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DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

AUTHORITY OF SOLEMNIZING OFFICER (ART. 7)

1. Rodolfo G. Navarro v. Judge Hernando C. Dumagtoy


A.M. No. MTJ-96-1088; July 19, 1996
ROMERO, J.:

FACTS:
On October 27, 1994, the Judge Dumagtoy allegedly performed a marriage ceremony between
Floriano Dador Sumaylo and Gemma G. Del Rosario outside of the respondent’s court’s
jurisdiction. Such wedding was solemnized at the respondent’s residence in municipality of Dapa,
which does not fall within the respondent’s jurisdictional area of Sta. Monica Burgos.
For his defense, Dumagtoy maintained that in solemnizing the marriage between Sumaylo and
Del Rosario, he did not violate Article 7, paragraph one (1) of the Family Code, which states that
“Marriage may be solemnized by: (1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court’s
jurisdiction.”; and that Article 8 thereof applies to the case in question.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the solemnization of the marriage of Sumaylo and Del Rosario was within the
respondent’s court’s jurisdiction.

HELD:
NO. Under Article 3, one of the formal requisites of marriage is the "authority of the solemnizing
officer." Under Article 7, marriage may be solemnized by, among others, "any incumbent member
of the judiciary within the court's jurisdiction." Where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his
court's jurisdiction, there is a resultant irregularity in the formal requisite laid down in Article 3,
which while it may not affect the validity of the marriage, may subject the officiating official to
administrative liability. Article 8, which is a directory provision, refers only to the venue of the
marriage ceremony and does not alter or qualify the authority of the solemnizing officer as
provided in the preceding provision. Non-compliance herewith will not invalidate the marriage.

Respondent judge points to Article 8 and its exceptions as the justifications for his having
solemnized the marriage between Floriano Sumaylo and Gemma del Rosario outside of his
court's jurisdiction. As the aforequoted provision states, a marriage can be held outside of the
judge's chambers or courtroom only in the following instances: (1) at the point of death, (2) in
remote places in accordance with Article 29 or (3) upon request of both parties in writing in a
sworn statement to this effect. There is no pretense that either Sumaylo or del Rosario was at the
point of death or in a remote place. Moreover, the written request presented addressed to the
respondent judge was made by only one party, Gemma del Rosario.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

VALID MARRIAGE LICENSE

2. Raquel G. Kho v. Republic of the Philippines and Veronica B. Kho


G.R. No. 187462; June 1, 2016
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
In the afternoon of May 31, 1972, petitioner Raquel's parents instructed the clerk in the office of
the municipal treasurer to arrange and prepare the necessary papers required for the intended
marriage between petitioner and respondent Veronica to take place at around midnight of June
1, 1972 so as to exclude the public from witnessing the marriage ceremony. Petitioner and
respondent thereafter exchanged marital vows in a marriage ceremony which actually took place
at around 3:00 o'clock before dawn of June 1, 1972.

Twenty-five (25) years later, petitioner filed an action for the declaration of nullity of marriage
between him and respondent on the ground of the absence of marriage license. He argued that
he has never gone to the office of the Local Civil Registrar to apply for marriage license and had
not seen much less signed any papers or documents in connection with the procurement of a
marriage license. He presented a Certification issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar of Arteche,
Eastern Samar which attested to the fact that the Office of the Local Civil Registrar has neither
record nor copy of a marriage license issued to petitioner and respondent with respect to their
marriage celebrated on June 1, 1972.

ISSUE:
Is the Certification issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar attesting to the fact that it has no record
or copy of the marriage license adequate to prove the non-issuance of such license, thus,
sufficient to declare the marriage null and void?

HELD:
Yes. The marriage of petitioner and respondent was celebrated on June 1, 1972, prior to the
effectivity of the Family Code. Hence, the Civil Code governs their union. Accordingly, Article 53
of the Civil Code spells out the essential requisites of marriage as a contract which include “a
marriage license, except in a marriage of exceptional character”. Article 80(3) of the Civil Code
also makes it clear that a marriage performed without the corresponding marriage license is void.
In this case, petitioner was able to present a Certification issued by the Municipal Civil Registrar
attesting that the Office of the Local Civil Registrar has no record or copy of any marriage license
ever issued in favor of petitioner and respondent. Thus, on the basis of such Certification, the
presumed validity of the marriage of petitioner and respondent has been overcome and it
becomes the burden of respondent to prove that their marriage is valid as it is she who alleges
such validity. However, the respondent was not able to discharge that burden. Respondent failed
to present their alleged marriage license or a copy thereof to the court. In addition, the Certificate
of Marriage issued by the officiating priest does not contain any entry regarding the said marriage
license. As the marriage license, an essential requisite under the Civil Code, is clearly absent and
the marriage cannot be characterized as among the exceptions, the marriage of petitioner and
respondent is void ab initio.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

3. Engrace Niñal v. Norma Bayadog


G.R. No. 133778; March 14, 2000
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

FACTS:
Pepito Niñal was married to Teodulfa Bellones, out of their marriage were born herein petitioners.
Teodulfa was shot by Pepito resulting in her death. One year and 8 months thereafter, Pepito and
respondent Norma Badayog got married without any marriage license. In lieu thereof, Pepito and
Norma executed an affidavit stating that they had lived together as husband and wife for at least
five years and were thus exempt from securing a marriage license. Subsequently, Pepito died in
a 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 said marriage was void for lack of a marriage
license. The case was filed under the assumption that the validity or invalidity of the second
marriage would affect petitioner's successional rights. Norma filed a motion to dismiss on the
ground that petitioners have no cause of action since they are not among the persons who could
file an action for "annulment of marriage" under Article 47 of the Family Code.

ISSUE:
May the heirs of a deceased person file a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage after
his death?

HELD:
Yes. The heirs of a deceased person may file a petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage
after his death.

The Code is silent as to who can file a petition to declare the nullity of a marriage. Voidable and
void marriages are not identical. A marriage that is annullable is valid until otherwise declared by
the court; whereas a marriage that is void ab initio is considered as having never to have taken
place 21 and cannot be the source of rights. The first can be generally ratified or confirmed by
free cohabitation or prescription while the other can never be ratified. A voidable marriage cannot
be assailed collaterally except in a direct proceeding while a void marriage can be attacked
collaterally. Consequently, void marriages can be questioned even after the death of either party
but voidable marriages can be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties and not after death
of either, in which case the parties and their offspring will be left as if the marriage had been
perfectly valid. 22 That is why the action or defense for nullity is imprescriptible, unlike voidable
marriages where the action prescribes. Only the parties to a voidable marriage can assail it but
any proper interested party may attack a void marriage. Void marriages have no legal effects
except those declared by law concerning the properties of the alleged spouses, regarding co-
ownership or ownership through actual joint contribution, 23 and its effect on the children born to
such void marriages as provided in Article 50 in relation to Article 43 and 44 as well as Article 51,
53 and 54 of the Family Code.

Other than for purposes of remarriage, no judicial action is necessary to declare a marriage an
absolute nullity. For other purposes, such as but not limited to determination of heirship, legitimacy
or illegitimacy of a child, settlement of estate, dissolution of property regime, or a criminal case
for that matter, the court may pass upon the validity of marriage even in a suit not directly instituted
to question the same so long as it is essential to the determination of the case. This is without
prejudice to any issue that may arise in the case. When such need arises, a final judgment of
declaration of nullity is necessary even if the purpose is other than to remarry. The clause "on the

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

basis of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void" in Article 40 of the Family Code
connotes that such final judgment need not be obtained only for purpose of remarriage.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

4. Jo-Ann Diaz-Salgado v. Luis G. Anson


G.R. No. 204494; July 27, 2016
REYES, J.:

FACTS:
Luis Anson (Luis) filed a Complaint5 against Jo-Ann Diaz-Salgado (Jo-Ann) and Gerard Salgado
(Gerard) (Spouses Salgado) seeking the annulment of the three Unilateral Deeds of Sale6 and
the Deed of Extra-Judicial Settlement of Estate of the Deceased Severina De Asis.

Luis alleged in his complaint that he is the survivng spouse of the late Severina de Asis -Anson
(Severina). They were married in a civil ceremony on December 28, 1966. Prior to the celebration
of their marriage, Severina gave birth to their daughter, Maria Luisa on December 30, 1965 while
Jo-Ann is Severina's daughter from a previous relationship.8

During his marital union with Severina, they acquired several real properties, because there was
no marriage settlement between him and Severina, the above-listed properties pertain to their
conjugal partnership. But without his knowledge and consent, Severina executed three separate
Unilateral Deeds of Sale transferring the properties in favor of Jo-Ann, who secured new
certificates of title over the said properties.10 When Severina died Maria Luisa executed a Deed
of Extra-Judicial Settlement of Estate of Deceased Severina de Asis adjudicating herself as
Severina's sole heir. She secured new TCTs over the properties.

Luis claimed that because of the preceding acts, he was divested of his lawful share in the
conjugal properties and of his inheritance as a compulsory heir of Severina. The Spouses in
defense raised the nullity of the marriage which took effect prior the effectively of the family code
for lack of marriage license.

RTC and CA rendered its Decision in favor of Luis.

ISSUE:
Is the marriage celebrated prior the effectivity of the FC valid in the absence of marriage license?

HELD:
No. A cursory examination of the marriage contract of Luis and Severina reveals that no marriage
license number was indicated therein. It also appears therein that no marriage license was
exhibited to the solemnizing officer with Article 77 of Republic Act No. 386 (Civil Code) being cited
as the reason therefor.

The reference to Article 77 of the Civil Code in the marriage contract is not dismissible. Being a
public document, the marriage contract is not only a prima facie proof of marriage, but is also a
prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

Consequently, the entries made in Luis and Severina's marriage contract are prima facie proof
that at the time of their marriage, no marriage license was exhibited to the solemnizing officer for
the reason that their marriage is of an exceptional character under Article 77 of the Civil Code.

Article 77 of the Civil Code provides:


Art. 77. In case two persons married in accordance with law desire to ratify their union in
conformity with the regulations, rites, or practices of any church, sect, or religion, it shall no longer

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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be necessary to comply with the requirements of Chapter 1 of this Title and any ratification made
shall merely be considered as a purely religious ceremony.

The foregoing provision pertains to a religious ceremony performed with the purpose of ratifying
a marriage which was solemnized civilly. In the eyes of the law, the marriage already exists; the
subsequent ceremony is undertaken merely to conform to religious practices. Thus, the parties
are exempted from complying with the required issuance of marriage license insofar as the
subsequent religious ceremony is concerned. For this exemption to be applicable, it is sine qua
non that: (1) the parties to the religious ceremony must already be married to each other in
accordance with law (civil marriage); and (2) the ratifying ceremony is purely religious in nature.

Applied to the present case however, it is clear that Luis and Severina were not married to each
other prior to the civil ceremony officiated on December 28, 1966 - the only date of marriage
appearing on the records.

Being that the ceremony held on December 28, 1966 was the only marriage ceremony between
the parties and this was not solemnized pursuant to any ratifying religious rite, practice or
regulation but a civil one officiated by the mayor, this marriage does not fall under the purview of
Article 77 of the Civil Code. It is evident that the twin requirements of the provision, which are:
prior civil marriage between the parties and a ratifying religious ceremony, were not complied
with. There is no prior ceremony to ratify. Thus, this marriage is not of an exceptional character
and a marriage license is required for Luis and Severina's marriage to be valid.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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5. Republic of the Philippines v. Jose A. Dayot


G.R. No. 175581; March 28, 2008
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

FACTS:
Jose and Felisa were married. In lieu of a marriage license, Jose and Felisa executed a sworn
affidavit attesting that both of them had attained the age of maturity, and that being unmarried,
they had lived together as husband and wife for at least five years.

Thereafter, Jose filed a Complaint for Annulment and/or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage with
the RTC. He contended that his marriage with Felisa was a sham, as no marriage ceremony was
celebrated between the parties; that he did not execute the sworn affidavit stating that he and
Felisa had lived as husband and wife for at least five years; and that his consent to the marriage
was secured through fraud.In opposing the Complaint, Felisa denied Jose’s allegations and
defended the validity of their marriage. Felisa filed an action for bigamy against Jose.

RTC rendered that the marriage celebrated between Jose and Felisa was valid, and affirmed by
the CA. The latter ruled that did not accept Jose’s assertion that his marriage to Felisa was void
ab initio for lack of a marriage license. It ruled that the marriage was solemnized under Article 76
of the Civil Code as one of exceptional character, with the parties executing an affidavit of
marriage between man and woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five
years. The Court of Appeals concluded that the falsity in the affidavit to the effect that Jose and
Felisa had lived together as husband and wife for the period required by Article 76 did not affect
the validity of the marriage, seeing that the solemnizing officer was misled by the statements
contained therein.

ISSUE:
Whether the falsity of an affidavit of marital cohabitation, where the parties have in truth fallen
short of the minimum five-year requirement, effectively renders the marriage void ab initio for lack
of a marriage license.

HELD:
Yes. Marriages of exceptional character are, doubtless, the exceptions to the rule on the
indispensability of the formal requisite of a marriage license. The solemnization of a marriage
without prior license is a clear violation of the law and would lead or could be used, at least, for
the perpetration of fraud against innocent and unwary parties, which was one of the evils that the
law sought to prevent by making a prior license a prerequisite for a valid marriage. The protection
of marriage as a sacred institution requires not just the defense of a true and genuine union but
the exposure of an invalid one as well. To permit a false affidavit to take the place of a marriage
license is to allow an abject circumvention of the law.

The marriage of Jose and Felisa was entered into without the requisite marriage license or
compliance with the stringent requirements of a marriage under exceptional circumstance.
Similarly, we are not impressed by the ratiocination of the Republic that as a marriage under a
license is not invalidated by the fact that the license was wrongfully obtained, so must a marriage
not be invalidated by a fabricated statement that the parties have cohabited for at least five years
as required by law. The contrast is flagrant. The former is with reference to an irregularity of the
marriage license, and not to the absence of one.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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Here, there is no marriage license at all. Furthermore, the falsity of the allegation in the sworn
affidavit relating to the period of Jose and Felisa’s cohabitation, which would have qualified their
marriage as an exception to the requirement for a marriage license, cannot be a mere irregularity,
for it refers to a quintessential fact that the law precisely required to be deposed and attested to
by the parties under oath. If the essential matter in the sworn affidavit is a lie, then it is but a mere
scrap of paper, without force and effect. Hence, it is as if there was no affidavit at all.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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FOREIGN MARRIAGE – DIVORCE (ART. 26(2))

6. Grace J. Garcia, a.k.a. Grace J. Garcia-Recio v. Rederick A. Recio


G.R. No. 138322; October 2, 2001
PANGANIBAN, J.:

FACTS:
Respondent Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian citizen,
in Malabon, Rizal, on March 1, 1987. On May 18, 1989 a divorce decree was issued by an
Australian family court dissolving the marriage. In 1992, respondent became an Australian citizen.
Petitioner, a Filipina, and respondent, were married in 1994 in Cabanatuan.

In 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of bigamy.
Respondent contended that his first marriage to an Australian citizen had been validly dissolved
by a divorce decree. On July 7, 1998, respondent was able to secure a divorce decree from a
family court in Sydney, Australia dissolving his marriage to petitioner. Hence, he moved for the
dismissal of the case. The RTC declared the marriage dissolved because of the divorce decree.
Hence, this Petition.

Petitioner insists that before a divorce decree can be admitted in evidence, it must first comply
with the registration requirements under Articles 11, 13 and 52 of the Family Code. He also
contends that, in view of the insufficient proof of the divorce, respondent was legally incapacitated
to marry her in 1994. Hence, their marriage was void ab initio.

ISSUES:
1. Does respondent need to comply with the abovementioned registration requirements?
2. Is respondent legally capacitated to remarry?

HELD:
1. No. Compliance with the quoted articles (11, 13 and 52) of the Family Code is not necessary;
respondent was no longer bound by Philippine personal laws after he acquired Australian
citizenship in 1992. By becoming an Australian, respondent severed his allegiance to the
Philippines and the vinculum juris that had tied him to Philippine personal laws.

2. No. To repeat, the legal capacity to contract marriage is determined by the national law of the
party concerned. The certificate mentioned in Article 21 of the Family Code would have been
sufficient to establish the legal capacity of respondent, had he duly presented it in court. A duly
authenticated and admitted certificate is prima facie evidence of legal capacity to marry on the
part of the alien applicant for a marriage license.

As it is, however, there is absolutely no evidence that proves respondent’s legal capacity to marry
petitioner. Based on the above records, we cannot conclude that respondent, who was then a
naturalized Australian citizen, was legally capacitated to marry petitioner on January 12, 1994.

