Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 28


DEL SOCORRO, for and in behalf of her minor child RODERIGO NORJO VAN
WILSEM, Petitioner,


Petitioner Norma A. Del Socorro and respondent Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem contracted marriage
in Holland on September 25, 1990. On January 19, 1994, they were blessed with a son named Roderigo
Norjo Van Wilsem, who at the time of the filing of the instant petition was sixteen (16) years of age.

Unfortunately, their marriage bond ended on July 19, 1995 by virtue of a Divorce Decree issued by the
appropriate Court of Holland. At that time, their son was only eighteen (18) months old. Thereafter,
petitioner and her son came home to the Philippines.

According to petitioner, respondent made a promise to provide monthly support to their son in the amount
of Two Hundred Fifty (250) Guildene (which is equivalent to Php17,500.00 more or less). However, since
the arrival of petitioner and her son in the Philippines, respondent never gave support to the son,

Not long thereafter, respondent came to the Philippines and remarried in Pinamungahan, Cebu, and since
then, have been residing thereat. Respondent and his new wife established a business known as Paree
Catering, located at Barangay Tajao, Municipality of Pinamungahan, Cebu City. To date, all the parties,
including their son, Roderigo, are presently living in Cebu City.

On August 28, 2009, petitioner, through her counsel, sent a letter demanding for support from respondent.
However, respondent refused to receive the letter.

CRIME CHARGED: violation of Section 5, paragraph E(2) of R.A. No. 9262 (VAWC)

RTC: DISMISSED on the ground that the facts charged in the information do not constitute an offense
with respect to the respondent who is an ALIEN.


1. Whether or not a foreign national has an obligation to support his minor child under Philippine law; and

2. Whether or not a foreign national can be held criminally liable under R.A. No. 9262 for his unjustified
failure to support his minor child.


*Note: petition was allowed to be directly appealed to the SC without violating hierarchy of courts since
the petition involves purely questions of law.

Petitioner invokes Article 195 of the Family Code, which provides the parent’s obligation to support his
child. Petitioner contends that notwithstanding the existence of a divorce decree issued in relation to
Article 26 of the Family Code, respondent is not excused from complying with his obligation to support his
minor child with petitioner.

On the other hand, respondent contends that there is no sufficient and clear basis presented by petitioner
that she, as well as her minor son, are entitled to financial support. Respondent also added that by reason
of the Divorce Decree, he is not obligated to petitioner for any financial support.
On this point, we agree with respondent that petitioner cannot rely on Article 195 of the New Civil Code in
demanding support from respondent, who is a foreign citizen, since Article 15 of the New Civil Code
stresses the principle of nationality. In other words, insofar as Philippine laws are concerned,
specifically the provisions of the Family Code on support, the same only applies to Filipino citizens. By
analogy, the same principle applies to foreigners such that they are governed by their national law with
respect to family rights and duties

The obligation to give support to a child is a matter that falls under family rights and duties. Since the
respondent is a citizen of Holland or the Netherlands, we agree with the RTC-Cebu that he is subject to
the laws of his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged to give support to his child, as
well as the consequences of his failure to do so.

This does not, however, mean that respondent is not obliged to support petitioner’s son altogether.

In international law, the party who wants to have a foreign law applied to a dispute or case has the
burden of proving the foreign law. In the present case, respondent hastily concludes that being a
national of the Netherlands, he is governed by such laws on the matter of provision of and capacity to
support. While respondent pleaded the laws of the Netherlands in advancing his position that he is not
obliged to support his son, he never proved the same.

In view of respondent’s failure to prove the national law of the Netherlands in his favor, the doctrine of
processual presumption shall govern. Under this doctrine, if the foreign law involved is not properly
pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or
internal law. Thus, since the law of the Netherlands as regards the obligation to support has not been
properly pleaded and proved in the instant case, it is presumed to be the same with Philippine law,
which enforces the obligation of parents to support their children and penalizing the non-compliance

We likewise agree with petitioner that notwithstanding that the national law of respondent states that
parents have no obligation to support their children or that such obligation is not punishable by law, said
law would still not find applicability for the reason that when the foreign law, judgment or contract is
contrary to a sound and established public policy of the forum, the said foreign law, judgment or
order shall not be applied.

Applying the foregoing, even if the laws of the Netherlands neither enforce a parent’s obligation to support
his child nor penalize the noncompliance therewith, such obligation is still duly enforceable in the
Philippines because it would be of great injustice to the child to be denied of financial support when the
latter is entitled thereto.

Based on the foregoing legal precepts, we find that respondent may be made liable under Section 5(e)
and (i) of R.A. No. 9262 for unjustly refusing or failing to give support to petitioner’s son.
In addition, considering that respondent is currently living in the Philippines, we find strength in
petitioner’s claim that the Territoriality Principle in criminal law, in relation to Article 14 of the New Civil
Code, applies to the instant case, which provides that: "[p]enal laws and those of public security and
safety shall be obligatory upon all who live and sojourn in Philippine territory, subject to the principle of
public international law and to treaty stipulations." On this score, it is indisputable that the alleged
continuing acts of respondent in refusing to support his child with petitioner is committed here in the
Philippines as all of the parties herein are residents of the Province of Cebu City . As such, our courts
have territorial jurisdiction over the offense charged against respondent. It is likewise irrefutable that
jurisdiction over the respondent was acquired upon his arrest.

Finally, we do not agree with respondent’s argument that granting, but not admitting, that there is a legal
basis for charging violation of R.A. No. 9262 in the instant case, the criminal liability has been
extinguished on the ground of prescription of crime. The act of denying support to a child under Section
5(e)(2) and (i) of R.A. No. 9262 is a continuing offense, which started in 1995 but is still ongoing at
present. Accordingly, the crime charged in the instant case has clearly not prescribed.
3. [G.R. No. 133876. December 29, 1999]

OF APPEALS, respondents


(Petitioner Bank of America [organized under English laws] granted multi-million dollar loans to affiliate
companies of respondent American Realty Corp. Properties of American Realty Corp in the Philippines
were mortgaged as security. When the affiliate companies were not able to pay, Petitioner Bank of
America filed cases for collection of sum of money [principal loan] in courts in England and in Hongkong.
The American Realty Corp was not impleaded as a party-defendant in these cases. Then, Bank of
America brought a case in the Philippines [ Office of the Provincial Sheriff of Bulacan Philippines] for the
foreclosure of the mortgaged properties). RTC ruled for respondent stating that filing for claim for principal
loan by petitioner operated as waiver of its right to foreclose mortgage. CA affirmed RTC.


Does a mortgage-creditor waive its remedy to foreclose the real estate mortgage constituted over a
third party mortgagors property situated in the Philippines by filing an action for the collection of the
principal loan before foreign courts?
SC Ruling: Yes. Pursuing collection of principal loan means waiver of its remedy to foreclose the real
estate mortgage.
In our jurisdiction, the remedies available to the mortgage creditor are deemed alternative and not
cumulative. Notably, an election of one remedy operates as a waiver of the other. For this purpose, a
remedy is deemed chosen upon the filing of the suit for collection or upon the filing of the complaint in an
action for foreclosure of mortgage, pursuant to the provision of Rule 68 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure. As to extrajudicial foreclosure, such remedy is deemed elected by the mortgage creditor upon
filing of the petition not with any court of justice but with the Office of the Sheriff of the province where the
sale is to be made, in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No. 4118.

The English law which rules otherwise cannot be applied in Philippine jurisdiction because it is against
public policy.

