Sei sulla pagina 1di 215

PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS

1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

TANADA VS. TUVERA


G.R. No. L-63915, 29 December 1986 (Resolution); 24 April 1985 (Decision)
Effectivity of Laws & Publication Requirement (Art. 2)

Facts:

Petitioners are members of the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood Integrity and Nationalism, Inc.
(MABINI). They instituted an action for mandamus to compel the respondents (members of the Executive
branch) to publish various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations,
executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders.

Petitioners invoked their (1) constitutional rights to be informed of matters of public concern as per the
then 1973 Constitution; and (2) the principle that laws to be must be published in the Official Gazette or
otherwise effectively promulgated for their validity.

The Solicitor General, arguing for the government, averred that the petition should be dismissed
outright for the petitioner’s lack of personality or legal standing.

The Court found that a substantial number of the questioned Presidential Decrees were in fact not
published as required by law. On 24 April 1985, the Court, therefore, reached a decision and ordered the
respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all unpublished issuances of general application.

The petitioners, however, came before the Court again and moved for the reconsideration of April
decision, asserting that (1) there is no distinction between laws of general application and those which are
not; (2) publication means complete publication; and (3) publication must be made in the Official Gazette.

The Solicitor General commented that the petitioner’s motion was a request for an advisory opinion
and should therefore be dismissed. Likewise, the Solicitor General argued that publication is not always
required due to the clause “Unless it is other provided” in Article 2 of the Civil Code.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not publication is required without exception as per Article 2 of the Civil Code

Held:
1. Yes, publication is indispensable in every case, but the legislature may provide that the
usual 15-day period be shortened or extended.

The term "laws" should refer to all laws and not only to those of general application, for strictly
speaking all laws relate to the people in general albeit there are some that do not apply to them directly.
We hold therefore that all statutes, including those of local application and private laws, shall be
published as a condition for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a
different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature. Included are administrative rules and regulations
enforcing or implementing a law, city charters, and presidential decrees. Publication must be in full or it
is no publication at all since its purpose is to inform the public of the contents of the laws

Page 1 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

DE ROY VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 80718, 29 January 2988
Supreme Court Decisions; Publication Requirement (Art. 2)

Facts:

The De Roy Spouses owned a burned-building right next to the tailoring shop of the Bernal family. The
firewall of the De Roy’s building collapsed and destroyed the tailoring shop, resulting in injuries to the
Bernal family and the death of one of the daughters, Marissa. The De Roys had allegedly warned the
Bernals to vacate their tailor shop, which was right beside the weakened fire wall.

The Bernals filed a civil action for damages against the De Roys. The Regional Trial Court found the
De Roys guilty of gross negligence and ordered the latter to pay damages to the Bernals. The Court of
Appeals affirmed the Trial Court.

On the last day of the 15-day period to file an appeal, the De Roys filed a motion for extension of time
to file a motion for reconsideration, but the Court of Appeals denied the same. The Court of Appeals also
denied the motion of reconsideration filed by the De Roys later on. The Court of Appeals cited the rule
laid down in Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc. vs. Japzon, G.R. No. 70895, 5 August 1985, which provided that
the 15-day period for appealing or for filing a motion for reconsideration cannot be extended.

The De Roys filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court, raising the propriety of the CA’s
dismissal based on the Habaluyas ruling, which they argued was not applicable in their case because
there was no publication of said ruling as required by Article 2 of the Civil Code.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the Habaluyas case should apply given the lack of publication as required by
Article 2 of the Civil Code.

Held:
1. Yes, the Habaluyas case applied. Contrary to petitioners’ view, there is no law requiring
the publication of Supreme Court decisions in the Official Gazette before they can be
binding and as a condition to their becoming effective.

It is the bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the
Supreme Court. Moreover, the Court provided for a one-month grace period from the promulgation on 30
May 1986 of the Resolution on the application of the ruling in the Habaluyas case. Clearly, the Habaluyas
ruling was correctly applied because the one-month grace period Supreme Court had already lapsed by
the time the De Roy’s filed their motion for extension of time on 9 September 1987.

Page 2 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

NUEVA ECIJA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. V. ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION


G.R. No. 180642, 3 February 2016
What need not be published in OG/newspaper (Art. 2)

Facts:

Nueve Ecija Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NEECO) is a rural electric cooperative duly organized and
authorized by PD No. 269. On 19 February 1997, the then Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) had
authorized NEECO and other rural electric cooperatives to use the PPA formula prescribed in RA 7832
and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). The ERB likewise ordered that NEECO submit
monthly implementation reports of the PPA formula. NEECO implemented the PPA formula from July
1999 to April 2005, but then used the ‘multiplier’ scheme from February 1996 to June 1999.

On 8 June 2001, the EPIRA Law or RA 9136 enacted that Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC),
which replaced the ERB. On 17 June 2003, the ERC issued an order clarifying that the power cost of
electricity of past PPAs shall be based on “gross of the discounts”, while future PPAs shall be based on
“net of the discounts”. In another order dated 14 January 2005, the ERC further clarified that all PPA
computation after the previous order dated 17 June 2003 shall be based on the power cost “net” of
discount.”

Moreover, in the order dated 17 June 2003, the ERC discovered that NEECO had over-recoveries
amounting to more than P60 million pesos due to the latter’s application of the multiplier scheme.
Thus, the ERC ordered NEECO to refund their over-recoveries derived from using said multiplier scheme.

NEECO appealed to the Court of Appeals and sought the reversal of the two orders by the ERC, but
was denied. Before the Supreme Court, NEECO argued, among others, that these two orders by the ERC
are void because they amended and modified RA 7832 and its IRRs, and thus should have been published
in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Issue(s)
1. Whether or not the two assailed orders of the ERC are void for not having been published in the
OG or newspapers of general circulation.

Held:
1. No, the orders are merely interpretative regulations that need not be published.

The ERC orders merely interpreted the computation of the cost of purchased power. As such
interpretative regulations, their publication in the Official Gazette or their filing with the Office of the
National Administrative Register at the U.P. Law Center was not necessary. Procedural due process
demands that administrative rules and regulations be published in order to be effective. However, by way
of exception, interpretative regulations need not comply with the publication requirement set forth in
Section 18, Chapter 5, Book I, and the filing requirement in Sections 3 and 4, Chapter 2, Book VII,65 of
the Administrative Code. Interpretative regulations add nothing to the law and do not affect substantial
rights of any person;66 hence, in this case, they need to be subjected to the procedural due process of
publication or filing before electric cooperatives may be ordered to abide by them.

Page 3 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MILLAROSA V. CARMEL DEVELOPMENT, INC.


G.R. No. 194538, 27 November 2013
Ignorance of the law; Supreme Court decisions (Art. 3)

Facts:

Carmel Development, Inc. was the registered owner of property in Caloocan known as the Pangarap
Village, totaling 156 hectares and consisting of 3 parcels of land registered in the name Carmel Farms,
Inc.

On 14 September 1973, President Ferdinand Marcos issued PD 293, which invalidated the titles of
Carmel Development over the Pangarap Property and declared the same open for disposition and sale to
the members of the Malacanang Homeowners Association, Inc (MHAI).

Pursuant to PD 293, the Register of Deeds of Caloocan inscribed a Memorandum on Carmel


Development’s title on the property, declaring the same invalid, null, and void. Based on PD 293, Pelagio
Juan, a member of the MHAI and predecessor-in-interest of petitioner Millarosa occupied the lot and built
houses there.

On 29 January 1988, the Supreme Court promulgated Tuason vs. Register of Deeds, which declared
PD 293 as unconstitutional and void and ordered the Register of Deeds to cancel the Memorandum
inscripted on the title.

Meanwhile, sometime in 1995, Millarosa took over the lot by virtue of an Affidavit executed by Juan in
his favor. Carmel Development then made several oral demands on Millarosa to vacate the premises
pursuant to the Tuason case. Eventually, Carmel Development filed a complaint for unlawful detainer
before the MeTC, which granted the same and ordered Juan to vacate the property.

Juan appealed to the RTC, which reversed the MeTC, but then Carmel appealed to the Court of
Appeals, which then reversed the RTC ruling and reinstated the MeTC ruling. Millarosa then appealed to
the Supreme Court, and argued that the Tuason case can not apply to him because he was not a party to
the case and that he is a builder in good faith.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the Tuason case does not apply given that Millarosa was not a party to the case

Held:

1. Yes, the Tuason case applies, because all persons are bound by the declaration of
unconstitutionality, which means that no one may thereafter invoke it nor may the
courts be permitted to apply it in subsequent cases.

PD 293 is a total nullity. The docrine of res inter alios judicatae nullum aliis praejudicium faciunt
does not apply when the party concerned is a “successor in interest by title subsequent to the
commencement of the action, or the action or proceeding is in rem, the judgment in which is binding
against him.” While petitioner may not have been a party to Tuason, still, the judgment is binding on him
because the declaration of P.D. 293 as a nullity partakes of the nature of an in rem proceeding.

Page 4 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Neither may Mirallosa avail himself of the operative fact doctrine, which recognizes the interim effects of
a law prior to its declaration of unconstitutionality. The operative fact doctrine is a rule of equity. As
such, it must be applied as an exception to the general rule that an unconstitutional law produces no
effects. The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an undue burden
on those who have relied on the invalid law, but it can never be invoked to validate as constitutional an
unconstitutional act.

Moreover, Mirallosa is not a builder in good faith. A builder in good faith is “one who builds with the
belief that the land he is building on is his, or that by some title one has the right to build thereon, and is
ignorant of any defect or flaw in his title.” Since petitioner only started occupying the property sometime
in 1995 (when his predecessor-in-interest executed an Affidavit in his favor), or about seven years after
Tuason was promulgated, he should have been aware of the binding effect of that ruling. Since all judicial
decisions form part of the law of the land, its existence should be “[o]n one hand, x x x matter of
mandatory judicial notice; on the other, ignorantia legis non excusat.” He thus loses whatever he has built
on the property, without right to indemnity, in accordance with Article 449 of the Civil Code.

Page 5 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

CUI VS. ARELLANO


G.R. No. L-15127, 30 May 1961
Exceptions to Waiver (Art. 6)

Facts:

Emeterio Cui was a law student at Arellano University who was awarded scholarship grants for
scholastic merit, so that his semesteral fees were returned to him after the ends of semester and when his
scholarship grants were awarded to him. This was so because his uncle, Francisco R. Capistrano, was the
dean of the College of Law and legal counsel of Arellano University.

For his last semester in law, Cui transferred to the college of law of the Abad Santos University where
his uncle accepted the deanship and chancellorship. Cui eventually graduated from the college of law of
Abad Santos University and applied to take the Bar examination.

Cui was required to submit his transcript of records from Arellano University, but the latter refused to
issue the same until after Cui paid back the total amount of P1,033.87 representing the amount of tuition
of his years in Arellano under scholarship. Cui paid the sum under protest and filed a collection case
against Arellano. University.

Before Cui was awarded scholarship grants, he signed a contract which stated that in he waived his
right to transfer to another school without having refunded to the University the equivalent of his
scholarship. On the other hand, Memorandum No. 38 series of 1949 of the Director of Private Schools that
essentially provided that scholarships should not be charged to the grantees when they decided to quit
school or transfer to another institution.

Issue(s)
1. Whether or not the waiver of right to transfer to another school without refunding the scholarship
is valid under Article 6 of the Civil Code.

Held:
1. No, it is not valid for being contrary to public policy.

The Memorandum No. 38 incorporates a sound principle of public policy. The Director ofPrivate
Schools correctly pointed out such principle in his letter to Arellano University, to wit:

It has been consistently held in America that under the principles relating to the doctrine of public policy,
as applied to the law of contracts, courts of justice will not recognize or uphold a transaction which in its
object, operation, or tendency, is calculated to be prejudicial to the public welfare, to sound morality, or to
civic honesty

If Arellano University understood clearly the real essence of scholarships and the motives which
prompted this office to issue Memorandum No. 38, s. 1949, it should have not entered into a contract of
waiver with Cui on September 10, 1951, which is a direct violation of our Memorandum and an open
challenge to the authority of the Director of Private Schools because the contract was repugnant to sound
morality and civic honesty. Scholarships are awarded in recognition of merit not to keep outstanding
students in school to bolster its prestige.

Page 6 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

FLORESCA VS. PHILEX MINING CORPORATION


G.R. No. L-30642, 30 April 1985
Are judicial decisions law? (Art. 8).

Facts:

Petitioners are heirs of the deceased employees of Philx who perished as a result of a cave-in that
buried them in the tunnels of the copper mine they worked in Tuba, Benguet on 28 June 1967. They filed
a complaint for damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code against Philex before the Court of First
Instance, alleging that Philex violated government rules and regulations and negligently and deliberately
failed to take required precautions for the protection of the lives of workers in the mine. Out of the 48
workers in the mine, 5 escaped, 22 were rescued within a week, 21 were left to their fate despite still
being alive due to Philex’s decision to abandon rescue operations.

Philex filed a motion to dismiss which was granted on the ground that the complaint was within the
exclusive original jurisdiction of the Workmen’s Compensation Act.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the Workmen’s compensation act applies thus the CFI has no jurisdiction.
2. Whether or not the Supreme Court is in fact legislating in this case for interpreting damages
under the Civil Code in light of the Labor Code and the Workmen’s Compensation Act.

Held:
1. No, the case is one for damages under the Civil Code, thus the CFI has jurisdiction

An ordinary court has jurisdiction over complaints for damages filed by heirs of mining employees against
the mining corporation for death of the former allegedly caused by negligence of their employer.
Jurisdiction is determined by allegations in the complaint and in the case at bar there was no allegation
that they died from accident arising from their employment.

The petitioners’ complaint is one for damages in the total amount of P825,000. They did not invoke the
provisions of the Workmen’s compensation Act to entitle them to compensation. In fact, the complaint
alleges gross and reckless negligence and deliberate failure on the part of Philex to protect the lives of its
workers. Settled is the rule that in ascertaining whether or not the cause of action is in the nature of
workmen’s compensation claim or a claim for damages pursuant to the provisions of the Civil Code, the
test is the averments or allegations in the complaint.

Moreover, the heirs can choose to recover from the employer under the Workmen’s Compensation Act or
under the Civil Code for damages, but cannot pursue both courses of action simultaneously.

2. No, the Supreme Court is not legislating contrary to what the dissenting opinion
asserts.

The Supreme Court is not legislating as it is merely applying and giving effect to social guarantees of the
Constitution. Furthermore, under Article 8 of the New Civil Code, decisions of the Supreme Court form
part of the law of the land.

As held in People vs. Licera, Article 8 of the Civil Code of the Philippines decrees that judicial decisions
applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution form part of this jurisdiction’s legal system. These
Page 7 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

decisions, although in themselves not laws, constitute evidence of what the laws mean. The application or
interpretation placed by the Court upon a law is part of the law as of the date of the enactment of the said
law since the Court’s application or interpretation merely establishes the contemporaneous legislative
intent that the construed law purports to carry into effect

It is therefore patent that giving effect to the social justice guarantees of the Constitution, as
implemented by the provisions of the New Civil Code, is not an exercise of the power of law-making, but is
rendering obedience to the mandates of the fundamental law and the implementing legislation
aforementioned.

The Court, to repeat, is not legislating in the instant case. Art. 173 of the new Labor Code did not
impliedly repeal the Civil Code provisions on damages, re: right of injured workers to claim civil damages
against their employer as said Art. 173 diminishes workers rights and collides with the Constitution. Art.
173 of the new Labor Code repealed only certain laws, including those whose benefits are administered by
SSS or GSIS.

As damages under the new Civil Code are not being administered by the GSIS or SSS, Art. 173 of new
Labor Code does not bar damage suit by injured worker against his employer

Recovery under the new Civil Code for damages arising from negligence, is not barred by Article 173 of
the New Labor Code. And the damages recoverable under the New Civil Code are not administered by the
System provided for by the New Labor Code

The dissenting opinion clings to the myth that courts cannot legislate. This myth has already been
exploded by Article 9 of the New Civil Code, which provides that “No judge or court shall decline to render
judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws.”

Hence, even the legislator himself, through Article 9 of the New Civil Code, recognizes that in certain
instances, the court, in the language of Justice Holmes, “do and must legislate” to fill in the gaps in the
law; because the mind of the legislator, like all human beings, is finite and therefore cannot envisage all
possible cases to which the law may apply. Nor has the human mind the infinite capacity to anticipate all
situations.

Therefore, it should be stressed that the liability of the employer under Section 5 of the Workmen’s
Compensation Act or Article 173 of the New Labor Code is limited to death, ailment or injury caused by
the nature of the work, without any fault on the part of the employers. It is correctly termed no-fault
liability. Section 5 of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, as amended, or Article 173 of the New Labor
Code, does not cover the tortious liability of the employer occasioned by his fault or culpable negligence in
failing to provide the safety devices required by the law for the protection of the life, limb and health of
the workers.

Under either Section 5 or Article 173, the employer remains liable to pay compensation benefits to the
employee, whose death, ailment or injury is work-connected, even if the employer has faithfully and
diligently furnished all the safety measures and contrivances decreed by the law to protect the employee.

Page 8 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

TAYUG RURAL BANK VS. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. L-46158, 28 November 1986
Conflict between law and implementing rule (Art. 10)

Facts:

Tayug Rural Bank is a rural banking corporation in Tayug, Pangasinan. It obtained 13 loans amounting
to P813,000 covered by promissory notes from the Central Bank from 20 December 1962 to 30 July 1963,
by rediscounting at the rate of ½ of 1% per annum from 1962 to 28 March 1963 and thereafter at the rate
of 2-1/2% per annum.

The Central Bank issued Memorandum Circular No. DLC-8 informing all rural banks that an additional
penalty interest rate of 10% per annum would be assessed on all past loans beginning 4 January 1965,
effective 4 July 1965. The Central Bank sued Tayug Rural Bank to recover the 10% penalty imposed
amounting to P16,874 as of 27 September 1968. To restrain the Central Bank from imposing the penalty,
Tayug Rural Bank filed a counterclaim for the outstanding balance of P444,809.45 plus accrued interest
and penalty at 10% per annum on the outstanding balance until full payment.

The Central Bank argued that Sections 147 and 148 of the Rules and Regulations Governing Rural Banks
as per Section 3 of RA 720 justified the imposition of the penalty. The Trial Court found in favor of Tayug
Rural Bank, then the Central Bank appealed to the Court of Appeals which forwarded the entire record of
the case to the Supreme Court since the appeal solely depended on the legal issue of whether or not the
Monetary Board had the authority to authorize the Central Bank to impose a penalty rate of 10% per
annum on past loans of rural banks which had failed to pay their accounts on time.

Issue(s)
1. Whether or not the Monetary Board had the authority to authorize the Central Bank to impose a
penalty rate of 10% per annum on past loans of rural banks which had failed to pay their accounts
on time.

Held:
1. No, nowhere in RA 720 is the Monetary Board authorized to mete out on rural banks an
additional penalty rate on their past due accounts.

Administrative rules and regulations have the force and effect of law. There are, however, limitations to
the rule-making power of administrative agencies. When Congress authorizes promulgation of
administrative rules and regulations to implement given legislation, the regulation should be contradict,
but conform to the standards that the law prescribes. A rule is binding on the courts so long as the
procedure fixed for its promulgation is followed and its scope is within the statute granted by the
legislature, even if the courts are not in agreement with the policy stated therein or its innate wisdom. In
case of discrepancy between the basic law and a rule or regulation issued to implement said law, the basic
law prevails because said rule or regulation cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the basic law.
Hence an administrative agency cannot impose a penalty not so provided in the law authorizing the
promulgation of the rules and regulations, much less one that is applied retroactively.

Page 9 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

VAN DORN VS. ROMILLO


G.R. No. L-68470, 8 October 1985
Divorce Decree obtained by foreign spouse valid here (exception to Art. 15)

Facts:

Alice Van Dorn, a Filipino citizen, married Richard Upton, an American, in Hongkong in 1972. They lived
in the Philippines and had two children. They were divorced in Nevada, US in 1982 and Alice Van Dorn
later married Theodore Van Dorn.

Upton sued Van Dorn before the trial court demanding an accounting of and the right to manage the
Galleon Ship in Manila, which he alleged is conjugal property. Van Dorn moved to dismiss the case on the
ground that the cause of action is barred by previous judgment in the divorce proceedings in Nevada,
where Upton acknowledged that they had no community property in the Philippines.

The Trial Court, however, denied the motion to dismiss and held that the property involved is located in
the Philippines and the Divorce Decree from the US has no bearing. Van Dorn filed a petition for
certiorari before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court noted that the pivotal fact in the case is the
Nevada divorce of the parties. Upton, on the other hand, argued that the divorce is not valid and binding
in Philippine jurisdiction for being contrary to local law and public policy.

Issue(s)
1. Whether or not the parties’ Divorce Decree from Nevada is valid and binding in the Philippines

Held:
1. Yes, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines,
provided they are valid according to their national law.

It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine
nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being considered contrary to our
concept of public policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be
recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the
divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from the standards of American law,
under which divorce dissolves the marriage.

Upton is no longer the husband of Van Dorn and, thus, no longer entitled to exercise control over conjugal
assets. As he is bound by the Decision of his own country's Court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over
him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is estopped by his own representation before said Court
from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property.

Page 10 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

REPUBLIC VS. OBRECIDO


G.R. No. 154380, 5 October 2005
Reckoning point is not citizenship at time of marriage, but at time divorce decree was obtained (Arts. 14-
17)

Facts:

Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros Villanueva in the Philippines in 1981. In 1986, Lady Myros
left for the US with their son. Orbecido later discovered that Lady Myros had been naturalized as an
American Citizen. He learned from his son sometime in 2000 that she had obtained a divorce decree and
married a certain Innocent Stanley with whom she started her own family in California.

Orbecido filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of
the Family Code. The court granted the same, but the Office of the Solicitor General sought
reconsideration, but was denied. The OSG then filed the instant case raising a pure question of law: can
Orbecido remarry under Article 26 of the Family Code?

The OSH contended that (1) Paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code only applies to a valid fixed
marriage between a Filipino citizen and an alien; (2) the proper remedy is to file a petition for annulment
or for legal separation; (3) there is no law that governs Orbecido’s situation; and (4) the case is a matter of
legislation and not of judicial determination.

Orbecido argued that he is capacitated to marry as a result of his naturalized alien wife’s obtainment of a
divorce decree in the US that allowed her to remarry. He likewise invoked Section 12, Article II of the
Constitution.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not paragraph 2 of Article 26 applies to a marriage between two Filipino citizens
where one later acquired alien citizenship, obtained a divorce decree, and remarried while in the
US.

Held:
1. 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.

On its face, the foregoing provision does not appear to govern the situation presented by the case at hand.
It seems to apply only to cases where at the time of the celebration of the marriage, the parties are a
Filipino citizen and a foreigner.

Records of the proceedings of the Family Code deliberations showed that the intent of Paragraph 2 of
Article 26, according to Judge Alicia Sempio-Diy, a member of the Civil Code Revision Committee, is to
avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after
obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse.

Interestingly, Paragraph 2 of Article 26 traces its origin to the 1985 case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr.10
The Van Dorn case involved a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. The Court held therein
that a divorce decree validly obtained by the alien spouse is valid in the Philippines, and consequently,
the Filipino spouse is capacitated to remarry under Philippine law.
Page 11 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Does the same principle apply to a case where at the time of the celebration of the marriage, the parties
were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them obtains a foreign citizenship by naturalization?

The jurisprudential answer lies latent in the 1998 case of Quita v. Court of Appeals. In Quita, the parties
were, as in this case, Filipino citizens when they got married. The wife became a naturalized American
citizen in 1954 and obtained a divorce in the same year. The Court therein hinted, by way of obiter
dictum, that a Filipino divorced by his naturalized foreign spouse is no longer married under Philippine
law and can thus remarry.

Thus, taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of reason, we hold that
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.

In view of the foregoing, we state the twin elements for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 as
follows:
1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner; and
2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry.

The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage, but
their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter
to remarry.

However, considering that in the present petition there is no sufficient evidence submitted and on record,
we are unable to declare, based on respondent’s bare allegations that his wife, who was naturalized as an
American citizen, had obtained a divorce decree and had remarried an American, that respondent is now
capacitated to remarry. Such declaration could only be made properly upon respondent’s submission of
the aforecited evidence in his favor.

Accordingly, for his plea to prosper, respondent herein must prove his allegation that his wife was
naturalized as an American citizen. Likewise, before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our
own courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the
foreign law allowing it.14 Such foreign law must also be proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice of
foreign laws. Like any other fact, such laws must be alleged and proved.

Page 12 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BAYOT VS COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 155635, 7 November 2008
Recognition of a foreign divorce; (Art. 14-17)

Facts:

Vicente Bayot and Rebecca Makapugay wed in 1979. The Marriage Certificate identified Rebecca as an
American citizen born in Guam. In 1982, Rebecca gave birth to a daughter, Alix, in San Francisco,
California.

Sometime in 1996, Rebecca initiated divorce proceedings in the Dominican Republic. Before the Court of
the First Instance of the Judicial District of Santo Domingo, Rebecca personally appeared, while Vicente
was duly represented by counsel.

The Dominican court issued a divorce decree (Civil Decree No. 362/96) in February 1996 dissolving their
marriage and leaving them to remarry after completing the legal requirements, but giving them joint
custody and guardianship over their daughter, Alix. The same Dominican court issued another decree
settling their property relations, stating that the conjugal property consists only of real properties,
improvements, and personal properties contained at 502 Acacia Avenue, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa
City.

A month after the divorce decree, Rebecca filed with the Makati RTC a petition for declaration of nullity
of marriage. However, she withdrew this petition and later executed an Affidavit of Acknowledgment
stating under oath that she is an American citizen since 1993 and that she is carrying a child not of
Vicente, from whom she was already separated.

On 21 March 2001, Rebecca filed another petition for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage on the
ground of Vicente’s psychological incapacity. Rebecca asked for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership
with application for support pendent lite for her and Alix. She also prayed that Vicente be ordered to pay
permanent monthly support for Alix in the amount of P220,000.

Vicente moved to dismiss on the ground that the petition is barred by the prior judgment of divorce.
Rebecca opposed the motion to dismiss insisting on her Filipino citizenship, as affirmed by the DOJ, and
that there is no divorce. The RTC held that divorce invoked by Vicente is a matter of defense best taken
up during actual trial.

Vicente went to the Court of Appeals after the RTC’s denial. The CA granted Vicente’s request for a
eventually reversed the RTC order and dismissed the case. The CA held that (1) Rebecca had no cause of
action for the declaration of nullity of marriage; (2) Rebecca had no legal right in this jurisdiction to have
the marriage declared void due to previously having the union dissolved by the foreign divorce decree
secured as an American City; (3) As per Article 26 of the Family Code, such divorce restored Vicente’s
capacity to contract another marriage; and others.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Rebecca was a Filipino citizen at the time of the divorce judgment rendered in the
Dominican Republic.
2. Whether or not the judgment of divorce is valid, and if so, what are its legal effects?

Held:
Page 13 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

1. Yes, Rebecca was an American citizen at the time she applied for and obtained her
divorce from Vicente.

The following are compelling circumstances indicative of her American citizenship: (1) she was born in
Agana, Guam, USA; (2) the principle of jus soli is followed in this American territory granting American
citizenship to those who are born there; and (3) she was, and may still be, a holder of an American
passport.

And as aptly found by the CA, Rebecca had consistently professed, asserted, and represented herself as an
American citizen, particularly: (1) during her marriage as shown in the marriage certificate; (2) in the
birth certificate of Alix; and (3) when she secured the divorce from the Dominican Republic. There was
also the Affidavit of Acknowledgment in which she stated being an American citizen.

Logically, therefore, the affirmation or confirmation of Rebecca’s recognition as a Filipino citizen through
the 1st Indorsement issued only on June 8, 2000 by Secretary of Justice Tuquero corresponds to the
eventual issuance of Rebecca’s passport a few days later, or on June 13, 2000 to be exact.

Therefore, Rebecca did not have that status of, or at least was not yet recognized as, a Filipino citizen
when she secured the February 22, 1996 judgment of divorce from the Dominican Republic.

2. Yes, the divorce decree is valid and has the effect of res judicata in this jurisdiction.

Rebecca was an American citizen at the time the divorce decree was issued. For as we stressed at the
outset, in determining whether or not a divorce secured abroad would come within the pale of the
country’s policy against absolute divorce, the reckoning point is the citizenship of the parties at the time a
valid divorce is obtained As an American citizen, divorce is allowed. Moreover, the property relations were
properly adjudicated through their Agreement as affirmed by the second decree by the Dominican Court.

To be sure, the Court has taken stock of the holding in Garcia v. Recio that a foreign divorce can be
recognized here, provided the divorce decree is proven as a fact and as valid under the national law of the
alien spouse. Be this as it may, the fact that Rebecca was clearly an American citizen when she secured
the divorce and that divorce is recognized and allowed in any of the States of the Union, the presentation
of a copy of foreign divorce decree duly authenticated by the foreign court issuing said decree is, as
here, sufficient. As the records show, Rebecca, assisted by counsel, personally secured the foreign divorce
while Vicente was duly represented by his counsel, in said proceedings. As things stand, the foreign
divorce decrees rendered and issued by the Dominican Republic court are valid and, consequently, bind
both Rebecca and Vicente.

In Republic v. Orbecido III, we spelled out the twin elements for the applicability of the second paragraph
of Art. 26 Both elements obtain in the instant case. We need not belabor further the fact of marriage of
Vicente and Rebecca, their citizenship when they wed, and their professed citizenship during the valid
divorce proceedings. With the valid foreign divorce secured by Rebecca, there is no more marital tie
binding her to Vicente. There is in fine no more marriage to be dissolved or nullified. Meanwhile, Alix is
now 26 years old. The issue of back support is best litigated in a seprate civil action for reimbursement.

Page 14 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

LAVADIA VS. HEIRS OF LUNA


G.R. No. 171914, 23 July 2014
Invalid Divorce Decree and Subsequent Marriage (Art. 14-17)

Facts:

Atty. Juan Luces Luna and Eugenia Zaballero-Luna were married for 20 years and had seven children
until they agreed to live apart from each other in February 1966. They entered into a written agreement
entitled “Agreement for Separation and Property Settlement” dated 12 November 1975, whereby they
agreed to live separately and to dissolve and liquidate their conjugal partnership of property.

Atty. Luna obtained a divorce decree of his marriage with Eugenia from the Dominican Republic. On the
same date, he contracted another marriage, this time with Soledad Lavadia. Atty. Luna and Soledad lived
together as husband and wife in the Philippines until 1987.

Sometime in 1992, Atty. Luna’s first law firm, LUPSICON, was dissolved and the condominium unit
which housed the law office was partitioned by the partners. It was stipulated that Atty. Luna’s share
was 25/100. Later, Atty. Luna established another law firm and used a portion of the office condominium
unit as their office until his death on 12 July 1997.

Gregorio, who is Atty. Juan’s son, took over his father’s share in the condominium unit including the
lawbooks, office furniture and equipment found therein and leased out the 25/100 portion to Atty. Renato
G. De la Cruz who established his own firm.

Soledad filed a complaint against Atty. Luna’s heirs the subject of which was the 25/100 pro indiviso
share of Atty. Luna in the condominium unit as well as the law books, office furniture and equipment.
The complaint alleged that these properties were acquired during the existence of the marriage between
Atty. Luna and Soledad through their joint efforts since they had no children. Thus, Soledad claimed to
own to the extent of ¾ of the pro indiviso share consisting of her 1/2 share in the said properties plus her
1/2 share in the net estate of Atty. Luna which was bequeathed to her in the latter’s last will and
testament. Soledad alleged that the heirs of Atty. Luna through Gregorio Z. Luna excluded her from her
share in the subject properties.

The RTC ruled against Soledad. Both parties appealed to the CA, which modified the trial court’s ruling,
but still favored Atty. Luna’s heirs. The CA held that divorce acquired in the Dominican Republic was not
valid between Filipino citizens. Soledad appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the divorce between Atty. Luna and Eugenia had validly dissolved the first
marriage;
2. Whether or not the second marriage entered into by the late Atty, Luna and Soledad entitled the
latter to any rights in property.

Page 15 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, Atty. Luna’s marriage with Eugenia subsisted up to the time of his death.

The first marriage between Atty. Luna and Eugenia, both Filipinos, was solemnized in the Philippines on
September 10, 1947. The law in force at the time of the solemnization was the Spanish Civil Code, which
adopted the nationality rule. The Civil Code continued to follow the nationality rule, to the effect that
Philippine laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of
persons were binding upon citizens of the Philippines, although living abroad.

Pursuant to the nationality rule, Philippine laws governed this case by virtue of both Atty. Luna and
Eugenio having remained Filipinos until the death of Atty. Luna on July 12, 1997 terminated their
marriage. Hence, the conjugal partnership of gains governed their property relations. The mere execution
of their agreement regarding property did not dissolve said property relations.

From the time of the celebration of the first marriage on September 10, 1947 until the present, absolute
divorce between Filipino spouses has not been recognized in the Philippines. The nonrecognition of
absolute divorce between Filipinos has remained even under the Family Code, even if either or both of the
spouses reside abroad.

The Divorce Decree from the Dominican Republic did not dissolve Atty. Luna’s marriage to Eugenia
which subsisted until his death. This finding conforms to the Constitution, which characterizes marriage
as an inviolable social institution, and regards it as a special contract of permanent union between a man
and a woman for the establishment of a conjugal and family life. The nonrecognition of absolute divorce in
the Philippines is a manifestation of the respect for the sanctity of the marital union especially among
Filipino citizens. It affirms that the extinguishment of a valid marriage must be grounded only upon the
death of either spouse, or upon a ground expressly provided by law.

2. No, the second marriage with Soledad was void for being bigamous, thus properties
acquired during their marriage were governed by the rules on co-ownership.

In the Philippines, marriages that are bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous are void. Bigamy is an illegal
marriage committed by contracting a second or subsequent marriage before the first marriage has been
legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a
judgment rendered in the proper proceedings. A bigamous marriage is considered void ab initio.
Consequently, the properties acquired during the bigamous marriage were governed by the rules on
co-ownership, conformably with Article 144 of the Civil Code

To establish co- ownership, therefore, it became imperative for Soledad to offer proof of her actual
contributions in the acquisition of property. Her mere allegation of co- ownership, without sufficient and
competent evidence, would warrant no relief in her favor. It should then be justly concluded that the
properties in litis legally pertained to their conjugal partnership of gains as of the time of his death.
Consequently, the sole ownership of the 25/100 pro indiviso share of Atty. Luna in the condominium unit,
and of the law books pertained to the respondents as the lawful heirs of Atty. Luna.

GARCIA VS. RECIO


Page 16 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

G.R. No. 138322, 2 October 2001


Burden of proving foreign divorce law; requisites (Art. 14-17)

Facts:

Rederick Recio, a Filipino, married Editha Samson, an Australian, on 1 March 1987 in the Philippines.
They lived together in Australia until an Australian Family Court issued a decree of divorce on 18 May
1989.

Recio became an Australian citizen on 29 June 1992 as shown by a Certificate of Australian Citizenship.
He later married Grace Garcia, a Filipino, on 12 January 1994 in Cabanatuan City. Recio declared he was
a single Filipino in their application for a marriage license.

However, Garcia and Rederick starting living separately on 22 October 1995 without prior judicial
dissolution of their marriage. While living in Australia, their conjugal assets were divided on 16 May
1996 according to their Statutory Declarations secured there.

On 3 March 1998, Garcia filed a complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of bigamy.
Garcia claimed that Recio’s had prior subsisting marriage when they wed in 1994. Garcia claimed she
learned of Recio’s marriage to Samson only in November 1997. Recio countered that in 1993 he revealed
to Garcia his prior marriage and its subsequent divorce. He added that he was legally capacitated to
marry Garcia in 1994 because his marriage to Samson was validly dissolved in 1989.

On 7 July 1998, Garcia secured a divorce decree from a family court in Sydney because their marriage
“had irretrievably broken down.” The RTC declared Garcia and Recio’s marriage dissolved on the ground
that the divorce Garcia secured in Australia was valid and recognized in the Philippines. The RTC
deemed the marriage ended due to Recio’s lack of legal capacity to remarry and not due to any defect in
an essential element of marriage. Hence, the divorce decree obtained by Garcia ended the marriage, thus
there was no more marital union to annul.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Recio’s divorce to Samson was proven.
2. Whether or not Recio was proven to be legally capacitated to marry Garcia.

Held:
1. No, presenting the Divorce Decree alone is not sufficient compliance with Sections 24
and 25 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. Recio has the burden of proving the pertinent
Australian law that applies to him and our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign
laws, which must be alleged and proved.

Philippine law does not provide for absolute divorce; hence, our courts cannot grant it. A marriage
between two Filipinos cannot be dissolved even by a divorce obtained abroad, because of Articles 15 and
17 of the Civil Code.

Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. decrees that “aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the
Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law.” Therefore, before a foreign divorce
decree 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. Presentation solely of the divorce decree is
insufficient.
Page 17 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Although the Divorce Decree of Recio’s marriage to Samson was admitted and given weight by the judge
because Garcia’s lawyer failed to properly object, Recio did not prove the pertinent Australian law.

Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, 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.

2. No, there is absolutely no evidence that proves Recio’s legal capacity to marry Garcia.

The legal capacity to contract marriage is determined by the national law of the party concerned. The
certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage mentioned in Article 21 of the Family Code would have
been sufficient to establish the legal capacity of Recio, had he duly presented it in court. A duly
authenticated and admitted certificate is prima facie evidence of legal capacity to marry on the part of the
alien applicant for a marriage license. (Note: see original for the other evidence submitted by the parties in
this case that the Supreme Court held was insufficient to show legal capacity to remarry).

Without such evidence, it cannot be concluded that Recio, who was already a naturalized Australian
citizen, was legally capacitated to marry Garcia in 1994. In fact, the divorce decree was not even one of
absolute divorce, but akin to bed and board separation (legal separation). Moreover, the Supreme Court
cannot grant Garcia’s prayer to declare their marriage null and void on the ground of bigamy because it
may turn out that Recio was really capacitated to marry her. The most judicious course is to remand this
case to the trial court to receive evidence, if any, which show petitioner’s legal capacity to marry
petitioner.

Therefore, in the interest of orderly procedure and substantial justice, the Supreme Court remanded the
case to the RTC the purpose of receiving evidence which conclusively show Recio’s legal capacity to marry
Garcia, otherwise, declare their marriage void on the ground of bigamy.

Page 18 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

SAN LUIS VS. SAN LUIS


G.R. No. 133743, 6 February 2007
Reiterating Van Dorn vs. Romillo, Republic vs. Obrecido, and Garcia vs. Recio; (Art. 14-17)

Facts:

Felicisimo San Luis, the former governor of Laguna, contracted three marriages. His first marriage was
with Virginia Sulit on 17 March 1942 out which were born six children (relevant in this case are Mila,
Linda, Rodolfo, and Edgar). On 11 August 1963, Virginia predeceased Felicisimo.

On 1 May 1968, Felicisimo married Mary Lee Corwon, an American, with whom he had a son. However,
on 15 October 1971 filed for divorce in Hawaii, which issued a Decree Granting Absolute Divorce and
Awarding Child Custody to her.

On 20 June 1974, Felicisimo wed Felicidad San Luis in a Presbyterian Church in Califonia, USA. They
had no children, but they lived together for 18 years until is death on 18 December 1992.

Felicidad sought to dissolve their conjugal partnership assets and settlement of Felicisimo’s estate. She
petitioned to be declared the administrator of his estate, on the ground that she is his widow. Rodolfo and
Linda, however, moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that, among others, Felicidad has no legal
personality to file such petition because she was only a mistress of Felicisimo, who was still legally
married to Mary Lee when he died in 1992. The RTC denied their motions.

Felicidad was unaware of the denial by the RTC, so she submitted documentary evidence: (1) she and
Felicisimo lived in the house they bought together in Alabang; and (2) the Decree of Absolute Divorce
from Hawaii dissolving his marriage to Mary Lee. Thus, she claimed Felicidad was capacitated to marry
her in 1974 by virtue of Article 26 of the Family Code and the doctrine in Van Dorn vs. Romillo, Jr.

