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[ G.R. No. 241032, March 15, 2021 ]
LOPEZ, M., J.:
The propriety of the dismissal of the petition for annulment of judgment filed by
Charnnel Shane Thomas (Charnnel) is the crux of the controversy in this Petition for
Review on Certiorari[1] assailing the October 10, 2017[2] and July 26, 2018[3]
Resolutions of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 152507.
Earl Alphonso Thomas (Alphonso), an American citizen, was married to Rachel Trono
(Rachel) on October 7, 1984. The couple begot a son, Earl James Thomas (Earl), born
on August 14, 1985. Upon Alphonso's petition for declaration of nullity, his marriage to
Rachel was declared void ab initio in a Decision,[4] dated August 22, 1997, rendered by
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 140. The RTC held that the
marriage was a bigamous marriage since Alphonso was still married to Nancy Thomas
(Nancy), an American citizen. In the course of the trial, Alphonso and Rachel agreed
that the properties they acquired during the marriage shall go to Rachel and Earl.
Relying on the dissolution of his marriage with Rachel, Alphonso cohabited with Jocelyn
C. Ledres (Jocelyn). On August 21, 1998, Jocelyn gave birth to their child, Charnnel.[5]
On July 22, 2007, out of their desire to make their union legal and binding and to
legitimize the status of their child, Alphonso and Jocelyn got married in Makati City.[6]
Alphonso died on February 12, 2011. To settle his affairs, Jocelyn, requested for
certified true copies of the August 22, 1997 Decision, its certificate of finality, and the
entry of judgment from the RTC believing in good faith that the judgment had already
attained finality after the lapse of 13 years since it was rendered.[7] As a result of the
request, the Branch Clerk of Court purportedly discovered that the Republic, through
the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), was not furnished a copy of the August 22,
1997 Decision. The RTC, instead of granting Jocelyn's request, furnished the OSG with
a copy of the Decision and gave it 15 days from receipt to perfect an appeal, or to file a
motion for reconsideration.[8] The Decision was received by the OSG on March 8, 2011.
On March 28, 2011, the OSG sought reconsideration of the August 22, 1997 Decision
contending that Alphonso's marriage with Nancy was not proven by competent
evidence, that it was not furnished with copies of the orders and processes, and that


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