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[G.R. No. 96740. March 25, 1999] "In view of all the foregoing, plaintiffs Virginia P.

the foregoing, plaintiffs Virginia P. Sarmiento and Apolonia P.


VIRGINIA P. SARMIENTO and APOLONIA P. CATIBAYAN, petitioners, Catibayan and defendant Simon Arguelles are hereby ordered to partition
vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SIMON ARGUELLES, respondents. among themselves the one-half portion of lot No. 926 of the Naic Estate, located
in Naic, Cavite, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 21877, pertaining to
DECISION the deceased Francisco Arguelles.
PURISIMA, J.: The counterclaim, for lack of merit, is hereby dismissed.
At bar is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised No pronouncement is made as to costs.
Rules of Court, seeking to set aside the Decision[1] dated October 26, 1989 and
the Resolution[2] dated January 4, 1991, of the Court of Appeals[3] in CA G.R. CV
SO ORDERED.[6]
NO. 11750, reversing the Decision[4], dated May 30, 1986, of Branch XV,
Regional Trial Court, in Trece Martires City[5] in Civil Case No. NC - 75.
Dissatisfied therewith, the private respondents went to the Court of Appeals
The antecedent facts that matter are as follows: on a Petition for Review; theorizing that:
Virginia P. Sarmiento and Apolonia P. Catibayan, the petitioners herein, filed
I. The Lower Court erred in holding that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia
a complaint for partition of a piece of land, more particularly described as Lot No.
Pineli were legally married and that Leogardo (sic) Arguelles was their
926 of the Naic Estate, G.L.R.O., Record No. 8340, in Naic, Cavite, with an area
legitimate daughter.
of 1, 779 square meters, covered by TCT No. 21877 issued on September 1, 1941
to co-owners, Francisco Arguelles and Petrona Reyes.
II. The Lower Court erred in not holding that the cause of action of the
Petitioners are sisters, their parents being Tiburcio Pangilinan and Leogarda plaintiffs-appellees if any, had already prescribed.
Arguelles, who died in 1946. Leogarda was the daughter of Francisco Arguelles
who died on February 18, 1949 and Emilia Pineli, who died on May 2, III. The Lower Court erred in ordering the partition of the property
1950. Private respondent Simon Arguelles is a half brother of Leogarda, with involved in this case among the plaintiffs-appellees and the defendant-
Francisco Arguelles as their common father. appellant.[7]
Petitioners claim that as granddaughters of Francisco Arguelles, they and
private respondent Simon Arguelles are co-owners of the 1/2 portion of Lot No. On October 26, 1989, the Court of Appeals handed down its judgment,
926, as the only heirs of the late Francisco Arguelles. But according to private reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court of origin and disposing as
respondent, petitioners are not the legal heirs of Francisco Arguelles because follows:
their (petitioners) mother, Leogarda Arguelles, was allegedly an illegitimate child
of his father, Francisco Arguelles, and Emilia Pineli who were not married. Under WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby entered REVERSING the decision appealed
the old Civil Code, which should be applied since Francisco Arguelles died in from and DISMISSING the complaint for judicial partition. Without
1949, before the effectivity of the New Civil Code, an illegitimate child did not pronouncement as to costs.
have successional rights.
