Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1954 > May 1954 Decisions > G.R. No. L-6462 May 28, 1954 - BELEN JOVE LAGRIMAS v. TITO LAGRIMAS

095 Phil 113:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-6462. May 28, 1954.]

BELEN JOVE LAGRIMAS, represented by her mother, PONCIANA JOVE as Guardian Ad-Litem, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. TITO LAGRIMAS, Defendant-Appellee.

Lucio Margallo for Appellants.

Manuel S. Tinseco for Appellee.


SYLLABUS


1. PLEADINGS AND PRACTICE; ANSWER; GENERAL DENIAL OF ALLEGATIONS AMOUNTS TO ADMISSION OF FACTUAL AVERMENTS. — A general denial of the allegations in the complaint amounts to admission of the factual averments therein.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN; ALLEGATIONS OF FACT SUFFICIENT TO CONSTITUTE CAUSE OF ACTION. — Where it was alleged in the complaint, and the defendant had admitted, that plaintiff was his illegitimate daughter, there was sufficient cause of action for an action to support, because under the Civil Code an illegitimate child — not natural — is entitled to support.

3. ACTIONS; SUPPORT; INVESTIGATION OF PATERNITY PROHIBITED; EXCEPTIONS. — In an action for support, the prohibitions against investigations of paternity does not operate where the defendant admit plaintiff’s affiliation.

4. ID.; ID., DECLARATION OF STATUS OF ILLEGITIMACY. — Where no assertion was made in the complaint that at the time plaintiff was conceived the defendant and her mother were legally free to marry each other, a judgment declaring her an illegitimate child may be rendered.


D E C I S I O N


BENGZON, J.:


Represented by her mother Ponciana Jove as guardian ad litem, Belen Jove Lagrimas, seven years old, sued Tito Lagrimas for support, in the court of First Instance of Samar, in June 1947.

Her complaint alleged that from September 1926 up to the year 1940 defendant lived with Ponciana Jove as her common-law husband, and as fruit of such cohabitation she was born in November 1939; that for one year defendant supported her by delivering thirty pesos every month to her mother Ponciana; that defendant stopped giving support in 1940 when he found another woman; that Ponciana was poor and sickly; that defendant was financially able to furnish support, because he was mayor of the town of Iriga, received regular pensions from the United States Navy and owned some real property; and that despite repeated demands, defendant refused to maintain the plaintiff, who needed at least one hundred pesos monthly for sustenance and education.

The defendant’s answer on July 28, 1947 stated:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"That he admits the allegation in paragraph 1 of the complaint but denies all and every allegation in paragraph 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 because each and every one of them are not true.

Wherefore, the defendant prays for the dismissal of this case, with costs against the plaintiff."cralaw virtua1aw library

Soon thereafter plaintiff’s attorney moved for judgment on the pleadings, pointing out that defendant had denied the allegations generally — and not specifically, as required by the Rules. "To this motion defendant agreed but contended that the complaint failed to allege that the minor Belen Jove Lagrimas is an acknowledged natural child of the defendant (and) the complaint should be dismissed."

Quoting and following article 140 of the Civil Code the trial judge dismissed the complaint, with the explanation that the paternity of the defendant "not having been established in accordance" with said article, plaintiff was not entitled to support. "The mere allegation in the complaint" wrote the judge "that the defendant is the father of the minor plaintiff, although deemed admitted by him thru his failure to specifically deny the same is not enough to entitle" plaintiff to support.

At the proper time and in due form, the plaintiff took the litigation to the Court of Appeals, wherein briefs were presented by both sides in regular course. However the record had to be forwarded to us much later, upon discovery that the matter involved issues of law only.

Nobody questions that under Rule 9 section 7 of the Rules of Court, and according to our applicable decisions, the defendant’s answer in this case was in effect a general denial 1 amounting to admission of the complaint’s factual averments, the most salient of which were: (a) plaintiff was the illegitimate daughter of defendant; (b) plaintiff’s mother was unable to maintain plaintiff; (c) defendant refused to furnish support although he was economically able to do so; and (d) plaintiff needed P100 monthly for sustenance and education.

In our opinion, the admitted allegations of fact constituted a sufficient cause of action, because under the Civil Code 2 an illegitimate child — not natural — is entitled to support (Article 139).

The trial judge apparently believed that pursuant to article 140 of the Civil Code an illegitimate child may not claim support until and after a final judgment has been rendered establishing defendant’s paternity in a separate criminal or civil action. Said article reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The right to support referred to in the preceding article can be claimed only:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

1. If the paternity or maternity is established by final judgment rendered in a criminal or civil action.

2. If the paternity or maternity is shown by some document unquestionably executed by the father or mother, in which the filiation is expressly acknowledged.

