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CASE DIGESTS

FOR

PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS LAW

Repolido, Ray Allan S.


Goyenechea, Lady Marmalade
Batiancilla, Experidion II
Lagrama, Leoni Francis G.
Degulacion, MinetteAngelie W.

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CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES

Article 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their
publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall
take effect one year after such publication.

Tañada vsTuvera
GR No. L-63915

Facts:
Petitioners Lorenzo Tañada, Abraham Sarmiento and members of MABINI
movement sought for the publication of several presidential decrees, letter of instructions,
general orders, proclamation numbers, executive orders, letters of implementation and
administrative orders. In their petition they invoke the right of the public to be informed on
matters of public concern enshrined under Article IV, Section 6 of the 1973 constitution.

Respondents argue among others that since the questioned laws provide for
their own effectivity, the publication requirement under article 2 of the Civil Code is not an
indispensable requirement for their effectivity.

Issue:
Whether or not publication of laws that provides for their own date of effectivity is
still necessary.

Decision:
Yes. Article 2 does not preclude the publication even if the law provides for its
own effectivity. The publication of laws and rules and regulations of a public nature or of
general applicability is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that before a
person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and specifically informed of its
contents.

Philippine International Trading Corporation vs Angeles


GR No. 108461

Facts:
In pursuant to Letter of Instruction 144 and PD 1071 issued by President
Ferdinand Marcos, PITC issued SOCPEC 89-08-01 which provided for trade balancing of
imports from China.

For failure to comply with the undertakings under the said order, Remington and
Firestone were barred from importing goods from China. Remington and Firestone then
filed a petition for mandamus against PITC. The trial court rendered a decision stating that
PITC’S authority has been repealed by Executive Order No. 133 issued by President
Corazon Aquino. It added that the said order suffers from constitutional infirmity since the
trade protocols of 1989,1990, and 1991 did not in any way empower PITC to issue such
administrative order and is therefore tantamount to an undue exercise of legislative power
vested solely in the Congress of the Philippines by Section 1, Article VII of the 1987
Philippine Constitution.

While the appeal was pending in court, President Fidel Ramos signed a new
trade agreement that liberalized trade between Philippines and China, nullifying in effect
SOCPEC 89-08-01 and allowing once again Remington and Firestone to engage in import
trade with China. With the nullification, the only question that remained for resolution is the

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obligation of Remington and Firestone to pay the 0.5% counter export development
service in favor of PITC for the period when the said order was still in effect.

Issue:
Whether or not SOCPEC 89-08-01 is valid and enforceable.

Decision:
Yes, the order was constitutional and valid. The President, in promulgating EO
133, had not intended to overhaul the functions of the PITC. The DTI was established, and
was given powers and duties including those previously held by the PITC as an
independent government entity, under P.D. 1071 and LOI 444. The PITC was thereby
attached to the DTI as an implementing arm of the said department.

The grant of quasi-legislative powers in administrative bodies is not


unconstitutional. Thus, as a result of the growing complexity of the modern society, it has
become necessary to create more and more administrative bodies to help in the regulation
of its ramified activities. Specialized in the particular field assigned to them, they can deal
with the problems thereof with more expertise and dispatch than can be expected from the
legislature or the courts of justice.

This does not imply however, that the subject Administrative Order is a valid
exercise of such quasi-legislative power. The original Administrative Order issued on
August 30, 1989, under which the respondents filed their applications for importations,
was not published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. The
questioned Administrative Order, legally, until it is published, is invalid within the context of
Article 2 of Civil Code.

Basavs Mercado
GR No. L- 42226

Facts:
Judge Hermogenes Reyes of the CFI of Pampanga allowed and probated the
last will of Ines Basa. The same judge approved the accounts of Atilano Mercado, the
administrator of the
estate.
JoaquinaBasa opposed and filed a petition for the reopening of the probate
proceeding contending among others that the AngKatipunan, the newspaper to which the
notice of probate hearing was published, was not a newspaper of general circulation in
Pampanga.

Issue:
Whether or not the Ang Katipunan was a newspaper of general circulation.

Decision:
Yes. A newspaper of general circulation is published for the dissemination of
local news and general information, with bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers,
and is published at regular intervals. The fact that there is another paper published in
Pampanga that has a few more subscribers and that certain Manila dailies also have a
larger circulation in that province is unimportant. The law does not require that publication
of the notice should be made in the newspaper with the largest numbers is necessary to
constitute a newspaper of general circulation.

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Article 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.

DM Consunji, Inc. vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 137873

Facts:
Jose Juego, a construction worker of DM Consunji, fell 14 floors from the building
where he was working and died. The police report cited the falling of the platform where
he was on due to the loosening of the pin used to connect the platform and the chain
without any safety lock, as the cause of Jose’s death.

Immediately after his husband’s death, Maria Juego filed for death claims with
the Employee’s Compensation Commission under the provisions of the Labor Code.
Later, upon learning that DM Consunji was negligent which caused his husband’s death,
she filed another claim for damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
DM Consunji opposed Maria’s claim, contending that she is barred from filing
another claim because she elected to claim under the labor code. In her answer, Maria
asserted that she was not aware of her rights and available remedies when she filed the
claim under ECC. This was opposed again by DM Consunji, citing that her ignorance of
the law does not excuse her from compliance therewith.

Issue:
Whether or not Maria is still entitled to recover under Article 2180 of the Civil
Code.

Decision:
Yes. Her lack of knowledge of the petitioner’s negligence when she elected to
claim from ECC negates the claim. Also, Article 3 of the civil code is only applicable to
mandatory and prohibitory laws, and not in this case.

Article 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided.
Aruego vs Court of Appeals
GR No. 112193

Facts:
On March 1983, a complaint for compulsory recognition and enforcement of
successional rights on the basis of continuous possession of the status as illegitimate
children and in accordance with Article 285 of the Civil Code was filed by the minor
respondents herein, represented by their mother Luz Fabian against the heirs of the
deceased Jose Aruego.

The trial court ruled in favor of the minor respondents. On appeal, petitioners
allege that the trial court lost jurisdiction over the complaint by virtue of the passage of the
Family Code on August 1988, where Article 175 thereof provides that the action to claim
illegitimacy under the claim of continuous possession of such status shall be brought
within the lifetime of the alleged parent.

Issue:
Whether or not Article 175 of the Family Code should be given retroactive effect.

Decision:
No. The action was filed before the advent of the Family Code and is governed
by Article 285 of the Civil Code. The right was vested to them by filing the action under the
Civil Code and applying Article 175 of the Family Code will prejudice the vested right that
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they have.(Subsequent laws should not be given retroactive effect insofar as it prejudices
a right vested in a prior law.)

Bernabe vs Alejo
GR No. 140500

Facts:
Fiscal Bernabe allegedly fathered a child with his secretary. The child was born
on September 18, 1981 and was named Adrian.

Fiscal Bernabe and his wife both died in 1993, leaving their child Ernestina as the
only heir.

Adrian’s mother then filed for a petition for the compulsory recognition of Adrian
as an illegitimate child and prays that he be given a share of Fiscal Bernabe’s estate.

Ernestina filed her opposition citing that Article 175 of the Family Code barred
him from imposing his claim.

Issue:
Whether or not the petition for recognition shall prosper.

Decision:
Yes. Adrian was born before the Family Code and was a minor when his father
died. His action shall be governed by Article 285 of the Civil Code, which is a substantive
law that creates a vested right. Article 175 of the Family Code shall not be given effect
insofar as pertaining to vested rights granted by substantive laws enacted before it.

Dacudaovs Secretary of Justice


GR No. 188056

Facts:
Spouses Augusto and Ofelia Dacudao were among the investors defrauded by
Celso Delos Angeles, Jr and the Legacy Group. Three cases of syndicated estaffa were
filed by the spouses against Delos Angeles in the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office.

On March 2009, the Justice Secretary issued DOJ Order No. 182, directing all
prosecutors to forward allcases already filed against Delos Angeles to DOJ Manila for
appropriate action. Pursuant to such order, the complaints filed by the spouses were
forwarded by the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office to DOJ Manila.

Petitioner assailed the said order, arguing that it was in violation of the rule against
enactment of laws with retroactive effect.

Issue:
Whether or not the DOJ Order was valid?

Decision:
Yes. The order was procedural in nature and is exempt from the rule against
non-retroactivity of laws since it does not create nor take away any vested right.

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Article 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order,
public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right
recognized by law.

FF Cruz and Co.Inc.vs HR Construction


GR No. 187521

Facts:
FF Cruz and Company (FFCCI) entered into a contract with DPWH to construct a
certain road project. In turn, FFCCI entered into a sub-contract agreement with HR
Construction Corporation (HRCC) for the supply of materials, labor, tools and supervision
of the construction project.

The parties agreed that payment requests of HRCC should include progress
accomplishment report of its completed work as approved by FFCCI. They also agreed
that joint measurement of the completed works of HRCC will be conducted jointly by
HRCC and FFCCI together with a representative of DPWH. HRCC then commenced work
on the project pursuant to the sub – contract agreement.

HRCC sent several progress billings to FFCCI from September to November


2004. FCCI, together with DPWH jointly evaluated the work of HRCC. However, HRCC
was never requested by FFCCI to join in the evaluation, contrary to what has been agreed
in the sub-contract agreement.

Despite differences in the amounts claimed by HRCC and amounts based on


the evaluated work by FFCCI, the latter voluntarily paid off some of the amounts. On
December 13, 2004, HRCC sent a demand letter to FFCCI for the remaining balance.
FFCCI failed to pay, contending that the amount it has paid to HRCC has already covered
the amount due to the latter in view of the joint evaluation done since the latter did not join
the evaluation.

Issue:
Whether or not FFCCI is liable to pay the balance due to HRCC.

Decision:
Yes. FFCCI’s act of paying some of the amounts it owed to HRCC without
demanding from the latter the compliance with the agreement constitutes a waiver for the
same conduct as a requirement sine qua non to HRCC’s submission of monthly progress
billing. The intentional doing of an act inconsistent with claiming a right is deemed a
waiver.

Famanilia vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 150429

Facts:
Roberto Famanilia was employed by NFD International Manpower Agents,Inc. as
messman for M/V Hansa Riga. While the Hansa Riga was docked in the port of Eureka,
California and while petitioner was assisting in the loading operations, he suffered
headaches and subsequently collapsed.

Upon examination, it was found out that he had a sudden attack of the left
cerebral hemorrhage. Subsequently, he was declared permanently and totally disabled.

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Thereafter, the respondent company’s authorized representative convinced him
to settle his claim amicably. Due to financial constraints, Famanilia accepted the offer and
was made to sign a quitclaim.

Later on June 1997, petitioner filed with NLRC a complaint praying for an award
of disability benefits. NLRC however dismissed the complaint which prompted Famanilia
to to appeal with the Court of Appeals. In his appeal, petitioner alleged that his disability
and financial constraints vitiated his consent in signing the quitclaim.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to disability benefits.

Decision:
No. Disability is not among the factors that may vitiate consent. Dire necessity
does not constitute vitiated consent as there was no showing that petitioner was forced to
sign it.If the agreement was voluntarily entered into and represents a reasonable
settlement, it is binding on the parties and may not later be disowned simply because of
change of mind.

Article 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution


shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines.

STARE DECISIS
The principle of stare decisis enjoins adherence by lower courts to doctrinal rules
established a higher Court in its final decisions. It is based on the principle that
once a question of law has been examined and decided, it should be deemed
settled and closed to further argument. Basically, it is a bar to any attempt to
relitigate the same issues, necessary for two simple reasons: economy and
stability.

Ting vs Velez – Ting


GR No. 166562

Facts:
Respondent Carmen Velez - Ting filed for an annulment of her marriage to
herein petitioner Benjamin Ting on the ground of psychological incapacity on October 21,
1993. The trial court rendered its decision on January 9, 1998 declaring the marriage null
and void.

Petitioner appealed the decision of the lower court with the Court of Appeals. The
latter reversed the lower court’s decision for the reason that it did not follow the guidelines
set in the case of Republic vs Molina.

Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing mainly that the Molina
case should not apply since the said case was decided 5 years after the filing of this
complaint. The Court of Appeals reversed its earlier ruling, prompting petitioner to institute
this appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not the guidelines set forth in the Molina case is applicable in this
case?

Decision:

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Yes. The principle of stare decisis applies as it has the same issue with the
Molina case. The interpretation of the law by courts constitutes a part of the law as of the
date the law was enacted.

Negros Navigation vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 110398

Facts:
MV Don Juan collided with MT Tacloban City one evening. As a result, the
former sank and several of her passengers perished, including 4 of the family members of
Ramon Miranda.

The private respondents filed a complaint for damages with RTC, which was
granted. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the RTC but modified the amount
to be awarded for damages.

Petitioners filed the instant petition contending that the lower court erred in
basing its decision on the Mecenas case, a case involving the same tragedy filed by a
different plaintiff. They aver that while the Mecenas case involves the same issue, the
parties are different and the trial was separate and that the present case should be
resolved based on evidence presented.

Issue:
Whether or not the trial court erred in applying the Mecenas case to the case at
bar.

Decision:
No. Petitioner’s contention might be true based on the merits of the claims of the
parties but not as to its liability for the sinking of the ship which was already established in
the Mecenas case. The principle of stare decisisbars any attempt to relitigate the same
issue which have been put forward by parties similarly situated as in a previous case
litigated and decided by a competent court.

THE LAW OF THE CASE

The principle in law which states that if the highest appellate court has determined
a legal question and returned the case to the court below for additional
proceedings, the question will not be determined differently on a subsequent
appeal in the same case where the facts remain the same.

Fulgencio vs NLRC
GR No. 141600

Facts:
Petitoners herein are complainants of an illegal dismissal case against
RayconAircontrol Systems, Inc. On September 6, 1996, the Supreme Court in GR No.
114290 rendered a decision ordering Raycon to reinstate petitioners without loss of
seniority and to pay them backwages up to their actual reinstatement. The case was then
remanded to NLRC for computation of the actual benefits due to the petitoners.

A writ of execution was issued against Raycon for the garnishment of funds
representing the benefits due to petitioners. Raycon however appealed the said amount,
contending that thereinstatement was not accepted by petitioners and that the

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computation of backwages willonly beup to July 13, 1992, when the return to work order
was made and refused by petitoners.

NLRC granted the appeal and adjusted the amounts due to petitoners. A motion
for reconsideration was sought by petitioners, contending that the modifications on the
amount made by NLRC is a modification of the decision of the Supreme Court which has
already become final. The motion was denied by NLRC, hence this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not NLRC has the jurisdiction to modify the computation of
petitioners’ backwages.

Decision:
No. It is well established that when a right or fact has been judicially tried and
determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, so long as it remains unreversed, should
be conclusive upon the parties.

The decision of the Supreme Court in GR No. 114290 has become the law of the
case and the question there settled shall be applied upon remand of the case to the lower
courts or upon subsequent appeal.

OBITER DICTUM

A remark made or opinion expressed by a judge in a decision upon a cause, "by the
way", that is, incidentally or collaterally, and not directly upon the question before
the court or upon a point not necessarily involved in the determination of the cause,
or introduced by way of illustration, or analogy or argument. Such are not binding
as precedent.

Wambaugh's Inversion Test

A test which provides that to determine whether a judicial statement in a common


law case is ratio or obiter, you should invert the argument, that is to say, ask
whether the decision would have been the different, had the statement been
omitted. If so, the statement is crucial and is ratio; whereas if it is not crucial, it is
obiter.

Villanueva vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 142947

Facts:
Francisco Villanueva was a complainant of an illegal dismissal case against IBC
13. After the labor arbiter ruled in favor of Villanueva, IBC 13 appealed the case to NLRC.
As an appeal bond, they issued two falsified securities. Subsequently, two complaints for
falsification were filed against herein respondent RoqueVilladores.The charges against
Villadores were initially dropped but was later refiled after review by DOJ. Accordingly, the
original informations were amended to include Villadores.

After Villadores’ arraignment, private prosecutor Rico and Associates filed a


motion to admit amended information, alleging the damages sustained by Villanueva as a
result of the crimes committed by Villadores. The motion was granted by the trial court and
the same was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeals. In the latter’s decision, it had
the occasion to state though, that Villanueva is not an injured party in the criminal case. In
line with the pronouncement, Villadores moved for the disqualification of Rico and
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Associates. In its opposition, Rico and Associates argued that the pronouncement was
merely an obiter dictum. The trial court denied said motion but on appeal with the Court of
Appeals, the decision was reversed.

Issue:
Whether or not the pronouncement of the Court of Appeals regarding Villanueva
as a non-injured party to the criminal case was an obiter dictum.

Decision:
No. The pronouncement was not an obiter dictum since it touched upon a matter
clearly raised by Villadores.

Ayala Corporation vs Rosa-Diana Realty


GR No. 134284

Facts:
Ayala Corporation sold a parcel of lot it owned to two different spouses. The
deed of sale executed by Ayala and the buyers contained special conditions and
restrictions. As a special condition, the buyers have to build on the lot and submit building
plans for Ayala’s approval. The restrictions stipulate certain limitations on the height and
floor area of the building to be built.

The buyers however failed to build on the lot but was able to sell the lot to Rosa –
Diana Realty with Ayala’s approval. As consideration for the release of the certificate of
title, Rosa – Diana undertook to abide with the conditions and restrictions imposed by
Ayala on the original vendees.In compliance with the undertaking, Rosa – Diana
submitted a building plan to Ayala. Ayala then released the certificate of title to the subject
property.

Later, Rosa – Diana submitted a different building plan to Makati building official.
Such building plan was substantially different from what was submitted to Ayala and it
exceeded what was stated in the deed of restrictions. Ayala then filed a petition for
injuctive reliefs seeking Rosa – Diana to comply with the deed of restrictions. The trial
court however denied Ayala’s petition.

While on the process of seeking reconsideration of the trial court’s decision,


Ayala tried to cause the annotation of notice of lispendens on the title of the said property.
The register of deeds and the Land Registration Authority had conflicting and opposing
views with regards to the said annotation. The issue was brought to the Court of Appeals
and eventually to the Supreme Court which was docketed under GR No. 112774. In its
ruling, the Supreme Court agreed with the findings of the Court of Appeals that lispendens
was not proper in the said case.

After reconsideration of the injunctive relief case filed by Ayala, the trial court
ruled in favor of Rosa – Diana, stating that Ayala was estopped from enforcing the
conditions and restrictions as it failed to impose them against the original buyers. The
court of Appeals sustained the trial court’s decision, stating that it was sealed by the law of
the case when the Supreme Court mentioned about Ayala’s estoppel when it decided the
lispendens issue.

In this instant petition, Ayala contends that the pronouncement of the Court of
Appeals that it was estopped from enforcing the conditions and restrictions was a mere
obiter dictum since the only issue raised in that case was the propriety of the lispendens.

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Issue:
Whether or not the Appellate Court’s decision on the lispendens issue is binding
upon the issue of injunctive relief.

Decision:
No, the law of the case does not apply since the issue of whether Ayala is
estopped from enforcing the deed of restriction is still pending in the trial court. Since the
only issue raised was the propriety of the lispendens, the pronouncement regarding
estoppel was not necessary and is therefore an obiter dictum.

Article 10. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is


presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.

Ursua vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 112170

Facts:
CesarioUrsua was charged before the Office of the Ombudsman of Davao City.
His counsel wrote a letter to the ombudsman asking for a copy of the said complaint. His
counsel asked him to take the letter to the Ombudsman himself as Oscar Perez, the law
firm’s messenger, is not available.

Before proceeding to the Office of the Ombudsman, he talked to Oscar Perez


and told the latter that he is hesitant to go there as he was the respondent of the
complaint. Oscar Perez told him that he can just sign in behalf of the former’s name
whenever asked to acknowledge receipt of such copy of the complaint.

At the Office of the Ombudsman, Ursua logged in as Oscar Perez and


acknowledged the receipt of the copy of the complaint under the same name. Before
leaving the premises, he was greeted by a certain JosefaAmparo who worked in the same
office. It was through this incident that it was discovered that he was not Oscar Perez.

Ursua was charged with the illegal use of alias and was subsequently convicted
by the trial court. The Appellate Court affirmed the conviction hence, this appeal.

In this petition, Ursua reasserted that he never used any alias, that he was never
known to be Oscar Perez and that he used the name Oscar Perez only once which was
done with the consent of Oscar Perez himself.

Issue:
Whether or not Ursua is guilty of illegal use of alias.

Decision:
No. Statutes should be construed with reference to the intended scope and
purpose by which it was enacted. The anti-alias law was enacted to curb the common
practice among chinese businessman and traders of adopting several names which
created confusion and fraud. The evil sought to be prevented by the statute is not present
herein.

Article 12. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence.

Yao Kee vsSy- Gonzales


GR No. L-55960
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Facts:
Respondents filed for a petition for the grant of letters of administration of the
estate of SyKiat. The petition alleges that they are the children of the deceased with
Asuncion Gillego and that they do not recognize SyKiat’s marriage to Yao Kee.

Petitioners on the other hand opposed and claimed that Yao Kee and SyKiat
were married according to Chinese customs and as evidence, they presented the
testimony of Yao Kee who testified that the chinese wedding custom do not require a
marriage license and the testimony of GanChing, who stated that he was one of the
attendees to the wedding.

Issue:
Whether the marriage of SyKiat and Yao Kee are recognized here in the
Philippines.

Decision:
No. Customs must be proven as a fact and as such, testimonies from competent
authorities are needed. The testimonies of YaoKee and GanChing cannot be accepted
not just because they are self- serving, there is also no showing that they are competent
to testify on the matter.

Article 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and
legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though
living abroad.

Article 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the
country where it is stipulated.

However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of
succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of
testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose
succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and
regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.

Article 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public
instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are
executed.

When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials of
the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the solemnities established by
Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution.

Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have
for their object public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered
ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions
agreed upon in a foreign country.

LEX LOCI CELEBRATIONIS


Lex loci celebrationis is a Latin term for a legal principle in English common law,
roughly translated as "the law of the land (lex loci) where the marriage was
celebrated". It refers to the validity of the union, independent of the laws of
marriage of the countries involved: where the two individuals have legal nationality
or citizenship, or where they live (reside or are domiciled). The assumption under

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the common law is that such a marriage, when lawfully and validly celebrated under
the relevant law of the land, is also lawful and valid.

LEX LOCI REI SITAE


Lex loci reisitae (Latin for "law of the place where the property is situated"), or
simply lexsitus, is the doctrine that the law governing the transfer of title to
property is dependent upon and varies with the location of the property, for the
purposes of the conflict of laws.

DOCTRINE OF PROCESSUAL PRESUMPTION


The foreign law, whenever applicable, should be proved by the proponent thereof,
otherwise, such law shall be presumed to be exactly the same as the law of the
forum.

Philippine Export and Loan Guarantee Corporation vs VP Eusebio Construction,


Inc.
GR No. 140047

Facts:
The State Organization of Buildings (SOB) in Iraq awarded the construction of
the Institution of Physical Therapy Medical Rehabilitation Center to Ajyal Trading and
Contracting Company.

On March 7,1981 3 – plex international entered into a joint venture with Ajyal to
undertake the project. Since 3 – Plex is not accredited to contract abroad, it entered into
an agreement with VP Eusebio Construction, Inc. (VPECI) to jointly manage the project.

Since the SOB required the contractors to submit a performance bond, VPECI
applied for a guarantee with PhilGuarantee. The latter then issued letters of guarantee to
Rafidain Bank. However, Rafidain Bank will only issue a performance bond in favor of
SOB if another foreign bank not PhilGuarantee will cover its exposure. As a result, a three
way guarantee between PhilGuarantee, Al Ahli Bank and Rafidain Bank was arranged and
agreed.

The completion of the project needed some materials to be imported from other
countries but due to SOB’s late payments, the importation was delayed, causing the delay
in the finishing of the project.

On October 1986, Al Ahli sent a telefax call to PhilGuarantee demanding the


payment of the performance bond. On April 1987, PhilGuarantee received another telex
message from Al Ahli Bank, stating that it already paid the performance bond to Al Ahli
Bank.

On January 1988, Philguarantee paid Al Ahli Bank and sent out letters of
demand to VPECI. The later failed to pay, prompting PhilGuarantee to file a collection
case against VPECI.

Issue:
Whether or not PhilGuarantee is entitled to reimbursement.

Decision:
No, the guarantee is bound to pay in case of default on part of the creditor. To
decide whether respondents are in default, the rules on Iraq will play a substantial role
since the latter is one of the parties to the contract.
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Since the law of Iraq is not properly pleaded and proven in this case, the doctrine
of processual presumption applies. Therfore, the laws of Iraq are presumed to be the
same as ours. In this case, the delay is not imputable to the respondents so petitioners
could have waited for VPECI to default and that demand from SOB should have first been
made.

Miciano vs Brimo
GR No. L-22595

Facts:
Juan Miciano, as administrator of the estate of the late Joseph Brimo, submitted
a project of partition of the estate to the court which was approved. Andre Brimo, Joseph’s
brother, opposed it on the ground that it was not in accordance with the law of his
brother’s nationality which is Turkish, citing Article 16 of the Civil Code for that matter. He
was given ample time to prove the Turkish law but failed to do so.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent’s opposition was proper.

Decision:
No. The fact that no evidence was presented to prove what the Turkish laws are
on the matter, they are presumed to be the same as ours.

Bellis vs Bellis
GR No. L-23678

Facts:
Amos Bellis, a citizen of Texas, USA executed a will in the Philippines and later
died as a Texas Citizen.

The executor bank submitted a final project of partition of the estate of the
deceased which was opposed by the testator’s illegitimate children on the ground that
such partition deprives them of their legitimes.

The executor’s final account was approved by the trial court, applying the Texas
Law, which did not provide for any legitime.

In their appeal, petitioners argue that their case falls under the third paragraph of
Article 17 in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code.

Issue:
Whether or not the trial court’s decision was proper.

Decision:
Yes. Whatever public policy or good customs are involved in our system of
legitimes, congress did not extend the same to successional rights of foreign nationals.
Specific provisions must prevail over general ones.

RENVOI DOCTRINE
Renvoi takes place when the conflicts rule of the forum makes a reference to a
foreign law, but the foreign law is found to contain a conflict rule that returns or
refers the matter back to the law of the forum (Remission).

P a g e | 14
Aznar vs Garcia
GR No. L- 16749

Facts:
The Court of First Instance of Davao approved the final accounts of Adolfo Aznar
as executor of the estate of Edward Christensen, a Californian Citizen domiciled in the
Philippines.

The accounts were opposed by herein respondent contending that it deprives her
of her legitime. The trial court denied the opposition stating that the internal law of
California stating that the decedent can dispose of his property in the way he desires shall
govern.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, respondent contended that in accordance with


Article 16 of the Civil Code, it is Article 946 of the Civil Code of California that is
controlling. It states that the property deems to follow its owner and is governed by the law
of his domicile.

Issue:
Whether or not the trial court’s approval of the executor’s accounts was proper.

Decision:
No. The renvoi doctrine applies. The conflict of laws rule of California, which is
Article 946 of the Civil Code of California refers back the case, when a decedent is not
domiciled in California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The
court of the domicile cannot and should not refer the case back to California.

NATIONALITY RULE

Van Dorn vs Romillo


GR No. L – 68470

Facts:
Petitioner and his husband obtained a divorce decree in Nevada. The
latter acknowledged that he and petitioner had no community property.

Later, the husband sued the petitioner, asking that an accounting of the business
of petitioner be rendered and that he be given the right to manage the said business as it
was a conjugal property.

Petitioner moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the action was barred by
the divorce decree obtained. The trial court denied the petition to dismiss on the ground
that the divorce decree has no bearing in this case.

Petitioner then filed this present petition. Respondent argued that the divorce
decree in Nevada cannot prevail over the prohibitive laws of the Philippines.

Issue:
Whether or not the respondent has the right over the subject property.

Decision:
No. While it is true that the nationality principle under Article 15 of the Civil Code
only covers Philippine nationals as to the policy against divorce, aliens may obtain divorce
P a g e | 15
abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines as long as they are valid according to
their national law.

Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer entitled to


exercise control over conjugal assets as petitioner’s husband.

Bank of America vs American Realty


GR No. 133786

Facts:
Petitioner BANTSA, an international financial institution, granted multi-million
dollar loans to respondent’s foreign affiliates. A loan restructure was undertaken when the
borrower companies defaulted in their payments. As additional security for the
restructured loans, respondent executed a mortgage on two of its properties.

The borrower companies defaulted again, forcing petitioner to file civil actions for
collection before the High Courts of Hongkong and England. Respondents were not
impleaded in these cases.

Thereafter, BANTSA filed an application for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the


mortgage before the provincial sheriff of Bulacan. Subsequently, the properties were sold.

Respondent then sued petitioner for damages for foreclosing the mortgage
despite the pendency of the collection cases. In response, petitioner asserted that the
English laws which governs the loan agreements, states that the mortgage does not lose
its security interest by filing civil actions for sum of money. Both the RTC and the Court of
Appeals ruled in favor of respondents.

Issue:
Whether or not the English laws are applicable.

Decision:
No. A mortgage creditor may institute against the mortgage debtor either a
personal action for debt or a real action to foreclose the mortgage.The remedies available
to the mortgage creditor are deemed alternative and not cumulative. Notably, an election
of one remedy operates as a waiver of the other. For this purpose, a remedy is deemed
chosen upon the filing of the suit for collection or upon the filing of the complaint in an
action for foreclosure of mortgage.

By the mere filing of the ordinary action for collection against the principal
debtors, the petitioner in the present case is deemed to have elected a remedy, as a result
of which a waiver of the other necessarily must arise. By allowing the creditor to file two
separate complaints simultaneously or successively, one to recover his credit and another
to foreclose his mortgage, we will, in effect, be authorizing him plural redress for a single
breach of contract at so much cost to the courts and with so much vexation and
oppression to the debtor.

Foreign law should not be applied when its application would work undeniable
injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum. To give justice is the most important
function of law; hence, a law, or judgment or contract that is obviously unjust negates the
fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws. Clearly then, English Law is not applicable.

P a g e | 16
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance
of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good
faith.

Article 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage
to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.

Article 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that
is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for
the damage.

ABUSE OF RIGHTS PRINCIPLE

University of the East vs Jader


GR No. 132344

Facts:
Romeo Jader was a law student of the petitioner university. In his last semester
he got an incomplete grade in practice court. On February 1, 1988 he filed an application
for the removal of the incomplete grade. He took the exam on March 28, 1988.

He was able to attend the graduation ceremonies on April 16, 1988. Thereafter,
he took a leave of absence without pay from his work to prepare for the bar exams. On
May 20, 1988, his professor in practice court submitted the grade where he got a grade of
5.0. As a result, he dropped his bar review classes and was not able to take the bar
exams.

Jader subsequently filed a complaint againtgor moral and exemplary damages


against the university. The lower court rendered a decision in favor of Jader, which was
modified and affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

In this present petition, UE alleges that the proximate and immediate damage
suffered by Jader arouse from its own nwegligence by not verifying from his professor the
result of the removal exam.
Issue:
Whether or not UE is liable for damages.

Decision:
Yes. When a student is enrolled in any educational or learning institution, a
contract of education is entered into between said institution and the student.It is the
contractual obligation of the school to timely inform and furnish sufficient notice and
information to each and every student as to whether he or she had already complied with
all the requirements for the conferment of a degree. Likewise, the school has the
obligation to promptly inform the student of any problem involving the latter's grades and
performance and also most importantly, of the procedures for remedying the same.

Petitioner, in belatedly informing respondent of the result of the removal


examination, particularly at a time when he had already commenced preparing for the bar
exams, cannot be said to have acted in good faith, making it liable for damages under
Article 19.

GF Equity vs Valenzona
GR No. 156841

P a g e | 17
Facts:
Respondent Arturo Valenzona was hired by petitioner as the head coach of the
Alaska Basketball team of the Philippine Basketball Association. The term of his contract
states that if at the opinion of the company he fails to exhibit sufficient skill or competitive
ability to coach the team, his services may be terminated.Before affixing his signature on
the contract, Valenzona consulted his lawyer who pointed out the one-sidedness of the
provision. Despite that, Valenzona still acceded to the terms of the contract.

Valenzona was later advised by the management of GF Equity by letter of


September 26, 1988 of the termination of his services.

Valenzona thus filed on September 26, 1994 before the Regional Trial Court of
Manila a complaintagainst GF Equity for breach of contract.Before the trial court,
Valenzona challenged the one-sidedness of the contract.

GF Equity maintained, on the other hand, that it merely exercised its right under
the contract to pre-terminate Valenzona’s employment due to incompetence.

The trial court, upholding the validity of the assailed provision of the contract,
dismissedthe complaint of Valenzona. However, the Court of Appeals, before which
Valenzona appealed, reversed the trial court’s decision. Hence, this appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not Valenzona is entitled to indemnity for damages.

Decision:
Yes. The assailed condition clearly transgresses the principle of mutuality of
contracts. It leaves the determination of whether Valenzona failed to exhibit sufficient skill
or competitive ability to coach Alaska team solely to the opinion of GF Equity. Whether
Valenzona indeed failed to exhibit the required skill or competitive ability depended
exclusively on the judgment of GF Equity. In other words, GF Equity was given an
unbridled prerogative to pre-terminate the contract irrespective of the soundness, fairness
or reasonableness, or even lack of basis of its opinion.

Since the pre-termination of the contract was anchored on an illegal ground,


hence, contrary to law, and GF Equity negligently failed to provide legal basis for such
pre-termination, GF Equity failed to exercise in a legitimate manner its right to pre-
terminate the contract, thereby abusing the right of Valenzona to thus entitle him to
damages under Art. 19 in relation to Article 20 of the Civil Code.

