The Supreme Court in the Philippines has recently ruled that legitimate Filipino children can now use their mother’s surname as their own.
In the case of Alanis vs. Court of Appeals, the petitioner filed before the Regional Trial Court of Zamboanga City, Branch 12 to change his name, noting he was born to Mario Alanis y Cimafranca and Jamilla Imelda Ballaho y Al-Raschid, and his name is his birth certificate was ‘Anacleto Ballaho Alanis III.’
The petitioner petitioned to remove his father’s surname and to instead use his mother’s maiden last name ‘Ballaho’ since, according to a GMA News Online report, he has been using it since childhood.
He also wished to legally change his first name from ‘Anacleto’ to ‘Abdulhamid’ for the same reason.
According to the petition, Ballaho’s parents have separated when he was five years old, and that his mother single-handedly raised him and his siblings.
“Courts, like all other government departments and agencies, must ensure the fundamental equality of women and men before the law. Accordingly, where the text of law allows for an interpretation that treats women and men more equally, that is the correct interpretation,” the Supreme Court decision read.
The 15-page decision was written by Justice Marvic F. Leonen.
The decision added that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) ‘gravely erred when it held that legitimate children cannot use their mother’s username.’