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Abbas v.

The case stems from a petition filed by Syed Abbas for the declaration of nullity of
marriage to Gloria Goo-Abbas with the RTC of Pasay City. At the tiral court, on January
9, 1993, he was at his mother-in-laws residence when the latter arrived with two men.
The petitioner was told that he was going to undergo some ceremony but was not
infomed that it was a marriage. Syed, however, alleged that their marriage was
celebrated with the absence of a formal requsite which is a valid marriage license in this
case and in effect, invalidates their marriage. On the contrary, it is stated in the Marriage
Contract of Gloria and Syed that Marriage License No. 9969967 issued at Carmona,
Cavite, was presented to the solemnizing officer. To ascertain whether such marriage
license existed, he went to the Office of the Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite, but was
told through a certification that the Marriage License No. 9969967 was rather issued to
a certain Arlindo Getalado and Myra Mabilangan. The respondent inexplicably failed to
secure a copy of their marriage license, weakening her claim that there was a valid one
issued for her and Syed.
The RTC held that no valid marriage license was issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar
of Carmona, Cavite in favor of Gloria and Syed, rendering their marriage void ab
initio.The respondent filed a Mortion for Reconsideration but was denied promting her to
appeal to the CA. The appeal was granted and the trial courts decision was reversed.
The petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was denied by the appellate court
which led to the filing of Petition for Review on Certiorari with the Supreme Court.
Whether the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the decision of the RTC despite the
evidence presented that the marriage of Syed and Gloria was celebrated without a valid
marriage license
Yes, the Court of Appelas erred in granting the appeal of herein respodent in spite of the
clear proof that there was indeed an absence of a valid marriage license. As a rule set
forth in Article 4 of the Family Code, the absence of any essential or formal requisites
shall render the marriage void ab initio. In the case at bar, the petitioner was able to
prove, based on the certification issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar of Carmona and
the testimony of their employee Norberto Bagsic, that there no such marriage license for
Gloria and Syed was issued, and that the serial number of the marriage license
pertained to another couple, Arlindo Getalado and Myra Mabilangan. Furthermore,
Glorias claim that their marriage contract was signed by her and Syed in the presence
of two witnesses and a solemnizing officer, does not deny the fact that a valid marriage
license was not procured prior to the celebration of their marriage. The Supreme Court
ruled that since a marriage license, a formal requisite, is clearly absent, the marriage of
Gloria and Syed is void ab initio. Therefore, the petition is granted and the decision of
the appellate court is reversed and set aside.
Silverio v. Republic of the Philippines
On November 26, 2002, petitioner Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio filed a petition for
the change of his first name and sex in his birth certificate in the RTC of Manila.
Petitioner alleged that he is a male transexual, that is, anatomically male but feels,
thinks and acts as a female. To transform himself to a woman, he underwent sex
reassignment surgery in Bangkok, Thailand. From then on, petitioner lived as a female
and was in fact engaged to be married. He then sought to have his name in his birth
certificate changed from "Rommel Jacinto" to "Mely," and his sex from "male" to
The trial court rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner and reasoned that the latter
filed the present petition not to evade any law or judgment, and that granting the petition
would be more in consonance with the principles of justice and equity. Likewise, the
court believes that no harm, injury or prejudice will be caused to anybody or the
community in granting the petition. The Republic of the Philippines, however, thru the
OSG, filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals. It alleged that there is no law
allowing the change of entries in the birth certificate by reason of sex alteration. The
Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of the Republic and ruled that the trial
courts decision lacked legal basis. Herein petitioner moved for reconsideration but the
same was denied.

