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De Castro vs De Castro Santiago vs People

They executed a false affidavit dated 13 March 1995 stating that Santos, who had been married to Estela Galang, asked petitioner
they had been living together as husband and wife for at least to marry him. Petitioner, who was a 43-year-old widow then,
married Santos. Four months after the solemnization of their
five years. The couple got married on the same date, with Judge
marriage, Leonila G. Santiago and Nicanor F. Santos faced an
Jose C. Bernabe, presiding judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court
Information for bigamy. Petitioner pleaded "not guilty," while
of Pasig City, administering the civil rites. Nevertheless, after the her putative husband escaped the criminal suit.
ceremony, petitioner and respondent went back to their Petitioner asserted that she could not be included as an accused
respective homes and did not live together as husband and wife. in the crime of bigamy, because she had been under the belief
Respondent gave birth to a child named Reinna Tricia A. De that Santos was still single when they got married. She also
Castro. In her complaint, respondent alleged that she is married averred that for there to be a conviction for bigamy, his second
to petitioner and that the latter has reneged on his marriage to her should be proven valid by the prosecution; but
responsibility/obligation to financially support her as his wife in this case, she argued that their marriage was void due to the
and Reinna Tricia as his child. lack of a marriage license.
Petitioner denied that he is married to respondent, claiming that Eleven years after the inception of this criminal case, the first
their marriage is void ab initio since the marriage was facilitated wife, Estela Galang, testified for the prosecution. She alleged
that she had met petitioner on which occasions the former
by a fake affidavit. He also averred that they never lived together
introduced herself as the legal wife of Santos. Petitioner denied
as husband and wife and that he has never seen nor
this allegation and averred that she met Galang only or after she
acknowledged the child.
had already married Santos.
The trial court ruled that the marriage between petitioner and Petitioner moved for reconsideration which was denied. On
respondent is not valid because it was solemnized without a appeal, the CA gave more weight to the prosecution witnesses'
marriage license. However, it declared petitioner as the natural narration.
father of the child, and thus obliged to give her support. The Issue: Is the second marriage of Santiago valid, for there to be a
Court of Appeals denied the appeal. Prompted by the rule that a conviction for bigamy?
marriage is presumed to be subsisting until a judicial declaration YES. It is clear that the marriage between petitioner and Santos
of nullity has been made, the appellate court declared that the took place without a marriage license. The absence of this
child was born during the subsistence and validity of the parties requirement is purportedly explained in their Certificate of
marriage. Marriage, which reveals that their union was celebrated under
Issue is whether the marriage is valid or not. Article 34 of the Family Code, which provides an exemption from
the requirement of a marriage license if the parties have actually
Under the Family Code, the absence of any of the essential or
lived together as husband and wife for at least five years prior to
formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio,
the celebration of their marriage.
whereas a defect in any of the essential requisites shall render
Santiago and Santos, however, reflected the exact opposite of
the marriage voidable. In the instant case, it is clear from the this fact. Although the records do not show that they submitted
evidence presented that petitioner and respondent did not have an affidavit of cohabitation as required by Article 34 of the
a marriage license when they contracted their marriage. Family Code, it appears that the two of them lied before the
Instead, they presented an affidavit stating that they had been solemnizing officer and misrepresented that they had actually
living together for more than five years. However, respondent cohabited for at least five years before they married each other.
herself in effect admitted the falsity of the affidavit when she The Certificate of Marriage, signed by Santos and Santiago,
was asked during cross-examination. The falsity of the affidavit contained the misrepresentation perpetrated by them that they
cannot be considered as a mere irregularity in the formal were eligible to contract marriage without a license.
requisites of marriage. Petitioner now seeks to be acquitted of bigamy based on her
The false affidavit which petitioner and respondent executed so illegal actions of (1) marrying Santos without a marriage license
they could push through with the marriage has no value despite knowing that they had not satisfied the cohabitation
requirement under the law; and (2) falsely making claims in no
whatsoever; it is a mere scrap of paper. They were not exempt
less than her marriage contract.
from the marriage license requirement. Their failure to obtain
Petitioner was held guilty of bigamy.
and present a marriage license renders their marriage void ab
initio.
Republic vs Nolasco Calisterio vs Calisterio

Nolasco, a seaman, first met Janet Monica Parker in a bar in Teodorico Calisterio, husband of Marietta Calisterio, the
England. After that, she lived with him on his ship for 6 months. respondent, died intestate in April 1992 leaving several parcel of
After his seaman's contract has expired, he brought her to his land estimated value of P604,750.00. He was the second
hometown in San Jose, Antique. They got married. husband of Marietta who was previously married with William
After the marriage celebration, he got another employment Bounds in January 1946. The latter disappeared without a trace
contract and left the province. Later on, Nolasco received a letter in February 1947. 11 years later from the disappearance of
from his mother that 15 days after Janet gave birth to their son, Bounds, Marietta and Teodorico were married in May 1958
she left. He cut short his contract to find Janet. He returned without Marietta securing a court declaration of Bounds
home in November 1983. presumptive death.
He did so by securing another contract which England is one of Antonia Armas y Calisterio, surviving sister of Teodorico filed a
its port calls. He wrote several letters to the bar where he and petition claiming to be the sole surviving heir of the latter and
Janet first met, but all were returned to him. He claimed that he that marriage between Marietta and his brother being allegedly
inquired from his friends but they too had no news about Janet. bigamous is thereby null and void. She prayed that her son
Nolasco filed before the RTC of Antique a petition for the Sinfroniano be appointed as administrator, without bond, of the
declaration of presumptive death of his wife Janet. estate of the deceased and inheritance be adjudicated to her
RTC granted the petition. The Republic through the Solicitor- after all the obligations of the estate would have been settled.
General, appealed to the CA, contending that the trial court ISSUE: Whether Marrieta and Teodoricos marriage was void due
erred in declaring Janet presumptively dead because Nolasco to the absence of the declaration of presumptive death.
had failed to show that there existed a well-founded belief for The marriage between the respondent and the deceased was
such declaration. CA affirmed the trial court's decision. solemnized in May 1958 where the law in force at that time was
Issue is: Whether or not Nolasco has a well-founded belief that the Civil Code and not the Family Code which only took effect in
his wife is already dead. August 1988. Article 256 of the Family Code itself limit its
No. Nolasco failed to prove that he had complied with the third retroactive governance only to cases where it thereby would not
requirement under the Article 41 of the Family Code, the prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with
existence of a "well-founded belief" that Janet is already dead. the Civil Code or other laws.
Under Article 41, the time required for the presumption to arise Unlike in the Family Code, the New Civil Code does not
has been shortened to 4 years; however, there is a need for necessitate a judicial declaration of absence of the absentee
judicial declaration of presumptive death to enable the spouse spouse as long as the prescribed period of absence is met.
present to marry. However, Article 41 imposes a stricter Since Civil Code provides that declaration of presumptive death
standard before declaring presumptive death of one spouse. It is not essential before contracting marriage where at least 7
requires a "well-founded belief" that the absentee is already consecutive years of absence of the spouse is enough to remarry
dead before a petition for declaration of presumptive death can then Marrietas marriage with Teodorico is valid and therefore
be granted. she has a right and can claim portion of the estate.
In the case at bar, the Court found Nolasco's alleged attempt to
ascertain about Janet's whereabouts too sketchy to form the
basis of a reasonable or well-founded belief that she was already
dead.
Nolasco, after returning from his employment, instead of
seeking help of local authorities or of the British Embassy,
secured another contract to London. Janet's alleged refusal to
give any information about her was too convenient an excuse to
justify his failure to locate her. He did not explain why he took
him 9 months to finally reached San Jose after he asked leave
from his captain. He refused to identify his friends whom he
inquired from. When the Court asked Nolasco about the
returned letters, he said he had lost them. Moreover, while he
was in London, he did not even dare to solicit help of authorities
to find his wife.
Valdez vs Republic Republic vs. Estrada and Olemberio

Angelita Valdez was married with Sofio in January 1971. She On 2008, Teresita J. Olemberio filed a Petition for Declaration of
gave birth to a baby girl named Nancy. They argued constantly Absence and Presumption of Death of her husband Diego before
because Sofio was unemployed and did not bring home any the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malaybalay. Teresita alleged she
money. In 1972, the latter left their house. Angelita and her married Diego in Bukidnon. Sometime in December 1976, Diego
child waited until in May 1972, they decided to go back to her left their residence and never came back.
parents home. 3 years have passed without any word from He failed to communicate with her for the past 32 years and
Sofio until in October 1975 when he showed up and they agreed never made contact with any of their children or immediate
to separate and executed a document to that effect. It was the relatives. She alleged that she exerted all efforts to reach her
last time they saw each other and had never heard of ever husband but failed. She filed the present petition to declare her
since. Believing that Sofio was already dead, petitioner married husband presumptively dead so that she could contract another
Virgilio Reyes in June 1985. Virgilios application for marriage without any impediment.
