MADRIDEJO VS. DE LEON

G.R. No. L-32473             October 6, 1930

55 PHIL 1

By: Karen P. Lustica

 

FACTS: Eulogio de Leon and Flaviana Perez, man and wife, had but one child, Domingo de Leon. The wife and son survived Eulogio de Leon, who died in the year 1915. During her widowhood, Flaviana Perez lived with Pedro Madridejo, a bachelor. The registry of births of the municipality of Siniloan, Laguna, shows that on June 1, 1917, a child was born to Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez, which was named Melecio Madridejo, the necessary data being furnished by Pedro Madridejo (Exhibit B). On June 17, 1917, a 24-day old child of Siniloan, Laguna, as a son of Flaviana Perez, no mention being made of the father (Exhibit 2).

 

On July 8, 1920, Flaviana Perez, being at death’s door, was married to Pedro Madridejo, a bachelor, 30 years of age, by the parish priest of Siniloan (Exhibit A). She died on the following day, July 9, 1920, leaving Domingo de Leon, her son by Eulogio de Leon, and the plaintiff-appellee Melecio Madridejo, as well as her alleged second husband, Pedro Madridejo. Domingo de Leon died on the 2nd of May, 1928.

 

 

ISSUES:

  1. WON there was a valid marriage in articulo mortis
  2. WON the subsequent marriage of Melecio’s parents legitimated him.

 

HELD:

  1. YES.
  2. NO.

 

RATIO:

 

  1. With regard to the first assignment of error, the mere fact that the parish priest of Siniloan, Laguna, who married Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez, failed to send a copy of the marriage certificate to the municipal secretary does not invalidate the marriage in articulo mortis, it not appearing that the essential requisites required by law for its validity were lacking in the ceremony, and the forwarding of a copy of the marriage certificate is not one of said essential requisites.

 

  1. Article 121 of the Civil Code provides:

Art. 121. Children shall be considered as legitimated by a subsequent marriage only when they have been acknowledged by the parents before or after the celebration thereof.

According to this legal provision, in order that a subsequent marriage may be effective as a legitimation, the natural children born out of wedlock must have been acknowledged by the parents either before or after its celebration. The Civil Code has established two kinds of acknowledgment: voluntary and compulsary. Article 131 provides for the voluntary acknowledgment by the father or mother as follows:

Art. 131. The acknowledgment of a natural child must be made in the record of birth, in a will, or in some other public document.

Article 135 provides for the compulsary acknowledgment by the father, thus:

Art. 135. The father may be compelled to acknowledge his natural child in the following cases:

  1. When an indisputable paper written by him, expressly acknowledging his paternity, is in existence.
  2. When the child has been in the uninterrupted possession of the status of a natural child of the defendant father, justified by the conduct of the father himself of that of his family.
  3. In cases of rape, seduction, or abduction, the provisions of the Penal Code with regard to the acknowledgment of the issue, shall be observed.

Article 136 providing for the compulsory acknowledgment by the mother, reads:

Art. 136. The mother may be compelled to acknowlegde her natural child:

  1. When the child is, with respect to the mother, included in any of the cases mentioned in the next preceding article.
  2. When the fact of the birth and the identity of the child are fully proven.

 

Applying the provisions to the case, as with the father, no document has been adduced to show that he has voluntarily acknowledged Melecio Madridejo as his son, except the registry certificate of birth. This, of course, is not the record of birth mentioned in the law, for it lacks the requisites of article 48 of the Law of Civil Registry. It, no doubt, is a public instrument, but it has neither been executed nor signed by Pedro Madridejo, and contains no statement by which he acknowledges Melecio Madridejo to be his son.

As to the mother, it does not appear that Flaviana Perez supplied the data set forth in the civil registry of births or in the baptismal register which constitutes final proof only of the baptism, and not of the kinship or parentage of the person baptized (Adriano vs. De Jesus, 23 Phil., 350). Furthermore, church registers of baptism are no longer considered public documents (United States vs. Evangelista, 29 Phil., 215).

 

Melecio Madridejo, then, was not voluntarily acknowledged by Pedro Madridejo or Flaviana Perez, either before or after their marriage.

 

The compulsory acknowledgment by the father established in article 135 of the Civil Code, and by the mother according to article 136, requires that the natural child take judicial action against the father or mother, or against the persons setting themselves up as the heirs of both, for the purpose of compelling them to acknowledge him as a natural son through a judgment of the court.

 

In the instant action brought by Melecio Madridejo not only has he not demanded to be acknowledged as a natural child, which is the condition precedent to establishing his legitimation by the subsequent marriage and his right to the estate of his uterine brother, Domingo de Leon, but he has not even impleaded either his father Pedro Madridejo, or the heirs of his mother, Flaviana Perez, in order that the court might have authority to make a valid and effective pronouncement of his being a natural child, and to compel them to acknowledge him as such.

