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CIR vs.

PRIMETOWN the remedy of the taxpayer is to appeal the inaction

of the CIR to CTA within 30 days.
Facts: - A taxpayer is entitled to a refund either by
On March 11, 1999, Gilbert Yap, the Vice President authority of a statute expressly granting such right,
of Primetown (respondent), applied for refund of privilege, or incentive in his favor, or under the
the income tax which they have paid on 1997. principle of solutio indebiti requiring the return of
According to Yap, the company accrued losses taxes erroneously or illegally collected. In both cases,
amounting to P/ 71,879,228. These losses enabled a taxpayer must prove not only his entitlement to a
them to be exempt from paying income tax, which refund but also his compliance with the procedural
respondent paid diligently. Respondent was due process.
therefore claiming a refund. - As between the Civil Code and the Administrative
Code of 1987, it is the latter that must prevail being
Respondents submitted requirements but the the more recent law, following the legal maxim, Lex
petitioners ignored their claim. On April 14, 2000, posteriori derogat priori.
respondents filed a review in the Court of Tax - The phrase “within two (2) years x x x apply for the
Appeals. The said Court, however, denied the issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund” under
petition stating that the petition was filed beyond Subsection (A) of Section 112 of the NIRC refers to
the 2-year prescriptive period for filing judicial applications for refund/credit filed with the CIR and
claim for tax refund. not to appeals made to the CTA.
According to Sec 229 of the National Internal
Revenue Code, “no suit or proceedings shall be filed Facts:
after the expiration of 2-yearsfrom the date of the Petitioner filed a claim of refund/credit of input vat
payment of the tax regardless of any supervening in relation to its zero-rated sales from July 1, 2002
cause that may arise after payment. Respondents to September 30, 2002. The CTA 2nd Division
paid the last income tax return on April 14, 1998. partially granted respondent’s claim for
Article 13 of the New Civil Code states that a year refund/credit.
is considered 365 days; months 30 days; days 24- Petitioner filed a Motion for Partial
hours; and night from sunset to sunrise. Therefore, Reconsideration, insisting that the administrative
according to CTA, the date of filing a petition fell and the judicial claims were filed beyond the two-
on the 731st day, which is beyond the prescriptive year period to claim a tax refund/credit provided
period. for under Sections 112(A) and 229 of the NIRC. He
reasoned that since the year 2004 was a leap year,
Issues: the filing of the claim for tax refund/credit on
Whether the two-year/730-day prescriptive period September 30, 2004 was beyond the two-year
ends on April 13, 2000 or April 14, 2000 period, which expired on September 29, 2004. He
considering that the last payment of tax was on cited as basis Article 13 of the Civil Code, which
April 14, 1998 and that year 2000 was a leap year. provides that when the law speaks of a year, it is
Whether or not Article 13 of the New Civil Code be equivalent to 365 days. In addition, petitioner
repealed by EO 292 Sec 31 Chap8 Book 1 of the argued that the simultaneous filing of the
Administrative Code of 1987. administrative and the judicial claims contravenes
Sections 112 and 229 of the NIRC.
Ruling: According to the petitioner, a prior filing of an
The Court ruled that when a subsequent law administrative claim is a “condition precedent”
impliedly repeals a prior law, the new law shall before a judicial claim can be filed.
apply. In the case at bar, Art 13 of the New Civil The CTA denied the MPR thus the case was elevated
Code, which states that a year shall compose 365 to the CTA En Banc for review. The decision was
days, shall be repealed by EO 292 Sec 31 of the affirmed. Thus the case was elevated to the
Administrative Code of 1987, which states that a Supreme Court.
year shall be composed of 12 months regardless of Respondent contends that the non-observance of
the number of days in a month. Therefore, the two- the 120-day period given to the CIR to act on the
year prescriptive period ends on April 14, 2000. claim for tax refund/credit in Section 112(D) is not
Respondents filed petition on April 14, 2000 (which fatal because what is important is that both claims
is the last day prescribed to file a petition. are filed within the two-year prescriptive period. In
support thereof, respondent cited Commissioner of
CIR v. AICHI FORGING COMPANY Internal Revenue v. Victorias Milling Co., Inc. [130
Phil 12 (1968)] where it was ruled that “if the CIR
Doctrine: takes time in deciding the claim, and the period of
- The CIR has 120 days, from the date of the two years is about to end, the suit or proceeding
submission of the complete documents within which must be started in the CTA before the end of the
to grant or deny the claim for refund/credit of input two-year period without awaiting the decision of
vat. In case of full or partial denial by the CIR, the the CIR.”
taxpayer’s recourse is to file an appeal before the
CTA within 30 days from receipt of the decision of Issues:
the CIR. However, if after the 120-day period the CIR 1. Whether or not the claim for refund was filed
fails to act on the application for tax refund/credit, within the prescribed period
2. Whether or not the simultaneous filing of the
administrative and the judicial claims contravenes LAVADIA vs. HEIRS OF LUNA
Section 229 of the NIRC, which requires the prior
filing of an administrative claim, and violates the Facts:
doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies Atty. Luna, a practicing lawyer up until his death,
married Eugenia in 1947. Their marriage begot
Held: seven children, including Gregorio. After two
1. Yes. As ruled in the case of Commissioner of decades of marriage, Atty. Luna and his wife agreed
Internal Revenue v. Mirant Pagbilao Corporation to live separately as husband and wife, and
(G.R. No. 172129, September 12, 2008), the two-year executed an Agreement For Separation and Property
period should be reckoned from the close of the Settlement” whereby they agreed to live separately
taxable quarter when the sales were made. and to dissolve their conjugal property. On January
2, 1076, Atty. Luna obtained a divorce decree of his
In Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Primetown marriage with Eugenia from the Dominican
Property Group, Inc (G.R. No. 162155, August 28, Republic. On the same day, he married Soledad.
2007, 531 SCRA 436), we said that as between the
Civil Code, which provides that a year is equivalent In 1977, Atty. Luna organized a new law firm with
to 365 days, and the Administrative Code of 1987, several other lawyers. The new law office thru Atty.
which states that a year is composed of 12 calendar Luna obtained a condominium unit which they
months, it is the latter that must prevail being the bought on an installment basis. After full payment,
more recent law, following the legal maxim, Lex the condominium title was registered in the names
posteriori derogat priori. of the lawyers with pro-indivisio shares. When the
law office was dissolved, the condominium title
Thus, applying this to the present case, the two- was still registered in the names of the owners, with
year period to file a claim for tax refund/credit for Atty. Luna’s share fixed at 25/100. Atty. Luna
the period July 1, 2002 to September 30, 2002 established a new law firm with Atty. Dela Cruz.
expired on September 30, 2004. Hence, After Atty. Luna’s death in 1997, his share in the
respondent’s administrative claim was timely filed. condominium unit, his law books and furniture
were taken over by Gregorio, his son in the first
2. Yes. We find the filing of the judicial claim with marriage. His 25/100 share in the condominium
the CTA premature. was also rented out to Atty. Dela Cruz.
Section 112(D) of the NIRC clearly provides that the
CIR has “120 days, from the date of the submission Soledad, the second wife, then filed a complaint
of the complete documents in support of the against the heirs of Atty. Luna. According to him,
application [for tax refund/credit],” within which to the properties were acquired by Atty. Luna and her
grant or deny the claim. In case of full or partial during their marriage, and because they had no
denial by the CIR, the taxpayer’s recourse is to file children, 3/4 of the property became hers, 1/2
an appeal before the CTA within 30 days from being her share in the net estate, and the other half
receipt of the decision of the CIR. However, if after bequeathed to her in a last will and testament of
the 120-day period the CIR fails to act on the Atty. Luna.
application for tax refund/credit, the remedy of the
taxpayer is to appeal the inaction of the CIR to CTA The RTC ruled against her, and awarded the
within 30 days. properties to the heirs of Atty. Luna from the first
marriage, except for the foreign law books, which
Subsection (A) of Section 112 of the NIRC states that were ordered turned over to her.
“any VAT-registered person, whose sales are zero- Both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals. The
rated or effectively zero-rated may, within two Court of Appeals modified the RTC judgment by
years after the close of the taxable quarter when awarding all the properties, including the law books
the sales were made, apply for the issuance of a to the heirs of Atty. Luna from the first marriage.
tax credit certificate or refund of creditable input
tax due or paid attributable to such sales.” The In her petition before the Supreme Court, Zenaida
phrase “within two (2) years x x x apply for the alleged that the CA erred in holding that the
issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund” refers Agreement For Separation and Property Settlement
to applications for refund/credit filed with the CIR between Atty. Luna and Eugenia (the first wife) is
and not to appeals made to the CTA. ineffectual, hence the conjugal property was not
The case of Commissioner of Internal Revenue v.
Victorias Milling, Co., Inc. is inapplicable as the tax In deciding the case, the Supreme Court answered
provision involved in that case is Section 306, now it by way of determining whether the divorce
Section 229 of the NIRC. Section 229 does not apply decree between Atty. Luna and Eugenia was valid,
to refunds/credits of input VAT. which will decide who among the contending
The premature filing of respondent’s claim for parties were entitled to the properties left behind
refund/credit of input VAT before the CTA warrants by Atty. Luna.
a dismissal inasmuch as no jurisdiction was
acquired by the CTA. The Supreme Court:
The divorce between Atty. Luna and Eugenia was
co-ownership, conformably with Article 144 of the
“From the time of the celebration of the first Civil Code, viz:
marriage on September 10, 1947 until the present,
absolute divorce between Filipino spouses has not Article 144. When a man and a woman live together
been recognized in the Philippines. The non- as husband and wife, but they are not married, or
recognition of absolute divorce between Filipinos their marriage is void from the beginning, the
has remained even under the Family Code, even if property acquired by either or both of them
either or both of the spouses are residing abroad. through their work or industry or their wages and
Indeed, the only two types of defective marital salaries shall be governed by the rules on co-
unions under our laws have been the void and the ownership.(n)
voidable marriages. As such, the remedies against
such defective marriages have been limited to the In such a situation, whoever alleges co-ownership
declaration of nullity of the marriage and the carried the burden of proof to confirm such fact. To
annulment of the marriage.” establish co-ownership, therefore, it became
No judicial approval of the Agreement for imperative for the petitioner to offer proof of her
Separation and Property Settlement: actual contributions in the acquisition of property.
Her mere allegation of co-ownership, without
“Considering that Atty. Luna and Eugenia had not sufficient and competent evidence, would warrant
entered into any marriage settlement prior to their no relief in her favor. As the Court explained in
marriage on September 10, 1947, the system of Saguid v. Court of Appeals:
relative community or conjugal partnership of
gains governed their property relations. This is In the cases of Agapay v. Palang, and Tumlos v.
because the Spanish Civil Code, the law then in Fernandez, which involved the issue of co-
force at the time of their marriage, did not specify ownership of properties acquired by the parties to
the property regime of the spouses in the event that a bigamous marriage and an adulterous
they had not entered into any marriage settlement relationship, respectively, we ruled that proof of
before or at the time of the marriage. Article 119 of actual contribution in the acquisition of the
the Civil Code clearly so provides, to wit: property is essential. The claim of co-ownership of
the petitioners therein who were parties to the
Article 119. The future spouses may in the marriage bigamous and adulterous union is without basis
settlements agree upon absolute or relative because they failed to substantiate their allegation
community of property, or upon complete that they contributed money in the purchase of the
separation of property, or upon any other regime. disputed properties. Also in Adriano v. Court of
In the absence of marriage settlements, or when the Appeals, we ruled that the fact that the
same are void, the system of relative community or controverted property was titled in the name of the
conjugal partnership of gains as established in this parties to an adulterous relationship is not
Code, shall govern the property relations between sufficient proof of co-ownership absent evidence of
husband and wife.” actual contribution in the acquisition of the
Atty. Luna’s marriage with Soledad was bigamous,
and void from the very beginning, hence, their Considering that Zenaida failed to adduce evidence
property relations is governed by the rules on co- of ownership of the properties subject of the case,
ownership: the subject properties were awarded in favour of
the heirs of Atty. Luna from the first marriage.
“In the Philippines, marriages that are bigamous, Petition denied.
polygamous, or incestuous are void. Article 71 of
the Civil Code clearly states: BAYOT vs CA
Article 71. All marriages performed outside the FACTS:
Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in On April 20, 1979, Vicente, a Filipino, and Rebecca,
the country where they were performed, and valid an American, were married in Muntinlupa. They
there as such, shall also be valid in this country, had a child name Alix, born in November 27, 1982
except bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous in California.
marriages as determined by Philippine law.
In February 22, 1996, Rebecca initiated divorce
Bigamy is an illegal marriage committed by proceedings in Dominican Republic, which was
contracting a second or subsequent marriage docketed as Civil Decree No. 362/96 ordering the
before the first marriage has been legally dissolved, dissolution of the marriage. The same court also
or before the absent spouse has been declared issued Civil Decree No. 406/97 settling the couple's
presumptively dead by means of a judgment conjugal property in Muntinlupa in March 4, 1997.
rendered in the proper proceedings.[23] A
bigamous marriage is considered void ab initio. She then filed a declaration of absolute nullity of
Due to the second marriage between Atty. Luna and marriage on the ground of Vicente's alleged
the petitioner being void ab initio by virtue of its psychological incapacity, docketed as Civil Case
being bigamous, the properties acquired during the No. 01-094. She sought dissolution of the conjugal
bigamous marriage were governed by the rules on partnerships of gains with application for support
pendente lite for her and Alix. She also prayed
that Vicente be ordered to pay a permanent not, stand alone, work to nullify or invalidate the
monthly support for their daughter Alix in the foreign divorce secured by Rebecca as an American
amount of P 220,000.00. citizen in 1996. In determining whether or not a
divorce is secured abroad would come within the
On June 8, 2001, Vicente filed a Motion to Dismiss pale of the country's policy against absolute
on the grounds of lack of cause of action and that divorce, the reckoning point is the citizenship of
the petition is barred by the prior judgment of the parties at the time a valid divorce is obtained.
RTC denied Vicente's motion to dismiss. CA
dismissed Civil Case No. 01-094 and set aside RTC's FACTS:
incidental orders. According the the CA, RTC ought Suzuki a Japanese national bought a property
to have granted Vicente's motion to dismiss, since (condominium unit and a parking lot) from Mr.
the marriage between the spouses is already Kang, a Korean national through his agent Soneja. A
dissolved when the divorce decree was granted deed of absolute sale was executed, however even
since Rebecca was an American citizen when she after several demands from Mr Suzuki to have the
applied for the decree. titles of the properties delivered by Mr Kang, still
he failed to deliver the documents. Later he found
Issue: out that Kang has already left Philippines, this
Whether or not the divorce decree obtained by prompted Suzuki to verify the status of the
Rebecca in Dominican Republic is valid. property.
Suzuki learned the title to the Parking Slot No. 42
Ruling: contained no annotations although it remained
Yes. Civil Decrees No. 362/96 and 406/97 are valid. under the name of Cityland Pioneer. This
notwithstanding, Cityland Pioneer, through
Rebecca at that time she applied and obtained her Assistant Vice President Rosario D. Perez, certified
divorce was an American citizen and remains to be that Kang had fully paid the purchase price of Unit.
one, being born to American parents in Guam, an No. 53610 and Parking Slot No. 42. The title to the
American territory which follows the principle of condominium unit had no existing encumbrance,
jus soli granting American citizenship to those who except for annotation which provided that any
are born there. She was, and still may be, a holder conveyance or encumbrance of CCT No. 18186 shall
of American passport. be subject to approval by the Philippine Retirement
Authority (PRA). Although the title to the
She had consistently professed, asserted and condominium contained an annotation
represented herself as an American citizen, as representing a mortgage in favor of Orion for
shown in her marriage certificate, in Alix's birth a P1,000,000.00 loan, that annotation was
certificate, when she secured divorce in Dominican subsequently cancelled on June 16, 2000 by Entry
Republic. No. 73232/T. No. 10186. Despite the cancellation of
the mortgage to Orion, the titles to the properties
Being an American citizen, Rebecca was bound by remained in possession of Perez.
the national laws of the United States of America, a
country which allows divorce. To protect his interests, Suzuki then executed an
Affidavit of Adverse Claim12 with the Registry of
The Civil Decree No. 406/97 issued by the Deeds of Mandaluyong City. Suzuki then demanded
Dominican Republic court properly adjudicated the the delivery of the titles.13 Orion, (through Perez),
ex-couple's property relations. however, refused to surrender the titles.
The Court said, in order that a foreign divorce can
be recognized here, the divorce decree must be Thereafter, Suzuki received a letter from Orion’s
proven as a fact and as valid under the national law counsel dated stating that Kang obtained another
of the alien spouse. loan in the amount of P1,800,000.00. When Kang
failed to pay, he executed a Dacion en Pago dated
The fact that Rebecca was clearly an American February 2, 2003, in favor of Orion covering Unit
citizen when she secured the divorce and that No. 536. Orion, however, did not register the Dacion
divorce is recognized and allowed in any of the en Pago, until October 15, 2003. The registration
States of the Union, the presentation of a copy of was made only after Suzuki’s demand for the
foreign divorce decree duly authenticated by delivery of the titles to the properties.
the foreign court issuing said decree is, as here,
sufficient. Suzuki thus then executed an Affidavit of Adverse
Claim over Parking Slot No. 42. Suzuki filed a
Thus the foreign decrees rendered and issued by complaint for specific performance and damages
the Dominican Republic court are valid, and against Kang and Orion. Both the RTC and the CA
consequently, bind both Rebecca and Vicente. ruled in favor of Suzuki’s right over the properties
The fact that Rebecca may have been duly in litigation, contending that he was a buyer in good
recognized as a Filipino citizen by force of the June faith and the dacion was belatedly registered, only
8, 2000 affirmation by the DOJ Secretary of the two months after the sale has been executed. Orion
October 6, 1995 Bureau Order of Recognition will elevated the case to the Supreme Court contending
that the deed of sale executed was null and void for To prove a foreign law, the party invoking it must
under the Korean law the sale of a conjugal present a copy thereof and comply with Sections 24
properties should be made with the consent of both and 25 of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court
spouses. which reads:

ISSUE: SEC. 24. Proof of official record. — The record of

What law shall govern in the case at bar? public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of
Section 19, when admissible for any purpose, may
RULING: be evidenced by an official publication thereof or
Philippine Law governs the transfer of real by a copy attested by the officer having the legal
property. custody of the record, or by his deputy, and
accompanied, if the record is not kept in the
Orion believes that the CA erred in not ruling on the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has
issue of spousal consent. We cannot uphold this the custody. If the office in which the record is kept
position, however, because the issue of spousal is in a foreign country, the certificate may be made
consent was only raised on appeal to the CA. It is a by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul
well-settled principle that points of law, theories, general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by
issues, and arguments not brought to the attention any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines
of the trial court cannot be raised for the first time stationed in the foreign country inwhich the record
on appeal and considered by a reviewing court.20 To is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office.
consider these belated arguments would violate (Emphasis supplied)
basic principles of fairplay, justice, and due
process. SEC. 25. What attestation of copy must state. —
Whenever a copy of a document or record is
Having said these, we shall nonetheless discuss the attested for the purpose of the evidence, the
issues Orion belatedly raised, if only to put an end attestation must state, in substance, that the copy
to lingering doubts on the correctness of the denial is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part
of the present petition. thereof, as the case may be. The attestation must be
under the official seal of the attesting officer, if
It is a universal principle that real or immovable there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court having
property is exclusively subject to the laws of the a seal, under the seal of such court.
country or state where it is located.21 The reason is
found in the very nature of immovable property — Accordingly, matters concerning the title and
its immobility. Immovables are part of the country disposition of real property shall be governed by
and so closely connected to it that all rights over Philippine law while issues pertaining to the
them have their natural center of gravity there. conjugal nature of the property shall be governed
by South Korean law, provided it is proven as a fact.
Thus, all matters concerning the title and
disposition of real property are determined by what In the present case, Orion, unfortunately failed to
is known as the lex loci rei sitae, which can alone prove the South Korean law on the conjugal
prescribe the mode by which a title can pass from ownership of property. It merely attached a
one person to another, or by which an interest "Certification from the Embassy of the Republic of
therein can be gained or lost.23 This general Korea"29 to prove the existence of Korean Law. This
principle includes all rules governing the descent, certification, does not qualify as sufficient proof of
alienation and transfer of immovable property and the conjugal nature of the property for there is no
the validity, effect and construction of wills and showing that it was properly authenticated by the
other conveyances. seal of his office, as required under Section 24 of
Rule 132
This principle even governs the capacity of the
person making a deed relating to immovable Accordingly, the International Law doctrine of
property, no matter what its nature may be. Thus, presumed-identity approach or processual
an instrument will be ineffective to transfer title to presumption comes into play, i.e., where a foreign
land if the person making it is incapacitated by the law is not pleaded or, even if pleaded, is not proven,
lex loci rei sitae, even though under the law of his the presumption is that foreign law is the same as
domicile and by the law of the place where the Philippine Law.
instrument is actually made, his capacity is
undoubted.25 Under Philippine Law, the phrase "Yung Sam Kang
On the other hand, property relations between ‘married to' Hyun Sook Jung" is merely descriptive
spouses are governed principally by the national of the civil status of Kang.32 In other words, the
law of the spouses.26 However, the party invoking import from the certificates of title is that Kang is
the application of a foreign law has the burden of the owner of the properties as they are registered
proving the foreign law. The foreign law is a in his name alone, and that he is married to Hyun
question of fact to be properly pleaded and proved Sook Jung.
as the judge cannot take judicial notice of a foreign
law.27 He is presumed to know only domestic or the We are not unmindful that in numerous cases we
law of the forum. have held that registration of the property in the
name of only one spouse does not negate the they must be alleged and proved. Moreover, foreign
possibility of it being conjugal or community law should not be applied when its application
property.33 In those cases, however, there was proof would work undeniable injustice to the citizens or
that the properties, though registered in the name residents of the forum. To give justice is UST Law
of only one spouse, were indeed either conjugal or Review, Vol. LIX, No. 1, May 2015 the most
community properties.34 Accordingly, we see no important function of law; hence, a law, or
reason to declare as invalid Kang’s conveyance in judgment or contract that is obviously unjust
favor of Suzuki for the supposed lack of spousal negates the fundamental principles of Conflict of
consent. Laws. Applying the foregoing, even if the laws of
the Netherlands neither enforce a parent’s
DEL SOCORRO vs. VAN WILSEM obligation to support his child nor penalize the
non-compliance therewith, such obligation is still
Foreign law should not be applied when its duly enforceable in the Philippines because it
application would work undeniable injustice to the would be of great injustice to the child to be denied
citizens or residents of the forum. of financial support when the latter is entitled
Norma A. Del Socorro and Ernst Van Wilsem Land Bank vs. Ong
contracted marriage in Holland. They were blessed
with a son named Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem. Facts:
Unfortunately, their marriage bond ended by virtue On March 18, 1996, spouses Johnson and
of a Divorce Decree issued by the appropriate Court Evangeline Sy secured a loan from Land Bank
of Holland. Legazpi City in the amount of PhP 16 million. The
loan was secured by three (3) residential lots, five
Thereafter, Norma and her son came home to the (5) cargo trucks, and a warehouse. Under the loan
Philippines. According to Norma, Ernst made a agreement, PhP 6 million of the loan would be
promise to provide monthly support to their son. short-term and would mature on February 28, 1997,
However, since the arrival of petitioner and her son while the balance of PhP 10 million would be
in the Philippines, Ernst never gave support to payable in seven (7) years. The Spouses Sy could no
Roderigo. Norma filed a complaint against Ernst for longer pay their loan which resulted to the sale of
violation of R.A. No. 9262 for the latter’s unjust three (3) of their mortgaged parcels of land for PhP
refusal to support his minor child with petitioner. 150,000 to Angelina Gloria Ong, Evangeline’s
The trial court dismissed the complaint since the mother, under a Deed of Sale with Assumption of
facts charged in the information do not constitute Mortgage.
an offense with respect to the accused, he being an
alien. Evangeline’s father, petitioner Alfredo Ong, later
went to Land Bank to inform them about the sale
ISSUE: and assumption of mortgage. Land Bank Branch
Does a foreign national have an obligation to Head told Alfredo that there was nothing wrong
support his minor child under Philippine law? with agreement with the Spouses Sy and provided
him requirements for the assumption of
mortgage. Alfredo later found out that his
application for assumption of mortgage was not
RULING: approved by Land Bank. On December 12, 1997,
Yes, since Ernst is a citizen of Holland or the Alfredo initiated an action for recovery of sum of
Netherlands, we agree with the RTC that he is money with damages against Land Bank, as
subject to the laws of his country, not to Philippine Alfredo’s payment was not returned by Land Bank.
law, as to whether he is obliged to give support to Alfredo said that Land Bank’s foreclosure without
his child, as well as the consequences of his failure informing him of the denial of his assumption of
to do so. This does not, however, mean that Ernst is the mortgage was done in bad faith and that he was
not obliged to support Norma’s son altogether. In made to believed that P750,000 would cause Land
international law, the party who wants to have a Bank to approve his assumption to the mortgage.
foreign law applied to a dispute or case has the
burden of proving the foreign law. In the present He also claimed incurring expenses for attorney’s
case, Ernst hastily concludes that being a national fees of PhP 150,000, filing fee of PhP 15,000, and
of the Netherlands, he is governed by such laws on PhP 250,000 in moral damages.
the matter of provision of and capacity to support.
While Ernst pleaded the laws of the Netherlands in This prompted Alfredo to file a case with RTC
advancing his position that he is not obliged to against Land Bank .On its decision to the case, RTC
support his son, he never proved the same. It is held that the contract approving the assumption of
incumbent upon Ernst to plead and prove that the mortgage was not perfected as a result of the credit
national law of the Netherlands does not impose investigation conducted on Alfredo where he was
upon the parents the obligation to support their disapproved.. As such, it ruled that it would be
child. Foreign laws do not prove themselves in our incorrect to consider Alfredo a third person with no
jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to interest in the fulfillment of the obligation under
take judicial notice of them. Like any other fact, Article1236 of the Civil Code. Although Land Bank
was not bound by the Deed between Alfredo and the Marcos Foundation (FEMF) came forward and agreed
Spouses Sy, the appellate court found that Alfredo to fund the acquisition of the laboratory furniture,
and Land Bank’s active preparations for Alfredo’s including the fabrication thereof. Dr. William
assumption of mortgage essentially novated the Padolina, the Executive Deputy Director of
agreement. BIOTECH, arranged for Philippine Laboratory
Industries, Inc. (PHILAB), to fabricate the laboratory
Issues: furniture and deliver the same to BIOTECH for the
1) Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in BIOTECH Building Project, to be paid by FEMF.
holding that Art. 1236 of the Civil Code does not
apply and in finding that there is novation. Padolina assured Lirio, Executive Assistant
2) Whether or not the Court of Appeals of FEMF, that the contract would be prepared as
misconstrued the evidence and the law when it soon as possible before the issuance of the
affirmed the trial court decision’s ordering Land purchase orders and the downpayment for the
Bank to pay Ong the amount of Php750,000.00 with goods, and would be transmitted to the FEMF as
interest at 12% annum. soon as possible. Despite the absence of any sample
contracts, PHILAB made partial deliveries of office
Ruling: and laboratory furniture to BIOTECH after having
The Supreme Court affirmed with modification to been duly inspected by their representatives and
the appealed decision that recourse against Land FEMF Executive Assistant Lirio. Moreover, in 1982,
Bank. Land Bank contends that Art.1236 of the Civil FEMF proceeded to remit various sums of money to
Code backs their claim that Alfredo should have PHILAB as part of the downpayment, for which the
sought recourse against the Spouses Sy instead of latter issued official receipts.
Land Bank. The court agreed with Land Bank on the
point mentioned as to the first part of paragraph 1 Later in the year 1982, a Memorandum of
of Art. 1236. However,. Alfredo made a conditional Agreement between FEMF and UP was executed
payment so that the properties subject of the Deed which affirms FEMF’s obligation to grant financial
of Sale with Assumption of Mortgage which Land support and donate sums of money to the Research
Bank required from him would be approved. Thus, Complex as may be necessary. A year later,
he made payment not as a debtor but as a Navasero, the President of PHILAB, promised to
prospective mortgagor. Furthermore, the contract submit the contract for the installation of lab
between Alfredo and Land Bank was not perfected furniture to BIOTECH by January 12, 1983. PHILAB
nor consummated because of the adverse failed to do so. In response to repeated requests for
disapproval of the proposed assumption. The a sample contract, PHILAB just sent
Supreme Court did not agree with the Court of accomplishment reports and asked for payment, to
Appeals that there was novation in the contract which FEMF obliged.
between the parties because not all elements of
novation were present. The court further stresses For the last installment payment, FEMF
that the instant case would not have been litigated failed to remit the required sum of money despite
had Land Bank been more circumspect in dealing repeated demands from PHILAB. FEMF never
with Alfredo. The bank chose to accept payment responded to the demands of PHILAB. As one of its
from Alfredo even before a credit investigation was remedies, PHILAB sought payment from BIOTECH,
underway and also failed to informed him of the even if the same was to be paid in installment basis.
disapproval. The court found that there was
negligence to a certain degree on the part of Land As its final recourse, PHILAB filed a
Bank in handling the transaction with Alfredo. A complaint for sum of money and damages against
bank as a business entity should observe a higher UP. In its answer, UP denied liability and alleged
standard of diligence when dealing with the public that PHILAB had no cause of action against it
which Land Bank neglect to observe in this case. because it was merely the donee/beneficiary of
The petitioner’s appeal was denied by the Supreme the laboratory furniture in the BIOTECH; and that
Court and the decision of the Court of Appeals was the FEMF, which funded the project, was liable to
affirmed with modification in that the amount of the PHILAB for the purchase price of the laboratory
PhP 750,000 will earn interest at 6% per annum and furniture. UP specifically denied obliging itself to
the total aggregate monetary awards will in turn pay for the laboratory furniture supplied by
earn 12% per annum from the finality of this PHILAB.
Decision until fully paid.
The CA ruled that UP is liable under the
UP vs. PHILAB Industries doctrine of unjust enrichment.

In 1979, UP decided to construct an Issues:
integrated system of research organization known 1. Whether or not UP is liable to
as the Research Complex. As part of the project, pay for the unpaid balance
laboratory equipment and furniture were
purchased for the National Institute of 2. Whether or not the CA erred in
Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology (BIOTECH) basing its judgment on the
at the UP Los Banos Providentially, the Ferdinand E. doctrine of unjust enrichment
Held: its claim. The petitioner legally acquired
1. No. The Supreme Court explained that a the laboratory furniture under the MOA
contract implied in fact is one implied with FEMF; hence, it is entitled to keep the
from facts and circumstances showing a laboratory furniture.
mutual intention to contract. It arises
where the intention of the parties is not WILLAWARE vs. JESICHRIS MANUFACTURING
expressed, but an agreement in fact CORPORATION
creating an obligation. It is a contract, the
existence and terms of which are Facts:
manifested by conduct and not by direct or Jesichris Manufacturing Company the respondent
explicit words between parties but is to be filed this present complaint for damages for unfair
deduced from conduct of the parties, competition with prayer for permanent injunction
language used, or things done by them, or to enjoin Willaware Products Corporation the
other pertinent circumstances attending petitioner from manufacturing and distributing
the transaction. To create contracts plastic-made automotive parts similar to Jesichris
implied in fact, circumstances must Manufacturing Company. The respondent, alleged
warrant inference that one expected that it is a duly registered partnership engaged in
compensation and the other to pay. An the manufacture and distribution of plastic and
implied-in-fact contract requires the metal products, with principal office at No. 100
parties’ intent to enter into a contract; it is Mithi Street, Sampalukan, Caloocan City. Since its
a true contract. The conduct of the parties registration in 1992, Jesichris Manufacturing
is to be viewed as a reasonable man would Company has been manufacturing in its Caloocan
view it, to determine the existence or not of plant and distributing throughout the Philippines
an implied-in-fact contract. The totality of plastic-made automotive parts. Willaware Products
the acts/conducts of the parties must be Corporation, on the other hand, which is engaged
considered to determine their in the manufacture and distribution of kitchenware
intention. An implied-in-fact contract will items made of plastic and metal has its office near
not arise unless the meeting of minds is that of the Jesichris Manufacturing Company.
indicated by some intelligent conduct, act Respondent further alleged that in view of the
or sign. physical proximity of petitioner’s office to
respondent’s office, and in view of the fact that
In this case, PHILAB was aware, some of the respondent’s employees had
from the time Padolina contacted it for the transferred to petitioner, petitioner had developed
fabrication and supply of the laboratory familiarity with respondent’s products, especially
furniture until the go-signal was given to it its plastic-made automotive parts.
to fabricate and deliver the furniture to
BIOTECH as beneficiary that the FEMF was That sometime in November 2000, [respondent]
to pay for the same. PHILAB knew that UP discovered that [petitioner] had been
was merely the donee-beneficiary of the manufacturing and distributing the same
laboratory furniture and not the buyer; nor automotive parts with exactly similar design, same
was it liable for the payment of the material and colors but was selling these products
purchase price thereof. From the at a lower price as [respondent’s] plastic-made
inception, the FEMF paid for the bills and automotive parts and to the same customers.
statement of accounts of the respondent,
for which the latter unconditionally issued Respondent alleged that it had originated the use of
receipts to and under the name of the plastic in place of rubber in the manufacture of
FEMF. automotive under chassis parts such as spring eye
bushing, stabilizer bushing, shock absorber
2. Yes. The Supreme Court rejected the ruling bushing, center bearing cushions, among others.
of the CA based on unjust enrichment. In [Petitioner’s] manufacture of the same automotive
order that accion in rem verso (action based parts with plastic material was taken from
on unjust enrichment) may prosper, the respondent’s idea of using plastic for automotive
essential elements must be present: (1) that parts. Also, [petitioner] deliberately copied
the defendant has been enriched, (2) that [respondent’s] products all of which acts constitute
the plaintiff has suffered a loss, (3) that the unfair competition, is and are contrary to law,
enrichment of the defendant is without just morals, good customs and public policy and have
or legal ground, and (4) that the plaintiff caused [respondent] damages in terms of lost and
has no other action based on contract, unrealized profits in the amount of 2,000,000 as of
quasi-contract, crime or quasi-delict. the date of respondent’s complaint.

The essential requisites for the Issue:

application of Article 22 of the New Civil 1. Whether or not there is unfair competition under
Code do not obtain in this case. The human relations when the parties are not
respondent had a remedy against the FEMF competitors and there is actually no damage on the
via an action based on an implied-in-fact part of Jesichris?
contract with the FEMF for the payment of
2. Consequently, if there is no unfair competition, faith.
should there be moral damages and attorney’s fees?
3. Whether or not the addition of nominal damages The order denying the motion to dismiss was
is proper although no rights have been established? elevated to the CA, who dismissed the case on the
ground that under Article 32, liability may arise
Held: even if the defendant did not act with malice or bad
Article 28 of the Civil Code provides that "unfair faith.
competition in agricultural, commercial or Hence this appeal.
industrial enterprises or in labor through the use of
force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any ISSUES:
other unjust, oppressive or high-handed method o Whether or not a public officer may be validly sued
shall give rise to a right of action by the person who in his/her private capacity for acts done in
thereby suffers damage." connection with the discharge of the functions of
his/her office
From the foregoing, it is clear that what is being o Whether or not Article 32, NCC, should be applied
sought to be prevented is not competition per se instead of Sec. 38, Book I, Administrative Code
but the use of unjust, oppressive or high handed
methods which may deprive others of a fair chance HELD:
to engage in business or to earn a living. On the first issue, the general rule is that a public
Plainly,what the law prohibits is unfair competition officer is not liable for damages which a person may
and not competition where the means use dare fair suffer arising from the just performance of his
and legitimate. official duties and within the scope of his assigned
tasks. An officer who acts within his authority to
In sum, petitioner is guilty of unfair competition administer the affairs of the office which he/she
under Article 28 of the Civil Code. heads is not liable for damages that may have been
However, since the award of Two Million Pesos caused to another, as it would virtually be a charge
(P2,000,000.00) in actual damages had been deleted against the Republic, which is not amenable to
and in its place Two Hundred Thousand Pesos judgment for monetary claims without its consent.
(P200,000.00) in nominal damages is awarded, the However, a public officer is by law not immune
attorney's fees should concomitantly be modified from damages in his/her personal capacity for acts
and lowered to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00). done in bad faith which, being outside the scope of
his authority, are no longer protected by the mantle
LIWAYWAY VINZONS – CHATO vs. FORTUNE of immunity for official actions.
Specifically, under Sec. 38, Book I, Administrative
FACTS: Code, civil liability may arise where there is bad
This is a case for damages under Article 32 of the faith, malice, or gross negligence on the part of a
Civil Code filed by Fortune against Liwayway as CIR. superior public officer. And, under Sec. 39 of the
On June 10, 1993, the legislature enacted RA 7654, same Book, civil liability may arise where the
which provided that locally manufactured subordinate public officer’s act is characterized by
cigarettes which are currently classified and taxed willfulness or negligence. In Cojuangco, Jr. V. CA, a
at 55% shall be charged an ad valorem tax of “55% public officer who directly or indirectly violates the
provided that the maximum tax shall not be less constitutional rights of another, may be validly
than Five Pesos per pack.” Prior to effectivity of RA sued for damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code
7654, Liwayway issued a rule, reclassifying even if his acts were not so tainted with malice or
“Champion,” “Hope,” and “More” (all manufactured bad faith.
by Fortune) as locally manufactured cigarettes
bearing foreign brand subject to the 55% ad Thus, the rule in this jurisdiction is that a public
valorem tax. Thus, when RA 7654 was passed, these officer may be validly sued in his/her private
cigarette brands were already covered capacity for acts done in the course of the
performance of the functions of the office, where
In a case filed against Liwayway with the RTC, said public officer: (1) acted with malice, bad faith,
Fortune contended that the issuance of the rule or negligence; or (2) where the public officer
violated its constitutional right against deprivation violated a constitutional right of the plaintiff.
of property without due process of law and the
right to equal protection of the laws. On the second issue, SC ruled that the decisive
provision is Article 32, it being a special law, which
For her part, Liwayway contended in her motion to prevails over a general law (the Administrative
dismiss that respondent has no cause of action Code).
against her because she issued RMC 37-93 in the
performance of her official function and within the Article 32 was patterned after the “tort” in
scope of her authority. She claimed that she acted American law. A tort is a wrong, a tortious act which
merely as an agent of the Republic and therefore has been defined as the commission or omission of
the latter is the one responsible for her acts. She an act by one, without right, whereby another
also contended that the complaint states no cause receives some injury, directly or indirectly, in
of action for lack of allegation of malice or bad person, property or reputation. There are cases in
which it has been stated that civil liability in tort is never needed any support nor did it acquire the
determined by the conduct and not by the mental right to be supported.
state of the tortfeasor, and there are circumstances
under which the motive of the defendant has been Atty. Montano, the Voluntary Arbitrator ruled in
rendered immaterial. The reason sometimes given favour of Rolando and the Union, ruling that the
for the rule is that otherwise, the mental attitude of fetus acquired the right to be supported by the
the alleged wrongdoer, and not the act itself, would parents from the moment he/she was conceived.
determine whether the act was wrongful. Presence Therefore the fetus was already a dependent even
of good motive, or rather, the absence of an evil though he/she died during delivery or childbirth.
motive, does not render lawful an act which is There was also no question that Rolando and his
otherwise an invasion of another’s legal right; that wife were married, hence the fetus was a legitimate
is, liability in tort in not precluded by the fact that dependent.
defendant acted without evil intent
The company filed a petition for certiorari with the
CONTINENTAL STEEL vs. MONTANO Court of Appeals to reverse the ruling of the
Voluntary Arbitrator, averring that what the CBA
FACTS: contemplated was the death of a legal person not a
Rolando, an employee of Continental Steel fetus, bolstered by the wording in the CBA that the
Manufacturing Corporaton (Continental) and a term death was qualified by the phrase legitimate
member of the Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng dependent. It asserted that the status of a child
Centro Steel Corporation-Solidarity of Trade Unions could only be determined upon said child’s birth,
in the Philippines For empowerment and Reforms otherwise, no such appellation can be had.
(Union) filed a claim for paternity leave, The CA affirmed Atty. Montano’s ruling, holding
bereavement leave, and accident insurance for that a dead fetus simply cannot be equated with
dependent, under the provisions of the Collective anything less than “loss of human life”, especially
Bargaining Agreement between the company and for the expectant parents. Bereavement leave and
the union. The claim was based on the death of death benefits are meant to assuage the employee
Rolando’s unborn child, when his wife Marivic had and the latter’s immediate family, extend to them
a miscarriage in her 38th week of pregnancy. The solace and support, rather than an act conferring
company immediately granted Rolando’s claim for legal status or personality upon the unborn child.
paternity benefit but denied his claim for Continental Steel filed a petition for review on
entitlement to bereavement leave and other death certiorari with the Supreme Court, assailing the CA
benefits. The union then resorted to the grievance decision and arguing that the CBA is clear and
machinery under the CBA to reverse the denial of unambiguous, so that the literal and legal meaning
the claims, but no settlement was reached, hence of death should be applied. Only one with juridical
the union filed a Notice to Arbitrate with the personality can die and a dead fetus never acquired
National Conciliation and Mediation Board, with the a juridical personality.
parties agreeing on the sole issued to be resolved
on whether Rolando is entitled to death benefits RULING:
under the provisions of Article X, Section 2 and We are not persuaded.
Article XVIII, Section 4.3 of the CBA.
As Atty. Montaño identified, the elements for
In their pleadings, the Union averred that Rolando bereavement leave under Article X, Section 2 of the
is entitiled to bereavement leave and death CBA are: (1) death; (2) the death must be of a
benefits, as the CBA did not specifically state that dependent, i.e., parent, spouse, child, brother, or
the dependent should have been first born alive or sister, of an employee; and (3) legitimate relations
acquired juridical capacity so that his subsequent of the dependent to the employee. The requisites
death could be covered by CBA benefits, and cited for death and accident insurance under Article
the case of other employees of Continental’s sister XVIII, Section 4(3) of the CBA are: (1) death; (2) the
companies who were granted the benefits. They death must be of a dependent, who could be a
also invoked Article 1702 of the Civil Code which parent, spouse, or child of a married employee; or
mandated that all doubts should be resolved in a parent, brother, or sister of a single employee;
favour of labor. On the other hand, the company and (4) presentation of the proper legal document
argued that the express provisions of the CBA did to prove such death, e.g., death certificate.
not provide for a still born child; and two elements It is worthy to note that despite the repeated
must be present so that the benefits may be availed assertion of Continental Steel that the provisions of
of: a) death; and b) status as legitimate child of the the CBA are clear and unambiguous, its
employee, none of which existed in Rolando’s case. fundamental argument for denying Hortillano’s
Relying on Articles 40, 41 and 42 of the Civil Code, claim for bereavement leave and other death
Continental argued that only one who acquired benefits rests on the purportedly proper
juridical capacity could die. Thus an unborn child interpretation of the terms “death” and
could not die because it never acquired juridical “dependent” as used in the CBA. If the provisions of
capacity at all; a fetus that was dead from the the CBA are indeed clear and unambiguous, then
moment of delivery was not a person and could not there is no need to resort to the interpretation or
have acquired the status of a dependent, since it construction of the same. Moreover, Continental
Steel itself admitted that neither management nor
the Union sought to define the pertinent terms for of a single employee. The CBA did not provide a
bereavement leave and other death benefits during qualification for the child dependent, such that the
the negotiation of the CBA. child must have been born or must have acquired
civil personality, as Continental Steel avers.
The reliance of Continental Steel on Articles 40, 41 Without such qualification, then child shall be
and 42 of the Civil Code for the legal definition of understood in its more general sense, which
death is misplaced. Article 40 provides that a includes the unborn fetus in the mother’s womb.
conceived child acquires personality only when it is
born, and Article 41 defines when a child is The term legitimate merely addresses the
considered born. Article 42 plainly states that civil dependent child’s status in relation to his/her
personality is extinguished by death. parents. In Angeles v. Maglaya[4] we have
expounded on who is a legitimate child, viz:
First, the issue of civil personality is not relevant A legitimate child is a product of, and, therefore,
herein. Articles 40, 41 and 42 of the Civil Code on implies a valid and lawful marriage. Remove the
natural persons, must be applied in relation to element of lawful union and there is strictly no
Article 37 of the same Code, the very first of the legitimate filiation between parents and child.
general provisions on civil personality, which Article 164 of the Family Code cannot be more
reads: emphatic on the matter: “Children conceived or
Art. 37. Juridical capacity, which is the fitness to be born during the marriage of the parents are
the subject of legal relations, is inherent in every legitimate.” (Emphasis ours.)
natural person and is lost only through death.
Capacity to act, which is the power to do acts with Conversely, in Briones v. Miguel[5], we identified an
legal effect, is acquired and may be lost. illegitimate child to be as follows:

We need not establish civil personality of the The fine distinctions among the various types of
unborn child herein since his/her juridical capacity illegitimate children have been eliminated in the
and capacity to act as a person are not in issue. It is Family Code. Now, there are only two classes of
not a question before us whether the unborn child children — legitimate (and those who, like the
acquired any rights or incurred any obligations legally adopted, have the rights of legitimate
prior to his/her death that were passed on to or children) and illegitimate. All children conceived
assumed by the child’s parents. The rights to and born outside a valid marriage are illegitimate,
bereavement leave and other death benefits in the unless the law itself gives them legitimate status.
instant case pertain directly to the parents of the (Emphasis ours.)
unborn child upon the latter’s death. It is apparent that according to the Family Code and
the afore-cited jurisprudence, the legitimacy or
Second, Sections 40, 41 and 42 of the Civil Code do illegitimacy of a child attaches upon his/her
not provide at all a definition of death. Moreover, conception. In the present case, it was not disputed
while the Civil Code expressly provides that civil that Hortillano and his wife were validly married
personality may be extinguished by death, it does and that their child was conceived during said
not explicitly state that only those who have marriage, hence, making said child legitimate upon
acquired juridical personality could die. her conception.

