. In view of their
incapacities, the obligation to furnish said support should be borne
by Francisco. Under Article 199 of the Family Code, Francisco, as
the next immediate relative of Rica and Rina, is tasked to give
support to his granddaughters in default of their parents. Francisco,
being the majority stockholder and Chairman of the Board of
Directors of Citadel Commercial, Inc. and Citadel Shipping; owner of
Citadel Corporation; Chairman of the Board of Directors of
IslaCommunication Co.; stockholder of Citadel Holdings; and owner
of real properties here and abroad, has the financial means to
support his granddaughters education. He, in lieu of Belen and
Federico, should be held liable for support pendente lite.

Anent Francisco and Federicos claim that they have the option
under the law as to how they could perform their obligation to
support Rica and Rina, Art. 204 of the Family Code provides that the
obligor is given the choice as to how he could dispense his obligation
to give support. Thus, he may give the determined amount of
support to the claimant or he may allow the latter to stay in the family
dwelling. The second option cannot be availed of in case there are
circumstances, legal or moral, which should be considered. In this
case, Francisco could not avail himself of the second option. With
the filing of this case, and the allegations hurled at one another by
the parties, the relationships among the parties had certainly been
affected. Particularly difficult for Rica and Rina must be the fact that
those who they had considered and claimed as family denied having
any familial relationship with them. Given all these, we could not see
Rica and Rina moving back here in the Philippines in the company of
those who have disowned them.

Finally, as to the amount of support pendente lite, we take our
bearings from the provision of the law mandating the amount of
support to be proportionate to the resources or means of the giver
and to the necessities of the recipient. Guided by this principle, we
hold Francisco liable for half of the amount of school expenses
incurred by Rica and Rina as support pendente lite. As established
by petitioner, Francisco has the financial resources to pay this
amount given his various business endeavors.

Considering, however, that the twin sisters may have already been
done with their education by the time of the promulgation of this
decision, we deem it proper to award support pendente lite in arrears
to be computed from the time they entered college until they had
finished their respective studies.

The issue of the applicability of Article 15 of the Civil Code on Belen
and her twin daughters raised by Francisco is best left for the
resolution of the trial court. After all, in case it would be resolved that
Rica and Rina are not entitled to support pendente lite, the court
shall then order the return of the amounts already paid with legal
interest from the dates of actual payment.


Uy v. Chua
GR# 183965 / SEPT. 18, 2009
600 SCRA 806

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Lim v. Lim
GR# 163209 / OCT. 30, 2009
604 SCRA 691

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TITLE IX. PARENTAL AUTHORITY

Rule on Custody of Minors & Writ of Habeas Corpus (SC AM 03-
04-04)
Rule on Juveniles in Conflict With the Law (2002)
SC Rule on Guardianship of Minors (A.M. 03-02-05)
SC Rule on Examination of Child Witness (2000)
See RA 9262 (Anti Violence against Women and Children
[VAWC]) & IRR
Re: Proposed Rule on Guardianship of Minors (SC AM No. 03-
02-05)
RA 8972 "Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000 & Implementing
Rules and Regulations of 2002
See RA 9262 (Anti Violence against Women and Children
[VAWC]) and Implementing Rules & Regulations
Article 2176 & 2180; RA 6809

CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS (Articles 209-215)

Santos Sr. v. CA
GR# 113054 / MAR. 16, 1995
242 SCRA 407

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Perez v. CA
GR# 118870 / MAR. 29, 1996
255 SCRA 661

Facts:
Ray Perez, private respondent, and Nerissa, his wife who is
petitioner herein, were married in Cebu on December 6, 1986. After
six miscarriages, two operations and a high-risk pregnancy,
petitioner finally gave birth to Ray Perez II in New York on July 20,
1992.
Petitioner who began working in the United States in October 1988,
used part of her earnings to build a modest house in Mandaue City,
Cebu. She also sought medical attention for her successive
miscarriages in New York. She became a resident alien in February
1992.
Private respondent stayed with her in the U.S. twice and took care of
her when she became pregnant. Unlike his wife, however, he had
only a tourist visa and was not employed.
On January 17, 1993, the couple and their baby arrived in Cebu.
After a few weeks, only Nerissa returned to the U.S. She alleged that
they came home only for a five-week vacation and that they all had
round-trip tickets. However, her husband stayed behind to take care
of his sick mother and promised to follow her with the baby.
According to Ray, they had agreed to reside permanently in the
Philippines but once Nerissa was in New York, she changed her
mind and continued working. She was supposed to come back
immediately after winding up her affairs there.
Ray wanted to raise their son near his parents while Nerissa did not
want to rely on her in-laws. Despite mediation by a priest, Nerissa
and Ray failed to reconcile. Nerissa stayed with her parents and filed
a petition for habeas corpus asking Ray to surrender their one-year
old son to her.
The RTC granted custody to Nerissa. The CA reversed and granted
cutody to the father.

Issue: W/N the mother has a better right over the custody of the
minor child.



126

Held:
When the parents of the child are separated, Article 213 of
the Family Code is the applicable law. Since the Code does not
qualify the word "separation" to mean legal separation decreed by a
court, couples who are separated in fact, such as petitioner and
private respondent, are covered within its terms.
The provisions of law clearly mandate that a child under seven years
of age shall not be separated from his mother unless the court finds
compelling reasons to order otherwise. The use of the word "shall" in
Article 213 of the Family Code and Rule 99, section 6 of the Revised
Rules of Court connotes a mandatory character.
It has long been settled that in custody cases, the foremost
consideration is always the welfare and best interest of the child.


Silva vs. CA
GR# 114742 / JULY. 17, 1997
275 SCRA 206

FACTS:
Parents have the natural right, as well as the moral and legal duty, to
care for their children, see to their proper upbringing and safeguard
their best interest and welfare. This authority and responsibility may
not be unduly denied the parents; neither may it be renounced by
them. Even when the parents are estranged and their affection for
each other is lost, the attachment and feeling for their offsprings
invariably remain unchanged. Neither the law nor the courts allow
this affinity to suffer absent, of course, any real, grave and imminent
threat to the well-being of the child.


Carlitos E. Silva, a married businessman, and Suzanne T. Gonzales,
an unmarried local actress, cohabited without the benefit of
marriage, and had two children: Ramon Carlos and Rica Natalia. A
rift in their relationship surfaced, which, when Gonzales decided to
resume her acting career over Silvas vigorous objections. The
assertion was quickly refuted by Gonzales who claimed that she, in
fact, had never stopped working throughout their relationship. At any
rate, the two eventually parted ways.

In February 1986, Gonzales refused to allow Silva, in apparent
contravention of a previous understanding, to have the children in his
company on weekends. Silva filed a petition for custodial rights over
the children before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, which
was opposed by Gonzales who averred that Silva often engaged in
"gambling and womanizing" which she feared could affect the moral
and social values of the children.

In an order, dated 07 April 1989, the trial court rendered judgment
directing respondent to allow petitioner visitorial rights to his children
during Saturdays and/or Sundays, but in no case should he take out
the children without the written consent of the mother or respondent
herein.

Silva appeared somehow satisfied with the judgment for only
Gonzales interposed an appeal from the RTC's order to the Court of
Appeals.

In the meantime, Gonzales got married to a Dutch national. The
newlyweds emigrated to Holland with Ramon Carlos and Rica
Natalia.

On 23 September 1993, the appellate tribunal ruled in favor of
Gonzales. Citing Article 3 and 8 of PD 603, otherwise known as the
Child and Youth Welfare Code, the CA denied visitorial and/or
temporary custodial rights to the father.

The children concerned are still in their early formative years of life.
The molding of the character of the child starts at home. A home with
only one parent is more normal than two separate houses (one
house where one parent lives and another house where the other
parent with another woman/man lives). After all, under Article 176 of
the Family Code, illegitimate children are supposed to use the
surname of and shall be under the parental authority of their mother.

The child is one of the most important assets of the nation. It is thus
important we be careful in rearing the children especially so if they
are illegitimates, as in this case.

Silva comes to this Court for relief.
127


The issue before us is not really a question of child custody; instead,
the case merely concerns the visitation right of a parent over his
children which the trial court has adjudged in favor of petitioner by
holding that he shall have "visitorial rights to his children during
Saturdays and/or Sundays, but in no case (could) he take out the
children without the written consent of the mother . . . ." The visitation
right referred to is the right of access of a noncustodial parent to his
or her child or children.

There is, despite a dearth of specific legal provisions, enough
recognition on the inherent and natural right of parents over their
children. Article 150 of the Family Code expresses that "(f)amily
relations include those . . . (2) between parents and children; . . . ."

Article 209, in relation to Article 220, of the Code states that it is the
natural right and duty of parents and those exercising parental
authority to, among other things, keep children in their company and
to give them love and affection, advice and counsel, companionship
and understanding. The Constitution itself speaks in terms of the
"natural and primary rights" of parents in the rearing of the youth.
There is nothing conclusive to indicate that these provisions are
meant to solely address themselves to legitimate relationships.
Indeed, although in varying degrees, the laws on support and
successional rights, by way of examples, clearly go beyond the
legitimate members of the family and so explicitly encompass
illegitimate relationships as well. Then, too, and most importantly, in
the declaration of nullity of marriages, a situation that presupposes a
void or inexistent marriage, Article 49 of the Family Code provides
for appropriate visitation rights to parents who are not given custody
of their children.

There is no doubt that in all cases involving a child, his interest and
welfare is always the paramount consideration. The Court shares the
view of the Solicitor General, who has recommended due course to
the petition, that a few hours spent by petitioner with the children,
however, could not all be that detrimental to the children.

