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Tamano v.

Ortiz

Facts:
May 31, 1958 Sen. Tamano and Zorayda married in civil rites
June 2, 1993 Sen. Tamano married Estrellita in civil rites
May 18, 1994 Sen. Tamano died (extinguishment of his first marriage)
November 24, 1994 Zorayda and son filed a complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
on the grounds that they (Tamano and Estrellita) misrepresented themselves as single and
divorced thus making their entries in the marriage contract fraudulent and false.

Estrellita filed a motion to dismiss alleging that RTC has no jurisdiction over the case arguing
that only a party to a marriage can file an action for annulment. Estrellita also alleged that since
both parties are Muslim, the sharia courts are vested with exclusive jurisdiction to try and hear
case pursuant to art. 155 of the Code of Muslim and personal laws.

CA, then ruled that under Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, RTC has jurisdiction of all
actions involving marriages and contracts, and such action may be commenced where plaintiffs or
respondents resides.

Petitioner then argues that sharia courts exercise exclusive jurisdiction pursuant to Art. 13 of PD
1083 (Code of Muslim and Personal Laws) which states that the code have jurisdiction over
marriage and divorce where either parties or both are muslim; or other party is non muslim, and
marriage is solemnized not in accordance with the muslim code, civil code shall apply.

Issue:
W/n Sharia courts have exclusive jurisdiction over the case at bar?

Held: No.
As alleged in the complaint, petitioner and Tamano were married in accordance with the
Civil Code. Hence, contrary to the position of petitioner, the Civil Code is applicable in the
instant case. Assuming that indeed petitioner and Tamano were likewise married under Muslim
laws, the same would still fall under the general original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts.
Article 13 of PD No. 1083 does not provide for a situation where the parties were married
both in civil and Muslim rites. Consequently, the sharia courts are not vested with original
and exclusive jurisdiction when it comes to marriages celebrated under both civil and Muslim
laws. Consequently, the Regional Trial Courts are not divested of their general original
jurisdiction under Sec. 19, par. (6) of BP Blg. 129 which provides -
Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in Civil Cases. - Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive
original jurisdiction: x x x (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any
court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions x x x x

Doctrine: In matters which are governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws, their
deficiency shall be supplied by the provisions of this Code.