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*Articles 2 and 3 FC: ESSENTIAL AND FORMAL He then sought to have his name in his birth

REQUISITES OF MARRIAGE certificate changed from "Rommel Jacinto" to

"Mely," and his sex from "male" to "female."
Silverio vs. Republic
On June 4, 2003, the trial court
G.R. No. 174689, October 22, 2007
rendered a decision in favor of petitioner.
Ponente: CORONA, J.
On August 18, 2003, the OSG countered
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras alleging that there is no law allowing the change
of entries in the birth certificate by reason of
sex alteration.
On November 26, 2002, Rommel
On February 23, 2006, the Court of
Jacinto Dantes Silverio filed a petition for the
Appeals rendered a decision in favor of the
change of his first name and sex in his birth
certificate in the Regional Trial Court of Manila.
Hence, this petition.
He alleged in his petition that his name
was registered as "Rommel Jacinto Dantes Issue:
Silverio" in his birth certificate. His sex was
May a person successfully petition for a
registered as "male." He further alleged that he
change of name and sex appearing in the birth
is a male transsexual, that is, "anatomically
certificate to reflect the result of a sex
male but feels, thinks and acts as a female" and
reassignment surgery?
that he had always identified himself with girls
since childhood. Ruling: NO

His attempts to transform himself to a A Person’s First Name Cannot Be changed on

"woman" culminated on January 27, 2001 when the Ground of Sex Reassignment
he underwent sex reassignment surgery in
A change of name does not alter one’s
Bangkok, Thailand.
legal capacity or civil status.
From then on, petitioner lived as a
female and was in fact engaged to be married.

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RA 9048 does not sanction a change of time of his or her birth, if not attended by error,
first name on the ground of sex reassignment. is immutable.

Before a person can legally change his Neither May Entries in the Birth Certificate as
given name, he must show that he will be to First Name or Sex Be Changed on the
prejudiced by the use of his true and official Ground of Equity
name. In this case, he failed to show, or even
The changes sought by petitioner will
allege, any prejudice that he might suffer as a
have serious and wide-ranging legal and public
result of using his true and official name.
policy consequences.
No Law Allows the Change of Entry in the Birth
First, the petition was but petitioner’s
Certificate as To Sex on the Ground of Sex
first step towards his eventual marriage to his
male fiancé. However, marriage, one of the
"Status" refers to the circumstances most sacred social institutions, is a special
affecting the legal situation (that is, the sum contract of permanent union between a man
total of capacities and incapacities) of a person and a woman. One of its essential requisites is
in view of his age, nationality and his family the legal capacity of the contracting parties who
membership. must be a male and a female. To grant the
changes sought by petitioner will substantially
A person’s sex is an essential factor in
reconfigure and greatly alter the laws on
marriage and family relations. It is a part of a
marriage and family relations.
person’s legal capacity and civil status.
Second, there are various laws which
But there is no such special law in the
apply particularly to women such as the
Philippines governing sex reassignment and its
provisions of the Labor Code on employment of
women, certain felonies under the Revised
Considering that there is no law legally Penal Code and the presumption of survivorship
recognizing sex reassignment, the in case of calamities under Rule 131 of the Rules
determination of a person’s sex made at the of Court, among others.

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Sy vs. CA Filipina later filed a new action for legal
separation which was granted.
G.R. No. 127263, April 12, 2000
On August 4, 1992, Filipina finally filed a
petition for the declaration of absolute nullity of
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras her marriage to Fernando on the ground of
psychological incapacity.
The Regional Trial Court denied the
Filipina Y. Sy and Fernando Sy
petition. Filipina appealed to the Court of
contracted marriage on November 15, 1973.
Appeals which affirmed the decision of the trial
Their union was blessed with two children,
Frederick and Farrah Sheryll.
Hence this appeal where for the first
On September 15, 1983, Fernando left
time, Filipina bases her nullity case on the
their conjugal dwelling.
ground of the non-issuance of a marriage
On February 11, 1987, Filipina filed a license.
petition for legal separation which later, upon
It appears that, according to Filipina,
her motion, was amended to a petition for
the date of the actual celebration of their
separation of property. Judgment was rendered
marriage and the date of issuance of their
dissolving their conjugal partnership of gains
marriage certificate and marriage license are
and approving a regime of separation of
different and incongruous.
After a heated altercation, Filipina filed
a criminal action for attempted parricide Can the marriage between Filipina and
against her husband on May 1988. The Regional Fernando be declared null and void by virtue of
Trial Court of Manila, however, convicted non-issuance of marriage license even though
Fernando only of the lesser crime of slight such ground was only raised for the first time
physical injuries. on appeal?

Ruling: YES

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Although we have repeatedly ruled that conclusion is that the marriage was indeed
litigants cannot raise an issue for the first time contracted without a marriage license.
on appeal, in a number of instances, we have
A marriage license is a formal
relaxed observance of procedural rules, noting
requirement; its absence renders the marriage
that technicalities are not ends in themselves
void ab initio.
but exist to protect and promote substantive
rights of litigants.

In our view, the case at bar requires

that we address the issue of the validity of the
Republic vs. Court of Appeals and Castro
marriage between Fillipina and Fernando which
petitioner claims is void from the beginning for G.R. No. 103047, September 2, 1994
lack of a marriage license, in order to arrive at a
Ponente: PUNO, J.
just resolution of a deeply seated and violent
conflict between the parties. Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras

Although Filipina did not categorically Facts:

state the non-issuance of marriage license as a
On June 24, 1970, Angelina M. Castro
ground in her petition for annulment of
and Edwin F. Cardenas were married in a civil
marriage before the trial court, the critical dates
ceremony performed by Judge Pablo M. Malvar.
were contained in the documents she
The marriage was celebrated without the
submitted before the court. Such dates were
knowledge of Castro's parents. Cardenas
even admitted both by petitioner and private
personally attended to the processing of the
respondent. This fact was also affirmed by
documents required for the celebration of the
petitioner, in open court during her direct
marriage, including the procurement of the
marriage license. In fact, the marriage contract
From the documents she presented, the itself states that marriage license no. 3196182
marriage license was issued on September 17, was issued in the name of the contracting
1974, almost one year after the ceremony took parties on June 24, 1970 in Pasig, Metro Manila.
place on November 15, 1973. The ineluctable

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The couple did not immediately live The trial court denied the petition
together as husband and wife since the alleging that the certification was inadequate to
marriage was unknown to Castro's parents. establish the alleged non-issuance of a marriage
Thus, it was only in March 1971, when Castro license prior to the celebration of the marriage
discovered she was pregnant, that the couple between the parties.
decided to live together. However, their
Castro appealed to respondent
cohabitation lasted only for four (4) months.
appellate court which reversed the Decision of
Thereafter, the couple parted ways.
the trial court and declared the marriage
Desiring to follow her daughter in the between the contracting parties null and void.
U.S., Castro wanted to put in order her marital
Hence, this petition.
status before leaving for the States.
She thus consulted a lawyer, Atty.
Frumencio E. Pulgar, regarding the possible Is the certification of the local civil
annulment of her marriage. Through her registrar of “Due Search and Inability to Find”
lawyer's efforts, they discovered that there was adequate to prove the non-issuance of the
no marriage license issued to Cardenas prior to marriage license?
the celebration of their marriage.
Ruling: YES
Hence, she sought a judicial declaration
At the time the subject marriage was
of nullity of her marriage to Edwin F. Cardenas,
solemnized on June 24, 1970, the law governing
claiming that no marriage license was ever
marital relations was the New Civil Code. The
issued to them prior to the solemnization of
law provides that no marriage shall be
their marriage.
solemnized without a marriage license first
As proof, Angelina Castro offered in issued by a local civil registrar. Being one of the
evidence a certification from the Civil Register essential requisites of a valid marriage, absence
of Pasig, Metro Manila which stated that “xxx of a license would render the marriage void ab
License no. 3196182 does not appear from our initio.

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The certification of "due search and for his supposed marriage to Carmelita and
inability to find" issued by the civil registrar of never did they obtain any marriage license from
Pasig enjoys probative value, he being the any Civil Registry, consequently, no marriage
officer charged under the law to keep a record license was presented to the solemnizing
of all data relative to the issuance of a marriage officer.
license. Unaccompanied by any circumstance of
For her part, Carmelita refuted these
suspicion and pursuant to Section 29, Rule 132
allegations of Jaime testifying that it was even
of the Rules of Court, a certificate of "Due
Jaime who asked her to run away with him to
Search and Inability to Find" sufficiently proved
Baguio. Because she loved him, she turned back
that his office did not issue marriage license no.
on her family and decided to follow plaintiff in
3196182 to the contracting parties.
Baguio. On May 19, 1969, before a minister, she
was made to sign documents which she
understood as their civil wedding. On May 31,
1969, they had the church wedding, which the

Sevilla vs. Cardenas Sevilla family alone prepared and arranged.

G.R. No. 167684, July 31, 2006 Atty. Jose M. Abola, then counsel for
Jaime said that he made inquiries with the
Office of Civil Registry of San Juan where the

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras supposed marriage license was obtained. Perlita
Mercader, Registration Officer III of the Local
Registry of San Juan, identified the three (3)

In a complaint, Jaime O. Sevilla claimed Certifications.

that on 19 May 1969, through machinations,

The trial court declared the marriage
duress and intimidation employed upon him by
null and void.
Carmelita N. Cardenas and the latter's father,
he was forced to sign a marriage contract Carmelita filed an appeal with the Court

before the Minister of the Gospel. According to of Appeals where the RTC’s decision was

Jaime, he never applied for a marriage license reversed.

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Issue: Civil Registrar in issuing the certifications, is
effectively rebutted.
Are the certifications from the Local
Civil Registrar of San Juan sufficient to declare
the marriage as null and void ab initio?

Ruling: NO
Note that the first two certifications IRREGULARITY OF THE REQUISITES
issued by the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan,
Cosca vs. Palaypayon
Metro Manila, dated 11 March 1994 and 20
September 1994, bear the statement that A.M. No. MTJ-92-721 September 30, 1994
"Hope and understand our loaded work cannot
Ponente: PER CURIAM, J.
give you our full force locating the above
problem." It could be easily implied from the Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
said statement that the Office of the Local Civil
Registrar could not exert its best efforts to
locate and determine the existence of Marriage In an administrative complaint filed
License No. 2770792 due to its "loaded work." with the Office of the Court Administrator on
October 5, 1992, Hon. Lucio P. Palaypayon, Jr.,
This implication is confirmed in the
Presiding Judge, and Nelia B. Esmeralda-Baroy,
testimony of Ms. Perlita Mercader, who stated
Clerk of Court II, both of the Municipal Trial
that they cannot locate the logbook due to the
Court of Tinambac, Camarines Sur, were
fact that the person in charge of the said
charged with several offenses relating to the
logbook had already retired.
discharge of their office.
Given the documentary and testimonial
As to the first charge on illegal
evidence to the effect that utmost efforts were
solemnization of marriage, complainants allege
not exerted to locate the logbook where
that respondent judge solemnized marriages
Marriage License No. 2770792 may have been
even without the requisite marriage license.
entered, the presumption of regularity of
Thus, several couples were able to get married
performance of official function by the Local

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by the simple expedient of paying the marriage the dispensation of justice, from the presiding
fees to Baroy despite the absence of a marriage judge to the lowliest clerk, should be
license. As a consequence, their marriage circumscribed with the heavy burden of
contracts did not reflect any marriage license responsibility. His conduct, at all times, must
number. In addition, respondent judge did not not only be characterized by propriety and
sign their marriage contracts and did not decorum but, above all else, must be beyond
indicate the date of solemnization, the reason suspicion.
being that he allegedly had to wait for the
The Family Code pertinently provides
marriage license to be submitted by the parties
that the formal requisites of marriage are, inter
which was usually several days after the
alia, a valid marriage license except in the cases
ceremony. Indubitably, the marriage contracts
provided for therein. Complementarily, it
were not filed with the local civil registrar.
declares that the absence of any of the essential
Issue: or formal requisites shall generally render the
marriage void ab initio and that, while an
What are the consequences to be faced
irregularity in the formal requisites shall not
by Judge Palaypayon and Nelia Baroy due to
affect the validity of the marriage, the party or
their act of illegally solemnizing marriages?
parties responsible for the irregularity shall be
Ruling: civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

By solemnizing a marriage without a Hence, Judge Palaypayon is imposed

marriage license, Judge Palaypayon as the with a fine of P20,000.00 with a stern warning
solemnizing officer is the one responsible for that any repetition of the same or similar
the irregularity in not complying with the formal offenses in the future will definitely be severely
requisites of marriage and under Article 4(3) of dealt with. Nelia Esmeralda-Baroy, on the other
the Family Code of the Philippines. He shall be hand, is dismissed from the service, with
civilly, criminally and administratively liable. forfeiture of all retirement benefits and with
prejudice to employment in any branch, agency
We here emphasize once again our
or instrumentality of the Government, including
adjuration that the conduct and behavior of
government-owned or controlled corporations.
everyone connected with an office charged with

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Arañes vs Occiano rigors of travelling to Balatan. He was asked if
he could solemnize the marriage in Nabua, to
A.M. No. MTJ-02-1390. April 11, 2002
which request he acceded.
Ponente: PUNO, J.
Judge Occiano further avers that before
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras he started the ceremony, he carefully examined
the documents submitted to him by Arañes.
When he discovered that the parties did not
Mercedita Mata Arañes charges Judge possess the requisite marriage license, he
Salvador Occiano with Gross Ignorance of the refused to solemnize the marriage and
Law alleging that on 17 February 2000, Judge suggested its resetting. However, due to the
Occiano solemnized her marriage to her late earnest pleas of the parties and the influx of
groom Dominador B. Orobia without the visitors, he proceeded to solemnize the
requisite marriage license and at Nabua, marriage out of human compassion. He also
Camarines Sur which is outside his territorial feared that the resetting of the wedding might
jurisdiction. aggravate the Orobia’s condition. After the
solemnization, he reiterated the necessity for
Since the marriage was a nullity,
the marriage license and admonished the
Arañes’ right to inherit the vast properties left
parties that their failure to give it would render
by Orobia was not recognized. She was likewise
the marriage void.
deprived of receiving the pensions of Orobia, a
retired Commodore of the Philippine Navy. On 12 September 2001, Arañes filed her
Affidavit of Desistance. She confessed that she
Judge Occiano, on the other hand,
filed this administrative case out of rage.
averred that he was requested to solemnize the
However, after reading the Comment filed by
marriage of the parties on 17 February 2000.
Judge Occiano, she realized her own
Having been assured that all the documents to
shortcomings and is now bothered by her
the marriage were complete, he agreed to
solemnize the marriage in his sala. However, on
17 February 2000, he was informed that Orobia Issue:
had a difficulty walking and could not stand the

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What are the consequences to be faced In the case at bar, the territorial
by Judge Occiano by virtue of his solemnization jurisdiction of Judge Occiano is limited to the
of marriage without the requisite marriage municipality of Balatan, Camarines Sur. His act
license and outside his territorial jurisdiction? of solemnizing the marriage of petitioner and
Orobia in Nabua, Camarines Sur therefore is
contrary to law and subjects him to
Under the Judiciary Reorganization Act administrative liability.
of 1980, or B.P.129, the authority of the
Judge Occiano should also be faulted
regional trial court judges and judges of inferior
for solemnizing a marriage without the requisite
courts to solemnize marriages is confined to
marriage license. In People vs. Lara, we held
their territorial jurisdiction as defined by the
that a marriage which preceded the issuance of
Supreme Court.
the marriage license is void, and that the
The case at bar is not without subsequent issuance of such license cannot
precedent. In Navarro vs. Domagtoy, we held render valid or even add an iota of validity to
that, “An appellate court Justice or a Justice of the marriage. Except in cases provided by law, it
this Court has jurisdiction over the entire is the marriage license that gives the
Philippines to solemnize marriages, regardless solemnizing officer the authority to solemnize a
of the venue, as long as the requisites of the law marriage. Judge Occiano did not possess such
are complied with. However, judges who are authority when he solemnized the marriage of
appointed to specific jurisdictions may officiate petitioner.
in weddings only within said areas and not
Judge Occiano cannot be exculpated
beyond. Where a judge solemnizes a marriage
despite the Affidavit of Desistance filed by
outside his court’s jurisdiction, there is a
petitioner. This Court has consistently held in a
resultant irregularity in the formal requisite laid
catena of cases that the withdrawal of the
down in Article 3, which while it may not affect
complaint does not necessarily have the legal
the validity of the marriage, may subject the
effect of exonerating respondent from
officiating official to administrative liability.”
disciplinary action.

