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31) VANCIL v.

BELMES In Helen’s Manifestation, she stated that her daughter Valerie turned 18 and
thus prayed that this case be dismissed with respect to Valerie, she being no
FACTS: longer a proper subject of guardianship proceedings  GRANTED
Petitioner Bonifacia Vancil, is the mother of Reeder Vancil, a Navy
serviceman of the US who died in said country. Petitioner Bonifacia contends that she is more qualified as guardian.

Reeder had 2 children, Valeria and Vincent by his common-law wife, Helen ISSUE: WON Bonifacia, as grandmother of minor Vincent should be his
Belmes. guardian- NO

Bonifacia commenced a guardianship proceeding with the RTC Cebu over

the persons and properties of Valerie and Vincent  At that time, Valeria RULING:
was 6, and Vincent was 2, both with an estate consisting of proceeds from -Art. 211 of the Family Code: The father and the mother shall jointly exercise
their father’s death pension benefit with probable value of P100k parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of
disagreement, the father’s decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial
Petitioner Bonifacia was appointed legal and judicial guardian over the order to the contrary.
persons and estate of Valeri and Vincent.
-Helen being the natural mother of minor Vincent has the preferential right
Helen submitted an opposition to the guardianship proceedings asserting over that of him to be his guardian
that she had already filed a similar petition before the RTC of Pagadian City.
-Sagala-Eslao v. CA: the right of parents to the custody of their minor
Helen then filed a motion for Removal of Guardianship and Appointment of a children is one of the natural rights incident to parenthood, a right supported
New One, asserting that by law and sound public policy. The right is an inherent one, which is not
 she is the natural mother in actual custody of and exercising parental created by the state or decisions of the courts, but derives from the nature of
authority over the minors in Zamboanga del Sur where they are the parental relationship.
permanently residing
 the petition was filed under an improper venue -Petitioner Bonifacia’s claim to be guardian can only be realized by way of
 at that time when petition was filed, Bonificia a naturalized American substitute parental authority pursuant to Art. 214 of FC
citizen and a resident of USA
-Art. 214. In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute
The RTC denied Helen’s motion and ordered petitioner Bonifacia to enter the parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent
office and perform her duties as such guardian upon posting a bong of P50k.
Helen filed MR  DISMISSED -Petitioner Bonficaica, as surviving grandparent can exercise substitute
parental authority in case of death, absence, or unsuitability of respondent
Helen filed appeal with CA  REVERSED RTC’s decision holding: Helen  considering that Helen is very much alive and has exercised
 that our Civil Code and Family Code (Art. 225) considers parents, continuously parent authority over Vincent, petitioner Bonficacia has to prove
the fathers or in absence, the mother as the natural guardian of her unsuitability, however she dialed to show convincing evidence
minor children
 ROC likewise confirms such designation of parents as ipso facto -Even assuming that Helen is unift as guardian of Vincent, Bonifacia still
guardian of the minor children without need of a court appointment cannot qualify as a substitute guardian  since she is an American citizen
 In this case, there is no reason for Helen to be deprived of her legal and a resident of Colorado, Bonifacia will not be able to perform
rights as natural guardian of her minor children since she is the responsibilities and obligations required of a guardian
biological mother
WHEREFORE, appealed decision is AFFRIMED.
Bonifacia filed this present petition for review on certiorari. Winner: respondent Helen Belmes
2. Luis PARCO and Virginia BAUTISTA v. Court of Appeals et al 4. For failure of petitioners and their counsel to appear, respondent
G.R. No. L-33152 January 30, 1982, Mendoza, J: Judge issued an order, authorizing private respondent to present
Topic: Guardianship evidence before the Clerk of Court.
a. An MR was filed by petitioners stating that there was First
Doctrine: See First Paragraph of #2 in Held. Order (July 29, 1968) by the CFI Branch I saying that the said
branch will take cognizance of the case and asking the
Facts: transfer of the record from Branch IV to Branch I.
1. The case started from Special Proceedings No. 2641 a guardianship b. The MR was granted and thus, respondent judge ordered the
proceedings for the incompetent Soledad Rodriguez which originally records to be transmitted.
pertained to Branch 1, CFI of Quezon, then presided by the late Hon. 5. Later, respondent filed before Branch IV an amended petition praying
Judge Vicente Arguelles, later on succeded by Hon. Judge Ameurfina that the 3 lots subject matter of the original urgent petition be ordered
