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(G.R. No. 157854, November, 12 2012)
The office of the Solicitor General (OSG) is required to actively participate in all stages
of the proceedings and to require the OSG to appear as counsel for the State in the capacity of a
defensor vinculi (i.e, defender of the marital band) to oppose petitions for, and to appeal
judgments in favor of, declarations of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code,
thereby ensuring that only the meritorious cases for the declaration of nullity of marriages based
on psychological incapacity-those sufficiently evidenced.

On August 5, 1998, petitioner filed in the RTC her petition for the declaration of the
nullity of her marriage with Dominic based on his psychological incapacity under Article
36 of the Family Code. The RTC found that all the characteristics of psychological
incapacity which are gravity, antecedence and incurability, were attendant, establishing
Dominics psychological incapacity.

Even if the expert opinions of psychologists are not sine qua non in the granting of
petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage, the actual medical examination is to be dispensed
with only if the totality of evidence presented is enough to support a finding of psychological
incapacity. What is essential is the presence of evidence that can adequately establish the
partys psychological condition.

Anabelle and Dominic met in 1989 upon his return to the country from his employment
in Papua New Guinea.

Arabelle and Dominic Mendoza got married while Arabelle was eight months pregnant.
They lived together but depended on their parents for financial support. Arabelle had
different jobs to support the needs of the family.

The Republic appealed to the CA, arguing that there was no showing that Dominics
personality traits either constituted psychological incapacity existing at the time of the
marriage or were of the nature contemplated by Article 36 of the Family Code; that the
testimony of the expert witness was not conclusive upon the court, and that the real
reason for the parties separation had been their frequent quarrels over financial
matters and the criminal cases brought against Dominic. CA reversed the decision of
RTC. Hence, this petition.


Whether or not psychological incapacity of Dominic was established, and thus

their marriage is null and void. -NO



When Dominic got employed for Toyota in Bel-Air Makati in 1994, he spent his first
salary celebrating with his friends. September of the same year, Arabelle found out of
Dominics illicit relationship with Zaida, his co-employee. Communication between them
became rare and they started sleeping in separate rooms.

The appeal has no merit. The CA correctly indicated that the ill-feelings that the
petitioner harbored against Dominic furnished the basis to doubt the findings of the
expert witness; that such findings were one-sided and that he did not participate in the
proceedings. The findings and conclusions on his psychological profile were solely
based on the self-serving testimonial descriptions of him by the petitioner and her

witnesses. The court finds the totality of evidence adduced by the petitioner insufficient
to prove that Dominic was psychologically unfit. Accordingly, the RTCs findings that

In November 1995, Dominic gave her a car as a birthday present only to find out that
he did not pay for it, forcing her to rely on her father-in-law for the payment of the car.
Dominic eventually got fired from his job because of he ran away with P164,000
belonging to his employer. He was charged with estafa. Petitioner also found out that
he swindled many of his clients some of them threatening her and their family.

Dominics psychological incapacity was characterized by gravity, antecedence and

incurability could not stand scrutiny. His alleged immaturity, deceitfulness and lack of
remorse did not necessarily constitute psychological incapacity. The court denies the
petition for certiorari and affirms that decision of the Court of Appeals.

On October 15, 1997, Dominic abandoned the conjugal abode because petitioner
asked him for time and space to think things over. A month later, she refused his
attempt at reconciliation, causing him to threaten to commit suicide. She and her family
immediately left the house to live in another place concealed from him.


No. Findings of Dr. Samson were one-sided, because Dominic was not himself
subjected to an actual psychiatric evaluation by petitioners expert. He also did not
participate in the proceedings. And that the findings and conclusions on his
psychological profile by her expert were solely based the testimonies of the petitioner.