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G.R. No. L-28248 March 12, 1975
LEONORA PERIDO, joined by husband MANUEL PIROTE, INOCENCIA PERIDO,
ALBENIO PERIDO, PAULINO PERIDO, LETIA PERIDO, joined by husband
BIENVENIDO BALYAO, LETICIA PERIDO, joined by husband FELIX VILLARUZ,
EUFEMIA PERIDO, CONSOLACION PERIDO, ALFREDO PERIDO, GEORGE
PERIDO, AMPARO PERIDO, WILFREDO PERIDO, MARGARITA PERIDO,
ROLANDO SALDE and EDUARDO SALDE, petitioners,
vs.
MARIA PERIDO, SOFRONIO PERIDO, JUAN A. PERIDO, GONZALO PERIDO,
PACITA PERIDO, MAGDALENA PERIDO, ALICIA PERIDO, JOSEFINA PERIDO, FE
PERIDO, TERESA PERIDO and LUZ PERIDO, respondents.
Januario L. Jison, Jr. for petitioners.
Antonio T. de Jesus for respondents.
MAKALINTAL, C.J.:ñé+.£ªwph!1
This is an appeal by certiorari from the decision of the Court of Appeals in its CA-G.R.
No. 37034-R, affirming the decision of the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental
in Civil Case No. 6529.
Lucio Perido of Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, married twice during his lifetime. His
first wife was Benita Talorong, with whom he begot three (3) children: Felix, Ismael, and
Margarita. After Benita died Lucio married Marcelina Baliguat, with whom he had five (5)
children: Eusebio, Juan, Maria, Sofronia and Gonzalo. Lucio himself died in 1942, while
his second wife died in 1943.
Of the three (3) children belonging to the first marriage only Margarita Perido is still
living. Her deceased brother, Felix Perido, is survived by his children Inocencia,
Leonora, Albinio, Paulino, Letia, Leticia, and Eufemia, all surnamed Perido. Nicanora
Perido, another daughter of Felix, is also deceased, but is survived by two (2) sons,
Rolando and Eduardo Salde.
Margarita's other deceased brother, Ismael Perido, is survived by his children, namely:
Consolacion, Alfredo, Wilfredo, and Amparo. Susano Perido, another son of Ismael, is
dead, but survived by his own son George Perido.
Of Lucio Perido's five (5) children by his second wife, two are already dead, namely:
Eusebio and Juan. Eusebio is survived by his children Magdalena Perido, Pacita
Perido, Alicia Perido, Josefina Perido, Fe Perido, Teresa Perido, and Luz Perido, while
Juan is survived by his only child, Juan A. Perido.
On August 15, 1960 the children and grandchildren of the first and second marriages of
Lucio Perido executed a document denominated as "Declaration of Heirship and Extra-

judicial Partition," whereby they partitioned among themselves Lots Nos. 458, 471, 506,
511, 509, 513-B, 807, and 808, all of the Cadastral Survey of Himamaylan, Occidental
Negros.
Evidently the children belonging to the first marriage of Lucio Perido had second
thoughts about the partition. On March 8, 1962 they filed a complaint in the Court of
First Instance of Negros Occidental, which complaint was later amended on February
22, 1963, against the children of the second marriage, praying for the annulment of the
so-called "Declaration of Heirship and Extra-Judicial Partition" and for another partition
of the lots mentioned therein among the plaintiffs alone. They alleged, among other
things, that they had been induced by the defendants to execute the document in
question through misrepresentation, false promises and fraudulent means; that the lots
which were partitioned in said document belonged to the conjugal partnership of the
spouses Lucio Perido and Benita Talorong, and that the five children of Lucio Perido
with Marcelina Baliguat were all illegitimate and therefore had no successional rights to
the estate of Lucio Perido, who died in 1942. The defendants denied the foregoing
allegations.
After trial the lower court rendered its decision dated July 31, 1965, annulling the
"Declaration of Heirship and Extra-Judicial Partition." However, it did not order the
partition of the lots involved among the plaintiffs exclusively in view of its findings that
the five children of Lucio Perido with his second wife, Marcelina Baliguat, were
legitimate; that all the lots, except Lot No. 458, were the exclusive properties of Lucio
Perido; and that 11/12 of Lot No. 458 belonged to the conjugal partnership of Lucio
Perido and his second wife, Marcelina Baliguat. The dispositive portion of the decision
reads as follows:têñ.£îhqwâ£
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Court renders judgment as follows: declaring
the following as the legitimate children and grandchildren and heirs of Lucio Perido and
Benita Talorong: Felix Perido, deceased; grandchildren: Inocencia Perido, Leonora
Perido, Albinio Perido, Paulino Perido, Letia Perido, Leticia Perido, Eufemia Perido;
Nicanora Perido, deceased; great grandchildren: Rolando Salde and Eduardo Salde;
Ismael Perido, deceased; grandchildren: Consolacion Perido, Alfredo Perido, Susano
Perido, deceased; great grandson: George Perido; Amparo Perido and Wilfredo Perido;
and, Margarita Perido; (2) declaring the following as the legitimate children and
grandchildren and heirs of Lucio Perido and Marcelina Baliguat: Eusebio Perido,
deceased; grandchildren: Pacita Perido, Magdalena Perido, Alicia Perido, Josefina
Perido, Fe Perido, Teresa Perido, and Luz Perido; Juan B. Perido, deceased; grandson,
Juan A. Perido; Maria Perido; Sofronia Perido; and Gonzalo Perido; (3) declaring all lots
(471, 506, 511, 509, 513-part, 807, and 808) except Lot No. 458 as exclusive properties
of Lucio Perido so that each of them should be divided into eight (8) equal parts: 1/8
belongs to Felix Perido, but because of his death leaving eight (8) children, the same
should be divided and alloted as follows: 1/64 to Inocencia Perido of age, widow; 1/64 to
Leonora Perido, of age, married to Manuel Pirote; 1/64 to Albinio Perido, of age, married
to Honorata Villasana; 1/64 to Paulino Perido, of age, married to Norma Villalba 1/64 to
Letia Perido, of age, married to Bienvenido Balyac; 1/64 to Leticia Perido, of age, married
to Felix Villaruz; 1/64 to Eufemia Perido, of age, single; 1/64 to Nicanora Perido, but
because she is now dead the same should be divided and alloted as follows: 1/128 to
Rolando Salde, of age, single; and 1/128 to Eduardo Salde, of age, single; 1/8 belongs to
Ismael Perido, but because he is already dead leaving five children, the same should be

divided and alloted as follows: 1/40 to Consolacion Perido, of age, widow; 1/40 to Alfredo
Perido, of age married to Trinidad Tamargo; 1/40 to Susano Perido, but he is already
dead with one son, the same goes to George Perido, of age, single; 1/40 to Wilfredo
Perido, of age, single; 1/8 belongs to Margarita Perido, of age, widow; 1/8 belongs to
Eusebio Perido, but because he is already dead with seven children, the same should be
divided and alloted as follows: 1/56 goes to Pacita Perido, of age, single; 1/56 goes to
Magdalena Perido, of age, single; 1/56 goes to Alicia Perido, of age, married to Isaias
Ruiz; 1/56 goes to Josefina Perido, of age, married to Leopoldo Doloroso; 1/56 goes to
Fe Perido, of age, single; 1/56 goes to Teresa Perido, of are single; 1/56 goes to Luz
Perido, of age, married to Fidel de la Cruz; 1/8 belongs to Juan B. Perido, but because
he is already dead with one child, the same 1/8 goes to Juan A. Perido, of age, married to
Salud Salgado 1/8 goes to Maria Perido. of age, married to Julio Pirote; 1/8 goes to
Sofronia Perido, of age, widow; and, 1/8 goes to Gonzalo Perido, of age, married to
Lacomemoracion Estiller; (4) declaring the 11/12 shares in Lot No. 458 as conjugal
partnership property of Lucio Perido and Marcelina Baliguat, which should be divided and
alloted as follows: 11/24 goes to Lucio Perido to be divided into eight (8) equal shares
and 11/24 goes to Marcelina Baliguat to be divided into five (5) equal shares or 11/120 for
each of the children and again to be divided by the children of each child now deceased;
(6) declaring Fidel Perido owner of 1/12 share in Lot 458 to be divided among his heirs to
be determined accordingly later; and (6) declaring null and void Exhibit "J" of the plaintiffs
which is Exhibit "10" for the defendants, without costs and without adjudication with
respect to the counterclaim and damages, they being members of the same family, for
equity and justice.

The plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Appeals, alleging that the trial court erred: (1) in
declaring that Eusebio Perido, Juan Perido, Maria Perido, Sofronia Perido and Gonzalo
Perido, were the legitimate children of Lucio Perido and his second wife, Marcelina
Baliguat; (2) in declaring that Lucio Perido was the exclusive owner of Lots Nos. 471,
506, 511, 509, 513-Part, 807, and 808 of Cadastral Survey of Himamaylan, Negros
Occidental, and in not declaring that said lots were the conjugal partnership property of
Lucio Perido and his first wife, Benita Talorong; and (3) in holding that 11/12 of Lot 458
was the conjugal partnership property of Lucio Perido and Marcelina Baliguat.
Finding no reversible error in the decision of the lower court, the Court of Appeals
affirmed it in toto. The appellants moved to reconsider but were turned down.
Thereupon they instituted he instant petition for review reiterating in effect the
assignments of error and the arguments in the brief they submitted to the appellate
court.
The first issue pertains to the legitimacy of the five children of Lucio Perido with
Marcelina Baliguat. The petitioners insist that said children were illegitimate on the
theory that the first three were born out of wedlock even before the death of Lucio
Perido's first wife, while the last two were also born out of wedlock and were not
recognized by their parents before or after their marriage. In support of their contention
they allege that Benita Talorong died in 1905, after the first three children were born, as
testified to by petitioner Margarita Perido and corroborated by petitioner Leonora Perido;
that as late as 1923 Lucio Perido was still a widower, as shown on the face of the
certificates of title issued to him in said year; and Lucio Perido married his second wife,
Marcelina Baliguat, only in 1925, as allegedly established through the testimony of
petitioner Leonora Perido.

The petition cannot be sustained. The Court of Appeals found that there was evidence
to show that Lucio Perido's wife, Benita Talorong, died during the Spanish regime. This
finding conclusive upon us and beyond our power of review. Under the circumstance,
Lucio Perido had no legal impediment to marry Marcelina Baliguat before the birth of
their first child in 1900.
With respect to the civil status of Lucio Perido as stated in the certificates of title issued
to him in 1923, the Court of Appeals correctly held that the statement was not
conclusive to show that he was not actually married to Marcelina Baliguat. Furthermore,
it is weak and insufficient to rebut the presumption that persons living together husband
and wife are married to each other. This presumption, especially where legitimacy of the
issue is involved, as in this case, may be overcome only by cogent proof on the part of
those who allege the illegitimacy. In the case of Adong vs. Cheong Seng Gee 1 this
Court explained the rationale behind this presumption, thus: "The basis of human
society throughout the civilized world is that of marriage. Marriage in this jurisdiction is
not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the maintenance of
which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment of the law leans
toward legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are
presumed, in the absence of any counter-presumption or evidence special to the case,
to be in fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the
parties were not what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would he living in
the constant violation of decency and of law. A presumption established by our Code of
Civil Procedure is "that a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife
have entered into a lawful contract of marriage." (Sec. 334, No. 28) Semper
praesumitur pro matrimonio — Always presume marriage."
While the alleged marriage ceremony in 1925, if true, might tend to rebut the
presumption of marriage arising from previous cohabitation, it is to be noted that both
the trial court and the appellate court did not even pass upon the uncorroborated
testimony of petitioner Leonora Perido on the matter. The reason is obvious. Said
witness, when asked why she knew that Marcelina Baliguat was married to Lucio Perido
only in 1925, merely replied that she knew it because "during the celebration of the
marriage by the Aglipayan priest (they) got flowers from (their) garden and placed in the
altar." Evidently she was not even an eyewitness to the ceremony.
In view of the foregoing the Court of Appeals did not err in concluding that the five
children of Lucio Perido and Marcelina Baliguat were born during their marriage and,
therefore, legitimate.
The second assignment of error refers to the determination of whether or not Lots Nos.
471, 506, 511, 509-513-Part, 807 and 808 were the exclusive properties of Lucio
Perido. In disposing of the contention of the petitioners that said lots belong to the
conjugal partnership of spouses Lucio Perido and Benita Talorong, the Court of Appeals
said:têñ.£îhqwâ£
... We cannot agree again with them on this point. It is to be noted that the lands covered
by the certificates of title (Exhs. B to G) were all declared in the name of Lucio Perido.

Then there is evidence showing that the lands were inherited by Lucio Perido from his
grandmother (t.s.n., p. 21, Feb. 20, 1964). In other words, they were the exclusive
properties of the late Lucio Perido which he brought into the first and second marriages.
By fiat of law said Properties should be divided accordingly among his legal heirs.

The petitioners take exception to the finding of the appellate court that the
aforementioned lots were inherited by Lucio Perido from his grandmother and contend
that they were able to establish through the testimonies of their witnesses that the
spouses Lucio Perido and Benita Talorong acquired them during their lifetime. Again,
the petitioners cannot be sustained. The question involves appreciation of the evidence,
which is within the domain of the Court of Appeals, the factual findings of which are not
reviewable by this Court.
The third assignment of error is with regard to the ruling of the Court of Appeals
sustaining the finding of the trial court that 11/12 of Lot 458 was the conjugal partnership
property of Lucio Perido and his second wife, Marcelina Baliguat. Said the appellate
court:têñ.£îhqwâ£
With respect to Lot No. 458 which is now covered by Original Certificate of Title No.
21769 issued in 1925 the same should be considered conjugally owned by Lucio Perido
and his second wife, Marcelina Baliguat. The finding of the lower court on this point need
not be disturbed. It is expressly stated in the certificate of title (Exh. L) that Lucio Perido,
the registered owner, was married to Marcelina Baliguat unlike in the previous land titles.
If the law presumes a property registered in the name of only one of the spouses to be
conjugal (Guinguing vs. Abutin, 48 Phil. 144; Flores vs. Flores, 48 Phil. 288, Escutin vs.
Escutin, 60 Phil. 922), the presumption becomes stronger when the document recites
that the spouse in whose name the land is registered is married to somebody else, like in
the case at bar. It appearing that the legal presumption that the No. 458 belonged to the
conjugal partnership had not been overcome by clear proofs to the contrary, we are
constrained to rule, that the same is the conjugal property of the deceased spouses Lucio
Perido and Marcelina Baliguat.

In impugning the foregoing ruling, the petitioners maintain that they were able to prove
that 6/12 of said Lot 458 was the conjugal property of spouses Lucio Perido and his first
wife, Benita Talorong, and that the purchase price of the additional 5/12 of said lot came
from the proceeds of sale of a lot allegedly belonging to Lucio Perido and his three
children of the first marriage. As in the second assignment of error, the issue raised here
also involves appreciation of the evidence and, consequently, the finding of the
appellate court on the matter is binding on this Court. Indeed, a review of that finding
would require an examination of all the evidence introduced before the trial court, a
consideration of the credibility of witnesses and of the circumstances surrounding the
case, their relevancy or relation to one another and to the whole, as well as an appraisal
of the probabilities of the entire situation. It would thus abolish the distinction between
an ordinary appeal on the one hand and review on certiorari on the other, and thus
defeat the purpose for which the latter procedure has been established. 2
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby affirmed, with costs
against the petitioners.

Liyao vs Liyao
Liyao vs. Liyao
GR No. 138961, March 7, 2002
FACTS:
William Liyao Jr., the illegitimate son of the deceased, as represented by her mother (Corazon),
filed a petition ordering Juanita Tanhoti-Liyao, Pearl L. Tan, Tita L. Tan and Linda Liyao to
recognize and acknowledge the former as a compulsory heir of the deceased and to be entitled to
all successional rights. Liyao Jr. was in continuous possession and enjoyment of the status as the
child of the deceased having been recognized and acknowledged as such child by the decedent
during his lifetime. There were two sides of the story. Corazon maintained that she and the
deceased were legally married but living separately for more than 10 years and that they
cohabited from 1965 until the death of the deceased. On the other hand, one of the chidren of the
deceased stated that her mom and the deceased were legally married and that her parents were
not separated legally or in fact.
ISSUE: WON the petitioner can impugn his own legitimacy to be able to claim from the estate
of the deceased.
HELD:
Impugning the legitimacy of the child is a strictly personal right of the husband, or in exceptional
cases, his heirs for the reason that he was the one directly confronted with the scandal and
ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produced and he should be the one to decide whether to
conceal that infidelity or expose it in view of the moral and economic interest involved. Hence,
it was then settled that the legitimacy of the child can only be impugned in a direct action
brought for that purpose, by the proper parties and within the period limited by law.
Furthermore, the court held that there was no clear, competent and positive evidence presented
by the petitioner that his alleged father had admitted or recognized his paternity.

Baby M
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about Baby M case. For Baby M artist, see Baby M (singer).

Baby M (born March 27, 1986) was the pseudonym used in the case In re Baby M, 537 A.2d
1227, 109 N.J. 396 (N.J. 1988) for the infant whose legal parentage was in question.

In re Baby M was a custody case that became the first American court ruling on the validity of
surrogacy. William Stern and his wife, Elizabeth Stern, entered into a surrogacy agreement with
Mary Beth Whitehead, whom they found through a newspaper advertisement. According to the
agreement, Mary Beth Whitehead would be inseminated with William Stern's sperm (making her
a traditional, as opposed to gestational, surrogate), bring the pregnancy to term, and relinquish
her parental rights in favor of William's wife, Elizabeth. After the birth, however, Mary Beth
decided to keep the child. William and Elizabeth Stern then sued to be recognized as the child's
legal parents.
The New Jersey court ruled that the surrogacy contract was invalid according to public policy,
recognized Mary Beth Whitehead as the child's legal mother, and ordered the Family Court to
determine whether Whitehead, as mother, or Stern, as father, should have legal custody of the
infant, using the conventional 'best interests of the child' analysis. Stern was awarded custody,
with Whitehead having visitation rights.
At birth, Mary Beth Whitehead named Baby M. "Sara Elizabeth Whitehead." She was later
renamed "Melissa Stern," after William Stern was awarded legal custody.

Contents



1 Background details
2 Legal significance



3 Aftermath



4 In popular culture



5 References



6 External links

Background details
Mary Beth Whitehead responded to an ad placed by the Infertility Center of New York in the
Asbury Park Press seeking women willing to help infertile couples have children. She was a high
school drop-out who had married a waste collector, with whom she had two children Ryan and
Tuesday.[1]
Elizabeth "Betsy" Stern was not technically infertile, but had multiple sclerosis and was
concerned about the potential health implications of pregnancy, including temporary paralysis.[2]
William "Bill" Stern and Mary Beth Whitehead entered into a "surrogacy contract," according to
which Mary Beth would be inseminated with Bill's sperm, bring the pregnancy to term, and
relinquish her parental rights in favor of Bill's wife, Betsy. The Sterns reportedly based their
choice simply by looking at her picture.

(According to later terminology, Mary Beth would be considered a traditional surrogate, as
opposed to a gestational surrogate, because she was the genetic mother of the child. At the time,
the technology for gestational surrogacy was not yet in common use).
On March 27, 1986, Mary Beth gave birth to a daughter, whom she named Sara Elizabeth
Whitehead. However, within 24 hours of transferring physical custody to the Sterns, Mary Beth
went to them and demanded that the baby to be given back to her, allegedly threatening suicide.
Mary Beth subsequently refused to return the baby to the Sterns and left New Jersey, taking the
infant with her. The Sterns had the Whitehead family's bank accounts frozen and sought warrants
for their arrest.
In 1987, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Harvey R. Sorkow formally validated the surrogacy
contract and awarded custody of Baby M to the Sterns under a "best interest of the child
analysis".[3]
On February 3, 1988, however, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, led by Chief Justice Robert
Wilentz, invalidated surrogacy contracts as against public policy but in dicta affirmed the trial
court's use of a "best interest of the child" analysis and remanded the case to family court. On
remand, the lower court awarded the Sterns custody and Whitehead was given visitation rights.[4]
[5]

Legal significance
The case attracted much attention as it demonstrated that the possibilities of third party
reproduction raise novel legal and social questions about the meaning of parenthood and the
possibility of contracting around issues of pregnancy and childbirth.
Among other points of contention, people argued about whether the ability to contract away
parental rights to a child born to her invoke a basic human right for a woman to make decisions
about her own body, or whether recognizing such a right would entail too great risks of
exploitation.
The New Jersey court's finding that no contract can alter the legal position of a woman who
bears a child as that child's mother seemed to settle the question of the status of surrogacy
contracts in America, at least until technological advances permitting gestational surrogacy
resulted in cases where a woman can bear and birth a child to whom she has no genetic relation
reopened the question in many jurisdictions.[6]
At least in New Jersey, however, the Baby M. ruling continues as precedent. In 2009, New Jersey
Superior Court ruled that In re Baby M applies to gestational surrogacy as well as traditional
surrogacy cases, in A.G.R. v. D.R.H & S.H.. The intended parents were a homosexual male
couple. They created an embryo using an anonymous donor ovum and the sperm of one of the
husbands. The sister of the other husband carried the embryo to term and originally delivered the
child to her brother and his husband, but a year later asserted her own parental rights even though
she was not genetically related to the child. Judge Francis Schultz relied on In re Baby M to

recognize the gestational mother as the child's legal mother. However, a later ruling in 2011
awarded full custody to the biological father.[7]

Aftermath
After reaching the age of majority in March 2004, the daughter known as "Baby M" (now named
Melissa) legally terminated Mary Beth's parental rights and formalized Betsy's maternity through
adoption proceedings.[1] When the controversy died down, Whitehead divorced her husband, remarried and had another child with her new husband.
Melissa attended Dwight-Englewood School and later The George Washington University and
majored in religious studies. She said it was strange to study the Baby M case in her bioethics
class at the university.[1]
"I love my family very much and am very happy to be with them," Melissa told a reporter for the
New Jersey Monthly, referring to the Sterns. "I'm very happy I ended up with them. I love them,
they're my best friends in the whole world, and that's all I have to say about it."[1]
Studying at King's College London, Melissa completed a dissertation, "Reviving Solomon:
Modern Day Questions Regarding the Long-term Implications for the Children of Surrogacy
Arrangements."[8] Ms. Whitehead also wrote a book about her experience in 1989.[9]
In January 2011, a British court ruled a woman who bore a daughter under an informal surrogate
agreement with a childless couple should keep the baby.[10]
In October 2011, the original judge in the Baby M case, Judge Sorkow, presided over the
wedding of Melissa and her husband, a neuroscientist from New Jersey. The couple currently
reside in London.

In Re Adoption of Anonymous
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Citation. 74 Misc. 2d 99,345 N.Y.S.2d 430,1973 N.Y. Misc.
Brief Fact Summary. A child was born by artificial insemination during a marriage. Wife and
husband separated and the wife’s new husband attempted to adopt the child, claiming that the
previous husband’s consent was unnecessary because he was not the parent of the child.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A child born of consensual AID during a valid marriage is a legitimate
child entitled to the rights and privileges of a naturally conceived child of the same marriage. The
husband in such a relationship is therefore the parent, and his consent is required to the adoption
of such child be another.

Facts. Two types of artificial insemination exist: Homologous insemination, whereby
the wife is artificially impregnated with the semen of her husband (AIH); and
heterologous insemination, the artificial insemination of the wife by the semen of a
third-party donor (AID). AID procedures have increased due to the unavailability of
adoptive children. In the present case, a child was born of consensual AID during
the marriage. The husband was listed as the father on the birth certificate. The
couple later separated, followed by a divorce. The separation agreement and
divorce decree declare the child to be the daughter and child of the couple. The wife
was granted support and the husband visitation rights. Husband faithfully visited
and performed all support conditions. The wife later remarried and her husband
petitioned to adopt the child. The first husband refused to consent, and petitioner
suggested that the first husband’s consent was not required because he is not the
parent
of the child.
Issue. Is the husband’s consent required as the parent of a child born of consensual
AID?

In Re Adoption of Anonymous
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Held. A child born of consensual AID during a valid marriage is a legitimate child, therefore the
father of such child is the parent whose consent is required to the adoption of such child.
The leading case addressing this issue is a criminal case for failure to support a minor child. The
court there held that the defendant was the lawful father of a dependent child born of consensual
AID, with the determinative factor being whether the legal relationship of father and child exists.
The court there reasoned that a child conceived through AID does not have a natural father, but
does have a lawful father. Enforcement of welfare therefore was supported by the principle of
equitable estoppel.
In response to claims that AID constitutes adultery of the mother, the court found that in the
absence of legislation prohibiting artificial insemination, the child was lawfully begotten and not
the product of an illicit or adulterous relationship.
A New York case finding that AID children are illegitimate is the only such published decision
and is unpersuasive. The historical concept and statutory definition of a child born out of
wedlock were enacted long before the advent of artificial insemination. AN AID is not begotten
by a father who is not the husband. Since there is consent by the husband, there is no marital
infidelity.
The problem is one of policy. New York has a strong policy in favor of legitimacy, so it is absurd
to hold illegitimate a child born during a valid marriage, of parents desiring but unable to
conceive a child, and both consenting and agreeing to the impregnation of the mother by a

medically selected anonymous donor. This policy is for the protection of the child, not the
parents.
Discussion. The Court based its determination that AID children born during a valid
marriage are legitimate and the husband is the legal parent of such a child based on
policy considerations.

Andal vs Macaraig
Andal vs. Macaraig
GR No. 2474, May 30, 1951
FACTS:
Mariano Andal, a minor, assisted by his mother Maria Duenas, filed a complaint for the recovery
of the ownership and possession of a parcel of land owned by Emiliano Andal and Maria
Duenas. Eduvigis Macaraig, herein defendant, donated the land by virtue of donation propter
nuptias in favor of Emiliano. The latter was suffering from tuberculosis in January 1941. His
brother, Felix, then lived with them to work his house and farm. Emiliano became so weak that
he can hardly move and get up from his bed. Sometime in September 1942, the wife eloped with
Felix and lived at the house of Maria’s father until 1943. Emiliano died in January 1, 1943
where the wife did not attend the funeral. On June 17, 1943, Maria gave birth to a boy who was,
herein petitioner.
ISSUE: WON Mariano Andal is a legitimate child of the deceased.
HELD:
Considering that Mariano was born on June 17, 1943 and Emiliano died on January 1, 1943, the
former is presumed to be a legitimate son of the latter because he was born within 300 days
following the dissolution of the marriage. The fact that the husband was seriously sick is not
sufficient to overcome the presumption of legitimacy. This presumption can only be rebutted by
proof that it was physically impossible for the husband to have had access to his wife during the
first 120 days of the 300 days next preceding the birth of the child. Impossibility of access by
husband to wife includes absence during the initial period of conception, impotence which is
patent, and incurable; and imprisonment unless it can be shown that cohabitation took place
through corrupt violation of prison regulations. Maria’s illicit intercourse with a man other than
the husband during the initial period does not preclude cohabitation between husband and wife.
Hence, Mariano Andal was considered a legitimate son of the deceased making him the owner of
the parcel land.
G.R. No. L-49162

July 28, 1987

JANICE MARIE JAO, represented by her mother and guardian ad litem, ARLENE S.
SALGADO, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and PERICO V. JAO, respondents.
PADILLA, J.:
Appeal by certiorari from the decision* of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 51078-R, dated
29 August 1978, which dismissed petitioner"s action for recognition and support against private
respondent, and from the respondent Court"s resolution, dated 11 October 1978, denying
petitioner"s motion for reconsideration of said decision.
On 28 October 1968, petitioner Janice Marie Jao, then a minor, represented by her mother and
guardian-ad-litem Arlene Salgado, filed a case for recognition and support with the Juvenile and
Domestic Relations Court against private respondent Perico V. Jao. The latter denied paternity so
the parties agreed to a blood grouping test which was in due course conducted by the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) upon order of the trial court. The result of the blood grouping test,
held 21 January 1969, indicated that Janice could not have been the possible offspring of Perico
V. Jao and Arlene S. Salgado.1
The trial court initially found the result of the tests legally conclusive but upon plaintiff"s (herein
petitioner"s) second motion for reconsideration, it ordered a trial on the merits, after which,
Janice was declared the child of Jao, thus entitling her to his monthly support.
Jao appealed to the Court of Appeals, questioning the trial court"s failure to appreciate the result
of the blood grouping tests. As there was no showing whatsoever that there was any irregularity
or mistake in the conduct of the tests, Jao argued that the result of the tests should have been
conclusive and indisputable evidence of his non-paternity.
The Court of Appeals upheld Jao"s contentions and reversed the trial court"s decision. In its
decision, the Court of Appeals held:
From the evidence of the contending parties, it appears undisputed that JAO was
introduced to ARLENE at the Saddle and Sirloin, Bay Side Club, by Melvin Yabut. After
this meeting, JAO dated and courted ARLENE. Not long thereafter, they had their first
sexual intercourse and subsequently, they lived together as husband and wife. ...
It further appears undisputed that in April 1968, JAO accompanied ARLENE to the
Marian General Hospital for medical check-up and her confinement was with JAO"s
consent. JAO paid the rentals where they lived, the salaries of the maids, and other
household expenses. ...
The record discloses that ARLENE gave birth to JANICE on August 16, 1968, after
completing 36 weeks of pregnancy, which indicates that ARLENE must have conceived
JANICE on or about the first week of December, 1967. "Thus, one issue to be resolved in

this appeal is whether on or about that time, JAO and ARLENE had sexual intercourse
and were already living with one another as husband and wife.
In this connection, ARLENE contends that she first met JAO sometime in the third or
fourth week of November, 1967 at the Saddle and Sirloin, Bayside Club; that after
several dates, she had carnal knowledge with him at her house at 30 Long beach,
Merville, Paranaque. Rizal in the evening of November 30, 1967, and that he started to
live with her at her dwelling after December 16, 1967, the date they finished their cruise
to Mindoro Island.
On the other hand, JAO, albeit admitting that he met ARLENE at the Saddle and Sirloin,
Bayside Club, however, maintains that this was on December 14, 1967 because the day
following, he and his guests: ARLENE, Melvin Yabut, Didi Crescini and Charlie Litonjua
went to Mindoro by boat. He dated ARLENE four times in January, 1968. He
remembered he had carnal knowledge of her for the first time on January 18, 1968,
because that was a week after his birthday and it was only in May, 1968 that he started
cohabiting with her at the Excelsior Apartments on Roxas Boulevard.
These conflicting versions of the parties emphasize, in resolving the paternity of
JANICE, the role of the blood grouping tests conducted by the NBI and which resulted in
the negative finding that in a union with ARLENE, JAO could not be the father of
JANICE.
We cannot sustain the conclusion of the trial court that the NBI is not in a position to
determine with mathematical precision the issue of parentage by blood grouping test,
considering the rulings of this Court ... where the blood grouping tests of the NBI were
admitted; especially where, in the latter case, it was Dr. Lorenzo Sunico who conducted
the test and it appears that in the present case, the same Dr. Sunico approved the findings
and report. ... In Co Tao vs. Court of Appeals, 101 Phil. 188, the Supreme Court had
given weight to the findings of the NBI in its blood grouping test. Thus, it cannot be
gainsaid that the competency of the NBI to conduct blood grouping tests has been
recognized as early as the 1950"s.
The views of the Court on blood grouping tests may be stated as follows:
Paternity — Science has demonstrated that by the analysis of blood samples of
the mother, the child, and the alleged father, it can be established conclusively
that the man is not the father of the child. But group blood testing cannot show
that a man is the father of a particular child, but at least can show only a
possibility that he is. Statutes in many states, and courts in others, have
recognized the value and the limitations of such tests. Some of the decisions have
recognized the conclusive presumption of non-paternity where the results of the
test, made in the prescribed manner, show the impossibility of the alleged
paternity. This is one of the few cases in which the judgment of the Court may
scientifically be completely accurate, and intolerable results avoided, such as have

occurred where the finding is allowed to turn on oral testimony conflicting with
the results of the test.
The findings of such blood tests are not admissible to prove the fact of paternity
as they show only a possibility that the alleged father or any one of many others
with the same blood type may have been the father of the child. But the Uniform
Act recognizes that the tests may have some probative value to establish paternity
where the blood type and the combination in the child is shown to be rare, in
which case the judge is given discretion to let it in (I Jones on Evidence, 5th Ed.,
pp. 193-194).
In one specific biological trait, viz, blood groups, scientific opinion is now in
accord in accepting the fact that there is a causative relation between the trait of
the progenitor and the trait of the progeny. In other words, the blood composition
of a child may be some evidence as to the child"s paternity. But thus far this trait
(in the present state of scientific discovery as generally accepted) can be used
only negatively i.e. to evidence that a particular man F is not the father of a
particular child C. (I Wigmore on Evidence 3rd Ed., pp. 610-611).
In a last ditch effort to bar the admissibility and competency of the blood test, JANICE
claims that probative value was given to blood tests only in cases where they tended to
establish paternity; and that there has been no case where the blood test was invoked to
establish non-paternity, thereby implying that blood tests have probative value only when
the result is a possible affirmative and not when in the negative. This contention is
fallacious and must be rejected. To sustain her contention, in effect, would be recognizing
only the possible affirmative finding but not the blood grouping test itself for if the result
were negative, the test is regarded worthless. Indeed, this is illogical. .... As an admitted
test, it is admissible in subsequent similar proceedings whether the result be in the
negative or in the affirmative. ...
The Court of Appeals also found other facts that ran contrary to petitioner"s contention that
JAO"s actions before and after JANICE was born were tantamount to recognition. Said the
respondent appellate court:
On the contrary, after JANICE was born, JAO did not recognize her as his own. In fact,
he filed a petition that his name as father of JANICE in the latter"s certificate of live birth
be deleted, evidencing his repudiation, rather than recognition. The mere acts of JAO in
cohabiting with ARLENE, the attention given to her during her pregnancy and the
financial assistance extended to her cannot overcome the result of the blood grouping
test. These acts of JAO cannot be evaluated as recognizing the unborn JANICE as his
own as the possession of such status cannot be founded on conjectures and presumptions,
especially so that, We have earlier said, JAO refused to acknowledge JANICE after the
latter"s birth.
JAO cannot be compelled to recognize JANICE based on paragraph 2 of Article 283 in
relation to Article 289 of the New Civil Code which provides: "When the child is in

continuous possession of status of a child of the alleged father by the direct acts of the
latter.
Nor can there be compulsory recognition under paragraphs 3 or 4 of said article which
states:
(3) When the child was conceived during the time when the mother cohabited
with the supposed father;
(4) When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is his
father.
As aptly appreciated by the court below, JANICE could have been conceived from
November 20, 1967 to December 4, 1967. Indeed, ARLENE claims that her first sexual
intercourse with JAO was on November 30, 1967 while the latter avers it was one week
after January 18, 1968. However, to satisfy paragraph 3 as above-quoted, JANICE must
have been conceived when ARLENE and JAO started to cohabit with one another. Since
ARLENE herself testified that their cohabitation started only after December 16, 1967,
then it cannot be gainsaid that JANICE was not conceived during this cohabitation.
Hence, no recognition will lie. Necessarily, recognition cannot be had under paragraph 4
as JANICE has no other evidence or proof of her alleged paternity.
Apart from these, there is the claim of JAO that, at the critical time of conception,
ARLENE had carnal knowledge with two other men: "Oying" Fernandez and Melvin
Yabut, which was not even rebutted; and considering that it was Melvin Yabut, who
introduced ARLENE to JAO at the Bayside Club. Moreover, the testimony of ARLENE
is not wholly reliable. When the trial court said that "the Court is further convinced of
plaintiff"s cause by ARLENE"s manner of testifying in a most straight-forward and
candid manner," the fact that ARLENE was admittedly a movie actress may have been
overlooked so that not even the trial court could detect, by her acts, whether she was
lying or not.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby set aside and a new one entered
dismissing plaintiff-appellee"s complaint. Without pronouncement as to costs. SO
ORDERED.
The petitioner now brings before this Court the issue of admissibility and conclusiveness of the
result of blood grouping tests to prove non-paternity.
In this jurisdiction, the result of blood tests, among other evidence, to, affirm paternity was dealt
with in Co Tao v. Court of Appeals,2 an action for declaration of filiation, support and damages.
In said case, the NBI expert"s report of the blood tests stated that "from their blood groups and
types, the defendant Co Tao is a possible father of the child." From this statement the defendant
contended that the child must have been the child of another man. The Court noted: "For obvious
reasons, the NBI expert cannot give assurance that the appellant was the father of the child; he
can only give his opinion that he is a "possible father." This possibility, coupled with the other

facts and circumstances brought out during the trial, tends to definitely establish that appellant
Co Tao is the father of the child Manuel."3
Where the issue is admissibility and conclusiveness of blood grouping tests to disprove paternity,
rulings have been much more definite in their conclusions. For the past three decades, the use of
blood typing in cases of disputed parentage has already become an important legal procedure.
There is now almost universal scientific agreement that blood grouping tests are conclusive as to
non-paternity, although inconclusive as to paternity — that is, the fact that the blood type of the
child is a possible product of the mother and alleged father does not conclusively prove that the
child is born by such parents; but, if the blood type of the child is not the possible blood type
when the blood of the mother and that of the alleged father are crossmatched, then the child
cannot possibly be that of the alleged father.4
In jurisdictions like the United States, the admissibility of blood tests results to prove nonpaternity has already been passed upon in several cases. In Gilpin v. Gilpin5 the positive results
of blood tests excluding paternity, in a case in which it was shown that proper safeguards were
drawn around the testing procedures, were recognized as final on the question of paternity. In
Cuneo v. Cuneo6 evidence of non-paternity consisting of the result of blood grouping tests was
admitted despite a finding that the alleged father had cohabited with the mother within the period
of gestation. The Court said that the competent medical testimony was overwhelmingly in favor
of the plaintiff, and to reject such testimony would be tantamount to rejecting scientific fact.
Courts, it was stated, should apply the results of science when competently obtained in aid of
situations presented, since to reject said result was to deny progress.7 This ruling was also echoed
in Clark v. Rysedorph,8 a filiation proceeding where an uncontradicted blood grouping test
evidence, excluding paternity, was held conclusive.9 Legislation expressly recognizing the use of
blood tests is also in force in several states.10 Tolentino,11 affirms this rule on blood tests as proof
of non-paternity, thus —
Medical science has shown that there are four types of blood in man which can be
transmitted through heredity. Although the presence of the same type of blood in two
persons does not indicate that one was begotten by the other, yet the fact that they are of
different types will indicate the impossibility of one being the child of the other. Thus,
when the supposed father and the alleged child are not in the same blood group, they
cannot be father and child by consanguinity. The Courts of Europe today regard a blood
test exclusion as an unanswerable and indisputable proof of non-paternity. 12
Moreover,
The cohabitation between the mother and the supposed father cannot be a ground for
compulsory recognition if such cohabitation could not have produced the conception of
the child. This would be the case, for instance, if the cohabitation took place outside of
the period of conception of the child. Likewise, if it can be proved by blood tests that the
child and the supposed father belong to different blood groups, the cohabitation by itself
cannot be a ground for recognition. 13