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Morigo vs. People On October 4, 1992, Lucio Morigo
married Maria Jececha Lumbago at the Virgen
G.R. No. 145226, February 06, 2004
sa Barangay Parish, Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
On September 21, 1993, Lucio filed a
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras complaint for judicial declaration of nullity of
marriage in seeking the declaration of nullity of
his marriage with Lucia, on the ground that no
Lucio Morigo and Lucia Barrete were marriage ceremony actually took place.
boardmates at the house of Catalina Tortor at
On October 19, 1993, appellant was
Tagbilaran City, Province of Bohol, for 4 years.
charged with Bigamy. And on August 5, 1996,
In 1984, Lucio Morigo was surprised to the RTC of Bohol convicted Lucio of the crime of
receive a card from Lucia Barrete. The former Bigamy. He then filed an appeal with the Court
replied and after an exchange of letters, they of Appeals.
became sweethearts.
Meanwhile, on October 23, 1997, or
In 1990, Lucia came back to the while the criminal case was pending before the
Philippines. Both agreed to get married, thus appellate court, the trial court rendered a
they were married on August 30, 1990 at the decision in the civil case declaring the marriage
Iglesia de Filipina Nacional at Catagdaan, Pilar, between Lucio and Lucia void ab initio since no
Bohol. marriage ceremony actually took place. No
appeal was taken from this decision, which then
On September 8, 1990, Lucia reported
became final and executory.
back to her work in Canada leaving appellant
Lucio behind. On October 21, 1999, the appellate
court affirmed RTC’s ruling as to the bigamy
On August 19, 1991, Lucia filed with the
Ontario Court a petition for divorce against
Lucio which was granted. Hence, this petition.

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Issue: legally married. But in this case, legally
speaking, the petitioner was never married to
Is Lucio guilty of the crime of bigamy?
Lucia Barrete. Thus, there is no first marriage to
Ruling: speak of.

In Marbella-Bobis v. Bobis, we laid The mere private act of signing a

down the elements of bigamy thus: marriage contract bears no semblance to a valid
marriage and thus, needs no judicial declaration
(1) The offender has been legally married;
of nullity. Such act alone, without more, cannot
(2) The first marriage has not been legally be deemed to constitute an ostensibly valid
dissolved, or in case his or her spouse is absent, marriage for which petitioner might be held
the absent spouse has not been judicially liable for bigamy unless he first secures a
declared presumptively dead; judicial declaration of nullity before he
contracts a subsequent marriage. Hence, Lucio
(3) He contracts a subsequent marriage; and
cannot be convicted of the crime of bigamy.
(4) The subsequent marriage would have been
valid had it not been for the existence of the

The trial court found that there was no Alcantara vs Alcantara

actual marriage ceremony performed between
G.R. No. 167746, August 28, 2007
Lucio and Lucia by a solemnizing officer.
Instead, what transpired was a mere signing of Ponente: CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
the marriage contract by the two, without the
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
presence of a solemnizing officer. The trial court
thus held that the marriage is void ab initio, in Facts:
accordance with Articles 3[22] and 4[23] of the
A petition for annulment of marriage
Family Code.
was filed by Restituto M. Alcantara against
The first element of bigamy as a crime Rosita A. Alcantara alleging that on 8 December
requires that the accused must have been 1982 he and Rosita, without securing the

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required marriage license, went to the Manila Issue:
City Hall for the purpose of looking for a person
Is the marriage between Restituto and
who could arrange a marriage for them. They
Rosita null and void?
met a person who, for a fee, arranged their
wedding before a certain Rev. Aquilino Navarro. Ruling: NO
They got married on the same day, 8 December
In cases previously decided by the
1982. Restituto and Rosita went through
Supreme Court, it can be deduced that to be
another marriage ceremony at the San Jose de
considered void on the ground of absence of a
Manuguit Church in Tondo, Manila, on 26
marriage license, the law requires that the
March 1983. The marriage was likewise
absence of such marriage license must be
celebrated without the parties securing a
apparent on the marriage contract, or at the
marriage license. The alleged marriage license,
very least, supported by a certification from the
procured in Carmona, Cavite, appearing on the
local civil registrar that no such marriage license
marriage contract, is a sham, as neither party
was issued to the parties. In this case, the
was a resident of Carmona, and they never
marriage contract between the Restituto and
went to Carmona to apply for a license with the
Rosita reflects a marriage license number. A
local civil registrar of the place.
certification to this effect was also issued by the
Rosita, however, asserts the validity of local civil registrar of Carmona, Cavite. The
their marriage and maintains that there was a certification moreover is precise in that it
marriage license issued as evidenced by a specifically identified the parties to whom the
certification from the Office of the Civil Registry marriage license was issued, namely Restituto
of Carmona, Cavite. She alleges that Restituto Alcantara and Rosita Almario, further validating
only filed the annulment of their marriage to the fact that a license was in fact issued to the
evade prosecution for concubinage. parties herein.

On 14 February 2000, the RTC of Makati Restituto attempted to demolish the

City dismissed the petition. The Court of probative value of the marriage license by
Appeals affirmed the RTC’s ruling. claiming that neither he nor Rosita is a resident
of Carmona, Cavite. However, issuance of a

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marriage license in a city or municipality, not Hence, the marriage between Restituto
the residence of either of the contracting and Rosita cannot be declared null and void.
parties is considered a mere irregularity that
does not affect the validity of the marriage. It
only holds the party or parties responsible for
the irregularity civilly, criminally and
Nollora, Jr. vs. People
administratively liable.

G.R. No. 191425, September 7, 2011

Restituto also harps on the discrepancy
between the marriage license number in the Ponente: CARPIO, J.
certification of the Municipal Civil Registrar,
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
which states that the marriage license issued to
the parties is No. 7054133, while the marriage Facts:
contract states that the marriage license
Atilano O. Nollora, Jr. and Rowena P.
number of the parties is number 7054033.
Geraldino were charged with the crime of
However, it is not impossible to assume that the
same is a mere typographical error.

Atilano was already married to Jesusa

Likewise, the issue raised by Restituto
Pinat on April 6, 1999. Despite such, Atilano
that they appeared before a fixer who arranged
contracted a second marriage with Rowena on
everything for them will not strengthen his
December 8, 2001.
posture. The authority of the officer or
clergyman shown to have performed a marriage Jesusa, as witnesss, testified that she
ceremony will be presumed in the absence of and Atilano met in Saudi Arabia. Atilano courted
any showing to the contrary. Moreover, all that her and on April 6, 1999, they got married.
the solemnizing officer needs to know is that While working in Saudi, she heard rumors that
the license has been issued by the competent her husband has another wife. Because of this,
official which may be presumed from the she left Saudi Arabia and returned to the
issuance of the license. Philippines. Upon arrival in the Philippines,
Jesusa learned that indeed, Atilano contracted a

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second marriage with Rowena when she marriage has not been legally dissolved prior to
secured a certification as to his civil status from the date of the second marriage; (3) Nollora
the National Statistics Office (NSO). admitted the existence of his second marriage
to Geraldino; and (4) Nollora and Geraldino’s
Upon learning this information, Jesusa
marriage has all the essential requisites for
confronted Rowena at the latter’s workplace in
validity except for the lack of capacity of Nollora
Taguig and asked her if she knew of the first
due to his prior marriage.
marriage to which Rowena allegedly affirmed.
Despite this knowledge, she allegedly still Nollora put up his Muslim religion as his
married Atilano because she loves him so much. sole defense alleging that his religion allows him
to marry more than once. Granting arguendo
Atilano admitted having contracted two
that Nollora is indeed of Muslim faith at the
(2) marriages. He, however, claimed that he
time of celebration of both marriages, Nollora
was a Muslim convert way back on January 10,
cannot deny that both marriage ceremonies
1992, even before he contracted the first
were not conducted in accordance with the
marriage with Jesusa. As a Muslim convert, he is
Code of Muslim Personal Laws (P. D. No. 1083).
allegedly entitled to marry four (4) wives as
allowed under the Muslim or Islam belief. Indeed, Article 13(2) of the Code of
Muslim Personal Laws states that “In case of a
The trial court convicted Nollora and
marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim,
acquitted Geraldino. CA affirmed RTC’s
solemnized not in accordance with Muslim law
or this Code, the Family Code of the Philippines,
Issue: or Executive Order No. 209, in lieu of the Civil
Code of the Philippines, shall apply.”
Is Nollora guilty of the crime of bigamy
despite the fact that he is a Muslim convert? Thus, regardless of his professed
religion, Nollora cannot claim exemption from
Ruling: YES
liability for the crime of bigamy.
The circumstances in the present case
satisfy all the elements of bigamy. (1) Nollora is
legally married to Pinat; (2) Nollora and Pinat’s

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Republic vs. Albios Issue:

G.R. No. 198780, October 16, 2013 Is a marriage, contracted for the sole
purpose of acquiring American citizenship in
Ponente: MENDOZA, J.
consideration of $2,000.00, void ab initio on the
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras ground of lack of consent?

Facts Ruling: NO

On October 22, 2004, Fringer, an Under Article 2 FC, for consent to be

American citizen, and Albios were married valid, it must be (1) freely given and (2) made in
before Judge Ofelia I. Calo. the presence of a solemnizing officer.

On December 6, 2006, Albios filed with Consent was not lacking between Albios
the RTC a petition for declaration of nullity of and Fringer. In fact, there was real consent
her marriage with Fringer. She alleged that because it was not vitiated nor rendered
immediately after their marriage, they defective by any vice of consent. Their consent
separated and never lived as husband and wife was also conscious and intelligent as they
because they never really had any intention of understood the nature and the beneficial and
entering into a married state or complying with inconvenient consequences of their marriage,
any of their essential marital obligations. She as nothing impaired their ability to do so. That
described their marriage as one made in jest their consent was freely given is best evidenced
and, therefore, null and void ab initio . by their conscious purpose of acquiring
American citizenship through marriage. Such
On April 25, 2008, the RTC declared the
plainly demonstrates that they willingly and
marriage void ab initio. The OSG filed an appeal
deliberately contracted the marriage. There was
before the CA. The CA affirmed the RTC ruling
a clear intention to enter into a real and valid
which found that the essential requisite of
marriage so as to fully comply with the
consent was lacking.
requirements of an application for citizenship.
There was a full and complete understanding of
the legal tie that would be created between

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them, since it was that precise legal tie which Facts:
was necessary to accomplish their goal.
The present case stems from a petition
Albios’ marriage is not at all analogous filed by petitioner Syed Azhar Abbas (Syed) for
to a marriage in jest. Albios and Fringer had an the declaration of nullity of his marriage to
undeniable intention to be bound in order to Gloria Goo-Abbas (Gloria).
create the very bond necessary to allow the
Syed, a Pakistani, testified that he met
respondent to acquire American citizenship.
Gloria, a Filipino, in Taiwan in 1991, and they
Only a genuine consent to be married would
were married on August 9, 1992 at the Taipei
allow them to further their objective,
Mosque in Taiwan. On January 9, 1993, while he
considering that only a valid marriage can
was in the Philippines, his mother-in-law arrived
properly support an application for citizenship.
with two men and told him that he was going to
There was, thus, an apparent intention to enter
undergo some ceremony as one of the
into the actual marriage status and to create a
requirements for his stay in the Philippines.
legal tie, albeit for a limited purpose. Genuine
During the ceremony he and Gloria signed a
consent was, therefore, clearly present.
document. He claimed that he did not know
Albios has indeed made a mockery of that the ceremony was a marriage until Gloria
the sacred institution of marriage. Allowing her told him later. He further testified that he did
marriage with Fringer to be declared void would not go to Carmona, Cavite to apply for a
only further trivialize this inviolable institution. marriage license, and that he had never resided
in that area.

In July 2003, he went to the Office of

the Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite wherein

Abbas vs. Abbas the Municipal Civil Registrar, Leodivinia C.

Encarnacion, issued him a certification on July
G.R. No. 183896, January 30, 2013
11, 2003 to the effect that the marriage license

Ponente: VELASCO, JR., J. number appearing in the marriage contract he

submitted, Marriage License No. 9969967, was
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
the number of another marriage license issued

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to a certain Arlindo Getalado and Myra The Municipal Civil Registrar of
Mabilangan. Carmona, Cavite, where the marriage license of
Gloria and Syed was allegedly issued, issued a
Gloria testified that she filed a bigamy
certification to the effect that no such marriage
case against Syed, who had married a certain
license for Gloria and Syed was issued, and that
Maria Corazon Buenaventura during the
the serial number of the marriage license
existence of their marriage.
pertained to another couple, Arlindo Getalado
RTC held that the marriage of Gloria and Myra Mabilangan.
and Syed was void ab initio. The CA reversed
It is telling that Gloria failed to present
the RTC’s decision.
their marriage license or a copy thereof to the
Hence, this petition. court. She failed to explain why the marriage
license was secured in Carmona, Cavite, a
location where, admittedly, neither party
Is the marriage between Syed and resided. She took no pains to apply for the
Gloria null and void? license, so she is not the best witness to testify
to the validity and existence of said license.
Ruling: YES
Neither could the other witnesses she
In Republic vs. CA, The Court held that presented prove the existence of the marriage
the certification issued by the civil registrar license, as none of them applied for the license
enjoyed probative value, as his duty was to in Carmona, Cavite.
maintain records of data relative to the
Article 4 of the Family Code is clear
issuance of a marriage license.
when it says, "The absence of any of the
Also, in the case of Cariño v. Cariño, essential or formal requisites shall render the
following the case of Republic, it was held that marriage void ab initio, except as stated in
the certification of the Local Civil Registrar that Article 35(2)."
their office had no record of a marriage license
As to the motive of Syed in seeking to
was adequate to prove the non-issuance of said
annul his marriage to Gloria, it may well be that
his motives are less than pure, that he seeks to

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evade a bigamy suit. Be that as it may, the same an office in Santolan, Pasig City where they
does not make up for the failure of the Gloria to signed a purported marriage contract. Sally,
prove that they had a valid marriage license, knowing Benjamin’s marital status, assured him
given the weight of evidence presented by that the marriage contract would not be
Syed. registered.

The relationship of Benjamin and Sally

ended in 1994 when Sally left for Canada. She
then filed criminal actions for bigamy and

Go-Bangayan vs. Bangayan falsification of public documents against

Benjamin, using their simulated marriage
G.R. No. 201061, July 3, 2013
contract as evidence.

Ponente: CARPIO, J.
Benjamin, in turn, filed a petition for

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras declaration of a non-existent marriage and/or

declaration of nullity of marriage before the
trial court on the ground that his marriage to

Benjamin Bangayan, Jr. (Benjamin) Sally was bigamous and that it lacked the formal

married Azucena Alegre (Azucena) on 10 requisites to a valid marriage.

September 1973 in Caloocan City.

The trial court ruled in favor of

In 1979, Benjamin developed a Benjamin. The CA affirmed RTC’s decision as to

romantic relationship with Sally GoBangayan the nullity of their marriage.

(Sally) who was a customer in the auto parts

Hence, this petition.
and supplies business owned by Benjamin’s
family. In December 1981, Azucena left for the Issue:

United States of America. In February 1982,

Is the marriage between Benjamin and
Benjamin and Sally lived together as husband
Sally void ab initio?
and wife. Sally’s father was against the
relationship. On 7 March 1982, in order to Ruling: YES

appease her father, Sally brought Benjamin to

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On the purported marriage of Benjamin For bigamy to exist, the second or subsequent
and Sally, Teresita Oliveros (Oliveros), marriage must have all the essential requisites
Registration Officer II of the Local Civil Registrar for validity except for the existence of a prior
of Pasig City, testified that there was no valid marriage. In this case, there was really no
marriage license issued to Benjamin and Sally. subsequent marriage. Benjamin and Sally just
The certification from the local civil registrar is signed a purported marriage contract without a
adequate to prove the non-issuance of a marriage license. The supposed marriage was
marriage license and absent any suspicious not even recorded with the local civil registrar
circumstance, the certification enjoys probative and the National Statistics Office. Hence, no
value, being issued by the officer charged under crime of bigamy was committed.
the law to keep a record of all data relative to
the issuance of a marriage license. Clearly, if
indeed Benjamin and Sally entered into a
marriage contract, the marriage was void from
the beginning for lack of a marriage license.

