Why you need to take a look at your birth certificate now

Have you ever gone over your birth certificate?

Or do you even have a copy of it?

If you still do not have one, then it is high time that you get a copy of it.

And as soon as you have it, you need to take a look at all its contents.

Do it carefully.

Find out if all the details entered are correct.

If all are correct, then you have nothing to worry.

You can sleep soundly at night and enjoy the day the moment you wake up.

But if there are incorrect details, then you need to consult a lawyer and have them corrected at once.

Do it now and while you still find no need to use it.

You may wonder why I am urging you to take these steps right away.

It is because, if you will ignore them altogether and do nothing now, you will surely encounter serious and undesirable consequences the moment you find the need to use it.

I know of several horror stories related to the failure of certain individuals to take the necessary steps in order to have the erroneous entries in their birth certificates corrected at once.

Some are even based on actual cases I handled in the past.

One perfect example was the case of a certain male client.

When he was in his twenties, a petition was filed in the United States (US) so he and his siblings could go there as legal immigrants.

He was so excited because he was about to fulfill his lifelong dream of residing permanently in the US legally.

But when he obtained a copy of his birth certificate as part of the requirements, he got the shock of his life.

His excitement had suddenly turned into disappointment.

Why?

Because he discovered that his first name in his birth certificate was different from what he has been known for and was using since his childhood years.

Worse, it was not just a totally different name but was in fact a female first name.

To make matters even worse, he also found out that his registered gender was “female” instead of “male.”

I am sure you already know by now what happened next.

Unlike his siblings, the processing of his petition had been delayed and his dream of living in the US was put on hold.

But what made it even more disappointing was that the delay was not just in months but in years.

He was in his fifties when he had finally fulfilled his dream of living permanently in the US legally.

This was of course only after he had caused the correction of the erroneous entries in his birth certificate with the help of a lawyer, who happened to be me.

You can definitely avoid this from happening to you.

How?

By going over your birth certificate now.

If you still have none, then get a copy of it and take a careful look at all its contents right away.

This is for you to find out if it has incorrect details in it.

If it has none, then such is indeed a great news to hear.

But if it has even one, then you need to go to a lawyer and have it corrected at once.

I am sure you will thank yourself profusely one day for heeding my advice.

References:

  • Act No. 3753 otherwise known as the “Civil Registry Law”
  • Republic Act No. 9048
  • Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9048 (Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2001)
  • Republic Act No. 10172
  • Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10172 (Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2012)
  • Rule 130, Section 2 (d) of the Rules of Court
  • Rule 103 of the Rules of Court
  • Rule 108 of the Rules of Court
  • Zapanta vs. Civil Registrar of the City of Davao, September 26, 1994
  • Article 407 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 408 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 410 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 411 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 412 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 376 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
  • Article 25 of the Family Code of the Philippines
  • Emperatriz Labayo-Rowe vs. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. L-53417, December 8, 1998
  • Republic of the Philippines vs. Gladys C. Labrador, G.R. No. 132980, March 25, 1999
  • Republic of the Philippines vs. Carlito I. Kho, Michael Kho, Mercy Nona Kho-Fortun, Heddy Moira Kho-Serrano, Kevin Dogmoc Kho (Minor), and Kelly Dogmoc Kho (Minor), G.R. No. 170340, June 29, 2007
  • Republic of the Philippines vs. Merlyn Mercadera through her Attorney-in-Fact, Evelyn M. Oga, G.R. No. 186027, December 8, 2010
  • In the matter of the Petition for Correction of Entry (Change of Family Name in the Birth Certificate of Felipe C. Almojuela as appearing in the records of the National Statistics Office), Felipe C. Almojuela vs. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 211724, August 24, 2016

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Who will succeed President Duterte if he resigns from office?

President Rodrigo Duterte for the nth time said he was ready to “step down and retire.”

Based on news reports, he made this statement in one of his recent speaking engagements.

Is he serious?

Or is it just one of his jokes?

I cannot say for sure if he is really serious or simply joking this time.