Whether the petition to change the name and sex of the petitioner on the ground of
sexual reassignment is sanctioned by our existing laws and that granting the same
would cause no harm, inury or prejudice to anyone or to the community.
No, there is no law that allows the change of entries in the birth certificate anent the
name and sex on the ground of sexual reassigment thus, granting the petition will have
certain effects which might not be favorable for the State. As a rule, the State has an
interest in the names borne by individuals and entities for purposes of identification. A
change of name is a privilege, not a right. In the instant case, the petitioner claimed that
he shall be allowed to change his name and sex on the ground that he underwent a
sexual alteration procedure to transform himself into a woman. However, on article
407 of the Civil Code, no reasonable interpretation of the provision can justify the
conclusion that it covers the correction on the ground of sex reassignment. The
Supreme Court further explained that changes sought by petitioner will have serious
legal and public policy consequences such as a substantial alteration on laws governing
marriage and family relations. For instance, it is provided in Article 5 of the Family Code
that only male or female of the age of engihteen years or upwards not under any of the
impediments mentioned in Article 37 and 38, may contract marraige. Consequently,
granting the petition will allow the union of a man with another man who has undergone
sex reassignment. Therefore, the petition is denied as the remedies petitioner seeks
involve questions of public policy to be addressed solely by the legislature, not by the
On December 11, 2003, respondent Jennifer Cagandahan filed a Petition for
Correction of Entries in Birth Certificate before the RTC, Branch 33 of Siniloan,
Laguna. In her petition, she alleged that she was registered as a female in the
Certificate of Live Birth but while growing up, she developed secondary male
characteristics and was diagnosed to have Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
which is a condition where persons thus afflicted possess both male and female
characteristics. At age thirteen, tests revealed that her ovarian structures had
minimized, she has stopped growing and she has no breast or menstrual
development. She then alleged that for all interests and appearances as well as in
mind and emotion, she has become a male person. Thus, she prayed that her birth
certificate be corrected such that her gender be changed from female to male and
her first name be changed from Jennifer to Jeff. Dr. Michael Sionzon who issued a
medical certificate and testified that respondents condition is permanent and
recommended the change of gender because respondent has made up her mind,
adjusted to her chosen role as male, and the gender change would be
advantageous to her. The RTC granted the petition but was reversed by the CA upon
the appeal of the Republic.

Whether the petition to change the name and sex of the respondent be granted on
the ground of her medical condition where persons thus afflicted possess both male
and female characteristics

Yes, the petition must be granted as it was proven that her medical condition is
permanent and that male characteristics are more dominant in her. As a rule,
changing the name and sex of a person needs a judicial order, hence, rules 103 and
108 of the Rules of Court shall be applied. In the instant case, the petitioner filed a
petition for the change of name and sex as her condition dictates her that she is
more of a man than a woman. The respondent did not have the choice considering
that her condition was present since birth. Consequently, granting the petition of
Jennifer will not greatly affect laws governing marriage and family relations as she
should be deemed a male since she was born and that there was just a late
manifestation of her being male. Life is already difficult for the ordinary person. The
Court cannot but respect how respondent deals with his unordinary state and thus
help make his life easier, considering the unique circumstances in this case.
Therefore, the petition was granted and the deicsion of the CA was reversed and set
Republic vs Albios

Fringer, an American citizen, and Albios were married before Judge Ofelia Calo of the
Metropolitan Trial Court, branch 59, Mandaluyong City on October 22, 2004. On
December 6, 2006, Albios filed a petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage with
Fringer. She alleged she contracted Fringer to enter into a marriage for her acquire
American citizenship. Albios agreed to pay him the sum of $2000.00. However, after the
ceremony, Fringer returned to the United States and never again communicated with
the respondent and that in turn, the latter did not pay him the agreed amount because
her petition for citizenship was never processed.

The RTC granted the petition and ruled that when marriage was entered into for a
purpose other than the establishment of a conjugal and family life, such was a farce and
should not be recognized from its inception. Petitioner Republic of the Philippines,
represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, filed a motion for reconsideration but
was denied for want of merit. Not in conformity, the OSG filed an appeal before the CA.
The apellate court denied the appeal and affirmed the RTC ruling which found that the
essential requisite of consent was lacking. It concluded that their purpose was primarily
for personal gain, that is, for Albios to obtain foreign citizenship, and for Fringer, the
consideration of $2,000.00.

Whether the marriage of Albios and Fringer, contracted for the sole purpose of acquiring
American citizenship in consideration of $2,000.00, is void ab initio on the ground of
lack of consent?

No, the marriage of Albios and Fringer is not void. Under Article 2 of the Family Code,
for consent to be valid, it must be (1) freely given and (2) made in the presence of a
solemnizing officer. A "freely given" consent requires that the contracting parties willingly
and deliberately enter into the marriage. Consent must be real in the sense that it is not
vitiated by fraud, force, intimidation, and undue influence. In the instant case, consent of
the contracting parties freely given is best evidenced by their conscious purpose of
acquiring American citizenship through marriage. Only a genuine consent to be married
would allow them to further their objective, considering that only a valid marriage can
properly support an application for citizenship. The Court ruled that the respondents
motive in contracting a marriage between Fringer, that is to acquire American
citizenship, does not in any way render their marriage void as there was the presence of
all the essential and formal requisites.Therefore, the decision of the Court of Appeals
was annuled.

