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MEMORANDUM

TO: Atty. Riza RachoBaldovino, PhD.

FROM:

RE: Rene And Edna Case Marriage by Proxy

DATE: October 28, 2017

QUESTION PRESENTED

Under the Philippine law, is the marriage of Rene and Edna valid in the
Philippines considering Rome, Renes twin brother, served as Renes proxy during the
celebration of the marriage?

SHORT ANSWER

Yes. The marriage of Rene and Edna is valid under the Philippine law although it
is a marriage by proxy because it was celebrebrated outside the country; provided,
however that it is valid in the place where it is solemnized.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Rene, who is 62 years of age, and Edna, who is 54 years of age, both Filipinos,
met in New York, USA. Moreover, they agreed to get married in New York on October
1, 2016. Furthermore, on September 27, 2016, Rene flew to Miami, Florida for an urgent
business meeting with the Board of Directors of GRY Corporation, of which he is the
Corporate Seretary; but he intended to return to New York on September 30, 2016, in
time for the wedding. Unfortunately, the meeting lasted longer and he failed to return to
New York, as planned. To avoid postponing the wedding, Rene called his twin brother
Rome to stand as his proxy at the wedding, which the latter did causing the wedding to be
that of a marriage by proxy.

Under the Philippines existing laws during this time, they ask whether their
marriage is valid although one the contracting parties to the marriage was not present
during the actual celebration of the marriage.

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DISCUSSION

Rene and Edna contracted marriage in New York on October 1, 2016. However,
Rene was not present during the actual celebration of the marriage. As he was caught up
in a meeting with the Board of Directors of GRY Corporation in Miami, Florida. In his
absence, his twin brother, Rome, stood as his proxy instead. This was done in order to
avoid postponing the wedding. Considering that the marriage took place in New York
and that it happened to be a marriage by proxy, the issue here is that whether or not Rene
and Ednas marriage is valid here in the Philippines. A court would likely conclude that
their marrage is valid under the Philippines laws athlough it is a marriage by proxy
because it was celebrated abroad and not within the Philippines; provided that marriage
by proxy is valid in the place the marriage was solemnized.

The Family Code of the Philippines1 provides for the laws regarding family rights
and duties of the people in the country. Furthermore, Article 6 of the Family Code 2
provides, It shall be necessary, however, for the contracting parties to appear personally
before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses
of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife. Applying the aforementioned
article, a marriage by proxy cannot be considered valid if the marriage is celebrated in the
Philippines.

However, if the marriage by proxy is celebrated abroad, such as in the case at bar,
the first paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code3 would be more applicable. Article
26, paragraph 1 provides, All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in
accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid
there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35
(1), (4), (5), and (6), 36, 37, and 38. All they need to prove would be that marriage by
proxy is valid in the place where their marriage was solemnized.

Initially, the marriage of Rene and Edna would not have been valid if it was
celebrated within the Philippines. It would have been void bacause of the non-compliance
with the formal requisites of a marriage ceremony as mentioned above in Article 6 of the
Family Code. On the other hand, applying Article 26 of the Family Code, the marriage of
Rene and Edna is considered valid in the Philippines for being solemnized abroad. Still,
they you have to prove that such marriage by proxy is valid where they celebrated or
solemnized the marriage. Clearly, marriage by proxy falls within the purview of the
general rule and not within the purview of the exceptions4.
CONCLUSION

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On these given set of facts, the marriage of Rene and Edna will likely be
considered valid in the Philippines provided that it complies with the requirement that
they prove that their marriage by proxy is valid in the place where it is solemnized.
Failure to prove such fact will likely result to the marriages being void under the
Philippine law.

1
Paras, E. (2002). Civil Code of the Philippines Anotated Vol. 1. Quezon City: Rex Book
Store.
2
Art. 6, Family code of the Philippines.
3
Art. 26, Family Code of the Philippines.
4
Paras, E. (2002). Civil Code of the Philippines Annotated Vol. 1. Quezon City: Rex
Book Store.