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Void Marriages
not valid because they were forced to enter the union and Maxion was married to someone else at that time. ISSUE: WON Lilias first marriage is void? HELD: No. Its voidable. Petition dismissed. RATIO: 1. Presence of force only makes a marriage voidable, not void. (CC ART. 85) It is valid until annulled and since there was no annulment, marriage is still valid. 2. Even if marriage is void, judicial declaration of nullity is still needed especially for purposes of remarriage.

Arturo Mendoza and Jovita de Asis were married on Aug. 5, 1936 in Marikina. While the marriage was still subsisting, Mendoza got married to Olga Lema in Manila on May 14, 1941. de Asis died on Feb. 2, 1943. Then, Mendoza contracted another marriage with Carmencita Panlilio in Calamba, Laguna on Aug. 19, 1949. He was sued and convicted of bigamy for the second marriage. ISSUE: WON Mendoza is liable for bigamy? HELD: No. Acquitted. RATIO: 1. Sec. 29, Marriage Law Act 3613: Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person during the lifetime of the first spouse shall be illegal and void unless first marriage has been annulled, dissolved or first spouse has been absent for 7 consecutive years without news if he/she is still alive. Judicial declaration of nullity is only necessary for third case. THUS, HIS MARRIAGE WITH LEMA IS NULL AND VOID WITHOUT NEED FOR JUDICIAL DECLARATION. 2. Third marriage was contracted after the death of the first spouse, thus not bigamous.

Dorothy Terre first met Jordan Terre when they were 4th year high school classmates in Cadiz City High School. She was then married to Merlito Bercenilla. Jordan courted her and this continued when they moved to Manila to pursue their education. Jordan, then a freshman law student, told Dorothy that her marriage with Bercenilla was void ab initio because they are first cousins. Believing in Jordan and with the consent of her mother and ex-in-laws, she married Jordan on June 14, 1977. Jordan wrote single as Dorothys civil status despite latters protests. Jordan said it didnt matter because marriage was void to begin with. After their marriage, Dorothy supported Jordan because he was still studying then. They had a son, Jason, who was born on June 25, 1981. Shortly after she gave birth, Jordan disappeared. She learned that he married Vilma Malicdem. Dorothy filed charges for abandonment of minor, bigamy and grossly immoral conduct. Jordan was already a member of the Bar then. Jordan claimed that he was unaware of Dorothys first marriage and that she sent her out of the house when he confronted her about it. He contracted the second marriage, believing that his marriage to Dorothy was void ab initio because of her prior subsisting marriage. ISSUE: WON a judicial declaration of nullity is needed to enter into a subsequent marriage? HELD: Yes. Jordan Terre disbarred. RATIO: 1. Jordan failed to rebut evidence presented by Dorothy. 2. As a law student, he should have known that even if Dorothys first marriage was void ab initio, she still needed a judicial declaration before she can contract another marriage. (GOMEZ V. LIPANA; FC ART. 40) 3. Jordan has displayed a deeply flawed moral character. Dorothy supported him, he got her pregnant then he abandoned her. He made a mockery of the institution of marriage. Thus, not worthy to be a member of the Bar.

Amado Tolentino was married to Serafia G. Tolentino on July 31, 1943. While marriage was still subsisting, he contracted another marriage with Ma. Clemente at Paombong, Bulacan on Nov. 1, 1948. He was convicted with bigamy. After serving his sentence, he continued living with Clemente until he died on July 25, 1974. Ma. Clemente was the surviving spouse indicated in his death certificate. Tolentino claims that she is the rightful surviving spouse and petitions for correction of the death certificate. Lower court dismissed petition for lack of publication. ISSUE: WON Paras is the rightful surviving spouse of Tolentino? HELD: Yes. Petition granted. RATIO: 1. She needs to obtain judicial declaration from court first before she can request for the correction of the entry. Publication not necessary because all the parties involved are part of the case. Court should order the publication. 2. Conviction of Tolentino for bigamy is best proof that his second marriage is null and void thus, Paras is still his rightful spouse. No need for judicial declaration of nullity for void marriages. 3. Certificate entries though presumed to be correct must yield to positive evidence establishing their inaccuracy.


Lupo Atienza lived together with Yolanda de Castro with whom he has two children. He purchased a house in Bel-Air, Makati where his family stayed. He stays there too whenever hes in Manila. In Dec., 1991, he was surprised to see Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Judge Francisco Brillantes sleeping on his bed. Their boy informed him that Brillantes had been cohabiting with de Castro. Later on, Brillantes prevented him from visiting his children. He claims that Brillantes is married to Zenaida Ongkiko with whom he has five children. Atienza filed a complaint for Gross Immorality & Appearance of Impropriety against Brillantes.

