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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. No.

164584 June 22, 2009

PHILIP MATTHEWS, Petitioner, vs. BENJAMIN A. TAYLOR and JOSELYN C. TAYLOR, Respondents. DECISION NACHURA, J.: Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari are the Court of Appeals (CA) December 19, 2003 Decision1 and July 14, 2004 Resolution2 in CA-G.R. CV No. 59573. The assailed decision affirmed and upheld the June 30, 1997 Decision3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 8, Kalibo, Aklan in Civil Case No. 4632 for Declaration of Nullity of Agreement of Lease with Damages. On June 30, 1988, respondent Benjamin A. Taylor (Benjamin), a British subject, married Joselyn C. Taylor (Joselyn), a 17-year old Filipina.4 On June 9, 1989, while their marriage was subsisting, Joselyn bought from Diosa M. Martin a 1,294 square-meter lot (Boracay property) situated at Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, for and in consideration of P129,000.00.5 The sale was allegedly financed by Benjamin.6 Joselyn and Benjamin, also using the latter’s funds, constructed improvements thereon and eventually converted the property to a vacation and tourist resort known as the Admiral Ben Bow Inn.7 All required permits and licenses for the operation of the resort were obtained in the name of Ginna Celestino, Joselyn’s sister.8 However, Benjamin and Joselyn had a falling out, and Joselyn ran away with Kim Philippsen. On June 8, 1992, Joselyn executed a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of Benjamin, authorizing the latter to maintain, sell, lease, and sub-lease and otherwise enter into contract with third parties with respect to their Boracay property.9 On July 20, 1992, Joselyn as lessor and petitioner Philip Matthews as lessee, entered into an Agreement of Lease10 (Agreement) involving the Boracay property for a period of 25 years, with an annual rental of P12,000.00. The agreement was signed by the parties and executed before a Notary Public. Petitioner thereafter took possession of the property and renamed the resort as Music Garden Resort. Claiming that the Agreement was null and void since it was entered into by Joselyn without his (Benjamin’s) consent, Benjamin instituted an action for Declaration of Nullity of Agreement of Lease with Damages11 against Joselyn and the petitioner. Benjamin claimed that his funds were

jointly and severally. impliedly. set aside by the CA in CA-G. Benjamin signed as a witness to the contract.used in the acquisition and improvement of the Boracay property. 1992 consisting of eight (8) pages (Exhibits "T". and to conduct further proceedings.R.15 The RTC considered the Boracay property as community property of Benjamin and Joselyn. however. 1994. estopped from questioning the validity of the Agreement. "T-2". SO ORDERED. . therefore. the RTC disposed of the case in this manner: WHEREFORE.14 petitioner claimed good faith in transacting with Joselyn. "T-4". 390. the RTC declared Joselyn and the petitioner in defeault. Philippine Currency. Benjamin was. "T-5". Benjamin’s right over the Boracay property was bolstered by the court’s findings that the property was purchased and improved through funds provided by Benjamin. jointly and severally. premises considered. "T-1". Series of 1992 is hereby declared NULL and VOID.00) PESOS. hence. "T-3". the trial court refused to consider the alleged participation of Benjamin in the questioned transaction primarily because his signature appeared only on the last page of the document and not on every page thereof. for attorney’s fees and other incidental expenses.000. Book I. Defendants are hereby ordered. "T-6" and "T-7") entered into by and between Joselyn C. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants as follows: 1. On June 30. to pay plaintiff the sum of SIXTEEN THOUSAND (P16. Moreover. The Agreement of Lease dated July 20. any transaction involving said property required his consent. as appearing in the Agreement. Defendants are hereby ordered. In his Answer. the consent of the spouses was necessary to validate any contract involving the property. to pay plaintiff the sum of TWENTY THOUSAND (P20. and coupled with the fact that he was Joselyn’s husband. and 3. Taylor and Philip Matthews before Notary Public Lenito T. 2. No. There being no amicable settlement during the pre-trial. Serrano under Doc. 34054. the RTC rendered judgment by default declaring the Agreement null and void. Page 79. 1997. his conformity to the agreement entered into by his wife. Although the Agreement was evidenced by a public document. trial on the merits ensued.13 The CA also ordered the RTC to allow the petitioner to file his Answer. indicating his knowledge of the transaction and. SP No. No Answer was filed. Since Joselyn appeared to be the owner of the Boracay property. thus.000. he found it unnecessary to obtain the consent of Benjamin. On March 14.00) PESOS as damages representing unrealized income for the residential building and cottages computed monthly from July 1992 up to the time the property in question is restored to plaintiff.12 The decision was.