Peregrina Macua Vda De Aveniod v. Tecla Hoybia Avenido

Respondent Tecla Hoybia Avenido instituted a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of
Marriage against Peregrina Macua Vda. de Avenido on the ground that she is the lawful
wife of the deceased Eustaquio Avenido. In her complaint, Tecla alleged that her
marriage to Eustaquio was solemnized on 30 September 1942 in Talibon, Bohol in rites
officiated by the Parish Priest of the said town. According to her, the fact of their
marriage is evidenced by a Marriage Certificate recorded with the Office of the Local
Civil Registrar of Talibon, Bohol but was destroyed due to World War II. Thus, only a
Certification was issued by the LCR. There was a time when Eustaquio left his family
and his whereabouts was not known. In 1979, Tecla learned that her husband
Eustaquio got married to Peregrina and claimed that such must be declared null and
void for being bigamous. Peregrina filed her answer to the complaint with counterclaim
and avered that she is the legal surviving spouse of Eustaquio, their marriage having
been celebrated on 30 March 1979 at St. Jude Parish in Davao City.

Tecla and Peregrina presented their documentary evidence to support their respective
allegations but the trial court dismissed both the Petition and the Counterclaim. Not
convinced, Tecla appealed to the CA raising as error the trial courts alleged disregard of
the evidence on the existence of her marriage to Eustaquio. The CA reversed the
decision of the RTC and ruled that the latter committed a reversible error when it
disregarded the testimonies of the sister of EUSTAQUIO who personally witnessed the
wedding celebration, Climaco who testified that his mother Tecla was married to his
father, Eustaquio, and Tecla herself.

Whether the evidence presented during the trial proves the existence of the marriage of
Tecla to Eustaquio

Yes, the evidence presented by Tecla proves the existence of her marriage between
Eustaquio. As a rule, while a marriage certificate is considered the primary evidence of
a marital union, it is not regarded as the sole and exclusive evidence of marriage. In the
case at bar, herein respondents failure to present the marriage certificate, due to
unfavorable circumstances out of her control, did not rebut the presumption that she
was validly married to Eustaquio. Furthermore, the 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. The Supreme Court ruled that
the establishment of the fact of marriage between Tecla and Eustaquio was completed
by the testimonies of Adelina, Climaco and Tecla and by the unrebutted certifications of
marriage issued by the parish priest of the Most Holy Trinity Cathedral of Talibon, Bohol.
Therefore, the petition was denied and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals
was affirmed.

Fujiki v. Marinay


Petitioner Minoru Fujiki is a Japanese national who married respondent Maria Paz
Galela Marinay in the Philippines on 23 January 2004. The marriage did not sit well with
petitioners parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to Japan where he resides.
Eventually, they lost contact with each other. In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese,
Shinichi Maekara. Without the first marriage being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara
were married on 15 May 2008 in Quezon City, Philippines. Maekara brought Marinay to
Japan. However, Marinay allegedly suffered physical abuse from Maekara. She left
Maekara and started to contact Fujiki. Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were
able to reestablish their relationship. In 2010, Fujiki helped Marinay obtain a judgment
from a family court in Japan which declared the marriage between Marinay and
Maekara void on the ground of
bigamy. Fujiki then filed a petition in the RTC for a Judicial Recognition of Foreign

The RTC dismissed the petition for "Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or
Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage)" based on improper venue and the lack of
personality of petitioner, Minoru Fujiki, to file the petition. On 30 May 2011, the Court
required respondents to file their comment on the petition for review.30 The public
respondents, participated through the Office of the Solicitor General. Instead of a
comment, the Solicitor General filed a Manifestation and Motion. The Solicitor General
agreed with the petition. He prayed that the case be reinstated in the trial court for
further proceedings.

