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ATIENZA VS. JUDGE BRILLANTES, JR.

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


Lupo A. Atienza Complainant
Judge Fransico F. Brillantes, Jr. Respondent, (MTC Branch 20, Manila)

OBJECTIVES:
Discuss the facts of the case
Spot the relevant issue
Discuss the application of Article 40 of the
Family Code to the case.
Discuss retroactive effect of the Family Code
(Art. 257)
Discuss the ruling of the Supreme Court.

OVERVIEW
Administrative Matter in the Supreme Court.
Gross Immorality and Impropriety.
People involve:
Atienza Complainant
Judge Brillantes, Jr. Respondent
De Castro live in partner of Atienza and
mother of his two children
Ongkiko Wife of Brillantes, Jr. in his first
marriage
The Houseboy

FACTS: (COMPLAINANTS SIDE)


Complainant alleged that he has two children
with Yolanda De Castro.
In Dec. 1991, he saw respondent sleeping in
his bedroom and was told by his houseboy
that respondent had been cohabiting with De
Castro.
He claimed that respondent is married to
Zenaida Ongkiko with whom he has five
children

FACTS: (RESPONDENTS SIDE)


Respondent alleged that complainant was
not married to De Castro.
He also denied having been married to
Ongkiko, although he admitted having five
children with her.
They went through their first marriage
ceremony before a Nueva Ecija town mayor
on April 25, 1965, but the same was not a
valid marriage for lack of marriage license.

FACTS: (RESPONDENTS SIDE)


They went through another marriage
ceremony in Manila on June 5, 1965 but
neither party applied for a marriage license.
Ongkiko abandoned respondent for 19 years,
leaving their children to his custody as a
single parent.
Respondent married De Castro in civil rites in
Los Angeles, California on December 4,
1991

ARTICLE 40 OF THE FAMILY CODE


The absolute nullity of a previous marriage
may be invoked for the purposes of
remarriage on the basis solely of a final
judgment declaring such previous marriage
void

RESPONDENTS ARGUMENT
Article 40 of the said Code is not applicable
to him.
1st marriage took place in 1965 (governed by
Civil Code)
2nd marriage took place in 1991 (governed by
Family Code)

ISSUES:
WON article 40 of the Family Code is
applicable to the subsequent marriage
entered into by the respondent.
WON Respondents acts constitute a gross
immorality and impropriety, thus making him
morally unfit member in the legal profession.

HELD:
Yes. 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.
under Article 256 of the FC, said article is
given retroactive effect insofar as it does not
prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights
in accordance with Civil Code or other laws.

respondent failed to show any vested right that


was impaired by the application of article 40 to
his case.
In the case of Gregorio vs. Court of Appeals,
the retroactive application of procedural laws is
not violative of any right of a person who may
feel that he is adversely affected.
The reason is that as a general rule no vested
right may attach to nor arise from, procedural
laws (Billones vs. CIR, 14 SCRA 674 [1965]).

OBJECTIVES:
Discuss the facts of the case
Spot relevant issue
Discuss the application of Article 40 of the
Family Code to the case.
Discuss retroactive effect of the Family Code
(Art. 257)
Discuss the ruling of the Supreme Court.