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YOLANDA SIGNEY, Petitioner, versus SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM,

EDITHA ESPINOSA-CASTILLO, and GINA SERVANO,


representative of GINALYN and RODELYN SIGNEY, Respondents.
G.R. No. 173582

Facts:
Rodolfo Signey, a SSS member, died on May 21, 2001. In his records, he
declared Yolanda as primary beneficiary and his 4 children with her as secondary
beneficiaries. Yolanda then claimed for the benefits in SSS and she revealed that the
deceased had a common-law wife named Gina Servano, with whom the deceased had
2 minor children (Ginalyn and Rodelyn). This was indeed confirmed because Gina
likewise, claimed for benefits. She declared that, Yolanda and she were just the
common-law wives, and Editha Espinosa was the legal wife. Editha then also claimed
for the benefits stating that she indeed was the legal wife.
SSS denied the death benefits claim by Yolanda, but recognized the two minor
children of Gina as the primary beneficiaries of the deceased under the SSS Law. SSS
was also able to discover that the marriage between Yolanda and Rodolfo were null and
void for having been contracted while Rodolfos marriage with Editha still subsisted as
confirmed by the Civil Registry.
Issue: Who is entitled to the SSS benefits of a member who was survived not only by
his legal wife, but also by two common-law wives with whom he had six children?
Held: The Court agreed with SSS, stating that the two minor children of the deceased
with Gina was entitled 100% of the benefits as provided by the SSS Law. The SSS Law
was clear in stating that for a minor child to qualify as a dependent entitled the benefit,
the only requirement was that the child must be below 21 years of age, not married nor
gainfully employed.
Though Editha waived her claim for the rights to the claim of benefits, it was not a
strong ground for Yolandas claim because she did not even try to allege and prove any
infirmity in the marriage between the deceased and Editha, after having been proven
that her marriage with Rodolfo was null and void. She was disqualified because thet did
not have a legitimate child or children. Under the SSS Law, it follows that the dependent
illegitimate minor children of the deceased shall be entitled the death benefits as the
primary beneficiaries.