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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS

CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES


IN RE: ATTY. RUFILLO D. BUCANA
A.M. No. 1637
July 6, 1976

wife sought Omanas legal advice on whether they could legally live separately and dissolve their
marriage. Omana prepared a document entitled Kasunduan ng Paghihiwalay, where the parties
agreed that they will be separated. However, Espinosa sought the advice of Glindo, a law
graduate, who informed him that the contract executed by Omana was not valid. Thus, they filed
this case before the IBP-CBD.
Omana alleged that she was requested by Espinosa to notarize the said illegal
document but she refused. And that she was not in her office when the contract was notarized,
and it was her secretary who notarized the said contract. IBP-CBD found that Omana violated
Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the CPR and recommended her suspension.

FACTS:
Respondent Notary Public Rufillo D. Bucana was required by this Court to show cause
why he should not be disciplinarily dealt with for having notarized an Agreement executed by the
spouses Gonzalo Baltazar and Luisa Sorongon wherein the afore-mentioned spouses agreed
therein that "in case anyone of them will remarry both parties offer no objection and waive
all civil and criminal actions against them" and that the afore-mentioned Agreement was
"entered into for the purpose of agreement to allow each and everyone of them to remarry
without objection or reservation ...", which affidavit is contrary to law because it sanctions an illicit
and immoral purpose.
Respondent admitted that he notarized the afore-mentioned document and that the
Agreement is "immoral and against public policy", but in mitigation he asserted that the document
in question was Prepared by his clerk, Lucia D. Doctolero without his previous knowledge.

ISSUE:
W/N Omana violated the Canon of Prof. Responsibility (CPR) in the notarization of Marantal and
Espinosas Kasunduan Ng Paghihiwalay
RATIO:
YES. his Court has ruled that the extrajudicial dissolution of the conjugal partnership
without judicial approval is void. The Court has also ruled that a notary public should not facilitate
the disintegration of a marriage and the family by encouraging the separation of the spouses and
extrajudicially dissolving the conjugal partnership, which is exactly what Omaa did in this case.
We cannot accept Omaas allegation that it was her part-time office staff who
notarized the contract. We agree with the IBP-CBD that Omaa herself notarized the contract.
Even if it were true that it was her part-time staff who notarized the contract, it only showed
Omaas negligence in doing her notarial duties. We reiterate that a notary public is personally
responsible for the entries in his notarial register and he could not relieve himself of this
responsibility by passing the blame on his secretaries or any member of his staff.
Omaa violated Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the CPR which provides that [a] lawyer shall
not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Omaa knew fully well that the
Kasunduan Ng Paghihiwalay has no legal effect and is against public policy.

ISSUES:
Whether or not such agreement may be validly notarized
RATIO: No. The Agreement is contrary to law, morals and good customs.
There is no question that the afore-mentioned Agreement is contrary to law, morals and
good customs. Marriage is an inviolable social institution, in the maintenance of which in
its purity the public is deeply interested for it is the foundation of the family and of society
without which there could be neither civilization nor progress.
The contract, in substance, purports to formulate an agreement between the husband
and the wife to take unto himself a concubine and the wife to live in adulterous relations with
another man, without opposition from either one, and what is more, it induces each party to
commit bigamy. This is not only immoral but in effect abets the commission of a crime. A notary
public, by virtue of the nature of his office, is required to exercise his duties with due care and
with due regard to the provisions of existing law.
In the case at bar, respondent in effect pleads for clemency, claiming that the notarization
of the questioned document was due to his negligence. We find, however, that the
aforementioned document could not have been notarized if the respondent had only exercised
the requisite care required by law in the exercise of his duties as notary public.

ROMMEL JACINTO DANTES SILVERIO, vs. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 174689
October 22, 2007
QUICK SUMMARY: Petitioner Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio is a male transsexual, that is,
"anatomically male but feels, thinks and acts as a female." Feeling trapped in a mans body, he
eventually underwent sex reassignment surgery in Bangkok. From then on, petitioner lived as a
female and was engaged to be married. He then sought to have his name in his birth certificate
changed from "Rommel Jacinto" to "Mely," and his sex from "male" to "female." The Court held
that a Persons first name cannot be changed on the ground of Sex Reassignment. The changes
sought by petitioner will have serious and wide-ranging legal and public policy consequences.
First, the petition was but a first step towards his eventual marriage to his male fianc. However,
marriage, one of the most sacred social institutions, is a special contract of permanent
union between a man and a woman. One of its essential requisites is the legal capacity of
the contracting parties who must be a male and a female. To grant the changes sought will
substantially reconfigure and greatly alter the laws on marriage and family relations. It will allow
the union of a man with another man who has undergone sex reassignment.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, We hold that respondent Rufillo D. Bucana is guilty of malpractice and is hereby
suspended from the office of not try public for a period of six (6) months, with the admonition that
a repetition of the same or a similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely.

ESPINOSA v. OMANA
A.C. No. 9081
October 12, 2011
FACTS:

FACTS:
When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God; He created them male and
female. (Genesis 5:1-2)

This is a disbarment case filed by Espinosa and Glindo against Atty Omana for
violation of her oath as a lawyer, malpractice and gross misconduct in office. Espinosa and his

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
When is a man a man and when is a woman a woman? In particular, does the law
recognize the changes made by a physician using scalpel, drugs and counseling with regard to a
persons sex? May a person successfully petition for a change of name and sex appearing
in the birth certificate to reflect the result of a sex reassignment surgery?
On November 26, 2002, petitioner Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio filed a petition for the
change of his first name and sex in his birth certificate in the RTC of Manila. Petitioner alleged in
his petition that he was born in Manila on April 4, 1962. His name was registered as "Rommel
Jacinto Dantes Silverio" in his birth certificate. His sex registered as "male."
He alleged that he is a male transsexual, that is, "anatomically male but feels, thinks and
acts as a female" Feeling trapped in a mans body, he consulted several doctors in the US. He
underwent psychological examination, hormone treatment and breast augmentation. His
attempts to transform himself to a "woman" culminated when he underwent sex reassignment
surgery in Bangkok. From then on, petitioner lived as a female and was engaged to be married.
He then sought to have his name in his birth certificate changed from "Rommel Jacinto" to
"Mely," and his sex from "male" to "female."
An order setting the case for initial hearing was published etc. During trial, petitioner
testified for himself. He also presented Dr. Reysio-Cruz, Jr. and his American fianc, Richard P.
Edel, as witnesses. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of petitioner.
On August 18, 2003, the Republic of the Philippines thru the OSG, filed a petition for
certiorari in the CA. It alleged that there is no law allowing the change of entries in the birth
certificate by reason of sex alteration. The CA ruled that the trial courts decision lacked legal
basis. There is no law allowing the change of either name or sex in the certificate of birth on the
ground of sex reassignment through surgery. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but was
denied.Hence, this petition.

(1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor
or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;
(2) The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the
petitioner and he has been publicly known by that first name or nickname in the community; or
(3) The change will avoid confusion.
Petitioners basis in praying for the change his first name was his sex reassignment. He
intended to make his first name compatible with the sex he thought he transformed himself into.
However, a change of name does not alter ones legal capacity or civil status. RA 9048 does not
sanction a change of first name on the ground of sex reassignment. Changing petitioners first
name for his declared purpose may only create grave complications in the civil registry and public
interest.
Before a person can legally change his given name, he must present proper or
reasonable cause or any compelling reason justifying such. Also, he must show that he will be
prejudiced by the use of his true name. In this case, he failed to show, or even allege, any
prejudice that he might suffer as a result of using his true and official name.
No Law Allows The Change of Entry In The Birth Certificate As To Sex On the
Ground of Sex Reassignment
The determination of a persons sex appearing in his birth certificate is a legal issue and
the court must look to the statutes. In this connection, Article 412 of the Civil Code provides that:
No entry in the civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order. Together
with Article 376, this was amended by RA 9048 in so far as clerical or typographical errors are
involved.
"Clerical or typographical error" refers to a mistake committed in the performance of
clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless
and innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth or the like, which is visible
to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference
to other existing record or records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the
change of nationality, age, status or sex of the petitioner.
The entries envisaged in Article 412 of the Civil Code and correctable under Rule 108 of
the Rules of Court are those provided in Articles 407 and 408 of the Civil Code. Acts, events
and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of persons shall be recorded in the civil register.
The acts, events or factual errors contemplated include even those that occur after birth.
However, no reasonable interpretation of the provision can justify the conclusion that it covers the
correction on the ground of sex reassignment.
To correct simply means "to make or set aright; to remove the faults or error from" while
to change means "to replace something with something else of the same kind or with something
that serves as a substitute." The birth certificate of petitioner contained no error. All entries
therein, including those corresponding to his first name and sex, were all correct.
Article 407 of the Civil Code authorizes the entry in the civil registry of certain acts (such
as legitimations, acknowledgments of illegitimate children and naturalization), events (such as
births, marriages, naturalization and deaths) and judicial decrees (such as legal separations,
annulments of marriage, declarations of nullity of marriages, adoptions, naturalization, loss or
recovery of citizenship, civil interdiction, judicial determination of filiation and changes of name).
These acts, events and judicial decrees produce legal consequences that touch upon the legal
capacity, status and nationality of a person. Their effects are expressly sanctioned by the laws . In
contrast, sex reassignment is not among those acts or events mentioned. Neither is it recognized
nor even mentioned by any law.
"Status" refers to the circumstances affecting the legal situation (that is, the sum total of
capacities and incapacities) of a person in view of his age, nationality and his family membership.
The status of a person in law includes all his personal qualities and relations, more or less

ISSUES:
WON the change of his name and sex in his birth certificate is allowed under Articles 407
to 413 of the Civil Code, Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court and RA 9048.
RATIO:
A Persons First Name Cannot Be Changed On the Ground of Sex Reassignment
Petitioner invoked his sex reassignment as the ground for his petition for change of name
and sex. As found by the trial court: Petitioner filed the present petition not to evade any law or
judgment or any infraction thereof or for any unlawful motive but solely for the purpose of
making his birth records compatible with his present sex.
Petitioner believes that after having acquired the physical features of a female, he
became entitled to the civil registry changes sought. We disagree.
The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and entities for purposes of
identification. A change of name is a privilege, not a right. Petitions for change of name are
controlled by statutes. In this connection, Article 376 of the Civil Code provides that: No person
can change his name or surname without judicial authority. This Civil Code provision was
amended by RA 9048 (Clerical Error Law). [see other doctrines]
Under the law, jurisdiction over applications for change of first name is now primarily
lodged with the aforementioned administrative officers. The intent and effect of the law is to
exclude the change of first name from the coverage of the Rules of Court, until and unless an
administrative petition for change of name is first filed and subsequently denied. In sum, the
remedy and the proceedings regulating change of first name are primarily administrative in
nature, not judicial.
RA 9048 likewise provides the grounds for which change of first name may be
allowed:

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
permanent in nature, not ordinarily terminable at his own will. The comprehensive term
status include such matters as the beginning and end of legal personality, capacity to have
rights in general, family relations, and its various aspects, such as birth, legitimation, adoption,
emancipation, marriage, divorce, and sometimes even succession.
A persons sex is an essential factor in marriage and family relations. It is a part of
a persons legal capacity and civil status. In this connection, Article 413 of the Civil Code
provides that: All other matters pertaining to the registration of civil status shall be governed by
special laws. But there is no such special law in the Philippines governing sex reassignment and
its effects. This is fatal to petitioners cause.
Moreover, Section 5 of Act 3753 (the Civil Register Law) provides that: The declaration
of the physician or midwife in attendance at the birth or, in default thereof, the declaration of
either parent of the newborn child, shall be sufficient for the registration of a birth in the civil
register.
In such declaration, the person above mentioned shall certify to the following facts: (a)
date and hour of birth; (b) sex and nationality of infant; (c) names, citizenship and religion of
parents or, in case the father is not known, of the mother alone, etc.
A birth certificate is a historical record of the facts as they existed at the time of birth.
Thus, the sex of a person is determined at birth, visually done by the birth attendant. the
determination of a persons sex made at the time of his or her birth, if not attended by error, is
immutable.
The words "sex," "male" and "female" as used in the Civil Register Law (and even all
other laws) should therefore be understood in their common and ordinary usage; defined as "the
sum of peculiarities of structure and function that distinguish a male from a female" or "the
distinction between male and female." Female - "the sex that produces ova or bears young" and
male - "the sex that has organs to produce spermatozoa for fertilizing ova." Thus, the words
male and female do not include persons who have undergone sex reassignment. It cannot be
argued that the term "sex" as used then is something alterable through surgery or something that
allows a post-operative male-to-female transsexual to be included in the category "female."
While petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body and appearance through the
intervention of modern surgery, there is no legal basis for his petition for the correction or change
of the entries in his birth certificate.

where the claims asserted are statute-based. If the legislature intends to confer on a person who
has undergone sex reassignment the privilege to change his name and sex to conform with his
reassigned sex, it has to enact legislation laying down the guidelines in turn governing the
conferment of that privilege. The Court cannot enact a law where no law exists. It can only apply
or interpret the written word of its co-equal branch of government, Congress.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
Petitioner pleads that "[t]he unfortunates are also entitled to a life of happiness, contentment and
[the] realization of their dreams." No argument about that. The Court recognizes that there are
people whose preferences and orientation do not fit neatly into the commonly recognized
parameters of social convention and that, at least for them, life is indeed an ordeal. However, the
remedies petitioner seeks involve questions of public policy to be addressed solely by the
legislature, not by the courts.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED.
Costs against petitioner.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JENNIFER CAGANDAHAN


G.R. No. 166676
2008 September 12
FACTS:
Jennifer Cagandahan filed a Petition for Correction of Entries in Birth Certificate before the
RTC of Laguna. She alleged the following: (1) she was registered as a female but while growing
up, she developed secondary male characteristics and was diagnosed to have Congenital
Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) a condition where persons afflicted have both male and female
characteristics; (2) at age 6, it was discovered that she had small ovaries; (3) at 13, her ovarian
structures had minimized; and (4) she has no breast or menstrual development. Thus, she states
that she has become a male person in appearance, mind, and emotion. She prayed that her
gender, in her birth certificate, be changed from female to male and her first name changed from
Jennifer to Jeff.
To prove her claim, Jennifer presented the testimony of Dr. Sionzon of the Dept. of
Psychiatry at UP-Phil. General Hospital. He issued a medical certificating stating that Jennifer
has CAH that Jennifer is genetically female but because her body secretes male hormones, her
female organs did not develop and she has two sex organs. He says that the condition is
permanent and recommended Jennifers change of gender because it would be advantageous to
her.
The RTC granted the petition change of gender and name. Hence, the Office of the
Solicitor General (OSG) sought a reversal of the RTCs decision. The OSG argues that Rule 108
does not allow change of sex or gender in the birth certificate and that Jennifers condition does
not make her a male.

Neither May Entries in the Birth Certificate As to First Name or Sex Be Changed on
the Ground of Equity. The trial court opined that its grant of the petition was in consonance with
the principles of justice and equity. It believed that allowing the petition would cause no harm,
injury or prejudice to anyone. This is wrong.
The changes sought by petitioner will have serious and wide-ranging legal and public
policy consequences. First, even the trial court itself found that the petition was but petitioners
first step towards his eventual marriage to his male fianc. However, marriage, one of the most
sacred social institutions, is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a
woman. One of its essential requisites is the legal capacity of the contracting parties who
must be a male and a female. To grant the changes sought will substantially reconfigure and
greatly alter the laws on marriage and family relations. It will allow the union of a man with
another man who has undergone sex reassignment (a male-to-female post-operative
transsexual). Second, there are various laws which apply particularly to women; these laws
underscore the public policy in relation to women which could be substantially affected if
petitioners petition were to be granted.

ISSUE:
W/N the RTC erred in granting the petition.
HELD/RATIO:
No, the RTC did not err in granting the petition.
CAH is a condition which causes the early or inappropriate appearance of male
characteristics because of the production of too much androgen, a male hormone. It is one of
many conditions that involve intersex anatomy. Intersexuality is a term applied to human beings
who cannot be classified as either male or female. More commonly, an intersex individual is

OTHER DOCTRINES: In our system of government, it is for the legislature, should it choose to
do so, to determine what guidelines should govern the recognition of the effects of sex
reassignment. The need for legislative guidelines becomes particularly important in this case

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
considered as suffering from a disorder which is almost always recommended to be treated,
whether by surgery and/or by taking lifetime medication in order to mold the individual into the
category of either male or female.
Ultimately, where the person is biologically or naturally intersex, the determining factor in
his gender classification would be what the individual having reached the age of majority, with
good reason thinks of his/her sex. Respondent here thinks of himself as a male and considering
that his body produces high levels of male hormones, there is preponderant biological support for
considering him as being male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes the
gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons is
fixed. Respondent has simply let nature take its course and has not taken unnatural steps to
arrest or interfere with what he was born with. Accordingly, he has already ordered his life to that
of a male.
In the absence of a law on the matter, the SC did not dictate to respondent whether or not
to undergo medical treatment to reverse the male tendency due to CAH. The SC did not consider
respondent as having erred in not choosing to undergo treatment in order to become or remain
as a female. Respondent has the primordial choice of what courses of action to take along the
path of his sexual development and maturation.
In the absence of evidence that respondent is an incompetent and in the absence of
evidence to show that classifying respondent as a male will harm other members of society, the
SC affirmed respondents position and his personal judgment of being a male. In so ruling, the
SC gave respect to (1) the diversity of nature; and (2) how an individual deals with what nature
has handed out. In other words, the SC respects respondents congenital condition and his
mature decision to be a male.

