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Name: Michelle Josephine Eden M.

Silva
Case:
Republic of the Philippines vs. Cesar Encalan, G.R. No.
170022, January 9, 2013
Subject: Civil Law
Topic: Marriage Psychological Incapacity
Principle: Psychological incapacity contemplates "downright incapacity or
inability to take cognizance of and to assume the basic marital obligations";
not merely the refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will, on the part of
the errant spouse.
Case Digest
Facts: Cesar married Lolita and the union bore two children. To support his
family, Cesar went to work in Saudi Arabia. While still in Saudi Arabia,
learned that Lolita had been having an illicit affair with Alvin Perez.
Later, Lolita allegedly left the conjugal home with her children and lived with
Alvin. Since then, Cesar and Lolita had been separated. Cesar filed with the
RTC a petition against Lolita for the declaration of the nullity of his marriage
based on Lolitas psychological incapacity.
At the trial, Cesar presented the psychological evaluation report which found
that Lolitas "transferring from one job to the other depicts some
interpersonal problems with co-workers as well as her impatience in attaining
her ambitions"; and "her refusal to go with her husband abroad signifies her
reluctance to work out a good marital and family relationship."
RTC found sufficient basis to declare Lolita psychologically incapacitated to
comply with the essential marital obligations and declared their marriage
void.
The CA affirmed the RTCs decision.
Issue: whether there exists sufficient basis to nullify Cesars marriage to
Lolita on the ground of psychological incapacity.
Ruling:
No.
Article 36 of the Family Code governs psychological incapacity as a ground
for declaration of nullity of marriage. Psychological incapacity contemplates
"downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and to assume the
basic marital obligations"; not merely the refusal, neglect or difficulty, much
less ill will, on the part of the errant spouse. The plaintiff bears the burden of
proof.
In the case, Cesar failed to prove that Lolita was psychologically
incapacitated. To constitute psychological incapacity, it must be shown that
the unfaithfulness and abandonment are manifestations of a disordered
personality that completely prevented the erring spouse from discharging
the essential marital obligations. No evidence on record exists. Further, the

psychological evaluation showed that Lolita did not suffer from any major
psychiatric illness.
It should also be noted that a wifes psychological fitness as a spouse cannot
simply be equated with her professional/work relationship; workplace
obligations and responsibilities are poles apart from their marital
counterparts. While both spring from human relationship, their relatedness
and relevance to one another should be fully established for them to be
compared or to serve as measures of comparison with one another.
Bar Question Type
Problem: Cesar and Lolita got married and bore two children. To support the
family, Cesar flew and worked in Saudi Arabia. It was later found out that
Lolita had been having an illicit relationship with Alvin. Cesar filed with the
RTC a petition against Lolita for the declaration of the nullity of his marriage
based on Lolitas psychological incapacity. He alleges that Lolita is
psychologically incapacitated since psychological evaluation report found
that Lolitas "transferring from one job to the other depicts some
interpersonal problems with co-workers as well as her impatience in attaining
her ambitions"; and "her refusal to go with her husband abroad signifies her
reluctance to work out a good marital and family relationship." Is there
sufficient basis to nullify Cesars marriage to Lolita on the ground of
psychological incapacity?
Suggested Answer:
No.
Article 36 of the Family Code governs psychological incapacity as a ground
for declaration of nullity of marriage. Psychological incapacity contemplates
"downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and to assume the
basic marital obligations"; not merely the refusal, neglect or difficulty, much
less ill will, on the part of the errant spouse.
In the case, Cesar failed to prove that Lolita was psychologically
incapacitated. To constitute psychological incapacity, it must be shown that
the unfaithfulness and abandonment are manifestations of a disordered
personality that completely prevented the erring spouse from discharging
the essential marital obligations. No evidence on record exists. Further, the
psychological evaluation showed that Lolita did not suffer from any major
psychiatric illness.

