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PIMENTEL V.

PIMENTEL
G.R. No. 172060, [September 13, 2010]

FACTS:

On October 25, 2004, Maria Pimentel (private respondent) filed an action for frustrated parricide
against Joselito Pimentel (petitioner) before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.

On February 7, 2005, petitioner received summons to appear before RTC Antipolo City for the
pre-trial and trial of a civil case (Maria Pimentel v. Joselito Pimentel) for Declaration of Nullity
of Marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code on the ground of psychological incapacity.

On 11 February 2005, petitioner filed an urgent motion to suspend the proceedings before the
RTC Quezon City on the ground of the existence of a prejudicial question. Petitioner asserted
that since the relationship between the offender and the victim is a key element in parricide, the
outcome of the civil case would have a bearing in the criminal case filed against him before the
RTC Quezon City.

The RTC Quezon City held that the pendency of the case before the RTC Antipolo is not a
prejudicial question that warrants the suspension of the criminal case before it.

The Court of Appeals ruled that even if the marriage between petitioner and respondent would be
declared void, it would be immaterial to the criminal case because prior to the declaration of
nullity, the alleged acts constituting the crime of frustrated parricide had already been
committed.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the resolution of the action for annulment of marriage is a prejudicial question
that warrants the suspension of the criminal case for frustrated parricide against petitioner

HELD:

No. Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure provides that elements of a
prejudicial question are:
(a) the previously instituted civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue
raised in the subsequent criminal action and
(b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.

In the case at bar, the civil case for annulment was filed after the filing of the criminal case for
frustrated parricide. As such, the requirement of Section 7, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on
Criminal Procedure was not met since the civil action was filed subsequent to the filing of the
criminal action.

The relationship between the offender and the victim is a key element in the crime of parricide,
which punishes any person “who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or
illegitimate, or any of his ascendants or descendants, or his spouse.” However, the issue in
the annulment of marriage is not similar or intimately related to the issue in the criminal case for
parricide. Further, the relationship between the offender and the victim is not determinative of
the guilt or innocence of the accused.

At the time of the commission of the alleged crime, petitioner and respondent were married. The
subsequent dissolution of their marriage will have no effect on the alleged crime that was
committed at the time of the subsistence of the marriage. In short, even if the marriage between
petitioner and respondent is annulled, petitioner could still be held criminally liable since at the
time of the commission of the alleged crime, he was still married to respondent.

Petitioner’s reliance on Tenebro v. CA, that “the judicial declaration of the nullity of a marriage
on the ground of psychological incapacity retroacts to the date of the celebration of the marriage
insofar as the vinculum between the spouses is concerned x x x”, is misplaced.

First, the issue in Tenebro is the effect of the judicial declaration of nullity of a second or
subsequent marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity on a criminal liability for
bigamy. There was no issue of prejudicial question in that case.

Second, the Court ruled in Tenebro that “[t]here is x x x a recognition written into the law itself
that such a marriage, although void ab initio, may still produce legal consequences.” In fact, the
Court declared in that case that “a declaration of the nullity of the second marriage on the
ground of psychological incapacity is of absolutely no moment insofar as the State’s penal laws
are concerned.”

JARILLIO V. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 164435, [June 29, 2010]

FACTS:

On November 1979, the accused Victoria S. Jarillo, being previously united in lawful marriage
with Rafael M. Alocillo in 1974, and without the said marriage having been legally dissolved,
contracted a second marriage with Emmanuel Ebora Santos Uy which marriage was only
discovered in 1999.

On the same year, Emmanuel Uy (2nd husband) filed against the appellant a civil case for
annulment of marriage before the RTC. Jarillo filed for declaration of nullity of their marriage
against Alocillo in 2000.

For her defense, petitioner insisted that (1) her marriage to Alocillo was null and void because
Alocillo was allegedly still married to a certain Loretta Tillman at the time of the celebration of
their marriage; (2) her marriages to both Alocillo and Uy were null and void for lack of a valid
marriage license; and (3) the action had prescribed, since Uy knew about her marriage to
Alocillo as far back as 1978.
Notwithstanding her defenses, the RTC found Jarillo guilty for the crime of bigamy in 2001 and
was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of six years to ten years of prision mayor.

On appeal to the CA, petitioner’s conviction was affirmed.

In the meantime, the RTC rendered a decision in 2003, declaring petitioner’s 1974 marriage to
Alocillo null and void ab initio on the ground of Alocillo’s psychological incapacity. Said
decision became final and executory. In her motion for reconsideration, petitioner invoked said
declaration of nullity as a ground for the reversal of her conviction.