Linda, Rodolfo, and Edgar separately filed motions for reconsideration, on the ground that Article 26 of
the Family Code cannot be retroactively applied to the 1974 marriage to Felicidad because it impairs the
vested rights in derogation of Article 256 of the Family Code. The RTC granted this and dismissed
Felicidad’s petition and held that the decree of absolute divorce dissolving Felicisimo’s marriage to Merry
Lee was not valid in the Philippines and did not bind Felicisimo who was a Filipino citizen.

Felicidad appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court and held that Felicisimo had
legal capacity to marry respondent by virtue of paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code and the rulings
in Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. and Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera. It found that the marriage between Felicisimo
and Merry Lee was validly dissolved by virtue of the decree of absolute divorce issued by the Family
Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii. As a result, under paragraph 2, Article 26, Felicisimo was
capacitated to contract a subsequent marriage with respondent.

Issue(s):
1. Whether a Filipino is divorced by his alien spouse abroad may validly remarry under the Civil
Code, considering that Felicidad’s marriage to Felicisimo was solemnized before the Family Code
took effect.

Page 19 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. Yes, there is sufficient jurisprudential basis to hold that Felicisimo could validly
remarry Felicidad.

The Supreme Court need not retroactively apply the provisions of the Family Code, particularly Art. 26,
par. (2) considering that there is sufficient jurisprudential basis allowing it to rule in the affirmative.

The case of Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. involved a marriage between a foreigner and his Filipino wife, which
marriage was subsequently dissolved through a divorce obtained abroad by the latter. Claiming that the
divorce was not valid under Philippine law, the alien spouse alleged that his interest in the properties
from their conjugal partnership should be protected. The Court, however, recognized the validity of the
divorce and held that the alien spouse had no interest in the properties acquired by the Filipino wife after
the divorce.

As to the effect of the divorce on the Filipino wife, the Court ruled that she should no longer be considered
married to the alien spouse. Further, she should not be required to perform her marital duties and
obligations.

This principle was thereafter applied in Pilapil v. Ibay Somera where the Court recognized the validity of
a divorce obtained abroad. In the said case, it was held that the alien spouse is not a proper party in filing
the adultery suit against his Filipino wife. The Court stated that “the severance of the marital bond had
the effect of dissociating the former spouses from each other, hence the actuations of one would not affect
or cast obloquy on the other.”

Likewise, in Quita v. Court of Appeals, the Court stated that where a Filipino is divorced by his
naturalized foreign spouse, the ruling in Van Dorn applies. Although decided on December 22, 1998, the
divorce in the said case was obtained in 1954 when the Civil Code provisions were still in effect.

The significance of the Van Dorn case to the development of limited recognition of divorce in the
Philippines cannot be denied. The ruling has long been interpreted as severing marital ties between
parties in a mixed marriage and capacitating the Filipino spouse to remarry as a necessary consequence
of upholding the validity of a divorce obtained abroad by the alien spouse. In Garcia v. Recio, the Court
likewise cited the aforementioned case in relation to Article 26.

As such, the Van Dorn case is sufficient basis in resolving a situation where a divorce is validly obtained
abroad by the alien spouse. With the enactment of the Family Code and paragraph 2, Article 26 thereof,
our lawmakers codified the law already established through judicial precedent.

In the recent case of Republic v. Orbecido III, the historical background and legislative intent behind
paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Family Code were discussed.

Petitioners cite Articles 15 and 17 stating that the divorce is void under Philippine law insofar as
Filipinos are concerned. However, in light of this Court’s rulings in the cases discussed above, the Filipino
spouse should not be discriminated against in his own country if the ends of justice are to be served.

The divorce decree allegedly obtained by Merry Lee, which absolutely allowed Felicisimo to remarry,
would have vested Felicidad with the legal personality to file the present petition as Felicisimo’s
surviving spouse.

Page 20 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

However, the records show that there is insufficient evidence to prove the validity of the divorce obtained
by Merry Lee as well as the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo under the laws of the U.S.A. In Garcia
v. Recio, the Court laid down the specific guidelines for pleading and proving foreign law and divorce
judgments

It held that presentation solely of the divorce decree is insufficient and that proof of its authenticity and
due execution must be presented.

Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, 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.

With regard to respondent’s marriage to Felicisimo allegedly solemnized in California, U.S.A., she
submitted photocopies of the Marriage Certificate and the annotated text of the Family Law Act of
California which purportedly show that their marriage was done in accordance with the said law.

As stated in Garcia, however, the Court cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws as they must be alleged
and proved. Therefore, this case should be remanded to the trial court for further reception of evidence on
the divorce decree obtained by Merry Lee and the marriage of respondent and Felicisimo.

Page 21 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

TENCHAVEZ VS. ESCANO


G.R. No. L-19671, 29 November 1965
Divorce between Filipinos obtained by spouse abroad is contrary to public policy (Art. 15 and 17)

Facts:

On 24 February 1948, 27-year-old Vicenta Escano exchanged marriage vows with 82-year-old Pastor
Tenchavez without knowledge of her parents, before a Catholic captain in a house in Cebu City. The
marriage was duly registered with the local civil registry. The two were deeply in love. They planned their
marital future with the help of their friend and matchmaker, Pacita Noel.

Vicenta’s parents discovered the marriage and were disgusted. Rather than recelebrate in church,
Vicenta’s mother was given a letter from San Carlos students disclosing an amorous relationship with
Pastor and Pacita. Vicenta thereafter would not agree to a new marriage and lived with her parents while
Pastor returned to his job in Manila. Although they continued correspondence, Vicenta and Pastor
became estranged by June 1948. A lawyer filed for Vicenta a petition to annul her marriage, but she did
not sign it, hence it was dismissed without prejudice.

On 24 June 1950, Vicenta applied for a passport without Pastor’s knowledge. She indicated she was single
and that she intended to return to Cebu City after studying in the United States. On 22 August 1950, she
obtained a final and absolute decree of divorce from Nevada on the ground of “extreme cruelty, entirely
mental in character.” Meanwhile, her parents filed a petition with the Archbishop of Cebu to annul
Vicenta’s marriage.

On 13 September 1954, Vicenta married an American, Russell Moran, in Nevada and started a family.
She became an American citizen on 8 August 1958. On 08 July 1955, Pastor filed a complaint for legal
separation and a million pesos in damages against Vicenta and her parents. The trial court freed Pastor
from supporting Vicenta and to acquire property to her exclusion, but also awarded damages against
Pastor in favor of Vicenta’s parents.

Pastro appealed to the Supreme Court and claimed the trial court erred for not declaring legal separation.

Issue(s)
1. Whether or not the trial court erred in not declaring the legal separation of Pastor and Vicenta.

Held:
1. Yes, the trial court erred in no decreeing legal separation on the ground of adultery due
to Vicenta’s invalid subsequent marriage to Leo Moran.

The valid marriage between Pastor Tenchavez and Vicenta Escaño remained subsisting and undissolved
under Philippine law, notwithstanding the decree of absolute divorce that the wife sought and obtained
on 21 October 1950 from Nevada.

At the time the divorce decree was issued, Vicenta Escaño, like her husband, was still a Filipino citizen.
She was then subject to Philippine Iaw and Article 15 of the Civil Code. The Civil Code of the
Philippines, now in force, does not admit absolute divorce. Instead of divorce, the present Civil Code only
provides for legal separation and, even in that case, it expressly prescribes that "the marriage bonds shall
not be severed"

Page 22 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

For the Philippine courts to recognize and give recognition or effect to a foreign decree of absolute divorce
between Filipino citizens would be a patent violation of the declared public policy of the state, especially
in view of the third paragraph of Article 17 of the Civil Code.

From this point of view, it is irrelevant that appellant Pastor Tenchavez should have appeared in the
Nevada divorce court, primarily, because the policy of our law cannot be nullified by acts of
private parties as per Article 17 of the Civil Code.

There flows as a necessary consequence that in this jurisdiction Vicenta Escaño's divorce and second
marriage are not entitled to recognition as valid; for her previous union to plaintiff Tenchavez must be
declared to be existent and undissolved. It follows, likewise, that her refusal to perform her wifely duties,
and her denial of consortium and her desertion of her husband constitute in law a wrong caused through
her fault, for which the husband is entitled to the corresponding indemnity (Civil Code, Art. 2176).

Wherefore, her marriage and cohabitation with Russell Leo Moran is technically "intercourse with a
person not her husband" from the standpoint of Philippine Law, and entitles plaintiff-appellant
Tenchavez to a decree of "legal separation under our law, on the basis of adultery."

Page 23 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

GONZALEZ VS. GONZALEZ


G.R. No. 37048, 7 March 1933
Divorce Decree incorrectly recognized and applied to Sec. 9 of Act 2710 (Art. 15 and 17)

Facts:

Manuela Gonzalez and Augusto Gonzalez, Sr. are Filipinos who wed in Manila on 19 January 1919. They
lived together until 1926 when they voluntarily separated. They agreed Augusto should support Manuela
and their four children.

Augusto Sr. then secured an absolute divorce on the ground of desertion from Nevada dated 28 November
1927. On the same date, he married an American with whom he has three children. He then stopped
sending support to Manuela and their four children altogether. Soon after his return, Manuela asked the
courts to ratify the divorce decree from Nevada and enforce Section 9 of Act 2710 (An Act Establishing
Divorce) which dissolves the community of property and delivers their legal portion or legitime as though
said spouse died intestate or without a will.

The Trial Court granted the same and ordered Augusto Sr to pay P500 of support per month. The court
granted the same and Augusto Sr. appealed and the Supreme Court noted that while the parties are in
dispute over financial matters, they are, in fact, trying to have the courts recognize the Nevada divorce
decree.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the divorce decree from Nevada can be recognized and approved of by Philippine
courts, thus applying Sec. 9 of Act 2710.

Held:
1. No, Article 9 and the last paragraph of Article 11 (now Articles 15 and 17, respectively)
prohibit such recognition of a foreign divorce decree.

While the decisions of this court heretofore in refusing to recognize the validity of foreign divorce has
usually been expressed in the negative and have been based upon lack of matrimonial domicile or fraud or
collusion, we have not overlooked the provisions of the Civil Code now in force in these Islands.

Article 9 thereof reads as follows:

"The laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition, and legal
capacity of persons, are binding upon Spaniards even though they reside in a
foreign country."

And Article 11, the last part of which reads:

"the prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts and their property, and those
intended to promote public order and good morals, shall not be rendered without
effect by any foreign laws or judgments or by anything done or any agreements
entered into in a foreign country,"

It is the duty of the courts to enforce the laws of divorce as written by the Legislature if they are
constitutional. Courts have no right to say that such laws are too strict or too liberal.
Page 24 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Litigants by mutual agreement can not compel the courts to approve of their own actions or permit the
personal relations of the citizens of these Islands to be affected by decrees of foreign courts in a manner
which our Government believes is contrary to public order and good morals.

The judgment of the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila must therefore be reversed and
defendant absolved from the demands made against him in this action.

Page 25 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

DEL SOCORRO VS. VAN WILSEM


G.R. No. 193707, 10 December 2014
Foreign national’s obligation to support; criminal liability (Art. 14 and 15)

Facts:

Norma Del Socorro and Ernst Van Wilsem wed in Holland on 25 September 1990. They were blessed with
a son named Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem on 19 January 1994. Unfortunately, their marriage ended on 19
July 1995 by virtue of a Divorce Decree issued by the Court of Holland.

Del Socorro and Roderigo went home to the Philippines. Roderigo was only 18 months old when the
marriage was divorced. Del Socorro alleged that Van Wilsem promised to provide monthly support worth
P17,500 more or less. However, no support was sent ever since they came back to Cebu City. Later, Van
Wilsem came back to the Philippines and re-married in Cebu and has been residing there. He and his new
wife put up a business known as Paree Catering.

On 28 August 1999, Del Socorro filed a complaint-affidavit with the Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu against
Van Wilsem for economic abuse against his son Roderigo, a violation of Section 5, Paragraph E(2) of RA
9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act). Later, an information was filed in the RTC of
Cebu, but was dismissed upon motion of Van Wilsem. Del Socorro then appealed directly to the Supreme
Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not a foreign national has an obligation to support his minor child under Philippine
law.
2. Whether or not said foreign national can be held criminally liable under RA 9262 for his
unjustified failure to support his minor child.

Held:
1. Yes, given Van Wilsem’s failure to prove the national law of the Netherlands, the
doctrine of processual presumption applies, such that our courts will presume that the
foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or internal law

To determine whether or not a person is criminally liable under R.A. No. 9262, it is imperative that the
legal obligation to support exists.

Del Socorro cannot rely on Article 195 of the New Civil Code in demanding support from respondent, who
is a foreign citizen, since Article 15 of the New Civil Code stresses the principle of nationality. In other
words, insofar as Philippine laws are concerned, specifically the provisions of the Family Code on support,
the same only applies to Filipino citizens. By analogy, the same principle applies to foreigners such that
they are governed by their national law with respect to family rights and duties.

The obligation to give support to a child is a matter that falls under family rights and duties. Since the
respondent is a citizen of Holland or the Netherlands, we agree with the RTC-Cebu that he is subject to
the laws of his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged to give support to his child, as
well as the consequences of his failure to do so.

Page 26 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

However, Van Wilsem never proved that the national law of the Netherlands does not impose upon the
parents the obligation to support their child (either before, during or after the issuance of a divorce
decree). Foreign laws must be alleged and proved.

Due Van Wilsem’s failure to prove the national law of the Netherlands in his favor, the doctrine of
processual presumption shall govern. Under this doctrine, if the foreign law involved is not properly
pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or domestic or
internal law.

Thus, since the law of the Netherlands as regards the obligation to support has not been properly pleaded
and proved in the instant case, it is presumed to be the same with Philippine law, which enforces the
obligation of parents to support their children and penalizing the noncompliance therewith. In any event,
if such a divorce decree be recognized, the same could still provide for the obligation to support.

2. Yes, he can be held criminally liable under RA 9262.

Even if the laws of the Netherlands neither enforce a parent’s obligation to support his child nor penalize
the noncompliance therewith, such obligation is still duly enforceable in the Philippines because it would
be of great injustice to the child to be denied financial support. However, Van Wilsem no longer has any
obligation to support his wife. As held in San Luis vs. San Luis, to wit:

“As to the effect of the divorce on the Filipino wife, the Court ruled that she should
no longer be considered married to the alien spouse. Further, she should not be
required to perform her marital duties and obligations. It held:

To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our laws, petitioner


has to be considered still married to private respondent and still subject
to a wife’s obligations under Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code cannot
be just. Petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and
fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter should not continue to
be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be
discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be
served.”

Based on the foregoing legal precepts, we find that respondent may be made liable under Section 5(e) and
(i) of R.A. No. 9262 for unjustly refusing or failing to give support to petitioner’s son

Additionally, considering that respondent is currently living in the Philippines, Del Socorro correctly
argues that Article 14 of the New Civil Code applies to the instant case, which provides that: “[p]enal
laws and those of public security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live and sojourn in Philippine
territory, subject to the principle of public international law and to treaty stipulations.”

On this score, it is indisputable that the alleged continuing acts of Van Wilsem in refusing to support his
child with petitioner is committed here in the Philippines as all of the parties herein are residents of the
Province of Cebu City. As such, our courts have territorial jurisdiction over the offense charged against
respondent.

Page 27 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BELLIS VS. BELLIS


G.R. No. L-23678. 8 June 1967
National law of the person whose succession is under consideration (Art. 16)

Facts:

Amos Bellis was born in Texas, thus a US citizen. He had five children with first wife, Mary E. Mallen,
whom he divorced. With his second wife, Violet Kennedy, he had three children. Finally, he had three
illegitimate children.

On 5 August 1952, Bellis executed a will in the Philippines in which he directed that his distributable
estate should be divided in trust in the following manner: (a) $240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E.
Mallen; (b) P120,000.00 to his three illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis and
Miriam Palma Bellis, or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been satisfied, the
remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives, namely: Edward A.
Bellis, Henry A. Bellis, Alexander Bellis, and Anna Bellis Allsman, Edwin G. Bellis, Walter S. Bellis, and
Dorothy E. Bellis, in equal shares.

Bellis died on 8 July 1958 a resident of Texas, USA. His will was admitted to probate in the CFI of Manila
on 15 September 1958. The executor of the will, People’s Bank and Trust Company, divided the Bellis’s
estate as willed by the latter.

On 17 January 1964, Maria Christina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis opposed the partition of the estate
on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children and compulsory heirs of
the deceased.

The trial court overruled the oppositions and approved the executor’s final account, report, and project of
partition and applied Article 16 of the Civil Code. The trial court applied the national law of Bellis, which
is Texas law, and thus does not provide for legitimes.

Issue(s)
1. Whether or not Texas law or Philippine law applies in the partition of Bellis’s estate.

Held:
1. Yes, Texas law applies as per Article 16 of the Civil Code.

Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render applicable the national law of the decedent, in
intestate or testamentary successions, with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession; (b) the
amount of successional rights; (c) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d) the capacity to
succeed. Art. 1039 provides that capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent.

Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A. There are no forced heirs or legitimes in Texas
law. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional
rights are to be determined under Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the
testacy of Amos G. Bellis.

Moreover, a foreigner cannot stipulate in his will that Philippine law and not his national law shall
govern the distribution of his estate because it violates Article 16.

Page 28 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MICIANO VS. BRIMO


G.R. No. 22595, 1 November 1924
Proving national law of the person whose succession is under consideration (Art. 16)

Facts:

Joseph Brimo, a Turkish national, passed away and a controversy arose in the partition of his estate. The
administrator of Brimo’s estate filed a scheme of partition, but Andre Brimo, the brother of the deceased,
opposed it. Nevertheless, the court approved said scheme.

Andre appealed to the Supreme Court raising, among others, the following issues: (1) the declaration of
Turkish laws are irrelevant to this case; and (2) the failure not to postpone the approval of the scheme of
partition and delivery of the deceased’s business to Pietro Lantza until the receipt of the depositions
requested by Turkish laws. Apparently, there were provisions in Brimo’s will that do not adhere to
Turkish laws. Andre invoked Article 10 (now Article 16) of the Civil Code.

Issue(s)
1. Whether or not the trial court erred in holding that Turkish laws are irrelevant to the deceased’s
estate.

Held:
1. No, it has not been proven that the will does not adhere to Turkish laws.

But the fact is that the oppositor did not prove that said testamentary dispositions are not in accordance
with the Turkish laws, inasmuch as he did not present any evidence showing what the Turkish laws are
on the matter, and in the absence of evidence on such laws, they are presumed to be the same as those of
the Philippines.

There is no evidence in the record that the national law of the testator Joseph G. Brimo was violated in
the testamentary dispositions in question which, not being contrary to our laws in force, must be complied
with. Therefore, the approval of the scheme of partition in respect was not erroneous.

In any event, the Court held that the second clause of the will is void because the deceased could not
lawfully will that Philippine law be followed and not his national law (Turkish) in the distribution of his
estate.

Page 29 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MO YA LIM YAO VS. COMMISSION ON IMMIGRATION


G.R. No. 21289, 4 October 1971
Ipso facto citizenship when foreigner marries Filipino citizen as per Section 4 of CA 473

Facts:

On 8 February 1961, Lau Yuen Yeung applied for a passport visa to enter the Philippines as non-
immigrant. She stated she was a Chinese residing in Hongkong who wanted to take a pleasure trip to
visit her great grand uncle Lai Ching Ping for a month. She was allowed to stay for a month or until 13
April 1961. Asher Y. Cheng filed a bond in the amount of P1,000.00 to undertake, among others, that
said Lau Yuen Yeung would actually depart from the Philippines on or before the expiration of her
authorized period of stay in this country or within such period.

After repeated extensions, Lau Yuen Yeung was allowed to stay in the Philippines up to 13 February
1962. On 25 January 1962, she contracted marriage with Moy Ya Lim Yao alias Edilberto Aguinaldo Lim
an alleged Filipino citizen.

She filed a petition for injunction with preliminary injunction because she anticipated the Commissioner
on Immigration would confiscate her bond and order her arrest and immediate deportation after the
expiration of her lawful stay.

During the hearing, which took place one and a half years after her arrival, she admitted that she could
not write either English or Tagalog. She also could not speak either English or Tagalog except for a few
words. Neither could she name any Filipino neighbor with a Filipino name or her in-laws.

The Court of First Instance held that Lau Yuen Yeung’s petition for injunction cannot be sustained
because Section 15 of the Revised Naturalization Law implies that an alien woman may be deemed a
citizen of the Philippines by virtue of her marriage to a Filipino citizen only if she possesses all the
qualifications and none of the disqualifications specified in the law. She lacks, at least, the requisite
length of residence in the Philippines.

Notably, however, the testimony of Lau Yuen Yeung shows that she does not possess any of the
disqualifications for her naturalizations. She was also sevenths pregnant a child by her husband.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Lau Yuen Yeung ipso facto became a Filipino citizen upon her marriage to a
Filipino.

Held:
1. Yes, under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman marrying a Filipino,
native born or naturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is not
disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines under Section 4 of the same law.

The landmark case of Ly Giok Ha vs. Galang is similar to the case at bar. Similarly, the issue boiled down
to whether or not an alien female who marries a male Filipino citizen follows ipso facto his political
status. Section 15 of CA 473 provides, “any woman who is now or may hereafter be married to a citizen of
the Philippines, and who might herself be lawfully naturalized shall be deemed a citizen of the
Philippines.”

Page 30 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Furthermore, said landmark case held that (1) disqualified from being naturalized are those enumerated
in Section 4 of CA 473; (2) evidence that one is not disqualified may be presented in an action to recover
the bond confiscated by the Commissioner of Immigration; (3) Upon proof of such fact, one may be
recognized as Filipino; and (4) That in referring to the disqualifications enumerated in the law, the Court
somehow left the impression that no inquiry need be made as to qualifications so long as such person
does not belong to the disqualified classes enumerated in Section 4.

This doctrine was just reiterated by the Supreme Court in Ricardo Cua vs. Board of Commissioners, on 22
May 1957. Therefore, the law in this country, on the matter of the effect of marriage of an alien woman to
a Filipino is that she thereby becomes a Filipina, if it can be proven that at the time of such marriage, she
does not possess any of the disqualifications enumerated in Section 4 of the Naturalization Law, without
the need of submitting to any naturalization proceedings under said law.

It was only in Lee Suan Ay in 1959 that the possession of qualifications were specifically required, but it
was not until 1963, in Lo San Tuang, that Justice Regala reasoned out why the possession of the
qualifications provided by the law should also be shown to be possessed by the alien wife of a Filipino, for
her to become a Filipina by marriage.

We are persuaded that it is in the best interest of all concerned that Section 15 of the Naturalization Law
be given effect in the same way as it was understood and construed when the phrase “who may be
lawfully naturalized,” found in the American statute from which it was borrowed and copied verbatim,
was applied by the American courts and administrative authorities.

We should realize the disparity in the circumstances between the United States, as the so- called “melting
pot” of peoples from all over the world, and the Philippines as a developing country whose Constitution is
nationalistic almost in the extreme. Certainly, the writer of this opinion cannot be the last in rather
passionately insisting that our jurisprudence should speak our own concepts and resort to American
authorities, to be sure, entitled to admiration and respect, should not be regarded as source of pride and
indisputable authority. Still, We cannot close our eyes to the undeniable fact that the provision of law now
under scrutiny has no local origin and orientation it is purely American, factually taken bodily from
American law when the Philippines was under the dominating influence of statutes of the United States
Congress.

Accordingly, We now hold, all previous decisions of this Court indicating otherwise notwithstanding, that
under Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473, an alien woman marrying a Filipino, native born or
naturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is not disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines
under Section 4 of the same law.

Likewise, an alien woman married to an alien who is subsequently naturalized here follows the
Philippine citizenship of her husband the moment he takes his oath as Filipino citizen, provided that she
does not suffer from any of the disqualifications under said Section 4.

Page 31 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

FRIVALDO VS COMELEC
G.R. 120295, 28 June 1996
Repatriation under PD 725

Facts:

Juan G. Frivaldo ran for Governor of Sorsogon in the 8 May 1995 elections. Raul Lee was another
candidate while the incumbent vice-governor is Oscar Deri.

Lee, however, filed a petition to disqualify Frivaldo because he is not yet a citizen of the Philippines. It
appears that Frivaldo has twice been declared by the Supreme Court as an alien thus disqualified to hold
public office. COMELEC granted the petition to disqualify.

Frivaldo’s motion for reconsideration remained pending until after the elections. The Provincial Board of
Canvassers completed the canvass of election returns and it showed that Frivaldo had the highest votes
(73,440), Lee second (53,304), Escudero Jr third (51,060) and Isagani Ocampo last (1,925). Lee filed a
petition praying for his proclamation as duly elected Governor of Sorsogon. He was proclaimed governor
on 30 June 1995, 8:30PM.

On 6 July 1995, Frivaldo filed with COMELEC a new petition praying to annul the proclamation of Lee
as the Governor. Frivaldo alleged he took his oath of allegiance as a citizen of the Philippines on 30 June
1995, 2PM.

On 19 December 1996, COMELEC Division held that Lee was not entitled to be proclaimed as duly-
elected governor because Frivaldo garnered the highest number of votes. Frivaldo had reacquired his
Filipino citizenship by repatriation on 30 June 1995 under Presidential Decree 725.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Frivaldo’s repatriation under PD 725 is valid and legal, thus curing his lack of
citizenship as to qualify him to be proclaimed Governor of Sorsogon?

Held:
1. Yes, Frivaldo’s repatriation is valid and legal under PD 725.

The law does not specify any particular date or time when the candidate must possess citizenship unlike
that for residence and age

The repatriation of Frivaldo RETROACTED to the date of the filing of his application on August 17, 1994.
PD 725 was intended to be a curative statute. A reading of P.D. 725 immediately shows that it creates a
new right, and also provides for a new remedy, thereby filling certain voids in our laws. On the other
hand, said statute also provided a new remedy and a new right in favor of other “natural born Filipinos
who (had) lost their Philippine citizenship but now desire to re-acquire Philippine citizenship,” because
prior to the promulgation of P.D. 725 such former Filipinos would have had to undergo the tedious and
cumbersome process of naturalization, but with the advent of P.D. 725 they could now re-acquire their
Philippine citizenship under the simplified procedure of repatriation.

Frivaldo deserves a liberal interpretation of Philippine laws and whatever defects there were in his
nationality should now be deemed mooted by his repatriation.
ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS VS. COMELEC
Page 32 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

G.R. No. 119976, 18 September 1995.


Residency Requirement of Civil Code; Art. 69 of the Family Code

Facts:

Imelda Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the position of Representative of the First
Disrict of Leyte on 8 March 1995. She provided that she had been residing in the constituency where she
sought election for the past 7 months.

On 23 March 1995, Cirilo Montejo, the incumbent representative, filed a petition for Cancellation and
Disqualification, alleging that Marcos did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency of one
year. On 29 March 1995, Marcos filed an amended/corrected COC changing the entry of “seven months” to
“since childhood.” She averred that the initial entry in her original COC was the result of an honest
misinterpretation which she sought to rectify by adding the words since childhood and that she has
always maintained Tacloban City as her domicile or residence.

COMELEC Division, howeover, voted 2-1 to strike off Marcos’s amended COC. It held that Marcos’s
conduct clearly revealed her lack of intention to make Tacloban her domicile. She registered as a voter in
different places and declared on several occasions that she was a resident of Manila. She is considered to
have abandoned her domicile in Tacloban. COMELEC En Banc denied Marcos’s MR.

Marcos eventually, however, obtained the highest votes as completed by the canvass of the Provincial
Board of Canvassers.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Marcos was a resident of Tacloban, thus satisfying the residency requirement
mandated by Sec. 6, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution?

Held:
1. Yes, Marcos is a resident of Tacloban. She never had an intention to abandon her
domicile of origin in Tacloban, Layte.

Domicile includes the twin elements of “the fact of residing or physical presence in a fixed place” and
animus manendi, or the intention of returning there permanently. Residence, in its ordinary conception,
implies the factual relationship of an individual to a certain place. It is the physical presence of a person
in a given area, community or country. The essential distinction between residence and domicile in law is
that residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose for which the resident has taken up his
abode ends. One may seek a place for purposes such as pleasure, business, or health. If a person’s intent
be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is
residence. It is thus, quite perfectly normal for an individual to have different residences in various
places.

The deliberations of the 1987 Constitution on the residence qualification for certain elective positions
have placed beyond doubt the principle that when the Constitution speaks of “residence” in election law,
it actually means only “domicile.” It is the fact of residence, not a statement in a certificate of candidacy
which ought to be decisive in determining whether or not an individual has satisfied the constitution’s
residency qualification requirement. The said statement becomes material only when there is or appears
to be a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate
ineligible. It would be plainly ridiculous for a candidate to deliberately and knowingly make a statement
Page 33 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

in a certificate of candidacy which would lead to his or her disqualification. The honest mistake in the
certificate of candidacy regarding the period of residency does not negate the fact of residence in a
congressional district if such fact is established by means more convincing than a mere entry on a piece of
paper.

An individual does not lose his domicile even if he has lived and maintained residences in different places.
Residence, it bears repeating, implies a factual relationship to a given place for various purposes. The
absence from legal residence or domicile to pursue a profession, to study or to do other things of a
temporary or semi-permanent nature does not constitute loss of residence. The assertion by the
COMELEC that “she could not have been a resident of Tacloban City since childhood up to the time she
filed her certificate of candidacy because she became a resident of many places” flies in the face of settled
jurisprudence in which this Court carefully made distinctions between (actual) residence and domicile for
election law purposes.

A minor follows the domicile of his parents. As domicile, once acquired is retained until a new one is
gained, it follows that in spite of the fact of petitioner’s being born in Manila, Tacloban, Leyte was her
domicile of origin by operation of law. This domicile was not established only when she reached the age of
eight years old, when her father brought his family back to Leyte contrary to private respondent’s
averments.

Domicile of origin is not easily lost. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate: 1.
An actual removal or an actual change of domicile; 2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former
place of residence and establishing a new one; and 3. Acts which correspond with the purpose.

In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria, the residence of origin should be deemed
to continue. Only with evidence showing concurrence of all three requirements can the presumption of
continuity or residence be rebutted, for a change of residence requires an actual and deliberate
abandonment, and one cannot have two legal residences at the same time. In the case at bench, the
evidence adduced by private respondent plainly lacks the degree of persuasiveness required to convince
this court that an abandonment of domicile of origin in favor of a domicile of choice indeed occurred. To
effect an abandonment requires the voluntary act of relinquishing petitioner’s former domicile with an
intent to supplant the former domicile with one of her own choosing (domicilium voluntarium).

Moreover, the presumption that the wife automatically gains the husband’s domicile by operation of law
upon marriage cannot be inferred from the use of the term “residence” in Article 110 of the Civil Code
because the Civil Code is one area where the two concepts are well delineated. A survey of jurisprudence
relating to Article 110 or to the concepts of domicile or residence as they affect the female spouse upon
marriage yields nothing which would suggest that the female spouse automatically loses her domicile of
origin in favor of the husband’s choice of residence upon marriage. It is illogical to conclude that Art. 110
of the Civil Code refers to “domicile” and not to “residence.”

The duty to live together can only be fulfilled if the husband and wife are physically together. This takes
into account the situations where the couple has many residences (as in the case of petitioner).
What petitioner gained upon marriage was actual residence—she did not lose her domicile of origin

Page 34 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

PT&T VS NLRC
G.R. No. 118978, 23 Mary 1997
Illegal Discrimination against Married Women

Facts:

Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Company (PT&T) hired Grace de Guzman as a reliever (a
“Supernumerary Project Worker”) for fixed periods of time when a regular employee was on maternity
leave.

On 2 Septmeber 1991, PT&T hired de Guzman this time as a probationary employee. De Guzman filled
up her application form and indicated she was single although she had gotten married on 26 May 1991.
Apparently, she had also indicated in two previous reliever agreements that she was single.

When PT&T learned that de Guzman was married, the branch supervisor sent her a memorandum
requiring her to explain the discrepancy and reminding her of the company’s policy of not accepting
married women for employment. De Guzman explained she was not aware of such a policy, but PT&T
eventually dismissed her. De Guzman filed a complaint of illegal dismissal before the NLRC arbiter.

The Labor Arbiter held that De Guzman was illegally dismissed and ordered her reinstatement. The
Labor Arbiter held that she was discriminated against for having contracted marriage contrary to
company rules. The NLRC upheld the Labor Arbiter, but modified to the effect that De Guzman deserved
three months suspension for her dishonest acts.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not PT&T’s policy for not hiring married women is unlawful discrimination.

Held:
1. Yes, PT&T’s policy is unlawful.

PT&T’s policy of not accepting or considering as disqualified from work any woman worker who contracts
marriage runs afoul of the test of, and the right against discrimination afforded all women workers by our
labor laws and by no less than the Constitution. The record discloses clearly that her ties with the
company were dissolved principally because of the company’s policy that married women are not qualified
for employment in PT&T, and not merely because of her supposed acts of dishonesty.

Moreover, the Policy of Philippine Air Lines requiring that prospective flight attendants must be single
and that they will be automatically separated from the service once they marry declared void in Zialcita,
et al. v. Philippine Air Lines. Such a policy violates a woman’s right to be free from any kind of stipulation
against marriage in connection with her employment as per Article 136 of the Labor Code. The danger of
just such a policy against marriage followed by petitioner PT&T is that it strikes at the very essence,
ideals and purpose of marriage as an inviolable social institution and, ultimately, of the family as the
foundation of the nation. That it must be effectively interdicted here in all its indirect, disguised or
dissembled forms as discriminatory conduct derogatory of the laws of the land is not only in order but
imperatively required.

Page 35 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ESTRADA VS. ESCRITOR


A.M. No. P-02-1651, 22 June 2006
Religious freedom; Administrative Case for Immoral Conduct; Jehovah’s Witness

Facts:

Complainant Alejandro Estrada wrote to Judge Caoibes of RTC Las Pinas requesting for investigation of
rumors that respondent Soledad Escritor, a court interpreter, is living with a man not her husband. They
allegedly have a child aged 18 to 20. Estrada is not personally related either to Escritor or her partner,
but he filed the charge against Escritor as he believes she is committing an immoral act that tarnishes
the image of the court.

Escritor testified that when she entered the judiciary in 1999, she was already a widow as her husband
died in 1998. She admitted she has been living with Luciano Quilapio, Jr. without the benefit of marriage
for 20 years and that they have a son. As a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower and
Bible Tract Society, such a conjugal arrangement conforms with their religious beliefs. After 10 years of
living together, she executed on 28 July 1991 a Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness to Luciano D.
Quilapio, Jr., who executed a similar pledge on even date. Apparently, Quilapio, Jr. was married at that
time, but had been separated in fact from his wife.

A presiding minister of the Jehovah’s Witnesses explained that the Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness
gives the view that the couple has put themselves before God and man; as if that relation is validated by
God.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Escritor is liable for gross misconduct under Section 46(b)(5) of the Revised
Administrative Code for her relationship with Quilapio, Jr.

Held:
1. To properly determine the case, the government must be heard and given an
opportunity to discharge its burden of proving the state’s compelling interest which can
override Escritor’s religious belief and practice.

It is necessary to determine the sub-issue of whether or not respondent’s right to religious freedom should
carve out an exception from the prevailing jurisprudence on illicit relations for which government
employees are held administratively liable.

Not represented by counsel, respondent, in layman’s terms, invokes the religious beliefs and practices and
moral standards of her religion, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in asserting that her conjugal arrangement
with a man not her legal husband does not constitute disgraceful and immoral conduct for which she
should be held administratively liable. While not articulated by respondent, she invokes religious freedom
under Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution.

(See original for SC’s discussion on theocracy. The SC traced the history of how one authority figure used
to promulgate laws and religious rules as far back as the Hammurabi Code. The SC also discussed
Religion clauses in the US and Religion clauses in the Philippines.)

In a catena of cases, the Court has ruled that government employees engaged in illicit relations are guilty
of disgraceful and immoral conduct” for which he/she may be held administratively liable. In these cases,
Page 36 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

the respondents themselves did not contend that their conduct was not immoral, but sought to prove that
they did not commit the alleged act.

However, in this case, Escritor invokes religious freedom since her religion, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has
allowed her conjugal arrangement with Quilapio based on the church’s religious beliefs and practices.
This distinguishing factor compels the Court to apply the religious clauses to the case at the bar.

Morality refers to, in Socrates’ words, “how we ought to live” and why. Thus, when the law speaks of
“immorality” in the Civil Service Law or “immoral” in the Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers,
or “public morals” in the Revised Penal Code,437 or “morals” in the New Civil Code, or “moral character”
in the Constitution, the distinction between public and secular morality on the one hand, and religious
morality, on the other should be kept in mind. Morality referred to in the law is public and secular, not
religious.

The distinction between public and secular morality as expressed—albeit not exclusively—in the law, on
the one hand, and religious morality, on the other, is important because the jurisdiction of the Court
extends only to public and secular morality.

More concretely, should the Court declare respondent’s conduct as immoral and hold her administratively
liable, the Court will be holding that in the realm of public morality, her conduct is reprehensible or there
are state interests overriding her religious freedom. For as long as her conduct is being judged within this
realm, she will be accountable to the state.

But in so ruling, the Court does not and cannot say that her conduct should be made reprehensible in the
realm of her church where it is presently sanctioned and that she is answerable for her immorality to her
Jehovah God nor that other religions prohibiting her conduct are correct. On the other hand, should the
Court declare her conduct permissible, the Court will be holding that under her unique circumstances,
public morality is not offended or that upholding her religious freedom is an interest higher than
upholding public morality thus her conduct should not be penalized.

But the Court is not ruling that the tenets and practice of her religion are correct nor that other churches
which do not allow respondent’s conjugal arrangement should likewise allow such conjugal arrangement
or should not find anything immoral about it and therefore members of these churches are not
answerable for immorality to their Supreme Being.

Having distinguished between public and secular morality and religious morality, the more difficult task
is determining which immoral acts under this public and secular morality fall under the phrase
“disgraceful and immoral conduct” for which a government employee may be held administratively liable.

Only one conduct is in question before this Court, i.e., the conjugal arrangement of a government
employee whose partner is legally married to another which Philippine law and jurisprudence consider
both immoral and illegal.

The case at bar being one of first impression, we now subject the respondent’s claim of religious freedom
to the “compelling state interest” test from a benevolent neutrality stance—i.e. entertaining the possibility
that respondent’s claim to religious freedom would warrant carving out an exception from the Civil
Service Law; necessarily, her defense of religious freedom will be unavailing should the government
succeed in demonstrating a more compelling state interest.

Page 37 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

In applying the test, the first inquiry is whether respondent’s right to religious freedom has been burdened.
There is no doubt that choosing between keeping her employment and abandoning her religious belief and
practice and family on the one hand, and giving up her employment and keeping her religious practice
and family on the other hand, puts a burden on her free exercise of religion.

The second step is to ascertain respondent’s sincerity in her religious belief. Respondent appears to be
sincere in her religious belief and practice and is not merely using the “Declaration of Pledging
Faithfulness” to avoid punishment for immorality. She did not secure the Declaration only after entering
the judiciary where the moral standards are strict and defined, much less only after an administrative
case for immorality was filed against her. The Declaration was issued to her by her congregation after ten
years of living together with her partner, Quilapio, and ten years before she entered the judiciary.
Ministers from her congregation testified on the authenticity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ practice of
securing a Declaration and their doctrinal or scriptural basis for such a practice. As the ministers
testified, the Declaration is not whimsically issued to avoid legal punishment for illicit conduct but to
make the “union” of their members under respondent’s circumstances “honorable before God and men.”
She is a practicing member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Jehovah ministers testified that she is a
member in good standing.

It is apparent from the OCA’s reliance upon this ruling that the state interest it upholds is the
preservation of the integrity of the judiciary by maintaining among its ranks a high standard of morality
and decency. However, there is nothing in the OCA’s memorandum to the Court that demonstrates how
this interest is so compelling that it should override respondent’s plea of religious freedom nor is it shown
that the means employed by the government in pursuing its interest is the least restrictive to
respondent’s religious exercise.

