You are on page 1of 29

Romero vs. CAGR. No.

188921, April 18, 2012


Facts:
On 1974, when Judge Romero died his wife, Aurora was appointed as legal
guardian. During the pendency of Settlement Proceedings of the estate
of their deceased father, Leo and David Romero filed a Complaint for
Annulment of Sale, Nullification of Title, and Conveyance of Title against their
mother Aurora C. Romero and brother Vittorio C. Romero alleging that their
brother Vittorio through fraud, misrepresentation and duress succeeded in
registering the several properties in his name through of Deeds of Sale
executed by their mother, Aurora. The RTC dismissed the complaint.
Likewise, the RTC denied their MR, citing Section 3, Rule 87 of the Rules of
Court which bars an heir or a devisee from maintaining an action to recover
the title or possession of lands until such lands have actually been assigned.
The court ruled that plaintiffs must first cause the termination of settlement
proceedings to its logical conclusion before their case could be entertained
by the Court. Leo and David filed Petition for Certiorari before the CA alleging
grave abuse of discretion in the Resolutions issued by the RTC of Lingayen,
Pangasinan. The CA dismissed the petition. Petitioners assert that the
jurisdiction of the RTC sitting as a probate or intestate court relates only to
matters having to do with the settlement of the estate of deceased persons
or the appointment of executors, but does not extend to the determination of
questions of ownership that arise during the proceedings. Hence this appeal.
Issue:
Whether or not a separate civil action for annulment of sale and
reconveyance of title, despite the pendency of the settlement proceedings
for the estate of the late Judge Dante Y. Romero may prosper.
Ruling :
NO. S e c t i o n 3 , Ru l e 8 7 b a r s p e t i t i o n e r s f ro m fi l i n g t h e p re s e n t
action.
The said provision states that:
Sec. 3. Heir may not sue until share assigned. When an executor or
administrator is appointed and assumes the trust, no action to recover the
title or possession of lands or for damages done to such lands shall be
maintained against him by an heir or devisee until there is an order of the
court assigning such lands to such heir or devisee or until the time allowed
for paying debts has expired.

Rhonda Vivares vs St. Theresas College


Remedial Law Special Proceedings Writ of Habeas Data
FACTS: January 2012, Angela Tan, a high school student at St. Theresas
College (STC), uploaded on Facebook several pictures of her and her
classmates (Nenita Daluz and Julienne Suzara) wearing only their
undergarments.
Thereafter, some of their classmates reported said photos to their teacher,
Mylene Escudero. Escudero, through her students, viewed and downloaded
said pictures. She showed the said pictures to STCs Discipline-in-Charge for
appropriate action.
Later, STC found Tan et al to have violated the students handbook and
banned them from marching in their graduation ceremonies scheduled in
March 2012.
The issue went to court but despite a TRO (temporary restraining order)
granted by the Cebu RTC enjoining the school from barring the students in
the graduation ceremonies, STC still barred said students.
Subsequently, Rhonda Vivares, mother of Nenita, and the other mothers filed
a petition for the issuance of the writ of habeas data against the school. They
argued, among others, that:
1. The privacy setting of their childrens Facebook accounts was set at
Friends Only. They, thus, have a reasonable expectation of privacy which
must be respected.
2. The photos accessed belong to the girls and, thus, cannot be used and
reproduced without their consent. Escudero, however, violated their rights by
saving digital copies of the photos and by subsequently showing them to
STCs officials. Thus, the Facebook accounts of the children were intruded
upon;

3. The intrusion into the Facebook accounts, as well as the copying of


information, data, and digital images happened at STCs Computer
Laboratory;
They prayed that STC be ordered to surrender and deposit with the court all
soft and printed copies of the subject data and have such data be
declared illegally obtained in violation of the childrens right to privacy.
The Cebu RTC eventually denied the petition. Hence, this appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petition for writ of habeas data is proper.
HELD: Yes, it is proper but in this case, it will not prosper.
Contrary to the arguments of STC, the Supreme Court ruled that:
1. The petition for writ of habeas data can be availed of even if this is not a
case of extralegal killing or enforced disappearance; and
2. The writ of habeas data can be availed of against STC even if it is not an
entity engaged in the business of gathering, collecting, or storing data or
information regarding the person, family, home and correspondence of the
aggrieved party.
First, the Rule on Habeas Data does not state that it can be applied only in
cases of extralegal killings or enforced disappearances. Second, nothing in
the Rule would suggest that the habeas data protection shall be available
only against abuses of a person or entity engaged in the business of
gathering, storing, and collecting of data.

G.R. No. 210636, July 28, 2014, MA. HAZELINA A. TUJAN-MILITANTE


IN BEHALF OF THE MINOR CRISELDA M. CADA, PETITIONER, VS.
RAQUEL M. CADA-DEAPERA, RESPONDENT.
Raquel filed a petition for habeas corpus before the Regional Trial Court of
Caloocan City against Ma. Hazelina, to compel her to produce before the
court her biological daughter, minor Criselda, and to return to her the
custody of the child. In her petition, she indicated three addresses of Ma.

Hazelina: her residence at Novaliches, Quezon City; one in Kamias, Quezon


City, and her office at the Office of the Ombudsman. The writ was issued but
service thereof was unsuccessful, although the sheriff left copies of the writ.
Ma. Hazelina did not attend the hearing. In the meantime, Ma. Hazelina filed
a petition for guardianship over Criselda, which Raquel opposed due to the
pendency of the habeas corpus case. The QC RTC dismissed the case, hence
Raquel filed a case for kidnapping against Ma. Hazelina before the Office of
the City Prosecutor of Quezon City. Upon request of Raquel, the Caloocan RTC
issued an alias writ of habeas corpus, which was served on Ma. Hazelina
during the preliminary investigation before the Office of the City Prosecutor
of Quezon City of the kidnapping case. By way of special appearance, Ma.
Hazelina moved for quashal of the writ, arguing that she was not personally
served summons thus the Caloocan RTC had no jurisdiction over her. The
Caloocan RTC denied her omnibus motion, citing that as the habeas corpus
petition is an extra-ordinary remedy, service of the writ is comparable to
service of summons; the same need not be served at her address but
anywhere she may be found as log as the same was served upon her by an
authorised person, in this case the sheriff.
On appeal to the Court of Appeals, her appeal was again denied. According
to the CA, jurisdiction was properly laid in the petition. Likewise, 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. Thus, Ma. Hazelina appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing in
the main that the Caloocan RTC had no jurisdiction in the habeas corpus
case, and the writ issued by the Caloocan RTC cannot be enforced in Quezon
City.

