Sunday, June 17, 2012

Quimiguing v Icao G.R. No. 26795 July 31, 1970

J. J.B.L. Reyes

Icao, a married man, impregnated Quimiging, a minor. As a result, she had to pay for hospitalization and stopped studying. The latter claimed damages Php 120 a month. Duly summoned, defendant Icao moved to dismiss for lack of cause of action since the complaint did not allege that the child had been born. The trial judge sustained defendant's motion and dismissed the complaint.
Plaintiff moved to amend the complaint to allege that as a result of the intercourse, she had later given birth to a baby girl; but the court, sustaining defendant's objection, ruled that no amendment was allowable, since the original complaint averred no cause of action. The plaintiff appealed directly to this Court.

Issue: Is a conceived child entitled to support?

Held: Yes. Petition granted.

A conceived child, although as yet unborn, is given by law a provisional personality of its own for all purposes favorable to it, as explicitly provided in Article 40 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. The unborn child, therefore, has a right to support from its progenitors.
It is thus clear that the lower court's theory that Article 291 of the Civil Code declaring that support is an obligation of parents and illegitimate children "does not contemplate support to children as yet unborn," violates Article 40 aforesaid, besides imposing a condition that nowhere appears in the text of Article 291. It is true that Article 40 prescribing that "the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are favorable to it" adds further "provided it be born later with the conditions specified in the following article" (i.e., that the foetus be alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother's womb).
 Auxiliary reason: A second reason for reversing the orders appealed from is that for a married man to force a woman not his wife to yield to his lust constitutes a clear violation of the rights of his victim that entitles her to claim compensation for the damage caused. Says Article 21 of the Civil Code of the Philippines:
ART. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
The rule of Article 21 is supported by Article 2219 of the same Code:
ART 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:
 (3) Seduction, abduction, rape or other lascivious acts
Hence, the girl has a cause of action.

Martinez v Martinez March 31, 1902 G.R. No. 445

J. Cooper

This is an action brought by Pedro Martinez Ilustre, the son and the compulsory legal heir, against Francisco Martinez Garcia for a declaration of prodigality against the father.
The son claimed that the father is dissipating and squandering his estate by making donations to his second wife and to her parents of properties amounting to over $200,000; that he has given over the administration of this estate to the management of his wife; that the defendant has a propensity for litigation and has instituted groundless actions against the plaintiff in order to take possession of the property held in common with the plaintiff to give it to his wife and her relatives.
The defendant alleged that he has executed in favor of the plaintiff a general power of attorney under which the plaintiff has administered the community estate for several years; that the plaintiff has caused the ships Germana, Don Francisco, and Balayan, belonging to the estate, to be registered in his own name without the consent of the father and is otherwise mismanaging and misappropriating the property of the estate, which caused the defendant to revoke the power of attorney given to plaintiff, and that the suit brought by the defendant against the plaintiff was due to the attitude of the son, who, notwithstanding the fact that the power of attorney had been revoked, refused to render an account of his administration.
The Court of First Instance rendered judgment against the plaintiff and adjudged the costs against him. The plaintiff has appealed to this court.

Issue: Is the father suffering from prodigality thereby injuring the estate of his son?

Held: No. Petition dismissed

The acts which constitute prodigality are not defined in the Civil Code owing to the difficulty of applying general rules to the varying circumstances of the case and the different situations of persons.
Under our law it may inferred that the acts of prodigality must show a morbid state of mind and a disposition to spend, waste, and lessen the estate to such an extent as is likely to expose the family to want of support, or to deprive the forced heirs of their undisposable part of the estate.
Donations are considered as acts of liberality dictated by generosity and affection. All persons who can contract and dispose of property may make donations. (Art. 624 of the Civil Code.)
Public policy requires that limitations of the character mentioned should be imposed upon the owner, but a law which would impose restrictions further than such as are required by public policy may well be regarded unjust and tending in a contrary direction, as destroying the incentive to acquire property, and as subduing the generous impulse of the heart.
While some of the witnesses state that the possessions of the wife have greatly increased since her marriage, there is no evidence whatever to show that there has been any perceptible diminution of the defendant’s property. This can be accounted for only on the grounds that the father, so far from being a prodigal, is still in the full exercise of his faculties and still possesses the industry, thrift, and ability that resulted in the accumulation of a splendid estate after the date of his marriage with the mother of the plaintiff, to one-half of which estate the plaintiff has succeeded as heir of the mother.
A careful consideration of the evidence is sufficient to induce the belief that the plaintiff himself possesses that propensity for instituting lawsuits which he unjustly attributes to his father.

Geluz v CA G.R. No. L-16439 July 20, 1961

J. J. B.L. Reyes

The litigation was commenced in the Court of First Instance of Manila by respondent Oscar Lazo, the husband of Nita Villanueva, against petitioner Antonio Geluz, a physician. Lazo’s cuase of action was the third and last abortion of his wife to the said doctor.
The wife aborted the first baby before they were legally married. She had herself aborted again by the defendant in October 1953. Less than two years later, she again became pregnant and was aborted when the husband was campaigning in the province. He did not give his consent.
The trial court granted the petition and order the doctor to pay Php 3,000. The CA sustained. The doctor appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue: WON the husband can recover damages from the death of a fetus

Held: No. Petition granted.

Fixing a minimum award of P3,000.00 for the death of a person, does not cover the case of an unborn foetus that is not endowed with personality.
Since an action for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death pertains primarily to the one injured, it is easy to see that if no action for such damages could be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of the injuries it received, no such right of action could derivatively accrue to its parents or heirs. In fact, even if a cause of action did accrue on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished by its pre-natal death, since no transmission to anyone can take place from on that lacked juridical personality.
Under Article 40 of the Civil Code, the child should be subsequently born alive: "provided it be born later with the condition specified in the following article". (Read Art 41 of the Civil Code) In the present case, there is no dispute that the child was dead when separated from its mother's womb.

As to the reward of moral damages to Lazo: The court ruled that evidently because the appellee's indifference to the previous abortions of his wife, also caused by the appellant, clearly indicates that he was unconcerned with the frustration of his parental hopes and affections.
He appeared to have taken no steps to investigate or pinpoint the causes thereof, and secure the punishment of the responsible practitioner. Even after learning of the third abortion, the appellee does not seem to have taken interest in the administrative and criminal cases against the appellant. His only concern appears to have been directed at obtaining from the doctor a large money payment, since he sued for P50,000.00 damages and P3,000.00 attorney's fees, an "indemnity" claim that, under the circumstances of record, was clearly exaggerated.