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FIRST DIVISION

DECISION

[G.R. No. L-2474. May 30, 1951.]


MARIANO ANDAL, assisted by his mother Maria Dueas as guardian ad
litem, and MARIA DUEAS, Plaintiffs, v. EDUVIGIS
MACARAIG, Defendant.

BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:

Reyes & Dy-Liaco for Appellants.


Tible, Tena & Borja for Appellees.
SYLLABUS

Mariano Andal, a minor, assisted by his mother Maria Dueas, as guardian ad


litem, brought an action in the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur for the
recovery of the ownership and possession of a parcel of land situated in the
barrio of Talacop, Calabanga, Camarines Sur.

1. PARENT AND CHILD; LEGITIMATE CHILDREN; PRESUMPTION. Husband The complaint alleges that Mariano Andal is the surviving son of Emiliano
died on January 1, 1943. The boy whose legitimacy is in question was born on Andal and Maria Dueas; that Emiliano Andal died on September 24, 1942;
June 17, 1943. Held: That boy is presumed to be the legitimate son of said that Emiliano Andal was the owner of the parcel of land in question having
husband and his wife, he having been born within three hundred days
acquired it from his mother Eduvigis Macaraig by virtue of a donation propter
following the dissolution of the marriage. That presumption can only be
nuptias executed by the latter in favor of the former; that Emiliano Andal had
rebutted by proof that it was physically impossible for the husband to have been in possession of the land from 1938 up to 1942, when Eduvigis
had access to his wife during the first 120 days of the 300 next preceding the Macaraig, taking advantage of the abnormal situation then prevailing, entered
birth of the child. The fact that the wife has committed adultery cannot
the land in question.
overcome this presumption.
The lower court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs (a) declaring
2. ID.; ID.; PRESUMPTION OF LEGITIMACY UPHELD; TUBERCULOSIS DOES Mariano Andal the legitimate son of Emiliano Andal and as such entitled to
NOT PREVENT CARNAL INTERCOURSE. Although the husband was already inherit the land in question; (b) declaring Mariano Andal owner of said land;
suffering from tuberculosis and his condition then was so serious that he could and (c) ordering the defendant to pay the costs of suit. Defendant took the
hardly move and get up from his bed, his feet were swollen and his voice case to this Court upon the plea that only questions of law are involved.
hoarse, yet that is no evidence of impotency, nor does it prevent carnal
intercourse. There are cases where persons suffering from this sickness can It appears undisputed that the land in question was given by Eduvigis
do the carnal act even in the most crucial stage because they are more
Macaraig to her son Emiliano Andal by virtue of a donation propter nuptias she
inclined to sexual intercourse. As an author has said, "the reputation of the has executed in his favor on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Dueas. If
tuberculous towards eroticism (sexual propensity) is probably dependent more the son born to the couple is deemed legitimate, then he is entitled to inherit
upon confinement to bed than the consequences of the disease." (An
the land in question. If otherwise, then the land should revert back to Eduvigis
Integrated Practice to Medicine, by Hyman, Vol. 3, p. 2202.)
Macaraig as the next of kin entitled to succeed him under the law. The main
issue, therefore, to be determined hinges on the legitimacy of Mariano Andal
in so far as his relation to Emiliano Andal is concerned. The determination of
this issue much depends upon the relationship that had existed between
Emiliano Andal and his wife during the period of conception of the child up to

the date of his birth in connection with the death of the alleged father
Emiliano Andal.
The following facts appear to have been proven: Emiliano Andal became sick
of tuberculosis in January 1941. Sometime thereafter, his brother, Felix, went
to live in his house to help him work his farm. His sickness became worse that
on or about September 10, 1942, he became so weak that he could hardly
move and get up from his bed. On September 10, 1942, Maria Dueas, his
wife, eloped with Felix, and both went to live in the house of Marias father,
until the middle of 1943. Since May, 1942, Felix and Maria had sexual
intercourse and treated each other as husband and wife. On January 1, 1943,
Emiliano died without the presence of his wife, who did not even attend his
funeral. On June 17, 1943, Maria Dueas gave birth to a boy, who was given
the name of Mariano Andal. Under these facts, can the child be considered as
the legitimate son of Emiliano?

Manresa on this point says:

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"Impossibility of access by husband to wife would include (1) absence during


the initial period of conception, (2) impotence which is patent, continuing and
incurable, and (3) imprisonment, unless it can be shown that cohabitation
took place through corrupt violation of prison regulations." Manresa, 492-500,
Vol. I, cited by Dr. Arturo Tolentino in his book "Commentaries and
Jurisprudence on the Civil Code, Vol. 1, p. 90)."
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There was no evidence presented that Emiliano Andal was absent during the
initial period of conception, specially during the period comprised between
August 21, 1942 and September 10, 1942, which is included in the 120 days
of the 300 next preceding the birth of the child Mariano Andal. On the
contrary, there is enough evidence to show that during that initial period,
Emiliano Andal and his wife were still living under the marital roof. Even if
Felix, the brother, was living in the same house, and he and the wife were
Article 108 of the Civil Code provides:
indulging in illicit intercourse since May, 1942, that does not preclude
cohabitation between Emiliano and his wife. We admit that Emiliano was
"Children born after the one hundred and eighty days next following that of
already suffering from tuberculosis and his condition then was so serious that
the celebration of marriage or within the three hundred days next following its he could hardly move and get up from his bed, his feet were swollen and his
dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be
voice hoarse. But experience shows that this does not prevent carnal
legitimate.
intercourse. There are cases where persons suffering from this sickness can
do the carnal act even in the most crucial stage because they are more
"This presumption may be rebutted only by proof that it was physically
inclined to sexual intercourse. As an author has said, "the reputation of the
impossible for the husband to have had access to his wife during the first one tuberculous towards eroticism (sexual propensity) is probably dependent more
hundred and twenty days of the three hundred next preceding the birth of the upon confinement to bed than the consequences of the disease." (An
child."
Integrated Practice of Medicine, by Hyman, Vol. 3, p. 2202). There is neither
evidence to show that Emiliano was suffering from impotency, patent,
Since the boy was born on June 17, 1943, and Emiliano Andal died on January continuous and incurable, nor was there evidence that he was imprisoned. The
1, 1943, that boy is presumed to be the legitimate son of Emiliano and his
presumption of legitimacy under the Civil Code in favor of the child has not,
wife, he having been born within three hundred (300) days following the
therefore, been overcome.
dissolution of the marriage. This presumption can only be rebutted by proof
that it was physically impossible for the husband to have had access to his
We can obtain the same result viewing this case under section 68, par. (c) of
wife during the first 120 days of the 300 next preceding the birth of the child. Rule 123, of the Rules of Court, which is practically based upon the same
Is there any evidence to prove that it was physically impossible for Emiliano to raison detre underlying the Civil Code. Said section provides:
have such access? Is the fact that Emiliano was sick of tuberculosis and was
so weak that he could hardly move and get up from his bed sufficient to
"The issue of a wife cohabiting with the husband who is not impotent, is
overcome this presumption?
indisputably presumed to be legitimate, if not born within one hundred eighty
days immediately succeeding the marriage, or after the expiration of three
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hundred days following its dissolution."

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We have already seen that Emiliano and his wife were living together, or at
least had access one to the other, and Emiliano was not impotent, and the
child was born within three hundred (300) days following the dissolution of the
marriage. Under these facts no other presumption can be drawn than that the
issue is legitimate. We have also seen that this presumption can only be
rebutted by clear proof that it was physically or naturally impossible for them
to indulge in carnal intercourse. And here there is no such proof. The fact that
Maria Dueas has committed adultery can not also overcome this presumption
(Tolentinos Commentaries on the Civil Code, Vol. I, p. 92).
In view of all the foregoing, we are constrained to hold that the lower court
did not err in declaring Mariano Andal as the legitimate son of the spouses
Emiliano Andal and Maria Dueas.
Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed, without pronouncement as
to costs.
Paras, C.J., Feria, Pablo, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes and Jugo, JJ., concur.

FIRST DIVISION

defendant) with the Court of First Instance of Davao, Branch IX. This case was
docketed as Civil Case No. 263 (p. 1, ROA).

[G.R. No. L-49542. September 12, 1980.]


Defendant (now petitioner) Macadangdang filed his answer on June 30, 1972,
ANTONIO MACADANGDANG, Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF opposing plaintiffs claim and praying for its dismissal (p. 3, ROA).
APPEALS and ELIZABETH MEJIAS, Respondents.
On August 9, 1972, the lower court in a pre-trial conference, issued a Pre-trial
Order formalizing certain stipulations, admissions and factual issues on which
both parties agreed (pp. 4, 5, and 6, ROA). Correspondingly, upon agreement
of the parties, an amended complaint was filed by plaintiff on October 17,
DECISION
1972 (pp. 7, 8 and 9, ROA).
In its decision rendered on February 27, 1973, the lower court dismissed the
complaint. The decision invoked positive provisions of the Civil Code and Rules
MAKASIAR, J.:of Court and authorities (pp. 10-18, ROA).
On April 18, 1973, plaintiff appealed the CFI decision to the Court of Appeals
(p. 59, rec.). In her appeal, appellant assigned these errors:
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This petition for review seeks to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals 1. "The Honorable Trial Court erred in applying in the instant case the
in CA-G.R. No. 54618-R which reversed the decision of the Court of First
provisions of Arts. 255 and 256 of the Civil Code and Secs. 4[a], 4[b] and
Instance of Davao, Branch IX dismissing the action for recognition and support 4[c], Rule 131, of the Revised Rules of Court" (p. 18, rec.);
filed by respondent Elizabeth Mejias against petitioner Antonio Macadangdang,
and which found minor Rolando to be the illegitimate son of petitioner who
2. "The Honorable Trial Court erred in holding that plaintiff-appellant cannot
was ordered to give a monthly support of P350.00 until his alleged son
validly question the legitimacy of her son, Rolando Macadangdang, by a
reaches the age of majority (p. 47, rec.; p. 10, ROA).
collateral attack without joining her legal husband as a party in the instant
case" (p. 18, rec.).
The records show that respondent Elizabeth Mejias is a married woman, her
husband being Crispin Anahaw (pp. 61-62, t.s.n., Sept. 21, 1972; pp. 10-11, In its decision handed down on June 2, 1978, the Court of Appeals reversed
Brief for Respondent [p. 198, rec.]). She allegedly had intercourse with
the lower courts decision (p. 47, rec.) and thus declared minor Rolando to be
petitioner Antonio Macadangdang sometime in March, 1967 (p. 38, t.s.n., June an illegitimate son of Antonio Macadangdang (p. 52, rec.).
7, 1972 in CC No. 109). She also alleges that due to the affair, she and her
husband separated in 1967 (p. 63, t.s.n., Sept. 21, 1972). On October 30,
On November 6, 1978, the Court of Appeals denied appellants motions for
1967 (7 months or 210 days following the illicit encounter), she gave birth to reconsideration for lack of merit. (p. 56, rec.).
a baby boy who was named Rolando Macadangdang in baptismal rites held on
December 24, 1967 (Annex "A", List of Exhibits).
Hence, petitioner filed this petition on January 12, 1979.
The records also disclose that on April 25, 1972, respondent; (then plaintiff)
filed a complaint for recognition and support against petitioner (then

The issues boil down to:

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1. Whether or not the child Rolando is conclusively presumed the legitimate


issue of the spouses Elizabeth Mejias and Crispin Anahaw; and

From the foregoing line of questions and answers, it can be gleaned that
respondents answers were given with spontaneity and with a clear
understanding of the questions posed. There cannot be any other meaning or
2. Whether or not the wife may institute an action that would bastardize her interpretation of the word "incident" other than that of the initial contact
child without giving her husband, the legally presumed father, an opportunity between petitioner and Respondent. Even a layman would understand the
to be heard.
clear sense of the question posed before respondent and her categorical and
spontaneous answer which does not leave any room for interpretation. It must
The crucial point that should be emphasized and should be straightened out
be noted that the very question of her counsel conveys the assumption of an
from the very beginning is the fact that respondents initial illicit affair with
existing marriage between respondent and her husband.
petitioner occurred sometime in March, 1967 and that by reason thereof, she
and her husband separated. This fact surfaced from the testimony of
The finding of the Court of Appeals that respondent and her husband were
respondent herself in the hearing of September 21, 1972 when this case was separated in 1965 cannot therefore be considered conclusive and binding on
still in the lower court. The pertinent portions of her testimony are thus
this Court. It is based solely on the testimony of respondent which is selfquoted:
serving. Nothing in the records shows that her statement was confirmed or
corroborated by another witness and the same cannot be treated as borne out
"By Atty. Fernandez:
by the record or that which is based on substantial evidence. Respondents
testimony, by itself, is insufficient without further evidence. It is not even
"Q What did you feel as a result of the incident where Antonio
confirmed by her own husband, who was not impleaded.
Macadangdang used a pill and took advantage of your womanhood?
In the case of Tolentino v. De Jesus (L-32797, 56 SCRA 167 [1974], this Court
"A I felt worried, mentally shocked and humiliated.
restated that the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are conclusive on
the parties and on the Supreme Court, unless (1) the conclusion is a finding
"Q If these feelings: worries, mental shock and humiliation, if estimated in grounded entirely on speculation, surmise, and conjectures; (2) the inference
monetary figures, how much will be the amount?
made is manifestly mistaken; (3) there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) the
judgment is based on misapprehension of facts; (5) the Court of Appeals went
"A Ten thousand pesos, sir.
beyond the issues of the case and its findings are contrary to the admission of
both appellant and appellee; (6) the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals
"Q And because of the incident, what happened to your marriage with
are contrary to those of the trial court; (7) said findings of facts are
Crispin Anahaw?
conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (8)
the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners main and reply
x
x
x
briefs are not disputed by the respondents; and (9) when the finding of facts
of the Court of Appeals is premised on the absence of evidence and is
contradicted by evidence on record [Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation
v. Yap, L-36232, December 19, 1974; Roque v. Buan, L-22459, 21 SCRA 642
WITNESS:
(1967); Ramos v. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of the Philippines, L-22533, 19
SCRA 289 (1967); Italics supplied].
A We separated, sir." (pp. 61-63, T.s.n., Civil Case No. 263, Sept. 21,
1972; Emphasis supplied).
Again, in Roque v. Buan, supra, this Court reiterated the aforestated doctrine
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adding four more exceptions to the general rule This case invoked the same

ruling in the previous case of Ramos v. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, etc.,


supra.

adulteress.

