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Case Doctrine:

In a void marriage, regardless of the cause thereof, the property relations of the parties during the
period of cohabitation is governed by the provisions of Article 147 or Article 148, such as the case may
be, of the Family Code.


Antonio Valdez and Consuelo Gomez were married in 1971. They begot 5 children.

In 1992, Valdez filed a petition for declaration of nullity of their marriage on the ground of
psychological incapacity. The trial court granted the petition, thereby declaring their marriage null and
void. It also directed the parties to start proceedings on the liquidation of their common properties as
defined by Article 147 of the Family Code, and to comply with the provisions of Articles 50, 51 and
52 of the same code.
Gomez sought a clarification of that portion in the decision. She asserted that the Family Code
contained no provisions on the procedure for the liquidation of common property in "unions without
In an Order, the trial court made the following clarification: "Consequently, considering that Article 147
of the Family Code explicitly provides that the property acquired by both parties during their union, in
the absence of proof to the contrary, are presumed to have been obtained through the joint efforts of
the parties and will be owned by them in equal shares, plaintiff and defendant will own their 'family
home' and all their other properties for that matter in equal shares. In the liquidation and partition of
the properties owned in common by the plaintiff and defendant, the provisions on co-ownership found
Valdes moved for reconsideration of the Order which was denied. Valdes appealed, arguing that:
(1) Article 147 of the Family Code does not apply to cases where the parties are psychological
incapacitated; (2) Articles 50, 51 and 52 in relation to Articles 102 and 129 of the Family Code govern
the disposition of the family dwelling in cases where a marriage is declared void ab initio, including a
marriage declared void by reason of the psychological incapacity of the spouses; (3) Assuming
arguendo that Article 147 applies to marriages declared void ab initio on the ground of the
psychological incapacity of a spouse, the same may be read consistently with Article 129.

Whether Art 147 FC is the correct law governing the disposition of property in the case at bar.

Yes. In a void marriage, regardless of the cause thereof, the property relations of the parties during
the period of cohabitation is governed by the provisions of Article 147 or Article 148, such as the case
Article 147 applies when a man and a woman, suffering no illegal impediment to marry each other, so
exclusively live together as husband and wife under a void marriage or without the benefit of
marriage. Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work and
industry shall be governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any property acquired during the union

is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. A party who did not
participate in the acquisition of the property shall be considered as having contributed thereto jointly if
said party's "efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household." Unlike the
conjugal partnership of gains, the fruits of the couple's separate property are not included in the coownership.
When the common-law spouses suffer from a legal impediment to marry or when they do not live
exclusively with each other (as husband and wife), only the property acquired by both of them
through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned in common and
in proportion to their respective contributions. Such contributions and corresponding shares, however,
are prima facie presumed to be equal. The share of any party who is married to another shall accrue
to the absolute community or conjugal partnership, as the case may be, if so existing under a valid
marriage. If the party who has acted in bad faith is not validly married to another, his or her share
In deciding to take further cognizance of the issue on the settlement of the parties' common property,
the trial court acted neither imprudently nor precipitately; a court which has jurisdiction to declare the
marriage a nullity must be deemed likewise clothed in authority to resolve incidental and
consequential matters. Nor did it commit a reversible error in ruling that petitioner and private
respondent own the "family home" and all their common property in equal shares, as well as in
concluding that, in the liquidation and partition of the property owned in common by them, the
provisions on co-ownership under the Civil Code, not Articles 50, 51 and 52, in relation to Articles 102
and 129, 12 of the Family Code, should aptly prevail. The rules set up to govern the liquidation of
either the absolute community or the conjugal partnership of gains, the property regimes recognized
for valid and voidable marriages (in the latter case until the contract is annulled), are irrelevant to the
The first paragraph of Articles 50 of the Family Code, applying paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and 95) of
Article 43, 13 relates only, by its explicit terms, to voidable marriages and, exceptionally, to void
marriages under Article 40 14 of the Code, i.e., the declaration of nullity of a subsequent marriage
contracted by a spouse of a prior void marriage before the latter is judicially declared void. (Valdes
vs Regional Trial Court, G.R. No. 122749. July 31, 1996).


Posted by kaye lee on 10:00 PM
G.R. No. 116668 July 28 1997

Miguel Palang married Calina Vellesterol with whom he had 1 child. He then contracted his
second marriage with Erlinda Agapay, with whom he had a son. The couple purchased a
parcel of agricultural land and the transfer certificate was issued in their names. She also
purchased a house and lot in Binalonan, where the property was later issued in her name.
Miguel and Carlina executed a Deed of Donation, wherein they agreed to donate their
conjugal property consisting of 6 parcels of land to their only child, Herminia. Carlina filed a
complaint against Miguel and Erlinda for bigamy.
Miguel died, and Carlina and Herminia instituted an action for recovery of ownership and
possession with damages against Erlinda. They sought to get back the riceland and house
and lot allegedly bought by Miguel during his cohabitation with Erlinda. RTC dismissed the
complaint and ordered the respondents to provide for the intestate shares of the parties,
particularly of Erlinda's son. CA reversed the trial court's decision.
Whether or not the properties from Miguel's second marriage be granted to Erlinda.
No. SC held that the agricultural land and house and land cannot be granted to Erlinda.
The sale of the riceland was made in favor of Miguel and Erlinda. The provision of law
applicable here is Article 148 of the Family Code providing for cases of cohabitation when a
man and a woman who are not capacitated to marry each other live exclusively with each
other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage. The
marriage of Miguel and Erlinda was null and void because the earlier marriage of Miguel and
Carlina was still subsisting and unaffected by the latter's de facto separation.
Under Article 148, only the properties acquired by both of the parties through their actual
joint contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned by them in common
in proportion to their respective contributions. It must be stressed that actual contribution is
required by this provision, in contrast to Article 147 which states that efforts in the care and
maintenance of the family and household, are regarded as contributions to the acquisition of
common property by one who has no salary or income or work or industry. If the actual
contribution of the party is not proved, there will be no co-ownership and no presumption of
equal shares.
In the case at bar, Erlinda tried to establish by her testimony that she is engaged in the
business of buy and sell and had a sari-sari store but failed to persuade SC that she actually
contributed money to buy the subject riceland. Worth noting is the fact that on the date of
conveyance, when she was only around 20 of age and Miguel Palang was already 64 and a
pensioner of the U.S. Government. Considering her youthfulness, it is unrealistic to conclude
that she contributed P3,750.00 as her share in the purchase price of subject property, there
being no proof of the same.
With respect to the house and lot, Erlinda allegedly bought the same for P20,000.00 when
she was only 22 years old. The testimony of the notary public who prepared the deed of
conveyance for the property testified that Miguel Palang provided the money for the
purchase price and directed that Erlindas name alone be placed as the vendee.

Since Erlinda failed to prove that she contributed money to the purchase price of the
riceland, we find no basis to justify her co-ownership with Miguel over the
same. Consequently, the riceland should, as correctly held by the CA, revert to the conjugal
partnership property of the deceased Miguel and Carlina Palang.
The transaction was properly a donation made by Miguel to Erlinda was void. Article 87 of
the Family Code expressly provides that the prohibition against donations between spouses
now applies to donations between persons living together as husband and wife without a
valid marriage, for otherwise, the condition of those who incurred guilt would turn out to be
better than those in legal union.
As regards to the donation of their conjugal property executed by Miguel and Carlina in favor
of their daughter, was also void. Separation of property between spouses during the
marriage shall not take place except by judicial order or without judicial conferment when
there is an express stipulation in the marriage settlements. The judgment which resulted
from the parties compromise was not specifically and expressly for separation of property
and should not be so inferred.

Posted by kaye lee on 10:00 PM
G.R. No. 137650 April 12 2000

Spouses Fernandez filed an action for ejectment against the Tumlos. Said spouses alleged
that they are the absolute owners of an apartment building located in Valenzuela, Metro
Manila; that they allowed the Tumlos to occupy the apartment building since 1989, without
any payment of any rent. It was agreed that Guillerma Tumlos would pay P1,600/mo while
the other defendants promised to pay P1,000/mo for the rental, which was not fulfilled by
the Tumlos. When the Fernandez demanded the payment from the Tumlos of P84,000 from
Toto and Gina Tumlos as unpaid rentals for 7 years and P143,600.00 from Guillerma as
unpaid rentals for 7 years, but said demand were unheeded. Then they prayed that the
Tumlos be ordered to vacate the property in question and to pay the stated unpaid rentals,
as well as to jointly pay P30,000 in attorney's fees.
Guillerma filed an answer to the complaint, claiming that she is also the co-owner and covendee of the apartment in question together with Mario Fernandez, as evidenced by a
Contract to Sell. MTC promulgated its decision in January 1997.
Upon appeal to the RTC Guillerma et al alleged that Mario Fernandez and Guillerma had an
amorous relationship, and that they bought the property as their love nest; that they lived
together in the property with their 2 children and that Guillerma administered the property
by collecting rentals, until she discovered that Mario deceived her as to the annulment of his
RTC affirmed with the judgment of the MTC. CA reversed the RTC Decision.
Whether or not that petitioner is the co-owner of the apartment.
No. SC rejected the claim that Guillerma and Mario were the co-owners of the disputed
Under Article 148, proof of actual contribution must be presented to be deemed as co-owner
of the property acquired during the cohabitation. In this case, Guillerma failed to present any
evidence that she had made an actual contribution to purchase the apartment building. She
merely anchors her claim of co-ownership on her cohabitation with Mario Fernandez. No
other evidence was presented to validate such claim, except for the said affidavit/position
paper. Her claim of having administered the property during their cohabitation is
unsubstantiated, for there is nothing in the Article 148 of the FC provides that the
administration of the property amounts to the contribution in its acquisition.
Categories: Persons and Family Relations, Philippine Civil Code, Property Regime of Unions
Without Marriage


October 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Seventeen-year old Gina S. Rey was married, but separated de facto from her husband, when she met
and cohabited with petitioner Jacinto Saguid In 1996, the couple decided to separate and end up their
9-year cohabitation. private respondent filed a complaint for Partition and Recovery of Personal
Property with Receivership against the petitioner. She prayed that she be declared the sole owner of
these personal properties and that the amount of P70,000.00, representing her contribution to the
construction of their house, be reimbursed to her.

ISSUE: WON there are actual contributions from the parties

it is not disputed that Gina and Jacinto were not capacitated to marry each other because the former
was validly married to another man at the time of her cohabitation with the latter. Their property
regime therefore is governed by Article 148 of the Family Code, which applies to bigamous marriages,
adulterous relationships, relationships in a state of concubinage, relationships where both man and
woman are married to other persons, and multiple alliances of the same married man. Under this
regime, only the properties acquired by both of the parties through their actual joint contribution of
money, property, or industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective
contributions Proof of actual contribution is required.

Even if cohabitation commenced before family code, article 148 applies because this provision was
intended precisely to fill up the hiatus in Article 144 of the Civil Code.
The fact that the controverted property was titled in the name of the parties to an adulterous

relationship is not sufficient proof of co-ownership absent evidence of actual contribution in the
acquisition of the property.

In the case at bar, the controversy centers on the house and personal properties of the parties. Private
respondent alleged in her complaint that she contributed P70,000.00 for the completion of their house.
However, nowhere in her testimony did she specify the extent of her contribution. What appears in the
record are receipts in her name for the purchase of construction materials.

While there is no question that both parties contributed in their joint account deposit, there is,
however, no sufficient proof of the exact amount of their respective shares therein. Pursuant to Article
148 of the Family Code, in the absence of proof of extent of the parties respective contribution, their
share shall be presumed to be equal.