3. With regards to the mother, if the fact of the birth and the identity of the child are fully proven."cralaw virtua1aw library

The first paragraph of this article means that no support shall be payable unless and until there is a final judgment declaring defendant’s illegitimate paternity.

Ordinarily such judicial declaration of relationship occurs in proceedings other than those wherein support is demanded, because in the absence of such previous declaration — or of a document expressly acknowledging filiation — the judicial demand for support will fail if the defendant (as is usually the case) denies the relationship. The reason for the failure is that in such action for support the plaintiff will not be permitted, over defendant’s objection, to prove filiation, pursuant to Article 141 of the Civil Code:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"ART. 141. With the exception of the cases mentioned in pars. 1 and 2 of the next preceding article no court shall permit the filing of any complaint, the purpose of which may be to investigate, either directly or indirectly, the paternity of illegitimate children who have not the legal status of natural children."cralaw virtua1aw library

But luckily for plaintiff in this case, defendant Tito Lagrimas admitted her filiation, no investigation of paternity was involved, the prohibition in article 141 did not operate, and the way was clear for a judgment declaring her to be illegitimate daughter of Tito Lagrimas. And there seems to be no legal impediment to reckoning such judgment a sufficient compliance with article 140 par. 1 Civil Code. We are shown no authority saying it is essential that such judgment of filiation be promulgated in a proceeding different from and previous to the action for support 3 . And we perceive no valid reason for such restricted view of the law. In the same action for support, a declaration of paternity may be made, — if defendant fails to object, or admits his paternity - and then the defendant may be required to furnish support once the judgment becomes final and executory.

But, it might be argued, there is no occasion for actions for support, if defendant admits the filiation. There may be. Suppose defendant admits filiation, but pleads lack of means, or forfeiture of the right to support, or questions the reasonableness of the amount demanded. That would be litigation about support in which the paternity is declared, and other points in controversy resolved in accordance with the evidence.

The defendant Lagrimas takes the position that plaintiff is an unrecognized natural child, and therefore she is not entitled to support, citing repeated decisions of this Court 4 . However, it must be observed that the complaint averring birth outside wedlock contained no allegations describing plaintiff as natural daughter. No assertion was made that at the time she was conceived the defendant and her mother were legally free to marry each other. (Article 119 Civil Code) 5

In this connection, some members of the Court are inclined to believe that probably Belen Jove Lagrimas was a natural child. "Probably" is advisedly used. They also believe that the circumstances might justify recognition as such. However sensing procedural and technical difficulties in the way of a declaration now that she is a recognized natural daughter, 6 and realizing the need of affording prompt relief, they agreed to vote for this decision, with the understanding that it will not prevent the plaintiff from hereafter asserting her rights as recognized natural child, should she be able, in appropriate proceedings, 7 with issues clearly outlined, fully justify such civil status, which undoubtedly entails superior rights to those of a mere illegitimate child.

Wherefore, subject to the reservation indicated, let judgment be entered declaring that plaintiff is the illegitimate daughter of defendant, and ordering the latter, once this judgment becomes final, to give support to the said plaintiff in the amount of one hundred pesos every month, until she reaches the age of majority. The defendant will pay all costs.

Paras, C.J., Montemayor, Reyes, A., Jugo, Bautista Angelo, Labrador and Concepcion, JJ., concur.

Separate Opinions


PABLO, M., concurrente:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

La mayoria decide que la demandante es hija ilegitima — no natural — del demandado y tiene derecho a alimentos. Declara que no es hija natural porque "no assertion was made that at the time she was conceived the defendant and her mother were legally free to marry each other."cralaw virtua1aw library

No estoy conforme con esta conclusion. Belen Jove Lagrimas, reconocida hija ilegitima, debe ser considerada hija natural, a falta de prueba en contrario, con derecho a alimentos. El Tribunal Supremo de España en sentencias de 11 de octubre de 1882 y 11 de mayo de 1887 declaro que "los hijos ilegitimos se presumen naturales, salvo prueba en contrario." (Leyes Civiles de España, 58.) Apoyase la primera sentencia en "el principio de derecho penal de que el delito no se presume jamas, y en la jurisprudencia del Tribunal Supremo, consignada en sentencia de 12 de noviembre de 1858, que al ocuparse de la bastardia natural, forma siempre presuncion en contra del dañado y punible ayuntamiento, consignando que en caso de duda debe conceptuarse natural al hijo, porque declarado el primer concepto expresado, relativo a la filiacion, se presume por derecho que ellos pertenecen a la clase mas general de ilegitimos, o que sus progenitores no eran inhabiles para el matrimonio, mientras no se comprobara lo contrario." (1 Manresa 589.)

