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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
June-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-00-1446 June 6, 2001 - PATERNO R. PLANTILLA v. RODRIGO G. BALIWAG

  • A.M. No. P-91-642 June 6, 2001 - SOLEDAD LAURO v. EFREN LAURO

  • G.R. No. 92328 June 6, 2001 - DAP MINING ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100579 June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113918 June 6, 2001 - MARCELINA G. TRINIDAD, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121272 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYDERICK LAGO

  • G.R. No. 122353 June 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE DANAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129534 & 141169 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MACANDOG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138949 June 6, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEC

  • G.R. No. 138971 June 6, 2001 - PEZA v. RUMOLDO R FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 139034 June 6, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139323 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLO ELLASOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140128 June 6, 2001 - ARNOLD P. MOLLANEDA v. LEONIDA C. UMACOB

  • G.R. No. 140277 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GUILLERMO BALDAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141529 June 6, 2001 - FRANCISCO YAP, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142888 June 6, 2001 - EVELIO P. BARATA v. BENJAMIN ABALOS JR.

  • G.R. No. 143561 June 6, 2001 - JONATHAN D. CARIAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110335 June 18, 2001 - IGNACIO GONZALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1615 June 19, 2001 - WINNIE BAJET v. PEDRO M. AREOLA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1633 June 19, 2001 - ANTONIO and ELSA FORTUNA v. MA. NIMFA PENACO-SITACA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99433 June 19, 2001 - PROJECT BUILDERS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114944 June 19, 2001 - MANUEL C. ROXAS, ET AL. v. CONRADO M. VASQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120701 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JONATHAN CRISANTO

  • G.R. No. 123916 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNTON ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 130605 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX UGANAP, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132160 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO DE LEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132223 June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES

  • G.R. No. 134895 June 19, 2001 - STA. LUCIA REALTY and DEV’T., ET AL. v. LETICIA CABRIGAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137164 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NUBLA

  • G.R. No. 137752 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT AYUNGON

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 June 19, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139313 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE LEAL

  • G.R. No. 140690 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZAR U. CHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 141441 June 19, 2001 - JOSE SUAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-10-230-MTCC June 20, 2001 - RE: JULIAN C. OCAMPO III AND RENATO C. SAN JUAN

  • A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

  • A.M. No. P-99-1346 June 20, 2001 - RESTITUTO L. CASTRO v. CARLOS BAGUE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1606 June 20, 2001 - PATRIA MAQUIRAN v. LILIA G. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 84831 June 20, 2001 - PACENCIO ABEJARON v. FELIX NABASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109666 June 20, 2001 - ROGERIO R. OLAGUER, ET AL. v. EUFEMIO DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113564 June 20, 2001 - INOCENCIA YU DINO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115851 June 20, 2001 - LA JOLLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127129 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO CABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128617 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR BACUS

  • G.R. Nos. 129292-93 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARLENGEN DEGALA

  • G.R. No. 130524 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY MADIA

  • G.R. No. 131036 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135976-80 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO GALENO

  • G.R. No. 138629 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON CAMACHO

  • G.R. No. 139430 June 20, 2001 - EDI STAFF BUILDERS INTERNATIONAL v. FERMINA D. MAGSINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139445-46 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 142304 June 20, 2001 - CITY OF MANILA v. OSCAR SERRANO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1342 June 21, 2001 - BISHOP CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 108558 June 21, 2001 - ANDREA TABUSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109197 June 21, 2001 - JAYME C. UY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111580 & 114802 June 21, 2001 - SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MNGT. LTD. ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116200-02 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131131 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO SALONGA

  • G.R. No. 134138 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO BRIONES AYTALIN

  • G.R. Nos. 135552-53 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABEL ABACIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. INOCENCIO GONZALEZ

  • G.R. No. 140206 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO MATYAONG

  • G.R. No. 142023 June 21, 2001 - SANNY B. GINETE v. SUNRISE MANNING AGENCY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103068 June 22, 2001 - MEAT PACKING CORP. OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110 June 25, 2001 - MANUEL N. MAMBA, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR L. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 116710 June 25, 2001 - DANILO D. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117857 June 25, 2001 - LUIS S. WONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128126 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001 - TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP. v. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • G.R. No. 134068 June 25, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136221 June 25, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136382 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ALBORIDA

  • G.R. Nos. 138439-41 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 141141 June 25, 2001 - PAGCOR v. CARLOS P. RILLORAZA

