Case Digests

Topics: Marriage, Wedding, Family law Pages: 6 (1853 words) Published: July 26, 2010


FACTS: On Dec. 8, 1982, petitioner Restituto Alcantara and respondent Rosita Alcantara, without securing the required marriage license, went to Manila City Hall for the purpose of marriage. They met a “fixer” and arranged everything for them. A Rev. Aquilino Navarro, a Minister of Gospel of the CDCC Chapel solemnized their wedding. The petitioner and respondent went through another marriage ceremony on March 16, 1983. The marriage was likewise celebrated without the parties securing a marriage license. The alleged marriage license, procured in Carmona, Cavite was a sham for neither party was a resident of the place. In 1988, both parted ways and lived their separate lives. Petitioner filed for the annulment of their marriage on the absence of marriage license.

ISSUE: WON the petition for annulment of marriage on the grounds of not securing the required marriage license is valid?

Held: The court held that the marriage license of the parties is presumed to be regularly issued and petitioner had not presented any evidence to overcome the presumption. Although it can be deduced that to be considered void on the ground of absence of marriage license, the law requires that the absence of such marriage license must be apparent on the marriage contract, or at the very least, supported by a certification from the local civil registrar that no such marriage license was issued to the parties.  In this case, the marriage contract between the petitioner and respondent reflects a marriage license number.  A certification to this effect was also issued by the local civil registrar of Carmona, Cavite.  The certification moreover is precise in that it specifically identified the parties to whom the marriage license was issued, namely Restituto Alcantara and Rosita Almario, further validating the fact that a license was in fact issued to the parties herein.  

Issuance of a marriage license in a city or municipality, not the residence of either of the contracting parties, and issuance of a marriage license despite the absence of publication or prior to the completion of the 10-day period for publication are considered mere irregularities that do not affect the validity of the marriage.  An irregularity in any of the formal requisites of marriage does not affect its validity but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity are civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

The discrepancy between the marriage license number in the certification of the Municipal Civil Registrar, which states that the marriage license issued to the parties is No. 7054133, while the marriage contract states that the marriage license number of the parties is number 7054033 is a mere a typographical error, as a closer scrutiny of the marriage contract reveals the overlapping of the numbers 0 and 1, such that the marriage license may read either as 7054133 or 7054033.  It therefore does not detract from our conclusion regarding the existence and issuance of said marriage license to the parties.

Under the principle that he who comes to court must come with clean hands, petitioner cannot pretend that he was not responsible or a party to the marriage celebration which he now insists took place without the requisite marriage license.  Petitioner admitted that the civil marriage took place because he “initiated it.”  Petitioner and respondent went through a marriage ceremony twice in a span of less than one year utilizing the same marriage license.  There is no claim that he went through the second wedding ceremony in church under duress or with a gun to his head. Obviously, the church ceremony was confirmatory of their civil marriage, thereby cleansing whatever irregularity or defect attended the civil wedding. 

Wherefore, premises considered, the instant Petition is Denied for lack of merit.  The decision of the Court of Appeals dated 30 September 2004 affirming the decision of the Regional...
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