Melencio-Herrera. In 1966, respondent Judge of Branch IV-Calauag reconveyed to the ward. Eventually, the Respondent judge issued an
of the CFI of Quezon, Hon. Union C. Kayanan, took cognizance the order granting conveyance to private respondent.
proceeding when the Secretary of Justice authorized respondent 6. Petitioners then opposed the ruling stating that Respondent judge
Judge to help unclog the docket of Branch I. (who was the judge in Branch IV) has no authority to take cognizance
2. Respondent Judge authorized the sale to Luis Parco and Virginia of the case as the records of the case were already transmitted to
Bautista (petitioners) of 2 lots upon motion of Fransisco Rodriguez, Jr. Branch I.
(respondent/guardian of Soledad Rodriguez) for support, 7. The case eventually reached the Court of Appeals wherein it was
maintenance, and medical treatment. Later, another sale was declared that Branch IV still has jurisdiction over the case and that he
approved by respondent judge involving another lot. conveyance was proper.
3. A year later, private respondent fled an urgent petition in the invoking
Sec 6 Rule 96 praying that an order be immediately issued requiring Issue:
petitioners to appear before the court so that they can be examined 1. WON respondent judge of the CFI Branch IV has the authority to
as regards the 3 lots in question which are allegedly in danger of being take further action in the special proceedings after the judge of the
lost, squandered, concealed and embezzled. CFI Branch I asserted its jurisdiction ordering the return of the case
a. Respondent contends that the sale of the first 2 lots was under (NO.)
a loan agreement, recover the same within 3 months. 2. WON Branch IV as a guardianship court has jurisdiction to order the
b. Prior to the expiration of the 3 month period, respondent tried delivery or reconveyance of the 3 parcels of land to the ward (NO =
to recover the lots but due to the negotiation regarding the 3rd MAIN ISSUE)
sale, the recovery did not prosper. The petitioners later
induced respondent to transfer the 3 title of the lots to them in Held:
exchange for an agreed price of Php 48, 000. Respondent 1. In the language of this Court, the various branches of the CFI of a
agreed to this. province or city, having as they have the same or equal authority and
c. Respondent later discovered that petitioners already sold and exercising as they do concurrent and coordinate jurisdiction should
ceded the 3 lots to another person and despite his repeated not, cannot, and are not permitted to interfere with their respective
request, they have maliciously and unjustly failed and refused cases, much less with their orders or judgments..
to deliver the money.
d. On the other hand, petitioners contended mainly, that the 3 While it is recognized that when a case is filed in one branch,
lots have been conveyed to them by deeds of absolute sale jurisdiction over the case does not attach to the branch or judge alone,
which were duly approved by the guardianship court. to the exclusion of the other branches. Considering the unusual
circumstances in this case, the case shall be treated differently. Here,
it must be noted that the Judge of Branch I asserted and resumed its WHEREFORE, the Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated January
prior jurisdiction by orders requiring private respondent to render an 20, 1971 is hereby reversed and set aside, and the decision rendered
inventory and accounting of the property of the ward. On the other by respondent Judge of Branch IV-Calauag, Court of First Instance of
hand, respondent Judge of Branch IV, in confirmation of such Quezon dated April 15, 1969 and the orders issued thereafter are
resumption of jurisdiction, ordered the return of the records but instead declared null and void, and the case is hereby remanded to Branch I-
of regularly relinquishing jurisdiction over the case, respondent Judge Lucena City, Court of First Instance of Quezon for further proceedings.
continued to take further action on the case disregarding the orders. It
amounted to an undue interference with the processes and
proceedings of Branch I. It must be emphasized that Branch IV lost its
jurisdiction over the Special Proceedings when respondent Judge
ordered the return of the records to Branch I.

2. In Cui vs. Piccio it was stated that, generally, the guardianship court
exercising special and limited jurisdiction cannot actually order the
delivery of the property of the ward found to be embezzled, concealed
or conveyed. In a categorical language of this Court, only in extreme
cases, where property clearly belongs to the ward or where his title
thereto has been already judicially decided, may the court direct its
delivery to the guardian.

In effect, there can only be delivery or return of the embezzled,

concealed or conveyed property of the ward, where the right or title of
said ward is clear and undisputable. The determination of said title or
right whether in favor of the person said to have embezzled, concealed
or conveyed the property must be determined in a separate ordinary
action and not in guardianship proceedings.

