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Bedia-Santos v.

CA
Leouel Santos, a member of the Army, met Julia Rosario Bedia in Iloilo City. In September 1986, they got
married. The couple latter lived with Julia’s parents. Julia gave birth to their son in 1987. Their marriage,
however, was marred by the frequent interference of Julia’s parents, as averred by Leouel. The couple also
occasionally quarreled about as to, among other things, when should they start living independently from
Julia’s parents. In 1988, Julia went to the US to work as a nurse despite Leouel’s opposition. 7 months later,
she and Leouel got to talk and she promised to return home in 1989. She never went home that year. In
1990, Leouel got the chance to be in the US due to a military training. During his stay, he desperately tried
to locate his wife but to no avail. Leouel, in an effort to at least have his wife come home, filed a petition
to nullify their marriage due to Julia’s alleged psychological incapacity. Leouel asserted that due to Julia’s
failure to return home or at least communicate with him even with all his effort constitutes psychological
incapacity. Julia filed an opposition; she said that it is Leouel who is incompetent. The prosecutor
ascertained that there is no collusion between the two. Leouel’s petition is however denied by the lower
and appellate court.
ISSUE: Whether or not psychological incapacity is attendant to the case at bar.
HELD: No. Before deciding on the case, the SC noted that the Family Code did not define the term
“psychological incapacity”, which is adopted from the Catholic Canon Law. But basing it on the deliberations
of the Family Code Revision Committee, the provision in PI, adopted with less specificity than expected, has
been designed to allow some resiliency in its application. The FCRC did not give any examples of PI for fear
that the giving of examples would limit the applicability of the provision under the principle of ejusdem
generis. Rather, the FCRC would like the judge to interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis, guided by
experience, the findings of experts and researchers in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of church
tribunals which, although not binding on the civil courts, may be given persuasive effect since the provision
was taken from Canon Law. The term “psychological incapacity” defies any precise definition since
psychological causes can be of an infinite variety.
Article 36 of the Family Code cannot be taken and construed independently of but must stand in
conjunction with, existing precepts in our law on marriage. PI should refer to no less than a mental (not
physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that
concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which (Art. 68), include their
mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and support. The
intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of PI to the most serious cases of personality
disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the
marriage. This psychological condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated. The SC also notes
that PI 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 the marriage; and it must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise,
the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved.
In the case at bar, although Leouel stands aggrieved, his petition must be dismissed because the alleged PI
of his wife is not clearly shown by the factual settings presented. The factual settings do not come close to
to the standard required to decree a nullity of marriage.
Leouel Santos, a member of the Army, met Julia Rosario Bedia in Iloilo City. In September 1986, they got
married. The couple latter lived with Julia’s parents. Julia gave birth to their son in 1987. Their marriage,
however, was marred by the frequent interference of Julia’s parents, as averred by Leouel. The couple also
occasionally quarreled about as to, among other things, when should they start living independently from
Julia’s parents. In 1988, Julia went to the US to work as a nurse despite Leouel’s opposition. 7 months later,
she and Leouel got to talk and she promised to return home in 1989. She never went home that year. In
1990, Leouel got the chance to be in the US due to a military training. During his stay, he desperately tried
to locate his wife but to no avail. Leouel, in an effort to at least have his wife come home, filed a petition
to nullify their marriage due to Julia’s alleged psychological incapacity. Leouel asserted that due to Julia’s
failure to return home or at least communicate with him even with all his effort constitutes psychological
incapacity. Julia filed an opposition; she said that it is Leouel who is incompetent. The prosecutor
ascertained that there is no collusion between the two. Leouel’s petition is however denied by the lower
and appellate court.
ISSUE: Whether or not psychological incapacity is attendant to the case at bar.
HELD: No. Before deciding on the case, the SC noted that the Family Code did not define the term
“psychological incapacity”, which is adopted from the Catholic Canon Law. But basing it on the deliberations
of the Family Code Revision Committee, the provision in PI, adopted with less specificity than expected, has
been designed to allow some resiliency in its application. The FCRC did not give any examples of PI for fear
that the giving of examples would limit the applicability of the provision under the principle of ejusdem
generis. Rather, the FCRC would like the judge to interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis, guided by
experience, the findings of experts and researchers in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of church
tribunals which, although not binding on the civil courts, may be given persuasive effect since the provision
was taken from Canon Law. The term “psychological incapacity” defies any precise definition since
psychological causes can be of an infinite variety.
Article 36 of the Family Code cannot be taken and construed independently of but must stand in
conjunction with, existing precepts in our law on marriage. PI should refer to no less than a mental (not
physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that
concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which (Art. 68), include their
mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and support. The
intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of PI to the most serious cases of personality
disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the
marriage. This psychological condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated. The SC also notes
that PI 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 the marriage; and it must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise,
the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved.
In the case at bar, although Leouel stands aggrieved, his petition must be dismissed because the alleged PI
of his wife is not clearly shown by the factual settings presented. The factual settings do not come close to
to the standard required to decree a nullity of marriage.