Petitioner has attempted to discredit the result of the blood grouping tests in the instant case by
impugning the qualifications of the NBI personnel who performed the tests and the conduct of
the tests themselves. Her allegations, in this regard, appear to be without merit. The NBI"s
forensic chemist who conducted the tests is also a serologist, and has had extensive practice in
this area for several years. The blood tests were conducted six (6) times using two (2)
scientifically recognized blood grouping systems, the MN Test and the ABO System,14 under
witness and supervision.15
Even the allegation that Janice was too young at five months to have been a proper subject for
accurate blood tests must fall, since nearly two years after the first blood test, she, represented by
her mother, declined to undergo the same blood test to prove or disprove their allegations, even
as Jao was willing to undergo such a test again.161avvphi1
Accordingly, the Court affirms the decision of the Court of Appeals and holds that the result of
the blood grouping tests involved in the case at bar, are admissible and conclusive on the nonpaternity of respondent Jao vis-a-vis petitioner Janice. No evidence has been presented showing
any defect in the testing methods employed or failure to provide adequate safeguards for the
proper conduct of the tests. The result of such tests is to be accepted therefore as accurately
reflecting a scientific fact.
In view of the findings of fact made by the Court of Appeals, as heretofore quoted, which are
binding on this Court, we do not find it necessary to further pass upon the issue of recognition
raised by petitioner.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review is hereby denied. Without pronouncement as to
costs.
SO ORDERED.

Macadangdang vs CA
Macadangdang vs CA
GR No. 38287, October 23, 1981
FACTS:
Respondent Filomena Gaviana Macadangdang and petitioner Antonio Macadangdang were
married in 1946 after having lived together for two years and had 6 children. They started a buy
and sell business and sari-sari store in Davao City. Through hard work and good fortune, their
business grew and expanded into merchandising, trucking, transportation, rice and corn mill
business, abaca stripping, real estate etc. Their relationship became complicated and both
indulged in extramarital relations. Married life became intolerable so they separated in 1965
when private respondent left for Cebu for good. When she returned in Davao in 1971, she
learned of the illicit affairs of her estranged husband. She then decided to take the initial action.
In April 1971, she instituted a complaint for legal separation.

ISSUE: Whether or not the death of a spouse after a final decree of legal separation has effect on
the legal separation.
HELD:
The death of a spouse after a final decree of legal separation has no effect on the legal
separation. When the decree itself is issued, the finality of the separation is complete after the
lapse of the period to appeal the decision to a higher court even if the effects, such as the
liquidation of the property, have not yet been commenced nor terminated.
The law clearly spells out the effect of a final decree of legal separation on the conjugal property.
Therefore, upon the liquidation and distribution conformably with the effects of such final
decree, the law on intestate succession should take over the disposition of whatever remaining
properties have been allocated to the deceased spouse.
Such dissolution and liquidation are necessary consequences of the final decree. Article 106 of
the Civil Code, now Article 63 of the Family Code provides the effects of the decree of legal
separation. These legal effects ipso facto or automatically follows, as an inevitable incident of
the judgment decreeing legal separation, for the purpose of determining the share of each spouse
in the conjugal assets.
G.R. No. L-75377 February 17, 1988
CHUA KENG GIAP, petitioner,
vs.
HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and CHUA LIAN KING respondents.

CRUZ, J.:
We are faced once again with still another bid by petitioner for the status of a legitimate
heir. He has failed before, and he will fail again.
In this case, the petitioner insists that he is the son of the deceased Sy Kao and that it
was error for the respondent court to reject his claim. He also says his motion for
reconsideration should not have been denied for tardiness because it was in fact filed
on time under the Habaluyas ruling. 1
This case arose when Chua Keng Giap filed on May 19, 1983, a petition for the
settlement of the estate of the late Sy Kao in the regional trial court of Quezon City. The
private respondent moved to dismiss for lack of a cause of action and of the petitioner's
capacity to file the petition. The latter, it was claimed, had been declared as not the son
of the spouses Chua Bing Guan and Sy Kao in S.P. No. Q-12592, for the settlement of

the estate of the late Chua Bing Guan. The decision in that case had long become final
and executory. 2
The motion was denied by Judge Jose P. Castro, who held that the case invoked
decided the paternity and not the maternity of the petitioner. 3 Holding that this was mere
quibbling, the respondent court reversed the trial judge in a petition for certiorari filed by
the private respondent. 4 The motion for reconsideration was denied for late filing. 5 The
petitioner then came to this Court to challenge these rulings.
The petitioner argues at length that the question to be settled in a motion to dismiss
based on lack of a cause of action is the sufficiency of the allegation itself and not
whether these allegations are true or not, for their truth is hypothetically admitted. 6 That
is correct. He also submits that an order denying a motion to dismiss is merely
interlocutory and therefore reversible not in a petition for certiorari but on appeal. 7 That
is also correct Even so, the petition must be and is hereby denied.
The petitioner is beating a dead horse. The issue of his claimed filiation has long been
settled, and with finality, by no less than this Court. That issue cannot be resurrected
now because it has been laid to rest in Sy Kao v. Court of Appeals, 8 decided on
September 28, 1984. In that case, Sy Kao flatly and unequivocally declared that she
was not the petitioner's mother.
The Court observed through Justice Hugo E. Gutierrez, Jr.
Petitioner Sy Kao denies that respondent Chua Keng Giap is her son by the deceased
Chua Bing Guan. Thus, petitioner's opposition filed on December 19, 1968, is based
principally on the ground that the respondent was not the son of Sy Kao and the
deceased but of a certain Chua Eng Kun and his wife Tan Kuy.
After hearing on the merits which lasted for ten years, the court dismissed the
respondent's petition on March 2, 1979 on a finding that he is not a son of petitioner Sy
Kao and the deceased, and therefore, had no lawful interest in the estate of the latter and
no right to institute the intestacy proceedings.
The respondent tried to appeal the court's resolution but his appeal was denied by the
lower court for having been filed out of time. He then filed a mandamus case with the
Court of appeals but the same was dismissed. Respondent, therefore, sought relief by
filing a petition for certiorari, G.R. No. 54992, before this Court but his petition was
likewise dismissed on January 30, 1982, for lack of merit. His subsequent motions for
reconsideration met a similar fate.
xxx xxx xxx
To allow the parties to go on with the trial on the merits would not only subject the
petitioners to the expense and ordeal of obligation which might take them another ten
years, only to prove a point already decided in Special Proceeding No. Q-12592, but
more importantly, such would violate the doctrine of res judicata which is expressly
provided for in Section 49, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.

There is no point in prolonging these proceedings with an examination of the procedural
objections to the grant of the motion to dismiss. In the end, assuming denial of the
motion, the resolution of the merits would have to be the same anyway as in the
aforesaid case. The petitioner's claim of filiation would still have to be rejected.
Discussion of the seasonableness of the motion for reconsideration is also unnecessary
as the motion would have been validly denied just the same even if filed on time.
Who better than Sy Kao herself would know if Chua Keng Giap was really her son?
More than any one else, it was Sy Kao who could say — as indeed she has said these
many years--that Chua Keng Giap was not begotten of her womb.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.
G.R. No. L-69679 October 18, 1988
VIOLETA CABATBAT LIM, LIM BIAK CHIAO and CALASIAO BIJON FACTORY,
petitioners,
vs.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, CONSORCIA FRIANEZA GOLEA, MARIA
FRIANEZA VERGARA, BENEDICTA FRIANEZA MAYUGBA BONIFACIA FRIANEZA
HEIRS OF DOMINGO FRIANEZA namely, DECIDERIA Q. VDA. DE FRIANEZA
FRANCISCO, DONA, VILMA and DECIDERIA, all surnamed FRIANEZA HEIRS OF
DANIEL FRIANEZA namely, ADELA V. VDA. DE FRIANEZA in her behalf and as
Guardian ad litem of Minors, DARLENE, DANIEL JR., DUSSEL and DAISY GLEN,
all surnamed FRIANEZA respondents.
Ethelwoldo R. de Guzman for petitioners.
Tomas B. Tadeo, Sr. for private respondents.

GRIÑO-AQUINO, J.:
This case involves a contest over the estate of the late Dra. Esperanza Cabatbat
wherein the protagonists are her sisters and the children of her deceased brothers on
one hand, and the petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim who claims to be her only child.
Petitioners Violeta Cabatbat Lim, her husband Liam Biak Chiao, and the Calasiao Bijon
Factory assail the decision dated October 25, 1984 of the Intermediate Appellate Court,
now Court of Appeals (AC-G.R. No. CV 67055), which affirmed the trial court's decision
finding that petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim is not the off-spring, hence, not a legal heir
of the late Esperanza Cabatbat.

The private respondents, sisters of the late Esperanza Frianeza-Cabatbat, filed a
complaint in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan (Civil Case No. D-3841), praying
for the partition of the estate of Esperanza Frianeza Cabatbat, who died without issue
on April 23, 1977. Part of her estate was her interest in the business partnership known
as Calasiao Bijon Factory, now in the possession of Violeta Cabatbat Lim who claims to
be the child of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat.
Esperanza Frianeza-Cabatbat was survived by her husband, Proceso Cabatbat, her
sisters, Consorcia Maria, Benedicta, Bonifacia, all surnamed Frianeza and the children
of her deceased brothers Daniel and Domingo. In their complaint, the private
respondents alleged that Violeta Cabatbat Lim is not a child of Esperanza, but was only
a ward (ampon) of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat who sheltered and
supported her from childhood, without benefit of formal adoption proceedings.
Private respondents' evidence on the non-filiation of Violeta to Esperanza Cabatbat
were: 1) the absence of any record that Esperanza Cabatbat was admitted in the
hospital where Violeta was born and that she gave birth to Violeta on the day the latter
was born; 2) the absence of the birth certificate of Violeta Cabatbat in the files of
certificates of live births of the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital for the years 1947 and
1948, when Violeta was supposedly born; 3) certification dated March 9, 1977, of the
Civil Registry coordinator Eugenio Venal of the Office of the Civil Registrar General, that
his office has no birth record of Violeta Cabatbat alleged to have been born on May 26,
1948 or 1949 in Calasiao, Pangasinan; 4) certification dated June 16, 1977 of Romeo
Gabriana, Principal II, that when Violeta studied in the Calasiao Pilot Central School,
Proceso Cabatbat and Esperanza Cabatbat were listed as her guardians only, not as
her parents; 5) testimony of Amparo Reside that she was in the Pangasinan Provincial
Hospital on May 21,1948 to watch a cousin who delivered a child there and that she
became acquianted with a patient named Benita Lastimosa who gave birth on May 26,
1948 to a baby girl who grew up to be known as Violeta Cabatbat.
Pitted against the evidence of the plaintiffs are the evidence of herein petitioners
consisting of. 1) Violeta Cabatbat's birth record which was filed on June 15,1948
showing that she was born on May 26, 1948 at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital and
that she is a legitimate child of the spouses Proceso and Esperanza Cabatbat; 2)
testimony of Proceso Cabatbat that Violeta is his child with the deceased Esperanza
Frianeza; 3) testimony of Benita Lastimosa denying that she delivered a child in the
Pangasinan Provincial Hospital and that Violeta Cabatbat Lim is that child; 4) the
marriage contract of Violeta and Lim Biak Chiao where Esperanza appeared as the
mother of the bride; 5) Deed of Sale dated May 14, 1960, wherein the vendee Violeta
Cabatbat, then a minor, was represented and assisted by her "mother," Dra. Esperanza
Cabatbat; and 6) another Deed of Absolute Sale dated April 21, 1961, wherein Violeta
Cabatbat was assisted and represented by her "father," Proceso Cabatbat.
Upon the evidence, the trial court held on August 10, 1979 that Violeta Cabatbat is not a
child by nature of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat and that hence, she is

not a legal heir of the deceased Esperanza Cabatbat. The dispositive portion of the trial
court's decision reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:
(1) Finding that defendant VIOLETA CABATBAT LIM is not a child by nature of the
spouses, decedent Esperanza Frianeza and defendant Proceso Cabatbat, and not a
compulsory heir of the said decedent;
(2) Declaring that the heirs of the decedent are her surviving husband, defendant
Proceso Cabatbat and her sisters, plaintiffs Consorcia MARIA, BENEDICTA alias
JOVITA, and BONIFACIA alias ANASTACIA, all surnamed FRIANEZA her brothers
deceased DANIEL FRIANEZA represented by his surviving spouse, Adela Vda. de
Frianeza, and their children, Darlene, Daniel, Jr., Dussel and Daisy Glen, all surnamed
FRIANEZA and deceased DOMINGO FRIANEZA represented by his surviving spouse
Decideria Q. Vda. de Frianeza and their children, Francisco, Dona, Vilma and Decideria,
all surnamed FRIANEZA
(3) Finding that the estate left by the decedent are the thirty properties enumerated and
described at pages 13 to 19 supra and an equity in the Calasiao Bijon Factory in the sum
of P37,961.69 of which P13,221.69 remains after advances obtained by the deceased
during her lifetime and lawful deductions made after her death;
(4) That of the real properties adverted to above, three-fourth (3/4) pro- indiviso is the
share of defendant Proceso Cabatbat, as the surviving spouse, one-half (½) as his share
of the conjugal estate and one-half (½) of the remaining one-half as share as heir from
his wife (decedent's) estate, while the remaining one-half (½) of the other half is the
group share of the heirs of the brothers and sisters of his wife and of the children of the
latter if deceased, whose names are already enumerated hereinbefore in the following
proportions: one-sixth (1/6) each pro-indiviso to Consorcia Maria, Benedicta alias Jovita,
and Bonifacia alias Anastacia; one-sixth (1/6) to Adela B. Vda. de Fraineza Darlene,
Daniel, Jr., Dussel and Daisy Glen, as a group in representation of deceased brother
DANIEL FRIANEZA and one. sixth (1/6) to Decideria Q. Vda. de Frianeza, Francisco,
Dona, Vilma and Decideria as a group in representation of deceased brother DOMINGO
FRIANEZA
(5) That of the balance of the equity of the deceased in the CALASIAO BIJON FACTORY
in the sum of P13,221.69, three-fourths (3/4) or P9,916.29 is the share of Proceso
Cabatbat as surviving spouse and as heir of his deceased wife, and the remaining onefourth (1/4) to the plaintiffs under the sharing already stated in the preceding paragraph;
(a) but because defendant Proceso Cabatbat has overdrawn his share he is ordered to
return to the estate the sum of P796.34 by depositing the same with the Clark of Court;
and (b) defendant Violeta Cabatbat Lim, not being an heir, is ordered to return to the
estate the sum of P2,931.13 half of what she and her codefendant Proceso Cabatbat
withdrew from the equity of the deceased under Exhibit 29, receipt dated April 30, 1977;
(6) Ordering jointly defendant a Proceso Cabatbat and Violeta Cabatbat Lim to pay
attorney's fees in the sum of P5,000.00, the sum of P4,000.00 from defendant Proceso
Cabatbat and Pl,000.00 from defendant Violeta Cabatbat Lim, and litigation expenses in
the sum of Pl,000.00 from defendant Proceso Cabatbat and P200.00 from defendant
Violeta Cabatbat Lim, to the plaintiffs, and to pay the costs.
SO ORDERED. (pp. 236-239, Record on Appeal.)

Petitioners appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court which affirmed the decision of
the trial court on October 25, 1984.
A motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioners was denied by the Intermediate
Appellate Court.
Petitioners have elevated the decision to Us for review on certiorari, alleging that the
Intermediate Appellate Court erred:
1. In finding that petitioner is not the child of Prospers and Esperanza Cabatbat;
2. In ignoring the provisions of Section 22 of Rule 132, Rules of Court;
3. In not considering the provision of Article 263 of the New Civil Code;
4. In disregarding Exhibits 8, 9, 10, and 11 of petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim

Petitioners' first and fourth assignments of error raise factual issues. The finding of the
trial court and the Court of Appeals that Violeta Cabatbat was not born of Esperanza
Cabatbat is a factual finding based on the evidence presented at the trial, hence, it is
conclusive upon Us. Well entrenched is the rule that "factual findings of the trial court
and the Court of Appeals are entitled to great respect" (Vda. de Roxas vs. IAC, 143
SCRA 77; Republic vs. IAC, 144 SCRA 705). Section 22, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court
which provides that: "Where a private writing is more than thirty years old, is produced
from a custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by
any alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other evidence of its execution and
authenticity need be given" does not apply to petitioners' Exhibit "5," the supposed birth
registry record of defendant Violeta Cabatbat showing that she was born on May
26,1948, at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in Dagupan City, and that her father and
mother are Proceso Cabatbat and Esperanza Frianeza, respectively. In rejecting that
document, the trial court pointedly observed:
This is very strange and odd because the Registry Book of admission of the hospital
does not show that Esperanza Frianeza was ever a patient on May 26, 1948. Indeed,
Esperanza Frianeza was never admitted in the hospital as an obstetrics case before or
after May 26, 1948, that is from December 1, 1947 to June 15, 1948 (Stipulation of Facts,
Pre-Trial Order of May 23, 1977, Record on Appeal, p. 117).
On May 26, 1948, the day defendant Violeta Cabatbat was alleged to have been
delivered by Esperanza Frianeza in the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital, the records of
the hospital show that only one woman by the same of the Benita Lastimosa of Tagudin,
Ilocos Sur, not Esperanza Frianeza, gave birth to an illegitimate child who was named by
her mother Benita Lastimosa as Baby Girl Lastimosa (Exhibit S. Plaintiffs' Folder of
Exhibits, p. 39, Record on Appeal, pp. 117-118). Furthermore, the record of birth
certificates of Pangasinan Provincial Hospital for the years 1947 and 1948 does not carry
the birth certificate of defendant Violeta Cabatbat and the only birth certificate in the file of
birth certificates of the hospital for May 26, 1948 is that of Baby Girl Lastimosa whose
mother's name is Benita Lastimosa. (pp. 3-4, CA Decision, pp. 13-14, Record on Appeal.)

Furthermore, the absence of a record of the birth of petitioner Violeta Cabatbat in the
Office of the Civil Registrar General, puts a cloud on the genuineness of her Exhibit 5.
Petitioners' recourse to Article 263 of the New Civil Code is not well-taken. This legal
provision refers to an action to impugn legitimacy. It is inapplicable to this case because
this is not an action to impugn the legitimacy of a child, but an action of the private
respondents to claim their inheritance as legal heirs of their childless deceased aunt.
They do not claim that petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim is an illegitimate child of the
deceased, but that she is not the decedent's child at all. Being neither a legally adopted
child, nor an acknowledged natural child, nor a child by legal fiction of Esperanza
Cabatbat, Violeta is not a legal heir of the deceased.
WHEREFORE, the petition is denied for lack of merit. The appealed decision is
affirmed, but with modification of paragraphs 2 and 4 of the dispositive portion thereof,
by excluding the widows Adela B. Vda. de Frianeza and Decideria Q. Vda. de Frianeza,
who are not legal heirs of Esperanza Frianeza Cabatbat from participating with their
children and the surviving sisters of the deceased in the one-fourth share of the estate
pertaining to the latter under Article 1001 of the Civil Code.
SO ORDERED.

Tan vs. Trocio
TAN vs. TROCIO

FACTS:
Tan filed a disbarment case against Atty. Trocio for allegedly raping her and as a
result, she bore a son named Jewel. She gave birth to Jewel during her marriage
with Tal Lee Pok.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Jewel is the illegitimate son of Atty. Trocio.

RULING:
Jewel Tan was born during the wedlock of Complainant and her husband and the
presumption should be in favor of legitimacy unless physical access between the
couple was impossible. From the evidence on hand, the presumption has not been

overcome by adequate and convincing proof. In fact, Jewel was registered in his
birth certificate as the legitimate child of the Felicidad and her husband, Tan Le Pok.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. GLADYS C. LABRADOR, respondent.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN, J.:
Summary proceedings provided under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court and Article 412 of the
Civil Code may be used only to correct clerical, spelling, typographical and other innocuous
errors in the civil registry. Substantial or contentious alterations may be allowed only in
adversarial proceedings, in which all interested parties are impleaded and due process is
observed.
The Case

Before us is a Petition for Review on certiorari seeking to set aside the March 5, 1998 Decision
of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City in Special Proceedings No. 6861-CEB.i[1] The assailed
Decisionii[2] ordered the civil registrar of Cebu City to make the necessary corrections in the
birth certificate of Sarah Zita Cañon Erasmo in the local civil registry, viz.:
"WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered granting the petition. Accordingly, the erroneous
entry with respect to the name of [the] child appearing in the birth certificate of Sarah Zita Cañon
Erasmo is hereby ordered corrected from SARAH ZITA CAÑON ERASMO to SARAH ZITA
CAÑON and the erroneous entry in said birth certificate with respect to the name of [the] mother
is likewise hereby ordered corrected from ROSEMARIE B. CAÑON to MARIA ROSARIO
CAÑON.
"The Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City is hereby ordered to make the foregoing corrections in
the birth records of SARAH ZITA CAÑON ERASMO and to issue a birth certificate reflecting
said corrections.
"Furnish a copy of this Decision to the petitioner, her counsel, the Solicitor General, Asst. City
Prosecutor Generosa C. Labra and the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City."
Disagreeing with the above disposition, the solicitor general brought this Petition directly to this
Court on a pure question of law.iii[3]
The Facts

Respondent Gladys C. Labrador filed with the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City on September
26, 1997, a Petition for the correction of entries in the record of birth of Sarah Zita Erasmo, her
niece. In her Petition, respondent alleged the following:

"1. Petitioner is of legal age, married, a resident of 493-17, Archbishop Reyes Ave., Barrio Luz,
Cebu City, where she can be served with the processes of this Honorable Court;
"2. Respondent Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City is impleaded herein in his official capacity; he
can be served with summons and other processes of this Honorable Court in his office at the City
Health Department, Cebu City;
"3. Petitioner is the sister of Maria Rosario Cañon who is presently residing in the United States
of America;
"4. Sometime in 1986, petitioner's sister, Maria Rosario Cañon, had a common law relationship
with a certain Degoberto Erasmo, and during such cohabitation, petitioner's sister begot two (2)
illegitimate children, one of which is SARAH ZITA B. ERASMO, who was born on April 27,
1988, as shown in her birth certificate, a copy of which is hereto attached as ANNEX "A";
"5. During the registration of the birth of SARAH ZITA, petitioner's sister told the respondent
Local Civil Registrar that she was not legally married to the father of SARAH ZITA;
"6. However, herein respondent erroneously entered the name of Sarah Zita in her birth record as
SARAH ZITA C. ERASMO, instead of SARAH ZITA CAÑON. Not only that, the name of
petitioner's sister, being the mother, was also erroneously written by the herein respondent as
Rosemarie Cañon, instead of Maria Rosario Cañon,
"7. In order to straighten the record of birth of SARAH ZITA ERASMO and pursuant to Article
176 of the Family Code which provides:
Art. 176. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of
the mother xxx
[t]here is a need to correct the entry in the record of birth of SARAH ZITA ERASMO to SARAH
ZITA CAÑON and to correct the name of her mother as appearing in her birth certificate from
ROSEMARIE CAÑON to MARIA ROSARIO CAÑON.
xxx

xxx

xxx"iv[4]

On September 17, 1997, the trial court set the case for hearing on October 29, 1997. It also
directed the publication of the notice of hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in Cebu
City once a week for three consecutive weeks.v[5]
On October 29, 1997, evidence was presented to establish the jurisdiction of the trial court to
hear the petition.vi[6] Respondent Labrador was represented by Atty. Bienvenido V. Baring; the
Republic, by Assistant City Prosecutor Generosa C. Labra.
When Respondent Labrador testified on January 8, 1998, she repeated the allegations in her
Petition. She stated that Sarah Zita Erasmo was her niece because Maria Rosario Cañon, the
mother of the child, was her (respondent's) sister. On cross-examination, respondent explained

that she was the one who had reported the birth of Sarah to the local civil registrar, to whom she
had erroneously given "Rosemarie" as the first name of the child's mother, instead of the real
one, "Maria Rosario." Labrador explained that her sister was more familiarly known as
Rosemarie; thus, the error. Respondent likewise averred that Rosemarie and Maria Rosario were
one and the same person, and that she had no other sister named Rosemarie. She added that
Maria Rosario was abroad where she lived with her foreigner husband.vii[7]
Labrador then formally offered her evidence which included Maria Rosario's birth
certificateviii[8] and a certification from the Office of the Civil Registrar that it had no record of
marriage between Maria Rosario Cañon and Degoberto Erasmo.ix[9] Prosecutor Labra, who
conducted the cross-examination, did not object to the evidence offered.
The Trial Court's Ruling

The trial court granted Respondent Labrador's Petition, ratiocinating as follows:
"From the evidence adduced, the Court is convinced that the allegations in the petition have been
satisfactorily substantiated, the requisites for the publication have been complied with, and there
is a need for the correction of the erroneous entries in the birth certificate of Sarah Zita Cañon
Erasmo. The entry in said birth certificate with respect to the name of the child should be
corrected from SARAH ZITA CAÑON ERASMO to SARAH ZITA CAÑON and the entry with
respect to the name of the mother should be corrected from ROSEMARIE B. CAÑON to
MARIA ROSARIO CAÑON."
The Issues

Petitioner posits the following issues:
"(a) Whether or not a change in the record of birth in a civil registry, which affects the civil status
of a person, from “legitimate” to “illegitimate” may be granted in a summary proceeding;
“(b) Whether or not Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court is the proper action to impugn the
legitimacy of a child.”
The main issue is whether Rule 108 of the Rules of Court may be used to changed the entry in a
birth certificate regarding the filiation of a child.
The Court’s Ruling

The petition is meritorious. The lower court erred in ordering the corrections.
Main Issue: Rule 108 Inapplicable

Petitioner contends that the summary proceedings under Rule 108 of the Rules of court and
Article 412 of the Civil Code may be used only to correct or change clerical or innocuous errors.
It argues that Rule 108 "cannot be used to modify, alter or increase substantive rights, such as

those involving the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the child, which respondent desires to do. The
change sought will result not only in substantial correction in the child's record of birth but also
in the child's rights which cannot be effected in a summary action."x[10] We Agree.
This issue has been resolved in Leonor v. Court of Appeals.xi[11] In that case, Respondent
Mauricio Leonor filed a petition before the trial court seeking the cancellation of the registration
of his marriage to Petitioner Virginia Leonor. He alleged, among others, the nullity of their legal
vows arising from the "non-observance of the legal requirements for a valid marriage." In
debunking the trial court's ruling granting such petition, the Court held as follows:
"On its face, the Rule would appear to authorize the cancellation of any entry regarding
"marriages" in the civil registry for any reason by the mere filing of a verified petition for the
purpose. However, it is not as simple as it looks. Doctrinally, the only errors that can be
canceled or corrected under this Rule are typographical or clerical errors, not material or
substantial ones like the validity or nullity of a marriage. A clerical error is one which is visible
to the eyes or obvious to the understanding; error made by a clerk or a transcriber; a mistake in
copying or writing (Black vs. Republic, L-10869, Nov. 28, 1958); or some harmless and
innocuous change such as a correction of name that is clearly misspelled or of a mis-statement of
the occupation of the parent (Ansalada vs. Republic, L-10226, Feb. 14, 1958).
"Where the effect of a correction in a civil registry will change the civil status of petitioner and
her children from legitimate to illegitimate, the same cannot be granted except only in an
adversarial proceeding. xxx
"Clearly and unequivocally, the summary procedure under Rule 108, and for that matter under
Article 412 of the Civil Code cannot be used by Mauricio to change his and Virginia's civil status
from married to single and of their three children from legitimate to illegitimate. xxx" (Emphasis
supplied.)
Thus, where the effect of a correction of an entry in a civil registry will change the status of a
person from "legitimate" to "illegitimate," as in Sarah Zita's case, the same cannot be granted in
summary proceedings.
In Republic v. Valencia,xii[12] we likewise held that corrections involving the nationality or
citizenship of a person were substantial and could not be effected except in adversarial
proceedings.
"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 the 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.

xxx

xxx

xxx

"What is meant by 'appropriate adversary proceeding?' Black's Law Dictionary defines
'adversary proceeding' as follows:
'One having opposing parties, contested, as distinguished from an ex parte application, one [in]
which the party seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party, and afforded the latter
an opportunity to contest it. Excludes an adoption proceeding. (Platt v. Magagnini, 187 p.716,
718, 11 0 Was. 39)'.
xxx

xxx

xxx"xiii[13]

Thus, Valencia requires that a petition for a substantial correction or change of entries in the civil
registry should have as respondents the civil registrar, as well as all other persons who have or
claim to have any interest that would be affected thereby. It further mandates that a full hearing,
not merely a summary proceeding, be conducted.
In the present case, the changes sought by Respondent Labrador were undoubtedly substantial:
first, she sought to have the name appearing on the birth certificate changed from "Sarah Zita
Erasmo" to "Sarah Zita Cañon, thereby transforming the filiation of the child from legitimate to
illegitimate. Second, she likewise sought to have the name of Sarah Zita's mother, which
appeared as "Rosemarie" in the child's birth record, changed to "Maria Rosario." Pursuant to
Valencia, an adversarial proceeding is essential in order to fully thresh out the allegations in
respondent's petition.
Sarah Zita and her purported parents should have been parties to the proceeding. After all, it
would affect her legitimacy, as well as her successional and other rights. In fact, the change may
also embarrass her because of the social stigma that illegitimacy may bring. The rights of her
parents over her and over each other would also be affected. Furthermore, a change of name
would affect not only the mother but possibly creditors, if any. Finally, no sufficient legal
explanation has been given why an aunt, who had no appointment as guardian of the minor, was
the party-petitioner.
True, it would seem that an adversarial proceeding was conducted -- the trial court set the case
for hearing and had the notice of hearing published in a newspaper of general circulation in Cebu
City once a week for three consecutive weeks; a hearing was actually conducted, during which
the respondent and the petitioner were represented: the respondent was able to testify and be
cross-examined by the petitioner's representative.
But such proceeding does not suffice. In Labayo-Rowe v. Republic,xiv[14] Emperatriz LabayoRowe filed a petition seeking to change an entry in her child Victoria Miclat’s birth certificate.
Alleging that she had never been married to her daughter’s father, she wanted her civil status
appearing on the certificate changed from “married” to “single.” This Court ruled that the trial
court erred in granting Labayo-Rowe’s petition, because the proper parties had not been
impleaded; nor had the proceedings been sufficiently adversarial, viz.:

“In the case before Us, since only the Office of the Solicitor General was notified through the
Office of the Provincial Fiscal, representing the Republic of the Philippines as the only
respondent, the proceedings taken, which [are] summary in nature, [are] short of what is required
in cases where substantial alterations are sought. Aside from the Office of the Solicitor General,
all other indispensable parties should have been made respondents. They include not only the
declared father of the child but the child as well, together with the paternal grandparents, if any,
as their hereditary rights would be adversely affected thereby. All other persons who may be
affected by the change should be notified or represented. The truth is best ascertained under an
adversary system of justice.
“The right of the child Victoria to inherit from her parents would be substantially impaired if her
status would be changed from “legitimate” to “illegitimate”. Moreover, she would be exposed to
humiliation and embarrassment resulting from the stigma of an illegitimate filiation that she will
bear thereafter. The fact that the notice of hearing of the petition was published in a newspaper
of general circulation and notice thereof was served upon the State will not change the nature of
the proceedings taken. Rule 108, like all other provisions of the Rules of Court, was promulgated
by the Supreme Court pursuant to its rule-making authority under Section 13, Article VIII of the
1973 Constitution, which directs that such rules 'shall not diminish, increase or modify
substantive rights.' Said rule would thereby become an unconstitutional exercise which would
tend to increase or modify substantive rights. This situation is not contemplated under Article
412 of the Civil Code.
xxx

xxx

xxx"xv[15]

Even granting that the proceedings held to hear and resolve the petition before the lower court
were “adversarial,” it must be noted that the evidence presented by the respondent was not
enough to fully substantiate her claim that Sarah Zita was illegitimate. Her evidence consisted
mainly of her testimony and a certification from the civil registry of Cebu City that such office
had no record of a marriage between Rosemarie/Maria Rosario Cañon and Degoberto Erasmo.
Unlike in other cases where Valencia was applied,xvi[16] Respondent Labrador was not able to
prove the allegations in her petition.
Indeed, respondent correctly cites Article 176 of the Family Code, which states that "illegitimate
children shall use the surname[s] xxx of their mothers." But to enforce such provision, the proper
recourse is an adversarial contest. It must be stressed that Rule 108 does not contemplate an
ordinary civil action but a special proceeding. By its nature, this recourse seeks merely to correct
clerical errors, and not to grant or deny substantial rights. To hold otherwise is tantamount to a
denial of due process to third parties and the whole world.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The assailed Decision of the Regional Trial
Court of Cebu City in SP. Proc. No. 6861-CEB is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. No
costs.
Let a copy of this Decision be served upon the local civil registrar of Cebu City.
SO ORDERED.

i

G.R. No. 109144 August 19, 1994
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
MORENO L. TUMIMPAD, accused-appellant.
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Miguel M. Lingating for accused-appellant.

