Case Digest: Dolina vs. Vallecera

G.R. No. 182367 : December 15, 2010

CHERRYL B. DOLINA, Petitioner, v. GLENN D. VALLECERA, Respondent.



Petitioner Cherryl B. Dolina filed a petition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary protection order against respondent Glenn D. Vallecera for alleged woman and child abuse.In filling out the blanks in thepro-formacomplaint, Dolinaaddeda handwritten prayer for financial support from Vallecera for their supposed child.She based her prayer on the latters Certificate of Live Birth which listed Vallecera as the childsfather.The petition also asked the RTC to order Philippine Airlines, Valleceras employer, to withhold from his pay such amount of support as the RTC may deem appropriate. Vallecera opposed the petition.He claimed that Dolinas petition was essentially one for financial support rather than for protection against woman and child abuses; that he was not the childs father; that the signature appearing on the childs Certificate of Live Birth is not his; that the petition is a harassment suit intended to force him to acknowledge the child as his and give it financial support; and that Vallecera has never lived nor has been living with Dolina, rendering unnecessary the issuance of a protection order against him. The RTC dismissed the petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC correctly dismissed Dolinas action for temporary protection and denied her application for temporary support for her child.

HELD: RTCs decision is affirmed.


Dolina evidently filed the wrong action to obtain support for her child.The object of R.A. 9262 under which she filed the case is the protection and safety of women and children who are victims of abuse or violence.Although the issuance of a protection order against the respondent in the case can include the grant of legal support for the wife and the child, this assumes that both are entitled to a protection order and to legal support.Dolina of course alleged that Vallecera had been abusing her and her child.But it became apparent to the RTC upon hearing that this was not the case since, contrary to her claim, neither she nor her child ever lived with Vallecera.As it turned out, the true object of her action was to get financial support from Vallecera for her child, her claim being that he is the father.He of course vigorously denied this. To be entitled to legal support, petitioner must, in proper action, first establish the filiation of the child, if the same is not admitted or acknowledged.SinceDolinas demand for support for her son is based on her claim that he is Valleceras illegitimate child, the latter is not entitled to such support if he had not acknowledged him, until Dolina shall have proved his relation to him. The childs remedy is to file through her mother a judicial action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition.If filiation is beyond question, support follows as matter of obligation.In short, illegitimate children are entitled to support and successional rights but their filiation must be duly proved.

Dolinas remedy is to file for the benefit of her child an action against Vallecera for compulsory recognition in order to establish filiation and then demand support.Alternatively, she may directly file an action for support, where the issue of compulsory recognition may be integrated and resolved. While the Court is mindful of the best interests of the child in cases involving paternity and filiation, it is just as aware of the disturbance that unfounded paternity suits cause to the privacy and peace of the putative fathers legitimate family.Vallecera disowns Dolinas child and denies having a hand in the preparation and signing of its certificate of birth.This issue has to be resolved in an appropriate case.