 

It is evident that Melecio Madridejo has not been acknowledged by Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez, either voluntarily or by compulsion, before or after their marriage, and therefore said marriage did not legitimate him.

 

DISPOSITION: The judgment is reversed, the complaint dismissed, and the defendants absolved with costs against the appellee without prejudice to any right he may have to establish or compel his acknowledgment as the natural son of Pedro Madridejo and Flaviana Perez.

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P VS. BORROMEO

G.R. No. L-61873     | October 3l, 1984

133 SCRA 106

 

 

FACTS:

 

The four-year old niece of Elias and Susana Borromeo reported to Matilde Taborada, mother of Susana, that Susana was shouting frantically for help because Elias was killing her. The 71-year old Matilde Taborada told the child to go to Geronimo Taborada, her son, who was then working in their mango plantation. Upon hearing the report of the child, Geronimo informed his father and together they went to Susana’s hut. The windows and the door were closed and Geronimo could only peep through the bamboo slats at the wall where he saw Susana lying down, motionless, apparently dead beside her one-month old child who was crying. Elias Borromeo was lying near Susana still holding on to a bloody kitchen bolo.

 

Elias said that because they were legally and validly married, he should only be liable for “homicide” and not “parricide”. He thinks such because there was no marriage contract issued on their wedding day and after that. However, in his testimony, he admitted that the victim was his wife and that they were married in a chapel by a priest.

 

ISSUE: WON the marriage was valid though there was no marriage contract issued.

 

HELD: YES.

 

RATIO: Person living together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any counter presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the parties were not what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in constant violation of decency and law. (Son Cui vs. Guepangco, 22 Phil. 216) The presumption in favor of matrimony is one of the strongest known in law. The law presumes morality, and not immorality; marriage, and not concubinage: legitimacy, and not bastardy. There is the presumption that persons living together as husband and wife are married to each other. The reason for this presumption of marriage is well stated in Perido vs. Perido, 63 SCRA 97, thus:

 

The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is that of marriage. Marriage is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment of the law leans toward legal matrimony. …

 

And, the mere fact that no record of the marriage exists in the registry of marriage does not invalidate said marriage, as long as in the celebration thereof, all requisites for its validity are present. The forwarding of a copy of the marriage certificate to the registry is not one of said requisites. (Pugeda vs. Trias, 4 SCRA 849).

 

Anent the second and third assi

DISPOSITION: The appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED.

gned errors, suffice it to say that the penalty for parricide is reclusion perpetua to death.

MORIGO VS. PEOPLE

G.R. No. 145226      | February 06, 2004

422 SCRA 376

 

FACTS: In 1990, Lucia came back to the Philippines and proposed to petition appellant to join her in Canada. Both agreed to get married, thus they were married on August 30, 1990 at the Iglesia de Filipina Nacionalat Catagdaan, Pilar, Bohol.

 

On September 8, 1990, Lucia reported back to her work in Canada leaving appellant Lucio behind.

 

On August 19, 1991, Lucia filed with the Ontario Court (General Division) a petition for divorce against appellant which was granted by the court on January 17, 1992 and to take effect on February 17, 1992.

 

On October 4, 1992, appellant Lucio Morigo married Maria Jececha Lumbago at the Virgen sa Barangay Parish, Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

 

On September 21, 1993, accused filed a complaint for judicial declaration of nullity of marriage in the Regional Trial Court of Bohol, docketed as Civil Case No. 6020. The complaint seek (sic) among others, the declaration of nullity of accused’s marriage with Lucia, on the ground that no marriage ceremony actually took place.

 

ISSUE: WON Morigo must have filed declaration for the nullity of his marriage with Barrete before his second marriage in order to be free from the bigamy case.

 

HELD: NO.

 

RATIO: Under the principle of retroactivity of a marriage being declared void ab initio, the two were never married from the beginning. The contract of marriage is null; it bears no legal effect. Taking this argument to its logical conclusion, for legal purposes, petitioner was not married to Lucia at the time he contracted the marriage with Maria Jececha. The existence and the validity of the first marriage being an essential element of the crime of bigamy, it is but logical that a conviction for said offense cannot be sustained where there is no first marriage to speak of. The petitioner, must, perforce be acquitted of the instant charge.

The present case is analogous to, but must be distinguished from Mercado v. Tan.. In the latter case, the judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage was likewise obtained after the second marriage was already celebrated. We held therein that:

A judicial declaration of nullity of a previous marriage is necessary before a subsequent one can be legally contracted. One who enters into a subsequent marriage without first obtaining such judicial declaration is guilty of bigamy. This principle applies even if the earlier union is characterized by statutes as void.

