Você está na página 1de 34

SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

HABEAS CORPUS

[G.R. No. 139789. May 12, 2000]


ERLINDA K. ILUSORIO, petitioner, vs. ERLINDA I. BILDNER and SYLVIA
K. ILUSORIO, JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, respondents.

[G.R. No. 139808. May 12, 2000]


POTENCIANO ILUSORIO, MA. ERLINDA I. BILDNER, and SYLVIA
ILUSORIO, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and ERLINDA K.
ILUSORIO, respondents.
Pardo, J.

Saavedra, Anne Janine M.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Erlinda Kalaw Ilusorio is the wife of 30 years of lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio,


who owned vast properties and was the President of the Baguio Country Club. In
1972, they separated for undisclosed reasons. Potenciano lived in a condominium
in Makati when he was in Manila, and at Ilusorio Penthouse in Baguio Country
Club when he was in Baguio City. Erlinda lived in Antipolo City. They have six (6)
children. Upon Potenciano's arrival from the United States, he stayed with Erlinda
for about 5 months in Antipolo City. Their children, Sylvia and Lin, alleged that
their mother gave their father an overdose of 200mg instead of 100mg of Zoloft, an
antidepressant drug prescribed to him, which resulted in the deterioration of his
health. Erlinda filed a petition for guardianship over the person and property of
Potenciano due tho his advanced age, frail health, poor eyesight, and impaired
judgment. Potenciano did not return to Antipolo, but lived instead in Makati.
Erlinda filed with the CA a petition for habeas corpus to have the custody of
Potenciano, and to enforce their consortium as husband and wife, alleging that
respondents, their own children, refused her demands to see and visit her
husband. The CA ordered respondents Lin and Sylvia, the administrator of the
condominium, his guards, and Potenciano's staff, to allow visitation rights in favor
of Erlinda and all her children, notwithstanding any list limiting visitors thereof,
under penalty of contempt in case of violation or refusal thereof.

ISSUE/S:

Whether a wife may secure a writ of habeas corpus to compel her husband
to live with her in conjugal bliss

RESOLUTION OF ISSUE/S:

No. As heretofore stated, a writ of habeas corpus extends to all cases of


illegal confinement or detention, or by which the rightful custody of a person is
withheld from the one entitled thereto. It is available where a person continues to
be unlawfully denied of one or more of his constitutional freedoms, where there is
denial of due process, where the restraints are not merely involuntary but are
unnecessary, and where a deprivation of freedom originally valid has later

1
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
become arbitrary. It is devised as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve
persons from unlawful restraint, as the best and only sufficient defense of personal
freedom.

The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire
into all manner of involuntary restraint, and to relieve a person therefrom if such
restraint is illegal. To justify the grant of the petition, the restraint of liberty must
be an illegal and involuntary deprivation of freedom of action. The illegal restraint
of liberty must be actual and effective, not merely nominal or moral.

The evidence shows that there was no actual and effective detention or
deprivation of lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio‘s liberty that would justify the issuance
of the writ. The fact that lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio is about 86 years of age, or
under medication does not necessarily render him mentally incapacitated.
Soundness of mind does not hinge on age or medical condition but on the capacity
of the individual to discern his actions.

After due hearing, the Court of Appeals concluded that there was no
unlawful restraint on his liberty. The Court of Appeals also observed that lawyer
Potenciano Ilusorio did not request the administrator of the Cleveland
Condominium not to allow his wife and other children from seeing or visiting him.
He made it clear that he did not object to seeing them.

As to lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio‘s mental state, the Court of Appeals


observed that he was of sound and alert mind, having answered all the relevant
questions to the satisfaction of the court. Being of sound mind, he is thus possessed
with the capacity to make choices. In this case, the crucial choices revolve on his
residence and the people he opts to see or live with. The choices he made may
not appeal to some of his family members but these are choices which exclusively
belong to Potenciano. He made it clear before the Court of Appeals that he was
not prevented from leaving his house or seeing people. With that declaration, and
absent any true restraint on his liberty, we have no reason to reverse the findings
of the Court of Appeals. With his full mental capacity coupled with the right of
choice, Potenciano Ilusorio may not be the subject of visitation rights against his
free choice. Otherwise, we will deprive him of his right to privacy. Needless to
say, this will run against his fundamental constitutional right.

DOCTRINE:

Marital rights including coverture and living in conjugal dwelling may not
be enforced by the extra-ordinary writ of habeas corpus. A writ of habeas corpus
extends to all cases of illegal confinement or detention, or by which the rightful
custody of a person is withheld from the one entitled thereto. "Habeas corpus is a
writ directed to the person detaining another, commanding him to produce the
body of the prisoner at a designated time and place, with the day and cause of his
capture and detention, to do, submit to, and receive whatsoever the court or judge
awarding the writ shall consider in that behalf." It is a high prerogative, common-
law writ, of ancient origin, the great object of which is the liberation of those who
may be imprisoned without sufficient cause. It is issued when one is deprived of
liberty or is wrongfully prevented from exercising legal custody over another
person.

Serapio vs Sandiganbayan

2
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

G.R. No. 147780 May 10, 2001

3
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Panfilo LACSON, Michael Ray B. Aquino, and Cesar O. Mancao
vs.
Sec. Hernando PEREZ, P/Director Leandro Mendoza, and P/Sr. Supt.
Reynaldo Berroya
Melo, J

Velasquez, Liane Rose R.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Former President Joseph Estrada was arrested for the criminal case of
plunder. A number of his supporters gathered at the EDSA Shrine, including
Senators Enrile, Santiago, Honasan, and opposition senatorial candidate, Gen.
Lacson. The crowd decided to march to Malacañang Palace. A melee between the
rallyists on the one hand, and the police and army on the other hand, ensued as
the former tried to break into Malacañang.

President Macapagal-Arroyo, faced by the "angry and violent mob armed


with explosives, firearms, bladed weapons, clubs, stones and other deadly
weapons" assaulting and attempting to break into Malacañang, issued
Proclamation No. 38 declaring the existence of a state of rebellion in the National
Capital Region. In addition, she issued General Order No. 1, directing the Armed
Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to suppress the
rebellion. Senator Enrile and former Ambassador Ernesto Maceda. Several key
leaders of the opposition were ordered arrested, including Senator Honasan and
Gen. Lacson.

Petitions were filed to assail the declaration of a state of rebellion and the
warrantless arrests effected by virtue thereof. In addition, Petitioners Lacson,
Aquino, and Mancao sought for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.

President Arroyo thereafter lifted the declaration, rendering the case moot
and academic.

ISSUE/S:

Whether or not the writ of habeas corpus may be issued

RESOLUTION OF ISSUE/S:

The case was dismissed for being moot and academic. On whether the writ
of habeas corpus may be issued, the writ is not called for since its purpose is to
relieve petitioners from unlawful restraint, a matter which remains speculative.

DOCTRINE:

Justice Kapunan‘s Dissenting Opinion

The distinction (between the calling out power, on one hand, and the power
to suspend the privilege of the write of habeas corpus and to declare martial law,

4
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
on the other hand) places the calling out power in a different category from the
power to declare martial law and the power to suspend the privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus, otherwise, the framers of the Constitution would have simply
lumped together the three powers and provided for their revocation and review
without any qualification.

