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OFELIA P. TY vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, and EDGARDO M.

REYES
[G.R. No. 127406. November 27, 2000]

DOCTRINE:

Art. 40 of Family Code cannot be retroactively applied to the present case, for to do so would
prejudice the vested rights of petitioner and of her children.

FACTS:

Respondent Reyes married Anna Maria Villanueva in a civil ceremony on March 1977, in Manila. Then
they had a church wedding on August 1977. However, on August 4, 1980, the Juvenile and Domestic
Relations Court of Quezon City declared their marriage void ab initio for lack of a valid marriage license. The
church wedding was also declared void for lack of consent of the parties. Even before the decree was issued
nullifying his marriage to Villanueva, Reyes wed Ofelia P. Ty, herein petitioner, thru civil rites on April 4, 1979
in Pasay. Three years after, on April 4, 1982, they also had a church wedding in Makati.

On January 1991, Edgardo filed a case with the RTC of Pasig, praying that his marriage to Ofelia Ty be
declared null and void because they allegedly had no marriage license when they got married. He also
averred that at the time he married petitioner, he was still married to Anna Maria. The decree of nullity of his
marriage to Anna Maria was rendered only on August 4, 1980, while his civil marriage to petitioner took place
on April 4, 1979.

The Pasig RTC ruled in favor of Edgardo Reyes and declared his marriage to Ofelia Ty null and void ab
initio. Both parties appealed to the CA, which subsequently affirmed the trial court’s decision. It ruled that a
judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage (to Anna Maria) must first be secured before a subsequent
marriage could be validly contracted.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the decree of nullity of the first marriage is required before a subsequent marriage can
be entered into validly and damages should be awarded to Ofelia Ty.

RULING:

In the view of the Supreme Court, petitioner and private respondent had complied with all the essential
and formal requisites for a valid marriage, including the requirement of a valid license in the first of the two
ceremonies. That this license was used legally in the celebration of the civil ceremony does not detract from
the ceremonial use thereof in the church wedding of the same parties to the marriage, for we hold that the
latter rites served not only to ratify but also to fortify the first.

No damages should be awarded in the present case. Petitioner wants her marriage to private
respondent held valid and subsisting. She is suing to maintain her status as legitimate wife. In the same
breath, she asks for damages from her husband for filing a baseless complaint for annulment of their marriage
which caused her mental anguish, anxiety, besmirched reputation, social humiliation and alienation from her
parents. Should we grant her prayer, we would have a situation where the husband pays the wife damages
from conjugal or common funds. The petition is GRANTED. The marriage of petitioner Ofelia P. Ty and private
respondent Edgardo M. Reyes is hereby DECLARED VALID AND SUBSISTING; and the award of the amount
of P15,000.00 is RATIFIED and MAINTAINED as monthly support to their two children.
MANUEL G. ALMELOR vs.THE HON. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF LAS PIÑAS CITY, BRANCH 254, and
LEONIDA T. ALMELO

[G.R. No. 179620. August 26, 2008]

DOCTRINE:

Concealment of homosexuality is the proper ground to annul a marriage, not homosexuality per se.

FACTS:

Petitioner Manuel G. Almelor and respondent Leonida Trinidad were married on January 29, 1989 at
the Manila Cathedral. Their union bore three children. Manuel and Leonida are both medical practitioners, an
anesthesiologist and a pediatrician, respectively. After eleven years of marriage, Leonida filed a petition with
the RTC in Las Piñas City to annul their marriage on the ground that Manuel was psychologically incapacitated
to perform his marital obligations.

Further adding to her woes was his concealment to her of his homosexuality. Her suspicions were first
aroused when she noticed Manuel's peculiar closeness to his male companions. For instance, she caught him
in an indiscreet telephone conversation manifesting his affection for a male caller. She also found several
pornographic homosexual materials in his possession. Her worse fears were confirmed when she saw Manuel
kissed another man on the lips. The man was a certain Dr. Nogales. When she confronted Manuel, he denied
everything. At this point, Leonida took her children and left their conjugal abode. Since then, Manuel stopped
giving support to their children.

Manuel countered that the true cause of Leonida's hostility against him was their professional rivalry.
He belied her allegation that he was a cruel father to their children. He denied maltreating them. He also
defended his show of affection for his mother. Manuel pointed out that Leonida found fault in this otherwise
healthy relationship because of her very jealous and possessive nature.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the marriage of Manuel and Leonida can be declared as null and void due to fraud by
reason of Manuel's concealment of his homosexuality.

