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VDA De Chua vs.

G.R. No. 116835
March 5, 1998
Kapunan, J.
Appeal by Certiorari decision of the CA affirming RTC

Roberto Lim Chua lived out of wedlock with private respondent Florita A. Vallejo and had two
illegitimate children - Roberto Rafson Alonzo and Rudyard Pride Alonzo
Chua died intestate
Private respondent (Vallejo) filed before the RTC a petititon
That deceased Roberto Lim Chua died single and without legitimate descendants or
ascendants, hence, the above named minors Robert Rafson Alonzo Chua and Rudyard
Pride Alonzo Chua, his children with herein petitioner shall succeed to the entire estate
of the deceased.
that a guardian over the persons and properties of said minors be appointed by this
Honorable Court.

That herein petitioner being the mother and natural guardian of said minors is also
competent and willing to act as the guardian
Antonietta Garcia Vda. de Chua, representing to be the surviving spouse of Roberto Chua, filed
a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of improper venue.
Opposed by petitioner

That this is a petition for guardianship; it should be filed where the minor resides.

Roberto Chua died a bachelor

Antonietta Chua is not the surviving spouse

Respondent Vallejo filed a motion for admission of an amended petition in order for the case
title can properly and appropriately capture or capsulize in clear terms the material averments
in the body of the pleadings.
Petitioner opposed since the original petition was only to secure guardianship
Court dismissed. Her status as a wife was not yet proven

Presented photocopy of the marriage contract but was not admitted

Civil registrar denied existence of such

Solemnizing officer told he had not solemnized the petitioner

Court issued an order appointing Romulo Lim Uy, a first cousin of the deceased, as special
administrator of the decedent's estate and issued an Order appointing Florita Vallejo as
guardian over the persons and properties of the two minor children.
Petitioner filed a motion to recall the letter of administration and have it issued to her and a
motion to declare a the proceedings a mistrial
Argued that the court acted beyond its jurisdiction since the petition filed by the
respondent is one for guardianship
CA denied such. While private respondent may have alleged in her opposition to the motion to
dismiss that petition was for guardianship, the fact remains that the very allegations of the
original petition unmistakably showed a twin purpose

Issues and Ruling:

CA erred in holding the petition was for twin purpose (guardianship and intestate proceeding)
Devoid of merit. Title alone of the original petition clearly shows that the petition is
one which includes the issuance of letters of administration. The original petition also
contains the jurisdictional facts required in a petition for the issuance of letters of
administration. But no defect in the petition shall render void the issuance of letters of

CA erred that there is no need to publish the amended petition for administration

Petitioner has no legal standing to file the motion to dismiss as she is not related to
the deceased, nor does she have any interest in his estate as creditor or otherwise.
Only an interested person may oppose the petition for issuance of letters of
administration. An interested person is one who would be benefited by the estate such
as an heir, or one who has a claim against the estate, such as a creditor; his interest is
material and direct, and not one that is only indirect or contingent.
Petitioner was not able to prove her status as the surviving wife of the decedent. The
best proof of marriage between man and wife is a marriage contract which Antonietta
Chua failed to produce. The lower court correctly disregarded the photostat copy of
the marriage certificate which she presented, this being a violation of the best
evidence rule, together with other worthless pieces of evidence.

CA erred in not nullifying the orders precipitately issued ex-parte by RTC thus depriving her
due process
Orders are: appointing Romulo Lim Uy, first cousin of the deceased, as special
administrator of the estate; appointing private respondent as guardian over the person
and property of the minors; directing the transfer of the remains of the deceased from
Davao City to Cotabato City; directing petitioner to turn over a Mitsubishi Gallant car
owned by the estate of the deceased to the special administrator; authorizing the
sheriff to break open the deceased's house for the purpose of conducting an inventory
of the properties found therein, after the sheriff was refused entry to the house by the
driver and maid of petitioner.
Petitioner was not entitled to notice of the proceedings of the trial court, not being
able to establish proof of her alleged marriage to the deceased, or of her interest in
the estate as creditor or otherwise
Due process was designed to afford opportunity to be heard, not that an actual
hearing should always and indispensably be held. she was duly heard in her motions
to recall letters of administration and to declare the proceedings of the court as a
"mistrial," which motions were denied

CA erred in sweepingly holding that the remedy is appeal

Proper remedy of the petitioner in said court was an ordinary appeal and not a special
civil action for certiorari; which can be availed of if a party has no plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Except for her bare allegation that an
ordinary appeal would be inadequate, nothing on record would indicate that
extraordinary remedy of certiorari or prohibition is warranted.

