Lasanas vs People GR 15903 Case Digest

Lasanas vs People GR 15903 Case Digest

Lasanas vs People Case Digest GR 15903

Any person who contracts a second marriage without first having a judicial declaration of the nullity of his or her first marriage, albeit on its face void and in existent for lack of a marriage license, is guilty of bigamy as defined and penalized by Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code.

Facts

On February 16, 1968, Judge Salazar of the MTC Iloilo solemnized the marriage of accused Noel Lasanas and Socorro Patingo without the benefit of a marriage license.

The records show that Lasanas and Patingo had not executed any affidavit of cohabitation to excuse the lack of the marriage license.

On August 27, 1980, Lasanas and Patingo reaffirmed their marriage vows in a religious ceremony before Fr. Tamayo at the San Jose Church in Iloilo City. They submitted no marriage license or affidavit of cohabitation for that purpose.

Both ceremonies were evidenced by the corresponding marriage certificates.

In 1982, Lasanas and Patingo separated de facto because of irreconcilable differences.

On December 27, 1993, the accused contracted marriage with Josefa Eslaban in a religious ceremony.

Their marriage certificate reflected the civil status of the accused as single.

On July 26, 1996, the accused filed a complaint about the annulment of marriage and damages against Socorro. The complaint alleged that Socorro had employed deceit, misrepresentations, and fraud in securing his consent to their marriage.

Issue

Whether or not Lasanas committed bigamy?

Ruling

Yes, Lasanas committed bigamy.

This Court concedes that the marriage between accused-appellant Lasanas and private complainant Patingo was void because of the absence of a marriage license or of an affidavit of cohabitation.

The ratification of religious wedding ceremony could not have validated the void marriage. Neither can the church wedding be treated as a marriage in itself for to do so, all the essential and formal requisites of a valid marriage should be present.

One of these requisites is a valid marriage license. However, except in those instances when this requirement may be excused. The religious wedding cannot be treated as a valid marriage if no marriage license nor affidavit of cohabitation presented to the priest who presided over the religious rites

But then, as the law and jurisprudence say, the petitioner should have first secured a judicial declaration of the nullity of his void marriage to private complainant Patingo before marrying Josefa Eslaban. Actually, he did just that but after his marriage to Josefa Eslaban.

Consequently, he violated the law on bigamy.

Conclusion

WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals promulgated on August 29, 2002; and ORDERS the petitioner to pay the costs of suit.


Lasanas vs People Case Digest GR 15903

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