The Supreme Court:


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
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. (emphasis added)
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.
On this point, Section 13 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (BP 129), otherwise
known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, finds relevance. Said
provision, which contains the enumeration of judicial regions in the
country,states:
Section 13. Creation of Regional Trial Courts. There are hereby created
thirteen Regional Trial Courts, one for each of the following judicial regions:
xxxx
The National Capital Judicial Region, consisting of the cities of Manila,
Quezon, Pasay, Caloocan and Mandaluyong, and the municipalities of
Navotas, Malabon, San Juan, Makati, Pasig, Pateros, Taguig, Marikina,
Paraaque, Las Pias, Muntinlupa, and Valenzuela.(emphasis ours)
In view of the afore-quoted provision,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 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 petitioners insistence on the application of Section 3 of A.M. No. 0304-04-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.(emphasis added)
Lastly, as regards petitioners 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.
G.R. No. 197174, September 10, 2014, FRANCLER P. ONDE,
PETITIONER, VS. THE OFFICE OF THE LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF LAS
PIAS CITY, RESPONDENT
Francler filed a petition for correction of entries in his Certificate of Live Birth,
under Rule 108, to correct the following entries: 1) on the Entry pertaining to
the Date and Place of Marriage of Parents, from December 23, 1983, Bicol
to Not Married; 2) First Name Of Mother, from Tely to Matilde; and, 3)
First Name, from Franc Ler to Francler).
His petition, however, only impleaded the Office of the Civil Registrar of Las
Pinas as sole respondent. The Regional Trial Court dismissed his petition,
noting that the first correction (the date and place of marriage of parents)
are substantial corrections, while the other corrections maybe made before
the City Civil Registry under Republic Act 9048. Francler moved to
reconsider, but the RTC denied it, hence he filed a petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 to assail the ruling of the RTC.
The Supreme Court:

On the first issue, we agree with the RTC that the first name of petitioner
and his mother as appearing in his birth certificate can be corrected by the
city civil registrar under R.A. No. 9048. We note that petitioner no longer
contested the RTCs ruling on this point.[4] Indeed, under Section 1 of R.A.
No. 9048, clerical or typographical errors on entries in a civil register can be
corrected and changes of first name can be done by the concerned city civil
registrar without need of a judicial order. Aforesaid Section 1, as amended
by R.A. No. 10172, now reads:
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, the day and month in the date of
birth or sex of a person where it is patently clear that there was a clerical or
typographical error or mistake in the entry, 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. (Emphasis supplied.)
In Silverio v. Republic, we held that under R.A. No. 9048, jurisdiction over
applications for change of first name is now primarily lodged with
administrative officers. The intent and effect of said 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. The remedy and the proceedings regulating
change of first name are primarily administrative in nature, not judicial. In
Republic v. Cagandahan, we said that under R.A. No. 9048, the correction of
clerical or typographical errors can now be made through administrative
proceedings and without the need for a judicial order. The law removed from
the ambit of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court the correction of clerical or
typographical errors. Thus petitioner can avail of this administrative remedy
for the correction of his and his mothers first name.
On the second issue, we also agree with the RTC in ruling that correcting the
entry on petitioners 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, we 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.

On the third issue, we likewise affirm the RTC in dismissing the petition for
correction of entries. As mentioned, petitioner no longer contested the RTC
ruling that the correction he sought on his and his mothers first name can
be done by the city civil registrar. Under the circumstances, we are
constrained to deny his prayer that the petition for correction of entries
before the RTC be reinstated since the same petition includes the correction
he sought on his and his mothers first name.
We clarify, however, that the RTCs dismissal is without prejudice. As we
said, petitioner can avail of the administrative remedy for the correction of
his and his mothers first name. He can also file a new petition before the
RTC to correct the alleged erroneous entry on his birth certificate that his
parents were married on December 23, 1983 in Bicol. This substantial
correction is allowed under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. As we reiterated
in Eleosida v. Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City:
x x x This is our ruling in Republic vs. Valencia where we held that even
substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected and the true facts
established under Rule 108 [of the Rules of Court] provided the parties
aggrieved by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary
proceeding. x x x
xxxx
It is true in the case at bar that the changes sought to be made by petitioner
are not merely clerical or harmless errors but substantial ones as they would
affect the status of the marriage between petitioner and Carlos Borbon, as
well as the legitimacy of their son, Charles Christian. Changes of such
nature, however, are now allowed under Rule 108 in accordance with our
ruling in Republic vs. Valencia provided that the appropriate procedural
requirements are complied with. x x x (Emphasis supplied.)
We also stress that a 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:
SEC. 3. Parties. When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil
register is sought, the civil registrar and all persons who have or claim any
interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties to the
proceeding. (Emphasis supplied.)

In Eleosida, we cited Section 3, and Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 108 of the Rules
of Court, as the procedural requirements laid down by the Court to make the
proceedings under Rule 108 adversary. In Republic v. Uy, we have similarly
ruled 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 the Rules of Court is
mandated. Thus, in his new petition, petitioner should at least implead his
father and mother as parties since the substantial correction he is seeking
will also affect them.

[G.R. No. 156407. January 15, 2014.]


