Ancillary remedy
A LAW EACH DAY (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) - Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - October 30, 2020 - 12:00am

Every regularly constituted court has power to do all things reasonably necessary for the administration of justice within its jurisdiction and for the enforcement of its judgments and mandates. Hence, demands, matters ancillary or incidental to or growing out of, the main action, may be taken cognizance of, and determined by the court, in aid of its authority over the principal matter, even though it may consider and decide matters which would not be within its cognizance as original causes of action. This is the principle explained and resolved in this case of Armando.

Armando was born in a municipality in Mountain Province and his birth was registered in the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) therein showing erroneous entries in his birth certificate, as follows: his first name is “Amanda” instead of “Armando”; his gender is “female” instead of “male”, and his father’s surname is “Veldaz” instead of ”Valdez”. It also turned out that he has another birth registration in another municipality in a Central Luzon province where his birth certificate carried the correct entries; his first name as Armando, his gender as male and his father’s surname as Valdez.

So in all his official transactions, he used the birth certificate registered with the LCR of the municipality in Central Luzon province. But when he subsequently requested for an authenticated copy of his birth certificate from the National Statistics Office (NSO), the birth certificate released to him was the erroneous one issued by the LCR of the municipality in Mountain Province.

Thus he filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of the Mountain Province for correction of entries in his birth certificate issued by the LCR of said municipality where he was born and the cancellation of his birth certificate issued by the LCR of the municipality of Central Luzon.

The Republic of the Philippines through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) prayed for the dismissal of the petition on the ground that the RTC of Mountain Province did not have jurisdiction over the LCR of the municipality in Central Luzon for the cancellation of the birth certificate issued by said LCR.

In its ruling, the RTC of the Mountain Province ordered the Civil Registrar General of the NSO and the LCR of the municipality in the Mountain Province to correct the wrong entries in the Certificate of Live Birth of Armando. The RTC likewise ordered the LCR of the municipality in a Central Luzon province to cancel from its record the registration of Armando’s birth. The ruling was affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA said that the RTC of the Mountain Province had jurisdiction over the petition to correct the entries in Armando’s birth certificate issued by the LCR of the municipality in said province and the consequent cancellation of Armando’s birth certificate issued by the LCR of the municipality in Central Luzon province because it is merely incidental to and a necessary consequence of his action for correction of entries.

The Supreme Court likewise sustained the CA ruling. According to the SC, it is settled that jurisdiction over the main case embraces all incidental matters arising therefrom and connected therewith pursuant to the doctrine of ancillary jurisdiction. In this case the trial court has jurisdiction over Armando’s petition for correction of entries in his first birth certificate on file with the LCR of the municipality in the Mountain Province. So it has jurisdiction as well to direct the cancellation of his second birth certificate issued by the LCR of the municipality of the Central Luzon province as an incident or necessary consequence of the action to correct the entries. Demands, matters or questions ancillary or incidental to or growing out of the main action, may be taken cognizance of by the court in aid of its authority over the principal matter, even though the court may thus be called upon to consider and decide matters which, as original cause of action, would not be within its jurisdiction.

Verily, even with the advent of RA 9048 as amended by RA 10172, prescribing administrative remedy for correction of entries in the civil registry, the Regional Trial Courts are not divested of their jurisdiction to hear and decide petitions for correction of entries. Even the failure to observe the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not affect the jurisdiction of the court (Republic vs. Felix etc. G/R. L-203371, June 30, 2020)

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Email: js0711192@gmail.com

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE
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