ISSUE:

Whether or not CA committed a reversible error in affirming the conviction of Jarillo for the
crime of bigamy despite the supervening proof that her marriage to Alocillo had been declared
void.

HELD:

No. Jarillo’s conviction of the crime of bigamy must be affirmed. The subsequent judicial
declaration of nullity of her marriage to Alocillo cannot be considered a valid defense in the
crime of bigamy. The moment petitioner contracted a second marriage without the previous one
having been judicially declared null and void, the crime of bigamy was already consummated.
Under the law, a marriage, even one which is void or voidable, shall be deemed valid until
declared otherwise in a judicial proceeding.

The outcome of the civil case for annulment of petitioner’s marriage had no bearing upon the
determination of petitioner’s innocence or guilt in the criminal case for bigamy, 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.

Without a judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage, it is presumed to be subsisting. Any
decision in the civil action for nullity would not erase the fact that the guilty party entered into a
second marriage during the subsistence of a first marriage. Thus, a decision in the civil case is
not essential to the determination of the criminal charge. It is, therefore, not a prejudicial
question.

BEUMER VS AMORES
G.R. No. 195670, [December 3, 2012]

FACTS:

Willem (Beumer), a Dutch national, married Avelina (Amores) on March 29, 1980. Their
marriage was declared a nullity by the RTC on November 10, 2000 by reason of psychological
incapacity, thus Willem filed a petition for dissolution of conjugal partnership and distribution of
properties which he claimed were acquired during their marriage. Among the properties
included in the inventory were several lots and residential house, described below:
1. a Lot 1, Block 3 of the consolidated survey of Lots 2144 & 2147 of the Dumaguete
Cadastre, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 22846, containing an area of
252 square meters (sq.m.), including a residential house constructed thereon.
2. Lot 2142 of the Dumaguete Cadastre, covered by TCT No. 21974, containing an area of 806
sq.m., including a residential house constructed thereon.
3. Lot 5845 of the Dumaguete Cadastre, covered by TCT No. 21306, containing an area of 756
sq.m.
4. Lot 4, Block 4 of the consolidated survey of Lots 2144 & 2147 of the Dumaguete Cadastre,
covered by TCT No. 21307, containing an area of 45 sq.m.
During trial, Willem testified that Lots 1, 2142, 5845 and 4 were registered in the name of
Avelina, but it was purchased using funds he received from the Dutch government as disability
benefit, and Avelina had no sufficient income to purchase the properties. On the other hand,
Avelina alleged that except for the two residential houses and Lots 1 and 2142, all the other lots
were her paraphernal properties and acquired thru her funds.
After trial the RTC disposed of the properties as follows: It awarded to Willem several personal
properties (tools and equipments), the two houses standing on Lots 1 and 2142 were declared as
co-owned by Willem and Avelina as there was no prohibition on aliens owning buildings and
houses and were acquired during the marital union.
On the other hand, all the lots covered by several TCTs were declared paraphernal properties ,
though acquired during the marriages, in view of the constitutional prohibition against aliens
owning real property in the Philippines. On appeal to the CA, Willem asserted that all the
money for the purchase of the lots came from his funds, and were registered only in the name of
Avelina because of the constitutional prohibition, hence he prayed for reimbursement of one half
of the value of the lots. The CA disagreed, ruling that he cannot invoke equity when he very
well knew the constitutional prohibition on aliens owning real property in the Philippines. Thus,
Willem elevated his case to the Supreme Court to assail the RTC and CA decision.
ISSUE:

Whether or not Willem is entitled to the whole or at least one half of the purchase price of the
lots subject of the case.
HELD:

No, Beumer cannot seek reimbursement on the ground of equity where it is clear that he
willingly and knowingly bought the property despite the prohibition against foreign ownership of
land enshrined under Section 7, Article XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which reads:
Section 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be transferred or
conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of
the public domain.
Undeniably, petitioner openly admitted that he “is well aware of the [above-cited] constitutional
prohibition” and even asseverated that, because of such prohibition, he and respondent registered
the subject properties in the latter’s name. Clearly, petitioner’s actuations showed his palpable
intent to skirt the constitutional prohibition. On the basis of such admission, the Court finds no
reason why it should not apply the Muller ruling and accordingly, deny petitioner’s claim for
reimbursement.