Name: Melissa S. Guillemer-Cotoner


Case: GEOFFREY BECKETT vs. JUDGE OLEGARIO R. SARMIENTO, JR.
A.M. No. RTJ-12-2326 January 30, 2013
Subject: Civil Law
Topic: Marriage Custody of Minor Child
Principle:
In all questions relating to the care, custody, education and property of the
children, the latter's welfare is paramount. This means that the best interest
of the minor can override procedural rules and even the rights of parents to
the custody of their children. Since, in this case, the very life and existence
of the minor is at stake and the child is in an age when she can exercise an
intelligent choice, the courts can do no less than respect, enforce and give
meaning and substance to that choice and uphold her right to live in an
atmosphere conducive to her physical, moral and intellectual development. x
x x (Luna v. Intermediate Appellate Court, No. L-68374, June 18, 1985, 137
SCRA 7, 16)
Case Digest
FACTS:
Geoffrey Beckett (Beckett or Complainant) was previously married to
Eltesa Densing Beckett (Eltesa). Out of the marriage was born Geoffrey
Beckett, Jr. (Geoffrey, Jr.).
Based on a compromise agreement, Eltesa and Beckett agreed agreed
that Beckett shall have full and permanent custody over Geoffrey, Jr., then
five (5) years old, subject to the visitorial rights of Eltesa.
Beckett left for Australia, taking Geoffrey, Jr. with him but they would
come and see Eltesa every Christmas.
In one of these Christmas visits, Beckett consented to have Geoffrey, Jr.
stay with Eltesa after the holidays, provided that she returns the child on a
particular date. But Geoffrey, Jr. remained with Eltesa.
DSWD elicited from Geoffrey, Jr. the following information: that (1)
complainant always leaves him to the care of his older half-brother or his
fathers girlfriends; (2) he was at one time sent out of the house by one of
complainants girlfriends and he had to stay in the garage alone; and (3) he
never wanted to stay with complainant whom he feared and who once locked
him in his room without food. Thus, DSWD strongly recommended that
custody over Geoffrey, Jr. be given to Eltesa.
Geoffrey, Jr., at nine (9) years of age, displayed inside the courtroom
hysterical conduct, shouting and crying, not wanting to let go of Eltesa and
acting as though Beckett, the father, was a total stranger.
ISSUE:

Who has the rightful custody over the child?


RULING:
In the case at bar, the mother has the rightful custody over the child.
No child under seven (7) years of age shall be separated from the
mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. (Art.
213, FAMILY CODE)
If already over 7 years of age, the childs choice as to which of his
parents he prefers to be under custody shall be respected, unless the parent
chosen proves to be unfit. (Art. 213, FAMILY CODE)
In custody cases, the foremost consideration is always the welfare and
best interest of the child. (Perez v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 118870, March
29, 1996, 255 SCRA 661, 669)
"In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or
private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or
legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary
consideration." (Article 3, number 1, CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE
CHILD, Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on November
20, 1989)
The preference of a child over 7 years of age as to whom he desired to
live with shall be respected.
Custody, even if previously granted by a competent court in favor of a
parent, is not, to reiterate, permanent.
x x x The matter of custody is not permanent and unalterable. If the
parent who was given custody suffers a future character change and
becomes unfit, the matter of custody can always be re-examined and
adjusted x x x. To be sure, the welfare, the best interests, the benefit, and
the good of the child must be determined as of the time that either parent is
chosen to be the custodian. x x x (Article 3, number 1, CONVENTION ON THE
RIGHTS OF THE CHILD, Adopted by the General Assembly of the United
Nations on November 20, 1989)
Geoffrey, Jr., at the time when he persistently refused to be turned over
to his father, was already over 7 years of age. As such, he was very much
capable of deciding, based on his past experiences, with whom he wanted to
stay.
Noteworthy too is DSWDs Report thus:
x x x In so far as Geoffrey, Jr.s account of experience, being with his
fathers custody is something that he is afraid of and something he does not
want to happen again. However, being with his mother is the one (sic) he is
looking to (sic) and aspires.
xxxx

x x x Being in the custody of his mother is something (sic) he feel (sic)