"Art. 257. Should the wife commit adultery at or about the time of the
In the recent case of Francisca Alsua-Betts, Et. Al. v. Court of Appeals, Et. Al. conception of the child, but there was no physical impossibility of access
(L-46430-31, July 30, 1979), which petitioner aptly invokes, this Court thus
between her and her husband as set forth in article 255, the child is prima
emphasized:
facie presumed to be illegitimate if it appears highly improbable, for ethnic
reasons, that the child is that of the husband. For the purposes of this article,
". . . But what should not be ignored by lawyers and litigants alike is the more the wifes adultery need not be proved in a criminal case.
basic principle that the findings of fact described as final or conclusive are
x
x
x
those borne out by the record or those which are based upon substantial
evidence. The general rule laid down by the Supreme Court does not declare
the absolute correctness of all the findings of fact made by the Court of
Appeals. There are exceptions to the general rule, where we have reviewed
"Sec. 4. Quasi-conclusive presumptions of legitimacy
the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals . ." (Emphasis supplied).
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The following provisions of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court should be
borne in mind:
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"Art. 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the
celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its
dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be
legitimate.

"(a) Children born after one hundred eighty days following the celebration of
the marriage, and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the
separation of the spouses shall be presumed legitimate.
"Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the
physical impossibility of the husbands having access to his wife within the first
one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth
of the child.

"Against this presumption, no evidence shall be admitted other than that of


the physical impossibility of the husbands having access to his wife within the "This physical impossibility may be caused:
first one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the
" [1] By the impotence of the husband;
birth of the child.
"This physical impossibility may be caused:

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"(1) By the impotence of the husband;


"(2) By the fact that the husband and wife were living separately, in such a
way that access was not possible;
"(3) By the serious illness of the husband.
"Art. 256. The child shall be presumed legitimate, although the mother may
have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an

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" [2] By the fact that the husband and the wife were living separately, in such
a way that access was not possible;
" [3] By the serious illness of the husband;
"(b) The child shall be presumed legitimate although the mother may have
declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress.
"(c) Should the wife commit adultery at or about the time of the conception of
the child, but there was no physical impossibility of access between her and
her husband as set forth above, the child is presumed legitimate, unless it

appears highly improbable, for ethnic reasons, that the child is that of the
husband. For the purpose of the rule, the wifes adultery need not be proved
in a criminal case.

pp. 21-22, Sept. 21, 1972). The birth of Rolando came more than one
hundred eighty 180 days following the celebration of the said marriage and
before 300 days following the alleged separation between aforenamed
spouses.

. . ." Rule 131, Rules of Court).


Under the aforequoted Article 255 of the Civil Code, the child Rolando is
Whether or not respondent and her husband were separated would be
conclusively presumed to be the legitimate son of respondent and her
immaterial to the resolution of the status of the child Rolando. What should
husband.
really matter is the fact that during the initial one hundred twenty days of the
three hundred which preceded the birth of the aforenamed child, no concrete The fact that the child was born a mere seven (7) months after the initial
or even substantial proof was presented to establish physical impossibility of sexual contact between petitioner and respondent is another proof that the
access between respondent and her spouse. From her very revealing
said child was not of petitioner since, from all indications, he came out as a
testimony, respondent declared that she was bringing two sacks of rice to
normal, full term baby.
Samal for her children; that her four children by her husband lived in her
mothers house in the said town; that her alleged estranged husband also
It must be stressed that the child under question has no birth certificate nor
lived in her mothers place (p. 73, rec.: pp. 21 & 22, 64 & 66, t.s.n., Sept. 21, any other official record of birth. His birth is attested to merely by oral
1972). It should also be noted that even during her affair with petitioner and declarations of witnesses and by a Certificate of Baptism (attached in the List
right after her delivery, respondent went to her mothers house in Samal for of Exhibits) which was prepared in the absence of the alleged father
treatment. Thus, in the direct examination of Patrocinia Avila (the boys yaya), [petitioner]. Note again that he was born on October 30, 1967. Between
the following came out:
March, 1967 and October 30, 1967, the time difference is clearly 7 months.
The baby Rolando could have been born prematurely. But such is not the case.
"Q Why were you taking care of the child Rolando, where was Elizabeth
Respondent underwent a normal nine-month pregnancy. Respondent herself
Mejias?
and the yaya, Patrocinia Avila, declared that the baby was born in the rented
house at Carpenter Street, which birth was obviously normal; that he was
"A Because Elizabeth went to her parents in Samal Davao del Norte for
such a healthy baby that barely 5 days after his birth, he was already cared
treatment because she had a relapse" (p. 13, t.s.n., of Sept. 21, 1972).
for by said yaya when respondent became sick (pp. 28, 29 & 43, t.s.n., Sept.
21, 1972); and that when he was between 15 days and 2 months of age,
From the foregoing and since respondent and her husband continued to live in respondent left him to the care of the yaya when the former left for Samal for
the same province, the fact remains that there was always the possibility of
treatment and returned only in February, 1968 (pp. 30-32, t.s.n., Sept. 21,
access to each other. As has already been pointed out, respondents self1972). From the aforestated facts, it can be indubitably said that the child was
serving statements were never corroborated nor confirmed by any other
a full-term baby at birth, normally delivered, and raised normally by the yaya.
evidence, more particularly that of her husband.
If it were otherwise or if he were born prematurely, he would have needed
special care like being placed in an incubator in a clinic or hospital and
The baby boy subject of this controversy was born on October 30, 1967, only attended to by a physician, not just a mere yaya. These all point to the fact
seven (7) months after March, 1967 when the "incident" or first illicit
that the baby who was born on October 30, 1967 or 7 months from the first
intercourse between respondent and petitioner took place, and also, seven
sexual encounter between petitioner and respondent was conceived as early
months from their separation (if there really was a separation). It must be
as January, 1967. How then could he be the child of petitioner?
noted that as of March, 1967, respondent and Crispin Anahaw had already
four children; hence, they had been married years before such date (t.s.n.,
In Our jurisprudence, this Court has been more definite in its pronouncements
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on the value of baptismal certificates. It thus ruled that while baptismal and
marriage certificates may be considered public documents, they are evidence
only to prove the administration of the sacraments on the dates therein
specified but not the veracity of the states or declarations made therein
with respect to his kinsfolk and/or citizenship (Paa v. Chan, L-25945, Oct. 31,
1967). Again, in the case of Fortus v. Novero (L-22378, 23 SCRA 1331
[1968]), this Court held that a baptismal administered, in conformity with the
rites of the Catholic Church by the priest who baptized the child, but it does
not prove the veracity of the declarations and statements contained in the
certificate that concern the relationship of the person baptized. Such
declarations and statements, in order that their truth may be admitted, must
indispensably be shown by proof recognized by law.

is presumed or proved, the husband must be taken be the father of the child
(Tolentino, citing Madden, Persons and Domestic Relations, pp. 340-341).
To defeat the presumption of legitimacy, therefore, there must be physical
impossibility of access by the husband to the wife during the period of
conception. The law expressly refers to physical impossibility. Hence, a
circumstance which makes sexual relations improbable, cannot defeat the
presumption of legitimacy; but it may be proved as a circumstance to
corroborate proof of physical impossibility of access (Tolentino, citing Bonet
352; 4 Valverde 408).

Impotence refers to the inability of the male organ to copulation, to perform


its proper function (Bouviers Law Dictionary 514). As defined in the
The child Rolando is presumed to be the legitimate son of respondent and her celebrated case of Menciano v. San Jose (89 Phil. 63), impotency is the
spouse. This presumption becomes conclusive in the absence of proof that
physical inability to have sexual intercourse. It is not synonymous with
there was physical impossibility of access between the spouses in the first 120 sterility. Sterility refers to the inability to procreate, whereas, impotence refers
days of the 300 which preceded the birth of the child. This presumption is
to the physical inability to perform the act of sexual intercourse. In respect of
actually quasi-conclusive and may be rebutted or refuted by only one evidence the impotency of the husband of the mother of a child, to overcome the
the physical impossibility of access between husband and wife within the
presumption of legitimacy based on conception or birth in wedlock or to show
first 120 days of the 300 which preceded the birth of the child. This physical illegitimacy, it has been held or recognized that the evidence or proof must be
impossibility of access may be caused by any of these:
clear or satisfactory: clear, satisfactory and convincing, irresistible or positive
(S.C. Tarleton v. Thompson, 118 S.E. 421, 125 SC 182, cited in 10 C.J.S.
1. Impotence of the husband;
50).
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2. Living separately in such a way that access was impossible; and

The separation between the spouses must be such as to make sexual access
impossible. This may take place when they reside in different countries or
3. Serious illness of the husband.
provinces, and they have never been together during the period of conception
(Estate of Benito Marcelo, 60 Phil. 442). Or, the husband may be in prison
This presumption of legitimacy is based on the assumption that there is sexual during the period of conception, unless it appears that sexual union took place
union in marriage, particularly during the period of conception. Hence, proof through corrupt violation of or allowed by prison regulations (1 Manresa 492of the physical impossibility of such sexual union prevents the application of
500).
the presumption (Tolentino, Commentaries & Jurisprudence on the Civil Code,
Vol. I, p. 513 citing Bevilaqua, Familia. 311).
The illness of the husband must be of such a nature as to exclude the
possibility of his having sexual intercourse with his wife; such as, when
The modern rule is that, in order to overthrow the presumption of legitimacy, because of a sacroiliac injury, he was placed in a plaster cast, and it was
it must be shown beyond reasonable doubt that there was no access as could inconceivable to have sexual intercourse without the most severe pain
have enabled the husband to be the father of the child. Sexual intercourse is (Tolentino, citing Commissioner v. Kotel, 256 App. Div. 352, 9 N.Y. Supp. p.
to be presumed where personal access is not disproved, unless such
515); or the illness produced temporary or permanent impotence, making
presumption is rebutted by evidence to the contrary; where sexual intercourse copulation impossible (Tolentino, citing Q. Bonet 352).