We cannot therefore simply take a passing look at respondent’s claim of religious freedom, but must
instead apply the “compelling state interest” test. The government must be heard on the issue as it has
not been given an opportunity to discharge its burden of demonstrating the state’s compelling interest
which can override respondent’s religious belief and practice. To repeat, this is a case of first impression
where we are applying the “compelling state interest” test in a case involving purely religious conduct.
The careful application of the test is indispensable as how we will decide the case will make a decisive
difference in the life of the respondent who stands not only before the Court but before her Jehovah God.

To properly settle the issue in the case at bar, the government should be given the opportunity to
demonstrate the compelling state interest it seeks to uphold in opposing the respondent’s stance that her
conjugal arrangement is not immoral and punishable as it comes within the scope of free exercise
protection. Otherwise, should the Court prohibit and punish her conduct which is protected by the Free
Exercise Clause, the Court’s action would be an unconstitutional encroachment of her right to religious
freedom.

The case is remanded to the Office of the Court Administrator. The OSG is ordered to intervene where it
will be given the opportunity (a) to examine the sincerity and centrality of respondent’s claimed religious
belief and practice; (b) to present evidence on the state’s “compelling interest” to override respondent’s
religious belief and practice; and (c) to show that the means the state adopts in pursuing its interest is the
least restrictive to respondent’s religious freedom.

Page 38 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

GOITIA VS. CAMPO-RUEDA


G.R. No. 11263, 2 November 1916
Obligation to support spouse (Art. 68, but also assigned under Support: Arts. 194-208)

Facts:

Eloisa Goitia y De La Camara and Jose Rueda we married in Manila on 7 January 1915. They lived
together for a month until Eloisa returned home to her parents.

Eloisa claimed that Jose demanded that she “perform unchaste and lascivious acts on his genital organs,”
but she refused to perform any act other than legal and valid cohabitation. Jose then beat her. Unable to
convince Jose from desisting from his repugnant desires, she left their conjugal abode and went back to
live with her parents. She then filed an action against Jose for support outside of their conjugal home.

The trial court held that Jose cannot be compelled to support Eloisa except in his own house, except by
virtue of a judicial decree granting divorce or a separation from him.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Jose can be compelled to support Eloisa outside the conjugal home.

Held:
1. Yes, Article 49 of the Civil Code obliges Jose to support Eloisa either by paying a
pension or supporting Eloisa in his own home.

Marriage is something more than a contract, though founded upon the agreement of the parties. When
once formed a relation is created between the parties which they cannot change by agreement, and the
rights and obligations of which depend not upon their agreement but upon the law. The spouses must be
faithful to, assist, support, and live with each other.

The wife, who is forced to leave the conjugal abode by her husband without fault on her part, may
maintain an action against the husband for separate maintenance when she has no other remedy,
notwithstanding the provisions of article 149 of the Civil Code giving the person who is obliged to furnish
support the option to satisfy it either by paying a fixed pension or by receiving and maintaining in his
own home the one having the right to the same.

Article 152 of the Civil Code gives the instances when the obligation to give support shall cease. The
failure of the wife to live with her husband is not one of them.

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 law will not permit him to terminate it by his own wrongful acts in driving his
wife to seek protection in the parental home.

Page 39 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BALOGBOG VS. CA
G.R. No. 83598, 7 March 1997
Presumption of Marriage in the Civil Code (pre-Family Code)

Facts:

Gavino Balogbog, Leoncia Balogbog, and Gaudioso Balogog are siblings. Gavino died in 1935. In 1968,
Ramonito and Generoso Balogbog (the children) claimed to be legitimate children of Gavino and his wife
Catalina Ubas and filed an action for partition and accounting against Gaudioso and Leoncia. Gaudioso
and Leoncia denied knowing the children and alleged that their older brother Gavino died in 1935 single
and without issue in their parents’ residence in Cebu.

The children presented as witnesses the following: (1) Priscilo Y. Trazo (former mayor) who knew their
parents as married with children; and (2) Matias Pogoy (family friend) who attended their parents’
wedding and even carried Catalina’s wedding dress on said wedding day, and made the coffin of Gavino
who, in fact, died in his wife’s presence and not at his parent’s house.

Meanwhile, Catalina Ubas testified that she and Gavino lived together and had three children during
their marriage. The children likewise produced a certificate from the Local Civil Registrar that the
Register of Marriages did not have record of the marriage and no record of birth of Ramonito.

The Trial Court found for the children and ordered Leoncia and Gaudioso to render an accounting, to
partition the estate of Gavino, and deliver 1/3 of the estate of their grandparents (Basilio and Genoveva).
The Court of Appeals held that Leoncia and Gaudioso failed to overcome the presumption that a man and
a woman claiming to be husband and wife are in fact married, and that a child is presumed legitimate.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Gavino and Catalina Ubas are lawful husband and wife

Held:
1. Yes, the law favors validity of marriage, because the State is interested in the
preservation of the family and the sanctity of the family is a matter of constitutional
concern.

Leoncia and Gaudioso invoke Articles 53 and 54 of the 1889 Civil Code, but the Court held that Articles
42 of 107 of the 1889 Civil Code did not take effect in the Philippines because the Governor General
suspended them.

The marriage must be determined in accordance with the present Civil Code, which repealed the
provisions of the former Civil Code, except as they related to vested rights and the rules on evidence. The
Rules of Court state that a man and woman claiming to be married are presumed married.

Nonetheless, evidence consisting of the testimonies of witnesses was held competent to prove the
marriage. Indeed, although a marriage contract is considered primary evidence of marriage, the failure to
present it is not proof that no marriage took place. Other evidence may be presented to prove marriage.
Here, Gavino and Catalina’s marriage was proven through testimonial evidence.

As stated in Adong vs. Cheng Seng Gee, the basis of human society throughout the civilized world is that
of marriage. Marriage in this jurisdiction is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an
Page 40 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment
of the law leans toward legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling 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 to society, and if the parties were not what they
thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant violation of decency and of law. A
presumption established by our Code of Civil Procedure is “that a man and a woman deporting
themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage.” (Sec. 334, No. 28)
Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio—Always presume marriage. (U.S. vs. Villafuerte and Rabano
[1905], 4 Phil.

Neither can Leoncia and Gaudioso argue the non-existence of the marriage and its presumption because
there was no showing that Gavino and Catalino exchanged wedding vows. An exchange of vows can be
presumed to have been made from the testimonies of the witnesses who state that a wedding took place,
since the very purpose for having a wedding is to exchange vows of marital commitment. It would indeed
be unusual to have a wedding without an exchange of vows and quite unnatural for people not to notice
its absence.

Moreover, the evidence in the record shows that petitioner Gaudioso Balogbog admitted to the police of
Balamban, Cebu that Ramonito is his nephew.

Page 41 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

EUGENIO, SR. VS. VELEZ


G.R. No. 85140, 17 May 1990
The term “spouse” means a lawfully wedded spouse (Art. 2-6 of the Family Code)

Facts:

Unaware of the death on 28 August 1988 of Vitaliana Vargas, her full blood siblings filed on 27
September 1988 a petition for habeas corpus before the RTC in Cagayan de Oro, alleging that 25-year-old
Vitaliana was forcibly taken from her residence sometime in 1987 and confined by Tomas Eugenio, Sr.
The RTC issued the writ of habeas corpus, but it was returned unsatisfied.

Eugenio refused to return the body of Vitaliano who had died, reasoning that a corpse cannot be subject of
habeas corpus proceedings, besides, he had already obtained a burial permit from the Department of
Health for a burial at the Philippine Benevolent Christian Missionary, where he is the Supreme
President and Founder. He claimed Vtaliana died of heart failure due to toxemia of pregnancy in his
residence and that as her common law husband, he has the legal custody of her body.

The siblings amended their petition and claimed to be the legal custodians of their late sister’s dead body
as per Article 305 and 308 of the Civil Code. The trial court held that as per Article 294 of the Civil Code,
the siblings have a better right since there was no surviving spouse, ascendants, or descendants. The
siblings were preferred over Eugenio who is merely a common law spouse and actually legally married to
another woman.

Eugenio claims he is the spouse contemplated under Article 294 of the Civil Code because such provision
does not qualify the term “spouse.” The siblings contended that Philippine law does not recognize common
law marriages.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Eugenio has the right to Vitaliana’s dead body as the spouse contemplated under
Article 294 of the Civil Code.

Held:
1. No, the term “spouse” under the Civil Code contemplates a lawfully wedded spouse.
Eugenio and Vitaliana were not lawfully wedded; in fact he was not legally capacitated
to marry her in her lifetime.

In any case, Eugenio has a subsisting marriage with another woman, a legal impediment disqualifying
him from legally marrying Vitaliana. Indeed, Philippine Law does not recognize common law marriages.
A man and woman not legally married who cohabit for many years as husband and wife, who represent
themselves to the public as husband and wife, and who are reputed to be husband and wife in the
community where they live may be considered legally “married” in common law jurisdictions but not in
the Philippines.

Custody of the dead body of Vitaliana was correctly awarded to her surviving brothers and sisters, as per
Section 1103 of the Revised Administrative Code: duty of burial shall devolve upon nearest of kin if the
deceased is an unmarried man or woman.

COSCA VS. PALAYPAYON


Page 42 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

A.M. No. MTJ-92-721, 30 September 1994


Solemnizing illegal marriage by a judge; no marriage license (Art. 2-6 and 27-34)

Facts:

Four complainants, who work as Stenographer I, Interpreter I, Clerk II, and Process Server at Municipal
Trial Court of Tinambac, Camarines Sur, filed an administrative complaint with the Office of the Court
Administrator charging Judge Palaypayon and Nelia Baroy (Clerk of Court II) with illegal solemnization
of marriage, among others.

Complainants allege that Judge Palaypayon solemnized marriages without the requisite marriage license
by simply paying the marriage fees to Nelia Baroy. Consequently, their marriage certificate reflected no
marriage license number. Neither did Judge Palaypayon sign their marriage contracts nor indicate the
date of solemnization, giving the excuse that he had to wait for the marriage license to be submitted by
the parties several days after the ceremony. These marriage contracts were not filed with the local civil
registrar.

Judge Palaypayon contended that the marriage between Alano Abellano and Nelly Edralin is exempt
from a marriage license under Article 34 of the Civil Code. He added the five other marriages he
solemnized were not illegal because the marriage contracts were not signed and they did not contain the
date and place of the marriage.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Judge Palaypayon is administratively liable for solemnizing illegal marriages.

Held:
1. Yes, the Family Code provides that the formal requisites of marriage include a valid
marriage license, except in cases provided for therein. Any absence of the essential or
formal requisites shall generally render the marriage void ab initio, and that, while an
irregularity in the formal requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage, the
party or parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally, and
administratively liable.

The civil aspect is addressed to the contracting parties and those affected by the illegal marriages, and
what we are providing for herein pertains to the administrative liability of respondents, all without
prejudice to their criminal responsibility. The Revised Penal Code provides that “(p)riests or ministers of
any religious denomination or sect, or civil authorities who shall perform or authorize any illegal
marriage ceremony shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the Marriage Law.” This is of
course, within the province of the prosecutorial agencies of the Government.

With respect to the charge of illegal solemnization of marriages, it does appear that Judge Palaypayon
had not taken to heart, but actually trifled with, the law’s concern for the institution of marriage and the
legal effects flowing from civil status. This, and his undeniable participation in the other offenses charged
as hereinbefore narrated in detail, approximate such serious degree of misconduct and of gross negligence
in the performance of judicial duties as to ineludibly require a higher penalty. He is fined P20,000 and
warned that any repetition will be severely dealt with.

Page 43 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

WASSMER VS. VELEZ


L-20098, 26 December 1964
Breach of Promise to Marry is no actionable; Exception

Facts:

Francisco X. Velez and Beatriz P. Wassmer were set to wed on 4 September 1954. But on 2 September
1954, Velez left a note for his bride-to-be, saying that they will have to postpone the wedding because his
mother opposes it. He left that day, but wrote on 3 September that nothing had changed, rest assured he
would return soon. Alas, Velez did not appear nor heard from again.

Wassmer sued for damages. Velez through counsel manifested the possibility for amicable settlement.
Twice this was asked for, but twice Velez failed to appear. The RTC ultimately ordered Velez to pay
actual, moral, and exemplary damages, based on the evidence Wassmer presented to the clerk of court as
commissioner.

Velez motioned for new trial and reconsideration and argued that there is no provision in the Civil Code
authorizing an action for a breach of promise to marry.

Issue(s)
1. Whether or not Velez is liable for damages for not going through with the marriage to Wassmer.

Held:
1. Yes, the extent to which acts not contrary to law may be perpetrated with impunity, is
not limitless for Article 21 of said Code provides that “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.”

The record shows that on 23 August 1954, the couple applied for a license to contract marriage which was
subsequently issued. Their wedding was set for 4 September 1954. Invitations were printed, the bride’s
gown, party dresses, and other apparel were purchased, including dresses for the entourage, and a
matrimonial bed.

And then Velez simply left a note saying his mother opposes the wedding. This is not a mere breach of
promise to marry. Mere breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong, but to formally set a
wedding and walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be solemnized is different. This is contrary to
good customs for which the defendant must be held liable as per Article 21.

Page 44 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

NAVARRO V. DOMAGTOY
A.M. No. MTJ-96-1088, 19 July 1996
Authority of Judges to solemnize marriage (Art. 7 and 8 of the Family Code)

Facts:

Mayor Navarro of Dapa, Surigao del Norte, filed an administrative complaint against Judge Domagtoy of
the Municipal Circuit Trial Court for gross misconduct and ignorance of the law. Navarro alleged that
Judge Domagtoy solemnized the wedding between Gaspar Tagadan and Arlyn Borga despite knowing
that the groom is merely separated from his first wife. Navarro also alleged that Judge Domagtoy
solemnized a marriage between Floriano Sumaylo and Gemma del Rosario in Dapa, which is 40
kilometers outside his court’s jurisdiction in Sta. Monica-Burgos.

Judge Domagtoy countered that he relied on the affidavit of Gaspar Tagadan issued by the Municipal
Trial Judge confirming that Tagadan and his wife have not seen each other for almost 7 years. He also
countered that he did not violate Article 7(1) of the Family Code by solemnizing the second marriage
outside of his territorial jurisdiction because Article 8 applies.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Judge Domagtoy is liable for gross ignorance of the law in solemnizing the two
marriages.

Held:
1. Yes, the marriage between Tagadan and Borgda is bigamous and void. The marriage
between Sumaylo and del Rosario is valid despite the irregularity of solemnization
outside Judge Domagtoy’s jurisdiction, but he is administratively liable.

Tagadan did not institute a summary proceeding for the declaration of his first wife’s presumptive death.
Absent this judicial declaration, he remains married to Ida Peñaranda. Whether wittingly or unwittingly,
it was manifest error on the part of respondent judge to have accepted the joint affidavit submitted by the
groom. Such neglect or ignorance of the law has resulted in a bigamous, and therefore void, marriage.
Under Article 35 of the Family Code, “The following marriage shall be void from the beginning; (4) Those
bigamous x x x marriages not falling under Article 41.”

The second issue involves the solemnization of a marriage ceremony outside the court’s jurisdiction,
covered by Articles 7 and 8 of the Family Code, thus:

“Art. 7. Marriage may be solemnized by: (1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary
within the court’s jurisdiction;
x x x x x x x x x. (Emphasis supplied.)

Art. 8. The marriage shall be solemnized publicly in the chambers of the judge or in
open court, in the church, chapel or temple, or in the office of the consul-general,
consul or vice-consul, as the case may be, and not elsewhere, except in cases of
marriages contracted on the point of death or in remote places in accordance with
Article 29 of this Code, or where both parties request the solemnizing officer in
writing in which case the marriage may be solemnized at a house or place
designated by them in a sworn statement to that effect.”

Page 45 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Judge Domagtoy invokes Article 8 and its exceptions as the justification for his having solemnized the
marriage between Floriano Sumaylo and Gemma del Rosario outside of his court’s jurisdiction. Article 8
provides that a marriage can be held outside of the judge’s chambers or courtroom only in the following
instances: (1) at the point of death, (2) in remote places in accordance with Article 29 or (3) upon request
of both parties in writing in a sworn statement to this effect. There is no pretense that either Sumaylo or
del Rosario was at the point of death or in a remote place. Moreover, the written request presented
addressed to the respondent judge was made by only one party, Gemma del Rosario.

More importantly, the elementary principle underlying this provision is the authority of the solemnizing
judge. Under Article 3, one of the formal requisites of marriage is the “authority of the solemnizing
officer.” Under Article 7, marriage may be solemnized by, among others, “any incumbent member of the
judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction.” Article 8, which is a directory provision, refers only to the venue
of the marriage ceremony and does not alter or qualify the authority of the solemnizing officer as provided
in the preceding provision. Non-compliance herewith will not invalidate the marriage.

An appellate court Justice or a Justice of this Court has jurisdiction over the entire Philippines to
solemnize marriages, regardless of the venue, as long as the requisites of the law are complied with.
However, 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

Inasmuch as respondent judge’s jurisdiction covers the municipalities of Sta. Monica and Burgos, he was
not clothed with authority to solemnize a marriage in the municipality of Dapa, Surigao del Norte.
Clearly, Judge Domagtoy again demonstrated a lack of understanding of the basic principles of civil law.
He is therefore suspended for 6 months and given a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar
acts will be dealt with more severely.

Page 46 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ARANAS VS. JUDGE OCCIANO


A.M. No. MTJ-02-1390, 11 April 2002
Authority of Judges to solemnize marriage; citing Navarro vs. Domagtoy (Art. 7 and 8 of the Family Code)

Facts:

Mercedita Aranes charged Judge Occiano, presiding judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Balatan,
Camarines Sur, with gross ignorance of the law via a sworn Letter-Complaint. Aranes alleged that Judge
Occiano solemnized her marriage to her late groom Dominador Orobia with the requisite marriage license
and at Nabua, Camarines Sur, outside his territorial jurisdiction. Aranes and Orobia lived together as
husband and wife until Orobia passed away. However, since the marriage was a nullity, Aranes’s right to
inherit Orobia’s estate was not recognized. She was likewise deprived of receiving the pensions of Orobia,
a retired Commodore of the Philippine Navy.

Judge Occiano then countered that he agreed out of human compassion to wed the couple in Nabua on 17
February 2000 because Orobia had difficulty walking 25 kilometers to Balatan due to a stroke and that
the parties requested to go through with the marriage despite the absence of a marriage license due to the
influx of visitors and delivery of provisions for the occasion. He added that the couple assured they would
give the license to him, but they failed to comply. Aranes then filed an Affidavit of Desistance out of
conscience because she realized she filed said administrative case out of rage and in fact failed to submit
the marriage license to Judge Occiano despite their reassurances.

It appears that the couple filed their Application for Marriage License on 5 January 2000, but no one
claimed it. Likewise, there is no record of their marriage hence the Local Civil Registrar cannot issue any
certification of their marriage.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Judge Occiano is administratively liable for solemnizing the marriage without the
marriage license and for doing so outside his territorial jurisdiction.

Held:
1. Yes, Judge Occiano is liable.

The case at bar is not without precedent. In Navarro vs. Domagtoy, respondent judge held office and had
jurisdiction in the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Sta. Monica-Burgos, Surigao del Norte. However, he
solemnized a wedding at his residence in the municipality of Dapa, Surigao del Norte which did not fall
within the jurisdictional area of the municipalities of Sta. Monica and Burgbs. In the case at bar, the
territorial jurisdiction of respondent judge is limited to the municipality of Balatan, Camarines Sur. His
act of solemnizing the marriage of petitioner and Orobia in Nabua, Camarines Sur therefore is contrary to
law and subjects him to administrative liability. His act may not amount to gross ignorance of the law for
he allegedly solemnized the marriage out of human compassion but nonetheless, he cannot avoid liability
for violating the law on marriage.

Respondent judge is grossly ignorant for solemnizing a marriage without the requisite marriage license.
Marriage which preceded the issuance of the marriage license is void, and the subsequent issuance of
such license cannot render valid the marriage. Except in cases provided by law, it is the marriage license
that gives the solemnizing officer the authority to solemnize a marriage. Respondent judge did not
possess such authority when he solemnized the marriage of petitioner.

Page 47 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

LIM TANHU VS. RAMOLETE


G.R. No. L-40098, 29 August 1975
A marriage contract is primary evidence of a marriage; (Art. 22)

Facts:

Tan Put claimed to be the widow of Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, who was a partner in the commercial
partnership named Glory Commercial Company with his older brothers Antonio Lim Tanhu and Alfonso
Ng Hua. In 1971, Tan Put filed a complaint against Antonio Lim Tanhu and Alfonso Ng Hua and (1)
demanded an accounting of the properties of the partnership and (2) demanded that her husband’s share
in the partnership be delivered to her, amounting to 1/3 of the total value of the properties.

Tan Put alleged that Lim Tanhu and Ng Hua through fraud and machination took over management of
the partnership after her husband’s death and refused liquidate the partnership properties and deliver
said shares. She also alleged that she was made to sign a quitclaim of her share and a receipt of P65,000,
money that she never received. She alleged that during her marriage with Po Chuan, she sold her
drugstore business and gave the proceeds to Po Chuan to invest in his partnership. She presented
certification from a bishop of the Philippine Independent Church as proof of her marriage to Po Chuan.

Lim Tanhu and Ng Hua countered that Tan Put is not the widow of Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, but that his
legitimate wife is Ang Siok Tin, who was still living and who bore him four children. This meant Tan Put
had no standing to sue them for Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan’s share in the partnership assets. They
presented certification from the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu and certification of the Apostolic Prefect of
the Philippine Independent Church that official records show no marriage between Po Chuan and Tan
Put.

Moreover, they alleged that their late partners share was already transmitted to Ang Siok Tin and the
children who all lived in Hong Kong.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Tan Put is the widow of Po Chuan.

Held:
1. No, the evidence on record shows that she was his common-law wife.

Under Article 55 of the Civil Code, the declaration of the contracting parties that they take each other as
husband and wife “shall be set forth in an instrument” signed by the parties as well as by their witnesses
and the person solemnizing the marriage. Accordingly, the primary evidence of a marriage must be an
authentic copy of the marriage contract. While a marriage may also be proved by other competent
evidence, the absence of the contract must first be satisfactorily explained. The purported certification
issued by a Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church is not competent evidence, but hearsay because
proof of loss of the contract or of any other satisfactory reason for its non- production must first presented
to the court.

Moreover, another document translated from Chinese by the Chinese Consul of Cebu shows that Tan Put
and Po Chuan mutually terminated their common-law marriage in 1965 and that Po Chuan gave P40,000
to Tan Put for support.

Page 48 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

VDA DE CHUA VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 116835, 5 March 1998
Photostat copy of a marriage contract is not best evidence (Art. 22)

Facts:

Roberto Lim Chua lived out of wedlock with private respondent Florita A. Vallejo from 1970 up to
1981. Together, they begot two illegitimate children: Roberto Alonzo and Rudyard Alonzo. Chua died
intestate in Davao City in May 1992. Vallejo filed a petition for guardianship and administration over the
persons and properties of the two minor children.

Antonietta Garcia Vda. de Chua, representing to be the surviving spouse of Roberto Chua, filed a Motion
to Dismiss on the ground of improper venue. Petitioner alleged that at the time of the decedent’s death,
Davao City was his residence, hence, the Regional Trial Court of Davao City is the proper forum. In
support of her allegation, petitioner presented the following documents: (1) photocopy of the marriage
contract; (2) Transfer Certificate of Title issued in the name of Roberto L. Chua married to Antonietta
Garcia, and a resident of Davao City; (3) Residence Certificates from 1988 and 1989 issued at Davao City
indicating that he was married and was born in Cotabato City; (4) Income Tax Returns for 1990 and 1991
filed in Davao City where the status of the decedent was stated as married; and, (5) Passport of the
decedent specifying that he was married and his residence was Davao City.

Vallejo countered that Antoinetta vda de Chua is not Robert Chua’s surviving spouse, but a pretender to
his estate because he never contracted marriage with any woman until he died. Eventually, the Trial
Court granted Vallejo’s petition and appointed her as guardian over the persons and properties of the two
minor children.

Antoinetta filed a petition for certiorari to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the court a quo.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Antoinetta proved her marriage to Robert Chua, thus has personality to challenge
Vallejo’s petition and has interest in Chua’s estate.

Held:
1. No, she was not able to prove her status as the surviving wife of Robert Chua. The best
proof of marriage is a marriage contract, which she failed to produce.

The lower court correctly disregarded the photostat copy of the marriage certificate which she presented,
this being a violation of the best evidence rule, together with other worthless pieces of evidence. The trial
court correctly held, to wit:

“Transfer Certificates of Title, Residence Certificates, passports and other similar documents cannot
prove marriage especially so when the petitioner has submitted a certification from the Local Civil
Registrar concerned that the alleged marriage was not registered and a letter from the judge alleged to
have solemnized the marriage that he has not solemnized said alleged marriage.”

Consequently, she is not entitled to notice of proceedings for not being able to establish proof of her
alleged marriage to Robert Chua or her interest in his estate.

REPUBLIC VS COURT OF APPEALS AND CASTRO


Page 49 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

G.R. No. 103047, 2 September 1994


Absence of a marriage license renders a marriage void ab initio (Art. 25)

Facts:

Angelina Castro and Edwin Cardenas wed in a civil ceremony on 24 June 1970 performed by Judge
Malvar, a City Court Judge of Pasay City. The marriage was solemnized without the knowledge of
Castro’s parents. Cardenas attended to the processing of documents required for the celebration of the
marriage, including the procurement of the marriage license. The marriage contract states that marriage
license no. 3196182 was issued in their name on 24 June 1970 in Pasig City.

Since Castro’s parents did not know of the marriage, the couple did not live together until March 1971
when Castro discovered she was pregnant. However, they only cohabited for four months and then parted
ways. Castro gave birth on 19 October 1971 and Castro’s brother with the consent of Cardenas adopted
the baby girl, who is now in the United States.

Castro wanted to follow her daughter to the US and petitioned to annul her marriage to Cardenas.
Through Atty. Pulgar’s efforts, they discovered there was no marriage license issued to Cardenas prior to
the celebration to the marriage. As proof, Castro offered in evidence a certification from the Civil Register
of Pasig that marriage license no. 3196182 does not appear in their official records. She also testified she
neither applied for the license nor signed any application for such’ she only signed their marriage
contract.

The Trial Court denied the petition on the ground that the alleged certification was inadequate to prove
the no-issuance of the marriage license because “the inability of the civil registry to locate the license is
not conclusive to show that no license was issued.”

Castro appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial court and declared the marriage null
and void. The Republic of the Philippines appealed on the ground that the certification and
uncorroborated testimony of Castro are insufficient to overthrow the legal presumption regarding the
validity of marriage.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the certification and Castro’s testimony presented are sufficient to establish that
no marriage license was issued by the Civil Registrar of Pasig prior to her marriage to Cardenas.

Held:
1. Yes, no marriage shall be solemnized without a marriage license first issued by a local
civil registrar.

At the time the subject marriage was solemnized on June 24, 1970, the law governing marital relations
was the New Civil Code. The law4 provides that no marriage shall be solemnized without a marriage
license first issued by a local civil registrar. Being one of the essential requisites of a valid marriage,
absence of a license would render the marriage void ab initio. The certification by the Civil Registry is
sanctioned by Section 29, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court as proof of lack of record. The certification of “due
search and inability to find” enjoys probative value. Thus, the documentary and testimonial evidence
presented by Castro sufficiently established the absence of the marriage license.

Page 50 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Note: Garcia vs, Recio, Van Dorn vs. Romillo, and Republic vs. Orbecido are also assigned under Article
26. Please see the earlier digests.

PILAPIL VS. IBAY-SOMERA


G.R. No. 80116, 20 June 1989
Marital relationship must subsist for innocent spouse to have standing to institute an adultery case (Art.
26)

Facts:

On 7 September 1979, Imelda M. Pilapil, a Filipino, married Erich Ekkehard Geiling, a German, before
the Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths at Friedensweiler in Germany. They lived together in
Malate, Manila where their only child Isabella was born on 20 April 1980.

Three and a half years later, Geiling initiated divorce proceedings against Pilapil before the Schoneberg
Local Court in Germany in January 1983. On the other hand, Pilapil filed an action for legal separation,
support, and separation of property before the RTC of Manila on 23 January 1983. The Schoneberg Local
Court promulgated a decree of divorce on 15 January 1986. Custody of Isabella was granted to Pilapil.
Under German law, said court was locally and internationally competent for the divorce proceeding.

Five months later, Geiling filed two complaints for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging that
while Pilapil had an affair with a certain William Chia as early as 1982 and with yet another man named
Jesus Chua sometime in 1983. Two complaints for adultery were filed against Pilapil before the RTC of
Manila.

Pilapil moved to quash the complaint, but was denied by the RTC. She then sought to annul the RTC’s
order on the ground that the RTC can not try the charge of adultery because it is a private offense and
that Geiling is not an offended spouse for having obtained a final divorce decree under German law.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Geiling has standing to file the complaint for adultery against Pilapil given that he
obtained a divorce decree in Germany prior to such complaint.

Held:
1. No, Geiling is no longer her husband and has no legal standing to commence the
adultery case.

Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code thus presupposes that the marital relationship is still subsisting at
the time of the institution of the criminal action for adultery. Under Article 344 of the Revised Penal
Code, the crime of adultery, as well as four other crimes against chastity, cannot be prosecuted except
upon a sworn written complaint filed by the offended spouse. Compliance with this rule is jurisdictional.
the law specifically provides that in prosecutions for adultery and concubinage the person who can legally
file the complaint should be the offended spouse, and nobody else.

This policy was adopted out of consideration for the aggrieved party who might prefer to suffer the
outrage in silence rather than go through the scandal of a public trial. This policy is a logical consequence
since the raison d'etre of said provision of law would be absent where the supposed offended party had
ceased to be the spouse of the alleged offender at the time of the filing of the criminal case.

Page 51 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

In private crimes”, or those which cannot be prosecuted de oficio, and the present prosecution for adultery
is of such genre, the offended spouse assumes a more predominant role since the right to commence the
action, or to refrain therefrom, is a matter exclusively within his power and option.

In the present case, the fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his country, the Federal
Republic of Germany, is admitted. Said divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines
insofar as private respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the
matter of status of persons.

Thus, in the recent case of Van Dorn vs. Romillo, Jr., et al., after a divorce was granted by a United
States court between Alice Van Dorn, a Filipina, and her American husband, the latter filed a civil case in
a trial court here alleging that her business concern was conjugal property and praying that she be
ordered to render an accounting and that the plaintiff be granted the right to manage the business.
Rejecting his pretensions, this Court perspicuously demonstrated the error of such stance, thus:

“There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the
States of the United States. The decree is binding on private respondent as an
American citizen. For instance, private respondent cannot sue petitioner, as her
husband, in any State of the Union, xxx.

“It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil
Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces
the same being considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality.
However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the
Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. xxx

“Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of
petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner’s
husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets.”

Page 52 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

NIAL VS. BAYADOG


G.R. No. 133778, 14 March 2000
Meaning of cohabitation of 5 years; exception to marriage license requirement (Art. 27-34; assigned again
under Art. 35)

Facts:

Pepito Nial was married to Teodulfa Bellones on 26 September 1974. Teodulfa was shot by Pepito
resulting in her death on 2 April 1985. On 11 December 1986, Peptio and Norma Badayog wed without
any marriage license, and executed an affidavit in lieu of such license. The affidavit stated they had lived
together as husband and wife for at least 5 years and were thus exempt from the marriage license
requisite.

On 19 February 1997, Pepito died in a car accident. His children (the petitioners) filed a petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage of Pepito to Norma on the ground of absence of a marriage license.
Judge Ferdinand J. Marcos of the RTC of Cebu dismissed the petition. The RTC held that the petitioners
should have filed the action to declare null and void the marriage of their father before he died by
applying Article 47 of the Family Code analogously.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Pepito’s marriage to Norma is void ab initio for the absence of a marriage license or
valid due to their cohabitation for 5 years.

Held:
1. There was no valid, continuous cohabitation without legal impediment to for 5 years
between Pepito and Norma, thus their marriage is void ab initio for the absence of a
marriage license.

The Civil Code applies given the 2 marriages involved were solemnized prior to the effectivity of the
Family Code. The Civil Code requires a valid marriage license, otherwise the marriage is void. There is no
dispute that the marriage of petitioners father to respondent Norma was celebrated without any marriage
license. The only issue that needs to be resolved pertains to what nature of cohabitation is contemplated
under Article 76 of the Civil Code to warrant the counting of the five year period in order to exempt the
future spouses from securing a marriage license.

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.

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. It should be in the nature of a perfect union that is valid under the law but rendered imperfect

Page 53 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

only by the absence of the marriage contract. Pepito had a subsisting marriage at the time when he
started cohabiting with respondent.

Page 54 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MANZANO VS. SANCHEZ


A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329, 8 March 2001
Requisites of Article 34 of the Family Code; legal ratification of cohabitation (Art. 27-34)

Facts:

Herminia Borja-Manzano filed an administrative case for gross ignorance of the law against Judge Roque
Sanchez of the Municipal Trial Court of Infanta, Pangasinan. Borja-Manzano averred she was the lawful
wife of the late David Manzano. They were wed on 21 May 1966 and had four children.

However, on 22 March 1993, Judge Sanchez solemnized Manzano’s subsequent marriage with a
Luzviminda Payao. She alleges that Judge Sanchez out to know that the marriage was void and bigamous
as the marriage contract clearly stated that both contracting parties were separated.

Judge Sanchez, however, averred that when he solemnized said marriage, he did not know that Mazano
was legally married. He knew that the two had been living together as husband and wife for 7 years
already without the benefit of marriage, as manifested in their joint affidavit. He said he would not have
solemnized said marriage had he known of Manzano’s valid, prior marriage to Borja-Manzano.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Judge Sanchez is liable for gross ignorance of the law for solemnizing David
Manzano’s marriage to Luzviminda Payao.

Held
1. Yes, Judge Sanchez demonstrated gross ignorance of the law when he solemnized a
void and bigamous marriage. In fact, the separate affidavits of David Manzano and
Luzviminda Payao stated the fact of their prior existing marriage and their marriage
contracts indicated they were separated. Moreover, legal separation does not sever the
marital bond.

Article 34 of the Family Code provides that 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 and found no legal impediment to
the marriage.

The following are the requisites for the application of the provision of legal ratification of marital
cohabitation:
1. The man and woman must have been living together as husband and wife for at least five years
before the marriage;
2. The parties must have no legal impediment to marry each other;
3. The fact of absence of legal impediment between the parties must be present at the time of
marriage;
4. The parties must execute an affidavit stating that they have lived together for at least five years
[and are without legal impediment to marry each other]; and
5. The solemnizing officer must execute a sworn statement that he had ascertained the qualifications
of the parties and that he had found no legal impediment to their marriage

Page 55 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MARIATEGUI VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. L-57062, 24 January 1992
When presumption of marriage applies despite no marriage records (Art. 27-34)

Facts:

Lupo Mariategui died without a will on 26 June 1953; he was married thrice. With his first wife, Esuabia
Montellano, who died on 8 November 1904, he begot four children. With his second wife, Flaviana
Montellano, he begot a daughter. With his third wife Felipa Velasco whom he wed sometime in 1930, he
begot three children.

When he died, Lupo left certain properties which he acquired when he was still unmarried for his
children with Felipa Velasco: Jacinto, Julian, and Paulina Mariategui. However, on 2 December 1967,
Lupo’s descendants by his first two marriages executed a deed of extrajudicial partition over said
properties. Thus, an original certificate of title was issued in their name and then they subdivided the
lots.

Jacinto, Julian, and Paulina filed a complaint where they claimed that the adjudication of said properties
deprived them of their respective shares in the lots. They prayed for the partition of the estate of their
deceased father and annulment of the deed of extrajudicial partition. The trial court dismissed the
complaint for failure to prove their right to inherit because Lupo Mariategui and Felipa Velasco were not
lawfully married.

Jacinto, Julian, and Pauline appealed to the Court of Appeals, which declared them and the descendants
of Lupo Mariategui from the first two marriages entitled to equal shares in their father’s estate. The
descendants from the first two marriages appealed to the Supreme Court, contesting, among others, that
Lupo Mariategui was not married to Felipa Velasco, thus making their three children.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Lupo Mariategui and Felipa Velasco were lawfully married, thus entitling Jacinto,
Julian, and Pauline to share in Lupo’s estate as compulsory heirs.

Held:
1. Yes, a marriage may be presumed to have taken place between Lupo and Felipa even
though no record of marriage exists, provided all requisites for a valid marriage are
present and the couple conduct themselves as husband and wife.

Lupo Mariategui and Felipa Velasco were alleged to have been lawfully married in or about 1930. This
fact is based on the declaration communicated by Lupo Mariategui to Jacinto who testified that "when
(his) father was still living, he was able to mention to (him) that he and (his) mother were able to get
married before a Justice of the Peace of Taguig, Rizal." The spouses deported themselves as husband and
wife, and were known in the community to be such. Although no marriage certificate was introduced to
this effect, no evidence was likewise offered to controvert these facts. Moreover, the mere fact that no
record of the marriage exists does not invalidate the marriage, provided all requisites for its validity are
present

Under these circumstances, a marriage may be presumed to have taken place between Lupo and Felipa.
The laws presume that a man and a woman, deporting themselves as husband and wife, have entered
into a lawful contract of marriage; that a child born in lawful wedlock, there being no divorce, absolute or
Page 56 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

from bed and board is legitimate; and that things have happened according to the ordinary course of
nature and the ordinary habits of life.

Courts look upon the presumption of marriage with great favor as it is founded on the following rationale:

The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is that of marriage.
Marriage in this jurisdiction is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an
institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested.
Consequently, every intendment of the law leans toward legalizing matrimony.
Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of
any counterpresumption or evidence special to that 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 the constant
violation of decency and of law . . . (Adong vs. Cheong Seng Gee, 43 Phil. 43, 56
[1922] quoted in Alavado vs. City Government of Tacloban, 139 SCRA 230 [1985]).

So much so that once a man and a woman have lived as husband and wife and such relationship is not
denied nor contradicted, the presumption of their being married must be admitted as a fact.

Considering the effectivity of the Family Code of the Philippines, this case at bar must be decided under
such new rules. under Title VI of the Family Code, there are only two classes of children — legitimate and
illegitimate.

Article 172 of the said Code provides that the filiation of legitimate children may be established by the
record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment or by the open and continuous possession
of the status of a legitimate child.

Evidence on record proves the legitimate filiation of the private respondents. Jacinto's birth certificate is
a record of birth referred to in the said article. Again, no evidence which tends to disprove facts contained
therein was adduced before the lower court. In the case of the two other private respondents, Julian and
Paulina, they may not have presented in evidence any of the documents required by Article 172 but they
continuously enjoyed the status of children of Lupo Mariategui in the same manner as their brother
Jacinto.

While the trial court found Jacinto's testimonies to be inconsequential and lacking in substance as to
certain dates and names of relatives with whom their family resided, these are but minor details. The
nagging fact is that for a considerable length of time and despite the death of Felipa in 1941, the private
respondents and Lupo lived together until Lupo's death in 1953. It should be noted that even the trial
court mentioned in its decision the admission made in the affidavit of Cresenciana Mariategui Abas, one
of the petitioners herein, that " . . . Jacinto, Julian and Paulina Mariategui ay pawang mga kapatid ko
sa ama . . ."

Clearly, Jacinto, Julian, and Paulina are legitimate children and heirs of Lupo Mariategui.

Page 57 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

REPUBLIC VS. DAYOT


G.R. No. 175581
Cohabitation for 5 years in sine qua non for exceptional marriage without a license (Art. 27-34)

Facts:

On 24 November 1986, Jose and Felisa Tecson-Dayot were married at Pasay City Hall by Revered
Thomas Atienza. In lieu of a marriage license, the couple executed a sworn affidavit on even date,
attesting that they had attained age of maturity, and that being unmarried, they had lived together as
husband and wife for at least five years.