THELMA M. ARANAS, petitioner, vs. TERESITA V. MERCADO, FELIMON
V. MERCADO, CARMENCITA M. SUTHERLAND, RICHARD V. MERCADO,
MA. TERESITA M. ANDERSON, and FRANKLIN L. MERCADO,
respondents.
FACTS:
Emigdio S. Mercado (Emigdio) died intestate on January 12, 1991,
survived by his second wife, Teresita V. Mercado (Teresita), and their five
children, namely: Allan V. Mercado, Felimon V. Mercado, Carmencita M.
Sutherland, Richard V. Mercado, and Maria Teresita M. Anderson; and his two
children by his first marriage, namely: respondent Franklin L. Mercado and
petitioner Thelma M. Aranas (Thelma).
Emigdio inherited and acquired real properties during his lifetime. He
owned corporate shares in Mervir Realty Corporation (Mervir Realty) and
Cebu Emerson Transportation Corporation (Cebu Emerson). He assigned his
real properties in exchange for corporate stocks of Mervir Realty, and sold his
real property in Badian, Cebu (Lot 3353 covered by Transfer Certificate of
Title No. 3252) to Mervir Realty.
Thelma filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City a petition for
the appointment of Teresita as the administrator of Emigdio's estate. The RTC
granted the petition considering that there was no opposition. The letters of
administration in favor of Teresita.
As the administrator, Teresita submitted an inventory of the estate of
Emigdio for the consideration and approval by the RTC. She indicated in the
inventory that at the time of his death, Emigdio had "left no real properties
but only personal properties" worth P6,675,435.25 in all, consisting of cash
of P32,141.20; furniture and fixtures worth P20,000.00; pieces of jewelry

valued at P15,000.00; 44,806 shares of stock of Mervir Realty worth


P6,585,585.80; and 30 shares of stock of Cebu Emerson worth P22,708.25.
Claiming that Emigdio had owned other properties that were excluded
from the inventory, Thelma moved that the RTC direct Teresita to amend the
inventory, and to be examined regarding it. Teresita filed a compliance with
the order of January 8, 1993, 3 supporting her inventory with copies of three
certificates of stocks covering the 44,806 Mervir Realty shares of stock; 4 the
deed of assignment executed by Emigdio on January 10, 1991 involving real
properties with the market value of P4,440,651.10 in exchange for 44,407
Mervir Realty shares of stock with total par value of P4,440,700.00; 5 and the
certificate of stock issued on January 30, 1979 for 300 shares of stock of
Cebu Emerson worth P30,000.00.
Thelma again moved to require Teresita to be examined under oath on
the inventory. The RTC issued an order expressing the need for the parties to
present evidence and for Teresita to be examined to enable the court to
resolve the motion for approval of the inventory. Thelma opposed the
approval of the inventory, and asked leave of court to examine Teresita on
the inventory.
The RTC issued on March 14, 2001 an order finding and holding that
the inventory submitted by Teresita had excluded properties that should be
included. The RTC denied the administratrix's motion for approval of
inventory and orders the said administratrix to re-do the inventory of
properties which are supposed to constitute as the estate of the late Emigdio
S. Mercado. The RTC also directed the administratrix to render an account of
her administration of the estate of the late Emigdio S. Mercado which had
come to her possession.
Teresita, joined by other heirs of Emigdio, timely sought the
reconsideration of the order of March 14, 2001 on the ground that one of the
real properties affected, Lot No. 3353 located in Badian, Cebu, had already
been sold to Mervir Realty,
On appeal, the CA reversed the RTC decision insofar as the inclusion of
the inclusion of parcels of land known as Lot No. 3353 located at Badian,
Cebu with an area of 53,301 square meters subject matter of the Deed of
Absolute Sale dated November 9, 1989 and the various parcels of land
subject matter of the Deeds of Assignment dated February 17, 1989 and
January 10, 1991 in the revised inventory to be submitted by the
administratrix is concerned.
ISSUE:
Whether or not he RTC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction in directing the inclusion of certain properties

in the inventory notwithstanding that such properties had been either


transferred by sale or exchanged for corporate shares in Mervir Realty by the
decedent during his lifetime?
RULING: No. The CA's conclusion of grave abuse of discretion on the part of
the RTC was unwarranted and erroneous.
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition for review on certiorari;
REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision promulgated on May 15, 2002;
REINSTATES the orders issued on March 14, 2001 and May 18, 2001 by the
Regional Trial Court in Cebu; DIRECTS the Regional Trial Court in Cebu to
proceed with dispatch in Special Proceedings No. 3094-CEB entitled Intestate
Estate of the late Emigdio Mercado, Thelma Aranas, petitioner, and to
resolve the case; and ORDERS the respondents to pay the costs of suit.
RATIO:
The probate court is authorized to determine the issue of ownership of
properties for purposes of their inclusion or exclusion from the inventory to
be submitted by the administrator, but its determination shall only be
provisional unless the interested parties are all heirs of the decedent, or the
question is one of collation or advancement, or the parties consent to the
assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third parties
are not impaired. Its jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or collateral to
the settlement and distribution of the estate, such as the determination of
the status of each heir and whether property included in the inventory is the
conjugal or exclusive property of the deceased spouse.
Under Section 6 (a), Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, the letters of
administration may be granted at the discretion of the court to the surviving
spouse, who is competent and willing to serve when the person dies
intestate. Upon issuing the letters of administration to the surviving spouse,
the RTC becomes duty-bound to direct the preparation and submission of the
inventory of the properties of the estate, and the surviving spouse, as the
administrator, has the duty and responsibility to submit the inventory within
three months from the issuance of letters of administration pursuant to Rule
83 of the Rules of Court, viz.:
Section 1. Inventory and appraisal to be returned
within three months. Within three (3) months after
his appointment every executor or administrator
shall return to the court a true inventory and
appraisal of all the real and personal estate of the
deceased which has come into his possession or
knowledge. In the appraisement of such estate, the
court may order one or more of the inheritance tax
appraisers to give his or their assistance.

