Chapter 1 [Articles 1-18]

CHAPTER I > EFFECT AND APPLICATION OF LAWS

Article 1. This Act shall be known as the “Civil Code of the Philippines.” (n)

Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication. (1a)

Art. 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. (2)

Art. 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. (3)

Art. 5. Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity. (4a)

Art. 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law. (4a)

Art. 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary.

When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern.

Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. (5a)

Art. 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines. (n)

Art. 9. No judge or court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws. (6)

Art. 10. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail. (n)

Art. 11. Customs which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be countenanced. (n)

Art. 12. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence. (n)

Art. 13. When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each; months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise.

If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which they respectively have.

In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included. (7a)

Art. 14. Penal laws and those of public security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live or sojourn in the Philippine territory, subject to the principles of public international law and to treaty stipulations. (8a)

Art. 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. (9a)

Art. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is stipulated.

However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. (10a)

Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed.

When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the solemnities established by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution.

Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have, for their object, public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. (11a)

Art. 18. In matters which are governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws, their deficiency shall be supplied by the provisions of this Code. (16a) http://atty.ws/civil_law

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Chapter 2 [Articles 19-36]

CHAPTER 2 > HUMAN RELATIONS (n)

Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.

Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.

Art. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

Art. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.

Art. 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to another’s property was not due to the fault or negligence of the defendant, the latter shall be liable for indemnity if through the act or event he was benefited.

Art. 24. In all contractual, property or other relations, when one of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender age or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection.

Art. 25. Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.

Art. 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:

(1) Prying into the privacy of another’s residence:

(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another;

(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;

(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal condition.

Art. 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and other relief against he latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be taken.

Art. 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor through the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust, oppressive or highhanded method shall give rise to a right of action by the person who thereby suffers damage.

Art. 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence. Upon motion of the defendant, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.

If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text of the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground.

Art. 30. When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil liability arising from a criminal offense, and no criminal proceedings are instituted during the pendency of the civil case, a preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to prove the act complained of.

Art. 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony, such civil action may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.

Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:

(1) Freedom of religion;

(2) Freedom of speech;

(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical publication;

(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;

(5) Freedom of suffrage;

(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of law;

(7) The right to a just compensation when private property is taken for public use;

(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws;

(9) The right to be secure in one’s person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures;

(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same;

(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence;

(12) The right to become a member of associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law;

(13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the government for redress of grievances;

(14) The right to be free from involuntary servitude in any form;

(15) The right of the accused against excessive bail;

(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witness in his behalf;

(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one’s self, or from being forced to confess guilt, or from being induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make such confession, except when the person confessing becomes a State witness;

(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment, unless the same is imposed or inflicted in accordance with a statute which has not been judicially declared unconstitutional; and

(19) Freedom of access to the courts.

In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the defendant’s act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and mat be proved by a preponderance of evidence.

The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may also be adjudicated.

The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute.

Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

Art. 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be primarily liable for damages, and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily responsible therefor. The civil action herein recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings, and a preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such action.

Art. 35. When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal offense, charges another with the same, for which no independent civil action is granted in this Code or any special law, but the justice of the peace finds no reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed, or the prosecuting attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings, the complaint may bring a civil action for damages against the alleged offender. Such civil action may be supported by a preponderance of evidence. Upon the defendant’s motion, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the defendant in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.

If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should be presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall be suspended until the termination of the criminal proceedings.

Art. 36. Pre-judicial questions which must be decided before any criminal prosecution may be instituted or may proceed, shall be governed by rules of court which the Supreme Court shall promulgate and which shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this Code. http://atty.ws/civil_law

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Book 1:

Title I. – CIVIL PERSONALITY

CHAPTER 1 > GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 37. Juridical capacity, which is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations, is inherent in every natural person and is lost only through death. Capacity to act, which is the power to do acts with legal effect, is acquired and may be lost. (n)

Art. 38. Minority, insanity or imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, prodigality and civil interdiction are mere restrictions on capacity to act, and do not exempt the incapacitated person from certain obligations, as when the latter arise from his acts or from property relations, such as easements. (32a)

Art. 39. The following circumstances, among others, modify or limit capacity to act: age, insanity, imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, penalty, prodigality, family relations, alienage, absence, insolvency and trusteeship. The consequences of these circumstances are governed in this Code, other codes, the Rules of Court, and in special laws. Capacity to act is not limited on account of religious belief or political opinion.