The reason for the difference in the treatment of the aforementioned powers
highlights the intent to grant the President the widest leeway and broadest
discretion in using the "calling out" power because it is considered as the lesser
and more benign power compared to the power to suspend the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus and the power to impose martial law, both of which involve
the curtailment and suppression of certain basic civil rights and individual
freedoms, and thus necessitating affirmation by Congress and, in appropriate
cases, review by this Court.

Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez‘s Dissenting Opinion

If a state of martial law "does not suspend the operation of the Constitution,
nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor
authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over
civilians, where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the
privilege of the writ," then it is with more reason, that a mere declaration of a state
of rebellion could not bring about the suspension of the operation of the
Constitution or of the writ of habeas corpus.

Sangca vs City Prosecutor of Cebu

5
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Mangila vs Pangilinan

G.R. No. 210636. July 28, 2014


Tujan-Militante vs. Cada-Deapera
VELASCO, J.:

6
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Villar, Czarinalyn Mara

Facts:

On March 24, 2011, respondent Raquel M. Cada-Deapera (Raquel) filed


before the RTC-Caloocan a verified petition for writ of habeas corpus. In the said
petition, respondent Raquel demanded the immediate issuance of the special writ,
directing petitioner Ma. Hazelina Tujan-Militante (Hazelina) to produce before the
court respondent‘s biological daughter, minor Criselda M. Cada (Criselda), and
to return to her the custody over the child. Additionally, respondent Raquel
indicated that petitioner Hazelina has 3 known addresses where she can be
served with summons and other court processes.

The next day, the RTC-Caloocan issued a writ of habeas corpus, ordering
petitioner to bring the child to court on March 28, 2011. Despite diligent efforts
and several attempts, however, the Sheriff was unsuccessful in personally serving
petitioner copies of the habeas corpus petition and of the writ. Instead, on March
29, 2011, the Sheriff left copies of the court processes at petitioner‘s Caloocan
residence, as witnessed by respondent‘s counsel and barangay officials.
Nevertheless, petitioner failed to appear at the scheduled hearings before the
RTC-Caloocan.

Meanwhile, on March 31, 2011, petitioner filed a Petition for Guardianship


over the person of Criselda before the RTC-Quezon City. Respondent filed a
Motion to Dismiss the petition for guardianship on the ground of litis pendentia,
among others. Thereafter, or on June 3, 2011, respondent filed a criminal case for
kidnapping before the Office of the City Prosecutor-Quezon City against
petitioner and her counsel.

On July 12, 2011, the RTC-Quezon City granted respondent‘s motion and
dismissed the guardianship case due to the pendency of the habeas corpus
petition before RTC-Caloocan.

Raquel moved for the ex parte issuance of an alias writ of habeas corpus
before the RTC-Caloocan, which was granted by the trial court on August 8, 2011.
On even date, the court directed the Sheriff to serve the alias writ upon petitioner
at the Office of the Assistant City Prosecutor of Quezon City on August 10, 2011. In
compliance, the Sheriff served petitioner the August 8, 2011 Order as well as the
Alias Writ during the preliminary investigation of the kidnapping case.
Following this development, petitioner, by way of special appearance, moved for
the quashal of the writ and prayed before the RTC Caloocan for the dismissal of
the habeas corpus petition, claiming, among others, that she was not personally
served with summons. Thus, as argued by petitioner, jurisdiction over her and
Criselda‘s person was not acquired by the RTC-Caloocan.

Regional Trial Court(Caloocan):

Denied petitioner‘s omnibus motion, citing Saulo v. Brig. Gen. Cruz, where
the Court held that a writ of habeas corpus, being an extraordinary process
requiring immediate proceeding and action, plays a role somewhat comparable

7
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
to a summons in ordinary civil actions, in that, by service of said writ, the Court
acquires jurisdiction over the person of the respondent, as petitioner herein.

Moreover, personal service, does not necessarily require that service be


made exclusively at petitioner‘s given address, for service may be made
elsewhere or wherever she may be found for as long as she was handed a copy of
the court process in person by anyone authorized by law. Since the sheriff was
able to personally serve petitioner a copy of the writ, albeit in Quezon City, the
RTC-Caloocan validly acquired jurisdiction over her person.

Court of Appeals:

Dismissed the petition for certiorari for lack of merit. The CA held that
jurisdiction was properly laid when respondent filed the habeas corpus petition
before the designated Family Court in Caloocan City. Anent the RTC-Caloocan‘s
jurisdiction, the appellate court ruled that service of summons is not required
under Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC, otherwise known as the Rules on
Custody of Minors and Habeas Corpus in Relation to Custody of Minors.
According to the CA, the rules on summons contemplated in ordinary civil actions
have no place in petitions for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, it being a
special proceeding.
Issue:(A) Whether or not the RTC-Caloocan has jurisdiction over the habeas
corpus petition filed by respondent; and, (B) Assuming arguendo it does, whether
or not it validly acquired jurisdiction over petitioner and the person of Criselda.
Likewise pivotal is the enforceability of the writ issued by RTC-Caloocan in
Quezon City where petitioner was served a copy thereof.

Held:

The petition lacks merit. The RTC-Caloocan correctly took cognizance of


the habeas corpus petition. Subsequently, it acquired jurisdiction over petitioner
when the latter was served with a copy of the writ in Quezon City.

(A)The RTC-Caloocan has jurisdiction over the habeas corpus


proceeding.

Arguing that the RTC-Caloocan lacked jurisdiction over the case, petitioner
relies on Section 3 of A.M. No. 03-0404-SC and maintains that the habeas corpus
petition should have been filed before the family court that has jurisdiction over
her place of residence or that of the minor or wherever the minor may be found.
As to respondent, she asserts, among others, that the applicable rule is not Section
3 but Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC.

We find for respondent. In the case at bar, what respondent filed was a petition
for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus under Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-
SC and Rule 102 of the Rules of Court. As provided:

Section 20. Petition for writ of habeas corpus.—A verified petition for a
writ of habeas corpus involving custody of minors shall be filed with the
Family Court. The writ shall be enforceable within its judicial region to
which the Family Court belongs.

However, the petition may be filed with the regular court in the absence
of the presiding judge of the Family Court, provided, however, that the regular

8
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
court shall refer the case to the Family Court as soon as its presiding judge
returns to duty.

The petition may also be filed with the appropriate regular courts in
places where there are no Family Courts. The writ issued by the Family Court or
the regular court shall be enforceable in the judicial region where they belong.
The petition may likewise be filed with the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or
with any of its members and, if so granted, the writ shall be enforceable
anywhere in the Philippines. The writ may be made returnable to a Family Court
or to any regular court within the region where the petitioner resides or where
the minor may be found for hearing and decision on the merits.

Upon return of the writ, the court shall decide the issue on custody of
minors. The appellate court, or the member thereof, issuing the writ shall be
furnished a copy of the decision.

Considering that the writ is made enforceable within a judicial region,


petitions for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus, whether they be filed under
Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or pursuant to Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-0404-SC,
may therefore be filed with any of the proper RTCs within the judicial region
where enforcement thereof is sought.

It is indubitable that the filing of a petition for the issuance of a writ of


habeas corpus before a family court in any of the cities enumerated (in Section 13
of BP Blg. 129, otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980) is
proper as long as the writ is sought to be enforced within the National Capital
Judicial Region, as here.

