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Lucas v Lucas (2011) Nachura, J.

Petitioner: Jesse Lucas


Respondent: Jesus Lucas

(f) clippings of several articles from different


newspapers about petitioner, as a musical prodigy.

FACTS:
1.

6.

Jesse

U.

Lucas,

Illegitimate

filed

Filiation

Petition

(with

to

petition. Nonetheless, respondent learned of the

Establish

Motion

for

petition to establish filiation. His counsel therefore

the

went to the trial court on August 29, 2007 and

Submission of Parties to DNA Testing before the


Regional

Trial

Court

(RTC),

Branch

72, Valenzuela City.


2.

obtained a copy of the petition.


7.

Elsie

Uy

(Elsie),

issued the Order setting the case for hearing and

migrated

urging anyone who has any objection to the

to Manila from Davao and stayed with a certain Ate

petition to file his opposition. After learning of the

Belen (Belen) who worked in a prominent nightspot

September 3, 2007 Order, respondent filed a

in Manila. On one occasion, Elsie got acquainted


with

respondent,

Jesus

S.

Lucas,

at

motion for reconsideration. Respondent averred

Belens

that the petition was not in due form and

workplace, and an intimate relationship developed

substance

between the two.


3.

petitioners

certificate

of

live

respondent

ended, Elsie refused to accept respondents offer of


support and decided to raise petitioner on her own.
While petitioner was growing up, Elsie made
several

attempts

to

introduce

petitioner

to

respondent, but all attempts were in vain.


5.

Attached to the petition were the following:


(a) petitioners certificate of live birth;
(b) petitioners baptismal certificate;
(c) petitioners college diploma, showing that he

petitioners

father.

Moreover,

based on the case of Herrera v. Alba there are four


significant procedural aspects of a traditional paternity
action which the parties have to face:
1. a prima facie case
2. affirmative defenses
3. presumption of legitimacy
4. physical resemblance between the putative father
and the child.

The court opined that petitioner must first establish


these four procedural aspects before he can
present evidence of paternity and filiation, which

City with a degree in Psychology;

may

(d) his Certificate of Graduation from the same

include

incriminating

acts

or

scientific

evidence like blood group test and DNA test

school;

the Philippines, College of Music; and

as

RTC: Dismissed the Case. The court remarked that,

graduated from Saint Louis University in Baguio

(e) Certificate of Recognition from the University of

have

of DNA evidence.

Respondent allegedly extended financial support to

When the relationship of Elsie and respondent

not

jurisprudence is still unsettled on the acceptability

father is respondent.

Elsie and petitioner for a period of about two years.

could

on the basis of a mere allegation pointing to

birth.

However, Elsie later on told petitioner that his

4.

petitioner

therein. He argued that DNA testing cannot be had

petitioner. The name of petitioners father was not


in

because

personally known the matters that were alleged

Elsie eventually got pregnant and gave birth to

stated

On September 3, 2007, the RTC, finding the


petition to be sufficient in form and substance,

Petitioner narrated that, sometime in 1967, his


mother,

Respondent was not served with a copy of the

results.

The court observed that the petition did not show


that

these

procedural

aspects

were

present.

Petitioner failed to establish a prima facie case

1. WON jurisdiction was acquired despite the lack of

considering that (a) his mother did not personally

service of summons (YES)

declare

2. WON petitioner was sufficient in form (YES)

that

she

had

sexual

relations

with

respondent, and petitioners statement as to what

3. WON a prima facie showing is necessary

his mother told him about his father was clearly

before a court can issue a DNA testing order

hearsay; (b) the certificate of live birth was not

(YES)

signed by respondent; and (c) although petitioner

used the surname of respondent, there was no

RATIO:

allegation that he was treated as the child of

1. The herein petition to establish illegitimate filiation is

respondent by the latter or his family.

an action in rem. By the simple filing of the petition to

The court opined that, having failed to establish

establish illegitimate filiation before the RTC, which

a prima facie case, respondent had no obligation to

undoubtedly had jurisdiction over the subject matter of

present any affirmative defenses.

the petition, the latter thereby acquired jurisdiction

However, the RTC reversed itself on a Motion for

over the case.

Reconsideration filed by Petitioner. This time, the

An in

rem proceeding

is

validated

essentially

RTC held that the ruling on the grounds relied upon

through publication. Publication is notice to the

by petitioner for filing the petition is premature

whole world that the proceeding has for its object

considering that a full-blown trial has not yet taken

to bar indefinitely all who might be minded to

place.

respondents

make an objection of any sort to the right sought to

arguments that there is no basis for the taking of

be established. Through publication, all interested

DNA test, and that jurisprudence is still unsettled

parties are deemed notified of the petition.

The

court

also

dismissed

on the acceptability of DNA evidence. It noted that

If at all, service of summons or notice is made to

the new Rule on DNA Evidence allows the conduct

the defendant, it is not for the purpose of vesting

of DNA testing, whether at the courts instance or

the court with jurisdiction, but merely for satisfying

upon application of any person who has legal

the due process requirements. Hence, failure to

interest in the matter in litigation.

serve summons will not deprive the court of its


jurisdiction to try and decide the case. In such a

CA: Decided the petition for certiorari in favour of

case, the lack of summons may be excused where

respondent.

it is determined that the adverse party had, in fact,

The CA remarked that petitioner filed the petition to

the opportunity to file his opposition, as in this

establish illegitimate filiation, specifically seeking a

case.