On 7 July 1993, Jose filed a complaint for Annulment and/or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage with the
RTC. He contended his marriage with Felisa, who was his landlady, was a sham because no marriage
ceremony was celebrated, he did not execute such sworn affidavit, and his consent to the marriage was
secured through fraud. He claimed Felisa cajoled him into signing the affidavit or else her brother would
kill him for learning about their relationship. He learned in February 1987 that he contracted marriage
with Felisa and discovered a copy of his marriage contract. Meanwhile, Felisa feigned ignorance.

Felisa denied Jose’s allegations and defended the validy of their marriage. She added that while their
marriage subsisted, Jose contracted a subsequent marriage with a certain Rufina Pascual on 31 August
1990. She filed an action for bigamy and an administrative complaint against Jose, who worked at the
National Statistics and Coordinating Board.

The RTC dismissed Jose’s complaint and held that his marriage to Felisa was valid. Evidence showed
that Jose had only given fraud as a lame excuse, and that his sister testified that she witnessed the
marriage and signed as a witness.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the (1) ground for annulment of marriage for fraud under
Article 86 of the Civil Code did not exist between the parties; and (2) the absence of the marriage license
did not render the marriage void because the solemnizing officer relied in good faith on their sworn
affidavit. On motion for reconsideration, the CA reversed itself and declared the marriage void ab initio,
and cited Nial vs. Bayadog and held that Jose and Felisa did not comply with the five-year cohabitation
period.

The Office of the Solicitor General, however, appealed to the Supreme Court and argued the marriage
was valid, due to the presumption of a valid marriage between the two. Felisa also alleged that the case
differs from Nial vs Bayadog, and that any doubt should be resolved in favor of marriage.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Jose and Felisa’s marriage is void ab initio given the falsity of the affidavit of
marital cohabitation.

Held:
1. Yes, the marriage is void ab initio. For the exception of cohabitation under Article 76 of
the Civil Code to apply, it is a sine qua non thereto that the man and the woman must
have attained the age of majority, and that, being unmarried, they have lived together
as husband and wife for at least five years.

Page 58 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Marriages of exceptional character are, doubtless, the exceptions to the rule on the indispensability of the
formal requisite of a marriage license. Under the rules of statutory construction, exceptions, as a general
rule, should be strictly. but reasonably construed. They extend only so far as their language fairly
warrants, and all doubts should be resolved in favor of the general provisions rather than the exception.
Where a general rule is established by statute with exceptions, the court will not curtail the former or add
to the latter by implication. For the exception in Article 76 to apply, it is a sine qua non thereto that the
man and the woman must have attained the age of majority, and that, being unmarried, they have
lived together as husband and wife for at least five years.

A strict but reasonable construction of Article 76 leaves us with no other expediency but to read the law
as it is plainly written. The exception of a marriage license under Article 76 applies only to those who
have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and desire to marry each other. The Civil
Code, in no ambiguous terms, places a minimum period requirement of five years of cohabitation. No
other reading of the law can be had, since the language of Article 76 is precise. The minimum requisite of
five years of cohabitation is an indispensability carved in the language of the law. For a marriage
celebrated under Article 76 to be valid, this material fact cannot be dispensed with. It is embodied in the
law not as a directory requirement, but as one that partakes of a mandatory character. It is worthy to
mention that Article 76 also prescribes that the contracting parties shall state the requisite facts in an
affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths; and that the official, priest or minister
who solemnized the marriage shall also state in an affidavit that he took steps to ascertain the ages and
other qualifications of the contracting parties and that he found no legal impediment to the marriage.

Jose and Felisa have not lived together for five years at the time they executed their sworn affidavit and
contracted marriage.The Republic admitted that Jose and Felisa started living together only in June
1986, or barely five months before the celebration of their marriage. The falsity of the affidavit dated 24
November 1986, executed by Jose and Felisa to exempt them from the requirement of a marriage license,
is beyond question.

We cannot accept the insistence of the Republic that the falsity of the statements in the parties affidavit
will not affect the validity of marriage, since all the essential and formal requisites were complied
with. The argument deserves scant merit. Patently, it cannot be denied that the marriage between Jose
and Felisa was celebrated without the formal requisite of a marriage license. Neither did Jose and Felisa
meet the explicit legal requirement in Article 76, that they should have lived together as husband and
wife for at least five years, so as to be excepted from the requirement of a marriage license.

Essentially, when we speak of a presumption of marriage, it is with reference to the prima


facie presumption that a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into
a lawful contract of marriage. Restated more explicitly, persons dwelling 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 present case does not involve an apparent marriage to which the presumption still needs to
be applied.

The solemnization of a marriage without prior license is a clear violation of the law and would lead or
could be used, at least, for the perpetration of fraud against innocent and unwary parties, which was one
of the evils that the law sought to prevent by making a prior license a prerequisite for a valid marriage.
To permit a false affidavit to take the place of a marriage license is to allow an abject circumvention of the
law.

Page 59 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

DOMINGO VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 104818, 17 September 1993
(Art. 35)

Facts:

On 29 May 1991, Delia Domingo filed before the RTC a petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and
Separation of Property against Robert Domingo. Delia alleged they were married on 29 November 1976 at
YMCA Youth Center Building, as evidenced by a Marriage Contract with Marriage License issued at
Carmona, Cavite. Delia alleged she only found out Robert had a previous valid and subsisting marriage
with Emerlina dela Paz when the latter sued them for bigamy sometime in 1983.

Delia added that she has been working in Saudi Arabia and only comes home to the Philippines for her
annual one-month vacation since 1983, while Robert has been unemployed and completely dependent on
her support. Delia averred she purchased real and purchased real and personal properties totaling
P350,000 under the possession of Roberto. However, in 1989, Delia learned Roberto had been disposing of
her properties without her consent and he had been cohabiting with another woman. Delia prayed for (1)
a preliminary injunction to enjoin Roberto from exercising any act of administration; (2) ownership over
said properties and that their marriage be declared void; and (3) She be declared sole and exclusive owner
of all properties acquired at the time of their void marriage; and (4) said properties be placed under
proper manage and administration of her brother, her attorney-in-fact.

Robert countered by filing a motion to dismiss on the ground that their marriage is void ab initio, thus the
petition for declaration of nullity is superfluous. The RTC denied the motion to dismiss. Robert filed a
petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals, which was dismissed.

The CA held that separation and subsequent distribution of properties acquired during the marriage can
only be had upon proper determination of the status of the marital relationship, whether or not the
validity of the first marriage is denied by Robert. The CA added that the declaration of nullity of marriage
may be invoked in this proceeding together with partition and distribution of the properties involved.

Before the SC, Delia p argued such a judicial declaration is necessary not for purposes of remarriage, but
to provide a basis for separation and distribution of the properties acquired during the marriage. Robert
claimed that, under Article 40 of the Family Code, a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of
marriage is required only for purposes of remarriage.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not such a judicial declaration of void marriage be filed only for purposes of
remarriage, not for declaration of nullity of marriage and separation of property.

Page 60 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, 40 does not limit a judicial declaration of nullity for remarriage for only remarriage,
but, rather, mandates that such declaration is the sole basis or evidence of nullity that
will allow any person to prove the previous marriage was a nullity, thus allowing one to
remarry. Moreover a final judgment declaring marriage void ab initio provides for
liquidation, partition, and distribution of properties of the spouses, custody and
support of the common children and delivery of their presumptive legitimes as per
Article 43 of the Family Code.

Jurisprudence prior to the effectivity of the Family Code fluctuated on requiring a judicial declaration of
nullity of a marriage void ab initio. The Family Code came and once and for all settled conflicting
jurisprudence on the matter. A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required
either as a cause of action or a ground for defense.

The Family Law Revision Committee and Civil Code Revision Committee took the position that a parties
in a marriage should not be allowed to assume their marriage is void even if such be the fact, but must
secure a judicial declaration of the nullity of their marriage to re-marry.

Article 40 of the Family Code provides: 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. (n)

Where the absolute nullity of a previous marriage is sought to be invoked for purposes of contracting a
second marriage, the sole basis acceptable in law for said projected marriage be free from legal infirmity
is a final judgment declaring the previous marriage void.

That Article 40 as finally formulated included the significant clause denotes that such final judgment
declaring the previous marriage void need not be obtained only for purposes of remarriage. Undoubtedly,
one can conceive of other instances where a party might well invoke the absolute nullity of a previous
marriage for purposes other than remarriage, such as in case of an action for liquidation, partition,
distribution and separation of property between the erstwhile spouses, as well as an action for the
custody and support of their common children and the delivery of the latters' presumptive legitimes. In
such cases, evidence needs must be adduced, testimonial or documentary, to prove the existence of
grounds rendering such a previous marriage an absolute nullity.

These need not be limited solely to an earlier final judgment of a court declaring such previous marriage
void. Hence, in the instance where a party who has previously contracted a marriage which remains
subsisting desires to enter into another marriage which is legally unassailable, he is required by law to
prove that the previous one was an absolute nullity. But this he may do on the basis solely of a final
judgment declaring such previous marriage void.

The distinction is due to the fact that marriage is safeguarded by the Constitution as an inviolable social
institution. As a matter of policy, the nullification of marriage for the purpose of contracting another
cannot be accomplished on the basis of perception of both parties or absence of essential requisites that
would render marriage void ipso jure.

Clearly, Robert’s interpretation of Article 40 is restrictive due to a misplaced emphasis on the term
“solely” as anticipated by the members of the Family Law Revision Committee. He incorrectly asserts
that Delia should have filed an ordinary civil action for recovery of properties.

Page 61 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

The CA correctly concluded that the prayer for declaration of nullity of marriage may be raised together
with other incidents of marriage such as the separation of their properties.

When a marriage is declared void ab initio, the law states that the final judgment shall provide for
liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, the custody and support of the
common children, and the delivery of their presumptive legitimes, unless such matters had been
adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings. (See Article 43 of FC).

Therefore, Delia’s ultimate prayer for separation of property will simply be one of the necessary
consequences of the judicial declaration of absolute nullity of their marriage. The Family Code has clearly
provided the effects of the declaration of nullity of marriage, one of which is the separation of property
according to the regime of property relations governing them.

Page 62 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. COURT OF APPEALS & MOLINA


G.R. No. 108763, 13 February 1997
Guidelines in actions to declare marriage void on the ground of Psychological Incapacity

Facts:

On 16 August 1990, Roridel Molina filed a verified petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage to
Reynaldo Molina. They were married on 14 April 1985 at San Agustin Church in Manila and later had a
son, Andre.

After a year of marriage, Reynaldo showed signs of immaturity and irresponsibility as a husband and a
father since (1) he preferred to spend more time with his peers and friends on whom he squandered his
money; (2) he depended on his parents for aid and assistance; (3) he was never honest with his wife in
regard to their finances; (4) sometime in February 1986, Reynaldo was relieved of his job and she has
been the sole breadwinner since then; (5) in October 1986, they had an intense quarrel that caused them
to be estranged; (6) in March 1987, Roridel resigned from her job and went to live with her parents in
Baguio City and that Reynaldo left Roridel and Andre since then.

Ultimately, Roridel alleged that Reynaldo has shown himself psychologically incapable of complying with
essential marital obligations and was a highly immature and habitually quarrelsome individual who
thought of himself as a king to be served.

Reynaldo admitted he and Roridel no longer lived together for more than 3 years, but countered that their
misunderstandings were due to (1) Roridel’s strange behavior of insisting on maintaining her group of
friends even after their marriage; (2) Roridel’s refusal to perform some of her marital duties such as
cooking meals; and (3) Roridel’s failure to run the household and handle their finances.

The RTC declared the marriage void. The Solicitor General appealed to the CA, but the latter affirmed
the trial court. The Solicitor General appealed to the SC, arguing that the CA incorrectly applied the
phrase psychological incapacity under Art. 36 of the Family Code. The Solicitor General argued that
“opposing and conflicting personalities” is not equivalent to psychological incapacity, which does not
simply mean neglect by the parties of their marital responsibilities and duties, but a defect in their
psychological nature which renders them incapable of performing such responsibilities and duties.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that “opposing and conflicting personalities” is
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code

Page 63 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. Yes, the CA erred. “Opposing and conflicting personalities” is not psychological
capacity. In this case, there is no clear showing of psychological incapacity, but more of
a difficulty or outright refusal or neglect in the performance of some marital
obligations. It must be proven that the parties failed to meet their marital
responsibilities and duties because they are incapable of doing so due to some
psychological (not physical) illness.

In Leouel Santos vs Court of Appeals, the Court ruled that psychological incapacity refers to no less than a
mental health (not physical) incapacity, and that there is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law
is to confine the meaning of psychological incapacity to the most serious cases of personality disorders
clearly demonstrative of utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.
This psychologic condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated. Citing Dr. Gerardo Veloso, a
former judge of the Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal of the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, Justice Vitug
wrote that psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity; (b) juridical antecedence, and (c)
incurability.

In the case at bar, there is no clear showing that the psychological defect spoken of is an incapacity. It
appears more of a difficulty. if not outright refusal or neglect in the performance of some marital
obligations. Mere showing of irreconciliable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitutes
psychological incapacity. It is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and
duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some
psychological (not physical) illness.

The evidence showing that the spouses could not get along with each other has no showing of gravity of
the problem, neither its juridical antecedence nor incurability. 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 Reynaldos part and 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 loves temporary blindness to the faults and blemishes
of the beloved.

In view of the novelty of Art. 36 of the Family Code and the difficulty experienced by many trial courts in
interpreting and applying it, the Court decided to invite two amici curiae, namely, the Most Reverend
Oscar V. Cruz, Vicar Judicial (Presiding Judge) of the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the
Catholic Church in the Philippines, and Justice Ricardo C. Puno, a member of the Family Code Revision
Committee. The Court takes this occasion to thank these friends of the Court for their informative and
interesting discussions during the oral argument on December 3, 1996, which they followed up with
written memoranda.

The following guidelines in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code are 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. Thus, our Constitution devotes an entire Article on the Family, recognizing it as

Page 64 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

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 psychological -- not 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 characteriological 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.”
Page 65 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

(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
vinculi contemplated under Canon 1095.

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 evidence --
what 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 Church
-- while remaining independent, separate and apart from each other -- shall walk together in synodal
cadence towards the same goal of protecting and cherishing marriage and the family as the inviolable
base of the nation.

Page 66 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

LEOUEL SANTOS VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 112019, 4 January 1995
Art. 36

Facts:

On 20 September 1986, Leouel Santos and Julia Bedia exchanged vows before MTC Judge Lazaro of Iloili
City, followed, shortly thereafter, by a church wedding. Leouel and Julia lived with the latter’s parents at
the J. Bedia Compund, La Paz, Iloilo City. On 18 July 1987, Leouel Jr. was born.

The marriage did not last. Leouel averred it was bound to happen because Julia’s parents requently
interfered into their family affairs. This made the couple quarrel frequently over a number of things, like
when they should start living independently or whenever Julia would express resentment when Leouel
spent a few days with his own parents.

On 19 May 1988, Julia left for the US to work as a nurse despite Leouel’s pleas. Seven months later, she
called Leouel for the first time by long distance telephone and promised to return home upon expiration of
her contract in July 1989. She never came back.Leouel got the chance to visit Julia when he went
underwent a training program under the AFP from 1 April to 25 August 1990 in the US. He desperately
tried to locate or get in touch with Julia, but to no avail.

Leouel filed with the RTC a complaint for voiding of marriage under Article 36. Summons was served by
publication in a newspaper of general circulation in Negros Oriental. The Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor ruled out possible collusion between the parties to nullify their marriage.

On 25 October 1991, Julia manifested she would neither appear nor submit evidence. The RTC then
dismissed the case. Leouel appealed to the CA, but the latter affirmed the RTC. Before the SC, Leouel
argued that Julia’s failure to come home or at least communicate with him for more than 5 years are
circumstances that show her being psychologically incapacitated to enter into married life. Leouel said
there was no love, no affection because Julia failed to communicate with him.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Julia’s actions are proof of psychological capacity under Article 36 of the Family
Code.

Held:
1. No, Julia’s actions are not proof of psychological incapacity.

The Family Code Revision Committee did not define nor give examples of psychological incapacity for the
fear that giving such would limit the applicability of the provision under the principle of ejusdem generis.
Article 36 is similar to Canon 1095 of New Code of Canon Law, which reads: “they are incapable of
contracting marriage: (1) who lack sufficient use of reason; (2) who suffer from a grave defect of discretion
of judgment concerning essential matrimonial rights and duties, to be given and accepted mutually; (3)
who for causes of psychological nature are unable to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

Although neither decisive nor persuasive, jurisprudence under Canon law cannot be dismissed as
impertinent for its value as an aid, at least, to the interpretation or construction of the codal provision.
Ladislas Orsy, S.J., wrote that psychological incapacity defies any precise definition since psychological
causes can be of an infinite variety.
Page 67 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Justice Sempio-Diy cites with approval the work of Dr. Gerardo Veloso, a former Presiding Judge of the
Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal of the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (Branch 1), who opines that
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.

The use of the phrase "psychological incapacity" under Article 36 of the Code has not been meant to
comprehend all such possible cases of psychoses as, likewise mentioned by some ecclesiastical authorities,
extremely low intelligence, immaturity, and like circumstances.

Article 36 of the Family Code cannot be taken and construed independently of, but must stand in
conjunction with, existing precepts in our law on marriage. Thus correlated, "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 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 or inability to give
meaning and significance to the marriage. This psychological condition must exist at the time the
marriage is celebrated. The law does not evidently envision, upon the other hand, an inability of the
spouse to have sexual relations with the other. This conclusion is implicit under Article 54 of the Family
Code which considers children conceived prior to the judicial declaration of nullity of the void marriage to
be "legitimate."

Other forms of psychoses, if existing at the inception of marriage, like the state of a party being of
unsound mind or concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, homosexuality or lesbianism,
merely renders the marriage contract voidable pursuant to Article 46, Family Code. If drug addiction,
habitual alcholism, lesbianism or homosexuality should occur only during the marriage, they become
mere grounds for legal separation under Article 55 of the Family Code. These provisions of the Code,
however, do not necessarily preclude the possibility of these various circumstances being themselves,
depending on the degree and severity of the disorder, indicia of psychological incapacity.

Every circumstance that may have some bearing on the degree, extent, and other conditions of that
incapacity must, in every case, be carefully examined and evaluated so that no precipitate and
indiscriminate nullity is peremptorily decreed. The well-considered opinions of psychiatrists,
psychologists, and persons with expertise in psychological disciplines might be helpful or even desirable.

The factual settings in the case at bench, in no measure at all, can come close to the standards required to
decree a nullity of marriage. 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.

Page 68 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. QUINTERO-HAMANO


G.R. No. 149498, 20 May 2004
Art. 36

Facts:

On 17 June 1996, Lolita Quintero-Hamana filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage to her
husband Toshio Hamano, a Japanese national, on the ground of psychological incapacity. She alleged that
in 1986, they started a common-law relationship in Japan and later lived in the Philippines for a month.
After, Toshio went back to Japan and stayed there for half of 1987. She gave birth to their child in
November 1987.

Judge Balderia of MTC Cavite married them on 14 January 1988. Unknown to her, Toshio was
psychologically incapacitated to assume his marital responsibilities, which only manifested after the
marriage. A month after their marriage, Toshio returned to Japan and promised to return by Christmas.
However, he stopped sending money. She wrote to Toshio, but he never responded. Sometime in 1991, she
learned Toshio visited the Philippines but did not bother to see them.

Prosecutor Gonzales filed a report finding no collusion between the two, and prayed that the Provincial
Prosecutor be allowed to intervene to ensure evidence was submitted and not fabricated. The RTC
eventually declared the marriage null and void, holding that Toshio was psychologically incapacitated to
fulfill his obligations as husband and father for remaining irresponsible and unconcerned over the needs
and welfare for his family, and the insensitivity and lack of respect for wife and child show he is very
immature.

The Office of the Solicitor General appealed to the CA, but the RTC was affirmed. The CA held that
Toshio was psychologically incapacitated to perform his marital obligations to his family, and to preserve
mutual love, respect, and fidelity and render mutual help and support pursuant to Article 68 of the
Family Code. The CA added the case is different from Republic vs Molina and Santos vs CA, which
involved Filipino spouses while the instant case involved a mix marriage.

The OSG argued (1) Toshio’s abandonment and insensitivity to his family did not constitute psychological
incapacity, but simple inadequacy in the personality of a spouse falling short of reasonable expectations;
and (2) Lolita failed to prove any severe and incurable personality disorder on Toshio’s part, according to
the guidelines in the Molina case.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the CA correctly held that Toshio is psychologically incapacitated.

Held:
1. No, psychological incapacity cannot be presumed from mere abandonment. It must be
proven that the spouse be incapable of fulfilling essential marital obligations due to
some psychological or mental illness.

The guidelines in the Molina case incorporate the 3 basic requirements mandated by the Court in Santos
vs CA: psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity; (b) juridical antecedence; and (c)
incurability. These guidelines do not require that physician examine the person, but that the root cause
may be medically or clinically identified. What is important is the presence of evidence that can

Page 69 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

adequately establish the party’s psychological condition. Evidence that sustains a finding of psychological
incapacity renders a medical examination unnecessary.

The totality of evidence (Toshio’s actions) fell short of proving psychological incapacity. Toshio’s
abandonment was irresponsible, but never alleged nor proven to be due to some kind of psychological
illness or psychological disorder. Although a medical examination is not required, it would have greatly
helped Lolita’s case in presenting proof that Toshio is medically or clinically ill.

Abandonment, moreover, is a ground for legal separation. We cannot presume psychological defect from
the mere fact that Toshio abandoned his family immediately after the celebration of the marriage. As we
ruled in Molina, 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. There was no proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor in the
person, an adverse integral element in the personality structure that effectively incapacitates a person
from accepting and complying with the obligations essential to marriage.

The rules in the Molina case likewise apply for determining psychological incapacity regardless of
nationality. The medical and clinical rules to determine psychological incapacity were formulated on the
basis of studies of human behavior in general.

Page 70 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

CHOA VS. CHOA


G.R. No. 143376, 26 November 2002
Art. 36

Facts:

Leni and Alfonso Choa married on 15 March 1981. They had two children, Cheryl Lynne and Albryan. On
27 October 1993, Alfonso filed before the RTC Negros Occidental a complaint for the annulment of their
marriage. He filed an amended complaint for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Leni based on
her alleged psychological incapacity.

Alfonso submitted his evidence in chief during trial, but Leni filed a motion to dismiss (demurrer to
evidence). The RTC denied Leni’s motion on the ground that Alfonso established a quantum of evidence
that she must c ontrovert. Leni filed a motion to reconsider but was denied again. She petitioned for
certiorari before the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the RTC.

Before the Supreme Court, Leni argued that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying her
motion to dismiss.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying Leni’s motion to dismiss
on the ground that Alfonso had established a quantum of evidence that she must controvert.

Held:
1. Yes, the evidence against Leni is grossly insufficient to support any finding of
psychological incapacity what would warrant a declaration of nullity of the marriage.

First, Alfonso claims that Leni’s series of charges against him are proof of psychological incapacity:
perjury, false testimony, concubinage, and deportation. According to him, these cases showed Leni wanted
to imprison him and banish him from the country. He contends this is abnormal for a wife, who instead of
protecting her husband’s integrity, acts to the contrary.

These documents clearly do not in any way show psychological incapacity of Leni. It is the height of
absurdity and inequity to condemn her as psychologically incapacitated to fulfill her marital obligations,
simply because she filed cases against him. The evidence presented, even if taken as true, merely
establishes the prosecution of the cases against him. To rule that the filings are sufficient to establish her
psychological incapacity is not only totally erroneous, but also grave abuse of discretion bordering on
absurdity.

Moreover, Alfonso’s testimony complains about three aspects of Leni’s personality: her alleged (1) lack of
attention to their children, (2) immaturity and (3) lack of an intention of procreative sexuality. None of
these three, singly or collectively, constitutes psychological incapacity. Far from it. Santos vs CA clearly
explained that psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity; (b) juridical antecedence;
and (c) incurability. Furthermore, in Republic v. Molina, we ruled that the psychological incapacity must
be more than just a difficulty, a refusal or a neglect in the performance of some marital obligations. We
stressed that a mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise
constitutes psychological incapacity.

Page 71 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

In the case at bar, the evidence adduced by respondent merely shows that he and his wife could not get
along with each other. There was absolutely no showing of the gravity or juridical antecedence or
incurability of the problems besetting their marital union.

Sorely lacking in respondents evidence is proof that the psychological incapacity was grave enough to
bring about the disability of a party to assume the essential obligations of marriage. In Molina, we
affirmed that mild characterological peculiarities, mood changes and occasional emotional outbursts
cannot be accepted as root causes of psychological incapacity. The illness must be shown as downright
incapacity or inability, not a refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will. In other words, there should
be 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.

Third. Most telling is the insufficiency, if not incompetency, of the supposed expert testimony presented
by respondent. His witness, Dr. Antonio M. Gauzon, utterly failed to identify and prove the root cause of
the alleged psychological incapacity. Specifically, his testimony did not show that the incapacity, if true,
was medically or clinically permanent or incurable. Neither did he testify that it was grave enough to
bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

His testimony established merely that the spouses had an incompatibility, a defect that could possibly be
treated or alleviated through psychotherapy. We need not expound further on the patent insufficiency of
the expert testimony to establish the psychological incapacity of petitioner.

Furthermore, the assessment of petitioner by Dr. Gauzon was based merely on descriptions
communicated to him by respondent. The doctor never conducted any psychological examination of
her. Neither did he ever claim to have done

Obviously, Dr. Gauzon had no personal knowledge of the facts he testified to, as these had merely been
relayed to him by respondent. The former was working on pure suppositions and secondhand information
fed to him by one side. Consequently, his testimony can be dismissed as unscientific and unreliable even
if he assessed such descriptions for at least 15 hours.

We are, of course, mindful of the ruling that a medical examination is not a conditiosine qua non to a
finding of psychological incapacity, so long as the totality of evidence presented is enough to establish the
incapacity adequately. Here, however, the totality of evidence presented by respondent was completely
insufficient to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity -- more so without any medical, psychiatric or
psychological examination.

Page 72 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ANTONIO VS. REYES


G.R. No. 155800, 10 March 2006
Art. 36

Facts:

Leonilo Antonio and Marie Reyes met in 1989. Leonilo was 26 and Marie was 36. They got married barely
a year after they met. They exchanged voyws before a minister of the Gospel at the Manila City Hall, and
later had a church wedding at Sta. Rosa de Lima Parish, Pasig on 6 December 1990. They had a child,
born 19 April 1991, but sadly died 5 months later.

On 8 March 1993, Antonio filed a petition to have his marriage to respondent declared null and void
under Article 36 of the Family Code. He alleged that Reyes was psychologically incapacitated to comply
with the essential obligations of marriage at the time their marriage was celebrated and still subsists up
to present.

Antonio claimed Reyes persistently lied about herself, the people around her, her job, her income, her
educational attainment and other events or things, like previously giving birth to an illegitimate son,
whom Antonio believed was an adopted child. Reyes only revealed the truth to him after their marriage
when Antonio learned of it from others. She fabricated an untrue story that her brother-in-law attempted
to rape and kill her. She misrepresented herself as a psychiatrist to her obstetrician. She claimed to be a
singer or a free-lance voice talent affiliated with Blackgold Recording Company. She invented friends
named Babes Santos and Via Marquez, and under those names, sent lengthy letters to Antonio claiming
to be from Blackgold and touting her as the number one moneymaker in the commercial industry. She
also represented herself as a person of greater means, thus altering her payslip. She exhibited
insecurities and jealousy over Antonio to the extent of calling his officemates to monitor his whereabouts.

Antonio presented psychiatrist Dr. Abcede and clinical psychologist Dr. Lopez who stated, based on tests
they conducted on Antonio, he wis essentially a normal, introspective, shy, and a conservative type of
person. Reyes, on the other hand, was abnormal or pathological, thus undermining the basic relationship
that should be based on love, trust, and respect. Reyes’s extreme jealousy was also pathological, reaching
the point of paranoia since there was no actual basis for her to suspect Antonio was having another affair.

Reyes argued that apart from her non-disclosure of a child prior to the marriage, the other lies were
mostly hearsay. She presented psychiatrist Dr. Reyes to refute the allegations about her psychological
condition. Dr. Reyes conducted the Comprehensive Psycho-Pathological Rating Scale, which he himself
conducted, to show that Reyes was not psychologically incapacitated.

The RTC gave credence to Antonio’s evidence, holding that Reyes’s propensity to lie about anything
enabled her to live in a world of make-believe, thus psychologically incapacitated rendering her incapable
of giving meaning and significance to her marriage. Later, the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese
of Manila annulled the Catholic marriage on the ground of lack of due discretion on part of the parties.
Such was affirmed by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, which held only Reyes was impaired
by lack of due discretion. The Roman Rota of the Vatican likewise upheld the National Appellate
Matrimonial Tribunal.

Antonio alerted the Court of Appeals of these rulings by the Catholic tribunals, but the CA still reversed
the RTC’s judgment. The CA held that the totality of evidence was insufficient to establish psychological
incapacity according to the guidelines in Republic vs Molina.
Page 73 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the case satisfies the guidelines in Molina re: psychological incapacity.

Held:
1. Yes, such guidelines were complied with.

First. Apart from his own testimony, he presented 2 expert witnesses who corroborated his allegations
who testified Reyes’s aberrant behavior was tantamount to psychological incapacity.

Second. The root case of her psychological incapacity has been medically identified, alleged in the
complaint, sufficiently proven by experts, and clearly explained in the trial court’s decision. Antonio’s two
witnesses based their conclusions of psychological incapacity on the case record, particularly the trial
transcripts of respondents testimony, as well as the supporting affidavits of petitioner. While these
witnesses did not personally examine respondent, the Court had already held in Marcos v. Marcos that
personal examination of the subject by the physician is not required for the spouse to be declared
psychologically incapacitated.

Third. Reyes’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 childs real
parentage as she only confessed when the latter had found out the truth after their marriage.

Fourth. The gravity of Reys’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 Antonio, it likewise supports the belief that Reyes’s psychological
incapacity, as borne by the record, was so grave in extent that any prolonged marital life was dubitable.

Reyes’s lies were not adopted as false pretenses to induce Antonio into marriage, but indicate a failure on
her part to distinguish truth from fiction, or at least abide by the truth. Her pathological nature was
emphasized and revelatory of her inability to understand and perform the essential obligations of
marriage. Her inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality would similarly be unable to
comprehend the legal nature of the marital bond, much less its psychic meaning, and the obligations
attached to marriage. One unable to adhere to reality cannot be expected to adhere as well to any legal or
emotional commitments.

Article 45(3) of the Family Code which states that a marriage may be annulled if the consent of either
party was obtained by fraud, and Article 46 which enumerates the circumstances constituting fraud
under the previous article, clarifies that no other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health,
rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of
marriage. It would be improper to draw linkages between misrepresentations made by respondent and
the misrepresentations under Articles 45 (3) and 46. The fraud under Article 45(3) vitiates the consent of
the spouse who is lied to, and does not allude to vitiated consent of the lying spouse. In this case, the
misrepresentations of respondent point to her own inadequacy to cope with her marital obligations,
kindred to psychological incapacity under Article 36.

Fifth. Reyes is unable to comply with her essential marital obligations under Articles 68 to 71 of the
Family Code.
Page 74 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Sixth. The CA erred when it failed to consider the fact that the marriage of the parties was annulled by
the Catholic church. 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
respondents condition was incurable and that Dr. Abcede did not testify to such effect. Reyes’s psychosis
is grave, but the experts remained silent on whether the psychological incapacity was curable or
incurable. There was good reason for their taciturnity There was no jurisprudential clarity at the time of
the trial of this case and the subsequent promulgation of the trial courts decision that required a medical
finding of incurability. Such requisite arose only with Molina in 1997, at a time when this case was on
appellate review, or after the reception of evidence. There was no legal necessity yet to elicit such a
declaration.

Article 36 of the Family Code states [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."
The concept of psychological incapacity as a ground for nullity of marriage is novel in our body of laws,
although mental incapacity has long been recognized as a ground for the dissolution of a marriage.

The Spanish Civil Code of 1889 prohibited from contracting marriage persons who are not in the full
enjoyment of their reason at the time of contracting marriage. Marriages with such persons were ordained
as void, in the same class as marriages with underage parties and persons already married, among
others. A partys mental capacity was not a ground for divorce under the Divorce Law of 1917, but a
marriage where either party was of unsound mind at the time of its celebration was cited as an
annullable marriage under the Marriage Law of 1929. Divorce on the ground of a spouses incurable
insanity was permitted under the divorce law enacted during the Japanese occupation.] Upon the
enactment of the Civil Code in 1950, a marriage contracted by a party of unsound mind was classified
under Article 85 of the Civil Code as a voidable marriage. The mental capacity, or lack thereof, of the
marrying spouse was not among the grounds for declaring a marriage void ab initio. Similarly, among the
marriages classified as voidable under Article 45 (2) of the Family Code is one contracted by a party of
unsound mind.

Such cause for the annulment of marriage is recognized as a vice of consent, just like insanity impinges on
consent freely given which is one of the essential requisites of a contract. The initial common consensus on
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code was that it did not constitute a specie of vice
of consent. Justices Sempio-Diy and Caguioa, both members of the Family Code revision committee that
drafted the Code, have opined that psychological incapacity is not a vice of consent, and conceded that the
spouse may have given free and voluntary consent to a marriage but was nonetheless incapable of
fulfilling such rights and obligations. Dr. Tolentino likewise stated in the 1990 edition of his
commentaries on the Family Code that this psychological incapacity to comply with the essential marital
obligations does not affect the consent to the marriage.

Concerns regarding Article 36 as not juridically different from physical incapacity of consummating
marriage, which is voidable under Article 45, were addressed beginning with Santos v. Court of
Appeals,[64] wherein the Court, through Justice Vitug, acknowledged that psychological incapacity should
Page 75 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

refer to no less than a mental (not 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.

The Molina case further affirmed the notion that psychological incapacity pertains to the inability to
understand the obligations of marriage as opposed to a mere inability to comply with them. Evidence
must must convince the court that the parties, or one of them, was mentally or psychically ill to such
extent that the person could not have known the obligations he was assuming, or knowing them, could
not have given valid assumption thereto.[67] Jurisprudence since then has recognized that psychological
incapacity is a malady so grave and permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and
responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume. The Family Code committee avoided
specific examples of psychological incapacity and preferred the judge to interpret the provision on a case-
to-case basis, guided by experience, in the findings of experts and researchers in
psychological disciplines, and by decisions of church tribunals which, although not binding
on the civil courts, may be given persuasive effect since the provision was taken from Canon Law.

The definition of psychological incapacity, as intended by the revision committee, was not cast in
intractable specifics. Judicial understanding of psychological incapacity may be informed by evolving
standards, taking into account the particulars of each case, current trends in psychological and even
canonical thought, and experience. It is under the auspices of the deliberate ambiguity of the framers that
the Court has developed the Molina rules, which have been consistently applied since 1997. Molina has
proven indubitably useful in providing a unitary framework that guides courts in adjudicating petitions
for declaration of nullity under Article 36. At the same time, the Molina guidelines are not set in stone,
the clear legislative intent mandating a case-to-case perception of each situation, and Molina itself
arising from this evolutionary understanding of Article 36. There is no cause to disavow Molina at
present, and indeed the disposition of this case shall rely primarily on that precedent. There is need
though to emphasize other perspectives as well which should govern the disposition of petitions for
declaration of nullity under Article 36.

Of particular notice has been the citation of the Court, first in Santos then in Molina, of the considered
opinion of canon law experts in the interpretation of psychological incapacity. This is but unavoidable,
considering that the Family Code committee had bluntly acknowledged that the concept of psychological
incapacity was derived from canon law, and as one member admitted, enacted as a solution to the
problem of marriages already annulled by the Catholic Church but still existent under civil law.

It would be disingenuous to disregard the influence of Catholic Church doctrine in the formulation and
subsequent understanding of Article 36, and the Court has expressly acknowledged that interpretations
given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the local Church, while not controlling or
decisive, should be given great respect by our courts. Indeed, while Church thought on psychological
incapacity is merely persuasive on the trial courts, judicial decisions of this Court interpreting
psychological incapacity are binding on lower courts.

The Constitution itself does not establish the parameters of state protection to marriage as a social
institution and the foundation of the family. It remains the province of the legislature to define all legal
aspects of marriage and prescribe the strategy and the modalities to protect it, based on whatever socio-
political influences it deems proper, and subject of course to the qualification that such legislative
enactment itself adheres to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. While it may appear that the judicial
denial of a petition for declaration of nullity is reflective of the constitutional mandate to protect
marriage, such action in fact merely enforces a statutory definition of marriage, not a constitutionally
Page 76 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ordained decree of what marriage is. Indeed, if circumstances warrant, Sections 1 and 2 of Article XV
need not be the only constitutional considerations to be taken into account in resolving a petition for
declaration of nullity.

Indeed, Article 36 of the Family Code, in classifying marriages contracted by a psychologically


incapacitated person as a nullity, should be deemed as an implement of this constitutional protection of
marriage. Given the avowed State interest in promoting marriage as the foundation of the family, which
in turn serves as the foundation of the nation, there is a corresponding interest for the State to defend
against marriages ill-equipped to promote family life. Void ab initio marriages under Article 36 do not
further the initiatives of the State concerning marriage and family, as they promote wedlock among
persons who, for reasons independent of their will, are not capacitated to understand or comply with the
essential obligations of marriage.

Page 77 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

CHI MING TSOI VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 119190, 16 January 1997
Art. 36

Facts:

Chi Ming Tsoi and Gina Lao wed at Manila Cathedral on 22 May 1988. After their marriage and wedding
reception, they went and proceeded to Gina Lao’s mother’s house. They they slept together on the same
bed in the same room for the first night of their married life.

Contrary to Gina Lao’s expectations that newlyweds were supposed to enjoy making live with each other,
Chi Ming Tsoi just went to bed and slept on one side of the bed. There was no sexual intercourse during
the first night. And on the second night, third, and fourth nights.

They went to Baguio City to have their honeymoon in a private place to enjoy their first week as husband
and wife, but they did so with Gina Lao’s mother, an uncle, Chi Ming Tsoi’s mother and nephew –all
invited by Chi Ming Tsoi to join them. They were in Baguio for four days, but during this period there was
no sexual intercourse between them. Chi Ming Tsoi avoided her by taking a long walk during siesta time
or by just sleeping on a rocking chair located in the living room. They slept in the same room together
since 22 may 1988 until 15 March 1989, but there was no attempt of sexual intercourse. Gina Lao claimed
she never even saw her husband’s private parts, nor did he see hers.

They submitted themselves for medical examinations to Dr. Macalalag, a urologist on 20 January 1989.
Gina Lao was healthy, normal, and still a virgin while Chi Ming Tsoi’s results were kept confidential up
to this time. The doctor prescribed medications for her husband, which was also kept confidential and he
was asked to return, but never did.

Gina Lao commenced an action for the annulment of marriage based on psychological incapacity. She
claimed that Chi Ming Tsoi is a impotent, a closet homosexual as he did not show his penis. She said that
she had observed him use an eyebrow pencil, his mother’s cleansing cream, and only married her to
maintain his residency status here in the country. She added that since their marriage on 22 May 1988
until their separation on 15 March 1989, there was no sexual contact between them.

Chi Ming Tsoi, on the other hand, claimed that should the marriage be annulled by reason of
psychological incapacity, the fault lies with Gina Lao. He alleged that he didn’t want his marriage to end
and that he still loves her very much and that whatever incapabilities he has is not uncurable. He added
that it was Gina Lao who did not want to have sexual intercourse.

Doctor Alteza examined Chi Ming Tsoi for impotency and found out that from the original size of two (2)
inches, or five (5) centimeters, the penis of the defendant lengthened by one (1) inch and one centimeter.
Dr. Alteza said, that the defendant had only a soft erection which is why his penis is not in its full length.
But, still is capable of further erection, in that with his soft erection, the defendant is capable of having
sexual intercourse with a woman.