SO ORDERED.[8]
After trial, the lower court came out with a decision ordering the parties
herein to partition among themselves subject portion of Lot No. 926; and
With the denial of their Motion For Reconsideration on January 4, 1991,
disposing thus:
petitioners found their way to this court via the present Petition; posing as issues:
I. WHETHER OR NOT A MAN AND A WOMAN WHO LIVED TOGETHER In the case under consideration, the presumption of marriage, on which the
AS HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE PRESUMED MARRIED; and trial court premised its decision, has been sufficiently offset.[14] Records reveal
that petitioners tried to justify the non-presentation of the marriage certificate of
II. WHETHER THE BORN OUT OF SUCH MARRIAGE IS LEGITIMATE Francisco and Emilia by submitting a certification issued by Assistant Treasurer
OR NOT.[9] Lucila Lucero of Naic, Cavite, to the effect that:

The pivotal issue for determination is: whether or not the petitioners offered the Marriage Certificate of Francisco Arguelles married to Emilia Pineli on the
sufficient evidence to substantiate their submission that Francisco Arguelles and 18th day of August, 1918 at Naic, Cavite, is no longer available due to
Emilia Pineli were legally married. destruction of the records during the Japanese occupation, and as such no
certified copy of Marriage could be issued to the parties concerned,[15]
Section 3 (aa) of Rule 131 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:
Section 3. Disputable presumptions. The following presumptions are satisfactory However, Assistant Treasurer Lucila Lucero admitted later[16] on the witness
if uncontradicted, but may be contradicted or overcome by other evidence: stand that she signed the said certificate prepared by a certain Consuelo
xxxx Pangilinan, without verifying its correctness. In reality, the records of marriage of
(aa) That a man and a woman deporting themselves as husbands and wife have Naic are intact. The said records were brought and examined before the trial court,
entered into a lawful contract of marriage; and its pages 20 to 22 containing entries from July 3, 1917 to May 1918 do not
xxxx reflect the names of Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli.
Guided by the aforecited provision of law, the trial court ratiocinated: So also, the death certificate of Francisco Arguelles contained the word none
opposite the phrase surviving spouse, indicating that he died a widower on
The fact that no marriage certificate of Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli February 18, 1949. His deceased wife was Petrona Reyes, the mother of private
was submitted in evidence does not lead to the conclusion that the said parties respondent.[17]
were not legally married and that Leogarda was their illegitimate child. The
defendant admitted that his father and Emilia Pineli lived and cohabited Then too, TCT No. 21877 covering Lot 926 as well as the reconstituted TCT
together as husband and wife, even staying in the same house where he was also No. 21877, Rt-19055, show the status of Francisco Arguelles as widower.[18] On
residing. The presumption is that A man and a woman deporting themselves as this point, the respondent court said:
husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage (sic) (Sec. 5
(bb), Rule 131, Rules of Court).[10] Every intendment of law or facts leans x x x Emilia would not have allowed Francisco Arguelles to place the property
toward the validity of marriage and the legitimacy of children (Art. 220, Civil in his name alone as widower if in fact they were legally married to each
Code). In this case, no evidence adduced by defendant Arguelles to rebut this other. If there was a mistake in indicating in the title Franciscos status as a
presumption. Neither did he attempt to show that Francisco and Emilia could widower, the same could have been easily cured by presenting a petition for
not validly marry each other because of some legal impediments to their correction in the proper court. If it is true, as Tiburcio Pangilinan testified, that
marriage.[11] the certificate of title was in the possession of Emilia Pineli and was given to
him (Tiburcio) before her death, there is no conceivable reason why Emilia
While it is true that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli cohabited as never exerted any effort to correct the mistake in the description of Franciscos
husband and wife, private respondent Simon Arguelles testified that the said status in the certificate of title as widower knowing that she would not be able to
cohabitation was without the benefit of marriage. InPeople vs. Borromeo[12], this transmit any part of the property to her heirs upon her death if the error was not
Court held that persons living together in apparent matrimony are presumed corrected. Her omission only serves to bolster the proposition that she had no
absent any counter presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact right to protect, in the first place, because she was not legally married to
married.[13] Francisco.[19]
Consequently, with the presumption of marriage sufficiently overcome, petitioners. Preponderant evidence means that, as a whole, the evidence adduced
the onus probandi of private respondent shifted to the petitioners. It then became by one side outweighs that of the adverse party.[24] Compared with the evidence
the burden of the petitioners, Virginia P. Sarmiento and Apolonia P. Catibayan, introduced by the private respondent, petitioners rely heavily on the legal
to prove that their deceased grandparents, Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli, presumption of marriage which, as earlier pointed out, has been effectively
were legally married. rebutted. We are concluded by the factual findings of the Court of Appeals.
