People v. Aragon

G.R. No. L-10016, 28 February 1957

FACTS:

Proceso Rosima, contracted marriage with a certain Maria Gorrea in Cebu . While his marriage with Maria Gorrea was subsisting, the accused under the name of Proceso Aragon, contracted a canonical marriage with Maria Faicol in Iloilo City. The sponsors of the accused and Maria Faicol were Eulogio Giroy, who was then an employee of the Office of the Municipal Treasurer of Iloilo, and a certain Emilio Tomesa, a clerk in the said office. After the said marriage, the accused and Maria Faicol established residence in Iloilo. As the accused was then a traveling salesman, he commuted between Iloilo where he maintained Maria Faicol, and Cebu where he maintained his first wife, Maria Gorrea died in Cebu City. After Maria Gorrea’s death, and seeing that the coast was dear in Cebu, the accused brought Maria Faicol to Cebu City in 1940, where she worked as a teacher-nurse. It would seem that the accused and Maria Faicol did not live a happy marital life in Cebu, for Faicol suffered injuries to her eyes because of physical maltreatment in the hands of the accused. On January 22, 1953, the accused sent Maria Faicol to Iloilo, allegedly for the purpose of undergoing treatment of her eyesight. During her absence, the accused contracted a third marriage with a certain Jesusa C. Maglasang.

The accused admitted having contracted marriage with Jesusa C. Maglasang in Sibonga, Cebu. Although the accused made an attempt to deny his previous marriage with Maria Faicol, the Court, however, believes that the attempt is futile for the fact of the said second marriage was fully established not only by the certificate of the said marriage, but also by the testimony of Maria Faicol and of EulogioGiroy, one of the sponsors of the wedding, and the identification of the accused made by Maria Faicol.

The Court of First Instance of Cebu held that even in the absence of an express provision in Act No. 3613 authorizing the filing of an action for judicial declaration of nullity of a marriage void ab initio, defendant could not legally contract marriage with Jesusa C. Maglasang without the dissolution of his marriage to Maria Faicol, either by the death of the latter or by the judicial declaration of the nullity of such marriage, at the instance of the latter.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the third marriage is null and void.

RULING:

No. The action was instituted upon the complaint of the second wife whose marriage with Rosima was not renewed after the death of the first wife and before the third marriage was entered into. Hence, the last marriage was a valid one and prosectuion againts Rosima for contracting marriage cannot prosper.

The statutory provision (section 29 of the Marriage Law or Act No. 3613) plainly makes a subsequent marriage contracted by any person during the lifetime of his first spouse illegal and void from its performance, and no judicial decree is necessary to establish its invalidity, as distinguished from mere annullable marriages. There is here no pretense that appellant’s second marriage with Olga Lema was contracted in the belief that the first spouse, Jovita de Asis, had been absent for seven consecutive years or generally considered as dead, so as to render said marriage valid until declared null and void by a subsequent court. (People v. Mendoza)

* Case digest by Daisy Mae O. Tambolero, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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