Topic: Absence of marriage license a ground to annul the marriage
Angelina Castro sought for a judicial declaration of nullity of her marriage with Edwin Cardenas on the ground that no marriage license was issued to them prior to the solemnization of marriage. The facts are undisputed. Marriage was celebrated in a civil ceremony on June 24, 1970 but they soon parted ways. Respondent Angelina Castro later found out that the marriage license number no. 3196182 indicated in the certificate does not exist in the Civil Registrar. She further testified that she never signed a marriage license, only on the marriage contract.
Issue and Ruling
Are the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by Angelina sufficient to establish that no marriage was issued by the Civil Registrar? Yes and No.
Yes the documentary evidence is sufficient for 2 reasons: (1) The written statement by the public official (Civil Registrar) is an admissible evidence (Rule 132 of the Rules of Court Sec. 29); (2) The principle of presumption of regularity of performance by the government officials.
The testimony of Angelina alone is not sufficient. When she testifies of a “secret marriage”, this is a legally non-existent phrase but ordinarily used to refer to a civil marriage where the key families/people of the man and the woman have no knowledge of such civil wedding.