In Trinidad vs. Court of Appeals, et al.[20], this Court ruled that as proof of Premises studiedly considered, we are of the ineluctable conclusion, and so
marriage may be presented: a) testimony of a witness to the matrimony; b) the hold, that the Court of Appeals erred not in reversing the decision of the Regional
couples public and open cohabitation as husband and wife after the alleged Trial Court a quo.
wedlock; c) the birth and baptismal certificate of children born during such union;
and d) the mention of such nuptial in subsequent documents. WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision, dated
October 26, 1989, and Resolution dated January 4, 1991, of the Court of Appeals
Pertinent records show that the petitioners failed to substantiate their theory AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs.
that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli were married. What is more, the
available records of marriage contradict the allegation that Francisco Arguelles
and Emilia Pineli were legally married. But petitioners, to whom the burden of
proving the fact of marriage shifted, did not present anybody who witnessed the
marriage ceremony of Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli. As aptly reasoned
out by the respondent court:
x x x Not one of the three witnesses for plaintiffs ever declared having observed
that Francisco and Emilia acted as husband and wife. Tiburcio Pangilinan
testified mainly on the fact that he is the father of the plaintiffs and husbands of
the late Leogarda Arguelles who was the daughter of Francisco Arguelles and
Emilia Pineli. The rest of his testimony touched on the certifIcate of tittle
covering Lot 926 which Emilia allegedly delivered two weeks before she died
but was later on taken from him by defendant. Plaintiffs on their part did not
testify that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli lived together as husband and
wife, which may be explained by the fact that Virginia Sarmiento and Apolonia
Catibayan were only 6 and 5 years old, respectively, when Emilia Pineli died
and were then too young to perceive the nature of whatever the relationship
existed Francisco and Emilia.[21]
Evidently, petitioners relied mainly on the legal presumption that Francisco
Arguelles and Emilia Pineli were married, without introducing any evidence to
prove the mrriage theorized upon.
In a belated attempt to establish the legitimacy of Leogarda Arguelles,
petitioner have theorized for the first time, in the present Petition, that the birth
certificate[22] of Leogardo Arguelles which they allegedly presented during the
trial below, shows the legitimate status of Leogarda Arguelles.[23] Concededly,
such birth certificate may be used to show the alleged marriage. But be that as it
may, the totality of evidence for the private respondents preponderates over
Republic vs. Orbecido III Ninal vs. Bayadog [G.R. No. 133778] March 14, 2000
GR NO. 154380, October 5, 2005 by Quolete
Fact:
FACTS: Pepito married his second wife Norma a year and eight months after his first wife
Teodulfa’s death. Pepito and Norma got married without any marriage license
because they lived together for 5 years and thus exempt from marriage license.
Cipriano Orbecido III was married with Lady Myros Villanueva on May 24,
Some years after, Pepito died in a car accident.
1981 at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Ozamis City. They
had a son and a daughter named Kristoffer and Kimberly, respectively. In 1986,
the wife left for US bringing along their son Kristoffer. A few years later, The heirs as petitioners, fearing problems in successional rights (succession only
Orbecido discovered that his wife had been naturalized as an American citizen occurs after the death of an ascendant) due to the second marriage, filed a ‘petition
for declaration for nullity of marriage’ (a.k.a. declaration of nullity of void
and learned from his son that his wife sometime in 2000 had obtained a divorce marriages) between Pepito (deceased) and Norma using the absence of a marriage
decree and married a certain Stanley. He thereafter filed with the trial court a license as a legal basis.
petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the
Family Code.
Issues:
The lower court dismissed the petition because:
ISSUE: Whether or not Orbecido can remarry under Article 26 of the Family
Code.
(1) The Family Code is silent whether the petition has a ’cause of action’. Can
there be such a petition when the heirs’ parent is deceased?
HELD:

The court ruled that taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying (2) Are the heirs a ‘proper party’?
the rule of reason, Article 26 Par.2 should be interpreted to include cases
involving parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were (3) Determination whether the second marriage is void ab initio (from the
Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign beginning) is a must but is a different matter. Void marriages cannot be attacked
citizen and obtains a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be collaterally.
allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the (4) Whether the petition for declaration for nullity of marriage has prescribed.
solemnization of the marriage.
The lower court ruled:
Hence, the court’s unanimous decision in holding Article 26 Par 2 be interpreted
as allowing a Filipino citizen who has been divorced by a spouse who had (1) Petitioners should have filed an action to declare null and void their father’s
acquired a citizenship and remarried, also to remarry under Philippine law. marriage before the latter’s death.
(2) The prescription period and the proper party in an annulment proceeding were
used as a basis to dismiss petitioner’s case.