Villanueva vs Rosquetta
GR No. 180764

Facts:
Respondent Rosqueta, formerly Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue
Collection, tendered her courtesy resignation from that post on January 23, 2001, shortly
after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office. But five months later on June 5,
2001, she withdrew her resignation, claiming that she enjoyed security of tenure and that
she had resigned against her will on orders of her superior.

On July 13, 2001 President Arroyo appointed Gil Valera (Valera) to respondent
Rosquetas position. Challenging such appointment, Rosqueta filed a petition for
prohibition, quo warranto, and injunction against petitioner.
P a g e | 18
However, while the injunction was in force, petitioner Villanueva issued an order
authorizing Valera to exercise the powers and functions of the Deputy Commissioner.
Villanueva also did not include Rosquetta’s name in the panorama magazine featuring all
customs deputy commissioner during the bureau’s centennial anniversary.

Alleging that she suffers moral anxiety, Rosquetta filed a complaint for damages
against Villanueva. The RTC dismissed Rosquetta’s complaint. The RTC found that
Villanueva had validly and legally replaced her as Deputy Commissioner seven months
before the Bureaus centennial anniversary. The Court of Appeals reversed the RTC’s
decision. Hence, this appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not Rosquetta is entitled to claim for damages?

Decision:
Yes. Villanueva ignored the injunction. It shows bad faith and intent to spite
Rosquetawho remained in the eyes of the law the Deputy Commissioner. His exclusion of
her from the centennial anniversary memorabilia was not an honest mistake. A party’s
refusal to abide by a court order enjoining him from doing an act, otherwise lawful,
constitutes an abuse and an unlawful exercise of right.

DAMNUM ABSQUE INJURIA

Spouses Custodio vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 116100

Facts:
Spouses Mabasaowns a parcel of land with a two-door apartment erected
thereon. Said property may be described to be surrounded by other immovables
pertaining to the Custodios and Santoses. The latter fenced their property, completely
closing the passageway going to the apartment.
As a result, the tenants of the apartment were forced to vacate the premises, thereby
depriving the spouses of their income.

A complaint for damages was filed by the Mabasas before the trial court. The trial
court however ruled against them. Instead, it ordered them to pay the spouses Custodio
and Santos as indemnity for the use of the passageway at the same time ordering the
Custodios to give access to the passageway.

Arguing that the trial court erred in not awarding damages in their favor, they filed
an appeal before the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s
decision but with modification ordering the petitioners to pay the Mabasas damages.
Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the award for damages was proper.

Decision:
No. The award of damages has no substantial legal basis.To warrant the
recovery of damages, there must be both a right of action for a legal wrong inflicted by the
defendant, and damage resulting to the plaintiff therefrom. Wrong without damage, or
P a g e | 19
damage without wrong, does not constitute a cause of action, since damages are merely
part of the remedy allowed for the injury caused by a breach or wrong.

There is a material distinction between damages and injury. Injury is the illegal
invasion of a legal right; damage is the loss, hurt, or harm which results from the injury;
and damages are the recompense or compensation awarded for the damage suffered.
Thus, there can be damage without injury in those instances in which the loss or harm
was not the result of a violation of a legal duty. These situations are often called
damnumabsqueinjuria.in order that a plaintiff may maintain an action for the injuries of
which he complains, he must establish that such injuries resulted from a breach of duty
which the defendant owed to the plaintiff - a concurrence of injury to the plaintiff and legal
responsibility by the person causing it.

In the case at bar, although there was damage, there was no legal injury.
Contrary to the claim of private respondents, petitioners could not be said to have violated
the principle of abuse of right. In order that the principle of abuse of right provided in
Article 21 of the Civil Code can be applied, it is essential that the following requisites
concur: (1) The defendant should have acted in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
customs or public policy; (2) The acts should be willful; and (3) There was damage or
injury to the plaintiff.

The act of petitioners in constructing a fence within their lot is a valid exercise of
their right as owners, hence not contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. The law
recognizes in the owner the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations
than those established by law.
At the time of the construction of the fence, the lot was not subject to any
servitudes. There was no easement of way existing in favor of private respondents, either
by law or by contract.Hence, prior to said decision, petitioners had an absolute right over
their property and their act of fencing and enclosing the same was an act which they may
lawfully perform in the employment and exercise of said right. To repeat, whatever injury
or damage may have been sustained by private respondents by reason of the rightful use
of the said land by petitioners is damnum absque injuria.

Equitable Banking vs Calderon


GR No. 156168

Facts:
Sometime in September 1984, Calderon applied and was issued an Equitable
International Visa card. The said Visa card can be used for both peso and dollar
transactions within and outside the Philippines. The credit limit for the peso transaction is
TWENTY THOUSAND (P20,000.00) PESOS; while in the dollar transactions, Calderon is
required to maintain a dollar account with a minimum deposit of $3,000.00, the balance of
dollar account shall serve as the credit limit.

He made credit purchases in Japan and Hongkong from August to September


1985 amounting to US$14,226.12, while only having a deposit of US$3,639.00 in his
dollar account as evidenced by the pertinent monthly statement of respondents credit card
transactions and his bank passbook, thus exceeding his credit limit; these purchases were
accommodated by the petitioner on the condition that the amount needed to cover the
same will be deposited in a few days. Respondent however failed to make good on his
commitment; later, respondent likewise failed to make the required deposit on the due
date of the purchases as stated in the pertinent monthly statement of account; as a
consequence thereof, his card privileges for dollar transactions were suspended; it was
only four months later on 31 January 1986, that respondent deposited the sum of
P a g e | 20
P14,501.89 in his dollar account to cover his purchases; the said amount however was not
sufficient to maintain the required minimum dollar deposit of $3,000.00 as the respondents
dollar deposit stood at only US$2,704.94 after satisfaction of his outstanding accounts; a
day before he left for Hongkong in 1986, respondent made another deposit of
US$14,000.00 in his dollar account but did not bother to request the petitioner for the
reinstatement of his credit card privileges for dollar transactions, thus the same remained
under suspension.

While in Hongkong, Calderon together with some reputable business friends and
associates, went to Gucci Department Store located at the basement of the Peninsula
Hotel .There and then, Calderon purchased several Gucci items. The cost of his total
purchase amounted to HK$4,030.00 or equivalent to US$523.00. Instead of paying the
said items in cash, he used his Visa card to effect payment thereof on credit. He then
presented and gave his credit card to the saleslady who promptly referred it to the store
cashier for verification. Shortly thereafter, the saleslady, in the presence of his friend, Ed
De Leon and other shoppers of different nationalities, informed him that his Visa card was
blacklisted. Calderon sought the reconfirmation of the status of his Visa card from the
saleslady, but the latter simply did not honor it and even threatened to cut it into pieces
with the use of a pair of scissors.

Deeply embarrassed and humiliated, and in order to avoid further indignities,


Calderon paid cash for the Gucci goods and items that he bought.

Upon his return to the Philippines, and claiming that he suffered much torment
and embarrassment on account of EBCs wrongful act of blacklisting/suspending his VISA
credit card while at the Gucci store in Hongkong, Calderon filed with the Regional Trial
Court at Makati City a complaint for damagesagainst EBC.

The trial court, concluding that defendant bank was negligent if not in bad faith, in
suspending, or blacklisting plaintiffs credit card without notice or basis, rendered judgment
in favor of Calderon.

Therefrom, EBC went to the Court of Appeals. The CA,affirmed that of the trial
court but only insofar as the awards of moral damages, the amount of which was even
reduced, and the costs of suits are concerned.

Issue:
Whether or not Calderon is entitled to damages.

Decision:

No. In the situation in which respondent finds himself, his is a case of


damnumabsqueinjuria.With the express provision on automatic suspension without notice
under paragraph 3, supra, of the parties Credit Card Agreement, there is simply no basis
for holding petitioner negligent for not notifying respondent of the suspended status of his
credit card privileges.

It may be so that respondent, a day before he left for Hongkong, made a deposit
of US$14,000.00 to his dollar account with petitioner. The sad reality, however, is that he
never verified the status of his card before departing for Hongkong, much less requested
petitioner to reinstate the same.
And, certainly, respondent could not have justifiably assumed that petitioner must
have reinstated his card by reason alone of his having deposited US$14,000.00 a day
before he left for Hongkong. As issuer of the card, petitioner has the option to decide
P a g e | 21
whether to reinstate or altogether terminate a credit card previously suspended on
considerations which the petitioner deemed proper, not the least of which are the
cardholders payment record, capacity to pay and compliance with any additional
requirements imposed by it. That option, after all, is expressly embodied in the same
Credit Card Agreement.

ACTS CONTRA BONUS MORES

Pe vs Pe
GR No. L-17396

Facts:
Lolita was 24 years old and unmarried. Defendant Alfonso is a married man.
Sometime in 1952, defendant frequented the house of Lolita on the pretext that he wanted
her to teach him how to pray the rosary. The two eventually fell in love with each other and
conducted clandestine trysts not only in the town of Gasan but also in Boac where Lolita
used to teach in a barrio school. They exchanged love notes with each other the contents
of which reveal not only their infatuation for each other but also the extent to which they
had carried their relationship. The rumors about their love affairs reached the ears of
Lolita's parents sometime, in 1955, and since then defendant was forbidden from going to
their house and from further seeing Lolita. Their relationship continued however.

Sometime in April, 1957, Lolita was staying with her brothers and sisters at their
residence at 54-B España Extension, Quezon City. On April 14, 1957, Lolita disappeared
from said house. After she left, her brothers and sisters checked up her thing and found
that Lolita's clothes were gone. However, plaintiffs found a note on a crumpled piece of
paper inside Lolita's aparador, purportedly coming from Alfonso, stating that the two were
set to meet on that day.

Lolita’s parents sued Alfonso for damages under Article 21. The trial court
dismissed the complaint on the lack of bad faith on Alfonso’s part. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not Alfonso is liable for damages.

Decision:
Yes. The circumstances under which defendant tried to win Lolita's affection
cannot lead, to any other conclusion than that it was he who, thru an ingenious scheme or
trickery, seduced the latter to the extent of making her fall in love with him. This is shown
by the fact that defendant frequented the house of Lolita on the pretext that he wanted her
to teach him how to pray the rosary. Because of the frequency of his visits to the latter's
family who was allowed free access because he was a collateral relative and was
considered as a member of her family, the two eventually fell in love with each other and
conducted clandestine love affairs not only in Gasan but also in Boac where Lolita used to
teach in a barrio school. When the rumors about their illicit affairs reached the knowledge
of her parents, defendant was forbidden from going to their house and even from seeing
Lolita. Plaintiffs even filed deportation proceedings against defendant who is a Chinese
national. Nevertheless, defendant continued his love affairs with Lolita until she
disappeared from the parental home. Indeed, no other conclusion can be drawn from this
chain of events than that defendant not only deliberately, but through a clever strategy,
succeeded in winning the affection and love of Lolita to the extent of having illicit relations
with her. The wrong he has caused her and her family is indeed immeasurable
considering the fact that he is a married man.Verily, he has committed an injury to Lolita's

P a g e | 22
family in a manner contrary to morals, good customs and public policy as contemplated in
Article 21 of the new Civil Code.

Baksh vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 97336

Facts:
Petitioner, who is an Iranian national, met and courted private respondent, a
Filipina, an a waitress.

On the promise of marriage, respondent accepted petitioner’s love. The latter


met the parents of the respondent to seek approval of the proposed marriage. The
respondent resigned from her job and started living together and had sexual congress with
the petitioner.

After few weeks, petitioner’s attitude towards respondent changed and eventually
repudiated their marriage agreement which prompted the latter to file an action for
damages for breach of promise to marry.

The trial court ordered the petitioner to pay the respondent damages in view of
Article 21 of the civil code. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. Hence,
this appeal.

In this appeal, petitioner posits that a breach of promise to marry is not an


actionable wrong.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to pay damages to respondent for the breach
of promise to marry.

Decision:
Yes. It is clear that he harbors a condescending, if not sarcastic, regard for the
private respondent on account of the latter's ignoble birth, inferior educational background,
poverty and, as perceived by him, dishonorable employment. Obviously then, from the
very beginning, he was not at all moved by good faith and an honest motive. Marrying with
a woman so circumstances could not have even remotely occurred to him. Thus, his
profession of love and promise to marry were empty words directly intended to fool, dupe,
entice, beguile and deceive the poor woman into believing that indeed, he loved her and
would want her to be his life's partner. His was nothing but pure lust which he wanted
satisfied by a Filipina who honestly believed that by accepting his proffer of love and
proposal of marriage, she would be able to enjoy a life of ease and security. Petitioner
clearly violated the Filipino's concept of morality and brazenly defied the traditional respect
Filipinos have for their women.

Wassmer vs Velez
GR No. L – 20089

Facts:
Beatriz Wassmer and Francisco Velez decided to get married. When everything
has been set and prepared, Francisco sent a letter to Beatriz that the wedding has to be
postponed but nevertheless promised her that everything will push through. Thereafter,
Francisco was never heard from again.

P a g e | 23
Beatriz sued Francisco for damages in which he filed no answer. He was ordered
by the court to pay Beatriz damages. On appeal through his counsel, Francisco contends
that a breach of contract to marry is not an actionable wrong.

Issue:
Whether or not Francisco’s act of not pushing through with the wedding warrants
an award for damages to Beatriz.

Decision:
Yes. While mere breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong, formally
setting a wedding and go through all the preparations and publicity, only to walk out of it
when the matrimony is about to be solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and
unjustifiably contrary to good customs for which defendant must be held answerable in
damages in accordance with Article 21 aforesaid.

Natividad vsTunac
GR No. 143130

Facts:
Elsa Natividad and Ronald Tunac become lovers at the age of 19. One day, both
had sexual intercourse at Ronald’s boarding house. Elsa cried at the loss of her virginity,
but Ronald appeased her by promising to marry her. Their intimate relations continued
until Elsa got pregnant. Ronald again reassured Elsa that he will marry her.True enough,
Ronald and his parents, accompanied by several relatives numbering twenty in all, went to
Elsa's house and asked her parents for the hand of their daughter.The two families agreed
to have the wedding in January 1993.

Unfortunately, Elsa had a miscarriage and after that, Ronald’s attitude towards
her changed. In a confrontation meeting, Ronald withdrew his promise to marry Elsa,
prompting the latter’s parents to sue him not only for impregnating Elsa but also because
of his breach of promise to marry after their agreement has been publicized.

Issue:
Whether or not Ronald is liable for damages.

Decision:
No.This contention has no merit. Our laws do not provide for a right to relief for
cases arising purely from a breach of one's promise to marry another, the chapter on
breach of promise to marry proposed by the Code Commission having been deleted by
Congress in enacting the Civil Code apparently because of lessons from other countries,
particularly the United States and England, that the action readily lends itself to abuse by
designing women and unscrupulous men.

In cases where this Court has allowed moral or exemplary damages arising from
similar circumstances, there was found moral seduction or misrepresentation.

In the case at bar, it is clear that no moral seduction was employed by Ronald,
much less by his parents. Form the narration of the trial court, the evident conclusion is
that the two became lovers before they engaged in any sexual intercourse. Also, the moral
seduction contemplated by the Code Commission in drafting Article 21 of the Civil Code is
one where the defendant is in a position of moral ascendancy in relation to the plaintiff.
We fail to see any of these circumstances in this case.

VIOLENTI NON FIT INJURIA


P a g e | 24
Nikko Hotel Manila Garden vs Reyes
GR No. 154259

Facts:
This case spring from the alleged act of petitioner hotel’s executive secretary,
Ruby Lim in sending respondent out of a birthday party in an embarrassing manner.

In the version of Reyes, he alleged that at around 6:00 oclock in the evening of
13 October 1994, while he was having coffee at the lobby of Hotel Nikko,he was spotted
by his friend of several years, Dr. VioletaFilart, who then approached him. Mrs. Filart
invited him to join her in a party at the hotels penthouse in celebration of the natal day of
the hotels manager, Mr. Masakazu Tsuruoka. Mr. Reyes asked if she could vouch for him
for which she replied: of course. Mr. Reyes then went up with the party of Dr. Filart
carrying the basket of fruits which was the latters present for the celebrant.[9] At the
penthouse, they first had their picture taken with the celebrant after which Mr. Reyes sat
with the party of Dr. Filart. After a couple of hours, when the buffet dinner was ready, Mr.
Reyes lined-up at the buffet table but, to his great shock, shame and embarrassment, he
was stopped by petitioner herein, Ruby Lim, who claimed to speak for Hotel Nikko as
Executive Secretary thereof. In a loud voice and within the presence and hearing of the
other guests who were making a queue at the buffet table, Ruby Lim told him to leave the
party (huwagkanangkumain, hindikaimbitado, bumabakanalang). Mr. Reyes tried to
explain that he was invited by Dr. Filart.Dr. Filart, who was within hearing distance,
however, completely ignored him thus adding to his shame and humiliation. Not long after,
while he was still recovering from the traumatic experience, a Makati policeman
approached and asked him to step out of the hotel. Like a common criminal, he was
escorted out of the party by the policeman.

In the version of Ruby Lim, she admitted having asked Mr. Reyes to leave the
party but not under the ignominious circumstance painted by the latter. Ms. Lim narrated
that she was the Hotels Executive Secretary for the past twenty (20) years. One of her
functions included organizing the birthday party of the hotels former General Manager, Mr.
Tsuruoka. The year 1994 was no different. For Mr. Tsuruokas party, Ms. Lim generated an
exclusive guest list and extended invitations accordingly.The guest list was limited to
approximately sixty (60) of Mr. Tsuruokas closest friends and some hotel employees and
that Mr. Reyes was not one of those invited. At the party, Ms. Lim first noticed Mr. Reyes
at the bar counter ordering a drink. Mindful of Mr. Tsuruokas wishes to keep the party
intimate, Ms. Lim approached Mr. Boy Miller, the captain waiter, to inquire as to the
presence of Mr. Reyes who was not invited. Mr. Miller replied that he saw Mr. Reyes with
the group of Dr. Filart. As Dr. Filart was engaged in conversation with another guest and
as Ms. Lim did not want to interrupt, she inquired instead from the sister of Dr. Filart, Ms.
ZenaidaFruto, who told her that Dr. Filart did not invite Mr. Reyes. Ms. Lim then requested
Ms. Fruto to tell Mr. Reyes to leave the party as he was not invited. Mr. Reyes, however,
lingered prompting Ms. Lim to inquire from Ms. Fruto who said that Mr. Reyes did not want
to leave. When Ms. Lim turned around, she saw Mr. Reyes conversing with a Captain
Batung whom she later approached. Believing that Captain Batung and Mr. Reyes knew
each other, Ms. Lim requested from him the same favor from Ms. Fruto, i.e., for Captain
Batung to tell Mr. Reyes to leave the party as he was not invited.Still, Mr. Reyes lingered.
When Ms. Lim spotted Mr. Reyes by the buffet table, she decided to speak to him herself
as there were no other guests in the immediate vicinity. However, as Mr. Reyes was
already helping himself to the food, she decided to wait. When Mr. Reyes went to a corner
and started to eat, Ms. Lim approached him in a very close distance that they can almost
kiss, as admitted by Reyes and said: alamninyo, hindo ho kayo dapatnandito. Pero total
nakakuhana ho kayo ngpagkain, ubusinnalangninyo at pagkatapos
P a g e | 25
kungpwedelangpoumalisnakayo.She then turned around trusting that Mr. Reyes would
show enough decency to leave, but to her surprise, he began screaming and making a big
scene, and even threatened to dump food on her.

After trial on the merits, the court a quo dismissed the complaint, giving more
credence to the testimony of Ms. Lim that she was discreet in asking Mr. Reyes to leave
the party. The trial court likewise ratiocinated that Mr. Reyes assumed the risk of being
thrown out of the party as he was uninvited. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the
ruling of the trial court as it found more commanding of belief the testimony of Mr. Reyes
that Ms. Lim ordered him to leave in a loud voice within hearing distance of several
guests. The court of appeals reasoned that he actuation of Ms. Lim in approaching several
people to inquire into the presence of Mr. Reyes exposed the latter to ridicule and was
uncalled for as she should have approached Dr. Filart first and both of them should have
talked to Mr. Reyes in private.

Issue:
Whether or not Reyes is entitled to indemnity for damages.

Decision:
No. It was a formal party in a posh, five-star hotel, for-invitation-only, thrown for
the hotels former Manager, a Japanese national. Then came a person who was clearly
uninvited by the celebrant and who could not just disappear into the crowd as his face is
known by many, being an actor. While he was already spotted by the organizer of the
party, Ms. Lim, the very person who generated the guest list, it did not yet appear that the
celebrant was aware of his presence. Ms. Lim, mindful of the celebrants instruction to
keep the party intimate, would naturally want to get rid of the gate-crasher in the most
hush-hush manner in order not to call attention to a glitch in an otherwise seamless affair
and, in the process, risk the displeasure of the celebrant, her former boss. To
unnecessarily call attention to the presence of Mr. Reyes would certainly reflect badly on
Ms. Lims ability to follow the instructions of the celebrant to invite only his close friends
and some of the hotels personnel. Mr. Reyes, upon whom the burden rests to prove that
indeed Ms. Lim loudly and rudely ordered him to leave, could not offer any satisfactory
explanation why Ms. Lim would do that and risk ruining a formal and intimate affair.

In the absence of any proof of motive on the part of Ms. Lim to humiliate Mr.
Reyes and expose him to ridicule and shame, it is highly unlikely that she would shout at
him from a very close distance. Ms. Lim having been in the hotel business for twenty
years wherein being polite and discreet are virtues to be emulated, the testimony of Mr.
Reyes that she acted to the contrary does not inspire belief and is indeed incredible.Ms.
Lim, not having abused her right to ask Mr. Reyes to leave the party to which he was not
invited, cannot be made liable to pay for damages under Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil
Code. Necessarily, neither can her employer, Hotel Nikko, be held liable as its liability
springs from that of its employee.

PRINCIPLE OF UNJUST ENRICHMENT

Article 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any
other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of
the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.

Shinriyo Philippines vs RRN Incorporated


GR No. 172525

Facts:
P a g e | 26
Petitioner and respondent executed an Agreement and Conditions of Sub-
contract signed on June 11, 1996 and June 14, 1996, respectively. Respondent signified
its willingness to accept and perform for petitioner in any of its projects, a part or the whole
of the works more particularly described in Conditions of Sub-Contract and other Sub-
contract documents.

On June 11, 2002, the parties executed a Supply of Manpower, Tools/Equipment,


Consumables for the Electrical Works-Power and Equipment Supply, Bus Duct Installation
for the Phillip Morris Greenfield Project.

Respondent was not able to finish the entire works with petitioner due to financial
difficulties. Petitioner paid respondent a total amount of P26,547,624.76. On June 25,
2005 respondent sent a letter to petitioner demanding for the payment of its unpaid
balance amounting to. Petitioner claimed material back charges in the amount of
P4,063,633.43. On September 26, 2003, respondent only acknowledged P2,371,895.33
as material back charges. Thereafter, respondent sent another letter to petitioner for them
to meet and settle their dispute.

Respondent sent another letter to petitioner regarding the cost of equipment


rental and the use of scaffolding. Thereafter, petitioner sent a letter to respondent denying
any unpaid account and the failure in their negotiations for amicable settlement.

The matters were sent to CIAC for settlement. The CIAC ruled in favor of
petitioner, ordering respondents to, among others to pay claimant its unpaid account in the
sum of P3,728,960.54 plus legal interest of 6% reckoned from June 25, 2003 up to the
filing of the case on October 11, 2004 and 12% of P3,728,960.54 from the finality of the
judgment until fully paid and arbitration cost of P104,333.82 representing claimant's share
of the arbitration cost which respondent should reimburse.

The petitioners accepted CIAC’s ruling only in so far as the amount of


P440,000.00 awarded as back charges for the use of scaffoldings.

The CA upheld the CIAC ruling that petitioner failed to adduce sufficient proof
that the parties had an agreement regarding charges for respondent's use of the manlift.
As to the other charges for materials, the CA held that the evidence on record amply
supports the CIAC findings.Petitioner moved for reconsideration of said ruling, but the
same was denied.

In their petition raised before the Supreme Court, petitioner insists that its
evidence sufficiently proves that it is entitled to payment for respondent's use of its manlift
equipment, and even absent proof of the supposed agreement on the charges petitioner
may impose on respondent for the use of said equipment, respondent should be made to
pay based on the principle of unjust enrichment.

Issue:
Whether or not there was unjust enrichment on the part of the respondent in
using the petitioner’s materials for free?

Decision:
No. Unjust Enrichment is an accion in rem verso. In order that accion in rem
verso may prosper, the essential elements must be present: (1) that the defendant has
been enriched, (2) that the plaintiff has suffered a loss, (3) that the enrichment of the
defendant is without just or legal ground, and (4) that the plaintiff has no other action
based on contract, quasi-contract, crime or quasi-delict.
P a g e | 27
As found by both the CIAC and affirmed by the CA, petitioner failed to prove that
respondent's free use of the manlift was without legal ground based on the provisions of
their contract. Thus, the third requisite, i.e., that the enrichment of respondent is without
just or legal ground, is missing. In addition, petitioner's claim is based on contract, hence,
the fourth requisite − that the plaintiff has no other action based on contract, quasi-
contract, crime or quasi-delict − is also absent. Clearly, the principle of unjust enrichment
is not applicable in this case.

Car Cool Philippines vs Ushio Realty


GR No. 138088

Facts:
Car Cool leased the property owned by Lopez since 1972. In 1009, Car Cool and
Lopez entered into another two-year lease agreement. Thereafter, Lopez allowed Car
Cool to lease the property upon payment of monthly rentals.

On June 1995, Lopez informed Car Cool of his intention to sell the property. He
gave Car Cool the option to buy the property before offering it to other prospective buyers
but Car Cool did not respond. On June 28, 1995 Lopez terminated the verbal lease
agreement and gave Car Cool until August 31, 1995 to vacate the property. Subsequent
letters were sent by Lopez but all were unresponded and Car Cool continued to occupy
the property.

On August 31, 1995, Ushio realty sent a letter to Car Cool informing the latter
that it has purchased the property from Lopez and gave it 30 days to vacate the property.
Car Cool failed to respond and continued to occupy the property. After a 15 – day
extension was given to Car Cool, Ushio realty filed an ejectment suit against the former .

The trial court ruled in favor of Ushio, ordering Car Cool to vacate the premises
and pay damages to Ushio. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling, hence
this appeal.

In their appeal, Car Cool contends that the award of damages to Ushio would
tantamount to unjust enrichment as Car Cool was not able to continue its business
operations when representative from Ushio allegedly destroyed their office tools and
equipments.

Issue:
Whether or not the damages awarded to Ushio tantamounts to unjust
enrichment.

Decision:
No. USHIO Realty, as the new owner of the property, has a right to physical
possession of the property.Since CAR COOL deprived USHIO Realty of its property, CAR
COOL should pay USHIO Realty rentals as reasonable compensation for the use and
occupation of the property.

We have held that there is unjust enrichment when a person unjustly retains a
benefit to the loss of another, or when a person retains money or property of another
against the fundamental principles of justice, equity and good conscience.Article 22 of the
Civil Code provides that [e]very person who through an act of performance by another, or
any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the
latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him. The principle of unjust
P a g e | 28
enrichment under Article 22 requires two conditions: (1) that a person is benefited without
a valid basis or justification, and (2) that such benefit is derived at another’s expense or
damage.

There is no unjust enrichment when the person who will benefit has a valid claim
to such benefit. Under Section 17 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, USHIO
Realty has the legal right to receive some amount as reasonable compensation for CAR
COOLs occupation of the property.

Elegir vs Philippine Airlines


GR No. 181995

Facts:
Petitioner Bibiano C. Elegir was hired by Philippine Airlines, Inc. as a commercial
pilot on March 16, 1971. In 1995, PAL embarked on a refleeting program and acquired
new and highly sophisticated aircrafts. Subsequently, it sent an invitation to bid to all its
flight deck crew, announcing the opening of eight B747-400 Captain positions that were
created by the refleeting program. The petitioner submitted his bid and was fortunately
awarded the same.The petitioner, together with seven other pilots, was sent for training at
Boeing in Seattle, Washington, United States of America on May 8, 1995, to acquire the
necessary skills and knowledge in handling the new aircraft. He completed his training on
September 19, 1995.

On November 5, 1996, the petitioner applied for optional retirement.In response,


PAL asked him to reconsider his decision, asseverating that the company has yet to
recover the full value of the costs of his training. It warned him that if he leaves PAL before
he has rendered service for at least three years, it shall be constrained to deduct the
costs of his training from his retirement pay.

On November 6, 1996, the petitioner went on terminal leave for thirty days and
thereafter made effective his retirement from service. Upon securing his clearance,
however, he was informed that the costs of his training will be deducted from his
retirement pay.

Elegir contends that the training cost should not be deducted from his retirement
pay as there was no agreement to that effect.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is bound to reimburse PAL the cost of his training.

Decision:
Yes. To allow the petitioner to simply leave the company without reimbursing it
for the proportionate amount of the expenses it incurred for his training will only magnify
the financial disadvantage sustained by PAL. Reason and fairness dictate that he must
return to the company a proportionate amount of the costs of his training.

PAL invested a considerable amount of money in sending the petitioner abroad


to undergo training to prepare him for his new appointment as B747-400 Captain. In the
process, the petitioner acquired new knowledge and skills which effectively enriched his
technical know-how. As all other investors, PAL expects a return on investment in the form
of service by the petitioner for a period of 3 years, which is the estimated length of time
within which the costs of the latter’s training can be fully recovered. The petitioner is, thus,
expected to work for PAL and utilize whatever knowledge he had learned from the training

P a g e | 29
for the benefit of the company. However, after only one (1) year of service, the petitioner
opted to retire from service, leaving PAL stripped of a necessary manpower.

Undeniably, the petitioner was enriched at the expense of PAL.

Article 36. Pre-judicial questions, which must be decided before any criminal
prosecution may be instituted or may proceed, shall be governed by rules of court
which the Supreme Court shall promulgate and which shall not be in conflict with
the provisions of this Code.

City of Pasig vs Commission on Elections


GR No. 125646

Facts:
Through two different ordinances, the City of Pasig created Barangays
Karangalan and Napico. Plebiscites were then scheduled for the approval of the two
proposed Barangays.

Upon learning of the ordinances, the Municipality of Cainta filed petitions with the
COMELEC to move or suspend the scheduled plebiscites since some areas covered by
the proposed barangays are included in a pending boundary dispute case involving the
two local governments.

The COMELEC ordered the suspension of the plebiscite for Barangay Karangalan,
prompting the City of Pasig to file GR No. 125646 with the Supreme Court. In its decision,
the COMELEC ruled that the boundary dispute between the two local governments poses
a prejudicial question that needs to be resolved first.

The City of Pasig opposed, arguing that it is not a prejudicial question since both
cases are civil in nature.

Issue:
Whether or not COMELEC’S postponement of the Plebiscite was proper.

Decision:
Yes. While the general rule is that prejudicial question should involve a civil and
criminal case, in the interest of good order, we can very well suspend action on one case
pending the final outcome of another case closely interrelated or linked to the first.

The boundary dispute between the Municipality of Cainta and the City of Pasig
presents a prejudicial question which must first be decided before plebiscites for the
creation of the proposed barangays may be held.

Indeed, a requisite for the creation of a barangay is for its territorial jurisdiction to
be properly identified by metes and bounds or by more or less permanent natural
boundaries. Precisely because territorial jurisdiction is an issue raised in the pending civil
case, until and unless such issue is resolved with finality, to define the territorial
jurisdiction of the proposed barangays would only be an exercise in futility. Not only that,
we would be paving the way for potentially ultra vires acts of such barangays.

Merced vs Diez
GR No.L-15315

Facts:
P a g e | 30
Abundio Merced filed a complaint for annulment of his second marriage with
Elizabeth Ceasar, alleging that defendant Elizabeth Ceasar and her relatives forced,
threatened and intimated him into signing an affidavit to the effect that he and defendant
had been living together as husband and wife for over five years, which is not true; that
this affidavit was used by defendant in securing their marriage of exceptional character,
without the need for marriage license; that he was again forced, threatened and intimated
by defendant and her relatives into entering the marriage with her on August 21, 1957.

In her answer, Cesar denies the material allegations of the complaint and avers
as affirmative defenses that neither she nor her relatives know of plaintiff's previous
marriage to Eufrocina Tan. On February 19, 1958, defendant Elizabeth Ceasar filed a
criminal complaint for bigamy against Merced.

Abundio Merced filed a motion to hold to trial of said criminal case in abeyance
until final termination of the civil case. Reason alleged for the motion is that the Civil
Action involves facts which if proved will determine the innocence of the accused.After an
opposition thereto was filed by the assistant provincial fiscal, the court granted the motion.
However, upon motion for reconsideration filed by the fiscal, the order was set aside and
another entered denying the motion of accused for suspension of the criminal
proceedings.

Issue:
Whether or not the civil case for annulment constitutes a prejudicial question that
should warrant the suspension of the criminal proceedings.

Decision:
Yes. In order that a person may be held guilty of the crime of bigamy, the second
and subsequent marriage must have all the essential elements of a valid marriage, were it
not for the subsistence of the first marriage.One of the essential elements of a valid
marriage is that the consent thereto of the contracting parties must be freely and
voluntarily given.But the question of invalidity cannot ordinarily be decided in the criminal
action for bigamy but in a civil action for annulment. Since the validity of the second
marriage, subject of the action for bigamy, cannot be determined in the criminal case and
since prosecution for bigamy does not lie unless the elements of the second marriage
appear to exist, it is necessary that a decision in a civil action to the effect that the second
marriage contains all the essentials of a marriage must first be secured.

