You are on page 1of 56

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

THIRD DIVISION
[G.R. No. 127578. February 15, 1999.]
MANUEL DE ASIS, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. JAIME T. HAMOY, Branch
130, RTC, Kalookan City and GLEN CAMIL ANDRES DE ASIS represented by her
mother/guardian VIRCEL D. ANDRES, respondents.

Romualdo C. delos Santos for petitioner.


Ismael J. Andres for private respondents.

SYNOPSIS
Private respondent, in her capacity as the legal guardian of the Minor, Glen Camil Andres de Asis,
brought an action for maintenance and support against petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City, alleging that petitioner is the father of subject minor, and the former refused and/or failed
to provide for the maintenance of the latter, despite repeated demands. In his answer, petitioner
denied his paternity of the said minor alleged and that he cannot be required to provide support for
him. Subsequently, private respondent sent in a manifestation stating that because of petitioner's
judicial declarations, it was futile and a useless exercise to claim support from him. Hence, she was
withdrawing her complaint against petitioner subject to the condition that the latter should not pursue
his counterclaim. By virtue of the said manifestation, the parties mutually agreed to move for the
dismissal of the complaint. The motion was granted by the trial court, which then dismissed the case
with prejudice. Subsequently, another Complaint for maintenance and support was brought against
petitioner, this time in the name of Glen Camil Andres de Asis, represented by her legal guardian, herein
private respondent. Petitioner moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of res judicata. The trial
court denied the motion, ruling that res judicata is inapplicable in an action for support for the reason
that renunciation or waiver of future support is prohibited by law. The trial court likewise denied
petitioner's motion for reconsideration. Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition
for certiorari. The Court of Appeals dismissed the same. Hence, this petition. aIcDCH
The right to receive support can neither be renounced nor transmitted to a third person. Furthermore,
future support cannot be the subject of a compromise. The manifestation sent by private respondent
amounted to renunciation as it severed the vinculum that gives the subject minor, the right to claim
support from his putative parent, the petitioner. Furthermore, the agreement entered into between the
petitioner and private respondent for the dismissal of the counterclaim was in the nature of a
compromise, which cannot be countenanced. It violated the prohibition against any compromise of the
right to support. Moreover, it is true that that in order to claim support, filiation and/or paternity must
first be shown between the claimant and the parent. However, paternity and filiation or the lack of the

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

same is a relationship that must be judicially established and it is for the court to declare its existence or
absence. It cannot be left to the will or agreement of the parties. Hence, the Supreme Court ruled that
the dismissal with prejudice of the first case cannot bar the subsequent case for support. The second
action for support may still prosper. The Court therefore affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals.

SYLLABUS
1. CIVIL LAW; SUPPORT; RIGHT TO RECEIVE SUPPORT; CANNOT BE RENOUNCED, TRANSMITTED AND/OR
SUBJECT OF A COMPROMISE; REASON. The right to receive support can neither be renounced nor
transmitted to a third person. Furthermore, future support cannot be the subject of a compromise.
The raison d' etre behind the proscription against renunciation, transmission and/or compromise of the
right to support is stated, thus: "The right to support being founded upon the need of the recipient to
maintain his existence, he is not entitled to renounce or transfer the right for this would mean
sanctioning the voluntary giving up of life itself. The right to life cannot be renounced; hence, support,
which is the means to attain the former, cannot be renounced. . . . To allow renunciation or transmission
or compensation of the family right of a person to support is virtually to allow either suicide or the
conversion of the recipient to a public burden. This is contrary to public policy.
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. The manifestation sent in by respondent's mother in the first case,
which acknowledged that it would be useless to pursue its complaint for support, amounted to
renunciation as it severed the vinculum that gives the minor, Glen Camil, the right to claim support from
his putative parent, the petitioner. Furthermore, the agreement entered into between the petitioner
and respondent's mother for the dismissal of the complaint for maintenance and support conditioned
upon the dismissal of the counterclaim is in the nature of a compromise which cannot be countenanced.
It violates the prohibition against any compromise of the right to support. CaDATc
3. ID.; ID.; ID.; PATERNITY AND FILIATION; DECLARATION OF THE EXISTENCE OR ABSENCE THEREOF
CANNOT BE LEFT TO THE WILL OF THE PARTIES. It is true that in order to claim support, filiation
and/or paternity must first be shown between the claimant and the parent. However, paternity and
filiation or the lack of the same is a relationship that must be judicially established and it is for the court
to declare its existence or absence. It cannot be left to the will or agreement of the parties. "The civil
status of a son having been denied, and this civil status, from which the right to support is derived being
in issue, it is apparent that no effect can be given to such a claim until an authoritative declaration has
been made as to the existence of the cause." Although in the case under scrutiny, the admission may be
binding upon the respondent, such an admission is at most evidentiary and does not conclusively
establish the lack of filiation.
4. REMEDIAL LAW; JUDGMENT; DOCTRINE OF RES JUDICATA; NOT APPLICABLE IN CASE AT BAR; RULING
IN ADVINCULA CASE (10 SCRA 189), CITED. Neither are we persuaded by petitioner's theory that the
dismissal with prejudice of Civil Case Q-88-935 has the effect of res judicata on the subsequent case for
support. The case of Advincula vs. Advincula comes to the fore. In disposing such case, this Court ruled,
thus: It appears that the former dismissal was predicated upon a compromise. Acknowledgment,

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

affecting as it does the civil status of persons and future support, cannot be the subject of compromise.
(pars. 1 & 4, Art. 2035, Civil Code) Hence, the first dismissal cannot have force and effect and cannot bar
the filing of another action, asking for the same relief against the same defendant." (italics
supplied) Conformably, notwithstanding the dismissal of Civil Case Q-88 935 and the lower court's
pronouncement that such dismissal was with prejudice, the second action for support may still
prosper. aIcETS

DECISION

PURISIMA, J p:
Petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court seeking to nullify the
decision of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial court's Orders, dated November 25, 1993
and February 4, 1994, respectively, denying petitioner's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint in Civil
Case No. C-16107, entitled "Glen Camil Andres de Asis, etc. vs. Manuel de Asis", and the motion for
reconsideration. LLphil
The pertinent facts leading to the filing of the petition at bar are, as follows:
On October 14, 1988, Vircel D. Andres, (the herein private respondent) in her capacity as the
legal guardian of the minor, Glen Camil Andres de Asis, brought an action for maintenance and
support against Manuel de Asis, docketed as Civil Case No. Q-88-935 before the Regional Trial Court
of Quezon City, Branch 94, alleging that the defendant Manuel de Asis (the petitioner here) is the
father of subject minor Glen Camil Andres de Asis, and the former refused and/or failed to provide
for the maintenance of the latter, despite repeated demands.
In his Answer, petitioner denied his paternity of the said minor and theorized that he cannot
therefore be required to provide support for him.
On July 4, 1989, private respondent Vircel D. Andres, through counsel, sent in a
manifestation the pertinent portion of which, reads;
"1. That in his proposed Amended Answer, defendant (herein petitioner) has
made a judicial admission/declaration that "1) defendant denies that the said minor
child (Glen Camil) is his child; 2) he (petitioner) has no obligation to the plaintiff Glen
Camil . . . ."
2. That with the aforesaid judicial admissions/declarations by the defendant, it
seems futile and a useless exercise to claim support from said defendant."
3. That under the foregoing circumstances it would be more practical that
plaintiff withdraws the complaint against the defendant subject to the condition that
the defendant should not pursue his counterclaim in the above-entitled case, . . . ." 1

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

By virtue of the said manifestation, both the plaintiff and the defendant agreed to move for
the dismissal of the case. Acting thereupon, the Regional Trial Court a quo issued the following
Order of August 8, 1989, dismissing Civil Case No. Q-88-935 with prejudice, to wit:
"Acting on the manifestation of Atty. Romualdo C. delos Santos, counsel for
the defendant, that counsel for the plaintiff Atty. Ismael J. Andres has no objection
that this case be withdrawn provided that the defendant will withdraw the
counterclaim, as prayed for, let the case be dismissed with prejudice.
SO ORDERED." 2
On September 7, 1995, another Complaint for maintenance and support was brought
against Manuel A. de Asis, this time in the name of Glen Camil Andres de Asis, represented by her
legal guardian/mother, Vircel D. Andres. Docketed as Civil Case No. C-16107 before Branch 130 of
the Regional Trial Court of Kalookan, the said Complaint prayed, thus:
"WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that judgment be
rendered ordering defendant:

1. To pay plaintiff the sum of not less than P2,000.00 per month for every
month since June 1, 1987 as support in arrears which defendant failed to provide
plaintiff shortly after her birth in June 1987 up to the present;
2. To give plaintiff a monthly allowance of P5,000.00 to be paid in advance on
or before the 5th of each and every month;
3. To give plaintiff by way of support pendente lite, a monthly allowance of
P5,000.00 per month, the first monthly allowance to start retroactively from the first
day of this month and the subsequent ones to be paid in advance on or before the 5th
of each succeeding month;
4. to pay the costs of suit.
Plaintiff prays for such other relief just and equitable under the premises." 3
On October 8, 1993, petitioner moved to dismiss the Complaint on the ground of res
judicata, alleging that Civil Case C-16107 is barred by the prior judgment which dismissed with
prejudice Civil Case Q-88-935.
In the Order dated November 25, 1993 denying subject motion to dismiss, the trial court
ruled that res judicata is inapplicable in an action for support for the reason that renunciation or
waiver of future support is prohibited by law. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the said
Order met the same fate. It was likewise denied. cdphil
Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari. But on June 7, 1996, the
Court of Appeals found the said Petition devoid of merit and dismissed the same.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

Undaunted, petitioner found his way to this court via the present petition, posing the
question whether or not the public respondent acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction in upholding the denial of the motion to dismiss by the trial court, and
holding that an action for support cannot be barred by res judicata.
To buttress his submission, petitioner invokes the previous dismissal of the Complaint for
maintenance and support, Civil Case Q-88-935, filed by the mother and guardian of the minor, Glen
Camil Andres de Asis, (the herein private respondent). In said case, the complainant manifested that
because of the defendant's judicial declaration denying that he is the father of subject minor child, it
was " futile and a useless exercise to claim support from defendant". Because of such manifestation,
and defendant's assurance that he would not pursue his counterclaim anymore, the parties mutually
agreed to move for the dismissal of the complaint. The motion was granted by the Quezon City
Regional Trial Court, which then dismissed the case with prejudice.
Petitioner contends that the aforecited manifestation, in effect, admitted the lack of filiation
between him and the minor child, which admission binds the complainant, and since the obligation
to give support is based on the existence of paternity and filiation between the child and the
putative parent, the lack thereof negates the right to claim for support. Thus, petitioner maintains
that the dismissal of the Complaint by the lower court on the basis of the said manifestation bars
the present action for support, especially so because the order of the trial court explicitly stated that
the dismissal of the case was with prejudice.
The petition is not impressed with merit.
The right to receive support can neither be renounced nor transmitted to a third person.
Article 301 of the Civil Code, the law in point, reads:
ARTICLE 301. The right to receive support cannot be renounced, nor can it be
transmitted to a third person. Neither can it be compensated with what the recipient
owes the obligor. . . .
Furthermore, future support cannot be the subject of a compromise.
Article 2035, ibid, provides, that:
"No compromise upon the following questions shall be valid:
(1) The civil status of persons;
(2) The validity of a marriage or legal separation;
(3) Any ground for legal separation;
(4) Future support;
(5) The jurisdiction of courts;
(6) Future legitime.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

The raison d' etre behind the proscription against renunciation, transmission and/or
compromise of the right to support is stated, thus:
"The right to support being founded upon the need of the recipient to maintain his
existence, he is not entitled to renounce or transfer the right for this would mean
sanctioning the voluntary giving up of life itself. The right to life cannot be renounced;
hence, support, which is the means to attain the former, cannot be renounced.
xxx xxx xxx
To allow renunciation or transmission or compensation of the family right of a person
to support is virtually to allow either suicide or the conversion of the recipient to a
public burden. This is contrary to public policy. 4
In the case at bar, respondent minor's mother, who was the plaintiff in the first case,
manifested that she was withdrawing the case as it seemed futile to claim support from petitioner
who denied his paternity over the child. Since the right to claim for support is predicated on the
existence of filiation between the minor child and the putative parent, petitioner would like us to
believe that such manifestation admitting the futility of claiming support from him puts the issue to
rest and bars any and all future complaint for support.
The manifestation sent in by respondent's mother in the first case, which acknowledged
that it would be useless to pursue its complaint for support, amounted to renunciation as it severed
the vinculum that gives the minor, Glen Camil, the right to claim support from his putative parent,
the petitioner. Furthermore, the agreement entered into between the petitioner and respondent's
mother for the dismissal of the complaint for maintenance and support conditioned upon the
dismissal of the counterclaim is in the nature of a compromise which cannot be countenanced. It
violates the prohibition against any compromise of the right to support. cda
"Thus, the admission made by counsel for the wife of the facts alleged in a motion of
the husband, in which the latter prayed that his obligation to support be extinguished
cannot be considered as an assent to the prayer, and much less, as a waiver of the
right to claim for support." 5
It is true that in order to claim support, filiation and/or paternity must first be shown
between the claimant and the parent. However, paternity and filiation or the lack of the same is a
relationship that must be judicially established and it is for the court to declare its existence or
absence. It cannot be left to the will or agreement of the parties.
"The civil status of a son having been denied, and this civil status, from which
the right to support is derived being in issue, it is apparent that no effect can be given
to such a claim until an authoritative declaration has been made as to the existence of
the cause." 6
Although in the case under scrutiny, the admission may be binding upon the respondent,
such an admission is at most evidentiary and does not conclusively establish the lack of filiation.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

