Civil Law

Gocolay v. Gocolay G.R. No. 220606, January 11, 2021 Nonmarital Child, Paternity and Filiation, Supervening Event


Michael Benjo Gocolayfiled a petition for paternity, seeking to be recognized as a biological and nonmarital son of Miguel Gocolay. 

According to Michael, his mother Priscilla Castor met Miguel in 1976, and had a romantic relationship with him which resulted in a pregnancy. When Michael was born, Miguel allegedly promised to support him and Priscilla, but he never did.

In support of his petition, Michael presented his birth certificate, which named Miguel as his father and stated that Priscilla and Miguel were married.

During the trial, Michael filed a Motion for DNA Examination/Testing, which Miguel opposed on the ground that DNA testing would violate his right against involuntary servitude and self-incrimination. The RTC granted the motion, which Miguel appealed, until the case reached this Court, which ultimately affirmed the grant.

Miguel filed a motion to dismiss or to recall the orders allowing the conduct of DNA testing, alleging that a supervening event occurred in that Priscilla had been charged and pled guilty of violating P.D. No. 651, for making it appear in Michael’s birth certificate that she and Miguel were married at the time of Michael’s birth, which they were not. 

The RTC granted Miguel’s motion, finding Michael’s birth certificate unreliable as basis for ordering Miguel to undergo DNA testing. 

Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the RTC Decision. 

The CA denied Miguel’s motion for reconsideration.

Hence, this Petition.


Whether or not Priscilla’s conviction for making false entries in Michael Gocolay’s Certificate of Live Birth is a supervening event that warrants the setting aside of the final and executory RTC Orders for the DNA testing of Michael Gocolay and Miguel Gocolay.


A supervening event renders the execution of the judgment impossible or unjust, requiring new relief to be granted as the new facts or circumstances warrant.

For a supervening event to be an exception to the execution of a final judgment, the following must concur: 

first, the fact or circumstance must occur after the judgment became final and executory; and 

second, the fact or circumstance must be shown to affect or change the judgment’s substance, making its execution inequitable.

Further, if the fact or circumstance did not materially change the parties’ situation and did not materially affect the execution of the judgment, it cannot be considered a supervening event. An instance would be the death of a party, as they may be substituted by heirs.

In this case, the final and executory nature of the Regional Trial Court’s Orders requiring the parties to undergo DNA testing is undisputed.

As correctly pointed out by the CA, it only affects his status, foreclosing the possibility that he could be a marital child of petitioner, but leaving the door open to him being petitioner’s nonmarital child, in accordance with the definitions of “legitimate” and “illegitimate” children in our civil laws.

The false entry in respondent’s birth certificate did not undermine his claim to be recognized as petitioner’s nonmarital son. Moreover, both the trial court and the CA found Priscilla’s testimony that she and petitioner had sexual relations resulting in a child to be sufficient. 

Reexamining her testimony at so late a stage would be tantamount to a prohibited second motion for reconsideration of a final and executory order. A reasonable possibility of paternity has already been established with finality. Thus, respondent’s prima facie case for a DNA test must be upheld.

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