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WEEK 03-05

CASE DIGESTS
(01) Anonuevo vs Heirs of Jalandoni "married." The respondent posits that the foregoing
G.R. No. 178221 December 1, 2010 entries, having been made in an official registry,
constitute prima facie proof of a prior marriage
between Isabel and John Desantis.
Facts:
According to the respondent, Isabel’s previous
Rodolfo G. Jalandoni (Rodolfo) died intestate without marriage, in the absence of any proof that it was
an issue. dissolved, made her subsequent marriage with Rodolfo
bigamous and void ab initio.
Bernardino G. Jalandoni (Bernardino), the brother of
Rodolfo, filed a petition for the issuance of letters of
administration with the Court of First Instance, to Issue:
commence the judicial settlement of the latter’s estate.
WON the court was correct in approving the
The petitioners and their siblings filed a intervention of petitioners in the settlement
Manifestation before the intestate court. In the proceedings.
Manifestation, they introduced themselves as the
children of Sylvia Blee Desantis (Sylvia)—who, in turn,
was revealed to be the daughter of Isabel Blee (Isabel) Ruling:
with one John Desantis.
No.
The petitioners and their siblings contend that their
grandmother—Isabel—was, at the time of Rodolfo’s We agree with the finding of the Court of Appeals that
death, the legal spouse of the latter. For which reason, the petitioners and their siblings failed to offer sufficient
Isabel is entitled to a share in the estate of Rodolfo. evidence to establish that Isabel was the legal spouse
of Rodolfo. The very evidence of the petitioners and
The petitioners and their siblings pray that they be their siblings negates their claim that Isabel has
allowed to intervene on her behalf in the intestate interest in Rodolfo’s estate.
proceedings of the late Rodolfo G. Jalandoni. As it
was, by the time the Manifestation was filed, both Contrary to the position taken by the petitioners, the
Sylvia and Isabel have already passed away with the existence of a previous marriage between Isabel and
former predeceasing the latter. The respondent John Desantis was adequately established. This holds
intestate estate of Rodolfo G. Jalandoni, now true notwithstanding the fact that no marriage
represented by Bernardino as its Special certificate between Isabel and John Desantis exists on
Administrator, however, begged to differ. It opposed record.
the intervention on the ground that the petitioners and
While a marriage certificate is considered the primary
their siblings have failed to establish the status of
evidence of a marital union, it is not regarded as the
Isabel as an heir to Rodolfo.
sole and exclusive evidence of
The respondent called attention to the entries in the marriage. Jurisprudence teaches that the fact of
birth certificate of Sylvia. As it turned out, the record of marriage may be proven by relevant evidence other
birth of Sylvia states that she was a "legitimate" child of than the marriage certificate. Hence, even a person’s
Isabel and John Desantis. The document also certifies birth certificate may be recognized as competent
the status of both Isabel and John Desantis as evidence of the marriage between his parents.
In the present case, the birth certificate of Sylvia Yes. The crime of Parricide is defined and
precisely serves as the competent evidence of punished under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code.
marriage between Isabel and John Desantis. As It is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the
mentioned earlier, it contains the following notable deceased is killed by the accused; and (3) the deceased
entries: (a) that Isabel and John Desantis were is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or
"married" and (b) that Sylvia is their "legitimate" illegitimate, ora legitimate other ascendant or other
child. In clear and categorical language, Sylvia’s birth descendant, or the legitimate spouse of the accused.
certificate speaks of a subsisting marriage between The key element in parricide― other than the fact of
Isabel and John Desantis. killing ― is the relationship of the offender to the victim.
In the case of parricide of a spouse, the best proof of the
relationship between the accused and the deceased
would be the marriage certificate. In this case, the
(02) People v. Victoriano dela Cruz
testimony ofthe accused that he was married to the
GR No. 187683
victim, in itself, is ample proof of such relationship as the
testimony can be taken as an admission against penal
Facts: interest. Clearly, then, it was established that Victoriano
Victoriano is married to Anna. One afternoon, and Anna were husband and wife.
Victoriano and Anna had an altercation. Victoriano
punched and kicked Anna while they were outside of Furthermore, Conviction can be had on the
their house and then he dragged her inside the house. , basis of circumstantial evidence provided that: (1)
who was playing tong-its nearby, saw this. Later that there is more than one circumstance; (2) the facts from
day, Joel saw Victoriano assisting Anna outside of their which the inferences are derived are proven; and (3)
house. A asked for the help of Joel. Joel noticed that the combination of all the circumstances is such as to
blood is coming out of Anna's mouth. Anna died in the produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. All of
hospital. A was charged with parricide. A testified that these are present in this case. First, immediately
he is married to the victim. preceding the killing, Victoriano physically maltreated
his wife, not merely by slapping her as he claimed, but
Victoriano argued that he did not intend to by repeatedly punching and kicking her. Second, it was
commit so grave a wrong against his wife, evident from Victoriano who violently dragged the victim inside their
the facts that he carried the injured body of his wife; that house, by pulling her hair. Third, in Dr. Viray's Report,
he sought for help after the accident; and that he Anna sustained injuries in different parts of her body
brought her to the hospital for medical treatment and at due to Victoriano's acts of physical abuse. Fourth, the
the time of the incident he was very drunk at the time location and extent of the wound indicated Victoriano's
although he is not a drink usually. He further argued intent to kill the victim. Fifth, as found by both the RTC
that as the actual killing was concerned, Joel's and the CA, only Victoriano and Anna were inside the
testimony was merely circumstantial. house, other than their young daughter. Thus, it can be
said with certitude that Victoriano was the lone
On the otherhand the prosecution argued that assailant.
all the elements for paricide are present. It is further
argued that based on the circumstantial evidence
available there is no doubt that Victoriano is guilty of the
said crime. (03) Alejandro Estrada vs. Soledad S. Escritor
A.M. No. P-02-1651. June 22, 2006
Issue: Whether or not the element of relationship was
sufficiently established
FACTS:
Held:
Complainant Alejandro Estrada wrote to Judge
Jose F. Caoibes, Jr., requesting for an investigation of
rumors that respondent Soledad Escritor, court otherwise would be to emasculate the Free Exercise
interpreter, is living with a man not her husband. They Clause as a source of right by itself.
allegedly have a child of eighteen to twenty years old.
Estrada is not personally related either to Escritor or
her partner. Nevertheless, he filed the charge against
Thus, it is not the State's broad interest in "protecting
Escritor as he believes that she is committing an
the institutions of marriage and the family," or even "in
immoral act that tarnishes the image of the court, thus
the sound administration of justice" that must be
she should not be allowed to remain employed therein
weighed against respondent's claim, but the State's
as it might appear that the court condones her act.
narrow interest in refusing to make an exception for the
Respondent Escritor testified that when she cohabitation which respondent's faith finds moral. In
entered the judiciary in 1999, she was already a other words, the government must do more than assert
widow, her husband having died in 1998. She admitted the objectives at risk if exemption is given; it must
that she has been living with Luciano Quilapio, Jr. precisely show how and to what extent those
without the benefit of marriage for twenty years and objectives will be undermined if exemptions are
that they have a son. But as a member of the religious granted. This, the Solicitor General failed to do.
sect known as the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watch
To paraphrase Justice Blackmun's application of the
Tower and Bible Tract Society, their conjugal
compelling interest test, the State's interest in
arrangement is in conformity with their religious beliefs.
enforcing its prohibition, in order to be sufficiently
In fact, after ten years of living together, she executed
compelling to outweigh a free exercise claim, cannot
on July 28, 1991 a "Declaration of Pledging
be merely abstract or symbolic. The State cannot
Faithfulness," insofar as the congregation is
plausibly assert that unbending application of a
concerned, there is nothing immoral about the conjugal
criminal prohibition is essential to fulfill any compelling
arrangement between Escritor and Quilapio and they
interest, if it does not, in fact, attempt to enforce that
remain members in good standing in the congregation.
prohibition.

In the case at bar, the State has not evinced any


ISSUE:
concrete interest in enforcing the concubinage or
Whether or not respondent should be found bigamy charges against respondent or her partner.
guilty of the administrative charge of "gross and The State has never sought to prosecute respondent
immoral conduct.” nor her partner. The State's asserted interest thus
amounts only to the symbolic preservation of an
unenforced prohibition.

RULING:
(04) PEREGRINA MACUA VDA. DE AVENIDO, vs.
No. The free exercise of religion is specifically TECLA HOYBIA AVENIDO
articulated as one of the fundamental rights in our G.R. No. 173540, 22 January 22 2014.
Constitution. It is a fundamental right that enjoys a
preferred position in the hierarchy of rights - "the most
inalienable and sacred of human rights," in the words FACTS: This case involves a contest between two
of Jefferson. Hence, it is not enough to contend that women both claiming to have been validly married to
the state's interest is important, because our the same man, now deceased.
Constitution itself holds the right to religious freedom
sacred. The State must articulate in specific terms the Tecla Hoybia Avenido (Tecla) instituted on 11
state interest involved in preventing the exemption, November 1998, a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity
which must be compelling, for only the gravest abuses, of Marriage against Peregrina Macua Vda. de Avenido
endangering paramount interests can limit the (Peregrina) on the ground that Tecla is the lawful wife
fundamental right to religious freedom. To rule of the deceased Eustaquio Avenido (Eustaquio).
Tecla alleged that her marriage to Eustaquio was than the marriage certificate. Hence, even a person’s
solemnized on 30 September 1942 in Talibon, Bohol in birth certificate may be recognized as competent
rites officiated by the Parish Priest of the said town. evidence of the marriage between his parents.
While the a marriage certificate was recorded with the
local civil registrar, the records of the LCR were It is an error on the part of the RTC to rule that without
destroyed during World War II. Tecla and Eustaquio the marriage certificate, no other proof can be
begot four children, but Eustaquio left his family in accepted.
1954.
The execution of a document may be proven by the
In 1979, Tecla learned that Eustaquio got married to parties themselves, by the swearing officer, by
another woman by the name of Peregrina, which witnesses who saw and recognized the signatures of
marriage she claims must be declared null and void for the parties; or even by those to whom the parties have
being bigamous. In support of her claim, Tecla previously narrated the execution thereof.
presented eyewitnesses to the ceremony, the birth
In this case, due execution was established by the
certificate of their children and certificates to the fact
eyewitness testimonies and of Tecla herself as a party
that the marriage certificate/records were destroyed.
to the event. The subsequent loss was shown by the
Peregrina, on the other hand averred that she is the testimony of the officiating priest. Since the due
legal surviving spouse of Eustaquio who died on 22 execution and the loss of the marriage contract were
September 1989, their marriage having been clearly shown by the evidence presented, secondary
celebrated on 30 March 1979 and showed the evidence–testimonial and documentary–may be
marriage contract between her and Eustaquio. admitted to prove the fact of marriage.

RTC ruled in favor of Peregrina. It relied on Tecla’s The starting point then, is the presumption of marriage.
failure to present her certificate of marriage to
Every intendment of the law leans toward legalizing
Eustaquio. Without such certificate, RTC considered
matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent
as useless the certification of the Office of the Civil
matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any
Registrar of Talibon over the lack of records.
counter-presumption or evidence special to the case,
The CA, on appeal, ruled in favor of Tecla. It held there to be in fact married. The reason is that such is the
was a presumption of lawful marriage between Tecla common order of society, and if the parties were not
and Eustaquio as they deported themselves as what they thus hold themselves out as being, they
husband and wife and begot four children. Such would be living in the constant violation of decency and
presumption, supported by documentary evidence of law.
consisting of the same Certifications disregarded by
the RTC, and testimonial evidence created sufficient
(05) CALIMAG VIRGINIA VS HEIRS OF SILVESTRA
proof of the fact of marriage. The CA found that its
N. MACAPAZ
appreciation of the evidence presented by Tecla is well
G.R. No.191936 June 1, 2016
in accord with Section 5, Rule 130 of the Rules of
Court.
Facts of the case:
ISSUE: Between Tecla and Peregrina, who was the
legal wife of Eustaquio? This is a petition for review on certiorari1 assailing the
Decision2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) promulgated
RULING: TECLA
on October 20, 2009 in CA-G.R. CV No. 90907 which
While a marriage certificate is considered the primary affirmed with modification the Decision3 dated
evidence of a marital union, it is not regarded as the September 28, 2007 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
sole and exclusive evidence of marriage. The fact of of Makati City, Branch 147, in Civil Case No. 06-173,
marriage may be proven by relevant evidence other an action for annulment of deed of sale and
cancellation of title with damages. The CA Resolution4
dated April 5, 2010 denied the motion for Plaintiff: The respondent assailed the legal capacity of
reconsideration thereof. the respondents to institute the civil action for
cancellation of deed of sale and title on the ground that
Virginia D. Calimag (petitioner) co-owned the they are illegitimate children of Anastacio Sr. that they
property, the subject matter of this case, with Silvestra have no right over Silvestras estate pursuant to art.
N. Macapaz (Silvestra) 992 of the civil code which prohibits illegitimate
children from inheriting intestate from the legitimate
On the other hand, Anastacio P. Macapaz, Jr.
children and relatives of their father and mother.
(Anastacio, Jr.) and Alicia Macapaz-Ritua (Alicia)
(respondents) are the children of Silvestra's brother,
Petitioner asserts that said documents do not
Anastacio Macapaz, Sr. (Anastacio, Sr.) and Fidela O.
conclusively prove the respondents legitimate filiation
Poblete Vda. de Macapaz (Fidela).
without offering any evidence to the contrary.
The subject property, , is located at No. 1273 Bo.
Visaya Street, Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati The certificates of live birth contain no entry stating
City, and was duly registered in the names of the whether the respondents are of legitimate or
petitioner (married to Demetrio Calimag) and Silvestra illegitimate filiation making said documents unreliable
under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 183088.5 and unworthy of weight and value in the determination
In said certificate of title, appearing as Entry No. 02671 of the issue. Moreover, the petitioner states that in
is an annotation of an Adverse Claim of Fidela respondents certificates of live birth, only the signature
asserting rights and interests over a portion of the said of fidela appears and that they were not signed by
property. anastacio. She argues that the birth of certificate must
be signed by the father in order to be competent
On November 11, 2002, Silvestra died without issue. evidence to establish filiation, whether legitimate or
On July 7, 2005, TCT No. 183088 was cancelled and a illegitimate, invoking roces vs local civil registrar of
new certificate of title, TCT No. 221466,7 was issued in manila where it was held that a birth of certificate not
the name of the petitioner by virtue of a Deed of Sale signed by the father is not competent evidence of
dated January 18, 2005 whereby Silvestra allegedly paternity!
sold her 99-sq-m portion to the petitioner for
P300,000.00. Included among the documents Respondent: Asserting that they are the heirs of
submitted for the purpose of cancelling TCT No. Silvestra, instituted the action of annulment of deed of
183088 was an Affidavit dated July 12, 2005 sale and cancellation of TCT No. 221466 with
purportedly executed by both the petitioner and damages against the petitioner and registry of deeds of
Silvestra. It was stated therein that the affidavit of Makati city.
adverse claim filed by Fidela was not signed by the
Deputy Register of Deeds of Makati City, making the Presented a fax or photocopy of the marriage contract
same legally ineffective. On September 16, 2005, and the canonical certificate of marriage as proof of
Fidela passed away. marriage by annastacio and fidela. Also submitted a
certificate of live birth issued by NSO as proof of their
On March 2, 2006, the respondents, asserting that legitimate filiation.
they are the heirs of Silvestra, instituted the action for
Annulment of Deed of Sale and Cancellation of TCT RTC decision: Declaring the deed of sale executed as
No. 221466 with Damages against the petitioner and null and void and ordering the registrar of deed of
the Register of Deeds of Makati City. Makati city to cancel the TCT No. 221466 on the basis
of a fraudulent/falsified ded of sale and thereafter to
Issue: whether or not the respondents are legal reinstate the TCT no. 183088 issued in the name of
heirs of Silvestra. the petitioner and silvestra with all the liens and
encumbrances annotated including the adverse claim
Contention: of fidela
CA decision: Rendered its decision affirming the RTC longer public writings, nor are they kept by duly
decision that the cancellation of TCT No. 183088 and authorized public officials.34 They are private writings
the issuance of TCT No. 221466 in the name of the and their authenticity must therefore be proved as are
petitioner were obtained through forgery. all other private writings in accordance with the rules of
evidence.35 Accordingly, since there is no showing
On the issue of legal capacity of the respondents: that the authenticity and due execution of the canonical
certificate of marriage of Anastacio, Sr. and Fidela was
The marriage contract in this case clearly reflects a
duly proven, it cannot be admitted in evidence.
marriage license number and in the absence of a
certification from the local civil registrar that no such Notwithstanding, it is well settled that other proofs can
marriage license was issued, the marriage between be offered to establish the fact of a solemnized
Anastacio sr. and Fidela may not be invalidated on that marriage. Jurisprudence teaches that the fact of
ground. marriage may be proven by relevant evidence other
than the marriage certificate. Hence, even a person's
Every intendment of the law leans toward legalizing
birth certificate may be recognized as competent
matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent
evidence of the marriage between his parents.
matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any
counter-presumption or evidence special to the case, The petitioner's contentions are untenable.
to be in fact married. This jurisprudential attitude
towards marriage is based on prima facie presumption "A certificate of live birth is a public document that
that a man and women deporting themselves as consists of entries (regarding the facts of birth) in
husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract public records (Civil Registry) made in the performance
of marriage. of a duty by a public officer (Civil Registrar)."Thus,
being public documents, the respondents' certificates
Here, the fact of marriage between Anastacia and of live birth are presumed valid, and are prima facie
Fidela was established by competent and substantial evidence of the truth of the facts stated in them.
proof. The respondents who were conceived and born
during the subsistence of said marriage are therefore The petitioner's assertion that the birth certificate
presumed to be legitimate children in the absence of must be signed by the father in order to be a
any contradicting evidence. competent evidence of legitimate filiation does not find
support in law and jurisprudence. In fact, the
petitioner's reliance on this jurisprudence is misplaced
SUPREME COURT decision: considering that what was sought to be proved is the
fact of paternity of an illegitimate child, and not
While it is true that a person's legitimacy can only be legitimate filiation.
questioned in a direct action seasonably filed by the
proper party, this Court however deems it necessary to
pass upon the respondents' relationship to Silvestra so Verily, under Section 5 of Act No. 3753, the declaration
as to determine their legal rights to the subject of either parent of the new-born legitimate child shall
property. Besides, the question of whether the be sufficient for the registration of his birth in the civil
respondents have the legal capacity to sue as alleged register, and only in the registration of birth of an
heirs of Silvestra was among the issues agreed upon illegitimate child does the law require that the birth
by the parties in the pre-trial. certificate be signed and sworn to jointly by the parents
of the infant, or only by the mother if the father refuses
to acknowledge the child.
On the other hand, a canonical certificate of marriage
is not a public document. it has been settled that The pertinent portion of Section 5 of Act No. 3753
church registries of births, marriages, and deaths reads:
made subsequent to the promulgation of General
Orders No. 68 and the passage of Act No. 190 are no
Sec. 5. Registration and Certification of Birth. - birth and baptismal certificate of children born during
The declaration of the physician or midwife in such union; and d) the mention of such nuptial in
attendance at the birth or, in default thereof, the subsequent documents.
declaration of cither parent of the newborn child, shall
be sufficient for the registration of a birth in the civil Moreover, in a catena of cases it has been held that,
register. Such declaration shall be exempt from the "[p]ersons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are
documentary stamp tax and shall be sent to the local presumed, in the absence of any counter presumption
civil registrar not later than thirty days after the birth, by or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married.
the physician, or midwife in attendance at the birth or The reason is that such is the common order of
by either parent of the newly born child. society, and if the parties were not what they thus hold
themselves out as being, they would be living in the
In such declaration, the persons above mentioned constant violation of decency and of law. A
shall certify to the following facts: (a) date and hour of presumption established by our Code of Civil
birth; (b) sex and nationality of infant; (c) names, Procedure is 'that a man and a woman deporting
citizenship, and religion of parents or, in case the themselves as husband and wife have entered into a
father is not known, of the mother alone; (d) civil status lawful contract of marriage.' Semper praesumitur pro
of parents; (e) place where the infant was born; if) and matrimonio — Always presume marriage."
such other data as may be required in the regulations
to be issued. Furthermore, as the established period of cohabitation
of Anastacio, Sr. and Fidela transpired way before the
In case of an illegitimate child, the birth certificate effectivity of the Family Code, the strong presumption
shall be signed and sworn to jointly by the parents of accorded by then Article 220 of the Civil Code in favor
the infant or only the mother if the father refuses. In the of the validity of marriage cannot be disregarded.
latter case, it shall not be permissible to state or reveal Thus:
in the document the name of the father who refuses to
acknowledge the child, or to give therein any Art. 220. In case of doubt, all presumptions favor
information by which such father could be identified, x the solidarity of the family. Thus, every intendment of
xx law or facts leans toward the validity of marriage, the
indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of
Forsooth, the Court finds that the respondents' children, the community of property during marriage,
certificates of live birth were duly executed consistent the authority of parents over their children, and the
with the provision of the law respecting the registration validity of defense for any member of the family in case
of birth of legitimate children. The fact that only the of unlawful aggression.
signatures of Fidela appear on said documents is of no
moment because Fidela only signed as the declarant WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is
or informant of the respondents' fact of birth as hereby DENIED. The Decision dated October 20, 2009
legitimate children. and Resolution dated April 5, 2010 of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 90907 are AFFIRMED.
Nonetheless, the respondents' certificates of live birth
also intimate that Anastacio, Sr. and Fidela had openly
cohabited as husband and wife for a number of years, (06) ABANAG vs. MABUTE
as a result of which they had two children — the A.M. No. P-11-2922 April 4, 2011
second child, Anastacio, Jr. being born more than
three years after their first child, Alicia. Verily, such fact FACTS: We resolve the administrative case against
is admissible proof to establish the validity of marriage Nicolas B. Mabute (respondent), Court Stenographer I
in the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Paranas,
this Court ruled that as proof of marriage may be Samar, filed by Mary Jane Abanag (complainant) for
presented: a) testimony of a witness to the matrimony; Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct.
b) the couple's public and open cohabitation as
husband and wife after the alleged wedlock; c) the
the complainant filed for Disgraceful and Immoral Normally the personal affair of a court employee who is
Conduct, against respondent which courted her and a bachelor and has maintained an amorous relation
professed his undying love for her. Relying on with a woman equally unmarried has nothing to do with
respondent’s promise that he would marry her, she his public employment. The sexual liaison is between
agreed to live with him. She became pregnant, but two consenting adults and the consequent pregnancy
after several months into her pregnancy, respondent is but a natural effect of the physical intimacy. Mary
brought her to a "manghihilot" and tried to force her to Jane was not forced to live with Nicolas nor was she
take drugs to abort her baby. When she did not agree, impelled by some devious means or machination. The
the respondent turned cold and eventually abandoned fact was, she freely acceded to cohabit with him. The
her. She became depressed resulting in the loss of her situation may-not-be-so-ideal but it does not give
baby. She also stopped schooling because of the cause for administrative sanction. There appears no
humiliation that she suffered. law which penalizes or prescribes the sexual activity of
two unmarried persons. So, the accusation of Mary
In his comment on the complaint submitted to the Jane that Nicolas initiated the abortion was calculated
Office of the Court Administrator, the respondent to bring the act within the ambit of an immoral,
vehemently denied the complainant’s allegations and disgraceful and gross misconduct. Except however as
claimed that the charges against him were baseless, to the self-serving assertion that Mary Jane was
false and fabricated, and were intended to harass him brought to a local midwife and forced to take the
and destroy his reputation. He further averred that abortifacient, there was no other evidence to support
Norma Tordesillas, the complainant’s co-employee, that it was in fact so. All pointed to a harmonious
was using the complaint to harass him. Tordesillas relation that turned sour. In no small way Mary Jane
resented him because he had chastised her for her was also responsible of what befell upon her.3
arrogant behavior and undesirable work attitude. The
complainant filed a Reply, insisting that she herself The Court defined immoral conduct as conduct that is
wrote the letter-complaint willful, flagrant or shameless, and that shows a moral
indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable
In his Report/Recommendation dated June 7, members of the community.4 To justify suspension or
2010,2 Executive Judge Avila reported on the disbarment, the act complained of must not only be
developments in the hearing of the case. immoral, but grossly immoral.5 A grossly immoral act is
one that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a
The respondent, for his part, confirmed that he met the
criminal act or an act so unprincipled or disgraceful as
complainant when he joined the Singles for Christ. He
to be reprehensible to a high degree.6
described their liaison as a dating relationship. He
admitted that the complainant would join him at his Based on the allegations of the complaint, the
rented room three to four times a week; when the respondent’s comment, and the findings of the
complainant became pregnant, he asked her to stay Investigating Judge, we find that the acts complained
and live with him. He vehemently denied having of cannot be considered as disgraceful or grossly
brought the complainant to a local "manghihilot" and immoral conduct.
that he had tried to force her to abort her baby. He
surmised that the complainant’s miscarriage could be We find it evident that the sexual relations between the
related to her epileptic attacks during her pregnancy. complainant and the respondent were
consensual.lawphi1 They met at the Singles for Christ,
Issue: started dating and subsequently became sweethearts.
The respondent frequently visited the complainant at
WON there was a presence of disgraceful and immoral
her boarding house and also at her parents’ residence.
conduct.
The complainant voluntarily yielded to the respondent
Ruling: and they eventually lived together as husband and wife
in a rented room near the respondent’s office. They
There was NONE
continued their relationship even after the complainant and extrajudicially dissolving the conjugal partnership,
had suffered a miscarriage. which is exactly what Omaña did in this case.

