Habeas Corpus in Custody Cases

Habeas corpus may be resorted to in cases where rightful custody is withheld from a person entitled thereto. Under Article 211 of the Family Code, respondent Loran and petitioner Marie Antonette have joint parental authority over their son and consequently joint custody. Further, although the couple is separated de facto, the issue of custody has yet to be adjudicated by the court. In the absence of a judicial grant of custody to one parent, both parents are still entitled to the custody of their child. In the present case, private respondents cause of action is the deprivation of his right to see his child as alleged in his petition. Hence, the remedy of habeas corpus is available to him.
In a petition for habeas corpus, the child's welfare is the supreme consideration. The Child and Youth Welfare Code unequivocally provides that in all questions regarding the care and custody, among others, of the child, his welfare shall be the paramount consideration. (Salientes vs. Abanilla; G.R. No. 162734, August 29, 2006)