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In 1972, Benjamin Ting and Carmen Velez met each other in medical school.
After 3 years, they got married.
In 1980, Benjamin became a full-fledged doctor and he practiced at the Velez
Hospital (owned by Carmen’s family).
Benjamin and Carmen had six children during their marriage. But after 18 years
of marriage, Carmen went to court to have their marriage be declared void on the
ground that Benjamin was psychologically incapacitated.
She alleged that even before she married Benjamin, the latter was already a
drunkard; that Benjamin was a gambler, he was violent, and would rather spend on
his expensive hobby; that he rarely stayed home and even neglected his children and
family obligations.
Carmen presented an expert witness (Dr. Pureza Trinidad-Oñate) to prove
Benjamin’s psychological incapacity. However, Oñate merely based her findings on
the deposition submitted by Benjamin. Oñate was not able to personally examine
Benjamin because at that time, Benjamin was already working as an anesthesiologist
in South Africa.
On his part, Benjamin opposed the petition. He also presented his own expert
witness (Dr. Renato Obra) to disprove Carmen’s allegations. Obra was not able to
personally examine Benjamin but he also evaluated the same deposition evaluated
by Oñate. Also, Benjamin submitted himself for evaluation to a South African doctor
(Dr. A.J.L. Pentz) and the transcript of said evaluation was submitted to Obra and the
latter also evaluated the same. Obra found Benjamin not to be psychologically
Whether the CA violated the rule on stare decisis when it refused to follow the
guidelines set forth under the Santos and Molina cases
Whether the CAs decision declaring the marriage between petitioner and respondent
null and void is in accordance with law and jurisprudence.
No. respondent’s argument that the doctrinal guidelines prescribed in Santos and
Molina should not be applied retroactively for being contrary to the principle of stare
decisis is no longer new.
There is no evidence that adduced by respondent insufficient to prove that petitioner
is psychologically unfit to discharge the duties expected of him as a husband, and more
particularly, that he suffered from such psychological incapacity as of the date of the
marriage eighteen (18) years ago.