Neither can we grant petitioners prayer to declare her marriage to respondent null and void on
the ground of bigamy. After all, it may turn out that under Australian law, he was really capacitated
to marry petitioner as a direct result of the divorce decree. Hence, we believe that the most
judicious course is to remand this case to the trial court to receive evidence, if any, which show
petitioners legal capacity to marry petitioner. Hence, the case was remanded to the lower court.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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7. Republic of the Philippines v. Cipriano Orbecido III


G.R. No. 154380; October 5, 2005
QUISUMBING, J.:

FACTS:
Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva in the Philippines. A few years later,
Cipriano’s wife left for the United States bringing along their son Kristoffer. Later on, Cipriano
discovered that his wife had been naturalized as an American citizen. Sometime in 2000, his wife
had obtained a divorce decree and then married a certain Innocent Stanley. Cipriano thereafter
filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the
Family Code which traces its origin to the 1985 case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr.

The Van Dorn case involved a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. The Court held
therein that a divorce decree validly obtained by the alien spouse is valid in the Philippines, and
consequently, the Filipino spouse is capacitated to remarry under Philippine law.

OSG contends that Article 26 paragraph 2 is not applicable because it only applies to valid mixed
marriage and that the proper remedy is to file a petition for annulment or for legal separation.
Since there is also no law governing Cipriano’s case, it is a matter of legislation and not of judicial
determination.

ISSUE:
Does the same principle apply to a case where at the time of the celebration of the marriage, the
parties were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them obtains a foreign citizenship by
naturalization?

HELD:
YES. Taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of reason, Supreme
Court held that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include cases involving parties
who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them
becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree.

The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner
at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to sanction absurdity
and injustice. Where the interpretation of a statute according to its exact and literal import would
lead to mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it should be
construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as necessary the letter of the law.
A statute may therefore be extended to cases not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long
as they come within its spirit or intent. If we are to give meaning to the legislative intent to avoid
the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after
obtaining a divorce is no longer married to the Filipino spouse, then the instant case must be
deemed as coming within the contemplation of Paragraph 2 of Article 26. In view of the foregoing,
we state the twin elements for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 as follows: (1) There is
a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner; (2) A valid
divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry.

The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the celebration of the
marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse
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 between her and

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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Cipriano. As fate would have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid divorce
capacitating her to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article
26 are both present in this case. Thus Cipriano, the “divorced” Filipino spouse, should be allowed
to remarry.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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8. Alice Reyes Van Dorn v. Hon. Manuel V. Romillo, Jr.


G.R. No. L-68470; October 8, 1995
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:

FACTS:
Alice Van Dorn, petitioner, is a citizen of the Philippines while Richard Upton, private respondent,
is a citizen of the United States. They were married in Hong Kong in 1972 and after the marriage,
they established their residence in the Philippines. In 1982, the parties got divorced in Nevada,
United States. Petitioner has re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn.

In 1983, private respondent filed a suit against petitioner stating that petitioner's business in
Ermita, Manila, (the Galleon Shop, for short), is conjugal property of the parties, and asking that
petitioner be ordered to render an accounting of that business, and that private respondent be
declared with right to manage the conjugal property. Petitioner moved to dismiss the case on the
ground that the cause of action is barred by previous judgment in the divorce proceedings before
the Nevada Court wherein respondent had acknowledged that he and petitioner had "no
community property". For his part, respondent avers that the Divorce Decree issued by the
Nevada Court cannot prevail over the prohibitive laws of the Philippines and its declared national
policy; that the acts and declaration of a foreign Court cannot, especially if the same is contrary
to public policy, divest Philippine Courts of jurisdiction to entertain matters within its jurisdiction.

ISSUE:
Is a divorce decree obtained by an alien spouse binding in the Philippines?

HELD:
YES, it is binding provided they are valid according to the alien’s national law.

It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only
Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being
considered contrary to our concept of public police and morality. However, aliens may obtain
divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according
to their national law. Here, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage
from the standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage.

Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He
would have no standing to sue petitioner to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is bound
by the Decision of his own country's Court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and
whose decision he does not repudiate, he is estopped by his own representation before said
Court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.

Moreover, petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and fidelity, and
render support to private respondent. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with
possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be discriminated against in her own country
if the ends of justice are to be served.

Hence, the divorce decree obtained by respondent and validly recognized in Nevada is binding
in the Philippines.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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9. Republic of the Philippines v. Crasus L. Iyoy


G.R. No. 152577; September 21, 2005
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

FACTS:
Respondent Crasus Iyoy, married to Fely with whom they had five children, filed a complaint for
declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of Fely’s alleged psychological incapacity. He
discovered that Fely was hot-tempered, a nagger and extravagant.

Later, Fely left the Philippines for the U.S.A, leaving all of their five children, the youngest then
being only six years old, to the care of respondent Crasus because of financial reasons. Sometime
in 1985, respondent Crasus learned, through the letters sent by Fely to their children, that Fely
got married to an American, with whom she eventually had a child. Respondent Crasus did not
bother to talk to Fely because he was afraid he might not be able to bear the sorrow and the pain
she had caused him. At the time the Complaint was filed, it had been 13 years since Fely left and
abandoned respondent Crasus, and there was no more possibility of reconciliation between them.

Respondent argued that Fely’s acts brought danger and dishonor to the family, and clearly
demonstrated her psychological incapacity to perform the essential obligations of marriage. Fely
refuted the allegations and counter-argued that she left for the U.S because of respondent’s
drunkenness, womanizing, and lack of sincere effort to find employment and to contribute to the
maintenance of their household.

The RTC declared the marriage of respondent and Fely null and void ab initio which decision the
CA affirmed.

ISSUE:
Whether the acts as abovementioned are sufficient to support a finding of Fely’s psychological
incapacity

HELD:
NO. The totality of evidence presented during the trial and the acts of Fely leaving her family,
among others, are insufficient to support a finding of psychological incapacity.

Article 36, concededly one of the more controversial provisions of the Family Code of the
Philippines, on psychological incapacity may be defined as “a mental (not physical) incapacity
that causes a party to be truly cognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must
be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed by Article 68
of the Family Code, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and
fidelity and render help and support.” Psychological incapacity must be characterized by:

a) Gravity. It must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out
the ordinary duties required in a marriage;
b) Juridical Antecedence. It must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage,
although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage; and
c) Incurability. It must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the
means of the party involved.

In the case at bar, this Court finds that the totality of evidence presented by respondent Crasus
failed miserably to establish the alleged psychological incapacity of his wife Fely; therefore, there

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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is no basis for declaring their marriage null and void under Article 36 of the Family Code of the
Philippines. According to the Court, “[H]er hot-temper, nagging, and extravagance; her
abandonment of respondent Crasus; her marriage to an American; and even her flaunting of her
American family and her American surname, may indeed be manifestations of her alleged
incapacity to comply with her marital obligations; nonetheless, the root cause for such was not
identified. If the root cause of the incapacity was not identified, then it cannot be satisfactorily
established as a psychological or mental defect that is serious or grave; neither could it be proven
to be in existence at the time of celebration of the marriage; nor that it is incurable.”

Therefore, the Court granted the petition and declared that the marriage of respondent Crasus L.
Iyoy and Fely Ada Rosal-Iyoy remains valid and subsisting.

[SC: At most, Fely’s abandonment, sexual infidelity, and bigamy, give respondent Crasus grounds
to file for legal separation under Article 55 of the Family Code of the Philippines, but not for
declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the same Code. While this Court
commiserates with respondent Crasus for being continuously shackled to what is now a hopeless
and loveless marriage, this is one of those situations where neither law nor society can provide
the specific answer to every individual problem.]

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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10. Minoru Fujiki v. Maria Paz Galela Marinay


G.R. No. 196049; June 26, 2013
CARPIO, J.:

FACTS:
Fujiki is a Japanese national who married Marinay in the Philippines. The marriage did not sit well
with petitioner’s parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to Japan where he resides.
Eventually, they lost contact with each other. Marinay later met another Japanese, Shinichi
Maekara. Without the first marriage being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara got married in Quezon
City. Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay allegedly suffered physical abuse
from Maekara. She left Maekara and started to contact Fujiki.

Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to reestablish their relationship. Fujiki helped
Marinay obtain a judgment from a family court in Japan which declared the marriage between
Marinay and Maekara void on the ground of bigamy. Fujiki later filed a petition under Rule 108 in
the RTC entitled: “Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or Decree of Absolute Nullity of
Marriage).” Fujiki prayed, inter alia, that the bigamous marriage between Marinay and Maekara
be declared void ab initio under Articles 35 (4) and 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines.

The RTC immediately issued on Order dismissing the petition. It ruled that only “the husband or
the wife,” in this case either Maekara or Marinay, can file the petition to declare their marriage
void, and not Fujiki.

ISSUES:
1. Is the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable
Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) applicable?
2. Can a husband or a wife of a prior marriage file a petition to recognize a foreign judgment
nullifying the subsequent marriage between his or her spouse and a foreign citizen on the
ground of bigamy?

HELD:
1. No. A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not apply in a petition to recognize a foreign judgment relating
to the status of a marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country. Moreover, in
Juliano-Llave v. Republic, this Court held that the rule in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC that only the
husband or wife can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage “does not apply if the
reason behind the petition is bigamy.”

For Philippine courts to recognize a foreign judgment relating to the status of a marriage where
one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign country, the petitioner only needs to prove the foreign
judgment as a fact under the Rules of Court. To be more specific, a copy of the foreign judgment
may be admitted in evidence and proven as a fact under Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation
to Rule 39, Section 48 (b) of the Rules of Court.

To hold that A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC applies to a petition for recognition of foreign judgment would
mean that the trial court and the parties should follow its provisions, including the form and
contents of the petition, the service of summons, the investigation of the public prosecutor, the
setting of pre-trial, the trial, and the judgment of the trial court. This is absurd because it will litigate
the case anew. It will defeat the purpose of recognizing foreign judgments, which is “to limit
repetitive litigation on claims and issues.” The interpretation of the RTC is tantamount to
relitigating the case on the merits. In Mijares v. Rañada, this Court explained that “[i]f every

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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judgment of a foreign court were reviewable on the merits, the plaintiff would be forced back on
his/her original cause of action, rendering immaterial the previously concluded litigation.” A foreign
judgment relating to the status of a marriage affects the civil status, condition and legal capacity
of its parties. However, the effect of a foreign judgment is not automatic. To extend the effect of
a foreign judgment in the Philippines, Philippine courts must determine if the foreign judgment is
consistent with domestic public policy and other mandatory laws.

2. Yes. The principle in Article 26 of the Family Code applies in a marriage between a Filipino and
a foreign citizen who obtains a foreign judgment nullifying the marriage on the ground of bigamy.
The Filipino spouse may file a petition abroad to declare the marriage void on the ground of
bigamy. The principle in the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code applies
because the foreign spouse, after the foreign judgment nullifying the marriage, is
capacitated to remarry under the laws of his or her country. If the foreign judgment is not
recognized in the Philippines, the Filipino spouse will be discriminated — the foreign
spouse can remarry while the Filipino spouse cannot remarry.

Under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, Philippine courts are empowered
to correct a situation where the Filipino spouse is still tied to the marriage while the foreign spouse
is free to marry. Moreover, notwithstanding Article 26 of the Family Code, Philippine courts
already have jurisdiction to extend the effect of a foreign judgment in the Philippines to
the extent that the foreign judgment does not contravene domestic public policy. A critical
difference between the case of a foreign divorce decree and a foreign judgment nullifying
a bigamous marriage is that bigamy, as a ground for the nullity of marriage, is fully
consistent with Philippine public policy as expressed in Article 35 (4) of the Family Code
and Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code. The Filipino spouse has the option to undergo full
trial by filing a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, but this
is not the only remedy available to him or her. Philippine courts have jurisdiction to recognize a
foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage, without prejudice to a criminal prosecution for
bigamy.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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11. Corpuz v. Sto. Tomas


G.R. No. 186571; August 11, 2010
BRION, J.:

FACTS:
The petitioner Gerbert Corpuz was a former Filipino citizen who acquired Canadian citizenship
through naturalization. Later, Gerbert married respondent Daisylyn Sto. Tomas, a Filipina. He left
for Canada soon after the wedding. When he returned to the Philippines to surprise Daisylyn, he
was shocked to discover that his wife was having an affair with another man. Hurt and
disappointed, Gerbert returned to Canada and filed a petition for divorce, which was granted.

Two years after the divorce, Gerbert has moved on and has found another Filipina to love. Thus,
Gerbert went to the Pasig City Civil Registry Office and registered the Canadian divorce decree
on his and Daisylyn’s marriage certificate. Despite the registration of the divorce decree, an official
of the NSO informed Gerbert that the marriage between him and Daisylyn still subsists under
Philippine law; to be enforceable, the foreign divorce decree must first be judicially recognized by
a competent Philippine court.

Accordingly, Gerbert filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and/or declaration of
marriage as dissolved (petition) with the RTC. Although summoned, Daisylyn did not file any
responsive pleading but offered no opposition to Gerbert’s petition and requested that she be
considered as a party-in-interest with a similar prayer to Gerbert’s. However, the RTC denied
Gerbert’s petition, holding that only the Filipino spouse can avail of the remedy, under the second
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, in order for him or her to be able to remarry under
Philippine law.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the alien spouse can claim a right under Art. 26 of the Family Code

HELD:
NO. The legislative intent is for the benefit of the Filipino spouse, by clarifying his or her marital
status, settling the doubts created by the divorce decree. Essentially, the second paragraph of
Article 26 of the Family Code provided the Filipino spouse a substantive right to have his or her
marriage to the alien spouse considered as dissolved, capacitating him or her to remarry. Without
the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, the judicial recognition of the foreign
decree of divorce, whether in a proceeding instituted precisely for that purpose or as a related
issue in another proceeding, would be of no significance to the Filipino spouse since our laws do
not recognize divorce as a mode of severing the marital bond; Article 17 of the Civil Code provides
that the policy against absolute divorces cannot be subverted by judgments promulgated in a
foreign country. The inclusion of the second paragraph in Article 26 of the Family Code provides
the direct exception to this rule and serves as basis for recognizing the dissolution of the marriage
between the Filipino spouse and his or her alien spouse.

Additionally, an action based on the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code is not
limited to the recognition of the foreign divorce decree. If the court finds that the decree
capacitated the alien spouse to remarry, the courts can declare that the Filipino spouse is likewise
capacitated to contract another marriage. No court in this jurisdiction, however, can make a similar
declaration for the alien spouse (other than that already established by the decree), whose status
and legal capacity are generally governed by his national law. In other words, only the Filipino

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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spouse can invoke the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code; the alien spouse can
claim no right under this provision.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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BIGAMOUS OR POLYGAMOUS MARRIAGE (ART. 34 (4))

12. Leonila Santiago v. People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 200233; July 15, 2015
SERENO, CJ:

FACTS:
Petitioner Leonila Santiago was convicted of bigamy for her marriage with Nicanor Santos who,
during the celebration of their marriage, was still married to Estela Galang.

Petitioner reiterates that she cannot be a co-accused in the case, because she was not aware of
Santos's previous marriage. Furthermore, she argues that for there to be a conviction for bigamy,
a valid second marriage must be proven. She contends that her marriage to Santos is void
because of the absence of a marriage license. She elaborates that their m arriage does not fall
under any of the exemptions from a marriage license, because they have not previously lived
together exclusively as husband and wife for at least five years. Without completing the five-year
requirement, she posits that their marriage without a license is void.

The RTC appreciated the testimony of Galang that 2 months before said marriage, she already
introduced herself to petitioner as Santos’ legal wife, and that it was incredible for a learned
person like petitioner to be easily duped by a person like Santos.

Similar to the RTC, the CA gave more weight to the prosecution’s evidence. It likewise disbelieved
the testimony of Santos and also simply stated that the claim of lack of marriage license was a
vain attempt to put the validity of her marriage to Santos in question.

ISSUE:
Should the validity of the second marriage be first proven in order for one to be convicted of
bigamy?

HELD:
Yes. For the accused to be convicted of bigamy, the second or subsequent marriage must have
all the essential requisites for validity. If the accused wants to raise the nullity of the marriage, he
or she can do it as a matter of defense during the presentation of evidence in the trial proper of
the criminal case.