There is no need for petitioner to prove that her first marriage was vitiated by force committed
against both parties because assuming this to be so, the marriage will not be void but merely
viodable (Art. 85, Civil Code), and therefore valid until annulled. Since no annulment has yet
been made, it is clear that when she married respondent she was still validly married to her first
husband, consequently, her marriage to respondent is VOID (Art. 80, Civil Code).
There is likewise no need of introducing evidence about the existing prior marriage of her first
husband at the time they married each other, for then such a marriage though void still needs
according to this Court a judicial declaration of such fact and for all legal intents and purposes
she would still be regarded as a married woman at the time she contracted her marriage with
Wiegel; accordingly, the marriage of petitioner and respondent would be regarded VOID under
the law.

GUEVARRA v. EALA
A.C. No. 7136
August 1, 2007
FACTS:
Complainant sues his wife and Atty. Eala for having an adulterous affair. Complainant sues Atty.
Eala for disbarment. In respondents answer, he said they werent flaunting the relationship, so
it was not under immorality constituting a ground for disbarment. Disbarment was recommended
by the investigating committee of the IBP, but was set aside by IBP governors.
ISSUE:
WON Atty. Eala must be disbarred for grossly immoral character?

OTHER DOCTRINES:
A change of name is not a matter of right but of judicial discretion, to be exercised in the light of
the reasons adduced and the consequences that will follow. The trial courts grant of change of
name from Jennifer to Jeff implies a change of a feminine name to a masculine name.
Considering that respondents change of name merely recognizes his preferred gender, the SC
found merit in the said change since it will conform with the change of the entry in his birth
certificate from female to male.

HELD/RATIO:
YES. Indeed, from respondent's Answer, he does not deny carrying on an adulterous relationship
with Irene, "adultery" being defined under Art. 333 of the Revised Penal Code as that "committed
by any married woman who shall have sexual intercourse with a man not her husband and by
the man who has carnal knowledge of her, knowing her to be married, even if the marriage be
subsequently declared void."26 (Italics supplied) What respondent denies is having flaunted such
relationship, he maintaining that it was "low profile and known only to the immediate members of
their respective families."

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the Republics petition is DENIED. The Decision dated January 12, 2005 of the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 33 of Siniloan, Laguna, is AFFIRMED.

Without doubt, the adulterous relationship between respondent and Irene has been sufficiently
proven by more than clearly preponderant evidence that evidence adduced by one party which
is more conclusive and credible than that of the other party and, therefore, has greater weight
than the other which is the quantum of evidence needed in an administrative case against a
lawyer.

WIEGEL V. SEMPIO-DY
G.R. No. L-53703
August 19, 1986
FACTS:
Karl Heinz Wiegel asked for the declaration of Nullity of his marriage with Lilia Oliva Wiegel in
1978 on the ground of Lilia's previous existing (1972) marriage to Eduardo Maxion. Having been
allegedly force to enter into a marital union, she contents that the first marriage is null and void.
Lilia likewise alleged that Karl was married to another woman before their marriage.

TEVES V PEOPLE
G.R. No. 188775
AUGUST 24, 1988
QUICK SUMMARY:
Cenon and Thelmo got married. Cenon, the husband, contracted a second marriage. He was
charged with bigamy. Meanwhile, his first marriage was declared void ab initio due to physical
incapacity. Later, he was convicted of bigamy. He raised the defense that his marriage was
declared void ab initio. Defense was not allowed.

ISSUES:
W/N prior marriage void or was it merely voidable?
RATIO:

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sought to be invoked for purposes of contracting a second marriage, the sole basis
acceptable in law for said projected marriage to be free from legal infirmity is a final
judgment declaring the previous marriage void.

FACTS:
Cenon and Thelmo got married in MTC-Muntinlupa. Later, Thelma left to word abroad. When she
returned to the PH for vacation, she learned that her husband contracted marriage with Edita
Calderon.

The Family Law Revision Committee and the Civil Code Revision Committee which drafted
what is now the Family Code of the Philippines took the position that parties to a marriage should
not be allowed to assume that their marriage is void even if such be the fact but must first secure
a judicial declaration of the nullity of their marriage before they can be allowed to marry again.

Danilo Bongalon, uncle of Thelma, filed before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Malolos
City, Bulacan a complaint accusing petitioner of committing bigamy.

In fact, the requirement for a declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage is also for the
protection of the spouse who, believing that his or her marriage is illegal and void, marries again.
With the judicial declaration of the nullity of his or her marriage, the person who marries again
cannot be charged with bigamy.

During the pendency of the criminal case for bigamy, the Regional Trial Court-Caloocan rendered
a decision declaring the marriage of petitioner and Thelma null and void on the ground that
Thelma is physically incapacitated to comply with her essential marital obligations pursuant to
Article 36 of the Family Code. Said decision became final by virtue of a Certification of Finality.

In numerous cases, this Court has consistently held that a judicial declaration of nullity is
required before a valid subsequent marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a
bigamous marriage, reprehensible and immoral.

The TC (bigamy court) convicted Cenon of Bigamy.


Petitioner claims that since his previous marriage was declared null and void, there is in effect
no marriage at all, and thus, there is no bigamy to speak of. He differentiates a previous valid or
voidable marriage from a marriage null and void ab initio, and posits that the former requires a
judicial dissolution before one can validly contract a second marriage but a void marriage, for the
same purpose, need not be judicially determined.

If petitioners contention would be allowed, a person who commits bigamy can simply
evade prosecution by immediately filing a petition for the declaration of nullity of his earlier
marriage and hope that a favorable decision is rendered therein before anyone institutes a
complaint against him. We note that in petitioners case the complaint was filed before the first
marriage was declared a nullity. It was only the filing of the Information that was overtaken by the
declaration of nullity of his first marriage. Following petitioners argument, even assuming that a
complaint has been instituted, such as in this case, the offender can still escape liability provided
that a decision nullifying his earlier marriage precedes the filing of the Information in court. Such
cannot be allowed. To do so would make the crime of bigamy dependent upon the ability or
inability of the Office of the Public Prosecutor to immediately act on complaints and eventually file
Informations in court. Plainly, petitioners strained reading of the law is against its simple letter.

ISSUES:
WON petitioner is guilty of bigamy? YES
RATIO:
The elements of this crime are as follows:
1.
That the offender has been legally married;
2.
That the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the
absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code;
3.
That he contracts a second or subsequent marriage; and
4.
That the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity.

Settled is the rule that criminal culpability attaches to the offender upon the commission of
the offense, and from that instant, liability appends to him until extinguished as provided by law,
and that the time of filing of the criminal complaint (or Information, in proper cases) is material
only for determining prescription. The crime of bigamy was committed by petitioner on 10
December 2001 when he contracted a second marriage with Edita. The finality on 27 June 2006
of the judicial declaration of the nullity of his previous marriage to Thelma cannot be made to
retroact to the date of the bigamous marriage.

The instant case has all the elements of the crime of bigamy. Thus, the CA was correct in
affirming the conviction of petitioner.
Petitioner was legally married to Thelma on 26 November 1992 at the Metropolitan Trial
Court of Muntinlupa City. He contracted a second or subsequent marriage with Edita on 10
December 2001 in Meycauayan, Bulacan. At the time of his second marriage with Edita, his
marriage with Thelma was legally subsisting. It is noted that the finality of the decision declaring
the nullity of his first marriage with Thelma was only on 27 June 2006 or about five (5) years after
his second marriage to Edita. Finally, the second or subsequent marriage of petitioner with Edita
has all the essential requisites for validity. Petitioner has in fact not disputed the validity of such
subsequent marriage.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
Affirmed.

BESO VS. DAGUMAN


A.M. No. MTJ-99-1211
January 28, 2000

It is evident therefore that petitioner has committed the crime charged. His contention that
he cannot be charged with bigamy in view of the declaration of nullity of his first marriage is
bereft of merit. The Family Code has settled once and for all the conflicting jurisprudence on the
matter. A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required either as a
cause of action or a ground for defense. Where the absolute nullity of a previous marriage is

QUICK SUMMARY: Zenaida S. Beso charged Judge Juan J. Daguman, Jr. with solemnizing
marriage outside of his jurisdiction and of negligence in not retaining a copy and not registering
the marriage contract with the office of the Local Civil Registrar. respondent Judge neglected his

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ALFONSO. ARAGONES. ATILANO. BARTOLOME. BAUTISTA. CABRALES. CASTRO. DUENAS. GUEVARA. MACALINO. TAGRA. VALLO. WILWAYCO. YAN

CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
duty when he failed to register the marriage of complainant to Bernardito Yman. Judges who are
appointed to specific jurisdictions may officiate in weddings only within said areas and not
beyond. In this case, there is no pretense that either complainant Beso or her fiance Yman was
at the point of death or in a remote place. Neither was there a sworn written request made by the
contracting parties to respondent Judge that the marriage be solemnized outside his chambers
or at a place other than his sala. Considering that respondent Judges jurisdiction covers the
municipality of Sta. Margarita-Tarangan-Pagsanjan, Samar only, he was not clothed with
authority to solemnize a marriage in the City of Calbayog.

who, respondent realized, deserved more than ordinary official attention under present
Government policy.

2. At the time respondent solemnized the marriage in question, he believed in good faith that by
so doing he was leaning on the side of liberality of the law so that it may be not be too expensive
and complicated for citizens to get married.

FACTS:
3. Another point brought up in the complaint was the failure of registration of the duplicate and
triplicate copies of the marriage certificate, which failure was also occasioned by the following
circumstances beyond the control of respondent:

Respondent Judge stands charged with Neglect of Duty and Abuse of Authority. In a ComplaintAffidavit dated December 12, 1997, Zenaida S. Beso charged Judge Juan J. Daguman, Jr. with
solemnizing marriage outside of his jurisdiction and of negligence in not retaining a copy and not
registering the marriage contract with the office of the Local Civil Registrar. She alleges that:

The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) in an evaluation report found that respondent Judge
" committed non-feasance in office" and recommended that he be fined Five Thousand Pesos
(P5,000.00) with a warning that the commission of the same or future acts will be dealt with more
severely pointing out that:

That after our wedding, my husband BERNARDITO YMAN abandoned me without any reason at
all; That I smell something fishy; so what I did was I went to Calbayog City and wrote the City
Civil Registrar to inquire regarding my Marriage Contract; That to my surprise, I was informed by
the Local Civil Registrar of Calbayog City that my marriage was not registered; That to my
second surprise, I was informed by Judge Daguman that all the copies of the Marriage Contract
were taken byOloy (Bernardito A. Yman);That no copy was retained by Judge Daguman;

"As presiding judge of the MCTC Sta. Margarita Tarangnan-Pagsanjan, Samar, the authority to
solemnize marriage is only limited to those municipalities under his jurisdiction. Clearly, Calbayog
City is no longer within his area of jurisdiction.

respondent Judge averred that The civil marriage of complainant Zenaida Beso and Bernardito
Yman had to be solemnized by respondent in Calbayog City though outside his territory as
municipal Judge of Sta. Margarita, Samar due to the following and pressing circumstances:
respondent was physically indisposed and unable to report to his station in Sta. Margarita. In the
forenoon of that date, without prior appointment, complainant Beso and Mr. Yman unexpectedly
came to the residence of respondent in said City, urgently requesting the celebration of their
marriage right then and there, all other alternatives as to date and venue of marriage were
considered impracticable by the parties;

ISSUES:
WON Judge should stand charged with Neglect of Duty and Abuse of Authority.

RATIO:
Additionally, there are only three instances, as provided by Article 8 of the Family Code, wherein
a marriage may be solemnized by a judge outside his chamber[s] or at a place other than his
sala, to wit:

The contracting parties were ready with the desired documents (sic) for a valid marriage, which
respondent found all in order and Complainant bride is an accredited Filipino overseas worker,

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(1) when either or both of the contracting parties is at the point of death;
when the residence of either party is located in a remote place;

(2)

With regard to the solemnization of marriage, Article 7 of the Family Code provides, among
others, that

(3) where both of the parties request the solemnizing officer in writing in which case the
marriage may be solemnized at a house or place designated by them in a sworn statement to
that effect.

"ART. 7. Marriage may be solemnized by:


(1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the courts jurisdiction; xxx" (Italics ours)

The foregoing circumstances are unavailing in the instant case.


In relation thereto, Article 8 of the same statute mandates that:
Moreover, as solemnizing officer, respondent Judge neglected his duty when he failed to register
the marriage of complainant to Bernardito Yman.

ART 8 clearly states, a marriage can be held outside the judges chambers or courtroom only in
the following instances: 1.] at the point of death; 2.] in remote places in accordance with Article
29, or 3.] upon the request of both parties in writing in a sworn statement to this effect.

Such duty is entrusted upon him pursuant to Article 23 of the Family Code which provides:
In this case, there is no pretense that either complainant Beso or her fiance Yman was at the
point of death or in a remote place. Neither was there a sworn written request made by the
contracting parties to respondent Judge that the marriage be solemnized outside his chambers
or at a place other than his sala. What, in fact, appears on record is that respondent Judge was
prompted more by urgency to solemnize the marriage of Beso and Yman because complainant
was "[a]n overseas worker, who, respondent realized deserved more than ordinary official
attention under present Government policy." Respondent Judge further avers that in solemnizing
the marriage in question, "[h]e believed in good faith that by doing so he was leaning on the side
of liberality of the law so that it may not be too expensive and complicated for citizens to get
married."

"It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to furnish either of the contracting
parties the original of the marriage certificate referred to in Article 6 and to send the duplicate
and triplicate copies of the certificates not later than fifteen days after the marriage, to the local
civil registrar of the place where the marriage was solemnized. xxx" (underscoring ours)

Granting that respondent Judge indeed failed to locate the duplicate and triplicate copies of the
marriage certificate, he should have exerted more effort to locate or reconstitute the same. As a
holder of such a sensitive position, he is expected to be conscientious in handling official
documents. His imputation that the missing copies of the marriage certificate were taken by
Bernardito Yman is based merely on conjectures and does not deserve consideration for being
devoid of proof.

If at all, the reasons proffered by respondent Judge to justify his hurried solemnization of the
marriage in this case only tends to degrade the revered position enjoyed by marriage in the
hierarchy of social institutions in the country. They also betray respondents cavalier proclivity on
its significance in our culture which is more disposed towards an extended period of engagement
prior to marriage and frowns upon hasty, ill-advised and ill-timed marital unions.

After a careful and thorough examination of the evidence, the Court finds the evaluation report of
the OCA well-taken.`

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ALFONSO. ARAGONES. ATILANO. BARTOLOME. BAUTISTA. CABRALES. CASTRO. DUENAS. GUEVARA. MACALINO. TAGRA. VALLO. WILWAYCO. YAN

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An elementary regard for the sacredness of laws let alone that enacted in order to preserve

that judges must adopt a system of record management and organize their dockets in order to
bolster the prompt and efficient dispatch of business. It is, in fact, incumbent upon him to devise
an efficient recording and filing system in his court because he is after all the one directly
responsible for the proper discharge of his official functions.

However, Judges who are appointed to specific jurisdictions may officiate in weddings only within
said areas and not beyond. Where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his courts jurisdiction,
there is a resultant irregularity in the formal requisite laid down in Article 3, which while it may not
affect the validity of the marriage, may subject the officiating official to administrative liability.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, respondent Judge is hereby FINED Five Thousand
Pesos (P5,000.00) and STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar infractions
will be dealt with more severely.

Considering that respondent Judges jurisdiction covers the municipality of Sta. MargaritaTarangan-Pagsanjan, Samar only, he was not clothed with authority to solemnize a marriage in
the City of Calbayog.
ARANES v. OCCIANO
A.M. No. MTJ-02-1390
April 11, 2002

Furthermore, from the nature of marriage, aside from the mandate that a judge should exercise
extra care in the exercise of his authority and the performance of his duties in its solemnization,
he is likewise commanded to observe extra precautions to ensure that the event is properly
documented in accordance with Article 23 of the Family Code which states in no uncertain terms
that

QUICK SUMMARY
Respondent is a MTC Judge of Balatan, Camarines Sur. He solemnized the marriage of the
petitioner at Nabua Camarines Sur. The issue in this case is whether Judge Occiano had
authority to solemnize the marriage of the petitioner. The Court held that under the Judiciary
Reorganization Act of 1980, or B.P. 129, the authority of the regional trial court judges and judges
of inferior courts to solemnize marriages is confined to their territorial jurisdiction as defined by
the Supreme Court. The territorial jurisdiction of respondent judge is limited to the municipality of
Balatan, Camarines Sur. His act of solemnizing the marriage of petitioner and Orobia in Nabua,
Camarines Sur therefore is contrary to law and subjects him to administrative liability.