secure and protected and this is manifested in the childs craving for his
mothers presence all the time and the desire to be always with her that
even (sic) he sleeps he wants his mother to embrace and hug him and cries
when he wakes up and he cannot see his mother.
xxxx
x x x He locked me in the room. He always leave (sic) me. x x x they
keep fighting, Daddy and his girlfriend ... they'll get angry with (sic) me ... I'm
scared with (sic) Daddy.
xxxx
The caregiver or yaya of Geoffrey, Jr., expressed peculiarities, "Sa
Daddy niya, he dd (sic) not fear his mom. Sa mommy niya, he fear (sic) his
dad."
With these, clearly, Geoffrey, Jr. chose to live with his mother for a
reason.
In all questions relating to the care, custody, education and property of
the children, the latter's welfare is paramount. This means that the best
interest of the minor can override procedural rules and even the rights of
parents to the custody of their children. Since, in this case, the very life and
existence of the minor is at stake and the child is in an age when she can
exercise an intelligent choice, the courts can do no less than respect, enforce
and give meaning and substance to that choice and uphold her right to live
in an atmosphere conducive to her physical, moral and intellectual
development. x x x (Luna v. Intermediate Appellate Court, No. L-68374, June
18, 1985, 137 SCRA 7, 16)
Bar Question Type:
Problem:
Based on a compromise agreement, Eltesa and Beckett agreed agreed
that Beckett shall have full and permanent custody over their son Geoffrey,
Jr., then five (5) years old, subject to the visitorial rights of Eltesa.
In one visit, Geoffrey, Jr. stayed with Eltesa, subject to a condition that
she returns the child. But Geoffrey, Jr. remained with Eltesa.
Geoffrey, Jr., at nine (9) years of age, in a conference displayed
hysterical conduct, shouting and crying, not wanting to let go of Eltesa and
acting as though Beckett, the father, was a total stranger.
Who has the rightful custody over the child?
Suggested Answer:
Eltesa has the rightful custody over Geoffrey, Jr.
Article 213 of the Family Code provides that no child under seven (7)
years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds
compelling reasons to order otherwise. If already over 7 years of age, the
childs choice as to which of his parents he prefers to be under custody shall
be respected, unless the parent chosen proves to be unfit.

In the case of Perez vs. Court of Appeals, the court held that: In
custody cases, the foremost consideration is always the welfare and best
interest of the child. (G.R. No. 118870, March 29, 1996, 255 SCRA 661, 669)
The matter of custody is not permanent and unalterable. If the parent who
was given custody suffers a future character change and becomes unfit, the
matter of custody can always be re-examined and adjusted. The welfare, the
best interests, the benefit, and the good of the child must be determined as
of the time that either parent is chosen to be the custodian. In all actions
concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the
best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration." (Article 3,
number 1, CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD, Adopted by the
General Assembly of the United Nations on November 20, 1989)
Further, in all questions relating to the care, custody, education and
property of the children, the latter's welfare is paramount. This means that
the best interest of the minor can override procedural rules and even the
rights of parents to the custody of their children. Since, in this case, the very
life and existence of the minor is at stake and the child over 7 years of age
can exercise an intelligent choice, the courts can do no less than respect,
enforce and give meaning and substance to that choice and uphold his/her
right to live in an atmosphere conducive to his/her physical, moral and
intellectual development. x x x (Luna v. Intermediate Appellate Court, No. L68374, June 18, 1985, 137 SCRA 7, 16)
In the present case, Geoffrey, Jr., at the time when he persistently
refused to be turned over to his father, was already 9 years of age. As such,
he was very much capable of deciding, based on his past experiences, with
whom he wanted to stay. Custody is not permanent, even if previously
granted by a competent court in favor of a parent, based on the compromise
agreement in the instant case. Thus, the preference of the child Geoffrey, Jr.
over 7 years of age as to whom he desired to live with shall be respected,
that is, with Eltesa.

Name: Rounald A. Sitoy


Case:
Syed Azhar Abbas v. Gloria Goo Abbas G.R. No. 183896
January 30, 2013
Subject: Civil Law
Topic: Marriage
Principle:
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, except
as stated in Article 35(2). Article 35(3) of the Family Code also provides that
a marriage solemnized without a license is void from the beginning, except
those exempt from the license requirement under Articles 27 to 34, Chapter
2, Title I of the same Code.
Facts:
Petitioner is a Pakistani National while the respondent is a Filipino. Petitioner
filed a petition before the Regional Trial Court for nullity of marriage on the
ground of the absence of marriage license at the time of the solemnization of
marriage. Petitioner avers that when he arrived at the Philippines, he was
told by the respondent together with her family to have a ceremony as part
of the customs for him to stay in the Philippines (not knowing that it was
marriage ceremony). During the trial in the RTC, petitioner presented a
certification from the local civil registrar that the marriage license serial
number stated in the marriage contract is in different name/coupled being
issued. The RTC Ruled in favor of the petitioner annulling the marriage for
failure to have a marriage license as one of the formal requisite for
celebration of marriage. In the Court of Appeals, the CA reversed and set
aside the decision of the RTC on the ground of failure to categorically state in
the certification of the local registrar that there was due diligence in finding
the records of marriage license of the Petitioner.
Issue:
Whether or not the marriage entered into by the Petitioner and Respondents
is
void
ab
initio?
Ruling:

Yes.
Under the Family Code, the absence of any of the essential or formal
requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article
35(2). Article 35(3) of the Family Code also provides that a marriage
solemnized without a license is void from the beginning. Marriage license is
one of the formal requisites for marriage.
In the case at bar, Respondent Gloria failed to present the actual marriage
license, or a copy thereof, and relied on the marriage contract as well as the
testimonies of her witnesses to prove the existence of said license. To prove
that no such license was issued, Syed turned to the office of the Municipal
Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite which had allegedly issued said license. It
was there that he requested certification that no such license was issued. In
the case of Republic v. Court of Appeals43 such certification was allowed, as
permitted by Sec. 29, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, which reads:
SEC. 28. Proof of lack of record. A written statement signed by an officer
having the custody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent
search, no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records
of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible
as evidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry.
In the case of Republic, in allowing the certification of the Civil Registrar of
Pasig to prove the non-issuance of a marriage license, the Court held:
The above Rule authorized the custodian of the documents to certify that
despite diligent search, a particular document does not exist in his office or
that a particular entry of a specified tenor was not to be found in a register.
As custodians of public documents, civil registrars are public 43 G.R. No.
103047, September 2, 1994, 236 SCRA 257. Decision G.R. No. 183896 9
officers charged with the duty, inter alia, of maintaining a register book
where they are required to enter all applications for marriage licenses,
including the names of the applicants, the date the marriage license was
issued and such other relevant data.
The Court held in that case that the certification issued by the civil registrar
enjoyed probative value, as his duty was to maintain records of data relative
to the issuance of a marriage license.
The Municipal Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite, where the marriage license
of Gloria and Syed was allegedly issued, issued a certification to the effect
that no such marriage license for Gloria and Syed was issued, and that the
serial number of the marriage license pertained to another couple, Arlindo
Getalado and Myra Mabilangan. A certified machine copy of Marriage License

No. 9969967 was presented, which was issued in Carmona, Cavite, and
indeed, the names of Gloria and Syed do not appear in the document.
Hence, the marriage is void ab initio.
BAR QUESTION
Mr. Aa Pakistani national married Ms. B a Filipina. The marriage was
solemnized without marriage license and such is not under the exceptions
provided by law to be exempt from such license. Was there a valid marriage?
Answer:
No, the marriage is void ab initio.
A marriage license in needed to have a valid marriage. Article 3 of the Family
Code states that a valid marriage license is one of the formal requisite of
celebration of marriage. Article 4 of the Family Code states that the absence
of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab
initio except as stated in Article 35 (2)
In the case at bar, the absence of marriage license during the celebration of
marriage makes the marriage void ab initio. Furthermore, the case is not one
of the exceptions provided by law to have a valid marriage notwithstanding
the absence of valid marriage license

Name: Reynold John F. Gime


Case:
Fujiki vs Marinay
2013
Subject: Civil Law
Topic: Marriage

G.R. No. 196049

June 26,

PRINCIPLE: The rule that only the husband or wife can file a declaration of
nullity or annulment of marriage does not apply if the reason behind the
petition is bigamy.
CASE DIGEST:
FACTS:
Petitioner Minoru Fujiki is a Japanese national who married respondent Maria
Paz Galela Marinay. The marriage did not sit well with petitioners parents.
Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to Japan where he resides. Eventually,
they lost contact with each other.
Marinay met another Japanese, Shinichi Maekara. Without the first marriage
being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara were married in Quezon City,
Philippines. Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay allegedly
suffered physical abuse from Maekara. She left Maekara and started to
contact Fujiki.
Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to reestablish their
relationship. Fujiki helped Marinay obtain a judgment from a family court in
Japan which declared the marriage between Marinay and Maekara void on
the ground of bigamy. Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC praying that (1) the
Japanese Family Court judgment be recognized; (2) that the bigamous
marriage between Marinay and Maekara be declared void ab initiounder
Articles 35(4) and 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages
and Annulment of Voidable Marriages stating that only the husband or wife
can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage is applicable?
RULING:
No
In Juliano-Llave v. Republic,this Court held that the rule that only the
husband or wife can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage
does not apply if the reason behind the petition is bigamy.
There is therefore no reason to disallow Fujiki to simply prove as a fact the
Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage between Marinay

