Remedy to dubious marriage certificate

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Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
To comply with requirements for a marriage license, I secured a Certificate of No Marriage (Cenomar) from the Philippine Statistics Authority. To my surprise, my Cenomar shows that I am already married. Upon further inquiry, I found out that one of my cousins, who is already married, used my name just so she could marry her foreigner boyfriend. At present, I am not interested in going after my cousin. I just want to clear my record, so I can secure a marriage license, and marry my boyfriend. Please help me. I don’t know what I should do.
Kristel

Dear Kristel,
Based on your narration, there was no marriage, even an ostensible one, between you and the person listed in your Certificate of No Marriage (Cenomar) as your husband, because the alleged marriage was celebrated between your cousin and her foreigner boyfriend. As such, your proper remedy is to correct the concerned marriage certificate to reflect the fact that you are not a party to such marriage.

To achieve this purpose, you may avail of the remedy provided under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court that is specifically designed to correct or cancel erroneous entries in the civil registry including marriage. Section 1 of the Rule states: “Any person interested in any act, event, order or decree concerning the civil status of persons which has been recorded in the civil register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or correction of any entry relating thereto, with the Court of First Instance [now the Regional Trial Court]of the province where the corresponding civil registry is located.”

The use of this remedy was allowed in the case of Republic vs. Olaybar (G.R. No. 189538, February 10, 2014; ponente, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta), where the petitioner found out a record of marriage that purportedly involved her, although she did not participate in such marriage. To correct the problem, the petitioner filed a petition under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court and prayed for her name to be deleted on “Name of Wife” portion of the concerned marriage certificate. In this case, the Supreme Court ultimately granted her petition after the petitioner was able to prove by competent evidence that her signature was forged and by the testimony of witnesses that the person who appeared before the solemnizing officer during the marriage is not her.


Similarly, you may file a petition under Rule 108 and pray for the deletion of your name in the “Name of Wife” portion of the marriage certificate of your cousin and her foreigner spouse. Just like in the case of Republic vs.
Olaybar, you may support your petition by presenting proof that you did not sign the certificate of marriage, and that you did not appear before the solemnizing officer during the alleged marriage. To avail of this remedy, you may file a verified petition for the correction of the entry with the Regional Trial Court of the province where the civil registry, which keeps the record of the marriage of your cousin and her foreigner boyfriend, is located.

We hope we were able to sufficiently address your concern. Please bear in mind that this opinion is based on the facts you narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary if facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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