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2010 Edition
By: Atty. Lydia P. Galas
-When a law does not provide for its effectivity, it shall take effect after the
expiration of the 15-day period following the completion of its publication in the Official
Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation (as amended by EO No. 200-June 18,
-The phrase unless it is otherwise provided solely refers to the 15-day period
and not to the requirement of publication.
-If the law provides for a different period, shorter or longer than the 15-day
period, then such shorter or longer period, as the case may be, shall prevail.
Taada vs. Tuvera
146 SCRA 448
Must all laws be published and what must be published?
-Publication is indispensable in every case, but the legislature may in its
discretion provide that the usual fifteen-day period shall be shortened or extended.
Non-publication means violation of the due process clause guaranteed by the
-All statutes, including those of local application and private laws or laws that
name a public place in favor of a favored individual or laws that exempt an
individual from certain prohibitions or requirement, shall be published as a
condition for their effectivity. EO 200 allows the publication of laws in a
newspaper of general circulation due to erratic releases of the Official Gazette and
of its limited readership.
Must decisions of the SC be published to be binding?
-The SC held in the case of De Roy vs. CA (157 SCRA 757) that there is no law
requiring the publication of Supreme Court decisions in the Official Gazette
before they can be binding and as a condition to their becoming effective. It is the
bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast of
decisions of the Supreme Court. (As laid down in the case of Habaluyas, Inc. vs.
Japzon, 138 SCRA 46, the 15-day period for appealing or for filing a motion for
reconsideration cannot be extended. In the case at bar, the parties filed a motion
for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration. At the time of the filing
of the motion however, the Habaluyas decision has yet to be published.)
-Ordinances are governed by the Local Government Code.
Art. 3 - IGNORANCE OF THE LAW (85,96)
-Covers all domestic laws but only applies to mandatory or prohibitive laws not
on permissive or suppletory laws.
-Foreign laws are likewise excluded because we do not take judicial notice of
foreign laws as well as judgments/decisions rendered by their courts. These are factual
matters that must be pleaded and proved before our courts in the absence of which it is
presumed that their laws are the same as our laws (principle of processual
-Not applied with equal force to minors, they occupy a privilege position before
our laws. Neither would this apply to laws susceptible of 2 or more interpretations.
354 SCRA 1
-It is significant to note that in their respective affidavits executed on
March 22, 1993 and sworn to before respondent Judge Sanchez himself, Manzano
and Payao expressly stated the fact of their prior existing marriage. Also, in their
marriage contract, it was indicated that both were separated. The fact that
Manzano and Payao had been living apart from their respective spouses for a long
time already is immaterial. 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 their joint affidavit that they
had been cohabiting as husband and wife for 7 years. Just like separation, free and
voluntary cohabitation with another person for at least five years does not sever
the tie of a subsisting previous marriage. Such cohabitation 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.
-Respondent Judge Sanchez 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, who should be the
embodiment of competence, integrity, and independence. And when the law
transgressed is simple and elementary, the failure to know it constitutes gross
ignorance of the law.
Art. 4- PROSPECTIVE APPLICATION OF LAWS as a general rule.
Exceptions: 1. If the laws are remedial in nature.
Atienza vs Brillantes, Jr.
243 SCRA 32
Brillantes prior marriage was celebrated in 1965 without the requisite license so
when he married de Castro in Los Angeles, California in 1991, he believed in good faith
that he was capacitated to marry. Accordingly, Art. 40 does not apply as his prior
marriage was governed by the New Civil Code which does not require any court decree
of nullity if void ab initio.
SC held: Article 40 of the Family Code applies to remarriages entered into after
the effectivity of the Family Code regardless of the date of the first marriage. Besides
Article 256 of the same Code is given retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice
vested rights. Article 40 is a rule of procedure and Brillantes has not shown any vested
right that was impaired by the application of Art. 40.
Casupanan and Capitulo vs Laroya
August 26, 2002- Lawyers Review/September 30, 2002
The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure must be given retroactive effect
considering the well-settled rule that
x x x statutes regulating the procedure of the court will be construed as
applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of the passage. Procedural
laws are retroactive in that sense and to that extent.
November 12, 2002
-The modes of enforcement of the civil liabilities are provided for in the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure. Though the assailed order of the trial court was issued on
March 20, 1998, the said Rules, which took effect on December 1, 2000, must be given
retroactive effect in the instant case considering that statutes regulating the procedure of
the court are construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of
their passage.
CARLOS vs. SANDOVAL (expressly provides for prospectivity despite being a rule of
procedure) December 16, 2008
The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages does not apply to
cases already commenced before March 15, 2003 although the marriage involved is
within the coverage of the Family Code. This is so, as the new Rule which became
effective on March 15, 2003 is prospective in application.
CHENG vs. SY 592 SCRA 155 (July 7, 2009)
-The fact that procedural statutes may somehow affect the litigants rights does
not preclude their retroactive application to pending actions. It is axiomatic that the
retroactive application of procedural laws does not violate any right of a person who may
feel that he is adversely affected, nor is it constitutionally objectionable. The reason is
that, as a general rule, no vested right may attach to, nor arise from, procedural laws.

Other exceptions:
2. Penal laws favorable to the accused provided he is not a habitual delinquent.
3.Curative laws. 4. Emergency laws. 5. Laws creating new rights. and 6. Tax laws.
Article 6. Waiver (04)
Requirements of a valid waiver: 1. the waiving party must actually have the right
he is renouncing or it must be in existence at the time of the waiver;
2. he must have the full capacity to make the waiver;
3. the waiver must be clear and unequivocal;
4. the waiver must not be contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals or
good customs or prejudicial to a 3rd person with a right recognized by law; and
5. when formalities are required for its validity such as an express condonation of
a debt the formalities must be complied with.
GUY vs. CA
502 SCRA 151 (September 15, 2006)
- To be valid and effective, a waiver must be couched in clear and unequivocal
terms which leave no doubt as to the intention of a party to give up a right or benefit
which legally pertains to him. A waiver may not be attributed to a person when its terms
do not explicitly and clearly evince intent to abandon a right. In this case, there was no
waiver of hereditary rights. The Release and Waiver does not state with clarity the
purpose of its execution. It merely states that Remedios received P300,000.00 and an
educational plan for her minor daughters by way of financial assistance and in full
settlement of any and all claims of whatsoever nature and kind x x x against the estate of
the late Rufino Guy Susim. The document did not specifically mention minors
hereditary share in the estate of Sima Wei, it cannot be construed as a waiver of
successional rights.
- Moreover, assuming that Remedios truly waived the hereditary rights of the
children, such waiver will not bar the latters claim. Any inheritance left to minors or
incapacitated persons may be accepted by their parents or guardians. Parents or
guardians may repudiate the inheritance left to their wards only by judicial
-Parents and guardians may not therefore repudiate the inheritance of their wards
without judicial approval. This is because repudiation amounts to an alienation of
property that must pass the courts scrutiny in order to protect the interest of the ward.
- Furthermore, it must be emphasized that waiver is the intentional relinquishment
of a known right. Where one lacks knowledge of a right, there is no basis upon which
waiver of it can rest. Ignorance of a material fact negates waiver, and waiver cannot be
established by a consent given under a mistake or misapprehension of fact.
Article 9- In case of silence, obscurity, or insufficiency of laws no judge shall decline
to render judgment. Applies only civil cases not to criminal proceedings because of the
principle that there is no crime when there is no law punishing it (nullum crimen, nulla
sine poena lege).
537 SCRA 373 (October 19, 2007)
Silverio successfully underwent sex reassignment surgery and petitioned the court
that his name be changed from Rommel Jacinto to Mely and that his sex shall also be
changed from male to female to reflect the result of said surgery.
The Republic opposed the same alleging that there is no law allowing the change
of entries in the birth certificate by reason of sex alteration.
Issue: May the trial court apply Article 9 of the Civil Code on the ground of
It is true that Article 9 of the Civil Code mandates that no 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.
It might be theoretically possible for this Court to write a protocol on when a
person may be recognized as having successfully changed his sex. 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 coequal branch of government, Congress.
(75,78,81,83,87,95,97,98,99,02,03,04, 05)
RENVOI DOCTRINE where the conflict rules of the forum (ex. Philippines)
refer to a foreign law (ex.USA), and the latter refers it back to the internal law, the law of
the forum (Philippine law) shall apply (Aznar vs. Garcia, 7 SCRA 95).
TRANSMISSION THEORY if the foreign law refers to a 3 rd country, the laws
of said country should govern; this situation is a variety of the renvoi doctrine (ex. If B, a
nationality of Canada who is a resident of the Philippines and has properties in
Switzerland dies, his estate shall be governed by the laws of Canada based on Article 15
but if the laws of Canada states that it is the law of the place where the property is
situated that will be applied then the laws of the 3rd country will govern in the distribution
of his estate.)
Van Dorn vs. Romillo, Jr.
39 SCRA 139
Is Article 15 applicable to aliens who are married to Filipino citizens?
-Owing to the nationality principle embodied in Art. 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 policy and morality.
However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the
Philippines provided they are valid according to their national law (Cf. Art. 26 (2)
Family Code).
Pilapil vs. Ibay-Somera
174 SCRA 653
-Reiterated the Van Dorn decision.
-In the present case, the fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his
country, the Federal Republic of Germany, is admitted. Said divorce and its legal
effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as private respondent is
concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law in the matter of
status of persons.
Garcia a.k.a. Grace Garcia- Recio vs. Recio
October 2, 2001
-A marriage between 2 Filipinos cannot be dissolved even by a divorce obtained
abroad, because of Articles 15 and 17 of the Civil Code.
-But a divorce obtained abroad by a couple, who are both aliens, may be
recognized in the Philippines, provided it is consistent with their respective
national laws. Therefore, before our courts can recognize a foreign divorce
decree, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its
conformity to the foreign law allowing it. Presentation solely of the divorce
decree is insufficient. Under Rule 132 Sections 24 and 25, a writing or document
may be proven as public record of a foreign country by either (1) official
publication of the writing or document or (2) a copy thereof attested by the officer
having legal custody of the document.
QUITA vs. CA 300 SCRA 406

Fe and Arturo were married in 1941. After the relationship turned sour Fe went to
the US and in 1954 obtained a decree of absolute divorce. Fe got married thrice. In 1972,
Arturo died intestate. Fe is now claiming her right over the estate of the deceased spouse.
The SC remanded the case to the lower court to determine whether the second
marriage of the spouse during the subsistence of the first marriage was contracted before
or after her changed of citizenship. Once proved that she was no longer a Filipino citizen
at the time of her 1st divorce, Van Dorn would become applicable and Fe could very well
lose her right to inherit from Arturo.
January 27, 2006
Filipino spouses Tristan and Lily decided to separate from each other and upon
advice of a friend obtained a divorce from the Dominican Republic. On July 14, 1984,
Tristan married Elmar in the State of Virginia, USA. Elmar later on learned that the
divorce decree issued by the court in the Dominican Republic dissolving the marriage of
Tristan and Lily was not recognized in the Philippines and that her marriage to Tristan
was void under Philippine law. When confronted, Tristan assured her that he would
obtain an annulment of his marriage with Lily. In 2001, he filed a petition for declaration
of nullity of his marriage to Lily.
Elmar then filed a motion for leave to file intervention claiming that she has an
interest in the matter in litigation that was granted by the lower court.
Issue: Does Elmar have a legal interest in the annulment case between Tristan and
SC: Legal interest, which entitles a person to intervene, must be in the matter in
litigation and of such direct and immediate character that the intervenor will either gain
or lose by direct legal operation and effect of judgment. Such interest must be actual,
direct and material, and not simply contingent and expectant.
The claim of petitioner, that her status as the wife and companion of Tristan for 17
years vests her the requisite legal interest, lacks merit. Under the law, she was never the
legal wife of Tristan hence her claim of legal interest has no basis. When they got married
in 1984, Tristan was still lawfully married to Lily. The divorce decree obtained by Tristan
and Lily from the Dominican Republic never dissolved the marriage bond between them.
It is basic that laws 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. Hence, if a Filipino regardless of whether he/she was married here or abroad,
initiates a petition abroad to obtain an absolute divorce from spouse and eventually
becomes successful in getting an absolute divorce decree, the Philippines will not
recognize such absolute divorce.
When Tristan and Lily got married in 1968, their marriage was governed by the
provisions of the Civil Code which took effect on August 30, 1950. In Tenchavez vs.
Escano we held:
That a foreign divorce between Filipino citizens, sought and
decreed after the effectivity of the present Civil Code (RA No.
386), is not entitled to recognition as valid in this jurisdiction;
and neither is the marriage contracted with another party by the
divorced consort, subsequently to the foreign decree of divorce,
entitled to validity in the country.
February 6, 2007
Felicisimo T. San Luis contracted 3 marriages during his lifetime. His 1 st marriage
was terminated when his wife died leaving behind 6 children. Five years later Felicisimo
married Mary Lee, an American citizen with whom he had 1 child. The marriage ended
when Mary Lee divorced Felicisimo. The decree of absolute divorce was granted in
December 1973. He then contracted his 3 rd marriage in June 1974 with Felicidad. When
he died, Felicidad sought the dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets and the
settlement of Felicisimos estate and prayed that letters of administration be issued to her.
Two of the children of the 1st marriage filed a motion to dismiss citing as ground, among
others, that Felicidad has no legal personality to file the petition because she was only a

mistress of Felicisimo since the latter, at the time of his death was still legally married to
Mary Lee. Petitioners (Felicisimos heirs) cited Articles 15 and 17 (3) of the NCC in
stating that the divorce is void under Philippine law insofar as Filipinos are concerned.
SC: In resolving the issue, there is no need to retroactively apply the provisions of
the FC, particularly Article 26 (2) as there is sufficient jurisprudential basis to rule in the
In the light of the ruling in Van Dorn, the Filipino spouse should not be
discriminated in his own country if the ends of justice are to be served. The divorce
decree allegedly obtained by Merry Lee which absolutely allowed Felicisimo to remarry,
would have vested Felicidad with the legal personality to file the present petition as
Felicisimos surviving spouse. However, the records show that there is insufficient
evidence to prove the validity of the divorce obtained by Merry Lee as well as the
marriage of Felicidad and Felicisimo under the laws of the USA. In Garcia vs. Recio, the
Court laid down the specific guidelines for pleading and proving foreign law and divorce
judgments. The presentation solely of the divorce decree is insufficient and that proof of
its authenticity and due execution must be presented. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule
132, a writing or document may be proven as a public or official record of a foreign
country by either (1) an official publication or (2) copy thereof attested by the officer
having legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept in the Philippines, such
copy must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular
official of the Philippines who is stationed in the foreign country where the document is
kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office.
With regard to Felicidads marriage to Felicisimo allegedly solemnized in
California, USA, she submitted photocopies of the Marriage Certificate and the annotated
text of the Family Law Act of California which purportedly show that their marriage was
done in accordance with said law. As stated in Garcia, however, the Court cannot take
judicial notice of foreign laws as they must be alleged and proved.
BRAGANZA 514 SCRA 607 (February 6, 2007)
Felicitas and Orlando were married in June 1950 in Pangasinan but migrated to
the United States after the marriage. Allegedly, they became naturalized citizens thereof
and after 38 years of marriage or in 1988, they divorced. Two months after the divorce,
Orlando married Merope in Pangasinan. Felicitas then filed a petition for declaration of
nullity with damages against Orlando and Merope alleging that Merope had a prior
subsisting marriage with one Eusebio Bristol. Orlando and Merope moved for the
dismissal of the case on the ground of lack of cause of action as Felicitas was not a real
SC: A divorce obtained abroad may be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided
such decree is valid according to the national law of the foreigner. However, the party
pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign
law allowing it before it can be recognized by our courts. It must be proved considering
that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws.
A petition to declare the nullity of marriage, like any other actions, must be
prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest and must be based on a
cause of action. Thus, in Ninal vs. Badayog (328 SCRA 122), the Court held that the
children have the personality to file the petition to declare the nullity of the marriage of
their deceased father to their stepmother as it affects their successional rights.
Significantly, Section 2 (a) of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void
Marriages, which took effect on March 15, 2003, specifically provides: A petition for
declaration of absolute nullity of a void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or
the wife.
If it is proved that a divorce decree was obtained and the same did not allow
Orlandos remarriage, then the trial court should declare respondents marriage as
bigamous and void ab initio. On the contrary, if it is proved that a valid divorce decree
was obtained which allowed Orlando to remarry, then the trial court must dismiss the
petition on the ground that Felicitas lacks legal personality to file the same.

Art. 16 -law governing real and personal property is the law of the place where the
property is situated exception in cases of succession it is the national law of the person
whose succession is under consideration par. (2) (76,77,84,85,86,89,91,95,98,01,02,04).
Art. 17 par. (1) Doctrine of Lex Loci Celebrationis
(2) - Rule respecting Prohibitive Laws
Tenchavez vs. Escao
15 SCRA 355
May our courts recognize a decree of divorce validly obtained abroad by spouses
who are Filipino citizens?
-The SC applied par. 3 of Article 17.
-For the Philippine courts to recognize and give recognition or effect to a foreign
decree of absolute divorce between Filipino citizens would be a patent violation
of the declared public policy of the State, specially in view of the third paragraph
of Article 17 of the Civil Code.
-The court also applied Article 15 of the same Code.
Article 19 Golden Rule of the Civil Code (81)
Globe Mackay Cable Radio Corp. vs. CA
176 SCRA 778
-This article, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the principle of
abuse of rights, sets certain standards which must be observed not only in the
exercise of ones rights but also in the performance of ones duties. The
imputation of guilt without basis and the pattern of harassment during the
investigations of Tobias transgress the standards of human conduct set forth in
Article 19 of the Civil Code. The Court has already ruled that the right of the
employer to dismiss an employee should not be confused with the manner in
which the right is exercised and the effects flowing therefrom.
465 SCRA 372
Facts: Pacilans current account was closed by FEBTC on the ground that
his account was improperly mishandled. This was due to Pacilans issuance of 4 checks
to different persons with an aggregate of amount of P7,410.00 but the balance of his
current deposit was only P6,981.43 resulting to the dishonor of Check No. 2434886.
Pacilan then complained in writing to the bank about the closure of his account and when
he did not receive any reply from FEBTC he sued the bank for damages. He alleged that
the closure of his account was unjustified inasmuch as he immediately deposited the
following day an amount sufficient to fund the check. Moreover, the closure exposed him
to criminal prosecution for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22. The indecent haste that
attended the closure of his account was patently malicious and intended to embarrass
him. He alleged that he is a prominent and respected leader in the civic and banking
communities (as cashier of Prudential Bank). The alleged malicious acts of the bank
besmirched his reputation and caused him social humiliation, wounded feelings,
insurmountable worries and sleepless nights.
Held: The elements of abuse of rights are the following: (a) the existence of a
legal right or duty; (b) which is exercised in bad faith; and (c) for the sole intent of
prejudicing or injuring another. Malice or bad faith is at the core of the said provision.
The law always presumes good faith and any person who seeks to be awarded damages
due to acts of another has the burden of proving that the latter acted in bad faith or with
ill motive.
- Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or simple negligence,
dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong, a
breach of known duty due to some motives or interest or ill will that partakes the
nature of fraud. Malice connotes ill will or spite and speaks not in response to

duty. It implies an intention to do ulterior and unjustifiable harm. Malice is bad

faith or bad motive.
- In the case at bench, the facts as found by the court a quo and the appellate
court, do not establish that, in the exercise of this right, FEBTC committed an
abuse thereof. Specifically, the 2nd and 3rd elements for abuse of rights are not
attendant in the present case. The evidence presented by the bank negates the
existence of bad faith or malice on its part in closing Pacilans account on
April 4, 1988 because on said date the same was already overdrawn. Further,
it was shown that in 1986, the current account of Pacilan was overdrawn 156
times due to his issuance of checks against insufficient funds. In 1987, the said
account was overdrawn 117 times for the same reason. Again, in 1988, 26
times. There were also several instances when Pacilan issued checks
deliberately using a signature different from his specimen signature on file
with bank. All these circumstances taken together justified the banks closure
of Pacilans account on April 4, 1988 for improper handling.
UYPITCHING et al vs. QUIAMCO (December 6, 2006)
Davalan, Gabutero and Generoso, the latter surrendered Quiamco a red Honda
XL- 100 motorcycle and a photocopy of its certificate of registration. Quiamco asked for
the original certificate of registration but the 3 never came back to see him again. He
parked the motorcycle in an open space his business establishment visible and
accessible to the public. It turned out however that Gabutero bought the motorcycle on
installments secured by a chattel mortgage from Ramas Uypitching Sons, Inc. that was
managed by Atty. Ernesto Ramas Uypitching. The mortgage indebtedness was assumed
by Davalan but stopped the payments in 1982 and told the corporations collector that the
motorcycle had been taken by Quiamcos men. Nine years later, Uypitching
accompanied by policemen went to Avesco (the business establishment of Quiamco) to
recover the motorcycle. While the leader of the police team P/Lt. Vendiola asked for
Quiamco, Uypitching paced back and forth uttering Quiamco is a thief of a motorcycle.
Unable to find Quiamco, and upon Uypitchings instructions and over the objection of
Quiamcos clerk, they took the motorcycle. Uypitching then filed a criminal for qualified
theft and/or violation of the Anti-Fencing Law but was dismissed by the Office of the
City Prosecutor. Later, Quiamco filed an action for damages against Uypitching.
SC: Petitioners claim that they should not be held liable for petitioner
corporations exercise of its right as seller-mortgagee to recover the mortgaged vehicle
preliminary to the enforcement of its right to foreclose on the mortgage in case of default.
They are clearly mistaken. True, a mortgagee may take steps to recover the mortgaged
property to enable to enforce or protect its foreclosure right thereon. There is, however, a
well-defined procedure for the recovery of possession of mortgaged property: if a
mortgagee is unable to obtain possession of a mortgaged property for its sale on
foreclosure, he must bring a civil action either to recover such possession as a
preliminary step to the sale, or to obtain judicial foreclosure.
Petitioner corporation failed to bring the proper civil action necessary to acquire
legal possession of the motorcycle. Instead Uypitching descended on Quiamcos
establishment with his policemen and ordered the seizure of the motorcycle without a
search warrant or court order. Worse, in the course of the illegal seizure, Uypitching even
mouthed a slanderous statement. No doubt, the corporation, acting thru Uypitching
blatantly disregarded the lawful procedure for the enforcement of its right, to the
prejudice of Quiamco. Their acts violated the law as well as public morals, and
transgressed the proper norms of human relations. This basic principle of human relations
is embodied in Article 19 of the Civil Code. Also known as the principle of abuse of
rights, it prescribes that a person should not use his right unjustly or contrary to honesty
and good faith, otherwise he opens himself to liability. It seeks to preclude the use of, or
the tendency to use, a legal right (or duty) as a means to unjust ends.
There is an abuse of right when it is exercised solely to prejudice or injure
another. In this case, the manner by which the motorcycle was taken was not only
attended by bad faith but also contrary to the procedure laid down by law. Considered in
conjunction with the defamatory statement, petitioners exercise of the right to recover

the mortgaged vehicle was utterly prejudicial and injurious to Quiamco. The precipitate
act of filing an unfounded complaint could not in any way be considered to be in
accordance with the purpose for which the right to prosecute a crime was established.
Thus, the totality of petitioners actions showed a calculated design to embarrass,
humiliate and publicly ridicule Quiamco. Triple costs against petitioners, considering that
Ramas Uypitching is a lawyer and an officer of the court, for his improper behavior.
January 18, 2008
Elizagaque was designated as a special non-proprietary member of CCCI by San
Miguel Corporation. In 1996, Elizagaque filed with CCCI an application for proprietary
membership. The price of a proprietary share was around P5 million, Unchuan however,
offered to sell a share for only P3.5 million but Elizagaque bought the share of a certain
Butalid for only P3 million. Elizagaques application for proprietary membership was
deferred twice by the board and eventually, disapproved his application. Eligaque wrote
the Board thrice for reconsideration but no reply was ever made by CCCI. In 1998,
Elizagaque filed a complaint for damages against CCCI.
SC: As shown by the records, the Board adopted a secret balloting known as the
black ball system of voting wherein each member will drop a ball in the ballot box. A
white ball represents conformity to the admission of an applicant, while a black ball
means disapproval. A unanimous vote of the directors is required pursuant to the
amendment made in Section 3 of its articles. Obviously, the board has the right to
approve or disapprove an application for proprietary membership. But such right should
not be exercised arbitrarily. Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code on the Chapter on
Human Relations provide restrictions.
In rejecting respondents application for membership, the petitioners violated the
rules governing human relations, the basic principles to be observed for the rightful
relationship between human beings and for the stability of social order. Petitioners
committed fraud and evident bad faith in disapproving respondents application.
The amendment to Section 3 of CCCIs amended by-laws requiring the
unanimous vote of the directors present at a special or regular meeting was not printed on
the application form respondent filled and submitted to CCCI. What was printed thereon
was the original provision of Section 3 which was silent on the required number of
votes needed for admission of an applicant as a proprietary member. The explanation that
the amendment was not printed on the application form due to economic reasons, flimsy
and unconvincing. Such amendment, aside from being extremely significant, was
introduced way back in 1978 or almost 20 years before Elizagaque filed his application.
It cannot be fathomed why such a prestigious and exclusive golf country club whose
members are affluent, did not have enough money to cause the printing of an updated
application form.
It is thus clear that respondent was left groping in the dark wondering why his
application was disapproved. He was not even informed that a unanimous vote of the
Board members was required. When he sent a letter for reconsideration and an inquiry
whether there was an objection to his application, petitioners apparently ignored him. At
the very least, they should have informed him why his application was disapproved.
The exercise of a right, though legal by itself, must nonetheless be in accordance
with the proper norm. When the right is exercised arbitrarily, unjustly or excessively and
results in damage to another, a legal wrong is committed for which the wrongdoer must
be held responsible. Petitioners disapproval of respondents application is characterized
by bad faith as found by both the trial and appellate courts.
As to petitioners reliance on damnum absque injuria or damage without injury,
suffice it to state that the same is misplaced. In Amonoy vs. Gutierrez (351SCRA731), we
held that this principle does not apply when there is an abuse of a persons right, as in this
582 SCRA 403 (March 25, 2010)
The spouses Doyon obtained a 10-million peso loan from DBP secured by real
and chattel mortgages. The obligation remained unpaid despite having the loan

restructured. DBP the initiated extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings but was forestalled
when the spouses filed a civil action for its nullification claiming payment. Three years
later, DBP withdrew the application for foreclosure while Doyon withdrew the civil case.
Weeks later, DBP demanded the payment of the loan that has now ballooned to 20
million. Doyon still ignored the demand so DBP applied for extrajudicial foreclosure of
Doyons real and chattel mortgages and took constructive possession of the properties,
then its sheriff issued notices of sale at public auction.
Meanwhile, Doyon filed a complaint for damages against DBP claiming that by
withdrawing the earlier application for extrajudicial foreclosure and the dismissal of the
earlier civil case DBP led them to believe that it would no longer seek satisfaction of its
claims and that their loans had been extinguished. DBP therefore, acted contrary to
Article 19 of the Civil Code when it foreclosed on the real and chattel mortgages anew.
SC: for an action for damages under Article 19 to prosper, the complainant must
prove that: (a) defendant has a legal right or duty; (b) he exercised his right or performed
his duty with bad faith and (c) complainant was prejudiced or injured as a result of the
said exercise or performance by defendant.
On the 1st requisite, the petitioner had the legal right to foreclose on the real and
chattel mortgages. When the principal obligation becomes due and the debtor fails to
perform his obligation, the creditor may foreclose on the mortgage for the purpose of
alienating the property to satisfy his credit.
2nd requisite, bad faith imports a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity or
conscious doing of a wrong that partakes the nature of fraud.
Nothing in the RTC order, re on withdrawal of the application foreclosure, that
stated or even hinted, that Doyons obligation to DBP had in fact been extinguished.
Thus, there was nothing on the part of DBP even remotely showing that it led Doyon to
believe that it had waived its claims.
Lastly, the fact that a demand for payment was made negated bad faith on the part
of DBP. Despite giving Doyon the opportunity to pay their long overdue obligations and
avoid foreclosure, Doyon still refused to pay.
Clemente became a delinquent member of the club due to his failure to pay his
monthly dues for more than 60 days. The demand letters that were sent to his mailing
address were returned with the postal note that the address had been closed. A 3 rd and
final demand was again sent to Clemente in the same postal address were the 1 st 2
demand letters were sent. Clementes share was later sold through auction.
SC: Bad faith on Calatagans part is palpable. As found by the CA, Calatagan very
well knew that Clementes postal box to which it sent its previous letters had been closed,
yet it persisted in sending that final letter to the same postal box.
It is noteworthy that Clemente in his membership application had provided his
residential address along with residence and office telephone numbers.
The utter bad faith exhibited by Calatagan brings into operation Articles 19, 20
and 21 of the Civil Code under the Chapter on Human Relations. These provisions
enunciate a general obligation under the law for every person to act fairly and in good
faith towards one another. A non-stock corporation like Calatagan is not exempt from that
obligation in its treatment of its members. The obligation of a corporation to treat every
person honestly and in good faith extends even to its shareholders or members, even if
the latter find themselves contractually bound to perform certain obligations to the
corporation. A certificate of stock cannot be the charter of dehumanization.
Art. 20 Acts Contrary to Law (78,03)
Art. 21 Acts Contrary to Morals (75,81,82,96)
1) Bunag, Jr. vs. CA
211 SCRA 440
-In this jurisdiction, we adhere to the time honored rule that an action for breach
of promise to marry has no standing in the civil law, apart from the right to


recover money or property advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such
promise. Under the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, the acts of
petitioner in forcibly abducting private respondent and having carnal knowledge
with her against her will, and thereafter promising to marry her in order to escape
criminal liability, only to thereafter renege on such promise after cohabiting with
her for 21 days, irremissibly constitute acts contrary to morals and good customs.
These are grossly insensate and reprehensible transgressions that indisputably
warrant and abundantly justify the award of moral and exemplary damages,
pursuant to Article 21.
2) Wassmer vs. Velez
12 SCRA 648
-Mere breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong. But to formally set
a wedding and go through all the preparation and publicity, only to walk out of it
when the matrimony is about to be solemnized is quite different. This is palpably
and unjustifiably contrary to good customs for which defendant must be held
answerable in damages in accordance with Article 21.
3) Tanjanco vs. CA and Santos
18 SCRA 994
-No case is made under Article 21 of the Civil Code. The plaintiff, a woman of
adult age, maintained intimate sexual relations with appellant, with repeated acts
of intercourse. Such conduct is incompatible with the idea of seduction. Plainly
there is here voluntariness and mutual passion, for had she been deceived, had she
surrendered exclusively because of the deceit, artful persuasions and wiles of the
defendant, she would not have again yielded to his embraces, much less for one
year, without exacting early fulfillment of the alleged promises of marriage.
March 31, 2005
Is the aggrieved spouse in a marriage declared void by reason of
psychological incapacity of the other spouse entitled to moral and exemplary
damages under article 21 of the New Civil Code?
SC: It must be noted that Article 21 states that the individual must
willfully cause loss or injury to another. There is a need that the act is willful and
hence done in complete freedom. It is contradictory to characterize acts as a
product of psychological incapacity, and hence beyond the control of the party
because of an innate inability, while at the same time considering the same set of
acts as willful. By declaring Noel as psychologically incapacitated, the possibility
of awarding moral damages on the same set of facts was negated. The award of
moral damages should be predicated, not on the mere act of entering into the
marriage, but on specific evidence that it was done deliberately and with malice
by a party who had knowledge of his/her disability and yet willfully concealed the
559 SCRA 300 (July 14, 2008)
The appellate courts citation of Article 21 is misplaced not only because of the
pre-existing contractual relation between the parties which bars the application of this
provision, but more importantly because we cannot deem ACI to have acted fraudulently
or in bad faith.
Art. 22 Unjust Enrichment
517 SCRA 255 (March 2, 2007)
In 1992, Lacap, who was doing business under the name Carwin Construction,
was awarded the contract for the concreting of Sitio 5 Bahay Pare by the District
Engineer of Pampanga. On October 29, 1992, the Office of the District Engineer of San
Fernando, Pampanga found the project 100% completed in accordance with the approved
plans and specification and was then issued Certificates of Final Inspection and


Acceptance. When Lacap sought to collect payment, the DPWH withheld the payment
because COA disapproved the final release of funds on the ground that the contractors
license of Lacap had expired at the time of the execution of the contract. The District
Engineer then sought the opinion of the DPWH Legal Department twice whether the
contracts of Carwin for various rehabilitation projects were valid although its contractors
license had already expired when the projects were contracted. Its Legal Department
opined that since RA 4566 known as the Contractors License Law does not provide that
a contract entered into after the license has expired is void and there is no law which
expressly prohibits or declares void such contract, the contract is enforceable and may be
paid, without prejudice to administrative liabilities that may be imposed on the contractor
and the government employees or officials concerned. Yet, despite such recommendation,
no payment was made. Thus, in July 1995, Lacap filed a complaint for damages and
specific performance against the Republic.
SC: The wordings of RA 4566 are clear. It does not declare, expressly or
impliedly, as void contracts entered into by a contractor whose license had already
expired. Nonetheless, such contractor is liable for payment of the fine prescribed therein
(Section 35 of said law states: x x x x. or use an expired or revoked certificate or
license, shall be guilty of misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a
fine of not less than five hundred pesos but not more than five thousand pesos.).
Besides, Article 22 of the Civil Code embodies the maxim Nemo ex alterius incommode
debet lecupletari (no man ought to be made rich out of anothers injury).
This article is part of the chapter of the Civil Code on Human Relations, the
provisions of which were formulated as basic principles to be observed for the rightful
relationship between human beings and for the stability of the social order, x x x designed
to indicate certain norms that spring from the fountain of good conscience, x x x guides
human conduct that should run as golden threads through society to the end that law may
approach its supreme ideal which is the sway and dominance of justice. The rules
thereon apply equally well to the Government. Since Lacap had rendered services to the
full satisfaction and acceptance of petitioner, then the former should be compensated for
them. To allow petitioner to acquire the finished project at no cost would undoubtedly
constitute unjust enrichment for the petitioner to the prejudice of the respondent.
Art. 26 (77) Acts though not constituting a criminal offense but may produce a
cause action for damages, prevention and other relief.
559 SCRA 676 (July 23, 2008)
Castro, assistant headmaster of Reedly International School (RIS), was informed
thru phone that Tan, the parent of the child dismissed by RIS but whose dismissal was
overturned by Dep-Ed, was planning to sue the officers of RIS in their personal
capacities. Before they hung up, Castro told the caller: Okay, you too, take care and be
careful talking to [Tan], thats dangerous. Sued, he was found guilty by the MeTC of
Grave Oral Defamation.
The SC however, enunciated that At most Castro could have been liable for
damages under Article 26 (3) of the Civil Code. As an educator, he is supposed to be a
role model for the youth. As such, he should always act with justice, give everyone his
due and honesty and good faith.
Art. 27 Liability of Public Officers
Ledesma vs. CA and Delmo
160 SCRA 449
-Ledesma, then President of the West Visayas College, was adjudged liable for
damages under Article 27 of the Civil Code for failure to graduate a student with
Ledesmas behavior relative to Miss Delmos case smacks of
contemptuous arrogance, oppression and abuse of power. It cannot be disputed
that Violeta Delmo went through a painful ordeal that was brought about by
Ledesmas neglect of duty and callousness.


