Persons and Family Relations Case Digests
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PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS Case Digests 1. [G.R. No. 185064, January 16, 2012] SPOUSES ARACELI OLIVA-DE MESA AND ERNESTO S. DE MESA, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES CLAUDIO D. ACERO, JR. AND MA.RUFINA D. ACERO, SHERIFF FELIXBERTO L. SAMONTE AND REGISTRAR ALFREDO SANTOS, RESPONDENTS Facts:
Parcel of land in No. 3 Forbes Street, Mount Carmel Homes Subdivision, Iba, Meycauayan, Bulacan registered under De Mesa’s name and was made into a family home on January 1987. In September 1988, De Mesa obtained a loan from Claudio D. Acero, Jr. worth P100,000.00, which was secured by a mortgage over the property. Due to failure of payment, Acero filed a complaint and was granted. On March 15, 1993, a writ of execution was issued and Sheriff Samonte levied upon the property by selling it on public auction. The certificate of sale was issued to Acero, and was leased on the petitioners and a certain Juanito Oliva. They then defaulted on the payment again so Acero filed a complaint for ejectment. On July 1999, MTC rendered a decision favoring the Acero’s and ordering the petitioners to vacate the property.
Issues: W/N the lower court erred in refusing to cancel Acero’s Torrens title TCT No. T-221755 (M) over the subject property. Ruling: The petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court is AFFIRMED. The Court finds that the CA did not err in dismissing the complaint for nullification of TCT No. T-221755 (M). The petitioners were correct in asserting that the subject property was a family home but it’s exemption from execution must be set up and proved to the Sheriff before the sale of the property at public auction. The petitioners allowed a considerable time to lapse before claiming that the property is a family home, thus, failure to do so prevented the party from claiming the exemption. 2. [G. R. No. 183622, February 08, 2012] MEROPE ENRIQUEZ VDA. DE CATALAN, PETITIONER, VS. LOUELLA A. CATALAN-LEE, RESPONDENT. Facts:
Orlando B. Catalan was a naturalized American citizen. After obtaining a divorce in the United States from his first wife, Felicitas Amor, he contracted a second marriage with petitioner. On 18 November 2004, Orlando died intestate in the Philippines. on February 2005, petitioner filed a Petition for the issuance of letters of administration for her appointment as administratrix of the intestate estate of Orlando. Respondent Louella A. Catalan-Lee, one of the children of Orlando from his first marriage, filed a similar petition. The petitioner, armed with a marriage certificate, filed her petition for letters of administration. However, a marriage certificate, like any other public document, is only prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. The fact that the petitioner had been charged with bigamy and was acquitted has not been disputed by the petitioner. Thus, not being an interested party and a stranger to the estate of Orlando B. Catalan. The petitioner claims that the reasoning is illogical stating that “on the one hand, she was acquitted of bigamy, while, on the other hand, still holding that her marriage with Orlando was invalid”.
Issue: W/N the CA must reconsider its decision in issuing the letter of administration over the estate of Orlando Catalan. Ruling: The petition is hereby PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. It is imperative for the trial court to first determine the validity of the divorce to ascertain the rightful party to be issued the letters of administration over the estate of Orlando B. Catalan. 3. [G.R. No. 178044, January 19, 2011] ALAIN M. DIÑO, Petitioner VS. MA. CARIDAD L. DIÑO, Respondent. Facts:
Petitioner and respondent were childhood friends and sweethearts. They started living together in 1984 until they decided to separate in 1994. In 1996, they decided to live together again. On 1998, they were married before Mayor Vergel Aguilar of Las Piñas City. On 2001, petitioner filed an action for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage against respondent, citing psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code.
