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Jose Ochosa vs Bona Alano

640 SCRA 517 Civil Law Persons and Family Relations Family Code Article 36; Psychological Incapacity Juridical
Antecedence
Sexual Infidelity and Abandonment are not per se Psychological Incapacity
In 1973, in only about three months of knowing each other, Jose Ochosa, a member of the Armed Forces, and Bona Alano,
at that time a college drop out, married each other. But due to his work, Ochosa was assigned in different places in different
times. In 1987, Ochosa was incarcerated for his participation in a failed coup detat. While in prison, he heard of his wifes
infidelity. When he got out of prison, he confronted Alona and the latter eventually left him. She however admitted having
an affair with various men during the marriage.
Some time in the mid 90s, Ochosa filed a petition to have their marriage be declared void on the ground that Alona was
psychologically incapacitated to perform the essential marital obligations.
In court, Ochosa presented Gertrudes Padernal and Demetrio Bajet. Both were under their household employ and they
testified that indeed Alona was unfaithful to Ochosa and that Alona abandoned Ochosa.
Lastly, Ochosa presented Dr. Elizabeth Rondain who testified that based on her evaluation, Alona is suffering from Histrionic
Personality Disorder; that Alona has an excessive emotion and attention seeking behavior.
The RTC declared the marriage void but on appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC ruling.
ISSUE: Whether or not psychological incapacity was proven in the case at bar.
HELD: No. Firstly, the totality of the evidence failed to support a finding that Alona is psychologically incapacitated. Although
it is true that there is no requirement that the spouse sought to be declared psychologically incapacitated should be
personally examined by a psychologist this is only true if the alleged psychological incapacity can be proven through
independent means. In this case, Dr. Rondain only based his conclusion on the statements made by Ochosa and those of
Padernal and Bajet. Those testimonies by Ochosa et al can hardly be considered as objective. They are self-serving.
Secondly, juridical antecedence was not proven since the said infidelity and abandonment by Alano were not proven to have
existed at the time of the marriage. Whats clear is that said infidelity and abandonment only happened after the marriage.
In fact, the witnesses (Padernal and Bajet) who testified on Alonas infidelity and abandonment only knew Ochosa and Alano
in 1980 and 1986, respectively. Thus, Ochosa failed to link Alanos infidelity and abandonment as something that is
psychologically rooted so as to support a finding of psychological incapacity.
NOTE: In this case, the SC also emphasized that Article 36 does not actually dissolve a marriage. What it does is that it
recognizes that, in the first place, if it is present at the time of the marriage, there is really no marriage to speak of hence,
the need to declare such marriage void.

Republic of the Philippines vs Court of Appeals and Roridel Molina


268 SCRA 198 (335 Phil. 664) Civil Law Persons and Family Relations Family Code Article 36; Psychological Incapacity
Guidelines in Applying Article 36 of the Family Code
In 1985, Roridel Olaviano married Reynaldo Molina. They begot one child. But in 1990, Roridel filed a petition to have her
marriage be declared void on the ground that Reynaldo is psychologically incapacitated to perform the essential marital
obligations.
Roridel alleged that Reynaldo was a highly immature and habitually quarrelsome individual who thought of himself as a
king to be served; and that it would be to the couples best interest to have their marriage declared null and void in order
to free them from what appeared to be an incompatible marriage from the start. A psychologist testified in favor of Roridel
and the doctors testimony was given weight by the trial court hence, the marriage was declared void. The decision was
affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
ISSUE: Whether or not the finding of psychological incapacity is proper.
HELD: No. In the present case, there is no clear showing to us that the psychological defect spoken of is an incapacity. It
appears to us to be more of a difficulty, if not outright refusal or neglect in the performance of some marital obligations.
Mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitutes psychological incapacity.
The Supreme Court also noted in this case that there has been a difficulty by courts and lawyers in applying the concept of
psychological incapacity. Hence, the Sc handed down the following guidelines in the interpretation and application of Art.
36 of the Family Code:
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. Thus, our Constitution devotes an
entire Article on the Family, recognizing it as the foundation of the nation. It decrees marriage as legally inviolable,
thereby protecting it from dissolution at the whim of the parties. Both the family and marriage are to be protected by the
state.
The Family Code echoes this constitutional edict on marriage and the family and emphasizes their permanence, inviolability
and solidarity.

2. The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be (a) medically or clinically identified, (b) alleged in the complaint,
(c) sufficiently proven by experts and (d) clearly explained in the decision.Article 36 of the Family Code requires that the
incapacity must be psychologicalnot physical, although its manifestations and/or symptoms may be physical. The evidence
must convince the court that the parties, or one of them, was mentally or psychically ill to such an extent that the person
could not have known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given valid assumption thereof.
Although no example of such incapacity need be given here so as not to limit the application of the provision under the
principle of ejusdem generis, nevertheless such root cause must be identified as a psychological illness and its incapacitating
nature fully explained. Expert evidence may be given by qualified psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.
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 dos. 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. 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 characterological peculiarities, mood changes, occasional emotional outbursts cannot be
accepted as root causes. The illness must be shown as downright incapacity or inability, not 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. It is clear that Article 36 was taken by
the Family Code Revision Committee from Canon 1095 of the New Code of Canon Law, which became effective in 1983 and
which provides:
The following are incapable of contracting marriage: Those who are unable to assume the essential obligations of marriage
due to causes of psychological nature.
Since the purpose of including such provision in our Family Code is to harmonize our civil laws with the religious faith of
our people, it stands to reason that to achieve such harmonization, great persuasive weight should be given to decisions of
such appellate tribunal. Ideally subject to our law on evidencewhat is decreed as canonically invalid should also be
decreed civilly void.
This is one instance where, in view of the evident source and purpose of the Family Code provision, contemporaneous
religious interpretation is to be given persuasive effect. Here, the State and the Churchwhile remaining independent,
separate and apart from each othershall walk together in synodal cadence towards the same goal of protecting and
cherishing marriage and the family as the inviolable base of the nation.
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 be handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a certification, which will be quoted in the
decision, briefly stating 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. The Solicitor General shall discharge the equivalent function
of the defensor vinculicontemplated under Canon 1095.