In this case, petitioner has consistently questioned the validity of her marriage to Santos on the
ground that marriages celebrated without the essential requisite of a marriage license are void ab
initio. Record shows that petitioner and Santos had only known each other for only less than four
years. Although they did not submit an affidavit of cohabitation as required by Article 34 FC, it
appears that the two of them lied before the solemnizing officer and misrepresented that they had
actually cohabited for at least five years. Thus, the SC cannot countenance petitioner's illegal acts
of feigning a marriage and, in the same breath, adjudge her innocent of the crime. Consequently,
it will be the height of absurdity for the SC to allow petitioner to use her illegal act to escape
criminal conviction.

Note: The second spouse, if indicted in the crime of bigamy, is liable only as an accomplice.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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13. James Walter P. Capili v. People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 183805; July 03, 2013
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner James Walter P. Capili was charged with the crime of bigamy before the RTC of Pasig
City. James was married to Karla Y. Medina-Capili and without said marriage having been legally
dissolved or annulled, he contracted another marriage with Shirley G. Tismo.

James filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings alleging that: (1) there is a pending civil case for
declaration of nullity of the second marriage before the RTC of Antipolo City filed by Karla Y.
Medina-Capili; (2) in the event that the marriage is declared null and void, it would exculpate him
from the charge of bigamy; and (3) the pendency of the civil case for the declaration of nullity of
the second marriage serves as a prejudicial question in the instant criminal case.

Meanwhile, the RTC of Antipolo rendered a decision declaring the voidness or invalidity of the
second marriage between James and Shirley on the ground that a subsequent marriage
contracted by the husband during the lifetime of the legal wife is void from the beginning.

James filed a Motion to Dismiss, praying the dismissal of the bigamy case on the ground that the
second marriage had already been declared void by the RTC. The RTC granted the motion to
dismiss, but on appeal the CA reversed the dismissal.

ISSUE:
Is the subsequent declaration of nullity of the second marriage a ground for the dismissal of the
criminal case for bigamy?

HELD:
NO. The declaration of nullity of the second marriage is not a ground for the dismissal of the
bigamy case.

The elements of the crime of bigamy, therefore, are: (1) the offender has been legally married;
(2) the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent
spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code; (3) that he contracts a
second or subsequent marriage; and (4) that the second or subsequent marriage has all the
essential requisites for validity.

In this case, all the foregoing elements are present when the Information was filed on June 28,
2004. It is undisputed that a second marriage between petitioner and private respondent was
contracted on December 8, 1999 during the subsistence of a valid first marriage between
petitioner and Karla Y. Medina-Capili contracted on September 3, 1999. Notably, the RTC of
Antipolo City itself declared the bigamous nature of the second marriage between petitioner and
private respondent. Thus, the subsequent judicial declaration of the second marriage for being
bigamous in nature does not bar the prosecution of petitioner for the crime of bigamy.

The subsequent judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage was immaterial because
prior to the declaration of nullity, the crime had already been consummated. What makes a person
criminally liable for bigamy is when he contracts a second or subsequent marriage during the
subsistence of a valid first marriage. The parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge
for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the judgment of competent courts

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be held as void, and so long as
there is no such declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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14. Veronico Tenebro v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 150758; February 18, 2004
YNARES- SANTIAGO, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner, Veronico Tenebro, contracted marriage with private complainant Leticia Ancajas on
April 10, 1990. Tenebro and Ancajas lived together continuously and without interruption until the
latter part of 1991, when Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had been previously married to a
certain Hilda Villareyes on November 10, 1986. Tenebro showed Ancajas a photocopy of a
marriage contract between him and Villareyes. Invoking this previous marriage, petitioner
thereafter left the conjugal dwelling which he shared with Ancajas, stating that he was going to
cohabit with Villareyes.

On January 25, 1993, petitioner contracted yet another marriage, this one with a certain Nilda
Villegas. When Ancajas learned of this third marriage, she verified from Villareyes whether the
latter was indeed married to petitioner and it was confirmed by Villareyes in a handwritten letter
that the petitioner was her husband.

Ancajas filed a complaint for bigamy against petitioner. During the trial, petitioner admitted having
cohabited with Villareyes from 1984-1988, with whom he sired two children. However, he denied
that he and Villareyes were validly married to each other, claiming that no marriage ceremony
took place to solemnize their union. He further testified that he requested his brother to verify from
the Civil Register in Manila whether there was any marriage at all between him and Villareyes,
but there was no record of said marriage.

ISSUES:
1. WON the first marriage exists despite absence of record in the Civil Registry
2. WON the petitioner was guilty of bigamy

HELD:
1. Yes. Documentary evidence as to the absence of a record is quite different from documentary
evidence as to the absence of a marriage ceremony, or documentary evidence as to the invalidity
of the marriage between Tenebro and Villareyes.

The marriage contract presented by the prosecution serves as positive evidence as to the
existence of the marriage between Tenebro and Villareyes, which should be given greater
credence than documents testifying merely as to absence of any record of the marriage,
especially considering that there is absolutely no requirement in the law that a marriage contract
needs to be submitted to the civil registrar as a condition precedent for the validity of a marriage.

The mere fact that no record of a marriage exists does not invalidate the marriage, provided all
requisites for its validity are present. There is no evidence presented by the defense that would
indicate that the marriage between Tenebro and Villareyes lacked any requisite for validity, apart
from the self-serving testimony of the accused himself.

2. Yes. Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code criminalizes "any person who shall contract a
second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before
the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in
the proper proceedings". A plain reading of the law, therefore, would indicate that the provision

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
22
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

penalizes the mere act of contracting a second or a subsequent marriage during the s ubsistence
of a valid marriage.

Although the judicial declaration of the nullity of a marriage on the ground of psychological
incapacity retroacts to the date of the celebration of the marriage insofar as the vinculum between
the spouses is concerned, it is significant to note that said marriage is not without legal effects.
Among these effects is that children conceived or born before the judgment of absolute nullity of
the marriage shall be considered legitimate. There is therefore a recognition written into the law
itself that such a marriage, although void ab initio, may still produce legal consequences. Among
these legal consequences is incurring criminal liability for bigamy. To hold otherwise would render
the State’s penal laws on bigamy completely nugatory, and allow individuals to deliberately ensure
that each marital contract be flawed in some manner, and to thus escape the consequences of
contracting multiple marriages, while beguiling throngs of hapless women with the promise of
futurity and commitment.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
23
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

15. Merlinda Cipriano Montañez v. Lourdes Tajolosa Cipriano


G.R. No. 181089; 22 October 2012
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner Merlinda Cipriano Montañez, Silverio’s daughter, filed a Complaint for Bigamy against
respondent, Lourdes Tajolosa Cipriano.

On April 8, 1976, respondent married Socrates Flores. On January 24, 1983, during the
subsistence of the said marriage, respondent married Silverio V. Cipriano. In 2001, respondent
filed a Petition for the Annulment of her marriage with Socrates on the ground of the latter’s
psychological incapacity. On July 18, 2003, the RTC rendered a decision declaring the marriage
of respondent with Socrates null and void.

Respondent filed a Motion to Quash Information and Dismissal of the Criminal Complaint for
bigamy alleging that her marriage with Socrates had already been declared void ab initio in 2003,
thus, there was no more marriage to speak of prior when he married Silverio. The prosecution
argued that the crime of bigamy had already been consummated when respondent filed her
petition for declaration of nullity.

RTC granted the motion to quash and dismissed the compliant for bigamy.

ISSUE:
Is the declaration of nullity of the first marriage justifies the dismissal the case of bigamy?

RULING:
NO. The subsequent declaration of nullity of the first marriage is immaterial.

The crime of bigamy is consummated on the celebration of the second marriage or subsequent
marriage while the first marriage is still subsisting. It is essential in the prosecution for bigam y that
the alleged second marriage, having all the essential requirements, would be valid were it not for
the subsistence of the first marriage. The subsequent declaration of nullity of the first marriage is
immaterial, because prior to the declaration of nullity, the crime of bigamy had already been
consummated.

In this case, it appears that when respondent contracted a second marriage with Silverio, her first
marriage with Socrates was still subsisting as the same had not yet been annulled or declared
void by a competent authority. Thus, all the elements of bigamy were present at the time
respondent contracted the second marriage. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of the
first marriage would not change the fact that she contracted the second marriage during the
subsistence of the first marriage. Thus, respondent was properly charged of the crime of bigamy,
since the essential elements of the offense charged were sufficiently alleged.

Therefore, the complaint for bigamy filed should not be dismissed.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
24
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

PRESUMPTIVE DEATH (ART. 41)

16. Republic v. Tampus


G.R. No. 214243; March 16, 2016
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:

FACTS:
Respondent Nilda was married to Dante on November 29, 1975 in Cordova, Cebu. Three days
thereafter, Dante, a member of AFP, left respondent, and went to Jolo, Sulu where he was
assigned. The couple had no children.

Since then, Nilda heard no news from Dante. She tried everything to locate• him, but her efforts
proved futile. Thus, on April 14, 2009, she filed before the RTC a petition to declare Dante as
presumptively dead for the purpose of remarriage, alleging that after the lapse of thirty-three (33)
years without any kind of communication from him, she firmly believes that he is already dead.

RTC granted Nilda's petition. It found that Dante left the conjugal dwelling sometime in 1975 and
from then on, Nilda never heard from him again despite diligent efforts to locate him. In this light,
she believes that he had passed away especially since his last assignment was a combat mission.
Moreover, the RTC found that the absence of thirty-three (33) years was sufficient to give rise to
the presumption of death. CA affirmed the RTC Decision.

ISSUE:
Whether Dante has been correctly declared as presumptively dead.

HELD:
No. Dante was incorrectly declared as presumptively dead.

In this case, Nilda testified that after Dante's disappearance, she tried to locate him by making
inquiries with his parents, relatives, and neighbors as to his whereabouts, but unfortunately, they
also did not know where to find him. Other than making said inquiries, however, Nilda made no
further efforts to find her husband. She could have called or proceeded to the AFP headquarters
to request information about her husband, but failed to do so. She did not even seek the help of
the authorities or the AFP itself in finding him. She could have inquired from the AFP on the status
of the said mission, or from the members of the AFP who were assigned thereto.

To the Court's mind, therefore, Nilda failed to actively look for her missing husband, and her
purported earnest efforts to find him by asking Dante's parents, relatives, and friends did not
satisfy the strict standard and degree of diligence required to create a "well-founded belief' of his
death.

Furthermore, Nilda did not present Dante's family, relatives, or neighbors as witnesses who could
have corroborated her asseverations that she earnestly looked for Dante. These resource
persons were not even named.

Finally, other than Nilda's bare testimony, no other corroborative evidence had been offered to
support her allegation that she exerted efforts to find him but was unsuccessful. What appears
from the facts as established in this case was that Nilda simply allowed the passage of time
without actively and diligently searching for her husband, which the Court cannot accept as
constituting a "well-founded belief' that her husband is dead.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
25
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

17. Republic of the Philippines v. Jose Sareñogon


G.R. No. 199194; February 10, 2016
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
On November 4, 2008, respondent Jose B. Sareñogon, Jr. (Jose) filed a Petition before the RTC
for the declaration of presumptive death of his wife, Netchie S. Sareñogon (Netchie). Said petition
was directed to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the cities of Tangub, Ozamiz
and Oroquieta, all in the province of Misamis Occidental. Nobody opposed the Petition. Trial then
followed.

Jose testified that he first met Netchie in Clarin, Misamis Occidental in 1991. They later became
sweethearts and on August 10, 1996, they got married in civil rites at the Manila City Hall.
However, they lived together as husband and wife for a month only because he left to work as a
seaman while Netchie went to Hongkong as a domestic helper. For three months, he did not
receive any communication from Netchie. He likewise had no idea about her whereabouts. While
still abroad, he tried to contact Netchie’s parents, but failed, as the latter had allegedly left Clarin,
Misamis Occidental. He returned home after his contract expired. He then inquired from Netchie’s
relatives and friends about her whereabouts, but they also did not know where she was. Because
of these, he had to presume that his wife Netchie was already dead. He filed the Petition before
the RTC so he could contract another marriage pursuant to Article 41 of the Family Code.

In its Decision, the RTC held that Jose had established by preponderance of evidence that he is
entitled to the relief prayed for under Article 41 of the Family Code. The RTC found that Netchie
had disappeared for more than four years, reason enough for Jose to conclude that his wife was
indeed already dead.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the efforts of respondent in locating his missing wife is sufficient to support a well-
founded belief that respondent’s wife is probably dead

HELD:
No, respondent failed to show that he exerted diligent and reasonable efforts in locating his
missing wife to support a well-founded belief that his wife was already probably dead.

The "well-founded belief" requisite under Article 41 of the Family Code is complied with only upon
a showing that sincere honest-to-goodness efforts had indeed been made to ascertain whether
the absent spouse is still alive or is already dead. Before a judicial declaration of presumptive
death can be obtained, it must be shown that the prior spouse had been absent for four
consecutive years and the present spouse had a well-founded belief that the prior spouse was
already dead. Under Article 41 of the Family Code, there are four essential requisites for the
declaration of presumptive death:

1. That the absent spouse has been missing for four consecutive years, or two consecutive years
if the disappearance occurred where there is danger of death under the circumstances laid
down in Article 391 of the Civil Code;
2. That the present spouse wishes to remarry;
3. That the present spouse has a well-founded belief that the absentee is dead; and,
4. That the present spouse files a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death
of the absentee.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
26
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

With respect to the third element (which seems to be the element that in this case invites extended
discussion), the holding is that the mere absence of the spouse (even for such period required by
the law), or lack of news that such absentee is still alive, failure to communicate [by the absentee
spouse or invocation of the] general presumption on absence under the Civil Code [would] not
suffice. This conclusion proceeds from the premise that Article 41 of the Family Code places upon
the present spouse the burden of proving the additional and more stringent requirement of "well-
founded belief" which can only be discharged upon a due showing of proper and honest-to-
goodness inquiries and efforts to ascertain not only the absent spouse’s whereabouts but, more
importantly, that the absent spouse is [either] still alive or is already dead.

To be able to comply with this requirement, the present spouse must prove that his/her belief was
the result of diligent and reasonable efforts and inquiries to locate the absent spouse and that
based on these efforts and inquiries, he/she believes that under the circumstances, the absent
spouse is already dead. It requires exertion of active effort (not a mere passive one).

Given the Court’s imposition of "strict standard" in a petition for a declaration of presumptive death
under Article 41 of the Family Code, it must follow that there was no basis at all for the RTC’s
finding that Jose’s Petition complied with the requisites of Article 41 of the Family Code, in
reference to the "well-founded belief" standard. If anything, Jose’s pathetically anemic efforts to
locate the missing Netchie are notches below the required degree of stringent diligence
prescribed by jurisprudence. For, aside from his bare claims that he had inquired from alleged
friends and relatives as to Netchie’s whereabouts, Jose did not call to the witness stand specific
individuals or persons whom he allegedly saw or met in the course of his search or quest for the
allegedly missing Netchie. Neither did he prove that he sought the assistance of the pertinent
government agencies as well as the media. Nor did he show that he undertook a thorough,
determined and unflagging search for Netchie, say for at least two years (and what those years
were), and naming the particular places, provinces, cities, barangays or municipalities that he
visited, or went to, and identifying the specific persons he interviewed or talked to in the course
of his search.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
27
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

VOID SUBSEQUENT MARRIAGE – WITHOUT JUDICIAL DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF


PREVIOUS VOID MARRIAGE (ART. 40)

18. Roberto Domingo v. Court of Appeals and Delia Soledad Avera


G.R. No. 104818; September 17, 1993
ROMERO, J.:

FACTS:
Delia Soledad A. Domingo (Domingo) filed a petition for the "Declaration of Nullity of Marriage"
against petitioner Roberto Domingo alleging among others that: they were married on November
29, 1976; unknown to her, he had a previous marriage with one Emerlina dela Paz on April 25,
1969 which marriage is valid and still existing; she came to know of the prior marriage only
sometime in 1983 when Emerlina dela Paz sued them for bigamy; and that she discovered that
he was cohabiting with another woman.

Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the petition stated no cause of action. He
argued that a second marriage contracted after a first marriage by a man with another woman is
illegal and void and no judicial decree is necessary to establish the invalidity of a void marriage.
The marriage being void ab initio, the petition for the declaration of its nullity is, therefore,
superfluous and unnecessary.

The trial court issued an Order denying the motion to dismiss for lack of merit, explaining that
although the second marriage can be presumed to be void ab initio as it was celebrated while the
first marriage was still subsisting, still there is need for judicial declaration of its nullity.

A motion for reconsideration was filed. Instead of filing the required answer, petitioner filed a
special civil action of certiorari and mandamus on the ground that the lower court acted with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in denying the motion to dismiss.

ISSUES:
1. Is a judicial decree necessary to establish the invalidity of a void, bigamous marriage?
2. Should the petition for judicial declaration of a void marriage be filed only for purposes of
remarriage?

