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Espinosa & Glindo vs Atty.

Omana
Principles
Civil Law - This Court has ruled that the extrajudicial dissolution of the
conjugal partnership without judicial approval is void.
Administrative Law - The Court has also ruled that a notary public should not
facilitate the disintegration of a marriage and the family by encouraging the
separation of the spouses and extrajudicially dissolving the conjugal
partnership,3 which is exactly what Omana did in this case.
Administrative Law - In Selanova v. Judge Mendoza,4 the Court cited a
number of cases where the lawyer was sanctioned for notarizing similar
documents as the contract in this case, such as: notarizing a document
between the spouses which permitted the husband to take a concubine and
allowed the wife to live with another man, without opposition from each
other;5 ratifying a document entitled Legal Separation where the couple
agreed to be separated from each other mutually and voluntarily, renouncing
their rights and obligations, authorizing each other to remarry, and
renouncing any action that they might have against each other;6 preparing a
document authorizing a married couple who had been separated for nine
years to marry again, renouncing the right of action which each may have
against the other;7 and preparing a document declaring the conjugal
partnership dissolved.8
Legal Ethics - We likewise agree with the IBP-CBD that in preparing and
notarizing a void document, Omaa violated Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides that [a] lawyer shall not engage in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Omaa knew fully well that
the Kasunduan Ng Paghihiwalay has no legal effect and is against public
policy. Therefore, Omaa may be suspended from office as an attorney for
breach of the ethics of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of
Professional Responsibility.10
Facts
On November 17, 1997, Espinosa, a complainant, and his wife
Elena Marantal, sought Atty Omana’s legal advice on whether they could
legally live separately and dissolve their marriage solemnized on 23 July
1983. Omana, the respondent, then prepared a document entitled Kasuduan
ng Paghihiwalay (Contract). In the contract, it was stipulated that Espinosa
and his wife would separate and could cohabit with whomever they desired.

Omana. The respondent said that Espinosa returned on the next day while she was out of the office and persuaded her part-time staff to notarize the contract.The dissolution of the property regime and liquidation of properties were also stipulated. Omana violated the Canon of Professional Responsibility in the notarization of Espinosa and Marantal’s Kasunduan ng Paghihiwalay. told Espinosa that the contract was not valid. Supreme Court applied the doctrine of Selanova vs. Also. the respondent was responsible for the notarization of the contract even if assuming that her office staff signed it. Also the extrajudicial dissolution of the Conjugal property without judicial approval was void. Issues Whether or not Atty. the respondent told that it was Espinosa who requested the notarization of the contract. Rule 1. Glindo and Espinosa hired services of a lawyer to file a case against Atty. . law graduate. She said that the contract was illegal. The contract was signed by the respondent in her capacity as notarial officer. the respondent has a propensity to resort to lies and deceit. Supreme Court agreed with the recommendation of IBP-CBD. According to IBP-CBD. Ruling: Yes. his wife took custody of their children and took most of the property acquired during their union. IBP – CBD found her guilty of violating Canon 1. Glindo. IBP Board of Directors denied the respondent’s motion for recommendation. However. Later on. it was still the responsibility of the respondent. a complainant. the respondent violated the Canon of Professional Responsibility. The respondent first said that it was her part time staff who notarized the contract but later changed her statement by saying that it was the maid who notarized it. Judge Mendoza wherein it was stated that some lawyers were sanctioned for notarizing documents such as the contract in the case because they encourage families to disintegrate. Then. In her defense.01 of the CPR. the respondent retracted her testimony and said that it was her maid who notarized the document.

27It is a pretended marriage not intended to be real and with no intention to create any legal ties whatsoever. legal in form but entered into as a joke.Under said Article 2. Consent must be real in the sense that it is not vitiated nor rendered defective by any of the vices of consent under Articles 45 and 46 of the Family Code. intoxication. such as the acquisition of foreign citizenship. and with a clear understanding that the parties would not be bound. A marriage in jest is a pretended marriage. such as fraud. There is no genuine consent because the parties have absolutely no intention of being bound in any way or for any purpose. A “freely given” consent requires that the contracting parties willingly and deliberately enter into the marriage. only be declared void or voidable under the grounds provided by law. Civil Law . Therefore. so long as all the .25 Their understanding should not be affected by insanity. intimidation. and undue influence. the absence of any genuine consent.Republic vs. and both the beneficial or unfavorable consequences of their act. There is no law that declares a marriage void if it is entered into for purposes other than what the Constitution or law declares. thus. Albios Principles Civil Law .In ruling that Albios’ marriage was void for lack of consent. for consent to be valid. or hypnotism. or unintelligent consent. not for vitiated. force. in that the parties must be capable of intelligently understanding the nature of.A marriage may. hence.24 Consent must also be conscious or intelligent. it must be (1) freely given and (2) made in the presence of a solemnizing officer. drugs. Marriages in jest are void ab initio. The ceremony is not followed by any conduct indicating a purpose to enter into such a relation. with no real intention of entering into the actual marriage status. Civil Law . the CA characterized such as akin to a marriage by way of jest. defective. but for a complete absence of consent.