Arts. 29, 30, 31 Civil Action for Damages (Art. 31-88,03,06)

-Civil actions arising from felonies are based on the principle that every person
criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable Article 100, RPC. Exceptions where no
civil liability shall arise: 1. The fact from which the civil action may arise did not exist; 2.
The accused did not commit the crime; or 3. No crime existed but prescription of the
criminal action does not bar the filing of civil action for damages.
-Only the civil aspect arising out of the offense charged is deemed instituted in the
criminal case except if 1. There is a reservation; 2. There is a waiver of the civil action; or
3. The complaining party institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. Exception
to the exception reservations of civil action arising from violations of BP 22 shall not
be allowed or recognized.
-Actions premised on quasi delicts and other independent civil actions such as
civil action not based on the act or omission complained of as a felony but on some other
sources of obligation (Art. 31), violation of ones civil liberties, whether direct or
indirect, committed by a public official or employee or by a private individual (Article
32), fraud, defamation, or physical injuries [intentionally committed and used in its
generic signification] (Art. 33), refusal of any member of the municipal or city police
force to render aid or assistance in times of danger to life or property without just cause
(Art. 34), and quasi-delict (Art. 2176) may be filed separately by the
complainant/plaintiff without any reservation of the right to file a separate civil action
(2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure). The no reservation clause has retroactive effect,
the same being a rule of procedure (Casupanan vs. Laroya, Cancio vs. Isip cases). The
failure to make a reservation in the criminal action is not a waiver of the right to file a
separate and independent civil action based on these articles of the Civil Code.
1) Padilla, et al. vs. CA
129 SCRA 558
-Article 29 merely emphasizes that a civil action for damages is not precluded by
an acquittal for the same criminal act or omission.
-There is nothing contrary to the Civil Code provision in the rendition of a
judgment of acquittal and a judgment awarding damages in the same criminal
action. The two can stand side by side. A judgment of acquittal operates to
extinguish the criminal liability. It does not, however, extinguish the civil liability
unless there is a clear showing that the act from which civil liability might arise
did not exist.
2) People vs. Bayotas
236 SCRA 239
-Does death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguish his civil
liability? Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his
criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by
Justice Regalado, in this regard the death of the accused prior to the final
judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability directly
arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex
delicto in senso stricture.
-Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of the
used, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than
November 12, 2002
Is the dismissal of an estafa case a bar to the institution of a civil action for
collection of the value of the checks subject of the estafa case?
An act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to 2 separate
civil liabilities on the part of the offender, i.e., (1) civil liability ex delicto, under
Article 100 of the RPC; and (2) independent civil liabilities, such as those (a) not
arising from an act or omission complained of as a felony [e.g. culpa contractual
or obligations arising from law under Article 31 of the Civil Code, intentional
torts under Articles 32 and 34 and culpa aquiliana under Article 2176 of the Civil


Code]; or (b) where the injured party is granted a right to file an action
independent and distinct from the criminal action [Article 33, Civil Code]. Either
of these 2 possible liabilities may be enforced against the offender subject,
however, to the caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the offended
party cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission or under both
In the case at bar, a reading of the complaint shows that the cause of action
is based on culpa contractual, an independent civil action. It is respondents
breach of the contractual obligation that served as basis of the complaint. The
nature of a cause of action is determined by the facts alleged in the complaint not
by the claim of the party filing the action.
-Being an independent civil action arising from contracts, it may be filed
separately and prosecuted independently without any reservation in the criminal
action. Under Article 31 of the Civil Code when the civil action is based on an
obligation not arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony, e.g.
culpa contractual such civil action may proceed independently of the criminal
proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.
Thus, not being deemed instituted in the criminal action based on culpa
criminal, a ruling on the culpability of the offender will have no bearing on said
independent civil action based on an entirely different cause of action, i.e. culpa
465 SCRA 232 (July 29, 2005)
Facts: In April 1994, Viron Transit driver Sibayan was charged with reckless
imprudence resulting to multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries for which
Sibayan was eventually convicted in December 1998. As there was a reservation to file a
separate civil action, no pronouncement of civil liability was made by the MCTC. In
October 2000 Santos filed a complaint for damages against Sibayan and Rondaris, the
president and chairman of Viron Transit. Viron Transit moved for the dismissal of the
complaint citing, among others, prescription alleging that actions based on quasi delict
prescribe in 4 years from the accrual of the cause of action.
Held: Petitioners expressly made a reservation of their right to file a separate civil
action as a result of the crime committed by Sibayan. On account of this reservation the
MCTC did not make any pronouncement as to the latters civil liability. Although there
were allegations of negligence on the part of Sibayan and Viron Transit, such does not
necessarily mean that petitioners were pursuing a cause of action based on quasi delict,
considering that at the time of the filing of the complaint, the cause of action ex quasi
delicto had already prescribed. Besides, in cases of negligence, the offended party has the
choice between an action to enforce liability arising from crime under the Revised Penal
Code and an action for quasi delict under the Civil Code.
An act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to 2 separate civil
liabilities on the part of the offender, i.e. (1) civil liability ex delicto, under Article 100 of
the RPC; and (2) independent civil liabilities (a) not arising from an act or omission
complained of as a felony, e.g., culpa contractual or obligations arising from law under
Article 31 of the Civil Code, intentional torts under Articles 32 and 34, and culpa
aquiliana under Article 2176 of the Civil Code; or (b) where the injured party is granted a
right to file an action independent and distinct from the criminal proceedings.
While the cause of action ex quasi delicto had already prescribed, petitioners can
still pursue the remaining avenue opened for them by their reservation, i.e., the surviving
cause of action ex delicto. This is so because the prescription of the action ex quasi
delicto does not operate as a bar to an action to enforce the civil liability arising from
crime especially as the latter action had been expressly reserved.
We held that the dismissal of the action based on culpa aquiliana is not a bar to
the enforcement of the subsidiary liability of the employer. Once there is a conviction for
a felony, final in character, the employer becomes subsidiarily liable if the commission of
the crime was in discharge of the duties of the employees. This is so because Article 103
of the RPC operates the controlling force to obviate the possibility of the aggrieved party


being deprived of indemnity even after the rendition of a final judgment convicting the
520 SCRA 244 (April 3, 2007)
Frias entered into an agreement with Sison whereby the latter shall buy the house
and lot of the former covered by TCT No. 168173 for a sum of P6.4 million pesos with a
down payment of P3 million although Frias actually received only P2 million because the
check covering the P1 million was dishonored. The buyer was given 6 months to decide
whether to buy the property or not and if she does, she is given another 6 months to pay
the balance of P3.4 million. Frias is also given the right to offer the property to a 3 rd party
within the 6-month period and if sold to said 3 rd party, to return the down payment to
Sison with interest based on prevailing compounded bank interest. But if there is no other
buyer and Sison should also decide not to buy the property, Frias has another 6 months
within which to pay the P3 million with compounded bank interest for the last 6 months
only and the 3 million shall be treated as a loan with the property as security. There was
no buyer and after the lapsed of the period, Sison decided not to buy the property. Frias
failed to pay the amount despite demand so Sison instituted a complaint for sum money.
The debtor was later investigated for perjury and false testimony when Frias made a false
report of the loss of owners copy of TCT No. 168173, executing an affidavit of loss and
by filing a petition for the issuance of a new owners duplicate of title. When the civil
case was decided against her and was ordered to pay Sison the amount due plus damages,
she claimed that such award is without basis because she was acquitted in the case for
perjury and false testimony.
SC: Article 31 provides that when the civil action is based on an obligation not
arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony, such civil action may proceed
independently of the criminal proceedings regardless of the result of the latter.
While petitioner was acquitted in the false testimony and perjury cases filed by
respondent against her, those actions are entirely distinct from the collection of sum of
money with damages filed by respondent against petitioner. Frias act of trying to deprive
respondent of the security of her loan by executing an affidavit of loss of the title and
instituting a petition for issuance of a new owners duplicate copy of TCT No. 169173
entitles respondent to damages. Moral damages may be awarded in culpa contractual or
breach of contract cases when the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith. Bad faith
does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence; it imports a dishonest purpose or
some moral obliquity and conscious doing of wrong. It partakes the nature of fraud.
CHENG vs. SY 592 SCRA 155 (July 7, 2009)
Cheng filed two estafa cases against the spouses Sy due to dishonor of the two
checks that were issued by the Sys as payment for a loan obligation. She also filed
against the spouses two cases for violation of BP 22. Both cases were however, dismissed
because the prosecution failed to prove the elements of the crime of estafa and, in the
case for violation of BP 22 for failure of Cheng to identify the accused in open court. In
one of the estafa cases, the court made a pronouncement that the liability of the accused,
if any, is purely civil, not criminal in nature.
Cheng then instituted a complaint for collection of a sum of money based on the
same loaned amount. The lower court dismissed the civil action for lack of jurisdiction as
the civil action to collect was already impliedly instituted in the BP 22 cases.
SC: Where the trial court declared that the liability of the accused was only civil
in nature produced the legal effect of a reservation by Cheng of her right to litigate
separately the civil action impliedly instituted with the estafa cases, following Article 29
of the Civil Code.
If the loan be proven true, the inability of Cheng to recover the loaned amount
would be tantamount to unjust enrichment of respondents, as they may conveniently
evade payment of their obligation merely on account of a technicality.
There is unjust enrichment when (1) a person is unjustly benefited, and (2) such
benefit is derived at the expense of or with damages to another. One condition for


invoking this principle is that the aggrieved party has no other recourse based on contract,
quasi-contract, crime, quase-delict or any other provision of law.
Art. 32 Violation of Rights (88)
MHP Garments, Inc. vs. CA
236 SCRA 227
-Despite the sufficiency of time, they did not apply for a warrant and seized the
goods of private respondents. In doing so, they took the risk of a suit for damages
in case the seizure would be proved to violate the right of private respondents
against unreasonable search and seizures.
-Petitioners argument that it was the Philippine Constabulary that conducted the
raid and their participation was only to report the alleged illegal activity of private
respondents, the Court, citing Aberca vs. Ver (160 SCRA 590), in explaining the
liability of persons indirectly responsible, held: The decisive factor in this case in
our view, is the language of Article 32. The law speaks of an officer or employee
or person directly or indirectly responsible for the violation of the constitutional
rights and liberties of another. In the case at bar, petitioners were indirectly
involved in transgressing the right of private respondents against unreasonable
search and seizure.
Article 33 Independent Civil Actions (76,81,83,88)
1) Reyes vs. Sempio-Diy and Malicsi
141 SCRA 208
-Because the accused had pleaded guilty upon arraignment and was immediately
sentenced, there was no chance for the aggrieved party to present evidence in
support of her claim for damages and to enter a reservation in the record to file a
separate civil action. The Court then allowed the complainant to pursue the action
for damages.
2) Casupanan vs Laroya
August 26, 2002
May an accused in a pending criminal case for reckless imprudence validly
file, simultaneously and independently, a separate civil action for quasi-delict
against the private complainant in the criminal case?
- The accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the same act or
omission he is accused of in the criminal case. This is expressly allowed
in par. 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 that states that the
counterclaim of the accused may be litigated in a separate civil
action. This is only fair for two reasons. First, the accused is prohibited
from setting up any counterclaim in the civil aspect that is deemed
instituted in the criminal case. Second, the accused who is presumed
innocent, has a right to invoke Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the
same way that the offended party can avail of this remedy which is
independent of the criminal action. To disallow the accused from filing a
separate civil action for quasi-delict, while refusing to recognize his
counterclaim in the criminal case, is to deny him due process of law,
access to the courts, and equal protection of the law.
- Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil action in
Articles 32, 33, 34, and 2176 of the Civil Code is not deemed instituted
with the criminal action but may be filed separately by the offended
party even without reservation.
Article 36 Prejudicial Question (88,97)
A prejudicial question is one 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 in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil case, the guilt or
innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined.
2 elements:
1. the previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or intimately
related with to the issue raised in the subsequent criminal action; and
2. the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may
proceed (as amended by the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure and cited in
the case of Dreamwork Construction, Inc. vs. Janiola 591 SCRA 466, June 30,
- Under the amendment, a prejudicial question is understood in law
as that which must precede the criminal action and which requires a
decision before a final judgment can be rendered in the criminal
action with which said question is closely connected. The civil action
must be instituted prior to the institution of the criminal action.
(Dreamwork vs. Janiola)
- The present criminal action shall be suspended as the resolution of the
issue in the civil determines the guilt or innocence of the accused in the
criminal. But court has no authority to motu proprio suspend or dismiss
the criminal action but only upon petition of the defendant in accordance
with the Rules of Court (Yap vs. Paras, 205 SCRA 605).
- Petition (generally, by the accused) to suspend the criminal proceedings
may be filed in the office of the prosecutor or the court conducting the
preliminary investigation. If the criminal action has already been filed in
court for trial, it shall be made in the same criminal action before the
prosecution rests its case.
Where Prejudicial Question was considered even if one action is not criminal but
1) Quiambao vs. Osorio
158 SCRA 674
-The actions involved in the case at bar being respectively civil and administrative
in character, it is obvious that technically, there is no prejudicial question to speak
of. Equally apparent, however, is the intimate correlation between said two (2)
proceedings, stemming from the fact that the right of private respondent to eject
petitioner from the disputed portion depends primarily on the pending
administrative case.
Where the cases are both civil in nature.
1) City of Pasig vs COMELEC
314 SCRA 179
-The City of Pasig argues that there is no prejudicial question since the same
contemplates a civil and criminal action and does not come into play where both
cases are civil as in the instant case. The SC held that while this may be the
general rule, this Court has held in Vidad vs RTC of Negros Oriental, Br. 42, that,
in the interest of good order, we can very well suspend action on one case pending
the outcome of another case closely interrelated or linked to the first.
Other cases:
2) Umali vs. IAC
186 SCRA 680
-No prejudicial question.
-Even if the civil case were to be finally adjudged to the effect that the said deed
of sale should be annulled, such declaration would be of no material importance
in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal case,
the latter involving violation of BP 22.
3) Tuanda vs. Sandiganbayan
249 SCRA 342


-All the elements of a prejudicial question are clearly and unmistakably present in
this case. There is no doubt that the facts and issues involved in the civil action
and the criminal case are clearly related. The filing of the criminal case was
premised on petitioners alleged partiality and evident bad faith in not paying
private respondents salaries and per diems as sectoral representatives, while the
civil action was instituted precisely to resolve whether or not the designation of
private respondents as sectoral representatives were made in accordance with law.
4) Bobis vs. Bobis
July 31, 2000
-Not every defense raised in the civil action may be used as a prejudicial question
to obtain the suspension of the criminal action.
-Respondent thought of seeking a judicial declaration of nullity of his first
marriage only after petitioner sued him for bigamy. The obvious intent therefore,
is that respondent merely resorted to the civil action as a potential prejudicial
question for the purpose of frustrating or delaying his criminal prosecution.
Beltran vs. People
334 SCRA 106
- The rationale behind the principle of prejudicial question is to avoid 2
conflicting decisions.
For a civil case to be considered prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the
suspension of the latter pending the final determination of the civil case, it must appear
not only that the civil case involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution
would be based, but also that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil
action, the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined.
-The accuseds argument that he could be acquitted of the charge of concubinage
should his marriage be declared null and void, suffice it to state that even a subsequent
pronouncement that his marriage is void from the beginning is not a defense.
-In the case at bar it must be held that parties to the marriage should not be
permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the
judgment of the competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared
can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that
the marriage exists for all intents and purposes. Therefore, he who cohabits with a woman
not his wife before the judicial declaration of nullity of the marriage runs the risk of being
prosecuted for bigamy or for concubinage.
Philippine Agila Satellite, Inc. (PASI) vs. Lichauco
496 SCRA 588 (July 27, 2006)
Then DOTC Secretary Lagdameo, Jr. confirmed, by letter, the governments
assignment of Phil. orbital slots 161E and 153E to PASI for its Agila Satellites. PASI
thereupon undertook preparations for the launching, ownership, operation and
management of its satellites by, among other things, obtaining loans. In connection with
the loan, PASI President de Guzman later informed Landbank President and CEO Lapuz
about the assignment of the orbital slots and requested the banks confirmation of its
participation in a club loan amounting to US$11 million, the proceeds of which would be
applied to PASIs interim satellite. Lapuz sent a copy of the letter to then Undersecretary
Lichauco who denied the assignment of the 2 orbital slots to PASI but that PASI is only
getting 144E orbital slot. Subsequently, Lichauco issued a Notice of Offer for several
orbital slots including 153E. Claiming that the offer was made without its knowledge and
that another company was awarded for orbital slot 153E, PASI filed a complaint for
injunction, nullity and damages against Lichauco and the unknown awardee. A month
later PASI filed a complaint against Lichauco before the Office of the Ombudsman for
violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Upon evaluation by the said office
it found the existence of a prejudicial question and recommended its dismissal. The
recommendation was approved by then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto.
Issues: 1. Whether there exists a PQ and, in the affirmative, 2. whether the
dismissal of the complaint on that account is proper.
Held: If the award to the undisclosed bidder of orbital slot 153E is, in the civil
case, declared valid for being within Lichaucos scope of authority to thus free her from


liability for damages, there would be no prohibited act to speak of nor would there be
basis for undue injury claimed to have been suffered by PASI. The finding by the
Ombudsman of the existence of a prejudicial question is thus well taken.
As laid down in Yap vs. Paras, said rule directs that the proceedings may only be
suspended, not dismissed, and that it may be made only upon petition, and not at the
instance of the judge alone or as in this case, the investigating officer.
To give imprimatur to the Ombudsmans dismissal of petitioners complaint due
to a prejudicial question would only not run counter to the provision of Section 6 of Rule
111 of the Rules of Court. It would sanction the extinguishments of criminal liability, if
there be any, through prescription under Article 89 vis--vis Articles 90 and 91 of the
Revised Penal Code.
512 SCRA 70 (January 22, 2007)
Omictin, Operations Manager Ad Interim of Saag, Phils., filed a complaint of
estafa against Lagos due to the latters refusal, despite repeated demands, to return the 2
company vehicles entrusted to him while he was still the president of the firm. Lagos
moved for the suspension of the criminal proceedings due to the existence of a prejudicial
question in view of a pending case before the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) filed by the latter against Omictin, Saag Pte. (S) Ltd., Ng, Yeo and Tan. The case
before the SEC stemmed from the appointments of Tan as President Ad Interim and
Omictin as Operations Manager Ad Interim of Saag Phils., Incorporated. Saag (S) Pte.
Ltd. is a foreign corporation organized under the laws of Singapore. Lagos was appointed
Area Sales Manager in the Philippines where he was authorized to organize a local joint
venture corporation known as Saag, Phils., with Saag (S) Pte. Ltd. as the majority
stockholder and Lagos was appointed as one of the directors. Due to intra-corporate
disputes, 2 of the directors resigned and divested their shares in Saag Corporation. Lagos
resigned as president while retaining his post as director. He later requested Executive
Director Yeo to call for a board meeting because in their joint venture agreement (JVA)
between Saag Phils. and Saag (S) Pte. Ltd. it was agreed that should the controlling
interest in the latter company be acquired by any other person or entity without his prior
consent, he has the option to either require the other stockholders to purchase his shares
or terminate the JVA and dissolve Saag Phils., Inc. No meeting was made, instead Tan
was appointed as president ad interim and Omictin as operations manager ad interim.
SC: Ultimately, the resolution of the issues raised in the intra-corporate dispute
will determine the guilt or innocence of Lagos in the crime of estafa. One of the elements
of estafa with abuse of confidence under Article 315, par. 1 (b) of the RPC is a demand
made by the offended party to the offender. Logically, under the circumstances since the
alleged offended party is Saag Phils., Inc., the validity of the demand for the delivery of
the subject vehicles rests upon the authority of the person making such demand on the
companys behalf. Lagos is challenging petitioners authority to act for Saag Phils., Inc.
in the corporate case. If the supposed authority of petitioner is found to be defective, it is
as if no demand was ever made, hence, the prosecution for estafa cannot prosper.
527 SCRA 125 (July 10, 2007)
Librojo filed a criminal complaint for perjury against Magestrado. It was alleged
that Magestrado executed an affidavit of loss before a notary public stating therein that he
lost Owners Duplicate Copy of TCT No. N-173163 when in truth the said title was
surrendered by Magestrado to Librojo as security for a loan. Subsequently, Magestrado
filed a motion for suspension of proceedings based on a prejudicial question because he
alleged that Civil Cases No. Q-98-34348 to 9, cases for cancellation of mortgage,
delivery of title and damages and recovery of a sum of money, must be resolved first
before the criminal case may proceed since the issues in the said civil cases are similar or
intimately related to the issues raised in the criminal action.
SC: A perusal of the allegations in the civil cases are principally for the
determination of whether a loan was obtained by petitioner from Librojo and whether
Magestrado executed a real estate mortgage involving the property covered by TCT No.
N-173163. On the other hand, the criminal case involves the determination of whether


petitioner committed perjury in executing an affidavit of loss to support his request for
issuance of a new owners duplicate copy of TCT No. 173163.
It is evident that the civil cases and the criminal case can proceed independently
of each other. Regardless of the outcome of the 2 civil cases, it will not establish the
innocence or guilt of the petitioner in the criminal case for perjury. The purchase by
Magestrado of the land or his execution of a real estate mortgage will have no bearing
whatsoever on whether petitioner knowingly and fraudulently executed a false affidavit
of loss.
560 SCRA 719 (July 31, 2008)
Dr. Climaco was the retainer physician of the companys Bacolod plant. Their
contract explicitly provided that no employer-employee relationship shall exist between
the company and Climaco while the contract is in effect. Meantime, upon inquiry from
DOLE and the SSS, he was informed by both agencies that he is an employee of the
company. He then filed a complaint before the NLRC for recognition as a regular
employee of the company and demanded payment of 13 th month pay, COLA, and all
other benefits. During the pendency of the complaint, Coca Cola terminated its retainer
agreement with Dr. Climaco, thus he filed another complaint for illegal dismissal before
the NLRC. While the NLRC cases were pending, he filed before the SSC a petition that
Coca Cola be ordered to report him for compulsory coverage.
Coca Cola contended that the previous complaint for regularization and/or illegal
dismissal, which is now pending resolution before the SC, poses a prejudicial question to
the subject of the present case.
SC: Here, no prejudicial question exists because there is no pending
criminal case. The consolidated NLRC cases cannot be considered as previously
instituted action. In Berbari v. Concepcion, it was held that a prejudicial question is
understood in law to be that which must precede the criminal action, that which
requires a decision with which said question is closely related.
Neither can the doctrine of prejudicial question be applied by analogy. The
issue in the case filed by Dr. Climaco with the SSC involves the question whether or not
he is an employee of Coca-Cola and subject to compulsory coverage of the SSS. On the
contrary, the cases filed by Climaco before the NLRC involved different issues. In his 1 st
complaint, Climaco sought recognition as a regular employee of the company and
demanded payment of his 13th month pay, COLA, holiday pay, service incentive pay,
Xmas bonus and all other benefits. The 2 nd complaint was for illegal dismissal, with
prayer for reinstatement to his former position as company physician, without loss of
seniority rights, with full payment of back wages, other unpaid benefits, and for the
payment of damages. Thus, the issues in the NLRC cases are not determinative of
whether or not the SSC case should proceed. It is settled that the question claimed to be
prejudicial in nature must be determinative of the case before the court.
YAP vs. CABALES 588 SCRA 426 (June 5, 2009)
Yap purchased several parcels of land from Te. In consideration of the sale, he
issued several postdated checks to Te. Subsequently, Te had the checks rediscounted.
While the 1st few checks were good the remaining checks were dishonored for the reason
that the account is closed. Mirabueno and Dimalanta, the persons who rediscounted the
checks, filed separate cases for collection of sum of money. Subsequently, on various
dates, several informations for violation of BP 22 were filed against Yap. Yap
subsequently filed an action for the rescission of the sale and moved for the suspension of
the criminal proceedings on account of existence of a prejudicial question.
SC: The resolution of the issue raised in the civil action is not determinative of the
guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal case against him, and there is no
necessity that the civil case be determined first before taking up the criminal cases.
Even if Yap is declared not liable for the payment of the value of the checks and
damages, he cannot be adjudged free from criminal liability for violation of BP Blg. 22.
The mere issuance of worthless checks with knowledge of the insufficiency of funds to
support the checks is in itself an offense.


Art. 37-(96) definition of terms re: Juridical Capacity and Capacity to Act; Art.38-(85)
restrictions on capacity to act; Art. 39-(85) circumstances modifying or limiting capacity
to act.
Art. 40 41 Civil Personality (81,86,91,99,03)
What determines personality (Art. 40) and its exception and the requisites in order
that the exception may apply (Art. 41).
Art. 43 If there is a doubt as to who died first involving persons who are called to
succeed each other; the person alleging the death of one prior to the other has the burden
of proof and in the absence of proof it is presumed that they died at the same time and
there shall be no transmission of rights from one to the other. Applies only in cases of
succession between parent and child, all other cases apply presumption of survivorship
under the Rules of Court. (98,99,00)
Ex. (2000 Bar) Cristy and her late husband Luis had 2 children, Rose aged 10
and Patrick, 12 years old. One summer, her mother-in-law, aged 70, took the 2 children
with her on a boat trip to Cebu. Unfortunately, the vessel sank en route, and the bodies of
the 3 were never found. None of the survivors ever saw them on the water. On the
settlement of her mother-in-laws estate, Cristy filed a claim for a share of her estate on
the ground that the same was inherited by her children from their grandmother in
representation of their father, and she inherited the same from them. Will her action
prosper? Ans. No, her action will not prosper. Since there was no proof as to who died
first, all the 3 are deemed to have died at the same time and there shall be no transmission
of rights from one to another, applying Article 43 of the NCC. The survivorship provision
of Rule 131 of the Rules of Court does not apply to the problem. It applies only to those
cases where the issue involved is not succession.
(1998 Bar) Jaime, aged 65, and his son Willy, 25 years old and married to
Wilma, died in a plane crash. There is no proof as to who died 1 st. Jaime had a life
insurance policy with his wife Julia, and his son, Willy, as the beneficiaries. Can Wilma
successfully claim that of the proceeds should belong to Willys estate? Ans. Yes,
Wilma can invoke the presumption of survivorship and claim that of the proceeds
should belong to Willys estate, as the dispute does not involve succession. Under this
presumption, the person between the ages of 15 and 60 years is deemed to have survived
one whose age was over 60 at the time of their deaths. The estate of Willy endowed with
juridical personality stands in place and stead of Willy, as beneficiary.
Executive Order No. 209 (August 3, 1988)
Art. 1 definition of marriage
Article 2 Essential Requisites:
1. Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female;
2. Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.
537 SCRA 373 (October 19, 2007)
-One of its essential requisites is the legal capacity of the contracting parties who
must be a male and a female. 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-tofemale post-operative transsexual).
Article 3 Formal Requisites of Marriage (96)
1. Authority of the solemnizing officer;
2. A valid marriage license except a. marriages in articulo mortis;


b. parties residing in remote places;

c. Muslim marriages and marriages of
members of other ethnic cultural
d. ratification of marital cohabitation.
3. A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting
parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each
other as husband and wife in the presence of at least 2 witnesses of legal age.
- Hence, no marriages by proxy under our jurisdiction.
Sy vs. CA and Sy
330 SCRA 550
-Incongruity in the dates of the marriage license and the celebration of the
marriage itself would lead to the conclusion that her marriage to Fernando was
void from the beginning. Date of issue of marriage license is September 17,
1974. The date of the celebration of their marriage is November 15, 1973.
Republic vs. CA and Castro
236 SCRA 257
Facts: Husband personally attended to the processing of the documents
relating to their application for a marriage license. The marriage lasted only 4 months. It
was discov#ered by the wife that no marriage license was issued by the LCR of Pasig
City who certified to that effect. In her petition for declaration of nullity of marriage, the
wife presented as evidence the certification issued by the LCR of Pasig City. The SC held
-A certificate of due search and inability to find unaccompanied by any
circumstance of suspicion issued by the local civil registrar is sufficient proof that
no marriage license is issued to the contracting parties.
-Secret marriage a legally non-existent phrase but ordinarily used to refer to a
civil marriage celebrated without the knowledge of the relatives and/or friends of
either or both of the contracting parties.
Sevilla vs. Cardenas
497 SCRA 428 (July 31, 2006)
Whether or not the certifications from the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan
stating that no Marriage License No. 2770792 as appearing in the marriage contract of
the parties was issued, are sufficient to declare their marriage null and void ab initio.
Facts: Jaime Sevilla filed a petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage with
Carmelita Cardenas on the ground that he never applied for a marriage license from any
Civil Registry, consequently, no marriage license was presented to the solemnizing
officer. That although marriage license no. 2770792 allegedly issued in San Juan, Rizal
on May 19, 1969 was indicated in the marriage contract, the same was fictitious for he
never applied for any marriage license. As proof, he presented 3 certifications that have,
more or less, the same contents as the first, issued by the Local Civil Registrar of San
Juan, Rizal that reads:
No Marriage License Number 2770792 were (sic) ever issued by this
Office. With regards (sic) to Marriage License Number 2990792, we exert all
effort but we cannot find the said number.
Hope and understand our loaded work cannot give you our force locating
the above problem.
San Juan, MetroManila
March 11, 1994
Local Civil Registrar
SC: The certification issued by the Local Civil Registrar must categorically state
that the document does not exist in his office or the particular entry could not be found in
the register despite diligent search.


