Legally Yours,  Political Law

Cabanas v. Pilapil

Constitutional Law. Political Law. Parens Patriae.
CABANAS v. PILAPIL
58 SCRA 94

FACTS:
Florentino Pilapil, the insured, had a child, Millian Pilapil, with a married woman, Melchora Cabanas. The complaint was filed on October 10, 1964. The defendant Francisco Pilapil, the brother of the deceased is the one designated by the latter to act as his daughter’s trustee during her minority. Thus, upon Florentino’s death, the proceeds were paid to his brother hence the complaint of the mother whom the child lives with. Petitioner contends that she should be entitled to act as the trustee of the insurance policy of her child.ISSUE:
Does the State have the authority to interfere with the terms of the insurance policy by virtue of parens patriae?

HELD:
The appealed decision adheres to the concept that the judiciary, as an agent of the State, acts as parens patriae. 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.

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