In the case at bar, respondent filed the petition before the Family Court of
Caloocan City. Since Caloocan City and Quezon City both belong to the same
judicial region, the writ issued by the RTC-Caloocan can still be implemented in
Quezon City. Whether petitioner resides in the former or the latter is immaterial in
view of the above rule.

Anent petitioner‘s insistence on the application of Section 3 of A.M. No. 03-


04-04-SC, a plain reading of said provision reveals that the provision invoked only
applies to petitions for custody of minors, and not to habeas corpus petitions.
Thus:

Section 3. Where to file petition.—The petition for custody of minors shall


be filed with the Family Court of the province or city where the petitioner
resides or where the minor may be found.

(B) As regards petitioner‘s assertion that the summons was improperly


served, suffice it to state that service of summons, to begin with, is not required in
a habeas corpus petition, be it under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or A.M. No. 03-
04-04-SC. As held in Saulo v. Cruz, a writ of habeas corpus plays a role somewhat
comparable to a summons, in ordinary civil actions, in that, by service of said writ,
the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the respondent.
DOCTRINE:

Habeas Corpus; Considering that the writ is made enforceable within a


judicial region, petitions for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus,
whether they be filed under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or pursuant to

9
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Section 20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC, may therefore be filed with any of the
proper Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) within the judicial region where
enforcement thereof is sought.— Considering that the writ is made enforceable
within a judicial region, petitions for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus,
whether they be filed under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or pursuant to Section
20 of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC, may therefore be filed with any of the proper RTCs
within the judicial region where enforcement thereof is sought.

Summons; Service of summons is not required in a habeas corpus


petition, be it under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC.—
As regards petitioner‘s assertion that the summons was improperly served, suffice
it to state that service of summons, to begin with, is not required in a habeas
corpus petition, be it under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC.
As held in Saulo v. Cruz, 105 Phil. 315 (1959), a writ of habeas corpus plays a role
somewhat comparable to a summons, in ordinary civil actions, in that, by service
of said writ, the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the respondent.

Datukan Malang Salibo vs the Warden

10
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

CHANGE OF NAME VS CANCELLATION OR CORREC TION OF


ENTRIES IN THE CIVIL REGISTRY

G.R. No. 130277 May 9, 2002


LOURDES BARRIENTOS ELEOSIDA, for and in behalf of her minor child,
CHARLES CHRISTIAN ELEOSIDA, petitioner,

11
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF QUEZON CITY, and CARLOS VILLENA
BORBON, respondents.

ARCEO, FRANCIS EMMANUEL B.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

On January 30, 1997, petitioner Ma. Lourdes Eleosida filed a petition before
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City seeking to correct the following entries in
the birth certificate of her son, Charles Christian: first, the surname ―Borbon‖
should be changed to ―Eleosida;‖ second, the date of the parents‘ wedding should
be left blank; and third, the informant‘s name should be ―Ma. Lourdes B.
Eleosida,‖ instead of ―Ma. Lourdes E. Borbon.‖ In support of her petition,
petitioner alleged that she gave birth to her son out of wedlock on May 24, 1992;
that she and the boy‘s father, Carlos Borbon, were never married; and that the
child is therefore illegitimate and should follow the mother‘s surname.

On August 25, 1997, the trial court motu proprio dismissed the petition for
lack of merit and ruled, that;
―It is an established jurisprudence that, only CLERICAL ERRORS OF A HARMLESS
AND INNOCUOUS NATURE like: misspelled name, occupation of the parents, etc.,
may be the subject of a judicial order.

RESOLUTION OF THE ISSUE/S:

WON the corrections of entries in the certificate of live birth pursuant to


Article 412 of the Civil Code, in relation to Rule 108 of the Rules of Court may be
allowed even if the errors to be corrected are substantial and not merely clerical
errors of a harmless and innocuous nature.

SUPREME COURT RULING

Granted the petition;

It was therefore an error for the trial court to dismiss the petition motu
proprio without allowing the petitioner to present evidence to support her petition
and all the other persons who have an interest over the matter to oppose the same.

That even substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected and the
true facts established under Rule 108 provided the parties aggrieved by the error
avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding.

DOCTRINE:

Can a substantial issue be corrected in the entry of the birth of a person


in the civil registry?

Yes, provided the party avail the adversarial proceeding rather than a
summary proceeding.

12
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

GR 170340, 29 June 2007


Republic of the Philippines, petitioner,
vs.
Carlito I. Kho, Michael Kho, Mercy Nona Kho-Fortun, Heddy Moira
Kho-Serrano, Kevin Dogmoc Kho (minor, and Kelly dogmoc Kho
(Minor), respondents

Aure, Mark Lester L.

13
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Summary of Facts:

Carlito Kho (Kho) and his family applied for the correction of various details
in their birth certificate. Kho petitioned for (1) change the citizenship of his mother
from ―Chinese‖ to ―Filipino‖; (2) delete ―John‖ from his name; and (3) delete the
word ―married‖ opposite the date of marriage of his parents. The last correction
was ordered to be effected likewise in the birth certificates of respondents
Michael, Mercy Nona, and Heddy Moira. Carlito also asked the court in behalf of
his minor children, Kevin and Kelly, to order the correction of some entries in their
birth certificates. The Local Civil Registrar of Butuan City was impleaded as
respondent. The trial court granted the petition.

Petitioner, appealed on the ground of failure of respondents to implead the


minor‘s mother, Marivel, as an indispensable party and to offer sufficient evidence
to warrant the corrections with regard to the questioned married status of Carlito
and his siblings parents, and the latters citizenship. Petitioner contends that since
the changes sought by respondents were substantial in nature, they could only be
granted through an adversarial proceeding in which indispensable parties, such
as Marivel and respondents parents, should have been notified or impleaded.
Petitioner further contends that the jurisdictional requirements to change Carlitos
name under Section 2 of Rule 103 of the Rules of Court were not satisfied because
the Amended Petition failed to allege Carlitos prior three-year bona fide
residence in Butuan City, and that the title of the petition did not state Carlitos
aliases and his true name as Carlito John I. Kho. Petitioner concludes that the same
jurisdictional defects attached to the change of name of Carlitos father.

Issue:

Whether or not Kho‗s request for change in the details of their birth
certificate requires an adversarial proceeding

Resolution of Issue/s:

Yes. It can not be gainsaid that the petition, insofar as it sought to change
the citizenship of Carlito‗s mother as it appeared in his birth certificate and delete
the ―married‖ status of Carlito‗s parents in his and his siblings‗ respective birth
certificates, as well as change the date of marriage of Carlito and Marivel involves
the correction of not just clerical errors of a harmless and innocuous nature.
Rather, the changes entail substantial and controversial amendments.

It is undoubtedly true that if the subject matter of a petition is not for the
correction of clerical errors of a harmless and innocuous nature, but one involving
nationality or citizenship, which is indisputably substantial as well as
controverted, affirmative relief cannot be granted in a proceeding summary in
nature. However, it is also true that a right in law may be enforced and a wrong
may be remedied as long as the appropriate remedy is used. This Court adheres
to the principle that even substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected
and the true facts established provided the parties aggrieved by the error avail
themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding.

