Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1958 > February 1958 Decisions > G.R. No. L-10226 February 14, 1958 - VIRGINIA ANSALDO v. REP. OF THE PHIL.

102 Phil 1046:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-10226. February 14, 1958.]

VIRGINIA ANSALDO, Petitioner-Appellant, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Oppositor-Appellee.

Gerardo P. Cabo Chan for Appellant.

Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla and Solicitor Frine C. Zaballero for Appellee.


SYLLABUS


CIVIL REGISTRAR; ERRORS WHICH MAY BE CORRECTED BY PETITION, IMPORTANT AND CONTROVERSIAL MATTERS, HOW CORRECTED. — The clerical errors which might be corrected through judicial sanction under Article 412 of the New Civil Code, would be those harmless and innocuous changes, such as, correction of a name that is clearly misspelled, occupation of the parents, etc., but for the changes involving the civil status of the parents, their nationality or citizenship, those are grave and important matters which may have a bearing and effect on the citizenship and nationality not only of said parents, but of the offsprings, and seek changes, it is necessary to file a proper suit wherein not only the State, but also parties concerned and affected be made parties defendants or respondents, and evidence should be submitted, either to support the allegations of the petition or complaint, or also to improve the same so that any order or decision in the case may be made with due process of law and on the basis of facts proven. Then and only then may the change or changes be made in the entry in a civil register that will affect or even determine conclusively the citizenship or nationality of a person therein involved.


D E C I S I O N


MONTEMAYOR, J.:


This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila, dated September 13, 1955, denying the petition of appellant Virginia Ansaldo to correct the birth certificate of her son, James A. Wang, under the provisions of Article 412 of the New Civil Code, which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"ART. 412. o entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order."cralaw virtua1aw library

The facts are simple and undisputed. On April 5, 1954, a baby was born to Virginia Ansaldo, a Filipina, and Henry H. Wang, a Chinese, both single. The following day, the parents of the baby gave to the Chief Nurse of the Sampaloc General Hospital, Manila, where the baby was born, the information and data about the child and its parents which are now made to appear on the child’s birth certificate, Exhibit A, which for purposes of reference, we reproduced below:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Full name of child: James A. Wang

Nationality: Chinese

Legitimate: No

Father: Full name — Henry H. Wang

Citizenship: — Chinese

Civil Status: — Single

Religion: — Catholic

Mother: Full name — Virginia Ansaldo

Citizenship — Filipina

Civil status —Single

Religion — Catholic

At the back of the birth certificate is an "Affidavit to be Accomplished in Case of an Illegitimate Child", which was signed by both father and mother and subscribed and sworn to on April 23, 1954.

On February 10, 1956, the mother of the child, Virginia Ansaldo, filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila a "Petition for Correction of Birth Certificate", seeking to change the word "Chinese" under the child’s name James A. Wang and opposite the word "Nationality", in the birth certificate, to word "Filipino." The petition was opposed by the Solicitor General in representation of the Republic of the Philippines, on the ground that entries in the civil register can be corrected only if the alleged mistakes are clerical in nature, not those that would affect the status or nationality or citizenship of the person involved, citing our ruling in Ty Kong Tin v. Republic of the Philippines, (94 Phil., 321, 50 Off. Gaz. 1077). Acting upon the petition and the opposition thereto, the lower court issued the order of September 13, 1955, denying the petition, citing the same case of Ty Kong Tin v. Republic of the Philippines, supra.

Appellant contends that the correction sought by her in the birth certificate of her son, James A. Wang, does not affect his nationality or citizenship, as claimed by the Solicitor General and held by the trial court, for the reason that her child under the law, is a Filipino anyway, with or without the correction of his birth certificate, because his mother is a Filipino citizen and although his father is a Chinese, the child was born out of wedlock, as further shown by the birth certificate, to the effect that the child was not legitimate; that being an illegitimate child, it follows the citizenship of its mother; that the fact that the child was acknowledged by the parents will not change his status as Filipino citizen, and that only a valid marriage of a Filipino woman to a Chinese citizen would make the offspring a Chinese citizen. Appellant further argues that the lower court erred in declaring in its order that "even conceding, therefore, as pointed out by counsel for petitioner that there is evidence that James A. Wang is really a Filipino, and not a Chinese, such a fact, if it is a fact, must be established in another appropriate action and not in a mere petition under Article 412 of the New Civil Code." She maintains that under the provisions of Article 412 of the New Civil Code, she has a right to petition for a judicial order to correct her child’s birth certificate and that an appropriate action as suggested by the trial court is unnecessary.

Without attempting to decide whether under the facts or data appearing on the birth certificate in question, the child, James A. Wang, is under the law, a Filipino citizen, following the nationality of its mother, we feel that in the public interest and as a matter of public policy, we should adhere to the ruling laid down by us in the case of Ty Kong Tin v. Republic of the Philippines, supra. The petitioner in that case, Ty Kong Tin, alleged that he was a Filipino citizen duly licensed to practice law in the Philippines, that all his children were born in the City of Manila, whose births were duly reported in the civil register by the midwife or doctor attending their births, but that in submitting the report, it was made to appear therein that the citizenship of the petitioner was Chinese instead of Filipino, the mistake having been committed either by the midwife or doctor making the report, without knowledge or consent of the petitioner, and he filed a petition in court invoking the provisions of Article 412 of the New Civil Code to correct the alleged mistake. In denying the petition by reversing the order of the trial court granting it, we held through Mr. Justice Bautista that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"It is our opinion that the petition under consideration does not merely call for a correction of a clerical error. It involves a matter which concerns the citizenship not only of petitioner but of his children. It is therefore an important controversial matter which can and should only be treshed out in an appropriate action. The philosophy behind this requirement lies in the fact that ‘the books making up the civil register and all documents relating thereto shall be considered public documents and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein contained’ (Article 410, new Civil Code), and if the entries in the civil register could be corrected or changed through a mere summary proceeding, and not through an appropriate action wherein all parties who may be affected by the entries are notified or represented, we would set wide open the door to fraud or other mischief the consequence of which might be detrimental and far reaching."cralaw virtua1aw library