In any event, the Court cannot, even on the grounds of equity, grant reimbursement to petitioner
given that he acquired no right whatsoever over the subject properties by virtue of its
unconstitutional purchase. It is well-established that equity as a rule will follow the law and will
not permit that to be done indirectly which, because of public policy, cannot be done directly.
Surely, a contract that violates the Constitution and the law is null and void, vests no rights,
creates no obligations and produces no legal effect at all.

Corollary thereto, under Article 1412 of the Civil Code, petitioner cannot have the subject
properties deeded to him or allow him to recover the money he had spent for the purchase
thereof. The law will not aid either party to an illegal contract or agreement; it leaves the parties
where it finds them. Indeed, one cannot salvage any rights from an unconstitutional transaction
knowingly entered into.

Futile, too, is petitioner’s reliance on Article 22 of the New Civil Code which reads:
Art. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means,
acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal
ground, shall return the same to him.
The provision is expressed in the maxim: “MEMO CUM ALTERIUS DETER DETREMENTO
PROTEST” (No person should unjustly enrich himself at the expense of another). An action for
recovery of what has been paid without just cause has been designated as an accion in rem verso.
This provision does not apply if, as in this case, the action is proscribed by the Constitution or by
the application of the pari delicto doctrine.

To be sure, the constitutional ban against foreigners applies only to ownership of Philippine land
and not to the improvements built thereon, such as the two (2) houses standing on Lots 1 and
2142 which were properly declared to be co-owned by the parties subject to partition. Needless
to state, the purpose of the prohibition is to conserve the national patrimony and it is this policy
which the Court is duty-bound to protect.
DIÑO V. DIÑO
G.R. No. 178044, [January 19, 2011]

FACTS:
Alain M. Diño (petitioner) and Ma. Caridad L. Diño(respondent) got married on 14 January 1998
before Mayor Vergel Aguilar of Las Piñas City.

On 30 May 2001, petitioner filed an action for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage against
respondent, citing psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code.

Dr. Nedy L. Tayag (Dr. Tayag) submitted a psychological report establishing that respondent
was suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder which was incurable and deeply ingrained
in her system since her early formative years.

The trial court granted the petition on the ground that respondent was psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations at the time of the celebration of the
marriage and declared their marriage void ab initio. It ordered that a decree of absolute nullity of
marriage shall only be issued upon compliance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code.

Trial court, upon motion for partial reconsideration of petitioner, modified its decision holding
that a decree of absolute nullity of marriage shall be issued after liquidation, partition and
distribution of the parties’ properties under Article 147 of the Family Code.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the trial court erred when it ordered that a decree of absolute nullity of marriage
shall only be issued after liquidation, partition, and distribution of the parties’ properties under
Article 147 of the Family Code.

HELD:

Yes. The trial court’s decision is affirmed with modification. Decree of absolute nullity of the
marriage shall be issued upon finality of the trial court’s decision without waiting for the
liquidation, partition, and distribution of the parties’ properties under Article 147 of the Family
Code.

The Court has ruled in Valdes v. RTC that in a void marriage, regardless of its cause, the
property relations of the parties during the period of cohabitation is governed either by Article
147 or Article 148 of the Family Code. Article 147 of the Family Code applies to union of
parties who are legally capacitated and not barred by any impediment to contract marriage, but
whose marriage is nonetheless void, such as petitioner and respondent in the case before the
Court.

For Article 147 of the Family Code to apply, the following elements must be present:

1. The man and the woman must be capacitated to marry each other;
2. They live exclusively with each other as husband and wife; and
3. Their union is without the benefit of marriage, or their marriage is void.
All these elements are present in this case and there is no question that Article 147 of the Family
Code applies to the property relations between petitioner and respondent.

The trial court erred in ordering that a decree of absolute nullity of marriage shall be issued only
after liquidation, partition and distribution of the parties’ properties under Article 147 of the
Family Code. The ruling has no basis because Section 19(1) of the Rule does not apply to cases
governed under Articles 147 and 148 of the Family Code. Section 19(1) of the Rule provides:

Sec. 19. Decision. – (1) If the court renders a decision granting the petition, it shall
declare therein that the decree of absolute nullity or decree of annulment shall be issued
by the court only after compliance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code as
implemented under the Rule on Liquidation, Partition and Distribution of Properties.

It is clear from Article 50 of the Family Code that Section 19(1) of the Rule applies only to
marriages which are declared void ab initio or annulled by final judgment under Articles
40 and 45 of the Family Code. In short, Article 50 of the Family Code does not apply to
marriages which are declared void ab initio under Article 36 of the Family Code, which
should be declared void without waiting for the liquidation of the properties of the parties.

