The legitimacy of children must not be left at the mercy of the passions, jealousy or anger of their parents.
Respondent Elizabeth Mejias was married to Crispin Anahaw but had sexual intercourse with Antonio Macadangdang sometime in March 1967. She alleges that the baby was born in October 1967 (7 months after the illicit encounter), and she gave birth to a baby boy named Rolando. In April 1972, Mejias filed for complaint for recognition and support against herein petitioner Macadangdang. CFI Davao dismissed the action for recognition and support, while CA reversed and granted Mejias’ action for recognition and support.
Issues and Ruling
#1: Is the child Rolando a legitimate child of the spouses Elizabeth Mejias and Anahaw? Yes
#2: May the mother institute an action that would bastardize her child without giving her husband, the legally presumed father, an opportunity to be heard? No
The child Rolando is presumed to be the legitimate son of the respondent and her spouse. Article 256 of the Civil Code which provides that the child is presumed legitimate although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress has been adopted for two solid reasons. First, in a fit of anger or to arouse jealousy in the husband, the wife may have made this declaration (Powell State, 95 N.E., 660). Second, the article is established as a guaranty in favor of the children whose condition should not be under the mercy of the passions of their parents.