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Mangulabnan v.

G.R. No. 71994
31 May 1990
J. Gancayco
responden Intermediate Appellate Court and Ambrocio Tan Chew Acero

summary Edna filed for damages and support for her child Alfie against the childs father,
Ambrocio. She also filed for support pendente lite. The trial court granted such
support pendente lite, but the CA denied, on the ground that recognition is
required before a spurious child such as Alfie can claim support. The Court held
that recognition is required for natural children, i.e. those whose parents had
no legal impediment to marry each other at the time of conception. For
spurious children, where parents had a legal impediment to marry one another,
the childs status is the basis of the right to support. Therefore, no recognition
is required: it is sufficient that the status be provisionally established, even
through affidavits.

facts of the case

Petitioner Edna filed before the RTC an action for actual, compensatory, and moral damages
and support for her child, Alfie Angelo. Pending litigation, she applied for support pendente lite,
which respondent Ambrocio opposed. The trial court ordered Ambrocio to pay monthly support in
the amount of P1,500 to the minor child. He moved for reconsideration, but was denied.
He then elevated the order to the CA, questioning it in a petition for certiorari. The CA was
granted, and the trial courts orders were annulled. This time it was Edna who moved for
reconsideration; she was also denied. Hence, this petition.
The CA annulled the trial courts orders on the ground that Edna failed to prove that Ambrocio
had recognized the child. It classified Alfie as an illegitimate or spurious child, and thus
held that either judicial or voluntary recognition is required before support may be
granted to a spurious child.


Whether, in order to show entitlement to support, an illegitimate or spurious child must first be
recognized. NO. There need only be a declaration of the childs status, which may be
provisional in nature, i.e. done by affidavits.


Art. 287 of the Civil Code provides: Illegitimate children other than natural in accordance
with Article 269 and other than natural children by legal fiction are entitled to support and such
successional rights as are granted in this Code.
The basis of the right to support is, therefore, the status of the child. There must
first be a declaration of the status of the child before support can be ordered. The
declaration may be provisional, i.e. by affidavits.
The Court disagreed with the CAs view on judicial or voluntary recognition prior to the grant
of support. The requirement under the law that a father or mother must jointly or individually
recognize their child refers in particular to a natural child. Such a child is presumed to be the
natural child of parents who had legal capacity to contract marriage at the time of his
In this case, however, Alfies father was married at the time of his conception, and thus had
no legal capacity to contract marriage. Alfie is thus not a natural child, but an illegitimate or
spurious child, in which case recognition is not required before support may be granted.

However, under the Code, filiation must be proved in all cases for illegitimate
children. This may be done through voluntary recognition (made in the record of birth, a will, a
statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing) or compulsory recognition (the
child brings out his recognition by court action).
In this case, affidavits from petitioner Edna herself and her two witnesses have
established Alfies paternity. This is further corroborated by his birth certificate.
Hence, his status has been provisionally established. The petition is thus granted, and
support pendente lite ordered in Alfies favor.