  • G.R. No. 141801 June 25, 2001 - SOLOMON ALVAREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143428 June 25, 2001 - SANDOVAL SHIPYARDS, ET AL. v. PRISCO PEPITO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC June 26, 2001 - RE: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461 June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1486 June 26, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISMAEL SANCHEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 110547-50 & 114526-667 June 26, 2001 - JOSE SAYSON v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120859 June 26, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. FRANCISCO Y. WONG

  • G.R. No. 123542 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO BULOS

  • G.R. Nos. 132848-49 June 26, 2001 - PHILROCK v. CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133990 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR MARIANO

  • G.R. No. 134764 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BENJAMIN FABIA

  • G.R. Nos. 139626-27 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 143204 June 26, 2001 - HYATT TAXI SERVICES INC. v. RUSTOM M. CATINOY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 26, 2001 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130661 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO I. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135882 June 27, 2001 - LOURDES T. MARQUEZ v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140001 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO BUENAFLOR

  • A.C. No. 3910 June 28, 2001 - JOSE S. DUCAT v. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4073 June 28, 2001 - ARACELI SIPIN-NABOR v. BENJAMIN BATERINA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1480 June 28, 2001.

    AMADO S. CAGUIOA v. CRISANTO FLORA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 June 28, 2001 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001 - SIMPLICIO ALIB v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 105364 June 28, 2001 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK EMPLOYEES UNION-N.U.B.E., ET AL. v. BENJAMIN VEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110813 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110914 June 28, 2001 - ALFREDO CANUTO; JR., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112453-56 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO LATUPAN

  • G.R. Nos. 112563 & 110647 June 28, 2001 - HEIRS OF KISHINCHAND HIRANAND DIALDAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120630 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

  • G.R. No. 131954 June 28, 2001 - ASELA B. MONTECILLO, ET AL v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. Nos. 132026-27 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132362 June 28, 2001 - PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132837 June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133605 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN BARRIAS

  • G.R. No. 135846 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOEL ORTEGA

  • G.R. No. 138270 June 28, 2001 - SEA POWER SHIPPING ENTERPRISES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142314 June 28, 2001 - MC ENGINEERING, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143723 June 28, 2001 - LITONJUA GROUP OF CO.’s., ET AL. v. TERESITA VIGAN

  • G.R. No. 144113 June 28, 2001 - EDWEL MAANDAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. No. 144942 June 28, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA SUERTE CIGAR.

  • G.R. No. 146062 June 28, 2001 - SANTIAGO ESLABAN v. CLARITA VDA. DE ONORIO

  • A.M. No. 00 4-166-RTC June 29, 2001 - Re: Report on the Judicial Audit

  • A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC June 29, 2001 - HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL. v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1380 June 29, 2001 - GLORIA O. DINO v. FRANCISCO DUMUKMAT

  • G.R. No. 110480 June 29, 2001 - BANGKO SILANGAN DEVELOPMENT BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111860 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS CLEDORO

  • G.R. No. 116092 June 29, 2001 - SUSANA VDA. DE COCHINGYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118251 June 29, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121597 June 29, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125944 June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 126396 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS

  • G.R. No. 128705 June 29, 2001 - CONRADO AGUILAR v. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129782 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALWINDER SINGH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131968 June 29, 2001 - ERNESTO PENGSON, ET AL v. MIGUEL OCAMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132059 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENEFREDO DIMSON ASOY

  • G.R. No. 138598 June 29, 2001 - ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144542 June 29, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA PEÑA, ET AL v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 132223   June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 132223. June 19, 2001.]

    BONIFACIA P. VANCIL, Petitioner, v. HELEN G. BELMES, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:


    Petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 45650, "In the Matter of Guardianship of Minors Valerie Vancil and Vincent Vancil — Bonifacia P. Vancil, Petitioner-Appellee, v. Helen G. Belmes, Oppositor-Appellant," promulgated on July 29, 1997, and its Resolution dated December 18, 1997 denying the motion for reconsideration of the said Decision.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts of the case as summarized by the Court of Appeals in its Decision are:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Petitioner, Bonifacia Vancil, is the mother of Reeder C. Vancil, a Navy serviceman of the United States of America who died in the said country on December 22, 1986. During his lifetime, Reeder had two (2) children named Valerie and Vincent by his common-law wife, Helen G. Belmes.

    "Sometime in May of 1987, Bonifacia Vancil commenced before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City a guardianship proceedings over the persons and properties of minors Valerie and Vincent docketed as Special Proceedings No. 1618-CEB. At the time, Valerie was only 6 years old while Vincent was a 2-year old child. It is claimed in the petition that the minors are residents of Cebu City, Philippines and have an estate consisting of proceeds from their father’s death pension benefits with a probable value of P100,000.00.