HELD:
1. Yes. The Family Code settled once and for all the conflicting jurisprudence on the matter. A
declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required either as a cause of
action or a ground for defense. Where the absolute nullity of a previous marriage is sought to be
invoked for purposes of contracting a second marriage, the sole basis acceptable in law for said
projected marriage be free from legal infirmity is a final judgment declaring the previous marriage
void.

The Family Law Revision Committee and the Civil Code Revision Committee which drafted what
is now the Family Code of the Philippines took the position that parties to a marriage should not
be allowed to assume that their marriage is void even if such be the fact but must first secure a
judicial declaration of the nullity of their marriage before they can be allowed to marry again.

In fact, the requirement for a declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage is also for the protection
of the spouse who, believing that his or her marriage is illegal and void, marries again. With the

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
28
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

judicial declaration of the nullity of his or her first marriage, the person who marries again cannot
be charged with bigamy.

2. No. Article 40 of the Family Code provides: “The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may
be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such
previous marriage void.”

Crucial to the proper interpretation of Article 40 is the position in the provision of the word "solely."
As it is placed, the same shows that it is meant to qualify "final judgment declaring such previous
marriage void." Realizing the need for careful craftsmanship in conveying the precise intent of the
Committee members, the provision in question, as it finally emerged, did not state "The absolute
nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked solely for purposes of remarriage" in which case
"solely" would clearly qualify the phrase "for purposes of remarriage." Had the phraseology been
such, the interpretation of petitioner would have been correct and, that is, that the absolute nullity
of a previous marriage may be invoked solely for purposes of remarriage, thus rendering irrelevant
the clause "on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void."

That Article 40 as finally formulated included the significant clause denotes that such final
judgment declaring the previous marriage void need not be obtained only for purposes of
remarriage. Undoubtedly, one can conceive of other instances where a party might well invoke
the absolute nullity of a previous marriage for purposes other than remarriage, such as in case of
an action for liquidation, partition, distribution and separation of property between the erstwhile
spouses, as well as an action for the custody and support of their common children and the
delivery of the latters' presumptive legitimes. In such cases, evidence needs must be adduced,
testimonial or documentary, to prove the existence of grounds rendering such a previous marriage
an absolute nullity. These need not be limited solely to an earlier final judgment of a court
declaring such previous marriage void. Hence, in the instance where a party who has previously
contracted a marriage which remains subsisting desires to enter into another marriage which is
legally unassailable, he is required by law to prove that the previous one was an absolute nullity.
But this he may do on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
29
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19. Renato A. Castillo v. Lea P. De Leon-Castillo


G.R. No. 189607; April 18, 2016
SERENO, CJ.:

FACTS:
On 25 May 1972, respondent Lea P. De Leon-Castillo married Benjamin Bautista. On 6 January
1979, respondent married herein petitioner Renato A. Castillo.

On 2001, Renato filed before the RTC a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, praying
that his marriage to Lea be declared void due to his subsisting marriage with Benjamin. Lea
opposed the petition and contended that her marriage with Benjamin was null and void as they
did not secure a marriage license.

On 2002, Lea filed an action to declare her first marriage with Benjamin void. The RTC granted
such. Meanwhile, Lea filed a demurrer to evidence claiming that Renato’s proof was insufficient
to prove bigamy. On the other hand, Renato contends that the belated judicial declaration of nullity
did not erase the fact that she entered into marriage with him when her first marriage was
subsisting.

The RTC declared the second marriage null and void ab initio. Benjamin moved for MR insofar
as the distribution of their properties is concerned, but this was denied. Upon appeal, the CA
reversed the decision and upheld the second marriage. The CA noticed that Lea’s marriages were
celebrated in 1972 and 1979 which is prior to the effectivity of the Family Code (1988). Thus, the
applicable law should be the Civil Code which does not dictate that a judicial decree is necessary
in order to establish the nullity of marriage.

ISSUE:
What is the status of the second marriage?

HELD:
The second marriage is valid. The validity of a marriage and all its incidents must be determ ined
in accordance with the law in effect at the time of its celebration. In this case, the law in force at
the time Lea contracted both marriages was the Civil Code. Hence, the Court must resolve this
case using the provisions under the Civil Code on void marriages, in particular, Articles 80, 81,
82 and 83 and those on voidable marriages are Articles 83, 85 and 86.

The Civil Code differentiates void and voidable marriages: “in a void marriage no judicial decree
to establish the invalidity is necessary,” while in a voidable marriage there must be a judicial
decree.

At that time, the first marriage Lea was void for lack of license and consent. Thus, there was no
need for judicial declaration of its nullity before she could contract a second marriage.

That there was no judicial declaration that the first marriage was void ab initio before the second
marriage was contracted is immaterial as this is not a requirement under the Civil Code. The
Court thus concludes that the subsequent marriage of Lea to Renato is valid in view of the
invalidity of her first marriage to Bautista because of the absence of a marriage license.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
30
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

20. Merlinda Cipriano Montañez v. Lourdes Tajolosa Cipriano


G.R. No. 181089; October 22, 2012
PERALTA, J:

FACTS:
Lourdes Cipriano (Lourdes) married Socrates Flores (Socrates) on April 8, 1976. On January 24,
1983, during the subsistence of the said marriage, Lourdes married Silverio Cipriano (Silverio).
In 2001, Lourdes filed a Petition for the Annulment of her marriage with Socrates on the ground
of the latter’s psychological incapacity. On 2003 the RTC declared the marriage of Lourdes with
Socrates as null and void.

On May 14, 2004 Merlinda Cipriano Montañez, Silverio’s daughter from the first marriage, filed a
complaint for Bigamy against Lourdes alleging that the latter failed to reveal to Silverio the fact
that she was still married to Socrates.

Lourdes argued that her marriage with Socrates had already been declared void ab initio in 2003,
thus there was no more marriage to speak of prior to her marriage to Silverio on Januar 24, 1983.
Hence, the element of bigamy requiring that there be two valid marriage is therefore wanting. She
also claimed that since the second marriage was held in 1983, the crime of bigamy had already
prescribed.

For the part of the prosecution, it argued that the crime of bigamy had already been consummated
when respondent filed her petition for declaration of nullity of marriage; that the law punishes the
act of contracting a second marriage which appears to be valid, while the first marriage is still
subsisting and has not yet been annulled or declared void by the court.

ISSUE:
1. Whether the declaration of nullity of respondent's first marriage in 2003 justifies the dismissal
of the Information for bigamy filed against her
2. Whether Article 40 of the Family Code should be given a retroactive effect because Lourdes’
2 marriages were contracted before the effectivity of the Family Code

HELD:
1. NO. Parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the
same must be submitted to the judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of the
marriage is so declared can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the
presumption is that the marriage exists. Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before
the judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for
bigamy. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage would not change the
fact that she contracted the second marriage during the subsistence of the first marriage. Thus,
respondent was properly charged of the crime of bigamy, since the essential elements of the
offense charged were sufficiently alleged

2. NO. The retroactive application of procedural laws is not violative of any right of a person who
may feel that he is adversely affected. The reason is that, as a general rule, no vested right may
attach to, nor arise from, procedural laws. In the case at bar, the respondent’s clear intent was to
obtain judicial declaration of nullity to escape from the bigamy charges against her.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
31
DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

21. Norberto A. Vitangcol v. People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 207406; January 13, 2016
LEONEN, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner Norberto A. Vitangcol was charged with the crime of bigamy. The complaint was filed
by Norberto’s second wife, Alice G. Eduardo-Vitangcol.

It was alleged that Norberto contracted his first marriage on July 17, 1987 (prior to the effectivity
of the Family Code on August 3, 1988) with a certain Gina M. Gaerlan. Said first marriage was
evidenced by a marriage contract registered with the National Statistics Office. On December 4,
1994, Norberto married Alice with whom he had three children. Alice later heard rumors of her
husband’s first marriage which lead to the discovery of the aforementioned marriage contract and
the filing of the present complaint.

Norberto countered that Alice had always known that he had a “fake marriage” with a college
girlfriend. He also claimed that the first marriage was void for it was celebrated without a marriage
license. Lastly, he claims that the present complaint was filed by Alice because the latter was
having an affair with another man.

ISSUE:
May Norberto validly raise as a defense the invalidity of his first marriage to escape the charge of
bigamy against him?

HELD:
NO. Norberto’s first marriage was not judicially declared void and neither was his first wife
declared presumptively dead under the Civil Code. Even assuming that petitioner’s first marriage
was solemnized without a marriage license, the first marriage is still valid and subsisting.

As early as 1968, this court held in Landicho v. Relova, et al. That “parties to a marriage should
not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, only competent courts having such authority.
Prior to such declaration of nullity, the validity of the first marriage is beyond question. A party
who contracts a second marriage then assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.” The
commission that drafted the Family Code considered the Landicho ruling in wording Article 40 of
the Family Code.

Therefore, even if Norberto’s first marriage was celebrated prior the effectivity of the Family Code,
the judicial declaration of nullity is still required before any person can enter into a second
marriage without any fear of being prosecuted for the crime of bigamy.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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22. Susan Nicdao Cariño v. Susan Yee Cariño


G.R. No. 132529; February 2, 2001
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

FACTS:
SPO4 Santiago S. Cariño contracted two marriages, the first was on June 20, 1969, with petitioner
Susan Nicdao Cariño; and the second was on November 10, 1992, with respondent Susan Yee
Cariño. In 1988, SPO4 Cariño became ill and bedridden due to diabetes complicated by
pulmonary tuberculosis. He passed away on November 23, 1992, under the care of Susan Yee,
who spent for his medical and burial expenses. Both petitioner and respondent filed claims for
monetary benefits and financial assistance pertaining to the deceased from various government
agencies. Petitioner was able to collect a total of P146,000.00 from MBAI, PCCUI, Commutation,
NAPOLCOM, and Pag-ibig, while respondent received a total of P21,000.00 from GSIS Life,
Burial (GSIS) and burial (SSS).

Respondent filed the instant case for collection of sum of money against petitioner praying that
petitioner be ordered to return to her at least one-half of the P146,000.00. During the trial,
respondent admitted that her marriage to the deceased took place during the subsistence of, and
without first obtaining a judicial declaration of nullity of, the marriage between petitioner and the
deceased. She, however, claimed that she had no knowledge of the previous marriage and that
she became aware of it only at the funeral of the deceased. To bolster her action for collection of
sum of money, respondent contended that the marriage of petitioner and the deceased is void ab
initio because the same was solemnized without the required marriage license. In support thereof,
respondent presented: 1) the marriage certificate of the deceased and the petitioner which bears
no marriage license number; and 2) a certification from the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan,
Metro Manila that the office has no record of the marriage license of the said marriage.

ISSUES:
1. Is the marriage between petitioner and the deceased valid?
2. Is the marriage between respondent and the deceased valid?

HELD:
1. No. Under the Civil Code, which was the law in force when the marriage of petitioner and the
deceased was solemnized, a valid marriage license is a requisite of marriage, and the absence
thereof, subject to certain exceptions, renders the marriage void ab initio. In the case at bar, the
marriage of petitioner and the deceased does not fall within the marriages exempt from the license
requirement. A marriage license, therefore, was indispensable to the validity of their marriage.
This notwithstanding, the records reveal that the marriage contract of petitioner and the deceased
bears no marriage license number and, as certified by the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Metro
Manila, their office has no record of such marriage license. The Court held that a certification is
adequate to prove the non-issuance of a marriage license. Such being the case, the presumed
validity of the marriage of petitioner and the deceased has been sufficiently overcome. It then
became the burden of petitioner to prove that their marriage is valid and that they secured the
required marriage license. However, petitioner failed to discharge such burden. Therefore, the
first marriage, having been solemnized without the necessary marriage license, and not being
one of the marriages exempt from the marriage license requirement, is void ab initio.

2. No. It does not follow from the foregoing disquisition, however, that since the marriage of
petitioner and the deceased is declared void ab initio, the death benefits under scrutiny would
now be awarded to respondent. To reiterate, under Article 40 of the Family Code, for purposes of

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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remarriage, there must first be a prior judicial declaration of the nullity of a previous marriage,
though void, before a party can enter into a second marriage, otherwise, the second marriage
would also be void. Accordingly, the declaration in the instant case of nullity of the previous
marriage of the deceased and petitioner does not validate the second marriage of the deceased
with respondent Susan Yee. The fact remains that their marriage was solemnized without first
obtaining a judicial decree declaring the marriage of petitioner and the deceased void. Hence, the
marriage of respondent and the deceased is, likewise, void ab initio.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY (ART. 36)

23. Republic of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals and Roridel Olaviano Molina
G.R. No. 108763; February 13, 1997
PANGANIBAN, J.:

MOLINA DOCTRINE. Specific guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the
Family Code. Psychological incapacity as a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage.

FACTS:
This case is a petition for review on certiorari (Rule 45) challenging the decision of the CA which
affirmed in toto the decision of RTC of La Trinidad, Benguet which declared the marriage of
respondent Roridel Molina (wife) to Reynaldo Molina, void ab initio on the ground of psychological
incapacity. Because of this case, the Court laid down the guidelines in the interpretation and
application of Art. 36 of the Family Code, also known as the Molina Doctrine.

Respondent Roridel Molina filed a petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to Reynaldo
Molina. The petition alleged that Roridel and Reynaldo were married on 1985 at the San Agustin
Church and that they have a son, Andre O. Molina. After a year of marriage, Reynaldo showed
signs of "immaturity and irresponsibility" as a husband and a father since he preferred to spend
more time with his peers and friends on whom he squandered his money; that he depended on
his parents for aid and assistance, and was never honest with his wife in regard to their finances,
resulting in frequent quarrels between them. Later, Reynaldo was relieved of his job in Manila,
and since then Roridel had been the sole breadwinner of the family. Later, the couple had a very
intense quarrel, as a result of which their relationship was estranged. Roridel resigned from her
job in Manila and went to live with her parents in Baguio City; that a few weeks later, Reynaldo
left Roridel and their child, and had since then abandoned them; that Reynaldo had thus shown
that he was psychologically incapable of complying with essential marital obligations and was a
highly immature and habitually quarrelsome individual who thought of himself as a king to be
served; and that it would be to the couple's best interest to have their marriage declared null and
void in order to free them from what appeared to be an incompatible marriage from the start.

Reynaldo admitted that he and Roridel could no longer live together as husband and wife, but
contended that their misunderstandings and frequent quarrels were due to (1) Roridel's strange
behavior of insisting on maintaining her group of friends even after their marriage; (2) Roridel's
refusal to perform some of her marital duties such as cooking meals; and (3) Roridel's failure to
run the household and handle their finances.

Solicitor General: Insists that "the Court of Appeals made an erroneous and incorrect
interpretation of the phrase 'psychological incapacity' and made an incorrect application thereof
to the facts of the case," adding that the appealed Decision tended "to establish in effect the most
liberal divorce procedure in the world which is anathema to our culture."

The Republic argues that "opposing and conflicting personalities" is not equivalent to
psychological incapacity, explaining that such ground "is not simply the neglect by the parties to
the marriage of their responsibilities and duties, but a defect in their psychological nature which
renders them incapable of performing such marital responsibilities and duties."

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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ISSUE:
Whether the marriage of respondent Roridel to Reynaldo Molina should be declared void ab initio
on the ground of psychological incapacity.

HELD:
NO. The trial court, as well as the CA, erred in interpreting Art. 36 of the Family Code, and in
applying the ground of psychological incapacity in this case.

In another landmark case of Santos v. CA, the Court ruled that "psychological incapacity should
refer to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity and that there is hardly any doubt that the
intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of 'psychological incapacity' to the most
serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to
give meaning and significance to the marriage. This psychologic condition must exist at the time
the marriage is celebrated." The psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity,
(b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability."

In this case, there is no clear showing that the psychological defect spoken of is an incapacity. It
appears to be more of a "difficulty," if not outright "refusal" or "neglect" in the performance of some
marital obligations. Mere showing of "irreconcilable differences" and "conflicting personalities" in
no wise constitutes psychological incapacity. It is not enough to prove that the parties failed to
meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown
to be incapable of doing so, due to some psychological (not physical) illness. The evidence
adduced by respondent merely showed that she and her husband could not get along with each
other. There had been no showing of the gravity of the problem; neither its juridical antecedence
nor its incurability. Expert testimony (of Dr. Sison) showed no incurable psychiatric disorder but
only incompatibility, not psychological incapacity.