Note that the first 2 certifications bear the statement that hope and understand
our loaded work cannot give you our full force locating the above problem. It could
easily be implied from the said statement that the Office of the Civil Registrar could not
exert its best efforts to locate and determine the existence of Marriage License No.
2770792 due to its loaded work. Likewise, both certifications failed to state with
absolute certainty whether or not such license was issued. This implication is confirmed
by the testimony of the representative from the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of San
Juan, who stated that they could not locate the logbook due to the fact that the person in
charge of the said logbook had already retired. Further, the testimony of the said person
was not presented in evidence. It does not appear on record that the former custodian of
the logbook was deceased or missing, or that his testimony could not be secured. Given
the documentary and testimonial evidence to the effect that utmost efforts were not
exerted to locate the logbook where Marriage License No. 2770792 may have been
entered, the presumption of regularity of performance of official functions by the LCR in
issuing certifications is effectively rebutted.
Moreover, the absence of the logbook is not conclusive proof of non-issuance of
Marriage License No. 2770792. It can also mean, as we believed true in the case at bar,
that the logbook just cannot be found. In the absence of showing of diligent efforts to
search for the said logbook, we cannot easily accept that the absence of the same also
means non-existence or falsity of entries therein.
Finally, the rule is settled that every intendment of the law or fact leans toward the
validity of the marriage, the indissolubility of the marriage bonds. Semper praesumitor
pro matrimonio Always presume marriage.
Art. 4 Effect of Absence, Defect, or Irregularity (96,99)
Absence renders the marriage void.
Defect annullable.
Irregularity valid but may subject person responsible for irregularity to criminal,
civil and/or administrative sanction.
In Morigo vs. People (422 SCRA376) where the parties merely signed the
marriage contract without the presence of the solemnizing officer and no actual marriage
ceremony took place, the SC held that the 1st element of bigamy as a crime requires that
the accused must have been legally married. In the case at bar, legally speaking Morigo
was never married to Lucia Barrete. Thus, there is no 1st marriage to speak of. Under the
principle of retroactivity of a marriage being declared void ab initio, the 2 were never
married from the beginning. The contract of marriage is null, it bears no legal effect.
The mere private act of signing a marriage contract on their own bears no
semblance to a valid marriage and thus, needs no judicial declaration of nullity. Such act
alone, without more, cannot be deemed to constitute an ostensibly valid marriage for
which Morigo might be held liable for bigamy unless he first secures a judicial
declaration of nullity before he contracts a subsequent marriage.
Liability of Public Officers
Cosca vs. Palaypayon, Jr.
237 SCRA 249
-The judge in the case at bar solemnized the marriage without a marriage license,
did not sign the marriage contracts or certificates, no dates placed in the marriage
contracts to show when they were solemnized, the contracting parties were not
furnished their marriage contracts and the Local Civil Registrar was not being
sent any copy of the marriage contract.
-As the solemnizing officer, he is responsible for the irregularity and under Article
4(3) of the Family Code the judge shall be civilly, criminally and administratively
-In Aranes vs. Occiano (380 SCRA 402) the SC held citing Navarro vs. Domatoy
259 SCRA 129 where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his courts 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. In the case at bar, the territorial jurisdiction of respondent judge is
limited to the municipality of Balatan, Camarines Sur. His act of solemnizing the
marriage of petitioner and Orobia in Nabua, Camarines Sur therefore is contrary to law
and subjects him to administrative liability.
Art. 5 re. Age of parties to the marriage (1989, 2006); Article 7 (06)- those authorized
to solemnize marriages (enumeration is exclusive) 1. Incumbent members of the judiciary
within the courts jurisdiction; 2. Priest, rabbi, imam or minister of any church or
religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil
registrar general; 3. Only in marriages in articulo mortis (awareness of an impending
death) ship captain or airplane chief whether crew members or passengers and military
commander of a unit in the absence of the chaplain during military operation whether the
parties are members of the military or civilians; 4. Consul-general, vice consul or consul only between Filipinos residing or sojourning abroad; and 5. Mayors by virtue of the
Local Government Code effective January 1, 1992 (99); Article 8 place where the
ceremony shall be held (89); Article 10- authority of consul-general, vice consul, or
consul to solemnize marriages between Filipino citizens abroad but the contracting
parties are not exempt from the license requirement as Article 10 states that the issuance
and duties of the LCR as well as that of the solemnizing officer shall be performed by the
said consular official (94); Art. 14-necessity of parental consent if one or both
contracting parties are between the ages of 18 & 21 no parental consent voidable (99).
January 27, 2006
- Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgados cohabitation of more than 50
years cannot be doubted. Their family and friends knew them to be married.
Their reputed status as husband and wife was such that even the original
petition for letters of administration filed by Luisa Delgado vda. de Danao in
1975 referred to them as spouses.
- Although the marriage contract is considered a primary evidence of
marriage, its absence is not always proof that no marriage in fact took
place. The evidence need not necessarily or directly establish the
marriage but must at least be enough to strengthen the presumption of
marriage. Here, the certificate of identity issued to Josefa Delgado as
Mrs. Guillermo Rustia, the passport issued to her as Josefa D. Rustia, the
declaration under oath of no less than Guillermo Rustia that he was
married to Josefa Delgado and the titles to the properties in the name of
Guillermo Rustia married to Josefa Delgado more than adequately
support the presumption of marriage. These are public documents that
are prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.
- The baptismal certificate was conclusive proof only of the baptism
administered by the priest who baptized the child. It was no proof of the
veracity of the declarations and statements contained therein, such as the
alleged single or unmarried (senorita) civil status of Josefa Delgado who
had no hand in its preparation.
- In this jurisdiction, every intendment of the law leans toward
legitimizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together apparently in
marriage are presumed to be in fact, married. This is the usual order of
things in society and, if the parties are not what they hold themselves out
to be, they would be living in constant violation of the common rules of
law and propriety. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. Always presume
Art. 21 Requirement when either or both parties are foreigners
Garcia a.k.a. Grace Garcia-Recio vs. Recio
October 2, 2001
-Is failure to present a certificate of legal capacity to marry constitutes absence of
a substantial requisite voiding the marriage? The Supreme Court held that legal


capacity to contract marriage is determined by the national law of the party

concerned. The certificate mentioned in Article 21 of the Family Code would
have been sufficient to establish the legal capacity of the respondent, had he duly
presented it in court.
-SC also ruled that compliance with Articles 11, 13 and 52 of the Family Code is
not necessary; Philippine personal laws no longer bound respondent Recio after
he acquired Australian citizenship in 1992.
Art. 26- Validity of marriages celebrated abroad subject to certain exceptions (89, 92, 96,
October 2, 2001
- In mixed marriages involving a Filipino and a foreigner, Article 26 of the Family
Code allows the former to contract a subsequent marriage in case the divorce is validly
obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry.
470 SCRA 508 (September 21, 2005)
Crasus and Felys marriage ended when the latter left for the United States in
1984. In 1985, Fely divorced her husband and contracted a subsequent marriage with an
American. In 1988, she obtained American citizenship. She now claimed that her
marriage to her American husband was legal because now being an American citizen, her
status shall be governed by the law of her present nationality.
Is the argument tenable?
SC: As it is worded, Article 26, paragraph 2, refers to a special situation wherein
one of the married couple is a foreigner who divorces his or her Filipino spouse. By its
plain and literal interpretation, the said provision cannot be applied to the case of
Crasus and his wife Fely because at the time Fely obtained her divorce, she was still a
Filipino citizen. At the time she filed for divorce she was still a Filipino citizen, and
pursuant to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, she was
still bound by Philippine laws on family rights and duties, status, condition, and legal
capacity, even when she was already living abroad. Philippine laws, then and even until
now, do not allow and recognize divorce Filipino spouses. Thus, Fely could not have
validly obtained a divorce from Crasus.
October 5, 2005
Issue: Given a valid marriage between 2 Filipino citizens, where one party is later
naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a valid divorce decree capacitating him or her
to remarry, can the Filipino spouse likewise remarry under Philippine law?
Facts: Cipriano and Lady Myros were married in 1981. They had 2 children. In
1986 Lady Myros left for the United States, obtained American citizenship and in 2000
obtained a decree of divorce and married one Innocent Stanley. Cipriano thereafter, filed
a petition for authority to remarry invoking par. 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. The
Republic thru the OSG contends that the cited provision is not applicable to the instant
case because it applies only to a valid mixed marriage; that is, between a Filipino citizen
and an alien.
Held: On its face, Article 26 does not appear to govern the situation presented by
the case at hand. It seems to apply only to cases where at the time of the celebration of
the marriage, the parties are a Filipino citizen and a foreigner.
The jurisprudential answer lies latent in the 1998 Quita vs. Court of Appeals. The
Court therein hinted, by way of obiter dictum, that a Filipino divorced by his naturalized
foreign spouse is no longer married under Philippine law and can thus remarry.
Thus, taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of
reason, we hold that par. 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include cases involving
parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later
on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree.
The Filipino should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner
at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to sanction


absurdity and injustice. Where the interpretation of a statute according to its exact and
literal import would lead to mischievous results or contravene the literal purpose of the
legislature, it should be construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as
necessary the spirit of the law.
In view of the foregoing, we state the twin elements for the application of par. 2 of
Article 26 as follows:
1. There is a valid marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner; and
2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her
to remarry.
The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the
marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the
alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.
Art. 31-Marriage in Articulo mortis (95)
Art. 34 Legal Ratification of marital cohabitation (02)
Nial vs. Badayog
328 SCRA 122 (March 14, 2000)
-The 5-year common law cohabitation period, which is counted back from the
date of the celebration of marriage, should be a period of legal union had it not
been for the absence of the marriage. This 5-year period should be the years
immediately before the day of the marriage and it should be a period of
cohabitation characterized by exclusivitymeaning no 3rd party was involved at
any time within the 5 years of continuitythat is unbroken. Otherwise, if that
continuous 5-year cohabitation is computed without any distinction as to whether
the parties were capacitated to marry each other during the entire 5 years, then the
law would be sanctioning immorality and encouraging parties to have common
law relationships and placing them on the same footing with those who lived
faithfully with their spouse.
-The 5-year cohabitation 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
-Void marriages can be questioned even after the death of either party, that is why
the action or defense for nullity is imprescriptible and any proper interested party
may attack a void marriage.
- In the case at bar, the SC applied Article 76 of the Civil Code, the subsequent
marriage having been celebrated prior to the effectivity of the Family Code.
354 SCRA 1
-The Supreme Court enumerated the requisites that must concur in order that the
provision on legal ratification shall apply:
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 the marriage (underscoring supplied);
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.
-In the case at bench, the SC held that the absence of the legal impediment is only
required at the time of the celebration of the marriage no longer during the entire
5-year period of cohabitation.
550 SCRA 435 (March 28, 2008)


Jose and Felisa were married in November 1986 and in lieu of a marriage license,
the parties executed a sworn affidavit attesting, among others, that both of them being
unmarried lived together as husband and wife for at least 5 years. It turned out that the
statement is a complete falsity for they started living together barely 5 months before the
celebration of their marriage.
Issue: Whether the falsity of an affidavit of marital cohabitation, where the parties
have in truth fallen short of the minimum 5-year requirement, effectively renders the
marriage void ab initio for lack of marriage license.
SC: For the exception in Article 76 of the Civil Code to apply, it is a sine qua non
thereto that a man and a woman must have attained the age of majority, and that, being
unmarried, they have lived together as husband and wife for at least 5 years.
- The Civil Code in no ambiguous terms, places a minimum period requirement of
5 years of cohabitation. No other reading of the law can be had, since the language of
Article 76 is precise.
-The minimum requisite of 5 years of cohabitation is an indispensability carved in
the language of the law. For a marriage celebrated under Article 76 to be valid, this
material fact cannot be dispensed with. It is embodied in the law not as a directory
requirement, but one that partakes of a mandatory character.
- To permit a false affidavit to take the place of a marriage license is to
allow circumvention of the law.
- The falsity of the allegation in the sworn statement relating to the period
of Jose and Felisas cohabitation, which would have qualified their
marriage as an exception to the requirement for marriage license, cannot
be a mere irregularity, for it refers to the quintessential fact that the law
precisely required to be deposed and attested to by the parties under
oath. If the essential matter in the sworn statement is a lie, then it is
merely a scrap of paper, without force and effect. Hence, it is as if there
was no affidavit at all.
GR No. 179922, December 16, 2008
- The failure to reflect the serial number of the marriage license on the
marriage contract evidencing the marriage between Felicidad and
Teofilo, although irregular, is not as fatal as Juan represents it to be.
Felicidads affirmation of the existence of said marriage license, the
Justice of the Peace who officiated the impugned marriage, corroborated
her statement stating that the number of said marriage license was
inadvertently not placed in the marriage contract for the reason that it
was the Office Clerk who filled the blanks in the marriage contract who
in turn may have overlooked the same.
Article 36 Psychological Incapacity- (93,97,02,06[2Qs])
- based on Canon 1095 of the Canon Law.
Santos vs. CA
January 4, 1995
-What constitutes psychological incapacity- should refer to no less than a mental
(not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital
covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the
marriage which, as expressed by Art. 68 of the Family Code include their mutual
obligation to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and support.
-Intendment of law has been to confine the meaning of psychological incapacity
to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter
insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.
-Psychologic condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated.
-Did not meet standards required - the incapacity must be characterized by a)
gravity- the party would be incapable of carrying out the duties required in


marriage, b) juridical antecedence it must be rooted in the history of the party

antedating the marriage, although overt manifestations may emerge only after the
marriage, and c) incurability or if otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means
of the party involved.
Ching Ming Tsoi vs. CA
January 16, 1997
-One of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is to procreate
children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through
sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage.
-In the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to
fulfill the above marital obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.
-An ungiven self is an unfulfilled self.
Republic v. CA and Molina
February 13, 1997
-No clear showing that the psychological defect spoken of is an incapacity. It
appears to be more of a difficulty, if not outright refusal or neglect in the
performance of some marital obligations.
-SC laid down the guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36.
-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.
-Made definite and clear as to what are the essential marital obligations of
marriage (Articles 68-71, 220, 221 and 225 of the Family Code).
Marcos vs. Marcos
343 SCRA 755
- The personal or medical or psychological examination of respondent is
not a requirement for a declaration of psychological incapacity. The
totality of evidence presented may serve as basis of the determination of
the merits of the petition.
- The guidelines in the Molina case incorporate the three basic
requirements earlier mandated by the Court in Santos v CA:
psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b)
juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. The foregoing guidelines do
not require that a physician examine the person to be declared
psychologically incapacitated. In fact, the root cause may be medically
or clinically identified. What is important is the presence of evidence
that can adequately establish the partys psychological condition. For
indeed, if the totality of evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding
of psychological incapacity, then actual medical examination of the
person concerned need not be resorted to.
- Although this court is sufficiently convinced that respondent failed to
provide material support to the family and may have resorted to physical
abuse and abandonment, the totality of his acts does not lead to a
conclusion of psychological incapacity on his part. There is no showing
that his defects were already present at the inception of the marriage or
that they are incurable. The behavior of respondent can be attributed to
the fact that he had lost his job and was unemployed for 6 years.
- And because Article 36 has been abused as a convenient divorce law,
this Court laid down the procedural requirements for its invocation in
Molina. Petitioner has not faithfully observed them. She failed to show
that the alleged psychological incapacity is characterized by gravity,
juridical antecedence, and incurability; and for her failure to observe the
guidelines outlined in Molina.
Hernandez vs. CA and Hernandez
December 8, 1999
-Habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity or perversion, and abandonment do not by
themselves constitute grounds for finding that he is suffering from a


psychological incapacity within the contemplation of the Family Code. It must be

shown that these acts are manifestations of a disordered personality which made
respondent completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of the marital
state, and not merely due to respondents youth and self-conscious feeling of
being handsome.
- Expert testimony should have been presented to establish the precise cause of
spouses psychological incapacity, if only to show, that it existed at the time of the
351 SCRA 425
-May a spouse be declared psychologically incapacitated based on the following
1. would disappear for months;
2. if with his family, often drunk and in such a state forced the wife to
have sexual intercourse, in case of refusal beats the wife; and
3. had been unheard of since last disappearance although rumored to
have escaped from jail.
-In Republic vs. Molina, the Court laid down the GUIDELINES in the
interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code. Taking into
consideration these guidelines, it is evident that Erlinda failed to comply with
Guideline No. 2 which requires that the root cause of psychological incapacity
must be medically or clinically identified and sufficiently proven by experts, since
no psychiatrist or medical doctor testified as to the alleged psychological
incapacity of her husband.
356 SCRA 588
- In 1994 wife filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage under
Article 36 because of the alleged emotional immaturity and
irresponsibility of her cruel and violent husband. A habitual drinker who,
when advised to stop, would beat, slap and kick her. Prior to the filing of
the case, petitioner was battered black and blue that led to the
imprisonment of respondent for 11 days.
- Emotional immaturity and irresponsibility cannot be equated with
psychological incapacity.
- The phrase psychological incapacity, borrowed from Canon law, is an
entirely novel provision in the statute books, and, until the relatively
recent enactment of the Family Code, the concept has escaped
jurisprudential attention. It is in Santos when, for the first time, the Court
has given life to the term. Molina, that followed, has additionally given
the procedural guidelines to assist the courts and the parties in trying
cases for annulment of marriages grounded on psychological incapacity.
Molina has strengthened, not overturned, Santos. At all events petitioner
utterly failed, both in her allegations in the complaint and in her
evidence, to make out a case of psychological incapacity on the part of
her husband, let alone at the time of the solemnization of the marriage,
so as to warrant a declaration of nullity of marriage.
- The Court reiterates its reminder that marriage is an inviolable social
institution and the foundation of the of the family that the State cherishes
and protects (Section 2, Article XV, 1987 Constitution).
412 SCRA 41
-Subsequent to Santos and Molina, the Court adopted the new Rules on
Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Void Marriages
(effective March 15, 2003). Procedural rules apply to actions pending and unresolved at
the time of their passage. The obvious effect of the new Rules providing that expert
opinion need not be alleged in the petition is that there is also no need to allege the root
cause of the psychological incapacity. Only experts in the fields of neurological and


behavioral sciences are competent to determine the root cause of psychological

incapacity. Since the new Rules do not require the petition to allege expert opinion on the
psychological incapacity, it follows that there is no need to allege in the petition the root
cause of the psychological incapacity. What the new Rules require the petition to allege
are physical manifestations indicative of psychological incapacity.
(Facts: Petitioner merely alleged that his wife was psychologically incapacitated
to comply with the essential obligations of marriage which exist at the time of the
celebration of the marriage and which incapacity subsisted up to and until the present
time. Such incapacity was conclusively found in the psychological examination
conducted on the relationship between the petitioner and the respondent. In her motion to
dismiss, the wife argued that the petition falls short of the guidelines set forth in Santos
and Molina. Specifically the petition is defective because it failed to allege the root cause
of her alleged psychological incapacity. It is also devoid of any reference of the grave
nature of her illness to bring about her disability to assume the essential obligations of
marriage which were not even stated what those marital obligations that she failed to
comply due to psychological incapacity.)
421 SCRA 461
Sharon is an immature wife and mother and had extramarital affairs with several
men one of whom she ran away with and had 2 children with him. She was also confined
once in a hospital for treatment by a clinical psychiatrist. During the trial, a doctor
testified that Sharon was suffering from anti-social personality disorder exhibited by her
blatant display of infidelity; that she committed several indiscretions and had no capacity
for remorse. Such immaturity and irresponsibility in handling the marriage like her
repeated acts of infidelity and abandonment of her family are indications of anti-social
personality disorder amounting to psychological incapacity to perform the essential
obligations of marriage.
Held: Sharons sexual infidelity can hardly qualify as being mentally or
psychologically ill to such an extent that she could not have known the obligations she
was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given a valid assumption thereof. It
appears that Sharons promiscuity did not exist prior to or at the inception of the
Respondents sexual infidelity or perversion and abandonment do not by
themselves constitute psychological incapacity within the contemplation of the Family
Code. Neither could her emotional immaturity and irresponsibility be equated with
psychological incapacity. It must be shown that these acts are manifestations of a
disordered personality which make respondent completely unable to discharge the
essential obligations of the marital state, not merely to her youth, immaturity or sexual
423 SCRA 272
What is the effect of a judicial declaration of nullity of a 2 nd or subsequent
marriage on the individuals criminal liability for bigamy?
Veronico married Leticia on April 10, 1990. Sometime 1991 Veronico informed
Leticia that he was previously married to Hilda in 1986. He then left the former to live
with the latter. When Veronico contracted another marriage in 1993 with one Nilda,
Leticia filed a complaint for bigamy. Convicted. On appeal he argued that the declaration
of nullity of the 2nd marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity retroacts to the
date on which the 2nd marriage was celebrated.
Held: A declaration of nullity of the 2 nd marriage on the ground of psychological
incapacity is absolutely no moment insofar as the States penal laws are concerned. As a
second or subsequent marriage contracted during the subsistence of Veronicos valid
marriage to Hilda, Veronicos marriage to Leticia would be null and void ab initio
completely regardless of Leticias psychological incapacity or capacity. Since a marriage
contracted during the subsistence of a valid marriage is automatically void, the nullity of
this 2nd marriage is not per se an argument of the avoidance of the criminal liability for
bigamy. Although the judicial declaration 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, Article 54 states 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 thus escape the consequences of
contracting multiple marriages, while beguiling throngs of hapless women with the
promise of futurity and commitment.
May 20, 2004
Are the norms laid down by the SC in Santos and Molina cases applicable to
marriages where one of the parties to the marriage and alleged to be psychologically
incapacitated is a foreigner?
SC: We find no distinction between an alien spouse and a Filipino spouse. We
cannot be lenient in the application of the rules merely because the spouse alleged to be
psychologically incapacitated happens to be a foreign national. The norms used for
determining psychological incapacity should apply to any person regardless of
-The SC in this case reiterated the complete guidelines, as stated in the Molina
case, in the interpretation and application of Article 36 for the guidance of the bench and
bar with emphasis on (2) thereof i.e. 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.
-In the case at bar, the totality of evidence presented fell short of proving that
Toshio was psychologically incapacitated to assume his marital responsibilities.
Although, as a rule, there was no need for an actual medical examination, it would greatly
helped respondents case had she presented evidence that medically or clinically
identified his illness. This could have been done through expert witness. This Lolita did
not do.
-As we held in Molina, it is not enough to prove that a spouse failed to meet his
responsibility and duty as a married person; it is essential that he must be shown to be
incapable of doing so due to some psychological, not physical illness.
G. R. No. 155800 March 10, 2006
Barely 4 years after the marriage, Antonio filed a petition to have his marriage to
Marie Ivonne declared null and void under Article 36. As manifestations of the wifes
alleged psychological incapacity, Antonio claimed that respondent persistently lied about
herself, the people around her, her occupation, income, educational attainment and other
events or things. In support of his petition, he presented Drs. Abcede, a psychiatrist, and
Lopez, a clinical psychologist, who stated, based on the tests they conducted, that they
observed that respondents persistent and constant lying to petitioner was abnormal or
pathological. They concluded that respondent was psychologically incapacitated to
perform her essential marital obligations. During the pendency of the case, the
Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Manila annulled the catholic marriage of the
parties that was affirmed by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal with
modification stating that only respondent was impaired by a lack of due discretion. That
respondent was impaired from eliciting a judicially binding matrimonial consent. The
Roman Rota of the Vatican upheld the findings of the National Appellate Matrimonial
SC: Jurisprudence since then has recognized that psychological incapacity is a
malady so grave and permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and
responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume. Given the avowed State
interest in promoting marriage as the foundation of the family, which in turn serves as the
foundation of the nation, there is a corresponding interest for the State to defend against


marriages ill-equipped to promote family life. Void ab initio marriages under Article 36
do not further the initiatives of the State concerning marriage and family, as they promote
wedlock among persons who, for reasons independent of their will, are not capacitated to
understand or comply with the essential obligations of marriage. Molina established the
guidelines presently recognized in the judicial disposition of petitions for nullity under
Article 36. The Court has consistently applied Molina since its promulgation in 1997, and
the guidelines therein operate as the general rules.
We find the present case sufficiently satisfies the guidelines in Molina. First.
Petitioner had sufficiently overcome his burden by proving the psychological incapacity
of his spouse. Apart from his testimony, he presented witnesses who corroborated his
allegations on his wifes behavior. He also presented 2 expert witnesses from the field of
psychology who testified that the aberrant behavior of respondent was tantamount to
psychological incapacity. Second. The root cause of respondents psychological
incapacity has been medically or clinically identified, alleged in the complaint,
sufficiently proven by experts, and clearly explained in the trial courts decision. Dr.
Lopez concluded that respondent is a pathological liar that she continues to lie and loves
to fabricate about herself. While these witnesses did not personally examine respondent,
the Court had already held in Marcos vs. Marcos that personal examination of the subject
by the physician is not required for the spouse to be declared psychologically
incapacitated. Third. Respondents psychological incapacity was established to have
clearly existed at the time of and even before the celebration of the marriage. She
fabricated friends and made up letters from fictitious characters well before she married
petitioner. Fourth. The gravity of respondents psychological incapacity is sufficient to
prove her disability to assume the essential obligations of marriage. It should be noted
that the lies attributed to respondent were not adopted as false pretenses in order to
induce petitioner into marriage. More disturbingly, they indicate a failure on the part of
the respondent to distinguish truth from fiction, or at least abide by the truth. Petitioners
witnesses and the trial court were emphatic on respondents inveterate proclivity to telling
lies and the pathologic nature of her mistruths, which according to them were revelatory
of respondents inability to understand and perform the essential obligations of marriage.
Indeed, a person unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality would similarly be
unable to comprehend the legal nature of the marital bond, much less its psychic
meaning, and the corresponding obligations attached to marriage, including parenting.
One unable to adhere to reality cannot be expected to adhere as well to any legal or
emotional commitments. Fifth. Respondent is evidently unable to comply with the
essential marital obligations as embraced by Articles 68 to 71 of the Family Code. Article
68, in particular, enjoins the spouses to live together, observe mutual love, respect and
fidelity. It is difficult to see how an inveterate pathological liar would be able to commit
to the basic tenets of relationship between spouses based on love, trust and respect. Sixth.
The CA clearly erred when it failed to take into consideration the fact that the marriage
was annulled by the Catholic Church. Such deliberate ignorance is in contravention of
Molina, which held that 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. Evidently, the conclusion of psychological
incapacity was arrived at not only by the trial court, but also by canonical bodies. Church
rulings will hold sway if they are drawn from a similar recognition, as the trial court, of
the veracity of petitioners allegations. Had the trial court instead appreciated
respondents version as correct, and the appellate court affirmed such conclusion, the
rulings of the Catholic Church on the matter would have diminished persuasive value.
Seventh. From the totality of the evidence, we are sufficiently convinced that the
incurability of respondents psychological incapacity has been established by petitioner.
Any lingering doubts are further dispelled by the fact that the Catholic Church tribunals,
which indubitably consider incurability as an integral requisite of psychological
incapacity, were sufficiently convinced that respondent was so incapacitated to contract
marriage to the degree that annulment was warranted.


NOTE: Compare the facts of ANTONIO and NAJERA cases and the decision rendered
by the SC in each case.
NAJERA vs. NAJERA 591 SCRA 542 (July 3, 2009)
Digna prayed that her marriage with Eduardo be declared void by reason of the
alleged psychological incapacity of Eduardo to comply with the essential marital
obligations of marriage. In support of her petition she presented Dr. Gates who testified
that Eduardo is afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder as marked by his pattern of
instability in his interpersonal relationships, his marred self-image and self-destructive
tendencies, his uncontrollable impulses. Eduardos psychological impairment as traced to
his parents separation, aggravated by the continued meddling of his mother in his adult
life, antedates his marriage to Digna. Furthermore, the ingestion of prohibited substances
(alcohol and marijuana), known to cause irreparable damage organically, and the manifest
worsening of his violent and abusive behavior across time render his impairment grave
and irreversible.
Likewise, during the pendency of the petition, Digna also filed a petition for
annulment of her marriage before the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the
Catholic Church based on psychological incapacity under Canon 1095. And twelve (12)
days before the decision of the appellate court was issued, the National Appellate
Matrimonial Tribunal declared her marriage annulled stating that the husbandrespondent upon contracting marriage suffered from grave lack of due discretion of
judgment, thereby rendering nugatory his marital contract. The trial court decreed
only the legal separation of the spouses, but not the annulment of their marriage. The CA
affirmed the lower courts decision.
SC: The totality of the evidence submitted by petitioner failed to satisfactorily
prove that respondent was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential
obligations of marriage. The root cause of respondents alleged psychological incapacity
was not sufficiently proven by experts or shown to be medically or clinically permanent
or incurable.
As found by the CA, Gates conclusion that respondent was psychologically
incapacitated was based on facts relayed to her by petitioner and was not based on her
personal knowledge and evaluation of respondent; thus, her finding is unscientific and
The evidence presented by Digna in regard to the physical violence or grossly
abusive conduct of respondent toward petitioner and respondents abandonment of
petitioner without justifiable cause for more than 1 year are grounds for legal separation
The basis of the declaration of nullity of marriage by the National Appellate
Matrimonial Tribunal is not the 3rd paragraph of Canon 1095 which mentions causes of a
psychological nature, but the 2nd paragraph of Canon 1095 which refers to those who
suffer from a grave lack of discretion of judgment concerning essential matrimonial
rights and obligations to be mutually given and accepted.
Hence, even if, the factual basis of the decision of the National Matrimonial
Tribunal is similar to the facts established by Digna before the trial court, the decision of
the former court is not based on the psychological incapacity of respondent.
486 SCRA 177
-Reiterated the decisions rendered in Santos vs. CA that psychological
incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c)
-Subsequently, the Court laid down in Republic vs. Molina the guidelines in the
interpretation and application of Article 36.
- In Marcos vs. Marcos, the Court later clarified that 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.


Such psychological incapacity, however, must be established by the

totality of the evidence presented during the trial.
- In this case, Norma failed to establish the fact that at the time they were
married, Eulogio was suffering from a psychological defect that in fact
deprived him of the ability to assume the essential duties of marriage and
its concomitant responsibilities. In fact, Norma admitted that her marital
woes started only after the birth of their 1 st born and when Eulogio lost
his job. It was alleged that Eulogio is a habitual alcoholic, refuses to look
for a job after he was dismissed from work, every so often goes to her
office, utters unwholesome remarks against her and then drags her home
because of his unbearable jealousy and had abandoned the family.
- Further, no other evidence was presented to show that Eulogio was not
cognizant of the basic marital obligations as outlined in Articles 68 to 72,
220, 221 and 225.
- While an actual medical, psychiatric, or psychological examination is
not a condition sine qua non to a finding of psychological incapacity, an
expert witness would have strengthened Normas claim of Eulogios
alleged psychological incapacity. Normas omission to present one is
fatal to her position, there can be no psychological incapacity where
there is absolutely no showing that the defects were already present at
the inception of the marriage or that they are incurable.
495 SCRA 396 (July 17, 2006)
- The term psychological incapacity to be a ground for nullity of
marriage under Art. 36 of the FC, refers to a serious psychological
illness afflicting a party even before the celebration of the marriage. It is
a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of awareness of
the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to
assume. As all people may have certain quirks and idiosyncrasies, or
isolated characteristics associated with certain personality disorders,
there is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to
confine the meaning of psychological incapacity to the most serious
cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter
insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the
marriage (Santos vs. CA). It is for this reason that the Court relies
heavily on psychological experts for its understanding of the human
personality. However, the root cause must be identified as a
psychological illness and its incapacitating nature must be fully
- In the case at bar, their problems began when petitioner started doubting
respondents fidelity. It was only when they started fighting about the
calls from women that respondent began to withdraw into his shell and
corner, and failed to perform his so-called marital obligations.
- Dr. Dayan did not explain how she arrived at her diagnosis that
respondent has a mixed personality disorder called schizoid, and why
he is the dependent and avoidant type. The doctors statement lacks
specificity; it seems to belong to the realm of theoretical speculation.
Inputs about respondents problematic history were all supplied by
petitioner herself, hence self-serving. Petitioner likewise failed to prove
that respondents supposed psychological illness or mental malady
existed even before the marriage.
- Respondents alleged mixed personality disorder, the leaving-thehouse attitude whenever they quarreled, the violent tendencies during
epileptic attacks, the sexual infidelity, the abandonment and lack of
support, and his preference to spend more time with his band mates than
his family, are not rooted on some debilitating psychological condition


but a mere refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of

ZAMORA vs. CA 515 SCRA 19 (February 7, 2007)
-reiterated its ruling in Santos, Molina and Marcos.
-the case of Santos v. CA did not specifically mention that the presentation of
expert opinion is a vital and mandatory requirement in filing a petition for the declaration
of nullity of marriage. Even in the subsequent case of Republic v. CA (also known as the
Molina case), examination of the person by a physician in order for the former to be
declared psychologically incapacitated was likewise not considered a requirement. What
is important, however, as stated in Marcos v. Marcos, is the presence of evidence that can
adequately establish the partys psychological condition. If the totality of evidence
presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, then actual medical
examination of the person concerned need not be resorted to.
REPUBLIC vs. TANYAG-SAN JOSE 517 SCRA 123 (February 28, 2007)
-SC cited its ruling in Santos, Molina and Ferraris.
-Doctor Tayags conclusion about Manolitos psychological incapacity was based
on the information supplied by Laila which she found to be factual. Undoubtedly, the
doctors conclusion is hearsay. It is unscientific and unreliable.
Dr. Tayags psychological report does not even show that the alleged anti-social
disorder of Manolito was already present at the inception of the marriage or that it is
incurable. Neither did it explain the incapacitating nature of the alleged disorder nor did it
identify its root cause.
Manolitos alleged psychological incapacity is thus premised on his being jobless
and a drug user, as well as his inability to support his family and his refusal or
unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage. His state or condition or
attitude has not been shown, however, to be a malady or disorder rooted on some
incapacitating or debilitating psychological condition.
521 SCRA 121 (April 13, 2007)
Petitioner claims that the marriage was dysfunctional, destructive, and
reconciliation was out of the question because he would go insane if he were to go back
to his wife. That she was not supportive of his career, and marriage counseling did not
work. He also alleged that if they quarreled, she refused to have sex with him and would
tell him to look for other women.
- SC reiterated decision in Santos vs. CA on characteristics of
psychological incapacity, the guidelines laid in Republic vs. CA (also
known as the Molina case- Zamora vs. CA) and elucidated that;
- 1. Spouses frequent squabbles and respondents refusal to sleep with
petitioner and be supportive to him do not constitute psychological
- 2. Psychological incapacity must be more than just a difficulty,
refusal, or neglect in the performance of some marital obligations, it
is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so, due to
some psychological illness existing at the time of the celebration of the
marriage; and
- 3. Their bickerings and arguments even before their marriage and
respondents scandalous outbursts in public, at most, show their
immaturity and immaturity does not constitute psychological incapacity.
PARAS v. PARAS 529 SCRA 81 (August 2, 2007)
May factual findings in a disbarment case be considered conclusive in a petition
for declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 where the husband was suspended
from the practice of law because of immorality and abandonment of his own family?
-Jurisprudence abounds that administrative cases against lawyers belong to a class
of their own. They are distinct from and may proceed independently of civil and criminal
cases. The basic premise is that criminal and civil cases are altogether different from
administrative matters, such that the disposition in the first two will not inevitably
govern the third and vice versa.