Republic vs. CA and Molina


G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997
FACTS:
The case at bar challenges the decision of CA affirming the marriage of the respondent Roridel Molina to
Reynaldo Molina void in the ground of psychological incapacity. The couple got married in 1985, after a
year, Reynaldo manifested signs of immaturity and irresponsibility both as husband and a father preferring
to spend more time with friends whom he squandered his money, depends on his parents for aid and
assistance and was never honest with his wife in regard to their finances. In 1986, the couple had an intense
quarrel and as a result their relationship was estranged. Roridel quit her work and went to live with her
parents in Baguio City in 1987 and a few weeks later, Reynaldo left her and their child. Since then he
abandoned them.

ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage is void on the ground of psychological incapacity.

HELD: The marriage between Roridel and Reynaldo subsists and remains valid. What constitutes
psychological incapacity is not mere showing of irreconcilable differences and confliction personalities. It
is indispensable that the parties must exhibit inclinations which would not meet the essential marital
responsibilites and duties due to some psychological illness. Reynaldo’s action at the time of the marriage
did not manifest such characteristics that would comprise grounds for psychological incapacity. The
evidence shown by Roridel merely showed that she and her husband cannot get along with each other and
had not shown gravity of the problem neither its juridical antecedence nor its incurability. In addition, the
expert testimony by Dr Sison showed no incurable psychiatric disorder but only incompatibility which is not
considered as psychological incapacity.

The following are the guidelines as to the grounds of psychological incapacity laid set forth in this case:
burden of proof to show nullity belongs to the plaintiff
root causes of the incapacity must be medically and clinically inclined
such incapacity should be in existence at the time of the marriage
such incapacity must be grave so as to disable the person in complying with the essentials of marital
obligations of marriage
such incapacity must be embraced in Art. 68-71 as well as Art 220, 221 and 225 of the Family Code
decision of the National Matrimonial Appellate Court or the Catholic Church must be respected
court shall order the prosecuting attorney and the fiscal assigned to it to act on behalf of the state.

Chi Ming Tsoi v. CA


This is a case for declaration of nullity of marriage or, in layman’s terms — annulment of marriage. The wife
filed the Petition against his husband. She claims that the man was psychologically incapacitated to
perform his marital obligations.
Sometime in 1988, at the lovely Manila Cathedral, Chi Ming Tsoi married Gina Lao. The wedding ceremony
was followed by the wedding reception, which was held in South Villa, Makati. After a long day, the
newlyweds went straight to their room, lied down in a single bed and spent the first night of their married
life together. Nothing happened. Chi Ming Tsoi went to bed, turned his back on his wife and slept the whole
night. The same thing happened on the second night, and the third, and the fourth. In fact, a week passed
and the couple never consummated their marriage (this is the legal term for “having sex”, “doing the deed”,
“humping the bump”… you know what I mean).

At the end of that week, the newlyweds went to Baguio City for their honeymoon. Gina Lao-Tsoi expected
a romantic weekend where she and her husband would spend the whole time together as a loving couple.
Chi Ming Tsoi also planned to have a great time during this honeymoon. But he wanted to spend it with his
entire family. Thus, instead of spending this weekend alone with his wife, he brought along his mother, his
uncle and his nephew. At nights, he would take long walks alone and, afterwards, sleep in a rocking chair
in the living room while his wife slept by herself in the bedroom. Nothing happened during their
honeymoon. Again, they never consummated their marriage. A year has passed. Gina Lao-Tsoi remained a
virgin. In fact, despite being married for a year, Gina had never even seen Chi Ming Tsoi’s “little friend”.

Distraught, disappointed, frustrated and probably a little bit horny, Chi Ming Tsoi’s wife filed a Petition for
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage. According to her, his husband was psychologically incapacitated to
perform his basic marital obligations. Gina Lao-Tsoi claimed that Chi Ming Tsoi’s failure to do the deed is
due to the fact that he was probably impotent. She wasn’t sure because, as mentioned, soft or hard, she
had not yet seen Chi Ming Tsoi’s one-eyed snake.