The Court appreciates the apprehensions of private respondent and
their well-meant concern for the children; nevertheless, it seems
unlikely that petitioner would have ulterior motives or undue designs
more than a parent's natural desire to be able to call on, even if it
were only on brief visits, his own children. The trial court, in any
case, has seen it fit to understandably provide this precautionary
measure, i.e., "in no case (can petitioner) take out the children
without the written consent of the mother."

WHEREFORE, the decision of the trial court is REINSTATED,
reversing thereby the judgment of the appellate court which is hereby
SET ASIDE. No costs.
SO ORDERED.


Vancil v. Belmes
GR# 132223 / JUNE. 19, 2001
358 SCRA 707

Facts:

Petitioner, Bonifacia Vancil, is the mother of Reeder C. Vancil, a
Navy serviceman of the United States of America who died in the
said country on December 22, 1986. During his lifetime, Reeder had
two (2) children named Valerie and Vincent by his common-law wife,
Helen G. Belmes.

Sometime in May of 1987, Bonifacia Vancil commenced before the
RTC in Cebu a guardianship proceedings over the persons and
properties of minors Valerie and Vincent who were 6 and 2 years old,
respectively, claiming that the minors are residents of Cebu City,
Philippines and have an estate consisting of proceeds from their
fathers death pension benefits with a probable value of
P100,000.00.

On July 15, 1987, petitioner, Bonifacia Vancil was appointed legal
and judicial guardian over the persons and estate of Valerie Vancil
and Vincent Vancil Jr.

On August 13, 1987, the natural mother of the minors, Helen
Belmes, submitted an opposition to the subject guardianship
proceedings asseverating that she had filed a similar petition for
128

guardianship before the RTC in Pagadian City and asserting that she
is the natural mother in actual custody of and exercising parental
authority over the subject minors at Maralag, Dumingag, Zamboanga
del Sur where they are permanently residing. Opposition was denied
by RTC but was reversed by the CA. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the parents should be given preferential right to be
appointed as guardian over the persons and estate of the minors?

Held:

Yes.

The respondent, being the natural mother of the minor, has the
preferential right over that of petitioner to be his guardian. This ruling
finds support in Article 211 of the Family Code which provides:
"Art. 211. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental
authority over the persons of their common children. In case of
disagreement, the fathers decision shall prevail, unless there is a
judicial order to the contrary. xxx."

Indeed, being the natural mother of minor Vincent, respondent has
the corresponding natural and legal right to his custody. In Sagala-
Eslao vs. Court of Appeals,4 this Court held:
"Of considerable importance is the rule long accepted by the courts
that the right of parents to the custody of their minor children is one
of the natural rights incident to parenthood, a right supported by law
and sound public policy. The right is an inherent one, which is not
created by the state or decisions of the courts, but derives from the
nature of the parental relationship."

Petitioners claim to be the guardian of said minor can only be
realized by way of substitute parental authority pursuant to Article
214 of the Family Code, thus:
"Art. 214. In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents,
substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving
grandparent. xxx."

In Santos, Sr. vs. Court of Appeals, this Court ruled:
"The law vests on the father and mother joint parental authority over
the persons of their common children. In case of absence or death of
either parent, the parent present shall continue exercising parental
authority. Only in case of the parents death, absence or unsuitability
may substitute parental authority be exercised by the surviving
grandparent."


Laxamana v. Laxamana
GR# 144763 / SEPT. 3, 2002
388 SCRA 296

FACTS:

Petitioner and respondent got married on 1984 and was blessed with
3 children. All went well until the Petitioner became drug dependent.
Petitioner underwent certain therapies and confinements. Despite
several confinements, respondent claimed petitioner was not fully
rehabilitated. His drug dependence worsened and it became difficult
for respondent and her children to live with him. Petitioner allegedly
became violent and irritable. On some occasions, he even physically
assaulted respondent. Thus, respondent and her 3 children
abandoned petitioner and transferred to the house of her relatives.

Petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, the
instant petition for habeas corpus praying for custody of his three
children. Respondent opposed the petition, citing the drug
dependence of petitioner. On December 7, 1999, after the parties
reached an agreement, the court issued an order granting visitation
rights to petitioner and directing the parties to undergo psychiatric
and psychological examination by a psychiatrist of their common
choice. The parties further agreed to submit the case for resolution
after the trial courts receipt of the results of their psychiatric
examination. On January 14, 2000, the trial court rendered the
assailed decision awarding the custody of the three children to
respondent and giving visitation rights to petitioner.

Hence, petitioner filed a petition for review.

129

ISSUE:

Whether the trial court considered the paramount interest and
welfare of the children in awarding their custody to respondent.

HELD:

SC ruled that the instant case be REMANDED to the RTC for the
purpose of receiving evidence to determine the fitness of petitioner
and respondent to take custody of their children. Pending the final
disposition of this case, custody shall remain with respondent but
subject to petitioners visitation rights.

In controversies involving the care, custody and control of their minor
children, the contending parents stand on equal footing before the
court who shall make the selection according to the best interest of
the child. The child if over seven years of age may be permitted to
choose which parent he/she prefers to live with, but the court is not
bound by such choice if the parent so chosen is unfit. In all cases,
the sole and foremost consideration is the physical, educational,
social and moral welfare of the child concerned, taking into account
the respective resources as well as social and moral situations of the
opposing parents.

Mindful of the nature of the case at bar, the court a quo should have
conducted a trial notwithstanding the agreement of the parties to
submit the case for resolution on the basis, inter alia, of the
psychiatric report of Dr. Teresito. Thus, petitioner is not estopped
from questioning the absence of a trial considering that said
psychiatric report, which was the courts primary basis in awarding
custody to respondent, is insufficient to justify the decision. The
fundamental policy of the State to promote and protect the welfare of
children shall not be disregarded by mere technicality in resolving
disputes which involve the family and the youth. While petitioner may
have a history of drug dependence, the records are inadequate as to
his moral, financial and social well-being. The results of the
psychiatric evaluation showing that he is not yet completely cured
may render him unfit to take custody of the children, but there is no
evidence to show that respondent is unfit to provide the children with
adequate support, education, as well as moral and intellectual
training and development. Moreover, the children in this case were
14 and 15 years old at the time of the promulgation of the decision,
yet the court did not ascertain their choice as to which parent they
want to live with. There is no showing that the court ascertained the
categorical choice of the children.

In the instant case, the proceedings before the trial court leave much
to be desired. While a remand of this case would mean further
delay, the childrens paramount interest demand that further
proceedings be conducted to determine the fitness of both petitioner
and respondent to assume custody of their minor children.


Roehr v. Rodriguez
GR# 142820 / JUNE. 30, 2003
404 SCRA 495

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Viesca v. Gilinsky
GR# 171698 / JULY. 04, 2007
526 SCRA 533

Facts: Petitioner and respondent, a Canadian citizen, met sometime
in January 1999 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel where the former
worked as a hotel manager. On 22 October 2001, their son Louis
Maxwell was born. On 30 October 2001, respondent executed an
Affidavit of Acknowledgment/Admission of Paternity of the child.
Subsequently, the Civil Registrar of Makati City issued a Certification
granting the change of Louis Maxwells surname from Viesca to
Gilinsky. Unfortunately, the relationship between petitioner and
respondent soured and they parted ways during the early part of
2003. On 6 February 2004, respondent filed a Petition praying that
he be entitled to the company of Louis Maxwell at any time of any
130

given day; he be entitled to enjoy the company of Louis Maxwell
during weekends and on such occasions the child shall be allowed to
spend the night with his father; and he be entitled to enjoy a yearly
three-week vacation in any destination with his child. During the
pendency of respondents petition, the parties arrived at a
compromise agreement. Respondent alleged that petitioner had
repeatedly refused to abide by the terms of the compromise
judgment, particularly the provision allowing Louis Maxwell to spend
a night with him at any day of the week. Petitioner asserted that by
approving respondents prayer that he be given the right to enjoy
Louis Maxwells company every Friday of each week starting from
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. of the following day, Judge Mariano altered
Clause II(b) of the Compromise Judgment which states that (t)he
child shall be allowed to spend the night with the father once a
week. As the Compromise Judgment did not specifically provide for
the day and time of the week when Louis Maxwell should be in the
company of respondent, the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction when
it rendered its 16 June 2005 Order.

Issue: WON the Order should be declared invalid as it violates the
compromise agreement of the parties.

Ruling: A compromise agreement has been described as a contract
whereby the parties, by making reciprocal concessions, avoid
litigation or put an end to one already commenced. A compromise
agreement that is intended to resolve a matter already under
litigation is normally called a judicial compromise. Once it is
stamped with judicial imprimatur, it becomes more than a mere
contract binding upon the parties. Having the sanction of the court
and entered as its determination of the controversy, it has the force
and effect of any other judgment. Such agreement has the force of
law and is conclusive between the parties. It transcends its identity
as a mere contract binding only upon the parties thereto, for it
becomes a judgment that is subject to execution in accordance with
the Rules. Thus, a compromise agreement that has been made and
duly approved by the court attains the effect and authority of res
judicata, although no execution may be issued unless the agreement
receives the approval of the court where the litigation is pending and
compliance with the terms of the agreement is decreed.

Clause II(b) states that (t)he child shall be allowed to spend the
night with the father once a week. The sentence seems simple
enough to be understood by a layman. Petitioner claims that the
parties did not specify the day and time of the week when private
respondent could enjoy the overnight company of Louis Maxwell in
order to give the parties some flexibility and to give them the
opportunity to arrange the schedule themselves. And yet, all of these
could have been avoided had the parties opted to be more specific in
their agreement. The question thus becomes: can the trial court
modify, by motion of one of the parties, a Compromise Judgment?
We hold in the negative.