It may be observed that private respondent contended that the sale of

the first two lots was actually a loan agreement with right of recovery
while that of the third lot was subject to condition, hence, a fictitious or
simulated sale. On the other hand, according to petitioners, the sales
were all absolute and protected by the Torrens System since new
transfer certificate of titles were issued in their name. Apparently, there
is a cloud of doubt as to who has a better right or title to the disputed
properties. This requires the determination of title or ownership of the
three parcels of land in dispute which is beyond the jurisdiction of the
guardianship court and should be threshed out in a separate ordinary
action not a guardianship proceedings.
Jocelyn Pablo-Gualberto v. Crisanto Rafaelito Gualberto V. The Supreme Court said that the general rule that children under
seven years of age shall not be separated from their mother finds its reason in
GR. No. 154994, June 28, 2005 the basic need of minor children for their mother’s loving care and that this rule
is recommended in order to avoid a tragedy where a mother has her baby torn
away from her. Any exception to this rule can only be made for ‘compelling
The court consolidated and considered two appeals by former reasons’ for the good of the child, but such cases must indeed be rare.
husband and wife Crisanto Rafaelito Gualberto V and Joycelyn Pablo-
Here, Crisanto cites immorality due to alleged lesbian relations as the
Gualberto regarding their divorce and the custody of their child.
compelling reason to deprive Joycelyn of custody. The mother’s immoral
Crisanto had filed for divorce and custody of their child - Rafaello. conduct may constitute a compelling reason to deprive her of custody, but
Joycelyn failed to appear at the court proceedings and the judge awarded sexual preference or moral laxity alone does not prove parental neglect or
custody to Cristiano after having considered evidence that Jocelyn was having incompetence. Not even the fact that a mother is a prostitute or has been
extramarital lesbian relations and that she did not care for and was witnessed unfaithful to her husband would render her unfit to have custody of her minor
slapping her child. It was further held that her parental authority was child.
subordinated to that of Crisanto under Article 211 of the Family Code. Jocelyn
It was held that in order to deprive the wife of custody, the husband
challenged this decision, which was reversed and she was granted custody on
must clearly establish that her moral lapses have had an adverse effect on the
the basis that, according to Article 213 of the Family Code, a minor child shall
welfare of the child or have distracted her from exercising proper parental care.
not be separated from his mother unless a court finds compelling reasons to
It was, therefore, not enough for Crisanto to show merely that Joycelyn was a
order otherwise.
lesbian, but he had to also demonstrate that she had carried on her purported
At the next instance, the Court of Appeal annulled the second court relationship with a person of the same sex in the presence of their son or under
order on procedural grounds and returned custody to Crisanto until Jocelyn’s circumstances not conducive to the child’s proper moral development.
motion was decided on again. In the current case, both parties petitioned the However, in the current case, there was no evidence that the son was exposed
Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal's ruling. to the mother’s alleged sexual proclivities or that his proper moral and
psychological development suffered as a result.
Excerpts citing CRC and other relevant human rights instruments:
Custody of child after parental separation. Whether the Court of
Appeal violated Article 213 of the Family Code when it awarded custody of the The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that “in all actions
child to Crisanto and was it Article 213 or Article 211 which applied in this case. concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the
Held: best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

The Supreme Court held that in cases concerning minor children The principle of “best interest of the child” pervades Philippine cases involving
below the age of 7, Article 213 of the Family Code takes priority as it is in the adoption, guardianship, support, personal status, minors in conflict with the
best interests of a young child to be cared for by his mother unless 'compelling' law, and child custody. In these cases, it has long been recognized that in
reasons are presented for a court to order otherwise. As no such reasons were choosing the parent to whom custody is given, the welfare of the minors should
presented or proved, custody was awarded to the mother. always be the paramount consideration. Courts are mandated to take into
account all relevant circumstances that would have a bearing on the children’s
well-being and development. Aside from the material resources and the moral
and social situations of each parent, other factors may also be considered to
ascertain which one has the capability to attend to the physical, educational,
social and moral welfare of the children. Among these factors are the previous
care and devotion shown by each of the parents; their religious background,
moral uprightness, home environment and time availability; as well as the
children’s emotional and educational needs.


