CASE DIGEST: Dolina vs. Vallecera (G.R. No. 182367; December 15, 2010)


SUMMARY: The filiation of the child to the parent must first be established before support from said parent can be granted by the court

FACTS OF THE CASE: Antonia Perla filed a petition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary protection order against the respondent for alleged woman and child abuse under RA 9262 and asked for financial support.

She alleged that respondent is the father of her child. The man, however, made a denial of the claim of his being the father of the child and that the signature appearing in the child Certificate of Live Birth is not his signature. The RTC dismissed the petition on the ground that there is no prior judgment establishing the filiation of the child hence, there is no basis to order support.

ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC made error in judgment in dismissing the case and in requiring the petitioner to first prove filiation before support is granted
RULING: No, the RTC made no error in so doing.

Dolina evidently filed the wrong action to obtain support for her child. The object of RA 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’s 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.

What is the proper remedy?

[1] Action for Compulsory Recognition to Establish Filiation. Afterwards, she can demand support; or
[1] Action for Support, where one of the issues is filiation.

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. Since Dolina’s demand for support for her son is based on her claim that he is Vallecera’s 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. (Art. 195, Family Code). The child’s remedy is to file through her mother a judicial action 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.

Read more about similar issues:

De la Puerta v. CA, G.R. No. 77867, February 6, 1990, 181 SCRA 861
Montefalcon v. Vasquez, G.R. No. 165016, June 17, 2008, 554 SCRA 513
Tayag v. Tayag-Gallor, G.R. No. 174680, March 24, 2008, 549 SCRA 68