Sy v. CA
GR# 124518 / DEC. 17, 2007
541 SCRA 391

FACTS:
On 19 January 1994, Mercedes Tan Uy-Sy filed a petition for habeas
corpus against Wilson Sy. Mercedes prayed that said writ be issued
ordering Wilson to produce their minor children Vanessa and
Jeremiah and that after hearing, their care and custody be awarded
to her.

Wilson prayed that the custody of the minors be awarded to him
instead. Wilson maintained that Mercedes was unfit to take custody
of the minors first, because she abandoned her family in 1992;
second, she is mentally unstable; and third, she cannot provide
proper care to the children.

RTC caused the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus and awarded
custody of the children to Mercedes.

Wilson appealed. CA affirmed the decision of the trial court.

The Court of Appeals held that petitioner was not able to
substantiate his contention that Mercedes was unfit to have custody
of the children. On respondents supposed abandonment of the
family, the appellate court found instead that Mercedes had been
driven away by Wilson's family because of religious differences.
131

Mercedes' stay in Taiwan likewise could hardly be called
abandonment as she had gone there to earn enough money to
reclaim her children. Neither could her act of praying outdoors in the
rain be considered as evidence of insanity as it may simply be an
expression of ones faith. Regarding the allegation that Mercedes
was unable to provide for a decent dwelling for the minors, to the
contrary, the appellate court was satisfied with proof of her financial
ability to provide her children with the necessities of life.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in awarding the custody of the minor
children solely to Mercedes.

HELD:
There is no merit in the petition regarding the question of care and
custody of the children. The applicable provision is Section 213 of
the Family Code.

In case of legal separation of the parents, the custody of the minor
children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse, unless otherwise
directed by the court in the interest of the minor children. But when
the husband and wife are living separately and apart from each
other, without decree of the court, the court shall award the care,
custody, and control of each child as will be for his best interest,
permitting the child to choose which parent he prefers to live with if
he is over seven (7) years of age unless the parent so chosen be
unfit to take charge of the child by reason of moral depravity, habitual
drunkenness or poverty.

In all controversies regarding the custody of minors, the sole and
foremost consideration is the physical, educational, social and moral
welfare of the child concerned, taking into account the respective
resources and social and moral situations of the contending parents.

However, the law favors the mother if she is a fit and proper person
to have custody of her children so that they may not only receive her
attention, care, supervision but also have the advantage and benefit
of a mothers love and devotion for which there is no substitute.
Generally, the love, solicitude and devotion of a mother cannot be
replaced by another and are worth more to a child of tender years
than all other things combined.


Madrian v. Madrian
GR# 159374 / JULY. 12, 2007
527 SCRA 487

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Lim v. Lim
GR# 163209 / OCT. 30, 2009
604 SCRA 691

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CHAPTER 2. SUBSTITUTE & SPECIAL PARENTAL AUTHORITY
(Arts 216-219)

St. Marys Academy v. Carpitanos
GR# 143363 / FEB. 6, 2002
376 SCRA 473

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132

CHAPTER 3. EFFECT OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY UPON THE
PERSONS OF THE CHILDREN (Articles 220-224)

Obedencio vs. Murillo
A.M. No. RTJ-03-1753. February 5, 2004

Facts:
On May 3, 2000, Obedencio and his wife assisted their 14-
year-old daughter, Licel, in filing with the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor, Hall of Justice in Cagayan de Oro City, a criminal
complaint for rape allegedly committed upon her when she was 11
years old by her uncle, Dexter Z. Acenas. After the preliminary
investigation, which the accused did not attend, the case was filed in
respondent judges sala.
On May 25, 2001, following Licels abduction from their house,
Obedencio sought to secure from the court a copy of the warrant of
arrest issued against the accused. To his great surprise, respondent
judge told him that the case had been dismissed three days earlier
on May 22, 2001. According to respondent judge, Licel had come to
court, accompanied by her maternal grandparents and Asst.
Provincial Prosecutor Emmanuel Hallazgo. There she was presented
to affirm her affidavit of desistance.
Obedencio specifically lamented the absence of any
subpoena or notice of hearing from the court to him, his wife, or their
counsel. He believes that since Prosecutor Hallazgo, Licels maternal
grandparents, and the accused are relatives, this fact contributed to
the unjust dismissal of the case.
The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), through Deputy
Court Administrator Christopher O. Lock, found respondent judge
liable for ignorance of the law for unjustly dismissing the case.

Issue: W/N it is mandatory to give notice of hearing to Obedencio
and his wife for the case involving their minor child.

Held:
Article 220(6)10 of the Family Code gives to complainant
and his wife the right and duty to represent Licel in all matters
affecting her interest. Thus, they were entitled to be notified and to
attend every hearing on the case. As a judge, respondent is duty-
bound to acquaint himself with the cases pending before him.11 He
should have known that Licel filed the criminal complaint with the
assistance of her parents, who are her natural guardians.12 It was
incumbent upon respondent judge to inquire into the reason behind
their nonappearance before the court instead of simply relying on the
bare explanation of the defense counsel that he and his client could
not find Licels parents.13 Respondent judge ought to remember that
the accused, Dexter Acenas, is the maternal uncle of the victim. That
Licel came to court with her maternal grandparents, and not her
parents, on the day she was examined to affirm her affidavit of
desistance, should have alerted respondent judge to be more
circumspect. Being still a minor, Licel cannot fully comprehend for
herself the impact and legal consequence of the affidavit of
desistance. Given her tender age, the probability is that Licel
succumbed to illicit influence and undue pressure on her to desist
from pursuing her complaint.

Licel was only 14 years old, definitely a minor, on May 22, 2001,
when she was presented before respondents sala to affirm the
execution of her affidavit of desistance. This being the case, said
affidavit should have been executed with the concurrence of her
parents. Licel could not validly give consent to an affidavit of
desistance, for a minor is incompetent to execute such an
instrument.
The Rule on Examination of a Child Witness,14 which took effect on
December 15, 2000, governs the examination of child witnesses who
are victims of, accused of, or witnesses to a crime. In the absence or
incapacity of the parents to be the guardian, Section 5 (a)15 of said
rule provides that the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to
promote the best interests of the child. This rule was already in effect
when respondent judge dismissed the rape case on May 22, 2001.










133

CHAPTER 4. EFFECT OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY UPON THE
PROPERTY OF THE CHILDREN (Articles 225-227)

Lindain v. CA
GR# 95305 / AUG. 20, 1992
212 SCRA 725

FACTS:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court
of Appeals which dismissed the complaint for annulment of a sale of
registered land, thereby reversing the decision of the Regional Trial
Court of San Jose City.

When plaintiffs were still minors, they were already the registered
owners of a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
NT-63540. On November 7, 1966, their mother, Dolores Luluquisin,
then already a widow and acting as guardian of her minor children,
sold the land for P2,000 under a Deed of Absolute Sale of
Registered Land to the defendants spouses Apolonia Valiente and
Federico Ila. The Deed of Absolute Sale was registered in the office
of the Register of Deeds for the Province of Nueva Ecija. TCT No.
NT-66311 was issued to the vendees, Apolonia Valiente and
Federico Ila.

The defendants admitted that the property in question was sold to
them by the mother of the minors as evidenced by a Deed of Sale
and although at first they were reluctant to buy the property as the
sale would not be legal, the registered owners thereof being all
minors, upon advice of their counsel, the late Atty. Arturo B. Pascual,
and the counsel of Dolores Luluquisin, Atty. Eustaquio Ramos, who
notarized the documents, that the property could be sold without the
written authority of the court, considering that its value was less than
P2,000, they bought the property and had it registered in their names
under Certificate of Title No. 66311.

Plaintiffs contend that the sale of the lot by their mother to the
defendants is null and void because it was made without judicial
authority and/or court approval.

While defendants contend that the sale was valid, as the value of the
property was less than P2,000, and, considering the ages of plaintiffs
now, the youngest being 31 years old at the time of the filing of the
complaint, their right to rescind the contract which should have been
exercised four (4) years after reaching the age of majority, has
already prescribed.

The RTC of San Jose City rendered a decision for the plaintiffs and
declaring the Deed of Sale to be null and void.

Upon appeal to the CA, the decision was reversed and another one
was entered dismissing the complaint.

It upheld the sale and dismissed the complaint of the heirs who
thereupon filed this petition for review alleging that the Court of
Appeals erred in reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court
and in ordering the dismissal of the petitioners' complaint in total
disregard of the findings of facts of the trial court and contrary to the
provisions of law on contracts and guardianship.

ISSUE:

Whether judicial approval was necessary for the sale of the minors'
property by their mother.

HELD:
Art. 320 of the New Civil Code, which was already in force when the
assailed transaction occurred, provides:
Art. 320. The father, or in his absence the mother, is the legal
administrator of the property pertaining to the child under parental
authority. If the property is worth more than two thousand pesos, the
father or mother shall give a bond subject to the approval of the
Court of First Instance.

Under the law, a parent, acting merely as the legal (as distinguished
from judicial) administrator of the property of his/her minor children,
does not have the power to dispose of, or alienate, the property of
said children without judicial approval. The powers and duties of the
widow as legal administrator of her minor children's property as
provided in Rule 84 by the Rules of Court entitled, "General Powers
134

and Duties of Executors and Administrators" are only powers of
possession and management. Her power to sell, mortgage,
encumber or otherwise dispose of the property of her minor children
must proceed from the court, as provided in Rule 89 which requires
court authority and approval.