Chi Ming Tsoi vehemently denied his wife’s allegation. To refute her claim, Chi Ming Tsoi submitted himself
to physical examination. In front of a medical doctor, he stroked his lizard and proved that his “little friend”
can stand on his own. In its Decision, the Supreme Court took note of this. Verbatim, this is the Court’s
statement on the matter: The defendant submitted himself to a physical examination. His penis was
examined by Dr. Sergio Alteza, Jr., for the purpose of finding out whether he is impotent. As a result thereof,
Dr. Alteza submitted his Doctor’s Medical Report. It is stated there, that there is no evidence of impotency
and he is capable of erection. The doctor said, that he asked the defendant to masturbate to find out
whether or not he has an erection and he found out that from the original size of two (2) inches, or five (5)
centimeters, the penis of the defendant lengthened by one (1) inch and one centimeter. Dr. Alteza said,
that the defendant had only a soft erection which is why his penis is not in its full length. But, still is capable
of further erection, in that with his soft erection, the defendant is capable of having sexual intercourse with
a woman.”

In his attempt to prove that he was not impotent, Chi Ming Tsoi was clearly successful. The Supreme Court
was convinced that his “little friend” could surely rise up to the occasion. But he probably forgot that court
proceedings are public in nature. In his enthusiasm to refute his wife’s allegation of impotency, he also
announced to the whole world that his “little friend” is indeed a “little friend”.
Henceforth, the length of Chi Ming Tsoi’s phallus was forever inscribed in the annals of legal scripture. In
fact, this would be an interesting question for the bar exams. What is the size of Chi Ming Tsoi’s penis?
Definitely, all bar examinees will be able answer this question perfectly — 2 inches or 5 centimeters while
soft and it lengthens by 1 inch and 1 centimeter during a soft erection.

In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that refusal of one party to consummate the marriage is a sign of
psychological incapacity and hence, a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage. Indeed, the Supreme
Court declared the marriage between Chi Ming Tsoi and his wife as null and void. Since it was proven that
Chi Ming Tsoi was not impotent, it was clear that he simply refused to have sex with his wife. Thus,
according the Supreme Court:
If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her essential marriage
obligations, and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to
psychological incapacity than to stubborn refusal. Senseless and protracted refusal is equivalent to
psychological incapacity. Thus, the prolonged refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or her
spouse is considered a sign of psychological incapacity.
Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is ‘to procreate children based on
the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage.’
Constant non- fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage.
In the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the above marital
obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.”

This case is also remembered for its definition of love and marriage. In its final statements, Justice Torres
stated: While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual
love, respect and fidelity, the sanction therefor is actually the ‘spontaneous, mutual affection between
husband and wife and not any legal mandate or court order’. Love is useless unless it is shared with another.
Indeed, no man is an island, the cruelest act of a partner in marriage is to say ‘I could not have cared less.’
This is so because an ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing but himself. In the natural
order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a
participation in the mystery of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures
the continuation of family relations.”

Marcos v. Marcos, G.R. No. 136490 October 19, 2000


Wilson Marcos and Brenda Marcos first met sometime in 1980 when both of them were assigned at the
Malacanang Palace, she as an escort of Imee Marcos and he as a Presidential Guard of President Ferdinand
Marcos. They got married twice, first was on September 6, 1982 and on May 8, 1983 and blessed with five
children. After the downfall of President Marcos, he left the military service in 1987 and then engaged in
different business ventures that did not succeeded. Due to his failure to engage in any gainful employment,
they would often quarrel and as a consequence, he would hit and beat her. He would also inflict physical
harm on their children. In 1992, they were already living separately. On October 16, 1994, when Brenda
saw him in their house, she was so angry that she lambasted him. Wilson then turned violent, inflicting
physical harm on her and even on her mother who came to her aid. On October 17, 1994, she and their
children left the house and sought refuge in her sister’s house. On October 19, 1994, she submitted herself
to medical examination at the Mandaluyong Medical Center. Thus, petitioner filed for annulment of
marriage in the RTC assailing Article 36 of the Family Code. The court ruled the respondent to be
psychologically incapacitated to perform his marital obligations. But the Court of Appeals reversed the
decision of the RTC because psychological incapacity had not been established by the totality of the
evidence presented. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUES:
Whether or not there is a need for personal medical examination of respondent to prove psychological
incapacity?
Whether the totality of evidence presented in this case show psychological incapacity?