The RTC, therefore, annulled the marriage and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Chi Ming Tsoi appealed to
the SC and argued that the CA erred in holding that refusal to have sexual intercourse with his wife is
psychological incapacity, despite absence of evidence proving such.

Issue(s):
Page 78 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

1. Whether or not the abnormal reluctance or unwillingness to consummate his marriage is


indicative of a serious personality disorder that amounts to psychological incapacity under Article
36.

Held:
1. Yes, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is "To procreate
children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual
cooperation is the basic end of marriage." Constant non-fulfillment of this obligation
will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage. In the case at bar, the
senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the above marital
obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.

Chi Ming Tsoi argues that there is no independent evidence on record to show that any of the parties is
suffering from psychological incapacity. He also claims that he wanted to have sex with Gina Lao’s; that
the reason for Gina Lao’s refusal may not be psychological but physical disorder as stated above. We do
not agree. He could have discussed with Gina Lao or asked her what is ailing her, but he never did. At the
very least, the record shows he never tried to discover what problem his wife was having. He claims he is
not impotent and capable of erection, but since his claim is not psychological, but perhaps physical, it is
incumbent upon him to prove such a claim.

"If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her essential marriage
obligations, and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to
psychological incapacity than to stubborn refusal. Senseless and protracted refusal is equivalent to
psychological incapacity. Thus, the prolonged refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or
her spouse is considered a sign of psychological incapacity."[ Constant non-fulfillment of this obligation
will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage. In the case at bar, the senseless and
protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the above marital obligation is equivalent to psychological
incapacity.

While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love,
respect and fidelity (Art. 68, Family Code), the sanction therefor is actually the "spontaneous, mutual
affection between husband and wife and not any legal mandate or court order" (Cuaderno vs. Cuaderno,
120 Phil. 1298). Love is useless unless it is shared with another. Indeed, no man is an island, the cruelest
act of a partner in marriage is to say "I could not have cared less." This is so because an ungiven self is an
unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing but himself. In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which
brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery of
creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family
relations.

It appears that there is absence of empathy between petitioner and private respondent. That is - a shared
feeling which between husband and wife must be experienced not only by having spontaneous sexual
intimacy but a deep sense of spiritual communion. Marital union is a two-way process. An expressive
interest in each other's feelings at a time it is needed by the other can go a long way in deepening the
marital relationship. Marriage is definitely not for children but for two consenting adults who view the
relationship with love amor gignit amorem, respect, sacrifice and a continuing commitment to
compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime social institution.

Page 79 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

This Court, finding the gravity of the failed relationship in which the parties found themselves trapped in
its mire of unfulfilled vows and unconsummated marital obligations, can do no less but sustain the
studied judgment of respondent appellate court.

Page 80 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

TE VS. TE
G.R. No. 161793, 13 February 2009
Art. 36

Facts:

Edward Kenneth Ngo Te met Rowena Ong Gutierrez Yu-Te in a gathering organized by the Filipino-
Chinese association in college. Although Edward was initially attracted to Rowena’s friend, he decided to
court Rowena in January 1996. He was a sophomore; she was a freshman. In March 1996, three months
after meeting, Rowena asked Edward to elope. At first he refused, bickering that he was young and
jobless. She persisted and he relented. They left Manila and sailed for Cebu. Edward’s P80,000, however,
only lasted a month. They went back to Manila in April 1996. Rowena went to her uncle’s house and
Edward to his parents’ home. Edward agreed to stay with Rowena at her uncle’s place because she
threatened she would commit suicide.

On 23 April 1996, Rowena’s uncle brought her and Edward to a court to get married. He was 25 and she
was 20. They stayed at her uncle’s place where Edward was treated like a prisoner; the uncle also showed
off his guns to Edward, threatening the latter not to leave Rowena, who insisted that Edward get his
inheritance from his father so they could live on their own.

Edward escaped from Rowena’s uncle after a month and stayed with his parents. His family hid them
from Rowena and her family whenever they phoned for him. He spoke to Rowena in 1996 and insisted
they live with his parents, but she said it was better for them to live separate lives.

On 18 June 2000, Edward filed a petition for annulment of his marriage to Rowena on the basis of her
psychological incapacity. Rowena didn’t answer, initially, and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)
entered its appearance and deputized the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) to appear on its behalf. The
OCP submitted a report, however, stating it could not determine collusion, thus recommending trial on
the merits.

The clinical psychologist who examined Edward found both of the psychologically incapacitated: Edwards
is extremely introverted to the point of weakening their relationship by his weak behavioral disposition
(dependent personality disorder) while Rowena is extremely exploitive and aggressive as to be unlawful,
insincere, and uncaring in her strides toward convenience and that she has grave and incurable
Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorder that started since childhood and manifested only during
marriage.

The RTC declared their marriage null on the ground that both Edward and Rowena were psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. The OSG appealed to the CA, which
reversed the RTC and held that Edward failed to prove Rowena’s psychological incapacity. The CA held
that the clinical psychologist did not personally examine Rowena and relied only on information given by
Edward. Likewise, psychological incapacity was not shown to be attended by gravity, juridical
antecedence, and incurability (falling short of the requirements stated in the Molina case).

Edward appealed to the SC, arguing that (1) a psychologist is not required to personally examine Rowena
and that (2) both he and Rowena are pscychologically incapacitated. The OSG argued the RTC decision
does not state (1) the essential marital obligations that the parties failed to comply with; (2) the root
cause of the psychological incapacity was neither medically or clinically identified; (3) the incapacity of

Page 81 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

the parties was not shown to be permanent or incurable; and (4) the clinical psychologist did not
personally examine Rowena.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Edward and Rowena’s marriage is void based on Article 36 of the Family Code.

Held:
1. Yes, Edward is afflicted with dependent personality disorder and Rowena with
antisocial personality disorder, as adequately and decisively evaluated by the expert
witness.

Psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code was not defined nor given examples by the
Family Code committee for it desired that courts should interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis,
guided by experience, the findings of experts and researchers in psychological disciplines, and by
decisions of church tribunals which, although not binding on the civil courts, may be given persuasive
effect since the provision itself was taken from the Canon Law.

Yet, as held in Santos, the phrase psychological incapacity is not meant to comprehend all possible cases
of psychoses. It refers to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly
noncognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the
parties to the marriage which, as 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. The
intendment of the law has been to confine it to the most serious of cases of personality disorders clearly
demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. This
interpretation is consistent with Canon Law, which incapacity specified by canon law is causes of a
psychological nature.

Noteworthy is that in Molina, while the majority of the Courts membership concurred in the ponencia of
then Associate Justice (later Chief Justice) Artemio V. Panganiban, three justices concurred in the result
and another threeincluding, as aforesaid, Justice Romerotook pains to compose their individual separate
opinions. Then Justice Teodoro R. Padilla even emphasized that each case must be judged, not on the
basis of a priori assumptions, predelictions or generalizations, but according to its own facts. In the field
of psychological incapacity as a ground for annulment of marriage, it is trite to say that no case is on all
fours with another case. The trial judge must take pains in examining the factual milieu and the
appellate court must, as much as possible, avoid substituting its own judgment for that of the trial court.

Lest it be misunderstood, we are not suggesting the abandonment of Molina in this case. We simply
declare that, as aptly stated by Justice Dante O. Tinga in Antonio v. Reyes, here is need to emphasize
other perspectives as well which should govern the disposition of petitions for declaration of nullity under
Article 36. At the risk of being redundant, we reiterate once more the principle that each case must be
judged, not on the basis of a priori assumptions, predilections or generalizations but according to its own
facts. And, to repeat for emphasis, courts should interpret the provision on a case-to-case basis; guided by
experience, the findings of experts and researchers in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of church
tribunals.

With the case at bar, by the very nature of Article 36, courts, despite having the primary task and burden
of decision-making, must not discount but, instead, must consider as decisive evidence the
expert opinion on the psychological and mental temperaments of the parties.

Page 82 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Hernandez v. Court of Appeals emphasizes the importance of presenting expert testimony to establish the
precise cause of a partys psychological incapacity, and to show that it existed at the inception of the
marriage. And as Marcos v. Marcos asserts, there is no requirement that the person to be declared
psychologically incapacitated be personally examined by a physician, if the totality of evidence presented
is enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity. Verily, the evidence must show a link, medical
or the like, between the acts that manifest psychological incapacity and the psychological disorder itself.

We mention nevertheless for emphasis, that the presentation of expert proof presupposes a thorough and
in-depth assessment of the parties by the psychologist or expert, for a conclusive diagnosis of a grave,
severe and incurable presence of psychological incapacity.

The psychological assessment, which we consider as adequate, produced the findings that both parties are
afflicted with personality disordersto repeat, dependent personality disorder for petitioner, and
narcissistic and antisocial personality disorder for respondent. We note that The Encyclopedia of Mental
Health discusses personality disorders as follows: …

Dependent personality disorder:

“A personality disorder characterized by a pattern of dependent and submissive


behavior. Such individuals usually lack self-esteem and frequently belittle their
capabilities; they fear criticism and are easily hurt by others comments. At times
they actually bring about dominance by others through a quest for overprotection.

Dependent personality disorder usually begins in early adulthood. Individuals who


have this disorder may be unable to make everyday decisions without advice or
reassurance from others, may allow others to make most of their important
decisions (such as where to live), tend to agree with people even when they believe
they are wrong, have difficulty starting projects or doing things on their own,
volunteer to do things that are demeaning in order to get approval from other
people, feel uncomfortable or helpless when alone and are often preoccupied with
fears of being abandoned.”

Antisocial personality disorder:

Characteristics include a consistent pattern of behavior that is intolerant of the


conventional behavioral limitations imposed by a society, an inability to sustain a
job over a period of years, disregard for the rights of others (either through
exploitiveness or criminal behavior), frequent physical fights and, quite commonly,
child or spouse abuse without remorse and a tendency to blame others. There is
often a faade of charm and even sophistication that masks disregard, lack of
remorse for mistreatment of others and the need to control others.

Although characteristics of this disorder describe criminals, they also may befit
some individuals who are prominent in business or politics whose habits of self-
centeredness and disregard for the rights of others may be hidden prior to a public
scandal.

Page 83 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

During the 19th century, this type of personality disorder was referred to as moral
insanity. The term described immoral, guiltless behavior that was not accompanied
by impairments in reasoning.

According to the classification system used in the Diagnostic and Statistical


Manual of Mental Disorders (3d ed., rev. 1987), anti-social personality disorder is
one of the four dramatic personality disorders, the others being borderline,
histrionic and narcissistic

Considering 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. Edward and Rowena’s
marriage is null on the ground of psychological incapacity.

Indeed, Edward, 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 (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. 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.

On the other hand, Rowena, who is 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 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.

Both parties being afflicted with grave, severe and incurable psychological incapacity, the precipitous
marriage which they contracted on April 23, 1996 is thus, declared null and void.

Page 84 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MORIGO VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 145226, 6 February 2004
(Art. 40)

Facts:

Lucio Morigo and Lucia Barrete were boardmates from 1974-1978 at the house of Catalina Tortor at
Tagbilaran City, Bohol. They lost contact with each other after SY 1977-1978. In 1984, Lucio was
surprised to receive a card from Lucia Barrete from Singapore. They corresponded and became
sweethearts.

In 1986, Lucia returned to the Philippines but left again for Canada to work there. The two remained in
touch. In 1990, Lucia came back and proposed to petition Lucio to join her in Canada. They got married
on 30 August 1990 at the Iglesia de Filipino Nacional in Bohol.

On 8 September 1990, Lucia went back to work in Canada, leaving Lucio behind. On 19 August 1991,
Lucia filed with the Ontario Court a petition for divorce against Lucio, which was granted on 17 January
1992 and effective on 17 February 1992.

On 4 October 1992, Lucio married Maria Hececha Lumbago at the Virgen sa Barangay Parish, Tagbilaran
City, Bohol. On 21 September 1993, Lucio filed a complaint for judicial declaration of nullity of marriage
in RTC Bohol, on the ground when he married Lucia, no marriage ceremony took place.

On 19 October 1993, Lucio was charged with bigamy in the RTC of Bohol. He moved to suspend
arraignment on the ground that the civil case for judicial nullification of his marriage posed a prejudicial
question but was denied. He pled not guilty to bigamy, but was convicted. The RTC discounted Lucio’s
claim that his marriage to Lucia was void ab initio because the absence of a marriage ceremony is not a
defense in the charge of bigamy. The RTC added that parties to marriage should not be allowed to assume
their marriage is void even if such be the fact because they must first secure a judicial declaration of
nullity of their marriage before being allowed to remarry. Notwithstanding the Canadian divorce obtained
by Lucia, the RTC held that such does not recognized.

Lucio appealed to the CA. Pending appeal, his complaint for judicial declaration of nullity of marriage
was granted by the RTC since no marriage ceremony took place. The judgment became final and executor.
The CA affirmed the RTC’s conviction, holding that the fact that the first marriage was void from the
beginning is not a valid defense in a bigamy case.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Lucio committed bigamy.

Held:
1. No, Lucio must be acquitted because he was not legally married (nor married at all) to
Lucia as is the effect of a declaration that their marriage was void ab initio.

The crime of bigamy, just like other felonies punished under the Revised Penal Code, is mala in se, and
hence, good faith and lack of criminal intent are allowed as a complete defense. He stresses that there is a
difference between the intent to commit the crime and the intent to perpetrate the act. Hence, it does not
necessarily follow that his intention to contract a second marriage is tantamount to an intent to commit
bigamy.
Page 85 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Lucio submits that he should not be faulted for relying in good faith upon the divorce decree of the
Ontario court.

The Solicitor General relies upon our ruling in Marbella-Bobis v. Bobis,[which held that bigamy can be
successfully prosecuted provided all the elements concur, stressing that under Article 40 of the Family
Code, a judicial declaration of nullity is a must before a party may re-marry. Whether or not the
petitioner was aware of said Article 40 is of no account as everyone is presumed to know the law. The
OSG counters that petitioners contention that he was in good faith because he relied on the divorce decree
of the Ontario court is negated by his act of filing Civil Case No. 6020, seeking a judicial declaration of
nullity of his marriage to Lucia.

Notably, during the pendency of Lucio’s appeal to the CA, the RTC annulled Lucio’s marriage to Lucia for
it foind there was no marriage ceremony performed by a solemnizing officer, but a mere signing of the
marriage contract without the presence of a solemnizing officer. This simply means that there was no
marriage to begin with; and that such declaration of nullity retroacts to the date of the first marriage. In
other words, for all intents and purposes, reckoned from the date of the declaration of the first marriage
as void ab initio to the date of the celebration of the first marriage, the accused was, under the eyes of the
law, never married.

In Marbella-Bobis v. Bobis,[ we laid down the elements of bigamy thus:


(1) the offender has been legally married;
(2) the first marriage has not been legally dissolved, or in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent
spouse has not been judicially declared presumptively dead;
(3) he contracts a subsequent marriage; and
(4) the subsequent marriage would have been valid had it not been for the existence of the first.

The first element of bigamy as a crime requires that the accused must have been legally married. But in
this case, legally speaking, the petitioner was never married to Lucia Barrete. Thus, there is no first
marriage to speak of. Under the principle of retroactivity of a marriage being declared void ab initio, the
two were never married from the beginning. The contract of marriage is null; it bears no legal effect.
Taking this argument to its logical conclusion, for legal purposes, petitioner was not married to Lucia at
the time he contracted the marriage with Maria Jececha. The existence and the validity of the first
marriage being an essential element of the crime of bigamy, it is but logical that a conviction for said
offense cannot be sustained where there is no first marriage to speak of. The petitioner, must, perforce be
acquitted of the instant charge.

This case must be distinguished from Mercado vs Tan, where the judicial declaration of nullity of the first
marriage was likewise obtained after the second marriage was celebrated. However, in Mercado vs Tan,
the first marriage was solemnized twice: first before a judge where a marriage certificate was duly issued
and then again six months later before a priest in religious rites. Ostensibly, at least, the first marriage
appeared to have transpired, although later declared void ab initio.

In this instant case, there was no marriage ceremony at all. The mere private act of signing a marriage
contract bears no semblance to a valid marriage and thus, needs no judicial declaration of nullity. Such
act alone, without more, cannot be deemed to constitute an ostensibly valid marriage for which petitioner
might be held liable for bigamy unless he first secures a judicial declaration of nullity before he contracts
a subsequent marriage.

Page 86 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

WIEGEL VS. SEMPIO-DIY


G.R. No. L-53703, 19 August 1986
Art. 40

Facts:

Karl Heinz Wiegel filed an action before the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Caloocan City for
the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Lilia Oliva Wiegel celebrated in July 1978 at the Holy
Catholic Apostilic Christian Church Branch in Makati. Karl’s basis was Lilia’s previous existing marriage
to an Eduardo Maxion celebrated on 25 June 1972 at the Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Quezon City.

Lilia admitted the existence of her prior subsisting marriage, but claimed that it was void because she
and Maxion were forced to marry. In pre-trial, both parties agreed the issue was the status of the first
marriage, particularly, whether or not it was void or voidable.

Lilia asked for an opportunity to present evidence that her marriage with Maxion was vitiated by force
exercised upon them both and that Maxion was already married to someone else. The RTC ruled against
the presentation of evidence because the existence of force exerted on Lilia and Maxion had already been
agreed upon. Lilia petitioned for certiorari before the Supreme Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Lilia the RTC erred in denying Lilia the opportunity to present evidence showing
vitiation of consent in her first marriage.

Held:
1. No, Lilia need not prove her first marriage was vitiated by force because, assuming this
to be so, the marriage will not be void, but voidable as per Article 85 of the Civil Code,
therefore, valid until annulled.

Since no annulment has yet been made, it is clear that when she married Karl she was still validly
married to her first husband, consequently, her marriage to Karl is VOID.

There is likewise no need of introducing evidence about the existing prior marriage of her first husband at
the time they married each other, for then such a marriage though void still needs according to this Court
a judicial declaration of such fact and for all legal intents and purposes she would still be regarded as a
married woman at the time she contracted her marriage with respondent Karl Heinz Wiegel; accordingly,
the marriage of Lilia and Karl would be regarded VOID under the law.

Page 87 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

TERRE VS. TERRE


A.M. No. 2349, 3 July 1992
Art. 40

Facts:

On 24 December 1981, Dorothy Terre charged Jordan Terre, a lawyer, with grossly immoral conduct,
consisting of contracting a contracting a second marriage and living with another woman, while his
marriage with complainant subsisted. Jordan successfully evaded attempts to serve a copy of the Court’s
Resolution to answer the complaint for three and a half years. The SC then suspended Jordan from the
practice of law until he appears or files his answer to the complaint.

On 28 September 1985, Jordan finally answered with a motion to set aside the suspension order. He
argued that he married Dorothy on 14 June 1977 upon her representation that she was single, but he
subsequently learned that Dorothy was married to a certain Merlito Bercenilla sometime in 1968. He
confronted Dorothy about her prior marriage, but she drove him out of their conjugal residence. She
mockingly told Jordan of her private meetings with Bercenilla and that the child she was then carrying
(Jason Terre) was the latter’s son. Jordan allegedly believed in good faith that his marriage to Dorothy
was void ab initio, thus he married Helina Malicdem in Pangasinan.

Dorothy denied Jordan’s allegations and insisted that Jason is Jordan’s child, as evidenced by Jason’s
birth certificate and physical resemblance to his father. She explained that while she had given birth to
Jason Terre at the PAFGH registered as a dependent of Merlito Bercenilla, she had done so out of
extreme necessity and to avoid risk of death or injury to the fetus, which happened to be in a difficult
breech position. According to Dorothy, she had then already been abandoned by respondent Jordan Terre,
leaving her penniless and without means to pay for the medical and hospital bills arising by reason of her
pregnancy.

After hearings held by Office of the Solicitor General as investigator, Dorothy testified she first met
Jorden in 1979 as senior high school classmates in Cadiz City High School. She was already married to
Bercenilla at the time and Jordan was already aware of such. Jordan began courting her, but nothing
happened. While a law student at Lyceum University, Jordan courted her again with more persistence,
and he explained to Dorothy that her marriage to Bercenilla was void ab initio since he was a first cousin.
Dorothy secured favorable advice from her mother and ex-in-laws when she agreed to marry Jordan.
Jordan wrote Dorothy’s status as “single” in the marriage license since her marriage to Bercenilla was
void ab initio, not needing a court declaration. They married before Judge Mijares in the City Court of
Manila on 14 June 1977. Their son Jason was born on 25 1981.

Jordan continued supporting Dorothy up to the time he disappeared in 1981. She later filed a case of
abandonment of a minor, a bigamy case, and an administrative case against Jordan with the Commission
of Audit, where he worked. However, COA considered the case moot and academic when Jordan was
separated from service for having gone on absence without official leave.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Atty. Jordan Terre is liable for grossly immoral conduct for having contracted a
subsequent marriage to another woman while his previous marriage with Dorothy subsisted.

Page 88 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. Yes, Jordan’s actions eloquently displayed not only his unfitness to remain a member of
the Bar, but likewise his inadequacy to uphold the purpose and responsibility of his
gender because marriage is a basic social institution.

There is no dispute over the fact that complainant Dorothy Terre and respondent Jordan Terre contracted
marriage on 14 July 1977 before Judge Priscilla Mijares. There is further no dispute over the fact that on
3 May 1981, respondent Jordan Terre married Helina Malicdem in Dasol, Pangasinan. When the second
marriage was entered into, respondent's prior marriage with complainant was subsisting, no judicial
action having been initiated or any judicial declaration obtained as to the nullity of such prior marriage of
respondent with complainant.

Respondent Jordan Terre sought to defend himself by claiming that he had believed in good faith that his
prior marriage with complainant Dorothy Terre was null and void ab initio and that no action for a
judicial declaration of nullity was necessary.

The Court considers this claim on the part of respondent Jordan Terre as a spurious defense. In the first
place, respondent has not rebutted complainant's evidence as to the basic facts which underscores the bad
faith of respondent Terre. In the second place, that pretended defense is the same argument by which he
had inveigled complainant into believing that her prior marriage to Merlito A. Bercenilla being incestuous
and void ab initio (Dorothy and Merlito being allegedly first cousins to each other), she was free to
contract a second marriage with the respondent. Respondent Jordan Terre, being a lawyer, knew or
should have known that such an argument ran counter to the prevailing case law of this Court which
holds that for purposes of determining whether a person is legally free to contract a second marriage, a
judicial declaration that the first marriage was null and void ab initio is essential. Even if we were to
assume, arguendo merely, that Jordan Terre held that mistaken belief in good faith, the same result will
follow. For if we are to hold Jordan Terre to his own argument, his first marriage to complainant Dorothy
Terre must be deemed valid, with the result that his second marriage to Helina Malicdem must be
regarded as bigamous and criminal in character.

That the moral character of respondent Jordan Terre was deeply flawed is shown by other circumstances.
As noted, he convinced the complainant that her prior marriage to Bercenilla was null and void ab initio,
that she was still legally single and free to marry him. When complainant and respondent had contracted
their marriage, respondent went through law school while being supported by complainant, with some
assistance from respondent's parents. After respondent had finished his law course and gotten
complainant pregnant, respondent abandoned the complainant without support and without the
wherewithal for delivering his own child safely in a hospital.

We believe and so hold that the conduct of respondent Jordan Terre in inveigling complainant Dorothy
Terre to contract a second marriage with him; in abandoning complainant Dorothy Terre after she had
cared for him and supported him through law school, leaving her without means for the safe delivery of
his own child; in contracting a second marriage with Helina Malicdem while his first marriage with
complainant Dorothy Terre was subsisting, constituted "grossly immoral conduct" under Section 27 of
Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, affording more than sufficient basis for disbarment of respondent Jordan
Terre. He was unworthy of admission to the Bar in the first place. The Court will correct this error
forthwith.

The Court resolves to DISBAR Jordan Terre and to STRIKE OUT his name from the Roll of Attorneys.

Page 89 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

VALDES VS RTC
G.R. No. 122749, 31 July 1996
Article

Facts:

Antonio Valdes and Consuelo Gomez wed on 5 January 1971 and begot five children. On 22 June 1992,
Valdes sought the declaration of nullity of the marriage pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code. The
RTC granted the petition and declared the marriage void ab initio on the ground of their mutual
psychological incapacity to comply with their essential marital obligations. The three older children were
given the option to choose which parent they would stay with while the two youngest ones were placed in
the custody of Consuelo. Likewise, the RTC ordered them to start proceedings on liquidation of their
common properties as defined by Article 147 of the Family Code, and to comply with Articles 50, 51, and
52 within 30 days.

Consuela, however, sought to clarify the portion of the decision directing compliance with Articles 50, 51,
and 52 of the Family Code, which she argues have no such provisions on the procedure on liquidating
common property in “unions without marriage.” The children, meanwhile, filed a joint affidavit
expressing their desire to remain with their father, Antonio Valdes.

The RTC clarified that Article 147 provides that (1) the property acquired by both parties during their
union, in the absence of proof to the contrary, are presumed to have been obtained through the joint
efforts of the parties and will be owned by them in equal shares, plaintiff and defendant will
own their 'family home' and all their other properties for that matter in equal shares; and (2) liquidation
and partition of the properties owned in common by the plaintiff and defendant are pursuant to
provisions on co-ownership found in the Civil Code. Thus, the RTC clarified that since the marriage is
void ab initio, the property regime shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.

Antonio moved for reconsideration of the order, but he was denied. He appealed directly to the Supreme
Court on a pure question of law.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Articles 50, 51, and 52 of the Family Code are controlling

Held:
1. Yes, the RTC correctly applied the law. In a void marriage, regardless of the cause
thereof, the property relations of the parties during the period of cohabitation is
governed by the provisions of Article 147 or Article 148, such as the case may be, of the
Family Code.

Article 147 is a remake of Article 144 of the Civil Code as interpreted and so applied in previous cases,
provides:

"ART. 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.

Page 90 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

"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."

This kind of co-ownership applies when a man and a woman suffering no legal impediment to marry each
other, so exclusively live together as husband and wife under a void marriage or without the benefit of
marriage. The term "capacitated" in the provision (in the first paragraph of the law) refers to the legal
capacity of a party to contract marriage, i.e., any "male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards
not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38" of the Code.

Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work and industry shall be
governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any property acquired during the union is prima
facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. A party who did not participate in the
acquisition of the property shall still be considered as having contributed thereto jointly if said party's
"efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household." Unlike the conjugal partnership
of gains, the fruits of the couple's separate property are not included in the co-ownership.

The trial court acted neither imprudently nor precipitately; a court which has jurisdiction to declare the
marriage a nullity must be deemed likewise clothed with authority to resolve incidental and
consequential matters. Nor did it commit a reversible error in ruling that petitioner and private
respondent own the "family home" and all their common property in equal shares, as well as in concluding
that, in the liquidation and partition of the property owned in common by them, the provisions on co-
ownership under the Civil Code, not Articles 50, 51 and 52, in relation to Articles 102 and 129, of the
Family Code, should aptly prevail.

The rules set up to govern the liquidation of either the absolute community or the conjugal partnership of
gains, the property regimes recognized for valid and voidable marriages (in the latter case until the
contract is annulled ),are irrelevant to the liquidation of the co-ownership that exists between common-
law spouses. 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
Page 91 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

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 41 and
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 (before annulment) 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. It must be stressed, nevertheless, even as it may merely state the obvious, that the provisions of the
Family Code on the "family home," i.e., the provisions found in Title V, Chapter 2, of the Family Code,
remain in force and effect regardless of the property regime of the spouses.

Page 92 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

PEOPLE VS. ARAGON


G.R. No. L-5930, 17 February 1954
Art. 40

Facts:

Abelo Aragon was charged with bigamy before the CFI of Cebu for having contracted a second marriage
with Efigenia Palomer on 21 September 1947 while his previous valid marriage with Martina Godinez
subsisted. On 11 October 1951 while the case was pending trial, Efigenia Palomer filed a civil action in
the same CFI of Cebu against Aragon alleging that the latter, "by means of force, threats and
intimidation of bodily harm, forced plaintiff to marry him", and praying that their marriage be annulled.
Aragon motioned for the provisional dismissal of the bigamy case on the ground that Erigenia’s action for
annulment of the second marriage is a prejudicial question. The CFI denied Aragon’s motion, holding that
the validity of the second marriage may be determined in the very criminal action for bigamy. Aragon
appealed directly before the Supreme Court. He contends that since his marriage to Efigenia is voidable,
it can not be attacked in a criminal action, thus may not be considered by the same court where the
bigamy case was pending. Thus, Aragon asserted that the civil action to annul the second marriage is a
prejudicial question.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Efigenia’s action for annulment is a prejudicial question, thus the bigamy case
against Aragon must be suspended.

Held:
1. No, the action for annulment filed by Efigenia is absolutely immaterial to the criminal
action for bigamy against Aragon.

Prejudicial question has been defined to be that which arises in a case, the resolution of which (question)
is a logical antecedent of the issue involved in said case, and the cognizance of which pertains to another
tribunal. he prejudicial question must be determinative of the case before the court; this is first element.
Jurisdiction to try said question must be lodged in another tribunal; this is the second element. In an
action for bigamy, for example, if the accused claims that the first marriage is null and void and the right
to decide such validity is vested in another tribunal, the civil action for nullity must first be decided
before the action for bigamy can proceed; hence, the validity of the first marriage is a prejudicial question.

There is no question that if the allegations of the complaint on time the marriage contracted by Aragon
with Efigenia C. Palomer is illegal and void (Sec. 29, Act 3613 otherwise known as the Marriage Law). Its
nullity, however, is no defense to the criminal action for bigamy filed against him. The supposed use of
force and intimidation against the woman, Palomer, even if it were true, is not a bar or defense to said
action. Palomer, were she the one charged with bigamy, could perhaps raise said force or intimidation as
a defense, because she may not be considered as having freely and voluntarily committed the act if she
was forced to the marriage by intimidation,. Aragon can not use his malfeasance to defeat the criminal
case against him.

This civil action does not decide that defendant-appellant did not enter the marriage against his will and
consent, because the complaint does not allege that he was the victim of force and intimidation in the
second marriage; it does not determine the existence of any of the elements of the charge of bigamy. A
decision thereon is not essential to the determination of the criminal charge. It is, therefore, not a
prejudicial question.
Page 93 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MERCADO VS. MERCADO


G.R. No. 137110, 1 August 2000
Art. 40

Facts:

Dr. Vincent Mercado and Ma. Consuelo Tan married on 27 June 1991 before MTCC Bacolod City Judge
Ibaez. A Marriage Contract was duly executed and signed by the parties and it stated that Dr. Mercado
was single. On 29 June 1991, they had a church wedding officiated by Msgr. Rivas, Judicial Vicar, Diocese
of Bacolod City.

However, there is no dispute either that at the time of their marriage, Dr. Mercado was actually a
married man having been in lawful wedlock with Ma. Thelma Oliva in a marriage solemnized on 10 April
1976 by Judge Caares of Cebu City who issued a Marriage Certificate. Later, they also had a church
wedding at the Scared Heart Church, Cebu City officiated by Rev. Fr. Aruthur Baur on 10 October 1976.

Both marriages were consummated when out of the first consortium, Ma. Thelma Oliva bore accused two
children, while a child, Vincent Paul, Jr. was sired by accused with complainant Ma. Consuelo Tan.

On 5 October 1992, Ma. Consuelo Tan filed a letter-complaint for bigamy against Dr. Mercado. On 13
November 1992, Dr. Mercado filed before RTC Cebu an action for declaration of nullity of marriage
against Ma. Thelma Oliva.

On 1 March 1993, an information for bigamy was filed against Dr. Mercado. On 6 May 1993, the RTC of
Cebu City declared null and void the marriage between Dr. Merado and Ma. Thelma Oliva.

Dr. Mercado acknowledged the existence of the two marriages, but he raised as a defense the fact that his
previous marriage to Ma. Thelma Oliva had been judicially declared null and void and that Ma. Consuelo
Tan knew of his first marriage.

The RTC convincted Dr. Mercado of bigamy and was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The CA applied
Article 40 of the Family Code, which provides that 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. Dr. Mercado’s final judgment came much after his second marriage, even when the case
for bigamy was already tried in court. The CA added that what constitutes the crime of bigamy is the act
of any person who shall contract a second subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been
legally dissolved.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not a liberal interpretation of bigamy under Art. 349 of the RPC in relation to Articles
36 and 40 of the Family Code negates the guilt of Dr. Mercado

Page 94 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, Dr. Mercado had already consummated the crime of bigamy way before he obtained
a judicial declaration of nullity of his marriage to Ma. Olivia Thelma.

Dr. Mercado was convicted of bigamy under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, which provides:

The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person who shall contract
a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally
dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by
means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings.

The elements of this crime are as follows:


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.

When the Information was filed on January 22, 1993, all the elements of bigamy were present. It is
undisputed that petitioner married Thelma G. Oliva on April 10, 1976 in Cebu City. While that marriage
was still subsisting, he contracted a second marriage, this time with Respondent Ma. Consuelo Tan who
subsequently filed the Complaint for bigamy.

Dr. Mercado argues that hat he obtained a judicial declaration of nullity of his first marriage under
Article 36 of the Family Code, thereby rendering it void ab initio. Unlike voidable marriages which are
considered valid until set aside by a competent court, he argues that a void marriage is deemed never to
have taken place at all. Thus, he concludes that there is no first marriage to speak of. Petitioner also
quotes the commentaries of former Justice Luis Reyes that it is now settled that if the first marriage is
void from the beginning, it is a defense in a bigamy charge.

Ma. Consuelo Tan, on the other hand, admits that the first marriage was declared null and void under
Article 36 of the Family Code, but she points out that that declaration came only after the Information
had been filed. Hence, by then, the crime had already been consummated. She argues that a judicial
declaration of nullity of a void previous marriage must be obtained before a person can marry for a
subsequent time.

Ma. Consuelo Tan is correct. In People vs. Mendoza and People vs. Aragon both held that no such judicial
declaration of nullity is required when the second marriage was void ab initio. But in subsequent cases,
we have impressed the need for a judicial declaration of nullity.

In Tolentino v. Paras, however, the Court again held that judicial declaration of nullity of a void marriage
was not necessary. In that case, a man married twice. In his Death Certificate, his second wife was
named as his surviving spouse. The first wife then filed a Petition to correct the said entry in the Death
Certificate. The Court ruled in favor of the first wife, holding that the second marriage that he contracted
with private respondent during the lifetime of the first spouse is null and void from the beginning and of
no force and effect. No judicial decree is necessary to establish the invalidity of a void marriage.

In Wiegel v. Sempio-Diy, the Court stressed the need for such declaration. In that case, Karl Heinz Wiegel
filed an action for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Lilia Olivia Wiegel on the ground that the
Page 95 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

latter had a prior existing marriage. After pretrial, Lilia asked that she be allowed to present evidence to
prove, among others, that her first husband had previously been married to another woman. In holding
that there was no need for such evidence, the Court ruled: x x x There is likewise no need of introducing
evidence about the existing prior marriage of her first husband at the time they married each other, for
then such a marriage though void still needs, according to this Court, a judicial declaration of such
fact and for all legal intents and purposes she would still be regarded as a married woman at the time she
contracted her marriage with respondent Karl Heinz Wiegel; x x x.

Subsequently, in Yap v. CA, the Court reverted to the ruling in People v. Mendoza, holding that there was
no need for such declaration of nullity.

In Domingo v. CA, the issue raised was whether a judicial declaration of nullity was still necessary for the
recovery and the separation of properties of erstwhile spouses. Ruling in the affirmative, the Court
declared: The Family Code has settled once and for all the conflicting jurisprudence on the matter. A
declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required either as a cause of action or a
ground for defense; in fact, the requirement for a declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage is also for
the protection of the spouse who, believing that his or her marriage is illegal and void, marries
again. With the judicial declaration of the nullity of his or her first marriage, the person who marries
again cannot be charged with bigamy.

Unlike Mendoza and Aragon, Domingo as well as the other cases herein cited was not a criminal
prosecution for bigamy. Nonetheless, Domingo underscored the need for a judicial declaration of nullity of
a void marriage on the basis of a new provision of the Family Code, which came into effect several years
after the promulgation of Mendoza and Aragon.

In Mendoza and Aragon, the Court relied on Section 29 of Act No. 3613 (Marriage Law), which provided:

Illegal marriages. Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person during the
lifetime of the first spouse shall be illegal and void from its performance, unless:

(a) The first marriage was annulled or dissolved;

(b) The first spouse had been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the
second marriage without the spouse present having news of the absentee being
alive, or the absentee being generally considered as dead and believed to be so by
the spouse present at the time of contracting such subsequent marriage, the
marriage as contracted being valid in either case until declared null and void by a
competent court."

The Court held in those two cases that the said provision plainly makes a subsequent marriage
contracted by any person during the lifetime of his first spouse illegal and void from its performance,
and no judicial decree is necessary to establish its invalidity, as distinguished from mere annulable
marriages.

The provision appeared in substantially the same form under Article 83 of the 1950 Civil Code and Article
41 of the Family Code. However, Article 40 of the Family Code, a new provision, expressly requires a
judicial declaration of nullity of the previous marriage, as follows:

Page 96 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ART. 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 marriage void.

In view of this provision, Domingo stressed that a final judgment declaring such marriage void was
necessary. Verily, the Family Code and Domingo affirm the earlier ruling in Wiegel.

A Civil Law authority and member of the Civil Code Revision Commitee has observed:

[Article 40] is also in line with the recent decisions of the Supreme Court that the
marriage of a person may be null and void but there is need of a judicial declaration
of such fact before that person can marry again; otherwise, the second marriage
will also be void (Wiegel v. Sempio-Diy, Aug. 19/86, 143 SCRA 499, Vda. De
Consuegra v. GSIS, 37 SCRA 315). This provision changes the old rule that where a
marriage is illegal and void from its performance, no judicial decree is necessary to
establish its validity (People v. Mendoza, 95 Phil. 843; People v. Aragon, 100 Phil.
1033).

In this light, the statutory mooring of the ruling in Mendoza and Aragon that there is no need for a
judicial declaration of nullity of a void marriage -- has been cast aside by Article 40 of the Family
Code. Such declaration is now necessary before one can contract a second marriage. Absent that
declaration, we hold that one may be charged with and convicted of bigamy.

The present ruling is consistent with our pronouncement in Terre v. Terre, which involved an
administrative Complaint against a lawyer for marrying twice. In rejecting the lawyers argument that he
was free to enter into a second marriage because the first one was void ab initio, the Court ruled: for
purposes of determining whether a person is legally free to contract a second marriage, a judicial
declaration that the first marriage was null and void ab initio is essential. The Court further noted that
the said rule was cast into statutory form by Article 40 of the Family Code. Significantly, it observed that
the second marriage, contracted without a judicial declaration that the first marriage was void, was
bigamous and criminal in character.

Moreover, Justice Reyes, whose earlier work was cited by Dr. Mercado, has changed his view on the
subject due to Article 40 of the Family Code and wrote in 1993 that a person must first obtain a judicial
declaration of the nullity of a void marriage before contracting a subsequent marriage.

In the instant case, Dr. Mercado contracted a second marriage although there was yet no judicial
declaration of nullity of his first marriage. In fact, he instituted the Petition to have the first marriage
declared void only after complainant had filed a letter-complaint charging him with bigamy. By
contracting a second marriage while the first was still subsisting, he committed the acts punishable under
Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code. That Dr. Mercado subsequently obtained a judicial declaration of
the nullity of the first marriage was immaterial. To repeat, the crime had already been consummated by
then. Moreover, his view effectively encourages delay in the prosecution of bigamy cases; an accused could
simply file a petition to declare his previous marriage void and invoke the pendency of that action as a
prejudicial question in the criminal case. We cannot allow that.

Page 97 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

DISSENTING OPINION OF JUSTICE VITUG

The civil law rule stated in Article 40 of the Family Code is a given but I have strong reservations on its
application beyond what appears to be its expressed context. The subject of the instant petition is a
criminal prosecution, not a civil case, and the ponencia affirms the conviction of petitioner Vincent Paul
G. Mercado for bigamy.

Article 40 of the Family code reads:


ART. 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.

