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GR No. L-12790 Aug 31, 1960 Joel Jimenez, plaintiff-appellee vs.

Remedios Canizares, defendant and Republic of the Philippines, intervenor-appellant Facts: Joel filed a complaint praying for a decree of annulment of his marriage to Remedios upon the ground that the orifice of her vagina was too small for penetration. This condition made Joel leave the conjugal home two nights and one day after they had been married. He alleged that it existed at the time of marriage. Remedios did not file an answer and so the court directed the Zamboanga City Atty. to inquire whether or not there was collusion and intervene to see that evidence is not fabricated. Remedios was also ordered to submit to a physical examination, which failed as she had refused to be examined. Procedural history: After hearing, Remedios was not present. The trial court entered a decree declaring the marriage null and void. The city attorney filed an MR contending that the impotency had not been satisfactorily established since there was no physical examination and that instead of annulling the marriage, the court should have punished her for contempt and compelled her to undergo physical examination. He further argued that the decree would open the door to collusion simply by alleging impotency. Issue: WON the marriage may be annulled on the strength of the lone testimony of the husband who claimed and testified that the wife was and is impotent Held: NO Rule: Article 45 (5) A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage that either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; Application: In the case at bar, the annulment of the marriage in question was decreed upon the sole testimony of the husband who was expected to give testimony tending or aiming at securing the annulment of his marriage he sought and seeks. Whether the wife is really impotent cannot be deemed to have been satisfactorily established, because from the commencement of the proceedings until the entry of the decree she had abstained from taking part therein. Although her refusal to be examined or failure to appear in court show indifference on her part, yet from such attitude the presumption arising out of the suppression of evidence could not arise or be inferred because women of this country are by nature coy, bashful and shy and would not submit to a physical examination unless compelled to by competent authority. This the Court may do without doing violence to and infringing in this case is not selfincrimination. She is not charged with any offense. She is not being compelled to be a witness against herself. "Impotency being an abnormal condition should not be presumed. The presumption is in favor of potency." The lone testimony of the husband that his wife is physically incapable of sexual intercourse is insufficient to tear asunder the ties that have bound them together as husband and wife. Dispositive Portion: The decree appealed from is set aside and the case remanded to the lower court for further proceedings in accordance with this decision, without pronouncement as to costs.