G.R. No. 183805, July 03, 2013
JAMES WALTER P. CAPILI, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SHIRLEY TISMO-CAPILI, Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
On or about December 8, 1999, in Pasig City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused being previously united in lawful marriage with Karla Y. Medina-Capili and without said marriage having been legally dissolved or annulled, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously contract a second marriage with Shirley G. Tismo, to the damage and prejudice of the latter.
Contrary to law.3
The motion is anchored on the allegation that this case should be dismissed as a decision dated December 1, 2004 had already been rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City, Branch 72 in Civil Case No. 01-6043 (entitled: “Karla Medina-Capili versus James Walter P. Capili and Shirley G. Tismo,” a case for declaration of nullity of marriage) nullifying the second marriage between James Walter P. Capili and Shirley G. Tismo and said decision is already final.
In the opposition filed by the private prosecutor to the motion, it was stated, among others, that the issues raised in the civil case are not similar or intimately related to the issue in this above-captioned case and that the resolution of the issues in said civil case would not determine whether or not the criminal action may proceed.
WHEREFORE, after a judicious evaluation of the issue and arguments of the parties, this Court is of the humble opinion that there is merit on the Motion to dismiss filed by the accused as it appears that the second marriage between James Walter P. Capili and Shirley G. Tismo had already been nullified by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 72 of Antipolo City which has declared “the voidness, non-existent or incipient invalidity” of the said second marriage. As such, this Court submits that there is no more bigamy to speak of.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Order dated 07 July 2006 of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 152 in Crim. Case No. 128370 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. No costs.
- THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE COURT OF APPEALS TO DISREGARD EXISTING JURISPRUDENCE PRONOUNCED BY THIS HONORABLE SUPREME COURT AND TO REVERSE THE ORDER DATED JULY 7, 2006 OF THE TRIAL COURT (REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, PASIG CITY, BRANCH 152) ISSUED IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. 128370 GRANTING THE MOTION TO DISMISS THE CASE OF BIGAMY AGAINST PETITIONER, INASMUCH AS THE ISSUANCE OF THE SAID ORDER IS BASED ON THE FINDINGS AND/OR FACTS OF THE CASE IN THE DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ANTIPOLO CITY, BRANCH 72, IN CIVIL CASE NO. 01-6043 AND THE CONCLUDING AND DISPOSITIVE PORTION IN THE SAID DECISION WHICH STATES THAT, AFTER PERUSAL OF THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD AND THE TESTIMONIES OF WITNESSES X X X, THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN PETITIONER JAMES WALTER P. CAPILI AND PRIVATE RESPONDENT SHIRLEY G. TISMO, IS HEREBY NULL AND VOID.
- THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION IN HOLDING THAT THE DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE BETWEEN PETITIONER JAMES WALTER P. CAPILI AND SHIRLEY G. TISMO BY THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ANTIPOLO CITY, BRANCH 72 IN ITS DECISION IN CIVIL CASE NO. 01-6043, IS ON THE GROUND THAT IT IS BIGAMOUS IN NATURE, DESPITE THE ABSENCE OF ANY SUCH FINDINGS OR FACTS ON WHICH IT IS BASED IN VIOLATION OF ARTICLE VIII, SECTION 14 OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION, AND IN CONCLUDING THAT THE SAID DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE IS NOT A GROUND FOR DISMISSAL OF THE BIGAMY CASE AGAINST THE PETITIONER, WHICH RULING IS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FACTS OF THE CASE OF THE SAID DECISION AND WHICH IS CONTRARY TO APPLICABLE LAWS AND ESTABLISHED JURISPRUDENCE.
- THE CASE OF TENEBRO V. COURT OF APPEALS SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. IT IS AN EXCEPTION TO EXISTING JURISPRUDENCE INVOLVING DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE AND IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO THE SET OF FACTS IN THE SAID CASE, AND THE GROUND FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE IS PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY, HENCE, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR ABANDONING EXISTING JURISPRUDENCE AS WHERE IN THE INSTANT CASE THE GROUND FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE IS VIOLATIVE OF ARTICLE 3 IN RELATION TO ARTICLE 4 OF THE FAMILY CODE.
- THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE USE BY RESPONDENT SHIRLEY G. TISMO OF THE SURNAME “CAPILI” IS ILLEGAL INASMUCH AS THE DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ANTIPOLO CITY, BRANCH 72 IN CIVIL CASE NO. 01-6043 DECLARING NULL AND VOID THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN JAMES WALTER P. CAPILI AND SHIRLEY G. TISMO HAD LONG BECOME FINAL AND UNAPPEALABLE AS OF THE DATE OF THE SAID DECISION ON DECEMBER 1, 2004 AND DULY RECORDED IN THE RECORDS OF ENTRIES IN THE CORRESPONDING BOOK IN THE OFFICE OF THE CIVIL REGISTRAR OF PASIG CITY AND THE NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE.8
Art. 349. Bigamy. – The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person who shall contract a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings.
The subsequent judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage was immaterial because prior to the declaration of nullity, the crime had already been consummated. Moreover, petitioner’s assertion would only delay the prosecution of bigamy cases considering that an accused could simply file a petition to declare his previous marriage void and invoke the pendency of that action as a prejudicial question in the criminal case. We cannot allow that.
The outcome of the civil case for annulment of petitioner’s marriage to [private complainant] 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.
Thus, under the law, a marriage, even one which is void or voidable, shall be deemed valid until declared otherwise in a judicial proceeding. In this case, even if petitioner eventually obtained a declaration that his first marriage was void ab initio, the point is, both the first and the second marriage were subsisting before the first marriage was annulled.11nadcralavvonlinelawlibrary
1 Penned by Associate Justice Celia C. Librea-Leagogo, with Associate Justices Regalado E. Maambong and Sixto C. Marella, Jr., concurring; rollo, pp. 44-54.cralawlibrary
2 Id. at 56-57.cralawlibrary
3 Records, p. 1.cralawlibrary
4Rollo, p. 58.cralawlibrary
5 Id. at 44-54.cralawlibrary
6 Id. at 52. (Emphasis in the original)
7 Id. at 56-57.cralawlibrary
8 Id. at 20.cralawlibrary
9Mercado v. Tan, 391 Phil. 809, 818-819 (2000).cralawlibrary
10 G.R. No. 164435, September 29, 2009, 601 SCRA 236.cralawlibrary
11 Id. at 245-246. (Emphasis in the original.)
12Merlinda Cipriano Montañez v. Lourdes Tajolosa Cipriano, G.R. No. 181089, October 22, 2012.cralawlibrary
13 Teves v. People, G.R. No. 188775, August 24, 2011, 656 SCRA 307, 314.