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Ty vs CA

GR No. 127406, November 27, 2000

Private respondent, Edgardo Reyes, was married with Anna Villanueva
in a civil ceremony in March 1977 in Manila and subsequently had a
church wedding in August 1977. Both weddings were declared null and
void ab initio for lack of marriage license and consent of the parties.
Even before the decree nullifying the marriage was issued, Reyes wed
Ofelia Ty herein petitioner on April 1979 and had their church wedding
in Makati on April 1982. The decree was only issued in August 1980.
In January 1991, Reyes filed with RTC a complaint to have his marriage
with petitioner be declared null and void. AC ruled that a judicial
declaration of nullity of the prior marriage with Anna must first be
secured before a subsequent marriage could be validly contracted.
However, SC found that the provisions of the Family Code cannot be
retroactively applied to the present case for doing so would prejudice
the vested rights of the petitioner and of her children.
ISSUE: Whether or not damages should be awarded to Ofelia Ty.
SC is in the opinion of the lower courts that no damages should be
awarded to the wife who sought damages against the husband for
filing a baseless complaint causing her mental anguish, anxiety,
besmirched reputation, social humiliation and alienation from her
parents. Aside from the fact, that petitioner wants her marriage to
private respondent held valid and subsisting. She is likewise suing to
maintain her status as legitimate wife. To grant her petition for
damages would result to a situation where the husband pays the wife
damages from conjugal or common funds. To do so, would make the
application of the law absurd. Moreover, Philippine laws do not
comprehend an action for damages between husband and wife merely
because of breach of a marital obligation.
Hence, the petition was granted. Marriage between Ty and Reyes is
declared valid and subsisting and the award of the amount of P15,000
is ratified and maintained as monthly support to their 2 children for as
long as they are of minor age or otherwise legally entitled thereto.