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Te v. Choa (Te v.

G.R. 126746 November 29, 2000

1. Arthur Te and Liliana Choa were married in civil rites on 1988 (Sept. 14).
They did not live together after marriage although they would meet each
other regularly.
2. 1989, Liliana gave birth to a girl. Thereafter, Arthur stopped visiting her.
3. 1990 (May 20) Arthur contracted a second marriage while marriage with
Liliana was subsisting.
4. Liliana filed bigamy case against Arthur and subsequently an
administrative case (revocation of engineering license for grossly immoral
act) against Arthur and Julieta Santella (2nd wife of Arthur)
5. Arthur petitioned for the nullity of his marriage with Liliana.
6. RTC and Board rendered decision while the petition for annulment of first
marriage was pending.

Issue: Marriage annulment case had to be resolved first before criminal and
administrative case be rendered judgment?

Held: NO.
1. P. v. Mendoza and P. v. Aragon ruling (no judicial decree is necessary to
establish the invalidity of a marriage which is ab initio) was overturned.
2. Family Code Art. 40 is the prevailing rule: the absolute nullity of a previous
marriage may not be invoked for purposes of remarriage unless there is a
final judgment declaring such previous marriage void.
3. Under the law, a marriage, even one which is void or voidable,
shall be deemed valid until declared otherwise in a judicial

RD: Absence of Impediment.

FC. Art. 5: any male or female of the age of 18yrs or upwards not under any of
the impediments mentioned under art. 37 & 38, may contract marriage.

Case: Since it was deemed that the marriage of Arthur and Liliana was valid,
bigamous marriage between Arthur and Julieta is void. (see. NCC Art. 80)