Lilia Olivia Wiegel got married to Karl Heinz Wiegel on July, 1978 at the Holy Catholic Apostolic Christian Church in Makati. Karl, upon learning that Lilia had a subsisting marriage, filed for a declaration of nullity of their marriage. Lilia contracted her first marriage with Eduardo Maxion on June 25, 1972. She claims that the first marriage is

Void Marriages
Brillantes claims that his marriage to Ongkiko is not valid because of lack of marriage license. According to him, Ongkiko abandoned him 19 years ago leaving their children with him. He claims that he believed that he was single when he married de Castro because his first marriage was void. ISSUE: WON Brillantes can contract a second marriage without a judicial declaration of nullity? HELD: No. Dismissed from service. RATIO: 1. FC Art. 40: judicial declaration of nullity of previous marriage is needed before one can enter into a second marriage. Rule has retroactive effect thus applicable to Brillantes even if he got married under the Civil Code. 2. Bad faith and sinister motives of Brillantes proven by his marriage to Ongkiko. They underwent two ceremonies however he never got a license. Then, he immorally and illegally cohabited with de Castro. Not fit for the judiciary.


Herminia Borja-Mariano was married to the late David Manzano on May 21, 1966. They had four children. However, on March 22, 1993, David contracted another marriage with Luzviminda Payao before Infanta, Pangasinan MTC Judge Roque Sanchez. During that time, Payao was also married to Domingo Relos. Payao and David issued an affidavit stating that they were both married however due to incessant quarrels, they both left their families and they no longer communicated with them. They have lived together as husband & wife for 7 years. Judge agreed to solemnize the marriage. Herminia filed charges of gross ignorance of the law against Sanchez. ISSUE: WON David Manzanos marriage with Payao is valid? HELD: NO. Sanchez fined P20,000.00 RATIO: 1. FC Art. 34: legal ratification of marital cohabitation exempts a couple from obtaining a marriage license but the ff requisites must be present: a. lived together as husband & wife for at least five years b. no legal impediment to marry each other c. fact of absence of legal impediment must be present at time of marriage d. affidavit stating that theyve been living together for at least 5 years & without legal impediments e. solemnizing officer should execute sworn statement that he ascertained qualifications of contracting parties. 2. None of requisites were present. They declared that they were separated but judge still solemnized marriage. Mere separation and free & voluntary cohabitation with another person do not dissolve the marriage tie. Cohabitation for at least five years exempts them from the marriage license but it does not free them of their legal impediment to contract a subsequent marriage. 3. Marriage was void & bigamous. Judge displayed gross ignorance of the law.

Maria Apiag and Esmeraldo Cantero were married on August 11, 1947. They had two children: Teresita and Glicerio. Cantero left his family without any apparent cause and left Maria to raise the family on her own. According to Cantero, their marriage was a drama marriage set-up by their parents and that they never lived together as husband wife. Several years after, Cantero went to Hinundayan, Southern Leyte where Apiag and her children were staying. They begged for support but he ignored them. They sent him a letter demanding support which was also ignored. They learned that he was already married to Nievas Ygay with whom he has 5 children. Apiag along with her 2 children, Teresita & Glicerio, filed charge of gross misconduct for committing bigamy and falsification of public documents against Cantero. Cantero claims that he got married without any annulment or declaration of nullity of his first marriage because he believed that it was void ab initio thus nothing was to be voided. Apiag was living with another man with whom she has one child. The parties entered into a compromise agreement. Cantero agreed to give of his GSIS retirement to Teresita & Glicerio. He likewise included them as his beneficiaries, appointed them as heirs to his property inherited from his parents, authorized them to receive P4,000.00 monthly allowance on the condition that they will withdraw the charges. They started receiving the allowance but they still pushed through with the case. Found guilty by lower court. Cantero died while case was pending. ISSUES: 1. WON gross misconduct is applicable? 2. WON first marriage is valid? 3. WON judge is liable? HELD: Dismissed. Cantero acquitted. RATIO: 1. NO. Misconduct in office should include only those acts which affect ones performance of his duties as an officer, not as a private individual. Prove that it is a transgression of an established and definite rule of action. Involved here are personal acts, not official. 2. NO. However, old law will apply to Cantero because it is more favorable for him. Ruling in Odayat v. Amante ruling will apply: No judicial decree of nullity is needed to establish the invalidity of void marriages. Thus, he was free to contract second marriage without court declaration of the nullity of first marriage. New law requires declaration of nullity before one remarries. Falsification accusation fails. 3. YES. He will be administratively liable. Hes expected to maintain high ethical principles and free from appearance of impropriety including his personal behavior. But since this is his only wrongdoing throughout the 32 years that he has served the government and the Court saw his sincerity to repent and reform, hell be dealt with leniency. He should have been fined but since he passed away already, case will just be dismissed.

