Petitioner claims that since his previous marriage was declared null and void, "there is in effect no marriage at all, and thus, there is no bigamy to speak of;" especially since the first marriage had already been legally dissolved at the time the bigamy case was filed in court.


It does not matter whether the case for declaration of nullity was filed before the case for bigamy was instituted, for as long as the offender contracted a subsequent marriage while his previous marriage is subsisting thereby not being able to secure a Declaration of Nullity of the First marriage AT THE TIME HE CONTRACTED THE SECOND MARRIAGE.


A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required either as a cause of action or a ground for defense. Where the absolute nullity of a previous marriage is sought to be invoked for purposes of contracting a second marriage, the sole basis acceptable in law for said projected marriage to be free from legal infirmity is a final judgment declaring the previous marriage void. Parties to a marriage should not be allowed to assume that their marriage is void even if such be the fact but must first secure a judicial declaration of the nullity of their marriage before they can be allowed to marry again. With the judicial declaration of the nullity of his or her marriage, the person who marries again cannot be charged with bigamy. A judicial declaration of nullity is required before a valid subsequent marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a bigamous marriage, reprehensible and immoral.