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G.R. No. 183805 July 3, 2013

In September 1999, James Capili married Karla Medina. But then, just three months later in December
1999, he married another woman named Shirley Tismo.

In 2004, Karla Medina filed an action for declaration of nullity of the second marriage between Capili and
Tismo. In June 2004, Tismo filed a bigamy case against Capili.

Before a decision can be had in the bigamy case, the action filed by Karla Medina was granted and Capilis
marriage with Tismo was declared void by reason of the subsisting marriage between Medina and Capili.
Thereafter, Capili filed a motion to dismiss in the bigamy case. He alleged that since the second marriage
was already declared void ab initio that marriage never took place and that therefore, there is no bigamy to
speak of.

The trial court agreed with Capili and it dismissed the bigamy case. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
reversed the dismissal and remanded the case to the trial court.

Whether or not a declaration of nullity of the second marriage avoids a prosecution for bigamy.

No. The elements of bigamy are:

1. That the offender has been legally married;

2. That the first marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent
spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code;

3. That he contracts a second or subsequent marriage;

4. That the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity.

When Capili married Tismo, all the above elements are present. The crime of bigamy was already
consummated. It is already immaterial if the second (or first marriage, see Mercado vs Tan) was
subsequently declared void. The outcome of the civil case filed by Karla Medina had no bearing to the
determination of Capilis guilt or innocence in the bigamy case because all that is required for the charge
of bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the second marriage is contracted.
He who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration of the first marriage assumes the risk of
being prosecuted for bigamy.

The Supreme Court also notes that even if a party has reason to believe that his first marriage is void, he
cannot simply contract a second marriage without having such first marriage be judicially declared as void.
The parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must
be submitted to the judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared
can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists.
G.R. No. 150758 February 18, 2004

Veronico Tenebro contracted marriage with private complainant Leticia Ancajas on April 10, 1990.
Tenebro and Ancajas lived together continuously and without interruption until the latter part of 1991, when
Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had been previously married to a certain Hilda Villareyes on November
10, 1986.

Tenebro showed Ancajas a photocopy of a marriage contract between him and Villareyes. Invoking this
previous marriage, petitioner thereafter left the conjugal dwelling which he shared with Ancajas, stating
that he was going to cohabit with Villareyes.

On January 25, 1993, petitioner contracted yet another marriage, this one with a certain Nilda Villegas.
When Ancajas learned of this third marriage, she verified from Villareyes whether the latter was indeed
married to petitioner. In a handwritten letter, Villareyes confirmed that petitioner, Veronico Tenebro, was
indeed her husband.

Ancajas thereafter filed a complaint for bigamy against petitioner. Villegas countered that his marriage with
Villareyes cannot be proven as a fact there being no record of such. He further argued that his second
marriage, with Ancajas, has been declared void ab initio due to psychological incapacity. Hence, he cannot
be charged for bigamy.

Whether or not Tenebro is guilty of bigamy.

Yes. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity
does not retroact to the date of the celebration of the marriage insofar as the Philippines penal laws are
concerned. As such, an individual who contracts a second or subsequent marriage during the subsistence of
a valid marriage is criminally liable for bigamy, notwithstanding the subsequent declaration that the second
marriage is void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity.

As a second or subsequent marriage contracted during the subsistence of petitioners valid marriage to
Villareyes, petitioners marriage to Ancajas would be null and void ab initio completely regardless of
petitioners psychological capacity or incapacity. Since a marriage contracted during the subsistence of a
valid marriage is automatically void, the nullity of this second marriage is not per se an argument for the
avoidance of criminal liability for bigamy. Pertinently, Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code criminalizes
"any person who shall contract a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally
dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment
rendered in the proper proceedings". A plain reading of the law, therefore, would indicate that the provision
penalizes the mere act of contracting a second or a subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a valid

