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[G.R. No. 134101.

September 5, 2001]
OPIANA, accused-appellant.
On automatic review is the Decision [1] dated April 22, 1998 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Dasmarias, Cavite, Branch 90 in Criminal Case No. 4343-96 finding the accused, Felino Llanita
y Opiana, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified rape.
On July 29, 1996, an Information[2] for rape based on a verified complaint filed by Nenita C. Acol,
the mother of the victim Catherine C. Acol (CATHERINE), was filed against the accused Felino
Llanita y Opiana as follows:
That on or about the 25th day of March 1996, at Barangay Binakayan, Municipality of Kawit,
Province of Cavite, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, taking advantage of his superior strength over the person of the victim who is only five
(5) years old, with lewd designs and by means of force, violence and intimidation, did then and
there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, have carnal knowledge of one Catherine Acol, against
her will and consent, to her damage and prejudice.
Only the victim testify as to what happened during that fateful day and her age was never
questioned by the accused-appelant.
The accused denied that he raped CATHERINE. He claimed that he was working at a repair
shop where he was employed from seven oclock in the morning up to five oclock in the
afternoon on the date the alleged rape occured.
On April 22, 1998, the RTC rendered a decision finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of the crime of rape.
WON the testimony of the victim as to her age is admissible.
In the present case, although the only evidence presented by the prosecution to establish
that CATHERINE was below seven (7) years old at the time of the commission of the rape was
her own testimony, there is no reason to doubt the sufficiency of the said evidence. Her
testimony as to her age was never questioned by the accused-appellant in the lower court and
remained unrebutted at the trial. And such testimony regarding her age is admissible although
hearsay, for she can have no personal knowledge of the date of her birth, as all knowledge as to
ones age is acquired from whatever is told by the parents or relatives and such testimony
constitutes an assertion of family tradition.[18] It is admissible under Section 40 of Rule 130 of the
Rules of Court (Revised Rules on Evidence) which reads:
Sec. 40. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree The reputation or tradition existing in
a family previous to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any of its members, may be
received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by
consanguinity or affinity. xxx

The above provision contains three requisites for its admissibility, namely: 1.) that there is a
controversy in respect to the pedigree of any of the members of a family; 2.) that the reputation
or tradition of the pedigree existed previous to the controversy; and 3.) that the witness testifying
to the reputation or tradition regarding the pedigree of the person must be a member of the
family of said person.[19] The word pedigree under Section 39 of the same Rule includes
relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates when and places where these
facts occurred and the names of relatives.[20] All three requisites are present in the case at bar.
Jison vs. CA
GR No. 124853, February 24, 1998
Private respondent, Monina Jison, instituted a complaint against petitioner, Francisco Jison, for
recognition as illegitimate child of the latter. The case was filed 20 years after her mothers
death and when she was already 39 years of age.
Petitioner was married to Lilia Lopez Jison since 1940 and sometime in 1945, he impregnated
Esperanza Amolar, Moninas mother. Monina alleged that since childhood, she had enjoyed the
continuous, implied recognition as the illegitimate child of petitioner by his acts and that of his
family. It was likewise alleged that petitioner supported her and spent for her education such
that she became a CPA and eventually a Central Bank Examiner. Monina was able to present
total of 11 witnesses.
ISSUE: WON Monina should be declared as illegitimate child of Francisco Jison.
Under Article 175 of the Family Code, illegitimate filiation may be established in the same way
and on the same evidence as that of legitimate children. Article 172 thereof provides the
various forms of evidence by which legitimate filiation is established.
To prove open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child, there must be
evidence of the manifestation of the permanent intention of the supposed father to consider the
child as his, by continuous and clear manifestations of parental affection and care, which cannot
be attributed to pure charity. Such acts must be of such a nature that they reveal not only the
conviction of paternity, but also the apparent desire to have and treat the child as such in all
The following facts was established based on the testimonial evidences offered by Monina:
That Francisco was her father and she was conceived at the time when her mother was
employed by the former;
2. That Francisco recognized Monina as his child through his overt acts and conduct.

SC ruled that a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative father is not
competence evidence as to the issue of paternity. Franciscos lack of participation in the
preparation of baptismal certificates and school records render the documents showed as
incompetent to prove paternity. With regard to the affidavit signed by Monina when she was 25
years of age attesting that Francisco was not her father, SC was in the position that if Monina

were truly not Franciscos illegitimate child, it would be unnecessary for him to have gone to
such great lengths in order that Monina denounce her filiation. Moninas evidence hurdles the
high standard of proof required for the success of an action to establish ones illegitimate
filiation in relying upon the provision on open and continuous possession. Hence, Monina
Since the instant case involves paternity and filiation, even if illegitimate, Monina filed her action
well within the period granted her by a positive provision of law. A denial then of her action on
ground of laches would clearly be inequitable and unjust. Petition was denied.