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Marc Pitt

Petitioner,

-versusCivil Case No. 78101


For: Petition for Declaration
of Nullity of Marriage
Angel Hermosa
Respondent.
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MEMORANDUM FOR THE RESPONDENT
THE RESPONDENT, Angel Hermosa, through counsel, respectfully state:

STATEMENT OF THE CASE


This is a petition filed by MARC PITT for Declaration of Nullity of his marriage
to respondent ANGEL HERMOSA. The petitioner brought this action based on the
following grounds: There was no valid divorce decree under Article 26 of the Family
Code; Angels lack of legal capacity; Lack of authority of the solemnizing officer; Lack
of consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer; An expired marriage
license; Lack of a valid marriage ceremony and Lack of Marriage Certificate.

MATERIAL FACTS

On January 1, 2010, Marc Pitt, a Filipino celebrity and a member of the Dating
Meron, Wala Ngayon, celebrated New Years Eve with Angel Hermosa. Unknown to
Angel, Marc was secretly married to Scarlet Lawrence, who is an American citizen, in
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA last November 23, 2008. Since Marc is a very handsome and
charming person, Angel fell in love immediately. Scarlet was in the United States so she
did know that Marc was having an affair and co-habiting with Angel.
Marc then asked Angel to marry him, who also agreed. So in order to dissolve his
marriage, Marc briefly went to Guam, USA to file a Petition for Divorce on January 8,
2010. Upon receipt of the petition, Scarlet objected to it since it was unlawfully initiated
by Marc who is a Filipino citizen. She did not also agree to the partition of their
properties. Since Marc really wanted to divorce Scarlet and marry Angel, Marc gave
Scarlet one (1) million dollars to agree to the petition. Scarlet accepted the offer but she
did not file a new Petition for Divorce but only signed her name in Marcs Petition for
Divorce. After three (3) months, a Divorce Decree was finally issued.
Marc set the marriage date on September 29, 2016 so he can plan for a grand
wedding. He asked his friend, Judge Al Gere, who happens to be a rabbi of Dating
Meron, Wala Ngayon and also an incumbent RTC judge in the province of Aklan, to
solemnize the marriage. Marc invited all of the local celebrities as witnesses.
On March 23, 2016, a marriage license was issued allowing Marc and Angel to
marry. They also executed an Affidavit stating that they have lived together without any
legal impediments. One month before the marriage, the celebrities told Marc that they do
not want to go to Aklan for the wedding. Thus, Marc moved the venue in Tagaytay City.
Judge Al Gere still celebrated the marriage because, according to him, the Supreme Court

had given him special authority and Angel has no knowledge of any technical
requirements of the law.
On the day of the wedding, Marc met an accident and was rushed to the hospital.
Since everything was already in place, Angel wanted to continue with the wedding. So
while Marc was lying in the ICU, the nurse used Skype to video him. Angel was actually
standing in front of Marcs Best Man who was holding his I-PAD that displays that
Marcs live Skype call. Judge Al Gere then asked both consenting parties whether they
take each other as husband and wife. Angel agreed and Marc also agreed, thru Skype.
Because Marc was not present, Angel did not feel that there was a need for a
reception. After a garden wedding at a restaurant in Tagaytay City, Angel told the
hundreds of celebrities to immediate go home without eating. There was no fireworks or
any silly video footages with traditional releasing of white doves.
After two (2) years of marriage, Marc met Pia Zubiri during the Miss Universe
Pageant. He again fell in love with Pia. Thus, he wanted to annul his marriage with
Angel. He found out that there was a clerical error in the birth certificate of Angel, it was
stated therein that she was actually eighteen (18) years and four (4) months old. Also,
upon checking the Civil Registrar, there was no record of any Marriage Certificate. Thus,
Marc filed a Petition for Nullity on the following grounds of: There was no valid divorce
decree under Article 26 of the Family Code; Angels lack of legal capacity; Lack of
authority of the solemnizing officer; Lack of consent freely given in the presence of the
solemnizing officer; An expired marriage license; Lack of a valid marriage ceremony and
Lack of Marriage Certificate.

ISSUE
1. WHETHER OR NOT THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN MARC AND ANGEL
WAS VALID;
2. WHETHER OR NOT A DECREE OF NULLITY MAY BE ISSUED.

