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Cosca vs.

Palaypayon
237 SCRA 249

FACTS:

The following are the complainants: Juvy N. Cosca (Stenographer 1), Edmundo B.
Peralta (Interpreter 1), Ramon C. Sambo (Clerk II) and Apollo Villamora (Process
Server). Respondents are Judge Lucio Palaypayon Jr., the presiding judge, and Nelia
B. Esmeralda-Baroy, clerk of court II. All work in MTC-Tinambac, Camarines Sur.

Complainants alleged that Palaypayon solemnized marriages even without the


requisite of a marriage license. Hence, the following couples were able to get married
just by paying the marriage fees to respondent Baroy: Alano P. Abellano & Nelly
Edralin; Francisco Selpo & Julieta Carrido; Eddie Terrobias & Maria Gacer; Renato
Gamay & Maricris Belga; Arsenio Sabater & Margarita Nacario; Sammy Bocaya & Gina
Bismonte. As a consequence, the marriage contracts of the following couples did not
reflect any marriage license number. In addition, Palaypayon did not sign the
marriage contracts and did not indicate the date of solemnization reasoning out that
he allegedly had to wait for the marriage license to be submitted by the parties which
happens usually several days after the marriage ceremony.

Palaypayon contends that marriage between Abellano & Edralin falls under Article 34
of the Civil Code thus exempted from the marriage license requirement. According to
him, he gave strict instructions to complainant Sambo to furnish the couple copy of
the marriage contract and to file the same with the civil registrar but the latter failed
to do so. In order to solve the problem, the spouses subsequently formalized the
marriage by securing a marriage license and executing their marriage contract, a copy
of which was then filed with the civil registrar. The other five marriages were not
illegally solemnized because Palaypayon did not sign their marriage contracts and the
date and place of marriage are not included. It was alleged that copies of these
marriage contracts are in the custody of complainant Sambo. The alleged marriage of
Selpo & Carrido, Terrobias & Gacer, Gamay & Belga, Sabater & Nacario were not
celebrated by him since he refused to solemnize them in the absence of a marriage
license and that the marriage of Bocaya & Bismonte was celebrated even without the
requisite license due to the insistence of the parties to avoid embarrassment with the
guests which he again did not sign the marriage contract.

An illegal solemnization of marriage was charged against the respondents.


ISSUE: Whether the marriage solemnized by Judge Palaypayon were valid.

HELD:

Bocaya & Besmontes marriage was solemnized without a marriage license along with
the other couples. The testimonies of Bocay and Pompeo Ariola including the
photographs taken showed that it was really Judge Palaypayon who solemnized their
marriage. Bocaya declared that they were advised by judge to return after 10 days
after the solemnization and bring with them their marriage license. They already
started living together as husband and wife even without the formal requisite. With
respect to the photographs, judge explained that it was a simulated solemnization of
marriage and not a real one. However, considering that there were pictures from the
start of the wedding ceremony up to the signing of the marriage certificates in front of
him. The court held that it is hard to believe that it was simulated.

On the other hand, Judge Palaypayon admitted that he solemnized marriage between
Abellano & Edralin and claimed it was under Article 34 of the Civil Code so the
marriage license was dispensed with considering that the contracting parties executed
a joint affidavit that they have been living together as husband and wife for almost 6
years already. However, it was shown in the marriage contract that Abellano was only
18 yrs 2months and 7 days old. If he and Edralin had been living together for 6 years
already before they got married as what is stated in the joint affidavit, Abellano must
have been less than 13 years old when they started living together which is hard to
believe. Palaypayon should have been aware, as it is his duty to ascertain the
qualification of the contracting parties who might have executed a false joint affidavit
in order to avoid the marriage license requirement.

Article 4 of the Family Code pertinently provides that in the absence of any of the
essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio whereas an
irregularity in the formal requisite shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the
party or parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally, and
administratively liable.
ATIENZA v. BRILLANTES, Jr.