Accordingly, ones unfitness as a lawyer does not automatically mean ones

unfitness as a husband or vice versa. The disposition in a disbarment case cannot be
conclusive on an action for declaration of nullity of marriage. In the disbarment case, the
real question for determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be
allowed the privileges as such. On the other hand, in an action for declaration of nullity
of marriage based on psychological incapacity, the question for determination is whether
the guilty party suffers a grave, incurable, and pre-existing mental incapacity that renders
him truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants.
The presentation of an expert witness to prove psychological incapacity has its
origin in Molina. In the 2000 case of Marcos v. Marcos, the Court clarified that the above
Guideline does not require that the respondent should be examined by a physician or a
psychologist as a condition sine qua non for the declaration of nullity of marriage. What
is important is the presence of evidence that can adequately establish the partys
psychological condition.
While this Court is convinced that the charges hurled against Justo by Rosa,
such as sexual infidelity, falsification of her signature, abandonment and inadequate
support given to the children are true, nonetheless, there is nothing in the records
showing that they were caused by a psychological disorder on his part. In other words,
the totality of the evidence is not sufficient to show that Justo is psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations.
There is no evidence that Justos defects were present at the inception of
the marriage. His defects surfaced only in the latter years when these events took
place; their 2 children died; he lost in the election; he failed in his business ventures and
law practice; and he felt the disdain of his wife and family. Surely, these circumstances
explain why Rosa filed the present case only after almost 30 years of their marriage.
Equally important is that records fail to indicate that Justos defects are
incurable or grave.
547 SCRA 123 (February 27, 2008)
3 years after the marriage, petitioner found out that respondent is no longer the
spouse he knew and married. She became aloof towards him and began to spend more
time with her friends than with him, refusing even to have sexual relations with him for
no apparent reason. She became an alcoholic and a chain-smoker. She also neglected her
husbands needs and upkeep of the home, and became an absentee wife.
SC: If a petition for nullity based on psychological incapacity is to be given due
course, its gravity, root cause, incurability and the fact that it existed prior to or at the
time of celebration of the marriage must always be proved.
-This must be strictly complied with as the granting of a petition for nullity of
marriage based on psychological incapacity must be confined only to the most serious
cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to
give meaning and significance to the marriage.
- Even if Molina was never meant to be a check list of the requirements in
deciding cases involving Article 36 of the Family Code, a showing of the
gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability of the partys
psychological incapacity and its existence at the inception of the
marriage cannot be dispensed with.
- Even if Marcos relaxed the rules such that the personal examination of
the party alleged to be psychologically incapacitated by a psychiatrist or
a psychologist is no longer mandatory for the declaration of nullity of
the marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code, the totality of
evidence must still prove the gravity, juridical antecedence and
incurability of the alleged psychological incapacity. Failure in this regard
will spell failure of the petition.
551 SCRA 576 (April 16, 2008)
Petitioner alleged that he is psychologically incapacitated to fulfill his essential
marital obligations to respondent. That after the wedding they never lived together as


they continued to live with their respective parents although they maintained their
relationship. The marriage was never consummated and that they are constantly fighting.
SC: Although petitioner was able to establish his immaturity the same hardly
constitutes sufficient cause for declaring the marriage void on the ground of
psychological incapacity. It must be characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence and
Their not having lived together in one roof does not necessarily give rise to the
conclusion that one of them was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
essential marital obligations.
The evidence adduced by petitioner merely showed that he and respondent had
difficulty getting along with each other as they constantly fought over petty things.
However, there was no showing of the gravity and incurability of the psychological
disorder supposedly inherent in petitioner, except for the mere statement or conclusion to
that effect in the psychological report which report dismally failed to prove petitioners
alleged was grave enough and incurable to bring about his disability to assume the
essential obligations of marriage.
SC reiterated its ruling in the Santos and Molina cases.
HALILI vs. SANTOS-HALILI 589 SCRA 25 (June 9, 2009)
The SC reversed its earlier denial of Lester Halilis petition citing the ruling it
held in the case of Te vs. Te (G.R. No. 161793, February 13, 2009).
Lester is suffering from dependent personality disorder by reason of petitioners
dysfunctional family life.
He had a very abusive and domineering father. The mother was very unhappy and
the children never had an affirmation. Wife and children were practically robots so Lester
grew up without self-confidence, very immature and somehow not truly understanding
what it meant it to be a husband, and what it meant it to have a real family life. Hence,
Lesters personality disorder was grave, incurable and existing at the time of the
556 SCRA 272 (June 27, 2008)
-The totality of evidence presented by Reynaldo is insufficient to sustain a finding
that Nilda is psychologically incapacitated.
-The psychological report which concluded that Nilda is a nymphomaniac, an
emotionally immature individual, has a borderline personality, has strong sexual urges
which are incurable, has complete denial of her actual role as a wife, etc., etc. is
insufficient to establish Nildas psychological incapacity. It lacked specificity, it failed to
show the root cause of Nildas psychological incapacity; and failed to demonstrate that
there was a natal or supervening disabling factor or an adverse integral element in
Nildas character that effectively incapacitated her from accepting, and thereby
complying with, the essential marital obligations, and that her psychological or mental
malady existed even before the marriage.
- The standards used by the Court in assessing sufficiency of
psychological reports may be deemed very strict, but that is only proper
in view of the principle that any doubt should be resolved in favor of the
validity of the marriage and the indissolubility of the marital vinculum.
556 SCRA 711 (June 30, 2008)
Lynette is married to Martini, a seaman, whom she alleged to be suffering from
psychological incapacity being a mamas boy that will endanger the integrity of the
marriage because instead of establishing a permanent relationship with the wife the
husband-defendant would remain dependent on his family. The clinical psychologist
concluded that Martini shows immature personality disorder, dependency patterns, and
self-centered motives
-The mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities
does not constitute psychological incapacity. Nor does the failure of the parties to meet
their responsibilities and duties as married persons.


-It is essential that the parties to a marriage must be shown to be insensitive to or

incapable of meeting their duties and responsibilities due to some psychological (not
physical) illness, which insensitivity or incapacity should have been existing at the time
of the celebration of the marriage even if it becomes manifest only after its
-How the doctor arrived at the conclusion, after interviewing Lynnette and
considering her deposition, that such personality disorders of Martini had been existing
since Martinis adolescent years has not been explained.
-While the examination by a physician of a person in order to declare him/her
psychologically incapacitated is not required, the root cause thereof must be medically
or clinically identified. There must thus be evidence to adequately establish the same.
There is none such in the case at bar, however.
DIMAYUGA-LAURENA vs. CA 566 SCRA 154 (September 22, 2008)
Ma. Darlene and Jesse were married on December 19, 1983 and had 2 children. In
1993, Darlene filed for declaration of nullity of marriage against Jose. She alleged that
the latters psychological incapacity was manifested by his infidelity, utter neglect of his
familys needs, irresponsibility, insensitivity and tendency to lead a bachelors life.
During the trial Darlene claimed that the root of Joses incapacity was his homosexuality
(during their honeymoon, they were accompanied by a 15-year old boy, and that he had
feminine tendencies).
-SC reiterated Santos and Molina decisions. Santos on the 3 characteristics while
Molina on the guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36. In the case
at bar, both the trial and appellate courts found that petitioner failed to satisfy the
guidelines in the Molina case. Sexual infidelity, repeated physical violence,
homosexuality, or moral pressure to compel one to change religious affiliation, and
abandonment are grounds for legal separation but not for declaring a marriage void.
In Marcos vs. Marcos, the court ruled that if the totalities of the evidence
presented are enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, there is no need to
resort to the actual medical examination of the person concerned. While the examination
by a physician of a person to declare him psychologically incapacitated is not required,
the root cause of the psychological incapacity must be medically or clinically identified.
Darlene failed to prove that respondents psychological incapacity was existing at the
time of the celebration of the marriage. In sum, the totality of the evidence failed to show
that respondent was psychologically incapacitated and that such incapacity was grave,
incurable, and existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage.
G.R. No. 161793, February 13, 2009
Edward met Rowena in a gathering. 3 months after their 1 st meeting, Rowena
asked Edward that they eloped but he refused. She persisted and so they went to Cebu but
Edwards P80,000.00 lasted only a month. Unable to find jobs, they decided to return to
Manila. Rowena went to live in her uncles house while Edward returned to his parents
home. Edward however, was forced to live with Rowena and her uncle because she kept
on telephoning him, threatening that she would commit suicide if Edward would not live
with her. On April 23, 1996, they got married and continued to stay in her uncles house
where Edward was treated like a prisoner, as he was not allowed to go out
unaccompanied. Her uncle showed him his guns and warned not to leave Rowena. When
he was able to call home, a brother suggested that they stay at their parents home and
live with them. Rowena instead suggested that Edward should get his inheritance so they
can live on their own. When he relayed this to his father, the latter got mad and told him
that he would be disinherited and insisted that he must go home. Edward escaped.
After knowing that Edward does not have any money, she stopped tormenting him
and informed him that they should live separate lives.
The clinical psychologist who examined Edward found both parties are
psychologically incapacitated. Edwards behavioral pattern falls under the classification
of dependent personality disorder, and Rowenas that of the narcissistic and antisocial
personality disorder. Yet despite said findings, the CA reversed the earlier ruling of the
lower court that granted the petition.


SC: The resiliency with which the concept should be applied and the case-to-case
basis by which the provision should be interpreted, as so intended by its framers, had,
somehow been rendered ineffectual by the imposition of a set of strict standards in
Molina. The unintended consequences of Molina, however, has taken its toll on people
who have to live with deviant behavior, moral insanity and sociopathic personality
anomaly, which, like termites, consume little by little the very foundation of their
families, our basic social institutions. Far from what was intended by the Court, Molina
has become a straitjacket, forcing all sizes to fit into and be bound by it. Wittingly or
unwittingly, the Court in applying Molina, has allowed diagnosed sociopaths,
schizophrenics, nymphomaniacs, narcissists and the like to continuously debase and
pervert the sanctity of marriage.
It may be stressed that the infliction of physical violence, constitutional indolence
or laziness, drug dependence or addiction, and psychosexual anomaly are manifestations
of a sociopathisc personality anomaly. Let it be noted that in Article 36, there is no
marriage to speak of in the first place, as the same is void from the very beginning. To
indulge in imagery, the declaration of nullity under Article 36 will simply provide a
decent burial to a stillborn marriage. We are not suggesting the abandonment of Molina.
And, to repeat for emphasis, courts should interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis;
guided by experience, the findings of experts and researchers in psychological
disciplines, and by decisions of church tribunals.
Petitioners behavioral pattern falls under the classification of dependent
personality disorder, and respondents, that of narcissistic and antisocial personality
disorder. By the very nature of article 36, courts, despite having the primary task and
burden of decision-making, must not discount but, instead, must consider as decisive
evidence the expert opinion on the psychological and mental temperaments of the
Hernandez v. CA emphasizes the importance of presenting expert testimony to
establish the precise cause of a partys psychological incapacity, and to show that it
existed at the inception of the marriage. And as Marcos v. Marcos asserts, there is no
requirement that the person to be declared psychologically incapacitated be personally
examined by a physician, if the totality of evidence presented as enough to sustain a
finding of psychological incapacity. Verily, the evidence must show a link, medical or the
like, between the acts that manifest psychological incapacity and the psychological
disorder itself.
Indeed, petitioner, who is afflicted with dependent personality disorder, cannot
assume the essential marital obligations of living together, observing love, respect and
fidelity and rendering help and support, for he is unable to make everyday decisions
without advice from others, allows others to make most of his important decisions (such
as where to live), tends to agree with people even when he believes they are wrong,
volunteers to do things that are demeaning in order to get approval from other people. He
is insecure, weak and gullible, has no sense of identity as a person, has no cohesive self to
speak of, and has no goals and clear direction in life.
Respondents affliction with antisocial personality disorder makes her unable to
assume the essential marital obligations. Her disregard for the rights of others, her abuse,
mistreatment and control of others without remorse, her tendency to blame others, and
her intolerance of the conventional behavioral limitations imposed by society. She is
impulsive and domineering; she had no qualms in manipulating petitioner with threats of
blackmail and of committing suicide.
TING vs. VELEZ-TING 582 SCRA 694 (March 31, 2009)
Did the SC abandon the Molina Doctrine in view of its ruling in TE vs. TE?
Far from abandoning Molina, We (SC) simply suggested the relaxation of the
stringent requirements set forth therein, cognizant of the explanation given by the
Committee on the Revision of the Rules on the rationale of the Rule on Declaration of
Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages inasmuch as
to require the petitioner to allege in the petition the particular root cause of the
psychological incapacity and to attach thereto the verified written report of an accredited
psychologist or psychiatrist have proved to be too expensive for the parties. They


adversely affect access to justice for poor litigants. It is also a fact that there are provinces
where these experts are not available. The need for the examination of the party or parties
by a psychologist or psychiatrist and the presentation of psychiatric experts shall now be
determined by the court during the pre-trial conference.
But if the parties had the full opportunity to present professional and expert
opinions of psychiatrist tracing the root cause, gravity and incurability of a partys alleged
psychological incapacity then, such expert opinion should be presented and, accordingly,
be weighed by the court in deciding whether to grant a petition for nullity of marriage.
MARIETTA C. AZCUETA v. REPUBLIC GR. No. 180668 (May 26, 2009)
Marietta married Rodolfo 2 months after their 1 st meeting. The marriage lasted
only for 4 years and subsequently Marietta filed a petition for declaration of nullity of
marriage under Article 36. She alleged that Rodolfo was emotionally immature,
irresponsible and continually failed to adapt himself to married life and perform the
essential responsibilities and duties of a husband. He never bothered to look for a job and
instead relied upon his mother for financial assistance including the payment of rentals of
the room they were occupying. He pretended that he found a job but when confronted as
Marietta discovered that he really did not actually get a job and the money he gave her
(which was supposedly his salary) came from his mother, he cried like a child and told
the wife that he did it so she would stop nagging about applying for a job. When they
discussed about their sexual problem as theirs is an unsatisfactory sex once a month,
Rodolfo would always say that sex is sacred and should not be enjoyed or abused. He did
not even want to have a child yet because he was not ready. The psychiatrist testified that
Rodolfo was suffering from Dependent Personality Disorder whose response to ordinary
way of life was ineffectual and inept, characterized by loss of self-confidence, constant
self-doubt, inability to make his own decisions and dependency on other people.
SC: The root cause of the above clinical condition is due to a strong and
prolonged dependence with a parent of the opposite sex, to a period when it becomes no
longer appropriate. This situation crippled his psychological functioning related to sex,
self-confidence, independence, responsibility and maturity. It existed prior to the
marriage, but became manifest only after the celebration due to marital stresses and
demands. It is considered as permanent and incurable in nature, because it started early in
his life and therefore became so deeply ingrained into his personality structure. It is
severe and grave in degree, because it hampered and interfered with his normal
functioning related to heterosexual adjustment.
His inhibitions in a sexual relationship, is referable to an unconscious guilt
feelings of defying the mothers love. At this point, he has difficulty in delineating
between the wife and the mother, so that his continuous relationship with his wife
produces considerable anxiety, which he is unable to handle, and crippled him
The SC also cited Santos, Marcos, and Te decisions. It further stated that, there
was sufficient compliance with Molina to warrant the annulment of the parties marriage
under Article 36.
SO vs. VALERA 588 SCRA 319 (June 5, 2009)
Renato So was a 17-year old high school student while Lorna Valera was a 21year old college student when they fell in love. They cohabited for about 19 years before
they decided to get married. Five years later, Renato filed a petition for declaration of
nullity of marriage for want of the essential and formal requisites. He also claimed that
Lorna is psychologically incapacitated as shown by her refusal and failure to cohabit and
make love with him, does not love or respect him. If he comes home late, Lorna would
refuse to let him in and in several instances he has to sleep in his car. She also refused to
practice her profession by selling her dental equipment that he bought and provided.
Instead she joined him in his electronics business and interfered in his decisions that
would sometimes make him lose face before his employees.
On nullity due to absence of the essential and formal requisites, Renato alleged
that Lorna merely asked him to sign a blank marriage application form and marriage
contract and that no marriage ceremony took place.


He presented Dr. Gates, a clinical psychologist, who testified that Lorna suffers
from Compulsive Behavior Patterns evident in her marijuana habit, gambling and
habitual squandering of Renatos money. That her Adjustment Disorder and Compulsive
Behavior Patterns already existed prior to her marriage to Renato. That it is continuing
and appears to be irreversible.
SC: The allegation on nullity due to absence of the essential and formal requisites
of marriage was negated by the fact that during the trial Renato himself presented a
certified true copy of the marriage contract/certificate duly signed by the officiating
On psychological incapacity, the SC held that Shorn of any reference to
psychology, We conclude that We have a case here of parties who have very human faults
and frailties; who have been together for some time; and who are now tired or each other.
to be tired and to give up on ones situation and on ones husband are not necessarily
signs of psychological illness; neither can falling out of love be so labeled.
The statements made by Dr. Gates merely testify to Lornas impulsiveness, lack of
restraint, and lack of civility and decency in the conduct of her life. Dr. Gates failed to
prove that all these emanated from a behavioral disorder so grave and serious that she
would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in a marriage; that it was
rooted in the respondents medical or psychological history before the marriage; and that
a cure was beyond the respondents capacity to achieve.
The marriage disintegrated when, after arrival from Japan, Aurora discovered that
Rodolfo cohabited with her cousin in their house and subsequently, left the family abode
in favor of the concubine. On the other hand, Rodolfo, in his petition, alleged that Aurora
is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage. He
complained that Aurora is a spendthrift, domineering and frequently humiliated him.
Psychiatrist Maaba explained that the spouses harbor psychological handicaps that could
be traced from unhealthy maturational development. Rodolfo has an unhealthy familial
relationship during the early maturational development specifically in the form of a
domineering and protective maternal lineage.
Deep-seated sense of dejection, loneliness, and emptiness hamper Auroras
objectivity. She also projected signs of immaturity and has the desire to regress to a lower
level of development.
SC: Maaba failed to reveal that these personality traits or psychological
conditions were grave or serious enough to bring about an incapacity to assume the
essential obligations of marriage. While he was able to establish the parties personality
disorder; however, Maaba failed to link the parties psychological disorders to his
conclusion that they are psychologically incapacitated to perform their obligations as
husband and wife. The fact that these psychological conditions will hamper their
performance of their marital obligations does not mean that they suffer from
psychological incapacity as contemplated under Article 36 of the FC. Mere difficulty is
not synonymous to incapacity. Moreover, there is no evidence to prove that each partys
condition is so grave or is of such as to render said party incapable of carrying out the
ordinary duties required in marriage. There is likewise no evidence that the claimed
incapacity is incurable and permanent.
EDWARD LIM vs. MA. CHERYL LIM G.R. No. 176464 February 4, 2010
Dr. Villegas psychiatric report stated that, clinical evidence showed that Mr.
Edward Lim is suffering from Dependent Personality Disorder while Cheryl is suffering
from Histrionic Personality Disorder, associated with immaturity, that render both of
them psychologically incapacitated to perform the duties and responsibilities of
The conclusion was based on what Villegas termed as psychodynamics of the
case where he alleged that Edward did not build close attachments to his parents. His
father was exceptionally temperamental and moody, while the mother was extremely
asocial, isolated, withdrawn and seclusive, that repelled him from both of them.
Cheryl, on the other hand, was initially congenial, which lasted only for a short
period of time. Later, her immaturity interfered with her behavioral pattern and


adjustment. Apparently, she could not recognized realities in their family set-up and will
insist on her fantasized wishes.
SC: It was folly for the trial court to accept the findings and conclusions of
Villegas with nary a link drawn between the psychodynamics of the case and the
factors characterizing the psychological incapacity.
Villegas global conclusion of both parties personality disorders were not
supported by psychological test properly administered by clinical psychologists
specifically trained in the tests use and interpretation. The supposed personality disorders
of the parties, considering that such diagnoses were made, could have been fully
established by psychometric and neurological tests which are designed to measure
specific aspects of peoples intelligence, thinking, or personality.
The SC also cited its rulings in the Santos (characteristics of psychological
incapacity and its definition) and Molina (guidelines) cases.
JORDAN CHAN PAZ vs. JEANICE PAVON PAZ G. R. No. 166579 February 18,
Wife Jeanice filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage against Jordan.
She alleged that Jordan is psychologically incapacitated to assume the essential
obligations of marriage. That it was manifested by Jordans uncontrollable tendency to be
self-preoccupied and self-indulgent, as well as his pre-disposition to become violent and
abusive whenever his whims and caprices were not satisfied. According to psychiatrist
Gates, Jordan was afflicted with Borderline Personality as manifested in his impulsive
behavior, delinquency and instability.
SC: Although there is no requirement that a party to be declared psychologically
incapacitated should be personally examined by a physician or a psychologist, there is
nevertheless a need to prove the psychological incapacity through independent evidence
adduced by the person alleging said disorder.
Correspondingly, the presentation of expert proof presupposes a thorough and indepth assessment of the parties by the psychologist or expert, for a conclusive diagnosis
of a grave, severe and incurable presence of psychological incapacity.
In this case, the report and testimony of Gates on Jordans psychological
incapacity were based exclusively on her interviews with Jeanice and the transcript of
stenographic notes of Jeanices testimony before the trial court.Gates only diagnosed
Jordan from the statements of Jeanice, whose bias in favor of her cause cannot be
doubted. Gates did not actually hear, see and evaluate Jordan. Her report and testimony
were hearsay evidence since she had no personal knowledge of the facts she was
testifying on.
The SC also cited the following cases: 1. Santos vs. CA on the 3 characteristics
of psychological incapacity;
3. Dimayuga-Laurena vs. CA;
4. Perez-Ferraris vs. Ferraris on certain quirks and idiosyncrasies do not by
themselves constitute psychological incapacity;
5. Republic vs. Cabantug-Baguio
Other issues:
Requirement of filing motion for recon on denial before appeal (Rule of
Procedure on Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage).
SUAZO vs. SUAZO G. R. No. 164493 March 10, 2010
Cases cited by the SC 1. Santos on characteristics;
2. RP vs. CA otherwise known as the Molina doctrine;
3. Marcos vs. Marcos totality of evidence is sufficient to prove that respondent
is suffering from psychological incapacity;
4. Yu-Te vs. Te where the SC states that, Santos doctrinal value was sustained in
Te, saying that its interpretation is consistent with the Canon Law. But the Te
doctrine did not abandon Molina; far from abandoning Molina, it simply
suggested the relaxation of its stringent requirements (Ting vs. Velez-Ting).
- The SC denied the petition because the methodology employed simply
cannot satisfy the required depth and comprehensiveness of examination required
to evaluate a party alleged to be suffering from psychological disorder. The


psychologist meager information coming from a directly interested party

LIGERALDE vs. PATALINGHUG G.R. No. 168796 April 15, 2010
Wife had an extra marital affair with whom she subsequently lived with after
telling the husband that she had no more love for him. Thus, the husband came to believe
that with the wifes irresponsible, immature and immoral behavior, she is psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage.
SC: The psychologist failed to show the root cause of her psychological
incapacity. The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be identified as
psychological illness, its incapacitating nature fully explained and established by the
totality of evidence presented during the trial.
The acts of the respondent do not even rise to the level of the psychological
incapacity that the law requires. Her act of living an adulterous life cannot automatically
be equated with a psychological disorder, especially when no specific evidence was
shown that promiscuity was a trait already existing at the inception of marriage.
Petitioner must be able to establish that respondents unfaithfulness is a manifestation of
a disordered personality, which makes her completely unable to discharge the essential
obligations of the marital state.
The SC almost always would state:
1. What constitutes psychological incapacity and its 3 characteristics
and the meaning of each (Santos and Laurena cases;
2. The intendment of the law as to the meaning of psychological
3. The essential marital obligations of marriage;
4. The Molina guidelines although the requirement on medical or clinical
examination of the spouse alleged to be psychologically incapacitated
may be dispensed with if the totality of the totality of evidence
presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity
(Marcos vs. Marcos);
5. If there is no clinical or medical examination, the alleged
psychological incapacity of the spouse must be proven by independent
evidence adduced by the party alleging said disorder (Paz vs. Paz); and
Art. 37 Incestuous marriages void from the very beginning.
Art. 38 Marriages that are void by reason of public policy (99)
Art. 39- Non-prescription of action or defense of absolute nullity of marriage (89)
Article 40 Need for Judicial Declaration of a Void Marriage (91, 93)
Terre vs. Terre
211 SCRA 11
-For purposes of determining whether a person is legally free to contract a second
marriage, a judicial declaration that the first marriage was null and void ab initio
is essential.
Domingo vs. CA
226 SCRA 572
-Husband alleged that the marriage being void ab initio, there is no need for
declaring its nullity and hence, the petition is superfluous and unnecessary and Article is
only for purposes of remarriage. Is the husband correct?
-A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required as a
cause of action or a ground for defense.
-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.


-Where a party desires to enter into another marriage, he is required by law to

prove that the previous one was an absolute nullity. But this he may do on the
basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void.
-A party may invoke the absolute nullity of a previous marriage for purposes other
than remarriage such as an action for liquidation, partition, distribution and
separation of property as well as custody and support of their common children.
-The court before which the issue of nullity of a first marriage is brought is
likewise clothed with jurisdiction to decide the incidental questions regarding the
couples properties.
Atienza vs. Brillantes, Jr.
243 SCRA 32
-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.
-Article 256 on retroactivity applies as Article 40 is a rule of procedure.
Beltran vs. People
334 SCRA 106
-Reiterated Domingo ruling.
-SC also held that parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for
themselves its nullity for the same must be submitted to the judgment of the
competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it
be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that
the marriage exists for all intents and purposes.
Carino vs. Carino
February 2, 2001
- For purposes of remarriage, there must 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 would also be void.
(A.M. No. 02-11-02-SC):
1. Prescription action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage
does not prescribe (Article 39, FC).
2. Only the husband or wife may file the petition before the Family Court.
3. A petition under Article 36 of the FC must specifically allege the complete facts
including physical manifestations, if any, showing that either or both parties were
psychologically incapacitated from complying with the essential marital
obligations of marriage even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its
celebration. The complete facts should allege the physical manifestations, if any,
as are indicative of psychological incapacity at the time of the celebration of the
marriage but expert opinion need not be alleged.
1. Persons given the right to file action Article 45, FC.
2. Prescriptive period Article 47, FC.
1. The petition shall be filed in the Family Court in the province or city where the
petitioner or respondent had been residing for at least 6 months prior to the date of
filing, or if respondent is a non-resident, where he may be found in the Philippines
at the election of the petitioner.
2. The petition must be verified accompanied by a certification against forum
shopping and personally by the petitioner, not solely by counsel or through an
3. No motion to dismiss is allowed except if ground is lack of jurisdiction over the
subject matter or over the parties and, if respondent fails to file an answer within
the required period, the latter shall not be declared in default.
4. A pre-trial is mandatory and the respondent who failed to file an answer is
likewise entitled to notice of said pre-trial.


5. Dismissal of the action if petitioner fails to personally appear or through his

counsel or his authorized representative. If it were the answering respondent who
failed to appear, the pre-trial shall proceed but the public prosecutor is required to
investigate whether collusion exists between the parties.
6. The presiding judge must personally conduct the trial, no delegation of reception
of evidence is allowed except to matters involving property relations. The grounds
must be proved, no judgment on the pleadings, summary judgment or confession
of judgment is allowed.
7. Persons having no direct interest in the case may be excluded from the courtroom
on any of the following grounds, namely: 1) if the court determines on the record
that requiring a party to testify in open court would not enhance the ascertainment
of truth; 2) would cause to the party psychological harm or inability to effectively
communicate due to embarrassment, fear or timidity; 3) would violate the right of
a party to privacy or would be offensive to decency or public morals.
Furthermore, records of the proceedings are strictly confidential and no copy of
the records may be taken or examined, or perused except by a party or counsel of
a party unless upon order of the court.
8. If the court grants the petition, the decree of either annulment or nullity shall only
be issued if the parties comply with the requirements set forth in Articles 50
(liquidation, partition, and distribution of the spouses, the custody and support of
the common children, and the delivery of their presumptive legitimes) and 51
(value of the presumptive legitimes and the form that shall constitute it cash,
property or sound securities) of the Family Code as provided for in Article 52
9. The prevailing party has the duty to register the decree both in the civil registry of
the place where the marriage was recorded and the civil registry of the place
where the Family Court granting the petition for annulment or nullity is located.
The decree shall be the best evidence to prove the declaration of absolute nullity
or annulment of marriage that will also serve as notice to 3 rd persons concerning
the properties of the parties as well as the presumptive legitimes delivered to the
common children.
10. Effect of death- before entry of judgment the case shall be closed and
terminated without prejudice to the settlement of the estate in proper proceedings.
If after entry- judgment shall be binding upon the parties and their successors-ininterest.
GR No. 179922, December 16, 2008
-The grounds for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage must be
proved. Neither judgment on the pleadings nor summary judgment is allowed. Both rules
have no place in cases of declaration of absolute nullity of marriage and even in
annulment of marriage. So is confession of judgment disallowed.
-Only the aggrieved or injured spouse may file a petition for annulment of
voidable marriages or declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages. It cannot be filed
by the compulsory or intestate heirs of the spouses or by the State. Compulsory or
intestate heirs have only inchoate rights prior to the death of their predecessor, and,
hence, can only question the validity of the marriage of the spouses upon the death of a
spouse in a proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the deceased spouse filed in the
regular courts. On the other hand, the concern of the State is to preserve marriage and not
to seek its dissolution.
-The Rule does not apply to cases already commenced before March 15,
2003 although the marriage is within the coverage of the Family Code. The new Rule
which became effective on March 15, 2003 is prospective in its application.
Article 41 Subsequent Marriage contracted based on absence of spouse- (92)
-Need for declaration of presumptive death of absentee.


1.) Republic vs. Nolasco

220 SCRA 20
-Four requisites that must be met for the declaration of presumptive death under
Article 41. These are 1. the absentee spouse must have been absent for 4
consecutive years or 2 years if the disappearance is accompanied by any of the
circumstances mentioned in Article 391 of the Civil Code; 2.the spouse present
has a well-founded belief that the absentee spouse is already dead; 3. there is a
judicial decree of presumptive death; and 4. for the purpose of remarriage.
-Spouses should not be allowed, by the simple expedient of agreeing that one of
them leaves the conjugal abode and never to return again, to circumvent the
policy of the laws on marriage.
2.) Calisterio vs.Calisterio
April 16, 2000
-Subsequent marriage was solemnized on May 8, 1958 the law in force at that
time was the Civil Code (Article 83).
-A judicial declaration of absence of the absentee spouse is not necessary as long
as the prescribed period of absence (7 consecutive years or if less, generally
considered to be dead and believed to be so) is met. In contrast, under the 1988
Family Code, in order that a subsequent marriage may exceptionally be
considered the following conditions must concur: (1) the prior spouse of the
contracting party must have been absent for 4 consecutive years or 2 years where
there is danger of death under Article 391 of the NCC, (2) the spouse present has
a well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead, (3) there is a judicial
declaration of presumptive death and (4) for the purpose of remarriage.
November 29, 2005
Is the spouse who contracts a subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a
previous marriage still liable for bigamy despite the absentee spouse having been missing
for 21 years?
Facts: Eduardo married Rubylus in 1975. She went missing also in the same year
and was unheard of since then. In 1996, he married Tina. When he left Tina in 2001, the
latter became curious and made inquiries with the NSO in Manila and learned that
Eduardo had been previously married. Sued for bigamy, Eduardo avers that when he
married Tina in 1996, Rubylus had been absent for 21 years since 1975. He points out
that, under the 1st paragraph of Article 390 of the Civil Code she was presumed dead as a
matter of law because if one has been absent for 7 years, whether or not he/she is still
alive, shall be presumed dead for all purposes except for succession. Thus, the
presumptive death of the absentee spouse arises by operation of law upon the satisfaction
of 2 requirements: the specified period and the present spouses reasonable belief that the
absentee is dead. Nowhere under Article 390 of the Civil Code does it require that there
must be a judicial declaration of death before the rule on presumptive death would apply.
Held: It was the burden of petitioner to prove his defense that when he married
Tina in 1996, he was of the well-grounded belief that his first wife was already dead, as
he had not heard from her for more than 20 years since 1975. He should have adduced in
evidence a decision of a competent court declaring the presumptive death of his first wife
as required by Article 349 of the RPC (Bigamy- The penalty x x x x or before the absent
spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in a
proper proceedings.), in relation to Article 41 of the Family Code. Such judicial
declaration constitutes proof that petitioner acted in good faith, and would negate
criminal intent on his part when he married Tina and, as a consequence, he could not be
held guilty of bigamy. The requirement of judicial declaration is also for the benefit of the
State. Under Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution, the State shall protect and
strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. Marriage is a social
institution of the highest importance.