(G.R. No. 215723, July 27, 2016)



 Petitioner Doreen Grace Parilla (Doreen), a Filipino, and respondent Michiyuki Koike (Michiyuki),
a Japanese were married on June 14, 2005 in Quezon City, Philippines.
 They bore two children – Masato and Fuka.
 On June 14, 2012, the spouses filed for divorce before the Mayor of Ichinomiya City, Aichi
Prefecture, Japan. They were divorced on the same day and the same was duly recorded in the
Official Family Register of Michiyuki Koike.
 Doreen filed on February 7, 2013 a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and
declaration of capacity to remarry pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family
 Doreen presented several foreign documents, namely:
o "Certificate of Receiving/Certificate of Acceptance of Divorce"
o "Family Register of Michiyuki Koike" both issued by the Mayor of Ichinomiya City and
duly authenticated by the Consul of the Republic of the Philippines for Osaka, Japan.
o Certified machine copy of a document entitled "Divorce Certificate" issued by the Consul
for the Ambassador of Japan in Manila authenticated by the DFA
o Certification issued by the City Civil Registry Office in Manila that the original of said
divorce certificate was �led and recorded in the said Office
o Photocopies of the Civil Code of Japan and their corresponding English translation, as
well as two (2) books entitled "The Civil Code of Japan 2000" and "The Civil Code of
Japan 2009" were likewise submitted as proof of the existence of Japan's law on divorce.
 RTC’s Ruling:
o Denied Doreen’s petition.
o The foreign divorce decree and the national law of the alien recognizing his or her
capacity to obtain a divorce must be proven in accordance with Sections 24 and 25
of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence
o While the divorce documents presented by Doreen were successfully proven to be public
or official records of Japan, she nonetheless fell short of proving the national law of her
husband, particularly the existence of the law on divorce.
o "The Civil Code of Japan 2000" and "The Civil Code of Japan 2009," presented
were not duly authenticated by the Philippine Consul in Japan as required by
Sections 24 and 25 of the said Rules
o Testimony of Doreen relative to the applicable provisions found therein and its effect on
the matrimonial relations was insufficient since she was not presented as a qualified
expert witness nor was shown to have, at the very least, a working knowledge of the laws
of Japan, particularly those on family relations and divorce.
o Did not consider the said books as learned treatises pursuant to Section 46, Rule 130 of
the Revised Rules on Evidence, since no expert witness on the subject matter was
presented and considering further that Philippine courts cannot take judicial notice of
foreign judgments and law.
 Doreen filed a petition DIRECTLY to the SC.


W/N the RTC erred in denying the petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce.

The case is REFERRED to the Court of Appeals for appropriate action including the reception of evidence
to DETERMINE and RESOLVE the pertinent factual issues in accordance with this Decision.

The SC ruled that the issue in the case at bar raises questions of fact. In citing the case of Corpuz v Sto.
Tomas the SC said that foreign judgment and its authenticity must be proven as facts under our
rules on evidence, together with the alien's applicable national law to show the effect of the judgment on
the alien himself or herself.

Another case that the Court mentioned is Garcia v Recio stating that, “Since our courts do not take
judicial notice of foreign laws and judgment, our law on evidence requires that both the divorce decree
and the national law of the alien must be alleged and proven like any other fact.

Considering that the validity of the divorce decree between Doreen and Michiyuki, as well as the
existence of pertinent laws of Japan on the matter are essentially factual that calls for a re-evaluation of
the evidence presented before the RTC, the issue raised in the instant appeal is obviously a question of
fact that is beyond the ambit of a Rule 45 petition for review.

In this regard, it is settled that appeals taken from judgments or final orders rendered by RTC in the
exercise of its original jurisdiction raising questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law
should be brought to the Court of Appeals (CA) in accordance with Rule 41 of the Rules of Court.

Finally, the SC held that since the said Rules denote discretion on the part of the Court to either dismiss
the appeal or refer the case to the CA, the question of fact involved in the instant appeal and
substantial ends of justice warrant that the case be referred to the CA for further appropriate
5. Quita vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 124862, December 22, 1998


Fe Quita and Arturo T. Padlan, both Filipinos, were married in the Philippines on May 18, 1941 and were
not blessed with children. Their relationship soured and eventually Fe sued Arturo for divorce in U.S.A
and in July 1954, she obtained a final judgment of divorce. Three weeks after, she married a certain Felix
Tupaz in the same locality but their relationship also ended in a divorce. Still in the U.S.A., she married
for the third time, to a certain Wernimont.

On 16 April 1972 Arturo died and left no will. In August 1972 Lino JavierInciong filed a petition with the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for issuance of letters of administration concerning the estate of
Arturo in favor of the Philippine Trust Company. Respondent BlandinaDandan, claiming to be the
surviving spouse of Arturo Padlan, and Claro, Alexis, Ricardo, Emmanuel, Zenaida and Yolanda, all
surnamed Padlan, named in the children of Arturo Padlan, opposed the petition and prayed for the
appointment instead of Atty. Leonardo Casaba, which was resolved in favor of the latter. Upon motion of
the oppositors themselves, Atty. Cabasal was later replaced by Higino Castillon. On 30 April 1973 the
oppositors submittedcertified photocopies of the 19 July 1950 private writing and the final judgment of
divorce between petitioner and Arturo. Later Ruperto T. Padlan, claiming to be the sole surviving brother
of the deceased Arturo, intervened.

Petitioner moved for the immediate declaration of heirs of the decedent and the distribution of his estate.
At a scheduled hearing, the trial court required the submission of the records of birth of the Padlan
children within ten days from receipt thereof, after which, with or without the documents, the issue on the
declaration of heirs would be considered submitted for resolution. The prescribed period lapsed without
the required documents being submitted.


Who between petitioner and private respondent may validly claim as the spouse of the decedent


The right of petitioner to inherit as Arturo’s spouse must still be determined by the trial court. The trial
court failed to conduct a hearing to establish her citizenshipwhen she obtained the divorce abroad. The
purpose of a hearing is to ascertain the truth of the matters in issue with the aid of documentary and
testimonial evidence as well as the arguments of the parties either supporting or opposing the evidence.

On the other hand, private respondent’s claim to heirship was already resolved by the trial court. She and
Arturo were married on 22 April 1947 while the prior marriage of petitioner and Arturo was subsisting
thereby resulting in a bigamous marriage considered void from the beginning under Arts. 80 and 83 of the
Civil Code. Consequently, she is not a surviving spouse that can inherit from him as this
status presupposes a legitimate relationship.

The case was remanded to the trial court.

6. G.R. No. L-12105 January 30, 1960



FACTS: Notwithstanding the long residence of the testator, C.O. Bohanan, in the Philippines, he
continued and remained to be a citizen of the United States and of the state of his pertinent residence to
spend the rest of his days in that state. His permanent residence or domicile in the United States
depended upon his personal intent or desire, and he selected Nevada as his domicile and therefore at the
time of his death, he was a citizen of that state. C. O. Bohanan was at the time of his death a citizen of
the US and of the State of Nevada and declared that his will and testament is fully in accordance with the
laws of the state of Nevada and admits the same to probate. Accordingly, the Philippine Trust Company,
named as the executor of the will, was appointed to such executor and upon the filing of a bond in the
sum of P10,000.00.