It bears stressing though that in Mercado, the first marriage was actually solemnized not just once, but twice: first before a judge where a marriage certificate was duly issued and then again six months later before a priest in religious rites. Ostensibly, at least, the first marriage appeared to have transpired, although later declared void ab initio.

In the instant case, however, no marriage ceremony at all was performed by a duly authorized solemnizing officer. Petitioner and Lucia Barrete merely signed a marriage contract on their own. The mere private act of signing a marriage contract bears no semblance to a valid marriage and thus, needs no judicial declaration of nullity. Such act alone, without more, cannot be deemed to constitute an ostensibly valid marriage for which petitioner might be held liable for bigamy unless he first secures a judicial declaration of nullity before he contracts a subsequent marriage.

The law abhors an injustice and the Court is mandated to liberally construe a penal statute in favor of an accused and weigh every circumstance in favor of the presumption of innocence to ensure that justice is done. Under the circumstances of the present case, we held that petitioner has not committed bigamy. Further, we also find that we need not tarry on the issue of the validity of his defense of good faith or lack of criminal intent, which is now moot and academic.

 

DISPOSITION: The instant petition is GRANTED. The petitioner Lucio Morigo y Cacho is ACQUITTED from the charge of BIGAMY on the ground that his guilt has not been proven with moral certainty.

RONULO VS. PEOPLE

Posted: September 10, 2017 in case digests, civil law
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RONULO VS. PEOPLE

G.R. No. 182438               | July 2, 2014

728 SCRA 675

 

FACTS: Joey Umadac and Claire Bingayen were scheduled to marry each other on March 29, 2003 at the Sta. Rosa Catholic Parish Church of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. However, on the day of the wedding, the supposed officiating priest, Fr. Mario Ragaza, refused to solemnize the marriage upon learning that the couple failed to secure a marriage license. As a recourse, Joey, who was then dressed in barong tagalong, and Claire, clad in a wedding gown, together with their parents, sponsors and guests, proceeded to the Independent Church of Filipino Christians, also known as the Aglipayan Church. They requested the petitioner, an Aglipayan priest, to perform a ceremony to which the latter agreed despite having been informed by the couple that they had no marriage certificate.

 

The petitioner prepared his choir and scheduled a mass for the couple on the same date. He conducted the ceremony in the presence of the groom, the bride, their parents, the principal and secondary sponsors and the rest of their invited guests.

 

Petitioner entered the plea of “not guilty” to the crime charged on arraignment.

 

The prosecution’s witnesses, Joseph and Mary Anne Yere, testified on the incidents of the ceremony. Joseph was the veil sponsor while Mary Anne was the cord sponsor in the wedding. Mary Anne testified that she saw the bride walk down the aisle. She also saw the couple exchange their wedding rings, kiss each other, and sign a document. She heard the petitioner instructing the principal sponsors to sign the marriage contract. Thereafter, they went to the reception, had lunch and took pictures. She saw the petitioner there. She also identified the wedding invitation given to her by Joey.

 

Florida Umadac, the mother of Joey, testified that she heard the couple declare during the ceremony that they take each other as husband and wife. Days after the wedding, she went to the municipal local civil registrar of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte with Atty. Mariano R. Nalupta Jr. where she was given a certificate that no marriage license was issued to the couple.

 

The petitioner, while admitting that he conducted a ceremony, denied that his act of blessing the couple was tantamount to a solemnization of the marriage as contemplated by law.

 

ISSUE: WON the petitioner was guilty of violating Article 352 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for allegedly performing an illegal marriage ceremony.

 

HELD: YES.

 

RATIO: Petitioner conducted an illegal marriage ceremony. The crime as provided for in Art 352 of the RPC refers to the performance of marriages under Articles 3 and 6 of the Family Code which reads:

 

Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:

 

x x x

 

(3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.

 

x x x

 

Art. 6. No prescribed form or religious rite for the solemnization of the marriage is required. It shall be necessary, however, for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife. This declaration shall be contained in the marriage certificate which shall be signed by the contracting parties and their witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer.

 

. . .

 

 The Supreme Court explained that what made the petitioner’s act a marriage ceremony and not just a mere blessing was that while there is no prescribed form or religious rite, all that was required was “for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife.”

 

As to the first requirement, the petitioner admitted that the parties appeared before him and this fact was testified to by witnesses. On the second requirement, we find that, contrary to the petitioner’s allegation, the prosecution has proven, through the testimony of witnesses, that the contracting parties personally declared that they take each other as husband and wife.  Thus, it is clear that petitioner conducted a marriage ceremony and not a mere blessing.

