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Tomasa Vda. de Jacob vs.

CA (Presumption of Marriage) Nature of the Case: This is a Petition for Review assailing the decision of the CA denying petitioners Motion for Reconsideration Facts: Petitioner Tomasa da! de "aco# claimed to #e the surviving spouse of deceased $r! Alfredo %! "aco# and was appointed &pecial Administrati' for the various estates of the deceased #y virtue of a reconstructed Marriage Contract #etween herself and the deceased! Respondent Pedro Pilapil on the other hand( claimed to #e the legally)adopted son of Alfredo( purportedly supported #y an *rder issued #y then Presiding "udge "ose +! Moya( C,-( Camarines &ur( granting the petition for adoption filed #y deceased Alfredo in favor of Pedro Pilapil! Pedro sought to intervene during the proceeding for the settlement of the estate of Alfredo( claiming his share of the deceaseds estate as Alfredo.s adopted son and sole surviving heir! Pedro li/ewise 0uestioned the validity of the marriage #etween Appellant Tomasa and his adoptive father Alfredo! Appellant claims that the marriage #etween her and Alfredo was solemni1ed #y one Msgr! ,lorencio C! 2llana( C3CP( -ntramuros( Manila sometime in 4567! &he could not however present the original copy of the Marriage Contract stating that the original document was lost when Msgr! 2llana allegedly gave it to Mr! "ose Centenera for registration! -n lieu of the original( Tomasa presented as secondary evidence a reconstructed Marriage Contract issued in 4568! &everal irregularities on the reconstructed Marriage Contract were o#served #y the court such as: (4) no copy of the Marriage Contract was sent to the local civil registrar #y the solemni1ing officer9 (:) a mere ;thum#mar/< was purportedly placed #y the late Alfredo "aco# on said reconstructed marriage contract on 4= &eptem#er 4567 (date of the marriage)( instead of his customary signature as affi'ed in their &worn Affidavit9 (>) inconsistencies in the circumstances and personalities surrounding the lost Marriage Contract mentioned in the affidavit e'ecuted #y Msgr! 2llana and in the testimony admitted #y the appellant9 and (?) appellant admitted that there was no record of the purported marriage entered in the #oo/ of records in &an Agustin Church where the marriage was allegedly solemni1ed! 3ased on the evidence presented( the trial court ruled for defendant)appellee Pilapil( sustaining his claim as the legally adopted child and sole heir of deceased Alfredo and declaring the reconstructed Marriage Contract as spurious and non)e'istent! The Court of Appeals sustained the decision of the trial court! Issues: 4! @*A the marriage #etween the plaintiff Tomasa da! $e "aco# and deceased Alfredo %! "aco# was indeed valid Held: 2es! The marriage #etween appellant and the deceased was valid! Ratio: Pilapils claim that the marriage was void due to a#sence of a marriage license was misplaced! An affidavit e'ecuted #y the appellant and the late $r! "aco# that they lived together as hus#and and wife for at least five years e'empted them from the marriage license re0uirement (Article 6= of the Civil Code)! Also misplaced was Pilapils argument that the marriage was void #ecause of the a#sence of a marriage contract and the a#sence of entry of such in the 3oo/s of Marriage of the +ocal Civil Registrar and in the Aational Census and &tatistics *ffice! A marriage contract is the #est evidence of a marriage ceremony! Bowever( ;the contents of a document may #e proven #y competent evidence other than the document itself( provided that the offeror esta#lishes its due e'ecution and its su#se0uent loss or destruction! Accordingly( the fact of marriage may #e shown #y e'trinsic evidence other than the marriage contract!< -n the instant case( appellant provided competent evidence to prove that a marriage ceremony was solemni1ed #etween her and the late $r! "aco#! &uch evidence was supplied #y appellant Tomasa( witness Adela Pilapil and the solemni1ing officer Msgr! 2llana through their sworn testimonies #oth in open court and in writing( and through the photographs ta/en during the ceremony! The a#sence of an entry pertaining to 4567 in the 3oo/s of Marriage of the +ocal Civil Registrar of Manila and in the Aational Census and &tatistics *ffice (AC&*) does not invalidate the marriage! -t is primary duty of the solemni1ing officer( not the petitioner( to send a copy of the marriage certificate to these offices in order to #e duly recorded! In the absence of any counter presumption or evidence special to the case( a man and a woman deporting themselves as hus#and and wife are presumed to have entered into a lawful contract of marriage! As the fact that $r! "aco# and appellant Tomasa lived together as hus#and and wife was not disputed in this case( #ut was in fact even accepted( it would follow that the presumption of marriage was not li/ewise re#utted!