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1. Republic vs Sarenogon, Jr.

GR 199194 Feb 10, 2016

FACTS:

Sarenogon filed a petition before the RTC to declare the presumptive death of his wife
Netchie. He testified that they got married and lived together as husband and wife for a month only
because he left to work as a seaman while Netchie went to Hongkong as a domestic helper. For 3
months, he did not receive any communication from Netchie and had no idea about her whereabouts.
While still abroad, he tried to contact Netchies parents, but failed. He returned home after his
contract expired, then inquired from Netchies relatives and friends about her whereabouts.
They also did not know where she was. Because of these, he had to presume that his wife Netchie
was already dead. He filed the Petition before the RTC so he could contract another marriage pursuant
to Article 41 of the Family Code. Joses testimony was corroborated by his older brother, and by
Netchies aunt. These two witnesses testified that Jose and Netchie lived together as husband and
wife only for one month prior to their leaving the Philippines for separate destinations abroad and
added that they had no information regarding Netchies location. The RTC found that Netchie had
disappeared for more than four years, reason enough for Jose to conclude that his wife was indeed
already dead.

The OSG questioned the RTC ruling via Rule 65 before the CA for the RTCs error in its
misappreciation of evidence. The CA saw no error in the RTC judgment and further held that Rule
65 is the wrong recourse in elevating a declaration of presumptive death judgment from the RTC.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Rule 65 is the proper recourse to question the RTC ruling?

RULING:

Yes. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is the proper remedy to question the RTCs
decision in a summary proceeding for declaration of presumptive death.

Under Article 247 of the Family Code, the RTCs decision on a petition pursuant to Article
41 of the Family Code is immediately final and executory. Thus, the CA has no jurisdiction to
entertain a notice of appeal pertaining to such judgment. However, an aggrieved party may file
a certiorari under Rule 65 to question abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Such
petition should be filed in the CA in accordance with the Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts. From the
decision of the CA, the aggrieved party may elevate the matter to SC via a petition for review under
Rule 45.

2. Santos vs. Santos


GR 187061, October 8, 2014

FACTS:
On 2007, the RTC declared petitioner Celerina presumptively dead after her husband,
respondent Ricardo, filed a petition for declaration of absence or presumptive death for the purpose
of remarriage. Ricardo remarried on 2008.hanrobleslaw

In his petition, Ricardo alleged that a year after they had gotten married on 1980 they moved
to Tarlac City where they were engaged in the buy and sell business. Their business did not prosper
and because of Celerina's insistence, he allowed her to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong. She
left Tarlac and was never heard from again. He exerted efforts to locate Celerina. That it was almost
12 years from the date of his RTC petition since Celerina left. He believed that she had passed away.

Celerina claimed that she learned about Ricardo's petition only sometime in 2008 when she
could no longer avail the remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief, or other appropriate
remedies.

On November 2008, she filed a petition for annulment of judgment before the CA on the
grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. Celerina claimed that she never resided in
Tarlac. She also never left and worked as a domestic helper abroad. it was not true that she had been
absent for 12 years. Ricardo was aware that she never left their conjugal dwelling in Quezon City. It
was he who left the conjugal dwelling in May 2008 to cohabit with another woman. She was deprived
of any notice of and opportunity to oppose the petition declaring her presumptively dead.

November 2008, CA dismissed Celerina's petition for annulment of judgment for being a
wrong mode of remedy. The proper remedy was to file a sworn statement before the civil registry,
declaring her reappearance in accordance with Article 42 of the Family Code.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Court of Appelas erred in dismissing Celerinas petition on the ground that
the proper remedy is to file a sworn statement before the civil registry declaring her reappearance as
stated in Article 42 of the Family Code?

RULING:

Yes. Annulment of judgment is the remedy when the Regional Trial Court's judgment, order,
or resolution has become final, and the remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other
appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner. The grounds for
annulment of judgment are extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction.

A second marriage is bigamous while the first subsists. However, a bigamous subsequent
marriage may be considered valid when the following are present: (1) The prior spouse had been
absent for four consecutive years; (2) The spouse present has a well-founded belief that the absent
spouse was already dead; (3) There must be a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive
death of the absent spouse; and (4) There is a court declaration of presumptive death of the absent
spouse.