The executor filed a project of partition making, in accordance with the provisions of the will, the following
adjudications: (1) one-half of the residuary estate, to the Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Los
Angeles, in trust only for the benefit of testator's grandson which consists of several mining companies;
(2) the other half of the residuary estate to the testator's brother and his sister (3) legacies of P6,000 each
to his (testator) son and his daughter to be paid in three yearly installments; (4) legacies to *others
irrelevant to the case*

Out of the total estate of P211,639.33 in cash, the testator gave his grandson P90,819.67 and one-half of
all shares of stock of several mining companies and to his brother and sister the same amount. To his
children he gave a legacy of only P6,000 each, or a total of P12,000.

ISSUE: WON the testamentary dispositions, especially those for the children which are short of the
legitime given them by the Civil Code of the Philippines, are valid?

RULING: The old Civil Code, which is applicable to this case because the testator died in 1944, expressly
provides that successional rights to personal property are to be earned by the national law of the person
whose succession is in question. Says the law on this point:

Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of succession as well as to the
extent of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the
national law of the person whose succession is in question, whatever may be the nature of the property
and the country in which it is found.

The testator was a citizen of the State of Nevada because he had selected this as his domicile and his
permanent residence. It does not appear that at time of the hearing of the project of partition, the above-
quoted provision was introduced in evidence. During the hearing of the motion of Magdalena C. Bohanan
for withdrawal of P20,000 as her share, the foreign law, especially Section 9905, Compiled Nevada Laws
was introduced in evidence by appellant's (herein) counsel. Again said laws presented by the counsel for
the executor and admitted by the Court during the hearing of the case.
In addition, the other appellants, children of the testator, do not dispute the above-quoted provision of the
laws of the State of Nevada. Under all the above circumstances, we are constrained to hold that the
pertinent law of Nevada, especially Section 9905 of the Compiled Nevada Laws of 1925, can be taken
judicial notice of by us, without proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the project of

As in accordance with Article 10 of the old Civil Code, the validity of testamentary dispositions are to be
governed by the national law of the testator, and as it has been decided and it is not disputed that the
national law of the testator is that of the State of Nevada, already indicated above, which allows a testator
to dispose of all his property according to his will, as in the case at bar, the order of the court approving
the project of partition made in accordance with the testamentary provisions, must be, as it is hereby
affirmed, with costs against appellants.
Assignment 18

1. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation vs Court of Appeals

February 4, 2013

301 SCRA 572 – Business Organization – Corporation Law – Delegation of Corporate Powers –
Moral Damages

In 1992, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, through its vice president Charo Santos-Concio, requested
Viva Production, Inc. to allow ABS-CBN to air at least 14 films produced by Viva. Pursuant to this request,
a meeting was held between Viva’s representative (Vicente Del Rosario) and ABS-CBN’s Eugenio Lopez
(General Manager) and Santos-Concio was held on April 2, 1992. During the meeting Del Rosario
proposed a film package which will allow ABS-CBN to air 104 Viva films for P60 million. Later, Santos-
Concio, in a letter to Del Rosario, proposed a counterproposal of 53 films (including the 14 films initially
requested) for P35 million. Del Rosario presented the counter offer to Viva’s Board of Directors but the
Board rejected the counter offer. Several negotiations were subsequently made but on April 29, 1992,
Viva made an agreement with Republic Broadcasting Corporation (referred to as RBS – or GMA 7) which
gave exclusive rights to RBS to air 104 Viva films including the 14 films initially requested by ABS-CBN.

ABS-CBN now filed a complaint for specific performance against Viva as it alleged that there is already a
perfected contract between Viva and ABS-CBN in the April 2, 1992 meeting. Lopez testified that Del
Rosario agreed to the counterproposal and he (Lopez) even put the agreement in a napkin which was
signed and given to Del Rosario. ABS-CBN also filed an injunction against RBS to enjoin the latter from
airing the films. The injunction was granted. RBS now filed a countersuit with a prayer for moral damages
as it claimed that its reputation was debased when they failed to air the shows that they promised to their
viewers. RBS relied on the ruling in People vs Manero and Mambulao Lumber vs PNB which states that a
corporation may recover moral damages if it “has a good reputation that is debased, resulting in social
humiliation”. The trial court ruled in favor of Viva and RBS. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.


1. Whether or not a contract was perfected in the April 2, 1992 meeting between the representatives
of the two corporations.
2. Whether or not a corporation, like RBS, is entitled to an award of moral damages upon grounds of
debased reputation.


1. No. There is no proof that a contract was perfected in the said meeting. Lopez’ testimony about the
contract being written in a napkin is not corroborated because the napkin was never produced in court.
Further, there is no meeting of the minds because Del Rosario’s offer was of 104 films for P60 million was
not accepted. And that the alleged counter-offer made by Lopez on the same day was not also accepted
because there’s no proof of such. The counter offer can only be deemed to have been made days after
the April 2 meeting when Santos-Concio sent a letter to Del Rosario containing the counter-offer.
Regardless, there was no showing that Del Rosario accepted. But even if he did accept, such acceptance
will not bloom into a perfected contract because Del Rosario has no authority to do so.

As a rule, corporate powers, such as the power; to enter into contracts; are exercised by the Board of
Directors. But this power may be delegated to a corporate committee, a corporate officer or corporate
manager. Such a delegation must be clear and specific. In the case at bar, there was no such delegation
to Del Rosario. The fact that he has to present the counteroffer to the Board of Directors of Viva is proof
that the contract must be accepted first by the Viva’s Board. Hence, even if Del Rosario accepted the
counter-offer, it did not result to a contract because it will not bind Viva sans authorization.
2. No. The award of moral damages cannot be granted in favor of a corporation because, being an
artificial person and having existence only in legal contemplation, it has no feelings, no emotions, no
senses, It cannot, therefore, experience physical suffering and mental anguish, which call be experienced
only by one having a nervous system. No moral damages can be awarded to a juridical person. The
statement in the case of People vs Manero and Mambulao Lumber vs PNB is a mere obiter dictum hence
it is not binding as a jurisprudence.
2. Diaz v Encanto et al. (G.R. No. 171303)
Date: January 20, 2016
Ponente: Justice Leonardo-de Castro


Petitioner Diaz has been a professor in UP since 1963. In 1988, she applied for sabbatical leave with pay
for one year. The Chair of the Broadcast Department initially recommended to CMC Dean Encanto that
Diaz’s sabbatical application be granted. Thereafter, Encanto referred Diaz’s sabbatical application to the
Secretary of U.P., recommending its denial. Encanto also requested the her salary be withheld effective
July 1, 1988 until further notice since her sabbatical application has not yet been approved and that she
did not teach that semester.
On July 4, 1988, it was recommended that Diaz be granted a leave without pay in order to enable the
CMC to hire a substitute. The next day, the U.P.’s Secretary referred to the Vice-President for Academic
Affairs, the fact of denial of such sabbatical request, for his own recommendation to the U.P. President.
On July 8, 1988, Abad returned the Reference Slip indicating therein that Diaz had promised him to put
down in writing the historical backdrop to the latest denial of her sabbatical leave, but she did not do so.
On Diaz’s request to teach for that semester, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the HRDO
Director instructed Encanto that until Prof. Diaz officially reports for duty, accomplishes the Certificate of
Report for Duty, and the Dean of CMC confirms her date of actual report for duty, she is considered
absent without official leave.
On November 8, 1988, Abad, issued a Memorandum to Diaz to confirm as valid Encanto’s reason of
shortage of teaching staff in denying her sabbatical. Later, he also informed Diaz of her lack of service
during the first semester of AY 1988-89, hence she is not entitled to be paid. While Diaz was able to teach
during the second semester of AY 1988-89, she was not able to claim her salaries for her refusal to
submit the Report for Duty Form.
Diaz instituted a complaint against U.P., Abueva, Encanto, Tabujara and Abad with the Pasig RTC praying
that the latter be adjudged, jointly and severally to pay her damages. She claimed, among others, that
They conspired together as joint tortfeasors, in not paying her salaries from July 1, 1988 in the first
semester of academic year 1988-89, for the entire period when her sabbatical application was left
unresolved, as well as the salaries she earned from teaching in the second semester from November
1988 to May 1989. She likewise claimed moral and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees. The RTC
held that Diaz was entitled to a sabbatical leave and that they delay in the resolution of her application
was unreasonable and unconscionable but the CA reversed it on appeal, ruling that there was neither
negligence nor bad faith in denying her application and withholding her salaries.