Extrajudicial service of summons was effected upon respondent who was already living in the USA. Despite receipt of the summons, respondent did not answer to the petition. Petitioner later learned that respondent filed a petition for divorce/dissolution of her marriage with petitioner, which was granted by the Superior Court of California on 2001and is married to a certain Manuel V. Alcantara. Dr. Nedy L. Tayag submitted a psychological report establishing that respondent was suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, long-lasting andincurable. In its 2006 Decision, the court granted the petition
Issue: W/N the trial court erred when it ordered that a decree of absolute nullity of marriage shall only be issued after liquidation, partition, and distribution of the parties’ properties under Article 147 of the Family Code. Ruling: The Decision was AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the decree of absolute nullity of the marriage shall be issued upon finality of the trial court’s decision /without waiting for the liquidation, partition, and distribution of the parties’ properties under Article 147 of 15 the Family Code. It is because petitioner’s marriage to respondent was declared void under Article 36 of the Family Code and not under Article 40 or 45. Thus, what governs the liquidation of properties owned in common by petitioner and respondent are the rules on co-ownership. 4. [G.R. No. 183984, April 13, 2011] ARTURO SARTE FLORES, Petitioner, VS. SPOUSES ENRICO L. LINDO, JR. and EDNA C. LINDO, Respondents. Facts:
On 31 October 1995, Edna Lindo obtained P400,000 from Petitioner payable on December 1995 with 3% compounded monthly interest and 3% surcharge in case of late payment. To secure the loan, Edna executed a Deed of Real Estate Mortgage covering a property in the name of the Respondents. Edna issued three checks as partial payments for the loan which were all dishonored for insufficiency of funds, prompting petitioner to file a Complaint for Foreclosure of Mortgage with Damages against respondents. In its 2003 Decision, the RTCruled that petitioner was not entitled to judicial foreclosure of the mortgage because they found that the Deed was executed by Edna without the consent and authority of Enrico. 8 On 2004, petitioner filed a Complaint for Sum of Money with Damages against respondents. It issued an Order denying the motion to dismiss and ruled that res judicata will not apply to rights, claims or demands which, although growing out of the same subject matter, constitute separate or distinct causes of action. The Court of Appeals ruled that on a nonpayment of a note secured by a mortgage, the creditor has a single cause of action against the debtor, that is recovery of the credit with execution of the suit. Thus, the creditor may institute two alternative remedies: either a personal action for the collection of debt or a real action to foreclose the mortgage, but not both.
Issue: W/N the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error in dismissing the complaint for collection of sum of money on the ground of multiplicity of suits. Ruling: The Decision is SET ASIDE. Considering the circumstances of this case, the principle against unjust enrichment, being a substantive law, should prevail over the procedural rule on multiplicity of suits. The Court of Appeals, in the assailed decision, found that Edna admitted the loan, except that she claimed it only amounted to P340,000. Edna should not be allowed to unjustly enrich herself because of the erroneous decisions of the two trial courts when she questioned the validity of the Deed. Moreover, Edna still has an opportunity to submit her defenses before the RTC, Branch 42 on her claim as to the amount of her indebtedness. 5. [G.R. No. 175367, June 06, 2011] DANILO A. AURELIO, PETITIONER, VS. VIDA MA. CORAZON P. AURELIO, RESPONDENT. Facts:
Petitioner Danilo A. Aurelio and respondent Vida Ma. Corazon Aurelio were married on March 23, 1988. They have two sons, namely: Danilo Miguel and Danilo Gabriel. On May 9, 2002, respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 94, a Petition for Declaration of  Nullity of Marriage. In her petition, respondent alleged that both she and petitioner were psychologically incapacitated of performing and complying with their respective essential marital obligations. In addition, respondent alleged that such state of psychological incapacity was present prior and even during the time of the marriage ceremony.  On November 8, 2002, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss the petition. Petitioner principally argued that the petition failed to state a cause of action and that it failed to meet the standards set by the Court for the interpretation and implementation of Article 36 of the Family Code.
Issue: W/N the court violated the applicable law and jurisprudence when it held that the facts in Molina Doctrine are sufficient to grant the Petition for nullification of marriage. Ruling: The petition is DENIED and the decision was REAFFIRMED. Petitioner contends that the petition failed to comply with three of the Molina guidelines, namely: that the root cause of the psychological incapacity must be alleged in the complaint; that such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage; and that the noncomplied marital obligation must be stated in the petition. Each case involving the application of Article 36 must be treated distinctly and judged not on the basis of a priori assumptions, predilections or generalizations but according to its own attendant facts. Courts should interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis, guided by experience, the findings of experts and researchers in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of church tribunals. 6. [G.R. No. 157537, September 07, 2011] THE HEIRS OF PROTACIO GO, SR. AND MARTA BAROLA, NAMELY: LEONOR, SIMPLICIO, PROTACIO, JR., ANTONIO, BEVERLY ANN LORRAINNE, TITA, CONSOLACION, LEONORA AND ASUNCION, ALL SURNAMED GO, REPRESENTED BY LEONORA B. GO, PETITIONERS, VS. ESTER L. SERVACIO AND RITO B. GO, RESPONDENTS. Facts:
On 1976, Jesus B. Gaviola sold two parcels of land with a total area of 17,140 sq m situated in Southern Leyte to Protacio B. Go, Jr.23 yrs later, he executed an Affidavit of Renunciation and Waiver, and affirmed under oath that it was his father who had purchased the two parcels of land. On1987, Marta Barola Go, wife of Protacio Sr. and mother of respondents, died. On 1999, Protacio, Sr. and his son Rito B. Go (joined by Rito's wife Dina B. Go) sold a portion of the property with an area of 5,560 square meters to Ester L. Servacio   (Servacio) for ?5,686,768.00. On March 2, 2001, the petitioners demanded the return of the property, but Servacio  refused to heed their demand. After barangay proceedings failed to resolve the dispute, they sued Servacio and Rito in the Regional Trial Court in Maasin City, Southern Leyte (RTC) for the annulment of the sale of the property. The petitioners averred that following Protacio, Jr.'s renunciation, the property became conjugal property; and that the sale of the property to Servacio without the prior liquidation of the community property between Protacio, Sr. and Marta was null and void. Servacio and Rito countered that Protacio, Sr. had exclusively owned the property because he had purchased it with his own money.