And third, death has been defined as the cessation Also incontestable is the fact that Hortillano was
of life[1]. Life is not synonymous with civil able to comply with the fourth element entitling
personality. One need not acquire civil personality him to death and accident insurance under the CBA,
first before he/she could die. Even a child inside the i.e., presentation of the death certificate of his
womb already has life. No less than the unborn child.
Constitution recognizes the life of the unborn from Given the existence of all the requisites for
conception[2] that the State must protect equally bereavement leave and other death benefits under
with the life of the mother. If the unborn already the CBA, Hortillano’s claims for the same should
has life, then the cessation thereof even prior to the have been granted by Continental Steel.
child being delivered, qualifies as death.
We emphasize that bereavement leave and other
Likewise, the unborn child can be considered a death benefits are granted to an employee to give
dependent under the CBA. As Continental Steel aid to, and if possible, lessen the grief of, the said
itself defines, a dependent is “one who relies on employee and his family who suffered the loss of a
another for support; one not able to exist or sustain loved one. It cannot be said that the parents’ grief
oneself without the power or aid of someone else.” and sense of loss arising from the death of their
Under said general definition[3] even an unborn unborn child, who, in this case, had a gestational
child is a dependent of its parents. Hortillano’s life of 38-39 weeks but died during delivery, is any
child could not have reached 38-39 weeks of its less than that of parents whose child was born alive
gestational life without depending upon its mother, but died subsequently.
Hortillano’s wife, for sustenance. Additionally, it is
explicit in the CBA provisions in question that the Being for the benefit of the employee, CBA
dependent may be the parent, spouse, or child of a provisions on bereavement leave and other death
married employee; or the parent, brother, or sister benefits should be interpreted liberally to give life
to the intentions thereof. Time and again, the Labor “male.” He further alleged that he is a male
Code is specific in enunciating that in case of doubt transsexual, that is, “anatomically male but feels,
in the interpretation of any law or provision thinks and acts as a female” and that he had always
affecting labor, such should be interpreted in favor identified himself with girls since childhood. His
of labor[6]. In the same way, the CBA and CBA attempts to transform himself to a “woman”
provisions should be interpreted in favor of labor. culminated on January 27, 2001 when he
In Marcopper Mining v. National Labor Relations underwent sex reassignment surgery in Bangkok,
Commission[7], we pronounced: Thailand. From then on, petitioner lived as a female
and was in fact engaged to be married. He then
Finally, petitioner misinterprets the declaration of sought to have his name in his birth
the Labor Arbiter in the assailed decision that certificate changed from “Rommel Jacinto” to
“when the pendulum of judgment swings to and fro “Mely,” and his sex from “male” to “female.”
and the forces are equal on both sides, the same
must be stilled in favor of labor.” While petitioner Judgment is hereby rendered GRANTING the
acknowledges that all doubts in the interpretation petition and ordering the Civil Registrar to change
of the Labor Code shall be resolved in favor of the entries appearing in the Certificate of Birth of
labor, it insists that what is involved-here is the petitioner, specifically for petitioner’s first
amended CBA which is essentially a contract name from “Rommel Jacinto” to MELY and
between private persons. What petitioner has lost petitioner’s gender from “Male” to FEMALE.The
sight of is the avowed policy of the State, enshrined Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of
in our Constitution, to accord utmost protection the Republic. It ruled that the trial court’s decision
and justice to labor, a policy, we are, likewise, lacked legal basis.
sworn to uphold.
In Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corporation v. Whether or not the entries on the Birth
NLRC [183 SCRA 451 (1990)], we categorically Certificate of the petitioner can be changed.
stated that:
When conflicting interests of labor and capital are The petition lacks merit. Person’s First
to be weighed on the scales of social justice, the Name Cannot Be Changed On the Ground of
heavier influence of the latter should be counter- Sex Reassignment. The State has an interest in the
balanced by sympathy and compassion the law names borne by individuals and entities for
must accord the underprivileged worker. purposes of identification. A change of name is a
privilege, not a right. Petitions for change of
Likewise, in Terminal Facilities and Services name are controlled by statutes. In this connection,
Corporation v. NLRC [199 SCRA 265 (1991)], we Article 376 of the Civil Code provides that “No
declared: person can change his name or surname without
judicial authority.”
Any doubt concerning the rights of labor should be No Law Allows The Change of Entry In The Birth
resolved in its favor pursuant to the social justice Certificate As To Sex On the Ground of Sex
policy. Reassignment. The determination of a person’s sex
appearing in his birth certificate is a legal issue and
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Petition is DENIED. The the court must look to the statutes. In this
Decision dated 27 February 2008 and Resolution connection, Article 412 of the Civil Code provides
dated 9 May 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. that “No entry in the civil registershall be changed
SP No. 101697, affirming the Resolution dated 20 or corrected without a judicial order.” For these
November 2007 of Accredited Voluntary Arbitrator reasons, while petitioner may have succeeded in
Atty. Allan S. Montaño, which granted to Rolando P. altering his body and appearance through the
Hortillano bereavement leave pay and other death intervention of modern surgery, no law authorizes
benefits in the amounts of Four Thousand Nine the change of entry as to sex in the civil registry for
Hundred Thirty-Nine Pesos (P4,939.00) and Eleven that reason. Thus, there is no legal basis for his
Thousand Five Hundred Fifty Pesos (P11,550.00), petition for the correction or change of the entries
respectively, grounded on the death of his unborn in his birth certificate.
child, are AFFIRMED. Costs against Continental Neither May Entries in the Birth Certificate As
Steel Manufacturing Corporation. to First Name or Sex Be Changed on the Ground
SO ORDERED. of Equity. The trial court opined that its grant of the
petition was in consonance with the principles of
SILVERIO vs. REPUBLIC justice and equity. It believed that allowing the
petition would cause no harm, injury or prejudice
Facts: to anyone. This is wrong.
On November 26, 2002, petitioner Rommel Jacinto
Dantes Silverio filed a petition for the change of The Court recognizes that there are people whose
his first name and sex in his birth certificate in RTC preferences and orientation do not fit neatly into
Manila. His name was registered as “Rommel the commonly recognized parameters of social
Jacinto Dantes Silverio” in his certificate of live convention and that, at least for them, life is indeed
birth (birth certificate). His sex was registered as an ordeal. However, the remedies petitioner seeks
involve questions of public policy to be addressed RONULO vs. PEOPLE
solely by the legislature, not by the courts.
REPUBLIC vs. CAGANDAHAN On March 29, 2003, Joey Umadac and Claire
Bingayen were scheduled to marry one another. On
FACTS: the day of the wedding, at the Roman Catholic
Jennifer Cagandahan filed before the Regional Trial Church of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, the priest
Court Branch 33 of Siniloan, Laguna a Petition for refused to marry them when he learned that the
Correction of Entries in Birth Certificate of her couple did not have a marriage license. Instead, the
name from Jennifer B. Cagandahan to couple, already dressed in their wedding attire and
Jeff Cagandahan and her gender from female to with their parents and friends, proceeded to the
male. It appearing that Jennifer Cagandahan is Aglipayan church and requested Petitioner, an
sufferingfrom Congenital AdrenalHyperplasia Aglipayan Priest to marry them to which he
which is a rare medical condition where afflicted proceeded to marry the couple.
persons possess both male and An information for violation of Article 352 of the
female characteristics. Jennifer Cagandahan grew RPC, was filed against the petitioner before the
up with secondary male characteristics. To further MTC of Batac, Ilocos Norte for allegedly performing
her petition, Cagandahan presented in court an illegal marriage ceremony.
the medical certificate evidencing that she is
suffering from Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia The petitioner pleaded “not guilty” and while he
which certificate is issued by Dr. Michael Sionzon admitted that he conducted a ceremony, denied
of the Department of Psychiatry, University of the that his act of “blessing” the couple was tantamount
Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, who, in to a solemnization of the marriage as contemplated
addition, explained that “Cagandahan genetically is by law.
female but because her body secretes male
hormones, her female organs did not develop The MTC found petitioner guilty of violating Art.
normally, thus has organs of both male and 352 of the Revised Penal Code for conducting an
female.” The lower court decided in her favor but illegal marriage ceremony. The RTC affirmed as did
the Office of the Solicitor General appealed before the Court of Appeals.
the Supreme Court invoking that the same was a
violation of Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court ISSUE:
because the said petition did not implead the local Whether or not petitioner conducted a “blessing”
civil registrar. and not an [illegal] marriage ceremony.

Whether or not Cagandahan’s sex as appearing in Petitioner conducted an illegal marriage
her birth certificate be changed. ceremony. The crime as provided for in Art 352 of
the RPC refers to the performance of marriages
RULING: under Articles 3 and 6 of the Family Code which
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the reads:
lower court. It held that, in deciding the case, the
Supreme Court considered “the compassionate Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:
calls for recognition of the various degrees of xxx
intersex as variations which should not be subject (3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the
to outright denial.” The Supreme Court made use of appearance of the contracting parties before the
the availale evidence presented in court including solemnizing officer and their personal declaration
the fact that private respondent thinks of himself that they take each other as husband and wife in the
as a male and as to the statement made by the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.
doctor that Cagandahan’s body produces high xxx
levels of male hormones (androgen), which is Art. 6. No prescribed form or religious rite for the
preponderant biological support for considering solemnization of the marriage is required. It shall
him as being male.” be necessary, however, for the contracting parties
The Supreme Court further held that they give to appear personally before the solemnizing officer
respect to (1) the diversity of nature; and (2) how an and declare in the presence of not less than two
individual deals with what nature has handed out. witnesses of legal age that they take each other as
That is, the Supreme Court respects the husband and wife. This declaration shall be
respondent’s congenital condition and his mature contained in the marriage certificate which shall be
decision to be a male. Life is already difficult for signed by the contracting parties and their
the ordinary person. The Court added that a change witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer.
of name is not a matter of right but of judicial
discretion, to be exercised in the light of the The Supreme Court explained that what made the
reasons and the consequences that will follow. petitioner's act a marriage ceremony and not just a
mere blessing was that while there is no prescribed
form or religious rite, all that was required was “for
the contracting parties to appear personally
before the solemnizing officer and declare in
the presence of not less than two witnesses of 8. Against involuntary servitude.
legal age that they take each other as husband
and wife.” Petitioners also contended that RH law
As to the first requirement, the petitioner admitted intrudes in the autonomy of local governments and
that the parties appeared before him and this fact the ARMM, and violate the natural law, and that
was testified to by witnesses. On the second delegation of authority to the FDA is invalid.
requirement, we find that, contrary to the
petitioner’s allegation, the prosecution has proven, On March 15, 2013, the RH law took effect
through the testimony of witnesses, that the but on March 19, 2013, after considering the issues
contracting parties personally declared that they and arguments raised, the Court issued the Status
take each other as husband and wife. Thus, it is Quo Ante Order (SQAO), which effected a 120-day
clear that petitioner conducted a marriage halt on the implementation or until July 17, 2013.
ceremony and not a mere blessing.
The Status Quo Ante generally states that
The marriage ceremony was also illegal. The the government has already supported this kind of
Supreme Court stated that: law even as early as 1966 until August 2009. The
Status Quo Ante shows the series of laws enacted
Under Article 3(3) of the Family Code, one of the which concludes the RH Bill is just an enhancement
essential requisites of marriage is the presence of a measure to fortify and make effective the current
valid marriage certificate. In the present case, the laws on contraception, women's health and
petitioner admitted that he knew that the couple population control.
had no marriage license, yet he conducted the
“blessing” of their relationship. Despite the legislative measures in the past,
the population of the country kept on galloping at
Undoubtedly, the petitioner conducted the an uncontrollable pace. The RH Law role is to make
marriage ceremony despite knowledge that the it mandatory for health providers to provide
essential and formal requirements of marriage information on the full range of modem family
set by law were lacking. The marriage ceremony, planning methods, supplies and services, and for
therefore, was illegal. The petitioner’s knowledge of schools to provide reproductive health education.
the absence of these requirements negates his To put teeth to it, the RH Law criminalizes certain
defense of good faith. acts of refusals to carry out its mandates.

We also do not agree with the petitioner that the On May 30, 2013, the Court held a
lack of a marriage certificate negates his criminal preliminary conference with the counsels of the
liability in the present case. For purposes of parties to identify the pertinent issues raised by the
determining if a marriage ceremony has been parties and the sequence by which these issues
conducted, a marriage certificate is not included in were to be discussed in the oral arguments.
the requirements provided by Article 3(3) of the
Family Code, as discussed above. On July 9 and 23, 2013, and on August 6,
13, and 27, 2013, the cases were heard on oral
Neither does the non-filing of a criminal complaint argument.
against the couple negate criminal liability of the On July 16, 2013, the SQAO was ordered
petitioner. Article 352 of the RPC, as amended, does extended until further orders of the Court.
not make this an element of the crime.
The decision of the Court of Appeals was affirmed. Thereafter, the Court directed the parties to
submit their respective memoranda within sixty
Imbong vs Ochoa (60) days and, at the same time posed several
questions for their clarification on some
FACTS contentions of the parties.
On December 21, 2012, the Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 10354, otherwise known as the Petitioners prayed to maintain the status
Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health quo.
Act of 2012 (RH Law), was enacted by Congress.
14 petitions and 2 petitions-in-intervention
were filed by petitioners praying for the declaration I. PROCEDURAL ISSUES:
of the RH Law as unconstitutional on the grounds,
as alleged by the petitioners, that it violates: 1] Power of Judicial Review
2] Actual Case or Controversy
1. Rights to life 3] Facial Challenge
2. Rights to health 4] Locus Standi
3. Freedom of expression and speech 5] Declaratory Relief
4. Privacy of families 6] One Subject/One Title Rule
5. Academic freedom
6. Due process of law II. SUBSTANTIVE: Whether the RH law is
7. Equal protection and unconstitutional:
1] Right to Life 4. Whether or not the Petitioners have
2] Right to Health Locus Standi
3] Freedom of Religion and the Right to Free Speech
4] The Family Yes. The petitioners invoke the "transcendental
5] Freedom of Expression and Academic Freedom importance" doctrine and their status as citizens
6] Due Process and taxpayers in establishing the requisite locus
7] Equal Protection standi. The Court cannot exercise judicial restraint
8] Involuntary Servitude at this time when rights enshrined in the
9] Delegation of Authority to the FDA Constitution are being imperilled to be violated. To
10] Autonomy of Local Govemment/ARMM do so, when the life of either the mother or her child
is at stake, would lead to irreparable consequences.
5. Whether or not Petitioners are
1. Whether the Court can exercise its praying for Declaratory Relief
power of judicial review over the
controversy. YES. The respondents also assail the petitions
because they are essentially petitions for
YES. The Court may pass upon the declaratory relief over which the Court has no
constitutionality of acts of the legislative and the original jurisdiction. Suffice it to state that most of
executive branches, since its duty is not to review the petitions are praying for injunctive reliefs and
their collective wisdom but to make sure that they so the Court would just consider them as petitions
have acted in consonance with their respective for prohibition under Rule 65, over which it has
authorities and rights as mandated of them by the original jurisdiction. Where the case has far-
Constitution. If after said review, the Court finds no reaching implications and prays for injunctive
constitutional violations of any sort, then, it has no reliefs, the Court may consider them as petitions
more authority of proscribing the actions under for prohibition.
review. This is in line with Article VIII, Section 1 of
the Constitution which expressly provides: 6. Whether or not the One Subject-One
Judicial review is limited by four exacting Title is violated
requisites, viz : (a) there must be an actual case or
controversy; (b) the petitioners must possess locus NO. The RH Law does not violate the one
standi; (c) the question of constitutionality must be subject/one bill rule: The one subject/one title rule
raised at the earliest opportunity; and (d) the issue expresses the principle that the title of a law must
of constitutionality must be the lis mota of the case. not be "so uncertain that the average person
reading it would not be informed of the purpose of
All requisites were met. the enactment or put on inquiry as to its contents,
or which is misleading, either in referring to or
2. Whether on Not there is an Actual indicating one subject where another or different
Case or Controversy one is really embraced in the act, or in omitting any
expression or indication of the real subject or scope
Yes. An actual case or controversy means an of the act.”
existing case or controversy that is appropriate or
ripe for determination, not conjectural or Considering the close intimacy between
anticipatory, lest the decision of the court would "reproductive health" and "responsible parenthood"
amount to an advisory opinion. which bears to the attainment of the goal of
Considering that the RH Law has already taken achieving "sustainable human development" as
effect and that budgetary measures have already stated under its terms, the Court finds no reason to
been passed, the subject petitions present a believe that Congress intentionally sought to
justiciable controversy. As stated earlier, when an deceive the public as to the contents of the assailed
action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged legislation.
to have infringed the Constitution, it not only
becomes a right, but also a duty of the Judiciary to RULING ON SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES
settle the dispute.
1. Does RH Bill violate the Right to life? No.
3. Whether or not the court my apply
Facial Challenge This issue relies on the answer as to when
life of a fetus begins in order to define life. It was
Yes it can. This Court, under its expanded established that life is not synonymous with civil
jurisdiction, is mandated by the Fundamental Law personality. One need not acquire civil personality
not only to settle actual controversies involving first before he/she could die. Even a child inside the
rights which are legally demandable and womb already has life.
enforceable, but also to determine whether or not
there has been a grave abuse of discretion After study of the deliberation of the
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the framers of the law, it was established that life
part of any branch of the Government. begins at fertilization, so that when there is no
union yet of the sperm and egg, there is no life to decision would drive a wedge between the husband
speak of and there is no right to be protected yet. and wife, possibly result in bitter animosity. So as
debarment of parental consent in cases where the
Contraceptives that kill the ovum (fertilized minor, who will be undergoing a procedure, is
egg) are banned. Only those that prevent the union already a parent or has had a miscarriage. Even if
of the egg and sperm are permitted to be used. she is not yet emancipated, the parental authority
is already cut off just because there is a need to
2. Does RH Bill violate The Right to Health? No. tame population growth.

In the distribution by the DOH of 5 – Does RH Law violate constitutional provisions

contraceptive drugs and devices, the provisions of on Academic Freedom? Undecided.
R.A. No. 4729 ensures that the contraceptives to be
procured shall be from a duly licensed drug store At this point, suffice it to state that any
or pharmaceutical company and that the actual attack on the validity of Section 14 of the RH Law is
dispensation of these contraceptive drugs and premature because the Department of Education,
devices will done following a prescription of a Culture and Sports has yet to formulate a
qualified medical practitioner. The distribution of curriculum on age-appropriate reproductive health
contraceptive drugs and devices must not be education.
indiscriminately done. The public health must be
protected by all possible means. While the Court notes the possibility that
3 –Freedom of Religion and the Right to Free educators might raise their objection to their
Speech participation in the reproductive health education
program provided under Section 14 of the RH Law
Does RH bill violate Right to Freedom of on the ground that the same violates their religious
Religion? No. beliefs, the Court reserves its judgment should an
actual case be filed before it.
The state may still pursue its objectives
without being dictated by policies of any religion. 6 – Does RH Law violate constitutional provision
To allow any religion to dictate the state would be on Due Process? No.
unconstitutional. By seeking the declaration that
the RH Law is unconstitutional, the petitioners are The RH law is not vague and confusing.
asking that the Court recognize only the Catholic “Private health care institution” is the same with
Church's sanctioned natural family planning “private health care service provider”. The same
methods and impose this on the entire citizenry. with “service” and “methods”.

Does RH Law violate Right to Free Speech? 7-Does RH law violate constitutional provisions
Yes. on Equal Protection? No.