Neither are we persuaded by petitioner's theory that the dismissal with prejudice of Civil
Case Q-88-935 has the effect of res judicata on the subsequent case for support. The case
of Advincula vs.Advincula 7 comes to the fore. In Advincula, the minor, Manuela Advincula,
instituted a case for acknowledgment and support against her putative father, Manuel Advincula.
On motion of both parties and for the reason that the "plaintiff has lost interest and is no longer
interested in continuing the case against the defendant and has no further evidence to introduce in
support of the complaint", the case was dismissed. Thereafter, a similar case was instituted by
Manuela, which the defendant moved to dismiss, theorizing that the dismissal of the first case
precluded the filing of the second case.
In disposing such case, this Court ruled, thus:
"The new Civil Code provides that the allowance for support is provisional
because the amount may be increased or decreased depending upon the means of
the giver and the needs of the recipient (Art. 297); and that the right to receive
support cannot be renounced nor can it be transmitted to a third person; neither can
it be compensated with what the recipient owes the obligator (Art. 301). Furthermore,
the right to support can not be waived or transferred to third parties and future
support cannot be the subject of compromise (Art. 2035; Coral v. Gallego, 38 O.G.
3135, cited in IV Civil Code by Padilla, p. 648, 1956 Ed.). This being true, it is
indisputable that the present action for support can be brought, notwithstanding the
fact the previous case filed against the same defendant was dismissed. And it also
appearing that the dismissal of Civil Case No. 3553, was not an adjudication upon the
merits, as heretofore shown, the right of herein plaintiff-appellant to reiterate her suit
for support and acknowledgment is available, as her needs arise. Once the needs of
plaintiff arise, she has the right to bring an action for support, for it is only then that
her cause of action accrues. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
It appears that the former dismissal was predicated upon a compromise.
Acknowledgment, affecting as it does the civil status of persons and future support,
cannot be the subject of compromise. (pars. 1 & 4, Art. 2035, Civil Code). Hence, the
first dismissal cannot have force and effect and can not bar the filing of another
action, asking for the same relief against the same defendant." (emphasis supplied)
Conformably, notwithstanding the dismissal of Civil Case Q-88-935 and the lower court's
pronouncement that such dismissal was with prejudice, the second action for support may still
prosper.
WHEREFORE, the petition under consideration is hereby DISMISSED and the decision of the
Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs. LLphil
SO ORDERED.
Romero, Vitug, Panganiban and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

Footnotes
1.Rollo, p. 7.
2.Ibid. p. 18.

3.Ibid. pp. 18-19.


4.Arturo Tolentino, Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. 1, p.
596, 601.
5.Ibid., p. 596-597, citing Coral vs. Gallego, 39 Official Gazette 3150.
6.Tolentino, p. 579 citing Francisco vs. Zandueta, 61 Phil. 752; Garcia vs. CA, 4 SCRA 689.
7.10 SCRA 189.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

EN BANC
[G.R. No. 128157. September 29, 1999.]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MANUEL MANAHAN, alias
"Maning," defendant-appellant.

The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.


Villamor A. Tolete for accused-appellant.

SYNOPSIS
Appellant was found guilty of rape and was sentenced to death by the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan
City. In this appeal, appellant assailed the credibility of the complaining witness. He also contended that
the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and reiterated that he and the
complaining witness were lovers and that their sexual congress was consensual. The Supreme Court
affirmed his conviction with the modification that the death sentence imposed on the accused be
reduced to reclusion perpetua. The Court did not give any merit to the "sweetheart theory" of the
accused because he miserably failed to prove that he and the complaining witness indeed had a
romantic liaison and said claim was categorically denied by the victim. Moreover, there was no
substantial evidence, e.g., love notes, mementos or pictures presented to support his claim. The Court
also stressed that even assuming that the accused and the victim were really lovers, that fact alone
would not negate the commission of rape because a sweetheart cannot be forced to have sex against
her will based on the principle that a man cannot demand sexual gratification from a fiancee and, worse,
employ violence upon her on the pretext of love. The Court, however, did not uphold the trial court in
imposing upon the accused the penalty of death, it appearing that the crime committed was merely
simple rape, i.e., not committed with or effectively qualified by any of the circumstances enumerated
under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 11, Republic Act 7659, under which
the death penalty is authorized. EACIcH
The proper imposable penalty upon the accused was reclusion perpetua.

SYLLABUS
1. CRIMINAL LAW; RAPE; NOT EVERY VICTIM OF CRIME CAN BE EXPECTED TO ACT REASONABLY AND
CONFORMABLY WITH EXPECTATIONS OF MANKIND. Complainant offered a tenacious resistance to
the criminal acts of the accused, but the serious determination of the latter to accomplish what he
intended to do eventually weakened complainant and shocked her into insensibility. It is quite
understandable that, at a tender age of 16 and innocent in the ways of the world, complainant is no
match to the accused, a 28-year old married man endowed with physical strength she could not possibly

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

10

overcome. Neither could she shout to alert the other occupants of the house as the accused prevented
her by covering her mouth with his right hand. The accused however claims that complainant had the
opportunity to shout for help at the precise moment he was removing his pants and brief, but she did
not. Suffice it to say, in this connection, that not every victim of a crime can be expected to act
reasonably and conformably with the expectations of mankind. Different people react to similar
situations dissimilarly. While the normal response of a woman about to be defiled may be to shout and
put up a wild struggle, others become virtually catatonic because of the mental shock they experience
and the fear engendered by the unexpected occurrence. Yet it can never be successfully argued that the
latter are any less sexual victims than the former.
2. ID.; ID.; COMPULSORY ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF VICTIM'S CHILD NOT PROPER WHERE ACCUSED IS
MARRIED MAN. On the matter of acknowledgment and support of the child, a correction of the view
of the court a quo is in order. Article 345 of The Revised Penal Code provides that persons guilty of rape
shall also be sentenced to "acknowledge the offspring, unless the law should prevent him from doing
so," and "in every case to support the offspring." In the case before us, compulsory acknowledgment of
the child Melanie Tibigar is not proper there being a legal impediment in doing so as it appears that the
accused is a married man. As pronounced by this Court in People v. Guerrero, "the rule is that if the
rapist is a married man, he cannot be compelled to recognize the offspring of the crime, should there be
any, as his child, whether legitimate or illegitimate." Consequently, that portion of the judgment under
review is accordingly deleted. In any case, we sustain that part ordering the accused to support the child
as it is in accordance with law.
3. ID.; PENALTIES; PENALTY OF DEATH REDUCED TO RECLUSION PERPETUA; RAPE NOT QUALIFIED BY
CIRCUMSTANCES ENUMERATED UNDER ARTICLE 335 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE, AS AMENDED BY
SECTION 11, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7659. We do not agree with the trial court that the proper penalty to
be imposed on the accused is death, it appearing that the crime committed was merely simple rape, i.e.,
not committed with or effectively qualified by any of the circumstances enumerated under Art. 335
of The Revised Penal Code, as amended by Sec. 11, RA 7659, under which the death penalty is
authorized. In this case, the proper imposable penalty should only be reclusion perpetua.
4. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES; TESTIMONIES; DELAY OR VACILLATION IN
MAKING CRIMINAL ACCUSATION DOES NOT IMPAIR CREDIBILITY IF DELAY IS SATISFACTORILY
EXPLAINED. The failure of complainant to disclose the outrage on her person to anybody, including
her parents, is due to the threats on her life and that of her family. Indeed, one cannot expect her to act
like an adult or a mature experienced woman who would have the courage and intelligence to disregard
the threat to her life and complain immediately that she had been sexually assaulted. It is not
uncommon for young girls to conceal for sometime the assaults on their virtue because of the rapists'
threats to their lives. Delay or vacillation in making a criminal accusation does not necessarily impair the
credibility of the witness if such delay is satisfactorily explained, as in this case. In the instant case, the
complaining witness may not have even filed the rape charge had she not become pregnant. This Court
has taken cognizance of the fact that many of the victims of rape never complain or file criminal charges

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

11

against the rapists. They prefer to bear the ignominy in painful silence rather than reveal their shame to
the world and risk the rapists' making good their threats to kill or hurt their victims. ESHAIC

DECISION

BELLOSILLO, J p:
MANUEL MANAHAN alias Maning was found guilty of rape and sentenced to death by the court a quo.
He was also ordered to indemnify the victim P50,000.00 as moral damages, pay the costs, and
acknowledge and support the offspring of his indiscretion. 1 This case is now before us on automatic
review. LLjur
Complainant Teresita Tibigar, 16 years old, worked at the Espiritu Canteen in Dagupan City. As a stay-in
waitress she slept at the second floor of the canteen. Manuel Manahan is the brother-in-law of Josefina
Espiritu, owner of the canteen. His wife Primadonna is the sister of Josefina Espiritu. Manuel and
Primadonna temporarily reside at the canteen together with the family of Josefina as Primadonna was
then pregnant.
On 5 January 1995, at about two o'clock in the morning, Teresita who was asleep was suddenly
awakened when she felt someone beside her. Upon opening her eyes she saw accused Manuel
Manahan as he immediately placed himself on top of her. She tried to shout but the accused covered
her mouth. He then forcibly spread her legs. She cried; she pushed and kicked him many times in an
effort to free herself but the accused proved too strong for her. Soon enough she became weary and
exhausted. Her condition enabled the accused to pursue his immoral intentions. He lifted her skirt,
removed her panty and then inserted his penis into her vagina. He succeeded in having carnal
knowledge of her. After satisfying his lust, the accused warned the victim not to report the incident to
anyone and threatened her that should she squeal he would kill her and her family. Thereafter, he left
her. She was terribly afraid and shaken and could do nothing but cry until dawn. 2
Within the month Teresita left the canteen and returned home to her parents in Mangaldan,
Pangasinan. The sexual encounter resulted in her pregnancy. When her parents discovered it and
learned of her story, they brought her to the hospital where she was examined by Dr. Casimero
Bacugan. From there they proceeded to the police station where a statement of Teresita was taken by
SPO1 Isagani L. Ico. Police Chief Inspector Wendy G. Rosario later endorsed the complaining witness to
the Office of the City Prosecutor of Dagupan City for appropriate legal action. Thereafter, with the
assistance of her mother, Teresita filed a criminal complaint accusing Manuel Manahan alias Maning of
rape. 3
Meanwhile, on 2 October 1995, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl and christened her Melanie
Tibigar.LexLib

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

12

Accused Manuel Manahan has a different story. He denied having raped Teresita. He claimed they were
lovers. According to him, he met Teresita at the Espiritu Canteen in August 1994 and began courting her.
Subsequently, they became sweethearts and their first sexual intercourse occurred on 27 December
1994 followed by another on 28 December 1994. In the first week of January 1995 they again had a tryst
in the house of Teresita's Aunt Fely, their last intercourse being on 7 May 1995 in the house of one
Maura Manahan-Quinto, his sister.
Manuel further alleged that even after Teresita left the Espiritu Canteen there were several occasions
when they saw each other in front of the DBP in Dagupan City. In one of those assignations Teresita
allegedly told him that she wanted to have the child aborted as her father might kill her if he discovered
she was pregnant, but accused did not agree.
In September 1995, the accused was arrested in connection with the case filed by Teresita but was later
released. We fail to discern from the records the reason for his release. But on 15 March 1996 he was
again arrested and detained at the Dagupan City Jail where Estrella, Teresita's mother, supposedly
visited him at least five (5) times to ask about his condition and whether he was tortured in detention.
The accused maintained that Estrella was trying to conceal Teresita's condition from her father. She
purportedly proposed to the accused to sell his land and give the proceeds to Teresita's father as a form
of settlement. LLphil

The accused assails in his appeal brief the credibility of the complaining witness. He asserts that the
prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and reiterates that he and the
complaining witness were lovers, and that their sexual congress was consensual.
We have painstakingly reviewed the records and we sustain the conviction of the accused. The
prosecution for rape almost always involves sharply contrasting and irreconcilable declarations of the
victim and the accused. At the heart of almost all rape cases is the issue of credibility of the witnesses,
to be resolved primarily by the trial court which is in a better position to decide the question, having
heard the witnesses and observed their deportment and manner of testifying. Accordingly, its findings
are entitled to the highest degree of respect and will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of any
showing that the trial court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of
weight or substance which would otherwise affect the result of the case. The exception is nowhere
perceivable in the present case. LibLex
The accused banks heavily on his "sweetheart theory," a usual defense in rape cases, and vigorously
maintains that the sexual intercourse between him and Teresita was but the culmination of a mutual
passion. But we find otherwise primarily because the accused miserably failed to prove that he and the
complaining witness indeed had a romantic liaison as this claim was categorically denied by her.
Moreover, there was no substantial evidence, e.g., love notes, mementos or pictures, presented to
support it.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

