Lex Rex Ph

People vs. Santiago

Lesson: The consent in the marriage given after the rape done was not validly given. Marriage was a mere ruse to cover up the crime committed.

Facts

On November 23, 1926, the Santiago asked Felicita, who was then about 18 years of age, to accompany him across the river on some errand. After crossing the river, Santiago led Felicita where tall grass and other growth hid them from public view. In this spot he manifested a desire to have sexual intercourse with the girl, but she refused to give her consent, and he finally, notwithstanding her resistance, accomplished his purpose by force and against her will.

After the accused had consummated the crime of rape upon a girl of the age of 18, niece of his deceased wife, he brought Felicita to the house of her uncle, brought a protestant minister, and procured a marriage ceremony to be celebrated on the same day between himself and the girl, with the evident purpose of extinguishing his criminal liability under the proviso to section of Act No. 1773 of the Philippine Commission, and without any intention on his part of living maritally with the girl. He gave the girl a few pesos and sent her home.

Issue

Was the consent of the girl, Felicita, validly given? No.

Ruling

That the consent of the girl to the performance of the marriage was vitiated by duress and that the marriage ceremony had been performed as a mere device of the accused to escape punishment. Such marriage is therefore illegal.

The trial court found that the marriage ceremony was a mere ruse by which the appellant hoped to escape from the criminal consequences of his act. His manner shows that he had no bona fide intention of making her his wife, and the ceremony cannot be considered binding on her because of duress. The marriage was therefore void for lack of essential consent. 

Hence, their marriage was void for lack of an essential requisite which is “consent freely given.”

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