The private respondents' allegation that they are purchasers in good
faith is not credible for they knew from the very beginning that their
vendor, the petitioners' mother, without court approval could not
validly convey to them the property of her minor children. Knowing
her lack of judicial authority to enter into the transaction, the private
respondents acted in bad faith when they went ahead and bought
the land from her anyway.
One who acquires or purchases real property with knowledge of a
defect in the title of his vendor cannot claim that he acquired title
thereto in good faith as against the owner of the property or for an
interest therein.

The minors' action for reconveyance has not yet prescribed for "real
actions over immovables prescribe after thirty years" (Art. 1141, Civil
Code). Since the sale took place in 1966, the action to recover the
property had not yet prescribed when the petitioners sued in 1987.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of the Court
of Appeals is set aside and that of the Regional Trial Court of San
Jose City dated May 25, 1989, being correct, is hereby
REINSTATED. Costs against the private respondents.
SO ORDERED.


Pineda v. CA
GR# 105562 / SEPT. 27, 1993
226 SCRA 754

Facts: On 23 September 1983, Prime Marine Services, Inc. (PMSI)
procured Group PoIicy from Insular Life to provide life insurance
coverage to its sea-based employees enrolled under the plan. On 17
February 1986 six covered employees of the PMSI perished at sea
when their vessel sunk. They were survived by petitioners who are
the beneficiaries under the policy. Petitioners sought to claim death
benefits due them and, for this purpose, they approached the
President and GM of PMSI, Capt. Roberto Nuval. They were made
to execute, with the exception of the spouses Alarcon, SPA
authorizing Capt. Nuval to, among others, follow up, ask, demand,
collect and receive" for their benefit indemnities of sums of money
due them.
Unknown to them, however, the PMSI filed with Insular formal claims
for and in behalf of the beneficiaries, through Capt. Nuval. On the
basis of documents duly submitted, Insular issued six (6) checks
amounting to P290K payable to the order of petitioners. On 3 July
1989, petitioners sought to recover their benefits from Insular but the
latter denied their claim on the ground that its liability to petitioners
was already extinguished upon delivery to and receipt by PMSI of
the six (6) checks issued in their names. Petitioners filed a complaint
against Insular before the Insurance Commission (IC).
On 20 June 1990, the IC rendered its decision in favor of petitioners
holding that: x x x Insular did not observe Section 180 of the
Insurance Code, when it issued or released two checks in the
amount of P150,000.00 for the three minor children (P50,000.00
each) of complainant, Dina Ayo and another check of P40,000.00 for
minor beneficiary Marissa Lontok, daughter of another complainant
Lucia Lontok, there being no showing of any court authorization
presented or the requisite bond posted. Section 180 partly reads as
follows: In the absence of a judicial guardian, the father, or in the
latter's absence or incapacity, the mother of any minor, who is an
insured or a beneficiary under a contract of life, health or accident
insurance, may exercise, in behalf of said minor, any right, under the
policy, without necessity of court authority or the giving of a bond
where the interest of the minor in the particular act involved does not
exceed twenty thousand pesos x x x On appeal, the CA reversed the
IC ruling that the requirement in Section 180 of the Insurance Code
has been amended by Art. 225 Family Code.
Issue: Whether the decision of the CA was correct.
Held: We cannot agree with the opinion of the public respondent that
since the shares of the minors in the insurance proceeds are less
than P50,000.00, then under Article 225 of the Family Code their
mothers could receive such shares without need of either court
appointments as guardian or the posting of a bond. It is of the view
that said Article had repealed the third paragraph of Section 180 of
the Insurance Code. The pertinent portion of Article 225 of the
135

Family Code reads as follows: The father and the mother shall jointly
exercise legal guardianship over the property of their unemancipated
common child without the necessity of a court appointment. In case
of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail, unless there is
judicial order to the contrary.
Where the market value of the property or the annual income of the
child exceeds P50,000, the parent concerned shall be required to
furnish a bond in such amount as the court may determine, but not
less than ten per centum (10%) of the value of the property or annual
income, to guarantee the performance of the obligations prescribed
for general guardians.
It is clear from the said Article that regardless of the value of the
unemancipated common child's property, the father and mother ipso
jure become the legal guardian of the child's property. However, if
the market value of the property or the annual income of the child
exceeds P50,000.00, a bond has to be posted by the parents
concerned to guarantee the performance of the obligations of a
general guardian.
It must, however, be noted that the second paragraph of Article 225
of the Family Code speaks of the "market value of the property or the
annual income of the child," which means, therefore, the aggregate
of the child's property or annual income; if this exceeds P50,000.00,
a bond is required. There is no evidence that the share of each of the
minors in the proceeds of the group policy in question is the minor's
only property. Without such evidence, it would not be safe to
conclude that, indeed, that is his only property. (therefore, court
authorization is needed)


Cabales v. CA
GR# 162421 / AUG. 31, 2007
531 SCRA 691

FACTS:

Rufino Cabales died on July 4, 1966 and left a 5,714-square meter
parcel of land located in Brgy. Rizal, Sogod, Southern Leyte to his
surviving wife Saturnina and children Bonifacio, Albino, Francisco,
Leonora, Alberto and petitioner Rito. On July 26, 1971, brothers and
co-owners Bonifacio, Albino and Alberto sold the subject property to
Dr. Cayetano Corrompido for P2,000.00, with right to repurchase
within eight (8) years. The three (3) siblings divided the proceeds of
the sale among themselves, each getting a share of P666.66. The
following month or on August 18, 1971, Alberto secured a note
(vale) from Dr. Corrompido in the amount of P300.00. In 1972,
Alberto died leaving his wife and son, petitioner Nelson.

On December 18, 1975, within the eight-year redemption period,
Bonifacio and Albino tendered their payment of P666.66 each to Dr.
Corrompido. But Dr. Corrompido only released the document of sale
with pacto de retro after Saturnina paid for the share of her deceased
son, Alberto, including his vale of P300.00. On even date,
Saturnina and her four (4) children Bonifacio, Albino, Francisco and
Leonora sold the subject parcel of land to respondents-spouses
Jesus and Anunciacion Feliano for P8,000.00.

On December 30, 1985, Saturnina and her four (4) children executed
an affidavit to the effect that petitioner Nelson would only receive the
amount of P176.34 from respondents-spouses when he reaches the
age of 21 considering that Saturnina paid Dr. Corrompido P966.66
for the obligation of petitioner Nelsons late father Alberto, i.e.,
P666.66 for his share in the redemption of the sale with pacto de
retro as well as his vale of P300.00. On July 24, 1986, 24-year old
petitioner Rito Cabales acknowledged receipt of the sum of
P1,143.00 from respondent Jesus Feliano, representing the formers
share in the proceeds of the sale of subject property. In 1988,
Saturnina died.

Petitioner Nelson, then residing in Manila, went back to his fathers
hometown in Southern Leyte. That same year, he learned from his
uncle, petitioner Rito, of the sale of subject property. In 1993, he
signified his intention to redeem the subject land during a barangay
conciliation process that he initiated and on 1995, petitioners filed
before RTC a complaint of redemption of the subject land plus
damages. RTC ruled against the petitioners. On appeal the CA
modified the decision. It held that the sale by Saturnina of petitioner
Ritos undivided share to the property was unenforceable for lack of
authority or legal representation but that the contract was effectively
ratified by petitioner Ritos receipt of the proceeds on July 24, 1986.
The appellate court also ruled that petitioner Nelson is co-owner to
136

the extent of one-seventh (1/7) of subject property as Saturnina was
not subrogated to Albertos rights when she repurchased his share to
the property. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA erred in recognizing petitioner Nelson
Cabales as co-owner of subject land but denied him the right of legal
redemption and not recognizing petitioner Rito Cabales as co-owner
of subject land with similar right of legal redemption.

HELD:

Explaining the nature of the sale, the SC rued that:

The first sale with pacto de retro to Dr. Corrompido by the brothers
and co-owners Bonifacio, Albino and Alberto was valid but only as to
their pro-indiviso shares to the land. When Alberto died prior to
repurchasing his share, his rights and obligations were transferred to
and assumed by his heirs, namely his wife and his son, petitioner
Nelson. But the records show that it was Saturnina, Albertos
mother, and not his heirs, who repurchased for him. As correctly
ruled by the Court of Appeals, Saturnina was not subrogated to
Albertos or his heirs rights to the property when she repurchased
the share.
Upon redemption from Dr. Corrompido, the subject property was
resold to respondents-spouses by the co-owners. Petitioners Rito
and Nelson were then minors and as indicated in the Deed of Sale,
their shares in the proceeds were held in trust by respondents-
spouses to be paid and delivered to them upon reaching the age of
majority. As to petitioner Rito, the contract of sale was
unenforceable under Article 1403 of the Civil Code as she did not
have the legal authority to do so. Saturnina as the legal guardian
only has the plenary power of administration of the minors property.
It does not include the power of alienation which needs judicial
authority. However, when he acknowledged receipt of the proceeds
of the sale on July 24, 1986, petitioner Rito effectively ratified it. This
act of ratification rendered the sale valid and binding as to him.

With respect to petitioner Nelson, on the other hand, the contract of
sale was void. He was a minor at the time of the sale. Saturnina or
any and all the other co-owners were not his legal guardians with
judicial authority to alienate or encumber his property. It was his
mother who was his legal guardian and, if duly authorized by the
courts, could validly sell his undivided share to the property.
Consequently, petitioner Nelson and his mother retained ownership
over their undivided share of subject property.