FACTS:

This is a complaint by Lupo A. Atienza for Gross Immorality and Appearance of


Impropriety against Judge Francisco Brillantes, Jr.

Complainant alleged that he has two children with Yolanda De Castro with whom
respondent Judge was cohabiting with. Complainant claimed that respondent is
married to one Zenaida Ongkiko with whom he has 5 children. Respondent alleges
that while he and Ongkiko went through a marriage ceremony (1965) before a Nueva
Ecija town Mayor, the same was not a valid marriage for lack of a marriage license.
Upon request of the parents of Ongkiko, respondent went through another marriage
ceremony with her in Manila. Again, neither party applied for a marriage license.
Respondent claims that when he married De Castro in civil rites in Los Angeles,
California in 1991, he believed in all good faith and for all legal intents and purposes
that he was single because his first marriage was solemnized without a license.
Respondent also argues that the provision of Article 40 of the Family Code does not
apply to him considering that his first marriage took place in 1965 and was governed
by the Civil Code of the Philippines; while the second marriage took place in 1991 and
governed by the Family Code.

ISSUE:

WON Article 40 of the Family Code is applicable to the case at bar.

HELD:

Yes. Article 40 is applicable to remarriages entered into after the effectivity of the
Family Code on August 3, 1988 regardless of the date of the first marriage. Besides,
under Article 256 of the Family Code, said Article is given retroactive effect insofar as
it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil
Code or other laws. This is particularly true with Article 40, which is a rule of
procedure. Respondent has not shown any vested right that was impaired by the
application of Article 40 to his case.

Mariategui vs. CA
GR NO. 57062, January 24, 1992
FACTS:

Lupo Mariategui died without a will on June 26, 1953 and contracted 3 marriages
during his lifetime. He acquired the Muntinlupa Estate while he was still a bachelor.
He had 4 children with his first wife Eusebia Montellano, who died in 1904 namely
Baldomera, Maria del Rosario, Urbano and Ireneo. Baldomera had 7 children namely
Antero, Rufina, Catalino, Maria, Gerardo, Virginia and Federico, all surnamed Espina.
Ireneo on the other hand had a son named Ruperto. On the other hand, Lupos
second wife is Flaviana Montellano where they had a daughter named Cresenciana.
Lupo got married for the third time in 1930 with Felipa Velasco and had 3 children
namely Jacinto, Julian and Paulina. Jacinto testified that his parents got married
before a Justice of the Peace of Taguig Rizal. The spouses deported themselves as
husband and wife, and were known in the community to be such.

Lupos descendants by his first and second marriages executed a deed of extrajudicial
partition whereby they adjudicated themselves Lot NO. 163 of the Muntinlupa Estate
and was subjected to a voluntary registration proceedings and a decree ordering the
registration of the lot was issued. The siblings in the third marriage prayed for
inclusion in the partition of the estate of their deceased father and annulment of the
deed of extrajudicial partition dated Dec. 1967.

ISSUE: Whether the marriage of Lupo with Felipa is valid in the absence of a marriage
license.

HELD:

Although no marriage certificate was introduced to prove Lupo and Felipas marriage,
no evidence was likewise offered to controvert these facts. Moreover, the mere fact that
no record of the marriage exists does not invalidate the marriage, provided all
requisites for its validity are present.
Under these circumstances, a marriage may be presumed to have taken place between
Lupo and Felipa. The laws presume that a man and a woman, deporting themselves as
husband and wife, have entered into a lawful contract of marriage; that a child born in
lawful wedlock, there being no divorce, absolute or from bed and board is legitimate;
and that things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and the
ordinary habits of life.

Hence, Felipas children are legitimate and therefore have successional rights.
Navarro vs. Domagtoy
AM No. MTJ 96-1088, July 19, 1996

FACTS:

Municipal Mayor of Dapa, Surigao del Norte, Rodolfo G. Navarro filed a complaint on
two specific acts committed by respondent Municipal Circuit Trial Court Judge
Hernando Domagtoy on the grounds of gross misconduct, ineffiency in offce and
ignorance of the law.