 

The marriage ceremony was also illegal.  The Supreme Court stated that:

 

Under Article 3(3) of the Family Code, one of the essential requisites of marriage is the presence of a valid marriage certificate. In the present case, the petitioner admitted that he knew that the couple had no marriage license, yet he conducted the “blessing” of their relationship.

 

Undoubtedly, the petitioner conducted the marriage ceremony despite knowledge that the essential and formal requirements of marriage set by law were lacking. The marriage ceremony, therefore, was illegal. The petitioner’s knowledge of the absence of these requirements negates his defense of good faith.

 

We also do not agree with the petitioner that the lack of a marriage certificate negates his criminal liability in the present case. For purposes of determining if a marriage ceremony has been conducted, a marriage certificate is not included in the requirements provided by Article 3(3) of the Family Code, as discussed above.

 

Neither does the non-filing of a criminal complaint against the couple negate criminal liability of the petitioner. Article 352 of the RPC, as amended, does not make this an element of the crime.

 

DISPOSITION: We DENY the petition and affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals.

MARTINEZ VS. TAN

Posted: September 10, 2017 in case digests, civil law
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MARTINEZ VS. TAN

G.R. No. L-4904       | February 5, 1909

12 PHIL 731

 

FACTS: Rosalia Martinez and Angel Tan were married before a justice of the peace in Leyte. They executed an expediente de matrimonio civil. It is written in Spanish and consists, first, of a petition directed to the justice of the peace, dated on the 25th of September, 1907, signed both by Martinez and Tan, in which they state that they have mutually agreed to enter into a contract of marriage before the justice of the peace, and ask that the justice solemnize the marriage. Marriage was solemnized with two witnesses. The couple did not live together and when Martinez went home to Ormoc, her relatives convinced her to file charges claiming that the marriage was not valid since she signed the document in her own home thinking that it was a paper authorizing Tan to ask the consent of her parents to the marriage.

 

ISSUE: WON the plaintiff and the defendant were married

 

HELD: YES.

 

RATIO: General orders, No. 68, section 6, is as follows:

 

No particular form from the ceremony of marriage is required, but the parties must declare in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage, that they take each other as husband and wife.

 

Zacarias Esmero, one of the witnesses, testified that upon the occasion in question the justice of the peace said nothing until after the document was signed and then addressing himself to the plaintiff and the defendant said, “You are married.” The petition signed the plaintiff and defendant contained a positive statement that they had mutually agreed to be married and they asked the justice of the peace to solemnize the marriage. The document signed by the plaintiff, the defendant, and the justice of the peace, stated that they ratified under oath, before the justice, the contents of the petition and that witnesses of the marriage were produced. A mortgage took place as shown by the certificate of the justice of the peace, signed by both contracting parties, which certificates gives rise to the presumption that the officer authorized the marriage in due form, the parties before the justice of the peace declaring that they took each other as husband and wife, unless the contrary is proved, such presumption being corroborated in this case by the admission of the woman to the effect that she had contracted the marriage certified to in the document signed by her, which admission can only mean the parties mutually agreed to unite in marriage when they appeared and signed the said document which so states before the justice of the peace who authorized the same.

 

It was proven that both the plaintiff and the defendant were able to read and write the Spanish language, and that they knew the contents of the document which they signed; and under the circumstances in this particular case were satisfied, and so hold, that what took place before the justice of the peace on this occasion amounted to a legal marriage.

 

DISPOSITION: The judgment of the court below acquitting the defendant of the complaint is affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant.

SEVILLA VS. CARDENAS

Posted: September 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

SEVILLA VS. CARDENAS

G.R. No. 167684      | July 31, 2006

497 SCRA 428

 

FACTS:

 

In a Complaint, filed by Jaime O. Sevilla before the RTC, he claimed that on 19 May 1969, through machinations, duress and intimidation employed upon him by Carmelita N. Cardenas and the latter’s father, retired Colonel Jose Cardenas of the Armed forces of the Philippines, he and Carmelita went to the City Hall of Manila and they were introduced to a certain Reverend Cirilo D. Gonzales, a supposed Minister of the Gospel.

 

On the said date, the father of Carmelita caused him and Carmelita to sign a marriage contract before the said Minister of the Gospel.

 

According to Jaime, he never applied for a marriage license for his supposed marriage to Carmelita and never did they obtain any marriage license from any Civil Registry, consequently, no marriage license was presented to the solemnizing officer.

 

For her part, Carmelita refuted these allegations of Jaime, and claims that she and Jaime were married civilly on 19 May 1969,4 and in a church ceremony thereafter on 31 May 19695 at the Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Quezon City. Both marriages were registered with the local civil registry of Manila and the National Statistics Office. He is estopped from invoking the lack of marriage license after having been married to her for 25 years.