"Cuando el padre reconoce en realidad a un hijo ilegitimo, la presuncion que surge es la de que los padres tenian capacidad para contraer matrimonio al tiempo del nacimiento o concepcion del hijo, y que este es hijo natural y, por tanto, capaz de ser reconocido. La obligacion de probar lo contrario incumbe al que impugna la legalidad del reconocimiento." (Ramirez contra Gmur, 42 Jur. Fil., 902.) .

Por tanto, voto por que se conceda a Belen Jove Lagrimar pension alimenticia de acuerdo con el parrafo 4. y no de acuerdo con el parrafo 5. del articulo 143 del Codigo Civil.

Endnotes:



1. See Moran, Rules of Court, 1952 ed., Vol. I, p. 199 and cases cited therein.

2. New Civil Code not considered here, because none of the parties invokes it, and the litigation was submitted for judicial award in 1947.

3. Cases happen where such declaration of paternity is made separately, e. g., in cases of rape, seduction, etc.

4. Infante v. Figueras, 4 Phil., 738; Buenaventura v. Urbano 5, Phil., 1; Concepcion v. Untaran, 38 Phil., 736; Potot v. Ycong, Off. Gaz., July 26, 1941 p. 748; Dusepec v. Torres, 39 Phil., 760.

5. Serrano v. Aragon, 22 Phil., 10.

6. Some points to consider: (a) Plaintiff impliedly alleged she was natural daughter? (b) Implied admission by answer extends to implied allegations? (c) Implied admission by attorney constitutes acknowledgment by defendant, even if recognition was not specifically asked? (d) New Civil Code was not in force when defense took its stand.

7. In such suit she would enjoy the added advantage of more liberal provisions of the New Civil Code.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





May-1954 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-6669 May 3, 1954 - PEDRO DAQUIS v. MAXIMO BUSTOS

    094 Phil 913

  • G.R. No. L-6736 May 4, 1954 - ISABEL GABRIEL, ET AL. v. DEMETRIO B. ENCARNACION, ET AL.

    094 Phil 917

  • G.R. No. L-6220 May 7, 1954 - MARTINA QUIZANA v. GAUDENCIO REDUGERIO, ET AL.

    094 Phil 922

  • G.R. No. L-5773 May 10, 1954 - CASIMIRO, ET AL. v. FABIAN SOBERANO

    094 Phil 927

  • G.R. No. L-6538 May 10, 1954 - PABLO BURGUETE v. JOVENCIO Q. MAYOR, ET AL.

    094 Phil 930

  • G.R. No. L-5694 May 12, 1954 - PAMBUJAN SUR UNITED MINE WORKERS v. SAMAR MINING CO., INC.

    094 Phil 932

  • G.R. No. L-6666 May 12, 1954 - GORGONIO PANDES v. JOSE TEODORO SR., ET AL.

    094 Phil 942

  • G.R. No. L-6765 May 12, 1954 - FULGENCIO VEGA, ET AL. v. MUN. BOARD OF THE CITY OF ILOILO, ET AL.

    094 Phil 949

  • G.R. No. L-4918 May 14, 1954 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE LEON GONZALEZ, ET AL.

    094 Phil 956

  • G.R. No. L-5689 May 14, 1954 - JUAN DE G. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL. v. AURELIO MONTINOLA, ET AL.

    094 Phil 964

  • G.R. No. L-5900 May 14, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO FRANCISCO

    094 Phil 975

  • G.R. No. L-5942 May 14, 1954 - R.F.C. v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

    094 Phil 984

  • G.R. No. L-6313 May 14, 1954 - ROYAL SHIRT FACTORY, INC. v. CO

    094 Phil 994

  • G.R. No. L-6444 May 14, 1954 - MUN. OF CALOOCAN v. MANOTOK REALTY, INC. ET AL.

    094 Phil 1003

  • G.R. No. L-6572 May 14, 1954 - MAX CHAMORRO & CO. v. PHIL. READY-MIX CONCRETE CO., INC., ET AL.

    094 Phil 1005

  • G.R. No. L-6792 May 14, 1954 - FAUSTO D. LAQUIAN v. FILOMENA SOCCO, ET AL.

    094 Phil 1010

  • G.R. No. L-6921 May 14, 1954 - EUGENIO CATILO v. GAVINO S. ABAYA

    094 Phil 1014

  • G.R. No. L-6481 May 17, 1954 - JESUS GUIAO v. ALBINO L. FIGUEROA

    094 Phil 1018

  • G.R. No. L-7045 May 18, 1954 - BENIGNO C. GUTIERREZ v. LAUREANO JOSE RUIZ, ET AL.

    094 Phil 1024

  • G.R. No. L-5378 May 24, 1954 - CO TIONG SA v. DIRECTOR OF PATENTS

    095 Phil 1

  • G.R. No. L-6408 May 24, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EPIFANIO CARULASDULASAN, ET AL.