Because only he can say with certainty what is on his mind.

But what if he is serious?

Can he step down and retire?

Is he allowed to resign from office?

The answer is of course a resounding YES.

Now if he later resigns, can he pick his successor?

The answer is a big NO.

Why?

Because the 1987 Constitution, which is the very constitution he is duty-bound to uphold and defend, is quite clear on this matter.

It says that if the President resigns from office, it is the Vice-President who will succeed him.

Reference:

  • Section 8, Article VII (Executive Department) of the 1987 Constitution

The Iron Curtain Rule

By law, illegitimate children are considered compulsory or legal heirs of their parents.

This means they have the right to inherit from them with or without a Last Will and Testament.

Children are of course considered illegitimate if they are conceived and born outside a valid marriage.

But do they also have the right to inherit from the legitimate children and relatives of their parents?

If it is an intestate succession, that is, when a person dies without a will, they have no right to inherit from the legitimate children and relatives of their parents.

The legitimate children and relatives of their parents in turn also have no right to inherit from them.

This is in consonance with what is known in law as “The Iron Curtain Rule,” which bars illegitimate children from inheriting from the legitimate children and relatives of their parents and vice-versa.

It was made part of our laws in order to avoid further grounds of resentment between the legitimate and illegitimate family given the intervening antagonism and incompatibility that is presumed to exist between them.

But the rule finds no application in a testate succession, that is, when a person dies with a will.

This is so because it is based only on the presumed and not on the express will of the decedent.

Bear in mind that it is the express will of the decedent that will matter most and will be respected, if not followed, in a testate succession.

References:

Article 992 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, Article 165 of the Family Code of the Philippines, Cresenciano Leonardo vs. Court of Appeals, Maria Cailles, James Bracewell and Rural Bank of Paranaque, Inc., G.R. No. L-51263, February 28, 1983, Anselma Diaz, guardian of Victor, Rodrigo, Anselmina and Miguel, all surnamed Santero, and Felixberta Pacursa, guardian of Federico Santero, et. al. vs. Intermediate Appellate Court and Felisa Pamuti Jardin, G.R. No. L-66574, February 21, 1990, Olivia S. Pascual and Hermes S. Pascual vs. Esperanza C. Pascual-Bautista, Manuel C. Pascual, Jose C. Pascual, Susana C. Pascual-Bautista, Erlinda C. Pascual, Wenceslao C. Pascual, Jr., Intestate Estate of Eleuterio T. Pascual, Avelino Pascual, Isoceles Pascual, Leida Pascual-Martines, Virginia Pascual-Ner, Nona Pascual-Fernando, Octovio Pascual, Geranaia Pascual-Dubert, and the Honorable Presiding Judge Manuel S. Padolina of Br. 162, RTC, Pasig, Metro Manila, G.R. No. 84240, March 25, 1992, Benigno Manuel, Liberato Manuel, Lorenzo Manuel, Placida Manuel, Madrona Manuel, Esperanza Manuel, Agapita Manuel, Basilisa Manuel, Emilia Manuel and Numeriana Manuel vs. Hon. Nicodemo T. Ferrer, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 37, Lingayen, Pangasinan, Modesta Baltazar and Estanislaoa Manuel, G.R. No. 117246, August 21, 1995, In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay; Emilio A.M. Suntay III vs. Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay, G.R. No. 183053, June 16, 2010.

 

 

Right to remarry in the Philippines of a divorced Filipino in a mixed marriage

Let us say you met a foreign citizen. You eventually fell in love with each other and later got married.

But years after, your marriage turned sour. Despite all efforts exerted, you and your foreign spouse failed to save it.

He soon obtained a divorce decree abroad. And it capacitated him to remarry, which he later did.

You now find yourself in a very absurd and unfair situation.

Why?

Because you remain married to him under our laws and yet he is no longer married to you.

To avoid this kind of situation, a provision was added to our laws to the effect that a Filipino in a mixed marriage is allowed to get married again in the Philippines once a divorce is obtained abroad that capacitates her foreign spouse to remarry.