The question of the validity of the second marriage is, therefore, a prejudicial
question, because determination of the validity of the second marriage is determinable in
the civil action and must precede the criminal action for bigamy.

In order that the petitioner be held guilty of the crime of bigamy, the marriage
which he contracted for the second time with Elizabeth Ceasar, must first be declared
valid. But its validity has been questioned in the civil action. This civil action must be
decided before the prosecution for bigamy can proceed.

LandichovsRelova
GR No. L-22579

Facts:
On February 27, 1963, petitioner was charged before the Court of First Instance
of Batangas, Branch I, presided over by respondent Judge, with the offense, of bigamy. It
was alleged in the information that petitioner "being then lawfully married to Elvira

P a g e | 31
Makatangay, which marriage has not been legally dissolved, did then and there wilfully,
unlawfully and feloniously contract a second marriage with Fe Lourdes Pasia.

On June 15, 1963, filed a third-party complaint, against the third-party defendant
Elvira Makatangay, the first spouse, praying that his marriage with the said defendant be
declared null and void, on the ground that by means of threats, force and intimidation, she
compelled him to appear and contract marriage with her.

Thereafter, petitioner moved to suspend the hearing of the criminal case pending
the decision on the question of the validity of the two marriages involved in the pending
civil suit. Respondent Judge on denied the motion for lack of merit. A motion for
reconsideration to set aside the above order was likewise denied . Hence this petition.

In his defense, petitioner cited the case of Merced vsDiez where it ruled that
validity of the second marriage must be determined beforehand in the civil action before
the criminal action can proceed.

Issue:
Whether or not the annulment case poses a prejudicial question.

Decision:
No. The situation in this case is markedly different.At the time the petitioner was
indicted for bigamy on February 27, 1963, the fact that two marriage ceremonies had been
contracted appeared to be indisputable. Then on March 15, 1963, it was the second
spouse, not petitioner who filed an action for nullity on the ground of force, threats and
intimidation. It was sometime later, on June 15, 1963, to be precise, when petitioner, as
defendant in the civil action, filed a third-party complaint against the first spouse alleging
that his marriage with her should be declared null and void on the ground of force, threats
and intimidation. As was correctly stressed in the answer of respondent Judge relying on
Viada, parties to a marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity,
only competent courts having such authority. Prior to such declaration of nullity, the
validity of the first marriage is beyond question. A party who contracts a second marriage
then assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.

CAPACITY TO ACT

Article 39. The following circumstances, among others, modify or limit capacity to
act: age, insanity, imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, penalty, prodigality,
family relations, alienage, absence, insolvency and trusteeship. The consequences
of these circumstances are governed in this Code, other codes, the Rules of Court,
and in special laws. Capacity to act is not limited on account of religious belief or
political opinion.

A married woman, twenty-one years of age or over, is qualified for all acts of civil
life, except in cases specified by law.

Mendezona vs Ozamis
GR No. 143370

Facts:
Carmen Ozamis sold to her nephews, herein petitioners, three parcels of land in
Cebu City on April 28,1989. On January 15, 1991 respondents filed a petition for

P a g e | 32
guardianship over the properties and person of Carmen as the latter was suffering from
mental infirmities due to old age.

As a consequence, a notice of lispendens was annotated in the titles of the


subject lots. Petitioner filed a petition for quieting of title of the said properties but this was
opposed by the respondents, alleging that the titles issued in favor of petitioners were
defective since the value for the consideration of the sale was unconscionable and that
Carmen was already ailing and is not in full possession of her mental faculties.

The trial court ruled in favor of the petitioners and ordered to remove the notice of
lispendens over the titles of the said properties. The Court of Appeals reversed the ruling
of the trial court, stating that the contract of sale was a simulated contract since the
petitioners failed to prove that the consideration was actually paid, and, furthermore, that
at the time of the execution of the contract the mental faculties of Carmen Ozamiz were
already seriously impaired.

Issue:
Whether or not the sale of the properties were valid.

Decision:
Yes. A person is not incapacitated to contract merely because of advanced years
or by reason of physical infirmities. Only when such age or infirmities impair her mental
faculties to such extent as to prevent her from properly, intelligently, and fairly protecting
her property rights, is she considered incapacitated. The respondents utterly failed to
show adequate proof of Carmen’s incapacity. A person is presumed to be of sound mind
at any particular time and the condition is presumed to continue to exist, in the absence of
proof to the contrary.

Catalan vs Basa
GR No. 159567

Facts:
On October 1948, Feliciano Catalan was discharged from the military service due
to schizophrenia and was declared incompetent. On September 1949 he married Corazon
Cerezo. On June 1951, he donated a piece of land to her sister Mercedes Catalan who
sold the same to her children.

In 1997, BPI, acting as guardian of Feliciano sought to nullify all of the mentioned
transactions, averring that the donation made in favor of Mercedes was void since
Feliciano was already incompetent at the time it was made.

Issue:
Whether or not the donation was valid.

Decision:
Yes. A study of the nature of schizophrenia will show that Feliciano could still be
presumed capable of attending to his property rights.It has been proven that the
administration of the correct medicine helps the patient.

From these scientific studies it can be deduced that a person suffering from
schizophrenia does not necessarily lose his competence to intelligently dispose his
property. By merely alleging the existence of schizophrenia, petitioners failed to show
substantial proof that at the date of the donation, June 16, 1951, Feliciano Catalan had
lost total control of his mental faculties.Sufficient proof of his infirmity to give consent to
P a g e | 33
contracts was only established when the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan declared
him an incompetent on December 22, 1953.

CIVIL PERSONALITY

Article 40. Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered
born for all purposes that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the
conditions specified in the following article.

Geluz vs Court of Appeals


GR No. L-16439

Facts:
Nita Villanueva was aborted three times by Antonio Geluz. Oscar Lazo, Nita’s
husband, knew of the first two abortions but did not take any steps to investigate it.

After the third abortion, he filed damages against Geluz. The trial court and the
Court of Appeals sustained the claim, prompting Geluz to file the instant petition.

Issue:
Whether or not Geluz is liable for damages.

Decision:
No, an action for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death
pertains primarily to the one injured.It is easy to see that if no action for such damages
could be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of the injuries it received, no
such right of action could derivatively accrue to its parents or heirs. In fact, even if a cause
of action did accrue on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished by its pre-
natal death, since no transmission to anyone can take place from on that lacked juridical
personality. It is no answer to invoke the provisional personality of a conceived child
(conceptus pro natohabetur) under Article 40 of the Civil Code, because that same article
expressly limits such provisional personalityby imposing the condition that the child should
be subsequently born alive: "provided it be born later with the condition specified in the
following article". In the present case, there is no dispute that the child was dead when
separated from its mother's womb.

THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES

Article 1. Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a


woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and
family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution
whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to
stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during
the marriage within the limits provided by this Code.

CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE

Ancheta vs Ancheta
GR No. 145370

Facts:
On December 6, 1992, the respondent left the conjugal home and abandoned
the petitioner and their children. On January 25, 1994, petitioner Marietta Ancheta filed a

P a g e | 34
petition with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 40, against the respondent for the
dissolution of their conjugal partnership and judicial separation of property.

On April 20, 1994, the parties executed a Compromise Agreement where some
of the conjugal properties were adjudicated to the petitioner and her eight children,
including the resort MuntingParaiso, where the petitioner decided to live later.

The respondent intended to marry again. On June 5, 1995, he filed a petition with
the Regional Trial Court for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with the petitioner on
the ground of psychological incapacity.

Although the respondent knew that the petitioner was already residing at the
resort MuntingParaiso in Bancal, Carmona, Cavite, he, nevertheless, alleged in his
petition that the petitioner was residing at No. 72 CRM Avenue corner CRM Corazon, BF
Homes, Almanza, Las Piñas, Metro Manila, "where she may be served with summons."
The clerk of court issued summons to the petitioner at the address stated in the
petition.The sheriff served the summons and a copy of the petition by substituted service
on June 6, 1995 on the petitioner’s son, Venancio Mariano B. Ancheta III, at his residence
in Bancal, Carmona, Cavite.
The petitioner failed to file an answer to the petition. The trial court declared the
petitioner in default, and allowed the respondent to adduce evidence ex-parte. The
respondent testified in his behalf and adduced documentary evidence. On July 7, 1995,
the trial court issued an Order granting the petition and declaring the marriage of the
parties void ab initio.

The petitioner filed a verified petition against the respondent .The petitioner
alleged, inter alia, that the respondent committed gross misrepresentations when he
caused the summons to be served at hr old address. According to the petitioner, the
respondent did so to deprive her of her right to be heard in the said case, and ultimately
secure a favorable judgment without any opposition thereto. The petitioner also alleged
that the respondent caused the service of the petition and summons on her by substituted
service through her married son, Venancio Mariano B. Ancheta III, a resident of Bancal,
Carmona, Cavite, where the respondent was a resident. Furthermore, Venancio M.B.
Ancheta III failed to deliver to her the copy of the petition and summons. Thus, according
to the petitioner, the order of the trial court in favor of the respondent was null and void (1)
for lack of jurisdiction over her person; and (2) due to the extrinsic fraud perpetrated by the
respondent. She further contended that there was no factual basis for the trial court’s
finding that she was suffering from psychological incapacity.

Issue:
Whether or not the court judgment was proper.

Decision:
No. A grant of annulment of marriage or legal separation by default is fraught
with the danger of collusion. Hence, in all cases for annulment, declaration of nullity of
marriage and legal separation, the prosecuting attorney or fiscal is ordered to appear on
behalf of the State for the purpose of preventing any collusion between the parties and to
take care that their evidence is not fabricated or suppressed. If the defendant-spouse fails
to answer the complaint, the court cannot declare him or her in default but instead, should
order the prosecuting attorney to determine if collusion exists between the parties. The
prosecuting attorney or fiscal may oppose the application for legal separation or
annulment through the presentation of his own evidence, if in his opinion, the proof
adduced is dubious and fabricated.

P a g e | 35
Our constitution is committed to the policy of strengthening the family as a basic social
institution. Our family law is based on the policy that marriage is not a mere contract, but a
social institution in which the State is vitally interested. The State can find no stronger
anchor than on good, solid and happy families.

People vs Borromeo
GR No. L-61873

Facts:
Elias Borromeo was charged with Parricide for killing his wife Susana Taborada.
In an effort to mitigate or lower the inflicted penalty, his counsel contended that Elias and
Susana were not married as there were no other evidence to support it aside from Elias’
testimony.

Issue:
Whether or not the marriage between Elias and Susana was valid.

Decision:
Yes. There is no better proof of marriage than the admission of the accused of
the existence of such marriage.Person living together in apparent matrimony are
presumed, in the absence of any counter presumption or evidence special to the case, to
be in fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the
parties were not what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in
constant violation of decency and law.The presumption in favor of matrimony is one of the
strongest known in law. The law presumes morality, and not immorality; marriage, and not
concubinage: legitimacy, and not bastardy. There is the presumption that persons living
together as husband and wife are married to each other.

Viuda de Dela Rosa vs. Viuda De Damian


GR No. 155733

Facts:
Josefa Delgado and GuilleromoRustia, who presented themselves as husband
and wife, both died inrestate. This petition arouse from the proceeding for the partition of
the decedents’ estates.

Josefa Delgado was a child of Felisa Delgado and Lucio Campo who were never
married. Prior to their relationship, Josefa had a relationship with a man named Ramon
Osorio whom she begot a son named Luis Delgado. Their marital status is unclear and is
in dispute. In 1917, GullermoRustia proposed marriage to Josefa but as to a marriage
really took place is still in dispute. During their life together, Guillermo had an illegitimate
child named GuillermaRustia.

The original petition for the administration of the estates of Josefa and Guillermo
was filed by Luisa Delgado, the daughter of Luis Delgado.The petition was opposed by the
sisters of Guillermo Rustia, the heirs of Guillermo Rustia’s brother and GuillermaRustia.
The opposition was grounded on the fact that Ramon Osorio and Felisa Delgado was
never married as there was no evidence presented to establish it, making Luis Delgado
illegitimate and thus, disqualifying him from inheriting a portion of the estate of Josefa.

The RTC ruled as follows:


1.Guillerma S. Rustia is hereby declared as the sole and only surviving heir of the late Dr.
Guillermo Rustia, and thus, entitled to the entire estate of the said decedent, to the
exclusion of the oppositors and the other parties hereto.
P a g e | 36
2. Petitioner and her co-claimants to the estate of the late Josefa Delgado listed in the
Petitions, and enumerated elsewhere in this Decision, are hereby declared as the only
legal heirs of the said Josefa Delgado.

The Court of Appeals overturned the Trial Court’s decision, disposing among
others that:

1.Dr. Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado Rustia to have been legally married.

2. The estate of Guillermo Rustia is entitled to the estate of Josefa Delgado.

3. The oppositors, excluding Guillerma are the legal heirs of Guillermo Rustia.

Issue:
Whether or not the estate of Guillermo Rustia is entitled to a portion of the estate
of Josefa Delgado.

Decision:
Yes. In this case, several circumstances give rise to the presumption that a valid
marriage existed between Guillermo Rustia and Josefa Delgado. Their cohabitation of
more than 50 years cannot be doubted. Their family and friends knew them to be
married.Their reputed status as husband and wife was such that even the original petition
for letters of administration filed by Luisa Delgado vda. deDanao in 1975 referred to them
as "spouses."

Petitioners failed to rebut the presumption of marriage of Guillermo Rustia and


Josefa Delgado. In this jurisdiction, every intendment of the law leans toward legitimizing
matrimony. Persons dwelling together apparently in marriage are presumed to be in fact
married. This is the usual order of things in society and, if the parties are not what they
hold themselves out to be, they would be living in constant violation of the common rules
of law and propriety. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. Always presume marriage.

Article 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.

Silverio vs Republic
GR No. 174689

Facts:
Petitioner alleged that he is a male transsexual, that is, "anatomically male but
feels, thinks and acts as a female" and that he had always identified himself with girls
since childhood.Feeling trapped in a man’s body, he consulted several doctors in the
United States. He underwent psychological examination, hormone treatment and breast
augmentation. His attempts to transform himself to a "woman" culminated on January 27,
2001 when he underwent sex reassignment surgery in Bangkok, Thailand. He was
thereafter examined by Dr. MarcelinoReysio-Cruz, Jr., a plastic and reconstruction
surgeon in the Philippines, who issued a medical certificate attesting that he had in fact
undergone the procedure.

P a g e | 37
From then on, petitioner lived as a female and was in fact engaged to be married.
He then sought to have his name in his birth certificate changed from "Rommel Jacinto" to
"Mely," and his sex from "male" to "female."

The trial court rendered a decision in favor of petitioner.The Republic of the


Philippines, thru the OSG, filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals.It alleged
that there is no law allowing the change of entries in the birth certificate by reason of sex
alteration. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of the Republic.Hence, this
petition.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is allowed to change his name and sex due to sex
reassignment.

Decision:
No. The State has an interest in the names borne by individuals and entities for
purposes of identification.A change of name is a privilege, not a right.Petitions for change
of name are controlled by statutes.A change of name does not alter one’s legal capacity or
civil status.Rather than avoiding confusion, changing petitioner’s first name for his
declared purpose may only create grave complications in the civil registry and the public
interest.

Before a person can legally change his given name, he must present proper or
reasonable cause or any compelling reason justifying such change.In addition, he must
show that he will be prejudiced by the use of his true and official name.In this case, he
failed to show, or even allege, any prejudice that he might suffer as a result of using his
true and official name.

A person’s sex is an essential factor in marriage and family relations. It is a part


of a person’s legal capacity and civil status.The words "sex," "male" and "female" as used
in the Civil Register Law and laws concerning the civil registry should therefore be
understood in their common and ordinary usage, there being no legislative intent to the
contrary. In this connection, sex is defined as "the sum of peculiarities of structure and
function that distinguish a male from a female" or "the distinction between male and
female."Female is "the sex that produces ova or bears young" and male is "the sex that
has organs to produce spermatozoa for fertilizing ova."Thus, the words "male" and
"female" in everyday understanding do not include persons who have undergone sex
reassignment. Furthermore, "words that are employed in a statute which had at the time a
well-known meaning are presumed to have been used in that sense unless the context
compels to the contrary."

For these reasons, while petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body and
appearance through the intervention of modern surgery, no law authorizes the change of
entry as to sex in the civil registry for that reason. Thus, there is no legal basis for his
petition for the correction or change of the entries in his birth certificate.

Republic vs Cagandahan
GR No. 166676

Facts:
Respondent was registered as a female in the Certificate of Live Birth but while
growing up, she developed secondary male characteristics and was diagnosed to have
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) which is a condition where persons thus afflicted
possess both male and female characteristics. She further alleged that she was
P a g e | 38
diagnosed to have clitoral hyperthropy in her early years and at age six, underwent an
ultrasound where it was discovered that she has small ovaries. At age thirteen, tests
revealed that her ovarian structures had minimized, she has stopped growing and she has
no breast or menstrual development. She then alleged that for all interests and
appearances as well as in mind and emotion, she has become a male person. Thus, she
prayed that her birth certificate be corrected such that her gender be changed from female
to male and her first name be changed from Jennifer to Jeff.

To prove her claim, respondent testified and presented the testimony of Dr.
Michael Sionzon of the Department of Psychiatry, University of the Philippines-Philippine
General Hospital. Dr. Sionzon issued a medical certificate stating that respondents
condition is known as CAH. He explained that genetically respondent is female but
because her body secretes male hormones, her female organs did not develop normally
and she has two sex organs female and male. He testified that this condition is very rare,
that respondents uterus is not fully developed because of lack of female hormones, and
that she has no monthly period. He further testified that respondents condition is
permanent and recommended the change of gender because respondent has made up
her mind, adjusted to her chosen role as male, and the gender change would be
advantageous to her.The RTC granted respondents petition.

The republic opposed and contends that respondents claimed medical condition
known as CAH does not make her a male.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent will be allowed to change her name and sex.

Decision:
Yes. Respondent undisputedly has CAH. This condition causes the early or
inappropriate appearance of male characteristics. A person, like respondent, with this
condition produces too much androgen, a male hormone.CAH is one of many conditions
that involve intersex anatomy.In deciding this case, the Supreme Court considered the
compassionate calls for recognition of the various degrees of intersex as variations which
should not be subject to outright denial. The supreme court added “In the instant case, if
we determine respondent to be a female, then there is no basis for a change in the birth
certificate entry for gender. But if we determine, based on medical testimony and scientific
development showing the respondent to be other than female, then a change in the
subjects birth certificate entry is in order.”

The court was of the view that where the person is biologically or naturally
intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would be what the individual,
like respondent, having reached the age of majority, with good reason thinks of his/her
sex. Respondent here thinks of himself as a male and considering that his body produces
high levels of male hormones there is preponderant biological support for considering him
as being male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes the gender
classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like
respondent, is fixed.

Respondent here has simply let nature take its course and has not taken
unnatural steps to arrest or interfere with what he was born with. And accordingly, he has
already ordered his life to that of a male. Respondent could have undergone treatment
and taken steps, like taking lifelong medicationto force his body into the categorical mold
of a female but he did not. He chose not to do so. Nature has instead taken its due course
in respondents development to reveal more fully his male characteristics.

P a g e | 39
Article 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:

(1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;


(2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this
Title; and
(3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting
parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take
each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of
legal age.

Beso vs Daguman
AM No. MTJ – 99 – 1211

Facts:
Respondent Judge solemnized the marriage of ZenaidaBeso and
BernarditoYman in his residence in Calbayog,Samar. However, it was not within his
jurisdiction.

Zenaida the sued judge Daguman for solemnizing marriage outside his
jurisdiction.

Issue:
Whether or not Judge Daguman was guilty of abuse of authority.

Decision:
Yes. Judges who are appointed to specific jurisdictions may officiate in weddings
only within said areas and not beyond. Where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his
court’s jurisdiction, there is a resultant irregularity in the formal requisite laid down in
Article 3, which while it may not affect the validity of the marriage, may subject the
officiating official to administrative liability.

Alcantara vs Alcantara
GR No. 167746

Facts:
RestitutoAlcantara filed for a petition for the annulment of his marriage against
respondent Rosita A. Alcantara alleging thathe and respondent, without securing the
required marriage license, went to the Manila City Hall for the purpose of looking for a
person who could arrange a marriage for them. They met a person who, for a fee,
arranged their wedding before a certain Rev. Aquilino Navarro, a Minister of the Gospel of
the CDCC BR Chapel.They got married on the same day.

Petitioner and respondent went through another marriage ceremony at the San
Jose de Manuguit Church in Tondo, Manila, on 26 March 1983. The marriage was
likewise celebrated without the parties securing a marriage license. The alleged marriage
license, procured in Carmona, Cavite, appearing on the marriage contract, is a sham, as
neither party was a resident of Carmona, and they never went to Carmona to apply for a
license with the local civil registrar of the said place.

His efforts to have his marriage annulled proved futile. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the marriage is valid?
P a g e | 40
Decision:
Yes. Issuance of a marriage license in a city or municipality, not the residence of
either of the contracting parties, and issuance of a marriage license despite the absence
of publication or prior to the completion of the 10-day period for publication are considered
mere irregularities that do not affect the validity of the marriage.

Pugeda vsTrias
GR No. L- 16925

Facts:
Petitioner Fabian Pugeda and Maria Ferrer were married on January 1916, few
years after the death of Maria’s first husband. When Maria died, petitioner claimed a part
of the former’s estate. However, defendants objected, claiming that the marriage was void
for there was no record of the marriage contract in the civil registry.

During the trial, Ricardo Ricafuente, the judge who solemnized tha marriage,
testified that after the wedding, he delivered a copy of the signed marriage contract to the
president of the sanitary division, who was charged as keeper of the civil register records.
He testified that the absence of such document might have been caused by the
president’s forgetting to record the same.

Issue:
Whether or not the absence of a copy of a marriage contract renders the
marriage of the parties void?

Decision:
No. Failure to send a copy of the marriage certificate or contract nor its absence
does not invalidate said marriage, since it does not appear that in the celebration thereof
all requisites for its validity were not present, and the forwarding of a copy of the marriage
certificate not being one of said requisites.

Republic vs Castro
GR No. 103047

Facts:
On June 24, 1970, Angelina M. Castro and Edwin F. Cardenas were married in a
civil ceremony performed by Judge Pablo M. Malvar, City Court Judge of Pasay City. The
marriage was celebrated without the knowledge of Castro's parents. Defendant Cardenas
personally attended to the processing of the documents required for the celebration of the
marriage, including the procurement of the marriage, license. In fact, the marriage contract
itself states that marriage license no. 3196182 was issued in the name of the contracting
parties on June 24, 1970 in Pasig, Metro Manila.

The couple did not immediately live together as husband and wife since the
marriage was unknown to Castro's parents.Their cohabitation lasted only for four (4)
months. Thereafter, the couple parted ways.

Desiring to follow her daughter in the United States, Castro wanted to put in
order her marital status before leaving for the States and thought of annulling her marriage
with Cardenas. She thus consulted a lawyer, Atty. Frumencio E. Pulgar, regarding the
possible annulment of her marriage. Through her lawyer's efforts, they discovered that
there was no marriage license issued to Cardenas prior to the celebration of their
marriage.
P a g e | 41
During the pendency of the annulment case, Castro presented a certification of
no marriage license and testified that she did not apply for any.

The trial court denied the petition.Unsatisfied with the decision, Castro appealed
to respondent appellate court.Respondent appellate court reversed the Decision of the
trial court. It declared the marriage between the contracting parties null and void and
directed the Civil Registrar of Pasig to cancel the subject marriage contract.

Petitioner Republic of the Philippines urges that respondent appellate court erred
when it ruled that the certification issued by the civil registrar that marriage license no.
3196182 was not in their record adequately proved that no such license was ever issued.
Petitioner also faults the respondent court for relying on the self-serving and
uncorroborated testimony of private respondent Castro that she had no part in the
procurement of the subject marriage license. Petitioner thus insists that the certification
and the uncorroborated testimony of private respondent are insufficient to overthrow the
legal presumption regarding the validity of a marriage.

Issue:
Whether or not Castro’s uncorroborated testimony is insufficient to overthrow the
presumption of marriage validity.

Decision:
No. The fact that private respondent Castro offered only her testimony in support
of her petition is, in itself, not a ground to deny her petition. The failure to offer any other
witness to corroborate her testimony is mainly due to the peculiar circumstances of the
case. It will be remembered that the subject marriage was a civil ceremony performed by
a judge of a city court. The subject marriage is one of those commonly known as a "secret
marriage" — a legally non-existent phrase but ordinarily used to refer to a civil marriage
celebrated without the knowledge of the relatives and/or friends of either or both of the
contracting parties. The records show that the marriage between Castro and Cardenas
was initially unknown to the parents of the former.

Surely, the fact that only private respondent Castro testified during the trial
cannot be held against her.

Article 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the
laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such,
shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4),
(5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.

Republic vs Orbecido
GR No. 154380

Facts:
Cipriano’s wife became a naturalized American Citizen and subsequently
obtained a divorce decree and remarried an American citizen. Upon learning of the
divorce, Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry
invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. No opposition was filed. Finding

P a g e | 42
merit in the petition, the court granted the same. The Republic, herein petitioner, through
the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was denied.

In this petition,The OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family


Code is not applicable to the instant case because it only applies to a valid mixed
marriage; that is, a marriage celebrated between a Filipino citizen and an alien. The
proper remedy, according to the OSG, is to file a petition for annulment or for legal
separation.

Issue:
Whether or not Cipriano is allowed to remarry.

Decision:
Yes. Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include cases involving
parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later
on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree.
The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a
foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. To rule otherwise would be to
sanction absurdity and injustice. Where the interpretation of a statute according to its
exact and literal import would lead to mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose
of the legislature, it should be construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding as
far as necessary the letter of the law. A statute may therefore be extended to cases not
within the literal meaning of its terms, so long as they come within its spirit or intent.

Garcia-Recio vs Recio
GR No. 138322

Facts:
Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian
citizen, in Malabon, Rizal, on March 1, 1987. They lived together as husband and wife in
Australia. On May 18, 1989, a decree of divorce, purportedly dissolving the marriage, was
issued by an Australian family court.

On June 26, 1992, respondent became an Australian citizen, as shown by a


Certificate of Australian Citizenship issued by the Australian government. Petitioner and
respondent were married on January 12, 1994. In their application for a marriage license,
respondent was declared as single and Filipino.

On March 3, 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of


Marriage in the court a quo, on the ground of bigamy. Respondent allegedly had a prior
subsisting marriage at the time he married her on January 12, 1994. She claimed that she
learned of respondent’s marriage to Editha Samson only in November, 1997.

In his Answer, respondent averred that, as far back as 1993, he had revealed to
petitioner his prior marriage and its subsequent dissolution.He contended that his first
marriage to an Australian citizen had been validly dissolved by a divorce decree obtained
in Australia in 1989;thus, he was legally capacitated to marry petitioner in 1994.

The trial court declared the marriage dissolved on the ground that the divorce
issued in Australia was valid and recognized in the Philippines.Hence, this Petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the divorce obtained by Roderick in Australia is recognized in the
Philippines.
P a g e | 43
Decision:
No. Before a foreign judgment is given presumptive evidentiary value, the
document must first be presented and admitted in evidence.A divorce obtained abroad is
proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best evidence of a judgment is the
judgment itself.The decree purports to be a written act or record of an act of an official
body or tribunal of a foreign country.

Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, on the other hand, a writing or document
may be proven as a public or official record of a foreign country by either (1) an official
publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the
document. If the record is not kept in the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied
by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign
service stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated
by the seal of his office.

The divorce decree between respondent and Editha Samson appears to be an authentic
one issued by an Australian family court.However, appearance is not sufficient;
compliance with the aforementioned rules on evidence must be demonstrated.

Corpuz vs Santo Tomas


GR No. 186571
Ponente: Justice Arturo Brion

Facts:
Gerbert R. Corpuz was a former Filipino citizen who acquired Canadian
citizenship through naturalization. On January 18, 2005, Gerbert married respondent
Daisylyn T. Sto. Tomas, a Filipina, in Pasig City.Due to work and other professional
commitments, Gerbert left for Canada soon after the wedding. He returned to the
Philippines sometime in April 2005 to surprise Daisylyn, but was shocked to discover that
his wife was having an affair with another man. Hurt and disappointed, Gerbert returned to
Canada and filed a petition for divorce. The Superior Court of Justice, Windsor, Ontario,
Canada granted Gerberts petition for divorce on December 8, 2005.

Two years after the divorce,Gerbert wanted to marry another Filipina. As a result,
he caused the divorce decree to be registered in the civil registry of Pasig City but it was
refused since the foreign divorce decree must first be judicially recognized by a competent
Philippine court, pursuant to NSO Circular No. 4, series of 1982.

Accordingly, Gerbert filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce


and/or declaration of marriage as dissolved with the RTC.The RTC denied Gerberts
petition. The RTC concluded that Gerbert was not the proper party to institute the action
for judicial recognition of the foreign divorce decree as he is a naturalized Canadian
citizen. It ruled that only the Filipino spouse can avail of the remedy, under the second
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, in order for him or her to be able to remarry
under Philippine law.

Issue:
Whether or not the right to judicial recognition of divorce is also granted to foreign
citizens.

Decision:
Yes. While the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code bestows no
rights in favor of aliens with the complementary statement that this conclusion is not
P a g e | 44
sufficient basis to dismiss Gerberts petition before the RTC. In other words, the
unavailability of the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code to aliens does not
necessarily strip Gerbert of legal interest to petition the RTC for the recognition of his
foreign divorce decree.

Direct involvement or being the subject of the foreign judgment is sufficient to


clothe a party with the requisite interest to institute an action before our courts for the
recognition of the foreign judgment.

MARRIAGES EXEMPTED FROM LICENSE REQUIREMENT

Article 34. No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman
who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any
legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the
foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer
oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained the
qualifications of the contracting parties are found no legal impediment to the
marriage.

Ninal vs Bayadog
GR No. 133778

Facts:
PepitoNial was married to TeodulfaBellones on September 26, 1974. Out of their
marriage were born herein petitioners. Teodulfa was shot by Pepito resulting in her death
on April 24, 1985. One year and 8 months thereafter or on December 11, 1986, Pepito
and respondent Norma Badayog got married without any marriage license.In lieu thereof,
Pepito and Norma executed an affidavit dated December 11, 1986 stating that they had
lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and were thus exempt from
securing a marriage license. On February 19, 1997, Pepito died in a car accident. After
their father’s death, petitioners filed a petition for declaration of nullity of the marriage of
Pepito to Norma alleging that the said marriage was void for lack of a marriage license.

Issue:
Whether or not the marriage between Pepito and Norma is valid.

Decision:
No. Working on the assumption that Pepito and Norma have lived together as
husband and wife for five years without the benefit of marriage, that five-year period
should be computed on the basis of a cohabitation as "husband and wife" where the only
missing factor is the special contract of marriage to validate the union. In other words, the
five-year common-law cohabitation period, which is counted back from the date of
celebration of marriage, should be a period of legal union had it not been for the absence
of the marriage. This 5-year period should be the years immediately before the day of the
marriage and it should be a period of cohabitation characterized by exclusivity meaning no
third party was involved at any time within the 5 years and continuity that is unbroken.
Otherwise, if that continuous 5-year cohabitation is computed without any distinction as to
whether the parties were capacitated to marry each other during the entire five years, then
the law would be sanctioning immorality and encouraging parties to have common law
relationships and placing them on the same footing with those who lived faithfully with
their spouse. Marriage being a special relationship must be respected as such and its
requirements must be strictly observed. The presumption that a man and a woman
deporting themselves as husband and wife is based on the approximation of the
requirements of the law. The parties should not be afforded any excuse to not comply with
P a g e | 45
every single requirement and later use the same missing element as a pre-conceived
escape ground to nullify their marriage. There should be no exemption from securing a
marriage license unless the circumstances clearly fall within the ambit of the exception.

In this case, at the time of Pepito and respondents marriage, it cannot be said
that they have lived with each other as husband and wife for at least five years prior to
their wedding day. From the time Pepitos first marriage was dissolved to the time of his
marriage with respondent, only about twenty months had elapsed. Even assuming that
Pepito and his first wife had separated in fact, and thereafter both Pepito and respondent
had started living with each other that has already lasted for five years, the fact remains
that their five-year period cohabitation was not the cohabitation contemplated by law. It
should be in the nature of a perfect union that is valid under the law but rendered
imperfect only by the absence of the marriage contract. Pepito had a subsisting marriage
at the time when he started cohabiting with respondent. It is immaterial that when they
lived with each other, Pepito had already been separated in fact from his lawful spouse.
The subsistence of the marriage even where there was actual severance of the filial
companionship between the spouses cannot make any cohabitation by either spouse with
any third party as being one as "husband and wife".

Article 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:

(1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the
consent of parents or guardians;
(2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages
unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good
faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;

(3) Those solemnized without license, except those covered the preceding Chapter;

(4) Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not failing under Article 41;

(5) Those contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of
the other; and

(6) Those subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53.

Jarillo vs People
GR No. 164435
Ponente: Justice Diosdado Peralta

Facts:
Jarillo was charged with Bigamy. Thereafter, she filed for the declaration of nullity
of her first marriage.

Jarillo was found guilty of Bigamy. Pending the appeal of the Bigamy case, the
RTC granted her petition for annulment. She then moved for the reversal of the judgment
in the bigamy case, invoking that the declaration of nullity as a ground for the reversal of
her conviction.

