SC to tackle inheritance rights of illegitimate children
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court will tackle the rights of illegitimate children to claim an inheritance.
The high court has tapped retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Vitug and University of the Philippines College of Law professor Elizabeth Pangalagan, who teaches Persons and Family Relations, as “amici curiae,” or friends of the court.
On Aug. 20, the friends of the court will give their views on the issues raised in a petition asking if someone born out of wedlock could claim an inheritance from her paternal grandfather’s estate considering that she grew up as part of her father’s clan.
The petitioner said her father died before she was born. Her father was not able to marry her mother and formally acknowledge her as his child. Her paternal grandfather took care of her, helped raise her and supported her education from kindergarten to college.
However, she was excluded from the inheritance by her uncles when her paternal grandfather died in 1999.
A Davao court affirmed her right to claim an inheritance, but the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s ruling, prompting her to take the case to the Supreme Court.
In its ruling, the appeals court said that, under Article 992 of the New Civil Code, an illegitimate child has no right to share in the inheritance of the legitimate relatives of his or her parents.
But she argued that she, though born out of wedlock, was treated by her father’s relatives as one of their own.
The petitioner cited a Supreme Court ruling which provides that “unacknowledged natural children have no rights whatsoever but allowed an exception to children who had already been treated as acknowledged and legitimate children.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.