NO. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS IGNORED THE PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY IN THE EXECUTION OF NOTARIAL DOCUMENTS.3. Taken together. In fine. 4. we are called upon to determine the validity of an Agreement of Lease of a parcel of land entered into by a Filipino wife without the consent of her British husband.R. TAYLOR. The appellate court was of the view that if.4. petitioner now comes before this Court in this petition for review on certiorari based on the following grounds: 4. 141323.17 The petition is impressed with merit. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS FAILED TO PASS UPON THE COUNTERCLAIM OF PETITIONER DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT WAS NOT CONTESTED AND DESPITE THE PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING SAID CLAIM. indeed. 2005.On appeal to the CA. 4. G. JANUARY 21. Benjamin was a willing participant in the questioned transaction. JUNE 8. THE COURTS A QUO ERRONEOUSLY APPLIED ARTICLE 96 OF THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES WHICH IS A PROVISION REFERRING TO THE ABSOLUTE COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY. IN THE LIGHT OF CHEESMAN VS. In its December 19.R.1. THE MARITAL CONSENT OF RESPONDENT BENJAMIN TAYLOR IS NOT REQUIRED IN THE AGREEMENT OF LEASE DATED 20 JULY 1992.5. the parties to the Agreement should have used the phrase "with my consent" instead of "signed in the presence of.16 the CA affirmed the conclusions made by the RTC. NO. IAC. BENJAMIN TAYLOR IS DEEMED TO HAVE GIVEN HIS CONSENT WHEN HE AFFIXED HIS SIGNATURE IN THE AGREEMENT OF LEASE AS WITNESS IN THE LIGHT OF THE RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT IN THE CASE OF SPOUSES PELAYO VS." The CA noted that Joselyn already prepared an SPA in favor of Benjamin involving the Boracay property. G. 74833. Aggrieved.2. 4. GRANTING ARGUENDO THAT HIS CONSENT IS REQUIRED. THE PARCEL OF LAND SUBJECT OF THE AGREEMENT OF LEASE IS THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF JOCELYN C. ARTICLE 96 OF THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES FINDS NO APPLICATION IN THIS CASE. these circumstances yielded the inevitable conclusion that the contract was null and void having been entered into by Joselyn without the consent of Benjamin. A FILIPINO CITIZEN. In addressing the . 4. petitioner still failed to obtain a favorable decision. 2003 Decision. 1991. MELKI PEREZ. it was therefore unnecessary for Joselyn to participate in the execution of the Agreement. THE PROPERTY REGIME GOVERNING THE PROPERTY RELATIONS OF BENJAMIN TAYLOR AND JOSELYN TAYLOR IS THE CONJUGAL PARTNERSHIP OF GAINS BECAUSE THEY WERE MARRIED ON 30 JUNE 1988 WHICH IS PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE FAMILY CODE.

