G.R. No. 47101, 25 April 1941
It was established before the trial court: The Plaintiff met the defendant in March 1938. After several interviews, both were committed on September 19 of that year .On November 26 the same year, the plaintiff married the defendant in a Catholic Cathedral in Baguio. They, then, cohabited for about eighty-nine days. Defendant gave birth to a child of nine months on February 23, 1939. Following this event, Plaintiff and Defendant separated. On March 20, 1939 the plaintiff filed an action for annulment of marriage before the CFI of Baguio City. The plaintiff claimed that he consented to the marriage because the defendant assured him that she was virgin. The trial court dismissed the complaint.
Hence, this appeal. Basically, Godofredo Buccat (Plaintiff) and Luida Mangonon (Defendant) got married on November 26, 1938. Luida gave birth after 89 days and on March 20, 1939 Godofredo filed for annulment of marriage before the CFI because he was led to believe by Luida that she was a virgin. The trial court dismissed the complaint, so Godofredo appealed.
Should the annulment for Godofredo Buccat’s marriage be granted on the grounds that Luida concealed her pregnancy before the marriage?
No. Clear and authentic proof is needed in order to nullify a marriage, a sacred institution in which the State is interested and where society rests.
In this case, the court did not find any proof that there was concealment of pregnancy constituting fraud as a ground for annulment. It was unlikely that Godofredo, a first-year law student, did not suspect anything about Luida’s condition considering that she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy (highly developed physical manifestation, ie. enlarged stomach ) when they got married. As she gave birth less than 3 months after they got married, she must have looked very pregnant even before they were married. Thus, consent freely given: ARTICLE 4 and 45 FC.
SC affirmed the lower court’s decision. Costs to plaintiff-appellant.
* Case digest by Liezel O. Lagare , LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018