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G.R. No. 159785 April 27, 2007


Respondent Maria Clarissa, met a close family friend, petitioner Teofisto I.

Verceles, mayor of Pandan. He then called on the Posadas and at the end of the visit,
offered Clarissa a job as a casual employee in the mayor’s office. Respondent accepted
the offer.

On November 11, 1986, at around 11:00 a.m., petitioner fetched Clarissa " where
the seminar was being held. Clarissa avers that he told her that they would have lunch at
Mayon Hotel with their companions who had gone ahead. When they reached the place
her companions were nowhere. After petitioner ordered food, he started making
amorous advances on her. She panicked, ran and closeted herself inside a comfort room
where she stayed until someone knocked. She said she hurriedly exited and left the
hotel. Afraid of the mayor, she kept the incident to herself. She went on as casual
employee. One of her tasks was following-up barangay road and maintenance projects.
On orders of petitioner, she went to Virac, Catanduanes, to follow up funds
for barangay projects. The same day, she went to Catanduanes Hotel on instructions of
petitioner who asked to be briefed on the progress of her mission. They met at the lobby
and he led her upstairs because he said he wanted the briefing done at the restaurant at
the upper floor.

Instead, however, petitioner opened a hotel room door, led her in, and suddenly
embraced her, as he told her that he was unhappy with his wife and would "divorce" her
anytime. He also claimed he could appoint her as a municipal development coordinator.
She succumbed to his advances. But again she kept the incident to herself

Petitioner argues he never signed the birth certificate of Verna Aiza Posada as
father and that it was respondent Clarissa who placed his name on the birth certificate
as father without his consent. In support of his argument that the issue on filiation
should have been resolved in a separate action, petitioner cited the case of Rosales v.
Castillo Rosales where we held that the legitimacy of a child which is controversial can
only be resolved in a direct action.


Whether or not the filiation of Verna Aiza Posada as the illegitimate child of petitioner
was proven.

YES. The corroborating testimony of Clarissa’s mother, the fact that petitioner proffered
no countervailing evidence, are preponderant evidence of paternity. They cited the case
of De Jesus v. Syquia where we held that a conceived child can be acknowledged
because this is an act favorable to the child.

Clarissa’s averments therein, her meeting with petitioner, his offer of a job, his
amorous advances, her seduction, their trysts, her pregnancy, birth of her child, his
letters, her demand for support for her child, all clearly establish a case for recognition
of paternity. We have held that the due recognition of an illegitimate child in a record of
birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing is, in itself,
a consummated act of acknowledgement of the child, and no further court action is
required. In fact, any authentic writing is treated not just a ground for compulsory
recognition; it is in itself a voluntary recognition that does not require a separate action
for judicial approval.


On April 17, 2001, plaintiff Karen Santos, claiming to be the only child of deceased
Rufino and Caridad Geronimo filed a complaint for annulment of document and
recovery of possession against the defendants Eugenio and Emiliano Geronimo who are
the brothers of her father. She alleged that with the death of her parents, the property
consisting of one half of the parcel of land located at San Jose, Paombong, Bulacan,
belonging to her parents was passed on to her by the law on intestacy.

Eugenio Geronimo, the defendant, disputes the allegation that the plaintiff is the
only child and legal heir of his brother Rufino. He disclosed that when Rufino’s wife
could not bear a child, the couple decided to adopt the plaintiff who was Caridad’s niece
from Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur.It was 13 years after the marriage, when Karen joined her
adoptive parents’ household. Believing that in the absence of a direct heir, his brother
Emiliano and he should succeed to the estate of their brother, they executed an extra-
judicial settlement. Pxetitioner raised the issue on the alterations in the birth certificate
of respondent and the offered evidence of a mere certification from the Office of the
Civil Registry instead of the birth certificate itself.

The RTC and CA ruled in favor of the Respondent Karen stating that the
status of their relationship is open and continues, considering (1) the plaintiff was
allowed by her putative parents to bear their family name Geronimo; (2) they supported
her and sent her to school paying for her tuition fees and other school expenses; (3) she
was the beneficiary of the burial benefits of Caridad before the GSIS; (4) after the death
of Rufino, Caridad applied for and was appointed legal guardian of the person and
property of the plaintiff from the estate left by Rufino; and (5) both Caridad and the
plaintiff executed an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of Rufino on the basis of the
fact that they are both the legal heirs of the deceased.


Whether or not petitioners have no personality to impugn respondent’s legitimate



SC did not agree with the conclusion of both courts. The appellate court itself ruled that
the irregularities consisting of the superimposed entries on the date of birth and the
name of the informant made the document questionable. The corroborating testimony
of Arturo Reyes, a representative of the NSO, further confirmed that the entries on the
date of birth and the signature of the informant are alterations on the birth certificate
which rendered the document questionable. To be sure, even the respondent herself did
not offer any evidence to explain such irregularities on her own birth certificate. These
irregularities and the totality of the following circumstances surrounding the alleged
birth of respondent are sufficient to overthrow the presumption of regularity attached to
respondent’s birth certificate

In the instant case, the filiation of a child – herein respondent – is not at issue.
Petitioner does not claim that respondent is not the legitimate child of his deceased
brother Rufino and his wife Caridad. What petitioner alleges is that respondent
is not the child of the deceased spouses Rufino and Caridad at all.

Only the husband can contest the legitimacy of a child born to his wife. He is the one
directly confronted with the scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his wife
produces; and he should decide whether to conceal that infidelity or expose it, in view of
the moral and economic interest involved. It is only in exceptional cases that his heirs
are allowed to contest such legitimacy. Outside of these cases, none – even his heirs –
can impugn legitimacy; that would amount to an insult to his memory.

What petitioner failed to recognize, however, is that this procedural rule is applicable
only to actions where the legitimacy – or illegitimacy – of a child is at issue. This
situation does not obtain in the case at bar.

the mere registration of a child in his or her birth certificate as the child of
the supposed parents is not a valid adoption, does not confer upon the child
the status of an adopted child and the legal rights of such child, and even
amounts to simulation of the child's birth or falsification of his or her birth certificate,
which is a public document.