It was alleged that Domagtoy solemnized marriage of Gaspar Tagadan and Arlyn Borja
on September 27, 1994 despite the knowledge that the groom has a subsisting
marriage with Ida Penaranda and that they are merely separated. It was told that Ida
left their conjugal home in Bukidnon and has not returned and been heard for almost
seven years. The said judge likewise solemnize marriage of Floriano Dadoy Sumaylo
and Gemma G. del Rosario outside his courts jurisdiction on October 27, 1994. The
judge holds his office and has jurisdiction in the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Sta
Monica-Burgos, Surigao del Norte but he solemnized the said wedding at his residence
in the municipality of Dapa located 40 to 50 km away.

ISSUE: Whether or not the marriages solemnized were void.

HELD:

The court held that the marriage between Tagadan and Borja was void and bigamous
there being a subsisting marriage between Tagadan and Penaranda. Albeit, the latter
was gone for seven years and the spouse had a well-founded belief that the absent
spouse was dead, Tagadan did not institute a summary proceeding as provided in the
Civil Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice
to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse.

With regard to the marriage of Sumaylo and Del Rosario, the latter only made the
written request where it should have been both parties as stated in Article 8 of the
Family Code. Their non-compliance did not invalidate their marriage however,
Domagtoy may be held administratively liable.

Pilapil vs Ibay-Somera
TITLE: Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil v Hon. Corona Ibay-Somera
CITATION: GR No. 80116, June 30, 1989| 174 SCRA 653

FACTS:

Imelda M. Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, was married with private respondent, Erich
Ekkehard Geiling, a German national before the Registrar of Births, Marriages and
Deaths at Friedensweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. They have a child who was
born on April 20, 1980 and named Isabella Pilapil Geiling. Conjugal disharmony
eventuated in private respondent and he initiated a divorce proceeding against
petitioner in Germany before the Schoneberg Local Court in January 1983. The
petitioner then filed an action for legal separation, support and separation of property
before the RTC Manila on January 23, 1983.
The decree of divorce was promulgated on January 15, 1986 on the ground of failure
of marriage of the spouses. The custody of the child was granted to the petitioner.
On June 27, 1986, private respondent filed 2 complaints for adultery before the City
Fiscal of Manila alleging that while still married to Imelda, latter had an affair with
William Chia as early as 1982 and another man named Jesus Chua sometime in
1983.

ISSUE: Whether private respondent can prosecute petitioner on the ground of adultery
even though they are no longer husband and wife as decree of divorce was already
issued.
HELD:
The law specifically provided that in prosecution for adultery and concubinage, the
person who can legally file the complaint should be the offended spouse and nobody
else. Though in this case, it appeared that private respondent is the offended spouse,
the latter obtained a valid divorce in his country, the Federal Republic of Germany,
and said divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines in so far as
he is concerned. Thus, under the same consideration and rationale, private
respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner and has no legal standing to
commence the adultery case under the imposture that he was the offended spouse at
the time he filed suit.

Ninal vs. Bayadog


328 SCRA 122

FACTS:

Pepito Ninal was married with Teodulfa Bellones on September 26, 1974. They had 3
children namely Babyline, Ingrid and Archie, petitioners. Due to the shot inflicted by
Pepito to Teodulfa, the latter died on April 24, 1985 leaving the children under the
guardianship of Engrace Ninal. 1 year and 8 months later, Pepito and Norma Badayog
got married without any marriage license. They instituted an affidavit stating that
they had lived together for at least 5 years exempting from securing the marriage
license. Pepito died in a car accident on February 19, 1977. After his death,
petitioners filed a petition for declaration of nullity of the marriage of Pepito and
Norma alleging that said marriage was void for lack of marriage license.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not the second marriage of Pepito was void?


2. Whether or not the heirs of the deceased may file for the declaration of the nullity
of Pepitos marriage after his death?

