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Tanjanco v.

GR. No. L-18630, December 17, 1966
Petitioner: Apolonio Tanjanco
Respondent: CA and Araceli Santos
Facts: In 1957, Apolonio Tanjanco courted Santos, professed his undying
love and affection, and the latter in due time began to reciprocate his
feelings. In consideration of Tanjanco’s promise of marriage, Santos
consented and acceded to Tanjanco’s pleas for carnal knowledge which
resulted in a child. She filed a complaint for recovery of damages from
Tanjanco because she had to quit her job, thus unable to support herself and
the baby; that due to Tanjanco’s refusal to marry her, she suffered from moral
shock, social humiliation and the like. Upon Tanjanco’s motion to dismiss,
the CFI dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause of action.
Santos appealed to the CA, holding with the lower court that no cause of
action was shown to compel recognition of a child as yet unborn, nor for it’s
support, but decreed that the complaint did state a cause of action for
damages pursuant to Art. 21 of the NCC. CA then set aside the dismissal, and
directed the CFI to proceed with the case.
Tanjanco then appealed to the SC, pleading that actions for breach of a
promise to marry are not permissible in this jurisdiction.
Issue: W/N damages may be recovered from breach of promise to marry?

Held: NO. Petition is meritorious. CFI ruling is affirmed.
Ratio: CA wrongly held Art. 21 of the NCC, overlooking the SC’s
memorandum to support the original draft of the CC. Art. 21 refers to a tort
upon a minor who has been seduced. The essential feature is seduction that in
law is more than mere sexual intercourse, or a breach of a promise of
marriage. It connotes essentially the idea of deceit on the part of the seducer
to which the woman has yielded.
To constitute seduction, there must be in all cases some sufficient promise or
inducement and the woman must yield because of the promise. If she
consents merely from carnal lust and the intercourse is from mutual desire,
there is no seduction. A mere proof of intercourse is insufficient to warrant a
The parties were two people in love. Santos, a woman of adult age,
maintained intimate sexual relations with Tanjanco, with repeated acts of
intercourse. Such conduct is incompatible with the idea of seduction. There
only existed voluntariness and mutual passion.
Hence, no case is made under Art. 21 of the NCC. No error was committed
by the CFI.