A married woman, twenty-one years of age or over, is qualified for all acts of civil life, except in cases specified by law. (n) http://atty.ws/civil_law

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Book 1:

Title I. – CIVIL PERSONALITY

CHAPTER 2 > NATURAL PERSONS

Art. 40. Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the conditions specified in the following article. (29a)

Art. 41. For civil purposes, the fetus is considered born if it is alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother’s womb. However, if the fetus had an intra-uterine life of less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies within twenty-four hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb. (30a)

Art. 42. Civil personality is extinguished by death.

The effect of death upon the rights and obligations of the deceased is determined by law, by contract and by will. (32a)

Art. 43. If there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeed each other, as to which of them died first, whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in the absence of proof, it is presumed that they died at the same time and there shall be no transmission of rights from one to the other. (33)

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Book 1:

Title I. – CIVIL PERSONALITY

CHAPTER 3 > JURIDICAL PERSONS

Art. 44. The following are juridical persons:

(1) The State and its political subdivisions;

(2) Other corporations, institutions and entities for public interest or purpose, created by law; their personality begins as soon as they have been constituted according to law;

(3) Corporations, partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose to which the law grants a juridical personality, separate and distinct from that of each shareholder, partner or member. (35a)

Art. 45. Juridical persons mentioned in Nos. 1 and 2 of the preceding article are governed by the laws creating or recognizing them.

Private corporations are regulated by laws of general application on the subject.

Partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose are governed by the provisions of this Code concerning partnerships. (36 and 37a)

Art. 46. Juridical persons may acquire and possess property of all kinds, as well as incur obligations and bring civil or criminal actions, in conformity with the laws and regulations of their organization. (38a)

Art. 47. Upon the dissolution of corporations, institutions and other entities for public interest or purpose mentioned in No. 2 of Article 44, their property and other assets shall be disposed of in pursuance of law or the charter creating them. If nothing has been specified on this point, the property and other assets shall be applied to similar purposes for the benefit of the region, province, city or municipality which during the existence of the institution derived the principal benefits from the same. (39a)

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Book 1:

Title II. – CITIZENSHIP AND DOMICILE

Art. 48. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

(1) Those who were citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the Philippines;

(2) Those born in the Philippines of foreign parents who, before the adoption of said Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippines;

(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines;

(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship;

(5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law. (n)

Art. 49. Naturalization and the loss and reacquisition of citizenship of the Philippines are governed by special laws. (n)

Art. 50. For the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of natural persons is the place of their habitual residence. (40a)

Art. 51. When the law creating or recognizing them, or any other provision does not fix the domicile of juridical persons, the same shall be understood to be the place where their legal representation is established or where they exercise their principal functions. (41a)

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Book 1:

Title III. – MARRIAGE

CHAPTER 1 > REQUISITES OF MARRIAGE

Art. 52. Marriage is not a mere contract but an inviolable social institution. Its nature, consequences and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that the marriage settlements may to a certain extent fix the property relations during the marriage. (n)

Art. 53. No marriage shall be solemnized unless all these requisites are complied with:

(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties;

(2) Their consent, freely given;

(3) Authority of the person performing the marriage; and

(4) A marriage license, except in a marriage of exceptional character (Sec. 1a, Art. 3613).

Art. 54. Any male of the age of sixteen years or upwards, and any female of the age of fourteen years or upwards, not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 80 to 84, may contract marriage. (2)

Art. 55. No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required, but the parties with legal capacity to contract marriage must declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and of two witnesses of legal age, that they take each other as husband and wife. This declaration shall be set forth in an instrument in triplicate, signed by signature or mark by the contracting parties and said two witnesses and attested by the person solemnizing the marriage.

