Lucio Morigo and Lucia Barrete were then boardmates for a lengthy period of time until they part ways and lost contact. After many years, Lucio was surprised to receive a card from Lucia, all the way from Singapore. They maintained constant communication and became sweethearts. They married each other at Iglesia de Filipina Nacional at Bohol by merely signing a marriage contract by themselves and without solemnization.
Thereafter, Lucia went back to Canada. She soon filed a petition for divorce with the Ontario Court and was granted.
Lucio remarried with Maria Jececha Lumbago. Only afterwards did he file for a declaration of nullity before the trial court on the ground of the absence of a marriage ceremony in his first marriage. Notwithstanding, he was charged and convicted of bigamy. In herein criminal case, trial court discounted petitioner’s claim that his first marriage to Lucia was null and void ab initio and ruled that want of a valid marriage ceremony is not a defense in a charge of bigamy. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals, since in the civil case, the trial court ruled his first marriage void ab initio due to the want of marriage ceremony, in accordance with Articles 3 and 4 of the Family Code. However, CA affirmed the decision of trial court in his criminal case.
Whether or not petitioner committed bigamy and if so, whether his defense was good and valid.
Yes. Supreme Court granted his petition and is acquitted from bigamy. The requisites of bigamy are (1) the offender has been legally married; (2) the first marriage has not been legally dissolved, or in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse has not been judicially declared presumptively dead; (3) he contracts a subsequent marriage; and (4) the subsequent marriage would have been valid had it not been for the existence of the first. In the instant case, Lucio and Lucia were not legally married...