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G.R. No. 103047, September 2, 1994 236 SCRA 257

 On June 24, 1970, Angelina M. Castro and Edwin F. Cardenas were married in a civil ceremony
performed by Judge Pablo M. Malvar, City Court Judge of Pasay City. The marriage was celebrated
without the knowledge of Castro's parents.

 Defendant Cardenas personally attended to the processing of the documents required for the
celebration of the marriage, including the procurement of the marriage license.

 The couple did not immediately live together as husband and wife since the marriage was
unknown to Castro's parents. Thus, it was only in March 1971, when Castro discovered she was
pregnant, that the couple decided to live together. However, their cohabitation lasted only for four
(4) months. On October 19, 1971, Castro gave birth. The baby was adopted by Castro's brother,
with the consent of Cardenas.

 Desiring to follow her daughter in US, Castro applied for annulment of her marriage with Edwin on
the ground that no marriage license issued to Cardenas prior to the celebration of their marriage.
As proof, Angelina Castro offered in evidence a certification from the Civil Register of Pasig, Metro
Manila certifying that the marriage license does not appear in the latter’s records.

 The trial court denied the petition. It held that the said certificate is inadequate to establish the
alleged non-issuance of a marriage license prior to the celebration of the marriage between the

 Castro appealed to respondent appellate court, and the appellate court reversed the Decision of
the trial court. It declared the marriage between the contracting parties null and void and directed
the Civil Registrar of Pasig to cancel the subject marriage contract.

ISSUE: W/N the marriage between Angelina Castro and Edwin Cardenas lacking of marriage license is valid.

RULING: Not valid. The Court affirmed the decision of appellate court that the marriage without marriage
license shall be null and void. Being one of the essential requisites of a valid marriage, absence of a
license would render the marriage void ab initio.

Art. 4. The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio,
except as stated in Article 35 (2).

A defect in any of the essential requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or
parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

Art. 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.

Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:

(1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;
(2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title; and
(3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the
solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the
presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.