Posted by kaye lee on 10:00 PM

G.R. No. 153029 September 27 2007 [Art 148-Property Regime of Bigamous Marriages]
Sofronio Acre, Jr. Married Evangeline Yuttikki while his prior marriage with Beatriz Acre was
still subsisting. Sofronio and Evangeline acquired properties where one parcel of land was
registered in the name of Evangeline Yuttikki, married to Sofronio Acre Jr. The other parcel of
land was registered in the name of Evangeline Yuttiki, married to Sofronio Acre, and Nellie Y.
Del Mar, married to Jose del Mar.
Sofronio died after more than 24 years of union with Evangeline.
The Acres filed a complaint for reconveyance and recovery of properties and/or partition with
damages. They alleged that Sofronio alone acquired the subject properties with his fund.
The trial court dismissed the complaint. The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court.
Whether or not Evangeline is the owner of the contested properties.
Yes. Evangeline is the exclusive owner of the contested properties.
The property regime of Evangeline and Sofronio falls under the Article 148 of the Family
Code, considering that their marriage is bigamous. Under Art 148, properties acquired by the
parties through their actual joint contribution shall be governed by the rules on coownership. If there is no contribution from either or both of the spouses, there can be no coownership.
The Acres failed to present any evidence to establish that Sofronio made an actual
contribution in acquiring the contested properties. Clearly, co-ownership does not exist
The certificate of title on its face show that the one property were exclusively owned by
Evangeline, and the other was co-owned by her with her sister. The rule is well-settled that
the words "married to" preceding Sofronio Acre, Jr are merely descriptive of the civil status of
Categories: Persons and Family Relations, Property Regime of Unions Without Marriage


The records show that on July 31, 1967, Pedro Gayon filed saidcomplaint against
the spouses Silvestre Gayon and Genoveva deGayon, alleging substantially that, on
October 1, 1952, said spousesexecuted a deed copy of which was attached to the
complaint, asAnnex "A" whereby they sold to Pedro Gelera, for the sum of
P500.00, a parcel of unregistered land therein described, and locatedin the barrio of
Cabubugan, municipality of Guimbal, province of Iloilo,including the improvements
thereon, subject to redemption within five(5) years or not later than October 1,
1957; that said right of redemption had not been exercised by Silvestre Gayon,
Genoveva deGayon, or any of their heirs or successors, despite the expiration of
theperiod therefor; that said Pedro Gelera and his wife Estelita Damasohad, by
virtue of a deed of sale copy of which was attached to thecomplaint, as Annex
"B" dated March 21, 1961, sold theaforementioned land to plaintiff Pedro Gayon
for the sum of P614.00;that plaintiff had, since 1961, introduced thereon
improvements worthP1,000; that he had, moreover, fully paid the taxes on said
property upto 1967; and that Articles 1606 and 1616 of our Civil Code require a
judicial decree for the consolidation of the title in and to a landacquired through a
conditional sale, and, accordingly, praying that anorder be issued in plaintiff's favor
for the consolidation of ownership inand to the aforementioned property.
In her answer to the complaint, Mrs. Gayon alleged that herhusband, Silvestre
Gayon, died on January 6, 1954, long before theinstitution of this case; that Annex
"A" to the complaint is fictitious, forthe signature thereon purporting to be her
signature is not hers; thatneither she nor her deceased husband had ever executed
"anydocument of whatever nature in plaintiff's favor"; that the complaint ismalicious
and had embarrassed her and her children; that the heirs of Silvestre Gayon had to
"employ the services of counsel for a fee of P500.00 and incurred expenses of at
least P200.00"; and that being abrother of the deceased Silvestre Gayon, plaintiff
"did not exert effortsfor the amicable settlement of the case" before filing his
complaint.She prayed, therefore, that the same be dismissed and that plaintiff
besentenced to pay damages.
Whether or not the contention of the Mr.Gayon that anearnest effort toward a
compromise before the filing of the suit istenable.
As regards plaintiff's failure to seek a compromise, as an allegedobstacle to the
present case, Art. 222 of our Civil Code provides:No suit shall be filed or maintained
between members of the same family unless it should appear that earnestefforts
toward a compromise have been made, but that thesame have failed, subject to the
limitations in article 2035.It is noteworthy that the impediment arising from this
provision appliesto suits "filed or maintained between members of the same family."
This phrase, "members of the same family," should, however, beconstrued in the

light of Art. 217 of the same Code, pursuant to which:Family relations shall include
(1) Between husband and wife;
(2) Between parent and child;
(3) Among other ascendants and their descendants;
(4) Among brothers and sisters.
Mrs. Gayon is plaintiff's sister-in-law, whereas her children are hisnephews and/or
nieces. Inasmuch as none of them is included in theenumeration contained in said
Art. 217 which should be construedstrictly, it being an exception to the general
rule and SilvestreGayon must necessarily be excluded as party in the case at bar,
itfollows that the same does not come within the purview of Art. 222,and plaintiff's
failure to seek a compromise before filing the complaintdoes not bar the same.
WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby set aside and the caseremanded to
the lower court for the inclusion, as defendant ordefendants therein, of the
administrator or executor of the estate of Silvestre Gayon, if any, in lieu of the
decedent, or, in the absence of such administrator or executor, of the heirs of the
deceased SilvestreGayon, and for further proceedings, not inconsistent with this
decision,with the costs of this instance against defendant-appellee, Genovevade
Gayon. It is so ordered.

[G.R. No. 119714. May 29, 1997]

OF SORSOGON, respondents.

A 6,270-SQUARE METER PARCEL OF LAND in the poblacion of Gubat,

Sorsogon, is the subject of this action for reconveyance and damages.

Julia Galpo de Domalaon was the owner of a piece of land with an area of
1,260 square meters and the two-storey house standing thereon. In 1950 she
extrajudicially constituted this property into a family home. Alicia DomalaonEsquivias, Elena G. Domalaon and Jose G. Domalaon, among other children,
were named beneficiaries thereof.

On 11 March 1974 a Deed of Absolute Sale was executed by Julia Galpo

de Domalaon in favor of her son-in-law, Atty. Salvador Esquivias, husband of
Alicia Domalaon. Subject matter of the deed was the property constituting the
family home the two-storey house and the residential lot on which it stood,
more particularly described in the deed as
"x x x containing an area corresponding to the ground floor area of the house (136 sq.
m.) plus and including its outside surrounding area of land measuring three (3) meters
from the outside walls on all sides of said house, and including the whole width and
length of the driveway leading from the house to Manook Street. This is likewise part
and parcel of the family home declared in the name of Julia Galpo de Domalaon under
Tax Declaration No. 9021 containing an original area of 1,260 square meters, more or
less, and assessed at P1,070."

On 30 March 1977 the family home was dissolved by Julia Galpo de

Domalaon with the conformity of all her children. Afterwards, another deed of
sale was executed by her dated 12 April 1977 transferring to Jose G.
Domalaon the house and lot which once constituted the family home. The
deed indicated that the property being sold was the entire 1,260 square

meters. However, in the Affidavit of Confirmatory Waiver of Rights, the area

was increased to 2,456 square meters.


Prior to the sale of the property to him, or on 21 October 1976, Jose

already filed two (2) applications for Free Patent in his name covering the
entire property. When his first application was approved, a certificate of
title was issued on 11 February 1981. His rights over the other application
covering the rest of the property were relinquished by him in favor of his sister
Elena. It turned out later that Elena G. Domalaon also succeeded in her
application for Free Patent and a certificate of title was issued in her name on
18 March 1985.



Alleging that it was only in 1981 that she came to know that the document
she signed in favor of Atty. Salvador S. Esquivias in 1974 was actually a deed
of sale, Julia Galpo de Domalaon filed a disbarment case against Atty.
Esquivias. According to her, being a son-in-law and lawyer of the Domalaons,
Atty. Esquivias took advantage of her trust and confidence and poor eyesight
by representing that the document was a sale of her land in favor of all her
children. But the Solicitor General, who investigated the case, recommended
its dismissal for lack of merit thus
The claim of the complainant that respondent took advantage of her trust and
confidence and presented to her for signature a prepared document which he
represented as a distribution of her lands to her children is not credible x x x xIt is
inconceivable that from March 1974 up to January 1981, complainant had never
informed her children that she had already signed a document transferring her
ricelands to them x x x x And what is more, it is too much of a coincidence that Elena
Domalaon discovered the document at the Office of the Register of Deeds of
Sorsogon in January 1981 x x x x The only reasonable conclusion is that Elena knew
all along about the existence of said document, which is a genuine deed of sale in
favor of respondent, and she and her mother (complainant herself) only concocted the
alleged misrepresentation committed by respondent just to get even with him x x x
x The settled rule is that the serious consequences of disbarment or suspension should
follow only where there is a clear preponderance of evidence against the respondent.
The presumption is that the attorney is innocent of the charges proffered and has
performed his duty as a lawyer in accordance with his oath.

Complainant's evidence is obviously insufficient to prove dishonesty on the part of

respondent. Complainant's version is not credible, and respondent has adduced
sufficient evidence to prove motive for the filing of the instant complaint x x x x

This Court adopted the above Recommendation and dismissed the case.


Upon discovering that the subject lands were already titled in the names of
Jose and Elena, Atty. Esquivias and his wife filed an action for reconveyance
and damages before the Regional Trial Court of Sorsogon. In their complaint
they claimed the entire 6,270 square meters and not just the house and lot
they acquired by purchase from Julia. According to them, when Silvestre
Domalaon, husband of Julia, was still alive he promised to transfer the entire
property in their names as payment of his accumulated debts to them. Thus,
they declared the property in their names and paid the taxes thereon.
After trial, the court ruled in favor of plaintiffs thus
WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court hereby orders:
1. That plaintiff Salvador Esquivias and Alicia Domalaon-Esquivias be declared the
owners of the house and the portion of the land it is standing on, with an area of 136
sq.m., plus and including its outside surrounding area of land measuring three (3)
meters from the outside walls on all sides of the house, and including the whole width
and length of the driveway leading from the house to Manook Street;
2. That Jose Domalaon should reconvey to the plaintiffs that property mentioned
above; and for the purpose, a licensed surveyor be commissioned to set off that
particular portion of the property. The fee of such surveyor should be paid by
defendant Jose Domalaon;
3. That the property identified as Lot No. 453 be partitioned by the heirs of Julia G.
Domalaon, and as a consequence, the Register of Deeds of Sorsogon is ordered to
cancel OCT No. P-22729 in the name of Elena Domalaon and issue the corresponding
titles to the portions owned by each heir;
4. That defendants Jose Domalaon and Elena Domalaon should pay to the plaintiffs,
jointly and severally, the sum of P5,000 as moral damages, and P5,000 as attorney's
5. That defendants, likewise, jointly and severally, should pay the costs of this suit.

