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Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

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Correcting Wrong Entries In Birth Certificates

Your birth certificate is an essential document you present as proof of identity. Whether it is about misspelled name, incorrect gender or wrong birth date, you need to correct these errors. These errors can be corrected without going to court. This is prescribed by Republic Act No. 10172. 

IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS    

Rule 1.  Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error

The duly appointed C/MCR in accordance with the provisions of the existing laws, including the Consul General, are hereby authorized to correct clerical or typographical errors in the day and month (date of birth) or sex of a person in the civil register for birth.    

Rule 2.  Definition of Terms

As used in these rules, the following terms shall mean:

2.1.  Clerical or typographical error - Refers to a mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register on the entry of day and month in the date of birth or the sex of the person, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records: Provided, however, that no correction must involve the change of nationality, age (refers to the correction on the year of birth), or legitimacy status of the petitioner/document owner.

2.2. Sex – Refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.

2.3. Day and Month of Birth – Refers to the entry in the month and/or day of birth of the petitioner/document owner which is sought to be corrected. 

2.4. Accredited Government Physician – Refers to a licensed doctor of medicine who is registered with the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) and is  employed in any government hospitals, health institutions, or public health offices.

2.5. Medical Certification – Refers to the certification issued by the accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner/document owner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant.

Rule 3. Who may file the petition.

3.1. For correction of entry on the day and/or month in the date of birth:

Any person of legal age, having direct and personal interest in the correction of a clerical or typographical error in the day and/or month in the date of birth of a person in the civil register for birth, may file the petition.

A person is considered to have direct and personal interest when he is the owner of the record, or the owner's spouse, children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, guardian, or any other person duly authorized by law or by the owner of the document sought to be corrected; Provided; however, that when a person is a minor or physically or mentally incapacitated, the petition may be filed on his/her behalf by his/her spouse, or any of his/her children, parents, brothers; sisters; grandparents, guardians, or persons duly authorized by law.

3.2. For correction of a clerical or typographical error in sex 

The petitioner affected by such error shall personally file the petition with the civil registry office where the birth certificate is registered.

Rule 4.  Where to file the petition

4.1. For correction of clerical and typographical error in the entry of the day and/or month in the date of birth.

The verified petition may be filed with the C/MCR of the city or municipality or the Philippine Consulate, as the case may be, where the birth record containing the day and/or month in the date of birth to be corrected is registered. 

When the petitioner has migrated to another place within the Philippines and it is not practical for such party, in terms of transportation expenses, time and effort to appear before the C/MCR of the place of birth, the petition may be filed with the C/MCR of the place where the petitioner is residing or domiciled. 

Any person whose birth record was reported abroad and presently residing in the Philippines, the petition may be filed with the C/MCR of the place of residence following the procedures of migrant petition.

Any person whose birth record was registered in the Philippines, or in any Philippine Consulate, but who is presently residing or domiciled in a foreign country, may file the petition with the nearest Philippine Consulate.

4.2. For correction of clerical and typographical error in the entry of sex

The verified petition shall be filed, in person, with the C/MCR of the city or municipality or the Philippine Consulate, as the case may be, where the record containing the entry of sex in the birth certificate to be corrected is registered.

Rule 5.  Processing of the petition

Insofar as applicable, Rule 5 of Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2001, shall be observed. 

Rule 6.  Form and content of the petition

Insofar as applicable, Rule 8 of Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2001 shall be observed. In addition, as supporting documents to the petition, the following shall be submitted:

6.1. Earliest school record or earliest school documents;

6.2. Medical records;

6.3. Baptismal certificate and other documents issued by religious authorities;

6.4. A clearance or a certification that the owner of the document has no pending administrative, civil or criminal case, or no criminal record, which shall be obtained from the following:

6.4.1. Employer, if employed;

6.4.2. National Bureau of Investigation; and

6.4.3. Philippine National Police. 

6.5. The petition for the correction of sex and day and/or month in the date of birth shall include the affidavit of publication from the publisher and a copy of the newspaper clipping; and

6.6. In case of correction of sex, the petition shall be supported with a medical certification issued by an accredited government physician that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant.

What Are The Rights Of An Illegitimate Child?

Being a parent is a huge responsibility, but parental responsibilities can be stressful if you are a single parent. You need to fulfil the roles of a mother and a father and make sure that your child’s basic needs are met. Child custody and support may be one of the intense issues for couples who choose to go on separate ways. If fighting for the custody of the child is burdensome to separated couples, just imagine the ordeal of single parents. What exactly are the rights of a child of an unwed mother? As stipulated in Republic Act No. 9225, children conceived or born outside a valid marriage still has the right to establish filiation and their rights as to their inheritance and surname. For the illegitimate children to establish relationship with their biological parent, they need to have the same evidence as the legitimate children.