Issue: W/N the Article 130 is the applicable law, thus, the sale by Protacio, Sr., et al. to Servacio was void for being made without prior liquidation. Ruling: The petition was DENIED and the decision of RTC was AFFIRMED. It is clear that conjugal partnership of gains established before and after the effectivity of the Family Code are governed by the rules found in Chapter 4 (Conjugal Partnership of Gains) of Title IV (Property Relations between Husband And Wife) of the Family Code. Hence, any disposition of the conjugal property after the dissolution of the conjugal partnership must be made only after the liquidation; otherwise, the disposition is void. Before applying such rules, however, the conjugal partnership of gains must be subsisting at the time of the effectivity of the Family Code. There being no dispute that Protacio, Sr. and Marta were married prior to the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988, their property relation was properly characterized as one of conjugal partnership governed by the Civil Code. Upon Marta's death in 1987, the conjugal partnership was dissolved, pursuant to Article 175 (1) of the Civil Code, and an implied ordinary co-ownership ensued among Protacio, Sr. and the other heirs of Marta with respect to her share in the assets of the conjugal partnership pending a liquidation following its liquidation. 7. [G.R. No. 167459, January 26, 2011] JOSE REYNALDO B. OCHOSA, PETITIONER, VS. BONA J. ALANO AND REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS Facts:
It appears that Jose met Bona in August 1973 when he was a young lieutenant in the AFP while the latter was a seventeenyear-old first year college drop-out. They had a whirlwind romance that culminated into sexual intimacy and eventual marriage on 27 October 1973 before the Honorable Judge Cesar S. Principe in Basilan. The couple did not acquire any property. Neither did they incur any debts. Their union produced no offspring. In 1976, however, they found an abandoned and neglected one-year-old baby girl whom they later registered as their daughter, naming her Ramona Celeste Alano Ochosa.
During their marriage, Jose was often assigned to various parts of the Philippine archipelago as an officer in the AFP. Bona did not cohabit with him in his posts, preferring to stay in her hometown of Basilan. Neither did Bona visit him in his areas of assignment, except in one (1) occasion when Bona stayed with him for four (4) days. Sometime in 1985, Jose was appointed as the Battalion Commander of the Security Escort Group. He and Bona, along with Ramona, were given living quarters at Fort Bonifacio, Makati City where they resided with their military aides. In 1987, Jose was charged with rebellion for his alleged participation in the failed coup d'etat. He was incarcerated in Camp Crame. It appears that Bona was an unfaithful spouse. Even at the onset of their marriage when Jose was assigned in various parts of the country, she had illicit relations with other men. Bona apparently did not change her ways when they lived together at Fort Bonifacio; she entertained male visitors in her bedroom whenever Jose was out of their living quarters. On one occasion, Bona was caught by Demetrio Bajet y Lita, a security aide, having sex with Jose's driver, Corporal Gagarin. Rumors of Bona's sexual infidelity circulated in the military community. When Jose could no longer bear these rumors, he got a military pass from his jail warden and confronted Bona.
Issue: W/N Bona is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. Ruling: The petition is DENIED and the decision is AFFIRMED. It is apparent that Bona had no manifest desire to abandon Jose at the beginning of their marriage and was, in fact, living with him for the most part of their relationship from 1973 up to the time when Jose drove her away from their conjugal home in 1988. On the contrary, the record shows that it was Jose who was constantly away from Bona by reason of his military duties and his later incarceration. A reasonable explanation for Bona's refusal to accompany Jose in his military assignments in other parts of Mindanao may be simply that those locations were known conflict areas in the seventies. Any doubt as to Bona's desire to live with Jose would later be erased by the fact that Bona lived with Jose in their conjugal home in Fort Bonifacio during the following decade. In view of the foregoing, the badges of Bona's alleged psychological incapacity, i.e., her sexual infidelity and abandonment, can only be convincingly traced to the period of time after her marriage to Jose and not to the inception of the said marriage. 8. [G.R. No. 191425, September 07, 2011] ATILANO O. NOLLORA, JR., PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT Facts:
On August 24, 2004, Assistant City Prosecutor Raymond Jonathan B. Lledo filed an Information against Atilano O. Nollora, Jr. ("Nollora") and Rowena P. Geraldino ("Geraldino") for the crime of Bigamy. He was claimed to be married to a certain Jesusa Nollora while she married Rowena P. Graldino. He said that before the two marriages, he already converted into Muslin, thereby, bigamy being legal.  The trial court stated that there are only two exceptions to prosecution for bigamy: Article 41 of the Family Code, or  Executive Order No. 209, and Article 180 of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, or Presidential Decree No. 1083. Accused Atilano Nollora, Jr., in marrying his second wife, co-accused Rowena P. Geraldino, did not comply with the provision of the law. In fact, he did not even declare that he was a Muslim convert in both marriages, indicating his criminal intent. In his converting to the Muslim faith, said accused entertained the mistaken belief that he can just marry anybody again after marrying the private complainant. What is clear, therefore, is [that] a Muslim is not given an unbridled right to just marry anybody the second, third or fourth time.