Marieta Azcueta vs Republic of the Philippines


588 SCRA 196 Civil Law Family Code Article 36; Psychological Incapacity Dependent Personality Disorder
Expert Opinion by Psychologist Must Be Considered as Decisive Evidence
In 1993, after knowing each other for only two months, Marieta Azcueta and Rodolfo Azcueta married each other. Their
marriage was okay at first but since Rodolfo cannot find any gainful employment, Marieta began nagging him. In fact, it was
Rodolfos mother who had to find an apartment room (near the mothers home) for the new couple to stay.
Marieta would bring Rodolfo newspapers hoping that the latter may find employment. She would give him new clothes and
money for him to use for job interviews. One day Rodolfo informed Marieta that he already found a jod. Marieta was so
happy but later she found out that Rodolfo was not actually employed and that every time Rodolfo would go to work he
was actually going home to his mother and the salary he was receiving was actually coming from his mother. When
confronted, Rodolfo cried like a baby and explained to Marieta that he only did that so that she will not be nagging him
anymore.
At times also, when Rodolfo is drunk, he would become violent against Marieta.

And in 1997, after four years of living together as husband and wife (and childless at that, since Rodolfo also did not want
to have sex), Marieta decided to leave Rodolfo but she was hoping that Rodolfo would follow her which did not happen.
In 2002, Marieta filed a petition to have their marriage be declared void on the ground that Rodolfo is psychologically
incapacitated. Marieta presented as expert witness Dr. Cecilia Villegas. Villegas did not personally evaluate Rodolfo but
based on her interview with Marieta, she concluded that Rodolfo is inflicted with Dependent Personality Disorder (mamas
boy) as he was too dependent on his mother so much so that he cannot decide for himself, she explained
Rodolfo Azcueta is psychologically incapacitated to perform the duties and responsibilities of marriage suffering from a
psychiatric classification as Dependent Personality Disorder associated with severe inadequacy related to masculine strivings.
xxx
Dependent Personality Disorder are (sic) those persons in which their response to ordinary way of life are ineffectual and inept
characterized by loss of self confidence, always in doubt with himself and inability to make his own decision, quite dependent
on other people, and in this case, on his mother.
xxx
The root cause of this psychological problem is a cross identification with the mother who is the dominant figure in the family,
the mother has the last say and the authority in the family while the father was a seaman and always out of the house, and if
present is very shy, quiet and he himself has been very submissive and passive to the authority of the wife.
xxx
The RTC ruled in favor of Marieta but on appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the grounds that:
1. Villegas did not personally examine Rodolfo,
2. His dependence to his mother for financial support may be brought about by his feeling of embarrassment that he cannot
contribute at all to the family coffers, considering that it was his wife who is working for the family but the same is not
psychological incapacity.
3. The behavior displayed by Rodolfo was caused only by his youth and emotional immaturity which by themselves, do not
constitute psychological incapacity.
In short, for the CA, the totality of evidence does not support a finding of psychological incapacity.
ISSUE: Whether or not Rodolfo is psychologically incapacitated.
HELD: Yes. The ruling of the CA is reversed:
1. As previously ruled in the case of Te vs Te, personal examination by the psychologists is not a condition sine qua non
before a finding of psychological incapacity may be had;
2. The CA has no basis to make such a finding. Appellate courts should not substitute their discretion with that of the trial
court or the expert witnesses, save only in instance where the findings of the trial court or the experts are contradicted by
evidence.
3. Again, no basis. Rodolfo was already 28 years old at the time of the marriage.
The finding of Dr. Villegas that Rodolfo is inflicted with Dependent Personality Disorder is considered a decisive evidence. A
person with this condition 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 (such as where to live), 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.
The court however emphasized that this is not to say that anyone diagnosed with dependent personality disorder is
automatically deemed psychologically incapacitated to comply with the obligations of marriage. Psychology is not an exact
science. Every case must be dealt with independently. It is the duty of the court in its evaluation of the facts, as guided by
expert opinion, to carefully scrutinize the type of disorder and the gravity of the same before declaring the nullity of a
marriage under Article 36.

Republic of the Philippines vs Laila Tanyag-San Jose


517 SCRA 123 Civil Law Family Code Article 36; Psychological Incapacity Joblessness and Irresponsibility is not
Psychological Incapacity
When examination of the alleged psychologically incapacitated spouse is needed
In 1988, Laila Tanyag, then 19 years old, and Manolito San Jose, then 20 years old, got married to each other, albeit knowing
each other for only a short period. The next year, they had a daughter.
Their marriage turned out to be not an ideal one, however. Manolito refused to get himself a job. He spent most of his
available time with his friends drinking intoxicating substances and gambling activities. It was Laila who had to work in order
to support the family. Laila gave Manolito all the chances to change but Manolito never did.
In 1997, Laila gave birth to their second child, a boy. Laila thought this would be the beginning of change for Manolito but
that change never happened. Thus, in 1998, Laila filed a petition to have their marriage be declared a nullity on the ground
that Manolito is psychologically incapacitated due the fact that he was oblivious of his marital obligations.