ART. 23. - It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to furnish either of the
contracting parties, the original of the marriage contract referred to in Article 6 and to send the
duplicate and triplicate copies of the certificate not later than fifteen days after the marriage, to
the local civil registrar of the place where the marriage was solemnized. Proper receipts shall be
issued by the local civil registrar to the solemnizing officer transmitting copies of the marriage
certificate. The solemnizing officer shall retain in his file the quadruplicate copy of the marriage
certificate, the original of the marriage license and, in proper cases, the affidavit of the
contracting party regarding the solemnization of the marriage in a place other than those
mentioned in Article 8.

FACTS:
Petitioner Araes charges respondent judge with Gross Ignorance of the Law.
Respondent is the Presiding Judge of the MTC of Balatan, Camarines Sur. Petitioner alleges that
respondent judge solemnized her marriage to her late groom Dominador B. Orobia without the
requisite marriage license and at Nabua, Camarines Sur which is outside his territorial
jurisdiction.
They lived together as husband and wife on the strength of this marriage until her
husband passed away. However, since the marriage was a nullity, petitioner's right to inherit the
"vast properties" left by Orobia was not recognized. She was likewise deprived of receiving the
pensions of Orobia, a retired Commodore of the Philippine Navy.
Petitioner prays that sanctions be imposed against respondent judge for his illegal acts
and unethical misrepresentations which allegedly caused her so much hardships,
embarrassment and sufferings.
Reviewing the records of the case, it appears that petitioner and Orobia filed their
Application for Marriage License on 5 January 2000. It was stamped in this Application that the
marriage license shall be issued on 17 January 2000. However, neither petitioner nor Orobia
claimed it.

In view of the foregoing, we agree with the evaluation of the OCA that respondent Judge was
less than conscientious in handling official documents. A judge is charged with exercising extra
care in ensuring that the records of the cases and official documents in his custody are intact.
There is no justification for missing records save fortuitous events. However, the records show
that the loss was occasioned by carelessness on respondent Judges part. This Court reiterates

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ALFONSO. ARAGONES. ATILANO. BARTOLOME. BAUTISTA. CABRALES. CASTRO. DUENAS. GUEVARA. MACALINO. TAGRA. VALLO. WILWAYCO. YAN

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ISSUE:
1. Whether Judge Occiano had authority to solemnize the marriage of Aranes.
1.

Navarro is the Municipal Mayor of Dapa, Surigao del Norte. He has submitted evidence
in relation to two specific acts committed by respondent MCTC Judge Hernando Domagtoy,
which, he contends, exhibits gross misconduct as well as inefficiency in office and ignorance of
the law.

RATIO:
No. Under the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, or B.P. 129, the authority of the regional trial
court judges and judges of inferior courts to solemnize marriages is confined to their territorial
jurisdiction as defined by the Supreme Court.
In the case at bar, the territorial jurisdiction of respondent judge is limited to the
municipality of Balatan, Camarines Sur. His act of solemnizing the marriage of petitioner and
Orobia in Nabua, Camarines Sur therefore is contrary to law and subjects him to administrative
liability. His act may not amount to gross ignorance of the law for he allegedly solemnized the
marriage out of human compassion but nonetheless, he cannot avoid liability for violating the law
on marriage.
Respondent judge should also be faulted for solemnizing a marriage without the requisite
marriage license. In People vs. Lara, we held that a marriage which preceded the issuance of the
marriage license is void, and that the subsequent issuance of such license cannot render valid or
even add an iota of validity to the marriage. Except in cases provided by law, it is the marriage
license that gives the solemnizing officer the authority to solemnize a marriage. Respondent
judge did not possess such authority when he solemnized the marriage of petitioner. In this
respect, respondent judge acted in gross ignorance of the law.

First, on September 27, 1994, respondent judge solemnized the wedding between
Gaspar A. Tagadan and Arlyn F. Borga, despite the knowledge that the groom is merely
separated from his first wife.
Second, it is alleged that he performed a marriage ceremony between Floriano Dador
Sumaylo and Gemma G. del Rosario outside his court's jurisdiction on October 27,
1994. Respondent judge holds office and has jurisdiction in the Sta. Monica-Burgos, Surigao del
Norte. The wedding was solemnized at the respondent judge's residence in the municipality of
Dapa, which does not fall within his jurisdictional area of the municipalities of Sta. Monica and
Burgos, located some 40 to 45 kilometers away.
In his letter-comment to the Office of the Court Administrator, avers that petitioner is overly
concerned with his actuations both as judge and as a private person. The same person had
earlier filed Administrative Matter No. 94-980-MTC, which was dismissed for lack of merit and
Administrative Matter No. OCA-IPI-95-16, "Antonio Adapon v. Judge Hernando C. Domagtoy,"
which is still pending.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Salvador M. Occiano, Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial
Court of Balatan, Camarines Sur, is fined P5,000.00 pesos with a STERN WARNING that a
repetition of the same or similar offense in the future will be dealt with more severely.
SO ORDERED.

In relation to the charges against him, respondent judge seeks exculpation from his act of
having solemnized the marriage between Gaspar Tagadan, and Arlyn F. Borga by stating that he
merely relied on the Affidavit issued by the Municipal Trial Judge of Basey, Samar, confirming the
fact that Mr. Tagadan and his first wife have not seen each other for almost seven years. With
respect to the second charge, he maintains that in solemnizing the marriage between Sumaylo
and del Rosario, he did not violate Article 7, paragraph 1 of the Family Code which states
that: "Marriage may be solemnized by: (1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the
court's jurisdiction; and that Article 8 thereof applies to the case in question.

NAVARRO v. DOMAGTOY
A.M. No. MTJ-96-1088.
July 19, 1996

QUICK SUMMARY: Navarro filed an administrative complaint against Domagtoy because he


solemnized two marriages, one which is allegedly bigamous and one for being solemnized
outside his jurisdiction. The Court held that the first marriage was void for being bigamous. The
second
was
solemnized
with
a
defect
and
was
deemed
irregular.

ISSUES:
Whether Domagtoy exceeded his authority when he solemnized the marriages

FACTS:
HELD/RATIO

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ALFONSO. ARAGONES. ATILANO. BARTOLOME. BAUTISTA. CABRALES. CASTRO. DUENAS. GUEVARA. MACALINO. TAGRA. VALLO. WILWAYCO. YAN

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sworn statement to this effect. There is no pretense that either Sumaylo or del Rosario was at
the point of death or in a remote place. Moreover, the written request presented addressed to
the respondent judge was made by only one party, Gemma del Rosario.

On the legality of the first marriage: THE MARRIAGE WAS VOID FOR BEING BIGAMOUS. The
certified true copy of the marriage contract between Gaspar Tagadan and Arlyn Borga states that
Tagadan's civil status is "separated." Despite this declaration, the wedding ceremony was
solemnized by respondent judge. Domagtoy presented an affidavit made by certain individuals
subscribed and sworn to before the MTC Judge of Basey. The affiants stated that they knew
Gaspar Tagadan to have been civilly married to Ida D. Pearanda in September 1983; that after
thirteen years of cohabitation and having borne five children, Ida Pearanda left the conjugal
dwelling in Valencia, Bukidnon and that she has not returned nor been heard of for almost seven
years, thereby giving rise to the presumption that she is already dead.

More importantly, the elementary principle underlying this provision is the authority of the
solemnizing judge. Under Article 3, one of the formal requisites of marriage is the "authority of
the solemnizing officer." Under Article 7, marriage may be solemnized by, among others, "any
incumbent member of the judiciary within the court's jurisdiction." Article 8, which is a directory
provision, refers only to the venue of the marriage ceremony and does not alter or qualify the
authority of the solemnizing officer as provided in the preceding provision. Non-compliance
herewith will not invalidate the marriage.

In effect, Judge Domagtoy maintains that the aforementioned joint affidavit is sufficient
proof of Ida Pearanda's presumptive death, and ample reason for him to proceed with the
marriage ceremony. This should not be so.

A priest who is commissioned and allowed by his local ordinary to marry the faithful, is
authorized to do so only within the area of the diocese or place allowed by his Bishop. An
appellate court Justice or a Justice of this Court has jurisdiction over the entire Philippines to
solemnize marriages, regardless of the venue, as long as the requisites of the law are complied
with. However, judges who are appointed to specific jurisdictions, may officiate in weddings only
within said areas and not beyond. Where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his court's
jurisdiction, there is a resultant irregularity in the formal requisite laid down in Article 3, which
while it may not affect the validity of the marriage, may subject the officiating official to
administrative liability.

For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph,
the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the
declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of
reappearance of the absent spouse." (Emphasis added.)
There is nothing ambiguous or difficult to comprehend in this provision. In fact, the law is
clear and simple. Even if the spouse present has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse
was already dead, a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death is necessary
in order to contract a subsequent marriage, a mandatory requirement which has been precisely
incorporated into the Family Code to discourage subsequent marriages where it is not proven
that the previous marriage has been dissolved or a missing spouse is factually or presumptively
dead, in accordance with pertinent provisions of law.

Inasmuch as respondent judge's jurisdiction covers the municipalities of Sta. Monica and
Burgos, he was not clothed with authority to solemnize a marriage in the municipality of Dapa,
Surigao del Norte.
Accordingly, the Court finds respondent to have acted in gross ignorance of the law. The
legal principles applicable in the cases brought to our attention are elementary and
uncomplicated, prompting us to conclude that respondent's failure to apply them is due to a lack
of comprehension of the law.

In the case at bar, Gaspar Tagadan did not institute a summary proceeding for the
declaration of his first wife's presumptive death. Absent this judicial declaration, he remains
married to Ida Pearanda.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
On the legality of the second marriage:

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, respondent Judge Hernando C. Domagtoy is hereby


SUSPENDED for a period of six (6) months and given a STERN WARNING that a repetition of
the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

Respondent judge points to Article 8 and its exceptions as the justifications for his having
solemnized the marriage between Floriano Sumaylo and Gemma del Rosario outside of his
court's jurisdiction. As the aforequoted provision states, a marriage can be held outside of the
judge's chambers or courtroom only in the following instances: (1) at the point of death, (2) in
remote places in accordance with Article 29 or (3) upon request of both parties in writing in a

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ALFONSO. ARAGONES. ATILANO. BARTOLOME. BAUTISTA. CABRALES. CASTRO. DUENAS. GUEVARA. MACALINO. TAGRA. VALLO. WILWAYCO. YAN

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SY V. COURT OF APPEALS

paragraph three of petitioner's petition for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage before
the trial court, and private respondent's answer admitting it. This fact was also affirmed by
petitioner, in open court, during her direct examination.

G.R. No. 127263

November 15, 1973, also appears as the date of marriage of the parents in both their son's
and daughter's birth certificates, which are also attached in the petition for declaration of absolute
nullity of marriage before the trial court. Thus, petitioner concluded that these pieces of evidence
on record plainly and indubitably show that on the day of the marriage ceremony, there was no
marriage license. A marriage license is a formal requirement; its absence renders the marriage
void ab initio. In addition, the marriage contract shows that the marriage license, numbered
6237519, was issued in Carmona, Cavite, yet, neither petitioner nor private respondent ever
resided in Carmona.

April 12, 2000

Quick Summary:
Filipina Sy filed petition for the declaration of absolute nullity of her marriage to Fernando on
the ground of psychological incapacity. On appeal to SC, she included the ground that there is no
marriage license st the time of the marriage celebration. As admitted by both parties, they got
married on November 15, 1973. This is also the marriage date shown in the birth certificates of
their children. However, in their marriage contract, the date of issue of the marriage license and
marriage certificate is September 17, 1974.

Issue:

Facts:
Petitioner Filipina Y. Sy and private respondent Fernando Sy contracted marriage on
November 15, 1973 at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Quezon City. Both were then 22
years old. Their union was blessed with two children, Frederick and Farrah Sheryll who were
born on July 8, 1975 and February 14, 1978, respectively.
On September 15, 1983, Fernando left their conjugal dwelling. Since then, the spouses
lived separately.
Upon petition of Filipina, the RTC of San Fernando dissolved their conjugal partnership of
gains and approving a regime of separation of properties based on the Memorandum of
Agreement executed by the spouses.
In May 1988, Filipina filed a criminal action for attempted parricide against her husband
when she was beaten by Fernando that one time she visited Frederick in Fernandos home. RTC
Manila only of the lesser crime of slight physical injuries.
Petitioner later filed for legal separation against private respondent which was granted.
Subsequently, petitioner Filipina filed a petition for the declaration of absolute nullity of her
marriage to Fernando on the ground of psychological incapacity. The petition was denied by RTC
San Fernando. CA affirmed. Petitioner appealed to SC wherein she raises for the first time the
issue of the marriage being void for lack of a valid marriage license at the time of its celebration.
It appears that, according to her, the date of the actual celebration of their marriage and the date
of issuance of their marriage certificate and marriage license are different and incongruous.

1. Whether or not the marriage between petitioner and private respondent is void from the
beginning for lack of a marriage license at the time of the ceremony
2. Whether or not private respondent is psychologically incapacitated at the time of said marriage
celebration to warrant a declaration of its absolute nullity.

Ratio:
Yes, marriage is void from beginning.
Carefully reviewing the documents and the pleadings on record, we find that indeed
petitioner did not expressly state in her petition before the trial court that there was incongruity
between the date of the actual celebration of their marriage and the date of the issuance of their
marriage license. From the documents she presented, the marriage license was issued on
September 17, 1974, almost one year after the ceremony took place on November 15, 1973. The
ineluctable conclusion is that the marriage was indeed contracted without a marriage license.
Nowhere do we find private respondent denying these dates on record. Article 80 of the Civil
Code is clearly applicable in this case. There being no claim of an exceptional character, the
purported marriage between petitioner and private respondent could not be classified among
those enumerated in Articles 72-79 of the Civil Code. We thus conclude that under Article 80 of
the Civil Code, the marriage between petitioner and private respondent is void from the
beginning.

Petitioner states that though she did not categorically state in her petition for annulment of
marriage before the trial court that the incongruity in the dates of the marriage license and the
celebration of the marriage itself would lead to the conclusion that her marriage to Fernando was
void from the beginning, she points out that these critical dates were contained in the documents
she submitted before the court. The date of issue of the marriage license and marriage
certificate, September 17, 1974, is contained in their marriage contract which was attached as in
her petition for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage before the trial court, and thereafter
marked as an evidence in the course of the trial.

We note that their marriage certificate and marriage license are only photocopies. So are
the birth certificates of their son Frederick and daughter Farrah Sheryll. Nevertheless, these
documents were marked as Exhibits during the course of the trial below, which shows that these
have been examined and admitted by the trial court, with no objections having been made as to

The date of celebration of their marriage at Our Lady of Lourdes, Sta. Teresita Parish, on
November 15, 1973, is admitted both by petitioner and private respondent, as stated in

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their authenticity and due execution. Likewise, no objection was interposed to petitioner's
testimony in open court when she affirmed that the date of the actual celebration of their
marriage was on November 15, 1973. We are of the view, therefore, that having been admitted in
evidence, with the adverse party failing to timely object thereto, these documents are deemed
sufficient proof of the facts contained therein.

Under the Family Code, the absence of any of the essential or formal requisites
shall render the marriage voidab initio, whereas a defect in any of the essential
requisites shall render the marriage voidable. In the instant case, it is clear from the
evidence presented that petitioner and respondent did not have a marriage license
when they contracted their marriage. Instead, they presented an affidavit stating that
they had been living together for more than five years.

The remaining issue on the psychological incapacity of private respondent need no longer
detain us. It is mooted by our conclusion that the marriage of petitioner to respondent is void ab
initio for lack of a marriage license at the time their marriage was solemnized.

The falsity of the affidavit cannot be considered as a mere irregularity in the formal
requisites of marriage. The law dispenses with the marriage license requirement
for a man and a woman who have lived together and exclusively with each other
as husband and wife for a continuous and unbroken period of at least five years
before the marriage. The aim of this provision is to avoid exposing the parties to
humiliation, shame and embarrassment concomitant with the scandalous
cohabitation of persons outside a valid marriage due to the publication of every
applicants name for a marriage license. In the instant case, there was no
"scandalous cohabitation" to protect; in fact, there was no cohabitation at all.
The false affidavit which petitioner and respondent executed so they could push
through with the marriage has no value whatsoever; it is a mere scrap of paper.
They were not exempt from the marriage license requirement. Their failure to
obtain and present a marriage license renders their marriage void ab initio.

Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of San
Fernando, Pampanga, dated December 9,1993 as well as the Decision promulgated on May 21,
1996 by the Court of Appeals and its Resolution dated November 21, 1996, in CA-G.R. No.
44144 are set aside. The marriage celebrated on November 15, 1973 between petitioner Filipina
Yap and private respondent Fernando Sy is hereby declared void ab initio for lack of marriage
license at the time of celebration. No pronouncement as to costs.SO ORDERED.
2.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:

REINEL ANTHONY B. DE CASTRO V. ANNABELLE ASSIDAO-DE CASTRO


G.R. NO. 160172
FEBARUARY 13, 2008

WHEREFORE, the petition is granted in part. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court
of Appeals in CA-GR CV No. 69166 are SET ASIDE and the decision of the Regional Trial Court
Branch 70 of Pasig City in JDRC No. 4626 dated 16 October 2000 is hereby REINSTATED.