In both instances under Articles 40 and 45, the marriages are governed either by absolute
community of property or conjugal partnership of gains unless the parties agree to a complete
separation of property in a marriage settlement entered into before the marriage. Since the
property relations of the parties is governed by absolute community of property or conjugal
partnership of gains, there is a need to liquidate, partition and distribute the properties before a
decree of annulment could be issued. That is not the case for annulment of marriage under
Article 36 of the Family Code because the marriage is governed by the ordinary rules on co-
ownership.

In this case, petitioner’s marriage to respondent was declared void under Article 36 of the Family
Code and not under Article 40 or 45. Thus, what governs the liquidation of properties owned in
common by petitioner and respondent are the rules on co-ownership.

CAMACHO- REYES V. REYES


G.R. No. 185286, [August 18, 2010]

FACTS:

Petitioner Maria Socorro Camacho-Reyes met respondent Ramon Reyes at the University of the
Philippines (UP), Diliman, in 1972 when they were both nineteen (19) years old. The casual
acquaintanceship quickly developed into a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.

In 1976, the year following petitioner’s graduation and her father’s death, petitioner and
respondent got married. At that time, petitioner was already five (5) months pregnant and
employed at the Population Center Foundation. Thereafter, the newlyweds lived with the
respondent’s family in Mandaluyong City. All living expenses were shouldered by respondent’s
parents, and the couple’s respective salaries were spent solely for their personal needs.
Respondent ventured into business and resigned from his job. However, this new business took
respondent away from his young family for days on end without any communication. Petitioner
simply endured the set up, hoping that the situation will change. To prod respondent into
assuming more responsibility, petitioner suggested that they live separately from her in-laws.
However, the new living arrangement engendered further financial difficulty. Compounding the
family’s financial woes and further straining the parties’ relationship was the indifferent attitude
of respondent towards his family.

After two (2) years of struggling, the spouses transferred residence and, this time, moved in with
petitioner’s mother. But the new set up did not end their marital difficulties. In fact, the parties
became more estranged. Petitioner continued to carry the burden of supporting a family not just
financially, but in most aspects as well.

In 1985, petitioner, who had previously suffered a miscarriage, gave birth to their third son. At
that time, respondent was in Mindoro and he did not even inquire on the health of either the
petitioner or the newborn. A week later, respondent arrived in Manila, acting nonchalantly while
playing with the baby, with nary an attempt to find out how the hospital bills were settled.

In 1989, due to financial reverses, respondent’s fishpond business stopped operations. Although
without any means to support his family, respondent refused to go back to work for the family
business. Not surprisingly, the relationship of the parties deteriorated.

Sometime in 1996, petitioner confirmed that respondent was having an extra-marital affair.

One of the last episodes that sealed the fate of the parties’ marriage was a surgical operation on
petitioner for the removal of a cyst. Although his wife was about to be operated on, respondent
remained unconcerned and inattentive. After the operation, petitioner felt that she had had
enough of respondent’s lack of concern, and asked her mother to order respondent to leave the
recovery room.

Adolfo Reyes, respondent’s elder brother, and his spouse, Peregrina, members of a marriage
encounter group, invited and sponsored the parties to join the group. The elder couple scheduled
counseling sessions with petitioner and respondent, but these did not improve the parties’
relationship as respondent remained uncooperative.

In 1997, Adolfo brought respondent to Dr. Natividad A. Dayan for a psychological assessment to
“determine benchmarks of current psychological functioning.” As with all other attempts to help
him, respondent resisted and did not continue with the clinical psychologist’s recommendation to
undergo psychotherapy. At about this time, petitioner, with the knowledge of respondent’s
siblings, told respondent to move out of their house. Respondent acquiesced to give space to
petitioner. With the de facto separation, the relationship still did not improve. Neither did
respondent’s relationship with his children.

Finally, in 2001, petitioner filed (before the RTC) a petition for the declaration of nullity of her
marriage with the respondent, alleging the latter’s psychological incapacity to fulfill the essential
marital obligations under Article 36 of the Family Code.
Traversing the petition, respondent denied petitioner’s allegations that he was psychologically
incapacitated. After trial (where the testimonies of two clinical psychologists, Dr. Dayan and Dr.
Estrella Magno, and a psychiatrist, Dr. Cecilia Villegas, were presented in evidence), the RTC
granted the petition and declared the marriage between the parties null and void on the ground of
their psychological incapacity. The CA reversed. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUES:

Whether or not the marriage should be declared null and void under Art. 36.

