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Jarillo

vs. People September 29, 2009 J. Del Castillo Facts: May 24, 1974 Victoria Jarillo and Rafael Alocillo were married November 26, 1979 Jarillo married Emmanuel Uy January 12, 1999 marriage of Jarillo and Uy discovered May 31, 2000 petitioner was charged with bigamy before the Pasay City RTC October 5, 2000 Jarillo filed a case against Alocillo before the Makati City RTC for declaration of nullity of their marriage July 9, 2001 Pasay RTC found Jarillo guilty of bigamy July 21, 2003 CA decision (it didnt say when it was filed before the CA) Petitioner (Jarillo) contends that her marriage to Alocillo is null and void for the following reasons: 1.) Alocillo was allegedly still married to a Loretta Tillman at the time of the celebration of their marriage 2.) Both of her marriages are null and void due to the lack of a marriage license 3.) Action had prescribed, since Uy knew about her marriage to Alocillo as far back as 1978 Right after the presentation of the prosecution evidence, petitioner moved for suspension of the proceedings on the ground of the pendency of the petition for declaration of nullity of petitioners marriages to Alocillo, which, petitioner claimed involved a prejudicial question. In her appeal, she also asserted that the petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to Uy, initiated by the latter, was a ground for suspension of the proceedings. The RTC denied her motion for suspension, while the CA struck down her arguments. Issue: WON Jarillo is guilty of bigamy Held: Yes. Jarillo is guilty of bigamy Ratio: 1.) The subsequent judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage was immaterial because prior to the declaration of nullity, the crime had already been consummated. Moreover, petitioners assertion would only delay the prosecution of bigamy cases considering that an accused could simply file a petition to declare his previous marriage void and invoke the pendency of that action as a prejudicial question in the criminal case. We cannot allow that. The outcome of the civil case for annulment of petitioners marriage to [private complainant] had no bearing upon the determination of petitioners innocence or guilt in the criminal case for bigamy, because all that is required for the charge

of bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the second marriage is contracted. The outcome of the civil case for annulment of petitioners marriage to [private complainant] had no bearing upon the determination of petitioners innocence or guilt in the criminal case for bigamy, because all that is required for the charge of bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the second marriage is contracted. 2.) Petitioner asserts that Uy had known of her previous marriage as far back as 1978; hence, prescription began to run from that time. As ruled in Sermonia v. Court of Appeals,"the prescriptive period for the crime of bigamy should be counted only from the day on which the said crime was discovered by the offended party, the authorities or their [agents]," as opposed to being counted from the date of registration of the bigamous marriage. Since petitioner failed to prove with certainty that the period of prescription began to run as of 1978, her defense is, therefore, ineffectual. 3.) Bigamy Article 349 of RPC Petitioner is guilty of this! However, for humanitarian purposes, and considering that petitioners marriage to Alocillo has after all been declared by final judgment to be void ab initio on account of the latters psychological incapacity, by reason of which, petitioner was subjected to manipulative abuse, the Court deems it proper to reduce the penalty imposed by the lower courts.