HELD:
The marriage of Pepito and Norma is void for absence of the marriage license. They
cannot be exempted even though they instituted an affidavit and claimed that they
cohabit for at least 5 years because from the time of Pepitos first marriage was
dissolved to the time of his marriage with Norma, only about 20 months had elapsed.
Albeit, Pepito and his first wife had separated in fact, and thereafter both Pepito and
Norma 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. Hence, his marriage to Norma is still void.

Void marriages are deemed to have not taken place and cannot be the source of rights.
It can be questioned even after the death of one of the parties and any proper
interested party may attack a void marriage.

LEOUEL SANTOS, petitioner vs COURT OF APPEALS, defendant


GR No. 112019. January 4, 1995

Facts:

Leouel and Julia exchanged vows on September 20, 1986. A year after the marriage,
the couple when quarreling over a number of things including the interference of
Julias parents into their marital affairs. On May 18, 1998, Julia finally left for the
United States. Leouel was then unable to communicate with her for a period of five
years and she had then virtually abandoned their family. Leouel filed a case for nullity
on the ground of psychological incapacity. The Regional Trial Court dismissed the
complaint for lack of merit. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial
court.

Issue:

Whether or not the grounds of psychological incapacity in this case should be


appreciated.

Ruling:
The Supreme Court denied the petition. Psychological incapacity should refer to no
less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive
of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by
the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed by Article 68 of the Family Code,
include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and
render help and support. The psychological condition must exist at the time the
marriage is celebrated and must be incurable. Mere abandonment cannot therefore
qualify as psychological incapacity on the part of Julia.

Chi Ming Tsoi vs. CA


GR No. 119190, January 16, 1997
FACTS:

Chi Ming Tsoi and Gina Lao Tsoi was married in 1988. After the celebration of their
wedding, they proceed to the house of defendants mother. There was no sexual
intercourse between them during their first night and same thing happened until their
fourth night. In an effort to have their honeymoon in a private place, they went to
Baguio but Ginas relatives went with them. Again, there was no sexual intercourse
since the defendant avoided by taking a long walk during siesta or sleeping on a
rocking chair at the living room. Since May 1988 until March 1989 they slept together
in the same bed but no attempt of sexual intercourse between them. Because of this,
they submitted themselves for medical examination to a urologist in Chinese General
Hospital in 1989. The result of the physical examination of Gina was disclosed, while
that of the husband was kept confidential even the medicine prescribed. There were
allegations that the reason why Chi Ming Tsoi married her is to maintain his residency
status here in the country. Gina does not want to reconcile with Chi Ming Tsoi and
want their marriage declared void on the ground of psychological incapacity. On the
other hand, the latter does not want to have their marriage annulled because he loves
her very much, he has no defect on his part and is physically and psychologically
capable and since their relationship is still young, they can still overcome their
differences. Chi Ming Tsoi submitted himself to another physical examination and the
result was there is not evidence of impotency and he is capable of erection.
ISSUE: Whether Chi Ming Tsois refusal to have sexual intercourse with his wife
constitutes psychological incapacity.

HELD:

The abnormal reluctance or unwillingness to consummate his marriage is strongly


indicative of a serious personality disorder which to the mind of the Supreme Court
clearly demonstrates an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance
tot the marriage within the meaning of Article 36 of the Family Code.

If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her
essential marital obligations and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic
marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to stubborn
refusal. Furthermore, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code
is to procreate children thus constant non-fulfillment of this obligation will finally
destroy the integrity and wholeness of the marriage.