Petitioners may redeem the subject property from respondents-
spouses but they failed to do so within thirty days from notice in
writing of the sale by their co-owners vendors. In the instant case,
the right of redemption was invoked not days but years after the sale
was made in 1978. We are not unmindful of the fact that petitioner
Nelson was a minor when the sale was perfected. Nevertheless, the
records show that in 1988, petitioner Nelson, then of majority age,
was informed of the sale of subject property. Moreover, it was noted
by the appellate court that petitioner Nelson was likewise informed
thereof in 1993 and he signified his intention to redeem subject
property during a barangay conciliation process. But he only filed
the complaint for legal redemption and damages on January 12,
1995, certainly more than thirty days from learning about the sale.
Further, the sale as to the undivided share of petitioner Rito became
valid and binding upon his ratification on July 24, 1986.

Petitioner Nelson, as correctly held by the Court of Appeals, can no
longer redeem subject property. But he and his mother remain co-
owners thereof with respondents-spouses. Accordingly, title to
subject property must include them.










137

CHAPTER 5. SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL
AUTHORITY (Arts 228-233)

Silva vs. CA
GR# 114742 / JULY. 17, 1997
275 SCRA 206
<missing>
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Bondagjy vs. Bondagjy
GR# 140817 / DEC. 07, 2001
371 SCRA 64

Facts: Respondent Fouzi (then 31 years of age) and Sabrina (then
20 years of age) were married on February 3,1988, at the Manila
Hotel, Ermita, Manila under Islamic rites. Out of their union, they
begot two (2) children, namely, Abdulaziz, born on June 13, 1989,2
and Amouaje, born on September 29, 1990. Sometime in December
1995, the children lived in the house of Sabrina's mother in 145
Tanguile Street, Ayala Alabang. Fouzi alleged that he could not see
his children until he got an order from the court. Even with a court
order, he could only see his children in school at De La Salle-Zobel,
Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Respondent alleged that on various
occasions Sabrina was seen with different men at odd hours in
Manila, and that she would wear short skirts, sleeveless blouses,
and bathing suits. Such clothing is detestable under Islamic law on
customs. Fouzi claimed that Sabrina let their children sweep their
neighbor's house for a fee of P40.00 after the children come home
from school. Whenever Fouzi sees them in school, the children
would be happy to see him but they were afraid to ride in his car.
Instead, they would ride the jeepney in going home from school. He
filed a petition before the Shari' a District Court for the custody of his
children in which it ruled that Sabrina is unworthy to care for her
children.

Issue: WON the Shari a Court erred in ruling that Sabrina is
unworthy to care for her children.

Ruling: The burden is upon respondent to prove that petitioner is not
worthy to have custody of her children. We find that the evidence
presented by the respondent was not sufficient to establish her
unfitness according to Muslim law or the Family Code. What
determines the fitness of any parent is the ability to see to the
physical, educational, social and moral welfare of the children, and
the ability to give them a healthy environment as well as physical and
financial support taking into consideration the respective resources
and social and moral situations of the parents. The record shows that
petitioner is equally financially capable of providing for all the needs
of her children. The children went to school at De La Salle Zobel
School, Muntinlupa City with their tuition paid by petitioner according
to the school's certification.

We do not doubt the capacity and love of both parties for their
children, such that they both want to have them in their custody.

Either parent may lose parental authority over the child only for a
valid reason. In cases where both parties cannot have custody
because of their voluntary separation, we take into consideration the
circumstances that would lead us to believe which parent can better
take care of the children. Although we see the need for the children
to have both a mother and a father, we believe that petitioner has
more capacity and time to see to the children's needs. Respondent is
a businessman whose work requires that he go abroad or be in
different places most of the time. Under P.D. No. 603, the custody of
the minor children, absent a compelling reason to the contrary, is
given to the mother.











138

Title X. FUNERAL (Articles 305 -310, NCC)


Title XII. CARE AND EDUCATION OF CHILDREN (Articles 356
363, NCC)

PD 603 The Child and Youth Welfare Code
RA 9262 (Anti Violence against Women and Children [VAWC])
and IRR;
RA 9523



Title XIII. USE OF SURNAMES (Articles 364-380, NCC)

RA 9255 An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children to Use the
Surname of their Father (Amending Art. 176 of the Family
Code); IRR of 9255
Passport Law (RA 8239)

De la Cruz v. Gracia
GR# 177728 / July 31, 2009
594 SCRA 648

FACTS:
For several months in 2005, then 21-year old petitioner Jenie San
Juan Dela Cruz (Jenie) and then 19-year old Christian Dominique
Sto. Tomas Aquino (Dominique) lived together as husband and wife
without the benefit of marriage. They resided in the house of
Dominiques parents at Teresa, Rizal. On September 4, 2005,
Dominique died. After almost two months, or on November 2, 2005,
Jenie, who continued to live with Dominiques parents, gave birth to
her herein co-petitioner minor child Christian Dela Cruz "Aquino" at
Antipolo City. Jenie applied for registration of the childs birth, using
Dominiques surname Aquino, with the Civil Registrar of Antipolo
City, in support of which she submitted the childs Certificate of Live
Birth, Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF) which she
had executed and signed, and Affidavit of Acknowledgment executed
by Dominiques father Domingo Butch Aquino. Jenie attached to the
AUSF a document entitled "AUTOBIOGRAPHY" which Dominique,
during his lifetime, wrote in his own handwriting, acknowledging that
he is the father of Jenies unborn child. The City Civil Registrar of
Antipolo City, Ronald Paul S. Gracia (respondent), denied Jenies
application for registration of the childs name 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
(either through the back of Municipal Form No. 102 Affidavit of
Acknowledgment/Admission of Paternity or the Authority to Use the
Surname of the Father).
Jenie and the child filed a complaint for injunction/registration of
name against respondent before the RTC of Antipolo City. The
complaint alleged that, inter alia, the denial of registration of the
childs name is a violation of his right to use the surname of his
deceased father under Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended
by Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9255, which permits an illegitimate child
to use the surname of his/her father if the latter had expressly
recognized him/her as his offspring through the record of birth
appearing in the civil register, or through an admission made in a
public or private handwritten instrument. The recognition made in
any of these documents is, in itself, a consummated act of
acknowledgment of the childs paternity; hence, no separate action
for judicial approval is necessary. The trial court, however, dismissed
the complaint "for lack of cause of action" as the Autobiography was
unsigned, citing paragraph 2.2, Rule 2 (Definition of Terms) of
Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 1, Series of 2004 (the Rules and
Regulations Governing the Implementation of R.A. 9255) which
defines "private handwritten document" through which a father may
acknowledge an illegitimate child as an instrument executed in the
handwriting of the father and duly signed by him where he expressly
recognizes paternity to the child. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:
WON the unsigned handwritten statement of the deceased father of
the minor can be considered as a recognition of paternity in a
private handwritten instrument within the contemplation of Article
176 of the Family Code, as amended by RA 9255, which entitles the
said minor to use his fathers surname.



139

HELD:
Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended, does not, indeed,
explicitly state that the private handwritten instrument acknowledging
the childs paternity must be signed by the putative father. This
provision must, however, be read in conjunction with related
provisions of the Family Code which require that recognition by the
father must bear his signature, thus:

Art. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation
in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.

Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of
the following:
(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 of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate 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.

That a father who acknowledges paternity of a child through a written
instrument must affix his signature thereon is clearly implied in Article
176 of the Family Code. Paragraph 2.2, Rule 2 of A.O. No. 1, Series
of 2004, merely articulated such requirement; it did not "unduly
expand" the import of Article 176 as claimed by petitioners. In the
present case, however, special circumstances exist to hold that
Dominiques Autobiography, though unsigned by him, substantially
satisfies the requirement of the law. In Herrera v. Alba, the Court
summarized the laws, rules, and jurisprudence on establishing
filiation, discoursing in relevant part Articles 172 and 175 of the
Family Code and the Rules on Evidence which include provisions on
pedigree under Sections 39 and 40 of Rule 130.
Under Article 278 of the New Civil Code, voluntary recognition by a
parent shall be made in the record of birth, a will, a statement before
a court of record, or in any authentic writing. To be effective, the
claim of filiation must be made by the putative father himself and the
writing must be the writing of the putative father. In the case at bar,
there is no dispute


Remo v. Sec of Foreign Affairs
GR No. 169202 March 5, 2010

<missing>
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Title XIV. ABSENCE (Articles 381-396, NCC)

See Article 41 FC; Rule 107, 1997 Revised Rules of Court
Arts. 774 & 777; Art. 1456; Arts 22, 2142-2175; Wills &
Succession

Chapter 1. Provisional Measures in Case of Absence
Chapter 2. Declaration of Absence
Chapter 3. Administration of the Property of the Absentee
Chapter 4. Presumption of Death
Chapter 5. Effect of Absence Upon the Contingent Rights of the
Absentee


Valdez v. Republic
GR# 180863 / SEPT. 08, 2009
598 SCRA 646

<missing>
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140

Title X. EMANCIPATION AND AGE OF MAJORITY

See RA 6809; 2176 & 2180 NCC

Title XVI. CIVIL REGISTER (NCC)

See RA 9048 (Clerical Error Law) and Implementing Rules and
Regulations
See Rules 103 & 108, 1997 Revised Rules of Court