Leouel Santos, then a First Lieutenant of the Philippine Army, got married with Julia Bedia on Sept. 20, 1986. They lived with Julias parents in La Paz, Iloilo. Their son, Leouel Santos, Jr. was born on July 18, 1987. They started to have problems: (1) frequent interference of Julias parents (2) when & where theyd start living independently (3) Leouels spending a few days with his parents. Julia left for the US to work as a nurse on May 18, 1988. She only called up Leouel seven months after she left with promise to return after her contract expires on July 1989. She didnt come back. Leouel had a training in the US and he looked for Julia but he never found her. He

Void Marriages
filed a case for voiding their marriage under article 36 of the FC (marriage contracted by either party who at the time of the marriage was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage shall likewise be void even if such incapacity shall be manifest after the solemnization). Leouel claims that Julias failure to communicate with him & inform him of her whereabouts are proof that shes psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage. Julia denied her husbands allegations saying it was her husband who was irresponsible & incompetent. She filed a manifestation stating that she would neither appear nor submit evidence. Trial court & CA dismissed the complaint. ISSUE: WON Julia is psychologically incapacitated? HELD: NO. Dismissed. Affirmed. RATIO: For psychological incapacity to be proven, there must be a real inability to commit oneself to the essential obligations of marriage. Mere difficulty of assuming these obligations which could be overcome by normal effort does not constitute incapacity. Dr. Veloso of the Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal gave 3 characteristics of psychological incapacity: (1) gravity that would really render one incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties in marriage (2) juridical antecedence means it should be rooted in history, existing prior to the marriage (3) incurability including cure that is beyond the partys means. Circumstances of the case at bar do not amount to psychological incapacity. h. b. c. d. e. f. g. Root cause of incapacity should be: medically/clinically defined, alleged in complaint, proven by experts, clearly explained in decision. Existing at time of celebration of marriage. Medically/clinically permanent or incurable, whether absolute or relative. Incapacity directly related to assumption of marital obligations, doesnt include incapacity in profession, etc. Grave to render them incapable. Not mere refusal, neglect or difficulty or ill will. Essential obligations outlined in FC Art. 68-71 and 220, 221, 225. State non-compliance in petition with evidence, include in decision. Consider National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines interpretations. Not binding should be given respect since this law originated from Canon law. Harmonize civil law w/religious faith. Prosecuting attorney/fiscal and Sol. Gen. will appear as counsels for the state. They should submit certification within 15 days from submission of case for resolution.

Delia Soledad Domingo and Roberto Domingo were married on Nov. 29, 1976 at the YMCA Youth Center Building. Unknown to her, he had a prior subsisting marriage with Emerlinda dela Paz. She only learned about the marriage when dela Paz sued them for bigamy. Delia has been working in Saudi since January 23, 1979. Roberto has been unemployed and dependent on her since 1983. She entrusted the administration of her real & personal properties to Roberto which cost P350,000.00. She learned that her husband was cohabiting with another woman & that he was disposing her properties without her consent. He requested that he turnover the properties but he refused. Thus she filed this petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage and separation of property against Roberto. Lower court & CA dismissed the case. ISSUES: 1. WON judicial declaration of void marriage is necessary only for purpose of remarriage? HELD: NO. Petition denied. RATIO: Judicial declaration of nullity was instituted to prevent just about anyone from declaring that his/her marriage was void. This judgment is reserved to the court. Previous court decisions and laws were inconsistent regarding this matter until Family Code required this esp. for purposes of remarriage. This aims to protect people with void marriages. With the declaration, theyre free to marry without the danger of being charged with bigamy. Necessary to prove that a person is legally free to contract a second marriage if the first marriage was void ab initio (TERRE V. TERRE) Prove nullity with testimonial and/or documentary evidence. But should not be taken to mean as only those who will remarry need the judicial declaration of nullity. Art. 40 FC simply states that only a final judicial declaration of nullity can certify that one is free to contract a second marriage. Marriage is an inviolable social institution protected by the state. Thus, it should be accorded great respect. Its validity or invalidity cant be decided by just about anyone. Declaration of absolute nullity of marriage would have other consequences such as separation of property.


