whether there was a valid marriage between Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado


A presumption is an inference of the existence or non-existence of a fact which courts are permitted to draw from proof of other facts. Presumptions are classified into presumptions of law and presumptions of fact. Presumptions of law are, in turn, either conclusive or disputable.

Rule 131, Section 3 of the Rules of Court provides:

Sec. 3. Disputable presumptions. — The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence:

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(aa) That a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage;

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In this case, several circumstances give rise to the presumption that a valid marriage existed between Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado. Their cohabitation of more than 50 years cannot be doubted. Their family and friends knew them to be married. Their reputed status as husband and wife was such that even the original petition for letters of administration filed by Luisa Delgado vda. de Danao in 1975 referred to them as “spouses.”

Yet, petitioners maintain that Josefa Delgado and Guillermo Rustia had simply lived together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. They make much of the absence of a record of the contested marriage, the testimony of a witness attesting that they were not married, and a baptismal certificate which referred to Josefa Delgado as “Señorita” or unmarried woman.

We are not persuaded.

First, although a marriage contract is considered a primary evidence of marriage, its absence is not always proof that no marriage in fact took place. Once the presumption of marriage arises, other evidence may be presented in support thereof. The evidence need not necessarily or directly establish the marriage but must at least be enough to strengthen the presumption of marriage. Here, the certificate of identity issued to Josefa Delgado as Mrs. Guillermo Rustia, the passport issued to her as Josefa D. Rustia, the declaration under oath of no less than Guillermo Rustia that he was married to Josefa Delgado and the titles to the properties in the name of “Guillermo Rustia married to Josefa Delgado,” more than adequately support the presumption of marriage. These are public documents which are prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. No clear and convincing evidence sufficient to overcome the presumption of the truth of the recitals therein was presented by petitioners.

Second, Elisa vda. de Anson, petitioners’ own witness whose testimony they primarily relied upon to support their position, confirmed that Guillermo Rustia had proposed marriage to Josefa Delgado and that eventually, the two had “lived together as husband and wife.” This again could not but strengthen the presumption of marriage.

Third, the baptismal certificate was conclusive proof only of the baptism administered by the priest who baptized the child. It was no proof of the veracity of the declarations and statements contained therein, such as the alleged single or unmarried (“Señorita“) civil status of Josefa Delgado who had no hand in its preparation.

Petitioners failed to rebut the presumption of marriage of Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado. In this jurisdiction, every intendment of the law leans toward legitimizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together apparently in marriage are presumed to be in fact married. This is the usual order of things in society and, if the parties are not what they hold themselves out to be, they would be living in constant violation of the common rules of law and propriety. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. Always presume marriag

SOURCE: [ G.R. NO. 155733, January 27, 2006 ]IN THE MATTER OF THE INTESTATE ESTATES OF THE DECEASED JOSEFA DELGADO AND GUILLERMO RUSTIA CARLOTA DELGADO VDA. DE DE LA ROSA AND OTHER HEIRS OF LUIS DELGADO, NAMELY, HEIRS OF CONCHA VDA. DE AREVALO, HEIRS OF LUISA DELGADO VDA. DE DANAO, ANGELA DELGADO ARESPACOCHAGA, TERESA DELGADO PERLAS, CAROLINA DELGADO-ARESPACOCHAGA, RODOLFO DELGADO, BENJAMIN DELGADO, GLICERIA DELGADO AND CLEOFAS DELGADO; AND HEIRS OF GORGONIO DELGADO, NAMELY, RAMON DELGADO CAMPO, CARLOS DELGADO CAMPO, CLARITA DELGADO CAMPO-REIZA, YOLANDA DELGADO ENCINAS, FELISA DELGADO CAMPO-ENCINAS AND MELINDA DELGADO CAMPO-MADARANG, PETITIONERS, VS. HEIRS OF MARCIANA RUSTIA VDA. DE DAMIAN, NAMELY, GUILLERMO R. DAMIAN AND JOSE R. DAMIAN; HEIRS OF HORTENCIA RUSTIA CRUZ, NAMELY, TERESITA CRUZ-SISON, HORACIO R. CRUZ, JOSEFINA CRUZ-RODIL, AMELIA CRUZ-ENRIQUEZ AND FIDEL R. CRUZ, JR.; HEIRS OF ROMAN RUSTIA, SR., NAMELY, JOSEFINA RUSTIA ALBANO, VIRGINIA RUSTIA PARAISO, ROMAN RUSTIA, JR., SERGIO RUSTIA, FRANCISCO RUSTIA, LETICIA RUSTIA-MIRANDA; AND GUILLERMINA RUSTIA, AS OPPOSITORS; AND GUILLERMA RUSTIA, AS INTERVENOR, RESPONDENTS. Tags: Remigio Sante Fe Santander Sibonga Sogod Tabogon Tabuelan Tuburan attorney’s fees Tudela exemplary damages Camotes General Luna Siargao Cagayan Davao Kidapawan Attorney Abogado Lawyer Architect Real Estate Broker nominal damages Sales Agent Properties for Sale Looking for Buyers Design Build House and Lot for Sale for Rent Talisay City Mandaue City Lapu Lapu Lapu-Lapu City Yncierto Sesante Villanueva Ruz Jan Edmond Marc Tim Timothy temperate damages Luz liquidated damages Kristin tct transfer certificate of title tax declaration birth certificate relocation survey surveying judicial titling administrative titling patent title denr cenro foreshore lease ecc environmental compliance certificate design build architect cebu engineer interior design designer residential commercial cebu property warehouse for rent for lease marc Christian yncierto ruz jan Edmond yncierto ruz Kristin Villanueva ruz Edmond mabalot ruz marriage certificate timber land forest land watershed agricultural lot land use conversion hearing trial illegal drugs trial lawyer business corporate lawyer labor lawyer immigration law bureau of immigration cebu 9g visa search warrant warrant of arrest motion to quash information complaint police officers buy bust physical suffering shocked horrified mental anguish fright serious anxiety besmirched reputation sleepless nights wounded feelings moral shock social humiliation similar injuries Alcantara Alcoy moral damages Alegria actual damages Aloguinsan Argao Asturias Badian Balamban Bantayan Barili Boljoon Borbon Carmen Catmon Compostela Consolacion Cordova Daanbantayan Dumaguete Bais Sibulan Tampi Bacong Negros Bacolod Separation pay Resign Resignation Back wages Backwages Length of service pay benefit employee employer relationship Silay Kabankalan Daan Bantayan Dalaguete Dumanjug Ginatilan Liloan compensatory damages Madridejos Malabuyoc Medellin Minglanilla Moalboal Oslob Pilar Pinamungajan Poro Ronda Samboan San Fernando San Francisco San

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