The usage of the word all in Section 1, supra, demands the inclusion of
all the real and personal properties of the decedent in the inventory.
However, the word all is qualified by the phrase which has come into his
possession or knowledge, which signifies that the properties must be known
to the administrator to belong to the decedent or are in her possession as
the administrator. Section 1 allows no exception, for the phrase true
inventory implies that no properties appearing to belong to the decedent can
be excluded from the inventory, regardless of their being in the possession of
another person or entity.
The objective of the Rules of Court in requiring the inventory and
appraisal of the estate of the decedent is "to aid the court in revising the
accounts and determining the liabilities of the executor or the administrator,
and in malting a final and equitable distribution (partition) of the estate and
otherwise to facilitate the administration of the estate." Hence, the RTC that
presides over the administration of an estate is vested with wide discretion
on the question of what properties should be included in the inventory.
According to Peralta v. Peralta, the CA cannot impose its judgment in order to
supplant that of the RTC on the issue of which properties are to be included
or excluded from the inventory in the absence of "positive abuse of
discretion," for in the administration of the estates of deceased persons, "the
judges enjoy ample discretionary powers and the appellate courts should not
interfere with or attempt to replace the action taken by them, unless it be
shown that there has been a positive abuse of discretion." As long as the RTC
commits no patently grave abuse of discretion, its orders must be respected
as part of the regular performance of its judicial duty.
There is no dispute that the jurisdiction of the trial court as an intestate
court is special and limited. The trial court cannot adjudicate title to
properties claimed to be a part of the estate but are claimed to belong to
third parties by title adverse to that of the decedent and the estate, not by
virtue of any right of inheritance from the decedent. All that the trial court
can do regarding said properties is to determine whether or not they should
be included in the inventory of properties to be administered by the
administrator. Such determination is provisional and may be still revised. As
the Court said in Agtarap v. Agtarap:
The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court, either as a
probate court or an intestate court, relates only to matters having to do with
the probate of the will and/or settlement of the estate of deceased persons,
but does not extend to the determination of questions of ownership that
arise during the proceedings. The patent rationale for this rule is that such
court merely exercises special and limited jurisdiction. As held in several
cases, a probate court or one in charge of estate proceedings, whether
testate or intestate, cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties
claimed to be a part of the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside
parties, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the deceased but by

title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate. All that the said court
could do as regards said properties is to determine whether or not they
should be included in the inventory of properties to be administered by the
administrator. If there is no dispute, there poses no problem, but if there is,
then the parties, the administrator, and the opposing parties have to resort
to an ordinary action before a court exercising general jurisdiction for a final
determination of the conflicting claims of title.
However, this general rule is subject to exceptions as justified by
expediency and convenience.
The probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate or a
testate proceeding the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the
inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to final determination of
ownership in a separate action. Second, if the interested parties are all heirs
to the estate, or the question is one of collation or advancement, or the
parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and
the rights of third parties are not impaired, then the probate court is
competent to resolve issues on ownership. Verily, its jurisdiction extends to
matters incidental or collateral to the settlement and distribution of the
estate, such as the determination of the status of each heir and whether the
property in the inventory is conjugal or exclusive property of the deceased
spouse.
The inventory of the estate of Emigdio must be prepared and
submitted for the important purpose of resolving the difficult issues of
collation and advancement to the heirs. Article 1061 of the Civil Code
required every compulsory heir and the surviving spouse, herein Teresita
herself, to "bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he
(or she) may have received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the
latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may
be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the
account of the partition." Section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court also
provided that any advancement by the decedent on the legitime of an heir
"may be heard and determined by the court having jurisdiction of the estate
proceedings, and the final order of the court thereon shall be binding on the
person raising the questions and on the heir." Rule 90 thereby expanded the
special and limited jurisdiction of the RTC as an intestate court about the
matters relating to the inventory of the estate of the decedent by authorizing
it to direct the inclusion of properties donated or bestowed by gratuitous title
to any compulsory heir by the decedent.
The determination of which properties should be excluded from or
included in the inventory of estate properties was well within the authority
and discretion of the RTC as an intestate court. In making its determination,
the RTC acted with circumspection, and proceeded under the guiding policy
that it was best to include all properties in the possession of the

administrator or were known to the administrator to belong to Emigdio rather


than to exclude properties that could turn out in the end to be actually part
of the estate. As long as the RTC commits no patent grave abuse of
discretion, its orders must be respected as part of the regular performance of
its judicial duty. Grave abuse of discretion means either that the judicial or
quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by
reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal
or board evaded a positive duty, or virtually refused to perform the duty
enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when such judge, tribunal
or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or
whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.

G.R. No. 189538, February 10, 2014, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,


PETITIONER, VS. MERLINDA L. OLAYBAR, RESPONDENT.
Merlinda wants to marry her boyfriend of five years, so she secured a
Certificate of No Marriage from the NSO. To her dismay, she discovered that
she was married to Korean national Ye Son Sune on June 24, 2002 at the
MTCC of Cebu. Thus she filed a petition for cancellation of entries in the
marriage certificate especially the entries in the wife portion thereof. In
support of her petition, she presented herself and Eufrocina, an employee of
the MTCC. Merlina testified that she could not have entered into a valid
marriage with Yo because at the time of the solemnisation of the marriage,
she was then in Makati working as a medical distributor. She did not know
her supposed husband, but knew the witnesses named therein because she
worked in a pension house. She believed that her name was used by a
certain Johnny, who owned a travel agency, when she gave her personal
circumstances to him when she applied for a passport. Eufrocina attested
that the marriage was indeed celebrated inside their office at the MTCC, but
claimed that the wife who appeared was definitely not Merlinda. A document
examiner also appeared and testified that the signature appearing in the
marriage contract was forged.
The Regional Trial Court granted Merlindas petition. The Office of the
Solicitor General moved to reconsider the order, but the same was denied by
the RTC, hence, the OSG elevated the case to the Supreme Court on pure
question of law. According to the OSG, the grant of the petition by the OSG is
tantamount to a declaration of nullity of marriage of Merlinda, which should
be done in an adversarial proceeding, not a Rule 108 petition. The petition
filed by Merlinda was therefore an action for declaration of nullity of
marriage, in the guise of a Rule 108 petition.The Supreme Court:
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court provides the procedure for cancellation
or correction of entries in the civil registry. The proceedings may either be
summary or adversary. If the correction is clerical, then the procedure to be

adopted is summary. If the rectification affects the civil status, citizenship or


nationality of a party, it is deemed substantial, and the procedure to be
adopted is adversary. Since the promulgation of Republic v. Valencia[19] in
1986, 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 partys case, and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed
and considered.
It is true that in special proceedings, formal pleadings and a hearing
may be dispensed with, and the remedy [is] 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 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.
In this case, the entries made in the wife portion of the certificate of
marriage are admittedly the personal circumstances of respondent. The
latter, however, 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.
In filing the petition for correction of entry under Rule 108, respondent
made the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City, as well as her alleged husband Ye
Son Sune, as parties-respondents. It is likewise undisputed that the
procedural requirements set forth in Rule 108 were complied with. The Office
of the Solicitor General was likewise notified of the petition which in turn
authorized the Office of the City Prosecutor to participate in the proceedings.
More importantly, trial was conducted where respondent herself, the
stenographer of the court where the alleged marriage was conducted, as well
as a document examiner, testified. Several documents were also considered
as evidence. With the testimonies and other evidence presented, the trial

court found that the signature appearing in the subject marriage certificate
was different from respondents signature appearing in some of her
government issued identification cards. The court thus made a categorical
conclusion that respondents signature in the marriage certificate was not
hers and, therefore, was forged. Clearly, it was established that, as she
claimed in her petition, no such marriage was celebrated.
Indeed the Court made a pronouncement in the recent case of Minoru
Fujiki v. Maria Paz Galela Marinay, Shinichi Maekara, Local Civil Registrar of
Quezon City, and the Administrator and Civil Registrar General of the
National Statistics Office 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. 02-11-10SC and other related laws. Among these safeguards are the requirement of
proving the limited grounds for 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.
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.