Thus, as soon as the second marriage to Ancajas was celebrated on April 10, 1990, during the subsistence
of the valid first marriage, the crime of bigamy had already been consummated. To our mind, there is no
cogent reason for distinguishing between a subsequent marriage that is null and void purely because it is a
second or subsequent marriage, and a subsequent marriage that is null and void on the ground of
psychological incapacity, at least insofar as criminal liability for bigamy is concerned.
Considerations, both logical and practical, would point to the fact that a "void" marriage due to
psychological incapacity remains, for all intents and purposes, to be binding and efficacious until judicially
declared otherwise. Without such marriage having first been declared a nullity (or otherwise dissolved), a
subsequent marriage could constitute bigamy. Thus, a civil case questioning the validity of the first marriage
would not be a prejudicial issue much in the same way that a civil case assailing a prior "voidable" marriage
(being valid until annulled) would not be a prejudicial question to the prosecution of a criminal offense for

In cases where the second marriage is void on grounds other than the existence of the first marriage, this
Court has declared in a line of cases that no crime of bigamy is committed. The Court has explained that
for a person to be held guilty of bigamy, it must, even as it needs only, be shown that the subsequent
marriage has all the essential elements of a valid marriage, were it not for the subsisting first union. Hence,
where it is established that the second marriage has been contracted without the necessary license and thus
void, or that the accused is merely forced to enter into the second (voidable) marriage, no criminal liability
for the crime of bigamy can attach. In both and like instances, however, the lapses refer to the elements
required for contracting a valid marriage. If, then, all the requisites for the perfection of the contract
marriage, freely and voluntarily entered into, are shown to be extant, the criminal liability for bigamy can
unassailably arise.

Since psychological incapacity, upon the other hand, does not relate to an infirmity in the elements, either
essential or formal, in contacting a valid marriage, the declaration of nullity subsequent to the bigamous
marriage due to that ground, without more, would be inconsequential in a criminal charge for bigamy. The
judicial declaration of nullity of a bigamous marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity merely
nullifies the effects of the marriage but it does not negate the fact of perfection of the bigamous marriage.
Its subsequent declaration of nullity dissolves the relationship of the spouses but, being alien to the requisite
conditions for the perfection of the marriage, the judgment of the court is no defense on the part of the
offender who had entered into it.
G.R. No. 181089 October 22, 2012

On April 8, 1976, respondent Lourdes Tajolosa Cipriano married Socrates Flores. On January 24, 1983,
during the subsistence of the said marriage, respondent married Silverio V. Cipriano.

In 2001, respondent filed with the RTC a Petition for the Annulment of her marriage with Socrates on the
ground of the latters psychological incapacity as defined under Article 36 of the Family Code. On July 18,
2003, the RTC declared the marriage of respondent with Socrates null and void.

On May 14, 2004, petitioner Merlinda Cipriano Montaez, Silverios daughter from the first marriage, filed
with the MTC, a Complaint for Bigamy against respondent. Lourdes Cipriano alleged that her first marriage
was already declared void ab initio in 2003. Thus, there was no more marriage to speak of prior to her
marriage to Silverio on January 24, 1983.

The prosecution argued that the crime of bigamy had already been consummated when respondent filed her
petition for declaration of nullity. RTC ruled in favor of respondent on the ground that both weddings are
governed by the Civil Code, and not the Family Code, hence, judicial declaration of absolute nullity is not
a condition precedent to contracting a subsequent marriage.

WON respondent should be held guilty for bigamy.

Yes. Here, at the time respondent contracted the second marriage, the first marriage was still subsisting as
it had not yet been legally dissolved. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage
would not change the fact that she contracted the second marriage during the subsistence of the first
marriage. Thus, respondent was properly charged of the crime of bigamy, since the essential elements of
the offense charged were sufficiently alleged.

Parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be
submitted to the judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can
it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists.
Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage
assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.
G.R. No. 166836 September 4, 2013

San Miguel Properties, Inc. purchased from BF Homes, then represented by Atty. Florencio B. Orendain
as its duly authorized rehabilitation receiver appointed by the SEC, 130 residential lots situated in its
subdivision. The TCTs covering the lots bought under the first and second deeds were fully delivered to
San Miguel Properties, but 20 TCTs covering 20 of the 41 parcels of land purchased under the third deed
of sale were not delivered to San Miguel Properties.

