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Belen Sagad Angeles v.

Aleli Angeles Maglaya

G.R. No. 153798, September 2, 2005

Facts:
Corazon Angeles-Maglaya, herein respondent, filed a petition for letters of administrator and her
appointment as administrator of the intestate estate of Francisco Angeles. She claims that she is
the sole legitimate heir of Francisco Angeles and Genoveva Mercado, and together with Belen
Angeles, herein petitioner and 2nd wife of Francisco, they are the surviving heirs of the decedent.
Franscisco died intestate in 1998 leaving behind 4 parcels of land and a building. Belen opposed
this petition and prayed that she, instead of Corazon, be proclaimed the administrator of
Francisco‘s estate. After establishing the circumstances of her marriage to Francisco(i.e. married
before a Judge and ratified two months later in religious rites; Francisco presented himself to be
single that time, Belen attacked the legitimacy of Corazon, saying that her birth certificate was
not signed by Francisco. She has also failed to present the marriage contract between her parents,
Francisco and Genoveva. Furthermore, Belen averred that she and Francisco legally adopted
Concesa Yamat during their marriage. Trial court dismissed petition for lack of proof of filiation
as legitimate child, but the Court of Appeals reversed this on the grounds that petitioner‘s motion
being a demurrer (under Sec 1, Rule 33) thereby waived her right to present opposing evidence,
and that respondent has sufficiently established her filiation.

Issue:
Whether or not Corazon is a legitimate child of Francisco and Genoveva.

Held:
The court ruled in the negative. Presumption of legitimacy may only be availed upon proof of the
factual basis that child‘s parents were legally married and that his/her conception of birth
occurred during the marriage. In the case at bar, there is no absolute proof of the decedent’s
marriage to respondent‘s mother Genoveva. No marriage certificate or contract was offered in
evidence. No solemnizing officer was called to witness. Also, respondent never questioned what
would necessarily be a bigamous marriage between Belen and Francisco. In fact, in her petition,
she alleged that petitioner is the ―surviving spouse‖ of the decedent. Respondent also filed a
petition against the adoption of Consesa Yamat, alleging that as the legitimate child of Francisco,
she should have been notified of the adoption proceedings. Since the lower court has ruled with
finality that she is not legitimate since no proof has been given as to the marriage of her parents,
this petition has become moot and academic. On the matter of administration, it should be noted
that the surviving spouse is preferred over the next of kin of decedent. Next of kin refers to the
heirs.