Whether RTC shall recognize the decision of the Family Court of Japan nullifying the
marriage between Marinay and Maekara as such is considered bigamous

Yes, the RTC shall recognize such decision for it has ajurisdiction to extend the effect of
a foreign judgment in the Philippines so long as such judgment is consistent with
domestic public policy and other mandatory laws. The second paragraph of Article 26 of
the Family Code provides that where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a
foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the
alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity
to remarry under Philippine law." Article 26 confers jurisdiction on Philippine courts to
extend the effect of a foreign divorce decree to a Filipino spouse without undergoing
trial to determine the validity of the dissolution of the marriage. In the instant case, the
marriage between Marinay and Maekara is deemed bigamous since there was a prior
valid marriage between Fujiki and Marinay. Fujiki helped Marinay to seek the
nullification of her marriage with Maekara with the Family Court of Japan. The foreign
court nullified the said marriage as it was bigamous in nature. The Supreme Court ruled
that it is within the jurisdiction of the RTC to recognize the foreign courts decision
nullifying the marriage of the private respondents considering that the such judgment is
sanctioned by the laws of the Philippines. Therefore, the petition was granted and the
decision of th RTC was reversed and set aside. The RTC was ordered to reinstate the
petition for further proceedings in accordance with this Decision.
Corpus v. Sto. Tomas

Petitioner Gerbert R. Corpuz was a former Filipino citizen who acquired Canadian
citizenship through naturalization on November 29, 2000. On January 18, 2005, Gerbert
married respondent Daisylyn T. Sto. Tomas, a Filipina, in Pasig City. Due to work and
other professional commitments, Gerbert left for Canada soon after the wedding but
when he returned to the Philippines he was shocked to discover that his wife was
having an affair with another man. Gerbert returned to Canada and filed a petition for
divorce and the same was granted. Two years after the divorce, Gerbert has moved on
and has found another Filipina to love. Desirous of marrying his new Filipina fiance in
the Philippines, Gerbert went to the Pasig City Civil Registry Office and registered the
Canadian divorce decree on his and Daisylyns marriage certificate. Despite the
registration of the divorce decree, an official of the National Statistics Office informed
Gerbert that the marriage between him and Daisylyn still subsists under Philippine law;
to be enforceable, the foreign divorce decree must first be judicially recognized by a
competent Philippine court. Accordingly, Gerbert filed a petition for judicial recognition of
foreign divorce and/or declaration of marriage as dissolved with the RTC. The RTC,
however, denied Gerberts petition and concluded that Gerbert was not the proper party
to institute the action for judicial recognition of the foreign divorce decree as he is a
naturalized Canadian citizen. It ruled that only the Filipino spouse can avail of the
remedy, under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, in order for him
or her to be able to remarry under Philippine law.

Whether the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code extends to aliens the
right to petition a court of this jurisdiction for the recognition of a foreign divorce decree


No, Article 26 of the Family Code bestows no rights in favor of aliens. The second
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provides that where a marriage between a
Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly
obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino
spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law." The rule applies only to the
Filipino spouse who can avail of the remedy provided in the abovecited provision. In the
instant case, Gerbert, a naturalized Canadian, filed a divorced in Canada to severe his
marital bond with her Filipina spouse. The Supreme Court of Canada granted the
petition. Gerbert found another filipina whom he wanted to marry so he filed with the
RTC a petition for judicial recognition of the foreign divorce decree citing Article 26 to
support his petition. The Supreme Court reiterated that Gerbet cannot avail of such
remedy but it is not sufficient basis to dismiss Gerberts petition before the RTC. The
Court ruled that it is deemed more appropriate to remand the case to the RTC to
determine whether the divorce decree is consistent with the Canadian divorce law and
given the Article 26 interests that will be served and Daisylyns obvious conformity with
the petition.

Noveras v. Novera

David A. Noveras and Leticia T. Noveras were married on 3 December 1988 in Quezon
City, Philippines. They resided in California, United States of America (USA) where they
eventually acquired American citizenship. They then begot two children and acquired
several properties both in the Philippines and in the United States. Due to business
reverses, David left the USA and returned to the Philippines in 2001. According to
Leticia, sometime in September 2003, David abandoned his family and lived with
Estrellita Martinez in Aurora province. Upon learning that David had an extra-marital
affair, Leticia filed a petition for divorce with the Superior Court of California and the
court granted the divorce on 24 June 2005. The California court granted to Leticia the
custody of her two children, as well as all the couples properties in the USA.