SANTIAGO CARINO, petitioner vs. SUSAN CARINO, defendant


G.R. No. 132529. February 2, 2001

Facts:

During the lifetime of SP04 Santiago S. Carino, he contracted two marriages, the first
with Susan Nicdao Carino with whom he had two offsprings (Sahlee and Sandee) and
with Susan Yee Carino with whom he had no children in their almost ten year
cohabitation. In 1988, Santiago passed away under the care of Susan Yee who spent
for his medical and burial expenses. Both petitioner and respondent filed claims for
monetary benefits and financial assistance pertaining to the deceased from various
government agencies. Nicdao was able to collect a total of P146,000.00 and Yee
received a total of P21,000.00. Yee filed an action for collection of sum of money
against Nicdao, contending that the marriage of the latter with Santiago is void ab
initio because their marriage was solemnized without the required marriage license.
The trial court ruled in favor of Yee, ordering Nicdao to pay Yee half of acquired death
benefits. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Issue:
Whether or not the marriage of Santiago Carino and Susan Nicdao is void for lack of
marriage license.

Ruling:

Under the Civil Code, which was the law in force when the marriage of Nicdao and
Carino was solemnized in 1969, a valid marriage license is a requisite of marriage and
the absence thereof, subject to certain exceptions, renders the marriage void ab initio.
In the case at bar, the marriage does not fall within any of those exceptions and a
marriage license therefore was indispensable to the validity of it. This fact is certified
by the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Metro Manila. Such being the case, the
presumed validity of the marriage of Nicdao and Carino has been sufficiently overcome
and cannot stand. The marriage of Yee and Carino is void ab initio as well for lack of
judicial decree of nullity of marriage of Carino and Nicdao at the time it was
contracted. The marriages are bigamous; under Article 148 of the Family Code,
properties acquired by the parties through their actual joint contribution shall belong
to the co-ownership. The decision of the trial court and Court of Appeals is affirmed.

Carlos vs Sandoval
Facts:
Teofilo Carlos and petitioner Juan De Dios Carlos were brothers who each have three
parcels of land by virtue of inheritance. Later Teofilo died intestate. He was survived
by respondents Felicidad Sandoval and their son, Teofilo Carlos II. Upon Teofilos
death, two parcels of land were registered in the name of Felicidad and Teofilo II. In
August 1995, Carlos commenced an action against respondents before the court a
quo. In his complaint, Carlos asserted that the marriage between his late brother and
Felicidad was a nullity in view of the absence of the required marriage license. He
likewise maintained that his deceased brother was neither the natural nor the
adoptive father of Teofilo Carlos II. He argued that the properties covered by such
certificates of title, including the sums received by respondents as proceeds, should be
reconveyed to him.

HELD: The grounds for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage must be proved.
Neither judgment on the pleadings nor summary judgment is allowed. So is confession
of judgment disallowed. Carlos argues that the CA should have applied Rule 35 of the
Rules of Court governing summary judgment, instead of the rule on judgment on the
pleadings. Petitioner is misguided. Whether it is based on judgment on the pleadings
or summary judgment, the CA was correct in reversing the summary judgment
rendered by the trial court. Both the rules on judgment on the pleadings and
summary judgments have no place in cases of declaration of absolute nullity of
marriage and even in annulment of marriage.

A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the
husband or wife. Exceptions: (1) Nullity of marriage cases commenced before the
effectivity of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC; and (2) Marriages celebrated during the effectivity
of the Civil Code. Under the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages
and Annulment of Voidable Marriages, the petition for declaration of absolute nullity
of marriage may not be filed by any party outside of the marriage. A petition for
declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or
the wife. 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. The Rule extends only to
marriages entered into during the effectivity of the Family Code which took effect on
August 3, 1988.

The advent of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages marks the
beginning of the end of the right of the heirs of the deceased spouse to bring a nullity
of marriage case against the surviving spouse. But the Rule never intended to deprive
the compulsory or intestate heirs of their successional rights.

While A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC declares that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity
of marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife, it does not mean that the
compulsory or intestate heirs are 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, 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.

It is emphasized, however, that the Rule does not apply to cases already commenced
before March 15, 2003 although the marriage involved is within the coverage of the
Family Code. This is so, as the new Rule which became effective on March 15, 2003 is
prospective in its application.

Petitioner commenced the nullity of marriage case against respondent Felicidad in


1995. The marriage in controversy was celebrated on May 14, 1962. Which law would
govern depends upon when the marriage took place.

