Friday, June 5, 2015

Cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register; who shall be impleaded.

See - The Unwanted Child…


"x x x.

Is the proceeding for the cancellation of the birth certificate of Rosilyn an ordinary action or a special proceedings?  If it is a special proceedings, did the petitioners comply with the requirements of Rule 108 on petitions for cancellation or correction of entry in civil registry records?
“x x x.Considering that the petition, based on its allegations, does not question the fact of birth of Rosilyn, all matters assailing the truthfulness of any entry in the birth certificate properly, including the date of birth, fall under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court which governs cancellation or correction of entries in the Civil Registry. Thus, the petition filed by the Ceruilas, alleging material entries in the certificate as having been falsified, is properly considered as a special proceeding pursuant to Section 3(c), Rule 1 and Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.”
x x x
Sec. 3, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, expressly states that:
SEC. 3. Parties. — When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is sought, the civil registrar and all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties to the proceeding.

Indeed, not only the civil registrar but also all persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected by a proceeding concerning the cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register must be made parties thereto. As enunciated in Republic vs. Benemerito, unless all possible indispensable parties were duly notified of the proceedings, the same shall be considered as falling much too short of the requirements of the rules.
Here, it is clear that no party could be more interested in the cancellation of Rosilyn’s birth certificate than Rosilyn herself. Her filiation, legitimacy, and date of birth are at stake.
Petitioners claim that even though Rosilyn was never made a party to the proceeding, it is enough that her name was included in the caption of the petition. Such reasoning is without merit.
As we pronounced in Labayo-Rowe vs. Republic where the mother sought changes in the entries of her two children’s birth certificates:
…since only the Office of the Solicitor General was notified through the Office of the Provincial Fiscal, representing the Republic of the Philippines as the only respondent, the proceedings taken, which is summary in nature, is short of what is required in cases where substantial alterations are sought. Aside from the Office of the Solicitor General, all other indispensable parties should have been made respondents. They include not only the declared father of the child but the child as well, together with the paternal grandparents, if any, as their hereditary rights would be adversely affected thereby. All other persons who may be affected by the change should be notified or represented . . .. (Emphasis supplied)

In the present case, only the Civil Registrar of Manila was served summons, who, however, did not participate in the proceedings. This alone is clearly not sufficient to comply with the requirements laid down by the rules.
Petitioners further claim that the lack of summons on Rosilyn was cured by the publication of the order of the trial court setting the case for hearing for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
We do not agree. Summons must still be served, not for the purpose of vesting the courts with jurisdiction, but to comply with the requirements of fair play and due process. This is but proper, to afford the person concerned the opportunity to protect her interest if she so chooses.
Indeed, there were instances when we ruled that even though an interested party was not impleaded in the petition, such defect was cured by compliance with Sec. 4, Rule 108 on publication. In said cases, however, earnest efforts were made by the petitioners in bringing to court all possible interested parties.
Such is not the case at bar. Rosilyn was never made a party at all to the proceedings seeking the cancellation of her birth certificate. Neither did petitioners make any effort to summon the Solicitor General.”
x x x
“It does not take much to deduce the real motive of petitioners in seeking the cancellation of Rosilyn’s birth certificate and in not making her, her guardian, the DSWD, and the Republic of the Philippines, through the Solicitor General, parties to the petition. Rosilyn was involved in the rape case against Romeo Jalosjos, where her father, as appearing in the birth certificate, was said to have pimped her into prostitution. In the criminal case, the defense contended that the birth certificate of Rosilyn should not have been considered by the trial court to prove Rosilyn’s age and thus find basis for statutory rape, as said birth certificate has been cancelled by the RTC of Manila, Branch 38, in the special proceeding antecedent to this petition. Their efforts in this regard, however, were thwarted when the CA overturned Branch 38’s decision, and the Court, in G.R. Nos. 132875-7642 considered other evidence as proof of Rosilyn’s age at the time of the commission of the crime.”
x x x."

G.R. No. 140305 December 9, 2005, PLATON AND LIBRADA CERUILA, Petitioners, vs.ROSILYN DELANTAR, represented by her guardian, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE and DEVELOPMENT, Respondent.