Issue:
Whether or not the subsequent decree of annulment obtained by Jarillo is a
ground for her acquittal in the bigamy case.

Decision:
P a g e | 46
No. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of marriage cannot be
considered a valid defense in the crime of bigamy. The moment petitioner contracted a
second marriage without the previous one having been judicially declared null and void,
the crime of bigamy was already consummated because at the time of the celebration of
the second marriage.

Tenebro vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 150758
Ponente: Justice Consuelo Ynares - Santiago

Facts:
VeronicoTenebro, contracted marriage with private complainant Leticia Ancajas
on April 10, 1990. The two were wed by Judge Alfredo B. Perez, Jr. of the City Trial Court
of Lapu-lapu City. Tenebro and Ancajas lived together continuously and without
interruption until the latter part of 1991, when Tenebro informed Ancajas that he had been
previously married to a certain Hilda Villareyes on November 10, 1986. Tenebro showed
Ancajas a photocopy of a marriage contract between him and Villareyes. Invoking this
previous marriage, petitioner thereafter left the conjugal dwelling which he shared with
Ancajas, stating that he was going to cohabit with Villareyes.

On January 25, 1993, petitioner contracted yet another marriage, this one with a
certain Nilda Villegas. When Ancajas learned of this third marriage, she verified from
Villareyes whether the latter was indeed married to petitioner. In a handwritten letter,
Villareyes confirmed that petitioner, VeronicoTenebro, was indeed her husband.

Ancajas thereafter filed a complaint for bigamy against Veronico.


During the trial, petitioner admitted having cohabited with Villareyes from 1984-1988, with
whom he sired two children. However, he denied that he and Villareyes were validly
married to each other, claiming that no marriage ceremony took place to solemnize their
union.He alleged that he signed a marriage contract merely to enable her to get the
allotment from his office in connection with his work as a seaman. He further testified that
he requested his brother to verify from the Civil Register in Manila whether there was any
marriage at all between him and Villareyes, but there was no record of said marriage.

On November 10, 1997, the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-lapu City, Branch 54,
rendered a decision finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
bigamy under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Petitioner argues that the declaration of the nullity of the second marriage on the
ground of psychological incapacity, which is an alleged indicator that his marriage to
Ancajas lacks the essential requisites for validity, retroacts to the date on which the
second marriage was celebrated.Hence, petitioner argues that all four of the elements of
the crime of bigamy are absent, and prays for his acquittal.

Issue:
Whether or not the effect of the judicial declaration of the nullity of a second or
subsequent marriage, on the ground of psychological incapacity, retroacts to the
celebration of marriage.

Decision:
No. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of
psychological incapacity does not retroact to the date of the celebration of the marriage
insofar as the Philippines’ penal laws are concerned. As such, an individual who contracts
P a g e | 47
a second or subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a valid marriage is criminally
liable for bigamy, notwithstanding the subsequent declaration that the second marriage is
void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity.

Bienvinido vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 111717
Ponente: Justice Vicente Mendoza

Facts:
Aurelio P. Camacho married Consejo Velasco in Manila on October 3, 1942. On
February 6, 1962, without his marriage to Consejo Velasco being dissolved, Aurelio P.
Camacho contracted another marriage with respondent Luisita C. Camacho. At that time,
Aurelio had already abandoned Consejo.

In 1967, Aurelio met NenitaBienvinido and the two cohabited until Aurelio’s death
in 1988.

In 1982, Aurelio bought the house and the lot in which they were staying and sold
it to Nenita.When Aurelio died, Luisita seeks to annul the sale of the subject property,
contending that the same belongs to the conjugal property.

The trial court ruled in favor of Nenita. The Court of Appeals however revered the
ruling. In its decision, the Court of Appeals said that Aurelio's first wife must be presumed
to have been absent for seven years without Aurelio having news of her being alive.

Issue:
Whether or not the sale is valid.

Decision:
Yes. Nenita was a buyer in good faith as she did not know of Aurelio’s marriage
to Luisita.

In regards to the absence of Aurelio’s first wife, the proof of existence of a


circumstance that would warrant the declaration of absence lies on Luisita but she failed
to do so.

Moreover, the declaration of absence for the purpose of remarriage is for the
benefit of the abandoned spouse, not the deserting one. Apparently it was Aurelio who
had left his first wife. At the time of his second marriage to Luisita, he and Luisita had
already been living together as husband and wife for five years.

What applies in this case, therefore, is the general rule, i.e., since Aurelio had a
valid, subsisting marriage to ConsejoVelaso, his subsequent marriage to respondent
Luisita was void for being bigamous.

Consequently, there is no basis for holding that the property in question was property of
the conjugal partnership of Luisita and the late Aurelio because there was no such
partnership in the first place.

Article 36. 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 becomes manifest only
after its solemnization.
P a g e | 48
Santos vs Court of Appeals
GR No. 112019
Ponente: Justice Jose Vitug

Facts:
Leouel met Julia in Iloilo and the two got married in 1986. Leouel and Julia lived
with the latter's parents at the J. Bedia Compound, La Paz, Iloilo City.

The ecstasy, however, did not last long because of the frequent interference by
Julia's parents into the young spouses family affairs. Occasionally, the couple would also
start a "quarrel" over a number of other things, like when and where the couple should
start living independently from Julia's parents or whenever Julia would express resentment
on Leouel's spending a few days with his own parents.

On 18 May 1988, Julia finally left for the United Sates of America to work as a
nurse despite Leouel's pleas to so dissuade her. Seven months after her departure, or on
01 January 1989, Julia called up Leouel for the first time by long distance telephone. She
promised to return home upon the expiration of her contract in July 1989. She never did.
When Leouel got a chance to visit the United States, where he underwent a training
program under the auspices of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from 01 April up to 25
August 1990, he desperately tried to locate, or to somehow get in touch with, Julia but all
his efforts were of no avail.

Having failed to get Julia to somehow come home, Leouel filed for the nullity of
his marriage to Julia on the grounds of Psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the
family code.

The RTC dismissed Leouel’s complaint. Leouel appealed to the Court of


Appeals. The latter affirmed the decision of the trial court.Hence this petition.

Leouel argues that the failure of Julia to return home, or at the very least to
communicate with him, for more than five years are circumstances that clearly show her
being psychologically incapacitated to enter into married life.

Issue:
Whether or not Julia’s failure to return home constitutes psychological incapacity.

Decision:
No. Psychological incapacity 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.

Psychological incapacity should refer to no less than a mental 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, as so expressed
by Article 68 of the Family Code, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe
love, respect and fidelity and render help and support. 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 intensitivity

P a g e | 49
or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. This pschologic condition
must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated.

Hernandez vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 126010
Ponente: Justice Vicente Mendoza

Facts:
Petitioner and private respondent met in 1977 at the Philippine Christian
University in Dasmarias, Cavite. Petitioner, who is five years older than private
respondent, was then in her first year of teaching zoology and botany. Private respondent,
a college freshman, was her student for two consecutive semesters. They became
sweethearts inFebruary 1979 whenshe was no longer private respondents teacher. On
January 1, 1981, they were married.

From 1983 up to 1986, private respondent could not find a stable job so it was
agreed that he would help petitioner in her businesses by delivering orders to customers.
However, because her husband was a spendthrift and a womanizer, petitioner’s business
suffered.

Respondent had a short term employment at Reynold’s Philippines but during his
employment, his smoking, drinking, gambling and womanizing became worse.

Private respondent engaged in extreme promiscuous conduct during the latter


part of 1986. As a result, private respondent contracted gonorrhea and infected petitioner.
On July 10, 1992, petitioner filed before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 18, Tagaytay
City, a petition seeking the annulment of her marriage to private respondent on the ground
of psychological incapacity of the latter.

During the trial, petitioner presented her childhood friend and colleague as
witness. The trial court dismissed the petition, stating that the circumstances mentioned by
the petitioner in support of her claim that respondent was psychologically incapacitated to
marry her are among the grounds cited by the law as valid reasons for the grant of legal
separation under Article 55 of the Family Code - not as grounds for a declaration of nullity
of marriages or annulment thereof.

The Court of Appeals sustained the trial court’s ruling. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent’s acts of womanizing, gambling, smoking and
drinking constitutes psychological incapacity.

Decision:
No. Other than her self-serving declarations, petitioner failed to establish the fact
that at the time they were married, private respondent was suffering from a psychological
defect which in fact deprived him of the ability to assume the essential duties of marriage
and its concomitant responsibilities.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. Moreover, expert testimony should have been presented to
establish the precise cause of private respondents psychological incapacity, if any, in
order to show that it existed at the inception of the marriage.

P a g e | 50
Tsi Ming Choi vs Court of Appeals
GR No.119190
Ponente: Justice Justo Torres

Facts:
Petitioner Chi Ming Tsoi married respondent Gina Lao-Tsoi on Mayu 1988. Ten
months into their marriage, the couple never had sexual intercourse. Respondent alleged
that after their wedding, the petitioner, instead of making love with her, just turned his back
and went to sleep. In addition to that, she also alleged that after one week of their
marriage, respondent exerted efforts to have their honeymoon and went to Baguio. During
their stay in Baguio, there was no sexual intercourse as petitioner would only take a long
walk or sleep on a rocking chair during siesta.

Both parties underwent physical examinations and it was revealed that


respondent was healthy, however, her husband’s record remained confidential.
Respondent alleged that her husband I impotent and a closet homosexual. For his part,
defendant insisted on the validity of his marriage and that he was not impotent.

The trial court rendered their marriage void. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
decision. Hence, this appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner’s refusal to have sex with the respondent tantamount to
psychological incapacity?

Decision:
Yes. Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the family code is to
procreate based on the principle that procreation through sexual intercourse is the basic
end of marriage.

In the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal to fulfill the above marital
obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.

Republic vs Court of Appeals and Molina


GR No. 108763
Ponente: Justice Artemio Panganiban

Facts:
Roridel O. Molina filed verified petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to
Reynaldo Molina. Essentially, the petition alleged that Roridel and Reynaldo were married
on April 14, 1985 at the San Agustin Church4 in Manila.

After a year of marriage, Reynaldo showed signs of "immaturity and


irresponsibility" as a husband and a father since he preferred to spend more time with his
peers and friends on whom he squandered his money.

He depended on his parents for aid and assistance, and was never honest with
his wife in regard to their finances, resulting in frequent quarrels between them.Sometime
in February 1986, Reynaldo was relieved of his job in Manila, and since then Roridel had
been the sole breadwinner of the family. In October 1986 the couple had a very intense
quarrel, as a result of which their relationship was estranged.

P a g e | 51
In March 1987, Roridel resigned from her job in Manila and went to live with her
parents in Baguio City and a few weeks later, Reynaldo left Roridel and their child, and
had since then abandoned them.

Evidence for herein respondent wife consisted of her own testimony and that of
her friends Rosemarie Ventura and Maria Leonora Padilla as well as of Ruth G. Lalas, a
social worker, and of Dr. Teresita Hidalgo-Sison, a psychiatrist of the Baguio General
Hospital and Medical Center.

On May 14, 1991, the trial court rendered judgment declaring the marriage void.
The appeal of petitioner was denied by the Court of Appeals which affirmed in toto the
RTC's decision. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not Roridel’s evidence is sufficient to make a case out of Reynaldo’s
psychological incapacity.

Decision:
No. The evidence adduced by respondent merely showed that she and her
husband could not get along with each other. There had been no showing of the gravity of
the problem; neither its juridical antecedence nor its incurability. The expert testimony of
Dr. Sison showed no incurable psychiatric disorder but only incompatibility, not
psychological incapacity.

In the case of Reynaldo, there is no showing that his alleged personality traits
were constitutive of psychological incapacity existing at the time of marriage celebration.
While some effort was made to prove that there was a failure to fulfill pre-nuptial
impressions of "thoughtfulness and gentleness" on Reynaldo's part of being "conservative,
homely and intelligent" on the part of Roridel, such failure of expectation is not indicative
of antecedent psychological incapacity. If at all, it merely shows love's temporary
blindness to the faults and blemishes of the beloved.

The following guidelines in the interpretation and application of Art. 36 of the


Family Code are hereby handed down for the guidance of the bench and the bar:

(1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff.
Any doubt should be resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage
and against its dissolution and nullity. This is rooted in the fact that both our Constitution
and our laws cherish the validity of marriage and unity of the family.

(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. The evidence must show that the illness was existing when the parties
exchanged their "I do's." The manifestation of the illness need not be perceivable at such
time, but the illness itself must have attached at such moment, or prior thereto.

(4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or


incurable. Such incurability may be absolute or even relative only in regard to the other
spouse, not necessarily absolutely against everyone of the same sex. Furthermore, such
incapacity must be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations, not necessarily to
those not related to marriage, like the exercise of a profession or employment in a job.
P a g e | 52
Hence, a pediatrician may be effective in diagnosing illnesses of children and prescribing
medicine to cure them but may not be psychologically capacitated to procreate, bear and
raise his/her own children as an essential obligation of marriage.

(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to
assume the essential obligations of marriage. Thus, "mild characteriological peculiarities,
mood changes, occasional emotional outbursts" cannot be accepted as root causes. The
illness must be shown as downright incapacity or inability, nor a refusal, neglect or
difficulty, much less ill will. In other words, there is a natal or supervening disabling factor
in the person, 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.

(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, 221 and 225
of the same Code in regard to parents and their children. Such non-complied marital
obligation(s) must also be stated in the petition, proven by evidence and included in the
text of the decision.

(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.

(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor
General to appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall he handed down unless the
Solicitor General issues a certification, which will be quoted in the decision, briefly staring
therein his reasons for his agreement or opposition, as the case may be, to the petition.
The Solicitor General, along with the prosecuting attorney, shall submit to the court such
certification within fifteen (15) days from the date the case is deemed submitted for
resolution of the court.

Yambao vs Republic
GR No. 184063
Ponente: Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura

Facts:
Petitioner Cynthia Yambao filed a petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage
with respondent Patricio Yambao.

In her complaint, petitioner averred that through all the years of their married life,
she was the only one who earned a living and took care of the children. Respondent, she
alleged, did nothing but eat and sleep all day, and spend time with friends. When
respondent would find a job, he would not be able to stay in it for long. Likewise,
respondent went into several business ventures, which all failed. In addition, respondent
loved to gamble and would gamble away whatever money would come his way.

Later, respondent became insecure and jealous and would get mad every time
he would see petitioner talking to other people, even to her relatives. When respondent
started threatening to kill petitioner, she decided to leave the conjugal abode and live
separately from him.

She then consulted a psychiatrist who concluded that respondent was indeed
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations.

P a g e | 53
On February 9, 2007, the RTC rendered a decisiondismissing the petition for lack
of merit.The court said that, even as petitioner claimed to be unhappy in the marriage, it is
incontrovertible that the union lasted for over thirty years and the parties were able to raise
three children into adulthood without suffering any major parenting problems.

The RTC recognized that respondent did indeed have many faults, such as his
indolence and utter irresponsibility. However, the RTC said, respondents failure to find
decent work was due to his not having obtained a college degree and his lack of other
qualifications. Likewise, respondents failure in business could not be entirely attributed to
him, since petitioner was a business partner in some of these ventures.

The RTC decision was upheld by the Court of Appeals, hence this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent is psychologically incapacitated to perform the
essential marital obligations.

Decision:
No. In this case, there is no showing that respondent was suffering from a
psychological condition so severe that he was unaware of his obligations to his wife and
family. On the contrary, respondents efforts, though few and far between they may be,
showed an understanding of his duty to provide for his family, albeit he did not meet with
much success. Whether his failure was brought about by his own indolence or
irresponsibility, or by some other external factors, is not relevant. What is clear is that
respondent, in showing an awareness to provide for his family, even with his many
failings, does not suffer from psychological incapacity.

Marcos vs Marcos
GR No. 136490
Ponente: Justice Artemio Panganiban

Facts:
Petitioner and respondent were married and were both members of the
Philippine Army. After the EDSA revolution, they requested for separation from service.
From the time they got separated from service, Wilson never engaged in any gainful
employment. He would beat her up whenever he is told to look for some. He would also
force hr o have sex with him despite her weariness. He would also beat their children.
They lived separately since 1992.

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.

On August 1995, she together with her two sisters and driver, went to him at the
Bliss unit in Mandaluyong to look for their missing child, Niko. 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 filed a petition for nullity of marriage due to psychological incapacity. Only
her underwent a psychological evaluation. During the trial, the petitioner presented the
psychological report, the testimonies of their children, her sister and social worker.

P a g e | 54
Brenda’s petition was granted by the RTC but was reversed by the Court of
Appeals, saying that respondent’s incapacity was not medically and clinically established.
Hence, this petition.

In this petition, petitioner contends that the personal medical or psychological


examination of respondent is not a requirement for a declaration of psychological
incapacity.

Issue:
Whether or not the totality of the evidence presented is enough o sustain a
finding of respondent’s psychological incapacity.

Decision:
No. The totality of the evidence she presented does not show such incapacity.
The guidelines do not require that a physician examine the person to be declared
psychologically incapacitated. What is important is the presence of evidence that can
adequately establish the party's psychological condition. For indeed, if the totality of
evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, then actual
medical examination of the person concerned need not be resorted to.

Republic vs Iyoy
GR No. 152577
Ponente: Justice Minita Chico – Nazario

Facts:
Respondent Crasus married Fely on 16 December 1961. In 1984, Fely left the
Philippines for the United States of America. Sometime in 1985, respondent Crasus
learned, through the letters sent by Fely to their children, that Fely got married to an
American, with whom she eventually had a child. In 1987, Fely came back to the
Philippines with her American family. Respondent Crasus did not bother to talk to Fely
because he was afraid he might not be able to bear the sorrow and the pain she had
caused him. Fely returned to the Philippines several times more: in 1990, for the wedding
of their eldest child, Crasus, Jr.; in 1992, for the brain operation of their fourth child,
Calvert; and in 1995, for unknown reasons. Fely continued to live with her American family
in New Jersey, U.S.A. She had been openly using the surname of her American husband
in the Philippines and in the U.S.A. For the wedding of Crasus, Jr., Fely herself had
invitations made in which she was named as "Mrs. Fely Ada Micklus."

Crasus filed for the declaration of his marriage to Fely due to psychological
incapacity, stating that Fely’s acts brought danger and dishonor to the family, and clearly
demonstrated her psychological incapacity to perform the essential obligations of
marriage.

Respondent Crasus submitted the following pieces of evidence in support of his


Complaint:
a. his own testimony
b. the marriage contract between him and Fely.
c. the invitation to the wedding of Crasus, Jr., their eldest son, wherein Fely openly
used her American husband’s surname, Micklus.

The RTC granted Crasus’ petition. The republic appealed the decision to the Court of
Appeals which sustained the decision. Hence, this appeal.
P a g e | 55
Issue:
Whether or not the acts of Fely is a manifestation of Psychologiocal Incapacity.

Decision:

No. The totality of evidence presented by respondent Crasus failed miserably to


establish the alleged psychological incapacity of his wife Fely; therefore, there is no basis
for declaring their marriage null and void under Article 36 of the Family Code of the
Philippines.

The only substantial evidence presented by respondent Crasus before the RTC was his
testimony, which can be easily put into question for being self-serving, in the absence of
any other corroborating evidence. He submitted only two other pieces of evidence: (1) the
Certification on the recording with the Register of Deeds of the Marriage Contract between
respondent Crasus and Fely, such marriage being celebrated on 16 December 1961; and
(2) the invitation to the wedding of Crasus, Jr., their eldest son, in which Fely used her
American husband’s surname. Even considering the admissions made by Fely herself in
her Answer to respondent Crasus’s Complaint filed with the RTC, the evidence is not
enough to convince this Court that Fely had such a grave mental illness that prevented
her from assuming the essential obligations of marriage.

The evidence may have proven that Fely committed acts that hurt and
embarrassed respondent Crasus and the rest of the family. Her hot-temper, nagging, and
extravagance; her abandonment of respondent Crasus; her marriage to an American; and
even her flaunting of her American family and her American surname, may indeed be
manifestations of her alleged incapacity to comply with her marital obligations;
nonetheless, the root cause for such was not identified. If the root cause of the incapacity
was not identified, then it cannot be satisfactorily established as a psychological or mental
defect that is serious or grave; neither could it be proven to be in existence at the time of
celebration of the marriage; nor that it is incurable.

Tongol vs Tongol
GR No. 157610
Ponente: Justice Ma. Alicia Austria – Martinez

Facts:

Orlando and Filipinas were married on August 27, 1967. On August 19, 1996,
Orlando filed before the RTC of Makati City a verified petition for the declaration of nullity
of his marriage with Filipinas on the ground that the latter is psychologically incapacitated
to comply with her essential marital obligations.

In his Petition, Orlando contended that:


a. Filipinas, even at the early stages of their marriage, already treated Orlando with
contempt and without the love and respect due him as her husband.
b. when Orlando started a junk shop business, Filipinas ridiculed him instead of
giving him encouragement.
c. When his business became successful and he was able to embark upon another
business venture, he put up a pharmaceutical company which also became
profitable and Filipinas then became interested and began to interfere in the
operation of the business.

P a g e | 56
d. she also resented the fact that her husband got along well with the employees,
as a result, she quarreled with her husband causing the latter embarrassment.

Evidence for Orlando consisted of his own testimony, that of his sister, Angelina
Tongol, and of Annaliza Guevara, an employee in the pharmaceutical company owned by
the spouses Tongol. Orlando also presented Dr. Cecilia Villegas, a psychiatrist who
conducted a psychological examination of both parties.

The psychological report o Dr. Villegas contain the following:

1. Mrs. Filipinas Mendoza-Tongol belonged to a matriarchal family where the


mother assumed a more active and dominant role. She was left to the care of her
aunt and developed a basic feeling of rejection.
2. The only college graduate among 7 children her operating intellectual ability is
low-average. Sudden change overwhelmed her. When seized by an impulse, she
is likely to give way, even minor pressures upset her and when this happens,
emotional control could not be relied upon.
3. In marriage when her husband shows good relationship with their employees,
especially with females, she became suspicious, jealous, and threatened, and
this is related to her basic feelings of rejection in early life.
4. On June 30, 1999, the RTC of Makati City, Branch 149, rendered a Decision
dismissing the petition.
5. On appeal, the CA affirmed, in toto, the Decision of the RTC.

Issue:
Whether or not the psychological report of Dr.Villegas finding that respondent
has an inadequate personality disorder renders her psychologically incapacitated to
perform the essential marital obligations.

Decision:
No. First, Dr. Villegas failed to link respondent's personality disorder to her
conclusion that respondent is psychologically incapacitated to perform her obligations as
wife and mother. The Court cannot see how respondent's personality disorder which,
according to Dr. Villegas, is inextricably linked to her feelings of rejection, would render
her unaware of the essential marital obligations, or to borrow the terms used in Santos, "to
be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed
and discharged by the parties to the marriage." What has been established in the instant
case is that, by reason of her feelings of inadequacy and rejection, respondent not only
encounters a lot of difficulty but even refuses to assume some of her obligations towards
her husband, such as respect, help and support for him. However, this Court has ruled
that psychological incapacity must be more than just a "difficulty," a "refusal" or a "neglect"
in the performance of some marital obligations.

Second, Dr. Villegas also failed to fully and satisfactorily explain if the personality disorder
of respondent is grave enough to bring about her disability to assume the essential
obligations of marriage.

Third, there is no evidence that such incapacity is incurable. Neither in her written
evaluation nor in her testimony did Dr. Villegas categorically and conclusively characterize
respondent's inadequate personality disorder as permanent or incurable. Dr. Villegas was
not sure of the permanence or incurability of respondent's illness.

P a g e | 57
Fourth, the psychological incapacity considered under Article 36 of the Family Code is not
meant to comprehend all possible cases of psychoses. The fourth guideline
in Molina requires that the psychological incapacity as understood under Article 36 of the
Family Code must be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations, not necessarily
to those not related to marriage, like the exercise of a profession or employment in a job.
In the present case, the testimonies of both petitioner and respondent as well as the other
witnesses regarding the spouses' differences and misunderstanding basically revolve
around and are limited to their disagreement regarding the management of their
business.

Fifth, marital obligation includes not only a spouse's obligation to the other spouse but also
one's obligation toward their children. In the present case, no evidence was presented to
show that respondent had been remiss in performing her obligations toward their children
as enumerated in Article 220 of the Family Code.

Te vs Te
GR No. 161783
Ponente: Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura

Facts:
Kenneth and Rowena meet each other in a gathering in their college.

Sharing similar angst towards their families, the two understood one another and
developed a certain degree of closeness towards each other. In March 1996, or around
three months after their first meeting, Rowena asked Edward that they elope. At first, he
refused, bickering that he was young and jobless. Her persistence, however, made him
relent. Thus, they left Manila and sailed to Cebu.

Their financial struggles in Cebu prompted them to go back to Manila. Rowena


proceeded to her uncle’s house and Edward to his parents’ home. As his family was
abroad, and Rowena kept on telephoning him, threatening him that she would commit
suicide, Edward agreed to stay with Rowena at her uncle’s place.

Rowena’s uncle brought the two to a court to get married. The two then
continued to stay at her uncle’s place where Edward was treated like a prisoner—he was
not allowed to go out unaccompanied. Her uncle also showed Edward his guns and
warned the latter not to leave Rowena.

After a month, Edward escaped from the house of Rowena’s uncle, and stayed
with his parents. His family then hid him from Rowena and her family whenever they
telephoned to ask for him. Thereafter, Edward was able to talk to Rowena. Unmoved by
his persistence that they should live with his parents, she said that it was better for them to
live separate lives. They then parted ways.

Edward filed a for the annulment of his marriage to Rowena on the basis of the
latter’s psychological incapacity. The clinical psychologist who examined petitioner found
both parties psychologically incapacitated.

Edward Kenneth Ngo Te, the petitioner in this case is said to be still unsure and
unready so as to commit himself to marriage. He is still founded to be on the search of
what he wants in life. He is absconded as an introvert as he is not really sociable and
displays a lack of interest in social interactions and mingling with other individuals. He is
P a g e | 58
seen too akin to this kind of lifestyle that he finds it boring and uninteresting to commit
himself to a relationship especially to that of respondent, as aggravated by her
dangerously aggressive moves. As he is more of the reserved and timid type of person, as
he prefer to be religiously attached and spend a solemn time alone.

ROWENA GUTIERREZ YU-TE, the respondent, is said to be of the aggressive-


rebellious type of woman. She is seen to be somewhat exploitative in her [plight] for a life
of wealth and glamour. She is seen to take move on marriage as she thought that her
marriage with petitioner will bring her good fortune because he is part of a rich family. In
order to have her dreams realized, she used force and threats knowing that [her] husband
is somehow weak-willed. Upon the realization that there is really no chance for wealth,
she gladly finds her way out of the relationship.

The trial court rendered its Decision declaring the marriage of the parties null and
void. The Republic, represented by the OSG, timely filed its notice of appeal.

On review, the appellate court, reversed and set aside the trial court’s ruling.It
ruled that petitioner failed to prove the psychological incapacity of respondent. The clinical
psychologist did not personally examine respondent, and relied only on the information
provided by petitioner. Further, the psychological incapacity was not shown to be attended
by gravity, juridical antecedence and incurability.

Issue:
Whether or not the evidence presented is adequate to sustain the trial court’s
finding of psychological incapacity.

Decision:
Yes. The psychological report is considered adequate. According to the
classification system used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
anti-social personality disorder is one of the four "dramatic" personality disorders. The
seriousness of the diagnosis and the gravity of the disorders considered, the Court, in this
case, finds as decisive the psychological evaluation made by the expert witness; and,
thus, rules that the marriage of the parties is null and void on ground of both parties’
psychological incapacity.

Indeed, petitioner, who is afflicted with dependent personality disorder, 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, allows others to make most of his important decisions, tends
to agree with people even when he believes they are wrong, has difficulty doing things on
his own, volunteers to do things that are demeaning in order to get approval from other
people, feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone and is often preoccupied with fears of
being abandoned. As clearly shown in this case, petitioner followed everything dictated to
him by the persons around him. He is insecure, weak and gullible, has no sense of his
identity as a person, has no cohesive self to speak of, and has no goals and clear
direction in life.

Although on a different plane, the same may also be said of the respondent. Her
being afflicted with antisocial personality disorder makes her unable to assume the
essential marital obligations. This finding takes into account her disregard for the rights of
others, her abuse, mistreatment and control of others without remorse, her tendency to
blame others, and her intolerance of the conventional behavioral limitations imposed by

P a g e | 59
society. Moreover, as shown in this case, respondent is impulsive and domineering; she
had no qualms in manipulating petitioner with her threats of blackmail and of committing
suicide.

Aurelio vs Aurelio
GR No. 175367
Ponente: Justice Diosdado Peralta

Facts:
Petitioner Danilo A. Aurelio and respondent Vida Ma. Corazon Aurelio were
married on March 23, 1988.

On May 9, 2002, respondent filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of


Marriage. In her petition, respondent alleged that both she and petitioner were
psychologically incapacitated of performing and complying with their respective essential
marital obligations. In addition, respondent alleged that such state of psychological
incapacity was present prior and even during the time of the marriage ceremony.

Said psychological incapacity was manifested by lack of financial support from


the husband; his lack of drive and incapacity to discern the plight of his working wife. The
husband exhibited consistent jealousy and distrust towards his wife. His moods alternated
between hostile defiance and contrition. He refused to assist in the maintenance of the
family. He refused to foot the household bills and provide for his family’s needs. He
exhibited arrogance. He was completely insensitive to the feelings of his wife. He liked to
humiliate and embarrass his wife even in the presence of their children.

Vida Aurelio, on the other hand, is effusive and displays her feelings openly and
freely. Her feelings change very quickly from joy to fury to misery to despair, depending on
her day-to-day experiences. Her tolerance for boredom was very low. She was
emotionally immature; she cannot stand frustration or disappointment. She cannot delay
to gratify her needs. She gets upset when she cannot get what she wants. Self-indulgence
lifts her spirits immensely. Their hostility towards each other distorted their
relationship. Their incapacity to accept and fulfill the essential obligations of marital life led
to the breakdown of their marriage. Private respondent manifested psychological aversion
to cohabit with her husband or to take care of him. The psychological make-up of private
respondent was evaluated by a psychologist, who found that the psychological incapacity
of both husband and wife to perform their marital obligations is grave, incorrigible and
incurable. Private respondent suffers from a Histrionic Personality Disorder with
Narcissistic features; whereas petitioner suffers from passive aggressive personality
disorder that renders him immature and irresponsible to assume the normal obligations of
a marriage.

Danilo filed a motion to dismiss but the RTC denied it. In denying petitioners
motion, the RTC ruled that respondents petition for declaration of nullity of marriage
complied with the requirements of the Molina doctrine.

Petitioner appealed the RTC decision to the CA but the CA rendered a Decision
dismissing the petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the guidelines in Molina were complied with.

Decision:

P a g e | 60
Yes. First, the root cause of psychological incapacity was stated and alleged in
the complaint.

Second, the petition likewise alleged that the illness of both parties was of such
grave a nature as to bring about a disability for them to assume the essential obligations
of marriage. The psychologist reported that respondent suffers from Histrionic Personality
Disorder with Narcissistic Features. Petitioner, on the other hand, allegedly suffers from
Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder. The incapacity of both parties to perform their
marital obligations was alleged to be grave, incorrigible and incurable.

Lastly, the essential marital obligations that were not complied with were alleged
in the petition. As can be easily gleaned from the totality of the petition, respondents
allegations fall under Article 68 of the Family Code which states that the husband and the
wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render
mutual help and support.

Republic vs Encelan
GR No. 170022
Ponente: Justice Arturo Brion

Facts:
Respondent Cesar Encelan and Lolita Encelan were married on August 25,
1979. To support his family, Cesar left for Saudi Arabia and while there, learned that Lolita
is having an affair with a certain Alvin Perez and that she left the conjugal dwelling in
1991.

Later, Cesar filed a petition to declare his marriage with Lolita void for the latter’s
psychological incapacity. In the complaint, Cesar presented the psychological report of Dr.
Flores. In the said report, Dr. Flores found that Lolita was not suffering from any form of
psychiatric illness. The same report said that she is unable to provide the expectations
expected of her for good lasting marital relationship.

The RTC denied Cesar’s petition. The Court of Appeals initially sustained RTC’s
decision but later reversed itself. Hence, this petition by the republic.

The republic avers that Dr. Flores’ psychological evaluation did not disclose that
Lolita is suffering from a psychological illness and infidelity and abandonment do not
constitute psychological incapacity.

Issue:
Whether or not Lolita’s infidelity and refusal to perform her marital obligations
constitutes psychological incapacity?

Decision:
No. In any event, sexual infidelity and abandonment, even if true, do not
necessarily constitute psychological incapacity. These are simply grounds for legal
separation. To constitute psychological incapacity, it must be shown that the
unfaithfulness and abandonment are manifestations of a disordered personality that
completely prevented the erring spouse from discharging the essential marital obligations.

P a g e | 61
Cesar mistakenly relied on Dr.Flores’ report on Lolita to prove her alleged
psychological incapacity. Dr.Flores’ further belief that Lolita’s refusal to go with Cesar
abroad signified reluctance to work out a good marital relationship is a mere
generalization unsupported by facts and is, in fact, a rash conclusion.
Mendoza vs Republic
GR No. 157649
Ponente: Justice Lucas Bersamin

Facts:
Petitioner Arabelle Mendoza met respondent Dominic Mendoza sometime in
1989. Their intimacy resulted in Arabelle’s pregnancy and soon after, they got married in
civil rights.

