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CIVIL LAW

Marian, 18, pregnant, insured life named unborn child as sole beneficiary, already due to give
birth, Marian and baby delivered both found dead with baby’s umbilical cord already cut

The baby can be the beneficiary of the life insurance of Marian. Article 40 provides that birth
determines personality, but the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are
favorable to it, provided that it be born later with the conditions specified in Article 41. Article 41
states that for civil purposes, the fetus shall be considered born if it is alive at the time it is
completely delivered from the mother’s womb. However, if the fetus had an intra-uterine life of
less than 7mos., it is not deemed born if it dies within 24hrs. after its complete delivery from the
maternal womb. The act of naming the unborn child as sole beneficiary in the insurance is
favorable to the conceived child. The child need not survive for 24hrs. because Marian was
already due to give birth, indicating that the child was more than 7mos. old.

Ricky donated 1M to pregnant gf’s unborn child; after 6mos. of pregnancy, the fetus was born
but died 20hrs. after birth

Ricky is entitled to recover the 1M. The NCC considers a fetus a person for purposes favorable to
it provided it is born later in accordance with the provision of the NCC. While the donation is
favorable to the fetus, the donation did not take effect because the fetus was not born in
accordance with the NCC. To be considered born, the fetus that had an intra-uterine life of less
than 7mos. should live for 24hrs. from its complete delivery from the mother’s womb. Since the
baby had an intra-uterine life of less than 7mos. but did not live for 24hrs., she was not
considered born and, therefore, did not become a person. Not being a person, she has no
juridical capacity to be a donee, hence, the donation to her did not take effect. The donation not
being effective, the amount donated may be recovered. To retain it will be unjust enrichment.

Robert, Filipino, 17, can acquire a house in Australia without the knowledge of his parents
because Australian laws allow aliens to acquire property from the age of 16

TRUE. Since Australian laws allow aliens to acquire property from the age of 16, Robert may
validly own a house in Australia, following the principle of lex rei sitae enshrined in Article 16
which states that real property, as well as personal property, is subject to the law of the country
where it is situated. Moreover, even assuming that legal capacity of Robert in entering the
contract in Australia is governed by Philippine laws, he will acquire ownership over the property
bought until the contract is annulled.

Alternative: FALSE. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition or legal
capacity of persons are binding upon the citizens of the Philippines even though living abroad
(Article 15). The age of majority under Philippine laws is 18yrs. (RA 6809); hence, Robert, being
only 17yrs. old, has no legal capacity to acquire and own the house.

Andy (single) --- Amy (in the process of securing judicial declaration of nullity of marriage to
husband) > Gia, birth cert. signed by both, status: legitimate, carries surname of Andy, parents
married to each other

A judicial action for correction of entries in Gia’s birth cert. can be successfully maintained to
change (a) her status from legitimate to illegitimate, and (b) her surname from that of Andy’s to
Amy’s maiden surname in accordance with Rule 108 because said changes are substantive
corrections.

An administrative proceeding cannot be brought for the purpose of making the above
corrections. RA 9408 (Clerical Error Act) authorizes the city or municipal civil registrar or the
consul general to correct a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or change the first
name or nickname in the civil registrar without need of a judicial order. Errors that involve the
change of nationality, age, status, surname, or sex or petitioner are not included from the
coverage of the said Act (Silverio vs. Republic)

Emman & Marga, American citizens and employees of the US State Department, got married in
Kenya where sterility is a ground for annulment of marriage, assigned to US Embassy in Manila,
Marga filed an annulment before a Philippine court on the ground of her husband’s sterility at the
time of celebration of marriage

The suit will not prosper. As applied to foreign nationals with respect to family relations and
status of persons, the nationality principle set forth in Article 15 will govern the relations of
Emman and Marga. Since they are American citizens, the governing law as to the ground for
annulment is not Kenyan law which Marga invokes, but should be US law which is the national
law of both Emman and Marga as recognized under Philippine law. Hence, the Philippine court
will not give due course to the case based on Kenyan law.