Republic vs. CA
G.R. No. 103047
September 2, 1994
Puno, J.:

Originated from a petition filed by private respondent Angelina M. Castro in the RTC seeking a
judicial declaration of nullity of her marriage to Edwin F. Cardenas. Castro claims that no
marriage license was ever issued to them prior to the solemnization of their marriage
Married in a civil ceremony 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
Did not live together since it was unknown to Castros parents not until she became pregnant.
They cohabited for four months then parted ways.
The baby was adopted by Castro's brother, with the consent of Cardenas
Castro discovered that there was no marriage license issued to Cardenas prior to the
celebration of their marriage
Trial court denied the petition. 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. It declared the marriage
between the contracting parties null and void and directed the Civil Registrar of Pasig to cancel
the subject marriage contract

Issue and Ruling:

Whether or not the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by private respondent
are sufficient to establish that no marriage license was issued by the Civil Registrar
YES. 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
As to the contention that the certification issued by the civil registrar is only inability to find
the record, Section 29, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court provides 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

Garcia vs. Recio

G.R. No. 138322
October 2, 2001
Panganiban, J.:
A divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided such decree is
valid according to the national law of the foreigner. However, the divorce decree and the governing
personal law of the alien spouse who obtained the divorce must be proven. Our courts do not take
judicial notice of foreign laws and judgment; hence, like any other facts, both the divorce decree and
the national law of the alien must be alleged and proven according to our law on evidence

Petition for Review seeking to nullify the decision and order of the RTC declaring the marriage
of Garcia and Recio as dissolved and both parties can now remarry.
Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian citizen, in
Malabon, Rizal. A decree of divorce, purportedly dissolving the marriage, was issued by an
Australian family court.
Respondent became an Australian citizen.
Petitioner a Filipina and respondent were married. In their application for a marriage
license, respondent was declared as "single" and "Filipino.
Petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage alleging respondent had a
prior subsisting marriage at the time he married her
Respondent averred that he had revealed to petitioner his prior marriage and its
subsequent dissolution.
While the suit for the declaration of nullity was pending, respondent was able to secure a
divorce decree in Australia
Respondent prayed for dismissal
The RTC declared the marriage dissolved based on the divorce decree obtained by the
respondent. The Australian divorce had ended the marriage; thus, there was no more martial
union to nullify or annual

Issues and Ruling:

Whether the divorce between respondent and Editha Samson was proven,
Petitioner assails the trial court's recognition of the divorce between respondent and Editha
Samson. Petitioner argues that the divorce decree may be given recognition in this
jurisdiction only upon proof of the existence of (1) the foreign law allowing absolute divorce
and (2) the alleged divorce decree itself
Respondent argues that the Australian divorce decree is a public document.
Before a foreign judgment is given presumptive evidentiary value, the document must first be
presented and admitted in evidence. A divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce
decree itself. Indeed the best evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself.
As to compliance to requirements under Articles 11, 13 and 52 of the Family Code, respondent
was no longer bound by Philippine personal laws after he acquired Australian citizenship.

Whether or not the respondent is legally capacitated to marry

Divorce means the legal dissolution of a lawful union for a cause arising after marriage. But
divorces are of different types. The two basic ones are (1) absolute divorce or a vinculo
matrimonii and (2) limited divorce or a mensa et thoro. The first kind terminates the marriage,
while the second suspends it and leaves the bond in full force. There is no showing in the
case at bar which type of divorce was procured by respondent