Republic v. Bolante
GR# 160597 / JULY. 20, 2006
495 SCRA 729


<missing>
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Republic v. Kho
GR# 170340 / JUNE. 29, 2007
526 SCRA177
Facts:
On February 12, 2001, Carlito and his siblings Michael,
Mercy Nona and Heddy Moira (surnamed Kho) filed before the RTC
of Butuan City a verified petition for correction of entries in the civil
registry of Butuan City to effect changes in their respective birth
certificates. Carlito also asked the court in behalf of his minor
children, Kevin and Kelly, to order the correction of some entries in
their birth certificates.
In the case of Carlito and his siblings, he requested the correction in
his birth certificate of the citizenship of his mother to Filipino instead
of Chinese, as well as the deletion of the word married opposite the
phrase Date of marriage of parents because his parents, Juan Kho
and Epifania Inchoco (Epifania), were allegedly not legally married.
With respect to the birth certificates of Carlitos children, he prayed
that the date of his and his wifes marriage be corrected from April
27, 1989 to January 21, 2000, the date appearing in their marriage
certificate.
On April 23, 2001, Carlito et al. filed an Amended Petitionin which it
was additionally prayed that Carlitos second name of John be
deleted from his record of birth;and that the name and citizenship of
Carlitos father in his (Carlitos) marriage certificate be corrected from
John Kho to Juan Kho and Filipino to Chinese, respectively.
By Decision of September 4, 2002, the trial court directed the local
civil registrar of Butuan City to correct the entries in the record of
birth of Carlito, as follows: (1) change the citizenship of his mother
from Chinese to Filipino; (2) delete John from his name; and (3)
delete the word married opposite the date of marriage of his parents.
The last correction was ordered to be effected likewise in the birth
certificates of respondents Michael, Mercy Nona, and Heddy Moira.
Additionally, the trial court ordered the correction of the birth
certificates of the minor children of Carlito to reflect the date of
marriage of Carlito and Marivel Dogmoc (Marivel) as January 21,
2000, instead of April 27, 1989, and the name Maribel as Marivel.
With respect to the marriage certificate of Carlito and Marivel, the
corrections ordered pertained to the alteration of the name of Carlitos
father from John Kho to Juan Kho and the latters citizenship from
Filipino to Chinese.
Petitioner, Republic of the Philippines, appealed the RTC Decision to
the CA, faulting the trial court in granting the petition for correction of
entries in the subject documents despite the failure of respondents to
implead the minors mother, Marivel, as an indispensable party and to
offer sufficient evidence to warrant the corrections with regard to the
questioned married status of Carlito and his siblings parents, and the
latters citizenship. The CA found that Rule 108 of the Revised Rules
of Court, which outlines the proper procedure for cancellation or
correction of entries in the civil registry, was observed in the case.

Issue: W/N the changes sought by respondents were substantial in
nature, hence could only be granted through an adversarial
proceeding in which indispensable parties, such as Marivel and
respondents parents, should have been notified or impleaded.


141

Held:
It can not be gainsaid that the petition, insofar as it sought to
change the citizenship of Carlitos mother as it appeared in his birth
certificate and delete the married status of Carlitos parents in his and
his siblings respective birth certificates, as well as change the date of
marriage of Carlito and Marivel involves the correction of not just
clerical errors of a harmless and innocuous nature. Rather, the
changes entail substantial and controversial amendments. In
Republic v. Valencia, however, this Court ruled, and has since
repeatedly ruled, that even substantial errors in a civil registry may
be corrected through a petition filed under Rule 108.
The effect of Republic Act No. 9048 is to make possible the
administrative correction of clerical or typographical errors or change
of first name or nickname in entries in the civil register, leaving to
Rule 108 the correction of substantial changes in the civil registry in
appropriate adversarial proceedings. Thus, when all the procedural
requirements under Rule 108 are followed, the appropriate adversary
proceeding necessary to effect substantial corrections to the entries
of the civil register is satisfied.
Verily, a petition for correction is an action in rem, an action against a
thing and not against a person.The decision on the petition binds not
only the parties thereto but the whole world. An in rem proceeding is
validated essentially through publication. Publication is notice to the
whole world that the proceeding has for its object to bar indefinitely
all who might be minded to make an objection of any sort against the
right sought to be established. It is the publication of such notice that
brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the court
with jurisdiction to hear and decide it. As such, indespensible parties
such as Marivel and respondents mother need not be impleaded.

Silverio v. Republic
GR# 174689 / OCT. 19, 2007
537 SCRA 373

FACTS:
When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God; He
created them male and female. (Genesis 5:1-2)
Amihan gazed upon the bamboo reed planted by Bathala and she
heard voices coming from inside the bamboo. "Oh North Wind! North
Wind! Please let us out!," the voices said. She pecked the reed once,
then twice. All of a sudden, the bamboo cracked and slit open. Out
came two human beings; one was a male and the other was a
female. Amihan named the man "Malakas" (Strong) and the woman
"Maganda" (Beautiful). (The Legend of Malakas and Maganda)

When is a man a man and when is a woman a woman? In particular,
does the law recognize the changes made by a physician using
scalpel, drugs and counseling with regard to a persons sex? May a
person successfully petition for a change of name and sex appearing
in the birth certificate to reflect the result of a sex reassignment
surgery?

On November 26, 2002, petitioner Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio
filed a petition for the change of his first name and sex in his birth
certificate in the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 8. The
petition, impleaded the civil registrar of Manila as respondent.

Petitioner alleged in his petition that he was born in the City of Manila
to the spouses Melecio Petines Silverio and Anita Aquino Dantes on
April 4, 1962. His name was registered as "Rommel Jacinto Dantes
Silverio" in his certificate of live birth (birth certificate). His sex was
registered as "male."

He further alleged that he is a male transsexual. Feeling trapped in a
mans body, he consulted several doctors in the United States. He
underwent psychological examination, hormone treatment and
breast augmentation. His attempts to transform himself to a "woman"
culminated on January 27, 2001 when he underwent sex
reassignment surgery in Bangkok, Thailand. He was thereafter
examined by Dr. Marcelino Reysio-Cruz, Jr., a plastic and
reconstruction surgeon in the Philippines, who issued a medical
certificate attesting that petitioner had in fact undergone the
procedure.

From then on, petitioner lived as a female and was in fact engaged
to be married. He then sought to have his name in his birth certificate
changed from "Rommel Jacinto" to "Mely," and his sex from "male"
to "female."

142

An order setting the case for initial hearing was published in the
Peoples Journal Tonight, a newspaper of general circulation in
Metro Manila, for three consecutive weeks. Copies of the order were
sent to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the civil
registrar of Manila.
On the scheduled initial hearing, jurisdictional requirements were
established. No opposition to the petition was made.

During trial, petitioner testified for himself. He also presented Dr.
Reysio-Cruz, Jr. and his American fianc, Richard P. Edel, as
witnesses.

On June 4, 2003, the trial court rendered a decision in favor of
petitioner.

The Court is of the opinion that granting the petition would be more
in consonance with the principles of justice and equity. With his
sexual [re-assignment], petitioner, who has always felt, thought and
acted like a woman, now possesses the physique of a female.
Petitioners misfortune to be trapped in a mans body is not his own
doing and should not be in any way taken against him.

Finally, no evidence was presented to show any cause or ground to
deny the present petition despite due notice and publication thereof.
Even the State, through the [OSG] has not seen fit to interpose any
[o]pposition.

Judgment was rendered GRANTING the petition and ordering the
Civil Registrar of Manila to change the entries appearing in the
Certificate of Birth of [p]etitioner, specifically for petitioners first
name from "Rommel Jacinto" to MELY and petitioners gender from
"Male" to FEMALE.

On August 18, 2003, the Republic of the Philippines (Republic), thru
the OSG, filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals. It
alleged that there is no law allowing the change of entries in the birth
certificate by reason of sex alteration.

On February 23, 2006, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision in
favor of the Republic, granting the Republics petition and setting
aside the decision of the trial court.

ISSUE:
Whether the change of name and sex in the birth certificate
by reason of sex reassignment is allowed by law


HELD:
Petitioner claims that the change of his name and sex in his birth
certificate is allowed under Articles 407 to 413 of the Civil Code,
Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court and RA 9048.

A Persons First Name Cannot Be Changed On the Ground of Sex
Reassignment

Petitioner invoked his sex reassignment as the ground for his petition
for change of name and sex. As found by the trial court:
Petitioner filed the present petition not to evade any law or judgment
or any infraction thereof or for any unlawful motive but solely for the
purpose of making his birth records compatible with his present sex.

Petitioner believes that after having acquired the physical features of
a female, he became entitled to the civil registry changes sought. We
disagree.

The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and
entities for purposes of identification. A change of name is a
privilege, not a right. Petitions for change of name are controlled by
statutes. In this connection, Article 376 of the Civil Code provides:
ART. 376. No person can change his name or surname without
judicial authority.

This Civil Code provision was amended by RA 9048 (Clerical Error
Law). In particular, Section 1 of RA 9048 provides:
SECTION 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and
Change of First Name or Nickname. No entry in a civil register
shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for
clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname
143

which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or
municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the
provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.

RA 9048 now governs the change of first name. It vests the power
and authority to entertain petitions for change of first name to the city
or municipal civil registrar or consul general concerned. Under the
law, therefore, jurisdiction over applications for change of first name
is now primarily lodged with the aforementioned administrative
officers. The intent and effect of the law is to exclude the change of
first name from the coverage of Rules 103 (Change of Name) and
108 (Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry) of the
Rules of Court, until and unless an administrative petition for change
of name is first filed and subsequently denied. It likewise lays down
the corresponding venue, form and procedure. In sum, the remedy
and the proceedings regulating change of first name are primarily
administrative in nature, not judicial.

RA 9048 likewise provides the grounds for which change of first
name may be allowed:
SECTION 4. Grounds for Change of First Name or Nickname. The
petition for change of first name or nickname may be allowed in any
of the following cases:
(1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous,
tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;
(2) The new first name or nickname has been habitually and
continuously used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known
by that first name or nickname in the community; or
(3) The change will avoid confusion.