The marriage having been solemnized prior to the effectivity of the Family Code, the
applicable law is the Civil Code which was the law in effect at the time of its
celebration. But the Civil Code is silent as to who may bring an action to declare the
marriage void. Does this mean that any person can bring an action for the declaration
of nullity of marriage?

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. A petition to declare the nullity of
marriage, like any other actions, must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the
real party-in-interest and must be based on a cause of action. Thus, in Nial v.
Badayog, the Court held that the children have the personality to file the petition to
declare the nullity of marriage of their deceased father to their stepmother as it affects
their successional rights.

Catalan vs. CA
G.R. No. 167109, February 6, 2007
FACTS:
Petitioner Felicitas Amor-Catalan married respondent Orlando on June 4, 1950 in
Mabini, Pangasinan. Thereafter, they migrated to the United States of America and
allegedly became naturalized citizens thereof. After 38 years of marriage, Felicitas and
Orlando divorced in April 1988. Two months after the divorce, or on June 16, 1988,
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.
ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioner has legal personality to file the petition for nullity of
marriage between Orlando and Merope

RULING:

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. The case was remanded to the
trial court for its proper disposition.

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. A petition to declare the nullity of
marriage, like any other actions, must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the
real party in interestand must be based on a cause of action. Thus, in Nial v.
Bayadog, the Court held that the children have the personality to file the petition to
declare the nullity of the marriage of their deceased father to their stepmother as it
affects their successional rights. 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: a petition for declaration of
absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife.
Tenebro v. CA, G.R. No. 150758. February 18, 2004
FACTS:
Veronico Tenebro contracted marriage with private complainant Leticia Ancajas on
April 10, 1990. Tenebro and Ancajas lived together continuously and without
interruption until the latter part of 1991, when Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had
been previously married to a certain Hilda Villareyes on November 10, 1986. Tenebro
showed Ancajas a photocopy of a marriage contract between him and Villareyes.
Invoking this previous marriage, petitioner thereafter left the conjugal dwelling which
he shared with Ancajas, stating that he was going to cohabit with Villareyes. On
January 25, 1993, petitioner contracted yet another marriage, this one with a certain
Nilda Villegas. When Ancajas learned of this third marriage, she verified from
Villareyes whether the latter was indeed married to petitioner. In a handwritten letter,
Villareyes confirmed that petitioner, Veronico Tenebro, was indeed her husband.
Ancajas thereafter filed a complaint for bigamy against petitioner. Villegas countered
that his marriage with Villareyes cannot be proven as a fact there being no record of
such. He further argued that his second marriage, with Ancajas, has been declared
void ab initio due to psychological incapacity. Hence he cannot be charged for bigamy.

ISSUE: Whether or not Tenebro is guilty of bigamy.

HELD: Individual who contracts a second or subsequent marriage during the


subsistence of a valid marriage is criminally liable for bigamy notwithstanding the
declaration of the second marriage as void ab initio on the ground of psychological
incapacity.

SEPARATE OPINION
VITUG, J.
Would the absolute nullity of either first or second marriage prior to its judicial
declaration as being void, constitute a valid defense in a criminal action for bigamy?
Yes. Except for a void marriage on account of psychological incapacityvoid marriages
are inexistent from the very beginning, and no judicial decree is required to establish
their nullity. The complete nullity of a previously contracted marriage being void ab
initio and legally inexistent can outrightly be a defense in an indictment for bigamy.
Strong reservation on the ruling that bigamy is still committed though marriage is ab
initio null and void (if marriage is contracted before th judicial declaration of its
nullity). Canon law-reconcile grounds for nullity of marriage. Reasons why except
those due to psychological incapacity:
a) Breaches neither the essential nor the formal requisites of marriage

b) Other grounds are capable of relatively easy demonstration, psychological


incapacity however, being a mental state may not be so readily evident

c) It remains valid and binding until declared judicially as void