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by: Atty. Dence Cris L. Rondon1

Based on the Ponencia of Justice Artemio V. Panganiban
In Joey D. Briones vs. Maricel P. Miguel, et. al
G.R. No. 156343, October 18,2004

31 MAY 2018


Villa 165-K Road
Jebel Ali Village, Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Dear Ms. Ragsac:

This legal opinion seeks to answer your question as to what is the

status or filiation of your child RYOSUKE RAGSAC IIDA, whether
legitimate or illegitimate, considering that you and his father Hideaki
Iida were never married.

The Facts

Per our discussion and the documents you have shown me, the
following are the pertinent facts:

a. Sometime on the year 2005, you and Mr. Iida met and became lovers.

b. After sometime, you became pregnant and on September 15, 2007 you
gave birth to your child RYOSUKE RAGSAC IIDA out of wedlock.

c. After Ryosuke’s birth was registered with the Local Civil Registrar of
Trice Martires City, Cavite, his father disappeared and never showed
any interest towards Ryosuke.

d. In Ryosuke’s birth certificate, particularly in the Affidavit of

Acknowledgment/Admission of Paternity, you and Mr. Iida
recognized your parenthood of Ryosuke.

e. Ryosuke has been living with you since the day he was born up to
present and he is under Visiting Visa and living with you.

The applicable law

The applicable law is Art. 165 of E.O. 2092, otherwise known as the
Family Code of the Philippines:
Associate Lawyer at Lagamon and Associates Law Office
Attached in this legal opinion is a copy of E. O. 209 downloaded from:
http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/1987/07jul/19870706-EO-0209-CCA.pdf, accessed last May
31, 2018 at 11:39 a.m. PST
“Art. 165. Children conceived and born outside a valid marriage
are illegitimate, unless otherwise provided in this Code.”

It is clear from the foregoing cited provision of the Family Code that
your child RYOSUKE RAGSAC IIDA is an illegitimate child since you
and his father were never married and therefore, Ryosuke is born out of

Article 54 of the Code provides these exceptions: "Children

conceived or born before the judgment of annulment or absolute nullity of
the marriage under Article 36 has become final and executory shall be
considered legitimate. Children conceived or born of the subsequent
marriage under Article 53 shall likewise be legitimate."

These exceptions, however, do not apply to your case and Ryosuke

is an illegitimate child.

The applicable jurisprudence

The case of Briones vs. Miguel, et. al, G.R. No. 156343
October 18, 2004, is applicable to the present set of facts.

In that case, the issue revolved around whether the biological father
of a child can be denied custody and parental care in the absence of the
mother who is away.

The Supreme Court answered in the affirmative and held that since
the child is illegitimate, the parental authority and custody is vested by
law to the mother.3

In the said case, the Supreme Court held in unequivocal language


“Having been born outside a valid marriage, the minor is deemed

an illegitimate child of petitioner and Respondent Loreta. Article 176 of
the Family Code of the Philippines explicitly provides that "illegitimate
children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority
of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this
Code." This is the rule regardless of whether the father admits paternity.”
(emphasis ours)

The case of David vs. Court of Appeals4 is also illuminating:

Art. 176, Family Code. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental
authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. The legitime of
each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child. (emphasis ours)
G.R. No. 111180 , November 16, 1995
“[T]he recognition of an illegitimate child by the father could be a
ground for ordering the latter to give support to, but not custody of, the
child. The law explicitly confers to the mother sole parental authority
over an illegitimate child; it follows that only if she defaults can the father
assume custody and authority over the minor.” (emphasis ours)

Analysis and Conclusion

All told, taking into consideration the above-cited jurisprudence and

applying the rule of reason, Article 165 of the Family Code of the
Philippines is squarely applicable in your case for the simple reason that
you and Ryosuke’s father were never married and, as a consequence,
Ryosuke is, under the Philippine law, an ILLEGITIMATE CHILD.

Since Ryosuke is an illegitimate child, there is thus no question that

you, being the mother of and having sole parental authority over Ryosuke,
is entitled to have custody of him. You have the right to keep him in your
company. You cannot be deprived of that right and you may not even
renounce or transfer it "except in the cases authorized by law."

Bearing in mind the welfare and the best interest of the minor as the
controlling factor, it cannot be disputed that you have the rightful parental
authority and custody under the Philippine law and shall continue to have
the said rights unless revoked by proper proceedings.

I am confident that the said interpretation would prevail in courts

since the law is clear and there could other be no other interpretation of
the said and the same is consistent with jurisprudence, reason, and logic.

I appreciate the opportunity to advise you regarding this matter.

Please let me know if you wish to discuss any of these issues further.
Thank you.


Legal Counsel
Lagamon and Associates Law Office
Lawyers and Notaries Public