FIRST DIVISION, G.R. No. 195432, August 27, 2014, EDELINA T.


ANDO, PETITIONER, VS. DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
RESPONDENT
Edelina, formerly married to Yuchiro, was divorced by the latter in
accordance with Japanese law. In her belief that the divorce decree which
was annotated before the Civil Registry of Manila entitled her to marry
another, she married Masatomi Ando, another Japanese national. After her
marriage, she applied for a Philippine passport before the Department of
Foreign Affairs using her new married name, Edelina Ando; however, she was
advised that until such time that a valid court decision was issued
recognising her marriage to Masatomi Ando, her request for a new passport
under the name shall be denied. Hence, Edelina filed a special civil action for
Declaratory Relief, impleading the DFA, praying that her marriage with
Masatomi Ando be recognised as valid, declare her as entitled to a new
passport; and the DFA be compelled to issue a new passport under the name
Edelina Ando.
The RTC dismissed the case, ruling that though Yuchiro, her first husband,
divorced Edelina, the latter should first file a petition for recognition of her
divorce decree, hence she is not entitled to declaratory relief; besides, she
has another remedy which she can avail, that is, by filing a petition for
judicial recognition of her marriage, which the RTC cannot grant as it is not a
family court. On motion for reconsideration filed by Edelina, the court
reconsidered its decisions and granted her prayer that it be assigned to a
family court. When the case was assigned to the family court, the latter still
dismissed the petition ruling that admittedly, the marriage sought to be
declared valid by Edelina was her second marriage which is bigamous since
her divorce with Yuchiro had not yet been recognised by a Philippine court.
Further, Edelinas allegation of Sec. 2 (a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC is
misplaced. The fact that no judicial declaration of nullity of her marriage with
Ando was rendered does not make the same valid because such declaration
under Article 40 of the Family Code is applicable only in case of re-marriage.
More importantly, the absence of a judicial declaration of nullity of marriage
is not even a requisite to make a marriage valid.
Her motion for reconsideration denied, Edelina went directly to the Supreme
Court on pure question of law, assailing the dismissal of her action for
declaratory relief. According to her, under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, it is only the
husband or wife who is authorised to file an annulment of marriage; the
State is not allowed to file a direct attack on a marriage, much less entitled
to a collateral attack on her marriage with Masatomi, as the RTC did in her
case. Even assuming that a court judgment is necessary for her re-marriage,
the same is a mere irregularity in the issuance of the marriage license which
does not affect the validity of her marriage to Ando. In its comment, the DFA

thru the Office of the Solicitor General averred that Edelina should have first
filed an appeal with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs on the denial of her
passport application, thus she failed to exhaust administrative remedies.
The Supreme Court:
First, with respect to her prayer to compel the DFA to issue her passport,
petitioner incorrectly filed a petition for declaratory relief before the RTC. She
should have first appealed before the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, since her
ultimate entreaty was to question the DFAs refusal to issue a passport to her
under her second husbands name.
Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 8239, which was
adopted on 25 February 1997, the following are the additional documentary
requirements before a married woman may obtain a passport under the
name of her spouse:
SECTION 2. The issuance of passports to married, divorced or widowed
women shall be made in accordance with the following provisions:
a) In case of a woman who is married and who decides to adopt the surname
of her husband pursuant to Art. 370 of Republic Act No. 386, she must
present the original or certified true copy of her marriage contract, and one
photocopy thereof.
In addition thereto, a Filipino who contracts marriage in the Philippines to a
foreigner, shall be required to present a Certificate of Attendance in a
Guidance and Counselling Seminar conducted by the CFO when applying for
a passport for the first time.
b) In case of annulment of marriage, the applicant must present a certified
true copy of her annotated Marriage Contract or Certificate of Registration
and the Court Order effecting the annulment.
c) In case of a woman who was divorced by her alien husband, she must
present a certified true copy of the Divorce Decree duly authenticated by the
Philippine Embassy or consular post which has jurisdiction over the place
where the divorce is obtained or by the concerned foreign diplomatic or
consular mission in the Philippines.
When the divorcee is a Filipino Muslim, she must present a certified true copy
of the Divorce Decree or a certified true copy of the Certificate of Divorce
from the Shariah Court or the OCRG.
d) In the event that marriage is dissolved by the death of the husband, the
applicant must present the original or certified true copy of the Death
Certificate of the husband or the Declaration of Presumptive Death by a Civil
or Shariah Court, in which case the applicant may choose to continue to use
her husbands surname or resume the use of her maiden surname.
From the above provisions, it is clear that for petitioner to obtain a copy of
her passport under her married name, all she needed to present were the
following: (1) the original or certified true copy of her marriage contract and
one photocopy thereof; (2) a Certificate of Attendance in a Guidance and
Counseling Seminar, if applicable; and (3) a certified true copy of the Divorce
Decree duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or consular post that