Not satisfied with the decision, respondents Jose G. Domalaon and Elena
G. Domalaon elevated the case to the Court of Appeals which reversed the
decision of the trial court and dismissed the case on the basis of its finding
that there was no compliance with the mandatory requirements of Art. 222 of
the New Civil Code; hence, the instant petition.
Three (3) issues need to be resolved: (a) Was the appellate court correct
in holding that no earnest effort towards a compromise between members of
the same family was made, in contravention of Art. 222 of the Civil Code? (b)
Did the Report/Recommendation of the Solicitor General in the disbarment
case, which was adopted by the Supreme Court, rule on the validity of the
sale executed by Julia Domalaon? (c) Who has a better right over the subject
property, the Esquiviases or the Domalaons?
Petitioners contend that Atty. Esquivias is only a brother-in-law of Jose and
Elena Domalaon. Atty. Esquivias is not a member of the family of his wife and
is outside the scope and coverage of the law requiring that the same
members of a family should exert efforts to bring about a compromise before
the commencement of a litigation.
We agree with petitioners. Article 222 of the Civil Code provides that no
suit shall be filed or maintained between members of the same family unless it
should appear that earnest efforts towards a compromise have been made
but the same have failed. The reason for the law is that a lawsuit between
family members generates deeper bitterness than one between
strangers. Hence, it is necessary that every effort should be made towards a
compromise before a litigation is allowed to breed hate and passion in the

But this requirement in Art. 222 of the Civil Code applies only to suits
between or among members of the same family. The phrase "between
members of the same family" should be construed in the light of Art. 217 of the
Civil Code under which "family relations" include only those (a) between
husband and wife, (b) between parent and child, (c) among other ascendants
and their descendants, and (d) among brothers and sisters.

As correctly pointed out by petitioners, Atty. Salvador S. Esquivias is not

included in the enumeration of who are members of the same family, as he is
only a brother-in-law of respondents Jose and Elena by virtue of his marriage

to their sister Alicia. His relationship with respondents is based on affinity and
not on consanguinity. Consequently, insofar as he is concerned, he is a
stranger with respect to the family of his wife and, as such, the mandatory
requirement of "earnest effort toward a compromise" does not apply to him. In
Magbaleta v. Gonong we ruled that "efforts to compromise" are not a
jurisdictional prerequisite for the maintenance of an action whenever a
stranger to the family is a party thereto, whether as necessary or
indispensable one. An alien to the family may not be willing to suffer the
inconvenience of, much less relish, the delay and the complications that
wranglings between and among relatives more often than not entail. Besides,
it is neither practical nor fair that the rights of a family be made to depend on a
stranger who just happens to have innocently acquired some interest in a
property by virtue of his affinity to the parties. Contrary to the ruling of the
Court of Appeals, we find no reason to give Art. 222 a broader scope than its
literal import.

On the second issue, petitioner Salvador S. Esquivias postulates that the

validity of the deed of sale in his favor had already been sustained in the
disbarment proceedings against him. As a consequence, the facts established
therein have become the law of the case and can no longer be disturbed by
the Court of Appeals.
The argument is flawed. In the case of In re Almacen we ruled

x x x x Disciplinary proceedings against lawyers are sui generis. Neither purely civil
nor purely criminal, they do not involve a trial of an action or a suit, but are rather
investigations by the Court into the conduct of one of its officers. Not being intended
to inflict punishment, it is in no sense a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, there is
neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor therein. It may be initiated by the Court motu
proprio. Public interest is its primary objective, and the real question for
determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the
privileges as such. Hence, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the Court merely
calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of the Court
with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and the proper
and honest administration of justice by purging the profession of members who by
their misconduct have proved themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted with the
duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office of an attorney. In such posture, there
can thus be no occasion to speak of a complainant or a prosecutor.

For this reason, whatever has been decided in the disbarment case cannot be
a source of right that may be enforced in another action, like this case before
Moreover, what was decided in the disbarment proceedings was the issue
of whether Atty. Esquivias violated his oath by defrauding and deceiving the
complainant into conveying to him the properties in question, and not the
issue of the validity of the deed of sale. When the Solicitor General made a
declaration that the deed was valid, it was only because the same was
incidentally necessary for the prompt resolution of the case. Indeed, in matters
involving questions of genuineness and due execution of documents
purporting to convey properties of considerable value, no less than an action
instituted for that purpose before a court of competent jurisdiction is
necessary, rather than a mere administrative proceeding, like a disbarment
case, where the procedure followed is, more often than not, summary, and
where the question on validity of the instrument is merely a collateral and not
the main issue.
Consequently, the judgment on the disbarment proceedings, which
incidentally touched on the issue of the validity of the deed of sale, cannot be
considered conclusive in another action where the validity of the same deed of
sale is merely one of the main issues. At best, such judgment may only be
given weight when introduced as evidence, but in no case does it bind the
court in the second action.
We are convinced, however, that the sale in favor of Atty. Esquivias was
made by Julia with full knowledge of the facts and there appears nothing on
record to warrant a declaration of nullity of the deed from the standpoint of
It must be emphasized that the bare existence of confidential relation
between grantor and grantee does not, standing alone, raise the presumption
of fraud. A deed will not be set aside merely because the grantor and grantee
sustained a confidential relationship where the evidence shows no fraud or
abuse of confidence. Besides, if Julia really had a cause of action against
Atty. Esquivias, why did she file only a disbarment case instead of the more
appropriate action for annulment of contract?

As regards the third issue, this Court notes the glaring irregularities that
attended the transfer of the land in question to Jose G. Domalaon and Elena
G. Domalaon: First, the land was sold by Julia to Jose on 12 April 1977. But
even prior to that date, or on 21 October 1976, Jose already applied for Free
Patent in his name covering the land; Second, during the disbarment
proceedings against Atty. Esquivias, Elena admitted on cross-examination that
she went to the Register of Deeds of Sorsogon to register another deed of
sale one executed by her mother in favor of her brother Jose over the same
house and lot ahead of the deed of sale executed in favor of Atty.
Esquivias. She succeeded in doing so by using the tax receipt paid by Atty.
Esquivias himself; Third, in the deed of sale of Jose, what was sold to him
was 1,260 square meters. However, in the Affidavit of Confirmatory Waiver of
Rights the area was increased to 2,456 square meters; Fourth, Jose
relinquished to Elena Lot No. 453 with an area of 3,814 square
meters. Surprisingly, the records contain no deed or evidence showing that
Julia likewise sold to Jose Lot No. 453. What was sold was 1,260 square
meters if we go by the deed of sale, or 2,456 square meters if we base it on
the Affidavit of Confirmatory Waiver of Rights. As aptly observed by the trial
court, how could Jose relinquish to Elena something which he did not
own? Fifth, Julia executed an affidavit dated 17 July 1986 wherein she ceded
her rights and interests over Lot No. 453 in favor of Jose. But it will be
observed that such affidavit was not sufficient to transfer ownership of the
subject lot. Even if it did, it was executed only after more than four (4) years
from the date Jose relinquished to Elena his alleged rights over Lot No. 453.




These circumstances confirm the belief that there indeed was collusion
among the Domalaons to defeat the valid and legitimate claim of the
Esquiviases by consolidating the ownership of the entire property in the
names of Jose G. Domalaon and Elena G. Domalaon. They likewise belie the
Domalaons' profession of ignorance with respect to the existence of the first
Logically, while the deed of sale in favor of Jose G. Domalaon was
registered earlier, the same cannot prevail over the deed of sale in favor of
Atty. Esquivias because private respondent knew of the prior sale to
petitioners, and such knowledge tainted his registration with bad faith. To
merit protection under Art. 1544, second par., the second buyer must act in
good faith in registering his deed.


While we are sustaining petitioners' rights over the house and lot subject
of the 11 March 1974 deed of sale, we cannot find any justification to likewise
award to them the rest of the property. They presented no evidence other than
their self-serving assertion that the entire property was promised to them by
the late Silvestre Domalaon. The fact that such promise was not contradicted
by private respondents does not prove that their claim over the entire property
is valid and subsisting. Furthermore, although the entire property was
declared by petitioners in their names for taxation purposes, it does not by
itself constitute conclusive evidence of ownership.

Finally, while the certificates of title in the names of Jose G. Domalaon and
Elena G. Domalaon are indefeasible, unassailable and binding against the
whole world, including the government itself, they do not create or vest
title. They merely confirm or record title already existing and vested. They
cannot be used to protect a usurper from the true owner, nor can they be used
as a shield for the commission of fraud; neither does they permit one to enrich
himself at the expense of others.

Although a review of the decree of registration is no longer available on

account of the expiration of the one-year period from entry thereof, an
equitable remedy is still available to the Esquiviases who were wrongfully
deprived of their property, i.e., to compel Jose G. Domalaon in whose name
the house and lot in question had been wrongfully registered, to reconvey the
property to the Esquiviases, provided that the same has not yet been
transferred to innocent persons for value.

The registered property is deemed to be held in trust for the real owners
by the person in whose name it has been registered. In this action for
incontrovertible. What is sought instead is the transfer of the property, in this
case, the title thereof, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in
another person's name, to its rightful and legal owners.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of respondent Court of Appeals reversing that

of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 54, Gubat, Sorsogon, is REVERSED and
SET ASIDE, and the Decision of the latter court in favor of petitioners as
quoted in pages four (4) and five (5) hereof is REINSTATED and
AFFIRMED. Costs against private respondents.


Alice A.I. Sandejas, Rosita A.I. Cusi, Patricia A.I. Sandejas and Benjamin A.I. Espiritu,
Petitioner, versus Sps. Arturo Ignacio Jr, and Evelyn Ignacio, Respondent GR No.
155033. December 19, 2007
Arturo drew up a check, UCPB Check No. GRH-560239 and wrote on it the name of
the payee, Dr. Manuel Borja, but left blank the date and amount. He signed the
check. The check was left with Arturo's sister-in-law, who was instructed to deliver
or give it to Benjamin.
The check later came to the possession of Alice who felt that Arturo cheated their
sister Rosita in the amount of three million pesos (P3,000,000.00). She believed that
Arturo and Rosita had a joint and/or money market placement in the amount of P3
million with the UCPB branch at Ortigas Ave., San Juan and that Ignacio
preterminated the placement and ran away with it, which rightfully belonged to
Rosita. She together with Rosita drew up a scheme to recover the P3 million from
Arturo. Alice got her driver, Kudera, to stand as the payee of the check, Dr. Borja.
Alice and Rosita came to SBC Greenhills Branch together with a man (Kudera)
who[m] they introduced as Dr. Borja to the then Assistant Cashier Luis.
They opened a Joint Savings Account. As initial deposit for the Joint Savings
Account, Alice, Rosita and Kudera deposited the check. Thereafter, they successfully
widraw the amount. Arturo Ignacio, Jr. and Evelyn Ignacio (respondents) filed a
verified complaint for recovery of a sum of money and damages.
Judgment is rendered in favor of plaintiffs as against defendants Security Bank and
Trust Co., Rene Colin Gray, Sonia Ortiz Luis, Alice A.I. Sandejas and Rosita A.I. Cusi.
The counterclaims of Patricia A.I. Sandejas are dismissed.wBoth parties appealed
the RTC Decision to the CA. The defendants-appellants Security Bank and Trust
Company, Rene Colin D. Gray, Sonia Ortiz-Luis, Alice A.I. Sandejas, and Rosita A.I.
Cusi, are ordered to jointly and severally pay the plaintiffs. Petitioners and SBTC,
together with Gray and Ortiz-Luis, filed their respective petitions for review before
this Court.
1.Whether or not Alice and Rosita are justified in encashing the subject check given
the factual circumstances established in the present case.
2.Whether or not the petitioners can hold respondent liable for moral damages as
effect of his complaint.
DECISION OF THE COURT: Petitioners' posture is not sanctioned by law. If they truly
believe that Arturo took advantage of and violated the rights of Rosita, petitioners
should have sought redress from the courts and should not have simply taken the
law into their own hands. Our laws are replete with specific remedies designed to
provide relief for the violation of one's rights. It is true that Article 151 of the Family
Code requires that earnest efforts towards a compromise be made before family
members can institute suits against each other. However, nothing in the law

sanctions or allows the commission of or resort to any extra-legal or illegal measure

or remedy in order for family members to avoid the filing of suits against another
family member for the enforcement or protection of their respective rights.
As to Patricia's entitlement to damages, this Court has held that while no proof of
pecuniary loss is necessary in order that moral damages may be awarded, the
amount of indemnity being left to the discretion of the court, it is nevertheless
essential that the claimant should satisfactorily show the existence of the factual
basis of damages and its causal connection to defendants acts
.In the present case, both the RTC and the CA were not convinced that Patricia is
entitled to damages. In addition, and with respect to Benjamin, the Court agrees
with the CA that in the absence of a wrongful act or omission, or of fraud or bad
faith, moral damages cannot be awarded. Ralaw
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals
dated August 27, 2002 in CA-G.R. CV No. 62404 isAFFI RM ED. Costs against the