KAPUNAN, J.:
Accused-appellant Constable Moreno L. Tumimpad and co-accused Constable Ruel C. Prieto
were charged with the crime of rape committed against a 15-year old Mongoloid child in a
complaint dated on May 24, 1991, signed by her mother, Mrs. Pastora L. Salcedo, which
reads:
That during the period between the last week of March 1989 and the first week of April 1989, in
Barangay Lower Lamac, Oroquieta City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the said accused did then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, have (sic) carnal
knowledge with Sandra Salcedo, complainant's daughter, a woman who is a mongoloid and so
weak of mind and in intellect as to be capable of giving rational and legal consent. 1

Upon arraignment, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty to the crime charged and due trial
ensued.
The facts as established by evidence are as follows:
Sandra Salcedo at the time of the incident was a 15-year old Mongoloid and daughter of Lt.
Col. Teofisto Salcedo and Pastora Salcedo. She had a mind of a five-year old child, who still
needed to be fed and dressed up. Her vocabulary was limited and most of the time she
expressed herself by motions.
Col. Teofisto Salcedo was then Provincial Commander of Misamis Occidental. Four security
men were assigned to him, two of whom were accused Constable Ruel Prieto and accusedappellant Moreno Tumimpad.
The Salcedo family, composed of Col. Salcedo, his wife Pastora, his son Alexander and wife
and daughter Sandra, lived in a two-storey officers' quarters inside Camp Lucas Naranjo,
Provincial Headquarters, in Oroquieta City. The upper storey of the house was occupied by
Col. Salcedo, his wife and Sandra while the lower storey had two (2) rooms, one of which was
occupied by the four security men and the other by Alexander Salcedo and his wife.
It was on August 7, 1989, when Sandra complained of constipation. Mrs. Salcedo then
brought her to a doctor in Oroquieta City for a checkup. Medication was given to Sandra but

her condition did not improve. Sandra became irritable and moody. She felt sick and unhappy.
The following day, August 8, 1989, Sandra saw Moreno Tumimpad coming out from the
kitchen and told her mother, "Mama, patayin mo 'yan, bastos." 2
Mrs. Pastora Salcedo, worried of her daughter's condition, brought her to Regina Hospital.
Sandra was able to relieve herself the following day but still remained moody and irritable.
She refused to take a bath in spite of scoldings from her mother. She did not want to eat and
whenever she did, she would vomit.
Sandra was brought to a doctor in Oroquieta City for a second checkup. Dr. Conol, the
examining physician, ordered a urinalysis. Jose C. Lim, a Medical Technologist, conducted
the urinalysis. The result revealed that Sandra was pregnant. 3 Mrs. Pastora Salcedo could
not believe that her daughter was pregnant and so she brought Sandra to Madonna and Child
Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City. Dr. Kho, and OB-GYNE Specialist, examined Sandra and
subjected her to a pelvic ultra-sound examination. The results were positive. The fetus'
gestational age was equivalent to 17.1 weeks. 4 Another ultra-sound examination at the
United Doctors Medical Center (UDMC) at Quezon City on September 11, 1989 confirmed
that she was indeed pregnant. 5
On January 11, 1990, Sandra gave birth to a baby boy who was named Jacob Salcedo.
Hence, the filing of the complaint 6 by Mrs. Pastora Salcedo.
During the investigation conducted by the CIS, about thirty (30) pictures of different persons
were laid on the table and Sandra was asked to pick up the pictures of her assailants. Sandra
singled out the pictures of Moreno Tumimpad and Ruel Prieto. 7 Later, Sandra was brought
out of the investigation room to a police line-up of ten people, including Moreno Tumimpad
and Ruel Prieto. She was again asked to point to her assailants. Without hesitation, Sandra
fingered Moreno Tumimpad and Ruel Prieto. 8
Mrs. Pastora Salcedo testified that she requested her two daughters-in-law, Joy Salcedo and
Celsa Salcedo, to ask Sandra the identity of the persons who sexually molested her. 9
Joy confirmed in her testimony that she asked Sandra who sexually molested her. Sandra
revealed that Moreno Tumimpad and Ruel Prieto were the ones who raped her. Sandra
demonstrated how she was raped. First, her thighs were touched, then she was hugged and
her panty was taken off. A push and pull movement followed. 10 Celsa testified that she was
present when the victim demonstrated how she was sexually abused by the two accused,
including the way her nipples were touched saying "dito hawak," and holding her breasts to
emphasize. She likewise went through the motion of removing her panty, uttering at the same
time "hubad panty."
Sandra identified in open court accused Moreno Tumimpad and Ruel Prieto as the persons
who raped her and said she wished them dead, as they did something bad to her. 11 She once
again demonstrated how she was sexually abused. She held her two thighs with her two
hands next to her sexual organ saying, "panty" and then placed her hand on her breast and
gestured as if she were sucking. She also touched her private organ and made a push and
pull movement. 12

During the trial, the accused moved that a blood test, both "Major Blood Grouping Test" and
"Pheno Blood Typing" be conducted on the offended party, her child Jacob and the two
accused. The result of the test conducted by the Makati Medical Center showed that Jacob
Salcedo has a type "O" blood, Sandra Salcedo type "B", accused Ruel Prieto type "A" and
accused-appellant type "O".
Both accused anchored their defense on mere denial contending that it was impossible for
them to have committed the crime of rape.
After trial on the merits, the trial court convicted Moreno Tumimpad of the crime charged but
acquitted the other accused, Ruel Prieto, on reasonable doubt, stating that he "has a different
type of blood with (sic) the child Jacob Salcedo as his type of blood is "A", while that of child
Jacob Salcedo is
type "O".
The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds the accused, PO1 Moreno Tumimpad,
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape, as charged in the information, and
pursuant to the provisions of Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, there being
no aggravating nor mitigating circumstance attendant in the commission of the crime, said
accused Moreno Tumimpad is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION
PERPETUA; to indemnify the offended girl, Sandra Salcedo, in the amount of P20,000.00; and
to suffer the other accessory penalties provided for by laws; and to pay the costs of the
proceedings.
On reasonable doubt, accused Ruel Prieto is hereby declared ACQUITTED from the charge.
SO ORDERED. 13

Accused-appellant assigns the following as errors of the lower court:
1. The lower court erred in not appreciating the impossibility of committing the offense charged
without detection.
2. The lower court erred in convicting the accused-appellant base on major blood grouping test
known as ABO and RHS test, not a paternal test known as chromosomes or HLA test.

The appeal is devoid of merit.
Accused-appellant argues that it was impossible for him to have committed the crime of rape
because most of the time he and his co-accused Ruel Prieto were together with Col. Salcedo
on inspection tours while the victim was always in the company of her mother. He further
contends that it was likewise impossible for Sandra, if she had really been molested, not to
have shouted out of pain, she being a virgin. As if adding insult to injury, accused-appellant
suggests that it was Sandra's brother, Cristopher Salcedo, allegedly a drug user, who could
have raped her.
We are not convinced.

It is true that the accused usually went with Col. Salcedo during inspection tours but
sometimes they were left behind and would play pingpong or card games with Sandra at the
ground floor of the house. While Sandra was always with her mother, there were times when
she was left alone in the house with the accused. 14
Mrs. Pastora Salcedo testified:
Q How many security men remain if you can recall when your husband reported
for work?
A Two (2).
Q Who were these security men who remained?
A Moreno Tumimpad and Ruel Prieto.
Q How about the 2 other security men Tanggan and Colaljo?
A My husband sent (sic) them for an errand and sometime they used to go with
my husband to the office.
Q Every time when your husband is out what they do while they were (sic) at
the headquarter?
A I saw them sleeping and sometime they were playing at the porch with my
daughter Sandra playing pingpong and sometime they were listening music.
Q Where did they play usually take place?
A Living room. 15
xxx xxx xxx
Q By the say, (sic) Mrs. Salcedo, you said a while ago when you were at the
headquarters you were able to do your choirs, (sic) doing laundry jobs in the
second storey of your house. Do you know where is your daughter Sandra at
that time?
A Yes, she spent her time at the second floor.
Q What part of the ground floor she used (sic) to stay?
A Because she is found (sic) of music she stay in the living room.
Q Did she has (sic) any playmates?
A Moreno and Prieto.
Q Have you seen actually the 2 accused playing with your daughter?
A Yes, playing pingpong and playing cards. 16

The victim more than once positively identified accused-appellant Moreno Tumimpad as one
of the perpetrators of the crime. First, during the investigation conducted by the CIS, Sandra
singled out accused-appellant and his co-accused from among the thirty (30) pictures of
different persons shown to her. Second, at the police lineup of several persons, likewise
conducted by the CIS, Sandra once again unerringly pointed accused-appellant and his coaccused as the ones who raped her. Third, in open court, Sandra without hesitation, pointed
to accused- appellant as the perpetrator of the crime.
The following is the victim's own testimony:
PROS. RAMOS:
Will you please demonstrate before this Honorable Court what Moreno and Ruel
did to you?
RECORD:
The witness when she stood up held both her thighs (sic) with her two hand
(sic) down to her sexual organ saying a word "panty" and she placed her hand
on her breast and did something as if sucking and held her private part (sic) and
did a push and pull movement and she cried.
Q When you said that there was a push and pull movement of the body and
when this was being done did you feel pain?
A Yes pain.
Q What part of your body is painful?
RECORD:
The witness touching her private parts.
Q Did you also see blood on your sexual organ?
A Yes.
Q Where did you see these blood?
RECORD:
The witness touching her private parts.
Q When this push and pull movement was being made, did you see a man's
organ?
A Yes sir.
Q Where did you see this male organ?
A Witness touching her private part.

Q Who did this to you, who removed your panty?
A Moreno and Ruel.
Q Did you see Moreno taking off his pants?
A Yes.
Q Did you see his sex organ?
A The witness touching her private parts.
Q How about this Ruel, did you see if he taken (sic) off his pants?
A Yes.
Q Did you see his sex organ?
A Yes, witness again touching her private part.
Q Both of them?
A Yes.
Q Where did Moreno and Ruel removed (sic) your panty?
A Moreno.
Q In your house?
A Yes.
Q What part of your house did Moreno and Ruel remove your panty?
A Downstairs Moreno and Ruel remove panty.
Q What part of the ground floor, was it outside or inside the room?
A In the room.
Q When (sic) Moreno and Ruel are inside the courtroom now, can you point to
them?
A Yes.
Q Will you please point to them?
PROS. RAMOS:
May we request the accused to stand up your honor?
RECORD:

Both accused stood up from where they were sitting inside the courtroom.
PROS. RAMOS:
Who is that person (prosecutor Ramos point to accused Moreno Tumimpad)?
A Moreno.
RECORD:
The witness pointing to a certain person who is standing and when asked what
is his name, he readily answered that he is Moreno Tumimpad.
PROS. RAMOS:
Who is that person standing besides Moreno?
A Joel.
PROS. RAMOS:
If your honor please, she could not pronounced (sic) well the word Ruel but the
way she called this name is Joel which refers to the same person who is one of
the accused in this case. 17

Melinda Joy Salcedo, the victim's sister-in-law, testified that Sandra demonstrated to her how
she was ravished by the two accused, thus:
Q Now, will you please tell us what did Sandra Salcedo told (sic) you as to how
she was abused?
A By what she had stated there were also actions that she made.
Q Will you please demonstrate to this Honorable Court how did Sandra Salcedo
was abused as narrated or demonstrated to you by Sandra Salcedo?
A According to her she was held in her thigh and then she was hugged and then
the panty was taken off and making a push and pull movement (witness
demonstration by holding her thigh)?
Q Now, after Sandra Salcedo told you and demonstrated to you how she was
abused. What else did Sandra Salcedo tell you if she had told you any more
matter?
A She did not say anything more.
Q Now, when Sandra Salcedo refused to talk or say anything else. What
happened next?
A Then it was Celsa who asked her.
Q Where were you when Celsa asked Sandra Salcedo?

A I was just beside her.
Q You said that after Sandra Salcedo refused to talk, Celsa did the questioning,
did you hear the question being asked by Celsa to Sandra Salcedo?
A Yes.
Q And what was the question being asked by Celsa to Sandra Salcedo?
A Celsa asked Sandra Salcedo as to what other things that these two had done
to her?
Q And what if any did Sandra Salcedo tell you as to what was done to her?
A By way of talking and action.
Q And what was the answer of Sandra Salcedo?
A He (sic) answered it by action and talking.
Q And what was the answer of Sandra Salcedo as related by her to Celsa
through words and action?
RECORD:
The witness demonstrated by holding his (sic) nipple going down to her thigh.
Q What else had transpired next?
A No more.
Q Now, whenever Sandra Salcedo mentioned the names of accused Moreno
Tumimpad and Ruel Prieto, have you observed whose names was usually
mentioned first by Sandra Salcedo?
A She mentioned first the name of Moreno Tumimpad and Ruel.
Q And what happened after that?
A I informed my mother-in-law of what Sandra Salcedo had told us.
Q When did you tell your mother-in- law about what Sandra Salcedo told you
and Celsa?
A That very evening sir. 18

Accused-appellant simplistically and quite erroneously argues that his conviction was based
on the medical finding that he and the victim have the same blood type "O".
Accused-appellants' culpability was established mainly by testimonial evidence given by the
victim herself and her relatives. The blood test was adduced as evidence only to show that
the alleged father or any one of many others of the same blood type may have been the

father of the child. As held by this Court in Janice Marie Jao vs. Court of Appeals 19:
Paternity — Science has demonstrated that by the analysis of blood samples of the mother, the
child, and the alleged father, it can be established conclusively that the man is not the father of a
particular child. But group blood testing cannot show only a possibility that he is. Statutes in
many states, and courts in others, have recognized the value and the limitations of such tests.
Some of the decisions have recognized the conclusive presumption of non-paternity where the
results of the test, made in the prescribed manner, show the impossibility of the alleged
paternity. This is one of the few cases in which the judgment of the Court may scientifically be
completely accurate, and intolerable results avoided, such as have occurred where the finding is
allowed to turn on oral testimony conflicting with the results of the test. The findings of such
blood tests are not admissible to prove the fact of paternity as they show only a possibility that
the alleged father or any one of many others with the same blood type may have been the father
of the child.

WHEREFORE, accused-appellant's guilt of the crime of rape having been proven beyond
reasonable doubt, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

Benitez-Badua vs CA
Benitez-Badua vs. CA
GR No. 105625, January 24, 1994
FACTS:
Spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian were owners of various properties located in Laguna.
Isabel died in 1982 while his husband died in 1989. Vicente’s sister and nephew filed a complaint for
the issuance of letters of administration of Vicente’s estate in favor of the nephew, herein private
respondent. The petitioner, Marissa Benitez-Badua, was raised and cared by the deceased spouses
since childhood, though not related to them by blood, nor legally adopted. The latter to prove that she
is the only legitimate child of the spouses submitted documents such as her certificate of live birth
where the spouses name were reflected as her parents. She even testified that said spouses
continuously treated her as their legitimate daughter. On the other hand, the relatives of Vicente
declared that said spouses were unable to physically procreate hence the petitioner cannot be the
biological child. Trial court decided in favor of the petitioner as the legitimate daughter and sole heir
of the spouses.
ISSUE: WON petitioner’s certificate of live birth will suffice to establish her legitimacy.
HELD:
The Court dismissed the case for lack of merit. The mere registration of a child in his or her birth
certificate as the child of the supposed parents is not a valid adoption. It does not confer upon the child
the status of an adopted child and her legal rights. Such act amounts to simulation of the child's birth or
falsification of his or her birth certificate, which is a public document.

It is worthy to note that Vicente and brother of the deceased wife executed a Deed of Extra-Judicial
Settlement of the Estate of the latter. In the notarized document, they stated that they were the sole
heirs of the deceased because “she died without descendants and ascendants”. In executing such deed,
Vicente effectively repudiated the Certificate of Live Birth of the petitioner where it appeared thathe
was the petitioner’s father.
G.R. No. L-29771 May 29, 1987
CONSOLACION LUMAHIN DE APARICIO, Accompanied by her husband BENITO
APARICIO, plaintiffs-appellees,
vs.
HIPOLITO PARAGUYA, defendant-appellant.

GANCAYCO, J:
Trinidad Montilde, a young lass of Tubigon, Bohol had a love affair with a priest, Rev. Fr.
Felipe Lumain and in the process she conceived. When she was almost four (4) months
pregnant and in order to conceal her disgrace from the public she decided to marry Anastacio
Mamburao. Father Lumain solemnized their marriage on March 4, 1924. 1 They never lived
together as man and wife. On September 12, 1924, 192 days after the marriage, Trinidad
gave birth to Consolacion Lumain. As shown by her birth certificate her registered parents are
Trinidad and Anastacio. 2 On October 31, 1936, Fr. Lumain died but he left a last will and
testament wherein he acknowledged Consolacion as his daughter and instituted her as the
sole and universal heir of all his property rights and interests. 3 This was duly probated in the
Court of First Instance of Bohol on June 11, 1938 and on appeal it was affirmed by the Court
of Appeals. 4
Soon after reaching the age of majority Consolacion filed an action in the Court of First
Instance of Bohol against Hipolito Paraguya for the recovery of certain parcels of land she
claims to have inherited from her father Fr. Lumain and for damages. After trial on the merits a
decision was rendered on July 6, 1962, the dispositive part of which reads as follows:
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Court renders judgment:
(a) Declaring that plaintiff is entitled to the possession of the third parcel of land described in the
6th amended complaint, with all the improvements. If defendant Hipolito Paraguya is possessing
this property, he is hereby ordered to vacate it and deliver its possession to plaintiff;
(b) Declaring defendant Hipolito Paraguya owner of the second parcel of land described in the
6th amended complaint, with all the improvements. If plaintiff is possessing this land or any
portion thereof, she is hereby ordered to vacate said property and to deliver its possession to
defendant Paraguya;
(c) Declaring defendant Hipolito Paraguya owner of Portions B and A of the sketch Exhibit E-1,
with all the improvements. If plaintiff is possessing these portions or any part thereof, she is
hereby ordered to vacate the same and to deliver its possession to defendant Hipolito Paraguya;

(d) Declaring that plaintiff shall be entitled to the possession of Portions H, F and G, of Sketch
Exhibit E-1, with all the improvements. If defendant is possessing these portions or any part
thereof, he is hereby ordered to vacate them and to deliver the possession thereto plaintiff
Consolacion Lumain Aparicio; and
(e) Sentencing plaintiff to pay the Court the docketing fees and all other legal expenses.
The present judgment is rendered without special pronouncement as to costs. 5

Not satisfied therewith, the defendant now interposed this appeal to the Court of Appeals
alleging the trial court committed the following errors:
I
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DECLARING THAT THE PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE IS
ENTITLED TO THE POSSESSION OF PORTION G OF THE SKETCH EXHIBIT "E-I," WITH
ALL THE IMPROVEMENTS.
II
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DECLARING THAT PLAINTIFF- APPELLEE IS A NATURAL
CHILD OF THE LATE REV. FR. FELIPE LUMAIN.
III
THAT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
IS LIABLE TO PAY THE DEFENDANT-APPELLANT FOR MORAL DAMAGES AS ALLEGED IN
THE COUNTER-CLAIM. 6

In a resolution of September 27, 1968, the Court of Appeals forwarded the records of this
case to this Court as appellant does not question the findings of facts of the court a quo but
only the correctness of the conclusions drawn therefrom. 7
The undisputed findings of facts of the trial court are:
It is a fact admitted in the evidence of both parties that the spouses Roman Lumain and
Filomena Cosare were the owners of the parcels of land Identified as first, second and third
parcels in the sixth amended complaint.
The testimonial evidence has established the following facts.
The spouses Roman Lumain and Filomena Cosare and their children Rev. Fr. Felix Lumain and
Macario Lumain are dead. This fact is corroborated by the following death certificates:
(a) Exhibit I — death certificate showing that on August 20, 1929 Roman Lumain, husband of
Filomena Cosare, was buried in the Catholic Cemetery of Tubigon, Bohol;
(b) Exhibit J — death certificate showing that Filomena Cosare, wife of Roman Lumain, was
buried on October 6, 1934 in the Catholic Cemetery of Tubigon, Bohol;
(c) Exhibit K — death certificate showing that Rev. Fr. Felipe Lumain, son of Roman Lumain and
Filomena Cosare, was buried on November 3, 1936 in the Catholic Cemetery of Tubigon, Bohol;

(d) Exhibit L — death certificate showing that Macario Lumain, husband of Ceferina Falcon and
son of the spouses Roman Lumain and Filomena Cosare, was buried on May 20, 1941 in the
Catholic Cemetery of Tubigon, Bohol.
It appears proven at the same time that Ceferina Falcon de Lumain died on June 29, 1953, as
shown by Exhibit M.
Several witnesses had declared that the spouses Roman Lumain and Filomena Cosare were
possessing as owners and enjoying the products of the three parcels of land described in the
complaint; that after their death, it was their two children Rev. Fr. Felipe Lumain and Macario
Lumain who succeeded them in the possession of the same property.
Defendant Paraguya disclaims no right over the third parcel of land described in the 6th
amended complaint. As a matter of fact, in the course of the trial the Court rendered judgment
declaring plaintiff Consolacion Lumain Aparicio owner of said property. This judgment, however,
was set aside because plaintiff's counsel manifested that he would present evidence for
damages, in connection with this property which, according to plaintiff, had been possessed by
defendant Paraguya.
Defendant claims right over the second parcel of land described in the 6th amended complaint,
alleging that he had bought it from the late Roman Lumain, the admitted original owner. In
support of his contention, defendant offered in evidence Exhibit 7 which is a deed of pacto de
retro sale for the sum of P l 70. The parcel of land sold in this document is described as follows:
Por el Noreste linda con el terreno del vendedor, por el Sureste con el de
Macario Lumain, por Suroeste con el del vendedor y por el Noroeste con el del
mismo vendedor y con el rio Bateria.
If the boundaries of the land mentioned in Exhibit 7 were compared with the boundaries of the
second parcel of land described in the 6th amended complaint, one would not hesitate to
conclude that this parcel of land described in the complaint is the same property sold to
defendant Hipolito Paraguya on August 1, 1928, for the sum of Pl70.00, by means of Exhibit 7.
It is true that vendor Roman Lumain reserved the right to repurchase the property at any time,
but in the light of the provisions of Article 1508 of the old Civil Code which is the law applicable
to the case, it is obvious that Roman Lumain and his heirs have lost the right to redeem the
property. Article 1508 of the old Civil Code provides:
The right referred to in the next preceding article, in default of an express
agreement shall endure four years, counted from the date of the contract.
Should there be an agreement, the period shall not exceed ten years.
Although the area of the land mentioned in Exhibit 7 is 13,000 square meters, while the area of
the land described as Parcel 2 is 14 ares and 64 centares or 1,464 square meters, we think that
this discrepancy is just a result of mistake. Our Supreme Court ruled that the correct boundaries
of a land prevail over the discrepancy as regards its area.
We, therefore, conclude that the property described as second parcel of land in the 6th
amended complaint belongs to defendant Hipolito Paraguya.
Although Exhibit 7 is a private document we entertain no doubt as to its authenticity established
by testimonial evidence of defendant. Moreover, Macario Lumain, son of Roman Lumain, had
signed as instrumental witness to this document and if we compared his signature on Exhibit 7
with his signatures on the documents Exhibits C- 1, C-2, C-3, C-4 and C-5 offered in evidence

by plaintiff, there would be no doubt that the signature affixed on Exhibit 7 is the authentic
signature of Macario Lumain.
In connection with this case, the Court issued on August 7, 1952 the following order (Exh. D):
When this case was called today, Atty. Diosdado R. Delima and Conrado D.
Marapao, counsel for the parties, submitted the following agreement:
Comes the undersigned attorney and respectfully proposes for an appointment
of a Commissioner of the Court for the following purposes:
1. To localize Parcel II of the Second Amended Complaint under Tax No. 6862
superseded by Tax No. 20836 in the name of Roman Lumain;
2. To localize all the portions in the said parcel which are claimed by Hipolito
Paraguya and to make a sketch of the portions showing its relative positions
with one another, showing its dimensions in meters, and showing its relative
position in relation to the whole parcel;
3. To localize the portion in same parcel which are claimed by Ceferina Falcon
and to make a sketch of the said portion showing its dimensions in meters and
showing further its relative position in relation to the whole parcel.
The expenses of the Commission of the court to be shared pro rata by
Consolacion Lumain Vallesteros, Ceferina Falcon and Hipolito Paraguya.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that the above enumerated proposals be
granted by the Court and a Commissioner duly appointed to carry out.
Tagbilaran, Bohol, August 7,1952.
(Sgd.) DIOSDADO REYES
DELIMA
Attorney for
the Plaintiff
I AGREE:
(Sgd.) CONRADO MARAPAO
Attorney for the Defendants
Ceferina Falcon and Hipolito
Paraguya
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the court hereby appoints Mr. Genaro Galon as Commissioner in charge
to localize the properties in accordance with the foregoing agreement. Mr. Galon shall submit his
report within the period of fifteen days. Before making this localization, Mr. Galon shall notify the
attorneys of both parties two weeks in advance.
By agreement of the parties, the trial of this case is hereby postponed until further assignment.

SO ORDERED.
Given in open Court, Tagbilaran, Bohol, August 7, 1952.
(Sgd.)
HIPOLITO
ALO
Judge, 14th
Judicial
D
is
tr
ic
t
In compliance with this order, the appointed commissioner Genaro Galon submitted his report
(Exhibit E); and attached thereto is the sketch marked Exhibit E-1.
According to the report (Exhibit E), the land covered by tax declaration No. 20836-which is the
first parcel of land described in the 6th amended complaint is represented in the sketch Exhibit
E-1 by the space enclosed within the black lines. For clarification purposes the Court had
marked with letters H, B, A, G and F the portions enclosed within the black lines.The space
marked letter C, outside the black lines, represents the land of Macario Lumain, acquired later
by defendant Hipolito Paraguya.
Defendant Paraguya offered in evidence Exhibit 5, a deed of pacto de retro sale executed in his
favor by the late Macario Lumain on December 6, 1937. This document describes the following
parcel of land:
El citado terreno es parte de la Declaracion No. 20836 a nombre de mi difunto
padre Roman Lumain y linda por el Noreste con el del vendedor y mide 39.30
metros; por el Sureste finda con el del mismo vendedor y mide 67.90 metros;
por el Suroeste linda con la carretera provincial y mide 27.00 metros y por el
Noroeste que tiene cinco lados linda con el del mismo vendedor y mide por
dichos cinco lados 81-60 metros.
If we linked the land described in Exhibit 5 with Portion A of the sketch Exhibit E-1, which
portion, according to the report of Commissioner Galon, was indicated by defendant Paraguya
as property belonging to him, we would find that the land described in Exhibit 5 is the same
Portion A of the sketch Exhibit E-1, taking into account the length of the sides of Portion A and
the length of the sides of the land sold under Exhibit 5. Portion A is precisely the portion claimed
by defendant, according to Commissioner's report.
The authenticity of the signature of Macario Lumain on Exhibit 5 has been established by
witnesses, and corroborated by documents Exhibits C- 1, C- 2, C-3, C-4 and C-5 offered in
evidenced by plaintiff.
The includible conclusion, therefore, is that Portion A of the sketch Exhibit E-1 was bought by
defendant Hipolito Paraguya from Macario Lumain. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the land
described in Exhibit 5 and Portion A of the sketch Exhibit E-I have Identical descriptions: On the
NE is bounded by the land of Macario Lumain which was inherited by him from his father; on the
SE by the same vendor Macario Lumain and provincial road; and on the NW by the same
vendor. Macario Lumain has also lost the right to repurchase.

The report of the commissioner Exhibit E also states that defendant Hipolito Paraguya claimed
to be the owner of Portion B of the sketch Exhibit E-1. During the trial, Hipolito Paraguya
maintained that on August 28, 1948 he bought from Raymundo Garduque a parcel of land by
means of Exhibit 6- A. This document describes the property as follows:
Este terreno es parte de la Declaracion No. 20836 a nombre del difunto Roman
Lumain. Y linda por el Norte, con el del difunto Macario Lumain; por el Este con
el del difunto Roman Lumain; por el Sur, con la Carretero Provincial; y por el
Oeste, con el del mismo difunto Roman Lumain.
Defendant Paraguya further maintains that Raymundo Garduque had bought this property from
Roman Lumain by means of Exhibit 6 which is translated into English in Exhibit 6-1. Exhibit 6-1
describes the property sold by Roman Lumain to Raymundo Garduque as follows:
On the North, it is bounded by the rice field of Macario Lumain which adjoins the
parcel of rice field of the vendor; on the East, land of vendor; on the South, is
Provincial Road; and on the West, it is bounded by the land of the vendor.
If we link the description of Exhibit 6-1 with the description of Portion B of the sketch Exhibit E-I,
there would be no doubt that this Portion B is the same land sold by Roman Lumain to
Raymundo Garduque, by means of Exhibit 6, bearing in mind that the boundaries of Portion B
tally with the boundaries of the land described in Exhibit 6. We, therefore, conclude that Portion
B also belongs to defendant Hipolito Paraguya.
The report of the commissioner Exhibit E reads as follows:
En complimiento a la orden de este Juzgado de fecha 7 de Agosto, 1952 en la
causa arriba titulada el que subscribe como commissionado en dicho asunto,
previa notificacion por escrito a ambas partes y a sus respectivos Abogados, se
contituyo al barrio de Tangnan, Tubigon, Bohol para localizar el terreno bajo
declaracion Tax No. 20836 a nombre de Roman Lumain y de las porciones
reclamadas por Hipolito Paraguya y Ceferina Falcon Vda. de Lumain, y con
asistencia de las partes se prodedio la localizacion de los mismos, de cuyo
resultado, tiene la honra de someter a Su Senoria el adjurito croquis con los
siguientes:
1. que la porcion limitada con lineas de tinta negra representa el terreno
indicado por la demandante Consolacion M. Vallesteros, como terreno de
Roman Lumain, bajo declaracion Tax No. 20836.
2. Que la pintada con lapiz encarnado representa la reclamada por Hipolito
Paraguya bajo declaraciones Tax Nos. 13497 y 13919 de Hipolito Paraguya.
3. Que la pintada con lapiz azul, representation el terreno reclamado por
Ceferino Falcon Vda. de Lumain.
4. Que la manchada con puntitos de lapiz azul, representa la porcion reclamada
por Hipolito Paraguya, que segun el lo adquirio de Pelagio Torrefranca.
5. Que la porcion comprendida entre lineas de tinta negra angulos, A, B y C,
representation el terreno descrito en la declaracion Tax No. 6862 en nombre de
Roman Lumain de Acuerdo con su croquis correspondiente.
Es todo lo que al que subscribe puede informar a Su Senoria para su
consideracion y efectos procedentes.