The enactment in March 2001 of Republic Act No. 9048, otherwise known as
―An Act Authorizing the City or Municipal Civil Registrar or the Consul General to

14
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Correct A Clerical or Typographical Error In An Entry and/or Change of First
Name or Nickname in the Civil Register Without Need of Judicial Order,‖ has been
considered to lend legislative affirmation to the judicial precedence that
substantial corrections to the civil status of persons recorded in the civil registry
may be effected through the filing of a petition under Rule 108.

When all the procedural requirements under Rule 108 are thus followed,
the appropriate adversary proceeding necessary to effect substantial corrections
to the entries of the civil register is satisfied.

Doctrine:

Even substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected through a


petition filed under Rule 108 provided the parties aggrieved by the error avail
themselves of the appropriate adversary proceeding.

Appropriate adversary proceeding - one having opposing parties;


contested, as distinguished from an ex parte application, one of which the party
seeking relief has given legal warning to the other party, and afforded the latter
an opportunity to contest it.

The obvious effect of Republic Act No. 9048 is to make possible the
administrative correction of clerical or typographical errors or change of first
name or nickname in entries in the civil register, leaving to Rule 108 the
correction of substantial changes in the civil registry in appropriate adversarial
proceedings.

A petition for correction is an action in rem, an action against a thing and


not against a person. The decision on the petition binds not only the parties
thereto but the whole world. An in rem proceeding is validated essentially
through publication.

G.R. No. 159966. March 30, 2005


IN RE: PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME AND/OR
CORRECTION/CANCELLATION OF ENTRY IN CIVIL REGISTRY OF
JULIAN LIN CARULASAN WANG also known as JULIAN LIN WANG, to be
amended/corrected as JULIAN LIN WANG, JULIAN LIN WANG, duly
represented by his mother ANNA LISA WANG, Petitioners,
vs.

15
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
CEBU CITY CIVIL REGISTRAR, duly represented by the Registrar OSCAR
B. MOLO, Respondents.
TINGA, J.:

Austria, Jefferson S.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Petitioner Julian Lin Carulasan Wang, a minor, represented by his mother


Anna Lisa Wang, filed a petition for change of name and/or
correction/cancellation of entry in the Civil Registry. Petitioner sought to drop his
middle name and have his registered name changed from Julian Lin Carulasan
Wang to Julian Lin Wang.

The parents of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang plan to stay in Singapore for a
long time because they will let him study there together with his sister named
Wang Mei Jasmine who was born in Singapore…. Since in Singapore middle
names or the maiden surname of the mother are not carried in a person‘s name,
they anticipate that Julian Lin Carulasan Wang will be discriminated against
because of his current registered name which carries a middle name. Julian and
his sister might also be asking whether they are brother and sister since they have
different surnames. Carulasan sounds funny in Singapore‘s Mandarin language
since they do not have the letter "R" but if there is, they pronounce it as "L." It is for
these reasons that the name of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang is requested to be
changed to Julian Lin Wang.

RTC rendered a decision denying the petition. The trial court found that the
reason given for the change of name sought in the petition—that is, that petitioner
Julian may be discriminated against when studies in Singapore because of his
middle name—did not fall within the grounds recognized by law. The trial court
ruled that the change sought is merely for the convenience of the child. Since the
State has an interest in the name of a person, names cannot be changed to suit the
convenience of the bearers.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision but this was
denied. Petitioner then filed this Petition for Review on Certiorari (Under Rule 45).

ISSUE:

Whether or not the middle name may be dropped on the ground of


convenience?

RESOLUTION OF ISSUE:

No, SC held that the petition should be denied. The State has an interest in
the names borne by individuals and entities for purposes of identification, and that
a change of name is a privilege and not a right, so that before a person can be
authorized to change his name given him either in his certificate of birth or civil

16
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
registry, he must show proper or reasonable cause, or any compelling reason
which may justify such change.

The touchstone for the grant of a change of name is that there be ‗proper
and reasonable cause‘ for which the change is sought. To justify a request for
change of name, petitioner must show not only some proper or compelling reason
therefore but also that he will be prejudiced by the use of his true and official
name.

Petitioner‘s reason of convenience for the change of his name against the
standards set in the cases he cites to support his contention would show that his
justification is amorphous, to say the least, and could not warrant favorable action
on his petition. Before a person can be authorized to change his name given him
either in his certificate of birth or civil registry, he must show proper or
reasonable cause, or any compelling reason which may justify such change.
Otherwise, the request should be denied.

Dropping the middle name from his registered name is not allowed by law.
Middle names serve to identify the maternal lineage or filiation of a person as well
as further distinguish him from others who may have the same given name and
surname as he has.

In the case at bar, the only reason advanced by petitioner for the dropping
his middle name is convenience. However, how such change of name would make
his integration into Singaporean society easier and convenient is not clearly
established. That the continued use of his middle name would cause confusion and
difficulty does not constitute proper and reasonable cause to drop it from his
registered complete name.

In addition, petitioner is only a minor. Considering the nebulous foundation


on which his petition for change of name is based, it is best that the matter of
change of his name be left to his judgment and discretion when he reaches the
age of majority.

DOCTRINE:

Among the grounds for change of name which have been held valid are:
(a) when the name is ridiculous, dishonorable or extremely difficult to write or
pronounce;
(b) when the change results as a legal consequence, as in legitimation;
(c) when the change will avoid confusion;
(d) when one has continuously used and been known since childhood by a
Filipino name, and was unaware of alien parentage;
(e) a sincere desire to adopt a Filipino name to erase signs of former alienage, all
in good faith and without prejudicing anybody; and
(f) when the surname causes embarrassment and there is no showing that the
desired change of name was for a fraudulent purpose or that the change of name
would prejudice public interest.

G.R. No. 181174 December 04, 2009


MA. CRISTINA TORRES BRAZA, PAOLO JOSEF T. BRAZA and JANELLE
ANN T. BRAZA, Petitioner
vs.

17
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
THE CITY CIVIL REGISTRAR OF HIMAMAYLAN CITY, NEGROS
OCCIDENTAL, minor PATRICK ALVIN TITULAR BRAZA, represented by
LEON TITULAR, CECILIA TITULAR and LUCILLE C. TITULAR,
Respondents
CARPIO MORALES, J.:

Chua, Mark Andrew Y.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Petitioner Ma. Cristina Braza and Pablo Braza Jr. were married and had
three (3) children (herein co-petitioners). In 2002, Pablo died in a vehicular
accident. During the wake, respondent Lucille Titular and her son, Patrick Alvin
Titutar showed up and introduced themselves as the wife and son, respectively, of
Pablo. Ma. Cristina thereupon made inquiries in the course of which she obtained
Patrick's birth certificate from the Local Civil Registrar of Himamaylan City,
Negros Occidental and likewise obtained a copy of a marriage contract showing
that Pablo and Lucille were married on April 22, 1998.

Contending that Patrick could not have been legitimated by the supposed
marriage between Lucille and Pablo, said marriage being bigamous on account of
the valid and subsisting marriage between Ma. Cristina and Pablo, petitioners
prayed for:
(1) the correction of the entries in Patrick's birth record with respect to his
legitimation, the name of the father and his acknowledgment, and the use of
the last name "Braza";
(2) a directive to Leon, Cecilia and Lucille, all surnamed Titular, as guardians of
the minor Patrick, to submit Parick to DNA testing to determine his paternity
and filiation; and
(3) the declaration of nullity of the legitimation of Patrick as stated in his birth
certificate and, for this purpose, the declaration of the marriage of Lucille
and Pablo as bigamous.

