Judge says child born out of wedlock is father’s heir

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SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has ruled that Eunice Jean Yurong Basa is the biological daughter of the late former Rep. Benjamin Ayuyu Sablan also known as Benjamin Kappon and an heir to her father’s estate.

Judge Camacho said Eunice, a child born out of wedlock, has proven by clear and convincing evidence, which included a DNA test, that she is an heir to his estate.

In 1992, Sablan met Eunice’s mother, Evangeline, who worked at Club Managaha in Garapan.

Sablan, who was already married, had a relationship with Evangeline. When she became pregnant, she returned to the Philippines at Sablan’s “[insistence] and urging.” On May 25, 1993, she gave birth to Eunice.

Sablan visited Evangeline and Eunice three or four times in the Philippines on business trips.

The first of these visits occurred when Eunice was approximately four years old. Sablan next visited Eunice when she was a teenager, and again when Eunice was a young woman.

Judge Camacho noted that during these visits, Eunice always addressed Sablan as “dad” or “daddy,” and Sablan would give Eunice money.

He said Eunice, for her part, visited Sablan’s sick mother —Eunice’s biological paternal grandmother — when she was receiving medical treatment in a hospital in Manila.

The judge also mentioned a message posted on Facebook by Sablan’s sister, informing Eunice that her father, Sablan, was already “resting [and] no longer suffering.”

Sablan passed away on May 16, 2016 at the age of 57.

According to the court order, a DNA analysis report generated by LabCorp, a laboratory testing company located in Burlington, North Carolina, analyzed DNA specimens collected from Eunice by the St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Philippines and DNA specimens collected from Belinda by the Commonwealth Health Center laboratory on Saipan, and determined that there is a 98.71 percent probability that Belinda is the paternal aunt of Eunice.

“The unrebutted evidence provided clear and convincing proof that Eunice is Sablan’s biological daughter,” Judge Camacho said.

Additionally, the judge said, after Eunice’s birth, Sablan treated Eunice as his daughter and told his family members that Eunice is his daughter.

At the evidentiary hearing on Nov. 14, 2019, Eunice appeared via Skype and was represented by attorney Clyde Lemons Jr. Attorney Charity Hodson appeared for the Sablan estate administratrix, Kimberly Songsong Sablan, who also appeared via Skype.

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