parents. The husband whose honor if offended, that is, being aware of his
Thus, in the case of Andal v. Macaraig (89 Phil. 165), this Court ruled that just wifes adultery, may obtain from the guilty spouse by means of coercion, a
because tuberculosis is advanced in a man does not necessarily mean that he confession against the legitimacy of the child which may really be only a
is incapable of sexual intercourse. There are cases where persons suffering
confession of her guilt. Or the wife, out of vengeance and spite, may declare
from tuberculosis can do the carnal act even in the most crucial stage of
the child as not her husbands although the statement be false. But there is
health because then they seemed to be more inclined to sexual intercourse.
another reason which is more powerful, demanding the exclusion of proof of
The fact that the wife had illicit intercourse with a man other than her
confession or adultery, and it is, that at the moment of conception, it cannot
husband during the initial period, does not preclude cohabitation between said be determined when a woman cohabits during the same period with two men,
husband and wife.
by whom the child was begotten, it being possible that it be the husband
himself (Manresa, Vol. 1, pp. 503-504).
Significantly, American courts have made definite pronouncements or rulings
on the issues under consideration.
Hence, in general, good morals and public policy require that a mother should
not be permitted to assert the illegitimacy of a child born in wedlock in order
The policy of the law is to confer legitimacy upon children born in wedlock
to obtain some benefit for herself (N.Y. Flint v. Pierce, 136 N.Y. S. 1056,
when access of the husband at the time of conception was not impossible
cited in 10 C.J.S. 77).
(N.Y. Milone v. Milone, 290 N.Y. S. 863, 160 Misc. 830) and there is the
presumption that a child so born is the child of the husband and is legitimate The law is not willing that the child be declared illegitimate to suit the whims
even though the wife was guilty of infidelity during the possible period of
and purposes of either parent, nor merely upon evidence that no actual act of
conception (N.Y. Dieterich v. Dieterich, 278 N.Y.S. 645, Misc. 714; both cited sexual intercourse occurred between husband and wife at or about the time
in 10 C.J.S., pp. 18, 19 & 20).
the wife became pregnant. Thus, where the husband denies having any
intercourse with his wife, the child was still presumed legitimate (Lynn v.
So firm was this presumption originally that it cannot be rebutted unless the State, 47 Ohio App. 168, 191 N.E. 100).
husband was incapable of procreation or was absent beyond the four seas,
that is, absent from the realm, during the whole period of the wifes
With respect to Article 257 aforequoted, it must be emphasized that adultery
pregnancy (10 C.J.S. p. 20).
on the part of the wife, in itself, cannot destroy the presumption of legitimacy
of her child, because it is still possible that the child is that of the husband
The presumption of legitimacy of children born during wedlock obtains,
(Tolentino citing 1 Vera 170; 4 Borja 23-24).
notwithstanding the husband and wife voluntarily separate and live apart,
unless the contrary is shown (Ala. Franks v. State, 161 So. 549, 26 Ala. App. It has, therefore, been held that the admission of the wifes testimony on the
430) and this includes children born after the separation [10 C.J.S. pp. 23:
point would be unseemly and scandalous, not only because it reveals immoral
24; Italics supplied].
conduct on her part, but also because of the effect it may have on the child,
who is in no fault, but who nevertheless must be the chief sufferer thereby (7
It must be stressed that Article 256 of the Civil Code which provides that the Am. Jur. Sec. 21, pp. 641-642).
child is presumed legitimate although the mother may have declared against
its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress has been adopted In the case of a child born or conceived in wedlock, evidence of the infidelity
for two solid reasons. First, in a fit of anger or to arouse jealousy in the
or adultery of the wife and mother is not admissible to show illegitimacy, if
husband, the wife may have made this declaration (Powell State, 95 N.E.,
there is no proof of the husbands impotency or non-access to his wife (Iowa
660). Second, the article is established as a guaranty in favor of the children Craven v. Selway, 246 N.W. 821, cited in 10 C.J.S. 36).
whose condition should not be under the mercy of the passions of their
chanrobles.com :cralaw:re d

At this juncture, it must be pointed out that only the husband can contest the
legitimacy of a child born to his wife. He is the one directly confronted with
the scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces; and he
should decide whether to conceal that infidelity or expose it, in view of the
moral or economic interest involved (Tolentino, citing Bevilaqua, Familia, p.
314).

Crispin Anahaw served as a refuge after respondents reckless and immoral


pursuits or a "buffer" after her flings. And she deliberately did not include nor
present her husband in this case because she could not risk her scheme. She
had to be certain that such scheme to bastardize her own son for her selfish
motives would not be thwarted.

The right to repudiate or contest the legitimacy of a child born in wedlock


This Court finds no other recourse except to deny respondents claim to
belongs only to the alleged father, who is the husband of the mother and can declare her son Rolando the illegitimate child of petitioner. From all
be exercised only by him or his heirs, within a fixed time, and in certain cases, indications, respondent has paraded herself as a woman of highly
and only in a direct suit brought for the purpose (La Ducasse v. Ducasse,
questionable character. A married woman who, on first meeting, rides with a
45 So. 565, 120 La. 731; Saloys Succ. 10 So. 872, 44 La. Ann., cited in 10
total stranger who is married towards nightfall, sleeps in his house in the
C.J.S. 77; Emphasis supplied).
presence of his children, then lives with him after their initial sexual contact
the atmosphere for which she herself provided is patently immoral and
Thus the mother has no right to disavow a child because maternity is never
hedonistic. Although her husband was a very potent man, she readily indulged
uncertain; she can only contest the identity of the child (La Eloi v. Mader, 1 in an instant illicit relationship with a married man she had never known
Rob. 581, 38 Am. D. 192).
before.
Formerly, declarations of a wife that her husband was not the father of a child
in wedlock were held to be admissible in evidence; but the general rule now is
that they are inadmissible to bastardize the child, regardless of statutory
provisions of viating incompetency on the ground of interest, or the fact that
the conception was antenuptial. The rule is said to be founded in decency,
morality and public policy (Wallace v. Wallace, 137 Iowa 37, 114 N.W. 527, 14
L.R.A. [N.S] 544, Am. St. Rep. 253, 15 Ann. Cas. 761, Am. Jur. 26).
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Respondent had shown total lack of or genuine concern for her child (Rolando)
for, even after his birth, she left him in the care of a yaya for several months.
This is not the normal instinct and behavior of a mother who has the safety
and welfare of her child foremost in her mind. The filing of this case itself
shows how she is capable of sacrificing the psycho-social future (reputation)
of the child in exchange for some monetary consideration. This is blatant
shamelessness.

From the foregoing, particularly the testimony of respondent and her


It also appears that her claim against petitioner is a disguised attempt to
witnesses, this Court has every reason to believe that Crispin Anahaw was not evade the responsibility and consequence of her reckless behavior at the
actually separated from Elizabeth Mejias; that he was a very potent man,
expense of her husband, her illicit lover and above all her own son. For this
having had four children with his wife; that even if he and respondent were
Court to allow, much less consent to, the bastardization of respondents son
even living separately (which the latter failed to prove anyway) and assuming, would give rise to serious and far-reaching consequences on society. This
for arguments sake, that they were really separated, there was all the
Court will not tolerate scheming married women who would indulge in illicit
possibility of physical access to each other considering their proximity to each affairs with married men and then exploit the children born during such
other and considering further that respondent still visited and recuperated in immoral relations by using them to collect from such moneyed paramours.
her mothers house in Samal where her spouse resided with her children.
This would be the vilest form of wrecking the stability of two families. This
Moreover, Crispin Anahaw did not have any serious illness or any illness
would be a severe assault on morality.
whatsoever which would have rendered him incapable of having sexual act
with his wife. No substantial evidence whatsoever was brought out to negate And as between the paternity by the husband and the paternity by the
the aforestated facts.
paramour, all the circumstances being equal, the law is inclined to follow the

former; hence, the child is thus given the benefit of legitimacy.


Finally, Article 220 of the Civil Code reinforces the aforesaid principle when it
provides thus:
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"Art. 220. In case of doubt, all presumptions favor the solidarity of the family.
Thus, every intendment of law or fact, leans toward the validity of marriage,
the indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of children, the
community of property during marriage, the authority of parents over the
children, and the validity of defense for any member of family in case of
unlawful aggression."
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WHEREFORE, THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS DATED JUNE 2,


1978, AND ITS RESOLUTION DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1978 ARE HEREBY
REVERSE AND SET ASIDE. COSTS AGAINST PRIVATE RESPONDENT.
SO ORDERED.
Teehankee (Chairman), Fernandez, Guerrero, De Castro and MelencioHerrera, JJ., concur.

SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. L-49162. July 28, 1987.]
JANICE MARIE JAO, represented by her mother and guardian ad litem,
ARLENE S. SALGADO,Petitioner, v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF
APPEALS and PERICO V. JAO, Respondents.

decision. In its decision, the Court of Appeals held:


DECISION

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"From the evidence of the contending parties, it appears undisputed that JAO
was introduced to ARLENE at the Saddle and Sirloin, Bay Side Club, by Melvin
Yabut. After this meeting, JAO dated and courted ARLENE. Not long thereafter,
they had their first sexual intercourse and subsequently, they lived together as
husband and wife . . .

PADILLA, J.:
It further appears undisputed that in April 1968, JAO accompanied ARLENE to
the Marian General Hospital for medical checkup and her confinement was
with JAOs consent. JAO paid the rentals where they lived, the salaries of the
maids, and other household expenses . . .
Appeal by certiorari from the decision * of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No.
51078-R, dated 29 August 1978, which dismissed petitioners action for
The record discloses that ARLENE gave birth to JANICE on August 16, 1968,
recognition and support against private respondent, and from the respondent after completing 36 weeks of pregnancy, which indicates that ARLENE must
Courts resolution, dated 11 October 1978, denying petitioners motion for
have conceived JANICE on or about the first week of December, 1967. Thus,
reconsideration of said decision.
one issue to be resolved in this appeal is whether on or about that time, JAO
and ARLENE had sexual intercourse and were already living with one another
On 28 October 1968, petitioner Janice Marie Jao, then a minor, represented by as husband and wife.
her mother and guardian-ad-litem Arlene Salgado, filed a case for recognition
and support with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court against private
In this connection, ARLENE contends that she first met JAO sometime in the
respondent Perico V. Jao. The latter denied paternity so the parties agreed to a third or fourth week of November, 1967 at the Saddle and Sirloin, Bayside
blood grouping test which was in due course conducted by the National
Club; that after several dates, she had carnal knowledge with him at her
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) upon order of the trial court. The result of the house at 30 Longbeach, Merville, Paraaque, Rizal in the evening of November
blood grouping test, held 21 January 1969, indicated that Janice could not
30, 1967, and that he started to live with her at her dwelling after December
have been the possible offspring of Perico V. Jao and Arlene S. Salgado. 1
16, 1967, the date they finished their cruise to Mindoro Island.
The trial court initially found the result of the tests legally conclusive but upon
plaintiffs (herein petitioners) second motion for reconsideration, it ordered a
trial on the merits, after which, Janice was declared the child of Jao, thus
entitling her to his monthly support.

On the other hand, JAO, albeit admitting that he met ARLENE at the Saddle
and Sirloin, Bayside Club, however, maintains that this was on December 14,
1967 because the day following, he and his guests: ARLENE, Melvin Yabut,
Didi Crescini and Charlie Litonjua went to Mindoro by boat. He dated ARLENE
four times in January, 1968. He remembered he had carnal knowledge of her
for the first time on January 18, 1968, because that was a week after his
birthday and it was only in May, 1968 that he started cohabiting with her at
the Excelsior Apartments on Roxas Boulevard.

Jao appealed to the Court of Appeals, questioning the trial courts failure to
appreciate the result of the blood grouping tests. As there was no showing
whatsoever that there was any irregularity or mistake in the conduct of the
tests, Jao argued that the result of the tests should have been conclusive and
indisputable evidence of his non-paternity.
These conflicting versions of the parties emphasize, in resolving the paternity
of JANICE, the role of the blood grouping tests conducted by the NBI and
The Court of Appeals upheld Jaos contentions and reversed the trial courts
which resulted in the negative finding that in a union with ARLENE, JAO could

not be the father of JANICE.