ARGUMENTS AND DISCUSSION


THERE WAS A VALID DIVORCE DECREE UNDER ARTICLE 26 OF THE
FAMILY CODE.
One of the grounds of Marcs petition for declaration of nullity of marriage is
anchored on Article 26 of the Family Code which provides:
All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in
force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall be also
valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4), (5) and 6, 36, 38.
(17a)
Where a marriage between Fiipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated
and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him
or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine
law. (As amended by Executive Order 227)
Since both the petitioner and his former wife, Scarlet Lawrence, who is an
American citizen, agreed and affixed their signatures to the petition for divorce and
Divorce Decree was issued after three months from the said filing petition, said Divorce
Decree is valid under the Article 26 of the Civil Code which specifically provides that
Where a marriage between Fiipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a

divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her
to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law..
This ground does not anymore need an extended argument to show that there was
no valid divorce decree since logically, if both parties affixed their signatures on the
petition can be a manifestation that both agreed regardless of the fact that the alien spouse
accepted the offer of money from the petitioner to comply with it.
ANGEL HERMOSA DOESNT LACK OF LEGAL CAPACITY.
Article 2.

No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are

present:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. (531a)
The petitioner claimed that the respondent, Angel Hermosa, lacks the legal capacity
for the reason that he found out in her birth certificate, that the latter is only seventeen
years old at the time of their marriage.
The birth certificate is the best evidence of the fact of birth. One it is registered with the
office of the local registar, it becomes a public document. However, the entries therein are
only prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein (Article 410 of the Civil Code).
They can be rebutted by competent evidence.
The Respondents lack of legal capacity is premised merely on the entries in her
birth certificate which happens to be found out by the petitioner to have a clerical error.
The clerical error in the respondents birth certificate can be rebutted by competent
evidence as the Article 420 of the Civil Code provides. The petitioners act of still
considering the respondents age as a ground of the respondents lack legal capacity

despite of the notion that theres a clerical error and in actuality, the respondent is
eighteen (18) years and four (4) months implies that the former is creating a prejudice to
the respondent. It is his obligation to know better than anyone the personal circumstances
of the person he was marrying to and it would be then a distinct negligence on his part to
marry someone who lacks legal capacity to marry. What the law requires to render a
marriage invalid on the ground of lack of legal capacity is downright lack of it, not the
clerical error on the entries of birth certificate which can be rebutted by other legal
documents like baptismal certificates or medical certificates that can adequately prove the
actual ages of individuals through teeth or bone identification. The mere showing of birth
certificate that shows that the respondent is below the marrying age which is eighteen
(18) years old, does not constitute lack of legal capacity since the document is capable of
being erroneous on its entries.
THE SOLEMNIZING OFFICER DOES NOT LACK AUTHORITY TO
SOLEMNIZE THE MARRIAGE.
Article 7. Marriages may be solemnized by:
1. Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the courts jurisdiction;
2. Any priest, rabbi, imam or minister of any church or religious sect duly
authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil
registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted him
by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the
contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officers church or religious
sect;
3. Any ship captain or airplane chief only in cases mentioned in Article 31;

4. Any military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the


absence of the latter, during a military operation, likewise only in the cases
mentioned in Article 32; or
5. Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul in the case provided in Article 10.
(56a)
The petitioners claim that Judge Al Gere who is an incumbent Regional Trial
Court judge in the Province of Aklan has no authority to solemnize their marriage is
erroneous since the latter also happens to be a rabbi of Dating Meron, Wala Ngayon in
which the petitioner is a member of it and Article 7 par. 2 states that Any priest, rabbi,
imam or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or
religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the
written authority granted him by his church or religious sect and provided that at least
one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officers church or religious
sect.
This stretches that Judge Al Gere is still has the authority to solemnize the
marriage of the petitioner and respondent in Tagaytay City despite he is beyond of his
courts jurisdiction which is Aklan. .
Another defense for the respondent is that even if it might be true that the
solemnizing officer has no authority to do such solemnization, she can still invoke the
provision under Article 35 since based on the facts narrated as follows: Judge Al Gere
still celebrated the marriage because, according to him, the Supreme Court had given him
special authority and ANGEL HAS NO KNOWLEDGE OF ANY TECHNICAL
REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW.