De la Rosa vs. Vda. De Damian

The documentary and testimonial
evidence proved that there was no marriage G.R. No. 155733, January 27, 2006
between Benjamin and Sally. As pointed out by
Ponente: CORONA, J.
the trial court, the marriage between Benjamin
and Sally "was made only in jest" and "a Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
simulated marriage, at the instance of Sally,
intended to cover her up from expected social
humiliation coming from relatives, friends and This case concerns the settlement of
the society especially from her parents seen as the intestate estates of Guillermo Rustia and
Chinese conservatives." In short, it was a Josefa Delgado.
fictitious marriage.
Sometime in 1917, Guillermo Rustia
Consequently, their marriage does not proposed marriage to Josefa Delgado but
fall within the ambit of a bigamous marriage. whether a marriage in fact took place is

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disputed. According to petitioners, the two 2. Philippine Passport No. 4767 issued
eventually lived together as husband and wife to Josefa D. Rustia on June 25, 1947;
but were never married. To prove their
3. Veterans Application for Pension or
assertion, petitioners pointed out that no
Compensation for Disability Resulting from
record of the contested marriage existed in the
Service in the Active Military or Naval Forces of
civil registry. Moreover, a baptismal certificate
the United States- Claim No. C-4, 004, 503 (VA
naming Josefa Delgado as one of the sponsors
Form 526) filed with the Veterans
referred to her as "Señorita" or unmarried
Administration of the United States of America
by Dr. Guillermo J. Rustia wherein Dr. Guillermo
The oppositors (respondents here), on J. Rustia himself [swore] to his marriage to
the other hand, insist that the absence of a Josefa Delgado in Manila on 3 June 1919; and
marriage certificate did not of necessity mean
4. Titles to real properties in the name
that no marriage transpired. They maintain that
of Guillermo Rustia indicated that he was
Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado were
married to Josefa Delgado.
married on June 3, 1919 and from then on lived
together as husband and wife until the death of Issue:
Josefa on September 8, 1972. During this period
Was there a valid marriage between
spanning more than half a century, they were
Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado?
known among their relatives and friends to
have in fact been married. To support their Ruling: YES
proposition, oppositors presented the following
First, although a marriage contract is
pieces of evidence:
considered a primary evidence of marriage, its
1. Certificate of Identity No. 9592 dated absence is not always proof that no marriage in
[December 1, 1944] issued to Mrs. Guillermo J. fact took place. Once the presumption of
Rustia by Carlos P. Romulo, then Resident marriage arises, other evidence may be
Commissioner to the United States of the presented in support thereof. The evidence
Commonwealth of the Philippines; need not necessarily or directly establish the
marriage but must at least be enough to

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strengthen the presumption of marriage. Here, such as the alleged single or unmarried
the certificate of identity issued to Josefa ("Señorita") civil status of Josefa Delgado who
Delgado as Mrs. Guillermo Rustia, the passport had no hand in its preparation.
issued to her as Josefa D. Rustia, the declaration
In this jurisdiction, every intendment of
under oath of no less than Guillermo Rustia that
the law leans toward legitimizing matrimony.
he was married to Josefa Delgado and the titles
Persons dwelling together apparently in
to the properties in the name of "Guillermo
marriage are presumed to be in fact married.
Rustia married to Josefa Delgado," more than
Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. Always
adequately support the presumption of
presume marriage.
marriage. These are public documents which
are prima facie evidence of the facts stated
therein. No clear and convincing evidence
sufficient to overcome the presumption of the
truth of the recitals therein was presented by *Article 26: VALIDITY OF MARRIAGES
Second, Elisa Vda. de Anson,
petitioners’ own witness whose testimony they Republic vs. Iyoy
primarily relied upon to support their position,
G.R. No. 152577, September 21, 2005
confirmed that Guillermo Rustia had proposed
marriage to Josefa Delgado and that eventually, Ponente: CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
the two had "lived together as husband and
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
wife." This again could not but strengthen the
presumption of marriage. Facts:

Third, the baptismal certificate was Crasus married Fely on 16 December

conclusive proof only of the baptism 1961 at Bradford Memorial Church, Jones
administered by the priest who baptized the Avenue, Cebu City.
child. It was no proof of the veracity of the
Crasus alleged that after the celebration
declarations and statements contained therein,
of their marriage, he discovered that Fely was

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“hot-tempered, a nagger and extravagant.” In Issue:
1984, Fely left the Philippines for the United
Is Article 26 of the FC applicable in the
States of America (U.S.A.), leaving all of their
case at bar?
five children, the youngest then being only six
years old, to the care of respondent Crasus. Ruling: NO
Barely a year after Fely left for the U.S.A.,
As it is worded, Article 26 of the FC,
respondent Crasus received a letter from her
paragraph 2, refers to a special situation
requesting that he sign the enclosed divorce
wherein one of the couple getting married is a
papers. Sometime in 1985, respondent Crasus
Filipino citizen and the other a foreigner at the
learned, through the letters sent by Fely to their
time the marriage was celebrated. By its plain
children, that Fely got married to an American,
and literal interpretation, the said provision
with whom she eventually had a child.
cannot be applied to the case of respondent
Fely, on the other hand, refuted Crasus’ Crasus and his wife Fely because at the time
allegation and said that she may had been Fely obtained her divorce, she was still a Filipino
indignant at Crasus on certain occasions but it citizen. Although the exact date was not
was because of the latter’s drunkenness, established, Fely herself admitted in her Answer
womanizing, and lack of sincere effort to find filed before the RTC that she obtained a divorce
employment and to contribute to the from respondent Crasus sometime after she left
maintenance of their household. Indeed, she for the United States in 1984, after which she
left for abroad for financial reasons as Crasus married her American husband in 1985. In the
had no job. After securing a divorce from same Answer, she alleged that she had been an
respondent Crasus, Fely married her American American citizen since 1988. At the time she
husband and acquired American citizenship. filed for divorce, Fely was still a Filipino citizen,
and pursuant to the nationality principle
The recognition of the divorce decree
embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code of the
obtained by Fely is now sought for.
Philippines, she was still bound by Philippine
laws on family rights and duties, status,
condition, and legal capacity, even when she
was already living abroad. Philippine laws, then

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and even until now, do not allow and recognize Sometime in 2000, Cipriano learned
divorce between Filipino spouses. Thus, Fely from his son that his wife had obtained a
could not have validly obtained a divorce from divorce decree and then married a certain
respondent Crasus. Innocent Stanley.

Hence, the marriage of respondent Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial
Crasus L. Iyoy and Fely Ada Rosal-Iyoy remains court a petition for authority to remarry
valid and subsisting. invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family

Finding merit in the petition, the court

granted the same. Hence, the OSG raises this

Republic vs. Orbecido III petition.

G.R. No. 154380, October 5, 2005 Issue:

Ponente: QUISUMBING, J. Given a valid marriage between two

Filipino citizens, where one party is later
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a

Facts: valid divorce decree capacitating him or her to

remarry, can the Filipino spouse likewise
On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III
remarry under Philippine law?
married Lady Myros M. Villanueva at the United
Church of Christ in the Philippines in Lam-an, Ruling: YES

Ozamis City.
If we are to give meaning to the

In 1986, Cipriano’s wife left for the legislative intent of Paragraph 2 of Article 26

United States bringing along their son Kristoffer. which is “to avoid the absurd situation where

A few years later, Cipriano discovered that his the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien

wife had been naturalized as an American spouse who, after obtaining a divorce is no

citizen. longer married to the Filipino spouse”, then the

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instant case must be deemed as coming within “divorced” Filipino spouse, should be allowed to
its contemplation. remarry.

In view of the foregoing, we state the However, we note that the records are
twin elements for the application of Paragraph bereft of competent evidence duly submitted
2 of Article 26 as follows: by Cipriano concerning the divorce decree and
the naturalization of his wife. Accordingly,
1. There is a valid marriage that has been
Cipriano must prove his allegation that his wife
celebrated between a Filipino citizen
was naturalized as an American citizen.
and a foreigner; and
Likewise, the party pleading the recognition of a
2. 2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by
divorce decree must prove the divorce as a fact
the alien spouse capacitating him or her
and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign
to remarry.
law allowing it. Furthermore, respondent must
The reckoning point is not the also show that the divorce decree allows his
citizenship of the parties at the time of the former wife to remarry as specifically required
celebration of the marriage, but their in Article 26. Otherwise, there would be no
citizenship at the time a valid divorce is evidence sufficient to declare that he is
obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitated to enter into another marriage.
capacitating the latter to remarry.

In this case, when Cipriano’s wife was

naturalized as an American citizen, there was
still a valid marriage that has been celebrated Corpuz vs. Sto. Tomas
between her and Cipriano. As fate would have
G.R. No. 186571, August 11, 2010
it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently
obtained a valid divorce capacitating her to Ponente: BRION, J.
remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both
present in this case. Thus Cipriano, the

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Facts: must first be judicially recognized by a
competent Philippine court.
Gerbert R. Corpuz was a former Filipino
citizen who acquired Canadian citizenship Accordingly, Gerbert filed a petition for
through naturalization on November 29, 2000. judicial recognition of foreign divorce and/or
declaration of marriage as dissolved with the
On January 18, 2005, Gerbert married
Daisylyn T. Sto. Tomas, a Filipina, in Pasig City.
Due to work and other professional The RTC denied Gerbert’s petition
commitments, Gerbert left for Canada soon saying that only the Filipino spouse can avail of
after the wedding. He returned to the the remedy under the second paragraph of
Philippines sometime in April 2005 to surprise Article 26 of the Family Code. Hence, this
Daisylyn, but was shocked to discover that his petition.
wife was having an affair with another man.
Hurt and disappointed, Gerbert returned to
Canada and filed a petition for divorce. The Does the second paragraph of Article 26
Superior Court of Justice, Windsor, Ontario, of the Family Code extend to aliens the right to
Canada granted Gerbert’s petition for divorce petition a court of this jurisdiction for the
on December 8, 2005. The divorce decree took recognition of a foreign divorce decree?
effect a month later, on January 8, 2006.
Ruling: NO (Gerbert, however, is not left
Two years after the divorce, Gerbert without any recourse)
has moved on and has found another Filipina to
The alien spouse can claim no right
love. Desirous of marrying his new Filipina
under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the
fiancée in the Philippines, Gerbert went to the
Family Code as the substantive right it
Pasig City Civil Registry Office and registered the
establishes is in favor of the Filipino spouse. In
Canadian divorce decree on his and Daisylyn’s
other words, only the Filipino spouse can invoke
marriage certificate. Despite the registration of
the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family
the divorce decree, an official of the National
Code. No court in this jurisdiction can make a
Statistics Office (NSO) informed Gerbert that
similar declaration for the alien spouse, whose
the foreign divorce decree, to be enforceable,

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status and legal capacity are generally governed Fujiki vs. Marinay
by his national law.
G.R. No. 196049, June 26, 2013
However, we qualify our above
Ponente: CARPIO, J.
conclusion – i.e., that the second paragraph of
Article 26 of the Family Code bestows no rights Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
in favor of aliens – with the complementary
statement that this conclusion is not sufficient
basis to dismiss Gerbert’s petition before the Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki) is a Japanese
RTC. In other words, the unavailability of the national who married Maria Paz Galela Marinay
second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family (Marinay) in the Philippines on 23 January 2004.
Code to aliens does not necessarily strip The marriage did not sit well with petitioner’s
Gerbert of legal interest to petition the RTC for parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to
the recognition of his foreign divorce decree. Japan where he resides. Eventually, they lost
The foreign divorce decree itself, after its contact with each other.
authenticity and conformity with the alien’s
In 2008, Marinay met another
national law have been duly proven according
Japanese, Shinichi Maekara (Maekara). Without
to our rules of evidence, serves as a
the first marriage being dissolved, Marinay and
presumptive evidence of right in favor of
Maekara were married on 15 May 2008 in
Gerbert, pursuant to Section 48, Rule 39 of the
Quezon City, Philippines. Maekara brought
Rules of Court which provides for the effect of
Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay allegedly
foreign judgments.
suffered physical abuse from Maekara. She left
The records show that Gerbert attached Maekara and started to contact Fujiki.
to his petition a copy of the divorce decree, as
Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and
well as the required certificates proving its
they were able to reestablish their relationship.
authenticity, but failed to include a copy of the
In 2010, Fujiki helped Marinay obtain a
Canadian law on divorce. Hence, the case is
judgment from a family court in Japan which
remanded to the RTC.
declared the marriage between Marinay and
Maekara void on the ground of bigamy. After,

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Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC entitled: evidence and proven as a fact under Rule 132,
"Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment" Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39,
praying that (1) the Japanese Family Court Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court. Fujiki may
judgment be recognized; (2) that the bigamous prove the Japanese Family Court judgment
marriage between Marinay and Maekara be through:
declared void ab initio; and (3) for the RTC to
(1) an official publication; or
direct the Local Civil Registrar to annotate the
judgment on the Certificate of Marriage (2) a certification or copy attested by
between Marinay and Maekara. the officer who has custody of the judgment. If
the office which has custody is in a foreign
The RTC dismissed the petition saying
country such as Japan, the certification may be
that only "the husband or the wife," in this case
made by the proper diplomatic or consular
either Maekara or Marinay, can file the petition
officer of the Philippine Foreign Service in Japan
to declare their marriage void, and not Fujiki.
and authenticated by the seal of office.
There is no doubt that the prior spouse
Can a husband or wife of a prior has a personal and material interest in
marriage file a petition to recognize a foreign maintaining the integrity of the marriage he
judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage contracted and the property relations arising
between his or her spouse and a foreign citizen from it. There is also no doubt that he is
on the ground of bigamy? interested in the cancellation of an entry of a
bigamous marriage in the civil registry, which
Ruling: YES
compromises the public record of his marriage.
For Philippine courts to recognize a The interest derives from the substantive right
foreign judgment relating to the status of a of the spouse not only to preserve his most
marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of intimate human relation, but also to protect his
a foreign country, the petitioner only needs to property interests that arise by operation of law
prove the foreign judgment as a fact under the the moment he contracts marriage.
Rules of Court. To be more specific, a copy of
the foreign judgment may be admitted in

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Article 26 of the Family Code confers Teodulfa was shot by Pepito resulting in
jurisdiction on Philippine courts to extend the her death on April 24, 1985.
effect of a foreign divorce decree to a Filipino
One year and 8 months thereafter or on
spouse without undergoing trial to determine
December 11, 1986, Pepito and Norma Bayadog
the validity of the dissolution of the marriage.
got married without any marriage license. In
Under the second paragraph of such article,
lieu thereof, Pepito and Norma executed an
Philippine courts are empowered to correct a
affidavit dated December 11, 1986 stating that
situation where the Filipino spouse is still tied to
they had lived together as husband and wife for
the marriage while the foreign spouse is free to
at least five years and were thus exempt from
marry. Hence, Philippine courts have
securing a marriage license.
jurisdiction to recognize a foreign judgment
nullifying a bigamous marriage, without On February 19, 1997, Pepito died in a
prejudice to a criminal prosecution for bigamy. car accident.