RH law threatens conscientious objectors of Pursuant to Section 11, Article XIII of the
criminal prosecution, imprisonment and other Constitution recognizes the distinct necessity to
forms of punishment, as it compels medical address the needs of the underprivileged by
practitioners 1] to refer patients who seek advice on providing that they be given priority in addressing
reproductive health programs to other doctors; and the health development of the people. RH Law
2] to provide full and correct information on prioritizes poor and marginalized couples who are
reproductive health programs and service even suffering from fertility issues and desire to have
against their beliefs. As the Implementing Rules children. It also sanctions abortion as Section 3(1)
and Regulations of the RH Law provides, skilled explains, the "promotion and/or stabilization of the
health professionals who are public officers such population growth rate is incidental to the
as, but not limited to, Provincial, City, or Municipal advancement of reproductive health."
Health Officers, medical officers, medical
specialists, rural health physicians, hospital staff 8- Does RH law violate constitutional provisions
nurses, public health nurses, or rural health on Involuntary Servitude? No.
midwives, who are specifically charged with the
duty to implement these Rules, cannot object as While petitioners aver that requiring
they are considered as conscientious objectors, private and non-government health care service
thus suppressing the right of free speech. providers to render forty-eight (48) hours of pro
bono reproductive health services amounts to
4-Does the RH Law violate constitutional involuntary servitude because it requires medical
provisions on the Family and the Right to practitioners to perform acts against their will, it
Privacy? Yes can hardly be considered as forced labor, as
reproductive health care service providers have the
RH law violates the provisions of the discretion as to the manner and time of giving pro
Constitution by intruding into marital privacy and bono services.
autonomy by giving absolute authority to the
spouse who would undergo a procedure, and 9-Whether or not the Delegation of Authority to
barring the other spouse from participating in the the FDA is valid. Yes.
patients, not in an emergency or life-
Section 4 of R.A. No. 3 720, as amended by threatening case, as defined under Republic
R.A. No. 9711 states that powers and duties of the Act No. 8344, to another health facility
FDA are specific to enable the agency to carry out which is conveniently accessible; and b)
the mandates of the law. Being the country's allow minor-parents or minors who have
premiere and sole agency that ensures the safety of suffered a miscarriage access to modem
food and medicines available to the public, the FDA methods of family planning without written
was equipped with the necessary powers and consent from their parents or guardian/s;
functions to make it effective.
2) Section 23(a)(l) and the corresponding
10- Does RH Law Infringe Autonomy of Local provision in the RH-IRR, particularly
Governments and the Autonomous Region of Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar as they punish
Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)? NO. any healthcare service provider who fails
and or refuses to disseminate information
Unless an LGU is particularly designated as regarding programs and services on
the implementing agency, it has no power over a reproductive health regardless of his or her
program for which funding has been provided by religious beliefs.
the national government under the annual general 3) Section 23(a)(2)(i) and the corresponding
appropriations act, even if the program involves the provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they
delivery of basic services within the jurisdiction of allow a married individual, not in an
the LGU. emergency or life-threatening case, as
In this case, a reading of the RH Law clearly shows defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to
that whether it pertains to the establishment of undergo reproductive health procedures
health care facilities, the hiring of skilled health without the consent of the spouse;
professionals, or the training of barangay health
workers, it will be the national government that will 4) Section 23(a)(2)(ii) and the corresponding
provide for the funding of its implementation. provision in the RH-IRR insofar as they limit
Local autonomy is not absolute. The national the requirement of parental consent only to
government still has the say when it comes to elective surgical procedures.
national priority programs which the local
government is called upon to implement like the RH 5) Section 23(a)(3) and the corresponding
Law. provision in the RH-IRR, particularly
The fact that the RH Law does not intrude in the Section 5.24 thereof, insofar as they punish
autonomy of local governments can be equally any healthcare service provider who fails
applied to the ARMM. The RH Law does not infringe and/or refuses to refer a patient not in an
upon its autonomy. emergency or life-threatening case, as
defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to
11 - Natural Law another health care service provider within
the same facility or one which is
The Court does not duly recognize it as a legal basis conveniently accessible regardless of his or
for upholding or invalidating a law. Our only her religious beliefs;
guidepost is the Constitution. While every law
enacted by man emanated from what is perceived 6) Section 23(b) and the corresponding
as natural law, the Court is not obliged to see if a provision in the RH-IRR, particularly
statute, executive issuance or ordinance is in Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar as they punish
conformity to it. any public officer who refuses to support
At any rate, as earlier expounded, the RH Law does reproductive health programs or shall do
not sanction the taking away of life. It does not any act that hinders the full
allow abortion in any shape or form. It only seeks implementation of a reproductive health
to enhance the population control program of the program, regardless of his or her religious
government by providing information and making beliefs;
non-abortifacient contraceptives more readily
available to the public, especially to the poor. 7) Section 17 and the corresponding
prov1s10n in the RH-IRR regarding the
HELD: rendering of pro bona reproductive health
Petitions are PARTIALLY GRANTED. Accordingly, service in so far as they affect the
the Court declares R.A. No. 10354 as NOT conscientious objector in securing
UNCONSTITUTIONAL except with respect to the PhilHealth accreditation; and
following provisions which are declared
UNCONSTITUTIONAL: 8) Section 3.0l(a) and Section 3.01 G) of the
RH-IRR, which added the qualifier
1) Section 7 and the corresponding provision "primarily" in defining abortifacients and
in the RH-IRR insofar as they: a) require contraceptives, as they are ultra vires and,
private health facilities and non-maternity therefore, null and void for contravening
specialty hospitals and hospitals owned Section 4(a) of the RH Law and violating
and operated by a religious group to refer Section 12, Article II of the Constitution.
the marriage. Issuance of a marriage license in a
The Status Quo Ante Order issued by the Court on city or municipality, not the residence of either of
March 19, 2013 as extended by its Order, dated July the contracting parties, and issuance of a marriage
16, 2013 is hereby LIFTED, insofar as the license despite the absence of publication or prior
provisions of R.A. No. 10354 which have been to the completion of the 10-day period for
herein declared as constitutional. publication are considered mere irregularities that
do not affect the validity of the marriage. An
ALCANTARA vs. ALCANTARA irregularity in any of the formal requisites of
marriage does not affect its validity but the party
Facts: or parties responsible for the irregularity are
Restituto Alcantara filed a petition for annulment of civilly, criminally and administratively
marriage against Rosita Alcantara alleging that on liable. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. The
December 8, 1982 he and Rosita, without securing presumption is always in favor of the validity of the
the required marriage license, went to the Manila marriage. Every intendment of the law or fact leans
City Hall for the purpose of looking for a “fixer” toward the validity of the marriage bonds. The
who could arrange a marriage for them before a Courts look upon this presumption with great
certain Rev. Navarro. They got married on the same favor. It is not to be lightly repelled; on the
day. Restituto and Rosita went through another contrary, the presumption is of great weight.
marriage ceremony in Tondo, Manila, on March
26, 1983. The marriage was again celebrated REPUBLIC vs. OBERCIDO
without the parties securing a marriage
license. The alleged marriage license, procured in FACTS:
Carmona, Cavite, appearing on the marriage Cipriano Orbecido III was married with Lady Myros
contract, is a sham, as neither party was a resident Villanueva on May 24, 1981 at the United Church of
of Carmona, and they never went to Carmona to Christ in the Philippines in Ozamis City. They had
apply for a license with the local civil registrar of a son and a daughter named Kristoffer and
the said place. In 1988, they parted ways and lived Kimberly, respectively. In 1986, the wife left for US
separate lives. Restituto prayed that after due bringing along their son Kristoffer. A few years
hearing, judgment be issued declaring their later, Orbecido discovered that his wife had been
marriage void and ordering the Civil Registrar to naturalized as an American citizen and learned
cancel the corresponding marriage contract and its from his son that his wife sometime in 2000 had
entry on file. Rosita however asserts the validity obtained a divorce decree and married a certain
of their marriage and maintains that there was a Stanley. He thereafter filed with the trial court a
marriage license issued as evidenced by a petition for authority to remarry invoking
certification from the Office of the Civil Registry of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code.
Carmona, Cavite; that Restituto has a mistress
with whom he has three children; that Restituto ISSUE: Whether or not Orbecido can remarry under
only filed the annulment of their marriage to evade Article 26 of the Family Code.
prosecution for concubinage. Rosita, in fact, has
filed a case for concubinage against Restituto. HELD:
The court ruled that taking into consideration the
ISSUE: Whether or not their marriage is valid. legislative intent and applying the rule of reason,
Article 26 Par.2 should be interpreted to include
HELD: Yes. The requirement and issuance of a cases involving parties who, at the time of the
marriage license is the State’s demonstration of its celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens,
involvement and participation in every marriage, in but later on, one of them becomes naturalized as a
the maintenance of which the general public is foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree. The
interested. Restituto cannot insist on the absence Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to
of a marriage license to impugn the validity of his remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the
marriage. The cases where the court considered time of the solemnization of the marriage.
the absence of a marriage license as a ground for
considering the marriage void are clear-cut. In this Hence, the court’s unanimous decision in holding
case, the marriage contract between the Article 26 Par 2 be interpreted as allowing a Filipino
parties reflects a marriage license number. A citizen who has been divorced by a spouse who had
certification to this effect was also issued by the acquired a citizenship and remarried, also to
local civil registrar of Carmona, Cavite. The remarry under Philippine law.
certification moreover is precise in that it
specifically identified the parties to whom the GERBERT R. CORPUZ vs. DAISYLYN TIROL STO.
marriage license was issued, namely Restituto TOMAS
Alcantara and Rosita Almario, further validating the
fact that a license was in fact issued to the parties Facts:
herein. Restituto, in a faint attempt to demolish the Petitioner (Gerbert Corpuz) is a former Filipino
probative value of the marriage license, claims that citizen who became a Canadian citizen through
neither he nor respondent is a resident of Carmona, naturalization. Subsequently, the petitioner
Cavite. Even then, the Supreme Court still holds married the respondent (Daisylyn Sto. Tomas), a
that there is no sufficient basis to annul Filipina, in Pasig City. After the wedding, petitioner
went back to Canada due to work commitments; Court which provides for the effect of foreign
however, when he came back he was shocked to judgments. This Section states:
discover that the respondent is having an affair
with another man. Thus, petitioner went back to SEC. 48. Effect of foreign judgments or final
Canada and filed a petition for divorce. The orders.—The effect of a judgment or final order of
Superior Court of Justice, Windsor, Ontario, Canada a tribunal of a foreign country, having jurisdiction
granted the petitioner’s petition for divorce. The to render the judgment or final order is as follows:
divorce decree took effect a month later, January 8, (a) In case of a judgment or final order upon a
2006. specific thing, the judgment or final order is
conclusive upon the title of the thing; and
Two years later, the petitioner has already moved (b) In case of a judgment or final order against a
on and found another woman that he wants to person, the judgment or final order is presumptive
marry. Thus, for his love to his fiancée; the evidence of a right as between the parties and their
petitioner went to the Pasig Civil Registry Office successors in interest by a subsequent title.
and registered the Canadian divorce decree on his In either case, the judgment or final order may be
and the respondent’s marriage certificate. Despite repelled by evidence of a want of jurisdiction, want
the registration of the divorce decree, an official of of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear
the National Statistic’s Office (NSO) informed the mistake of law or fact.
petitioner that the marriage between him and the To our mind, direct involvement or being the
respondent still subsists under the Philippine Law subject of the foreign judgment is sufficient to
and to be enforceable, the foreign divorce decree clothe a party with the requisite interest to institute
must first be judicially recognized by a competent an action before our courts for the recognition of
Philippine court, pursuant to NSO Circular No. 4, the foreign judgment. In a divorce situation, we
Series of 1982. have declared, no less, that the divorce obtained by
Accordingly, the petitioner filed a petition for an alien abroad may be recognized in the
judicial recognition of foreign divorce and/or Philippines, provided the divorce is valid according
declaration of marriage dissolved with the RTC. The to his or her national law.
RTC denied his petition, hence this recourse by the
petitioner. The starting point in any recognition of a foreign
divorce judgment is the acknowledgment that our
Issue: courts do not take judicial notice of foreign
Whether or not the second paragraph of Article 26 judgments and laws. Justice Herrera explained that,
of the Family Code extends to aliens the right to as a rule, “no sovereign is bound to give effect
petition a court of this jurisdiction for the within its dominion to a judgment rendered by a
recognition of a foreign divorce decree. tribunal of another country.” This means that the
foreign judgment and its authenticity must be
Ruling: No. proven as facts under our rules on evidence,
Even though the trial court is correct in its together with the alien’s applicable national law to
conclusion that the alien spouse can claim no right show the effect of the judgment on the alien
under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the himself or herself. The recognition may be made in
Family Code as the substantive right it establishes an action instituted specifically for the purpose or
is in favor of the Filipino spouse due to the given in another action where a party invokes the foreign
the rationale and intent behind the enactment, and decree as an integral aspect of his claim or defense.
as such the second paragraph of Article 26 of the
Family Code limits its applicability for the benefit In Gerbert’s case, since both the foreign divorce
of the Filipino spouse. decree and the national law of the alien,
recognizing his or her capacity to obtain a divorce,
However, we qualify the above conclusion made by purport to be official acts of a sovereign authority,
the trial court because in our jurisdiction, the Section 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court comes
foreign divorce decree is presumptive evidence of into play. This Section requires proof, either by (1)
a right that clothes the party with legal interest to official publications or (2) copies attested by the
petitions for its recognition. Even though, the officer having legal custody of the documents. If
second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code the copies of official records are not kept in the
bestows no rights in favor of aliens- with the Philippines, these must be (a) accompanied by a
complementary statement that his conclusion is certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or
not a sufficient basis to dismiss the petition filed consular officer in the Philippine foreign service
by Corpuz before the RTC. the unavailability of the stationed in the foreign country in which the record
second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his
to aliens does not necessarily strip Gerbert of legal office.
interest to petition the RTC for the recognition of The records show that Gerbert attached to his
his foreign divorce decree. The foreign divorce petition a copy of the divorce decree, as well as the
decree itself, after its authenticity and conformity required certificates proving its authenticity, but
with the alien’s national law have been duly proven failed to include a copy of the Canadian law on
according to our rules of evidence, serves as a divorce. Under this situation, we can, at this point,
presumptive evidence of right in favor of Gerbert, simply dismiss the petition for insufficiency of
pursuant to Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of supporting evidence, unless we deem it more
appropriate to remand the case to the RTC to W/N Art. 26(2) of the Family Code extends to aliens
determine whether the divorce decree is consistent the right to petition a court of this jurisdiction for
with the Canadian divorce law. the recognition of a foreign divorce decree

We deem it more appropriate to take this latter Ruling

course of action, given the Article 26 interests that  The alien spouse can claim no right undert Art.
will be served and the Filipina wife’s (Daisylyn’s) 26(2) of the Family Code as the substantive right it
obvious conformity with the petition. A remand, at establishes is in favor of the Filipino spouse
the same time, will allow other interested parties to
oppose the foreign judgment and overcome a  The legislative intent behind Art 26(2) is “to avoid
petitioner’s presumptive evidence of a right by the absurd situation whre the Filipino spouse
proving want of jurisdiction, want of notice to a remains married to the alien spouse who, after
party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or obtaining a divorce is no longer married to the
fact. Needless to state, every precaution must be Filipino spouse”. The legislative intent is for the
taken to ensure conformity with our laws before a benefit of the Filipino spouse by clarifying his or
recognition is made, as the foreign judgment, once her marital status, settling the doubts created by
recognized, shall have the effect of res judicata the divorce decree
between the parties, as provided in Section 48, Rule
39 of the Rules of Court.  Art. 17 of the New Civil Code provides that the
policy against absolute divorces cannot be
In fact, more than the principle of comity that is subverted by judgments promulgated in a foreign
served by the practice of reciprocal recognition of country. The inclusion of Art. 26(2) of the Family
foreign judgments between nations, the res Code provides the direct exception to the rule and
judicata effect of the foreign judgments of divorce serves as basis for recognizing the dissolution of
serves as the deeper basis for extending judicial the marriage between the Filipino spouse and his or
recognition and for considering the alien spouse her alien spouse
bound by its terms. This same effect, as discussed
 An action based on Art. 26(2) is not limited to the
above, will not obtain for the Filipino spouse were
recognition of the foreign divorce decree. If the
it not for the substantive rule that the second
court finds that the decree capacitated the aliens
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code
spouse to remarry, the courts can declare the
Filipino spouse is likewise capacitated to contract
another marriage. No court in this jurisdiction,
Considerations beyond the recognition of the
however, can make a similar declaration for the
foreign divorce decree.
alien spouse (other than that already established by
the decree) whose status and legal capacity are
generally governed by his national law
Remedy Available to Alien Spouse
 Corpuz was a former Filipino who acquired
 The availability under Art 26(2) of the Family Code
Canadian citizenship through naturalization
to aliens does not necessarily strip the alien spouse
of legal interest to petition the RTC for the
 He married Sto. Tomas, a Filipina, in Pasig City recognition of his foreign divorce decree
 Corpuz went to Canada for work and when he
returned to the Philippines he found out that his  The foreign divorce decree itself, after its
wife was having an affair with another man authenticity and conformity with the alien's
national law have been duly proven according to
 He filed a petition for divorce in Canada and the our rules of evidence, serves as a presumptive
same was granted evidence in favor of the alien spouse, pursuant to
Sec. 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which
 After two years from the effectivity of the divorce provides for the effect of foreign judgment (Please
decree, Corpuz found a new Filipina to love see pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court,
particularly Sec. 48, Rule 39 and Sec. 24 Rule 132)
 Corpuz went to the Pasig Civil Registry Office and
registered the divorce decree on his and Sto. Tomas' * Please take note: In this case, the SC considered the
marriage certificate recording of the divorce decree on Corpuz and Sto.
Tomas' marriage certificate as legally improper. No
 Corpuz filed a petition for judicial recognition of judicial order yet exists recognizing the foreign
foreign divorce before the RTC divorce decree, thus, the Pasig City Civil Registry
 RTC denied his petition, it ruled that only the Office acted totally out of turn and without authority
Filipino spouse can avail of the remedy under Art. of law when it annotated the Canadian divorce
26(2) of the Family Code decree of Corpuz and Sto. Tomas' marriage
certificate, on the strength alone of the foreign
Issue decree presented by Corpuz (Please see Art. 407 of
the New Civil Code and the Law on Registry of Civil
Status -Act No. 3753)
Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable
So what should Gerbert do in order to have the the Marriages.
foreign divorce be recognized?
File a petition under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court The RTC ruled, without further explanation, that
(Cancellation Or Correction Of Entries In The Civil the petition was in "gross violation" of the
Registry). And in that petition, he can raise an issue provisions of the rule. Apparently, the RTC took the
for the recognition of the foreign divorce decree. view that only "the husband or the wife," in this case
At this juncture, the SC ruled that the registration either Maekara or Marinay, can file the petition to
of the divorce decree by the Pasig Civil Registry is declare their marriage void, and not Fujiki.
wrong. The Civil Register cannot do that without a
court order. Article 412 of the Civil Code declares Fujiki moved that the Order be reconsidered.
that “no entry in a civil register shall be changed or
corrected, without judicial order.” On 2 March 2011, the RTC resolved to deny
Likewise, in the event that a proper petition for petitioners motion for reconsideration. In its
judicial recognition of a foreign divorce decree is Resolution, the RTC stated that A.M. No. 02-11-10-
filed, say for example if in this case, the person who SC applies because the petitioner, in effect, prays
filed the petition was Daisylyn, and the same was for a decree of absolute nullity of marriage. The
granted – such judicial recognition alone is not trial court reiterated its two grounds for dismissal,
sufficient to cause the cancellation of the entry in i.e. lack of personality to sue and improper venue
the civil registry. The SC ruled that a separate under Sections 2(a) and 4 of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC.
petition under Rule 108 must still be had.
On 30 May 2011, the Court required respondents to
FUJIKI vs. MARINAY file their comment on the petition for review. The
public respondents, the Local Civil Registrar of
FACTS: Quezon City and the Administrator and Civil
Petitioner Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki) is a Japanese Registrar General of the NSO, participated through
national who married respondent Maria Paz Galela the Office of the Solicitor General. Instead of a
Marinay (Marinay) in the Philippines On 23 January comment, the Solicitor General filed a
2004. The marriage did not sit well with petitioners Manifestation and Motion.
parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to
Japan where he resides. Eventually, they lost The Solicitor General agreed with the petition. He
contact with each other. prayed that the RTCs "pronouncement that the
petitioner failed to comply with A.M. No. 02-11-10-
In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese, Shinichi SC be set aside" and that the case be reinstated in
Maekara (Maekara). Without the first marriage being the trial court for further proceedings. The Solicitor
dissolved, Marinay and Maekara were married on 15 General argued that Fujiki, as the spouse of the first
May 2008 in Quezon City, Philippines. Maekara marriage, is an injured party who can sue to declare
brought Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay the bigamous marriage between Marinay and
allegedly suffered physical abuse from Maekara. Maekara void.
She left Maekara and started to contact Fujiki.
Moreover, the Solicitor General argued that there is
Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able no jurisdictional infirmity in assailing a void
to reestablish their relationship. In 2010, Fujiki marriage under Rule 108, citing De Castro v. De
helped Marinay obtain a judgment from a family Castro and Nil v. Bayadog which declared that "the
court in Japan which declared the marriage between validity of a void marriage may be collaterally
Marinay and Maekara void on the ground of bigamy. attacked."
On 14 January 2011, Fujiki filed a petition in the
RTC for the Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage. Marinay and Maekara individually sent letters to the
Fujiki prayed that (1) the Japanese Family Court Court to comply with the directive for them to
judgment be recognized; (2) that the bigamous comment on the petition. Maekara wrote that
marriage between Marinay and Maekara be declared Marinay concealed from him the fact that she was
voidab initio under Articles 35(4) and 41 of the previously married to Fujiki. Maekara also denied
Family Code of the Philippines; and (3) for the RTC that he inflicted any form of violence on Marinay.
to direct the Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City to On the other hand, Marinay wrote that she had no
annotate the Japanese Family Court judgment on reason to oppose the petition. She would like to
the Certificate of Marriage between Marinay and maintain her silence for fear that anything she say
Maekara and to endorse such annotation to the might cause misunderstanding between her and
Office of the Administrator and Civil Registrar Fujiki.
General in the National Statistics Office (NSO).
A few days after the filing of the petition, the RTC RTC decision is reversed.
immediately issued an Order dismissing the
petition and withdrawing the case from its active REMEDIAL LAW: Proof of foreign judgments
civil docket. The RTC cited the following provisions relating to the statues of a marriage where on of
of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country; AM
02-11-SC not applicable to petition for under Philippine law." In Republic v. Orbecido, this
recognition of foreign judgment Court recognized the legislative intent of the
second paragraph of Article 26 which is "to avoid
The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse
Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages remains married to the alien spouse who, after
(A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) does not apply in a petition obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the
to recognize a foreign judgment relating to the Filipino spouse"under the laws of his or her
status of a marriage where one of the parties is a country. The second paragraph of Article 26 of the
citizen of a foreign country. Moreover, in Juliano- Family Code only authorizes Philippine courts to
Llave v. Republic, this Court held that the rule in adopt the effects of a foreign divorce decree
A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC that only the husband or wife precisely because the Philippines does not allow
can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of divorce. Philippine courts cannot try the case on the
marriage "does not apply if the reason behind the merits because it is tantamount to trying a case for
petition is bigamy." divorce.

For Philippine courts to recognize a foreign The second paragraph of Article 26 is only a
judgment relating to the status of a marriage where corrective measure to address the anomaly that
one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country, results from a marriage between a Filipino, whose
the petitioner only needs to prove the foreign laws do not allow divorce, and a foreign citizen,
judgment as a fact under the Rules of Court. To be whose laws allow divorce. The anomaly consists in
more specific, a copy of the foreign judgment may the Filipino spouse being tied to the marriage while
be admitted in evidence and proven as a fact under the foreign spouse is free to marry under the laws
Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, of his or her country. The correction is made by
Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court. Petitioner may extending in the Philippines the effect of the
prove the Japanese Family Court judgment through foreign divorce decree, which is already effective in
(1) an official publication or (2) a certification or the country where it was rendered. The second
copy attested by the officer who has custody of the paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code is based
judgment. If the office which has custody is in a on this Courts decision in Van Dorn v. Romillo
foreign country such as Japan, the certification may which declared that the Filipino spouse "should not
be made by the proper diplomatic or consular be discriminated against in her own country if the
officer of the Philippine foreign service in Japan ends of justice are to be served."
and authenticated by the seal of office.
The principle in Article 26 of the Family Code
To hold that A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC applies to a applies in a marriage between a Filipino and a
petition for recognition of foreign judgment would foreign citizen who obtains a foreign judgment
mean that the trial court and the parties should nullifying the marriage on the ground of bigamy.
follow its provisions, including the form and The Filipino spouse may file a petition abroad to
contents of the petition, the service of summons, declare the marriage void on the ground of bigamy.
the investigation of the public prosecutor, the The principle in the second paragraph of Article 26
setting of pre-trial, the trial and the judgment of the of the Family Code applies because the foreign
trial court. This is absurd because it will litigate the spouse, after the foreign judgment nullifying the
case anew. It will defeat the purpose of recognizing marriage, is capacitated to remarry under the laws
foreign judgments, which is "to limit repetitive of his or her country. If the foreign judgment is not
litigation on claims and issues."The interpretation recognized in the Philippines, the Filipino spouse
of the RTC is tantamount to relitigating the case on will be discriminated the foreign spouse can
the merits. In Mijares v. Rada, this Court explained remarry while the Filipino spouse cannot remarry.
that "if every judgment of a foreign court were
reviewable on the merits, the plaintiff would be Under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the
forced back on his/her original cause of action, Family Code, Philippine courts are empowered to
rendering immaterial the previously concluded correct a situation where the Filipino spouse is still
litigation." tied to the marriage while the foreign spouse is free
to marry. Moreover, notwithstanding Article 26 of
CIVIL LAW: remarriage of a Filipino citizen whose the Family Code, Philippine courts already have
alien spouse divorces him or her jurisdiction to extend the effect of a foreign
judgment in the Philippines to the extent that the
Article 26 of the Family Code confers jurisdiction foreign judgment does not contravene domestic
on Philippine courts to extend the effect of a public policy. A critical difference between the case
foreign divorce decree to a Filipino spouse without of a foreign divorce decree and a foreign judgment
undergoing trial to determine the validity of the nullifying a bigamous marriage is that bigamy, as a
dissolution of the marriage. The second paragraph ground for the nullity of marriage, is fully
of Article 26 of the Family Code provides that consistent with Philippine public policy as
"[w]here a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a expressed in Article 35(4) of the Family Code and
foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code. The Filipino
thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse has the option to undergo full trial by filing
spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage
Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, but this is not the only
remedy available to him or her. Philippine courts to Merry Lee was not valid in the Philippines and
have jurisdiction to recognize a foreign judgment did not bind Felicisimo who was a Filipino citizen.
nullifying a bigamous marriage, without prejudice It also ruled that paragraph 2, Article 26 of the
to a criminal prosecution for bigamy. Family Code cannot be retroactively applied
because it would impair the vested rights of
SAN LUIS vs. SAN LUIS Felicisimo’s legitimate children.

FACTS: (3) CA: reversed and set aside the orders of the trial
During his lifetime, Felicisimo contracted three court
marriages. His first marriage was with Virginia Sulit
on March 17, 1942 out of which were born six ISSUES:
children, namely: Rodolfo, Mila, Edgar, Linda, (1) Whether venue was properly laid
Emilita and Manuel. On August 11, 1963, Virginia
predeceased Felicisimo. (2) Whether a Filipino who is divorced by his alien
spouse abroad may validly remarry under the Civil
Five years later, on May 1, 1968, Felicisimo married Code, considering that Felicidad’s marriage to
Merry Lee Corwin, with whom he had a son, Tobias. Felicisimo was solemnized on June 20, 1974, or
However, on October 15, 1971, Merry Lee, an before the Family Code took effect on August 3,
American citizen, filed a Complaint for Divorce 1988.
before the Family Court of the First Circuit, State of
Hawaii, United States of America (U.S.A.), which (3) Whether respondent has legal capacity to file the
issued a Decree Granting Absolute Divorce and subject petition for letters of administration.
Awarding Child Custody on December 14, 1973. On
June 20, 1974, Felicisimo married respondent RULING:
Felicidad San Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos, (1) Yes, the venue was proper. Section 1, Rule 73 of
before Rev. Fr.William Meyer, Minister of the United the Rules of Court, the petition for letters of
Presbyterian at Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, administration of the estate of Felicisimo should be
California, U.S.A. He had no children with filed in the Regional Trial Court of the province "in
respondent but lived with her for 18 years from the which he resides at the time of his death."
time of their marriage up to his death on December
18, 1992. For purposes of fixing venue under the Rules of
Court, the "residence" of a person is his personal,
Thereafter, respondent sought the dissolution of actual or physical habitation, or actual residence or
their conjugal partnership assets and the place of abode, which may not necessarily be his
settlement of Felicisimo’s estate. On December 17, legal residence or domicile provided he resides
1993, she filed a petition for letters of therein with continuity and consistency. While
administration before the Regional Trial Court petitioners established that Felicisimo was
domiciled in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, respondent proved
On February 4, 1994, petitioner Rodolfo San Luis, that he also maintained a residence in Alabang,
one of the children of Felicisimo by his first Muntinlupa from 1982 up to the time of his death.
marriage, filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds From the foregoing, we find that Felicisimo was a
of improper venue and failure to state a cause of resident of Alabang, Muntinlupa for purposes of
action. Rodolfo claimed that the petition for letters fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate.
of administration should have been filed in the
Province of Laguna because this was Felicisimo’s (2) Yes. Paragraph 2 of Article 26 traces its origin to
place of residence prior to his death. He further the 1985 case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. The Van
claimed that respondent has no legal personality to Dorn case involved a marriage between a Filipino
file the petition because she was only a mistress of citizen and a foreigner. The Court held therein that
Felicisimo since the latter, at the time of his death, a divorce decree validly obtained by the alien
was still legally married to Merry Lee. spouse is valid in the Philippines, and
consequently, the Filipino spouse is capacitated to
DECISION OF LOWER COURTS: remarry under Philippine law. As such, the Van
(1) Trial Court: denied the motion to dismiss, ruled Dorn case is sufficient basis in resolving a situation
that respondent, as widow of the decedent, where a divorce is validly obtained abroad by the
possessed the legal standing to file the petition and alien spouse. With the enactment of the Family
that venue was properly laid. Mila filed a motion for Code and paragraph 2, Article 26 thereof, our
inhibition against Judge Tensuan on November 16, lawmakers codified the law already established
1994. Thus, a new trial ensued. through judicial precedent.

