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[DE JESUS v.

SYQUIA]

Court Supreme Court En Banc


Citation G.R. No. 39110
Date November 28, 1933
Plaintiffs-appellants Antonia L. De Jesus, et. al.
Defendant-appellee Cesar Syquia
Cause of Action Damages arising from breach of promise to marry, with prayer to compel defendant to recognize
Ismael and Pacita as natural children begotten by Syquia with De Jesus and for child support in the
amount of P500 per month, together with costs.
Relevant Topic It is a universal rule of jurisprudence that a child, upon being conceived, becomes a bearer of legal
rights and capable of being dealt with as a living person. The fact that it is as yet unborn is no
impediment to the acquisition of rights.

“Article 135, 1889 Spanish Civil Code. The father is obliged to recognize the natural child in the
following case:

1. When an incontrovertible paper written by him, expressly recognizing his paternity, is in


existence.
2. When the child is in continuous possession of the status of a natural child of the
defendant father, justified by direct act of the same father or his family.”

The words of recognition contained in Syquia’s letter to the padre clearly referred to Ismael Loanco
and to the defendant’s intent to acknowledge the baby as his.

In relation to Subsection 1, Article 135, the admission of paternity is contained in the note to the
padre and the other letters suffice to connect that admission with the child then being carried by
Antonia L. de Jesus. There is no requirement in the law that the writing shall be addressed to one,
or any particular individual. It is merely required that the writing shall be indubitable.

In relation to Subsection 2, the law fixes no period during which a child must be in the continuous
possession of the status of a natural child; and the period in this case was long enough to evince the
father's resolution to concede the status.

Therefore, all the pre-requisites provided in Article 135 are satisfied, and Ismael Loanco is entitled to
receive recognition and support from Syquia.
Ponente STREET, J:

RELEVANT CHARACTERS

Full Name Tag Character Description


Antonia De Jesus De Jesus Mother of Ismael and Pacita Loanco, children she had with Syquia.
Ismael Loanco Ismael De Jesus’s first child with Syquia.

FACTS
- Action was instituted by De Jesus and her mother Marque for damages (P30,000.00) arising from breach of promise to
marry, with prayer to compel defendant to recognize Ismael and Pacita as natural children begotten by Syquia with De
Jesus and for child support in the amount of P500 per month, together with costs.

- Upon hearing the answer of the defendant, the trial court entered a decree requiring the defendant to recognize Ismael
Locano as his natural child and to pay maintenance for him (P50/month), with costs, dismissing the action in other respects.

o At the time with which we are here concerned, defendant was a 23-year old, unmarried scion of a prominent
family in Manila, being possessed of a considerable property in his own right.
o De Jesus was a cashier at Syquia’s brother’s barber shop, which he frequented.
o Syquia, although living abroad, made arrangements (employed Dr. Talavera, and arranged for hospitalization) for
De Jesus’ upcoming labor and christening.
o They lived together for about a year. When De Jesus began to show signs of a second pregnancy, the defendant
decamped and is now married to another woman.

- A point that should here be noted is that when the time came for christening the child, the defendant, who had charge of
the arrangements for this ceremony, caused the name Ismael Loanco to be given to him, instead of Cesar Syquia, jr., as was
at first planned.

ISSUE – HOLDING – RATIO

ISSUE NO. 1 HOLDING


Whether or not the note to the padre, quoted above, in connection with the letters written by the defendant to the
mother during pregnancy, proves an acknowledgment of paternity, within the purview of Subsection 1, Article 135 YES
of the [1889 Spanish] Civil Code.
RATIO NO. 1

“Article 135, 1889 Spanish Civil Code. The father is obliged to recognize the natural child in the following case:

3. When an incontrovertible paper written by him, expressly recognizing his paternity, is in existence.”

It is a universal rule of jurisprudence that a child, upon being conceived, becomes a bearer of legal rights and capable of being dealt
with as a living person. The fact that it is as yet unborn is no impediment to the acquisition of rights.

The contention that the description of the child in the letter is not legally sufficient to identify the child now suing as Ismael Locano
is not well founded, as the words of recognition contained therein clearly referred to a baby that was expected to be born in June
and who would thereafter be presented for christening. The baby came, and although given a different name than what was
mentioned in the letter, the defendant’s intent to acknowledge the baby as his is clear.

ISSUE NO. 2
As to the sufficiency of the acknowledgment, whether or not the acknowledgment contemplated in Subsection 1, Article 135 of
the [1889 Spanish] Civil Code must be made in a single document or may be made in more than one document, of indubitable
authenticity, written by the recognizing father.

HOLDING NO. 2
Recognition can be made out by putting together the admissions of more than one document, supplementing the admission
made in one letter by an admission or admissions made in another.

RATIO NO. 2

The admission of paternity is contained in the note to the padre and the other letters suffice to connect that admission with the
child then being carried by Antonia L. de Jesus. There is no requirement in the law that the writing shall be addressed to one, or
any particular individual. It is merely required that the writing shall be indubitable.

ISSUE NO. 3 HOLDING


Whether or not the trial court erred in holding that Ismael Loanco had been in the uninterrupted possession of
the status of a natural child, justified by the conduct of the father himself, and that as a consequence, the NO
defendant in this case should be compelled to acknowledge the said Ismael Loanco, under Subsection 2, Article
135 of the [1889 Spanish] Civil Code.

RATIO NO. 3
“Article 135, 1889 Spanish Civil Code. The father is obliged to recognize the natural child in the following case:

2. When the child is in continuous possession of the status of a natural child of the defendant father, justified by
direct act of the same father or his family.”

It is undeniable that from the birth of this child the defendant supplied a home for it and the mother, in which they lived together with
the defendant. This situation continued for about a year, and until Antonia became enceinte a second time, when the idea entered
the defendant's head of abandoning her. The law fixes no period during which a child must be in the continuous possession of the
status of a natural child; and the period in this case was long enough to evince the father's resolution to concede the status. The
circumstance that he abandoned the mother and child shortly before this action was started is unimportant. The word "continuous"
in Subsection 2, Article 135 of the [1889 Spanish] Civil Code does not mean that the concession of status shall continue forever, but
only that it shall not be of an intermittent character while it continues.

ISSUE NO. 4 HOLDING


Whether or not the breach of a promise to marry has standing in civil law to warrant an award for civil damages. NO

RATIO NO. 4

The action for breach of promise to marry has not standing in the civil law, apart from the right to recover money or property
advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such promise. This case exhibits none of the features necessary to maintain such an
action. Furthermore, there is no proof upon which a judgment could be based requiring the defendant to recognize the second baby,
Pacita Loanco.

RULING

The judgment appealed from is in all respects affirmed, without costs. SO ORDERED.