    "Finding sufficiency in form and in substance, the case was set for hearing after a 3-consecutive-weekly publications with the Sunstar Daily.

    "On July 15, 1987, Petitioner, Bonifacia Vancil was appointed legal and judicial guardian over the persons and estate of Valerie Vancil and Vincent Vancil Jr.

    "On August 13, 1987, the natural mother of the minors, Helen Belmes, submitted an opposition to the subject guardianship proceedings asseverating that she had already filed a similar petition for guardianship under Special Proceedings No. 2819 before the Regional Trial Court of Pagadian City.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "Thereafter, on June 27, 1988, Helen Belmes followed her opposition with a motion for the Removal of Guardian and Appointment of a New One, asserting that she is the natural mother in actual custody of and exercising parental authority over the subject minors at Maralag, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur where they are permanently residing; that the petition was filed under an improper venue; and that at the time the petition was filed Bonifacia Vancil was a resident of 140 Hurliman Court, Canon City, Colorado, U.S.A. being a naturalized American citizen.

    "On October 12, 1988, after due proceedings, the trial court rejected and denied Belmes’ motion to remove and/or to disqualify Bonifacia as guardian of Valerie and Vincent Jr. and instead ordered petitioner Bonifacia Vancil to enter the office and perform her duties as such guardian upon the posting of a bond of P50,000.00. The subsequent attempt for a reconsideration was likewise dismissed in an Order dated November 24, 1988." 1

    On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered its assailed Decision reversing the RTC order of October 12, 1988 and dismissing Special Proceedings No. 1618-CEB.

    The Court of Appeals held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Stress should likewise be made that our Civil Code considers parents, the father, or in the absence, the mother, as natural guardian of her minor children. The law on parental authority under the Civil Code or P.D. 603 and now the New Family Code, (Article 225 of the Family Code) ascribe to the same legal pronouncements. Section 7 of Rule 93 of the Revised Rules of Court confirms the designation of the parents as ipso facto guardian of their minor children without need of a court appointment and only for good reason may another person be named. Ironically, for the petitioner, there is nothing on record of any reason at all why Helen Belmes, the biological mother, should be deprived of her legal rights as natural guardian of her minor children. To give away such privilege from Helen would be an abdication and grave violation of the very basic fundamental tenets in civil law and the constitution on family solidarity." 2

    On March 10, 1998, Bonifacia Vancil filed with this Court the present petition, raising the following "legal points" :jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "1. The Court of Appeals gravely erred in ruling that the preferential right of a parent to be appointed guardian over the persons and estate of the minors is absolute, contrary to existing jurisprudence.

    "2. The Court of Appeals gravely erred in ruling that Oppositor Helen G. Belmes, the biological mother, should be appointed the guardian of the minors despite the undisputed proof that under her custody, her daughter minor Valerie Vancil was raped seven times by Oppositor’s live-in partner.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "3. The respondent (sic) Court of Appeals gravely erred when it disqualified petitioner Bonifacia P. Vancil to be appointed as judicial guardian over the persons and estate of subject minors despite the fact that she has all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications as judicial guardian, merely on the basis of her U.S. citizenship which is clearly not a statutory requirement to become guardian."cralaw virtua1aw library

    At the outset, let it be stressed that in her "Manifestation/Motion," dated September 15, 1998, respondent Helen Belmes stated that her daughter Valerie turned eighteen on September 2, 1998 as shown by her Birth Certificate. 3 Respondent thus prayed that this case be dismissed with respect to Valerie, she being no longer a proper subject of guardianship proceedings. The said "Manifestation/Motion" was noted by this Court in its Resolution dated November 11, 1998.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Considering that Valerie is already of major age, this petition has become moot with respect to her. Thus, only the first and third "legal points" raised by petitioner should be resolved.

    The basic issue for our resolution is who between the mother and grandmother of minor Vincent should be his guardian.

    We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals that respondent, being the natural mother of the minor, has the preferential right over that of petitioner to be his guardian. This ruling finds support in Article 211 of the Family Code which provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "ARTICLE 211. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the father’s decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary. . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Indeed, being the natural mother of minor Vincent, respondent has the corresponding natural and legal right to his custody. In Sagala Eslao v. Court of Appeals, 4 this Court held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Of considerable importance is the rule long accepted by the courts that ‘the right of parents to the custody of their minor children is one of the natural rights incident to parenthood,’ a right supported by law and sound public policy. The right is an inherent one, which is not created by the state or decisions of the courts, but derives from the nature of the parental relationship." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioner contends that she is more qualified as guardian of Vincent.