13

The testimony of defense witnesses Nelson de Venecia and Arvin Sereban that they used to see Manuel
and Teresita together in front of the DBP in Dagupan City, even if true, did not confirm that there was
indeed an amorous relationship between the two. 4 Likewise, the testimony of Isabel Remandaban,
another defense witness, that she saw the accused and the complaining witness embracing each other
in the house of Maura Manahan-Quinto can hardly be given weight. The trifling manner by which she
answered the questions propounded to her at the witness stand even prompted the trial court to
remark that she was not serious with her testimony. Thus
COURT:
This is not a joke. The penalty [for] the accused [if convicted] is death. Do not testify
here as if you are joking, or you will be the one to [be] sen[t] to jail ahead of
Manahan. You want to be sent to jail?
WITNESS:
No sir.
COURT:
Why are you smiling? This is a serious matter. Put that on record the witness is
smiling. Not serious about her testimony (emphasis supplied). dctai
Ultimately, the trial court disregarded altogether, and rightly so, the testimony of Isabel Remandaban.
To emphasize, the task of assigning values to the testimonies of witnesses in the stand and weighing
their credibility is best left to the trial court which forms first-hand impressions of the witnesses
testifying before it, and therefore more competent to discriminate between the true and the false. 5 We
find no trace of whim or arbitrariness on the court a quo in its assessment of the testimony of this
witness.
Also, Exh. "1" of the defense, a photograph showing Estrella talking to the accused while carrying
Melanie, the offspring of Teresita and Manuel, does not establish anything. As Estrella explained, she
visited the accused in jail not to show him Melanie but to ascertain that he was in fact
incarcerated, 6 and that she only brought the child with her incidentally during her visit because Teresita
was sick at that time and there was no one else to take care of the baby. 7
Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that the accused and the victim were really lovers, that fact alone
would not negate the commission of rape. A sweetheart cannot be forced to have sex against her will.
Definitely, a man cannot demand sexual gratification from a fiancee and, worse, employ violence upon
her on the pretext of love. Love is not a license for lust. 8
Equally untenable is the accused's contention that there can be no rape since the prosecution failed to
prove beyond reasonable doubt the element of intimidation. One of the modes of committing the crime
of rape is by having carnal knowledge of a woman using force and intimidation. Even if we concede the
absence of intimidation in this case, the fact remains that the accused employed force against his victim.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

Thus, testifying in a clear, definitive and convincing manner as concluded by the trial court, Teresita
established beyond any scintilla of doubt the presence of force essential in rape
Q: What were you doing then when Manuel Manahan accosted you?
A: I was sleeping, then suddenly I felt somebody near me and when I opened my eyes
I saw Manuel Manahan and then he immediately laid on top of me, sir.
Q: How did you come to know that it was Manuel Manahan who went, who laid on
top of you?
A: I know him, sir.
Q: What did you do when Manuel Manahan laid on top of you?
A: I was about to shout but he covered my mouth and then he immediately spread my
legs, sir.
Q: What did you do when he did that to you?
A: I cried, sir.
Q: Before Manuel Manahan spread your legs, what did you do? Before he was able to
spread your legs?
A: I pushed him and I kicked him several times, sir.
Q: What happened when you pushed him and kicked him several times?
A: I got weakened because he was strong that is why he was able to abuse me, sir.
Q: After Manuel Manahan was able to spread your legs, what did he do?
A: And then he inserted his penis, sir . . . . 9
Again, during the cross-examination the victim recounted how she was forced to have sexual
intercourse with the accused, thus
Q: Did you spread your legs voluntarily or did he force open your legs ?
A: He forced me, sir.
Q: What did he do to force open your legs?
A: By the use of his legs, sir.
Q: He did that while he was on top of you?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What legs did he use, was it the right leg or both legs?

14

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

A: Both legs, sir.


Q: You mentioned about crossing his legs and then forced open your legs, will you
please demonstrate how he forced open your legs by the use of this pencil
and ballpen illustrate your legs with these two other ballpens where the legs
of Manuel Manahan, will you please demonstrate how he forced open his legs
when you said first he put together his legs and then open your legs, will you
please do it?
A: He went on top of me and he put his legs between my legs and also his legs, sir.
INTERPRETER:
Witness demonstrating by spreading both ends of the ballpen.
Q: And then by doing so, by spreading his legs between your legs, he was able to
insert his penis?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: At that precise moment when he was on top of you and also your legs, where was
the right hand of Manuel Manahan? LLpr
A: He closed my mouth with his right hand.
Q: What about his left hand?
A: He used his left hand in pulling up my dress.
Q: At that precise moment when he was doing the push and pull, was his right hand
still with your mouth?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What about his left hand after raising your skirt, what was his left hand doing?
A: He was squeezing my neck, sir . . . .
Q: During your direct testimony you mentioned about having resisted him, now, at
what precise moment did you try to resist him?
A: When he went on top of me I struggled, sir.
Q: Were you able to dislodge him from being on top of you?
A: Yes, sir.
COURT:
Then what did he do when you were able to dislodge him on top of you?

15

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

16

A: He went again on top of me, sir.


Q: Did you again struggle to resist him or no more?
A: No more because I already felt weak, sir . . . . 10
Evidently, complainant offered a tenacious resistance to the criminal acts of the accused, but the serious
determination of the latter to accomplish what he intended to do eventually weakened complainant and
shocked her into insensibility. It is quite understandable that, at a tender age of 16 and innocent in the
ways of the world, complainant is no match to the accused, a 28-year old married man endowed with
physical strength she could not possibly overcome. LLpr
Neither could she shout to alert the other occupants of the house as the accused prevented her by
covering her mouth with his right hand. The accused however claims that complainant had the
opportunity to shout for help at that precise moment he was removing his pants and brief, but she did
not. Suffice it to say, in this connection, that not every victim of a crime can be expected to act
reasonably and conformably with the expectations of mankind. Different people react to similar
situations dissimilarly. While the normal response of a woman about to be defiled may be to shout and
put up a wild struggle, others become virtually catatonic because of the mental shock they experience
and the fear engendered by the unexpected occurrence. Yet it can never be successfully argued that the
latter are any less sexual victims than the former. 11
The failure of complainant to disclose the outrage on her person to anybody, including her parents, is
due to the threats on her life and that of her family. Indeed, one cannot expect her to act like an adult or
a mature experienced woman who would have the courage and intelligence to disregard the threat to
her life and complain immediately that she had been sexually assaulted. It is not uncommon for young
girls to conceal for sometime the assaults on their virtue because of the rapists' threats to their lives.
Delay or vacillation in making a criminal accusation does not necessarily impair the credibility of the
witness if such delay is satisfactorily explained, as in this case. 12
In the instant case, the complaining witness may not have even filed the rape charge had she not
become pregnant. This Court has taken cognizance of the fact that many of the victims of rape never
complain or file criminal charges against the rapists. They prefer to bear the ignominy in painful silence
rather than reveal their shame to the world and risk the rapists' making good their threats to kill or hurt
their victims. 13

That accused also asserts that the rape case is a mere face-saving device of the victim to escape the
anger of her father. Again, we are not convinced. It taxes credulity that a simple barrio lass 14 like the
victim, a minor and a mere elementary graduate at that, could contrive such an unthinkable solution to
save herself from the imagined wrath of her father; what is more, concoct such a good rape story
convincing enough to withstand the rigors of cross-examination, and sway the judge to impose on the
accused the extreme penalty of death.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

17

Indeed, it is very unlikely that the victim would make up a story of rape with all its attendant scandal and
humiliation. Considering the modesty and timidity of a typical Filipina, especially one from the rural
areas, it is hard to accept that the victim would fabricate facts which would seriously cast dishonor on
her maidenhood. No young Filipina of decent repute would publicly admit she had been raped unless
that was the truth. It is her natural instinct to protect her honor. As we have long held, when a woman
says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been
committed. Her testimony is credible where she has no motive to testify against the accused. 15
On the matter of acknowledgment and support of the child, a correction of the view of the courta quo is
in order. Article 345 of The Revised Penal Code provides that persons guilty of rape shall also be
sentenced to "acknowledge the offspring, unless the law should prevent him from doing so," and "in
every case to support the offspring." In the case before us, compulsory acknowledgment of the child
Melanie Tibigar is not proper there being a legal impediment in doing so as it appears that the accused is
a married man. As pronounced by this Court in People v. Guerrero, 16 "the rule is that if the rapist is a
married man, he cannot be compelled to recognize the offspring of the crime, should there be any, as
his child, whether legitimate or illegitimate." Consequently, that portion of the judgment under review is
accordingly deleted. In any case, we sustain that part ordering the accused to support the child as it is in
accordance with law.
Finally, we do not agree with the trial court that the proper penalty to be imposed on the accused is
death, it appearing that the crime committed was merely simple rape, i.e., not committed with or
effectively qualified by any of the circumstances enumerated under Art. 335 of The Revised Penal Code,
as amended by Sec. 11, RA 7659, under which the death penalty is authorized. 17 In this case, the
proper imposable penalty should only be reclusion perpetua.
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan City, Branch 40, dated 28 November
1996, convicting accused MANUEL MANAHAN alias Maning of the crime of rape is AFFIRMED subject
however to the modification that the death sentence imposed on the accused is reduced to reclusion
perpetua. The portion of the decision of the trial court ordering the accused, a married man, to
acknowledge the child Melanie Tibigar is DELETED being contrary to law and jurisprudence.
SO ORDERED. dctai
Davide, Jr., C.J., Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo,
Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.
Footnotes
1.Decision dated 28 November 1996 penned by Judge Deodoro J. Sison, RTC-Br. 40, Dagupan City.
2.TSN, 4 June 1998, pp. 6-13.
3.Rollo, pp. 6-7.
4.See People v. Laray, G.R. No. 101809, 20 February 1996, 253 SCRA 654.
5.People v. Sarabia, G.R. No. 124076, 21 January 1997, 266 SCRA 471.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

18

6.TSN, 18 June 1996, p. 20.


7.Id., p. 19.
8.People v. Tismo, G.R. No. 44773, 4 December 1991, 204 SCRA 535.
9.TSN, 4 June 1996, pp. 6-7.
10.TSN, 11 June 1996, pp. 11-15.
11.See People v. Dupali, G.R. No. 97474, 14 February 1994, 230 SCRA 62.
12.See People v. Errojo, G.R. No. 102077, 4 January 1994, 229 SCRA 49, 57.
13.Ibid.
14.The victim lived in a remote area of Barangay Salaan, Mangaldan, Pangasinan.
15.People v. Domingo, G.R. No. 97921, 8 September 1993, 226 SCRA 156.
16.G.R. No. 950331, 23 March 1995, 242 SCRA 606.
17.Art. 335. When and how rape is committed. Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a
woman under any of the following circumstances: (1) By using force and intimidation; (2)
When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and, (3) When the woman
is under twelve years of age or is demented.
The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.
Whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two or more
persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death.
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has become insane, the penalty shall be
death.
When the rape is attempted or frustrated and a homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion
thereof, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death.
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, a homicide is committed, the penalty shall be death.
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following
attendant circumstances: (1) When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the
offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity
within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim; (2) When
the victim is under the custody of the police or military authorities; (3) When the rape is
committed in full view of the husband, parent, any of the children or other relatives within the
third degree of consanguinity; (4) When the victim is a religious or a child below seven (7)
years old; (5) When the offender knows that he is afflicted with Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome (AIDS) disease; (6) When committed by any member of the Armed Forces of the

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

19

Philippines or the Philippine National Police or any law enforcement agency; and, (7) When by
reason or on the occasion of the rape, the victim has suffered permanent physical mutilation.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

20

THIRD DIVISION
[G.R. No. 163209. October 30, 2009.]
SPOUSES PRUDENCIO and FILOMENA LIM, petitioners, vs. MA. CHERYL S. LIM, for
herself and on behalf of her minor children LESTER EDWARD S. LIM, CANDICE GRACE
S. LIM, and MARIANO S. LIM, III, respondents.

DECISION

CARPIO, J p:
The Case
For review 1 is the Decision 2 of the Court of Appeals, dated 28 April 2003, ordering petitioners
Prudencio and Filomena Lim (petitioners) to provide legal support to respondents Cheryl, Lester Edward,
Candice Grace and Mariano III, all surnamed Lim (respondents).
The Facts
In 1979, respondent Cheryl S. Lim (Cheryl) married Edward Lim (Edward), son of petitioners. Cheryl bore
Edward three children, respondents Lester Edward, Candice Grace and Mariano III. Cheryl, Edward and
their children resided at the house of petitioners in Forbes Park, Makati City, together with Edward's
ailing grandmother, Chua Giak and her husband Mariano Lim (Mariano). Edward's family business, which
provided him with a monthly salary of P6,000, shouldered the family expenses. Cheryl had no steady
source of income.
On 14 October 1990, Cheryl abandoned the Forbes Park residence, bringing the children with her (then
all minors), after a violent confrontation with Edward whom she caught with the in-house midwife of
Chua Giak in what the trial court described "a very compromising situation". 3
Cheryl, for herself and her children, sued petitioners, Edward, Chua Giak and Mariano (defendants) in
the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 140 (trial court) for support. The trial court ordered
Edward to provide monthly support of P6,000 pendente lite. 4
The Ruling of the Trial Court
On 31 January 1996, the trial court rendered judgment ordering Edward and petitioners to "jointly"
provide P40,000 monthly support to respondents, with Edward shouldering P6,000 and petitioners the
balance of P34,000 subject to Chua Giak's subsidiary liability. 5 aSECAD
The defendants sought reconsideration, questioning their liability. The trial court, while denying
reconsideration, clarified that petitioners and Chua Giak were held jointly liable with Edward because of
the latter's "inability . . . to give sufficient support . . . ." 6