Lee Tek Sheng v. Court of Appeals

on 5:28 AM in Case Digests, Civil Law, Remedial Law

G.R. No. 115402, July 15, 1998

purpose of notice of lis pendens and when it may be cancelled

After his mother's death, petitioner filed a complaint against his father, private respondent, to
partition the conjugal properties of his parents.
In answer, respondent alleged that four parcels of land registered in petitioner's name are
conjugal properties. They were only registered in petitioner's name because at the time, he was
the only Filipino citizen in the family. Accordingly, respondent prayed for dismissal of the partition
case and to reconvey said parcel of lands to him.
In the meantime, respondent caused the annotation of a notice of lis pendens on the land during
pendency of case. Petitioner moved to cancel the notice of lis pendens but trial court dismissed
his motion.
Hence, this petition.
(1) W/N it was proper to pass upon ownership in a partition case
(2) W/N a notice of lis pendens amounts to a collateral attack of his title obtained more than 28
years ago

The annotation of lis pendens does not in any case amount nor can it ever be considered as
equivalent to a collateral attack of the certificate of title for a parcel of land.
What cannot be collaterally attacked is the certificate of title and not the title. The certificate
referred to is that document issued by the Register of Deeds known as the Transfer Certificate of
Title (TCT). By title, the law refers to ownership which is represented by that document.
Ownership is different from a certificate of title. The TCT is only the best proof of ownership of a
piece of land. Registration is not the equivalent of title, but is only the best evidence thereof.
A notice of lis pendens may only be cancelled on two grounds: (1) if the annotation was for the
purpose of molesting the title of the adverse party; (2) when the annotation is not necessary to
protect the title of the party who caused it to be recorded.
A notice of lis pendens is only for the purpose of announcing "to the whole world that a
particular real property is in litigation, serving as a warning that one who acquires an interest
over said property does so at his own risk, or that he gambles on the result of the litigation over
said property."
On the contention that ownership cannot be passed upon in a partition case, suffice it to say that
until and unless ownership is definitely resolved, it would be premature to effect partition of the

Manacop vs CA
Manacop vs. CA
GR No. 104875, November 13, 1992


Florante Manacop and his wife Euaceli purchased on March 1972, a residential
lot with a bungalow located in Quezon City. The petitioner failed to pay the subcontract cost pursuant to a deed of assignment signed between petitioners
corporation and private respondent herein (FF Cruz & Co). The latter filed a
complaint for the recovery for the sum of money with a prayer for preliminary
attachment against the former. Consequently, the corresponding writ for the
provisional remedy was issued which triggered the attachment of a parcel of
land in Quezon City owned by the Manacop Construction President, the
petitioner. The latter insists that the attached property is a family home having
been occupied by him and his family since 1972 and is therefore exempt from

ISSUE: WON the subject property is indeed exempted from attachment.


The residential house and lot of petitioner became a family home by operation
of law under Article 153 of the Family Code. Such provision does not mean that
said article has a retroactive effect such that all existing family residences,
petitioners included, are deemed to have been constituted as family homes at
the time of their occupation prior to the effectivity of the Family Code and
henceforth, are exempt from execution for the payment of obligations incurred
before the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988. Since petitioner
incurred debt in 1987, it preceded the effectivity of the Code and his property is
therefore not exempt form attachment.

The petition was dismissed by SC.

Spouses De Mesa vs Spouses Acero

G.R. No. 185064, January 16, 2012

Spouses De Mesa obtained a loan from Spouses Acero which was secured by
a mortgage over the subject property. When Spouses De Mesa failed to pay
the loan, the property was sold at a public auction. Spouses Acero was the
highest bidder and the corresponding certificate of sale was issued to them.
Thereafter, they leased the subject property to Spouses De Mesa who then
defaulted in the payment of the rent. Unable to collect the rentals due,
Spouses Acero filed a complaint for ejectment against Spouses De Mesa. In
their defense, Spouses De Mesa claimed that Spouses Acero have no right
over the subject property. They deny that they are mere lessors, alleging that
they are the lawful owners of the subject property and, thus cannot be
evicted therefrom. The MTC ruled in Spouses Aceros favor. Spouses De Mesa
appealed the Decision.
In the meantime, Spouses De Mesa filed a complaint with the Regional Trial
Court (RTC), seeking to nullify the title of Spouses Acero on the basis that the
subject property is a family home which is exempt from execution under the
Family Code, and thus, could have not been validly levied upon for purposes
of satisfying their unpaid loan. The RTC dismissed their complaint. The Court
of Appeals affirmed the Decision.

Whether the subject property is exempt from execution


It is without dispute that the family home, from the time of its constitution
and so long as any of its beneficiaries actually resides therein, is generally
exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment. However, this right can
be waived or be barred by laches by the failure to set up and prove the
status of the property as a family home at the time of the levy or a
reasonable time thereafter.
The settled rule is that the right to exemption or forced sale under Article
153 of the Family Code is a personal privilege granted to the judgment
debtor and as such, it must be claimed not by the sheriff, but by the debtor
himself before the sale of the property at public auction. It is not sufficient
that the person claiming exemption merely alleges that such property is a
family home. This claim for exemption must be set up and proved to the

For all intents and purposes, the petitioners negligence or omission to assert
their right within a reasonable time gives rise to the presumption that they
have abandoned, waived or declined to assert it. Since the exemption under
Article 153 of the Family Code is a personal right, it is incumbent upon the
petitioners to invoke and prove the same within the prescribed period and it
is not the sheriffs duty to presume or raise the status of the subject property
as a family home. (Spouses Araceli Oliva-De Mesa vs. Spouses Claudio F.
Acero, Jr., G.R. No. 185064, 16 January 2012)

Andal vs Macaraig
Andal vs. Macaraig
GR No. 2474, May 30, 1951


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 Marias 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.


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. Marias 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.


Posted by kaye lee on 11:03 AM

G.R. No. 105625 January 24 1994 [Article 163-171 - Legitimate Children]
Spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian had various properties. They both died intestate. The
special proceedings for administration of the properties were filed with the trial court. Vicente's sister
Victoria B. Lirio filed for issuance of letters of administration in favor of the nephew. Marissa opposed the
petition, saying that she is the sole heir of deceased Vicente and that she is capable of administering his
estate. She submitted the pieces of documentary evidence and testified that the spouses treated her as
their own daughter. The relatives of Vicente tried to prove through testimonial evidence, that the spouses
failed to beget a child during their marriage. Victoria categorically declared that Marissa was not the
biological child of the spouses who were unable to physically procreate.
Trial court relied on Arts. 166 and 170 of the Family Code and ruled in favor of Marissa. On appeal, the
CA reversed the lower court decision and declared Marissa Benitez-Badua is not the biological child of
the late spouses.
Whether or not Marissa Benitez-Badua is the legitimate child and the sole heir of the late spouses.
No. The SC find no merit to the petition.
Articles 164, 166, 170 and 171 of the Family Code cannot be applied in the case at bar. The above
provisions do not contemplate a situation where a child is alleged not to be the biological child of a certain
In Article 166, it is the husband who can impugn the legitimacy of the child by:
(1) it was physically impossible for him to have sexual intercourse, with his wife within the
first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately preceded the birth of the child;
(2) that for biological or other scientific reasons, the child could not have been his child;
(3) that in case of children conceived through artificial insemination, the written
authorization or ratification by either parent was obtained through mistake, fraud, violence,
intimidation or undue influence.
Articles 170 and 171 speak of the prescription period within which the husband or any of his heirs should
file an action impugning the legitimacy of the child. In this case, it is not where the heirs of the late Vicente
are contending that Marissa is not his child or a child by Isabel, but they are contending that Marissa was
not born to Vicente and Isabel.
Marissa was not the biological child of the dead spouses. Marissa's Certificate of Live Birth was
repudiated by the Deed of Extra-Judicial Settlement of the Estate of the late Isabel by Vicente, saying that
he and his brother-in-law are the sole heirs of the estate.

De Jesus vs Dizon G.R. No. 142877

Prayer of the Petitioner: Petitioners maintain that their recognition as being illegitimate
children of the decedent, embodied in an authentic writing, is in itself sufficient to
establish their status as such and does not require a separate action for judicial
The case involves two illegitimate children who having been born in a lawful wedlock;
claim to be the illegitimate children of the decedent, Juan G. Dizon in order to enforce
their respective shares in the latters estate under the rules on succession. Danilo B. de
Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus got married on August 23, 1964 and during this
marriage, herein petitioners, Jacqueline A. de Jesus and Jinkie Christie A. de Jesus were
born. However, in a notarized document dated June 07, 1991, Juan G. Dizon
acknowledged Jacqueline and Jinkie de Jesus as being his own illegitimate children by
Carolina Aves de Jesus. Subsequently, on the following year, Juan G. Dizon died
intestate leaving behind a considerable amount of assets. Thus, on the strength of his
notarized acknowledgment, herein petitioners filed a complaint for Partition with
Inventory and accounting of the Dizon estate. On the other hand, herein respondents, the
surviving spouse and legitimate children of the decedent Juan G. Dizon, including the
corporations of which the deceased was a stockholder, sought the dismissal of the case.
They argued that the complaint, even while denominated as being one for partition,
would nevertheless call for altering the status of petitioners from being thelegitimate
children of the spouses Danilo de Jesus and Carolina de Jesus to instead be the
illegitimate children of Carolina de Jesus and deceased Juan Dizon. But, the trial court
denied their motion to dismiss as well as their motion for reconsideration, which
prompted the respondents to elevate the issue before the Court of Appeals but still the
latter upheld the decision of the lower court and ordered that case be remanded for
further proceedings. Years later, respondents, notwithstanding with their submission of
their answers and several motions, they filed an omnibus motion for the dismissal of the
complaint. They contend that the action instituted was, in fact, made tocompel the
recognition of petitioners as being the illegitimate children of decedent Juan G. Dizon
and that the partition sought was merely an ulterior relief once petitioners would have
been able to establish their status as such heirs. They also asserted that an action for
partition was not an appropriate forum to ascertain the question of paternity and filiation
because the same could only be taken up in an independent suit or proceeding. And at
this instance, the trial court favored with the respondents and therefore dismissed the
complaint of the petitioners for lack of cause of action and being improper.
Whether petitioners are indeed the acknowledged illegitimate offsprings of the decedent.