On its part, BF Homes claimed that it withheld the delivery of the 20 TCTs for parcels of land purchased
under the third deed of sale because Atty. Orendain had ceased to be its rehabilitation receiver at the time
of the transactions. Thus, San Miguel Properties filed a complaint in the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Las Pias charging respondent directors and officers of BF Homes with non-delivery of titles in violation
of Section 25 of PD 957. At the same time, San Miguel Properties sued BF Homes for specific performance
in the HLURB praying to compel BF Homes to release the 20 TCTs in its favor.

On October 23, 2000, the OCP Las Pias rendered its resolution, dismissing San Miguel Properties
criminal complaint for violation of PD 957 on the ground that there existed a prejudicial question
necessitating the suspension of the criminal action until after the issue on the liability of the distressed BF
Homes was first determined by the SEC en banc or by the HLURB. San Miguel appealed to the DOJ, which
was denied. Upon elevation to the CA, the petition was again denied. The CA held that there was a
prejudicial question.

Whether or not an administrative case can be considered a prejudicial question to the resolution of a civil

Yes. The concept of a prejudicial question involves a civil action and a criminal case. Yet, contrary to San
Miguel Properties submission that there could be no prejudicial question to speak of because no civil action
where the prejudicial question arose was pending, the action for specific performance in the HLURB raises
a prejudicial question that sufficed to suspend the proceedings determining the charge for the criminal
violation of Section 25 of PD 957. This is true simply because the action for specific performance was an
action civil in nature but could not be instituted elsewhere except in the HLURB, whose jurisdiction over
the action was exclusive and original.

The determination of whether the proceedings ought to be suspended because of a prejudicial question
rested on whether the facts and issues raised in the pleadings in the specific performance case were so
related with the issues raised in the criminal complaint for the violation of Presidential Decree No. 957,
such that the resolution of the issues in the former would be determinative of the question of guilt in the
criminal case.

The action for specific performance in the HLURB would determine whether or not San Miguel Properties
was legally entitled to demand the delivery of the remaining 20 TCTs, while the criminal action would
decide whether or not BF Homes directors and officers were criminally liable for withholding the 20 TCTs.
The resolution of the former must obviously precede that of the latter, for should the HLURB hold San
Miguel Properties to be not entitled to the delivery of the 20 TCTs because Atty. Orendain did not have the
authority to represent BF Homes in the sale due to his receivership having been terminated by the SEC, the
basis for the criminal liability for the violation of Section 25 of PD 957 would evaporate, thereby negating
the need to proceed with the criminal case.
G.R. No. 168129 April 24, 2007

On July 25, 1987, President Aquino issued E.O. No. 273, amending the NIRC by imposing Value-Added
Tax (VAT) on the sale of goods and services. This E.O. took effect on January 1, 1988.

Before the effectivity of E.O. No. 273, or on December 10, 1987, respondent wrote the CIR, petitioner,
inquiring whether the services it provides to the participants in its health care program are exempt from the
payment of the VAT.

On June 8, 1988, the CIR issued VAT Ruling No. 231-88 stating that respondent, as a provider of medical
services, is exempt from the VAT coverage. This Ruling was subsequently confirmed by Regional Director
Osmundo G. Umali of Revenue Region No. 8.

Meanwhile, on January 1, 1996, RA 7716 (Expanded VAT or E-VAT Law) took effect, amending further
the NIRC of 1977. Then on January 1, 1998, R.A. 8424 (NIRC of 1997) became effective. This new Tax
Code substantially adopted and reproduced the provisions of E.O. 273 on VAT and R.A. 7716 on E-VAT.

In the interim, the BIR sent respondent a Preliminary Assessment Notice for deficiency in its payment of
the VAT and documentary stamp taxes for taxable years 1996 and 1997. Respondent filed a protest with
the BIR. On January 27, 2000, petitioner CIR sent respondent a letter demanding payment of deficiency
VAT and DST for taxable years 1996 and 1997.

On February 23, 2000, respondent filed another protest questioning the assessment notices. Petitioner CIR
did not take any action on the protests. Hence, it filed with the CTA a petition for review. The CTA
withdrew the VAT assessment of the respondent, holding that it is entitled to the benefit of non-retroactivity
of rulings guaranteed under Section 246 of the Tax Code, in the absence of showing of bad faith on its part.

Whether or not the VAT ruling has retroactive application.

