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IWASAWA VS GANGAN | September 11, 2013 | Villarama, J.

P: Yasuo Iwasawa
R: Felisa Custodio Gangan (AKA Felisa Gangan Iwasawa/Felisa
Gangan Arambulo), Local Civil Registrar of Pasay
TOPIC: Bigamous and Polygamous marriages
FACTS:
- 2002: Japanese national Yasuo Iwasawa met Filipina Felisa Gangan
during his visit to the Philippines. Gangan said she was single and had
never been married.
- November 2002: Iwasawa and Gangan married in Pasay. Resided in
Japan after.
- July 2009: Iwasawa noticed that Gangan became depressed
o Gangan confessed that the reason for her depression was
because she was informed that HER PREVIOUS HUSBAND HAD
DIED
o Turns out, Gangan was previously married to Raymond
Maglonzo Arambulo (Married June 20, 1994)
- Iwasawa filed a petition to declare their marriage null and void on the
ground of bigamy. He testified and presented the following evidence
issued by the NSO:
1. Certificate of his marriage with Gangan
2. Certificate of marriage between Gangan and Arambulo
3. Certificate of death of Arambulo
4. Certification from NSO that there are 2 entries of marriage
recorded by the office for Gangan
- September 4, 2012: RTC denied the petition due to INSUFFICIENT
EVIDENCE that prove Gangans prior existing marriage. RTC ruled that:
o Iwasawas testimony is unreliable because he had no knowledge
of Gangans 1st marriage prior to Arambulos death
o Iwasawa did not present NSO records custodian to certify the
authenticity of the documents
ISSUE:
1. W/N the testimony of NSO records custodian certifying authenticity and
execution of public documents was necessary before they could be
accorded weight NO.
RATIO/HELD:
1. NO, all the documentary evidence Iwasawa presented were
PUBLIC RECORDS, which are admissible in evidence even
without further proof of authenticity (RA 3753: Law on Registry of
Civil Status, Art 410 NCC). The documents are considered prima facie
evidence, enough to establish the fact that there was a prior marriage.
Even the trial prosecutor admitted the authenticity of the documents.
2. Gangan admitted to having a prior marriage and she is not
against having the marriage be declared null and void. She
confessed she lied to Iwasawa because of poverty and joblessness. The
two separated after the she confessed when the 1st husband died.

3. Judicial declaration of nullity is required before a valid,


subsequent marriage can be contracted, or else, the second
marriage is void from the beginning [Art 35(4) FC]
PETITION GRANTED. Iwasawa and Gangan marriage declared NULL & VOID