The filiation of illegitimate children, like legitimate children, is established by (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 thereof, 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. The due recognition of an illegitimate
child in a record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic
writing is, in itself, a consummated act of acknowledgment of the child, and no further
court action is required. In fact, any authentic writing is treated not just a ground for
compulsory recognition; it is in itself a voluntary recognition that does not require a
separate action for judicial approval. Where, instead, a claim for recognition is predicated
on other evidence merely tending to prove paternity, i.e., outside of a record of birth, a
will, a statement before a court of record or an authentic writing, judicial action within the
applicable statute of limitations is essential in order to establish the childs
However, based on the records presented, they showed that petitioners were born during
the marriage of their parents. The certificates of live birth would also identify Danilo de
Jesus as being their father. There is perhaps no presumption of the law more firmly
established and founded on sounder morality and more convincing reason than the
presumption that children born in wedlock are legitimate. This presumption indeed
becomes conclusive in the absence of proof that there is physical impossibility of access
between the spouses during the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately
precedes the birth of the child due to (a) the physical incapacity of the husband to have
sexual intercourse with his wife; (b) the fact that the husband and wife are living
separately in such a way that sexual intercourse is not possible; or (c) serious illness of
the husband, which absolutely prevents sexual intercourse. Quite remarkably, upon the
expiration of the periods set forth in Article 170, and in proper cases Article 171, of the
Family Code (which took effect on 03 August 1988), the action to impugn the legitimacy
of a child would no longer be legally feasible and the status conferred by the
presumption becomes fixed and unassailable. In an attempt to establish their illegitimate
filiation to the late Juan G.Dizon, petitioners, in effect, would impugn their legitimate
status as being children of Danilo de Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus. This step cannot
be aptly done because the law itself establishes the legitimacy of children conceived or
born during the marriage of the parents.Jurisprudence is strongly settled that the
paramount declaration of legitimacy by law cannot be attacked collaterally, one that can
only be repudiated or contested in a direct suit specifically brought for that purpose.
Indeed, a child so born in such wedlock shall be considered legitimate although the
mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as having
been an adulteress. WHEREFORE, the foregoing disquisitions considered, the instant
petition is DENIED.

People v. Rufino Umanito

26 Oct 2007 / Tinga / Appeal from a CA decision
Search and seizure > Nature, scope and definition > Types > With a search warrant > Things that may be
seized > Rules on DNA evidence [AM No. 06-11-5-SC (2007)]
Around 9PM, private complainant AAA was accosted by a young male (whom she later knew as
Umanito). He waited for her by the creek, and he pointed as knife at her abdomen. He dragged her into
the Home Economics Building of Daramuangan Elementary School. He undressed her while still holding
the knife. He set her down on a bench, put down the knife, and had sex with her. He dressed up and
threatened to kill her if she reported the incident. Six months later, AAA s mother noticed the prominence
on her stomach, and it was then that she divulged to her mother the alleged rape. Her mother brought her
to the police station. (Umanito s alibi: He was at home all day. Re: AAA, he admitted that he courted her
but she spurned him. He conjectured that she had a crush on him since she frequently visited him.)
RTC rendered judgment against Umanito and sentenced him to suffer reclusion perpetua.
Umanito s appeal was transferred to the CA for intermediate review (as per Mateo ruling), and CA
affirmed RTC. Umanito seeks acquittal on reasonable doubt, with the belated filing of the case and
AAA s questionable credibility as grounds. He also said that AAA filed the complaint only upon her
mother s insistence; this supports his claim that AAA had sex with another (a married man). Also, he
claimed that there were several inconsistencies in her assertions.
The fact that AAA bore a child because of the purported rape may provide the definitive key to Umanito s
absolution, since it can now be determined with reasonable certainty WON he is the father of her child.
AAA and her child are directed to submit themselves to DNA testing under the aegis of the New Rule on
DNA Evidence (AM No. 06-11-5-SC) which took effect on 15 Oct 2007 (a few days before promulgation of
this case).
DNA print / identification technology is now recognized as a uniquely effective means to link a
suspect to a crime, or to absolve one erroneously accused, where biological evidence is available. The
groundwork for acknowledging the strong weight of DNA testing was first laid out in Tijing v. CA . Herrera
v. Alba discussed DNA analysis as evidence and traced the development of its admissibility in our
jurisdiction. Tecson v. COMELEC said that in case proof of filiation or paternity would be unlikely to
establish, DNA testing could be resorted to.
The determination of WON Umanito is the father (through DNA testing) is material to the fair and
correct adjudication of his appeal. Under Sec. 4 of AM No. 06-11-5-SC, the courts are authorized, after
due hearing and notice, motu proprio to order a DNA testing. However, since SC is not a trier of
facts, it would be more appropriate that the case be remanded to RTC for reception of evidence.
The hearing should be confined to ascertaining the feasibility of DNA testing with due regard to the
standards set. RTC should order the DNA testing if it finds it to be feasible in this case. RTC shall
determine the institution to undertake the testing, and the parties are free to manifest their comments on
the choice. After the DNA analysis is obtained, it shall be incumbent upon the parties who wish to avail of
the same to offer the results in accordance with the rules of evidence, which shall be assessed by RTC in
keeping with Sections 7 (Assessment of probative value of DNA evidence) and 8 (Reliability of DNA
testing methodology). RTC is also enjoined to observe confidentiality and preservation of DNA evidence.
To facilitate the execution of this resolution, although the parties are primarily bound to bear the
expenses for DNA testing, such costs may be advanced by SC if needed.

G.R. No. 108366 February 16, 1994

JOHN PAUL E. FERNANDEZ, ET AL., petitioners,
Erlinda B. Espejo for petitioners.
C.B. Carbon & Associates for private respondent.

The legal dispute between the parties began when the petitioners filed Civil Case No. Q-45567 for
support against the private respondent before the RTC of Quezon City. The complaint was
dismissed on December 9, 1986 by Judge Antonio P. Solano, 1 who found that "(t)here is nothing in the
material allegations in the complaint that seeks to compel (private respondent) to recognize or
acknowledge (petitioners) as his illegitimate children," and that there was no sufficient and competent
evidence to prove the petitioners filiation. 2
Petitioners plodded on. On February 19, 1987, they file the case at bench, another action for
recognition and support against the private respondent before another branch of the RTC of Quezon
City, Branch 87. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. Q-50111.
The evidence shows that VIOLETA P. ESGUERRA, single, is the mother and guardian ad litem of
the two petitioners, CLARO ANTONIO FERNANDEZ and JOHN PAUL FERNANDEZ, met sometime
in 1983, at the Meralco Compound tennis courts. A Meralco employee and a tennis enthusiast,
Carlito used to spend his week-ends regularly at said courts, where Violeta's father served as tennis
Violeta pointed to Carlito as the father of her two sons. She claimed that they started their illicit
sexual relationship six (6) months after their first meeting. The tryst resulted in the birth of petitioner
Claro Antonio on March 1, 1984, and of petitioner John Paul on not know that Carlito was married
until the birth of her two children. She averred they were married in civil rites in October, 1983. In
March, 1985, however, she discovered that the marriage license which they used was spurious.
To bolster their case, petitioners presented the following documentary evidence: their certificates of
live birth, identifying respondent Carlito as their father; the baptismal certificate of petitioner Claro
which also states that his father is respondent Carlito; photographs of Carlito taken during the
baptism of petitioner Claro; and pictures of respondent Carlito and Claro taken at the home of
Violeta Esguerra.
Petitioners likewise presented as witnesses, Rosario Cantoria, 3 Dr. Milagros Villanueva, 4 Ruby Chua
Cu, 5 and Fr. Liberato Fernandez. 6 The first three witnesses told the trial court that Violeta Esguerra had,
at different times, 7 introduced the private respondent to them as her "husband". Fr. Fernandez, on the
other hand, testified that Carlito was the one who presented himself as the father of petitioner Claro
during the latter's baptism.

In defense, respondent Carlito denied Violeta's allegations that he sired the two petitioners. He
averred he only served as one of the sponsors in the baptism of petitioner Claro. This claim was
corroborated by the testimony of Rodante Pagtakhan, an officemate of respondent Carlito who also
stood as a sponsor of petitioner Claro during his baptism. The Private respondent also presented as
witness, Fidel Arcagua, a waiter of the Lighthouse Restaurant. He disputed Violeta's allegation that
she and respondent Carlito frequented the said restaurant during their affair. Arcagua stated he
never saw Violeta Esguerra and respondent Carlito together at the said restaurant. Private
respondent also declared he only learned he was named in the birth certificates of both petitioners
as their father after he was sued for support in Civil Case No.
Based on the evidence adduced by the parties, the trial court ruled in favor of petitioners, viz.:
In view of the above, the Court concludes and so holds that the plaintiffs minors
(petitioners herein) are entitled to the relief's prayed for in the complaint. The
defendant (herein private respondent) is hereby ordered to recognize Claro Antonio
Carlito Fernandez, now aged 6, and John Paul Fernandez, now aged 41/2 as his
sons. As the defendant has admitted that he has a supervisory job at the Meralco, he
shall give the plaintiffs support in the amount of P2,000 each a month, payment to be
delivered to Violeta Esguerra, the children's mother and natural guardian, with
arrears reckoned as of the filing of the complaint on February 19, 1987.
On appeal, the decision was set aside and petitioners complaint dismissed by the respondent Court
of Appeals 8in its impugned decision, dated October 20, 1992. It found that the "proof relied upon by the
(trial) court (is) inadequate to prove the (private respondent's) paternity and filiation of (petitioners)." It
further held that the doctrine of res judicata applied because of the dismissal of the petitioners complaint
in Civil Case No. Q-45567. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied on December 22, 1992.
Petitioners now contend that the respondent appellate court erred in: (1) not giving full faith and
credit to the testimony in of Violeta Esguerra; (2) not giving weight and value to the testimony of
Father Liberato Fernandez; (3) not giving probative value to the numerous pictures of respondent
Carlito Fernandez taken during the baptismal ceremony and inside the bedroom of Violeta Esguerra;
(4) not giving probative value to the birth certificates of petitioners; (5) giving so much credence to
the self-serving and incredible testimony of respondent Carlito Fernandez; and (6) holding that the
principle of res judicata is applicable in the case at bar.
We find no merit in the petition.
The rule is well-settled that findings of facts of the Court of Appeals may be reviewed by this court
only under exceptional circumstances. One such situation is when the findings of the appellate court
clash with those of the trial court as in the case at bench. It behooves us therefore to exercise our
extraordinary power, and settle the issue of whether the ruling of the appellate court that private
respondent is not the father of the petitioners is substantiated by the evidence on record.
We shall first examine the documentary evidence offered by the petitioners which the respondent
court rejected as insufficient to prove their filiation. Firstly, we hold that petitioners cannot rely on the
photographs showing the presence of the private respondent in the baptism of petitioner Claro (Exh.