(2) Trial Court (new): dismissed the petition for The divorce decree allegedly obtained by Merry Lee
letters of administration. It held that, at the time of which absolutely allowed Felicisimo to remarry,
his death, Felicisimo was the duly elected governor would have vested Felicidad with the legal
and a resident of the Province of Laguna. Hence, the personality to file the present petition as
petition should have been filed in Sta. Cruz, Laguna Felicisimo’s surviving spouse. However, the
and not in Makati City. It found that the decree of records show that there is insufficient evidence to
absolute divorce dissolving Felicisimo’s marriage prove the validity of the divorce obtained by Merry
Lee as well as the marriage of respondent and officer, must personally examine the affidavit of
Felicisimo under the laws of the U.S.A. cohabitation as to the parties having lived together
as husband and wife for at least 5 years and the
With regard to respondent’s marriage to Felicisimo absence of any legal impediment to marry each
allegedly solemnized in California, U.S.A., she other. The judge must also execute a sworn
submitted photocopies of the Marriage Certificate statement that he personally ascertained the
and the annotated text of the Family Law Act of parties’ qualifications to marry and found no legal
California which purportedly show that their impediment to the marriage.
marriage was done in accordance with the said law.
As stated in Garcia, however, the Court cannot take Republic of the Philippines vs Jose A. Dayot
judicial notice of foreign laws as they must be
alleged and proved.
Therefore, this case should be FACTS:
remanded to the trial court for further reception of On November 24, 1986 Jose and Felisa
evidence on the divorce decree obtained by Merry Dayot were married at the Pasay City Hall. In lieu of
Lee and the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo. a marriage license, they executed a sworn affidavit
attesting that both of them are legally capacitated
(3) Yes. Respondent’s legal capacity to file the and that they cohabited for atleast five years when
subject petition for letters of administration may in fact they only barely known each other since
arise from her status as the surviving wife of February 1986. On 1993, Jose filed a complaint for
Felicisimo or as his co-owner under Article 144 of Annulment and/or Declaration of Nullity of
the Civil Code or Article 148 of the Family Code. Marriage contending that their marriage was sham,
as to no ceremony was celebrated between them;
Even assuming that Felicisimo was not capacitated that he did not execute the sworn statement that he
to marry respondent in 1974, nevertheless, we find and Felisa had cohabited for atleast five years; and
that the latter has the legal personality to file the that his consent was secured through fraud. His
subject petition for letters of administration, as she sister, however, testified as witness that Jose
may be considered the co-owner of Felicisimo as voluntarily gave his consent during their marriage.
regards the properties that were acquired through The complaint was dismissed on Regional Trial
their joint efforts during their cohabitation. Court stating that Jose is deemed estopped from
assailing the legality of his marriage for lack of
REX M. TUPAL, vs. JUDGE REMEGIO V. ROJO marriage license. It is claimed that Jose and Felisa
had lived together from 1986 to 1990, and that it
FACTS: took Jose seven years before he sought the
Rex M. Tupal filed a complaint against Judge declaration of nullity; The RTC ruled that Jose’s
Remegio V. Rojo for violating the Code of Judicial action had prescribe. It cited Art 87 of the New Civil
Conduct and for gross ignorance of the law. Judge Code which requires that the action for annulment
Rojo allegedly solemnized marriages without the must be commenced by the injured party within
required marriage license. He instead notarized four years after the discovery of fraud. Jose
affidavits of cohabitation and issued them to the appealed to the Court of Appeals which rendered a
contracting parties. decision declaring their marriage void ab initio for
absence of marriage license. Felisa sought a
ISSUE: petition for review praying that the Court of
WON Judge Rojo is guilty of gross ignorance of the Appeal’s Amended decision be reversed and set
law. aside.

HELD: Issue:
YES. (1) Whether the falsity of an affidavit of
Before performing the marriage ceremony, the marital cohabitation, where the parties
judge must personally interview the contracting have in truth fallen short of the
parties and examine the requirements they minimum five-year requirement,
submitted. The parties must have complied with all effectively renders the marriage void ab
the essential and formal requisites of marriage. initio for lack of marriage.
Among these formal requisites is a marriage
license. A marriage license is issued by the local (2) Whether or not the action for nullity
civil registrar to parties who have all the prescribes as the case here where Jose
qualifications and none of the legal filed a complaint after seven years from
disqualifications to contract marriage. Before contracting marriage.
performing the marriage ceremony, the judge must
personally examine the marriage license presented. Held:
If the contracting parties have cohabited as
husband and wife for at least 5 years and have no (1)Yes. The intendment of law or fact leans
legal impediment to marry, they are exempt from towards the validity of marriage, will not salvage
the marriage license requirement. Instead, the the parties’ marriage, and extricate them from the
parties must present an affidavit of cohabitation effect of a violation of the law. The Court protects
sworn to before any person authorized by law to the fabric of the institution of marriage and at the
administer oaths. The judge, as solemnizing same time wary of deceptive schemes that violate
the legal measures set forth in the law. The case filiation, as well as his refusal to state with certainty
cannot fall under irregularity of the marriage the last time he had carnal knowledge with
license, what happens here is an absence of respondent, saying that petitioner’s “forgetfulness
marriage license which makes their marriage void should not be used as a vehicle to relieve him of his
for lack of one of the essential requirement of a obligation and reward him of his being
valid marriage. irresponsible.” Moreover, the Court of Appeals
noted the affidavit dated 7 April 1998 executed by
(2) No. An action for nullity is petitioner, wherein he voluntarily admitted that he
imprescriptible. Jose and Felisa’s marriage was is the legitimate father of the child. The appellate
celebrated san a marriage license. The right to court also ruled that since this case is an action for
impugn a void marriage does not prescribe. support, it was improper for the trial court to
declare the marriage of petitioner and respondent
REINEL ANTHONY B. DE CASTRO vs. ANNABELLE as null and void in the very same case. There was
ASSIDAO-DE CASTRO no participation of the State, through the
prosecuting attorney or fiscal, to see to it that there
FACTS: is no collusion between the parties, as required by
Petitioner and respondent met and became the Family Code in actions for declaration of nullity
sweethearts in 1991. They applied for a marriage of a marriage. The burden of proof to show that the
license with the Office of the Civil Registrar of Pasig marriage is void rests upon petitioner, but it is a
City in September 1994. When the couple went back matter that can be raised in an action for
to the Office of the Civil Registrar, the marriage declaration of nullity, and not in the instant
license had already expired. Thus, in order to push proceedings.
through with the plan, in lieu of a marriage license,
they executed a false affidavit dated 13 March 1995 ISSUE:
stating that they had been living together as Whether or not their marriage is valid.
husband and wife for at least five years. The couple
got married on the same date, with Judge Jose C. HELD:
Bernabe, presiding judge of the Metropolitan Trial Under the Family Code, the absence of any of the
Court of Pasig City, administering the civil rites. essential or formal requisites shall render the
Nevertheless, after the ceremony, petitioner and marriage void ab initio, whereas a defect in any of
respondent went back to their respective homes the essential requisites shall render the marriage
and did not live together as husband and wife. voidable. In the instant case, it is clear from the
On 13 November 1995, respondent gave birth to a evidence presented that petitioner and respondent
child named Reinna Tricia A. De Castro. On 4 June did not have a marriage license when they
1998, respondent filed a complaint for support contracted their marriage. Instead, they presented
against petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of an affidavit stating that they had been living
Pasig City. In her complaint, respondent alleged together for more than five years. However,
that she is married to petitioner and that the latter respondent herself in effect admitted the falsity of
has “reneged on his responsibility/obligation to the affidavit when she was asked during cross-
financially support her “as his wife and Reinna examination. The falsity of the affidavit cannot be
Tricia as his child.” Petitioner denied that he is considered as a mere irregularity in the formal
married to respondent, claiming that their marriage requisites of marriage. The law dispenses with the
is void ab initio since the marriage was facilitated marriage license requirement for a man and a
by a fake affidavit; and that he was merely woman who have lived together and exclusively
prevailed upon by respondent to sign the marriage with each other as husband and wife for a
contract to save her from embarrassment and continuous and unbroken period of at least five
possible administrative prosecution due to her years before the marriage. The aim of this provision
pregnant state; and that he was not able to get is to avoid exposing the parties to humiliation,
parental advice from his parents before he got shame and embarrassment concomitant with the
married. He also averred that they never lived scandalous cohabitation of persons outside a valid
together as husband and wife and that he has never marriage due to the publication of every applicant’s
seen nor acknowledged the child. name for a marriage license. In the instant case,
there was no “scandalous cohabitation” to protect;
The trial court ruled that the marriage between in fact, there was no cohabitation at all. The false
petitioner and respondent is not valid because it affidavit which petitioner and respondent executed
was solemnized without a marriage license. so they could push through with the marriage has
However, it declared petitioner as the natural father no value whatsoever; it is a mere scrap of paper.
of the child, and thus obliged to give her support. They were not exempt from the marriage license
The Court of Appeals denied the appeal. Prompted requirement. Their failure to obtain and present a
by the rule that a marriage is presumed to be marriage license renders their marriage void ab
subsisting until a judicial declaration of nullity has initio.
been made, the appellate court declared that the LEONILA G. SANTIAGO v. PEOPLE
child was born during the subsistence and validity
of the parties’ marriage. In addition, the Court of FACTS:
Appeals frowned upon petitioner’s refusal to The prosecution adduced evidence that Santos, who
undergo DNA testing to prove the paternity and had been married to Estela Galang, asked petitioner
to marry him. Petitioner, who was a 43-year-old falsely making claims in no less than her marriage
widow then, married Santos. Four months after the contract.
solemnization of their marriage, Leonila G. Santiago
and Nicanor F. Santos faced an Information for In violation of our law against illegal marriages,
bigamy. Petitioner pleaded "not guilty," while her petitioner married Santos while knowing full well
putative husband escaped the criminal suit. that they had not yet complied with the five-year
cohabitation requirement under Article 34 of the
Petitioner asserted that she could not be included Family Code. It will be the height of absurdity for
as an accused in the crime of bigamy, because she this Court to allow petitioner to use her illegal act
had been under the belief that Santos was still to escape criminal conviction.
single when they got married. She also averred that
for there to be a conviction for bigamy, his second No less than the present Constitution provides that
marriage to her should be proven valid by the "marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the
prosecution; but in this case, she argued that their foundation of the family and shall be protected by
marriage was void due to the lack of a marriage the State." It must be safeguarded from the whims
license. and caprices of the contracting parties. In keeping
therefore with this fundamental policy, this Court
Eleven years after the inception of this criminal affirms the conviction of petitioner for bigamy.
case, the first wife, Estela Galang, testified for the
prosecution. She alleged that she had met Enrico vs. Heirs
petitioner on which occasions the former
introduced herself as the legal wife of Santos. FACTS:
Petitioner denied this allegation and averred that The heirs of Spouses Eulogio and Trinidad
she met Galang only or after she had already Medinaceli filed with the RTC, an action for
married Santos. declaration of nullity of marriage of Eulogio and
petitioner Lolita D. Enrico, alleging that Eulogio and
The RTC appreciated the undisputed fact that Trinidad were married in June 1962 and begot
petitioner married Santos during the subsistence of seven children, herein respondents. On May 1,
his marriage to Galang. Petitioner moved for 2004, Trinidad died. On August 26, 2004,
reconsideration which was denied. On appeal, the Eulogio married petitioner before the Municipal
CA gave more weight to the prosecution witnesses' Mayor of Lal-lo, Cagayan without the requisite
narration. of a marriage license. Eulogio passed away six
months later. They argued that Article 34 of the
ISSUE: Family Code, which exempts a man and a woman
Is the second marriage of Santiago valid, for there who have been living together for at least five years
to be a conviction for bigamy? without any legal impediment from securing
a marriage license, was not applicable to petitioner
HELD: and Eulogio. Respondents posited that the marriage
YES. It is clear that the marriage between petitioner of Eulogio to Trinidad was dissolved only upon the
and Santos took place without a marriage license. latters death, or on 1 May 2004, which was barely
The absence of this requirement is purportedly three months from the date of marriage of Eulogio
explained in their Certificate of Marriage, which to petitioner. Therefore, petitioner and Eulogio
reveals that their union was celebrated under could not have lived together as husband and wife
Article 34 of the Family Code, which provides an for at least five years. To further their cause,
exemption from the requirement of a marriage respondents raised the additional ground of lack
license if the parties have actually lived together as of marriage ceremony due to Eulogios serious
husband and wife for at least five years prior to the illness which made its performance impossible.
celebration of their marriage.
In the Answer, petitioner maintained that she and
Santiago and Santos, however, reflected the exact Eulogio lived together as husband and wife under
opposite of this fact. Although the records do not one roof for 21 years openly and publicly; hence,
show that they submitted an affidavit of they were exempted from the requirement of
cohabitation as required by Article 34 of the Family a marriage license. She further contended that
Code, it appears that the two of them lied before the marriage ceremony was performed in the
the solemnizing officer and misrepresented that Municipal Hall of Lal-lo, Cagayan, and solemnized
they had actually cohabited for at least five years by the Municipal Mayor. As an affirmative defense,
before they married each other. she sought the dismissal of the action on the
ground that it is only the contracting parties while
The Certificate of Marriage, signed by Santos and living who can file an action for declaration of
Santiago, contained the misrepresentation nullity of marriage.
perpetrated by them that they were eligible to
contract marriage without a license. Petitioner now ISSUES:
seeks to be acquitted of bigamy based on her illegal Whether of or not the heirs may validly file the
actions of (1) marrying Santos without a marriage declaration of nullity of marriage between Eulogio
license despite knowing that they had not satisfied and Lolita
the cohabitation requirement under the law; and (2)
RULING: hereby denied. Plaintiffs (petitioners) Counter-
No. Administrative Order No. A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, Motion for Summary Judgment is hereby granted
effective March 14, 2003, covers marriages under and summary judgment is hereby rendered in favor
the Family Code of the Philippines does not allow of plaintiff as follows: Declaring the marriage
it. between defendant Felicidad Sandoval and Teofilo
Carlos null and void ab initio for lack of the
The marriage of petitioner to Eulogio was requisite marriage license.
celebrated on August 26, 2004 which falls
within the ambit of the order. The order declares · In the appeal, respondents argued that the trial
that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of court acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in
void marriage may be filed solely by the husband rendering summary judgment annulling the
or the wife. But it does not mean that the marriage of Teofilo, Sr. and Felicidad.
compulsory or intestate heirs are already without
any recourse under the law. They can still protect · CA reversed and set aside the RTC ruling.
their successional right, for, as stated in
the Rationale of the Rules on Annulment of ISSUES:
Voidable Marriages and Declaration of Absolute
Nullity of Void Marriages, Legal Separation and 1) Whether a marriage may be declared void ab
Provisional Orders, compulsory or intestate heirs initio through a judgment on the pleadings or a
can still question the validity of the marriage of the summary judgment and without the benefit of a
spouses, not in a proceeding for declaration of trial. NO
nullity, but upon the death of a spouse in a
proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the 2) Whether one who is not a spouse may bring an
deceased spouse filed in the regular courts. action for nullity of marriage. Yes if the marriage
was celebrated prior to the effectivity of the Family
CARLOS V SANDOVAL code and the plaintiff is a real party-in-interest.

Doctrine: ONLY a spouse can initiate an action to HELD:

sever the marital bond for marriages solemnized
during the effectivity of the Family Code, except I. The grounds for declaration of absolute nullity
cases commenced prior to March 15, 2003. The of marriage must be proved. Neither judgment
nullity and annulment of a marriage cannot be on the pleadings nor summary judgment is
declared in a judgment on the pleadings, summary allowed. So is confession of judgment
judgment, or confession of judgment. disallowed.

FACTS: With the advent of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, known

· Spouses Felix Carlos and Felipa Elemia died as Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void
intestate. They left six parcels of land to their Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages,
compulsory heirs, Teofilo Carlos and petitioner the question on the application of summary
Juan De Dios Carlos. judgments or even judgment on the pleadings in
cases of nullity or annulment of marriage has been
· Teofilo died intestate. He was survived by stamped with clarity. The significant principle laid
respondents Felicidad and their son. Upon down by the said Rule, which took effect on March
Teofilo’s death, Parcel Nos. 5 & 6 (registered in the 15, 2003 is found in Section 17, viz.:
name of Teofilo) were registered in the name of
respondent Felicidad. SEC. 17. Trial. (1) The presiding judge shall
personally conduct the trial of the case. No
· In August 1995, petitioner commenced an action delegation of evidence to a commissioner shall be
against respondents for the declaration of nullity of allowed except as to matters involving property
marriage. Petitioner asserted that the marriage relations of the spouses.
between his late brother Teofilo and respondent
Felicidad was a nullity in view of the absence of the (2) The grounds for declaration of absolute
required marriage license. nullity or annulment of marriage must be
· On the grounds of lack of cause of action and lack proved. No judgment on the pleadings, summary
of jurisdiction over the subject matter, respondents judgment, or confession of judgment shall be
prayed for the dismissal of the case before the trial allowed.
court. But before the parties could even proceed to
pre-trial, respondents moved for summary By issuing said summary judgment, the trial court
judgment. has divested the State of its lawful right and duty
to intervene in the case. The participation of the
· Petitioner opposed the motion for summary State is not terminated by the declaration of the
judgment and lodged his own motion for summary public prosecutor that no collusion exists between
judgment. the parties. The State should have been given the
opportunity to present controverting evidence
· RTC rendered judgment: defendants before the judgment was rendered.
(respondents) Motion for Summary Judgment is
Both the Civil Code and the Family Code ordain that It is emphasized, however, that the Rule does not
the court should order the prosecuting attorney to apply to cases already commenced before March
appear and intervene for the State. It is at this stage 15, 2003 although the marriage involved is within
when the public prosecutor sees to it that there is the coverage of the Family Code. This is so, as the
no suppression of evidence. Concomitantly, even if new Rule which became effective on March 15,
there is no suppression of evidence, the public 2003 is prospective in its application.
prosecutor has to make sure that the evidence to be
presented or laid down before the court is not Petitioner commenced the nullity of marriage case
fabricated. against respondent Felicidad in 1995. The marriage
in controversy was celebrated on May 14,
To further bolster its role towards the preservation 1962. Which law would govern depends upon
of marriage, the Rule on Declaration of Absolute when the marriage took place. The marriage
Nullity of Void Marriages reiterates the duty of the having been solemnized
public prosecutor, viz.: SEC. 13. Effect of failure to prior to the effectivity of the Family Code, the
appear at the pre-trial. (b) x x x If there is no applicable law is the Civil Code which was the law
collusion, the court shall require the public in effect at the time of its celebration. But the Civil
prosecutor to intervene for the State during the trial Code is silent as to who may bring an action to
on the merits to prevent suppression or fabrication declare the marriage void. Does this mean that any
of evidence. person can bring an action for the declaration of
nullity of marriage? NO. The absence of a provision
Truly, only the active participation of the public in the Civil Code cannot be construed as a license
prosecutor or the Solicitor General will ensure that for any person to institute a nullity of marriage
the interest of the State is represented and case. Such person must appear to be the party who
protected in proceedings for declaration of nullity stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment
of marriages by preventing the fabrication or in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the
suppression of evidence. suit. Plaintiff must be the real party-in-interest.

II. A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of ISIDRO ABLAZA V. REPUBLIC

void marriage may be filed solely by the husband
or wife. Exceptions: (1) Nullity of marriage cases DOCTRINE:
commenced before the effectivity of A.M. No. 02- The plaintiff must be the party who stands to be
11-10-SC; and (2) Marriages celebrated during the benefited by the suit, or the party entitled to the
effectivity of the Civil Code. avails of the suit. Every action must be prosecuted
and defended in the name of the real party in
Under the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity interest. Thus, only the party who can demonstrate
of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable a “proper interest” can file the action.
Marriages, the petition for declaration of absolute
nullity of marriage may not be filed by any party FACTS:
outside of the marriage. The Rule made it On October 17, 2000, the petitioner filed in the RTC
exclusively a right of the spouses [Sec. 2(a)]. The in Cataingan, Masbate a petition for the declaration
innovation incorporated in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC of the absolute nullity of the marriage contracted
sets forth a demarcation line between marriages on December 26, 1949 between his late brother
covered by the Family Code and those solemnized Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila Honato.
under the Civil Code. The Rule extends only to
marriages entered into during the effectivity of the The petitioner alleged that the marriage between
Family Code which took effect on August 3, 1988. Cresenciano and Leonila had been celebrated
without a marriage license, due to such license
The advent of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute being issued only on January 9, 1950, thereby
Nullity of Void Marriages marks rendering the marriage void ab initio for having
the beginning of the end of the right of the heirs of been solemnized without a marriage license.
the deceased spouse to bring a nullity of marriage He insisted that his being the surviving brother of
case against the surviving spouse. Cresenciano who had died without any issue
entitled him to one-half of the real properties
While A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC declares that a petition acquired by Cresenciano before his death, thereby
for declaration of absolute nullity making him a real party in interest; and that any
of marriage may be filed solely by the husband or person, himself included, could impugn the validity
the wife, it does not mean that the compulsory or of the marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila at
intestate heirs are without any recourse under the any time, even after the death of Cresenciano, due
law. They can still protect their successional right, to the marriage being void ab initio.
for, compulsory or intestate heirs can still question
the validity of the marriage of the spouses, not in a On October 18, 2000, the RTC dismissed
proceeding for declaration of nullity but upon the the petition on the ground that petition is filed out
death of a spouse in a proceeding for the settlement of time and that petitioner is not a party to
of the estate of the deceased spouse filed in the marriage. Motion for reconsideration
regular courts. was likewise denied. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the dismissal order of the RTC on
the ground that the action must be filed by the Sur.In their marriage contracts, Sen. Tamanos civil
proper party, which in this case should be filed by status was indicated as divorced.
any of the parties to the marriage. Hence, this
appeal. Private respondents Haja Putri Zorayda A. Tamano
(Zorayda) and her son Adib Ahmad A. Tamano (Adib
ISSUE: filed a complaint with the RTC of Quezon City for
Whether the petitioner is a real party in interest in the declaration of nullity of marriage between
the action to seek the declaration of nullity of the Estrellita and Sen. Tamano for being bigamous.
marriage of his deceased brother?
It was further alleged that since Zorayda and
HELD: deceased were married when the NCC was already
Yes. The applicable law when marriage was in effect, the subsequent marriage to Estrellita is
contracted between Cresenciano and Leonila on void ab initio since divorce is not allowed under the
December 26, 1949, is the old Civil Code, the law in NCC. Moreover, the deceased did not and could not
effect at the time of the celebration of the marriage. have divorced Complainant Zorayda by invoking
Hence, the rule on the exclusivity of the parties to the provision of P.D. 1083, otherwise known as the
the marriage as having the right to initiate the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, for the simple
action for declaration of nullity of the marriage reason that the marriage of the deceased with
under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC had absolutely Complainant Zorayda was never deemed, legally
no application to the petitioner. The case was and factually, to have been one contracted under
reinstated and its records returned to RTC for Muslim law.
further proceedings.
Instead of filing an Answer, Estrellita filed a motion
Ratio: to dismiss. The trial court denied Estrellitas motion
Section 2, paragraph (a), of A.M. No. 02-11-10- and asserted its jurisdiction over the case for
SCexplicitly provides the limitationthat declaration of nullity. Thus, Estrellita filed a
a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void petition for review on certiorari before the SC
marriage may be filed solely by the husband or questioning the denial of her Motion to Dismiss
wife. Such limitation demarcates a line which was referred to and subsequently denied by
to distinguish between marriages covered by the the CA. This prompted Estrellita to file a petition
Family Code and those solemnized under the for review on certiorari before the SC (GR No.
regime of the Civil Code. This specifically extends 126603)
only to marriages covered by the Family Code,
which took effect on August 3, 1988, but, being a Subsequent to the promulgation of the CA Decision,
procedural rule that is prospective in application, the RTC ordered Estrellita to present her evidence
is confined only to proceedings commenced after but she asked for postponement. Unhappy with the
March 15, 2003. delays in the resolution of their case, Zorayda and
Adib moved to submit the case for decision,
Assuming that the petitioner was as he claimed reasoning that Estrellita had long been delaying the
himself to be, then he has a material interest in the case. Estrellita opposed, on the ground that she has
estate of Cresenciano that will be adversely not yet filed her answer as she still awaits the
affected by any judgment in the suit. Indeed, a outcome of G.R. No. 126603.
brother like the petitioner, albeit not a compulsory
heir, has the right to succeed to the estate of a The RTC rendered the aforementioned judgment
deceased brother under the conditions stated in declaring Estrellitas marriage with Sen. Tamano as
Article 1001 and Article 1003 of the Civil Code. The void ab initio. On appeal to the CA, Estrellita argued
plaintiff must still be the party who stands to be that she was denied due process as the RTC
benefited by the suit, or the party entitled to the rendered its judgment even without waiting for the
avails of the suit, for it is basic in procedural law finality of the Decision of the Supreme Court in G.R.
that every action must be prosecuted and defended No. 126603. The CA denied the appeal as she was
in the name of the real party in interest. Thus, only given ample opportunity to be heard but simply
the party who can demonstrate a “proper interest” ignored it by asking for numerous postponements.
can file the action. One having no material interest Hence, this petition.
to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the
court as plaintiff in an action. When the plaintiff is ISSUE:
not the real party in interest, the case is dismissible Whether or not the Estrellita was denied due
on the ground of lack of cause of action. process

JULIANO-LLAVE vs. REPUBLIC Whether or not the marriage of Estrellita and

Tamano was bigamous
Around 11 months before his death, Sen. Tamano Remedial Law- "An application for certiorari is an
married Estrellita twice initially under the Islamic independent action which is not part or a
laws and tradition and under a civil ceremony continuation of the trial which resulted in the
officiated by an RTC Judge at Malabang, Lanao del rendition of the judgment complained of."
the parties were married both in civil and Muslim
Estrellitas refusal to file an answer eventually led to rites."
the loss of her right to answer; and her pending
petition for certiorari/review on certiorari Moreover, the Muslim Code took effect only on
questioning the denial of the motion to dismiss February 4, 1977, and this law cannot retroactively
before the higher courts does not at all suspend the override the Civil Code which already bestowed
trial proceedings of the principal suit before the certain rights on the marriage of Sen. Tamano and
RTC of Quezon City. Zorayda.

Firstly, it can never be argued that Estrellita was VITANGCOL vs. PEOPLE
deprived of her right to due process. She was never
declared in default, and she even actively FACTS:
participated in the trial to defend her interest. On 1994, Alice Eduardo married petitioner. After
some time, Eduardo discovered that petitioner was
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is explicit in stating married to a Gina Gaerlan on July 1987, before the
that "[t]he petition shall not interrupt the course of Family Code became effective. She then filed for
the principal case unless a temporary restraining bigamy.
order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been
issued against the public respondent from further The RTC held in favor of Eduardo and the CA
proceeding in the case. In fact, the trial court affirmed that decision. In his motion for
respected the CAs temporary restraining order and reconsideration, petitioner argues that there is no
only after the CA rendered judgment did the RTC bigamy as there was no proof of existence of an
again require Estrellita to present her evidence. essential requisite of marriage in the first marriage
which was the marriage license.
Notably, when the CA judgment was elevated to us
by way of Rule 45, we never issued any order ISSUE:
precluding the trial court from proceeding with the Whether the essential requisites of marriage was
principal action. With her numerous requests for present in the first marriage.
postponements, Estrellita remained obstinate in
refusing to file an answer or to present her evidence RULING:
when it was her turn to do so, insisting that the trial YES.
court should wait first for our decision in G.R. No.
126603. Her failure to file an answer and her refusal The SC held that petitioner was indeed guilty of
to present her evidence were attributable only to bigamy. The SC stated that “petitioner was still
herself and she should not be allowed to benefit legally married to Gina when he married Alice.”
from her own dilatory tactics to the prejudice of the
other party. Article 53 of the Civil Code enumerates the
requisites of marriage, the absence of any of which
Civil Law- A new law ought to affect the future, renders the marriage void from the beginning:
not what is past
No marriage shall be solemnized unless all these
The marriage between the late Sen. Tamano and requisites are complied with:
Zorayda was celebrated in 1958, solemnized under 1. Legal capacity of the contracting parties;
civil and Muslim rites. The only law in force 2. Their consent, freely given;
governing marriage relationships between Muslims 3. Authority of the person performing the marriage;
and non-Muslims alike was the Civil Code of 1950, and
under the provisions of which only one marriage 4. A marriage license, except in a marriage of
can exist at any given time. Under the marriage exceptional character.
provisions of the Civil Code, divorce is not
recognized except during the effectivity of “The fourth requisite—the marriage license—is
Republic Act No. 394 which was not availed of issued by the local civil registrar of the
during its effectivity. municipality where either contracting party
habitually resides. The marriage license represents
As far as Estrellita is concerned, Sen. Tamanos prior the state’s “involvement and participation in every
marriage to Zorayda has been severed by way of marriage, in the maintenance of which the general
divorce under PD 1083, the law that codified public is interested.”
Muslim personal laws. However, PD 1083 cannot
benefit Estrellita. Firstly, Article 13(1) thereof “To prove that a marriage was solemnized without
provides that the law applies to "marriage and a marriage license, “the law requires that the
divorce wherein both parties are Muslims, or absence of such marriage license must be apparent
wherein only the male party is a Muslim and the on the marriage contract, or at the very least,
marriage is solemnized in accordance with Muslim supported by a certification from the local civil
law or this Code in any part of the Philippines." But registrar that no such marriage license was issued
we already ruled in G.R. No. 126603 that "Article 13 to the parties.”
of PD 1083 does not provide for a situation where
“Petitioner presents a Certification from the Office Eastern Samar which attested to the fact that the
of the Civil Registrar” but the SC held that the Office of the Local Civil Registrar has neither record
Certification “does not prove that petitioner’s first nor copy of a marriage license issued to petitioner
marriage was solemnized without a marriage and respondent with respect to their marriage
license. It does not categorically state that Marriage celebrated on June 1, 1972. Veronica, the
License No. 8683519 does not exist.” respondent opposed the petition, arguing that the
petition should be outrightly dismissed for lack of
“Moreover, petitioner admitted the authenticity of cause of action because there is no evidence to
his signature appearing on the marriage contract prove petitioner’s allegation that their marriage
between him and his first wife. The first marriage was celebrated without the requisite marriage
contract is a positive piece of evidence as to the license and that, on the contrary, both petitioner
existence of petitioner’s first marriage.” and respondent personally appeared before the
local civil registrar and secured a marriage license
“A different view would undermine the stability of which they presented before their marriage was
our legal order insofar as marriages are concerned. solemnized.
Marriage licenses may be conveniently lost due to
negligence or consideration.” After trial, the RTC granted Raquel’s petition, but
the Republic and Raquel appealed to the CA.
“In this case, there is a marriage contract indicating
the presence of a marriage license number freely The CA held that since a marriage was, in fact,
and voluntarily signed and attested to by the solemnized between the contending parties, there
parties to the marriage as well as by their is a presumption that a marriage license was issued
solemnizing officer. The first marriage was for that purpose and that petitioner failed to
celebrated on July 17, 1987. The second marriage overcome such presumption. The CA also ruled that
was entered into on December 4, 1994. Within a the absence of any indication in the marriage
span of seven (7) years, four (4) months, and 17 certificate that a marriage license was issued is a
(seventeen) days, petitioner did not procure a mere defect in the formal requisites of the law
judicial declaration of the nullity of his first which does not invalidate the parties’ marriage.
marriage. Even while the bigamy case was pending,
no decision declaring the first marriage as Issue:
spurious was presented. In other words, Whether or not the marriage should be declared
petitioner’s belief that there was no marriage null and void for lack of marriage license.
license is rendered untrue by his own actuations.”
“Assuming without conceding that petitioner’s first The marriage of petitioner and respondent was
marriage was solemnized without a marriage celebrated on June 1, 1972, prior to the effectivity
license, petitioner remains liable for bigamy. of the Family Code.⁠2 Hence, the Civil Code governs
Petitioner’s first marriage was not judicially their union. Accordingly, Article 53 of the Civil
declared void. Nor was his first wife Gina judicially Code spells out the essential requisites of marriage
declared presumptively dead under the Civil Code.” as a contract, to wit:

“As early as 1968, this court held in Landicho v. ART 53. No marriage shall be solemnized unless
Relova, that parties to a marriage should not be all these requisites are complied with:
permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, only (1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties;
competent courts having such authority. Prior to (2) Their consent, freely given;
such declaration of nullity, the validity of the first (3) Authority of the person performing the
marriage is beyond question. A party who contracts marriage; and
a second marriage then assumes the risk of being (4) A marriage license, except in a marriage of
prosecuted for bigamy.” exceptional character.⁠

“The commission that drafted the Family Code Article 58 of the Civil Code makes explicit that no
considered the Landicho ruling in wording Article marriage shall be solemnized without a license first
40 of the Family Code: being issued by the local civil registrar of the
municipality where either contracting party
Art. 40. The absolute nullity of a previous marriage habitually resides, save marriages of an exceptional
may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the character authorized by the Civil Code, but not
basis solely of a final judgment declaring such those under Article 75.⁠4 Under the Civil Code,
previous marriage void.” marriages of exceptional character are covered by
Chapter 2, Title 111, comprising Articles 72 to 79.
These marriages are: (1) marriages in articulo
KHO vs. REPUBLIC mortis or at the point of death during peace or war;
(2) marriages in remote places; (3) consular
Facts: marriages; (4) ratification of marital cohabitation;
Raquel filed a petition for declaration of his (5) religious ratification of a civil marriage; (6)
marriage to Veronica, presenting a Certification Mohammedan or pagan marriages; and (7) mixed
issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar of Arteche,
marriages. Petitioner’s and respondent’s marriage It is telling that respondent failed to present their
does not fall under any of these exceptions. alleged marriage license or a copy thereof to the
court. In addition, the Certificate of
Article 80(3) of the Civil Code also makes it clear Marriage⁠12 issued by the officiating priest does not
that a marriage performed without the contain any entry regarding the said marriage
corresponding marriage license is void, this being license. Respondent could have obtained a copy of
nothing more than the legitimate consequence their marriage contract from the National Archives
flowing from the fact that the license is the essence and Records Section, where information regarding
of the marriage contract.5⁠ The rationale for the the marriage license, i.e., date of issuance and
compulsory character of a marriage license under license number, could be obtained. However, she
the Civil Code is that it is the authority granted by also failed to do so. The Court also notes, with
the State to the contracting parties, after the proper approval, the RTC’s agreement with petitioner’s
government official has inquired into their capacity observation that the statements of the witnesses for
to contract marriage.⁠6 Stated differently, the respondent, as well as respondent herself, all attest
requirement and issuance of a marriage license is to the fact that a marriage ceremony was conducted
the State’s demonstration of its involvement and but neither one of them testified that a marriage
participation in every marriage, in the maintenance license was issued in favor of petitioner and
of which the general public is interested.⁠7 respondent. Indeed, despite respondent’s
categorical claim that she and petitioner were able
In the instant case, respondent claims that she and to obtain a marriage license, she failed to present
petitioner were able to secure a marriage license evidence to prove such allegation. It is a settled rule
which they presented to the solemnizing officer that one who alleges a fact has the burden of
before the marriage was performed. proving it and mere allegation is not evidence.⁠
The OSG, on its part, contends that the presumption
is always in favor of the validity of marriage and Based on the Certification issued by the Municipal
that any doubt should be resolved to sustain such Civil Registrar of Arteche, Eastern Samar, coupled
validity. Indeed, this Court is mindful of this with respondent’s failure to produce a copy of the
principle as well as of the Constitutional policy alleged marriage license or of any evidence to show
which protects and strengthens the family as the that such license was ever issued, the only
basic autonomous social institution and marriage conclusion that can be reached is that no valid
as the foundation of the family. marriage license was, in fact, issued. Contrary to
On the other hand, petitioner insists that the the ruling of the CA, it cannot be said that there was
Certification issued by the Civil Registrar of a simple defect, not a total absence, in the
Arteche, Eastern Samar, coupled with the testimony requirements of the law which would not affect the
of the former Civil Registrar, is sufficient evidence validity of the marriage. The fact remains that
to prove the absence of the subject marriage respondent failed to prove that the subject
license. marriage license was issued and the law is clear that
The Court agrees with petitioner and finds no doubt a marriage which is performed without the
to be resolved as the evidence is clearly in his favor. corresponding marriage license is null and void.

Apropos is the case of Nicdao Cariño v. Yee As to the sufficiency of petitioner’s evidence, the
Cariño.⁠8 There, it was held that the certification of OSG further argues that, on the basis of this Court’s
the Local Civil Registrar, that their office had no ruling in Sevilla v. Cardenas,⁠14 the certification
record of a marriage license, was adequate to prove issued by the local civil registrar, which attests to
the non-issuance of said license.⁠9 It was further the absence in its records of a marriage license,
held that the presumed validity of the marriage of must categorically state that the document does not
the parties had been overcome, and that it became exist in the said office despite diligent search.
the burden of the party alleging a valid marriage to
prove that the marriage was valid, and that the However, in Republic of the Philippines v. Court of
required marriage license had been secured⁠ Appeals,⁠15 this Court considered the certification
issued by the Local Civil Registrar as a certification
As stated above, petitioner was able to present a of due search and inability to find the record or
Certification issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar entry sought by the parties despite the absence of
of Arteche, Eastern Samar attesting that the Office a categorical statement that “such document does
of the Local Civil Registrar “has no record nor copy not exist in their records despite diligent search.”
of any marriage license ever issued in favor of The Court, citing Section 28,⁠16 Rule 132 of the Rules
Raquel G. Kho [petitioner] and Veronica M. Borata of Court, held that the certification of due search
[respondent] whose marriage was celebrated on and inability to find a record or entry as to the
June 1, 1972.”⁠11 Thus, on the basis of such purported marriage license, issued by the civil
Certification, the presumed validity of the marriage registrar, enjoys probative value, he being the
of petitioner and respondent has been overcome officer charged under the law to keep a record of all
and it becomes the burden of respondent to prove data relative to the issuance of a marriage license.
that their marriage is valid as it is she who alleges Based on said certification, the Court held that
such validity. As found by the RTC, respondent was there is absence of a marriage license that would
not able to discharge that burden. render the marriage void ab initio.
Moreover, as discussed in the abovestated case petitioner’s and respondent’s marriage cannot be
of Nicdao Cariño v. Yee Cariño,⁠17 this Court characterized as among the exceptions.
considered the marriage of the petitioner and her
deceased husband as void ab initio as the records As to the motive of petitioner in seeking to annul
reveal that the marriage contract of petitioner and his marriage to respondent, it may well be that his
the deceased bears no marriage license number motives are less than pure – that he seeks a way out
and, as certified by the local civil registrar, their of his marriage to legitimize his alleged illicit affair
office has no record of such marriage license. The with another woman. Be that as it may, the same
court held that the certification issued by the local does not make up for the failure of the respondent
civil registrar is adequate to prove the non-issuance to prove that they had a valid marriage license,
of the marriage license. Their marriage having been given the weight of evidence presented by
solemnized without the necessary marriage license petitioner. The law must be applied. As the
and not being one of the marriages exempt from the marriage license, an essential requisite under the
marriage license requirement, the marriage of the Civil Code, is clearly absent, the marriage of
petitioner and the deceased is undoubtedly void ab petitioner and respondent is void ab initio.
initio. This ruling was reiterated in the more recent
case of Go-Bangayan v. Bangayan, Jr.⁠18 TE vs. TE
Furthermore, in the fairly recent case of Abbas v.
Abbas,⁠19 this Court echoed the ruling in Republic v. Facts:
CA⁠20 that, in sustaining the finding of the lower Edward Kenneth Ngo Te met Rowena Ong Gutierrez
court that a marriage license was lacking, this Court Yu at a Filipino-Chinese gathering at a school
relied on the Certification issued by the local civil campus. They did not have interest with each other
registrar, which stated that the alleged marriage at first but they developed a certain degree of
license could not be located as the same did not closeness due to the fact that they share the same
appear in their records. Contrary to petitioner’s angst with their families. In 1996, while still in
asseveration, nowhere in the Certification was it college, Rowena proposed to Kenneth that they
categorically stated that the officer involved should elope. Kenneth initially refused on the
conducted a diligent search. In this respect, this ground that he was still young and jobless. But due
Court held that Section 28, Rule 132 of the Rules of to Rowena’s persistence Kenneth complied bringing
Court does not require a categorical statement to with him P80K. The money soon after disappeared
this effect. Moreover, in the said case, this Court and they found themselves forced to return to their
ruled that: respective home. Subsequently, Rowena’s uncle
brought the two before a court and had had them
Under Sec. 3(m), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, it be married. After marriage, Kenneth and Rowena
is a disputable presumption that an official duty stayed with her uncle’s house where Kenneth was
has been regularly performed, absent contradiction treated like a prisoner.
or other evidence to the contrary. We held, “The
presumption of regularity of official acts may be Meanwhile, Kenneth was advised by his dad to
rebutted by affirmative evidence of irregularity or come home otherwise he will be disinherited. One
failure to perform a duty.” No such affirmative month later, Kenneth was able to escape and he was
evidence was shown that the Municipal Civil hidden from Rowena’s family. Kenneth later
Registrar was lax in performing her duty of contacted Rowena urging her to live
checking the records of their office, thus the with his parents instead. Rowena however
presumption must stand. x x x⁠21 suggested that he should get his inheritance
In all the abovementioned cases, there was clear instead so that they could live together separately
and unequivocal finding of the absence of the or just stay with her uncle.
subject marriage license which rendered the
marriage void. Kenneth however was already disinherited. Upon
From these cases, it can be deduced that to be knowing this, Rowena said that it is better if they
considered void on the ground of absence of a live separate lives from then on. Four years later,
marriage license, the law requires that the absence Kenneth filed a petition for annulment of
of such marriage license must be apparent on the his marriage with Rowena. Rowena did not file an
marriage contract, or at the very least, supported answer. The City Prosecutor, after investigation,
by a certification from the local civil registrar that submitted that he cannot determine if there is
no such marriage license was issued to the parties.⁠ collusion between the two parties. Eventually, the
case was tried. The opinion of an expert was sought
Indeed, all the evidence cited by the CA to show that wherein the psychologist subsequently ruled that
a wedding ceremony was conducted and a marriage both parties are psychologically incapacitated. The
contract was signed does not operate to cure the said relationship between Kenneth and Rowena is
absence of a valid marriage license.⁠23 As cited said to be undoubtedly in the wreck and weakly-
above, Article 80(3) of the Civil Code clearly founded. The break-up was caused by both parties’
provides that a marriage solemnized without a unreadiness to commitment and their young
license is void from the beginning, except age. Kenneth was still in the state of finding his
marriages of exceptional character under Articles fate and fighting boredom, while Rowena was still
72 to 79 of the same Code. As earlier stated, egocentrically involved with herself. The trial court
ruled that the marriage is void upon the findings of
the expert psychologist. The Solicitor General SUAZO vs. SUAZO
(OSG) appealed and the Court of Appeals ruled in
favor of the OSG. The OSG claimed that the FACTS:
psychological incapacity of both parties was not Angelito Suazo and Jocelyn Suazo were married
shown to be medically or clinically permanent or when they were 16 years old only. Without any
incurable (Molina case). means to support themselves, they lived with
Angelito’s parents while Jocelyn took odd jobs and
The clinical psychologist did not personally Angelito refused to work and was most of the
examine Rowena, and relied only on the time drunk. Petitioner urged him to find work but
information provided by Kenneth. Further, the this often resulted to violent quarrels. A year after
psychological incapacity was not shown to be their marriage, Jocelyn left Angelito. Angelito
attended by gravity, juridical antecedence and thereafter found another woman with whom he has
incurability. All these were requirements set forth since lived. 10 years later, she filed a petition for
in the Molina case to be followed as guidelines. declaration of nullity of marriage under Art. 36
Psychological incapacity. Jocelyn testified on the
ISSUE: alleged physical beating she received. The expert
Whether or not the expert opinion of the witness corroborated parts of Jocelyn’s testimony.
psychologist should be admitted in lieu of the Both her psychological report and testimony
guidelines established in the landmark case concluded that Angelito was psychologically
of Molina. incapacitated. However, B was not personally
examined by the expert witness. The RTC
HELD: annulled the marriage on the ground that Angelito
Yes, such is possible. The Supreme Court ruled that is unfit to comply with his marital obligation, such
admittedly, the SC may have inappropriately as “immaturity, i.e., lack of an effective sense of
imposed a set of rigid rules in ascertaining rational judgment and responsibility, otherwise
Psychological Incapacity in the Molina case. So peculiar to infants (like refusal of the husband to
much so that the subsequent cases support the family or excessive dependence on
after Molina were ruled accordingly to the doctrine parents or peer group approval) and habitual
set therein. And that there is not much regard for alcoholism, or the condition by which a person
the law’s clear intention that each case is to be lives for the next drink and the next drinks” but
treated differently, as “courts should interpret the the CA reversed it and held that the respondent
provision on a case-to-case basis; guided by may have failed to provide material support to the
experience, the findings of experts and researchers family and has resorted to physical abuse, but it is
in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of still necessary to show that they were
church tribunals.” The SC however is not manifestations of a deeper psychological malaise
abandoning the Molina guidelines, the SC merely that was clinically or medically identified. The
reemphasized that there is need to emphasize other theory of the psychologist that the respondent
perspectives as well which should govern the was suffering from an anti-social personality
disposition of petitions for declaration of nullity syndrome at the time of the marriage was not the
under Article 36 such as in the case at bar. The product of any adequate medical or clinical
principle that each case must be judged, not on the investigation. The evidence that she got from the
basis of a priori assumptions, predilections or petitioner, anecdotal at best, could equally show
generalizations but according to its own facts. And, that the behavior of the respondent was due simply
to repeat for emphasis, courts should interpret the to causes like immaturity or irresponsibility which
provision on a case-to-case basis; guided by are not equivalent to psychological incapacity, or
experience, the findings of experts and researchers the failure or refusal to work could have been the
in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of result of rebelliousness on the part of one who felt
church tribunals. that he had been forced into a loveless marriage.

The SC then ruled that the marriage of Kenneth and ISSUE:

Rowena is null and void due to both parties’ Whether or not there is a basis to nullify Jocelyn’s
psychological disorder as evidenced by the finding marriage with Angelito under Article 36 of the
of the expert psychologist. Both parties being Family Code.
afflicted with grave, severe and incurable
psychological incapacity. Kenneth cannot assume HELD:
the essential marital obligations of living together, The Court find the petition devoid of merit. The
observing love, respect and fidelity and rendering CA committed no reversible error of law in setting
help and support, for he is unable to make everyday aside the RTC decision, as no basis exists to declare
decisions without advice from others. He is too Jocelyn’s marriage with Angelito a nullity under
dependent on others. Rowena cannot perform the Article 36 of the Family Code and its related
essential marital obligations as well due to her jurisprudence.
intolerance and impulsiveness. Jocelyn’s evidence is insufficient to establish
Angelito’s psychological incapacity.

