G.R. No. L-32054, 15 May 1974


Atanacia Llaneta was married with Serafin Ferrer whom she had a child named Victoriano Ferrer. Serafin died and about four years later Atanacia had a relationship with another man out of which Teresita Llaneta, herein petitioner, was born. All of them lived with Serafin’s mother in Manila. Teresita was raised in the household of the Ferrer’s using the surname of Ferrer in all her dealing even her school records. She then applied for a copy of her birth certificate in Sorsogon as it is required to be presented in connection with a scholarship grant. Subsequently, she discovered that her registered surname was Llaneta and that she was the illegitimate child of Atanacia and an unknown father. She prayed to have her name changed from Teresita Llaneta to Teresita Llaneta Ferrer since not doing so would result in confusion among persons and entitites she dealt with and would entail endless and vexatious explanations of the circumstances.


Whether Teresita can have her surname changed to Ferrer.


Yes, Teresita can have her surname changed to Ferrer in her official dealings; this would likewise mean a lifelong fending with the necessary affidavits. Moreover, it is a salutary law that would allow Teresita, inspite of her illegitimate birth, to carry on in society without her unfortunate status being bandied about at every turn.

In the case at bar, however, the late Serafin Ferrer’s widowed mother, Victoria, and his two remaining brothers, Nehemias and Ruben, have come forward in earnest support of the petition. Adequate publication of the proceeding has not elicited the slightest opposition from the relatives and friends of the late Serafin Ferrer. Clearances from various Government agencies show that Teresita has a spotless record. And the State (represented by the Solicitor General’s Office), which has an interest in the name borne by every citizen within its realm for purposes of identification, interposed no opposition at the trial after a searching cross-examination, of Teresita and her witnesses.

Whether the late Serafin Ferrer, who died some five years before Teresita was born, would have consented or objected to her use of his surname is open to speculation. One thing, however, is beyond cavil: those living who possess the right of action to prevent the surname Ferrer from being smeared are proud to share it with her.

* Case digest by Aileen B. Buenafe, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018