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Bigamy case vs VP Noli de Castro, wife dismissed

February 26, 2008 11:23pm
The bigamy and other criminal charges filed against Vice President Noli de Castro and his wife, Arlene Sinsuat de Castro, were dismissed on Tuesday for lack of probable cause.

In a five-page resolution, Quezon City Assistant Prosecutor Fabinda de los Santos also dismissed the cases of falsification, perjury, threats, and obstruction of justice against the couple.

The cases were filed on the complaint of brothers Jhoveenel Ombus and Arjurie Omar Sinsuat Olor, Arlene's sons from her previous marriage.

The brothers said their mother married De Castro on July 16, 1992, though her marriage with their father, Juanito Olor, had not been lawfully dissolved.

They said the marriage certificate was issued on Nov. 17, 1971, which is on file at the Office of Civil Registrar in Manila.

The brothers added that the couple committed perjury by stating that they were both single when they filled out their marriage certificate.

They also claimed that De Castro perjured himself when he stated in his narration of facts in the certificate that his religion as Islam, when in fact he is a Catholic and even a devotee of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.

The complainants also said their uncle warned them not to disclose their identity or to tell the truth about their mother's previous marriage to their father, otherwise, something could happen to them.

The complainants added that they started receiving death threats when the information about their mother's previous marriage to De Castro was published in the newspapers.

In her counter-affidavit, the couple denied the charges.

Mrs. De Castro said no wedding ceremony took place with Juanito, who handled all the papers before their marriage. She said she just went to the Manila City Hall to sign all the papers that he asked her to sign.

She also said that her father was never informed and never gave his consent to the marriage.

She added that after Olor forcibly took the brothers from her, she started looking for them and tried to find him before she married De Castro.

De Castro said he had no knowledge of Arlene's first marriage when they got married.

In her resolution, Delos Santos explained that the complainants did not deny the allegation of Arlene that her consent to her marriage to Olor was not freely given.

"But even granting that respondent Arlen gave her consent to the said marriage, her marriage to Olor was, however, without the consent of her father which is one of the essential requisites of a valid marriage between Muslims. Hence, from this point of view, the alleged marriage between respondent Arlene Sinsuat and Mr. Olor, was not perfected," Delos Santos added.

The prosecutor added that it is also not denied by the complainants that respondent Arlene Sinsuat had not seen or heard from Olor for at least 31 years.

Delos Santos also pointed out that Olor had been absent for more than seven years without any news as to his whereabouts.Under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, he said Olor would have to be presumed dead. - GMANews.TV
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