with the exception of public agricultural land. by virtue of the aforecited constitutional provision. Muller. But this constitutional purpose conserving agricultural resources in the hands of Filipino citizens may easily be defeated by the Filipino citizens themselves who may alienate their agricultural lands in favor of aliens. have been disqualified from acquiring lands of the public domain. shall not be alienated.23 we had the occasion to explain the constitutional prohibition: Under Section 1 of Article XIII of the Constitution. Said acquisition was evidenced by a Deed of Sale with Joselyn as the vendee. They. they are also disqualified from acquiring private lands. we are confronted not only with civil law or conflicts of law issues. Section 7. Hence. in fact. are the more decisive.matter before us. The property was also declared for taxation purposes under her name. and it reads as follows: "Section 5.20 Our fundamental law cannot be any clearer. Save in cases of hereditary succession. however. It is undisputed that Joselyn acquired the Boracay property in 1989. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution states:18 Section 7. Aliens. but more importantly. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines. It would certainly be futile to prohibit the alienation of public agricultural lands to aliens if. Save in cases of hereditary succession." and with respect to public agricultural lands. and second. corporations. It is partly to prevent this result that Section 5 is included in Article XIII. x x x ." This constitutional provision closes the only remaining avenue through which agricultural resources may leak into alien’s hands. "natural resources. When Joselyn leased the property to petitioner. whether individuals or corporations. corporations. with a constitutional question.21 In Krivenko v. they may be freely so alienated upon their becoming private agricultural lands in the hands of Filipino citizens. failed to observe the applicable constitutional principles. no private agricultural land will be transferred or assigned except to individuals. Register of Deeds. no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals. that he was the actual owner of the property since he provided the funds used in purchasing the same.19 The primary purpose of this constitutional provision is the conservation of the national patrimony.22 cited in Muller v. their alienation is limited to Filipino citizens. The trial and appellate courts both focused on the property relations of petitioner and respondent in light of the Civil Code and Family Code provisions. or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain. Benjamin sought the nullification of the contract on two grounds: first. The right to acquire lands of the public domain is reserved only to Filipino citizens or corporations at least sixty percent of the capital of which is owned by Filipinos. which. that Joselyn could not enter into a valid contract involving the subject property without his consent. after all.

Muller. together with the improvements thereon. save only in constitutionally recognized exceptions. prompting the respondent to file a petition for separation of property. was married to Klaus Muller. respondent’s name appeared as . however.25 There is no rule more settled than this constitutional prohibition. respondent prayed for reimbursement of the funds he paid for the acquisition of said property. precisely because he never became the owner thereof in light of the above-mentioned constitutional prohibition. Catito. strictly agricultural. playgrounds. a Chinese citizen. during which petitioner acquired real properties. he had it titled in the name of the petitioner because of said prohibition. In Frenzel v. as more and more aliens attempt to circumvent the provision by trying to own lands through another. fisheries. In a long line of cases. and since he was disqualified from owning lands in the Philippines. In deciding the case in favor of the petitioner. During the subsistence of their marriage. Specifically.31 petitioner Elena Buenaventura Muller and respondent Helmut Muller were married in Germany. factories. The Antipolo property was registered in the name of the petitioner. declared that when the spouses acquired the Antipolo property. health and vacation resorts. Hence. we denied his attempt at subsequently asserting a right to the said property in the form of a claim for reimbursement. v." and that "they may validly buy and hold in their names lands of any area for building homes. and whole towns and cities. Jr. airfields. golf courses. an Australian citizen. respondent purchased a parcel of land in Antipolo City and constructed a house thereon. schools. we have settled issues that directly or indirectly involve the above constitutional provision. his heirs (the petitioners therein) claimed the properties as part of the estate of their deceased father. Upon his death.29 In Ting Ho. a Filipina. in appellant’s words. in fact.xxxx If the term "private agricultural lands" is to be construed as not including residential lots or lands not strictly agricultural. We had cases where aliens wanted that a particular property be declared as part of their father’s estate. and a host of other uses and purposes that are not.30 Felix Ting Ho. He had.27 that an implied trust be declared in their (aliens’) favor.32 petitioner.26 that they be reimbursed the funds used in purchasing a property titled in the name of another. We said that to rule otherwise would permit circumvention of the constitutional prohibition. In Muller v. 6) That this is obnoxious to the conservative spirit of the Constitution is beyond question. while respondent. the result would be that "aliens may freely acquire and possess not only residential lots and houses for themselves but entire subdivisions. Petitioner and respondent met and later cohabited in a common-law relationship. markets. We. Teng Gui. and sought the partition of said properties among themselves.28 and that a contract of sale be nullified for their lack of consent. industrial plants. They eventually separated. p. acquired a parcel of land.24 The rule is clear and inflexible: aliens are absolutely not allowed to acquire public or private lands in the Philippines. excluded the land and improvements thereon from the estate of Felix Ting Ho. was married to Teresita Santos. hatcheries." (Solicitor General’s Brief. he was prohibited from owning a parcel of land situated in the Philippines. the Court held that respondent was aware that as an alien. Neither did the Court declare that an implied trust was created by operation of law in view of petitioner’s marriage to respondent.

