G.R. No. 153798, 2 September 2005
Petitioner is the wife of the deceased while the respondent is the child of the deceased in his first wife. Respondent seeks administration of the estate of the deceased but opposed by the surviving wife (2nd wife) alleging that the respondent is an illegitimate child of the deceased.
Whether or not the respondent is illegitimate precluding her to become the administratrix.
No, respondent is not illegitimate.
Article 164 of the Family Code cannot be more emphatic on the matter: “Children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents are legitimate.”
The issue of legitimacy cannot be attacked collaterally.
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 judgments; 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 court ruled that the respondent is not an illegitimate child of the deceased and is entitled to become the administratrix of the latter’s property.
* Case digest by Lea A. Caipang, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018