Art. 347. Simulation of Births, Substitution and Abandonment of a Legitimate Child

I. Acts Punished:

1. Simulation of Birth:

2. Substitution of one child for another

3. Concealing or abandoning a legitimate child to cause the lose of civil status

II. Principles

A. In simulation and substitution, the child need not be legitimate.

B. The purpose of the acts punished must be to cause the loss of the civil status of the child or to obtain the civil status of another.

C. Simulation of birth, the act of making it appear that a woman gave birth to a child, must be in the record of birth/birth certificate. A birth certificate is obtained indicating that the woman gave birth to a child when in truth she did not.

1. If the simulation is in any other document, the crime is falsification

2. If the woman feigns or pretends to be pregnant and then makes it appear she gave birth to a baby when in truth the baby is that of another, such pretense is not punished. But when she causes the birth to be recorded, said act constitute the crime of simulation of birth.

3. Where the woman pretends to be pregnant and to give birth in order to demand support from the alleged father, the crime is estafa.

D. The abandonment is not to kill but to cause it to lose its civil status. It consists of the practice of leaving an infant at the door of a religious or charitable institution, hospitals, or a foster home or the DSWD. The child be legitimate else it is a crime against security i.e. abandonment by persons having charge of the education or rearing of the child.

E. Substitution has for its principal element the putting of a child in place of another born of a different mother. This results to a change of status because a child is introduced into a family although said child is a stranger thereto. The child acquires a name, situation and rights to which it is not lawfully entitled.

Example: (i). Placing a different baby in the crib of another

Art. 348. Usurpation of Civil Status.

I. Concept: the crime committed by any person who shall usurp the civil status of another. It is the act of pretending to be another person so as to enjoy the latter’s rights, filiations, paternity or conjugal rights, including his profession or public status. It involves the idea of impersonating another.

A. The penalty is higher if the purpose is to defraud the offended party or his heirs such as pretending to be the lost son or nephew of a rich man

B. Example: (i) “The Prince and the Pauper” (ii) “The Man in the Iron Mask”. (iii). Pretending to be the Cesar Oracion in order to be addressed as “Dean”

II. Other Related Crimes involving usurpation/impersonation

A. May be Using Fictitious Name as when the accused another to avoid being arrested for traffic violations.  

B. Estafa as by pretending to be the creditor or collector

C. Falsification as by pretending to be the payee in a check

D. Perjury