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March, 6, 19837
Conception, J.
Angelita Jones
Felix Hortiguela, as administrator, widower and heir
Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance
Dec 1914 Marciana Escano married Arthur Jones in Cebu
Jan 10, 1918 Arthur Jones secured passport to go abroad and thereafter nothing was ever heard of
Oct 1919 Proceedings were institute by Marciana Escao, to have her husband judicially declared
an absentee.

Oct 25, 1919 The court issued an order declaring Arthur W. Jones an absentee
Pursuant to the provisions of article 186 of the Civil Code, with the proviso that said
judicial declaration of absence would not take effect until six months after its publication
in the official newspapers.
April 23, 1921 The court issued another order for the taking effect of the declaration of absence,
publication thereof having been made in the Official Gazette and in "El Ideal."
May 6, 1927 Felix Hortiguela and Marciana Escao were married before the justice of the peace of
Malitbog, Leyte, and they signed the certificate of marriage
Marciana Escao dies
May 9, 1932 As Marciana Escao had died intestate, her widower Felix Hortiguela was appointed
judicial administrator of her entire estate, and in an order issued on May 9, 1932,
Angelita Jones, her daughter by her first marriage, and Felix Hortiguela, her widower by
her second marriage, were declared her only heirs.

Whether or not Felix Hortiguela's alleged marriage to Marciana Escao was celebrated. (read in Maams book as
when to start couting the period of absence by the first husband to enable the spouse present to validly
YES. Marriage between Felix Hortiguela and Marciana Escao is valid.
Section III, paragraph 2, General orders, No. 68.
o 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 such former spouse is
generally reputed to be dead and the spouse present so believe at the time of the celebration of
the marriage.
Court did not agree with Angelita.
o Angelita contends that the declaration of absence must be understood to have been made not in
the order of October 25, 1919, but in that of April 23, 1921, and that from the latter date to May
6, 1927, the date of the celebration of the marriage, only 6 years and 14 days elapsed; and in
accordance with section III, paragraph 2, of General Orders, No. 68, the marriage so contracted
by Felix Hortiguela and Marciana Escao is null and void.
Starting point (court order declaring Jones an absentee and published)
April 23, 1921 May 6, 1927 = less than 7 years
The Courts Says
o For the purposes of the civil marriage law, it is not necessary to have the former spouse judicially
declared an absentee.
o Declaration of Absence
Its sole purpose to enable the taking of the necessary precautions for the administration
of the estate of the absentee
The absence of former husband should be counted from January 10, 1918, the date on
which the last news concerning Arthur was received, and from said date to May 6,
1927, more than nine years elapsed. therefore, valid and lawful.
Starting point (applied for passport and last hear from)
January 10, 1918 May 6, 1927 = more than 7 years
From the Book:
Under the Civil Code
o Absent spouse must be generally considered as dead and believed to be so by the spouse
before the spouse present may marry again
Under Family Code
o Merely requires that the spouse present has well-founded belief that the absent spouse was
already dead.
Affirms the order on May 9, 1932 relative to declaration of heirs.