Roridel & Reynaldo Molina were married on April 14, 1985 at the San Agustin Church. They had a son, Andre Molina. A year after the marriage, Reynaldo started manifesting signs of immaturity and irresponsibility: (1) spent more time with his friends (2) depended on his parents for aid & assistance (3) not honest with the finances (4) relieved of his job making Roridel the breadwinner of the family. Roridel went to live with his parents and afterwards, Reynaldo abandoned her and the child. Roridel filed a case for the declaration of nullity of their marriage by virtue of her husbands psychological incapacity. Reynaldo claims that Roridels strange behavior, refusal to perform marital duties & failure to run the household & handle finances caused their quarrels. Roridel on the other hand claims that her husband is immature, irresponsible, dependent, disrespectful, arrogant, chronic liar & infidel. He now lives with a mistress with whom he has a child. ISSUE: WON Reynaldo is psychologically incapacitated? HELD: NO. Marriage is valid. RATIO: 1. They seem to have a difficulty or outright refusal or neglect in performing their obligations. Theyre not incapable of doing them. 2. Failure of their expectations is not tantamount to psychological incapacity. 3. Guidelines for Art. 36 a. Burden of proof to show nullity of marriage: plaintiff. Presumption of existence of marriage over its dissolution & nullity.


Void Marriages
Leni & Alfonso Choa were married on March 15, 1981. They had two children: Cheryl Lynne and Albryan. Alfonso filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of their marriage based on Lenis incapacity. ISSUE: WON Cheryl is psychologically incapacitated? HELD: NO. PETITION GRANTED. VALID MARRIAGE. RATIO: Alfonso presented insufficient evidence to prove Lenis incapacity. 1. Filing of case is not entirely connected to psychological incapacity. 2. Grounds of Alfonso: lack of attention to their children, immaturity, lack of intention to procreate are not sufficient to render one as psychologically incapable. Reasons should be grave, with juridical antecedence and incurable. 3. His proof only show that they cant get along with each other but not incapable. Mild characterological peculiarities, mood changes, and occasional emotional outbursts are not acceptable causes of psychological incapacity. 4. Physicians testimony: He admitted that couple are curable if only they will be subjected to family therapy. Besides, he did not examine Leni so his findings are not really reliable. He only based this on Alfonsos claims. The records of the case will not give him accurate findings. Medical examinations/findings are admissible. They just need to present sufficient evidence. 5. Chi Mings reluctance & unwillingness to perform sexual acts with a wife he claims he loves dearly, proves that this is a hopeless situation & of his serious personality disorder. Grave enough.

Pepito Ninal was married to Teodulfa Bellones on Sept. 26, 1974. They had three children. Pepito shot Teodulfa which caused her death on April 24, 1985. 20 months after Teodulfas death, Pepito got married to Norma Bayadog without a license. They issued a statement which states that they had lived together as husband & wife for at least 5 years. Upon Pepitos death, his & Teodulfas children, filed petition for the declaration of nullity of their marriage because this would affect their succession rights. ISSUES: 1. WON second marriage is valid? 2. WON children have standing to request for declaration of absolute nullity? HELD: NO. PETITION GRANTED. RATIO: 1. No. Their marriage does not fall under those marriages of exceptional character which are exempted from obtaining a license. They cant be considered as those who had been living together as husband & wife for at least 5 years. This provision only covers those unions which are valid without legal impediment had it not been for the lack of marriage. The parties should have not been involved with anyone at anytime within 5 years. They had only lived together, legally, for 20 months, which is after Teodulfas death. 2. YES. Void marriages can be attacked collaterally even after the death of either party. It is imprescritible. Any interested party can attack void marriages. Declaration of nullity is for everyones peace of mind. It can be used for other purposes like succession, etc. Not just for remarriage.

Gina and Chi Ming Tsoi were married on May 22, 1988. According to Gina, since the time of their marriage, they never had a sexual intercourse. They underwent medical examinations. She was found healthy & normal. Chi Ming underwent medication which was confidential. She claims that her husbands a homosexual who married her to maintain his residency status and to prove that he is really a man. Chi Ming claims that it is Gina who refuses to have sexual intercourse. Gina filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of Chi Mings psychological incapacity. New medical examination proved that Chi Ming is capable of having sexual intercourse. Lower court & CA declared Alfonso as psychologically incapacitated to discharge essential marital obligations due to his reluctance or unwillingness to consummate marriage. ISSUE: WON Chi Ming is psychologically incapable? HELD: Yes. Granted. Marriage void. RATIO: 1. No intercourse since marriage. Chi Ming should have discussed the problem with his wife if she indeed refused to have sexual intercourse with him. Or he could have resorted to the court if she still resisted. 2. Senseless & protracted refusal is equivalent to psychological incapacity. 3. Procreation is one of the essential marital obligations and constant nonfulfillment of such will destroy marriage. 4. Filipinas are modest, Leni would have not subjected herself to such public scrutiny if she was just making this up.