While Dominic was employed as a car dealer, he gave Arabelle a car and was
made to sign a check purportedly for its insurance. It later turned out that Dominic did not
pay for the car and the check was used for his personal expenses. He also ran away with
money belonging to his clients and was charged and incarcerated for estaffa and violation
of BP 22. He was fired from his job.

Arabelle filed for the declaration of nullity of her marriage with Dominic, alleging
the latter’s psychological incapacity.

During the trial, Arabelle presented Dr.Samson, who testified that Dominic, based
on her examination of Arabelle, was found to have a personality that can be characterized
as inadequate, immature and irresponsible.

The RTC rendered a decision declaring the marriage void.On appeal by the
Republic,the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC’s decision. It failed to accept the findings
of Dr.Samson on the view that when Arabelle was interviewed, she was already strong in
her resolve to have her marriage nullified and was harboring ill feelings against Dominic
throughout her consultation with Dr. Samson.

In this petition, Arabelle faulted the CA for not applying the ruling in Marcos
whereby it was held that personal examination of the parties is not a requirement for the
declaration of psychological incapacity.

Issue:
Whether or not the expert testimony of Dr.Samson is sufficient to prove
Dominic’s psychological incapacity.

Decision:
No. Petitioner’s view of the Marcos ruling is entirely inaccurate. To be clear, the
statement in Marcos ran as follows:

The guidelines incorporate the three basic requirements earlier mandated by the Court in
Santos v. Court of Appeals: "psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity
(b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability." The foregoing guidelines do not require that
a physician examine the person to be declared psychologically incapacitated. In fact, the
root cause may be "medically or clinically identified." What is important is the presence of
evidence that can adequately establish the party’s psychological condition. For indeed, if
the totality of evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological
incapacity, then actual medical examination of the person concerned need not be resorted
to.

P a g e | 62
In light of the foregoing, even if the expert opinions of psychologists are not conditions
sine qua non in the granting of petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage, the actual
medical examination of Dominic was to be dispensed with only if the totality of evidence
presented was enough to support a finding of his psychological incapacity. This did not
mean that the presentation of any form of medical or psychological evidence to show the
psychological incapacity would have automatically ensured the granting of the petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage. What was essential, we should emphasize herein, was
the "presence of evidence that can adequately establish the party’s psychological
condition," as the Court said in Marcos.

But where, like here, the parties had the full opportunity to present the professional and
expert opinions of psychiatrists tracing the root cause, gravity and incurability of the
alleged psychological incapacity, then the opinions should be presented and be weighed
by the trial courts in order to determine and decide whether or not to declare the nullity of
the marriages.

It bears repeating that the trial courts, as in all the other cases they try, must always base
their judgments not solely on the expert opinions presented by the parties but on the
totality of evidence adduced in the course of their proceedings.

We find the totality of the evidence adduced by petitioner insufficient to prove that Dominic
was psychologically unfit to discharge the duties expected of him as a husband, and that
he suffered from such psychological incapacity as of the date of the marriage.
Accordingly, the CA did not err in dismissing the petition for declaration of nullity of
marriage.

We have time and again held that psychological incapacity 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 must concomitantly be assumed and discharged by the parties to
the marriage that, as so expressed by Article 68 of the Family Code, include their mutual
obligations to live together, to observe love, respect and fidelity, and to render help and
support. We have also held 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. To qualify as psychological incapacity as a ground for nullification of
marriage, a person’s psychological affliction must be grave and serious as to indicate an
utter incapacity to comprehend and comply with the essential objects of marriage,
including the rights and obligations between husband and wife. The affliction must be
shown to exist at the time of marriage, and must be incurable.

Accordingly, the RTC’s findings that Dominic’s psychological incapacity was characterized
by gravity, antecedence and incurability could not stand scrutiny. The medical report failed
to show that his actions indicated a psychological affliction of such a grave or serious
nature that it was medically or clinically rooted. His alleged immaturity, deceitfulness and
lack of remorse for his dishonesty and lack of affection did not necessarily constitute
psychological incapacity. His inability to share or to take responsibility or to feel remorse
over his misbehavior or to share his earnings with family members, albeit indicative of
immaturity, was not necessarily a medically rooted psychological affliction that was
incurable. Emotional immaturity and irresponsibility did not equate with psychological
incapacity. Nor were his supposed sexual infidelity and criminal offenses manifestations of
psychological incapacity. If at all, they would constitute a ground only for an action for
legal separation under Article 55 of the Family Code.

Ochosa vs Alano
P a g e | 63
GR No. 167459
Ponente: Justice Teresita Leonardo – De Castro

Facts:
Jose met Bona in August 1973 when he was a young lieutenant in the AFP while
the latter was a seventeen-year-old first year college drop-out. They had a whirlwind
romance that culminated into sexual intimacy and eventual marriage.

During their marriage, Jose was often assigned to various parts of the Philippine
archipelago as an officer in the AFP. Bona did not cohabit with him in his posts, preferring
to stay in her hometown of Basilan. Neither did Bona visit him in his areas of assignment,
except in one (1) occasion when Bona stayed with him for four (4) days.

In 1985, Jose was appointed as the Battalion Commander of the Security Escort
Group. He and Bona, along with Ramona, were given living quarters at Fort Bonifacio,
Makati City where they resided with their military aides.
In 1987, Jose was charged with rebellion for his alleged participation in the failed
coup d’ etat. He was incarcerated in Camp Crame.

It appears that Bona was an unfaithful spouse. Even at the onset of their
marriage when Jose was assigned in various parts of the country, she had illicit relations
with other men. Bona apparently did not change her ways when they lived together at Fort
Bonifacio; she entertained male visitors in her bedroom whenever Jose was out of their
living quarters. On one occasion, Bona was caught by Demetrio Bajet y Lita, a security
aide, having sex with Joses driver, Corporal Gagarin. Rumors of Bonas sexual infidelity
circulated in the military community. When Jose could no longer bear these rumors, he got
a military pass from his jail warden and confronted Bona.

During their confrontation, Bona admitted her relationship with Corporal Gagarin
who also made a similar admission to Jose. Jose drove Bona away from their living
quarters. Bona left with Ramona and went to Basilan.

Jose filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, seeking to nullify his
marriage to Bona on the ground of the latter’s psychological incapacity to fulfill the
essential obligations of marriage.

During the trial, Dr.Rondain testified that after conducting several tests, she
reached the conclusion that respondent was suffering from Histronic Personality Disorder,
tracable to her family history. These findings though, were obtained based on the
testimonies of Jose and two other military aides.

The trial court nullified the marriage, ruling that the incapacity was grave,
antecedent and incurable.

The Solicitor General appealed the decision, contending that Jose failed to prove
that Bona failed to comply with the essential marital obligations.

Issue:
Whether or not Bona failed to comply with her essential marital obligations and
should therefore be deemed psychologically incapacitated.

Decision:
No. While the court is sufficiently convinced that, after a careful perusal of the
evidence presented in this case, that Bona had been, on several occasions with several
P a g e | 64
other men, sexually disloyal to her spouse, Jose. Likewise, we are persuaded that Bona
had indeed abandoned Jose. However, we cannot apply the same conviction to Jose’s
thesis that the totality of Bonas acts constituted psychological incapacity as determined by
Article 36 of the Family Code. There is inadequate credible evidence that her defects were
already present at the inception of, or prior to, the marriage. In other words, her alleged
psychological incapacity did not satisfy the jurisprudential requisite of juridical
antecedence.

Dr. Rondains testimony and psychiatric evaluation report do not provide


evidentiary support to cure the doubtful veracity of Joses one-sided assertion. Even if we
take into account the psychiatrists conclusion that Bona harbors a Histrionic Personality
Disorder that existed prior to her marriage with Jose and this mental condition purportedly
made her helplessly prone to promiscuity and sexual infidelity, the same cannot be taken
as credible proof of antecedence since the method by which such an inference was
reached leaves much to be desired in terms of meeting the standard of evidence required
in determining psychological incapacity.

Verily, Dr. Rondain evaluated Bonas psychological condition indirectly from the
information gathered solely from Jose and his witnesses. This factual circumstance
evokes the possibility that the information fed to the psychiatrist is tainted with bias for
Jose’s cause, in the absence of sufficient corroboration.

Camacho – Reyes vs Reyes


GR No. 185286
Ponente: Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura

Facts:
Petitioner Maria Socorro Camacho-Reyes met respondent Ramon Reyes at the
University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman, in 1972 when they were both nineteen (19)
years old. They were simply classmates then in one university subject when respondent
cross-enrolled from the UP Los Baos campus. The casual acquaintanceship quickly
developed into a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Petitioner was initially attracted to
respondent who she thought was free spirited and bright, although he did not follow
conventions and traditions.

Easily impressed, petitioner enjoyed respondents style of courtship which


included dining out, unlike other couples their age who were restricted by a university
students budget. At that time, respondent held a job in the family business, the Aristocrat
Restaurant. Petitioners good impression of the respondent was not diminished by the
latters habit of cutting classes, not even by her discovery that respondent was taking
marijuana.

On December 5, 1976, the year following petitioners graduation and her fathers
death, petitioner and respondent got married. At that time, petitioner was already five (5)
months pregnant and employed at the Population Center Foundation.

Thereafter, the newlyweds lived with the respondents family in Mandaluyong


City. All living expenses were shouldered by respondents parents, and the couples
respective salaries were spent solely for their personal needs. Initially, respondent gave
petitioner a monthly allowance of P1,500.00 from his salary.

When their first child was born on March 22, 1977, financial difficulties started.
Rearing a child entailed expenses. A year into their marriage, the monthly allowance of
P1,500.00 from respondent stopped. Further, respondent no longer handed his salary to
P a g e | 65
petitioner. When petitioner mustered enough courage to ask the respondent about this,
the latter told her that he had resigned due to slow advancement within the family
business. Respondents game plan was to venture into trading seafood in the province,
supplying hotels and restaurants, including the Aristocrat Restaurant. However, this new
business took respondent away from his young family for days on end without any
communication. Petitioner simply endured the set up, hoping that the situation will change.

While petitioner struggled to make ends meet as the single-income earner of the
household, respondents business floundered. Thereafter, another attempt at business, a
fishpond in Mindoro, was similarly unsuccessful. Respondent gave money to petitioner
sporadically. Compounding the familys financial woes and further straining the parties
relationship was the indifferent attitude of respondent towards his family. That his
business took him away from his family did not seem to bother respondent; he did not
exert any effort to remain in touch with them while he was away in Mindoro.

In 1985, petitioner, who had previously suffered a miscarriage, gave birth to their
third son. At that time, respondent was in Mindoro and he did not even inquire on the
health of either the petitioner or the newborn. A week later, respondent arrived in Manila,
acting nonchalantly while playing with the baby, with nary an attempt to find out how the
hospital bills were settled.
In 1989, due to financial reverses, respondents fishpond business stopped
operations. Although without any means to support his family, respondent refused to go
back to work for the family business. Respondent came up with another business venture,
engaging in scrap paper and carton trading. As with all of respondents business ventures,
this did not succeed and added to the trail of debt which now hounded not only
respondent, but petitioner as well. Not surprisingly, the relationship of the parties
deteriorated.
Sometime in 1996, petitioner confirmed that respondent was having an extra-
marital affair. She overheard respondent talking to his girlfriend, a former secretary, over
the phone inquiring if the latter liked respondents gift to her. Petitioner soon realized that
respondent was not only unable to provide financially for their family, but he was, more
importantly, remiss in his obligation to remain faithful to her and their family.

Petitioner made a string of final attempts to salvage what was left of their
marriage. Petitioner approached respondents siblings and asked them to intervene.

Adolfo Reyes, respondents elder brother, and his spouse, Peregrina, members of
a marriage encounter group, invited and sponsored the parties to join the group. The elder
couple scheduled counseling sessions with petitioner and respondent, but these did not
improve the parties relationship as respondent remained uncooperative.

In 1997, Adolfo brought respondent to Dr. Natividad A. Dayan for a psychological


assessment to determine benchmarks of current psychological functioning. As with all
other attempts to help him, respondent resisted and did not continue with the clinical
psychologists recommendation to undergo psychotherapy.

Finally, in 2001,petitioner filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of her


marriage with the respondent, alleging the latter’s psychological incapacity to fulfill the
essential marital obligations under Article 36 of the Family Code.

During the trial, the testimonies of Dr.Dayan, Dr. Magno and Dr. Villegas were
unanimous in their testimonies that respondent is suffering from mixed personality
disorder. Giving credence to the expert witnesses, the RTC deemed the marriage void.

P a g e | 66
On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC ruling. The CA rejected,
wholesale, the testimonies of Doctors Magno and Villegas for being hearsay since they
never personally examined and interviewed the respondent.

Issue:
Whether or not the testimonies of the expert witnesses are sufficient to prove the
respondent’s psychological incapacity.

Decision:
Yes. 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.

For one, marriage, by its very definition, necessarily involves only two persons.
The totality of the behavior of one spouse during the cohabitation and marriage is
generally and genuinely witnessed mainly by the other. In this case, the experts testified
on their individual assessment of the present state of the parties marriage from the
perception of one of the parties, herein petitioner. Certainly, petitioner, during their
marriage, had occasion to interact with, and experience, respondents pattern of behavior
which she could then validly relay to the clinical psychologists and the psychiatrist.
For another, the clinical psychologists and psychiatrists assessment were not
based solely on the narration or personal interview of the petitioner. Other informants such
as respondents own son, siblings and in-laws, and sister-in-law (sister of petitioner),
testified on their own observations of respondents behavior and interactions with them,
spanning the period of time they knew him.These were also used as the basis of the
doctors assessments.

Toring vs Toring
GR No. 165321
Ponente: Justice Arturo Brion

Facts:
Petitioner Ricardo Toring and respondent Teresita Toring got married in 1978.
More than 20 years after the wedding, Ricardo filed a complaint for the
annulment of his marriage. In his complaint, Ricardo alleged the following:
a. Teresita was a squanderer. Aside from neglect in paying debts she incurred from
other people, Teresita likewise failed to remit amounts she collected as sales
agent of a plasticware and cosmetics company. She left the familys utility bills
and their childrens tuition fees unpaid. She also missed paying the rent and the
amortization for the house that Ricardo acquired for the family, so their children
had to live in a small rented room and eventually had to be taken in by Ricardos
parents. When confronted by Ricardo, Teresita would simply offer the excuse
that she spent the funds Ricardo sent to buy things for the house and for their
children.
b. Teresita was an adulteress. Ricardo likewise accused Teresita of infidelity and
suspected that she was pregnant with another man’s child. During one of his
visits to the country, he noticed that Teresita’s stomach was slightly bigger. He
tried to convince her to have a medical examination but she refused. Her
miscarriage five months into her pregnancy confirmed his worst suspicions.
Ricardo alleged that the child could not have been his, as his three instances of
sexual contact with Teresita were characterized by withdrawals; other than these,
no other sexual contacts with his wife transpired, as he transferred and lived with
his relatives after a month of living with Teresita in Cebu. Ricardo reported, too,
P a g e | 67
of rumors that his wife represented herself to others as single, and went out on
dates with other men when he was not around.

c. Teresita was a very extravagant, materialistic, controlling and demanding person,


who mostly had her way in everything; had a taste for the nightlife and was very
averse to the duties of a housewife; was stubborn and independent, also most
unsupportive, critical and uncooperative; was unresponsive to his hard work and
sacrifices for their family; and was most painfully unmindful of him.

During the trial, Dr.Albaran testified that Teresita has a narcissistic personality
disorder that render her psychologically incapacitated to perform her essential marital
obligations. Her diagnosis were admittedly gathered from Ricardo and their son as
Teresita did not submit herself to a psychiatric evaluation.

The RTC ruled in favor of Ricardo, despite the OSG’s opposition contending that
Dr.Albaran’s conclusion was vague and general in terms of Teresita’s personality
traits but not on her psychological make up.
On appeal with the Court of Appeals, the RTC’s ruling was reversed. The Court
of Appeals ruled that Dr.Albaran’s testimony does not appear to be drawn from well-
founded sources and are mostly hearsay.

Issue:
Whether or not Dr.Albaran’s testimony is sufficient to prove Teresita’s
psychological incapacity.

Decision:
No. In the present case,the totality of the petitioners evidence to be insufficient to
prove that Teresita was psychologically incapacitated to perform her duties as a wife.The
evidence presented consisted of the testimonies of Ricardo and Dr. Albaran, and the
latters psychological evaluation of Ricardo and Richardson from where she derived a
psychological evaluation of Teresita.
We are in no way convinced that a mere narration of the statements of Ricardo
and Richardson, coupled with the results of the psychological tests administered only on
Ricardo, without more, already constitutes sufficient basis for the conclusion that Teresita
suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This Court has long been negatively
critical in considering psychological evaluations, presented in evidence, derived solely
from one-sided sources, particularly from the spouse seeking the nullity of the marriage.

In the present case, the only other party outside of the spouses who was ever
asked to give statements for purposes of Teresitas psychological evaluation was
Richardson, the spouses eldest son who would not have been very reliable as a witness in
an Article 36 case because he could not have been there when the spouses were married
and could not have been expected to know what was happening between his parents until
long after his birth.

Halili vs Santos-Halili
GR No. 165424
Ponente: Justice Renato Corona

Facts:
Lester Benjamin Halili married respondent Chona Santos-Halili thinking that the
wedding was a joke. After the wedding, the couples never lived together as husband and
wife.However, after constant fighting, Lester stopped seeing respondent and started
dating another woman. From that time on he started receiving prank calls telling him to
P a g e | 68
stop dating as he was already married. It was only after making an inquiry that he found
out that the wedding was not fake.

The RTC nullified his marriage with Chona as it was found out that he was
suffering from partially dependent and self-defeating personal disorder as diagnosed by
Dr.Dayan. This decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme
Court.Hence, this motion for reconsideration.

Issue:
Whether or not the testimony of the expert witness is sufficient to declare Lester’s
psychological incapacity.

Decision:
Yes. It has been sufficiently established that petitioner had a psychological
condition that was grave and incurable and had a deeply rooted cause. In her
psychological report,Dr. Dayan stated that petitioners dependent personality disorder was
evident in the fact that petitioner was very much attached to his parents and depended on
them for decisions.Petitioner’s mother even had to be the one to tell him to seek legal help
when he felt confused on what action to take upon learning that his marriage to
respondent was for real.

Antonio vs Reyes
GR No. 155800
Ponente: Justice Dante Tinga

Facts:
Petitioner and respondent met in August 1989 when petitioner was 26 years old
and respondent was 36 years of age. Barely a year after their first meeting, they got
married before a minister of the Gospel at the Manila City Hall, and through a subsequent
church wedding at the Sta. Rosa de Lima Parish, Bagong Ilog, Pasig, Metro Manila on 6
December 1990. Out of their union, a child was born on 19 April 1991, who sadly died five
months later.

On 8 March 1993 petitioner filed a petition to have his marriage to respondent declared
null and void. He anchored his petition for nullity on Article 36 of the Family Code alleging
that respondent was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations
of marriage. He asserted that respondent’s incapacity existed at the time their marriage
was celebrated and still subsists up to the present.

As manifestations of respondent’s alleged psychological incapacity, petitioner claimed that


respondent persistently lied about herself, the people around her, her occupation, income,
educational attainment and other events or things, to wit:

(1) She concealed the fact that she previously gave birth to an illegitimate son,10 and
instead introduced the boy to petitioner as the adopted child of her family. She only
confessed the truth about the boy’s parentage when petitioner learned about it from other
sources after their marriage.

(2) She fabricated a story that her brother-in-law, Edwin David, attempted to rape and kill
her when in fact, no such incident occurred.

(3) She misrepresented herself as a psychiatrist to her obstetrician, Dr. Consuelo


Gardiner, and told some of her friends that she graduated with a degree in psychology,
when she was neither.
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(4) She claimed to be a singer or a free-lance voice talent affiliated with Blackgold
Recording Company; yet, not a single member of her family ever witnessed her alleged
singing activities with the group. In the same vein, she postulated that a luncheon show
was held at the Philippine Village Hotel in her honor and even presented an invitation to
that effect14 but petitioner discovered per certification by the Director of Sales of said
hotel that no such occasion had taken place.

(5) She invented friends named Babes Santos and Via Marquez, and under those names,
sent lengthy letters to petitioner claiming to be from Blackgold and touting her as the
"number one moneymaker" in the commercial industry worth P2 million. Petitioner later
found out that respondent herself was the one who wrote and sent the letters to him when
she admitted the truth in one of their quarrels. He likewise realized that Babes Santos and
Via Marquez were only figments of her imagination when he discovered they were not
known in or connected with Blackgold.

(6) She represented herself as a person of greater means, thus, she altered her payslip to
make it appear that she earned a higher income. She bought a sala set from a public
market but told petitioner that she acquired it from a famous furniture dealer. She spent
lavishly on unnecessary items and ended up borrowing money from other people on false
pretexts.

(7) She exhibited insecurities and jealousies over him to the extent of calling up his
officemates to monitor his whereabouts. When he could no longer take her unusual
behavior, he separated from her in August 1991. He tried to attempt a reconciliation but
since her behavior did not change, he finally left her for good in November 1991.

Respondent argued that apart from her non-disclosure of a child prior to their
marriage, the other lies attributed to her by petitioner were mostly hearsay and
unconvincing. Her stance was that the totality of the evidence presented is not sufficient
for a finding of psychological incapacity on her part.

In addition, respondent presented Dr. Antonio Efren Reyes (Dr. Reyes), a psychiatrist, to
refute the allegations anent her psychological condition. Dr. Reyes testified that the series
of tests conducted by his assistant,33 together with the screening procedures and the
Comprehensive Psycho-Pathological Rating Scale (CPRS) he himself conducted, led him
to conclude that respondent was not psychologically incapacitated to perform the essential
marital obligations. He postulated that regressive behavior, gross neuroticism, psychotic
tendencies, and poor control of impulses, which are signs that might point to the presence
of disabling trends, were not elicited from respondent.

In rebuttal, Dr. Lopez asseverated that there were flaws in the evaluation conducted by Dr.
Reyes as (i) he was not the one who administered and interpreted respondent’s
psychological evaluation, and (ii) he made use of only one instrument called CPRS which
was not reliable because a good liar can fake the results of such test.

After trial, the lower court gave credence to petitioner’s evidence and held that
respondent’s propensity to lying about almost anything−her occupation, state of health,
singing abilities and her income, among others−had been duly established. According to
the trial court, respondent’s fantastic ability to invent and fabricate stories and
personalities enabled her to live in a world of make-believe. This made her psychologically
incapacitated as it rendered her incapable of giving meaning and significance to her
marriage. The trial court thus declared the marriage between petitioner and respondent
null and void.
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Shortly before the trial court rendered its decision, the Metropolitan Tribunal of the
Archdiocese of Manila annulled the Catholic marriage of the parties, on the ground of lack
of due discretion on the part of the parties. During the pendency of the appeal before the
Court of Appeals, the Metropolitan Tribunal’s ruling was affirmed with modification by both
the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, which held instead that only respondent was
impaired by a lack of due discretion. Subsequently, the decision of the National Appellate
Matrimonial Tribunal was upheld by the Roman Rota of the Vatican.

Petitioner duly alerted the Court of Appeals of these rulings by the Catholic
tribunals. Still, the appellate court reversed the RTC’s judgment. While conceding that
respondent may not have been completely honest with petitioner, the Court of Appeals
nevertheless held that the totality of the evidence presented was insufficient to establish
respondent’s psychological incapacity. It declared that the requirements in the case of
Republic v. Court of Appeals governing the application and interpretation of psychological
incapacity had not been satisfied.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner’s evidence was sufficient to prove respondent’s
psychological incapacity?

Decision:
Yes. First,Petitioner had sufficiently overcome his burden in proving the
psychological incapacity of his spouse.

Second,The root cause of respondent’s psychological incapacity has been


medically or clinically identified, alleged in the complaint, sufficiently proven by experts,
and clearly explained in the trial court’s decision. The initiatory complaint alleged that
respondent, from the start, had exhibited unusual and abnormal behavior "of perennially
telling lies, fabricating ridiculous stories, and inventing personalities and situations," of
writing letters to petitioner using fictitious names, and of lying about her actual occupation,
income, educational attainment, and family background, among others.

Third, respondent’s psychological incapacity was established to have clearly


existed at the time of and even before the celebration of marriage. She fabricated friends
and made up letters from fictitious characters well before she married petitioner. Likewise,
she kept petitioner in the dark about her natural child’s real parentage as she only
confessed when the latter had found out the truth after their marriage.

Fourth, the gravity of respondent’s psychological incapacity is sufficient to prove


her disability to assume the essential obligations of marriage. It is immediately discernible
that the parties had shared only a little over a year of cohabitation before the exasperated
petitioner left his wife. Whatever such circumstance speaks of the degree of tolerance of
petitioner, it likewise supports the belief that respondent’s psychological incapacity, as
borne by the record, was so grave in extent that any prolonged marital life was dubitable.

Fifth, respondent is evidently unable to comply with the essential marital


obligations as embraced by Articles 68 to 71 of the Family Code. Article 68, in particular,
enjoins the spouses to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render
mutual help and support. As noted by the trial court, it is difficult to see how an inveterate
pathological liar would be able to commit to the basic tenets of relationship between
spouses based on love, trust and respect.

P a g e | 71
Sixth, the Court of Appeals clearly erred when it failed to take into consideration
the fact that the marriage of the parties was annulled by the Catholic Church. The
appellate court apparently deemed this detail totally inconsequential as no reference was
made to it anywhere in the assailed decision despite petitioner’s efforts to bring the matter
to its attention.Such deliberate ignorance is in contravention of Molina, which held that
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.

Seventh,the final point of contention is the requirement in Molina that such


psychological incapacity be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable. It
was on this score that the Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court, the
appellate court noting that it did not appear certain that respondent’s condition was
incurable and that Dr. Abcede did not testify to such effect.

Villalon vs Villalon
GR No. 167206
Ponente: Justice Consuelo Ynares – Santiago

Facts:
Petitioner testified that he met respondent sometime in the early seventies when
he applied for a job at Metrobank, where respondent was employed as a foreign exchange
trader. They began dating in 1975 and had a romantic relationship soon thereafter. After
going steady for about two years, petitioner and respondent were married at the San
Pancracio Chapel in Paco, Manila on April 22, 1978. Petitioner claimed that he married
respondent because he believed that it was the right time to raise a family and that she
would be a good mother to his children.

In the middle of 1993, petitioner decided to separate from respondent. According


to him, their marriage reached a point where there was no longer any communication
between them and their relationship became devoid of love, affection, support and respect
due to his constant urge to see other women. Moreover, their relationship tended to be
one-sided since respondent was unresponsive and hardly ever showed her love, needs,
wants and emotions.

Petitioner admitted that on certain occasions before his marriage, he had two
girlfriends at the same time. He also saw other women even when he became engaged to
and, later on, married respondent.

On July 12, 1996, petitioner Jaime F. Villalon filed a petition for the annulment of
his marriage to respondent Ma. Corazon N. Villalon. As ground therefor, petitioner cited
his psychological incapacity which he claimed existed even prior to his marriage.

According to petitioner, the manifestations of his psychological incapacity were:


(a) his chronic refusal to maintain harmonious family relations and his lack of interest in
having a normal married life; (b) his immaturity and irresponsibility in refusing to accept
the essential obligations of marriage as husband to his wife; (c) his desire for other women
and a life unchained from any spousal obligation; and (d) his false assumption of the
fundamental obligations of companionship and consortium towards respondent.

On September 25, 1996, respondent filed an answer denying petitioners


allegations. She asserted that her 18-year marriage to petitioner has been fruitful and
characterized by joy, contentment and hopes for more growth in their relationship and that

P a g e | 72
their marital squabbles were normal based on community standards. Petitioners success
in his professional life aided him in performing his role as husband, father, and provider.
Respondent claimed that petitioners commitment to his paternal and marital
responsibilities was beyond reproach.

Petitioner presented Dr. Natividad Dayan, a clinical psychologist, to testify on his


alleged psychological disorder of Narcissistic Histrionic Personality Disorder with
Casanova Complex. Dr. Dayan described the said disorder as a pervasive maladaptation
in terms of interpersonal and occupational functioning with main symptoms of grand
ideation about oneself, self-centeredness, thinking he is unique and wanting to always be
the one followed, the I personality. A person afflicted with this disorder believes that he is
entitled to gratify his emotional and sexual feelings and thus engages in serial infidelities.
Likewise, a person with Casanova Complex exhibits habitual adulterous behavior and
goes from one relationship to another.

To controvert the findings of petitioners expert witness, respondent presented a


psychiatrist, Dr. Cecilia Villegas, who testified that Dr. Dayans findings were incomplete
because a team approach was necessary in evaluating an individual’s personality. An
evaluation of one’s psychological capacity requires the expertise of a psychiatrist and
social worker.

The RTC rendered the marriage void. Respondent and the OSG seasonably filed
an appeal from the decision of the trial court and the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC’s
decision.

Contrary to the trial courts findings, the appellate court held that petitioner failed
to prove the juridical antecedence, gravity and incurability of his alleged psychological
incapacity. Although Dr. Dayan testified that petitioner’s psychological incapacity preceded
the marriage, she failed to give sufficient basis for such a finding. Dr. Dayan also stated
that parental marital instability was the root cause of petitioner’s psychological incapacity
but failed to elaborate thereon or link the two variables. Moreover, petitioners sexual
infidelity was made to appear as symptomatic of a grave psychological disorder when, in
reality, the same merely resulted from a general dissatisfaction with the marriage.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent is psychologically incapacitated based on evidences
presented.

Decision:
No. The totality of the evidence in this case does not support a finding that
petitioner is psychologically incapacitated to fulfill his marital obligations. On the contrary,
what is evident is the fact that petitioner was a good husband to respondent for a
substantial period of time prior to their separation, a loving father to their children and a
good provider of the family. Although he engaged in marital infidelity in at least two
occasions, the same does not appear to be symptomatic of a grave psychological disorder
which rendered him incapable of performing his spousal obligations. The same appears
as the result of a general dissatisfaction with his marriage rather than a psychological
disorder rooted in petitioners personal history.

P a g e | 73
Moreover, we are not convinced that petitioner is a serial or habitual adulterer, as
he wants the court to believe. As stated by respondent herself, it cannot be said that two
instances of infidelity which occurred 13 years apart could be deemed womanizing,
especially considering that these instances involved the same woman. In fact, at the time
of respondents testimony, petitioners illicit relationship has been going on for six years.
This is not consistent with the symptoms of a person suffering from Casanova Complex
who, according to Dr. Dayan, is one who jumps from one relationship to another.

Sexual infidelity, by itself, is not sufficient proof that petitioner is suffering from
psychological incapacity. It must be shown that the acts of unfaithfulness are
manifestations of a disordered personality which make petitioner completely unable to
discharge the essential obligations of marriage.The evidence on record fails to convince
us that petitioner’s marital indiscretions are symptomatic of psychological incapacity under
Article 36 of the Family Code. On the contrary, the evidence reveals that petitioner was a
good husband most of the time when he was living with respondent, a loving father to his
children as well as a good provider.

Republic of the Philippines vs Dagdag


GR No. 109975
Ponente: Justice Leonardo Quisumbing

Facts:
Erlinda Matias married Avelino Dagdag on September 1975. A week after the
wedding, Avelino started leaving his family without explanation. He would appear for
months, then disappear again.

He indulged in drinking spree with friends and force Erlinda into sexual
intercourse. On October 1983, Avelino left his family again and was never heard from
since then.

Finally, Erlinda learned that Arturo was imprisoned for some crime.Erlinda then
filed for a petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage in pursuant to Article 36 of the
Family Code.

During the trial, only Erlinda and her sister-in-law appeared. The trial court
declared Erlinda’s marriage void. A motion for reconsideration by the Republic was
denied.

On appeal with the Court of Appeals, the trial court’s decision was affirmed. It
ruled that Avelino was psychologically incapacitated not only because he failed to perform
his essential marital obligation but he is emotionally immature, irresponsible, alcoholic and
a criminal. Hence, this appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not the evidence presented is sufficient to prove Avelino’s incapacity.

Decision:
No. Erlinda failed to comply with guideline No. 2 in Molina which requires that the
root cause of psychological incapacity must be medically or clinically identified and
sufficiently proven by experts, since no psychiatrist or medical doctor testified as to the
alleged psychological incapacity of her husband. Further, the allegation that the husband
is a fugitive from justice was not sufficiently proven. In fact, the crime for which he was
P a g e | 74
arrested was not even alleged. The investigating prosecutor was likewise not given an
opportunity to present controverting evidence since the trial court’s decision was
prematurely rendered.

Moreover, expert testimony should have been presented to establish the precise
cause of private respondent’s psychological incapacity, if any, in order to show that it
existed at the inception of the marriage. The burden of proof to show the nullity of the
marriage rests upon petitioner.

Pesca vs Pesca
GR No.136921
Ponente: Justice Jose Vitug

Facts:
Petitioner Lorna G. Pesca and respondent Zosimo A. Pesca first met sometime
in 1975 while on board an inter-island vessel bound for Bacolod City. After a whirlwind
courtship, they got married on 03 March 1975. Initially, the young couple did not live
together as petitioner was still a student in college and respondent, a seaman, had to
leave the country on board an ocean-going vessel barely a month after the marriage.

It started in 1988, petitioner said, when she noticed that respondent surprisingly
showed signs of psychological incapacity to perform his marital covenant. His "true color"
of being an emotionally immature and irresponsible husband became apparent. He was
cruel and violent. He was a habitual drinker, staying with friends daily from 4:00 o'clock in
the afternoon until 1:00 o'clock in the morning. When cautioned to stop or, to at least,
minimize his drinking, respondent would beat, slap and kick her. At one time, he chased
petitioner with a loaded shotgun and threatened to kill her in the presence of the children.
The children themselves were not spared from physical violence.

