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OHOMA v. OFFICE OF THE MUNICIPAL LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF


AGUINALDO, IFUGAO
G.R. No. 239584 | June 17, 2019 | Perlas-Bernabe, J.

FACTS
Matron M. Ohoma filed a petition for cancellation of his Certificate of Live Birth before
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. Ohoma averred that his birth was
belatedly recorded on February 8, 2000 with the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) of Aguinaldo, but
unknown to him, his birth had already been previously registered on June 13, 1986, also with the
LCR of Aguinaldo. It is this first Certificate of Live Birth that he seeks to cancel because,
according to Ohoma, it contains the following erroneous entries: (1) His first name is recorded as
“Matron” instead of “Matiorico”, and (2) His last name is recorded as “Ohoma”, instead of
“Ohomna.” He further averred that he has been using the name “Matiorico Ohomna”, and has
been known by such name both in his public and private transactions, thus, it is his second birth
certificate that correctly reflects these entries. The RTC granted Ohoma’s petition, and ordered
the LCR of Aguinaldo to cancel Ohoma’s first birth certificate, as the same contains errors that
caused confusion as to the identity of Ohoma. The Republic of the Philippines, represented by
the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA
granted the appeal, and annulled and set aside the RTC Decision, holding that there can be no
valid late registration of Ohoma’s birth, considering that the same had already been lawfully
registered with the LCR of Aguinaldo within 30 days from the time of his birth, thus, the RTC
should have cancelled his second birth certificate, not the first one. It further held that Ohoma’s
proper remedy was to file a petition for correction of entries in his first birth certificate pursuant
to Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. Aggrieved, Ohoma filed a petition for review on certiorari
with the Supreme Court.

ISSUE
Whether or not the CA committed reversible error when it annulled and set aside the RTC
Decision ordering the cancellation of Ohoma’s first birth certificate
HELD
No, the CA did not reversible error when it annulled and set aside the RTC Decision ordering the
cancellation of Ohoma’s first birth certificate. While there is no need to re-file a petition for
correction in order to to effect the changes sought by Ohoma, he nevertheless failed to
sufficiently establish that his father’s last name was “Ohomna”, and not “Ohoma”, through
competent evidence.

RATIO
The CA was correct when it held that it should be Ohoma’s second birth certificate that
should be cancelled, and not the first one. Under Office of the Civil Registrar-General A.O. No.
1, S. 1983, as amended, the birth of a child shall be registered, within 30 days from the time of
birth, in the Office of the LCR of the city or municipality where it occurred. In the case at bar,
Ohoma’s mother already validly reported his birth on June 13, 1986. Therefore, there can be no
valid late registration of Ohoma’s birth, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that the
second birth certificate issued by the LCR of Aguinaldo on February 8, 2000 should be
cancelled. However, it should be noted that the reason why Ohoma sought the cancellation of the
first birth certificate was because it contained erroneous entries, as to his first and last name.
Thus, it can be concluded that the action filed by Ohoma merely seeks to correct a supposedly
misspelled name, which properly falls under the scope of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
Taking into consideration that Ohoma complied with the procedural requirements under
Rule 108, the RTC had jurisdiction to resolve the petition. Although it was entitled a petition for
cancellation, it included a general prayer “for other reliefs just and equitable.” Said general
prayer enables the court to award reliefs supported by the complaint and other pleadings, by the
facts admitted, and by the evidence adduced by the parties, even if these reliefs are not expressly
prayed for in the complaint. Consequently, the CA erred in holding that the Ohoma has to re-file
another petition for correction before the RTC could resolve his claim.
Nevertheless, while there is no need to re-file a petition for correction in order to to effect
the changes sought by Ohoma, the Court finds that Ohoma failed to sufficiently establish that his
father’s last name was “Ohomna”, and not “Ohoma”, through competent evidence. Thus, the
correction of this entry in his birth certificate must be denied, as the last name to which a child is
entitled is fixed by law, and the real name of a person is that given him in the Civil Register, not
the name by which he was baptized in his Church or by which he was known in the community,
or which he has adopted.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated February 1, 2018 and the
Resolution dated May 16, 2018 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 105591 are hereby
SET ASIDE. A new judgment is entered ORDERING the Local Civil Registrar of Aguinaldo,
Ifugao and the Philippine Statistics Authority to cancel petitioner Matron M. Ohoma's Certificate
of Live Birth with Registry Number 2000-24.

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