Leave a comment

Macadangdang vs. Court of Appeals; G.R. No. L-49542 September 12, 1980 – a case digest

judgmentThis petition for review seeks to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. No. 54618-R which reversed the decision of the Court of First Instance of Davao, Branch IX dismissing the action for recognition and support filed by respondent Elizabeth Mejias against petitioner Antonio Macadangdang, and which found minor Rolando to be the illegitimate son of petitioner who was ordered to give a monthly support of P350.00 until his alleged son reaches the age of majority. Elizabeth Mejias is married to Crispin Anahaw. Sometime in March 1967 she allegedly had intercourse with Antonio Macadangdang. Elizabeth alleges that due to the affair, she and her husband separated in 1967. On October 30, 1967 (7 months or 210 days after the illicit encounter) – she gave birth to a baby boy who was named Rolando Macadangdang in baptismal rites held on December 24, 1967. On April 25, 1972, Elizabeth filed a complaint for recognition and support against Rolando. On June 30, 1972, Rolando file his answer opposing Elizabeth’s claim and praying for its dismissal. On August 9, 1972, the lower court issued a Pre-trial Order formalizing certain stipulations, admissions and factual issues on which both parties agreed and on February 27, 1973, the lower court dismissed the complaint. The decision invoked positive provisions of the Civil Code and Rules of Court and authorities. On June 2, 1978, the CA reversed the decision of the lower court. They ruled that minor Rolando to be an illegitimate son of Antonio Macadangdang. A motion for reconsideration was filed but was denied by CA.

Issue:

Whether or not the child Rolando is conclusively presumed the legitimate child of the spouses Elizabeth Mejias and Crispin Anahaw.

Held:

YES. Under Article 255 of the civil code, legitimacy of a child is defined as Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.  The child Rolando is conclusively presumed to be the legitimate son of Elizabeth and her husband. During the initial 120 days of the 300 which preceded the birth of the child, there was no concrete or substantial proof that was presented to establish physical impossibility of access between Elizabeth and Crispin. Elizabeth and Crispin continued to live in the same province therefore there is still the possibility of access to one another. The fact that the child was born a mere seven (7) months after the initial sexual contact between Antonio and Elizabeth is another proof that the said child was not of Antonio since, from indications, Rolando came out as a normal full-term baby. The presumption of legitimacy is based on the assumption that there is sexual union in marriage, particularly during the period of conception. In order to overthrow the presumption it must be shown beyond reasonable doubt that there was no access as could have enabled the husband to be the father of the child. Sexual intercourse is to be presumed when personal access is not disproved. The policy of the law is to confer legitimacy upon children born in wedlock when access of the husband at the time of conception and there is the presumption that a child so born is the child of the husband and is legitimate even though the wife was guilty of infidelity during the possible period of conception. And it must be stressed that Rolando has no birth certificate of Baptism (attached in the List of Exhibits) which was prepared in the absence of the alleged father [petitioner]. In our jurisprudence, this Court has been more definite in its pronouncements on the value of baptismal certificates. The separation of Elizabeth and Crispin was not proven. The finding of the court of appeals that Elizabeth and Crispin were separated was based solely on the testimony of the wife which is self-serving. Elizabeth’s testimony is insufficient without further evidence. The conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmise, and conjectures and Judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. The findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court and said findings of facts are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based and when the finding of facts of the Court of Appeals is premised on the absence of evidence and is contradicted by evidence on record.

Leave a comment

Co Giok Lun vs. Jose Co; G.R. No. 184454, August 3, 2011 – a case digest

Facts:court judgment

The case involves two lots allegedly co-owned by two brothers, petitioner Co Giok Lun (Lun) and Co Bon Fieng (Fieng), and the father of respondent Jose Co (Co). The lots are situated in Sorsogon province, one in the town of Gubat and the other in the town of Barcelona. The Gubat property was allegedly acquired by Lun from the P8,000.00 capital inherited  from their father, and later named under Fieng only since it has been a common practice and custom in China that properties intended for the children are placed in the name of the eldest child. Lun and Fieng set up a business, selling and trading of dry goods, called the Philippine Honest and Company in the Gubat property.