The phrase for purposes of remarriage is not at all insignificant. Void marriages, like void contracts, are
inexistent from the very beginning. It is only by way of exception that the Family code requires a judicial
declaration of nullity of the previous marriage before a subsequent marriage is contracted; without such
declaration, the validity and the full legal consequence of the subsequent marriage would itself be in
similar jeopardy under Article 53, in relation to Article 52, of the Family Code. Parenthetically, I would
daresay that the necessity of a judicial declaration of nullity of a void marriage for the purpose of
remarriage should be held to refer merely to cases where it can be said that a marriage, at least
ostensibly, had taken place. No such judicial declaration of nullity, in my view, should still be deemed
essential when the marriage, for instance, is between persons of the same sex or when either or both
parties had not at all given consent to the marriage.

Indeed, it is likely that Article 40 of the Family Code has been meant and intended to refer only to
marriages declared void under the provisions of Articles 35, 36, 37, 38 and 53 thereof. In fine, the Family
Code, I respectfully submit, did not have the effect of overturning the rule in criminal law and related
jurisprudence. The Revised Penal Code expresses:

Art. 349. Bigamy.---The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person who shall contract a
second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the
absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper
proceedings.

Surely, the foregoing provision contemplated an existing, not void, prior marriage. Covered by article 349
would thus be, for instance, a voidable marriage, it obviously being valid and subsisting until set aside by
a competent court. As early as People vs. Aragon,1 this Court has underscored:

xxx Our Revised Penal Code is of recent enactment and had the rule enunciated
in Spain and in America requiring judicial declaration of nullity of ab
initio void marriages been within the contemplation of the legislature, an
express provision to that effect would or should have been inserted in the
law. In its absence, we are bound by said rule of strict interpretation.

Unlike a voidable marriage which legally exists until judicially annulled (and therefore not a defense in
bigamy if the second marriage were contracted prior to the decree of annulment), the complete nullity,
however, of a previously contracted marriage, being a total nullity and inexistent, should be capable of
being independently raised by way of a defense in a criminal case for bigamy.

Page 98 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

REPUBLIC VS. NOLASCO


G.R. No. 94053, 17 March 1993
Art. 41

Facts:

On 5 August 1988, Gregorio Nolasco filed before the RTC a petition for declaration of presumptive death
of his wife Janet Monica Parker, as per Article 41 of the Family Code. The Republic of the Philippines
opposed the petition (via the Provincial Prosecutor), on the ground that (1) Nolasco did not possess a
“well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead,”; and (2) Nolasco’s attempt to have his
marriage annulled in the same proceeding was a cunning attempt to circumvent the law on marriage.

Nolasco and Parker marred on 15 January 1982 in San Jose, Antique in the Cathedral of San Jose. They
met while Nolasco, a seaman, was in a bar in England during one of his ship’s port calls. She lived with
him on his ship for six months until they returned to Nolasco’s hometown, San Jose. While worker on
another contract as a seaman in January 1983, during which time Parker gave birth to their son, but that
she left Antique shortly after. He arrived in Antique in November 1983. Nolasco, however, was unable to
find her whenever his ship docked in England. All the letters had sent to his missing spouse at No. 38
Ravena Road, Allerton, Liverpool, England, had been returned to him and he heard no news of Parker.
Nolasco’s mother testified that Parker had expressed a desire to return to England even before she gave
birth to Gerry Nolasco. She said Parker never got used to rural way of life.

The RTC granted Nolasco’s petition on 12 October 1988, and held that Parker was presumptively dead.
The CA affirmed that Nolasco had sufficiently established basis to form a belief that Parker was
presumptively dead.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Nolasco has a well-founded belief that his wife, Janet Monica Parker, is
presumptively dead.

Held:
1. No, Nolasco failed to conduct a search for his missing wife with such diligence as to give rise to a
well-founded belief that she is dead.

There are four (4) requisites for the declaration of presumptive death under Article 41 of the Family Code:
1. That the absent spouse has been missing for four consecutive years, or two consecutive years if the
disappearance occurred where there is danger of death under the circumstances laid down in
Article 391, Civil Code;
2. That the present spouse wishes to remarry;
3. That the present spouse has a well-founded belief that the absentee is dead; and
4. That the present spouse files a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of
the absentee.

The investigation allegedly conducted by Nolaso in his attempt to ascertain Janet Monica Parker's
whereabouts is too sketchy to form the basis of a reasonable or well-founded belief that she was already
dead. When he arrived in San Jose, Antique after learning of Janet Monica's departure, instead of seeking
the help of local authorities or of the British Embassy, he secured another seaman's contract and went to
London, a vast city of many millions of inhabitants, to look for her there.

Page 99 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

The Court also views respondent's claim that Janet Monica declined to give any information as to her
personal background even after she had married respondent. too convenient an excuse to justify his
failure to locate her. The same can be said of the loss of the alleged letters respondent had sent to his wife
which respondent claims were all returned to him. Respondent said he had lost these returned letters,
under unspecified circumstances.

Neither can this Court give much credence to respondent's bare assertion that he had inquired from their
friends of her whereabouts, considering that respondent did not identify those friends in his testimony.

Respondent testified that immediately after receiving his mother's letter sometime in January 1983, he
cut short his employment contract to return to San Jose, Antique. However, he did not explain the delay
of nine (9) months from January 1983, when he allegedly asked leave from his captain, to November 1983
when be finally reached San Jose. Respondent, moreover, claimed he married Janet Monica Parker
without inquiring about her parents and their place of residence. Also, respondent failed to explain why
he did not even try to get the help of the police or other authorities in London and Liverpool in his effort
to find his wife. The circumstances of Janet Monica's departure and respondent's subsequent behavior
make it very difficult to regard the claimed belief that Janet Monica was dead a well-founded one.

In Goitia v. Campos-Rueda, he Court stressed that:


. . . Marriage is an institution, the maintenance of which in its purity the public is
deeply interested. It is a relationship for life and the parties cannot terminate it at
any shorter period by virtue of any contract they make. . . . . (Emphasis supplied)

By the same token, the spouses should not be allowed, by the simple expedient of agreeing that one of
them leave the conjugal abode and never to return again, to circumvent the policy of the laws on
marriage. The Court notes that respondent even tried to have his marriage annulled before the trial court
in the same proceeding.

While the Court understands the need of respondent's young son, Gerry Nolasco, for maternal care, still
the requirements of the law must prevail. Since respondent failed to satisfy the clear requirements of the
law, his petition for a judicial declaration of presumptive death must be denied. The law does not view
marriage like an ordinary contract.

Article 1 of the Family Code emphasizes that.


. . . 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 familyand 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.

Page 100 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

IN THE MATTER OF THE DECLARATION OF THE CIVIL STATUS OF LOURDES LUKBAN VS. REPUBLIC
G.R. No. L-8492, 29 February 1956
Art. 41 for judicial declaration of presumptive death; Art. 381-396 for Absence

Facts:

Lourdes Lukban filed a petition before CFI of Rizal to declare her a widow of Francisco Chiudian, who is
presumed dead, and has no legal impediment to contract a subsequent marriage.Lourdes and Francisco
wed on 10 December 1933 at the Paco Catholic Church, Manila. On 27 December, Francisco left her after
a violent quarrel and was not heard from since then. Lourdes allegedly conducted a diligent search and
inquired about him from his family, but no one knew Francisco’s whereabouts. Lourdes does not know if
Francisco is still alive, but believes he is dead because he had been absent for more than 20 years.

The Solicitor General, on the other hand, opposed Lourdes’s petition on the ground that it is not
authorized by law. The CFI sustained the OSG’s opposition and dismissed the petition. Lourdes appealed
directly to the Supreme Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not a petition for judicial declaration that Francisco Chiudian is presumed dead can be
entertained.

Held:
1. No, the court can only declare fact of death upon proper evidence, not declare that one
is presumed to be dead as this is a presumption juris tantum only, subject to contrary
proof, and cannot reach finality.

In the case of Nicolai Szartraw, 46 Off. Gaz., 1st Sup., 243, we held that a petition for judicial declaration
that a spouse is presumed dead cannot be entertained because it is not authorized by law. If such
declaration cannot be made in a special proceeding, much less can the court determine Lourdes’ status as
Francisco’s widow since such matter would of necessity depend upon the fact of Francisco’s death. This
court can declare upon proper evidence, but not to decree that he is presumed to be dead.

A judicial pronouncement to that effect, even if final and executory, would still be a prima facie
presumption only. It is still disputable. It is for that reason that it cannot be the subject of a judicial
pronouncement or declaration, if it is the only question or matter involved in a case, or upon which a
competent court has to pass cralaw. It is, therefore, clear that a judicial declaration that a person is
presumptively dead, because he had been unheard from in seven years, being a presumption juris tantum
only, subject to contrary proof, cannot reach the stage of finality or become final.

Moreover, Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code that requires that bigamy is committed of a person
contracts “a second marriage before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of
a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings.” Proper proceedings would be those for administration or
settlement of the estate of the deceased person under Articles 390 and 391 of the Civil Code, not petitions
for declaration of presumptive death.

For purposes of the civil marriage law, it is not necessary to have the former spouse judicially declared an
absentee. The declaration of absence made in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code has for its
sole purpose to enable the taking of the necessary precautions for the administration of the estate of the
absentee.
Page 101 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

For the celebration of civil marriage, however, the law only requires that the former spouse has been
absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the second marriage, that the spouse present does not
know his or her former spouse to be living, that each former spouse is generally reputed to be dead and
the spouse present so believes at the time of the celebration of the marriage

Page 102 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ARMAS Y CALISTERIO VS. CALISTERIO


G.R. No. 136467, 6 April 2000
Art. 41

Facts:

On 13 January 1946, Marietta Espinosa married James Bounds. Bounds disappeared without a trace on
11 February 1947. On 8 May 1958, Marietta married Teodorico Calisterio without the former having
secured a court declaration that Bounds was presumptively dead.

On 24 April 1992, Teodorico died intestate, leaving several parcels of land worth P604,750. Marietta
survived Teodorico. On 9 October 1992, Antonia Armas y Calisterio, a sister of Teodorico, filed with the
RTC of QC a petition claiming, among others, (1) to be the sole heir of Teodorico; and (2) her brother’s
marriage to Marietta Espinosa Calisterio null and void for allegedly being bigamous.

Marietta opposed Antonia’s petition and stated that her prior marriage with Bounds had been dissolved
due to his absence, his whereabouts being unknown for more than 11 years before she married Teodorico.
She sought priority in the administration of Teodorico’s estate as his surviving spouse.

The RTC ordered that Marietta and Sinfroniano Armas (Antonioa’s son) as joint administrator and
administratrix of Teodorico’s estate. On 17 January 1996, the RTC ruled in favor of Antonio. Marietta
appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the RTC and ruled Marietta’s marriage to Teodorico
valid and declared her as Teodorico’s compulsory heir entitled to half of her husband’s estate, while
Antonia and her children entitled to the other half. The CA likewise ordered the RTC to determine
Meritta’s competence to act as administrator.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Marietta’s marriage to Teodorico is valid notwithstanding her previous marriage to
Bounds who disappeared without a trace for 11 years.

Held:
1. Yes, it remained undisputed that respondent Marietta's first husband, James William
Bounds, had been absent or had disappeared for more than eleven years before she
entered into a second marriage in 1958 with the deceased Teodorico Calisterio. This
second marriage, having been contracted during the regime of the Civil Code, should
thus be deemed valid notwithstanding the absence of a judicial declaration of
presumptive death of James Bounds.

The marriage between the deceased Teodorico and respondent Marietta was solemnized on 08 May 1958.
The law in force at that time was the Civil Code, not the Family Code which took effect only on 03 August
1988. Article 256 of the Family Codeitself limited its retroactive governance only to cases where it thereby
would not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws.
Verily, the applicable specific provision in the instant controversy is Article 83 of the New Civil Code
which provides:

"Art. 83. Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person during the lifetime
of the first spouse of such person with any person other than such first spouse shall
be illegal and void from its performance, unless:
"(1) The first marriage was annulled or dissolved; or
Page 103 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

"(2) The first spouse had been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the
second marriage without the spouse present having news of the absentee being
alive, or if the absentee, though he has been absent for less than seven years, is
generally considered as dead and believed to be so by the spouse present at the
time of contracting such subsequent marriage, or if the absentee is presumed dead
according to articles 390 and 391. The marriage so contracted shall be valid in any
of the three cases until declared null and void by a competent court."

Under the foregoing provisions, a subsequent marriage contracted during the lifetime of the first spouse
is illegal and void ab initio unless the prior marriage is first annulled or dissolved. Paragraph (2) of the
law gives exceptions from the above rule. For the subsequent marriage referred to in the three
exceptional cases therein provided, to be held valid, the spouse present (not the absentee
spouse) so contracting the later marriage must have done so in good faith. Bad faith imports a dishonest
purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of wrong - it partakes of the nature of fraud, a
breach of a known duty through some motive of interest or ill will. The Court does not find these
circumstances to be here extant.

A judicial declaration of absence of the absentee spouse is not necessary as long as the prescribed period of
absence is met. It is equally noteworthy that the marriage in these exceptional cases are, by the explicit
mandate of Article 83, to be deemed valid "until declared null and void by a competent court." It follows
that the burden of proof would be, in these cases, on the party assailing the second marriage.

In contrast, under the 1988 Family Code, in order that a subsequent bigamous marriage may
exceptionally be considered valid, the following conditions must concur; viz.:
(a) The prior spouse of the contracting party must have been absent for four consecutive years, or two
years where there is danger of death under the circumstances stated in Article 391 of the Civil Code at
the time of disappearance;
(b) the spouse present has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead; and
(c) there is, unlike the old rule, a judicial declaration of presumptive death of the absentee for which
purpose the spouse present can institute a summary proceeding in court to ask for that declaration.

The last condition is consistent and in consonance with the requirement of judicial intervention in
subsequent marriages as so provided in Article 41, in relation to Article 40,[ of the Family Code.

However, the CA erred in granting successional rights to Antonia’s children. Nephews and nieces,
however, can only succeed by right of representation in the presence of uncles and aunts.

Page 104 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

REPUBLIC VS. CALLEJO


G.R. No. 159614
Art. 41

Facts:

On 29 March 2001, Alan Alegro filed a petition in the RTC of Samar for the declaration of presumptive
death of his wife Lea Julaton. The RTC ordered the petition set for hearing; the order was published once
a week for 3 weeks in the Samar Reporter (newspaper of general circulation in Samar) and posted in the
bulletin board for at least 3 weeks before the next scheduled hearing. Copies of the order were served on
the Solicitor General and Lea by registered mail.

On 28 May 2001, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a motion to dismiss, but was denied. At the
hearing, Alan adduced evidence that he and Lea married on 20 January 1995 in Catbalogan, Samar. He
testified that on 6 Febryary 1995, Lea arrived home late in the evening and he berated her for always
being out. He told her that she should go back to her parents if she enjoyed the life of a single person. Lea
did not reply. She left later that day after Alan went to work. He thought she went to her parent’s house,
but she did not return.

Alan testified that on 14 February 1995, he went to Lea’s parents’ house, but she was not there. He went
to Lea’s friend’s house, Janeth Bautista, but to no avail. He went back to his parents-in-law’s house and
his father-in-law told him that Lea had been to the house but left without notice. He also sought the help
of the Barangay Captain Magat. On 27 August 1995, Alan went to Manila to look for Lea after his mother
requested to stay for the town fiesta of Catbalogan. He went Janeth who was staying in Navotas and
asked for Lea’s whereabouts, but yielded fruitless. He worked part-time as a taxi driver and looked for
Lea in the malls, but still no sign of her. He returned to Catbalogan in 1997 and looked for Lea, but failed.
On 20 June 2001, Alan reported Lea’s disappearance to the local police, who issued an Alarm Notice on 4
July 2001. He also reported Lea’s disappearance to the NBI on 9 July 2010. Barangay Captain Magat
corroborated Alan’s testimony. Neither the Provincial Prosecutor nor the OSG adduced evidence to oppose
Alan’s petition.

On 8 January 2002, the RTC rendered judgment and declared Lea presumptively dead for the purpose of
Alan’s subsequent marriage under Article 41 of the FC, without prejudice to Lea’s reappearance. The
OSG appealed to the CA, which affirmed the RTC and cited the Republic vs. Nolasco case. On appeal to
the Supreme Court, the OSG argued that Alan failed to prove that (1) he had a well-founded belief that
Lea was already dead; (2) that he failed to exercise reasonable and diligent efforts to locate his wife; and
(3) Alan only reported Lea’s disappearance to the police and NBI after the OSG filed a motion to dismiss
the petition; and (4) Alan did not really want to find Lea.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Alan proved a well-founded belief that Lea was already dead.

Page 105 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, Alan failed to prove he had a well-founded belief that Lea was already dead.

Article 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines reads:


Art. 41. A marriage contracted by any person during the subsistence of a previous
marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent
marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years and the
spouse present had a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead.
In case of disappearance where there is danger under the circumstances set forth in
the provisions of Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two years shall be
sufficient.

For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding
paragraph, the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in
this Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice
to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse.

The spouse present is, thus, burdened to prove that his spouse has been absent and that he has a well-
founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead before the present spouse may contract a
subsequent marriage. The law does not define what is meant by a well-grounded belief.

Belief is a state of the mind or condition prompting the doing of an overt act. It may be proved by direct
evidence or circumstantial evidence, which may tend, even in a slight degree, to elucidate the inquiry or
assist to a determination probably founded in truth. Any fact or circumstance relating to the character,
habits, conditions, attachments, prosperity and objects of life which usually control the conduct of men,
and are the motives of their actions, was, so far as it tends to explain or characterize their disappearance
or throw light on their intentions, competence evidence on the ultimate question of his death.

The belief of the present spouse must be the result of proper and honest to goodness inquiries and efforts
to ascertain the whereabouts of the absent spouse and whether the absent spouse is still alive or is
already dead. Whether or not the spouse present acted on a well-founded belief of death of the absent
spouse depends upon the inquiries to be drawn from a great many circumstances occurring before and
after the disappearance of the absent spouse and the nature and extent of the inquiries made by present
spouse

Although testimonial evidence may suffice to prove the well-founded belief of the present spouse that the
absent spouse is already dead, in Republic v. Nolasco, the Court warned against collusion between the
parties when they find it impossible to dissolve the marital bonds through existing legal means. It is also
the maxim that men readily believe what they wish to be true.

In this case, Alan failed to present a witness other than Barangay Captain Magat even Janeth Bautista
or Nelson Abaenza or any other person from whom he allegedly made inquiries about Lea to corroborate
his testimony. On the other hand, on 14 February 1995, his father-in-law told him that Lea had just been
there but left without notice. Lea left their conjugal aboade and never returned after Alan chided her for
enjoying the life of a single person. Alan failed to make inquiries from his parents-in-law regarding Lea’s
whereabouts before filing his petition in the RTC, considering Lea’s father was the owner of Radio DYMS.
The report to the police and NBI was an afterthought; he only did so after the OSG filed its motion to
dismiss the petition.

Page 106 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

VALDEZ VS. REPUBLIC


G.R. No. 180863, 8 September 2009
Art. 41

Facts:

On 11 January 1971, Angelita Valdez and Sofio Polborosa got married in Pateros, Rizal. On 13 December
1971, she gave birth to their only child Nancy. Angelita said she and Sofio argued constantly because he
was unemployed and did not bring home any money. In March 1972, Sofio left their conjugal dweilling.
Angelita and Nancy waited for him to return, but finally, in May 1972, she decided to back to her parents’
home in Bancay, Tarlac. Three years passed until October 1975, Sofio showed up in Bancay, Tarlac. They
spoke for several hours and agreed to separate and executed a document to that effect. This was the last
time she saw Sofio and heard any news from him.

Believing Sofio was already dead, Angelita married Virgilio Reyes on 20 June 1985. Subsequently,
Virgilio’s application for naturalization filed with the US Department of Homeland Security was denied
because of her subsisting marriage to Sofio. Hence, on 29 March 2007, she filed a petition before the RTC
of Tarlac seeking the declaration of presumptive death of Sofio.

The RTC dismissed the petition because Angelita was not able to prove the well-grounded belief that her
husband Sofio was already dead, given that Article 41 of the FC provides that the present spouse is bears
the burden of proving the other spouse is absent and thus has a well-founded belief that the absent
spouses is already dead. The RTC found that Angelita did not try to find her husband in light of their
mutual agreement to separate, even preventing her daughter from looking for her father. The RTC also
said there is a strong possibility that Sofio is still alive, considering he would only be 61 years old by now,
even assuming Angelita’s testimony that Sofio was a chain smoker and a drunkard.

Angelita filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the Civil Code applies to the case since her
marriage to Sofio was celebrated on 11 January 1971, long before the Family Code took effect. The RTC
denied Angelita’s motion for reconsideration. She appealed to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the OSG
recommended that the RTC decision be set aside and Angelita’s petition granted. The OSG argued that
the requirement of well-founded belief under Article 41 of the Family Code does apply to the instant case
because such was not yet in existence during her subsequent marriage to Virgilio Reyes in 1985.
Moreover, the OSG added that prior to the effectivity of the Family Code, she had already acquired a
vested right to the validity of her subsequent marriage to Virgilio based on the presumed death of Sofio
under the Civil Code.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the RTC erred in applying Article 41 of the Family Code in holding that Angelita
had not proven a well-founded belief that Sofio was presumed dead.

Page 107 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, Article 41 of the FC cannot be retroactively applied given that (1) it will result in
the invalidation of her second marriage which was valid at the time it was celebrated.
Furthermore, the Civil Code applies to Angelita’s marriage to Sofio and Virgilio. Under
the Civil Code, presumption of death is established by law hence no court declaration is
needed for the presumption to arise. Since death is presumed to have taken place by
the seventh year of absence, Sofio is presumed dead starting October 1982 as per the
Civil Code.

The marriages of petitioner to Sofio and Virgilio on January 11, 1971 and June 20, 1985, respectively,
were both celebrated under the auspices of the Civil Code. The pertinent provision of the Civil Code is
Article 83:

Art. 83. Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person during the lifetime of
the first spouse of such person with any person other than such first spouse shall be
illegal and void from its performance, unless:

(1) The first marriage was annulled or dissolved; or

(2) The first spouse had been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the
second marriage without the spouse present having news of the absentee being
alive, of if the absentee, though he has been absent for less than seven years, is
generally considered as dead and believed to be so by the spouse present at the
time of contracting such subsequent marriage, or if the absentee is presumed dead
according to Articles 390 and 391. The marriage so contracted shall be valid in any
of the three cases until declared null and void by a competent court.

Considering that it is the Civil Code that applies, proof of well-founded belief is not required. Petitioner
could not have been expected to comply with this requirement since the Family Code was not yet in effect
at the time of her marriage to Virgilio. The enactment of the Family Code in 1988 does not change this
conclusion. The Family Code itself states:

Art. 256. This Code shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or
impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws.

To retroactively apply the provisions of the Family Code requiring petitioner to


exhibit well-founded belief will, ultimately, result in the invalidation of her second
marriage, which was valid at the time it was celebrated. Such a situation would be
untenable and would go against the objectives that the Family Code wishes to
achieve.

In the cases of Lukban vs Republic and Gue vs. Republic, the Court reiterated its ruling in the case of In
Re Szatraw, where a petition for judicial declaration that petitioner's husband is presumed to be dead
cannot be entertained because it is not authorized by law. Article 390 of the Civil Code states, to wit:

Art. 390. After an absence of seven years, it being unknown whether or not the
absentee still lives, he shall be presumed dead for all purposes, except for those of
succession.

Page 108 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

The absentee shall not be presumed dead for the purpose of opening his succession
till after an absence of ten years. If he disappeared after the age of seventy-five
years, an absence of five years shall be sufficient in order that his succession may
be opened.

Thus, we had interpreted in numerous cases that for the purposes of the civil marriage law, it is not
necessary to have the former spouse judicially declared an absentee. For the celebration of civil marriage,
however, the law only requires that the former spouse has been absent for seven consecutive years at the
time of the second marriage, that the spouse present does not know his or her former spouse to be living,
that such former spouse is generally reputed to be dead and the spouse present so believes at the time of
the celebration of the marriage.

This is the distinction between the Civil Code and the Family Code regarding presumptive death for
purposes of remarriage.

The Petition must be dismissed since no decree on the presumption of Sofios death can be granted under
the Civil Code, the same presumption having arisen by operation of law. However, we declare that
petitioner was capacitated to marry Virgilio at the time their marriage was celebrated in 1985 and,
therefore, the said marriage is legal and valid.

Page 109 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ANAYA VS. PALAROAN


G.R. No. L-27930, 26 November 1970
Non-disclosure of a husband’s pre-marital relationship with another woman is not one of the grounds that
constitutes fraud as a ground for annulment. (Art. 45-46)

Facts:

Aurora Anaya and Fernando Palaroan married on 4 December 1953. On 7 January 1954, Palaroan filed
an action for annulment of the marriage, alleging his consent was obtained through force and
intimidation. Meanwhile, Anaya filed a counterclaim alleging Fernando had kept secret from her the fact
that several months before their marriage, he had a pre-marital relationship with a close relative of his.
Anaya claimed this meant her consent to their marriage was obtained through fraud as contemplated by
Article 85 of the Civil Code.

Fernando denied ever having an affair with an alleged close relative and alleged that he never wanted to
live Anaya as he had escaped from her and her relatives the day after their marriage. Anaya countered
that Fernando paid to court her and pretended to shower her with love and affection because she
happened to be the first girl he could marriage to evade marrying his close relative, thus he had no
intention to love her nor perform the marital duties and obligations.

The RTC dismissed Palaroan’s complaint, but allowed Aurora’s counterclaim and set the case for trial.
Howeer, the RTC realized that Anaya’s allegation of fraud was legally insufficient to invalidate their
marriage, as held in the case of Brown vs. Yambao where an action seeking a decree of legal separation or
annulment of marriage shall not be issued if a legal obstacle appears upon record (i.e., lack of any ground
provided by law).

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

Held:
1. No, Article 85(4) of the Civil Code provides when fraud can be considered as a vice of
consent in marriage.

The relevant provisions are as follows:

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:

Page 110 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

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. But Article 86 was also enacted, expressly and
specifically dealing with "fraud referred to in number 4 of the preceding article," and proceeds by
enumerating the specific frauds (misrepresentation as to identity, non-disclosure of a previous conviction,
and concealment of pregnancy), making it clear that Congress intended to exclude all other frauds or
deceits. 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. While a woman may detest such non-disclosure of premarital
lewdness or feel having been thereby cheated into giving her consent to the marriage, nevertheless the
law does not assuage her grief after her consent was solemnly given, for upon marriage she entered into
an institution in which society, and not herself alone, is interested. The lawmaker's intent being plain,
the Court's duty is to give effect to the same, whether it agrees with the rule or not.

On the merits of this second fraud charge, it is enough to point out that any secret intention on the
husband's part not to perform his marital duties must have been discovered by the wife soon after the
marriage: hence her action for annulment based on that fraud should have been brought within four
years after the marriage. Since appellant's wedding was celebrated in December of 1953, and this ground
was only pleaded in 1966, it must be declared already barred.

Page 111 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BUCCAT VS. BUCCAT


G.R. No. 47101, 25 April 1941
Clear and authentic proof needed to nullify a marriage; concealed pregnancy in an advanced stage of
pregnancy is highly unlikely not to cause suspicion (Art. 45-46)

NOTE: The ponencia is written in Spanish.

Facts:

Godofredo Buccat and Luida Mangonon de Buccat met in March 1938, became engaged in September, and
got married in Nov 26.

On Feb 23, 1939 (89 days after getting married) Luida, who was 9 months pregnant, gave birth to a son.
After knowing this, Godofredo left Luida and never returned to married life with her.

On March 23, 1939, he filed for an annulment of their marriage on the grounds that when he agreed to
married Luida, she assured him that she was a virgin.

The Lower court decided in favor of Luida. Godofredo appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the marriage should be annulled given that Luida concealed her pregnancy before
the marriage?

Held:
1. No, clear and authentic proof is needed in order to nullify a marriage, which is a sacred
institution in which the State is interested and where society rests.

In this case, the court did not find any proof that there was concealment of pregnancy constituting fraud
as a ground for annulment. It was unlikely that Godofredo, a first-year law student, did not suspect
anything about Luida’s condition considering that she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy (highly
developed physical manifestation, ie. enlarged stomach ) when they got married.

Page 112 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

AQUINO VS. DELIZO


G.R. No. L-15853, 27 July 1960
Sufficient evidence to constitute fraud; concealment of pregnancy; naturally plump or fat woman, (Art. 45-
46)

Facts:

On 6 September 1955, Fernando Aquino filed a complaint to annulment of marriage with Conchita Delizo
on 27 December 1954, for having concealed from him the fact that she was pregnant by another man.
Sometime in April 1955 (four months after their wedding), Delizo gave birth to a child. Delizo claimed
said child was conceived out of lawful wedlock between her and Aquino. Delizo neither appeared nor
presented any evidence despite the reservation made by her counsel that he would present evidence at a
later date.

On 16 June 1956, the trial court dismissed the complaint and held that (1) there was no birth certificate
to show the child was born 180 days after the marriage between the parties; and (2) the concealment of
pregnancy alleged by Aquino does not constitute such fraud as would annul a marriage. Aquino motioned
to admit additional evidence failed to secure earlier because of excusable negligence, but the trial court
denied it.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, and held there had been excusable neglect in
Aquino’s inability to present proof of the child’s birth through her birth certificate, thus the trial court
erred in denying the motion for reception of additional evidence. However, the CA held it was not
impossible for Aquino and Delizo to have had sexual intercourse during their engagement so that the
child could be their own, and found unbelievable Aquino’s claim that he did not notice nor suspect that
Delizo was pregnant when he married her.

Aquino filed a motion for reconsideration, attaching the following documents: (1) affidavit of his brother
Cesar Aquino, who admitted he is the father of the child named Catherine Bess Aquino and that he and
Delizo hid the pregnancy from Aquino when the latter married Delizo; (2) affidavit of Delizo admitting
her pregnancy by Cesar Aquino and hiding such pregnancy from Fernando at the time of their marriage;
(3) affidavit of Albert Powell, stating that he knew Cesar and Delizo lived together as husband and wife
before her marriage with Fernando Aquino; (4) birth certificate of Cathering Bess Aquino born on 26 April
1955; (5) Birth Certificate of Carolle Ann Aquino, the second child of Delizo with Cesar Aquino; (6) Birth
Certificate of Chris Charibel Aquino, the third child of Cesar Aquino with Delizo; and (7) pictures showing
Delizo’s natural plumpness as early 1952 to November 1954 when Delizo was four months pregnant.

Still the CA denied the motion for reconsideration because Delizo and the fiscal failed to file an answer
and the CA does not believe the veracity of the contents of the motion and its annexes.

Fernando Aquino appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the evidence that Fernando Aquino sought to introduce proves fraud or
concealment or pregnancy by another man at the time of his marriage with Delizo.

Page 113 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. Yes, the evidence sought to be introduced would be sufficient to sustain the fraud
alleged by Fernando Aquino.

Under the new Civil Code, concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was
pregnant by a man other than her husband constitutes fraud and is ground for annulment of marriage.
(Art. 85, par. (4) in relation to Art. 86, par. (3). In the case of Buccat vs. Buccat (72 Phil., 19) cited in the
decision sought to be reviewed, which was also an action for the annulment of marriage on the ground of
fraud, plaintiff's claim that he did not even suspect the pregnancy of the defendant was held to be
unbelievable, it having been proven that the latter was already in an advanced stage of pregnancy (7th
month) at the time of their marriage. That pronouncement, however, cannot apply to the case at bar.

In this case, Delizo was alleged to be only more than four months pregnant at the time of her marriage to
plaintiff. At that stage, we are not prepared to say that her pregnancy was readily apparent, especially
since she was "naturally plump" or fat as alleged by Fernando Aquino. According to medical authorities,
even on the 5th month of pregnancy, the enlargement of a woman's abdomen is still below the umbilicus,
that is to say, the enlargement is limited to the lower part of the abdomen so that it is hardly noticeable
and may, if noticed, be attributed only to fat formation on the lower part of the abdomen. It is only on the
6th month of pregnancy that the enlargement of the woman's abdomen reaches a height above the
umbilicus, making the roundness of the abdomen more general and apparent.

If, as claimed by Fernando Aquino, Delizo is "naturally plump", he could hardly be expected to know,
merely by looking, whether or not she was pregnant at the time of their marriage more so because she
must have attempted to conceal the true state of affairs. Even physicians and surgeons, with the aid of
the woman herself who shows and gives her subjective and objective symptoms, can only claim positive
diagnosis of pregnancy in 33% at five months. and 50% at six months.

The appellate court also said that it was not impossible for Fernando and Delizo to have had sexual
intercourse before they got married and therefore the child could be their own. This statement, however,
is purely conjectural and finds no support or justification in the record.

The evidence sought to be introduced at the new trial, taken together with what has already been
adduced would, in our opinion, be sufficient to sustain the fraud alleged by plaintiff. Hence, the CA’s
decision is set aside and the case is remanded to the trial court for a new trial.

Page 114 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

JIMENEZ VS. CANIZARES


G.R. No. L-12790, 31 August 1960
Lone testimony of impotency is not sufficient to annul a marriage; Art. 45-46

Facts:

On 7 June 1955, Joel Jimenez filed a petition for a decree of annulment of his marriage to Remedios
Canizares contracted on 3 August 1950 before a judge of the municipal court of Zamboanga City, on the
ground that her genitals or vagina was to small to allow penetration of a male organ or penis for
copulation. He further alleged that he condition of her genitals as described above existed at the time of
marriage and continues to exist; and that for that reason he left the conjugal home two nights and one
day after they had been married.

On 17 December 1956 the Court entered an order requiring the Canizares to submit to a physical
examination by a competent lady physician to determine her physical capacity for copulation and to
submit, within ten days from receipt of the order, a medical certificate on the result thereof. She refused
and trial ensured without her.

On 11 April 1957, the trial court entered a decree annulling the marriage. The city attorney filed a motion
for reconsideration, on the ground that Canizares’s impotency has not been satisfactorily established as
required by law and that she has not been physically examined because she refused.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the marriage may be annulled on the strength only of the lone testimony of the
husband who claimed and testified that his wife is impotent.

Held:
1. No, the lone testimony of Jimenez is insufficient.

Marriage in this country is an institution in which the community is deeply interested. The state has
surrounded it with safeguards to maintain its purity, continuity and permanence. The security and
stability of the state are largely dependent upon it. It is the interest of each and every member of the
community to prevent the bringing about of a condition that would shake its foundation and ultimately
lead to its destruction. The incidents of the status are governed by law, not by will of the parties. The law
specifically enumerates the legal grounds, that must be proved to exist by indubitable evidence, to annul
a marriage. In the case at bar, the annulment of the marriage in question was decreed upon the sole
testimony of the husband who was expected to give testimony tending or aiming at securing the
annulment of his marriage he sought and seeks. Whether the wife is really impotent cannot be deemed to
have been satisfactorily established, because from the commencement of the proceedings until the entry
of the decree she had abstained from taking part therein. Although her refusal to be examined or failure
to appear in court show indifference on her part, yet from such attitude the presumption arising out of the
suppression of evidence could not arise or be inferred because women of this country are by nature coy,
bashful and shy and would not submit to a physical examination unless compelled to by competent
authority. This the Court may do without doing violence to and infringing in this case is not self-
incrimination. She is not charged with any offense. She is not being compelled to be a witness against
herself.1 "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.

Page 115 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

SIN VS. SIN


G.R. No. 137590, 26 March 2001
Non-active participation of the State in the trial court warrants dismissal of the petition for nullity of
marriage (Art. 48-49)

Facts:

After a two-year courtship and engagement, Florence Malcampo-Sins and Philipp Sin, a Portugese
citizen, got married on 4 January 1987 at St. Jude Catholic Parish in San Miguel, Manila.

On 20 September 1994, Florence filed with the RTC Pasig a complaint for declaration of nullity against
Philipp. The RTC dismissed Florence’s petition due to insufficiency of evidence. The Court of Appeals
dismissed Florence’s appeal.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not evidence was sufficient to warrant the nullification of their marriage under Article
36 of the Family Code.

Held:
1. No, we decline to rule on the factual disputes on the case because the State did not
actively participate in the proceedings.

While Fiscal Jose Danilo C. Jabson filed with the trial court a manifestation dated November 16, 1994,
stating that he found no collusion between the parties, he did not actively participate therein. Other than
entering his appearance at certain hearings of the case, nothing more was heard from him. Neither did
the presiding Judge take any step to encourage the fiscal to contribute to the proceedings.

The Family Code mandates:

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 (underscoring
ours).

In the cases referred to in the preceeding paragraph, no judgment shall be based


upon a stipulation of facts or confession of judgment.

It can be argued that since the lower court dismissed the petition, the evil sought to be prevented (i.e.,
dissolution of the marriage) did not come about, hence, the lack of participation of the State was
cured. Not so. The task of protecting marriage as an inviolable social institution requires vigilant and
zealous participation and not mere pro-forma compliance.

The protection of marriage as a sacred institution requires not just the defense of a true and genuine
union but the exposure of an invalid one as well. This is made clear by the following pronouncement in
the Molina case:

(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
Page 116 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

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 shall discharge the equivalent function of
the defensor vinculi contemplated under Canon 1095.

The records are bereft of any evidence that the State participated in the prosecution of the case not just at
the trial level but on appeal with the Court of Appeals as well. Other than the manifestation filed with
the trial court on November 16, 1994, the State did not file any pleading, motion or position paper, at any
stage of the proceedings.

In Republic of the Philippines v. Erlinda Matias Dagdag, while we upheld the validity of the marriage, we
nevertheless characterized the decision of the trial court as prematurely rendered since the investigating
prosecutor was not given an opportunity to present controverting evidence before the judgment was
rendered. This stresses the importance of the participation of the State.

Having so ruled, we decline to rule on the factual disputes of the case, this being within the province of
the trial court upon proper re-trial.

Page 117 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

OCAMPO VS. FLORENCIANO


G.R. No. L-13553, 23 February 1960
Collusion means agreement to commit a matrimonial offense, to enable the procurement of a divorce. There
is no collusion when the defendant spouse tells the fiscal that he/she would also like to be legally
separated.

Confession of judgment is a confession that defeats the action ipso facto; it is one where the defendant
spouse appears in court and confesses to the plaintiff spouse’s right to judgment or files a pleading
agreeing to the plaintiff’s demand. The law prohibits the granting of annulment on the sole basis of a
confession of judgment. (Art. 48-49)

Facts:

On 5 April 1938, Jose de Ocampo and Serafina Florenciano married in a religious ceremony in Guimba,
Nueva Ecija, and lived husband and wife. They begot several children now living with de Ocampo.

However, in March 1951, de Ocampo discovered that on several occasions his wife was maintaining illicit
relations with Jose Arcalas. de Ocampo then sent Florenciano to Manila to study beauty culture in June
1951 where she stayed for one year. However, de Ocampo learned that Florenciano was going out with
several men. She left de Ocampo in June 1952 and they lived separately since then.

On 5 July 1955, de Ocampo filed a complaint for legal separation against Florenciano on the ground of
adultery twice: with Jose Arcalas in March 1951 and Nelson Orzame in June 1955. Florenciano filed no
answer, thus she was declared in default and, pursuant to Article 101 of the Family Code, the Trial Court
directed the provincial fiscal to investigate whether or not collusion existed between the parties. The
fiscal reported there was no collusion.

The trial court dismissed the complaint. The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal, holding there was
confession of judgment, prescription, and condonation or consent to adultery.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the CA erred in finding a confession of judgment, prescription, and condonation of
adultery

Held:
1. Yes, although the cause of action for adultery with Arcalas had prescribed, the cause of
action for adultery with Orzame had not yet prescribed. There was also no collusion nor
confession of judgment.

The Court of Appeals held that the husband's right to legal separation on account of the defendant's
adultery with Jose Arcalas had prescribed, because his action was not filed within one year from March
1951 when plaintiff discovered her infidelity. (Art. 102, New Civil Code) We must agree with the Court of
Appeals on this point.