 

 

ISSUE:

WON the certifications from the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan stating that no Marriage License No. 2770792 as appearing in the marriage contract of the parties was issued, are sufficient to declare their marriage as null and void ab initio.

 

HELD: NO.

 

RATIO:

Pertinent provisions of the Civil Code which was the law in force at the time of the marriage of the parties are Articles 53,10 5811 and 80.

 

Based on the foregoing provisions, a marriage license is an essential requisite for the validity of marriage. The marriage between Carmelita and Jaime is of no exception.

 

Thus, the certification to be issued by the Local Civil Registrar must categorically state that the document does not exist in his office or the particular entry could not be found in the register despite diligent search. Such certification shall be sufficient proof of lack or absence of record as stated in Section 28, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court:

 

SEC. 28. Proof of lack of record. – a written statement signed by an officer having the custody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent search, no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as evidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry.

 

Note that the first two certifications bear the statement that “hope and understand our loaded work cannot give you our full force locating the above problem.” It could be easily implied from the said statement that the Office of the Local Civil Registrar could not exert its best efforts to locate and determine the existence of Marriage License No. 2770792 due to its “loaded work.” Likewise, both certifications failed to state with absolute certainty whether or not such license was issued.

 

This implication is confirmed in the testimony of the representative from the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Ms. Perlita Mercader, who stated that they cannot locate the logbook due to the fact that the person in charge of the said logbook had already retired. Further, the testimony of the said person was not presented in evidence. It does not appear on record that the former custodian of the logbook was deceased or missing, or that his testimony could not be secured. This belies the claim that all efforts to locate the logbook or prove the material contents therein, had been exerted.

 

Moreover, the absence of the logbook is not conclusive proof of non-issuance of Marriage License No. 2770792. It can also mean, as we believed true in the case at bar, that the logbook just cannot be found. In the absence of showing of diligent efforts to search for the said logbook, we cannot easily accept that absence of the same also means non-existence or falsity of entries therein.

 

Finally, the rule is settled that every intendment of the law or fact leans toward the validity of the marriage, the indissolubility of the marriage bonds. The courts look upon this presumption with great favor. It is not to be lightly repelled; on the contrary, the presumption is of great weight.

 

The Court is mindful of the policy of the 1987 Constitution to protect and strengthen the family as the basic autonomous social institution and marriage as the foundation of the family. Thus, any doubt should be resolved in favor of the validity of the marriage.

 

The parties have comported themselves as husband and wife and lived together for several years producing two offsprings, now adults themselves. It took Jaime several years before he filed the petition for declaration of nullity. Admittedly, he married another individual sometime in 1991. We are not ready to reward petitioner by declaring the nullity of his marriage and give him his freedom and in the process allow him to profit from his own deceit and perfidy.

 

Our Constitution is committed to the policy of strengthening the family as a basic social institution. Our family law is based on the policy that marriage is not a mere contract, but a social institution in which the State is vitally interested. The State can find no stronger anchor than on good, solid and happy families. The break-up of families weakens our social and moral fabric; hence, their preservation is not the concern of the family members alone.

 

“The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is x x x marriage. Marriage in this jurisdiction is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment of the law leans toward legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any counterpresumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the parties were not what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant violation of decency and of law. A presumption established by our Code of Civil Procedure is `that a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage.’ Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio – Always presume marriage.”

 

DISPOSITION: The instant Petition is DENIED.

 

ALCANTARA VS. ALCANTARA

Posted: September 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

ALCANTARA VS. ALCANTARA

G.R. No. 167746      | August 28, 2007

531 SCRA 446

 

FACTS:

 

A petition for annulment of marriage was filed by petitioner against respondent Rosita A. Alcantara alleging that he and respondent, without securing the required marriage license, went to the Manila City Hall for the purpose of looking for a person who could arrange a marriage for them. They met a person who, for a fee, arranged their wedding before a certain Rev. Aquilino Navarro, a Minister of the Gospel of the CDCC BR Chapel.

 

They got married on the same day 8 December 1982. Petitioner and respondent went through another marriage ceremony at the San Jose de Manuguit Church in Tondo, Manila. The marriage was likewise celebrated without the parties securing a marriage license. The alleged marriage license, procured in Carmona, Cavite, appearing on the marriage contract, is a sham, as neither party was a resident of Carmona, and they never went to Carmona to apply for a license with the local civil registrar of the said place.

 

On 14 October 1985, respondent gave birth to their child Rose Ann Alcantara. In 1988, they parted ways and lived separate lives. Petitioner prayed that after due hearing, judgment be issued declaring their marriage void and ordering the Civil Registrar to cancel the corresponding marriage contract and its entry on file.

 

Respondent asserts the validity of their marriage and maintains that there was a marriage license issued as evidenced by a certification from the Office of the Civil Registry of Carmona, Cavite.

