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Brenda Marcos vs Wilson Marcos

(G.R. No. 136490)

October 19, 2000
Long Facts:
Wilson Marcos joined the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1973. Later on, he was transferred to the
Presidential Security Command in Malacaang during the Marcos regime. Brenda Marcos, on the other hand,
joined the Womens Auxiliary Corps under the Philippine Air Force in 1978. They first met in 1980 and
eventually became sweethearts. Brenda and Wilson Marcos were married in 1982. Out of their marriage, five
children were born. After their marriage, they resided in Mandaluyong. After the Edsa Revolution, both of them
sought a discharge from the military service. Wilson then engaged in different business ventures that did not
however prosper. As a wife, Brenda always urged Wilson to look for work so that their children would see him,
instead of her, as the head of the family and they would often quarrel and, as consequence, he would hit her and
beat her. He would even force her to have sex with him despite her weariness. He would also inflict physical
harm on their children for a slight mistake and was so severe in the way he chastised them. Thus, for several
times during their cohabitation, he would leave their house. In 1992, they were already living separately. On
October 16, 1994, they had a bitter quarrel. As they were already living separately, she did not want him to stay
in their house anymore. On that day, when she saw him in their house, she was so angry that she lambasted him.
He then turned violent, inflicting physical harm on her and even on her mother who came to her aid. The
following day, she and their children left the house and sought refuge in her sisters house. Sometime in August
1995, she together with her two sisters and driver went to him at their residence in Mandaluyong to look for
their missing child. Upon seeing them, he got mad. After knowing the reason for their unexpected presence, he
ran after them with a samurai and even beat her driver. Brenda thereafter filed a petition for judicial declaration
of nullity of her marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. After
trial, the trial court rendered a decision declaring the marriage void ab initio. The Court of Appeals, however,
reversed the decision of the trial court. The Court of Appeals held that psychological incapacity had not been
established by the totality of the evidence presented. The Court of Appeals likewise capitalized on the fact that
Wilson was not subjected to any psychological or psychiatric evaluation. Hence, Brenda appealed to the
Supreme Court.
Short Facts:
Brenda B. Marcos married Wilson Marcos in 1982 and they had five children. Alleging that the husband failed
to provide material support to the family and have resorted to physical abuse and abandonment, Brenda filed a
case for the nullity of the marriage on the ground that Wilson Marcos has psychological incapacity. The RTC
declared the marriage null and void under Article 36 which was however reversed by the Court of Appeals.
ISSUES: 1. Whether personal medical or psychological examination of the respondent by a physician is a
requirement for a declaration of psychological incapacity.
2. Whether or not the totality of evidence presented in this case show psychological incapacity.
Ruling: Psychological incapacity, as a ground for declaring the nullity of a marriage, may be established by the
totality of evidence presented. There is no requirement, however that the respondent should be examined by a
physician or a psychologist as a condition since qua non for such declaration. Although this Court is sufficiently
convinced that respondent failed to provide material support to the family and may have resorted to physical
abuse and abandonment, the totality of his acts does not lead to a conclusion of psychological incapacity on his
part. There is absolutely no showing that his defects were already present at the inception of the marriage or
that they are incurable. Verily, the behavior of respondent can be attributed to the fact that he had lost his job
and was not gainfully employed for a period of more than six years. It was during this period that he became
intermittently drunk, failed to give material and moral support, and even left the family home. Thus, his alleged
psychological illness was traced only to said period and not to the inception of the marriage. Equally important,
there is no evidence showing that his condition is incurable, especially now that he is gainfully employed as a
taxi driver. In sum, this Court cannot declare the dissolution of the marriage for failure of petitioner to show that

the alleged psychological incapacity is characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability; and for
her failure to observe the guidelines outlined in Molina.

Garcia vs Recio (G.R. No. 138322)

FACTS: Rederick Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson an Australian citizen, on March 1, 1987. On
May 18, 1989 a decree of divorce dissolving the marriage was issued by the Australian Family Court. On June
26, 1992, respondent became an Australian citizen. Subsequently, respondent entered into marriage with
petitioner a Filipina on January 12, 1994. Starting October 22, 1995, petitioner and respondent lived separately
without prior judicial dissolution of their marriage. On March 3, 1998, petitioner filed a complaint for
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of bigamy. Responded contended that his prior marriage had
been validly dissolved by a decree of divorce obtained in Australia thus he is legally capacitated to marry
petitioner. The trial court rendered the decision declaring the marriage between petitioner and respondent
dissolved and both parties can now remarry. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the divorce obtained by respondent in Australia ipso facto capacitated him to remarry.
RULING: The SC remanded the case to the court a quo to receive evidence. Based on the records, the court
cannot conclude that respondent who was then a naturalized Australian citizen was legally capacitated to marry
petitioner. Neither can the court grant petitioners prayer to declare her marriage null and void on the ground of
bigamy. After all it may turn out that under Australian law he was really capacitated to marry petitioner as result
of the divorce decree. The SC laid down the following basic legal principles; a marriage between two Filipino
cannot be dissolved even by a divorce decree obtained abroad because of Articles 15 and 17 of the Civil Code.