G.R. No. 1207. November 02, 1905

Please log in to request a case brief.

5 Phil. 187

[ G.R. No. 1207. November 02, 1905 ]




  1. Dalmacio Arquiza died on the 29th of June, 1896, at the
    age of 45 years, according to the certificates presented during the
    trial. (Exhibits Nos. 5 and 6,pp.12 and 157 of the bill of exceptions.)

  2. His wife and daughters, the plaintiffs, filed the petition in this
    case, on the 15th of October, 1901. (P.2 of the bill of exceptions.)

  3. By their petition they seek the division of a piece of town property,
    described in the said petition as follows: “A certain block of land,
    situate in the suburb of Ermita, city of Manila, and bounded by Calle
    Nueva, Calle Isaac Peral, Calle del Padre Faura, and Calle Taran,
    together with all its parts and with, the improvements and dependencies
    existing on the said land.” (P. 3 of the bill of exceptions.)

  4. Point 4 of the complaint establishes: “That the plaintiffs are the
    owners and proprietors of one-third part, undivided, of the aforesaid
    block of land.” (P.3 of the bill of exceptions.)

  5. And in point 5: “That each of the defendants Maria Paz Arquiza and Jose
    Claro Arquiza are the owners and proprietors of one-third part,
    undivided, of the aforesaid block of land.” (P. 3 of the bill of

  6. In point 8: “That the
    defendants Maria Paz Arquiza, Jose Veles, her husband, and Jose Claro
    Arquiza, and each of them, are collecting and receiving at present, and
    have been collecting and receiving for a long time previous to the
    filing of this petition, the rent and revenues of the said block of
    land. * * * “

  7. There is on file with No.
    8, as evidence presented by plaintiffs, a record of possessory
    proceedings “covering all the land and all the property the object of
    this litigation,” instituted by a procurador de juzgados in
    the name of Jose Claro Arquiza, of which plaintiffs underscore the
    following words: “Which property my constituent acquired by inheritance
    from his deceased father, Santiago Arquiza, who died on the 19th of
    July, 1864, on which date his possession thereof commenced * * *.” (P.
    158 of the bill of exceptions.)

  8. In fact
    Santiago Arquiza, the legitimate father of Jose Claro Arquiza, died on
    the 19th of July, 1864, after his wife, Joaquina Carcaces, whose death
    occurred on the 6th of August, 1858. (Exhibits Nos.16 and 17, page 188
    of the bill of exceptions.)

It is beyond question that Jose Claro Arquiza and Maria Paz Arquiza
are legitimate children of Santiago Arquiza and Joaquina Carcaces, as
shown by the petition itself, by the evidence adduced by both parties,
and principally by the certificates of filiation, admitted without
dispute. (Exhibits Nos. 14 and 15, page 167 of the bill of exceptions.)

The title on which the defendants Jose Claro Arquiza and Maria Paz
Arquiza base their ownership is that of inheritance from their
legitimate father, Santiago Arquiza. The joint possession and title of
Jose Claro Arquiza and Maria Paz Arquiza are based on their legitimate
parentage, by virtue whereof, and considering themselves the sole heirs
of their father, Santiago Arquiza, they took possession of said estate,
holding it as their exclusive patrimony from their paternal side, they
being the sole legitimate children who survived their father, whose
title to the property is also beyond all controversy, and is
presupposed in the present litigation.

The plaintiffs, however, claim participation in said inheritance and
joint possession in representation of Dalmacio Arquiza, who, according
to their allegation and evidence, was also a legitimate son of Santiago
Arquiza and Joaquina Carcaces, their principal proof being the
certificate of parentage of the said Dalmacio Arquiza, which reads as

“On the 28th of September, of the year one thousand
eight hundred and fifty-one, with my license, the priest Don Remigio
Rodriguez solemnly baptized in the sagrario of this cathedral Dalmacio Arquiza, a boy 5 days of age, the legitimate son, born of legitimate wedlock, of Santiago Arquiza and Joaquina Carcaces, Indians * * * .” (Exhibit No. 6, page 157 of the bill of exceptions.)

This alleged legitimate parentage, as well as the claim for joint
possession since the beginning, and the claim for participation in the
estate of Santiago Arquiza subsequently, were denied and disputed by
the defendants in their amended reply with voluminous evidence, against
which the plaintiffs adduced not less voluminous testimony, regarding
the public opinion as to the origin of Dalmacio Arquiza, and the
defendants established “that Dalmacio Arquiza was the son of Benita Linares, by Santiago Arquiza but born while the latter was married with Joaquina Carcaces.” (P. 13 of the bill of exceptions.)

