G.R. No. L-8492, 29 February 1956
Lourdes Lukban and Francisco Chuidian got married in 1933 and after a violent quarrel he left Lukban and has not been heard of since then. She diligently looked for him asking the parents and friends but no one knew his whereabouts. She believes that husband is already dead since he was absent for more than 20 years and because she intends to marry again, she desires to have her civil status put in order to be relieved on any liability under the law.
Whether Lukban needs to secure declaration of presumptive death before she can remarry.
The court ruled that Lukban does not need to secure declaration of presumptive death of her husband because Civil Code prevails during their marriage in 1933. It provides that “for the purposes of the civil marriage law, it is not necessary to have the former spouse judicially declared an absentee. The declaration of absence made in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code has for its sole purpose to enable the taking of the necessary precautions for the administration of the estate of the absentee. For the celebration of civil marriage, however, the law only requires that the former spouse has been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the second marriage, that the spouse present does not know his or her former spouse to be living, that each former spouse is generally reputed to be dead and the spouse present so believes at the time of the celebration of the marriage.
* Case digest by Mary Jade L. Capin, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018