Antonia Aruego and her sister Evelyn filed a petition in the courts seeking Jose Aruego, Jr. And his five minor children to recognize them as illegitimate children and compulsory heirs of Jose who died on March 30, 1982. They claim there is open and continuous possession of status of illegitimate children of Jose who had an amorous relationship with their mother Luz Fabian until the time of his death. The court declared that Antonia Aruego is an illegitimate daughter of the deceased with Luz Fabian while Evelyn is not. Antonia and Evelyn contested the decision citing provisions of the Family Code particularly Art. 127 on Filiation, Art. 172 on illegitimate children’s filiation, and Art. 256 on the retroactivity of the code.
Whether or not the provisions of the Family Code be applied retroactively and will it impair the vested rights of the respondents.
The meaning of vested and acquired rights under Art. 256 was not defined by the Family Code, hence the court will determine it according to issues submitted to them. The action must be governed by Art. 285 of the Civil Code and not by Art. 175 (2) of the Family Code. The present law cannot be given any retroactive effect since its application is prejudicial under Art. 285. The supreme court denied the petition and upheld the court of appeals decision.