and Maekara on the ground of bigamy. While the Philippines has no divorce
law, the Japanese Family Court judgment is fully consistent with Philippine
public policy, as bigamous marriages are declared void from the beginning
under Article 35(4) of the Family Code. Bigamy is a crime under Article 349
of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the
Japanese Family Court judgment in accordance with Rule 132, Sections 24
and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court.
BAR QUESTION
Mr. X is a Japanese citizen married Ms. Y a Filipino citizen in the Philippines.
However the marriage was not approve by the parents of X. As a result X
cannot bring Y to Japan where he resides. Eventually, they lost contact with
each other.Y met another Japanese Mr. Z. Without dissolving the first
marriage Y and Z got married in the Philippines. Y was brought to japan by Z
to live with him. Allegedly Y suffered physical abuse from Z. Eventually, Y
separated from Z and begun contacting X.
Y and X begun to rekindle their love. Y obtained a judgment from a family
court in Japan which declared the marriage between Y and Z void on the
ground of bigamy. X filed a petition in the RTC praying that (1) the Japanese
Family Court judgment be recognized; (2) that the bigamous marriage
between Marinay and Maekara be declared void ab initio under Articles 35(4)
and 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines.
QUESTION: Is X correct on filing the petition?
Suggested Answer:
No
In Juliano-Llave v. Republic,this Court held that the rule that only the
husband or wife can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage
does not apply if the reason behind the petition is bigamy.
There is therefore no reason to disallow Fujiki to simply prove as a fact the
Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage between Marinay
and Maekara on the ground of bigamy. While the Philippines has no divorce
law, the Japanese Family Court judgment is fully consistent with Philippine
public policy, as bigamous marriages are declared void from the beginning
under Article 35(4) of the Family Code. Bigamy is a crime under Article 349
of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the
Japanese Family Court judgment in accordance with Rule 132, Sections 24
and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court.

Name: Jeson Pagapong


Case:
BANGAYAN vs. BENJAMIN BANGAYAN, JR. G.R. No. 201061
July 3, 2013
Subject: Civil Law
Topic: Marriage Psychological Incapacity
Principle: A marriage solemnized without a license, except those covered by
Article 34 where no license is necessary, "shall be void from the beginning
Case Digest:
Facts: Benjamin Bangayan, Jr. is married to Azucena Alegre. In 1982, while
Alegre was outside the Philippines, Benjamin developed a romantic
relationship with Sally Go. To appease Sallys father, she convinced Benjamin
to sign a purported marriage contract. Subsequently, when the relationship
between Sally and Benjamin became distasteful, Sally filed a bigamy case
against Benjamin. Benjamin on the other hand filed an action to declare his
alleged marriage to Sally as non-existent. To prove the existence of their
marriage, Sally presented a marriage license allegedly issued to Benjamin.
The marriage license however did not match any of the licenses issued by
the registrar.
Issue: Whether or not the Marriage between Bejamin and Sally is void ab
initio and non-existent.
Ruling: Yes. Under Article 35 of the Family Code, a marriage solemnized
without a license, except those covered by Article 34 where no license is
necessary, "shall be void from the beginning." In this case, the marriage
between Benjamin and Sally was solemnized without a license. It was duly
established that no marriage license was issued to them and that Marriage
License No. N-07568 did not match the marriage license numbers issued by
the local civil registrar of Pasig City for the month of February 1982. The case
clearly falls under Section 3 of Article 3520 which made their marriage void
ab initio. The marriage between Benjamin and Sally was also non-existent.
Applying the general rules on void or inexistent contracts under Article 1409
of the Civil Code, contracts which are absolutely simulated or fictitious are
"inexistent and void from the beginning."
Bar question type:

X was a married man. However, while his wife is abroad, he developed a


romantic relationship with Z over the objection of Zs father. To appease Zs
father, Z convinced X to execute a simulated marriage contract. The
marriage between X and Z did not end up well resulting to X filling a
declaration of nullity of their marriage. He alleges that the marriage is void
as it was celebrated without a valid marriage license. Is the marriage void?
Suggested Answer:
Yes. Under Article 35 of the Family Code, a marriage solemnized without a
license, except those covered by Article 34 where no license is necessary,
"shall be void from the beginning." In this case, the marriage between X and
Z was solemnized without a license. It was duly established that no marriage
license was issued to them and that Marriage License No. N-07568 did not
match the marriage license numbers issued by the local civil registrar of
Pasig City for the month of February 1982. The case clearly falls under
Section 3 of Article 3520 which made their marriage void ab initio. The
marriage between X and Z was also non-existent. Applying the general rules
on void or inexistent contracts under Article 1409 of the Civil Code, contracts
which are absolutely simulated or fictitious are "inexistent and void from the
beginning."