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

21

Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals assailing, among others, their liability to support
respondents. Petitioners argued that while Edward's income is insufficient, the law itself sanctions its
effects by providing that legal support should be "in keeping with the financial capacity of the family"
under Article 194 of the Civil Code, as amended by Executive Order No. 209 (The Family Code of the
Philippines). 7
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals
In its Decision dated 28 April 2003, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. On the issue material to
this appeal, that is, whether there is basis to hold petitioners, as Edward's parents, liable with him to
support respondents, the Court of Appeals held:
The law on support under Article 195 of the Family Code is clear on this matter.
Parents and their legitimate children are obliged to mutually support one another and
this obligation extends down to the legitimate grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In connection with this provision, Article 200 paragraph (3) of the Family Code clearly
provides that should the person obliged to give support does not have sufficient
means to satisfy all claims, the other persons enumerated in Article 199 in its order
shall provide the necessary support. This is because the closer the relationship of the
relatives, the stronger the tie that binds them. Thus, the obligation to support is
imposed first upon the shoulders of the closer relatives and only in their default is the
obligation moved to the next nearer relatives and so on. 8
Petitioners sought reconsideration but the Court of Appeals denied their motion in the Resolution dated
12 April 2004.
Hence, this petition.
The Issue
The issue is whether petitioners are concurrently liable with Edward to provide support to respondents.
The Ruling of the Court
We rule in the affirmative. However, we modify the appealed judgment by limiting petitioners' liability
to the amount of monthly support needed by respondents Lester Edward, Candice Grace and Mariano III
only.
Petitioners Liable to Provide Support
but only to their Grandchildren
By statutory 9 and jurisprudential mandate, 10 the liability of ascendants to provide legal support to
their descendants is beyond cavil. Petitioners themselves admit as much they limit their petition to
the narrow question of when their liability is triggered, not if they are liable. Relying on
provisions 11 found in Title IX of the Civil Code, as amended, on Parental Authority, petitioners theorize
that their liability is activated only upon default of parental authority, conceivably either by its
termination 12 or suspension 13 during the children's minority. Because at the time respondents sued

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

22

for support, Cheryl and Edward exercised parental authority over their children, 14 petitioners submit
that the obligation to support the latter's offspring ends with them. HCTDIS
Neither the text of the law nor the teaching of jurisprudence supports this severe constriction of the
scope of familial obligation to give support. In the first place, the governing text are the relevant
provisions in Title VIII of the Civil Code, as amended, on Support, not the provisions in Title IX on
Parental Authority. While both areas share a common ground in that parental authority encompasses
the obligation to provide legal support, 15 they differ in other concerns including the duration of the
obligation and its concurrence among relatives of differing degrees. 16 Thus, although the obligation to
provide support arising from parental authority ends upon the emancipation of the child, 17 the same
obligation arising from spousal and general familial ties ideally lasts during the obligee's lifetime. Also,
while parental authority under Title IX (and the correlative parental rights) pertains to parents, passing
to ascendants only upon its termination or suspension, the obligation to provide legal support passes on
to ascendants not only upon default of the parents but also for the latter's inability to provide sufficient
support. As we observed in another case raising the ancillary issue of an ascendant's obligation to give
support in light of the father's sufficient means:
Professor Pineda is of the view that grandchildren cannot demand support directly
from their grandparents if they have parents (ascendants of nearest degree) who are
capable of supporting them. This is so because we have to follow the order of support
under Art. 199. We agree with this view.
xxx xxx xxx
There is no showing that private respondent is without means to support his son;
neither is there any evidence to prove that petitioner, as the paternal grandmother,
was willing to voluntarily provide for her grandson's legal support. . . . 18 (Emphasis
supplied; internal citations omitted)
Here, there is no question that Cheryl is unable to discharge her obligation to provide sufficient legal
support to her children, then all school-bound. It is also undisputed that the amount of support Edward
is able to give to respondents, P6,000 a month, is insufficient to meet respondents' basic needs. This
inability of Edward and Cheryl to sufficiently provide for their children shifts a portion of their obligation
to the ascendants in the nearest degree, both in the paternal (petitioners) and maternal 19 lines,
following the ordering in Article 199. To hold otherwise, and thus subscribe to petitioners' theory, is to
sanction the anomalous scenario of tolerating extreme material deprivation of children because of
parental inability to give adequate support even if ascendants one degree removed are more than able
to fill the void.
However, petitioners' partial concurrent obligation extends only to their descendants as this word is
commonly understood to refer to relatives, by blood of lower degree. As petitioners' grandchildren by
blood, only respondents Lester Edward, Candice Grace and Mariano III belong to this category. Indeed,
Cheryl's right to receive support from the Lim family extends only to her husband Edward, arising from
their marital bond. 20 Unfortunately, Cheryl's share from the amount of monthly support the trial court

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

23

awarded cannot be determined from the records. Thus, we are constrained to remand the case to the
trial court for this limited purpose. 21
Petitioners Precluded from Availing
of the Alternative Option Under
Article 204 of the Civil Code, as Amended
As an alternative proposition, petitioners wish to avail of the option in Article 204 of the Civil Code, as
amended, and pray that they be allowed to fulfill their obligation by maintaining respondents at
petitioners' Makati residence. The option is unavailable to petitioners. aTDcAH
The application of Article 204 which provides that
The person obliged to give support shall have the option to fulfill the obligation either
by paying the allowance fixed, or by receiving and maintaining in the family dwelling
the person who has a right to receive support. The latter alternative cannot be
availed of in case there is a moral or legalobstacle thereto. (Emphasis supplied)
is subject to its exception clause. Here, the persons entitled to receive support are petitioners'
grandchildren and daughter-in-law. Granting petitioners the option in Article 204 will secure to the
grandchildren a well-provided future; however, it will also force Cheryl to return to the house which,
for her, is the scene of her husband's infidelity. While not rising to the level of a legal obstacle, as
indeed, Cheryl's charge against Edward for concubinage did not prosper for insufficient evidence,
her steadfast insistence on its occurrence amounts to a moral impediment bringing the case within
the ambit of the exception clause of Article 204, precluding its application.

WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated 28 April
2003, and its Resolution dated 12 April 2004 with the MODIFICATION that petitioners Prudencio and
Filomena Lim are liable to provide support only to respondents Lester Edward, Candice Grace and
Mariano III, all surnamed Lim. We REMAND the case to the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch
140, for further proceedings consistent with this ruling.
SO ORDERED.
Quisumbing, * Chico Nazario, Peralta and Abad, ** JJ., concur.
Footnotes
1.Under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
2.Penned by Associate Justice Elvi John S. Asuncion with Associate Justices Ruben T. Reyes and Lucas
P. Bersamin (now a member of this Court), concurring.
3.CA rollo, p. 99. Cheryl filed criminal charges against Edward (for concubinage, physical injuries, and
grave threats) which, however, the investigating prosecutor dismissed. It appears that
Edward, in turn, sued Cheryl for the declaration of nullity of their marriage (Civil Case No. 99-

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

24

1852) which the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 140, granted. Cheryl's appeal of
the ruling awaits resolution.
4.In an Order dated 28 June 1991.
5.The dispositive portion of the ruling provides (Records, pp. 1021-1022):
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:
1. Defendant/s EDWARD N. LIM and Spouses PRUDENCIO and FILOMENA NG LIM are ordered to
jointly provide monthly support for the plaintiff, Ma. Cheryl S. Lim and the three (3) minor
children, in the total amount of FORTY THOUSAND (P40,000.00) Pesos to be adjusted as may
be needed, and to be given in the following manner:
a) Six Thousand (P6,000.00) Pesos to be paid by defendant EDWARD N. LIM;
b) The remaining balance of Thirty Four Thousand (P34,000.00) Pesos shall be shouldered by
defendant/spouses PRUDENCIO and FILOMENA NG LIM, they, being in the remoter line
pursuant to Article 199 of the Family Code. However, in the event that spouses Prudencio and
Filomena Ng Lim fail to provide plaintiffs the amount they are entitled to receive, the
obligation shall be borne by CHUA GIAK, being the grandmother of defendant Edward Lim;
c) The payment of the aforesaid monthly support should be made within the first five (5) days of each
month;
2. The custody of the three (3) minor children, namely, Lester Edward, Candice Grace and Mariano III
shall be awarded to the parent with whom each one shall choose to live with, they, being over
seven (7) years of age;
3. Defendants are directed to pay the plaintiffs' attorney's fees in the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND
(P50,000.00) PESOS, plus FIVE HUNDRED (P500.00) PESOS for each Court appearance, and the
cost of the suit.
6.The dispositive portion of the Order provides (Id. at 1058):
In the light of the foregoing, item No. 1 in the dispositive part of the Decision of this Court dated
January 31, 1996, is hereby amended to read as follows:
"(1.a) Defendant Edward N. Lim is ordered to continue providing the amount of SIX THOUSAND
(P6,000.00) PESOS as his monthly support for the plaintiffs;
(b) Considering the inability of defendant Edward N. Lim to give sufficient support,
defendants/spouses Prudencio and Filomena Ng Lim being in the remoter line (Art. 199,
Family Code), are ordered to give the amount of THIRTY-FOUR THOUSAND (P34,000.00) PESOS
as their monthly support for the three (3) minor children. In case of default, the obligation
shall be borne by defendant Chua Giak;

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

25

(c) The payment of the aforesaid monthly support shall be made within the first five (5) days of each
month."
7.This provision reads: "Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling,
clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial
capacity of the family.
The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall
include his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age
of majority. Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from
place of work".
8.Rollo, pp. 27-28.
9.Article 199, Civil Code, as amended, provides:
Whenever two or more persons are obliged to give support, the liability shall devolve upon the
following persons in the order herein provided:
(1) The spouse;
(2) The descendants in the nearest degree;
(3) The ascendants in the nearest degree; and
(4) The brothers and sisters
10.Patricio v. Dario III, G.R. No. 170829, 20 November 2006, 507 SCRA 438.
11.Articles 214 and 216, Civil Code, as amended.
12.See Articles 228(1), 229(4) and (5), and 232, Civil Code, as amended.
13.See Articles 230 and 231, Civil Code, as amended.
14.Respondents Lester Edward (born on 11 June 1981), Candice Grace (born on 23 October 1985) and
Mariano III (born on 31 August 1986) have since reached the age of majority, thus
emancipating them from their parents' authority (see Article 228(3), Civil Code, as amended).
15.Article 209 in relation to Article 220(4), Civil Code, as amended.
16.The ordering of persons obliged to provide support in Article 199 is different from the preference
of right toreceive it under Article 200, par. 3. Thus, the Court of Appeals, while correctly
affirming the trial court's ruling, as we do, misapplied the latter provision as basis for its ruling
sustaining petitioners' concurrentobligation to provide support.
17.Article 228 (3), Civil Code, as amended.
18.Supra note 10 at 448-449.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

26

19.Respondents no longer sought support from the children's maternal ascendants because at the
time respondents filed their complaint, they were living with, and received support from,
Cheryl's mother.
20.Thus, should the ruling of the trial court in Civil Case No. 99-1852 (declaring the nullity of Cheryl
and Edward's marriage) be affirmed on appeal, the mutual obligation to provide support
between them ceases. See Pelayo v. Lauron, 12 Phil. 453, 457 (1908) (holding that in-laws "are
strangers with respect to the obligation that revolves upon the husband to provide support"
to his wife).
21.After the trial court's determination, the Edward and petitioners' liability should be reckoned from
the time the trial court rendered its judgment on 31 January 1996.
*Designated additional member per Special Order No. 755.
**Designated additional member per Special Order No. 753.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

27

SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 165166. August 15, 2012.]
CHARLES GOTARDO, petitioner, vs. DIVINA BULING, respondent.

DECISION

BRION, J p:
We resolve the petition for review on certiorari, 1 filed by petitioner Charles Gotardo, to challenge the
March 5, 2004 decision 2 and the July 27, 2004 resolution 3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA G.R. CV
No. 76326. The CA decision ordered the petitioner to recognize and provide legal support to his minor
son, Gliffze O. Buling. The CA resolution denied the petitioner's subsequent motion for reconsideration.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND
On September 6, 1995, respondent Divina Buling filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Maasin, Southern Leyte, Branch 25, for compulsory recognition and support pendente lite, claiming that
the petitioner is the father of her child Gliffze. 4
In his answer, the petitioner denied the imputed paternity of Gliffze. 5 For the parties' failure to
amicably settle the dispute, the RTC terminated the pre-trial proceedings. 6 Trial on the merits ensued.
The respondent testified for herself and presented Rodulfo Lopez as witness. Evidence for the
respondent showed that she met the petitioner on December 1, 1992 at the Philippine Commercial and
Industrial Bank, Maasin, Southern Leyte branch where she had been hired as a casual employee, while
the petitioner worked as accounting supervisor. 7 The petitioner started courting the respondent in the
third week of December 1992 and they became sweethearts in the last week of January 1993. 8 The
petitioner gave the respondent greeting cards on special occasions, such as on Valentine's Day and her
birthday; she reciprocated his love and took care of him when he was ill. 9 AHDaET
Sometime in September 1993, the petitioner started intimate sexual relations with the respondent in
the former's rented room in the boarding house managed by Rodulfo, the respondent's uncle, on Tomas
Oppus St., Agbao, Maasin, Southern Leyte. 10 The petitioner rented the room from March 1, 1993 to
August 30, 1994. 11 The sexual encounters occurred twice a month and became more frequent in June
1994; eventually, on August 8, 1994, the respondent found out that she was pregnant. 12 When told of
the pregnancy, the petitioner was happy and made plans to marry the respondent. 13 They in fact
applied for a marriage license. 14 The petitioner even inquired about the costs of a wedding reception
and the bridal gown. 15 Subsequently, however, the petitioner backed out of the wedding plans. 16