Petitioners disagree with the decision and petitions for a review.
Held: “The action or defense for nullity is imprescriptible, unlike voidable marriages
The Supreme Court ruled that: where the action prescribes.”
“Only the parties to a voidable marriage can assail it but any proper interested
(1) The applicable law, for the determination of marriage, is the Civil Code and party may attack a void marriage.“
not the Family Code. (In determining the validity of marriage, it is to be tested by “Void marriages have no legal effects except those declared by law concerning
the law in force at the time the marriage was contracted.) the properties of the alleged spouses, regarding co-ownership or ownership
through actual joint contribution, and its effect on the children born to such void
(2) There is no second marriage. The absence of a marriage license renders marriages as provided in Article 50 in relation to Article 43 and 44 as well as
marriage void ab initio. The exemption for a marriage license, the cohabitation, Article 51, 53 and 54 of the Family Code. On the contrary, the property regime
was not the one described by the Civil Code. It is not the one described by the governing voidable marriages is generally conjugal partnership and the children
Civil Code because the cohabitation, after the first marriage, was only twenty conceived before its annulment are legitimate.”
months whereas the law requires five years. If the respondent took into (5) The Supreme Court requires a judicial decree of nullity of second marriage
consideration the other years and months before the second marriage, then the
cohabitation would include the period of the first marriage. This is in violation of before determining succession rights.
the law. “Jurisprudence under the Civil Code states that no judicial decree is necessary
in order to establish the nullity of a marriage. But Article 40 of the Family Code
expressly provides that there must be a judicial declaration of the nullity of a
(3) Separation in fact (not the legal separation) by the first marriage does not count
previous marriage, though void, before a party can enter into a second
cohabitation.
marriage.”
“However, other than for purposes of remarriage, no judicial action is necessary
“This 5-year period should be the years immediately before the day of the to declare a marriage an absolute nullity. For other purposes, such as but not
marriage and it should be a period of cohabitation characterized by exclusivity – limited to determination of heirship, legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child,
meaning no third party was involved at any time within the 5 years and continuity settlement of estate, dissolution of property regime, or a criminal case for that
– that is unbroken.” matter, the court may pass upon the validity of marriage even in a suit not directly
(4) The judge’s ruling (lower court), where void and voidable marriages are made instituted to question the same so long as it is essential to the determination of the
identical is erroneous. Void and voidable marriages are not identical. case. This is without prejudice to any issue that may arise in the case. When such
“A marriage that is annulable is valid until otherwise declared by the court; need arises, a final judgment of declaration of nullity is necessary even if the
whereas a marriage that is void ab initio is considered as having never to have purpose is other than to remarry. The clause “on the basis of a final judgment
taken place.” declaring such previous marriage void” in Article 40 of the Family Code connotes
“A voidable can be generally ratified or confirmed by free cohabitation or that such final judgment need not be obtained only for purpose of remarriage.”
prescription while a void marriage can never be ratified.”
“A voidable marriage cannot be assailed collaterally except in a direct
proceeding while a void marriage can be attacked collaterally.”
“Void marriages can be questioned even after the death of either party but
voidable marriages can be assailed only during the lifetime of the parties and not
after death of either, in which case the parties and their offspring will be left as if
the marriage had been perfectly valid.”