QUICK FACTS: Petitioner and respondent were sweethearts who had regularly engaged in
sexual relation. They planned to get married but their marriage license expired. So they went to
the office of the Civil Registrar and executed a fake affidavit stating that they had been living
together as husband and wife for at least 5 years. The couple got married on the same date
before the presiding judge. However, they did not live together after the marriage. Soon after,
respondent gave birth to a girl and she wanted to obtain support from the father. Petitioner
denied that he was married to respondent reasoning that the marriage was void ab initio for lack
of a valid marriage license. He likewise denied that the child was his. The trial court ruled that
the marriage was invalid. This was, later on, reversed by the Court of Appeals.

SO ORDERED.

ENGRACE NIAL for Herself and as Guardian ad Litem of the minors BABYLINE NIAL,
INGRID NIAL, ARCHIE NIAL & PEPITO NIAL, JR. vs. NORMA BAYADOG
G.R. No. 133778
March 14, 2000

ISSUES:
1. Won the trial court had the jurisdiction to determine the validity of the marriage
between petitioner and respondent in an action for support and
2. Won the child is the daughter of petitioner
RATIO:
1.

YES. She is the illegitimate daughter, and therefore entitled to support.

QUICK SUMMARY: Pepito and Teodulfa were married and petitioners were born. Pepito shot his
wife resulting to the latters death. Pepito and Norma got married without a marriage license
saying that they were exempted due to their 5 year cohabitation. Petitioners filed for the
declaration of the nullity of their fathers marriage to Norma alleging their successional rights
were affected. The SC ruled that Pepito and Normas marriage was void for failing to comply with
the cohabitation requirement. Consequently, there was no need to declare such marriage void.

The Court holds that the trial court had jurisdiction to determine the validity of the
marriage between petitioner and respondent. The validity of a void marriage may be
collaterally attacked. The court may pass upon the validity of a marriage even in a suit
not directly instituted to question the validity of said marriage, so long as it is essential
to the determination of the case. However, evidence must be adduced, testimonial or
documentary, to prove the existence of grounds rendering such a marriage an absolute
nullity.

FACTS:
Pepito Nial was married to Teodulfa Bellones on September 26, 1974. Out of their marriage
were born herein petitioners. Teodulfa was shot by Pepito resulting in her death on April 24,

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CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
1985. One year and 8 months thereafter or on December 11, 1986, Pepito and Norma Badayog
got married without any marriage license. In lieu thereof, Pepito and Norma executed an affidavit
dated December 11, 1986 stating that they had lived together as husband and wife for at least
five years and were thus exempt from securing a marriage license. Pepito died in a car accident.
After their fathers death, petitioners filed a petition for declaration of nullity of the marriage of
Pepito to Norma alleging that the said marriage was void for lack of a marriage license. The case
was filed under the assumption that the validity or invalidity of the second marriage would affect
petitioners successional rights. Norma filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that petitioners
have no cause of action since they are not among the persons who could file an action for
"annulment of marriage" under Article 47 of the Family Code.
1.
2.

1.

characterized by exclusivity meaning no third party was involved at any time within the
5 years and continuity that is unbroken. Otherwise, if that continuous 5-year cohabitation is
computed without any distinction as to whether the parties were capacitated to marry each other
during the entire five years, then the law would be sanctioning immorality and encouraging
parties to have common law relationships and placing them on the same footing with those who
lived faithfully with their spouse. Marriage being a special relationship must be respected as such
and its requirements must be strictly observed. The presumption that a man and a woman
deporting themselves as husband and wife is based on the approximation of the requirements of
the law. The parties should not be afforded any excuse to not comply with every single
requirement and later use the same missing element as a pre-conceived escape ground to nullify
their marriage. There should be no exemption from securing a marriage license unless the
circumstances clearly fall within the ambit of the exception. It should be noted that a license is
required in order to notify the public that two persons are about to be united in matrimony and
that anyone who is aware or has knowledge of any impediment to the union of the two shall
make it known to the local civil registrar.

ISSUES:
What nature of cohabitation is contemplated under Article 76 of the Civil Code to warrant the
counting of the five year period in order to exempt the future spouses from securing a marriage
license?
Do petitioners have the personality to file a petition to declare their fathers marriage void after
his death?

In this case, at the time of Pepito and respondents marriage, it cannot be said that they have
lived with each other as husband and wife for at least five years prior to their wedding day. From
the time Pepitos first marriage was dissolved to the time of his marriage with respondent, only
about twenty months had elapsed. Even assuming that Pepito and his first wife had separated in
fact, and thereafter both Pepito and respondent had started living with each other that has
already lasted for five years, the fact remains that their five-year period cohabitation was not the
cohabitation contemplated by law. It should be in the nature of a perfect union that is valid under
the law but rendered imperfect only by the absence of the marriage contract. Pepito had a
subsisting marriage at the time when he started cohabiting with respondent. It is immaterial that
when they lived with each other, Pepito had already been separated in fact from his lawful
spouse. The subsistence of the marriage even where there was actual severance of the filial
companionship between the spouses cannot make any cohabitation by either spouse with any
third party as being one as "husband and wife". Having determined that the second marriage
involved in this case is not covered by the exception to the requirement of a marriage license, it is
void ab initio because of the absence of such element.

RATIO:
The two marriages involved herein having been solemnized prior to the effectivity of the Family
Code (FC), the applicable law to determine their validity is the Civil Code which was the law in
effect at the time of their celebration. A valid marriage license is a requisite of marriage under
Article 53 of the Civil Code, the absence of which renders the marriage void ab initio pursuant to
Article 80(3) in relation to Article 58. The requirement and issuance of marriage license is the
States demonstration of its involvement and participation in every marriage, in the maintenance
of which the general public is interested. This interest proceeds from the constitutional mandate
that the State recognizes the sanctity of family life and of affording protection to the family as a
basic "autonomous social institution." Specifically, the Constitution considers marriage as an
"inviolable social institution," and is the foundation of family life which shall be protected by the
State. This is why the Family Code considers marriage as "a special contract of permanent
union" and case law considers it "not just an adventure but a lifetime commitment."
However, there are several instances recognized by the Civil Code wherein a marriage license is
dispensed with, one of which is that provided in Article 76, referring to the marriage of a man and
a woman who have lived together and exclusively with each other as husband and wife for a
continuous and unbroken period of at least five years before the marriage. The rationale why no
license is required in such case is to avoid exposing the parties to humiliation, shame and
embarrassment concomitant with the scandalous cohabitation of persons outside a valid
marriage due to the publication of every applicants name for a marriage license. The publicity
attending the marriage license may discourage such persons from legitimizing their status. To
preserve peace in the family, avoid the peeping and suspicious eye of public exposure and
contain the source of gossip arising from the publication of their names, the law deemed it wise
to preserve their privacy and exempt them from that requirement.

2.

NO NEED TO FILE A PETITION FOR THE DECLARATION OF NULLITY UNDER THE CIVIL
CODE. Contrary to the trial courts ruling, the death of petitioners father extinguished the alleged
marital bond between him and respondent. The conclusion is erroneous and proceeds from a
wrong premise that there was a marriage bond that was dissolved between the two. It should be
noted that their marriage was void hence it is deemed as if it never existed at all and the death of
either extinguished nothing.
Jurisprudence under the Civil Code states that no judicial decree is necessary in order to
establish the nullity of a marriage. "A void marriage does not require a judicial decree to restore
the parties to their original rights or to make the marriage void but though no sentence of
avoidance be absolutely necessary, yet as well for the sake of good order of society as for the
peace of mind of all concerned, it is expedient that the nullity of the marriage should be
ascertained and declared by the decree of a court of competent jurisdiction." "Under ordinary
circumstances, the effect of a void marriage, so far as concerns the conferring of legal rights
upon the parties, is as though no marriage had ever taken place. And therefore, being good for
no legal purpose, its invalidity can be maintained in any proceeding in which the fact of marriage
may be material, either direct or collateral, in any civil court between any parties at any time,
whether before or after the death of either or both the husband and the wife, and upon mere
proof of the facts rendering such marriage void, it will be disregarded or treated as non-existent

Working on the assumption that Pepito and Norma have lived together as husband and wife for
five years without the benefit of marriage, that five-year period should be computed on the basis
of a cohabitation as "husband and wife" where the only missing factor is the special contract of
marriage to validate the union. In other words, the five-year common-law cohabitation period,
which is counted back from the date of celebration of marriage, should be a period of legal union
had it not been for the absence of the marriage. This 5-year period should be the years
immediately before the day of the marriage and it should be a period of cohabitation

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
by the courts." It is not like a voidable marriage which cannot be collaterally attacked except in
direct proceeding instituted during the lifetime of the parties so that on the death of either, the
marriage cannot be impeached, and is made good ab initio. But Article 40 of the Family Code
expressly provides that there must be a judicial declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage,
though void, before a party can enter into a second marriage and such absolute nullity can be
based only on a final judgment to that effect. For the same reason, the law makes either the
action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage imprescriptible. Corollarily, if
the death of either party would extinguish the cause of action or the ground for defense, then the
same cannot be considered imprescriptible.

is immaterial. Article 63(1) of the Family Code allows spouses who have obtained a decree of
legal separation to live separately from each other, but in such a case the marriage bonds are not
severed. Elsewise stated, legal separation does not dissolve the marriage tie, much less
authorize the parties to remarry.
1.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Order of the Regional Trial Court, Toledo
City, Cebu, Branch 59, dismissing Civil Case No. T-639, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
said case is ordered REINSTATED. SO ORDERED.

BORJA-MANZANO V. SANCHEZ
A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329
March 8, 2001
QUICK SUMMARY: Judge solemnized a marriage knowing that the supposedly spouses were
previously married. Living separately from their estranged spouses is not enough to reason to
conclude that there are no subsisting marriages already. Cohabiting for 7 years also does not
authorize solemnization of a subsequent marriage without properly severing the first ones.

2.

OTHER DOCTRINES:
Article 34 of the Family Code: No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a
woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal
impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an
affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall
also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties and found
no legal impediment to the marriage.
Requisites of a valid marriage
1. The man and woman must have been living together as husband and wife for at least five
years before the marriage;
2. The parties must have no legal impediment to marry each other;
3. The fact of absence of legal impediment between the parties must be present at the time of
marriage;
4. The parties must execute an affidavit stating that they have lived together for at least five years
[and are without legal impediment to marry each other]; and
5. The solemnizing officer must execute a sworn statement that he had ascertained the
qualifications of the parties and that he had found no legal impediment to their marriage.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
ACCORDINGLY, the recommendation of the Court Administrator is hereby ADOPTED, with the
MODIFICATION that the amount of fine to be imposed upon respondent Judge Roque Sanchez
is increased to P20,000.

FACTS:
Complainant avers that she was the lawful wife of the late David Manzano, having been
married to him on 21 May 1966. On 22 March 1993, however, her husband contracted another
marriage with one Luzviminda Payao before respondent Judge. When respondent Judge
solemnized said marriage, he knew or ought to know that the same was void and bigamous, as
the marriage contract clearly stated that both contracting parties were "separated." Respondent
Judge, on the other hand, claims in his Comment that when he officiated the marriage between
Manzano and Payao he did not know that Manzano was legally married. What he knew was that
the two had been living together as husband and wife for seven years already without the benefit
of marriage, as manifested in their joint affidavit. According to him, had he known that the late
Manzano was married, he would have advised the latter not to marry again; otherwise, he
(Manzano) could be charged with bigamy. He then prayed that the complaint be dismissed for
lack of merit and for being designed merely to harass him.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JOSE A. DAYOT


G.R. No. 175581
March 28, 2008
QUICK SUMMARY:
Jose Dayot and Felisa were married but they did not have a marriage license. Instead, they
executed a sworn affidavit attesting that both of them had attained the age of maturity, and that
being unmarried, they had lived together as husband and wife for at least five years. After a few
years, Jose filed a Petition for Annulment and/or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground
that his consent to the marriage was obtained through fraud. The RTC dismissed the case which
was initially affirmed by the CA. However, Jose filed an MR where he added another ground for
the nullity of their marriage. He contended that the affidavit that he and Felisa executed was false
because they have not been living as husband and wife for five years when they got married. The
issue is whether the marriage was valid or did the false affidavit invalidate the marriage. The SC
ruled that the marriage between Jose and Felisa was void ab initio because there was no
marriage license which was one of the essential requirements for a marriage. The court also said
that their marriage was not among the exceptions wherein a marriage license is not required.
They did not satisfy the requirement that the spouses must cohabit as husband and wife for five
years to be exempted from the marriage license requirement.

ISSUES:
1. w/n Judge Sanchez is guilty of gross ignorance of the law
RATIO:
1. Yes
It is significant to note that in their separate affidavits executed on 22 March 1993 and
sworn to before respondent Judge himself, David Manzano and Luzviminda Payao expressly
stated the fact of their prior existing marriage. Also, in their marriage contract, it was indicated
that both were "separated."
Respondent Judge knew or ought to know that a subsisting previous marriage is a
diriment impediment, which would make the subsequent marriage null and void. The fact that
Manzano and Payao had been living apart from their respective spouses for a long time already

FACTS:

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
Jose and Felisa were married at the Pasay City Hall. The marriage was solemnized by
Rev. Tomas V. Atienza. In lieu of a marriage license, Jose and Felisa executed a sworn
affidavit, also dated 24 November 1986, attesting that both of them had attained the age of
maturity, and that being unmarried, they had lived together as husband and wife for at
least five years.
In 1993, Jose filed a Complaint for Annulment and/or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
with the RTC of Bian, Laguna. He contended that his marriage with Felisa was a sham, as no
marriage ceremony was celebrated between the parties; that he did not execute the sworn
affidavit stating that he and Felisa had lived as husband and wife for at least five years; and that
his consent to the marriage was secured through fraud.
According to Jose, he was introduced to Felisa in 1986. Immediately thereafter, he came
to live as a boarder in Felisas house, the latter being his landlady. Some three weeks later,
Felisa requested him to accompany her to the Pasay City Hall, ostensibly so she could claim a
package sent to her by her brother from Saudi Arabia. At the Pasay City Hall, upon a prearranged signal from Felisa, a man bearing three folded pieces of paper approached them. They
were told that Jose needed to sign the papers so that the package could be released to Felisa.
He initially refused to do so. However, Felisa cajoled him, and told him that his refusal could get
both of them killed by her brother who had learned about their relationship. Reluctantly, he signed
the pieces of paper, and gave them to the man who immediately left. It was in February 1987
when he discovered that he had contracted marriage with Felisa. He alleged that he saw a piece
of paper lying on top of the table at the sala of Felisas house. When he perused the same, he
discovered that it was a copy of his marriage contract with Felisa. When he confronted Felisa, the
latter feigned ignorance.
Felisa denied Joses allegations and defended the validity of their marriage. She declared
that they had maintained their relationship as man and wife absent the legality of marriage in the
early part of 1980, but that she had deferred contracting marriage with him on account of their
age difference. Felisa expounded that while her marriage to Jose was subsisting, the latter
contracted marriage with a certain Rufina Pascual in 1990. On 3 June 1993, Felisa filed an action
for bigamy against Jose. Subsequently, she filed an administrative complaint against Jose with
the Office of the Ombudsman, since Jose and Rufina were both employees of the National
Statistics and Coordinating Board. The Ombudsman found Jose administratively liable for
disgraceful and immoral conduct, and meted out to him the penalty of suspension from service
for one year without emolument.
The RTC rendered a Decision dismissing the Complaint. The RTC ruled that from the
testimonies and evidence presented, the marriage celebrated between Jose and Felisa on 24
November 1986 was valid. It dismissed Joses version of the story as implausible.
The RTC said that Joses claim that he did not consent to the marriage was belied by the
fact that he acknowledged Felisa Tecson as his wife when he wrote [Felisas] name in the duly
notarized statement of assets and liabilities he filled up on May 12, 1988, one year after he
discovered the marriage contract he is now claiming to be sham and false.
Moreover, on the matter of fraud, the RTC ruled that Joses action had prescribed. It cited
Article 87 of the New Civil Code which requires that the action for annulment of marriage must be
commenced by the injured party within four years after the discovery of the fraud.
Jose filed an appeal from the foregoing RTC Decision to the Court of Appeals. The Court
of Appeals found the appeal to be without merit.
The Court of Appeals applied the Civil Code to the marriage between Jose and Felisa as
it was solemnized prior to the effectivity of the Family Code. The appellate court observed that
the circumstances constituting fraud as a ground for annulment of marriage under Article 86 of
the Civil Code did not exist in the marriage between the parties. Further, it ruled that the action
for annulment of marriage on the ground of fraud was filed beyond the prescriptive period
provided by law.