December 9, 2005
Alan filed a petition for the declaration of presumptive death of his wife, Rosalia
(Lea) when barely a month after the marriage, Lea left their conjugal abode. He then
looked for her in his in-laws house, in her friends house where the brother-in-law of
Leas friend told him that his wife left for Manila. He also inquired from his friends of
Leas whereabouts but to no avail. He also sought the help of Barangay Captain Magat
who promised to help him locate his wife. In 1995, he left for Manila and went to the
house of Leas friend but despite repeated talks with her, he failed to find her. He also
looked for Lea in the malls but to no avail. In 1997, he decided to return to Catbalogan
and again looked for his wife but failed. In 2001, he reported Leas disappearance to the
local police and also to NBI. Magat corroborated his statements during the trial.
SC: The spouse present is, thus, burdened to prove that his spouse has been absent
and that he has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead before the
present spouse may contract a subsequent marriage. The belief of the present spouse must
be the result of proper and honest to goodness inquiries and efforts to ascertain the
whereabouts of the absent spouse and whether the absent spouse is already dead, in
Republic vs. Nolasco, the Court warned against collusion between the parties when they
find it impossible to dissolve the marital bonds through existing legal means. It is also a
maxim that men readily believe what they wish to be true.
In this case, Alegro failed to present a witness other than Magat. He failed to
present Janeth or Nelson or any other person from whom he allegedly made inquiries
about Lea to corroborate his testimony. What is worrisome is that, Alegro failed to make
inquiries from his parents-in-law considering that Leas father was the owner of DYMS.
He did report and seek the help of the local police and the NBI to locate Lea, but it was
only an afterthought. He did so only after the OSG filed its notice to dismiss his petition.
March 24, 2006
Close to 13 years after his wife Alice was declared presumptively dead,
Bailon contracted a subsequent marriage with Teresita in Casiguran, Sorsogon. When
Bailon died Teresita claimed the death benefits from the SSS. It now appears that Alice is
very much alive and that it was Bailon who abandoned or deserted the spouse. Alice
alleged that she lived with her parents at Barcelona, Sorsogon because she found out that
Bailon was having an extra marital affair but Bailon used to visit her there after their
separation. That she only recently knew of the petition filed by Bailon to declare her
presumptively dead. The SSS denied Teresitas claim contending that her subsequent
marriage with Bailon is void as it was contracted while Bailons marriage with Alice was
still subsisting and that there is no need to require Alice to execute an affidavit of
reappearance as there is no disappearance of Alice. In fact, the CFI order declaring Alice
presumptively dead did not become final, her (ALICE) presence being contrary proof
against the validity of the order. Teresita, however, maintains that her marriage with
Bailon was not declared before any court of justice as bigamous or unlawful, hence, it
remained valid and subsisting for all legal intents and purposes as in fact Bailon
designated her as his beneficiary. Went to the Social Security Commission but the SSC
upheld the denial of the SSS respecting Teresitas claim for death benefits.
SC: The 2 marriages having been solemnized prior to the effectivity of the Family
Code, the applicable law to determine their validity is the Civil Code specifically Art. 83
which was the law in effect at the time of their celebration. Under the said provision, a
subsequent marriage contracted during the lifetime of the first spouse is illegal and void
ab initio unless the prior marriage is first annulled or dissolved or contracted under any of
the 3 exceptional circumstances (7 continuous years absence or if less than 7 years,
generally considered to be dead and believed to be so by the spouse present, or
disappeared under any of the circumstances mentioned in Articles 390 or 391) falling
under said Article. It bears noting that the marriage under any of these exceptional cases
is deemed valid until declared null and void by a competent court. It follows that the
onus probandi in these cases rests on the party assailing the second marriage.


In the case at bar, as found by the CFI, Alice had been absent for 15 consecutive
years when Bailon sought the declaration of presumptive death, which judicial
declaration was not even a requirement then for purposes of remarriage. Under the Civil
Code, a subsequent marriage being voidable, it is terminated by final judgment annulling
the previous marriage or declaring it void ab initio.
Under the Family Code, no judicial proceeding to annul a subsequent marriage is
necessary. Article 42 provides: The subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding
Article shall be automatically terminated by the recording of the affidavit of reappearance
of the absent spouse, x x x x. The termination of the subsequent marriage by affidavit
does not preclude the filing of an action in court to prove the reappearance of the
absentee and obtain a declaration of dissolution or termination of the subsequent
If the absentee reappears, but no step is taken to terminate the subsequent
marriage, either by affidavit or by court action, such absentees mere appearance, even if
made known to the spouses in the subsequent marriage, will not terminate such marriage.
Since the 2nd marriage has been contracted because of a presumption that the former
spouse is dead, such presumption continues in spite of the spouses physical
reappearance, and by fiction of law, he or she must still be regarded as legally an absentee
until the subsequent marriage is terminated as provided by law.
If the subsequent marriage is not terminated by registration of an affidavit of
reappearance or by judicial declaration but by death of either spouse as in the case at bar,
Tolentino submits: x x x. Generally if a subsequent marriage is dissolved by the death of
either spouse, the effects of dissolution of a valid marriage shall arise. The good faith or
bad faith of either spouse can no longer be raised, because as in annullable or voidable
marriages, the marriage cannot be questioned in a direct action for annulment. Such
marriages can be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties and not after the death of
either, in which case the offspring will be left as if the marriage had been perfectly valid.
The marriage cannot be impeached, and is made good ab initio.
VALDEZ vs. REPUBLIC G.R. No. 180863 September 8, 2009
Sofio, married to Angelita, disappeared in 1972. He returned in 1975 and the
spouses agreed to separate and executed a document to that effect. That was the last time
Angelita saw Sofio. After that she did not hear any news of Sofio, his whereabouts or
whether he was alive or not.
Believing that Sofio is already dead, Angelita contracted a subsequent marriage in
1985. Subsequently, however, Virgilios (Angelitas 2 nd husband) application for
naturalization filed with the United States Department of Homeland Security was denied
because Angelitas marriage to Sofio was subsisting. She then filed a petition seeking for
the declaration of presumptive death of Sofio.
The RTC denied the petition contending that by petitioners own admission, she
did not try to find her husband anymore in light of their mutual agreement to live
SC: The marriages of Angelita to Sofio and Virgilio on January 11, 1971 and June
20, 1985, respectively, were both celebrated under the auspices of the Civil Code.
For purposes of the civil marriage law, it is not necessary to have the former
spouse judicially declared an absentee. The declaration of absence made in accordance
with the provisions of the Civil Code has for its sole purpose to enable the taking of the
necessary precautions for the administration of the estate of the absentee. For the
celebration of civil marriage, however, the law only requires that the former spouse has
been absent for 7 consecutive years at the time of the 2nd marriage, that the spouse present
does not know his or her former spouse to be living, that such former spouse is generally
reputed to be dead and the spouse present so believes at the time of the celebration of the
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 7th year of absence, Sofio is to be presumed dead starting October 1982.


Art. 43 effects of termination of subsequent marriage upon reappearance of absentee

spouse (90)
Art. 44- Void- status of subsequent marriage falling under Article 41 if both parties acted
in bad faith- (90)
Art. 45 -Voidable marriages; Art.46-what constitutes fraud under Art. 45 (3), & Art. 47period within which to institute action for annulment-(90, 91, 93, 95, 96, 97, 02)
505 SCRA 565 (October 27, 2006)
Orlando and Lilia got married on April 13, 1988 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. On
November 17, 1992, Orlando filed a petition for the annulment of his marriage alleging
that threats of violence and duress forced him into marrying Lilia, that he never cohabited
with her after the marriage. Lilia moved for the dismissal of the complaint, arguing that
Orlando freely and voluntarily married her.
SC: The letters admitted to be written by Orlando contained expressions of love
and concern for his wife, and hardly the rantings of a man under duress. Lack of
cohabitation is, per se, not a ground to annul a marriage. Otherwise, the validity of the
marriage will depend upon the will of the spouses who can terminate the marital union by
refusing to cohabitate. The failure to cohabit becomes relevant only if it arises as a result
of the perpetration of any of the grounds for annulling the marriage, such as lack of
parental consent, insanity, fraud, intimidation, or undue influence x x x. Since the
appellant failed to justify his failure to cohabit with Lilia on any of those grounds, the
validity of the marriage must be upheld.
563 SCRA 447 (August 26, 2008)
Leonida filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage with Manuel
based on Article 36. The court instead, annulled the marriage based on Article 45 (3) in
relation to Article 46 (4) of the Family Code. She alleged that she noticed Manuel to be
peculiarly close to his male companions. That she caught him in an indiscreet telephone
conversation manifesting his affection for a male caller and that she found several
pornographic homosexual materials in his possession. Worse, she saw Manuel kissed
another man on the lips that she identified as Doctor Nogales.
SC: Even assuming that Manuel is a homosexual, the lower court cannot
appreciate it as a ground to annul his marriage with Leonida. The law is clear- a marriage
may be annulled when the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, such as
concealment of homosexuality. Nowhere in the said decision was it proven by
preponderance of evidence that Manuel was a homosexual at the onset of his marriage
and that he deliberately hid such fact to his wife. It is the concealment of homosexuality,
and not homosexuality per se, that vitiates the consent of the innocent party. Such
concealment presupposes bad faith and intent to defraud the other party in giving consent
to the marriage.
The lower court considered the public perception of Manuels sexual preference
without the corroboration of witnesses. It took cognizance of Manuels peculiarities and
interpreted it against his sexuality.
The Family Code has enumerated an exclusive list of circumstances constituting
fraud. Homosexuality per se is not among those cited, but its concealment. It is only a
ground for legal separation.
Article 48 Court orders the prosecuting attorney to appear on behalf of the State to take
steps to prevent collusion between the parties and that evidence is not fabricated or
suppressed. Par. (2)- no judgment shall be based on stipulation of facts or confession of
424 SCRA 725
Spouses Rodolfo and Marietta separated-in-fact but had their conjugal partnership
property dissolved judicially. One of the properties adjudicated in her favor was a resort


named Munting Paraiso that is now used as residence of Marietta and the children.
Rodolfo intending to remarry filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on the
ground of psychological incapacity of the wife docketed as Sp. Proc. NC-662. Although
Rodolfo knew that Marietta is residing at Munting Paraiso he had the summons served at
another address. For failure to file an Answer Rodolfo had the respondent wife declared
in default and was allowed to adduce evidence ex parte. After the grant of the petition,
Rodolfo contracted another marriage with Teresita on February 14, 1998. Marietta then
filed a petition for the annulment of the order of the RTC of Cavite.
Held: The public prosecutor condoned the acts of the trial court when he
interposed no objection to the motion of the respondent. The trial court forthwith
rendered judgment against Marietta without a whimper of protest from the public
prosecutor. The actuations of the trial court and the public prosecutor are in defiance of
Article 48 of the Family Code which states that In all cases of annulment or declaration
of absolute nullity of marriage, the Court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal
assigned to it to appear on behalf of the State to take steps to prevent collusion between
the parties and to take care that evidence is not fabricated or suppressed. They also
ignored Rule 18, Section 6, 1985 Rules of Court now Rule 9, Section 3 (e) of the 1997
Rules of Court that there is no default in actions for annulment of marriage or legal
Art. 50, 51, 52 delivery of presumptive legitimes of common children in cases of
termination of marriage & in Art. 52-necessity of recording in the appropriate civil
registry and in the registry of property the decree of annulment or nullity, dissolution,
liquidation and partition of either the conjugal partnership or absolute community
property and the delivery of the childrens legitimes- (89,91,92,93,99)
Art. 53- Effect re: non-compliance of the requirements under Art. 52-(89,90,93)
Subsequent marriage is void. Art. 54- children born of 1.an annullable marriage
but prior to annulment, and 2. void marriages under Arts. 36 and 53 are legitimate.
Art. 55- Legal Separation (94,97,02,06)
-In cases of legal separation, where violence (physical or sexual or psychological)
is alleged by the petitioner the mandatory 6-month cooling-off period under Article 58
shall not apply [Section 19, RA 9262 or VAWC Law].
505 SCRA 76 (Oct. 23, 2006)
SC: The argument that since Lucita abandoned the family, a decree of legal
separation should not be granted, following Article 56 (4) of the FC which provides that
legal separation shall be denied when both parties have given ground for legal separation.
The abandonment referred to by the FC is abandonment without justifiable cause for
more than 1 year. As it was established that Lucita left William due to his abusive
conduct, such does not constitute abandonment contemplated by the said provision.
Art. 56 grounds when petition for legal separation will be denied.
Art. 57- prescriptive period in instituting petition for legal separation (94)
- 5 years from the occurrence of the cause.
Arts. 61 64 effects of legal separation.
Arts. 65 66 reconciliation of spouses.
Art. 67 revival of the property regime.
Art. 68 Rights and Obligations between husband and wife.


Ilusorio vs. Bildner

332 SCRA 169
-May a wife secure a writ of habeas corpus to compel her husband to live with her
in conjugal bliss?
- Facts: Erlinda and Potenciano were married for 30 years. In 1972, the spouse
separated from bed and board. When Potenciano arrived from the States in 1991
he stayed with Erlinda. The children alleged that Erlinda gave Potenciano an
overdose of antidepressant drug. On May 31, 1998, after attending a corporate
meeting in Baguio City, Potenciano did not return to Antipolo City with Erlinda,
but instead stayed with a daughter at Cleveland Condominium, Makati. The wife
then filed a petition for habeas corpus. Proper?
-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 sheriff or by any other mesne process. That is a matter beyond
judicial authority and is best left to the man and womans free choice.
Article 73 exercise by either spouse even without the consent of the other of any
legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity. Objection shall be based only on
valid, serious, and moral grounds otherwise the act of the husband in preventing the wife
from engaging in such activity shall constitute a violation of RA 9262 (VAWC Law).
-In case of disagreement the court shall decide whether objection is proper or not
and if proper, when did the benefit accrue if prior to the objection, the resulting
obligation shall be enforced against the community or conjugal partnership property. If
benefit accrued after, the obligation shall be charged to the separate property of the
spouse who did not obtain consent.
Art. 74, 75, 76, & 77-property regime of future spouses, requisites (92,95,05)
-Property relations between husband and wife is governed in the following order:
1. Marriage settlements which might either be the a. absolute community
property or b. conjugal partnership of gains or c. complete separation
of property;
2. By the provisions of this Code; and
3. By local customs.
-Absence of marriage settlement or if regime agreed upon is void system of
absolute community of property.
-The marriage settlement as well as any modification thereof must be in writing,
signed by the parties, and executed before the celebration of the marriage.
Art. 82- Donations by reason of marriage
1. made before the celebration of the marriage;
2. in consideration of the same; and
3. in favor of one or both of the future spouses.
Art. 83 Formalities to be observed involving donations propter nuptias are the
formalities on the ordinary rules of donation unlike that of the Civil Code where
donations propter nuptias are governed by the Statue of Frauds (Article 1403 (2), -an
agreement made in consideration of marriage other than a mutual promise to marry as
enunciated by the SC in Locquiao vs. Valencia).
Art. 84- Limitation in cases of donation of present property (91)
-if the spouses agree upon a regime other than the absolute community property,
they cannot donate to each other in their marriage settlement more than 1/5 of their
present property. The excess is void. The law on testamentary succession and the
formalities of wills will govern donations involving future property.
Art. 86- grounds for revocation of donations propter nuptias (96)


Art. 87 Donation between husband and wife

November 22, 2001
Facts: Francisco and his late wife were owners of a parcel of land. As he was
alone, he invited his niece, a cousin of the niece, and Arcaba to stay with him at his
house. Later on, the niece and the cousin of the niece left Franciscos home leaving only
Francisco and Arcaba. Before his death Francisco donated a 150-sq. meter lot to Arcaba.
The heirs of Francisco are now questioning the legality of the donation. Arcaba
contended that the property donated is payment for her past services rendered to the
deceased. She further contends that sexual intercourse is no longer possible considering
that Francisco is already old.
SC: -Cohabitation means more than sexual intercourse, especially when one of the
parties is already old and may no longer be interested in sex. At the very least,
cohabitation is the public assumption by a man and a woman of the marital
relation, and dwelling together as man and wife, thereby holding themselves out
to the public as such.
-Their public conduct indicated that theirs was not just a relationship of caregiver
and patient but that of exclusive partners akin to husband and wife. Thus, the
donation made by Francisco in favor of Cirila is void under Article 87 of the
Family Code.
Art. 92 what are excluded from the community property (89)
Art. 116 Conjugal partnership property
Article 121 (2) Charges upon and obligation of the conjugal partnership (00,06)
1. Ayala Investments vs. CA
286 SCRA 272
-The benefits must be one directly resulting from the loan. It cannot merely be a
by-product or a spin-off of the loan itself.
-Benefits such as prospects of longer employment and probably increase in the
value of stocks might have been already apparent or could be anticipated at the
time the accommodation agreement was entered into are not only incidental but
also speculative and too small to qualify the transaction as one for the benefit of
the suretys family.
-While the husband derives salaries, dividend benefits from PBM (the debtor
corporation), only because said husband is an employee of said PBM. These
salaries and benefits are not the benefits contemplated by Articles 121 and 122
of the Family Code. The benefits contemplated by the exception in Art. 122
(Family Code) are those benefits derived directly from the use of the loan. In the
case at bar, the loan is a corporate loan extended to PBM and used by PBM itself,
not by petitioner-appellee-husband or his family.
380 SCRA 361
-May the husband notwithstanding his alleged lack of consent in obtaining a loan
be held solidarily liable for such together with the wife?
- While respondent did not and refused to sign the acknowledgment
executed and signed by the wife, undoubtedly, the loan redounded to the
benefit of the family because it was used to purchase the house and lot
that became the conjugal home of respondent and his family. Hence,
notwithstanding the alleged lack of consent of respondent, under Article
121 of the Family Code, shall be solidarily liable for such loan together
with his wife.
423 SCRA 357
Facts: On September 28, 1978, Philippine Blooming Mills Company, Inc.
(PBMCI) obtained a 9-million peso loan from Allied Banking Corporation (ABC). As


added security for the loan, Alfredo Ching together with 2 other persons executed a
continuing guaranty with ABC binding themselves to jointly and severally guarantee the
payment of all the PBMCI obligations owing the ABC to the extent of 38 million pesos.
PBMCI defaulted in the payment of its loans which, exclusive of interests, penalties and
other bank charges amounted to P12,612,972.88. After the issuance of a writ of
preliminary attachment the sheriff then levied the 100,000 common shares of CityCorp.
stocks registered solely in the name of Alfredo Ching. The wife of Mr. Ching then moved
to set aside the levy on attachment claiming that the 100,000 shares of stocks were
acquired by her and her husband during the marriage out of conjugal funds after the
CityCorp Investment Philippines was established in 1974. Furthermore, the indebtedness
did not redound to the benefit of the conjugal partnership.
Is the argument of Mrs. Ching tenable?
Ruling: The barefaced fact that the shares of stocks were registered in the
corporate books of CityCorp Investment solely in the name of Alfredo does not constitute
proof that the husband, not the conjugal partnership, owned the same. It was, thus, the
burden of ABC to prove that the source of the money utilized in the acquisition of the
shares of stocks was that of the husband alone. ABC failed to adduce evidence to prove
this assertion. In AIDC vs. CA, this Court ruled that the signing as a surety is certainly
not an exercise of an industry or profession. It is not embarking in a business. No matter
how often an executive acted on or was persuaded to act as surety for his own employer,
this should not be taken to mean that he thereby embarked in the business of guaranty or
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. No
presumption can be inferred that when a husband entered into an accommodation
agreement or a contract of surety, the conjugal partnership would thereby be benefited.
It could be argued that Alfredo was a member of the Board of Directors of
PBMCI and was one of the top 20 stockholders, and that his shares of stocks and his
family would appreciate if the PBMCI could be rehabilitated through the loans obtained;
that Alfredos 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
Civil Code (Article 121 FC). The benefits must be those directly resulting from the loan.
They cannot merely a by-product or a spin-off of the loan itself (citing AIDC vs. CA).
Article 124 Administration of the conjugal partnership property (00)
453 SCRA 283
Spouses Dailo purchased a house and lot situated at San Pablo City and
had it titled in the name of the husband alone. In 1993, the husband obtained a
P300,000-peso loan from Homeowners secured by the house and lot. With the
loan unpaid, the bank foreclosed the security. For failure to redeem, Homeowners
consolidated ownership over the property. In 1995, the husband died and the wife
found out about the mortgage, foreclosure and consolidation. Claiming absence of
knowledge of the loan obligation, the wife filed an action to annul the mortgage,
certificate of sale, etc. Homeowners moved for the dismissal of the petition on the
ground that the property is the exclusive property of the husband having been
titled in the husbands name alone. That assuming that the property is conjugal,
Article 124 of the FC should be construed in relation to Article 493 of the Civil
Code on co-ownership where the co-owner may alienate, assign or mortgage and
even substitute another person in its enjoyment but the effect of the alienation or
the mortgage shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the
division upon termination of the co-ownership. Moreover, the loan redounded to
the benefit of the family as the proceeds thereof were used to fund the husbands
subdivision projects.
Held: In Guiang vs. CA, it was held that the sale of a conjugal property
requires the consent of both the husband and wife. In applying Article 124 of the
Family Code, this Court declared that the absence of the consent of one renders


the entire sale null and void, including the portion of the conjugal property
pertaining to the husband who contracted the sale. The same principle squarely
applies to the instant case. In the absence of a marriage settlement, the system of
conjugal partnership of gains governed the property relations between the
spouses. The rules on co-ownership do not even apply to the property relations of
Marcelino and Miguela even in a suppletory manner. The conjugal partnership of
gains is a special type of partnership, where the husband and wife place in a
common fund the proceeds, products, fruits and income from their separate
properties and those acquired by either or both spouses their efforts or by chance.
Unlike the absolute community of property wherein the rules on co-ownership
apply in a suppletory manner, the conjugal partnership shall be governed by the
rules on partnership in all that is not in conflict with what is expressly determined
in the chapter or by the spouses in their marriage settlements.
The basic and established fact is that during his lifetime, without the
knowledge and consent of his wife, Marcelino constituted a real estate mortgage
on the subject property, which formed part of their conjugal partnership. By
express provision of Article 124 of the Family Code, in the absence of court
authority or written consent of the other spouse, any disposition or encumbrance
of the conjugal property is void. The aforequoted provision does not qualify with
respect to the share of the spouse who makes the disposition or encumbrance.
Where the law does not distinguish, courts should not distinguish.
The burden of proof that the debt was contracted for the benefit of the
conjugal partnership lies with the creditor claiming as such. Petitioners sweeping
conclusion that the loan obtained by Marcelino to finance the construction of
housing units without a doubt redounded to the benefit of his family is without
adequate proof. Other than petitioners bare allegation, there is nothing from the
records to compel a finding that, indeed, the loan redounded to the benefit of the
291 SCRA 372
-Court applied Art. 124 of the Family Code.
-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. Such contract is void as one of the essential
elements of a contract is absent.
- 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 events is clear: after the sale, Guiang filed a complaint for
trespassing against Corpuz, after which the barangay authorities secured an
amicable settlement. 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 Corpuz would vacate the property. By no stretch of the
imagination, can the Court interpret this document as the acceptance mentioned in
Article 124.
313 SCRA 493
-As the alienation was made prior to the effectivity of the Family Code, the Court
applied Art. 173 of the Civil Code.
-Contract is voidable but spouse must bring the action for annulment within 10
years from execution of the contract and during the subsistence of the marriage.
374 SCRA 361
-Whether or not the husband may validly dispose a conjugal property without the
wifes written consent?
Facts: Manalo was interested to buy the Taytay and Makati properties of spouses
Camaisa. During the negotiations for the sale of the parcels of land both spouses were
present and that Manalo and Mr. Camaisa came to an agreement as to the price and the


terms of the payment, and a down payment was made but the wife of the vendor refused
to sign the contracts to sell. Having been aware of the transactions Manalo argues that
Norma Camaisa had consented to the transaction. And if she unjustly refused to affix her
signature to the contracts to sell, court authorization under Article 124 of the Family
Code is warranted.
Held: The law requires that the disposition of a conjugal property by the husband as
administrator in appropriate cases require the written consent of the wife; otherwise, the
disposition is void. The properties, subject of the contracts were conjugal; hence, for the
contracts to sell to be effective, the consent of both husband and wife must concur.
Norma may have been aware of the negotiations for the sale of their conjugal properties
but being merely aware of a transaction is not consent. While Manalo is correct insofar as
she alleges that if the written consent of the other spouse cannot be obtained or is being
withheld, the matter may be brought to court which will give the same if warranted by the
circumstances. However, it should be stressed that court authorization under Art. 124 is
only resorted to in cases where the spouse who does not give consent is incapacitated. In
this case Manalo failed to allege and prove that Norma was incapacitated to give her
consent to the contracts. In the absence of such showing of the wifes incapacity, court
authorization cannot be sought.
410 SCRA 97
If the sale of the conjugal real property is annullable, should it be annulled in its
entirety or only with respect to the share of the spouse who did not give consent?
-The SC citing Paulino vs. Bucoy (131 Phil 790) held that the plain meaning
attached to the plain language of the law is that the contract, in its entirety, executed by
the husband without the wifes consent, may be annulled by the wife. Had Congress
intended to limit such annulment in so far as the contract shall prejudice the wife, such
limitation should have been spelled out in the statute. To be underscored here is that upon
the provisions of Articles 161, 162 and 163 of the Civil Code, the conjugal partnership is
liable for many obligations while the conjugal partnership exists. Not only that. The
conjugal partnership is even subject to the payment of debts contracted by either spouse
before the marriage, as those for the payment of fines and indemnities imposed upon
them after the responsibilities in Article 161 have been covered, if it turns out that the
spouse who is bound thereby, should have no exclusive property or if it be insufficient.
These are the considerations that go beyond the mere equitable share of the wife in the
property. These are reasons enough for the husband to be stopped from disposing of the
conjugal property without the consent of the wife. Even more fundamental is the fact that
the nullity is decreed by the Code not on the basis of prejudice but lack of consent of an
indispensable party to the contract under Article 166.
A sale or encumbrance of conjugal or (community) 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 as void if done without the conjoint consent of the
spouses or, in case of a spouses inability, the authority of the court (footnote).
459 SCRA 475
In January 1988, Pelayo, by a deed of absolute sale, conveyed to Perez 2 parcels
of land situated in Panabo. Lorenza, Pelayos wife, signed only on the 3rd page in the
space provided for witnesses on account of which Perez application for registration of
the deed with the office of the Register of Deeds in Tagum was denied. Perez thereupon
asked Lorenza to sign the 1st and 2nd pages of the deed but she refused, hence, he
instituted an action for specific performance.
SC: We agree with the CA ruling that Lorenza by affixing her signature to the
Deed of Sale on the space provided for witnesses, is deemed to have given her implied
consent to the contract of sale.
Sale is a consensual contract that is perfected by mere consent, which may either
be express or implied. A wifes consent to the husbands disposition of conjugal property
does not always have to be explicit or set forth in any particular document, so long as it is
given. In the present case, although it appears on the face of the deed of sale that Lorenza


signed only as an instrumental witness, circumstances leading to the execution of said

document point to the fact that Lorenza was fully aware of the sale of their conjugal
property and consented to the sale.
Moreover, under Article 173, in relation to Article 166, both of the New Civil
Code, which was still in effect on January 11, 1988 when the deed in question was
executed, the lack of marital consent to the disposition of conjugal property does not
make the contract void ab initio but merely voidable. Hence, it has been held that the
contract is valid until the court annuls the same and only upon an action brought by the
wife whose consent was not obtained.
January 27, 2006
Wife Dolores instituted an action for cancellation of waiver of rights, deed of sale
against her husband Albert and Suanding, Alberts cousin. It appears that Albert executed
an affidavit of waiver of rights over a portion of a parcel of land in favor of Suanding and
later sold the remaining portion through a deed of sale to Suanding. In both documents,
Albert claimed that he is the possessor and owner of said land. According to Dolores, the
unregistered, virgin, agricultural land is a conjugal partnership property having been
acquired by them during the marriage as evidenced by a 1974 tax declaration. They even
hired the services of a caretaker to oversee the land. Thus, Albert could not have validly
conveyed the property to Suanding without her consent.
SC: Indeed, all property of the marriage is presumed to be conjugal in nature.
However, for this presumption to apply, the party invoking 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
In the case at bar, Dolores failed to substantiate by preponderance of evidence her
claim that the subject land was conjugal in nature. She did not identify when she and her
husband 1st occupied and possessed the land. Neither did she present any witness to prove
that they 1st occupied the property during the marriage and that they worked on the land.
While she claimed that they also hired the services of a caretaker, records show that the
caretaker was appointed only in 1989. The initial tax declaration she presented although
dated 1974 cannot automatically be deduced that the occupation of the subject property
was likewise done in 1974. To so conclude will amount to speculation and conjecture on
the part of the court. Declaration of a land for tax purposes cannot be equated with its
acquisition for, in the ordinary course of things, occupation of a piece of land comes
before declaring it for tax purposes. The 1974 tax declaration cannot be made a basis to
prove its conjugal nature as the land was declared for tax purposes solely in the name of
Albert, who sold it as his exclusive property. In a long line of cases, this Court held that
tax declarations, especially untitled lands, are credible proof of claim of ownership and
are good indicia of possession of an owner. Thus, the presumption of conjugal nature of
the property allegedly acquired during the subsistence of the marriage cannot be applied.
526 SCRA 63 (June 29, 2007
Villegas is the owner of a parcel of land located in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. To
secure his obligation with Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), he mortgaged the
said property with DBP. Subsequently, DBP transferred the loan with mortgage to Home
Mutual Development Fund (HMDF). With his failure to pay the loan HMDF foreclosed
the mortgage and was sold at public auction with HMDF as the highest bidder. A
certificate of sale was issued and, thereafter, registered with the Register of Deeds.
Marilou Villegas, petitioners wife, then executed a power of attorney authorizing Catral,
Marilous mother, to redeem the property from HMDF. Catral then sold the property to
Lingan. In a complaint, among others, for annulment of title, Villegas claimed that Catral
was only to administer the property and not to sell it because from the wordings of the
power of attorney, she had no authority to sell any specific property.
SC: There is no proof that Marilou redeemed the property in behalf of petitioner
she 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. And where 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 spouse redeeming the property. Clearly, the owner had the right to sell the
property to another.
Under the circumstances, should there be any right violated, the aggrieved
party should be 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 respondent. Consequently, the question whether Catral had
validly sold the property to respondent by virtue of the general power of attorney
executed by Marilou, is not within the realm of the Courts jurisdiction to resolve in this
case as said issue is not properly raised by the right person Marilou.
565 SCRA 638 (September 17, 2008)
Estranged couple Cleodualdo and Michele, whose marriage was later on voided,
entered into a compromise agreement involving their property covered by TCT No. T167907 and located at 410 Taal St., Ayala Alabang Village where they agreed that said
conjugal property shall be transferred by way of a deed of donation in favor of their 2
minor children when they reach they reach 19 and 18, respectively. Meanwhile, Michele
and George Matrai were ordered by the court to vacate the premises leased to them and to
pay back rentals, unpaid telephone bills and attorneys fees. A notice of sale by execution
was then issued by the sheriff covering the property in 410 Taal St., Ayala Alabang that
was still under the name of Cleodualdo and Michele.
SC: It should be noted that the judgment debt for which the subject property was
being made to answer was incurred by Michele and her partner, Matrai. Gonzales alleged
that the lease of the property in Lanka Drive redounded to the benefit of the family. By no
stretch of ones imagination can it be concluded that the said debt/obligation was incurred
for the benefit of the conjugal partnership or that some advantage accrued to the welfare
to the family.
A wife may bind the conjugal partnership only when she purchases things
necessary for the support of the family, or when she borrows money for that purpose
upon her husbands failure to deliver the needed sum; when administration of the
conjugal partnership is transferred to the wife by the courts or by the husband; or when
the wife gives moderate donations for charity. Failure to establish any of these
circumstances means that the conjugal asset may not be bound to answer for the wifes
personal obligation.
BUADO vs. CA and NICOL 586 SCRA 397 (April 24, 2009)
Erlinda Nicol was found guilty of slander and was also adjudged to pay the sum
of P35,000.00 representing moral and exemplary damages, attorneys fees and cost.
Erlindas property however, was insufficient to answer for the liability so the sheriff
levied the conjugal property of the Nicol spouses. The husband questioned the levy and
the subsequent sale claiming that he is a stranger to the suit and hence, levy upon the
conjugal property was improper.
SC: In Spouses Ching vs. CA, this Court that the husband of the judgment debtor
cannot be deemed a stranger to the case prosecuted and adjudged against his wife for
an obligation that has redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership. It must further
be settled whether the obligation of the judgment debtor redounded to the benefit of the
conjugal partnership or not.
Unlike in the system of absolute community property 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.