Even after the divorce becomes absolute, the court may under some foreign statutes and
practices, still restrict remarriage. Under some other jurisdictions, remarriage may be limited
by statute; thus, the guilty party in a divorce which was granted on the ground of adultery
may be prohibited from remarrying again.
REMAND the case to the court a quo for the purpose of receiving evidence which conclusively
show respondent's legal capacity to marry petitioner
Pilapil vs. Ibay-Somera
G.R. No. 80116
June 30, 1989
Regalado, J.:

Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, and private respondent Erich Ekkehard Geiling, a
German national, were married in Germany

Thereafter, marital discord set in, with mutual recriminations between the spouses, followed by
a separation de facto between them

Divorce on the ground of failure of marriage of the spouses were given by the Court of
Germany. Custody of the child was given to the petitioner

Private respondent filed two complaints for adultery. Petitioner had an affair with William Chia
and Jesus Chua

Ordered to inform the Department of Justice "if the accused have already been arraigned and
if not yet arraigned, to move to defer further proceedings" and to elevate the entire records of
both cases to his office for review
1st criminal complaint - suspended proceedings
2nd criminal complaint - reset the date of the arraignment. Petitioner moved for the
cancellation and motion to quash but was denied. Pleaded not guilty after cited for contempt.

Petitioner filed this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for a
temporary restraining order, seeking the annulment of the order of the lower court denying
her motion to quash
The purported complainant, a foreigner, does not qualify as an offended spouse
having obtained a final divorce decree under his national law prior to his filing the
criminal complaint

Issue and Ruling:

WON the
The crime of adultery, as well as four other crimes against chastity, cannot be prosecuted
except upon a sworn written complaint filed by the offended spouse. It has long since been
established, with unwavering consistency, that compliance with this rule is a jurisdictional, and
not merely a formal, requirement.
The so-called exclusive and successive rule in the prosecution of the first four offenses above
mentioned do not apply to adultery and concubinage. While the State, as parens patriae, has
power to initiate the criminal action for a deceased or incapacitated victim, such amendment
did not include the crimes of adultery and concubinage.
After a divorce has been decreed, the innocent spouse no longer has the right to institute
proceedings against the offenders where the statute provides that the innocent spouse shall
have the exclusive right to institute a prosecution for adultery. Where, however, proceedings
have been properly commenced, a divorce subsequently granted can have no legal effect on
the prosecution of the criminal proceedings to a conclusion.

Varn Dorn vs. Romillo

G.R. No. L-68470
October 8, 1985
Melencio-Herrera, J.:

Petition for certiorari and Prohibition seeks to set aside the Orders issued by respondent
Judge, which denied her Motion to Dismiss said case, and her Motion for Reconsideration of
the Dismissal Order
Petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent is a citizen of the United
They were married in Hongkong and resided in the Philippines. They begot two children
Obtained divorce in USA
Petitioner remarried in USA with Theodore Van Dorn
Respondent sued that the business is conjugal property and prayed for accounting therof and
be declared with right to manage
Petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground that the cause of action is barred by previous
judgment in the divorce proceedings wherein respondent had acknowledged that he and
petitioner had "no community property" (DENIED)
Respondent avers that the Divorce Decree issued cannot prevail over the prohibitive laws of
the Philippines and its declared national policy

Issue and Ruling:

WON the divorce decree is invalid thus giving the respondent right over the property
NO. The decree is binding on private respondent as an American citizen. 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.
He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner's husband entitled to
exercise control over conjugal assets. To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our
laws, petitioner has to be considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a
wife's obligations cannot be just. 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.

ROP vs. Cipriano Obrecido III

G.R. No. 154380
October 5, 2005
Quisimbing, J.:
Given a valid marriage between two Filipino citizens, where one party is later naturalized as a foreign
citizen and obtains a valid divorce decree capacitating him or her to remarry, can the Filipino spouse
likewise remarry under Philippine law?

Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva and blessed with a son and daughter

Ciprianos wife left for the United States bringing along their son. Wife has been later
naturalized as American Citizen and obtained a divorce decree and remarried to Stanley.

Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry

OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code is not applicable to the instant
case because it only applies to a valid mixed marriage. The proper remedy is annulment or
legal separation

Respondent admits that Article 26 is not directly applicable to his case but insists that when
his naturalized alien wife obtained a divorce decree which capacitated her to remarry, he is
likewise capacitated by operation of law pursuant to Section 12, Article II of the Constitution.
Issue and Ruling:

Whether or not the respondent can remarry

Records of the proceedings of the Family Code deliberations showed that the intent of
Paragraph 2 of Article 26 is 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. (deleted)
The Court therein hinted, by way of obiter dictum, that a Filipino divorced by his naturalized
foreign spouse is no longer married under Philippine law and can thus remarry.
Thus, taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of reason, we hold
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.
However, we are unable to declare, based on respondents bare allegations that his wife, who
was naturalized as an American citizen, had obtained a divorce decree and had remarried an
American, that respondent is now capacitated to remarry. Such declaration could only be
made properly upon respondents submission of the aforecited evidence in his favor.

San Luis vs. San Luis

G.R. No. 133743
February 6, 2007
Ynares-Santiago, J
Petition for review assailing the decision of the CA which reversed and set aside the decision of the
RTC denying petitioners motion for reconsideration

Instant case involves the settlement of the estate of Felicisimo T. San Luis
Felicisimo contracted three marriages.

Virginia Sulit with 6 children

Merry Lee Corwin with a son

An American citizen. Filed a divorce and granted such plus the custody of the child

Felicidad San Luis, then surnamed Sagalongos, with no children. Lived together for 18
Respondent sought the dissolution of their conjugal partnership assets and the settlement of
Felicisimos estate and filed a petition for letter of administration
Petitioner Rodolfo San Luis, one of the children of Felicisimo by his first marriage, filed a
motion to dismiss due to improper venue and failure to state cause of action. Later on joined
by his sister, Linda
That respondent has no legal personality to file the petition because she was only a
mistress of Felicisimo since the latter, at the time of his death, was still legally married
to Merry Lee
The trial court denied the motion to dismiss

Unaware of the denial of the motions to dismiss, respondent filed opposition and submitted
evidence including the divorce decree to Mary Lee
Petitioner submitted motion for reconsideration (DENIED respondent has legal standing) and
Mila, another daughter filed a motion to disqualify the judge (DENIED moot and academic)
Refiled granted and re-raffled to another judge
Trial court dismissed the petition for letters of administration and that the respondent has no
legal capacity because marriage was bigamous
Respondent moved for reconsideration and disqualification of the new judge (DENIED)
CA reversed


Whether venue was properly laid

The term "resides" connotes ex vi termini "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal
residence or domicile. In other words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular
sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or
place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular
sense, the term means merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or
domicile. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while
domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it ones domicile.
No particular length of time of residence is required though; however, the residence must be
more than temporary.
In election cases, "residence" and "domicile" are treated as synonymous terms, that is, the
fixed permanent residence to which when absent, one has the intention of returning.
However, for purposes of fixing venue under the Rules of Court, the "residence" of a person is
his personal, actual or physical habitation, or actual residence or place of abode, which may

not necessarily be his legal residence or domicile provided he resides therein with continuity
and consistency.
From the foregoing, we find that Felicisimo was a resident of Alabang, Muntinlupa for purposes
of fixing the venue of the settlement of his estate. Consequently, the subject petition for
letters of administration was validly filed in the Regional Trial Court

Whether respondent has legal capacity to file the subject petition for letters of administration
We find that respondents legal capacity to file the subject petition for letters of administration
may arise from her status as the surviving wife of Felicisimo or as his co-owner under Article
144 of the Civil Code or Article 148 of the Family Code.
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce
is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry,
the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. However, the records
show that there is insufficient evidence to prove the validity of the divorce obtained by Merry
Lee as well as the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo under the laws of the U.S.A.
Presentation solely of the divorce decree is insufficient and that proof of its authenticity and
due execution must be presented. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, a writing or
document may be proven as a public or official record of a foreign country by either (1) an
official publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the
document. If the record is not kept in the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by
a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service
stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal
of his office.
If she proves the validity of the divorce and Felicisimos capacity to remarry, but fails to prove
that her marriage with him was validly performed under the laws of the U.S.A., then she may
be considered as a co-owner under Article 144 of the Civil Code.
Meanwhile, if respondent fails to prove the validity of both the divorce and the marriage, the
applicable provision would be Article 148 of the Family Code which has filled the hiatus in
Article 144 of the Civil Code by expressly regulating the property relations of couples living
together as husband and wife but are incapacitated to marry.