Respetuosamente sometido.
Tagbilaran, Bohol. 22 de Septiembre, 1952.
(
F
d
o
.)
G
E
N
A
R
O
G
A
L
O
N

Commisionad
Defendant Hipolito Paraguya claims right over portion G of the Sketch Exhibit E-1, which portion
is within the space enclosed within the black lines of the sketch Exhibit E-1.
Hipolito Paraguya maintains that he had bought this Portion G from Pelagio Torrefranca by
means of a document which was lost. He offered, however, in evidence Exhibits 8 and 9,
statements of the sister and brother of the deceased Pelagio Torrefranca to the effect that the
latter had sold a parcel of land to Hipolito Paraguya.
But if we examine the sketch Exhibit E-1 we will find that the land of Pelagio Torrefranca is
outside the land of Roman Lumain enclosed within the black lines. The land of Pelagio
Torrefranca is even intercepted by other lands belonging to Juan Acidillo and Valerio Roba. If we
also examine the plan Exhibit 1 1 of the land of Roman Lumain sureyed by a survevor, we will
find that the land of Roman Lumain is bounded on the North by Valerio Roba and Jorge Acidillo.
The land of Pelagio Torrefranca is not mentioned and possibly it is on the North of the lands of
Valerio Roba and Jorge Acidillo.
Consequently, the land bought by defendant Hipolito Paraguya from Pelagio Torrefranca is
outside the land of Roman Lumain described in the plan Exhibit 11. It must not be forgotten that
this plan was offered in evidence by defendant.
In the light of the foregoing, we conclude that out of the first parcel of land described in the 6th
amended complaint defendant had only acquired Portions A and B described in the plan Exhibit
E-1.
We do not overlook the fact that Macario Lumain, as co-owner of the first parcel of land
described in the 6th amended complaint could not select any portion thereof as his own, as long,
as there was no actual partition of the property. We believe, however, that it would be more
advantageous to the plaintiff to disregard this procedure, since a partition would be more costly
for her, for in such case defendant would claim reimbursements for necessary and useful
expenses. Moreover, the sales took place almost 10 years before the filing of the complaint, and
it would be unjust for defendant Paraguya to suffer the adverse effects of the laches committed

by plaintiff.
Plaintiff maintains that she is entitled to inherit the property of the deceased Rev. Fr. Felipe
Lumain on the ground that she had been recognized as daughter of the latter in his testament
Exhibit A-1 which has been duly probated by this Court and the Court of Appeals, as shown from
Exhibit A- 2.
Defendant, on the other hand, maintains that plaintiff is not entitled to inherit the property of the
deceased Rev. Fr. Felipe Lumain for the reason that she is an adulterous child. He further
maintains that the acknowledgment of plaintiff by the late Fr. Felipe Lumain is null and void she
being not a natural child of the latter. In support of this contention, defendant offered in evidence
Exhibit 2 which is the marriage certificate of Anastacio Mamburao and Trinidad Montilde, mother
of plaintiff. According to this certificate, the marriage of both spouses took place on March 4,
1924. Defendant also offered in evidence Exhibit I showing that plaintiff was born on September
12, 1924. Taking into account both documents, it can be said that plaintiff was born six months
after her mother's marriage to Anastacio Mamburao. During the trial Trinidad Montilde declared
that she had never lived together with her husband and at present the latter is living with another
woman.
Bearing in mind the date of the birth of plaintiff, it is evident that her mother Trinidad Montilde
was still single at the time she was conceived. It is a legal presumption that plaintiff is the
daughter of the spouses Anastacio Mamburao and Trinidad Montilde, but bearing in mind that
this presumption is disputable and was successfully overcome by Trinidad Montilde, plaintiff's
mother, we find no other avenue than to declare that plaintiff is a natural child of the late Rev. Fr.
Felipe Lumain. Consequently, she can be acknowledged by the latter as his own child.
But in the remote possibility that plaintiff is not a natural child of the deceased Fr. Felipe Lumain,
we still maintain that, under the latter's will (Exhibit A-1), she is entitled to claim the disputed
property, she having been instituted in the will as universal heir. This document contains the
following provisions:
4. — Dono tambien a la mencionada nina, Consolacion M. Lumain, mi
homestead consistentente en una parcela de terreno de 24 hect. situada en el
barrio de Calatrava, Carmen, Bohol, con todas sus mejoras; todas Acciones e
interesesen la JAGNA ELECTRIC SERVICE CO., Jagna Bohol; todos los
bienes muebles e inmuebles que me corespondan de la herencia de mis
padres; y todoes los bienes e intereses que yo consiga en lo futuro (The
following words are written in pencil without initial of the testator: Estoy
asegurado por la Insular Life Assurance Co. en la cantidad de Dos Mil Pesos, y
la beneficiaria de mi Poliza es la misma consolacion.)
Is plaintiff entitled to claim the entire first parcel of land described in the 6th amended complaint?
Let us not forget that the spouses Roman Lumain and Filomena Cosare died leaving two
legitimate children: Rev. Fr. Felipe Lumain and Macario Lumain. Let us not either forget that Fr.
Lumain died ahead of Macario Lumain. Under the circumstances, therefore, Fr. Lumain did not
become the owner of the share of Macario Lumain, he having died ahead of the latter. Macario
Lumain could not either inherit the share of his brother, because the latter had instituted the
plaintiff as his legal heir. Plaintiff, on the other hand, cannot inherit the property of the deceased
Macario Lumain in view of the following provisions of Article 943 of the old Civil Code:
A natural or a legitimated child has no right to succeed ab intestate the
legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother who has acknowledged
it; nor shall such children or relatives so inherit from the natural or legitimated
child.

In the light of the foregoing, it is obvious that, after the death of Fr. Felipe Lumain, plaintiff and
Macario Lumain became co-owners of all the properties left by their deceased parents.
Consequently, plaintiff is only an owner of one-half (1/2) undivided share of said properties and
the remaining undivided half belongs to the heirs of the late Macario Lumain who took no
intervention in this case. And because of this fact, the Court can not render a judgment
determining the ownership of the property in question, on account of the fact that the heirs of the
deceased Macario Lumain are not parties to this case.
Considering, nevertheless, that a co-owner can file an action to recover the possession of a
property from any stranger, the Court believes that this aspect can be determined by the Court
in its judgment.
It appears from the record that plaintiff was exempted from payment of legal fees on account of
her alleged poverty. But it appears from the evidence that she is not a pauper, she having
several properties not involved in the present action. She shall therefore, be sentenced to pay
the Court the docketing fees and all other legal expenses.
Plaintiff's evidence regarding damages is insufficient, for the reason that this court can not
determine exactly the source of those damages. As may be seen from this decision, plaintiff had
filed six complaints and had been changing the lands she was claiming, as well as the
defendants, thus showing that she had filed at random her actions. Because of this, the Court
cannot determine what property shall be the basis of damages and who are the persons liable. 8

Under the first assigned error appellant contends that portion G of the sketch Exhibit E-1 with
all the improvements belongs to him and that he is entitled to its possession. In support
thereof appellant argues —
This particular portion of land known as portion G of the sketch Exhibit 'E-1' declared in the
name of the real owner of the defendant-appellant herein under Tax Dec. No. R-13497, (Exhibit
'9-b') formerly under Tax Dec. No. 23216 (Exhibit '9-a') in the name of the former owner Rev.
Father Pelagio Torrefranca is outside the land in question. (See IV last paragraph of p. 23 & 24;
letter B last paragraph of p. 31 and letter C lst paragraph of p. 32, Record on Appeal; (See also
IV 2nd paragraph of p. 41, Record on Appeal).
We find support in this contention from the report of the Commissioner (Exhibit "E") in paragraph
2 and 4 of said report: (See Record on Appeal, pp. 59-60).
Par. 2 of the Commissioner's Report (Exhibit "E") states:
Que la pintada con lapiz encarnado, representa la reclamada por Hipolito
Paraguya bajo declaraciones Tax Nos. 13497 y 13919 de Hipolito.' (p. 60,
Record on Appeal)
Par. 4 of the said Commissioner's Report (Exhibit'E') states:
Que la manchada con puntitos de lapiz azul, representa la porcion reclamada
por Hipolito Paraguya, que segun el lo adquirio de Pelagio Torrefranca (P. 60,
Record on Appeal)
The name of Pelagio Torrefranca or the land of Pelagio Torrefranca is not mentioned because
the Blueprint (Exh.: "11") was made long time ago in 1910 before Pelagio Torrefranca bought the
land from Valerio Roba. (the former owner).

Exh.: "11" is offered in evidence by the defendant Hipolito Paraguya to show to the Court that
the land of Pelagio Torrefranca, Identified as G (in Exh. "E-l") is outside the land of Roman
Lumain as can be seen by comparing the blueprint (Exh. "11") and the sketch (Exh. "E-l").
If the land of Pelagio Torrefranca which is now owned by the defendant Hipolito Paraguya (Letter
G in Exh. "E-l") is outside the land of Roman Lumain (outside of heavy lines of Blueprint Exh.
"11" and sketch of Galon Exh. "E-l") then the plaintiff can not be given such land for she is only
claiming interest in and to that parcel of land of Roman Lumain bearing Tax No. 20836. In the
original complaint as well as the several amended complaints, the six amended complaint and
supplemental complaint Tax Dec. No. 23216 of the late Rev. Father Pelagio Torrefranca (now
owned by defendant-appellant Paraguya, Letter G in Exh. "E-l") is not included. Tax No. 23216
has been revised to R-13497 in defendant-appellant's name. Still this land Identified as Letter G
in Exh. "E-1" now under Tax Dec. No. R-13497 is not included in all the plaintiffs' complaint (see
Exhibits "9-a" and "9-b," 10 and 10-a to 10-g).
In the Blueprint (Exh. "11") the name of Valerio Roba appeared as the owner of that parcel
known as Portion G (as shown in Exh. "E-1") for at that time in 1910 Valerio Roba was still the
owner. The blueprint (Exh. "11") was made and surveyed in 1910. But after 1910 Pelagio
Torrefranca acquired this land (Portion G) from Valerio Roba. This particular Portion G is now
declared under Tax Dec. No. R- 13497 in the name of defendant-appellant Hipolito Paraguya
and formerly declared under Tax Dec. No. 23216 in the name of the former owner Pelagio
Torrefranca (See Exhibits "9-a", "9-b", "l0" and "10-a" to "10-g" and Exhibits "8" and "9").
The Court should take notice that the land in the name of former owner Valerio Roba (known as
Portion G in Exhibit "E-l") is the land acquired and owned by Rev. Father Pelagio Torrefranca
and later sold by Rev. Father Pelagio Torrefranca to the defendant-appellant Hipolito Paraguya
is outside the land (outside the Black Lines of Exhibits "11" and "E-1") of the late Roman Lumain
as shown in the blue print (Exhibit "ll") a map of the land of the late Roman Lumain made and
surveyed in 1910. There is no question therefore that this Portion G (shown in Exh. "E-l") is not
the land of the late Roman Lumain, hence outside the land in question. The Court has no
jurisdiction over this land Portion G as shown in Exhibit "E- l" for it is not a part of the land of
Roman Lumain whose properties are the ones in question (See Exhibits "11" and "E-1" — These
two Exhibits "11" and "E-1" should be compared as they are closely connected to each other.)
This is supported by the findings of the Lower Court found on page 61, lst Sentence of the 3rd
Paragraph of the Decision, (p. 61 Record on Appeal) which states: 'But if we examine the sketch
Exhibit 'E-l' we will find the land of Pelagio Torrefranca is outside the land of Roman Lumain
enclosed within the black lines.' And on page 62, 1st Sentence of the 1st Paragraph of the
Decision (p. 62, Record on Appeal) which states: 'Consequently, the land bought by defendant
Hipolito Paraguya from Pelagio Torrefranca is outside the land of Roman Lumain described in
the plan Exhibit 11. 9

We find the contention to be well-taken. Appellees confirmed that said portion G of Exhibit E-1
which appellant bought from Pelagio Torrefranca is outside the land of Roman Lumain
enclosed with black lines of Exhibit E- I, and thus is outside the land of Roman Lumain as
described in Exhibit 11. 10
Under the second assigned error appellant points out that appellee Consolacion Lumain is the
legitimate child of spouses Anastacio Mamburao and Trinidad Montilde as she was born on
September 12, 1924, 192 days after the marriage of said spouses citing the provision of
Article 255 of the Civil Code (then Article 108 of the Spanish Civil Code) —
ART. 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the
marriage and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the

spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.
Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the physical
impossibility of the husband's having access to his wife within the first one hundred and twenty
days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the child.
This physical impossibility may be caused:
(1) By the impotence of the husband;
(2) By the fact that the husband and wife were living separately in such a way that access was
not possible;
(3) By the serious illness of the husband.

Appellant further argues there is no evidence of physical impossibility on the part of husband
Anastacio to have access to his wife Trinidad in the first 120 days of the 300 days which
preceded the birth of the child. Under Article 115 of the Spanish Civil Code, now Article 265 of
the Civil Code, it is provided that:
The filiation of legitimate children is proved by the record of birth appearing in the Civil Register,
or by an authentic document or a final judgment. (Italics supplied.)

Appellant concludes appellee Consolacion is the legitimate child of said Mamburao spouses
as shown by the birth certificate. 11
Appellant also avers that the declarations of Trinidad Montilde against the legitimacy of
appellee Consolacion cannot prevail over the presumption of legitimacy under the provisions
of Article 109 of the Spanish Civil Code, now Article 256 of the Civil Code.
However, the Court finds it unnecessary to determine the paternity of appellee Consolacion in
this case. In the last will and testament of Fr. Lumain he not only acknowledged appellee
Consolacion as his natural daughter but designated her as his only heir. Said will was duly
probated in Court. As Fr. Lumain died without any compulsory heir, appellee Consolacion is
therefore his lawful heir as duly instituted in his will. 12 One who has no compulsory heirs may
dispose by will of all his estate or any part of it in favor of any person having capacity to
succeed.13
The third assigned error wherein appellant contends appellee should pay him moral damages
is obviously without merit. Appellee merely pursued an honest claim to the property in
question. No bad faith had been imputed nor had the alleged damages suffered been
established. The essential ingredient of moral damages is proof of bad faith and the fact that
moral damages was suffered as shock, mental anguish, or anxiety although the amount of
damages suffered need not be shown. 14
WHEREFORE, with the only modification that portion G of sketch Exhibit E-1 and its
improvement of the questioned property is hereby declared to be owned by appellant who is
entitled to its possession, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in all other
respects without pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

Constantino vs Mendez
Constantino vs. Mendez
209 SCRA 18
FACTS:
Michael Constantino, an illegitimate child, as represented by Amelita, her mother, sought monthly
support from Ivan Mendez including Amelia’s complaint on damages. The latter and Amelita met in a
restaurant in Manila where she was working as a waitress. Ivan invited him at his hotel and through
promise of marriage succeeded in having sexual intercourse with Amelita, afterwards, he admitted
being a married man. In spite of that, they repeated their sexual contact. Subsequently, she became
pregnant and had to resign from work.
Trial court ruled in favor of Amelita providing actual and moral damages, acknowledging Michael as
Ivan’s illegitimate child and giving monthly support to the latter which was set aside by CA.
ISSUE: WON the alleged illegitimate child is entitled for the monthly support.
HELD:
Amelita Constantino has not proved by clear and convincing evidence her claim that Ivan Mendez is
the father of her son Michael Constantino. Sexual contact of Ivan and Amelita in the first or second
week of November, 1974 is the crucial point that was not even established on direct examination as she
merely testified that she had sexual intercourse with Ivan in the months of September, October and
November, 1974. More so, Amelita admitted that she was attracted to Ivan and their repeated sexual
intercourse indicated that passion and not alleged promise to marriage was the moving force to submit
herself with Ivan.
The petition was dismissed for lack of merit.
G.R. No. L-39381 July 18, 1975
FELISA LIM, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and GUADALUPE ENRIQUEZ UY, respondents.
G.R. No. L-39033 July 18, 1975
GUADALUPE ENRIQUEZ UY, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and FELISA LIM, respondents.
Juanito R. Sagun for Felisa Lim.

Pedro G. Uy and Francisco D. Bacabac for Guadalupe Enriquez Uy.

CASTRO, J.:
These two petitions for certiorari were separately filed by Felisa Lim and Guadalupe Enriquez
Uy to review the decision dated June 6, 1974 of the Court of Appeals, and the resolutions
dated September 12, 1974 and July 18, 1974 of the same court denying their respective
motions for reconsideration. We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.
In 1962 Felisa Lim brought suit against Francisco Miguel Romualdez Uy Chen Hong in the
Court of First Instance of Manila for (1) declaration of nullity of the affidavit Uy executed in
which he adjudicated to himself, as the only son and heir of Susana Lim, a lot (120 square
meters) with the house thereon located at Tayabas St., Sta. Cruz, Manila; (2) cancellation of
the certificate of title issued in the name of Uy; and (3) issuance of a new transfer certificate of
title in her favor.
Both Uy and Felisa Lim claimed they inherited, to the exclusion of each other, the property in
question from Susana Lim. Felisa Lim claims to be the natural daughter of Susana Lim. To
support her claim, she presented (1) her certificate of baptism, which certificate states that
Felisa Lim is the natural daughter of Susana Lim; and (2) her marriage contract, which
contract states that Susana Lim gave consent to Felisa Lim's mother. Felisa Lim also alleges
continuous possession of the status of a natural child.
On the other hand, Uy claimed to be the only son and heir of Susana Lim. To support his
claim, he presented, among others, (1) his application for alien registration in the Bureau of
Immigration, which application names Susana Lim as Uy's mother; (2) the order of the Bureau
of Immigration cancelling his alien registration, which order describes Uy as a Filipino citizen
by derivation from his mother Susana Lim; and (3) his identification certificate issued by the
Bureau of Immigration, which certificate likewise describes Uy as a citizen of the Philippines
by derivation from his mother Susana Lim.
On November 22, 1967 the court a quo, after finding Felisa Lim as "the daughter and only
heir" of Susana Lim, rendered judgment declaring the affidavit executed by Uy null and void,
and ordering the Register of Deeds of Manila (1) to cancel the registration of the said affidavit,
(2) to cancel the certificate of title in the name of Uy, and (3) to issue a new transfer certificate
of title in favor of Felisa Lim.
Uy then moved for reconsideration of the aforesaid decision and asked for new trial on the
ground of newly discovered evidence. This motion for reconsideration and new trial the court
a quo denied.
Uy appealed to the Court of Appeals. 1 On June 6, 1974 the appellate court reversed the
judgment dated November 22, 1967 of the court a quo and dismissed the complaint. The
appellate court ruled that neither Felisa Lim nor Uy "is entitled to the inheritance because
neither of them had been recognized by Susana Lim as her child by any of the means
provided for by law; and neither had either of them been declared in a judicial proceeding to

be a child of Susana Lim." Both parties' subsequent respective motions for reconsideration
were denied.
Hence the present recourse by both parties against the judgement dated June 6, 1974 of the
appellate court as well its resolutions dated September 12,1974 and July 18, 1974 denying
their respective motions for reconsideration.
In L-39381, Felisa Lim assails the finding of the appellate court that she "has no right to
inherit from Susana Lim, even on the assumption that she is her natural daughter, as she had
not been recognized by any of the means provided for by the New Civil Code." Felisa Lim
alleges that Susana Lim's consent to her marriage, given pursuant to Act 3613 (The Marriage
Law), amounted to an admission and recognition on the part of Susana Lim that she (Felisa)
is her natural daughter. Felisa Lim adds that the records in the office of the Local Civil
Registrar pertaining to her marriage license, "together with the supporting papers which
included the consent given by Susana Lim, were destroyed during the liberation of the City of
Manila." However, that Susana Lim gave consent to her marriage, Felisa Lim asserts, the
marriage contract evinces. Felisa Lim states that the marriage contract partakes of a public
document and thus fulfills the provisions of the old Civil Code (re recognition "in some other
public document") and the new Civil Code (re recognition "in any authentic writing").
In L-39033, Guadalupe Enriquez Uy takes exception to the appellate court's non-adjudication
of the property in question in favor of her husband. The finding of the appellate court that her
husband "is not likewise entitled to inherit from Susana Lim" makes no difference, she states,
for her husband purchased the property in question "with his own money prior to his mother's
death and took conveyance and title thereof" in his mother's name in deference to her since
"she gave him a little amount to complete the purchase price."
L-39381
At the outset, it should be noted that Felisa Lim claims that her recognition by Susana Lim as
her (the latter's) natural child took place in 1943. Since the recognition allegedly took place
during the effectivity of the Civil Code of 1889, such recognition should be reckoned in
accordance with the requisites established by the said Civil Code. For, the law in force at the
time of the recognition governs the act of recognition.
Section 131 of the Civil Code of 1889 requires that the recognition of a natural child "be made
in the record of birth, in a will, or in some other public document." Felisa Lim argues that her
marriage contract partakes of a public document.
According to article 1216 of the Civil Code of 1889, public documents "are those
authenticated by a notary or by a competent public official, with the formalities required by
law." Thus, "there are two classes of public documents, those executed by private individuals
which must be authenticated by notaries, and those issued by competent public officials by
reason of their office." 2 "The public document pointed out in Article 131 as one of the means
by which recognition may be made belongs to the first class." 3
The marriage contract presented by Felisa Lim does not satisfy the requirements of solemnity
prescribed by article 131 of the Civil Code of 1889. Such contract is not a written act with the

intervention of a notary; it is not an instrument executed in due form before a notary and
certified by him. The marriage contract is a mere declaration by the contracting parties, in the
presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and of two witnesses of legal age, that they
take each other as husband and wife, signed by signature or mark by the said contracting
parties and the said witnesses, and attested by the person solemnizing the marriage. The
marriage contract does not possess the requisites of a public document of recognition. Be it
remembered that recognition, under the Civil Code of 1889, "must be precise, express and
solemn." 4
L-39033
Uy claims that her husband purchased the property in question with his own money prior to
Susana Lim's death but took conveyance thereof in her name. In the circumstances, she
alleges, an implied trust exists in favor of her husband. She questions the statement made by
the appellate court in its resolution dated July 18, 1974 denying her motion for
reconsideration, which statement reads: "The title is in the name of Susana Lim, and oral
testimony cannot overcome the fact that the sale was made to Susana Lim and title issued in
her favor."
An implied trust arises "where a person purchases land with his own money and takes
conveyance thereof in the name of another. In such a case, the property is held on a resulting
trust in favor of the one furnishing the consideration for the transfer, unless a different
intention or understanding appears. The trust which results under such circumstances does
not arise from contract or agreement of the parties, but from the facts and circumstances, that
is to say, it results because of equity and arises by implication or operation of law." 5
To support her allegation regarding the existence of an implied trust, Uy presented excerpts
from the respective testimonies of her deceased husband, her husband's half-brother, and the
former owner of the property in question. These testimonies, as excerpted, tend to prove (1)
that the deceased Uy received a P10,000 legacy from his father; (2) that he purchased the
property in question; and (3) that the name of Susana Lim appeared on the deed of sale.
It is thus asserted that the deceased Uy furnished the consideration, although he asked
Susana Lim for a little amount to complete the purchases price of the property in question,
and that having supplied the greater portion of the purchase money, he intended the purchase
for his own benefit.
It is our view that two countervailing circumstances militate against Uy's theory of an implied
trust in favor of her husband. (1) Uy raised the theory of implied trust for the first time in her
motion for reconsideration filed with the appellate court; (2) the evidence regarding the
alleged purchase by her late husband is altogether unconvincing.
ACCORDINGLY, the judgment appealed from is affirmed. No costs.
G.R. No. 86302 September 24, 1991
CASIMIRO MENDOZA, petitioner,
vs.

HON. COURT OF APPEALS and TEOPISTA TORING TUÑACAO, respondents.
Bienvenido R. Saniel, Jr. for petitioner.
Domingo Antigua & Associates for private respondent.

CRUZ, J.:p
The private respondent claimed she was the illegitimate daughter of Casimiro Mendoza, but
the latter denied her claim. He denied it to his dying day. The trial court believed him and
dismissed her complaint for compulsory recognition. The appellate court did not and reversed
the judgment of the court below. Now the issue is before us on certiorari.
The complaint was filed on August 21, 1981, in the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City. Teopista
Toring Tufiacao, the herein private respondent, alleged that she was born on August 20, 1930,
to Brigida Toring, who was then single, and defendant Casimiro Mendoza, married at that time
to Emiliana Barrientos. She averred that Mendoza recognized her as an illegitimate child by
treating her as such and according her the rights and privileges of a recognized illegitimate
child.
Casimiro Mendoza, then already 91 years old, specifically denied the plaintiffs allegations and
set up a counterclaim for damages and attorney's fees.
Amplifying on her complaint, Teopista testified that it was her mother who told her that her
father was Casimiro. She called him Papa Miroy. She lived with her mother because Casimiro
was married but she used to visit him at his house. When she married Valentin Tufiacao,
Casimiro bought a passenger truck and engaged him to drive it so he could have a livelihood.
Casimiro later sold the truck but gave the proceeds of the sale to her and her husband. In
1977, Casimiro allowed her son, Lolito Tufiacao, to build a house on his lot and later he gave
her money to buy her own lot from her brother, Vicente Toring. On February 14, 1977,
Casimiro opened a joint savings account with her as a co-depositor at the Mandaue City
branch of the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank. Two years later, Margarita Bate,
Casimiro's adopted daughter, took the passbook from her, but Casimiro ordered it returned to
her after admonishing Margarita. 1
Lolito Tufiacao corroborated his mother and said he considered Casimiro his grandfather
because Teopista said so. He would kiss his hand whenever they saw each other and
Casimiro would give him money. Casimiro used to invite him to his house and give him
jackfruits. when his grandfather learned that he was living on a rented lot, the old man allowed
him to build a house on the former's land. 2
Two other witnesses testified for Teopista, namely, Gaudencio Mendoza and Isaac Mendoza,
both relatives of Casimiro.
Gaudencio said he was a cousin of Casimiro and knew Brigida Toring because she used to
work with him in a saltbed in Opao. Casimiro himself told him she was his sweetheart. Later,

Gaudencio acted as a go-between for their liaison, which eventually resulted in Brigida
becoming pregnant in 1930 and giving birth to Teopista. Casimiro handed him P20.00 to be
given to Brigida at Teopista's baptism. Casimiro also gave him P5.00 every so often to be
delivered to Brigida. 3
Isaac testified that his uncle Casimiro was the father of Teopista because his father Hipolito,
Casimiro's brother, and his grandmother, Brigida Mendoza, so informed him. He worked on
Casimiro's boat and whenever Casimiro paid him his salary, he would also give him various
amounts from P2.00 to P10.00 to be delivered to Teopista. Isaac also declared that Casimiro
intended to give certain properties to Teopista. 4
Casimiro himself did not testify because of his advanced age, but Vicente Toring took the
stand to resist Teopista's claim.
Vicente, who professed to be Casimiro's only illegitimate child by Brigida Toring, declared that
Teopista's father was not Casimiro but a carpenter named Ondoy, who later abandoned her.
Vicente said that it was he who sold a lot to Teopista, and for a low price because she was his
half sister. It was also he who permitted Lolito to build a house on Casimiro's lot. This witness
stressed that when Casimiro was hospitalized, Teopista never once visited her alleged father.
5

The last statement was shared by the other defense witness, Julieta Ouano, Casimiro's niece,
who also affirmed that Vicente Toring used to work as a cook in Casimiro's boat. She flatly
declared she had never met Teopista but she knew her husband, who was a mechanic. 6
The rules on compulsory recognition are embodied in Article 283 of the Civil Code, which has
been held to be applicable not only to natural children but also to spurious children. 7 The said
article provides:
Art. 283. In any of the following cases, the father is obliged to recognize the child as his natural
child:
(1) In cases of rape, abduction or seduction, when the period of the offense coincides more or
less with that of the conception;
(2) When the child is in continuous possession of status of a child of the alleged father by the
direct acts of the latter or of his family;
(3) when the child was conceived during the time when the mother cohabited with the supposed
father.
(4) When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father.

This article has been substantially reproduced in the Family Code as follows:
Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:
(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or

(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument
and signed by the parent concerned.

In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:
(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or
(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.
Art. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the
same evidence as legitimate children.

In his remarkably well-written decision, Judge Leoncio P. Abarquez rejected the plaintiff' s
claim that she was in continuous possession of the status of a child of the alleged father by
the direct acts of the latter or of his family. His Honor declared:
In this particular case the established evidence is that plaintiff continuously lived with her mother,
together with her sister Paulina. Neither the plaintiff nor her husband had come to live with the
defendant. At most, only their son, Lolito Tufiacao was allowed to construct a small house in the
land of the defendant, either by the defendant himself, as claimed by the plaintiff, or by Vicente
Toring, as claimed by the witnesses of the defendant. The defendant never spent for the support
and education of the plaintiff. He did not allow the plaintiff to carry his surname. The instances
when the defendant gave money to the plaintiff were, more or less, off-and-on or rather
isolatedly periodic. They were made at considerable intervals and were not given directly to the
plaintiff but through a third person. Thus, while it may be conceded that: a) the defendant's
parents, as well as the plaintiff himself told Gaudencio Mendoza and Isaac Mendoza that
Teopista is the daughter of the defendant; b) that Teopista calls the defendant as "Papa Miroy";
c) that Teopista would kiss defendant's hand when she met him; d) that the defendant gave to
her and her husband the income of the passenger truck as well as the proceeds of the sale
thereof, all these acts, taken altogether, are not sufficient to show that the plaintiff had
possessed continuously the status of a recognized illegitimate child.

On appeal, however, the respondent courts 8 disagreed and arrived at its own conclusion as
follows:
Contrary to the conclusion of the court a quo, We find that appellant has sufficiently proven her
continuous possession of such status. Although the court a quo did not pass on the credibility of
the various witnesses presented, We consider the witnesses for the plaintiff as credible and
unbiased. No proof was shown to render them otherwise. There is no showing that Isaac and
Gaudencio testified falsely. They were disinterested parties with no axe to grind against the
appellee or the people actively acting in his behalf. In fact even the court a quo conceded to the
truthfulness of some of their testimonies.

By contrast, it continued, Vicente Toring was an interested party who was claiming to be the
sole recognized natural child of Casimiro and stood to lose much inheritance if Teopista's
claim were recognized. He had earlier filed theft charges against his own sister and libel
charges against her husband. As for Julieta Ouano, the respondent court found it difficult to
believe that she had never met Teopista although both of them have been living in the same
barangay since birth.
The decision of the Court of Appeals was promulgated on August 11, 1988. A motion for
reconsideration was filed, and it was only from the opposition thereto of the private

respondent that Casimiro's counsel learned that his client had died on May 1986. He
immediately informed the respondent court build the motion for reconsideration was denied
without any substitution of parties having been effected. The said counsel, now acting for
Vicente Toring, then asked this Court to substitute the latter for the deceased Casimiro
Mendoza in the present petition.
The applicable provisions of the Rules of Court are Sections 16 and 17 of Rule 3, reading as
follows:
Sec. 16. Duty of attorney upon death, incapacity or incompetency of party. — Whenever a party
to a pending case dies, becomes incapacitated or incompetent, it shall be the duty of his
attorney to inform the court promptly of such death, incapacity or incompetency, and to give the
name and residence of his executor, guardian or other legal representative.
Sec. 17. Death of party. — After a party dies and the claim is not thereby extinguished, the court
shall order, upon proper notice, the legal representative of the deceased to appear and to be
substituted for the deceased, within a period of thirty (30) days, or within such time as may be
granted. If the legal representative fails to appear within said time the court may order the
opposing party to procure the appointment of a legal representative of the deceased within a
time to be specified by the court, and the representative shall immediately appear for and on
behalf of the interest of the deceased. The court charges involved in procuring such
appointment, if defrayed by the opposing party, may be recovered as costs. The heirs of the
deceased may be allowed to be substituted for the deceased, without requiring the appointment
of an executor or administrator and the court may appoint guardian ad litem for the minor heirs.

In the early case of Masecampo vs. Masecampo, 9 it was settled that:
The subsequent death of the father is not a bar to the action commenced during Ms lifetime by
one who pretended to be his natural son. It may survive against the executor, administrator, or
any other legal representative of the testate or intestate succession.

Pursuant to the above rules and jurisprudence, we hereby allow the substitution of Casimiro
Mendoza pro haec vice and nunc pro tunc by Vicente Toring, who appears to be the former's
illegitimate son. This disposes of the private respondent's contention that the lawyer-client
relationship terminated with Casimiro's death and that Vicente has no personality now to
substitute him.
Now to the merits.
We note that both the trial court and the respondent court, in arriving at their respective
conclusions, focused on the question of whether or not Teopista was in continuous
possession of her claimed status of an illegitimate child of Casimiro Mendoza. This was
understandable because Teopista herself had apparently based her claim on this particular
ground as proof of filiation allowed under Article 283 of the Civil Code.
To establish "the open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child," it is
necessary to comply with certain jurisprudential requirements. "Continuous" does not mean
that the concession of status shall continue forever but only that it shall not be of an
intermittent character while it continues. 10 The possession of such status means that the
father has treated the child as his own, directly and not through others, spontaneously and

without concealment though without publicity (since the relation is illegitimate). 11 There must
be a showing of the permanent intention of the supposed father to consider the child as his
own, by continuous and clear manifestation of paternal affection and care. 12
With these guidelines in mind, we agree with the trial court that Teopista has not been in
continuous possession of the status of a recognized illegitimate child of Casimiro Mendoza,
under both Article 283 of the Civil Code and Article 172 of the Family Code.
The plaintiff lived with her mother and not with the defendant although they were both
residents of Omapad, Mandaue City. It is true, as the respondent court observed, that this
could have been because defendant had a legitimate wife. However, it is not unusual for a
father to take his illegitimate child into his house to live with him and his legitimate wife,
especially if the couple is childless, as in this case. In fact, Vicente Toring, who also claimed to
be an illegitimate child of Casimiro, lived with the latter and his wife, apparently without
objection from the latter. We also note that Teopista did not use the surname of Casimiro
although this is, of course, not decisive of one's status. No less significantly, the regularity of
defendant's act of giving money to the plaintiff through Gaudencio Mendoza and Isaac
Mendoza has not been sufficiently established. The trial court correctly concluded that such
instances were "off-and-on," not continuous and intermittent. Indeed, the plaintiff s testimony
on this point is tenuous as in one breath she said that her mother solely spent for her
education and in another that Casimiro helped in supporting her. 13
But although Teopista has failed to show that she was in open and continuous possession of
the status of an illegitimate child of Casimiro, we find that she has nevertheless established
that status by another method.
What both the trial court and the respondent court did not take into account is that an
illegitimate child is allowed to establish his claimed filiation by "any other means allowed by
the Rules of Court and special laws," according to the Civil Code, or "by evidence or proof in
his favor that the defendant is her father," according to the Family Code. Such evidence may
consist of his baptismal certificate, a judicial admission, a family Bible in which his name has
been entered, common reputation respecting his pedigree, admission by silence, the
testimonies of witnesses, and other kinds of proof admissible under Rule 130 of the Rules of
Court. 14
The trial court conceded that "the defendant's parents, as well as the plaintiff himself, told
Gaudencio Mendoza and Isaac Mendoza, that Teopista was the daughter of the defendant." It
should have probed this matter further in light of Rule 130, Section 39, of the Rules of Court,
providing as follows:
Sec. 39. — Act or declarations about pedigree. — The act or declaration of a person deceased,
or unable to testify, in respect to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or
marriage, may be received in evidence where it occurred before the controversy, and the
relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration.
The word "pedigree" includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates
when and the places where these facts occurred, and the names of the relatives. It embraces
also facts of family history intimately connected with pedigree.

