Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT, Manila FIRST DIVISION MA. ARMIDA PEREZ-FERRARIS VS. BRIX FERRARIS G.R. No.

162368 July 17, 2006 RESOLUTION YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: FACTS: On February 20, 2001, the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 151 rendered a Decision denying the petition for declaration of nullity of petitioner's marriage with Brix Ferraris. The trial court noted that suffering from epilepsy does not amount to psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Civil Code and the evidence on record was insufficient to prove infidelity. On April 20, 2001, petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied, the trial court reiterated that there was no evidence that respondent is mentally or physically ill to such an extent that he could not have known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given valid assumption thereof. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed in toto the judgment of the trial court. On June 9, 2004, Court of Appeals resolves the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Ma. Armida Perez-Ferraris, denying the petition for review on certiorari of the Decision and Resolution of the said court dated April 30, 2003 and February 24, 2004, respectively, for failure of the petitioner to sufficiently show that the Court of Appeals committed any reversible error. ISSUE : Whether or not psychological incapacity exists in a given case calling for annulment of marriage will render the judgment in favor to the petitioner? HELD: The motion for reconsideration of the Resolution dated June 9, 2004 denying the petition for review on certiorari for failure of the petitioner to sufficiently show that the Court of Appeals committed any reversible error, is DENIED WITH FINALITY RATIONALE: The evidence on record did not convincingly establish that respondent was suffering from psychological incapacity. There is absolutely no showing that his "defects" were already present at the inception of the marriage, or that those are incurable.

The Court found Brix’s alleged mixed personality disorder, the "leaving-the-house" attitude whenever he and Amy quarreled, the violent tendencies during epileptic attacks, the sexual infidelity, the abandonment and lack of support, and his preference to spend more time with his band mates than his family, are not rooted on some debilitating psychological condition but a mere refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage. A mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitute psychological incapacity; it is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so due to some psychological, not physical, illness. The intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of “psychological incapacity” to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT, Manila EN BANC REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. COURT OF APPEALS and RORIDEL OLAVIANO MOLINA G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997 PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: On 14 April 1985 Roridel Olaviano was married to Reynaldo Molina in Manila, and gave birth to a son a year after. Reynaldo showed signs of “immaturity and irresponsibility” on the early stages of the marriage, observed from his tendency to spend time with his friends and squandering his money with them, from his dependency from his parents, and his dishonesty on matters involving his finances. Reynaldo was relieved of his job in 1986, Roridel became the sole breadwinner thereafter. In March 1987, Roridel resigned from her job in Manila and proceeded to Baguio City. Reynaldo left her and their child a week later. The couple is separated-in-fact for more than three years. On 16 August 1990, Roridel filed a verified petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to Reynaldo Molina. Evidence for Roridel consisted of her own testimony, that of two of her friends, a social worker, and a psychiatrist of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center. Reynaldo did not present any evidence as he appeared only during the pre-trial conference. On 14 May 1991, the trial court rendered judgment declaring the marriage void. The Solicitor General appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals denied the appeals and affirmed in toto the RTC’s decision. Hence, the present recourse. ISSUE : Whether or not conflicting personalities should be construed as psychological incapacity. HELD: The Supreme Court granted the petition, and reversed and set aside the assailed decision; concluding that the marriage of Roridel Olaviano to Reynaldo Molina subsists and remains valid. RATIONALE: Psychological incapacity must be characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence, and incurability. In the present case, there is no clear showing that the psychological defect spoken of is an incapacity; but appears to be more of a “difficulty,” if not outright “refusal” or “neglect” in the performance of some marital obligations.

Mere showing of "irreconcilable differences" and "conflicting personalities" in no wise constitutes psychological incapacity. It is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some psychological (nor physical) illness. The evidence adduced by respondent merely showed that she and her husband could nor get along with each other. There had been no showing of the gravity of the problem; neither its juridical antecedence nor its incurability. The expert testimony of Dr. Sison showed no incurable psychiatric disorder but only incompatibility, not psychological incapacity.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT, Manila FIRST DIVISION REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. CIPRIANO ORBECIDO III G.R. No. 154380, October 5, 2005 DECISION QUISUMBING, J.: FACTS: On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Lam-an, Ozamis City. Their marriage was blessed with a son and a daughter, Kristoffer Simbortriz V. Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V. Orbecido. In 1986, Cipriano’s wife left for the United States bringing along their son Kristoffer. A few years later, Cipriano discovered that his wife had been naturalized as an American citizen. Sometime in 2000, Cipriano learned from his son that his wife had obtained a divorce decree and then married a certain Innocent Stanley. She, Stanley and her child by him currently live at 5566 A. Walnut Grove Avenue, San Gabriel, California. Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. No opposition was filed. Finding merit in the petition, the court granted the same. The Republic, herein petitioner, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was denied. The OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code is not applicable to the instant case because it only applies to a valid mixed marriage; that is, a marriage celebrated between a Filipino citizen and an alien. The proper remedy, according to the OSG, is to file a petition for annulment or for legal separation. Furthermore, the OSG argues there is no law that governs respondent’s situation. The OSG posits that this is a matter of legislation and not of judicial determination ISSUE : Whether or not respondent can remarry citing Article 26 paragraph 2 of the family Code. HELD: The petition by the Republic of the Philippines is GRANTED. The assailed Decision dated May 15, 2002, and Resolution dated July 4, 2002, of the Regional Trial Court of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Branch 23, are hereby SET ASIDE. RATIONALE: Taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of reason, we hold that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include cases involving parties

who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to sanction absurdity and injustice. Where the interpretation of a statute according to its exact and literal import would lead to mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose of the legislature, it should be construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as far as necessary the letter of the law. A statute may therefore be extended to cases not within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as they come within its spirit or intent. In view of the foregoing, we state the twin elements for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 as follows: 1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner; and 2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry. The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry. In this case, when Cipriano’s wife was naturalized as an American citizen, there was still a valid marriage that has been celebrated between her and Cipriano. As fate would have it, the naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid divorce capacitating her to remarry. Clearly, the twin requisites for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both present in this case. Thus Cipriano, the “divorced” Filipino spouse, should be allowed to remarry. However, considering that in the present petition there is no sufficient evidence submitted and on record, we are unable to declare, based on respondent’s bare allegations that his wife, who was naturalized as an American citizen, had obtained a divorce decree and had remarried an American, that respondent is now capacitated to remarry. Such declaration could only be made properly upon respondent’s submission of the aforecited evidence in his favor.

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