Manzano vs. Sanchez De Castro v. De Castro, G.R. No. 160172, February 13, 2008
AM No. MTJ-001329, March 8, 2001
FACTS: Reinel and Annabelle met became a couple in 1991. They applied for a
FACTS: marriage license in September 1994. When the couple went back to the Office
of the Civil Registrar, the marriage license had already expired. Thus, in order
Herminia Borja-Manzano was the lawful wife of the late David Manzano having to push through with the wedding despite of absence of marriage license, they
been married on May 21, 1966 in San Gabriel Archangel Parish in executed an affidavit dated 13 March 1995 stating that they had been living
Caloocan. They had four children. On March 22, 1993, her husband contracted together as husband and wife for at least five years. They got married on the
another marriage with Luzviminda Payao before respondent Judge. The same day. However, they did not live together as husband and wife. In
marriage contract clearly stated that both contracting parties were “separated” November 1995, Annabelle gave birth to a daughter, and supported the child on
thus, respondent Judge ought to know that the marriage was void and her own. Annabelle then filed a complaint for support against petitioner before
bigamous. He claims that when he officiated the marriage of David and Payao, the RTC Pasig. In her complaint, respondent alleged that she is married to
he knew that the two had been living together as husband and wife for seven petitioner and that the latter has a responsibility or obligation to financially
years as manifested in their joint affidavit that they both left their families and support her as his wife and their child. Reinel denied that they are married and
had never cohabit or communicated with their spouses due to constant quarrels. claimed that the marriage is void ab initio because the affidavit they jointly
executed is a fake. And that he was only forced by Annabelle to marry her to
ISSUE: Whether the solemnization of a marriage between two contracting avoid the humiliation that the pregnancy without marriage may bring her. The
parties who both have an existing marriage can contract marriage if they have trial court ruled that the marriage is not valid because it was solemnized without
been cohabitating for 5 years under Article 34 of Family Code. a marriage license. However, it declared petitioner as the natural father of the
child, and thus obliged to give her support.
HELD:
ISSUE: Whether or not their marriage is valid.
Among the requisites of Article 34 is that parties must have no legal impediment
to marry each other. Considering that both parties has a subsisting marriage, as
indicated in their marriage contract that they are both “separated” is an HELD: The false affidavit which petitioner and respondent executed so they
impediment that would make their subsequent marriage null and void. Just like could push through with the marriage has no value whatsoever; it is a mere scrap
separation, free and voluntary cohabitation with another person for at least 5 of paper. They were not exempt from the marriage license requirement. Their
years does not severe the tie of a subsisting previous marriage. Clearly, failure to obtain and present a marriage license renders their marriage void ab
respondent Judge Sanchez demonstrated gross ignorance of the law when he initio.
solemnized a void and bigamous marriage.
Republic of the Philippines vs Jose A. Dayot Carlos v Sandoval G.R. No. 179922 Dec.16, 2008
GR No. 175581 March 28, 2008
Fact of the Case: Teofilo Carlos and petitioner Juan De Dios Carlos were brothers who each have
On November 24, 1986 Jose and Felisa Dayot were married at the Pasay three parcels of land by virtue of inheritance. Later Teofilo died intestate. He was
City Hall. In lieu of a marriage license, they executed a sworn affidavit attesting
that both of them are legally capacitated and that they cohabited for at least five survived by respondents Felicidad Sandoval and their son, Teofilo Carlos II. Upon
years when in fact they only barely known each other since February 1986.On Teofilo’s death, two parcels of land were registered in the name of Felicidad and
1993, Jose filed a complaint for Annulment and/or Declaration of Nullity of Teofilo II. In August 1995, Carlos commenced an action against respondents
Marriage contending that their marriage was sham, as to no ceremony was
celebrated between them; that he did not execute the sworn statement that he and before the court a quo. In his complaint, Carlos asserted that the marriage between
Felisa had cohabited for at least five years; and that his consent was secured his late brother and Felicidad was a nullity in view of the absence of the required
through fraud. His sister, however, testified as witness that Jose voluntarily gave marriage license. He likewise maintained that his deceased brother was neither
his consent during their marriage. The complaint was dismissed on Regional Trial
Court stating that Jose is deemed estopped from assailing the legality of his the natural nor the adoptive father of Teofilo Carlos II. He argued that the
marriage for lack of marriage license. It is claimed that Jose and Felisa had lived properties covered by such certificates of title, including the sums received by
together from 1986 to 1990, and that it took Jose seven years before he sought the respondents as proceeds, should be reconveyed to him.