has jurisdiction over the place where the divorce is obtained or by the
concerned foreign diplomatic or consular mission in the Philippines.
In this case, petitioner was allegedly told that she would not be issued a
Philippine passport under her second husbands name. Should her
application for a passport be denied, the remedies available to her are
provided in Section 9 of R.A. 8239, which reads thus:
Sec. 9. Appeal. Any person who feels aggrieved as a result of the
application of this Act of the implementing rules and regulations issued by
the Secretary shall have the right to appeal to the Secretary of Foreign
Affairs from whose decision judicial review may be had to the Courts in due
course.
xxx
Clearly, she should have filed an appeal with the Secretary of the DFA in the
event of the denial of her application for a passport, after having complied
with the provisions of R.A. 8239. Petitioners argument that her application
cannot be said to have been either denied, cancelled or restricted by [the
DFA], so as to make her an aggrieved party entitled to appeal, as instead
she was merely told that her passport cannot be issued, does not
persuade. The law provides a direct recourse for petitioner in the event of
the denial of her application.
xxx
Second, with respect to her prayer for the recognition of her second
marriage as valid, petitioner should have filed, instead, a petition for the
judicial recognition of her foreign divorce from her first husband.
In Garcia v. Recio, we ruled that a divorce obtained abroad by an alien may
be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided the decree is valid according to
the national law of the foreigner. The presentation solely of the divorce
decree is insufficient; both the divorce decree and the governing personal
law of the alien spouse who obtained the divorce must be proven. Because
our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign laws and judgment, our law
on evidence requires that both the divorce decree and the national law of the
alien must be alleged and proven and like any other fact.
While it has been ruled that a petition for the authority to remarry filed
before a trial court actually constitutes a petition for declaratory relief, we
are still unable to grant the prayer of petitioner. As held by the RTC, there
appears to be insufficient proof or evidence presented on record of both the
national law of her first husband, Kobayashi, and of the validity of the divorce
decree under that national law. Hence, any declaration as to the validity of
the divorce can only be made upon her complete submission of evidence
proving the divorce decree and the national law of her alien spouse, in an
action instituted in the proper forum.

CARAM VS SEGUI

Ma. Christina and Marcelino had an amorous relationship which made Ma.
Christina pregnant. She, however, did not disclose her pregnancy to
Marcelino, as she intends to put up her child for adoption by the Sun and
Moon Home for Children to avoid placing her family in a potentially
embarrassing situation. When she gave birth to Baby Julian, it was the
adoption agency who shouldered her hospital expenses. Ma. Christina then
voluntarily surrendered her child to the DSWD by way of a Deed of a
Voluntary Commitment. The DWSD, on November 27, 2009, issued a
certificate declaring Baby Julian as Legally Available for Adoption. A local
matching conference was held where Baby Julian was matched to spouses
Vergel and Filomena.
Meantime, on November 26, 2009, Marcelino died of a heart attack. During
the wake, Ma. Christina narrated that she had a baby with Marcelino and that
she gave up the baby for adoption due to financial distress and
embarrassment. Taken aback by the revelation, Marcelinos family vowed to
help Ma. Christina to recover and raise her baby. Thus, on May 5, 2010, Ma.
Christina wrote the DWSD asking that the adoption proceedings be
suspended and that she intends to take her baby back and make her family
whole again. Also, Marcelinos brother, Noel sent a letter to the DSWD,
informing them that a DNA testing is scheduled on July 16, 2010 at the UP.
The DSWD replied to Noel that they are no longer in a position to stop the
adoption process as the procedures taken to make the baby legally available
for adoption were followed to the letter. Thus, if Ma. Christina wants to take
custody of Baby Julian, she should institute appropriate legal proceedings
herself.
Thus, Ma. Christina filed a petition for issuance of a writ of amparo, alleging
that DSWD and the other respondents blackmailed her into surrendering
custody of Baby Julian to the DSWD utilising an invalid certificate of
availability for adoption which respondents allegedly used as basis to
misrepresent that all legal requisites for adoption of the minor child had been
complied with.
After several hearings, the Regional Trial Court denied the writ of amparo,
hence Ma. Christina elevated the case to the Supreme Court on pure
question of law, the issue being whether or not the writ of amparo is a proper
remedy to recover parental custody of a minor child.
The Supreme Court:

Section 1 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo provides as follows:


SECTION 1. Petition. The petition for a writ of amparo is a remedy available
to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or
threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or
employee, or of a private individual or entity.
The writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or
threats thereof.
In the landmark case of Secretary of National Defense, et al. v. Manalo, et al.,
this Court held:
[
T]he Amparo Rule was intended to address the intractable problem of
extralegal killings and enforced disappearances, its coverage, in its
present form, is confined to these two instances or to threats thereof.
Extralegal killings are killings committed without due process of law, i.e.,
without legal safeguards or judicial proceedings. On the other hand,
enforced disappearances are attended by the following characteristics: an
arrest, detention or abduction of a person by a government official or
organized groups or private individuals acting with the direct or indirect
acquiescence of the government; the refusal of the State to disclose the fate
or whereabouts of the person concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the
deprivation of liberty which places such persons outside the protection of
law.
This pronouncement on the coverage of the writ was further cemented in the
latter case of Lozada, Jr. v. Macapagal-Arroyo where this Court explicitly
declared that as it stands, the writ of amparo is confined only to cases of
extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, or to threats thereof. As to
what constitutes enforced disappearance, the Court in Navia v. Pardico
enumerated the elements constituting enforced disappearances as the
term is statutorily defined in Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 9851 to wit:
(a) that there be an arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of
liberty;
(b) that it be carried out by, or with the authorization, support or
acquiescence of, the State or a political organization;
(c) that it be followed by the State or political organizations refusal to
acknowledge or give information on the fate or whereabouts of the person
subject of the amparo petition; and,
(d) that the intention for such refusal is to remove subject person from the
protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.
In this case, Christina alleged that the respondent DSWD officers caused her

enforced separation from Baby Julian and that their action amounted to an
enforced disappearance within the context of the Amparo rule. Contrary to
her position, however, the respondent DSWD officers never concealed Baby
Julians whereabouts. In fact, Christina obtained a copy of the DSWDs May
28, 2010 Memorandum explicitly stating that Baby Julian was in the custody
of the Medina Spouses when she filed her petition before the RTC. Besides,
she even admitted in her petition for review on certiorari that the respondent
DSWD officers presented Baby Julian before the RTC during the hearing held
in the afternoon of August 5, 2010. There is therefore, no enforced
disappearance as used in the context of the Amparo rule as the third and
fourth elements are missing.
Christinas directly accusing the respondents of forcibly separating her from
her child and placing the latter up for adoption, supposedly without
complying with the necessary legal requisites to qualify the child for
adoption, clearly indicates that she is not searching for a lost child but
asserting her parental authority over the child and contesting custody over
him.
Since it is extant from the pleadings filed that what is involved is the issue of
child custody and the exercise of parental rights over a child, who, for all
intents and purposes, has been legally considered a ward of the State, the
Amparo rule cannot be properly applied.
To reiterate, the privilege of the writ of amparo is a remedy available to
victims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances or threats of a
similar nature, regardless of whether the perpetrator of the unlawful act or
omission is a public official or employee or a private individual. It is
envisioned basically to protect and guarantee the right to life, liberty and
security of persons, free from fears and threats that vitiate the quality of
life.
Petition denied.

