April 17, 2024

politics of law

Politics and Law

Knowledge of previous marriage in Bigamy

3 min read

Dear PAO,

My sister married her spouse past calendar year. Just not too long ago, anyone educated her that her spouse experienced presently been married considering that 2010. She talked to her spouse, but he denied it, telling her that he was never ever married to any other man or woman. Can my sister be billed with bigamy?


Pricey Peter,

To deal with your worry, we shall refer to Artwork. 349 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) of the Philippines which punishes bigamy.

Artwork. 349 of the RPC delivers, thus: “Art 349.Bigamy. — The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any individual who shall agreement a second or subsequent relationship ahead of the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proceedings.”

The Supreme Court, in the circumstance of Santiago vs. People today (GR 200233, July 15, 2015, Ponente: Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno elucidated:

“The criminal offense of bigamy does not entail the joint liability of two folks who marry each other while the prior relationship of one particular of them is valid and subsisting. As discussed in Nepomuceno, in the criminal offense of bigamy, both equally the initial and next spouses may well be the offended functions dependent on the instances, as when the second husband or wife married the accused devoid of getting knowledgeable of his previous relationship. Only if the 2nd husband or wife had understanding of the former undissolved marriage of the accused could she be incorporated in the information as a co-accused.” (Emphasis provided)

It is, so, clear that for the next partner to be indicted as a co-accused in the criminal offense, he/she really should have experienced expertise of the past subsisting relationship of his/her partner. He/She need to have knowingly consented or agreed to be married to a further who is by now bound in lawful wedlock prior to becoming guilty as an accomplice in the criminal offense of bigamy. The information of the next spouse of his/her spouse’s current prior relationship constitutes an indispensable element in the fee of bigamy.

The crime of bigamy is punishable underneath the RPC for this reason, fantastic faith and absence of prison intent are permitted as protection. Making use of the over-stated provision and jurisprudence in your concern, your sister must adduce evidence to assistance her assert that she was not knowledgeable of the simple fact of her husband’s existing past marriage at the time of their marriage. Consequently, she may possibly not be held criminally liable for the criminal offense of bigamy.

We hope that we were being able to respond to your queries. Make sure you be reminded that this advice is dependent solely on the points you have narrated and our appreciation of the identical. Our feeling may vary when other facts are adjusted or elaborated.

Editor’s observe: Dear PAO is a day-to-day column of the General public Attorney’s Place of work. Queries for Main Acosta may possibly be despatched to [email protected]

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