WHEREFORE. we find it unnecessary to address the other issues raised by the petitioner. Again. the Court refused to declare petitioner as the owner mainly because of the constitutional prohibition. 2004 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the Agreement of Lease entered into between Joselyn and petitioner cannot be nullified on the grounds advanced by Benjamin. CV No. in Cheesman v. we uphold its validity. In any event. By entering into such contract knowing that it was illegal. and in attempting to acquire a right or interest in land.the vendee in the deeds of sale. he knowingly violated the Constitution. thus. Intermediate Appellate Court. are REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one is entered DISMISSING the complaint against petitioner Philip Matthews. The Court held that assuming that it was his (petitioner’s) intention that the lot in question be purchased by him and his wife. claiming that he was the real owner.R. she acquired sole ownership thereto. no reimbursement for his expenses can be allowed. 2003 Decision and July 14. This is a right that the Constitution does not permit him to have. The Court added that being a party to an illegal contract.33 petitioner (an American citizen) and Criselda Cheesman acquired a parcel of land that was later registered in the latter’s name. Considering that Joselyn appeared to be the designated "vendee" in the Deed of Sale of said property. If the property were to be declared conjugal.34 In fine. 59573. premises considered. this would accord the alien husband a substantial interest and right over the land. he acquired no right whatever over the property by virtue of that purchase. SO ORDERED. as in the other cases. This is true even if we sustain Benjamin’s claim that he provided the funds for such acquisition. the December 19. Benjamin. he could not come to court and ask to have his illegal objective carried out. Thus. he was merely exercising the prerogative of a husband in respect of conjugal property. being an alien. When their relationship turned sour. no implied trust was created in his favor. With the foregoing disquisition. Criselda subsequently sold the land to a third person without the knowledge of the petitioner. and no declaration can be made that the subject property was part of the conjugal/community property of the spouses. is absolutely prohibited from acquiring private and public lands in the Philippines. . petitioner filed an action for the recovery of the real properties registered in the name of respondent. The petitioner then sought the nullification of the sale as he did not give his consent thereto. we find and so hold that Benjamin has no right to nullify the Agreement of Lease between Joselyn and petitioner. To sustain such a theory would countenance indirect controversion of the constitutional prohibition. as he would then have a decisive vote as to its transfer or disposition. he had and has no capacity or personality to question the subsequent lease of the Boracay property by his wife on the theory that in so doing. One who loses his money or property by knowingly engaging in an illegal contract may not maintain an action for his losses. vicariously and clandestinely. In light of the foregoing jurisprudence. Finally. the sale as to him was null and void.

PERALTA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.ANTONIO EDUARDO B. JR. CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice Chairperson. REYNATO S. VELASCO. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson's Attestation. CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. Third Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. NACHURA Associate Justice WE CONCUR: CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice Chairperson MINITA V. PUNO Chief Justice .

and no declaration can be made that the subject property was part of the conjugal/community property of the spouses. On June 9. . This is true even if Benjamin’s claim that he provided the funds for such acquisition is sustained. June 22. no implied trust was created in his favor. However. married Joselyn C. he instituted an action for Declaration of Nullity of Agreement of Lease with Damages against Joselyn and the petitioner. 1989. 1992. Benjamin. she acquired sole ownership thereto. authorizing the latter to maintain. no reimbursement for his expenses can be allowed. Benjamin and Joselyn had a falling out. a British subject. and Joselyn ran away with Kim Philippsen. The sale was allegedly financed by Benjamin. Issue: Whether or not an alien husband (Benjamin) is capacitated to nullify a lease contract entered into by his Filipina wife (Joselyn) over a land bought during their marriage? Ruling: Benjamin has no right to nullify the Agreement of Lease between Joselyn and petitioner. In any event. This is a right that the Constitution does not permit him to have. 1992. sell. 2009 Facts: On June 30. is absolutely prohibited from acquiring private and public lands in the Philippines. Claiming that the Agreement was null and void since it was entered without his (Benjamin’s) consent. he had and has no capacity or personality to question the subsequent lease of the Boracay property by his wife. 1988. On July 20. respondent Benjamin A. as he would then have a decisive vote as to its transfer or disposition. a 17-year old Filipina. By entering into such contract knowing that it was illegal. Martin a 1. this would accord the alien husband a substantial interest and right over the land. Philip Matthews. Joselyn bought from Diosa M. Joselyn entered into an Agreement of Lease (Agreement) involving the Boracay property for a period of 25 years.294 square-meter lot (Boracay property). On June 8. and sub-lease and otherwise enter into contract with third parties with respect to their Boracay property. lease. Joselyn executed a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of Benjamin. being an alien.Matthews vs Taylor GR 164584. Considering that Joselyn appeared to be the designated “vendee” in the Deed of Sale of said property. If the property were to be declared conjugal. Taylor (Joselyn). Taylor (Benjamin).