Issue: W/N Nollora is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of bigamy. Ruling: The petition is DENIED and decision REAFFIRMED. The circumstances in the present case satisfy all the elements of bigamy. (1)  Nollora is legally married to Pinat; (2) Nollora and Pinat's marriage has not been legally dissolved prior to the date of the second  marriage; (3) Nollora admitted the existence of his second marriage to Geraldino; and (4) Nollora and Geraldino's marriage has all the essential requisites for validity except for the lack of capacity of Nollora due to his prior marriage. Petitioner Atilano O. Nollora, Jr. is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Bigamy in Criminal Case No. Q-04-129031 and is sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment with a term of two years, four months and one day of prision correccional as minimum to eight years and one day of prision mayor as maximum of his indeterminate sentence, as well as the accessory penalties provided by law. 9. [G.R. No. 179010, April 11, 2011]
ELENITA M. DEWARA, REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, FERDINAND MAGALLANES, PETITIONER, VS.SPOUSES RONNIE AND GINA LAMELA AND STENILE ALVERO, RESPONDENTS Facts:
Eduardo Dewara (Eduardo) and petitioner Elenita Magallanes Dewara (Elenita) were married before the enactment of the Family Code. Thus, the Civil Code governed their marital relations. Husband and wife were separated-in-fact because Elenita went to work in California, United States of America, while Eduardo stayed in Bacolod City.  On January 20, 1985, Eduardo, while driving a private jeep registered in the name of Elenita, hit respondent Ronnie Lamela  (Ronnie). Ronnie filed a criminal case for serious physical injuries through reckless imprudence against Eduardo before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Branch IV, Bacolod City. The MTCC found Eduardo guilty of the charge and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of two (2) months and one (1) day to (3) months, and to pay civil indemnity of Sixty-Two Thousand Five Hundred Ninety-Eight Pesos and Seventy Centavos (P62,598.70) as actual damages and Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) as moral damages. The writ of execution on the civil liability was served on Eduardo, but it was returned unsatisfied because he had no property in his name. Ronnie requested the City Sheriff, respondent Stenile Alvero, to levy on Lot No. 234-C, Psd. 26667 of the Bacolod Cadastre, with an area of One Thousand Four Hundred Forty (1,440) square meters (sq m), under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-80054, in the name of “ELENITA M. DEWARA, of legal age, Filipino, married to Eduardo Dewara, and resident of Bacolod City,” to satisfy the judgment on the civil liability of Eduardo. The levy on execution, public auction, issuance of certificate of sale, and cancellation of title of the lot in the name of Elenita  were done while Elenita was working in California. Thus, Elenita, represented by her attorney-in-fact, Ferdinand Magallanes, filed a case for annulment of sale and for damages against respondent spouses and ex-officio sheriff Stenile Alvero before the RTC of Bacolod City. Petitioner claimed that the levy on execution of Lot No. 234-C was illegal because the said property was her paraphernal or exclusive property and could not be made to answer for the personal liability of her husband. Furthermore, as the registered owner of the property, she received no notice of the execution sale. She sought the annulment of the sale and the annulment of the issuance of the new TCT in the name of respondent spouses.