In view of the novelty of Art. 36 of the Family Code and the difficulty experienced by many trial
courts interpreting and applying it, the Court adopted the following guidelines 1 in the interpretation
and application of Art. 36 of the FC and handed down for the guidance of the bench and the bar:

(1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff. Any doubt
should be resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and
against its dissolution and nullity. This is rooted in the fact that both our Constitution and
our laws cherish the validity of marriage and unity of the family. Thus, our Constitution devotes
an entire Article on the Family, recognizing it "as the foundation of the nation." It decrees
marriage as legally "inviolable," thereby protecting it from dissolution at the whim of the
parties. Both the family and marriage are to be "protected" by the state. The Family Code
echoes this constitutional edict on marriage and the family and emphasizes the permanence,
inviolability and solidarity.

(2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be (a) medically or clinically identified,
(b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly explained in the
decision. Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity must be psychological —
not physical, although its manifestations and/or symptoms may be physical. The evidence
must convince the court that the parties, or one of them, was mentally or physically ill to such
an extent that the person could not have known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing
them, could not have given valid assumption thereof. Although no example of such incapacity
need be given here so as not to limit the application of the provision under the principle of
ejusdem generis, nevertheless such root cause must be identified as a psychological illness

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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and its incapacitating nature explained. Expert evidence may be given by qualified psychiatrist
and clinical psychologists.

(3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at "the time of the celebration" of the
marriage. The evidence must show that the illness was existing when the parties exchanged
their "I do's." The manifestation of the illness need not be perceivable at such time, but the
illness itself must have attached at such moment, or prior thereto.

(4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable.
Such incurability may be absolute or even relative only in regard to the other spouse, not
necessarily absolutely against everyone of the same sex. Furthermore, such incapacity must
be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations, not necessarily to those not related to
marriage, like the exercise of a profession or employment in a job.

(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the
essential obligations of marriage. Thus, "mild characteriological peculiarities, m ood changes,
occasional emotional outbursts" cannot be accepted as root causes. The illness must be
shown as downright incapacity or inability, nor a refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will.
In other words, there is a natal or supervening disabling factor in the person, an adverse
integral element in the personality structure that effectively incapacitates the person from
really accepting and thereby complying with the obligations essential to marriage.

(6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 up to 71 of the
Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as Articles 220, 221 and 225 of the
same Code in regard to parents and their children. Such non-complied marital obligation/s
must also be stated in the petition, proven by evidence and included in the text of the decision.

(7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic
Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be given great respect
by our courts. It is clear that Article 36 was taken by the Family Code Revision Committee
from Canon 10952 of the New Code of Canon Law.

This is one instance where, in view of the evident source and purpose of the Family Code
provision, contemporaneous religious interpretation is to be given persuasive effect. Here, the
State and the Church — while remaining independent, separate and apart from each other —
shall walk together in synodal cadence towards the same goal of protecting and cherishing
marriage and the family as the inviolable base of the nation.

(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor General to
appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall he handed down unless the Solicitor
General issues a certification, which will be quoted in the decision, briefly staring therein his
reasons for his agreement or opposition, as the case may be, to the petition. The Solicitor
General, along with the prosecuting attorney, shall submit to the court such certification within
15 days from the date the case is deemed submitted for resolution of the court.

Hence, the decision of the CA is reversed and set aside. The marriage between Roridel and
Reynaldo Molina subsists and remains valid.

——————————————————

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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1
The Court was able to come up with the guidelines with the help of 2 amici curiae: the Most
Reverend Oscar V. Cruz, Vicar Judicial (Presiding Judge) of the National Appellate Matrimonial
Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, and Justice Ricardo C. Puno, a member of the
Family Code Revision Committee.
2
The following are incapable of contracting marriage: Those who are unable to assume the
essential obligations of marriage due to causes of psychological nature.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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24. Brenda B. Marcos v. Wilson G. Marcos


G.R. No. 136490; October 19, 2000
PANGANIBAN, J.:

FACTS:
Wilson G. Marcos and Brenda B. Marcos first met in 1980 when both of them were assigned at
the Malacañang Palace. The couple got married in 1982.

After leaving the military, Wilson engaged in different business ventures that did not prosper. Due
to his failure to engage in any gainful employment, they would often have violent quarrels. He
would beat her and even force her to have sex with him despite her weariness. He would also
inflict physical harm on their children for a slight mistake and was so severe in the way he
chastised them. By 1992, the two were already living separately. In the case study conducted by
Social Worker, the children described their father as cruel and physically abusive to them. Brenda
submitted herself for psychological evaluation, while Wilson, on the other hand, did not.

The court a quo found the appellant to be psychologically incapacitated to perform his marital
obligations mainly because of his failure to find work to support his family and his violent attitude
towards appellee and their children. The CA reversed the RTC decision holding that psychological
incapacity had not been established by the totality of the evidence presented because Wilson was
not subjected to psychological or psychiatric evaluation.

ISSUE:
Is personal medical or psychological examination of respondent a requirement for a declaration
of psychological incapacity?

HELD:
NO. Personal medical or psychological examination of respondent is not a requirement for a
declaration of psychological incapacity. Nevertheless, the totality of the evidence she presented
does not show such incapacity. Psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity (b)
juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. The guidelines in Republic v. CA and Molina do not
require that a physician examine the person to be declared psychologically incapacitated. In fact,
the root cause may be "medically or clinically identified." What is important is the presence of
evidence that can adequately establish the party's psychological condition. For indeed, if the
totality of evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, then
actual medical examination of the person concerned need not be resorted to.

Although the Court is sufficiently convinced that respondent failed to provide material support to
the family and may have resorted to physical abuse and abandonment, the totality of his acts
does not lead to a conclusion of psychological incapacity on his part. There is absolutely no
showing that his "defects" were already present at the inception of the marriage or that they are
incurable. Verily, the behavior of respondent can be attributed to the fact that he had lost his job
and was not gainfully employed for a period of more than six years. It was during this period that
he became intermittently drunk, failed to give material and moral support, and even left the family
home. Thus, his alleged psychological illness was traced only to said period and not to the
inception of the marriage. Equally important, there is no evidence showing that his condition is
incurable, especially now that he is gainfully employed as a taxi driver.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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25. Mirasol Castillo v. Republic of the Philippines and Felipe Impas


G.R. No. 214064; February 06, 2017
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
Mirasol and Felipe were sweethearts. During their courtship, Mirasol discovered that Felipe
sustained his affair with his former girlfriend. With the intervention of their parents, they reconciled.
They got married on April 22, 1984 and were blessed with 2 children.

In 2011, Mirasol filed a Complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage. She alleged that after 13
years of marriage, Felipe resumed philandering. Their relatives and friends saw him with different
women. One time, she has just arrived from a trip and returned home to surprise her family. But
to her consternation, she caught him in a compromising act with another woman. He did not
bother to explain or apologize. Tired of her husband's infidelity, she left the conjugal dwelling and
stopped any communication with him. Felipe's irresponsible acts like cohabiting with another
woman, not communicating with her, and not supporting their children for a period of not less than
ten (10) years without any reason, constitute a severe psychological disorder.

Mirasol presented clinical psychologist Montefalcon who, in her Psychological Evaluation Report,
concluded that Felipe is encumbered with a personality disorder classified as Narcissistic
Personality Disorder deeply ingrained in his personality structure that rendered him incapacitated
to perform his marital duties and obligations.

The RTC declared the marriage null and void. The CA reversed and set aside the, ruling that
Mirasol failed to present sufficient evidence to prove that Felipe was suffering from psychological
incapacity.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the marriage between Mirasol and Felipe is null and void on the ground of the
latter's psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code.

HELD:
No. The Court rules that the totality of the evidence presented failed to establish Felipe's
psychological incapacity.

Although the evaluation report of Montefalcon expounds on the juridical antecedence, gravity and
incurability of Felipe's personality disorder, it was, however, admitted that she did not interview
Felipe personally and evaluated Felipe’s psychological condition indirectly from the information
gathered from Mirasol and her witness. Felipe's dysfunctional family portrait which brought about
his personality disorder was based solely on the assumed truthful knowledge of petitioner. There
was no independent witness knowledgeable of respondent's upbringing interviewed by the
psychologist or presented before the trial court.

True, the examination by a physician of a person in order to declare him psychologically


incapacitated is not required. However, the root cause thereof must still be "medically or clinically
identified," and adequately established by evidence. Here, the manner by which such conclusion
was reached leaves much to be desired in terms of meeting the standard of evidence required in
determining psychological incapacity.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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In order for sexual infidelity to constitute as psychological incapacity, the respondent's


unfaithfulness must be established as a manifestation of a disordered personality, completely
preventing the respondent from discharging the essential obligations of the marital state; there
must be proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor that effectively incapacitated him from
complying with the obligation to be faithful to his spouse. It is indispensable that the evidence
must show a link, medical or the like, between the acts that manifest psychological incapacity and
the psychological disorder itself.

As discussed, the findings on Felipe's personality profile did not emanate from a personal
interview with the subject himself. Apart from the psychologist's opinion and petitioner's
allegations, no other reliable evidence was cited to prove that Felipe's sexual infidelity was a
manifestation of his alleged personality disorder, which is grave, deeply rooted, and incurable.
The Court is not persuaded that the natal or supervening disabling factor which effectively
incapacitated him from complying with his obligation to be faithful to his wife was medically or
clinically established.

J LEONEN, dissenting

The totality of evidence presented by Mirasol is more than enough to prove Felipe's psychological
incapacity. Hence, Mirasol and Felipe's marriage is void under Article 36 of the Family Code.
Because of the intimate nature of marriage, Mirasol knows best whether Felipe has fulfilled his
marital obligations as well as his responsibilities to his children.
Felipe's continuous philandering, albeit having his own family, manifests an incurable
psychological disorder of utmost gravity. If Felipe's sexual infidelity were merely caused by his
"refusal or unwillingness" to assume his marital obligations, then he would not have been
indifferent about being seen publicly with the other women with whom he had other affairs. What
Felipe has done apparently caused much pain to his family and should be put to an end. It is cruel
for this Court to rule that Mirasol should remain married to Felipe.

Republic v. Court of Appeals and Molina interpreted Article 36 of the Family Code to introduce
restrictions not found in the text of the law. Worse, it was inspired by a conservative, religious
view of what marriages should be. This has caused untold hardships and costs for many Filipinos.
It is time we review this doctrine and allow intimate relationships to be what they truly are: a life
of celebration, rather than a living hell.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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26. Chi Ming Tsoi v. Court of Appeals and Gina Lao-Tsoi


G.R. No. 119190; January 16, 1997
TORRES, JR., J.:

FACTS:
This case was originally commenced by a distraught wife against her uncaring husband in the
Regional Trial Court which decreed the annulment of the marriage on the ground of psychological
incapacity. Chi Ming Tsoi appealed the decision of the trial court to respondent Court of Appeals
which affirmed the Trial Court's decision.

Sometime on May 22, 1988, the Gina Lao (plaintiff) married the Chi Ming Tsoi (defendant) at the
Manila Cathedral, . . . Intramuros Manila, as evidenced by their Marriage Contract.

After the celebration of their marriage and wedding reception at the South Villa, Makati, they went
and proceeded to the house of defendant's mother. There, they slept together on the same bed
in the same room for the first night of their married life. There was no sexual intercourse between
them during the first night, and even in succeeding nights of their marriage.

Because of this, they submitted themselves for medical examinations to Dr. Eufemio Macalalag,
a urologist at the Chinese General Hospital. The results of their physical examinations were that
she is healthy, normal and still a virgin, while that of her husband's examination was kept
confidential up to this time. While no medicine was prescribed for her, the doctor prescribed
medications for her husband which was also kept confidential. No treatment was given to her. For
her husband, he was asked by the doctor to return but he never did.

The plaintiff claims, that the defendant is impotent, a closet homosexual as he did not show his
penis. She said, that she had observed the defendant using an eyebrow pencil and sometimes
the cleansing cream of his mother. And that, according to her, the defendant married her, a Filipino
citizen, to acquire or maintain his residency status here in the country and to publicly maintain the
appearance of a normal man.

On the other hand, it is the claim of the defendant that if their marriage shall be annulled by reason
of psychological incapacity, the fault lies with his wife.

The defendant admitted that since their marriage on May 22, 1988, until their separation on March
15, 1989, there was no sexual contact between them. But, the reason for this, according to the
defendant, was that every time he wants to have sexual intercourse with his wife, she always
avoided him and whenever he caresses her private parts, she always removed his hands. The
defendant claims, that he forced his wife to have sex with him only once but he did not continue
because she was shaking and she did not like it. So he stopped.

The defendant insisted that their marriage will remain valid because they are still very young and
there is still a chance to overcome their differences.

The defendant submitted himself to a physical examination. His penis was examined by Dr. Sergio
Alteza, Jr., for the purpose of finding out whether he is impotent. The doctor said, that he asked
the defendant to masturbate to find out whether or not he has an erection and he found out that
from the original size of two (2) inches, or five (5) centimeters, the penis of the defendant
lengthened by one (1) inch and one centimeter. Dr. Alteza said, that the defendant had only a soft

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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erection which is why his penis is not in its full length. But, still is capable of further erection, in
that with his soft erection, the defendant is capable of having sexual intercourse with a woman.

After trial, the court rendered judgment in favor of the annulment case filed by the plaintiff-
respondent. The decision was affirmed by the CA. Hence, the instant petition.

ISSUE:
Should the annulment case be granted on the ground of psychological incapacity?

HELD:
YES. The annulment case should be granted, as Chi Ming Tsoi is psychologically incapacited. It
must be noted that contrary to Chi Ming Tsoi’s argument, the size of his penis is not the indication
of psychological incapacity, but rather his failure to engage in sexual intercourse with his wife
from the beginning of their marriage.

We are not impressed by petitioner's claim that what the evidence proved is the unwillingness or
lack of intention to perform the sexual act, which is not phychological incapacity, and which can
be achieved "through proper motivation." After almost ten months of cohabitation, the admission
that the husband is reluctant or unwilling to perform the sexual act with his wife whom he
professes to love very dearly, and who has not posed any insurmountable resistance to his
alleged approaches, is indicative of a hopeless situation, and of a serious personality disorder
that constitutes psychological incapacity to discharge the basic marital covenants within the
contemplation of the Family Code.

Chi Ming Tsoi (petitioner) further contends that respondent court erred in holding that the alleged
refusal of both the petitioner and Gina Lao (respondent) to have sex with each other constitutes
psychological incapacity of both. He points out as error the failure of the trial court to make "a
categorical finding about the alleged psychological incapacity and an in-depth analysis of the
reasons for such refusal which may not be necessarily due to psychological disorders" because
there might have been other reasons, — i.e., physical disorders, such as aches, pains or other
discomforts, — why private respondent would not want to have sexual intercourse from May 22,
1988 to March 15, 1989, in a short span of 10 months.

It must be stated that neither the trial court nor the respondent court made a finding on who
between petitioner and private respondent refuses to have sexual contact with the other. The fact
remains, however, that there has never been coitus between them. At any rate, since the action
to declare the marriage void may be filed by either party, i.e., even the psychologically
incapacitated, the question of who refuses to have sex with the other becomes immaterial.

Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is "To procreate children
based on the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual cooperation is the
basic end of marriage." Constant non- fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity
or wholeness of the marriage. In the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of
the parties to fulfill the above marital obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.

While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual
love, respect and fidelity (Art. 68, Family Code), the sanction therefor is actually the "spontaneous,
mutual affection between husband and wife and not any legal mandate or court order" (Cuaderno
vs. Cuaderno 120 Phil. 1298). Love is useless unless it is shared with another. Indeed, no man is
an island, the cruelest act of a partner in marriage is to say "I could not have cared less." This is

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
43
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so because an ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing but himself. In the natural
order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a
gift and a participation in the mystery of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of
procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.

It appears that there is absence of empathy between petitioner and private respondent. That is
— a shared feeling which between husband and wife must be experienced not only by having
spontaneous sexual intimacy but a deep sense of spiritual communion. Marital union is a two-way
process. An expressive interest in each other's feelings at a time it is needed by the other can go
a long way in deepening the marital relationship. Marriage is definitely not for children but for two
consenting adults who view the relationship with love amor gignit amorem, respect, sacrifice and
a continuing commitment to compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime social institution.

This Court, finding the gravity of the failed relationship in which the parties found themselves
trapped in its mire of unfulfilled vows and unconsummated marital obligations, can do no less but
sustain the studied judgment of respondent appellate court.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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DIGESTED CASES IN CIVIL LAW REVIEW I: FAMILY CODE 4 S (AY 2017-2018)

27. Noel Buenaventura v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 127358; March 31, 2005
AZCUNA, J.:

FACTS:
These cases involve a petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage, which was filed by
petitioner Noel Buenaventura on July 12, 1992, on the ground of the alleged psychological
incapacity of his wife, Isabel Singh Buenaventura, herein respondent. After respondent filed her
answer, petitioner, with leave of court, amended his petition by stating that both he and his wife
were psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage. In
response, respondent filed an amended answer denying the allegation that she was
psychologically incapacitated.

