Armas vs. Calisterio
GR No. 136467, April 6, 2000
Teodorico Calisterio, husband of Marietta Calisterio, the respondent, died intestate in April 1992 leaving several parcel of land estimated value of P604,750.00. He was the second husband of Marietta who was previously married with William Bounds in January 1946. The latter disappeared without a trace in February 1947. 11 years later from the disappearance of Bounds, Marietta and Teodorico were married in May 1958 without Marietta securing a court declaration of Bounds’ presumptive death.
Antonia Armas y Calisterio, surviving sister of Teodorico filed a petition claiming to be the sole surviving heir of the latter and that marriage between Marietta and his brother being allegedly bigamous is thereby null and void. She prayed that her son Sinfroniano be appointed as administrator, without bond, of the estate of the deceased and inheritance be adjudicated to her after all the obligations of the estate would have been settled.
ISSUE: Whether Marrieta and Teodorico’s marriage was void due to the absence of the declaration of presumptive death.
The marriage between the respondent and the deceased was solemnized in May 1958 where the law in force at that time was the Civil Code and not the Family Code which only took effect in August 1988. Article 256 of the Family Code itself limit its retroactive governance only to cases where it thereby would not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws. Since Civil Code provides that declaration of presumptive death is not essential before contracting marriage where at least 7 consecutive years of absence of the spouse is enough to remarry then Marrieta’s marriage with Teodorico is valid and therefore she has a right can claim portion of the estate.