Issue: Whether the subject property is the paraphernal/exclusive property of Elenita or the conjugal property of spouses Elenita and Eduardo Ruling: There is no dispute that the subject property was acquired by spouses Elenita and Eduardo during their marriage. It is also undisputed that their marital relations are governed by the conjugal partnership of gains, since they were married before the enactment of the Family Code and they did not execute any prenuptial agreement as to their property relations. Thus, the legal presumption of the conjugal nature of the property applies to the lot in question. The presumption that the property is conjugal property may be rebutted only by strong, clear, categorical, and convincing evidence—there must be strict proof of the exclusive ownership of one of the spouses, and the burden of proof rests upon the party asserting it. The Resolution therefore, is hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. The decision dated September 2, 1999 of the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City in Civil Case No. 93-7942 is hereby REINSTATED WITH MODIFICATION that the conjugal properties of spouses Elenita Dewara and Eduardo Dewara shall be held to answer for the judgment of Seventy-Two Thousand Five Hundred Ninety-Eight Pesos and Seventy Centavos (P72,598.70), plus an interest rate of twelve (12) percent per annum from the date of finality of the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City in Criminal Case No. 7155, after complying with the provisions of Article 161 of the Civil Code. 10. [G. R. No. 169766, March 30, 2011] ESTRELLITA JULIAJVO-LLAVE, PETITIONER, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, HAJA PUTRI ZORAYDA A. TAMANO AND ADIB AHMAD A. TAMANO, RESPONDENTS Facts:
Sen. Tamano married Estrellita twice, both in traditional and Islamic rites, before his death 11 months after. In their marriage contracts, Sen. Tamano's civil status was indicated as 'divorced.' Since then, Estrellita has been representing herself to the whole world as Sen. Tamano's wife, and upon his death, his widow. On November 23,1994, private respondents Haja Putri Zorayda A. Tamano (Zorayda) and her son Adib Ahmad A. Tamano  (Adib), in their own behalf and in behalf of the rest of Sen. Tamano's legitimate children with Zorayda, filed a complaint with the RTC of Quezon City for the declaration of nullity of marriage between Estrellita and Sen. Tamano for being bigamous. The deceased could not have validly divorced Zorayda because they are governed by the New Civil Code not the P.D. 1083, otherwise known as the Code of Muslim Persona! Laws, for the simple reason that the marriage was never deemed, legally and factually, to have been one contracted under Muslim law as provided under Art. 186 (2) of P.D. 1083, since they did not register their mutual desire to be thus covered by this law
on August 18,1998, the RTC rendered the aforementioned judgment declaring Estrellita's marriage with Sen. Tamano as void ab initio.
Issues: (a) W/N the marriage of Estrellita and Sen. Tamano is bigamous and (b) W/N Zorayda and Adib have the legal standing to have Estrellita's marriage declared void ab initio. Ruling: The Petition is DENIED. The Civil Code governs the marriage of Zorayda and the late Sen. Tamano; their marriage was never invalidated by PD 1083. Sen. Tamano's subsequent marriage to Estrellita is void ab initio. The marriage between the late Sen. Tamano  and Zorayda was celebrated in 1958, solemnized under civil and Muslim rites. The only law in force governing marriage relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims alike was the Civil Code of 1950, under the provisions of which only one marriage can exist at any given time. Zorayda and Adib, as the injured parties, have the legal personalities to file the declaration of nullity of marriage. A.M. No. 02-1110SC, which limits to only the husband or the wife the filing of a petition for nullity is prospective in application and does not shut out the prior spouse from filing suit if the ground is a bigamous subsequent marriage. 11. [G.R.No. 170195, March 28, 2011] SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSION AND SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM, PETITIONER, VS. TERESA G. FAVILA, RESPONDENT. Facts:
On August 5, 2002, respondent Teresa G. Favila (Teresa) filed a Petition before petitioner SSC docketed as SSC Case No. 815348-02. She averred therein that after she was married to Florante Favila (Florante) on January 17, 1970, the latter designated her as the sole beneficiary in the E-l Form he submitted before petitioner Social Security System (SSS), Quezon City Branch on June 30, 1970. When they begot their children Jofel, Floresa and Florante II, her husband likewise designated each one of them as beneficiaries. Teresa further averred that when Florante died on February 1, 1997, his pension benefits under the SSS were given to their only minor child at that time, Florante II, but only until his emancipation at age 21. Believing that as the surviving legal wife she is likewise entitled to receive Florante's pension benefits, Teresa subsequently filed her claim for said benefits before the SSS. The SSS, however, denied the claim in a letter dated January 31, 2002, hence, the petition. Social Security Commission held that to be entitled of the benefits of the dead spouse, there must be (1) legality of the marital relationship; and (2) dependency for support. As to dependency for support, the SSC opined that same is affected by factors such as separation de facto of the spouses, marital infidelity and such other grounds sufficient to disinherit a spouse under the law. But the CA found Teresa's petition impressed with merit. It gave weight to the fact that she is a primary beneficiary because she is the lawful surviving spouse of Florante and in addition, she was designated by Florante as such beneficiary. There was no legal separation or annulment of marriage that could have disqualified her from claiming the death benefits and that her designation as beneficiary had not been invalidated by any court of law.