HELD:
The testimonies of petitioner, the common children, petitioner’s sister and the social worker were not
enough to sustain a finding that the respondent was psychologically incapacitated. Personal medical or
psychological examination of respondent is not a requirement for a declaration of psychological incapacity.
Nevertheless, the totality of the evidence she presented does not show such incapacity. Although Supreme
Court is convinced that respondent failed to provide material support to the family and may have resorted
to physical abuse and abandonment, the totality of these 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.

Ma. Armida “Amy” Perez-Ferraris vs Brix Ferraris


Armida and Brix are a showbiz couple. The couple’s relationship before the marriage and even during their
brief union (for well about a year or so) was not all bad. During that relatively short period of time, Armida
was happy and contented with her life in the company of Brix. Armida even admits that Brix was a
responsible and loving husband. Their problems began when Armida started doubting Brix’ fidelity. It was
only when they started fighting about the calls from women that Brix began to withdraw into his shell and
corner, and failed to perform his so-called marital obligations. Brix could not understand Armida’s lack of
trust in him and her constant naggings. He thought her suspicions irrational. Brix could not relate to her
anger, temper and jealousy. Armida presented a psychological expert (Dr. Dayan) who finds Brix to be a
schizoid and a dependent and avoidant type. This is evidenced by Brix’s “leaving-the-house” attitude
whenever they 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.

ISSUE: Whether or not PI is attendant in the case at bar.

HELD: The SC upheld the decision of the lower courts. The alleged mixed personality disorder, the “leaving-
the-house” attitude whenever they 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 and these do not constitute PI. Further, the
expert was not able to prove her findings. Notably, when asked as to the root cause of respondent’s alleged
psychological incapacity, Dr. Dayan’s answer was vague, evasive and inconclusive. She replied that such
disorder “can be part of his family upbringing” She stated that there was a history of Brix’s parents having
difficulties in their relationship- this is of course inconclusive for such has no direct bearing to the case at
bar.

What is psychological incapacity? The term “psychological incapacity” to be a ground for the nullity of
marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code, 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. As all people
may have certain quirks and idiosyncrasies, or isolated characteristics associated with certain personality
disorders, there is hardly any doubt that 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. It is for this reason that the
Courts rely heavily on psychological experts for its understanding of the human personality. However, the
root cause must be identified as a psychological illness and its incapacitating nature must be fully explained
in court.

Antonio vs. Reyes


GR No. 155800, March 10, 2006

FACTS:
Leonilo Antonio, 26 years of age, and Marie Ivonne Reyes, 36 years of age met in 1989. Barely a year after
their first meeting, they got married at Manila City Hall and then a subsequent church wedding at Pasig in
December 1990. A child was born but died 5 months later. Reyes persistently lied about herself, the people
around her, her occupation, income, educational attainment and other events or things. She even did not
conceal bearing an illegitimate child, which she represented to her husband as adopted child of their family.
They were separated in August 1991 and after attempt for reconciliation, he finally left her for good in
November 1991. Petitioner then filed in 1993 a petition to have his marriage with Reyes declared null and
void anchored in Article 36 of the Family Code.

ISSUE: Whether Antonio can impose Article 36 of the Family Code as basis for declaring their marriage null
and void.

HELD: Psychological incapacity pertains to the inability to understand the obligations of marriage as
opposed to a mere inability to comply with them. The petitioner, aside from his own testimony presented
a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist who attested that constant lying and extreme jealousy of Reyes is
abnormal and pathological and corroborated his allegations on his wife’s behavior, which amounts to
psychological incapacity. Respondent’s fantastic ability to invent, fabricate stories and letters of fictitious
characters enabled her to live in a world of make-believe that made her psychologically incapacitated as it
rendered her incapable of giving meaning and significance to her marriage. The root causes of Reyes’
psychological incapacity have been medically or clinically identified that was sufficiently proven by experts.
The gravity of respondent’s psychological incapacity was considered so grave that a restrictive clause was
appended to the sentence of nullity prohibited by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal from
contracting marriage without their consent. It would be difficult for an inveterate pathological liar to
commit the basic tenets of relationship between spouses based on love, trust and respect. Furthermore,
Reyes’ case is incurable considering that petitioner tried to reconcile with her but her behavior remain
unchanged. Hence, the court conclude that petitioner has established his cause of action for declaration of
nullity under Article 36 of the Family Code.