On 19 November 1992, petitioner and her children left the conjugal abode to live
in the house of her sister in Quezon City as they could no longer bear his violent ways.
Two months later, petitioner decided to forgive respondent, and she returned home to give
him a chance to change. But, to her dismay, things did not so turn out as expected.
Indeed, matters became worse.

On the morning of 22 March 1994, about eight oclock, respondent assaulted


petitioner for about half an hour in the presence of the children. She was battered black
and blue. She submitted herself to medical examination at the Quezon City General
Hospital, which diagnosed her injuries as contusions and abrasions. Petitioner filed a
complaint with the barangay authorities, and a case was filed against respondent for slight
physical injuries. He was convicted by the Metropolitan Trial Court of Caloocan City and
sentenced to eleven days of imprisonment.

This time, petitioner and her children left the conjugal home for good and stayed
with her sister. Eventually, they decided to rent an apartment. Petitioner sued respondent
before the Regional Trial Court for the declaration of nullity of their marriage invoking
psychological incapacity.

The trial court rendered its decision declaring the marriage between petitioner
and respondent to be null and void ab initio on the basis of psychological incapacity on the
part of respondent and ordered the liquidation of the conjugal partnership.

P a g e | 75
The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court and declared the
marriage between petitioner and respondent valid and subsisting. The appellate court said
that petitioner failed to follow the guidelines set forth in Santos and Molina cases. Hence,
this appeal.

In her appeal, petitioner would have the decision of the Court of Appeals
reversed on the thesis that the doctrine enunciated in Santos vs. Court of Appeals as well
as the guidelines set out in Republic vs. Court of Appeals and Molina should have no
retroactive application and, on the assumption that the Molina ruling could be applied
retroactively, the guidelines therein outlined should be taken to be merely advisory and not
mandatory in nature. In any case, petitioner argues, the application of the Santos and
Molina dicta should warrant only a remand of the case to the trial court for further
proceedings and not its dismissal.

Issue:
Whether or not the case should be remanded to the trial court for further
proceedings.

Decision:
No. The doctrine of stare decisis ordained in Article 8 of the Civil Code,
expresses that judicial decisions applying or interpreting the law shall form part of the legal
system of the Philippines. The rule follows the settled legal maxim legis interpretado legis
vim obtinet that the interpretation placed upon the written law by a competent court has
the force of law.The interpretation or construction placed by the courts establishes the
contemporaneous legislative intent of the law. The latter as so interpreted and construed
would thus constitute a part of that law as of the date the statute is enacted. It is only
when a prior ruling of this Court finds itself later overruled, and a different view is adopted,
that the new doctrine may have to be applied prospectively in favor of parties who have
relied on the old doctrine and have acted in good faith in accordance therewith[5] under
the familiar rule of lex prospicit, non respicit.

Paras vs Paras
GR No. 147824
Ponente: Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez

Facts:
On May 21,1974 petitioner Rosa Yap Paras married Justo Paras.Twenty Years
after, Rosa filed a complaint for annulment of her marriage with Justo under Article 36 of
the Family Code. In her complaint, Rosa alleged the following:
a. Justo was a profligate. He dissipated her business and forged her signature
in one mortgage transaction.
b. Justo has a concubine and sirred a child with her.
c. He did not give financial support to his children.
d. He has been remiss in his duties both as husband and a father.

On February 1995, the RTC upheld the validity of their marriage.Rosa then
interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals.In the interim Rosa filed a disbarment case
against Justo. The court suspended Justo from the practice of law.

Two months after, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming the
decision of the RTC. In its decision, the Court of Appeals said that Rosa’s evidence falls
short of the standards required by law to decree a nullity of marriage. Also, Rosa’s inability

P a g e | 76
to offer the testimony of a psychologist is fatal to her case, being violative of the guidelines
set forth in Molina. Hnece, this appeal.

In her appeal, Rosa contends that the court’s factual findings for disbarment are
conclusive and that she filed the case well before the pronouncement of the Molina case
relied upon by the Court of Appeals. She prays that her marriage with Justo be annulled
on the bases of the court’s factual findings in the disbarment case or in the alternative,
remand the case to the lower court for the reception of expert testimony.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the factual findings in the disbarment case is conclusive in
this case.
2. Whether or not a remand of the case to the lower court is necessary.
3. Whether or not the totality of evidence is sufficient to establish Justo’s
psychological incapacity.

Decision:
No. On the first issue, the court ruled in the negative.Administrative cases
against lawyers belong to a class of their own. They are distinct from and may proceed
independently of civil and criminal cases. The basic premise is that criminal and civil
cases are altogether different from administrative matters, such that the disposition in the
first two will not inevitably govern the third and vice versa. One’s unfitness as a lawyer
does not automatically mean one’s unfitness as a husband or vice versa.The yardsticks
for such roles are simply different. This is why the disposition in a disbarment case cannot
be conclusive on an action for declaration of nullity of marriage. While Rosa’s charges
sufficiently proved Justo’s unfitness as a lawyer, however, they may not establish that he
is psychologically incapacitated to perform his duties as a husband. In the disbarment
case, "the real question for determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person
to be allowed the privileges as such." Its purpose is "to protect the court and the public
from the misconduct of officers of the court." On the other hand, in an action for
declaration of nullity of marriage based on the ground of psychological incapacity, the
question for determination is whether the guilty party suffers a grave, incurable, and pre-
existing mental incapacity that renders him truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants.
Its purpose is to free the innocent party from a meaningless marriage.

Anent the second issue, the court declined to remand the case to the lower court.
The interpretation or construction placed by the courts establishes the contemporaneous
legislative intent of the law. The latter as so interpreted and construed would thus
constitute a part of the law as of the date the statute is enacted. It is only when a prior
ruling of this Court finds itself later overruled, and a different view is adopted, that the new
doctrine may have to be applied prospectively in favor of parties who have relied on the
old doctrine and have acted in good faith in accordance therewith under the familiar rule of
‘lex prospicit, non replicit.’

With regard to the third issue, the court said that the totality of the evidence
presented is not sufficient to show that Justo is psychologically incapacitated. There is no
evidence that Justo’s "defects" were present at the inception of the marriage. His "defects"
surfaced only in the latter years when these events took place; their two children died; he
lost in the election; he failed in his business ventures and law practice; and felt the disdain
of his wife and her family. Surely, these circumstances explain why Rosa filed the present
case only after almost 30 years of their marriage.

ANNULMENT: CAUSE OF ACTION

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Mallion vs Alcantara
GR No. 141528
Ponente: Justice Adolfo Azcuña

Facts:
Petitioner Oscar P. Mallion filed a petition seeking a declaration of nullity of his
marriage to respondent Editha Alcantara under Article 36 of the Family Code, citing
respondent’s alleged psychological incapacity. After trial on the merits, the RTC denied
the petition in a decision finding that petitioner "failed to adduce preponderant evidence to
warrant the grant of the relief he is seeking."The appeal filed with the Court of Appeals
was likewise dismissed in a resolution.

After the decision attained finality, petitioner filed another petition for declaration
of nullity of marriage with the RTC of San Pablo City, this time alleging that his marriage
with respondent was null and void due to the fact that it was celebrated without a valid
marriage license. The petition was dismissed on the ground of Res Judicata and Forum
Shopping.

Petitioner argues that while the relief prayed for in the two cases was the same,
that is, the declaration of nullity of his marriage to respondent, the cause of action in the
earlier case was distinct and separate from the cause of action in the present case
because the operative facts upon which they were based as well as the evidence required
to sustain either were different. Because there is no identity as to the cause of action,
petitioner claims that res judicata does not lie to bar the second petition. In this
connection, petitioner maintains that there was no violation of the rule on forum shopping
or of the rule which proscribes the splitting of a cause of action.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is barred from filing another petition for nullity of
marriage even on different grounds.

Decision:
Yes. Res judicata in this sense requires the concurrence of the following
requisites: (1) the former judgment is final; (2) it is rendered by a court having jurisdiction
over the subject matter and the parties; (3) it is a judgment or an order on the merits; and
(4) there is -- between the first and the second actions -- identity of parties, of subject
matter, and of causes of action. The test to determine whether the causes of action are
identical is to ascertain whether the same evidence will sustain both actions, or whether
there is an identity in the facts essential to the maintenance of the two actions. If the same
facts or evidence would sustain both, the two actions are considered the same, and a
judgment in the first case is a bar to the subsequent action.

While the evidence for the petitions are different, the petitioner is simply invoking
different grounds for the same cause of action which is the nullity of marriage. The alleged
absence of a marriage license which petitioner raises now could have been presented and
heard in the earlier case.

ANNULMENT: PROPER PROCEDURE

Leonor vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 112597
Ponente: Justice Artemio Panganiban

P a g e | 78
Facts:
Petitioner Virginia A. Leonor was married to private respondent Mauricio D.
Leonor, Jr. The spouses were separated for a substantial part of their married life for,
while Mauricio resided in Switzerland studying and working, Virginia stayed in the
Philippines working as a nurse in Laguna. Mauricio became unfaithful and lived with a
certain Lynda Pond abroad. This induced petitioner to institute a civil action in Geneva,
Switzerland for separation and alimony. Private respondent counter-sued for divorce.

The lower Cantonal Civil Court of Switzerland pronounced the divorce of the
spouses Leonor but reserved the liquidation of the matrimonial partnership. The said
Swiss Court denied alimony to petitioner. In a letter to the lower Cantonal Civil Court,
Mauricio, for the first time, raised the issue of the alleged non-existence of the marriage
between him and Virginia. Meanwhile, Virginia learned that the solemnizing officer in the
Philippines failed to send a copy of their marriage contract to the Civil Registrar. Hence,
Virginia applied for the late registration of her marriage.

On May 22, 1992, Mauricio, represented by his brother Teodoro Leonor, filed a
petition for the cancellation of the late registration of marriage in the civil registry. Given as
grounds for the cancellation were the tardiness of the registration and the nullity of his
marriage with Virginia due to the non-observance of the legal requirements for a valid
marriage. Mauricio’s petition was filed pursuant to Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.

Acting on Mauricio’s petition, the trial court declared his marriage with Virginia
null and void and ordered the cancellation of his marriage with Virginia.

Issue:
Whether or not the declaration of marriage under Rule 108 of the rules of court
was proper.

Decision:
No. Doctrinally, the only errors that can be cancelled or corrected under this Rule
are typographical or clerical errors, not material or substantial ones like the validity or
nullity of a marriage. Where the effect of a correction in a civil registry will change the civil
status of petitioner and her children from legitimate to illegitimate, the same cannot be
granted except only in an adversarial proceeding.

ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE: PROPER PARTY

A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC

RE: PROPOSED RULE ON DECLARATION OF ABSOLUTE NULLITY OF VOID


MARRIAGES AND ANNULMENT OF VOIDABLE MARRIAGES

Section 2. Petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages.

(a) Who may file. - A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may
be filed solely by the husband or the wife. (n)

(b) Where to file. - The petition shall be filed in the Family Court.

(c) Imprescriptibility of action or defense. - An Action or defense for the declaration


of absolute nullity of void marriage shall not prescribe.

P a g e | 79
(d) What to allege. - A petition under Article 36 of Family Code shall specially allege
te complete facts showing the either or both parties were psychologically
incapacitated from complying with the essential marital obligations of marriages at
the time of the celebration of marriage even if such incapacity becomes manifest
only after its celebration.

Juliano – Llave vs Republic of the Philippines


GR No. 169766
Ponente: Justice Mariano Del Castillo

Facts:
Around 11 months before his death, Sen. Tamano married Estrellita twice –
initially under the Islamic laws and tradition and, subsequently, under a civil ceremony. In
their marriage contracts, Sen. Tamano’s civil status was indicated as ‘divorced.’

After Sen.Tamano’s death, herein respondents Hadja Putri Zorayda Tamano and
her son Adib Tamano filed a copmplaint to declare the marriage between Estrellita and
Sen.Tamano void for being bigamous.

The complaint alleged that the marriage between Zorayda and Sen.Tamano was
celebrated under civil rites and that their marriage remained subsisting.

The RTC declared the marriage between Estrallita and Sen.Tamano void. The
Court of Appeals upheld RTC’s decision.Hence, this petition.

In this petition, Estrallita relied on AM No. 02-11-10-SC claiming that under


Sec.2(a) thereof, only she and Sen.Tamano may file for the declaration of absolute nullity
of marriage.

Issue:
Whether or not the respondents have the legal standing to file the petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage.

Decision:
Yes. Indeed, Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC precludes the son from
impugning the subsequent marriage. But in the case at bar, both Zorayda and Adib have
legal personalities to file an action for nullity. Albeit the Supreme Court Resolution governs
marriages celebrated under the Family Code, such is prospective in application and does
not apply to cases already commenced before March 15, 2003.

Zorayda and Adib filed the case for declaration of nullity of Estrellita’s marriage in
November 1994. While the Family Code is silent with respect to the proper party who can
file a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage prior to A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, it has
been held that in a void marriage, in which no marriage has taken place and cannot be the
source of rights, any interested party may attack the marriage directly or collaterally
without prescription, which may be filed even beyond the lifetime of the parties to the
marriage.Since A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not apply, Adib, as one of the children of the
deceased who has property rights as an heir, is likewise considered to be the real party in
interest in the suit he and his mother had filed since both of them stand to be benefited or
injured by the judgment in the suit.

Niñal vs Bayadog
GR No. 133778
P a g e | 80
Ponente: Justice Consuelo Ynares – Santiago

Facts:
Petitioner’s father married herein respondent without a marriage license as
required under the law. Under that premise and of the assumption that the status of the
second marriage will affect their successional rights, petitioners filed for the declaration of
nullity of the marriage of their father to herein respondent.

Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that petitioners have no legal
standing to file an action under Article 47 of the Family Code.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioners have the legal standing to file an action for the
declaration of nullity of marriage.

Decision:
Yes. Voidable and void marriages are not identical. Article 47 pertains to the
grounds, periods and persons who can file an annulment suit, not a suit for declaration of
nullity of marriage. A voidable marriage cannot be assailed collaterally except in a direct
proceeding while a void marriage can be attacked collaterally. That is why the action or
defense for nullity is imprescriptible, unlike voidable marriages where the action
prescribes. Only the parties to a voidable marriage can assail it but any proper interested
party may attack a void marriage.

Enrico vs Medinacelli
GR No. 173614
Ponente: Justice Minita Chico - Nazario

Facts:
Eulogio Medinaceli and Trinidad Catli were married. On May 1, 2004, Trinidad
died. On August 2004, Eulogio married petitioner Lolita Enrico. On February 2005, Eulogio
died. The heirs of Eulogio Medinacelli sought to nullify the marriage of Eulogio and
petitioner on the ground that it lacks the required marriage license.

Lolita, in her defense, sought for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground
that it is only the contracting parties while living who can file the action for nullity of
marriage.

The RTC dismissed the complaint, citing AM No. 02-11-10-SC. However, upon
motion for reconsideration, the RTC reversed itself. It based its decision on the case of
Ninal vs Bayadog where it was held that the heirs have their standing to file for the nullity
of marriage even after the death of the parties.

It further raciocinated that that AM No.02-11-10-SC is applicable only when both


parties are still alive, otherwise such void union will be at premium.

Issue:
Whether or not the respondent heirs are the proper party to question the validity
of the marriage.
Decision:
No. While it is true that Niñal in no uncertain terms allowed therein petitioners to
file a petition for the declaration of nullity of their father’s marriage to therein respondent
P a g e | 81
after the death of their father however,the court cannot apply its ruling for the reason that
the impugned marriage therein was solemnized prior to the effectivity of the Family Code.
The Court in Niñal recognized that the applicable law to determine the validity of the two
marriages involved therein is the Civil Code, which was the law in effect at the time of their
celebration. This case belongs to a different milieu, i.e., the marriage sought to be
declared void was entered into during the effectivity of the Family Code. As can be
gleaned from the facts, petitioner’s marriage to Eulogio was celebrated in 2004.

Catalan vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 167109
Ponente: Justice Consuelo Ynares – Santiago

Facts:
Petitioner Felicitas Amor-Catalan married respondent Orlando on June 4, 1950 in
Mabini, Pangasinan.Thereafter, they migrated to the United States of America and
allegedly became naturalized citizens thereof. After 38 years of marriage, Felicitas and
Orlando divorced in April 1988.

Two months after the divorce, or on June 16, 1988, Orlando married respondent
Merope. Contending that said marriage was bigamous since Merope had a prior
subsisting marriage with Eusebio Bristol, petitioner filed a petition for declaration of nullity
of marriage against Orlando and Merope.

Respondents filed a motion to dismiss8 on the ground of lack of cause of action


as petitioner was allegedly not a real party-in-interest, but it was denied.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is a real party in interest.

Decision:
The case was remanded to the trial court for reception of additional evidence
necessary to determine whether respondent was granted a divorce decree and whether
the foreign law which granted the same allows or restricts remarriage.

A divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction,


provided such decree is valid according to the national law of the foreigner.However,
before it can be recognized by our courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a
fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it, which must be proved
considering that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws.

Without the divorce decree and foreign law as part of the evidence, the issue of
whether petitioner has the personality to file the petition for declaration of nullity of
marriage cannot be decided.

Carlos vs Sandoval
GR No. 179922
Ponente: Justice Ruben Reyes

Facts:
Spouses Felix B. Carlos and Felipa Elemia died intestate. They left six parcels of
land to their compulsory heirs, Teofilo Carlos and petitioner Juan De Dios Carlos.

On May 13, 1992, Teofilo died intestate. He was survived by respondents


Felicidad and their son, Teofilo Carlos II.
P a g e | 82
In August 1995, petitioner commenced an action against respondents. In his
complaint, petitioner asserted that the marriage between his late brother Teofilo and
respondent Felicidad was a nullity in view of the absence of the required marriage license.
He likewise maintained that his deceased brother was neither the natural nor the adoptive
father of respondent Teofilo Carlos II.

The RTC rendered judgment in favor of petitioner but said decision was reversed
by the Court of Appeals.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is a party in interest in the annulment suit.

Decision:
The case was remanded to the RTC. The marriage having been solemnized prior
to the effectivity of the Family Code, the applicable law is the Civil Code which was the law
in effect at the time of its celebration. Although the code is silent as to who can file an
action for nullity of marriage, it cannot be construed as a license for any person to institute
a nullity case. Such person must be a real party in interest.

In the case at bench, the records reveal that when Teofilo died intestate in 1992,
his only surviving compulsory heirs are respondent Felicidad and their son, Teofilo II.
Under the law on succession, successional rights are transmitted from the moment of
death of the decedent and the compulsory heirs are called to succeed by operation of law.
A brother is not among those considered as compulsory heirs. But although a collateral
relative, such as a brother, does not fall within the ambit of a compulsory heir, he still has
a right to succeed to the estate.

Only the presence of descendants, ascendants or illegitimate children excludes


collateral relatives from succeeding to the estate of the decedent. The presence of
legitimate, illegitimate, or adopted child or children of the deceased precludes succession
by collateral relatives.

If respondent Teofilo II is declared and finally proven not to be the legitimate,


illegitimate, or adopted son of Teofilo, petitioner would then have a personality to seek the
nullity of marriage of his deceased brother with respondent Felicidad. This is so,
considering that collateral relatives, like a brother and sister, acquire successional right
over the estate if the decedent dies without issue and without ascendants in the direct line.

Article 40. The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes
of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous
marriage void.

Domingo vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 104818
Ponente: Justice Flerida Ruth Romero

Facts:
Petitioner Roberto Domingo is married to Delia Soledad Avera. She discovered
however that Roberto is previously married to one Emerlina Dela Paz. She also found out
that petitioner have disposed some of her properties she obtained while working in Saudi
Arabia without her consent.

P a g e | 83
As she was working abroad, she appointer her brother as attorney-in-fact to
administer her property on account of the nullity of her marriage with petitioner. However,
petitioner failed to turn over the properties to Delia’s brother. Thus, a preliminary injunction
was filed by Delia to enjoin the petitioner from performing any act of administration over
the properties. She likewise prayed for the declaration of nullity of her marriage.

Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that since the marriage was void ab
initio, the petition of Delia is superfluous and is not necessary. The motion to dismiss is
denied. Hence, this petition.

As regards the necessity for a judicial declaration of absolute nullity of marriage,


petitioner submits that the same can be maintained only if it is for the purpose of
remarriage. Failure to allege this purpose, according to petitioner's theory, will warrant
dismissal of the same.

Issue:
Whether or not a declaration of nullity of marriage is still necessary in void ab
initio marriages.

Decision:
Yes. Crucial to the proper interpretation of Article 40 is the position in the
provision of the word "solely." As it is placed, the same shows that it is meant to qualify
"final judgment declaring such previous marriage void." Realizing the need for careful
craftsmanship in conveying the precise intent of the Committee members, the provision in
question, as it finally emerged, did not state "The absolute nullity of a previous marriage
may be invoked solely for purposes of remarriage . . .," in which case "solely" would
clearly qualify the phrase "for purposes of remarriage." Had the phraseology been such,
the interpretation of petitioner would have been correct and, that is, that the absolute
nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked solely for purposes of remarriage, thus
rendering irrelevant the clause "on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such
previous marriage void."

Article 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at
the time of the marriage:

(1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was
eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was
solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having
substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the
age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived
together as husband and wife;

(2) That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to
reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;

(3) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party
afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited
with the other as husband and wife;

(4) That the consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue
influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter
freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;

P a g e | 84
(5) That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with
the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or

(6) That either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be
serious and appears to be incurable.

Villanueva vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 132955
Ponente: Justice Consuelo Ynares – Santiago

Facts:
Orlando filed a petition for annulment against his wife Lilia for the alleged threats
and duress that forced him to marry her. He also alleged that Lilia was already pregnant
when he married her and that he did not impregnate her prior to the marriage.

In her answer, Lilia prayed for the dismissal of the petition, arguing that petitioner
freely cohabited with her and petitioner know of her pregnancy.

Orlando’s petition was dismissed by the RTC and the said decision was affirmed
by the Court of Appeals.

Issue:
Whether or not the marriage is voidable on the grounds of vitiated consent.

Decision:
No. First, despite the alleged coerced consent, it took Orlando a span of not less
than four years to have the marriage annulled.

Second, the Court is not convinced that appellant’s apprehension of danger to


his person is so overwhelming as to deprive him of the will to enter voluntarily to a contract
of marriage. It is not disputed that at the time he was allegedly being harassed, appellant
worked as a security guard in a bank. Given his employment at that time, it is reasonable
to assume that appellant knew the rudiments of self-defense, or, at the very least, the
proper way to keep himself out of harm’s way.

Third, appellant’s excuse that he could not have impregnated the appellee
because he did not have an erection during their tryst is flimsy at best, and an outright lie
at worst. The complaint is bereft of any reference to his inability to copulate with the
appellee. His counsel also conceded before the lower court that his client had a sexual
relationship with the appellee.He also narrated that sometime in January 1988, he and the
appellee went to a hotel where "the sexual act was consummated, with the defendant on
top".

Anaya vs Palaroan
GR No. L-27930
Ponente: Justice Jose B.L Reyes

Facts:
Aurora and defendant Fernando were married on 4 December 1953. Fernando
filed an action for annulment of the marriage on the ground that his consent was obtained
through force and intimidation.

While the amount of the counterclaim was being negotiated "to settle the
judgment," Fernando had divulged to Aurora that several months prior to their marriage he
P a g e | 85
had pre-marital relationship with a close relative of his. This prompted Aurora to file a
complaint for nullity of marriage on the ground of fraud against Fernando.

Issue:
Whether or not the non-disclosure to a wife by her husband of his pre-marital
relationship with another woman is a ground for annulment of marriage.

Decision:
No. For fraud as a vice of consent in marriage, which may be a cause for its
annulment, comes under Article 85, No. 4, of the Civil Code, which provides:

ART. 85. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time
of the marriage:

xxx xxx xxx

(4) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party
afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the
other as her husband or his wife, as the case may be;

This fraud, as vice of consent, is limited exclusively by law to those kinds or species of
fraud enumerated in Article 86, as follows:

ART. 86. Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in number 4
of the preceding article:

(1) Misrepresentation as to the identity of one of the contracting parties;

(2) Non-disclosure of the previous conviction of the other party of a crime involving
moral turpitude, and the penalty imposed was imprisonment for two years or more;

(3) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was
pregnant by a man other than her husband.

No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, rank, fortune or chastity


shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage.

The intention of Congress to confine the circumstances that can constitute fraud
as ground for annulment of marriage to the foregoing three cases may be deduced from
the fact that, of all the causes of nullity enumerated in Article 85, fraud is the only one
given special treatment in a subsequent article within the chapter on void and voidable
marriages. If its intention were otherwise, Congress would have stopped at Article 85, for,
anyway, fraud in general is already mentioned therein as a cause for annulment.

To stress further such intention, the enumeration of the specific frauds was
followed by the interdiction: "No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, rank,
fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the
annulment of marriage."

Non-disclosure of a husband's pre-marital relationship with another woman is not


one of the enumerated circumstances that would constitute a ground for annulment; and it
is further excluded by the last paragraph of the article, providing that "no other
misrepresentation or deceit as to ... chastity" shall give ground for an action to annul a
marriage.
P a g e | 86
Jimenez vs Cañizares
GR No. L – 12790
Ponente: Justice Sabino Padilla

Facts:
Joel Jimenez prays for a decree annulling his marriage to the defendant
Remedios Cañizares upon the ground that the office of her genitals or vagina was to small
to allow the penetration of a male organ or penis for copulation.

The wife, despite court orders to submit herself to physical examination, failed to
do so.She also failed to attend the hearings. As a result, the court entered a decree
annulling her marriage to petioner.
Issue:
Whether or not the lone testimony of the husband as to the wife’s impotency is
sufficient to grant the annulment.

Decision:
No. Impotency being an abnormal condition should not be presumed. The
presumption is in favor of potency.The lone testimony of the husband that his wife is
physically incapable of sexual intercourse is insufficient to tear asunder the ties that have
bound them together as husband and wife.

Article 48. In all cases of annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage,


the Court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to appear on
behalf of the State to take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and to
take care that evidence is not fabricated or suppressed.
In the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, no judgment shall be based
upon a stipulation of facts or confession of judgment.

Republic vs Cuison – Melgar


GR No. 139676
Ponente; Justice Ma. Alicia Austria – Martinez

Facts:
On March 27, 1965, Norma and Eulogio were married. On August 19, 1996,
Norma filed for declaration of nullity of her marriage on the ground of Eulogio’s
psychological incapacity to comply with his essential marital obligations.

On November 25, 1996, the RTC ordered the Public Prosecutor to conduct an
investigation on the case to determine whether or not there exists collusion between the
contending parties.On December 18, 1996, Public Prosecutor Joven M. Maramba
submitted his Manifestation to the effect that no collusion existed between the contending
parties. During the trial, only Norma testified.

The RTC rendered its decision nullifying the marriage of Norma and Eulogio. The
OSG appealed to the Court of Appeals, contending that the evidence is not enough to
declare the marriage void. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC’s decision, hence this
appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not the evidence presented is sufficient to prove Eulogio’s
psychological incapacity.

P a g e | 87
Decision:
No. Aside from the fact that only Norma’s testimony was presented, the State did
not actively participate in the prosecution of the case at the trial level. Other than the
Public Prosecutor’s Manifestation26 that no collusion existed between the contending
parties and the brief cross-examination27 which had barely scratched the surface, no
pleading, motion, or position paper was filed by the Public Prosecutor or the OSG. The
State should have been given the opportunity to present controverting evidence before the
judgment was rendered. Truly, only the active participation of the Public Prosecutor or the
OSG will ensure that the interest of the State is represented and protected in proceedings
for annulment and declaration of nullity of marriages by preventing collusion between the
parties, or the fabrication or suppression of evidence.

Tuason vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 116607
Ponente: Justice Reynato Puno

Facts:
In 1989, private respondent Maria Victoria Lopez Tuason filed with the Regional
Trial Court a petition for annulment or declaration of nullity of her marriage to petitioner
Emilio R. Tuason. This was opposed by Emilio.

After the issues were joined, trial commenced on March 30, 1990. Two days
before the scheduled hearing, a counsel for petitioner moved for a postponement on the
ground that the principal counsel was out of the country and due to return on the first week
of June. The court granted the motion.

On the date of the rescheduled hearing, petitioner failed to appear. On oral


motion of private respondent, the court declared petitioner to have waived his right to
present evidence and deemed the case submitted for decision on the basis of the
evidence presented. The trial court rendered judgment declaring the nullity of private
respondents marriage to petitioner.

Petitioner, through new counsel, filed with the trial court for a petition for relief
from judgment. The trial court denied the petition. Appeal to the Court of Appeals also
proved futile. Hence, this appeal.

In this petition, Emilio contends among others that when he failed to appear, the
trial court should have ordered the prosecuting officer to intervene for the state and inquire
as to the reason of his non-appearance.

Issue:
Whether or not appearance by the prosecutor in behalf of the state is necessary.

Decision:
No. Petitioners vehement opposition to the annulment proceedings negates the
conclusion that collusion existed between the parties. There is no allegation by the
petitioner that evidence was suppressed or fabricated by any of the parties. Under these
circumstances, the non-intervention of a prosecuting attorney to assure lack of collusion
between the contending parties is not fatal to the validity of the proceedings in the trial
court.

Article 50. The effects provided for by paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5) of Article 43
and by Article 44 shall also apply in the proper cases to marriages which are
declared ab initio or annulled by final judgment under Articles 40 and 45.
P a g e | 88
The final judgment in such cases shall provide for the liquidation, partition and
distribution of the properties of the spouses, the custody and support of the
common children, and the delivery of third presumptive legitimes, unless such
matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings.

All creditors of the spouses as well as of the absolute community or the conjugal
partnership shall be notified of the proceedings for liquidation.

In the partition, the conjugal dwelling and the lot on which it is situated, shall be
adjudicated in accordance with the provisions of Articles 102 and 129.

Diño vs Diño
GR No. 178044
Ponente: Justice Antonio Carpio

Facts:
Petitioner Alain Diño obtained a judgment of nullity of marriage against
respondent Caridad. In the decision of the trial court, it ordered the spouses to liquidate
their assets under Article 50 and 51 of the Family Code before a decree will be issued to
that effect.

The RTC decision was modified after a motion for reconsideration and instead
ordered the partition of the properties under Article 147 of the Family Code before the
decree of annulment will be issued.

Issue:
Whether or not liquidation of the properties is an indispensable requirement for the
issuance of a decree of absolute nullity of void marriages under Article 36.

Decision:
No. Article 50 of the Family Code applies only to marriages which are declared
void ab initio or annulled by final judgment under Articles 40 and 45 of the Family Code. In
short, Article 50 of the Family Code does not apply to marriages which are declared void
ab initio under Article 36 of the Family Code, which should be declared void without
waiting for the liquidation of the properties of the parties.

In this case, petitioner’s marriage to respondent was declared void under Article
3615 of the Family Code and not under Article 40 or 45. Thus, what governs the
liquidation of properties owned in common by petitioner and respondent are the rules on
co-ownership.

Article 55. A petition for legal separation may be filed on any of the following
grounds:

(1) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the
petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner;

(2) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious
or political affiliation;

(3) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a


child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption
or inducement;
P a g e | 89
(4) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six
years, even if pardoned;

(5) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;

(6) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;

(7) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in


the Philippines or abroad;

(8) Sexual infidelity or perversion;

(9) Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner; or

(10) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more


than one year.

Ong Eng Kiam vs Ong


GR No. 153206
Ponente: Justice Ma. Alicia Austria- Martinez

Facts:
On March 21, 1996, Lucita filed a Complaint for Legal Separation under Article
55 par. (1) of the Family Code alleging that her life with William was marked by physical
violence, threats, intimidation and grossly abusive conduct.

Lucita claimed that soon after three years of marriage, she and William quarreled
almost every day, with physical violence being inflicted upon her; William would shout
invectives at her, and he would slap her, kick her, pull her hair, bang her head against
concrete wall and throw at her whatever he could reach with his hand; the causes of these
fights were petty things regarding their children or their business; William would also scold
and beat the children at different parts of their bodies using the buckle of his belt;
whenever she tried to stop William from hitting the children, he would turn his ire on her
and box her; on December 9, 1995, after she protested with William’s decision to allow
their eldest son Kingston to go to Bacolod, William slapped her and said, "it is none of
your business"; on December 14, 1995, she asked William to bring Kingston back from
Bacolod; a violent quarrel ensued and William hit her on her head, left cheek, eye,
stomach, and arms; when William hit her on the stomach and she bent down because of
the pain, he hit her on the head then pointed a gun at her and asked her to leave the
house; she then went to her sister’s house in Binondo where she was fetched by her other
siblings and brought to their parent’s house in Dagupan.

On January 5, 1998, the RTC rendered its Decision decreeing legal separation.
This decree was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Hence, this petition.

In this petition, William contends that since Lucita is guilty of abandonment, the
petition should be denied.

Issue:
Whether or not the decree of legal separation was proper.

P a g e | 90
Decision:
Yes. The abandonment referred to by the Family Code is abandonment without
justifiable cause for more than one year.As it was established that Lucita left William due
to his abusive conduct, such does not constitute abandonment contemplated by the said
provision.

Dela Cruz vs Dela Cruz


GR No. L-19565
Ponente: Justice Fred Ruiz Castro

Facts:
Plaintiff Estrella Dela Cruz prays for separation of property, monthly support and
attorney’s fees due to her husband’s alleged abandonment.