Laila submitted herself to psychological evaluation under Dr. Nedy Tayag. Laila described Manolito to Tayag as a happy-golucky individual spending most of his time hanging out with friends. Considered to be a bad influence, he was into gambling,
drinking sprees and prohibited drugs as well. Ultimately, Tayag concluded that Manolito is psychologically incapacitated
this was even without actually examining Manolito. The RTC denied Lailas petition but on appeal, the Court of Appeals gave
weight to Dr. Tayags expert testimony and the appellate court reversed the RTC decision.
ISSUE: Whether or not Manolito San Jose was proven to be psychologically incapacitated.
HELD: No. It is true that the guidelines set in the case of Republic vs Court of Appeals and Molina did not require that the
person sought to be declared psychologically incapacitated should be personally examined by a physician or psychologist
as a condition sine qua non to arrive at such declaration. In fact, if such incapacity can be proven by independent means,
there is no reason why the same should not be credited. However, in this case, the findings, and ultimately the testimony in
court, of Dr. Tayag is merely hearsay. The doctor had no personal knowledge of the facts he testified to, as these had merely
been relayed to him by Laila. Tayag was working on pure suppositions and secondhand information fed to him by one side.
Consequently, his testimony can be dismissed as unscientific and unreliable. This is more so because the questioned CA
decision was solely grounded on Tayags expert testimony (which was merely based on the information fed to him by Laila)
there was no other independent evidence which will support a conclusion of psychological incapacity on the part of
Manolito.
And based on Lailas description of Manolito, whcih she gave to Tayag, Manolitos alleged psychological incapacity was
merely premised on his being jobless and a drug user, as well as his inability to support his family and his refusal or
unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage. Manolitos state or condition or attitude has not been
shown, however, to be a malady or disorder rooted on some incapacitating or debilitating psychological condition.
Manolito merely has a difficulty if not outright refusal or neglect in the performance of some marital obligations but
not psychological incapacity.

Republic of the Philippines vs Lolita Quintero-Hamano


428 SCRA 735 Civil Law Family Code Article 36 Psychological Incapacity Irresponsibility; Abandonment
In 1986, Lolita Quintero and Toshio Hamano met in Japan. They had a love affair which resulted to a child.
In 1988, they married here in the Philippines. But only a month after their marriage, Toshio went back to Japan. He only gave
financial support to Lolita for the first two months but thereafter, he stopped sending money to Lolita. Lolita wrote Toshio
but he ignored those letters.
In 1991, Toshio returned to the Philippines but he never even bothered seeing his family here.
In June 1996, Lolita filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of her marriage with Toshio. She alleged that Toshio is
psychologically incapacitated to assume his marital responsibilities; that his indifference to his wife and child is a clear
manifestation of immaturity and insensitivity.
The trial court ruled in favor of Lolita. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC. In its ruling, the CA stated that the guidelines
set in the case of Republic vs Court of Appeals and Molina are not applicable to this case because one of the spouse, Toshio,
is an alien (Japanese). In short, the CA ruled that the said case is not applicable to mixed marriages.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals is correct.
HELD: No. In proving psychological incapacity, there is no distinction between an alien spouse and a Filipino spouse. The
court cannot be lenient in the application of the rules merely because the spouse alleged to be psychologically incapacitated
happens to be a foreign national. The medical and clinical rules to determine psychological incapacity were formulated on
the basis of studies of human behavior in general. Hence, the norms used for determining psychological incapacity should
apply to any person regardless of nationality.
Anent the issue of Toshios psychological incapacity, Lolita was not able to prove the same. The totality of evidence presented
fell short of proving that Toshio was psychologically incapacitated to assume his marital responsibilities. Toshios act of
abandonment was doubtlessly irresponsible but it was never alleged nor proven to be due to some kind of psychological
illness. After Lolita testified on how Toshio abandoned his family, no other evidence was presented showing that his behavior
was caused by a psychological disorder. Although, as a rule, there was no need for an actual medical examination, it would
have greatly helped Lolitas case had she presented evidence that medically or clinically identified his illness. This could have
been done through an expert witness. It is not enough to prove that a spouse failed to meet his responsibility and duty as
a married person; it is essential that he must be shown to be incapable of doing so due to some psychological, not physical,
illness

Lorna Guillen Pesca vs Zosimo Pesca


356 SCRA 588 (408 Phil. 713) Civil Law Family Code Article 36; Psychological Incapacity Emotional Immaturity and
Irresponsibility Are Not Psychological Incapacity
In 1975, Lorna Guillen and Zosima Pesca met each other. They only knew each other for three months when they decided
to get married in the same year. They had a great start and they even had four children. However, in 1988, Lorna noticed
some changes in Zosimo as the latter became cruel, violent, and a habitual drinker. He would hurt her and the children. He
would have drinking sessions from late in the afternoon until early morning regularly. This went on until 1994 when Lorna

decided to leave Zosimo for good and she also filed a petition for the declaration of the nullity of their marriage on the
ground that Zosimo is psychologically incapacitated by reason of his emotional immaturity and irresponsibility.
The trial court granted the petition but the Court of Appeals reversed the said ruling. The CA ratiocinated that based on the
earlier cases of Santos vs CA and Republic vs Court of Appeals and Molina, the allegations of Lorna failed to prove Zosimos
psychological incapacity.
ISSUE: Whether or not emotional immaturity and irresponsibility may be equated to psychological incapacity.
HELD: No. Emotional immaturity and irresponsibility, invoked by her, cannot be equated with psychological incapacity.
As the CA observed, Lorna has not established the following: That Zosimo showed signs of mental incapacity as would cause
him to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenant, as so provided for in Article 68 of the Family Code; that the
incapacity is grave, has preceded the marriage and is incurable; that his incapacity to meet his marital responsibility is
because of a psychological, not physical illness; that the root cause of the incapacity has been identified medically or
clinically, and has been proven by an expert; and that the incapacity is permanent and incurable in nature.
The burden of proof to show the nullity of marriage lies in the plaintiff and any doubt should be resolved in favor of the
existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and nullity.

Estrellita Juliano-Llave vs Republic of the Philippines


646 SCRA 637 Civil Law Family Code Article 35 Nullity of Marriage Bigamy
Annulment of Marriage Collusion Participation of the Solicitor General
Who may file an annulment case
In May 1993, Mamintal A.J. Tamano (a former senator) married Estrellita Juliano-Llave under a civil ceremony. In June 1993,
both got married again to each other but this time under Muslim rites. Unfortunately, in less than a year, Tamano died.
In November 1994, mother and son Haja Putri Zorayda Tamano and Adib Ahmad Tamano filed a complaint for the
declaration of nullity of marriage between Estrellita and Tamano for being bigamous. It appears that Zorayda and Tamano
were already married in 1958 under civil rites and Muslim rites.
In her defense, Estrellita averred that Tamano was already divorced when he married Estrellita in 1993. This was evidenced
by Tamanos declared status of divorced at the time of their marriage in 1993.
After a long and tedious process, the marriage between Estrellita and Tamano was finally declared void for being bigamous
by the RTC and later the Court of Appeals.
Estrellita now questions the said ruling on the ground that:
a. Zorayda and Adib have no legal standing to question the marriage between Estrellita and Tamano because they were not
parties to the marriage contract; that under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC or the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void
Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages, an action to file the declaration of nullity of marriage is only limited to the
husband or the wife;
b. The proceedings in the RTC and the CA are void because under Article 48 of the Family Code as well as A.M. No. 02-1110-SC, the Solicitor General or the public prosecutor are required to appear or participate in the proceedings in order to
determine collusion between the parties this was not the case here, according to Estrellita;
c. The Muslim Code or PD 1083 was enacted in 1977 and that the marriage between Zorayda and Tamano happened in
1958; that Muslim Code provides for Muslim Divorce; that under said law, if Muslim divorce need not be registered.
ISSUE: Whether or not Estrellitas arguments are correct.
HELD: No.
1. Zorayda and Adib have the legal personality to question the marriage between Estrellita and Tamano. A.M. No. 02-11-10SC, which limits to only the husband or the wife the filing of a petition for nullity is prospective in application and does not
shut out the prior spouse from filing suit if the ground is a bigamous subsequent marriage.
2. The participation of the Sol-Gen or the public prosecutor can be dispensed with. First of, the public prosecutor was actually
ordered by the RTC at the onset of the case to make a report on whether or not there was a collusion between the parties.
And as the records of the case would show, the prosecutor did submit a report finding no collusion. Second, the rationale
behind the requirement for the Sol-Gen or public prosecutor to participate is to make sure that theres no collusion between
the parties. In this case, the lack of collusion between the parties (between Estrellita and Zorayda) is apparent because of
the vehement opposition of Estrellita to the petition filed by Zorayda.
3. The Muslim Code did not automatically cover all Muslim marriages already existing at the time of its enactment. Further,
the Muslim Code finds no application to marriages celebrated under both civil and Muslim rites. Further still, the Muslim
Code did not provide for retroactive application. It cannot retroactively override the Civil Code which already bestowed
certain rights on the marriage of Tamano and Zorayda.
Thus, the law applicable on the marriage between Tamano and Zorayda is the Civil Code and nowhere in the Civil Code is
divorce allowed. The declaration of Tamano that he was divorced is therefore without effect as to the validity of his earlier
marriage with Zorayda. Hence, the ruling of the RTC and the CA is correct the marriage between Tamano and Estrellita in
1993 is void for being bigamous.

Salvador Abunado vs People of the Philippines


426 SCRA 562 Civil Law Family Code Article 35 Bigamy Prejudicial Question
Remedial Law Criminal Procedure Prejudicial Question
In 1967, Narcisa Arceo married Salvador Abunado. Later, Arceo left for Japan to work there. She returned in 1992 but
Abunado was nowhere to be found as he left the family home. Arceo was able to locate Abunado but when she did,
Abunado was already cohabiting with somebody else. Further, Arceo also discovered that in 1989, Abunado married a
certain Zenaida Bias.
In January 1995, Abunado filed an annulment case against Arceo. In May 1995, Arceo filed a bigamy case against
Abunado. Both cases proceeded simultaneously and independently in different courts.
In 1999, the marriage between Arceo and Abunado was annulled. In 2001, Abunado was convicted by the trial court for
bigamy.
Abunado now questions the judgment of conviction against him as he alleged that the annulment case he filed
against Arceo was a prejudicial question to the bigamy case filed against him by Arceo. Hence, the proceedings in the
bigamy case should have been suspended during the pendency of the annulment case.
ISSUE: Whether or not Abunado is correct.
HELD: No. A prejudicial question has been defined as one based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so
intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused, and for it to suspend the criminal
action, it must appear not only that said case involves facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution
would be based but also that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil case, the guilt or innocence of the
accused would necessarily be determined.
The subsequent judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage was immaterial because prior to the declaration of
nullity, the crime had already been consummated.
Under the law, a marriage, even one which is void or voidable, shall be deemed valid until declared otherwise in a judicial
proceeding. In this case, even if Abunado eventually obtained a declaration that his first marriage was void ab initio, the
point is, both the first and the second marriage were subsisting before the first marriage was annulled. In short, all the
elements of bigamy were present the nullity of the prior marriage is immaterial.