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

28

The respondent responded by filing a complaint with the Municipal Trial Court of Maasin, Southern
Leyte for damages against the petitioner for breach of promise to marry. 17 Later, however, the
petitioner and the respondent amicably settled the case. 18
The respondent gave birth to their son Gliffze on March 9, 1995. 19 When the petitioner did not show
up and failed to provide support to Gliffze, the respondent sent him a letter on July 24, 1995 demanding
recognition of and support for their child. 20 When the petitioner did not answer the demand, the
respondent filed her complaint for compulsory recognition and support pendente lite. 21
The petitioner took the witness stand and testified for himself. He denied the imputed
paternity, 22 claiming that he first had sexual contact with the respondent in the first week of August
1994 and she could not have been pregnant for twelve (12) weeks (or three (3) months) when he was
informed of the pregnancy on September 15, 1994. 23
During the pendency of the case, the RTC, on the respondent's motion, 24 granted a P2,000.00 monthly
child support, retroactive from March 1995. 25
THE RTC RULING
In its June 25, 2002 decision, the RTC dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence proving
Gliffze's filiation. It found the respondent's testimony inconsistent on the question of when she had her
first sexual contact with the petitioner, i.e., "September 1993" in her direct testimony while "last week
of January 1993" during her cross-testimony, and her reason for engaging in sexual contact even after
she had refused the petitioner's initial marriage proposal. It ordered the respondent to return the
amount of support pendente lite erroneously awarded, and to pay P10,000.00 as attorney's fees. 26
The respondent appealed the RTC ruling to the CA. 27 EIASDT
THE CA RULING
In its March 5, 2004 decision, the CA departed from the RTC's appreciation of the respondent's
testimony, concluding that the latter merely made an honest mistake in her understanding of the
questions of the petitioner's counsel. It noted that the petitioner and the respondent had sexual
relationship even before August 1994; that the respondent had only one boyfriend, the petitioner, from
January 1993 to August 1994; and that the petitioner's allegation that the respondent had previous
relationships with other men remained unsubstantiated. The CA consequently set aside the RTC decision
and ordered the petitioner to recognize his minor son Gliffze. It also reinstated the RTC order granting a
P2,000.00 monthly child support. 28
When the CA denied 29 the petitioner's motion for reconsideration, 30 the petitioner filed the present
petition for review on certiorari.
THE PETITION
The petitioner argues that the CA committed a reversible error in rejecting the RTC's appreciation of the
respondent's testimony, and that the evidence on record is insufficient to prove paternity.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

29

THE CASE FOR THE RESPONDENT


The respondent submits that the CA correctly explained that the inconsistency in the respondent's
testimony was due to an incorrect appreciation of the questions asked, and that the record is replete
with evidence proving that the petitioner was her lover and that they had several intimate sexual
encounters during their relationship, resulting in her pregnancy and Gliffze's birth on March 9, 1995.
THE ISSUE
The sole issue before us is whether the CA committed a reversible error when it set aside the RTC's
findings and ordered the petitioner to recognize and provide legal support to his minor son Gliffze.
OUR RULING
We do not find any reversible error in the CA's ruling.
We have recognized that "[f]iliation proceedings are usually filed not just to adjudicate paternity but
also to secure a legal right associated with paternity, such as citizenship, support (as in this case) or
inheritance. [In paternity cases, the burden of proof] is on the person who alleges that the putative
father is the biological father of the child." 31
One can prove filiation, either legitimate or illegitimate, through the record of birth appearing in the civil
register or a final judgment, an admission of filiation in a public document or a private handwritten
instrument and signed by the parent concerned, or the open and continuous possession of the status of
a legitimate or illegitimate child, or any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special
laws. 32 We have held that such other proof of one's filiation may be a "baptismal certificate, a judicial
admission, a family bible in which [his] name has been entered, common reputation respecting [his]
pedigree, admission by silence, the [testimonies] of witnesses, and other kinds of proof [admissible]
under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court." 33
In Herrera v. Alba, 34 we stressed that there are four significant procedural aspects of a traditional
paternity action that parties have to face: a prima facie case, affirmative defenses, presumption of
legitimacy, and physical resemblance between the putative father and the child. 35 We explained that
a prima facie case exists if a woman declares supported by corroborative proof that she had sexual
relations with the putative father; at this point, the burden of evidence shifts to the putative
father. 36 We explained further that the two affirmative defenses available to the putative father are:
(1) incapability of sexual relations with the mother due to either physical absence or impotency, or (2)
that the mother had sexual relations with other men at the time of conception. 37 ADHcTE
In this case, the respondent established a prima facie case that the petitioner is the putative father of
Gliffze through testimony that she had been sexually involved only with one man, the petitioner, at the
time of her conception. 38 Rodulfo corroborated her testimony that the petitioner and the respondent
had intimate relationship. 39
On the other hand, the petitioner did not deny that he had sexual encounters with the respondent, only
that it occurred on a much later date than the respondent asserted, such that it was physically

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

30

impossible for the respondent to have been three (3) months pregnant already in September 1994 when
he was informed of the pregnancy. 40 However, the petitioner failed to substantiate his allegations of
infidelity and insinuations of promiscuity. His allegations, therefore, cannot be given credence for lack of
evidentiary support. The petitioner's denial cannot overcome the respondent's clear and categorical
assertions.
The petitioner, as the RTC did, made much of the variance between the respondent's direct testimony
regarding their first sexual contact as "sometime in September 1993" and her cross-testimony when she
stated that their first sexual contact was "last week of January 1993," as follows:
ATTY. GO CINCO:
When did the defendant, according to you, start courting you?
A Third week of December 1992.
Q And you accepted him?
A Last week of January 1993.
Q And by October you already had your sexual intercourse?
A Last week of January 1993.
COURT:
What do you mean by accepting?
A I accepted his offer of love. 41
We find that the contradictions are for the most part more apparent than real, having resulted from the
failure of the respondent to comprehend the question posed, but this misunderstanding was later
corrected and satisfactorily explained. Indeed, when confronted for her contradictory statements, the
respondent explained that that portion of the transcript of stenographic notes was incorrect and she
had brought it to the attention of Atty. Josefino Go Cinco (her former counsel) but the latter took no
action on the matter. 42 SCcHIE
Jurisprudence teaches that in assessing the credibility of a witness, his testimony must be considered in
its entirety instead of in truncated parts. The technique in deciphering a testimony is not to consider
only its isolated parts and to anchor a conclusion based on these parts. "In ascertaining the facts
established by a witness, everything stated by him on direct, cross and redirect examinations must be
calibrated and considered." 43 Evidently, the totality of the respondent's testimony positively and
convincingly shows that no real inconsistency exists. The respondent has consistently asserted that she
started intimate sexual relations with the petitioner sometime in September 1993. 44
Since filiation is beyond question, support follows as a matter of obligation; a parent is obliged to
support his child, whether legitimate or illegitimate. 45 Support consists of everything indispensable for
sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

31

financial capacity of the family. 46 Thus, the amount of support is variable and, for this reason, no final
judgment on the amount of support is made as the amount shall be in proportion to the resources or
means of the giver and the necessities of the recipient. 47 It may be reduced or increased
proportionately according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the
resources or means of the person obliged to support. 48
In this case, we sustain the award of P2,000.00 monthly child support, without prejudice to the filing of
the proper motion in the RTC for the determination of any support in arrears, considering the needs of
the child, Gliffze, during the pendency of this case.
WHEREFORE, we hereby DENY the petition for lack of merit. The March 5, 2004 decision and the July 27,
2004 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA G.R. CV No. 76326 are hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against
the petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
Carpio, Villarama, Jr., *Perez and Reyes, JJ., concur.

Footnotes

*Designated as Acting Member of the Second Division in lieu of Associate Justice Maria Lourdes P. A.
Sereno per Special Order No. 1274 dated July 30, 2012.
1.Filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court; rollo, pp. 10-26.
2.Penned by Associate Justice Jose L. Sabio, Jr., and concurred in by Associate Justices Delilah VidallonMagtolis and Hakim S. Abdulwahid; id. at 29-45.
3.Id. at 46-47.
4.Original records, pp. 1-8.
5.Id. at 22-25.
6.Id. at 54.
7.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 5; TSN, May 15, 1996, p. 6.
8.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 6; TSN, May 15, 1996, p. 6.
9.TSN, February 16, 1996, pp. 7-10; Exhibits "B" and "C," Folder of Exhibits, p. 2.
10.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 10; TSN, May 15, 1996, p. 3; TSN, July 18, 1996, pp. 5-8.
11.TSN, May 15, 1996, p. 3; TSN, July 18, 1996, p. 4.
12.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 11; TSN, May 15, 1996, pp. 4-5.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

32

13.TSN, February 16, 1996, pp. 11-12.


14.Id. at 12-15; Exhibit "E," Folder of Exhibits, p. 4.
15.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 16.
16.Id. at 17.
17.Id. at 24; Exhibit "3," Folder of Exhibits, pp. 61-64.
18.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 24; Exhibit "I," Folder of Exhibits, pp. 9-10.
19.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 20; Exhibit "A," Folder of Exhibits, p. 1.
20.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 20; Exhibit "F," Folder of Exhibits, p. 5.
21.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 25.
22.TSN, September 5, 2000, pp. 3-4.
23.TSN, September 5, 2000, pp. 7, 10, 11.
24.Original records, pp. 58-59.
25.August 1, 1996 order; id. at 60.
26.Id. at 143-158.
27.Id. at 159.
28.Supra note 2.
29.Supra note 3.
30.CA rollo, pp. 144-152.
31.Estate of Rogelio G. Ong v. Diaz, G.R. No. 171713, December 17, 2007, 540 SCRA 480, 490. See
alsoHerrera v. Alba, 499 Phil. 185, 191 (2005).
32.FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Articles 172 and 175.
33.Cruz v. Cristobal, 529 Phil. 695, 710-711 (2006). See also Heirs of Ignacio Conti v. Court of Appeals,
360 Phil. 536, 549 (1998); and Trinidad v. CA, 352 Phil. 12, 32-33 (1998).
34.Supra note 31.
35.Id. at 192.
36.Ibid.
37.Ibid.
38.TSN, May 15, 1996, pp. 15-16.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

39.TSN, July 18, 1996, p. 8.


40.TSN, September 5, 2000, pp. 7, 10, 11.
41.TSN, May 15, 1996, p. 6.
42.TSN, May 30, 2000, pp. 4-5.
43.Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. Chiong, G.R. No. 155550, January 31, 2008, 543 SCRA 308, 324;
and Leyson v. Lawa, 535 Phil. 153, 167 (2006).
44.TSN, February 16, 1996, p. 10; TSN, May 15, 1996, p. 3.
45.FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Article 195.
46.Id., Article 194.
47.Id., Article 201.
48.Id., Article 202.

33

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

34

FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. No. 201043. June 16, 2014.]
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Finance Center (AFPFC), petitioner, vs. DAISY R. YAHON, respondent.

DECISION

VILLARAMA, JR., J p:
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 which seeks to nullify and set aside
the Decision 1 dated November 29, 2011 and Resolution 2 dated March 9, 2012 of the Court of Appeals
(CA) Mindanao Station in CA-G.R. SP No. 02953-MIN. The CA affirmed the orders and decision of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cagayan de Oro City, Branch 22 granting temporary and permanent
protection orders, and denying the motion to lift the said temporary protection order (TPO).
Daisy R. Yahon (respondent) filed a petition for the issuance of protection order under the provisions of
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262, 3 otherwise known as the "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their
Children Act of 2004," against her husband, S/Sgt. Charles A. Yahon (S/Sgt. Yahon), an enlisted personnel
of the Philippine Army who retired in January 2006. Respondent and S/Sgt. Yahon were married on June
8, 2003. The couple did not have any child but respondent has a daughter with her previous live-in
partner.
On September 28, 2006, the RTC issued a TPO, as follows:
Finding the herein petition for the Issuance of Protection Order to be sufficient in
form and substance and to prevent great and irreparable injury to the petitioner, a
TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDER is forthwith issued to respondent, S/SGT. CHARLES
A. YAHON directing him to do the following acts: EAcCHI
1. Respondent is enjoined from threatening to commit or committing further
acts of physical abuse and violence against the petitioner;
2. To stay away at a distance of at least 500 meters from petitioner, her
residence or her place of work;
3. To refrain from harassing, annoying, intimidating, contacting or
communicating with petitioner;
4. Respondent is prohibited from using or possessing any firearm or deadly
weapon on occasions not related to his job;

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

5. To provide reasonable financial spousal support to the petitioner.


The Local Police Officers and the Barangay Officials through the Chairman in the area
where the petitioner and respondent live at Poblacion, Claveria, Misamis Oriental and
Bobuntogan, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental are directed to respond to any request for
assistance from the petitioner for the implementation of this order. They are also
directed to accompany the petitioner to their conjugal abode at Purok 2, Bobuntogan,
Jasaan, Misamis Oriental to get her personal belongings in order to insure the safety
of the petitioner.
The Deputy Sheriff of this Court is ordered to immediately serve the Temporary
Protection Order (TPO) upon the respondent personally and to seek and obtain the
assistance of law enforcement agents, if needed, for purposes of effecting the smooth
implementation of this order. ITCHSa
In the meantime, let copy of this order and petition be served upon the respondent
for him to file an OPPOSITION within a period of five (5) days from receipt hereof and
let a Preliminary Conference and hearing on the merits be set on October 17, 2006 at
2:00 o'clock in the afternoon.
To insure that petitioner can receive a fair share of respondent's retirement and
other benefits, the following agencies thru their heads are directed to WITHHOLD
any retirement, pension and other benefits of respondent, S/SGT. CHARLES A.
YAHON, a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines assigned at 4ID, Camp
Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City until further orders from the court:
1. Commanding General/Officer of the Finance Center of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City;
2. The Management of RSBS, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City;
3. The Regional Manager of PAG-IBIG, Mortola St., Cagayan de Oro City.
VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS PUNISHABLE BY LAW.
IF THE RESPONDENT APPEARS WITHOUT COUNSEL ON THE DATE OF THE
PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE AND HEARING ON THE MERITS OF THE ISSUANCE OF A
PERMANENT PROTECTION ORDER, THE COURT SHALL NOT RESCHEDULE OR
POSTPONE THE PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE AND HEARING BUT SHALL APPOINT A
LAWYER FOR THE RESPONDENT AND IMMEDIATELY PROCEED WITH THE SAID
HEARING. HCEISc
IF THE RESPONDENT FAILS TO APPEAR ON THE DATE OF THE PRELIMINARY
CONFERENCE AND HEARING ON THE MERITS DESPITE PROPER NOTICE, THE COURT
SHALL ALLOW EX-PARTE PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE BY THE PETITIONER AND

35

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

36

RENDER JUDGMENT ON THE BASIS OF THE PLEADINGS AND EVIDENCE ON RECORD.