The Barcelona property, on the other hand, was acquired by Chaco in 1923 while he was still doing his business in Gubat.

The petitioners insist that their predecessor-in-interest Lun co-owned the Gubat and Barcelona properties with his brother Fieng. To prove co-ownership over the Gubat property, petitioners presented the following:

  1. Tax declarations from 1929 to 1983 under the name of Fieng but paid by Lun;
  2. The renewal certificate from Malayan Insurance Company Inc.;
  3. The insurance contract; and
  4. The statements of account from Supreme Insurance Underwriters which named Lun as administrator of the property.

To prove their right over the Barcelona property as legal heirs under intestate succession, petitioners presented a Deed of Sale dated 24 August 1923 between Chaco, as buyer, and Gabriel Gredona and Engracia Legata, as sellers, involving a price consideration of P1,200.

On the other hand, respondents presented notarized documents: (1) Deed of Sale dated 13 October 1935, and (2) Sale of Real Property dated 6 August 1936 showing that the former owners of the Gubat property entered into a sale transaction with Fieng, as buyer and Lun, as a witness to the sale. They also presented tax declarations in the name of Fieng from 1937 to 1958. After Fieng’s death, Co declared the Gubat property in his name in the succeeding tax declarations. Likewise, the respondents presented documents proving the declaration of the Barcelona property in the name of Co.

 

Issue: Whether or not Lun and Fieng holds no co-ownership over the Gubat and Barcelona properties and Fieng is the exclusive owner of both properties.

HELD:

The CA holds that the evidence of petitioners was insufficient or immaterial to warrant a positive finding of co-ownership over the Gubat and Barcelona properties. The CA correctly observed that petitioners failed to substantiate with reasonable certainty that Chaco gave Fieng a start-up capital of P8,000 to be used by Lun and Fieng in setting up a business, and that the Philippine Honest and Company was a partnership between Lun and Fieng, and that the Deed of Sale dated 24 August 1923 involving the Barcelona property is sufficient to establish co-ownership. Also, petitioners were not able to prove the existence of the alleged Chinese custom of placing properties in the name of the eldest child as provided under Article 12 of the Civil Code. In contrast, respondents were able to show documents of sale from the original owners of the Gubat property rendering the claim of custom as immaterial. Also, respondents sufficiently established that Fieng was the registered owner of the Gubat and Barcelona properties while Lun was merely an administrator. The court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the Decision dated 23 April 2008 (ruled in favor of the respondents) and Resolution dated 10 September 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV. No. 85920 (Denied the motion for reconsideration of the Petitioners).

 

Leave a comment

Lawyers have heart

lawyer with a heart

Keep Calm, I Am Your Lawyer.

The start of reviewing and learning to pass for the bar examination is in the first day of the class in the first year of first sem. The four years of staying in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines College of Law will give me a lot of knowledge about the laws, its practices and principles that I can use in my everyday life especially in my future career in this field. As a lawyer, I will be responsible to help other people who seek legal guidance and make them feel that justices are really govern in the Philippine Republic over the money of those in the higher authority that is sometimes happen just to win their case. I am confident that the judgment of the judicial department will be fair with regard to the rights and liabilities of any person, whatever class the people came from. And one day, I will be one of the Judges who presides the hearing in court.

A lawyer must know how to balance what is right and what is wrong based in the rules and principles governing the structure and processes of societal relations especially in this generation where technology is everywhere. We see and hear the news that are sometimes we do not know it’s true meaning and sometimes misleading to the reality. The media has a powerful influence to our citizen. A lawyer or judge must know how to handle this.

“The rich have far greater chances than the poor of obtaining better-constructed cases.”

In the Philippines, some Filipinos cannot afford a lawyer who can support, serve, and give legal advise through legal guidance. As a lawyer in the future, I will be the one who will work in the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) so that I will give my full support for the people who needs assistance in legal process. I will possess those qualities and get a mastery to the profession through my learning process in studying law and to perform my goal in my future career.

The legal profession is a continuous learning process and through that process, I will make laws for the benefit of everyone and for the country wherein for our next generations will benefit for good.