declaration of nullity; The RTC ruled that Jose’s action had prescribed. It cited
Art 87 of the New Civil Code which requires that the action for annulment must HELD: The grounds for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage must be
be commenced by the injured party within four years after the discovery of fraud. proved. Neither judgment on the pleadings nor summary judgment is
Jose appealed to the Court of Appeals which rendered a decision declaring their
marriage void ab initio for absence of marriage license. Felisa sought a petition allowed. So is confession of judgment disallowed. Carlos argues that the CA
for review praying that the Court of Appeal’s Amended decision be reversed and should have applied Rule 35 of the Rules of Court governing summary judgment,
set aside. instead of the rule on judgment on the pleadings. Petitioner is misguided. Whether
Issue: (1) Whether the falsity of an affidavit of marital cohabitation, where the
parties have in truth fallen short of the minimum five-year requirement., it is based on judgment on the pleadings or summary judgment, the CA was
effectively renders the marriage void an initio for lack of marriage. correct in reversing the summary judgment rendered by the trial court. Both the
(2) Whether or not the action for nullity prescribes as the case here where Jose rules on judgment on the pleadings and summary judgments have no place in
filed a complaint after seven years from contracting marriage.
cases of declaration of absolute nullity of marriage and even in annulment of
Held: (1)Yes. The intendment of law or fact leans towards the validity of
marriage, will not salvage the parties’ marriage, and extricate them from the marriage.
effect of a violation of the law. The Court protects the fabric of the institution of
marriage and at the same time wary of deceptive schemes that violate the legal A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed
measures set forth in the law. The case cannot fall under irregularity of the solely by the husband or wife. Exceptions: (1) Nullity of marriage cases
marriage license, what happens here is an absence of marriage license which commenced before the effectivity of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC; and (2)
makes their marriage void for lack of one of the essential requirement of a valid
Marriages celebrated during the effectivity of the Civil Code. Under the Rule
marriage.
(2) No. An action for nullity is imprescriptible. Jose and Felisa’s on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of
marriage was celebrated san a marriage license. The right to impugn a void Voidable Marriages, the petition for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage
marriage does not prescribe.
may not be filed by any party outside of the marriage. A petition for declaration
of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the
wife. Only an aggrieved or injured spouse may file a petition forannulment of Petitioner commenced the nullity of marriage case against respondent Felicidad
voidable marriages or declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages. Such in 1995. The marriage in controversy was celebrated on May 14, 1962. Which law
petition cannot be filed by compulsory or intestate heirs of the spouses or by the would govern depends upon when the marriage took place.
State. The Committee is of the belief that they do not have a legal right to file the
The marriage having been solemnized prior to the effectivity of the Family Code,
petition. Compulsory or intestate heirs have only inchoate rights prior to the death
the applicable law is the Civil Code which was the law in effect at the time of its
of their predecessor, and, hence, can only question the validity of the marriage of
celebration. But the Civil Code is silent as to who may bring an action to declare
the spouses upon the death of a spouse in a proceeding for the settlement of the
the marriage void. Does this mean that any person can bring an action for the
estate of the deceased spouse filed in the regular courts. On the other hand, the
declaration of nullity of marriage?
concern of the State is to preserve marriage and not to seek its dissolution. The
Rule extends only to marriages entered into during the effectivity of the Family True, under the New Civil Code which is the law in force at the time the
Code which took effect on August 3, 1988. respondents were married, or even in the Family Code, there is no specific
provision as to who can file a petition to declare the nullity of marriage; however,
The advent of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages
only a party who can demonstrate “proper interest” can file the same. A petition
marks the beginning of the end of the right of the heirs of the deceased spouse to
to declare the nullity of marriage, like any other actions, must be prosecuted or
bring a nullity of marriage case against the surviving spouse. But the Rule never
defended in the name of the real party-in-interest and must be based on a cause
intended to deprive the compulsory or intestate heirs of their successional rights.
of action. Thus, in Niñal v. Badayog, the Court held that the children have the
While A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC declares that a petition for declaration of absolute personality to file the petition to declare the nullity of marriage of their deceased
nullity of marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife, it does not father to their stepmother as it affects their successional rights.
mean that the compulsory or intestate heirs are without any recourse under the
law. They can still protect their successional right, for, as stated in the Rationale
Suntay vs. Suntay GR No. 132524
of the Rules on Annulment of Voidable Marriages and Declaration of Absolute
Nullity of Void Marriages, compulsory or intestate heirs can still question the FACTS:
validity of the marriage of the spouses, not in a proceeding for declaration of Petitioner Federico is the oppositor to respondent Isabel’s Petition for
nullity but upon the death of a spouse in a proceeding for the settlement of the Letters of Administration over the estate of Cristina A. Suntay who had died
without leaving a will. The decedent is the wife of Federico and the grandmother
estate of the deceased spouse filed in the regular courts. of Isabel. Isabel’s father Emilio, had predeceased his mother Cristina.
