Ana Rivera has a husband, a Filipino citizen like her, who was among the passengers on board a commercial jet plane which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean ten (10) years earlier and had never been heard of ever since. Believing that her husband had died, Ana married Adolf Cruz Staedtler, a divorced German national born of a German father and a Filipino Mother residing in Stuttgart. To avoid being required to submit the required certificate of capacity to marry from the German Embassy in Manila, Adolf stated in the application for marriage license stating that Adolf was a Filipino the couple got married in a ceremony officiated by the Parish Priest of Calamba, Laguna in a beach in Nasugbu, Batangas, as the local parish priest refused to solemnize marriages except in his church. Is the marriage valid? Explain fully. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The issue hinges on whether or not the missing husband was dead or alive at the time of the second marriage.
If the missing husband was in fact dead at the time of the second marriage was celebrated, the second marriage was valid. Actual death of a spouse dissolves the marriage ipso facto whether or not the surviving spouse had knowledge of such fact. A declaration of presumptive death even if obtained will not make the marriage voidable because presumptive death will not prevail over the fact of death.
If the missing husband was in fact alive when the second marriage was celebrated, the second marriage was void ab initio because of a prior subsisting marriage. Had Ana obtained a declaration of presumptive death, the second marriage would have been voidable.
In both cases, the fact that the German misrepresented his citizenship to avoid having to present his Certificate of Legal Capacity, or the holding of the ceremony outside the church or beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the solemnizing officer, are all irregularities which do not affect the validity of the marriage. II
At age 18, Marian found out that she was pregnant. She insured her own life and named her unborn child as her sole beneficiary. When she was already due to give birth, she and her boyfriend Pietro, the father of her unborn child, were kidnapped in a resort in Bataan where they were vacationing. The military gave chase and after one week, they were found in an abandoned hut in Cavite. Marian and Pietro were hacked with bolos. Marian and the baby she delivered were both found dead, with the baby’s umbilical cord already cut. Pietro survived. A
Can Marian’s baby be beneficiary of the insurance taken on the life of the mother? (2%) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
An unborn child may be designated as the beneficiary in the insurance policy of the mother. An unborn child shall be considered a person for purposes favorable to it provided it is born later in accordance with the Civil Code. There is no doubt that the designation of the unborn child as a beneficiary is favorable to the child.
Between Marian and the baby, who is presumed to have died ahead? (1%) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
If the baby was not alive when completely delivered from the mother’s womb, it was not born as a person, then the question of who between two persons survived will not be an issue. Since the baby had an intra-uterine life of more than 7 months, it would be considered born if it was alive, at the time of its comlete delivery from the mother’s womb. We can gather from the facts that the baby was completely delivered. But whether or not it was alive has to be proven by evidence. If the baby was alive when completely delivered from the mother’s womb, then it was born as a person and the question of who survived as between the baby and the mother shall be resolved by the provisions of the Rules of Court on survivorship. This is because the question has nothing to do with succession. Obviously, the resolution of the question is needed just for thte implementation of an insurance contract. Under Rule 13, Sec 3. (jj), (5) as between the baby...
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