composition of a child may be some evidence as to the childs paternity. But


thus far this trait (in the present state of scientific discovery as generally
We cannot sustain the conclusion of the trial court that the NBI is not in a
accepted) can be used only negatively i.e. to evidence that a particular man F
position to determine with mathematical precision the issue of parentage by is not the father of a particular child C." (I Wigmore on Evidence 3rd Ed., pp.
blood grouping test, considering the rulings of this Court . . . where the blood 610-611).
grouping tests of the NBI were admitted; especially where, in the latter case,
it was Dr. Lorenzo Sunico who conducted the test and it appears that in the
In a last ditch effort to bar the admissibility and competency of the blood test,
present case, the same Dr. Sunico approved the findings and report . . . In Co JANICE claims that probative value was given to blood tests only in cases
Tao v. Court of Appeals, 101 Phil. 188, the Supreme Court had given weight to where they tended to establish paternity; and that there has been no case
the findings of the NBI in its blood grouping test. Thus, it cannot be gainsaid where the blood test was invoked to establish non-paternity, thereby implying
that the competency of the NBI to conduct blood grouping tests has been
that blood tests have probative value only when the result is a possible
recognized as early as the 1950s.
affirmative and not when in the negative. This contention is fallacious and
must be rejected. To sustain her contention, in effect, would be recognizing
The views of the Court on blood grouping tests may be stated as follows:
only the possible affirmative finding but not the blood grouping test itself for if
the result were negative, the test is regarded worthless. Indeed, this is
"Paternity Science has demonstrated that by the analysis of blood samples illogical . . . As an admitted test, it is admissible in subsequent similar
of the mother, the child, and the alleged father, it can be established
proceedings whether the result be in the negative or in the affirmative . . ."
conclusively that the man is not the father of the child. But group blood
testing cannot show that a man is the father of a particular child, but at least The Court of Appeals also found other facts that ran contrary to petitioners
can show only a possibility that he is. Statutes in many states, and courts in contention that JAOs actions before and after JANICE was born were
others, have recognized the value and the limitations of such tests. Some of tantamount to recognition. Said the respondent appellate court:
the decisions have recognized the conclusive presumption of non-paternity
where the results of the test, made in the prescribed manner, show the
"On the contrary, after JANICE was born, JAO did not recognize her as his
impossibility of the alleged paternity. This is one of the few cases in which the own. In fact, he filed a petition that his name as father of JANICE in the
judgment of the Court may scientifically, be completely accurate, and
latters certificate of live birth be deleted, evidencing his repudiation, rather
intolerable results avoided, such as have occurred where the finding is allowed than recognition. The mere acts of JAO in cohabiting with ARLENE, the
to turn on oral testimony conflicting with the results of the test.
attention given to her during her pregnancy and the financial assistance
extended to her cannot overcome the result of the blood grouping test. These
"The findings of such blood tests are not admissible to prove the fact of
acts of JAO cannot be evaluated as recognizing the unborn JANICE as his own
paternity as they show only a possibility that the alleged father or any one of as the possession of such status cannot be founded on conjectures and
many others with the same blood type may have been the father of the child. presumptions, especially so that, We have earlier said, JAO refused to
But the Uniform Act recognizes that the tests may have some probative value acknowledge JANICE after the latters birth.
to establish paternity where the blood type and the combination in the child is
shown to be rare, in which case the judge is given discretion to let it in" (I
JAO cannot be compelled to recognize JANICE based on paragraph 2 of Article
Jones on Evidence, 5th Ed., pp. 193-194).
283 in relation to Article 289 of the New Civil Code which provides: "When the
child is in continuous possession of status of a child of the alleged father by
"In one specific biological trait, viz, blood groups, scientific opinion is now in the direct acts of the latter."
accord in accepting the fact that there is a causative relation between the trait
of the progenitor and the trait of the progeny. In other words, the blood
Nor can there be compulsory recognition under paragraphs 3 or 4 of said
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article which states:

paternity was dealt with in Co Tao v. Court of Appeals, 2 an action for


declaration of filiation, support and damages. In said case, the NBI experts
"(3) When the child was conceived during the time when the mother cohabited report of the blood tests stated that "from their blood groups and types, the
with the supposed father;
defendant Co Tao is a possible father of the child." From this statement, the
defendant contended that the child must have been the child of another man.
(4) When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is The Court noted: "For obvious reasons, the NBI expert cannot give assurance
his father."
that the appellant was the father of the child; he can only give his opinion that
he is a `possible father. This possibility, coupled with the other facts and
As aptly appreciated by the court below, JANICE could have been conceived
circumstances brought out during the trial, tends to definitely establish that
from November 20, 1967 to December 4, 1967. Indeed, ARLENE claims that appellant Co Tao is the father of the child Manuel." 3
her first sexual intercourse with JAO was on November 30, 1967 while the
latter avers it was one week after January 18, 1968. However, to satisfy
Where the issue is admissibility and conclusiveness of blood grouping tests to
paragraph 3 as above-quoted, JANICE must have been conceived when
disprove paternity, rulings have been much more definite in their conclusions.
ARLENE and JAO started to cohabit with one another. Since ARLENE herself
For the past three decades, the use of blood typing in cases of disputed
testified that their cohabitation started only after December 16, 1967, then it parentage has already become an important legal procedure. There is now
cannot be gainsaid that JANICE was not conceived during this cohabitation.
almost universal scientific agreement that blood grouping tests are conclusive
Hence, no recognition will lie. Necessarily, recognition cannot be had under
as to non-paternity, although inconclusive as to paternity that is, the fact
paragraph 4 as JANICE has no other evidence or proof of her alleged
that the blood type of the child is a possible product of the mother and alleged
paternity.
father does not conclusively prove that the child is born by such parents; but,
if the blood type of the child is not the possible blood type when the blood of
Apart from these, there is the claim of JAO that, at the critical time of
the mother and that of the alleged father are crossmatched, then the child
conception, ARLENE had carnal knowledge with two other men: "Oying"
cannot possibly be that of the alleged father. 4
Fernandez and Melvin Yabut, which was not even rebutted; and considering
that it was Melvin Yabut, who introduced ARLENE to JAO at the Bayside Club. In jurisdictions like the United States, the admissibility of blood tests results to
Moreover, the testimony of ARLENE is not wholly reliable. When the trial court prove non-paternity has already been passed upon in several cases. In Gilpin
said that "the Court is further convinced of plaintiffs cause by ARLENEs
v. Gilpin 5 the positive results of blood tests excluding paternity, in a case in
manner of testifying in a most straight-forward and candid manner," the fact which it was shown that proper safeguards were drawn around the testing
that ARLENE was admittedly a movie actress may have been overlooked so
procedures, were recognized as final on the question of paternity. In Cuneo v.
that not even the trial court could detect, by her acts, whether she was lying Cuneo 6 evidence of non-paternity consisting of the result of blood grouping
or not.
tests was admitted despite a finding that the alleged father had cohabited with
the mother within the period of gestation. The Court said that the competent
"WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby set aside and a new one medical testimony was overwhelmingly in favor of the plaintiff, and to reject
entered dismissing plaintiff-appellees complaint. Without pronouncement as such testimony would be tantamount to rejecting scientific fact. Courts, it was
to costs. SO ORDERED."
stated, should apply the results of science when competently obtained in aid
of situations presented, since to reject said result was to deny progress. 7 This
The petitioner now brings before this Court the issue of admissibility and
ruling was also echoed in Clark v. Rysedorph, 8 a filiation proceeding where an
conclusiveness of the result of blood grouping tests to prove non-paternity.
uncontradicted blood grouping test evidence, excluding paternity, was held
conclusive. 9 Legislation expressly recognizing the use of blood tests is also in
In this jurisdiction, the result of blood tests, among other evidence, to affirm force in several states. 10 Tolentino, 11 affirms this rule on blood tests as
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proof of non-paternity, thus

petitioner Janice. No evidence has been presented showing any defect in the
testing methods employed or failure to provide adequate safeguards for the
"Medical science has shown that there are four types of blood in man which
proper conduct of the tests. The result of such tests is to be accepted
can be transmitted through heredity. Although the presence of the same type therefore as accurately reflecting a scientific fact.
of blood in two persons does not indicate that one was begotten by the other,
yet the fact that they are of different types will indicate the impossibility of
In view of the findings of fact made by the Court of Appeals, as heretofore
one being the child of the other. Thus, when the supposed father and the
quoted, which are binding on this Court, we do not find it necessary to further
alleged child are not in the same blood group, they cannot be father and child pass upon the issue of recognition raised by petitioner.
by consanguinity. The Courts of Europe today regard a blood test exclusion as
an unanswerable and indisputable proof of non-paternity." 12
WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review is hereby denied. Without
pronouncement as to costs.
Moreover,
SO ORDERED.
"The cohabitation between the mother and the supposed father cannot be a
ground for compulsory recognition if such cohabitation could not have
Yap (Chairman), Melencio-Herrera, Paras and Sarmiento, JJ., concur.
produced the conception of the child. This would be the case, for instance, if
the cohabitation took place outside of the period of conception of the child.
Likewise, if it can be proved by blood tests that the child and the supposed
father belong to different blood groups, the cohabitation by itself cannot be a
ground for recognition." 13
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Petitioner has attempted to discredit the result of the blood grouping tests in
the instant case by impugning the qualifications of the NBI personnel who
FIRST DIVISION
performed the tests and the conduct of the tests themselves. Her allegations,
in this regard, appear to be without merit. The NBIs forensic chemist who
[G.R. No. 83942. December 29, 1988.]
conducted the tests is also a serologist, and has had extensive practice in this
area for several years. The blood tests were conducted six (6) times using two
ROMEO S. AMURAO, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and
(2) scientifically recognized blood grouping systems, the MN Test and the ABO
ROMUEL
JEROME BUENAVENTURA, represented by her natural mother
System, 14 under witness and supervision. 15
and guardian ad litem FE ROSARIO BUENAVENTURA, Respondents.
Even the allegation that Janice was too young at five months to have been a
proper subject for accurate blood tests must fall, since nearly two years after
the first blood test, she, represented by her mother, declined to undergo the
same blood test to prove or disprove their allegations, even as Jao was willing
SYLLABUS
to undergo such a test again. 16
Accordingly, the Court affirms the decision of the Court of Appeals and holds
that the result of the blood grouping tests involved in the case at bar, are
admissible and conclusive on the non-paternity of respondent Jao vis-a-vis

1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; FINDINGS OF FACT BY THE LOWER COURT


the parties and their counsel, attested by the Deputy Clerk of Court, and
REVIEWABLE BY THE SUPREME COURT. The issues raised by the petition
embodied in the courts order of September 26, 1977 as follows:
are factual issues which this Court may not review under Rule 45 of the Rules
of Court. Whether or not the petitioner made an admission of paternity under "When this case was called for trial this morning, parties jointly moved for a
the terms of the trial courts order dated September 26, 1977, thereby binding conference in chambers. The same was granted. After said conference, parties
himself to give support to his child, the private respondent herein, is a finding agreed to submit themselves to a blood-grouping test to determine the
of fact. So is the Courts determination of the amount of support payable to
paternity of plaintiff before the National Bureau of Investigation; and to be
the private Respondent. Whether or not the Court of Appeals correctly
bound by the results of the said government agency in the following manner:
determined that the minor, who filed his action for support in 1977 when he
a) if the finding is to the effect that herein plaintiff may be the offspring of
was only an infant five (5) months old, is now (as an 11-year old student)
defendant, paternity shall be admitted and this case will proceed for trial only
entitled to an increase in the amount of support awarded to him by the trial
on the issue of amount of support; and b) if the finding is negative, then this
court, is also a factual issue which We may not re-examine and review.
case shall be dismissed without further trial. The Court finds the same well
taken.
2. ID.; DUE PROCESS GUARANTEE NOT VIOLATED IN CASE AT BAR. The
defendant (herein petitioner), by failing to appear at the hearing of the main "WHEREFORE, plaintiff-minor, his natural mother and defendant are hereby
case on July 8, 1983 (p. 17, Rollo), waived his right to adduce additional
ordered to submit themselves to a blood-grouping test before the National
evidence. Hence, he may not be heard to complain that he was denied due
Bureau of Investigation on or before October 17, 1977 at 10:00 oclock in the
process.
morning for a determination of plaintiffs paternity." (Italics supplied.) (pp 2930, Original Records; p. 20, Rollo.)
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DECISION

On the basis of the blood-grouping tests performed by the National Bureau of


Investigation (NBI), the NBI submitted to the Court Report No. 77-100 dated
October 17, 1977, finding that:
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"The said child (Romuel Jerome Buenaventura) is a possible offspring of the


alleged father Romeo Amurao with Fe Rosario Buenaventura as the natural
GRIO-AQUINO, J.:mother." (p. 20, Rollo.).
Exactly one year later, on September 26, 1978, the petitioner filed a motion
for reconsideration of the courts order dated September 26, 1977, impugning
its validity. The motion was denied by the trial court. The petitioner sought a
The petitioner was sued for support by the offspring of his illicit relations with review of the order by the Supreme Court through a petition
a 19-year old college student. The petitioner denied paternity and refused to for certiorari(G.R. No. 51407). The petition was denied by this Court on May
give support.
4, 1980.
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At the commencement of the trial on July 25, 1977, the trial court made a
A motion to declare the petitioner in contempt of court for failure to pay
last-minute effort to simplify the issues by calling the parties and their counsel support pendente lite was filed by the private respondent minor. At the
to a conference in her chambers. The result was an agreement of the parties, hearing of the contempt motion the parties presented evidence on the
a gist of which was written down in the minutes of the hearing, duly signed by petitioners capability to give support. After the hearing on the contempt

motion, the case was set for trial on July 8, 1983, with due notice to both
parties, for the presentation of further evidence by the petitioner (defendant)
on the main case. However, neither the petitioner, nor his counsel, appeared
at the hearing. The court declared the case submitted for decision. On August
8, 1985, it rendered judgment for the private respondent ordering the
petitioner to pay the former support of P500 per month plus attorneys fees of
P3,000, and costs.

issues which this Court may not review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
Whether or not the petitioner made an admission of paternity under the terms
of the trial courts order dated September 26, 1977, thereby binding himself
to give support to his child, the private respondent herein, is a finding of fact.