Petitioners basis in praying for the change of his first name was his
sex reassignment. He intended to make his first name compatible
with the sex he thought he transformed himself into through surgery.
However, a change of name does not alter ones legal capacity or
civil status. RA 9048 does not sanction a change of first name on the
ground of sex reassignment. Rather than avoiding confusion,
changing petitioners first name for his declared purpose may only
create grave complications in the civil registry and the public interest.

The petition in the trial court in so far as it prayed for the change of
petitioners first name was not within that courts primary jurisdiction
as the petition should have been filed with the local civil registrar
concerned, assuming it could be legally done.

It was also filed in the wrong venue as the proper venue was in the
Office of the Civil Registrar of Manila where his birth certificate is
kept.

More importantly, it had no merit since the use of his true and official
name does not prejudice him at all. For all these reasons, the Court
of Appeals correctly dismissed petitioners petition in so far as the
change of his first name was concerned.

No Law Allows The Change of Entry In The Birth Certificate As To
Sex On the Ground of Sex Reassignment

The determination of a persons sex appearing in his birth certificate
is a legal issue and the court must look to the statutes. In this
connection, Article 412 of the Civil Code provides:
ART. 412. No entry in the civil register shall be changed or corrected
without a judicial order.
Together with Article 376 of the Civil Code, this provision was
amended by RA 9048 in so far as clerical or typographical errors are
involved. Rule 108 of the Rules of Court now applies only to
substantial changes and corrections in entries in the civil register.

Section 2(c) of RA 9048 defines what a "clerical or typographical
error" is:
SECTION 2. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act, the following
terms shall mean:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) "Clerical or typographical error" refers to a mistake committed in
the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or
typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous,
such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth or the like,
which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can
be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or
records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the
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change of nationality, age, status or sex of the petitioner. (emphasis
supplied)

Under RA 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving the change
of sex is not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is a substantial
change for which the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of the Rules
of Court.

The entries envisaged in Article 412 of the Civil Code and
correctable under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court are those provided
in Articles 407 and 408 of the Civil Code:
ART. 407. Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil
status of persons shall be recorded in the civil register.
ART. 408. The following shall be entered in the civil register:
(1) Births; (2) marriages; (3) deaths; (4) legal separations; (5)
annulments of marriage; (6) judgments declaring marriages void
from the beginning; (7) legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9)
acknowledgments of natural children; (10) naturalization; (11) loss,
or (12) recovery of citizenship; (13) civil interdiction; (14) judicial
determination of filiation; (15) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and
(16) changes of name.

The acts, events or factual errors contemplated under Article 407 of
the Civil Code include even those that occur after birth. However, no
reasonable interpretation of the provision can justify the conclusion
that it covers the correction on the ground of sex reassignment.

To correct simply means "to make or set aright; to remove the faults
or error from" while to change means "to replace something with
something else of the same kind or with something that serves as a
substitute." The birth certificate of petitioner contained no error. All
entries therein, including those corresponding to his first name and
sex, were all correct. No correction is necessary.

The status of a person in law includes all his personal qualities and
relations, more or less permanent in nature, not ordinarily terminable
at his own will, such as his being legitimate or illegitimate, or his
being married or not. The comprehensive term status include such
matters as the beginning and end of legal personality, capacity to
have rights in general, family relations, and its various aspects, such
as birth, legitimation, adoption, emancipation, marriage, divorce, and
sometimes even succession. (emphasis supplied)

A persons sex is an essential factor in marriage and family relations.
It is a part of a persons legal capacity and civil status. In this
connection, Article 413 of the Civil Code provides:
ART. 413. All other matters pertaining to the registration of civil
status shall be governed by special laws.

But there is no such special law in the Philippines governing sex
reassignment and its effects. This is fatal to petitioners cause.

Moreover, Section 5 of Act 3753 (the Civil Register Law) provides:
SEC. 5. Registration and certification of births. The declaration of
the physician or midwife in attendance at the birth or, in default
thereof, the declaration of either parent of the newborn child, shall be
sufficient for the registration of a birth in the civil register. Such
declaration shall be exempt from documentary stamp tax and shall
be sent to the local civil registrar not later than thirty days after the
birth, by the physician or midwife in attendance at the birth or by
either parent of the newborn child.
In such declaration, the person above mentioned shall certify to the
following facts: (a) date and hour of birth; (b) sex and nationality of
infant; (c) names, citizenship and religion of parents or, in case the
father is not known, of the mother alone; (d) civil status of parents;
(e) place where the infant was born; and (f) such other data as may
be required in the regulations to be issued.
xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)

Under the Civil Register Law, a birth certificate is a historical record
of the facts as they existed at the time of birth. Thus, the sex of a
person is determined at birth, visually done by the birth attendant
(the physician or midwife) by examining the genitals of the infant.
Considering that there is no law legally recognizing sex
reassignment, the determination of a persons sex made at the time
of his or her birth, if not attended by error, is immutable.

For these reasons, while petitioner may have succeeded in altering
his body and appearance through the intervention of modern
surgery, no law authorizes the change of entry as to sex in the civil
145

registry for that reason. Thus, there is no legal basis for his petition
for the correction or change of the entries in his birth certificate.

Neither May Entries in the Birth Certificate As to First Name or Sex
Be Changed on the Ground of Equity

The trial court opined that its grant of the petition was in consonance
with the principles of justice and equity. It believed that allowing the
petition would cause no harm, injury or prejudice to anyone. This is
wrong.

The changes sought by petitioner will have serious and wide-ranging
legal and public policy consequences.

To grant the changes sought by petitioner will substantially
reconfigure and greatly alter the laws on marriage and family
relations. It will allow the union of a man with another man who has
undergone sex reassignment (a male-to-female post-operative
transsexual). Second, there are various laws which apply particularly
to women such as the provisions of the Labor Code on employment
of women, certain felonies under the Revised Penal Code and the
presumption of survivorship in case of calamities under Rule 131 of
the Rules of Court, among others. These laws underscore the public
policy in relation to women which could be substantially affected if
petitioners petition were to be granted.

It is true that Article 9 of the Civil Code mandates that "[n]o judge or
court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence,
obscurity or insufficiency of the law." However, it is not a license for
courts to engage in judicial legislation. The duty of the courts is to
apply or interpret the law, not to make or amend it.

In our system of government, it is for the legislature, should it choose
to do so, to determine what guidelines should govern the recognition
of the effects of sex reassignment. The need for legislative
guidelines becomes particularly important in this case where the
claims asserted are statute-based.

To reiterate, the statutes define who may file petitions for change of
first name and for correction or change of entries in the civil registry,
where they may be filed, what grounds may be invoked, what proof
must be presented and what procedures shall be observed. If the
legislature intends to confer on a person who has undergone sex
reassignment the privilege to change his name and sex to conform
with his reassigned sex, it has to enact legislation laying down the
guidelines in turn governing the conferment of that privilege.

However, this Court has no authority to fashion a law on that matter,
or on anything else. The Court cannot enact a law where no law
exists. It can only apply or interpret the written word of its co-equal
branch of government, Congress.

Petitioner pleads that "the unfortunates are also entitled to a life of
happiness, contentment and the realization of their dreams." No
argument about that. The Court recognizes that there are people
whose preferences and orientation do not fit neatly into the
commonly recognized parameters of social convention and that, at
least for them, life is indeed an ordeal. However, the remedies
petitioner seeks involve questions of public policy to be addressed
solely by the legislature, not by the courts.

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.


Republic v. Cagandahan
GR# 166676 / SEPT. 12, 2008
565 SCRA 72

Facts:
On December 11, 2003, respondent Jennifer Cagandahan filed a
Petition for Correction of Entries in Birth Certificate before the RTC,
Branch 33 of Siniloan, Laguna. She alleged that she was born on
January 13, 1981 and was registered as a female in the Certificate of
Live Birth but while growing up, she developed secondary male
characteristics and was diagnosed to have Congenital Adrenal
Hyperplasia (CAH) which is a condition where persons thus afflicted
possess both male and female characteristics. To prove her claim,
Jennifer presented the testimony of Dr. Michael Sionzon of the
146

Department of Psychiatry, UP-PGH, stating that she was suffering
from CAH. He explained that genetically, respondent is female but
because her body secretes male hormones, her female organs did
not develop normally and she has two sex organs female and
male. He testified that this condition is very rare and recommended
the change of gender because respondent has made up her mind,
adjusted to her chosen role as male, and the gender change would
be advantageous to her.

The RTC ruled in favor of Jennifer and ordered the changes of
entries in her birth certificate: 1) the name Jennifer to Jeff and 2)
gender from female to male. Subsequently, the OSG appealed
the RTCs decision, arguing it was a violation of Sec. 3, Rule 108 of
the Rules of Court because the said petition did not implead the local
civil registrar (an indispensable party in a petition for cancellation or
correction of entries). The OSG further contends that the petition is
fatally defective since it failed to state that respondent is a bona fide
resident of the province where the petition was filed for at least three
(3) years prior to the date of such filing as mandated under Section 2
(b), Rule 103 of the Rules of Court. On the other hand, Jennifer
counters that she has substantially complied with the requirements of
Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court.

Issue: Whether Jennifer substantially complied with the requirements
of the Rules of Court.

Held: Yes. There is substantial compliance with Rule 108 when
respondent furnished a copy of the petition to the local civil registrar.