naturalization in US was denied because petitioners marriage On 2009, the RTC Malaybalay granted her petition and declared
with Sofio was subsisting. Hence, in March 2007, petitioner filed Diego for all legal intents and purposes presumptively dead in
a petition seeking declaration of presumptive death of Sofio. accordance with Article 41 of the Family Code.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners marriage with Virgilio is valid Upon appeal before the Court of Appeals, the Office of the
despite lack of declaration of presumptive death of Sofio. Solicitor General filed a Petition for Certiorari contesting the
The court ruled that no decree on the presumption of Sofios grant of petition. On 2013, the appellate court denied the
death is necessary because Civil Code governs during 1971 and petition and affirmed the decision of the RTC.
not Family Code where at least 7 consecutive years of absence is Before this Court, OSG is alleging error on the part of the lower
only needed. Thus, petitioner was capacitated to marry Virgilio courts in their appreciation of the facts and circumstances of the
and their marriage is legal and valid. death of Diego as well as the insufficiency of efforts of Teresita
in locating Diego's whereabouts which let her to form a belief
that the latter is already dead. This petition was dismissed.
In this case, Diego's absence for more than 30 years, which far
exceeded the law required four years of absence, is more than
enough to declare him presumptively dead for all legal intents
and purposes. Further, it can be clearly gleaned from the totality
of evidence that Diego had already died due to the prevalence
of New People's Army in Malaybalay.
Thus, declaration of presumptive death is granted and petition
of OSG is denied.
Santos vs. Santos These are allegations of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction.
Celerina alleged in her petition with the Court of Appeals
Upon prior petition by Ricardo that his wife, Celerina, be sufficient ground/s for annulment of judgment.
declared presumptively dead, the RTC of Tarlac City granted it on Celerina filed her petition for annulment of judgment on
July 27, 2007. According to Ricardo, he and his wife were married November 17, 2008. This was less than two years from the July
in 1980; they first lived in San Juan, but after a year moved to 27, 2007 decision declaring her presumptively dead and about a
Tarlac City. Due to business reverses, Celerina convinced him to month from her discovery of the decision in October 2008. The
allow her to work as domestic worker in Hongkong, She applied petition was, therefore, filed within the four-year period allowed
in an employment agency, and left in February 1995, never to be by law in case of extrinsic fraud, and before the action is barred
hard again. He exerted efforts to locate Celerina, but the same by laches, which is the period allowed in case of lack of
proved futile; he inquired from his relatives but no one gave him jurisdiction.
any information; 12 years had since passed between the time There was also no other sufficient remedy available to Celerina
she left abroad and the filing of the petition. at the time of her discovery of the fraud perpetrated on her.
On November 17, 2008, Celerina filed a petition for annulment The choice of remedy is important because remedies carry with
of the RTC decision declaring her presumptively dead with the them certain admissions, presumptions, and conditions.
Court of Appeals. The Family Code provides the presumptively dead spouse with
According to her, she learned about Ricardos petition only in the remedy of terminating the subsequent marriage by mere
October, 2008, and she could no longer avail of appeals, motion reappearance. The filing of an affidavit of reappearance is an
for reconsideration or new trial. She was deprived of her day in admission on the part of the first spouse that his or her marriage
court when Ricardo alleged she was a resident of Tarlac City, to the present spouse was terminated when he or she was
when her true residence was in Quezon City, their conjugal declared absent or presumptively dead.
home; Ricardo left the conjugal home in May, 2008. She also Moreover, a close reading of the entire Article 42 reveals that
never left abroad as a domestic worker. the termination of the subsequent marriage by reappearance is
The court also did not acquire jurisdiction over the petition since subject to several conditions: (1) the non-existence of a
it was never published in a newspaper of general publication; the judgment annulling the previous marriage or declaring it void ab
Office of the Solicitor General and the Provincial Prosecutor s initio; (2) recording in the civil registry of the residence of the
Office was also not notified on the petition. parties to the subsequent marriage of the sworn statement of
The Court of Appeals however dismissed her petition for being fact and circumstances of reappearance; (3) due notice to the
the wrong remedy. It ruled that Celerinas remedy was to file an spouses of the subsequent marriage of the fact of reappearance;
affidavit of reappearance before the local civil registry in and (4) the fact of reappearance must either be undisputed or
accordance with Article 42 of the Family Code. Her motion for judicially determined.