So is the Courts determination of the amount of support payable to the


private Respondent. It was perfectly proper for the Court to consider the
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA-G.R. No. CV 07645) which
evidence presented by the parties at the hearing of the plaintiffs contempt
rendered judgment on March 7, 1988, as follows:
motion against the defendant, as evidence also on the merits of the main
case. The parties did not have to repeat the ritual of presenting the same
"WHEREFORE, judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with the
evidence all over again to the court. The defendant (herein petitioner), by
modification that the support fixed in the judgment appealed from is increased failing to appear at the hearing of the main case on July 8, 1983 (p. 17,
to One Thousand Five Hundred (P1,500.00) Pesos, payable within the first five Rollo), waived his right to adduce additional evidence. Hence, he may not be
days of each month at the plaintiffs residence. Defendant-appellant is hereby heard to complain that he was denied due process.
ordered to pay support pendente lite of P200.00 in arrears since October 1978
up to the termination of this appeal. Costs against defendant-appellant." (p. Whether or not the Court of Appeals correctly determined that the minor, who
24, Rollo.)
filed his action for support in 1977 when he was only an infant five (5) months
old, is now (as an 11-year old student) entitled to an increase in the amount
Once more, the case is before Us for review upon a petition alleging that the of support awarded to him by the trial court, is also a factual issue which We
Court of Appeals erred:
may not re-examine and review.
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1. in finding that the petitioner had admitted his paternity in relation to the
minor Romuel Jerome Buenaventura and that hence said minor is entitled to
receive support from him;

In any event, We find no reversible error in the decision of the Court of


Appeals. The increase in the childs support is proper and is sanctioned by the
provisions of Articles 290, 296 and 297 of the Civil Code.

2. in upholding the trial courts decision based on the evidence (consisting


WHEREFORE, the petition is denied for lack of merit. This decision is
among others of the petitioners balance sheets, audit reports and admissions immediately executory.
regarding his income) presented by the parties at the hearing of the plaintiffs
contempt motion;
SO ORDERED.
3. in increasing the amount of support granted by the trial court; and

Cruz, ** Gancayco and Medialdea, JJ., concur.

4. in applying Article 290 of the Civil Code instead of Articles 296 and 297 of
the same Code.

Narvasa, J., on leave.

The petition for review is devoid of merit.


The first, second, third, and fourth issues raised by the petition are factual

FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. No. 75377. February 17, 1988.]
CHUA KENG GIAP, Petitioner, v. HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE
COURT and CHUA LIAN KING, Respondents.

SYLLABUS

1. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL ACTIONS; RES JUDICATA; APPLIED IN CASE AT BAR.


The issue of his claimed filiation has long been settled, and with finality, by
no less than this Court. That issue cannot be resurrected now because it has

been laid to rest in Sy Kao v. Court of Appeals, 8 decided on September 28,


in S.P. No. Q-12592, for the settlement of the estate of the late Chua Bing
1984. In that case, Sy Kao flatly and unequivocally declared that she was not Guan. The decision in that case had long become final and executory. 2
the petitioners mother. The Court observed through Justice Hugo E. Gutierrez,
Jr.: "Petitioner Sy Kao denies that respondent Chua Keng Giap is her son by
The motion was denied by Judge Jose P. Castro, who held that the case
the deceased Chua Bing Guan. Thus, petitioners opposition filed on December invoked decided the paternity and not the maternity of the petitioner. 3
19, 1968, is based principally on the ground that the respondent was not the Holding that this was mere quibbling, the respondent court reversed the trial
son of Sy Kao and the deceased but of a certain Chua Eng Kun and his wife
judge in a petition for certiorari filed by the private Respondent. 4 The motion
Tan Kuy . . . "To allow the parties to go on with the trial on the merits would for reconsideration was denied for late filing. 5 The petitioner then came to
not only subject the petitioners to the expense to the expense and ordeal of this Court to challenge these rulings.
litigation which might take them another ten years, only to prove a point
already decided in Special Proceeding No. Q-12592, but more importantly,
The petitioner argues at length that the question to be settled in a motion to
such would violate the doctrine of res judicata which is expressly provided for dismiss based on lack of a cause of action is the sufficiency of the allegation
in Section 49, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court."
itself and not whether these allegations are true or not, for their truth is
hypothetically admitted. 6 That is correct. He also submits that an order
denying a motion to dismiss is merely interlocutory and therefore reversible
not in a petition for certiorari but on appeal. 7 That is also correct. Even so,
the petition must be and is hereby denied.
DECISION
The petitioner is beating a dead horse. The issue of his claimed filiation has
long been settled, and with finality, by no less than this Court. That issue
cannot be resurrected now because it has been laid to rest in Sy Kao v. Court
CRUZ, J.:of Appeals, 8 decided on September 28, 1984. In that case, Sy Kao flatly and
unequivocally declared that she was not the petitioners mother.
The Court observed through Justice Hugo E. Gutierrez, Jr.:

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We are faced once again with still another bid by petitioner for the status of a "Petitioner Sy Kao denies that respondent Chua Keng Giap is her son by the
legitimate heir. He has failed before, and he will fail again.
deceased Chua Bing Guan. Thus, petitioners opposition filed on December 19,
1968, is based principally on the ground that the respondent was not the son
In this case, the petitioner insists that he is the son of the deceased Sy Kao
of Sy Kao and the deceased but of a certain Chua Eng Kun and his wife Tan
and that it was error for the respondent court to reject his claim. He also says Kuy.
his motion for reconsideration should not have been denied for tardiness
because it was in fact filed on time under the Habaluyas ruling. 1
"After hearing on the merits which lasted for ten years, the court dismissed
the respondents petition or March 2, 1979 on a finding that be it not a son of
This case arose when Chua Keng Giap filed on May 19, 1983, a petition for the petitioner Sy Kao and the deceased, and therefore, had no lawful interest in
settlement of the estate of the late Sy Kao in the regional trial court of Quezon the estate of the latter and no right to institute the intestacy proceedings.
City. The private respondent moved to dismiss for lack of a cause of action
and of the petitioners capacity to file the petition. The latter, it was claimed, "The respondent tried to appeal the courts resolution but his appeal was
had been declared as not the son of the spouses Chua Bing Guan and Sy Kao denied by the lower court for having been filed out of time. He then filed a

mandamus case with the Court of Appeals but the same was dismissed.
Respondent, therefore, sought relief by filing a petition for certiorari, G.R. No.
54992, before this Court but his petition was likewise dismissed on January
30, 1982, for lack of merit. His subsequent motions for reconsideration met a
similar fate.
x

"To allow the parties to go on with the trial on the merits would not only
subject the petitioners to the expense and ordeal of litigation which might
take them another ten years, only to prove a point already decided in Special
Proceeding No. Q-12592, but more importantly, such would violate the
doctrine of res judicata which is expressly provided for in Section 49, Rule 39
of the Rules of Court."
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There is no point in prolonging these proceedings with an examination of the


procedural objections to the grant of the motion to dismiss. In the end,
assuming denial of the motion, the resolution of the merits would have to be
the same anyway as in the aforesaid case. The petitioners claim of filiation
would still have to be rejected.

FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. No. L-69679. October 18, 1988.]

VIOLETA CABATBAT LIM, LIM BIAK CHIAO and CALASIAO BIJON


FACTORY, Petitioners, v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT,
CONSORCIA FRIANEZA GOLEA MARIA FRIANEZA VERGARA,
BENEDICTA FRIANEZA MAYUGBA, BONIFACIA FRIANEZA HEIRS OF
DOMINGO FRIANEZA namely, DECIDERIA Q. VDA. DE FRIANEZA
Who better than Sy Kao herself would know of Chua Keng Giap was really her
FRANCISCO, DONA VILMA and DECIDERIA all surnamed FRIANEZA
son? More than any one else, it was Sy Kao who could say as indeed she
HEIRS OF DANIEL FRIANEZA namely, ADELA V. VDA. DE FRIANEZA, in
has said these many years that Chua Keng Giap was not begotten of her
her behalf and as Guardian ad litem of Minors, DARLENE, DANIEL JR.,
womb.
DUSSEL and DAISY GLEN, all surnamed FRIANEZA, Respondents.
Discussion of the seasonableness of the motion for reconsideration is also
unnecessary as the motion would have been validly denied just the same even
if filed on time.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, with costs against the petitioner. It is so


ordered.
Teehankee (C.J.), Narvasa, Gancayco and Grio-Aquino, JJ., concur.

Ethelwoldo R. de Guzman, for Petitioners.


Tomas B. Tadeo, Sr. for Private Respondents.

SYLLABUS

1. REMEDIAL LAW; JUDGMENT; FACTUAL FINDINGS OF TRIAL COURTS;


CONCLUSIVE; CASE AT BAR. Petitioners first and fourth assignments of
error raise factual issues. The finding of the trial court and the Court of
Appeals that Violeta Cabatbat was not born of Esperanza Cabatbat is a factual
finding based on the evidence presented at the trial, hence, it is conclusive
upon Us. Well entrenched is the rule that "factual findings of the trial court
and the Court of Appeals are entitled to great respect" (Vda. de Roxas v. IAC,
143 SCRA 77; Republic v. IAC, 144 SCRA 705).

to this case because this is not an action to impugn the legitimacy of a child,
but an action of the private respondents to claim their inheritance as legal
heirs of their childless deceased aunt. They do not claim that petitioner Violeta
Cabatbat Lim is an illegitimate child of the deceased, but that she is not the
decedents child at all. Being neither a legally adopted child, nor an
acknowledged natural child, nor a child by legal fiction of Esperanza Cabatbat,
Violeta is not a legal heir of the deceased.