 

Petitioner has a mistress with whom he has three children. Petitioner only filed the annulment of their marriage to evade prosecution for concubinage. Respondent, in fact, has filed a case for concubinage against petitioner.

 

RTC of Makati City – dismissed petitioner’s appeal.

 

CA – Same.

 

ISSUE: WON there an absence of marriage license that would render the marriage between petitioner and respondent void ab initio

 

HELD: NO.

 

RATIO: The marriage involved herein having been solemnized on 8 December 1982, or prior to the effectivity of the Family Code, the applicable law to determine its validity is the Civil Code which was the law in effect at the time of its celebration.

 

A valid marriage license is a requisite of marriage under Article 53 of the Civil Code, the absence of which renders the marriage void ab initio pursuant to Article 80 in relation to Article 58 of the same Code.

 

The requirement and issuance of a marriage license is the States demonstration of its involvement and participation in every marriage, in the maintenance of which the general public is interested.

 

To be considered void on the ground of absence of a marriage license, the law requires that the absence of such marriage license must be apparent on the marriage contract, or at the very least, supported by a certification from the local civil registrar that no such marriage license was issued to the parties. In this case, the marriage contract between the petitioner and respondent reflects a marriage license number. A certification to this effect was also issued by the local civil registrar of Carmona, Cavite. The certification moreover is precise in that it specifically identified the parties to whom the marriage license was issued, namely Restituto Alcantara and Rosita Almario, further validating the fact that a license was in fact issued to the parties herein.

 

 

Petitioner, in a faint attempt to demolish the probative value of the marriage license, claims that neither he nor respondent is a resident of Carmona, Cavite.  Even then, we still hold that there is no sufficient basis to annul petitioner and respondent’s marriage. Issuance of a marriage license in a city or municipality, not the residence of either of the contracting parties, and issuance of a marriage license despite the absence of publication or prior to the completion of the 10-day period for publication are considered mere irregularities that do not affect the validity of the marriage.  An irregularity in any of the formal requisites of marriage does not affect its validity but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity are civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

 

Likewise, the issue raised by petitioner — that they appeared before a “fixer” who arranged everything for them and who facilitated the ceremony before a certain priest — will not strengthen his posture.  The authority of the officer or clergyman shown to have performed a marriage ceremony will be presumed in the absence of any showing to the contrary. Moreover, the solemnizing officer is not duty-bound to investigate whether or not a marriage license has been duly and regularly issued by the local civil registrar. All the solemnizing officer needs to know is that the license has been issued by the competent official, and it may be presumed from the issuance of the license that said official has fulfilled the duty to ascertain whether the contracting parties had fulfilled the requirements of law.

 

DISPOSITION: The instant Petition is DENIED.

DE CASTRO VS. DE CASTRO

Posted: September 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

DE CASTRO VS. DE CASTRO

G.R. No. 160172      | February 13, 2008

545 SCRA 257

 

 

FACTS:Petitioner and respondent met and became sweethearts in 1991. They planned to get married, thus they applied for a marriage license with the Office of the Civil Registrar of Pasig City in September 1994. They had their first sexual relation sometime in October 1994, and had regularly engaged in sex thereafter. When the couple went back to the Office of the Civil Registrar, the marriage license had already expired. Thus, in order to push through with the plan, in lieu of a marriage license, they executed an affidavit dated 13 March 1995 stating that they had been living together as husband and wife for at least five years. The couple got married on the same date, with Judge Jose C. Bernabe, presiding judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City, administering the civil rites. Nevertheless, after the ceremony, petitioner and respondent went back to their respective homes and did not live together as husband and wife.

 

Respondent gave birth to a child named Reinna Tricia A. De Castro. Since the child’s birth, respondent has been the one supporting her out of her income as a government dentist and from her private practice.

 

Respondent filed a complaint for support against petitioner. In her complaint, respondent alleged that she is married to petitioner and that the latter has reneged on his responsibility/obligation to financially support her as his wife and Reinna Tricia as his child.

 

Petitioner denied that he is married to respondent, claiming that their marriage is void ab initio since the marriage was facilitated by a fake affidavit; and that he was merely prevailed upon by respondent to sign the marriage contract to save her from embarrassment and possible administrative prosecution due to her pregnant state; and that he was not able to get parental advice from his parents before he got married. He also averred that they never lived together as husband and wife and that he has never seen nor acknowledged the child.

 

The trial court ruled that the marriage between petitioner and respondent is not valid because it was solemnized without a marriage license.

 

Petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals, arguing that the lower court committed grave abuse of discretion when it ordered him to provide support to the child when the latter is not, and could not have been, his own child.

 

The Court of Appeals denied the appeal.

 

ISSUE: WON a void marriage can be collaterally attacked

 

HELD: YES.