The nationality principle as expressed in the application of national law of foreign nationals by
Philippine courts is established by precedents: Pilapil vs. Ibay-Somera, Garcia vs. Recio, Llorente
vs. CA, Bayot vs. CA.

Alternative: The forum has jurisdiction over an action for the annulment of marriage solemnized
elsewhere but only when the party bringing the action is domiciled in the forum. In this case,
none of the parties to the marriage is domiciled in the Philippines. They are here as officials of
the US Embassy whose stay in the country is merely temporary, lasting only during their fixed
tour of duty. Hence, the Philippine courts have no jurisdiction over the action.

Ligaya, Filipino citizen residing in US, files petition for change of name before the District Court
of NY, what law shall apply?

NY law shall apply. The petition for change of name filed in NY does not does not concern the
legal capacity or status of the petitioner. Moreover, it does not affect the registry of any other
country including the country of birth of the petitioner. Whatever judgment is rendered in that
petition will have effect only in NY. The NY court cannot, for instance, order the Civil Registrar in
the Philippines to change its records. The judgment of the NY court allowing a change in the
name of the petitioner will be limited to the records of the petitioner in NY and the use of her
new name in all transactions in NY. Since the records and processes in NY are the only ones
affected, the NY court will apply NY law in resolving the petition.

Alternative: Philippine law shall apply. (Art. 15)

Alternative: The laws of NY shall apply since a change of name is not one of those covered by
the principles of nationality.

Henry, American citizen residing in the Philippines, files a petition for change of name before a
Philippine court, what law shall apply?

Philippine law will apply. The petition for change of name in the Philippines will affect only the
records of the petitioner and his transactions in the Philippines. The Philippine court can never
acquire jurisdiction over the custodian in the US of the records of the petitioner. Moreover, a
change of name has nothing to do with the legal capacity or status of the alien.

Alternative: US law shall apply as it is his national law. This is pursuant to the application of lex
patriae or the nationality principle, by which his legal status is governed by his national law, the
matter of change of name being included in the legal status. The SC has reiterated in several
cases that the lex paritae as provided in Art. 15 is applicable to foreign nationals in determining
their legal status.

The doctrine of processual presumption allows the court of the forum to presume that the
foreign law applicable to the case is the same as the local or domestic law. If the foreign law
necessary to resolve an issue is not proven as a fact, the court of the forum may presume that
the foreign law is the same as the law of the forum.

Reasons why a court may assume jurisdiction over a conflict of laws case:
Statute theory – There is a domestic law authorizing the local court to assume jurisdiction.

Comity theory – The local court assumes jurisdiction based on the principle of comity or
courtesy.

Public order – To maintain peace and order, disputes that disturb the peace of the forum should
be settled by the court of the forum even though the application of the foreign law is necessary
for the purpose.

Humanitarian principle – An aggrieved party should not be left without remedy in a forum even
though the application of the foreign law by the courts of the forum is unavoidable in order to
extend relief.

Raf, wealthy bachelor, filed petition for adoption of Dolly, a 1yr old foundling who had a severe
heart ailment, pending, Raf died, OSG files MD – case can no longer proceed because of
petitioner’s death, should the case be dismissed?

It depends on the stage of the proceedings when Raf died. If he died after all the requirements
under the law have been complied with and the case is already submitted for resolution, the
court may grant the petition and issue a decree of adoption despite the death of the adopter
(sec. 13, RA 8552). Otherwise, the death of the petitioner shall have the effect of terminating
the proceedings.

Same answer if it was Dolly who died? No. The case should be dismissed. Her death terminates
the proceedings (Art. 13, Domestic Adoption Law).

Alternative: It depends. If all the requirements under the law have already been complied with
and the case is already submitted for resolution, the death of the adoptee should not abate the
proceedings. The court should issue the decree of adoption if it will be for the best interest of the
adoptee. While RA 8552 provides only for the case where it is the petitioner who dies before the
decree is issued, it is with more compelling reason that the decree should be allowed in case it is
the adoptee who dies because adoption is primarily for his benefit.