As to the adultery with Nelson Orzame, the appellate court found that in the night of June 18, 1955, the
husband upon discovering the illicit connection, expressed his wish to file a petition for legal separation
and defendant readily agreed to such filing. And when she was questioned by the Fiscal upon orders of
the court, she reiterated her conformity to the legal separation even as she admitted having had sexual

Page 118 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

relations with Nelson Orzame. Interpreting these facts virtually to mean a confession of judgment the
Appellate Court declared that under Art. 101, legal separation could not be decreed.

ART. 100.—The legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent spouse,
provided there has been no condonation of or consent to the adultery or
concubinage. Where both spouses are offenders, a legal separation cannot be
claimed by either of them. Collusion between the parties to obtain legal separation
shall cause the dismissal of the petition.

ART. 101.—No decree of legal separation shall be promulgated upon a stipulation


of facts or by confession of judgment.

In case of non-appearance of the defendant, the court shall order the prosecuting
attorney to inquire whether or not a collusion between the parties exists. If there is
no collusion, the prosecuting attorney shall intervene for the State in order to take
care that the evidence for the plaintiff is not fabricated.

Article 101 does not exclude as evidence, any admission or confession made by the defendant outside of
the court. It merely prohibits a decree of separation upon a confession of judgment. 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.

Even if Florenciano’s statement amounts to a confession of judgment, given there is evidence of adultery
independently of such statements, the decree may and should be granted since it would not be based on
confession, but on the evidence presented by de Ocampo. 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 Florenciano told the Fiscal that would also like to be legally separated from
her husband is no obstacle to the successful prosecution of the action.

Collusion in legal separation means agreement between husband and wife for one of them to commit, or
to appear to commit, or to be represented in court as having committed, a matrimonial offense, or to
suppress evidence of a valid defense, for the purpose of enabling the other to obtain a divorce. This
agreement, if not express, may be implied from the acts of the parties. It is a ground for denying the
divorce

In this case, the parties did not arrange to make it appear that a matrimonial offense had been committed
because adultery had really taken place, based on the evidence presented. Collusion may be inferred form
the fact that the guilty party confesses to the offense and enables the other party to procure evidence
necessary to prove it. Moreover, proof that the defendant desires divorce is not by itself collusion.
Moreover, de Ocampo’s failure to actively search for Florenciano and take her home after she left him in
1952 amounted to condonation or consent to her adulterous relations. Notably, Florenciano left him after
having sinned with other men. IT was not de Ocampo’s duty to search for her to bring her home. Her
obligation was to return. In two similar decisions, the Court inferred the husband’s condonation to the
wife’s misconduct in the fact that the husband abandoned his wife. Here, it was the wife who abandoned
the husband. Therefore, the CA is reversed and legal separation is decreed between the spouses.

Page 119 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

LAPUZ SY VS. UY
G.R. No. L-30977, 31 January 1972
Action for legal separation is a purely personal right (Art. 55-56)

Facts:

Carmen Lapuz and Eufemio Eufemio alias Eufemio Uy married on 21 September 1934 civilly and
canonically on 30 September 1934. On 18 August 1953, Carmen filed a petition for legal separation,
alleging she had discovered Eufemio cohabitating with a Chinese woman named Go Hiok at 1319 Sisa
Street, Manila sometime in March 1949. Eufemio filed a counter-claim for the declaration of nullity of his
marriage to Carmen on the ground that he has a prior, subsisting marriage with Go Hiok according to
Chinese law and customs.

Unfortunately, before trial Carmen died in a car accident on 31 May 1969. Eufemio moved to dismiss the
petition for legal separation on two grounds: (1) the one-year prescriptive period provided in Article 102 0f
the Civil Code had lapsed; and (2) Carmen’s death abated the petition. Carmen’s father, Macario, opposed
the motion.

The Trial Court dismissed the case and Macario filed a petition for review by certiorari before the
Supreme Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Carmen’s death before final decree in an action for legal separation abates the
action.
2. Whether or not such an abatement applies if the action involves property rights.

Held:
1. Yes, an action for legal separation is a purely personal right as recognized by Art. 100 of
the Civil Code.

An action for legal separation which involves nothing more than the bed-and-board separation of the
spouses (there being no absolute divorce in this jurisdiction) is purely personal. The Civil Code of the
Philippines recognizes this in its Article 100, by allowing only the innocent spouse (and no one else) to
claim legal separation; and in its Article 108, by providing that the spouses can, by their reconciliation,
stop or abate the proceedings and even rescind a decree of legal separation already rendered. Being
personal in character, it follows that the death of one party to the action causes the death of the action
itself — actio personalis moritur cum persona.

When one of the spouses is dead, there is no need for divorce, because the marriage is dissolved. The heirs
cannot even continue the suit, if the death of the spouse takes place during the course of the suit (Article
244, Section 3). The action is absolutely dead

Marriage is a personal relation or status, created under the sanction of law, and an action for divorce is a
proceeding brought for the purpose of effecting a dissolution of that relation. The action is one of a
personal nature. In the absence of a statute to the contrary, the death of one of the parties to such action
abates the action, for the reason that death has settled the question of separation beyond all controversy
and deprived the court of jurisdiction, both over the persons of the parties to the action and of the subject-
matter of the action itself. For this reason the courts are almost unanimous in holding that the death of
either party to a divorce proceeding, before final decree, abates the action.
Page 120 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

2. Yes, death also abates the actions involving property rights.

Article 106 of the Civil Code implies the right to the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains (or of
the absolute community of property), the loss of right by the offending spouse to any share of the profits
earned by the partnership or community, or his disqualification to inherit by intestacy from the innocent
spouse as well as the revocation of testamentary provisions in favor of the offending spouse made by the
innocent one, are all rights and disabilities that, by the very terms of the Civil Code article, are vested
exclusively in the persons of the spouses; and by their nature and intent, such claims and disabilities
are difficult to conceive as assignable or transmissible. Hence, a claim to said rights is not a claim that "is
not thereby extinguished" after a party dies, under Section 17, Rule 3, of the Rules of Court, to warrant
continuation of the action through a substitute of the deceased party.

Page 121 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

GANDIONCO VS. PENARANDA


G.R. No. 79284, 27 November 1987
An action for legal separation is aimed at the conjugal rights of the parties, not to recovery civil liability

Facts:

On 29 May 1986, Teresita Gandionco filed before the RTC of Misamis a complaint for legal separation on
the ground of concubinage against her husband, Froilan Gandionco. She also filed a complaint against
Froilan for concubinage before the MTC.

Froilan contended the civil action for legal separation should be suspended in view of the criminal case for
concubinage pending before the MTC. Judge Penaranda denied Froilan’s motion. Froilan directly
appealed to the Supreme Court, citing Jerusalem vs. Zurbano, where the SC held that suspension of an
action for legal separation would be proper if an allegation of concubinage is made, as per Section 1, Rule
107 of the then Rules of Court on Criminal Procedure.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not RTC Judge Penaranda erred in not suspending the civil action for legal separation
pending the criminal case for concubinage before the MTC.

Held:
1. No, Judge Penaranda correctly continued the civil action for legal separation.

Froilan incorrectly invokes the suspension of civil actions arising from the same offense charged in a
criminal action that was already commenced. The governing rule now is Section 3, Rule 111, 1985 Rules
on Criminal Procedure which refers to "civil actions to enforce the civil liability arising from the offense"
as contemplated in the first paragraph of Section 1 of Rule 111-which is a civil action "for recovery of civil
liability arising from the offense charged."

Sec. 1, Rule 111, (1985) specifically refers to civil actions for the recovery of civil liability arising from the
offense charged. Whereas, the old Sec. 1 (c), Rule 107 simply referred to "Civil action arising from the
offense."

The action for legal separation is not to recover civil liability, in the main, but is aimed at the conjugal
rights of the spouses and their relations to each other, within the contemplation of Articles 7 to 108, of the
Civil Code.

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. To this end,
the doctrine in Francisco vs. Tayao has been modified, as that case was decided under Act. No. 2710,
when absolute divorce was then allowed and had for its grounds the same grounds for legal separation
under the New Civil Code, with the requirement, under such former law, that the guilt of defendant
spouses had to be established by final judgment in a criminal action. That requirement has not been
reproduced or adopted by the framers of the present Civil Code, and the omission has been uniformly
accepted as a modification of the stringent rule in Francisco v. Tayao.

Page 122 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BUGAYONG VS. GINEZ


G.R. No. L-10033, 28 December 1956
Cohabitation despite knowledge of infidelity amounts to condonation

Facts:

Benjamin Bugayong, a US Navy serviceman, married Leonila Ginez on 27 August 1949 in Pangasinan.
They lived together with their sisters in Sampaloc, Manila. Sometime in July 1951, Ginez left the
dwelling of her sister-in-law and wrote to her husband, informing him that she had gone to live with her
mother in Pangasinan and later moved to Dagupan City to study in a local college.

In July 1951, Bugayong received letters from Valeriana Polangco, his sister-in-law, and anonymous
persons informing him of Ginez’s acts of infidelity. Allegedly, Ginez wrote to Bugayong, informing him
that another man kissed her.

In August 1952, Bugayong went to be with Ginez in Pangasinan. He asked her the truth of her adultery,
but Ginez didn’t answer and simply packed up and left. Bugayong took this an admission of Ginez’s
adultery. Despite this, Bugayong went looking for her.

On 18 November 1952, Bugayong filed with the CFI of Pangasinan a complaint for legal separation
against Ginez, who moved to dismiss the complaint, claiming that Bugayong had condoned Ginez’s
adultery.

The CFI denied Ginez’s motion to dismiss, thus she appealed to the Court of Appeals, which certified the
case to the Supreme Court on a pure question of law.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Bugayong condoned Ginez’s adultery.

Held:
1. Yes, Bugayong’s act of cohabiting with Ginez despite knowing her infidelity amounts to
condonation.

Condonation is the forgiveness of a marital offense constituting a ground for legal separation.

Article 97 of the Civil Code provides that adultery by the wife is a ground for legal separation. Article 100
provides that the innocent spouse may file a complaint for legal separation, provided there has been no
consent or condonation of the adultery. Article 102 provides that an action for legal separation must be
filed within 1 year from and after the date the innocent spouse learned of the cause, but must be within 5
years from and after the date such cause occurred.

The Court considered Bugayong’s line of conduct under the assumption that he really believed his wife
guilty of adultery. What did he do in such state of mind. In August, 1952, he went to Pangasinan and
looked for his wife and after finding her they lived together as husband and wife for 2 nights and 1 day,
after which he says that he tried to verify from her the truth of the news he had about her infidelity, but
failed to attain his purpose because his wife, instead of answering his query on the matter, preferred to
desert him, probably enraged for being subjected to such humiliation. And yet he tried to locate her,
though in vain. Now, do the husband's attitude of sleeping with his wife for 2 nights despite his alleged

Page 123 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

belief that she was unfaithful to him, amount to a condonation of her previous and supposed adulterous
acts?

The only general rule in American jurisprudence is that any cohabitation with the guilty party, after the
commission of the offense, and with the knowledge or belief on the part of the injured party of its
commission, will amount to conclusive evidence of condonation; but this presumption may be rebutted by
evidence. Single voluntary act of marital intercourse between the parties ordinarily is sufficient to
constitute condonation, and where the parties live in the same house, it is presumed that they live on
terms of matrimonial cohabitation

Page 124 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

PACETE VS. CARIAGA


G.R. No. L-53880, 17 March 1994
No decree of legal separation shall be promulgated upon a stipulation of facts of confession of judgment
(Art. 58)

Facts:

On 29 October 1979, Concepcion Alanis filed before the CFI of Cotabato City, a complaint for declaration
of nullity of marriage between her husband Enrico L. Pacete and a certain Clarita de la Concepcion, as
well as for legal separation between her (Alanis) and Pacete. Alanis alleged she married Pacete on 20
April 1938 before a justice of the peace of Cotabato, but then Pacete subsequently married de la
Concepcion in North Cotabato in 1948. Alanis alleged she only learned of Pacete’s marriage to de la
Concepcion in August 1979 and that Pacete acquired numerous properties and fraudulently placed
several pieces of property under de la Concepcion’s name, his name, or his children with de la Concepcion.

Pacete filed a motion for extension to file an answer, which the CFI granted. However, Pacete failed to file
his answer due alleged miscommunication between them and the court. Alanis filed a motion to declare
Pacete in default, which the CFI granted. On 17 March 1980, the CFI promulgated judgment, issuing a
decree of legal separation between Alanis and Pacete. Pacete filed a petition for certiorari before the
Supreme Court, assailing the order of default by the CFI.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the CFI correctly declared Pacete in default and subsequently granted Alanis’s
petition for legal separation and declaration of nullity of marriage.

Held:
1. No, the CFI’s order of default was improper. No decree of legal separation shall be
promulgated upon a stipulation of facts or confession of judgment.

The Civil Code provides:

Art. 101. No decree of legal separation shall be promulgated upon a stipulation of


facts or by confession of judgment.

In case of non-appearance of the defendant, the court shall order the prosecuting
attorney to inquire whether or not collusion between the parties exists. If there is
no collusion, the prosecuting attorney shall intervene for the State in order to take
care that the evidence for the plaintiff is not fabricated.

Article 101 was reproduced in Article 60 of the Family Code. This provision reflects the public policy of
marriages, as explained in Brown vs. Yambao:

The policy of Article 101 of the new Civil Code, calling for the intervention of the state attorneys in case of
uncontested proceedings for legal separation (and of annulment of marriages, under Article 88), is to
emphasize that marriage is more than a mere contract; that it is a social institution in which the state is
vitally interested, so that its continuation or interruption can not be made to depend upon the parties
themselves (Civil Code, Article 52; Adong vs. Cheong Gee, 43 Phil. 43; Ramirez v. Gmur, 42 Phil. 855;
Goitia v. Campos, 35 Phil. 252). It is consonant with this policy that the inquiry by the Fiscal should be

Page 125 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

allowed to focus upon any relevant matter that may indicate whether the proceedings for separation or
annulment are fully justified or not.

Article 103 of the Civil Code, now Article 58 of the Family Code, further mandates that an action for legal
separation must "in no case be tried before six months shall have elapsed since the filing of the petition,"
obviously in order to provide the parties a "cooling-off" period. In this interim, the court should take steps
toward getting the parties to reconcile.

Moreover, Rule 18 of the Rules of Court provides, to wit:

Sec. 6. No defaults in actions for annulments of marriage or for legal separation. —


If the defendant in an action for annulment of marriage or for legal separation fails
to answer, the court shall order the prosecuting attorney to investigate whether or
not a collusion between the parties exists, and if there is no collusion, to intervene
for the State in order to see to it that the evidence submitted is not fabricated.

The special prescriptions on actions that can put the integrity of marriage to possible jeopardy are
impelled by no less than the State's interest in the marriage relation and its avowed intention not to leave
the matter within the exclusive domain and the vagaries of the parties to alone dictate.

Clearly, Alanis in fact, specifically prayed for legal separation. That other remedies, whether principal or
incidental, have likewise been sought in the same action cannot dispense, nor excuse compliance, with
any of the statutory requirements aforequoted.

Thus, the SC granted Pacete’s petition for certiorari and nullified the CFI’s judgment dated 17 March
1980.

Page 126 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MACADANGDANG VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. L-38287, 23 October 1981
Rules of intestate succession apply if the spouse dies before liquidation of conjugal property despite decree
of legal separation; Art. 63

Facts:

Filomena Macadangdang and Antonio Macadangdang married in 1946 after living together for two years.
They moved to Mawab, Davao del Norte, where through hard work and good fortune, their buy-and-sell
business grew and expanded into merchandising, trucking, transportation, rice, and corn mill, real estate,
and others. They were also blessed with 6 children.

With their established businesses and accumulated wealth, they accused each other of having
extramarital relations. They separated in 1965 when Filomena left Cebu for good. She returned to Davao
in 1971 and learned of Antonio’s illicit affairs, thus she instituted a complaint for legal separation before
the CFI of Davao on 28 April 1971. On 9 February 1972, Filomena even filed a petition for appointment of
administrator to administer the estate of the conjugal partnership pending the case for legal separation.

On 4 January 1973, without acting upon the petition for appointment of administrator, the CFI granted
Filomena’s petition for legal separation, with all legal effects, particularly, the dissolution and liquidation
of the conjugal property, and ordered Antonio to pay support to Filomena until the court can appoint an
administrator.

On 25 August 1973, Filomena filed another motion for the appointment of an administrator, reiterating
her previous petition and urging the CFI to resolve the matter. The CFI ordered Filomena to submit 3
names for appointment as administrator, but Antonio filed a motion for reconsideration, praying he be
allowed to continue administering the conjugal properties. The CFI denied Antonio’s motion. Antonio filed
a second motion praying that the CFI not proceed with the appointment of an administrator, but the CFI
denied him once again, reiterating that the decree of legal separation had become final.

Antonio filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals, and sought to reverse the CFI’s orders
regarding the appointment of an administrator and enforcing the decree of legal separation. The CA held
that the CFI’s decision had become final and executory, thus the appointment of an administrator was
valid. Antonio appealed to the Supreme Court, but he died pending appeal. Antonio’s lawyer and
Filomena moved for the SC to dismiss the case because Antonio’s death renders the case moot and
academic.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Antonio’s death rendered the case moot and academic.

Page 127 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, although Antonio passed away before the liquidation of the conjugal property, the
rules of intestate succession with respect to his properties shall be applied.

Article 106 provides for the effects of legal separation, which includes the dissolution and liquidation of
the conjugal property, but the offending spouse shall have no right to share in the profits earned by the
partnership or community property.

Such dissolution and liquidation are necessary consequences of the final decree. This legal effect of the
decree of legal separation ipso facto or automatically follows, as an inevitable incident of, the judgment
decreeing legal separation—for the purpose of determining the share of each spouse in the conjugal
assets.

The clear mandate of Article 106 of the Civil Code and the aforequoted ruling in the jurisprudence
(Miranda case), the decision of the trial court dated January 4, 1973 decreeing the legal separation
between then spouses Antonio Macadangdang and Filomena Gaviana Macadangdang had long become
final and executory and the division of the conjugal property in a "supplemental decision" is a mere
incident of the decree of legal separation.

The rules on dissolution and liquidation of the conjugal partnership of gains under the aforecited
provisions of the Civil Code would be applied effective January 4, 1973 when the decree of legal
separation became final. Upon the liquidation and distribution conformably with the law governing the
effects of the final decree of legal separation, the law on intestate succession should take over in
the disposition of whatever remaining properties have been allocated to Antonio.

Page 128 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

POTENCIANO VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 139789 & 139808, 19 July 2001 (RESOLUTION)
Courts can not compel consortium between husband and wife (Art. 68)

Facts:

On 11 March 1999, Erlinda Ilusorio, the matriarch who loved her husband, filed a petition before the
Court of Appeals for habeas corpus to have custody of her husband in consortium. The CA dismissed the
petition for lack of unlawful restraint or detention of Potenciano Ilusorio.

Erlinda appealed to the Supreme Court, pursuing her desire to have custody of her husband, Potenciano.
This case was consolidated with another case filed by Potenciano and his children, appealing from the
order giving visitation rights to his wife, asserting that he never refused to see her.

Erlinda sought Potenciano’s custody because she alleged that her children Lin and Sylvia were illegally
restraining Potenciano to fraudulently deprive her of property rights. She claimed that her two children
were using their sick and frail father to sign away Potenciano and Erlinda' s property to companies
controlled by Lin and Sylvia. She also argued that since Potenciano retired as director and officer of
Baguio Country Club and Philippine Oversees Telecommunications, she would logically assume his
position and control. Yet, Lin and Sylvia were the ones controlling the corporations.

Erlinda highlighted that her husband suffered from various ailments. Thus, Potenciano Ilusorio did not
have the mental capacity to decide for himself. Hence, Erlinda argued that Potenciano be brought before
the Supreme Court so that we could determine his mental state.

Erlinda stated that Article XII of the 1987 Constitution and Articles 68 and 69 of the Family Code
support her position that as spouses, they (Potenciano and Erlinda) are duty bound to live together and
care for each other.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Erlinda can compel Potenciano to live with him via a court order.

Held:
1. No, the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together, observe
mutual love, respect and fidelity, the law contemplates "spontaneous, mutual affection
between husband and wife and not any legal mandate or court order" to enforce
consortium.

Obviously, there was absence of empathy between spouses Erlinda and Potenciano, having separated
from bed and board since 1972. We defined empathy as a shared feeling between husband and wife
experienced not only by having spontaneous sexual intimacy but a deep sense of spiritual
communion. Marital union is a two-way process. Marriage is definitely for two loving adults who view the
relationship with "amor gignit amorem respect, sacrifice and a continuing commitment to togetherness,
conscious of its value as a sublime social institution. On June 28, 2001, Potenciano Ilusorio gave his soul
to the Almighty, his Creator and Supreme Judge. Let his soul rest in peace and his survivors continue the
much prolonged fracas ex aequo et bono. His death rendered the case moot.

Page 129 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ILUSORIO VS. BILDNER


G.R. No. 139789 & G.R. No. 139808, 12 May 2000
Marital rights and living in the conjugal dwelling can not be granted in a habeas corpus proceeding
(Art. 68)

Facts:

On July 11, 1942, Erlinda Kalaw and Potenciano Ilusorio contracted matrimony and lived together for a
period of 30 years. In 1972, they separated from bed and board for undisclosed reasons. Potenciano lived
at Urdaneta Condominium, Ayala Ave., Makati City when he was in Manila and at Ilusorio Penthouse,
Baguio Country Club when he was in Baguio City. On the other hand, Erlinda lived in Antipolo City.
They had six children: Ramon, Erlinda Ilusorio Bildnera, Maximo, Sylvia, Marietta, and Shereen.

Sylvia and Erlinda Ilusirio alleged that Potenciano stayed with their mother for five months in Antipolo
City starting 30 December 1997. During this time, they alleged that their mother gave Potenciano an
overdose of 200mg (instead of 100mg) of Zoloft, an antidepressant drug prescribed by his doctor in the US.
Consequently, Potenciano’s health deteriorated.

On 25 February 1998, Erlinda filed before the RTC a petition for guardianship over the property and
person of Potenciano, due to his advanced age, frail health, poor eyesight, and impaired judgment. After
Potenciano did not return to Antipolo City after attending a corporate meeting in Baguio City, Erlinda
filed a petition for habeas corpus with the Court of Appeals. She alleged that her children prevented her
from visiting Potenciano. Essentially, her petition for habeas corpus was sought to compel Potenciano to
live with her in Antipolo.

The CA dismissed Erlinda’s petition for habeas corpus holding that there was no actual and effective
detention or deprivation of Potenciano’s liberty, and that he was of sound and alert mind. Instead, the CA
allowed visitation rights for Erlinda.

Erlinda Ilusirio Bildnera appealed before the Supreme Court, assailing the CA’s grant of visitation rights
in favor of her mother.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the CA erred in granting visitation rights to Erlinda, who never even prayed for
such right.

Held:
1. Yes, the CA exceeded its authority when it awarded visitation rights for Erlinda.

The Court of Appeals missed the fact that the case did not involve the right of a parent to visit a minor
child but the right of a wife to visit a husband. In case the husband refuses to see his wife for private
reasons, he is at liberty to do so without threat of any penalty attached to the exercise of his 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 womans free choice.
Verily, marital rights including coverture and living in conjugal dwelling may not be enforced by the
extra-ordinary writ of habeas corpus.

Page 130 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

TY VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 127406, 27 November 2000
A mere breach of marital obligation does not give rise to an action for damages (Art. 68)

Facts:

Edgardo Reyes married Anna Maria Regina Villanueva in a civil ceremony in Manila on 29 March 1977,
then in a church wdding on 27 August 1977. However, their marriage was declared void on 4 August 1980
for the lack of a valid marriage license (civil wedding) and lack of consent (church wedding).

Before the decree of nullity was issued, Edgardo married Ofelia Ty on 4 April 1979 in a ceremony
solemnized by a judge of the City Court of Pasay and then in a church wedding on 4 April 1982.

On 3 January 1991, Edgardo filed a petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage with Ophelia for the
lack of a marriage license. He added that when he married Ophelia, his marriage to Anna Maria was not
yet been rendered null and void. Ophelia countered that there was a valid marriage license and submitted
it as evidence. Edgardo submitted the decision of the court nullifying his marriage to Anna Maria dated 4
August 1980.

The Pasig RTC declared Edgardo and Ophelia’s marriage void ab initio. Both parties appealed to the
Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court, holding that a judicial declaration of nullity of the first
marriage must first be secured before contracting subsequent marriage. The CA further ordered Eduardo
to pay monthly support to his children with Ophelia.

Ophelia appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the CA erred in not granting moral and exemplary
damages from Edgardo for filing a baseless complaint for annulment, causing her mental anguish and
humiliation.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not damages should be awarded in favor of Ophelia.

Held:
1. No, there is no action for damages merely because of a breach of marital obligation.

Ophelia wants her marriage to private respondent held valid and subsisting. She is suing to maintain her
status as legitimate wife. In the same breath, she asks for damages from her husband for filing a baseless
complaint for annulment of their marriage which caused her mental anguish, anxiety, besmirched
reputation, social humiliation and alienation from her parents. Should we grant her prayer, we would
have a situation where the husband pays the wife damages from conjugal or common funds. To do so,
would make the application of the law absurd. Logic, if not common sense, militates against such
incongruity. Moreover, our laws do not comprehend an action for damages between husband and wife
merely because of breach of a marital obligation. There are other remedies.

Page 131 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

AYALA INVESTMENT & DEVELOPMENT CORP. VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 118305, 12 February 1998
Husband signed accommodations, security agreements for his employer, and made himself jointly and
severally liable, is NOT a personal loan; Rules on redounding to the benefit of the family; Art. 73 and Arts.
121-122

Facts:

Alfredo Ching, Executive VP of Philipping Blooming Mills (PBM) executed security agreements and made
himself jointly and severally answerable with PBM’s loan worth P50,300,000 from Ayala Investment and
Development Corporation (AIDC).

PBM failed to pay the loan, prompting AIDC to file a case for sum of money against PBM and Ching on 30
July 1981 before the CFI. The CFI ordered PBM and Ching to jointly and severally pay AIDC the
principal amount of P50,300,000 with interest. Three conjugal properties owned by the Ching spouses
were levied on. The Deputy Sheriff of Rizal, Abelardo Magsajo, served notice to Spouses Ching dated 20
May 1982 of the sheriff’s sale of these 3 conjugal properties.

Spouses Ching filed a case of injunction before CFI of Pasig Branch XIII against AIDC and Magsajo, to
enjoin the auction saile, alleging that AIDC cannot enforce the CFI’s judgment against conjugal property
because PBM’s loan did not redound to the benefit of Spouses Ching’s conjugal partnership. On 14 June
1982, the CFI issued a temporary restraining order to prevent Magsajo from the public auction sale of the
3 conjugal properties owned by Spouses Ching.

AIDC petitioned for ceriotrari before the Court of Appeals, which allowed the auction sale. AIDC was the
only bidder, thus Magsajo issued AIDC a Certificate of Sale, which was registered. On 4 August 1982,
Magsajo issued the final deed of sale when the redemption period for the 3 conjugal properties expired.

Meanwhile, the CA granted AIDC’s petition for certiorari, reversing the CFI Branch XIII’s order to enjoin
the sale. Based on this, AIDC filed a motion to dismiss before the CFI Branch XIII and argued Spouses
Ching’s case had become moot and academic since the sale was accomplished. The CFI denied AIDC’s
motion to dismiss and proceeded with trial on the merits, and eventually declared the public sale void.
AIDC appealed to the CA, but the CA affirmed the CFI saying that PBM’s loan did not benefit Spouses
Ching’s conjugal partnership.

AIDC appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that there was no need to prove that Spouses Ching’s
conjugal partnership actually benefitted from PBM’s loan; AIDC argued it was only necessary to prove
that Alfredo Ching’s transactions were entered into for the benefit of the conjugal partnership, as per
Article 161 of the Civil Code.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Alfredo Ching’s transactions as PBM Executive VP redounded to the benefit of his
conjugal partnership with his wife.

Page 132 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, the loan obtained by PBM was for its own advancement and benefit, not for the
benefit of the conjugal partnership of Spouses Ching.

Article 161 (1) of the Civil Code and Article 121 (2) of the Family Code are similarly worded, i.e., both use
the term for the benefit of. On the other hand, Article 122 of the Family Code provides that the payment
of personal debts by the husband or the wife before or during the marriage shall not be charged to the
conjugal partnership except insofar as they redounded to the benefit of the family. As can be seen, the
terms are used interchangeably.

AIDC contends that no actual benefit need accrue to the conjugal partnership, but that a benefit for the
family may also arise when the accommodation or guarantee favors the husband’s employer. AIDC adds
that Alfredo Ching anticipated benefits like prolonged employment, shares of stock that would appreciate,
and his career would be enhanced if PBM survived because of the loan.

However, these are not the benefits contemplated by Article 161 of the Civil Code. 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.

There must be the requisite showing some advantage which clearly accrued to the welfare of the spouses
or benefits to his family or that such obligations are productive of some benefit to the
family. Unfortunately, AIDC did not present any proof to show this. Indeed, considering the odds involved
in guaranteeing a large amount (P50,000,000.00) of loan, the probable prolongation of employment in
PBM and increase in value of its stocks, would be too small to qualify the transaction as one for the
benefit of the suretys family. Verily, no one could say, with a degree of certainty, that the said contract is
even productive of some benefits to the conjugal partnership.

The burden of proof that the debt was contracted for the benefit of the conjugal partnership of gains, lies
with the creditor-party litigant claiming as such. In the case at bar, AIDC failed to prove that the debt
was contracted by Alfredo Ching, for the benefit of the conjugal partnership of gains. What is apparent
from the facts of the case is that the judgment debt was contracted by or in the name of the Corporation
Philippine Blooming Mills and Alfredo Ching only signed as surety thereof. The debt is clearly a corporate
debt and AIDC’s right of recourse against Alfredo Ching as surety is only to the extent of his corporate
stockholdings. It does not extend to the conjugal partnership of gains of the family of Spouses Ching.

The provisions of the Family Code apply in this case. These provisions highlight the underlying concern
of the law for the conservation of the conjugal partnership; for the husbands duty to protect and
safeguard, if not augment, not to dissipate it.

This is the underlying reason why the Family Code clarifies that the obligations entered into by one of the
spouses must be those that redounded to the benefit of the family and that the measure of the
partnerships liability is to the extent that the family is benefited. These are all in keeping with the spirit
and intent of the other provisions of the Civil Code, which prohibits any of the spouses to donate or convey
gratuitously any part of the conjugal property. Thus, when co-respondent Alfredo Ching entered into a
surety agreement he, from then on, definitely put in peril the conjugal property (in this case, including
the family home) and placed it in danger of being taken gratuitously as in cases of donation.

AIDC adds that acting as a surety is part of the business or profession of Alfredo Ching. Signing as a
surety is certainly not an exercise of an industry or profession, hence the cited cases of Cobb-Perez vs.
Lantin; Abella de Diaz vs. Erlanger & Galinger; G-Tractors, Inc. vs. CA do not apply in the instant
Page 133 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

case. Signing as a surety is not embarking in a business. No matter how often an executive acted or was
persuaded to act, as a surety for his own employer, this should not be taken to mean that he had thereby
embarked in the business of suretyship or guaranty.

This is not to say, however, that we are unaware that executives are often asked to stand as surety for
their company’s loan obligations. This is especially true if the corporate officials have sufficient property
of their own; otherwise, their spouses signatures are required in order to bind the conjugal partnerships.

Article 121, paragraph 3, of the Family Code is emphatic that the payment of personal debts contracted
by the husband or the wife before or during the marriage shall not be charged to the conjugal partnership
except to the extent that they redounded to the benefit of the family.

Here, the property in dispute also involves the family home. The loan is a corporate loan not a personal
one. 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.

On the basis of the facts, the rules, the law and equity, the assailed decision should be upheld as we now
uphold it. This is, of course, without prejudice to petitioners right to enforce the obligation in its favor
against the PBM receiver in accordance with the rehabilitation program and payment schedule approved
or to be approved by the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Addendum from case:

From the foregoing jurisprudential rulings of this Court, we can derive the following conclusions:

(A) 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 time
of the signing of the contract. From the very nature of the contract of loan or services, the family
stands to benefit from the loan facility or services to be rendered to the business or profession of
the husband. It is immaterial, if in the end, his business or profession fails or does not
succeed. Simply stated, where the husband contracts obligations on behalf of the family business,
the law presumes, and rightly so, that such obligation will redound to the benefit of the conjugal
partnership.

(B) On the other hand, if the money or services are given to another person or entity, and
the husband acted only as a surety or guarantor, that contract cannot, by itself, alone be
categorized as falling within the context of obligations for the benefit of the conjugal
partnership. The contract of loan or services is clearly for the benefit of the principal debtor and
not for the surety or his family. No presumption can be inferred that, when a husband enters into
a contract of surety or accommodation agreement, it is for the benefit of the conjugal
partnership. Proof must be presented to establish benefit redounding to the conjugal partnership.

Page 134 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

AGAPAY VS. PALANG


G.R. No. 116668, 28 July 1997
Prohibition of donations between spouses applies to live-in spouses without benefit of marriage (Art. 87)
also assigned in (Art. 148)

Facts:

On 16 July 1949, Miguel Palang married Carlina Vallesterol in Pangasinan. He later left to work in
Hawaii, leaving Carlinas and their only child, Herminia. Miguel returned in 1954 but refused to live with
his wife and child. It was learned that Miguel attempted to divorce Carlina in Hawaii.

On 15 July 1973, Miguel, already 63 years old, married 19-year-old Erlinda Agapay. Two months before
the marriage, Miguel and Erlinda jointly purchased a parcel of agricultural land in Pangasinan with an
area of 10,080 square meters with a TCT issued in their name. Allegedly, Erlinda later bought a house
and lot as the sole buyer with a title issued in her name.

On 30 October 1975, Miguel and Carlina executed a Deed of Donation as a compromise agreement to
settle the case Carlina filed. The agreed to donate their conjugal property of 6 parcels of land to their only
child, Herminia. Miguel died on 15 February 1981 after he and Erlinda were convicted of concubinage.

On 11 July 1981, Carlina and Herminia filed an action for recovery of ownership and possession with
damages against Erlinda, seeking to get back the Riceland and house purchased by Miguel during his
cohabitation with Erlinda.

Erlinda contended said property was under her and Miguel’s name, and that she had already given her
half of the property to their son Kristopher Palang. The lower court dismissed Carlina’s complaint for
little evidence to prove that the subject properties were conjugal property of Carlina and Miguel.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and ordered Erlinda to deliver the subject properties to
Carlina and Herminia. Erlinda appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that riceland and the house are conjugal
property of Miguel and Carlina.

Held:
1. Yes, under Article 148, only properties acquired by both parties through their actual
joint contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned by the spouses in
common in proportion to their respective contributions. Erlinda failed to prove that she
contributed to the purchase price of the riceland, thus the subject property should
revert back to the conjugal property of Miguel and Carlina.

The sale of the riceland on May 17, 1973, was made in favor of Miguel and Erlinda. The provision of
law applicable here is Article 148 of the Family Code providing for cases of cohabitation when a man
and a woman who are not capacitated to marry each other live exclusively with each other as husband
and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage. While Miguel and Erlinda
contracted marriage on July 15, 1973, said union was patently void because the earlier marriage of
Miguel and Carlina was still susbsisting and unaffected by the latters de facto separation.

Page 135 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

It must be stressed that actual contribution is required by this provision, in contrast to Article 147
which states that efforts in the care and maintenance of the family and household, are regarded as
contributions to the acquisition of common property by one who has no salary or income or work or
industry. If the actual contribution of the party is not proved, there will be no co-ownership and no
presumption of equal shares.

Erlinda failed to prove she was engaged in the business of buy and sell and had a sari-sari store.
Notably, she was only 20 years old when Miguel, who was already 64 and a US Government
pensioner, bought the subject property. It is unlikely that Erlinda contributed P3,750 as her share in
the purchase price.

With regard to the house and lot, Erlinda claims she bought them for P20,000 when she was only 22,
but the notary public who prepared the deed of converyance testified that Miguel provided the money
and directed that Erlinda’s name alone be placed as the sole buyer. Such was a donation, but void as
per Article 739 of the Civil Code which prohibits donations between persons guilty of adultery or
concubinage at the time of the donation.

Moreover, Article 87 of the Family Code expressly provides that the prohibition against
donations between spouses now applies to donations between persons living together as
husband and wife without a valid marriage.

Page 136 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ARCABA VS. TABANCURA VDA DE BATOCAEL


G.R. No. 146683, 22 November 2001
Meaning of cohabitation among live-in spouses (Art. 87)

Facts:

On 16 January 1956, Francisco Comille and wife Zosima Montallana became registered owners of a
Lot 437-A at the corner of Calle Santa Rosa (now Balintawak Street) and Calle Rosario (now Rizal
Avenue) in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte. The lot has an area of 418 square meters.

After Zosima’s death, Francisco and his mother-in-lawm Juliana, executed a deed of extrajudicial
partition with waiver of rights, in which Juliana waived her share of ¼ of the property. Having no
children, Francisco asked his niece, Leticia Bellosillo, her cousin, Luzviminda Paghacian, and Cirila
Araba, a widow, to take care of hise house and the store inside.

Leticia alleged that Francisco and Cirila were lovers since they slept in the same room while another
niece claimed that Francisco said Cirila was his mistress. Cirila said she was a mere helper. She
denied ever having sexual intercourse with Francisco.
.
When Francisco’s nieces got married, Cirila was left to care for Francisco. Cirila testified that she was
a 34-year-old widow while Francisco was a 75-year-old widower when she began working for him.
Before his death, Francisco executed a Deed of Donation, giving a portion of 150 sq m of Lot $37 and
the house to Cirila, who accepted the donation. Francisco left the larger portion of 268 sq m on his
name. The Deed stated the donation was made in consideration of Cirila’s faithful services for 10
years. The deed was notarized and Cirila later registered it.

On 18 February 1993, Francisco’s nephews and nieces and his heirs by intestate succession filed a
complaint to nullify the deed of donation and recover possession of the property. They alleged that
cirila was the common-law wife of Francisco, thus the donation is void under Article 87 of the Family
Code.

The Trial court ruled in favor of Francisco’s nephews and nieces. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
lower court based on evidence such as (1) testimony of Francisco’s nephews and nieces; (2) documents
showing Cirila’s use of Francisco’s surname; and (3) a pleading in another civil case mentioning Cirila
as Francisco’s common-law wife; and (4) the fact that Cirila did not receive a regular cash wage.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals correctly applied Article 87 of the Family Code.

Page 137 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. Yes, there is preponderance of evidence that Cirila and Francisco lived together as
husband and wife without a valid marriage. Francisco’s donation in favor of Cirila is
void under Art. 87 of the Family Code.

Cohabitatio or living together as husband and wife, as held in Bitangcor vs. Tan, means not only residing
under one roof, but also having repeated sexual intercourse. Cohabitation, of course, means more than
sexual intercourse, especially when one of the parties is already old and may no longer be interested in
sex. At the very least, cohabitation is the public assumption by a man and a woman of the marital
relation, and dwelling together as man and wife, thereby holding themselves out to the public as
such. Secret meetings or nights clandestinely spent together, even if often repeated, do not constitute
such kind of cohabitation; they are merely meretricious.

Cirila admitted that she and Francisco resided under one roof for a long time. It is very possible that the
two consummated their relationship, since Cirila gave Francisco therapeutic massage and Leticia said
they slept in the same bedroom. At the very least, their public conduct indicated that theirs was not just a
relationship of caregiver and patient, but that of exclusive partners akin to husband and wife.

There are other indications that Cirila and Francisco were common-law spouses. Seigfredo Tabancura
presented documents apparently signed by Cirila using the surname Comille. As previously stated, these
are an application for a business permit to operate as a real estate lessor, a sanitary permit to operate as
real estate lessor with a health certificate, and the death certificate of Francisco.These documents show
that Cirila saw herself as Franciscos common-law wife, otherwise, she would not have used his last name.

Similarly, in the answer filed by Franciscos lessees in Erlinda Tabancura, et al. vs. Gracia Adriatico Sy
and Antonio Sy, RTC Civil Case No. 4719 (for collection of rentals), these lessees referred to Cirila as the
common-law spouse of Francisco.

