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EDUARDO MANUEL V.

PEOPLE
November 29, 2005 | Callejo, Sr., J.
Rules Governing Persons Who Are Absent

DOCTRINE: Before the spouse present may contract a subsequent marriage, he or she must institute summary proceedings for the
declaration of the presumptive death of the absentee spouse, without prejudice to the effect of the reappearance of the absentee spouse.
Such provision was designed to harmonize civil law and Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code.

FACTS:
On July 28, 1975, Eduardo was married to Rubylus Gaa before Msgr. Feliciano Santos in Makati. However, Rubylus was
convicted of estafa and was sent to prison. After Rubylus was sent to prison, Eduardo was only able to see her once.
He met the private complainant Tina B. Gandalera in Dagupan City sometime in January 1996. Tina was then 21 years old, a
Computer Secretarial student, while Eduardo was 39. Tina initially refused to accept Eduardos proposal to marriage, but
Tina finally agreed to marry Eduardo sometime in the first week of March 1996. They were married on April 22, 1996. It
appeared in their marriage contract that Eduardo was single.
Starting 1999, Manuel started making himself scarce and went to their house only twice or thrice a year. Tina was jobless,
and whenever she asked money from Eduardo, he would slap her. Sometime in January 2001, Eduardo took all his clothes,
left, and did not return. Worse, he stopped giving financial support.
In August 2001, Tina became curious and made inquiries from the National Statistics Office (NSO) in Manila where she
learned that Eduardo had been previously married. She secured an NSO-certified copy of the marriage contract.
[Defense] Eduardo testified that he met Tina sometime in 1995 in a bar where she worked as a Guest Relations Officer
(GRO). He fell in love with her and married her. He informed Tina of his previous marriage to Rubylus Gaa, but she
nevertheless agreed to marry him. Their marital relationship was in order until this one time when he noticed that she had a
lovebite on her neck.
He insisted that he married Tina believing that his first marriage was no longer valid because he had not heard from Rubylus
for more than 20 years.
After trial, the court rendered judgment on July 2, 2002 finding Eduardo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of bigamy.
CA rendered judgment affirming the decision of the RTC with modification as to the penalty.
Eduardos arguments:
o He married Tina in good faith and without any malicious intent.
o Judicial decree of presumptive death is only necessary to contract a subsequent marriage, but it is not necessary in
raising the defense of absent spouse against a bigamy complaint.
o Article 390 of the Civil Code, one who has been absent for 7 years, whether or not he/she is still alive, shall be
presumed dead for all purposes except for succession.

ISSUE: W/N the declaration of presumptive death is also necessary to invoke it as a defense against bigamy? Yes!

RULING:
Art. 349. Bigamy.The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person who shall contract a second or
subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared
presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings. The phrase or before the absent
spouse had been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings was incorporated
in the Revised Penal Code because the drafters of the law were of the impression that in consonance with the civil law
which provides for the presumption of death after an absence of a number of years, the judicial declaration of presumed death
like annulment of marriage should be a justification for bigamy.
It was the burden of the petitioner to prove his defense that when he married the private complainant in 1996, he was of the
well grounded belief that his first wife was already dead, as he had not heard from her for more than 20 years since 1975. He
should have adduced in evidence a decision of a competent court declaring the presumptive death of his first wife as required
by Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code.
Article 41 of the Family Code, which amended Art. 391, NCC on presumptive death. With the effectivity of the Family
Code, the period of seven years under the first paragraph of Article 390 of the Civil Code was reduced to four consecutive
years. Thus, before the spouse present may contract a subsequent marriage, he or she must institute summary proceedings for
the declaration of the presumptive death of the absentee spouse, without prejudice to the effect of the reappearance of the
absentee spouse.
Under the 1988 Family Code, in order that a subsequent bigamous marriage may exceptionally be considered valid, the
following conditions must concur, viz.:
(a) The prior spouse of the contracting party must have been absent for four consecutive years, or two years where there is
danger of death under the circumstances stated in Article 391 of the Civil Code at the time of disappearance;
(b) The spouse present has a well- founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead; and
(c) There is, unlike the old rule, a judicial declaration of presumptive death of the absentee for which purpose the spouse
present can institute a summary proceeding in court to ask for that declaration.
Such provision was designed to harmonize civil law and Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, and put to rest the confusion
spawned by the rulings of this Court and comments of eminent authorities on Criminal Law.
Under Article 238 of the Family Code, a petition for a declaration of the presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article
41 of the Family Code may be filed under Articles 239 to 247 of the same Code.

DISPOSITION: IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is
AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner. SO ORDERED.