DECISION

2. ID.; PRIVATE WRITINGS; SECTION 22, RULE 132, RULES OF COURT;


EVIDENCE OF EXECUTION, NOT NECESSARY; NOT APPLICABLE IN THE CASE
GRIO-AQUINO, J.:
AT BAR. Section 22, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court which provides that:
"Where a private writing is more than thirty years old, is produced from a
custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by
any alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other evidence of its
execution and authenticity need be given" does not apply to petitioners
This case involves a contest over the estate of the late Dra. Esperanza
Exhibit "5," the supposed birth registry record of defendant Violeta Cabatbat Cabatbat wherein the protagonists are her sisters and the children of her
showing that she was born on May 26, 1948, at the Pangasinan Provincial
deceased brothers on one hand, and the petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim who
Hospital in Dagupan City, and that her father and mother are Proceso
claims to be her only child.
Cabatbat and Esperanza Frianeza, respectively. In rejecting that document,
the trial court pointedly observed: "This is very strange and odd because the Petitioners Violeta Cabatbat Lim, her husband Lim Biak Chiao, and the
Registry Book of admission of the hospital does not show that Esperanza
Calasiao Bijon Factory assail the decision dated October 25, 1984 of the
Frianeza was ever a patient on May 26, 1948. Indeed, Esperanza Frianeza was Intermediate Appellate Court, now Court of Appeals (AC-G.R. No. CV-67055),
never admitted in the hospital as an obstetrics case before or after May 26,
which affirmed the trial courts decision finding that petitioner Violeta Cabatbat
1948, that is from December 1, 1947 to June 15, 1948 (Stipulation of Facts, Lim is not the offspring, hence, not a legal heir of the late Esperanza
Pre-Trial Order of May 23, 1977, Record on Appeal, p. 117) . . . Furthermore, Cabatbat.
the absence of a record of the birth of petitioner Violeta Cabatbat in the Office
of the Civil Registrar General, puts a cloud on the genuineness of her Exhibit The private respondents, sisters of the late Esperanza Frianeza-Cabatbat, filed
5.
a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan (Civil Case No. D3841), praying for the partition of the estate of Esperanza Frianeza Cabatbat,
3. CIVIL LAW; PATERNITY AND FILIATION; ARTICLE 263, CIVIL CODE;
who died without issue on April 23, 1977. Part of her estate was her interest
ACTION TO IMPUGN LEGITIMACY; INAPPLICABLE TO THE CASE AT BAR.
in the business partnership known as Calasiao Bijon Factory, now in the
Petitioners recourse to Article 263 of the New Civil Code is not well-taken.
possession of Violeta Cabatbat Lim who claims to be the child of the spouses
This legal provision refers to an action to impugn legitimacy. It is inapplicable Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat.
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Cabatbat; and 6) another Deed of Absolute Sale dated April 21, 1961, wherein
Esperanza Frianeza-Cabatbat was survived by her husband, Proceso Cabatbat, Violeta Cabatbat was assisted and represented by her "father," Proceso
her sisters, Consorcia, Maria, Benedicta, Bonifacia, all surnamed Frianeza and Cabatbat.
the children of her deceased brothers Daniel and Domingo.
Upon the evidence, the trial court held on August 10, 1979 that Violeta
In their complaint, the private respondents alleged that Violeta Cabatbat Lim Cabatbat is not a child by nature of the spouses Esperanza and Proceso
is not a child of Esperanza, but was only a ward (ampon) of the spouses
Cabatbat and that hence, she is not a legal heir of the deceased Esperanza
Esperanza and Proceso Cabatbat who sheltered and supported her from
Cabatbat. The dispositive portion of the trial courts decision reads:
childhood, without benefit of formal adoption proceedings.
"WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:
Private respondents evidence on the non-filiation of Violeta to Esperanza
Cabatbat were: 1) the absence of any record that Esperanza Cabatbat was
"(1) Finding that defendant VIOLETA CABATBAT LIM is not a child by nature of
admitted in the hospital where Violeta was born and that she gave birth to
the spouses, decedent Esperanza Frianeza and defendant Proceso Cabatbat,
Violeta on the day the latter was born; 2) the absence of the birth certificate and not a compulsory heir of the said decedent;
of Violeta Cabatbat in the files of certificates of live births of the Pangasinan
Provincial Hospital for the years 1947 and 1948, when Violeta was supposedly "(2) Declaring that the heirs of the decedent are her surviving husband,
born; 3) certification dated March 9, 1977, of the Civil Registry coordinator
defendant Proceso Cabatbat and her sisters, plaintiffs CONSORCIA, MARIA,
Eugenio Venal of the Office of the Civil Registrar General, that his office has no BENEDICTA alias JOVITA, and BONIFACIA alias ANASTACIA, all surnamed
birth record of Violeta Cabatbat alleged to have been born on May 26, 1948 or FRIANEZA, her brothers deceased DANIEL FRIANEZA represented by his
1949 in Calasiao, Pangasinan; 4) certification dated June 16, 1977 of Romeo surviving spouse, Adela Vda. de Frianeza, and their children, Darlene, Daniel,
Gabriana, Principal II, that when Violeta studied in the Calasiao Pilot Central Jr., Dussel and Daisy Glen, all surnamed FRIANEZA, and deceased DOMINGO
School, Proceso Cabatbat and Esperanza Cabatbat were listed as her
FRIANEZA, represented by his surviving spouse Desideria Q. Vda. de Frianeza
guardians only, not as her parents; 5) testimony of Amparo Reside that she
and their children, Francisco, Dona, Vilma and Decideria, all surnamed
was in the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital on May 21, 1948 to watch a cousin FRIANEZA;
who delivered a child there and that she became acquainted with a patient
named Benita Lastimosa who gave birth on May 26, 1948 to a baby girl who "(3) Finding that the estate left by the decedent are the thirty properties
grew up to be known as Violeta Cabatbat.
enumerated and described at pages 13 to 19 supra and an equity in the
Calasiao Bijon Factory in the sum of P37,961.69 of which P13,221.69 remains
Pitted against the evidence of the plaintiffs are the evidence of herein
after advances obtained by the deceased during her lifetime and lawful
petitioners consisting of: 1) Violeta Cabatbats birth record which was filed on deductions made after her death;
June 15, 1948 showing that she was born on May 26, 1948 at the Pangasinan
Provincial Hospital and that she is a legitimate child of the spouses Proceso
"(4) That of the real properties adverted to above, three-fourths (3/4) proand Esperanza Cabatbat; 2) testimony of Proceso Cabatbat that Violeta is his indiviso is the share of defendant Proceso Cabatbat, as the surviving spouse,
child with the deceased Esperanza Frianeza; 3) testimony of Benita Lastimosa one-half (1/2) as his share of the conjugal estate and one-half (1/2) of the
denying that she delivered a child in the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital and
remaining one-half as share as heir from his wife (decedents) estate, while
that Violeta Cabatbat Lim is that child; 4) the marriage contract of Violeta and the remaining one-half (1/2) of the other half is the group share of the heirs
Lim Biak Chiao where Esperanza appeared as the mother of the bride; 5)
of the brothers and sisters of his wife and of the children of the latter if
Deed of Sale dated May 14, 1960, wherein the vendee Violeta Cabatbat, then deceased, whose names are already enumerated hereinbefore in the following
a minor, was represented and assisted by her "mother," Dra. Esperanza
proportions: one-sixth (1/6) each pro-indiviso to Consorcia, Maria, Benedicta
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alias Jovita, and Bonifacia alias Anastacia; one-sixth (1/6) to Adela B. Vda. de 2. In ignoring the provisions of Section 22 of Rule 132, Rules of Court;
Fraineza, Darlene, Daniel, Jr., Dussel and Daisy Glen, as a group in
representation of deceased brother DANIEL FRIANEZA, and one-sixth (1/6) to 3. In not considering the provision of Article 263 of the New Civil Code;
Decideria Q. Vda. de Frianeza, Francisco, Dona, Vilma and Decideria as a
group in representation of deceased brother DOMINGO FRIANEZA;
4. In disregarding Exhibits 8,9,10, and 11 of petitioner Violeta Cabatbat Lim.
"(5) That of the balance of the equity of the deceased in the CALASIAO BIJON Petitioners first and fourth assignments of error raise factual issues. The
FACTORY in the sum of P13,221.69, three-fourths (3/4) or P9,916.29 is the
finding of the trial court and the Court of Appeals that Violeta Cabatbat was
share of Proceso Cabatbat ac surviving spouse and as heir of his deceased
not born of Esperanza Cabatbat is a factual finding based on the evidence
wife, and the remaining one-fourth (1/4) to the plaintiffs under the sharing
presented at the trial, hence, it is conclusive upon Us. Well entrenched is the
already stated in the preceding paragraph; (a) but because defendant Proceso rule that "factual findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals are
Cabatbat has overdrawn his share he is ordered to return to the estate the
entitled to great respect" (Vda. de Roxas v. IAC, 143 SCRA 77; Republic v.
sum of P796.34 by depositing the same with the Clerk of Court; and (b)
IAC, 144 SCRA 705).
defendant Violeta Cabatbat Lim, not being an heir, is ordered to return to the
estate the sum of P2,931.13 half of what she and her co-defendant Proceso
Section 22, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court which provides that: "Where a
Cabatbat withdrew from the equity of the deceased under Exhibit 29, receipt private writing is more than thirty years old, is produced from a custody in
dated April 30, 1977;
which it would naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by any
alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other evidence of its execution
"(6) Ordering jointly defendants Proceso Cabatbat and Violeta Cabatbat Lim to and authenticity need be given" does not apply to petitioners Exhibit "5," the
pay attorneys fees in the sum of P5,000.00, the sum of P4,000.00 from
supposed birth registry record of defendant Violeta Cabatbat showing that she
defendant Proceso Cabatbat and P1,000.00 from defendant Violeta Cabatbat was born on May 26, 1948, at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in Dagupan
Lim, and litigation expenses in the sum of P1,000.00 from defendant Proceso City, and that her father and mother are Proceso Cabatbat and Esperanza
Cabatbat and P200.00 from defendant Violeta Cabatbat Lim, to the plaintiffs, Frianeza, respectively. In rejecting that document, the trial court pointedly
and to pay the costs.
observed:
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"SO ORDERED." (pp. 236-239, Record on Appeal.)


Petitioners appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court which affirmed the
decision of the trial court on October 25, 1984.
A motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioners was denied by the
Intermediate Appellate Court.
Petitioners have elevated the decision to Us for review on certiorari, alleging
that the Intermediate Appellate Court erred:
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1. In finding that petitioner is not the child of Prospero and Esperanza


Cabatbat;

"This is very strange and odd because the Registry Book of admission of the
hospital does not show that Esperanza Frianeza was ever a patient on May 26,
1948. Indeed, Esperanza Frianeza was never admitted in the hospital as an
obstetrics case before or after May 26, 1948, that is from December 1, 1947
to June 15, 1948 (Stipulation of Facts, Pre-Trial Order of May 23, 1977, Record
on Appeal, p. 117).
"On May 26, 1948, the day defendant Violeta Cabatbat was alleged to have
been delivered by Esperanza Frianeza in the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital,
the records of the hospital show that only one woman by the same of the
Benita Lastimosa of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, not Esperanza Frianeza, gave birth to
an illegitimate child who was named by her mother Benita Lastimosa as Baby
Girl Lastimosa (Exhibit S. Plaintiffs Folder of Exhibits, p. 39, Record on
Appeal, pp. 117-118). Furthermore, the record of birth certificates of

Pangasinan Provincial Hospital for the years 1947 and 1943 does not carry the
birth certificate of defendant Violeta Cabatbat and the only birth certificate in
the file of birth certificates of the hospital for May 26, 1948 is that of Baby Girl
Lastimosa whose mothers name is Benita Lastimosa." (pp. 3-4, CA Decision,
pp. 13-14, Record on Appeal.)
Furthermore, the absence of a record of the birth of petitioner Violeta
Cabatbat in the Office of the Civil Registrar General, puts a cloud on the
genuineness of her Exhibit 5.
Petitioners recourse to Article 263 of the New Civil Code is not well-taken.
This legal provision refers to an action to impugn legitimacy. It is inapplicable
to this case because this is not an action to impugn the legitimacy of a child,
THIRD DIVISION
but an action of the private respondents to claim their inheritance as legal
heirs of their childless deceased aunt. They do not claim that petitioner Violeta
[G.R. No. 142877. October 2, 2001.]
Cabatbat Lim is an illegitimate child of the deceased, but that she is not the
decedents child at all. Being neither a legally adopted child, nor an
JINKIE CHRISTIE A. DE JESUS and JACQUELINE A. DE JESUS, minors,
acknowledged natural child, nor a child by legal fiction of Esperanza Cabatbat,
represented by their mother, CAROLINA A. DE JESUS, Petitioners, v.
Violeta is not a legal heir of the deceased.
THE ESTATE OF DECEDENT JUAN GAMBOA DIZON, ANGELINA V.
DIZON, CARLOS DIZON, FELIPE DIZON, JUAN DIZON, JR. and
WHEREFORE, the petition is denied for lack of merit. The appealed decision is
MARYLIN DIZON and as proper parties: FORMS MEDIA CORP., QUAD
affirmed, but with modification of paragraphs 2 and 4 of the dispositive
MANAGEMENT CORP., FILIPINAS: PAPER SALES CO., INC. and AMITY
portion thereof, by excluding the widows Adela B. Vda. de Frianeza and
CONSTRUCTION & INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES, INC.,Respondents.
Decideria Q. Vda. de Frianeza, who are not legal heirs of Esperanza Frianeza
Cabatbat from participating with their children and the surviving sisters of the
DECISION
deceased in the one-fourth share of the estate pertaining to the latter under
Article 1001 of the Civil Code.
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SO ORDERED.
Narvasa, Cruz, Gancayco and Medialdea, JJ., concur.

VITUG, J.:

The petition involves the case of two illegitimate children who, having been
born in lawful wedlock, claim to be the illegitimate scions of the decedent 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 23 August 1964. not an appropriate forum to likewise ascertain the question of paternity and
It was during this marriage that Jacqueline A. de Jesus and Jinkie Christie A. filiation, an issue that could only be taken up in an independent suit or
de Jesus, herein petitioners, were born, the former on 01 March 1979 and the proceeding.
latter on 06 July 1982.
Finding credence in the argument of respondents, the trial court, ultimately,
In notarized document, dated 07 June 1991, Juan G. Dizon acknowledged
dismissed the complaint of petitioners for lack of cause of action and for being
Jacqueline and Jinkie de Jesus as being his own illegitimate children by
improper. 1 It decreed that the declaration of heirship could only be made in a
Carolina Aves de Jesus. Juan G. Dizon died intestate on 12 March 1992,
special proceeding inasmuch as petitioners were seeking the establishment of
leaving behind considerable assets consisting of shares of stock in various
a status or right.
corporations and some real property. It was on the strength of his notarized
acknowledgment that petitioners filed a complaint on 01 July 1993 for
Petitioners assail the foregoing order of the trial court in the instant petition
"Partition with Inventory and Accounting" of the Dizon estate with the
for review on certiorari. Basically, petitioners maintain that their recognition as
Regional Trial Court, Branch 88, of Quezon City.
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
Respondents, the surviving spouse and legitimate children of the decedent
separate action for judicial approval following the doctrine enunciated in
Juan G. Dizon, including the corporations of which the deceased was a
Divinagracia v. Bellosillo. 2
stockholder, sought the dismissal of the case, arguing that the complaint,
even while denominated as being one for partition, would nevertheless call for In their comment, respondents submit that the rule in Divinagracia being
altering the status of petitioners from being the legitimate children of the
relied by petitioners is inapplicable to the case because there has been no
spouses Danilo de Jesus and Carolina de Jesus to instead be the illegitimate
attempt to impugn legitimate filiation in Divinagracia. In praying for the
children of Carolina de Jesus and deceased Juan Dizon. The trial court denied, affirmance of dismissal of the complaint, respondents count on the case of
due to lack of merit, the motion to dismiss and the subsequent motion for
Sayson v. Court of Appeals, 3 which has ruled that the issue of legitimacy
reconsideration on, respectively, 13 September 1993 and 15 February 1994. cannot be questioned in a complaint for partition and accounting but must be
Respondents assailed the denial of said motions before the Court of Appeals. seasonably brought up in a direct action frontally addressing the issue.
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On 20 May 1994, the appellate court upheld the decision of the lower court
and ordered the case to be remanded to the trial court for further
proceedings. It ruled that the veracity of the conflicting assertions should be
threshed out at the trial considering that the certificates presented by
respondents appeared to have effectively contradicted petitioners allegation
of illegitimacy.

