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Tayag vs CA

G.R. No. 95229 June 9, 1992

Digested by: Luyaben, Cris Margot A.
The plaintiff is the mother of Chad Cuyugan, a minor, whose father is the deceased
Atty. Ocampo. Defendant is one of the daughters of the deceased who is also the
administratrix. Plaintiff and the deceased had an illicit relationship, as a consequence, they
had a child Chad. The child has been showered with exceptional affection, love and care
by his putative father, for being his only son, based on the letters of the deceased. Some of
his letters consists of the following lines:
Let me bless him by my name and let me entitle him to all what I am and what Ive got
I have vowed to recognize him and be my heir
Chad, although an illegitimate child, is entitled to a share in the intestate estate left by his
father. However, defendant refused to give the minor a share.
Plaintiff prays, among others, that judgment be rendered ordering defendant to
render an inventory and accounting of the real and personal properties left by Atty. Ricardo
Ocampo; to determine and deliver the share of the minor child Chad in the estate of the
deceased; and to give him support pendente lite.
Defendant contended that the action to claim for inheritance is premature and that
the recognition of the minor child must first be established and that no allegation of such
recognition in the complaint. She also contended that the action to establish filiation and
compel recognition has prescribed hence, he has no right to inherit.
ISSUE: Whether Chad has the right of inheritance in the estate of the deceased
HELD: An illegitimate child, to be entitled to support and successional rights must prove
filiation. There should be an allegation in the complaint of the acknowledgment and
recognition by the putative father because serves as a basis of the right to inherit. There
being no allegation of such acknowledgment, the action becomes one to compel
recognition which cannot be brought after the death of the putative father.
However, Art. 285 of the Civil Code provides:
The action for the recognition of natural children may be brought only during the
lifetime of the presumed parents, except in the following cases:
(1) If the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in which case the latter
may file the action before the expiration of four years from the attainment of his majority;
Based on the foregoing, the cause of action of private respondent has not yet prescribed.