After their father’s death, petitioners

filed a petition for declaration of nullity of the
marriage of Pepito to Norma alleging that the

*Articles 27 to 34: MARRIAGES EXEMPT FROM said marriage was void for lack of a marriage


Niñal vs. Bayadog Norma filed a motion to dismiss on the

ground that petitioners have no cause of action
G.R. No. 133778. March 14, 2000
since they are not among the persons who

Ponente: YNARES-SANTIAGO, J. could file an action for "annulment of marriage"

under Article 47 of the Family Code.
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
The RTC dismissed the petition.
Pepito Niñal was married to Teodulfa
Bellones on September 26, 1974. Out of their 1. Does the marriage between Pepito

marriage were born herein petitioners. and Norma fall within the exception

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to the marriage license capacitated to marry each other during the
requirement? entire five years, then the law would be
2. May the heirs of a deceased person sanctioning immorality.
file a petition for the declaration of
In this case, from the time Pepito’s first
nullity of his marriage after his
marriage was dissolved to the time of his
marriage with Norma, only about twenty
Rulings: months had elapsed. Their five-year period
cohabitation was not the cohabitation
1. NO
contemplated by law since Pepito had a
There are several instances recognized subsisting marriage at the time when he started
by the Civil Code wherein a marriage license is cohabiting with respondent.
dispensed with, one of which is that provided in
Having determined that the second
Article 76, referring to the marriage of a man
marriage involved in this case is not covered by
and a woman who have lived together and
the exception to the requirement of a marriage
exclusively with each other as husband and wife
license, it is void ab initio because of the
for a continuous and unbroken period of at
absence of such element.
least five years before the marriage.
2. YES
That five-year period should be a period
of legal union had it not been for the absence of Article 40 of the Family Code expressly
the marriage. This 5-year period should be the provides that there must be a judicial
years immediately before the day of the declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage,
marriage and it should be a period of though void, before a party can enter into a
cohabitation characterized by exclusivity second marriage and such absolute nullity can
(meaning no third party was involved at any be based only on a final judgment to that effect.
time within the 5 years) and continuity (that is, For the same reason, the law makes either the
unbroken). Otherwise, if that continuous 5-year action or defense for the declaration of
cohabitation is computed without any absolute nullity of marriage imprescriptible.
distinction as to whether the parties were Corollarily, if the death of either party would

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extinguish the cause of action or the ground for married, thus they applied for a marriage
defense, then the same cannot be considered license with the Office of the Civil Registrar of
imprescriptible. Pasig City in September 1994.

However, other than for purposes of When the couple went back to the
remarriage, no judicial action is necessary to Office of the Civil Registrar, the marriage license
declare a marriage an absolute nullity. For other had already expired. Thus, in order to push
purposes, such as but not limited to through with the plan, in lieu of a marriage
determination of heirship, legitimacy or license, they executed an affidavit dated 13
illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate, March 1995 stating that they had been living
dissolution of property regime, or a criminal together as husband and wife for at least five
case for that matter, the court may pass upon years. The couple got married on the same
the validity of marriage even in a suit not date, with Judge Jose C. Bernabe. Nevertheless,
directly instituted to question the same so long after the ceremony, Reinel and Annabelle went
as it is essential to the determination of the back to their respective homes and did not live
case. together as husband and wife.

On 13 November 1995, respondent

gave birth to a child named Reinna Tricia A. De

De Castro vs. De Castro

On 4 June 1998, Annabelle filed a

G.R. No. 160172, February 13, 2008 complaint for support against petitioner before
the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City. In her
Ponente: TINGA, J.
complaint, respondent alleged that she is

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras married to Reinel.

Facts: Reinel denied that he is married to

respondent, claiming that their marriage is void
Reinel Anthony De Castro and
ab initio since the marriage was facilitated by a
Annabelle Assidao-De Castro met and became
fake affidavit; and that he was merely prevailed
sweethearts in 1991. They planned to get

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upon by Annabelle to sign the marriage “However, other than for
contract to save her from embarrassment due purposes of remarriage, no judicial
to her pregnant state. He also averred that they action is necessary to declare a
never lived together as husband and wife and marriage an absolute nullity. For other
that he has never seen nor acknowledged the purposes, such as but not limited to
child. determination of heirship, legitimacy or
illegitimacy of a child, settlement of
The trial court ruled that the marriage
estate, dissolution of property regime,
between Reinel and Annabelle is not valid.
or a criminal case for that matter, the
However, it declared petitioner as the natural
court may pass upon the validity of
father of the child, and thus obliged to give her
marriage even in a suit not directly
instituted to question the same so long
The CA denied the appeal made by as it is essential to the determination of
Reinel. the case.”

Issue: Under the Family Code, the absence of

any of the essential or formal requisites shall
Did the trial court have the jurisdiction
render the marriage void ab initio, whereas a
to determine the validity of the marriage
defect in any of the essential requisites shall
between Reinel and Annabelle in an action for
render the marriage voidable.
In the instant case, it is clear from the
Ruling: YES
evidence presented that Reinel and Annabelle
The Court holds that the trial court had did not have a marriage license when they
jurisdiction to determine the validity of the contracted their marriage. Instead, they
marriage between Reinel and Annabelle. presented an affidavit stating that they had
been living together for more than five years.
The validity of a void marriage may be
However, Annabelle herself in effect admitted
collaterally attacked. Thus, in Niñal v. Bayadog,
the falsity of the affidavit. The falsity of the
we held:

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affidavit cannot be considered as a mere brother from Saudi Arabia. There, a man
irregularity in the formal requisites of marriage. bearing three folded pieces of paper
approached them. They were told that Jose
Hence, the marriage between Reinel
needed to sign the papers so that the package
and Annabelle is void ab initio.
could be released to Felisa. He initially refused
but Felisa cajoled him, and told him that his
refusal could get both of them killed by her
brother who had learned about their

Dayot vs. Dayot relationship. Reluctantly, he signed. It was in

February 1987 when he discovered that he had
G.R. No. 179474, March 28, 2008
contracted marriage with Felisa.

Felisa denied Jose’s allegations. She

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras declared that they had maintained their
relationship as man and wife absent the legality
of marriage in the early part of 1980. She had

On 24 November 1986, Jose and Felisa deferred contracting marriage with him on

were married. In lieu of a marriage license, Jose account of their age difference.

and Felisa executed a sworn affidavit attesting

Felisa expounded that while her
that both of them had attained the age of
marriage to Jose was subsisting, the latter
maturity, and that being unmarried, they had
contracted marriage with a certain Rufina
lived together as husband and wife for at least
Pascual on 31 August 1990.
five years.
On 3 June 1993, Felisa filed an action
On 7 July 1993, Jose filed a Complaint
for bigamy against Jose. Subsequently, she filed
for Annulment and/or Declaration of Nullity of
an administrative complaint against Jose with
Marriage with the RTC. According to Jose,
the Office of the Ombudsman which found him
sometime in 1986, Felisa requested him to
administratively liable for disgraceful and
accompany her to the Pasay City Hall so she
immoral conduct.
could claim a package sent to her by her

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On 26 July 2000, the RTC dismissed the. Felisa’s testimony that Jose was introduced to
The CA affirmed the RTC’s ruling. her by her neighbor, Teresita Perwel, sometime
in February or March 1986. The appellate court
also cited Felisa’s own testimony that it was
Would the falsity of an affidavit of only in June 1986 when Jose commenced to live
marital cohabitation, where the parties have in in her house. Therefore, the falsity of the
truth fallen short of the minimum five-year affidavit dated 24 November 1986, executed by
requirement, effectively render the marriage Jose and Felisa, is beyond question.
void ab initio for lack of a marriage license?
If the essential matter in the sworn
Ruling: YES affidavit is a lie, then it is but a mere scrap of
paper, without force and effect. Hence, it is as
For the exception to apply, it is a sine
if there was no affidavit at all.
qua non thereto that the man and the woman
must have attained the age of majority, and Patently, it cannot be denied that the
that, being unmarried, they have lived together marriage between Jose and Felisa was
as husband and wife for at least five years. The celebrated without the formal requisite of a
minimum requisite of five years of cohabitation marriage license.
is an indispensability carved in the language of
the law. It is embodied in the law not as a
directory requirement, but as one that partakes
of a mandatory character.
Carlos vs. Sandoval
It is indubitably established that Jose
G.R. No. 179922, December 16, 2008
and Felisa have not lived together for five years
at the time they executed their sworn affidavit Ponente: REYES, R.T., J.
and contracted marriage. The Republic
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
admitted that Jose and Felisa started living
together only in June 1986, or barely five Facts:
months before the celebration of their
marriage. The Court of Appeals also noted

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Spouses Felix B. Carlos and Felipa Felicidad and Teofilo II denied the
Elemia died intestate. They left six parcels of material averments of Juan’s complaint. They
land to their compulsory heirs, Teofilo Carlos contended that the dearth of details regarding
and petitioner Juan De Dios Carlos. the requisite marriage license did not invalidate
Felicidad’s marriage to Teofilo. They also
During the lifetime of Felix Carlos, he
declared that Teofilo II was the illegitimate child
agreed to transfer his estate to Teofilo. The
of the deceased Teofilo Carlos with another
agreement was made in order to avoid the
payment of inheritance taxes. Teofilo, in turn,
undertook to deliver and turn over the share of RTC rendered judgment in favor of
the other legal heir, petitioner Juan De Dios petitioner declaring the marriage between
Carlos. defendant Felicidad Sandoval and Teofilo Carlos
null and void ab initio for lack of the requisite
In August 1995, Juan de Dios Carlos
marriage license. The CA reversed and set aside
commenced an action, docketed as Civil Case
the RTC ruling.
No. 95-135, against Felicidad Sandoval before
the court a quo with the following causes of Issue:
action: (a) declaration of nullity of marriage; (b)
1. Can a marriage be declared void ab
status of a child; (c) recovery of property; (d)
initio through a judgment on the
reconveyance; and (e) sum of money and
pleadings or a summary judgment
and without the benefit of a trial?
In his complaint, Juan asserted that the 2. Who can file the same?
marriage between his late brother Teofilo and
Felicidad was a nullity in view of the absence of
the required marriage license. He likewise 1. NO
maintained that his deceased brother was
The grounds for declaration of absolute
neither the natural nor the adoptive father of
nullity of marriage must be proved. A.M. No.
respondent Teofilo Carlos II.
02-11-10-SC, known as “Rule on Declaration of

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Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and The innovation incorporated in A.M.
Annulment of Voidable Marriages,” provides: No. 02-11-10-SC sets forth a demarcation line
between marriages covered by the Family Code
“SEC. 17. Trial. –
and those solemnized under the Civil Code. The
xxx Rule extends only to marriages entered into
during the effectivity of the Family Code which
(2) The grounds for declaration of
took effect on August 3, 1988.
absolute nullity or annulment of
marriage must be proved. No judgment The advent of the Rule on Declaration
on the pleadings, summary judgment, of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages marks the
or confession of judgment shall be beginning of the end of the right of the heirs of
allowed.” the deceased spouse to bring a nullity of
marriage case against the surviving spouse.
2. Only the spouse
While A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC declares
Under the Rule on Declaration of
that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity
Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and
of marriage may be filed solely by the husband
Annulment of Voidable Marriages, the petition
or the wife, it does not mean that the
for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage
compulsory or intestate heirs are without any
may not be filed by any party outside of the
recourse under the law. They can still protect
marriage. The Rule made it exclusively a right
their successional right, for, as stated in the
of the spouses by stating:
Rationale of the Rules on Annulment of
“SEC. 2. Petition for declaration of Voidable Marriages and Declaration of
absolute nullity of void marriages. – Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages, compulsory
or intestate heirs can still question the validity
(a) Who may file. – A petition for
of the marriage of the spouses, not in a
declaration of absolute nullity of void
proceeding for declaration of nullity but upon
marriage may be filed solely by the
the death of a spouse in a proceeding for the
husband or the wife.”
settlement of the estate of the deceased
spouse filed in the regular courts.

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It is emphasized, however, that the Rule Ponente: VITUG, J.
does not apply to cases already commenced
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
before March 15, 2003 although the marriage
involved is within the coverage of the Family Facts:
Code. This is so, as the new Rule which became
It was in Iloilo City where Leouel, who
effective on March 15, 2003 is prospective in its
then held the rank of First Lieutenant in the
Philippine Army, first met Julia.
As for marriages celebrated under the
On 20 September 1986, the two
Civil Code, the absence of a provision in such
exchanged vows before MTC Judge Cornelio G.
Code cannot be construed as a license for any
Lazaro of Iloilo City, followed, shortly
person to institute a nullity of marriage case.
thereafter, by a church wedding.
Such person must appear to be the party who
stands to be benefited or injured by the The ecstasy, however, did not last long.
judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the It was bound to happen, Leouel averred,
avails of the suit. Hence, plaintiff must be the because of the frequent interference by Julia's
real party-in-interest. parents into the young spouses’ family affairs.

Hence, the case must be remanded to On 18 May 1988, Julia finally left for the
determine whether or not Juan de Dios Carlos is United States of America to work as a nurse
a real-party-in-interest to seek the declaration despite Leouel's pleas to so dissuade her.
of nullity of the marriage in controversy.
Seven months after her departure, or
on 01 January 1989, Julia called up Leouel for
the first time by long distance telephone. She
promised to return home upon the expiration

*Articles 35-38: VOID MARRIAGES of her contract in July 1989. She never did.
When Leouel got a chance to visit the United
Santos vs. CA
States where he underwent a training program,

G.R. No. 112019, January 4, 1995 he desperately tried to locate Julia but all his
efforts were of no avail.

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Thus, Leouel filed with the RTC a incapacity" to the most serious cases of
complaint for "Voiding of marriage Under personality disorders clearly demonstrative of
Article 36 of the Family Code". an utter intensitivity or inability to give meaning
and significance to the marriage. This
On 06 November 1991, the court a quo
psychological condition must exist at the time
finally dismissed the complaint for lack of merit.
the marriage is celebrated.
The CA affirmed the decision of the trial court.
The factual settings in the case at
Leouel argues that the failure of Julia to
bench, in no measure at all, can come close to
return home, or at the very least to
the standards required to decree a nullity of
communicate with him, for more than five years
marriage. Undeniably and understandably,
are circumstances that clearly show her being
Leouel stands aggrieved, even desperate, in his
psychologically incapacitated to enter into
present situation. Regrettably, neither law nor
married life.
society itself can always provide all the specific
Issue: answers to every individual problem.

Is Leouel and Julia’s marriage void ab

initio on the ground of Julia’s psychological

Chi Ming Tsoi vs. CA


G.R. No. 119190, January 16, 1997

"Psychological incapacity" should refer
to no less than a mental (not physical) Ponente: TORRES, JR., J.
incapacity that causes a party to be truly
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
incognitive of the basic marital covenants that
concomitantly must be assumed and discharged Facts:
by the parties to the marriage as so expressed
On May 22, 1988, Chi Ming Tsoi married
by Article 68 of the Family Code. There is hardly
the Gina Lao-Tsoi.
any doubt that the intendment of the law has
been to confine the meaning of "psychological

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After the celebration of their marriage The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's
and wedding reception, they slept together on decision.
the same bed in the same room for the first
Hence, the instant petition.
night of their married life. It is the version of the
Gina, that contrary to her expectations, that as Issue:
newlyweds they were supposed to enjoy
Is Chi Ming Tsoi and Gina’s marriage
making love with each other, there was no
void ab initio on the ground of Chi Ming Tsoi’s
sexual intercourse between them during the
psychological incapacity?
first night. The same thing happened on the
second, third and fourth nights. Ruling: YES

In an effort to have their honeymoon in Prolonged refusal of a spouse to have

a private place where they can enjoy together sexual intercourse with his or her spouse is
during their first week as husband and wife, considered a sign of psychological incapacity.
they went to Baguio City. But, they did so
Evidently, one of the essential marital
together with her mother, an uncle, his mother
obligations under the Family Code is "To
and his nephew who were all invited by the Chi
procreate children based on the universal
Ming Tsoi. But still, during this period, there
principle that procreation of children through
was no sexual intercourse between them, since
sexual cooperation is the basic end of
Chi Ming Tsoi avoided her by taking a long walk
marriage." Constant non-fulfillment of this
during siesta time or by just sleeping on a
obligation will finally destroy the integrity or
rocking chair located at the living room.
wholeness of the marriage.
Ching Ming Tsoi even admitted that
In the case at bar, the senseless and
since their marriage on May 22, 1988, until their
protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill
separation on March 15, 1989, there was no
the above marital obligation is equivalent to
sexual contact between them.
psychological incapacity.
The RTC rendered the marriage
Love is useless unless it is shared with
between Chi Ming Tsoi and Gina void ab initio.
another. An ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. In

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the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which he preferred to spend more time with his peers
brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual and friends on whom he squandered his money;
intimacy is a gift and a participation in the that he depended on his parents for aid and
mystery of creation. It is a function which assistance, and was never honest with his wife
enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures in regard to their finances, resulting in frequent
the continuation of family relations. quarrels between them.