Catalan vs. CA
G.R. No. 167109
February 6, 2007
Ynares-Santiago, J.:
Petition for review assailing the decision of the CA reversing the decision of the RTC declaring the
marriage between respondents Orlando B. Catalan and Merope E. Braganza void on the ground of

Petitioner Felicitas Amor-Catalan married respondent Orlando. They migrated to US and got
After 38 years of marriage, Felicitas and Orlando divorced
Orlando married respondent Merope. Contending that said marriage was bigamous since
Merope had a prior subsisting marriage with Eusebio Bristol, petitioner Felicitas filed a petition
for declaration of nullity of marriage with damages
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of cause of action as petitioner
was allegedly not a real party-in-interest (DENIED)
RTC favored petitioner

Issue and Ruling:

WON petitioner has the required legal standing the question the nullity of the marriage
between the respondents and WON the RTC erred in not declaring the marriage void
While it is a settled rule that the Court is not a trier of facts and does not normally undertake
the re-examination, exceptions to this rule, like when the findings of facts of the RTC and the
Court of Appeals are conflicting, or when the findings are conclusions without citation of
specific evidence on which they are based
We are not therefore dealing in this case with Filipino citizens whose marital status is governed
by the Family Code and our Civil Code, but with American citizens who secured their divorce in
the U.S. and who are considered by their national law to be free to contract another marriage
Divorce means the legal dissolution of a lawful union for a cause arising after marriage. But
divorces are of different types. The two basic ones are (1) absolute divorce or a vinculo
matrimonii and (2) limited divorce or a mensa et thoro. The first kind terminates the marriage,
while the second suspends it and leaves the bond in full force.
Without the divorce decree and foreign law as part of the evidence, we cannot rule on the
issue of whether petitioner has the personality to file the petition for declaration of nullity of
marriage. After all, she may have the personality to file the petition if the divorce decree
obtained was a limited divorce or a mensa et thoro; or the foreign law may restrict remarriage
even after the divorce decree becomes absolute. However, if there was indeed a divorce
decree obtained and which, following the national law of Orlando, does not restrict remarriage,
the Court of Appeals would be correct in ruling that petitioner has no legal personality to file a
petition to declare the nullity of marriage
In fine, petitioners personality to file the petition to declare the nullity of marriage cannot be
ascertained because of the absence of the divorce decree and the foreign law allowing it.
Hence, a remand of the case to the trial court for reception of additional evidence is necessary
to determine whether respondent Orlando was granted a divorce decree and whether the
foreign law which granted the same allows or restricts remarriage
Nial vs. Bayadog
G.R. No. 133778
March 14, 2000
Ynares-Santiago, J.:
May the heirs of a deceased person file a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage after his

Pepito Nial was married to Teodulfa Bellones and begotten herein petitioners.
Teodulfa was shot by Pepito resulting in her death
Pepito and respondent Norma Badayog got married without any marriage license. In lieu
thereof, Pepito and Norma executed an affidavit that they lived as husband and wife for at
least 5 years
Pepito died in a car accident
After their fathers 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.
RTC dismissed the petition, that petitioners should have filed the action to declare null and
void their fathers marriage to respondent before his death

Issue and Ruling:

WON the marriage is void ab initio due to lack of marriage license

Valid marriage license is a requisite of marriage under Article 53 of the Civil Code (law
prevailing at the time they were married), the absence of which renders the marriage void ab
initio pursuant to Article 80(3) in relation to Article 58. The requirement and issuance of
marriage license is the States demonstration of its involvement and participation in every
marriage, in the maintenance of which the general public is interested which proceeds from
constitutional mandate that the State recognizes the sanctity of family life and of affording
protection to the family as a basic "autonomous social institution
EXCEPTION: 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 rationale why no license is required in such case 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.