On December 6. The Assistant prosecutor replied that she could not make a determination for Fringer and Albios because Fringer and Albios failed to appear during the scheduled investigation. and title. Other considerations. RTC declared the marriage void ab initio. On September 29. Branch 59. The State does not and cannot dictate on the kind of life that a couple chooses to lead. to love one another or not. Ruling: Court of Appeals erred.00 dollar payment in exchange of Albios’ US citizenship.Motives for entering into a marriage are varied and complex.31are equally valid. The appeal did not prosper. marriages entered into for other purposes. Fringer and Albios were married by Judge Ofelia Calo of MTC. and so on. companionship. it shall be declared valid Civil Law . to have children or no children. RTC ordered the Assistant prosecutor to determine if there was collusion. to live together or live apart. The formal and essential requisites in their . limited or otherwise. According to the Supreme Court. It was elevated to the Court of Appeals by the Republic of the Philippines. Facts On October 22. CA affirmed the RTC ruling because the marriage was performed for personal gain. Mandaluyong City. provided that they comply with all the legal requisites. there is consent to perform such act. and it is not void or voidable under the grounds provided by law. 2011. 2006. represented by the Office of the Solicitor General as the petitioner. such as convenience. may validly support a marriage. Love. money. Fringer wanted the $2000.29 The right to marital privacy allows married couples to structure their marriages in almost any way they see fit. Any attempt to regulate their lifestyle would go into the realm of their right to privacy and would raise serious constitutional questions.30 Thus. 2004. status. Issues: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in the question of law when it held that the marriage is a marriage in jest because consent is present. though the ideal consideration in a marriage contract. Albios filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage because they never intended to enter into a married state or comply with any marriage obligations. it was made in jest.essential and formal requisites precribed by law are present. is not the only valid cause for marriage. not precluded by law.

and claims that she and Jaime were married civilly on 19 May 1969. On the said date. retired Colonel Jose Cardenas of the Armed forces of the Philippines. he claimed that on 19 May 1969. Both marriages were registered with the local civil registry of .4 and in a church ceremony thereafter on 31 May 19695 at the Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Quezon City. Sevilla vs Cardenas Principles: Civil Law . through machinations. we cannot easily accept that absence of the same also means non-existence or falsity of entries therein. For her part. Administrative Law . that the logbook just cannot be found. Facts: In a Complaint filed by Jaime O.marriage are present. consequently. he never applied for a marriage license for his supposed marriage to Carmelita and never did they obtain any marriage license from any Civil Registry. According to Jaime.As custodians of public documents. of maintaining a register book where they are required to enter all applications for marriage licenses. as we believed true in the case at bar. the date the marriage license was issued and such other relevant data. the father of Carmelita caused him and Carmelita to sign a marriage contract before the said Minister of the Gospel. Gonzales. Sevilla before the RTC. no marriage license was presented to the solemnizing officer. including the names of the applicants. annulling and dismissing the decisions of CA and RTC. It can also mean. 2770792. he and Carmelita went to the City Hall of Manila and they were introduced to a certain Reverend Cirilo D.Moreover. a supposed Minister of the Gospel. The petition was granted. Cardenas and the latter’s father. the absence of the logbook is not conclusive proof of non-issuance of Marriage License No. inter alia. Carmelita refuted these allegations of Jaime. In the absence of showing of diligent efforts to search for the said logbook. civil registrars are public officers charged with the duty. duress and intimidation employed upon him by Carmelita N.