The marriage of Isabel’s parents had previously been decalred by the
It is emphasized, however, that the Rule does not apply to cases already
CFI as “null and void.” Federico anchors his oppostion on this fact, alleging
commenced before March 15, 2003 although the marriage involved is within the based on Art. 992 of the CC, that Isabel has no right to succeed by right of
coverage of the Family Code. This is so, as the new Rule which became effective representation as she is an illegitimate child. The trial court had denied
on March 15, 2003 is prospective in its application. Federico’s Motion to Dismiss, hence this petition for certiorari. Federico
contends that, inter alia, that the dispositive portion of the the decision declaring
the marriage of Isabel’s parents “null and void” be upheld.
ISSUE:
In case of conflict between the body of the decision and the dispostive portion
SANTOS VS COURT OF APPEALS
thereof, which should prevail? Related thereto, was the marriage of Isabel’s
parents a case of a void or voidable marriage? G.R. No. 112019, January 4 1995 [Article 36; Psychological Incapacity]
Whether or not Isabel is an legitimate child?
FACTS:
HELD: Leouel, a First Lieutenant of the Philippine Army, married Julia in a municipal
Petition dismissed trial court and thereafter, in a church. She gave birth to a baby boy and was
Art. 10 of the Civil Code states that in case of doubt in the interpretation and
named Leouel Jr. Occasionally, the couple quarreled over a lot of things
application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and
justice to prevail. This is also applicable and binding upon courts in relation to including the interference of Julia's parents into their family affairs.
its judgment. While the dispositive portion of the CFI decision states that the Julia went to US to work as a nurse and promised husband that she will return
marriage be “declared null and void,” the body had shown that the legal basis once her contract will expired. She never did. Leouel tried to find her in the US
was par. 3 Art. 85 of the Civil Code, which was in effect at the time. Art. 85 but somehow failed to contact her or get in touch with her.
enumerates the causes for which a marriage may be annulled. As such the Leouel filed a petition to have their marriage declared null and void, citing
conflict between the body and the dispositive portion of the decision may be
Article 36 of the Family Code. He argued that Julia's failure to return home and
reconcilable as noted by the Supreme Court. The fundamental distinction
between void and voidable marriages is that void marriage is deemed never to communicating with him for more than 5 years constitute psychological
have taken place at all. The effects of void marriages, with respect to property incapacity.
relations of the spouses are provided for under Article 144 of the Civil Code.
Children born of such marriages who are called natural children by legal fiction ISSUE:
have the same status, rights and obligations as acknowledged natural children Whether or not their marriage can be considered void under Article 36 of the
under Article 89 irrespective of whether or not the parties to the void marriage Family Code.
are in good faith or in bad faith. On the other hand, a voidable marriage, is
considered valid and produces all its civil effects, until it is set aside by final
judgment of a competent court in an action for annulment. Juridically, the RULING:
annulment of a marriage dissolves the special contract as if it had never been No. Julia's failure to return to her husband and communication with him do not
entered into but the law makes express provisions to prevent the effects of the constitute psychological incapacity. The intendment of the law has been to
marriage from being totally wiped out. confine the meaning of psychological incapacity to the most serious cases of
The status of children born in voidable marriages is governed by the personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability
second paragraph of Article 89 which provides that:
to give meaning and significance to the marriage. This psychological condition
Children conceived of voidable marriages before the decree of
annulment shall be considered legitimate; and children conceived thereafter must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated.
shall have the same status, rights and obligations as acknowledged natural Psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) juridical antecedence, (b)
children, and are also called natural children by legal fiction. In view thereof, the gravity and (c) incurability.
status of Isabel would be covered by the second paragraph of Article 89 of the In the case at bar, although Leouel stands aggrieved, his petition must be
Civil Code which provides that “children conceived of voidable marriages dismissed because the alleged psychological incapacity of his wife is not clearly
before the decree of annulment shall be considered legitimate.”
shown by the factual settings presented. The factual settings do not come close
to to the standard required to decree a nullity of marriage.