The statement of the trial court regarding Teopista's parentage is not entirely accurate. To set
the record straight, we will stress that it was only Isaac Mendoza who testified on this
question of pedigree, and he did not cite Casimiro's father. His testimony was that he was
informed by his father Hipolito, who was Casimiro's brother, and Brigida Mendoza, Casimiro's
own mother, that Teopista was Casimiro's illegitimate daughter. 15
Such acts or declarations may be received in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule
because "it is the best the nature of the case admits and because greater evils are
apprehended from the rejection of such proof than from its admission. 16 Nevertheless,
precisely because of its nature as hearsay evidence, there are certain safeguards against its
abuse. Commenting on this provision, Francisco enumerates the following requisites that
have to be complied with before the act or declaration regarding pedigree may be admitted in
evidence:
1. The declarant is dead or unable to testify.
2. The pedigree must be in issue.
3. The declarant must be a relative of the person whose pedigree is in issue.
4. The declaration must be made before the controversy arose.
5. The relationship between the declarant and the person whose pedigree is in question must be
shown by evidence other than such declaration. 17

All the above requisites are present in the case at bar. The persons who made the
declarations about the pedigree of Teopista, namely, the mother of Casimiro, Brigida
Mendoza, and his brother, Hipolito, were both dead at the time of Isaac's testimony. The
declarations referred to the filiation of Teopista and the paternity of Casimiro, which were the
very issues involved in the complaint for compulsory recognition. The declarations were made
before the complaint was filed by Teopista or before the controversy arose between her and
Casimiro. Finally, the relationship between the declarants and Casimiro has been established
by evidence other than such declaration, consisting of the extrajudicial partition of the estate
of Florencio Mendoza, in which Casimiro was mentioned as one of his heirs. 18
The said declarations have not been refuted. Casimiro could have done this by deposition if
he was too old and weak to testify at the trial of the case.
If we consider the other circumstances narrated under oath by the private respondent and her
witnesses, such as the financial doles made by Casimiro to Brigida Toring, the hiring of
Teopista's husband to drive the passenger truck of Casimiro, who later sold the vehicle and
gave the proceeds of the sale to Teopista and her husband, the permission he gave Lolito
Tufiacao to build a house on his land after he found that the latter was living on a rented lot,
and, no less remarkably, the joint savings account Casimiro opened with Teopista, we can
reasonably conclude that Teopista was the illegitimate daughter of Casimiro Mendoza.
We hold that by virtue of the above-discussed declarations, and in view of the other
circumstances of this case, 'reopista Toring Tufiacao has proved that she is the illegitimate
daughter of Casimiro Mendoza and is entitled to be recognized as such. In so holding, we

give effect to the policy of the Civil Code and the Family Code to liberalize the rule on the
investigation of "the paternity of illegitimate children, without prejudice to the right of the
alleged parent to resist the claimed status with his own defenses, including evidence now
obtainable through the facilities of modern medicine and technology
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Judgment is hereby rendered DECLARING Teopista
Toring Tuñacao to be the illegitimate child of the late Casimiro Mendoza and entitled to all the
rights appurtenant to such status. Costs against the petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-25715 January 3, 1985
HEIRS OF RAYMUNDO C. BAÑAS, namely, TRINIDAD VECINO VDA. DE BAÑAS, LUIS V. BAÑAS JOSE V.
BAÑAS, CONRADO V. BAÑAS ESTER V. BAÑAS CELIA V. BAÑAS, and ANTONIO DE GUZMAN, plaintiffsappellants
vs.
HEIRS OF BIBIANO BARAS, namely, FAUSTINA VECINO VDA. DE BAÑAS ANTONIO V. BAÑAS BIBIANO
V. BAÑAS JR., ROSITA V. BAÑAS, ANGEL V. BAÑAS, MIGUEL DIVINO JACINTO DE DIOS and BAÑAS &
SONS, INC., defendants-appellees.

MAKASIAR, J.:
This is an appeal from the decision dated January 5, 1966 of the then Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch
II, in Civil Case No. 59859, which dismiss plaintiffs-appellants' complaint for partition or recovery of hereditary
share, fruits and damages.
Plaintiffs-appellants, in their complaint filed no February 12, 1965, alleged that the late Raymundo Bañas their
predecess-or-in-interest, was the acknowledged natural son of the late Bibiano Bañas defendants-appellees'
predecessor- in-interest; that therefore, they are, by descent, entitled to a share in the estate of the late Bibiano
Bañas.
Defendants-appellees, in answer to the complaint, denied that Raymundo Bañas was the natural son of the late
Bibiano Bañas nor was he ever acknowledged by the latter and his family as such; and by way of special and/or
affirmative defenses alleged that the use of the surname Bañas by Raymundo was justified on an alleged kinship
of Raymundo Bañas with Pedro Bañas brother of Bibiano Bañas.
The following antecedent facts culled from the records are not disputed, to wit:
The late Raymundo Bañas was a natural child being born out of wedlock on March 15, 1894, in Sampaloc,
Manila, of Dolores Castillo and of an unknown father (p. 103, CFI rec.). During this time, Bibiano Bañas was still
single (pp. 38-39, CFI rec.). When Raymundo was of school age, he studied at the Colegio de San Beda It was
Bibiano Bañas who shouldered Raymundo's school expenses. Raymundo pursued his studies until he became a
public school teacher (pp. 70-88, CFI rec.). At this juncture, the records are completely bereft of any evidence to
show whether or not Bibiano Bañas lived with Raymundo and his mother. At any rate, the records show that by
the year 1922, Raymundo Bañas used to go to the place of Bibiano Bañas once or twice a week, and it was in
one of his visits, sometime between 1922 and 1923, that he met Trinidad Vecino, a niece of Faustina Vecino
Bañas the wife of Bibiano Bañas (pp. 379-381, CFI rec.). Trinidad Vecino lived with the family of Bibiano Bañas
and took care of his children ever since she was a young girl, sometime in 1909 (p. 391, CFI rec.).

On October 9,1926, Raymundo married Trinidad Vecino. In their marriage certificate (Exh. "H"), the name of the
father of Raymundo was stated to be Bibiano Bañas Pedro Bañas' name appeared in the marriage certificate as
one of the sponsors (p. 66, CFI rec.).
After their marriage, Raymundo and Trinidad resided at Gastambide St., Sampaloc, Manila. Dolores Castillo,
mother of Raymundo, lived with the couple until she died no December 27, 1940 (p. 363, CFI rec.). From
Gastambide St., they transferred to Sigay St., Quiapo, Manila, where they were sometimes visited by Bibiano
Bañas and his wife Faustina (pp. 373 & 358, CFI rec.).
On December 1, 1928, Raymundo Bañas and Pedro Bañas executed sworn statements before Atty. Andres
Faustino wherein Raymundo Bañas declared that he was the natural son of Dolores Castillo and of an unknown
father as it appeared in his baptismal certificate; that in due time, he came to know that his natural father was
Pedro Bañas that he had realized that in his marriage certificate, dated October 9, 1926, an error had been
committed in that the name of his father stated therein was Bibiano Bañas brother of his said father Pedro Bañas
and that he is executing that sworn statement to put things in their proper place. This was recorded in the
notarial book of Notary Public Andres R. Faustino as Document No. 153, series of 1928 (p. 103, CFI rec.).
Pedro Bañas in his sworn statement, declared that he has a natural son named Raymundo Bañas whom he had
with Dolores Castillo, and whom he recognized as such; that he came to know that in the marriage certificate of
his aforesaid son an error had been committed in that the name of the father of Raymundo Bañas appeared
therein to be Bibiano Bañas instead of Pedro Bañas that he was executing that document to put things in the
right place, and also to ask for the correction from the Justice of the Peace of the Municipality of Pasay, Rizal, of
the aforesaid error committed in the marriage certificate of his son Raymundo Bañas and Trinidad Vecino. This
was recorded in the notarial book of Notary Public Andres R. Faustino as Document No. 154, series of 1928 (p.
113, CFI rec.).
These sworn statements of Raymundo Bañas and Pedro Bañas were filed with the Office of Justice of the Peace
Ed. Aenlle of Pasay, Rizal before whom the marriage of Raymundo Bañas and Trinidad Vecino was solemnized.
Accordingly, justice of the Peace Ed. Aenlle issued the following constancia:
En esta fecha se han presentado en esta Oficina una declaracion suscrita y jurada ante el Notario Publico de Manila, Andres R.
Faustino, el dia 1.0 del actual, por Raymundo Bañas que contrajo matrimonio con Trinidad Vecino, segun el presente certificado
de matrimonio haciendo constar que el verdadero nombre de su padre es PEDRO BARAS, y no BIBIANO Bañas como
erroneamente se puso en dicho certificado; y otra declaracion suscrita y jurada en dicha fecha y ante el mismo Notario Publico,
por Pedro Bañas haciendo constar que el es el padre de dicho contrayente Raymundo Bañas y no Bibiano Bañas como
equivocadamente se consigno en dicho certificado; uedando archivadas y unidas dichas declaracion juradas al referido
certificado para los efectos consiguientes las cuales se han transferido al Secretario Municipal de este Municipio juntamente
con esta constancia. Y para que conste extiendo la presente corstancia en Pasay, Rizal hoy a 7 de Diciembre de 1928,
E
d.
A
e
nll
e,
J
u
e
z
d
e
P
a
z
(Exh. "2", P. 104,
CFI rec.).

At the bottom of this constancia there appears a handwritten notation marked Exhibit " 2-a ", which reads as
follows:

El original de esta timbre del juzgado se llevo Trinidad Vecino.

Consequently, in the certified copy of the marriage contract of Raymundo Bañas and Trinidad Vecino, Exhibit
"H", the following remark appears:
Segun declaracion adjunta en el certificado de matrimonio de Raymundo Bañas el padre de este es Pedro Bañas y no Bibiano
Bañas (Exh. "4", p. 66, CFI rec.).

On June 30, 1930, Pedro Bañas wrote to M.R.P. Juez del Arzobispado de Manila" wherein he reiterated that he
had recognized his natural son born of Dolores Castillo and baptized on March 25, 1984 as Raymundo Castillo;
that according to the medical certificate issued by Dr. M. Mallare Dolores
Castillo suffers from mental deficiency; that he was submitting therewith copies of the declaraciones juradas
executed by him and his aforesaid son no December 1, 1928 before Notary Public Andres R. Faustino; and that
he was requesting that the necessary correction in the certificate of baptism of Raymundo Bañas as well as
those of the latter's children, Luis and Jose, be made by indicating that the father of said Raymundo, and the
paternal grandfather of said Luis and Jose, is Pedro Bañas and not Bibiano Bañas (p. 116, CFI rec.; Exh. "9").
On July 1, 1930, Bibiano Bañas executed a sworn statement stating therein that Pedro Bañas had a child,
Raymundo Bañas with Dolores Castillo. This was recorded in the notarial book of Notary Public Vicente Larna as
Document No. 1078, series of 1930 (p. 115, CFI rec.).
Sometime in January, 1931, Raymundo and his family moved to 1444 Kalimbas St., Santa Cruz, Manila. The
property in Kalimbas St. belonged to Bibiano Bañas and was transferred to Raymundo's name on August 4,
1936 by virtue of a Deed of Sale executed by Bibiano Bañas in favor of Raymundo Bañas for the sum of one
thousand pesos (P1,000.00) [Exhs. "11" & "l 1-a"; p. 120; CFI rec.].
On April 25, 1954, Bibiano Bañas died survived by his wife and children, the defendants-appellees herein (p.
105, CFI rec.).
In May, 1955, Raymundo Bañas wrote two letters (Exhs. "J" & "J-1") to Atty. Andres Faustino in which he
complained bitterly about the alleged injustices done to him by Faustina Vecino vda. de Bañas at the same time
stating that he would know what to do at the proper time. Pertinent portions of said letters read as follows:
Upang makapanloko, ginawa ni Gg. Bañas ang lahat ng kanyang abilidad o paraan [metodo o sistema] upang sa huling
panahon ako isang maliit na inapi at dinaya—ay mawalan ng lakas o katibayan na makapaghabol [sa mana] Subali't ang Diyos
po ay marunong. Tinutulungan Niya ang isang taong inaapi. Ako po ay mayroong KATIBAYAN [BUHAY] (pp. 68- 69, CFI rec.).

On June 24, 1955, more than a year after the death of Bibiano Bañas his heirs, the defendants-appellees herein,
extra-judicially settled his estate by means of a deed of extra-judicial settlement among themselves. The deed of
extra-judicial settlement was notarized by Atty. Angel Vecino, brother of Trinidad Vecino (pp. 105-111, CFI rec.).
On November 7, 1955, the spouses Raymundo Bañas and Trinidad Vecino executed a mortgage over their
house and lot in 1444 Kalimbas St., Sta. Cruz, Manila, in favor of herein defendant-appellee Angel V. Bañas for
the sum of seventeen thousand pesos (P17,000.00). The mortgage contract was also prepared by Atty. Angel
Vecino (p. 423, CFI rec.). After the spouses had paid more or less, twelve thousand pesos (Pl2,000.00), the
mortgage was cancelled by Angel V. Bañas (pp. 425,432, CFI rec.).
On February 25, 1962, Raymundo C. Bañas died survived his wife and children, the plaintiffs-appellants herein
(p. 93, CFI rec.; Exh. "N").
On February 12, 1965, almost three years after the death of Raymundo Bañas his heirs, the plaintiffs-appellants
herein, filed the instant complaint for partition or recovery of hereditary share, fruits and damages against the
heirs of the late Bibiano Bañas Sr., herein defendants-appellees.

In support of their claim, plaintiffs-appellants presented Trinidad Vecino vda. de Bañas who testified that after the
death of her husband in 1962, she discovered certain documents in his aparador which established his filiation.
Plaintiffs-appellants presented these documents as evidence of their contention that the late Raymundo Bañas
was the acknowledged natural son of the late Bibiano Bañas to wit:
(1) Exhibit "A"—a handwritten note preserved in a glass frame which reads:
Mundo hoy a las 10 y 45. Tu no estas en casa. No requieres tu obedecer lo que te dije que en estas horas estudiar, descansar y
ayudar con su madre. Que no veo mas otraves asi.
23/5/7
Su Padre
(Sgd.) B. Bañas.
(2) Exhibit "B"—a directory and homecoming souvenir program of the San Beda Alumni Association dated 1956 wherein
thisentry is found: Bañas R.—CS'06" (p. 202, CFI rec.).
(3) Exhibits "C" & "C1" two original copies of receipts of payments for matriculation, dated June 13, and November I of the year
1905 (p. 64, CFI Rec.).
(4) Exhibits "D" & "E"—the 1904 and 1905 matriculation certificates of Raymundo Bañas in San Beda College wherein it is
stated that Raymundo Bañas is "hijo de Bibiano Bañas (p. 63, CFI rec.).
(5) Exhibits "F", "F-1", "G" and "G-1"—the 1910 and 1911 report cards of Raymundo Bañas for the fifth and sixth grades of the
Sampaloc Intermediate School. Exhibit "F-1" is the space at the back of the report card for the signatures of the parent or
guardian. The signatures in this space had been erased, although not thoroughly, so that it can still be seen at close examination
that the signatures appear to be that of Bibiano Bañas Plaintiff-appellants have not offered any explanation for these erasures.
Exhibit "G-1" contains the following entries:
B. of E. Form No, 137
PUPIL'S RECORD CARD
Name Bañas Raymundo
Age 17 on March 15, 1911.
Home Address 62 Progreso
Province Manila Int. Quiapo
Parentor-Guardian BibianoBañas Occupation Reg. Practitioner (p. 65, CFI rec.).
(6) Exhibit "I"—a type-written statement of Raymundo Bañas dated Oct. 6, 1958 setting forth his alleged personal circumstances
(p. 67, CFI rec.).
(7) Exhibits "J", "J-1" and "J-2"—the carbon copies of the typewritten letters sent by Raymundo Bañas to Atty. Andres Faustino
(pp. 68-69, CFI rec.).
(8) Exhibits "K" & "L"—the autobiographies of Raymundo Bañas Exhibit "L" is typewritten and contains intercalations, alterations
and spoliations (pp. 70 & 123, CFI rec.).

Plaintiffs-appellants also presented the marriage certificate of Raymundo Bañas and Trinidad Vecino as
evidence and was marked as Exhibit "H".
Defendants-appellees, no the other hand, presented defendant-appellee Bibiano Bañas Jr., who testified that
after the death of Bibiano Bañas Sr. in 1954, the following documents were found in the latter's safe:

(1) Duplicate original copies of the "Declaracion Jurada of Raymundo Bañas and Pedro Bañas executed no December 1, 1928,
before Notary Public Andres R. Faustino (pp. 103 & 114, CFI rec.; Exhs. " I " & " 7 ").
(2) Duplicate original copy of the "Declaracion Jurada of Bibiano Bañas dated July 1, 1930, executed before Notary Public
Vicente Larna (p. 115, CFI rec.; Exh. "8").
(3) Duplicate original copy of the letter of Pedro Bañas dated June 30, 1930, to the M.R.P. Juez Provisor del Arzobispado de
Manila (pp. 116-118, CFI rec.; Exh. "9").
(4) The envelope wherein the aforesaid documents were contained when found in the safe of Bibiano
Bañas Sr., no which there appears a typewritten annotation no its face which reads:
Asunto Civil de Raymundo No. 10953 en Diciembre de 1913, en contra mia Sobresaido
2 Copias para el Sr. Arsobispo de Manila reconosiendo que Pedro Bañas es padre de Raymundo a
Dolores Castillo 30 de Junio de 1930. Aprobado.
Afidavit de D. Pedro Bañas Bibiano y Reymundo a 1 de Julio de 1930.
UN APUNTED DE Resumen de Raymundo que hasindio un total de TRESMIL SEIS CIENTOS UNO
PESOS toniados a mi estudio con mis firmas las fechas de tomas 8 de Enero de 1922" (p. 119, CFI rec.;
Exhs. "10" & "10-a").

It is not disputed that Raymundo Bañas had the status of a natural child. What is being disputed is whether or
not he was an acknowledged natural son of Bibiano Bañas.
The case was tried and no January 5, 1966, the trial court rendered a decision dismissing plaintiffs-appellants'
complaint mainly no the following grounds:
(1) that the evidence presented by the plaintiffs-appellants were not sufficient to prove their claim that Raymundo Bañas was the
acknowledged natural child of the late Bibiano Bañas
(2) that "considering the lack of express recognition, the sworn declaration of Pedro Bañas Exhibit 7, that Raymundo Bañas was
his son, together with the express acknowledgment made by Raymundo Bañas in the sworn statement, Exhibit 1, that his father
was Pedro Baiffas and not Bibiano Bañas entirely negates the Idea that Raymundo was the son of Bibiano Bañas;
(3) that since the note (Exh. "a") addressed to Mundo with the complimentary ending "Su Padre, B. Bañas invoked by the
plaintiffs-appellants as their principal evidence was executed in 1907, under the regime of the Spanish Civil Code, therefore the
question of whether or not Exhibit "A" is a valid form of voluntary recognition should be decided according to the old Civil Code;
and in accordance with Art. 131 thereof such document does not constitute a valid voluntary recognition;
(4) that "Raymundo Bañas was the son of Pedro Bañas Bibiano Bañas brother but since the evidence shows that Pedro Bañas
was unable to support himself and his wife, it could very well be that Bibiano Bañas had sort of adopted or considered
Raymundo, the son of his brother, to be his own son and had taken paternal solicitude for him",
(5) that "(T)he failure of Raymundo Bañas to take any legal action to enforce his alleged rights, or to make any written demand
upon the defendants herein, are all confirmatory of the sworn statement, Exhibit 1, in which he declared that his father was
Pedro Bañas",
(6) that "his failure to enforce his rights for a period of over eight years is indicative of the lack of merit of plaintiffs' claim" (pp4554, CFI rec.).

Plaintiffs-appellants now come before this Court with the following assignment of errors:
I. The trial court erred in not holding that the fifty-nine (59) year old note of Doctor Bibiano Bañas to his natural child, Raymundo
C. Bañas (Exh. "A", page 25, Record no Appeal), being an authentic writing, is a sufficient form of voluntary recognition under
articles 278 and 2260 of the New Civil Code, which entitle the plaintiffs, as heirs of Raymundo C. Bañas to claim successional
rights in the estate of Doctor Bañas who died in 1954.
II. The trial court erred in not finding that Raymundo C. Bañas was the voluntarily acknowledged natural child of Doctor Bibiano
Bañas as proven not only by Exhibit "A", but also by the records of San Beda College (Exh. B to E) and by the records of the
Sampaloc Intermediate School (Exh. F and G) and the marriage certificate (Exh. H).

III. The trial court erred (a) in giving probative value to the affidavits, Exhibits 1 and 7 both dated December 1, 1928, executed by
Raymundo C. Bañas and Pedro Bañas and stating that Raymundo was the natural son of Pedro Bañas (b) in not holding that
said affidavits were nullified by the subsequent documents, namely, the 1930 "Genealo"gy in the handwriting of Raymundo C.
Bañas (Exh. K), and his typewritten autobiography (Exh. L), wherein Raymundo clarified that his father was Bibiano Bañas and
(c) in not holding that said affidavits could not revoke nor affect the status of Raymundo as a voluntarily acknowledged natural
child of Bibiano Bañas by virtue of Exhibit "A".
IV. That trial court erred in not holding that the entry in 1926 marriage certificate of Raymundo C. Bañas and Trinidad Vecino
(EXIL H), that Bibiano Bañas was the father of Raymundo, cannot be corrected nor nullified by the 1928 affidavits, Exhibits 1
and 7, which state that Pedro Bañas was Raymundo's father, nor can such entry be the subject matter of the constancia of
Justice of the Peace Ed. Aenlle of Pasay (Exh. 2), a document which was erroneously admitted as evidence by the trial court.
V. The trial court erred in not holding that the affidavits, Exhibits 1 and 7, stating that Raymundo C. Bañas was the natural son of
Pedro Bañas were part and parcel of an illegal and fraudulent compromise no the civil status of Raymundo C. Bañas whose
principal objective was to induce him to make a void renunciation of his hereditary rights in the estate of Ms natural father,
Bibiano Bañas.
VI. The trial court erred in assuming that Raymundo C. Bañas consulted his insane mother with respect to the execution of
Exhibits 1 and 7.
VII. The trial court erred in surmising that Bibiano Bañas had sort of adopted or considered Raymundo, the son of his brother, to
be his own and had taken paternal solicitude in him.
VIII. The trial court erred in holding that the failure of Raymundo C. Bañas to enforce his claim within the eight-year period from
1954, when Bibiano Bañas died, to 1962, when Raymundo died, shows that his claim had no merit.
IX. The trial court erred in dismissing the complaint and in not ordering the defendants, as successors-in-interest of Doctor
Bañas to deliver to the plaintiffs the hereditary share in the properties in litigation of Raymundo C. Bañas as a voluntarily
acknowledged natural child of Doctor Bañas plus his share of the fruits thereof and damages" (pp. a-d, Brief for the PlaintiffsAppellants, p. 19; rec.).

I
The decisive issue to be resolved herein is whether or not Bibiano Bañas had voluntarily acknowledged
Raymundo Bañas as his natural son.
WE hold that there was no voluntary recognition in the instant case.
Plaintiffs-appellants rest their claim no Article 278 of the New Civil Code which provides:
(7) Art. 278—Recognition shall be made in the record of birth, a wilt a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic
writing.

WE have ruled that Article 278 should be given retroactive effect (Moscoso vs. CA, et all L-46439, April 24,
1984).
Plaintiffs-appellants admit that the main basis of their action is Exhibit "A" (Brief for the Plaintiffs-Appellants, p. 2;
p. 19, rec.). Exhibit "A" is again quoted hereunder:
Mundo hoy a las 10 y 45. Tu no estas en casa no requieres tu obedecer loque te dije, que en estas horas estudiar, descansar y
ayudar con su madre. Que no veo mas otraves asi.
23/5/7
Su padre
23/5/7 B. Bañas
(p. 170, CFI rec.).

Trinidad Vecino vda. de Bañas widow of the late Raymundo Bañas and plaintiff-appellant herein, testified that
this note is in the handwriting of Bibiano Bañas In its regard, the observation of the trial court should be noted,
and WE quote:
She said that she is familiar with the handwriting of Bibiano Bañas since she had often seen him write. This testimony, however,
must be considered as very much strained for Exhibit "A" is dated "23/5/7"or 23 May 1907. While according to Trinidad Vecino,
she saw Bibiano Bañas write only as early as 1917. Considering the long lapse of time, which was around 10 years, any
testimony that the writing is the handwriting of a person no the ground that the witness is familiar with the handwriting must be
considered unreliable (p. 49, CFI rec.).

Nevertheless, Exhibit "A" was admitted by the trial court no the ground that it is an ancient document, the
authenticity of which need not be proven.
Assuming that plaintiffs-appellants' Exhibit "A" is authentic document as contemplated by Article 278 of the New
Civil Code, We find that the same does not constitute a sufficient proof of a valid voluntary recognition.
Voluntary recognition of a natural child to be effective under the law (Art. 278), must be made expressly by the recognizing
parent, either in the record of birth, in a will in a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing" (Vol. 1-A Padilla,
Civil Law, 1975 ed., p. 83).

The formalities of voluntary recognition under Article 278 of the New Civil Code is that recognition shall be
express and made either in the record of birth, in a will, in a statement in a court of record, or in any authentic
writing (Justice J.B.L. Reyes, Civil Law, Vol. 1, p. 262).
In the case of Intestate Estate of Pareja vs. Pareja (95 Phil. 171, 172), Justice Labrador quoted Sanchez Roman
who said that recognition of natural children must be precise, express, and solemn, thus:
54. En cuanto a los elementos formales del reconocimiento de hijos naturales, o sean las formas legales de llevarlo a cabo, las
establecidas por el Codigo son de caracter taxativo, expreso y solemne.
Lo primero, porque, segun el art. 131 y sus complementarios, 132, 133, solo puede las tener lugar dicho reconocimiento en el
acta de nacimiento, en testamento o en otro documento publico, y en este ultimo caso, cuando el reconocimiento, sea de un
menor, con la aprobacion judicial y audiencia del Ministerio fiscal, asi como cuando es de un mayor, siempre con su
consentimiemto, segun ya se ha dicho (1).
Lo segundo, porque de este mismo criterio legal taxativo y de los medios unicos que establece el articulo 131, se deduce una
vez mas, que el Codigo, apartandose del sentido declarado por la jurisprudencia del Derecho anterior, no acepta la doctrina del
reconocimiento tacito, ni siquira la de la libertad para acreditario por cualquiera de los medios de prueba establecidos en
Derecho, cuando del reconocimiento voluntario propiamente tal se trate, siendo, a lo sumo, aquellos medios, elementos para
fundar la demanda del llmado reconocimiento forzoso, a que se refieren los articulos 135 y 136 (2), siempre que concurran las
circunstancias especificas, en cuanto a la prueba de la filiacion natural, que los mismos enumeran.
Lo tercerro, porque todas las formas de llevar a cabo el reconocimiento, taxativamente expresadas en el articulo 131 y
complementadas para algun caso en el segundo parrafo del 133, son de caracter solemne, segun lo revelan sus distintas
especies, y hasta la mas generica que expresa de documento publico, curo valor legal se establece por el articulo 1.216 (3) del
Codigo; y para este efecto, como tal, debe considerarse el acta de conciliacion, calificada de documento publico y solemne por
la ley de Enjuiciamiento civil (4). Tampoco cabe nagar tal caracter a la forma especial del testamento olografo, no obstante la
condicion privada de su otorgamiento, puesto que la cualidad de documento publico la adquiere desde el momento en que es
protocolado (5) [Tomo 5, Vol. 2, Sanchez Roman, p. 1043] (Emphasis supplied).

The same concept still holds under the new law since Article 278 of the New Civil Code was taken from Article
131 of the Old Civil Code, except that the present Code adds "statement before a court of record" as a new
means of recognition and changes "public document" in the old Code to "authentic writing. "
Consequently, the trial court was correct when it said:
The question to determine is whether Exbibit "A" is a document sufficient to constitute a recognition of Raymundo Bañas by
Bibiano Bañas The note is addressed to Mundo and ends with the complimentary with the endingSu padre, B. BañasAre the
words Su padre, B. Bañasa sufficient recognition of Raymundo by Bibiano? This question must be decided no the strength of
Exhibit "A" alone and not by the other evidence submitted by the plaintiff. If the Court had allowed the submission of evidence to
show that Raymundo Bañas was the son of Bibiano Bañas it was only for the purpose of showing that Mundo, the person
addressed to in Exhibit "A", was Raymundo Bañas. The words Su Padre considering the evidence for the defendants are in the
opinion of the Court not sufficient to constitute an intent to recognize.

xxx xxx xxx
There is nothing in Exhibit "A", outside of the complimentary ending, that Raymundo Bañas is the son of Bibiano Bañas (p. 50,
CFI rec.; emphasis supplied).

The complimentary ending, Su padre," taking into consideration the context of the entire letter (EXIL "A"), is not
an indubitable acknowledgment of paternity. It is a mere indication of paternal solicitude.
The Filipinos are known for having very close family ties. Extended families are a common set-up among them,
sometimes to the extent that strangers are also considered as part of the family. In addition, Filipinos are
generally fond of children, so that children of relatives or even of strangers are supported if their parents are not
capable to do so. This is a manifestation of the fact that Filipinos are stin living in a patriarchal society (see
opinion of then C.A. Justice Castro quoted by Chief Justice Bengzon in Gustilo vs. Gustilo, 14 SCRA 154).
Thus, in the case of Gustilo vs. Gustilo, supra, penned by Chief Justice Bengzon, analogous to the case at bar,
wherein the evidence submitted as proof of voluntary recognition does not only include a letter written by the
alleged father to the natural child which also ends with the complimentary ending" ... tu padre," but other
stronger evidence tending to show voluntary recognition, this Court held that such evidence does not prove
express recognition. Pertinent portions of the decision reads as follows:
The pertinent facts of the case were accurately described in the decision of Mr. Justice Castro of the Court of Appeals:
At the trial she (Rosa) was allowed, over the objection of the defendants to introduce evidence tending to show that she was
begotten in 1898, out of wedlock by Calixto Gustilo and Teodora Soqueño (both deceased) who, at the time of her conception,
could marry each other without legal impediment; that from her birth until the age of 7, she was under the custody of her mother
who was supported by Calixto Gustilo; that in 1902, Calixto Gustilo married Martina Poblador; and that at the age of seven she
was taken into the custody of the said spouses with whom she lived for almost fifteen years. The evidence for the plaintiff further
shows that in the year 1902, she studied at the Zarraga public school while she was staying with the mother of Martina at the
poblacion of Zarraga; that she later enrolled at the Colegio de San Jose and at the Colegio de Santa Ana together with her sister
Josefa, and all her expenses were borne by Calixto; that all along she was considered as a member of the family and addressed
by her father as "Inday" and at nines "Rosa," and was introduced in pubic gatherings by Calixto as his daughter; and that she
received the same treatment from her brothers and sisters and her foster mother Martina Poblador.
xxx xxx xxx
The items of documentary evidence introduced by the plaintiff are the following
(1) Exh. A—a marriage certificate which states that no the 8th day of October, 1922, Juan Sumagaysay, 26 years of age, the son
of Rufino Sumagaysay and Gregoria Sebusa resident of Leganes Iloilo, was married to Rosa Gustilo, 23 years of age, the
daughter of Calixto Gustilo and Teodora Soqueño.
(2) Exh. B—a letter of Calixto Gustilo addressed to Rosa, and dated February 12, 1917, pertinent part of which reads: 'Señorita
Rosa Gustilo y su hermana Josefa, Queridas hija: ... Conservamas buenas que es siempre el desee de tu padre (Fdo.)
CALIXTO GUSTILO.
(3) Exh. C—a letter of Augusta Gustilo to Rosa Gustilo dated September 5, 1918 which in part says: "Senorita Rosa Gustilo,
Colegio Santa Ana, Molo, Iloilo Islas Filipinos, Mis muy queridas Hermanas: ...Vuestro hermano que es requiere (Fdo.)
AUGUSTO GUSTILO.
(4) Exh. D—a letter of August Gustilo to Rosa dated February 1, 1920, which in part says: 'Senorita Rosa Gustilo, Zarraga, Iloilo,
Islas Filipinos, Mis querida hermana: ... Tu hermano que te requiere. (Fdo.) AUGUSTO GUSTILO.
(5) Exh. E—a motion filed by Augusta Gustilo with the Court in behalf of Rosa dated December 10, 1945, which in part reads:
'Rosa Gustilo, my sister, is the registered owner of Lot 9500 of the Cadastral Survey of Santa Barbara, now Zarraga. ... (fdo.)
AUGUSTO GUSTILO.
(6) Exh. F—a deed of donation executed by Calixto Gustilo himself in favor of Rosa in a public document, duly accepted by the
latter in the same document, which states in substance that in consideration of the donation the donee will renounce her
participation in his estate after his death.
Under the facts set out in the first paragraph above quoted, Rosa Gustilo could conceivably have filed an action for compulsory
recognition under Art. 283 of the New Civil Code alleging continuous possession of the status of a natural child of Calixto Gustilo
by direct acts of the latter or of his family; but as she did not file such action before his death, she is now precluded from bringing

it, inasmuch as she was already mature (64) when Calixto died; and as she did not claim (nor prove) to have discovered after his
death some document actually recognizing her.
Therefore, this action may not be entertained as an action to compel recognition It must be regarded as an action by a
recognized natural child to enforce her rights as such. As the Court of Ap has stated, the only provision of law upon which Rosa
may now rest her claim is Art. 278 of the New Civil Code, which reads as follows:
Art. ...
Admittedly, plaintiff has not been recognized in a record of birth, nor in a will but she rests her claim to filiation no the strength of
either a statement before a court of record or statements in an authentic writing. It must be obvious that such statement, to be
effective, must be one made by Calixto himself; and that the writing must be the writing of Calixto.
Let us now examine the documents presented.
Exh. A—the certificate of marriage of Rosa Gustilo with Juan Sumagaysay, stating she was the daughter of Calixto Gustilo and
Teodora Soqueño.
As it does not appear that this has been signed by Calixto—it is enough.
On the same ground, the other papers, Exhs. C, D and E all signed by Augusto Gustilo must be discarded.
Exh. B—is a letter signed by Calixto addressed to "Rosa Gustilo y su hermana Josefa." It says: "Queridas hijas: ...
Conservanmas buenas que es siempre el desee de tu padre."
The Court of Appeals deemed this letter to be insufficient for it contends no unequivocal avowal that Rosa was Calixto's child.
Indeed, it was addressed also to Josefa who was admittedly his own child. It should specially be noted that the letter spoke of tu
padre' referring to his wife Martina who was the mother of Josefa not of Rosa. At any rate there is much sense in Justice
Castro's observation that 'it is not uncommon in many Filipino homes that a child who is a perfect stranger to the family but who
was taken under similar circumstances, is regarded as a member of the family and called "hija" or "hijo " by the head thereof.'
This view follows and coincides with the line of thought expressed by Manresa in that portion of his commentaries, quoted with
approval in Joaquin v. Joaquin, 60 PhiL 399 wherein adverting to written acknowledgments of paternity of a natural child, he
explained:
En cuanto al otro requisito de ser expreso el reconocimiento ... el excrito, aunque contenga otros particulares, como sucede en
los testamentos, ha de tener por objeto el reconocimiento deliverado y expreso del hijo natural. No ulna, pues, ese objeto la
manifestation que incidentalmente haga el padre de ser hijo natural suyo la persona a quien se refiera, y mucho mas el dar a
una persona el titulo y tratemiento de hijo en certas familiares (Manresa, Commentarios al Codigo Civil, Tomo 1, pag. 580, 3a
ed.)
Needless to add, Manresa's above opinion was written as a comment to Art. 131 of the Spanish Civil Code which is exactly the
same as Art. 278 of the New Civil Code, except that 'in some other public document' has been substituted with 'in any authentic
writing.
This letter—to recall our previous indications—could probably be material evidence in a suit to compel recognition. However, it is
not by itself a voluntary act of recognition, such as is contemplated in Art. 278, which act must be precise and express (Pareja v.
Pareja, L-6823, May 31, 1954). For as Gitt v. Gitt exemplifies, there may be direct acts of the father which though not constituting
voluntary acknowledgment of a natural child, may be used to "compel" recognition as such (emphasis supplied).
A FORTIORI plaintiffs-appellants' argument that Exhibit As complimentary clause "su padre," is a categorical admission by
Bibiano Bañas that he was the father of "Mundo" or Raymundo Bañas must necessarily fail.