Issue: Whether or not the respondents acted in bad faith when they resolved Diaz’s application for leave
thus entitling her to damages

Ruling: No, they did not act in bad faith. Diaz’s complaint for recovery of damages before the RTC was
based on the alleged bad faith of the respondents in denying her application for sabbatical leave vis-à-vis
Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code. Xxxxx Article 19 of the Civil Code “prescribes a ‘primordial limitation
on all rights’ by setting certain standards that must be observed in the exercise thereof.” Abuse of right
under Article 19 exists when the following elements are present: (1) there is a legal right or duty; (2) which
is exercised in bad faith; (3) for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another.
The Ombudsman and all three courts, starting from the RTC to this Court, have already established that a
sabbatical leave is not a right and therefore petitioner Diaz cannot demand its grant. It does not matter
that there was only one reason for the denial of her application, as the approving authorities found that
such reason was enough. Moreover, not only the Court of Appeals but also the Ombudsman, and this
Court, have ruled that the respondents did not act in bad faith when petitioner Diaz’s sabbatical leave
application was denied. Those three separate rulings verily must be given great weight in the case at bar.
The Court does not find any reason to disregard those findings, especially when our own perusal of the
evidence showed no traces of bad faith or malice in the respondents’ denial of petitioner Diaz’s
application for sabbatical leave. They processed her application in accordance with their usual procedure
– with more leeway, in fact, since petitioner Diaz was given the chance to support her application when
she was asked to submit a historical background; and the denial was based on the recommendation of
respondent Encanto, who was in the best position to know whether petitioner Diaz’s application should be
granted or not.
Nevertheless, on the question of whether or not there was bad faith int he delay of the resolution of
petitioner Diaz’s sabbatical leave application, the Court still rules in the negative. “It is an elementary rule
in this jurisdiction that good faith is presumed and that the burden of proving bad faith rests upon the party
alleging the same.” Petitioner Diaz has failed to prove bad faith on the part of the respondents. There is
nothing in the records to show that the respondents purposely delayed the resolution of her application to
prejudice and injure her. She has not even shown that the delay of six months in resolving a sabbatical
leave application has never happened prior to her case. On the contrary, any delay that occurred was due
to the fact that petitioner Diaz’s application for sabbatical leave did not follow the usual procedure; hence,
the processing of said application took time.
Given that the respondents have not abused their rights, they should not be held liable for any damages
sustained by petitioner Diaz. “The law affords no remedy for damages resulting from an act which does
not amount to a legal wrong. Situations like this have been appropriately denominated damnum absque
injuria. Similarly, the Court cannot grant petitioner Diaz’s claim for attorney’s fees as no premium should
be placed on the right to litigate. “Even when a claimant is compelled to litigate or to incur expenses to
protect his rights, still attorney’s fees may not be awarded where there is no sufficient showing of bad faith
in a party’s persistence in a case other than an erroneous conviction of the righteousness of his cause.


Albenson Ent. delivered mild steel plates to Guaranteed Industries Inc. A Pacific Banking Corporation
Check was paid and drawn against the account of EL Woodworks. Check was later dishonored for the
reason “Account Closed.” Company traced source of check and later discovered that the signature
belonged to one Eugenio Baltao. Albenson made an extrajudical demand upon Baltao but latter denied
that he issued the check or that the signature was his. Company filed a complaint against Baltao for
violation of BP 22. It was later discovered that private respondent had son: Eugene Baltao III, who
manages the business establishment, EL Woodworks. No effort from the father to inform Albenson of
such information. Rather the father filed complaint for damages against Albenson.

Whether there is indeed cause for the damages against Albenson Enterprise.

Based on Art 19, 20, 21 of the civil code, petitioners didn’t have the intent to cause damage to the
respondent or enrich themselves but just to collect what was due to them. There was no abuse of right on
the part of Albenson on accusing Baltao of BP 22.

Albenson Corp. honestly believed that it was private respondent who issued check based on ff inquiries:
  SEC records showed that president to Guaranteed was Eugene Baltao
  Bank said signature belonged to EB
  EB did not do his part in clarifying that there were in fact 3 Ebs, Jr., Sr. and the III.

There was no malicious prosecution on the part of Albenson: there must be proof that:
  the prosecution was prompted by a sinister design to vex and humiliate a person and
  that damages was initiated deliberately by defendant knowing that his charges were false
and groundless

Elements of abuse of right under Article 19:

1. there is a legal right or duty
2. exercised in bad faith
3. for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another

Elements under Article 21: contra bonus mores:

1. there is an act which is legal
2. but which is contrary to morals, good custom, public order or public policy
3. it is done with intent to injure

A person who has not been paid an obligation owed to him will naturally seek ways to compel the debtor
to pay him. It was normal for petitioners to find means to make the issuer of the check pay the amount
thereof. In the absence of a wrongful act or omission or of fraud or bad faith, moral damages cannot be
awarded and that the adverse result of an action does not per se make the action wrongful and subject
the actor to the payment of damages, for the law could not have meant to impose a penalty on the right to

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the decision of the Court of Appeals in C.A. G.R. C.V. No.
14948 dated May 13, 1989, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Costs against respondent Baltao.


G.R. No. 159590 & 159591 October 18, 2004 |

 Frederick Arthur Thomson drew 5 checks payable to Catalan in the total amount of
HK$3.2 million. Catalan presented these checks to HSBC [Bank]. The checks were
dishonored for having insufficient funds. Thomson demanded that the checks be made
good because he, in fact, had sufficient funds.

 Catalan knowing that Thomson had communicated with the Bank, asked HSBCBank to
clear the checks and pay her the said amount. HSBC did not heed her.

 Thomson died but Catalan was not paid yet. The account was transferred to HSBC
[Trustee]. Catalan then requested Trustee to pay her. They still refused and even asked
her to submit back to them the original checks for verification.

 Catalan and her lawyer went to Hongkong on their own expense to personally submit the
checks. They still were not honored, leading Catalan to file a suit against HSBC to collect
her HK$3.2M


Whether or not HSBC Bank and Trustee are liable to pay damages to Catalan on the
ground of Abuse of right under Article 19 of the Civil Code


Petitioner: HSBC claims that they are a foreign corporation not doing business in the
Philippines thus the courts do not have jurisdiction over them. Moreover, there is no
cause of action because it was not alleged in the there was abuse of right.

Respondent: Catalan claims that although HSBC has the right to examine the checks,
they did so in bad faith because they required her to submit all sorts of documents and
yet even upon showing that the checks were good, the Bank still refused to release the
money to her. There was abuse of right on the part of the Bank. HOLDING & RATIO

Article 19 of the Civil Code speaks of the fundamental principle of law and human
conduct that a person "must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act
with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith." It sets the standards
which may be observed not only in the exercise of one’s rights but also in the performance of
one’s duties.