Veronica Alcazar vs Rey Alcazar


603 SCRA 604 Civil Law Persons and Family Relations Family Code Article 36; Psychological Incapacity Sexual
Infidelity Per Se is not Psychological Incapacity
Article 45 Failure to Consummate the Marriage
In August 2000, Rey Alcazar and Veronica Cabacungan married each other. They lived together for three weeks thereafter,
Rey went to Saudi Arabia to work. In Saudi, Rey never communicated with Veronica despite Veronicas efforts to reach him.
In March 2002, Rey returned to the Philippines but instead of going home to Veronica, he went straight to his parents. He
did not even tell Veronica that he was coming home. Veronica had to learn of his husbands return from someone else.
Veronica went to Reys parents but Rey cannot be found there (hiding).
In August 2002, Veronica filed an annulment case against Rey. Initially, the ground for annulment was based on paragraph
5, Article 45 of the Family Code or Reys failure to consummate the marriage. But later, the ground was changed to
psychological incapacity (Article 36).
During trial, Veronica presented Dr. Nedy Tayag as expert witness who testified that Rey is suffering from Narcissistic
Personality Disorder (NPD). Rey was found by Tayag to be having a grandiose sense of self. He thinks he is too important,
too unique, and too special.
Also alleged in the complaint for annulment was Reys alleged sexual infidelity because when he came home from abroad,
it was said that he lived with a certain Sally in his parents hometown.
ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Veronica and Rey should be annulled.
HELD: No. First, the Supreme Court noted that it is correct that Veronica abandoned her cause under paragraph 5, Article
45. The said provision states:
ART. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
xxxx
(5) That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues
and appears to be incurable; x x x.
Article 45(5) of the Family Code refers to lack of power to copulate. Incapacity to consummate denotes the permanent
inability on the part of the spouses to perform the complete act of sexual intercourse. Non-consummation of a marriage
may be on the part of the husband or of the wife and may be caused by a physical or structural defect in the anatomy of
one of the parties or it may be due to chronic illness and inhibitions or fears arising in whole or in part from psychophysical
conditions. It may be caused by psychogenic causes, where such mental block or disturbance has the result of making the
spouse physically incapable of performing the marriage act. No evidence was presented in the case at bar to establish that

Rey was in any way physically incapable to consummate his marriage with Veronica. In fact, Veronica admitted that she and
Rey had sex before and after the wedding. Thus, incapacity to consummate does not exist int his case.
Second, psychological incapacity was not proven. Tayags testimony on Reys NPD was not sufficient to establish
psychological incapacity. The case between Veronica and Rey is merely a simple case of a married couple being apart too
long, becoming strangers to each other, with the husband falling out of love and distancing or detaching himself as much
as possible from his wife. To be tired and give up on ones situation and on ones spouse are not necessarily signs of
psychological illness; neither can falling out of love be so labeled.
Lastly, the allegation of sexual infidelity on the part of Rey is a poor attempt to bolster the claim against Rey. Sexual
infidelity per se is not psychological incapacity. Veronica failed to establish that Reys unfaithfulness is a manifestation of a
disordered personality, which makes him completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of the marital state.

Gerbert Corpuz vs Daisylyn Sto. Tomas


628 SCRA 266 Civil Law Persons and Family Relations Family Code Article 26; Effect of Foreign Divorce
Remedial Law Evidence Presumptive Evidence Foreign Judgment; Divorce
Civil Procedure Rule 39 Rights of Alien Spouse Divorcee
In November 2000, Gerbert Corpuz became a naturalized Canadian citizen. In January 2005, he married Daisylyn Sto. Tomas,
a Filipina. In April 2005, Gerbert discovered that Daisylyn was having extramarital affairs. In December 2005, Gerbert filed a
petition for divorce in Canada. In January 2006, a Canadian court issued a divorce decree in favor of Gerbert.
In 2008, Gerbert intended to marry another Filipina here in the Philippines. Gerbert went to the Pasig City Civil Registry
Office and registered the Canadian divorce decree on his and Daisylyns marriage certificate. Despite the registration of the
divorce decree, an official of the National Statistics Office (NSO) informed Gerbert that the marriage between him and
Daisylyn still subsists under Philippine law; to be enforceable, the foreign divorce decree must first be judicially recognized
by a competent Philippine court, pursuant to NSO Circular No. 4, series of 1982.
Thus, Gerbert filed a petition for judicial recognition of foreign divorce and/or declaration of marriage as dissolved with the
RTC. The RTC later denied Gerberts petition. The RTC ruled that under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family
Code, only the Filipino spouse can avail of the remedy of having a foreign divorce decree be judicially recognized. Since
Gerbert is not a Filipino spouse, he cannot avail of such remedy.
ISSUE: Whether or not only a Filipino spouse can avail of the remedy provided for in the second paragraph of Article 26 of
the Family Code.
HELD: Yes. Article 26 of the Family Code provides:
Art. 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.
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained
abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry
under Philippine law.
The legislative intent is for the benefit of the Filipino spouse, by clarifying his or her marital status, settling the doubts created
by the divorce decree. Essentially, the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code provided the Filipino spouse a
substantive right to have his or her marriage to the alien spouse considered as dissolved, capacitating him or her to remarry.
The RTC was correct in limiting the applicability of the provision for the benefit of the Filipino spouse. In other words, only
the Filipino spouse can invoke the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code; the alien spouse can claim no right
under this provision.
But is Gerbert left with no remedy?
No. The foreign divorce decree itself, after its authenticity and conformity with the aliens national law have been duly proven
according to our rules of evidence, serves as a presumptive evidence of right in favor of Gerbert, pursuant to Section 48,
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which provides for the effect of foreign judgments:
SEC. 48. Effect of foreign judgments or final orders.The effect of a judgment or final order of a tribunal of a foreign country,
having jurisdiction to render the judgment or final order is as follows:
xxx
(b) In case of a judgment or final order against a person, the judgment or final order is presumptive evidence of a
right as between the parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title.
The divorce obtained by an alien abroad may be recognized in the Philippines, provided the divorce is valid according to
his or her national law.
So what should Gerbert do in order to have the the foreign divorce be recognized?
File a petition under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court (Cancellation Or Correction Of Entries In The Civil Registry). And in that
petition, he can raise an issue for the recognition of the foreign divorce decree.