Issue: Is Teresa a primary beneficiary in contemplation of the Social Security Law as to be entitled to death benefits accruing from the death of Florante? Ruling: The Petition for Review on Certiorari is GRANTED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated May 24,2005 and October 17, 2005 in CA-G.R. SP No. 82763 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondent Teresa G. Favila is declared to be not a dependent spouse within the contemplation of Republic Act No. 1161 and is therefore not entitled to death benefits accruing from the death of Florante Favila. 12. [G.R. No. 181258, March 18, 2010] BEN-HUR NEPOMUCENO, PETITIONER, VS. ARHBENCEL ANN LOPEZ, REPRESENTED BY HER MOTHER ARACELI LOPEZ, RESPONDENT Facts:
Respondent Arhbencel Lopez, represented by her mother, filed a Complaint for recognition and support against Ben-Hur Nepomuceno. Born on June 8, 1999, Arhbencel claimed to have been begotten out of an extramarital affair of petitioner with Araceli; that petitioner refused to affix his signature on her Certificate of Birth; and that, by a handwritten note dated August 7, 1999, petitioner nevertheless obligated himself to give her financial support in the amount of P1,500 on the 15th and 30th days of each month beginning August 15, 1999. The trial court held that, among other things, Arhbencel's Certificate of Birth was notprima facie evidence of her filiation to petitioner as it did not bear petitioner's signature; that petitioner's handwritten undertaking to provide support did not
contain a categorical acknowledgment that Arhbencel is his child; and that there was no showing that petitioner performed any overt act of acknowledgment of Arhbencel as his illegitimate child after the execution of the note.  On appeal by Arhbencel, the Court of Appeals, by Decision of July 20, 2007, reversedthe trial court's decision, declared Arhbencel to be petitioner's illegitimate daughter and accordingly ordered petitioner to give Arhbencel financial support in the increased amount of P4,000 every 15th and 30th days of the month, or a total of P8,000 a month. The appellate court found that from petitioner's payment of Araceli's hospital bills when she gave birth to Arhbencel and his subsequent commitment to provide monthly financial support, the only logical conclusion to be drawn was that he was Arhbencel's father; that petitioner merely acted in bad faith in omitting a statement of paternity in his handwritten undertaking to provide financial support; and that the amount of P8,000 a month was reasonable for Arhbencel's subsistence and not burdensome for petitioner in view of his income.
Issue: W/N Ben-hur Nepomuceno is the putative father of Arhbencel. Ruling: the petition is GRANTED. The Decision is SET ASIDE, the complaint for insufficiency of evidence is REINSTATED. Arhbencel's demand for support, being based on her claim of filiation to petitioner as his illegitimate daughter, falls under Article 195(4). As such, her entitlement to support from petitioner is dependent on the determination of her filiation. How to establish filiation falls under 175 and 172. The above quoted note does not contain any statement whatsoever about Arhbencel's filiation to petitioner. It is, therefore, not within the ambit of Article 172(2) vis-à-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. 13. [G.R. No. 178221, December 01, 2010] MAY D. AÑONUEVO, ALEXANDER BLEE DESANTIS AND JOHN DESANTIS NERI, PETITIONERS, VS. INTESTATE ESTATE OF RODOLFO G. JALANDONI, REPRESENTED BY BERNARDINO G. JALANDONI AS SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR, RESPONDENT. Facts:
Rodolfo G. Jalandoni (Rodolfo) died intestate on 20 December 1966.
He died without issue.
On 28 April 1967, Bernardino G. Jalandoni (Bernardino), the brother of Rodolfo, filed a petition for the issuance of letters of  administration with the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, to commence the judicial settlement of the latter's  estate. The petition was docketed as Spec. Proc. No. 338 and is currently pending before the intestate court. 
On 17 January 2003, the petitioners and their siblings filed a Manifestation before the intestate court. In the Manifestation, they introduced themselves as the children of Sylvia Blee Desantis (Sylvia)--who, in turn, was revealed to be  the daughter of Isabel Blee (Isabel) with one John Desantis.