II
Plaintiffs-appellants argued that under the rule of incidental acknowledgment, Exhibit "A" is a sufficient form of
recognition (p. 19, rec., Brief for the Plaintiffs-appellants, p. 40). To support their contention, plaintiffs-appellants
cited the case of Donado vs. Menendez Donado (55 Phil. 861, 872), and quoted therefrom the following:
xxx xxx xxx
The terms in which the acknowledgment is made are immaterial and Goyena's opinion is admissible that, with reference to
article 124 of the bill of 1851, the law inclines favorably to an acknowledgment made incidentally or in any terms, so long as the
intention to acknowledge sufficiently appears. "It is enough," he adds, "that the testator mention the legatee as his natural child,"
who may thenceforth demand his rights as a natural child, even if the will is revoked.

According to the cases cited above and Manresa's opinion, acknowledgment made in a public or private document need not be
direct, but may even incidentally admit that the person whose name appears in the document in question is the subscriber's child
(p. 19, rec., p. 41, Brief for the Plaintiffs-appellants, emphasis supplied).

Plaintiffs-appellants went no further to cite the cases of Javelona vs. Monteclaro (74 Phil. 393), Apacible vs.
Castillo (74 PhiL 589), and Cosio vs. Pili (10 PhiL 72). They alleged that based no the above-mentioned
quotation and cited cases, the rule of incidental acknowledgment applies to Exhibit "A" which, therefore,
constitutes a sufficient and valid voluntary recognition of Raymundo Bañas by Bibiano Bañas.
WE do not agree. Plaintiffs-appellants have erroneously applied the rule of incidental acknowledgment. They
have completely failed to note that all of the authorities they cited endorse incidental acknowledgment, in cases
of voluntary recognition, if the alleged voluntary recognition were made in a public document. The reason for this
is quite simple. Nowhere in these cited cases can be found any statement that incidental voluntary
acknowledgment may be made in a private writing, simply because all of these cited cases were decided long
before the adoption of the New Civil Code. Under the regime of the Old Civil Code, a voluntary recognition can
only be made in a record of birth, will or other public document (Art. 131). A private writing or document, under
the Old Civil Code, may be considered as an "indubitable writing" which is a ground for compulsory recognition
according to Art. 135 thereof.
Justice Villa-Real in the case of Donado vs. Menendez Donado (55 Phil. 861), cited by the plaintiffs-appellants,
was referring to both Articles 131 and 135 of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889, or the Old Civil Code, when he said
that, an "acknowledgment made in a public or private document need not be direct, but may even incidentally
admit that the person whose name appears in the document in question is the subscriber's child." This statement
of Justice Villa-Real was clarified by Justice Bocobo in the case of Javelona, et all vs. Monteclaro, et al. (74 Phil.
393, 398; 400)-also cited by the plaintiffs-appellants when he clearly laid down the ratio legis of the doctrine of
incidental acknowledgment under Article 131 of the Old Civil Code, thus:
Upon the second point, whether a voluntary acknowledgment may be done incidentally in a public document, a distinction must
be made between the two kinds of acknowledgment: (1) voluntary, and (2) compulsory. In the former, recognition may be
incidental but in the latter, it must be direct and express.
xxx xxx xxx
We adopted the same rule as to article 131 in the case of Donado vs. Menendez Donado, 55 PhiL 861, 872, when we held that
an acknowledgment in a document need not be direct, but may even incidentally admit that the person whose name appears in
the document is the subscriber's child.
The reasons for the above distinction between express recognition in article 135 and incidental acknowledgment according to
article 131 are not far to seek. In the first place, a voluntary recognition is made in a public document (Art. 131) whereas the
indubitable writing under article 135 is a private document (Manresa, vol 1, p. 579). The father would ordinarily be more careful
about what he says in a public document than in a private writing, so that even an incidental mention of the child as his in a
public document deserves full faith and credit ...
In the second place, in an action no Article 131 (voluntary recognition) the natural child merely asks for a share in the inheritance
in virtue of his having been acknowledged as such, and is not trying to compel the father or his heirs to make the
acknowledgment whereas the action based no Article 135 is to compel the father or his heirs to recognize the child. In the former
case, acknowledgment has been formally and legally accomplished because the public character of the document makes
judicial pronouncement unnecessary, while in the latter case, recognition is yet to be ordered by the courts because a private
writing, lacking the stronger guaranty and higher authenticity of a public document, is not self-executory... (lbid, pp. 398, 400,
emphasis supplied).

It is therefore clear that the rule of incidental acknowledgment does not apply to plaintiffs-appellants' Exhibit "A"
since it is not a public document where a father would ordinarily be more careful about what he says. In fact,
Exhibit "A" is merely a short note whereby a 13-year old boy is being admonished for staying out late and not
staying at home studying his school lessons or helping his mother.
Moreover, in Manresa's opinion invoked by the plaintiffs-appellants, it is emphasized therein that while the
terminology in which the acknowledgment is made is immaterial, the sine qua non is that the act of recognition
must be "con tal que de ellos aparezra suficientemente la intencion de hacerlo". In other words, the intent to
recognize must be sufficiently apparent in the document. And, as WE have earlier indicated, the complimentary
ending Su padre," taking into consideration the context of the entire letter (Exh. "A"), is not an indubitable

acknowledgment of paternity, but merely an indication of the paternal concern of one for the well-being of the
natural son of his brother who could not support or rear the boy. The intent to recognize, therefore, is not
apparent in Exhibit "A".
III
Plaintiffs-appellants also presented the school records (Exhs. "B" to "F") of Raymundo Bañas and a certified
copy of his marriage certificate (Exh. "H"), to further support their claim. However, these school records could not
be said to be confirmative of any intention no the part of Bibiano Bañas to recognize Raymundo as his natural
son since school records are prepared, not by Bibiano, but by the school authorities concerned. The same can
also be said of the marriage certificate of Raymundo Bañas and Trinidad Vecino which was prepared by the
church authorities concerned. In addition to this, the records in the case at bar are completely bereft of any
evidence to show that Bibiano Bañas furnished the statements therein or that he had any participation in
securing the enrollment and the marriage certificate of Raymundo nor made representations in connection
therewith.
This Court held that the authentic writing upon which the claim to filiation rests must, to be effective, be one
made by the putative father himself and that the writing must be the writing of the said alleged father (Gustilo vs.
Gustilo, 14 SCRA 149; Malonda vs. Malonda, 81 PhiL 149; Adriano vs. de Jesus, 23 Phil. 350).
Likewise, in the case of Cid vs. Brunaman (24 SCRA 439), this Court held that a birth certificate does "not
constitute a sufficient act of acknowledgment, since the latter must be executed by the child's father or mother,
and the parish priest can not acknowledge in their stead (Canales vs. Arrogante, 91 Phil. 6)."
In the case of Exhibit "F", although Bibiano Bañas signatures appeared at the back of the report card of
Raymundo Bañas no the space provided for the signatures of the parent or guardian, still it does not constitute a
sufficient act of recognition for it could very well be that Bibiano Bañas affixed his signatures no the report card of
Raymundo as a guardian and not as parent of the latter. As pointed out by the trial court: The evidence shows
that Pedro Bañas even during his marriage, had always lived with the spouses Bibiano Bañas and Faustina
Vecino. It would appear, therefore, that Pedro Bañas was unable to support himself and his wife, and it could
very well be that Bibiano Bañas had sort of adopted de facto—not—legally or considered Raymundo, the son of
his brother, to be his own "ampon" in Tagalog or Filipino, and had taken paternal solicitude for him (p. 50, CFI
rec.). Furthermore, since the signatures of Bibiano Bañas appearing in Raymundo's report MM may be
construed as the signature of a mere guardian, the recognition, if there is any, cannot be said to be precise and
express as required by Article 278. WE must not also fail to mention the fact that Exhibit "F" contains erasures
for which plaintiffs-appellants have not offered any explanation. The signatures of Bibiano Bañas appearing
therein can hardly be read except no close examination.
IV
Plaintiffs-appellants' claim of voluntary recognition no the part of Bibiano Bañas runs counter to the established
facts of the case. The sworn statement—a public document—(Exh "8", p. 115, CFI rec.), executed by Bibiano
Bañas no July 1, 1930, before Notary Public Vicente Larna wherein Bibiano declared that Raymundo was the
son of his brother, Pedro Bañas clearly shows that he had no intention whatsoever to recognize Raymundo as
his natural son, nor had he ever treated Raymundo as such.
Consequently, even if the evidence presented by the plaintiffs- appellants constitute a sufficient proof of a
voluntary recognition, still their complaint will not prosper since it is evident that if there was acknowledgment no
the part of Bibiano, he had rectified or repudiated the same by his sworn statement (Exh. "8").
Accordingly, "(T)he recognition of a child as a natural child by any means required by law may be subsequently
corrected by the person who made the acknowledgment. There is no provision in any of the laws now in force
which prohibits the father or the mother who recognized a person as their natural or their legitimate child, to
make, by any of the means prescribed or recognized by law, such a rectification that is, to deny to said person
the previously acknowledged status of the child. Neither is it necessary in order that a rectification of this nature

be made, that there be a legal provision to authorize it, for the reason that the law cannot foresee the cases
where, by reason of the ineluctable dictates of conscience of the necessity of safeguarding some right, such a
rectification may be necessary and just. Nevertheless, such rectification must not be arbitrary and its purpose
must be to show that the acknowledged child does not have the conditions that the law requires in order that he
may be so acknowledged, or that he has not the absolute condition of being the child of the person who
acknowledged him, or that such person could not have begotten him, or that the child is the child of a third
person (Francisco, Civil Law, Bk. I, pp. 734, 735, citing the case of Remigio v. Ortiga 33 Phil. 614, emphasis
supplied).
Corollary to this, Raymundo and Pedro Bañas had acknowledged the paternal relationship between them when
they executed sworn statements (Exhs. 1 and 7, pp. 103, 113, CFI rec.) no December 1, 1928, before Atty.
Andres Faustino, whereby Raymundo declared that he was the natural son of Dolores Castillo and of an
unknown father as it appeared in his baptismal certificate; that Id due time, he came to know that his natural
father was Pedro Bañas. Pedro Bañas in his sworn statement, declared that he has a natural son named
Raymundo Bañas whom he begot with Dolores Castillo, and whom he recognized as such.
The reason given by the affiants Raymundo and Pedro Bañas why they were executing their sworn statements,
is to put no record the true state of things; because they had realized that in the marriage certificate of
Raymundo and Trinidad Vecino, dated October 9,1926, an error had been committed in that the name of
Raymundo's father stated therein was Bibiano Bañas brother of his father, Pedro Bañas And that, therefore, they
are asking for the correction of the aforesaid error in the marriage certificate from the Justice of the Peace Ed
Aenlle of Pasay, Rizal before whom the marriage of Raymundo and Trinidad was solemnized. To OUR mind, this
is a valid and sufficient reason for Raymundo and Pedro Bañas to execute their sworn statements.
Plaintiff-appellant Trinidad Vecino Vda. de Bañas claims that the sworn statement of Raymundo was allegedly
executed by the latter in consideration of Bibiano Bañas promise to give them an additional lot. But, as the trial
court correctly observed, "(T)rue, Trinidad Vecino vaguely declared that the sworn statement was executed by
Raymundo Bañas because of the promise to give them another lot in addition to the Kalimbas lot. But this
testimony must fail in the face of her insistent testimony that she came to know of the sworn statement, Exhibit 1,
only after the death of Raymundo Bañas in 1962" (p. 49, CFI rec.). In other words, how can Trinidad Vecino Vda.
de Bañas be believed in her testimony that Exhibit I was executed in consideration of said promise, since Exhibit
1 was executed without her knowledge way back in 1928.
Moreover, the sworn statement of Raymundo Bañas was executed no December 1, 1928, or almost two years
before Raymundo and his family moved to the Kalimbas lot, and more than six years before the said property
was transferred to Raymundo's name. Under these premises, how can plaintiff-appellant Trinidad Vecino Vda. de
Bañas now validly claim that Raymundo executed that sworn statement in consideration of Bibiano Bañas
'promise of an additional lot when in fact Raymundo had not received any lot from Bibiano Bañas when he
executed such sworn statement. On the other hand, as it appears in the records, the Kalimbas property was sold
and not given or donated by Bibiano Bañas to Raymundo Bañas Obviously, plaintiffs-appellants' arguments no
this point are completely unfounded.
It is evident from the records that Raymundo Bañas had recognized the truth of his declaration in Exhibit "1". As
correctly pointed out by the counsel for the defendants- appellees, "Raymundo had all the opportunity to nullify
or to formally declare as untrue his aforesaid sworn statement. The fact that he never did, is cogent proof of his
own acknowledgment of the truth of the contents of the same" (p. 22, rec., Brief for the defendants-appellees, p.
50).
Raymundo's recognition of the truth of his statement in Exhibit " 1 " is reflected in the alleged copies of his letter
(Exhs. till and "J-2"), to Atty. Andres Faustino. Nowhere in the said letters bristling with unconcealed bitterness,
did he say that he had a claim against the estate of Bibiano Bañas as the latter's acknowledged natural son. Not
only did Raymundo fail to categorically state that he is Bibiano's acknowledged natural son, he also did not make
any reference to Exhibit "1" which he executed before Atty. Andres Faustino.
Thus:

... Where a party has the means in his power of rebutting and explaining the evidence adduced against him, f it does not tend to
the truth, the omission to do so furnishes a strong inference against him (Broom's Legal Maxims, 10th Ed. by R. H. Kersley p.
638).

V
The records show that Raymundo Bañas obviously bitter and discontended because he was not given a share in
the estate of Bibiano Bañas failed to file a formal claim or demand during the eight-year period between the
death of Bibiano Bañas in 1954 and his own in 1962.
Human nature normally dictates that Raymundo should establish his filiation to Bibiano, especially if such action
can benefit him and his family. The urgency of such action is heightened in the case of Raymundo since it can
be deduced that they were having financial difficulties from the mortgage executed by the spouses Raymundo
and Trinidad over their own house and lot in favor of Angel V. Bañas a legitimate son of Bibiano Bañas and
defendant-appellee herein, no November 7, 1955, a few months after the settlement of Bibiano's estate. As
correctly observed by the trial court, "his (Raymundo's) failure to enforce Ws rights for a period of over eight
years is indicative of the lack of merit of plaintiffs' claim (p. 52, CFI rec.).
VI
Finally, that Raymundo Bañas was not an acknowledged natural son of Bibiano Bañas is further shown by the
fact that plaintiffs-appellants' allegation that the documents tending to prove Raymundo's filiation were only
discovered after the latter's death defies belief.
Included in those documents allegedly discovered were the letters of Raymundo to Atty. Andres Faustino
wherein he complained bitterly about the alleged injustices done to him by Faustina Vecino vda. de Bañas He
even adverted in the said letters that he had in his possession proofs of his claim and that he would know what
to do when the proper time comes. These letters, to Our mind, could not have been written without the
knowledge of Trinidad since it is only natural for Raymundo, as a husband, to share his sentiments with Trinidad,
his wife. Raymundo was naturally expected to share with his wife Trinidad his bitterness, more especially since
Trinidad is definitely not a stranger to the family of Bibiano Bañas It must be noted that Trinidad once stayed with
and served the family of Bibiano Bañas aside from being the niece of Faustina, Bibiano's wife. Thus, it is highly
improbable that Raymundo will hide from his wife whatever proofs he has in his possession to support his claim
to a share in the estate of Bibiano Bañas
Furthermore, anything of sentimental value, such as old school records, autobiographies, letters, etc., is normally
shared between husband and wife. Hence, it is likewise not normal for Trinidad not to have seen before
Raymundo's death mementos which tend to establish his filiation to Bibiano.
The conflicting testimonies of Trinidad Vecino vda. de Bañas no this point lend credence to Our view that the
documents presented as evidence by the plaintiffs-appellants to support their claim, were already known to the
plaintiffs-appellants long before Raymundo's death.
When asked, no cross-examination, whether she and her husband, Raymundo, discussed matters pertaining to
Raymundo's claim in the estate of Bibiano Bañas after the latter's death in 1954, she answered in the negative
(p. 426, CFI rec.). However, upon re-cross-examination, she answered in the following manner:
ATTY. REGALADO
Q. Testifying no Exhibit "J", do you happen to know, Mrs. Bañas whether the original of this letter allegedly
prepared by Raymundo Bañas address to Atty. Andres Faustino was ever sent to Atty. Faustino?
A. I do not know, sir.
Q. And after you read this paragraph here which had been marked Exhibit 'J-l,' you state that what you
understood therefrom was the fact that he was not given the additional lot allegedly promised by Dr.
Bibiano Bañas How did you come to that conclusion? Was it because during the period of his lifetime or

after the death of Bibiano Bañas you discussed with your husband the matter of your claim against his
estate?
A. Yes sir.
Q. In other words, after the death of Dr. Bibiano Bañas and before the death of Raymundo Bañas you were
already discussing the death of your claim against the estate and that he had a feeling that he was going
to be defrauded. Is that not correct?
A. We were waiting for their willingness or voluntariness in giving whatever share we would be given.
Q. But my question, Mrs. Bañas was during that period—8-year period, after the death of your husband
from the years from 1954 to 1962, you were actually discussing with your husband the matter of making a
claim against the estate of Dr. Bañas and you were fearing that you might be defrauded from your due
participation Is that not true?
A. Yes, sir. One time I visited my aunt, Mrs. Faustina Bañas and I asked her how she was and I reminded
her about the promise to give us one more lot and she said, 'I am not greedy; I win take care of you.
Q. And no that occasion did you tell her that you were asking for the share of Raymundo specifically as the
son of Dr. Bañas or as a matter of gratification by reason of the services that you tendered to the children
of Dr. Bañas by rearing them in their childhood?
A. What pertains to Raymundo Bañas would pertain to hint What is mine is different.
COURT.
Q. So in this occasion when you were asking the widow about that one lot were you asking her as
gratification or compensation for your services?
A. As far as I am concerned, what they would give me.
Q. But did you ask for the share they would give you.
A. Yes, sir. That was what I told them—what they were giving to Raymundo.
ATTY. REGALADO
Q. You told Mrs. Faustina Bañas that you are there claiming in behalf of Raymundo Bañas as the son of
Bibiano Bañas and, therefore, you wanted the share of Raymundo Bañas is that what you told your aunt?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Why did you go there by yourself? Why did you not ask Raymundo Bañas himself to go there and claim
since he was the son?
A. Before that, both of us went to see my aunt but later no I went by myself because my husband was in
class.
Q. When did you go there together with your husband to demand the matter of his participation as the
alleged son of Dr. Bibiano Bañas ?
A. More or less in 1955.
Q. After the death of Bibiano Bañas?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. You said so to your aunt, Faustina. And you made it plain to them that you were claiming the property of
Raymundo as the son of Dr. Bibiano Bañas ?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. You said so to your aunt, Faustina vda. de Bañas ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And what did she say, if she said anything?
A. She said, 'Yes, you just wait later on.
Q. On that occasion you did not hesitate nor were you embarrassed to make that demand even if you
believed that in Cavite you are not supposed to "mangamangalawa" in the matter of claims to inheritance?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And that was long before you even discovered these alleged documents, Exhibits "A" to "L"?
A. Yes, sir, because these documents were discovered in 1962 (pp. 439-441, CFI rec.; emphasis
supplied).

It is patent from the above that the testimony given by Trinidad Vecino vda. de Bañas cannot be considered
reliable. Inasmuch as she is the plaintiffs-appellants' principal witness, their claim is rendered groundless.
Moreover, this casts doubt no the other evidence presented by the plaintiffs-appellants, such as Exhibit "I", the
alleged typewritten statement of Raymundo Bañas dated October 6, 1958, setting forth his personal
circumstances. This statement was made at a time when Raymundo had already made known through his
letters to Atty. Andres Faustino of his discontent over the settlement of the estate of the late Bibiano Bañas
Therefore, the possibility that Raymundo might have some hidden motives, aside from merely establishing his
filiation, cannot be ignored. The same can also be said of Exhibits "K" and "L", the alleged autobiographies of
Raymundo Bañas This is especially true of Exhibit "L", which not only is typewritten, but also contains
intercalation's and spoliation's.
VII
Raymundo should and could have filed an action for compulsory recognition during Bibiano's lifetime, alleging
continuous possession of the status of a natural child by direct acts of Bibiano or of his family, and that he has in
his favor proof that Bibiano is his father.
Considering that Raymundo was born in 1894, and was already of majority age in 1915, long before Bibiano's
death in 1954, he should and could have filed such action either under Article 135 of the Old Civil Code, or
Article 283 of the New Civil Code. Article 135 of the Old Civil Code and Article 283 of the New Civil Code read as
follows:
Art. 135. The father may be compelled to acknowledge his natural child in the following cases:
1. When an indubitable writing of his exists in which he expressly acknowledges his paternity;
2. When the child is in the uninterrupted possession of the status of a natural child of the defendant father, justified by the
conduct of the father himself or that of his family; ... (emphasis supplied).
Art. 283. In any of the following cases, the father is obliged to recognize the child as his natural child:

xxx xxx xxx
2. When the child is in continuous possession of the status of a child of the alleged father by the direct acts of the latter or of his
family;
3. When the child was conceived during the time when the mother cohabited with the supposed father;
4. When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father (emphasis supplied).

Raymundo's failure to institute an action for compulsory recognition during Bibiano's lifetime under either of the
above cited law, militates against plaintiffs-appellants' complaint for partition or recovery of hereditary share,
fruits and damages.
Article 137 of the Old Civil Code and Article 285 of the New Civil Code provide that the action of the natural child
for compulsory recognition prescribes, if not taken during the lifetime of the alleged parents, unless the case falls
within the exceptions which allow the filing of such action even after the death of the alleged parents, thus:
Art. 137. Actions for the acknowledgment of natural children may be commenced only during the lifetime of the putative parents
except in the following cases:
1. If the father or mother dies during the minority of the child, in which case the latter may commence the action within the four
years next following the attainment of its majority;
2. If, after the death of the father or mother, some document, before unknown should be discovered in which the child is
expressly acknowledged;
In this case the action must be commenced within six months next following the discovery of such document (Old Civil Code).
Art. 285. 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;
2. If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should appear of which nothing had been heard and in which
either or both parents recognize the child.
In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from the finding of the document" (New Civil Code; emphasis
supplied).
It is obvious that under the above-cited law, after the death of Bibiano Bañas Raymundo was precluded from filing an action for
compulsory recognition against Bibiano's heirs,

Raymundo was already 60 years old when Bibiano died in 1954. This rules out the first exception. The alleged
documents which established Raymundo's filiation to Bibiano were not unknown to Raymundo during tile latter's
lifetime. And, as We have pointed out, these documents could not even have been unknown to his wife, Trinidad
Vecino.
Furthermore, in the second exception, the document discovered after the death of the alleged parents, should be
one in which the natural child is expressly acknowledged by either or both parents. In the documents presented
and relied no by the plaintiffs-appellants, there is no express acknowledgment by Bibiano Bañas of Raymundo
as his natural child.
Granting that, after the death of Bibiano Bañas Raymundo could file an action for compulsory recognition against
Bibiano's heirs, still plaintiffs-appellants cannot invoke Raymundo's right to file such action, because it is not
transmissible to the natural child's heirs; the right is purely a personal one to the natural child (Paras, Civil Code
Annotated, 1971 ed., p. 654). As held by this Court in the case of Conde vs. Abaya (13 Phil. 249), 14 such action
for the acknowledgment of a natural child can only be exercised by him. It cannot be transmitted to his
descendants, or to his ascendants." The reason advanced by this Court, through Chief Justice Arellano, is as
follows:
It is most illogical and contrary to every rule of correct interpretation that the right of action to secure acknowledgment by the
natural child should be presumed to be transmitted, independently, as a rule, to his heirs, while the right to claim legitimacy from
his predecessor is not, as a rule, conceded to the heirs of the legitimate child, but only relatively and as an exception.
Consequently, the pretention that the right of action no the part of the child to obtain the acknowledgment of his natural filiation is
transmitted to his descendants is altogether No legal provision exists to sustain such pretention, nor can an argument of
presumption be based no the lesser claim when there is no basis for the greater one, and when it is only given as an exception
in well-defined cases. It is placing the heirs of the natural child no a better footing than the heirs of the legitimate one, when, as a
matter of fact, the position of natural child is not better than, nor even equal to, that of a legitimate child (p. 256).

As earlier indicated, the evidence presented by the plaintiffs-appellants does not constitute a sufficient act of
voluntary recognition, but, may be a ground for compulsory recognition under Article 135 of the Old Civil Code,
or Article 283 of the New Civil Code. And since, as discussed above, the right to compel acknowledgment solely
belongs to the natural child and cannot be inherited and exercised by his heirs, plaintiffs-appellants have no
personality to file such action, it follows that their complaint is totally baseless.
WHEREFORE, THE DECISION APPEALED FROM BEING IN CONFORMITY WITH THE FACTS AND THE
LAW, THE SAME IS HEREBY AFFIRMED. COSTS AGAINST PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS.
SO ORDERED.
Concepcion Jr., Escolin and de la Fuente, JJ., concur.
Teehankee, Actg. C.J., Abad Santos, Plana and Relova, JJ., concur in the result.
Aquino, Gutierrez, Jr., Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., took no part.
Fernando, C.J., is on leave.

Separate Opinions

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., separate opinion:
The facts of this case, which I believe to be relevant, may be briefly stated thus:
1. Raymundo C. Bañas (the Child, for brevity) was born no March 15, 1894, the son of Dolores Castillo, single.
2. On May 23, 1907, when the Child was thirteen (13) years old, Dr. Bibiano Bañas a surgeon (hereinafter called
Decendent), allegedly sent him a handwritten letter (the Note, for short) as follows:
Mundo, hoy a las 10 y 45. Tu no estas en casa no requieres tu obedecer lo que te dije, que en estas horas estudiar, descansar y
ayudar con su madre. Que no veo mas otravez asi.
S
u
p
a
dr
e
(S
g
d.
)
B.
B
a
ñ
a
s
23/5/7

It would appear that, no March 15, 1894, Decedent was also single.
3. On December 1, 1928, the Child, then thirty four (34) years of age and married, executed an affidavit (Exhibit "
1 ") wherein he averred that he was the son of Pedro B. Bañas a brother of Decedent. On the same date of
December 1, 1928, Pedro B. Bañas also executed an affidavit (Exhibit "7") wherein he confirmed that the Child
was his son. Both affidavits were sworn to by them before the Notary. Pedro Bañas died in 1939.
4. On July 1, 1930, Decedent executed an affidavit to the effect that the Child is the son of his brother Pedro
(Exhibit "8").
5. In 1930, the Child allegedly wrote an autobiography wherein the following entry appears:
My Early School Life
My parents love education. This is proven by the letter of my father, a surgeon who because of work at the Farmacia de San
Fernando owned by Juan Jimenez, would only come home once or twice a week. The day when he arrived home one morning, I
was out playing. So before he departed, he wrote a short note which he left to my mother for me. When I returned home, she let
me read the letter, which is as follows: (the Note is quoted) ...

No mention was made of his affidavit, Exhibit l declaring that he was the son of Pedro.
6. The Decedent died intestate no April 25, 1954, survived by a widow (Decedent's Spouse) and legitimate
children (hereinafter referred to as the Legitimate Heirs).
7. On June 24, 1955, the Legitimate Heirs extrajudicially partitioned the estate of Decedent (Exhibit "3"), which
was acknowledged before notary public Angel Vecino.
8. On February 25, 1962, the Child died, survived by a widow (Child's Spouse) and legitimate children
(hereinafter called Child's Heirs). The Child's Spouse was a sister of Angel Vecino.
9. Three years thereafter, or no February 12, 1965, the Child's Heirs filed a complaint against the Legitimate
Heirs and their family corporation, B. Bañas & Sons, Inc., in Civil Case No. 55859 (Case Below) of the Court of
First Instance of Manila (the Lower Court), asking for participation in the estate of the Decedent, alleging that the
Child was a voluntarily acknowledged natural child of Decedent and that, as heirs of the Child, they are entitled
to the Child's inheritance from Decedent.
10. On January 5, 1966, the Lower Court dismissed the complaint of the Child's Heirs, and the latter have
appealed to this instance.
The principal legal issue to be determined in this case may be formulated as follows: Assuming that the Note
executed by Decedent no May 23, 1907 was an "authentic writing" within the meaning of Article 278 of our Civil
Code, which Note was found by the Child's Heirs after 1962, when both Decedent and Child had already passed
away, can said Note be considered as an effective voluntary acknowledgment made by Decedent that the Child
was his natural child such that the Child's Heirs can participate in the estate left by the Decedent after the same
had already been partitioned? Before discussing that particular legal issue, I would like to express certain
preliminary thoughts no the matter.
A. THE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. — The following relationships may be stated. Decedent had married
Faustina Vecino, whose brother was the father of the Child's Spouse and her brother Angel Vecino. Decedent
had a brother, Pedro, who had been living with him. If the Child were the son of Decedent, he would be the halfblood brother of the children of Decedent's Spouse. If he were the son of Pedro, the Child would be the first
cousin of the children of Decedent's Spouse. In that possibility, it would not have been unusual for the children of
Decedent's Spouse to call the Child "kuya." With Pedro living with Decedent, and the latter having several
children, neither would it have been unusual for the Child to call Decedent "papa", following the lead of the
legitimate children of Decedent. Perhaps, even the Child's Spouse may have called him "papa".

B. THE CODAL PROVISIONS. — For ready reference, codal provisions in both the Spanish Civil Code of 1889
and the New Civil Code, which may be taken into account in regards to this case, are being transcribed
hereunder:
SPANISH 1889 CODE NEW CIVIL CODE
ARTICULO 115—La fi ART. 265—The filiation
liacion de los hijos legitimos of legitimate children is
se prueba por el acta de naci proved by the record of birth
miento extendida en el appearing in the Civil Re
Registro civil, o por gister, or by an authentic
documento autentico o sen document or a final judg
tencia firme en los casos a ment.
que se refieren los arts. 110
al 113 del capitulo anterior.
(English translation)
ART. 115.—The filiation
of legitimate children is
proved by the record of
birth entered in the Civil Re
gistry, or by an authentic in
strument or final judgment
in the cases to which Ar
ticles 110 to 113 of the pre
ceding chapter refer.
ARTICULO 131-El ART. 278.— Recognition
reconocimiento de un hijo shall be made in
natural debera hacerse en
el acta de nacimiento.......... the record of birth
en testamento o ................. a will
x x x x x x x x x x x a statement before a court of
record or
en otro documento publico in any authentic writing
(English translation)
ART. 131—The acknow
ledgment of a natural child
must be made in the record
of birth, in a will, or in some
other public document.
ARTICULO 135—El ART. 283—In any of the
padre esta obligado a reco following cases, the father is
nocer al hijo natural en los obliged to recognize the
casos siguientes: child as his natural child:
1. Cuando exista escrito (4) When the child has in
suyo indubitado en que ex his favor any evidence or

presamente reconozca su proof that the defendant is
paternidad. his father.
xxx xxx xxx
(English translation)
ART. 135.—The father is
obligated to acknowledge
his natural child in the fol
lowing case:
1. When there exists an
indubitable writing of his in
which he expressly acknow
ledges his paternity.
xxx xxx xxx
C. USE OF "DOCUMENTO", "DOCUMENT", "INSTRUMENT and "WRITING." Article 115 of the Spanish Code
uses the word "documento autentico". The English translation was made to read "authentic instrument;" that is,
"documento" was translated as "instrument."
Article 131 of the Spanish Code uses the word "documento publico." The English translation thereof was "public
document".
Article 135 of the Spanish Code uses the clause "escrito suyo indubitado. " The English translation thereof was
"indubitable writing." "Escrito" and "writing" were equated. Manresa has equated "escrito" with "documento. " He
has said: "El escrito en que el padre reconozca su paternidad ha de ser un documento privado" (Vol. 1, 7th Ed.,
p. 750). Scaevola has also equated "documento" with escritura. "El articulo habla del reconocimiento voluntario
que ha de hacerse en el acta de nacimiento, en testamentoo en otro documento publico (esctitura, acta, etc.) y
su disposicion es clara" (3 Scaevola, 5th Ed., p. 376).
A reasonable conclusion should be that, in Article 278 of the New Code, the word "writing" can be equated with
"escritura" or "document", such that, "authentic writing" in said Article 278 can be construed as "authentic
document", words also used in Article 265 of the New Code.
D. MEANING OF "AUTHENTIC WRITING.—In the revision from "documento publico" in Article 131 of the
Spanish Civil Code to "authentic writing" in the new Code, a change in the rule was obviously intended. An
"authentic writing" does not have to be a public document. A public document can be an authentic writing,
although not every authentic writing is necessarily a public document." "Authentic" is used in the senses of being
genuine or indubitable even if it be only a private document, as distinguished from the "documento publico"
required by the Spanish Civil Code. The purpose of the change was evidently to liberalize voluntary recognition.
(Report of the Code Commission, page 87). However, authenticity also requires the signature of the alleged
parent Madridejo vs. de Leon, 55 Phil. 1 [1930]; TS Feb. 13, 1907).
The writing must not only be mere evidence of paternity and filiation It must indicate intent to confer status no a
child. In the former, a suit to compel recognition is further needed. In the latter, it is a self-executory act with no
further action being required except as provided by law.
A private writing admitted by the father or mother to be his or hers, or a baptismal certificate duly signed by the
father or mother, with the express statement that the child is his or hers may be regarded as an authentic writing
(I Padilla, Civil Law,' 61 ed., pp. 701-702).