At this juncture, the SC ruled that the registration of the divorce decree by the Pasig Civil Registry is wrong. The Civil Register
cannot do that without a court order. Article 412 of the Civil Code declares that no entry in a civil register shall be changed
or corrected, without judicial order.
Likewise, in the event that a proper petition for judicial recognition of a foreign divorce decree is filed, say for example if in
this case, the person who filed the petition was Daisylyn, and the same was granted such judicial recognition alone is not
sufficient to cause the cancellation of the entry in the civil registry. The SC ruled that a separate petition under Rule 108
must still be had.

CAPILI vs PEOPLE
700 SCRA 443 Civil Law Family Code Void Marriages A Void 2nd Marriage is not a Defense in Bigamy
Criminal Law Bigamy Elements
In September 1999, James Capili married Karla Medina. But then, just three months later in December 1999, he married
another woman named Shirley Tismo.
In 2004, Karla Medina filed an action for declaration of nullity of the second marriage between Capili and Tismo. In June
2004, Tismo filed a bigamy case against Capili.
Before a decision can be had in the bigamy case, the action filed by Karla Medina was granted and Capilis marriage with
Tismo was declared void by reason of the subsisting marriage between Medina and Capili. Thereafter, Capili filed a motion
to dismiss in the bigamy case. He alleged that since the second marriage was already declared void ab initio that marriage
never took place and that therefore, there is no bigamy to speak of.
The trial court agreed with Capili and it dismissed the bigamy case. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal
and remanded the case to the trial court.
ISSUE: Whether or not a declaration of nullity of the second marriage avoids a prosecution for bigamy.
HELD: No. The elements of bigamy are:
1. That the offender has been legally married;
2. That the first marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse could not
yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code;
3. That he contracts a second or subsequent marriage;
4. That the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity.
When Capili married Tismo, all the above elements are present. The crime of bigamy was already consummated. It is already
immaterial if the second (or first marriage, seeMercado vs Tan) was subsequently declared void. The outcome of the civil
case filed by Karla Medina had no bearing to the determination of Capilis guilt or innocence in the bigamy case because all
that is required for the charge of bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the second marriage
is contracted. He who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration of the first marriage assumes the risk of
being prosecuted for bigamy.
The Supreme Court also notes that even if a party has reason to believe that his first marriage is void, he cannot simply
contract a second marriage without having such first marriage be judicially declared as void. The parties to the marriage
should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the judgment of competent
courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such
declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists.

Sergio Amonoy vs Spouses Gutierrez


351 SCRA 73 Civil Law Article 19 Abuse of Rights Damnum Absque Injuria
In 1965, Atty. Sergio Amonoy represented Alfonso Fornilda (Formida in some records) in a partition case. Since Fornilda had
no money to pay, he agreed to make use of whatever property he acquires as a security for the payment of Amonoys
attorneys fees which amounts to P27k. In July 1969, Fornilda died. A month later, the property was finally adjudicated and
Fornilda, through his heirs, got his just share from the property in dispute. Fornilda was however unable to pay Amonoy.
Hence, Amonoy sought to foreclose the property in 1970. The heirs of Fornilda, the spouses Jose Gutierrez and Angela
Fornilda then sued Amonoy questioning the validity of his mortgage agreement with Fornilda. It was their claim that the
attorneys fees he was collecting was unconscionable and that the same was based on an invalid mortgage due to the
existing att0rney-client relationship between him and Fornilda at the time the mortgage was executed.
The spouses lost in the trial court as well as in the Court of Appeals but they appealed to the Supreme Court, docketed as
G.R.No. L-72306. Meanwhile, in 1973, Amonoy was able to foreclose the property. Amonoy was also the highest bidder in
the public sale conducted in view of the foreclosure. He was able to buy the property of Fornilda for P23k. But constructed
on said property was the house of the spouses Gutierrez.
Pending the spousess appeal with the Supreme Court, Amonoy was able to secure a demolition order and so on May 30,
1986, Amonoy started demolishing the houses of the spouses. But on June 2, 1986, the Supreme Court issued a Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO) against the demolition order. On June 4, 1986, Amonoy received a copy of the TRO. Finally, on
June 24, 1989, the Supreme Court promulgated a decision on G.R.No. L-72306 where it ruled that the mortgage between