In case of a marriage on the point of death, when the dying party, being physically unable, cannot sign the instrument by signature or mark, it shall be sufficient for one of the witnesses to the marriage to sign in his name, which fact shall be attested by the minister solemnizing the marriage. (3)

Art. 56. Marriage may be solemnized by:

(1) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court;

(2) The Presiding Justice and the Justices of the Court of Appeals;

(3) Judges of the Courts of First Instance;

(4) Mayors of cities and municipalities;

(5) Municipal judges and justices of the peace;

(6) Priests, rabbis, ministers of the gospel of any denomination, church, religion or sect, duly registered, as provided in Article 92; and

(7) Ship captains, airplane chiefs, military commanders, and consuls and vice-consuls in special cases provided in Articles 74 and 75. (4a)

Art. 57. The marriage shall be solemnized publicly in the office of the judge in open court or of the mayor; or in the church, chapel or temple, as the case may be, and not elsewhere, except in cases of marriages contracted on the point of death or in remote places in accordance with Article 72 of this Code, or in case of marriage referred to in Article 76 or when one of the parents or the guardian of the female or the latter herself if over eighteen years of age request it in writing, in which cases the marriage may be solemnized at a house or place designated by said parent or guardian of the female or by the latter herself in a sworn statement to that effect. (5a)

Art. 58. Save marriages of an exceptional character authorized in Chapter 2 of this Title, but not those under Article 75, no marriage shall be solemnized without a license first being issued by the local civil registrar of the municipality where either contracting party habitually resides. (7a)

Art. 59. The local civil registrar shall issue the proper license if each of the contracting parties swears separately before him or before any public official authorized to administer oaths, to an application in writing setting forth that such party has the necessary qualifications for contracting marriage. The applicants, their parents or guardians shall not be required to exhibit their residence certificates in any formality in connection with the securing of the marriage license. Such application shall insofar as possible contain the following data:

(1) Full name of the contracting party;

(2) Place of birth;

(3) Age, date of birth;

(4) Civil status (single, widow or widower, or divorced);

(5) If divorced, how and when the previous marriage was dissolved;

(6) Present residence;

(7) Degree of relationship of the contracting parties;

(8) Full name of the father;

(9) Residence of the father;

(10) Full name of the mother;

(11) Residence of the mother;

(12) Full name and residence of the guardian or person having charge, in case the contracting party has neither father nor mother and is under the age of twenty years, if a male, or eighteen years if a female. (7a)

Art. 60. The local civil registrar, upon receiving such application, shall require the exhibition of the original baptismal or birth certificates of the contracting parties or copies of such documents duly attested by the persons having custody of the originals. These certificates or certified copies of the documents required by this article need not to be sworn to and shall be exempt from the documentary stamp tax. The signature and official title of the person issuing the certificate shall be sufficient proof of its authenticity.

If either of the contracting parties is unable to produce his baptismal or birth certificate or a certified copy of either because of the destruction or loss of the original, or if it is shown by an affidavit of such party or of any other person that such baptismal or birth certificate has not yet been received though the same has been requested of the person having custody thereof at least fifteen days prior to the date of the application, such party may furnish in lieu thereof his residence certificate for the current year or any previous years, to show the age stated in his application or, in the absence thereof, an instrument drawn up and sworn to before the local civil registrar concerned or any public official authorized to solemnize marriage. Such instrument shall contain the sworn declaration of two witnesses, of lawful age, of either sex, setting forth the full name, profession, and residence of such contracting party and of his or her parents, if known, and the place and date of birth of such party. The nearest of kin of the contracting parties shall be preferred as witnesses, and in their default, persons well known in the province or the locality for their honesty and good repute.

The exhibition of baptismal or birth certificates shall not be required if the parents of the contracting parties appear personally before the local civil registrar concerned and swear to the correctness of the lawful age of said parties, as stated in the application, or when the local civil registrar shall, by merely looking at the applicants upon their personally appearing before him, be convinced that either or both of them have the required age. (8a)

Art. 61. In case either of the contracting parties is a widowed or divorced person, the same shall be required to furnish, instead of the baptismal or birth certificate required in the last preceding article, the death certificate of the deceased spouse or the decree of the divorce court, as the case may be. In case the death certificate cannot be found, the party shall make an affidavit setting forth this circumstance and his or her actual civil status and the name and the date of the death of the deceased spouse.

