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SUSANNICDAOCARIOvsSUSANYEECARIO

Petitioner:SUSANNICDAOCARIO
Respondent:SUSANYEECARIO
FACTS:
SPO4SantiagoCariomarriedSusanNicdaoin1969withoutmarriagelicense.Theyhadtwochildren.He
thenmarriedSusanYeeonNovember101992,withwhomhehadnochildrenintheiralmost10year
cohabitationstartingwaybackin1982.
HepassedawayonNovember231992.ThetwoSusansfiledwiththeRTCofQuezonCitytheclaimsfor
monetarybenefitsandfinancialassistancepertainingtothedeceasedfromvariousgovernmentagencies.
NicdaocollectedatotalofP146,000whileYeereceivedatotalofP21,000.
YeefiledaninstantcaseforcollectionofhalfthemoneyacquiredbyNicdao,collectivelydenominatedas
"deathbenefits."YeeadmittedthathermarriagewiththeSPO4tookplaceduringthesubsistenceof,and
withoutfirstobtainingajudicialdeclarationofnullity,themarriagebetweenNicdaoandtheSPO4.She
howeverclaimedthatshebecameawareofthepreviousmarriageatthefuneralofthedeceased.
In1995,thetrialcourtruledinfavorofYee.NicdaoappealedtotheCA,whichtheCAaffirmedthe
decisionofthetrialcourt.
ISSUE:
Whetherornottheabsolutenullityofmarriagemaybeinvokedtoclaimpresumptivelegitimes.
HELD:
NO.SCheldthatthemarriagebetweenYeeandCariofallsundertheArticle148oftheFamilyCode,
whichreferstothepropertyregimeofbigamousorpolygamousmarriages,adulterousorconcubinage
relationships.
YeecannotclaimthebenefitsearnedbytheSPO4asapoliceofficerashermarriagetothedeceasedis
voidduetobigamy.Sheisonlyentitledtothepropertiesacquiredwiththedeceasedthroughtheiractual
jointcontribution.Wagesandsalariesearnedbyeachpartybelongtohimorherexclusively.Hence,they
arenotownedincommonbyYeeandthedeceased,butbelongtothedeceasedaloneandYeehasnoright
whatsoevertoclaimthesame.Byintestatesuccession,thesaiddeathbenefitsofthedeceasedshallpass
tohislegalheirs.And,Yee,notbeingthelegalwife,isnotoneofthem.
Asregardstothefirstmarriage,themarriagebetweenNicdaoandSPO4isnullandvoidduetoabsenceof
avalidmarriagelicense.Nicdaocanclaimthedeathbenefitsbythedeceasedevenifshedidnotcontribute
thereto.Article147createsacoownershipinrespectthereto,entitlingNicdaotoshareonehalfofthe
benefits.Asthereisnoallegationofbadfaithinthefirstmarriage,shecanclaimonehalfofthedisputed
deathbenefitsandtheotherhalftothedeceased'tohislegalheirs,byintestatesuccession.
ThemarriagebetweenYeeandSPO4islikewisenullandvoidforthesamehasbeensolemnizedwithout
thejudicialdeclarationofthenullityofthemarriagebetweenNicdaoandSPO4.UnderArticle40,ifa
partywhoispreviouslymarriedwishestocontractasecondmarriage,heorshehastoobtainfirstajudicial
decreedeclaringthefirstmarriagevoid,beforeheorshecouldcontractsaidsecondmarriage,otherwisethe
secondmarriagewouldbevoid.However,forpurposesotherthantoremarry,nopriorandseparatejudicial
declarationofnullityisnecessary.