NOTES:
Another issue raised was the propriety of the moral damages awarded to complainant. The Court ruled that the petitioner is
liable to the private complainant for moral damages under Article 2219 in relation to Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Civil Code.
In the present case, the petitioner courted the private complainant and proposed to marry her. He assured her that he was
single. He even brought his parents to the house of the private complainant where he and his parents made the same
assurancethat he was single. Thus, the private complainant agreed to marry the petitioner, who even stated in the certificate
of marriage that he was single. Because the private complainant was an innocent victim of the petitioners perfidy, she is not
barred from claiming moral damages.
REPUBLIC V. COSETENG_MAGPAYO
February 2, 2011 | Carpio-Morales, J.
Entries In The Civil Register
AKGL

DOCTRINE: The change being sought in respondents petition goes so far as to affect his legal status in relation to his parents. It
seeks to change his legitimacy to that of illegitimacy. Rule 103 then would not suffice to grant respondents supplication.

A petition for a substantial correction or change of entries in the civil registry should have as respondents the civil registrar, as well as
all other persons who have or claim to have any interest that would be affected thereby.

FACTS:
Julian Edward Emerson Coseteng Magpayo (respondent) is the son of Fulvio M. Magpayo Jr. and Anna Dominique
Marquez-Lim Coseteng (aka former Sen. Nikki Coseteng). In July 2008, claiming that his parents were not legally married
(also effectively claiming illegitimacy), he filed a petition to change his name to Julian Edwarn Emerson Marquez-Lim
Coseteng.
He submitted the following documents to support his petition:
o NSO certification that the name of his mother does not appear in the National Indices of Marriage
o His academic records from elementary to college showing that he carried the surname Coseteng
o He also ran and elected as a councilor of QC using the name of Julian Coseteng.
RTC QC granted the petition and ordered the deletion in his birth certificate of the date of his parents marriage, Coseteng
as middle name and Fulvio Magpayo Jr. as his father.
The Republic contends that the deletion of the entry on the date and place of marriage of respondents parents from his birth
certificate has the effect of changing his civil status from legitimate to illegitimate, hence, any change in civil status of a
person must be effected through an appropriate adversary proceeding.

ISSUE: W/N can validly change his name and effectively also changing his legitimacy? NO

RULING:
A person can effect a change of name under Rule 103 (CHANGE OF NAME) using valid and meritorious grounds.
However, respondents reason cannot be considered as one of the grounds.
The present petition must be differentiated from Alfon v. Republic of the Philippines. In Alfon, the Court allowed the therein
petitioner, Estrella Alfon, to use the name that she had been known since childhood in order to avoid confusion. Alfon did not
deny her legitimacy, however. She merely sought to use the surname of her mother which she had been using since
childhood. In the present case, however, respondent denies his legitimacy.
The change being sought in respondents petition goes so far as to affect his legal status in relation to his parents. It seeks to
change his legitimacy to that of illegitimacy. Rule 103 then would not suffice to grant respondents supplication.
Since respondents desired change affects his civil status from legitimate to illegitimate, Rule 108 applies. It reads:
SECTION 1. Who may file petition. Any person interested in any act, event, order or decree concerning the civil
status of persons which has been recorded in the civil register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or
correction of any entry relating thereto, with the [RTC] of the province where the corresponding civil registry is
located. xxx
SEC. 3. Parties. When cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil register is sought, the civil registrar and all
persons who have or claim any interest which would be affected thereby shall be made parties to the proceeding.
SEC. 4. Notice and publication. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall, by an order, fix the time and place for
the hearing of the same, and cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the persons named in the petition. The
court shall also cause the order to be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of
general circulation in the province.
However, the petition of respondent was filed not in Makati where his birth certificate was registered but in Quezon City.
Even assuming arguendo that respondent had simultaneously availed of these two statutory remedies, respondent cannot be
said to have sufficiently complied with Rule 108. For, as reflected above, aside from improper venue, he failed to implead the
civil registrar of Makati and all affected parties as respondents in the case.
Republic v. Labrador mandates that a petition for a substantial correction or change of entries in the civil registry should
have as respondents the civil registrar, as well as all other persons who have or claim to have any interest that would be
affected thereby. It cannot be gainsaid that change of status of a child in relation to his parents is a substantial correction or
change of entry in the civil registry.
If Rule 108 were to be extended beyond innocuous or harmless changes or corrections of errors which are visible to the eye
or obvious to the understanding, so as to comprehend substantial and controversial alterations concerning citizenship,
legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage, without observing the proper proceedings as earlier mentioned,
said rule would thereby become an unconstitutional exercise which would tend to increase or modify substantive rights (Sec.
13, Art. 8, 1973 Consti).
With regard to notice and publication, what is clear then in Barco and Kho is the mandatory directive under Section 3 of Rule
108 to implead the civil registrar and the parties who would naturally and legally be affected by the grant of a petition for
correction or cancellation of entries.

DISPOSITION: WHEREFORE, the petition is, in light of the foregoing discussions, GRANTED. The January 8, 2009 Decision of
Branch 77 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City in SP Proc. No. Q-0863058 is NULLIFIED.

NOTES: