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Tenebrov.CA,G.R.No.150758.

February
18,2004
FACTS: Veronico Tenebro contracted marriage with private complainant
Leticia Ancajas on April 10, 1990. Tenebro and Ancajas lived together
continuously and without interruption until the latter part of 1991, when
Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had been previously married to a certain
Hilda Villareyes on November 10, 1986. Tenebro showed Ancajas a
photocopy of a marriage contract between him and Villareyes. Invoking this
previous marriage, petitioner thereafter left the conjugal dwelling which he
shared with Ancajas, stating that he was going to cohabit with Villareyes.
On January 25, 1993, petitioner contracted yet another marriage, this one
with a certain Nilda Villegas. When Ancajas learned of this third marriage,
she verified from Villareyes whether the latter was indeed married to
petitioner. In a handwritten letter, Villareyes confirmed that petitioner,
Veronico Tenebro, was indeed her husband. Ancajas thereafter filed a
complaint for bigamy against petitioner. Villegas countered that his
marriage with Villareyes cannot be proven as a fact there being no record
of such. He further argued that his second marriage, with Ancajas, has
been declared void ab initio due to psychological incapacity. Hence he
cannot be charged for bigamy.
ISSUE: Whether or not Tenebro is guilty of bigamy.
HELD: Individual who contracts a second or subsequent marriage during
the subsistence of a valid marriage is criminally liable for bigamy
notwithstanding the declaration of the second marriage as void ab initio on
the ground of psychological incapacity.
SEPARATE OPINION
VITUG, J.
Would the absolute nullity of either first or second marriage prior to its
judicial declaration as being void, constitute a valid defense in a criminal
action for bigamy? Yes. Except for a void marriage on account of
psychological incapacityvoid marriages are inexistent from the very
beginning, and no judicial decree is required to establish their nullity. The
complete nullity of a previously contracted marriage being void ab initio
and legally inexistent can outrightly be a defense in an indictment for
bigamy. Strong reservation on the ruling that bigamy is still committed

though marriage is ab initio null and void (if marriage is contracted before
th judicial declaration of its nullity). Canon law-reconcile grounds for nullity
of marriage. Reasons why except those due to psychological incapacity:
a) Breaches neither the essential nor the formal requisites of marriage
b) Other grounds are capable of relatively easy demonstration,
psychological incapacity however, being a mental state may not be so
readily evident
c) It remains valid and binding until declared judicially as void