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As a rule, once the criminal action has been commenced, the civil
action for damages arising from the offense charged shall be suspended
until the final termination of the criminal action. What is an exception to
this rule under the New Civil Code? - Anna Danessa Valdez
The exceptions are as follows:
1) Where the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from the act or
omission complained of as a felony, such as when the basis of the civil action is
culpa contractual, culpa aquiliana, etc. (Art. 31, 2177, NCC)
2) Where the law grants to the injured party the right to institute a civil action which
is entirely separate and independent from the criminal action, such as when the
action is based on: (a) interferences by public officers or employees or by private
individuals with civil rights and liberties; (b) defamation; (c) fraud; (d) physical
injuries; or (e) refusal or neglect of a city or municipal police officer to render aid or
protection in case of danger to life or property. (Arts. 32, 33, 34, NCC)
3) Where the question to be resolved in the civil action is prejudicial to the criminal
action (Art. 36, NCC)
12. Blues father dissolved his marriage with his mother on a decree of
annulment issued by the court. Oranges mother, on the other hand,
became a widow upon the death of her father. Blues father and Oranges
mother then got married. Thereafter Blue fell in love with Orange.
Believing their marriage to be void in the Philippines, Blue and Orange
agreed to get married in Timbuktu. Presuming the marriage between Blue
and Orange were considered valid in Timbuktu, is the marriage between
Blue and Orange considered valid in the Philippines? - Joji Digyan
The Answer is YES if the governing law at the time of the marriage between Orange
and Blue is the Family Code. But the answer is NO, if the marriage was celebrated
before the effectivity of the Family Code.
In the case of Ablaza v. Republic of the Philippines, the Supreme Court held: A valid
marriage is essential in order to create the relation of husband and wife and to give
rise to the mutual rights, duties, and liabilities arising out of such relation. The law
prescribes the requisites of a valid marriage. Hence, the validity of a marriage is
tested according to the law in force at the time the marriage is contracted. As a
general rule, the nature of the marriage already celebrated cannot be changed by a
subsequent amendment of the governing law. To illustrate, a marriage between a
stepbrother and a stepsister was void under the Civil Code, but is not anymore
prohibited under the Family Code; yet, the intervening effectivity of the Family
Code does not affect the void nature of a marriage between a stepbrother and a
stepsister solemnized under the regime of the Civil Code. The Civil Code marriage
remains void, considering that the validity of a marriage is governed by the law in
force at the time of the marriage ceremony.
13. Haruki, Japanese, married Natasha, a Filipina. One day Haruki found
Natasha grieving, apparently, because of the death of her 1st husband,
George. Then Natasha admitted that prior to her marriage to Haruki, she
had a subsisting marriage to her Filipino husband, George. She only

married Haruki, only out of poverty and joblessness. But Natasha

reassured Haruki not to be worried, because George already died and
their 2nd marriage was no longer bigamous. Haruki, nonetheless, sued
praying for the court to declare his marriage with Natasha void for
bigamy. During trial only Haruki testified, presenting NSO certified copies
of the certificate of marriage between George and Natasha. The court
dismissed the Petition on the basis that Haruki failed to prove Natashas
1st marriage to George, since Haruki had no personal knowledge thereof
and he failed to present NSOs custodian of records. Did the presiding
judge correctly rule the case? Decide with reasons. SILVA
No, the court is not correct.
Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:
(4) Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not failing under Article 41;
Art 41. A marriage contracted by any person during subsistence of a previous
marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent
marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years and the
spouse present has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead.
In case of disappearance where there is danger of death under the circumstances
set forth in the provisions of Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two
years shall be sufficient.In the case of Carratala v. Samson, 43 Phil. 75, a
subsequent marriage contracted by a wife during the life of a former husband, with
any person other than such former husband, is illegal and void from the beginning.
It should also be noted that the primary or best evidence of a marriage is the
marriage contract or the marriage certificate. (Lim Tanhu vs Ramolete, 66 SCRA
425). A mere Photostat copy of a marriage certificate is a worthless piece of paper
but if such Photostat copy emanated from the Office of the Local Civil Registrar and
duly certified by the local civil registrar as an authentic copy of the records in his
office, such certified Photostat copy is admissible as evidence.
For being contracted during a subsistence of a previous marriage, the marriage
between Haruki and Natasha is considered void from the very beginning. Further,
the NSO certified copies of the certificate of marriage between George and Natasha
are valid proof of their marriage. Harukis personal knowledge nor NSOs custodian
of records are not necessary to prove the subsistence of the previous marriage.
Thus, the court is not correct.
14. Alfredo, a Filipino citizen, obtained a decree of absolute divorce in
Canada from his wife, Vilma, a former Filipino-citizen, who got naturalized
in Canada. Does this divorce decree dissolve Alfredos marriage to Vilma
in the Philippines? - Anna Beatrice Quijano
From the case of RP vs Obecido G.R. No. 154380
The jurisprudential answer lies latent in the 1998 case of Quita v. Court of Appeals,
In Quita, the parties were, as in this case, Filipino citizens when they got married.
The wife became a naturalized American citizen in 1954 and obtained a divorce in
the same year. The Court therein hinted, by way of obiter dictum, that a Filipino
divorced by his naturalized foreign spouse is no longer married under Philippine law

and can thus remarry.

Thus, taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of
reason, we hold that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include
cases involving parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were
Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen
and obtains a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to
remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of
the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to sanction absurdity and injustice. Where
the interpretation of a statute according to its exact and literal import would lead to
mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it should be
construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as necessary the
letter of the law. A statute may therefore be extended to cases not within the literal
meaning of its terms, so long as they come within its spirit or intent.
In view of the foregoing, we state the twin elements for the application of Paragraph
2 of Article 26 as follows:
1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino citizen and
a foreigner; and
2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to
The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the
celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is
obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.
In this case, when Alfredos wife was naturalized as an American citizen, there was
still a valid marriage that has been celebrated between her and Alfredo. As fate
would have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid divorce
capacitating her to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the application of
Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both present in this case. Thus Alfredo, the divorced
Filipino spouse, should be allowed to remarry.
15. Leo died without issue. Leah, his wife, and Fyodor, his legitimate
brother, survived him as his only remaining heirs. He also left an intestate
estate worth 10 Million Pesos. To claim exclusive rights over his estate
Fyodor filed a Petition for the issuance of Letters Administration and
attacked Leos marriage to Leah as void from the very beginning for lack
of marriage license. Leo and Leah got married in 1949. Leahs lawyer,
invoking A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, filed an affirmative defense stating that
Fyodor had no personality to attack the validity of Leo and Leahs
marriage. Is he correct? Pags Pagapong
No. As ruled by the Court, A.M. No. 02-11-10- SC extends only to marriages covered
by the Family Code, which took effect on August 3, 1988, but, being a procedural
rule that is prospective in application, is confined only to proceedings commenced
after March 15, 2003.
In the case, the marriage between Leo and Leah was contracted on 1949, the
applicable law was the old Civil Code.

Hence, the rule on the exclusivity of the parties to the marriage as having the right
to initiate the action for declaration of nullity of the marriage under A.M. No. 02-1110-SC had absolutely no application to the petitioner.