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OCHOSA V. ALANO G.R. No.

181881, [January 26, 2011] DOCTRINE: Psychological incapacity must be characterizedby (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. The incapacity must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage; it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage; and it must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved. FACTS: Jose, a young lieutenant in the AFP, married Bonain Basilan in 1973. In 1976, they adopted as their daughter Ramona. During the marriage, Jose was often assigned to various parts of the Philippines as a member of the AFP. Bona did not cohabit with him in his posts, preferring to stay in Basilan. Bona had illicit relations with other men whenever Jose was assigned in various parts of the country. She was even caught by a security aide having sex with Joses driver. Word circulated of such infidelity

and when Jose confronted Bona about it, the latter admitted herrelationship with said driver. Jose filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of Bonas psychological incapacity to fulfill the essential obligations of marriage. Jose and his two military aides testified on Bonas infidelity. A psychiatrist testified that after conducting several tests, she reached the conclusion that Bona was suffering from histrionic personality disorder and that her personality was that she had an excessive emotion and attention seeking behavior and therefore could not develop sympathy in feelings and had difficulty in maintaining emotional intimacy. She further testified that whenever Jose was gone, her extramarital affairs was her way of seeking attention and emotions from other persons and that said disorder was traceable to her family history, having for a father a gambler and womanizer and a mother who was a battered wife. Finally, the psychiatrist said that there was no possibility of a cure since Bona did not have an insight of what was happening to her and refused to acknowledge the reality. The Solicitor-General opposed the petition. ISSUE: Whether Bona should be deemed psychologicallyincapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. NO RATIO:

Article 36 of the Family Code provides: a marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomesmanifest only after its solemnization. In Santos v. CA, it was held that psychologicalincapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. The incapacity must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage; it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after marriage; and it must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved. In Republic v. CA and Molina, the following guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code were laid down: (1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff; (2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be (a) medically or clinically identified, (b) alleged in the complaint, (c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly explained in the decision; (3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage; (4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable, whether absolute or relative only in regard to the other spouse;

(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about thedisability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage; (6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Article 68 up to 71, 220, 221 and 225 of the Family Code; (7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be given great respect by our courts; and (8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state. In Marcos v. Marcos, it was held that the foregoing guidelines do not require that a physician examine the person to be declared psychologically incapacitated and that what is important is the presence of evidence that can adequately establish the partyspsychological condition. In the case at bar, the evidence presented were the testimonies of Jose, his military aides and the psychiatrist. But this is inadequate in proving that her defects were already present at the inception of, or prior to, the marriage. Only the uncorroborated testimony of Jose supported the allegation that Bonas sexual promiscuity already existed prior to the marriage. The psychiatrists testimony on Bonas histrionic personality disorder did not meet the standard of evidence required in determining psychological incapacity as her findings did not emanate from a personal interview with Bona herself and merely relied on her interview with Jose and his other

witnesses. This factual circumstance evokes the possibility that the information fed to the psychiatrist is tainted with bias for Joses cause, in the absence of sufficient corroboration. In view of the foregoing, the badges of Bonas alleged psychologicalincapacity, i.e., her sexual infidelity and abandonment, can only be convincingly traced to the period of time after her marriage to Jose and not to the inception of the said marriage. Article 36 of the Family Code is not to be confused with a divorce law that cuts the marital bond at the time the causes therefore manifest themselves. It refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the celebration of the marriage. 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.