Article 211 of the Family Code: The father and the mother shall jointly exercise
parental authority over their children. In the case of disagreement, the father’s
decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary. A mother's
authority is subordinated to the father's. In all controversies regarding the
custody of minors, the sole and foremost consideration is the physical,
educational, social and moral welfare of the child, taking into account the
respective resources and social and moral situations of the contending parties.

Article 213 of the Family Code: No child under seven years of age shall be
separated from his mother unless the Court finds compelling reasons to order
The Incompetent, CARMEN CAIZA, represented by her legal guardian, 9. Caniza died. Guardians Amparo and Ramon (nephew) substituted her.
LEONORA ESTRADA, respondents.
(1) WON Action instituted was proper?
(2) WON Amparo has the authority to bring said action?
1. Caniza, a 94 yr old spinster, pharmacist and professors was declared
incompetent by judgment of the RTC of QC in a guardianship (3) WON Amapro can continue to represent Caniza even after death?
proceeding instituted by her niece, Amparo, due to her old age
and physical infirmities which included cataracts and
dementia. Amparo was appointed legal guardian of her person 1. YES, the proper action that should have been instituted is action
and estate. interdictal, because the contention is WON the SPS
possession is de facto or de jure. The action was also
2. Caniza owned property that was being leased to SPS Estrada. Amparo
instituted well within the 1 year period from the demand to
commenced a suit to eject the SPS. It was later amended to
identify that Caniza was suing through her legal guardian
Amparo. 2. YES, being the appointed guardian by the court and with the purpose of
preserving the property, Amparo’s action is proper. Sec 4 Rule
3. Amended complaint alleges that: (1) Caniza was the absolute owner of
96 provides that “ A guardian must manage the estate of his
the property, (2) out of kindness, she allowed the SPS and
ward frugally and without waste, and apply the income and
their extended family to temporarily reside in her house, rent-
profits thereof, so far as maybe necessary, to the comfortable
free; (3) Caiza already had urgent need of the house on
and suitable maintenance of the ward and his family, if there
account of her advanced age and failing health, so funds could
be any; and if such income and profits be insufficient for that
be raised to meet her expenses for support; (4) Caiza had
purpose, the guardian may sell or encumber the real estate,
asked the Estradas verbally and in writing to vacate the house
upon being authorized by order to do so, and apply to such of
but they had refused to do so, enriching themselves.
the proceeds as may be necessary to such maintenance.”
4. Counterclaim of SPS Estrada: (1) they have been living in the house Amparo’s action is well within he right to manage the ward’s
since 1960; (2) stay was in consideration to the service of the estate, because it carried with it the right to take possession
SPS to Caniza; (3) Caniza executed a holographic will where and recover from anyone who retains it.
she bequeathed to the SPS Estradas the house and lot
3. NOPE, it is indeed well-established rule that the relationship of guardian
5. MeTC decided in Caniza’s favour. RTC reversed this decision and held and ward is necessarily terminated by the death of either the
that the "action by which the issue of defendants' possession guardian or the ward. However, the suit will be continued by
should be resolved is accion publiciana. the heirs of Caniza in accordance to Sec 18 of the ROC,
because it is not a personal suit.
6. Caniza appealed to the CA. CA affirmed the RTC judgment in toto.
the petition is GRANTED
7. Caniza appealed to the SC through her guardian. She contends that the
CA erred in holding that she should have filed an action
publican and not action interdictal, as well as, giving weight to
a xerox copy of a holographic will.