Leticia filed a petition for Judicial Separation of Conjugal Property before the RTC of
Baler, Aurora. She prayed for the power to administer all conjugal properties in the
Philippines and the declaration that all conjugal properties be forfeited in favor of her
children. The trial court recognized that since the parties are US citizens, the laws that
cover their legal and personal status are those of the USA. Under their law, the parties
marriage had already been dissolved. Thus, the trial court considered the petition filed
by Leticia as one for liquidation of the absolute community of property regime with the
determination of the legitimes, support and custody of the children, instead of an action
for judicial separation of conjugal property.
CATALAN V. CATALAN G. R. No. 183622 February 8, 2012

Merope Enriquez Vda. De Catalan, Petitioner

Louella A. Catalan-Lee, Respondent.

Ponente: Sereno J.:

Before us is a Petition for Review assailing the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision
and Resolution regarding the issuance of letters of administration of the intestate
estate of Orlando B. Catalan.

This petition for review assails the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CV No. 69875 dated August 6, 2004, which reverse the Decision of the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Dagupan City, Branch 44, in Civil Case No. D-10636, declaring
the marriage between respondents Orlando B. Catalan and Merope E. Braganza
void on the ground of bigamy, as well as the Resolution dated January 27, 2005,
which denied the motion for reconsideration.
Petitioner Felicitas Amor-Catalan married respondent Orlando on June 4, 1950 in
Mabini, Pangasinan. Thereafter, they migrated to the United States of America and
allegedly became naturalized citizens thereof. After 38 years of marriage, Felicitas
and Orlando divorced in April 1988. Two months after the divorce, or on June 16,
1988, Orlando married respondent Meropein Calasiao, Pangasinan.Contending
that said marriage was bigamous since Merope had a prior subsisting marriage
with EusebioBristol, petitioner filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage
with damages in the RTC of Dagupan City against Orlando and Merope.
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of cause of action as
petitioner was allegedly not a real party-in-interest, but it was denied. Trial on the
merits ensued. On October 10, 2000, the RTC rendered judgment in favor of the
petitioner. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the respondent before
appellate court and ruled in favor of her reversing the decision of the trial court.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was dismissed by the
appellate court. Petitioner contends that the bigamous marriage of the
respondents, which brought embarrassment to her and her children, confers
upon her an interest to seek judicial remedy to address her grievances and to
protect her family from further embarrassment and humiliation. She claims that
the Court of Appeals committed reversible error in not declaring the marriage
void despite overwhelming evidence and the state policy discouraging illegal and
immoral marriages.

Whether or not petitioner has the personality to file a petition for the declaration
of nullity of marriage of the respondents on the ground of bigamy.

Without the divorce decree and foreign law as part of the evidence, we cannot
rule on the issue of whether petitioner has the personality to file the petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage. After all, she may have the personality to file the
petition if the divorce decree obtained was a limited divorce oramensaetthoro;or
the foreign law may restrict remarriage even after the divorce decree becomes
absolute.In such case, the RTC would be correct to declare the marriage of the
respondents void for being bigamous, there being already in evidence two
existing marriage certificates, which were both obtained in the Philippines, one in
Mabini, Pangasinan dated December 21, 1959 between Eusebio Bristol and
respondent Merope,and the other, in Calasiao, Pangasinan dated June 16, 1988
between the respondents.However, if there was indeed a divorce decree obtained
and which, following the national law of Orlando, does not restrict remarriage, the
Court of Appeals would be correct in ruling that petitioner has no legal
personality to file a petition to declare the nullity of marriage, thus:
Freed from their existing marital bond, each of the former spouses no longer has
any interest nor should each have the personality to inquire into the marriage that
the other might subsequentlycontract. x x x Viewed from another perspective,
Felicitas has no existing interest in Orlandos subsequent marriage since the
validity, as well as any defect or infirmity, of this subsequent marriage will not
affect the divorced status of Orlando and Felicitas.In fine, petitioners personality
to file the petition to declare the nullity of marriage cannot be ascertained
because of the absence of the divorce decree and the foreign law allowing it.
Hence, a remand of the case to the trial court for reception of additional evidence
is necessary to determine whether respondent Orlando was granted a divorce
decree and whether the foreign law which granted the same allows or restricts
remarriage. If it is proved that a valid divorce decree was obtained and the same
did not allow respondent Orlandos remarriage, then the trial court should declare
respondents marriage as bigamous and void ab initio but reduce the amount of
moral damages from P300,000.00 to P50,000.00 and exemplary damages from
P200,000.00 to P25,000.00. On the contrary, if it is proved that a valid divorce
decree was obtained which allowed Orlando to remarry, then the trial court must
dismiss the instant case.