Paras v. Paras
Facts:
On May 21, 1964, petitioner Rosa Yap married respondent Justo J. Paras in Bindoy, Negros Oriental. They
begot four (4) children, namely: Raoul (deceased), Cindy Rose (deceased), Dahlia, and Reuel. Twenty-nine
(29) years thereafter, or on May 27, 1993, Rosa filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 31,
Dumaguete City, a complaint for annulment of her marriage with Justo, under Article 36 of the Family Code,
docketed as Civil Case No. 10613. She alleged that Justo is psychologically incapacitated to exercise the
essential obligations of marriage as shown by the following circumstances: (a) he dissipated her business
assets and forged her signature in one mortgage transaction; (b) he lived with a concubine and sired a child
with her; (c) he did not give financial support to his children; and (d) he has been remiss in his duties both
as a husband and as a father. She met Justo in 1961 in Bindoy. She was then a student of San Carlos
University, Cebu City. He courted her, frequently spending time at her "Botica." Eventually, in1964
convinced that he loved her, she agreed to marry him. Their wedding was considered one of the "most
celebrated" marriages in Bindoy. Sometime in 1975, their daughter Cindy Rose was afflicted with leukemia.
It was her family who paid for her medication. Also, in 1984, their son Raoul was electrocuted while Justo
was in their rest house with his "barkadas." He did not heed her earlier advice to bring Raoul in the rest
house as the latter has the habit of climbing the rooftop. To cope with the death of the children, the entire
family went to the United States. However, after three months, Justo abandoned them and left for the
Philippines. Upon her return to the Philippines, she was shocked to find her "Botica" and other businesses
heavy in debt and he disposed without her consent a conjugal piece of land. At other times, he permitted
the municipal government to take gasoline from their gas station free of charge. His act of maintaining a
mistress and siring an illegitimate child was the last straw that prompted her to file the present case. She
found that after leaving their conjugal house in 1988, Justo lived with Jocelyn Ching. Their cohabitation
resulted in the birth of a baby girl, Cyndee Rose, obviously named after her (Rosa) and Justo‘s deceased
daughter Cindy Rose Paras.
He also denied forging her signature in one mortgage transaction. He maintained that he did not dispose
of a conjugal property and that he and Rosa personally signed the renewal of a sugar crop loan before the
bank’s authorized employee. He did not abandon his family in the United States. For his part, he was
granted only three (3) months leave as municipal mayor of Bindoy, thus, he immediately returned to the
Philippines. He spent for his children’s education. At first, he resented supporting them because he was
just starting his law practice and besides, their conjugal assets were more than enough to provide for their
needs. He admitted though that there were times he failed to give them financial support because of his
lack of income. What caused the inevitable family break-out was Rosa’s act of embarrassing him during his
birthday celebration in 1987. She did not prepare food for the guests. When confronted, she retorted that
she has nothing to do with his birthday. This convinced him of her lack of concern. This was further
aggravated when she denied his request for engine oil when his vehicle broke down in a mountainous and
NPA-infested area. As to the charge of concubine, he alleged that Jocelyn Ching is not his mistress, but her
secretary in his Law Office. She was impregnated by her boyfriend, a certain Grelle Leccioness. Cyndee Rose
Ching Leccioness is not his daughter. After trial or on February 28, 1995, the RTC rendered a Decision
upholding the validity of the marriage. It found that: (a) Justo did not abandon the conjugal home as he
was forced to leave after Rosa posted guards at the gates of their house; (b) the conjugal assets were
sufficient to support the family needs, thus, there was no need for Justo to shell out his limited salary; and
(c) the charge of infidelity is unsubstantiated. The RTC observed that the relationship between the parties
started well, negating the existence of psychological incapacity on either party at the time of the
celebration of their marriage. And lastly, it ruled that there appeared to be a collusion between them as
both sought the declaration of nullity of their marriage. On October 18, 2000, this Court rendered its
Decision finding him guilty of falsifying Rosa’s signature in bank documents, immorality, and abandonment
of his family. He was suspended from the practice of law, thus: the respondent is suspended from the
practice of law for SIX (6) MONTHS on the charge of falsifying his wife’s signature in bank documents and
other related loan instruments; and for ONE (1) YEAR from the practice of law on the charges of immorality
and abandonment of his own family, the penalties to be served simultaneously. Let notice of this Decision
be spread in respondent’s record as an attorney, and notice of the same served on the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines and on the Office of the Court Administrator for circulation to all the courts concerned. On
December 8, 2000, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC Decision in the present case, holding that "the
evidence of the plaintiff (Rosa) falls short of the standards required by law to decree a nullity of marriage."
It ruled that Justo’s alleged defects or idiosyncrasies "were sufficiently explained by the evidence," Rosa
contends that this Court’s factual findings in A.C. No. 5333 for disbarment are conclusive on the present
case. Consequently, the Court of Appeals erred in rendering contrary factual findings. Also, she argues that
she filed the instant complaint sometime in May, 1993
Issues:
1) Whether the factual findings of this Court in A.C. No. 5333 are conclusive on the present case;
2) Whether a remand of this case to the RTC for reception of expert testimony on the root cause of Justo’s
alleged psychological incapacity is necessary; and
3) Whether the totality of evidence in the case shows psychological incapacity on the part of Justo
Held:
1) A reading of the Court of Appeals’ Decision shows that she has no reason to feel aggrieved. In fact, the
appellate court even assumed that her charges "are true," but concluded that they are insufficient to
declare the marriage void on the ground of psychological incapacity. Justo's alleged infidelity, failure to
support his family and alleged abandonment of their family home are true, such traits are at best indicators
that he is unfit to become an ideal husband and father. However, by themselves, these grounds are
insufficient to declare the marriage void due to an incurable psychological incapacity. These grounds, we
must emphasize, do not manifest that he was truly in cognitive of the basic marital covenants that he must
assume and discharge as a married person. While they may manifest the "gravity" of his alleged
psychological incapacity, they do not necessarily show ‘incurability’, such that while his acts violated the
covenants of marriage, they do not necessarily show that such acts show an irreparably hopeless state of
psychological incapacity which prevents him from undertaking the basic obligations of marriage in the
future.
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. Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the incapacity must be
psychological -- not physical, although its manifestations and/or symptoms may be physical. The evidence
must convince the court that the parties, or one of them, were mentally or psychically ill to such an extent
that the person could not have known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have
given valid assumption thereof. 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,
nevertheless such root cause must be identified as a psychological illness and its incapacitating nature fully
explained. Expert evidence may be given by qualified psychiatrists
and clinical psychologist
3) ART. 36. A marriage contracted by a party who, at the time of celebration, was psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage shall likewise be void even if such
incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization. Psychological incapacity must be characterized
by (a) gravity; (b) juridical antecedence; and (c) incurability

