Rabuya predicts 2018 bar exam in book, lecture

Celebrity author and lecturer ELMER RABUYA posted the following on Facebook. This is regarding his accurate prediction of one question in the 2018 civil law bar examination.

THE ACTUAL QUESTION: Silverio was a woman trapped in a man's body. He was born male and his birth certificate indicated his gender as male, and his name as Silverio Stalon. When he reached the age of 21, he had a sex reassignment surgery in Bangkok, and, from then on, he lived as a female. On the basis of his sex reassignment, he filed an action to have his first name changed to Shelley, and his gender, to female. While he was following up his case with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, he met Sharon Stan, who also filed a similar action to change her first name to Shariff, and her gender, from female to male.

Sharon was registered as a female upon birth. While growing up, she developed male characteristics and was diagnosed to have congenital adrenal hyperplasia ("CAH") which is a condition where a person possesses both male and female characteristics. At puberty, tests revealed that her ovarian structures had greatly minimized, and she had no breast or menstrual development. Alleging that for all intents and appearances, as well as mind and emotion, she had become a male, she prayed that her birth certificate be corrected such that her gender should be changed from female to male, and that her first name should be changed from Sharon to Shariff.

Silverio and Sharon fell in love and decided to marry. Realizing that their marriage will be frowned upon in the Philippines, they travelled to Las Vegas, USA where they got married based on the law of the place of celebration of the marriage. They, however, kept their Philippine citizenship.

(a) Is there any legal bases for the court to approve Silverio's petition for correction of entries in his birth certificate? (2.5%)

(b) Will your answer be the same in the case of Sharon's petition? (2.5%)

(c) Can the marriage of Silverio (Shelley) and Sharon (Shariff) be legally recognized as valid in the Philippines? (2.5%)

PROF. RABUYA'S SUGGESTED ANSWER: No, because we do not have any law recognizing the legal effects of sex reassignment surgery. Instead, the sex of a Filipino citizen is determined at the time of birth by the birth attendant through a mere visual examination of the genitals of the infant. Such determination made by the birth attendant is immutable and may not be changed by reason of sex reassignment surgery. (Silverio v. Republic. G.R. No. 174689. October 22, 2007)

I discussed this during the October 2 day lecture, during the pre-week and last minute. I remember telling the reviewees, [kapag] tinanong ito, dalawa lang ang dapat sabihin: (1) the sex of a Filipino is simply determined by the birth attendant at the time of birth by mere visual examination of the genitals and the same is immutable unless there is palpable error; and (2) we do not have any law recognizing the legal effects of sex reassignment surgery. Those exact words.

SOURCE: Elmer Rabuya. November 21, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/attyetrabuya/posts/2052854514757589. https://www.facebook.com/erabuya

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