E. EXPRESS AND TACIT RECOGNITION.— (l) Under the Spanish Code, tacit recognition, whether voluntary or
obligatory, is not allowable. In respect of obligatory recognition, Manresa has said:
En cuanto al otro requisito de ser expreso el reconocimiento, tengase presente que no basta hacerlo por incidencia es
indispensable que se consigns en el escrito la voluntad indubitada, clara y terminante del padre, de reconocer por suyo al hijo,
deliberadamente expresada con este fin como se ordena en la base 5. a antes citada de las aprobadas por la ley le 11 de Mayo
de 1888; de suerte que el escrito, aunque contenga otros particulares, come sucede en los testamentos ha de tener por objeto
el reconocimiento deliberado y expreso del hijo natural (Vol. 1, 7th Ed. p. 750).

The re requirement for express recognition in voluntary recognition cannot be gainsaid.
Como vemos, con arreglo al derecho antiguo o, mejor dicho, a su interpretacion por la jurisprudencia, bastaba el reconocimiento
tacito de los hijos y all prueba por cualquier medio legal; conforms al nuevo, el reconocimiento ha de ser expreso, constar en
alguno de los documentos que enumera en este articulo reconocimiento voluntario), o por lo menos, y en el casa del 135, por
escrito indubitado del padre o por la presuncion constants de estado de hijo natural reconocimiento forzoso). Entre uno y otro
existe esta diferencia: el reconocimiento anterior al Codigo revestia caracter de generalidad, puesto que podia ser expreso o
tacito y justificarse por cualquier medio probatorio de derecho, en tanto que el emigido por el Codigo tiene el de la especialidad,
porque debe ser expreso y acreditarse por pruebas especiales y determinadas. (aevola Tomo III, 5 a edicion p. 376)

(2) Under Ley II de Toro, voluntary recognition could be express or tacit
... el reconocimiento del padre exigido por ley 11 de Toro para que el hijo sea tenido como natural, no es necesario que sea
expreso, bastando para los efectos de dicha ley que aquel reconocimiento se acredite por alguno de los medios de prueba
establecidos en derecho, de manera que no de lugar a duda sobre la certeza de semejante hecho ... (ibid., p. 375).

That was changed, however, under the Spanish Code.
La ley no obliga a los padres a reconocer sus hijos naturales, pero cuando estos quieran cumplir con acto tan justo como
humano han de hacerlo con determinada solemnidad, en documento publico (art. 131). Por eso el reconocimiento exigido hoy
en el Codigo reune los caracteres de especial y expreso, en opposicion al establecido en el derecho derogado general y tacito,
por bastar constase por cualquier medio de prueba legal. (ibid., p. 364).

Of Article 131 of the Spanish Code, winch limits voluntary recognition to express recognition, Manresa has
further said: La limitacion del Codigo no puede responder mas que al deseo de no promover litigios y de que
conste contoda claridad la voluntad de los padres o del padre que reconoce" (Vol. 1, 7th Ed., p. 734). That
intendment should also apply to Article 278 of the New Code.
3) "Tacit" recognition under Article 278 of the New Code should be ruled out. Article 278 states the manner by
which recognition must be expressed: in a record of birth, in a will, in a Court statement or in an authentic writing.
Tacit recognition can easily engender controversy. Although it be conceded that an indubitable writing "tacitly"
recognizes a natural child, the writing should not be deemed a voluntary recognition. It can serve as evidence for
obligatory recognition in a proceeding where it can be determined whether or not a "tacit" recognition has in fact
been made.
F. CHILD'S CONSENT.—Article 133 of the Spanish Code specifically provided that "el hijo mayor de no podra
ser reconocio sin u consentimiento. " It will be noted that consent is positively necessary. According to Manresa
"este articulo exige el consentimiento del hijo para ser reconocido como natural solamente (Vol. 1, 7th Ed., p.
739). Scaevola is more explicit. He has said that:
Para la validez absoluta del reconocimiento de un hijo no basta el acto del que reconoce confesando su paternidad o
maternidad; esmenester el consentimiento del reconocido. Asi si el hijo es mayor de edad, el reconocimiento no puede tener
lugar sin su voluntad expresa (Vol. 3, Scaevola, 5th Ed., pp. 380-381).

Article 133 of the Spanish Code has been carried into New Code as Article 281, which states that "a child of age
cannot be recognized without his consent". Accordingly, to give validity to a voluntary recognition of a natural
child of age under Article 278 of the New Code, "no basta el acto del que reconoce" . . . "es menester el
consentimiento del reconocido" . . . "el reconocimiento no puede tener lugar sin su voluntad expresa, "
There is no indication in the record that the Child had given his express consent to his recognition by Decedent;
no the contrary, he had repudiated it through his affidavit (Exhibit " 1 executed in 1928 wherein he categorically

stated that Pedro Bañas was his father.
G. INTENDMENT OF ARTICLE 2260.—Article 2260 presupposes the following situation:
(i) A natural child was born prior to August 30, 1950, the date of the effectivity of the New Code.
(ii) The natural child was not voluntarily recognized under the Spanish Code.

Article 2260 was incorporated into the New Code because the codemaker possibly was foreseeing that a claim
could be made that a natural child born prior to August 30, 1950 has to be recognized under the Spanish code,
the legislation in force at the time of his birth. It was to preclude such possible claim being litigated at all that
Article 2260 was formulated. The law governing the act of voluntary recognition is the law in force at the time of
such voluntary recognition.
H. NON-MENTION OF ARTICLE 278 IN ARTICLE 2266.—Article 2266 (3) of the New Code expressly gives
retroactive effect to Articles 283, 284 and 289. The omission of Article 278 is clearly a deliberate omission, and
can give no conclusion other than that the codemaker did not intend that said Article 278 shall have retroactive
effect.
I. CONCLUSIONS.—(1) The Note executed by Decedent no May 23, 1907 is not an "authentic writing" within the
meaning of Article 278 of the New Code. This Article refers to self-executory acts intended to confer status, in
contrast to Article 283 of the same Code which do not refer to self-executory acts of recognition.
(2) Even if the Note mean" authentic writing" within the meaning of Article 278 of the New Code, it cannot be
deemed a document of voluntary recognition under said Article as it was executed before the effectivity of the
New Code and, at the time of execution, was not a document of voluntary recognition. Article 278 of the New
Code cannot be given retroactive effect.
(3) Even if the Note be deemed an "authentic writing" it cannot be considered a document of voluntary
recognition but merely evidence for compulsory recognition.
(4) Under Article 281 of the New Code, the Note is ineffective as a voluntary recognition because "el
reconocimiento no puede tener lugar sin (1a) voluntad expresa" of the Child. Whatever consent is alleged has
been negated or repudiated by the Child's own act.
J. A LAST CONSIDERATION.— disagree with the lower Court's ruling that the Note was an ancient document
and that proof of its due execution could be dispensed with. "To be admissible as an ancient document, a paper
must be free from suspicion and have the appearance of genuineness" (32A CJS 43). Moreover, where there is
no corroborating evidence, an ancient document "should receive the closest scrutiny especially if it has been
produced to benefit those in whose custody it is found" (3 Jones no Evidence, 5th Ed. p. 1102). The Note can be
a suspicious writing in the light of the following considerations:
(1) Although alleged to have been in the possession of the Child up to his death in 1962, he did not produce the
same immediately after the Decedent passed away in 1954, not even to his uncle Angel Vecino, who took
charge of the extrajudicial partition of Decedent's estate. In his letter, Exhibit "7", dated May 11, 1955, he had
threatened to "ipagtanggol ang aking karapatan at katuwiran. "
(2) The complimentary ending of the Note used the formal adjective "su", instead of the familiar "tu." Writing to a
son only 13 years of age, the Decedent would not have used "su," especially after he had already used "tu" and
"te" in the body of the Note. That incongruity throws doubt as to Decedent's authorship of the Note. As a surgeon
who had studied the medical course in Spanish, he was not expected to refer to himself as " "su" padre in writing
to his son.
(3) Exhibit "F-1", which was supposed to be signed by the parent of the Child, has been in his possession. Why
were the signatures of the parent therein erased? The possibility exists that the signatures were erased to evade

proof of the Decedent's handwriting. Also, it could be that the several signatures erased were signed by different
persons.
It is in view of the foregoing that I concur in the affirmance of the appealed judgment.

Separate Opinions
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., separate opinion:
The facts of this case, which I believe to be relevant, may be briefly stated thus:
1. Raymundo C. Bañas (the Child, for brevity) was born no March 15, 1894, the son of Dolores Castillo, single.
2. On May 23, 1907, when the Child was thirteen (13) years old, Dr. Bibiano Bañas a surgeon (hereinafter called
Decendent), allegedly sent him a handwritten letter (the Note, for short) as follows:
Mundo, hoy a las 10 y 45. Tu no estas en casa no requieres tu obedecer lo que te dije, que en estas horas estudiar, descansar y
ayudar con su madre. Que no veo mas otravez asi.
S
u
p
a
dr
e
(S
g
d.
)
B.
B
a
ñ
a
s
23/5/7

It would appear that, no March 15, 1894, Decedent was also single.
3. On December 1, 1928, the Child, then thirty four (34) years of age and married, executed an affidavit (Exhibit "
1 ") wherein he averred that he was the son of Pedro B. Bañas a brother of Decedent. On the same date of
December 1, 1928, Pedro B. Bañas also executed an affidavit (Exhibit "7") wherein he confirmed that the Child
was his son. Both affidavits were sworn to by them before the Notary. Pedro Bañas died in 1939.
4. On July 1, 1930, Decedent executed an affidavit to the effect that the Child is the son of his brother Pedro
(Exhibit "8").
5. In 1930, the Child allegedly wrote an autobiography wherein the following entry appears:
My Early School Life
My parents love education. This is proven by the letter of my father, a surgeon who because of work at the Farmacia de San
Fernando owned by Juan Jimenez, would only come home once or twice a week. The day when he arrived home one morning, I

was out playing. So before he departed, he wrote a short note which he left to my mother for me. When I returned home, she let
me read the letter, which is as follows: (the Note is quoted) ...

No mention was made of his affidavit, Exhibit l declaring that he was the son of Pedro.
6. The Decedent died intestate no April 25, 1954, survived by a widow (Decedent's Spouse) and legitimate
children (hereinafter referred to as the Legitimate Heirs).
7. On June 24, 1955, the Legitimate Heirs extrajudicially partitioned the estate of Decedent (Exhibit "3"), which
was acknowledged before notary public Angel Vecino.
8. On February 25, 1962, the Child died, survived by a widow (Child's Spouse) and legitimate children
(hereinafter called Child's Heirs). The Child's Spouse was a sister of Angel Vecino.
9. Three years thereafter, or no February 12, 1965, the Child's Heirs filed a complaint against the Legitimate
Heirs and their family corporation, B. Bañas & Sons, Inc., in Civil Case No. 55859 (Case Below) of the Court of
First Instance of Manila (the Lower Court), asking for participation in the estate of the Decedent, alleging that the
Child was a voluntarily acknowledged natural child of Decedent and that, as heirs of the Child, they are entitled
to the Child's inheritance from Decedent.
10. On January 5, 1966, the Lower Court dismissed the complaint of the Child's Heirs, and the latter have
appealed to this instance.
The principal legal issue to be determined in this case may be formulated as follows: Assuming that the Note
executed by Decedent no May 23, 1907 was an "authentic writing" within the meaning of Article 278 of our Civil
Code, which Note was found by the Child's Heirs after 1962, when both Decedent and Child had already passed
away, can said Note be considered as an effective voluntary acknowledgment made by Decedent that the Child
was his natural child such that the Child's Heirs can participate in the estate left by the Decedent after the same
had already been partitioned? Before discussing that particular legal issue, I would like to express certain
preliminary thoughts no the matter.
A. THE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. — The following relationships may be stated. Decedent had married
Faustina Vecino, whose brother was the father of the Child's Spouse and her brother Angel Vecino. Decedent
had a brother, Pedro, who had been living with him. If the Child were the son of Decedent, he would be the halfblood brother of the children of Decedent's Spouse. If he were the son of Pedro, the Child would be the first
cousin of the children of Decedent's Spouse. In that possibility, it would not have been unusual for the children of
Decedent's Spouse to call the Child "kuya." With Pedro living with Decedent, and the latter having several
children, neither would it have been unusual for the Child to call Decedent "papa", following the lead of the
legitimate children of Decedent. Perhaps, even the Child's Spouse may have called him "papa".
B. THE CODAL PROVISIONS. — For ready reference, codal provisions in both the Spanish Civil Code of 1889
and the New Civil Code, which may be taken into account in regards to this case, are being transcribed
hereunder:
SPANISH 1889 CODE NEW CIVIL CODE
ARTICULO 115—La fi ART. 265—The filiation
liacion de los hijos legitimos of legitimate children is
se prueba por el acta de naci proved by the record of birth
miento extendida en el appearing in the Civil Re
Registro civil, o por gister, or by an authentic
documento autentico o sen document or a final judg
tencia firme en los casos a ment.
que se refieren los arts. 110
al 113 del capitulo anterior.

(English translation)
ART. 115.—The filiation
of legitimate children is
proved by the record of
birth entered in the Civil Re
gistry, or by an authentic in
strument or final judgment
in the cases to which Ar
ticles 110 to 113 of the pre
ceding chapter refer.
ARTICULO 131-El ART. 278.— Recognition
reconocimiento de un hijo shall be made in
natural debera hacerse en
el acta de nacimiento.......... the record of birth
en testamento o ................. a will
x x x x x x x x x x x a statement before a court of
record or
en otro documento publico in any authentic writing
(English translation)
ART. 131—The acknow
ledgment of a natural child
must be made in the record
of birth, in a will, or in some
other public document.
ARTICULO 135—El ART. 283—In any of the
padre esta obligado a reco following cases, the father is
nocer al hijo natural en los obliged to recognize the
casos siguientes: child as his natural child:
1. Cuando exista escrito (4) When the child has in
suyo indubitado en que ex his favor any evidence or
presamente reconozca su proof that the defendant is
paternidad. his father.
xxx xxx xxx
(English translation)
ART. 135.—The father is
obligated to acknowledge
his natural child in the fol
lowing case:
1. When there exists an
indubitable writing of his in
which he expressly acknow

ledges his paternity.
xxx xxx xxx
C. USE OF "DOCUMENTO", "DOCUMENT", "INSTRUMENT and "WRITING." Article 115 of the Spanish Code
uses the word "documento autentico". The English translation was made to read "authentic instrument;" that is,
"documento" was translated as "instrument."
Article 131 of the Spanish Code uses the word "documento publico." The English translation thereof was "public
document".
Article 135 of the Spanish Code uses the clause "escrito suyo indubitado. " The English translation thereof was
"indubitable writing." "Escrito" and "writing" were equated. Manresa has equated "escrito" with "documento. " He
has said: "El escrito en que el padre reconozca su paternidad ha de ser un documento privado" (Vol. 1, 7th Ed.,
p. 750). Scaevola has also equated "documento" with escritura. "El articulo habla del reconocimiento voluntario
que ha de hacerse en el acta de nacimiento, en testamentoo en otro documento publico (esctitura, acta, etc.) y
su disposicion es clara" (3 Scaevola, 5th Ed., p. 376).
A reasonable conclusion should be that, in Article 278 of the New Code, the word "writing" can be equated with
"escritura" or "document", such that, "authentic writing" in said Article 278 can be construed as "authentic
document", words also used in Article 265 of the New Code.
D. MEANING OF "AUTHENTIC WRITING.—In the revision from "documento publico" in Article 131 of the
Spanish Civil Code to "authentic writing" in the new Code, a change in the rule was obviously intended. An
"authentic writing" does not have to be a public document. A public document can be an authentic writing,
although not every authentic writing is necessarily a public document." "Authentic" is used in the senses of being
genuine or indubitable even if it be only a private document, as distinguished from the "documento publico"
required by the Spanish Civil Code. The purpose of the change was evidently to liberalize voluntary recognition.
(Report of the Code Commission, page 87). However, authenticity also requires the signature of the alleged
parent Madridejo vs. de Leon, 55 Phil. 1 [1930]; TS Feb. 13, 1907).
The writing must not only be mere evidence of paternity and filiation It must indicate intent to confer status no a
child. In the former, a suit to compel recognition is further needed. In the latter, it is a self-executory act with no
further action being required except as provided by law.
A private writing admitted by the father or mother to be his or hers, or a baptismal certificate duly signed by the
father or mother, with the express statement that the child is his or hers may be regarded as an authentic writing
(I Padilla, Civil Law,' 61 ed., pp. 701-702).
E. EXPRESS AND TACIT RECOGNITION.— (l) Under the Spanish Code, tacit recognition, whether voluntary or
obligatory, is not allowable. In respect of obligatory recognition, Manresa has said:
En cuanto al otro requisito de ser expreso el reconocimiento, tengase presente que no basta hacerlo por incidencia es
indispensable que se consigns en el escrito la voluntad indubitada, clara y terminante del padre, de reconocer por suyo al hijo,
deliberadamente expresada con este fin como se ordena en la base 5. a antes citada de las aprobadas por la ley le 11 de Mayo
de 1888; de suerte que el escrito, aunque contenga otros particulares, come sucede en los testamentos ha de tener por objeto
el reconocimiento deliberado y expreso del hijo natural (Vol. 1, 7th Ed. p. 750).

The re requirement for express recognition in voluntary recognition cannot be gainsaid.
Como vemos, con arreglo al derecho antiguo o, mejor dicho, a su interpretacion por la jurisprudencia, bastaba el reconocimiento
tacito de los hijos y all prueba por cualquier medio legal; conforms al nuevo, el reconocimiento ha de ser expreso, constar en
alguno de los documentos que enumera en este articulo reconocimiento voluntario), o por lo menos, y en el casa del 135, por
escrito indubitado del padre o por la presuncion constants de estado de hijo natural reconocimiento forzoso). Entre uno y otro
existe esta diferencia: el reconocimiento anterior al Codigo revestia caracter de generalidad, puesto que podia ser expreso o
tacito y justificarse por cualquier medio probatorio de derecho, en tanto que el emigido por el Codigo tiene el de la especialidad,
porque debe ser expreso y acreditarse por pruebas especiales y determinadas. (aevola Tomo III, 5 a edicion p. 376)

(2) Under Ley II de Toro, voluntary recognition could be express or tacit
... el reconocimiento del padre exigido por ley 11 de Toro para que el hijo sea tenido como natural, no es necesario que sea
expreso, bastando para los efectos de dicha ley que aquel reconocimiento se acredite por alguno de los medios de prueba
establecidos en derecho, de manera que no de lugar a duda sobre la certeza de semejante hecho ... (ibid., p. 375).

That was changed, however, under the Spanish Code.
La ley no obliga a los padres a reconocer sus hijos naturales, pero cuando estos quieran cumplir con acto tan justo como
humano han de hacerlo con determinada solemnidad, en documento publico (art. 131). Por eso el reconocimiento exigido hoy
en el Codigo reune los caracteres de especial y expreso, en opposicion al establecido en el derecho derogado general y tacito,
por bastar constase por cualquier medio de prueba legal. (ibid., p. 364).

Of Article 131 of the Spanish Code, winch limits voluntary recognition to express recognition, Manresa has
further said: La limitacion del Codigo no puede responder mas que al deseo de no promover litigios y de que
conste contoda claridad la voluntad de los padres o del padre que reconoce" (Vol. 1, 7th Ed., p. 734). That
intendment should also apply to Article 278 of the New Code.
3) "Tacit" recognition under Article 278 of the New Code should be ruled out. Article 278 states the manner by
which recognition must be expressed: in a record of birth, in a will, in a Court statement or in an authentic writing.
Tacit recognition can easily engender controversy. Although it be conceded that an indubitable writing "tacitly"
recognizes a natural child, the writing should not be deemed a voluntary recognition. It can serve as evidence for
obligatory recognition in a proceeding where it can be determined whether or not a "tacit" recognition has in fact
been made.
F. CHILD'S CONSENT.—Article 133 of the Spanish Code specifically provided that "el hijo mayor de no podra
ser reconocio sin u consentimiento. " It will be noted that consent is positively necessary. According to Manresa
"este articulo exige el consentimiento del hijo para ser reconocido como natural solamente (Vol. 1, 7th Ed., p.
739). Scaevola is more explicit. He has said that:
Para la validez absoluta del reconocimiento de un hijo no basta el acto del que reconoce confesando su paternidad o
maternidad; esmenester el consentimiento del reconocido. Asi si el hijo es mayor de edad, el reconocimiento no puede tener
lugar sin su voluntad expresa (Vol. 3, Scaevola, 5th Ed., pp. 380-381).

Article 133 of the Spanish Code has been carried into New Code as Article 281, which states that "a child of age
cannot be recognized without his consent". Accordingly, to give validity to a voluntary recognition of a natural
child of age under Article 278 of the New Code, "no basta el acto del que reconoce" . . . "es menester el
consentimiento del reconocido" . . . "el reconocimiento no puede tener lugar sin su voluntad expresa, "
There is no indication in the record that the Child had given his express consent to his recognition by Decedent;
no the contrary, he had repudiated it through his affidavit (Exhibit " 1 executed in 1928 wherein he categorically
stated that Pedro Bañas was his father.
G. INTENDMENT OF ARTICLE 2260.—Article 2260 presupposes the following situation:
(i) A natural child was born prior to August 30, 1950, the date of the effectivity of the New Code.
(ii) The natural child was not voluntarily recognized under the Spanish Code.

Article 2260 was incorporated into the New Code because the codemaker possibly was foreseeing that a claim
could be made that a natural child born prior to August 30, 1950 has to be recognized under the Spanish code,
the legislation in force at the time of his birth. It was to preclude such possible claim being litigated at all that
Article 2260 was formulated. The law governing the act of voluntary recognition is the law in force at the time of
such voluntary recognition.
H. NON-MENTION OF ARTICLE 278 IN ARTICLE 2266.—Article 2266 (3) of the New Code expressly gives
retroactive effect to Articles 283, 284 and 289. The omission of Article 278 is clearly a deliberate omission, and

can give no conclusion other than that the codemaker did not intend that said Article 278 shall have retroactive
effect.
I. CONCLUSIONS.—(1) The Note executed by Decedent no May 23, 1907 is not an "authentic writing" within the
meaning of Article 278 of the New Code. This Article refers to self-executory acts intended to confer status, in
contrast to Article 283 of the same Code which do not refer to self-executory acts of recognition.
(2) Even if the Note mean" authentic writing" within the meaning of Article 278 of the New Code, it cannot be
deemed a document of voluntary recognition under said Article as it was executed before the effectivity of the
New Code and, at the time of execution, was not a document of voluntary recognition. Article 278 of the New
Code cannot be given retroactive effect.
(3) Even if the Note be deemed an "authentic writing" it cannot be considered a document of voluntary
recognition but merely evidence for compulsory recognition.
(4) Under Article 281 of the New Code, the Note is ineffective as a voluntary recognition because "el
reconocimiento no puede tener lugar sin (1a) voluntad expresa" of the Child. Whatever consent is alleged has
been negated or repudiated by the Child's own act.
J. A LAST CONSIDERATION.— disagree with the lower Court's ruling that the Note was an ancient document
and that proof of its due execution could be dispensed with. "To be admissible as an ancient document, a paper
must be free from suspicion and have the appearance of genuineness" (s2A CJS 43). Moreover, where there is
no corroborating evidence, an ancient document "should receive the closest scrutiny especially if it has been
produced to benefit those in whose custody it is found" (3 Jones no Evidence, 5th Ed. p. 1102). The Note can be
a suspicious writing in the light of the following considerations:
(1) Although alleged to have been in the possession of the Child up to his death in 1962, he did not produce the
same immediately after the Decedent passed away in 1954, not even to his uncle Angel Vecino, who took
charge of the extrajudicial partition of Decedent's estate. In his letter, Exhibit "7", dated May 11, 1955, he had
threatened to "ipagtanggol ang aking karapatan at katuwiran. "
(2) The complimentary ending of the Note used the formal adjective "su", instead of the familiar "tu." Writing to a
son only 13 years of age, the Decedent would not have used "su," especially after he had already used "tu" and
"te" in the body of the Note. That incongruity throws doubt as to Decedent's authorship of the Note. As a surgeon
who had studied the medical course in Spanish, he was not expected to refer to himself as " "su" padre in writing
to his son.
(3) Exhibit "F-1", which was supposed to be signed by the parent of the Child, has been in his possession. Why
were the signatures of the parent therein erased? The possibility exists that the signatures were erased to evade
proof of the Decedent's handwriting. Also, it could be that the several signatures erased were signed by different
persons.
It is in view of the foregoing that I concur in the affirmance of the appealed judgment.

G.R. No. 76873 October 26, 1989
DOROTEA, VIRGILIO, APOLINARIO, JR., SULPICIO & DOMINADOR, all surnamed
UYGUANGCO, petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, Judge SENEN PENARANDA and GRACIANO BACJAO
UYGUANGCO, respondents.
Constantino G. Jaraula for petitioners.

Anthony Santos for respondents.

CRUZ, J.:
The issue before the Court is not the status of the private respondent, who has been excluded
from the family and inheritance of the petitioners. What we are asked to decide is whether he
should be allowed to prove that he is an illegitimate child of his claimed father, who is already
dead, in the absence of the documentary evidence required by the Civil Code.
The trial court said he could and was sustained by the respondent Court of Appeals. 1 The
latter court held that the trial judge had not committed any grave abuse of discretion or acted
without jurisdiction in allowing the private respondent to prove his filiation. Moreover, the
proper remedy was an ordinary appeal and not a petition for prohibition. The petitioners ask
for a reversal of these rulings on the ground that they are not in accordance with law and
jurisprudence.
Apolinario Uyguangco died intestate in 1975, leaving his wife, Dorotea, four legitimate
children (her co-petitioners herein), and considerable properties which they divided among
themselves. 2 Claiming to be an illegitimate son of the deceased Apolinario, and having been
left out in the extrajudicial settlement of his estate, Graciano Bacjao Uyguangco filed a
complaint for partition against all the petitioners. 3
Graciano alleged that he was born in 1952 to Apolinario Uyguangco and Anastacia Bacjao
and that at the age of 15 he moved to his father's hometown at Medina, Misamis Oriental, at
the latter's urging and also of Dorotea and his half-brothers. Here he received support from
his father while he was studying at the Medina High School, where he eventually graduated.
He was also assigned by his father, without objection from the rest of the family, as
storekeeper at the Uyguangco store in Mananom from 1967 to 1973. 4
In the course of his presentation of evidence at the trial, the petitioners elicited an admission
from Graciano that he had none of the documents mentioned in Article 278 to show that he
was the illegitimate son of Apolinario Uyguangco. 5 These are "the record of birth, a will, a
statement before a court of record, or (in) any authentic writing." The petitioners thereupon
moved for the dismissal of the case on the ground that the private respondent could no longer
prove his alleged filiation under the applicable provisions of the Civil Code. 6
Specifically, the petitioners argued that the only evidence allowed under Article 278 to prove
the private respondent's claim was not available to him as he himself had admitted. Neither
could he now resort to the provisions of Article 285 because he was already an adult when his
alleged father died in 1975, and his claim did not come under the exceptions. The said article
provides as follows:
ART. 285. 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;
(2) If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should appear of which nothing
had been heard and in which either or both parents recognize the child.
In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from the finding of the document.

As earlier related, the motion to dismiss was denied, prompting the petitioners to seek relief in
vain from the respondent court. In the case now before us, the petitioners reiterate and
emphasize their position that allowing the trial to proceed would only be a waste of time and
effort. They argue that the complaint for partition is actually an action for recognition as an
illegitimate child, which, being already barred, is a clear attempt to circumvent the said
provisions. The private respondent insists, on the other hand, that he has a right to show
under Article 283 that he is "in continuous possession of the status of a child of his alleged
father by the direct acts of the latter or of his family."
We find that this case must be decided under a new if not entirely dissimilar set of rules
because the parties have been overtaken by events, to use the popular phrase. The Civil
Code provisions they invoke have been superseded, or at least modified, by the
corresponding articles in the Family Code, which became effective on August 3,1988.
Under the Family Code, it is provided that:
Art. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the
same evidence as legitimate children.

The following provision is therefore also available to the private respondent in proving his
illegitimate filiation:
Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:
(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or
(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private
handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.
In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved
by:
(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or
(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.

While the private respondent has admitted that he has none of the documents mentioned in
the first paragraph (which are practically the same documents mentioned in Article 278 of the
Civil Code except for the "private handwritten instrument signed by the parent himself'''), he
insists that he has nevertheless been "in open and continuous possession of the status of an
illegitimate child," which is now also admissible as evidence of filiation.

Thus, he claims that he lived with his father from 1967 until 1973, receiving support from him
during that time; that he has been using the surname Uyguangco without objection from his
father and the petitioners as shown in his high school diploma, a special power of attorney
executed in his favor by Dorotea Uyguangco, and another one by Sulpicio Uyguangco; that
he has shared in the profits of the copra business of the Uyguangcos, which is a strictly family
business; that he was a director, together with the petitioners, of the Alu and Sons
Development Corporation, a family corporation; and that in the addendum to the original
extrajudicial settlement concluded by the petitioners he was given a share in his deceased
father's estate. 7
It must be added that the illegitimate child is now also allowed to establish his claimed filiation
by "any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws," like his baptismal
certificate, a judicial admission, a family Bible in which his name has been entered, common
reputation respecting his pedigree, admission by silence, the testimonies of witnesses, and
other kinds of proof admissible under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. 8
The problem of the private respondent, however, is that, since he seeks to prove his filiation
under the second paragraph of Article 172 of the Family Code, his action is now barred
because of his alleged father's death in 1975. The second paragraph of this Article 175 reads
as follows:
The action must be brought within the same period specified in Article 173, except when the
action is based on the second paragraph of Article 172, in which case the action may be brought
during the lifetime of the alleged parent. (Italics supplied.)

It is clear that the private respondent can no longer be allowed at this time to introduce
evidence of his open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child or prove
his alleged filiation through any of the means allowed by the Rules of Court or special laws.
The simple reason is that Apolinario Uyguangco is already dead and can no longer be heard
on the claim of his alleged son's illegitimate filiation.
In her Handbook on the Family Code of the Philippines, Justice Alicia Sempio-Diy explains
the rationale of the rule, thus: "It is a truism that unlike legitimate children who are publicly
recognized, illegitimate children are usually begotten and raised in secrecy and without the
legitimate family being aware of their existence. Who then can be sure of their filiation but the
parents themselves? But suppose the child claiming to be the illegitimate child of a certain
person is not really the child of the latter? The putative parent should thus be given the
opportunity to affirm or deny the child's filiation, and this, he or she cannot do if he or she is
already dead." 9
Finally, it must be observed that the provisions invoked by the parties are among those
affected by the following articles in the Family Code:
Art. 254. Titles III, IV, V, VI VII, VIII, IX, XI and XV of Book I of Republic Act No. 386, otherwise
known as the Civil Code of the Philippines, as amended, and Articles 17,18,19, 27, 28, 29, 30,
31, 39, 40, 41 and 42 of Presidential Decree No. 603, otherwise known as the Child and Youth
Welfare Code, as amended, and all laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, rules and
regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

Art. 256. This Code shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or impair vested
or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws.

Graciano's complaint is based on his contention that he is the illegitimate child of Apolinario
Uyguangco, whose estate is the subject of the partition sought. If this claim can no longer be
proved in an action for recognition, with more reason should it be rejected in the said
complaint, where the issue of Graciano's filiation is being raised only collaterally. The
complaint is indeed a circumvention of Article 172, which allows proof of the illegitimate child's
filiation under the second paragraph thereof only during the lifetime of the alleged parent.
Considering that the private respondent has, as we see it, established at least prima facie
proof of his alleged filiation, we find it regrettable that his action should be barred under the
said article. But that is the law and we have no choice but to apply it. Even so, the Court
expresses the hope that the parties will arrive at some kind of rapprochement, based on
fraternal and moral ties if not the strict language of the law, that will allow the private
respondent an equitable share in the disputed estate. Blood should tell.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED, and Civil Case No. 9067 in the Regional Trial Court
of Misamis Oriental, Branch 20, is hereby DISMISSED. It is so ordered.
G.R. No. L-57062 January 24, 1992
MARIA DEL ROSARIO MARIATEGUI, ET AL., petitioners,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, JACINTO MARIATEGUI, JULIAN MARIATEGUI and
PAULINA MARIATEGUI, respondents.
Montesa, Albon & Associates for petitioners.
Parmenio B. Patacsil, Patacsil Twins Law Office for the heirs of the late Maria del Rosario
Mariategui.
Tinga, Fuentes & Tagle Firm for private respondents.

