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Juliano-Llave vs. Republic March 30, 2011 G.R. No.

169766 Ponente: Del Castillo, J

Relation to NCC 18 In the case of Llave v Republic, respondent, Zorayda and Tamano, both Muslims, were married on 1958 under the 1950 Civil Code. Petitioner asserts that the previous marriage of Tamano was divorced under the Muslim Code of 1977.

In this case, SC ruled that as the marriage of Zorayda and Tamano were celebrated under the 1950 Civil Code, they are married under civil rites. Regardless if they undertook a divorce under the Muslim Code, they are still married pursuant to the Civil Code as it was the existing law for marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims when the union took place.

Facts: May 31, 1958, Tamano married Zorayda under civil rites. February 4, 1977, the Muslim Code, P.D. 1083 took effect. May 27, 1993, Tamano married Estrellita under the Muslim Code. June 2, 1993, Tamano married Estrellita under a civil cermony officiated by an RTC Judge. Tamanos civil status indicated as divorced. May 1994, Tamano died. November 23, 1994 Zorayda and Adib filed for the declaration of nullity of marriage between Estrellita and Sen. Tamano as under civil rites, their marriage remained subsisting when Tamano married Estrellita in 1993. Upon being summoned by the RCT on December 19, 1994, Estrellita asked for an extension of 30 days to file her answer. Instead of filing her answer, she filed a Motion to Dismiss on February 20, 1995 asserting that under the Muslim Code, jurisdiction on Muslim marriages fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of Sharis courts. Certiorari petition questioning the denial of her Motion to Dismiss was filed by Estrellita. RTC continued to try the case while certiorari petition was in CA. CA denied her petition and Estrellita was ordered by RTC to present her evidence on June 26, 1997. At the same time, Estrellita has escalated her petiotion for review on certiorari to the Supreme Court.

After multiple delays in appearing in court with her evidence, on ground that she was waiting for the outcome of her certiorari petition, the RTC proceeded with trial and rendered Estrellitas marriage with Tamano as void ab initio on August 18, 1998. Estrellita appealed to the CA arguing that she was denied here right to be heard as the RTC rendered judgment without waiting for finality on her certiorari petition. CA upheld that ruling of the RTC stating that she was given ample opportunity to be heard and that her marriage with Tamano was bigamous, as the marriage of Zorayda and Tamano is governed by the Civil Code, which does not provide for an absolute divorce. Issues: 1.) WoN the CA erred in affirming the trial courts judgment, which the petitioner supposes to be premature for the following reasons a. Judgment was rendered without the SCs final resolution of her certiorari petition (G.R. No. 126603) b. she has not yet filed her answer and thus denied due process c. public prosecutor did not conduct investigation on whether there was collusion 2.) WoN the marriage between Estrelita and the late Sen. Tamano was bigamous. 3.) WoN Zorayda and Adib have the legal standing to have Estrellitas marriage declared void ab initio. Held: 1.) No. The trial courts judgment was not premature. a. Certiorari is an independent action which is not part of a continuation of the trial which resulted in the rendition of the judgment complained of. Hence, it cannot be a reason to put trial on hold. b. Estrellita failed to file an answer and refused to present her evidence even after her multiple requests for delay were already granted c. The lack of participation of a public prosecutor does not invalidate the proceedings in the trial. (Tuason v Court of Appeals) 2.) Yes. The marriage of Tamano and Zorayda was solemnized under and governed by the 1950 Civil Code as it was the only existing law governing marriage relations between Muslims and nonMuslims at the time of their marriage in 1958. And since there was no declaration of nullity of void marriage of Zorayda and Tamanos union, the subsequent marriage of Estrelita and Tamano is adjudged void ab initio. 3.) Yes. Zorayda and Adib, have legal standing to file for declaration of nullity of marriage. It has been held that in a void marriage, any interested party may attact the marriage directly or collaterally without prescription. Zorayda and Adib, being the wife and heir respectively, are considered interested parties.