For the information of the parties concerned, and for the guidance of the public in general, we may venture the opinion that the clerical errors which might be corrected through judicial sanction under Article 412 of the New Civil Code, would be those harmless and innocuous changes, such as, correction of a name that is clearly misspelled, occupation of the parents, etc.; but for changes involving the civil status of the parents, their nationality or citizenship, those are grave and important matters which may have a bearing and effect on the citizenship and nationality not only of said parents, but of the offsprings, and to seek said changes, it is necessary to file a proper suit wherein not only the State, but also all parties concerned and affected should be made parties defendants or respondents, and evidence should be submitted, either to support the allegations of the petition or complaint, or also to disprove the same so that any order or decision in the case may be made with due process of law and on the basis of facts proven. Then and only then may the change or changes be made in the entry in a civil register that will affect or even determine conclusively the citizenship or nationality of a person therein involved.

In view of the foregoing, the order appealed from is hereby affirmed. No costs.

Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Padilla, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J. B. L., Endencia and Felix, JJ., concur.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com





February-1958 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-11264 February 10, 1958 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. ALFONSO AGODO

    102 Phil 1029

  • G.R. No. L-9198 February 13, 1958 - VALENTINA CADIZ v. FRANCISCO NICOLAS

    102 Phil 1032

  • G.R. No. L-10865 February 13, 1958 - EUFROSINA v. HON. JUDGE HILARION U. JARENCIO

    102 Phil 1040

  • G.R. No. L-10226 February 14, 1958 - VIRGINIA ANSALDO v. REP. OF THE PHIL.

    102 Phil 1046

  • G.R. No. L-10598 February 14, 1958 - IN RE: LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF MLA. JOAQUIN P. ROCES v. THE LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF MLA.

    102 Phil 1050

  • G.R. Nos. L-11483-84 February 14, 1958 - IN RE: Edward E. Christensen v. MARIA HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA

    102 Phil 1055

  • G.R. No. L-10472 February 26, 1958 - IN RE: DIONISIO SY v. REP. OF THE PHIL.

    102 Phil 1071

  • G.R. No. L-11143 February 26, 1958 - ELIZALDE TRADING CORPORATION v. HON. S. C. MOSCOSO

    102 Phil 1074

  • G.R. No. L-6184 February 28, 1958 - VICENTE SANTANDER v. MANUEL VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

    103 Phil 1

  • G.R. Nos. L-6652-54 February 28, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIEGO COLMAN, ET AL.

    103 Phil 6

  • G.R. No. L-8476 February 28, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABUNDIO ROMAGOSA

    103 Phil 20

  • G.R. No. L-9390 February 28, 1958 - ADELINA SEVERO v. PANTALEON PELAYO, ET AL.

    103 Phil 28

  • G.R. No. L-9550 February 28, 1958 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE ANGCO

    103 Phil 33

  • G.R. No. L-10221 February 28, 1958 - LUTHER YOUNG, ET AL. v. JOSE BUCOY

    103 Phil 40

  • G.R. No. L-10232 February 28, 1958 - CONVETS, INC. v. NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, ET AL.

    103 Phil 46

  • G.R. No. L-10235 February 28, 1958 - IN RE: LIM HAM CHIONG v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    103 Phil 52

  • G.R. No. L-10292 February 28, 1958 - PAO CHUAN WEI v. REPOSITO NOMOROSA, ET AL.

    103 Phil 57

  • G.R. No. L-10301 February 28, 1958 - MARIA JAVIER CRUZ, ET AL. v. JUAN P. ENRIQUEZ

    103 Phil 62

  • G.R. No. L-10307 February 28, 1958 - NATIONAL SHIPYARDS AND STEEL CORPORATION v. SALVADOR ASUNCION, ET AL.

    103 Phil 67

  • G.R. No. L-10474 February 28, 1958 - BENNY SAMPILO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

    103 Phil 70

  • G.R. No. L-10549 February 28, 1958 - JOSE LEE DY PIAO v. PAZ TY SIN TEI

    103 Phil 80

  • G.R. No. L-10619 February 28, 1958 - LEOGARIO RONQUILLO, ET AL. v. JOSE ROCO, ET AL.

    103 Phil 84

  • G.R. No. L-10808 February 28, 1958 - COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. MARCELINO T. VIDUYA, ET AL.

    103 Phil 93

  • G.R. Nos. L-10817-18 February 28, 1958 - ENRIQUE LOPEZ v. VICENTE OROSA

    103 Phil 98

  • G.R. No. L-10824 February 28, 1958 - JOSE BENARES MONTELIBANO v. CARLOS BENARES

    103 Phil 106

  • G.R. No. L-10872 February 28, 1958 - JOSE DOMINGDING, ET AL. v. TRINIDAD NG, ET AL.

    103 Phil 111

  • G.R. No. L-10877 February 28, 1958 - MARIA C. ROA v. SEGUNDA DE LA CRUZ

    103 Phil 116

  • G.R. No. L-10919 February 28, 1958 - LORETO LORCA v. JOSE S. DINEROS

    103 Phil 122

  • G.R. No. L-11269 February 28, 1958 - SILVERIO FELICES v. MAMERTO IRIOLA

    103 Phil 125

  • G.R. No. L-11476 February 28, 1958 - MUNICIPALITY OF CAMILING v. BERNABE DE AQUINO

    103 Phil 128