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Paternity and Filiation

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1 Paternity and Filiation on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:46 pm


Prision Correccional
I'm putting this up as a summary of the rules regarding paternity and filiation.

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2 Re: Paternity and Filiation on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:54 pm


Prision Correccional
First up is the case of Nepomuceno vs. Lopez (G.R. No. 181258, March 18, 2010):

The relevant provisions of the Family Code9 that treat of the right to support are Articles 194 to 196, thus:

Article 194. Support compromises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.

Article 195. Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:

1. The spouses;
2. Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
3. Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
4. Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and
5. Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half-blood.

Article 196. Brothers and sisters not legitimately related, whether of the full or half-blood, are likewise bound to support each other to the full extent set forth in Article 194, except only when the need for support of the brother or sister, being of age, is due to a cause imputable to the claimant's fault or negligence. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Arhbencel’s demand for support, being based on her claim of filiation to petitioner as his illegitimate daughter, falls under Article 195(4). As such, her entitlement to support from petitioner is dependent on the determination of her filiation.

Herrera v. Alba10 summarizes the laws, rules, and jurisprudence on establishing filiation, discoursing in relevant part as follows:

Laws, Rules, and Jurisprudence

Establishing Filiation

The relevant provisions of the Family Code provide as follows:

ART. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.

x x x x

ART. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:

(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or
(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.

In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:

(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or
(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.
The Rules on Evidence include provisions on pedigree. The relevant sections of Rule 130 provide:

SEC. 39. Act or declaration about pedigree. — The act or declaration of a person deceased, or unable to testify, in respect to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in evidence where it occurred before the controversy, and the relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The word "pedigree" includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates when and the places where these facts occurred, and the names of the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history intimately connected with pedigree.

SEC. 40. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree. — The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members, may be received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by consanguinity or affinity. Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engraving on rings, family portraits and the like, may be received as evidence of pedigree.

This Court's rulings further specify what incriminating acts are acceptable as evidence to establish filiation. In Pe Lim v. CA, a case petitioner often cites, we stated that the issue of paternity still has to be resolved by such conventional evidence as the relevant incriminating verbal and written acts by the putative father. Under Article 278 of the New Civil Code, voluntary recognition by a parent shall be made in the record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing. To be effective, the claim of filiation must be made by the putative father himself and the writing must be the writing of the putative father. A notarial agreement to support a child whose filiation is admitted by the putative father was considered acceptable evidence. Letters to the mother vowing to be a good father to the child and pictures of the putative father cuddling the child on various occasions, together with the certificate of live birth, proved filiation. However, a student permanent record, a written consent to a father's operation, or a marriage contract where the putative father gave consent, cannot be taken as authentic writing. Standing alone, neither a certificate of baptism nor family pictures are sufficient to establish filiation. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Link: The case

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3 Re: Paternity and Filiation on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:58 pm


Prision Correccional
Presently DNA testing is the best test to prove filation. However, there are other tests being used all over the world to prove filation.

Unfortunately, I've lost the list of the tests during the Ondoy tragedy but I'll try to post it here after I've reconstructed it.

PS: here is an interesting article about DNA testing

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