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Buccat v. Mangonon de Buccat (1941) Petition: Appeal from Decision of Court of First Instance, Baguio Plaintiff-Appellant: Godofredo Buccat Defendant-Appelle: Luida Mangonon de Buccat Ponente: J. Horilleno Date: 25 April 1941 Facts:
March 1938 – Godofredo and Luida meet 19 September 1938 – The two become engaged 26 November 1938 – The two get married, Catholic cathedral of Baguio City o Godofredo claims that he agreed to the marriage promise based on Luida’s assurance that she was a virgin 23 February 1939 – 89 days after marriage, Luida gives birth to a son o Godofredo promptly left Luida and never returned to a married life with her 20 March 1939 – Godofredo initiated a case in Baguio CFI, praying that the marriage be annulled on grounds that there had been fraud [that Luida had claimed that she was a virgin] o Although duly summoned by the trial court, Luida failed to appear; Godofredo was allowed to present his proof – but the court decided in favor of Luida anyway.
Pertinent laws/provisions/concepts: Art 45 [Family Code] A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage: (1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife; (2) That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife; (3) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife; (4) That the consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife; (5) That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or (6) That either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable. (85a) Art 46 [Family Code] Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in Number 3 of the preceding Article: (1) Non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude; (2) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband; (3) Concealment of sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or (4) Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage. NOTE: Obviously the Family Code was not yet in effect at the time, but in case it is asked how the case would turn out today, these two provisions are to serve as the basis. Issues: 1. Should the marriage between Godofredo and Luida be annulled on the ground that there had been fraud (concealment of pregnancy) at the time of marriage?
Digest Author: Dodot
Ruling: 1. NO. Clear and authentic proof of fraud was not established.
Ratio Decidendi: (1) Assertion of Godofredo that he had not even suspected Luida’s pregnancy, highly unlikely: nd rd Luida was in an advanced state of pregnancy at the time they were married (late into 2 trimester/early into 3 ) Godofredo’s contention (not rare to find persons with developed abdomens) – foolish, especially considering that Godofredo was a first year law student “Marriage is a most sacred institution. It is the foundation upon which society rests. To nullify it would need clear and authentic proof. In this case no such proof exists.” Opinions: No separate opinions.
Decision: Decision of the lower court affirmed Principles: Voidable Marriages – Grounds for Annulment (Fraud)