The trial court dismissed the petition holding that in a special proceeding
for correction of entry, the court, which is not acting as a family court under the
Family Code, has no jurisdiction over an action to annul the marriage of Lucille
and Pablo, impugn the legitimacy of Patrick, and order Patrick to be subjected to
a DNA test, and that the controversy should be ventilated in an ordinary
adversarial action.

ISSUE:

May the court pass upon the validity of marriage and questions on
legitimacy in an action to correct entries in the civil registrar?

RESOLUTION OF ISSUE:

No. In a special proceeding for correction of entry under Rule 108


(Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Original Registry), the trial court has
no jurisdiction to nullify marriages and rule on legitimacy and filiation.

18
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court vis-a-vis Article 412 of the Civil Code charts
the procedure by which an entry in the civil registry may be cancelled or
corrected. The proceeding contemplated therein may generally be used only to
correct clerical, spelling, typographical and other innocuous errors in the civil
registry. A clerical error is one which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the
understanding; an error made by a clerk or a transcriber; a mistake in copying or
writing, or a harmless change such as a correction of name that is clearly
misspelled or of a misstatement of the occupation of the parent. Substantial or
contentious alterations may be allowed only in adversarial proceedings, in which
all interested parties are impleaded and due process is properly observed.

DOCTRINE:

Validity of marriages as well as legitimacy and filiation can be questioned


only in a direct action seasonably filed by the proper party, and not through
collateral attack such as the petition filed before the court a quo..

G.R. No. 174689 October 22, 2007


ROMMEL JACINTO DANTES SILVERIO, petitioner,
vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.
Corona, J.,

19
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Gatuc, Ralph Lawrence B.

Facts:

On November 26, 2002, petitioner Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio filed a


petition for the change of his first name and sex in his birth certificate in the
Regional Trial Court of Manila. Petitioner alleged in his petition that he was born
in the City of Manila to the spouses Melecio Petines Silverio and Anita Aquino
Dantes on April 4, 1962. His name was registered as "Rommel Jacinto Dantes
Silverio" in his certificate of live birth (birth certificate). His sex was registered as
"male."

He further alleged that he is a male transsexual, that is, "anatomically male


but feels, thinks and acts as a female" and that he had always identified himself
with girls since childhood. Feeling trapped in a man‘s body, he consulted several
doctors in the United States. He underwent psychological examination, hormone
treatment and breast augmentation. His attempts to transform himself to a
"woman" culminated on January 27, 2001 when he underwent sex reassignment
surgery in Bangkok, Thailand. He was thereafter examined by Dr. Marcelino
Reysio-Cruz, Jr., a plastic and reconstruction surgeon in the Philippines, who
issued a medical certificate attesting that he (petitioner) had in fact undergone the
procedure.

From then on, petitioner lived as a female and was in fact engaged to be
married. He then sought to have his name in his birth certificate changed from
"Rommel Jacinto" to "Mely," and his sex from "male" to "female."

On June 4, 2003, the trial court rendered a decision in favor of petitioner.


The RTC stated that petitioner filed the present petition not to evade any law or
judgment or any infraction thereof or for any unlawful motive but solely for the
purpose of making his birth records compatible with his present sex.

The OSG, filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals which
rendered a decision in favor of the Republic. It ruled that the trial court‘s decision
lacked legal basis. There is no law allowing the change of either name or sex in
the certificate of birth on the ground of sex reassignment through surgery.

Issue:
1. Whether or not the petitioner may have his First Name changed on
ground of sex reassignment; and
2. Whether or not the law allows the change of entry in the birth certificate
as to sex based on the same ground.

Ruling:

Issue no. 1
No. The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and entities
for purposes of identification. A change of name is a privilege, not a right.

20
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Petitions for change of name are controlled by statutes. In this connection, Article
376 of the Civil Code provides:
ART. 376. No person can change his name or surname without judicial
authority.
This Civil Code provision was amended by RA 9048 (Clerical Error Law). In
particular, Section 1 of RA 9048 provides:
SECTION 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and
Change of First Name or Nickname. – No entry in a civil register shall be
changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or
typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which can be
corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or
consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its
implementing rules and regulations.
RA 9048 provides the grounds for which change of first name may be
allowed:
SECTION 4. Grounds for Change of First Name or Nickname. – The petition
for change of first name or nickname may be allowed in any of the following
cases:
(1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted
with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;
(2) The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously
used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known by that first name or
nickname in the community; or
(3) The change will avoid confusion.

Issue no. 2
No. RA 9048 removed from the ambit of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court the
correction of clerical or typographical errors. Rule 108 now applies only to
substantial changes and corrections in entries in the civil register.
Under RA 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving the change of sex
is not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is a substantial change for which
the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
The entries envisaged in Article 412 of the Civil Code and correctable
under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court are those provided in Articles 407 and 408 of
the Civil Code:
ART. 407. Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of
persons shall be recorded in the civil register.
ART. 408. The following shall be entered in the civil register:
(1) Births; (2) marriages; (3) deaths; (4) legal separations; (5)
annulments of marriage; (6) judgments declaring marriages void
from the beginning; (7) legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9)
acknowledgments of natural children; (10) naturalization; (11) loss, or
(12) recovery of citizenship; (13) civil interdiction; (14) judicial
determination of filiation; (15) voluntary emancipation of a minor;
and (16) changes of name.
A person‘s sex is an essential factor in marriage and family relations. It is a
part of a person‘s legal capacity and civil status. In this connection, Article 413 of
the Civil Code provides:
ART. 413. All other matters pertaining to the registration of civil status shall
be governed by special laws.

But there is no such special law in the Philippines governing sex


reassignment and its effects. This is fatal to petitioner‘s cause.

21
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Under the Civil Register Law, a birth certificate is a historical record of the
facts as they existed at the time of birth. Thus, the sex of a person is determined at
birth, visually done by the birth attendant (the physician or midwife) by
examining the genitals of the infant.

The words "sex," "male" and "female" as used in the Civil Register Law and
laws concerning the civil registry (and even all other laws) should therefore be
understood in their common and ordinary usage, there being no legislative intent
to the contrary. In this connection, sex is defined as "the sum of peculiarities of
structure and function that distinguish a male from a female" or "the distinction
between male and female." Female is "the sex that produces ova or bears young"
and male is "the sex that has organs to produce spermatozoa for fertilizing ova."
Thus, the words "male" and "female" in everyday understanding do not include
persons who have undergone sex reassignment.

While petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body and appearance
through the intervention of modern surgery, no law authorizes the change of entry
as to sex in the civil registry for that reason. Thus, there is no legal basis for his
petition for the correction or change of the entries in his birth certificate.

Doctrine:

RA 9048 now governs the change of first name. It vests the power and
authority to entertain petitions for change of first name to the city or municipal
civil registrar or consul general concerned. Under the law, therefore, jurisdiction
over applications for change of first name is now primarily lodged with the
aforementioned administrative officers. The intent and effect of the law is to
exclude the change of first name from the coverage of Rules 103 (Change of
Name) and 108 (Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry) of the
Rules of Court, until and unless an administrative petition for change of name is
first filed and subsequently denied.

G.R. No. 166676 September 12, 2008


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs.
JENNIFER B. CAGANDAHAN, respondent.
Quisumbing, J.