FIRST DIVISION, G.R. No. 162692, August 26, 2015, NILO V.


CHIPONGIAN, PETITIONER, VS. VICTORIA BENITEZ-LIRIO, FEODOR
BENITEZ AGUILAR, AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, RESPONDENTS.
The Case:
Vicente was married to Isabel, Nilos sister. The spouses had no children.
Thus, when Isabel died in 1989, Vicente and Nilo executed a deed of
extrajudicial settlement with respect to Isabels estate, where Nilo waived his
rights to the estate of Isabel in favour or Vicente. The latter, in turn
executed an affidavit on the same day affirming that the waiver did not
extend to the paraphernalia properties of Isabel. When Vicente died, his
sister, Victoria, and a nephew, Feodor, initiated proceedings to settle the
estate of Vicente (SP-797). The RTC appointed Feodor the administrator of
the estate. Nilo intervened in the intestate proceedings, seeking the partial
revocation of the May 13, 1994 order to exclude the paraphernalia properties
of Isabel, citing the affidavit executed by Vicente. On June 8, 1994, he moved
that the paraphernalia properties of Isabel be excluded from Vicentes
estate. Before the RTC could rule on the motion, Nilo withdrew it, filing
instead a complaint-in-intervention. The RTC admitted the complaint-inintervention. On August 21, 1998, the RTC dismissed the complaint-inintervention. It he lad that Section 4, Rule 74 of the Rules, provides for a
limitation of 2 years after the settlement and distribution of an estate in
accordance with either Section 1 or Section 2 of the same Rule, within which
an heir or other person deprived of his lawful participation in the estate may
compel the settlement of the said estate in the Courts for the purpose of
satisfying such lawful participation. If he was indeed deprived of his lawful
share or right in his sisters estate, it comes as a surprise why it took him
more than 12 years assert the purported affidavit allegedly executed in his
favor by Vicente O. Benitez. It noted that Nilo actively participated in the
settlement of estate of Isabel, and slept on his rights.
Nilo filed a notice of appeal, but the RTC denied due course to the appeal.
On motion for reconsideration, the RTC admitted that Nilo timely filed his
appeal, but nevertheless denied it for non-perfection of the appeal due to his
failure to pay the appellate court docket fees.
Nilo then filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, assailing the denial of his
appeal for non-perfection. But the CA dismissed it, affirming the RTC order
that indeed he failed to pay the correct docket fees on time. When his

motion for reconsideration was denied, Nilo elevated the case to the
Supreme Court. He argues that the CA erred in dismissing his appeal for nonpayment of docket fees. The respondents oppose the petition because Nilo
did not file a record on appeal as mandated under Section 2(a) Rule 41 of the
Rules of Court. Nilo countered, stating that his appeal was on the order of
the RTC denying his complaint in intervention, which is not the main case,
the intestate case. Since the intervention was not an independent
proceedings but merely ancillary to the main action, the rule on multiple
appeals does not apply. The respondents argue otherwise.
The Issue:
Whether or not Nilos appeal should be given due course.
The Ruling:
The appeal lacks merit.
Intervention is a remedy by which a third party, not originally impleaded in
the proceedings, becomes a litigant therein to enable him, her or it to protect
or preserve a right or interest which may be affected by such
proceedings.1 If an intervention makes a third party a litigant in the main
proceedings, his pleading-in-intervention should form part of the main case.
Accordingly, when the petitioner intervened in Special Proceedings No. SP797, his complaint-in-intervention, once admitted by the RTC, became part of
the main case, rendering any final disposition thereof subject to the rules
specifically applicable to special proceedings, including Rule 109 of the Rules
of Court, which deals with appeals in special proceedings.
Section 1 of Rule 41 enunciates the final judgment rule by providing that an
appeal may be taken from a judgment or final order that completely
disposes of the case, or of a particular matter therein when declared by
these Rules to be appealable. In the context of the final judgment rule,
Section 1 of Rule 109 does not limit the appealable orders and judgments in
special proceedings to the final order or judgment rendered in the main case,
but extends the remedy of appeal to other orders or dispositions that
completely determine a particular matter in the case, to wit:
Rule 109. Appeals in Special Proceedings

Section 1. Orders or judgments from which appeals may be taken. An


interested person may appeal in special proceedings from an order or
judgment rendered by a Court of First Instance or a Juvenile and Domestic
Relations Court, where such order or judgment:
(a) Allows or disallows a will;
(b) Determines who are the lawful heirs of a deceased person, or the
distributive share of the estate to which such person is entitled;
(c) Allows or disallows, in whole or in part, any claim against the
estate of a deceased person, or any claim presented on behalf of
the estate in offset to a claim against it;
(d) Settles the account of an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian;
(e) Constitutes, in proceedings relating to the settlement of the
estate of a deceased person, or the administration of a trustee or
guardian, a final determination in the lower court of the rights of
the party appealing, except that no appeal shall be allowed from the
appointment of a special administrator; and
(f) Is the final order or judgment rendered in the case, and affects the
substantial rights of the person appealing, unless it be an order granting or
denying a motion for a new trial or for reconsideration.
The dismissal of the petitioners intervention constituted a final
determination in the lower court of the rights of the party appealing, that is,
his right in the paraphernal properties of his deceased sister. As such, it fell
under paragraph (c) of Section 1, supra, because it had the effect of
disallowing his claim against the estate of Vicente, as well as under
paragraph (e) of Section 1, supra, because it was a final determination in the
trial court of his intervention. Conformably with either or both paragraphs,
which are boldly underscored above for easier reference, the dismissal was
the proper subject of an appeal in due course by virtue of its nature of
completely disposing of his intervention.
The proper mode of appealing a judgment or final order in special
proceedings is by notice of appeal and record on appeal. This is pursuant to
Section 2(a), Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, viz.:

Section 2. Modes of appeal.