assails the Decision1 dated August 26. Sometime in 1990. and fiesta celebrations. but she never did. No. Branch 38. CV No. Noel courted Maribel. Noel decided to break up with Maribel because he was already involved with another woman. vs. He tried to break up with Maribel. DECISION VILLARAMA. Not once did she try to get close to any of his family members. . JR.. Maribel. 2002 Decision3 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. which declared the marriage of petitioner Noel B.R. The CA reversed the February 5. 2010 NOEL B. but it was only after years of continuous pursuit that Maribel accepted Noel’s proposal and the two became sweethearts. Noel would talk to Maribel about her attitude towards his family and she would promise to change. they were introduced by a mutual friend and became close to one another. To give Maribel some time to get over their relationship. which traits he found attractive. Around 1997. Noel observed that Maribel was inordinately shy when around his family so to bring her closer to them. as amended. Christmas. MARIBEL C. but Maribel refused and offered to accept Noel’s relationship with the other woman so long as they would not sever their ties. Noel considered Maribel as the snobbish and hard-to-get type. 2006 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.: This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 74581. J. 2005 and Resolution2 dated June 13. Baccay (Noel) and Maribel Calderon-Baccay (Maribel) void on the ground of psychological incapacity under Article 364 of the Family Code of the Philippines. would try to avoid Noel’s invitations and whenever she attended those occasions with Noel’s family.R. 173138 December 1. Petitioner. he observed that Maribel was invariably aloof or snobbish. BACCAY and REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.5 Noel’s family was aware of their relationship for he used to bring Maribel to their house. Respondents. The undisputed factual antecedents of the case are as follows: Noel and Maribel were schoolmates at the Mapua Institute of Technology where both took up Electronics and Communications Engineering. they still continued to see each other albeit on a friendly basis. however.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. he always invited Maribel to attend family gatherings and other festive occasions like birthdays. BACCAY.

Noel and Maribel were immediately wed on November 23. despite Maribel’s claim of being pregnant. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) also did not submit a certification manifesting its agreement or opposition to the case. Noel took these episodes of sexual contact casually since Maribel never demanded anything from him except his company.Despite their efforts to keep their meetings strictly friendly.8 On February 5. Maribel did not go home for a day. Surprisingly. Maribel informed Noel that she was pregnant with his child. Maribel called her parents and asked them to pick her up. Noel grudgingly agreed to marry Maribel. Despite summons. Upon advice of his mother. Noel tried to communicate with Maribel but when he went to see her at her house nobody wanted to talk to him and she rejected his phone calls. The trial proceeded after the public prosecutor manifested that no collusion existed between the parties. Noel and Maribel agreed to live with Noel’s family in their house at Rosal. Despite a directive from the RTC.6 On September 11. . He asked Maribel’s office mates whether she manifested any signs of pregnancy and they confirmed that she showed no such signs. Maribel never contributed to the family’s coffer leaving Noel to shoulder all expenses for their support. the Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City. Noel never observed any symptoms of pregnancy in her. Also. 1998 at the sala of Judge Gregorio Dayrit of the Metropolitan Trial Court in Quezon City as NULL and VOID. Maribel did not participate in the proceedings. Noel’s mother asked them to leave her house. Pag-asa.m. sometime in January 1999. Because of this. Noel filed a petition7 for declaration of nullity of marriage with the RTC of Manila. Maribel remained aloof and did not go out of her way to endear herself to them. During all the time she lived with Noel’s family. Then. she refused to have any sexual contact with Noel. Noel confronted her about her alleged miscarriage sometime in February 1999. wag kayo makialam" at her. Quezon City. Then. 2002. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. 2000 or after less than two years of marriage. The discussion escalated into an intense quarrel which woke up the whole household. judgment is hereby rendered declaring the marriage of the parties hereto celebrated on November 23. Around 2:30 a. 1998 before Judge Gregorio Dayrit. After the marriage ceremony. She would just come and go from the house as she pleased.. Noel’s mother tried to intervene but Maribel shouted "Putang ina nyo. sometime in November 1998. however. Noel and Maribel had several romantic moments together. the RTC rendered a decision in favor of Noel. Maribel left Noel’s house and did not come back anymore. and when she came home she announced to Noel and his family that she had a miscarriage and was confined at the Chinese General Hospital where her sister worked as a nurse.

