By | July 4, 2011

Q. Ang inyong column sa BALITA ay palagi naming inaabangan. The Batas Pinoy Corner is really a good section to read. Everyone in the family finds your column very informative and entertaining as well.

In our building, where a lot Filipinos are working , we find it difficult to have a copy of the Balita.

This is also our experience in the Filipino stores . Madali daw maubos, kaya pinag-titiyagaan na lang yong ibang diaryong pinoy. I hope Balita will have more copies available .

My question is this. I am an illegitimate child. Please let me know what the rights of an illegitimate child are when it comes to the property of our deceased father. I am now a Canadian citizen .

What I know is that my deceased father owned and left lands and certain commercial buildings in the Philippines. I would appreciate it very much to hear your thoughts on the matter. Salamat po! JJ of Toronto

A. Thank you for being a part of my column. We in the Balita have already increased our circulation substantially due to the growing readership of our paper.

I’m sure our amiable publisher is continuously working out ways to address the issue that you have mentioned . We are looking forward that henceforth , copies of the Balita will be within the reach of our kababayans like you.

As to your query , under the law , illegitimate children are entitled to receive a share of their father’s estate/property in the event of death or liquidation of conjugal properties.

Pursuant to Art. 176 of the Family Code, as amended, each illegitimate child is entitled as a matter of successional right to receive one half (1/2) share of the legitime of a legitimate child.

By way of illustration , if a legitimate child share of the inheritance is $10.00, the share of an illegitimate child is equivalent to $5.00, which is ½ of the share or legitime of the legitimate child.

However, illegitimate child to be entitled to inherit from the deceased father has the burden of proving that the deceased was really his/her father. Acceptable proof could be the recognition of the father during his lifetime that the illegitimate child is his descendant or offspring.

If the illegitimate child is not recognized by the father for whatever reason, then he/she has to go to the Court of law , to establish and prove his filiation with the deceased.

There are many ways of establishing filiation under the law. Such as for instance, the giving of support to the child, spending time with the child as a parent and the testimony
of witness or witnesses that the deceased father have acknowledged the child as belonging to him during his lifetime.

As a rule, the citizenship of the heirs or illegitimate child, such as for instance your being a Canadian citizen will not have any adverse effect of the heir’s right to inherit under the laws of the Philippines.

However, there is an exception to this rule. As for instance , where the deceased father at the time of death was no longer a Filipino citizen and a non- resident of the Philippines, then the law that governs the disposition of his estate in the Philippines shall be the laws of his nationality .

As mentioned in my earlier column , pursuant to the doctrine of “lex rei sitae” , matters governing real estate in the Philippines, concerning successional rights to real property and the capacity to succeed are governed by the national law of the deceased. ( See Art. 16, par. 2, and Art.1039 of the Civil Code of the Philippines) .

Looking forward you’ll find the above in order. Should you have anything further, feel free to touch base with us in the Balita and we shall be more than glad to be of assistance. Warmest regards.