How is the 5-year period counted

Five-year period should be computed on the basis of a cohabitation as "husband and wife"
where the only missing factor is the special contract of marriage to validate the union. In other
words, the five-year common-law cohabitation period, which is counted back from the date of
celebration of marriage, should be a period of legal union had it not been for the absence of
the marriage. This 5-year period should be the years immediately before the day of the
marriage and it should be a period of cohabitation characterized by exclusivity meaning no
third party was involved at any time within the 5 years and continuity that is unbroken.
Otherwise, if that continuous 5-year cohabitation is computed without any distinction as to
whether the parties were capacitated to marry each other during the entire five years, then
the law would be sanctioning immorality and encouraging parties to have common law
relationships and placing them on the same footing with those who lived faithfully with their

WON the petitioners have the personality to declare their fathers marriage void.
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.
It should be noted that their marriage was void hence it is deemed as if it never existed at all
and the death of either extinguished nothing.
Other than for purposes of remarriage, no judicial action is necessary to declare a marriage an
absolute nullity

Manzano vs. Sanchez

A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329
March 8, 2001
Davide, Jr., CJ
Solemnization of a marriage between two contracting parties who were both bound by a prior existing
marriage is the bone of contention of the instant complaint against respondent Judge Roque R.
Sanchez for gross ignorance of law

Complainant avers that she was the lawful wife of the late David Manzano and has four
children with the latter.
Her husband contracted another marriage with one Luzviminda Payao before respondent Judge
where the latter knew or ought to know that the same was void and bigamous, as the
marriage contract clearly stated that both contracting parties were "separated.

DEFENDED THAT what he knew was that the two had been living together as husband
and wife for seven years already without the benefit of marriage, as manifested in
their joint affidavit.
OCA recommended that the respondent judge be found guilty of gross ignorance of law

Issue and Ruling:

WON the complaint has merits

YES. No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived
together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to
marry each other.
For this provision on legal ratification of marital cohabitation to apply, the following requisites
must concur:
1. The man and woman must have been living together as husband and wife for at least five
years before the marriage;
2. The parties must have no legal impediment to marry each other;
3. The fact of absence of legal impediment between the parties must be present at the time of
4. The parties must execute an affidavit stating that they have lived together for at least five
years [and are without legal impediment to marry each other]; and
5. The solemnizing officer must execute a sworn statement that he had ascertained the
qualifications of the parties and that he had found no legal impediment to their marriage.
Not all of these requirements are present in the case at bar. Legal separation does not
dissolve the marriage tie, much less authorize the parties to remarry.
Cosca vs. Palaypayon
A.M. No. MTJ-92-721
September 30, 1994
Per Curiam, J

Respondents were charged with the following offenses, to wit: (1) illegal solemnization of
marriage; (2) falsification of the monthly reports of cases; (3) bribery in consideration of an
appointment in the court; (4) non-issuance of receipt for cash bond received; (5) infidelity in
the custody of detained prisoners; and (6) requiring payment of filing fees from exempted

Illegal solemnization of marriage

Complainants allege that respondent judge solemnized marriages even without the
requisite marriage license. Due to such, the marriage contracts of the couples
solemnized did not reflect any marriage license the reason therein is that the judge
waits for the marriage license
Respondent Nelia Baroy avers that it was only lately when she discovered that the
court had a marriage Register which is in the custody of Sambo; that it was Sambo
who failed to furnish the parties copies of the marriage contract and to register these
with the local civil registrar; and that apparently Sambo kept these marriage contracts
in preparation for this administrative case
Respondent Judge Palaypayon, Jr. contends that the marriage is exempt from the
marriage license requirement

Falsification of monthly report for July, 1991 regarding the number of marriages solemnized
and the number of documents notarized
It is alleged that respondent judge made it appear that he solemnized seven (7)
marriages in the month of July, 1992, when in truth he did not do so or at most those
marriages were null and void
respondents likewise made it appear that they have notarized only six (6) documents
for July, 1992, but the Notarial Register will show that there were one hundred
thirteen (113) documents which were notarized during that month
That respondents reported a notarial fee of only P18.50 for each document, although
in fact they collected P20.00 therefor and failed to account for the difference

