You are on page 1of 2

Santos v. Santos GR. No.

187061 October 8, 2014

Facts:
On July 27, 2007 the RTC of Tarlac City declared petitioner Celerina J. Santos
presumptively dead after the respondent filed a petition for declaration of absence or
presumptive dead for the purpose of remarriage on Jun 15, 2007. Ricardo remarried on
September 17, 2008.
The Celerina J. Santos (petitioner) and Ricardo T. Santos (respondent) were married in
San Juan, Metro Manila on June 18, 1980. According to respondent, petitioner left in 1995 to
work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong and never heard from her ever since. He claimed to
have exerted efforts to look for petitioner by asking her parents and friends, but no one gave
him information. Respondent claimed that it was almost 12 years from the date of RTC
decision since petitioner left.
Petitioner only learned about the Ricardo’s petition sometime in October 2008.
Petitioner claimed that she never left and worked abroad as a domestic helper. She also
claimed that she was not absent for 12 years. Petitioner asserts that it was the respondent
who left their conjugal dwelling in May 2008 to cohabit with another woman. On November
17, 2008, Petitioner filed a petition for annulment of judgment before the CA on the grounds
of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. Petitioner alleged in her petition for annulment of
judgment that there was fraud when respondent deliberately made false allegations in the
court with respect to her residence and for claiming that she was absent for 12 years.
Respondent commented that petitioner should file an affidavit of reappearance to terminate
the subsequent marriage instead of filing for an annulment of judgment.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner should file an affidavit of reappearance instead of
annulment of judgment.

Ruling:

The court ruled that the petitioner’s filing of annulment of judgment is meritorious.
The grounds for annulment of judgment are extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. The
petitioner claims that the respondents’ filing of declaration of her presumptive death was
fraudulent and committed in bad faith. A subsequent marriage contracted in bad faith, even
if it was contracted after the declaration of presumptive death, lacks the requirement of a
well-founded belief that the spouse is already dead. Celerina does not admit to have been
absent. The court agreed when petitioner contended that reappearance is not a sufficient
remedy because it will only terminate the subsequent marriage but not nullify the effects of
the declaration of her presumptive death and the subsequent marriage. Mere filing of an
affidavit of reappearance will not nullify the effects of the declaration of presumptive death
and the subsequent marriage.

Wherefore, the case is remanded to the Court of Appeals for determination of the
existence of extrinsic fraud, grounds for nullity/annulment of the first marriage, and the
merits of the petition.