Name: Anna Beatrice Quijano


Case:
Yasuo Iwasawa vs Felisa Custodio Gangan (aka Felisa
Gangan Arambulo, and Felisa Gangan Iwasawa) and the Local Civil
Registrar of Pasay City GR 204169
Sept 11, 2013
Subject: Civil Law
Topic: Marriage
Principle:
A certificate of marriage being a public documents is sufficient to prove the
fact of marriage between the parties.
Case Digest:
Facts:
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. The RTC denied the
petition for declaration of nullity of the marriage of petitioner with private
respondent due to insufficient evidence.
Sometime in 2002, Petitioner, a Japanese national met respondent in one of
his visits in the Philippines. Private respondent introduced herself as single
and never married before.
On Nov 28, 2002 in Pasay City, petitioner and respondent got married and
later on resided in Japan after the wedding.
On July 2009, respondent was depressed which led her to confess that she
received news that her previous husband passed away. It was then that he
learned that she was married to one Raymond Maglonzo Arambulo and that
their marriage took place on June 20, 1994. Upon knowing this, petitioner
filed a petition for the declaration of his marriage to respondent as null and
void on the ground that their marriage is a bigamous one, based on Art 35(4)
in relation to Art 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines.
On September 4, 2012, the RTC rendered the assailed decision. It ruled that
there was insufficient evidence to prove private respondents prior existing
valid marriage to another man. It held that while petitioner offered the
certificate of marriage of private respondent to Arambulo, it was only
petitioner who testified about said marriage.

The RTC ruled that petitioners testimony is unreliable because he has no


personal knowledge of private respondents prior marriage nor of Arambulos
death which makes him a complete stranger to the marriage certificate
between private respondent and Arambulo and the latters death certificate.
It further ruled that petitioners testimony about the NSO certification is
likewise unreliable since he is a stranger to the preparation of said
document.
Issue:
Whether or not the Certificate of Marriage is sufficient to prove the existence
of marriage?
Ruling:
Yes. There is no question that the documentary evidence submitted by
petitioner are all public documents. As provided in the Civil Code: ART. 410.
The books making up the civil register and all documents relating thereto
shall be considered public documents and shall be prima facie evidence of
the facts therein contained.
As public documents, they are admissible in evidence even without further
proof of their due execution and genuineness. Thus, the RTC erred when it
disregarded said documents on the sole ground that the petitioner did not
present the records custodian of the NSO who issued them to testify on their
authenticity and due execution since proof of authenticity and due execution
was not anymore necessary. Moreover, not only are said documents
admissible, they deserve to be given evidentiary weight because they
constitute prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. And in the instant
case, the facts stated therein remain unrebutted since neither the private
respondent nor the public prosecutor presented evidence to the contrary.
This Court has consistently held that a judicial declaration of nullity is
required before a valid subsequent marriage can be contracted; or else, what
transpires is a bigamous marriage,16 which is void from the beginning as
provided in Article 35(4) of the Family Code of the Philippines. And this is
what transpired in the instant case.
Bar Question:
Saitama, a Japanese national, met Josefina in one of his visits to the
Philippines. Josefina introduced herself as single and never married
before. As their relationship progressed, they both decided to tie the knot
and resided in Japan after their marriage. Josefina later on confessed to
Saitama that she received news that her previous husband passed away. This

prompted Saitama to file a petition for the declaration of his marriage to


Josefina as null and void on the ground that their marriage is bigamous.
During trial, aside from his testimony, Saitama also offered in evidence the
Certificate of Marriage between Josefina and Pedro issued by the National
Statistics Office (NSO). The court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to
prove Josefinas prior existing valid marriage to another man because he did
not present the records custodian of the NSO. Is the ruling of the court
tenable?
Suggested Answer:
No, the ruling of the court is untenable. There is no question that the
documentary evidence submitted by Saitama is a public document.
As provided in the Civil Code, Article 410: The books making up the civil
register and all documents relating thereto shall be considered public
documents and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein contained.
As public documents, they are admissible in evidence even without further
proof of their due execution and genuineness. Thus, the court erred when it
disregarded said documents on the sole ground that the petitioner did not
present the records custodian of the NSO who issued them to testify on their
authenticity and due execution since proof of authenticity and due execution
was not anymore necessary. Moreover, not only are said documents
admissible, they deserve to be given evidentiary weight because they
constitute prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