Respondent Baroy contends, however, that the marriage registry where all marriages
celebrated by respondent judge are entered is under the exclusive control and custody
of complainant Ramon Sambo. She further avers that it is Sambo who is likewise the
custodian of the Notarial Register
Respondent Judge Palaypayon avers that the erroneous number of marriages
celebrated was intentionally placed by complainant Sambo; that the number of
marriages solemnized should not be based on solemnization fees paid for that month
since not all the marriages paid for are solemnized in the same month.
Bribery in consideration of an appointment in the court
Respondent Baroy was the one appointed because she gave a brand-new airconditioning unit to respondent judge.
Respondent Baroy claims she decided to sell the same to respondent judge since she
no longer needs it since she transferred from Naga to Tinambac
Cash bond issued without a receipt
Bondswoman Januaria Dacara was allowed by respondent judge to change her
property bond to cash bond and was not issued a receipt thereof. That after lapse of
two years, the money was not returned and was not turned over to municipal
Respondent Baroy counters that the cash bond was deposited with the former clerk of
Respondent Judge has nothing to do with the payment of the cash bond as this is the
duty of the clerk of court.
Infidelity in the custody of prisoners
Complainants contend that respondent judge usually got detention prisoners to work
in his house
Respondent judge denied the accusation and claims that he never employed detention
prisoners and that he has adequate household help
Unlawful collection of docket fees
Respondents are charged with collecting docket fees although such entity is exempt by
law from the payment of such
Respondents Baroy contends that it was Judge-Designate Felimon Montenegro who
instructed her to demand payment of docket fees from said rural bank

Issue and Ruling:

WON the marriage solemnized by the respondent is illegal

Marriage of Bocaya and Besmonte
With respect to the photographs which show that he solemnized the marriage. Judge
Palaypayon explains that they merely show as if he was solemnizing the marriage. It was
actually a simulated solemnization of marriage and not a real one. The denial made by
Judge Palaypayon is difficult to believe.
As a judge it is very difficult to believe that Judge Palaypayon would allows himself to be
photographed as if he was solemnizing a marriage on a mere pleading of a person whom he
did not even know for the alleged reasons given. It would be highly improper and unbecoming
of him to allow himself to be used as an instrument of deceit by making it appear that Bocaya
and Besmonte were married by him when in truth and in fact he did not solemnize their
Marriage of Abellano and Edralin
Respondent claims that it was under Article 34 of the Family Code, so a marriage license was
not required. The contracting parties here executed a joint affidavit that they have been living
together as husband and wife for almost six (6) years already
If he and Edralin had been living together as husband and wife for almost six (6) years already
before they got married as they stated in their joint affidavit, Abellano must ha(ve) been less

than thirteen (13) years old when he started living with Edralin as his wife and this is hard to
Respondent solenmized the marriage again since he did not consider the first marriage
because complainant Ramon Sambo did not follow his instruction that the date should be
placed in the marriage certificate to show when he solemnized the marriage and that the
contracting parties were not furnished a copy of their marriage certificate. This only gave rise
to the suspicion that the first time he solemnized the marriage it was only made to appear
that it was solemnized under exceptional character as there was not marriage license and
Judge Palaypayon had already signed the marriage certificate.
Marriage of Gamay and Belga
Judge Palaypayon also denied having solemnized the marriage of Gamay and Belga allegedly
because there was no marriage license.
Judge Palaypayon testified that his procedure and practice have been that before the
contracting parties and their witnesses enter his chamber in order to get married, he already
required complainant Ramon Sambo to whom he assigned the task of preparing the marriage
contract. This alleged practice and procedure, if true, is highly improper and irregular, if not
illegal, because the contracting parties are supposed to be first asked by the solemnizing
officer and declare that they take each other as husband and wife before the solemnizing
officer in the presence of at least two (2) witnesses before they are supposed to sign their
marriage contracts
The fact that Judge Palaypayon did not sign the marriage contracts or certificates of those
marriages he solemnized without a marriage license, there were no dates placed in the
marriage contracts to show when they were solemnized, the contracting parties were not
furnished their marriage contracts and the Local Civil Registrar was not being sent any copy of
the marriage contract, will not absolve him from liability. By solemnizing alone a marriage
without a marriage license he as the solemnizing officer is the one responsible for the
irregularity in not complying (with) the formal requ(i)sites of marriage and under Article 4(3)
of the Family Code of the Philippines, he shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable
Mariategui vs CA
G.R. No. L-57062
January 24, 1992
Bidin, J.:
Petition for review on certiorari on decision of CA reversing the decision of CFI