NO DELEGATION OF THE RECEPTION OF EVIDENCE SHALL BE ALLOWED.
SO ORDERED. 4 (Emphasis supplied.)
S/Sgt. Yahon, having been personally served with copy of the TPO, appeared during the scheduled pretrial but informed the court that he did not yet have a counsel and requested for time to hire his own
counsel. However, he did not hire a counsel nor file an opposition or answer to the petition. Because of
his failure to appear in the subsequent hearings of the case, the RTC allowed the ex-parte presentation
of evidence to determine the necessity of issuance of a Permanent Protection Order (PPO).
Meanwhile, as prayed for by respondent who manifested that S/Sgt. Yahon deliberately refused to give
her spousal support as directed in the TPO (she claimed that she had no source of livelihood since he
had told her to resign from her job and concentrate on keeping their house), the RTC issued another
order directing S/Sgt. Yahon to give respondent spousal support in the amount of P4,000.00 per month
and fifty percent (50%) of his retirement benefits which shall be automatically deducted and given
directly to respondent. 5
In her testimony, respondent also said that S/Sgt. Yahon never complied with the TPO as he continued
making threats and inflicting physical abuse on her person, and failed to give her spousal support as
ordered by the court.
On July 23, 2007, the RTC rendered its Decision, 6 as follows: EDSAac
After careful review and scrutiny of the evidence presented in this case, this court
finds that there is a need to permanently protect the applicant, Daisy R, Yahon from
further acts of violence that might be committed by respondent against her.
Evidences showed that respondent who was a member of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines assigned at the Headquarters 4ID Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City
had been repeatedly inflicting physical, verbal, emotional and economic abuse and
violence upon the petitioner. Respondent in several instances had slapped, mauled
and punched petitioner causing her physical harm. Exhibits G and D are medical
certificates showing physical injuries suffered by petitioner inflicted by the respondent
at instances of their marital altercations. Respondent at the height of his anger often
poked a gun on petitioner and threatened to massacre her and her child causing them
to flee for their lives and sought refuge from other people. He had demanded sex
from petitioner at an unreasonable time when she was sick and chilling and when
refused poked a gun at her. Several police blotters were offered as evidence by
petitioner documenting the incidents when she was subjected to respondent's ill
temper and ill treatment. Verbally, petitioner was not spared from respondent's
abuses by shouting at her that he was wishing she would die and he would celebrate if
it happens and by calling and sending her threatening text messages. These incidents
had caused petitioner great psychological trauma causing her [to] fear for her life and
these forced her to seek refuge from the court for protection. Economically, petitioner

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

37

was also deprived by respondent of her spousal support despite order of the court
directing him to give a monthly support of Php4,000.00. In view of the foregoing, this
court finds a need to protect the life of the petitioner not only physically but also
emotionally and psychologically.
Based on the evidence presented, both oral and documentary, and there being no
controverting evidence presented by respondent, this Court finds that the applicant
has established her case by preponderance of evidence.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered GRANTING the
petition, thus, pursuant to Sec. 30 of A.M. No. 04-10-1-SC, let a PERMANENT
PROTECTION ORDER be issued immediately and respondent, S/Sgt. CHARLES A.
YAHON is ordered to give to petitioner, DAISY R. YAHON the amount of FOUR
THOUSAND PESOS (Php4,000.00) per month by way of spousal support.
Pursuant to the order of the court dated February 6, 2007, respondent, S/Sgt. Charles
A. Yahon is directed to give it to petitioner 50% of whatever retirement benefits and
other claims that may be due or released to him from the government and the said
share of petitioner shall be automatically deducted from respondent's benefits and
claims and be given directly to the petitioner, Daisy R. Yahon.
Let copy of this decision be sent to the Commanding General/Officer of Finance
Center of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City;
the Management of RSBS, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City and the Regional
Manager of PAG-IBIG, Mortola St., Cagayan de Oro City for their guidance and strict
compliance.
SO ORDERED. 7 (Emphasis supplied.)
Herein petitioner Armed Forces of the Philippines Finance Center (AFPFC), assisted by the Office of the
Judge Advocate General (OTJAG), AFP, filed before the RTC a Manifestation and Motion (To Lift
Temporary Protection Order Against the AFP) 8 dated November 10, 2008. Stating that it was making a
limited and special appearance, petitioner manifested that on August 29, 2008, it furnished the AFP
Pension and Gratuity Management Center (PGMC) copy of the TPO for appropriate action. The PGMC,
on September 2, 2008, requested the Chief, AFPFC the temporary withholding of the thirty-six (36)
Months Lump Sum (MLS) due to S/Sgt. Yahon. Thereafter, on October 29, 2008, PGMC forwarded a
letter to the Chief of Staff, AFP for the OTJAG for appropriate action on the TPO, and requesting for legal
opinion as to the propriety of releasing the 36 MLS of S/Sgt. Yahon. Petitioner informed the RTC that
S/Sgt. Yahon's check representing his 36 MLS had been processed and is ready for payment by the
AFPFC, but to date said check has not been claimed by respondent. DTISaH
Petitioner further asserted that while it has initially discharged its obligation under the TPO, the RTC had
not acquired jurisdiction over the military institution due to lack of summons, and hence the AFPFC
cannot be bound by the said court order. Additionally, petitioner contended that the AFPFC is not a

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

38

party-in-interest and is a complete stranger to the proceedings before the RTC on the issuance of
TPO/PPO. Not being impleaded in the case, petitioner lamented that it was not afforded due process
and it was thus improper to issue execution against the AFPFC. Consequently, petitioner emphasized its
position that the AFPFC cannot be directed to comply with the TPO without violating its right to
procedural due process.
In its Order 9 dated December 17, 2008, the RTC denied the aforesaid motion for having been filed out
of time. It noted that the September 28, 2006 TPO and July 23, 2007 Decision granting Permanent
Protection Order (PPO) to respondent had long become final and executory. DHATcE
Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied under the RTC's Order 10 dated March 6,
2009.
On May 27, 2009, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari before the CA praying for the nullification of
the aforesaid orders and decision insofar as it directs the AFPFC to automatically deduct from S/Sgt.
Yahon's retirement and pension benefits and directly give the same to respondent as spousal support,
allegedly issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. TaEIAS
Respondent filed her Comment with Prayer for Issuance of Preliminary Injunction, manifesting that
there is no information as to whether S/Sgt. Yahon already received his retirement benefit and that the
latter has repeatedly violated the TPO, particularly on the provision of spousal support.
After due hearing, the CA's Twenty-Second Division issued a Resolution 11 granting respondent's
application, viz.:
Upon perusal of the respective pleadings filed by the parties, the Court finds
meritorious private respondent's application for the issuance of an injunctive relief.
While the 36-month lump sum retirement benefits of S/Sgt. Charles A. Yahon has
already been given to him, yet as admitted by petitioner itself, the monthly pension
after the mentioned retirement benefits has not yet been released to him. It appears
that the release of such pension could render ineffectual the eventual ruling of the
Court in this Petition. aATCDI
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, let a WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION issue
enjoining the Armed Forces of the Philippines Finance Center, its employees, agents,
representatives, and any all persons acting on its behalf, from releasing the remaining
pension that may be due to S/Sgt. Charles A. Yahon.
SO ORDERED. 12 TcCDIS
By Decision dated November 29, 2011, the CA denied the petition for certiorari and affirmed the
assailed orders and decision of the RTC. The CA likewise denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.
In this petition, the question of law presented is whether petitioner military institution may be ordered
to automatically deduct a percentage from the retirement benefits of its enlisted personnel, and to give

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

39

the same directly to the latter's lawful wife as spousal support in compliance with a protection order
issued by the RTC pursuant to R.A. No. 9262.
A protection order is an order issued by the court to prevent further acts of violence against women and
their children, their family or household members, and to grant other necessary relief. Its purpose is to
safeguard the offended parties from further harm, minimize any disruption in their daily life and
facilitate the opportunity and ability to regain control of their life. 13 The protection orders issued by
the court may be a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) or a Permanent Protection Order (PPO), while a
protection order that may be issued by the barangay shall be known as a Barangay Protection Order
(BPO). 14
Section 8 of R.A. No. 9262 enumerates the reliefs that may be included in the TPO, PPO or BPO, to wit:
(a) Prohibition of the respondent from threatening to commit or committing,
personally or through another, any of the acts mentioned in Section 5 of this Act;
(b) Prohibition of the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning,
contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or
indirectly; HDTSCc
(c) Removal and exclusion of the respondent from the residence of the petitioner,
regardless of ownership of the residence, either temporarily for the purpose of
protecting the petitioner, or permanently where no property rights are violated, and
if respondent must remove personal effects from the residence, the court shall
direct a law enforcement agent to accompany the respondent to the residence,
remain there until respondent has gathered his things and escort respondent from
the residence;
(d) Directing the respondent to stay away from petitioner and any designated
family or household member at a distance specified by the court, and to stay away
from the residence, school, place of employment, or any specified place frequented
by the petitioner and any designated family or household member;
(e) Directing lawful possession and use by petitioner of an automobile and other
essential personal effects, regardless of ownership, and directing the appropriate
law enforcement officer to accompany the petitioner to the residence of the parties
to ensure that the petitioner is safely restored to the possession of the automobile
and other essential personal effects, or to supervise the petitioner's or respondent's
removal of personal belongings;
(f) Granting a temporary or permanent custody of a child/children to the
petitioner;
(g) Directing the respondent to provide support to the woman and/or her child if
entitled to legal support. Notwithstanding other laws to the contrary, the court

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

40

shall order an appropriate percentage of the income or salary of the respondent to


be withheld regularly by the respondent's employer for the same to be
automatically remitted directly to the woman. Failure to remit and/or withhold or
any delay in the remittance of support to the woman and/or her child without
justifiable cause shall render the respondent or his employer liable for indirect
contempt of court;
(h) Prohibition of the respondent from any use or possession of any firearm or
deadly weapon and order him to surrender the same to the court for appropriate
disposition by the court, including revocation of license and disqualification to apply
for any license to use or possess a firearm. If the offender is a law enforcement
agent, the court shall order the offender to surrender his firearm and shall direct the
appropriate authority to investigate on the offender and take appropriate action on
matter;
(i) Restitution for actual damages caused by the violence inflicted, including, but
not limited to, property damage, medical expenses, child care expenses and loss of
income; ETDHaC
(j) Directing the DSWD or any appropriate agency to provide petitioner temporary
shelter and other social services that the petitioner may need; and
(k) Provision of such other forms of relief as the court deems necessary to protect
and provide for the safety of the petitioner and any designated family or household
member, provided petitioner and any designated family or household member
consents to such relief. (Emphasis supplied.)
Petitioner argues that it cannot comply with the RTC's directive for the automatic deduction of 50%
from S/Sgt. Yahon's retirement benefits and pension to be given directly to respondent, as it
contravenes an explicit mandate under the law governing the retirement and separation of military
personnel. DETcAH
The assailed provision is found in Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1638, 15 which states:
Section 31. The benefits authorized under this Decree, except as provided
herein, shall not be subject to attachment, garnishment, levy, execution or any tax
whatsoever; neither shall they be assigned, ceded, or conveyed to any third person:
Provided, That if a retired or separated officer or enlisted man who is entitled to any
benefit under this Decree has unsettled money and/or property accountabilities
incurred while in the active service, not more than fifty per centum of the pension
gratuity or other payment due such officer or enlisted man or his survivors under this
Decree may be withheld and be applied to settle such accountabilities. (Emphasis
supplied.) aHcACT

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

41

A similar provision is found in R.A. No. 8291, otherwise known as the "Government Service Insurance
System Act of 1997," which reads:
SEC. 39. Exemption from Tax, Legal Process and Lien. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
The funds and/or the properties referred to herein as well as the benefits, sums or
monies corresponding to the benefits under this Act shall be exempt from
attachment, garnishment, execution, levy or other processes issued by the courts,
quasi-judicial agencies or administrative bodies including Commission on Audit (COA)
disallowances and from all financial obligations of the members, including his
pecuniary accountability arising from or caused or occasioned by his exercise or
performance of his official functions or duties, or incurred relative to or in connection
with his position or work except when his monetary liability, contractual or otherwise,
is in favor of the GSIS.
In Sarmiento v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 16 we held that a court order directing the Philippine
National Bank to refrain from releasing to petitioner all his retirement benefits and to deliver one-half of
such monetary benefits to plaintiff as the latter's conjugal share is illegal and improper, as it violates
Section 26 of CA 186 (old GSIS Law) which exempts retirement benefits from execution.
The foregoing exemptions have been incorporated in the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended,
which governs execution of judgments and court orders. Section 13 of Rule 39 enumerates those
properties which are exempt from execution:
SEC. 13. Property exempt from execution. Except as otherwise expressly provided
by law, the following property, and no other, shall be exempt from execution:
xxx xxx xxx
(l) The right to receive legal support, or money or property obtained as such support,
orany pension or gratuity from the Government; (Emphasis supplied.) IHAcCS
It is basic in statutory construction that in case of irreconcilable conflict between two laws, the later
enactment must prevail, being the more recent expression of legislative will. 17 Statutes must be so
construed

and

harmonized

with

other

statutes

as

to

form

uniform

system

of

jurisprudence. 18 However, if several laws cannot be harmonized, the earlier statute must yield to the
later enactment. The later law is the latest expression of the legislative will. 19
We hold that Section 8 (g) of R.A. No. 9262, being a later enactment, should be construed as laying
down an exception to the general rule above-stated that retirement benefits are exempt from
execution. The law itself declares that the court shall order the withholding of a percentage of the
income or salary of the respondent by the employer, which shall be automatically remitted directly to
the woman "[n]otwithstanding other laws to the contrary."