 

RATIO:

In Nial v. Bayadog, we held:

 

However, 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 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.

 

 

Under the Family Code, the absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, whereas a defect in any of the essential requisites shall render the marriage voidable. In the instant case, it is clear from the evidence presented that petitioner and respondent did not have a marriage license when they contracted their marriage. Instead, they presented an affidavit stating that they had been living together for more than five years. However, respondent herself in effect admitted the falsity of the affidavit when she was asked during cross-examination.

 

The falsity of the affidavit cannot be considered as a mere irregularity in the formal requisites of marriage. The law dispenses with the marriage license requirement for a man and a woman who have lived together and exclusively with each other as husband and wife for a continuous and unbroken period of at least five years before the marriage. The aim of this provision is to avoid exposing the parties to humiliation, shame and embarrassment concomitant with the scandalous cohabitation of persons outside a valid marriage due to the publication of every applicants name for a marriage license.

 

In the instant case, there was no scandalous cohabitation to protect; in fact, there was no cohabitation at all. The false affidavit which petitioner and respondent executed so they could push through with the marriage has no value whatsoever; it is a mere scrap of paper. They were not exempt from the marriage license requirement. Their failure to obtain and present a marriage license renders their marriage void ab initio.

Anent the second issue, we find that the child is petitioner’s illegitimate daughter, and therefore entitled to support.

 

The Certificate of Live Birth of the child lists petitioner as the father. In addition, petitioner, in an affidavit waiving additional tax exemption in favor of respondent, admitted that he is the father of the child.

 

 

DISPOSITION: The petition is granted in part.

REPUBLIC VS. CA

Posted: September 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

REPUBLIC VS. CA

G.R. No. 103047 September 2, 1994

236 SCRA 257

 

 

FACTS:

 

On June 24, 1970, Angelina M. Castro and Edwin F. Cardenas were married in a civil ceremony performed by Judge Pablo M. Malvar, City Court Judge of Pasay City. The marriage was celebrated without the knowledge of Castro’s parents. Defendant Cardenas personally attended to the processing of the documents required for the celebration of the marriage, including the procurement of the marriage, license. In fact, the marriage contract itself states that marriage license no. 3196182 was issued in the name of the contracting parties on June 24, 1970 in Pasig, Metro Manila.

 

Their cohabitation lasted only for four (4) months. On October 19, 1971, Castro gave birth. The baby was adopted by Castro’s brother, with the consent of Cardenas.

 

The baby is now in the United States. Desiring to follow her daughter, Castro wanted to put in order her marital status before leaving for the States. She thus consulted a lawyer, Atty. Frumencio E. Pulgar, regarding the possible annulment of her marriage. Through her lawyer’s efforts, they discovered that there was no marriage license issued to Cardenas prior to the celebration of their marriage.

 

As proof, Angelina Castro offered in evidence a certification from the Civil Register.

 

The trial court denied the petition and held that the above certification was inadequate to establish the alleged non-issuance of a marriage license prior to the celebration of the marriage between the parties. It ruled that the “inability of the certifying official to locate the marriage license is not conclusive to show that there was no marriage license issued.”

 

Respondent appellate court reversed the Decision of the trial court.

 

 

ISSUE: WON the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by private respondent are sufficient to establish that no marriage license was issued by the Civil Registrar of Pasig prior to the celebration of the marriage of private respondent to Edwin F. Cardenas.

 

HELD:

YES.

RATIO: At the time the subject marriage was solemnized on June 24, 1970, the law governing marital relations was the New Civil Code. The law provides that no marriage shall be solemnized without a marriage license first issued by a local civil registrar. Being one of the essential requisites of a valid marriage, absence of a license would render the marriage void ab initio.

 

The presentation of such certification in court is sanctioned by Section 29, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, viz.:

 

Sec. 29. Proof of lack of record. — A written statement signed by an officer having custody of an official record or by his deputy, that after diligent search, no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as evidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry.

 

The certification of “due search and inability to find” issued by the civil registrar of Pasig enjoys probative value, he being the officer charged under the law to keep a record of all data relative to the issuance of a marriage license. Unaccompanied by any circumstance of suspicion and pursuant to Section 29, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, a certificate of “due search and inability to find” sufficiently proved that his office did not issue marriage license no. 3196182 to the contracting parties.

 

The fact that private respondent Castro offered only her testimony in support of her petition is, in itself, not a ground to deny her petition. The failure to offer any other witness to corroborate her testimony is mainly due to the peculiar circumstances of the case. It will be remembered that the subject marriage was a civil ceremony performed by a judge of a city court. The subject marriage is one of those commonly known as a “secret marriage” — a legally non-existent phrase but ordinarily used to refer to a civil marriage celebrated without the knowledge of the relatives and/or friends of either or both of the contracting parties. The records show that the marriage between Castro and Cardenas was initially unknown to the parents of the former.