(a) Ordinary appeal. The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by
the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be
taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which rendered the judgment
or final order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse
party. No record on appeal shall be required except in special
proceedings and other cases of multiple or separate appeals where
the law or these Rules so require. In such cases, the record on appeal
shall be filed and served in like manner.
xxxx
Under Section 3 of Rule 41, a party who wants to appeal a judgment or final
order in special proceedings has 30 days from notice of the judgment or final
order within which to perfect an appeal because he will be filing not only a
notice of appeal but also a record on appeal that will require the approval of
the trial court with notice to the adverse party, to wit:
Section 3. Period of ordinary appeal. The appeal shall be taken within
fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final order appealed
from. Where a record on appeal is required, the appellant shall file a
notice of appeal and a record on appeal within thirty (30) days from
notice of judgment or final order. However, an appeal in habeas corpus
cases shall be taken within forty-eight (48) hours from notice of the judgment
or fmal order appealed from.
The period of appeal shall be interrupted by a timely motion for new trial or
reconsideration. No motion for extension of time to file a motion for new trial
or reconsideration shall be allowed, (n) (bold emphasis supplied)
For the petitioner, therefore, the period for perfecting the appeal by record
on appeal was 30 days from notice of the final order dismissing the
intervention. The start of the period of 30 days happened on September 18,
1998, the date when his counsel received the decision dismissing his
intervention. However, the entire time from the filing of his Motion for
Reconsideration on October 2, 1998 until his receipt of the denial of
the Motion for Reconsideration on March 18, 1999 should be deducted from
the reckoning of the period to perfect his appeal. He filed the notice of
appeal on March 19, 1999, and paid the appellate court docket fees on March
31, 1999.2 Initially, the RTC denied due course to the notice of appeal on the

ground that it had been filed beyond the reglementary period; hence, the
petitioner filed hisMotion for Reconsideration against the order denying due
course.3 On July 5, 1999, the RTC issued its order whereby it conceded that
the petitioner had timely filed the notice of appeal, but still denied theMotion
for Reconsideration on the ground that he had not perfected his appeal
because of his failure to pay the appellate court docket fees.4 Hence, he filed
a Motion to Set Aside Order, to which he appended the copies of the official
receipts of the payment of the appellate court docket fees.5 Nonetheless, on
August 13, 1999, the RTC denied the Motion to Set Aside Order, and a copy of
the order of denial was received by his counsel on August 27, 1999.6
In Lebin v. Mirasol,7 the Court has discussed the justification for requiring the
record on appeal in appeals in special proceedings, viz.:
The changes and clarifications recognize that appeal is neither a natural nor
a constitutional right, but merely statutory, and the implication of its
statutory character is that the party who intends to appeal must always
comply with the procedures and rules governing appeals, or else the right of
appeal may be lost or squandered.
As the foregoing rules further indicate, a judgment or final order in special
proceedings is appealed by record on appeal. A judgment or final order
determining and terminating a particular part is usually appealable, because
it completely disposes of a particular matter in the proceeding, unless
otherwise declared by the Rules of Court. The ostensible reason for requiring
a record on appeal instead of only a notice of appeal is the multipart nature
of nearly all special proceedings, with each part susceptible of being finally
determined and terminated independently of the other parts. An appeal by
notice of appeal is a mode that envisions the elevation of the original records
to the appellate court as to thereby obstruct the trial court in its further
proceedings regarding the other parts of the case. In contrast, the record on
appeal enables the trial court to continue with the rest of the case because
the original records remain with the trial court even as it affords to the
appellate court the full opportunity to review and decide the appealed
matter.
xxxx
The elimination of the record on appeal under Batas Pambansa Blg.
129 made feasible the shortening of the period of appeal from the original 30
days to only 15 days from notice of the judgment or final order. Section 3,

Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, retains the original 30 days as the period for
perfecting the appeal by record on appeal to take into consideration the
need for the trial court to approve the record on appeal. Within that 30-day
period a party aggrieved by a judgment or final order issued in special
proceedings should perfect an appeal by filing both a notice of appeal and a
record on appeal in the trial court, serving a copy of the notice of appeal and
a record on appeal upon the adverse party within the period; in addition, the
appealing party shall pay within the period for taking an appeal to the clerk
of court that rendered the appealed judgment or final order the full amount
of the appellate court docket and other lawful fees. A violation of these
requirements for the timely perfection of an appeal by record on appeal, or
the non-payment of the full amount of the appellate court docket and other
lawful fees to the clerk of the trial court may be a ground for the dismissal of
the appeal.8
Considering that the petitioner did not submit a record on appeal in
accordance with Section 3 of Rule 41, he did not perfect his appeal of the
judgment dismissing his intervention. As a result, the dismissal became final
and immutable. He now has no one to blame but himself. The right to appeal,
being statutory in nature, required strict compliance with the rules regulating
the exercise of the right. As such, his perfection of his appeal within the
prescribed period was mandatory and jurisdictional, and his failure to perfect
the appeal within the prescribed time rendered the judgment final and
beyond review on appeal. Indeed, we have fittingly pronounced in Lebin v.
Mirasol:
In like manner, the perfection of an appeal within the period laid down by law
is mandatory and jurisdictional, because the failure to perfect the appeal
within the time prescribed by the Rules of Court causes the judgment or final
order to become final as to preclude the appellate court from acquiring the
jurisdiction to review the judgment or final order. The failure of the
petitioners and their counsel to file the record on appeal on time rendered
the orders of the RTC final and unappealable. Thereby, the appellate court
lost the jurisdiction to review the challenged orders, and the petitioners were
precluded from assailing the orders.9
In view of the foregoing, the petitioner lost his right to appeal through his
failure to file the record on appeal, and rendered the dismissal of his
intervention final and immutable. With this outcome, we no longer need to

dwell on the denial of due course to his notice of appeal because of the late
payment of the appellate court docket fees.
WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals
promulgated on October 30, 2002 subject to the foregoing clarification on
the correct justification for the dismissal of the appeal being upon the
petitioners failure to perfect his appeal in accordance with Section 2(a) and
Section 3 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court; and ORDERS the petitioner to pay
the costs of suit.