Mere sexual relations between two unmmaried and


consenting adults are not enough to warrant
administrative sanction for illicit behavior.7 The Court
has repeatedly held that voluntary intimacy between a (08) Rosario B. Tambuyat v. Wenifreda B.
man and a woman who are not married, where both Tambuyat
are not under any impediment to marry and where no GR No. 202805, March 23, 2015
deceit exists, is neither a criminal nor an unprincipled
act that would warrant disbarment or disciplinary
Facts:
action.
Adriano and Wenifreda, respondent. during marriage,
Adriano acquired real property. The deed of sale over
the said property was signed by Adriano alone as
(07) Rodolfo Espinosa vs Atty. Julieta Omana vendee. One of the signing witness to the dead of sale
A.C. No. 9081 October 12, 2011 was petitioner Roasario Banguis. The TCT of the
subject property was issued under the name of
Adriano Tambuyat married to Rosario Banguis. All this
FACTS: On 17 November 1997, Rodolfo Espinosa and time Rosario Banguis remained married to Eduardo
his wife Elena Marantal sought Omana’s legal advice on Nolasco and was never annulled.
whether they could dissolve their marriage and live
separately. Omana prepared a document entitled Adriano died intestate.
“Kasunduan Ng Paghihiwalay.” Espinosa and Marantal
started implanting the conditions of the said contract. Wenifreda files for cancellation of the TCT, alleged that
However, Marantal took custody of all their children and she was the surviving spouse of Adriano, and that
took possession of most of the conjugal property. Rosario is still married to Nolasco, thus, could not have
Espinosa sought the advice of Glindo, his fellow been married to Adriano.
employee who is a law graduate, who informed him that
Rosario, denied. She claims she bought the land on
the contract executed by Omana was not valid. They
her own. Also that they were married and lived
hired the services of a lawyer to file a complaint against
together and had produced a son.
Omana before the IBP-CBD. Omana denied that she
prepared the contract. She admitted that Espinosa went
RTC held: in favor of Wenifreda, TCT was cancelled.
to see her and requested for the notarization of the
Appealed in CA
contract but she told him that it was illegal. Omana
CA held: Adriano and Rosario are not co-owners of the
alleged that Espinosa returned the next day while she
property since they had valid and subsisting marriages
was out of the office and managed to persuade her part-
when they conducted their adulterous relation.
time office staff to notarize the document. Her office staff
forged her signature and notarized the contract. Issue: W/n Adriano and Rosario are co-owners of the
property?
ISSUE: W/N Omaña violated the CPR in notartizing the
“Kasunduan Ng Paghihiwalay.” W/N the Kasunduaan Held: No.
ng Paghihiwalay is valid.
Preponderance of evidence points to the fact that
Wenifreda is the legitimate spouse of Adriano.
HELD: SC has ruled that the extrajudicial dissolution of Documentary evidence also prove the same that
the conjugal partnership without judicial approval is Adriano was married to Wenifreda and Banguis was
void. The Court has also ruled that a notary public married to Nolasco, thus both being subsisting at the
should not facilitate the disintegration of a marriage and time of the acquisition of the subject property and
the family by encouraging the separation of the spouses issuance of the certificate title. Thus, it cannot be said
that Adriano and Banguis were husband and wife to may be corrected provided that the proceedings before
each other; it cannot even be said that they have a the trial court were adversarial. He also argued that the
common-law relationship at all. Consequently, Banguis proceedings before the RTC were in rem, which
cannot be included or named in TCT T-145321 as substantially complies with the requirements of either
Adriano's spouse; the right and privilege belonged to Rule 103 or Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
Wenifreda alone.
However, the CA denied the Republic's appeal in its
The concept of spouse embraces common law Decision stating that while the correction of the entry
relationship is not applicable. We hold that the on his gender is considered a substantial change, it is
provisions of the Civil Code, unless expressly nonetheless within the jurisdiction of the trial court
providing to the contrary as in Article 144, when under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. The CA also
referring to a "spouse" contemplate a lawfully held that the petition filed with the trial court fully
wedded spouse. Petitioner vis-a-vis Vitaliana was not complied with the jurisdictional requirements of Rule
a lawfully-wedded spouse to her; in fact, he was not 108 because notices were sent to the concerned local
legally capacitated to marry her in her lifetime. civil registrar and the OSG.

Unsatisfied with the ruling of the CA, the Republic


appealed to this Court insisting that the entries sought
(09) Republic vs. Tipay to be corrected are substantial changes outside the
GR No. 209527 February 14, 2018 jurisdiction of the trial court. The Republic also
reiterated its earlier arguments, adding that the CA
should not have equated the procedural requirements
FACTS:
under Rule 103 with that of Rule 108 of the Rules of
Virgel sought the correction of several entries in his Court.
birth certificate as follows: (a) his gender, from
"FEMALE" to "MALE;" (b) his first name, from
"VIRGIE" to "VIRGEL;" and (c) his month and date of ISSUE:
birth to "FEBRUARY 25, 1976." The petition was found
WON the petition is correctly filed under Rule 108
sufficient in form and substance, and the case
proceeded to trial. Soon after, the RTC rendered its
Decision granting Virgel's petition. From this decision,
HELD:
the Republic filed a Notice of Appeal, which was given
due course by the trial court. The Republic, through the Yes. The petition is correctly filed under Rule 108.
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) argued that the
change of Virgel's name from Virgie should have been It is true that initially, the changes that may be
made through a proceeding under Rule 103, and not corrected under the summary procedure of Rule 108 of
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. This argument was the Rules of Court are clerical or harmless errors.
premised on the assumption that the summary Errors that affect the civil status, citizenship or
procedure under Rule 108 is confined to the correction nationality of a person, are considered substantial
of clerical or innocuous errors, which excludes one's errors that were beyond the purview of the rule.
name or date of birth. Since the petition lodged with
the RTC was not filed pursuant to Rule 103 of the Jurisprudence on this matter later developed, giving
Rules of Court, the Republic asserted that the trial room for the correction of substantial errors. The Court
court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case. ultimately recognized that substantial or controversial
alterations in the civil registry are allowable in an action
Virgel refuted these arguments, alleging that changes filed under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, as long as
of name are within the purview of Rule 108 of the the issues are properly threshed out in appropriate
Rules of Court. He further disagreed with the position adversarial proceedings— effectively limiting the
of the Republic and asserted that substantial errors
application of the summary procedure to the correction "MALE," was correctly granted.
of clerical or innocuous errors.
With respect to the date of Virgel's birth, the Court
The RTC was correct in taking cognizance of the again disagrees with the CA that the alleged date (i.e.,
petition for correction of entries in Virgel’s birth February 25, 1976) is undisputed. The NSO copy of
certificate. Virgel's birth certificate indicates that he was born on
May 12, 1976, a date obviously different from that
R.A. No. 9048 defined a clerical or typographical error alleged in the petition for correction. As a public
as a mistake committed in. the performance of clerical document, the date of birth appearing in the NSO copy
work, which is harmless and immediately obvious to is presumed valid and prima facie evidence of the facts
the understanding. It was further amended in 2011, stated in it. Virgel bore the burden of proving its
when R.A. No. 10172 was passed to expand the supposed falsity. Virgel failed to discharge this burden.
authority of local civil registrars and the Consul The Court is also unconvinced by the other
General to make changes in the day and month in the documentary evidence supposedly showing that Virgel
date of birth, as well as in the recorded sex of a person was born on February 25, 1976 because the
when it is patently clear that there was a typographical information indicated in the identification card from the
error or mistake in the entry. Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Member Data
Record from the Philippine Health Insurance
Unfortunately, however, when Virgel filed the petition Corporation, were all supplied by Virgel.
for correction with the RTC in 2009, R.A. No. 10172
was not yet in effect. As such, to correct the erroneous Leonilo Antonio vs Marie Ivonne F. Reyes, G.R. No.
gender and date of birth in Virgel's birth certificate, the 155800 March 10, 2006
proper remedy was to commence the appropriate
adversarial proceedings with the RTC, pursuant to The Petition for Review on Certiorari assails the
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. The changes in the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated
entries pertaining to the gender and date of birth are 29 November 2001 and 24 October 2002. The Court of
indisputably substantial corrections, outside the Appeals had reversed the judgmentof the Regional
contemplation of a clerical or typographical error that Trial Court (RTC) of Makati declaring the marriage of
may be corrected administratively. Leonilo N. Antonio (petitioner) and Marie Ivonne F.
Reyes (respondent), null and void. After careful
The records of this case show that Virgel complied with consideration, SC reverses and affirms instead the trial
the procedural requirements under Rule 108 of the court.
Rules of Court. He impleaded the local civil registrar of
Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental, the Solicitor
General, and the Provincial Prosecutor of Davao
Oriental as parties to his petition for correction of (10) Heirs of Sy Bang vs.Rolando Sy
entries. GR.No.114217 Oct.13,2009

From the foregoing, it is clear that the parties who have


Facts: Sy Bang died and left a lot of properties and
a claim or whose interests may be affected were
notified and granted an opportunity to oppose the heirs. During the course of the proceedings regarding
petition. Since the Republic was unable to substantiate his estate, the judge deferred ruling upon the question
its arguments, or even cite a specific rule of procedure of including properties in the names of Rosalino,
that Virgel failed to follow, the Court has no reason to Bartolome, Rolando and Enrique, assigned a receiver,
depart from the factual findings of the RTC, as affirmed and ordered the cancellation of notices of lis pendens.
by the CA. Furthermore, in the absence of evidence Meanwhile, Rosita, Sy Bang's widow, wanted her
refuting Virgel's assertion that he is indeed widow's allowance but petitioners said she supposedly
phenotypically male, the correction of the entry on executed a waiver of claims for a bit of money and a
Virgel's sex in his birth certificate, from "FEMALE" to piece of land. Respondents said no, she's too old and
ill to be in full possession of her facilities at the time
she affixed her thumbmark on the waiver and that solemnize the marriage. After the solemnization, he
she'd thumbmark anything they asked her to. She got reiterated the necessity of the marriage license and
her widow's allowance, which would be drawn from old their failure to give it would render the marriage void.
Sy Bang's estate. While petitioners questioned this,
respondents filed a petition for guardianship over Arañes filed her Affidavit of Desistance, that she
Rosita. Rosauro wanted to be the special guardian so realized her own shortcomings and is bothered by her
he filed before the guardianship court a Motion to conscience.
Order Court Deposit of Widow's Allowance Ordered by
the Supreme Court. He also wanted an order from the The Office of the Court Administrator nevertheless
SC to order the petitioners to pay up or they go to jail. found Judge Occiano guilty of solemnizing a marriage
Petitioners pulled out all the stops to evade their without a duly marriage license and for doing so
obligation to pay even under the threat of contempt outside his territorial jurisdiction.
and imprisonment.

Held: A guardianship court does not have jurisdiction ISSUES:


to enforce payment of widow's allowance. Rather, that 1. WON Judge Occiano is liable for solemnizing the
is with the court with jurisdiction over the settlement of marriage outside his territorial jurisdiction.
the estate. Generally, the guardianship court
exercising special and limited jurisdiction cannot 2. WON Judge Occiano possessed the authority when
actually order the delivery of the property of the ward he solemnized the marriage despite the absence of the
found to be embezzled, concealed or conveyed. Only marriage license.
in extreme cases, where property clearly belongs to
the ward or where his title has been judicially decided,
may the court direct its delivery to the guardian. RULING:

As to the first issue:


(11) Mercedita Mata Arañes vs. Judge Salvador
Occiano Judge Occiano is liable for solemnizing the marriage
AM No. MTJ-02-1390 April 11, 2002 outside his territorial jurisdiction.

FACTS: Arañes charged Judge Occiano with Gross Under the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 or BP
Ignorance of the Law. She alleged that the Judge 129, the authority of the regional trial court judges and
solemnized her marriage without the requisite marriage judges of inferior courts to solemnize marriages is
license and outside his territorial jurisdiction. She confined to their territorial jurisdiction as determined by
alleged that the judge solemnized her marriage to the the Supreme Court.
late Orobia without the requisite marriage license and
outside his territorial jurisdiction. The Court already held in the case of Navarro vs.
Domagtoy that:
Judge Occiano averred that he was informed that Judges who are appointed to specific
Orobia had a difficulty in walking and could not stand jurisdiction may officiate in weddings only
the rigors of travelling almost 25 kilometers, thus he within said areas and not beyond. x x x Where
agreed to solemnize the marriage in their place. a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his
court's jurisdiction, there is a resultant
However, before he solemnized the marriage of irregularity in the formal requisite laid down in
Arañes and Orobia, he discovered that the parties did Article 3, which while it may not affect the
not possess the required marriage license. Thus, validity of the marriage, may subject the
refused to solemnize the marriage. But due to the officiating official to administrative liability.
earnest pleas of the parties, he proceeded to
As to the second issue: Judge of Sta. Margarita, Samar because he was
physically indisposed and unable to report to his
Judge Occiano did not possess the authority to station. He added that in the forenoon of August 28,
solemnize the marriage due to the absence of the 1997, without prior appointment, complainant Beso
required marriage license. and Mr. Yman unexpectedly came to the residence of
respondent in said City, urgently requesting the
The Court held in People vs. Lara that a marriage celebration of their marriage right then and there for a
which preceded the issuance of the marriage license is number of reasons. Judge Daguman also considered
void, and that the subsequent issuance of such license that Complainant bride is an accredited Filipino
cannot render valid the marriage. overseas worker, who, respondent realized, deserved
more than ordinary official attention under present
Except in cases provided by law, it is the marriage Government policy. Also, at the time he solemnized
license that gives the solemnizing officer the authority the marriage in question, he believed in good faith that
to solemnize a marriage. by so doing he was leaning on the side of liberality of
the law so that it may be not be too expensive and
(12) BESO v. Judge Daguman complicated for citizens to get married.
A.M. No. 99-1211, January 28, 2000
Also, on Judge Daguman’s failure to register the
PRINCIPLE: duplicate and triplicate copies of the marriage
Judge’s authority to solemnize marriage and duty to certificate, he pointed out that it was beyond his
register them. control. He narrated that after handling to the husband
the first copy of the marriage certificate, Judge
Daguman left the three remaining copies on top of the
FACTS: desk in his private office where the marriage
ceremonies were held, intending later to register the
Zenaida Beso and her fiance Bernardito A. Yman got duplicate and triplicate copies and to keep the forth
married and the marriage was solemnized by Judge (sic) in his office. After a few days following the
Juan Daguman in his residence in J.P.R. Subdivision wedding, respondent gathered all the papers relating
in Calbayog City, Samar. After their wedding, Yman to the said marriage but notwithstanding diligent
abandoned Beso without any reason which prompted search in the premises and private files, all the three
her to write to the Local Civil Registrar to inquire about last copies of the certificate were missing. In which
her marriage contract. She was informed by the Civil upon Subpoena, Mr. Yman told him he saw
Registrar that her marriage was not registered. She complainant Beso put the copies of the marriage
wrote to Judge Daguman regarding the situation in certificate in her bag during the wedding party.
which she was informed by the latter that all copies of Unfortunately, it was too late to contract complainant
the Marriage Contract were taken by Yman and that he for a confirmation of Mr. Yman's claim.
retained no copies of it. She filed an administrative
complaint against Judge Daguman averring that the The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) in an
latter: evaluation report found that respondent Judge ". . .
committed non-feasance in office" and recommended
1. Solemnized our marriage outside his jurisdiction; that he be fined Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) with
a warning that the commission of the same or future
2. Was negligent in not retaining a copy and not
acts will be dealt with more severely.
registering our marriage before the office of the Local
Civil Registrar.