Article 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:
(1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the
consent of parents or guardians;
(2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages
unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith
that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;
(3) Those solemnized without license, except those covered the preceding
Chapter;
(4) Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not failing under Article 41;
(5) Those contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of
the other; and
(6) Those subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53.
Under Article 35 (2), if the marriage was solemnized by a person not legally
authorized to solemnize a marriage and either of the contradicting parties believed in
good faith that such solemnizing officer had such authority, then the marriage shall be
considered as valid.
THE CONSENT IS FREELY GIVEN IN THE PRESENCE OF THE
SOLEMNIZING OFFICER.
Article 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are
present:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. (531a)

The requirements of consent are that it must be: (a) freely given and (b) the same
must be made in the presence of the solemnizing officer. Since everything was already in
place and a fortuitous event of mishap happened to the petitioner, both agreed to continue
the solemnization of their marriage through the social medium called Skype. The
agreement between the petitioner and respondent to continue the solemnization of
marriage through Skype connotes that the contracting parties willingly and deliberately
entered into the marriage. It signifies that, at the time of the marriage ceremony, they
were capable of intelligently understanding the nature and consequences of the act.
Art. 27. In case either or both of the contracting parties are at the point of death,
the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license and shall remain
valid even if the ailing party subsequently survives.
The solemnization of marriage at the time of wedding through Skype is a clear
manifestation that it lacks the personal appearance which is an essential requirement yet
the mutual desire of both parties to continue contemporaneously the wedding is an
indication that both mutually and intelligently agreed to get married because of the
unclear impending death of the petitioner since he was in the Intensive Care Unit of the
hospital.
THERE IS NO NEED OF MARRIAGE LICENSE.
Art. 34. 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 are found no legal impediment to the marriage. (76a)
One of the grounds of petitioner Marc Pitt to file a petition for Nullity is that their
marriage license is expired. Its true that the marriage license has prescribed but Article
34 provides that 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 (5) years. As narrated in the
facts of case Marc Pit was having an affair and co-habiting with Angel for almost six (6)
years and they too executed an affidavit stating that they have lived together without any
legal impediments, these qualify that they dont need a marriage license even if they
secure one last March 23, 2016 and it expired.
VALID MARRIAGE CEREMONY
Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:
(1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;
(2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title;
and
(3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting
parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take
each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal
age. (53a, 55a)
Based on the facts narrated, The solemnization of marriage at the time of wedding
through Skype is a clear manifestation that it lacks the personal appearance which is an
essential requirement that there should be personal appearance of declaration yet the
mutual desire of both parties to continue contemporaneously the wedding is an indication

that both mutually and intelligently agreed to get married because of the unclear
impending death of the petitioner since he was in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
And it was narrated also that Judge Al Gere still celebrated the marriage because,
according to him, the Supreme Court had given him special authority and Angel has no
knowledge of any technical requirements of the law. This explicitly signifies that Judge
Al Gere took advantage of the lack of knowledge of Angel to continue the wedding
notwithstanding he knew that total absence of any of the essential or formal requisites
shall render the marriage VOID AB INITIO except as stated in Article 35(2), supra,
which provides that marriages contracted with either or both of the contracting parties
believing in good faith that the Solemnizing Officer had the legal authority to perform
marriages shall be valid.
MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
The petitioner claims that there was a lack of marriage certificate since theres no
record of it in the Civil Registrar.
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 certificate 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 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 place
other than those mentioned in Article 8. (68a)
Article 23 provides that it is the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to
furnish and transmit copies to both parties and to the Civil Registrar. It would mean that
Judge Al Gere has failed to furnish copies to the Civil Registrar. Thus, the Civil Registrar
has no record of any Marriage Certificate of the petitioner and respondent.

In conclusion, I submit that the marriage between petitioner Marc Pitt and
respondent Angel Hermosa is valid and Decree of Nullity must not be issued to the
petitioner. Marriage is an inviolable social institution and the foundation of the family 1
that the State cherishes and protects. While we express sympathy with petitioner in his
unhappy marital relationship with respondent, totally terminating that relationship,
however, may not necessarily be the fitting denouement to it.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, I respectfully move and pray to the


Honorable Court that the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage between
MARC PITT and ANGEL HERMOSA be DENIED.
Other reliefs, remedies, just and equitable in the premises are likewise prayed for.
Kalibo, Aklan, February 12, 2016

Section 2, Article XV, 1987 Constitution.