The controversy between the parties has been pending for much too long, and
it is time that this matter draws to a close.

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
On 03 January 2000, long after submitting their answer, pre-trial brief and
thereof, filiation shall be proved by (1) the open and continuous possession of
several other motions, respondents filed an omnibus motion, again praying for the status of a legitimate child; or (2) any other means allowed by the Rules
the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the action instituted was, in of Court and special laws. 4 The due recognition of an illegitimate child in a
fact, made to compel the recognition of petitioners as being the illegitimate
record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic
children of decedent Juan G. Dizon and that the partition sought was merely writing is, in itself, a consummated act of acknowledgment of the child, and no
an ulterior relief once petitioners would have been able to establish their
further court action is required. 5 In fact, any authentic writing is treated not
status as such heirs. It was contended, in fine, that an action for partition was just a ground for compulsory recognition; it is in itself a voluntary recognition

that does not require a separate action for judicial approval. 6 Where, instead, further proceedings the action for partition filed by an illegitimate child who
a claim for recognition is predicated on other evidence merely tending to
had claimed to be an acknowledged spurious child by virtue of a private
prove paternity, i.e., outside of a record of birth, a will, a statement before a document, signed by the acknowledging parent, evidencing such recognition.
court of record or an authentic writing, judicial action within the applicable
It was not a case of legitimate children asserting to be somebody elses
statute of limitations is essential in order to establish the childs
illegitimate children. Petitioners totally ignored the fact that it was not for
acknowledgment. 7
them, given the attendant circumstances particularly, to declare that they
could not have been the legitimate children, clearly opposed to the entries in
A scrutiny of the records would show that petitioners were born during the
their respective birth certificates, of Danilo and Carolina de Jesus.
marriage of their parents. The certificates of live birth would also identify
Danilo de Jesus as being their father.
The rule that the written acknowledgment made by the deceased Juan G.
Dizon establishes petitioners alleged illegitimate filiation to the decedent
There is perhaps no presumption of the law more firmly established and
cannot be validly invoked to be of any relevance in this instance. This issue,
founded on sounder morality and more convincing reason than the
i.e., whether petitioners are indeed the acknowledged illegitimate offsprings of
presumption that children born in wedlock are legitimate. 8 This presumption the decedent, cannot be aptly adjudicated without an action having been first
indeed becomes conclusive in the absence of proof that there is physical
been instituted to impugn their legitimacy as being the children of Danilo B.
impossibility of access between the spouses during the first 120 days of the
de Jesus and Carolina Aves de Jesus born in lawful wedlock. Jurisprudence is
300 days which immediately precedes the birth of the child due to (a) the
strongly settled that the paramount declaration of legitimacy by law cannot be
physical incapacity of the husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife;
attacked collaterally, 15 one that can only be repudiated or contested in a
(b) the fact that the husband and wife are living separately in such a way that direct suit specifically brought for that purpose. 16 Indeed, a child so born in
sexual intercourse is not possible; or (c) serious illness of the husband, which such wedlock shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have
absolutely prevents sexual intercourse. 9 Quite remarkably, upon the
declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as having been an
expiration of the periods set forth in Article 170, 10 and in proper cases Article adulteress. 17
171, 11 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 WHEREFORE, the foregoing disquisitions considered, the instant petition is
status conferred by the presumption becomes fixed and unassailable. 12
DENIED. No costs.
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Succinctly, in an attempt to establish their illegitimate filiation to the late Juan SO ORDERED.
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
Melo, Panganiban and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.
aptly done because the law itself establishes the legitimacy of children
conceived or born during the marriage of the parents. The presumption of
legitimacy fixes a civil status for the child born in wedlock, and only the father,
13 or in exceptional instances the latters heirs, 14 can contest in an
appropriate action the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. Thus, it is only
when the legitimacy of a child has been successfully impugned that the
paternity of the husband can be rejected.
Respondents correctly argued that petitioners hardly could find succor in
Divinagracia. In said case, the Supreme Court remanded to the trial court for

SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 138961. March 7, 2002.]
WILLIAM LIYAO, JR., represented by his mother Corazon
Garcia, Petitioner, v. JUANITA TANHOTI-LIYAO, PEARL MARGARET L.
TAN, TITA ROSE L. TAN AND LINDA CHRISTINA LIYAO,Respondents.
DECISION

DE LEON, JR., J.:

Before us is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the decision dated June
4, 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. C.V. No. 45394 1 which reversed
the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig, Metro Manila, Branch
167 in declaring William Liyao, Jr. as the illegitimate (spurious) son of the
deceased William Liyao and ordering Juanita Tanhoti-Liyao, Pearl Margaret L.
Tan, Tita Rose L. Tan and Linda Christina Liyao to recognize and acknowledge
William Liyao, Jr. as a compulsory heir of the deceased William Liyao and
entitled to all successional rights as such and to pay the costs of the suit.
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On November 29, 1976, William Liyao, Jr., represented by his mother Corazon
G. Garcia, filed Civil Case No. 24943 before the RTC of Pasig, Branch 167
which is an action for compulsory recognition as "the illegitimate (spurious)
child of the late William Liyao" against herein respondents, Juanita Tanhoti-

Liyao, Pearl Margaret L. Tan, Tita Rose L. Tan and Linda Christina Liyao. 2 The
complaint was later amended to include the allegation that petitioner "was in
continuous possession and enjoyment of the status of the child of said William
Liyao," petitioner having been "recognized and acknowledged as such child by
the decedent during his lifetime." 3

among others, William Liyao and Corazon together with Billys godfather, Fr.
Julian Ruiz, William Liyaos legal staff and their wives while on vacation in
Baguio. 7 Corazon also presented pictures in court to prove that she usually
accompanied William Liyao while attending various social gatherings and other
important meetings. 8 During the occasion of William Liyaos last birthday on
November 22, 1975 held at the Republic Supermarket, William Liyao expressly
The facts as alleged by petitioner are as follows:
acknowledged Billy as his son in the presence of Fr. Ruiz, Maurita Pasion and
other friends and said, "Hey, look I am still young, I can still make a good
Corazon G. Garcia is legally married to but living separately from Ramon M.
looking son." 9 Since birth, Billy had been in continuous possession and
Yulo for more than ten (10) years at the time of the institution of the said civil enjoyment of the status of a recognized and/or acknowledged child of William
case. Corazon cohabited with the late William Liyao from 1965 up to the time Liyao by the latters direct and overt acts. William Liyao supported Billy and
of Williams untimely demise on December 2, 1975. They lived together in the paid for his food, clothing and other material needs. However, after William
company of Corazons two (2) children from her subsisting marriage, namely: Liyaos death, it was Corazon who provided sole support to Billy and took care
Enrique and Bernadette, both surnamed Yulo, in a succession of rented houses of his tuition fees at La Salle, Greenhills. William Liyao left his personal
in Quezon City and Manila. This was with the knowledge of William Liyaos
belongings, collections, clothing, old newspaper clippings and laminations at
legitimate children, Tita Rose L. Tan and Linda Christina Liyao-Ortiga, from his the house in White Plains where he shared his last moments with Corazon.
subsisting marriage with Juanita Tanhoti Liyao. Tita Rose and Christina were
both employed at the Far East Realty Investment, Inc. of which Corazon and Testifying for the petitioner, Maurita Pasion declared that she knew both
William were then vice president and president, respectively.
Corazon G. Garcia and William Liyao who were godparents to her children.
She used to visit Corazon and William Liyao from 1965-1975. The two children
Sometime in 1974, Corazon bought a lot from Ortigas and Co. which required of Corazon from her marriage to Ramon Yulo, namely, Bernadette and Enrique
the signature of her husband, Ramon Yulo, to show his consent to the
(Ike), together with some housemaids lived with Corazon and William Liyao as
aforesaid sale. She failed to secure his signature and, had never been in touch one family. On some occasions like birthdays or some other celebrations,
with him despite the necessity to meet him. Upon the advice of William Liyao, Maurita would sleep in the couples residence and cook for the family. During
the sale of the parcel of land located at the Valle Verde Subdivision was
these occasions, she would usually see William Liyao in sleeping clothes.
registered under the name of Far East Realty Investment, Inc.
When Corazon, during the latter part of 1974, was pregnant with her child
Billy, Maurita often visited her three (3) to four (4) times a week in Greenhills
On June 9, 1975, Corazon gave birth to William Liyao, Jr. at the Cardinal
and later on in White Plains where she would often see William Liyao. Being a
Santos Memorial Hospital. During her three (3) day stay at the hospital,
close friend of Corazon, she was at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital
William Liyao visited and stayed with her and the new born baby, William, Jr. during the birth of Billy. She continuously visited them at White Plains and
(Billy). All the medical and hospital expenses, food and clothing were paid
knew that William Liyao, while living with her friend Corazon, gave support by
under the account of William Liyao. William Liyao even asked his confidential way of grocery supplies, money for household expenses and matriculation fees
secretary, Mrs. Virginia Rodriguez, to secure a copy of Billys birth certificate. for the two (2) older children, Bernadette and Enrique. During William Liyaos
He likewise instructed Corazon to open a bank account for Billy with the
birthday on November 22, 1975 held at the Republic Supermarket Office, he
Consolidated Bank and Trust Company 4 and gave weekly amounts to be
was carrying Billy and told everybody present, including his two (2) daughters
deposited therein. 5 William Liyao would bring Billy to the office, introduce
from his legal marriage, "Look, this is my son, very guapo and healthy." 10 He
him as his good looking son and had their pictures taken together. 6
then talked about his plan for the baptism of Billy before Christmas. He
intended to make it "engrande" and "make the bells of San Sebastian Church
During the lifetime of William Liyao, several pictures were taken showing,
ring." 11 Unfortunately, this did not happen since William Liyao passed away
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on December 2, 1975. Maurita attended Mr. Liyaos funeral and helped


Corazon pack his clothes. She even recognized a short sleeved shirt of blue
Respondents, on the other hand, painted a different picture of the story.
and gray 12 which Mr. Liyao wore in a photograph 13 as well as another shirt
of lime green 14 as belonging to the deceased. A note was also presented with Linda Christina Liyao-Ortiga stated that her parents, William Liyao and Juanita
the following inscriptions: "To Cora, Love From William. 15 Maurita
Tanhoti-Liyao, were legally married. 16 Linda grew up and lived with her
remembered having invited the couple during her mothers birthday where the parents at San Lorenzo Village, Makati, Metro Manila until she got married;
couple had their pictures taken while exhibiting affectionate poses with one
that her parents were not separated legally or in fact and that there was no
another. Maurita knew that Corazon is still married to Ramon Yulo since her
reason why any of her parents would institute legal separation proceedings in
marriage has not been annulled nor is Corazon legally separated from her said court. Her father lived at their house in San Lorenzo Village and came home
husband. However, during the entire cohabitation of William Liyao with
regularly. Even during out of town business trips or for conferences with the
Corazon Garcia, Maurita had not seen Ramon Yulo or any other man in the
lawyers at the office, her father would change his clothes at home because of
house when she usually visited Corazon.
his personal hygiene and habits. Her father reportedly had trouble sleeping in
other peoples homes. Linda described him as very conservative and a strict
Gloria Panopio testified that she is the owner of a beauty parlor and that she disciplinarian. He believed that no amount of success would compensate for
knew that Billy is the son of her neighbors, William Liyao and Corazon Garcia, failure of a home. As a businessman, he was very tough, strong, fought for
the latter being one of her customers. Gloria met Mr. Liyao at Corazons house what he believed in and did not give up easily. He suffered two strokes before
in Scout Delgado, Quezon City in the Christmas of 1965. Gloria had numerous the fatal attack which led to his death on December 2, 1975. He suffered a
occasions to see Mr. Liyao from 1966 to 1974 and even more so when the
stroke at the office sometime in April-May 1974 and was attended by Dr.
couple transferred to White Plains, Quezon City from 1974-1975. At the time Santiago Co. He then stayed in the house for two (2) to three (3) months for
Corazon was conceiving, Mr. Liyao was worried that Corazon might have
his therapy and acupuncture treatment. He could not talk, move, walk, write
another miscarriage so he insisted that she just stay in the house, play
or sign his name. In the meantime, Linda and her sister, Tita Rose Liyao-Tan,
mahjong and not be bored. Gloria taught Corazon how to play mahjong and
ran the office. She handled the collection of rents while her sister referred
together with Atty. Brillantes wife and sister-in-law, had mahjong sessions
legal matters to their lawyers. William Liyao was bedridden and had personally
among themselves. Gloria knew that Mr. Liyao provided Corazon with a rented changed. He was not active in business and had dietary restrictions. Mr. Liyao
house, paid the salary of the maids and food for Billy. He also gave Corazon
also suffered a milder stroke during the latter part of September to October
financial support. Gloria knew that Corazon is married but is separated from 1974. He stayed home for two (2) to three (3) days and went back to work.
Ramon Yulo although Gloria never had any occasion to see Mr. Yulo with
He felt depressed, however, and was easily bored. He did not put in long hours
Corazon in the house where Mr. Liyao and Corazon lived.
in the office unlike before and tried to spend more time with his family.
Enrique Garcia Yulo testified that he had not heard from his father, Ramon
Yulo, from the time that the latter abandoned and separated from his family.
Enrique was about six (6) years old when William Liyao started to live with
them up to the time of the latters death on December 2, 1975. Mr. Liyao was
very supportive and fond of Enriques half brother, Billy. He identified several
pictures showing Mr. Liyao carrying Billy at the house as well as in the office.
Enriques testimony was corroborated by his sister, Bernadette Yulo, who
testified that the various pictures showing Mr. Liyao carrying Billy could not
have been superimposed and that the negatives were in the possession of her
mother, Corazon Garcia.
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Linda testified that she knew Corazon Garcia is still married to Ramon Yulo.
Corazon was not legally separated from her husband and the records from the
Local Civil Registrar do not indicate that the couple obtained any annulment
17 of their marriage. Once in 1973, Linda chanced upon Ramon Yulo picking
up Corazon Garcia at the company garage. Immediately after the death of
Lindas father, Corazon went to Lindas office for the return of the formers
alleged investments with the Far East Realty Investment, Inc. including a
parcel of land sold by Ortigas and Company. Linda added that Corazon, while
still a vice-president of the company, was able to take out documents, clothes
and several laminated pictures of William Liyao from the office. There was one