22
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Guevara, Ron Jason A.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Jennifer Cagandahan filed a Petition for Correction of Entries in Birth


Certificate before the RTC of Siniloan, Laguna. In her petition, she alleged that she
was registered as a female in the Certificate of Live Birth but while growing up,
she developed secondary male characteristics and was diagnosed to have
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) which is a condition where persons thus
afflicted possess both male and female characteristics. She further alleged that
she was diagnosed to have clitoral hyperthropy in her early years and at age six,
underwent an ultrasound where it was discovered that she has small ovaries. At
age thirteen, tests revealed that her ovarian structures had minimized, she has
stopped growing and she has no breast or menstrual development. She then
alleged that for all interests and appearances as well as in mind and emotion, she
has become a male person. Thus, she prayed that her birth certificate be
corrected such that her gender be changed from female to male and her first
name be changed from Jennifer to Jeff.

To prove her claim, Jennifer testified and presented the testimony of Dr.
Michael Sionzon of the Department of Psychiatry, University of the Philippines-
Philippine General Hospital. The latter issued a medical certificate stating that
Jennifer‘s condition is known as CAH. This condition is permanent and Dr. Sionzon
recommended the change of gender because Jennifer has made up her mind,
adjusted to her chosen role as male, and the gender change would be
advantageous to her.

The RTC granted Jennifer‘s Petition, changing the name from Jennifer to Jeff
and changing the gender from female to male. Thus, the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG) seeks a reversal of the abovementioned ruling.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the RTC erred in ordering the correction of entries in the
birth certificate of Jennifer Cagandahan under Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of
Court.

RESOLUTION OF ISSUE/S:

NO. The Court held that there is substantial compliance with Rule 108 when
Jennifer furnished a copy of the petition to the local civil registrar. Under RA 9048,
a correction in the civil registry involving the change of sex is not a mere clerical
or typographical error. It is a substantial change for which the applicable
procedure is Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.

Jennifer undisputedly has CAH. This condition causes the early or


―inappropriate‖ appearance of male characteristics. A person with this condition
produces too much androgen, a male hormone. In this case, if we determine
Jennifer to be a female, then there is no basis for a change in the birth certificate
entry for gender. But if we determine, based on medical testimony and scientific
development showing Jennifer to be other than female, then a change in the
subject‘s birth certificate entry is in order.

23
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Ultimately, we are of the view that where the person is biologically or
naturally intersex, the determining factor in his gender classification would be
what the individual, having reached the age of majority, with good reason thinks
of his/her sex. Jennifer thinks of himself as a male and considering that his body
produces high levels of male hormones, there is preponderant biological support
for considering him as being male. Sexual development in cases of intersex
persons makes the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that
the gender of such persons, like Jennifer, is fixed.

As for Jennifer‘s change of name under Rule 103, this Court held that a
change of name is not a matter of right but of judicial discretion, to be exercised in
the light of the reasons adduced and the consequences that will follow. The trial
court‘s grant of change of name from Jennifer to Jeff implies a change of feminine
name to a masculine name. Considering the consequence that Jennifer‘s change of
name merely recognizes his preferred gender, we find merit in the Jennifer‘s
change of name. Such change will conform with the change of the entry in his birth
certificate from female to male.

DOCTRINE/S:

1. Under RA 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving the change of


sex is not a mere clerical or typographical error. It is a substantial change for
which the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Rule 108 now
applies only to substantial changes and corrections in entries in the civil register.

2. Under Rule 103, a change of name is not a matter of right but of judicial
discretion.

G.R. No. 198010 August 12, 2013


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER,
vs.
DR. NORMA S. LUGSANAY UY, RESPONDENT.
PERALTA, J.:

24
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Hilal, Jalanie B.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

On March 8, 2004, respondent filed a Petition for Correction of Entry in her


Certificate of Live Birth. Impleaded as respondent is the Local Civil Registrar of
Gingoog City. She alleged that she was born on February 8, 1952 and is the
illegitimate daughter of Sy Ton and Sotera Lugsanay. Her Certificate of Live Birth
shows that her full name is "Anita Sy" when in fact she is allegedly known to her
family and friends as "Norma S. Lugsanay." She further claimed that her school
records, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Board of Medicine Certificate,
and passport bear the name "Norma S. Lugsanay." She also alleged that she is an
illegitimate child considering that her parents were never married, so she had to
follow the surname of her mother. She also contended that she is a Filipino citizen
and not Chinese, and all her siblings bear the surname Lugsanay and are all
Filipinos.

Respondent allegedly filed earlier a petition for correction of entries with


the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Gingoog City to effect the corrections on
her name and citizenship which was supposedly granted. However, the National
Statistics Office (NSO) records did not bear such changes. Hence, the petition
before the RTC.

On May 13, 2004, the RTC issued an Order finding the petition to be
sufficient in form and substance and setting the case for hearing, with the directive
that the said Order be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City
of Gingoog and the Province of Misamis Oriental at least once a week for three (3)
consecutive weeks at the expense of respondent, and that the order and petition
be furnished the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the City Prosecutor‘s
Office for their information and guidance. Pursuant to the RTC Order, respondent
complied with the publication requirement.

On June 28, 2004, the RTC issued an Order in favor of respondent.

On February 18, 2011, the CA affirmed in toto the RTC Order. The CA held that
respondent‘s failure to implead other indispensable parties was cured upon the
publication of the Order setting the case for hearing in a newspaper of general
circulation for three (3) consecutive weeks and by serving a copy of the notice to
the Local Civil Registrar, the OSG and the City Prosecutor‘s Office. As to whether
the petition is a collateral attack on respondent‘s filiation, the CA ruled in favor of
respondent, considering that her parents were not legally married and that her
siblings‘ birth certificates uniformly state that their surname is Lugsanay and their
citizenship is Filipino. Petitioner‘s motion for reconsideration was denied in a
Resolution dated July 27, 2011.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA erred in not dismissing the case for failure to
implead indispensable parties.

RESOLUTION OF THE CASE:

25
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
In this case, respondent sought the correction of entries in her birth
certificate, particularly those pertaining to her first name, surname and
citizenship. She sought the correction allegedly to reflect the name which she has
been known for since childhood, including her legal documents such as passport
and school and professional records. She likewise relied on the birth certificates
of her full blood siblings who bear the surname "Lugsanay" instead of "Sy" and
citizenship of "Filipino" instead of "Chinese." The changes, however, are
obviously not mere clerical as they touch on respondent‘s filiation and citizenship.
In changing her surname from "Sy" (which is the surname of her father) to
"Lugsanay" (which is the surname of her mother), she, in effect, changes her status
from legitimate to illegitimate; and in changing her citizenship from Chinese to
Filipino, the same affects her rights and obligations in this country. Clearly, the
changes are substantial.

Respondent‘s birth certificate shows that her full name is Anita Sy, that she
is a Chinese citizen and a legitimate child of Sy Ton and Sotera Lugsanay. In filing
the petition, however, she seeks the correction of her first name and surname, her
status from "legitimate" to "illegitimate" and her citizenship from "Chinese" to
"Filipino." Thus, respondent should have impleaded and notified not only the
Local Civil Registrar but also her parents and siblings as the persons who have
interest and are affected by the changes or corrections respondent wanted to
make.

