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G.R. No.

183896

Abbas vs. Abbas

Facts:

SYED AZHAR ABBAS, a Pakistani citizen, testified that he met GLORIA GOO ABBAS, a Filipino citizen,
in Taiwan in 1991, and they were married on August 9, 1992 at the Taipei Mosque in Taiwan.
In January 1993, Syed Azhar Abbas was invited to the house of Felicitas Goo, mother of Gloria Goo.
He said he was asked to participate in a ceremony which was meant to welcome him to the
Philippines (Abbas is a Pakistani). He said he did not know that the ceremony was actually his
marriage with Gloria Goo.
In July of 2003, he went to the Office of the Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite, to check on their
marriage license, and was asked to show a copy of their marriage contract wherein the marriage
license number could be found.
The Municipal Civil Registrar, Leodivinia C. Encarnacion, issued a certification on July 11, 2003 to the
effect that the marriage license number appearing in the marriage contract he submitted, Marriage
License No. 9969967, was the number of another marriage license issued to a certain Arlindo
Getalado and Myra Mabilangan.
Later, Gloria filed a bigamy case against Abbas. Abbas allegedly married a certain Maria Corazon
Buenaventura.
To avoid the bigamy case, Abbas filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to
Gloria Goo.
To prove the validity of their marriage, Gloria presented a marriage contract signed by Abbas as well
as the solemnizing officer who celebrated their marriage. The marriage contract contained the
alleged marriage license issued to Abbas.
Abbas presented a certification issued by the Local Civil Registrar which states that the marriage
license, based on its number, indicated in the marriage contract was never issued to Abbas but to
someone else.
The RTC ruled in favor of Abbas. However, the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC on the ground that
there was no diligence to search for the real source of the marriage license issued to Abbas (for it
could be that the marriage license was issued in another municipality).

Issue:

Whether or not the marriage between Abbas and Goo is void ab initio.

Held:

Yes. Their marriage lacked one of the essential requisites of marriage which is the issuance of a valid
marriage license.

The Court of Appeals is wrong in reversing the RTC. The Local Civil registrars certification enjoyed
probative value as her duty was to maintain records of data relative to the issuance of a marriage
license.

There is a presumption of regularity of official acts in favor of the local civil registrar. Gloria was not able
to overcome this presumption hence it stands to favor Abbas.

The fact that Abbas did sign the marriage contract does not make it conclusive that there was in fact a
valid marriage license issued to him nor does it cure the fact that no marriage license was issued to
Abbas. Article 4 of the Family Code is clear when it says, The absence of any of the essential or formal
requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio. Article 35(3) of the Family Code also provides that a
marriage solemnized without a license is void from the beginning.