The psychologist evaluated

Angelito’s psychological condition only in an
indirect manner – she derived all her conclusions Amelia Quiazon, to whom Eliseo was
from information coming from Jocelyn whose bias married, together with her two children, filed an
for her cause cannot of course be doubted. The Opposition/Motion to Dismiss on the ground of
psychlologist, using meager information coming improper venue asserting that Eliseo was a resident
from a directly interested party, could not have of Capas, Tarlac and not of Las Piñas City. In
secured a complete personality profile and could addition to their claim of improper venue, the
not have conclusively formed an objective opinion petitioners averred that there are no factual and
or diagnosis of Angelito’s psychological condition. legal bases for Elise to be appointed administratix
While the report or evaluation may be conclusive of Eliseo’s estate.
with respect to Jocelyn’s psychological condition,
this is not true for Angelito’s. The methodology RTC rendered a decision directing the
employed simply cannot satisfy the required depth issuance of Letters of Administration to Elise upon
and comprehensiveness of examination required to posting the necessary bond. On appeal, the
evaluate a party alleged to be suffering from decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by
a psychological disorder. Both the psychologist’s the Court of Appeals. In validating the findings of
report and testimony simply provided a general the RTC, the Court of Appeals held that Elise was
description of Angelito’s purported anti-social able to prove that Eliseo and Lourdes lived together
personality disorder, supported by the as husband and wife by establishing a common
characterization of this disorder as chronic, grave residence at No. 26 Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar
and incurable. The psychologist was conspicuously Village, Las Piñas City, from 1975 up to the time of
silent, however, on the bases for her conclusion or Eliseo’s death in 1992. For purposes of fixing the
the particulars that gave rise to the characterization venue of the settlement of Eliseo’s estate, the Court
she gave. Jurisprudence holds that there must be of Appeals upheld the conclusion reached by the
evidence showing a link, medical or the like, RTC that the decedent was a resident of Las Piñas
between the acts that City.
manifest psychological incapacity and
the psychological disorder itself. A’s testimony ISSUE/S:
regarding the habitual drunkenness, gambling and 1. Whether or not Las Pinas City was the
refusal to find a job, while indicative proper venue.
of psychological incapacity, do not, by themselves, 2. Whether or not Elise is qualified to be
show psychological incapacity. All these simply administrator of the estate.
indicate difficulty, neglect or mere refusal to
perform marital obligations. HELD:
It is not enough that the respondent, alleged to be 1. YES. Under Section 1, Rule 73 of the
psychologically incapacitated, had difficulty in Rules of Court, the petition for letters of
complying with his marital obligations, or was administration of the estate of a decedent should
unwilling to perform these obligations. Proof of a be filed in the RTC of the province where the
natal or supervening disabling factor – an decedent resides at the time of his death:
adverse integral element in the respondent’s Sec. 1. Where estate of deceased
personality structure that effectively persons settled. – If the decedent is an
incapacitated him from complying with his inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of
essential marital obligations – must be his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his
shown. Mere difficulty, refusal or neglect in the will shall be proved, or letters of
performance of marital obligations or ill will on the administration granted, and his estate
part of the spouse is different from incapacity settled, in the Court of First Instance now
rooted in some debilitating psychological condition Regional Trial Court in the province in
or illness; irreconcilable differences, sexual which he resides at the time of his death,
infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity and and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign
irresponsibility and the like, do not by themselves country, the Court of First Instance now
warrant a finding of psychological incapacity under Regional Trial Court of any province in
Article 36, as the same may only be due to a which he had estate. The court first taking
person’s refusal or unwillingness to assume the cognizance of the settlement of the estate
essential obligations of marriage. of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to
the exclusion of all other courts. The
GARCIA-QUIAZON vs. BELEN jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it
depends on the place of residence of the
FACTS: decedent, or of the location of his estate,
Elise Quiazon is the daughter of Eliseo shall not be contested in a suit or
Quiazon and his common-law wife Ma. Lourdes proceeding, except in an appeal from that
Belen. When Eliseo died intestate, Elise represented court, in the original case, or when the want
by her mother, Lourdes, filed a Petition for Letters of jurisdiction appears on the record.
of Administration before the RTC of Las Piñas City
in order to preserve the estate of Eliseo and to The term "resides" connotes ex vi termini
prevent the dissipation of its value. She likewise "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal
sought her appointment as administratrix of her residence or domicile." This term "resides," like the
late father’s estate. terms "residing" and "residence," is elastic and
should be interpreted in the light of the object or acknowleged by Pablo (or Pablito) as son on January
purpose of the statute or rule in which it is 13, 1997, that he was legitimated by virtue of
employed. In the application of venue statutes and subsequent marriage of parents on April 22, 1998
rules – Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of at Manila, and that he shall be known as Patrick
Court is of such nature – residence rather than Titular Braza.
domicile is the significant factor.13 Even where the
statute uses word "domicile" still it is construed as Ma. Cristina likewise obtained a copy of a marriage
meaning residence and not domicile in the contract showing that Pablo and Lucille were
technical sense. Some cases make a distinction married on April 22, 1998, drawing her and her co-
between the terms "residence" and "domicile" but as petitioners (her three legitimate children with
generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms Pablo) to file on December 23, 2005 before the
are synonymous, and convey the same meaning as Regional Trial Court of Himamaylan City, Negros
the term "inhabitant." In other words, "resides" Occidental a petition to correct the entries in the
should be viewed or understood in its popular birth record of Patrick in the Local Civil Register.
sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical Contending that Patrick could not have been
habitation of a person, actual residence or place of legitimated by the supposed marriage between
abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and Lucille and Pablo, said marriage being bigamous on
actual stay thereat. Venue for ordinary civil actions account of the valid and subsisting marriage
and that for special proceedings have one and the between Ma. Cristina and Pablo, petitioners prayed
same meaning. As thus defined, "residence," in the for (1) the correction of the entries in Patrick's birth
context of venue provisions, means nothing more record with respect to his legitimation, the name of
than a person’s actual residence or place of abode, the father and his acknowledgment, and the use of
provided he resides therein with continuity and the last name "Braza"; 2) a directive to Leon, Cecilia
consistency. and Lucille, all surnamed Titular, as guardians of
the minor Patrick, to submit Parick to DNA testing to
Viewed in light of the foregoing principles, determine his paternity and filiation; and 3) the
the Court of Appeals cannot be faulted for affirming declaration of nullity of the legitimation of Patrick
the ruling of the RTC that the venue for the as stated in his birth certificate and, for this
settlement of the estate of Eliseo was properly laid purpose, the declaration of the marriage of Lucille
in Las Piñas City. It is evident from the records that and Pablo as bigamous.
during his lifetime, Eliseo resided at No. 26
Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar Village, Las Piñas TC dismissed the petition, holding that in a special
City. For this reason, the venue for the settlement proceeding for correction of entry, the court, which
of his estate may be laid in the said city. is not acting as a family court under the Family
Code, has no jurisdiction over an action to annul
2. Elise, as a compulsory heir who the marriage of Lucille and Pablo, impugn the
stands to be benefited by the distribution of legitimacy of Patrick, and order Patrick to be
Eliseo’s estate, is deemed to be an interested party. subjected to a DNA test, hence, the controversy
With the overwhelming evidence on record should be ventilated in an ordinary adversarial
produced by Elise to prove her filiation to Eliseo, action.
the petitioners’ pounding on her lack of interest in MR was denied. Hence, this petition for review.
the administration of the decedent’s estate, is just
a desperate attempt to sway this Court to reverse Issue:
the findings of the Court of Appeals. Certainly, the WON the court a quo may pass upon the validity of
right of Elise to be appointed administratix of the marriage and questions on legitimacy even in an
estate of Eliseo is on good grounds. It is founded on action to correct entries in the civil registrar. (WON
her right as a compulsory heir, who, under the law, substantial errors, such as those sought to be
is entitled to her legitimate after the debts of the corrected in the present case, can be the subject of
estate are satisfied.Having a vested right in the a petition under Rule 108)
distribution of Eliseo’s estate as one of his natural
children, Elise can rightfully be considered as an Held:
interested party within the purview of the law. NO. In a special proceeding for correction of entry
under Rule 108 (Cancellation or Correction of
Braza v Civil Registrar Entries in the Original Registry), the trial court has
no jurisdiction to nullify marriages and rule on
Facts: legitimacy and filiation.
Petitioner Ma. Cristina’s husband, Pablo died on
April 15, 2002 in a vehicular accident in Indonesia. Ratio:
During the wake following the repatriation of his Rule 108 of the Rules of Court vis a vis Article 412
remains to the Philippines, respondent Lucille of the Civil Code charts the procedure by which an
Titular began introducing her co-respondent minor entry in the civil registry may be cancelled or
Patrick Alvin Titular Braza (Patrick) as her and corrected. The proceeding contemplated therein
Pablo's son. Petitioner thereupon made inquiries may generally be used only to correct clerical,
with the Local Civil Registrar of Himamaylan City, spelling, typographical and other innocuous errors
Negros Occidental. On the annotation of Patrick’s in the civil registry. A clerical error is one which is
birth certificate reflects Patrick as having been visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding;
an error made by a clerk or a transcriber; a mistake changes sought to be made were substantial and
in copying or writing, or a harmless change such as not merely innocuous, the Court, finding the
a correction of name that is clearly misspelled or of proceedings under Rule 108 to be adversarial in
a misstatement of the occupation of the parent. nature, upheld the lower court’s grant of the
Substantial or contentious alterations may be petition.
allowed only in adversarial proceedings, in which
all interested parties are impleaded and due REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MERLINDA L.
process is properly observed. OLAYBAR

The petitioners’ cause of action is actually to seek FACTS:

the declaration of Pablo and Lucille’s marriage as Respondent requested from the National Statistics
void for being bigamous and impugn Patrick’s Office (NSO) a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
legitimacy, which causes of action are governed not as one of the requirements for her marriage with
by Rule 108 but by A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC which took her boyfriend of five years. Upon receipt thereof,
effect on March 15, 2003, and Art. 171 of the Family she discovered that she was already married to a
Code, respectively, hence, the petition should be certain Ye Son Sune, a Korean National, on June 24,
filed in a Family Court as expressly provided in said 2002, at the Office of the Municipal Trial Court in
Code. Cities (MTCC), Palace of Justice. She denied having
contracted said marriage and claimed that she did
It is well to emphasize that, doctrinally, validity of not know the alleged husband; she did not appear
marriages as well as legitimacy and filiation can be before the solemnizing officer; and, that the
questioned only in a direct action seasonably filed signature appearing in the marriage certificate is
by the proper party, and not through collateral not hers.4 She, thus, filed a Petition for Cancellation
attack such as the petition filed before the court a of Entries in the Marriage Contract, especially the
quo. entries in the wife portion thereof.5 Respondent
Petition Denied. impleaded the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City, as
Cited cases: well as her alleged husband, as parties to the case.
Petitioners’ cited these cases to bolster their action The RTC granted Olaybar’s petition and directed
but the court ruled that reliance on these cases are the Local Civil Registrar to cancel all the entries in
misplaced. the WIFE portion of the alleged marriage contract.
Petitioner, however, moved for the reconsideration
Cariño v. Cariño was an action filed by a second of the assailed Decision on the grounds that: (1)
wife against the first wife for the return of one-half there was no clerical spelling, typographical and
of the death benefits received by the first after the other innocuous errors in the marriage contract for
death of the husband. Since the second wife it to fall within the provisions of Rule 108 of the
contracted marriage with the husband while the Rules of Court; and (2) granting the cancellation of
latter’s marriage to the first wife was still all the entries in the wife portion of the alleged
subsisting, the Court ruled on the validity of the marriage contract is, in effect, declaring the
two marriages, it being essential to the marriage void ab initio. The motion for
determination of who is rightfully entitled to the reconsideration was denied, hence this Petition for
death benefits. Review on certiorari under Rule 45.

In Lee v. Court of Appeals, the Court held that ISSUE:

contrary to the contention that the petitions filed Whether or not the cancellation of entries in the
by the therein petitioners before the lower courts marriage contract which, in effect, nullifies the
were actions to impugn legitimacy, the prayer was marriage may be undertaken in a Rule 108
not to declare that the petitioners are illegitimate proceeding.
children of Keh Shiok Cheng as stated in their
records of birth but to establish that they are not HELD:
the latter’s children, hence, there was nothing to YES.
impugn as there was no blood relation at all In filing the petition for correction of entry under
between the petitioners and Keh Shiok Cheng. That Rule 108, respondent made the Local Civil Registrar
is why the Court ordered the cancellation of the of Cebu City, as well as her alleged husband Ye Son
name of Keh Shiok Cheng as the petitioners’ mother Sune, as parties–respondents. It is likewise
and the substitution thereof with "Tiu Chuan" who undisputed that the procedural requirements set
is their biological mother. Thus, the collateral forth in Rule 108 were complied with. The Office of
attack was allowed and the petition deemed as the Solicitor General was likewise notified of the
adversarial proceeding contemplated under Rule petition which in turn authorized the Office of the
108. City Prosecutor to participate in the proceedings.
More importantly, trial was conducted where
In Republic v. Kho, it was the petitioners respondent herself, the stenographer of the court
themselves who sought the correction of the entries where the alleged marriage was conducted, as well
in their respective birth records to reflect that they as a document examiner, testified. Several
were illegitimate and that their citizenship is documents were also considered as evidence. With
"Filipino," not Chinese, because their parents were the testimonies and other evidence presented, the
never legally married. Again, considering that the trial court found that the signature appearing in the
subject marriage certificate was different from action had prescribed, since Uy knew about her
respondent’s signature appearing in some of her marriage to Alocillo. On Appeal, the CA confirmed
government issued identification cards.23 The the ruling of the trial court. In the meantime, the
court thus made a categorical conclusion that RTC where Jarillo filed a civil case against Alocillo
respondent’s signature in the marriage certificate rendered judgement declaring Jarillo’s marriage to
was not hers and, therefore, was forged. Clearly, it Alocillo null and void ab initio on the ground of
was established that, as she claimed in her petition, Alocillo’s psychological incapacity. Jarillo, in her
no such marriage was celebrated. motion for reconsideration, invoked the ruling of
the trial court as a ground for the reversal of her
Aside from the certificate of marriage, no such conviction. In a Resolution by the CA, the latter
evidence was presented to show the existence of denied reconsideration.
marriage. Rather, respondent showed by
overwhelming evidence that no marriage was ISSUE:
entered into and that she was not even aware of Whether or not Jarillo can be convicted of
such existence. The testimonial and documentary the crime of bigamy
evidence clearly established that the only
“evidence” of marriage which is the marriage HELD:
certificate was a forgery. While we maintain that Petitioner’s conviction of the crime of
Rule 108 cannot be availed of to determine the bigamy must be affirmed. The subsequent judicial
validity of marriage, we cannot nullify the declaration of nullity of petitioner’s two marriages
proceedings before the trial court where all the to Alocillo cannot be considered a valid defense in
parties had been given the opportunity to contest the crime of bigamy. The moment petitioner
the allegations of respondent; the procedures were contracted a second marriage without the previous
followed, and all the evidence of the parties had one having been judicially declared null and void,
already been admitted and examined. Respondent the crime of bigamy was already consummated
indeed sought, not the nullification of marriage as because at the time of the celebration of the second
there was no marriage to speak of, but the marriage, petitioner’s marriage to Alocillo, which
correction of the record of such marriage to reflect had not yet been declared null and void by a court
the truth as set forth by the evidence. Otherwise of competent second marriage, petitioner’s
stated, in allowing the correction of the subject marriage to Alocillo, which had not yet been
certificate of marriage by cancelling the wife declared null and void by a court of competent
portion thereof, the trial court did not, in any way, jurisdiction, was deemed valid and subsisting.
declare the marriage void as there was no marriage Neither would a judicial declaration of the nullity
to speak of. of petitioner’s marriage tojurisdiction, was deemed
valid and subsisting. Neither would a judicial
VICTORIA S. JARILLO v. PEOPLE OF THE declaration of the nullity of petitioner’s marriage to
PHILIPPINES Uy make any difference.
G.R. No. 164435, 29 September 2009, THIRD
DIVISION (Peralta, J.) As held in Tenebro, “[s]ince a marriage
contracted during the subsistence of a valid
FACTS: marriage is automatically void, the nullity of this
Victoria Jarillo, petitioner, and Rafael second marriage is not per se an argument for the
Alocillo were married in a civil wedding ceremony avoidance of criminal liability for bigamy. x x x
in Taguig, Rizal in 1974. Both newlyweds celebrated A plain reading of [Article 349 of the Revised Penal
a second wedding, this time a church ceremony, in Code], therefore, would indicate that the provision
1975 in San Carlos City, Pangasinan. Out of the penalizes the mere act of contracting a second or
union, the spouses bore a daughter. Jarillo, subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a
however, contracted a subsequent marriage with valid marriage.”
Emmanuel Ebora Santos Uy celebrated through a
civil ceremony. Thereafter, Jarillo and Uy MOTANEZ vs. CIPRIANO
exchanged marital vows in a church wedding in
Manila. In 1999, Uy filed a civil case for annulment FACTS:
against Jarillo. On the basis of the foregoing, Jarillo On April 8, 1976, respondent married Socrates
was charged with Bigamy before the RTC. Flores. On January 24, 1983, during the subsistence
Parenthetically, Jarillo filed a civil case for of the said marriage, respondent married Silverio V.
declaration of nullity of marriage against Alocillo in Cipriano. In 2001, respondent filed with the RTC of
2000. The trial court rendered the assailed Muntinlupa a Petition for the Annulment of her
decision, holding Jarillo guilty beyond reasonable marriage with Socrates on the ground of the latter’s
doubt of the crime of bigamy. psychological incapacity as defined under Article
36 of the Family Code. On July 18, 2003, the RTC of
Jarillo posits, as defenses, that her marriage Muntinlupa, declared the marriage of respondent
to Alocillo were null and void because Alocillo was with Socrates null and void. Said decision became
allegedly still married to a certain Loretta Tillman final and executory on October 13, 2003. On May
at the time of the celebration of their marriage, that 14, 2004, petitioner Merlinda Cipriano Montañez,
her marriages to Alocillo and Uy were both null and Silverio’s daughter from the first marriage, filed
void for lack of a marriage license, and that the with the MTC of San Pedro, Laguna, a Complaint for
Bigamy against respondent. Lourdes Cipriano
alleged that her first marriage was already declared The RTC sustained the motion to quash relying
void ab initio in 2003. Thus, there was no more on Morigo v. People. Similarly, the Court of
marriage to speak of prior to her marriage to Appeals dismissed the petition for certiorari.
Silverio on January 24, 1983. The prosecution
argued that the crime of bigamy had already been ISSUE:
consummated when respondent filed her petition Whether a subsequent declaration of nullity of
for declaration of nullity. RTC ruled in favor of the first marriage only after contracting the
respondent on the ground that both wedding were subsequent marriage is immaterial in the crime of
governed by the Civil Code, and not the Family bigamy.
Code, hence, no judicial declaration of absolute
nullity as a condition precedent to contracting a HELD:
subsequent marriage. Yes.

Whether the declaration of nullity of respondent's Article 40 of the Family Code has reversed the
first marriage in 2003 justifies the dismissal of the previous ruling of People v. Mendoza (under the
Information for bigamy filed against her. Civil Code) declaring that: (a) a case for bigamy
based on a void ab initio marriage will not prosper
because there is no need fora judicial decree to
HELD: establish that a void ab initio marriage is invalid;
NO. The retroactive application of procedural laws and (b) a marriage declared void ab initiohas
is not violative of any right of a person who may retroactive legal effect such that there would be no
feel that he is adversely affected. The reason is that first valid marriage to speak of after all, which
as a general rule, no vested right may attach to, nor renders the elements of bigamy complete.
arise from, procedural laws. In the case at bar, the
respondent’s clear intent was to obtain judicial In fact, this was exhaustively discussed
declaration of nullity to escape from the bigamy in Mercado v. Tan. It stated that, under the Family
charges against her. Code a subsequent judicial declaration of the
nullity of the first marriage is immaterial in a
ANTONE V. BERONILLA bigamy case because, by then the crime had already
been consummated. Otherwise stated, a person
DOCTRINE: who contracts a subsequent marriage absent a prior
As reiterated in a long line of cases, Article 40 of judicial declaration of nullity of a previous
the Family Code has been established as a new marriage is guilty of bigamy.
provision expressly requiring judicial declaration
of nullity of a prior marriage for purposes of While, Morigo v. People was promulgated
remarriage. Therefore, a person who contracts a after Mercado, the facts are different. In Mercado,
subsequent marriage absent a prior judicial the first marriage was actually solemnized,
declaration of nullity is guilty of bigamy. although later declared void ab initio. While
in Mendoza, no marriage ceremony was performed
FACTS: by a duly authorized solemnizing officer, because
Myrna Antone alleged in her Affidavit- what occurred was a mere signing of a marriage
Complaint,filed in March 2007, that she and Leo contract through a private act. Thus, there is no
were married in 1978. However, Leo contracted a need to secure a judicial declaration of nullity
second marriage with Cecile Maguillo in 1991. The before Morigo can contract a subsequent marriage.
prosecution filed the Information in The ruling of Morigo is not applicable to this case.
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in a criminal case of
Bigamy. Tenebro v. CA

Pending the setting of the case for arraignment, Leo DOCTRINE:

moved to quash the Information on the ground that The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of
the facts charged do not constitute an offense marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity
because his marriage with Myrna was does not retroact to the date of the celebration of
declared null and void as of April 2007 and became the marriage insofar as the Philippines’ penal laws
final and executory on May 2007. Leo argues that are concerned. As such, an individual who contracts
since the marriage had been declared null and void a second or subsequent marriage during the
from the beginning, there was actually no first subsistence of a valid marriage is criminally liable
marriage to speak of. Thus, absent the first for bigamy, notwithstanding the subsequent
marriage, the facts alleged in the Information do declaration that the second marriage is void ab
not constitute the crime of bigamy. The initio on the ground of psychological incapacity.
prosecution argued that the marriage of Myrna and
Leo on 1978 was not severed prior to his second
marriage on 1991, for which bigamy has already FACTS:
been committed before the court declared the first 3 Marriages, 1 Husband:
marriage null and void on 2007. W1 – Hilda Villareyes (1986)
W2 - Leticia Ancajas (1990) per se an argument for the avoidance of
W3 – Nilda Villegas (1993) criminal liability for bigamy. Pertinently,
Article 349 of the RPC criminalizes "any person
On 10 April 1990, Veronico Tenebro married who shall contract a second or subsequent
Ancajas before the judge of MCTC Lapu-Lapu City. marriage before the former marriage has been
They lived together until the latter part of 1991, legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse
when Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had been has been declared presumptively dead by
previously married to Villareyes on 10 Nov 1986. means of a judgment rendered in the proper
He showed her a photocopy of the marriage proceedings". A plain reading of the law,
certificate, and thereafter left their conjugal therefore, would indicate that the provision
dwelling. penalizes the mere act of contracting a second
or a subsequent marriage during the
On 25 Jan 1993, Tenebro contracted another subsistence of a valid marriage.
marriage, this time with Villegas, before the judge
in RTC Cebu City. - Thus, as soon as the second marriage to
Ancajas was celebrated on April 10, 1990,
When Ancajas learned of this 3rd marriage, she during the subsistence of the valid first
verified Tenebro’s marriage with Villareyes. The marriage, the crime of bigamy had already been
latter confirmed through a letter. consummated. To our mind, there is no cogent
reason for distinguishing between a subsequent
Ancajas filed a complaint for bigamy against marriage that is null and void purely because it
Tenebros. is a second or subsequent marriage, and a
subsequent marriage that is null and void on
Tenebro’s Defense: the ground of psychological incapacity, at least
insofar as criminal liability for bigamy is
- Admitted that he cohabited with Villareyes but concerned. The State’s penal laws protecting
denied that they were validly married. the institution of marriage are in recognition of
- He claimed that there was no marriage the sacrosanct character of this special contract
ceremony that took place. He merely signed a between spouses, and punish an individual’s
marriage contract merely to enable her to get deliberate disregard of the permanent character
the allotment from his office in connection with of the special bond between spouses, which
his work as a seaman. petitioner has undoubtedly done.
- The Civil Register in Manila has no record of his
marriage to Villareyes. - Moreover, the declaration of the nullity of the
second marriage on the ground of
RTC - Tenebros guilty of bigamy psychological incapacity is not an indicator that
petitioner’s marriage to Ancajas lacks the
CA - Affirmed. essential requisites for validity.