HELD:

Yes.

Taking into consideration the explicit guidelines in the determination of psychological incapacity
in conjunction to the totality of the evidence presented, with emphasis on the pervasive pattern of
behaviors of the respondent and outcome of the assessment/diagnos[is] of expert witnesses, Dra.
Dayan, Dra. Mango and Dra. Villegas on the psychological condition of the respondent, the
Court finds that the marriage between the parties from its inception has a congenital infirmity
termed “psychological incapacity” which pertains to the inability of the parties to effectively
function emotionally, intellectually and socially towards each other in relation to their essential
duties to mutually observe love, fidelity and respect as well as to mutually render help and
support, (Art. 68 Family Code). In short, there was already a fixed niche in the psychological
constellation of respondent which created the death of his marriage. There is no reason to
entertain any slightest doubt on the truthfulness of the personality disorder of the respondent.

The three expert witnesses have spoken. They were unanimous in their findings that respondent
is suffering from personality disorder which psychologically incapacitated him to fulfill his basic
duties to the marriage.

This psychological incapacity of the respondent, in the uniform words of said three (3) expert
witnesses, is serious, incurable and exists before his marriage and renders him a helpless victim
of his structural constellation. It is beyond the respondent’s impulse control. In short, he is
weaponless or powerless to restrain himself from his consistent behaviors simply because he did
not consider the same as wrongful. This is clearly manifested from his assertion that nothing was
wrong in his marriage with the petitioner and considered their relationship as a normal one.

MBTC v. PASCUAL
GR. No. 163744 [February 29, 2008]

FACTS:

Nicholson Pascual and Florencia Nevalga were married on January 19, 1985. During the union,
Florencia bought from spouses Clarito and Belen Sering a 250-square meter lot with a three-door
apartment standing thereon located in Makati City.
In 1994, Florencia filed a suit for the declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the
Family Code.

On April 30, 1997, Florencia, together with spouses Norberto and Elvira Oliveros, obtained a
PhP 58 million loan from petitioner Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank).

To secure the obligation, Florencia and the spouses Oliveros executed several real estate
mortgages (REMs) on their properties, including one involving a lot. Florencia secured a waiver
from Nicholson. Due to the failure of Florencia and the spouses Oliveros to pay their loan
obligation when it fell due, Metrobank, initiated a foreclosure proceedings over the
properties. Getting wind of the foreclosure proceedings, Nicholson filed on June 28, 2000, before
the RTC in Makati City, a Complaint to declare the nullity of the mortgage of the disputed
property. Nicholson alleged that the property, which is still conjugal property, was mortgaged
without his consent.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the properties in contest form part of the conjugal properties of Nicholson and
Florencia

HELD:

The property is deemed conjugal. While the declared nullity of marriage of Nicholson and
Florencia severed their marital bond and dissolved the conjugal partnership, the
character of the properties acquired before such declaration continues to subsist as conjugal
properties until and after the liquidation and partition of the partnership.

In the case at bar, Florencia constituted the mortgage on the disputed lot on April 30, 1997, a
little less than two years after the dissolution of the conjugal partnership on July 31, 1995 - but
before the liquidation of the partnership. Be that as it may, what governed the property relations
of the former spouses when the mortgage was given is the aforequoted Art. 493.

Under it, Florencia has the right to mortgage or even sell her one-half (1/2) undivided interest in
the disputed property even without the consent of Nicholson.
However, the rights of Metrobank, as mortgagee, are limited only to the ½ undivided portion that
Florencia owned. Accordingly, the mortgage contract insofar as it covered the remaining 1/2
undivided portion of the lot is null and void, Nicholson not having consented to the mortgage of
his undivided half.
VALDES vs RTC
G.R. No. 122749 [July 31, 1996]