Benjamin Ting vs Carmen Velez-Ting


In 1972, Benjamin Ting and Carmen Velez met each other in medical school. In 1975, they married each
other. In 1980, Benjamin became a full-fledged doctor and he practiced at the Velez Hospital (owned by
Carmen’s family). Benjamin and Carmen had six children during their marriage. But after 18 years of
marriage, Carmen went to court to have their marriage be declared void on the ground that Benjamin was
psychologically incapacitated. She alleged that even before she married Benjamin, the latter was already a
drunkard; that Benjamin was a gambler, he was violent, and would rather spend on his expensive hobby;
that he rarely stayed home and even neglected his children and family obligations. Carmen presented an
expert witness (Dr. Pureza Trinidad-Oñate) to prove Benjamin’s psychological incapacity. However, Oñate
merely based her findings on the deposition submitted by Benjamin. Oñate was not able to personally
examine Benjamin because at that time, Benjamin was already working as an anesthesiologist in South
Africa.

On his part, Benjamin opposed the petition. He also presented his own expert witness (Dr. Renato Obra) to
disprove Carmen’s allegations. Obra was not able to personally examine Benjamin but he also evaluated
the same deposition evaluated by Oñate. Also, Benjamin submitted himself for evaluation to a South
African doctor (Dr. A.J.L. Pentz) and the transcript of said evaluation was submitted to Obra and the latter
also evaluated the same. Obra found Benjamin not to be psychologically incapacitated. The trial court, and
eventually the Court of Appeals, ruled in favor of Carmen.

ISSUE: Whether or not Benjamin Ting’s psychological incapacity was proven.

HELD: No. The Supreme Court found the evidence presented to be lacking in order to support a finding of
psychological incapacity on the part of Benjamin. Said the Supreme Court: we are not condoning Benjamin’s
drinking and gambling problems, or his violent outbursts against his wife. There is no valid excuse to justify
such a behavior. Benjamin must remember that he owes love, respect, and fidelity to his spouse as much
as the latter owes the same to him. Unfortunately, this court finds Carmen’s testimony, as well as the
totality of evidence presented by Carmen, to be too inadequate to declare Benjamin psychologically unfit
pursuant to Article 36.