The fact that the notice of hearing was published in a newspaper of general
circulation and notice thereof was served upon the State will not change the nature
of the proceedings taken. A reading of Sections 4 and 5, Rule 108 of the Rules of
Court shows that the Rules mandate two sets of notices to different potential
oppositors: one given to the persons named in the petition and another given to
other persons who are not named in the petition but nonetheless may be
considered interested or affected parties. Summons must, therefore, be served
not for the purpose of vesting the courts with jurisdiction but to comply with the
requirements of fair play and due process to afford the person concerned the
opportunity to protect his interest if he so chooses.

While there may be cases where the Court held that the failure to implead
and notify the affected or interested parties may be cured by the publication of
the notice of hearing, earnest efforts were made by petitioners in bringing to court
all possible interested parties. Such failure was likewise excused where the
interested parties themselves initiated the corrections proceedings; when there is
no actual or presumptive awareness of the existence of the interested parties; or
when a party is inadvertently left out.

It is clear from the foregoing discussion that when a petition for cancellation
or correction of an entry in the civil register involves substantial and controversial
alterations, including those on citizenship, legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or
legitimacy of marriage, a strict compliance with the requirements of Rule 108 of
the Rules of Court is mandated. If the entries in the civil register could be
corrected or changed through mere summary proceedings and not through
appropriate action wherein all parties who may be affected by the entries are
notified or represented, the door to fraud or other mischief would be set open, the
consequence of which might be detrimental and far reaching.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The


Court of Appeals Decision dated February 18, 2011 and Resolution dated July 27,
20011 in CA-G.R. CV No. 00238-MIN, are SET ASIDE. Consequently, the June 28,

26
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
2004 Order of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 27, Gingoog City, in Spl. Proc. No.
230-2004 granting the Petition for Correction of Entry of Certificate of Live Birth
filed by respondent Dr. Norma S. Lugsanay Uy, is NULLIFIED.

GR No. 196049, 2013-06-26


MINORU FUJIKI v. MARIA PAZ GALELA MARINAY

Ismael Jimlan, S.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

27
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
Petitioner Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki), a Japanese national married respondent
Maria Paz Galela Marinay (Marinay) in the Philippines on January 23, 2004. Sadly,
petitioner Fujiki could not bring respondent Marinay back to Japan and they
eventually lost contact with one another. In 2008, Marinay met Shinichi Maekara
and they married without the earlier marriage being dissolved.

Marinay suffered abuse from Maekara and so she left him and was able to
reestablish contact with Fujiki and rekindle their relationship. The couple was
able to obtain a judgment in a Japanese court that declared Marinay's marriage to
Maekara void on the ground of bigamy in 2010. Fujiki then filed a petition in the
RTC entitled: ―Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or Decree of Absolute
Nullity of Marriage)‖. In this case, petitioner prayed that:

(1) the Japanese Family Court judgment be recognized; (2) that the
bigamous marriage between Marinay and Maekara be declared void ab
initio under Articles 35(4) and 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines; and (3) for
the RTC to direct the Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City to annotate the Japanese
Family Court judgment on the Certificate of Marriage between Marinay and
Maekara and to endorse such annotation to the Office of the Administrator and
Civil Registrar General in the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The trial court dismissed the petition on the ground that it did not meet
standing and venue requirements as prescribed on the Rule on Rule on
Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable
Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC), specifically, only the spouses (i.e. Marimay or
Maekara) may file an action for declaration of nullity of marriage. Petitioner in a
Motion for Reconsideration claimed that the case should not be dismissed as the
above rule applied only to cases of annulment of marriage on the ground of
psychological incapacity and not in a petition for recognition of a foreign
judgment. Notably, when the Solicitor General was asked for comment, it agreed
with the Petitioner stating that the above rule should not apply to cases of bigamy
and that insofar as the Civil Registrar and the NSO are concerned, Rule 108 of the
Rules of Court provide the procedure to be followed. Lastly, the Solicitor General
argued that there is no jurisdictional infirmity in assailing a void marriage under
Rule 108, citing De Castro v. De Castro and Niñal v. Bayadog which declared that
―[t]he validity of a void marriage may be collaterally attacked.‖

ISSUE:

Whether or not a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to


recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage between his or
her spouse and a foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy.

RESOLUTION OF ISSUE/S:

YES. Firstly, the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages


and Annulment of Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) does not apply in a
petition to recognize a foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage where
one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country. Moreover, in Juliano-Llave v.
Republic, this Court held that the rule in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC that only the
husband or wife can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage ―does
not apply if the reason behind the petition is bigamy.‖

28
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
The Supreme Court further held that:

For Philippine courts to recognize a foreign judgment relating to the status of a


marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country, the petitioner only
needs to prove the foreign judgment as a fact under the Rules of Court. To be more
specific, a copy of the foreign judgment may be admitted in evidence and proven as
a fact under Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the
Rules of Court. Petitioner may prove the Japanese Family Court judgment through (1)
an official publication or (2) a certification or copy attested by the officer who has
custody of the judgment. If the office which has custody is in a foreign country such as
Japan, the certification may be made by the proper diplomatic or consular officer of
the Philippine foreign service in Japan and authenticated by the seal of office.

xxx

A petition to recognize a foreign judgment declaring a marriage void does not


require relitigation under a Philippine court of the case as if it were a new petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage. Philippine courts cannot presume to know the
foreign laws under which the foreign judgment was rendered. They cannot substitute
their judgment on the status, condition and legal capacity of the foreign citizen who
is under the jurisdiction of another state. Thus, Philippine courts can only recognize
the foreign judgment as a fact according to the rules of evidence.

xxx

There is therefore no reason to disallow Fujiki to simply prove as a fact the


Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage between Marinay and
Maekara on the ground of bigamy. While the Philippines has no divorce law, the
Japanese Family Court judgment is fully consistent with Philippine public policy,
as bigamous marriages are declared void from the beginning under Article 35(4)
of the Family Code. Bigamy is a crime under Article 349 of the Revised Penal
Code. Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the Japanese Family Court judgment
in accordance with Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section
48(b) of the Rules of Court.

Petition was granted and the RTC was ordered to reinstate the proceedings.

DOCTRINE:

A recognition of a foreign judgment is not an action to nullify a marriage. It


is an action for Philippine courts to recognize the effectivity of a foreign judgment,
which presupposes a case which was already tried and decided under foreign
law. Article 26 of the Family Code further confers jurisdiction on Philippine courts
to extend the effect of a foreign divorce decree to a Filipino spouse without
undergoing trial to determine the validity of the dissolution of the marriage. The
second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provides that “[w]here a
marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a
divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or
her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine
law.”

29
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

G.R. No. 189538 February 10, 2014


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs.
MERLINDA L. OLAYBAR, Respondent.

Marquez, Jay Michael A.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Respondent requested from the National Statistics Office (NSO) a Certificate


of No Marriage (CENOMAR) as one of the requirements for her marriage with her

30
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
boyfriend of five years. Upon receipt thereof, she discovered that she was already
married to a certain Ye Son Sune, a Korean National, on June 24, 2002, at the Office
of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Palace of Justice. She denied having
contracted said marriage and claimed that she did not know the alleged husband;
she did not appear before the solemnizing officer; and, that the signature
appearing in the marriage certificate is not hers. She, thus, filed a Petition for
Cancellation of Entries in the Marriage Contract, especially the entries in the wife
portion thereof. Respondent impleaded the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City, as
well as her alleged husband, as parties to the case.