FACTS:
Antonio Valdez and Consuelo Gomez were married in 1971. They begot 5 children. In 1992,
Valdez filed a petition for declaration of nullity of their marriage on the ground of psychological
incapacity.
The trial court granted the petition, thereby declaring their marriage null and void. It
also directed the parties to start proceedings on the liquidation of their common properties as
defined by Article 147 of the Family Code, and to comply with the provisions of Articles 50, 51
and 52 of the same code.
Gomez sought a clarification of that portion in the decision. She asserted that the Family Code
contained no provisions on the procedure for the liquidation of common property in "unions
without marriage.
In an Order, the trial court made the following clarification: "Consequently, considering that
Article 147 of the Family Code explicitly provides that the property acquired by both parties
during their union, in the absence of proof to the contrary, are presumed to have been obtained
through the joint efforts of the parties and will be owned by them in equal shares, plaintiff and
defendant will own their 'family home' and all their other properties for that matter in equal
shares.
In the liquidation and partition of the properties owned in common by the plaintiff and
defendant, the provisions on co-ownership found in the Civil Code shall apply."
Valdes moved for reconsideration of the Order which was denied. Valdes appealed, arguing that:
(1) Article 147 of the Family Code does not apply to cases where the parties are psychological
incapacitated; (2) Articles 50, 51 and 52 in relation to Articles 102 and 129 of the Family Code
govern the disposition of the family dwelling in cases where a marriage is declared void ab
initio, including a marriage declared void by reason of the psychological incapacity of the
spouses; (3) Assuming arguendo that Article 147 applies to marriages declared void ab initio on
the ground of the psychological incapacity of a spouse, the same may be read consistently with
Article 129.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Art 147 FC is the correct law governing the disposition of property in the case at
bar.

HELD:
YES. In a void marriage, regardless of the cause thereof, the property relations of the parties
during the period of cohabitation is governed by the provisions of Article 147 or Article 148,
such as the case may be, of the Family Code. Article 147 applies when a man and a woman,
suffering no illegal impediment to marry each other, so exclusively live together as husband and
wife under a void marriage or without the benefit of marriage.
Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work and industry
shall be governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any property acquired during the union is
prima facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. A party who did not
participate in the acquisition of the property shall be considered as having contributed thereto
jointly if said party's "efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household."
Unlike the conjugal partnership of gains, the fruits of the couple's separate property are not
included in the co-ownership. When the common-law spouses suffer from a legal impediment to
marry or when they do not live exclusively with each other (as husband and wife), only the
property acquired by both of them through their actual joint contribution of money, property or
industry shall be owned in common and in proportion to their respective contributions. Such
contributions and corresponding shares, however, are prima facie presumed to be equal. The
share of any party who is married to another shall accrue to the absolute community or conjugal
partnership, as the case may be, if so existing under a valid marriage. If the party who has acted
in bad faith is not validly married to another, his or her share shall be forfeited in the manner
already heretofore expressed.

ATIENZA vs. BRILLANTES


A.M. No. MTJ-92-706 March 29, 1995

FACTS:

Lupo Almodiel Atienza filed an administrative case against Judge Brillantes for Gross
Immorality and Appearance of Impropriety. Complainant alleges that he has two children with
Yolanda De Castro, who are living together at a subdivision in Makati, which he purchased in
1987. One day, he caught the respondent asleep in his bedroom. He asked the houseboy about
him and the latter said that the judge had been cohabiting with De Castro. Atienza did not bother
to wake up the respondent instead asked the houseboy to take care of his two children.

After that, the respondent prevented him from visiting his child and has alienated the affection of
his children. The Complainant also claims that the respondent is married to Zenaida Ongkiko.

The judge denies having been married to Ongkiko because their marriage was celebrated twice
without marriage license, therefore, his marriage to De Castro in civil rites in Los Angeles,
California was because he believed in good faith and for all legal purposes, that his first marriage
was solemnized without marriage license.

He further argues that Article 40 of the Family Code is not applicable in his case because his first
marriage in 1965 was governed by the Civil Code and the 2nd relationship was 1991 under the
Family Code.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the absence of marriage license of his previous marriage justifies his act
to cohabit with De Castro

HELD:

No. Respondent passed the Bar examinations in 1962 and was admitted to the practice of law
in 1963. At the time he went through the two marriage ceremonies with Ongkiko, he was already
a lawyer. Yet, he never secured any marriage license. Any law student would know that a
marriage license is necessary before one can get married. Respondent was given an opportunity
to correct the flaw in his first marriage when he and Ongkiko were married for the second time.
His failure to secure a marriage license on these two occasions betrays his sinister motives and
bad faith.

Article 40 is applicable to remarriages entered into after the effectivity of the Family Code
on August 3, 1988 regardless of the date of the first marriage. Besides, under Article 256 of the
Family Code, said Article is given “retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or impair
vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws.”

This is particularly true with Article 40, which is a rule of procedure. Respondent has not shown
any vested right that was impaired by the application of Article 40 to his case.