reconsideration denied by the Court of Appeals, she elevated her The existence of these conditions means that reappearance does
case to the Supreme Court; she argues that an affidavit of not always immediately cause the subsequent marriages
reappearance is appropriate only when the spouse actually termination. Reappearance of the absent or presumptively dead
disappeared. It would be incongruous to file an affidavit of spouse will cause the termination of the subsequent marriage
reappearance when she did not actually disappear or were only when all the conditions enumerated in the Family Code are
absent; a petition for annulment of judgment is the appropriate present.
remedy when the declaration of presumptive death was Hence, the subsequent marriage may still subsist despite the
obtained fraudulently. absent or presumptively dead spouses reappearance (1) if the
first marriage has already been annulled or has been declared a
The Courts ruling: nullity; (2) if the sworn statement of the reappearance is not
The petition is meritorious. recorded in the civil registry of the subsequent spouses
Annulment of judgment is the remedy when the Regional Trial residence; (3) if there is no notice to the subsequent spouses; or
Courts judgment, order, or resolution has become final, and the (4) if the fact of reappearance is disputed in the proper courts of
remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief (or other law, and no judgment is yet rendered confirming, such fact of
appropriate remedies) are no longer available through no fault reappearance.
of the petitioner. The choice of the proper remedy is also important for purposes
The grounds for annulment of judgment are extrinsic fraud and of determining the status of the second marriage and the
lack of jurisdiction. This court defined extrinsic fraud in liabilities of the spouse who, in bad faith, claimed that the other
Stilianopulos v. City of Legaspi: spouse was absent.
For fraud to become a basis for annulment of judgment, it has to If, as Celerina contends, Ricardo was in bad faith when he filed
be extrinsic or actual. It is intrinsic when the fraudulent acts his petition to declare her presumptively dead and when he
pertain to an issue involved in the original action or where the contracted the subsequent marriage, such marriage would be
acts constituting the fraud were or could have been litigated, It considered void for being bigamous under Article 35(4) of the
is extrinsic or collateral when a litigant commits acts outside of Family Code. This is because the circumstances lack the element
the trial which prevents a parly from having a real contest, or of well-founded belief under Article 41 of the Family Code,
from presenting all of his case, such that there is no fair which is essential for the exception to the rule against bigamous
submission of the controversy marriages to apply.
The provision on reappearance in the Family Code as a remedy
to effect the termination of the subsequent marriage does not
preclude the spouse who was declared presumptively dead from
availing other remedies existing in law. This court had, in fact,
recognized that a subsequent marriage may also be terminated
by filing an action in court to prove the reappearance of the
absentee and obtain a declaration of dissolution or termination
of the subsequent marriage.
Celerina does not admit to have been absent. She also seeks not
merely the termination of the subsequent marriage but also the
nullification of its effects. She contends that reappearance is not
a sufficient remedy because it will only terminate the
subsequent marriage but not nullify the effects of the
declaration of her presumptive death and the subsequent
marriage.
Celerina is correct. Since an undisturbed subsequent marriage
under Article 42 of the Family Code is valid until terminated, the
children of such marriage shall be considered legitimate, and
the property relations of the spouse[s] in such marriage will be
the same as in valid marriages. If it is terminated by mere
reappearance, the children of the subsequent marriage
conceived before the termination shall still be considered
legitimate.
Moreover, a judgment declaring presumptive death is a defense
against prosecution for bigamy.
It is true that in most cases, an action to declare the nullity of the
subsequent marriage may nullify the effects of the subsequent
marriage, specifically, in relation to the status of children and the
prospect of prosecuting a respondent for bigamy. However, a
Petition for Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages
may be filed solely by the husband or wife.
This means that even if Celerina is a real party in interest who
stands to be benefited or injured by the outcome of an action to
nullify the second marriage,[20] this remedy is not available to
her.
Therefore, for the purpose of not only terminating the
subsequent marriage but also of nullifying the effects of the
declaration of presumptive death and the subsequent marriage,
mere filing of an affidavit of reappearance would not suffice.
Celerinas choice to file an action for annulment of judgment will,
therefore, lie.
WHEREFORE, the case is REMANDED to the Court of Appeals for
determination of the existence of extrinsic fraud, grounds for
nullity/annulment of the first marriage, and the merits of the
petition.