Name
: Anna Danessa Valdez
Case : Republic of the Philippines vs. Liberty D. Albios
198780 , October 16, 2013
Subject: Civil Law
Topic : Marriage

G.R. No.

Principle:
Absence of any essential requisite shall render a marriage void ab initio.
Case Digest
Facts:
On October 22, 2004, Fringer, an American citizen, and Albios were married
before Judge Ofelia I. Calo of the MeTC Branch 59, Mandaluyong City. On
December 6, 2006, Albios filed with the RTC a petition for declaration of
nullity of her marriage with Fringer, alleging that immediately after their
marriage, they separated and never lived as husband and wife because they
never really had any intention of entering into a married state or complying
with any of their essential marital obligations. She described their marriage
as one made in jest and, therefore, null and void ab initio.
RTC declared the marriage void ab initio. It viewed the marriage as one for
convenience only or that which was entered into for a purpose other than the
establishment of a conjugal and family life, that such was a farce and should
not be recognized from its inception. The OSG filed a motion for
reconsideration. The RTC denied the motion for want of merit. It explained
that the marriage was declared void because the parties failed to freely give
their consent to the marriage as they had no intention to be legally bound by
it and used it only as a means to acquire American citizenship in
consideration of $2,000.00.
Not in conformity, the OSG filed an appeal before the CA. CA affirmed the
RTC ruling which found that the essential requisite of consent was lacking.
The CA stated that the parties clearly did not understand the nature and
consequence of getting married and that their case was similar to a marriage
in jest. It further explained that the parties never intended to enter into the
marriage contract and never intended to live as husband and wife or build a
family. It concluded that their purpose was primarily for personal gain, that
is, for Albios to obtain foreign citizenship, and for Fringer, the consideration
of $2,000.00. Hence, the petition.

Issue:
Whether or not a marriage contracted for the sole purpose of acquiring
American citizenship in consideration of $2,000.00, void ab initio on the
ground of lack of consent.
SC Ruling:
No. Under Article 2 of the Family Code, consent is an essential requisite of
marriage. Article 4 of the same Code provides that the absence of any
essential requisite shall render a marriage void ab initio.
Under said Article 2, for consent to be valid, it must be (1) freely given and
(2) made in the presence of a solemnizing officer. A "freely given" consent
requires that the contracting parties willingly and deliberately enter into the
marriage. Consent must be real in the sense that it is not vitiated nor
rendered defective by any of the vices of consent under Articles45 and 46 of
the Family Code, such as fraud, force, intimidation, and undue
influence. Consent must also be conscious or intelligent, in that the parties
must be capable of intelligently understanding the nature of, and both the
beneficial or unfavorable consequences of their act. Their understanding
should not be affected by insanity, intoxication, drugs, or hypnotism.
Based on the above, consent was not lacking between Albios and Fringer. In
fact, there was real consent because it was not vitiated nor rendered
defective by any vice of consent. Their consent was also conscious and
intelligent as they understood the nature and the beneficial and inconvenient
consequences of their marriage, as nothing impaired their ability to do so.
That their consent was freely given is best evidenced by their conscious
purpose of acquiring American citizenship through marriage. Such plainly
demonstrates that they willingly and deliberately contracted the marriage.
There was a clear intention to enter into a real and valid marriage so as to
fully comply with the requirements of an application for citizenship. There
was a full and complete understanding of the legal tie that would be created
between them, since it was that precise legal tie which was necessary to
accomplish their goal.
In ruling that Albios marriage was void for lack of consent, the CA
characterized such as akin to a marriage by way of jest. A marriage in jest is
a pretended marriage, legal in form but entered into as a joke, with no real
intention of entering into the actual marriage status, and with a clear
understanding that the parties would not be bound. The ceremony is not
followed by any conduct indicating a purpose to enter into such a relation. It
is a pretended marriage not intended to be real and with no intention to
create any legal ties whatsoever, hence, the absence of any genuine
consent. Marriages in jest are void ab initio, not for vitiated, defective, or