RULING:

No. The trial court declared that Leonida's petition for nullity had "no basis at all because the supporting
grounds relied upon cannot legally make a case under Article 36 of the Family Code. Evidently, no
sufficient proof was presented to substantiate the allegations that Manuel is a homosexual and that he
concealed this to Leonida at the time of their marriage. The lower court considered the public perception of
Manuel's sexual preference without the corroboration of witnesses. Also, it took cognizance of Manuel's
peculiarities and interpreted it against his sexuality. Even assuming that Manuel is a homosexual, the lower
court cannot appreciate it as a ground to annul his marriage with Leonida. The law is clear - a marriage may be
annulled when the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, such as concealment of homosexuality.
Nowhere in the said decision was it proven by preponderance of evidence that Manuel was a homosexual at
the onset of his marriage and that he deliberately hid such fact to his wife. It is the concealment of
homosexuality, and not homosexuality per se, that vitiates the consent of the innocent party. Such
concealment presupposes bad faith and intent to defraud the other party in giving consent to the marriage.
JOEL JIMENEZ vs. REMEDIOS CAÑIZARES

[G.R. No. L-12790. August 31, 1960]

DOCTRINE:

Impotency being an abnormal condition should not be presumed. The presumption is in favor of
potency.

FACTS:

In a complaint filed on 7 June 1955 in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga the plaintiff Joel
Jimenez prays for a decree annulling his marriage to the defendant Remedios Cañizares contracted on 3
August 1950 before a judge of the municipal court of Zamboanga City, upon the ground that the office of her
genitals or vagina was to small to allow the penetration of a male organ or penis for copulation. On 17
December 1956 the Court entered an order requiring the defendant to submit to a physical examination by a
competent lady physician to determine her physical capacity for copulation and to submit, within ten days from
receipt of the order, a medical certificate on the result thereof. On 14 March 1957 the defendant was granted
additional five days from notice to comply with the order of 17 December 1956 with warning that her failure to
undergo medical examination and submit the required doctor's certificate would be deemed lack of interest on
her part in the case and that judgment upon the evidence presented by her husband would be rendered.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the marriage in question may be annulled on the strength only of the lone testimony of
the husband who claimed and testified that his wife was and is impotent.

RULING:

No. The law specifically enumerates the legal grounds, that must be proved to exist by indubitable
evidence, to annul a marriage. In the case at bar, the annulment of the marriage in question was decreed upon
the sole testimony of the husband who was expected to give testimony tending or aiming at securing the
annulment of his marriage he sought and seeks. Whether the wife is really impotent cannot be deemed to have
been satisfactorily established, because from the commencement of the proceedings until the entry of the
decree she had abstained from taking part therein. Although her refusal to be examined or failure to appear in
court show indifference on her part, yet from such attitude the presumption arising out of the suppression of
evidence could not arise or be inferred because women of this country are by nature coy, bashful and shy and
would not submit to a physical examination unless compelled to by competent authority. This the Court may do
without doing violence to and infringing in this case is not self-incrimination.
GRACE J. GARCIA, a.k.a. GRACE J. GARCIA-RECIO, petitioner, vs. REDERICK A. RECIO, respondent.
[G.R. No. 138322. October 2, 2001]

DOCTRINE:
The divorce decree and the national law of the alien must be alleged and proven according to our law on
evidence.
FACTS:

Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian citizen, in Malabon, Rizal,
on March 1, 1987. They lived together as husband and wife in Australia. On May 18, 1989, a decree of
divorce, purportedly dissolving the marriage, was issued by an Australian family court.
On June 26, 1992, respondent became an Australian citizen, as shown by a Certificate of Australian
Citizenship issued by the Australian government. Petitioner -- a Filipina -- and respondent were married on
January 12, 1994 in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Cabanatuan City. In their application for a marriage
license, respondent was declared as single and Filipino.
Starting October 22, 1995, petitioner and respondent lived separately without prior judicial dissolution of
their marriage. While the two were still in Australia, their conjugal assets were divided on May 16, 1996, in
accordance with their Statutory Declarations secured in Australia.
On March 3, 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in the court a
quo, on the ground of bigamy. In his Answer, respondent averred that, as far back as 1993, he had revealed to
petitioner his prior marriage and its subsequent dissolution. He contended that his first marriage to an
Australian citizen had been validly dissolved by a divorce decree obtained in Australia in 1989; thus, he was
legally capacitated to marry petitioner in 1994.
ISSUE:

Whether the divorce between respondent and Editha Samson was proven.

RULING:

In this case, the divorce decree between the respondent and Samson appears to be authentic, issued
by an Australian family court. Although, appearance is not sufficient; and compliance with the rules on
evidence regarding alleged foreign laws must be demonstrated, the decree was admitted on account of
petitioner’s failure to object properly because he objected to the fact that it was not registered in the Local Civil
Registry of Cabanatuan City, not to its admissibility. Respondent claims that the Australian divorce decree,
which was validly admitted as evidence, adequately established his legal capacity to marry under Australian
law. However, there are two types of divorce, absolute divorce terminating the marriage and limited divorce
merely suspending the marriage. In this case, it is not known which type of divorce the respondent procured.
Even after the divorce becomes absolute, the court may under some foreign statutes, still restrict remarriage.
Respondent also failed to produce sufficient evidence showing the foreign law governing his status. Together
with other evidences submitted, they don’t absolutely establish his legal capacity to remarry according to the
alleged foreign law.

Case remanded to the court a quo. The marriage between the petitioner and respondent cannot be
declared null and void based on lack of evidence conclusively showing the respondent’s legal capacity to
marry petitioner. With the lack of such evidence, the court a quo may declare nullity of the parties’ marriage
based on two existing marriage certificates.