One more reason for annulment, says Legarda



MANILA, Philippines – Senator Loren Legarda is proposing one more reason to have a marriage annulled in the Philippines – if both parties have been separated for at least five years.

Legarda’s proposal is contained in Senate Bill 2225 that seeks to amend Chapter 3 of Executive Order No. 209 also known as the Family Code of the Philippines, prescribing an additional ground for annulment.

The bill states that a “marriage may also be annulled if parties have been separated in fact for at least five years.”

“On this ground, both parties may mutually seek for the annulment, and while no judgment on the pleadings, summary judgment, or confession of judgment shall be allowed, the parties shall both be required as far as practicable to present affidavits or certifications from parents, children of legal age, and other relatives attesting to the fact of the separation period without prejudice to whatever documents the court may further require,” it said.

If either or both parties are indigent or cannot afford the services of lawyers, the bill said, the court should dispense with the need for lawyers and keep the processes as simple and as expediently as possible to avoid tedious and expensive litigation proceedings.

“In cases where both parties mutually seek the annulment on this ground, the court shall likewise find ways to expedite the proceedings to avoid protracted and expensive trials,” it further said.

At present, the Family Code of the Philippines listed the following valid grounds for annulment:

  • Lack of parental consent
  • Insanity
  • Fraud
  • Force, intimidation, or undue influence,
  • Impotence, and
  • Sexually transmissible diseases

All existed grounds, however, are still subject to court investigation, Legarda said in explaining her bill.

“Parties seeking annulment thus require legal counsel for assistance in filing petitions and substantiating claims. Hence, annulment is widely considered a lengthy, tedious, and financially exhaustive procedure,” she said.

Despite its high cost in funds and time, Legarda noted that many Filipinos were still seeking annulment “since it severs a union while allowing remarriage.”

She then cited the recent records from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), which showed that a total of 10,528 annulment cases were filed in 2012, compared to the 9,133 cases in 2011.

Legarda hopes that the immediate passage of her bill could help address this concern. Her own marriage with former Batangas Governor Jose Antonio Leviste was annulled in 2005.


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  • AchmedTheDeadTerrorist

    Drop it Lore-sinta!…your nice azz is grass!…you’re just diverting the issue of PukeDAF…your hand got caught on the cookie jar…pastilan ka gid, Day!
    Huwag mong pakialaman ‘yan—magagalit sa ‘yo ang simbahan…sigurado talo ka sa susunod na eleksyon if you insist….karamihan sa mga Pinoy nalason na ng RCC ang dugo at utak…parang mga robot, they couldn’t decide for themselves what’s right esp when it comes to family matters—kahit ang mga partner nila sa buhay ay mga abusado ma pa physical or mental, okay lang, tiis lang hangga’t mamatay….pastilan gid!!

  • labcu

    please propose bills that would benefit the people, urgent bills to uplift the living condition of the people, bills to answer the plea of street children, beggars, squatters, garbage, , unemployment, health concerns. Ang daming dapat gawin na bills eto pa napaka-walang silbi ang isinusulong. Think critical naman please!

  • Marcus Tullius Cicero Minimus

    Why not four? That’s the amount of time it takes before you can declare your spouse presumptively dead. Why should a de-facto separated spouse be put in a worse position thaan someone whose spouse possibly died?

    • josiferg

      7 years

      • Marcus Tullius Cicero Minimus

        I must insist It should be only four, unless you’re also going to change the period for getting a vanished spouse presumed legally dead for marriage purposes.

        Look: if your spouse vanishes without warning for four years, you can have him or her declared legally dead for the sole purpose of re-marriage. But, if he or she does not disappear and instead lives with another, you’ll wait five years in the vain hope that there’ll be a reconciliation.

        One: someone who deliberately leaves the house is no more likely to reconcile than a spouse who disappears completely. Two: you’re putting someone whose spouse deliberately left the conjugal dwelling in a worse position than someone whose spouse just vanished, when an act of deliberately leaving someone is a clearer sign of marital failure than a mere disappearance–which might be (and usually is) accidental.

      • josiferg

        4 is fine per your opinion. law say 7 years before you can declare your espouse dead (that is after wide search assuming he disappear on the face of the earth and never found)

        changing to 4 years means amending the present law or create a new law that will supersedes the existing law.

      • Marcus Tullius Cicero Minimus

        Read article 41 of the Family Code, not article 390 if the Civil Code.

        The period to declare presumptive death is only four years for purposes of remarriage. It is seven for OTHER purposes EXCEPT for REMARRIAGE and SUCCESSION:


        “Art. 41: A marriage contracted by any person during the subsistence of a previous marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for FOUR CONSECUTIVE YEARS and the spouse present had a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead. In case of disappearance where there is danger of death under the circumstances set forth in the provisions of Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence FOR ONLY TWO YEARS shall be sufficient.

        For the purposes of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph, the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided for in this Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the reappearance of the absent spouse.”


        I humbly submit that you have the right idea but wrong legal basis.

  • KurakotNaPinoy

    Moro-moro lang ang annulment, ipasa nyo ang Divorce bill.

  • Olibo

    Thumbs up Senator!

  • virgoyap

    Divorce is the other name for annulment. Legarda is only trying to be very careful.

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