By a mixed marriage, I am of course referring to a marriage between a Filipino and a foreign citizen.

But remember that your right to remarry in the Philippines as a divorced Filipino in a mixed marriage is not automatic.

Why?

Because you need to go to a Philippine court first and file a petition to have the foreign divorced decree recognized.

Bear in mind that you will only be allowed to get married again if you already have such court recognition with you.

[References: Second Paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code of the Philippines, Grace J. Garcia, a.k.a. Grace J. Garcia-Recio vs. Rederick A. Recio, G.R. No. 138322, October 2, 2001, Republic of the Philippines vs. Cipriano Orbecido III, G.R. No. 154380, October 5, 2005, Gerbert R. Corpuz vs. Daisylyn Sto. Tomas and The Solicitor General, G.R. No. 186571,  August 11, 2010, Edelina T. Ando vs. Department of Foreign Affairs, G.R. No. 195432, August 27, 2014, and Republic of the Philippines vs. Marelyn Tanedo Manalo, G.R. No. 221029, April 24, 2018] 

Correct middle initials for compound middle names

Are you one of those with compound middle names?

By compound middle names, I am of course referring to those middle names such as Dela Cruz, Quintos Deles, Villa Roman and the like.

If you are one of them, what then is your correct middle initial?

Is it the first letter of your middle name?

Or is it some other letter or letters?

In its website, the Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA gave the answer to these questions.

The PSA said in essence that it is the first letter of your middle name that is your correct middle initial.

For instance, if your middle name is Dela Cruz, your middle initial will then be “D.”

If yours is Quintos Deles, it will then be “Q.”

And if it is Villa Roman, it will then be “V.”

[Reference: psa.gov.ph]

Appointment of a losing barangay candidate

Sometime after the recent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, I received an exactly the same question from several persons on different dates.

Some asked out of mere curiosity, while others asked only to confirm if the answer they already had in mind was right.

Simple yet of great importance, their question in general has something to do with the appointment of a candidate who lost in a barangay election.

In particular, they asked me if a candidate who lost in a barangay election can be appointed to any office in the barangay even before the lapse of one year from the date of such election.

Some say they cannot be appointed, because of the one-year ban on appointments of losing candidates to any office in the government, while others say they can.

But who is correct?

Those who said they can be appointed even before the lapse of one year from the date of the barangay election are correct.

The reason for this is simple.

The law removed those who lost in a barangay election from the coverage of the one-year ban on appointments of losing candidates to any office in the government.

[References: Section 6, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, Section 94 (b) of the Local Government Code of the Philippines, Section 4, Rule XIII, Omnibus Rules on Appointment and Other Personnel Actions (CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998, as amended), Department of The Interior and Local Government (DILG) Legal Opinion No. 27, S. 2015 (dated July 13, 2015), DILG Opinion No. 3, S. 2017 (dated January 23, 2017, Civil Service Commission (CSC) Resolution No. 02-0012 (dated January 3, 2002), and People of the Philippines vs. The Sandiganbayan (Fourth Division) and Alejandro A. Villapando, G.R. No. 164185, July 23, 2008]

Do you still need to file your SOCE if you had ZERO election contribution and/or expenditure?

Let us say you were a candidate in the recent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Because of your overwhelming popularity, you won without spending anything.

You even refused all forms of donations coming from others.

In other words, you had no election contribution and expenditure.

Does it follow then that you no longer need to file your Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE)?

The answer is NO.

Even if you had no election contribution or expenditure, or both, you still have to file your SOCE, which, of course, must reflect such fact.

Remember that what is only essential is you filed your Certificate of Candidacy (COC) within the given period.

This only means then that as long as you filed your COC, you have to file your SOCE.

[References: Section 14 of Republic Act No. 7166, COMELEC Resolution No. 10209 (Promulgated on September 27, 2017), Juanito C. Pilar vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 115245, July 11, 1995, and comelec.gov.ph]