In refutation of the alleged legitimate parentage of
Dalmacio Arquiza, set forth in Exhibit No. 6, the certificate of
baptism of the same, the defendants affirmed in their reply and
supported with evidence that Dalmacio Arquiza, if he was a son of Santiago Arquiza, was a bastard child had with another woman, and not with his legitimate spouse, Joaquina Carcaces.

The court does not consider it necessary to state its opinion of the
testimony adduced by the two parties, deeming sufficient undisputed
facts, established and accepted by both parties, which are necessarily
the premises of the question at issue.

The proof of the parentage of Maria de la Paz Arquiza consists in
the certificate of her baptism and birth, the only proof then
established by law, which is admitted as evidence unless it has been
contested and the contrary established, It is worded as follows:

“On the thirty-first of January of the year one
thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, Br. D. Escolastico Ruiz, secular
priest of this archbishopric, did, with my license, solemnly baptize
and anoint with the holy oils and chrism, in the church of Ermita,
Maria Paz Arquiza, a girl 8 days of age, the legitimate daughter of D.
Santiago Arquiza and Da. Joaquina Carcaces, Indians of the barrio of
Ilaya, of the barangay No. 35.” (Exhibit No. 15, page 167 of the bill
of exceptions.)

If it is true, as has been admitted during the trial, that Maria de
la Paz Arquiza was born eight days previous to the 31st of January,
1852—that is, on the 22nd of said month and year—and that she is the
legitimate daughter, born in legitimate wedlock, of Santiago Arquiza
and Joaquina Carcaces; if it is true, as has been admitted during the
trial, that Dalmacio Arquiza was born on the 23d of September, 1851, it
being denied that he was the legitimate, son of Santiago Arquiza and
Joaquina Carcaces, then it would appear from the attested dates of
these documents, which have not been contested, but rather accepted by
both parties, that an interval of only four months separated both these
births. The attorney for the plaintiffs, now appellants, admits that it is impossible that two children be born from the same mother, one four months after the other,
and neither law nor reason can require more evident and conclusive
proof to properly establish that of these two children the one can not
be legitimate whose legitimacy has been contested, and whose legitimacy
is incompatible and can not be presumed jointly with that of the other
child, the legitimacy of which is recognized and accepted. The judge
says with good reason that if Maria Paz was the illegitimate child and
Dalmacio the legitimate, the plaintiffs would not have requested
one-third of the estate of Santiago Arquiza, thus acknowledging the
right of Maria Paz to another third part, but one-half, the other to go
to Jose Claro Arquiza, and Maria Paz to be excluded from inheritance.

Without proof of the legitimate birth of Dalmacio Arquiza, his
status can not be considered the same as that of Jose Claro Arquiza and
Maria de la Paz Arquiza, owners and possessors of the estate of which
the heiresses of the said Dalmacio Arquiza claim a portion, because
previous to the case on hand, and during the same, the said defendants
were the only persons recognized and considered as the legitimate
children and legitimate heirs of Santiago Arquiza. Without evidence to
prove his being a legitimate son of Santigao Arquiza, Dalmacio Arquiza
can not be given participation in the joint domain, with Jose Claro
Arquiza and Maria de la Paz Arquiza, as coheir of these two, the only
legitimate children surviving Santiago Arquiza. It being impossible to
presuppose the joint domain presupposed by the complaint, there is no
ground for an action, nor was there any basis for an action for the
purpose of requesting, as has been requested, the partition of property
supposed to be held, undivided, by three.

There is no such undivided estate held by three, because such joint
domain by three did not exist. This joint domain by three can not
exist, for the reason that there can not be three heirs with regard to
the estate left by Santiago Arquiza. There are only two legitimate
heirs, the two defendants. The person from whom the claim of the
plaintiffs originates, if he was Santiago Arquiza’s son, was a bastard
child, and incapable of being his heir.

Plaintiffs themselves have furnished the proof of his illegitimate
birth by the birth certificate of Dalmacio Arquiza, which has been
proved a legal impossibility, and a physiological impossibility, as
subsequently admitted by plaintiffs themselves, it being the most
decisive evidence which could be adduced, and absolutely irrefutable
for the party which presented it.