This Court, finding the gravity of the In 1987, Reynaldo left Roridel and their
failed relationship in which the parties found child, and had since then abandoned them.
themselves trapped in its mire of unfulfilled
Roridel filed a petition for declaration of
vows and unconsummated marital obligations
the nullity of their marriage. The RTC declared
grants the petition for declaration of nullity of
the marriage void. The CA affirmed in toto the
RTC's decision.

Hence, the present recourse.


Republic vs. CA and Molina

Is Roridel and Reynaldo’s marriage void

G.R. No. 108763, February 13, 1997 ab initio on the ground of Reynaldo’s
psychological incapacity?
Ruling: NO
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
Mere showing of "irreconciliable
differences" and "conflicting personalities" in

Roridel and Reynaldo were married on no wise constitutes psychological incapacity.

April 14, 1985.

The following are the guidelines in the

After a year of marriage, Reynaldo interpretation and application of Art. 36 of the

showed signs of "immaturity and Family Code for the guidance of the bench and

irresponsibility" as a husband and a father since the bar:

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(1) The burden of proof to show the Church in the Philippines, while not controlling
nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff. or decisive, should be given great respect by our
xxx; courts. xxx;

(2) The root cause of the psychological (8) The trial court must order the
incapacity must be (a) medically or clinically prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor
identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) General to appear as counsel for the state. xxx;
sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly
Hence, the marriage of Roridel Olaviano
explained in the decision. xxx;
to Reynaldo Molina subsists and remains valid.
(3) The incapacity must be proven to be
existing at "the time of the celebration" of the
marriage. xxx;

(4) Such incapacity must also be shown Marcos vs. Marcos

to be medically or clinically permanent or
G.R. No. 136490, October 19, 2000
incurable. xxx;

(5) Such illness must be grave enough
to bring about the disability of the party to Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
assume the essential obligations of
Facts: ;

Brenda and Wilson first met sometime

(6) The essential marital obligations
in 1980 when both of them were assigned at
must be those embraced by Articles 68-71 of
the Malacañang Palace, she as an escort of
the Family Code as regards the husband and
Imee Marcos and he as a Presidential Guard of
wife as well as Articles 220, 221 and 225 of the
President Ferdinand Marcos. Through
same Code in regard to parents and their
telephone conversations, they became ;
acquainted and eventually became
(7) Interpretations given by the National sweethearts.
Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic

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Thereafter, Wilson and Brenda were Issues:
married twice on September 6, 1982,
1. Is Wilson required to submit himself
solemnized by Judge Eriberto H. Espiritu and on
to psychological examination?
May 8, 1983, solemnized by Rev. Eduardo L.
2. Is Wilson and Brenda’s marriage
Eleazar, Command Chaplain, at the Presidential
void ab initio on the ground of
Security Command Chapel in Malacañang.
Wilson’s psychological incapacity?
After the downfall of President Marcos,
Wilson left the military service and engaged in
different business ventures that did not 1. NO
however prosper. As a wife, Brenda always
Psychological incapacity, as a ground for
urged him to look for work so that their children
declaring the nullity of a marriage, may be
would see him as a good provider. Due to his
established by the totality of evidence
failure to engage in any gainful employment,
presented. There is no requirement that Wilson
they would often quarrel and as a consequence,
should be examined by a physician or a
he would hit and beat her. He would also inflict
psychologist as a conditio sine qua non for such
physical harm on their children and was so
severe in the way he chastised them. In 1992,
they were already living separately. The guidelines laid down in Republic vs
CA and Molina do not require that a physician
On October 16, 1994, when Brenda saw
examine the person to be declared
Wilson in their house, she was so angry that she
psychologically incapacitated. In fact, the root
lambasted him. He then turned violent,
cause may be "medically or clinically identified."
inflicting physical harm on her and even on her
What is important is the presence of evidence
mother who came to her aid.
that can adequately establish the party's
RTC found Wilson to be psychologically psychological condition. For indeed, if the
incapacitated and declared Brenda and Wilson’s totality of evidence presented is enough to
marriage void ab initio. CA reversed RTC’s sustain a finding of psychological incapacity,
decision. then actual medical examination of the person
concerned need not be resorted to.

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2. NO Dedel vs. CA

The totality of the evidence presented in G.R. No. 151867, January 29, 2004
the present case was not enough to sustain a
finding that Wilson was psychologically
incapacitated. Although this Court is sufficiently Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
convinced that Wilson failed to provide material
support to the family and may have resorted to
physical abuse and abandonment, the totality David B. Dedel met respondent Sharon
of his acts does not lead to a conclusion of L. Corpuz Dedel while he was working in the
psychological incapacity on his part. There is advertising business of his father. The
absolutely no showing that his "defects" were acquaintance led to courtship and romantic
already present at the inception of the marriage relations, culminating in a civil wedding on
or that they are incurable. September 28, 1966. This was followed by a
church wedding on May 20, 1967.
Verily, the behavior of respondent can
be attributed to the fact that he had lost his job David avers that during the marriage,
and was not gainfully employed for a period of Sharon turned out to be an irresponsible and
more than six years. It was during this period immature wife and mother. She had extra-
that he became intermittently drunk, failed to marital affairs with several men.
give material and moral support, and even left
Sharon was even confined in the Manila
the family home.
Medical City for treatment by Dr. Lourdes
Equally important, there is no evidence Lapuz, a clinical psychiatrist. David alleged that
showing that his condition is incurable, despite the treatment, Sharon did not stop her
especially now that he is gainfully employed as illicit relationship with the Jordanian national
a taxi driver. named Mustafa Ibrahim, whom she married
and with whom she had two children. However,
when Mustafa Ibrahim left the country, Sharon
returned to Davud bringing along her two
children by Ibrahim. David accepted her back

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and even considered the two illegitimate At best, the circumstances relied upon
children as his own. However, on December 9, by petitioner are grounds for legal separation
1995, Sharon abandoned David to join Ibrahim under Article 55 of the Family Code.
in Jordan with their two children.

David filed on April 1, 1997 a petition

seeking the declaration of nullity of his marriage
on the ground of psychological incapacity. Tenebro vs. CA

Issue: G.R. No. 150758, February 18, 2004

Is Sharon and David’s marriage void ab Ponente: YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.

initio on the ground of Sharon’s psychological
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras

Ruling: NO

Veronico Tenebro, contracted marriage

Sharon’s sexual infidelity or perversion
with Leticia Ancajas on April 10, 1990. Tenebro
and abandonment do not by themselves
and Ancajas lived together continuously and
constitute psychological incapacity within the
without interruption until the latter part of
contemplation of the Family Code. Neither
1991, when Tenebro informed Ancajas that he
could her emotional immaturity and
had been previously married to a certain Hilda
irresponsibility be equated with psychological
Villareyes on November 10, 1986. Tenebro
incapacity. It must be shown that these acts are
showed Ancajas a photocopy of a marriage
manifestations of a disordered personality
contract between him and Villareyes. Invoking
which make respondent completely unable to
this previous marriage, he left the conjugal
discharge the essential obligations of the
dwelling which he shared with Ancajas, stating
marital state, not merely due to her youth,
that he was going to cohabit with Villareyes.
immaturity or sexual promiscuity.

On January 25, 1993, Tenebro

contracted yet another marriage, this one with
a certain Nilda Villegas. When Ancajas learned

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of this third marriage, she verified from marriage on the ground of psychological
Villareyes whether the latter was indeed incapacity does not retroact to the date of the
married to Tenebro. In a handwritten letter, celebration of the marriage insofar as the
Villareyes confirmed that Tenebro was indeed Philippines’ penal laws are concerned.
her husband.
As such, an individual who contracts a
Ancajas thereafter filed a complaint for second or subsequent marriage during the
bigamy against petitioner. subsistence of a valid marriage is criminally
liable for bigamy, notwithstanding the
Tenebro, however, opposed saying that
subsequent declaration that the second
(a) his marriage with Villareyes was void on the
marriage is void ab initio on the ground of
ground of the lack of a marriage ceremony
psychological incapacity.
while (2) that with Ancajas was declared void on
the ground of psychological incapacity. Although the judicial declaration of the
nullity of a marriage on the ground of
The RTC found Tenebro guilty beyond
psychological incapacity retroacts to the date of
reasonable doubt of the crime of bigamy. The
the celebration of the marriage insofar as the
Court of Appeals affirmed RTC’s decision.
vinculum between the spouses is concerned, it
Issue: is significant to note that said marriage is not
without legal effects.
Can Tenebro invoke the nullity of his
previous marriages as a defense for the crime of Among these effects is that children
bigamy? conceived or born before the judgment of
absolute nullity of the marriage shall be
Ruling: NO
considered legitimate. There is therefore a
As to his marriage with Villareyes, recognition written into the law itself that such
sufficient evidence was presented to show its a marriage, although void ab initio, may still
validity and existence. produce legal consequences. Among these legal
consequences is incurring criminal liability for
As to his marriage with Ancajas, the
subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of

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Jarillo vs. People marriages to both Rafael and Emmanuel were
null and void for lack of a valid marriage license.
G.R. No. 164435, September 29, 2009
However, on appeal to the CA,
Ponente: PERALTA, J.
Victoria’s conviction was affirmed in toto.
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
In the meantime, the RTC of Makati
Facts: rendered a decision declaring Victoria’s 1974
and 1975 marriages to Rafael null and void ab
On May 24, 1974, Victoria Jarillo and
initio. However, the ground was Rafael’s
Rafael Alocillo were civilly married. On May 4,
psychological incapacity.
1975, they again celebrated marriage in a
church wedding. Issue:

Victoria thereafter contracted a Is the declaration of nullity of Victoria’s

subsequent marriage with Emmanuel Ebora marriage with Rafael on the ground of the
Santos Uy. On April 16, 1995, they again latter’s psychological incapacity a valid defense
celebrated a church wedding. to the crime of bigamy?

In 1999, Emmanuel Uy filed against Ruling: NO

Victoria for annulment of marriage before RTC.
The subsequent judicial declaration of
Thereafter, Victoria was charged with the nullity of the first marriage was immaterial
bigamy. because prior to the declaration of nullity, the
crime of bigamy had already been
RTC found Victoria guilty of the crime of
All that is required for the charge of
For her defense, Victoria insisted that
bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be
her 1974 and 1975 marriages to Rafael were
subsisting at the time the second marriage is
null and void because Rafael was allegedly still
married to a certain Loretta Tillman at the time
of the celebration of their marriage and that her

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Thus, under the law, a marriage, even Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
one which is void or voidable, shall be deemed
valid until declared otherwise in a judicial
proceeding. In this case, even if petitioner In October 1986, Lolita and Toshio
eventually obtained a declaration that his first started a common-law relationship in Japan.
marriage was void ab initio, the point is, both
On January 14, 1988, while in the
the first and the second marriage were
Philippines, she and Toshio were married by
subsisting before the first marriage was
Judge Isauro M. Balderia. One month after their
marriage, Toshio returned to Japan and
In the case at bar, the moment Victoria promised to return by Christmas to celebrate
contracted a second marriage without the the holidays with his family. After sending
previous one having been judicially declared money to respondent for two months, Toshio
null and void, the crime of bigamy was already stopped giving financial support. She wrote him
consummated. This is because at the time of several times but he never responded.
the celebration of the second marriage, Sometime in 1991, Lolita learned from her
Victoria’s marriage to Rafael, which had not yet friends that Toshio visited the Philippines but he
been declared null and void by a court of did not bother to see her and their child.
competent jurisdiction, was deemed valid and
On June 17, 1996, Lolita Quintero-
subsisting. Neither would a judicial declaration
Hamano filed a complaint for declaration of
of the nullity of petitioner’s marriage to
nullity of her marriage to her husband Toshio
Emmanuel make any difference.
Hamano, a Japanese national, on the ground of
psychological incapacity.

RTC rendered the marriage between

Toshio and Lolita null and void. The CA affirmed
Republic vs. Hamano
the RTC’s decision.

G.R. No. 149498, May 20, 2004


Ponente: CORONA, J.

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1. Does abandonment and insensitivity to responsibility and duty as a married person; it is
one’s marital responsibilities constitute essential that he must be shown to be
psychological incapacity? incapable of doing so due to some
2. Does it make a difference that the psychological, not physical, illness.
spouse alleged to be psychologically
2. NO
incapacitated is a foreigner?
In proving psychological incapacity, we
find no distinction between an alien spouse and
1. NO a Filipino spouse. We cannot be lenient in the
application of the rules merely because the
We find that the totality of evidence
spouse alleged to be psychologically
presented fell short of proving that Toshio was
incapacitated happens to be a foreign national.
psychologically incapacitated to assume his
The medical and clinical rules to determine
marital responsibilities. Toshio’s act of
psychological incapacity were formulated on
abandonment was doubtlessly irresponsible but
the basis of studies of human behavior in
it was never alleged nor proven to be due to
general. Hence, the norms used for determining
some kind of psychological illness. After
psychological incapacity should apply to any
respondent testified on how Toshio abandoned
person regardless of nationality.
his family, no other evidence was presented
showing that his behavior was caused by a
psychological disorder. Although, as a rule,
there was no need for an actual medical
examination, it would have greatly helped Antonio vs. Reyes
respondent’s case had she presented evidence
G.R. No. 155800, March 10, 2006
that medically or clinically identified his illness.
This could have been done through an expert Ponente: TINGA, J.
witness. This respondent did not do.
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
As we ruled in Molina, it is not enough
to prove that a spouse failed to meet his

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Statistics never lie, but lovers often do, (3) She misrepresented herself as a
quipped a sage. psychiatrist to her obstetrician and told some of
her friends that she graduated with a degree in
Leonilo Antonio and Marie Ivonne
Reyes met in August 1989. Barely a year after
their first meeting, they got married before a (4) She claimed to be a singer or a free-
minister of the Gospel at the Manila City Hall, lance voice talent affiliated with Blackgold
and through a subsequent church wedding at Recording Company (Blackgold);
the Sta. Rosa de Lima Parish on 6 December
(5) She invented friends named Babes
1990. Out of their union, a child was born on 19
Santos and Via Marquez, and under those
April 1991, who sadly died five (5) months later.
names, sent lengthy letters to petitioner
On 8 March 1993, Leonilo filed a claiming to be from Blackgold and touting her
petition to have his marriage to Marie Ivonne as the "number one moneymaker" in the
declared null and void on the ground of commercial industry worth P2 million. Leonilo
psychological incapacity. later found out that Marie Ivonne herself wrote
those letters;
Leonilo claimed that Marie Ivonne
persistently lied about herself, the people (6) She altered her payslip to make it
around her, her occupation, income, appear that she earned a higher income; and
educational attainment and other events or
(7) She exhibited jealousies over him to
things, to wit:
the extent of calling up his officemates to
(1) She concealed the fact that she monitor his whereabouts.
previously gave birth to an illegitimate son, and
The RTC rendered the marriage
instead introduced the boy as the adopted child
between Leonilo and Marie Ivonne as null and
of her family;
void ab initio. The CA, however, reversed the
(2) She fabricated a story that her RTC’s judgment.
brother-in-law attempted to rape and kill her;

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Is Marie Ivonne’s propensity to lie On January 27, 1997, Digna filed with
about almost everything tantamount to the RTC a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of
psychological incapacity? Marriage. Digna claimed that Eduardo was
psychologically incapacitated as shown by the
Ruling: YES
following facts:
We find that the present case
(a) Eduardo did not exert enough effort
sufficiently satisfies the guidelines in Molina.
to find a job. Only with the help of Digna’s
Marie Ivonne practically lived in a world elder brother was Eduardo able to land a job as
of make believe making her therefore not in a a seaman;
position to give meaning and significance to her
(b)While employed as a seaman,
marriage with Leonilo.
Eduardo did not give Digna sufficient financial
As correctly concluded by the support;
psychiatrist presented by Leonilo, such
(c) In May 1989, when he came home
repeated lying is abnormal and pathological and
from his ship voyage, he started to quarrel with
amounts to psychological incapacity.
Digna and falsely accused her of having an affair
with another man. He took to smoking
marijuana and tried to force Digna into it. Also,
he would always go home drunk;

Najera vs. Najera

(d)On July 3, 1994, while he was

G.R. No. 164817, July 3, 2009 quarrelling with Digna, he inflicted physical
violence upon her and attempted to kill her
Ponente: PERALTA, J.
with a bolo;

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras

(e)Eduardo left the family home, taking

Facts: along all their personal belongings;

Digna and Eduardo were married on

January 31, 1988.

