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G.R. No.

180863 September 8, 2009


Angelita Valdez v. Repbli! o" t#e $#ilippine%
&A'(S)

Petitioner married Sofio in Jan 11,1971 wherein the former gave birth to their only
child , Nancy. Petitioner states that she and Sofio argue constantly because of
the latters unemloyment and did not bring home any money. !ventually, Sofio
left their con"ugal dwelling. # years have assed that etitioner did have any
$nowledge of Sofios whereabouts until %ct, 197& , Sofio showed u and they
tal$ed and agreed to searate and e'ecuted a document to that effect. (hey
didnt see each other anymore after that.
etitioner believing that Sofio was dead, married )irgilio *eyes on June +,,
19-&. .ue to the denial of )irgilios alication for naturali/ation in the 0S
deartment of 1omeland Security because of the subsisting marriage of
etitioner with Sofio, Petitioner filed a etition before *(2 see$ing declaration of
resumtive death.
R('3 dismissed etition for lac$ of merit and held that 4ngelita was not able to
rove a well grounded belief that Sofio was already dead 54rt 61, 728. 7urther
stating that she did not e'ert any effort in finding her husband anymore.
Petitioner filed a motion for recon arguing that 2ivil 2ode rovisions aly in this
case and not 7amily 2ode. 9ecause marriage was celebrated on Jan 11, 1971
long before 7amily 2ode too$ effect. 7urther arguing that she ac:uired a vested
right under the 2ivil 2ode and stricter rovisions in the 72 should not alied
against her 5 4rt. #-6 and #9,8 (o aly it would imair etitioner rights ac:uired
under the 2ivil 2ode. *(2 denied ;otion for *econ. 1ence this etition.
*SS+,) <%N *(2 erred in alying 72 and holding that etitioner needed to rove a
well= founded belief that Sofio was already dead>
-,./) ?!S. *(2 is wrong. Petitioner was caacitated to marry )irgilio at the time their
marriage was celebrated in 19-& and said marriage is legal and valid.
2ourt dismissed the etitioner since no decree of resumtion of Sofios death
can be granted under the 2ivil 2ode. Since death is resumed to have ta$en
lace by the seventh year of absence. Sofio is to be resumed dead starting
%ctober 19-+.
2onse:uently, at the time of etitioners marriage to )irgilio, there e'isted no
imediment to etitioners caacity to marry, and the marriage is valid under
aragrah + of 4rticle -# of the 2ivil 2ode. Petitioner could not have been
e'ected to comly with this re:uirement since the 7amily 2ode was not yet in
effect at the time of her marriage to )irgilio. (he enactment of the 7amily 2ode in
19-- does not change this conclusion. (o rectroactively aly rovision of the
7amily 2ode would go against the ob"ectives that 7amily 2ode wishes to
achieve.