While it is submitted that defendant seldom stays and have not slept in their
conjugal dwelling since 1955, it was admitted that while he was away, he continuously
supported her and their children.

Severino on his part said that he has no intention of abandoning his wife but only
to teach her a lesson as she was quarrelsome and an extremely jealous woman.

Issue:
Whether or not there was abandonment as to warrant a separation of the
properties of the spouses.

Decision:
No. The abandonment must not only be physical estrangement but also amount
to financial and moral desertion. Therefore, physical separation alone is not the full
meaning of the term "abandonment", if the husband, despite his voluntary departure from
the society of his spouse, neither neglects the management of the conjugal partnership
nor ceases to give support to his wife.

Gadionco vs Penaranda
GR No. 79284
Ponente: Justice Teodoro Padilla

Facts:
A petition for legal separation was filed against herein petitioner on the ground of
concubinage. Subsequently, a criminal case for concubinage was filed against him.

Petitioner now contends that the action for legal separation, grounded on
concubinage, will have to be suspended to await conviction or acquittal for concubinage
as such civil action is inextricably tied to the criminal action.

Issue:
Whether or not a petition for legal separation may be granted pending the
criminal case for concubinage where the civil action was also grounded at.

Decision:
Yes. A decree of legal separation, on the ground of concubinage, may be issued
upon proof by preponderance of evidence in the action for legal separation. No criminal
proceeding or conviction is necessary.

P a g e | 91
Article 56. The petition for legal separation shall be denied on any of the following
grounds:

(1) Where the aggrieved party has condoned the offense or act complained of;
(2) Where the aggrieved party has consented to the commission of the offense or
act complained of;

(3) Where there is connivance between the parties in the commission of the offense
or act constituting the ground for legal separation;

(4) Where both parties have given ground for legal separation;

(5) Where there is collusion between the parties to obtain decree of legal
separation; or

(6) Where the action is barred by prescription.

PARDON

Arroyo vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 96602
Ponente; Justice Florentino Feliciano

Facts:
Dr. Jorge Neri filed a criminal complaint for adultery against petitioner and his
wife Rubi Neri. Both were found guilty by the RTC. Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration while Vera moved for a new trial. They contend that a pardon has been
extended by her husband.

On August 26, 1991, Dr. Neri filed a manifestation praying that the case against
petitioners be dismissed as he had tacitly consented to his wife’s infidelity. Petitioners then
filed a motion to dismiss or a new trial based on Dr. Neri’s manifestation.

Issue:
Whether or not a manifestation of pardon or consent executed after filing the
criminal complaint will benefit the accused.

Decision:
No. For either consent or pardon to benefit the accused, it must be given prior to
the filing of a criminal complaint. In the present case, the affidavit of desistance was
executed only after the trial court had already rendered its decision.

CONDONATION

Bugayong vs Ginez
GR No. L-10033
Ponente: Justice Alfonso Felix

Facts:
Benjamin Bugayong, a serviceman in the United States Navy, was married to
defendant Leonila Ginez .After some time, or about July, 1951, Leonila Ginez left the
dwelling of her sister-in-law and informed her husband by letter that she had gone to
reside with her mother in Asingan, Pangasinan, from which place she later moved to
Dagupan City to study in a local college there.
P a g e | 92
As early as July, 1951, Benjamin Bugayong began receiving letters informing
him of alleged acts of infidelity of his wife which he did not even care to mention.

Plaintiff went to Asingan, Pangasinan, and sought for his wife whom he met in
the house of one Mrs. Malalang, defendant's godmother. She came along with him and
both proceeded to the house of Pedro Bugayong, a cousin of the plaintiff-husband, where
they stayed and lived for 2 nights and 1 day as husband and wife. Then they repaired to
the plaintiff's house and again passed the night therein as husband and wife. On the
second day, Benjamin Bugayong tried to verify from his wife the truth of the information he
received that she had committed adultery but Leonila, instead of answering his query,
merely packed up and left, which he took as a confirmation of the acts of infidelity imputed
on her. After that and despite such belief, plaintiff exerted efforts to locate her and failing
to find her, he went to Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, "to soothe his wounded feelings".

Benjamin Bugayong filed in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan a complaint


for legal separation against his wife. The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on
the ground that the act charged had been condoned by the husband.
Issue:
Whether or not there was condonation of the acts of the wife by the husband.

Decision:
Yes. The act of the petitioner in persuading her to come along with him, and the
fact that she went with him and consented to be brought to the house of his cousin and
together they slept there as husband and wife for one day and one night, and the further
fact that in the second night they again slept together in their house likewise as husband
and wife — all these facts have no other meaning than that a reconciliation between them
was effected and that there was a condonation of the wife by the husband.

A single voluntary act of sexual intercourse by the innocent spouse after


discovery of the offense is ordinarily sufficient to constitute condonation, especially as
against the husband.

Matubis vs Praxedes
GR No. L-11766
Ponente: Justice Jose Ma. Paredes

Facts:
Plaintiff and defendant were legally married. For failure to agree on how they
should live as husband and wife, the couple agreed to live separately from each other.
They entered into an agreement where it was stipulated that neither of them can
prosecute the other for adultery or concubinage.

In January 1955, defendant began cohabiting with another woman. Alleging


abandonment and concubinage, Socorro filed a complaint for legal separation against
Zoilo.

The trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground that the agreement
between Socorro and Zoilo is a tacit expression of her consent to the commission of
concubinage by her husband.

Issue:
Whether or not there was condonation.

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Decision:
Yes. Condonation and consent on the part of plaintiff are necessarily the import
the agreement. The condonation and consent here are not only implied but expressed.

Having condoned and/or consented in writing, the plaintiff is now undeserving of


the court's sympathy.

People vs Zapata
GR No. L-3047
Ponente: Justice Sabino Padilla

Facts:
A complaint for adultery was filed by Andres Bondoc against his wife Guadalupe
Zapata and Dalmacio Bondoc, for cohabiting and having sexual intercourse during the
period from 1946 – March 1947. Dalmacio knows that his co-defendant is a married
woman.

The defendant wife entered a plea of guilty. In September 1948, Andres filed
another complaint for adultery committed from March 15, 1947 to September 17, 1948.

Defendants filed a motion to quash on the ground of double jeopardy.

Issue:
Whether or not there was double jeopardy.

Decision:
No. Adultery is an instantaneous crime which is consummated and exhausted or
completed at the moment of the carnal union.

After the last acts of adultery had been committed as charged in the first
complaint, the defendants again committed adulterous acts not included in the first
complaint and for which the second complaint was filed.

Another reason why a second complaint charging the commission of adulterous


acts not included in the first complaint does not constitute a violation of the double
jeopardy clause of the constitution is that, if the second places complaint the defendants
twice in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense, the adultery committed by the male
defendant charged in the second complaint, should he be absolved from, or acquitted of,
the first charge upon the evidence that he did not know that his codefendant was a
married woman, would remain or go unpunished. The defense set up by him against the
first charge upon which he was acquitted would no longer be available, because at the
time of the commission of the crime charged in the second complaint, he already knew
that this defendant was a married woman and he continued to have carnal knowledge of
her. Even if the husband should pardon his adulterous wife, such pardon would not
exempt the wife and her paramour from criminal liability for adulterous acts committed
after the pardon was granted because the pardon refers to previous and not to
subsequent adulterous acts.

CONSENT

People vs Schneckenburger
GR No. L-48183
Ponente: Justice Manuel Moran

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Facts:
On March 16, 1926, the accused Rodolfo A. Schneckenburger married the
compliant Elena Ramirez Cartagena and after seven years of martial life, they agreed, for
reason of alleged incompatibility of character, to live separately each other. They executed
an agreement that each of them should be free to cohabit with another.

On June 15, 1935, Schneckenburger, without leving the Philippines, secured a


divorce from Mexico and contracted another marriage with Julia Medel.

Because of that, complainant instituted actions for bigamy and concubinage.


During trial, accused interposed the plea of double jeopardy.

Issue:
Whether or not there is double jeopardy.

Decision:
No. Bigamy and concubinage are two distinct offenses in law and in fact as well
as in the mode of their prosecution. The celebration of the second marriage, with the first
still existing, characterizes the crime of bigamy; on the other hand, in the present case,
mere cohabitation by the husband with a woman who is not his wife characterizes the
crime of concubinage.

The accused should be acquitted of the crime of concubinage. The document


executed by and between the accused and the complaint while illegal for the purpose for
which it was executed, constitutes nevertheless a valid consent to the act of concubinage
within the meaning of section 344 of the Revised Penal Code. There can be no doubt that
by such agreement, each party clearly intended to forego to illicit acts of the other.

Article 58. An action for legal separation shall in no case be tried before six months
shall have elapsed since the filing of the petition.

Araneta vs Concepcion
GR No. L- 9667
Ponente: Justice Alejo Labrador

Facts:
Petitioner Luis Ma. Araneta filed a case for legal separation against his wife on
the ground of adultery. The wife prayed for the custody of their minor child and monthly
support.

Petitioner prayed that the parties be required to submit evidence as the petition
for custody and support cannot be determined without evidence.

The Trial Court denied petitioner’s motion, citing Article 103 of the Civil Code,
prohibiting a trial of a legal separation case within six months from its filing.

Issue:
Whether or not all other actions pertaining to a decree of legal separation will be
put off as part of the cooling off period.

Decision:
No. While it is true that the six month period is intended for a cooling off period, it
does not have the effect of overriding other provisions.

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CONFESSION OF JUDGMENT

Article 60. No decree of legal separation shall be based upon a stipulation of facts
or a confession of judgment.

In any case, the Court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to
take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and to take care that the
evidence is not fabricated or suppressed.

De Ocampo vs Florenciano
GR No. L-13553
Ponente: Justice Cesar Bengzon

Facts:
Jose de Ocampo and Serafino Florenciano are married. Sometime in 1951, Jose
discovered Serafina’s affair with Jose Arcalas. Because of this, Jose sent his wife to
Manila. While in Manila, Jose discovered that she was having an affair with another man
named Nelson Orzame.

Jose then expressed his intention to file a case for legal separation, which
Serafina agreed. When asked by the fiscal, she reiterated her intention to get separated
and admitted having sexual relations with Orzame.

Basing on this facts, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals understood it as
admission or confession of judgment and denied the petition for legal separation.

Issue
Whether or not Serafina’s act of agreeing to the legal separation tantamounts to
confession of judgment.

Decision:
No. Confession of judgment usually happens when the defendant appears in
court and confesses the right of plaintiff to judgment or files a pleading expressly agreeing
to the plaintiff's demand.

Yet, even supposing that the above statement of defendant constituted


practically a confession of judgment, inasmuch as there is evidence of the adultery
independently of such statement, the decree may and should be granted, since it would
not be based on her confession, but upon evidence presented by the plaintiff. What the
law prohibits is a judgment based exclusively or mainly on defendant's confession. If a
confession defeats the action ipso facto, any defendant who opposes the separation will
immediately confess judgment, purposely to prevent it.

The mere circumstance that defendants told the Fiscal that she "like also" to be legally
separated from her husband, is no obstacle to the successful prosecution of the action.
When she refused to answer the complaint, she indicated her willingness to be separated.
Yet, the law does not order the dismissal. Allowing the proceeding to continue, it takes
precautions against collusion, which implies more than consent or lack of opposition to the
agreement.

Brown vs Yambao
GR No. L – 10699
Ponente; Justice Jose B.L Reyes

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Facts:
On July 14, 1955, William H. Brown filed to obtain legal separation from his lawful
wife Juanita Yambao. He alleged under oath that while interned by the Japanese
invaders, his wife engaged in adulterous relations with one Carlos Field of whom she
begot a baby girl that Brown learned of his wifes misconduct only in 1945, upon his
release from internment.

The wife failed to answer in due time and was declared in default. Assistant City
Fiscal Rafael Jose appeared at the trial, and cross-examined plaintiff Brown. His
questions elicited the fact that after liberation, Brown had lived maritally with another
woman and had begotten children by her. Thereafter, the court rendered judgment
denying the legal separation asked, on the ground that, while the wife's adultery was
established, Brown had incurred in a misconduct of similar nature that barred his right of
action. Hence, this appeal.

In this appeal, Brown argues that in cross-examining him with regard to his
marital relation with Lilia Deito, who was not his wife, the Assistant Fiscal acted as consel
for the defaulting wife, when the power of the prosecuting officer is limited to finding out
whether or not there is collusion, and if there is no collusion, which is the fact in the case
at bar, to intervene for the state which is not the fact in the instant case, the truth of the
matter being that he intervened for Juanita Yambao, the defendant-appellee, who is
private citizen and who is far from being the state.

Issue:
Whether or not the Assistant City Fiscal acted beyond his duty of determining a
possible collusion.

Decision:
No. Collusion in matrimonial cases being the act of married persons in procuring
a divorce by mutual consent, whether by pre-concerted commission by one of a
matrimonial offense, or by failure, in pursuance of agreement to defend divorce
proceedings, it was legitimate for the Fiscal to bring to light any circumstances that could
give rise to the inference that the wife's default was calculated, or agreed upon, to enable
appellant to obtain the decree of legal separation that he sought without regard to the
legal merits of his case. One such circumstance is obviously the fact of Brown's
cohabitation with a woman other than his wife, since it bars him from claiming legal
separation.

Article 63. The decree of legal separation shall have the following effects:

(1) The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the
marriage bonds shall not be severed;
(2) The absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved and
liquidated but the offending spouse shall have no right to any share of the net
profits earned by the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, which shall
be forfeited in accordance with the provisions of Article 43(2);

(3) The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse,
subject to the provisions of Article 213 of this Code; and

(4) The offending spouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from the innocent
spouse by intestate succession. Moreover, provisions in favor of the offending
spouse made in the will of the innocent spouse shall be revoked by operation of
law.
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Lapuz – Sy vs Eufemio
GR No. L- 30977
Ponente: Justice Jose B.L Reyes

Facts:
Carmen Lapuz – Sy filed an action for legal separation against her husband
Eufemio. While the trial for legal separation was on going, Carmen Lapuz – Sy died.
Eufemio then moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the death of Carmen
abated such action.

Issue:
Whether or not an action for legal separation is abated by the death of one of the
parties.

Decision:
Yes. An action for legal separation which involves nothing more than the bed-
and-board separation of the spouses is purely personal. Being personal in character, it
follows that the death of one of the parties to the action causes the death of the action
itself.

Bañez vs Bañez
GR No. 132592
Ponente: Justice Leonardo Quisumbing

Facts:
Aida Bañez obtained a decree of legal separation against her husband. Part of
such decision pertains to the sharing of the conjugal properties. Gabriel filed a notice of
appeal for the decision.

In order to enforce the part of the decree pertaining to the sharing of the conjugal
assets, Aida filed a motion for execution pending appeal. The petition was granted despite
Gabriel’s opposition.

Gabriel elevated the said matter to the Court of Appeals, which granted his
petition. Aida sought for the reconsideration but was denied. In the meantime, the trial
court gave due course to Gabriel’s notice of appeal pertaining to the legal separation
decree. Aida opposed this,stating that a legal separation case allows multiple appeals and
therefore, Gabriel could have filed a record on appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not an action for legal separation is subject to multiple appeals.

Decision:
No. In an action for legal separation, the issues involved in the case will
necessarily relate to the same marital relationship between the parties. The effects of legal
separation, such as entitlement to live separately, dissolution and liquidation of the
absolute community or conjugal partnership, and custody of the minor children, follow
from the decree of legal separation. They are not separate or distinct matters that may be
resolved by the court and become final prior to or apart from the decree of legal
separation. Rather, they are mere incidents of legal separation. Thus, they may not be
subject to multiple appeals.

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF SPOUSES


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Article 68. The husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love,
respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support.

Pelayo vs Lauron
GR No. L – 4089
Ponente; Justice Florentino Torres

Facts:
Petitioner is a physician who attended to the giving birth of respondents’
daughter in law. After rendering his service, respondents failed to pay him, prompting him
to file an action for the payment of the said sum.

Respondents, by way of defense, allege that their daughter – in – law was


accidentally in their house when she delivered the child and that she lived with her
husband in a separate house without any relation whatever with them.

The lower court absolved the defendants. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not respondents are responsible to pay the expenses incurred.

Decision:
No. The rendering of medical assistance in case of illness is comprised among
the mutual obligations to which the spouses are bound by way of mutual support.

If every obligation consists in giving, doing or not doing something and spouses
are mutually bound to support each other, there can be no question but that, when either
of them by reason of illness should be in need of medical assistance, the other is under
the unavoidable obligation to furnish the necessary services of a physician in order that
health may be restored, and he or she may be freed from the sickness by which life is
jeopardized; the party bound to furnish such support is therefore liable for all expenses,
including the fees of the medical expert for his professional services.

The fact that it was not the husband who called the plaintiff and requested his
assistance for his wife is no bar to the fulfillment of the said obligation, as the defendants,
in view of the imminent danger, to which the life of the patient was at that moment
exposed, considered that medical assistance was urgently needed, and the obligation of
the husband to furnish his wife in the indispensable services of a physician at such critical
moments is specially established by the law, as has been seen, and compliance therewith
is unavoidable; therefore, the plaintiff, who believes that he is entitled to recover his fees,
must direct his action against the husband who is under obligation to furnish medical
assistance to his lawful wife in such an emergency.

From the foregoing it may readily be understood that it was improper to have
brought an action against the defendants simply because they were the parties who called
the plaintiff and requested him to assist the patient during her difficult confinement, and
also, possibly, because they were her father and mother-in-law and the sickness occurred
in their house. The defendants were not, nor are they now, under any obligation by virtue
of any legal provision, to pay the fees claimed, nor in consequence of any contract
entered into between them and the plaintiff from which such obligation might have arisen.

Within the meaning of the law, the father and mother-in-law are strangers with
respect to the obligation that devolves upon the husband to provide support, among which
P a g e | 99
is the furnishing of medical assistance to his wife at the time of her confinement; and, on
the other hand, it does not appear that a contract existed between the defendants and the
plaintiff physician, for which reason it is obvious that the former can not be compelled to
pay fees which they are under no liability to pay because it does not appear that they
consented to bind themselves.

Goitia vs Campos – Rueda


GR No. 11263
Ponente: Justice Grant Trent

Facts:
Eloisa and Jose were married. One month after their marriage, Jose demanded
from Eloisa the performance of lewd and lascivious acts on his genitals. The frequent
refusal of Eloisa induced him to maltreat her by word and inflict injuries upon her. This
forced Eloisa to leave the conjugal dwelling and stay with her parents. While with her
parents, Eloisa demanded support from Jose.

Issue:
Whether or not Eloisa is entitled for support.

Decision:
Yes. The mere act of marriage creates an obligation on the part of the husband
to support his wife. This obligation is founded not so much on the express or implied terms
of the contract of marriage as on the natural and legal duty of the husband; an obligation,
the enforcement of which is of such vital concern to the state itself that the laws will not
permit him to terminate it by his own wrongful acts in driving his wife to seek protection in
the parental home. A judgment for separate maintenance is not due and payable either as
damages or as a penalty; nor is it a debt in the strict legal sense of the term, but rather a
judgment calling for the performance of a duty made specific by the mandate of the
sovereign. This is done from necessity and with a view to preserve the public peace and
the purity of the wife; as where the husband makes so base demands upon his wife and
indulges in the habit of assaulting her.

Arroyo vs Vasquez De Arroyo


GR No. L-17014
Ponente: Justice Thomas Street

Facts:

Mariano and Dolores got married in 1910. Due to Mariano’s alleged cruelty,
Dolores was forced to leave the conjugal dwelling and live separately from Mariano.

After earnest efforts to induce her to return failed, Mariano filed a petition to
compel his wife to return and perform the responsibilities of a dutiful wife.

Issue:
Whether or not Mariano can compel Dolores to return by way of a petition?

Decision:
No. It is not within the province of the courts of this country to attempt to compel
one of the spouses to cohabit with, and render conjugal rights to, the other.

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Illusorio vs Bildner – Illusorio
GR No. 139789
Ponente: Justice Bernardo Pardo

Facts:
Erlinda Kalwa and Potenciano Illusorio separated from bed and board after 30
years of marriage.

In 1997, upon Potenciano’s return from the United States, he stayed with Erlinda
for 5 months and was allegedly overdozed by her, causing his health to deteriorate.

In 1998, Potenciano did not return to Erlinda and instead lived in the house of
Sylvia Illusorio – Yap. Alleging that respondents disallows her from seeing him, Erlinda
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus to obtain custody of Potenciano.

Issue:
Whether or not a petition for writ of habeas corpus should be issued.

Decision:
No. A writ of habeas corpus extends to all cases of illegal confinement or
detention, or by which the rightful custody of a person is withheld from the one entitled
thereto. It is available where a person continues to be unlawfully denied of one or more of
his constitutional freedoms, where there is denial of due process, where the restraints are
not merely involuntary but are unnecessary, and where a deprivation of freedom originally
valid has later become arbitrary. It is devised as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve
persons from unlawful restraint, as the best and only sufficient defense of personal
freedom.

The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all
manner of involuntary restraint, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal.

The evidence shows that there was no actual and effective detention or
deprivation of lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio’s liberty that would justify the issuance of the
writ. The fact that lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio is about 86 years of age, or under medication
does not necessarily render him mentally incapacitated. Soundness of mind does not
hinge on age or medical condition but on the capacity of the individual to discern his
actions.

With his full mental capacity coupled with the right of choice, Potenciano Ilusorio
may not be the subject of visitation rights against his free choice. Otherwise, we will
deprive him of his right to privacy. Needless to say, this will run against his fundamental
constitutional right.

No court is empowered as a judicial authority to compel a husband to live with his


wife. Coverture cannot be enforced by compulsion of a writ of habeas corpus carried out
by sheriffs or by any other mesne process. That is a matter beyond judicial authority and
is best left to the man and woman’s free choice.

DONATIONS BETWEEN SPOUSES

ArtIcle 87. Every donation or grant of gratuitous advantage, direct or indirect,


between the spouses during the marriage shall be void, except moderate gifts
which the spouses may give each other on the occasion of any family rejoicing. The

P a g e | 101
prohibition shall also apply to persons living together as husband and wife without
a valid marriage.

Matabuena vs Cervantes
GR No. L-28771
Ponente: Justice Enrique Fernando

Facts:
Felix Matabuena, during his common law relationship with Petronila Cervantes,
executed a deed of donation for the latter. When Felix died, his sister Cornelia questioned
the donation on the ground that it was made during the time that they were not married
and did not acquire ownership thereto and was a void donation.

Issue:
Whether or not the donation made by Felix in favor of Petronila was valid.

Decision:

No. The prohibition of donations between spouses extends to common-law


relationships. The purpose of the prohibition is to avoid undue and improper pressure and
influence upon the donor.

There is every reason to apply the same prohibitive policy to persons living
together as husband and wife without the benefit of nuptials. For it is not to be doubted
that assent to such irregular connection for thirty years bespeaks greater influence of one
party over the other, so that the danger that the law seeks to avoid is correspondingly
increased.

Harding vs Commercial Union Assurance Company


GR No. L-12707
Ponente: Justice Frederich Charles Fisher

Facts:
Henry Harding repurchased a certain automobile from JC Graham on January
1916. Afterwards, he gave the same to his wife, herein petitioner Mrs. Harding who then
insured the said vehicle with the defendant company.

On March 24, 1916, the automobile caught fire and got destroyed. Mrs.Harding
then claimed from herein defendants insurance indemnity.

Despite demands, the company failed to indemnify Mrs. Harding arguing among
others that she was not the owner of the sold automobile, considering that the same was
donated by her husband and donations between spouses are void.

Issue:
Whether or not Mrs. Harding is entitled to indemnity.

Decision:
Yes. Defendants are not in a position to challenge the validity of the transfer, if it
may be called such. They bore absolutely no relation to the parties to the transfer at the
time it occurred and had no rights or interests inchoate, present, remote, or otherwise, in
the property in question at the time the transfer occurred. Although certain transfers from
husband to wife or from wife to husband are prohibited in the article referred to, such
prohibition can be taken advantage of only by persons who bear such a relation to the
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parties making the transfer or to the property itself that such transfer interferes with their
rights or interests. Unless such a relationship appears the transfer cannot be attacked.

ABSOLUTE COMMUNITY, COMPONENTS

Article 91. Unless otherwise provided in this Chapter or in the marriage settlements,
the community property shall consist of all the property owned by the spouses at
the time of the celebration of the marriage or acquired thereafter.

Navarro vs Escobido
GR No. 153788
Ponente: Justice Arturo Brion

Facts:
Private respondent Karen Go filed two complaints for replevin and sum of money
with damages against petitioner Roger Navarro. Karen prayed for the seizure of two motor
vehicles in petitioner’s possession.

In her complaint, she alleged that petitioner entered into a contract of lease with
option to purchase for two vehicles with Kargo Enterprises represented by Glenn Go,
Karen’s husband, as manager. When petitioner defaulted on his payments, Karen Go filed
the above mentioned complaints.

The RTC issued writs of replevin, causing the vehicles to be seized.

In his answer, Navarro alleged that the complaints have no cause of action since
Karen was not a party to the agreements. The RTC initially dismissed the complaint but
reversed itself after Karen’s motion for reconsideration. It ruled that Karen was a party in
interest since the business is a conjugal property.

Issue:
Whether or not Karen is a real party in interest to the complaint.

Decision:
Yes. As the registered owner of Kargo Enterprises, Karen Go is the party who
will directly benefit from or be injured by a judgment in this case. Thus, contrary to
Navarro’s contention, Karen Go is the real party-in-interest, and it is legally incorrect to
say that her Complaint does not state a cause of action because her name did not appear
in the Lease Agreement that her husband signed in behalf of Kargo Enterprises.

The registration of the trade name in the name of one person – a woman – does
not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the trade name as a property is hers alone,
particularly when the woman is married. By law, all property acquired during the marriage,
whether the acquisition appears to have been made, contracted or registered in the name
of one or both spouses, is presumed to be conjugal unless the contrary is proved.

Thus, for purposes solely of this case and of resolving the issue of whether
Kargo Enterprises as a sole proprietorship is conjugal or paraphernal property, we hold
that it is conjugal property.

Article 124 of the Family Code, on the administration of the conjugal property,
provides:

P a g e | 103
Art. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal partnership property shall
belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement, the husband’s decision shall
prevail, subject to recourse to the court by the wife for proper remedy, which must be
availed of within five years from the date of the contract implementing such decision.

xxx

This provision, by its terms, allows either Karen or Glenn Go to speak and act with
authority in managing their conjugal property, i.e., Kargo Enterprises. No need exists,
therefore, for one to obtain the consent of the other before performing an act of
administration or any act that does not dispose of or encumber their conjugal property.

Imani vs Metropolitan Bank


GR No. 187023
Ponente: Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura

Facts:
Evangeline Imani signed a continuing surety agreement in favor of Metropolitan
Bank to pay the latter whatever indebtedness CPDTI incurs. CPDTI defaulted in their
payments. Metropolitan Bank made several demands but were of no avail, prompting
them to file a collection suit against CPDTI and Imani.

Later, Metrobank filed a motion for execution. The sheriff then levied a property
registered in the name of Imani, who was later directed to surrender the title of the
property for cancellation. This move was opposed by petitioner on the ground that the
property is conjugal.

The RTC ruled in favor of Imani, stating that the loan proceeds were not intended
for her and cannot be presumed to have redounded to the benefit of the family.

Metrobank filed a motion for reconsideration. Petitioner opposed, asserting that


the property belongs to the conjugal partnership and attaching an affidavit executed by the
former owner of the company, attesting that she and her husband brought the property.

Issue:
Whether or not the subject property is conjugal.

Decision:
No. Indeed, all property of the marriage is presumed to be conjugal. However, for
this presumption to apply, the party who invokes it must first prove that the property was
acquired during the marriage. Proof of acquisition during the coverture is a condition sine
qua non to the operation of the presumption in favor of the conjugal partnership. Thus, the
time when the property was acquired is material.

Unfortunately for petitioner, the said Affidavit can hardly be considered sufficient
evidence to prove her claim that the property is conjugal. As correctly pointed out by
Metrobank, the said Affidavit has no evidentiary weight because the previous owner was
not presented in the RTC to affirm the veracity of his Affidavit.

P a g e | 104
ABSOLUTE COMMUNITY, DISSOLUTION

Article 99. The absolute community terminates:


(1) Upon the death of either spouse;
(2) When there is a decree of legal separation;
(3) When the marriage is annulled or declared void; or
(4) In case of judicial separation of property during the marriage under Articles 134
to 138.

In Re: Muller vs Muller


GR No. 149615
Ponente: Justice Consuelo Ynares – Santiago

Facts:
Petitioner Buenaventura Muller and Helmut Muller, a german national, were
married in Hamburg, Germany. Helmut bought a lot in the Philippines which he registered
under Buenaventura’s name for he is aware of the constitutional prohibition against
ownership of lots by aliens. Later, he built a house on it.

After Buenaventura filed a petition for separation of property, Helmut asked for
reimbursement of his personal funds used to buy the subject property.

The court declared that he cannot do so because the lot was purchased in
violation of Article XII, Section 7 of the constitution.

Issue:
Whether or not Helmut is entitled to recover his personal funds used to acquire
the subject property.

Decision:
No. Respondent cannot recover his funds because the property was purchased
in violation of Section 7, Article XII of the Constitution. Respondent cannot seek
reimbursement on the ground of equity where it is clear that he willingly and knowingly
bought the property despite the constitutional prohibition.

Further, the distinction made between transfer of ownership as opposed to


recovery of funds is a futile exercise on respondent’s part. To allow reimbursement would
in effect permit respondent to enjoy the fruits of a property which he is not allowed to own.
Thus, it is likewise proscribed by law.

Article 115. Retirement benefits, pensions, annuities, gratuities, usufructs and


similar benefits shall be governed by the rules on gratuitous or onerous
acquisitions as may be proper in each case.

Tecson vs Social Security System


GR No. L-15798
Ponente: Justice Alejo Labrador

Facts:
Lim Hoc was a member of the Social Secutiy System. In his E-1 form, he stated
that he was married but failed to mention any family member as his beneficiary. Instead,
he named herein petitioner Jose Tecson as his beneficiary.

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Upon Lim Hoc’s death, Tecson filed for a claim of death benefits. The SSS
refused to grant the claim, stating that the underlying policy of the system is to grant and
afford protection to the covered employee and his family.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to the death benefits of Lim Hoc.

Decision:
Yes. Social Security System is not a law of succession. Its purpose is to provide
social security, which means funds for the beneficiary, if the employee dies, or for the
employee himself and his dependents if he is unable to perform his task because of illness
or disability, or is laid off by reason of the termination of the employment, or because of
temporary lay-off due to strike, etc. It should also be remembered that the beneficiaries of
the System are those who dependent upon the employee for support.

It is not the heirs of the employee who are to receive the benefits or
compensation. It is only in case the benificiary is the estate, or if there is none designated,
or if the designation is void, that the System is required to pay the employee's heirs.

PRESUMPTION OF CONJUGALITY

Article 116. All property acquired during the marriage, whether the acquisition
appears to have been made, contracted or registered in the name of one or both
spouses, is presumed to be conjugal unless the contrary is proved.

Ponce De Leon vs Rehabilitation Finance Corporation


GR No. L- 24571
Ponente: Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion

Facts:
Jose Ponce De Leon and Francisco Soriano obtained a loan of Php 10,000 from
PNB, mortgaging a parcel of land owned by Soriano as security thereof. The said land
was registered as “Francisco Soriano, married to Tomasa Rodriguez”.

On May 1951, Ponce De Leon applied for a loan with RFC and offered the same
land as security for his loan with RFC. Thereafter, the loan was approved and RFC paid
off Ponce De Leon’s loan with PNB. However, none of the amortizations and interests that
fell due were paid, prompting RFC to foreclose the mortgage on the property which was
eventually sold at public auction.

On the last day of the redemption period, the Soriano’s offered to redeem the lot
from RFC but it refused to accept the payment. Instead, the Soriano’s were advised to
participate in the sale of the land to be conducted by RFC.

A complaint was instituted by the Soriano’s against RFC and Ponce De Leon,
contending that the said property was the conjugal property of their parents and by way of
their mother’s death before the foreclosure, and before the institution of the mortgage,
they have inherited their mother’s share and is entitled to one half of the proceeds of the
sheriff’s sale.

Issue:
Whether or not the subject land is the conjugal property of Francisco Soriano and
Tomasa Rodriguez.

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Decision:
No. Proof of acquisition during coverture is a condition sine qua non for the
operation of the presumption in favor of conjugal partnership. The Sorianos have not
succeeded in proving that the property was acquired "during the marriage" of their
parents. Had the property been acquired by them during coverture, it would have been
registered, in the name not of "Francisco Soriano, married to Tomasa Rodriguez," but of
the spouses "Francisco Soriano and Tomasa Rodriguez.

Ahern vs Julian
GR No. L-13952
Ponente: Justice Adam Clarke Carson

Facts:
In order to satisfy the petitioner’s obligation, respondent Julian filed a petition for
attachment of a certain parcel of land with a rice mill constructed thereto. The land and the
rice mill was registered in the name of Ahern’s wife.

The Court of First Instance discharged the petitioner but was opposed by Julian
on the ground that the subject property was part of the conjugal property and is therefore
subject to the payment of the husband’s debts.

Counsel for petitioner insists that the testimonies of the husband and wife,
showing that the subject property is not a conjugal property, is sufficient to overcome the
presumption that such was a conjugal property.

Issue:
Whether or not the spouses’ testimony is enough to overcome the presumption
of conjugality.

Decision:
No. To overcome the statutory presumption that all of this property, acquired
during the marriage of petitioner and his wife is communal property the burden of proof
clearly rested on the petitioner, especially when the interest of third persons would be
materially prejudiced by the failure to give the presumption its full force and effect.

