Petitioner filed in the RTC in Cataingan, Masbate a petition for the declaration of the absolute nullity of the marriage contracted on December 26, 1949 between his late brother Cresenciano Ablaza and Leonila Honato, alleging that the marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila had been celebrated without a marriage license, due to such license being issued only on January 9, 1950. Accordingly, since he is the surviving brother of Cresenciano who had died without any issue, he is entitled to one-half of the real properties acquired by Cresenciano before his death, thereby making him a real party in interest; and that any person, himself included, could impugn the validity of the marriage between Cresenciano and Leonila at any time, even after the death of Cresenciano, due to the marriage being void ab initio.


Section 2, paragraph (a), of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC explicitly provides the limitation that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or wife. Such limitation demarcates a line to distinguish between marriages covered by the Family Code and those solemnized under the the Civil Code.


This specifically extends only to marriages covered by the Family Code, which took effect on August 3, 1988, but, being a procedural rule that is prospective in application, is confined only to proceedings commenced after March 15, 2003.


Assuming that the petitioner was as he claimed himself to be, then he has a material interest in the estate of Cresenciano that will be adversely affected by any judgment in the suit.