In case either or both of the contracting parties, being neither widowed nor divorced, are less than twenty years of age as regards the male and less than eighteen years as regards the female, they shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding articles, exhibit to the local civil registrar, the consent to their marriage, of their father, mother or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them, in the order mentioned. Such consent shall be in writing, under oath taken with the appearance of the interested parties before the proper local civil registrar or in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official authorized by law to administer oaths. (9a)

Art. 62. Males above twenty but under twenty-five years of age, or females above eighteen but under twenty-three years of age, shall be obliged to ask their parents or guardian for advice upon the intended marriage. If they do not obtain such advice, or if it be unfavorable, the marriage shall not take place till after three months following the completion of the publication of the application for marriage license. A sworn statement by the contracting parties to the effect that such advice has been sought, together with the written advice given, if any, shall accompany the application for marriage license. Should the parents or guardian refuse to give any advice, this fact shall be stated in the sworn declaration. (n)

Art. 63. The local civil registrar shall post during ten consecutive days at the main door of the building where he has his office a notice, the location of which shall not be changed once it has been placed, setting forth the full names and domiciles of the applicants for a marriage license and other information given in the application. This notice shall request all persons having knowledge of any impediment to the marriage to advise the local registrar thereof. The license shall be issued after the completion of the publication, unless the local civil registrar receives information upon any alleged impediment to the marriage. (10a)

Art. 64. Upon being advised of any alleged impediment to the marriage, the local civil registrar shall forthwith make an investigation, examining persons under oath. If he is convicted that there is an impediment to the marriage, it shall be his duty to withhold the marriage license, unless he is otherwise ordered by a competent court. (n)

Art. 65. The local civil registrar shall demand the previous payment of fees required by law or regulations for each license issued. No other sum shall be collected, in the nature of a fee or tax of any kind, for the issuance of a marriage license. Marriage licenses shall be issued free of charge to indigent parties, when both male and female do not each own assessed real property in excess of five hundred pesos, a fact certified to, without cost, by the provincial treasurer, or in the absence thereof, by a statement duly sworn to by the contracting parties before the local civil registrar. The license shall be valid in any part of the Philippines; but it shall be good for no more than one hundred and twenty days from the date on which it is issued and shall be deemed canceled at the expiration of said period if the interested parties have not made use of it. (11a)

Art. 66. When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens or subjects of a foreign country, it shall be necessary, before a marriage license can be obtained, to provide themselves with a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, to be issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials. (13a)

Art. 67. The marriage certificate in which the contracting parties shall state that they take each other as husband and wife, shall also contain:

(1) The full names and domiciles of the contracting parties;

(2) The age of each;

(3) A statement that the proper marriage license has been issued according to law and that the contracting parties have the consent of their parents in case the male is under twenty or the female under eighteen years of age; and

(4) A statement that the guardian or parent has been informed of the marriage, if the male is between the ages of twenty and twenty-five years, and the female between eighteen and twenty-three years of age. (15a)

Art. 68. It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to furnish to either of the contracting parties one of the three copies of the marriage contract referred to in Article 55, and to send another copy of the document not later than fifteen days after the marriage took place to the local civil registrar concerned, whose duty it shall be to issue the proper receipt to any person sending a marriage contract solemnized by him, including marriages of an exceptional character. The official, priest, or minister solemnizing the marriage shall retain the third copy of the marriage contract, the marriage license and the affidavit of the interested party regarding the solemnization of the marriage in a place other than those mentioned in Article 57 if there be any such affidavit, in the files that he must keep. (16a)

Art. 69. It shall be the duty of the local civil registrar to prepare the documents required by this Title, and to administer oaths to all interested parties without any charge in both cases.

The documents and affidavits filed in connection with applications for marriage licenses shall be exempt from the documentary stamp tax. (17a)

Art. 70. The local civil registrar concerned shall enter all applications for marriage licenses filed with him in a register book strictly in the order in which the same shall be received. He shall enter in said register the names of the applicants, the date on which the marriage license was issued, and such other data as may be necessary. (18a)

Art. 71. All marriages performed outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were performed, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous marriages as determined by Philippine law. (19a)

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Filed under 03. Marriage