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  1 GROUP 2: PARENS PATRIAE August 31, 2019 I.   Group Members 1.   Dumalaog, Catherine 2.   Ragiles, Princess Joy 3.   Caringal, Jen 4.   Villamor, Jose Lorenzo 5.   Panti, Angelo Brian 6.   Foja, Kristine Valerie 7.   Yamashita, Jira II.   Doctrine of Parens Patriae: Explanation In the justice legal system for juveniles, parens patriae is a doctrine that allows the state to step in and serve as a guardian for children, the mentally ill, the incompetent, the elderly, or disabled persons who are unable to care for themselves. Cases stated in item III elaborate the significance of the doctrine, and demonstrate how the state stepped in and acted as the “Parens Patriae” in protecting the incapacitated.   III.   Related Cases Case Digest 1.   Cabanas v Pilapil (G.R L-25843) a.   Facts: Florentino Pilapil insured himself and indicated his child, Millian Pilapil, to be his sole beneficiary. He likewise indicated that if he dies while the child is still a minor, the proceeds shall be administered by his brother Francisco Pilapil. Florentino died when the child was only ten (10) years old, hence, Francisco took charge of Florentino’s benefits for the child. Meanwhile, the mother of the child Melchora Cabanas filed a complaint seeking the delivery of the sum of money in her favor and allow herself to be the child’s trustee. Francisco affirmed the terms of the insurance policy and contended that as a private contract, its terms and obligations must be binding only to the parties and intended beneficiaries. b.   Issue:   Does the State have the authority to interfere with the terms of the insurance policy by virtue of parens patriae? Yes  2 c.   Ruling: The uncle, Francisco Pilapil, should not be the trustee. It should be the mother, Melchora Cabanas as she is the immediate relative of the minor child and, it is presumed that a mother shows more care towards the child than an uncle. The appealed decision adheres to the concept that the judiciary, as an agent of the State, acts as parens patriae and is expected to make a decision which will prioritize the minor’s best interes t. As such, the judiciary cannot remain insensible to the validity of the petitioner’s plea. “The State shall strengthen the family as a basic social institution”. The Constitution, moreover, dictates that it is the family as a unit that has to be strengthened. As such, the decision of the lower courts, entitling the mother as the trustee, is affirmed. 2.   Government of Philippine Island vs. El Monte De Piedad (G.R. No. L-9959) a.   Facts: A devastating earthquake took place in the Philippine in June 3, 1863. Spain paid $365,703 into the treasury of the Philippine Islands for the relief of those damaged by an earthquake. This was later distributed leaving a balance of $365,403.85 for distribution. Upon the petition of Monte de Piedad, an institution under the control of the church, the Philippine Government directed its treasurer to give $80,000 of the relief fund in four (4) installments with following dates, February 15, March 12, April 14 and June 2, 1883 and still in possession of Monte de Piedad. As a result, on May 3, 1912 various petitions were filed, including the heirs of those entitled to the allotments. All prayed for the State to bring suit against Monte de Piedad, and for it to pay with interest. The Defendant appealed since all its funds have been exhausted already and contended that the present Philippine Government cannot file suit on the ground that the obligation of the former was wiped out when there was a change of sovereignty. b.   Issue: Whether the government is the proper authority to the cause of action (complaint against the respondent bank for the reimbursement of the money of the intended beneficiaries)? Yes. c.   Ruling: The Supreme Court upheld the right of the Government to file the case as parens patriae in representation of the legitimate claimants. The legislature or government of the State, as parens patriae, has the right to enforce all  3 charities of public nature, by virtue of its general superintending authority over the public interests, where no other person is entrusted with it. 3.   People of the Philippines vs. Tamayo (G.R. 86162) a.   Facts Raymundo Fabia charged the accused Virgilio Tamayo, together with Arturo Garcia alias “Zoro” and Rodrigo Imbuido alias “Isong” for raping his daughter “Rosario Fabia” and by reason of which she became insane. Presenting their witnesses, the prosecution said that the accused made Rosario board the tricycle with them, had carnal knowledge of her, brought her to the house of Tamayo’s uncle, then was finally brought to her parents' home. Rosario was not acting normally, and since then, her mental illness continued although from time to time, she would experience lucid intervals and return to her normal self, till one day, she finally divulged to her father the outrage done to her. Tamayo denies having had carnal knowledge of Rosario and claims that a different set of events transpired that day. The trial court believed the prosecution's theory and convicted appellant Tamayo of the crime charged. The appellant then assailed that the trial court erred in upholding the credibility of the prosecution witnesses considering that the testimonies of the four prosecution witnesses were inconsistent on the date Rosario regained her sanity. b.   