De Chua v. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 116835, 5 March 1998

FACTS:

Roberto Lim Chua, during his lifetime, lived out of wedlock with private respondent Florita A. Vallejo from 1970-1981. The couple had two illegitimate children, Roberto Rafson Alonzo and Rudyard Pride Alonzo, all surnamed Chua. Roberto died intestate in Davao City on May 28, 1992. Vallejo filed on July 2, 1992 with RTC-Cotabato a petition for declaration of guardianship of the two child and their properties worth P5,000,000.00.

Antonietta Garcia Vda De Chua, the petitioner, filed a motion alleging that she was the true wife of Roberto. However, according to Vallejo, she is not the surviving spouse of the latter but a pretender to the estate since the deceased never contracted marriage with any woman and died a bachelor.

ISSUE:

Whether petitioner is indeed the true wife of Roberto Chua.

RULING:

The court ruled that petitioner was not able to prove her status as wife of the deceased. She could not produce the original copy or authenticated copy of their marriage certificate. Furthermore, a certification from the Local Civil Registrar was presented that no such marriage contract between petitioner and Roberto Chua was ever registered with them, attested by Judge Augusto Banzali, the alleged person to have solemnized the alleged marriage. The evidences presented by the Petitioner were not enough to convince the court that she is indeed the lawful wife of Roberto Lim Chua.

Hence, it is clear that petitioner failed to establish the truth of her allegation that she was the lawful wife of the deceased. According to the court the best evidenceis a valid marriage contract which she failed to produce.

* Case digest by Lea A. Caipang, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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