8. SPS Estrada argues that the case is not one of unlawful detainer and that
because the holographic will of Caniza contains transfer of
property from her to the SPS. it is beyond the power of the
legal guardian to oust them from the disputed premises.
Social Security System v Commission on Audit behalf of SSS executed the directive. This is irregular since Section 1(10), RA
G.R. no. 149240 | July 11, 2002 1161 provides that it is the SSC as a collegiate body which has the power to
approve, confirm, pass upon or review the action of the SSS to sue in court.
Doctrine: The funds being administered by SSS, of which authority is Furthermore, it is the DOJ that has the authority to act as counsel for SSS. It
construed in accordance to remuneration of trustees, is a trust fund for the is well settled that the legality of the representation of an unauthorized counsel
welfare and benefit of workers and employees in the private sector, and may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, and that such illicit
resolutely imposed the duty upon the trustee to desist from any and all acts representation produces no legal effect.
which would diminish the property rights of owners and beneficiaries of the
trust fund. Premium Marble Resources v CA: no person, not even its officers, could
validly sue in behalf of a corporation in the absence of any resolution from the
Facts: governing body authorizing the filing of such suit. Moreover, where the
1. Social Security Commission, in behalf of SSS, and the Alert and corporate officer’s power as an agent of the corporation did not derive from
Concerned Employees for Better SSS (ACCESS), the exclusive such resolution, it would nonetheless be necessary to show a clear source of
negotiating agent for SSS employees, entered into a collective authority from the charter, the by-laws or the implied acts of the governing
negotiation agreement, wherein Article XIII of the CAN provides that body.
“once the collective negotiation agreement is approved and signed by
the parties, the management shall grant each official and employee of As to whether the employees and officers of SSS are entitled to signing bonus,
the SYSTEM the amount of 5,000 as contract signing bonus. they are not. While it is true that Sec. 3, par. (c), of RA 8282 expressly
2. SSC allocation 15k in the budgetary appropriation of the SS for the exempted the SSS from the provisions of RA 6758 and RA 7430 (The Attrition
said undertaking. Law of 1992), 1 RA 8282 took effect only on 23 May 1997. The need to
3. DBM declared illegal the contract signing bonus which the CAN expressly stipulate the exemption of the SSS can only mean that prior to the
authorized to be distributed among the personnel. SSS also effectivity of RA 8282, the SSS was subject to RA 6758 and even RA 7430 for,
disallowed fund releases for the signing bonus since it was an otherwise, there would have been no reason to rope in such provision in RA
“allowance in the form of additional compensation prohibited by the 8282.
4. 2 years later, ACCESS appealed the disallowance to COA who The funds being administered by SSS is a trust fund for the welfare and benefit
affirmed the disallowance, ruling that the provision on the signing of workers and employees in the private sector, and resolutely imposed the
bonus had no legal basis as Section 16 of RA 7658 had repealed the duty upon the trustee to desist from any and all acts which would diminish the
authority of SSC to fix the compensation of its personnel. property rights of owners and beneficiaries of the trust fund. Thus, it would be
5. SSS argues that a signing bonus may be granted upon the conclusion reasonable to construe the authority of the SSC to provide for the
of negotiations leading to the execution of a CNA where it is compensation of SSS personnel in accordance with the established rules
specifically authorized by law and that in the case at bar such legal governing the remuneration of trustee.
authority is found in Sec. 3, par. (c), of RA 1161 (SSS Charter) which
allows the SSC to fix the compensation of its personnel. The rule is to give the trustee a reasonable remuneration for his skill and
6. On the other hand, COA asserts that the authority of the SSC to fix the industry. In deciding what is a reasonable compensation for a trustee the court
compensation of its personnel has been repealed by Secs. 12 and 16 will consider the amount of income and capital received and disbursed, the
of RA 6758 and is therefore no longer effective. pay customarily given to agents or servants for similar work, the success or
failure of the work of the trustee, any unusual skill which the trustee had and
Issue: W/N the SSS employees are entitled to the contract signing bonus -- used, the amount of risk and responsibility, the time consumed, the character
NO of the work done (whether routine or of unusual difficulty) and any other factors
which prove the worth of the trustee’s services to the cestuis. The court has
Held: The petition was defective as it was filed in the name of SSS although power to make extraordinary compensation allowances, but will not do so
no directive from the SSC authorized the suit and only the officer in charge in

The Commission, upon the recommendation of the SSS President, shall appoint an actuary and civil service eligibles and be subject to civil service rules and regulations: Provided, finally, That
such other personnel as may be deemed necessary; fix their reasonable compensation, the SSS shall be exempt from the provisions of Republic Act No. 6758 and Republic Act No. 7430
allowances and other benefits x x x x [t]hat the personnel of the SSS shall be selected only from
unless the trustee can prove that he has performed work beyond the ordinary
duties of his office and has engaged in especially arduous work

The signing bonus is not a reasonable compensation. According to the court:

Agitation and propaganda which are so commonly practiced in private sector
labor-management relations have no place in the bureaucracy and that only a
peaceful collective negotiation which is concluded within a reasonable time
must be the standard for interaction in the public sector. This desired conduct
among civil servants should not come, we must stress, with a price tag which
is what the signing bonus appears to be.