    Petitioner’s claim to be the guardian of said minor can only be realized by way of substitute parental authority pursuant to Article 214 of the Family Code, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "ARTICLE 214. In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent. . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In Santos, Sr. v. Court of Appeals, 5 this Court ruled:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The law vests on the father and mother joint parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of absence or death of either parent, the parent present shall continue exercising parental authority. Only in case of the parents’ death, absence or unsuitability may substitute parental authority be exercised by the surviving grandparent."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Petitioner, as the surviving grandparent, can exercise substitute parental authority only in case of death, absence or unsuitability of Respondent. Considering that respondent is very much alive and has exercised continuously parental authority over Vincent, petitioner has to prove, in asserting her right to be the minor’s guardian, respondent’s unsuitability. Petitioner, however, has not proffered convincing evidence showing that respondent is not suited to be the guardian of Vincent. Petitioner merely insists that respondent is morally unfit as guardian of Valerie considering that her (respondent’s) live-in partner raped Valerie several times. But Valerie, being now of major age, is no longer a subject of this guardianship proceeding.

    Even assuming that respondent is unfit as guardian of minor Vincent, still petitioner cannot qualify as a substitute guardian. It bears stressing that she is an American citizen and a resident of Colorado. Obviously, she will not be able to perform the responsibilities and obligations required of a guardian. In fact, in her petition, she admitted the difficulty of discharging the duties of a guardian by an expatriate, like her. To be sure, she will merely delegate those duties to someone else who may not also qualify as a guardian.cralaw : red

    Moreover, we observe that respondent’s allegation that petitioner has not set foot in the Philippines since 1987 has not been controverted by her. Besides, petitioner’s old age and her conviction of libel by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 6, Cebu City in Criminal Case No. CBU-16884 6 filed by one Danilo R. Deen, will give her a second thought of staying here. Indeed, her coming back to this country just to fulfill the duties of a guardian to Vincent for only two years is not certain.

    Significantly, this Court has held that courts should not appoint persons as guardians who are not within the jurisdiction of our courts for they will find it difficult to protect the wards. In Guerrero v. Teran, 7 this Court held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Doña Maria Muñoz y Gomez was, as above indicated, removed upon the theory that her appointment was void because she did not reside in the Philippine Islands. There is nothing in the law which requires the courts to appoint residents only as administrators or guardians. However, notwithstanding the fact that there are no statutory requirements upon this question, the courts, charged with the responsibilities of protecting the estates of deceased persons, wards of the estate, etc., will find much difficulty in complying with this duty by appointing administrators and guardians who are not personally subject to their jurisdiction. Notwithstanding that there is no statutory requirement, the courts should not consent to the appointment of persons as administrators and guardians who are not personally subject to the jurisdiction of our courts here."cralaw virtua1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the appealed Decision is hereby AFFIRMED, with modification in the sense that Valerie, who has attained the age of majority, will no longer be under the guardianship of respondent Helen Belmes.

    Costs against petitioner.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Melo, Panganiban and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.

    Separate Opinions


    VITUG, J., concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I share the opinion very well expressed by Madame Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez in her ponencia.

    There is in law and jurisprudence a recognition of the deep ties that bind parent and child. Parents are thus placed first in rank in matters of parental authority. Substitute parental authority may be exercised by the grandparents only in case the parents have died or are absent or declared unfit in proper proceedings for that purpose. 1 Parental authority stands to include the right and duty to the custody of the child, excepting only, of course, what might otherwise be best for the child’s welfare.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    When the law speaks of family relations, it must be deemed to refer, unless the contrary is there indicated or the context of the law otherwise clearly conveys, to both legitimate and illegitimate ties. The child’s illegitimacy does not in any way affect the order of priority in the exercise of parental authority. Indeed, Article 176 of the Family Code states that an illegitimate child shall be under the parental authority of the mother who, consequentially, should also be entitled to the custody of the child. 2

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 43-44.

    2. Rollo, p. 47.

    3. Rollo, p. 127.

    4. 266 SCRA 317 (1997).

    5. 242 SCRA 407 (1995).

    6. Sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment from 4 months and 1 day of prision correccional as maximum and a fine of P3,000.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to indemnify offended party in the sum of P200,000.00 as moral damages. See p. 118, Rollo.

    7. 13 Phils. 212, 217 (1909).

    Vitug, J., concurring:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Article 214, Family Code.

    2. David v. Court of Appeals, 250 SCRA 82.

    G.R. No. 132223   June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES


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