DNA testing order to abbreviate the proceedings. It


noted that petitioner failed to show that the four

2. The petition to establish filiation was sufficient in

significant procedural aspects of a traditional paternity

form. It was indeed adversarial in nature despite its

action had been met. The CA further held that a DNA

caption which lacked the name of a defendant, the

testing should not be allowed when the petitioner has

failure to implead respondent as defendant, and the

failed to establish a prima facie case.

non-service of summons upon respondent.

ISSUES:

proceeding

is adversarial where

the

party

seeking relief has given legal warning to the other

party and afforded the latter an opportunity to

considering that no such order has yet been issued

contest it..

by the trial court. In fact, the latter has just set the

In this petition classified as an action in rem the

said case for hearing.

notice requirement for an adversarial proceeding

The Rule on DNA Evidence was enacted to guide

was likewise satisfied by the publication of the

the Bench and the Bar for the introduction and use

petition and the giving of notice to the Solicitor

of DNA evidence in the judicial system. It provides

General, as directed by the trial court.

the

The petition to establish filiation is sufficient in

elements for reliability and validity (i.e., the proper

substance. It satisfies Section 1, Rule 8 of the Rules

procedures,

of Court, which requires the complaint to contain a

reports, etc.), the possible sources of error, the

plain, concise, and direct statement of the ultimate

available objections to the admission of DNA test

facts upon which the plaintiff bases his claim.

results as evidence as well as the probative value

prescribed

parameters

protocols,

on

the

necessary

requisite

laboratory

of DNA evidence. It seeks to ensure that the


evidence gathered, using various methods of DNA
3. During the hearing on the motion for DNA

analysis, is utilized effectively and properly, and

testing,

shall not be misused and/or abused and, more

the

facie evidence

petitioner
or

must

establish

present prima
a

reasonable

importantly, shall continue to ensure that DNA

possibility of paternity.
-

analysis serves justice and protects, rather than

The statement in Herrera v. Alba that there are four


significant procedural aspects in a traditional

Not surprisingly, Section 4 of the Rule on DNA


Evidence merely provides for conditions that are

widely misunderstood and misapplied in this case.

aimed to safeguard the accuracy and integrity of

A party is confronted by these so-called procedural

the DNA testing. Section 4 states:

during

trial,

when

the

parties

have

presented their respective evidence. They are


matters of evidence that cannot be determined at
this initial stage of the proceedings, when only the

SEC. 4. Application for DNA Testing


Order. The appropriate court may, at
any time, either motu proprio or on
application of any person who has a

petition to establish filiation has been filed.

legal interest in the matter in litigation,

The CAs observation that petitioner failed to

order a DNA testing. Such order shall

establish a prima facie case, the first procedural

issue after due hearing and notice to

aspect in a paternity case, is therefore misplaced.


A prima facie case is built by a partys evidence
and not by mere allegations in the initiatory
pleading.
-

paternity case which parties have to face has been

aspects

prejudice the public.

Clearly then, it was also not the opportune time to

the parties upon a showing of the


following:
(a) A biological sample exists that is
relevant to the case;
(b) The biological sample: (i) was not

discuss the lack of a prima facie case vis-a-vis the

previously subjected to the type

motion for DNA testing since no evidence has, as

of DNA testing now requested; or

yet, been presented by petitioner. More essentially,

(ii) was previously subjected to

it is premature to discuss whether, under the


circumstances, a DNA testing order is warranted

DNA testing, but the results may

require

confirmation

for

good

reasonable possibility of paternity or good cause

reasons;
(c)

The

for the holding of the test.

DNA

testing

uses

scientifically valid technique;

considered

to

produce

which,

under

their

information that is relevant to the

Hence, the requirement of a prima facie case, or

proper resolution of the case; and

reasonable possibility, was imposed in civil actions

any,

which

the

court

may

as a counterpart of a finding of probable cause.


-

The same condition precedent should be applied in

consider as potentially affecting

our jurisdiction to protect the putative father from

the accuracy or integrity of the

mere harassment suits. Thus, during the hearing

DNA testing.

on the motion for DNA testing, the petitioner must


present prima

This Rule shall not preclude a DNA


order, at the behest of any party,
including law enforcement agencies,
before

suit

or

proceeding

is

commenced.

facie evidence

or

establish

reasonable possibility of paternity.

testing, without need of a prior court

search,

finding of probable cause in order to be valid.

new

(e) The existence of other factors, if

Constitutions (as in ours), must be preceded by a

(d) The DNA testing has the scientific


potential

In these states, a court order for blood testing is

Notwithstanding these, it should be stressed that


the issuance of a DNA testing order remains
discretionary upon the court. The court may, for
example,

consider

whether

there

is

absolute

This does not mean, however, that a DNA testing

necessity for the DNA testing. If there is already

order will be issued as a matter of right if, during

preponderance of evidence to establish paternity

the hearing, the said conditions are established.

and

In some states, to warrant the issuance of the DNA

corroborative, the court may, in its discretion,

testing order, there must be a show cause hearing

disallow a DNA testing.

wherein the applicant must first present sufficient


evidence to establish a prima facie case or a

the

DNA

test

result

DISPOSITIVE: Petition Granted.

would

only

be