BIDIN, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision * of the Court of Appeals dated
December 24, 1980 in CA-G.R. No. 61841, entitled "Jacinto Mariategui, et al. v. Maria del
Rosario Mariategui, et al.," reversing the judgment of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal,
Branch VIII ** at Pasig, Metro Manila.
The undisputed facts are as follows:
Lupo Mariategui died without a will on June 26, 1953 (Brief for respondents, Rollo, pp. 116;
8). During his lifetime, Lupo Mariategui contracted three (3) marriages. With his first wife,
Eusebia Montellano, who died on November 8, 1904, he begot four (4) children, namely:

Baldomera, Maria del Rosario, Urbana and Ireneo. Baldomera died and was survived by her
children named Antero, Rufina, Catalino, Maria, Gerardo, Virginia and Federico, all surnamed
Espina. Ireneo also died and left a son named Ruperto. With his second wife, Flaviana
Montellano, he begot a daughter named Cresenciana who was born on May 8, 1910 (Rollo,
Annex "A", p. 36).
Lupo Mariategui and Felipa Velasco (Lupo's third wife) got married sometime in 1930. They
had three children, namely: Jacinto, born on July 3, 1929, Julian, born on February 16, 1931
and Paulina, born on April 19, 1938. Felipa Velasco Mariategui died in 1941 (Rollo, Ibid).
At the time of his death, Lupo Mariategui left certain properties which he acquired when he
was still unmarried (Brief for respondents, Rollo, pp. 116; 4). These properties are described
in the complaint as Lots Nos. 163, 66, 1346 and 156 of the Muntinglupa Estate (Rollo, Annex
"A", p. 39).
On December 2, 1967, Lupo's descendants by his first and second marriages, namely, Maria
del Rosario, Urbana, Ruperto, Cresencia, all surnamed Mariategui and Antero, Rufina,
Catalino, Maria, Gerardo, Virginia and Federico, all surnamed Espina, executed a deed of
extrajudicial partition whereby they adjudicated unto themselves Lot No. 163 of the
Muntinglupa Estate. Thereafter, Lot No. 163 was the subject of a voluntary registration
proceedings filed by the adjudicatees under Act No. 496, and the land registration court
issued a decree ordering the registration of the lot. Thus, on April 1, 1971, OCT No. 8828 was
issued in the name of the above-mentioned heirs. Subsequently, the registered owners
caused the subdivision of the said lot into Lots Nos. 163-A to 163-H, for which separate
transfer certificates of title were issued to the respective parties (Rollo, ibid).
On April 23, 1973, Lupo's children by his third marriage with Felipa Velasco (Jacinto, Julian
and Paulina) filed with the lower court an amended complaint claiming that Lot No. 163
together with Lots Nos. 669, 1346 and 154 were owned by their common father, Lupo
Mariategui, and that, with the adjudication of Lot No. 163 to their co-heirs, they (children of the
third marriage) were deprived of their respective shares in the lots. Plaintiffs pray for partition
of the estate of their deceased father and annulment of the deed of extrajudicial partition
dated December 2, 1967 (Petition, Rollo, p. 10). Cresencia Mariategui Abas, Flaviana
Mariategui Cabrera and Isabel Santos were impleaded in the complaint as unwilling
defendants as they would not like to join the suit as plaintiffs although they acknowledged the
status and rights of the plaintiffs and agreed to the partition of the parcels of land as well as
the accounting of their fruits (Ibid., Rollo, p. 8; Record on Appeal, p. 4).
The defendants (now petitioners) filed an answer with counterclaim (Amended Record on
Appeal, p. 13). Thereafter, they filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of lack of cause of
action and prescription. They specifically contended that the complaint was one for
recognition of natural children. On August 14, 1974, the motion to dismiss was denied by the
trial court, in an order the dispositive portion of which reads:
It is therefore the opinion of the Court that Articles 278 and 285 of the Civil Code cited by
counsel for the defendants are of erroneous application to this case. The motion to dismiss is
therefore denied for lack of merit.

SO ORDERED. (Ibid, p. 37).

However, on February 16, 1977, the complaint as well as petitioners' counterclaim were
dismissed by the trial court, in its decision stating thus:
The plaintiffs' right to inherit depends upon the acknowledgment or recognition of their
continuous enjoyment and possession of status of children of their supposed father. The
evidence fails to sustain either premise, and it is clear that this action cannot be sustained. (Ibid,
Rollo, pp. 67-68)

The plaintiffs elevated the case to the Court of Appeals on the ground that the trial court
committed an error ". . . in not finding that the parents of the appellants, Lupo Mariategui and
Felipa Velasco (were) lawfully married, and in holding (that) they (appellants) are not
legitimate children of their said parents, thereby divesting them of their inheritance . . . "
(Rollo, pp. 14-15).
On December 24, 1980, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision declaring all the children
and descendants of Lupo Mariategui, including appellants Jacinto, Julian and Paulina
(children of the third marriage) as entitled to equal shares in the estate of Lupo Mariategui;
directing the adjudicatees in the extrajudicial partition of real properties who eventually
acquired transfer certificates of title thereto, to execute deeds of reconveyance in favor, and
for the shares, of Jacinto, Julian and Paulina provided rights of innocent third persons are not
prejudiced otherwise the said adjudicatees shall reimburse the said heirs the fair market value
of their shares; and directing all the parties to submit to the lower court a project of partition in
the net estate of Lupo Mariategui after payment of taxes, other government charges and
outstanding legal obligations.
The defendants-appellees filed a motion for reconsideration of said decision but it was denied
for lack of merit. Hence, this petition which was given due course by the court on December
7, 1981.
The petitioners submit to the Court the following issues: (a) whether or not prescription barred
private respondents' right to demand the partition of the estate of Lupo Mariategui, and (b)
whether or not the private respondents, who belatedly filed the action for recognition, were
able to prove their successional rights over said estate. The resolution of these issues hinges,
however, on the resolution of the preliminary matter, i.e., the nature of the complaint filed by
the private respondents.
The complaint alleged, among other things, that "plaintiffs are the children of the deceased
spouses Lupo Mariategui . . . and Felipa Velasco"; that "during his lifetime, Lupo Mariategui
had repeatedly acknowledged and confirmed plaintiffs as his children and the latter, in turn,
have continuously enjoyed such status since their birth"; and "on the basis of their relationship
to the deceased Lupo Mariategui and in accordance with the law on intestate succession,
plaintiffs are entitled to inherit shares in the foregoing estate (Record on Appeal, pp. 5 & 6). It
prayed, among others, that plaintiffs be declared as children and heirs of Lupo Mariategui and
adjudication in favor of plaintiffs their lawful shares in the estate of the decedent (Ibid, p. 10).

A perusal of the entire allegations of the complaint, however, shows that the action is
principally one of partition. The allegation with respect to the status of the private respondents
was raised only collaterally to assert their rights in the estate of the deceased. Hence, the
Court of Appeals correctly adopted the settled rule that the nature of an action filed in court is
determined by the facts alleged in the complaint constituting the cause of action (Republic vs.
Estenzo, 158 SCRA 282 [1988]).
It has been held that, if the relief demanded is not the proper one which may be granted
under the law, it does not characterize or determine the nature of plaintiffs' action, and the
relief to which plaintiff is entitled based on the facts alleged by him in his complaint, although
it is not the relief demanded, is what determines the nature of the action (1 Moran, p. 127,
1979 ed., citing Baguioro vs. Barrios, et al., 77 Phil. 120).
With respect to the legal basis of private respondents' demand for partition of the estate of
Lupo Mariategui, the Court of Appeals aptly held that the private respondents are legitimate
children of the deceased.
Lupo Mariategui and Felipa Velasco were alleged to have been lawfully married in or about
1930. This fact is based on the declaration communicated by Lupo Mariategui to Jacinto who
testified that "when (his) father was still living, he was able to mention to (him) that he and
(his) mother were able to get married before a Justice of the Peace of Taguig, Rizal." The
spouses deported themselves as husband and wife, and were known in the community to be
such. Although no marriage certificate was introduced to this effect, no evidence was likewise
offered to controvert these facts. Moreover, the mere fact that no record of the marriage exists
does not invalidate the marriage, provided all requisites for its validity are present (People vs.
Borromeo, 133 SCRA 106 [1984]).
Under these circumstances, a marriage may be presumed to have taken place between Lupo
and Felipa. The laws presume that a man and a woman, deporting themselves as husband
and wife, have entered into a lawful contract of marriage; that a child born in lawful wedlock,
there being no divorce, absolute or from bed and board is legitimate; and that things have
happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life (Section 5
(z), (bb), (cc), Rule 131, Rules of Court; Corpus v. Corpus, 85 SCRA 567 [1978]; Saurnaba v.
Workmen's Compensation, 85 SCRA 502 [1978]; Alavado v. City Gov't. of Tacloban, 139
SCRA 230 [1985]; Reyes v. Court of Appeals, 135 SCRA 439 [1985]).
Courts look upon the presumption of marriage with great favor as it is founded on the
following rationale:
The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is that of marriage. Marriage in this
jurisdiction is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the maintenance of
which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment of the law leans toward
legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the
absence of any counterpresumption or evidence special to that case, to be in fact married. The
reason is that such is the common order of society and if the parties were not what they thus
hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant violation of decency and of
law . . . (Adong vs. Cheong Seng Gee, 43 Phil. 43, 56 [1922] quoted in Alavado vs. City
Government of Tacloban, 139 SCRA 230 [1985]).

So much so that once a man and a woman have lived as husband and wife and such
relationship is not denied nor contradicted, the presumption of their being married must be
admitted as a fact (Alavado v. City Gov't. of Tacloban, supra).
The Civil Code provides for the manner under which legitimate filiation may be proven.
However, considering the effectivity of the Family Code of the Philippines, the case at bar
must be decided under a new if not entirely dissimilar set of rules because the parties have
been overtaken by events, to use the popular phrase (Uyguangco vs. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 76873, October 26, 1989). Thus, under Title VI of the Family Code, there are only two
classes of children — legitimate and illegitimate. The fine distinctions among various types of
illegitimate children have been eliminated (Castro vs. Court of Appeals, 173 SCRA 656
[1989]).
Article 172 of the said Code provides that the filiation of legitimate children may be
established by the record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment or by the
open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child.
Evidence on record proves the legitimate filiation of the private respondents. Jacinto's birth
certificate is a record of birth referred to in the said article. Again, no evidence which tends to
disprove facts contained therein was adduced before the lower court. In the case of the two
other private respondents, Julian and Paulina, they may not have presented in evidence any
of the documents required by Article 172 but they continuously enjoyed the status of children
of Lupo Mariategui in the same manner as their brother Jacinto.
While the trial court found Jacinto's testimonies to be inconsequential and lacking in
substance as to certain dates and names of relatives with whom their family resided, these
are but minor details. The nagging fact is that for a considerable length of time and despite
the death of Felipa in 1941, the private respondents and Lupo lived together until Lupo's
death in 1953. It should be noted that even the trial court mentioned in its decision the
admission made in the affidavit of Cresenciana Mariategui Abas, one of the petitioners herein,
that " . . . Jacinto, Julian and Paulina Mariategui ay pawang mga kapatid ko sa
ama . . ." (Exh. M, Record on Appeal, pp. 65-66).
In view of the foregoing, there can be no other conclusion than that private respondents are
legitimate children and heirs of Lupo Mariategui and therefore, the time limitation prescribed
in Article 285 for filing an action for recognition is inapplicable to this case. Corollarily,
prescription does not run against private respondents with respect to the filing of the action for
partition so long as the heirs for whose benefit prescription is invoked, have not expressly or
impliedly repudiated the co-ownership. In other words, prescription of an action for partition
does not lie except when the co-ownership is properly repudiated by the co-owner (Del Banco
vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 156 SCRA 55 [1987] citing Jardin vs. Hollasco, 117 SCRA
532 [1982]).
Otherwise stated, a co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the share of the other co-owners
absent a clear repudiation of co-ownership duly communicated to the other co-owners
(Mariano vs. De Vega, 148 SCRA 342 [1987]). Furthermore, an action to demand partition is
imprescriptible and cannot be barred by laches (Del Banco vs. IAC, 156 SCRA 55 [1987]). On
the other hand, an action for partition may be seen to be at once an action for declaration of

co-ownership and for segregation and conveyance of a determinate portion of the property
involved (Roque vs. IAC, 165 SCRA 118 [1988]).
Petitioners contend that they have repudiated the co-ownership when they executed the
extrajudicial partition excluding the private respondents and registered the properties in their
own names (Petition, p. 16; Rollo, p. 20). However, no valid repudiation was made by
petitioners to the prejudice of private respondents. Assuming petitioners' registration of the
subject lot in 1971 was an act of repudiation of the co-ownership, prescription had not yet set
in when private respondents filed in 1973 the present action for partition (Ceniza vs. C.A., 181
SCRA 552 [1990]).
In their complaint, private respondents averred that in spite of their demands, petitioners,
except the unwilling defendants in the lower court, failed and refused to acknowledge and
convey their lawful shares in the estate of their father (Record on Appeal, p. 6). This
allegation, though denied by the petitioners in their answer (Ibid, p. 14), was never
successfully refuted by them. Put differently, in spite of petitioners' undisputed knowledge of
their relationship to private respondents who are therefore their co-heirs, petitioners
fraudulently withheld private respondent's share in the estate of Lupo Mariategui. According to
respondent Jacinto, since 1962, he had been inquiring from petitioner Maria del Rosario
about their (respondents) share in the property left by their deceased father and had been
assured by the latter (Maria del Rosario) not to worry because they will get some shares. As a
matter of fact, sometime in 1969, Jacinto constructed a house where he now resides on Lot
No. 163 without any complaint from petitioners.
Petitioners' registration of the properties in their names in 1971 did not operate as a valid
repudiation of the co-ownership. In Adille vs. Court of Appeals (157 SCRA 455, 461-462
[1988]), the Court held:
Prescription, as a mode of terminating a relation of co-ownership, must have been preceded by
repudiation (of the co-ownership). The act of repudiation, in turn, is subject to certain conditions:
(1) a co-owner repudiates the co-ownership; (2) such an act of repudiation is clearly made
known to the other co-owners; (3) the evidence thereon is clear and conclusive; and (4) he has
been in possession through open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession of the
property for the period required by law.
xxx xxx xxx
It is true that registration under the Torrens system is constructive notice of title, but it has
likewise been our holding that the Torrens title does not furnish shield for fraud. It is therefore no
argument to say that the act of registration is equivalent to notice of repudiation, assuming there
was one, notwithstanding the long-standing rule that registration operates as a universal notice
of title.

Inasmuch as petitioners registered the properties in their names in fraud of their co-heirs
prescription can only be deemed to have commenced from the time private respondents
discovered the petitioners' act of defraudation (Adille vs. Court of Appeals, supra). Hence,
prescription definitely may not be invoked by petitioners because private respondents
commenced the instant action barely two months after learning that petitioners had registered
in their names the lots involved.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals
dated December 24, 1980 is Affirmed.
SO ORDERED.
EDWIN A. ACEBEDO, petitioner, vs. EDDIE P. ARQUERO, respondent.
DECISION
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
By letter-complaint[1] dated June 1, 1994, Edwin A. Acebedo charged Eddie P. Arquero, Process Server
of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Brooke’s Point, Palawan for immorality.
Complainant alleged that his wife, Dedje Irader Acebedo, a former stenographer of the MTC Brooke’s
Point, and respondent unlawfully and scandalously cohabited as husband and wife at Bancudo Pulot,
Brooke’s Point, Palawan as a result of which a girl, Desiree May Irader Arquero, was born to the two
on May 21, 1989. Attached to the letter-complaint was the girl’s Baptismal Certificate[2] reflecting the
names of respondent and Dedje Irader as her parents. Also attached to the letter-complainant was a
copy of a marriage contract[3] showing that complainant and Dedje Irader contracted marriage on July
10, 1979.
By Resolution of September 7, 1994, this Court required respondent to file an answer to the complaint.
[4]

By his Answer[5] of October 6, 1994, respondent vehemently denied the charge of immorality, claiming
that it is “just a (sic) mere harassment and a product of complainant’s hatred and extreme jealousy to
(sic) his wife.”[6] Attached to the answer were the September 27, 1987 affidavit of desistance[7]
executed by complainant in favor of his wife with respect to an administrative complaint he had much
earlier filed against her, and complainant’s sworn statement[8] dated September 13, 1994
acknowledging paternity of a child born out of wedlock, which documents, respondent claims, support
his contention that the complaint filed against him is but a malicious scheme concocted by complainant
to harass him.
Additionally, respondent claimed that sometime in 1991, complainant likewise instituted a criminal
complaint against him for “adultery” which was, however, dismissed after preliminary investigation.
Finally, respondent claimed that complainant himself had been cohabiting with another woman.
By Resolution of February 6, 1995, this Court referred the case to then Executive Judge Filomeno A.
Vergara of the Regional Trial Court of Puerto Princesa, Palawan for investigation, report and
recommendation.[9] Judge Vergara having retired during the pendency of the investigation, the case
was referred to Executive Judge Nelia Y. Fernandez who was, by Resolution of August 16, 2000,
directed by this Court to (1) verify the authenticity of the marriage certificate and baptismal certificate
submitted by complainant; (2) conduct an investigation as to the information contained in the said
baptismal certificate and the circumstances under which it was issued, and such other verifiable matters
relevant to the charge; and (3) submit her report and recommendation thereon.[10]

In her Investigation Report of February 12, 2001, Judge Fernandez recommends that the complaint be
dismissed for failure to adduce adequate evidence to show that respondent is guilty of the charge.[11]
The report focuses on the non-appearance of complainant and Dedje Irader Acebedo, thusly:
xxx
Having appeared that the complainant Edwin Acebedo and Dedjie Irader who per reliable information
cannot be notified for reason that subject persons are no longer residing in their given address and their
whereabouts is unknown as shown by the return of the subpoena dated November 7, 2000, and the
inadmissibility of the baptismal certificate alleging therein that the father of Desiree Arquero is the
respondent herein, and for the reason that the same had not been testified to by Dedje Irader who is the
informant of the entries contained therein, this Court had not received adequate proof or relevant
evidence to support a conclusion that respondent herein could be held liable of the charge imputed
against him, hence, he should be absolved from any liability.
x x x[12] (Quoted verbatim).
By Resolution of April 25, 2001, this Court referred the case to the Office of the Court Administrator
(OCA) for evaluation, report and recommendation.
By Memorandum of December 12, 2001, the OCA, disagreeing with the recommendation of the
Investigating Judge that the case should be dismissed, recommends that respondent be held guilty of
immorality and that he be suspended from office for a period of one (1) year without pay.[13] Thus the
OCA ratiocinates:
. . . [R]espondent admitted the fact that for eight (8) to nine (9) months, he a single man
maintained relations with Dedje Irader Acebedo, wife of herein complainant, attended with
“sexual union” (TSN dated 23 November 2000, pp. 14-15). Based on his testimony, we observed that
respondent justified his having a relationship with Dedje I. Acebedo solely on the written
document purportedly a “Kasunduan” or agreement entered into by complainant and his wife,
consenting to and giving freedom to either of them to seek any partner and to live with him or
her. Being a court employee respondent should have known that said agreement was void despite it
having been notarized. Even granting that Dedjie I. Acebedo was separated from her husband during
their short lived relation, to hold on to said scandalous agreement and enter an immoral relationship
with a very much married woman and a co-court-employee at that is highly improper. It is contrary to
the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees which provides that
public employees of which respondent is one, xxx “ shall at times (sic) respect the rights of others, and
shall refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals, good customs, public policy, public order,
public safety and public interest. Moreover, respondent cannot seek refuge and “sling mud” at
complainant for having executed an Affidavit dated September 13, 1994, acknowledging that he bore a
woman other than his wife, a child. It would seem that respondent would want to apply the principle of
in pari delicto in the instant case. Respondent would have it appear that a married man with an extramarital relation and an illegitimate child is precluded from complaining if his wife enters into a
relationship with another man.
Second, the records show that an Affidavit of Desistance was executed by herein complainant.
However, a cursory reading of said document reveals that it favors only Dedje Irader Acebedo and not
herein respondent. Interestingly, the date of said affidavit is 2 September 1987. Respondent had the

temerity to claim it as evidence in his favor when the instant complaint was only filed sometime in
1994.
Third, when respondent was asked by the investigating judge if he attended the baptism of the daughter
of Dedje Irader Acebedo, his former co-employee and ex-intimate friend, he answered, “I did not. I’m
not sure the child is mine”. From his answer, we could infer that respondent did not categorically rule
out the possibility that said child might be her (sic) daughter, only that he is doubtful of her paternity.
x x x[14] (Emphasis supplied; underscoring in the original).
While complainant appears to have lost interest in the prosecution of the present case, the same does
not ipso facto warrant its dismissal. Once administrative charges have been filed, this Court may not
be divested of its jurisdiction to investigate and ascertain the truth thereof.[15] For it has an interest in
the conduct of those in the service of the Judiciary and in improving the delivery of justice to the
people, and its efforts in that direction may not be derailed by the complainant’s desistance from
prosecuting the case he initiated.[16]
On the merits of the case, the entry of respondent’s name as father in the baptismal certificate of
Desiree May I. Arquero cannot be used to prove her filiation and, therefore, cannot be availed of to
imply that respondent maintained illicit relations with Dedje Irader Acebedo. A canonical certificate is
conclusive proof only of the baptism administered, in conformity with the rites of the Catholic Church
by the priest who baptized the child, but it does not prove the veracity of the declarations and
statements contained therein which concern the relationship of the person baptized.[17] It merely attests
to the fact which gave rise to its issue, and the date thereof, to wit, the fact of the administration of the
sacrament on the date stated, but not the truth of the statements therein as to the parentage of the child
baptized.[18]
By respondent’s own admission, however, he had an illicit relationship with complainant’s wife:
Q:
During the formal offer of the possible nature of your testimony before the Court by your
counsel, did the Court get it correct that there has been a short lived relation between you and
Dedgie Irader, am I correct in my impression?
A:
During that time that I have heard she and her husband have parted ways already, I
jokingly informed her that she is now being separated, she is now single and is free to have some
commitment. So, I courted her and she accepted me, so we have a short lived relation and after
that we parted ways.
Q:

For how long was this short lived relation you made mention a while ago?

A:

May be (sic) about eight (8) to nine (9) months.

Q:
When you said you have (sic) a short lived relationship from 8 to 9 months, you mean to
tell the Court that you have (sic) a sexual union with this woman?
A:

Yes ma’am.[19] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied).

Respondent justified his pursuing a relationship with complainant’s wife with the spouses having
priorly entered into a settlement with respect to their marriage which was embodied in a “Kasunduan”,
the pertinent portions of which are reproduced hereunder:
Kami, EDWIN AGUINALDO ACEBEDO at DEDJE IRADER ACEBEDO, may sapat na taong gulang,
mag-asawa, Pilipino, at kasalukuyang nakatira sa Poblacion, Broke’s (sic) Point, Palawan, ay
malayang nagkasundo ng mga sumusunod:
1. Na, yayamang hindi kami magkasundo bilang mag-asawa, at magiging miserable lamang ang
aming mga buhay kung aming ipagpapatuloy pa ang aming pagsasama bilang mag-asawa, kami ay
malayang nagkasundo ngayon na maghiwalay na bilang mag-asawa, at ang bawat isa sa amin ay may
kalayaan na humanap na ng kaniyang makakasama sa buhay bilang asawa at hindi kami maghahabol
sa isat isa sa alin pa mang hukuman;
x x x[20] (Italics supplied).
Respondent’s justification fails. Being an employee of the judiciary, respondent ought to have known
that the Kasunduan had absolutely no force and effect on the validity of the marriage between
complainant and his wife. Article 1 of the Family Code provides that marriage is “an inviolable social
institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to
stipulation.” It is an institution of public order or policy, governed by rules established by law which
cannot be made inoperative by the stipulation of the parties.[21]
Republic Act 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials
and Employees, enunciates the State’s policy of promoting a high standard of ethics and utmost
responsibility in the public service.[22]
Although every office in the government service is a public trust, no position exacts a greater demand
for moral righteousness and uprightness from an individual than in the judiciary.[23] That is why this
Court has firmly laid down exacting standards of morality and decency expected of those in the service
of the judiciary.[24] Their conduct, not to mention behavior, is circumscribed with the heavy burden of
responsibility,[25] characterized by, among other things, propriety and decorum so as to earn and keep
the public’s respect and confidence in the judicial service.[26] It must be free from any whiff of
impropriety, not only with respect to their duties in the judicial branch but also to their behavior outside
the court as private individuals.[27] There is no dichotomy of morality; court employees are also judged
by their private morals.[28]
Respondent’s act of having illicit relations with complainant’s wife is, within the purview of Section 46
(5) of Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative
Code of 1987, a disgraceful and immoral conduct.
Under Rule IV, Section 52A (15) of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil
Service, an immoral conduct is classified as a grave offense which calls for a penalty of suspension for
six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year for the first offense, and dismissal is imposed for the
second offense.
Since the present charge of immorality against respondent constitutes his first offense, his suspension
for six (6) months and one (1) day is in order.

WHEREFORE, this Court finds respondent Eddie P. Arquero, Process Server of the Municipal Trial
Court of Brooke’s Point, Palawan, GUILTY of immorality, for which he is hereby SUSPENDED for
six (6) months and one (1) day without pay with a STERN WARNING that commission of the same or
similar acts shall be dealt with severely.
Let a copy of this decision be filed in the personal record of respondent.
SO ORDERED.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CYNTHIA
VICENCIO, respondents.
DECISION
QUISUMBING, J.:
This is an appeal interposed by the Republic of the Philippines as represented by the Office of the
Solicitor General (OSG), assailing the decision[1] of the Court of Appeals promulgated on April 28,
1989, which affirmed the decision[2] of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 52, dated, August
31, 1987. The appealed decision granted private respondent Cynthia Vicencio’s petition for change of
surname, from “Vicencio” to “Yu”.
As found by the trial court, hereunder are the facts and circumstances of the case:
“Petitioner’s evidence is to the effect that she was born on 19 January 1971 at the Capitol Medical
Center, Quezon City, to the spouses Pablo Castro Vicencio and Fe Esperanza de Vega Leabres (Exh. C,
also marked Annex A of Petition); that on 10 January 1972, after a marital spat, Pablo Vicencio left
their conjugal abode then situated at Meycauayan, Bulacan; that since then Pablo Vicencio never
reappeared nor sent support to his family and it was Ernesto Yu who had come to the aid of Fe
Esperanza Labres (sic) and her children; that on 29 June 1976, Fe Esperanza Leabres filed a petition in
the then Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Manila for dissolution of their conjugal partnership,
Civil Case No. E-02009, which was granted in a decision rendered by the Hon. Regina C. Ordoñez
Benitez on 11 July 1977 (Exhs. D, D-1 to D-3); that sometime in 1983, petitioner’s mother filed
another petition for change of name, Sp. Proc. No. 83-16346, that is to drop the surname of her
husband therefrom, and after hearing a decision was rendered on 5 July 1983 by the Hon. Emeterio C.
Cui of Branch XXV of this Court approving the petition (Exh. E); that in 1984, petitioner’s mother
again filed another petition with this Court, Sp. Proc. No. 84-22605, for the declaration of Pablo
Vicencio as an absentee, and which petition was granted on 26 April 1984 in a decision rendered by the
Hon. Corona Ibay-Somera (Exh. F & F-1); that on 15 April 1986, petitioner’s mother and Ernesto Yu
were joined in matrimony in a ceremony solemnized by Mayor Benjamin S. Abalos of Mandaluyong,
Metro Manila (Exh. G).
It was also established that evern (sic) since her childhood, petitioner had not known much less
remembered her real father Pablo Vicencio, and her known father had been and still is Ernesto Yu; that
despite of which she had been using the family name “Vicencio” in her school and other related
activities therein; that in view of such situation, confusion arose as to her parentage and she had been
subjected to inquiries why she is using Vicencio as her family name, both by her classmates and their
neighbors, causing her extreme embarrassment; that on two (2) occassions when she ran as a beauty

contestant in a Lions Club affair and in a Manila Red Cross pageant, her name was entered as Cynthia
L. Yu; that her step-father had been priorly consulted about this petition and had given his consent
thereto; that in fact Ernesto Yu testified for petitioner and confirmed his consent to the petition as he
had always treated petitioner as his own daughter ever since.”[3]
At the hearing of the petition for change of name by the trial court, the OSG manifested that it was
opposing the petition. It participated in the proceedings by cross-examining the private respondent
Cynthia Vicencio, (petitioner a quo) and her witnesses.
Disregarding the OSG’s contention, the trial court ruled that there is no valid cause for denying the
petition. Further, the trial court stated that it could not compel private respondent’s step-father to adopt
her, as adoption is a voluntary act; but failure to resort to adoption should not be a cause for
disallowing private respondent to legally change her name.[4] Hence, it granted the change of surname
of private respondent from Vicencio to Yu.
The decision of the trial court was affirmed by the appellate court, which held that it is for the best
interest of petitioner that her surname be changed. The appellate court took into account the
testimonies of private respondent and her witnesses that allowing the change of surname would “give
her an opportunity to improve her personality and welfare.”[5] It likewise noted that the discrepancy
between her original surname, taken from her biological father; and the surname of her step-father, who
has been socially recognized as her father, caused her embarrassment and inferiority complex.[6]
The main issue before us is whether the appellate court erred in affirming the trial court’s decision
allowing the change of private respondent’s surname to that of her step-father’s surname.
In Republic vs. Hernandez[7], we have recognized inter alia, the following as sufficient grounds to
warrant a change of name: (a) when the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or extremely difficult to write
or pronounce; (b) when the change is a legal consequence of legitimation or adoption; (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) when the change is based on a sincere desire to
adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of former alienage, all in good faith and without prejudice to
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.
Private respondent asserts that her case falls under one of the justifiable grounds aforecited. She says
that confusion has arisen as to her parentage because ever since childhood, Ernesto Yu has acted as her
father, assuming duties of rearing, caring and supporting her. Since she is known in society as the
daughter of Ernesto Yu, she claims that she has been subjected to inquiries regarding her use of a
different surname, causing her much humiliation and embarrassment. However, it is not denied that
private respondent has used Vicencio as her surname in her school records and related documents. But
she had used the surname of her step-father, Yu, when she participated in public functions, such as
entering beauty contests, namely, with the Lion’s Club and the Manila Red Cross, and when she
celebrated her debut at the Manila Hotel.[8]
The Solicitor General however argues that there is no proper and reasonable cause to warrant private
respondent’s change of surname. Such change might even cause confusion and give rise to legal
complications due to the fact that private respondent’s step-father has two (2) children with her mother.

In the event of her step-father’s death, it is possible that private respondent may even claim inheritance
rights as a “legitimate” daughter. In his memorandum, the Solicitor General, opines that “ Ernesto Yu
has no intention of making Cynthia as an heir because despite the suggestion made before the petition
for change of name was heard by the trial court that the change of family name to Yu could very easily
be achieved by adoption, he has not opted for such a remedy.”[9]
We find merit in the Solicitor General’s contention.
“The touchstone for the grant of a change of name is that there be ‘proper and reasonable cause’ for
which the change is sought.”[10] The assailed decision as affirmed by the appellate court does not
persuade us to depart from the applicability of the general rule on the use of surnames[11], specifically
the law which requires that legitimate children shall principally use the surname of their father[12].
Private respondent Cynthia Vicencio is the legitimate offspring of Fe Leabres and Pablo Vicencio. As
previously stated, a legitimate child generally bears the surname of his or her father. It must be stressed
that a change of name is a privilege, not a matter of right, addressed to the sound discretion of the
court, which has the duty to consider carefully the consequences of a change of name and to deny the
same unless weighty reasons are shown.[13]
Confusion indeed might arise with regard to private respondent’s parentage because of her surname.
But even, more confusion with grave legal consequences could arise if we allow private respondent to
bear her step-father’s surname, even if she is not legally adopted by him. While previous decisions
have allowed children to bear the surname of their respective step-fathers even without the benefit of
adoption, these instances should be distinguished from the present case. In Calderon vs. Republic,[14]
and Llaneta vs. Agrava,[15] this Court allowed the concerned child to adopt the surname of the stepfather, but unlike the situation in the present case where private respondent is a legitimate child, in
those cases the children were not of legitimate parentage. In Moore vs. Republic,[16] where the
circumstances appears to be similar to the present case before us, the Court upheld the Republic’s
position:
“We find tenable this observation of government’s counsel. Indeed, if a child born out of a lawful
wedlock be allowed to bear the surname of the second husband of the mother, should the first husband
die or be separated by a decree of divorce, there may result a confusion as to his real paternity. In the
long run the change may redound to the prejudice of the child in the community.
While the purpose which may have animated petitioner is plausible and may run along the feeling of
cordiality and spiritual relationship that pervades among the members of the Moore family, our hand is
deferred by a legal barrier which we cannot at present overlook or brush aside.”[17]
Similarly in Padilla vs. Republic,[18] the Court ruled that:
“ To allow said minors to adopt the surname of their mother’s second husband, who is not their father,
could result in confusion in their paternity. It could also create the suspicion that said minors, who
were born during the coverture of their mother with her first husband, were in fact sired by Edward
Padilla, thus bringing their legitimate status into discredit.”[19]
Private respondent, might sincerely wish to be in a position similar to that of her step-father’s
legitimate children, a plausible reason the petition for change of name was filed in the first place.

Moreover, it is laudable that Ernesto Yu has treated Cynthia as his very own daughter, providing for all
her needs as a father would his own flesh and blood. However, legal constraints lead us to reject
private respondent’s desire to use her stepfather’s surname. Further, there is no assurance the end
result would not be even more detrimental to her person, for instead of bringing a stop to questions, the
very change of name, if granted, could trigger much deeper inquiries regarding her parentage.
Lastly, when this case was decided by the appellate court, private respondent was already 18 years old
but still considered a minor because Republic Act 6809,[20] lowering the age of majority, was then in
effect. However, regardless of private respondent’s age, our conclusion remains considering the
circumstances before us and the lack of any legally justifiable cause for allowing the change of her
surname.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE; and the instant
petition is hereby GRANTED.
SO ORDERED.

De Asis vs CA
De Asis vs. CA
GR No. 127578, February 15, 1999
FACTS:
Vircel Andres as legal guardian of Glen Camil Andres de Asis, filed an action in 1988 for maintenance
and support against the alleged father Manuel De Asis who failed to provide support and maintenance
despite repeated demands. Vircel later on withdrew the complaint in 1989 for the reason that Manuel
denied paternity of the said minor and due to such denial, it seems useless to pursue the said action.
They mutually agreed to move for the dismissal of the complaint with the condition that Manuel will
not pursue his counter claim. However in 1995, Vircel filed a similar complaint against the alleged
father, this time as the minor’s legal guardian/mother. Manuel interposed maxim of res judicata for the
dismissal of the case. He maintained that since the obligation to give support is based on existence of
paternity between the child and putative parent, lack thereof negates the right to claim support.
ISSUE: WON the minor is barred from action for support.
HELD:
The right to give support cannot be renounced nor can it be transmitted to a third person. The original
agreement between the parties to dismiss the initial complaint was in the nature of a compromise
regarding future support which is prohibited by law. With respect to Manuel’s contention for the lack
of filial relationship between him and the child and agreement of Vircel in not pursuing the original
claim, the Court held that existence of lack thereof of any filial relationship between parties was not a
matter which the parties must decide but should be decided by the Court itself. While it is true that in
order to claim support, filiation or paternity must be first shown between the parties, but the presence
or lack thereof must be judicially established and declaration is vested in the Court. It cannot be left to
the will or agreement of the parties. Hence, the first dismissal cannot bar the filing of another action

asking for the same relief (no force and effect). Furthermore, the defense of res judicata claimed by
Manuel was untenable since future support cannot be the subject of any compromise or waiver.
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