Yes. In its Resolution, the CTA found that there is no showing that respondent deliberately committed
mistakes or omitted material facts when it obtained VAT Ruling No. 231-88 from the BIR. The CTA held
that respondents letter which served as the basis for the VAT ruling sufficiently described its business and
there is no way the BIR could be misled by the said representation as to the real nature of said business.

According to the Court of Appeals, respondents failure to describe itself as a health maintenance
organization, which is subject to VAT, is not tantamount to bad faith. We note that the term health
maintenance organization was first recorded in the Philippine statute books only upon the passage of The
National Health Insurance Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7875). Section 4 (o) (3) thereof defines a health
maintenance organization as an entity that provides, offers, or arranges for coverage of designated health
services needed by plan members for a fixed prepaid premium. Under this law, a health maintenance
organization is one of the classes of a health care provider.

It is thus apparent that when VAT Ruling No. 231-88 was issued in respondents favor, the term health
maintenance organization was yet unknown or had no significance for taxation purposes. Respondent,
therefore, believed in good faith that it was VAT exempt for the taxable years 1996 and 1997 on the basis
of VAT Ruling No. 231-88.
G.R. No. 179799 September 11, 2009

Respondents Emma J. Datuin and Sansio Philippines, Inc. (Sansio) filed an affidavit of complaint for
violation of B.P. against petitioner Zenaida R. Gregorio, a proprietor of Alvi Marketing.

Datuin and Sansio claimed that Gregorio delivered insufficiently funded bank checks as payment for
appliances Alvi Marketing bought from Sansio. Gregorio was then indicted for 3 counts of violation of B.P.
22 before the MTC. The MTC issued a warrant of arrest and she was subsequently arrested by armed
operatives while visiting her family house.

On December 5, 1997, Gregorio filed before the MTC a Motion for Deferment of Arraignment and
Reinvestigation. She alleged that she could not have issued the bounced checks as she did not have a
checking account with the bank on which the checks were drawn. This was certified by the manager of the
said bank. Gregorio also alleged that the signature on the bounced checks were radically and patently
different from her own signature. The MTC granted the motion, and a reinvestigation was conducted.
Subsequently, the MTC ordered the B.P. 22 cases dismissed.

On August 18, 2000, Gregorio filed a complaint for damages against Sansio and Datuin before the RTC.
Part of her complaint was that as a result of her wrongful arrest and arraignment, she suffered helplessness,
hunger and humiliation and being distraught. Datuin and Sansio meanwhile filed a Motion to Dismiss on
grounds that Gregorios complaint arose from grounds of compensation arising from malicious prosecution.
The RTC denied this Motion to Dismiss. Sansio and Datuin then filed a Motion for Reconsideration but
was denied. They went to the CA which rendered a Decision granting the petition and ordering Gregorios
damage suit to be dismissed.

WON Gregorio is entitled to damages.

Yes. Gregorio anchored her civil complaint on Articles 26, 2176, and 2180 of the Civil Code.

A scrutiny of Gregorios civil complaint reveals that the averments thereof, taken together, fulfill the
elements of Article 2176, in relation to Article 26 of the Civil Code. It appears that Gregorios rights to
personal dignity, personal security, privacy, and peace of mind were infringed by Sansio and Datuin when
they failed to exercise the requisite diligence in determining the identity of the person they should rightfully
accuse of tendering insufficiently funded checks. This fault was compounded when they failed to ascertain
the correct address of petitioner, thus depriving her of the opportunity to controvert the charges, because
she was not given proper notice. Because she was not able to refute the charges against her, petitioner was
falsely indicted for three (3) counts of violation of B.P. Blg. 22. Although she was never found at No. 76
Pearanda St., Legaspi City, the office address of Alvi Marketing as stated in the criminal complaint,
Gregorio was conveniently arrested by armed operatives of the PARAC-DILG while visiting her family.
She suffered embarrassment and humiliation over her sudden arrest and detention and she had to spend
time, effort, and money to clear her tarnished name and reputation, considering that she had held several
honorable positions in different organizations and offices in the public service, particularly her being a
Kagawad in Oas, Albay at the time of her arrest. There exists no contractual relation between Gregorio and
Sansio. On the other hand, Gregorio is prosecuting Sansio, under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, for its
vicarious liability, as employer, arising from the act or omission of its employee Datuin.