Lupo Mariategui died without a will

Mariategui contracted three (3) marriages
Eusebia Montellano (died) with four children
Flaviana Montellano with a daughter
Felipa Velasco with three children
Lupo Mariategui left certain properties which he acquired when he was still unmarried
Lupo's descendants by his first and second marriages executed a deed of extrajudicial partition
whereby they adjudicated unto themselves a property Subsequently, the registered owners
caused subdivision onto the land
Lupo's children by his third marriage that the said property were co-owned by their common
father; thus deprived of their share.
Defendants-petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of cause and prescription
The trial court dismissed both the petition and motion
CA declared all the children entitled to equal shares in the estate

Issue and Ruling:

WON prescription barred private respondents' right to demand the partition of the estate of
Lupo Mariategui
A marriage may be presumed to have taken place between Lupo and Felipa. The laws presume
that a man and a woman, deporting themselves as husband and wife, have entered into a
lawful contract of marriage; that a child born in lawful wedlock, there being no divorce,
absolute or from bed and board is legitimate; and that things have happened according to the
ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life
Although no marriage certificate was introduced to this effect, no evidence was likewise
offered to controvert these facts. Moreover, the mere fact that no record of the marriage exists
does not invalidate the marriage, provided all requisites for its validity are present
So much so that once a man and a woman have lived as husband and wife and such
relationship is not denied nor contradicted, the presumption of their being married must be
admitted as a fact

WON private respondents, who belatedly filed the action for recognition, were able to prove
their successional rights over said estate
There can be no other conclusion than that private respondents are legitimate children and
heirs of Lupo Mariategui and therefore, the time limitation prescribed in Article 285 for filing
an action for recognition is inapplicable to this case. In other words, prescription of an action
for partition does not lie except when the co-ownership is properly repudiated by the co-owner

Domingo vs. CA
G.R. No. 104818
September 17, 1993
Romero, J.:
Reversal of CA ruling finding no grave abuse of discretion in the RTCs order denying petitioner's
motion to dismiss the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage and separation of property

Private respondent Delia Soledad A. Domingo filed a petition before RTC for declaration of
nullity of marriage
Unknown to her, he had a previous marriage with one Emerlina dela Paz and came to know
such only when the latter sued them for bigamy
That she was working from 1979 to present in KSA and would only avail the annual vacation
leave. That he unemployed and completely dependent since 1983
She purchased real and personal properties (350K)
She discovered he was cohabiting with another woman and had been disposing some of her
properties without her consent. Due to such, she appointed her brother as attorney-in-fact
The petition prayed that a temporary restraining order enjoining Roberto from exercising any
act of administration and ownership over said properties; their marriage be declared null and
void; and Delia be declared the sole owner of all properties acquired at the time of their void
marriage and such properties be placed under the proper management and administration of
the attorney-in-fact
Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the petition stated no cause of action.

Issue and Ruling:

WON a judicial declaration of void marriage is necessary

Petitioner submits that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage is required only
for purposes of remarriage. Respondent insists on the necessity of a judicial declaration of the

nullity of their marriage in order to provide a basis for the separation and distribution of the
properties acquired during coverture.
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.
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
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
judicial declaration of the nullity of his or her first marriage, the person who marries again
cannot be charged with bigamy
As regards the necessity for a judicial declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, petitioner
submits that the same can be maintained only if it is for the purpose of remarriage.
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."

whether or not SP No. 1989-J is the proper remedy of private respondent to recover certain
real and personal properties allegedly belonging to her exclusively
When a marriage is declared void ab initio, the law states that the final judgment therein shall
provide for "the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, the
custody and support of the common children, and the delivery of their presumptive legitimes,
unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings
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. 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