508 SCRA 570 (November 29, 2006)
Before his marriage to Josefa, Alfredo acquired a parcel of land. Improvements
introduced by Alfredo on the property consisting of a residential house and a 2-door
apartment building were made during the marriage using their conjugal funds to pay off
the loan obtained by Alfredo for the construction of said improvements. Subsequently, a
warehouse was also constructed on the lot using the spouses conjugal funds. Sometime
in 1989, when Alfredo was already bedridden, spouses Ismael and Flora Ferrer made the
former sign a document purported to be his last will and testament. It turned out however,
that it was a sale covering Alfredos lot and the improvements thereon to the herein
respondents. Alfredo then instituted an action for the annulment of the sale but the trial
court held that the sale is valid and should be complied with by the parties in good faith.
The appellate court upheld the decision of the lower court. Alfredo died in 1999 and
relying on the decision rendered in the previous case where the court held that inasmuch
as the lot is of greater value than the improvements and since Article 120 of the Family
Code provides the rule that the ownership of accessory follows the ownership of the
principal, then the subject lot with all its improvements became an exclusive and capital
property of Alfredo with an obligation to reimburse the conjugal partnership of the cost of
improvements at the time of the liquidation of the conjugal partnership, Josefa is now
demanding reimbursement for the cost of the improvements from respondents.
SC: What is incontrovertible is that the respondents, despite 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.
Article 134- In the absence of express declaration in the marriage settlements, no
separation of property shall take place during the marriage except upon judicial order.
The separation of property may either be for sufficient cause (Article 135) or voluntary
(Article 136).
Article 135 For causes falling under numbers (1), (2), and (3) i.e.1. sentenced to
a penalty that carries with it civil interdiction, 2. judicially declared an absentee, and 3.
loss parental authority decreed by the court, the presentation of final judgment is enough
basis for the grant of the decree of judicial separation of property.
Article 136 Voluntary dissolution must be verified and jointly filed by the
Articles 137, 138, and 139 liquidation of either the absolute community or
conjugal partnership upon grant of petition, effect the property relations of the spouses
is now governed by the regime of complete separation of property and the requirement of
registering the petition for separation of property and the final judgment granting the
same with the appropriate registries.
Article 141- revival of the former property regime that existed prior to its
separation upon proper motion. Thereafter no voluntary separation of property shall again
be granted by the court.
August 29, 2006
Elena and Helmut, a German national, were married in 1989 in Hamburg,
Germany. They initially lived in Hamburg but in 1992, the spouses decided to move and
permanently reside in the Philippines. Helmut sold the house he inherited from his
parents in Germany. With the money, he bought a P528,000.00 lot in Antipolo and
constructed a P2.3 million peso house thereon. The Antipolo property was registered in
Elenas name. The marriage however, did not last due to Helmuts alleged womanizing,


drinking and maltreatment and eventually the spouses separated. In 1994, Helmut filed a
petition for separation of properties. He claims that he is not praying for the transfer of
ownership of the Antipolo property as he is aware of the constitutional prohibition of
aliens acquiring lands of the public domain but merely reimbursement. That the property
is titled in the name of Elena because of said prohibition. That the funds paid by him for
the said property were in consideration of his marriage to Elena; that funds were given to
her in trust and equity demands that he should be reimbursed of his personal funds.
Issue: Is respondent entitled to reimbursement of the funds used for the
acquisition of the Antipolo property?
SC: Aliens are disqualified from acquiring private lands. The primary purpose of
the constitutional provision is the conservation of the national patrimony.
Respondent cannot seek reimbursement on the ground of equity where it is clear
that he willingly and knowingly bought the property despite the constitutional
prohibition. It has been held that equity as a rule will follow the law and will not permit
that to be done indirectly which, because of public policy, cannot be done directly. He
who seeks equity must do equity, and he who comes into equity must come with clean
Further, the distinctions between transfer of ownership as opposed to recovery of
funds is a futile exercise on respondents part. To allow reimbursement would in effect
permit respondent to enjoy the fruits of a property that he is not allowed to own. Thus, it
is, likewise proscribed by law.
The CA erred in holding that an implied trust was created and resulted by
operation of law in view of Helmuts marriage to Elena. Save for the exception provided
in cases of hereditary succession, Helmuts disqualification from owning lands in the
Philippines is absolute. Not even an ownership in trust is allowed. Besides, where the
purchase is made in violation of an existing statute and in evasion of its express
provision, no trust can result in favor of the party who is guilty of fraud. To hold
otherwise would be to allow circumvention of the constitutional prohibition.
The Court decreed the separation of property between the spouses and ordering
partition of the personal properties located in the Philippines only.
524 SCRA 166 (June 8, 2007)
Virgilio and Ditas marriage that was blessed with one son turned sour when the
former discovered that the latter was having illicit sexual affair with her paramour, which
resulted to the conviction of Dita and her paramour of the crime of adultery. Thereafter,
Virgilio filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage, dissolution and liquidation
of the conjugal partnership of gains. During the pre-trial of said case, they entered into a
Compromise Agreement as partial settlement of their conjugal partnership property. This
was given judicial imprimatur by the judge hearing the case. In an omnibus motion
however, Virgilio prays for the repudiation of the compromise agreement on the ground
that it is against law and public policy; that the proceedings where it was approved is null
and void, there being no appearance and participation of the Solicitor General or the
Provincial Prosecutor; that it was timely repudiated; and that respondent, having been
convicted of adultery, is therefore disqualified from sharing in the conjugal property.
SC: Article 143 of the Family Code, separation of property may be effected
voluntarily or for sufficient cause, subject to judicial approval. The questioned
compromise agreement that was judicially approved is exactly such a separation of
property allowed under the law. This conclusion holds true even if the proceedings for the
declaration of nullity of marriage was still pending.
While the appearances of the Solicitor General and/or Public Prosecutor are
mandatory, the failure of the RTC to require their appearance does not per se nullify the
compromise agreement. There is no exigency for the presence of the Solicitor General
and/or the State Prosecutor because nothing in the subject compromise touched into the
very merit of the case of declaration of nullity of marriage for the court to be wary of any
possible collusion between the parties. The agreement pertains merely to an agreement
between petitioner and respondent Dita to separate their conjugal properties partially
without prejudice to the outcome of the pending case.


The conviction of adultery does not carry with it the penalty of civil interdiction
that deprives the person of the rights to manage to manage her property and to dispose of
such property inter vivos.
Art. 147 Property of Unions without Marriage (92,97)
Valdes vs. RTC B. 102, Q.C., Gomez-Valdes
July 31, 1996
-Marriage was declared void under Art. 36.
-Property acquired during the union is governed by Art. 147. It applies when a
man and a woman so exclusively live together as husband and wife under a void
marriage or without the benefit of marriage.
-The term capacitated (1st par. of Art. 147) refers to the legal capacity of a party
to contract marriage, i.e. any male or female of the age of 18 years or upwards
not under any of the impediment mentioned in Art. 37 and 38 of the Code.
-If 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.
-Art. 50 (Family Code) applying pars. (2), (3), (4) and 5 of Art. 43, relates only,
by its explicit terms to voidable marriages and, exceptionally, to void marriages
under Art. 40 of the 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.
March 31, 2005
Noel and Isabel got married in 1979. The marriage later on was declared void by
reason of Noels psychological incapacity. The court, among others, ordered for the
liquidation of the assets of the conjugal partnership where the wife was given of Noels
retirement benefits with 12% int. from date of decision, and of his outstanding shares
of stocks with Manila Memorial Park and the Provident Group of Companies. Noel
opposed the sharing claiming that the retirement benefits he received from Far East Bank
are gratuitous in nature and therefore, his exclusive property. He likewise acquired the
shares of stocks with the mentioned companies before his marriage and are, again his
exclusive properties.
SC: Since the present case does not involve the annulment of a bigamous
marriage, the provisions of Article 50 in relation to Articles 41, 42, and 43 of the Family
Code, providing dissolution of the absolute community or conjugal partnership, as the
case may be, do not apply. Rather, the general rules applies, which is that in case a
marriage is declared void ab initio, the property regime applicable and to be liquidated,
partitioned and distributed is that of co-ownership. The trial court did not commit a
reversible ruling that petitioner and 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, 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.
Unlike the conjugal partnership of gains, the fruits of the couples separate
property are not included in the co-ownership. Since the properties to be distributed by
the court a quo were found, both by the trial and appellate courts, to have been acquired
during the union of the parties, the same would be covered by the co-ownership. No fruits
of a separate property of one of the parties appear to have been included or involved in
the distribution. The liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties owned by the
parties herein ordered by the court a quo should, therefore, be sustained, but on the basis
of co-ownership and not the regime of conjugal partnership of gains.



July 31, 2006
In 1986, Juliet and John decided to live together as husband and wife without the
benefit of marriage. During the cohabitation, they purchased a 2-storey house where the
tax declaration was transferred in the name of Juliet. The house was renovated as annexed
to it is a new structure that housed a sari-sari store. In 1991, Juliet went to Korea and
while there she would send money to John who would deposit it in their joint bank
account. When she returned from Korea, they continued to live together, with John
working as an employee of Lepanto Mines and Juliet managing the store. In 1995, they
partitioned their properties and executed a Memorandum of Agreement that was unsigned
by the parties but signed by their witnesses where it was agreed that John shall leave the
house with Juliet paying him the amount of P428,870.00 representing Johns share in the
properties. Juliet made a down payment of P232,397.66 with the balance to be paid in 12
monthly installments. She failed however, to make good the balance so John demanded
that she vacate the annex. When she refused John filed an ejectment suit against Juliet
claiming that he alone spent for the construction of the annex using his own funds with
the tax declaration for the structure under his name and thru money he borrowed from his
relatives as proofs. The proof of indebtedness is a 1990 affidavit of one Macaraeg who
stated that John borrowed P30,000.00 from him. The MTC found for John which decision
was affirmed by the RTC. The CA however, reversed the ruling of lower courts holding
that their property relations cannot be governed by the provisions of the Civil Code but
by the rules on co-ownership. John went to the SC.
Issue: Whether or not the property subject of the suit pertains to the exclusive
ownership of John.
SC: Other than Johns bare allegation that he alone, thru his own funds and
money he borrowed form his relatives, spent for the construction of the annex, evidence
is wanting to support such naked claim. For sure, John failed to reveal how much he
spent therefore. Neither did he divulge the names of the alleged relatives from whom he
made his borrowings, let alone the amount of money he borrowed from them. All he
could offer by way of reinforcing his claim is the affidavit of Macaraeg but the affidavit
stated that it was in 1990 when John borrowed P30,000.00 from him. The annex structure
was constructed in 1992 or 2 years after he borrowed the P30,000 from Macaraeg. There
is a paucity of evidence, testimonial or documentary, to support Johns self-serving
allegation that the annex structure was put up thru his own funds and/or money borrowed
by him. Tax declarations do not prove ownership but at best an indicia of claims of
In this connection Article 147 of the Family Code is instructive. (Cite Article 147
in toto).
The law is clear. In the absence, as here, of proofs to the contrary, any property
acquired by common-law spouses during the period of cohabitation is presumed to have
been obtained thru their joint efforts, work or industry and is owned by them in equal
shares. Their property relationship is governed by the rules in co-ownership. And under
this regime, they owned their properties in common in equal shares. Being herself a
co-owner of the structure in question, Juliet, as correctly stated by the CA, may not be
ejected therefrom.
True, under Article 487 of the Civil Code, a co-owner may bring an action for
ejectment against a co-owner who takes exclusive possession and asserts exclusive
ownership of a common property. In this case, evidence is totally wanting to establish
Johns or Juliets exclusive ownership of the property in question. As borne by the record,
Juliet was in possession of the subject structure by virtue of being a co-owner thereof. As
such, she is as much entitled to enjoy its possession and ownership as John.
Juliets failure however, to pay the balance of Johns share in their common
properties could at best give rise to an action for a sum of money against Juliet, or for
rescission of the said agreement and not for ejectment.
Art. 148- other kinds of cohabitation (91,92,98,00)


Agapay vs. Palang

July 28, 1997
-Petitioner failed to prove that she contributed money to the price of the riceland.
-The lawyer who prepared the deed of conveyance of the house and lot testified
that the money for the purchase price was provided for by Miguel and he also
directed that Erlindas name alone be placed as the vendee.
-SC also cited Article 87 of the Family Code.
Tumlos vs. Fernandez
330 SCRA 718
-Applicable law is Art. 148 of the Family Code.
-Art. 144 of the Civil Code applies only to a relationship between a man and a
woman who are not incapacitated to marry each other, or to one in which the
marriage of the parties is void from the beginning. It does not apply to a
cohabitation that amounts to adultery or concubinage.
-Article 148 of the Family Code has filled the hiatus in Art. 144 of the Civil Code
by expressly regulating the property relations of couples living in a state of
adultery or concubinage.
-Nothing in Art. 148 of the Family Code provides that the administration of the
property amounts to a contribution in its acquisition.
Mallilin, Jr. vs. Castillo
333 SCRA 628
Both parties were already married when they cohabited together. During the
relationship they established a business enterprise and by reason thereof acquired several
properties. The properties however, were all registered in the name of Castillo. When
they decided to end the relationship, Mallilin demanded for his share in the properties
they acquired during the cohabitation. Castillo countered that Article 144 of the Civil
Code cannot be applied as the same covers only properties acquired by a man and a
woman living together as husband and wife but not married or under a void marriage. In
their case, their union suffered the legal impediment of a prior subsisting marriage.
SC: 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 applies as all but one property were acquired after the Family Code took effect
on August 3, 1988. With respect to the property acquired under the regime of the New
Civil Code, then it should be excluded. The legal relation of the parties is already
specifically covered by Article 148 of the Family Code under which all properties
acquired out of their actual joint contribution 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.
-A trust relation already inheres in a co-ownership.
Carino vs. Carino
February 2, 2001
- The nullity of the marriage between Nicdao (the first wife) and the
deceased does not validate the second marriage of Yee and the deceased
Santiago without the prior judicial declaration of nullity of the previous
- Considering that the marriage between Yee and the deceased is a
bigamous marriage, having been solemnized during the subsistence of
previous marriage then presumed to be valid, the application of Article
148 is therefore in order.
- As to the property regime of Nicdao and the deceased, Article 147 of the
Family Code governs. This Article applies to unions of parties who are
legally capacitated and not barred by any impediment to contract
marriage, but whose marriage is nonetheless is void for other reasons,
like the absence of marriage license. Conformably, even if the deceased
alone as a government employee earned the disputed death benefits,
Article 147 creates a co-ownership in respect thereto entitling Nicdao to
share one-half thereof as there is no allegation of bad faith.



June 10, 2003
-Under the property regime governed by Art. 148 x x x x 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 x x x x. Proof of actual contribution is required.
- In the case at bar, nowhere in Ginas testimony did she specify the extent of her
contribution. What appears in the record are receipts in her name for the purchase
of construction materials on 11/17/95 and 12/23/95 in the amount of P11,413.00.
With respect to the disputed personal properties both claimed that the money used
in the purchase thereof came partly from their joint account. There is however, no
sufficient proof of the exact amount of their respective shares in the said account.
And pursuant to Article 148 of the Family Code, in the absence of proof of extent
of the parties respective contribution, their share shall be presumed to be equal.
Here, the disputed properties were valued at P111,375.00, the existence and value
of which were not questioned by Jacinto, hence, their share therein is equivalent
to , P55,687.50 each. And on the basis of the evidence established, the extent of
Ginas co-ownership over the disputed house is only up to the amount of
P11,413.00 her proven contribution in the construction thereof.
-In Adriano vs. CA, the SC ruled that the fact that the controverted property was
titled in the name of the parties to an adulterous relationship is not sufficient proof
of co-ownership absent evidence of actual contribution in the acquisition of the
496 SCRA 135 (July 21, 2006)
- Because the cohabitation of Villanueva and Gonzales from 1927 to 1963 was
adulterous, their property relations during those 36 years were not governed by
Article 144 of the Civil Code which applies only if the couple living together is
not in any way incapacitated from getting married. According to the doctrine laid
down in Juaniza vs. Jose (89 SCRA 306), no co-ownership exists between parties
to an adulterous relationship. In Agapay vs. Palang, we expounded on this
doctrine by declaring that in such a relationship, it is necessary for each of the
partners to prove his or her actual contribution to the acquisition of property in
order to be able to lay claim to any portion of it. The presumption of coownership and equal contribution do not apply.
508 SCRA 593 (November 29, 2006)
Lupo, married and the president and general manager of 2 corporations, hired the
services of Yolanda as accountant thereof. The 2 became intimate and eventually lived
together and had 2 children. The relationship turned sour and they parted ways. Lupo
then filed a petition for judicial partition involving a parcel of land with improvements
located in Bel-Air Subdivision, Makati City. He alleged that the property was acquired
during their union and hence, the property is co-owned by them. He claimed that the
funds used in the acquisition of the said property were his exclusive funds and that the
title was transferred to Yolandas name alone was done without his knowledge and
consent. And since the property was acquired in 1987, therefore Article 144 of the Civil
Code should be applied. That he is not burdened to prove that he contributed to the
acquisition thereof because with or without contribution by either partner, he is deemed a
co-owner of the subject property. He added that Article 484 of the Civil Code states that
as long as the property was acquired by either or both of them during their extramarital
union, such property would be legally owned by them in common and governed by the
rules on co-ownership, which shall apply in default of contracts or special provisions.
SC: Here although the adulterous relationship commenced in 1983, Article 148 of
the Family Code applies because this provision is intended to fill up the hiatus/gap in
Article 144 of the Civil Code. Before Article 148 of the FC was enacted, there was no
provision governing property 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 FC took effect, Article 148 of the FC governs.
Rather than presenting proof of his actual contribution to the purchase used as
consideration for the property, Lupo diverted the burden upon him to Yolanda as a shrewd
and scheming woman without capacity to purchase any property. Petitioners claim of
ownership is without basis because not only did he fail to substantiate his allege
contribution but likewise the very trail of documents pertaining to its purchase as
evidentiary proof redounds to the benefit of respondent. In contrast, aside from his mere
say so and voluminous bank records, which sadly finds no relevance in this case, the
petitioner failed to overcome his burden of proof.
Respondent had sufficiently established that she derived funds used to purchase
the property from her earnings, not only as an accountant but also as a businesswoman
engaged in foreign currency trading, money lending and jewelry retail. She presented
clientele and promissory notes evincing substantial dealings with her clients, her bank
account statements and bank transactions.
BORROMEO vs. DESCALLAR 580 SCRA 175 (February 24, 2009)
Austrian Jambrich met and fell in love with Descallar, a married but separated
woman, who was working as waitress at a local hotel in Cebu City. She was earning
P1,000.00 per month and another P1,000.00 in the form of tips. Subsequently, they
bought 3 parcels of land with a house constructed thereon. The deed of sale originally
included Jambrich as buyer but because of the refusal of the Register of Deeds to register
the property in Jambrichs name on the ground that a foreigner could not acquire
alienable lands of public domain they erased his name but not his signatures appearing in
all pages of the document. Jambrich and Descallar however, separated.
Subsequently, Jambrich incurred debts and to pay the obligation, he sold his
rights and interest in the property that is now registered in Descallars name in favor of
his creditor. Is the sale made by Jambrich valid?
SC: The transfer of land from Agro-Macro Development Corporation to Jambrich
could have been declared invalid if challenged, had not Jambrich conveyed the property
to Borromeo. Citing United Church of Christ vs. Sebastian, the Court reiterated the
consistent ruling 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 considered valid.
Art. 150 who are members of the same family for purposes of Art. 151
Art. 151 Suit between members of the same family
OLaco vs. Co Cho Chit and CA
220 SCRA 656
-It is well settled that the attempt to compromise as well as the inability to
succeed is a condition precedent to the filing of a suit between members of the
same family. Hence, the defect in the complaint is assailable at any stage of the
proceedings, even on appeal, for lack of cause of action.
Guerrero vs. RTC Br. XVI, Bello, Jr. and Hernando
January 10, 1994
-Requirement is mandatory, so that if it is shown that no such efforts were in fact
made, it must be dismissed.
-Rule is introduced because it is difficult to imagine a sadder and more tragic
spectacle than litigation between members of the same family.
Exclusion to the requirement on earnest efforts:
1. Common law relationships;
2. Sisters-in-law (hence, also brothers-in-law);
3. Between collateral relatives who are not brothers and sisters (Mendez vs.
4. Suit between a woman against her sister and the latters husband, the inclusion
of the husband is not within the family relations provided for by law
(Hontiveros vs. RTC);


5. If included in the suit is a stranger not of the same family as the interest of such
stranger may differ from the interest of the member of the same family ex. A coowner; and
6. Special proceedings- the term suit clearly implies only civil actions
(Manalo vs. CA)
500 SCRA 514 (August 31, 2006)
Moreno filed a case against Hiyas, his wife, spouses Owe and Register of Deeds
of Caloocan City for cancellation of mortgage contending that he did not obtain any loan
from Hiyas nor did he sign or execute any contract of mortgage, that his wife, spouses
Owe were the ones who benefited from the loan. He could not have executed and signed
the contract because he was then working abroad.
Hiyas moved to dismiss the complaint alleging non-compliance with Article 151
of the Family Code on exerting earnest efforts toward a compromise between members
of the same family which members include a husband and wife.
SC: Once a stranger becomes a party to a suit involving members of the same
family, the law no longer makes it a condition precedent that earnest efforts be made
towards a compromise before the action can prosper.
Article 151 is applicable only in cases which are exclusively between or among
members of the same family, it necessarily follows that the same may be invoked by a
party who is a member of that same family.
Articles 152 & 153 definition of a family home (89,94)
In Buenaventura vs. CA the SC held that the provisions of the Family Code on the
family home, i.e. the provisions found in Title V, Chapter 2, of the Family Code,
remain in force and in effect regardless of the property regime of the spouses.
Article 154- beneficiaries of a family home (89)
Article 155 exceptions to the general rule that a family home is exempt from execution,
forced sale or attachment.
Modequillo vs. Breva (94)
185 SCRA 766
-Family home is deemed constituted on a house and lot from the time it is
occupied as a family residence. No need to constitute the same judicially or
-Article 162 simply means that all existing family residences at the time of the
effectivity of the Family Code are considered family homes and are prospectively
entitled to the benefits accorded to a family home under the Family Code. It does
not state that the provisions of Chapter 2, Title V have a retroactive effect.
-The debt or liability which was the basis of the judgment arose or was incurred at
the time of the vehicular accident on March 16, 1976 and the money judgment
arising therefrom was rendered by the appellate court on January 29, 1988. Both
preceded the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988.
Manacop vs. CA and E & L Mercantile, Inc.
215 SCRA 773
-The residential house and lot of petitioner became a family home by operation of
law only under Art. 153 of the Family Code. It is deemed constituted as a family
home upon the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988.
-The law explicitly provides that occupancy of the family home either by the
owner thereof or by any of its beneficiaries must be actual. Actual occupancy,
however, need not be by the owner of the house specifically. Rather, it may be
occupied by the beneficiaries enumerated by Article 154 of the Family Code.
-The enumeration may include in-laws where the family home is constituted
jointly by the husband and wife. The law definitely excludes maids and
Taneo, Jr. vs. CA
304 SCRA 308
-Reiterated ruling in Modequillo and Manacop cases


-In the case at bar, Taneo constituted the house in question as the famly home on
March 7, 1964 but the instrument constituting the family home was registered
only on January 24, 1966. The money judgment against Taneo was rendered on
January 24, 1964. Thus at the time when the debt was incurred, the family
home was not yet constituted or even registered.
-The house should be constructed on a land not belonging to another as by the
very definition of the law that the family home is the dwelling house where a
person and his family resides and the land on which it is situated.
-The constitution of a family home by Taneo was merely an afterthought in order
to escape execution of their property.
507 SCRA 438 (November 20, 2006)
Marcelino died intestate and survived by his wife Perla and 2 sons,
Marcelino Marc and Marcelino III. Among the properties he left was a parcel of
land with a residential house and a pre-school building constructed thereon
located at Oxford St., Cubao, Quezon City. After the heirs extra-judicially settled
the estate, Perla and Marcelino Marc advised Marcelino III that they intend to
partition the property and terminate the co-ownership but the latter refused on the
ground that a minor beneficiary who is Marcelino IIIs 12-year old son and a
grandson of the decedent still resides in said home. He contended that as long as
the minor is living in the family home, the same continues as such until the
beneficiary comes of age. That despite the expiration of 10 years from the date of
death of Marcelino in 1987 i.e. even after July 1997, the subject property
continues to be considered as the family home considering that his minor son,
who is a beneficiary of said family home, still resides in the premises.
SC: The law explicitly provides that occupancy of the family home either
by the owner thereof or by any of its beneficiaries must be actual. Actual
occupancy, however, need not be by the owner of the house specifically. Rather,
the property may be occupied by the beneficiaries enumerated in Article 154 of
the Family Code, which include the in-laws where the family home is constituted
jointly by the husband and the wife. But the law definitely excludes maids and
overseers. They are not the beneficiaries contemplated by the Code.
To be a beneficiary of the family home, 3 requisites must concur: (1) they
must be among the relationships enumerated in Art. 154 of the Family Code; (2)
they live in the family home; and (3) they are dependent for legal support upon
the head of the family.
Moreover, Art. 159 of the FC provides that 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 10 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
Thus, may Marcelino Lorenzo IV, minor son of respondent be considered
as a beneficiary under Article 154 of the FC? As to the 1 st requisite, the term
descendants contemplates all descendants of the person or persons who
constituted the family home without distinction; hence, it must necessarily include
the grandchildren and the great grandchildren of the spouses who a family home.
Thus, Marcelino IIIs minor son, who is a grandchild of Marcelino satisfies the 1 st
2nd requisite: minor beneficiaries must be actually living in the family
home to avail of the benefits derived from Article 159. Marcelino Lorenzo IV has
been living in the family since 1994, or within 10 years from the death of the
decedent, hence, he satisfies the second requisite.
However, as to the 3rd requisite, Marcelino Lorenzo IV cannot demand
support from his paternal grandmother if he has parents who are capable of
supporting him. The liability for legal support falls primarily on Marcelino
Lorenzo IVs parents, especially his father, herein private respondent who is the


head of his immediate family. And only in default of his parents is the obligation
imposed on the grandparents.
Marcelino Lorenzo IV is dependent on legal support not from his
grandmother, but from his father. Thus despite, residing in the family home and
his a descendant of Marcelino Dario, Marcelino Lorenzo IV cannot be considered
as beneficiary contemplated under Article 154 because he did not fulfill the 3 rd
requisite of being dependent on his grandmother for legal support.
KELLY, JR. vs. PLANTERS PRODUCTS, INC. 557 SCRA 499 (July 9,2008)
In 1989, Kelly failed to pay the value of the agricultural chemical products that he
obtained on consignment from Planters Products. The sheriff levied and sold on
execution a real property located in Naga City to satisfy the judgment award. The Kelly
spouses questioned the levy and the subsequent sale alleging that the property is a family
home and is, therefore, exempt from execution.
SC: 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 express exceptions are found in Articles
155 and 160 of the Family Code.
JOSEF vs. SANTOS 572 SCRA 57 (November 27, 2008)
Judgment was rendered against Josef for the P404,836.50 he owed Santos
representing the price of shoe materials which he bought on credit from the latter on
various dates in 1994.
Josef opposed the writ of execution claiming that was levied is their family home
and that the household furniture and appliances found therein belonged to his children.
SC: 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 (Articles 155 and 160).
CABANG vs. BASAY 582 SCRA 172 (March 20, 2009)
Cabang mistakenly occupied the lot owned by Basay that was the subject matter
of a case that was earlier decided up to the Supreme Court. The writ of execution was
opposed on the ground that the houses of petitioners family home was still subsisting and
being such, it is not subject to execution.
SC: The family home must be established on a) the absolute community, or b)
the conjugal partnership, or c) the exclusive property of either spouse with the
consent of the other. It cannot be established on a property held in co-ownership
with third persons. However, it can be established partly on the community property, or
conjugal partnership and partly on the exclusive property of either spouse with the
consent of the owner-spouse.
In the case at bar, the stark and immutable fact is that the property on which their
alleged family home stands is owned by respondents and the question of ownership had
been long laid to rest with the finality of the appellate courts judgment. Thus, Cabangs
continued stay on the subject land is only by mere tolerance of respondents.
Articles 164 (06) - (1)-status of children conceived or born during the marriage
(2)- status of children conceived through artificial insemination
- requisites in order that a child conceived through artificial
insemination shall be considered legitimate.
166 (exclusive) grounds to impugn legitimacy (89)
170 prescriptive period within which to institute an action impugning
legitimacy of child
171- Instances when heirs of the husband may impugn legitimacy