Amonoy and Fornilda is void, hence, Amonoy has no right over the property. But by this time, the house of the spouses was
already demolished because it appears that despite the TRO, Amonoy continued demolishing the house until it was fully
demolished in the middle of 1987.
The spouses then sued Amonoy for damages. It is now the contention of Amonoy that he incurred no liability because he
was merely exercising his right to demolish (pursuant to the demolition order) hence what happened was a case of damnum
absque injuria (injury without damage).
ISSUE: Whether or not Amonoy is correct.
HELD: No. Amonoy initially had the right to demolish but when he received the TRO that right had already ceased. Hence,
his continued exercise of said right after the TRO was already unjustified. As quoted by the Supreme Court: The exercise of
a right ends when the right disappears, and it disappears when it is abused, especially to the prejudice of others.
What Amonoy did is an abuse of right. Article 19, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the principle of abuse
of rights, sets certain standards which may be observed not only in the exercise of ones rights but also in the performance
of ones duties. These standards are the following: to act with justice; to give everyone his due; recognizes the primordial
limitation on all rights: that in their exercise, the norms of human conduct set forth in Article 19 and results in damage to
another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be held responsible.
Clearly then, the demolition of the spousess house by Amonoy, despite his receipt of the TRO, was not only an abuse but
also an unlawful exercise of such right.

Sally Go-Bangayan vs Benjamin Bangayan, Jr.


Civil Law Family Code Marriage Bigamy Non-existent marriage
In September 1979, Benjamin Bangayan, Jr. married Azucena Alegre. In 1982, while Alegre was outside the Philippines,
Benjamin developed a romantic relationship with Sally Go. Sallys father was against this. In order to appease her father,
Sally convinced Benjamin to sign a purported marriage contract in March 1982.
In 1994, the relationship between Sally and Benjamin soured. Sally filed a bigamy case against Benjamin. Benjamin on the
other hand filed an action to declare his alleged marriage to Sally as non-existent. To prove the existence of their marriage,
Sally presented a marriage license allegedly issued to Benjamin.
ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Sally and Benjamin is bigamous.
HELD: No. The elements of bigamy are:
1. That the offender has been legally married.
2. That the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse could not yet
be presumed dead according to the Civil Code.
3. That he contracts a second or subsequent marriage.
4. That the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity.
In this case, the fourth element is not present. The marriage license presented by Sally was not authentic as in fact, no
marriage license was ever issued to both parties in view of the alleged marriage. The marriage between them was merely in
jest and never complied with the essential requisites of marriage. Hence, there is no bigamous marriage to speak of.

Spouses Teodoro and Nanette Perea vs Spouses Nicolas and Teresita Zarate
Civil Law Common Carrier Private School Transport are Common Carriers
Torts and Damages Heirs of a high school student may be awarded damages for loss income
In June 1996, Nicolas and Teresita Zarate contracted Teodoro and Nanette Perea to transport their (Zarates) son, Aaron
Zarate, to and from school. The Pereas were owners of a van being used for private school transport.
At about 6:45am of August 22, 1996, the driver of the said private van, Clemente Alfaro, while the children were on board
including Aaron, decided to take a short cut in order to avoid traffic. The usual short cut was a railroad crossing of the
Philippine National Railway (PNR).
Alfaro saw that the barandilla (the pole used to block vehicles crossing the railway) was up which means it was okay to cross.
He then tried to overtake a bus. However, there was in fact an oncoming train but Alfaro no longer saw the train as his view
was already blocked by the bus he was trying to overtake. The bus was able to cross unscathed but the vans rear end was
hit. During the collision, Aaron, was thrown off the van. His body hit the railroad tracks and his head was severed. He was
only 15 years old.
It turns out that Alfaro was not able to hear the train honking from 50 meters away before the collision because the vans
stereo was playing loudly.
The Zarates sued PNR and the Pereas (Alfaro became at-large). Their cause of action against PNR was based on quasidelict. Their cause of action against the Pereas was based on breach of contract of common carriage.
In their defense, the Pereas invoked that as private carriers they were not negligent in selecting Alfaro as their driver as
they made sure that he had a drivers license and that he was not involved in any accident prior to his being hired. In short,
they observed the diligence of a good father in selecting their employee.

