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G.R. No. 165545 March 24, 2006 SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM vs. TERESITA JAR UE !"A.

"E #AILON $ac%s& Clemente G. Bailon (Bailon) and Alice P. Diaz (Alice) contracted marriage in Barcelona, Sorsogon. More than 15 years, Bailon iled !e ore the then Co"rt o #irst $nstance a %etition to declare Alice %res"m%ti&ely dead 'hich 'as granted. Close to 1( years a ter his 'i e Alice 'as declared %res"m%ti&ely dead Bailon contracted marriage 'ith )eresita *ar+"e (res%ondent). Bailon, 'ho 'as a mem!er o the Social Sec"rity System and a retiree %ensioner thereo , died. ,es%ondent iled a claim or "neral !ene its. Cecilia Bailon-.a% (Cecilia), 'ho claimed to !e a da"ghter o Bailon and one /lisa *ayona (/lisa) contested !e ore the SSS the release to res%ondent o the death and "neral !ene its. She claimed that Bailon contracted three marriages in his li etime, the irst 'ith Alice, the second 'ith her mother /lisa, and the third 'ith res%ondent, all o 'hom are still ali&e0 she, together 'ith her si!lings, %aid or Bailon1s medical and "neral e2%enses0 and all the doc"ments s"!mitted !y res%ondent to the SSS in s"%%ort o her claims are s%"rio"s. SSS sto%%ed the release o %ension to res%ondent.

Iss'(& 3hether or not the s"!se+"ent marriage o Bailon to res%ondent is !igamo"s4 R')*+,& $t !ears reiterating that a &oida!le marriage cannot !e assailed collaterally e2ce%t in a direct %roceeding. Conse+"ently, s"ch marriages can !e assailed only d"ring the li etime o the %arties and not a ter the death o either, in 'hich case the %arties and their o s%ring 'ill !e le t as i the marriage had !een %er ectly &alid. 5%on the death o either, the marriage cannot !e im%eached, and is made good ab initio. $n the case at !ar, as no ste% 'as ta6en to n"lli y, in accordance 'ith la', Bailon1s and res%ondent1s marriage %rior to the ormer1s death in 1778, res%ondent is right "lly the de%endent s%o"se!ene iciary o Bailon. $n act, e&en i the !igamo"s marriage had not !een &oid ab initio !"t only &oida!le "nder Article 8(, %aragra%h 9, o the Ci&il Code, !eca"se the second marriage had !een contracted 'ith the irst 'i e ha&ing !een an a!sentee or se&en consec"ti&e years, or 'hen she had !een generally !elie&ed dead, still the action or ann"lment !ecame e2ting"ished as soon as one o the three %ersons in&ol&ed had died, as %ro&ided in Article 8:, %aragra%h 9, o the Code, re+"iring that the action or ann"lment sho"ld !e !ro"ght d"ring the li etime o any one o the %arties in&ol&ed. And "rthermore, the li+"idation o any con;"gal %artnershi% that might ha&e res"lted rom s"ch &oida!le marriage m"st !e carried o"t <in the testate or intestate %roceedings o the deceased s%o"se,= as e2%ressly %ro&ided in Section 9 o the ,e&ised ,"le :(, and not in the ann"lment %roceeding.