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Digna learned later that Eduardo the Philippines, while not controlling or
jumped ship while it was anchored in Los decisive, should be given great respect by our
Angeles, California, U.S.A. courts. However, it must be pointed out that in
this case, the basis of the declaration of nullity
On March 31, 2000, the RTC rendered a
of marriage by the National Appellate
Decision that decreed only the legal
Matrimonial Tribunal is not the third paragraph
separation, but not the annulment of their
of Canon 1095 which mentions causes of a
marriage. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
psychological nature, but the second paragraph
Decision of the RTC.
of Canon 1095 which refers to those who suffer
Issue: from a grave lack of discretion of judgment
concerning essential matrimonial rights and
Is the totality of evidence sufficient to
obligations to be mutually given and accepted.
prove that Eduardo is psychologically

Ruling: NO

The evidence presented with regard to Ferraris vs. Ferraris

the physical violence or grossly abusive conduct
G.R. No. 162368, July 17, 2006
of Eduardo and his abandonment without
justifiable cause for more than one year are Ponente: YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.
grounds for legal separation only.
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
Digna argued that the Court of Appeals
failed to consider the Decision of the National
Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal which her Ma. Armida Perez-Ferraris (Amy) was
counsel sought to be admitted. married to Brix Ferraris (Brix).

True, in the case of Republic v. Court of During their relatively short marriage,
Appeals, et al., the Supreme Court held that the Amy was happy and contented with her life in
interpretations given by the National Appellate the company of Brix. In fact, by Amy's own
Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in

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reckoning, Brix was a responsible and loving before the celebration of the marriage. It is a
husband. malady so grave and so permanent as to
deprive one of awareness of the duties and
Their problems, however, began when
responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is
Amy started doubting Brix's fidelity. They
about to assume. There is no doubt that the
started fighting about the calls from women
intendment of the law has been to confine the
that Brix allegedly received. Brix, since then,
meaning of "psychological incapacity" to the
allegedly failed to perform his so-called marital
most serious cases of personality disorders
clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or
Amy thereafter filed a petition for the inability to give meaning and significance to the
declaration of nullity of her marriage with Brix marriage.
on the ground of psychological incapacity. She
Amy's evidence showed that Brix's
alleged that Brix was violent whenever he
alleged failure to perform his so-called marital
experiences epileptic attacks and that he was
obligations was not at all a manifestation of
not faithful to her.
some deep-seated, grave, permanent and
On February 20, 2001, the RTC incurable psychological malady. To be sure, the
rendered a decision denying the petition. The couple's relationship before the marriage and
CA affirmed RTC’s decision. even during their brief union (for well about a
year or so) was not all bad.
We find Brix's alleged mixed personality
Does infidelity and violent tendencies
disorder, the "leaving-the-house" attitude
during epileptic attacks tantamount to
whenever they quarreled, the violent
psychological incapacity?
tendencies during epileptic attacks, the sexual
Ruling: NO infidelity, the abandonment and lack of
support, and his preference to spend more time
The term "psychological incapacity" to
with his band mates than his family, are not
be a ground for the nullity of marriage under
rooted on some debilitating psychological
Article 36 of the Family Code, refers to a serious
psychological illness afflicting a party even

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condition but a mere refusal or unwillingness to obligations of marriage as shown by the
assume the essential obligations of marriage. following circumstances:

While petitioner's marriage with the (a) he dissipated her business assets
respondent failed and appears to be without and forged her signature in one mortgage
hope of reconciliation, the remedy however is transaction;
not always to have it declared void ab initio on
(b) he lived with a concubine and sired
the ground of psychological incapacity. An
a child with her;
unsatisfactory marriage, however, is not a null
and void marriage. (c) he did not give financial support to
his children; and

(d) he has been remiss in his duties

both as a husband and as a father.

Paras vs. Paras

The RTC rendered a decision upholding

G.R. No. 147824, August 2, 2007 the validity of the marriage. Justo interposed an
appeal to the CA.
In the interim, Rosa filed with this Court
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
a petition for disbarment against Justo,

Facts: docketed as A.C. No. 5333, premised on the

same charges alleged in her complaint for
On May 21, 1964, Rosa Yap married
declaration of nullity of marriage. On October
respondent Justo J. Paras.
18, 2000, this Court rendered its Decision

Twenty-nine (29) years thereafter, or finding him guilty of falsifying Rosa’s signature

on May 27, 1993, Rosa filed with the RTC a in bank documents, immorality, and

complaint for the declaration of nullity of her abandonment of his family. He was suspended

marriage with Justo. from the practice of law.

She alleged that Justo is psychologically The CA affirmed the RTC’s decision as to

incapacitated to exercise the essential the nullity case.

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Issue: incurable, and pre-existing mental incapacity
that renders him truly incognitive of the basic
Are the factual findings of this Court in
marital covenants. Its purpose is to free the
A.C. No. 5333 (disbarment case) conclusive on
innocent party from a meaningless marriage.
the present case (nullity case)?

Ruling: NO

One’s unfitness as a lawyer does not

automatically mean one’s unfitness as a Halili vs. Santos-Halili
husband or vice versa. The yardsticks for such
G.R. No. 165424, June 9, 2009
roles are simply different. This is why the
disposition in a disbarment case cannot be Ponente: CORONA, J.
conclusive on an action for declaration of nullity
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
of marriage.

While Rosa’s charges sufficiently proved
Justo’s unfitness as a lawyer, however, they Lester Benjamin S. Halili filed a petition
may not establish that he is psychologically to declare his marriage to Chona M. Santos-
incapacitated to perform his duties as a Halili null and void on the basis of his
husband. psychological incapacity.

In the disbarment case, "the real He alleged that he wed Chona in civil
question for determination is whether or not rites thinking that it was a “joke.” After the
the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed ceremonies, they never lived together as
the privileges as such." Its purpose is "to protect husband and wife, but maintained the
the court and the public from the misconduct of relationship. However, they started fighting
officers of the court." On the other hand, in an constantly a year later, at which point Lester
action for declaration of nullity of marriage decided to stop seeing respondent and started
based on the ground of psychological dating other women. Immediately thereafter,
incapacity, the question for determination is he received prank calls telling him to stop
whether the guilty party suffers a grave, dating other women as he was already a

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married man. It was only upon making an alone and are often preoccupied with fears of
inquiry that he found out that the marriage was being abandoned.
not “fake.”
In her psychological report, Dr. Dayan
The RTC declared Chona and Lester’s stated that Lester’s dependent personality
marriage void ab initio. The CA reversed and set disorder was evident in the fact that Lester was
aside RTC’s decision. Hence, this petition. very much attached to his parents and
depended on them for decisions. Lester’s
mother even had to be the one to tell him to
Is the marriage between Lester and seek legal help when he felt confused on what
Chona void ab initio on the ground of action to take upon learning that his marriage
psychological incapacity? to Chona was for real.

Ruling: YES Lester displayed a self-defeating

attitude. This submissive attitude encouraged
In this case, the testimony of Lester’s
other people to take advantage of him. This
expert witness revealed that Lester was
could be seen in the way Lester allowed himself
suffering from dependent personality disorder.
to be dominated, first, by his father and later,
Dependent personality disorder usually by Chona who was just as domineering. When
begins in early adulthood. Individuals who have Lester could no longer take Chona’s
this disorder may be unable to make everyday domineering ways, he preferred to hide from
decisions without advice or reassurance from her rather than confront her and tell her
others, may allow others to make most of their outright that he wanted to end their marriage.
important decisions, tend to agree with people
It has been sufficiently established that
even when they believe they are wrong, have
Lester had a psychological condition that was
difficulty starting projects or doing things on
grave and incurable and had a deeply rooted
their own, volunteer to do things that are
cause. This renders him unable to perform the
demeaning in order to get approval from other
essential obligations of marriage. Accordingly,
people, feel uncomfortable or helpless when
the marriage between Lester and respondent is
Chona null and void.

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Manila. Rowena proceeded to her uncle’s house
and Edward to his parents’ home. As his family
was abroad, and Rowena kept on telephoning

Ngo-Te vs. Yu-Te him, threatening him that she would commit
suicide, Edward agreed to stay with Rowena at
G.R. No. 16179, February 13, 2009
her uncle’s place.

Ponente: NACHURA, J.
On April 23, 1996, Rowena’s uncle

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras brought the two to a court to get married. He
was then 25 years old, and she, 20. The two
then continued to stay at her uncle’s place

Edward Kenneth Ngo Te first got a where Edward was treated like a prisoner—he

glimpse of respondent Rowena Ong Gutierrez was not allowed to go out unaccompanied. Her

Yu-Te in a gathering organized by the Filipino- uncle also showed Edward his guns and warned

Chinese association in their college. Sharing the latter not to leave Rowena. Rowena

similar angst towards their families, the two suggested that Edward should get his

understood one another and developed a inheritance so that they could live on their own.

certain degree of closeness towards each other. Edward talked to his father about this, but the
patriarch got mad, told Edward that he would
In March 1996, or around three months
be disinherited, and insisted that Edward must
after their first meeting, Rowena asked Edward
go home.
that they elope. At first, he refused, bickering
that he was young and jobless. Her persistence, After a month, Edward escaped from

however, made him relent. Thus, they left the house of Rowena’s uncle, and stayed with

Manila and sailed to Cebu that month; he, his parents. His family then hid him from

providing their travel money and she, Rowena.

purchasing the boat ticket.

In June 1996, Edward was able to talk to

However, Edward’s P80,000.00 lasted Rowena. Unmoved by his persistence that they

for only a month. And they could not find a job. should live with his parents, she said that it was

In April 1996, they decided to go back to

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better for them to live separate lives. They then together, observing love, respect and fidelity
parted ways. and rendering help and support, for he is
unable to make everyday decisions without
After almost four years, Edward filed a
advice from others, allows others to make most
petition for the declaration of the nullity of
of his important decisions, tends to agree with
their marriage.
people even when he believes they are wrong,
The RTC declared the marriage between has difficulty doing things on his own,
Edward and Rowena null and void. The CA volunteers to do things that are demeaning in
reversed the RTC’s decision. order to get approval from other people, feels
uncomfortable or helpless when alone and is
often preoccupied with fears of being
Is the marriage between Rowena and abandoned. As clearly shown in this case,
Edward void ab initio on the ground of their petitioner followed everything dictated to him
psychological incapacity? by the persons around him. He is insecure,
weak and gullible, has no sense of his identity as
Ruling: YES
a person, has no cohesive self to speak of, and
The parties’ whirlwind relationship has no goals and clear direction in life.
lasted more or less six (6) months. They met in
Although on a different plane, the same
January 1996, eloped in March, exchanged
may also be said of Rowena. Her being afflicted
marital vows in May, and parted ways in June.
with antisocial personality disorder makes her
The psychologist who provided expert
unable to assume the essential marital
testimony found both parties psychologically
obligations. This finding takes into account her
incapacitated. Edward’s behavioral pattern falls
disregard for the rights of others, her abuse,
under the classification of dependent
mistreatment and control of others without
personality disorder, and Rowena’s, that of the
remorse, her tendency to blame others, and her
narcissistic and antisocial personality disorder.
intolerance of the conventional behavioral
Indeed, Edward, who is afflicted with limitations imposed by society. Moreover, as
dependent personality disorder, cannot assume shown in this case, Rowena is impulsive and
the essential marital obligations of living domineering; she had no qualms in

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manipulating petitioner with her threats of In sum, Carmen’s allegations of
blackmail and of committing suicide. Benjamin’s psychological incapacity consisted of
the following manifestations:
Both parties being afflicted with grave,
severe and incurable psychological incapacity, 1. Benjamin’s alcoholism, which
the precipitous marriage which they contracted adversely affected his family relationship and
on April 23, 1996 is thus, declared null and void. his profession;

2. Benjamin’s violent nature brought

about by his excessive and regular drinking;

3. His compulsive gambling habit, as a

Ting vs. Velez-Ting
result of which Benjamin found it necessary to

G.R. No. 166562, March 31, 2009 sell the family car twice and the property he
inherited from his father in order to pay off his
Ponente: NACHURA, J.
debts, because he no longer had money to pay

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras the same; and

Facts: 4. Benjamin’s irresponsibility and

immaturity as shown by his failure and refusal
Benjamin Ting (Benjamin) and Carmen
to give regular financial support to his family.
Velez-Ting (Carmen) first met in 1972 while they
were classmates in medical school. They fell in Benjamin denied being psychologically

love, and they were wed on July 26, 1975. incapacitated.

On October 21, 1993, after being RTC declared the marriage between

married for more than 18 years to Benjamin, Carmen and Benjamin null and void. CA

Carmen filed a petition before the RTC praying affirmed RTC’s ruling.

for the declaration of nullity of their marriage

Hence, this petition.
based on Article 36 of the Family Code.

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Is the marriage between Benjamin and consideration the psychological evaluation
Carmen void ab initio on the ground of report furnished by another psychiatrist in
Benjamin’s psychological incapacity? South Africa who personally examined
Benjamin, as well as his (Dr. Obra’s) personal
Ruling: NO
interview with Benjamin’s brothers.
In this case, Carmen failed to prove that
petitioner’s “defects” were present at the time
of the celebration of their marriage. She merely
cited that prior to their marriage, she already
Azcueta vs. Republic
knew that Benjamin would occasionally drink
and gamble with his friends; but such G.R. No. 180668, May 26, 2009
statement, by itself, is insufficient to prove any
pre-existing psychological defect on the part of
her husband. Neither did the evidence adduced Contributor: Alona Suzell B. R
prove such “defects” to be incurable.
The evaluation of the two psychiatrists
Marietta C. Azcueta and Rodolfo
should have been the decisive evidence in
Azcueta met in 1993. Less than two months
determining whether to declare the marriage
after their first meeting, they got married on
between the parties null and void. Sadly, the
July 24, 1993. At the time of their marriage,
two experts provided diametrically
Marieta was 23 years old while Rodolfo was 28.
contradicting psychological evaluations: Dr.
They separated in 1997 after four years of
Oñate testified that petitioner’s behavior is a
positive indication of a personality disorder,
while Dr. Obra maintained that there is nothing On March 2, 2002, petitioner filed with
wrong with petitioner’s personality. Moreover, the RTC a petition for declaration of absolute
there appears to be greater weight in Dr. Obra’s nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the
opinion because, aside from analyzing the Family Code.
transcript of Benjamin’s deposition similar to
what Dr. Oñate did, Dr. Obra also took into

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According to Marieta, Rodolfo was Marieta claimed that Rodolfo was so
emotionally immature, irresponsible and dependent on his mother and that all his
continually failed to adapt himself to married decisions and attitudes in life should be in
life and perform the essential responsibilities conformity with those of his mother.
and duties of a husband.
The RTC declared the marriage between
Marieta complained that Rodolfo never Marieta and Rodolfo as null and void ab initio.
bothered to look for a job and instead always The CA reversed the RTC’s decision.
asked his mother for financial assistance. When
they were married it was Rodolfo’s mother who
found them a room near the Azcueta home and Is Marieta and Rodolfo’s marriage null
it was also his mother who paid the monthly and void ab initio on the ground of Rodolfo’s
rental. To inspire him to look for a job, Marieta psychological incapacity?
bought him new clothes and a pair of shoes and
Ruling: YES
even gave him money.
The expert witness testified that
Sometime later, her husband told her
Rodolfo is suffering from “dependent
that he already found a job and Marieta was
personality disorder”.
overjoyed. However, some weeks after, Marieta
was informed that her husband had been seen In Ngo-Te vs. Yu-Te, the Court has had
at the house of his parents when he was the occasion to expound on the nature of a
supposed to be at work. Marieta discovered dependent personality disorder and how one
that her husband didn’t actually get a job and afflicted with such a disorder would be
the money he gave her (which was supposedly incapacitated from complying with marital
his salary) came from his mother. obligations, to wit:

When she confronted him about the “Indeed, petitioner, who is afflicted with
matter, Rodolfo allegedly cried like a child and dependent personality disorder, cannot
told her that he pretended to have a job so that assume the essential marital obligations of
Marieta would stop nagging him about applying living together, observing love, respect and
for a job. fidelity and rendering help and support, for

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he is unable to make everyday decisions
without advice from others, allows others to
make most of his important decisions (such
as where to live), tends to agree with people Mendoza vs. Republic
even when he believes they are wrong, has
G.R. No. 157649, November 12, 2012
difficulty doing things on his own,
volunteers to do things that are demeaning Ponente: BERSAMIN, J.
in order to get approval from other people,
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone
and is often preoccupied with fears of being Facts:
Arabelle and Dominic had been next-
Of course, this is not to say that anyone door neighbors in the appartelle they were
diagnosed with dependent personality disorder renting while they were still in college.
is automatically deemed psychologically
After a month of courtship, they
incapacitated to comply with the obligations of
became intimate and their intimacy ultimately
led to her pregnancy. They got married on her
We realize that psychology is by no eighth month of pregnancy.
means an exact science and the medical cases
Dominic remained jobless and
of patients, even though suffering from the
dependent upon his father for support until he
same disorder, may be different in their
finished his college course.
symptoms or manifestations and in the degree
of severity. Arabelle took on various jobs to meet
the family’s needs. She shouldered all of the
It is the duty of the court in its
family’s expenses.
evaluation of the facts, as guided by expert
opinion, to carefully scrutinize the type of In September 1994, she discovered his
disorder and the gravity of the same before illicit relationship his co-employee. Eventually,
declaring the nullity of a marriage under Article communication between them became rare
36. until they started to sleep in separate rooms.