When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with the norms enshrined
in Article 19 and results in damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the
wrongdoer must be held responsible. But a right, though by itself legal because recognized or
granted by law as such, may nevertheless become the source of some illegality. A person should
be protected only when he acts in the legitimate exercise of his right, that is, when he acts with
prudence and in good faith; but not when he acts with negligence or abuse.
There is an abuse of right when it is exercised for the only purpose of prejudicing or
injuring another. The exercise of a right must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was
established, and must not be excessive or unduly harsh; there must be no intention to injure

Thus, in order to be liable under the abuse of rights principle, three elements must
concur, to wit: (a) that there is a legal right or duty; (b) which is exercised in bad faith; and (c) for
the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another.

HSBANK is being sued for unwarranted failure to pay the checks notwithstanding the
repeated assurance of the drawer Thomson as to the authenticity of the check sand frequent
directives to pay the value thereof to Catalan. Her allegations in the complaint that the gross
inaction of HSBANK on Thomson’s instructions, as well as its evident failure to inform Catalan of
the reason for its continued inaction and non-payment of the checks, smack of insouciance on its
part, are sufficient statements of clear abuse of right for which it may be held liable to Catalan for
any damages she incurred resulting therefore. HSBANK’s actions or lack thereof, prevented
Catalan from seeking further redress with Thomson for the recovery of her claim while the latter
was alive


The Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated August 14, 2003, in CA-G.R. SP No. 75757
dismissing the petition for certiorari of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
is AFFIRMED. The petition in G.R. No. 159591 is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of
Appeals, dated August 14, 2003, in CA-G.R. SP No. 75756 dismissing the petition for certiorari of
the HSBC International Trustee Limited is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Regional Trial
Court, Branch 44, Bacolod City is declared without jurisdiction to take cognizance of Civil Case
No. 01-11372 against the HSBC International Trustee Limited, and all its orders and issuances
with respect to the latter are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The said Regional Trial Court
is hereby ORDERED to DESIST from maintaining further proceedings against the HSBC
International Trustee Limited in the case aforestated.

5. Banal vs. Tadeo

Petitioner herein is one of the complainants in the criminal cases filed against Rosario Claudio.
Claudio is charged with 15 separate information for violation of BP 22. Claudio pleaded not guilty, thus
trial ensued. Petitioner moved to intervene through private prosecutor but it was rejected by respondent
judge on the ground that the charge is for the violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 which does not provide
for any civil liability or indemnity and hence, “it is not a crime against property but public order.” Petitioner
filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the respondent judge. Hence this appeal.

Whether or not a private prosecutor may intervene in the prosecution for violation of BP 22 which
does not provide for civil liability.

Yes. Under Art. 100 of the RPC, ‘every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.’
Thus a person committing a felony offends namely (1) the society in which he lives in or the political entity
called the State whose law he had violated; and (2) the individual member of that society whose person,
right, honor, chastity or property was actually or directly injured or damaged by the same punishable act
or omission.
While an act or omission is felonious because it is punishable by law, it gives rise to civil liability
not so much because it is a crime but because it caused damage to another. Viewing things
pragmatically, we can readily see that what gives rise to the civil liability is really the obligation and the
moral duty of everyone to repair or make whole the damage caused to another by reason of his own act
or omission, done intentionally or negligently, whether or not the same be punishable by law. In other
words, criminal liability will give rise to civil liability only if the same felonious act or omission results in
damage or injury to another and is the direct and proximate cause thereof. Damage or injury to another is
evidently the foundation of the civil action. Such is not the case in criminal actions for, to be criminally
liable, it is enough that the act or omission complained of is punishable, regardless of whether or not it
also causes material damage to another.
Article 20 of the New Civil Code provides:
“Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall
indemnify the latter for the same.”
Regardless, therefore, of whether or not a special law so provides, indemnification of the
offended party may be had on account of the damage, loss or injury directly suffered as a consequence of
the wrongful act of another.

6. Gashem Shookat Baksh vs Court of Appeals

219 SCRA 115 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Breach of promise to Marry – Article 21 of the
Civil Code

In August 1986, while working as a waitress in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Marilou Gonzales, then 21
years old, met Gashem Shookat Baksh, a 29 year old exchange student from Iran who was studying
medicine in Dagupan. The two got really close and intimate. On Marilou’s account, she said that Gashem
later offered to marry her at the end of the semester. Marilou then introduced Gashem to her parents
where they expressed their intention to get married. Marilou’s parents then started inviting sponsors and
relatives to the wedding. They even started looking for animals to slaughter for the occasion.

Meanwhile, Marilou started living with Gashem in his apartment where they had sexual intercourse. But in
no time, their relationship went sour as Gashem began maltreating Marilou. Gashem eventually revoked
his promise of marrying Marilou and he told her that he is already married to someone in Bacolod City. So
Marilou went home and later sued Gashem for damages.

The trial court ruled in favor of Marilou and awarded her P20k in moral damages. The Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision of the trial court.

On appeal, Gashem averred that he never proposed marriage to Marilou and that he cannot be adjudged
to have violated Filipino customs and traditions since he, being an Iranian, was not familiar with Filipino
customs and traditions.

ISSUE: Whether breach of promise to marry can give rise to cause for damages.

HELD: Yes. Gashem is liable to pay for damages in favor of Marilou not really because of his breach of
promise to marry her but based on Article 21 of the Civil Code which provides:

Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

Breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong per se. In this case, it is the deceit and fraud
employed by Gashem that constitutes a violation of Article 21 of the Civil Code. His promise of marrying
Marilou was a deceitful scheme to lure her into sexual congress. As found by the trial court, Marilou was
not a woman of loose morals. She was a virgin before she met Gashem. She would not have surrendered
herself to Gashem had Gashem not promised to marry her. Gashem’s blatant disregard of Filipino
traditions on marriage and on the reputation of Filipinas is contrary to morals, good customs, and public
policy. As a foreigner who is enjoying the hospitality of our country and even taking advantage of the
opportunity to study here he is expected to respect our traditions. Any act contrary will render him liable
under Article 21 of the Civil Code.

The Supreme Court also elucidated that Article 21 was meant to expand the concepts of torts and quasi
delict. It is meant to cover situations such as this case where the breach complained of is not strictly
covered by existing laws. It was meant as a legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is
impossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the statute books – such as the
absence of a law penalizing a the breach of promise to marry.

The Supreme Court however agreed with legal luminaries that if the promise to marry was made and
there was carnal knowledge because of it, then moral damages may be recovered (presence of moral or
criminal seduction), Except if there was mutual lust; or if expenses were made because of the promise
(expenses for the wedding), then actual damages may be recovered.

7. Quisumbing vs MERALCO
TITLE: Sps. Quisumbing vs. MERALCO
CITATION: GR No. 142943, April 3, 2002


The plaintiff, spouses Antonio and Lorna Quisumbing are the owners of a house located at #94
Greenmeadows Avenue, Quezon City. Around 9AM on March 3, 1995, defendant’s inspectors headed by
Emmanuel C. Orlino were assigned to conduct a routine on the spot inspection of all single phase meters
at the house and observed as standard operating procedure to ask permission and was granted by the
plaintiff’s secretary. After the inspection, it was found that the meter had been tampered with. The result
was relayed to the secretary who conveyed the information to the owners of the house. The inspectors
advised that the meter be brought in their laboratory for further verifications. In the event that the meter
was indeed tampered, defendant had to temporarily disconnect the electric services of the couple. After
an hour, inspectors returned and informed the findings of the laboratory and asked the couple that unless
they pay the amount of P178,875.01 representing the differential bill their electric supply will be
disconnected. The plaintiff filed complaint for damages with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction despite the immediate reconnection.