"B-8", Exh. "B-12", Exh. "H" and Exh. "I"). These photographs are far from proofs that private
respondent is the father of petitioner Claro. As explained by the private respondent, he was in the
baptism as one of the sponsors of petitioner Claro. His testimony was corroborated by Rodante
Secondly, the pictures taken in the house of Violeta showing private respondent showering affection
to Claro fall short of the evidence required to prove paternity (Exhibits "B", "B-1", "B-2", "B-7", "B-14"
and "B-15"). As we held in Tan vs. Trocio, 192 SCRA 764, viz:
. . . The testimonies of complainant and witness Marilou Pangandaman, another
maid, to show unusual closeness between Respondent and Jewel, like playing with
him and giving him paternity. The same must be said of . . . (the) pictures of Jewels
and Respondent showing allegedly their physical likeness to each other. Said
evidence is inconclusive to prove paternity and much less would prove violation of
complaint's person and honor. (Emphasis supplied)
Thirdly, the baptismal certificates (Exh. "D") of petitioner Claro naming private respondent as his
father has scant evidentiary value. There is no showing that private respondent participated in its
preparation. On this score, we held in Berciles vs. Systems, et al. 128 SCRA 53 (1984):
As to the baptismal certificates, Exh. "7-A", the rule is that although the baptismal
record of a natural child describes her as a child of the record the decedent had no
intervening, the baptismal record cannot be held to be a voluntary recognition of
parentage. . . . The reason for this rule that canonical records do not constitute the
authentic document prescribed by Arts. 115 and 117 to prove the legitimate filiation of
a child is that such canonical record is simply proof of the only act to which the priest
may certify by reason of his personal knowledge, an act done by himself or in his
presence, like the administration of the sacrament upon a day stated; it is no proof of
the declarations in the record with respect to the parentage of the child baptized, or
of prior and distinct facts which require separate and concrete evidence.
In Macandang vs. Court of Appeals, 100 SCRA 73 (1980), we also ruled that while baptismal
certificates may be considered public documents, they can only serve as evidence of the
administration of the sacraments on the dates so specified. They are not necessarily competent
evidence of the veracity of entries therein with respect to the child's paternity.
Fourth, the certificates of live birth (Exh. "A"; Exh. "B") of the petitioners identifying private
respondent as their father are not also competent evidence on the issue of their paternity. Again, the
records do no show that private respondent had a hand in the preparation of said certificates. In
rejecting these certificates, the ruling of the respondent court is in accord with our pronouncement
in Roces vs. Local Civil Registrar, 102 Phil. 1050 (1958), viz:
. . . Section 5 of Act No. 3793 and Article 280 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
explicity prohibited, not only the naming of the father or the child born outside
wedlock, when the birth certificates, or the recognition, is not filed or made by him,
but, also, the statement of any information or circumstances by which he could be
identified. Accordingly, the Local Civil Registrar had no authority to make or record
the paternity of an illegitimate child upon the information of a third person and the

certificate of birth of an illegitimate child, when signed only by the mother of the latter,
is incompetent evidence of fathership of said child. (Emphasis supplied)
We reiterated this rule in Berciles, op. cit., when we held that "a birth certificate no signed by the
alleged father therein indicated is not competent evidence of paternity."
We have also reviewed the relevant testimonies of the witnesses for the petitioners and we are
satisfied that the respondent appellate court properly calibrated their weight. Petitioners capitalize on
the testimony of Father Liberato Fernandez who solemnized the baptismal ceremony of petitioner
Claro. He declared on the witness stand:
Q Do you recall Father, whether on that occasion when you called for
the father and the mother of the child, that both father and mother
were present?
A Yes.
Q Would you able to recognized the father and the mother who were
present at that time?
A Yes.
Q Please point to the court?
A There (witness pointing to the defendant, Carlito Fernandez).
Q For instance, just give us more specifically what question do you
remember having asked him?
A Yes, like for example, do you renounce Satan and his works?
Q What was the answer of Fernandez?
A Yes, I do.
Q I just want to be sure, Father, will you please look at the defendant
again. I want to be sure if he is the person who appeared before you
on that occasion?
A I am sure.
(TSN, May 23, 1986, pp. 14-16)
However, on cross examination, Father Fernandez admitted that he has to be shown a picture of the
private respondent by Violeta Esguerra to recognize the private respondent, viz:
Q When was the, approximately, when you were first shown this
picture by Violeta Esguerra?

A I cannot recall.
Q At least the month and the year?
A It must be in 1986.
Q What month in 1986.
A It is difficult. . .
Q When was the first time you know you are going to testify here?
A Let us see, you came there two times and first one was you want to
get a baptismal certificate and then the second time was I asked you
for what is this? And you said it is for the court.
Q On the second time that Ms. Violeta Esguerra went to your place,
you were already informed that you will testify here before this
Honorable Court?
A Yes.
Q And you were informed by this Ms. Violeta Esguerra that this man
wearing the blue T-shirt is the father?
A Yes, sir.
Q So, it was Violeta Esguerra who. . .
A Yes.
(TSN, May 23, 1986, pp. 18 to 22)
Indeed, there is no proof that Father Fernandez is a close friend of Violeta Esguerra and the private
respondent which should render unquestionable his identification of the private respondent during
petitioner Claro's baptism. In the absence of this proof, we are not prepared to concede that Father
Fernandez who officiates numerous baptismal ceremonies day in and day out can remember the
parents of the children he has baptized.
We cannot also disturb the findings of the respondent court on the credibility of Violeta Esguerra. Her
testimony is highly suspect as it is self-serving and by itself, is insufficient to prove the paternity of
the petitioners.
We shall not pass upon the correctness of the ruling of the respondent appellate court applying the
doctrine of res judicata as additional reason in dismissing petitioners action for recognition and
support. It is unnecessary considering our findings that petitioners evidence failed to substantiate
their cause of action.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DISMISSED and the Decision of the respondent court in CAG.R. CV No. 29182 is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

Jison vs. CA
GR No. 124853, February 24, 1998
Private respondent, Monina Jison, instituted a complaint against petitioner,
Francisco Jison, for recognition as illegitimate child of the latter. The case was
filed 20 years after her mothers death and when she was already 39 years of
Petitioner was married to Lilia Lopez Jison since 1940 and sometime in 1945, he
impregnated Esperanza Amolar, Moninas mother. Monina alleged that since
childhood, she had enjoyed the continuous, implied recognition as the
illegitimate child of petitioner by his acts and that of his family. It was likewise
alleged that petitioner supported her and spent for her education such that she
became a CPA and eventually a Central Bank Examiner. Monina was able to
present total of 11 witnesses.
ISSUE: WON Monina should be declared as illegitimate child of Francisco Jison.
Under Article 175 of the Family Code, illegitimate filiation may be established in
the same way and on the same evidence as that of legitimate children. Article
172 thereof provides the various forms of evidence by which legitimate filiation
is established.
To prove open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child,
there must be evidence of the manifestation of the permanent intention of the
supposed father to consider the child as his, by continuous and clear
manifestations of parental affection and care, which cannot be attributed to pure
charity. Such acts must be of such a nature that they reveal not only the
conviction of paternity, but also the apparent desire to have and treat the child
as such in all relations in society and in life, not accidentally, but continuously.
The following facts was established based on the testimonial evidences offered
by Monina:
1. That Francisco was her father and she was conceived at the time when her
mother was employed by the former;
2. That Francisco recognized Monina as his child through his overt acts and
SC ruled that a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative father
is not competence evidence as to the issue of paternity. Franciscos lack of
participation in the preparation of baptismal certificates and school records
render the documents showed as incompetent to prove paternity. With regard
to the affidavit signed by Monina when she was 25 years of age attesting that

Francisco was not her father, SC was in the position that if Monina were truly not
Franciscos illegitimate child, it would be unnecessary for him to have gone to
such great lengths in order that Monina denounce her filiation. Moninas
evidence hurdles the high standard of proof required for the success of an
action to establish ones illegitimate filiation in relying upon the provision on
open and continuous possession. Hence, Monina proved her filiation by more
than mere preponderance of evidence.

Since the instant case involves paternity and filiation, even if illegitimate,
Monina filed her action well within the period granted her by a positive provision
of law. A denial then of her action on ground of laches would clearly be
inequitable and unjust. Petition was denied.


Posted by kaye lee on 1:45 PM

G.R. No. 125901, March 8, 2001 [Habeas Corpus]
Edgardo and Bienvenida Tijing filed a petition for habeas corpus in order to recover their youngest child,
Edgardo Jr., whom they did not see for 4 years. Trial court granted the petition and ordered Angelita
Diamante to immediately release the child, now named John Thomas D. Lopez, and turn him over to his
parents. CA reversed and set aside the decision rendered by the lower court. It questioned the propriety
of the habeas corpus in this case.
ISSUE:Whether or not habeas corpus is the proper remedy to regain custody of the minor.
Yes. SC upheld the decision of the trial court.
The writ of habeas corpus extends to all cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is
deprived of his liberty, or by the rightful custody of any person withheld from the persons entitled thereto.
The writ of habeas corpus is the proper legal remedy to enable parents to regain the custody of a minor
child even if the latter be in the custody of a third person of his own free will. It must be stressed out that
in habeas corpus proceeding, the question of identity is relevant and material, subject to the usual
presumption, including those as identity of the person.
The trial court was correct in its judgment based on the evidence established by the parents and by the
witness who is the brother of the late common-law husband of Angelita. Furthermore, there are no clinical
records, log book or discharge from the clinic where John Thomas was allegedly born were presented.
Strong evidence directly proves that Thomas Lopez, Angela's "husband", was not capable of siring a
child. Moreover, his first marriage produced no offspring even after almost 15 years of living together with
his legal wife. His 14 year affair with Angelita also bore no offspring.
The birth certificate of John Thomas Lopez were attended by irregularities. It was filed by Thomas Lopez,
the alleged father. Under Sec. 4, Act No. 3753 (Civil Register Law), the attending physician or midwife in
attendance of the birth should cause the registration of such birth. Only in default of the physician or
midwife, can the parent register the birth of his child. Certificate must be filed with the LCR within 30 days
after the birth. The status of Thomas and Angelita on the birth certificate were typed in as legally married,
which is false because Angelita herself had admitted that she is a "common-law wife."
Trial court also observed several times that when the child and Bienvenida were both in
court, the two had strong similarities in their faces. Resemblance between a minor and his
alleged parent is competent and material evidence to establish parentage. Lastly, the
spouses presented clinical records and testimony of the midwife who attended Bienvenida's

Petitioner, vs.
Respondent. G.R. No. 165166 August 15, 2012 SUMMARY Single mother seeking
child support through establishing filiation with ex-fiancee. FACTS In 1995,
respondent Divina Buling filed a complaint with the RTC for compulsory recognition
and support pendente lite, claiming that the petitioner is the father of her child
Gliffze, whose imputed paternity the petitioner denied. Trial ensued. She met the
petitioner in 1992 in a bank where they both worked. They became sweethearts in
the last week of January 1993. Sometime in September 1993, the petitioner started
intimate sexual relations with the respondent in the formers rented room in the
boarding house managed by Rodulfo, the respondents uncle
. The sexual encounters occurred twice a month and became more frequent in June
1994; eventually, on August 8, 1994, the respondent found out that she was
pregnant. When told, the petitioner was happy and made plans to marry the
respondent but eventually backed out. The respondent gave birth to their son
Gliffze on March 9, 1995. When the petitioner did not show up and failed to provide
support to Gliffze, the respondent sent him a letter on demanding recognition of and
support for their child. When the petitioner did not answer the demand, the
respondent filed her complaint for compulsory recognition and support pendente
lite. The petitioner took the witness stand and testified for himself. He denied the
imputed paternity, claiming that he first had sexual contact with the respondent in
the first week of August 1994 and she could not have been pregnant for 3 months
when he was informed of the pregnancy on September 1994. During the pendency
of the case, the RT
C, on the respondents motion, granted a P2,000.00 monthly child support,
retroactive from March 1995. RTC dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of
evidence. The CA consequently set aside the RTC decision and ordered the
petitioner to recognize his minor son Gliffze. It also reinstated the RTC order for
monthly child support. The petitioner argues that the CA committed a reversible
error in rejecting the
RTCsruling, and that the evidence on record is insufficient to prove paternity.
ISSUE W/Nthe CA committed a reversible error when it set aside the RTCs
findingsand ordered the petitioner to recognize and provide legal support to his
minor son Gliffze DECISION The Court DENIED the petition and AFFIRMED the ruling
of the CA, sustaining the award of P2,000.00 monthly child support, not findingany
reversible error in the CAs
In this case, the respondent established a prima facie case that the petitioner is the
putative father of Gliffze through testimony that she had been sexually involved
only with one man, the petitioner, at the time of her conception. Rodulfo

corroborated her testimony that the petitioner and the respondent had intimate
relationship. However, the petitioner failed to substantiate his allegations of
infidelity and insinuations of promiscuity. His allegations, therefore, cannot be given
credence for lack of evidentiary support.
The petitioners denial cannot overcome the respondents clear and categorical
assertions. Since filiation is beyond question, support follows as a matter of
obligation; a parent is obliged to support his child, whether legitimate or
illegitimate. Support consists of everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling,
clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the
financial capacity of the family.