Celerina argued that filing an affidavit of reappearance under Article 42 of the Family Code
is appropriate only when the spouse is actually absent and the spouse seeking the declaration of
presumptive death actually has a well-founded belief of the spouse's death. it would be
inappropriate to file an affidavit of reappearance if she did not disappear in the first place. It would
also not be a sufficient remedy because it would not nullify the legal effects of the judgment
declaring her presumptive death. She insisted that an action for annulment of judgment is proper
when the declaration of presumptive death is obtained fraudulently.

The Family Code provides that the second marriage is in danger of being terminated by the
presumptively dead spouse when he or she reappears. Thus:

Article 42. The subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding Article shall be
automatically terminated by the recording of the affidavit of reappearance of the absent
spouse, unless there is a judgment annulling the previous marriage or declaring it void ab initio.

A sworn statement of the fact and circumstances of reappearance shall be recorded in the
civil registry of the residence of the parties to the subsequent marriage at the instance of any
interested person, with due notice to the spouses of the subsequent marriage and without
prejudice to the fact of reappearance being judicially determined in case such fact is disputed.
(Emphasis supplied)

The Family Code provides the presumptively dead spouse with the remedy of terminating
the subsequent marriage by mere reappearance. Yet, the filing of an affidavit of reappearance is an
admission on the part of the first spouse that his or her marriage to the present spouse was
terminated when he or she was declared absent or presumptively dead. Also, a subsequent
marriage contracted in bad faith, even if it was contracted after a court declaration of presumptive
death, lacks the requirement of a well-founded belief56 that the spouse is already dead. The first
marriage will not be considered as. validly terminated.

Therefore, for the purpose of not only terminating the subsequent marriage but also of
nullifying the effects of the declaration of presumptive death and the subsequent marriage, it is not
the mere filing of an affidavit of reappearance but an action for annulment of judgment is the proper
remedy.

3. Republic vs. Cantor


GR 184621 Dec. 10, 2013

FACTS:

The respondent and Jerry were married on September 20, 1997. They lived together as
husband and wife in their conjugal dwelling in Agan Homes, Koronadal City, South Cotabato.
Sometime in January 1998, the couple had a violent quarrel. Thereafter, Jerry left their conjugal
dwelling and this was the last time that the respondent ever saw him. Since then, she had not seen,
communicated nor heard anything from Jerry or about his whereabouts.
On May 21, 2002, or more than four (4) years from the time of Jerrys disappearance, the
respondent filed before the RTC a petition for her husbands declaration of presumptive death. She
claimed that she had a well-founded belief that Jerry was already dead. Despite inquiries from her
mother-in-law, her brothers-in-law, her sisters-in-law, as well as her neighbors and friends, but to
no avail. In the hopes of finding Jerry, she also allegedly made it a point to check the patients
directory whenever she went to a hospital. All these earnest efforts, the respondent claimed, proved
futile, prompting her to file the petition in court.

The RTC issued an order granting the respondents petition and declaring Jerry presumptively
dead. The CA through a petition for certiorari filed by the petitioner, Republic of the Philippines
affirmed in toto the latters order, thus:

The petitioner brought the matter via a Rule 45 petition before this Court . It maintains that
although judgments of trial courts in summary judicial proceedings, including presumptive death
cases, are deemed immediately final and executory (hence, not appeal able under Article 247 of the
Family Code), this rule does not mean that they are not subject to review oncertiorari.

Likewise, petitioner posited that the respondent did not have a well-founded belief to justify
the declaration of her husbands presumptive death. It claims that the respondent failed to conduct
the requisite diligent search for her missing husband pursuant to the strict standard under Article
41 of the Family Code.

ISSUE:

Whether certiorari lies to challenge the decisions, judgments or final orders of trial courts in
petitions for declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family
Code

RULING:

The decision of the Court of Appeals is overruled. Courts Judgment in the Judicial
Proceedings for Declaration of Presumptive Death Is Final and Executory, Hence, Unappealable As
explained inRepublic of the Phils. v. Bermudez-Lorino, 489 Phil. 761 the right to appeal is not granted
to parties because of the express mandate of Article 247 of the Family Code, to wit:

In Summary Judicial Proceedings under the Family Code, there is no reglementary period
within which to perfect an appeal, precisely because judgments rendered thereunder, by express
provision of Article 247, Family Code, supra, are "immediately final and executory." It was
erroneous, therefore, on the part of the RTC to give due course to the Republics appeal and order
the transmittal of the entire records of the case to the Court of Appeals.