Carmen failed to prove that such attitude by Benjamin is psychologically rooted so as to make Benjamin
unaware of his marital obligations. It should be remembered that the presumption is always in favor of the
validity of marriage. Anent the issue that Benjamin was not personally evaluated by the psychologists which
deviates from the Molina Guidelines, the Supreme Court ruled that as early as the case of Te vs Te, the
Molina Guidelines were already relaxed. Cases involving Article 36 must be tried on a case-to-case basis.
Each case involving the application of Article 36 must be treated distinctly and judged not on the basis of a
priori assumptions, predilections or generalizations but according to its own attendant facts. Courts should
interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis, guided by experience, the findings of experts and
researchers in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of church tribunals. The Supreme Court however
emphasized that the Molina case was not abandoned, its application was merely relaxed.

Edward Kenneth Ngo Te vs Rowena Yu-Te


Edward Kenneth Ngo Te met Rowena Ong Gutierrez Yu at a Filipino-Chinese gathering at a school campus.
They did not have interest with each other at first but they developed a certain degree of closeness due to
the fact that they share the same angst with their families. In 1996, while still in college, Rowena proposed
to Kenneth that they should elope. Kenneth initially refused on the ground that he was still young and
jobless. But due to Rowena’s persistence Kenneth complied bringing with him P80K. The money soon after
disappeared and they found themselves forced to return to their respective home. Subsequently, Rowena’s
uncle brought the two before a court and had had them be married. After marriage, Kenneth and Rowena
stayed with her uncle’s house where Kenneth was treated like a prisoner.

Meanwhile, Kenneth was advised by his dad to come home otherwise he will be disinherited. One month
later, Kenneth was able to escape and he was hidden from Rowena’s family. Kenneth later contacted
Rowena urging her to live with his parents instead. Rowena however suggested that he should get his
inheritance instead so that they could live together separately or just stay with her uncle.

Kenneth however was already disinherited. Upon knowing this, Rowena said that it is better if they live
separate lives from then on. Four years later, Kenneth filed a petition for annulment of his marriage with
Rowena. Rowena did not file an answer. The City Prosecutor, after investigation, submitted that he cannot
determine if there is collusion between the two parties. Eventually, the case was tried. The opinion of an
expert was sought wherein the psychologist subsequently ruled that both parties are psychologically
incapacitated. The said relationship between Kenneth and Rowena is said to be undoubtedly in the wreck
and weakly-founded. The break-up was caused by both parties’ unreadiness to commitment and their
young age. Kenneth was still in the state of finding his fate and fighting boredom, while Rowena was still
egocentrically involved with herself. The trial court ruled that the marriage is void upon the findings of the
expert psychologist. The Solicitor General (OSG) appealed and the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the
OSG. The OSG claimed that the psychological incapacity of both parties was not shown to be medically or
clinically permanent or incurable (Molina case). The clinical psychologist did not personally examine
Rowena, and relied only on the information provided by Kenneth. Further, the psychological incapacity was
not shown to be attended by gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability. All these were requirements
set forth in the Molina case to be followed as guidelines.

ISSUE: Whether or not the expert opinion of the psychologist should be admitted in lieu of the guidelines
established in the landmark case of Molina.

HELD: Yes, such is possible. The Supreme Court ruled that admittedly, the SC may have inappropriately
imposed a set of rigid rules in ascertaining Psychological Incapacity in the Molina case. So much so that the
subsequent cases after Molina were ruled accordingly to the doctrine set therein. And that there is not
much regard for the law’s clear intention that each case is to be treated differently, as “courts should
interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis; guided by experience, the findings of experts and
researchers in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of church tribunals.” The SC however is not
abandoning the Molina guidelines, the SC merely reemphasized that there is need to emphasize other
perspectives as well which should govern the disposition of petitions for declaration of nullity under Article
36 such as in the case at bar. The principle that each case must be judged, not on the basis of a priori
assumptions, predilections or generalizations but according to its own facts. And, to repeat for emphasis,
courts should interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis; guided by experience, the findings of experts
and researchers in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of church tribunals.

The SC then ruled that the marriage of Kenneth and Rowena is null and void due to both parties’
psychological disorder as evidenced by the finding of the expert psychologist. Both parties being afflicted
with grave, severe and incurable psychological incapacity. Kenneth cannot assume the essential marital
obligations of living together, observing love, respect and fidelity and rendering help and support, for he is
unable to make everyday decisions without advice from others. He is too dependent on others. Rowena
cannot perform the essential marital obligations as well due to her intolerance and impulsiveness.