ISSUE:
Whether the petitioner is psychologically incapacitated, such act being willful warrants the award
of moral damages

HELD:
No. The petitioner is not psychologically incapacitated.

It is contradictory to characterize acts as a product of psychological incapacity, and hence beyond


the control of the party because of an innate inability, while at the same time considering the same
set of acts as willful. By declaring the petitioner as psychologically incapacitated, the possibility of
awarding moral damages on the same set of facts was negated. The award of moral damages
should be predicated, not on the mere act of entering into the marriage, but on specific evidence
that it was done deliberately and with malice by a party who had knowledge of his or her disability
and yet willfully concealed the same. No such evidence appears to have been adduced in this
case.

For the same reason, since psychological incapacity means that one is truly incognitive of the
basic marital covenants that one must assume and discharge as a consequence of marriage, it
removes the basis for the contention that the petitioner purposely deceived the private
respondent. If the private respondent was deceived, it was not due to a willful act on the part of
the petitioner. Therefore, the award of moral damages was without basis in law and in fact.

Since the grant of moral damages was not proper, it follows that the grant of exemplary damages
cannot stand since the Civil Code provides that exemplary damages are imposed in addition to
moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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28. Juanita Carating-Siayngco v. Manuel Siayngco


G.R. NO. 158896; October 27, 2004
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner Juanita Carating-Siayngco and respondent Manuel Siayngco are married. After
discovering that they could not have a child of their own, the couple decided to adopt a baby boy.
After 24 years of married life together, respondent Manuel filed for the declaration of its nullity on
the ground of psychological incapacity of petitioner Juanita. Respondent Manuel is constantly
embarrassed by his wife’s outbursts and overbearing ways, who finds his wife’s obsession with
cleanliness and the tight reign on his wallet "irritants" and who is wounded by her lack of support
and respect for his person and his position as a Judge. Respondent Manuel presented Dr. Garcia
who concluded that both petitioner and respondent contributed to the marital collapse. In her
defense, Juanita allege that they were happily married until respondent Manuel started having
extra-marital affairs. Dr. Maaba testified for Juanita finding the latter psychologically capacitated.

The trial court denied respondent Manuel’s petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage holding
in part that the psychological incapacity of the defendant is not preponderantly supported in
evidence. The CA reversed the RTC decision, relying mainly on the psychiatric evaluation of Dr.
Garcia finding both Manuel and Juanita psychologically incapacitated.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Manuel and Juanita are both psychologically incapacitated

HELD:
NO, they are both not psychologically incapacitated.

"Psychological incapacity" under Article 36 of the Family Code is not meant to comprehend all
possible cases of psychoses. It should refer, rather, to no less than a mental (not physical)
incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that
concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage. Psychological
incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability

RE: PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY OF RESPONDENT MANUEL


The only essential marital obligation which respondent Manuel was not able to fulfill, if any, is the
obligation of fidelity. Sexual infidelity, per se, however, does not constitute psychological
incapacity within the contemplation of the Family Code. It must be shown that respondent
Manuel’s unfaithfulness is a manifestation of a disordered personality which makes him
completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of the marital state and not merely due
to his ardent wish to have a child of his own flesh and blood. In herein case, respondent Manuel
has admitted that: "I had [extra-marital] affairs because I wanted to have a child at that particular
point."

RE: PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY OF PETITIONER JUANITA


As aforementioned, the presumption is always in favor of the validity of marriage. Semper
praesumitur pro matrimonio. In the case at bar, respondent Manuel failed to prove that his wife’s
psychologically incapacitated. The root cause of petitioner Juanita’s behavior is traceable – not
from the inception of their marriage as required by law – but from her experiences during the
marriage, e.g., her in-laws’ disapproval of her as they wanted their son to enter the priesthood,
her husband’s philandering, admitted no less by him, and her inability to conceive. Dr. Garcia’s

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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report paints a story of a husband and wife who grew professionally during the marriage, who
pursued their individual dreams to the hilt, becoming busier and busier, ultimately sacrificing
intimacy and togetherness as a couple. This was confirmed by respondent Manuel himself during
his direct examination.

Thus, from the totality of the evidence adduced by both parties, we have been allowed a window
into the Siayngcos’s life and have perceived therefrom a simple case of a married couple drifting
apart, becoming strangers to each other, with the husband consequently falling out of love and
wanting a way out.

An unsatisfactory marriage, however, is not a null and void marriage. Mere showing of
"irreconcilable differences" and "conflicting personalities" in no wise constitutes psychological
incapacity. As we stated in Marcos v. Marcos: Article 36 of the Family Code, we stress, is not to
be confused with a divorce law that cuts the marital bond at the time the causes therefore
manifests themselves. It refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the
celebration of the marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of
awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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29. Edward Kenneth Ngo Te v. Rowena Ong Gutierrez Yu-Te


G.R. No. 161793; February 13, 2009
NACHURA, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner Edward Kenneth Ngo Te met respondent Rowena Ong Gutierrez Yu-Te in a gathering
organized by the Filipino-Chinese association in their college. Sharing similar angst towards their
families, the two understood one another and developed a certain degree of closeness towards
each other. Three months after their first meeting, Rowena and Edward eloped. They left Manila
and sailed to Cebu. Since they could not find a job, they decided to go back to Manila. Rowena
proceeded to her uncle’s house and Edward to his parents’ home.

Rowena kept on calling Edward threatening him that she would commit suicide if Edward does
not agree to stay with Rowena at her uncle’s place. Soon, Rowena and Edward got married. The
two then continued to stay at her uncle’s place where Edward was treated like a prisoner. Her
uncle also showed Edward his guns and warned the latter not to leave Rowena. After a month,
Edward escaped from the house of Rowena’s uncle, and stayed with his parents. His family then
hid him from Rowena and her family.

Edward asked Rowena to live with him in his parent’s house. Unmoved by his persistence and
upon knowing that Edward was disinherited by his parents, Rowena said that it was better for
them to live separate lives. After almost four years, Edward filed a petition for the annulment of
his marriage to Rowena on the basis of the latter’s psychological incapacity.

The psychologist who provided expert testimony found both parties psychologically incapacitated.
Petitioner’s behavioral pattern falls under the classification of dependent personality disorder, and
respondent’s, that of the narcissistic and antisocial personality disorder.

The trial court declared the marriage of the parties null and void on the ground that both parties
were psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations.

On appeal, the CA ruled that petitioner failed to prove the psychological incapacity of respondent.
The clinical psychologist did not personally examine respondent, and relied only on the
information provided by petitioner. Further, the psychological incapacity was not shown to be
attended by gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration
was denied.

Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari. Petitioner points out that there is no
requirement for the psychologist to personally examine respondent. For its part, the OSG
contends that the purported incapacity of both parties was not shown to be medically or clinically
permanent or incurable. And the clinical psychologist did not personally examine the respondent.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the marriage between the parties is null and void on the ground of psychological
incapacity

HELD:
Yes, the marriage between the parties is null and void.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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By the very nature of Article 36, courts, despite having the primary task and burden of decision-
making, must not discount but, instead, must consider as decisive evidence the expert opinion on
the psychological and mental temperaments of the parties. The presentation of expert proof
presupposes a thorough and in-depth assessment of the parties by the psychologist or expert, for
a conclusive diagnosis of a grave, severe and incurable presence of psychological incapacity.
While there is no requirement that the person to be declared psychologically incapacitated be
personally examined by a physician, the totality of evidence presented should be enough to
sustain a finding of psychological incapacity. Verily, the evidence must show a link, medical or
the like, between the acts that manifest psychological incapacity and the psychological disorder
itself.

In the present case, the psychological assessment produced the findings that both parties are
afflicted with personality disorders.

Petitioner, who is afflicted with dependent personality disorder, cannot assume the essential
marital obligations of living together, observing love, respect and fidelity and rendering help and
support, for 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 even
when he believes they are wrong, has difficulty doing things on his own, volunteers to do things
that are demeaning in order to get approval from other people, feels uncomfortable or helpless
when alone and is often preoccupied with fears of being abandoned.

With respect to respondent, her being afflicted with antisocial personality disorder makes her
unable to assume the essential marital obligations. This finding takes into account her disregard
for the rights of others, her abuse, mistreatment and control of others without remorse, her
tendency to blame others, and her intolerance of the conventional behavioral limitations imposed
by society. Moreover, respondent is impulsive and domineering; she had no qualms in
manipulating petitioner with her threats of blackmail and of committing suicide.

Both parties being afflicted with grave, severe and incurable psychological incapacity, the
precipitous marriage which they contracted is thus, null and void.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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30. Nicolas S. Matudan v. Republic of the Philippines and Marilyn** B. Matudan


G.R. No. 203284; November 14, 2016
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner Nicolas S, Matudan (petitioner) and respondent Marilyn B. Matudan (Marilyn) were
married in Laoang, Northern Samar on October 26, 1976. They had four children.

In 1985, Marilyn left to work abroad. From then on, petitioner and the children lost contact with
her; she had not been seen nor heard from again.

Twenty-three years later, petitioner filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, alleging
that before, during, and after his marriage to Marilyn, the latter was psychologically incapable of
fulfilling her obligations as a wife and mother; that she consistently neglected and failed to provide
petitioner and her children with the necessary emotional and financial care, support, and
sustenance, and even so after leaving for work abroad; that based on expert evaluation conducted
by Dr. Tayag, Marilyn's psychological incapacity is grave, permanent, and incurable. The Republic
through the Office of the Solicitor General, opposed the Petition.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent’s 'Narcissistic Personality Disorder with traces of Antisocial Personality
Disorder amounts psychologically incapacity.

HELD:
Petitioner's evidence consists mainly of his judicial affidavit and testimony; the judicial affidavits
and testimonies of his daughter Maricel and Dr. Tayag; and Dr. Tayag's psychological evaluation
report on the psychological condition both petitioner and Marilyn. The supposed evaluation of
Marilyn's psychological condition was based solely on petitioner's account, since Marilyn did not
participate in the proceedings.

We find these observations and conclusions insufficiently in-depth and comprehensive to warrant
the conclusion that a psychological incapacity existed that prevented the respondent from
complying with the essential obligations of marriage. It failed to identify the root cause of the
respondent's narcissistic personality disorder and to prove that it existed at the inception of the
marriage. Neither did it explain the incapacitating nature of the alleged disorder, nor show that
the respondent was really incapable of fulfilling his duties due to some incapacity of a
psychological, not physical, nature. Thus, we cannot avoid but conclude that Dr. Tayag's
conclusion in her Report --i.e., that the respondent suffered 'Narcissistic Personality Disorder with
traces of Antisocial Personality Disorder declared to be grave and incurable' -is an unfounded
statement, not a necessary inference from her previous characterization and portrayal of the
respondent.

The issue of whether or not psychological incapacity exists in a given case calling for annulment
of marriage depends crucially, more than in any field of the law, on the fac ts of the case. Such
factual issue, however, is beyond the province of this Court to review. It is not the function of the
Court to analyze or weigh all over again the evidence or premises supportive of such factual
determination.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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Version 2

Nicolas S. Matudan v. Republic of the Philippines and Marilyn B. Matudan


G.R. No. 203284; November 14, 2016
DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS:
Nicolas S. Matudan filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage against Marilyn B.
Matudan when the latter went to abroad and never heard of again.
Matudan alleged that Marilyn was psychologically incapable of fulfilling her obligations as a wife
and mother ,and that based on expert evaluation conducted by Clinical Psychologist Nedy L.
Tayag, Marilyn's psychological incapacity is grave, permanent, and incurable.

ISSUE:
Whether Marilyn Matudan is psychologically incapacitated to perform her marital obligations
under Article 36 of the Family Code

HELD:
NO. Psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence and
(c) incurability. The incapacity must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of
carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage; it must be rooted in the history of the party
antedating the marriage although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage;
and it must be incurable or even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the
party involved.

For psychological incapacity however to be appreciated, the same must be serious, grave and
'so permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial
bond one is about to assume.

Petitioner harped on the abandonment of respondent. He even admitted that this the only reason
why he wants their marriage dissolved. Abandonment of spouse however is not psychological
incapacity. It is only a ground for legal separation.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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VOID FOR REASONS OF PUBLIC POLICY (ART. 38)

31. Oscar P. Mallion v. Editha Alcantara


G.R. No. 141528; October 31, 2006
AZCUNA, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner Oscar P. Mallion filed a petition with the RTC seeking a declaration of nullity of his
marriage to respondent Editha Alcantara alleged psychological incapacity. RTC and CA denied
the petition. After the decision in the latter attained finality, petitioner filed another petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage, this time alleging that his marriage with respondent was null and
void due to the fact that it was celebrated without a valid marriage license.

Petitioner insists that because the action for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of
psychological incapacity and the action for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of
absence of marriage license constitute separate causes of action, the present case would not fall
under the prohibition against splitting a single cause of action nor would it be barred by the
principle of res judicata.

On the other hand, respondent, counters that while the present suit is anchored on a different
ground, it still involves the same issue raised former case, that is, the validity of petitioner and
respondent’s marriage, and prays for the same remedy, that is, the declaration of nullity of their
marriage. Respondent filed an answer with a motion to dismiss on the ground of res judicata and
forum shopping.

ISSUE:
Whether or not a previous final judgment denying a petition for declaration of nullity on the ground
of psychological incapacity bar a subsequent petition for declaration of nullity on the ground of
lack of marriage license?

HELD:
Yes. Res judicata is defined as "a matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a
thing or matter settled by judgment”. Res judicata in this sense requires the concurrence of the
following requisites: (1) the former judgment is final; (2) it is rendered by a court having jurisdiction
over the subject matter and the parties; (3) it is a judgment or an order on the merits; and (4) there
is -- between the first and the second actions -- identity of parties, of subject matter, and of causes
of action.

Based on this test, petitioner would contend that the two petitions brought by him seeking the
declaration of nullity of his marriage are anchored on separate causes of action for the evidence
necessary to sustain the first petition which was anchored on the alleged psychological incapacity
of respondent is different from the evidence necessary to sustain the present petition which is
anchored on the purported absence of a marriage license. Petitioner, however, forgets that he is
simply invoking different grounds for the same cause of action. By definition, a cause of action is
the act or omission by which a party violates the right of another. In both petitions, petitioner has
the same cause - the declaration of nullity of his marriage to respondent. What differs is the
ground upon which the cause of action is predicated. These grounds cited by petitioner essentially
split the various aspects of the pivotal issue that holds the key to the resolution of this controversy,
that is, the actual status of petitioner and respondent’s marriage.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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Furthermore, the instant case is premised on the claim that the marriage is null and void because
no valid celebration of the same took place due to the alleged lack of a marriage license. In the
former case, however, petitioner impliedly conceded that the marriage had been solemnized and
celebrated in accordance with law. Petitioner is now bound by this admission. The alleged
absence of a marriage license which petitioner raises now could have been presented and heard
in the earlier case. Suffice it to state that parties are bound not only as regards every matter
offered and received to sustain or defeat their claims or demand but as to any other admissible
matter which might have been offered for that purpose and of all other matters that could have
been adjudged in that case. It must be emphasized that a party cannot evade or avoid the
application of res judicata by simply varying the form of his action or adopting a different method
of presenting his case.

Therefore, having expressly and impliedly conceded the validity of their marriage celebration,
petitioner is now deemed to have waived any defects therein. For this reason, the Court finds that
the present action for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of lack of marriage license
is barred by the decision in the former case.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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32. Republic of the Philippines v. Merlinda Olaybar


G.R. No. 189538; February 10, 2014
PERALTA, J.:

FACTS:
Respondent Merlinda Olaybar requested from the National Statistics Office (NSO) a Certificate of
No Marriage (CENOMAR) as one of the requirements for her marriage. Upon receipt thereof, she
discovered that she was already married to a certain Ye Son Sune, a Korean National, on June
24, 2002. She denied having contracted said marriage and that the signature in the certificate
was forged. She filed a Petition for Cancellation of Entries in the Marriage Contract.

The RTC ruled in favor of Olaybar. Petitioner moved for MR, but was denied. Hence this petition.
Petitioner contends that granting the cancellation of the entries is in effect declaring the marriage
void ab initio, thus the petition is actually a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage in the guise
of a Rule 108 proceeding.