2770792 is registered. there is a strong possibility that it would have contained an entry on marriage license no. Such certification shall be sufficient proof of lack or absence of record as . civil registrars are public officers charged with the duty.” Simply put. Issue: Whether or not there was a marriage license issued.“ With said testimony We cannot therefore just presume that the marriage license specified in the parties’ marriage contract was not issued for in the end the failure of the office of the local civil registrar of San Juan to produce a copy of the marriage license was attributable not to the fact that no such marriage license was issued but rather. because it “failed to locate the book wherein marriage license no. of maintaining a register book where they are required to enter all applications for marriage licenses. Ruling: The above Rule authorized the custodian of documents to certify that despite diligent search.Manila and the National Statistics Office. if the pertinent book were available for scrutiny. He is estopped from invoking the lack of marriage license after having been married to her for 25 years. inter alia. (Emphasis supplied. Perlita Mercader of the local civil registry of San Juan testified that they “failed to locate the book wherein marriage license no. a particular document does not exist in his office or that a particular entry of a specified tenor was not to be found in a register. the date the marriage license was issued and such other relevant data. 2770792 is registered. including the names of the applicants. As custodians of public documents. the certification to be issued by the Local Civil Registrar must categorically state that the document does not exist in his office or the particular entry could not be found in the register despite diligent search.) Thus. 2720792.” for the reason that “the employee handling is already retired.

the indissolubility of the marriage bonds. we cannot easily accept that absence of the same also means non-existence or falsity of entries therein. had been exerted. In the absence of showing of diligent efforts to search for the said logbook. It can also mean. but it is a new relation. accompanied by a certificate as above provided. – a written statement signed by an officer having the custody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent search.23 The courts look upon this presumption with great favor. . on the contrary. the testimony of the said person was not presented in evidence. 2770792. or that his testimony could not be secured. It is not to be lightly repelled. is admissible as evidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry. This belies the claim that all efforts to locate the logbook or prove the material contents therein. Finally. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court: SEC. Marriage in this jurisdiction is not only a civil contract.24 “The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is x x x marriage. Ms. that the logbook just cannot be found. who stated that they cannot locate the logbook due to the fact that the person in charge of the said logbook had already retired. the absence of the logbook is not conclusive proof of non-issuance of Marriage License No. Proof of lack of record. as we believed true in the case at bar. This implication is confirmed in the testimony of the representative from the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan. the rule is settled that every intendment of the law or fact leans toward the validity of the marriage. no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office. the presumption is of great weight. It does not appear on record that the former custodian of the logbook was deceased or missing. 28.stated in Section 28. Perlita Mercader. Moreover. Further.

Some years after. Pepito died in a car accident.an institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. fearing problems in successional rights (succession only occurs after the death of an ascendant) due to the second marriage. in the absence of any counter-presumption or evidence special to the case. they would be living in the constant violation of decency and of law. to be in fact married. filed a ‘petition for declaration for nullity of marriage’ (a. The heirs as petitioners. Consequently. Issues: The lower court dismissed the petition because: (1) The Family Code is silent whether the petition has a ’cause of action’.’ Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio – Always presume marriage. every intendment of the law leans toward legalizing matrimony. declaration of nullity of void marriages) between Pepito (deceased) and Norma using the absence of a marriage license as a legal basis. The reason is that such is the common order of society.”30 Ninal vs Bayadog Fact: Pepito married his second wife Norma a year and eight months after his first wife Teodulfa’s death. and if the parties were not what they thus hold themselves out as being.a.Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are presumed. Pepito and Norma got married without any marriage license because they lived together for 5 years and thus exempt from marriage license. A presumption established by our Code of Civil Procedure is `that a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage.k. Can there be such a petition when the heirs’ parent is deceased? (2) Are the heirs a ‘proper party’? .

then the cohabitation would include the period of the first marriage. (In determining the validity of marriage. the cohabitation. The absence of a marriage license renders marriage void ab initio. (3) Separation in fact (not the legal separation) by the first marriage does not count cohabitation. Void marriages cannot be attacked collaterally. Held: The Supreme Court ruled that: (1) The applicable law. after the first marriage. (4) Whether the petition for declaration for nullity of marriage has prescribed. This is in violation of the law. . It is not the one described by the Civil Code because the cohabitation. was not the one described by the Civil Code.(3) Determination whether the second marriage is void ab initio (from the beginning) is a must but is a different matter. was only twenty months whereas the law requires five years. The lower court ruled: (1) Petitioners should have filed an action to declare null and void their father’s marriage before the latter’s death.) (2) There is no second marriage. The exemption for a marriage license. it is to be tested by the law in force at the time the marriage was contracted. If the respondent took into consideration the other years and months before the second marriage. for the determination of marriage. Petitioners disagree with the decision and petitions for a review. (2) The prescription period and the proper party in an annulment proceeding were used as a basis to dismiss petitioner’s case. is the Civil Code and not the Family Code.