 

Surely, the fact that only private respondent Castro testified during the trial cannot be held against her. Her husband, Edwin F. Cardenas, was duly served with notice of the proceedings and a copy of the petition. Despite receipt thereof, he chose to ignore the same. For failure to answer, he was properly declared in default.

 

DISPOSITIVE: The petition is DENIED there being no showing of any reversible error committed by respondent appellate court.

Teotico vs. Del Val

G.R. No. L-18753, March 26, 1965 – Anna

 

Facts:

Maria Mortera y Balsalobre Vda. de Aguirre died on July 14, 1955 in the City of Manila with no ascendants or descendants. She left properties worth P600,000.00 and  a will written in Spanish which she executed at her residence at No. 2 Legarda St., Quiapo, Manila. She affixed her signature at the bottom of the will and on the left margin of each and every page thereof in the presence of three witnesses  who in turn affixed their signatures below the attestation clause and on the left margin of each and every page of the will in the presence of the testatrix and of each other. Said will was acknowledged before a Notary Public  by the testatrix and her witnesses.

In said will Maria stated among others that  she was possessed of the full use of her mental faculties; that she was free from illegal pressure or influence of any kind from the beneficiaries of the will and from any influence of fear or threat and that she freely and spontaneously executed said will.

She left P20,000.00 to Rene A. Teotico, married to her  niece named Josefina Mortera; and the usufruct of her interest in the Calvo building to the said spouses. However,  the naked ownership of the building was left in equal parts to the legitimate children of said spouses. She also instituted Josefina Mortera as her sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed of in the will.

Thereafter,  Vicente B. Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will before the Court of First Instance of Manila. However, Ana del Val Chan, claiming to be an adopted child of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix, as well as an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the same testatrix.

 

Issues:

(1) Has oppositor Ana del Val Chan the right to intervene in this proceeding?;

(2) Has the will in question been duly admitted to probate?;

(3) Did the probate court commit an error in passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will and in determining who should inherit the portion to be vacated by the nullification of the legacy made in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico?

 

Held:

  1. Under the terms of the will, oppositor has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate either as heir, executor, or administrator, nor does she have any claim to any property affected by the will, because nowhere in the will was any provision designating her as heir, legatee or devisee of any portion of the estate. She has also no interest in the will either as administratrix or executrix. Neither has she any claim against any portion of the estate because she is not a co-owner thereof.

Additionally, if the will is denied probate, she would not acquire any interest in any portion of the estate left by the testatrix. She would acquire such right only if she were a legal heir of the deceased, but she is not under our Civil Code. It is true that she  claims to be an acknowledged natural child of Jose  and also an adopted daughter of Francisca. But the law does not give her any right to succeed to the estate of Maria because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father. Thus, Article 992 of our Civil Code provides: “An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; … .”

It thus appears that the oppositor has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in this probate proceeding contrary to the ruling of the court a quo.

 

  1. On the secon issue, the claim that the will was not properly attested to is contradicted by the evidence of record. The will was duly executed because it was signed by the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses and the notary public in the manner provided for by law.

The claim that the will was procured by improper pressure and influence is also belied by the evidence.

Moreover, the mere claim that Josefina and her husband Rene had the opportunity to exert pressure on the testatrix simply because she lived in their house several years prior to the execution of the will and that she was old and suffering from hypertension in that she was virtually isolated from her friends for several years prior to her death is insufficient to disprove what the instrumental witnesses had testified in court.  The exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence and must be of a kind that would overpower and subjugate the mind of the testatrix as to destroy her free agency and make her express the will of another rather than her own

 

  1. On the third issue, the question of whether the probate court could determine the intrinsic validity of the provisions of a will has been decided by this Court in a long line of decisions. In Castañeda v. Alemany, the Court had stated, thus:

To establish conclusively as against everyone, and once for all, the facts that a will was executed with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to make a will, is the only purpose of the proceedings under the new code for the probate of a will.  The judgment in such proceedings determines and can determine nothing more. In them the court has no power to pass upon the validity of any provisions made in the will. It can not decide, for example, that a certain legacy is void and another one is valid.

 

Pursuant to the foregoing precedents the pronouncement made by the court a quo declaring invalid the legacy made to Dr. Rene Teotico in the will Exhibit A must be set aside as having been made in excess of its jurisdiction. Another reason why said pronouncement should be set aside is that the legatee was not given an opportunity to defend the validity of the legacy for he was not allowed to intervene in this proceeding. As a corollary, the other pronouncements touching on the disposition of the estate in favor of some relatives of the deceased should also be set aside for the same reason.