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In November 1995, Dominic gave her a RTC ruled that the marriage between
Daihatsu Charade car as a birthday present. He Arabelle and Dominic is void ab initio. The CA
asked her to issue two blank checks that he reversed RTC’s decision.
claimed would be for the car’s insurance
coverage. She soon found out, however, that
the checks were paid for his personal needs. Is the marriage between Arabelle and
Worse, she also found out that he did not pay Dominic void ab initio on the ground of
for the car itself, forcing her to rely on her psychological incapacity?
father-in-law to pay part of the cost of the car,
Ruling: NO
leaving her to bear the balance of P120,000.00.
The ill-feelings that Arabelle harbored
To make matters worse, Dominic was
towards Dominic, which she admitted during
fired from his employment after he ran away
her consultation with Dr. Samson, furnished the
with P164,000.00 belonging to his employer. He
basis to doubt the findings of her expert
was convicted with violation of Batas Pambansa
witness. Dr. Samson, herself, conceded that
Blg. 22 and estafa. Arabelle also discovered that
there was the need for her to resort to other
he had also swindled many clients.
people in order to verify the facts derived from
On October 15, 1997, Arabelle asked Arabelle about Dominic’s psychological profile
Dominic for "time and space to think things considering the ill-feelings she harbored
over." A month later, she refused his attempt at towards him. It turned out, however, that the
reconciliation, causing him to threaten to only people she interviewed about Dominic
commit suicide. At that, she and her family were those whom Arabelle herself referred.
immediately went to live in another place
In fine, the failure to examine and
concealed from him.
interview Dominic himself naturally cast serious
Arabelle then filed in the RTC her doubt on Dr. Samson’s findings.
petition for the declaration of the nullity of her
In light of the foregoing, even if the
marriage with Dominic based on his
expert opinions of psychologists are not
psychological incapacity.
conditions sine qua non in the granting of

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petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage, engaged in petty arguments with him; that she
the actual medical examination of the allegedly constantly refused to give in to his sexual
psychologically incapacitated spouse can be needs; that she spent most of her time
dispensed with only if the totality of evidence gossiping with neighbors instead of doing the
presented was enough to support a finding of household chores and caring for their adopted
his psychological incapacity. daughter; that she squandered by gambling all
his remittances as an overseas worker in Qatar
since 1993; and that she abandoned the
conjugal home in 1997 to live with Bobbie
Castro, her paramour.
Republic vs. CA and De Quintos
Eduardo presented the results of the
G.R. No. 159594, November 12, 2012
neuro-psychiatric evaluation conducted by Dr.

Ponente: BERSAMIN, J. Annabelle L. Reyes, a psychiatrist.

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras Based on the tests she administered on

Catalina, Dr. Reyes opined that Catalina
exhibited traits of Borderline Personality

Eduardo and Catalina were married on Disorder.

March 16, 1977.

The RTC granted Eduardo’s petition.

On April 6, 1998, Eduardo filed a The CA affirmed the RTC’s decision.

petition for the declaration of nullity of their

marriage citing Catalina’s psychological
incapacity. Is the marriage between Eduardo and
Catalina null and void on the ground of
Catalina did not interpose any objection
Catalina’s psychological incapacity?
to the petition, but prayed to be given her share
in the conjugal house and lot. Ruling: NO

Eduardo testified that Catalina always Psychological incapacity contemplates

left their house without his consent; that she an incapacity or inability to take cognizance of

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and to assume basic marital obligations; not
merely the difficulty, refusal, or neglect in the
Republic vs. Encelan
performance of marital obligations or ill will.
G.R. No. 170022, January 9, 2013
Firstly, Catalina’s supposed behavior
were not even established. Eduardo presented Ponente: BRION, J.
no other witnesses to corroborate his
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
Secondly, the results of the neuro-
psychological evaluation by Dr. Reyes were On August 25, 1979, Cesar married
ostensibly vague about the root cause and Lolita.
gravity of Catalina’s alleged psychological
To support his family, Cesar went to
work in Saudi Arabia.
Thirdly, we have said that the expert
While still in Saudi Arabia, Cesar learned
evidence presented in cases of declaration of
that Lolita had been having an illicit affair with
nullity of marriage based on psychological
Alvin Perez. Lolita allegedly left the conjugal
incapacity presupposes a thorough and in-
home with her children and lived with Alvin.
depth assessment of the parties by the
psychologist or expert. However, Dr. Reyes had Since then, Cesar and Lolita had been
only one interview with Catalina, and did not separated.
personally seek out and meet with other
On June 16, 1995, Cesar filed with the
persons, aside from Eduardo.
RTC a petition against Lolita for the declaration
Fourthly, the only fact established here, of the nullity of his marriage based on Lolita’s
which Catalina admitted, was her abandonment psychological incapacity.
of the conjugal home to live with another man.
Lolita denied that she had an affair with
Yet, abandonment and sexual infidelity are not
Alvin; she contended that Alvin used to be an
valid grounds for the declaration of nullity of
associate in her promotions business. She
insisted that she is not psychologically

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incapacitated and that she left their home difficulty, much less ill will, on the part of the
because of irreconcilable differences with her errant spouse.
Sexual infidelity and abandonment of
Cesar presented the psychological the conjugal dwelling, even if true, do not
evaluation report prepared by Dr. Fareda necessarily constitute psychological incapacity;
Fatima Flores who found that Lolita was "not these are simply grounds for legal separation.
suffering from any form of major psychiatric To constitute psychological incapacity, it must
illness," but had been "unable to provide the be shown that the unfaithfulness and
expectations expected of her for a good and abandonment are manifestations of a
lasting marital relationship"; also, her disordered personality that completely
"transferring from one job to the other depicts prevented the erring spouse from discharging
some interpersonal problems with co-workers". the essential marital obligations.

RTC declared Cesar’s marriage to Lolita Dr. Flores’ psychological evaluation

void. The CA originally set aside the RTC’s report on Lolita, in fact, established that Lolita
verdict but later on affirmed the RTC’s decision. did not suffer from any major psychiatric illness.
Dr. Flores’ observation on Lolita’s interpersonal
problems with co-workers cannot simply be
Is Cesar and Lolita’s marriage void ab equated with a wife’s psychological fitness as a
initio on the ground of Lolita’s psychological spouse. Workplace obligations and
incapacity? responsibilities are poles apart from their
marital counterparts.
Ruling: NO

In interpreting Article 36 of the Family

Code, we have repeatedly stressed that
psychological incapacity contemplates
"downright incapacity or inability to take
cognizance of and to assume the basic marital
obligations"; not merely the refusal, neglect or

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*Articles 40: NEED FOR JUDICIAL DECLARATION On May 29, 1991, Delia filed a petition
OF A VOID MARRIAGE for "Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and
Separation of Property" against Roberto.
Domingo vs. CA
G.R. No. 104818, September 17, 1993
1. Is a petition for judicial declaration
Ponente: ROMERO, J.
of a void marriage necessary?
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras 2. Should the same be filed only for
purposes of remarriage?
Delia Soledad A. Domingo and Roberto
Domingo were married on November 29, 1976. 1. YES

Unknown to her, he had a previous In Terre vs. Terre, the Court already
marriage with one Emerlina dela Paz on April made the pronouncement that there is a
25, 1969 which marriage is valid and still necessity for a declaration of absolute nullity of
existing. She came to know of the prior a prior subsisting marriage before contracting
marriage only sometime in 1983 when Emerlina another. It held that "for purposes of
dela Paz sued them for bigamy. determining whether a person is legally free to
contract a second marriage, a judicial
Since Roberto has always been
declaration that the first marriage was null and
unemployed, he was completely dependent
void ab initio is essential."
upon her for support and subsistence.
2. NO
Sometime in June 1989, she discovered
that he was cohabiting with another woman. Article 40 of the Family Code provides: “The
She further discovered that he had been absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be
disposing of some of her properties without her invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis
knowledge or consent. solely of a final judgment declaring such
previous marriage void.”

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Crucial to the proper interpretation of For such a social significant institution, an
Article 40 is the position in the provision of the official state pronouncement through the
word "solely." As it is placed, the same shows courts, and nothing less, will satisfy the exacting
that it is meant to qualify "final judgment norms of society. Not only would such an open
declaring such previous marriage void” and not and public declaration by the courts definitively
“for purposes of remarriage.” Hence, a final confirm the nullity of the contract of marriage,
judgment declaring the previous marriage void but the same would be easily verifiable through
need not be obtained only for purposes of records accessible to everyone.

Undoubtedly, one can conceive of other

instances where a party might well invoke the
absolute nullity of a previous marriage for Atienza vs. Brillantes
purposes other than remarriage, such as in case
A.M. No. MTJ-92-706, March 29, 1995
of an action for liquidation, partition,
distribution and separation of property Ponente: QUIASON, J.
between the erstwhile spouses, as well as an
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
action for the custody and support of their
common children and the delivery of the Facts:
latter’s' presumptive legitimes.
This is a complaint by Lupo A. Atienza
This leads us to the question: “For for Gross Immorality and Appearance of
purposes of remarriage, why should the only Impropriety against Judge Francisco Brillantes,
legally acceptable basis for declaring a previous Jr.
marriage an absolute nullity be a final judgment
Lupo alleges that he has two children
declaring such previous marriage void?
with Yolanda De Castro, who are living together
Whereas, for purposes other than remarriage,
at Bel-Air Subdivision, Makati. Atienza stays in
other evidence is acceptable?”
said house whenever he is in Manila.
Marriage is an "inviolable social
institution and is the foundation of the family".

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In December 1991, upon opening the Judge Francisco and Zenaida before he can
door to his bedroom, Lupo saw Judge Francisco validly marry Yolanda?
sleeping on his bed. Upon inquiry, he was told
Ruling: YES
by the houseboy that Judge Francisco had been
cohabiting with Yolanda. Under the Article 40 of the Family Code,
there must be a judicial declaration of the
Lupo claims that Judge Francisco is
nullity of a previous marriage before a party
married to one Zenaida Ongkiko.
thereto can enter into a second marriage.
Judge Francisco, however, denies
Article 40 is applicable to remarriages
having been married to Ongkiko, although he
entered into after the effectivity of the Family
admits having five children with her.
Code on August 3, 1988 regardless of the date
He alleges that while he and Zenaida of the first marriage. Besides, under Article 256
went through a marriage ceremony on April 25, of the Family Code, said Article is given
1965, the same was not a valid marriage for lack "retroactive effect insofar as it does not
of a marriage license. Upon the request of the prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in
parents of Zenaida, Judge Francisco went accordance with the Civil Code or other laws."
through another marriage ceremony with her in This is particularly true with Article 40, which is
Manila on June 5, 1965 still without a marriage a rule of procedure. Respondent has not shown
license. any vested right that was impaired by the
application of Article 40 to his case.
Judge Francisco claims that when he
married De Castro on December 4, 1991, he
believed that he was single because his first
marriage was solemnized without a license.

Beltran vs. People


G.R. No. 137567, June 20, 2000

Is it necessary to get a judicial
declaration of nullity of the marriage between Ponente: BUENA, J.

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras

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Facts: should merit the suspension of the criminal
case for concubinage?
Meynardo Beltran and Charmaine E.
Felix were married on June 16, 1973. Ruling: NO

On February 7, 1997, after twenty-four The rationale behind the principle of

years of marriage and four children, Meynardo prejudicial question is to avoid two conflicting
filed a petition for nullity of marriage on the decisions. It has two essential elements: (a) the
ground of psychological incapacity. civil action involves an issue similar or
intimately related to the issue raised in the
Charmaine Felix alleged that it was
criminal action; and (b) the resolution of such
Meynardo who abandoned the conjugal home
issue determines whether or not the criminal
and lived with a certain woman named Milagros
action may proceed.
Salting. Charmaine subsequently filed a criminal
complaint for concubinage under Article 334 of The pendency of the case for
the Revised Penal Code. declaration of nullity of petitioner's marriage is
not a prejudicial question to the concubinage
Meynardo, in order to forestall the
issuance of a warrant for his arrest, filed a
Motion to Defer Proceedings Including the For a civil case to be considered
Issuance of the Warrant of Arrest in the criminal prejudicial to a criminal action as to cause the
case arguing that the pendency of the civil case suspension of the latter pending the final
for declaration of nullity of his marriage posed a determination of the civil case, it must appear
prejudicial question to the determination of the not only that the said civil case involves the
criminal case. same facts upon which the criminal prosecution
would be based, but also that in the resolution
of the issue or issues raised in the aforesaid civil
Does the pendency of the petition for action, the guilt or innocence of the accused
declaration of nullity of his marriage based on would necessarily be determined.
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the
In the case at bar, however, even a
Family Code pose a prejudicial question that
subsequent pronouncement that his marriage is

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void from the beginning is not a defense in the presumptive death of his wife, Rosalia (Lea) A.
crime of concubinage. Julaton.

It must be held that parties to the At the hearing, Alan adduced evidence
marriage should not be permitted to judge for that he and Lea were married on January 20,
themselves its nullity. Only when the nullity of 1995. He testified that, on February 6, 1995, Lea
the marriage is so declared can it be held as arrived home late and he berated her for being
void, and so long as there is no such declaration always out of their house. He told her that if she
the presumption is that the marriage exists for enjoyed the life of a single person, it would be
all intents and purposes. better for her to go back to her parents. Lea did
not reply. Alan narrated that, when he reported
Therefore, he who cohabits with a
for work the following day, Lea was still in the
woman not his wife before the judicial
house, but when he arrived home later in the
declaration of nullity of the marriage assumes
day, Lea was nowhere to be found.
the risk of being prosecuted for concubinage.
When Alan went to the house of his
parents-in-law, he learned from his father-in-
law that Lea had been to their house but that
she left without notice. Alan sought the help of
Barangay Captain Juan Magat, who promised to
help him locate his wife. He also inquired from

Republic vs. CA and Alegro his friends and Lea’s friend of his wife’s
whereabouts but to no avail.
G.R. No. 159614, December 9, 2005
Alan decided to go to Manila to look for
Ponente: CALLEJO, SR., J.
Lea. While there, he decided to work as a part-

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras time taxi driver. On his free time, he would look
for Lea in the malls but still to no avail. He
returned to Catbalogan in 1997 and again

On March 29, 2001, Alan B. Alegro filed looked for his wife but failed.

a petition in the RTC for the declaration of

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On June 20, 2001, Alan reported Lea’s his parents-in-law regarding Lea’s whereabouts
disappearance to the local police station. Alan before filing his petition in the RTC. His father-
also reported Lea’s disappearance to the in-law was the owner of Radio DYMS and could
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on July 9, have significantly assisted him in looking for
2001. Lea. Finally, Alan reported and sought the help
of the police and the NBI only after the OSG
On January 8, 2002, the RTC granted
filed its notice to dismiss his petition in the RTC.
the petition. The CA affirmed RTC’s decision.
Hence, Alan failed to prove that he had
a well-founded belief that his spouse Lea was
Should the petition for the declaration already dead.
of Lea’s presumptive death be granted?