Differing with the ruling of the Court of Appeals, Jose filed a Motion for Reconsideration
thereof. His central opposition was that the requisites for the proper application of the
exemption from a marriage license under Article 76 of the Civil Code were not fully
attendant in the case at bar. In particular, Jose cited the legal condition that the man and the
woman must have been living together as husband and wife for at least five years before the
marriage. Essentially, he maintained that the affidavit of marital cohabitation executed by
him and Felisa was false.
The Court of Appeals granted Joses Motion for Reconsideration and reversed itself. The
CA reasoned that Article 80(3) of the Civil Code provides that a marriage solemnized without a
marriage license, save marriages of exceptional character, shall be void from the beginning.
Inasmuch as the marriage between Jose and Felisa is not covered by the exception to the
requirement of a marriage license, it is, therefore, void ab initio because of the absence of a
marriage license.
Felisa sought reconsideration of the Amended Decision, but to no avail. The appellate
court rendered a Resolution denying Felisas motion.
ISSUES:
Whether or not the marriage between Jose and Felisa is valid
1. What is the effect of a false affidavit that the spouses have been cohabiting with each other as
husband and wife for five years?
RATIO:
1. No. The marriage between Jose and Felisa is null and void because there was no
marriage license. Their marriage does not fall within the exceptions where a marriage
license is not required. They did not satisfy the 5-year cohabitation period required by the
law.
It is beyond dispute that the marriage of Jose and Felisa was celebrated on 24 November
1986, prior to the effectivity of the Family Code. Accordingly, the Civil Code governs their union.
Article 53 of the Civil Code spells out the essential requisites of marriage as a contract:
ART. 53. No marriage shall be solemnized unless all these requisites are complied with:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties;
(2) Their consent, freely given;
(3) Authority of the person performing the marriage; and
(4) A marriage license, except in a marriage of exceptional character.
Article 58 makes explicit that no marriage shall be solemnized without a license
first being issued by the local civil registrar of the municipality where either contracting
party habitually resides, save marriages of an exceptional character authorized by the
Civil Code, but not those under Article 75. Article 80(3) 29 of the Civil Code makes it clear that a
marriage performed without the corresponding marriage license is void, this being
nothing more than the legitimate consequence flowing from the fact that the license is the
essence of the marriage contract.
The rationale for the compulsory character of a marriage license under the Civil
Code is that it is the authority granted by the State to the contracting parties, after the
proper government official has inquired into their capacity to contract marriage.
Under the Civil Code, marriages of exceptional character are covered by Chapter 2, Title
III, comprising Articles 72 to 79. To wit, these marriages are: (1) marriages in articulo mortis or at
the point of death during peace or war, (2) marriages in remote places, (2) consular marriages, 33
(3) ratification of marital cohabitation, (4) religious ratification of a civil marriage, (5)
Mohammedan or pagan marriages, and (6) mixed marriages.
The instant case pertains to a ratification of marital cohabitation under Article 76 of the
Civil Code, which provides:

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
ART. 76. No marriage license shall be necessary when a man and a woman who have
attained the age of majority and who, being unmarried, have lived together as husband and wife
for at least five years, desire to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing
facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The official, priest or
minister who solemnized the marriage shall also state in an affidavit that he took steps to
ascertain the ages and other qualifications of the contracting parties and that he found no legal
impediment to the marriage.
The reason for the law, as espoused by the Code Commission, is that the publicity
attending a marriage license may discourage such persons who have lived in a state of
cohabitation from legalizing their status.
It is not contested herein that the marriage of Jose and Felisa was performed without a
marriage license. In lieu thereof, they executed an affidavit declaring that "they have attained the
age of maturity; that being unmarried, they have lived together as husband and wife for at least
five years; and that because of this union, they desire to marry each other."
The falsity of an affidavit of marital cohabitation, where the parties have in truth
fallen short of the minimum five-year requirement, effectively renders the marriage void
ab initio for lack of a marriage license.
Marriages of exceptional character are, doubtless, the exceptions to the rule on the
indispensability of the formal requisite of a marriage license. Under the rules of statutory
construction, exceptions, as a general rule, should be strictly but reasonably construed.
For the exception in Article 76 to apply, it is a sine qua non thereto that the man and the
woman must have attained the age of majority, and that, being unmarried, they have lived
together as husband and wife for at least five years.
The exception of a marriage license under Article 76 applies only to those who have lived
together as husband and wife for at least five years and desire to marry each other. The Civil
Code, in no ambiguous terms, places a minimum period requirement of five years of
cohabitation.
It is indubitably established that Jose and Felisa have not lived together for five years at
the time they executed their sworn affidavit and contracted marriage. The Republic admitted that
Jose and Felisa started living together only in June 1986, or barely five months before the
celebration of their marriage. Therefore, the falsity of the affidavit dated 24 November 1986,
executed by Jose and Felisa to exempt them from the requirement of a marriage license, is
beyond question.
We cannot accept the insistence of the Republic that the falsity of the statements
in the parties affidavit will not affect the validity of marriage, since all the essential and
formal requisites were complied with. The argument deserves scant merit. Patently, it
cannot be denied that the marriage between Jose and Felisa was celebrated without the formal
requisite of a marriage license. Neither did Jose and Felisa meet the explicit legal requirement in
Article 76, that they should have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years, so as
to be excepted from the requirement of a marriage license.
Anent petitioners reliance on the presumption of marriage, this Court holds that the same
finds no applicability to the case at bar. Essentially, when we speak of a presumption of marriage,
it is with reference to the prima facie presumption that a man and a woman deporting themselves
as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage. The present case does not
involve an apparent marriage to which the presumption still needs to be applied.
Lastly, to settle all doubts, jurisprudence has laid down the rule that the five-year
common-law cohabitation period under Article 76 means a five-year period computed
back from the date of celebration of marriage, and refers to a period of legal union had it
not been for the absence of a marriage. It covers the years immediately preceding the day of
the marriage, characterized by exclusivity - meaning no third party was involved at any time
within the five years - and continuity that is unbroken.58

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the Petitions are DENIED. The Amended Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated
7 November 2006 in CA-G.R. CV No. 68759, declaring the marriage of Jose Dayot to Felisa
Tecson-Dayot void ab initio, is AFFIRMED, without prejudice to their criminal liability, if any. No
costs. SO ORDERED.

DELGADO v. RUSTIA
G.R. No. 155733
January 27, 2006
FACTS:
This case concerns the settlement of the intestate estates of Rustia and Delgado to
determine who, between the petitioners and respondents, are the lawful heirs of the decedents.
The marriage between Rustia and Delgado were disputed. Petitioners said that they were never
married and to prove their assertion, they pointed out that no record of the contested marriage
existed in the civil registry. The respondents insist that the absence of a marriage certificate did
not of necessity mean that no marriage transpired. They further alleged that Rustia and Delgado
were married and lived as husband and wife and that they were known as married.
ISSUE:
(related to this topic) W/N there was a valid marriage between Rustia and Delgado
RATIO: YES. There is a valid marriage.
First, although a marriage contract is considered a primary evidence of marriage, its
absence is not always proof that no marriage in fact took place. Once the presumption of
marriage arises, other evidence may be presented in support thereof. The evidence need not
necessarily or directly establish the marriage but must at least be enough to strengthen the
presumption of marriage. Here, the certificate of identity issued to Delgado as Mrs. Guillermo
Rustia, the passport issued to her as Josefa D. Rustia, the declaration under oath of no less than
Guillermo Rustia that he was married to Josefa Delgado and the titles to the properties in the
name of Guillermo Rustia married to Josefa Delgado, more than adequately support the
presumption of marriage. These are public documents which are prima facie evidence of the
facts stated therein. No clear and convincing evidence sufficient to overcome the presumption of
the truth of the recitals therein was presented by petitioners.
Second, petitioners own witness whose testimony they primarily relied upon to support
their position, confirmed that Rustia had proposed marriage to Delgado and that eventually, the
two had lived together as husband and wife. This again could not but strengthen the
presumption of marriage.
Third, the baptismal certificate was conclusive proof only of the baptism administered
by the priest who baptized the child. It was no proof of the veracity of the declarations and
statements contained therein, such as the alleged single or unmarried (Seorita) civil status of
Delgado who had no hand in its preparation.
Petitioners failed to rebut the presumption of marriage of Rustia and Delgado. In this jurisdiction,
every intendment of the law leans toward legitimizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together
apparently in marriage are presumed to be in fact married. This is the usual order of things in
society and, if the parties are not what they hold themselves out to be, they would be living in
constant violation of the common rules of law and propriety. Semper praesumitur pro
matrimonio. Always presume marriage.

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appear that a child begot by them is legitimate. That, the Court cannot countenance. The
allegations of the petitioners, by themselves and unsupported by any other evidence, do not
diminish the probative value of the entries. This Court cannot, simply take judicial notice of a
supposed folkway and conclude therefrom that the usage was in fact followed.
Ironically, it is the evidence presented by the petitioners and their siblings themselves
which, properly appreciated, supports the finding that Isabel was, indeed, previously married to
John Desantis. Consequently, in the absence of any proof that such marriage had been
dissolved by the time Isabel was married to Rodolfo, the inescapable conclusion is that the latter
marriage is bigamous and, therefore, void ab initio.

MAY D. AONUEVO, ALEXANDER BLEE DESANTIS AND JOHN DESANTIS NERI,


PETITIONERS VS. INTESTATE ESTATE OF RODOLFO G. JALANDONI, REPRESENTED BY
BERNARDINO G. JALANDONI AS SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR, RESPONDENT
G.R. NO. 178221
DECEMBER 01, 2010
QUICK SUMMARY: This case is about legal presumption of marriage. A birth certificate stating
that ones parents were married establishes the presumption that indeed they were married.
FACTS:
Rodolfo Jaladoni died intestate. Bernadino Jalandoni (Rodolfos brother) filed a petitioner
for issuance of letters of administration. Petitioners and their siblings filed a manifestation that
they were the children of Sylvia who in turn was the child of Isabel Blee with one John Desantis.
Note however that Isabel Blee was allegedly legally married to Rodolfo Jalandoni at the time of
the latters death (hence, petitioners are supposedly Rodolfos grandchildren).
Petitioners presented 2 marriage certificates between Isabel and Rodolfo and Sylvias
birth certificate. Petitioners assert that these pieces of evidence are enough to establish that
Isabel was the spouse of Rodolfo and as such, they are the lawful representatives. However,
Bernardino begged to differ. Notably, the birth certificate of Sylvia stated that she was the
legitimate child of Isabel and John Desantis which would negate the claim that Isabel was legally
married to Rodolfo.
The intestate court allowed the petitioners to intervene because it was convinced that
the evidence adequately established Isabels status as Rodolfos wife. CA reversed this ruling of
the trial court.

Note: important consideration in this case is the fact that the marriage certificate showed the
marriage between Isabel and Rodolfo to have taken place in 1953 while Sylvia was born in 1946.
Thus, it would really appear that Isabel was originally married to John Desantis. No evidence
was shown to prove that such marriage was terminated before the marriage to Rodolfo in 1953.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
The inability of the petitioners and their siblings to present evidence to prove that Isabels prior
marriage was dissolved results in a failure to establish that she has interest in the estate of
Rodolfo. Clearly, an intervention by the petitioners and their siblings in the settlement
proceedings cannot be justified. We affirm the Court of Appeals.
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DENIED. Accordingly, the decision dated 31 May 2007 of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 00576 is hereby AFFIRMED.
Costs against the petitioners.
SO ORDERED.

ISSUES:
Whether the marriage certificate was sufficient to establish Isabels marriage to Rodolfo? Or did
the birth certificate of Sylvia establish that she was the child of Isabel, married to John Desantis?

ALICE REYES VAN DORN v. HON. MANUEL ROMILLO and RICHARD UPTON
L-68470
1985 October 8

RATIO:
Contrary to the position taken by the petitioners, the existence of a previous marriage between
Isabel and John Desantis was adequately established. This holds true notwithstanding the fact
that no marriage certificate between Isabel and John Desantis exists on record.
While a marriage certificate is considered the primary evidence of a marital union, it is
not regarded as the sole and exclusive evidence of marriage. Jurisprudence teaches that the
fact of marriage may be proven by relevant evidence other than the marriage certificate. Hence,
even a persons birth certificate may be recognized as competent evidence of the marriage
between his parents.
In the present case, the birth certificate of Sylvia precisely serves as the competent
evidence of marriage between Isabel and John Desantis. As mentioned earlier, it contains the
following notable entries: (a) that Isabel and John Desantis were married and (b) that Sylvia is
their legitimate child. In clear and categorical language, Sylvias birth certificate speaks of a
subsisting marriage between Isabel and John Desantis.
Pursuant to existing laws, the foregoing entries are accorded prima facie weight. They
are presumed to be true. Hence, unless rebutted by clear and convincing evidence, they can,
and will, stand as proof of the facts attested. In the case at bench, the petitioners and their
siblings offered no such rebuttal.
The petitioners did no better than to explain away the entries in Sylvias birth certificate
as untruthful statements made only in order to save face. They urge this Court to take note of a
typical practice among unwed Filipino couples to concoct the illusion of marriage and make it

FACTS:
Alice Van Dorn is a Filipino citizen while Richard Upton is a US citizen. They were married
in HK in 1972 but were divorced, on the ground of incompatibility, in Nevada, US in 1982. In the
divorce proceedings, Upton admitted (in a special power of attorney he executed in favor of his
counsel) that he and Van Dorn has neither conjugal nor community property.
In 1983, Upton filed a suit against Van Dorn stating that the latters business in Manila
(Galleon Shop) is their conjugal property. Upton prayed that Van Dorn be ordered to render an
accounting of the business, and that he be given the right to manage the same.
Van Dorn moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the cause of action is barred by
previous judgment in the divorce proceedings before the Nevada Court. The RTC denied the
Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the property involved is located in the Philippines; hence,
the divorce decree had no bearing in the case. Van Dorn appealed the case to the SC through
certiorari.
Upton, before the SC, argued that the divorce decree issued by the Nevada Court cannot
prevail over the prohibitive laws of the Philippines and its declared national policy.
ISSUE:
W/N Upton had a cause of action against Van Dorn.

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HELD/RATIO:
No, Upton had no cause of action.
Owing to the nationality principle under Art. 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals
are covered by the policy against absolute divorces. However, aliens may obtain divorces
abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their
national law.
The effect of a decree of divorce issued by a court of competent jurisdiction is to change
the existing status or domestic relation of husband and wife, and to free them both from the
bond. The marriage tie ceased to bind the parties. When the law provides, in the nature of a
penalty, that the guilty party shall not marry again, that party, as well as the other, is still
absolutely freed from the bond of the former marriage.
Thus, pursuant to his national law, Upton is no longer the husband of Van Dorn.
Consequently, he has no standing to sue in the case below as Van Dorns husband entitled to
exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the decision of the Nevada Court, he is
estopped by his own representation before said Court from asserting his right over the alleged
conjugal property.
To maintain that under Philippine laws, Van Dorn is still considered married to Upton and
still subject to a wifes obligations under Art. 109 of the Civil Code would be unjust. Van Dorn
should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and fidelity, and render support to
Upton. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal
property. She should not be discriminated against in her own country.

the following basic legal principles; a marriage between two Filipino cannot be dissolved even by
a divorce decree obtained abroad because of Articles 15 and 17 of the Civil Code.
The legal capacity to contract marriage is determined by the national law of the party
concerned. The certificate mentioned in Article 21 of the Family Code would have been sufficient
to establish the legal capacity of respondent, had he duly presented it in court. A duly
authenticated and admitted certificate is prima facie evidence of legal capacity to marry on the
part of the alien applicant for a marriage license. As it is, however, there is absolutely no
evidence that proves respondents legal capacity to marry petitioner.
The court a quo erred in finding that the divorce decree ipso facto clothed respondent with the
legal capacity to remarry without requiring him to adduce sufficient evidence to show the
Australian personal law governing his status; or at the very least, to prove his legal capacity to
contract the second marriage.
REPUBLIC v. IYOY
G.R. No. 152577
September 21, 2005
FACTS:
On December 16, 1961 Crasus Iyoy and Ada Rosal-Iyoy married each other, they had 5 children.
In 1984, Fely went to the US, in the same year she sent letters to Crasus asking him to sign
divorce papers. In 1985, Crasus learned that Fely married an American and had a child. Fely
went back to the Philippines on several occasions, during one she attended the marriage of one
of her children in which she used her husbands last name as hers in the invitation.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the Petition is granted, and respondent Judge is hereby ordered to dismiss the
Complaint filed in Civil Case No. 1075-P of his Court. Without costs.

March 25, 1997, Crasus filed a complaint for declaration of nullity alleging that Felys acts
brought danger and dishonor to the family and were manifestations of her psychological
incapacity. Crasus submitted his testimony, the certification of the recording of their marriage
contract, and the invitation where Fely used her new husbands last name as evidences.

GARCIA V. RECIO
G.R. No. 138322
October 2, 2001

Fely denied the claims and asserted that Crasus was a drunkard, womanizer, had no job, and
that since 1988 she was already an American citizen and not covered by our laws. The RTC
found the evidences sufficient and granted the decree; it was affirmed in the CA.

FACTS:
Rederick Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson an Australian citizen, in 1987. In 1989
a decree of divorce dissolving the marriage was issued by the Australian Family Court. In 1992,
respondent became an Australian citizen. Subsequently, respondent entered into marriage with
petitioner a Filipina (1994). Starting October 1995, petitioner and respondent lived separately
without prior judicial dissolution of their marriage. In 1998, petitioner filed a complaint for
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of bigamy. Respondent contended that his prior
marriage had been validly dissolved by a decree of divorce obtained in Australia thus he is legally
capacitated to marry petitioner. The trial court rendered the decision declaring the marriage
between petitioner and respondent dissolved and both parties can now remarry.