The two defendants, as legitimate children of Santiago Arquiza, had
been in quiet and peaceful possession of his estate since July, 1864,
when after over thirty-seven years of such possession, a third party
appeared before the courts with the claim that these two were not the
only surviving legitimate children of Santiago Arquiza, but that there
were three, the third being Dalmacio Arquiza. The legitimate filiation
of the latter having been denied, legal procedure required that it be
proved, the burden of proof resting upon him who alleged such affiliation
and based his claim on it. He made use of the principal proof
authorized by article 115 of the Civil Code, and against this prima facie
authentic evidence another proof of the same nature was adduced, for
the purpose of comparing the two and proving material impossibility.
This impossibility it has been impossible to refute, and the legitimate
filiation of Maria de la Paz continues to be uncontested, and is
incompatible with that of Dalmacio Arquiza, which has been persistently
contested to the end. If the fact on which the petition is based is an
absurdity, a legal impossibility, then there is no fact which can be
the cause or origin of the action. This court, therefore, has no
further evidence to examine as after all, it is not conclusive, because
neither the uninterrupted enjoyment of the status of a legitimate child
(article 116) nor a foundation of proof in writing coming from both
parents, either jointly or severally (article 117), can be deducted
from the entire result of this case.

The court did not err in accepting, as evidence destructive of the
presumption which a parochial record of baptism carries with it as to
the parentage therein set forth, another record of the same nature and
force, according to which it is impossible to admit the contents of the
former. It is already established jurisprudence, and appears, amongst
other sentences, in the sentencia de casacion of the 13th of
July, 1899, “that the record of baptism, as in general all the
documents, attests the fact which gives rise to its issue, and the date
thereof, to wit, the fact of the administration of the sacrament on the
day stated, but not the truth of the statements therein made as to the
parentage of the child baptized * * *.”—That even when the affiliation of
legitimate children is proved, as established by article 115 of the
Civil Code, by the record of the birth, entered in the civil register,
analogous to which are the certificates of baptism previous to the
creation of the civil office referred to, this is a presumption against
which evidence may be admitted, and said article 115 is not infringed
if said presumption is offset by said evidence.” In the decision of
March 28, 1896:

“That a certificate of baptism having been proved
false civilly, in so far as it sets forth the legitimate affiliation of
the plaintiff with regard to the defendant, this falsity being based on
what appears from other documents of a like nature, and authentic and
efficacious in the same manner, presented during the trial, it is
evident that the relation of paternity was not fully established as
required by the law, and the certificate of the administration of the
sacrament does not, in the present case, constitute the authentic
instrument to which article 115 of the Civil Code refers, and that the
court which pronounced the sentence, in declaring that the plaintiff
had not proved that she was a legitimate daughter, plaintiff having
also failed to prove constant enjoyment of that civil status, and in
acquitting the defendant for this reason, did not infringe the
provisions of the law or incur the errors of fact and law cited * * * “

The fact that the plaintiff made of the question a supposition does
not oblige the defendant and the court to suppose the only thing
questionable, to wit, the status of the legitimate child of Dalmacio
Arquiza, the same as Jose Claro Arquiza and Maria de la Paz Arquiza.
This is the only question to be decided, and if decision should be
rendered in favor of Dalmacio Arquiza, then the action for the division
of the joint property of inheritance, filed by the successors in
interest of Dalmacio Arquiza, would be justified by title of joint
domain or joint inheritance, which would have to be recognized (since
1864) in favor of said Dalmacio Arquiza. In case of a decision to the
contrary, however, such action can not exist, in view of the absence of
the title presupposed, and the petition must therefore be denied.

In fact, the whole question involved in this case has been based on
the supposition that plaintiffs and defendants have not done anything
but discuss whether or not Dalmacio Arquiza was the legitimate son and
heir of Santiago Arquiza and Joaquina Carcaces, each upholding one or
the other side of the question—the plaintiffs the affirmative, and the
defendants the negative—the former, that he was co-proprietor, as
coheir, with the defendants, and the latter that he could not be
coheir, and therefore not co-proprietor with them. It is clearly an
action for the recognition of legitimacy, or for petition of

This being so, it must be considered that while the action to claim
legitimacy could have been brought by the son, Dalmacio Arquiza at any
time of his life, it did not have this duration for his heirs, as said
action is transmitted to the same only when the child dies during
minority or in a state of insanity. In cases where the action is
transmitted to the heirs of the child, only a period of five years is
allowed in which to institute the action. (Article 118.) Dalmacio
Arquiza died neither in minority nor in a state of insanity, and even
if he had died in either of these states it would appear that the
action was instituted by his heirs after the five years had expired, it
being filed on October 15,1901, and he having died on June 29,1896.

On these grounds we consider the judgment appealed from, is in
accordance with the law in “deciding that plaintiffs have no right to
obtain anything in this action, and must pay the costs,” and therefore
affirm it in all its parts, denying the petition in all its chapters,
with the costs of this instance against appellants.

Let judgment be entered in accordance herewith and after the lapse
of twenty days let the records be returned to the lower court for
execution thereof. So ordered.

Torres, Mapa, Johnson, and Carson, JJ., concur.

Willard, J., did not sit in this case.

Date created: April 28, 2014


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Apply Filters