Ponente: PARAS, J.
Don Andres Pascual died intestate (on October 12, 1973) without any issue, legitimate, acknowledged natural, adopted or spurious children. Petitioners Olivia and Hermes both surnamed Pascual are the acknowledged natural children of the late Eligio Pascual, the latter being the full blood brother of the decedent Don Andres Pascual. Petitioners filed their Motion to Reiterate Hereditary Rights and the Memorandum in Support of Motion to reiterate Hereditary Rights. the Regional Trial Court, presided over by Judge Manuel S. Padolina issued an order, the dispositive portion of which resolved to deny this motion reiterating their hereditary rights. Their motion for reconsideration was also denied. Petitioners appealed their case to the Court of Appeals, but like the ruling of CA, their motion for reconsideration was also dismissed. In this petition for review on certiorari, petitioners contend that they do not fall squarely within the purview of Article 992 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, can be interpreted to exclude recognized (and acknowledged) natural children as their illegitimacy is not due to the subsistence of a prior marriage when such children were under conception.
Whether or not Article 992 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, can be interpreted to exclude recognized natural children from the inheritance of the deceased.
NO. Petition is devoid of merit.
The issue in the case at bar, had already been laid to rest in Diaz v. IAC, where this Court ruled that under Art.992 of the Civil Code, there exists a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestado between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child.
[T]he interpretation of the law desired by the petitioner may be more humane but it is also an elementary rule in statutory construction that when the words and phrases of the statute are clear and unequivocal, their meaning must be determined from the language employed and the statute must be taken to mean exactly what is says.
Eligio Pascual is a legitimate child but petitioners are his illegitimate children and the term “illegitimate” refers to both natural and spurious. It may be said that the law may be harsh but that is the law (DURA LEX SED LEX).