ISSUE: Whether or not MERALCO acted maliciously and malevolent manner done without due process,
lack of regard for QUISUMBING’s rights, feelings, social and business reputation and therefore held them
accountable and plaintiff be entitled for damages.


Supreme Court partly granted the petition and ordered plaintiff to pay respondent the billing differential of
P193,332.96 while latter is ordered to pay petitioners moral and exemplary damages including attorney’s
fees. Moral damages may be recovered when rights of individuals including right against the deprivation
of property without due process of law are violated. Exemplary damages on the other hand are imposed
by way of example or correction for public. SC recognized the effort of MERALCO in preventing illegal
use of electricity. However, any action must be done in strict observance of the rights of the people.
“Under the law, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) may immediately disconnect electric service on
the ground of alleged meter tampering, but only if the discovery of the cause is personally witnessed and
attested to by an officer of the law or by a duly authorized representative of the Energy Regulatory
Board”. During the inspection, no government official or ERB representative was present.

Petitioner’s claim for actual damages was not granted for failure to supply proof and was premised only
upon Lorna’s testimony. These are compensation for an injury that will put the injure position where it was
before it was injured.



Plaintiffs were the children of the deceased, Pedro Celdran, Sr. from the first marriage.
Defendants were Josefa Celdran, spouse of the decreased by the second marriage and their seven
children. When the defendants answered on May 28, 1954, Ignacio Celdran withdrew as one of the
plaintiffs, alleging that the documents was falsified. On March 6, 1959, the parties an amicable settlement,
except Ignacio Celdran, recognizing as valid for being satisfied by Ignacio, upon receipt of P10,000 plus
two residential lots. Ignacio appealed to the CA. On March 22, 1963, at the instance of Ignacio, an
information for falsification of public documents was filed by the first marriage.


Whether or not the proceedings in the criminal case on the ground of prejudicial question be
suspended, for the reason that the alleged falsification of document of withdrawal is at issue in the case
pending in the CA.


The court held the action poses a prejudicial question to the criminal prosecution for alleged
falsification. The authenticity of the document was assailed in the same civil action. The resolution in the
civil case be determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal suit pending. As such, it
is a prejudicial question which should be first decided before the prosecution can proceed in the criminal
case. Prejudicial question is one that arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent to the
issue involved therein, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal; it is determinative of the
case before the court and jurisdiction to pass upon the same is lodged in another.

The decision of the CA under review is affirmed. The administrative case was held in abeyance of
the high court.

9. LEONILO DONATO, petitioner, vs. HON ARTEMON LUNA and

PAZ ABAYAN, respondents.
April 15, 1988


On September 28, 1979, before the petitioner’s arraignment, private respondent filed with the Juvenile
and Domestic Relations Court a civil action for declaration of nullity of her marriage with petitioner
contracted on September 26, 1978. Said civil case was based on the ground that private respondent
consented to entering into the marriage, which was petitioner Donato’s second one, since she had no
previous knowledge that petitioner was already married to Rosalinda Maluping on June 30, 1978.
Petitioner’s answer in the civil case for nullity interposed the defense that his second marriage was void
since it was solemnized without a marriage license and that force, violence, intimidation, and undue
influence were employed by private respondent to obtain petitioner’s consent to the marriage. Prior to the
solemnization of the subsequent marriage, petitioner and private respondent had lived together and
deported themselves as husband and wife without the benefit of wedlock for a period of at least five years
as evidenced by a joint affidavit executed by them on September 26, 1978, for which reason, the requisite
marriage license was dispensed with pursuant to Article76 of the New Civil Code pertaining to marriages
of exceptional character. Prior to the date set for the trial on the merits of Criminal Case, petitioner filed a
motion to suspend the proceedings of said case contending Civil Case seeking the annulment of his
second marriage filed by private respondent raises a prejudicial question which must first be determined
or decided before the criminal case can proceed.

Whether or not criminal case proceedings should be suspended in view of the prejudicial question raised
by the filed civil case.


The respondent judge ruled in the negative and the Supreme Court sustains him. A prejudicial question
has been defined to be one which arises in a case, the resolution of question is a logical antecedent of
the issue involved in said case, and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal. It is based on a
fact distinct or 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 in the said
case involves facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution would be based but
also that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil case, the guilt or innocence of the
accused would necessarily be determined. The issue before the Juvenile and Domestic Relation Court is
not determinative of petitioner’s guilt or innocence in the crime of bigamy. It was petitioner’s second wife,
who filed the complainant for annulment of the second marriage on the ground that her consent was
obtained through deceit. Pursuant to the doctrine discussed in Landicho vs. Relova, petitioner cannot
apply the rule on prejudicial question since a case for annulment of marriage can be considered as a
prejudicial question to the bigamy case against the accused only if it is proved that the petitioner’s
consent to such marriage was obtained by means of duress, violence, and intimidation in order to
establish that his act in the subsequent marriage was an involuntary one and as such the same cannot be
the basis for conviction. The preceding elements do not exist in case at bar. Another event which militates
against petitioner’s contentions is the fact that it was only when the civil case was filed on September 28,
1979, or more than the lapse of one year from the solemnization of the second marriage that petitioner
came up with the story that his consent to the marriage was secured through the use of force, violence,
intimidation, and undue influence. Petitioner also continued to live with private respondent until November
1978, when the latter left their abode upon learning that Leonilo Donatowas already previously married.

Assignment 19

1. Continental Steel Manufacturing Corporation vs Voluntary Arbitrator Allan Montaño

603 SCRA 621 – Labor Law – Labor Standards – Death Benefits for the Death of a Dependent – A Fetus
is a Dependent
Civil Law – Civil Personality – When does civil personality start – When does life begin

In January 2006, the wife of Rolando Hortillano had a miscarriage which caused the death of their unborn
child. Hortillano, in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, then filed death benefits claim
from his employer, the Continental Steel Manufacturing Corporation which denied the claim. Eventually,
the issue was submitted for arbitration and both parties agreed to have Atty. Allan Montaño act as the
arbitrator. Montaño ruled that Hortillano is entitled to his claims. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
decision of Montaño.

On appeal, Continental Steel insisted that Hortillano is not entitled because under the CBA, death benefits
are awarded if an employee’s legitimate dependent has died; but that in this case, no “death” has
occurred because the fetus died inside the womb of the mother, that a fetus has no juridical personality
because it was never born pursuant to Article 40 of the Civil Code which provides a conceived child
acquires personality only when it is born; that the fetus was not born hence it is not a legitimate
dependent as contemplated by the CBA nor did it suffer death as contemplated under civil laws.


1. Whether or not the fetus is a legitimate dependent?

2. Whether or not a person has to be born before it could die?


1. Yes. In the first place, the fact of marriage between Hortillano and his wife was never put in question,
hence they are presumed to be married. Second, children conceived or born during the marriage of the
parents are legitimate. Hence, the unborn child (fetus) is already a legitimate dependent the moment it
was conceived (meeting of the sperm and egg cell).

