Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rommel Silverio v. Republic case brief summary

Rommel Silverio v. Republic
G.R. No. 174689, October 22, 2007

FACTS: On November 26, 2002, petitioner Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio filed a petition for the change of his first name and gender in his birth certificate in the RTC Branch 8 of Manila. Petitioner alleged that he was born in the City of Manila on April 4, 1962. His name was registered as “Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio” in his certificate of live birth and his gender was registered as “male.” Petitioner asserts that he is a transsexual, and had always identified himself with girls since childhood. He feels like a woman trapped in a man’s body. On January 27, 2001, petitioner underwent gender reassignment surgery in Bangkok, Thailand. On June 4, 2003, the trial court granted petitioner’s prayer to have his name and gender entered in his certificate of live birth to conform with his present gender. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of the Republic, ruling that there is no law allowing change of name or gender in the birth certificate on the basis of gender reassignment.

ISSUE: Can one’s name or gender as it appears on the certificate of live birth be changed on the ground of gender reassignment?

RULING: No, the Court ruled that the primary law governing change of name is now RA 9048 (Clerical Error Law) and Section 1 hereof gives the authority to change name to the city or municipal civil registrar or consul general concerned. Such offices are given primary jurisdiction for name change and the courts can only be sought when such actions are denied therefrom. This was not followed in the case at bar. In addition, no law allows the change of gender in the birth certificate on the basis of gender reassignment, Sec. 2 (c) of RA 9048states that no correction must involve the change of nationality, age, status or gender of petitioner. Furthermore, change of name or gender on the ground of equity is not tenable in case at bar since it would have far ranging implications and policy consequences such as provisions in the penal and civil code that deals specifically for women such as marriage, family relations and survivorship in calamities among others.

Petition is denied.

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