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Jo Vanne Trivilegio LEGAL RESEARCH

LLB 1A
Synthesis

Marriage is the cornerstone of Philippine society and an inviolable
social institution. Separation, annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage
can only be based on grounds stated by law. The Family Code liberalized
to a certain extent these grounds by providing for psychological incapacity
as a ground for the declaration of nullity of a marriage. However, the Family
Code did not provide for a definition of the concept of psychological
incapacity nor any examples to illustrate the concept. The author submits
that this is a problem since the lack of definition may be broadened to
encompass any and all circumstances of incompatibility of the spouses and
allow the judges too much discretion to determine when declaration of
nullity by virtue of psychological incapacity is applicable. In view of the lack
of definition of the concept of psychological incapacity in the Family Code,
problems arose with regards to its application and interpretation, leading to
many misapplications.
However in this case, It relied on the findings and testimony of Dr.
Zalsos, holding that Natividads emotional immaturity exhibited a behavioral
pattern which in psychiatry constitutes a form of personality disorder that
existed at the time of the parties marriage but manifested only thereafter. It
likewise concurred with Dr. Zalsoss observation that Natividads condition
is incurable since it is deeply rooted within the make-up of her personality.
Accordingly, it concluded that Natividad could not have known, much more
comprehend the marital obligations she was assuming or, knowing them,
could not have given a valid assumption thereof.
"Psychological incapacity," as a ground to nullify a marriage under
Article 36 of the Family Code, should refer to no less than a mental not
merely physical incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of
the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and
discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed in Article
68 of the Family Code, among others,34 include their mutual obligations to
live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and
Jo Vanne Trivilegio LEGAL RESEARCH
LLB 1A
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 insensitivity
or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.
In Santos v. CA (Santos), the Court first declared that psychological
incapacity must be characterized by: (a) gravity (i.e., it must be grave and
serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary
duties required in a marriage); (b) juridical antecedence (i.e., it must be
rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the
overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage); and (c)
incurability (i.e., it must be incurable, or even if it were otherwise, the cure
would be beyond the means of the party involved).
The respondents emotional immaturity and irresponsibility could not
be equated with psychological incapacity as it was not shown that these
acts are manifestations of a disordered personality which make her
completely unable to discharge the essential marital obligations of the
marital state, not merely due to her youth, immaturity or sexual promiscuity.

In the same light, the Court, in the case of Pesca v. Pesca (Pesca),
ruled against a declaration of nullity, as petitioner therein "utterly failed,
both in her allegations in the complaint and in her evidence, to make out a
case of psychological incapacity on the part of respondent, let alone at the
time of solemnization of the contract, so as to warrant a declaration of
nullity of the marriage," significantly noting that the "[e]motional immaturity
and irresponsibility, invoked by her, cannot be equated with psychological
incapacity." In Pesca, the Court upheld the appellate courts finding that the
petitioner therein had not established that her husband "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
Jo Vanne Trivilegio LEGAL RESEARCH
LLB 1A
been identified medically or clinically, and has been proven by an expert;
and that the incapacity is permanent and incurable in nature."
Based on the evidence presented, there exists insufficient factual or legal
basis to conclude that Natividads emotional immaturity, irresponsibility, or
even sexual promiscuity, can be equated with psychological incapacity.



















Jo Vanne Trivilegio LEGAL RESEARCH
LLB 1A
SANTOS VS. CA AND BEDIA-SANTOS
SANTOS vs. CA AND JULIA ROSARIO BEDIA-SANTOS
G.R. No. 112019 January 4, 1995

FACTS: Leouel Santos, a First Lieutenant in the Philippine Army, met Julia
in Iloilo. The two got married in 1986 before a municipal trial court followed
shortly thereafter, by a church wedding. The couple lived with Julias
parents at the J. Bedia Compound. Julia gave birth to a baby boy in 1987
and was named as Leouel Santos Jr. Occasionally, the couple will quarrel
over a number of things aside from the interference of Julias parents into
their family affairs.
Julia left in 1988 to work in US as a nurse despite Leouels pleas to
dissuade her. Seven months after her departure, she called her husband
and promised to return home upon the expiration of her contract in July
1989 but she never did. Leouel got a chance to visit US where he
underwent a training program under AFP, he desperately tried to locate or
somehow get in touch with Julia but all his efforts were of no avail.

Leouel filed a complaint to have their marriage declared void under Article
36 of the Family Code. He argued that failure of Julia to return home or to
communicate with him for more than 5 years are circumstances that show
her being psychologically incapacitated to enter into married life.

ISSUE: Whether their marriage can be considered void under Article 36 of
the Family Code.



Jo Vanne Trivilegio LEGAL RESEARCH
LLB 1A
HELD:

The intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of
psychological incapacity to the most serious cases of personal disorders
clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning
and significance to the marriage. This condition must exist at the time the
marriage is celebrated.

Undeniably and understandably, Leouel stands aggrieved, even desperate,
in his present situation. Regrettably, neither law nor society itself can
always provide all the specific answers to every individual problem.
Wherefore, his petition was denied.
__________
Notes:
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.






Jo Vanne Trivilegio LEGAL RESEARCH
LLB 1A
Pesca v. Pesca, G.R. No. 136921, April 17, 2001
FACTS: The petitioner and respondent were married and had four children.
Lorna filed a petition for declaration of nullity of their marriage on the
ground of psychological incapacity on the part of her husband. She alleged
that he is emotionally immature and irresponsible. He was cruel and
violent. He was a habitual drinker. Whenever she tells him to stop or at
least minimize his drinking, her husband would hurt her. There was even a
time when she was chased by a loaded shotgun and threatened to kill her
in the presence of their children. The children also suffered physical
violence. Petitioner and their children left the home. Two months later, they
returned upon the promise of respondent to change. But he didnt. She was
battered again. Her husband was imprisoned for 11 days for slight physical
injuries. RTC declared their marriage null and void. CA reversed RTCs
ruling. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: W/N the guidelines for psychological incapacity in the case of
Republic vs CA & Molina should be taken in consideration in deciding in
this case.


HELD: Yes. In the Molina case, guidelines were laid down by the SC before
a case would fall under the category of psychological incapacity to declare
a marriage null and void. This decision has force and effect of a law. These
guidelines are mandatory in nature. Petition denied.

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.
Jo Vanne Trivilegio LEGAL RESEARCH
LLB 1A