ISSUE:
WON the abandonment and sexual infidelity per se constitute psychological incapacity?
HELD/RATIO:
The evidences presented by the respondent fail to establish psychological incapacity.
Furthermore, Article 36 contemplates downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and
to assume the basic marital obligations; not a mere refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less, ill will,
on the part of the errant spouse. Irreconcilable differences, conflicting personalities, emotional
immaturity and irresponsibility, physical abuse, habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity or
perversion, and abandonment, by themselves, also do not warrant a finding of psychological
incapacity under the said Article.

ISSUES:
W/N the divorce obtained by respondent in Australia ipso facto capacitated him to remarry.
RATIO:
The SC remanded the case to the court a quo to receive evidence. Based on the records, the
court cannot conclude that respondent who was then a naturalized Australian citizen was legally
capacitated to marry petitioner. Neither can the court grant petitioners prayer to declare her
marriage null and void on the ground of bigamy. After all it may turn out that under Australian law
he was really capacitated to marry petitioner as result of the divorce decree. The SC laid down

Finally, Article 36 is not to be confused with a divorce law that cuts the marital bond at the time
the causes therefore manifest themselves. It refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a
party even before the celebration of marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to
deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about
to assume.

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In light of the allegations of Felicitas complaint and the documentary and testimonial evidence
she presented, we deem it undisputed that Orlando and Felicitas are American citizens and had
this citizenship status when they secured their divorce decree in April 1988. We are not therefore
dealing in this case with Filipino citizens whose marital status is governed by the Family Code
and our Civil Code, but with American citizens who secured their divorce in the U.S. and who are
considered by their national law to be free to contract another marriage. x x x

AMOR-CATALAN V CA
G.R. No. 167109
6 Feb 2007
QUICK SUMMARY:
Man and woman got married. Went to the US, became naturalized citizens. They divorced. Man
marries new woman. Ex-wife files petition against man and woman to declare their marriage void
on the ground of bigamy. SC said that ex-wifes standing to sue depends on the evidence which
does not appear on record.

Further, the Court of Appeals mistakenly considered the failure of the petitioner to refute or
contest the allegation in respondents brief, that she and respondent Orlando were American
citizens at the time they secured their divorce in April 1988, as sufficient to establish the fact of
naturalization and divorce. We note that it was the petitioner who alleged in her complaint that
they acquired American citizenship and that respondent Orlando obtained a judicial divorce
decree. It is settled rule that one who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and mere
allegation is not evidence.

FACTS:
Felicitas Amor-Catalan married Orlando. Later, they migrated to the United States of America and
allegedly became naturalized citizens thereof. After 38 years of marriage, Felicitas and Orlando
divorced .

Divorce means the legal dissolution of a lawful union for a cause arising after marriage. But
divorces are of different types. The two basic ones are (1) absolute divorce or a vinculo
matrimonii and (2) limited divorce or a mensa et thoro. The first kind terminates the marriage,
while the second suspends it and leaves the bond in full force. A divorce obtained abroad by an
alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided such decree is valid according to the
national law of the foreigner. However, before it can be recognized by our courts, the party
pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law
allowing it, which must be proved considering that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign
laws.
Without the divorce decree and foreign law as part of the evidence, we cannot rule on the issue
of whether petitioner has the personality to file the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage.
After all, she may have the personality to file the petition if the divorce decree obtained was a
limited divorce or a mensa et thoro; or the foreign law may restrict remarriage even after the
divorce decree becomes absolute. In such case, the RTC would be correct to declare the
marriage of the respondents void for being bigamous, there being already in evidence two
existing marriage certificates, which were both obtained in the Philippines, one in Mabini,
Pangasinan dated December 21, 1959 between Eusebio Bristol and respondent Merope, and the
other, in Calasiao, Pangasinan dated June 16, 1988 between the respondents.
However, if there was indeed a divorce decree obtained and which, following the national law of
Orlando, does not restrict remarriage, the Court of Appeals would be correct in ruling that
petitioner has no legal personality to file a petition to declare the nullity of marriage, thus:

Two months after the divorce, Orlando married respondent Merope in Calasiao,
Pangasinan.Contending that said marriage was bigamous since Merope had a prior subsisting
marriage with Eusebio Bristol, petitioner filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage with
damages in the RTC of Dagupan City against Orlando and Merope.
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of cause of action as petitioner was
allegedly not a real party-in-interest, but it was denied. Trial on the merits ensued.
RTC ruled in favor of the Felicitas (first wife). CA reversed.
Petitioner contends that the bigamous marriage of the respondents, which brought
embarrassment to her and her children, confers upon her an interest to seek judicial remedy to
address her grievances and to protect her family from further embarrassment and humiliation.
She claims that the Court of Appeals committed reversible error in not declaring the marriage
void despite overwhelming evidence and the state policy discouraging illegal and immoral
marriages.
ISSUES:
WON the petitioner has the personality to file a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on
the ground of bigamy? It depends.

True, under the New Civil Code which is the law in force at the time the respondents were
married, or even in the Family Code, there is no specific provision as to who can file a petition to
declare the nullity of marriage; however, only a party who can demonstrate "proper interest" can
file the same.

RATIO:
This issue may not be resolved without first determining the corollary factual issues of whether
the petitioner and respondent Orlando had indeed become naturalized American citizens and
whether they had actually been judicially granted a divorce decree.

Significantly, Section 2(a) of The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and
Annulment of Voidable Marriages, which took effect on March 15, 2003, now specifically
provides:
SECTION 2. Petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages.
(a) Who may file. A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be
filed solely by the husband or the wife.
(b)
xxxx

Both the RTC and the Court of Appeals found that petitioner and respondent Orlando were
naturalized American citizens and that they obtained a divorce decree in April 1988. However,
after a careful review of the records, we note that other than the allegations in the complaint and
the testimony during the trial, the records are bereft of competent evidence to prove their
naturalization and divorce.
The Court of Appeals therefore had no basis when it held:

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In fine, petitioners personality to file the petition to declare the nullity of marriage cannot be
ascertained because of the absence of the divorce decree and the foreign law allowing it. Hence,
a remand of the case to the trial court for reception of additional evidence is necessary to
determine whether respondent Orlando was granted a divorce decree and whether the foreign
law which granted the same allows or restricts remarriage. If it is proved that a valid divorce
decree was obtained and the same did not allow respondent Orlandos remarriage, then the trial
court should declare respondents marriage as bigamous and void ab initio. On the contrary, if it
is proved that a valid divorce decree was obtained which allowed Orlando to remarry, then the
trial court must dismiss the instant petition to declare nullity of marriage on the ground that
petitioner Felicitas Amor-Catalan lacks legal personality to file the same.

Whether or not the divorce decree obtained by Rebecca in Guam was sufficient to dissolve the
marriage bond between them. Thus, the application for the declaration of nullity of marriage
before the RTC was no longer needed.
RATIO:
There can be no serious dispute that Rebecca, at the time she applied for and obtained her
divorce from Vicente, was an American citizen and remains to be one, absent proof of an
effective repudiation of such citizenship. The following are compelling circumstances indicative
of her American citizenship: (1) she was born in Guam, USA; (2) the principle of jus soli is
followed in this American territory granting American citizenship to those who are born there; and
(3) she was, and may still be, a holder of an American passport.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, let this case be REMANDED to the trial court for its
proper disposition. No costs.

And as aptly found by the CA, Rebecca had consistently professed, asserted, and represented
herself as an American citizen, particularly: (1) during her marriage as shown in the marriage
certificate; (2) in the birth certificate of Alix; and (3) when she secured the divorce from the
Dominican Republic.

BAYOT VS. CA
G.R. No. 155635
November 7, 2008

First, at the time of the divorce, as above elucidated, Rebecca was still to be recognized,
assuming for argument that she was in fact later recognized, as a Filipino citizen, but represented
herself in public documents as an American citizen. At the very least, she chose, before, during,
and shortly after her divorce, her American citizenship to govern her marital relationship.

QUICK SUMMARY:
Whether or not the divorce decree obtained by Rebecca in Guam was sufficient to dissolve the
marriage bond between them. Thus, the application for the declaration of nullity of marriage
before the RTC was no longer needed. There can be no serious dispute that Rebecca, at the
time she applied for and obtained her divorce from Vicente, was an American citizen and remains
to be one, absent proof of an effective repudiation of such citizenship. And as aptly found by the
CA, Rebecca had consistently professed, asserted, and represented herself as an American
citizen, particularly: (1) during her marriage as shown in the marriage certificate; (2) in the birth
certificate of Alix; and (3) when she secured the divorce from the Dominican Republic. Second,
she secured personally said divorce as an American citizen, as is evident in the text of the Civil
Decrees. Third, being an American citizen, Rebecca was bound by the national laws of the
United States of America, a country which allows divorce.

Second, she secured personally said divorce as an American citizen, as is evident in the text of
the Civil Decrees.
Third, being an American citizen, Rebecca was bound by the national laws of the United States
of America, a country which allows divorce. Fourth, the property relations of Vicente and
Rebecca were properly adjudicated through their Agreement executed on December 14, 1996
after Civil Decree No. 362/96 was rendered on February 22, 1996, and duly affirmed by Civil
Decree No. 406/97 issued on March 4, 1997. Veritably, the foreign divorce secured by Rebecca
was valid.
It is essential that there should be an opportunity to challenge the foreign judgment, in order for
the court in this jurisdiction to properly determine its efficacy. In this jurisdiction, our Rules of
Court clearly provide that with respect to actions in personam, as distinguished from actions in
rem, a foreign judgment merely constitutes prima facie evidence of the justness of the claim of a
party and, as such, is subject to proof to the contrary.

FACTS:
Vicente and Rebecca were married on April 20, 1979 in Sanctuario de San Jose, Greenhills,
Mandaluyong City. On November 27, 1982 in San Francisco, California, Rebecca gave birth to
Marie Josephine Alexandra or Alix. From then on, Vicente and Rebecca's marital relationship
seemed to have soured as the latter, sometime in 1996, initiated divorce proceedings in the
Dominican Republic. Before the Court of the First Instance of the Judicial District of Santo
Domingo, Rebecca personally appeared, while Vicente was duly represented by counsel. On
February 22, 1996, the Dominican court issued Civil Decree No. 362/96. On March 21, 2001,
Rebecca filed another petition, this time before the Muntinlupa City RTC, for declaration of
absolute nullity of marriage on the ground of Vicente's alleged psychological incapacity. On June
8, 2001, Vicente filed a Motion to Dismiss. To the motion to dismiss, Rebecca interposed an
opposition, insisting on her Filipino citizenship, as affirmed by the Department of Justice (DOJ),
and that, therefore, there is no valid divorce to speak of. RTC ruled against Vicente. CA ruled in
favor of Rebecca stating that the marriage between the spouses was already dissolved upon the
grant of divorce since Rebecca was an American citizen when she applied for such decree.

As the records show, Rebecca, assisted by counsel, personally secured the foreign divorce while
Vicente was duly represented by his counsel, a certain Dr. Alejandro Torrens, in said
proceedings. As things stand, the foreign divorce decrees rendered and issued by the
Dominican Republic court are valid and, consequently, bind both Rebecca and Vicente.
Finally, the fact that Rebecca may have been duly recognized as a Filipino citizen by force of the
June 8, 2000 affirmation by Secretary of Justice Tuquero of the October 6, 1995 Bureau Order of
Recognition will not, standing alone, work to nullify or invalidate the foreign divorce secured by
Rebecca as an American citizen on February 22, 1996. For as we stressed at the outset, in
determining whether or not a divorce secured abroad would come within the pale of the
country's policy against absolute divorce, the reckoning point is the citizenship of the parties at
the time a valid divorce is obtained.

ISSUES:

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DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari in G.R. No. 155635 is hereby DISMISSED on the ground
of mootness, while the petition for review in G.R. No. 163979 is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.
Accordingly, the March 25, 2004 Decision and June 4, 2004 Resolution of the CA in CA-G.R. SP
No. 68187 are hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner

1.

CORPUZ v. STO. TOMAS


G.R. No. 186571
August 11, 2010
QUICK SUMMARY
Corpuz, a former Filipino citizen, was naturalized in Canada. He married Sto. Tomas, however,
when he returned to the Philippines, he was surprised that Sto. Tomas was having an affair.
Corpuz then obtained a divorce decree in Canada. Wanting to marry his new fiance, Corpuz
sought to register his divorce decree but he was informed that his marriage to Sto. Tomas was
still subsisting. He filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce, but the RTC ruled that
only the Filipino spouse can avail of the remedy under Art. 26, par. 2 of the Family Code. The
Court upheld the ruling of the RTC. An action based on par. 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code is
not limited to the recognition of the foreign divorce decree. If the court finds that the decree
capacitated the alien spouse to remarry, the courts can declare that the Filipino spouse is
likewise capacitated to contract another marriage. No court in this jurisdiction, however, can
make a similar declaration for the alien spouse (other than that already established by the
decree), whose status and legal capacity are generally governed by his national law. Only the
Filipino spouse can invoke the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code; the alien
spouse can claim no right under this provision.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition for review on certiorari, and REVERSE the October 30,
2008 decision of the Regional Trial Court of Laoag City, Branch 11, as well as its February 17,
2009 order. We order the REMAND of the case to the trial court for further proceedings in
accordance with our ruling above. Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Civil Registrar
General. No costs.

FACTS:
Corpuz was a former Filipino citizen who acquired Canadian citizenship through
naturalization on November 29, 2000. In 2005, Corpuz married respondent Sto. Tomas, a
Filipina, in Pasig City. Corpuz left for Canada soon after the wedding. He returned to the
Philippines sometime in April 2005 to surprise Daisylyn, but was shocked to discover that his wife
was having an affair with another man. Corpuz returned to Canada and filed a petition for
divorce. The Superior Court of Justice, Windsor, Ontario, Canada granted Gerberts petition for
divorce on December 8, 2005. The divorce decree took effect a month later, on January 8, 2006.
Two years after the divorce, Corpuz, desirous of marrying his new Filipina fiance in the
Philippines went to the Pasig City Civil Registry Office and registered the Canadian divorce
decree on his marriage certificate. Despite the registration of the divorce decree, an official of the
NSO informed Corpuz that the marriage between him and Daisylyn still subsists under Philippine
law; to be enforceable, the foreign divorce decree must first be judicially recognized by a
competent Philippine court, pursuant to NSO Circular No. 4, series of 1982.
Corpuz filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and/or declaration of
marriage as dissolved (petition) with the RTC. The RTC concluded that Corpuz was not the
proper party to institute the action for judicial recognition of the foreign divorce decree as he is a
naturalized Canadian citizen. It ruled that only the Filipino spouse can avail of the remedy, under
the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, in order for him or her to be able to
remarry under Philippine law.
1.

RATIO:
No. The alien spouse can claim no right under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family
Code as the substantive right it establishes is in favor of the Filipino spouse.
The legislative intent is for the benefit of the Filipino spouse, by clarifying his or her
marital status, settling the doubts created by the divorce decree. Essentially, the second
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provided the Filipino spouse a substantive right to
have his or her marriage to the alien spouse considered as dissolved, capacitating him or her to
remarry.
Additionally, an action based on the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code is
not limited to the recognition of the foreign divorce decree. If the court finds that the decree
capacitated the alien spouse to remarry, the courts can declare that the Filipino spouse is
likewise capacitated to contract another marriage. No court in this jurisdiction, however, can
make a similar declaration for the alien spouse (other than that already established by the
decree), whose status and legal capacity are generally governed by his national law.
Only the Filipino spouse can invoke the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family
Code; the alien spouse can claim no right under this provision.
We qualify our above conclusion i.e., that the second paragraph of Article 26 of the
Family Code bestows no rights in favor of aliens with the complementary statement that this
conclusion is not sufficient basis to dismiss Corpuzs petition before the RTC. In other words, the
unavailability of the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code to aliens does not
necessarily strip Corpuz of legal interest to petition the RTC for the recognition of his foreign
divorce decree. The foreign divorce decree itself, after its authenticity and conformity with the
aliens national law have been duly proven according to our rules of evidence, serves as a
presumptive evidence of right in favor of Corpuz, pursuant to Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of
Court which provides for the effect of foreign judgments.

SO ORDERED.

Vda. DE CATALAN v. CATALAN-LEE


G. R. No. 183622
February 08, 2012
QUICK SUMMARY
Petitioner was the second wife of Orlando Catalan, an American citizen. Orlando obtained a
divorce in the US for his first marriage before he married petitioner. When he died, petitioner and
respondent, the daughter of Orlando from his first marriage, filed a petition for letters of
administration. The SC held that a divorce obtained by an alien in a country where divorce is
allowed will be recognized in our jurisdiction so long as such decree is proven. This case was
remanded.

ISSUE:
Whether the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code extends to aliens the right to
petition a court of this jurisdiction for the recognition of a foreign divorce decree.

FACTS:

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
Orlando B. Catalan was a naturalized American citizen. After allegedly obtaining a
divorce in the United States from his first wife, Felicitas Amor, he contracted a second marriage
with petitioner herein. He died intestate in the Philippines.

the petitioner. Bigamy is an illegal marriage committed by contracting a second or subsequent


marriage before the first marriage has been dissolved or before the absent spouse has been
declared presumptively dead by a judgment rendered in a proper proceedings. The deduction of
the trial court that the acquittal of the petitioner in the said case negates the validity of her
subsequent marriage with Orlando B. Catalan has not been disproved by her. There was
not even an attempt from the petitioner to deny the findings of the trial court.

Petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dagupan City a Petition for the
issuance of letters of administration for her appointment as administratrix of the intestate estate
of Orlando. While the case was pending, respondent Louella A. Catalan-Lee, one of the children
of Orlando from his first marriage, filed a similar petition with the RTC. These cases were
subsequently consolidated.

ISSUE:
Whether the marriage between petitioner and the deceased was valid

Petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the cas filed by Catalan-Leeon the ground of litis
pendentia, considering that her petition covering the same estate was already pending.

HELD/RATIO
YES. At the outset, it seems that the RTC in the special proceedings failed to
appreciate the finding of the RTC in Crim. Case No. 2699-A that petitioner was never married to
Eusebio Bristol. Thus, the trial court concluded that, because petitioner was acquitted of bigamy,
it follows that the first marriage with Bristol still existed and was valid. By failing to take note of
the findings of fact on the nonexistence of the marriage between petitioner and Bristol, both the
RTC and CA held that petitioner was not an interested party in the estate of Orlando.

On the other hand, respondent alleged that petitioner was not considered an interested
person qualified to file a petition for the issuance of letters of administration of the estate of
Orlando. In support of her contention, respondent alleged that a criminal case for bigamy was
filed against petitioner before Branch 54 of the RTC of Alaminos, Pangasinan, and docketed as
Crim. Case No. 2699-A. Amor, the first wife, filed a complaint for bigamy because she contracted
a second marriage to Orlando despite having been married to one Eusebio Bristol. Amor also
contended that she was married to Orlando and that divorce was not binding in the Philippines.
The RTC had acquitted petitioner of bigamy but ruled that the marriage to Orlando was not valid
because our jurisdiction does not recognize divorce. However, the RTC held that she was not
actually married to Bristol.

At the time the bigamy case was dismissed, we had already ruled that under the
principles of comity, our jurisdiction recognizes a valid divorce obtained by a spouse of foreign
nationality. This doctrine was established as early as 1985 in Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. Aliens may
obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are
valid according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private
respondent from the marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce
dissolves the marriage.

The RTC dismissed the Petition for the issuance of letters of administration filed by
petitioner and granted that of private respondent. Contrary to its findings in Crim. Case No. 2699A, the RTC held that the marriage between petitioner and Eusebio Bristol was valid and
subsisting when she married Orlando. Without expounding, it reasoned further that her acquittal
in the previous bigamy case was fatal to her cause. Thus, the trial court held that petitioner was
not an interested party who may file a petition for the issuance of letters of administration.

In Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera, we recognized the divorce obtained by the respondent in his


country, the Federal Republic of Germany. There, we stated that divorce and its legal effects
may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as respondent is concerned in view of the
nationality principle in our civil law on the status of persons.

The CA dismissed the case and held that petitioner undertook the wrong remedy but
overlooked this. On the merits, the CA held that litis pendentia is not applicable. For litis
pendentia to be a ground for the dismissal of an action, there must be: (a) identity of the parties
or at least such as to represent the same interest in both actions; (b) identity of rights asserted
and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same acts, and (c) the identity in the two
cases should be such that the judgment which may be rendered in one would, regardless of
which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the other. A special proceeding is an
application or proceeding to establish the status or right of a party, or a particular fact. And, in
contrast to an ordinary civil action, a special proceeding involves no defendant or respondent.
The only party in this kind of proceeding is the petitioner of the applicant. Considering its nature,
a subsequent petition for letters of administration can hardly be barred by a similar pending
petition involving the estate of the same decedent unless both petitions are filed by the same
person. In the case at bar, the petitioner was not a party to the petition filed by the private
respondent, in the same manner that the latter was not made a party to the petition filed by the
former. The first element of litis pendentia is wanting. The contention of the petitioner must
perforce fail.

Nonetheless, the fact of divorce must still first be proven. Before a foreign judgment is
given presumptive evidentiary value, the document must first be presented and admitted in
evidence. A divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best
evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written act or
record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign country.
Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a writing or document may be proven as a
public or official record of a foreign country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy
thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept in
the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper
diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in
which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office.
The burden of proof lies with the "party who alleges the existence of a fact or
thing necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action." In civil cases, plaintiffs have
the burden of proving the material allegations of the complaint when those are denied by
the answer; and defendants have the burden of proving the material allegations in their
answer when they introduce new matters.

The CA also held that she is not an interested party. Her marriage certificate showing
her marriage with Orlando is only prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. The fact that
the petitioner had been charged with bigamy and was acquitted has not been disputed by

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
It is well-settled in our jurisdiction that our courts cannot take judicial notice of
foreign laws. Like any other facts, they must be alleged and proved.

contracted on December 26, 1949 between his late brother Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila
Honato.
The petitioner alleged that the marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila had been
celebrated without a marriage license, due to such license being issued only on January 9, 1950,
thereby rendering the marriage void ab initio for having been solemnized without a marriage
license. He insisted that his being the surviving brother of Cresenciano who had died without any
issue entitled him to one-half of the real properties acquired by Cresenciano before his death,
thereby making him a real party in interest; and that any person, himself included, could impugn
the validity of the marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila at any time, even after the death of
Cresenciano, due to the marriage being void ab initio.
RTC denied the petition because the 1) petition is filed out of time (action had long
prescribed) and 2) petitioner is not a party to the marriage.
CA affirmed and said that while an action to declare the nullity of a marriage considered void
from the beginning does not prescribe, the law nonetheless requires that the same action must
be filed by the proper party, which in this case should be filed by any of the parties to the
marriage

It appears that the trial court no longer required petitioner to prove the validity of
Orlando's divorce under the laws of the United States and the marriage between petitioner and
the deceased. Thus, there is a need to remand the proceedings to the trial court for further
reception of evidence to establish the fact of divorce.
Should petitioner prove the validity of the divorce and the subsequent marriage, she
has the preferential right to be issued the letters of administration over the estate. Otherwise,
letters of administration may be issued to respondent, who is undisputedly the daughter or next
of kin of the deceased, in accordance with Sec. 6 of Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court.
Thus, it is imperative for the trial court to first determine the validity of the divorce to
ascertain the rightful party to be issued the letters of administration over the estate of Orlando B.
Catalan.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is hereby PARTIALLY GRANTED.The
Decision dated 18 October 2007 and the Resolution dated 20 June 2008 of the Court of Appeals
are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Let this case be REMANDED to Branch 70 of the
Regional Trial Court of Burgos, Pangasinan for further proceedings in accordance with this
Decision.

Issue:
Whether the petitioner may bring an action for the declaration of the absolute nullity of the
marriage of his deceased brother solemnized under the regime of the old Civil Code.

Ratio:
Yes.

ABLAZA v. REPUBLIC
G.R. No. 158298

Before anything more, the Court has to clarify the impact to the issue posed herein of
Administrative Matter (A.M.) No. 02-11-10-SC (Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void
Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages), which took effect on March 15, 2003.

August 11, 2010

Section 2, paragraph (a), of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC explicitly provides the limitation that a
petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or
wife. Such limitation demarcates a line to distinguish between marriages covered by the Family
Code and those solemnized under the regime of the Civil Code. Specifically, A.M. No. 02-11-10SC extends only to marriages covered by the Family Code, which took effect on August 3, 1988,
but, being a procedural rule that is prospective in application, is confined only to proceedings
commenced after March 15, 2003.

Quick Summary:
Isidro Ablaza seeks to declare the absolute nullity of the marriage contracted on December
26, 1949 between his late brother Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila Honato. He alleged that the
marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila had been celebrated without a marriage license thus
the marriage is void ab initio. The issue in this case is whether Isidro is a proper party. The SC
noted that the marriage was celebrated during the old Civil Code, way before A.M. No. 02-11-10SC which explicitly provides the limitation that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void
marriage may be filed solely by the husband or wife. Thus, the applicable law is the old Civil
Code. However, the old Civil Code does not contain any provision on who can file a petition to
declare the nullity of a marriage. But it is must still be the party who stands to be benefited by the
suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit, for it is basic in procedural law that every action
must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party in interest.

Based on Carlos v. Sandoval, the following actions for declaration of absolute nullity of a
marriage are excepted from the limitation, to wit:
1. Those commenced before March 15, 2003, the effectivity date of A.M. No. 02-11-10SC; and

Facts:
On October 17, 2000, Isidro Ablaza (petitioner) filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in
Cataingan, Masbate a petition for the declaration of the absolute nullity of the marriage

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
2. Those filed vis--vis marriages celebrated during the effectivity of the Civil Code
and, those celebrated under the regime of the Family Code prior to March 15, 2003.

action. The petitioner can still amend his initiatory pleading in order to implead her, for under the
same rule, such amendment to implead an indispensable party may be made "on motion of any
party or on (the trial courts) own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are
just."

Considering that the marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila was contracted on
December 26, 1949, the applicable law was the old Civil Code, the law in effect at the time of the
celebration of the marriage. Hence, the rule on the exclusivity of the parties to the marriage as
having the right to initiate the action for declaration of nullity of the marriage under A.M. No. 0211-10-SC had absolutely no application to the petitioner.

Other doctrine:

The old and new Civil Codes contain no provision on who can file a petition to declare the
nullity of a marriage, and when. Accordingly, in Nial v. Bayadog, the children were allowed to file
after the death of their father a petition for the declaration of the nullity of their fathers marriage
to their stepmother contracted on December 11, 1986 due to lack of a marriage license.

Jurisprudence under the Civil Code states that no judicial decree is necessary in order to
establish the nullity of a marriage. "A void marriage does not require a judicial decree to restore
the parties to their original rights or to make the marriage void but though no sentence of
avoidance be absolutely necessary, yet as well for the sake of good order of society as for the
peace of mind of all concerned, it is expedient that the nullity of the marriage should be
ascertained and declared by the decree of a court of competent jurisdiction."

It is clarified, however, that the absence of a provision in the old and new Civil Codes cannot
be construed as giving a license to just any person to bring an action to declare the absolute
nullity of a marriage. According to Carlos v. Sandoval, the plaintiff must still be the party who
stands to be benefited by the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit, for it is basic in
procedural law that every action must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party
in interest. Thus, only the party who can demonstrate a "proper interest" can file the action.
Interest within the meaning of the rule means material interest, or an interest in issue to be
affected by the decree or judgment of the case, as distinguished from mere curiosity about the
question involved or a mere incidental interest. One having no material interest to protect cannot
invoke the jurisdiction of the court as plaintiff in an action. When the plaintiff is not the real party
in interest, the case is dismissible on the ground of lack of cause of action.

But Article 40 of the Family Code expressly provides that there must be a judicial
declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage, though void, before a party can enter into a
second marriage and such absolute nullity can be based only on a final judgment to that effect.
For the same reason, the law makes either the action or defense for the declaration of absolute
nullity of marriage imprescriptible. Corollarily, if the death of either party would extinguish the
cause of action or the ground for defense, then the same cannot be considered imprescriptible.
However, other than for purposes of remarriage, no judicial action is necessary to declare a
marriage an absolute nullity. For other purposes, such as but not limited to determination of
heirship, legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate, dissolution of property regime,
or a criminal case for that matter, the court may pass upon the validity of marriage even in a suit
not directly instituted to question the same so long as it is essential to the determination of the
case.

Here, the petitioner alleged himself to be the late Cresencianos brother and surviving heir.
Assuming that the petitioner was as he claimed himself to be, then he has a material interest in
the estate of Cresenciano that will be adversely affected by any judgment in the suit. Indeed, a
brother like the petitioner, albeit not a compulsory heir under the laws of succession, has the right
to succeed to the estate of a deceased brother under the conditions stated in Article 1001 and
Article 1003 of the Civil Code. Pursuant to these provisions, the presence of descendants,
ascendants, or illegitimate children of the deceased excludes collateral relatives like the
petitioner from succeeding to the deceaseds estate. Necessarily, therefore, the right of the
petitioner to bring the action hinges upon a prior determination of whether Cresenciano had any
descendants, ascendants, or children (legitimate or illegitimate), and of whether the petitioner
was the late Cresencianos surviving heir. Such prior determination must be made by the trial
court, for the inquiry thereon involves questions of fact.

Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is granted.

Nevertheless, we note that the petitioner did not implead Leonila and Leila, Cresencianos
surviving wife and daughter, respectively. The omission to implead Leonila and Leila was not
immediately fatal to the present action, however, considering that Section 11, Rule 3, Rules of
Court, states that neither misjoinder nor non-joinder of parties is a ground for the dismissal of an

We reverse and set aside the decision dated January 30, 2003 rendered by the Court of Appeals.

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
Special Case No. 117 entitled In Re: Petition for Nullification of Marriage Contract between
Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila Honato; Isidro Ablaza, petitioner, is reinstated, and its records
are returned to the Regional Trial Court, Branch 49, in Cataingan, Masbate, for further
proceedings, with instructions to first require the petitioner to amend his initiatory pleading in
order to implead Leonila Honato and her daughter Leila Ablaza Jasul as parties-defendants; then
to determine whether the late Cresenciano Ablaza had any ascendants, descendants, or children
(legitimate or illegitimate) at the time of his death as well as whether the petitioner was the
brother and surviving heir of the late Cresenciano Ablaza entitled to succeed to the estate of said
deceased; and thereafter to proceed accordingly.

Section 1. Scope This Rule shall govern petitions for declaration of absolute nullity of
void marriages and annulment of voidable marriages under the Family Code of the
Philippines.

No costs of suit. SO ORDERED.

Our family law is based on the policy that marriage is not a mere contract, but a social institution
in which the State is vitally interested. The State finds no stronger anchor than on good, solid and
happy families. The break up of families weakens our social and moral fabric and, hence, their
preservation is not the concern alone of the family members

This Court is not unmindful of the constitutional policy to protect and strengthen the family as the
basic autonomous social institution and marriage as the foundation of the family.16

CYNTHIA S. BOLOS VS. DANILO T. BOLOS


G.R. NO. 186400
OCTOBER 20, 2010
QUICK FACTS:
Petitioner Cynthia Bolos (Cynthia) filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage to
respondent Danilo Bolos (Danilo) under Article 36 of the Family Code. The RTC, finding that
both parties were psychologically incapacitated, granted the petition for annulment. When his
MRs, went unheeded, respondent filed a petition for certiorari with the CA to annul the RTCs
decision and for him to be declared psychologically incapacitated and that Cynthia be declared
guilty of abandoning him, the family home, and their children. The CA granted the petition and
reversed the RTCs decision.
The appellate court stated that the requirement of a motion for
reconsideration as a prerequisite to appeal under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC did not apply in this case
as the marriage between Cynthia and Danilo was solemnized on February 14, 1980 before the
Family Code took effect. It relied on the ruling of this Court in Enrico v. Heirs of Sps.
Medinaceli3 to the effect that the "coverage [of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC] extends only to those
marriages entered into during the effectivity of the Family Code which took effect on August 3,
1988."

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

ALAIN M. DIO vs. MA. CARIDAD L. DIO


G.R. No. 178044
January 19, 2011
QUICK SUMMARY: Alain filed a case for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Caridad.
Alain alleged that Caridad was psychologically incapacitated to perform the latters marital
obligations. This was granted by the trial court but ordered the dissolution of their properties
under the community regime. The SC ruled that since the marriage was dissolved under Article
236, the governing rule for the dissolution of the properties should have been the rule on coownership.

ISSUE: WON A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC entitled Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void
Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages is applicable?

FACTS:
Alain and Caridad were childhood friends and sweethearts. They started living together in 1984
until they decided to separate in 1994. In 1996, they decided to live together again. In 1998, they
were married before Mayor of Las Pias City.

RATIO:
NO. The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of
Voidable Marriages as contained in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC which the Court promulgated on
March 15, 2003, is explicit in its scope. Section 1 of the Rule, in fact, reads:

In 2001, Alain filed an action for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage against Caridad, citing
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. Alain alleged that Caridad failed in
her marital obligation to give love and support to him, and had abandoned her responsibility to
the family, choosing instead to go on shopping sprees and gallivanting with her friends that
depleted the family assets. Alain further alleged that Caridad was not faithful, and would at times
become violent and hurt him.
Extrajudicial service of summons was effected upon Caridad who, at the time of the filing of the
petition, was already living in the United States. Despite receipt of the summons, Caridad did not

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CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
file an answer to the petition within the reglementary period. Alain later learned that Caridad filed
a petition for divorce/dissolution of her marriage with Alain, which was granted by the Superior
Court of California on May 2001. Alain also learned that on October 2001, Caridad married a
certain Manuel V. Alcantara.

marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code because the marriage is governed by the ordinary
rules on co-ownership.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the Decision of the trial court with the MODIFICATION that the
decree of absolute nullity of the marriage shall be issued upon finality of the trial courts decision
without waiting for the liquidation, partition, and distribution of the parties properties under Article
147 of the Family Code. SO ORDERED.

On April 2002, the Office of the Las Pias prosecutor found that there were no indicative facts of
collusion between the parties and the case was set for trial on the merits. The trial court granted
the petition on the ground that Caridad was psychologically incapacited to comply with the
essential marital obligations at the time of the celebration of the marriage.
ISSUE:
W/N the trial court erred when it ordered that a decree of absolute nullity of marriage shall only
be issued after liquidation, partition, and distribution of the parties properties under Article 147 of
the Family Code.