Badua vs. CA
229 SCRA 468
Articles 164, 166, 170 and 171 are not applicable in the instant case. These
articles govern a situation where a husband (or his heirs) denies as his own a child
of his wife but not where a child is alleged not to be the child of nature or
biological child of a certain couple.
Babiera vs. Catotal
333 SCRA 487
Alleged mother was already 54 years old at the time of her birth. The certificate of
live birth was not signed by the civil registrar or by the supposed mother.
-Article 171 is not applicable to the present case. 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 petitioner.
The prayer is not to declare the petitioner an illegitimate child of Hermogena, but
to establish that the former is not the latters child at all.
-Ruling in Badua case applied.
366 SCRA 499
In a notarized document Juan G. Dizon acknowledged Jacqueline and
Jinkie de Jesus as his own illegitimate children with Carolina Aves de Jesus who
were both born during the subsistence of the marriage between Carolina and
Danilo de Jesus. May the children be given due recognition as the illegitimate
children of Dizon?
There is perhaps no presumption of the law more firmly established and
founded on a sounder morality and convincing reason than the presumption that
children born in wedlock are legitimate. This presumption indeed becomes
conclusive in the absence of proof that there is physical impossibility of access
between the spouses during the 1st 120 days of the 300 days which immediately
preceded the birth of the child (Articles 164 and 166, Family Code).
Succinctly, in an attempt to establish their illegitimate filiation to the late
Dizon, petitioners, in effect, would impugn their legitimate status as being
children of Danilo and Carolina. This step cannot be done because the law itself
establishes the legitimacy of children conceived or born during the marriage of
the parents. The presumption of legitimacy fixes a civil status for the child born in
wedlock, and only the father, or in exceptional instances the latters heirs, can
contest in an appropriate action the legitimacy of the child born to his wife. Thus,
it is only when the legitimacy of a child has been successfully impugned that the
paternity of the husband can be rejected.
Indeed, a child born in such wedlock shall be considered legitimate
although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been
sentence as an adulteress (Article 167, Family Code).
378 SCRA 563
Husband and wife were separated-in-fact. The wife then lived with William Liyao
and had a child with him. During the birth of the child it was William who attended to the
needs of Corazon, visited and stayed with the mother and child at the hospital. He also
shouldered the hospitalization expenses of Corazon and William, Jr. The children of
Corazon with her husband also acknowledged that William, Jr. is the illegitimate child of
William Liyao, Sr.
Whose child is William?
It bears emphasis that only the father may impugn the legitimacy of the child or in
proper cases, his heirs under the conditions set forth in Article 262 of the Civil Code.
Impugning the legitimacy of the child is a strictly personal right of the husband, or in
exceptional cases, the heirs for the simple reason that he is the one directly confronted
with the scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produced 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.
Article 168 rule, in the absence of proof to the contrary, if wife contracted a
subsequent marriage within 300 days after termination of prior marriage and gives birth
thereafter. (99)
August 31, 2005
Gerardo and Theresa were married on December 29, 1989 and after the marriage
lived with Theresas parents at Fairview, QC. Almost a year later or on December 8, 1990
Theresa gave birth to Jose Gerardo. The marriage turned to be short-lived because on
December 19,1991 Gerardo filed a petition for annulment of his marriage with Theresa
on the ground of bigamy. It was found out that Theresa married one Mario Gopiao on
December 10, 1980, which marriage was never annulled and that Mario is still alive and
is residing in Loyola Heights, QC. The annulment was granted and declared Jose Gerardo
as an illegitimate child. Custody was granted to Theresa but Gerardo was granted
visitation rights. Feeling betrayed and humiliated when Gerardo had their marriage
annulled and held him responsible for the bastardization of the child, she moved for a
partial reconsideration of the trial courts ruling contending that there is nothing in the
law granting visitation rights in favor of a putative father of an illegitimate child. She
further maintained that the surname of the child should be changed from Concepcion to
Almonte following the rule that the illegitimate shall use the surname of the mother. The
court denied Theresas motion applying the best interest of the child principle. Theresa
went to the CA that also denied her appeal. She then moved for reconsideration. The
appellate court in resolving the reconsideration ruled that when Jose Gerardo was born on
December 8, 1990, Theresa was legitimately married to Mario therefore Jose Gerardo
under the law- is the legitimate child of Mario and Theresa. Shocked and stunned
Gerardo filed this appeal.
SC: The status and filiation of the child cannot be compromised, Article 164 of
the Family Code is clear. A child who is conceived or born during the marriage of his
parents is legitimate. As a guaranty in favor of the child and to protect his status of
legitimacy, Article 167 of the Family Code provides: The child shall be considered
legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have
been sentenced as an adulteress. Gerardo cannot invoke Article 166 (1) as he has no
standing to dispute the status of the child. Only Mario, Theresas husband, or, in a proper
case, his heirs who can contest the legitimacy of the child Jose Gerardo born to his wife.
Impugning the legitimacy of the child is a strictly personal right of the husband or, in
exceptional cases, his heirs. Since the marriage of Gerardo and Theresa was void from
the very beginning, he never became her husband and thus never acquired any right to
impugn the legitimacy of her child.
To rebut the presumption of legitimacy it must be shown beyond reasonable doubt
that there was no access that could have enabled the husband to father the child. Here,
during the period that Gerardo and Theresa were living together in Fairview, Mario was
living in Loyola Heights which is also in QC. Fairview and Loyola Heights are only a
scant 4 kilometers apart.
mother and guardian JINKY C. DIAZ
540 SCRA 480 (December 17, 2207)
Jinky, who was already married to a Japanese national Hasegawa Katsuo, had an
affair with Rogelio Ong. They lived together for about 4 years (January 1994 to
September 1998) and had a child Joanne Rodjin. In September 1998, Rogelio abandoned
the Jinky and Joanne and stopped supporting the minor alleging that he is not the father
of the child. Subsequently Jinky filed a complaint against Rogelio because of his
continued failure and refusal to give support to the child and to acknowledge the child as
his. The heirs, who substituted Rogelio when he died, insisted that the decision of the
appellate court remanding the case to the trial court for DNA testing analysis is set aside
and to declare Joanne as the legitimate child of Jinky and Hasegawa. It was established
however, that Hasegawa was living outside of the country and comes home only once a


year. No evidence was shown that he ever arrived in the country in the year 1997
preceding the birth of Joanne Rodjin.
-The burden of proving paternity is on the person who alleges that the putative
father is the biological father of the child.
-A child born to a husband and a wife during a valid marriage is presumed
legitimate. This presumption of legitimacy of the child, however, is not conclusive and
consequently, may be overthrown by evidence to the contrary.
-With the advancement in the field of genetics, and availability of new
technology, it can be determined with reasonable certainty whether Rogelio is the
biological father of the minor, through DNA testing. DNA analysis is a procedure in
which DNA extracted from a biological sample obtained from an individual is examined.
The DNA is processed to generate a pattern, or a DNA profile, for the individual from
whom the sample is taken. This DNA profile is unique for each person, except for
identical twins.
-The death of Rogelio does not ipso facto negate the application of DNA testing
for as long as there exist appropriate biological samples of his DNA. Biological samples
include blood, saliva, and other body fluids, tissues, hairs and bones.
Article 172 Proof of Filiation
Mendoza vs. CA
201 SCRA 675
-Although Teopista has failed to show that she was in open and continuous
possession of the status of an illegitimate child, she has nevertheless established
that status by another methodthrough common reputation respecting his
pedigree (falling under the phrase any other means allowed by the Rules of
Court and Special Laws, Art. 172, par. (2), (2), Famil Code)
Fernandez vs. CA
230 SCRA 130
-Photographs showing the presence of the alleged father in the baptism of the
child are far from proofs that he is the father of the child.
-Pictures showing putative father showering affection to the child fall short of the
evidence required to prove paternity.
-Baptismal certificate naming respondent as father of the child has scant
evidentiary value. No showing that he participated in its preparation.
-Certificate of live birth identifying the alleged father as father of the child is not
also competent evidence on the issue of paternity if records do not show that the
alleged father had a hand in the preparation of said certificate.
Trinidad vs. CA
289 SCRA 188
-Although a baptismal certificate is indeed not a conclusive proof of filiation, it is
one of the other means allowed under the Rules of Court and special laws to
show pedigree.
363 SCRA 811
-May filiation be collaterally attack in an action for declaration of nullity of sale
of real property?
HELD: While ones legitimacy can be questioned only in a direct action
seasonably filed by the proper party, this doctrine finds no application in the
instant case as respondents claim was that Rodolfo was not born to the deceased
spouses Fernandez, not a situation wherein the respondents deny that Rodolfo
was a child of their uncles wife.
-May an application for Recognition of Back Pay under RA 897 be considered as
proof of ones filiation?
It may be conceded that the Application for Recognition of Back Pay is a
public document nevertheless it was not executed to admit filiation of Jose with
Rodolfo. The public document contemplated under Art. 172 refers to a written
admission of filiation and not as obtaining in this case wherein the public


document was executed as an application for the recognition of rights to back pay,
the contents being, only a prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.
-The claim that he enjoyed and possessed the status of a legitimate child, the
Court in Quismundo vs. WCC, held that possession of the status of a child does
not in itself constitute an acknowledgment; it is only a ground for a child to
compel recognition by his assumed parent.
December 4, 2001
-Is an income tax return that listed her as filers daughter sufficient to
prove filiation?
-The entries made in an income tax return only shows that income tax has
been paid and the amount thereof.
-Use of a family name certainly does not establish pedigree.
December 10, 2001
As between the original certificate of live birth issued in the place where
the alleged birth took place and a certified true copy issued by the civil registrar
general but has entries different from the one issued by the local civil registrar,
which copy must prevail?
HELD: Since the records of birth cover several decades and come from all
parts of the country, to merely access them in the civil registry general requires
expertise. To locate one single record from the mass, a regular employee, if not
more has to be engaged. It is highly unlikely that any of these employees in Metro
Manila would have reason to falsify a particular 1957 birth record originating
from the local civil registry of Iloilo City.
-Respondents photograph with his mother near the coffin of the late Juan
C. Locsin cannot and will not constitute proof of filiation, lest we recklessly set a
very dangerous precedent that would encourage and sanction fraudulent claims.
Anybody can have a picture taken while standing before a coffin with others and
thereafter utilize it in claiming the estate of the deceased.
8. BERNABE vs. ALEJO (2005 Bar Exam)
January 21, 2002
The child was born in 1981. The alleged father died in 1993. May the
child be allowed to prove his filiation despite the clear provision of Art. 175 of the
Family Code which requires that if the action to establish illegitimate filiation is
based on the 2nd paragraph of Art. 172 the action may be brought during the
lifetime of the alleged parent?
HELD: The child should be allowed to prove his filiation as he was born
in 1981, and therefore, his rights are governed by Art. 285 of the Civil Code,
which allows an action for recognition to be filed within 4 years after the child
has attained the age of majority. The enactment of the Family Code did not take
away that right.
-Art. 285 is a substantive law, as it gives the child the right to file his
petition for recognition within 4 years after attaining the age of majority. The
Family Code cannot impair or take Adrians right to file an action for recognition
because the right had already vested prior to its enactment. The rules on
compulsory recognition of natural children are applicable to spurious children.
Our overriding consideration is to protect the vested rights of minors who could
have filed suit, on their own, during the lifetime of their putative parents. The
State as parens patriae should protect a minors right.
May 20, 2004
Vicente predeceased his mother Rosalina. During his lifetime, however, he
sired an illegitimate daughter, Maria Theresa. In 1991, Maria Theresa filed a case
for partition, accounting with damages against Rosalina alleging that by virtue of
her fathers death, she became Rosalinas co-heir and co-owner of a certain
property located at Stanford, Cubao, Quezon City. During the pre-trial both


parties admitted their relationship to one another, that Rosalina is Maria Theresas
grandmother and vise versa. When Rosalina was ordered by the court to give 1/8
of the Cubao property to Maria Theresa, the former questioned the latters
filiation, raising the following issues: 1. whether the certified Xerox copy of the
certificate of live birth is competent evidence to prove the alleged filiation of
Maria Theresa as an illegitimate daughter of her alleged father Vicente Eceta?
2. whether the admission made by Rosalina that Maria Theresa is
her granddaughter is enough to prove respondents filiation with Vicente Eceta,
her only son, and
3.whether the action for recognition has already prescribed.
SC Maria Theresa had successfully established her filiation with Vicente
by presenting a duly authenticated birth certificate which Vicente himself signed thereby
acknowledging that she is his daughter. By this act alone, Vicente is deemed to have
acknowledged his paternity over Maria Theresa.
- the due recognition of an illegitimate child in a record of birth, a will, a
statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing is, itself, a consummated
act of acknowledgment of the child, and no further court action is required. In fact, any
authentic writing is treated not just a ground for compulsory recognition; it is in itself a
voluntary recognition that does not require a separate action for judicial approval.
January 27, 2006
Facts: One of those claiming the estate of the late spouses Rustia is Guillerma
Rustia who claimed to be the illegitimate child of Guillermo Rustia where she sought
recognition on 2 grounds: first, compulsory recognition through the open and continuous
possession of the status of an illegitimate child and second, voluntary recognition through
authentic writing. As proof of the latter, she presented the report card that identified
Guillermo Rustia as her parent/guardian. Also in Josefa Delgados obituary that was
prepared by Guillermo Rustia, named Guillerma as one of their children.
SC: There was apparently no doubt that she possessed the status of an illegitimate
child from her birth until the death of her putative father Guillermo Rustia. However, this
did not constitute acknowledgment but a mere ground by which she could have
compelled acknowledgment through the courts. Furthermore, any (judicial) action for
compulsory acknowledgment has a dual limitation: the lifetime of the child and the
lifetime of the putative parent. On the death of either, the action for compulsory
recognition can no longer be filed. In this case, Guillermas right to claim compulsory
acknowledgment prescribed upon the death of Guillermo Rustia on February 28, 1974.
The claim of voluntary recognition must likewise fail. An authentic writing, for
purposes of voluntary recognition, is understood as a genuine or indubitable writing of
the parent. This includes a public instrument or a private writing admitted by the father to
be his. Did Guillermas report card from the University of Santo Tomas and Josefa
Delgados obituary prepared by Guillermo qualify as authentic writings under the Civil
Code? Unfortunately not. The report card did not bear the signature of Guillermo Rustia.
The fact that his name appears there, as her parent/guardian holds no weight since he had
no participation in its preparation. Similarly, while witnesses testified that it was
Guillermo himself who drafted the notice of death of Josefa which was published in the
SUNDAY TIMES on September 2, 1972, that published obituary was not the authentic
writing contemplated by the law. What could have been admitted as an authentic writing
was the original manuscript of the notice, in the handwriting of Guillermo himself and
signed by him, not the newspaper clipping of the obituary. The failure to present the
original signed manuscript was fatal to Guillermas claim.
498 SCRA 37 (August 7, 2006)
Petitioners alleged that they were the legitimate children of Buenaventura with
Ignacia while respondents were the legitimate children of Buenaventura with Donata. In
1930, Buenaventura died. Six decades later, petitioners learned that private respondents
executed an extrajudicial settlement involving a 535-square meter lot located at San Juan,
MetroManila. Unable to reach a settlement in their barangay, petitioners filed a


complaint for annulment of title and damages. Jose, a child of the 2 nd marriage testified
that the only time he became aware that petitioners are his brothers and sisters was when
he lived with their aunt Martina, a sister of his father, and the reason why they were
giving a portion of the lot in question to Elisa, one of the children of the 1 st marriage, was
that they want her to have a piece of property of her own and is not an admission that she
is their sister.
Petitioners, to prove their filiation with the deceased Buenaventura, presented the
baptismal certificates of Elisa, Anselmo, and the late Socorro. In the case of Mercedes
who was born on January 31, 1909, she produced a certification issued by the LCR of
San Juan, MetroManila attesting to the fact that records of birth for the years 1901, 1909,
1932 to 1939, 1943 and 1948 were all destroyed due to ordinary wear and tear.
SC: Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and Special Laws, may
consist of the childs baptismal certificate, a judicial admission, a family bible in which
the childs name has been entered, common reputation respecting the childs pedigree,
admission by silence, the testimony of witnesses, and other kinds of proof of admission
under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.
In the present case, the baptismal certificates of Elisa, Anselmo, and the late
Socorro were presented. Baptismal certificate is one of the acceptable documentary
evidence to prove filiation in accordance with the Rules of Court and jurisprudence. In
the case of Mercedes, who was born on January 31, 1909, she produced a certification
issued by the LCR of San Juan, MetroManila attesting to the destruction of the records
for the birth years 1901, 1909 etc. Likewise, the petitioners presented Santos who
testified that the petitioners enjoyed that common reputation in the community where
they reside as being the children of Buenaventura with his 1 st wife. Testimonies were
presented to prove filiation by continuous status as a legitimate child.
496 SCRA 135 (July 21, 2006)
Pacita Gonzales and Romualdo Villanueva lived together as husband and wife
without the benefit of marriage as the latter was validly married to Amanda Musngi who
died on April 20, 1963. During the cohabitation, Pacita and Romualdo acquired several
properties. Pacita died on July 3, 1980 without a will. Romualdo and Angelina, the
alleged illegitimate daughter of Pacita extrajudicially settled Gonzales estate. The former
then conveyed his interest in the estate to Angelina for P30,000.00. Petitioners (Gonzales
half bothers) filed an action for annulment of titles and damages. They contend that
Angelina was neither the adopted or illegitimate daughter of Gonzales with Villanueva.
Both the trial court and the CA however, ruled that Angelina was the illegitimate daughter
of the decedent, based solely on her birth certificate. The CA found this as adequate proof
that Angelina was Gonzales illegitimate child.
SC: A closer examination of the birth certificate reveals that Angelina was listed
as adopted by both Villanueva and Gonzales. The mere registration of a child in his
or her birth certificate as the child of the supposed parents is not a valid adoption,
does not confer upon the child the status of an adopted child and the legal rights of
such child, and even amounts to simulation of the childs birth or falsification of his or
her birth certificate, which is a public document (Benitez-Badua vs. CA).
Furthermore, it is well-settled that a record of birth is merely prima facie evidence
of the facts contained therein. It is not conclusive evidence of the truthfulness of the
statements made there by the interested parties. Following the logic of Benitez-Badua,
Angelina should have adduced evidence of her adoption, in view of the contents of her
birth certificate. The records however, are bereft of any such evidence. Gonzales had
been living with Villanueva for 20 years and was already 44 years old, and on the verge
of menopause at the time of the alleged birth. Under the circumstances, it was not
sufficiently established that Angelina was Gonzales biological daughter, nor even her
adopted daughter.
509 SCRA 113 (November 30, 2006)
Pablo Goyma Lim, Jr. presented as proofs of his filiation, to wit; 1. Certificate of
Birth indicating that his mother was Dominga Goyma; 2. Statement of Assets, Income


and Liabilities of Dominga indicating Pablo Goyma Lim, Jr. as her son and 3. Income
Tax Returns for 1953-1955 of Dominga, where she invariably claimed personal
exemption as head of the family.
SC enunciated that the due recognition of an illegitimate child in a record of
birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in, any authentic writing is, in itself,
a consummated act of acknowledgment of the child, and no further action is required. In
fact, any authentic writing is treated not just a ground for compulsory recognition; it is in
itself a voluntary recognition that does not require a separate civil action for judicial
approval. These pieces of documentary evidence, whose authenticity were not refuted by
petitioners, were properly considered by the court a quo and the appellate court to
establish that Pablo Goyma Lim, Jr. was acknowledged by Dominga Goyma to be her
illegitimate son.
522 SCRA 518 (April 27, 2007)
Posada, a young lass from a barrio in Catanduanes, was impregnated by Verceles,
the mayor of Pandan, Catanduanes. Verceles denied fathering the child. He argued that he
never signed the birth certificate of Verna Aiza Posada and that it was Clarissa Posada
who placed his name on the birth certificate as father without his consent. Clarissa, on the
other hand, presented as evidence the letters sent to her by Verceles starting from the very
time that she missed her menstruation and 3 other handwritten letters, 2 of which were in
his letterhead as mayor of Pandan. There were also pictures Verceles gave her of his
youth and as a public servant, all bearing his handwritten notations at the back. That she
was given P2,000 pocket money and another P2,000 for her delivery. Clarissas testimony
was corroborated by her mother.
SC: The letters of petitioner are declarations that lead nowhere but to the
conclusion that he sired Verna Aiza. Although petitioner used an alias (Ninoy) in these
letters, the similarity of the penmanship in these letters vis the annotation at the back of
petitioners fading photograph as a youth is unmistakable. Even an inexperienced eye will
come to the conclusion that they were all written by one and the same person, petitioner,
as found by the courts a quo.
In his memorandum, Verceles admitted his affair with Clarissa, the exchange of
love letters between them, and his giving her money during her pregnancy.
The letters are private handwritten instruments of petitioner which establish Verna
Aizas filiation under Article 172(2) of the FC. In addition, the array of evidence
presented by respondents, the dates, letters, pictures and testimonies, to us, are
convincing, and irrefutable evidence that Verna Aiza is, indeed, petitioners illegitimate
FIDEL vs. CA 559 SCRA 186 (July 21, 2008)
A baptismal certificate was the only evidence submitted by respondents that they
are the heirs of Primitivo Espineli, the only child of Vicente and Juliana Asas.
SC: Records show that Primitivo was born in 1895, at that time, the only records
of birth are those which appear in parochial records. As to the nature and character of the
entries in parochial books and the certificates thereof issued by a parish priest, the same
have not lost their character of being public documents for the purpose of proving acts
referred to therein, inasmuch as from the time of the change of sovereignty in the
Philippines to the present day, no law has been enacted abolishing the official and public
character parochial books and entries made therein. Parish priests continue to be the legal
custodians of parochial books kept during the former sovereignty, and as such they may
issue certified true copies of the entries contained therein in the same manner, as do
keepers of archives. The birth certificate of Primitivo is, therefore, a valid and competent
evidence to prove his filiation with Vicente.
GABATAN vs. CA and PACANA 581 SCRA 70 (March 13, 2009)
This involved a parcel of land owned by the late Juan Gabatan where the
contending parties both claimed to be the rightful heir of the deceased. Pacana presented
and identified a purported certified true copy of her typewritten birth certificate which
indicated that her mothers maiden name was Hermogena Clarito Gabatan (Exhibit
A). Petitioners, on the other hand, presented a certified true copy of respondents


handwritten birth certificate which differed from the copy presented by respondent.
Among the differences was respondents mothers full name which was indicated as
Hermogena Clarito (Exhibit 1) in the handwritten birth certificate.
SC: The birth certificate presented by Pacana was an original typewritten
document using a form of the 1950s vintage while the birth certificate presented by
Gabatan has a printed notation on the upper left hand corner that states Municipal Form
No. 102-(Revised, January 1945) which makes it an older form than the typewritten one.
The latter was certified on July 6, 1977, it seemed that the typewritten one and the
information contained therein were prepared and entered only in 1977. Noriga who
certified the birth certificate was never presented to identify the document. The document
and the signature of Noriga were identified by respondent herself whose self-serving
testimony cannot be deemed sufficient authentication of her birth certificate.
NEPOMUCENO vs. LOPEZ G.R. No. 181258 March 18, 2010
Araceli, for and in behalf of minor Arhbencel filed a complaint for recognition
and support against Nepomuceno.
She alleged that Arhbencel is the product of her extramarital affair with
Nepomuceno but that the latter refused to affix his signature on the childs birth
certificate. But as proof of his acknowledgment that the child is his child, Araceli
presented as proof a handwritten note where he obligated himself to give financial
support in the amount of P1,500.00 on the 15 th and 30th of each month. She claimed that
the childs filiation was established by the said note.
SC: Arhbencels demand for support, being based on her claim of filiation to
Nepomuceno as his illegitimate daughter falls under Article 195 (4). As such, her
entitlement to support from petitioner is dependent on the determination of her filiation.
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. A notarial agreement to
support a child whose filiation is admitted by the putative father was considered
acceptable evidence. Letters to the mother vowing to be a good father to the child and
pictures of the putative father cuddling the child on various occasions, together with the
certificate of live birth, proved filiation. However, a student permanent record, a written
consent to fathers operation, or a marriage contract where the putative father gave
consent, cannot be taken as authentic writing. Standing alone, neither a certificate of
baptism or family pictures are sufficient to establish filiation.
In the present case, Arhbencel relies on the handwritten note executed by
I, Ben Hur Nepomuceno, hereby undertake to give and provide financial
support in the amount of x x x x x , to Arhbencel Ann Lopez, presently in the
custody of her mother Araceli Lopez without the necessity of demand, subject to
adjustment later depending on the needs of the child and my income.
The above-quoted note does not contain any statement whatsoever about
Arhbencels filiation to Nepomuceno. It is, therefore, not within the ambit of Article 172
(2) vis--vis Article 175 of the FC, which admits as competent evidence of illegitimate
filiation an admission of filiation in a private handwritten instrument signed by the parent
The note cannot also be accorded the same weight as the notarial agreement to
support the child. For it is not even notarized. And the notarial agreement must be
accompanied by the putative fathers admission of filiation to be an acceptable evidence
of filiation. Here, however, not only has petitioner not admitted filiation through
contemporaneous actions. He has consistently denied it.
The only other documentary evidence submitted by Arhbencel, a copy of her
Certificate of Live Birth, has no probative value to establish filiation to petitioner, the
latter not having signed the same.
Art. 173 Action to claim legitimacy


Marquino vs. IAC

233 SCRA 348
-Effect of death of the natural child during the pendency of action for recognition.
Under Art. 285 of the Civil Code, the action is extinguished. The right of action
for the acknowledgment of natural children can never be transmitted. Article 173
of the Family Code however, superseded the intransmissibility of an action for
-But Article 173 of the Family Code cannot be given retroactive effect so as to
apply to the case at bench because vested rights will be prejudiced.
-In the case at bar, the SC said that in an action for recognition, the party in the
best position to oppose the same is the putative parent himself. The need to hear
the side of the putative parent is an overwhelming consideration because of the
unsettling effects of such an action on the peace and harmonious relationship in
the family of the putative parent.
-Article 175 (2) of the Family Code requires that if the action is based on the 2 nd
paragraph of Art. 172 the action maybe brought during the lifetime of the alleged
Art. 174 rights of a legitimate child (90)
Art. 175 filiation of an illegitimate child (95)
May be established in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate
children except when the action is based on the second paragraph of Article 172, the
action may be brought during the lifetime of the alleged parent.
Art. 176 rights of an illegitimate child (90)
Art. 177 Legitimated children
De Santos vs. Angeles
251 SCRA 206
-Natural children by legal fiction cannot be legitimated because of the
impediment present at the time of conception of the child.
- Amended Article 177 of the Family Code that now reads Art. 177. Children
conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents, who at the time of the conception of
the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other, or were so
disqualified only because either or both of them were below eighteen (18) years of
age, may be legitimated. (Underscoring supplied)
Articles 183 to 193- ADOPTION (83,94,95,96,00,01,03,05,06)
The Family Code provisions on adoption had been repealed by Republic Act 8552
or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 but determining factor whether the new law is
applicable or not is when was the petition for adoption filed 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 and cannot be impaired by the enactment of a new law on adoption
(Republic vs. Miller, April 21, 1999).
Effect of Adoption under RA 8552:
Section 13-x x x x, and that the adoption would redound to the best interest of
the adoptee, a decree of adoption shall be entered which shall be effective as of the date
the original petition was filed. This provision shall also apply in case the petitioner dies
before the issuance of the decree of adoption to protect the interest of the adoptee.
In Tamargo vs. CA, 209 SCRA 518, the SC said that we do not consider that
retroactive effect may be given to the decree of adoption so as to impose liability upon
the adopting parents accruing at a time when the adopting parents had no actual or
physical custody over the adopted child. Retroactive effect may perhaps be given to the
granting of the petition for adoption where such is essential to permit the accrual of some
benefit or advantage in favor of the adopted child. Put a little differently, no presumption
of parental dereliction on the part of the adopting parents could have arisen since the
adopted child was not in fact subject to their control at the time the tort was committed.


In Lahom vs. Sibulo (July 14, 2003) the SC held that RA 8552 had abrogated
and repealed the right of the adopter under the Civil Code and the Family Code to rescind
a decree of adoption. The adopter while barred from severing the legal ties of adoption,
can always for valid reasons caused the forfeiture of certain benefits. For instance, upon
the grounds recognized by law, an adopter may deny to an adopted child his legitime and,
by a will and testament, may freely exclude him from having a share in the disposable
portion of his estate.
Section 18 of RA 8552 does not give the adopter the right of representation
because this does not involve a reciprocal right between a parent and child.
- This law effectively made the adoption process administrative in
nature as it now requires a certification signed by the DSWD Secretary
in lieu of a judicial order.
- The certification, in cases of abandoned and neglected children, shall be,
for all intents and purposes, the primary evidence that the child is legally
available in a domestic adoption proceeding as provided in RA 8552,
and in an inter-country adoption proceeding as provided in RA 8043.
- Said certification by itself shall be the sole basis for the immediate
issuance by the local civil registrar of a foundling certificate that
mandates the said office to transmit the foundling certificate to the
National Statistics Office (NSO).
- Repealed Sections 2 (iii), 3(b), (d), (e), and 8(a) of RA 8552, Section
3(f) of RA 8043, Title VII, Chapter 1, of PD 603.
June 27, 2006
Minors Elaine, Elma, and Eugene were the children of Amelia and the late
Manuel Ramos. After Manuels death, the children were left under the custody of their
paternal grandmother because Amelia left for Italy. When the paternal grandmother died,
the children were taken cared of by a paternal uncle. Landingin, the 57-year old aunt and
sister of the late Manuel and an American citizen residing in Guam, now desires to adopt
the 3 children. In her petition, she alleged that the mother of the children had abandoned
them and had not communicated with her children neither with her in-laws. In fact
Amelia has already remarried and has 2 children with her 2 nd husband. That petitioner and
her other siblings were the ones financially supporting the children. That she is already a
widow and living alone because all her children are already married and are gainfully
employed. They have given their consent in writing to the adoption, and also promised to
help her in supporting the children financially. Likewise, the paternal uncle where the
children are currently staying also signified his willingness and commitment to support
the minors while in petitioners custody.
The Child Study Report submitted by Social Welfare Officer Pagbilao stated that
the surviving parent consented to the adoption as evidenced by the Affidavit of Consent
executed by the childrens mother Amelia as the mother came home on May 2, 2002 and
stayed for 3 weeks. The minors likewise, consented to the proposed adoption. Pagbilao
then recommended that the children be adopted by petitioner. During the trial however,
Landingin failed to present Pagbilao as witness and also failed to adduce documentary
evidence that, indeed, Amelia assented to the adoption.
Issues: 1. Whether petitioner is entitled to adopt the minors without the written
consent of the biological mother?
2.Whether or not the affidavit of consent purportedly executed by petitioners
children sufficiently complies with the law? and
3.Whether or not petitioner is financially capable of supporting the adoptees?
SC: Section 9 of RA 8552 (Domestic Adoption Act of 1998) provides: Whose
consent is necessary to the adoption:
X x x x.


(b) The biological parents of the child, if known x x x .

The general requirement of consent and notice to the natural parents is intended to
protect the natural parental relationship from unwarranted interference by interlopers, and
to insure the opportunity to safeguard the best interest of the child.
Clearly, the written consent of the natural parents is indispensable for the validity
of a decree of adoption. In this case, petitioner failed to submit the written consent of
Amelia to the adoption.
Petitioners argument that her consent is no longer necessary because she left for
Italy and never came back, hence, Amelia had abandoned the children and it was just by
twist of fate that after 12 years Amelia was on vacation and was able to meet Pagbilao,
must be rejected. If, as claimed, that the biological mother had abandoned them, she
should have adduced the written consent of the childrens legal guardian. Merely
permitting the child to remain for a time undisturbed in the care of others does not
constitute abandonment. To dispense with the requirement of consent, the abandonment
must be shown to have existed at the time of adoption.
Here, petitioner relied solely on her testimony and that of Elaine, the eldest of the
3, to prove that Amelia abandoned them.
The Home Study Report tends to show otherwise. Elaine during the interview said
that in serious problems she already consult her mother and petitioner-aunt. And
while petitioner and other paternal relatives are continuously providing for most of their
needs and education, Amelia would also send financial support ranging from
P10,000.00 to P15,000.00 a month through her parents and share P3,000.00 to
P5,000.00 thereof with the children.
Thus, Amelia left for Italy without intention of abandoning her children, or to
permanently sever their mother-child relationship. She was merely impelled to leave the
country by financial constraints. Yet, even while abroad, she did not surrender or
relinquish entirely her motherly obligations of rearing her children to her now deceased
Petitioner failed to offer in evidence Pagbilaos report and the joint affidavit of
consent purportedly executed by her children; the authenticity of which she, likewise,
failed to prove. As to her financial capacity, the Report stated that petitioner is 57 years
old, employed on a part-time basis as a waitress, earning $5.15 an hour and tips of around
$1,000.00 per month. That she owns her house at Quitugua Subd., Yigo, Guam but the
same is still being amortized. Given these limited facts, it is doubtful whether petitioner
will be able to sufficiently handle the financial aspect of rearing the 3 children in the US.
While she claims that she has the financial support and backing of her children, the OSG
is correct in stating that the ability to support the adoptees is personal to the adopter, as
adoption only creates a legal relation between the former and the latter. Moreover, no
proof was adduced to prove her allegation that her children and siblings are willing to
support the minors herein.
LIM 588 SCRA 98 (May 21, 2009)
Michelle was given to the spouses Lim in 1977 while Michael was delivered in
1983. They were only about 11 days old when they were given to the spouses Lim who
had them registered as if they were their own children. They were reared and cared for
and were sent to exclusive schools and used the surname Lim in all their school records
and documents. In 1988, the husband died and the surviving spouse entered into another
marriage with an American citizen, Olario. Monina (the surviving spouse) then filed two
separate petitions to adopt the children by availing of the amnesty given under RA 8552
or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 to those individuals who simulated the birth of the
child. Both children, who are already of legal age, gave their consent including
Michelles husband to the adoption. Olario likewise executed an affidavit of consent for
the adoption of Michelle and Michael. The lower court denied the petition because
inasmuch as Monina has remarried, her petition should have been jointly filed with her
new husband.
ISSUE: Whether Monina, who has remarried, can singly adopt?


SC: It is undisputed that at the time the petitions for adoption were filed,
petitioner had already remarried. She filed the petition by herself, without being joined by
her husband Olario. The law is explicit. Section 7, Article III of RA 8552 reads Husband
and wife shall jointly adopt subject to the exceptions. The word shall means that joint
adoption by the husband and the wife is mandatory. This in consonance with the concept
of joint parental authority over the child which is the ideal situation. As the child to be
adopted is elevated to the level of a legitimate child, it is but natural to require the
spouses to adopt jointly. The rule is to insure harmony between the spouses.
Neither would the exceptions apply. 1st the children are not the legitimate children
of the petitioner or of her husband; 2nd the children are not the illegitimate children of the
pettioner ; and 3rd, petitioner and Olario are not legally separated from each other.
There are also certain requirements that Olario must comply being an American
citizen. None of the qualifications were shown and proved during the trial. Neither are the
requirements on residency and certification waivable as the children are not relatives
within the 4th degree of consanguinity or affinity of petitioner or Olario.
It is true that when the child reaches the age of emancipation- that is, when he
attains the age of majority or 18 years of age-emancipation terminates parental authority
over the person and property of the child, who shall then be qualified and responsible for
all acts of civil life. However, parental authority is merely just one of the effects of legal
Even if emancipation terminates parental authority, the adoptee is still considered
the legitimate child of the adopter with all the rights of a legitimate child as provided for
under Article 174 of the Family Code. Conversely, the adoptive parents shall, with
respect to the adopted child, enjoy all the benefits to which biological parents are entitled
such as support and successional rights.
While petitioner insists that joint adoption is no longer possible because Olario
has filed a case for dissolution of his marriage to petitioner before the Los Angeles
Superior Court, the filing of said case is of no moment. It is not equivalent to a decree of
dissolution of marriage. until and unless there is a judicial decree for the dissolution of
the marriage between Monina and Olario, the marriage still subsists.
303 SCRA 176
The mother filed an action for recognition and support. The putative father denied
paternity and instead filed a counterclaim. The parties agreed to dismiss the case provided
the alleged father would no longer pursue his counterclaim. Subsequently, the mother
filed another case against the alleged father again, for support and recognition. The
putative father moved for the dismissal of the case on the ground of res judicata.
SC: Such manifestation does not bar the mother from filing a subsequent
case for support on behalf of the same child against the same defendant because
such manifestation and the agreement to dismiss the case on condition that the
defendant will not pursue the counterclaim constitute a form of renunciation as
they severed the vinculum that gives the child the right to claim support from the
putative parent.
-The right to receive support can neither be renounced nor transmitted to a third
-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.
-An agreement for the dismissal of a complaint for maintenance and support
conditioned upon the dismissal of the counterclaim is in the nature of a
compromise that cannot be countenanced.
-If paternity is at issue in a case, its existence or absence must be judicially
established and cannot be left to the will or agreement of the parties.



