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.

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