FIRST READ ON PEP: Kris Aquino-Yap officially files for "nullity of marriage" to James Yap

"Lack of authority of the solemnizing officer."

This was the ground cited in the nine-page document Kris Aquino filed petitioning for the nullity of her marriage to James Yap.


Kris Aquino officially filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage to James Yap at the Makati Family Court on Monday, August 9.

PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) found out today, August 11, from court insiders that the petition has already been raffled off to Branch 140 of the Makati Regional Trial Court under Judge Cristina Javalera-Sulit. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)

In a previous TV interview with Kris's lawyer, Atty. Anna Liza Logan, the lawyer said that it was not "annulment" but "nullity" that Kris will be seeking because, "The marriage was void from the beginning, so there was no marriage from the beginning. When you say legal separation, the marriage bond is not dissolved, so they can be separated, in fact, but they cannot marry anyone else." (CLICK HERE to read related article.)

The main ground cited for the nullity of the Kris and James union was "lack of authority of the solemnizing officer."

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The PEP source also added, "Walang nabanggit na psychological capacity. May defect ang marriage from the start."

Based on the Family Code of the Philippines, under Chapter 3, Article 35, the marriage may be declared void if: "(2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so...."

As stated in Kris and James's marriage certificate, which was obtained by PEP last July 19 from the National Statistics Office (NSO) in Quezon City, the solemnizing officer who signed the marriage certificate was a certain Rayda P. Tumaliuan, a minister of Holy Sacrament International Church.

Kris, 39, was married to James, 28, under a civil ceremony in the house of her business manager, Boy Abunda, on July 10, 2005. The website of the NSO showed that Tumaliuan was authorized as a solemnizing officer from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2006.

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But although Tumaliuan had the capacity to solemnize a marriage during the period when Kris and James married, another point must also be taken into consideration—one of the parties must belong to the religious sect of the solemnizing officer.

Chapter 1 Article 7 of the Family Code of the Philippines states that, "Marriage may be solemnized by...(2) Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer's church or religious sect."

PEP's copy of the document showed that both parties, Kris and James, declared that they are Roman Catholic.

INVENTORY OF PROPERTY AND CUSTODY. A portion of the nine-page document submitted by Kris and her lawyers to the court discussed properties and custody.

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According to the PEP source, "There is a general prayer for the court to divide their property according to the rules of co-ownership."

Under the Chapter 3 Article 93 of the Family Code, "Property acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong to the community, unless it is proved that it is one of those excluded therefrom."

PEP's court insider said, in layman's terms this means: "The parties must prove who bought what."

With regard to the custody of their child, the PEP source said, "Kris is asking for the custody of the kid."

The Family Code provides that, "No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise."

James is supposed to respond 15 days after receiving the petition. PEP is still checking for details about his legal counselor.

Kris, on the other hand, will be represented by Attorneys Anne Sharlyne Lapuz and Anna Liza Logan of the Marcos Ochoa Serapio Tan Law Firm.

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CONTACTING JAMES. PEP is presently getting the reaction of James Yap and his camp. Offhand, one of his friends said, "Hindi talaga magsasalita yun."

PEP sent a text message to his manager, Dondon Monteverde. But at press time, we still have not gotten a response. When James's camp issues an official statement, PEP will update the public.


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