Camacho-Reyes v. Reyes, G.R. No. 185286, Aug. 18, 2010


FACTS: Petitioner Maria Socorro Camacho-Reyes met respondent Ramon Reyes at the UP Diliman, in 1972
when they were both 19 years old. Petitioner enjoyed respondent’s style of courtship which included dining
out, unlike other couples their age who were restricted by a university student’s budget. At that time,
respondent held a job in the family business, the Aristocrat Restaurant. Petitioner’s good impression of the
respondent was not diminished by the latter’s habit of cutting classes, not even by her discovery that
respondent was taking marijuana. On December 5, 1976, petitioner and respondent got married. They lived
with Ramon’s parents and they were supported by them. They had a child which made their financial
difficulties worse. All the business ventures of Ramon were unsuccessful and Socorro became the
breadwinner of the family. To make things worse, despite the fact that Socorro would undergo an operation
for removal of a cyst, respondent remained unconcerned and unattentive; and simply read the newspaper,
and played dumb when petitioner requested that he accompany her as she was wheeled into the operating
room. They tried to attend counseling sessions but nothing has changed. Sometime in 1996, petitioner
confirmed that respondent was having an extra-marital affair. RTC granted the petition. CA reversed.
Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: W/N Ramon is psychologically incapacitated

HELD: Yes. Marriage is null and void. The lack of personal examination and interview of the respondent, or
any other person diagnosed with personality disorder, does not per se invalidate the testimonies of the
doctors. Neither do their findings automatically constitute hearsay that would result in their exclusion as
evidence. In the instant case, respondent’s pattern of behavior manifests an inability, nay, a psychological
incapacity to perform the essential marital obligations as shown by his: (1) sporadic financial support; (2)
extra-marital affairs; (3) substance abuse; (4) failed business attempts; (5) unpaid money obligations; (6)
inability to keep a job that is not connected with the family businesses; and (7) criminal charges of estafa.

KALAW VS. HERNANDEZ G.R. No. 166357, [September 19, 2011]

FACTS:
Tyrone Kalaw and respondent Malyn Fernandez met in 1973 and eventually married in Hong Kong in 1976.
They have 4 children. Tyron had an affair with Jocelyn Quejano, who gave birth to a son in 1983. In 1985,
Malyn left the conjugal home and her 4 children with Tyrone. Then Tyrone started living with Jocelyn, who
bore him 4more children. Nine years since the de facto separation from his wife, Tyrone filed a petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage based on Article 36. Tyrone presented a psychologist, Dr. Gates, and a
Catholic canon law expert, Fr. Healy, to testify on Malyn’s psychological incapacity. Dr. Gates explained on
the stand that the factual allegations regarding Malyn’s behavior – her sexual infidelity, habitual mahjong
playing, and her frequent nights-out with friends – may reflect a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
Malyn’s NPD is manifest in her utter neglect of her duties as a mother. Dr. Gates based her diagnosis on
the facts revealed by her interviews with Tyrone, Trinidad Kalaw (Tyrone’s sister-in-law), and their son. Fr.
Healy characterized Malyn’s psychological incapacity as grave and incurable. He based his opinion on his
interview with Tyrone, the trial transcripts, as well as the report of Dr. Dayan, Malyn’s expert witness. He
clarified that he did not verify the truthfulness of the factual allegations regarding Malyn’s “habits” because
he believed it is the court’s duty to do so.

ISSUE: Whether Tyrone has sufficiently proven that Malynsuffers from psychological incapacity
HELD: NO.
RATIO: The burden of proving psychological incapacity ison the plaintiff. The plaintiff must prove that the
incapacitated party, based on his or her actions or behavior, suffers a serious psychological disorder that
completely disables him or her from understanding and discharging the essential obligations of the marital
state. The psychological problem must be grave, must have existed at the time of marriage, and must be
incurable.

Petitioner failed to prove that his wife (respondent) suffers from psychological incapacity. He presented
the testimonies of two supposed expert witnesses who concluded that respondent is psychologically
incapacitated, but the conclusions of these witnesses were premised on the alleged acts or behavior of
respondent which had not been sufficiently proven. Petitioner’s experts heavily relied on petitioner’s
allegations of respondent’s constant mahjong sessions, visits to the beauty parlor, going out with friends,
adultery, and neglect of their children. Petitioner’s experts opined that respondent’s alleged habits, when
performed constantly to the detriment of quality and quantity of time devoted to her duties as mother and
wife, constitute a psychological incapacity in the form of NPD.

But petitioner’s allegations, which served as the bases or underlying premises of the conclusions of his
experts, were not actually proven. In fact, respondent presented contrary evidence refuting these
allegations of the petitioner. What transpired between the parties is acrimony and, perhaps, infidelity,
which may have constrained them from dedicating the best of themselves to each other and to their
children. There may be grounds for legal separation, but certainly not psychological incapacity that voids a
marriage.