instance when she was told by the guards, "Mrs. Yulo is leaving and taking out tried to massage Mr. Liyaos breast and decided later to carry and bring him to
things again." 18 Linda then instructed the guards to bring Mrs. Yulo to the
the hospital but Mr. Liyao died upon arrival thereat. Mrs. Liyao and her
office upstairs but her sister, Tita Rose, decided to let Corazon Garcia go.
daughter, Linda Liyao-Ortiga were the first to arrive at the hospital.
Linda did not recognize any article of clothing which belonged to her father
after having been shown three (3) large suit cases full of mens clothes,
Mr. Pineda also declared that he knew Corazon Garcia to be one of the
underwear, sweaters, shorts and pajamas.
employees of the Republic Supermarket. People in the office knew that she
was married. Her husband, Ramon Yulo, would sometimes go to the office.
Tita Rose Liyao-Tan testified that her parents were legally married and had
One time, in 1974, Mr. Pineda saw Ramon Yulo at the office garage as if to
never been separated. They resided at No. 21 Hernandez Street, San Lorenzo fetch Corazon Garcia. Mr. Yulo who was also asking about cars for sale,
Village, Makati up to the time of her fathers death on December 2, 1975. 19 represented himself as car dealer.
Her father suffered two (2) minor cardio-vascular arrests (CVA) prior to his
death. During the first heart attack sometime between April and May 1974,
Witness Pineda declared that he did not know anything about the claim of
his speech and hands were affected and he had to stay home for two (2) to
Corazon. He freely relayed the information that he saw Mr. Yulo in the garage
three (3) months under strict medication, taking aldomet, serpacil and
of Republic Supermarket once in 1973 and then in 1974 to Atty. Quisumbing
cifromet which were prescribed by Dr. Bonifacio Yap, for high blood pressure when he went to the latters law office. Being the driver of Mr. Liyao for a
and cholesterol level control. 20 Tita Rose testified that after the death of Mr. number of years, Pineda said that he remembered having driven the group of
Liyao, Corazon Garcia was paid the amount of One Hundred Thousand Pesos Mr. Liyao, Atty. Astraquillo, Atty. Brillantes, Atty. Magno and Atty. Laguio to
(P100,000.00) representing her investment in the Far East Realty Investment Baguio for a vacation together with the lawyers wives. During his
Inc. Tita Rose also stated that her family never received any formal demand employment, as driver of Mr. Liyao, he does not remember driving for Corazon
that they recognize a certain William Liyao, Jr. as an illegitimate son of her
Garcia on a trip to Baguio or for activities like shopping.
father, William Liyao. After assuming the position of President of the company,
Tita Rose did not come across any check signed by her late father
On August 31, 1993, the trial court rendered a decision, the dispositive
representing payment to lessors as rentals for the house occupied by Corazon portion of which reads as follows:
Garcia. Tita Rose added that the laminated photographs presented by Corazon
Garcia are the personal collection of the deceased which were displayed at the WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against
latters office.
the defendants as follows:
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The last witness who testified for the respondents was Ramon Pineda, driver (a) Confirming the appointment of Corazon G. Garcia as the guardian ad litem
and bodyguard of William Liyao from 1962 to 1974, who said that he usually of the minor William Liyao, Jr.;
reported for work at San Lorenzo Village, Makati to pick up his boss at 8:00
oclock in the morning. At past 7:00 oclock in the evening, either Carlos
(b) Declaring the minor William Liyao, Jr. as the illegitimate (spurious) son of
Palamigan or Serafin Villacillo took over as night shift driver. Sometime
the deceased William Liyao;
between April and May 1974, Mr. Liyao got sick. It was only after a month that
he was able to report to the office. Thereafter, Mr. Liyao was not able to report (c) Ordering the defendants Juanita Tanhoti Liyao, Pearl Margaret L. Tan, Tita
to the office regularly. Sometime in September 1974, Mr. Liyao suffered from Rose L. Tan and Christian Liyao, to recognize, and acknowledge the minor
another heart attack. Mr. Pineda added that as a driver and bodyguard of Mr. William Liyao, Jr. as a compulsory heir of the deceased William Liyao, entitled
Liyao, he ran errands for the latter among which was buying medicine for him to all successional rights as such; and
like capasid and aldomet. On December 2, 1975, Mr. Pineda was called inside
the office of Mr. Liyao. Mr. Pineda saw his employer leaning on the table. He
(d) Costs of suit. 21

In ruling for herein petitioner, the trial court said it was convinced by
preponderance of evidence that the deceased William Liyao sired William
Liyao, Jr. since the latter was conceived at the time when Corazon Garcia
cohabited with the deceased. The trial court observed that herein petitioner
had been in continuous possession and enjoyment of the status of a child of
the deceased by direct and overt acts of the latter such as securing the birth
certificate of petitioner through his confidential secretary, Mrs. Virginia
Rodriguez; openly and publicly acknowledging petitioner as his son; providing
sustenance and even introducing herein petitioner to his legitimate children.

of this litigation: May petitioner impugn his own legitimacy to be able to claim
from the estate of his supposed father, William Liyao?
We deny the present petition.
Under the New Civil Code, a child born and conceived during a valid marriage
is presumed to be legitimate. 22 The presumption of legitimacy of children
does not only flow out from a declaration contained in the statute but is based
on the broad principles of natural justice and the supposed virtue of the
mother. The presumption is grounded in a policy to protect innocent offspring
from the odium of illegitimacy. 23

The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the ruling of the trial court saying
that the law favors the legitimacy rather than the illegitimacy of the child and The presumption of legitimacy of the child, however, is not conclusive and
"the presumption of legitimacy is thwarted only on ethnic ground and by proof consequently, may be overthrown by evidence to the contrary. Hence, Article
that marital intimacy between husband and wife was physically impossible at 255 of the New Civil Code 24 provides:
the period cited in Article 257 in relation to Article 255 of the Civil Code." The
appellate court gave weight to the testimonies of some witnesses for the
Article 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the
respondents that Corazon Garcia and Ramon Yulo who were still legally
celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its
married and have not secured legal separation, were seen in each others
dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be
company during the supposed time that Corazon cohabited with the deceased legitimate.
William Liyao. The appellate court further noted that the birth certificate and
the baptismal certificate of William Liyao, Jr. which were presented by
Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the
petitioner are not sufficient to establish proof ,of paternity in the absence of
physical impossibility of the husbands having access to his wife within the first
any evidence that the deceased, William Liyao, had a hand in the preparation one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth
of said certificates and considering that his signature does not appear thereon. of the child.
The Court of Appeals stated that neither do family pictures constitute
competent proof of filiation. With regard to the passbook which was presented This physical impossibility may be caused:
as evidence for petitioner, the appellate court observed that there was nothing
in it to prove that the same was opened by William Liyao for either petitioner 1) By the impotence of the husband;
or Corazon Garcia since William Liyaos signature and name do not appear
thereon.
2) By the fact that husband and wife were living separately in such a way that
access was not possible;
His motion for reconsideration having been denied, petitioner filed the present
petition.
3) By the serious illness of the husband.
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It must be stated at the outset that both petitioner and respondents have
raised a number of issues which relate solely to the sufficiency of evidence
presented by petitioner to establish his claim of filiation with the late William
Liyao. Unfortunately, both parties have consistently overlooked the real crux

Petitioner insists that his mother, Corazon Garcia, had been living separately
for ten (10) years from her husband, Ramon Yulo, at the time that she
cohabited with the late William Liyao and it was physically impossible for her
to have sexual relations with Ramon Yulo when petitioner was conceived and

born. To bolster his claim, petitioner presented a document entitled, "Contract Corazon Garcia with Ramon Yulo, in testifying for herein petitioner amount to
of Separation," 25 executed and signed by Ramon Yulo indicating a waiver of impugnation of the legitimacy of the latter?
rights to any and all claims on any property that Corazon Garcia might acquire
in the future. 26
We think not. As earlier stated, it is only in exceptional cases that the heirs of
the husband are allowed to contest the legitimacy of the child. There is
The fact that Corazon Garcia had been living separately from her husband,
nothing on the records to indicate that Ramon Yulo has already passed away
Ramon Yulo, at the time petitioner was conceived and born is of no moment. at the time of the birth of the petitioner nor at the time of the initiation of this
While physical impossibility for the husband to have sexual intercourse with
proceedings. Notably, the case at bar was initiated by petitioner himself
his wife is one of the grounds for impugning the legitimacy of the child, it
through his mother, Corazon Garcia, and not through Enrique and Bernadette
bears emphasis that the grounds for impugning the legitimacy of the child
Yulo. It is settled that the legitimacy of the child can be impugned only in a
mentioned in Article 255 of the Civil Code may only be invoked by the
direct action brought for that purpose, by the proper parties and within the
husband, or in proper cases, his heirs under the conditions set forth under
period limited by law.
Article 262 of the Civil Code. 27 Impugning the legitimacy of the child is a
strictly personal right of the husband, or in exceptional cases, his heirs for the Considering the foregoing, we find no reason to discuss the sufficiency of the
simple reason that he is the one directly confronted with the scandal and
evidence presented by both parties on the petitioners claim of alleged filiation
ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces and he should be the one to with the late William Liyao. In any event, there is no clear, competent and
decide whether to conceal that infidelity or expose it in view of the moral and positive evidence presented by the petitioner that his alleged father had
economic interest involved. 28 It is only in exceptional cases that his heirs are admitted or recognized his paternity.
allowed to contest such legitimacy. Outside of these cases, none even his
heirs can impugn legitimacy; that would amount to an insult to his memory. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The assailed decision of the
29
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 45394 is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs.
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It is therefor clear that the present petition initiated by Corazon G. Garcia as SO ORDERED.
guardian ad litem of the then minor, herein petitioner, to compel recognition
by respondents of petitioner William Liyao, Jr, as the illegitimate son of the
Bellosillo, Mendoza, Quisumbing and Buena, JJ., concur.
late William Liyao cannot prosper. It is settled that a child born within a valid
marriage is presumed legitimate even though the mother may have declared
against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. 30 We
cannot allow petitioner to maintain his present petition and subvert the clear
mandate of the law that only the husband, or in exceptional circumstances,
his heirs, could impugn the legitimacy of a child born in a valid and subsisting
marriage. The child himself cannot choose his own filiation. If the husband,
presumed to be the father does not impugn the legitimacy of the child, then
the status of the child is fixed, and the latter cannot choose to be the child of
his mothers alleged paramour. On the other hand, if the presumption of
legitimacy is overthrown, the child cannot elect the paternity of the husband
who successfully defeated the presumption. 31
Do the acts of Enrique and Bernadette Yulo, the undisputed children of