“ “Void marriages have no legal effects except those declared by law concerning the properties of the alleged spouses. where void and voidable marriages are made identical is erroneous. Void and voidable marriages are not identical. 53 and 54 of the Family Code. “A marriage that is annulable is valid until otherwise declared by the court. the property regime governing voidable marriages is generally conjugal partnership and the children conceived before its annulment are legitimate. in which case the parties and their offspring will be left as if the marriage had been perfectly valid. and its effect on the children born to such void marriages as provided in Article 50 in relation to Article 43 and 44 as well as Article 51. regarding co-ownership or ownership through actual joint contribution.” “A voidable can be generally ratified or confirmed by free cohabitation or prescription while a void marriage can never be ratified.” “A voidable marriage cannot be assailed collaterally except in a direct proceeding while a void marriage can be attacked collaterally. On the contrary. whereas a marriage that is void ab initio is considered as having never to have taken place.” .” “The action or defense for nullity is imprescriptible.” “Only the parties to a voidable marriage can assail it but any proper interested party may attack a void marriage.“This 5-year period should be the years immediately before the day of the marriage and it should be a period of cohabitation characterized by exclusivity – meaning no third party was involved at any time within the 5 years and continuity – that is unbroken. unlike voidable marriages where the action prescribes.” (4) The judge’s ruling (lower court).” “Void marriages can be questioned even after the death of either party but voidable marriages can be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties and not after death of either.

Jose contracted marriage with a certain Rufina Pascual. or a criminal case for that matter. The clause “on the basis of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void” in Article 40 of the Family Code connotes that such final judgment need not be obtained only for purpose of remarriage. But Article 40 of the Family Code expressly provides that there must be a judicial declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage. no judicial action is necessary to declare a marriage an absolute nullity. a final judgment of declaration of nullity is necessary even if the purpose is other than to remarry. 1986. “Jurisprudence under the Civil Code states that no judicial decree is necessary in order to establish the nullity of a marriage.(5) The Supreme Court requires a judicial decree of nullity of second marriage before determining succession rights. This is without prejudice to any issue that may arise in the case. Republic vs. legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child. On August 1990. such as but not limited to determination of heirship. In lieu of a marriage license. before a party can enter into a second marriage. the court may pass upon the validity of marriage even in a suit not directly instituted to question the same so long as it is essential to the determination of the case. other than for purposes of remarriage. settlement of estate. They were both employees of the . they executed a sworn affidavit that they had lived together for at least 5years. Dayot FACTS: Jose and Felisa Dayot were married at the Pasay City Hall on November 24. dissolution of property regime. For other purposes. though void.” “However. When such need arises.

which would have qualified their marriage as an exception to the requirement for a marriage license. for it refers to a quintessential fact that the law precisely required to be deposed and attested to by the parties under oath”. The court also ruled that an action for nullity of marriage is imprescriptible. Jose and Felisa started living together only in June 1986. “the falsity of the allegation in the sworn affidavit relating to the period of Jose and Felisa’s cohabitation. or barely five months before the celebration of their marriage on November 1986. . The solemnization of a marriage without prior license is a clear violation of the law and invalidates a marriage. Felisa then filed on June 1993 an action for bigamy against Jose and an administrative complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman. HELD: CA indubitably established that Jose and Felisa have not lived together for five years at the time they executed their sworn affidavit and contracted marriage. Furthermore. Jose filed a complaint on July 1993 for annulment and/or declaration of nullity of marriage where he contended that his marriage with Felisa was a sham and his consent was secured through fraud. ISSUE: Whether or not Jose’s marriage with Felisa is valid considering that they executed a sworn affidavit in lieu of the marriage license requirement.National Statistics and Coordinating Board. On the other hand. Findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are binding in the Supreme Court. The right to impugn marriage does not prescribe and may be raised any time. Hence. cannot be a mere irregularity. Jose and Felisa’s marriage is void ab initio.