ALLOW me dear readers, to digress from politics and other issues to focus, for the moment, on a “family feud” that is worthy of a telenovela complete with dispute over filial duty, intrigues and at the end of the day, on who should legally inherit the wealth of a departed businessman who once rubbed elbows with some of our richest men in the Fil-Chinese community.
From the case filings at the Pasay City Regional Trial Court involving the heirs of the late Mariano Nocom Sr., the controversy centers on “who” should be his legal heirs—his five “legitimate” children or, his “adopted” son?
The answer would have been elementary insofar as the law and logic would suggest—his legitimate children. But not in this case because the adopted son now controls the entire business claiming that, he too, is an offspring of the departed tycoon. Susme, “gumulo” na ang istorya hehe!
Nocom Senior, I was told, came to the Philippines at the turn of the last century and by dint of hard work and industry, managed to steer his primary business, Salem Investment Corporation, into a success story.
When he died some two years ago, he left a fortune to his sons from his wife Isabel Torres – Mariano Jr., Marcelino, and Manolito – and daughters from another woman Anacoreta – Caroline and Marietta.
But by some twist of fate, his sons and daughters suddenly had nothing, thanks to Albert Nocom, whom the elder family members of the Nocom clan described as an “adopted” son.
From what has been narrated, Albert ended up in the strategic position of controlling the businesses because the elder Nocom, during his lifetime, had gotten to trust and like him and entrusted some of the delicate aspects of the family businesses to him.
In the case filed before the Pasay RTC to settle the estate of Mariano Sr., the tycoon’s eldest son and namesake, Mariano Jr., is seeking to have the court distribute the estate of Mariano Sr. only to his rightful heirs
Albert also submitted documents to assert a claim over the fortune left by Mariano Sr., by also claiming he is a biological son of the deceased, supported by a birth certificate showing he was born in Tondo.
However, from what the two sisters of Nocom Senior revealed, Dominga and Anita, their brother and Anacoreta later on “adopted” a boy and who was later on introduced to them as “Albert.”
They also disputed the birth certificate presented by Albert, noting he has “no resemblance” at all to their brother.
As Chinese culture and tradition also go, the birth of a son, they noted is a “big event” for any Chinese clan that necessitated a grand celebration on the child’s first birthday. No such event, they maintained, happened when Albert was purportedly fathered by Nocom Senior.
One of the sibling’s cousins, William Peter Wong, who grew up with the Nocoms in a sworn statement, also stated that Albert was not a son of his late uncle and that all of them are aware that he was just “adopted” into the Nocom family.
Like her two aunts, William also disputed the birth certificate of proffered by Albert, claiming that as a responsible person, his uncle would not consent to have his son born in an obscure part of Manila and not in a proper hospital.
Well, as technology has advanced tremendously, the “quick solution,” one would say, is for the disputants to have a DNA test, right dear readers?
The last we heard, Mariano Jr. and one of his siblings had already submitted their DNA result to the court. And Albert?
The last we heard was his alleged refusal to have a DNA test.
What gives? Why would he not want to have the issue settled once and for all and for the benefit of all concerned?