Proving filiation of legitimate and illegitimate children:

•    Record of birth, which appears in the civil register or a final judgment;

•    Legitimate filiation admission in a public document or any private handwritten instrument, which is signed by the parent concerned.

If the evidence cannot be presented, filiation can be proved by:

•    The continuous and open possession of the status of a legitimate child; or

•    Other means approved by the Rules of Court and special laws.

Laws supporting the right of illegitimate children are also outlined in Republic Act No. 386:

"SECTION 1

Recognition of Natural Children

Article 276. A natural child may be recognized by the father and mother jointly, or by only one of them. (129)

Article 277. In case the recognition is made by only one of the parents, it shall be presumed that the child is natural, if the parent recognizing it had legal capacity to contract marriage at the time of the conception. (130)

Article 278. Recognition shall be made in the record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing. (131a)

Article 279. A minor who may not contract marriage without parental consent cannot acknowledge a natural child, unless the parent or guardian approves the acknowledgment or unless the recognition is made in a will. (n)

Article 280. When the father or the mother makes the recognition separately, he or she shall not reveal the name of the person with whom he or she had the child; neither shall he or she state any circumstance whereby the other parent may be identified. (132a)

Article 281. A child who is of age cannot be recognized without his consent.
When the recognition of a minor does not take place in a record of birth or in a will, judicial approval shall be necessary.
A minor can in any case impugn the recognition within four years following the attainment of his majority. (133a)

Article 282. A recognized natural child has the right:

(1) To bear the surname of the parent recognizing him;

(2) To receive support from such parent, in conformity with article 291;

(3) To receive, in a proper case, the hereditary portion which is determined in this Code. (134)

Article 283. In any of the following cases, the father is obliged to recognize the child as his natural child:

(1) In cases of rape, abduction or seduction, when the period of the offense coincides more or less with that of the conception;

(2) When the child is in continuous possession of status of a child of the alleged father by the direct acts of the latter or of his family;

(3) When the child was conceived during the time when the mother cohabited with the supposed father;

(4) When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father. (n)

Article 284. The mother is obliged to recognize her natural child:

(1) In any of the cases referred to in the preceding article, as between the child and the mother;

(2) When the birth and the identity of the child are clearly proved. (136a)

Article 285. The action for the recognition of natural children may be brought only during the lifetime of the presumed parents, except in the following cases:

(1) If the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in which case the latter may file the action before the expiration of four years from the attainment of his majority;

(2) If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should appear of which nothing had been heard and in which either or both parents recognize the child.

In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from the finding of the document. (137a)

Article 286. The recognition made in favor of a child who does not possess all the conditions stated in article 269, or in which the requirements of the law have not been fulfilled, may be impugned by those who are prejudiced by such recognition. (137)

SECTION 2

Other Illegitimate Children

Article 287. Illegitimate children other than natural in accordance with article 269 and other than natural children by legal fiction are entitled to support and such successional rights as are granted in this Code. (n)

Article 288. Minor children mentioned in the preceding article are under the parental authority of the mother. (n)

Article 289. Investigation of the paternity or maternity of children mentioned in the two preceding articles is permitted under the circumstances specified in articles 283 and 284. (n)"

Fake Annulment In The Philippines

Since divorce is not yet legalized in the Philippines, annulment is the only option for couples who want to go separate ways. However, annulment is a long, tedious and expensive process. This is why there are couples who choose to stay married even when they are no longer living under one roof. However, some anomalies have recently surfaced revealing bogus court decisions. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) considered this issue a cause for alarm.

The PSA is responsible for changing the status of the petitioner once a court decision has been made. Once the civil registry files have been updated, an annotated marriage certificate will be issued and the details of the proceedings can be found on the right-hand side of the document. The annotated marriage certificate is used for processing various documents including a fiancée visa or a passport.

Among 100 documents that have been verified, only five of them are considered correct. Aurelia Alido, a registration officer of PSA court urges the courts to ensure that all decisions are authentic. It should bear the civil case number and registered in court dockets. The judge should be the one to issue the decision according to Alido. If the annotated marriage certificate does not have the judge’s signature, it only means that the case does not exist. When applying for a fiancée visa, the embassies also verify the applications with the PSA and the process involves checking the civil registry documents’ transaction code.