In his comment, Judge Daguman averred that the civil ISSUE:


marriage of complainant Zenaida Beso and Bernardito
Yman had to be solemnized by respondent in 1. Whether or not Judge Daguman had authority to
Calbayog City though outside his territory as municipal solemnize marriage in Calbayog City.
2. Whether or not Judge Daguman neglected his duty (1) To furnish either of the contracting parties, the
when he failed to register the marriage of Beso and original of the marriage contract referred to in Article 6
Yman. and

(2) To send the duplicate and triplicate copies of


the certificate not later than fifteen days after the
HELD: marriage, to the local civil registrar of the place where
the marriage was solemnized.
1. No.
Proper receipts shall be issued by the local civil
Under Article 7 and 8 of the Family Code:
registrar to the solemnizing officer transmitting copies
Art. 7. Marriage may be solemnized by: of the marriage certificate.

(1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the The solemnizing officer shall retain in his file:
court's jurisdiction;
(1) The quadruplicate copy of the marriage
Art. 8. The marriage shall be solemnized publicly in the certificate,
chambers of the judge or in open court, in the church,
(2) The original of the marriage license and,
chapel or temple, or in the office of the counsel-
general, consul or vice-consul, as the case may be, (3) In proper cases, the affidavit of the contracting
and not elsewhere, except in cases of marriages party regarding the solemnization of the marriage in a
contracted at the point of death or in remote places place other than those mentioned in Article 8.
in accordance with Article 29 of this Code, or where
both parties request the solemnizing officer in In this case, Judge Daguman, in failing to retain a copy
writing in which case the marriage may be solemnized of the marriage certificate and to register the marriage
at a house or place designated by them in a sworn of Beso and Yman, neglected his duty as provided in
statement to that effect. Art 23 of the Family Code. It is Judge Daguman’s duty
to send copies of the marriage certificates not later
In this case, Judge Daguman is the presiding judge of than 15 days after the marriage, to the Local Civil
the MCTC Sta. Margarita Tarangnan-Pagsanjan, Registrar of the place where the marriage was
Samar, his authority to solemnize marriage is only solemnized.
limited to those municipalities under his jurisdiction;
and Calbayog City is not within such jurisdiction. Furthermore, from the nature of marriage, aside from
Neither were the instances wherein a judge may the mandate that a judge should exercise extra care in
solemnize marriages outside his chambers availing. the exercise of his authority and the performance of his
duties in its solemnization, he is likewise commanded
Therefore, Judge Daguman had no authority to to observe extra precautions to ensure that the event is
solemnize Beso and Yman’s marriage. properly documented in accordance with Article 23 of
the Family Code.

Therefore, Judge Daguman neglected his duty when


2. Yes.
he failed to register the marriage of Beso and Yman.
Article 23 of the Family Code which states in
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, respondent
no uncertain terms that:
Judge is hereby FINED Five Thousand Pesos
It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the (P5,000.00) and STERNLY WARNED that a repetition
marriage: of the same or similar infractions will be dealt with
more severely.

SO ORDERED.
root cause must be identified as a psychological illness
and its incapacitating nature must be fully explained,15
(13) MA. ARMIDA PEREZ-FERRARIS vs. BRIX which petitioner failed to convincingly demonstrate.
FERRARIS. As all people, may have certain quirks and
G.R. No. 162368 July 17, 2006 idiosyncrasies, or isolated characteristics associated
with certain personality disorders, there is hardly any
Facts: doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine
the meaning of “psychological incapacity” to the most
This case is rooted from a petition for declaration of serious cases of personality disorders clearly
nullity on the ground of psychological incapacity filed by demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give
petitioner Armida against husband Brix Ferraris. The meaning and significance to the marriage.
RTC resolved the case denying the petition for reasons
that epilepsy does not amount to psychological It is for this reason that the Court relies heavily on
incapacity under Article 36, and that petitioner failed to psychological experts for its understanding of the
substantiate evidence to prove infidelity by respondent. human personality. However, the root cause must be
On appeal to CA, CA affirmed the judgment of the trial identified as a psychological illness and its
court in toto. incapacitating nature must be fully explained, which
petitioner failed to convincingly demonstrate.
Issue: Indeed, the evidence on record did not convincingly
establish that respondent was suffering from
Whether or not the petitioner for declaration of nullity on psychological incapacity. There is absolutely no
the ground of psychological incapacity should be showing that his “defects” were already present at the
granted. inception of the marriage, or that those are incurable.

Held: We find respondent’s alleged mixed personality


disorder, the “leaving-the-house” attitude whenever they
NO. quarreled, the violent tendencies during epileptic
attacks, the sexual infidelity, the abandonment and lack
The issue of whether or not psychological incapacity of support, and his preference to spend more time with
exists in a given case calling for annulment of marriage his band mates than his family, are not rooted on some
depends crucially, on the facts of the case. debilitating psychological condition but a mere refusal or
unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of
The term "psychological incapacity" to be a ground for marriage.
the nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family
Code, refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting In Republic v. Court of Appeals, where therein
a party even before the celebration of the marriage. It is respondent preferred to spend more time with his
a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one friends than his family on whom he squandered his
of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the money, depended on his parents for aid and assistance,
matrimonial bond one is about to assume.13 As all and was dishonest to his wife regarding his finances, the
people may have certain quirks and idiosyncrasies, or Court held that the psychological defects spoken of
isolated characteristics associated with certain were more of a “difficulty,” if not outright “refusal” or
personality disorders, there is hardly any doubt that the “neglect” in the performance of some marital obligations
intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning and that a mere showing of irreconcilable differences
of "psychological incapacity" to the most serious cases and conflicting personalities in no wise constitute
of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter psychological incapacity; it is not enough to prove that
insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties
to the marriage.14 It is for this reason that the Court as married persons; it is essential that they must be
relies heavily on psychological experts for its shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some
understanding of the human personality. However, the psychological, not physical, illness.
An unsatisfactory marriage, however, is not a null and Yes.
void marriage. No less than the Constitution recognizes
the sanctity of marriage and the unity of the family; it The petitioner, aside from his own testimony,
decrees marriage as legally “inviolable” and protects it presented a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist who
from dissolution at the whim of the parties. Both the attested that constant lying and extreme jealousy of
family and marriage are to be “protected” by the state. Reyes is abnormal and pathological and corroborated
his allegations on his wife's behavior, which amounts
to psychological incapacity.

The factual findings of the trial court are deemed


binding on the SC, owing to the great weight accorded
to the opinion of the primary trier of facts. As such, it
(14) Leonilo Antonio vs Marie Ivonne F. Reyes must be considered that respondent had consistently
G.R. No. 155800 March 10, 2006 lied about many material aspects as to her character
and personality. Her fantastic ability to invent and
fabricate stories and personalities enabled her to live in
FACTS:
a world of make-believe. This made her
Antonio and Reyes first got married at Manila City Hall psychologically incapacitated as it rendered her
and subsequently in church on December 8, 1990. A incapable of giving meaning and significance to her
child was born in April 1991 but died 5 months marriage.
later. Antonio could no longer take her constant lying,
The case sufficiently satisfies the Molina guidelines:
insecurities and jealousies over him so he separated
from her in August 1991. He attempted reconciliation First, that Antonio had sufficiently overcome his burden
but since her behavior did not change, he finally left in proving the psychological incapacity of his wife;
her for good in November 1991. Only after their
marriage that he learned about her child with another Second, that the root cause of Reyes' psychological
man. incapacity has been medically or clinically identified
that was sufficiently proven by experts, and was clearly
explained in the trial court's decision;

He then filed a petition in 1993 to have his marriage Third, that she fabricated friends and made up letters
with Reyes declared null and void under Article 36 of before she married him prove that her psychological
the Family Code. incapacity was have existed even before the
celebration of marriage;
The trial court gave credence to Antonio's evidence
and thus declared the marriage null and void. Fourth, that the gravity of Reyes' psychological
incapacity was considered so grave that a restrictive
Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision. It
clause was appended to the sentence of nullity
held that the totality of evidence presented was
prohibited by the National Appellate Matrimonial
insufficient to establish Reyes' psychological
Tribunal from contracting marriage without their
incapacity. It declared that the requirements in the
consent;
1997 Molina case had not been satisfied.
Fifth, that she being an inveterate pathological liar
ISSUE:
makes her unable to commit the basic tenets of
Whether or not Antonio has established his cause of relationship between spouses based on love, trust, and
action for declaration of nullity under Article 36 of the respect.
Family Code and, generally, under the Molina
Sixth, the CA clearly erred when it failed to take into
guidelines.
consideration the fact that the marriage was annulled
RULING: by the Catholic Church. However, it is the factual
findings of the judicial trier of facts, and not of the Principle:
canonical courts, that are accorded significant In dissolving marital bonds on account of either party’s
recognition by this Court. psychological incapacity, the Court is not demolishing
the foundation of families, but it is actually protecting the
Seventh, that Reyes' case is incurable considering that sanctity of marriage, because it refuses to allow a
Antonio tried to reconcile with her but her behavior person afflicted with a psychological disorder, who
remains unchanged. cannot comply with or assume the essential
marital obligations, from remaining in that sacred bond;
The facts in the case sufficiently prove with the
To indulge in imagery, the declaration of nullity under
certitude required by law that based on the depositions
Article 36 will simply provide a decent burial to a stillborn
of the Partes in Causa and premised on the
marriage.
testimonies of the Common and Expert Witnesse[s],
the Respondent made the marriage option in tenure of
adverse personality constracts that were markedly
Facts:
antithetical to the substantive content and implications
of the Marriage Covenant, and that seriously Petitioner Edward Kenneth courted Rowena Ong
undermined the integrality of her matrimonial consent Gutierrez Yu-Te in a gathering organized by the Filipino-
in terms of its deliberative component. In other words, Chinese association in their college when petitioner was
afflicted with a discretionary faculty impaired in its a sophomore student and respondent, a freshman.3
practico-concrete judgment formation on account of an
adverse action and reaction pattern, the Respondent Three months after their first meeting, Rowena
was impaired from eliciting a judicially binding asked Edward that they elope. At first, he refused,
matrimonial consent. There is no sufficient evidence in bickering that he was young and jobless. Her
the Case however to prove as well the fact of grave persistence, however, made him relent. Thus, they left
lack of due discretion on the part of the Petitioner. Manila and sailed to Cebu that month; he, providing their
travel money and she, purchasing the boat ticket.4
Molina doctrine is not set in stone, and that the
However, Edward’s P80,000.00 lasted for only a
interpretation of Article 36 relies heavily on a case-to-
month. Their pension house accommodation and daily
case perception. It would be insensate to reason to
sustenance fast depleted it. And they could not find a
mandate in this case an expert medical or clinical
job. In April 1996, they decided to go back to Manila.
diagnosis of incurability, since the parties would have
Rowena proceeded to her uncle’s house and Edward to
had no impelling cause to present evidence to that
his parents’ home. As his family was abroad, and
effect at the time this case was tried by the RTC more
Rowena kept on telephoning him, threatening him that
than ten (10) years ago. From the totality of the
she would commit suicide, Edward agreed to stay with
evidence, we are sufficiently convinced that the
Rowena at her uncle’s place.5
incurability of respondent's psychological incapacity
has been established by the petitioner. Any lingering
On April 23, 1996, Rowena’s uncle brought the
doubts are further dispelled by the fact that the
two to a court to get married. He was then 25 years
Catholic Church tribunals, which indubitably consider
old, and she, 20.6 The two then continued to stay at her
incurability as an integral requisite of psychological
uncle’s place where Edward was treated like a
incapacity, were sufficiently convinced that respondent
prisoner—he was not allowed to go out unaccompanied.
was so incapacitated to contract marriage to the
Her uncle also showed Edward his guns and warned
degree that annulment was warranted.
the latter not to leave Rowena.7 At one point, Edward
was able to call home and talk to his brother who
suggested that they should stay at their parents’ home
(15) Ngo vs Ngu - Te and live with them. Edward relayed this to Rowena who,
G.R. No. 161793. February 13, 2009 however, suggested that he should get his inheritance
so that they could live on their own. Edward talked to his
father about this, but the patriarch got mad, told Edward
that he would be disinherited, and insisted that Edward husband is somehow weak-willed. Upon the realization
must go home.8 that there is really no chance for wealth, she gladly finds
After a month, Edward escaped from the house of her way out of the relationship.
Rowena’s uncle, and stayed with his parents. His family
then hid him from Rowena and her family whenever they The trial court declared the marriage of the parties null
telephoned to ask for him.9 and void on the ground that both parties were
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
In June 1996, Edward was able to talk to Rowena. essential marital obligations.
Unmoved by his persistence that they should live with
his parents, she said that it was better for them to live The OSG filed a notice of appeal.
separate lives. They then parted ways.10
On review, the appellate court, reversed and set aside
After almost four years Edward filed a petition before the trial court’s ruling. t ruled that petitioner failed to
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch prove the psychological incapacity of respondent. The
106, for the annulment of his marriage to Rowena on the clinical psychologist did not personally examine
basis of the latter’s psychological incapacity. respondent, and relied only on the information provided
by petitioner. Further, the psychological incapacity was
The clinical psychologist who examined petitioner not shown to be attended by gravity, juridical
found both parties psychologically incapacitated, and antecedence and incurability.
made the following findings and conclusions:
Dissatisfied, petitioner filed before this Court the instant
TEST RESULTS & EVALUATION: petition for review on certiorari.
“Both petitioner and respondent are dubbed to be
emotionally immature and recklessly impulsive upon Petitioners Argument:
swearing to their marital vows as each of them was
motivated by different notions on marriage.
petitioner argues that the CA erred in substituting its
Edward Kenneth Ngo Te, the petitioner in this case[,] own judgment for that of the trial court. He posits that
is said to be still unsure and unready so as to commit the RTC declared the marriage void, not only because
himself to marriage. He is still founded to be on the of respondent’s psychological incapacity, but rather due
search of what he wants in life. He is absconded as an to both parties’ psychological incapacity. Petitioner also
introvert as he is not really sociable and displays a lack points out that there is no requirement for the
of interest in social interactions and mingling with other psychologist to personally examine respondent.
individuals. He is seen too akin to this kind of lifestyle Further, he avers that the OSG is bound by the actions
that he finds it boring and uninteresting to commit of the OCP because the latter represented it during the
himself to a relationship especially to that of respondent, trial; and it had been furnished copies of all the
as aggravated by her dangerously aggressive moves. pleadings, the trial court orders and notices.27 For its
As he is more of the reserved and timid type of person, part, the OSG contends in its memorandum,28that the
as he prefer to be religiously attached and spend a annulment petition filed before the RTC contains no
solemn time alone. statement of the essential marital obligations that the
parties failed to comply with. The root cause of the
ROWENA GUTIERREZ YU-TE, the respondent, is said psychological incapacity was likewise not alleged in the
to be of the aggressive-rebellious type of woman. petition; neither was it medically or clinically identified.
She is seen to be somewhat exploitative in her [plight] The purported incapacity of both parties was not shown
for a life of wealth and glamour. She is seen to take to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable. And
move on marriage as she thought that her marriage the clinical psychologist did not personally examine the
with petitioner will bring her good fortune because he is respondent.
part of a rich family. In order to have her dreams
realized, she used force and threats knowing that [her]
OSG’s argument:

Thus, the OSG concludes that the requirements (16) BENJAMIN G. TING v. CARMEN M. VELEZ-
in Molina29 were not satisfied.30 TING
G.R. NO. 166562 March 31, 2009

Issue:
Principle: The psychological illness that must
Whether or not the contracted marriage is void on the have afflicted a party at the inception of the
ground that both parties were psychologically marriage should be a malady so grave and
incapacitated permanent as to deprive one of awareness of
the duties and responsibilities of the
Ruling:
matrimonial bond he or she is about to
Yes. assume.
Petiioner who is afflicted with dependent personality
disorder, cannot assume the essential marital Facts:
obligations of living together, observing love, respect
and fidelity and rendering help and support, for he is
unable to make everyday decisions without advice from Benjamin and Carmen first met in 1972 while they were
others, allows others to make most of his important classmates in medical school. They fell in love, and they
decisions (such as where to live), tends to agree with were wed on July 26, 1975 in Cebu City when
people even when he believes they are wrong, has respondent was already pregnant with their first child.
difficulty doing things on his own, volunteers to do things The couple decided to move to Carmen's family home
that are demeaning in order to get approval from other in Cebu City. In September 1975, Benjamin passed the
people, feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone and medical board examinations and thereafter proceeded
is often preoccupied with fears of being to take a residency program to become a surgeon but
abandoned.67 As clearly shown in this case, petitioner shifted to anesthesiology after two years. By 1979,
followed everything dictated to him by the persons Benjamin completed the preceptorship program for the
around him. He is insecure, weak and gullible, has no said field and, in 1980, he began working for Velez
sense of his identity as a person, has no cohesive self Hospital, owned by Carmen's family, as member of its
to speak of, and has no goals and clear direction in life. active staff, while Carmen worked as the hospital's
Although on a different plane, the same may also be Treasurer.
said of the respondent. Her being afflicted with
antisocial personality disorder makes her unable to On October 21, 1993, after being married for more than
assume the essential marital obligations. This finding 18 years to Benjamin, Carmen filed a verified petition
takes into account her disregard for the rights of others, before the RTC of Cebu City praying for the declaration
her abuse, mistreatment and control of others without of nullity of their marriage based on Article 36 of the
remorse, her tendency to blame others, and her Family Code
intolerance of the conventional behavioral limitations Carmens complaint:
imposed by society.68 Moreover, as shown in this case,
respondent is impulsive and domineering; she had no Prior to their marriage, she was already aware that
qualms in manipulating petitioner with her threats of Benjamin used to drink and gamble occasionally with
blackmail and of committing suicide. his friends.

Summary:
Both parties being afflicted with grave, severe and
incurable psychological incapacity, the precipitous 1. Benjamin's alcoholism, which adversely affected his
marriage which they contracted on April 23, 1996 is family relationship and his profession;
thus, declared null and void.
2. Benjamin's violent nature brought about by his We find the totality of evidence adduced by respondent
excessive and regular drinking; insufficient to prove that petitioner is psychologically
3. His compulsive gambling habit, as a result of which unfit to discharge the duties expected of him as a
Benjamin found it necessary to sell the family car twice husband, and more particularly, that he suffered from
and the property he inherited from his father in order to such psychological incapacity as of the date of the
pay off his debts, because he no longer had money to marriage eighteen (18) years ago.
pay the same; and
The intendment of the law has been to confine the
4. Benjamin's irresponsibility and immaturity as shown
application of Article 36 to the most serious cases of
by his failure and refusal to give regular financial support
personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter
to his family
insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance
to the marriage. The psychological illness that must
Benjamins Answer: have afflicted a party at the inception of the marriage
should be a malady so grave and permanent as to
Benjamin denied being psychologically incapacitated. deprive one of awareness of the duties and
He maintained that he is a respectable person, as his responsibilities of the matrimonial bond he or she is
peers would confirm. about to assume.
During the trial carmen presented two witnesses In this case, respondent failed to prove that petitioner's
Susana Waswas who served as nanny to the spouse’s "defects" were present at the time of the celebration of
children, and Dr. Oñate, a psychiatrist and concluded their marriage. She merely cited that prior to their
Benjamin's compulsive drinking, compulsive gambling marriage, she already knew that petitioner would
and physical abuse of respondent are clear indications occasionally drink and gamble with his friends; but such
that petitioner suffers from a personality disorder. statement, by itself, is insufficient to prove any pre-
To refute Dr. Oñate opinion, Benjamin presented Dr. existing psychological defect on the part of her husband.
Renato D. Obra, a psychiatrist, as his expert witness. Neither did the evidence adduced prove such "defects"
Dr. Obra evaluated Benjamins psychological behavior. to be incurable.
Contrary to Dr. Oñate findings, Dr. Obra observed that The evaluation of the two psychiatrists should have
there is nothing wrong with Benjamins personality, been the decisive evidence in determining whether to
considering the latters good relationship with his fellow declare the marriage between the parties null and void.
doctors and his good track record as anesthesiologist. Sadly, however, we are not convinced that the opinions
provided by these experts strengthened respondent's
The RTC rendered judgment declaring the marriage allegation of psychological incapacity. The two experts
between plaintiff and defendant null and void ab initio provided diametrically contradicting psychological
pursuant to Art. 36 of the Family Code. Aggrieved, evaluations: Dr. Oñate testified that petitioner's behavior
petitioner appealed to the CA. On October 19, 2000, the is a positive indication of a personality disorder, 63 while
CA rendered a Decision reversing the trial court’s ruling. Dr. Obra maintained that there is nothing wrong with
It faulted the trial courts finding, stating that no proof was petitioner's personality. Moreover, there appears to be
adduced to support the conclusion that Benjamin was greater weight in Dr. Obra's opinion because, aside from
psychologically incapacitated at the time he married analyzing the transcript of Benjamin's deposition similar
Carmen. to what Dr. Oñate did, Dr. Obra also took into
consideration the psychological evaluation report
furnished by another psychiatrist in South Africa who
Issue: personally examined Benjamin, as well as his (Dr.
Whether the CA's decision declaring the marriage Obra's) personal interview with Benjamin's brothers.
between petitioner and respondent null and void [is] in Logically, therefore, the balance tilts in favor of Dr.
accordance with law and jurisprudence. Obra's findings.

Ruling:
Lest it be misunderstood, we are not condoning HELD:
petitioner's drinking and gambling problems, or his The Court of Appeals erred in its opinion the Civil Code
violent outbursts against his wife. There is no valid Revision Committee intended to liberalize the
excuse to justify such a behavior. Petitioner must application of Philippine civil laws on personal and
remember that he owes love, respect, and fidelity to his family rights, and holding psychological incapacity as a
spouse as much as the latter owes the same to him. broad range of mental and behavioral conduct on the
Unfortunately, this court finds respondent's testimony, part of one spouse indicative of how he or she regards
as well as the totality of evidence presented by the the marital union, his or her personal relationship with
respondent, to be too inadequate to declare him the other spouse, as well as his or her conduct in the
psychologically unfit pursuant to Article 36. long haul for the attainment of the principal objectives of
marriage; where said conduct, observed and
considered as a whole, tends to cause the union to self-
destruct because it defeats the very objectives of
marriage, warrants the dissolution of the marriage.
(17) Republic v. Molina The Court reiterated its ruling in Santos v. Court of
G.R. 108763 Feb 13, 2009 Appeals, where psychological incapacity should refer to
no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity, existing
FACTS: at the time the marriage is celebrated, and that there is
Roridel Olaviano was married to Reynaldo Molina on 14 hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has
April 1985 in Manila, and gave birth to a son a year after. been to confine the meaning of ‘psychological
Reynaldo showed signs of “immaturity and incapacity’ to the most serious cases of personality
irresponsibility” on the early stages of the marriage, disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity
observed from his tendency to spend time with his or inability to give meaning and significance to the
friends and squandering his money with them, from his marriage. Psychological incapacity must be
dependency from his parents, and his dishonesty on characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence, and
matters involving his finances. Reynaldo was relieved of incurability. In the present case, there is no clear
his job in 1986, Roridel became the sole breadwinner showing to us that the psychological defect spoken of is
thereafter. In March 1987, Roridel resigned from her job an incapacity; but appears to be more of a “difficulty,” if
in Manila and proceeded to Baguio City. Reynaldo left not outright “refusal” or “neglect” in the performance of
her and their child a week later. The couple is some marital obligations. Mere showing of
separated-in-fact for more than three years. “irreconcilable differences” and “conflicting
personalities” in no wise constitutes psychological
On 16 August 1990, Roridel filed a verified petition for incapacity.
declaration of nullity of her marriage to Reynaldo
Molina. Evidence for Roridel consisted of her own The Court, in this case, promulgated the guidelines in
testimony, that of two of her friends, a social worker, and the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the
a psychiatrist of the Baguio General Hospital and Family Code, removing any visages of it being the most
Medical Center. Reynaldo did not present any evidence liberal divorce procedure in the world: (1) The burden of
as he appeared only during the pre-trial conference. On proof belongs to the plaintiff; (2) the root cause of
14 May 1991, the trial court rendered judgment psychological incapacity must be medically or clinically
declaring the marriage void. The Solicitor General identified, alleged in the complaint, sufficiently proven
appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals by expert, and clearly explained in the decision; (3) The
denied the appeals and affirmed in toto the RTC’s incapacity must be proven existing at the time of the
decision. Hence, the present recourse. celebration of marriage; (4) the incapacity must be
clinically or medically permanent or incurable; (5) such
ISSUE: illness must be grave enough; (6) the essential marital
Whether opposing or conflicting personalities should obligation must be embraced by Articles 68 to 71 of the
be construed as psychological incapacity Family Code as regards husband and wife, and Articles
220 to 225 of the same code as regards parents and
their children; (7) interpretation made by the National (1) Whether or not the petitioner is guilty of the crime of
Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church, bigamy.
and (8) the trial must order the fiscal and the Solicitor-
General to appeal as counsels for the State. (2) What is the effect of declaration of nullity of the
second marriage of the petitioner on the ground of
The Supreme Court granted the petition, and reversed psychological incapacity?
and set aside the assailed decision; concluding that the
marriage of Roridel Olaviano to Reynaldo Molina RULING:
subsists and remains valid. (1) Yes, petitioner is guilty of the crime of bigamy.
Under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, the
elements of the crime of bigamy are:
(a) that the offender has been legally married;
(b) that the first marriage has not been legally dissolved
or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent
(18) VERONICO TENEBRO vs. COURT OF
spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to
APPEALS
the Civil Code;
GR no. 150758, February 18, 2004
(c) that he contracts a second or subsequent marriage;
and
FACTS: (d) that the second or subsequent marriage has all the
Veronico Tenebro contracted marriage with Leticia essential requisites for validity.
Ancajas on April 10, 1990. The two were wed by a judge The prosecution sufficient evidence, both documentary
at Lapu-Lapu City. The two lived together continuously and oral, proved the existence of the marriage between
and without interruption until the later part of 1991, when petitioner and Villareyes. Hence, petitioner is guilty of
Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had been previously Bigamy.
married to a certain Hilda Villareyes on Nov. 10, 1986.
Tenebro showed Ancajas a photocopy of a marriage (2) A second or subsequent marriage contracted during
contract between him and Villareyes. Invoking this subsistence of petitioner’s valid marriage to Villareyes,
previous marriage, petitioner thereafter left the conjugal petitioner’s marriage to Ancajas would be null and void
dwelling which he shared with Ancajas, stating that he ab initio completely regardless of petitioner’s
was going to cohabit with Villareyes. psychological capacity or incapacity. Since a marriage
contracted during the subsistence of a valid marriage is
On January 25, 1993, petitioner contracted yet another automatically void, the nullity of this second marriage is
marriage, this one with a certain Nilda Villegas. When not per se an argument for the avoidance of criminal
Ancajas learned of this third marriage, she verified from liability for bigamy. Pertinently, Article 349 of the RPC
Villareyes whether the latter was indeed married to the criminalizes “any person who shall contract a second or
petitioner. Villareyes confirmed in handwritten letter that subsequent marriage before the former marriage has
indeed Tenebro was her husband. been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has
been declared presumptively dead by means of a
Ancajas thereafter filed a complaint for bigamy against judgment rendered in the proper proceedings”. A plain
petitioner. During trial, Tenebro admitted having married reading of the law, therefore, would indicate that the
to Villareyes and produced two children. However, he provision penalizes the mere act of contracting a second
denied that he and Villareyes were validly married to or subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a
each other, claiming that no marriage ceremony took valid marriage.
place. He alleged that he signed a marriage contract
merely to enable her to get the allotment from his office (19) SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM vs. TERESITA
in connection with his work as a seaman. The trial court JARQUE VDA. DE BAILON
found him guilty of bigamy. G.R. No. 165545. March 24, 2006.

ISSUES:
Facts: Clemente and Alice contracted marriage in According to the Civil Code, a subsequent marriage
Sorsogon. 15 years later, C filed before the court to contracted during the lifetime of the first spouse is illegal
declare A presumptively dead. 13 years after the and void ab initio unless the prior marriage is first
declaration, he married Teresita. Clemente, who was a annulled or dissolved or contracted under any of the
member of the Social Security System(SSS) since three exceptional circumstances. It bears noting that the
1960 and a retiree pensioner, died. Teresita filed a marriage under any of these exceptional cases is
claim for funeral benefits in SSS. A certain Hermes P. deemed valid "until declared null and void by a
Diaz, claiming to be the brother and guardian of "Aliz competent court." It follows that the onus probandi in
P. Diaz," led before the SSS a claim for death these cases rests on the party assailing the second
benetsaccruing from Clemente’s death. marriage.A subsequent marriage being voidable, it is
terminated by final judgment of annulment in a case
instituted by the absent spouse who reappears or by
SSS cancelled the payment of death pension benets to either of the spouses in the subsequent marriage.
Teresita because the court was misled by
misrepresentation in declaring the first wife, Aliz, as Under the Family Code, no judicial proceeding to annul
presumptively dead. Thus the order of the court a subsequent marriage is necessary. It provides that
declaring Alice presumptively dead did not become subsequent marriage shall be automatically terminated
final, her "presence" being "contrary proof" against the by the recording of the affidavit of recording of the adavit
validity of the order. of reappearance of the absent spouse, unless there is
a judgment annulling the previous marriage or declaring
Teresita reiterated her request for the release of her it void ab initio. If the absentee reappears, but no step is
monthly pension, asserting that her marriage with taken to terminate the subsequent marriage, either by
Clemente was not declared before any court of justice adavit or by court action, such absentee's mere
as bigamous or unlawful, hence, it remained valid and reappearance,even if made known to the spouses in the
subsisting for all legal intents and purposes as in fact subsequent marriage, will not terminate such marriage.
Clemente designated her as his beneficiary.
However, if the subsequent marriage is not terminated
Alice, later on, attesting that she is the widow of Bailon. by registration of an affidavit of reappearance or by
That she had only recently come to know of the petition judicial declaration but by the death of either spouse
led by Bailon to declare her presumptively dead and that as in the case at bar, the good or bad faith of either
it is not true that she disappeared as Bailon could have spouse can no longer be raised, because, as in
easily located her. annullable or voidable marriages, the marriage cannot
be questioned except in a direct action for annulment.
Issue: Whether or not the marriage of Clemente and It cannot be attacked collaterally. Such marriages can
Teresita is valid. be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties and
not after the death of either. Upon the death of either,
Ruling: YES, the marriage is a valid. the marriage cannot be impeached, and is made good
abinitio.Thus, since no action for nullification was filed,
SSC is empowered to settle any dispute with respect to the marriage of C and T is valid and T is the rightful
SSS coverage, benefits and contributions. In so dependent spouse beneficiary of C.
exercising such power, however, it cannot review, much
less reverse, decisions rendered by courts of law. In
interfering with and passing upon the CFI Order, the (20) SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSION v. AZOTE
SSC virtually acted as anappellate court. The law does G.R. No. 209741, April 15, 2015
not give the SSC unfettered discretion to trie withorders
of regular courts in the exercise of its authority to
determine the beneciaries ofthe SSS. FACTS:

On 1992, respondent Edna and Edgardo, a member of


the SSS, were married in civil rites in Albay. On 1994,
Edgardo submitted Form E-4 to the SSS with Edna and was alive at the time Edna and Edgardo were married,
their children as beneficiaries. and, therefore, there existed a legal impediment to his
second marriage, rendering it void. Edna is, therefore,
On 2005, Edgardo passed away. Edna filed her claim
not a legitimate spouse who is entitled to the death
for death benefits with SSS as the wife of the deceased.
benefits of Edgardo. Hence, this petition.
It appeared however from the record that Edgardo had
earlier filed a Form E-4 on 1982 with a different set of ISSUE: Whether or not should be declared as the widow
beneficiaries namely: Rosemarie Azote (spouse) and of the deceased and thus entitled to the SSS benefits.
Elmer Azote (dependent). Consequently, Edna’s claim
RULING:
was denied.
NO.
Thereafter, Edna filed a petition with SSC to claim the
death benefits and insisted that she was the legitimate The Supreme Court ruled that Section 8 (e) and (k) of
wife of Edgardo. SSC denied the petition and answered the R.A 8282, expressly provides that the dependents
that there was a conflicting information in the forms shall be the legal spouse, and that until he or she
submitted by Edgardo so Summons were published in a remarries, the dependent legitimate x x x shall be the
newspaper of general circulation directing Rosemarie to primary beneficiaries.
file her answer but she was not able to file the said
answer, so she was declared in default. SSS averred Applying Section 8(e) and (k) of R. A. No. 8282, it is
that although Edgardo filed the Form E-4 designating clear that only the legal spouse of the deceased-
Edna and their children as beneficiaries, he did not member is qualified to be the beneficiary of the latter’s
revoke the designation of Rosemarie as his wife- SS benefits. In this case, there is a concrete proof that
beneficiary, and she is still presumed to be his legal Edgardo contracted an earlier marriage with another
wife. SSC further wrote that the NSO records revealed individual as evidenced by their marriage contract.
that the marriage of Edgardo to one Rosemarie was Edgardo even acknowledged his married status when
registered on 1982. Consequently, it opined that he filled out the 1982 Form E-4 designating Rosemarie
Edgardo’s marriage to Edna was not valid as there was as his spouse.
no showing that his first marriage had been annulled or
It is undisputed that the second marriage of Edgardo
dissolved and stated that there must be a judicial
with Edna was celebrated at the time when the Family
determination of nullity of a previous marriage before a
Code was already in force. Article 41 of the Family
party could enter into a second marriage.
Code expressly states:
The CA reversed and set aside the resolution of SSC
Art. 41. A marriage contracted by any
and ruled that the SSC could not decide of the validity
person during subsistence of a previous
or invalidity of the marriage considering that no contest
marriage shall be null and void, unless before
came from Rosemarie and Elmer. It further ruled that
the celebration of the subsequent marriage, the
Edgardo made a deliberate change of his wife-
prior spouse had been absent for four
beneficiary in his 1994 Form E-4, and that it superseded
consecutive years and the spouse present has
his former declaration in his 1982 E-4 Form.
a well-founded belief that the absent spouse
The SSC argues that the findings of fact of the CA were was already dead. x x x
not supported by the records. It submits that under
In the case at bar, applying the parameters outlined in
Section 5 of the SS Law, it is called upon to determine
Article 41 of the Family Code, Edna, without doubt,
the rightful beneficiary in the performance of its quasi-
failed to establish that there was no impediment or that
judicial function of adjudicating SS benefits. That Edna
the impediment was already removed at the time of the
was not the legitimate spouse of the deceased member
celebration of her marriage to Edgardo. Therefore, she
Edgardo as there was the NSO Certification showing
is not entitled to claim SSS benefits.
that Edgardo was previously married to Rosemarie.
With the death certificate of Rosemarie showing that
she died only on November 6, 2004, it proved that she (21) Ablaza vs. Republic
628 SCRA 27 G.R. No. 158298 August 11, 2010 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
FACTS: already celebrated cannot be changed by a subsequent
On October 17, 2000, the petitioner filed in the RTC in amendment of the governing law.
Cataingan, Masbate a petition for the declaration of the
absolute nullity of the marriage contracted on December Administrative Matter (A.M.) No. 02-11-10-SC (Rule on
26, 1949 between his late brother Cresenciano Ablaza Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and
and Leonila Honato. Annulment of Voidable Marriages), took effect on March
15, 2003. Section 2, paragraph (a), of A.M. No. 02-11-
The petitioner alleged that the marriage between 10-SC explicitly provides the limitation that a petition for
Cresenciano and Leonila had been celebrated without a declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be
marriage license, due to such license being issued only filed solely by the husband or wife. Such limitation
on January 9, 1950, thereby rendering the marriage void demarcates a line to distinguish between marriages
ab initio for having been solemnized without a marriage covered by the Family Code and those solemnized
license. under the regime of the Civil Code.

He insisted that his being the surviving brother of Specifically, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC extends only to
Cresenciano who had died without any issue entitled marriages covered by the Family Code, which took
him to one-half of the real properties acquired by effect on August 3, 1988, but, being a procedural rule
Cresenciano before his death, thereby making him a that is prospective in application, is confined only to
real party in interest; and that any person, himself proceedings commenced after March 15, 2003.
included, could impugn the validity of the marriage
between Cresenciano and Leonila at any time, even The following actions for declaration of absolute nullity
after the death of Cresenciano, due to the marriage of a marriage are excepted from the limitation, to wit:
being void ab initio. 1. Those commenced before March 15, 2003, the
effectivity date of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC; and
RTC’s ruling: 2. Those filed vis-à-vis marriages celebrated during
Dismissed the petition on the ground that petitioner is the effectivity of the Civil Code and, those celebrated
not a party to the marriage under the regime of the Family Code prior to March 15,
2003.
CA’s ruling:
Affirmed RTC’s ruling 🡪 surviving brother of the In the case at bar, the marriage between Cresenciano
deceased spouse is not the proper party to file the and Leonila was contracted on December 26, 1949. The
subject petition. More so that the surviving wife, who applicable law was the old Civil Code, the law in effect
stands to be prejudiced, was not even impleaded as a at the time of the celebration of the marriage. Hence, the
party to said case. rule on the exclusivity of the parties to the marriage as
having the right to initiate the action for declaration of
ISSUE: nullity of the marriage under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC had
Whether a non-party can sue for the nullity of another absolutely no application to the petitioner.
person’s marriage
The old and new Civil Codes contain no provision
HELD: on who can file a petition to declare the nullity of a
Yes. marriage, and when.

A valid marriage is essential in order to create the It is clarified, however, that the absence of a provision
relation of husband and wife and to give rise to the in the old and new Civil Codes cannot be construed as
mutual rights, duties, and liabilities arising out of such giving a license to just any person to bring an action to
relation. The law prescribes the requisites of a valid declare the absolute nullity of a marriage. The the
plaintiff must still be the party who stands to be benefited Sometime in May 1994, when Sumida Electric
by the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit, Philippines closed down, Cyrus went to Taiwan to seek
for it is basic in procedural law that every action must be employment. Yolanda claimed that from that time, she
prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party did not receive any communication from her husband,
in interest. notwithstanding efforts to locate him. Her brother
testified that he had asked the relatives of Cyrus
Here, the petitioner alleged himself to be the late regarding the latter’s whereabouts, to no avail.
Cresenciano’s brother and surviving heir. Assuming that
After nine (9) years of waiting, Yolanda filed a
the petitioner was as he claimed himself to be, then he
Petition to have Cyrus declared presumptively dead with
has a material interest in the estate of Cresenciano that
the RTC Lipa City. On 7 February 2005, the RTC
will be adversely affected by any judgment in the suit.
rendered a Decision declaring Cyrus as presumptively
Indeed, a brother like the petitioner, albeit not a
dead.
compulsory heir under the laws of succession, has the
right to succeed to the estate of a deceased brother. On 10 March 2005, petitioner Republic of the
Philippines, represented by the OSG, filed a Motion for
Reconsideration of this Decision. Petitioner argued that
(22) REPUBLIC V. GRANADA Yolanda had failed to exert earnest efforts to locate
G.R. No. 187512 June 13, 2012 Cyrus and thus failed to prove her well-founded belief
that he was already dead. The motion was denied. The
Arguments: OSG then elevated the case on appeal to the Court of
Appeals. Yolanda filed a Motion to Dismiss on the
Petitioner:
ground that the CA had no jurisdiction over the appeal.
1. Petitioner points out that respondent Yolanda did She argued that her Petition for Declaration of
not initiate a diligent search to locate her absent Presumptive Death, based on Article 41 of the Family
husband. While her brother Diosdado Cadacio Code, was a summary judicial proceeding, in which the
testified to having inquired about the whereabouts judgment is immediately final and executory and, thus,
of Cyrus from the latter’s relatives, these relatives not appealable.
were not presented to corroborate Diosdado’s
The appellate court granted Yolanda’s Motion to
testimony. In short, respondent was allegedly not
Dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Citing
diligent in her search for her husband.
Republic v. Bermudez-Lorino, the CA ruled that a
2. Petitioners argues using the Republic vs Jomoc
petition for declaration of presumptive death under Rule
Case that, a petition for declaration of presumptive
41 of the Family Code is a summary proceeding. Thus,
death being a special proceeding, the filing of a
judgment thereon is immediately final and executory
record on appeal with the notice of appeal shall be
upon notice to the parties.
sufficient.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration, which was denied.
Respondent:
Hence, the present petition under Rule 45.
1. That under the Family Code, a petition for
ISSUES:
declaration of presumptive death is a summary
proceeding is deemed immediately final and 1. Whether the order of the RTC in a
executory upon notice to the parties and is summary proceeding for the declaration of
therefore not subject to ordinary appeals. presumptive death is immediately final and
executory upon notice to the parties and, hence, is
FACTS:
not subject to ordinary appeal.
Cyrus and Yolanda Granada, both employees
2. Whether the CA erred in affirming the
of Sumida Electric Company, got married in 1993.
RTC’s grant of the petition for declaration of
presumptive death based on evidence that matter to this Court via a petition for review on certiorari
respondent had presented. under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

RULING: 2. Petitioner also assails the RTC’s grant of the


Petition for Declaration of Presumptive Death of the
Yes, the declaration of presumptive death is
absent spouse of respondent on the ground that she
final and immediately executory. Even if the RTC erred
had not adduced the evidence required to establish a
in granting the petition, such order can no longer be
well-founded belief that her absent spouse was already
assailed.
dead, as expressly required by Article 41 of the Family
1. A petition for declaration of presumptive Code.
death of an absent spouse for the purpose of contracting
For the purpose of contracting the subsequent
a subsequent marriage under Article 41 of the Family
marriage under the preceding paragraph, the spouse
Code is a summary proceeding “as provided for” under
present must institute a summary proceeding as
the Family Code. Taken together, Articles 41, 238, 247
provided in this Code for the declaration of presumptive
and 253 of the Family Code provide that since a petition
death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of
for declaration of presumptive death is a summary
reappearance of the absent spouse.
proceeding, the judgment of the court therein shall be
immediately final and executory. The spouse present is, thus, burdened to prove
that his spouse has been absent and that he has a well-
By express provision of law, the judgment of the
founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead
court in a summary proceeding shall be immediately
before the present spouse may contract a subsequent
final and executory. As a matter of course, it follows that
marriage. The law does not define what is meant by a
no appeal can be had of the trial court’s judgment in a
well-grounded belief is a state of the mind or condition
summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive
prompting the doing of an overt act. It may be proved by
death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family
direct evidence or circumstantial evidence which may
Code. It goes without saying, however, that an
tend, even in a slight degree, to elucidate the inquiry or
aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari to
assist to a determination probably founded in truth. Any
question abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
fact or circumstance relating to the character, habits,
jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the Court of
conditions, attachments, prosperity and objects of life
Appeals in accordance with the Doctrine of Hierarchy of
which usually control the conduct of men, and are the
Courts. To be sure, even if the Court’s original
motives of their actions, was, so far as it tends to explain
jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari is concurrent with
or characterize their disappearance or throw light on
the RTCs and the Court of Appeals in certain cases,
their intentions, competence evidence on the ultimate
such concurrence does not sanction an unrestricted
question of his death.
freedom of choice of court forum. From the decision of
the Court of Appeals, the losing party may then file a The belief of the present spouse must be the
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the result of proper and honest to goodness inquiries and
Rules of Court with the Supreme Court. This is because efforts to ascertain the whereabouts of the absent
the errors which the court may commit in the exercise of spouse and whether the absent spouse is still alive or is
jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment which are the already dead. Whether or not the spouse present acted
proper subject of an appeal. on a well-founded belief of death of the absent spouse
depends upon the inquiries to be drawn from a great
In sum, under Article 41 of the Family Code, the
many circumstances occurring before and after the
losing party in a summary proceeding for the declaration
disappearance of the absent spouse and the nature and
of presumptive death may file a petition for certiorari with
extent of the inquiries made by present spouse.
the CA on the ground that, in rendering judgment
thereon, the trial court committed grave abuse of Applying the foregoing standards to the present
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. From the case, petitioner points out that respondent Yolanda did
decision of the CA, the aggrieved party may elevate the not initiate a diligent search to locate her absent
husband. While her brother Diosdado Cadacio testified
to having inquired about the whereabouts of Cyrus from ground that second marriage between him and private
the latter’s relatives, these relatives were not presented respondent Shirley had already been declared void.
to corroborate Diosdado’s testimony. In short,
RTC granted the motion. Private respondent appealed
respondent was allegedly not diligent in her search for
to CA. CA reversed the RTC decision. Petitioner filed a
her husband. Petitioner argues that if she were, she
motion for reconsideration. CA denied. Thus this instant
would have sought information from the Taiwanese
petition.
Consular Office or assistance from other government
agencies in Taiwan or the Philippines. She could have Issues:
also utilized mass media for this end, but she did not.
Worse, she failed to explain these omissions. WON subsequent declaration of nullity of second
marriage is a ground for dismissal of criminal case of
The Republic’s arguments are well-taken. bigamy.
Nevertheless, we are constrained to deny the Petition.
Ruling:
The RTC ruling on the issue of whether
respondent was able to prove her “well-founded belief” NO.
that her absent spouse was already dead prior to her
Bigamy under Art. 394 is a crime committed by any
filing of the Petition to declare him presumptively dead
person who shall contract a second or subsequent
is already final and can no longer be modified or
marriage before the former marriage has been legally
reversed. Indeed, “[n]othing is more settled in law than
dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been
that when a judgment becomes final and executory, it
declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment
becomes immutable and unalterable. The same may no
rendered in the proper proceednigs.
longer be modified in any respect, even if the
modification is meant to correct what is perceived to be The elements of bigamy are:
an erroneous conclusion of fact or law.
1. offender has been legally married;

2. marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case of


(23) Capili v People his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse could not
GR No. 183805 July 3, 2013 yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code;

3. offender contracts a second or subsequent marriage;


Facts:
and
Petitioner James Capili was charged with crime of
4. the second or subsequent marriage has all the
bigamy before the RTC for contracting a second
essential requisites of validty.
marriage with Private respondent Shirley Tismo-Capili
without having legally dissolved or annulled his first In the present case all elements of bigamy are present.
marriage to Karla Capili.
Further, subsequent declaration of nullity of second
Petitioner filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings on the marriage is not a ground for dismissal of criminal case
crime of bigamy on the ground that there is a pending of bigamy so long as the first marriage was still
civil case on the declaration of nullity of the second subsisting when the second marriage was celebrated.
marriage by Karla Capili. He claims that in the event that Because the crime of bigamy is consummated on the
the marriage is declared null and void, it would celebration of the subsequent marriage without the
exculpate him from the charge of bigamy, and that the previous one being annulled. Culpability attaches upon
pendency of the civil case is a prejudicial question to the commission of the offense.
criminal case of bigamy.
Petitioner’s assertion would only delay prosecution of
RTC later declared the second marriage void. Petitioner bigamy cases considering that an accused could simply
then filed a motion to dismiss the case for bigamy on the file a petition to declare his previous marriage void and
invoke pendency of that action as prejudicial question.
The Civil Code provides that “no decree of legal
(24) PACETE v CARRIAGA JR. separation shall be promulgated upon a stipulation of
G.R. No. 53880 March 17, 1994 facts or by confession of judgment. In case of non-
appearance of the defendant, the court shall order the
prosecuting attorney to inquire whether or not collusion
Principle: Unless, exempted by law, failure to observe between parties exists. If there is collusion, the
the six-month cooling-off period is a ground to set aside prosecuting attorney shall intervene for the State in
a decision granting legal separation. order to take care that the evidence for the plaintiff is
not fabricated.”
FACTS: Concepcion Alanis filed a complaint on
October 1979, for the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage The above stated provision calling for the intervention
between her erstwhile husband Enrico Pacete and one of the state attorneys in case of uncontested
Clarita de la Concepcion, as well as for legal proceedings for legal separation (and of annulment of
separation between her and Pacete, accounting and marriages, under Article 88) is to emphasize that
separation of property. She averred in her complaint marriage is more than a mere contract.
that she was married to Pacete on April 1938 and they Article 103 of the Civil Code, now Article 58 of the
had a child named Consuelo; that Pacete Family Code, further mandates that an action for legal
subsequently contracted a second marriage with separation must “in no case be tried before six months
Clarita de la Concepcion and that she learned of such shall have elapsed since the filing of the petition,”
marriage only on August 1979. Reconciliation between obviously in order to provide the parties a “cooling-off”
her and Pacete was impossible since he evidently period. In this interim, the court should take steps
preferred to continue living with Clarita. toward getting the parties to reconcile.

The defendants were each served with summons. The significance of the above substantive provisions of
They filed an extension within which to file an answer, the law is further or underscored by the inclusion of a
which the court partly granted. Due to unwanted provision in Rule 18 of the Rules of Court which
misunderstanding, particularly in communication, the provides that no defaults in actions for annulments of
defendants failed to file an answer on the date set by marriage or for legal separation. Therefore, “if the
the court. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a motion to defendant in an action for annulment of marriage or for
declare the defendants in default, which the court legal separation fails to answer, the court shall order
forthwith granted. The court received plaintiffs’ the prosecuting attorney to investigate whether or not
evidence during the hearings held on February 15, 20, collusion between the parties exists, and if there is no
21, and 22, 1980. After trial, the court rendered a collusion, to intervene for the State in order to see to it
decision in favor of the plaintiff on March 17, 1980. that the evidence submitted is not fabricated.”

ISSUE:

(25) Chi Ming Tsoi vs. CA and Gina Lao-Tsoi


Whether or not the RTC gravely abused its discretion
G.R. No. 119190, Jan. 16, 1997
in denying petitioner’s motion for extension of time to
file their answer, in declaring petitioners in default and
in rendering its decision on March 17, 1980 which Facts:
decreed the legal separation of Pacete and Alanis and
held to be null and void the marriage of Pacete to Chi married Gina at the Manila Cathedral, Intramuros
Clarita. Manila. After the celebration of their marriage, they
slept together on the same bed in the same room for
RULING: the first night of their married life.

Contrary to Gina’s expectation that, as newly weds,


they were supposed to enjoy making love, but Chi just
went to bed, slept on one side thereof, then turned his alleged in the complaint shall always
back and went to sleep. There was no sexual be proved.
intercourse between them during the first night. The
The foregoing provision pertains to a
same thing happened on the second, third and fourth
judgment on the pleadings. What said
nights. They slept together in the same room and on
provision seeks to prevent is annulment of
the same bed for almost 6 months. But during this
marriage without trial. The assailed decision
period, there was no attempt of sexual intercourse
was not based on such a judgment on the
between them.
pleadings. When Gina testified under oath
Hence, the distraught wife filed an action for annulment before the trial court and was cross-examined
of their marriage on the ground of psychological by oath before the trial court and was cross-
incapacity alleging that Chi is impotent. Chi admitted in examined by the adverse party, she thereby
his pleading that there was no sexual intercourse presented evidence in form of a testimony.
between them. During the physical examination, Chi After such evidence was presented, it became
was asked to masturbate to find out whether or not he incumbent upon Chi to present his side. He
has an erection and the doctor found out that the penis admitted that since their marriage on May 22,
of Chi lengthened by 1 inch from the original size of 2 1988, until their separation on March 15,
inches. The doctor’s findings: Chi only has soft 1989, there was no sexual intercourse
erection but still capable of having sexual intercourse between them. Such testimonial evidence and
with a woman. The trial court annulled their marriage admission constitutes sufficient proof on the
holding that Chi’s refusal to have sexual intercourse material facts alleged.
with Gina is a sign of psychological incapacity and was
2. The conclusion drawn by the CA on the
affirmed by the CA.
admissions and confessions of the parties in their
pleadings and in the course of the trial is misplaces
Issue: Is the trial court correct? since it could have been a product of collusion;

 Ruling:
Chi’s contentions:
 The case has reached this Court because
1. The CA has no independent evidence to prove the petitioner does not want their marriage to be
alleged non-coitus because it merely relied on annulled. This only shows that there is no
Gina’s admission; and that in actions for collusion between the parties.
annulment of marriage, the material facts
alleged in the complaint shall always be  The issue of whether or not the appellant is
proved. psychologically incapacitated to discharge a
basic marital obligation was resolved upon a
Ruling: review of both the documentary and
testimonial evidence on record.
 Section 1, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court
reads: 3. The CA erred in holding that the alleged
refusal of both Chi and Gina to have sex with each
Section 1. Judgment on the
other constitutes psychological incapacity of both.
pleadings. — Where an answer fails
to tender an issue, or otherwise  Ruling:
admits the material allegations of the
adverse party's pleading, the court  Neither the trial court nor the CA made a
may, on motion of that party, direct finding on who between Chi and Gina refuses
judgment on such pleading. But in to have sexual contact with the other. The
actions for annulment of marriage or fact remains, however, that there has never
for legal separation the material facts been coitus between them.
 Senseless and protracted refusal is petitioners' failure and refusal, despite notice, to appear
equivalent to psychological incapacity. Thus, and submit an accounting report on the winding up of
the prolonged refusal of a spouse to have the partnership on the scheduled hearings on April 29
sexual intercourse with his or her spouse is and 30, 2002.
considered a sign of psychological incapacity.
Petitioners, on September 24, 2002, submitted
 One of the essential marital obligations their own CPA-certified valuation and accounting report.
under the Family Code is "To procreate In it, petitioners limited Chua's entitlement from the
children based on the universal principle winding up of partnership affairs to an aggregate
that procreation of children through sexual amount of PhP3,154,736.65 only. Chua, on the other
cooperation is the basic end of marriage." hand, submitted a new computation, this time applying
Constant non- fulfillment of this obligation simple interest on the various items covered by his
will finally destroy the integrity or claim. Under this methodology, Chua's aggregate claim
wholeness of the marriage. In the case at went down to PhP8,733,644.75.
bar, the senseless and protracted refusal
RTC issued a Resolution approving the new
of one of the parties to fulfill the above
computation of claims Chua submitted. Petitioners'
marital obligation is equivalent to
motion for reconsideration was rejected by the appellate
psychological incapacity.
court.

The sheriff of Manila levied upon petitioner


(26) Lilibeth Sunga-Chan, et al. vs. CA, et al.
Sunga-Chan's property over which a building leased to
G.R. No. 164401 June 25, 2008
the Philippine National Bank (PNB) stood. In the auction
sale of the levied lot, Chua, with a tender of PhP 8
Facts: million, emerged as the winning bidder. RTC, via a
Resolution, confirmed the sheriff's final deed of sale,
In 1977, Chua and Jacinto Sunga formed a ordered the Registry of Deeds of Manila to cancel TCT
partnership to engage in the marketing of liquefied No. 208782, and granted a writ of possession in favor of
petroleum gas. For convenience, the business, pursued Chua.
under the name, Shellite Gas Appliance Center
(Shellite), was registered as a sole proprietorship in the Issue:
name of Jacinto, albeit the partnership arrangement
Whether or not the absolute community of
called for equal sharing of the net profit.
property of spouses Lilibeth Sunga Chan with her
After Jacinto's death in 1989, his widow, husband Norberto Chan can be lawfully made to answer
petitioner Cecilia Sunga, and married daughter, for the liability of Lilibeth Chan under the judgment.
petitioner Lilibeth Sunga-Chan, continued with the
Ruling:
business without Chua's consent. Chua's subsequent
repeated demands for accounting and winding up went The Community Property is liable.
unheeded, prompting him to file on June 22, 1992 a
Complaint for Winding Up of a Partnership Affairs, Given the solidary liability of petitioners to satisfy the
Accounting, Appraisal and Recovery of Shares and judgment award, respondent sheriff cannot really be
Damages with Writ of Preliminary Attachment. faulted for levying upon and then selling at public
auction the property of petitioner Sunga-Chan to
Chua asked the admission of an accounting answer for the whole obligation of petitioners. The fact
report prepared by CPA Cheryl A. Gahuman. In the that the levied parcel of land is a conjugal or
report under the heading, Computation of community property, as the case may be, of spouses
Claims, Chua's aggregate claim, arrived at using the Norberto and Sunga-Chan does not per se vitiate the
compounding-of-interest method, amounted to levy and the consequent sale of the property. Verily,
PhP14,277,344.94. Subsequently, the RTC admitted said property is not among those exempted from
and approved the computation of claims in view of
execution under Section 13, 37 Rule 39 of the Rules excess of the purchase price over his legitimate
of Court. claims.
And it cannot be overemphasized that the Therefore, subject to the payment by Chua
TRO issued by the Court on May 31, 2005 came of PhP2,470,607.48 to petitioner Sunga-Chan, we
after the auction sale in question. affirm the RTC's April 11, 2005 resolution,
confirming the sheriff's final deed of sale of the
Parenthetically, the records show that
levied property, ordering the Registry of Deeds of
spouses Sunga-Chan and Norberto were married
Manila to cancel TCT No. 208782, and issuing a writ
on February 4, 1992, or after the effectivity of the
of possession in favor of Chua.
Family Code on August 3, 1988. Withal, their
absolute community property may be held liable for
the obligations contracted by either spouse.
(27) Corazon G. Ruiz vs. CA and Consuelo Torres
Specifically, Art. 94 of said Code pertinently
G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003
provides:
Art. 94. The absolute
community of property shall be FACTS:
liable for:
Corazon Ruiz contracted several loans with Consuelo
(1) . . . Torres. The loans were secured by a real estate
(2) All debts and mortgage on a lot registered in the name of “Corazon G.
obligations contracted during Ruiz, of legal age, married to Rogelio Ruiz, Filipinos.”
the marriage by the designated Corazon failed to pay the loans due; thus, Consuelo
administrator-spouse for the sought the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgaged
benefit of the community, or by property. Corazon filed a complaint to enjoin the
both spouses, or by one spouse foreclosure on the ground that the real estate mortgage
with the consent of the other. is unenforceable because of the lack of participation and
signature of Corazon’s husband to encumber a conjugal
(3) Debts and obligations
property.
contracted by either spouse
without the consent of the
The trial court granted the prayer for the issuance of a
other to the extent that the family
Temporary Restraining Order and issued a writ of
may have been benefited.
preliminary injunction. It held that the real estate
xxx mortgage is unenforceable because of the lack of the
participation and signature of petitioner’s husband. It
Absent any indication otherwise, the use
noted that although the subject real estate mortgage
and appropriation by petitioner Sunga-Chan of the
stated that petitioner was “attorney-in-fact for herself
assets of Shellite even after the business was
and her husband,” the Special Power of Attorney was
discontinued on May 30, 1992 may reasonably be
never presented in court during the trial.
considered to have been used for her and her
The Court of Appeals set aside the decision of the trial
husband's benefit.
court and lifted the permanent injunction on the
It may be stressed at this juncture that foreclosure.
Chua's legitimate claim against petitioners, as
readjusted in this disposition, amounts to only ISSUE:
PhP5,529,392.52, whereas Sunga-Chan's
auctioned property which Chua acquired, as the Whether or not the mortgaged property is conjugal.
highest bidder, fetched a price of PhP8 million. In
net effect, Chua owes petitioner Sunga-Chan the HELD:
amount of PhP2,470,607.48, representing the
No.
FACTS
We affirm the ruling of the appellate court that the real
Alberto Moreno (private respondent) filed with the
property covered by the subject deed of mortgage is
RTC a complaint against Hiyas Savings and Loan Bank,
paraphernal property.
Inc. (petitioner), his wife Remedios, the spouses Felipe
and Maria Owe and the Register of Deeds for
The property subject of the mortgage is registered in
cancellation of mortgage contending that he did not
the name of “Corazon G. Ruiz, of legal age, married to
secure any loan from petitioner, nor did he sign or
Rogelio Ruiz, Filipinos.” Thus, title is registered in the
execute any contract of mortgage in its favor; that his
name of Corazon alone because the phrase “married
wife, acting in conspiracy with Hiyas and the spouses
to Rogelio Ruiz” is merely descriptive of the civil status
Owe, who were the ones that benefited from the loan,
of Corazon and should not be construed to mean that
made it appear that he signed the contract of mortgage;
her husband is also a registered owner.
that he could not have executed the said contract
because he was then working abroad.
Furthermore, registration of the property in the name of
“Corazon G. Ruiz, of legal age, married to Rogelio Hiyas Bank filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground
Ruiz” is not proof that such property was acquired that Alberto failed to comply with Article 151 of the
during the marriage, and thus, is presumed to be Family Code, that since the complaint does not contain
conjugal. The property could have been acquired by any fact or averment that earnest efforts toward a
Corazon while she was still single and registered only compromise had been made prior to its institution, then
after her marriage to Rogelio Ruiz. Acquisition of title the complaint should be dismissed for lack of cause of
and registration thereof are two different acts. action.
Alberto filed his Comment on the Motion to Dismiss
The presumption under Article 116 of the Family Code with Motion to Strike Out and to Declare Hiyas Bank in
that properties acquired during the marriage are Default. He argues that in cases where one of the
presumed to be conjugal cannot apply in the instant parties is not a member of the same family as
case. Before such presumption can apply, it must first contemplated under Article 150 of the Family Code,
be established that the property was in fact acquired failure to allege in the complaint that earnest efforts
during the marriage. In other words, proof of toward a compromise had been made by the plaintiff
acquisition during the marriage is a condition sine qua before filing the complaint is not a ground for a motion
non for the operation of the presumption in favor of to dismiss. Alberto asserts that since three of the party-
conjugal ownership. No such proof was offered nor defendants are not members of his family the ground
presented in the case at bar. relied upon by Hiyas in its Motion to Dismiss is
inapplicable and unavailable. Alberto also prayed that
Thus, on the basis alone of the certificate of title, it defendants be declared in default for their failure to file
cannot be presumed that said property was acquired their answer on time.
during the marriage and that it is conjugal property.
Since there is no showing as to when the property in The RTC denied the Motion to Dismiss, a
question was acquired, the fact that the title is in the compromise is not required before the filing of the
name of the wife alone is determinative of its nature as instant case considering that the case involves parties
paraphernal, i.e., belonging exclusively to said spouse. who are strangers to the family. It is a rule that If one of
The only import of the title is that Corazon is the owner the parties is a stranger, failure to allege in the complaint
of said property, the same having been registered in that earnest efforts towards a compromise had been
her name alone, and that she is married to Rogelio made by plaintiff before filing the complaint, is not a
Ruiz. ground for motion to dismiss.
Insofar as plaintiff’s prayer for declaration of default
(28) HIYAS SAVINGS AND LOAN BANK, INC. against defendants, the same is meritorious only with
EDMUNDO T. ACUNA respect to defendants Remedios and the Register of
G.R. NO. 154132 Deeds. A declaration of default against defendant bank
is not proper considering that the filing of the Motion to between or among relatives more often than not entail.
Dismiss by said defendant operates to stop the running Besides, it is neither practical nor fair that the
of the period within which to file the required Answer. determination of the rights of a stranger to the family
who just happened to have innocently acquired some
Hiyas Bank filed a Motion for Partial
kind of interest in any right or property disputed among
Reconsideration which RTC denied reiterating its ruling
its members should be made to depend on the way the
and that it agrees with plaintiff that inasmuch as it is
latter would settle their differences among themselves.
defendant Remedios Moreno who stands to be
benefited by Art. 151 of the Family Code, being a Hence, once a stranger becomes a party to a suit
member of the same family as that of plaintiff, only she involving members of the same family, the law no longer
may invoke said Art. 151. makes it a condition precedent that earnest efforts be
made towards a compromise before the action can
Hence, the instant Petition for Certiorari.
prosper.
2. NO.
ISSUE
Article 151 of the Family Code and Article 222 of
1. Whether or not lack of earnest efforts toward a the Civil Code are clear that the provisions therein apply
compromise is a ground for a motion to dismiss in to suits involving "members of the same family" as
suits between husband and wife when other parties contemplated under Article 150 of the Family Code, to
who are strangers to the family are involved in the wit:
suit?
ART. 150. Family relations include those
2. Whether or not Petitioner Hiyas Savings and
Loan Bank Inc. Can invoke article 151 of the Family (1) Between husband and wife;
Code? (2) Between parents and children;

(3) Among other ascendants and descendants; and


RULING
(4) Among brothers and sisters, whether of the full
(This case was dismissed for failure to comply with or half blood.
the principle of judicial hierarchy but SC still
and Article 217 of the Civil Code, to wit:
explained why Hiyas bank’s contention lacks merit)
1. NO. ART. 217. Family relations shall include those:

Article 151 of the Family Code provides as follows: (1) Between husband and wife;

No suit between members of the same family (2) Between parent and child;
shall prosper unless it should appear from the
verified complaint or petition that earnest efforts (3) Among other ascendants and their
toward a compromise have been made, but that the descendants;
same have failed. If it is shown that no such efforts (4) Among brothers and sisters.
were in fact made, the case must be dismissed.
The Court has ruled that the requirement under
The court ruled in the Magbaleta Case that these Article 151 of the Family Code is applicable only in
considerations do not, however, weigh enough to make cases which are exclusively between or among
it imperative that such efforts to compromise should be members of the same family, it necessarily follows that
a jurisdictional pre-requisite for the maintenance of an the same may be invoked only by a party who is a
action whenever a stranger to the family is a party member of that same family, as provided for by Article
thereto, whether as a necessary or indispensable one. 150 of the Family Code.
It is not always that one who is alien to the family would
be willing to suffer the inconvenience of, much less
relish, the delay and the complications that wranglings (30) Edwin N. Tribiana vs. Lourdes M. Tribiana
G.R. No. 137359 September 13, 2004 child. Technicalities should not stand in the way of giving
such child of tender age full protection. This rule has
sound statutory basis in Article 213 of the Family Code,
FACTS: Edwin Tribiana & Lourdes Tribiana are which states, “No child under seven years of age shall
husband and wife. Lourdes filed a petition for habeas be separated from the mother unless the court finds
corpus before the Regional Trial Court claiming that compelling reasons to order otherwise.”
Edwin left their conjugal home with their daughter
Khriza Mae, 1 year and 4 months old, depriving her of (31) Perla Patricio v. Marcelino Dario III, et al.
lawful custody. (It turned our that Khriza was being held G.R. No. 170829. November 20, 2006.
by Edwin's mother, Rosalina). Edwin moved to dismiss
Lourdes' petition on the ground that it failed to allege FACTS:
that earnest efforts at a compromise were made as
On 1987, Marcelino V. Dario died intestate. He was
required by Article 151 of the Family Code. Lourdes
survived by his wife, petitioner Perla G. Patricio and their
filed her opposition to Edwin’s motion to dismiss
two sons, Marcelino Marc Dario and private respondent
claiming that there were prior efforts at a compromise
Marcelino G. Dario III. Among the properties he left was
but failed. She attached the Certification to file Action
a parcel of land with a residential house and a pre-
from their barangay. RTC denied Edwin’s motion to
school building built thereon situated in Quezon
dismiss and reiterated a previous order requiring Edwin
City.They extrajudicially settled the estate. Thereafter,
and his mother to bring Khriza Mae before the RTC.
petitioner and Marcelino Marc formally advised private
Edwin filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for
respondent of their intention to partition the subject
prohibition and certiorari. The CA denied Edwin’s
property and terminate the co-ownership. Private
petition and also the motion for reconsideration.
respondent refused to partition the property hence
petitioner and Marcelino Marc instituted an action for
partition before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.
ISSUE:
Whether the Trial Court and the Appellate Court, should
have dismissed the petition for habeas corpus on the On 2002, the trial court ordered the partition of the
ground of failure to comply with the condition precedent subject property in the following manner: Perla G.
under art. 151 of Family code. Patricio, 4/6; Marcelino Marc G. Dario, 1/6; and
Marcelino G. Dario III, 1/6. Private respondent filed a
HELD: motion for reconsideration which was denied by the trial
NO. court, hence he appealed before the Court of Appeals,
which denied the same. However, upon a motion for
Article 151 of the Family Code provides: "No suit reconsideration filed by private respondent, the
between members of the same family shall prosper appellate court partially reconsidered.
unless it should appear from the verified complaint or
petition that earnest efforts toward a compromise have Private respondent claims that the subject property
been made, but that the same have failed. If it is shown which is the family home duly constituted by spouses
that no such efforts were in fact made, the case must be Marcelino and Perla Dario cannot be partitioned while a
dismissed." minor beneficiary is still living therein namely, his 12-
year-old son, who is the grandson of the decedent. He
While it is true that Lourdes failed to allege that she argues that as long as the minor is living in the family
resorted to compromise proceedings before filing the home, the same continues as such until the beneficiary
petition, the Barangay Certification to File Action becomes of age.
displayed that the parties tried to compromise but were
unsuccessful in their efforts. In habeas corpus On the other hand, petitioner alleges that the subject
proceeding involving the welfare and custody of a child property remained as a family home of the surviving
of tender age, the paramount concern is to resolve heirs of the late Marcelino V. Dario only up to July 5,
immediately the issue of who has legal custody of the 1997, which was the 10th year from the date of death of
the decedent. Petitioner argues that the brothers periods lapse, the property may be partitioned by the
Marcelino Marc and private respondent Marcelino III heirs. The intention of the law is to safeguard and
were already of age at the time of the death of their protect the interests of the minor beneficiary until he
father, hence there is no more minor beneficiary to reaches legal age and would now be capable of
speak of. supporting himself.

The Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint for Thus, the issue for resolution now is whether Marcelino
partition filed by petitioner and Marcelino Marc for lack Lorenzo R. Dario IV, the minor son of private
of merit. respondent, can be considered as a beneficiary under
Article 154 of the Family Code.
ISSUE: Is partition of the family home is proper?
As to the first requisite, the term “descendants”
RULING: contemplates all descendants of the person or persons
who constituted the family home without distinction;
Yes. hence, it must necessarily include the grandchildren and
great grandchildren of the spouses who constitute a
The family home is a sacred symbol of family love and family home. Thus, private respondent’s minor son, who
is the repository of cherished memories that last during is also the grandchild of deceased Marcelino V. Dario
one’s lifetime. It is the dwelling house where husband satisfies the first requisite.
and wife, or by an unmarried head of a family, reside,
including the land on which it is situated. From the time As to the second requisite, minor beneficiaries must be
of its constitution and so long as any of its beneficiaries actually living in the family home to avail of the benefits
actually resides therein, the family home continues to be derived from Art. 159. Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IV
such and is exempt from execution, forced sale or has been living in the family home since 1994, or within
attachment except as hereinafter provided and to the 10 years from the death of the decedent, hence, he
extent of the value allowed by law. satisfies the second requisite.

Article 154 of the Family Code enumerates who are the However, as to the third requisite, Marcelino Lorenzo R.
beneficiaries of a family home: (1) The husband and Dario IV cannot demand support from his paternal
wife, or an unmarried person who is the head of a family; grandmother if he has parents who are capable of
and (2) Their parents, ascendants, descendants, supporting him. The liability for legal support falls
brothers and sisters, whether the relationship be primarily on Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IV’s parents,
legitimate or illegitimate, who are living in the family especially his father, herein private respondent who is
home and who depend upon the head of the family for the head of his immediate family. The law first imposes
legal support. To be a beneficiary of the family home, the obligation of legal support upon the shoulders of the
three requisites must concur: (1) they must be among parents, especially the father, and only in their default is
the relationships enumerated in Art. 154 of the Family the obligation imposed on the grandparents.
Code; (2) they live in the family home; and (3) they are
dependent for legal support upon the head of the family. With this finding, there is no legal impediment to partition
the subject property.
Moreover, Article 159 of the Family Code provides that
the family home shall continue despite the death of one (31) JOSE E. HONRADO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
or both spouses or of the unmarried head of the family G.R. NO. 166333. November 25, 2005
for a period of 10 years or for as long as there is a minor
beneficiary, and the heirs cannot partition the same FACTS:
unless the court finds compelling reasons therefor. This On December 11, 1997, Premium Agro-Vet
rule shall apply regardless of whoever owns the Products, Inc. (Premium) filed with the RTC of Quezon
property or constituted the family home. After these City a complaint for sum of money against Jose
Honrado, who was doing business under the name and period had already lapsed, without any redemption
style of J.E. Honrado Enterprises. Premium sought to being made by Honrado. The latter opposed the said
collect the amount of P240,765.00 representing the total motion claiming that the RTC of Calamba, Laguna, had
price of veterinary products purchased on credit by already rendered a decision declaring the property a
Honrado. For failure of Honrado, as well as his counsel, family home.
to appear at the pre-trial conference, he was declared in Subsequently, the respondent Judge issued an
default. Premium was, thus, allowed to present Order granting the motion of Premium and directing
evidence ex parte. Honrado to: (1) execute a final deed of conveyance over
It turned out that the Spouses Jose and the subject parcel of land the Registry of Deeds of
Andrerita Honrado had filed a petition with the RTC of Calamba, Laguna; and (2) surrender of the subject title.
Calamba City for the Judicial constitution of the parcel The respondent Judge further ordered that after
of land registered in Honrado’s name located in execution of the deed of conveyance, a writ of
Calamba, Laguna, and the house thereon, as their possession be issued over the aforesaid property in
family house. In his petition, Honrado declared that his favor of Premium and against the Honrado or his
creditors were Atty. Domingo Luciano, P & J Agriculture successors-in-interest who are in possession of the said
Trading, Inc., and Mr. Tito Dela Merced, and that the premises.
estimated value of the property was not more than Honrado filed a petition for certiorari with the CA
P240,000.00. On February 23, 1999, the RTC rendered assailing the Resolution of the RTC. However, the CA
judgment in favor of Premium directing Honrado to pay dismissed the petition. The CA ruled that the Honrado
the former. failed to assert his claim for exemption at the time of the
Honrado filed a Notice of Appeal, however it levy or within a reasonable time thereafter. On
was dismissed for his failure to file his brief as appellant. December 2, 2004, the CA denied the motion for
Thus, entry of judgment was made. Subsequently, reconsideration filed by Honrado.
Premium filed a Motion for Issuance of Writ of
Execution. The RTC granted and the writ was issued. ISSUE:
The Sheriff levied on the parcel of land of the Whether or not Article 153 of the Family Code
Honrado’s located in Calamba. The Notice of Levy was is applicable in the instant case.
annotated at the dorsal portion of the title and later set
the sale of the property at public auction. Honrado was
RULING:
served with a copy of the notice of such sale but he
NO. The petition has no merit.
opposed the same.
On May 17, 2001, the property was sold to
Article 153 of the Family Code provides that the
Premium, the highest bidder, for the amount of
family home is deemed constituted on a house and lot
P650,204.10.8. The corresponding Certificate of Sale
from the time it is occupied as the family residence.
then was issued and annotated at the dorsal portion of
From the time of its constitution and so long as its
the title. Honrado failed to redeem the property.
beneficiaries actually resides therein, the family home
In the meantime, the RTC of Calamba City
continues to be such and is exempt from execution,
rendered a Decision on the special proceeding case
forced sale or attachment, except as hereinafter
filed by the Honrados, declaring the property a family
provided and to the extent of the value allowed by Law.
home. Honrado filed a Motion to Declare Properties
A family home is a real right, which is gratuitous,
Exempt from Execution under Article 155 of the Family
inalienable and free from attachment, constituted over
Code of the Philippines. Premium opposed the motion.
the dwelling place and the land on which it is situated,
The RTC denied said motion on the ground that
which confers upon a particular family the right to enjoy
Honrado is deemed to have waived the exemption
such properties, which must remain with the person
considering that he failed to object to the sale of the
constituting it and his heirs. It cannot be seized by
property on execution.
creditors except in certain special cases. Such provision
On October 14, 2002, Premium filed a Motion
finds no application in this case.
for Issuance of Final Deed of Conveyance and Writ of
Possession asserting that the one-year redemption
Petitioner and his wife failed to disclose in their remanded the case to the court a quo to determine the
petition for the judicial constitution of a family home that rights of Cabang.
Premium Agro-Vet Products, Inc. is one of their creditors
considering the fact that the collection case filed against The RTC disclosed its difficulty in resolving whether the
Honrado was filed in 1997 or prior to the institution of houses may be the subject of and order of execution
said petition in 1998. Petitioner never raised the since they are family homes. Basay filed a Manifestation
argument of exemption of his family home before the and Motion for Execution which was denied by the RTC.
trial court before and during the auction sale. It is well- Basay elevated this to the CA which reversed the RTC’s
settled that the right of exemption must be claimed by Order of denying the Motion for Execution. Cabang filed
the debtor himself at the time of levy or within a a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by the
reasonable period thereafter. It is self-evident that CA. Cabang insists that the property is a duly
petitioner did not assert their claim of exemption within constituted family home which is not subject to
a reasonable time. Any claim for exemption from execution.
execution of properties under Section 12 of Rule 39 of
the Rules of Court must be presented before its sale on
execution by the sheriff. Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in reversing the
We find that such actions reveal a dilatory intent judgment of the RTC.
to render nugatory the sale on execution and defeat the
very purpose of execution—to put an end to litigation.
Ruling:
(33) Case Title: Simoeon Cabang, Virginia Cabang
and Venancio Cabang alias “Dondon” v. Mr. & Mrs. No.
Guillermo Basay
Art. 153 of the Family Code provides that, “the family
GR No. 180587 March 20, 2009
home is deemed constituted from the time it is occupied
as a family residence. From the time of its constitution
Facts: and so long as any of its beneficiaries actually resides
therein, the family home continues to be such and is
Odong was the registered owner of Lot No. 7777 but he exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment
and his heirs never occupied nor took possession of the except as hereinafter provided and to the extent of the
lot. In 1987, Basay bought the land from Odong for value allowed by law. Moreover, Kelley, Jr. v Planters
P8,000.00 but did not occupy the property as well. On Products, Inc. provides that, “the family home must be
the other hand, Cabang had been in continuous, open, part of the properties of the absolute community or the
peaceful and adverse possession of the same parcel of conjugal partnership, or of the exclusive properties of
land since 1956 on the belief that they were actually either spouse with the latter's consent, or on the
occupying Lot No. 7778. Lot No. 7778 was actually used property of the unmarried head of the family.
by the government as a public road.
Here, the land on which the alleged family home of
Basay filed a complaint with the RTC for the Recovery Cabang stands is owned by Basay and the question of
of Property against Cabang. The RTC ruled in favour of ownership had been decided with finality in the CA. The
Cabang and held that Basay’s rights to recover the land petioner’s stay therein was only by mere tolerance by
had been barred by laches. The CA reversed this Basay. Further to this, the SC also held that the family
decision and held that Basay is entitled to the home must be established on the properties of (a) the
possession of the lot, subject to the rights of Cabang absolute community, or (b) the conjugal partnership, or
under Articles 448, 546, 547, and 548 of the New Civil (c) the exclusive property of either spouse with the
Code. Cabang filed a Petition for Review before the SC consent of the other. It cannot be established on
which issued a Resolution denying such petition for late property held in co-ownership with third persons.
filing and lack of appropriate service, which became
final and executory on 15 February 2000. The SC
(34) Jose Lam v. Adriana Chua there was already a provision for support of the child
GR No. 131286 March 18, 2004 as embodied in the decision9 dated February 28, 1994
of the Makati RTC wherein he and Adriana agreed to
contribute P250,000.00 each to a common fund for the
FACTS: benefit of the child.
Adriana Chua filed a petition for declaration of nullity of Pasay RTC issued an Order denying Jose Lam’s
marriage against Jose Lam in the Regional Trial Court motion for reconsideration ruling that the compromise
of Pasay City (Branch 109). Adriana alleged that they agreement entered into by the parties and approved by
got married and begot one son, John Paul Chua Lam the Makati RTC before the marriage was declared null
and alleged that Jose was psychologically and void ab initio by the Pasay RTC, is of no moment
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital and cannot limit and/or affect the support ordered by
obligations of marriage but said incapacity was not the latter court.
then apparent; such psychological incapacity of Jose
became manifest only after the celebration of the He appealed to the CA but it affirmed the decision of
marriage when he frequently failed to go home, RTC Pasay.
indulged in womanizing and irresponsible activities.
Thereafter, she was forced to agree with Jose on the ISSUE:
dissolution of their conjugal partnership of gains and
WETHER OR NOT THE CA ERRED IN DECIDING
the separation of present and future properties; said
LEGAL QUESTIONS OF SUBSTANCE NOT IN
agreement was approved by the Regional Trial Court
ACCORDANCE WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE
of Makati City (Branch 149 and they have agreed that
IN FINDING THAT THE TRIAL COURT’S RULING
the custody of their child will be with her, subject to
THAT THE COMPROMISE AGREEMENT BETWEEN
visitation rights of Jose. Adriana prayed that the
PETITIONER AND RESPONDENT WHERE THEY
marriage between her and Jose be declared null and
BOUND THEMSELVES TO CONTRIBUTE THE
void but she failed to claim and pray for the support of
AMOUNT OF TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND
their child, John Paul.
PESOS (P250,000.00) TO A COMMON FUND FOR
The trial court then set the case for hearing. The lone THE BENEFIT OF THEIR CHILD DOES NOT BAR
witness was Adriana herself. She testified that her THE TRIAL COURT IN ANNULMENT CASE TO
marriage with Jose was arranged by her parents in the AGAIN AWARD SUPPORT IN FAVOR OF THE
traditional Chinese way. No evidence was presented CHILD.
regarding the amount of support needed by John Paul
ISSUE:
or the capacity of Jose to give support.
Whether or not the proceedings conducted by the
On June 23, 1994, Adriana filed an Urgent Motion to
Pasay RTC and the decision it rendered, as affirmed
Re-Open which was granted on the ground that she
by the Court of Appeals were proper.
was able to secure additional new evidence showing
that Jose had been married twice before he married HELD:
Adriana in 1984.
The Pasay RTC and the Court of Appeals are both
RTC Pasay hereby declares the marriage between correct insofar as they ruled that the amount of support
petitioner Adriana Chua and respondent Jose Lam null is by no means permanent. Judgment for support does
and void for being bigamous by nature and ordered to not become final. The right to support is of such nature
give a monthly support to his son John Paul Chua Lam that its allowance is essentially provisional; for during
in the amount of P20,000.00. the entire period that a needy party is entitled to
support, his or her alimony may be modified or altered,
Jose filed a Motion for Reconsideration8 thereof but
in accordance with his increased or decreased needs,
only insofar as the decision awarded monthly support
and with the means of the giver. It cannot be regarded
to his son in the amount of P20,000.00. He argued that
as subject to final determination.
No. The Court has no other recourse but to reverse the
decision of the Court of Appeals and Pasay RTC
In the interest of orderly administration of justice, the insofar as the award of support is concerned and order
Court deems it proper that the issue on support should the remand of the case to Pasay RTC for further
be resolved by the Pasay RTC where the claim for proceedings as to the issue regarding support.
support of the child was initiated by Adriana.

The trial court’s action of merely ordering in open court


during the July 6, 1994 hearing that a prayer for (36) Edward V. Lacson vs Maowee and Maonaa
support be written and inserted in the petition filed by Daban Lacson represented by their mother and
respondent Adriana does not constitute proper guardian ad litem, Lea Daban Lacson
GR No. 150644, August 28, 2006
amendment and notice upon petitioner Jose.
Consequently, herein petitioner Jose was deprived of
due process when the trial court proceeded to hear the Facts:
case on a motion to re-open and render judgment
without giving Jose the requisite notice and the Petitioners A and B are legitimate daughters of X. Not long
after the birth of the B, herein petitioner X left their conjugal
opportunity to refute the new claim against him.
home in Ilo-Ilo City. Due to financial difficulties, Leah and her
two daughters were forced to live with her mother in law, then
Verily, the manner by which the trial court arrived at
her mother and brother N (Noel Daban). M (Leah) did not
the amount of support awarded to John Paul was
badger X for support from the start of their estrangement but
whimsical, arbitrary and without any basis. X made his commitment to give support to his daughters which
was memorialized in a note. However, Xfailed to fulfil his
The Pasay RTC should have been aware that in promise. In 1995, M filed a complaint against X for support in
determining the amount of support to be awarded, behalf of her daughters and in the complaint, it was alleged
such amount should be in proportion to the resources that though X was able to give meager amounts occasionally,
or means of the giver and the necessities of the but nevertheless, he failed to give support since 1976 despite
recipient, pursuant to Articles 194, 201 and 202 of the being gainfully employed and owning pieces of lands. They
Family Code, to wit: also alleged that with the neglect and failure of X to give
support, M (mother) had from time to time borrow money from
Art. 194. Support comprises everything indispensable her brother N and her debt to N reached around 400K-600K.In
for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, their complaint, M and her children prayed for P12, 000
education and transportation, in keeping with the monthly allowance. In his answer, X argued that the land he
owns were unproductive and he has no regular income, and
financial capacity of the family.
such were the reasons why he was not able to give support
and not the intentional neglect and that due to financial
The education of the person entitled to be supported
constraints, he won’t be able to provide the P12,000 monthly
referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his
allowance prayed for.
schooling or training for some profession, trade or
vocation, even beyond the age of majority. After due hearing, the RTC granted the support of P12,000
Transportation shall include expenses in going to and monthly allowace and a specific sum which represented 216
from school, or to and from place of work. months or 18 years of support in arrears. X appealed to the
CA, affirmed RTC’s Ruling. X moved for reconsideration, and
Art. 201. The amount of support, in the cases referred it was denied. Thus this petition.
to in Articles 19521and 196,22 shall be in proportion to
the resources or means of the giver and to the ISSUE:
necessities of the recipient.
WON CA erred when It affirmed the grant of support in arrears
Art. 202. Support in the cases referred to in the from 1976 to 1994 since there is no demand.
preceding article shall be reduced or increased
proportionately, according to the reduction or increase
of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or
means of the person obliged to furnish the same.
Ruling: of stocks levied on by the sheriff were acquired by her and her
husband during their marriage out of conjugal funds after the
No, CA did not err. Citycorp Investment Philippines was established in 1974. She,
likewise, alleged that being the wife of Alfredo Ching, she was
Article 203 - The obligation to give support shall be a third-party claimant entitled to file a motion for the release of
demandable from the time the person who has a right to the properties. She attached therewith a copy of her marriage
receive the same needs it for maintenance, but it shall not be contract with Alfredo Ching.
paid except from the date of judicial or extrajudicial demand.
ISSUE:
To petitioner, his obligation to pay under the aforequoted Is the conjugal partnership liable for the payment of the
provision starts from the filing of Civil Case No. 22185 in 1995, liability?
since only from that moment can it be said that an effective
demand for support was made upon him. RULING:
Article 160 of the New Civil Code provides that all the
For another, the requisite demand for support appears to have properties acquired during the marriage are presumed to
been made sometime in 1975. It may be that Lea made no belong to the conjugal partnership; unless it be proved that it
extrajudicial demand in the sense of a formal written demand pertains exclusively to the husband, or to the wife. In Tan v.
in terms and in the imperious tenor commonly used by legal Court of Appeals, the court held that it is not even necessary
advocates in a demand letter. Nonetheless, what would pass to prove that the properties were acquired with funds of the
as a demand was, however, definitely made. Asking one to partnership. As long as the properties were acquired by the
comply with his obligation to support owing to the urgency of parties during the marriage, they are presumed to be conjugal
the situation is no less a demand because it came by way of a in nature. In fact, even when the manner in which the
request or a plea. As it were, the trial court found that a properties were acquired does not appear, the presumption
demand to sustain an award of support in arrears had been will still apply, and the properties will still be considered
made in this case. conjugal. The presumption of the conjugal nature of the
properties acquired during the marriage subsists in the
absence of clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence to
overcome the same.
(38) Alfredo Ching vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 124642, February 23, 2004 In this case, the evidence adduced by the petitioners in the
RTC is that the 100,000 shares of stocks in the Citycorp
FACTS: Investment Philippines were issued to and registered in its
The Philippine Blooming Mills Company, Inc. (PBMCI) corporate books in the name of the petitioner-husband when
obtained a loan of P9,000,000 from the Allied Banking the said corporation was incorporated on May 14, 1979. This
Corporation (ABC). As an added security for the said loan, was done during the subsistence of the marriage of the
Alfredo Ching, together with Emilio Tadeo and Chung Kiat petitioner-spouses. The shares of stocks are, thus, presumed
Hua, executed a continuing guaranty with the ABC binding to be the conjugal partnership property of the petitioners. The
them to jointly and severally guarantee the payment of all the private respondent failed to adduce evidence that the
PBMCI obligations owing to the ABC. The PBMCI defaulted in petitioner-husband acquired the stocks with his exclusive
the payment of all its loans. money. The barefaced fact that the shares of stocks were
registered in the corporate books of Citycorp Investment
Hence, the ABC filed a complaint for sum of money with prayer Philippines solely in the name of the petitioner-husband does
for a writ of preliminary attachment. Citing as one of the not constitute proof that the petitioner-husband, not the
grounds for the writ was the fraud defendants employed in conjugal partnership, owned the same.
incurring the obligations by representing themselves as having
the financial capacity to pay the loan when in fact they did not
For the conjugal partnership to be liable for a liability that
have such capacity. In the meantime, on July 26, 1983, the
should appertain to the husband alone there must be a
deputy sheriff of the trial court levied on attachment the
showing that some advantages accrued to the spouses.
100,000 common shares of Citycorp stocks in the name of
Certainly, to make a conjugal partnership responsible for a
Alfredo Ching.
liability that should appertain alone to one of the spouses is to
frustrate the objective of the New Civil Code to show the
On November 16, 1993, Encarnacion T. Ching, assisted by utmost concern for the solidarity and well being of the family
her husband Alfredo Ching, filed a Motion to Set Aside the levy as a unit. The husband, therefore, is denied the power to
on attachment. She alleged inter alia that the 100,000 shares
assume unnecessary and unwarranted risks to the financial appeal of the said case the lower issued a writ of
stability of the conjugal partnership. execution and thereafter, the deputy sheriff caused the
issuance and service upon respondent spouses of the
In this case, the private respondent failed to prove that the notice of sheriff sale on three of their conjugal
conjugal partnership of the petitioners was benefited by the properties.
petitioner-husband’s act of executing a continuing guaranty
and suretyship agreement with the private respondent for and Private respondents filed a case of
in behalf of PBMCI. The contract of loan was between the injunction against petitioners with the then Court of
private respondent and the PBMCI, solely for the benefit of the
First Instance of Rizal (Pasig) to enjoin the auction sale
latter. No presumption can be inferred from the fact that when
alleging that petitioners cannot enforce the judgment
the petitioner-husband entered into an accommodation
agreement or a contract of surety, the conjugal partnership against the conjugal partnership levied on the ground
would thereby be benefited. The private respondent was that, among others, the subject loan did not redound to
burdened to establish that such benefit redounded to the the benefit of the said conjugal partnership. Upon
conjugal partnership. application of private respondents, the lower court
issued a temporary restraining order to prevent
If the husband himself is the principal obligor in the contract, petitioner Magsajo from proceeding with the
i.e., he directly received the money and services to be used in enforcement of the writ of execution and with the sale
or for his own business or his own profession, that contract of the said properties at public auction. Upon petition of
falls within the term “… obligations for the benefit of the certiorari by AIDC , the CA issued a TRO enjoining the
conjugal partnership.” Here, no actual benefit may be proved.
lower court, thus paving the way for the scheduled
It is enough that the benefit to the family is apparent at the time
auction sale of respondents-spouses conjugal
of the signing of the contract. From the very nature of the
contract of loan or services, the family stands to benefit from
properties. A certificate of sale was issued to AIDC,
the loan facility or services to be rendered to the business or being the only bidder for the property. Whether the
profession of the husband. It is immaterial, if in the end, his loan obtained by PBM as surety by Alfredo
business or profession fails or does not succeed. Simply Ching redounded to the conjugal partnership of the
stated, where the husband contracts obligations on behalf of spouses?
the family business, the law presumes, and rightly so, that
such obligation will redound to the benefit of the conjugal Petitioner AIDC contends that there is no need to
partnership. In this case, the petitioner-husband acted merely prove that actual benefit redounded to the benefit of
as a surety for the loan contracted by the PBMCI from the the partnership; all that is necessary, they say, is that
private respondent. The petition is GRANTED. The Decision the transaction was entered into for the benefit of the
and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are SET ASIDE AND
conjugal partnership. Thus, petitioners aver that: The
REVERSED. The assailed orders of the RTC are AFFIRMED.
wordings of Article 161 of the Civil Code is very clear:
for the partnership to be held liable, the husband must
(39) Ayala Investment and Development Corp. vs.
have contracted the debt "for the benefit of the
CA (1998)
partnership. Petitioners further contend that the ruling
G.R. No.118305 Feb. 12, 1998
of the respondent court runs counter to the
pronouncement of this Court in the case of Cobb-
PBM obtained loan from petitioner AIDC worth Perez vs. Lantin, that the husband as head of the
50,300,000Php. As an added security to the credit, the family and as administrator of the conjugal partnership
Executive VP of PBM Alfredo Ching makes himself is presumed to have contracted obligations for the
jointly and severally answerable with PBM's benefit of the family or the conjugal partnership.
indebtedness to AIDC. Upon PBM’s failure to pay the Contrary to the contention of the petitioners, the case
loan, AIDC filed a case for sum of money against PBM of Cobb-Perez is not applicable in the case at bar. This
and respondent Ching in the CFI of Pasig as Civil Court has, on several instances, interpreted the term
Case No. 42228. After trial, the court rendered "for the benefit of the conjugal partnership."
decision in favor of AIDC ordering PBM and Alfredo
From the foregoing jurisprudential rulings of this
Ching to jointly and severally pay AIDC the principal
Court, we can derive the following conclusions:
amount of the loan with interests. Upon pending
(A) If the husband himself is the principal obligor in the surety became part of his profession. Neither could he
contract, i.e., he directly received the money and be presumed to have acted for the conjugal
services to be used in or for his own business or his partnership. Article 121, paragraph 3, of the Family
own profession, that contract falls within the term . . . . Code is emphatic that the payment of personal debts
obligations for the benefit of the conjugal partnership." contracted by the husband or the wife before or during
Here, no actual benefit may be proved. It is enough the marriage shall not be charged to the conjugal
that the benefit to the family is apparent at the time of partnership except to the extent that they redounded to
the signing of the contract. From the very nature of the the benefit of the family.
contract of loan or services, the family stands to benefit
from the loan facility or services to be rendered to the Here, the property in dispute also involves the
business or profession of the husband. It is immaterial, family home. The loan is a corporate loan not a
if in the end, his business or profession fails or does personal one. Signing as a surety is certainly not an
not succeed. Simply stated, where the husband exercise of an industry or profession nor an act of
contracts obligations on behalf of the family business, administration for the benefit of the family. Petition
the law presumes, and rightly so, that such obligation DISMISSED.
will redound to the benefit of the conjugal partnership.

(B) On the other hand, if the money or services are


(40) Syed Azhar (Syed) Abbas vs. Gloria Goo
given to another person or entity, and the husband
(Gloria) Abbas
acted only as a surety or guarantor, that contract
G.R. No. 183896 January 30, 2013
cannot, by itself, alone be categorized as falling within
the context of "obligations for the benefit of the
conjugal partnership." The contract of loan or services Facts:
is clearly for the benefit of the principal debtor and not
for the surety or his family. No presumption can be Syed filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of his
inferred that, when a husband enters into a contract of marriage to Gloria on the ground of absence of a
surety or accommodation agreement, it is "for the marriage license as provided for in Article 4 of the
benefit of the conjugal partnership." Proof must be Family Code. However, in their marriage contract, it
presented to establish benefit redounding to the stated that an issued marriage license No. 9969967 was
conjugal partnership. The loan procured from presented to the solemnizing officer.
respondent-appellant AIDC was for the advancement
and benefit of Philippine Blooming Mills and not for the Arguments of Petitioner Syed:
benefit of the conjugal partnership of petitioners-
In 1991, Syed, a Pakistani citizen met Gloria, a Filipina,
appellees. Philippine Blooming Mills has a personality
in Taiwan. The following year they got married at Taipei
distinct and separate from the family of petitioners-
Mosque. The same year he arrived in the Philippines. In
appellees — this despite the fact that the members of
January 1993, when he was at his mother-in-laws
the said family happened to be stockholders of said
residence, he was told that for him to stay in the
corporate entity. Signing as a surety is not embarking
Philippines, he must undergo some ceremony and was
in a business.This is not to say, however, that we are
not told of the nature of said ceremony, where he and
unaware that executives are often asked to stand as
Gloria signed a document. It turned out, it was a
surety for their company's loan obligations. This is
wedding ceremony.
especially true if the corporate officials have sufficient
property of their own; otherwise, their spouses' In 2003, he went to the Office of the Civil Registrar of
signatures are required in order to bind the conjugal Carmona, Cavite, to check on their marriage license. He
partnerships. showed a show a copy of their marriage contract
wherein the marriage license number could not be
The fact that on several occasions the lending
found. It was confirmed that the Municipal Civil Registrar
institutions did not require the signature of the wife and
issued a certification on July 11, 2003 to the effect that
the husband signed alone does not mean that being a
the marriage license number appearing in the marriage
contract Syed submitted was the number of another the marriage license, and that a week before the
marriage license issued to a certain Arlindo Getalado marriage was to take place, a male person went to their
and Myra Mabilangan. house with the application for marriage license. Three
days later, the same person went back to their house,
Syed testified that Gloria had filed bigamy cases against showed her the marriage license before returning it to
him in 2001 and 2002, and that he had gone to the Atty. Sanchez who then gave it to Rev. Dauz, the
Municipal Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite to get solemnizing officer. She further testified that she did not
certification on whether or not there was a marriage read all of the contents of the marriage license, and that
license on advice of his counsel. she was told that the marriage license was obtained
from Carmona.
Arguments of Defendant Gloria:

Gloria stated that she and Syed had already been


Issue:
married on August 9, 1992 in Taiwan, but that she did
not know if said marriage had been celebrated under Whether or not the marriage license was validly
Muslim rites, because the one who celebrated their obtained.
marriage was Chinese, and those around them at the
time were Chinese. Ruling:

Gloria presented Reverend Mario Dauz, Atty. Lorenzo No.


Sanchez, Felicitas Goo (defendants mother) and May
Ann Ceriola as witnesses. Reveren Dauz testified that As the marriage of Gloria and Syed was solemnized on
he was a minister of the Gospel and a barangay captain, January 9, 1993, Executive Order No. 209, or the Family
and that he is authorized to solemnize marriages, that Code of the Philippines, is the applicable law.
he solemnized the marriage of Syed Azhar Abbas and
The pertinent provisions that would apply to this
Gloria Goo at the residence of the bride on January 9,
particular case are Articles 3, 4 and 35(3), which read
1993. He further testified that Atty. Sanchez gave him
as follows: Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:
the marriage license the day before the wedding, and
(1) Authority of the solemnizing officer; (2) A valid
that the marriage contract was prepared by his
marriage license except in the cases provided for in
secretary. After the solemnization of the marriage, it was
Chapter 2 of this Title; and (3) A marriage ceremony
registered with the Local Civil Registrar of Manila, and
which takes place with the appearance of the
Rev. Dauz submitted the marriage contract and copy of
contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and
the marriage license with that office.
their personal declaration that they take each other as
Atty. Sanchez testified that he requested a certain husband and wife in the presence of not less than two
Qualin to secure the marriage license for the couple, witnesses of legal age. Art. 4. The absence of any of the
and that this Qualin secured the license and gave the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage
same to him on January 8, 1993. He further testified that void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35(2). A defect
he did not know where the marriage license was in any of the essential requisites shall render the
obtained. He attended the wedding ceremony, signed marriage voidable as provided in Article 45. An
the marriage contract as sponsor, and witnessed the irregularity in the formal requisites shall not affect the
signing of the marriage contract by the couple, the validity of the marriage but the party or parties
solemnizing officer and the other witness, Mary Ann responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally
Ceriola. and administratively liable. Art. 35. The following
marriages shall be void from the beginning: x x x x (3)
Felicitas Goo testified that Gloria Goo is her daughter Those solemnized without a license, except those
and Syed Azhar Abbas is her son-in-law, and that she covered by the preceding Chapter.
was present at the wedding ceremony held on January
9, 1993 at her house. She testified that she sought the The certification of the Local Civil Registrar that their
help of Atty. Sanchez at the Manila City Hall in securing office had no record of a marriage license was adequate
to prove the non-issuance of said license. Gloria has properties to Benjamin’s children as advance
failed to discharge that burden, and the only conclusion inheritance.
that can be reached is that no valid marriage license
was issued. It cannot be said that there was a simple The relationship of Benjamin and Sally ended in 1994
irregularity in the marriage license that would not affect when Sally left for Canada, bringing Bernice and
the validity of the marriage, as no license was presented Bentley with her.
by the respondent. No marriage license was proven to
have been issued to Gloria and Syed, based on the She then filed criminal actions for bigamy and
certification of the Municipal Civil Registrar of Carmona, falsification of public documents against Benjamin,
Cavite and Gloria’s failure to produce a copy of the using their simulated marriage contract as evidence.
alleged marriage license.
Benjamin, in turn, filed a petition for declaration of a
About Bigamy case (basin mag ask si Atty): non-existent marriage and/or declaration of nullity of
marriage before the trial court on the ground that his
As to the motive of Syed in seeking to annul his
marriage to Sally was bigamous and that it lacked the
marriage to Gloria, it may well be that his motives are
formal requisites to a valid marriage.
less than pure, that he seeks to evade a bigamy suit. Be
that as it may, the same does not make up for the failure
of the respondent to prove that they had a valid marriage WN the marriage between Benjamin and Sally was
license, given the weight of evidence presented by null and void ab initio and non-existent
petitioner. The lack of a valid marriage license cannot
be attributed to him, as it was Gloria who took steps to Yes.
procure the same. The law must be applied. As the
marriage license, a formal requisite, is clearly absent, The marriage between Benjamin and Sally is void ab
the marriage of Gloria and Syed is void ab initio. initio.

First, Benjamin’s marriage to Azucena on 10


(42) Bangayan v Bangayan September 1973 was duly established before the trial
G.R. No. 201061 court, evidenced by a certified true copy of their
marriage contract. At the time Benjamin and Sally
entered into a purported marriage on 7 March 1982,
BENJAMIN alleged that on 10 September 1973, he the marriage between Benjamin and Azucena was
married AZUCENA in Caloocan City. valid and subsisting.

Benjamin developed a romantic relationship with The LCR of Pasig testified that there was no valid
SALLY. marriage license issued to Benjamin and Sally. The
certification from the local civil registrar is adequate to
Azucena left for the United States of America. prove the non-issuance of a marriage license and
absent any suspicious circumstance, the certification
In February 1982, Benjamin and Sally lived together as enjoys probative value, being issued by the officer
husband and wife. Sally’s father was against the charged under the law to keep a record of all data
relationship. On 7 March 1982, in order to appease her relative to the issuance of a marriage license. Clearly,
father, Sally brought Benjamin to an office in Pasig if indeed Benjamin and Sally entered into a marriage
where they signed a purported marriage contract. contract, the marriage was void from the beginning for
Sally, knowing Benjamin’s marital status, assured him lack of a marriage license.
that the marriage contract would not be registered.
We see no inconsistency in finding the marriage
During the period of their cohabitation, they acquired between Benjamin and Sally null and void ab initio
several real properties. Benjamin’s father also gave 37 and, at the same time, non-existent.
Under Article 35 of the Family Code, a marriage money, property, or industry shall be owned by them in
solemnized without a license, except those covered by common in proportion to their respective contributions.
Article 34 where no license is necessary, "shall be void In the absence of proof to the contrary, their
from the beginning." contributions and corresponding shares are presumed
to be equal. The same rule and presumption shall
In this case, the marriage between Benjamin and Sally apply to joint deposits of money and evidences of
was solemnized without a license. It was duly credit.
established that no marriage license was issued to
them and that Marriage License No. N-07568 did not If one of the parties is validly married to another, his or
match the marriage license numbers issued by the her share in the co-ownership shall accrue to the
local civil registrar of Pasig City for the month of absolute community of conjugal partnership existing in
February 1982. such valid marriage. If the party who acted in bad faith
is not validly married to another, his or her share shall
WN the marriage was bigamous be forfeited in the manner provided in the last
paragraph of the preceding Article.
The marriage is also not bigamous.
It is required that the first or former marriage shall not The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply
be null and void. The marriage of the petitioner to even if both parties are in bad faith.
Azucena shall be assumed as the one that is valid,
there being no evidence to the contrary and there is no Benjamin and Sally cohabitated without the benefit of
trace of invalidity or irregularity on the face of their marriage. Thus, only the properties acquired by them
marriage contract. However, if the second marriage through their actual joint contribution of money,
was void not because of the existence of the first property, or industry shall be owned by them in
marriage but for other causes such as lack of license, common in proportion to their respective contributions.
the crime of bigamy was not committed.
Thus, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals
For bigamy to exist, the second or subsequent correctly excluded the 37 properties being claimed by
marriage must have all the essential requisites for Sally which were given by Benjamin’s father to his
validity except for the existence of a prior marriage. In children as advance inheritance.
this case, there was really no subsequent marriage.
Benjamin and Sally just signed a purported marriage (43) SPS. ONESIFORO ALINAS VS. SPS. VICTOR
contract without a marriage license. The supposed ALINAS
marriage was not recorded with the local civil registrar GR NO. 158040, APRIL 14, 2008
and the National Statistics Office. In short, the
marriage between Benjamin and Sally did not exist. FACTS:
They lived together and represented themselves as
husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. Spouses Onesiforo and Rosario Alinas (petitioner-
spouses) separated sometime in 1982. They left behind
What property relation should govern their two lots identified as Lot 896-B-9-A (“Lot A” for purposes
relationship of identification) with a bodega standing on it and Lot
896-B-9-B (“Lot B”) with the petitioner-spouses’ house.
The property relations of Benjamin and Sally is These lots were respectively mortgaged as security for
governed by Article 148 of the Family Code which the loan incurred by the petitioner-spouses: Lot A for
states: Rural Bank of Oroquieta City (RBO) while Lot B for
Social Security System (SSS).
Art. 148. In cases of cohabitation not falling under the Petitioner-Onesiforo and brother-respondent Victor
preceding Article, only the properties acquired by both Alinas entered into an agreement. Petitioner-spouses
of the parties through their actual joint contribution of alleged that they entrusted the abovementioned
properties to respondent-spouses (Victor and Elena). It respondent-spouses redemption thereof from the SSS
was agreed that any income from rentals of the did not confer its ownership to them.
properties should be remitted to the SSS and to the
Respondent-spouses appealed to the Court of Appeals
RBO.
contending that Lot B was acquired from the SSS by
Sometime in 1993, petitioners discovered that their two mere redemption and not by purchase. However, the
lots were already titled in the name of respondent Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the decision
spouses. It was then discovered that Lot A was of the lower court on this issue: applying the principle of
extrajudicially foreclosed and issued under the name of equity in sustaining the validity of the sale of petitioner-
RBO-mortgagee. However, on May 2, 1988, the duly Onesiforos of his one-half share in the subject property
authorized representative of RBO executed a Deed of to respondent-spouses.
Installment Sale of Bank's Acquired Assets conveying
ISSUE:
Lot A to respondent-spouses. RBO's TCT over Lot A
was then cancelled and a new TCT covering said lot Whether the sale of Lot B is valid?
was issued in the name of respondent-spouses.
RULING:
Moreover, Lot B was also foreclosed in favor of SSS.
However, pursuant to a Special Power of Attorney NO. Although petitioners were married before the
signed by petitioner-Onesiforo in favor of brother- enactment of the Family Code on August 3, 1988, the
respondent Victor, the latter was able to redeem Lot B sale in question occurred in 1989. Thus, their property
as evidenced by the Certificate of Redemption issued relations are governed by Chapter IV on Conjugal
by the SSS. Partnership of Gains of the Family Code:

Subsequently, petitioner-Onesiforo executed an Art. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the
Absolute Deed of Sale dated March 10, 1989 in favor of conjugal partnership property shall belong to both
respondent-spouses. Said document was notarized and spouses jointly. x x x
even captioned as Agreement whereby petitioner-
In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or
Onesiforo acknowledged that his brother-respondent
otherwise unable to participate in the administration of
Victor used his own money to redeem Lot B from the
the conjugal properties, the other spouse may assume
SSS and, thus, brother-respondent Victor became the
sole powers of administration. These powers do not
owner of said lot. In the same Agreeement, petitioner-
include the powers of disposition or encumbrance which
Onesiforo waived whatever rights, claims, and interests
must have the authority of the court or the written
he or his heirs, successors and assigns have or may
consent of the other spouse. In the absence of such
have over the subject property. Subsequently, a
authority or consent the disposition or
Transfer Certificate Title (TCT) was issued under the
encumbrance shall be void. x x x
name of respondent-
spouses. In Homeowners Savings & Loan Bank v. Dailo, the
Court categorically stated thus:

On June 25, 1993, petitioner-spouses filed with the In Guiang v. Court of Appeals, it was held that the sale
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Ozamis City a complaint of a conjugal property requires the consent of both the
for recovery of possession and ownership of their husband and wife. In applying Article 124 of the Family
conjugal properties with damages against respondent Code, this Court declared that the absence of the
spouses. The lower court affirmed the ownership of consent of one renders the entire sale null and void,
respondent-spouses with Lot A as it was a valid including the portion of the conjugal property
acquisition from RBO pursuant to the Deed of pertaining to the husband who contracted the sale.
Installment Sale but denied and affirmed the ownership
of Lot B to petitioner-spouses since petitioner-
Onesiforo’s sale thereof to respondent-spouses without x x x x x x x By express provision of Article 124 of the
the consent of his wife being null and void. In effect, Family Code, in the absence of (court) authority or
written consent of the other spouse, any disposition or G.R. No. 178221 December 1, 2010
encumbrance of the conjugal property shall be void.
Facts:
In the present case, the Court does not see how
applying Article 124 of the Family Code would lead to This case arose from a petition for declaration of nullity
injustice or absurdity. It should be noted that of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity to
respondent-spouses were well aware that Lot B is a comply with the essential marital obligations under
conjugal property of petitioners. They also knew that the Article 36 of the Family Code filed by petitioner Elna
disposition being made by petitioner-Onesiforo is Mercado-Fehr against respondent Bruno Fehr before
without the consent of his wife, as they knew that the Regional Trial Court of Makati in March 1997. After
petitioners had separated, and, the sale documents do due proceedings, the trial court declared the marriage
not bear the signature of petitioner-Rosario. The fact between petitioner and respondent void ab initio under
that petitioner-Onesiforo had to execute two documents, Article 36 of the Family Code (psychological incapacity)
namely: the Absolute Deed of Sale dated March 10, and ordered the dissolution of their conjugal partnership
1989 and a notarized Agreement likewise dated March of property. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration
10, 1989, reveals that they had full knowledge of the of said Order with respect to the adjudication of Suite
severe infirmities of the sale. It is an established rule that 204, LCG Condominium and the support of the children.
a purchaser cannot close his eyes to facts which should Petitioner alleged that Suite 204 was purchased on
put a reasonable man on his guard and still claim he installment basis at the time when petitioner and
acted in good faith. Such being the case, no injustice is respondent were living exclusively with each other as
being foisted on respondent spouses as they risked husband and wife without the benefit of marriage, hence
transacting with petitioner-Onesiforo alone despite their the rules on co-ownership should apply in accordance
knowledge that the subject property is a conjugal with Article 147 of the Family Code. Petitioner further
property. claimed that it would not be in the best interests of the
children if she would be made to demand periodically
Verily, the sale of Lot 896-B-9-B to respondent spouses
from respondent his share in the support of the children.
is entirely null and void.
The trial court noted that the parties have already
However, in consonance with the salutary principle of agreed in principle to divide the properties and/or
non-enrichment at another’s expense, the Court agrees proceeds from the sale thereof proportionately among
with the CA that petitioners should reimburse them and their children as follows: 1/3 for petitioner, 1/3
respondent spouses the redemption price paid for Lot for respondent and 1/3 for the children.
896-B-9-B in the amount of P111,110.09 with legal
interest from the time of filing of the complaint.

As to the rentals of the bodega and the house, Court Issue:


ruled that Lot 896-B-9-A with the bodega had been
WON the rules on co-ownership will apply with regard to
validly purchased by respondent spouses from the RBO
the Suite 204
and a TCT over said property was issued in the name of
respondent spouses on February 22, 1989. Hence, any
rentals earned from the lease of said bodega rightfully
belongs to respondent spouses and cannot be offset Ruling:
against petitioners' obligation to respondent spouses.
As to rentals for Lot 896-B-9-B and the house thereon, Yes.
respondent Victor testified that they never agreed to rent
the house and when they finally took over the same, it It appears from the facts, as found by the trial court, that
was practically inhabitable and so they even incurred in March 1983, after two years of long-distance
expenses to repair the house courtship, petitioner left Cebu City and moved in with
respondent in the latters residence in Metro Manila.
Their relations bore fruit and their first child, Michael
(45) Elna Mercado-Fehr vs Bruno Fehr
Bruno Fehr, was born on December 3, 1983. The couple any or all of the common children or their
got married on March 14, 1985. In the meantime, they descendants, each vacant share shall belong to the
purchased on installment a condominium unit, Suite respective surviving descendants.
204, at LCG Condominium, as evidenced by a Contract
to Sell dated July 26, 1983 executed by respondent as Article 147 applies to unions of parties who are legally
the buyer and J.V. Santos Commercial Corporation as capacitated and not barred by any impediment to
the seller. Petitioner also signed the contract as witness, contract marriage, but whose marriage is nonetheless
using the name "Elna Mercado Fehr". Upon completion void, as in the case at bar. This provision creates a co-
of payment, the title to the condominium unit was issued ownership with respect to the properties they acquire
in the name of petitioner. cräläwvirtualib during their cohabitation.

In light of these facts, we give more credence to We held in Valdes vs. Regional Trial Court, Br. 102,
petitioners submission that Suite 204 was acquired Quezon City:21cräläwvirtualibräry
during the parties cohabitation. Accordingly, under
Article 147 of the Family Code, said property should be This peculiar kind of co-ownership applies when a man
governed by the rules on co-ownership. The Family and a woman, suffering no legal impediment to marry
Code provides: each other, so exclusively live together as husband and
wife under a void marriage or without the benefit of
Article 147. When a man and a woman who are marriage. The term "capacitated" in the provision (in the
capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively first paragraph of the law) refers to the legal capacity of
with each other as husband and wife without the a party to contract marriage, i.e., any "male or female of
benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of
wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal the impediments mentioned in Article 37 and 38" of the
shares and the property acquired by both of them Code.
through their work or industry shall be governed by
the rules on co-ownership. Under this property regime, property acquired by both
spouses through their work and industry shall be
In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any
acquired while they lived together shall be property acquired during the union is prima facie
presumed to have been obtained by their joint presumed to have been obtained through their joint
efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by efforts. A party who did not participate in the acquisition
them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a of the property shall still be considered as having
party who did not participate in the acquisition by contributed thereto jointly if said partys "efforts
the other party of any property shall be deemed to consisted in the care and maintenance of the family
have contributed jointly to the acquisition thereof if household."
the formers efforts consisted in the care and
maintenance of their family and of the household. Thus, for Article 147 to operate, the man and the
woman: (1) must be capacitated to marry each other; (2)
Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter live exclusively with each other as husband and wife;
vivos of his or her share in the property acquired and (3) their union is without the benefit of marriage or
during cohabitation and owned in common, without their marriage is void. All these elements are present in
the consent of the other, until after the termination the case at bar. It has not been shown that petitioner
of their cohabitation. and respondent suffered any impediment to marry each
other. They lived exclusively with each other as
When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in husband and wife when petitioner moved in with
good faith, the share of the party in bad faith in the respondent in his residence and were later united in
co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their marriage. Their marriage, however, was found to be
common children. In case of default of or waiver by void under Article 36 of the Family Code because of
respondents psychological incapacity to comply with contribution he was deemed a co-owner adding that
essential marital obligations. under Article 484, NCC, for as long as they acquired the
property during their extramarital union, such property
The disputed property, Suite 204 of LCG Condominium, would be legally owned by them in common and
was purchased on installment basis on July 26, 1983, at governed by the rule on co-ownership. Is the contention
the time when petitioner and respondent were already correct?
living together. Hence, it should be considered as
common property of petitioner and respondent. Issue:
Is the property co-owned by the two parties?
As regards the settlement of the common properties of
petitioner and respondent, we hold that the Civil Code Held:
provisions on co-ownership should apply. There is No. It is not disputed that the parties herein
nothing in the records that support the pronouncement were not capacitated to marry each other because Lupo
of the trial court that the parties have agreed to divide Atienza was validly married to another woman at the
the properties into three1/3 share each to the petitioner, time of his cohabitation with Yolanda. Their property
the respondent and their children. Petitioner, in fact, regime, therefore, is governed by Article 148 of the
alleges in her petition before this Court that the parties Family Code, which applies to bigamous marriages,
have agreed on a four-way division of the properties1/4 adulterous relationship, relationships in a state of
share each to the petitioner and the respondent, and 1/4 concubinage, relationships where both man and woman
share each to their two children. ***Moreover, are married to other persons, and multiple alliances of
respondents argument that the three-way partition is in the same married man. Under this regime, …only the
accordance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code properties acquired by both of the parties through their
does not hold water as said provisions relate only to actual joint contribution of money, property, or industry
voidable marriages and exceptionally to void marriages shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their
under Article 40 of the Family Code, i.e., the declaration respective contributions. Proof of actual contribution is
of nullity of a subsequent marriage contracted by a required.
spouse of a prior void marriage before the latter is As it is, the regime of limited co-ownership of
judicially declared void. property governing the union of parties who are not
legally capacitated to marry each other, but who
nonetheless live together as husband and wife, applies
to properties acquired during said cohabitation in
(46) Atienza vs De Castro
proportion to their respective contributions. Co-
G.R. No. 169698 November 29, 2006
ownership will only be up to the extent of the proven
Facts: actual contribution of money, property or industry.
Lupo, a married man cohabited with Yolanda as Absent proof of the extent thereof, their contributions
husband and wife. During their coverture, they allegedly and corresponding shares shall be presumed to be
acquired a real property and registered it under the equal.
name of Yolanda. Their cohabitation turned sour, It is the petitioner’s posture that the respondent, having
hence, they parted. He filed an action for partition no financial capacity to acquire the property in question,
contending that they owned it in common under the merely manipulated the dollar bank accounts of his two
concept of limited co-ownership. Yolanda contended (2) corporations to raise the amount needed therefor.
that she alone was the owner as she acquired it thru her Unfortunately for petitioner, his submissions are
own savings as a businesswoman. The RTC declared burdened by the fact that his claim to the property
the property subject of co-ownership, but the CA contradicts duly written instruments, i.e., the Contract to
reversed it as he failed to prove material contribution in Sell dated March 24, 1987, the Deed of Assignment of
the acquisition of the same. On appeal, he contended Redemption dated March 27, 1987 and the Deed of
that he was not burdened to prove that he contributed in Transfer dated April 27, 1987, all entered into by and
the acquisition of the property because with or without
between the respondent and the vendor of said
property, to the exclusion of the petitioner.

The claim of co-ownership in the disputed property is


without basis because not only did he fail to substantiate
his alleged contribution in the purchase thereof but
likewise the very trail of documents pertaining to its
purchase as evidentiary proof redounds to the benefit of
the respondent. In contrast, aside from his mere say so
and voluminous records of bank accounts, which sadly
find no relevance in this case, the petitioner failed to
overcome his burden of proof. Allegations must be
proven by sufficient evidence. Simply stated, he who
alleges a fact has the burden of proving it; mere
allegation is not evidence.

True, the mere issuance of a certificate of title in the


name of any person does not foreclose the possibility
that the real property covered thereby may be under co-
ownership with persons not named in the certificate or
that the registrant may only be a trustee or that other
parties may have acquired interest subsequent to the
issuance of the certificate of title. However, as already
stated, petitioner’s evidence in support of his claim is
either insufficient or immaterial to warrant the trial
court’s finding that the disputed property falls under the
purview of Article 148 of the Family Code. In contrast to
petitioner’s dismal failure to prove his cause, herein
respondent was able to present preponderant evidence
of her sole ownership. There can clearly be no co-
ownership when, as here, the respondent sufficiently
established that she derived the funds used to purchase
the property from earnings, not only as an accountant
but also as a businesswoman engaged in foreign
currency trading, money lending and jewelry retain. She
presented her clientele and the promissory notes
evincing substantial dealings with her clients. She also
presented her bank account statements and bank
transactions, which reflect that she had the financial
capacity to pay the purchase price of the subject
property.