    095 Phil 8

  • G.R. No. L-6522 May 24, 1954 - LUIS B. UVERO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

    095 Phil 11

  • G.R. No. L-6807 May 24, 1954 - JESUS SACRED HEART COLLEGE v. COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE

    095 Phil 16

  • G.R. No. L-6870 May 24, 1954 - ELENA AMEDO v. RIO Y OLABARRIETA, INC.

    095 Phil 33

  • G.R. No. L-6988 May 24, 1954 - U.S.T. HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION v. STO. TOMAS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

    095 Phil 40

  • G.R. No. L-4817 May 26, 1954 - SILVESTRE M. PUNSALAN v. MUNICIPAL BOARD OF THE CITY OF MANILA, ET AL.

    095 Phil 46

  • G.R. No. L-5682 May 26, 1954 - ANASTACIO N. ABAD v. CANDIDA CARGANILLO VDA. DE YANCE

    095 Phil 51

  • G.R. No. L-5807 May 26, 1954 - BASILIA CABRERA, ET AL. v. FLORENCIA BELEN, ET AL.

    095 Phil 54

  • G.R. No. L-5906 May 26, 1954 - ANGAT-MANILA TRANSPORTATION CO., INC. v. VICTORIA VDA. DE TENGCO

    095 Phil 58

  • G.R. No. L-5953 May 26, 1954 - EX-MERALCO EMPLOYEES TRANSPORTATION CO., INC. v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    095 Phil 61

  • G.R. No. L-6246 May 26, 1954 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX RIPAS

    095 Phil 63

  • G.R. No. L-6260 May 26, 1954 - HERMOGENES TARUC v. BACHRACH MOTOR CO.

    095 Phil 73

  • G.R. No. L-6306 May 26, 1954 - FORTUNATO HALILI v. MARIA LLORET, ET AL.

    095 Phil 78

  • G.R. No. L-6353 May 26, 1954 - DANIEL CABANGANGAN v. ROBERTO CONCEPCION, ET AL.

    095 Phil 87

  • G.R. No. L-6463 May 26, 1954 - RIZAL SURETY & INSURANCE CO. v. MARCIANO DE LA PAZ

    095 Phil 90

  • G.R. Nos. L-6675-81 May 26, 1954 - BIENVENIDO E. DOLLENTE v. EL PUEBLO DE FILIPINAS

    095 Phil 97

  • G.R. No. L-7024 May 26, 1954 - ROMAN TOLSA v. ALEJANDRO J. PANLILIO, ET AL.

    095 Phil 104

  • G.R. No. L-4935 May 28, 1954 - J.M. TUASON & CO., INC. v. QUIRINO BOLAÑOS

    095 Phil 106

  • G.R. No. L-6462 May 28, 1954 - BELEN JOVE LAGRIMAS v. TITO LAGRIMAS

    095 Phil 113

  • G.R. No. L-6967 May 28, 1954 - JOSE PONCE DE LEON v. FIDEL IBAÑEZ, ET AL.

    095 Phil 119

  • G.R. No. L-7042 May 28, 1954 - CLOTILDE MEJIA VDA. DE ALFAFARA v. PLACIDO MAPA, ET AL.

    095 Phil 125

  • G.R. No. L-3663 May 31, 1954 - EL PUEBLO DE FILIPINAS v. MARIA VELASCO RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

    095 Phil 135

  • G.R. No. L-4510 May 31, 1954 - MARC DONNELLY & ASSOCIATES, INC. v. MANUEL AGREGADO, ET AL.

    095 Phil 142

  • G.R. No. L-4633 May 31, 1954 - GREGORIO ARANETA, INC. v. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK

    095 Phil 160

  • G.R. No. L-5824 May 31, 1954 - PAZ PAREJA v. JULIO PAREJA

    095 Phil 167

  • G.R. No. L-5837 May 31, 1954 - CRISTOBAL BONNEVIE, ET AL. v. JAIME HERNANDEZ

    095 Phil 175

  • G.R. No. L-6018 May 31, 1954 - EMILIANO MORABE v. WILLIAM BROWN

    095 Phil 181

  • G.R. No. L-6122 May 31, 1954 - AURELIA DE LARA, ET AL. v. JACINTO AYROSO

    095 Phil 185

  • G.R. No. L-6461 May 31, 1954 - PILAR ARAULLO MACOY v. CARMEN VASQUEZ TRINIDAD, ET AL.

    095 Phil 192

  • G.R. Nos. L-7403 & L-7426 May 31, 1954 - COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS v. GAVINO S. ABAYA, ET AL.

    095 Phil 205