There are also cases when marriage certificates are being pulled out from civil registry files as though marriage never happened. Fixers continue to prey on potential victims who want to end an unsuccessful marriage. Since everything has gone digital, the files have already been stored in a database and deleting or pulling out marriage certificates is not going to nullify marriages.

People who are found guilty of faking court documents violate Article 171 and 172  of the Revised Penal Code:

Art. 171. Falsification by public officer, employee or notary or ecclesiastical minister. – The penalty of prision mayor and a fine not to exceed P5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any public officer, employee, or notary who, taking advantage of his official position, shall falsify a document by committing any of the following acts:

4.  Making untruthful statements in narration of facts;

Art. 172. Falsification by private individual and use of falsified documents. – The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not more than P5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon:

1.      Any private individual who shall commit any of the falsifications enumerated in the next preceding article in any public or official document or letter of exchange or any other kind of commercial document; and

2.      Any person who, to the damage of a third party, or with the intent to cause such damage, shall in any private document commit any of the acts of falsification enumerated in the next preceding article.

Strange Laws You Never Knew Existed: Part 11 Of 15 Observing 301-Day Rule Before Marrying Again

Marriage is more than just a contract as it also involves fulfilling the promise to stand by each other through thick or thin. However, there are situations which are beyond the married couples' control and one of which is death. The vows can be broken because of death. Widows have to undergo grieving process before gaining full acceptance of the loss. 

It can take years before a woman can be on the road to recovery. This is where remarrying another person comes in. Unfortunately, if a woman decides to remarry, there are still some rules to follow based on Article 351 of Republic Act 3815. 

“Any widow who shall marry within three hundred and one day from the date of the death of her husband, or before having delivered if she shall have been pregnant at the time of his death, shall be punished by arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos.

The same penalties shall be imposed upon any woman whose marriage shall have been annulled or dissolved, if she shall marry before her delivery or before the expiration of the period of three hundred and one day after the legal separation.”

The reason for the implementation of this law is to “prevent confusion as to the paternity and filiation of the child,” but due to the advancements in technology, paternity testing is considered unnecessary as DNA test serves as a strong proof. 

A bill that repeals premature marriages has already been approved without further amendments by the committee on woman, family, relations and gender equality. The bill is already up for plenary deliberations. According to Senator Nancy Binay, who proposed the bill, the law is considered antiquated and an instrument to discriminating women. She added that there were series of proposals that aim to amend the anti-women provision specified in the Revised Penal Code, but none of them had been enacted into law. 

When Do Aliases Violate The Law?

Pseudonyms or also referred to as aliases can be a form of violation of Philippine law when a person uses it with malicious intent such as intentionally concealing your true name. Many officials have been indicted for various criminal charges and when brought to court, these aliases serve as a ticking time bomb. While the accused party is subject to a series of scrutiny, examining evidences as though prosecutors are peering at a specimen under a microscope, makes aliases visible to their keen eyes.

Bank accounts that have been kept in the dark, safe from the eyes of the Philippine justice are discovered in the process of presenting relevant evidences which can either acquit or convict a defendant in a criminal court. When do aliases become a clear violation of the law? According to Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), which took effect in 2001, the use of fictitious bank accounts have been banned by Bangko Central's Circular No. 251.The Circular does not allow banks to open accounts using a fictitious name. Aside from opening a bank account using a different name, there are other instances that violate the Commonwealth Act No. 142 and other relevant laws on using aliases. 

The Commonwealth Act No. 142 (An Act To Regulate The Use Of Aliases), prohibits the use of aliases except for the following conditions:

  • The alias is used for literary, cinema, television or other entertainment purposes;
  • The alias is used solely for those purposes;
  • The use of alias is based on normally accepted practice.

For instance, if an actor uses an alias or pseudonym for cinema, he is not allowed to use the screen name for other purposes. If the actor is going to run for public office, the use of screen name is prohibited unless a competent court approves it. 

The law's main objective is to put a lid on Chinese's common practice of using aliases, which brings confusion especially in the business field. However, the use of alias is allowed when the name has been recorded in civil register and authorized by proper judicial proceedings. 

Under C.A. 142, the use of fictitious or different name that belongs to another person in a single instance  without consent or authorization will not be automatically penalized. 

Some of the relevant laws on aliases are the Civil Code of the Philippines (RA No. 386), the Tax Reform Act of 1997, Presidential Decree No. 1829, the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, the Revised Penal Code (Act of 3815) and the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2002. 

The law on the use of alias has a broad scope and the factors that deemed as a normally accepted practiced may not fall within the law's prohibition. 

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