and such failure was due to a personality disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder characterized by juridical antecedence. henceforth. Accordingly. in view of the foregoing. said the appellate court. As Noel admitted. SO ORDERED. thus: WHEREFORE. the CA reversed the decision of the RTC. Maribel’s attitudes were merely mild peculiarities in character or signs of ill-will and refusal or neglect to perform marital obligations which did not amount to psychological incapacity. the instant Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage is hereby DENIED.13 .The Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City and the Chief of the National Statistics Office are hereby directed to record and enter this decree into the marriage records of the parties in their respective marriage registers. With costs against respondent. The RTC cited the findings of Nedy L. he had numerous sexual relations with Maribel before their marriage. a clinical psychologist presented as witness by Noel. and viewed marriage as a piece of paper and that she can easily get rid of her husband without any provocation. that Maribel was a very insecure person. and her attitude was exploitative particularly in terms of financial rewards. the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila Branch 38 declaring as null and void the marriage between petitioner-appellee and respondent is hereby REVERSED. The CA noted that Maribel may have failed or refused to perform her marital obligations but such did not indicate incapacity. SO ORDERED. they shall be governed by the property regime of complete separation of property. Maribel therefore cannot be said to be incapacitated to perform this particular obligation and that such incapacity existed at the time of marriage. Tayag. She entered into the marriage not because of emotional desire for marriage but to prove something.12 The CA further held that Maribel’s refusal to have sexual intercourse with Noel did not constitute a ground to find her psychologically incapacitated under Article 36 of the Family Code. gravity and incurability as determined by a clinical psychologist.9 The RTC found that Maribel failed to perform the essential marital obligations of marriage. She was emotionally immature.11 The appellate court held that Noel failed to establish that Maribel’s supposed Narcissistic Personality Disorder was the psychological incapacity contemplated by law and that it was permanent and incurable. The CA stressed that the law requires nothing short of mental illness sufficient to render a person incapable of knowing the essential marital obligations.10 On appeal by the OSG. The absolute community property of the parties is hereby dissolved and.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN HOLDING THAT THE RESPONDENT IS NOT SUFFERING FROM NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER. simple and casual sex. 2006.18 The issue to be resolved is whether the marriage between the parties is null and void under Article 36 of the Family Code.19 Noel further claims that there were other indicia of Maribel’s psychological incapacity and that she consistently exhibited several traits typical of a person suffering from Narcissistic . But after their marriage. Maribel’s misrepresentation that she was pregnant to induce Noel to marry her was not the fraud contemplated under Article 45 (3) as it was not among the instances enumerated under Article 46. He argues that making love for procreation and consummation of the marriage for the start of family life is different from "plain. Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity rather than to stubborn refusal. They never had any sexual intimacy during their marriage. the present petition raising the following assignment of errors: I.16 On June 13.17 Hence. According to the CA. the last time he had sexual intercourse with Maribel was before the marriage when she was drunk. the manifestations of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder had no connection with Maribel’s failure to perform her marital obligations. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN HOLDING THAT THE CASE OF CHI MING TSOI vs. Noel having failed to prove Maribel’s alleged psychological incapacity. Insofar as he was concerned. AND THAT HER FAILURE TO PERFORM HER ESSENTIAL MARITAL OBLIGATIONS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY. any doubts should be resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and nullity.Incidentally. He insists that the CA should not have considered the pre-marital sexual encounters between him and Maribel in finding that the latter was not psychologically incapacitated to procreate through marital sexual cooperation. It held that Maribel’s personality disorder is not the psychological incapacity contemplated by law. Maribel refused to consummate their marriage as she would not be sexually intimate with him." He further stresses that Maribel railroaded him into marrying her by seducing him and later claiming that she was pregnant with his child. the CA denied Noel’s motion for reconsideration. Her refusal to perform the essential marital obligations may be attributed merely to her stubborn refusal to do so. Noel claims that if a spouse senselessly and constantly refuses to perform his or her marital obligations. Petitioner Noel contends that the CA failed to consider Maribel’s refusal to procreate as psychological incapacity. the CA held that the OSG erred in saying that what Noel should have filed was an action to annul the marriage under Article 45 (3)14 of the Family Code. II. Article 45 (3) involving consent to marriage vitiated by fraud is limited to the instances enumerated under Article 4615 of the Family Code. Also. COURT OF APPEALS DOES NOT FIND APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT CASE.