The petitioners and their siblings contend that their grandmother--Isabel--was, at the time of Rodolfo's death, the legal  spouse of the latter. For which reason, Isabel is entitled to a share in the estate of Rodolfo.  the respondent called attention to the entries in the birth certificate of Sylvia, who was born on 14 February 1946. As it  turned out, the record of birth of Sylvia states that she was a "legitimate" child of Isabel and John Desantis. The  document also certifies the status of both Isabel and John Desantis as "married." The respondent posits that the foregoing entries, having been made in an official registry, constitute prima facie proof of a prior marriage between Isabel  and John Desantis. According to the respondent, Isabel's previous marriage, in the absence of any proof that it was dissolved, made her subsequent marriage with Rodolfo bigamous and voidab initio. Court of Appeals found that it was an error on the part of the intestate court to have disregarded the probative value of  Sylvia's birth certificate. The appellate court, siding with the respondent, held that Sylvia's birth certificate serves as prima  facie evidence of the facts therein stated--which includes the civil status of her parents. Hence, the previous marriage of Isabel with John Desantis should have been taken as established. The Court of Appeals added that since the petitioners and their siblings failed to offer any other evidence proving that the marriage of Isabel with John Desantis had been dissolved by the time she was married to Rodolfo, it then follows that the  latter marriage--the Isabel-Rodolfo union--is a nullity for being bigamous. From that premise, Isabel cannot be considered as the legal spouse of Rodolfo. The petitioners and their siblings, therefore, failed to show that Isabel has any interest in the estate of Rodolfo.
Issue: W/N the court erred when it nullified the orders of the intestate court allowing the petitioners and their siblings to intervene in the settlement proceedings.
Ruling: the instant appeal is DENIED and the decision is hereby affirmed. 14. [G.R. Nos. 168992-93, May 21, 2009] IN RE: PETITION FOR ADOPTION OF MICHELLE P. LIM, MONINA P. LIM, PETITIONER. IN RE: PETITION FOR ADOPTION OF MICHAEL JUDE P. LIM, MONINA P. LIM, PETITIONER. Facts:
On 23 June 1974, she married Primo Lim (Lim). They were childless. Minor children, whose parents were unknown, were entrusted to them by a certain Lucia Ayuban (Ayuban). Being so eager to have a child of their own, petitioner and Lim  registered the children to make it appear that they were the children's parents. The children were named Michelle P. Lim (Michelle) and Michael Jude P. Lim (Michael). Michelle was barely eleven days old when brought to the clinic of petitioner.  She was born on 15 March 1977. Michael was 11 days old when Ayuban brought him to petitioner's clinic. His date of birth  is 1 August 1983. The spouses reared and cared for the children as if they were their own. They sent the children to exclusive schools. They used the surname "Lim" in all their school records and documents. Unfortunately, on 28 November 1998, Lim died. On 27 December 2000, petitioner married Angel Olario (Olario), an American citizen. 
Thereafter, petitioner decided to adopt the children by availing of the amnesty given under Republic Act No. 8552 (RA 8552) to those individuals who simulated the birth of a child. Thus, on 24 April 2002, petitioner filed separate petitions for the adoption of Michelle and Michael before the trial court docketed as SPL PROC. Case Nos. 1258 and 1259, respectively. At the time of the filing of the petitions for adoption, Michelle was 25 years old and already married, while Michael was 18 years and seven months old. 
Michelle and her husband gave their consent to the adoption as evidenced by their Affidavits of Consent. Michael also gave  his consent to his adoption as shown in his Affidavit of Consent. Petitioner's husband Olario likewise executed an Affidavit  of Consent for the adoption of Michelle and Michael. Issue: Petitioner appealed directly to this Court raising the sole issue of whether or not petitioner, who has remarried, can singly adopt. Ruling: The petition is DENIED. The filing of a case for dissolution of the marriage between petitioner and Olario is of no merit. It is not equivalent to a decree of dissolution of marriage. Until and unless there is a judicial decree for the dissolution of the marriage between petitioner and Olario, the marriage still subsists. That being the case, joint adoption by the husband and the wife is required. We reiterate our ruling above that since, at the time the petitions for adoption were filed, petitioner was married to Olario, joint adoption is mandatory. (Section 7, Article III of RA 8552) 15. [G.R. No. 164435, June 29, 2010] VICTORIA S. JARILLO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT Facts:
September 29, 2009, the Court affirmed petitioner's conviction for bigamy. Petitioner is moving for reconsideration of the Decision, arguing that since petitioner's marriages were entered into before the effectivity of the Family Code, then the applicable law is Section 29 of the Marriage Law (Act 3613), instead of Article 40 of the Family Code, which requires a final judgment declaring the previous marriage void before a person may contract a subsequent marriage.
