Thursday, December 16, 2010

Daoang vs. Municipal Judge of San Nicolas

Daoang v. Municipal Judge of San Nicolas
GR L-34568, 28 March 1988 (159 SCRA 369)


Facts:

On 23 March 1971, spouses Antero and Amanda Agonoy filed a petition with the Municipal Court of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte seeking the adoption of minors Quirino Bonilla and Wilson Marcos. However, minors Roderick and Rommel Daoang, assisted by their father and guardian ad litem, the petitioners herein filed an opposition to the said adoption. They contended that the spouses Antero and Amanda Agonoy had a legitimate daughter named Estrella Agonoy, oppositors mother, who died on 1 March 1971, and therefore said spouses were disqualified to adopt under Article 335 of the Civil Code, which provides that those who have legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged natural children or children by legal fiction cannot adopt.

Issue: Whether the spouses Antero Agonoy and Amanda Ramos are disqualified to adopt under paragraph 1 of Article 335 of the Civil Code.

Held:

The words used in paragraph (1) of Article 335 of the Civil Code, in enumerating the persons who cannot adopt, are clear and unambiguous. When the New Civil Code was adopted, it changed the word “descendant,” found in the Spanish Civil Code to which the New Civil Code was patterned, to “children.” The children thus mentioned have a clearly defined meaning in law and do not include grandchildren. Well known is the rule of statutory construction to the effect that a statute clear and unambiguous on its face need not be interpreted. The rule is that only statutes with an ambiguous or doubtful meaning may be the subjects of statutory construction. In the present case, Roderick and Rommel Daoang, the grandchildren of Antero Agonoy and Amanda Ramos-Agonoy, cannot assail the adoption of Quirino Bonilla and Wilson Marcos by the Agonoys.
The Supreme Court denied the petition, and affirmed the judgment of the Municipal Court of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte (Special Proceedings 37), wthout pronouncement as to costs.

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