respect and fidelity and render help and support. The psychologist even admitted that Maribel was capable of entering into marriage except that it would be difficult for her to sustain one. include their mutual obligations to live together. She developed the tendency not to accept rejection or failure. Court of Appeals21 that the phrase "psychological incapacity" is not meant to comprehend all possible cases of psychoses. The OSG further pointed out that the psychologist was vague as to how Maribel’s refusal to have sexual intercourse with Noel constituted Narcissistic Personality Disorder. but before the marriage she would display unfounded jealousy when Noel was visited by his friends.Personality Disorder before and during their marriage. . observe love. self-absorbed individual who was insensitive to the needs of others. Also. This same jealousy motivated her to deceive him into marrying her. was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage. Maribel was also arrogant and haughty. Maribel was closely attached to her parents and mingled with only a few close individuals. The Court held in Santos v. She displayed indifference to his emotional and sexual needs. it was established that Noel and Maribel had sexual relations prior to their marriage. A marriage contracted by any party who. She was rude and disrespectful to his mother and was also "interpersonally exploitative" as shown by her misrepresentation of pregnancy to force Noel to marry her. The petition lacks merit. It refers to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly noncognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which. Her close attachment to her parents and their over-protection of her turned her into a self-centered. at the time of the celebration. The psychologist testified that persons suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder were unmotivated to participate in therapy session and would reject any form of psychological help rendering their condition long lasting if not incurable. the OSG maintains that Maribel’s refusal to have sexual intercourse with Noel did not constitute psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code as her traits were merely mild peculiarities in her character or signs of ill-will and refusal or neglect to perform her marital obligations. He points out that Maribel would only mingle with a few individuals and never with Noel’s family even if they lived under one (1) roof. The psychologist added that Maribel’s psychological incapacity was deeply rooted within her adaptive system since early childhood and manifested during adult life. he points out that Maribel’s psychological incapacity was proven to be permanent and incurable with the root cause existing before the marriage.20 On the other hand. Lastly. Article 36 of the Family Code provides: ART. shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization. The intendment of the law has been to confine it to the most serious of cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. 36. Such persons would not admit that their behavioral manifestations connote pathology or abnormality. After marriage. Maribel never showed respect and love to Noel and his family. as expressed by Article 6822 of the Family Code.