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

42

Petitioner further contends that the directive under the TPO to segregate a portion of S/Sgt. Yahon's
retirement benefits was illegal because said moneys remain as public funds, citing the case of Pacific
Products v. Ong. 20 In that case, this Court sustained the CA when it held that the garnishment of the
amount of P10,500 payable to BML Trading and Supply while it was still in the possession of the Bureau
of Telecommunications was illegal and therefore, null and void. The CA therein relied on the previous
rulings in Director of Commerce and Industry v. Concepcion 21 and Avendano v. Alikpala, et
al. 22 wherein this Court declared null and void the garnishment of the salaries of government
employees.
Citing the two aforementioned cases, we thus declared in Pacific Products:
A rule, which has never been seriously questioned, is that money in the hands of
public officers, although it may be due government employees, is not liable to the
creditors of these employees in the process of garnishment. One reason is, that the
State, by virtue of its sovereignty may not be sued in its own courts except by express
authorization by the Legislature, and to subject its officers to garnishment would be to
permit indirectly what is prohibited directly. Another reason is that moneys sought to
be garnished, as long as they remain in the hands of the disbursing officer of the
Government, belong to the latter, although the defendant in garnishment may be
entitled to a specific portion thereof. And still another reason which covers both of the
foregoing is that every consideration of public policy forbids it. 23
We disagree.
Section 8 (g) of R.A. No. 9262 used the general term "employer," which includes in its coverage the
military institution, S/Sgt. Yahon's employer. Where the law does not distinguish, courts should not
distinguish. Thus, Section 8 (g) applies to all employers, whether private or government.
It bears stressing that Section 8 (g) providing for spousal and child support, is a support enforcement
legislation. In the United States, provisions of the Child Support Enforcement Act 24 allow garnishment
of certain federal funds where the intended recipient has failed to satisfy a legal obligation of child
support. As these provisions were designed "to avoid sovereign immunity problems" and provide that
"moneys payable by the Government to any individual are subject to child support enforcement
proceedings," the law is clearly intended to "create a limited waiver of sovereign immunity so that state
courts could issue valid orders directed against Government agencies attaching funds in their
possession." 25
This Court has already ruled that R.A. No. 9262 is constitutional and does not violate the equal
protection clause. In Garcia v. Drilon 26 the issue of constitutionality was raised by a husband after the
latter failed to obtain an injunction from the CA to enjoin the implementation of a protection order
issued against him by the RTC. We ruled that R.A. No. 9262 rests on real substantial distinctions which
justify the classification under the law: the unequal power relationship between women and men; the
fact that women are more likely than men to be victims of violence; and the widespread bias and
prejudice against women. DIECTc

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

43

We further held in Garcia that the classification is germane to the purpose of the law, viz.:
The distinction between men and women is germane to the purpose of R.A. 9262,
which is to address violence committed against women and children, spelled out in
its Declaration of Policy, as follows:
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared that the State values the
dignity of women and children and guarantees full respect for human rights.
The State also recognizes the need to protect the family and its members
particularly women and children, from violence and threats to their personal
safety and security.
Towards this end, the State shall exert efforts to address violence committed
against women and children in keeping with the fundamental freedoms
guaranteed under the Constitution and the provisions of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Discrimination Against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child and
other international human rights instruments of which the Philippines is a
party. 27
Under R.A. No. 9262, the provision of spousal and child support specifically address one form of violence
committed against women economic abuse.
D."Economic abuse" refers to acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially
dependent which includes, but is not limited to the following: CEHcSI
1. Withdrawal of financial support or preventing the victim from engaging in any
legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity, except in cases wherein the
other spouse/partner objects on valid, serious and moral grounds as defined in Article
73 of the Family Code;
2. Deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and the right to the use
and enjoyment of the conjugal, community or property owned in common;
3. Destroying household property;
4. Controlling the victims' own money or properties or solely controlling the conjugal
money or properties. 28
The relief provided in Section 8 (g) thus fulfills the objective of restoring the dignity of women who are
victims of domestic violence and provide them continued protection against threats to their personal
safety and security.
"The scope of reliefs in protection orders is broadened to ensure that the victim or offended party is
afforded all the remedies necessary to curtail access by a perpetrator to the victim. This serves to
safeguard the victim from greater risk of violence; to accord the victim and any designated family or

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

44

household member safety in the family residence, and to prevent the perpetrator from committing acts
that jeopardize the employment and support of the victim. It also enables the court to award temporary
custody of minor children to protect the children from violence, to prevent their abduction by the
perpetrator and toensure their financial support." 29
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision dated November 29, 2011 and
Resolution dated March 9, 2012 of the Court of Appeals Mindanao Station in CA-G.R. SP No. 02953-MIN
are AFFIRMED and UPHELD.
No costs. CcADHI
SO ORDERED.
Sereno, C.J., Leonardo-de Castro, Bersamin and Reyes, JJ., concur.
Footnotes
1.Rollo, pp. 36-45. Penned by Associate Justice Edgardo A. Camello with Associate Justices Pamela Ann
Abella Maxino and Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles concurring.
2.Id. at 46-47.
3.AN ACT DEFINING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN, PROVIDING FOR PROTECTIVE
MEASURES FOR VICTIMS, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
4.Id. at 63-64.
5.Id. at 76.
6.Id. at 75-80. Penned by Presiding Justice Francisco L. Calingin.
7.Id. at 78-79.
8.Id. at 65-72.
9.Id. at 73-74.
10.Id. at 88.
11.CA rollo, pp. 222-223.
12.Id. at 223.
13.Sec. 4 (o), A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC (Rule on Violence Against Women and Their Children).
14.Sec. 11, Rule IV, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. No. 9262.
15.Issued on September 10, 1979.
16.237 Phil. 106, 112-113 (1987).

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

17.Magno v. Commission on Elections, 439 Phil. 339, 347 (2002), citing Philippine National Bank v.
Cruz, 259 Phil. 696, 701-702 (1989).
18.Valera v. Tuazon, 80 Phil. 823 (1948).
19.Eraa v. Vergel de Dios, 85 Phil. 17 (1947); City of Naga vs. Agna, 71 SCRA 176 (1976).
20.260 Phil. 583 (1990).
21.43 Phil. 384 (1922).
22.120 Phil. 1331 (1964).
23.Supra note 20, at 591.
24.42 USCS. 659(a).
25.See Rose v. Rose, et al., 481 U.S. 619 (1987).
26.G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013, 699 SCRA 352.
27.Id. at 421.
28.Sec. 3, R.A. No. 9262.
29.RATIONALE OF THE PROPOSED RULE ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN.

45

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

46

THIRD DIVISION
[G.R. No. 193707. December 10, 2014.]
NORMA A. DEL SOCORRO, for and in behalf of her minor child RODERIGO NORJO
VAN WILSEM, petitioner, vs. ERNST JOHAN BRINKMAN VAN WILSEM, respondent.

DECISION

PERALTA, J p:
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to
reverse and set aside the Orders 1 dated February 19, 2010 and September 1, 2010, respectively, of the
Regional Trial Court of Cebu City (RTC-Cebu), which dismissed the criminal case entitled People of the
Philippines v. Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem, docketed as Criminal Case No. CBU-85503, for violation
of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their
Children Act of 2004.
The following facts are culled from the records:
Petitioner Norma A. Del Socorro and respondent Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem contracted marriage
in Holland on September 25, 1990. 2 On January 19, 1994, they were blessed with a son named
Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem, who at the time of the filing of the instant petition was sixteen (16) years of
age. 3
Unfortunately, their marriage bond ended on July 19, 1995 by virtue of a Divorce Decree issued by the
appropriate Court of Holland. 4 At that time, their son was only eighteen (18) months old. 5 Thereafter,
petitioner and her son came home to the Philippines. 6 CHIaTc
According to petitioner, respondent made a promise to provide monthly support to their son in the
amount of Two Hundred Fifty (250) Guildene (which is equivalent to Php17,500.00 more or
less). 7 However, since the arrival of petitioner and her son in the Philippines, respondent never gave
support to the son, Roderigo. 8
Not long thereafter, respondent came to the Philippines and remarried in Pinamungahan, Cebu, and
since then, have been residing thereat. 9 Respondent and his new wife established a business known as
Paree Catering, located at Barangay Tajao, Municipality of Pinamungahan, Cebu City. 10 To date, all the
parties, including their son, Roderigo, are presently living in Cebu City. 11
On August 28, 2009, petitioner, through her counsel, sent a letter demanding for support from
respondent. However, respondent refused to receive the letter. 12

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

47

Because of the foregoing circumstances, petitioner filed a complaint-affidavit with the Provincial
Prosecutor of Cebu City against respondent for violation of Section 5, paragraph E (2) of R.A. No. 9262
for the latter's unjust refusal to support his minor child with petitioner. 13 Respondent submitted his
counter-affidavit thereto, to which petitioner also submitted her reply-affidavit. 14 Thereafter, the
Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu City issued a Resolution recommending the filing of an information for the
crime charged against herein respondent.
The information, which was filed with the RTC-Cebu and raffled to Branch 20 thereof, states that: IcTEaC
That sometime in the year 1995 and up to the present, more or less, in the
Municipality of Minglanilla, Province of Cebu, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully and deliberately deprive, refuse and still continue to deprive his son
RODERIGO NORJO VAN WILSEM, a fourteen (14) year old minor, of financial support
legally due him, resulting in economic abuse to the victim.
CONTRARY TO LAW. 15
Upon motion and after notice and hearing, the RTC-Cebu issued a Hold Departure Order against
respondent. 16 Consequently, respondent was arrested and, subsequently, posted bail. 17
Petitioner also filed a Motion/Application of Permanent Protection Order to which respondent filed his
Opposition. 18 Pending the resolution thereof, respondent was arraigned. 19
Subsequently, without the RTC-Cebu having resolved the application of the protection order,
respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged;
and (2) prescription of the crime charged. 20
On February 19, 2010, the RTC-Cebu issued the herein assailed Order, 21 dismissing the instant criminal
case against respondent on the ground that the facts charged in the information do not constitute an
offense with respect to the respondent who is an alien, the dispositive part of which states: aATEDS
WHEREFORE, the Court finds that the facts charged in the information do not
constitute an offense with respect to the accused, he being an alien, and accordingly,
orders this case DISMISSED.
The bail bond posted by accused Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem for his provisional
liberty is hereby cancelled (sic) and ordered released.
SO ORDERED.
Cebu City, Philippines, February 19, 2010. 22
Thereafter, petitioner filed her Motion for Reconsideration thereto reiterating respondent's obligation
to support their child under Article 195 23 of the Family Code, thus, failure to do so makes him liable
under R.A. No. 9262 which "equally applies to all persons in the Philippines who are obliged to support
their minor children regardless of the obligor's nationality." 24

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

48

On September 1, 2010, the lower court issued an Order 25 denying petitioner's Motion for
Reconsideration and reiterating its previous ruling. Thus:
. . . The arguments therein presented are basically a rehash of those advanced earlier
in the memorandum of the prosecution. Thus, the court hereby reiterates its ruling
that since the accused is a foreign national he is not subject to our national law (The
Family Code) in regard to a parent's duty and obligation to give support to his child.
Consequently, he cannot be charged of violating R.A. 9262 for his alleged failure to
support his child. Unless it is conclusively established that R.A. 9262 applies to a
foreigner who fails to give support to his child, notwithstanding that he is not bound
by our domestic law which mandates a parent to give such support, it is the
considered opinion of the court that no prima facie case exists against the accused
herein, hence, the case should be dismissed. CScTDE
WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Cebu City, Philippines, September 1, 2010. 26
Hence, the present Petition for Review on Certiorari raising the following issues:
1. Whether or not a foreign national has an obligation to support his minor child
under Philippine law; and
2. Whether or not a foreign national can be held criminally liable under R.A. No. 9262
for his unjustified failure to support his minor child. 27
At the outset, let it be emphasized that We are taking cognizance of the instant petition despite the fact
that the same was directly lodged with the Supreme Court, consistent with the ruling in Republic v.
Sunvar Realty Development Corporation, 28 which lays down the instances when a ruling of the trial
court may be brought on appeal directly to the Supreme Court without violating the doctrine of
hierarchy of courts, to wit:
. . . Nevertheless, the Rules do not prohibit any of the parties from filing a Rule 45
Petition with this Court, in case only questions of law are raised or involved. This
latter situation was one that petitioners found themselves in when they filed the
instant Petition to raise only questions of law. CScTED
In Republic v. Malabanan, the Court clarified the three modes of appeal from
decisions of the RTC, to wit: (1) by ordinary appeal or appeal by writ of error under
Rule 41, whereby judgment was rendered in a civil or criminal action by the RTC in the
exercise of its original jurisdiction; (2) by a petition for review under Rule 42, whereby
judgment was rendered by the RTC in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction; and (3)
by a petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court under Rule 45. "The
first mode of appeal is taken to the [Court of Appeals] on questions of fact or mixed