An appellate court acquires no jurisdiction to review a judgment which, by express provision


of law, is immediately final and executory. Certiorari lies to challenge the decisions, judgments or
final orders of Trial Courts in a SummaryProceeding for the Declaration of PresumptiveDeath under
the Family Code.

A losing party in this proceeding, however, is not entirely left without a remedy. While
jurisprudence tells us that no appeal can be made from thetrial court's judgment, an aggrieved party
may, nevertheless, file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to question any
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction that transpired.

By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary proceeding shall be
immediately final and executory. As a matter of course, it follows that no appeal can be had of the
trial court's judgment in a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of an
absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family Code. It goes without saying, however, that an
aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari to question abuse of discretion amounting to lack
of jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the Court of Appeals in accordance with the Doctrine
of Hierarchy of Courts. To be sure, even if the Court's original jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari
is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court of Appeals in certain cases, such concurrence does not
sanction an unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum.

Hence, petitioners resort to certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to question the
RTCs order declaring Jerry presumptively dead was proper.

4. Uy vs CA
GR No 109557 November 29, 2000

FACTS:

This case is a dispute between Teodoro L. Jardeleza (herein respondent) on the one hand,
against his mother Gilda L. Jardeleza, and sister and brother-in-law, the spouses Jose Uy and Glenda
Jardeleza (herein petitioners) on the other hand. The controversy came about as a result of Dr. Ernesto
Jardeleza, Sr.s suffering of a stroke which left him comatose and bereft of any motor or mental
faculties. Said Ernesto Jardeleza, Sr. is the father of herein respondent Teodoro Jardeleza and
husband of herein private respondent Gilda Jardeleza.

Respondent wife filed a petition for the declaration of incapacity of his husband and
assumption of sole powers of administration of conjugal properties, and authorization to sell one piece
of real properties.
RTC granted said petition. Respondent opposed and filed a Motion for Reconsideration
contending that such petition is essentially a petition for guardianship of the person and properties of
Jardeleza Sr and that a summary proceedings was irregularly applied.

RTC denied the motion. CA reversed RTCs decision for lack of due process on the part of
the incapacitated spouse; it did not require him to show cause why the petition should not be granted.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petitioner Gilda L. Jardeleza may assume sole powers of administration of
the conjugal property under Article 124 of the Family Code and dispose of a parcel of land with the
approval of the court in a summary proceedings

RULING:

NO. ART. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal partnership property shall
belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement, the husbands decision shall prevail, subject
to recourse to the court by the wife for a proper remedy which must be availed of within five years
from the date of the contract implementing such decision.

In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in the
administration of the conjugal properties, the other spouse may assume sole powers of administration.
These powers do not include the powers of disposition or encumbrance which must have the authority
of the court or the written consent of the other spouse. In the absence of such authority or consent,
the disposition or encumbrance shall be void. However, the transaction shall be construed as a
continuing offer on the part of the consenting spouse and the third person, and may be perfected as a
binding contract upon the acceptance by the other spouse or authorization by the court before the
offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors..

Art 124 does not apply to cases where the non-consenting spouse is incapacitated or
incompetent to give consent. The situation contemplated in Art 124 is that one where the spouse is
absent, or separated in fact or has abandoned the other or consent is withheld or cannot be obtained.
. Such rules do not apply to cases where the non-consenting spouse is incapacitated or incompetent
to give consent. In this case, the trial court found that the subject spouse "is an incompetent" who was
in comatose or semi-comatose condition, a victim of stroke, cerebrovascular accident, without motor
and mental faculties, and with a diagnosis of brain stem infarct. In such case, the proper remedy is a
judicial guardianship proceedings under Rule 93 of the 1964 Revised Rules of Court.

Consequently, a spouse who desires to sell real property as such administrator of the conjugal
property must observe the procedure for the sale of the wards estate required of judicial guardians
under Rule 95, 1964 Revised Rules of Court, not the summary judicial proceedings under the Family
Code.

Court affirmed in toto CAs decision.