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ATIENZA VS. BRILLANTES, JR., 243 SCRA 32 FACTS: Lupo A.

Atienza filed a complaint for Gross Immorality and Appearance of Impropriety against Judge Francisco Brillanters, Jr., Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Br. 20, Manila. Complainant alleged that he has two children with Yolanda De Castro with whom respondent Judge was cohabiting with. Complainant claimed that respondent is married to one Zenaida Ongkiko with whom he has 5 children. Respondent alleges that while he and Ongkiko went through a marriage ceremony (1965) before a Nueva Ecija town Mayor, the same was not a valid marriage for lack of a marriage license. Upon request of the parents of Ongkiko, respondent went through another marriage ceremony with her in Manila. Again, neither party applied for a marriage license. Respondent claims that when he married De Castro in civil rites in Los Angeles, California in 1991, he believed in all good faith and for all legal intents and purposes that he was single because his first marriage was solemnized without a license. Respondent also argues that the provision of Article 40 of the Family Code does not apply to him considering that his first marriage took place in 1965 and was governed by the Civil Code of the Philippines; while the second marriage took place in 1991 and governed by the Family Code. ISSUE: Is Article 40 of the Civil Code inapplicable in the case at bar? Does Brillantes and Ongkiko have a valid marriage? HELD: [I]Under the Family Code, there must be a judicial declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage before a party thereto can enter into a second marriage. Article 40 is applicable to remarriages entered into after the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988 regardless of the date of the first marriage. Besides, under Article 256 of the Family Code, said Article is given "retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws." This is particularly true with Article 40, which is a rule of procedure. Respondent has not shown any vested right that was impair by the application of Article 40 to his case. Respondent is the last person allowed to invoke good faith. He made a mockery of the institution of marriage and employed deceit to be able to cohabit with a woman, who begot him five children. Respondent passed the bar Examinations in 1962 and was admitted to the practice of law in 1963. At the time he went through the two marriage ceremonies with Ongkiko, he was already a lawyer. Yet, he never secured any marriage license. Any law student would know that a marriage license is necessary before one can get married. Respondent was given an opportunity to correct the flaw in his first marriage when he and Ongkiko were married for the second time. His failure to secure a marriage license on these two occasions betrays his sinister motives and bad faith.