ISSUE:
May the cancellation of entries in the marriage contract, in effect, which nullifies the marriage, be
undertaken in a Rule 108 proceeding?

HELD:
Yes. It was established that, as she claimed in her petition, no such marriage was celebrated. To
be sure, a petition for correction or cancellation of an entry in the civil registry cannot substitute
for an action to invalidate a marriage. A direct action is necessary to prevent circumvention of the
substantive and procedural safeguards of marriage under the Family Code, A.M. No. 02-11-10-
SC and other related laws.

Aside from the certificate of marriage, no such evidence was presented to show the existence of
marriage. Rather, respondent showed by overwhelming evidence that no marriage was entered
into and that she was not even aware of such existence. The testimonial and documentary
evidence clearly established that the only "evidence" of marriage which is the marriage certificate
was a forgery. While we maintain that Rule 108 cannot be availed of to determine the validity of
marriage, we cannot nullify the proceedings before the trial court where all the parties had been
given the opportunity to contest the allegations of respondent; the procedures were followed, and
all the evidence of the parties had already been admitted and examined. Respondent indeed
sought, not the nullification of marriage as there was no marriage to speak of, but the correction
of the record of such marriage to reflect the truth as set forth by the evidence. Otherwise s tated,
in allowing the correction of the subject certificate of marriage by cancelling the wife portion
thereof, the trial court did not, in any way, declare the marriage void as there was no marriage to
speak of. Hence, petition is denied.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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33. Amelia Garcia-Quiazon, Jenneth Quiazon and Maria Jennifer Quiazon v. Ma. Lourdes
Belen, for and in behalf of Maria Lourdes Elise Quiazon
G.R. No. 189121; July 31, 2013
PEREZ, J.:

FACTS:
This case started as a Petition for Letters of Administration of the Estate of Eliseo Quiazon
(Eliseo), filed by herein respondents who are Eliseo’s common-law wife and daughter. The
petition was opposed by herein petitioners Amelia Garcia-Quaizon (Amelia) to whom Eliseo was
married. Amelia was joined by her children, Jenneth Quiazon (Jenneth) and Maria Jennifer
Quiazon (Jennifer).Eliseo died intestate on 12 December 1992.

On 12 September 1994, Maria Lourdes Elise Quiazon (Elise), represented by her mother, Ma.
Lourdes Belen (Lourdes), filed a Petition for Letters of Administration before the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Las Piñas City. Elise claims that she is the natural child of Eliseo having been
conceived and born at the time when her parents were both capacitated to marry each other.
Insisting on the legal capacity of Eliseo and Lourdes to marry, Elise impugned the validity of
Eliseo’s marriage to Amelia by claiming that it was bigamous for having been contracted during
the subsistence of the latter’s marriage with one Filipito Sandico (Filipito). To prove her filiation to
the decedent, Elise, among others, attached to the Petition for Letters of Administration her
Certificate of Live Birth signed by Eliseo as her father. In the same petition, it was alleged that
Eliseo left real properties worth P2,040,000.00 and personal properties worth P2,100,000.00. In
order to preserve the estate of Eliseo and to prevent the dissipation of its value, Elise sought her
appointment as administratrix of her late father’s estate.

In a Decision, the RTC directed the issuance of Letters of Administration to Elise upon posting
the necessary bond. On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by the Court of
Appeals. In validating the findings of the RTC, the Court of Appeals held that Elise was able to
prove that Eliseo and Lourdes lived together as husband and wife by establishing a common
residence at No. 26 Everlasting Road, Phase 5, Pilar Village, Las Piñas City, from 1975 up to the
time of Eliseo’s death in 1992.

ISSUE:
Is the Amelia’s marriage to Eliseo void ab initio, as it was claimed to be bigamous for having been
contracted during the subsistence of a previous marriage?

HELD:
YES. Likewise unmeritorious is petitioners’ contention that the Court of Appeals erred in declaring
Amelia’s marriage to Eliseo as void ab initio. In a void marriage, it was though no marriage has
taken place, thus, it cannot be the source of rights. Any interested party may attack the marriage
directly or collaterally. A void marriage can be questioned even beyond the lifetime of the parties
to the marriage. It must be pointed out that at the time of the celebration of the marriage of Eliseo
and Amelia, the law in effect was the Civil Code, and not the Family Code, making the ruling in
Niñal v. Bayadog applicable four-square to the case at hand. In Niñal, the Court, in no uncertain
terms, allowed therein petitioners to file a petition for the declaration of nullity of their father’s
marriage to therein respondent after the death of their father, by contradistinguishing void from
voidable marriages, to wit:

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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Consequently, void marriages can be questioned even after the death of either party but voidable
marriages can be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties and not after death of either, in
which case the parties and their offspring will be left as if the marriage had been perfectly valid.

That is why the action or defense for nullity is imprescriptible, unlike voidable marriages where
the action prescribes. Only the parties to a voidable marriage can assail it but any proper
interested party may attack a void marriage.

It was emphasized in Niñal that in a void marriage, no marriage has taken place and it cannot be
the source of rights, such that any interested party may attack the marriage directly or collaterally
without prescription, which may be filed even beyond the lifetime of the parties to the marriage.
Relevant to the foregoing, there is no doubt that Elise, whose successional rights would be
prejudiced by her father’s marriage to Amelia, may impugn the existence of such marriage even
after the death of her father. The said marriage may be questioned directly by filing an action
attacking the validity thereof, or collaterally by raising it as an issue in a proceeding for the
settlement of the estate of the deceased spouse, such as in the case at bar. Ineluctably, Elise, as
a compulsory heir, has a cause of action for the declaration of the absolute nullity of the void
marriage of Eliseo and Amelia, and the death of either party to the said marriage does not
extinguish such cause of action.

Having established the right of Elise to impugn Eliseo’s marriage to Amelia, we now proceed to
determine whether or not the decedent’s marriage to Amelia is void for being bigamous.

Contrary to the position taken by the petitioners, the existence of a previous marriage between
Amelia and Filipito was sufficiently established by no less than the Certificate of Marriage issued
by the Diocese of Tarlac and signed by the officiating priest of the Parish of San Nicolas de
Tolentino in Capas, Tarlac. The said marriage certificate is a competent evidence of marriage and
the certification from the National Archive that no information relative to the said marriage exists
does not diminish the probative value of the entries therein. We take judicial notice of the fact that
the first marriage was celebrated more than 50 years ago, thus, the possibility that a record of
marriage can no longer be found in the National Archive, given the interval of time, is not
completely remote. Consequently, in the absence of any showing that such marriage had been
dissolved at the time Amelia and Eliseo’s marriage was solemnized, the inescapable conclusion
is that the latter marriage is bigamous and, therefore, void ab initio.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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GROUNDS MUST EXIST AT TIME OF MARRIAGE (ART. 45)

34. Fernando Aquino v. Conchita Delizo


G.R. No. L-15853; July 27, 1960
GUTIERREZ DAVID, J.:

FACTS:
Fernando Aquino, petitioner, filed a complaint for annulment of his marriage with respondent
Conchita Delizo. The complaint was based on the ground of fraud, it being alleged, among other
things, that respondent, at the date of her marriage to petitioner, concealed from the latter that
fact that she was pregnant by another man, concealed from the latter that fac t that she was
pregnant by another man (petitioner’s brother, Cesar Aquino). That about four months after their
marriage, she gave birth to a child. In her answer, respondent claimed that the child was
conceived out of lawful wedlock between her and the petitioner.

During the trial, only petitioner testified. The only documentary evidence presented was the
marriage contract between the parties. Respondent did not appear nor presented any evidence.
The CFI dismissed petitioner’s complaint, which was affirmed by CA thus a petition for certiorari
to review the decisions.

ISSUE:
Does concealment of pregnancy constitute fraud and may be a ground for annulment of marriage?

HELD:
YES, concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a
man other than her husband, constitutes fraud and is ground for annulment of marriage pursuant
to Article 85, par. (4) in relation to Article 86, par. (3) of the New Civil Code.

Respondent was allegedly to be only more than four months pregnant at the time of her marriage.
At this stage, it is hard to say that her pregnancy was readily apparent especially since she was
“naturally plump” or fat. According to medical authorities, even on the 5th month of pregnancy,
the enlargement of a woman's abdomen is still below the umbilicus, that is to say, the enlargement
is limited to the lower part of the abdomen so that it is hardly noticeable and may, if noticed, be
attributed only to fat formation on the lower part of the abdomen. It is only on the 6th month of
pregnancy that the enlargement of the woman's abdomen reaches a height above the umbilicus,
making the roundness of the abdomen more general and apparent.

If, as claimed by plaintiff, defendant is "naturally plump", he could hardly be expec ted to know,
merely by looking, whether or not she was pregnant at the time of their marriage more so because
she must have attempted to conceal the true state of affairs.

Hence, it is sufficient to sustain the fraud alleged by petitioner.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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35. Aurora Anaya v. Fernando Palaroan


G.R. No. L-27930; November 26, 1970
REYES, J.B.L., J.:

FACTS:
Plaintiff Aurora Anaya and defendant Fernando Palaroan were married on 4 December 1953.
Defendant Fernando filed an action for annulment of the marriage on 7 January 1954 on the
ground that his consent was obtained through force and intimidation. The complaint was
dismissed and upheld the validity of marriage and granted Aurora’ s counterclaim. While the
amount of the counterclaim was being negotiated to settle the judgment, Fernando had divulged
to Aurora that several months prior to their marriage he had pre-marital relationship with his close
relative. Defendant, in his Answer, denied having pre- marital relationship with a close relative
and denied having committed any fraud against her.

ISSUE:
WON the non-disclosure to a wife by her husband of his pre-marital relationship with another
woman is a ground for annulment of marriage.

HELD:
No. Non-disclosure of a husband's pre-marital relationship with another woman is not one of the
enumerated circumstances that would constitute a ground for annulment; and it is further
excluded by the last paragraph of the article, providing that "no other misrepresentation or deceit
as to ... chastity" shall give ground for an action to annul a marriage. While a woman may detest
such non-disclosure of premarital lewdness or feel having been thereby cheated into giving her
consent to the marriage, nevertheless the law does not assuage her grief after her consent was
solemnly given, for upon marriage she entered into an institution in which society, and not herself
alone, is interested. The lawmaker's intent being plain, the Court's duty is to give effect to the
same, whether it agrees with the rule or not.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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DOCTRINE OF TRIENNIAL COHABITATION

36. Sarao v. Guevara


G.R. No. 47063; 40 OG 263
REYES, A.J.:

FACTS:
In the afternoon of their wedding day, plaintiff tried to have coitus with defendant but the latter
begged for him to wait until that evening. When night came, plaintiff again attempted to have
carnal knowledge with his wife but the latter complained that her vagina was in pain. Plaintiff
noticed purulent matter offensive to the smell coming out from her genital. Afterwards, several
attempts were made by the plaintiff to have coitus but to no avail because defendant was still in
pain.

After a visit to the physician, defendant was advised to submit herself to an operation wherein her
uterus and ovaries will be removed because they were affected by a tumor. Defendant was
operated on with the consent of the plaintiff. The removal of said organs rendered defendant
incapable of procreation, but not of copulation.

Plaintiff declared that from the time of the operation, he lost all desire to have sexual relations
with defendant and has not tried since then. He filed a complaint for annulment of marriage on
the ground of impotency. The CFI dismissed the complaint.

ISSUE:
Can the defendant’s incapacity to procreate be construed as “physically incapable of entering into
the married state” and is such a valid ground for annulment?

HELD:
No, it may not be construed as such.

According to Article 45 (5) of the Family Code, marriage may be annulled if “either party was, at
the time of marriage, physically incapable of entering into the married state, and such incapacity
continues, and appears to be incurable”. It is held that the test of impotency is not the ability to
procreate, but the ability to copulate.

In this case, the defendant was not impotent at the time the marriage was celebrated, as
supported by the opinion of the doctor that the existence of fibrous tumor in the ovaries did not
necessarily render her incapable of copulation or even procreation. The removal of her uterus
and ovaries rendered her sterile but did not make her unfit for sexual intercourse.

Thus, the defendant’s sterility cannot be a ground for annulment since what the law provides as
a ground for annulment is the incapacity to copulate, and not to procreate.

ALTERNATIVE RULING

The annulment cannot be granted because the apparent impotence of the wife was merely
temporary, and as a matter of fact, she is no longer impotent. Sterility, on the other hand, is not a
ground.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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If both the husband and wife are impotent, the marriage cannot be annulled because neither can
claim that he or she has been aggrieved by the other.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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ROLE OF PROSECUTING ATTORNEY OR PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

37. Tuason v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 116607; April 10, 1996
PUNO, J.:

FACTS:
In 1989, private respondent Maria Victoria Lopez Tuason filed with the RTC a petition for
annulment or declaration of nullity of her marriage to petitioner Emilio R. Tuason. In her complaint,
she alleged that at the time of the marriage, petitioner was already psychologically incapacitated
to comply with his essential marital obligations which became manifest afterward. She claimed
that her husband inflicted physical injuries on her, used dangerous drugs, cohabited with three
women in succession, refused to pay their children’s tuition fees, among others. In addition to her
prayer for annulment of marriage, private respondent prayed for powers of administration to save
the conjugal properties from further dissipation. Petitioner answered denying the imputations
against him.

After the issues were joined, trial commenced. 2 days before the scheduled hearing, a counsel
for petitioner moved for a postponement to the first week of June, which was granted. However,
petitioner failed to appear on the reset date. On oral motion of private respondent, the court
declared petitioner to have waived his right to present evidence and deemed the case submitted
for decision on the basis of the evidence presented. The RTC declared the nullity of the marriage.

Petitioner, through new counsel, filed with the trial court a petition for relief from judgment. The
same was denied. Petitioner appealed to the CA, but the appeal was dismissed. Petitioner
contended that when he failed to appear at the scheduled hearings, the trial court should have
ordered the prosecuting officer to intervene for the state and inquire as to the reason for his non-
appearance.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the judgment should be set aside due to prosecuting attorney’s failure to intervene
for the state.

HELD:
NO. The facts in the case at bar do not call for the strict application of Articles 48 and 60 of the
Family Code. For one, petitioner was not declared in default by the trial court for failure to answer.
Petitioner filed his answer to the complaint and contested the cause of action alleged by private
respondent. He actively participated in the proceedings below by filing several pleadings and
cross-examining the witnesses of private respondent. It is crystal clear that every stage of the
litigation was characterized by a no-holds barred contest and not by collusion.

The role of the prosecuting attorney or fiscal in annulment of marriage and legal separation
proceedings is to determine whether collusion exists between the parties and to take care that
the evidence is not suppressed or fabricated. Petitioners vehement opposition to the annulment
proceedings negates the conclusion that collusion existed between the parties. There is no
allegation by the petitioner that evidence was suppressed or fabricated by any of the parties.
Under these circumstances, we are convinced that the non-intervention of a prosecuting attorney
to assure lack of collusion between the contending parties is not fatal to the validity of the
proceedings in the trial court.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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EFFECT OF TERMINATION OF MARRIAGE

38. Espiritu v. CA and Masauding


G.R. No. 115640; March 15, 1995
MELO, J.:

FACTS:
Respondent Teresita Masauding filed a petitioner for habeas corpus against petitioners Reynaldo
Espiritu and Teresita Layug to gain custody over her 2 children with Reynaldo.

Reynaldo and Teresita’s marriage deteriorated until they decided to separate. During the
marriage, Teresita entered into an illicit relationship with Perdencio right there in the family home
in Pittsburg. The record shows that the daughter suffered emotional disturbance caused by the
traumatic effect of seeing her mother hugging and kissing a boarder in their house. The record
also shows that it was Teresita who left the conjugal home and the children, bound for California.
When Perdencio was reassigned to the Philippines, Teresita followed him and was seen in his
company in a Cebu hotel. Instead of giving their marriage a second chance as allegedly pleaded
by Reynaldo, Teresita left Reynaldo and the children and went back to California. She claims,
however, that she spent a lot of money on long distance telephone calls to keep in constant touch
with her children.

The RTC awarded full parental authority in favor of Reynaldo but on appeal, the CA reversed the
judgment and gave full parental authority to Teresita.

ISSUE:
Is the CA correct in reversing the decision of the RTC based on Art. 363?

HELD:
In ascertaining the welfare and best interests of the child, courts are mandated by the Family
Code to take into account all relevant considerations. If a child is under seven years of age, Art.
363 presumes that the mother is the best custodian. The presumption is strong but it is not
conclusive. It can be overcome by "compelling reasons". If a child is over seven, his choice is
paramount but, again, the court is not bound by that choice. In its discretion, the court may find
the chosen parent unfit and award custody to the other parent, or even to a third party as it deems
fit under the circumstances.