PNR also disclaimed liability as they insist that the railroad crossing they placed there was not meant for railroad crossing
(really, thats their defense!).
The RTC ruled in favor of the Zarates. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC. In the decision of the RTC and the CA, they
awarded damages in favor of the Zarates for the loss of earning capacity of their dead son.
The Pereas appealed. They argued that the award was improper as Aaron was merely a high school student, hence, the
award of such damages was merely speculative. They cited the case of People vs Teehankee where the Supreme Court did
not award damages for the loss of earning capacity despite the fact that the victim there was enrolled in a pilot school.
ISSUES: Whether or not the defense of due diligence of a good father by the Pereas is untenable. Whether or not the
award of damages for loss of income is proper.
HELD: Yes, in both issues.
Defense of Due Diligence of a Good Father
This defense is not tenable in this case. The Pereas are common carriers. They are not merely private carriers. (Prior to this
case, the status of private transport for school services or school buses is not well settled as to whether or not they are
private or common carriers but they were generally regarded as private carriers). Private transport for schools are common
carriers. The Pereas, as the operators of a school bus service were: (a) engaged in transporting passengers generally as a
business, not just as a casual occupation; (b) undertaking to carry passengers over established roads by the method by
which the business was conducted; and (c) transporting students for a fee. Despite catering to a limited clientle, the Pereas
operated as a common carrier because they held themselves out as a ready transportation indiscriminately to the students
of a particular school living within or near where they operated the service and for a fee.
Being a common carrier, what is required of the Pereas is not mere diligence of a good father. What is specifically required
from them by law is extraordinary diligence a fact which they failed to prove in court. Verily, their obligation as common
carriers did not cease upon their exercise of diligently choosing Alfaro as their employee.
(It is recommended that you read the full text, the Supreme Court made an elaborate and extensive definition of common
and private carriers as well as their distinctions.)
Award of Damages for Aarons loss of earning capacity despite he being a high school student at the time of his death
The award is proper. Aaron was enrolled in a reputable school (Don Bosco). He was of normal health and was an able-bodied
person. Further, the basis of the computation of his earning capacity was not on what he would have become. It was based
on the current minimum wage. The minimum wage was validly used because with his circumstances at the time of his death,
it is most certain that had he lived, he would at least be a minimum wage earner by the time he starts working. This is not
being speculative at all.
The Teehankee case was different because in that case, the reason why no damages were awarded for loss of earning
capacity was that the defendants there were already assuming that the victim would indeed become a pilot hence, that
made the assumption speculative. But in the case of Aaron, there was no speculation as to what he might be but whatever
hell become, it is certain that he will at the least be earning minimum wage.

Syed Azhar Abbas vs Gloria Goo-Abbas


689 SCRA 646 (109 OG 7469) Civil Law Family Code Bigamy Void Ab Initio Marriage Lack of a Marriage License
Remedial Law Evidence Probative Value Public Records
In January 1993, Syed Azhar Abbas was invited to the house of Felicitas Goo, mother of Gloria Goo. He said he was asked to
participate in a ceremony which was meant to welcome him to the Philippines (Abbas is a Pakistani). He said he did not
know that the ceremony was actually his marriage with Gloria Goo.
Later, Gloria filed a bigamy case against Abbas. Abbas allegedly married a certain Maria Corazon Buenaventura.
To avoid the bigamy case, Abbas filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Gloria Goo.
To prove the validity of their marriage, Gloria presented a marriage contract signed by Abbas as well as the solemnizing
officer who celebrated their marriage. The marriage contract contained the alleged marriage license issued to Abbas.
Abbas presented a certification issued by the Local Civil Registrar which states that the marriage license, based on its number,
indicated in the marriage contract was never issued to Abbas but to someone else.
The RTC ruled in favor of Abbas. However, the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC on the ground that there was no diligence
to search for the real source of the marriage license issued to Abbas (for it could be that the marriage license was issued in
another municipality).
ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage between Abbas and Goo is void ab initio.
HELD: Yes. Their marriage lacked one of the essential requisites of marriage which is the issuance of a valid marriage license.
The Court of Appeals is wrong in reversing the RTC. The Local Civil registrars certification enjoyed probative value as her
duty was to maintain records of data relative to the issuance of a marriage license. There is a presumption of regularity of
official acts in favor of the local civil registrar. Gloria was not able to overcome this presumption hence it stands to favor
Abbas.
The fact that Abbas did sign the marriage contract does not make it conclusive that there was in fact a valid marriage license
issued to him nor does it cure the fact that no marriage license was issued to Abbas. Article 4 of the Family Code is clear

when it says, The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio. Article 35(3)
of the Family Code also provides that a marriage solemnized without a license is void from the beginning.

Beatriz Wassmer vs Francisco Velez


12 SCRA 648 Civil Law Torts and Damages Article 21 of the Civil Code Moral Damages Exemplary Damages
Breach of Promise to Marry
In 1954, Francisco Velez and Beatriz Wassmer planned their marriage. They decided to schedule it on September 4, 1954.
And so Wassmer made preparations such as: making and sending wedding invitations, bought her wedding dress and other
apparels, and other wedding necessities. But 2 days before the scheduled day of wedding, Velez sent a letter to Wassmer
advising her that he will not be able to attend the wedding because his mom was opposed to said wedding. And one day
before the wedding, he sent another message to Wassmer advising her that nothing has changed and that he will be
returning soon. However, he never returned.
This prompted Wassmer to file a civil case against Velez. Velez never filed an answer and eventually judgment was made in
favor of Wassmer. The court awarded exemplary and moral damages in favor of Wassmer.
On appeal, Velez argued that his failure to attend the scheduled wedding was because of fortuitous events. He further
argued that he cannot be held civilly liable for breaching his promise to marry Wassmer because there is no law upon which
such an action may be grounded. He also contested the award of exemplary and moral damages against him.
ISSUE: Whether or not the award of damages is proper.
HELD: Yes. The defense of fortuitous events raised by Velez is not tenable and also unsubstantiated. It is true that a breach
of promise to marry per se is not an actionable wrong. However, in this case, it was not a simple breach of promise to marry.
because of such promise, Wassmer made preparations for the wedding. Velezs unreasonable withdrawal from the wedding
is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. Wassmers cause of action is supported under Article 21 of the Civil
Code which provides in part 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.
And under the law, any violation of Article 21 entitles the injured party to receive an award for moral damages as properly
awarded by the lower court in this case. Further, the award of exemplary damages is also proper. Here, the circumstances of
this case show that Velez, in breaching his promise to Wassmer, acted in wanton, reckless, and oppressive manner this
warrants the imposition of exemplary damages against him.