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PEOPLE v.

SANTIAGO (1927)

Topic: Consent Freely Given


Related to: Art. 2, Art. 4, Art. 45(3) of the Family Code

Plaintiff-Appellee: People of the Philippines


Defendant- Appellant: Felipe Santiago

Facts: The case is an appeal to reverse a judgment of the Court of First Instance of the Province
of Neuva Ecija, finding appellant, Felipe Santiago, guilty of the offense of rape.

The victim, Felicita Masilang, is the the niece of Felipes deceased wife. On November
23, 1926, Felipe asked Felicita to accompany him across the river on an errand. Felicita agreed
and they went over the river together into the municipality of San Leonardo. After crossing the
river, Felipe brought Felicita to a place around 20 paces from the highway where tall grass and
other growth hid them from public view. Felipe then manifested a desire to have sexual
intercourse with Felicita, which she refused, and he accomplished it through force and against
her will. After the deed has been done, Felipe brought Felicita to his uncles house where they
remained for several hours. In that afternoon, his uncle, Agaton Santiago, brought in a minister
who went through the ceremony of marrying Felipe and Felicita. After the ceremony, Felipe gave
Felicita a few pesos and sent her home. When Felicitas father returned home the following day,
she told him what happened, and this prosecution for rape was started.

The trial court found the offense of rape had been committed, and that the marriage was a
ruse by appellant Felipe Santiago to escape from the criminal consequences of his act.

Issues:
1. W/N Felipe Santiago had essential bona fide consent to marry Felicita
2. W/N the marriage is valid

Ruling:

1. The Court rules that Felipe had complete absence of bona fide intent to marry Felicita and
make her his wife. The marriage between Santiago and Felicita was merely a ruse to escape
the criminal consequences of his act of rape.
The manner in which the appellant dealt with Felicita before and after the marriage
shows that he had no good faith intention of making Felicita his wife, and the ceremony
cannot be considered binding on her because of duress.

2. The marriage is not valid and void ab initio for lack or absence of essential consent.

Art. 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.
Art. 4. The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio,
except as stated in Article 35.

BUT, had the court focused on the intimidation or undue influence exerted on Felicita that
vitiated her consent, the marriage only would have only been voidable.

Art. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the
marriage
(3) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full
knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.