Issue: What rule should govern on marriages before the effectivity of the Family Code. Ruling: The Motion for Reconsideration dated November 11, 2009 is DENIED with FINALITY. As far back as 1995, the Court already made the declaration that Article 40, which is a rule of procedure, should be applied retroactively because Article 256 of the Family Code itself provides that said "Code shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights." 16. G.R. No. 168785 --- Herald Black Dacasin, Petitioner, vs. Sharon Del Mundo Dacasin, Respondent . Facts:
Herald, American, and Sharon, Filipino, were married in Manila in April 1994. They have one daughter, Stephanie, born on September 21, 1995. In June 1999, Sharon sought and obtained a divorce decree from the Circuit Court, 19th Judicial
Circuit, Lake County, Illinois (Illinois court). In its ruling, the Illinois court dissolved the marriage of petitioner and respondent, awarded to respondent sole custody of Stephanie and retained jurisdiction over the case for enforcement purposes. On January 28, 2002, both executed in Manila a contract for joint custody over Stephanie. In 2004, Herald filed a case against Sharon alleging that Sharon had exercised sole custody over Stephanie contrary to their agreement. The trial court held that (1) it is precluded from taking cognizance over the suit considering the Illinois court’s retention of jurisdiction to enforce its divorce decree, including its order awarding sole custody of Stephanie to respondent; (2) the divorce decree is binding on petitioner following the “nationality rule” prevailing in this jurisdiction; and (3) the Agreement is void for contravening Article 2035, paragraph 5 of the Civil Code prohibiting compromise agreements on jurisdiction and dismissed the case. Issue: W/N the trial court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of petitioner’s suit andenforce the Agreement on the joint custody of the parties’ child. Ruling: The trial court’s refusal to entertain petitioner’s suit was grounded not on its lack of power to do so but on its thinking that the Illinois court’s divorce decree stripped itof jurisdiction. This conclusion is unfounded. What the Illinois court retained was “jurisdiction for the purpose of enforcing all and sundry the various provisions of [its] Judgment forDissolution.” Petitioner’s suit seeks the enforcement not of the “various provisions” of thedivorce decree but of the post-divorce Agreement on joint child custody. Thus, the actionlies beyond the zone of the Illinois court’s so-called “retained jurisdiction.” 17. [G.R. No. 158298, August 11, 2010] ISIDRO ABLAZA, PETITIONER, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. Facts:
On October 17, 2000, the petitioner filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cataingan, Masbate a petition for the declaration of the absolute nullity of the marriage contracted on December 26, 1949 between his late brother Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila Honato. The petitioner alleged that the marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila had been celebrated without a marriage license, due to such license being issued only on January 9, 1950, thereby rendering the marriage void ab initio for having been solemnized without a marriage license. He insisted that his being the surviving brother of Cresenciano who had died without any issue entitled him to one-half of the real properties acquired by Cresenciano before his death, thereby making him a real party in interest; and that any person, himself included, could impugn the validity of the marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila at any time, even after the death of Cresenciano, due to the marriage being void ab initio. RTC dismissed the complaint for the following reasons: 1) petition is filed out of time (action had long prescribed) and 2) petitioner is not a party to the marriage (contracted between Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila Nonato on December 26, 1949 and solemnized by Rev. Fr. Eusebio B. Calolot) and the CA affirmed.
Issue: W/N a person may bring an action for the declaration of the absolute nullity of the marriage of his deceased brother solemnized under the regime of the OLD Civil Code? Ruling: The petition for review on certiorari is granted. The marriage between Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila Honato was contracted on December 26, 1949, the applicable law was the old Civil Code, the law in effect at the time of the celebration of the marriage. Hence, the rule on the exclusivity of the parties to the marriage as having the right to initiate the action for declaration of nullity of the marriage under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC had absolutely no application to the petitioner. 18. [G.R. No. 183824, December 08, 2010] MYRNA P. ANTONE, PETITIONER, VS. LEO R. BERONILLA, RESPONDENT Facts:
On 12 March 2007, herein petitioner Myrna P. Antone executed an Affidavit-Complaint for Bigamy against Leo R. Beronilla before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasay City. She alleged that her marriage with respondent in 1978 had not yet been legally dissolved when the latter contracted a second marriage with one Cecile Maguillo in 1991.
Issue: W/N the trial court erred in finding that the first essential element of bigamy, which is a first valid marriage contracted by private respondent is wanting. Ruling: The Orders of CA are hereby SET ASIDE. Criminal Case No. 07-0907-CFM is REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings. To conclude, the issue on the declaration of nullity of the marriage between petitioner and respondent only after the latter contracted the subsequent marriage is, therefore, immaterial for the purpose of establishing that the facts alleged in the
information for Bigamy does not constitute an offense. Following the same rationale, neither may such defense be interposed by the respondent in his motion to quash by way of exception to the established rule that facts contrary to the allegations in the information are matters of defense which may be raised only during the presentation of evidence. All considered, we find that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when, in so quashing the Information in Criminal Case No. 07-0907-CFM, it considered an evidence introduced to prove a fact not alleged thereat disregarding the settled rules that a motion to quash is a hypothetical admission of the facts stated in the information; and that facts not alleged thereat may be appreciated only under exceptional circumstances, none of which is obtaining in the instant petition.