unintelligent consent, but for a complete absence of consent. There is no


genuine consent because the parties have absolutely no intention of being
bound in any way or for any purpose.
The respondents marriage is not at all analogous to a marriage in jest. Albios
and Fringer had an undeniable intention to be bound in order to create the
very bond necessary to allow the respondent to acquire American
citizenship. Only a genuine consent to be married would allow them to
further their objective, considering that only a valid marriage can properly
support an application for citizenship. There was, thus, an apparent intention
to enter into the actual marriage status and to create a legal tie, albeit for a
limited purpose. Genuine consent was, therefore, clearly present.
The avowed purpose of marriage under Article 1 of the Family Code is for the
couple to establish a conjugal and family life. The possibility that the parties
in a marriage might have no real intention to establish a life together is,
however, insufficient to nullify a marriage freely entered into in accordance
with law. The same Article 1 provides that the nature, consequences, and
incidents of marriage are governed by law and not subject to stipulation. A
marriage may, thus, only be declared void or voidable under the grounds
provided by law. There is no law that declares a marriage void if it is entered
into for purposes other than what the Constitution or law declares, such as
the acquisition of foreign citizenship. Therefore, so long as all the essential
and formal requisites prescribed by law are present, and it is not void or
voidable under the grounds provided by law, it shall be declared valid.
Bar Question Type:
Problem:
Fringer, an American citizen, and Albios, a Filipina were married before MeTC
Judge Calo. Subsequently, Albios filed with the RTC a petition for declaration
of nullity of her marriage with Fringer, alleging that immediately after their
marriage, they separated and never lived as husband and wife because they
never really had any intention of entering into a married state or complying
with any of their essential marital obligations. She described their marriage
as one made in jest and, therefore, null and void ab initio. a) Is a marriage
contracted for the sole purpose of acquiring American citizenship in
consideration of $2,000.00, void ab initio on the ground of lack of consent?
b) Can the marriage be considered voidable on the ground of fraud under
Article 45(3) of the Family Code?
Suggested Answer:
a) No. Under Article 2 of the Family Code, consent is an essential requisite of
marriage. Article 4 of the same Code provides that the absence of any
essential requisite shall render a marriage void ab initio.

For consent to be valid, it must be (1) freely given and (2) made in the
presence of a solemnizing officer. A "freely given" consent requires that the
contracting parties willingly and deliberately enter into the marriage.
Consent must be real in the sense that it is not vitiated nor rendered
defective by any of the vices of consent under Articles45 and 46 of the
Family Code, such as fraud, force, intimidation, and undue influence. Consent
must also be conscious or intelligent, in that the parties must be capable of
intelligently understanding the nature of, and both the beneficial or
unfavorable consequences of their act. Their understanding should not be
affected by insanity, intoxication, drugs, or hypnotism.
In the case at bar, consent was not lacking between Albios and Fringer. In
fact, there was real consent because it was not vitiated nor rendered
defective by any vice of consent. Their consent was also conscious and
intelligent as they understood the nature and the beneficial and inconvenient
consequences of their marriage, as nothing impaired their ability to do so.
That their consent was freely given is best evidenced by their conscious
purpose of acquiring American citizenship through marriage. Such plainly
demonstrates that they willingly and deliberately contracted the marriage.
There was a clear intention to enter into a real and valid marriage so as to
fully comply with the requirements of an application for citizenship. There
was a full and complete understanding of the legal tie that would be created
between them, since it was that precise legal tie which was necessary to
accomplish their goal.
b) No. Neither can their marriage be considered voidable on the ground of
fraud under Article 45 (3) of the Family Code. Only the circumstances listed
under Article 46 of the same Code may constitute fraud, namely, (1) nondisclosure of a previous conviction involving moral turpitude; (2)
concealment by the wife of a pregnancy by another man; (3) concealment of
a sexually transmitted disease; and (4) concealment of drug addiction,
alcoholism, or homosexuality. No other misrepresentation or deceit shall
constitute fraud as a ground for an action to annul a marriage. Entering into
a marriage for the sole purpose of evading immigration laws does not qualify
under any of the listed circumstances. Furthermore, under Article 47 (3), the
ground of fraud may only be brought by the injured or innocent party. In the
present case, there is no injured party because Albios and Fringer both
conspired to enter into the sham marriage.