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

49

questions of fact and law. The second mode of appeal is brought to the CA on
questions of fact, of law, or mixed questions of fact and law. The third mode of
appeal is elevated to the Supreme Court only on questions of law." (Emphasis
supplied)
There is a question of law when the issue does not call for an examination of the
probative value of the evidence presented or of the truth or falsehood of the facts
being admitted, and the doubt concerns the correct application of law and
jurisprudence on the matter. The resolution of the issue must rest solely on what the
law provides on the given set of circumstances. 29
Indeed, the issues submitted to us for resolution involve questions of law the response thereto
concerns the correct application of law and jurisprudence on a given set of facts, i.e., whether or not a
foreign national has an obligation to support his minor child under Philippine law; and whether or not he
can be held criminally liable under R.A. No. 9262 for his unjustified failure to do so. DIEcHa
It cannot be negated, moreover, that the instant petition highlights a novel question of law concerning
the liability of a foreign national who allegedly commits acts and omissions punishable under special
criminal laws, specifically in relation to family rights and duties. The inimitability of the factual milieu of
the present case, therefore, deserves a definitive ruling by this Court, which will eventually serve as a
guidepost for future cases. Furthermore, dismissing the instant petition and remanding the same to the
CA would only waste the time, effort and resources of the courts. Thus, in the present case,
considerations of efficiency and economy in the administration of justice should prevail over the
observance of the hierarchy of courts.
Now, on the matter of the substantive issues, We find the petition meritorious. Nonetheless, we do not
fully agree with petitioner's contentions.
To determine whether or not a person is criminally liable under R.A. No. 9262, it is imperative that the
legal obligation to support exists.
Petitioner invokes Article 195 30 of the Family Code, which provides the parent's obligation to support
his child. Petitioner contends that notwithstanding the existence of a divorce decree issued in relation to
Article 26 of the Family Code, 31 respondent is not excused from complying with his obligation to
support his minor child with petitioner.
On the other hand, respondent contends that there is no sufficient and clear basis presented by
petitioner that she, as well as her minor son, are entitled to financial support. 32 Respondent also added
that by reason of the Divorce Decree, he is not obligated to petitioner for any financial
support. 33 AHaETS
On this point, we agree with respondent that petitioner cannot rely on Article 195 34 of the New Civil
Code in demanding support from respondent, who is a foreign citizen, since Article 15 35 of the New
Civil Code stresses the principle of nationality. In other words, insofar as Philippine laws are concerned,
specifically the provisions of the Family Code on support, the same only applies to Filipino citizens. By

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

50

analogy, the same principle applies to foreigners such that they are governed by their national law with
respect to family rights and duties. 36
The obligation to give support to a child is a matter that falls under family rights and duties. Since the
respondent is a citizen of Holland or the Netherlands, we agree with the RTC-Cebu that he is subject to
the laws of his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged to give support to his child, as
well as the consequences of his failure to do so. 37
In the case of Vivo v. Cloribel, 38 the Court held that
Furthermore, being still aliens, they are not in position to invoke the provisions of
the Civil Code of the Philippines, for that Code cleaves to the principle that family
rights and duties are governed by their personal law, i.e., the laws of the nation to
which they belong even when staying in a foreign country (cf. Civil Code, Article
15). 39
It cannot be gainsaid, therefore, that the respondent is not obliged to support petitioner's son under
Article 195 of the Family Code as a consequence of the Divorce Covenant obtained in Holland. This does
not, however, mean that respondent is not obliged to support petitioner's son altogether. EHaASD
In international law, the party who wants to have a foreign law applied to a dispute or case has the
burden of proving the foreign law. 40 In the present case, respondent hastily concludes that being a
national of the Netherlands, he is governed by such laws on the matter of provision of and capacity to
support. 41 While respondent pleaded the laws of the Netherlands in advancing his position that he is
not obliged to support his son, he never proved the same.
It is incumbent upon respondent to plead and prove that the national law of the Netherlands does not
impose upon the parents the obligation to support their child (either before, during or after the issuance
of a divorce decree), because Llorente v. Court of Appeals, 42 has already enunciated that:
True, foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not
authorized to take judicial notice of them. Like any other fact, they must be alleged
and proved. 43
In view of respondent's failure to prove the national law of the Netherlands in his favor, the doctrine of
processual presumption shall govern. Under this doctrine, if the foreign law involved is not properly
pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or
internal law. 44 Thus, since the law of the Netherlands as regards the obligation to support has not been
properly pleaded and proved in the instant case, it is presumed to be the same with Philippine law,
which enforces the obligation of parents to support their children and penalizing the non-compliance
therewith.IASTDE
Moreover, while in Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera, 45 the Court held that a divorce obtained in a foreign land as
well as its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines in view of the nationality principle on the
matter of status of persons, the Divorce Covenant presented by respondent does not completely show

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

51

that he is not liable to give support to his son after the divorce decree was issued. Emphasis is placed on
petitioner's allegation that under the second page of the aforesaid covenant, respondent's obligation to
support his child is specifically stated, 46 which was not disputed by respondent.
We likewise agree with petitioner that notwithstanding that the national law of respondent states that
parents have no obligation to support their children or that such obligation is not punishable by law, said
law would still not find applicability, in light of the ruling in Bank of America, NT and SA v. American
Realty Corporation, 47 to wit:
In the instant case, assuming arguendo that the English Law on the matter were
properly pleaded and proved in accordance with Section 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of
Court and the jurisprudence laid down in Yao Kee, et al. vs. Sy-Gonzales, said foreign
law would still not find applicability.
Thus, when the foreign law, judgment or contract is contrary to a sound and
established public policy of the forum, the said foreign law, judgment or order shall
not be applied.
Additionally, prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those
which have for their object public order, public policy and good customs shall not be
rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or
conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. CAHTIS
The public policy sought to be protected in the instant case is the principle imbedded
in our jurisdiction proscribing the splitting up of a single cause of action.
Section 4, Rule 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is pertinent
If two or more suits are instituted on the basis of the same cause of action,
the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as a
ground for the dismissal of the others.
Moreover, foreign law should not be applied when its application would work
undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum. To give justice is the
most important function of law; hence, a law, or judgment or contract that is
obviously unjust negates the fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws. 48
Applying the foregoing, even if the laws of the Netherlands neither enforce a parent's obligation to
support his child nor penalize the non-compliance therewith, such obligation is still duly enforceable in
the Philippines because it would be of great injustice to the child to be denied of financial support when
the latter is entitled thereto.
We emphasize, however, that as to petitioner herself, respondent is no longer liable to support his
former wife, in consonance with the ruling in San Luis v. San Luis, 49 to wit: SHaIDE

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

52

As to the effect of the divorce on the Filipino wife, the Court ruled that she should no
longer be considered married to the alien spouse. Further, she should not be required
to perform her marital duties and obligations. It held:
To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our laws, petitioner
has to be considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a
wife's obligationsunder Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code cannot be
just. Petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect
and fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter should not
continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She
should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice
are to be served. (Emphasis added) 50
Based on the foregoing legal precepts, we find that respondent may be made liable under Section 5 (e)
and (i) of R.A. No. 9262 for unjustly refusing or failing to give support to petitioner's son, to wit:
SECTION 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children. The crime of
violence against women and their children is committed through any of the following
acts:
xxx xxx xxx
(e) Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in
conduct which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or desist
from conduct which the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or
attempting to restrict or restricting the woman's or her child's freedom of
movement or conduct by force or threat of force, physical or other harm or
threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against the woman
or child. This shall include, but not limited to, the following acts committed
with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the woman's or her
child's movement or conduct: DHSaCA
xxx xxx xxx
(2) Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial
support legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing the woman's children
insufficient financial support;
xxx xxx xxx
(i) Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the
woman or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and
emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody of minor
children of access to the woman's child/children. 51

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

53

Under the aforesaid special law, the deprivation or denial of financial support to the child is considered
an act of violence against women and children.
In addition, considering that respondent is currently living in the Philippines, we find strength in
petitioner's claim that the Territoriality Principle in criminal law, in relation to Article 14 of the New Civil
Code, applies to the instant case, which provides that:"[p]enal laws and those of public security and
safety shall be obligatory upon all who live and sojourn in Philippine territory, subject to the principle of
public international law and to treaty stipulations." On this score, it is indisputable that the alleged
continuing acts of respondent in refusing to support his child with petitioner is committed here in the
Philippines as all of the parties herein are residents of the Province of Cebu City. As such, our courts
have territorial jurisdiction over the offense charged against respondent. It is likewise irrefutable that
jurisdiction over the respondent was acquired upon his arrest. cdll
Finally, we do not agree with respondent's argument that granting, but not admitting, that there is a
legal basis for charging violation of R.A. No. 9262 in the instant case, the criminal liability has been
extinguished on the ground of prescription of crime 52 under Section 24 of R.A. No. 9262, which
provides that:
SECTION 24. Prescriptive Period. Acts falling under Sections 5(a) to 5(f) shall
prescribe in twenty (20) years. Acts falling under Sections 5(g) to 5(I) shall prescribe in
ten (10) years.
The act of denying support to a child under Section 5 (e) (2) and (i) of R.A. No. 9262 is a continuing
offense, 53 which started in 1995 but is still ongoing at present. Accordingly, the crime charged in the
instant case has clearly not prescribed.
Given, however, that the issue on whether respondent has provided support to petitioner's child calls
for an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented, and the truth and falsehood of
facts being admitted, we hereby remand the determination of tis issue to the RTC-Cebu which has
jurisdiction over the case.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Orders dated February 19, 2010 and September 1, 2010,
respectively, of the Regional Trial Court of the City of Cebu are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
case is REMANDED to the same court to conduct further proceedings based on the merits of the
case. CEASaT
SO ORDERED.
Velasco, Jr., Villarama, Jr., Mendoza * and Reyes, JJ., concur.
Footnotes
*Designated Acting Member in lieu of Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza, per Special Order No.
1896 dated November 28, 2014.

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

1.Penned by Judge Bienvenido R. Saniel, Jr.; Annexes "A" and "B" to Petition, respectively, rollo, pp.
22-26.
2.Rollo, p. 6.
3.Id.
4.Id. at 7.
5.Annex "F" to Petition, rollo, p. 31.
6.Id. at 32.
7.Annex "A" to Petition, rollo, pp. 23-24.
8.Id. at 24.
9.Id. at 32.
10.Id.
11.Supra note 7, at 23-24.
12.Supra note 5, at 32.
13.Rollo, p. 7.
14.Id.
15.Id. at 22.
16.Id.
17.Id. at 24.
18.Id. at 8.
19.Id.
20.Id.
21.Supra note 7.
22.Id. at 24.
23.Art. 195. Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged to support
each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:
(1) The spouses;
(2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
(3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;

54

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

55

(4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
and
(5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood.
24.Annex "R" to Petition, rollo, p. 102.
25.Annex "B" to Petition, id. at 25.
26.Id.
27.Rollo, p. 10.
28.G.R. No. 194880, June 20, 2012, 674 SCRA 320.
29.Id. at 332-333.
30.Supra note 23.
31.Art. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in
the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this
country, except those prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4), (5) and (6), 3637 and 38.
Where 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. (As amended by Executive
Order 227)
32.Comment on the Petition for Review on Certiorari, rollo, p. 123.
33.Id. at 122.
34.Supra note 23.
35.Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of
persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.
36.Supra note 7, at 24.
37.Id.
38.G.R. No. L-25441, October 26, 1968, 25 SCRA 616.
39.Id. at 625-626. (Emphasis supplied)
40.EDI-Staffbuilders International, Inc. v. NLRC, 563 Phil. 1, 22 (2007).
41.Annex "N" to Petition, rollo, p. 84.
42.399 Phil. 342 (2000).
43.Id. at 354. (Emphasis supplied)

RULE 61 SUPPORT PENDETE LITE

56

44.Bank of America, NT and SA v. American Realty Corporation, 378 Phil. 1279, 1296 (1999).
45.G.R. No. 80116, June 30, 1989, 174 SCRA 653.
46.Rollo, p. 18.
47.Supra note 44.
48.Id. at 1296-1297. (Emphasis supplied)
49.543 Phil. 275 (2007).
50.Id. at 290.
51.Section 5 (e) and (i) of R.A. No. 9262. (Emphasis supplied)
52.Rollo, p. 15.
53.In People v. De Leon, 608 Phil. 701, 722 (2009), it was held that:
A continued (continuous or continuing) crime is defined as a single crime, consisting of a series of
acts but all arising from one criminal resolution. Although there is a series of acts, there is only
one crime committed; hence, only one penalty shall be imposed.