May 28, 2002
Apprehensive that she would be unable to send her 3-year old daughter to
school, she wrote Gan demanding support for their love child. Gan denied
paternity of the child. He argued that since the childs birth certificate indicated
her father as UNKNOWN, then there is no legal basis for the claim for support.
Gan was declared in default and was ordered to recognize the child Francheska
Joy as his illegitimate child and to support her. A writ of execution was issued
citing as reason the childs immediate need for schooling. Meanwhile, Gan
appealed the judgment of the CA. He then filed a petition for certiorari insisting
that the judgment sought to be enforced did not yet attain finality. He also seeks
the setting aside of the default order and the judgment rendered thereafter for the
reason that he should be allowed to prove his defense of adultery.
SC: There is no evidence to justify the setting aside of the writ on the
ground that it was issued beyond the legitimate bounds of judicial discretion. 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. The aforesaid provision peremptorily
calls for immediate execution of all judgments for and makes no distinction
between those that are the subject of an appeal and those that are not. To consider
then petitioners argument that there should be good reasons for the advance
execution of judgment would be to violate the clear and explicit language of the
rule mandating immediate execution.
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. 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 the child.
494 SCRA 1 (June 30, 2006)
Ma. Belen Mangonon and Federico Delgado were civilly married. The
marriage however, was subsequently annulled due to absence of the required
parental consent under Article 85 of the Civil Code. 7 months after the annulment,
Mangonon gave birth to twins Rica and Rina. Federico totally abandoned them
and Mangonon had to rely upon her 2nd husband for assistance. Demands made
upon Federico and the latters father, Francisco, the latter being generally well
known to be financially well-off, were unheeded. Petitioner then filed, for and in
behalf of the twins a petition for declaration of legitimacy and support with
application for support pendente lite before the RTC of Makati. As legitimate
children and grandchildren, the twins are entitled to general and educational
support under Articles 174 and 195 (b) in relation to Articles 194 (1) and (2) and
199 (c) of the Family Code. Mangonon argued that in case of default on the
parents part, the obligation to provide support falls upon the grandparents of the
children; thus, Federico, or in his default, Francisco should be ordered to provide
general and educational support in the amount of US$50,000.00, more or less, per
year. Francisco stated in his answer that as the birth certificates of Rica and Rina
do not bear the signature of Federico, it is essential to 1 st establish their legitimacy
as there is no basis to claim support until a final and executory judicial
declaration has been made as to the civil status of the children. Whatever good
deeds he may have done to the twins were founded on pure acts of Christian
charity. And assuming that he could be held liable for support, he has the option to
fulfill the obligation either by paying the support or receiving and maintaining in
the dwelling here in the Philippines the person claiming support. He further posits


that because petitioner and the twins are now US citizens, they cannot invoke the
Family Code provisions on support because laws 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. (Article 15, NCC).
Federico, on the other hand, alleged that he left for abroad and stayed there for a
long time within the 1st 120 days of the 300 days immediately preceding March
25, 1976 (birth of the twins) and that he only came to know about the birth of the
twins when the latter introduced themselves to him 17 years later. He did not tell
them that he could not be their father in order not to antagonize them.
The trial court said that, the status of the twins as children of Federico
cannot be denied. They had maintained constant communication with their
grandfather Francisco. Francisco admitted having written several letters to Rica
and Rina. In said letters, particularly at the bottom thereof, Francisco wrote the
names of Rica and Rina Delgado. He therefore was very well aware that the twins
bear the surname Delgado. Likewise, he referred to himself in his letters as Lolo
Paco or Daddy Paco. In his October 13, 1989 letter he said, as the
grandfather, am extending a financial help of US$1,000.00.
SC: The pertinent provision is Article 199 of the FC; Whenever 2 or
more persons are obliged to give support, the liability shall devolve upon the
following persons in the order herein provided:
(1) The spouse;
(2) The descendants in the nearest degree;
(3) The ascendants in the nearest degree; and
(4) The brothers and sisters.
Tolentino explains that 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.
There being prima facie showing that Mangonon and Federico are the
parents of Rica and Rina, they are primarily charged to support their childrens
college education. In view however of their incapacities, the obligation to furnish
said support shall be borne by Francisco. Under Article 199 of the FC, as the next
immediate relative of the twins, is tasked to give support to his granddaughters in
default of their parents. It having been established that he has the financial means
to support the twins education, he, in lieu of Federico should be liable for support
pendente lite.
While respondents have the option under Article 204 to fulfill the
obligation either by paying the allowance fixed, or by receiving and maintaining
in the family dwelling the person who has the right to receive support. The latter
alternative cannot be availed of in case there is a moral or legal obstacle thereto.
In this case, Francisco cannot avail himself of the 2nd option. Prior to the
commencement of this action, the relationship between Francisco and the
petitioner and daughters was quite pleasant. The correspondences exchanged
among them expressed profound feelings of thoughtfulness and concern for
anothers well being. The photographs presented a seemingly typical family
celebrating kinship. All these, however, are things of the past. With the filing of
this case, and the allegations hurled at one another, the relationships had been
affected. Particularly difficult for Rica and Rina must be the fact that those who
they considered and claimed as family denied having any familial relationship
with them. Given all these, we could not see the twins moving back here in the
Philippines in the company of those who disowned them.


Espiritu vs. CA
242 SCRA 362
-The task of choosing the parent to whom custody shall be awarded is not a
ministerial function to be determined by a simple determination of the age of a
minor child. Whether a child is under or over seven years of age, the paramount
criterion must always be the childs interests.
-In ascertaining the welfare and best interests of the child, courts are mandated by
the Family Code to take into account all relevant considerations. If a child is
under 7 years of age, the law presumes that the mother is the best custodian. The
presumption is strong but it is not conclusive. It can be overcome by compelling
-Either parent, whether father or mother, is bound to suffer agony and pain if
deprived of custody but 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.
Santos, Sr. vs. CA
242 SCRA 407
-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 parents
death, absence, or unsuitability may substitute parental authority be exercised by
the surviving grandparent.
-The legitimate father is still preferred over the grandparents despite the latters
demonstrated love and affection. Wealth, too, is not a deciding factor.
-The fathers previous inattention is inexcusable and merits only the severest
criticism. It cannot, however, be construed as abandonement.
Eslao vs. CA
266 SCRA 317
-When a parent entrusts the custody of a minor to another, such as a friend or
godfather, even in a document, what is given is merely temporary custody and it
does not constitute a renunciation of parental authority. Even if a definite
renunciation is manifest, the law still disallows the same.
September 3, 2002
The results of the psychiatric evaluation submitted to the trial court states
that Reymond Laxamana is not yet considered completely cured (of his drug
dependency) even though his drug urine test for shabu was negative. Likewise the
children aged 14 and 15 when asked whether they like to be with their father but they
said that they entertain fears in their hearts and want to be sure that their father is no
longer a drug dependent. The trial court then awarded custody of the children to their
mother. Is the court correct?
While petitioner may have a history of drug dependence, the records are
inadequate as to his moral, financial and social well-being. The psychiatric evaluation
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 he is unfit to provide the children with adequate
support, education, as well as moral and intellectual training and development. While the
children were asked as to whether they like to be with their father but there was no
showing that the court ascertained the categorical choice of the children.
In controversies involving the care, custody, and control of their minor children,
the contending parties stand on equal footing before the court who shall make a selection
according to the best interest of the child. The child if over 7 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 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 the social and moral situations of the opposing



461 SCRA 451 (June 28, 2005) [2006 Bar]
Is a mother allegedly a lesbian unfit to have custody over a child below seven
years of age?
SC: The convention on the Rights of the Child provides that in all actions
concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions,
courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interest of the child
shall be a primary consideration. The principle of best interest of the child pervades
Philippine cases involving adoption, guardianship, support, personal status, minors in
conflict with the law, and child custody. In these cases, it has long been recognized that in
choosing the parent to whom custody is given, the welfare of the minors should always
be the paramount consideration. Courts are mandated to take into account all relevant
circumstances that would have a bearing on the childrens well-being and development.
Aside from the material resources and the moral and social situations of each parent,
other factors may be considered to ascertain which one has the capability to attend to the
physical, educational, social and moral welfare of the children.
As a general rule a mother is to be preferred in awarding custody of children
under the age of 7. The caveat in Article 213 of the Family Code cannot be ignored,
except when the court finds cause to order otherwise. The so-called tender-age
presumption under Article 213 may be overcome only by compelling evidence of the
mothers unfitness. The mother has been declared unsuitable to have custody of her
children in one or more of the following instances: neglect, abandonment,
unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the
child, insanity or affliction with a communicable disease.
Here, Crisanto cites immorality due to alleged lesbian relationship as the
compelling reason to deprive Joycelyn of custody. It has indeed been held that under
certain circumstances, the mothers immoral conduct may constitute a compelling reason
to deprive her of custody.
But sexual preference or moral laxity alone does not prove parental neglect or
incompetence. Not even the fact that a mother is a prostitute or has been unfaithful to her
husband would render her unfit to have custody of her minor child. To deprive the wife of
custody, the husband must clearly establish that her moral lapses have had an adverse
effect on the welfare of the child or have distracted the offending spouse from exercising
parental care.
August 29, 2006
Loran and Marie Antonette are the parents of Lorenzo Emmanuel. They lived with
Maries parents. Due to in-law problems, Loran suggested that they transfer to their own
house but Marie refused so he, alone, left the house and was, later on, prevented from
seeing his son.
He then instituted a petition for habeas corpus and custody. Ordered to show
cause why Lorenzo Emmanuel should not be discharged from restraint Marie moved for
the reconsideration of the order which the court denied. She went to the CA which the
affirmed the denial of the lower court. On certiorari, she contended that there was no
evidence at all that the 3-year Lorenzo was under restraint and no evidence of maternal
unfitness to deprive the mother Marie of her son of tender years. That the writ is
unwarranted considering that there is no unlawful restraint by the mother and considering
further that the law presumes the fitness of the mother, thereby negating any notion of
such mother illegally restraining her own son. She maintains that Loran had the burden of
showing a compelling reason but failed to present even a prima facie proof thereof.
Accordingly, the proper remedy is an action for custody and not habeas corpus as the
latter is unavailable against the mother who, under the law, has the right of custody of the
minor. Loran, on the other hand, argued that under the law, he and Marie have shared
custody and parental authority over their son. That at times that Marie is out of the
country as required of her job as an international flight stewardess, he, the father, should
have custody of their son and not the maternal grandparents.


SC: Habeas corpus may be resorted to in cases where rightful custody is withheld
from a person entitled thereto. Under Article 211 of the FC, Loran and Marie Antonette
have joint parental authority over their minor son and consequently, joint custody.
Further, although the couple is separated de facto, the issue of custody has yet to be
adjudicated by the court. In the absence of a judicial grant of custody to one parent, both
parents are entitled to the custody of their child. In this case, Lorans cause of action is
the deprivation of his right to see his son, hence, the remedy of habeas corpus is available
to him.
In a petition for habeas corpus, the childs welfare is the supreme consideration.
The Child and Youth Welfare Code unequivocally provides that in all questions regarding
the care and custody of the child, his welfare shall be the paramount consideration.
Article 213 of the FC deals with the judicial adjudication of custody and serves as
a guideline for the proper award of custody by the court. Petitioners can raise it as a
counterargument for Lorans petition for custody. But it is not a basis for preventing the
father to see his own child. Nothing in the said provision disallows a father from seeing
or visiting his child under 7 years of age.
GAMBOA-HIRSCH vs. CA 527 SCRA 380 (July 11, 2007)
Spouses Franklin and Agnes have a 4-year old daughter named Simone. Their
problem started when Agnes wanted to stay in Makati while Franklin would like to stay
in their conjugal home in Diniwid, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan. One day, Agnes went to
Boracay, asked for money and for Franklins permission for her to bring their daughter to
Makati City for a brief vacation. He later however, discovered that neither Agnes nor
their daughter would be coming back to Boracay. He then filed a petition for habeas
corpus for Agnes to produce Simone. The CA granted joint custody of the minor child to
both parents.
SC: The CA committed grave abuse of jurisdiction when it granted joint custody
of the minor child to both parents.
The Convention of the Rights of the Child provides that in all actions
concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best
interest of the child shall be a primary consideration.
The so-called tender age presumption under Article 213 of the FC may be
overcome only by compelling evidence of the mothers unfitness. The mother is declared
unsuitable to have custody of her children in one or more of the following instances:
neglect, abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction,
maltreatment of the child, insanity or affliction with a communicable diseases. Here, the
mother was not shown to be unsuitable or grossly incapable of caring for her minor child.
All told, no compelling reason has been adduced to wrench the child from the mothers
MADRINAN vs. MADRINAN 527 SCRA 487 (July 12, 2007)
Spouses Felipe and Francisca have 4 children. On May 12, 2002, after a bitter
quarrel, Felipe left the conjugal home taking with him their 3 sons and went to Ligao,
Albay. Patching up things proved futile so Francisca filed a petition for habeas corpus
before the CA. Felipe questioned the jurisdiction of the CA claiming that the family
courts have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide a petition for habeas corpus
as provided for in Section 5 (b) of RA 8369 otherwise known as the Family Courts of
SC: Citing Thorton vs. Thorton (436 SCRA 550), the SC resolved the issue of the
CAs jurisdiction to hear writs of habeas corpus in cases involving custody of minors in
the light of the provision of RA 8369 giving family courts exclusive original jurisdiction
over such petitions.
The Court of Appeals should take cognizance of the case since there is
nothing in RA 8369 that revoked its jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus
involving the custody of minors.
The family courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the CA and the SC in
petitions for habeas corpus where the custody of minors is at issue.
HERALD DACASIN vs. SHARON DACASIN G.R. No. 168785 February 5, 2010


Sharon, Filipino, married to an American, Herald, obtained a decree of divorce

from an Illinois court. The court awarded to Sharon sole custody of their daughter
Stephanie and retained jurisdiction over the case for enforcement purposes. Subsequently,
the parties executed in Manila an agreement for the joint custody of their daughter and
chose the Philippine courts as the exclusive forum to adjudicate disputes arising from the
agreement. Sharon, in fact undertook to obtain from the Illinois court an order
relinquishing jurisdiction to Philippine courts. In 2004, Herald sued Sharon for alleged
violation of the agreement as the latter exercised sole custody over Stephanie.
SC: At the time the parties executed the agreement on January 28, 2003, 2 facts
are undisputed: (1) Stephanie was under 7 years old (having been born on September 21,
1995); and (2) Sharon and Herald were no longer married under the laws of the US
because of the divorce decree. The relevant Philippine law on child custody for spouses
separated in fact or in law is also undisputed: no child under 7 years of age shall be
separated from the mother x x x. (Article 213 (2) FC). This award of sole parental
custody to the mother is mandatory, grounded on sound policy consideration, subject only
to a narrow exception not alleged to obtain here. The agreements object to establish a
post-divorce joint custody regime between them over their minor child under 7 years old
contravenes Philippine law.
The agreement would be valid if the spouses have not divorced or separated
because the law provides for joint parental authority when spouses live together.
However, upon separation of the spouses, the mother takes sole custody under the law if
the child is below 7 years old and any agreement to the contrary is void. The separated
parents cannot contract away the provision in the Family Code on the maternal custody of
children below 7 years anymore than they can privately agree that a mother who is
unemployed, immoral, habitually drunk, drug addict, insane or afflicted with a
communicable disease will have sole custody of a child under 7 as these are reasons
deemed compelling to preclude the application of the exclusive maternal custody regime
under the 2nd paragraph of Article 213.
The rules seeming harshness or undesirability is tempered by ancillary
agreements the separated parents may wish to enter such as granting the visitation and
other privileges. These arrangements are not inconsistent with regime of sole maternal
custody under the 2nd paragraph of A. 213 which merely grants to the mother final
authority on the care and custody of the minor under 7 years of age, in case of
- Default custodial regime or mandatory maternal custody regime 2 nd
paragraph of A. 213 of the FC vesting on the mother sole custody of a
child under 7 years of age.
- Default standard on child custody proceedings - the best interest of the
Articles 218 and 219- (03)
376 SCRA 474
-Under Art. 218 of the Family Code, the following shall have special parental
authority over a minor child while under their supervision, instruction or custody: 1) the
school, its administrators and teachers; or 2) the individual, entity or institution engaged
in child care. Such authority and responsibility applies to field trips, excursions and other
affairs of the pupils and students outside the school premises whenever authorized by the
school or its teachers. Under Art. 219 those exercising special parental authority are
principally and solidarily liable for damages caused by the acts or omissions of the
unemancipated minor under their supervision, instruction, or custody.
-For a school to be liable, there must be a finding that the act or omission
considered as negligent was the proximate cause of the injury caused because the
negligence must have a causal connection to the accident.
223 July 14, 2008


Taguiam was an adviser of a Grade V class of the above said school. The grade
school principal granted the written request of the class president authorizing the class to
hold a year-end celebration at the school grounds and to use the swimming pool. Taguiam
distributed the parents/ guardian permit forms to the pupils. One of the pupils, Chiara
Mae Federico, form was unsigned but Taguiam presumed that she was allowed to join the
activity since her mother personally brought her to the school with her packed lunch and
swimsuit. Taguiam warned the children not to go the deeper portion of the pool.
Subsequently, 2 of the children sneaked out and went after them. While she was away
Chiara Mae drowned.
SC: As a teacher who stands in loco parentis to her pupils, Taguiam should have
made sure that the children were protected from all harm while in her company. She
should have known that leaving the pupils in the swimming pool area all by themselves
may result in an accident. A simple reminder not to go the deepest part of the pool was
insufficient to cast away all the serious dangers that the situation presented to the
children, especially Taguiam knew that Chiara Mae cannot swim. Dismally, respondent
created an unsafe situation which exposed the lives of all the pupils concerned to real
danger. This a clear violation not only of the trust and confidence reposed on her by the
parents of the pupils but of the school itself.
Article 231 grounds for suspension of parental authority (94)
Article 236 as amended by RA 6809 effects of termination of parental authority and its
exception (93)
The SC in Republic vs. CA (May 6, 2005) said that a petition for declaration of
presumptive death is a summary proceeding under the Family Code and not a
special proceeding under the Revised Rules of Court.
In Republic vs. Lorino (January 19, 2005) the SC held that in Summary Judicial
Proceedings under the Family Code, there is no reglementary period within which to
perfect an appeal, precisely because judgments rendered thereunder, by express provision
of Article 247 thereof, are immediately final and executory. An appellate court
acquires no jurisdiction to review a judgment, which by express provision of law, is
immediately final and executory. The right to appeal is not a natural right nor is part of
due process, for it is merely a statutory privilege (Veloria vs. COMELEC).
Others Constitutional provisions strengthening marriage as an institution (91).
Art. 364 of the New Civil Code Legitimate and Legitimated Children shall use the
surname of the father
Republic vs. CA and Vicencio
300 SCRA 138
-A legitimate child generally bears the surname of the father. It must be stressed
that a change of name is a privilege not a matter of right, addressed to the sound
discretion of the court.
-More confusion with grave legal consequences could arise if a legitimate child is
allowed to use the surname of the stepfather, who did not legally adopt her.
-While previous decisions have allowed children to bear the surname of their
respective stepfather even without the benefit of adoption such as in the cases of
Calderon and Llaneta, wherein the Court allowed the concerned child to adopt the
surname of the stepfather, in those cases the children were not of legitimate
Art. 368 Surname of illegitimate children
Mossesgeld vs. CA
300 SCRA 464
-Illegitimate children shall generally, use the surname of their mother.
In Re: Petition of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang


454 SCRA 2155, March 30, 2005

May a person be allowed to drop his middle name?
Facts: Julian is the legitimated son of spouses Anna Maria Carulasan and SongPei Wang. Since the couple decided to settle in Singapore where Julian will study
together with his sister, Anna Maria filed a petition seeking to drop his middle name and
have his registered name in the Civil Registry changed from Julian Lin Carulasan Wang
to Julian Lin Wang as he might be discriminated against when he studies in Singapore
because of his middle name since in Singapore middle names or the maiden name
surname of the mother is not carried in a persons name.
Held: Middle names serve to identify the maternal lineage or affiliation of a
person and further distinguish him from others who may have the same given name and
surname as he has. When an illegitimate child is legitimated by subsequent marriage of
his parents or acknowledged by the father in a public instrument or a private handwritten
instrument, he then bears both his mothers surname as his middle name and his fathers
surname as his surname, reflecting his status as a legitimated child or an acknowledged
natural child. The registered name of a legitimate, legitimated and recognized illegitimate
child thus contains a given name, a middle name and a surname.
Before the registered name of a person may be changed he must show proper or
reasonable cause, or any compelling reason that may justify such change. Among the
grounds are: (a) when the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or extremely difficult to write
or pronounce; (b) when the change results as a legal consequence as in legitimation; (c)
when the change will avoid confusion; (d) when one has continuously used and been
known since childhood by a Filipino name and is unaware of alien parentage; (e) a
sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of former alien parentage, all in
good faith and without prejudicing anybody; and (f) when the surname causes
embarrassment and there is no showing that the desired change of name is for a
fraudulent purpose or that the change of name would prejudice public interest.
In the case at bar, the only reason advanced by Julian for dropping his middle
name is convenience. How such change of name would make his integration into
Singaporean society easier and convenient is not clearly established. That the continued
use of his middle name would cause confusion and difficulty does not constitute proper
and reasonable cause to drop it from his registered complete name.
March 31, 2005 [2006 Bar]
May an illegitimate child be allowed to use her natural mothers surname as
his/her middle name when the child has been subsequently adopted by his/her natural
Facts: Catindig decided to adopt his illegitimate child Stephanie Nathy Astorga
Garcia with Gemma Astorga Garcia. The petition for adoption was granted and ordered
that Stephanies surname be changed from Garcia to Catindig but nothing was
mentioned with respect to Stephanies middle name. In his motion for
clarification/reconsideration petitioner Catindig prayed that Stephanie should be allowed
to use the surname of her natural mother (GARCIA) as her middle name. He contends
that 1. there is no law prohibiting an adopted child from having a middle name in case
there is only one adopting parent; 2. it is customary for a every Filipino to have as middle
name the surname of the mother; 3. the middle name or initial is part of the name of a
person; 4. adoption is for the benefit of the and best interest of the adopted child, hence,
her right to bear a proper name should not be violated; 5. permitting Stephanie to use the
middle name Garcia (her mothers surname) avoids the stigma of her illegitimacy; and;
6. her continued use of Garcia as her middle name is not opposed by either the Catindig
or Garcia families.
SC: As correctly submitted by the parties, there is no law regulating the use of a
middle name. Even Article 176 of the family Code, as amended by RA 9255, is silent as
to what middle name a child may use. The middle name or the mothers surname is only
considered in Article 375 (1) of the Civil Code, in case there is identity of names and


surnames between ascendants and descendants, in which case, the middle name or the
mothers name shall be added.
Notably, the law is likewise silent as to what middle name an adoptee may use.
Adoption is defined as the process of making a child, whether related or not to the
adopter, possess in general, the rights accorded to a legitimate child. Being a legitimate
child by virtue of her adoption, it follows that Stephanie is entitled to all the rights
provided by law to a legitimate child without discrimination of any kind, including the
right to bear the surname of her mother and father.
Stephanies continued use of her mothers surname as her middle name will
maintain her maternal lineage. It is to be noted that Article 189 (3) of the Family Code
and Section 18, Article V of RA 8552 provide that the adoptee remains an intestate heir of
his/her biological parent.
To allow Stephanie to use her mothers surname as her middle name will not only
sustain her continued loving relationship with her mother but will also eliminate the
stigma of her illegitimacy.
It is a settled rule that adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, should be
liberally construed to carry out the beneficent purposes of adoption. The interests and
welfare of the adopted child are of primary and paramount consideration, hence, every
reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill the noble and
compassionate objectives of the law.
514 SCRA 76 (February 2, 2007) [more on procedure Rule 103 of the Rules of Court]
Capote is the guardian of minor Giovanni Gallamaso who is the illegitimate
natural child of Corazon Nadores and Diosdado Gallamaso. Giovanni was born in 1982
and his mother used the surname of the father when she registered the child despite
absence of marriage between them. The alleged father failed to take up his
responsibilities on matters of financial, physical, emotional and spiritual concerns. The
childs pleas for attention along that line fell of deaf ears. As his mother is in the US and
might eventually petition the child to join her in the US, the continued use of the surname
Gallamaso, the surname of the natural father, may complicate Giovannis status as natural
child. The Republic contends that the purported parents and all other persons who may be
adversely affected by the childs change of name should have been made respondents to
make the proceeding adversarial.
SC: The subject of rights must have a fixed symbol for individualization which
serves to distinguish him from all others; this symbol is his name.
When Giovanni was born in 1982, the provision that will apply is Article 366 of
the Civil Code: A natural child acknowledged by both parents shall principally use the
surname of the father. If recognized by only one of the parents, a natural child shall
employ the surname of the recognizing parent.
Based on this provision, Giovanni should have carried his mothers surname from
birth. The records do not reveal any act or intention on the part of Giovannis putative
father to actually recognize him. Meanwhile Art. 176 of the Family Code which repealed,
among others, Art. 366 of the Civil Code provides: Illegitimate children shall use the
surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled
to support in conformity with this Code. X x x x x.
Applying these laws, an illegitimate child whose filiation is not recognized by
the father bears only a given name and his mothers surname, and does not have a
middle name. The name of the unrecognized illegitimate child therefore identifies
him as such. It is only when the illegitimate child is legitimated by the subsequent
marriage of his parents or acknowledged by the father in a public document or private
handwritten instrument that he bears both his mothers surname as his middle name and
his fathers surname as his surname, reflecting his status as a legitimated or an
acknowledged child.



Approved: March 22, 2001
- No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order
except: 1. clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which is
defined as 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 place of birth or the like, which is visible to the naked eye or obvious to the
understanding, and can be changed only by reference to other existing record/s; and in
Section 4 thereof - 2. the first name or nickname is ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or
extremely difficult to write or pronounce; 3. the new first name or nickname has been
habitually and continuously use and he has been known by that first name or nickname in
the community; or 4. the change will avoid confusion.
- First name refers to a name or a nickname given to a person which may
consist of one or more names in addition to the middle and last names.
- No correction must involve the change of a. nationality; b. age; c. status;
or; d. sex.
- The remedy may only be availed of once (2006 Bar)..
- Petition must be verified.
- If the petitioner has migrated to another place in the country and it would
be very expensive and impractical to appear before the local civil registrar
keeping the documents to be corrected or changed then it can be filed, in
person, with the local civil registrar of the place where he is residing or
- Filipinos presently residing or domiciled in foreign countries with the
nearest Philippine Consulates.
- The civil registrar general shall exercise his power within 10 working days
from receipt of the decision granting a petition, to impugn such a decision
on any of the following grounds: 1. the correction is substantial or
controversial as it affects the civil status of a person; 2. the correction is not
clerical or typographical; or; 3. the basis in changing the first name or
nickname of a person does not fall under Section 4 of RA 9048.
SILVERIO vs. REPUBLIC 537 SCRA 373 (October 19, 2007)
Petitioner invoked his sex reassignment as the ground for his petition for change
of name and sex.
SC: 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.
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 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 the
change of first name are primarily administrative in nature, not judicial.
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.


Assuming it could be legally done, it was an improper remedy because the proper
remedy was administrative, that is, that provided under RA 9048. 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.
-Approved on February 24, 2004.
-There must be an express recognition by the father either a. record of birth
appearing in the civil register; or b. admission in a public or private handwritten
instrument (Article 172 in relation to Article 175 of the Family Code.)
-Applies to 1. unregistered births; or 2. registered births where the illegitimate
children use the surname of the mother.
-Who may file: 1. father; 2. mother; 3. child, if of age; or 3. guardian where an
Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF) is executed.
-What to file 1. Certificate of live birth with accomplished Affidavit of
Acknowledgment/Admission of Paternity at the back; 2. Public Documentaffidavits of Recognition executed by the father such as the Affidavit of
Admission of Paternity or the Affidavit of Acknowledgment; and 3. AUSF
including all supporting documents.
-When to register the public document not made on the record of birth, or the
AUSF shall be registered within 20 days from the date of the execution at the
place where the birth was registered.
Article 412 Civil Register (87,06) cf. RA No. 9048 An Act Authorizing the
City or Municipal Civil Registrar or the Consul General to Correct a Clerical or
Typographical Error in an Entry and/or Change of First Name or Nickname in the Civil
Register without need of a Judicial Order. Amending Articles 376 and 412 of the NCC.
SILVERIO vs. REPUBLIC 537 SCRA 373 (October 19, 2007)
-No law allows the change of entry in the birth certificate as to sex on the ground
of sex reassignment.
-The change of sex is not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is 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 for in Articles 407 and 408 of the Civil
-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
-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 the petitioner
contained no error. All entries therein including those corresponding to his first name and
sex, were all correct. No correction is necessary.
-Sex reassignment is not among those acts or events mentioned in Article 407.
Neither is it recognized nor even mentioned by any law, expressly or impliedly.
-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. X x x. (Salonga, Private
International Law, 1995 Edition).
-A persons sex is an essential factor in marriage and family relations. It is a part
of a persons legal capacity and civil status.
-The sex of a person is determined at birth, visually done by the birth attendant 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.
-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 registry for that reason.
565 SCRA 72 (September 12, 2008)
Jennifer was born on January 13, 1981 and was registered as a female in the
Certificate of Live Birth but while growing up, she developed 2ndary 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. She was
diagnosed to have clitoral hypertrophy in her early years and at age 6, underwent an
ultrasound where it was discovered that she has small ovaries. At age 13, tests revealed
that her ovarian structures had minimized, she has stopped growing and she has no breast
or menstrual development and that for all interests and appearances as well as in mind
and emotion, she has become a male person. Thus, she prayed that her birth certificate be
corrected such that her gender be changed from female to male and her first name be
changed from Jennifer to Jeff.
In support of her petition, Dr. Sionzon testified that genetically Cagandahan is
female but because her body secretes male hormones, her female organs did not develop
normally and she has 2 sex organs female and male. This condition is very rare, and
that Cagandahans uterus is not fully developed because of lack of female hormones, and
that she has no monthly period. That this condition is permanent and recommended the
change of gender because Cagandahan has made up her mind, adjusted to her chosen role
as male, and the gender change would be advantageous to her.
Does her medical condition i.e. congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) make
Jennifer a male?
SC: Article 412 together with Article 376 of the Civil Code had been amended by
RA 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.
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.
Cagandahan undisputedly has CAH. This condition causes the early or
inappropriate appearance of male characteristics. A person, like respondent, with this
condition produces too much androgen, a male hormone. CAH is one of many conditions
that involve intersex anatomy.
In deciding this case, we consider the compassionate calls for recognition of the
various degrees of intersex as variations which should not be the subject of outright
Biologically, nature endowed respondent with a mixed (neither consistently and
categorically female nor consistently and categorically male) composition. Respondent
has female (XX) chromosomes. However, respondents body system naturally produces
high levels of male hormones (androgen). As a result, respondent has ambiguous genitalia
and the phenotypic features of a male.
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 her/his sex.
Respondent here thinks of himself as a male and considering that his body produces high
levels of 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 inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is
fixed. The Court affirms as valid and justified the respondents position and his personal
judgment of being a male.
As for respondents change of name under Rule 103, this Court has held that a
change 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. Considering the consequence that
respondents change of name merely recognizes his preferred gender, we find merit in
respondents change of name. Such a change will conform with the change of the entry of
his birth certificate from female to male.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS G.R. No. 169902 March 5, 2010
Remo requested the DFA, upon application for the renewal of her passport, to
revert to her maiden name and surname in the replacement passport. The DFA denied her
SC: The word may in Article 370 indicates that the use of the husbands
surname by the wife is permissive rather than obligatory.
A married woman has an option, not a duty, to use the surname of the husband in
any of the ways provided by Article 370 of the NCC. She is therefore allowed to use not
only any of the 3 names provided in Article 370, but also her maiden name upon
marriage. She is not prohibited from continuously using her maiden once she is married
because when a woman marries, she does not change her name but only her civil status.
This interpretation is consonance with the principle that surnames indicate descent.
The conflict between A. 370 of the NCC and Section 5(d) of RA 8239 (Philippine
Passport Act of 1996), is more imagined than real. RA 8239including its implementing
rules and regulations, does not prohibit a married woman from using her maiden name in
her passport.
However, once a married woman opted to adopt her husbands surname in her
passport, she may not revert to the use of her maiden name except (1) death of the
husband, (2) divorce, (3) annulment, or (4) nullity of marriage. Since Remos marriage to
her husband subsists, she may not resume her maiden name in the replacement passport.
A married womans reversion to the use of her maiden name must be based only on the
severance of marriage.
If we allow petitioners present request definitely nothing prevents her in the
future from requesting to the use of her husbands surname. Undue confusion and
inconsistency in the records of passport holders will arise.