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Donato vs Luna CD

Donato vs Luna CD

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Published by Boom Manuel-Bayani
Case Digest
Case Digest

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Boom Manuel-Bayani on Jun 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Donato vs LunaFACTS Petitioner Leonilo Donato is being sued by the City Fiscal of Manilafor the crime of bigamy based on the complaint of privaterespondent Paz Abayan.That same year, Abayan filed with the Juvenile and DomesticRelations Court of Manila a civil action for declaration of nullity of her marriage with petitioner based on the ground that sheconsented to entering into the marriage, which was petitioner
Donato’s second one, since
she had no previous knowledge that petitioner was already married to another.In his answer, Donato stated that his second marriage was voidbecause it was solemnized without a license and that force,violence, intimidation and undue influence were employed byAbayan to obtain his consent to the marriage.Prior to their marriage, petitioner and private respondent hadlived together for five years as evidenced by a joint affidavit theyexecuted, and for which reason the requisite marriage license wasdispensed with pursuant to the provision on marriages of exceptional character.Petitioner filed a motion to suspend the proceedings of thecriminal case against him contending that the civil case seeking theannulment of his second marriage filed by the private respondent raises a prejudicial question, which must first be determinedbefore the criminal case can proceed.ISSUE WON a criminal case for bigamy should be suspended in view of apending civil case for annulment of marriage, on the ground that the latter constitutes a prejudicial questionHELD No.In prejudicial questions, the decision of the civil case must bedeterminative of the guilt/innocence of the accused in the civilcase.This is not so in the case at bar. At the time the petitioner wasindicted for bigamy, it is indisputable that, two marriageceremonies have been contracted by him. The civil case of annulment pending with another court does not change that fact.In order that a case of annulment of marriage can be considered aprejudicial question to the bigamy case against the accused, it must 
be shown that the petitioner’s consent 
to such marriage must bethe one that was obtained by means of duress, force andintimidation to show that his act in the second marriage must beinvoluntary and cannot be the basis of his conviction for the crimeof bigamy. And this, the petitioner did not sufficiently provedbecause of the fact that before he contracted his marriage with the

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