During trial, respondent testified on her behalf and explained that she
could not have appeared before Judge Mamerto Califlores, the supposed
solemnizing officer, at the time the marriage was allegedly celebrated, because
she was then in Makati working as a medical distributor in Hansao Pharma. She
completely denied having known the supposed husband, but she revealed that
she recognized the named witnesses to the marriage as she had met them while
she was working as a receptionist in Tadels Pension House. She believed that her
name was used by a certain Johnny Singh, who owned a travel agency, whom she
gave her personal circumstances in order for her to obtain a passport. Respondent
also presented as witness a certain Eufrocina Natinga, an employee of MTCC,
Branch 1, who confirmed that the marriage of Ye Son Sune was indeed celebrated
in their office, but claimed that the alleged wife who appeared was definitely not
respondent. Lastly, a document examiner testified that the signature appearing in
the marriage contract was forged.

On May 5, 2009, the RTC rendered the assailed Decision, the petition is
granted in favor of the petitioner, Merlinda L. Olaybar. The Local Civil Registrar of
Cebu City is directed to cancel all the entries in the WIFE portion of the alleged
marriage contract of the petitioner and respondent Ye Son Sune. Petitioner,
however, moved for the reconsideration of the assailed Decision on the grounds
that: (1) there was no clerical spelling, typographical and other innocuous errors
in the marriage contract for it to fall within the provisions of Rule 108 of the Rules
of Court; and (2) granting the cancellation of all the entries in the wife portion of
the alleged marriage contract is, in effect, declaring the marriage void ab initio.
The RTC denied petitioner‘s motion for reconsideration. Petitioner now comes
before the Court in this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules
of Court seeking the reversal of the assailed RTC Decision.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the cancellation of entries in the marriage contract which, in


effect, nullifies the marriage may be undertaken in a Rule 108 proceeding?
RESOLUTION OF THE ISSUE:

NO.

The Court made a pronouncement in the recent case of Minoru Fujiki v.


Maria Paz Galela Marinay that:

To be sure, a petition for correction or cancellation of an entry in the civil


registry cannot substitute for an action to invalidate a marriage. A direct action is
necessary to prevent circumvention of the substantive and procedural safeguards
of marriage under the Family Code, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC and other related laws.
Among these safeguards are the requirement of proving the limited grounds for

31
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
the dissolution of marriage, support pendente lite of the spouses and children, the
liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and the
investigation of the public prosecutor to determine collusion. A direct action for
declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage is also necessary to prevent
circumvention of the jurisdiction of the Family Courts under the Family Courts Act
of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8369), as a petition for cancellation or correction of
entries in the civil registry may be filed in the Regional Trial Court where the
corresponding civil registry is located. In other words, a Filipino citizen cannot
dissolve his marriage by the mere expedient of changing his entry of marriage in
the civil registry.

However, in this case, the entries made in the wife portion of the certificate
of marriage are admittedly the personal circumstances of respondent. The latter
claims that her signature was forged and she was not the one who contracted
marriage with the purported husband. In other words, she claims that no such
marriage was entered into or if there was, she was not the one who entered into
such contract. It must be recalled that when respondent tried to obtain a
CENOMAR from the NSO, it appeared that she was married to a certain Ye Son
Sune. She then sought the cancellation of entries in the wife portion of the
marriage certificate.

Aside from the certificate of marriage, no such evidence was presented to


show the existence of marriage. Rather, respondent showed by overwhelming
evidence that no marriage was entered into and that she was not even aware of
such existence. The testimonial and documentary evidence clearly established
that the only "evidence" of marriage which is the marriage certificate was a
forgery. While we maintain that Rule 108 cannot be availed of to determine the
validity of marriage, we cannot nullify the proceedings before the trial court
where all the parties had been given the opportunity to contest the allegations of
respondent; the procedures were followed, and all the evidence of the parties had
already been admitted and examined. Respondent indeed sought, not the
nullification of marriage as there was no marriage to speak of, but the correction
of the record of such marriage to reflect the truth as set forth by the evidence.
Otherwise stated, in allowing the correction of the subject certificate of marriage
by cancelling the wife portion thereof, the trial court did not, in any way, declare
the marriage void as there was no marriage to speak of. The Supreme Court
denied the petition due to lack of merit.

DOCTRINE:

In correction of entries, the Court has repeatedly ruled that "even


substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected through a petition filed
under Rule 108, with the true facts established and the parties aggrieved by the
error availing themselves of the appropriate adversarial proceeding." An
appropriate adversary suit or proceeding is one where the trial court has
conducted proceedings where all relevant facts have been fully and properly
developed, where opposing counsel have been given opportunity to demolish the
opposite party‘s case, and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed and
considered.

Procedural requirement in special proceedings, formal pleadings and a


hearing may be dispensed with, and the remedy granted upon mere application
or motion. However, a special proceeding is not always summary. The procedure
laid down in Rule 108 is not a summary proceeding per se. It requires publication

32
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
of the petition; it mandates the inclusion as parties of all persons who may claim
interest which would be affected by the cancellation or correction; it also requires
the civil registrar and any person in interest to file their opposition, if any; and it
states that although the court may make orders expediting the proceedings, it is
after hearing that the court shall either dismiss the petition or issue an order
granting the same. Thus, as long as the procedural requirements in Rule 108 are
followed, it is the appropriate adversary proceeding to effect substantial
corrections and changes in entries of the civil register.

G.R. No. 197174


September 10, 2014
FRANCLER P. ONDE, Petitioner,
vs.
THE OFFICE OF THE LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRATION OF LAS PIÑAS
CITY, Respondent.

Nasalga, Jose Marie

Facts:

33
SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
The petitioner filed before the RTC of Las Pinas impleading the Office of
Civil Registrar of Las Pinas for the correction of some entries in his birth certificate
as follows, parent‘s status as married to not married, correction of mother‘s name
from Tely to Matilde, and his name from Fran Cler to Francler. The RTC dismissed
the petition for correction of entries on the ground that it is insufficient in form and
substance. It ruled that the proceedings must be adversarial since the first
correction is substantial in nature and would affect petitioner‘s status as a
legitimate child.

Issue:

Whether or not substantial changes under Rule 108 of Rules of court is


applicable to the petitioner.

Ruling:

The Supreme Court held in negative. The court agrees with the RTC in
ruling that correcting the entry on petitioner‘s birth certificate that his parents
were married on December 23, 1983 in Bicol to "not married" is a substantial
correction requiring adversarial proceedings. Said correction is substantial as it
will affect his legitimacy and convert him from a legitimate child to an illegitimate
one.
In Republic v. Uy, it was held that corrections of entries in the civil register
including those on citizenship, legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of
marriage, involve substantial alterations. Substantial errors in a civil registry may
be corrected and the true facts established provided the parties aggrieved by the
error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceedings.

Doctrine:

Corrections of entries in the civil register including those on citizenship,


legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage involve substantial
alterations. Substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected and the true
facts established provided the parties aggrieved by the error avail themselves of
the appropriate adversary proceedings.

Petition seeking a substantial correction of an entry in a civil register must


implead as parties to the proceedings not only the local civil registrar, as
petitioner did in the dismissed petition for correction of entries, but also all
persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected by the correction.
This is required by Section 3, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.

34