The Roman Catholic Church has a separate proceeding for annulling marriages in accordance with Canon Law and not with Civil Law which is not binding upon the State (Republic of the Philippines).
The confusion lies with the terminology, most people are not aware that both entities, the Church as well as the State, have separate procedures in annulling marriages for various reasons as stated both in Canon Law and in Civil Law. Filipinos think that just because the Pope says it is relaxing its rules on annulments, the same goes with annulments in our civil courts.
While it is true that part of the Family Code of the Philippines involving Psychological Incapacity (Art. 36) is based on Canon 1095 of Canon Law (if one uses such a ground for annulling marriages as there are several), Jurisprudence as pronounced by the Supreme Court of the Philippines has this to say: (335 Phil. 664, 676-680 (1997)
Since the purpose of including such provision in our Family Code is to harmonize our civil laws with the religious faith of our people, it stands to reason that to achieve such harmonization, great persuasive weight should be given to decisions of such appellate tribunal. Ideally -- subject to our law on evidence -- what is decreed as canonically invalid should also be decreed civilly void.
This is one instance where, in view of the evident source and purpose of the Family Code provision, contemporaneous religious interpretation is to be given persuasive effect. Here, the State and the Church -- while remaining independent, separate and apart from each other -- shall walk together in synodal cadence towards the same goal of protecting and cherishing marriage and the family as the inviolable base of the nation.
The reality therefor is that if one is able to secure a Church Annulment, such annulment is binding only upon the Church and must be proven based on the Rules of Evidence in order to be binding upon the whole world if pronounced by our Civil Courts. Said Church Annulments will not be automatically accepted by Civil Authorities.
Therefore, if you are able to secure a Church Annulment, one has to secure a Civil Annulment and use the pronouncements in the Marriage Matrimonial Council as one of your pieces of evidence so that your Civil Annulment may be granted, as stated earlier, while it is not binding upon our Civil Courts, said church annulment will be given great persuasive weight.
On the otherhand, if one is able to secure a Civil Annulment and you want to get remarried in the Roman Catholic Church, you must secure a Church Annulment. Presently, there are two uses for Church Annulments in my humble opinion:
1. A church annulment may be used as evidence in a civil annulment which has great persuasive effect in annulling your wedding; secondly
2. A church annulment will allow you to be remarried in a Roman Catholic Church; provided that you are able to secure a Civil Annulment as well and have it recorded in the Civil Registry.