The determination of a person's sex appearing in his birth certificate
is a legal issue and the court must look to the statutes. In this
connection, Article 412 of the Civil Code provides: No entry in a civil
register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order.
Together with Article 376 of the Civil Code, this provision was
amended by Republic Act No. 9048 in so far as clerical or
typographical errors are involved. The correction or change of such
matters can now be made through administrative proceedings and
without the need for a judicial order. In effect, Rep. Act No. 9048
removed from the ambit of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court the
correction of such errors. Rule 108 now applies only to substantial
changes and corrections in entries in the civil register.

Under Rep. Act No. 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving
the change of sex is not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is a
substantial change for which the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of
the Rules of Court. The entries envisaged in Article 412 of the Civil
Code and correctable under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court are those
provided in Articles 407 and 408 of the Civil Code:

ART. 407. Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil
status of persons shall be recorded in the civil register.
ART. 408. The following shall be entered in the civil register:
(1) Births; (2) marriages; (3) deaths; (4) legal separations; (5)
annulments of marriage; (6) judgments declaring marriages void
from the beginning; (7) legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9)
acknowledgments of natural children; (10) naturalization; (11) loss,
or (12) recovery of citizenship; (13) civil interdiction; (14) judicial
determination of filiation; (15) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and
(16) changes of name.

The acts, events or factual errors contemplated under Article 407 of
the Civil Code include even those that occur after birth.

Respondent undisputedly has CAH. CAH is one of many conditions
that involve intersex anatomy. Intersex individuals are treated in
different ways by different cultures. In most societies, intersex
individuals have been expected to conform to either a male or female
gender role. In deciding this case, we consider the compassionate
calls for recognition of the various degrees of intersex as variations
which should not be subject to outright denial. We are of the view
that where the person is biologically or naturally intersex, the
determining factor in his gender classification would be what the
individual, like respondent, having reached the age of majority, with
good reason thinks of his/her sex. Respondent here thinks of himself
as a male and considering that his body produces high levels of male
hormones (androgen) there is preponderant biological support for
considering him as being male. Sexual development in cases of
intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth
147

inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like
respondent, is fixed.

In the absence of a law on the matter, the Court will not dictate on
respondent concerning a matter so innately private as one's sexuality
and lifestyle preferences, much less on whether or not to undergo
medical treatment to reverse the male tendency due to CAH. In so
ruling, we do no more than give respect to (1) the diversity of nature;
and (2) how an individual deals with what nature has handed out. In
other words, we respect respondent's congenital condition and his
mature decision to be a male. Life is already difficult for the ordinary
person. We cannot but respect how respondent deals with his
unordinary state and thus help make his life easier, considering the
unique circumstances in this case.

As for respondent's change of name under Rule 103, this Court has
held that a change of name is not a matter of right but of judicial
discretion, to be exercised in the light of the reasons adduced and
the consequences that will follow. The trial court's grant of
respondent's change of name from Jennifer to Jeff implies a change
of a feminine name to a masculine name. Considering the
consequence that respondent's change of name merely recognizes
his preferred gender, we find merit in respondent's change of name.
Such a change will conform with the change of the entry in his birth
certificate from female to male.


Baldos v. CA
GR# 170645 / July 9, 2010
624 SCRA 615

FACTS:

Reynaldo Pillazar, alias Reynaldo Baldos, was born on 30 October
1948. However, his birth was not registered in the office of the local
civil registrar until roughly 36 years later or on 11 February 1985. His
certificate of live birth indicated Nieves Baldos as his mother and
Bartolome Baldos as his father. Nieves Baldos also appeared as the
informant on the certificate of live birth.

On 8 March 1995, Nieves Baldos filed in the Regional Trial Court of
Olongapo City, cancellation of the late registration of Reynaldos
birth. She claimed that Reynaldo was not really her son.

RTC ruled in favour of Reynaldo as the documents adduced on
record are the best evidence of the parties relationship. Nieves
appealed to the CA. She insisted that the late registration of
Reynaldos birth was contrary to Presidential Decree No. 651 (P.D.
No. 651). CA affirmed RTC.

ISSUE:

Whether the late registration of Reynaldos birth is valid.

HELD:

SC affirmed CA.

Since Reynaldo was born on 30 October 1948, the late registration
of his birth is outside of the coverage of P.D. No. 651, as amended.
The late registration of Reynaldos birth falls under Act No. 3753,
otherwise known as the Civil Registry Law, which took effect on 27
February 1931. As a general law, Act No. 3753 applies to the
registration of all births, not otherwise covered by P.D. No. 651, as
amended, occurring from 27 February 1931 onwards. Considering
that the late registration of Reynaldos birth took place in 1985,
National Census Statistics Office (NCSO) Administrative Order No.
1, Series of 1983 governs the implementation of Act No. 3753 in this
case.

Under NCSO A.O. No. 1-83, the birth of a child shall be registered in
the office of the local civil registrar within 30 days from the time of
birth. Any report of birth made beyond the reglementary period is
considered delayed. The local civil registrar, upon receiving an
application for delayed registration of birth, is required to publicly
post for at least ten days a notice of the pending application for
delayed registration. If after ten days no one opposes the registration
and the local civil registrar is convinced beyond doubt that the birth
should be registered, he should register the same.

148

Reynaldos certificate of live birth, as a duly registered public
document, is presumed to have gone through the process prescribed
by law for late registration of birth. It was only on 8 March 1995, after
the lapse of ten long years from the approval on 11 February 1985 of
the application for delayed registration of Reynaldos birth, that
Nieves registered her opposition. She should have done so within
the ten-day period prescribed by law. Records show that no less
than Nieves herself informed the local civil registrar of the birth of
Reynaldo. At the time of her application for delayed registration of
birth, Nieves claimed that Reynaldo was her son. Between the facts
stated in a duly registered public document and the flip-flopping
statements of Nieves, we are more inclined to stand by the former.
Applications for delayed registration of birth go through a rigorous
process. The books making up the civil register are considered
public documents and are prima facie evidence of the truth of the
facts stated there. As a public document, a registered certificate of
live birth enjoys the presumption of validity. It is not for Reynaldo to
prove the facts stated in his certificate of live birth, but for petitioners
who are assailing the certificate to prove its alleged falsity.
Petitioners miserably failed to do so. Thus, the trial court and the
Court of Appeals correctly denied for lack of merit the petition to
cancel the late registration of Reynaldos birth.


Corpus v. Sto. Tomas
GR# 186571 / Aug 11, 2010
628 SCRA 266

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Republic v. Mercadera
GR # 186027 / Dec. 8, 2010
637 SCRA 654

Facts: On June 6, 2005, Merlyn Mercadera (Mercadera),
represented by her sister and duly constituted Attorney-in-Fact,
Evelyn M. Oga (Oga), sought the correction of her given name as it
appeared in her Certificate of Live Birth - from Marilyn L. Mercadera
to Merlyn L. Mercadera before the Office of the Local Civil Registrar
of Dipolog City pursuant to Republic Act No. 9048 (R.A. No. 9048).
Under R.A. No. 9048, the city or municipal civil registrar or consul
general, as the case may be, is now authorized to effect the change
of first name or nickname and the correction of clerical or
typographical errors in civil registry entries. Under said law,
jurisdiction over applications for change of first name is now primarily
lodged with administrative officers. The law now excludes the
change of first name from the coverage of Rules 103 until and unless
an administrative petition for change of name is first filed and
subsequently denied and removes correction or changing of clerical
errors in entries of the civil register from the ambit of Rule 108. The
Local Civil registrar refused to grant the prayer. In the RTC, the
Court ruled in favor of Mercadera. The OSG interposed and
appealed to the decision of the lower Court. The OSG posits that the
conversion from MARILYN to MERLYN is not a correction of an
innocuous error but a material correction tantamount to a change of
name which entails a modification or increase in substantive rights.
For the OSG, this is a substantial error that requires compliance with
the procedure under Rule 103, and not Rule 108. The CA was not
convinced and affirmed RTC order.


Issue: WON the change of name of Marilyn to Merlyn proper under
Rule 108 in the case at bar.

Ruling: In Republic v. Valencia, the Court insofar as substantial
errors or matters in a civil registry may be corrected and the true
facts established, provided the parties aggrieved avail themselves of
the appropriate adversary proceeding. If the purpose of the petition
is merely to correct the clerical errors which are visible to the eye or
obvious to the understanding, the court may, under a summary
149

procedure, issue an order for the correction of a mistake. However,
as repeatedly construed, changes which may affect the civil status
from legitimate to illegitimate, as well as sex, are substantial and
controversial alterations which can only be allowed after appropriate
adversary proceedings depending upon the nature of the issues
involved. Changes which affect the civil status or citizenship of a
party are substantial in character and should be threshed out in a
proper action depending upon the nature of the issues in
controversy, and wherein all the parties who may be affected by the
entries are notified or represented and evidence is submitted to
prove the allegations of the complaint, and proof to the contrary
admitted x x x In short, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court provides only
the procedure or mechanism for the proper enforcement of the
substantive law embodied in Article 412 of the Civil Code and so
does not violate the Constitution.

The petition filed by Mercadera before the RTC correctly falls under
Rule 108 as it simply sought a correction of a misspelled given
name. To correct simply means to make or set aright; to remove
the faults or error from. To change means to replace something
with something else of the same kind or with something that serves
as a substitute.

In Republic v. Court of Appeals, Jaime B. Caranto and Zenaida P.
Caranto, the correction involved the substitution of the letters ch for
the letter d, so that what appears as Midael as given name would
read Michael. In the latter case, this Court, with the agreement of
the Solicitor General, ruled that the error was plainly clerical, such
that, changing the name of the child from Midael C. Mazon to
Michael C. Mazon cannot possibly cause any confusion, because
both names can be read and pronounced with the same rhyme
(tugma) and tone (tono, tunog, himig).

Thus CA ruling is hereby affirmed.