2. No. Death is defined as “cessation of life”. Certainly, a child in the womb has life. There is no need to
discuss whether or not the unborn child acquired juridical personality – that is not the issue here. But
nevertheless, life should not be equated to civil personality. Moreover, while the Civil Code expressly
provides that civil personality may be extinguished by death, it does not explicitly state that only those
who have acquired juridical personality could die. In this case, Hortillano’s fetus had had life inside
the womb as evidenced by the fact that it clung to life for 38 weeks before the unfortunate miscarriage.
Thus, death occurred on a dependent hence Hortillano as an employee is entitled to death benefit claims
as provided for in their CBA.


G.R. No. L-32181
March 5, 1986
Respondent Leonor Valencia, for and in behalf of her minor children filed with the Court of FirstInstance of
Cebu a petition for the cancellation and/or correction of entries of birth of BernardoGo and Jessica Go in
the Civil Registry of the City of Cebu. The case was docketed as SpecialProceedings No. 3043-R.
The Solicitor General filed an opposition to the petition alleging that the petition for correctionof entry in
the Civil Registry pursuant to Article 412 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines inrelation to Rule 108 of
the Revised Rules of Court, contemplates a summary proceeding andcorrection of mere clerical errors,
those harmless and innocuous changes such as the correctionof a name that is merely mispelled,
occupation of parents, etc., and not changes or correctionsinvolving civil status, nationality, or citizenship
which are substantial and controversial.
Finding the petition to be sufficient in form and substance, the trial court issued an orderdirecting the
publication of the petition and the date of hearing thereof in the Cebu Advocate, anewspaper of general
circulation in the city and province of Cebu, once a week for three (3)consecutive weeks, and notice
thereof, duly served on the Solicitor General, the Local CivilRegistrar of Cebu City and Go Eng.
Respondent Leonor Valencia, filed her reply to the opposition wherein she admitted that thepresent
petition seeks substantial changes involving the civil status and nationality or citizenshipof respondents,
but alleged that substantial changes in the civil registry records involving thecivil status of parents, their
nationality or citizenship may be allowed if- (1) the proper suit isfiled, and (2) evidence is submitted, either
to support the allegations of the petition or to disprovethe same; that respondents have complied with
these requirements by filing the present specialproceeding for cancellation or correction of entries in the
civil registry pursuant to Rule 108 ofhe Revised Rules of Court and that they have caused reasonable
notice to be given to thepersons named in the petition and have also caused the order for the hearings of
their petition tobe published for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in
Subsequently, the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City filed a motion to dismiss on the ground thatsince the
petition seeks to change the nationality or citizenship of Bernardo Go and Jessica Gofrom "Chinese" to
"Filipino" and their status from "Legitimate" to Illegitimate", and changingalso the status of the mother
from "married" to "single" the corrections sought are not merelyclerical but substantial, involving as they
do the citizenship and status of the petitioning minorsand the status of their mother.
The lower court denied the motion to dismiss.

Whether or not the proper suit or appropriate action was filed by the respondent?
The Court held in the affirmative. We are of the opinion that the petition filed by the respondent in the
lower court by way of a special proceeding for cancellation and/or correction of entries in the civil register
with the requisite notice and publication and the recorded proceedings that mactually took place
thereafter could very well be regarded as that proper suit or appropriateaction.
It is undoubtedly true that if the subject matter of a petition is not for the correction of clerical errors of a
harmless and innocuous nature, but one involving nationality or citizenship, which is indisputably
substantial as well as controverted, affirmative relief cannot be granted in a proceeding
summary in nature. However, it is also true that a right in law may be enforced and a wrong may be
remedied as long as the appropriate remedy is used. This Court adheres to the principle that even
substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected and the true facts established provided the parties
aggrieved by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding. As a matter of fact, the
opposition of the Solicitor General dated February
20, 1970 while questioning the use of Article 412 of the Civil Code in relation to Rule 108 of the
Revised Rules of Court admits that "the entries sought to be corrected should be threshed out in an
appropriate proceeding.
In the instant case, a petition for cancellation and/or correction of entries of birth of Bernardo Goand
Jessica Go in the Civil Registry of the City of Cebu was filed by respondent LeonorValencia on January
27, 1970, and pursuant to the order of the trial court dated February 4, 1970,the said petition was
published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in the, CebuAdvocate, a newspaper of general
circulation in the City of Cebu. Notice thereof was duly servedon the Solicitor General, the Local Civil
Registrar and Go Eng. The order likewise set the casefor hearing and directed the local civil registrar and
the other respondents or any person claimingany interest under the entries whose corrections were
sought, to file their opposition to the saidpetition. An opposition to the petition was consequently filed by
the Republic on February 26,1970. Thereafter a full blown trial followed with respondent Leonor Valencia
testifying andpresenting her documentary evidence in support of her petition. The Republic on the other
handcross-examined respondent Leonor Valencia.

3. Republic vs. Capote

Case Doctrines:
● A petition for change of name must be heard in an adversarial proceeding; it cannot be decided through
a summary proceeding

● The fact that no one opposed the petition did not deprive the court of its jurisdiction to hear the same
nor does it make the proceeding less adversarial in nature.

● A proceeding is adversarial where the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party and
afforded the latter an opportunity to contest it. All the requirements to make a proceeding adversarial were
satisfied when all interested parties were afforded the opportunity to contest the petition.

Facts: In 1998, respondent Trinidad R. A. Capote (guardian ad litem) filed a petition forchange of name of
her ward from Giovanni Nadores Gallamaso to Giovanni Nadores. The petition alleged that: Giovanni
is the illegitimate natural child of Corazon P. Nadores and Diosdado Gallamaso; he was born on July 9,
1982, prior to the effectivity of the New Family Code; his mother made him use the surname of the natural
father despite the absence of marriage between them; from the time Giovanni was born and up to the
present, his father failed to take up his responsibilities [to him] on matters of financial, physical, emotional
and spiritual concerns; Giovanni is now fully aware of how he stands with his father and he desires to
have his surname changed to that of his mother’s surname; Giovanni’s mother might eventually petition
him to join her in the United States and his continued use of the surname Gallamaso, the surname of his
natural father, may complicate his status as natural child; and the change of name will be for the benefit of
the minor.

Having found respondent’s petition sufficient in form and substance, the trial court gave due course to the
petition. Publication of the petition was ordered and the local civil registrar and the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG) was notified. Since there was no opposition to the petition, respondent moved for leave of
court to present her evidence ex parte before a court-appointed commissioner. The OSG, acting through
the Provincial Prosecutor, did not object; hence, the lower court granted the motion. After the reception of
evidence, the trial court rendered a decision ordering the change of name from Giovanni N. Gallamaso to
Giovanni Nadores.

Petitioner Republic of the Philippines, through the OSG, filed an appeal with a lone assignment of error:
the court a quo erred in granting the petition in a summary proceeding. Ruling that the proceedings were
sufficiently adversarial in nature as required, the CA affirmed the RTC decision ordering the change of

Petitioner appealed to the Supreme Court contending that the CA erred in affirming the trial court’s
decision which granted the petition for change of name despite the non-joinder of indispensable parties.
The purported parents and all other persons who may be adversely affected by the child’s change of
name should have been made respondents to make the proceeding adversarial.


