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Guico, Ramon Carlo 1D Persons and Family Relations

Jaime O. Sevilla, platintiff v. Carmelita O. Cardenas, repsondent

Facts: Jaime O. Sevilla, herein petitioner, filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of
his marriage to Carmelita N. Cardenas, herein respondent, for their marriage was vitiated
by machination, duress, and intimidation employed by the respondents Carmelita and
her father. He was forced to sign a marriage contract with Carmelita Cardenas before a
minister of the Gospel, Rev. Cirilo D Gonzales. Moreover, he alleged that there was no
marriage license presented before the solemnizing officer as certified by the Office of the
Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Manila. Actually, it was certified 3 times on the
following dates: March 11, September 20, 1994 and July 25, 2000 that marriage license
no. 2770792 was nowhere to be found.

On the other hand, the respondent, Carmelita N. Cardenas refuted these


allegations of Jaime and claims that they were first civilly married on May 19, 1969 and
thereafter married at a church on May 31, 1969 at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Quezon
City. Both were alleged to be recorded in Local Civil Registrar and NSO. He is estopped
from invoking the lack of marriage license after having been married to her for 25 years.

The Regional Trial Court of Makati City declared the nullity of marriage of the
parties based on the petitioner’s allegations that no marriage license was presented
before a solemnizing officer. And that without the said marriage license, being one of the
formal requisites of marriage, the marriage is void from the beginning. This was based on
the 3 certifications issued by the Local Civil Registrar Manila that marriage license
number 220792 was fictitious. Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals which
reversed and set aside the decision of the trail court in favor of the marriage, because the
Local Civil Registrar failed to locate the said license with due effort as testified by certain
Perlita Mercader because the former Local Civil registrar had already retired. The
petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the Court of Appeals.
thus, this case was elevated to the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the certification made by the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan
that Marriage License No. 2770792, as appearing in the marriage contract of the parties,
sufficient to declare the marriage void from the beginning?

HELD: The presumption of regularity of official acts may be rebutted by affirmative


evidence of irregularity or failure to perform a duty. The absence of logbook is not
conclusive proof of non-issuance of Marriage License No. 2770792. In the absence of
showing of diligent efforts to search for the said logbook, we can not easily accept that
absence of the same also means non-existence or falsity of entries therein.The parties
have comported themselves as husband and wife and lived together for several years
producing two offsprings, now adult themselves. Thus, the instant petition was denied.