Ruling: NO

In consonance with Article 41 of the

SSS vs. Vda de Baylon
Family Code, the spouse present is burdened to
prove that his spouse has been absent and that G.R. No. 165545, March 24, 2006
he has a well-founded belief that the absent
spouse is already dead before the present
spouse may contract a subsequent marriage. Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras

The belief of the present spouse must Facts:

be the result of proper and honest to goodness
On April 25, 1955, Clemente G. Bailon
inquiries and efforts to ascertain the
(Bailon) married Alice P. Diaz (Alice).
whereabouts of the absent spouse and whether
the absent spouse is still alive or is already More than 15 years later, Bailon filed
dead. before the then Court of First Instance (CFI) a
petition to declare Alice presumptively dead.
In this case, the Alan failed to present a
The CFI granted the petition.
witness other than Barangay Captain Juan
Magat. Also, Alan failed to make inquiries from

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Close to 13 years after his wife Alice The CA reversed and set aside the
was declared presumptively dead, Bailon decision of SSS.
contracted marriage with Teresita Jarque.
On January 30, 1998, Bailon, who was a
Will the appearance of the spouse who
member of the SSS, died.
was previously declared presumptively dead by
Teresita thereupon filed a claim for the Court automatically terminate the second
funeral and death benefits which were granted. marriage?

Cecilia, who claimed to be a daughter of Ruling: NO

Bailon and one Elisa contested before the SSS
Under the Civil Code, a subsequent
the release to Teresita of the death and funeral
marriage being voidable, it is terminated by
benefits. She claimed that Bailon contracted
final judgment of annulment.
three marriages in his lifetime, the first with
Alice, the second with her mother Elisa, and the Under the Family Code, no judicial
third with Teresita, all of whom are still alive. proceeding to annul a subsequent marriage is
necessary. A sworn statement of the fact and
In the meantime, a certain Hermes P.
circumstances of reappearance which shall be
Diaz, claiming to be the brother and guardian of
recorded in the civil registry of the residence of
Alice P. Diaz, also filed before the SSS a claim for
the parties to the subsequent marriage shall
death benefits accruing from Bailon’s death.
suffice. This, however, does not preclude the
The SSS advised Teresita of the filing of an action in court to prove the
cancellation of her monthly pension for death reappearance of the absentee.
benefits and held that the December 10, 1970
If the absentee reappears, but no step
CFI Order declaring Alice presumptively dead
is taken to terminate the subsequent marriage,
did not become final, her "presence" being
either by affidavit or by court action, such
"contrary proof" against the validity of the
absentee’s mere reappearance, even if made
known to the spouses in the subsequent
marriage, will not terminate such marriage.

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Since the second marriage has been to go back to her parents’ home. Three years
contracted because of a presumption that the passed without any word from Sofio.
former spouse is dead, such presumption
In October 1975, Sofio showed up. He
continues inspite of the spouse’s physical
and Angelita talked for several hours and they
reappearance. By fiction of law, he or she must
agreed to separate. They executed a document
still be regarded as legally an absentee until the
to that effect. That was the last time petitioner
subsequent marriage is terminated as provided
saw him.
by law.
Believing that Sofio was already dead,
Angelita married Virgilio Reyes on June 20,
1985. Subsequently, however, Virgilio’s
application for naturalization filed with the
Valdez vs. Republic
United States Department of Homeland

G.R. No. 180863, September 8, 2009 Security was denied because Angelita’s
marriage to Sofio was subsisting.
Ponente: NACHURA, J.
Hence, on March 29, 2007, Angelita
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
filed a Petition seeking the declaration of

Facts: presumptive death of Sofio.

Angelita Valdez married Sofio on The RTC dismissed the petition.

January 11. Angelita filed a Motion for Reconsideration

which was also denied.
According to Angelita, she and Sofio
argued constantly because the latter was Issue:

Under the Civil Code, is a judicial decree

In March 1972, Sofio left their conjugal necessary to declare a spouse presumptively

dwelling. Angelita and their child waited for him dead?

to return but, finally, in May 1972, she decided

Ruling: NO

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It is readily apparent that the marriages marriage was celebrated in 1985 and,
of Angelita to Sofio and Virgilio were both therefore, the said marriage is legal and valid.
celebrated under the auspices of the Civil Code.

Under the Civil Code, the presumption

of death is established by law and no court
declaration is needed for the presumption to *Articles 45-47 FC: VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
arise. Since death is presumed to have taken
G.R. No. 132955, October 27, 2006
place by the seventh year of absence, Sofio is to
be presumed dead starting October 1982. Ponente: YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.

Consequently, at the time Angelita’s Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras

marriage to Virgilio, there existed no
impediment to Angelita’s capacity to marry,
and the marriage is valid under paragraph 2 of Orlando Villanueva and Lilia Canalita-
Article 83 of the Civil Code. Villanueva got married on April 13, 1988.

Further, considering that it is the Civil On November 17, 1992, Orlando filed
Code that applies, proof of “well-founded with the trial court a petition for annulment of
belief” is not required. Angelita could not have his marriage alleging that threats of violence
been expected to comply with this requirement and duress forced him into marrying Lilia, who
since the Family Code was not yet in effect at was already pregnant; that he did not get her
the time of her marriage to Virgilio. pregnant prior to the marriage; and that he
never cohabited with her after the marriage.
In sum, we hold that the Petition must
be dismissed since no decree on the Lilia prayed for the dismissal of the
presumption of Sofio’s death can be granted petition, arguing that Orlando freely and
under the Civil Code, the same presumption voluntarily married her; that Orlando stayed
having arisen by operation of law. with her in Palawan for almost a month after
their marriage; and that Orlando knew about
However, we declare that Angelita was
capacitated to marry Virgilio at the time their

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the progress of her pregnancy, which ended in premises of the U.E. after his classes thereat,
their son being born prematurely. and the threatening presence of a certain Ka
Celso, a supposed member of the New People’s
The RTC dismissed Orlando’s petition.
Army, who accompanied him in going to her
The CA affirmed the RTC’s ruling.
home province of Palawan to marry her.
At the time he was allegedly being
Should the marriage between Orlando harassed, Orlando worked as a security guard in
and Lilia be annulled on the ground that a bank. Given his employment at that time, it is
Orlando was forced into it by means of duress? reasonable to assume that appellant knew the
rudiments of self-defense. It is even doubtful if
Ruling: NO
threats were indeed made to him since he
To begin with, we are disturbed by the never sought the assistance of the security
circumstance that despite the alleged coerced personnel of his school nor the police regarding
consent which supposedly characterized his the alleged threats.
marriage with Lilia, it took Orlando 4 years and
Orlando’s excuse that he could not have
8 mos. to take a serious step to have the same
impregnated Lilila because he did not have an
marriage annulled. The prolonged inaction
erection during their tryst is flimsy at best, and
evidently finds basis in Lilia’s allegation that this
an outright lie at worst. His counsel also
annulment suit was filed by Orlando solely in
conceded that his client had a sexual
the hope that a favorable judgment thereon
relationship with Lilia.
would bolster his defense in the criminal case
for bigamy already pending against him. Also, Orlando cannot claim that his
marriage should be annulled due to the absence
Orlando cited several incidents that
of cohabitation between him and his wife. Lack
created on his mind a reasonable and well-
of cohabitation is, per se, not a ground to annul
grounded fear of an imminent and grave danger
a marriage. Otherwise, the validity of a
to his life and safety, to wit: the harassing
marriage will depend upon the will of the
phone calls from the Lilia and strangers as well
spouses who can terminate the marital union
as the unwanted visits by three men at the
by refusing to cohabitate.

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Manuel has for his mother. Manuel's deep
attachment to his mother and his dependence
on her decision-making were incomprehensible

Almelor vs. RTC of Las Piñas to Leonida.

G.R. No. 179620, August 26, 2008 Further adding to her woes was his
concealment to her of his homosexuality. Her
Ponente: REYES, R.T., J.
suspicions were first aroused when she noticed

Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras Manuel's peculiar closeness to his male

companions. For instance, she caught him in an
indiscreet telephone conversation manifesting

Manuel G. Almelor (Manuel) and his affection for a male caller. She also found

Leonida Trinidad (Leonida) were married on several pornographic homosexual materials in

January 29, 1989. his possession. Her worse fears were confirmed
when she saw Manuel kissed another man on
After eleven (11) years of marriage,
the lips. When she confronted Manuel, he
Leonida filed a petition with the RTC in Las Piñas
denied everything. At this point, Leonida took
City to annul their marriage.
her children and left their conjugal abode.

During the trial, Leonida testified that

Manuel countered that the true cause
she first met Manuel in 1981 at the San Lazaro
of Leonida's hostility against him was their
Hospital where they worked as medical student
professional rivalry.
clerks. They soon became sweethearts. Three
years after, they got married. The RTC annulled Leonida and Manuel’s
marriage. The CA affirmed the RTC’s decision.
Leonida averred that Manuel's kind and
gentle demeanor did not last long. At home, Issue:

Leonida described Manuel as a harsh

Should Leonida’s petition for
disciplinarian, unreasonably meticulous, easily
annulment be granted?
angered. Leonida complained that this was in
stark contrast to the alleged lavish affection Ruling: NO

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Concealment of homosexuality is the *Articles 61-74 FC: EFFECTS OF LEGAL
proper ground to annul a marriage, not SEPARATION
homosexuality per se.
Siochi vs. Gozon
Evidently, no sufficient proof was
G.R. No. 169900, March 18, 2010
presented to substantiate the allegations that
Manuel is a homosexual and that he concealed Ponente: CARPIO, J.
this to Leonida at the time of their marriage.
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras
The lower court erred when it considered the
public perception of Manuel's sexual preference Facts:
without the corroboration of witnesses. Also, it
This case involves a 30,000 sq.m. parcel
erred when it took cognizance of Manuel's
of land (property) covered by TCT No. 5357. The
peculiarities and interpreted it against his
property is situated in Malabon, Metro Manila
and is registered in the name of "Alfredo Gozon
Even assuming, ex gratia argumenti, (Alfredo), married to Elvira Gozon (Elvira)."
that Manuel is a homosexual, it is not a ground
On 23 December 1991, Elvira filed with
to annul his marriage with Leonida. The law is
the Cavite RTC a petition for legal separation
clear - a marriage may be annulled when the
against her husband Alfredo. On 2 January
consent of either party was obtained by fraud,
1992, Elvira filed a notice of lis pendens, which
such as concealment of homosexuality. Such
was then annotated on TCT No. 5357.
concealment presupposes bad faith and intent
to defraud. On 31 August 1993, while the legal
separation case was still pending, Alfredo and
Homosexuality per se is only a ground
Mario Siochi (Mario) entered into an Agreement
for legal separation. It is its concealment that
to Buy and Sell (Agreement) involving the
serves as a valid ground to annul a marriage.
property. Despite repeated demands from
Mario, Alfredo failed to comply with their
stipulations such as obtaining an affidavit from
Elvira that such property is Alfredo’s exclusive

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property. Mario took possession of the property We disagree with the finding of the
in September 1993. Court of Appeals that the one-half undivided
share of Alfredo in the property was already
Meanwhile, on 29 June 1994, the Cavite
forfeited in favor of his daughter Winifred,
RTC granted the petition for legal separation. As
based on the ruling of the Cavite RTC in the
regards the property, the Cavite RTC held that it
legal separation case.
is deemed conjugal property.
The Court of Appeals misconstrued the
On 22 August 1994, Alfredo executed a
ruling of the Cavite RTC that Alfredo, being the
Deed of Donation over the property in favor of
offending spouse, is deprived of his share in the
their daughter, Winifred Gozon (Winifred).
net profits and the same is awarded to
On 26 October 1994, Alfredo, by virtue Winifred.
of a Special Power of Attorney executed in his
Among the effects of the decree of legal
favor by Winifred, sold the property to Inter-
separation is that the conjugal partnership is
Dimensional Realty, Inc. (IDRI).
dissolved and liquidated and the offending
Mario then filed with the Malabon RTC spouse would have no right to any share of the
a complaint for Specific Performance and net profits earned by the conjugal partnership.
Damages, Annulment of Donation and Sale,
Clearly, what is forfeited in favor of
with Preliminary Mandatory and Prohibitory
Winifred is not Alfredo’s share in the conjugal
Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order
partnership property but merely in the net
which was granted.
profits of the conjugal partnership property.

Was Alfredo’s share in the property

forfeited in favour of Winifred by virtue of the
decree of legal separation? Quiao vs. Quiao

Ruling: NO G.R. No 176556, July 4, 2012

Ponente: REYES, J.

Ateneo de Davao University

Jacinto St., Davao City
Contributor: Alona Suzell B. Ruyeras Issues:

Facts: 1. What is their property relation? And

what governs their property relations
On October 26, 2000, Rita C. Quiao
upon legal separation?
(Rita) filed a complaint for legal separation
2. What does “net profit earned” mean?
against Brigido B. Quiao (Brigido).
The RTC granted such petition.
1. Conjugal Partnership of Gains;
On July 7, 2006, or after more than nine
Family Code
months from the promulgation of the decision,
Brigido filed before the RTC a Motion for First, let us determine what governs the
Clarification, asking the RTC to define the term couple's property relation. From the record, we
“Net Profits Earned.” can deduce that the Rita and Brigido tied the
marital knot on January 6, 1977.
To resolve the petitioner's Motion for
Clarification, the RTC issued an Order dated Since at the time of the exchange of
August 31, 2006, which held that the phrase marital vows, the operative law was the Civil
“NET PROFIT EARNED” denotes “the remainder Code of the Philippines (R.A. No. 386) and since
of the properties of the parties after deducting they did not agree on a marriage settlement,
the separate properties of each [of the] spouse the property relations between the petitioner
and the debts.” The Order further held that and the respondent is the system of relative
after determining the remainder of the community or conjugal partnership of gains.
properties, it shall be forfeited in favor of the
Second, since at the time of the
common children because the offending spouse
dissolution of the Rita and Brigido’s marriage
does not have any right to any share of the net
the operative law is already the Family Code,
profits earned, pursuant to Articles 63, No. (2)
the same applies in the instant case and the
and 43, No. (2) of the Family Code.
applicable law in so far as the liquidation of the
conjugal partnership assets and liabilities is
concerned is Article 129 of the Family Code in

Ateneo de Davao University

Jacinto St., Davao City
relation to Article 63(2) of the Family Code. The 2. The net profits of the conjugal
latter provision is applicable because according partnership of gains are all the
to Article 256 of the Family Code “[t]his Code fruits of the separate properties of
shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does the spouses and the products of
not prejudice or impair vested or acquired their labor and industry.
rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other
Net profits “shall be the increase in
value between the market value of the
A vested right is one whose existence, community property at the time of the
effectivity and extent do not depend upon celebration of the marriage and the market
events foreign to the will of the holder, or to value at the time of its dissolution.”
the exercise of which no obstacle exists, and
Without any iota of doubt, Article
which is immediate and perfect in itself and not
102(4) applies to both the dissolution of the
dependent upon a contingency.
absolute community regime under Article 102
While one may not be deprived of his of the Family Code, and to the dissolution of the
“vested right,” he may lose the same if there is conjugal partnership regime under Article 129
due process and such deprivation is founded in of the Family Code.
law and jurisprudence.
The difference merely lies in the
In the present case, the petitioner was processes used under the dissolution of the
accorded his right to due process. He was well- absolute community regime under Article 102
aware that the Rita prayed in her complaint of the Family Code, and in the processes used
that all of the conjugal properties be awarded under the dissolution of the conjugal
to her. Furthermore, the petitioner's claim of a partnership regime under Article 129 of the
vested right has no basis considering that even Family Code.
under Article 176 of the Civil Code, his share of
the conjugal partnership profits may be
forfeited if he is the guilty party in a legal
separation case.

Ateneo de Davao University

Jacinto St., Davao City