(b) alleged in the complaint. our Constitution devotes an entire Article on the Family. Expert evidence may be given by qualified psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. (3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at "the time of the celebration" of the marriage. was mentally or psychically ill to such an extent that the person could not have known the obligations he was assuming. Court of Appeals. Both the family and marriage are to be "protected" by the state. like the exercise of a profession or employment in a job. The evidence must show that the illness was existing when the parties exchanged their "I do’s.In Republic of the Phils. Hence." The manifestation of the illness need not be perceivable at such time. based on Article 36 of the Family Code. The illness must be shown as downright incapacity or inability. or prior thereto. although its manifestations and/or symptoms may be physical. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and nullity. (4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable. neglect or difficulty. Thus. Furthermore. inviolability and solidarity. (c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly explained in the decision. not necessarily absolutely against everyone of the same sex. This is rooted in the fact that both our Constitution and our laws cherish the validity of marriage and unity of the family.1avvphi1 (5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage. a pediatrician may be effective in diagnosing illnesses of children and prescribing medicine to cure them but may not be psychologically capacitated to procreate." It decrees marriage as legally "inviolable. (2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be (a) medically or clinically identified. v. nevertheless such root cause must be identified as a psychological illness and its incapacitating nature fully explained. The evidence must convince the court that the parties. mood changes. to wit: (1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff. occasional emotional outbursts" cannot be accepted as root causes. The Family Code echoes this constitutional edict on marriage and the family and emphasizes their permanence.23 the Court laid down the guidelines in resolving petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage. not necessarily to those not related to marriage. . but the illness itself must have attached at such moment. Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity must be psychological – not physical. bear and raise his/her own children as an essential obligation of marriage. Although no example of such incapacity need be given here so as not to limit the application of the provision under the principle of ejusdem generis. "mild characteriological peculiarities. could not have given valid assumption thereof. or knowing them. not a refusal." thereby protecting it from dissolution at the whim of the parties. Thus. recognizing it "as the foundation of the nation. or one of them. such incapacity must be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations.1avvphi1 Such incurability may be absolute or even relative only in regard to the other spouse.

an adverse integral element in the personality structure that effectively incapacitates the person from really accepting and thereby complying with the obligations essential to marriage. the totality of evidence presented by Noel was not sufficient to sustain a finding that Maribel was psychologically incapacitated. Indeed. proven by evidence and included in the text of the decision. In other words. (Emphasis ours. as the case may be.24 Mere difficulty. the same psychologist even testified that Maribel was capable of entering into a marriage except that it would be difficult for her to sustain one. He failed to prove the root cause of the alleged psychological incapacity and establish the requirements of gravity. xxxx (8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state. there is a natal or supervening disabling factor in the person. The Solicitor General.much less ill will.) In this case."25 Psychological incapacity must be more than just a "difficulty. No decision shall be handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a certification. As we stated in Marcos v. shall submit to the court such certification within fifteen (15) days from the date the case is deemed submitted for resolution of the court. who concluded that Maribel was suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder traceable to her experiences during childhood. The Court emphasizes that the burden falls upon petitioner. should be given great respect by our courts." or a "neglect" in the performance of some marital obligations. Noel’s evidence merely established that Maribel refused to have sexual intercourse with him after their marriage. Such non-complied marital obligation(s) must also be stated in the petition. and incurability. Marcos:26 . (6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 up to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as Articles 220. the report of the psychologist. is not the incapacity contemplated by law. x x x. (7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines." a "refusal. briefly stating therein his reasons for his agreement or opposition. and that she left him after their quarrel when he confronted her about her alleged miscarriage. juridical antecedence. The Solicitor General shall discharge the equivalent function of the defensor vinculi contemplated under Canon 1095. An unsatisfactory marriage is not a null and void marriage. As correctly observed by the CA. 221 and 225 of the same Code in regard to parents and their children. did not establish how the personality disorder incapacitated Maribel from validly assuming the essential obligations of the marriage. but also that such psychological disorder renders her "truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage. it must be stressed. which will be quoted in the decision. to the petition. not just to prove that private respondent suffers from a psychological disorder. while not controlling or decisive. along with the prosecuting attorney.

A. Third Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. CV No. SERENO Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. It refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the celebration of the marriage. VILLARAMA. SO ORDERED. RENATO C. WHEREFORE. MARTIN S. is not to be confused with a divorce law that cuts the marital bond at the time the causes therefor manifest themselves. BRION Associate Justice LUCAS P. the petition is DENIED. x x x. JR. Associate Justice WE CONCUR: CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice Chairperson ARTURO D. CORONA Chief Justice . Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. we stress.Article 36 of the Family Code. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice Chairperson. BERSAMIN Associate Justice MARIA LOURDES P. 74581 is AFFIRMED and UPHELD. Costs against petitioner. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume.R. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.