The law is more than satisfied by the judgment of the trial court. The children are now both over
seven years old. Their choice of the parent with whom they prefer to stay is clear from the record.
From all indications, Reynaldo is a fit person, thus meeting the two requirements found in the first
paragraph of Article 213 of the FC. The presumption under the second paragraph of said article
no longer applies as the children are over seven years. Assuming that the presumption should
have persuasive value for children only one or two years beyond the age of seven years
mentioned in the statute, there are compelling reasons and relevant considerations not to grant
custody to the mother. The children understand the unfortunate shortcomings of their mother and
have been affected in their emotional growth by her behavior.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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39. Susan Lim-Lua v. Danilo Y. Lua


G.R. Nos. 175279-80; June 05, 2013
VILLARAMA, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner Susan Lim-Lua filed an action for the declaration of nullity of her marriage with
respondent Danilo Y. Lua. In her prayer for support pendente lite for herself and her two children,
petitioner sought the amount of P500,000.00 as monthly support, citing respondent’s huge
earnings from salaries and dividends in several companies and businesses here and abroad.

After hearing, the judge granted support pendente lite in the amount of P250,000 monthly, and
the amount of P135,000 needed for the medical attendance expenses needed by Lim -Lua.
According to Art. 203 of the Family Code, support is demandable from the time plaintiff needed
the said support but is payable only from the date of judicial demand, thus, the court ordered the
payment of P1,750,000 as support in arrears from the time complaint was filed up to the date of
the hearing.

On appeal, the CA reduced the amount to P115,000 monthly and respondent was ordered to pay
the arrears. This decision became final. In Compliance, respondent submitted a copy of the check
in the amount of P162,651.90 payable to petitioner. He contends that he deducted from the
amount of support in arrears (September 3, 2003 to March 2005) ordered by the CA --
P2,185,000.00 -- plus P460,000.00 (April, May, June and July 2005), totalling P2,645,000.00, the
advances given by him to his children and petitioner in the sum of P2,482,348.16. These
advances were expenses incurred by respondent consisting of the purchase and maintenance of
the two cars (a Volkswagen Beetle and BMW 316i for the 2 children), payment of tuition fees,
travel expenses, and the credit card purchases involving groceries, dry goods and books, which
certainly inured to the benefit not only of the two children, but to petitioner as well.

Petitioner questioned the deduction from the support in arrears of the advances, claiming that
such deduction is not proper, as the items purchased are not indispensable to the sus tenance of
the family or in keeping them alive. Respondent counters that these items are to be considered
advances for support, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family. Respondent stressed
that being children of parents belonging to the upper-class society, Angelli and Daniel Ryan had
never in their entire life commuted from one place to another, nor do they eat their meals at
“carinderias”. Hence, the cars and their maintenance are indispensable to the children’s day-to-
day living, the value of which was properly deducted from the arrearages in support pendente lite.

ISSUE:
May certain expenses already incurred by the respondent be deducted from the total support in
arrears owing to petitioner and her children?

HELD:
YES. Some but not all, of the expenses incurred may be deducted from the total support in
arrears.

Article 194 provides that support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling,
clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity
of the family. Rulings by US Courts refuse to allow a husband to dictate how he will meet the
requirements for support payments when the mode of payment is fixed by a decree of court. The
general rule is that the parent cannot claim credit for payments voluntarily made directly to the

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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children. However, special considerations of an equitable nature may justify a court in crediting
such payments on his indebtedness to the mother, when such can be done without injustice to
her.

Here, the CA should not have allowed all the expenses incurred by respondent to be credited
against the accrued support pendente lite. The monthly support pendente lite granted by the trial
court was intended primarily for food, household expenses such as salaries of drivers and house
helpers, and also petitioner’s scoliosis therapy sessions. Hence, the value of two expensive cars
bought by respondent for his children plus their maintenance cost, travel expenses of petitioner
and Angelli, purchases through credit card of items other than groceries and dry goods (clothing)
should have been disallowed, as these bear no relation to the judgment awarding support
pendente lite. While it is true that the dispositive portion of the executory decision in CA-G.R. SP
No. 84740 ordered herein respondent to pay the support in arrears “less than the amount
supposedly given by petitioner to the private respondent as her and their two (2) children monthly
support,” the deductions should be limited to those basic needs and expenses considered by the
trial and appellate courts.

Accordingly, only the following expenses of respondent may be allowed as deductions from the
accrued support pendente lite for petitioner and her children: (1) medical expenses of Susan Lim-
Lua (P42,450.71); (2) dental Expenses of Daniel Ryan (P11,500.00); (3) credit card purchases of
Angelli (P365,282.20); and (4) credit card purchases of Daniel Ryan (P228,869.38), in the total
amount of Php 648,102.29.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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40. Ma. Belen B. Mangonon v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 125041; June 30, 2006
CHICO- NAZARIO, J.:

FACTS:
Petitioner Ma. Belen B. Mangonon filed, in behalf of her then minor children Rica and Rina, a
Petition for Declaration of Legitimacy and Support, with application for support pendente lite. On
16 February 1975, petitioner and respondent Federico Delgado were civilly married. At that time,
petitioner was only 21 years old while respondent Federico was only 19 years old. As the marriage
was solemnized without the required consent per Article 85 of the New Civil Code, it was annulled
on 11 August 1975.

Within seven months after the annulment of their marriage, petitioner gave birth to twins Rica and
Rina. According to petitioner, she, with the assistance of her second husband Danny Mangonon,
raised her twin daughters as private respondents had totally abandoned them. At the time of the
institution of the petition, Rica and Rina were about to enter college in the United States of
America (USA) where petitioner, together with her daughters and second husband, had moved
to and finally settled in. However, despite admission to universities, Rica and Rina were financially
incapable of pursuing collegiate education.

Petitioner made demands to respondent Federico and Francisco, the grandfather of twins.
However, these demands remained unheeded. As legitimate children and grandchildren, Rica
and Rina are entitled to general and educational support under Articles 174 and 195(b) in relation
to Articles 194(1 and 2) [14] and 199(c) of the Family Code. Petitioner alleged that under these
provisions, in case of default on the part of the parents, the obligation to provide support falls
upon the grandparents of the children.

On the other hand, respondent Francisco argues that the trial court correctly declared that
petitioner and respondent Federico should be the ones to provide the support needed by their
twin daughters pursuant to Article 199 of the Family Code.

ISSUE:
WON respondent Francisco, the grandfather, should be held liable for the support pendente lite.

HELD:
Yes. There being prima facie evidence showing that petitioner and respondent Federico are the
parents of Rica and Rina, petitioner and respondent Federico are primarily charged to support
their childrens college education.

In view, however, of their incapacities, the obligation to furnish said support should be borne by
respondent Francisco. Under Article 199 of the Family Code, respondent Francisco, as the next
immediate relative of Rica and Rina, is tasked to give support to his granddaughters in default of
their parents.

It bears stressing that respondent Francisco is the majority stockholder and Chairman of the
Board of Directors of Citadel Commercial, Incorporated, which owns and manages twelve
gasoline stations, substantial real estate, and is engaged in shipping, brokerage and freight
forwarding. He is also the majority stockholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citadel
Shipping which does business with Hyundai of Korea. It having been established that respondent

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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Francisco has the financial means to support his granddaughters education, he, in lieu of
petitioner and respondent Federico, should be held liable for support pendente lite.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO,
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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41. Roberto Domingo v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 104818; September 17, 1993
ROMERO, J.:

FACTS:
Private respondent Delia Soledad A. Domingo filed a petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
and Separation of Property against petitioner Roberto Domingo.

Unknown to private respondent, petitioner had a previous marriage with one Emerlina dela Paz
which marriage is valid and still existing; she came to know of the prior marriage only sometime
in 1983 when Emerlina dela Paz sued them for bigamy. While on her one-month vacation, she
discovered that he was cohabiting with another woman; she further discovered that he had been
disposing of some of her properties without her knowledge or consen.The petition prayed that a
temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction be issued enjoining Roberto from
exercising any act of administration and ownership over said properties; their marriage be
declared null and void and of no force and effect.

Petitioner contends that petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and Separation of Property
filed by private respondent must be dismissed for being unnecessary since their marriage is a
bigamous one. On the other hand, private respondent insists on the necessity of a judicial
declaration of the nullity of their marriage, not for purposes of remarriage, but in order to provide
a basis for the separation and distribution of the properties acquired during coverture.

RTC denied the motion to dismiss for lack of merit.

ISSUE:
Is a petition for judicial declaration of a void marriage necessary only for purposes of remarriage?

HELD:
NO, it may be obtained for other purposes.

Article 40 denotes that such final judgment declaring the previous marriage void need not be
obtained only for purposes of remarriage. Undoubtedly, one can conceive of other instances
where a party might well invoke the absolute nullity of a previous marriage for purposes other
than remarriage, such as in case of an action for liquidation, partition, distribution and separation
of property between the erstwhile spouses, as well as an action for the custody and support of
their common children and the delivery of the latters' presumptive legitimes.

Petitioner's interpretation of Art. 40 of the Family Code is, undoubtedly, quite restrictive. Private
respondent's ultimate prayer for separation of property will simply be one of the necessary
consequences of the judicial declaration of absolute nullity of their marriage. Thus, petitioner's
suggestion that in order for their properties to be separated, an ordinary civil action has to be
instituted for that purpose is baseless. The Family Code has clearly provided the effects of the
declaration of nullity of marriage, one of which is the separation of property according to the
regime of property relations governing them.

Therefore, he lower court before whom the issue of nullity of a first marriage is brought is likewise
clothed with jurisdiction to decide the incidental questions regarding the couple's properties.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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GROUNDS OF LEGAL SEPARATION (ART. 55)

42. Gandionco v. Hon. Senen C. Peñaranda


G.R. No. 79284; November 27, 1987
PADILLA, J.:

FACTS:
Private respondent Teresita Gandionco filed a complaint against petitioner Froilan Gandionco for
legal separation on the ground of concubinage as a civil case. Teresita also filed a criminal
complaint of concubinage against her husband. She likewise filed an application for the
provisional remedy of support pendente lite which was approved and ordered by the respondent
judge. Petitioner moved to suspend the action for legal separation and the incidents consequent
thereto such as the support for pendente lite, in view of the criminal case for concubinage filed
against him. He contends that the civil action for legal separation is inextricably tied with the
criminal action thus, all proceedings related to legal separation will have to be suspended and
await the conviction or acquittal of the criminal case.

ISSUE:
Should the civil action for legal separation be suspended pending the resolution of the criminal
case for concubinage?

HELD:
No, the civil action for legal separation may proceed independently notwithstanding the pendency
of the resolution of the criminal case for concubinage. A civil action for legal separation on the
ground of concubinage may proceed ahead of, or simultaneously with, a criminal action for
concubinage, because said civil action is not one to enforce the civil liability arising from the
offense, even if both the civil and criminal actions arise from or are related to the same offense.
Such civil action is one intended to obtain the right to live separately, with the legal consequences
thereof including the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains, custody of the children,
support and disqualifications from inheriting from the innocent spouse. Decree of legal separation
may be issued upon proof by preponderance of evidence, where no criminal proceeding or
conviction is necessary.

Futhermore, it may be noted that under Article 55(6) of the Family Code of the Philippines, sexual
infidelity or perversion of either spouse has replaced adultery on the part of the wife and
concubinage on the part of the husband as defined by the Revised Penal Code (Art. 97, New Civil
Code) as one of the grounds for legal separation.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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43. Samson Sabalones v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 106169; February 14, 1994
CRUZ, J.:

FACTS:
As a member of our diplomatic service assigned to different countries during his successive tours
of duties, petitioner Samson T. Sabalones left to his wife, herein respondent Remedios Gaviola-
Sabalones, the administration of some of their conjugal, properties for fifteen years.

Sabalones retired as ambassador in 1985 and came back to the Philippines but not to his wife
and their children. Four years later, he filed an action for judicial authorization to sell a building
and lot located at San Juan, Metro Manila, belonging to the conjugal partnership. He claimed that
he was sixty-eight years old, very sick and living alone without any income, and that his share of
the proceeds of the sale to defray the prohibitive cost of his hospitalization and medical treatment.

In her answer, the private respondent opposed the authorization and filed a counterclaim for legal
separation. She alleged that the house in Greenhills was being occupied by her and their six
children and that they were depending for their support on the rentals from another conjugal
property, a building and lot in Forbes Park which was on lease to Nobumichi Izumi. She also
informed the court that despite her husband's retirement, he had not returned to his legitimate
family and was instead maintaining a separate residence in Don Antonio Heights, Fairview,
Quezon City, with Thelma Cumareng and their three children.

In her prayer, she asked the court to grant the decree of legal separation and order the liquidation
of their conjugal properties, with forfeiture of her husband's share therein because of his adultery.
She also prayed that it enjoin the petitioner and his agents from a) disturbing the occupants of the
Forbes Park property and b) disposing of or encumbering any of the conjugal properties.

After trial, Judge Mariano M. Umali, found that the petitioner had indeed contracted a bigamous
marriage. The court thus decreed the legal separation of the spouses and the forfeiture of the
petitioner's share in the conjugal properties, declaring as well that he was not entitled to support
from his respondent wife.

This decision was appealed to the respondent court. Pendente lite, the respondent wife filed a
motion for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the petitioner from interfering
with the administration of their properties in Greenhills and Forbes Park. The petitioner opposed
this motion and filed his own motion to prevent his wife from entering into a new contract of lease
over the Forbes Park property with its present tenant, or with future tenants, without his consent.

CA granted the preliminary injunction prayed for by his wife.

The petitioner now assails this order, arguing that since the law provides for a joint administration
of the conjugal properties by the husband and wife, no injunctive relief can be issued against one
or the other because no right will be violated. In support of this contention, he cites Art. 124 of the
Family Code.

ISSUE:
Can a court issue a preliminary injunction in favor of the wife to prohibit a husband from interfering
with the administration of their conjugal properties?

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
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HELD:
Yes, the court can issue such preliminary injunction.

We agree with the respondent court that pending the appointment of an administrator over the
whole mass of conjugal assets, the respondent court was justified in allowing the wife to continue
with her administration. It was also correct, taking into account the evidence adduced at the
hearing, in enjoining the petitioner from interfering with his wife's administration pending resolution
of the appeal.

The law does indeed grant to the spouses joint administration over the conjugal properties as
clearly provided in the above-cited Article 124 of the Family Code. However, Article 61 states that
after a petition for legal separation has been filed, the trial court shall, in the absence of a written
agreement between the couple, appoint either one of the spouses or a third person to act as the
administrator.

While it is true that no formal designation of the administrator has been made, such designation
was implicit in the decision of the trial court denying the petitioner any share in the conjugal
properties (and thus also disqualifying him as administrator thereof). That designation was in
effect approved by the Court of Appeals when it issued in favor of the respondent wife the
preliminary injunction now under challenge.

The Court notes that the wife has been administering the subject properties for almost nineteen
years now, apparently without complaint on the part of the petitioner. He has not alleged, much
less shown, that her administration has caused prejudice to the conjugal partnership. What he
merely suggests is that the lease of the Forbes Park property could be renewed on better terms,
or he should at least be given his share of the rentals.

The twin requirements of a valid injunction are the existence of a right and its actual or threatened
violation. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, it cannot be denied that as the petitioner's
legitimate wife (and the complainant and injured spouse in the action for legal separation), the
private respondent has a right to a share (if not the whole) of the conjugal estate. There is also,
in our view, enough evidence to raise the apprehension that entrusting said estate to the petitioner
may result in its improvident disposition to the detriment of his wife and children. We agree that
inasmuch as the trial court had earlier declared the forfeiture of the petitioner's share in the
conjugal properties, it would be prudent not to allow him in the meantime to participate in its
management.

Let it be stressed that the injunction has not permanently installed the respondent wife as the
administrator of the whole mass of conjugal assets. It has merely allowed her to continue
administering the properties in the meantime without interference from the petitioner, pending the
express designation of the administrator in accordance with Article 61 of the Family Code.

|| CIVREV I (PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS / PROPERTY / WILLS AND SUCCESSION): VICE DEAN DELSON) || ADVINCULA, ADINA, ALVERO
ANDE, APA, BAACO, BULUSAN, COS-AGON, CORPUS, CORTEZ, DALUDADO, DELA CRUZ, DEL ROSARIO, DENILA, DENOSTA, EDDING ,
EDILLOR, HUAB, MABANGLO, MACALINO, MARAJAS, MINA, PARAGAS, RECUENCO, U RUBIO, VIEDOR, VILLAMAYOR, VIRAY ||
70