G.R. No. 180284, September 11, 2013

Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari which seeks to reverse and set aside the
Decision1 dated July 18, 2006 and Resolution2 dated October 19, 2007 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.R. CV No. 64379.
The factual antecedents:
On May 26, 1995, Annabelle Matusalem (respondent) filed a complaint for Support/Damages against Narciso
Salas (petitioner) in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) ofCabanatuan City (Civil Case No. 2124-AF).
Respondent claimed that petitioner is. the father of her son Christian Paulo Salas who was born on
December 28, 1994. Petitioner, already 56 years old at the time, enticed her as she was then only 24 years
old, making her believe that he is a widower. Petitioner rented an apartment where respondent stayed and
shouldered all expenses in the delivery of their child, including the cost of caesarian operation and hospital
confinement. However, when respondent refused the offer of petitioners family to take the child from her,
petitioner abandoned respondent and her child and left them to the mercy of relatives and friends.
Respondent further alleged that she attempted suicide due to depression but still petitioner refused to
support her and their child.
Respondent thus prayed for support pendente lite and monthly support in the amount of P20,000.00, as well
as actual, moral and exemplary damages, and attorneys fees.
Petitioner filed his answer4 with special and affirmative defenses and counterclaims. He described
respondent as a woman of loose morals, having borne her first child also out of wedlock when she went to
work in Italy. Jobless upon her return to the country, respondent spent time riding on petitioners jeepney
which was then being utilized by a female real estate agent named Felicisima de Guzman. Respondent had
seduced a senior police officer in San Isidro and her charge of sexual abuse against said police officer was
later withdrawn in exchange for the quashing of drug charges against respondents brother-in-law who was
then detained at the municipal jail. It was at that time respondent introduced herself to petitioner whom she
pleaded for charity as she was pregnant with another child. Petitioner denied paternity of the child Christian
Paulo; he was motivated by no other reason except genuine altruism when he agreed to shoulder the
expenses for the delivery of said child, unaware of respondents chicanery and deceit designed to
scandalize him in exchange for financial favor.
At the trial, respondent and her witness Grace Murillo testified. Petitioner was declared to have waived his
right to present evidence and the case was considered submitted for decision based on respondents
Respondent testified that she first met petitioner at the house of his kumadre Felicisima de Guzman at
Bgy. Malapit, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. During their subsequent meeting, petitioner told her he is already a
widower and he has no more companion in life because his children are all grown-up. She also learned that
petitioner owns a rice mill, a construction business and a housing subdivision (petitioner offered her a job at
their family-owned Ma. Cristina Village). Petitioner at the time already knows that she is a single mother as
she had a child by her former boyfriend in Italy. He then brought her to a motel, promising that he will take
care of her and marry her. She believed him and yielded to his advances, with the thought that she and her
child will have a better life. Thereafter, they saw each other weekly and petitioner gave her money for her
child. When she became pregnant with petitioners child, it was only then she learned that he is in fact not a
widower. She wanted to abort the baby but petitioner opposed it because he wanted to have another child. 5

On the fourth month of her pregnancy, petitioner rented an apartment where she stayed with a housemaid;
he also provided for all their expenses. She gave birth to their child on December 28, 1994 at the Good
Samaritan Hospital in Cabanatuan City. Before delivery, petitioner even walked her at the hospital room and
massaged her stomach, saying he had not done this to his wife. She filled out the form for the childs birth
certificate and wrote all the information supplied by petitioner himself. It was also petitioner who paid the
hospital bills and drove her baby home. He was excited and happy to have a son at his advanced age who is
his look-alike, and this was witnessed by other boarders, visitors and Grace Murillo, the owner of the
apartment unit petitioner rented. However, on the 18th day after the babys birth, petitioner went to Baguio
City for a medical check-up. He confessed to her daughter and eventually his wife was also informed about
his having sired an illegitimate child. His family then decided to adopt the baby and just give respondent
money so she can go abroad. When she refused this offer, petitioner stopped seeing her and sending money
to her. She and her baby survived through the help of relatives and friends. Depressed, she tried to commit
suicide by drug overdose and was brought to the hospital by Murillo who paid the bill. Murillo sought the
help of the Cabanatuan City Police Station which set their meeting with petitioner. However, it was only
petitioners wife who showed up and she was very mad, uttering unsavory words against respondent. 6
Murillo corroborated respondents testimony as to the payment by petitioner of apartment rental, his weekly
visits to respondent and financial support to her, his presence during and after delivery of respondents baby,
respondents attempted suicide through sleeping pills overdose and hospitalization for which she paid the
bill, her complaint before the police authorities and meeting with petitioners wife at the headquarters. 7
On April 5, 1999, the trial court rendered its decision 8 in favor of respondent, the dispositive portion of which
chanRoble svirtualLawlibrary

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the
defendant as follows:

Ordering the defendant to give as monthly support of TWO THOUSAND (P2,000.00)

PESOS for the child Christian Paulo through the mother;


Directing the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of P20,000.00 by way of
litigation expenses; and


To pay the costs of suit.

Petitioner appealed to the CA arguing that: (1) the trial court decided the case without affording him the
right to introduce evidence on his defense; and (2) the trial court erred in finding that petitioner is the
putative father of Christian Paulo and ordering him to give monthly support.
By Decision dated July 18, 2006, the CA dismissed petitioners appeal. The appellate court found no reason
to disturb the trial courts exercise of discretion in denying petitioners motion for postponement on April 17,
1998, the scheduled hearing for the initial presentation of defendants evidence, and the motion for
reconsideration of the said order denying the motion for postponement and submitting the case for decision.
On the paternity issue, the CA affirmed the trial courts ruling that respondent satisfactorily established the
illegitimate filiation of her son Christian Paulo, and consequently no error was committed by the trial court in
granting respondents prayer for support. The appellate court thus held:
chanRoble svirtualLawlibrary

Christian Paulo, in instant case, does not enjoy the benefit of a record of birth in the civil registry which
bears acknowledgment signed by Narciso Salas. He cannot claim open and continuous possession of the
status of an illegitimate child.
It had been established by plaintiffs evidence, however, that during her pregnancy, Annabelle was provided
by Narciso Salas with an apartment at a rental of P1,500.00 which he paid for (TSN, October 6, 1995, p.
18). Narciso provided her with a household help with a salary of P1,500.00 a month (TSN, October 6, 1995,
ibid). He also provided her a monthly food allowance of P1,500.00 (Ibid, p. 18). Narciso was with Annabelle
at the hospital while the latter was in labor, walking her around and massaging her belly (Ibid, p. 11).

Narciso brought home Christian Paulo to the rented apartment after Annabelles discharge from the hospital.
People living in the same apartment units were witnesses to Narcisos delight to father a son at his age
which was his look alike. It was only after the 18th day when Annabelle refused to give him Christian Paulo
that Narciso withdrew his support to him and his mother.
Said testimony of Annabelle aside from having been corroborated by Grace Murillo, the owner of the
apartment which Narciso rented, was never rebutted on record. Narciso did not present any evidence, verbal
or documentary, to repudiate plaintiffs evidence.
In the cases of Lim vs. CA (270 SCRA 1) and Rodriguez vs. CA (245 SCRA 150), the Supreme Court made it
clear that Article 172 of the Family Code is an adaptation of Article 283 of the Civil Code. Said legal provision
provides that the father is obliged to recognize the child as his natural child x x 3) when the child has in his
favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father.
In fact, in Ilano vs. CA (230 SCRA 242, 258-259), it was held that
The last paragraph of Article 283 contains a blanket provision that practically covers all the other cases in
the preceding paragraphs. Any other evidence or proof that the defendant is the father is broad enough to
render unnecessary the other paragraphs of this article. When the evidence submitted in the action for
compulsory recognition is not sufficient to meet [the] requirements of the first three paragraphs, it may still
be enough under the last paragraph. This paragraph permits hearsay and reputation evidence, as provided
in the Rules of Court, with respect to illegitimate filiation.
As a necessary consequence of the finding that Christian Paulo is the son of defendant Narciso Salas, he is
entitled to support from the latter (Ilano vs. CA, supra).
It shall be demandable from the time the person who has the right to recover the same needs it for
maintenance x x. (Art. 203, Family Code of the Philippines).10
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the CA.
Hence, this petition submitting the following arguments:

chanRoble svirtualLawlibrary

We grant the petition.
It is a legal truism that the rules on the venue of personal actions are fixed for the convenience of the
plaintiffs and their witnesses. Equally settled, however, is the principle that choosing the venue of an action
is not left to a plaintiffs caprice; the matter is regulated by the Rules of Court. 12
In personal actions such as the instant case, the Rules give the plaintiff the option of choosing where to file
his complaint. He can file it in the place (1) where he himself or any of them resides, or (2) where the
defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be found. 13 The plaintiff or the defendant must be
residents of the place where the action has been instituted at the time the action is commenced. 14
However, petitioner raised the issue of improper venue for the first time in the Answer itself and no prior
motion to dismiss based on such ground was filed. Under the Rules of Court before the 1997 amendments,
an objection to an improper venue must be made before a responsive pleading is filed. Otherwise, it will be
deemed waived.15 Not having been timely raised, petitioners objection on venue is therefore deemed

As to the denial of the motion for postponement filed by his counsel for the resetting of the initial
presentation of defense evidence on April 17, 1998, we find that it was not the first time petitioners motion
for postponement was denied by the trial court.
Records disclosed that after the termination of the testimony of respondents last witness on November 29,
1996, the trial court as prayed for by the parties, set the continuation of hearing for the reception of
evidence for the defendant (petitioner) on January 27, February 3, and February 10, 1997. In the Order
dated December 17, 1996, petitioner was advised to be ready with his evidence at those hearing dates
earlier scheduled. At the hearing on January 27, 1997, petitioners former counsel, Atty. Rolando S. Bala,
requested for the cancellation of the February 3 and 10, 1997 hearings in order to give him time to prepare
for his defense, which request was granted by the trial court which thus reset the hearing dates to March 3,
14 and 17, 1997. On March 3, 1997, upon oral manifestation by Atty. Bala and without objection from
respondents counsel, Atty. Feliciano Wycoco, the trial court again reset the hearing to March 14 and 17,
1997. With the non-appearance of both petitioner and Atty. Bala on March 14, 1997, the trial court upon oral
manifestation by Atty. Wycoco declared their absence as a waiver of their right to present evidence and
accordingly deemed the case submitted for decision.16
On July 4, 1997, Atty. Bala withdrew as counsel for petitioner and Atty. Rafael E. Villarosa filed his
appearance as his new counsel on July 21, 1997. On the same date he filed entry of appearance, Atty.
Villarosa filed a motion for reconsideration of the March 14, 1997 Order pleading for liberality and
magnanimity of the trial court, without offering any explanation for Atty. Balas failure to appear for the
initial presentation of their evidence. The trial court thereupon reconsidered its March 14, 1997 Order,
finding it better to give petitioner a chance to present his evidence. On August 26, 1997, Atty. Villarosa
received a notice of hearing for the presentation of their evidence scheduled on September 22, 1997. On
August 29, 1997, the trial court received his motion requesting that the said hearing be re-set to October
10, 1997 for the reason that he had requested the postponement of a hearing in another case which was
incidentally scheduled on September 22, 23 and 24, 1997. As prayed for, the trial court reset the hearing to
October 10, 1997. On said date, however, the hearing was again moved to December 15, 1997. On February
16, 1998, the trial court itself reset the hearing to April 17, 1998 since it was unclear whether Atty. Wycoco
received a copy of the motion.17
On April 17, 1998, petitioner and his counsel failed to appear but the trial court received on April 16, 1998
an urgent motion to cancel hearing filed by Atty. Villarosa. The reason given by the latter was the scheduled
hearing on the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction in another case under the April 8, 1998 Order
issued by the RTC of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, Branch 36 in Civil Case No. 1946. But as clearly stated in the said
order, it was the plaintiffs therein who requested the postponement of the hearing and it behoved Atty.
Villarosa to inform the RTC of Gapan that he had a previous commitment considering that the April 17, 1998
hearing was scheduled as early as February 16, 1998. Acting on the motion for postponement, the trial court
denied for the second time petitioners motion for postponement. Even at the hearing of their motion for
reconsideration of the April 17, 1998 Order on September 21, 1998, Atty. Villarosa failed to appear and
instead filed another motion for postponement. The trial court thus ordered that the case be submitted for
decision stressing that the case had long been pending and that petitioner and his counsel have been given
opportunities to present their evidence. It likewise denied a second motion for reconsideration filed by Atty.
Villarosa, who arrived late during the hearing thereof on December 4, 1998. 18
A motion for continuance or postponement is not a matter of right, but a request addressed to the sound
discretion of the court. Parties asking for postponement have absolutely no right to assume that their
motions would be granted. Thus, they must be prepared on the day of the hearing. 19Indeed, an order
declaring a party to have waived the right to present evidence for performing dilatory actions upholds the
trial courts duty to ensure that trial proceeds despite the deliberate delay and refusal to proceed on the part
of one party.20
Atty. Villarosas plea for liberality was correctly rejected by the trial court in view of his own negligence in
failing to ensure there will be no conflict in his trial schedules. As we held in Tiomico v. Court of
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Motions for postponement are generally frowned upon by Courts if there is evidence of bad faith, malice or
inexcusable negligence on the part of the movant. The inadvertence of the defense counsel in failing to take
note of the trial dates and in belatedly informing the trial court of any conflict in his schedules of trial or
court appearances, constitutes inexcusable negligence. It should be borne in mind that a client is bound by
his counsels conduct, negligence and mistakes in handling the case. 22