YU V. REYES-CARPIO
G.R. No. 189207
June 15, 2011
QUICK SUMMARY: There is a pending petition for nullity of marriage. Petitioner argues the the
incident issues on custody, support, property relations be decided simultaneously with the issue
on the nullity of marriage. However, the trial court ruled that evidence on the incident issues may
be received after its resolution on the main issue. The trial court, or more particularly the family
court, shall proceed with the liquidation, partition and distribution, custody, support of common
children, and delivery of their presumptive legitimes upon entry of judgment granting the petition.
And following the pertinent provisions of the Court En Banc Resolution in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC,
this act is undoubtedly consistent with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code.

RATIO:
YES. In a void marriage, regardless of its cause, the property relations of the parties during the
period of cohabitation is governed either by Article 147 or Article 148 of the Family Code. Article
147 of the Family Code applies to union of parties who are legally capacitated and not barred by
any impediment to contract marriage, but whose marriage is nonetheless void.
It is clear from Article 50 of the Family Code that Section 19(1) of the Rule applies only to
marriages which are declared void ab initio or annulled by final judgment under Articles 40 and
45 of the Family Code. In short, Article 50 of the Family Code does not apply to marriages which
are declared void ab initio under Article 36 of the Family Code, which should be declared void
without waiting for the liquidation of the properties of the parties.

FACTS:
On May 30, 2006, Judge Leili Cruz Suarez of the RTC-Branch 163 issued an Order,
stating that petitioner's Partial Offer of Evidence dated April 18, 2006 would already be submitted
for resolution after certain exhibits of petitioner have been remarked. But the exhibits were only
relative to the issue of the nullity of marriage of the parties. On September 12, 2006, private
respondent moved to submit the incident on the declaration of nullity of marriage for resolution of
the court.
On September 28, 2006, petitioner opposed private respondent's Motion, claiming that
the incident on the declaration of nullity of marriage cannot be resolved without the presentation
of evidence for the incidents on custody, support, and property relations.
Petitioner, therefore, averred that the incident on nullity of marriage, on the one hand, and
the incidents on custody, support, and property relations, on the other, should both proceed and
be simultaneously resolved. On March 21, 2007, RTC-Branch 163 issued an Order in favor of
petitioner's opposition.
Thereafter, while the case was being heard by the RTC-Branch 261, private respondent
filed an Omnibus Motion on May 21, 2008. The Omnibus Motion sought (1) the strict observation
by the RTC-Branch 261 of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages, as
codified in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, in the subject proceedings; and (2) that the incident on the
declaration of nullity of marriage be already submitted for resolution.
In its Order dated August 4, 2008, the RTC-Branch 261 granted the Omnibus Motion. At
the outset, the parties are reminded that the main cause of action in this case is the declaration
of nullity of marriage of the parties and the issues relating to property relations, custody and
support are merely ancillary incidents thereto. Consistent, therefore, with Section 19 of A.M. No.
02-11-10-SC, the Court finds it more prudent to rule first on the petitioner's petition and
respondent's counter-petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of each other's
psychological incapacity to perform their respective marital obligations. If the Court eventually
finds that the parties' respective petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage is indeed
meritorious on the basis of either or both of the parties' psychological incapacity, then the parties

In this case, petitioners marriage to respondent was declared void under Article 36 of the Family
Code and not under Article 40 or 45. Thus, what governs the liquidation of properties owned in
common by petitioner and respondent are the rules on co-ownership. In Valdes, the Court ruled
that the property relations of parties in a void marriage during the period of cohabitation is
governed either by Article 147 or Article 148 of the Family Code. The rules on co-ownership apply
and the properties of the spouses should be liquidated in accordance with the Civil Code
provisions on co-ownership. Under Article 496 of the Civil Code, [p]artition may be made by
agreement between the parties or by judicial proceedings. x x x. It is not necessary to liquidate
the properties of the spouses in the same proceeding for declaration of nullity of marriage.
1.

2.

OTHER DOCTRINES:
Article 40 of the Family Code contemplates a situation where a second or bigamous marriage
was contracted. Under Article 40, [t]he absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked
for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous
marriage void.
Article 45 of the Family Code, on the other hand, refers to voidable marriages, meaning,
marriages which are valid until they are set aside by final judgment of a competent court in an
action for annulment. In both instances under Articles 40 and 45, the marriages are governed
either by absolute community of property or conjugal partnership of gains unless the parties
agree to a complete separation of property in a marriage settlement entered into before the
marriage. Since the property relations of the parties is governed by absolute community of
property or conjugal partnership of gains, there is a need to liquidate, partition and distribute the
properties before a decree of annulment could be issued. That is not the case for annulment of

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CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
shall proceed to comply with Article[s] 50 and 51 of the Family Code before a final decree of
absolute nullity of marriage can be issued. Pending such ruling on the declaration of nullity of the
parties' marriage, the Court finds no legal ground, at this stage, to proceed with the reception of
evidence in regard the issues on custody and property relations, since these are mere incidents
of the nullity of the parties' marriage.
The CA affirmed the trial courts judgment.

contracting parties while living who can file an action for declaration of nullity of marriage. The
RTC dismissed the complaint for lack of cause of action. On MR, the RTC reinstated the
complaint by relying on the case of Nial v. Bayadog, where it was held that the heirs of a
deceased spouse have the standing to assail a void marriage even after the death of the latter.
The issue is whether the heirs of a deceased spouse can file a petition for declaration of nullity of
the marriage of their parent. The SC ruled that the applicable law is the Family Code and A.M.
No. 02-11-10-SC. Under the said AM, A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage
may be filed solely by the husband or the wife. Hence, the heirs cannot file a petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage of their father to the petitioner. However, the heirs may still
protect their rights in the settlement proceeding of the estate of their father.

ISSUES:
2. w/n the CA committed grave abuse of discretion
RATIO:
2. No
It must be noted that Judge Reyes-Carpio did not disallow the presentation of evidence
on the incidents on custody, support, and property relations. It is clear in the assailed orders that
the trial court judge merely deferred the reception of evidence relating to custody, support, and
property relations.
And the trial judge's decision was not without basis. Judge Reyes-Carpio finds support In
the Court En Banc Resolution in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC or the Rule on Declaration of Absolute
Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages. Particularly, Secs. 19 and 21 of
the Rule clearly allow the reception of evidence on custody, support, and property relations after
the trial court renders a decision granting the petition, or upon entry of judgment granting the
petitionParagraph 1 of ratio
Finally, petitioner asserts that the deferment of the reception of evidence on custody,
support, and property relations would amount to an ambiguous and fragmentary judgment on the
main issue. This argument does not hold water. The Court En Banc Resolution in A.M. No. 02-1110-SC clearly allows the deferment of the reception of evidence on custody, support, and
property relations. Conversely, the trial court may receive evidence on the subject incidents after
a judgment granting the petition but before the decree of nullity or annulment of marriage is
issued. And this is what Judge Reyes-Carpio sought to comply with in issuing the assailed
orders. As correctly pointed out by the CA, petitioner's assertion that ruling the main issue
without receiving evidence on the subject incidents would result in an ambiguous and
fragmentary judgment is certainly speculative and, hence, contravenes the legal presumption that
a trial judge can fairly weigh and appraise the evidence submitted by the parties.

FACTS:
Respondents, heirs of Spouses Eulogio B. Medinaceli (Eulogio) and Trinidad CatliMedinaceli (Trinidad) filed with the RTC, an action for declaration of nullity of marriage of Eulogio
and petitioner Lolita D. Enrico. Substantially, the complaint alleged, inter alia, that Eulogio and
Trinidad were married on 14 June 1962. They begot seven children, herein respondents. On 1
May 2004, Trinidad died. On 26 August 2004, Eulogio married petitioner before the Municipal
Mayor of Lal-lo, Cagayan. Six months later, Eulogio passed away.
In impugning petitioners marriage to Eulogio, respondents averred that the same was
entered into without the requisite marriage license. They argued that Article 34 of the Family
Code, which exempts a man and a woman who have been living together for at least five years
without any legal impediment from securing a marriage license, was not applicable to petitioner
and Eulogio because they could not have lived together under the circumstances required by
said provision. Respondents posited that the marriage of Eulogio to Trinidad was dissolved only
upon the latters death, or on 1 May 2004, which was barely three months from the date of
marriage of Eulogio to petitioner. Therefore, petitioner and Eulogio could not have lived together
as husband and wife for at least five years.
In her Answer, petitioner maintained that she and Eulogio lived together as husband and
wife under one roof for 21 years openly and publicly; hence, they were exempted from the
requirement of a marriage license. From their union were born Elvin Enrico and Marco Enrico, all
surnamed Medinaceli. She further contended that the marriage ceremony was performed in the
Municipal Hall of Lal-lo, Cagayan, and solemnized by the Municipal Mayor. As an affirmative
defense, she sought the dismissal of the action on the ground that it is only the
contracting parties while living who can file an action for declaration of nullity of marriage.
The RTC issued an Order granting the dismissal of the Complaint for lack of cause of
action. It cited A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC promulgated by the Supreme Court En Banc as basis
wherein it was stated that a petition for Declaration of Absolute Nullity of a Void Marriage may be
filed solely by the husband or the wife.
Respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration thereof then the RTC rendered an
reversed its original Order. Hence, the RTC reinstated the complaint on the ratiocination that the
assailed Order ignored the ruling in Nial v. Bayadog, which was on the authority for holding that
the heirs of a deceased spouse have the standing to assail a void marriage even after the death
of the latter. It held that Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-20-SC, which provides that a petition for
declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife,
applies only where both parties to a void marriage are still living. Where one or both parties are
deceased, the RTC held that the heirs may file a petition to declare the marriage void.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The CA Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 106878 finding
that Judge Agnes Reyes-Carpio did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction is AFFIRMED.

LOLITA D. ENRICO vs. HEIRS OF SPS. EULOGIO B. MEDINACELI AND TRINIDAD CATLIMEDINACELI, REPRESENTED BY VILMA M. ARTICULO
G.R. No. 173614
September 28, 2007
QUICK SUMMARY:
The respondent Heirs are the children of Eulogio from his first marriage. After the mother of the
respondents died, their father married petitioner Lolita Enrico. Thereafter, Eulogio died. The heirs
filed an action for declaration of nullity of marriage of Eulogio and petitioner Lolita D. Enrico
averring that it was entered into without a marriage license. As an affirmative defense, Lolita
claimed that the heirs cannot file the action for declaration of nullity because it is only the

ISSUES:
Whether or not the heirs of a deceased spouse can file a petition for declaration of nullity of the
marriage of their parent

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ALFONSO. ARAGONES. ATILANO. BARTOLOME. BAUTISTA. CABRALES. CASTRO. DUENAS. GUEVARA. MACALINO. TAGRA. VALLO. WILWAYCO. YAN

CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
RATIO: No. The heirs cannot file a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage of their
father to the petitioner. A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may
be filed solely by the husband or the wife under the AM issued by the Supreme Court.
However, the heirs may still protect their rights in the settlement proceeding of the estate
of their father.
Petitioner maintains that A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC governs the instant case. A contrario,
respondents posit that it is Nial which is applicable, whereby the heirs of the deceased person
were granted the right to file a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage after his death.
In reinstating respondents Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, the
RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion.
While it is true that Nial in no uncertain terms allowed therein petitioners to file a petition
for the declaration of nullity of their fathers marriage to therein respondent after the death of their
father, we cannot, however, apply its ruling for the reason that the impugned marriage
therein was solemnized prior to the effectivity of the Family Code. The Court in Nial
recognized that the applicable law to determine the validity of the two marriages involved therein
is the Civil Code, which was the law in effect at the time of their celebration. What we have
before us belongs to a different milieu, i.e., the marriage sought to be declared void was
entered into during the effectivity of the Family Code. As can be gleaned from the facts,
petitioners marriage to Eulogio was celebrated in 2004.
The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable
Marriages as contained in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC is explicit in its scope that the AM covers only to
those marriages entered into during the effectivity of the Family Code which took effect on 3
August 1988.
Moreover, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC took effect on 15 March 2003. Thus, contrary to the
opinion of the RTC, there is no need to reconcile the provisions of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC with the
ruling in Nial, because they vary in scope and application. As has been emphasized, A.M. No.
02-11-10-SC covers marriages under the Family Code of the Philippines, and is prospective in its
application. The marriage of petitioner to Eulogio was celebrated on 26 August 2004, and it
squarely falls within the ambit of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC.
Hence, in resolving the issue before us, we resort to Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10SC, which provides:
Section 2. Petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages.
(a) Who may file. A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may
be filed solely by the husband or the wife. (n) (Emphasis supplied.)
Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, makes it the sole right of the husband or the
wife to file a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage.
The Rationale of the Rules on Annulment of Voidable Marriages and Declaration of
Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages, Legal Separation and Provisional Orders explains that such
petitions cannot be filed by the compulsory or intestate heirs of the spouses or by the
State.
Only an aggrieved or injured spouse may file a petition for annulment of voidable
marriages or declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages. Such petition cannot be
filed by compulsory or intestate heirs of the spouses or by the State. The Committee is of
the belief that they do not have a legal right to file the petition. Compulsory or intestate heirs have
only inchoate rights prior to the death of their predecessor, and hence can only question the
validity of the marriage of the spouses upon the death of a spouse in a proceeding for the
settlement of the estate of the deceased spouse filed in the regular courts. On the other hand,
the concern of the State is to preserve marriage and not to seek its dissolution.
Respondents clearly have no cause of action before the court a quo. Nonetheless, all is
not lost for respondents. While A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC declares that a petition for declaration of
absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife, it does not mean

that the compulsory or intestate heirs are already without any recourse under the law. They can
still protect their successional right, for, as stated in the Rationale of the Rules on Annulment of
Voidable Marriages and Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages, Legal Separation and
Provisional Orders, compulsory or intestate heirs can still question the validity of the
marriage of the spouses, not in a proceeding for declaration of nullity, but upon the death
of a spouse in a proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the deceased spouse filed
in the regular courts.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. Civil Case No. II-4057 filed before the Regional Trial
Court of Aparri, Cagayan, Branch 6, is ORDERED DISMISSED without prejudice to challenging
the validity of the marriage of Lolita D. Enrico to Eulogio B. Medinaceli in a proceeding for the
settlement of the estate of the latter. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

TEVES v. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 188775
August 24, 2011
FACTS:
Cenon Teves and Thelma Jaime-Teves was married. After the marriage, Thelma work
abroad and go home only during vacations. One vacation, she was informed that her husband
had contracted a marriage with certain Edita. She secured a copy of the marriage Certificate of
Cenon and Edita. Danilo, uncle of Thelma, filed a complaint for bigamy against Cenon. Cenon
was charged with Bigamy. During the pendency of the criminal case for bigamy, RTC rendered a
decision declaring that the marriage between Cenon and Thelma is null and void on the ground
that Thelma is physically incapacitated. RTC rendered a decision finding Cenon guilty of Bigamy.
Cenon appealed the decision to the CA contending that his criminal action or liability had already
been extinguished. CA denied hence this appeal.
ISSUE:
W/N the marriage of Cenon and Thelma was null and void; (Thus W/N Cenon is guilty of bigamy)
RATIO:
Cenon is guilty of bigamy. At the time of his second marriage with Edita, his marriage
with Thelma was legally subsisting. It is noted that the finality of the decision declaring the nullity
of his first marriage with Thelma was only on 27 June 2006 or about five (5) years after his
second marriage to Edita. Finally, the second or subsequent marriage of petitioner with Edita
has all the essential requisites for validity. Petitioner has in fact not disputed the validity of such
subsequent marriage.
It is evident therefore that petitioner has committed the crime charged. His contention
that he cannot be charged with bigamy in view of the declaration of nullity of his first marriage is
bereft of merit. The Family Code has settled once and for all the conflicting jurisprudence on the
matter. A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required either as a
cause of action or a ground for defense. Where the absolute nullity of a previous marriage is
sought to be invoked for purposes of contracting a second marriage, the sole basis acceptable in
law for said projected marriage to be free from legal infirmity is a final judgment declaring the
previous marriage void.
The Family Law Revision Committee and the Civil Code Revision Committee which
drafted what is now the Family Code of the Philippines took the position that parties to a marriage

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CIVIL LAW REVIEW: PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS


CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE TO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
should not be allowed to assume that their marriage is void even if such be the fact but must first
secure a judicial declaration of the nullity of their marriage before they can be allowed to marry
again.
In fact, the requirement for a declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage is also for the
protection of the spouse who, believing that his or her marriage is illegal and void, marries again.

With the judicial declaration of the nullity of his or her marriage, the person who marries again
cannot be charged with bigamy.
In numerous cases, this Court has consistently held that a judicial declaration of nullity
is required before a valid subsequent marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a
bigamous marriage, reprehensible and immoral.

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ALFONSO. ARAGONES. ATILANO. BARTOLOME. BAUTISTA. CABRALES. CASTRO. DUENAS. GUEVARA. MACALINO. TAGRA. VALLO. WILWAYCO. YAN