Jocson vs Court of Appeals


GR No. L-55322
Ponente: Justice Leo Medialdea

Facts:
Emilio Jocson, during his lifetime, sold almost all of his properties including his
share of one-third of the estate of his deceased wife to his daughter Agustina. When
Emilio died, Moises, his son and Agustina’s brother, asailed the said transaction and
prayed that they be declared null and void and the properties be partitioned between him
and Agustina.

Moises based his petition on the fact hat the properties are registered as “Emilio
Jocson, married to Alejandra Poblete” and as such, they are conjugal properties of his
parents.

Issue:
Whether or not the properties are conjugal.

Decision:
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No. The fact that the properties were registered in the name of "Emilio Jocson,
married to Alejandra Poblete" is no proof that the properties were acquired during the
spouses' coverture. It may be that the properties under dispute were acquired by Emilio
Jocson when he was still a bachelor but were registered only after his marriage to
Alejandra Poblete, which explains why he was described in the certificates of title as
married to the latter. The words "married to' preceding "Alejandra Poblete' are merely
descriptive of the civil status of Emilio Jocson.

Jovellanos vs Court of Appeals


GR No. 100728
Ponente: Justice Florenz Regalado

Facts:
On September 2, 1955, Daniel Jovellanos, the father of herein petitioners,
entered into a contract with PhilAm Life, denominated as lease and conditional sale
agreement over a house and lot in the latter’s Quezon City Community Development
Project. At that time, he was married to Leonor Dizon. In 1959, Leonor died and Daniel
later married respondent Annette Jovellanos.

In 1975, when the lease amounts having been fully paid, PhilAm Life executed a
deed of sale in favor of Daniel Jovellanos, who donated the same to herein petitioner
Wilhelmina Jovellanos. When Daniel died, private respondent filed a civil case for
recovery of the property, claiming that the property was acquired by her husband during
their marriage and is therefore conjugal.

Issue:
Whether or not the property is conjugal.

Decision:
Yes. The contract entered into by the late Daniel Jovellanos and Philamlife is
specifically denominated as a "Lease and Conditional Sale Agreement". In a lease
agreement, the lessor transfers merely the temporary use and enjoyment of the thing
leased. The conditional sale agreement in said contract is, therefore, also in the nature of
a contract to sell, as contrdistinguished from a contract of sale. In a contract to sell or a
conditional sale, ownership is not transferred upon delivery of the property but upon full
payment of the purchase price. Generally, ownership is transferred upon delivery, but
even if delivered, the ownership may still be with the seller until full payment of the price is
made, if there is stipulation to this effect.

The dominion or full ownership of the subject property was only transferred to
Daniel Jovellanos upon full payment of the stipulated price giving rise to the execution of
the Deed of Absolute Sale on January 8, 1975 when the marriage between the plaintiff
and Daniel Jovellanos was already in existence.

Article 117. The following are conjugal partnership properties:


(1) Those acquired by onerous title during the marriage at the expense of the
common fund, whether the acquisition be for the partnership, or for only one of the
spouses;
(2) Those obtained from the labor, industry, work or profession of either or both of
the spouses;
(3) The fruits, natural, industrial, or civil, due or received during the marriage from
the common property, as well as the net fruits from the exclusive property of each
spouse;

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(4) The share of either spouse in the hidden treasure which the law awards to the
finder or owner of the property where the treasure is found;
(5) Those acquired through occupation such as fishing or hunting;
(6) Livestock existing upon the dissolution of the partnership in excess of the
number of each kind brought to the marriage by either spouse; and
(7) Those which are acquired by chance, such as winnings from gambling or
betting. However, losses therefrom shall be borne exclusively by the loser-spouse.

Dela Peña vs Avila


GR No. 187490
Ponente: Justice Jose Portugal Perez

Facts:
A 277-square meter lot, together with the improvements,was registered in the
name of petitioner Antonia Dela Peña, married to Antegono Dela Peña. On May 1996,
Antonia obtained from AC Aguila and Sons a loan, with the lot being mortgaged as
security.

On November 1997, Anotnia executed a deed of absolute sale over the property
in favor of respondent Gemma Avila registered the property under the name and
constituted a real estate mortgage over the said property in favor of Far East Bank.

On March 1998, Antonia filed an affidavit of adverse claim, stating that she was
the true owner of the property, alleging that the deed of sale used by Gemma to procure
the title for her name was simulated. On the other hand, Gemma failed to pay her loan
obligations to Far East Bank, prompting the latter to cause an extrajudicial foreclosure of
mortgage.

On May 1998, Antonia filed a complaint for annulment of the deed of sale against
Gemma. Antonia claims that the subject property was conjugal and that the real estate
mortgage she executed in favor of Aguila was done without her husband’s consent. She
further alleged that she was misled by Gemma in executing the deed of absolute sale,
thinking that the transfer was necessary for the loan the former promised to procure on
her behalf.

Gemma denied Antonia’s allegations. She maintains that the property was the
exclusive property of Antonia who misrepresented that her husband was still alive.

On December 2007, the RTC rendered a decision, holding that the property was
conjugal. The Court of Appeals reversed the RTC’s ruling. Hence, this appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not the subject property is conjugal.

Decision:
No. Proof of acquisition during the coverture is a condition sine qua non for the
operation of the presumption in favor of the conjugal partnership. The party who asserts
this presumption must first prove said time element. Needless to say, the presumption
refers only to the property acquired during the marriage and does not operate when there
is no showing as to when property alleged to be conjugal was acquired. Moreover, this
presumption in favor of conjugality is rebuttable, but only with strong, clear and convincing
evidence; there must be a strict proof of exclusive ownership of one of the spouses.

P a g e | 109
As the parties invoking the presumption of conjugality under Article 160 of the
Civil Code, the Dela Peñas did not even come close to proving that the subject property
was acquired during the marriage between Antonia and Antegono. Beyond Antonia’s bare
and uncorroborated assertion that the property was purchased when she was already
married,the record is bereft of any evidence from which the actual date of acquisition of
the realty can be ascertained. When queried about the matter during his cross-
examination, even Alvin admitted that his sole basis for saying that the property was
owned by his parents was Antonia’s unilateral pronouncement to the effect. Considering
that the presumption of conjugality does not operate if there is no showing of when the
property alleged to be conjugal was acquired, we find that the CA cannot be faulted for
ruling that the realty in litigation was Antonia’s exclusive property.

Titan Construction vs David


GR No. 169548
Ponente: Justice Mariano Del Castillo

Facts:
Manuel David and Martha David were married in 1957.In 1970, the spouses
acquired a lot which was registered in the name of Martha David, married to Manuel
David. In 1976, the spouses separated de facto and no longer communicated with each
other.

In 1995, Manuel discovered that Martha had sold the property to Titan
Construction. Thus, on March 1996, he filed a complaint for the annulment of contract and
reconveyance against Titan. Manuel alleged that the sale was effected without his
knowledge and consent and is therefore void.

Titan contended that the property was Martha’s property because Manuel failed
to present proof of his income in 1970, hence he could not have had the financial capacity
to contribute to the purchase of the property in 1970.

Issue:
Whether or not the property is part of the spouse’s conjugal partnership.

Decision:
Yes. Manuel was not required to prove that the property was acquired with funds
of the partnership. Rather, the presumption applies even when the manner in which the
property was acquired does not appear. Here, we find that Titan failed to overturn the
presumption that the property, purchased during the spouses marriage, was part of the
conjugal partnership.

Article 121. The conjugal partnership shall be liable for:


(1) The support of the spouse, their common children, and the legitimate children of
either spouse; however, the support of illegitimate children shall be governed by
the provisions of this Code on Support;
(2) All debts and obligations contracted during the marriage by the designated
administrator-spouse for the benefit of the conjugal partnership of gains, or by both
spouses or by one of them with the consent of the other;

(3) Debts and obligations contracted by either spouse without the consent of the
other to the extent that the family may have benefited;

(4) All taxes, liens, charges, and expenses, including major or minor repairs upon
the conjugal partnership property;
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(5) All taxes and expenses for mere preservation made during the marriage upon
the separate property of either spouse;

(6) Expenses to enable either spouse to commence or complete a professional,


vocational, or other activity for self-improvement;

(7) Ante-nuptial debts of either spouse insofar as they have redounded to the
benefit of the family;

(8) The value of what is donated or promised by both spouses in favor of their
common legitimate children for the exclusive purpose of commencing or
completing a professional or vocational course or other activity for self-
improvement; and

(9) Expenses of litigation between the spouses unless the suit is found to
groundless.

If the conjugal partnership is insufficient to cover the foregoing liabilities, the


spouses shall be solidarily liable for the unpaid balance with their separate
properties.

Santos vs Bartolome
GR No. L-18032
Ponente: Justice Thomas Street

Facts:
Eliseo Santos and Pablo Bartolome are the administrators of the estates of the
spouses Estanislao Santos and Marcela Tizon, respectively. Eliseo Santos submitted a
project of partition for the estate of Estanislao, stating that the following expenditures shall
be charged against the estate of Marcela Tizon, to wit:
a. An amount of Php 1,292 paid by Estanislao out of the community property to
redeem the lands of Marcela that were under a pacto de retro sale prior to
the marriage;
b. An amount of Php 3,000 taken out of the community funds for the
reconstruction of the irrigation system upon Marcela’s land, thereby
increasing its value.
c. Php 7,000 as support during Marcela’s widowhood.
d. Pphp 1,034 for purchase, transportation and erection of Marcela’s
gravestone.
e. Php 209 as cost of the memorial crown dedicated in the memory of Marcela.

Pablo Bartolome submitted a counter-partition, eliminating the above mentioned


items. The RTC ruled in favor of Bartolome.Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not said items are chargable to the estates of Maria Tizon.

Decision:
One-half of Php 1,292 shall be chargable to the estate of Marcel Tizon. It is
undeniable that when the property to which reference is here made was redeemed, it
remained, as it had been before, the particular property of Marcela Tizon, for if the right of
redemption pertained to her, so also must the property belong to her after redemption.
And of course where community assets have been used to effect the redemption, the
P a g e | 111
community estate becomes creditor to the extent of the amount thus expended. It follows
that, in the liquidation of the community property, account should be taken of this
obligation.

The amount of Php 3,000 is likewise chargable against the estate of Marcela
Tizon. An irrigation system beneficial to real property is a useful expenditure with the
contemplation of article 1404 of the Civil Code and, if financed from the community assets,
is chargeable against the party benefit when the time comes for the liquidation of the
conjugal partnership.

The Php 7000 paid as support during widowhood was properly borne by Eliseo
but is in a nature of a mere advancement. If it should appear that any part thereof was
derived from the net income of the proper property of Marcela Tizon, such amount should
not be charged against her heirs.

Ansaldo vs Sheriff of Manila


GR No. L-43257
Ponente: Jusitce Jose Abad Santos

Facts:
Angle Ansaldo signed a surety agreement, agreeing to indemnify Fidelity and
Surety Insurnce for any loss that it may sustain by reason of having guaranteed the
obligation of Romerico Agcaoili.

Agcaoili defaulted and the surety company paid his obligation. Thereafter, the
surety sought to recover from Ansaldo and levied the joint account of the spouses,
contending that being conjugal, at least half of it should be levied.

Issue:
Whether or not the levy was proper.

Decision:
No. The right of the husband to one-half of the property of the conjugal
partnership does not vest until the dissolution of the marriage when the conjugal
partnership is also dissolved.

Ayala Investment vs Court of Appeals


GR No.118305
Ponente: Justice Antonio Martinez

Facts:
Philippine Blooming Mills obtained a loan from Ayala Investment and
Development Corporation. As added security, respondent Alfredo Ong, the company’s
executive Vice President, executed security agreements making himself jointly and
severally answerable.

The company failed to pay the loan and the trail court ordered the latter and
Alfredo Ching to pay with interest. Pending appeal, the lower court issued a writ of
execution.Alfredo filed a case for injunction, alleging that judgment cannot be enforced
against the conjugal property levied as the loan did not redound to the benefit of the
family.

Ayala contends that there is no need to prove that actual benefit redounded to
the partnership. It further added that the family would reasonably anticipate some benefits
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like prolonged employment, appreciation of his family’s share of stocks, enhancement and
boost of his career.

Issue:
Whether or not the conjugal partnership is liable for payments of debts
guaranteed by Alfredo?

Decision:
No. In the case at bar, the loan is a corporate loan extended to PBM and used by
PBM itself, not by petitioner-appellee-husband or his family. The alleged benefit, if any,
continuously harped by respondents-appellants, are not only incidental but also
speculative.

Signing as a surety is certainly not an exercise of an industry or profession nor


an act of administration for the benefit of the family. The benefits must be one directly
resulting from the loan. It cannot merely be a by-product or a spin-off of the loan itself.

Heirs of Go vs Servacio
GR No. 157537
Ponente: Justice Lucas Bersamin

Facts:
On February 22, 1976, Jesus Gaviola sold two parcels of land with a total area of
17,140 square meters to Protacio Go Jr. Twenty Years later, Protacio Jr executed a
waiver where he affirmed that it was his father, Protacio Sr who purchased the property.

On November 25, 1987, Marta Go, Protacio Sr’s wife and mother of the
petitioners dies. On December 1999, Protacio Sr and his son Rito Go, sold a portion of the
property with an area of 5,560 to Ester Servacio. On march 2001, petitioners demanded
the return of the property. They aver that following Protacio Jr’s renunciation, the property
became conjugal property and the sale, being done without prior liquidation of the
community property, was null and void. Ester Servacio however, refused to heed to their
demand.

Issue:
Whether or not the disposition having been done without liquidation is valid?

Decision:
Yes. A co-owner could sell his undivided share; hence, Protacio, Sr. had the right
to freely sell and dispose of his undivided interest, but not the interest of his co-owners.
Consequently, the sale by Protacio, Sr. and Rito as co-owners without the consent of the
other co-owners was not necessarily void, for the rights of the selling co-owners were
thereby effectively transferred, making the buyer a co-owner.

Ros vs Philippine National Bank


GR No. 170166
Ponente: Justice Antonio Carpio

Facts:
Petitioner Joe Ros obtained a loan amounting to Php 115,000 from PNB. In his
loan application, he stated that the proceeds of the loan will be used for additional working
capital for his business. As security for the loan, he mortgaged a lot to PNB. The loan
remain unpaid upon maturity, forcing PNB to foreclose the mortgage.

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A complaint was filed to annul the mortgage, claiming that the property was
conjugal and that Estrella Aguete, Joe’s wife, did not consent to the transaction and that
her signature was forged. Although Estrella admitted that Joe had a business, she claims
that she did not know where he wasted the money and that the loan did not benefit the
family.

Issue:
Whether or not the conjugal partnership is liable for the loan.

Decision:
Yes. If the husband himself is the principal obligor in the contract, i.e., he directly
received the money and services to be used in or for his own business or his own
profession, that contract falls within the term "x x x x obligations for the benefit of the
conjugal partnership." Here, no actual benefit may be proved. It is enough that the benefit
to the family is apparent at the signing of the contract. It is immaterial, if in the end, his
business or profession fails or does not succeed.

ArtIcle 124. The administration and enjoyment of the conjugal partnership shall
belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement, the husband's decision
shall prevail, subject to recourse to the court by the wife for proper remedy, which
must be availed of within five years from the date of the contract implementing
such decision.

In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in


the administration of the conjugal properties, the other spouse may assume sole
powers of administration. These powers do not include disposition or encumbrance
without authority of the court or the written consent of the other spouse. In the
absence of such authority or consent, the disposition or encumbrance shall be
void. However, the transaction shall be construed as a continuing offer on the part
of the consenting spouse and the third person, and may be perfected as a binding
contract upon the acceptance by the other spouse or authorization by the court
before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors.

Nable Jose vs Nable Jose


GR No. L-7397
Ponente: Justice Adam Clarke Carson

Facts:
Mariano Nable Jose, acting as the liquidator – administrator of the properties
owned by him and his deceased wife, sold some of the properties without the required
liquidation. To this effect, the heirs questioned the validity of the transactions.

Issue:
Whether or not the transactions made were valid.

Decision:
Yes. The husband, as liquidator, is left absolutely free, in the exercise of his
uncontrolled discretion, to provide for the payment of the debts from the partnership funds
in such manner as he sees fit. The husband, acting as liquidator of the conjugal
partnership, and charged with the payment of the community debts, may sell or mortgage
all or any part of the conjugal property, real or personal, in the fulfillment of the duties
imposed upon him.

P a g e | 114
Unless they can establish an intent of the husband to commit fraud, the heirs
have no power to interfere with him in the exercise of his sound discretion in discharging
his duties as administrator.

Article 130. Upon the termination of the marriage by death, the conjugal partnership
property shall be liquidated in the same proceeding for the settlement of the estate
of the deceased.
If no judicial settlement proceeding is instituted, the surviving spouse shall
liquidate the conjugal partnership property either judicially or extra-judicially within
six months from the death of the deceased spouse. If upon the lapse of the six-
month period no liquidation is made, any disposition or encumbrance involving the
conjugal partnership property of the terminated marriage shall be void.

Should the surviving spouse contract a subsequent marriage without compliance


with the foregoing requirements, a mandatory regime of complete separation of
property shall govern the property relations of the subsequent marriage.

Metropolitan Bank vs Pascual


GR No. 163744
Ponente: Justice Presbitero Velasco,Jr.

Facts:
A judgment declaring the marriage of respondent Nicholson Pascual and his wife
Florencia was rendered by the trial court. In its decision, the trial court ordered the
liquidation of their conjugal partnership. However, the couples separated ways without
doing so.

In 1997, Florencia obtained a loan and executed a mortgage in one of the


conjugal properties. Florencia defaulted, prompting Metrobank to foreclose the mortgage.
Nicholson filed a complaint to declare the mortgage void, alleging that it was still a
conjugal property and it was mortgage without its consent. The trial court rendered the
mortgage invalid, saying that the said lot is conjugal. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
trail court. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the property in question is conjugal.

Decision:
Yes. If proofs obtain on the acquisition of the property during the existence of the
marriage, then the presumption of conjugal ownership applies. When there is no showing
as to when the property was acquired by the spouse, the fact that a title is in the name of
the spouse is an indication that the property belongs exclusively to said spouse.

While the declared nullity of marriage of Nicholson and Florencia severed their
marital bond and dissolved the conjugal partnership, the character of the properties
acquired before such declaration continues to subsist as conjugal properties until and after
the liquidation and partition of the partnership.

Article 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live
exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or
under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal
shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry
shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.
P a g e | 115
In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived
together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or
industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article,
a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property
shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the former's
efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and of the household.

Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share in the
property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without the consent
of the other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.

When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of the
party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common
children. In case of default of or waiver by any or all of the common children or their
descendants, each vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving
descendants. In the absence of descendants, such share shall belong to the
innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall take place upon termination of the
cohabitation.

Maxey vs Court of Appeals


GR No. L-45870
Ponente: Justice Hugo Gutierrez, Jr.

Facts:
Melbourne Maxey and Regina Morales lived as husband and wife and acquired
several parcels of land. The couple got married in 1919 and shortly after, Regina died. In
1953, Melbourne married Julia Pamatluan. Melbourne, through Julia Pamatluan who was
his attorney-in-fact, sold the lots to the Macayra spouses.

Petitioners, who are the children of Melbourne with Regina, sought to nullify the
sale alleging that the properties are the conjugal properties of their parents and that their
father sold them without their consent. The RTC ruled in favor of the petitioners but the
Court of Appeals reversed the latter. In its decision, the Court of Appeals ruled that the
property belongs exclusively to Melbourne as there was no showing that it was acquired
by their parents’ joint contribution. The Court of Appeals interpreted joint contribution as
monetary contribution.

According to the Court of Appeals, since Regina was not gainfully employed at
the time the property was acquired, she can’t be said to have contributed to its acquisition.

Issue:
Whether or not it was necessary for the wife to monetarily contribute to the
acquisition of the property to make it conjugal.

Decision:
No. The "real contribution" to the acquisition of property must include not only the
earnings of a woman from a profession, occupation, or business but also her contribution
to the family's material and spiritual goods through caring for the children, administering
the household, husbanding scarce resources, freeing her husband from household tasks,
and otherwise performing the traditional duties of a housewife.

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Valdez vs Regional Trial Court
GR No. 122749
Ponente: Justice Jose Vitug

Facts:
Antonio Valdez and Consuelo Gomez were married on January 1971.
Subsequently, their marriage was annulled based on Article 36 of the family code. In the
judgment rendered by the trial court, it directed the spouses to start proceedings on the
liquidation of their common properties as defined by Article 147 in relation to Articles 50,51
and 52. Gomez sought a clarification of the decision directing compliance with Articles
50,51 and 52. She asserted that the Family Code contained no provisions on the
procedure for the liquidation of common property in unions without marriage.

The RTC made a clarification, stating that the provisions on the civil code shall
apply. It ruled that all their properties are presumed to have been obtained through their
joint efforts, and will be owned by them in equal shares, including the family home.

In this petition, Antonio argued that Article 147 does not apply in cases where the
parties are psychologically incapacitated and that Articles 50,51 and 52 in relation to
Articles 102 and 129 of the Family Code should apply.

Issue:
Whether or not the procedures for liquidation under Articles 50,51 and 52 are
applicable to unions without marriage.

Decision:
No. The first paragraph of Article 50 of the Family Code, applying paragraphs (2
),(3 ),(4) and (5) of Article 43, relates only, by its explicit terms, to voidable marriages and,
exceptionally, to void marriages under Article 40 of the Code, i.e., the declaration of nullity
of a subsequent marriage contracted by a spouse of a prior void marriage before the latter
is judicially declared void. The latter is a special rule that somehow recognizes the
philosophy and an old doctrine that void marriages are inexistent from the very beginning
and no judicial decree is necessary to establish their nullity. In now requiring for purposes
of remarriage, the declaration of nullity by final judgment of the previously contracted void
marriage, the present law aims to do away with any continuing uncertainty on the status of
the second marriage. It is not then illogical for the provisions of Article 43, in relation to
Articles 41and 42, of the Family Code, on the effects of the termination of a subsequent
marriage contracted during the subsistence of a previous marriage to be made applicable
pro hac vice. In all other cases, it is not to be assumed that the law has also meant to
have coincident property relations, on the one hand, between spouses in valid and
voidable marriages and, on the other, between common-law spouses or spouses of void
marriages, leaving to ordain, in the latter case, the ordinary rules on co-ownership subject
to the provision of Article 147 and Article 148 of the Family Code.

Gonzales vs Gonzales
GR No. 159321
Ponente: Justice Angelina Sandoval – Gutierrez

Facts:
In March 1997, petitioner Francisco Gonzales and respondent Erminda Gonzales
started to live together as husband and wife before they got married in 1979. During their
coverture, ther acquired properties. She managed their pizza business and worked hard
for its development.

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In 1992, Erminda filed a case for annulment of her marriage with Francisco. In
1997, the court granted Erminda’s petition and ordered that their properties be divided
equally among them.

Francisco did not contest the court’s decision on the nullity of his marriage but on
the manner in which the properties are divided.

Issue:
Whether or not the properties should be divided equally among the spouses.

Decision:
No. Since the marriage of the spouses is void ab initio, their property relations
shall be governed by Article 147 of the Family Code. Article 147 creates a presumption
that properties acquired during the cohabitation of the parties have been acquired through
their joint efforts, work or industry and shall be owned by them in equal shares. It further
provides that a party who did not participate in the acquisition shall be deemed to have
contributed jointly in the acquisition if the former’s efforts consisted in the care and
maintenance of the family.

Mercado – Fehr vs Fehr


GR No. 152716
Ponente: Justice Reynato Puno

Facts:
The marriage of petitioner Elna Mercado – Fehr and respondent Bruno Fehr, was
declared void ab initio. Subsequently, the trial court ordered the dissolution of their
conjugal partnership property. In the court’s decision however, it excluded a condominium
from the partnership, saying that it was purchased on installment basis by respondent with
his exclusive funds prior to the marriage.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration with respect to the adjudication of the
condominium. Petitioner argued that the condominium was purchased on installment
basis during her cohabitation with respondent and therefore, rules of co-ownership will
apply in accordance with Article 147 of the Family Code.

Issue:
Whether or not the subject property is conjugal.

Decision:
Yes. The disputed property was purchased on installment basis at the time when
they are already living together. Hence, it should be considered as common property.

Spouses Versola vs. Court of Appeals


GR No.164740
Ponente: Justice Minita Chico – Nazario

Facts:
Dr. Victoria Ong Oh extended a loan amounting to ₱1,000,000 to a certain
Dolores Ledesma. As security for the loan, Ledesma issued a check and promised to
execute a real estate mortgage over her house and lot but the same never materialized.
Later, ledesma sold the house and lot to spouses Versola.

The Versolas, Ledesma and Dr. Ong Oh agreed that Ledesma’s obligation to Dr.
Ong Oh will be assumed by the spouses after Dr. Ong Oh will release another ₱450,000
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to Ledesma, which shall constitute the full price of the house and lot, including the
₱1,000,000 already paid as down payment. After Dr. Ong Oh extended another ₱450,000
loan to Ledesma, the property was then registered in the spouses’ name. To pay off the
obligation they assumed from Ledesma, the spouses tried to mortgage the property to
Asiatrust Bank. However, it was found out that a notice of levy and execution was
attached to its title. As a result, the loan application was not approved and the spouses
failed to settle the obligation due to Dr. Ong Oh.

Dr. Ong Oh filed a complaint for collection of sum of money against petitioners.
The judgment was in favor of Dr. Ong Oh and became final. Thereafter, the subject
property was levied. The spouses interposed no objection to the levy until one day before
the public auction. The spouses failed to redeem the property on the given redemption
period. As a consequence, a deed of sale was issued by the sheriff and the spouses are
ordered to surrender the title to the property.

The spouses failed to do so, alleging that the said property was their family home
and is exempt from execution under Article 155 of the Family code.

Issue:
Whether or not the subject property is a family home is exempt from execution?

Decision:
No, The claim of execution must be set up and proved. It is not sufficient that the
person claiming exemption merely alleges that such property is a family home.

Ramos vs. Pangilinan


GR No. 185920
Ponente: Justice Conchita Carpio – Morales

Facts:
As a judgment debtor on an illegal dismissal case, petitioners’ father was ordered
to pay a certain amount to his dismissed employees. As there was no settlement reached
after the judgment has become final and executor, the NLAC ordered its deputy sheriff to
levy upon petitioners’ residential lot in Pandacan to satisfy judgment.
Petitioners moved to quash the writ of execution alleging that the property was a
family home constituted as early as 1944.

Issue:
Whether or not the subject property is exempt from execution?

Decision:
No. It is not sufficient that the person claiming exemption merely alleges that
such property is a family home. This claim must be set up and proved.
In the present case, since the petitioners claim that the family home was
constituted in 1944, they must comply with the procedure mandated by the civil code.
Since there is no showing that the property was judicially or extra judicially constituted as
a family home, the laws protective mantle cannot be availed of by petitioners.

Taneo vs. Court of Appeals


GR No. 108532
Ponente: Justice Santiago Kapunan

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Facts:

As a result of a judgment in a civil case filed as early as 1964, petitioner’s


property, including their residential lot, was levied. Opposition to the levy was filed by the
petitioners, alleging that the property was their family home constituted by their father in
1964.

Issue:
Whether or not the family home of petitioners is exempt from execution?

Decision:
No. The money judgment was rendered on 1964 and the family home was
registered only in 1966. Thus, when the debt was incurred the home was not yet
registered. Moreover, the constitution of the family home was doubtful since it was built on
a land belonging to another.

Spouses Kelly vs. Planters Products, Inc. GR No. 172263


Ponente: Justice Renato Corona

For being unable to pay their obligations to Planters Products, the latter filed a
case for collection of sum of money against the petitioner Author Kelly. A judgment in
favor of Planters Products and eventually, a residential lot belonging to the spouses Kelly
levied and sold at public auction.
The spouses filed a motion to set aside the levy, arguing that the property levied
was a family home.

Issue: Whether or not the residential lot is exempt from execution?


Decision: A remand to the trial court is needed to determine whether or not the property is
duly constituted as a family home, since the exemption is effective from the time of the
constitution and last as long as any of its beneficiaries actually resided therein. Moreover,
the debts incurred for which the family home is made answerable must have been
incurred after August 3, 1988.

Josef vs. Santos


GR No.165060
Ponente: Justice Consuelo Ynares – Santiago

Facts:

A judgment was rendered against petitioner Albino Joseph to pay respondent a


sum o money. A write of execution was then issued levying petitioner’s real property and
certain personal properties. The properties were eventually sold at public auction.
Petitioner questioned the property of levy, execution and attachment averring
that the real poetry was his family home and that the properties were sold at inadequate
prices shocking to the conscience.

Issue:
Whether or not the sale of the real property was proper?

Decision:
No.The family home is a real right which is gratuitous, Upon being apprised that
the property.

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*Gomez Vs. Sta. Ines
Ponente: Justice Minita Chico – Nazario

Petitioners Mary Josephine and Eugenia Socorro filed a complaint for damages
against respondents’ for their failure to account the produce of the Riceland under the
management of Marietta Sta. Ines. The trial court then rendered judgment.
After the judgment became final and executor, a writ of execution was issued,
levying a residential lot and later selling at public auction.
Respondents sought to annul the sale on the ground that the property is their
family residence and is thus exempt from execution
Issue: Whether or not the residential lot is exempt from execution?
Decision: No. Under Article 155 of the Family Code, the family home still is exempt from
execution, forced sale or attachment except for, among others, debts incurred prior to the
constitution of the family home. In the case at bar, Marietta’s liability arose long before the
levied property was constituted as a family home by operation of law in August 1988.

*Arriola vs. Arriola GR No. 177703


Ponente: Justice Ma. Alicia Austria – Martinez

This case involves a partition of the estates of the deceased Fidel Arriola among
his two wife’s and their children. Respondent John Nabor Arriola, Fidel’s second wife, and
her son Anthony Ronald Arriola.
As the parties failed to agree on how to partition a certain parcel of land, they
agreed to place that same in public auction. The auction was reset because petitioners
failed to include the house erected on the subject land on the auction. Petitioners argue
that they have been occupying the house as a family home and lived there for 20 years.
Respondent then prayed to cite petitioner for contempt.

Issue: Whether or not the property where the family home is erected can be subject to
partition and public auction?
Decision: No. Article 159 of the Family code imposes the following restrictions on the
partition of a family home: 1. The heirs cannot extra-judicially partition it for a period of 10
years from the death of one or both spouses or of the unmarried head of the following, or
for a longer period, if there is still a minor beneficiary residing therein 2. the heir cannot
partition it during the aforementioned periods unless the court finds compelling reasons
therefore.
More importantly, Article 159 imposes the proscription against the immediate
partition of the family home regardless of its ownership.

*De Asis Vs. Court of Appeals


Ponente: Justice Fidel Purisima

Vircel Andres brought an action for maintenance and support against Manuel De
Asis alleging that the latter is the father of Glen Camil Andres de Asis, and the former
refuses and/or failed to provide for the maintenance of the latter.
Manuel denied his paternity over Glen and made a compromise with Vircel that
not being the father of the minor, it will be practical for Vircel to withdraw the complaint
against him. In return, Manuel will withdraw his counterclaim.
On September 1997, another complaint for support was brought against Manuel.
He opposed the complaint, arguing that the agreement made was In effect admitted the
lack of paternity between him and the child which negates the right to claim support.

Issue: Whether or not is entitled to support?

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Decision: Yes. The compromise agreement was a violation of the prohibition against any
compromise of the right to support. While it is true that in order to claim support filiation
and/or paternity must first be shown, it must be judicially established and it cannot be left
to the will or agreement of the parties.

*Fernandez Vs. Fernandez GR No. 143256


Ponente: Justice Minerva Gonzaga – Reyes

Rodolfo Fernandez and Generosa de Venecia, son and wife respectively of the
deceased Jose Fernandez, executed a deed of extra-judicial partition of his estate. During
the same day, they executed a deed of absolute sale in favor of Eddie Fernandez.
Upon learning of the transaction, the nephews and nieces of the deceased filed
an action to nullify the extra-judicial partition and the sale. In their complaint it was alleged
that petitioner had no basis of heirship. In the testimony of Romeo, one of the
respondents, he mentioned that Rodolfo was bought by the spouses from a certain lady
named Miliang.
During the trial Rodolfo presented the following as evidence of his filiation:
a. Certificate of baptism stating that he was the child of the Fernandez spouses;
b. Application of recognition of backpay rights where Dr. Fernandez referred to
Rodolfo as his son.
Both the trial court and the CA ruled against Rodolfo, holding that his evidence did not
acquire evidentiary weight to prove his filiation. hence, this appeal.

Issue: Whether or not the documentary evidences presented by Rodolfo is sufficient to


establish his filiation?
Decision: No. A baptismal certificate are only prima facie evidence of the administration of
the statement, but does not constitute proof of the statements are made therein
concerning the parentage of the person baptized.
Also while the application for recognition of backpay rights is a public document, it was not
executed to admit the filiation of Rodolfo.

*Angeles Vs. Maglaya GR No. 153798


Ponente: Justice Cancio Garcia

Respondent filed a petition for letters of administration and he appointment as


administrator of the intestate estate of Francisco Angeles. In her petition, she alleged that
she was the daughter of Francisco and Genoveva. In support of her claim, she presented
her birth certificate, her marriage certificate and her scholastic and government records.
Petitioner opposed the petition stressing on the fact that the birth certificate was
not signed by Francisco himself and that the respondent has not presented any marriage
contract of her supposed parents

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