1. Whether or not the petition for change of name should be granted.

2. Is a proceeding for change of name adversarial?

3. Did Capote comply with the requirement for an adversarial proceeding?

4. When is a proceeding considered adversarial?


1. Yes. The law and facts obtaining here favor Giovanni’s petition. Giovanni availed of the proper remedy,
a petition for change of name under Rule 103 of the Rules of Court, and complied with all the procedural
requirements. After hearing, the trial court found (and the appellate court affirmed) that the evidence
presented during the hearing of Giovanni’s petition sufficiently established that, under Art. 176 of the Civil
Code, Giovanni is entitled to change his name as he was never recognized by his father while his mother
has always recognized him as her child. A change of name will erase the impression that he was ever
recognized by his father. It is also to his best interest as it will facilitate his mother’s intended petition to
have him join her in the United States. This Court will not stand in the way of the reunification of mother
and son.

2. The OSG is correct in stating that a petition for change of name must be heard in an adversarial
proceeding. Unlike petitions for the cancellation or correction of clerical errors in entries in the civil registry
under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, a petition for change of name under Rule 103 cannot be decided
through a summary proceeding. There is no doubt that this petition does not fall under Rule 108 for it is
not alleged that the entry in the civil registry suffers from clerical or typographical errors. The relief sought
clearly goes beyond correcting erroneous entries in the civil registry, although by granting the petition, the
result is the same in that a corresponding change in the entry is also required to reflect the change in

3. Capote complied with the requirement for an adversarial proceeding by posting in a newspaper of
general circulation notice of the filing of the petition. The lower court also furnished the OSG a copy
thereof. Despite the notice, no one came forward to oppose the petition including the OSG. The fact that
no one opposed the petition did not deprive the court of its jurisdiction to hear the same nor does it make
the proceeding less adversarial in nature. The lower court is still expected to exercise its judgment to
determine whether the petition is meritorious or not and not merely accept as true the arguments
propounded. Considering that the OSG neither opposed the petition nor the motion to present its
evidence ex parte when it had the opportunity to do so, it cannot now complain that the proceedings in the
lower court were not adversarial enough.

4. A proceeding is adversarial where the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party
and afforded the latter an opportunity to contest it. Respondent gave notice of the petition through
publication as required by the rules. With this, all interested parties were deemed notified and the whole
world considered bound by the judgment therein. In addition, the trial court gave due notice to the OSG by
serving a copy of the petition on it. Thus, all the requirements to make a proceeding adversarial were
satisfied when all interested parties, including petitioner as represented by the OSG, were afforded the
opportunity to contest the petition (Republic of the Philippines vs Trinidad R. A. Capote, G.R. No.
157043, February 2, 2007).

5. In Re: Petition of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang

Case Doctrines:

● The registered name of a legitimate, legitimated and recognized illegitimate child contains a given
name, a middle name and a surname.
● Before a person can be authorized to change his name given him either in his certificate of birth or civil
registry, he must show proper or reasonable cause, or any compelling reason which may justify such
change. Otherwise, the request should be denied.

● That the continued use of a middle name would cause confusion and difficulty does not constitute
proper and reasonable cause to drop it from one's registered complete name.

Facts: Julian was born in Cebu City on February 20, 1998 to parents Anna Lisa Wang and Sing-Foe
Wang who were then not yet married to each other. When his parents subsequently got married on
September 22, 1998, they executed a deed of legitimation of their son so that the child’s name was
changed from Julian Lin Carulasan to Julian Lin Carulasan Wang.

Since the couple planned to live in Singapore where Julian will study together with a sister who was born
in Singapore, Anna Lisa decided to file a petition in the Regional Trial Court 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. The reason given for the change of name sought in the petition is that Julian may be
discriminated against when he studies in Singapore because of his middle name since in Singapore
middle names or the maiden surname of the mother is not carried in a person's name.

After trial, the RTC denied the petition because the reason given did not fall within the grounds
recognized by law. The RTC ruled that since the State has an interest in the name of a person it cannot
just be changed to suit the convenience of the bearer of the name. The RTC said that legitimate children
have the right to bear the surnames of the father and the mother, and there is no reason why this right
should be taken from Julio considering that he was still a minor. When he reaches majority age he could
then decide whether to change his name by dropping his middle name, added the RTC.


Was the RTC correct in denying the petition?


Yes. Middle names serve to identify the maternal lineage or filiation of a person as well as 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 private handwritten instrument, he then bears both his mother's surname as his
middle name and his father's 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.

The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and entities for purposes of identification, and
that a change of name is a privilege and not a right, so that before a person can be authorized to change
his name given him either in his certificate of birth or civil registry, he must show proper or reasonable
cause, or any compelling reason which may justify such change. Otherwise, the request should be

To justify a request for change of name, petitioner must show not only some proper or compelling reason
therefore but also that he will be prejudiced by the use of his true and official name. Among the grounds
for change of name which have been held valid 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 was unaware of alien parentage; (e) a sincere desire to
adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of former alienage, 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 was for a fraudulent purpose or that the change of name would prejudice public interest.
In the case at bar, the only reason advanced by petitioner for the dropping his middle name is
convenience. However, 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.

In addition, petitioner is only a minor. Considering the nebulous foundation on which his petition for
change of name is based, it is best that the matter of change of his name be left to his judgment and
discretion when he reaches the age of majority. As he is of tender age, he may not yet understand and
appreciate the value of the change of his name and granting of the same at this point may just prejudice
him in his rights under our laws. (In Re: Petition for Change of Name and/or Correction of Entry in
the Civil Registry of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang G.R. 159966, March 30 2005, 454 SCRA 2155).

6. Reyes vs. Alejandro

141 SCRA 65

In October 1969, Erlinda ReynosoReyes prayed for the declaration of absence ofher husband Roberto
L. Reyes who have beenabsent in their house since April 1962 due to a misunderstanding over personal
matters. Since then she doesn‘t know his whereabouts. He left no will or debts.She said they acquired no
properties or debts during marriage. She said
her only purpose infiling the petition is to establish the absence of her husband
, invoking the provisions of Rule 107 of the New Rules of Court and Article 384 of the Civil Code.CFI
dismissed the case.

Issue: WON Roberto must be judicially declared absent.

Held: No. The purpose of the declaration is to provide an administrator of the property.Ratio:Rule 107 of
the Rules of Court is based on the provisions of Title XIV of the New Civil Code onabsence. The provision
is concerned with theinterest or property of the absentee. The purpose of the declaration is to provide an
administrator of the property.
The reason and purpose of the provisions ofthe New Civil Code on absence (Arts. 381 to396)
are:1. The interest of the person himself who has disappeared; 2. The rights of third parties against the
absentee, especially those who have rights which would depend upon the death of the absentee; and
3. The general interest of society which may require that property does not remain abandoned without
someone representing it and without an owner (Civil Code by Francisco,Vol. 2, pp. 930-931, 1953
Ed.).When to declare for absence:1. when he has properties which have tobe taken cared of or
administered by a representative appointed by the Court (Article384, Civil Code);
2. the spouse of the absentee is asking for separation of property (Article 191, CivilCode) or
3. his wife is asking the Court that the administration of all classes of property in the marriage be
transferred to her (Article. 196,Civil Code).For civil marriage law-Necessary to judicially declare spouse
an absentee only when (1) there are properties which have to be taken cared of or administered by a
representative appointed by the Court (2) the spouse of the absentee is asking for separation of property
(3) wife is asking the Court that the administration of property in the marriage be transferred to her-
Otherwise law only requires that the former spouse has been absent for seven consecutive years at the
time of the second marriage, that the spouse present does not know his or her former spouse to he living,
that such former spouse is generally reputed to be dead and thespouse present so believes at the time of
the celebration of the marriage

RESULT: in this case, since there were noproperties to speak of, it was right for the TC to dismiss the