Sally Go-Bangayan vs Benjamin Bangayan, Jr.
Civil Law – Family Code – Marriage – Bigamy – Non-existent marriage
In September 1979, Benjamin Bangayan, Jr. married Azucena Alegre. In 1982, while Alegre was outside the Philippines, Benjamin developed a romantic relationship with Sally Go. Sally’s father was against this. In order to appease her father, Sally convinced Benjamin to sign a purported marriage contract in March 1982.
In 1994, the relationship between Sally and Benjamin soured. Sally filed a bigamy case against Benjamin. Benjamin on the other hand filed an action to declare his alleged marriage to Sally as non-existent. To prove the existence of their marriage, Sally presented a marriage license allegedly issued to Benjamin.
ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Sally and Benjamin is bigamous.
HELD: No. The elements of bigamy are:
1. That the offender has been legally married.
2. That the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code.
3. That he contracts a second or subsequent marriage.
4. That the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity.
In this case, the fourth element is not present. The marriage license presented by Sally was not authentic as in fact, no marriage license was ever issued to both parties in view of the alleged marriage. The marriage between them was merely in jest and never complied with the essential requisites of marriage. Hence, there is no bigamous marriage to speak of.