Meanwhile, the marriage between Tenebros and - Although the judicial declaration of the nullity
Ancajas (marriage #2) was declared null and void ab of a marriage on the ground of psychological
initio on the ground of psychological incapacity. incapacity retroacts to the date of the
celebration of the marriage insofar as the
ISSUE: vinculum between the spouses is concerned, it
W/N the absolute nullity of the second marriage on is significant to note that said marriage is not
the ground of psychological incapacity, prior to its without legal effects. Among these effects is
judicial declaration as being void, constitute a valid that children conceived or born before the
defense in a criminal action for bigamy. judgment of absolute nullity of the marriage
shall be considered legitimate. There is
HELD: therefore a recognition written into the law
NO. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity itself that such a marriage, although void ab
of marriage on the ground of psychological initio, may still produce legal consequences.
incapacity does not retroact to the date of the Among these legal consequences is incurring
celebration of the marriage insofar as the criminal liability for bigamy.
Philippines’ penal laws are concerned. As such, an
individual who contracts a second or subsequent GO – BANGAYAN vs. BANGAYAN
marriage during the subsistence of a valid marriage
is criminally liable for bigamy, notwithstanding the FACTS:
subsequent declaration that the second marriage is In September 1979, Benjamin Bangayan, Jr. married
void ab initio on the ground of psychological Azucena Alegre. In 1982, while Alegre was outside
incapacity. the Philippines, Benjamin developed a romantic
relationship with Sally Go. Sally’s father was against
RATIO: this. In order to appease her father, Sally convinced
- Since a marriage contracted during the Benjamin to sign a purported marriage contract in
subsistence of a valid marriage is automatically March 1982.
void, the nullity of this second marriage is not
In 1994, the relationship between Sally and Valdez vs. Republic
Benjamin soured. Sally filed a bigamy case against
Benjamin. Benjamin on the other hand filed an FACTS:
action to declare his alleged marriage to Sally as Angelita Valdez was married with Sofio in January
non-existent. To prove the existence of their 1971. She gave birth to a baby girl named
marriage, Sally presented a marriage license Nancy. They argued constantly because Sofio was
allegedly issued to Benjamin. unemployed and did not bring home any money. In
March 1972, the latter left their house. Angelita
ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Sally and her child waited until in May 1972, they
and Benjamin is bigamous. decided to go back to her parent’s home. 3 years
have passed without any word from Sofio until in
HELD: No. The elements of bigamy are: October 1975 when he showed up and they agreed
1. That the offender has been legally married. to separate and executed a document to that
2. That the marriage has not been legally dissolved effect. It was the last time they saw each other and
or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent had never heard of ever since. Believing that Sofio
spouse could not yet be presumed dead according was already dead, petitioner married Virgilio Reyes
to the Civil Code. in June 1985. Virgilio’s application for
3. That he contracts a second or subsequent naturalization in US was denied because
marriage. petitioner’s marriage with Sofio was
4. That the second or subsequent marriage has all subsisting. Hence, in March 2007, petitioner filed a
the essential requisites for validity. petition seeking declaration of presumptive death
of Sofio.
In this case, the fourth element is not present. The
marriage license presented by Sally was not ISSUE:
authentic as in fact, no marriage license was ever Whether or not petitioner’s marriage with Virgilio is
issued to both parties in view of the alleged valid despite lack of declaration of presumptive
marriage. The marriage between them was merely death of Sofio.
in jest and never complied with the essential
requisites of marriage. Hence, there is no bigamous HELD:
marriage to speak of. The court ruled that no decree on the presumption
of Sofio’s death is necessary because Civil Code
Capili vs People governs during 1971 and not Family Code where at
least 7 consecutive years of absence is only
FACTS: needed. Thus, petitioner was capacitated to marry
On June 28, 2004, petitioner was charged with the Virgilio and their marriage is legal and valid.
crime of bigamy before the RTC of Pasig City. Article 390 of the Civil Code states:
Petitioner thereafter filed a Motion to Suspend
Proceedings alleging that: (1) there is a pending Art. 390. After an absence of seven years, it being
civil case for declaration of nullity of the second unknown whether or not the absentee still lives, he
marriage before the RTC of Antipolo City filed by shall be presumed dead for all purposes, except for
Karla Y. Medina-Capili; (2) in the event that the those of succession.
marriage is declared null and void, it would
exculpate him from the charge of bigamy; and (3) The absentee shall not be presumed dead for the
the pendency of the civil case for the declaration of purpose of opening his succession till after an
nullity of the second marriage serves as a absence of ten years. If he disappeared after the age
prejudicial question in the instant criminal case. of seventy-five years, an absence of five years shall
be sufficient in order that his succession may be
ISSUE: opened.
Whether or not the subsequent declaration of
nullity of the second marriage is a ground for The Court, on several occasions, had interpreted
dismissal of the criminal case for bigamy. the above-quoted provision in this wise:

RULING: For the purposes of the civil marriage law, it is not

NO. It is undisputed that a second marriage necessary to have the former spouse judicially
between petitioner and private respondent was declared an absentee. The declaration of absence
contracted on December 8, 1999 during the made in accordance with the provisions of the Civil
subsistence of a valid first marriage between Code has for its sole purpose to enable the taking
petitioner and Karla Y. Medina-Capili contracted on of the necessary precautions for the administration
September 3, 1999. Notably, the RTC of Antipolo of the estate of the absentee. For the celebration of
City itself declared the bigamous nature of the civil marriage, however, the law only requires that
second marriage between petitioner and the former spouse has been absent for seven
consecutive years at the time of the second
Private respondent. Thus, the subsequent judicial marriage, that the spouse present does not know
declaration of the second marriage for being his or her former spouse to be living, that such
bigamous in nature does not bar the prosecution of former spouse is generally reputed to be dead and
petitioner for the crime of bigamy.
the spouse present so believes at the time of the belief that the prior spouse was already dead.
celebration of the marriage Under Article 4119 of the Family Code of the
Philippines (Family Code), there are four (4)
essential requisites for the declaration of
Republic v. Cantor presumptive death: (1) that the absent spouse has
been missing for four (4) consecutive years, or two
FACTS: (2) consecutive years if the disappearance occurred
Sometime in January 1998, Jerry F. Cantor left his where there is danger of death under the
wife Maria Fe Espinosa Cantor after a violent circumstances laid down in Article 391 of the Civil
quarrel. After more than four years of not seeing or Code; (2) that the present spouse wishes to remarry;
hearing from Jerry, Maria Fe filed a petition for the (3) that the present spouse has a well-founded
declaration of presumptive death of her husband. belief that the absentee is dead; and (4) that the
She alleged that she conducted a diligent search for present spouse files a summary proceeding for the
her husband and exerted earnest efforts to find declaration of presumptive death of the absentee.
him. The RTC granted her petition. Dissatisfied
with the ruling, the OSG filed the present petition The "well-founded belief in the absentee's death
for review on certiorari. requires the present spouse to prove that his/her
belief was the result of diligent and reasonable
ISSUE: efforts to locate the absent spouse and that based
Did Maria Fe have a well-founded belief that Jerry on these efforts and inquiries, he/she believes that
was dead in pursuant with Article 41 of the Family under the circumstances, the absent spouse is
Code? already dead. It necessitates exertion of active
effort, not a passive one. As such, the mere absence
HELD: of the spouse for such periods prescribed under the
Whether or not one has a “well-founded belief” that law, lack of any news that such absentee spouse is
his or her spouse is dead depends on the unique still alive, failure to communicate, or general
circumstance of each case and that there is no set presumption of absence under the Civil Code would
standard or procedure in determining the same. not suffice.
Maria Fe’s alleged “well-founded” belief arose
when: 1) Jerry’s relatives and friends could not give
her any information on his whereabouts; and 2) she In this case, Nilda testified that after Dante's
did not find Jerry’s name in the patient’s directory disappearance, she tried to locate him by making
whenever she went to a hospital. It appears that inquiries with his parents, relatives, and neighbors
Maria Fe did not actively look for her husband in as to his whereabouts, but unfortunately, they also
hospitals and it may be sensed that her search was did not know where to find him. Other than making
not intentional or planned. Her search for Jerry was said inquiries, however, Nilda made no further
far from diligent. Were it not for the finality of the efforts to find her husband. She could have called
RTC ruling, the declaration of presumptive death or proceeded to the AFP headquarters to request
should have been recalled and set aside for utter information about her husband, but failed to do so.
lack of factual basis. She did not even seek the help of the authorities or
the AFP itself in finding him. Considering her own
Republic vs Tampus pronouncement that Dante was sent by the AFP on
a combat mission to Jolo, Sulu at the time of his
FACTS: disappearance, she could have inquired from the
Respondent Nilda B. Tampus was married to Dante AFP on the status of the said mission, or from the
L. Del Mundo on November 29, 1975. Three days members of the AFP who were assigned thereto. To
thereafter, or on December 2, 1975, Dante, a the Court's mind, therefore, Nilda failed to actively
member of the AFP, left respondent, and went to look for her missing husband, and her purported
Jolo, Sulu where he was assigned. The couple had earnest efforts to find him by asking Dante's
no children. Since then, Nilda heard no news from parents, relatives, and friends did not satisfy the
Dante. She tried everything to locate him, but her strict standard and degree of diligence required to
efforts proved futile. On April 14, 2009, she filed create a "well-founded belief of his death.
before the RTC a petition to declare Dante as
presumptively dead for the purpose of remarriage, SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM v. TERESITA JARQUE
alleging that after the lapse of thirty-three (33) VDA. DE BAILON
years without any kind of communication from
him, she firmly believes that he is already dead. Where a person has entered into two
successive marriages, a presumption arises in favor
ISSUE: of the validity of the second marriage, and the
W/N Dante should be declared presumptively dead burden is on the party attacking the validity of
the second marriage to prove that the first
RULING: marriage had not been dissolved.
NO. Before a judicial declaration of presumptive
death can be obtained, it must be shown that the FACTS:
prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive Clemente G. Bailon and Alice P. Diaz contracted
years and the present spouse had a well-founded marriage. More than 15 years later, a Petition for
Declaration of Presumptive Death has been filed an absentee until the subsequent marriage is
before the Court of First Instance of Sorsogon, terminated as provided by law.
which has been granted. Bailon, subsequently, In the case at bar, as no step was taken to nullify,
contracted marriage with respondent Teresita in accordance with law, Bailon‘s and Teresita‘s
Jarque and designated her the Social Security marriage prior to the former‘s death in 1998,
System (SSS) beneficiary of the former. Teresita is rightfully the dependent spouse-
beneficiary of Bailon.
SSS cancelled the claim of respondent Teresita
Jarque of her monthly pension for death
benefits on the basis of the opinion rendered by its Santos vs. Santos
legal department that her marriage with Bailon was
void as it was contracted during the subsistence of Statement of the Case:
Bailon’s marriage with Alice. In his petition for certiorari, petitioner Celerina J.
Santos assails the Court of Appeals' resolutions
Teresita protested the cancellation of her monthly dated November 28, 2008 and March 5, 2009.
pension for death benefitsasserting that her Celerina filed a petition for annulment of judgment
marriage with Bailon was not declared before before the Court of Appeals on the grounds of
any court of justiceas bigamous or unlawful. Hence, extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. The Court
it remained valid and subsisting for all legal intents of Appeals dismissed the petition for the
and purposes. annulment of the trial court's judgment declaring
her presumptively dead.
Whether or not the subsequent marriage of Facts of the Case:
Clemente Bailon and respondent Teresita Jarque On July 27, 2007, the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac
may terminate by mere reappearance of the City declared petitioner Celerina J. Santos (Celerina)
absent spouse of Bailon presumptively dead after her husband, respondent
Ricardo T. Santos (Ricardo), had filed a petition for
HELD: declaration of absence or presumptive death for the
The second marriage contracted by a person with purpose of remarriage on June 15, 2007. Ricardo
an absent spouse endures until annulled. It is only remarried on September 17, 2008.
the competent court that can nullify the second
marriagepursuant to Article 87 of the Civil Code Ricardo alleged that he exerted efforts to locate
and upon the reappearance of the missing spouse, Celerina. He went to Celerina's parents in Cubao,
which action for annulment may be filed. Quezon City, but they did not know their daughter's
whereabouts. He also inquired about her from other
The two marriages involved herein having been relatives and friends, but no one gave him any
solemnized prior to the effectivity on August 3, information. Ricardo claimed that it was almost 12
1988 of the Family Code, the applicable law to years from the date of his Regional Trial Court
determine their validity is the Civil Code which was petition since Celerina left. He believed that she
the law in effect at the time of their celebration. had passed away.

Under the Civil Code, a subsequent marriage being Celerina claimed that she learned about Ricardo's
voidable, it is terminated by final judgment of petition only sometime in October 2008 when she
annulment in a case instituted by the could no longer avail the remedies of new trial,
absent spouse who reappears or by either of appeal, petition for relief, or other appropriate
the spouses in the subsequent marriage. remedies.
Under the Family Code, no judicial proceeding to
annul a subsequent marriage is necessary. Thus On November 17, 2008, Celerina filed a petition for
Article 42 thereof provides the subsequent annulment of judgment before the Court of Appeals
marriage shall be automatically terminated by the on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of
recording of the affidavit of reappearance of the jurisdiction. She argued that she was deprived her
absent spouse, unless there is a judgment annulling day in court when Ricardo, despite his knowledge
the previous marriage or declaring it void ab initio. of her true residence, misrepresented to the court
that she was a resident of Tarlac City. According to
If the absentee reappears, but no step is taken to Celerina, her true residence was in Neptune
terminate the subsequent marriage, either by Extension, Congressional Avenue, Quezon City.
affidavit or by court action, such absentee‘s mere This residence had been her and Ricardo's conjugal
reappearance, even if made known to dwelling since 1989 until Ricardo left in May 2008.
the spouses in the subsequent marriage, will not As a result of Ricardo's misrepresentation, she was
terminate such marriage. Since the second deprived of any notice of and opportunity to
marriage has been contracted because of a oppose the petition declaring her presumptively
presumption that the former spouse is dead, such dead.
presumption continues inspite of
the spouse‘s physical reappearance, and by fiction Celerina claimed that all the allegations of Ricardo
of law, he or she must still be regarded as legally were fraudulent, that she never resided in Tarlac
and never left to work as a domestic helper abroad.
Further, she also claimed that it was not true that Family Code also provides that the second marriage
she had been absent for 12 years. Ricardo was is in danger of being terminated by the
aware that she never left their conjugal dwelling in presumptively dead spouse when he or she
Quezon City. It was he who left the conjugal reappears. Moreover, a close reading of the entire
dwelling in May 2008 to cohabit with another Article 42 reveals that the termination of the
woman. Celerina referred to a joint affidavit subsequent marriage by reappearance is subject to
executed by their children to support her several conditions: (1) the non-existence of a
contention that Ricardo made false allegations in judgment annulling the previous marriage or
his petition. Celerina also argued that the court did declaring it void ab initio; (2) recording in the civil
not acquire jurisdiction over Ricardo's petition registry of the residence of the parties to the
because it had never been published in a subsequent marriage of the sworn statement of fact
newspaper. She added that the Office of the and circumstances of reappearance; (3) due notice
Solicitor General and the Provincial Prosecutor's to the spouses of the subsequent marriage of the
Office were not furnished copies of Ricardo's fact of reappearance; and (4) the fact of
petition. reappearance must either be undisputed or
judicially determined. The existence of these
The Court of Appeals issued the resolution dated conditions means that reappearance does not
November 28, 2008, dismissing Celerina's petition always immediately cause the subsequent
for annulment of judgment for being a wrong mode marriage's termination. Reappearance of the
of remedy. According to the Court of Appeals, the absent or presumptively dead spouse will cause the
proper remedy was to file a sworn statement before termination of the subsequent marriage only when
the civil registry, declaring her reappearance in all the conditions enumerated in the Family Code
accordance with Article 42 of the Family Code. are present. Hence, the subsequent marriage may
still subsist despite the absent or presumptively
Celerina filed a motion for reconsideration but the dead spouse's reappearance (1) if the first marriage
same was denied. has already been annulled or has been declared a
nullity; (2) if the sworn statement of the
Issue: reappearance is not recorded in the civil registry of
Whether or not Court of Appelas erred in dismissing the subsequent spouses' residence; (3) if there is no
Celerina’s petition on the ground that the proper notice to the subsequent spouses; or (4) if the fact
remedy is to file a sworn statement before the civil of reappearance is disputed in the proper courts of
registry declaring her reappearance as stated in law, and no judgment is yet rendered confirming,
Article 42 of the Family Code such fact of reappearance.

Ruling: When subsequent marriages are contracted after a

Yes. Annulment of judgment is the remedy when judicial declaration of presumptive death, a
the Regional Trial Court's judgment, order, or presumption arises that the first spouse is already
resolution has become final, and the remedies of dead and that the second marriage is legal. This
new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other presumption should prevail over the continuance
appropriate remedies are no longer available of the marital relations with the first spouse. The
through no fault of the petitioner. The grounds for second marriage, as with all marriages, is presumed
annulment of judgment are extrinsic fraud and lack valid. The burden of proof to show that the first
of jurisdiction. marriage was not properly dissolved rests on the
person assailing the validity of the second
This court defined extrinsic fraud in Stilianopulos marriage.
v. City of Legaspi. For fraud to become a basis for
annulment of judgment, it has to be extrinsic or The choice of the proper remedy is also important
actual. It is intrinsic when the fraudulent acts for purposes of determining the status of the
pertain to an issue involved in the original action or second marriage and the liabilities of the spouse
where the acts constituting the fraud were or could who, in bad faith, claimed that the other spouse was
have been litigated, It is extrinsic or collateral when absent.
a litigant commits acts outside of the trial which
prevents a party from having a real contest, or from A second marriage is bigamous while the first
presenting all of his case, such that there is no fair subsists. However, a bigamous subsequent
submission of the controversy. marriage may be considered valid when the
following are present: (1) The prior spouse had
The choice of remedy is important because been absent for four consecutive years; (2) The
remedies carry with them certain admissions, spouse present has a well-founded belief that the
presumptions, and conditions. absent spouse was already dead; (3) There must be
a summary proceeding for the declaration of
The Family Code provides that it is the proof of presumptive death of the absent spouse; and (4)
absence of a spouse for four consecutive years, There is a court declaration of presumptive death
coupled with a well-founded belief by the present of the absent spouse.
spouse that the absent spouse is already dead, that
constitutes a justification for a second marriage A subsequent marriage contracted in bad faith,
during the subsistence of another marriage. The even if it was contracted after a court declaration of
presumptive death, lacks the requirement of a well- The case is remanded to the Court of Appeals for
founded belief that the spouse is already dead. The determination of the existence of extrinsic fraud,
first marriage will not be considered as validly grounds for nullity or annulment of the first
terminated. Marriages contracted prior to the valid marriage, and the merits of the petition.
termination of a subsisting marriage are generally
considered bigamous and void. Only a subsequent SIOCHI V. GOZON
marriage contracted in good faith is protected by
law. Therefore, the party who contracted the Facts:
subsequent marriage in bad faith is also not This case involves a 30,000 sq.m. parcel of land.
immune from an action to declare his subsequent The property is situated in Malabon, Metro Manila
marriage void for being bigamous. The prohibition and is registered in the name of
against marriage during the subsistence of another “Alfredo Gozon (Alfredo), married to
marriage still applies. Elvira Gozon (Elvira).”

The provision on reappearance in the Family Code On 23 December 1991, Elvira filed with the RTC of
as a remedy to effect the termination of the Cavite City a petition for legal separation against
subsequent marriage does not preclude the spouse her husband Alfredo. On Jan 2, 1992, Elvira filed a
who was declared presumptively dead from notice of lis pendens, which was then
availing other remedies existing in law. This court annotated on TCT no. 5357.
had, in fact, recognized that a subsequent marriage
may also be terminated by filing "an action in court While the legal separation case was still pending,
to prove the reappearance of the absentee and Alfredo and Mario Siochi (Mario) entered into an
obtain a declaration of dissolution or termination agreement to buy and sell (agreement) involving the
of the subsequent marriage. property for the price of P18 million.

Celerina seeks not merely the termination of the However, despite repeated demands from Mario,
subsequent marriage but also the nullification of its Alfredo failed to comply with the stipulations
effects. She contends that reappearance is not a provided in the agreement. After paying the P5
sufficient remedy because it will only terminate the million earnest money as partial payment of the
subsequent marriage but not nullify the effects of purchase price, Mario took possession of the
the declaration of her presumptive death and the property. On September 6, 1993, the agreement
subsequent marriage. was annotated on TCT no. 5357.

Celerina is correct. Since an undisturbed Meanwhile, on 29 June 1994, the Cavite RTC
subsequent marriage under Article 42 of the Family rendered a decision in the legal separation case,
Code is valid until terminated, the "children of such which granted the same. The RTC ordered among
marriage shall be considered legitimate, and the others that, the conjugal partnership of gains of the
property relations of the spouses in such marriage spouses is hereby declared dissolved and
will be the same as in valid marriages. If it is liquidated. As regards the property, it held that it
terminated by mere reappearance, the children of is deemed conjugal property.
the subsequent marriage conceived before the
termination shall still be considered legitimate. Alfredo executed a deed of donation over the
Moreover, a judgment declaring presumptive death property in favor of their daughter, Winifred
is a defense against prosecution for bigamy. Gozon. Later on, Alfredo through an SPA executed
by his daughter Winifred, sold the property to IDRI
However, "a Petition for Declaration of Absolute and the latter paid the purchase price in full. A new
Nullity of Void Marriages may be filed solely by the TCT was issued by the Register of Deeds in favor of
husband or wife." This means that even if Celerina IDRI.
is a real party in interest who stands to be benefited
or injured by the outcome of an action to nullify the Mario then filed with the Malabon RTC a complaint
second marriage, this remedy is not available to for specific performance and damages, annulment
her. of donation and sale, with preliminary mandatory
and prohibitory injunction and/or temporary
Therefore, for the purpose of not only terminating restraining order.
the subsequent marriage but also of nullifying the
effects of the declaration of presumptive death and RTC: Malabon RTC upheld original agreement to
the subsequent marriage, mere filing of an affidavit buy and sell between Mario and Alfredo and
of reappearance would not suffice. Celerina's declared voidhe sale by Alfredo and Winifred to
choice to file an action for annulment of judgment Inter-Dimensional.
will, therefore, lie.
CA: Court of Appeals said agreement between
Mario and Alfredo is void because (1) it was entered
into without the consent of Elvira, Alfredo’s wife;
and, (2) Alfredo’s ½ undivided share has been
Disposition: forfeited in favour of Winifred by the grant of legal
separation by the Cavite RTC.
consent of Elvira. Thus, the Agreement is entirely
Issue: void. As regards Mario’s contention that the
Whether or not Alfredo may sell the conjugal Agreement is a continuing offer which may be
property, being the sole administrator of the same perfected by Elvira’s acceptance before the offer is
without obtaining the consent of Elvira? withdrawn, the fact that the property was
subsequently donated by Alfredo to Winifred and
Held: then sold to IDRI clearly indicates that the offer was
NO. already withdrawn.
This case involves the conjugal property of
Alfredo and Elvira. Since the disposition of the However, we disagree with the finding of the
property occurred after the effectivity of the Family Court of Appeals that the one-half undivided share
Code, the applicable law is the Family Code. Article of Alfredo in the property was already forfeited in
124 of the family code provides: favor of his daughter Winifred, based on the ruling
of the Cavite RTC in the legal separation case. The
Art. 124. The administration and enjoyment Court of Appeals misconstrued the ruling of
of the conjugal partnership property shall the Cavite RTC that Alfredo, being the offending
belong to both spouses jointly. In case of spouse, is deprived of his share in the net profits
disagreement, the husband’s decision shall and the same is awarded to Winifred.
prevail, subject to the recourse to the court
by the wife for a proper remedy, which
must be availed of within five years from
the date of the contract implementing such



In this case, Alfredo was the sole

administrator of the property because Elvira, with
whom Alfredo was separated in fact, was unable to
participate in the administration of the conjugal
property. However, as sole administrator of the
property, Alfredo still cannot sell the property
without the written consent of Elvira or the
authority of the court. Without such consent or
authority, the sale is void. The absence of the
consent of one of the spouse renders the entire sale
void, including the portion of the conjugal property
pertaining to the spouse who contracted the sale.
Even if the other spouse actively participated in
negotiating for the sale of the property, that other
spouse’s written consent to the sale is still required
by law for its validity. The Agreement entered into
by Alfredo and Mario was without the written