Issue Whether Rosario’s testimony should be considered credible even with the alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses. c.   Ruling The Supreme Court said that it was proper for the courts to lend credence to the testimonies of victims who are of tender years, such as 18-year old Rosario in this case, regarding their versions of what transpired, since the State, as parens patriae, is under the obligation to minimize the risk of harm to those who, because of their minority, are not yet able to fully protect themselves.    4 Annexes. Case Readings Case 1. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. L-25843 July 25, 1974 MELCHORA CABANAS, plaintiff-appellee, vs. FRANCISCO PILAPIL, defendant-appellant. Seno, Mendoza & Associates for plaintiff-appellee. Emilio Benitez, Jr. for defendant-appellant. FERNANDO, J.:p The disputants in this appeal from a question of law from a lower court decision are the mother and the uncle of a minor beneficiary of the proceeds of an insurance policy issued on the life of her deceased father. The dispute centers as to who of them should be entitled to act as trustee thereof. The lower court applying the appropriate Civil Code provisions decided in favor of the mother, the plaintiff in this case. Defendant uncle appealed. As noted, the lower court acted the way it did following the specific mandate of the law. In addition, it must have taken into account the principle that in cases of this nature the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration. It is not an unreasonable assumption that between a mother and an uncle, the former is likely to lavish more care on and pay greater attention to her. This is all the more likely considering that the child is with the mother. There are no circumstances then that did militate against what conforms to the natural order of things, even if the language of the law were not as clear. It is not to be lost sight of either that the judiciary pursuant to its role as an agency of the State as  parens patriae , with an even greater stress on family unity under the present Constitution, did weigh in the balance the opposing claims and did come to the conclusion that the welfare of the child called for the mother to be entrusted with such responsibility. We have to affirm. The appealed decision made clear: There is no controversy as to the facts. 1  The insured, Florentino Pilapil had a child, Millian Pilapil, with a married woman, the plaintiff, Melchora Cabanas. She was ten years old at the time the complaint was filed on October 10, 1964. The defendant, Francisco Pilapil, is the brother of the deceased. The deceased insured himself and instituted as beneficiary, his child, with his brother to act as trustee during her minority. Upon his death, the proceeds were paid to him. Hence this complaint by the mother, with whom the child is living, seeking the delivery of such sum. She filed the bond required by the Civil Code. Defendant would justify his claim to the retention of the amount in question by invoking the terms of the insurance policy. 2  After trial duly had, the lower court in a decision of May 10, 1965, rendered judgment ordering the defendant to deliver the proceeds of the policy in question to plaintiff. Its main reliance was on Articles 320 and 321 of the Civil Code. The former provides: The father, or in his absence the mother, is the legal administrator of the property pertaining to the child under parental authority. If the property is worth more than two thousand pesos, the father or mother shall give a bond subject to the approval of the Court of First Instance. 3  The latter states: The property which the unemancipated child has acquired or may acquire with his work or industry, or by any lucrative title, belongs to the child in ownership, and in usufruct to the father or mother under whom he is under parental authority and whose company he lives; ... 4 Conformity to such explicit codal norm is apparent in this portion of the appealed decision: The insurance proceeds belong to the beneficiary. The beneficiary is a minor under the custody and parental authority of the plaintiff, her mother. The said minor lives with plaintiff or lives in the company of the plaintiff. The said minor acquired this property by lucrative title. Said property, therefore, belongs to the minor child in ownership, and in usufruct to the plaintiff, her mother. Since under our law the usufructuary is entitled to possession, the plaintiff is entitled to possession of the insurance proceeds. The trust, insofar as it is in conflict with the above quoted provision of law, is  pro tanto null and void. In order, however, to protect the rights of the minor, Millian Pilapil, the plaintiff should file an additional bond in the guardianship proceedings, Sp. Proc. No. 2418-R of this Court to raise her bond therein to the total amount of P5,000.00. 5

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Sep 22, 2019
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