by Amie Perez

MORA ADONG v. CHEONG SENG GEE, GR No. 18081, 1922-03-03

Facts:

Cheong Boo, a native of China, died intestate in Zamboanga, Philippine Islands, on August 5, 1919. He left property worth nearly P100,000. The estate of the deceased was claimed, on the one hand, by Cheong Seng Gee, who alleged that he was a legitimate child by a marriage... contracted by Cheong Boo with Tan Dit in China in 1895. The estate was claimed, on the other hand, by the Mora Adong who alleged that she had been lawfully married to Cheong Boo in 1896 in Basilan, Philippine Islands, and her daughters, Payang, married to Cheng Bian Chay, and

Rosalia Cheong Boo, unmarried.

the trial judge reached the conclusion that the marriage between the Mora Adong and the deceased had been adequately proved but that under the laws of the Philippine Islands it could not be held to be a lawful marriage;

Cheong Boo then left China for the Philippine ;lands and sometime thereafter took to himself a... concubine Mora by whom he had two children

Issues:

  1. Validity of the Mohammedan Marriage

Ruling:

Principles:

"The inhabitants of the territories... over which Spain relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion."

"that no law shall... be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination ox preference, shall forever be allowed.

no minister of religion shall be interfered with or molested in following his calling, and that the separation between state and church shall be real, entire, and... absolute.

"with all... solemnity to the Sultan and other inhabitants of Sulu the free exercise of their religions with which it will not interfere in the slightest way, and it will also respect their customs."

"Judges of the Court of First Instance and justices of the peace deciding civil cases in which the parties are Mohammedans or pagans, when such action is deemed wise, may modify the application of the law of the

Philippine Islands, except laws of the United States applicable to the Philippine Islands, taking into account local laws and customs.

Quotable quotes on marriage

The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is that of marriage. Marriage in this jurisdiction is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment of... the law leans toward legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any counter-presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the parties... were not what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant violation of decency and of law. A presumption established by our Code of Civil Procedure is "that a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful... contract of marriage.

Public policy should aid acts intended to validate marriages and should retard acts intended to invalidate marriages.

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