With our finding that there was no abuse of discretion in the trial courts denial of the motion for
postponement filed by petitioners counsel, petitioners contention that he was deprived of his day in court
must likewise fail. The essence of due process is that a party is given a reasonable opportunity to be heard
and submit any evidence one may have in support of ones defense. Where a party was afforded an
opportunity to participate in the proceedings but failed to do so, he cannot complain of deprivation of due
process. If the opportunity is not availed of, it is deemed waived or forfeited without violating the
constitutional guarantee.23
We now proceed to the main issue of whether the trial and appellate courts erred in ruling that respondents
evidence sufficiently proved that her son Christian Paulo is the illegitimate child of petitioner.
Under Article 175 of the Family Code of the Philippines, illegitimate filiation may be established in the same
way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.
Article 172 of the Family Code of the Philippines states:

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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. (Underscoring supplied.)
Respondent presented the Certificate of Live Birth 24 (Exhibit A-1) of Christian Paulo Salas in which the
name of petitioner appears as his father but which is not signed by him. Admittedly, it was only respondent
who filled up the entries and signed the said document though she claims it was petitioner who supplied the
information she wrote therein.
We have held that a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative father is not competent
evidence of paternity when there is no showing that the putative father had a hand in the preparation of the
certificate.25 Thus, if the father did not sign in the birth certificate, the placing of his name by the mother,
doctor, registrar, or other person is incompetent evidence of paternity.26Neither can such birth certificate be
taken as a recognition in a public instrument27 and it has no probative value to establish filiation to the
alleged father.28
As to the Baptismal Certificate29 (Exhibit B) of Christian Paulo Salas also indicating petitioner as the father,
we have ruled that while baptismal certificates may be considered public documents, they can only serve as
evidence of the administration of the sacraments on the dates so specified. They are not necessarily
competent evidence of the veracity of entries therein with respect to the childs paternity.30
The rest of respondents documentary evidence consists of handwritten notes and letters, hospital bill and
photographs taken of petitioner and respondent inside their rented apartment unit.
Pictures taken of the mother and her child together with the alleged father are inconclusive evidence to
prove paternity.31 Exhibits E and F32 showing petitioner and respondent inside the rented apartment unit
thus have scant evidentiary value. The Statement of Account 33 (Exhibit C) from the Good Samaritan
General Hospital where respondent herself was indicated as the payee is likewise incompetent to prove that
petitioner is the father of her child notwithstanding petitioners admission in his answer that he shouldered
the expenses in the delivery of respondents child as an act of charity.
As to the handwritten notes34 (Exhibits D to D-13) of petitioner and respondent showing their exchange
of affectionate words and romantic trysts, these, too, are not sufficient to establish Christian Paulos filiation
to petitioner as they were not signed by petitioner and contained no statement of admission by petitioner
that he is the father of said child. Thus, even if these notes were authentic, they do not qualify under Article

172 (2) vis-- vis Article 175 of the Family Code which admits as competent evidence of illegitimate filiation
an admission of filiation in a private handwritten instrument signed by the parent concerned. 35
Petitioners reliance on our ruling in Lim v. Court of Appeals36 is misplaced. In the said case, the handwritten
letters of petitioner contained a clear admission that he is the father of private respondents daughter and
were signed by him. The Court therein considered the totality of evidence which established beyond
reasonable doubt that petitioner was indeed the father of private respondents daughter. On the other hand,
in Ilano v. Court of Appeals,37 the Court sustained the appellate courts finding that private respondents
evidence to establish her filiation with and paternity of petitioner was overwhelming, particularly the latters
public acknowledgment of his amorous relationship with private respondents mother, and private
respondent as his own child through acts and words, her testimonial evidence to that effect was fully
supported by documentary evidence. The Court thus ruled that respondent had adduced sufficient proof of
continuous possession of status of a spurious child.
Here, while the CA held that Christian Paulo Salas could not claim open and continuous possession of status
of an illegitimate child, it nevertheless considered the testimonial evidence sufficient proof to establish his
filiation to petitioner.
An 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.38 Reviewing the records, we find the totality of respondents evidence insufficient to establish that
petitioner is the father of Christian Paulo.
The testimonies of respondent and Murillo as to the circumstances of the birth of Christian Paulo, petitioners
financial support while respondent lived in Murillos apartment and his regular visits to her at the said
apartment, though replete with details, do not approximate the overwhelming evidence, documentary and
testimonial presented in Ilano. In that case, we sustained the appellate courts ruling anchored on the
following factual findings by the appellate court which was quoted at length in the ponencia:
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It was Artemio who made arrangement for the delivery of Merceditas (sic) at the Manila Sanitarium and
Hospital. Prior to the delivery, Leoncia underwent prenatal examination accompanied by Artemio (TSN, p.
33, 5/17/74). After delivery, they went home to their residence at EDSA in a car owned and driven by
Artemio himself (id. p. 36).
Merceditas (sic) bore the surname of Ilano since birth without any objection on the part of Artemio, the
fact that since Merceditas (sic) had her discernment she had always known and called Artemio as her
Daddy (TSN, pp. 28-29, 10/18/74); the fact that each time Artemio was at home, he would play with
Merceditas (sic), take her for a ride or restaurants to eat, and sometimes sleeping with Merceditas (sic) (id.
p. 34) and does all what a father should do for his child bringing home goodies, candies, toys and
whatever he can bring her which a child enjoys which Artemio gives to Merceditas (sic) (TSN, pp. 38-39,
5/17/74) are positive evidence that Merceditas (sic) is the child of Artemio and recognized by Artemio as
such. Special attention is called to Exh. E-7 where Artemio was telling Leoncia the need for a frog test to
know the status of Leoncia.
Plaintiff pointed out that the support by Artemio for Leoncia and Merceditas (sic) was sometimes in the form
of cash personally delivered to her by Artemio, thru Melencio, thru Elynia (Exhs. E-2 and E-3, and D-6),
or thru Merceditas (sic) herself (TSN, p. 40, 5/17/74) and sometimes in the form of a check as the Manila
Banking Corporation Check No. 81532 (Exh. G) and the signature appearing therein which was identified
by Leoncia as that of Artemio because Artemio often gives her checks and Artemio would write the check at
home and saw Artemio sign the check (TSN, p. 49, 7/18/73). Both Artemio and Nilda admitted that the
check and signature were those of Artemio (TSN, p. 53, 10/17/77; TSN, p. 19, 10/9/78).
During the time that Artemio and Leoncia were living as husband and wife, Artemio has shown concern as
the father of Merceditas (sic). When Merceditas (sic) was in Grade 1 at the St. Joseph Parochial School,
Artemio signed the Report Card of Merceditas (sic) (Exh. H) for the fourth and fifth grading period(s) (Exh.
H-1 and H-2) as the parent of Merceditas (sic). Those signatures of Artemio [were] both identified by
Leoncia and Merceditas (sic) because Artemio signed Exh. H-1 and H-2 at their residence in the presence
of Leoncia, Merceditas (sic) and of Elynia (TSN, p. 57, 7/18/73; TSN, p. 28, 10/1/73). x x x.



When Artemio run as a candidate in the Provincial Board of Cavite[,] Artemio gave Leoncia his picture with
the following dedication: To Nene, with best regards, Temiong. (Exh. I). (pp. 19-20, Appellants Brief)
The mere denial by defendant of his signature is not sufficient to offset the totality of the evidence
indubitably showing that the signature thereon belongs to him. The entry in the Certificate of Live Birth that
Leoncia and Artemio was falsely stated therein as married does not mean that Leoncia is not appellees
daughter. This particular entry was caused to be made by Artemio himself in order to avoid
In sum, we hold that the testimonies of respondent and Murillo, by themselves are not competent proof of
paternity and the totality of respondents evidence failed to establish Christian Paulos filiation to petitioner.
Time and again, this Court has ruled that a high standard of proof is required to establish paternity and
filiation. An order for recognition and support may create an unwholesome situation or may be an irritant to
the family or the lives of the parties so that it must be issued only if paternity or filiation is established by
clear and convincing evidence.40
Finally, we note the Manifestation and Motion41 filed by petitioners counsel informing this Court that
petitioner had died on May 6, 2010.
The action for support having been filed in the trial court when petitioner was still alive, it is not barred
under Article 175 (2)42 of the Family Code. We have also held that the death of the putative father is not a
bar to the action commenced during his lifetime by one claiming to be his illegitimate child. 43 The rule on
substitution of parties provided in Section 16, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, thus applies.
SEC. 16. Death of party; duty of counsel. Whenever a party to a pending action dies, and the claim is not
thereby extinguished, it shall be the duty of his counsel to inform the court within thirty (30) days after such
death of the fact thereof, and to give the name and address of his legal representative or representatives.
Failure of counsel to comply with his duty shall be a ground for disciplinary action.
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.
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 a guardian ad litem for the minor
The court shall forthwith order said legal representative or representatives to appear and be substituted
within a period of thirty (30) days from notice.
If no legal representative is named by the counsel for the deceased party, or if the one so named shall fail to
appear within the specified period, the court may order the opposing party, within a specified time to
procure the appointment of an executor or administrator for the estate of the deceased and the latter shall
immediately appear for and on behalf of the deceased. The court charges in procuring such appointment, if
defrayed by the opposing party, may be recovered as costs.
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. The Decision dated July 18, 2006 and
Resolution dated October 19, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR. CV No. 64379 are
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Civil Case No. 2124-AF of the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City,
Branch 26 is DISMISSED.