Finally, the fact that Cirila did not demand from Francisco a regular cash wage is an indication that she
was not simply a caregiver-employee, but Franciscos common law spouse. She was, after all, entitled to a
regular cash wage under the law. It is difficult to believe that she stayed with Francisco and served him
out of pure beneficence. Human reason would thus lead to the conclusion that she was Franciscos
common-law spouse.

Page 138 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

UY VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 109557, 29 November 2000
Article 124 does not apply when the non-consenting spouse is incapacitated or incompetent to consent

Facts:

Dr. Ernesto Jardeleza, Sr. suffered a stroke, which left him comatose and bereft of any mental or motor
faculties. His, Teodoro, petitioned before the RTC for Letters of Guardianship be issued in favor of his
mother, Gilda, and for no property of his father be negotiated, mortgaged, or otherwise alienated to third
persons, particularly Lot 4291.

Later, his Gilda herself filed a petition before the RTC and signified her desire to assume sole powers of
administration of their conjugal properties. She alleged that she needed to sell Lot 4291 to pay for her
husband’s medical treatment and hospitalization expenses were accumulating to several hundred
thousands of pesos. The RTC scheduled a hearing, which was attended by Gilda, her counsel, her two
children Ernesto Jr., and Glenda, and Dr. Padilla.

On that same day, 20 June 1991, the RTC was convinced that Ernesto Sr., was truly incapacitated to
participate in the administration of the conjugal properties, and that the sale of Lot 4291 was necessary
to defray the mounting expenses for treatment. The RTC likewise pronounced that Gilda’s petition was
pursuant to Article 124 of the Family Code, and that such proceedings are governed by the rules on
summary proceedings sanctioned under Article 253 of the FC.

On 24 June 1991, Teodoro filed his opposition to the proceedings and claimed to be unaware of that a
decision had already been rendered. On 3 July 1991, he also filed a motion for reconsideration of the
judgment on the ground that Gilda’s petition for declaration of incapacity, assumption of sole powers of
administration, and authority to sell the conjugal properties was essentially a petition for guardianship of
the person and properties of Ernesto Sr. Consequently, the petition cannot be prosecuted in accordance
with the provisions on summary proceedings set out in Article 253 of the Family Code. Teodoro added
there was sufficient assets in the conjugal partnership to pay off all obligations, not to mention his
father’s shares in the hospital that can offset the expenses, the sentimental value of Lot 4291, and that
his siblings who are doctors are treating their father free of charge.

Pending the motion for reconsideration, Gilda disposed by absolute sale Lot 4291 to her daughter, Glenda
Jardeleza Uy for P8 million pesos, which is below market value of P10-P12 million. Gilda then filed an
urgent ex-parte motion for approval of the deed of absolute sale. Teodoro opposed Gilda’s motion. The
RTC approved the deed of absolute sale and denied Teodoro’s motion for reconsideration given that he has
no personality to oppose Gilda’s petition since the conjugal partnership belongs to the spouses, who are
both still alive.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the RTC and ordered it to dismiss the special proceedings to
approve the deed of sale, which was declared void.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Gilda, as Ernesto Sr.’s wife, may assume sole powers of administration of the conjugal
property under Article 124 of the Family Code and dispose of a parcel of land to her own daughter
and son-in-law.

Page 139 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, Article 124 of the Family Code applies when the spouse is absent, or separated in
fact or has abandoned the other or consent is withheld or cannot be obtained. Such
rules do not apply to cases where the non-consenting spouse is incapacitated or
incompetent to give consent.

The trial court found that the subject spouse "is an incompetent" who was in comatose or semi-comatose
condition, a victim of stroke, cerebrovascular accident, without motor and mental faculties, and with a
diagnosis of brain stem infarct In such case, the proper remedy is a judicial guardianship proceedings
under Rule 93 of the 1964 Revised Rules of Court.

Even assuming that the rules of summary judicial proceedings under the Family Code may apply to the
wife's administration of the conjugal property, the law provides that the wife who assumes sole powers of
administration has the same powers and duties as a guardian under the Rules of Court.

A spouse who desires to sell real property as such administrator of the conjugal property must observe
the procedure for the sale of the wards estate required of judicial guardians under Rule 95, 1964 Revised
Rules of Court, not the summary judicial proceedings under the Family Code.

The trial court did not comply with the procedure under the Revised Rules of Court. Indeed, the trial
court did not even observe the requirements of the summary judicial proceedings under the Family Code.
Thus, the trial court did not serve notice of the petition to the incapacitated spouse; it did not require him
to show cause why the petition should not be granted.

We agree with the Court of Appeals that absent an opportunity to be heard, the decision rendered by the
trial court is void for lack of due process. The doctrine consistently adhered to by this Court is that a
denial of due process suffices to cast on the official act taken by whatever branch of the government the
impress of nullity.

Page 140 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

DE LA CRUZ VS. DE LA CRUZ


G.R. No. L-19565, 30 January 1968
Abandonment must amount to real, financial, and moral desertion. (Art. 101)

Facts:

Estrella de la Cruz filed a complaint on 22 July 1958 with the CFI, alleging that her husband, Severino
del a Cruz, abandoned her and mismanaged their conjugal partnership properties. Estrella prayed for (1)
separation of property; (2) monthly support of P2,500; and (3) attorney’s fees and costs. They were wed in
1938 in Bacolod City. During their marriage, they acquired seven parcels of land of the Bacolod Cadastre
and three parcels of the Silay Cadastre all registered in their names. They were also engaged in varied
business ventures.

Estrella alleged that Severino started living in Manila in 1955, and when he occasionally returned to
Bacolod City, he slept in his office at the Philippine Texboard Factory instead of the conjugal home. Since
1955, Estrella alleged that Severino never had not slept in the conjugal dwelling, and that when he was
in Bacolod, she was denied communication with him. Severino allegedly abandoned her and their children
to live in Manila with his concubine, Nenita Hernandez.

Severino denied abandoning his family, but admitted that in 1957 he started to live separately from his
wife. He alleged that he had been sending support to his family and financed the education of their
children. He said he never failed to visit his family, particularly the children, when he came to visit
Bacolod. He added that Estrella was always in bad need of money because she played mahjong. Estrella
said she played mahjong to entertain herself and forget the infidelities of Severino, who insisted he was
never unfaithful to Estrella. He stressed that their financial wellness is due to his diligence in growing
the businesses over the years.

On 1 June 1961, the CFI ordered the separation and division of conjugal assets and ordered Severino to
pay Estrella attorney’s fees. Severino appealed to the Court of Appeals.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not Severino is guilty of abandonment of his wife under Article 178 of the Civil Code
and abused his powers of administration over the conjugal partnership under Article 167 of the
Civil Code.

Page 141 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, Severino is not guilty of either. Abandonment must not only be physical separation,
but amount to financial and moral desertion. It must be real abandonment.

The extraordinary remedies afforded to the wife by article 178 when she has been abandoned by the
husband for at least one year are the same as those granted to her by article 167 in case of abuse of the
powers of administration by the husband.

The concept of abandonment in article 178 may be established in relation to the alternative remedies
granted to the wife when she has been abandoned by the husband, namely, receivership, administration
by her, or separation of property, all of which are designed to protect the conjugal assets from waste and
dissipation rendered imminent by the husband's continued absence from the conjugal abode, and to
assure the wife of a ready and steady source of support. 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.

When referring to desertion of a wife by a husband, the word has been defined as "the act of a husband in
voluntarily leaving his wife with intention to forsake her entirely, never to return to her, and never to
resume his marital duties towards her, or to claim his marital rights; such neglect as either leaves the
wife destitute of the common necessaries of life, or would leave her destitute but for the charity of
others." 4 The word "abandonment", when referring to the act of one consort of leaving the other, is "the
act of the husband or the wife who leaves his or her consort wilfully, and with an intention of causing per
perpetual separation." Giving to the word "abandoned", as used in article 178, the meaning drawn from
the definitions above reproduced, it seems rather clear that to constitute abandonment of the wife by the
husband, there must be absolute cessation of marital relations and duties and rights, with the intention
of perpetual separation.

Severino did not intend to leave his wife and children permanently. The record conclusively shows that
he continued to give support to his family despite his absence from the conjugal home. This fact is
admitted by the complainant, although she minimized the amount of support given, saying that it was
only P500 monthly.

The fact that Severino never ceased to give support to his wife and children negatives any intent on his
part not to return to the conjugal abode and resume his marital duties and rights. In People v.
Schelske, 6 it was held that where a husband, after leaving his wife, continued to make small
contributions at intervals to her support and that of their minor child, he was not guilty of their
"abandonment", which is an act of separation with intent that it shall be perpetual, since contributing to
their support negatived such intent. In re Hoss' Estate, supra, it was ruled that a father did not abandon
his family where the evidence disclosed that he almost always did give his wife part of his earnings
during the period of their separation and that he gradually paid some old rental and grocery bills.

Estrella also failed to prove that Nenita Hernandez was the concubine of the defendant and that they
were living as husband and wife in Manila, is altogether too indefinite. Aside from the uncorroborated
statement of the plaintiff that she knew that Nenita Hernandez was her husband's concubine, without
demonstrating by credible evidence the existence of illicit relations between Nenita and the defendant,
the only evidence on record offered to link the defendant to his alleged mistress is a letter, which was not
proven to be by Nenita.

Page 142 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

There is absolutely no evidence to show that he has squandered the conjugal assets. Upon the contrary,
he proved that through his industry and zeal, the conjugal assets at the time of the trial had increased to
a value of over a million pesos.

The lower court likewise erred in holding that mere refusal or failure of the husband as administrator of
the conjugal partnership to inform the wife of the progress of the family businesses constitutes abuse of
administration. For "abuse" to exist, it is not enough that the husband perform an act or acts prejudicial
to the wife. Nor is it sufficient that he commits acts injurious to the partnership, for these may be the
result of mere inefficient or negligent administration. Abuse connotes willful and utter disregard of the
interests of the partnership, evidenced by a repetition of deliberate acts and/or omissions prejudicial to
the latter.

If there is only physical separation between the spouses (and nothing more), engendered by the husband's
leaving the conjugal abode, but the husband continues to manage the conjugal properties with the same
zeal, industry, and efficiency as he did prior to the separation, and religiously gives support to his wife
and children, as in the case at bar, we are not disposed to grant the wife's petition for separation of
property. This decision may appear to condone the husband's separation from his wife; however, the
remedies granted to the wife by articles 167 and 178 are not to be construed as condonation of the
husband's act but are designed to protect the conjugal partnership from waste and shield the wife from
want. Therefore, a denial of the wife's prayer does not imply a condonation of the husband's act but
merely points up the insufficiency or absence of a cause of action.

Courts must need exercise judicial restraint and reasoned hesitance in ordering a separation of conjugal
properties because the basic policy of the law is homiletic, to promote healthy family life and to preserve
the union of the spouses, in person, in spirit and in property.

Page 143 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

PARTOSA-JO V COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 82606, 18 December 1992
Physical separation and refusal to give support amounts to abandonment (Art. 101)

Facts:

In 1980, Prima Partosa-Jo filed a complaint against her husband Jose Jo for judicial separation of
conjugal property and an earlier action for support. On November 29, 1983, the RTC granted the petition
for support, but did not dispose of the complaint for judicial separation of property.

Jose appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the award of support, but dismissed Prima’s
complaint for judicial separation of conjugal property for lack of cause of action, given that Article 178 of
the Civil Code does not cover separation by agreement. It held that an agreement to live separately
without just cause was void under Article 221 of the Civil Code and could not sustain any claim of
abandonment by the aggrieved spouse. Its conclusion was that the only remedy available to the petitioner
was legal separation under Article 175 of the Civil Code, by virtue of which the conjugal partnership of
property would be terminated.

Prima contends that the CA misinterpreted Articles 175, 178 and 191 of the Civil Code. She submits that
the agreement between her and the private respondent was for her to temporarily live with her parents
during the initial period of her pregnancy and for him to visit and support her. They never agreed to
separate permanently. And even if they did, this arrangement was repudiated and ended in 1942, when
she returned to him at Dumaguete City and he refused to accept her.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the CA erred in holding that the judicial separation of conjugal property sought was not
allowed under Articles 175, 178, and 191 of the Civil Code.

Held:
1. Yes, the physical separation of the parties, coupled with the refusal by the Jose’s refusal
to give support sufficed to constitute abandonment as a ground for the judicial
separation of their conjugal property.

Prima invokes Article 178 (3) of the Civil Code, which reads:

Art. 178. The separation in fact between husband and wife without judicial approval, shall not
affect the conjugal partnership, except that:
xxx xxx xxx

(3) If the husband has abandoned the wife without just cause for at least one year, she may
petition the court for a receivership, or administration by her of the conjugal partnership
property or separation of property.

The above-quoted provision has been superseded by Article 128 of the Family Code, which states:

Art. 128. If a spouse without just cause abandons the other or fails to comply with his or her
obligations to the family, the aggrieved spouse may petition the court for receivership, for
judicial separation of property, of for authority to be the sole administrator of the conjugal
partnership property, subject to such precautionary conditions as the court may impose.
Page 144 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

The obligations to the family mentioned in the preceding paragraph refer to martial, parental
or property relations.

A spouse is deemed to have abandoned the other when he or she has left the conjugal dwelling
without any intention of returning. The spouse who has left the conjugal dwelling for a period
of three months or has failed within the same period to give any information as to his or her
whereabouts shall be prima facie presumed to have no intention of returning to the conjugal
dwelling.

Under the this provision, the aggrieved spouse may petition for judicial separation on either of these
grounds:

1. Abandonment by a spouse of the other without just cause; and


2. Failure of one spouse to comply with his or her obligations to the family without just cause,
even if she said spouse does not leave the other spouse.

Abandonment implies a departure by one spouse with the avowed intent never to return, followed by
prolonged absence without just cause, and without in the meantime providing in the least for one's family
although able to do so. There must be absolute cessation of marital relations, duties and rights, with the
intention of perpetual separation. This idea is clearly expressed in the above-quoted provision, which
states that "a spouse is deemed to have abandoned the other when he or she has left the conjugal dwelling
without any intention of returning."

As early as 1942, the Jose had already rejected the Prima, whom he denied admission to their conjugal
home in Dumaguete City when she returned from Zamboanguita. The fact that she was not accepted by
Jo demonstrates all too clearly that he had no intention of resuming their conjugal relationship.

Moreover, beginning 1968 until the determination by this Court of the action for support in 1988, Jose
refused to give financial support to the her. The physical separation of the parties, coupled with the
refusal by the Jose’s refusal to give support sufficed to constitute abandonment as a ground for the
judicial separation of their conjugal property.

In addition, the Prima may also invoke the second ground allowed by Article 128, for the fact is that he
has failed without just cause to comply with his obligations to the family as husband or parent. Apart
form refusing to admit his lawful wife to their conjugal home in Dumaguete City, Jo has freely admitted
to cohabiting with other women and siring many children by them. It was his refusal to provide for the
petitioner and their daughter that prompted her to file the actions against him for support and later for
separation of the conjugal property, in which actions, significantly, he even denied being married to her.
The private respondent has not established any just cause for his refusal to comply with his obligations to
his wife as dutiful husband.

Their separation thus falls also squarely under Article 135 of the Family Code, providing as follows:

Art. 135. Any of the following shall be considered sufficient cause for judicial separation of
property:
xxx xxx xxx

Page 145 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

(5) That at the time of the petition, the spouse have been separated in fact for at least one year
and reconciliation is highly improbable.
The amendments introduced in the Family Code are applicable to the case before us although they
became effective only on August 3, 1988. As we held in Ramirez v. Court of Appeals: 7
The greater weight of authority is inclined to the view that an appellate court, in reviewing a judgment on
appeal, will dispose of a question according to the law prevailing at the term of such disposition, and not
according to the law prevailing at the time of rendition of the appealed judgement. The court will
therefore reverse a judgement which was correct at the time it was originally rendered where, by statute,
there has been an intermediate change in the law which renders such judgement erroneous at the time
the case was finally disposed of on appeal.

The order of judicial separation of the properties in question is based on the finding of both the trial and
respondent courts that the private respondent is indeed their real owner. It is these properties that
should now be divided between him and the petitioner, on the assumption that they were acquired during
coverture and so belong to the spouses half and half. As the private respondent is a Chinese citizen, the
division must include such properties properly belonging to the conjugal partnership as may have been
registered in the name of other persons in violation of the Anti-Dummy Law.

Civil Case No. 51 is hereby decided in favor the Prima, and the conjugal property of the Jose and Prima is
hereby ordered divided between them, share and share alike.

Page 146 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BA FINANCE V COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. L-61464, 28 May 1988
Obligations incurred in the must redound to the benefit of the family to be chargeable against conjugal
property (Art. 102)

Facts:

On 1 July 1975, Augusto Yulo secured a loan from BA Finance worth P591,003.59 evidenced by a
promissory note he signed in his own behalf and as a representative of A&L Industries. Augusto
presented an alleged special power of attorney executed by his wife, Lily Yulo, who manages A&L
Industries and under whose name A&L Industries is registered, authorizing Augusto to procure the loan
and sign the promissory note. Two months before the loan, however, Augusto had already abandoned Lily
and their children in their conjugal home. He likewise failed to pay the amount when the obligation
became due and demandable.

On 7 October 1975, BA Finance filed an amended complaint against Augusto and Lily Yulo on the basis of
the promissory note. BA Finance alleged that the Yulos fraudulently induced it to enter into a contract
with them by executing a Deed of Assignment, assigning to BA Finance all their rights, titles and
interests over a construction contract executed by the Yulos and A. Soriano Corporation. BA Finance
alleges that the Yulos never intended to remit proceeds, thus prayed for the issuance of a writ of
attachment on the properties of A&L Industries.

Lily countered that Augusto had already abandoned their family for five months before BA Finance filed
its complaint, that the special power of attorney was forged because she never authorized Augusto to
procure a loan in behalf of A&L Industries, and that they were already separated when the promissory
note was executed. She added that being the sole proprietor of A&L Industries, she never got a single
centavo from the loan, and that because of BA Finance’s attachment of her properties, A&L Industries
closed business.

The trial court dismissed BA Finance’s complaint and ordered to it to pay Lily Yulo damages. BA Finance
appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court, but reduced some of the damages.

Issue(s):
1. Whether A&L Industries, which is owned by and registered under Lily Yulo’s name, forms part of
the conjugal partnership with her husband, thus liable for obligations contracted by Augusto as
administrator of the conjugal partnership.

Held:
1. No, BA Finance cannot enforce the obligation contracted by Augusto Yulo against his
conjugal properties with Lily Yulo.

There is no dispute that A & L Industries was established during the marriage of Augusta and Lily Yulo
and therefore the same is presumed conjugal and the fact that it was registered in the name of only one of
the spouses does not destroy its conjugal nature.

However, for the said property to be held liable, the obligation contracted by the husband must have
redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership under Article 161 of the Civil Code. In the present
case, the obligation which the BA Finance is seeking to enforce against the conjugal property managed by
the Lily Yulo was undoubtedly contracted by Augusto Yulo for his own benefit because at the time he
Page 147 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

incurred the obligation he had already abandoned his family and had left their conjugal home. Worse, he
made it appear that he was duly authorized by his wife in behalf of A & L Industries, to procure such loan
from the petitioner. Clearly, to make A & L Industries liable now for the said loan would be unjust and
contrary to the express provision of the Civil Code.

As we have ruled in Luzon Surety Co., Inc. v. De Gracia:

“It is true that the husband is the administrator of the conjugal property pursuant to the
provisions of Art. 163 of the new Civil Code. However, as such administrator the only
obligations incurred by the husband that are chargeable against the conjugal property are
those incurred in the legitimate pursuit of his career, profession or business with the honest
belief that he is doing right for the benefit of the family. This is not true in the case at bar for
we believe that the husband in acting as guarantor or surety for another in an indemnity
agreement as that involved in this case did not act for the benefit of the conjugal partnership.
Such inference is more emphatic in this case, when no proof is presented that Vicente Garcia
in acting as surety or guarantor received consideration therefore, which may redound to the
benefit of the conjugal partnership.

In the most categorical language, a conjugal partnership under that provision is liable only for
such "debts and obligations contracted by the husband for the benefit of the conjugal
partnership." There must be the requisite showing then of some advantage which clearly
accrued to the welfare of the spouses. There is none in this case.

Moreover, it would negate the plain object of the additional requirement in the present Civil
Code that a debt contracted by the husband to bind a conjugal partnership must redound to its
benefit.”

Thus, it follows that the writ of attachment cannot issue against the said properties.

Page 148 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

JOHNSON & JOHNSON VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 102692. 23 September, 1996
Conjugal property is not liable for debts incurred without the consent of the other spouse and which did not
benefit the partnership (Art. 102)

Facts:

Delilah Vinluan, who was engaged in the business of retailing Johnson & Johnson products, purchased
products for Johnson & Johnson. She and her husband, Capt. Vinluan, under the name of Vinluan
Enterprises, incurred an obligation of P235,880 for which Delilah issued seven checks, which,
unfortunately, bounced and dishonored for having been drawn against insufficient funds.

Johnson & Johnson gave several extensions, but the Vinluans only made a partial payment of P5,000.
Johnson & Johnson was constrained to file a complaint on 8 June 1983 against the Vinluans for the
principal amount, plus interests and damages before the RTC of Makati, which found Delilah solely liable
to pay.

The RTC found that there was neither a privy of contract between Johnson & Johnson and Capt. Vinluan
regarding the obligations incurred by Delilah nor was Capt. Vinluan represented as a co-owner of Vinluan
Enterprises. The RTC held that the Vinluans established that Delilah was the sole owner of the business
venture and that their conjugal partnership never derived any benefit. However, the writ of execution
included properties of the conjugal partnership of the Vinluans, prompting Capt. Vinluan to file a third-
party claim, seeking to lift the levy on the conjugal partnerships.

The trial court fixed the value of the levied properties at P300,000, but denied the third-party claim of
Capt. Vinluan because his consent became evident when he did not intervene before the Court to object to
his wife’s business. Capt. Vinluan moved to reconsider, the order, but the trial court denied it. Capt.
Vinluan appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the RTC decision for the trial court cannot in
the guise of deciding the third-party claim, reverse its final decision.

Issue(s):
1. Whether a husband is liable for the debts incurred by his wife without his consent and which did
not benefit the conjugal partnership?

Held:
1. No, Capt. Vinluan is not liable as already held by the trial court.

There is no ambiguity at all in the decision, for it categorically declared defendant Delilah A. Vinluan
solely liable, without any recourse provided against her husband. Since the power of the execution of
judgment extends only to properties belonging to the judgment debtor alone, the conjugal property and
the capital of the husband cannot be levied upon. In fact, it was held that Delilah partially paid the
subject obligations herself by issuing Philippine Banking Checks, which were dishonored.

In any event that Delilah’s paraphernal properties are insufficient, in order to bind the conjugal
partnership properties, the debts and obligations contracted by either the husband or the wife must be for
the benefit of the conjugal partnership and that the husband must consent to his wife’s engaging in
business. The respondent court already found that the husband did not give his consent neither did the
obligation incurred by the wife redound to the benefit of the family.

Page 149 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

SPOUSES LAPERAL V SPOUSES KATIGBAK


G.R. No. L-16991, 31 March 1964
Rebuttal of presumption that properties are conjugal; fully paid for by a third person (Art. 109)

Facts:

Spouses Laperal won Civil Case 11767 against Ramon Katigbak and Evelina Kalaw before the CFI
seeking (1) the recovery of money based on promissory notes executed by Katigbak in favor of the
Laperals; (2) the return of jewelry valued at P97,500 for sale on commission. The CFI rendered judgment
against Katigbak and ordered him to return the money and jewelry to the Laperals. A month later, Kalaw
filed a complaint against Katigbak, her husband, for judicial separation of property and separate
administration, which the CFI granted.

On 1 February 1955, the Laperals filed a complaint against Katigbak and Kalaw seeking (1) the
annulment of proceedings in Civil Case 12860 for “judicial separation of property and separate
administration;” and (2) to enforce the judgment secured in Civil Case 11767 against land owned by
Katigbak and Kalaw under TCT No. 57626. The CFI dismissed the complaint and the Laperals appealed
directly to the Supreme Court.

The SC rendered judgment and held that the conjugal properties of Katigbak and Kalaw are liable for the
enforcement of obligations Katigbak contracted, thus the case was remanded to the trial court for further
proceedings.

The CFI later render judgment and declared the parcel of land as paraphernal or personal property of
Evelina Kalaw because it was her mother who bought the property and later placed it in Evelina’s name
during her marriage with Katigbak, who could not have afforded to buy such property given his monthly
salary of P200.

The Laperals appealed to the SC, contending that the subject property is conjugal.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the subject property bought by Evelina Kalaw’s mother and placed in Evelina’s name
during her marriage is conjugal property.

Held:
1. No, the presumption that properties acquired during the marriage as conjugal has been
rebutted by the fact that it was proven that Evelina’s mother purchased the land and
placed it in Evelina’s name during her marriage to Katigbak.

Applicable to this instant case is Casiano vs. Samaniego, where deeds to property in question were under
the wife’s, but fully paid for by the mother for herself, despite the fact that the husband presented
certified copies of tax returns and other documents showing the husband as the owner. The wife’s
evidence was more preponderant. Likewise, in Coingco vs. Flores, the presumption that properties are
conjugal was rebutted by the fact that the wife was not financially capable of buying the disputed
property. Lastly, in this case, Katigbak could not have purchased such land with his salary of P200 a
month. Moreover, the records state that Katigbak and Kalaw brought properties unto the marriage.

Page 150 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

VILLANUEVA VS. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT


G.R. No. 74577, 4 December 1990
Exclusive property acquired from inheritance is not conjugal property (Art. 109)

Facts:

Modesto Aranas and his brother inherited a parcel of land known as Lot 13 from their deceased parents
and later adjudicated the land to themselves through a deed of extrajudicial partition. Modesto got the
southern portion of the land described as Lot 13-C. Modesto later obtained a Torrents title in his name
over Lot 13-C.

Modesto’s wife, Victoria Comorro, predeceased him on 16 July 1971. Modesto passed away on 20 April
1973. They had no children.

Apparently, Modesto had two illegitimate children named Dorothea and Teodoro. Dorothea and Teodoro
borrowed P18,000 from Jesus Bernas and mortgaged Lot 13-C as security. In the loan agreement,
Dorothea and Teodoro described themselves as the absolute co-owners of Lot 13-C. Raymundo Aranas, a
relative, signed the agreement as a witness.

Dorothea and Teodoro failed to pay their loan, causing Bernas to foreclose the mortgage extrajudicially.
He acquired the land as the highest bidder. Later, Dorothea and Teodoro executed a deed of Extrajudicial
Partition in which they adjudicated Lot 13-C unto themselves in equal shares.

A month later, Consolacion Villanueva and Raymundo Aranas filed a complaint with the RTC of Roxas
City against Bernal, praying that his title over the lot be cancelled and they be declared co-owners of the
land based on the newly discovered wills of Modesto Aranas, executed on 11 February 1958, and Victoria
Comorro’s will, executed on 29 October 1957. Victoria’s will bequeathed to Cnsolacion and Raymundo, and
to Dorothea, and Teodoro, in equal shares, all of her interests, rights, and properties from the conjugal
partnership with Modesto. Modesto, on the other hand, bequeathed to Dorothea and Teodoro all his
interests in his conjugal partnership with Victoria as well as his own property.

The CFI dismissed the complaint and declared Bernal’s title valid and legal. Villanueva appealed to the
Intermediate Appellate Court, which affirmed the CFI, but modified the damages.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Villanueva acquired any rights over Lot 13-C and the improvements thereon by virtue of
Victoria Camarro’s last will and testament who bequeathed the lot as conjugal property.

Page 151 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, the land was not conjugal property of Victoria and Modesto because Lot 13-C is
Modesto’s exclusive property he inherited from his parents.

Article 158 of the Civil Code provides that improvements, for utility or adornment, made on separate
property of the spouses through advancements from the partnership or industry of either spouse belong to
the conjugal partnership, and buildings constructed at the expense of the partnership during the
marriage on land belonging to one of the spouses also pertain to the partnership, but the value of the land
shall be reimbursed to the spouse who owns the same. Villanueva presented no proof that the
improvements were conjugal property. It was clear, however, that the land is the exclusive property of
Modesto.

Furthermore, Bernas’ mode of acquisition of ownership over the property, i.e., by a mortgage sale,
appears in all respects to be regular, untainted by any defect whatsoever. Bernas must therefore be
deemed to have acquired indefeasible and clear title to Lot 13-C which cannot be defeated or negated by
claims subsequently arising and of which he had no knowledge or means of knowing prior to their
assertion and ventilation.

Moreover, Victoria Comorro died on July 16, 1971, about two (2) years ahead of her husband, Modesto
Aranas, exclusive owner of Lot 13-C, who passed away on April 20, 1973. Victoria never therefore
inherited any part of Lot 13-C and hence, had nothing of Lot 13-C to bequeath by will or otherwise to
Consolacion Villanueva or anybody else.

Page 152 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BPI VS. POSADAS


G.R. No. L-34583, 22 October 1931
Rule on life insurance premiums chargeable from the conjugal partnership (Art. 114-118)

Facts:

BPI, as administrator of the estate of deceased Adolphe Schuetze, appealed to CFI Manila absolving
defendant, Collector of Internal Revenue, from the complaint filed against him in recovering the
inheritance tax amounting to P1209 paid by the plaintiff, Rosario Gelano Vda de Schuetze, under protest,
and sum of P20,150 representing the proceeds of the insurance policy of the deceased.

Rosario and Adolphe were married in January 1914. The wife was actually residing and living in
Germany when Adolphe died in December 1927. The latter while in Germany, executed a will in March
1926, pursuant with its law wherein plaintiff was named his universal heir. The deceased possessed not
only real property situated in the Philippines but also personal property consisting of shares of stocks in
19 domestic corporations. Included in the personal property is a life insurance policy issued at Manila on
January 1913 for the sum of $10,000 by the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, Manila Branch. In
the insurance policy, the estate of the deceased was named the beneficiary without any
qualification. Rosario is the sole and only heir of the deceased. BPI, as administrator of the decedent’s
estate and attorney in fact of the plaintiff, having been demanded by Posadas to pay the inheritance tax,
paid under protest. Notwithstanding various demands made by plaintiff, Posadas refused to refund such
amount.

Issue(s):
1. Whether BPI is entitled to the proceeds of the insurance.

Held:
1. Yes, but only half of the tax collected upon the amount of P20,150, being the proceeds of
the insurance policy on the life of the late Adolphe Oscar Schuetze, after deducting the
proportional part corresponding to the first premium

The Court held the following:


(1) The proceeds of a life-insurance policy payable to the insured's estate, on which the premiums were
paid by the conjugal partnership, constitute community property, and belong one-half to the husband and
the other half to the wife, exclusively;

(2) If the premiums were paid partly with paraphernal and partly conjugal funds, the proceeds are
likewise in like proportion paraphernal in part and conjugal in part;

(3) The proceeds of a life-insurance policy payable to the insured's estate as the beneficiary, if delivered to
the testamentary administrator of the former as part of the assets of said estate under probate
administration, are subject to the inheritance tax according to the law on the matter, if they belong to the
assured exclusively, and it is immaterial that the insured was domiciled in these Islands or outside.

Page 153 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

WONG VS. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT


G.R. No. 70082, 19 August 1991
(Art. 115-118)

Facts:

Romario Henson married Katrina on January 1964. They had 3 children however, even during the early
years of their marriage, the spouses had been most of the time living separately. During the marriage or
on about January 1971, the husband bought a parcel of land in Angeles from his father using the money
borrowed from an officemate.

Sometime in June 1972, Katrina entered an agreement with Anita Chan where the latter consigned the
former pieces of jewelry valued at P321,830.95. Katrina failed to return the same within the 20 day
period thus Anita demanded payment of their value. Katrina issued in September 1972, check of P55,000
which was dishonored due to lack of funds.

The spouses Anita Chan and Ricky Wong filed action for collection of the sum of money against Katrina
and her husband Romarico. The reply with counterclaim filed was only in behalf of Katrina. Trial court
ruled in favor of the Wongs then a writ of execution was thereafter issued upon the 4 lots in Angeles City
all in the name of Romarico Henson married to Katrina Henson. 2 of the lots were sold at public auction
to Juanito Santos and the other two with Leonardo Joson. A month before such redemption, Romarico
filed an action for annulment of the decision including the writ and levy of execution. He claimed he was
not given his day in court as he was not represented by counsel nor notified of the hearings.

The CFI issued an order restraining the Register of Deeds from issuing the final bill of sale of the TCTs in
favor of Juanito Santos. Regarding the properties sold at public auction, the court found no basis for
holding the conjugal partnership liable for the personal indebtedness of Katrina. The Appellate Court
affirmed the lower court and noted that the properties are Romarico’s exclusive capital bought by him
with his own funds, and that even if the properties were conjugal, they cannot answer for Katrina’s
obligations incurred without the consent of her husband as they were not for the daily family expenses
and did not redound to the benefit of the family.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Katrina’s debt without her husband’s knowledge can be satisfied through the conjugal
property.

Held:
1. No, Katrina’s debt can not be satisfied through the conjugal property.

The presumption of the conjugal nature of the properties subsists in the absence of clear, satisfactory and
convincing evidence to overcome said presumption or to prove that the properties are exclusively owned
by Romarico. While there is proof that Romarico acquired the properties with money he had borrowed
from an officemate, it is unclear where he obtained the money to repay the loan. If he paid it out of his
salaries, then the money is part of the conjugal assets and not exclusively his. Proof on this matter is of
paramount importance considering that in the determination of the nature of a property acquired by a
person during covertrue, the controlling factor is the source of the money utilized in the purchase.

Page 154 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

The conjugal nature of the properties notwithstanding, Katrina's indebtedness may not be paid for with
them her obligation not having been shown by the petitioners to be one of the charges against the
conjugal partnership. In addition to the fact that her rights over the properties are merely inchoate prior
to the liquidation of the conjugal partnership, the consent of her husband and her authority to incur such
indebtedness had not been alleged in the complaint and proven at the trial.

The Civil Code provides that a wife may bind the conjugal partnership only when she purchases things
necessary for the support of the family or when she borrows money for the purpose of purchasing things
necessary for the support of the family if the husband fails to deliver the proper sum; when the
administration of the conjugal partnership is transferred to the wife by the courts or by the husband and
when the wife gives moderate donations for charity. Having failed to establish that any of these
circumstances occurred, the Wongs may not bind the conjugal assets to answer for Katrina's personal
obligation to them.

There was also no evidence submitted that the administration of the partnership had been transferred to
Katrina by Romarico before said obligations were incurred. In as much as the decision was void only in so
far as Romarico and the conjugal properties concerned, Spouses Wong may still execute the debt against
Katrina, personally and exclusively.

The rule in execution sales is that an execution creditor acquires no higher or better right than what the
execution debtor has in the property levied upon. The purchaser of property on sale under execution and
levy takes as assignee, only as the judicial seller possesses no title other than that which would pass by
an assignment by the owner.

Jurisprudence provides that execution purchasers Santos and Joson possess no rights which may rise
above judgment debtor Katrina's inchoate proprietary rights over the properties sold at public auction.
After all, a person can sell only what he owns or is authorized to sell and the buyer can, as a consequence,
acquire no more that what the seller can legally transfer. But, inasmuch as the decision in Civil Case No.
2224 is void only as far as Romarico and the conjugal properties are concerned, the same may still be
executed by the Spouses Wong against Katrina Henson personally and exclusively. The Spouses Wong
must return to Juanito Santos and Leonardo Joson the purchase prices of P145,000 and P119,000
respectively, received by said spouse from the public auction sale.

Page 155 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

CARLOS VS ABELARDO
G.R. No. 146504. 9 April 2002
Conjugal partnership is liable for debts during marriage for the benefit of the partnership (Art. 121-122)

Facts:

Honorio Carlos filed a complaint for a sum of money and damages against his son-in-law, Manuel
Abelardo, and his wife Maria Theresa Carlos-Abelardo. Honorio alleged that in October 1989, Manuel and
his wife asked him to advance US$25,000 to purchase a house located in Executive Heights Village,
Paranaque City. When Honorio inquired from the spouses about the status of his loan, they acknowledged
their obligation, but pleaded they were not yet in a position to pay. Ever since then, Manuel began
threatening Honorio whenever he inquired about the loan. They failed to pay after Honorio made a formal
demand of the amount.

Maria and Manuel filed separate answers as they were separated for more than a year before the filing of
the complaint. Maria admitted securing the loan, but that the loan was payable on a staggered basis so
she was surprised when Honorio demanded immediate payment of the full amount. Manuel, on the other
hand, claimed that the US$25,000 was not a loan, but his share of income on contracts obtained working
in H.L. Carlos Construction. The RTC ruled in favor of Honorio, prompting Manuel to appeal to the CA,
which reversed the RTC and dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence to show that the
amount was loaned to the spouses. The CA found that the amount was Manuel’s share in the profits of
H.L. Carlos Construction.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the US$25,000 was a loan obtained by the spouses from Honorio, thus the conjugal
partnership is liable.

Held:
1. Yes, Article 121 of the Family Code provides that the conjugal partnership is liable for
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.

The evidence showed that (1) there was a check in the amount of US$25,000.00 issued by petitioner; (2)
this amount was received by respondent and his wife and given to a certain Pura Vallejo for the full
payment of a house and lot located at #19952 Chestnut Street, Executive Heights Village, Paranaque,
Metro Manila; (3) this house and lot became the conjugal dwelling of respondent and his wife; and (4)
respondents wife executed an instrument acknowledging the loan but which Manuel did not sign. Even if
Manuel did not sign, the loan redounded to the benefit of the family because it was used to buy the house.

Honorio proved his claim, he presented (1) Bankers Trust Check No. 337 in the amount of US$25,000
which he issued on 31 October 1989 to Pura Vallejo; and (2) an acknowledgment executed by Maria
saying that she and her husband are liable to him for the amount; and (3) a formal letter of demand.
These pieces of evidence and the admission of the spouses that they received the amount prove by a
preponderance of evidence that the amount was a loan. It could not have been Manuel’s share in the
income because all his checks from H.L. Carlos Construction were in the company’s account. Manuel
failed to substantiate his claim of entitlement to profits of the corporation. He is not a shareholder, a
director, or a stockholder or an agent.

Page 156 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MALLILIN V CASTILLO
G.R. No. 136803, 16 June 2000
Co-ownership arises when cohabitating spouses are not capacitated to marry (Art. 147-148)

Facts:

Eustaqio Mallilin Jr. and Maria Elvira Castillo cohabited in 1979 while they were separated from their
respective spouses and their respective children. They established Superfreight Customs Brokerage
Corporation with Mallilin as the President and Chairman and Casillo as VP and Treasurer. They also
acquired various real and personal properties under the company’s name.

They separated in 1992 due to irrenconcirable differences. Mallilin filed a complaint for partition and
payment of co-ownership, and demanded from Castillo his share in the company properties, but Mallilin
refused and said the properties had been registered in her name because they were bought solely using
her money. She likewise denied they cohabited because the fact was they were still legally married to
their respective spouses.

Castillo filed a motion for summary judgment on the ground that even if she and Mallilin actually
cohabited, Mallilin could not validly claim a part of the subject real and personal properties because Art.
144 of the Civil Code, which provides that the rules on co-ownership shall govern the properties acquired
by a man and a woman living together as husband and wife but not married, or under a marriage which
is void ab initio, applies only if the parties are not in any way incapacitated to contract marriage.Castillo
argued their union suffered the legal impediment of a prior subsisting marriage, thus the question of co-
ownership was irrelevant.

Mallilin contended that his complaint presented genuine factual issues under Article 148 of the Family
Code, which repealed Article 144 Civil Code. The FC now allows a limited co-ownership even though a
man and a woman living together are not capacitated to marry each other.

The trial court granted Mallilin’s motion for summary judgment. The CA initially reversed the trial court
and applied Article 148 of the FC and Roque vs. IAC, but eventually ruled in favor of Castillo.

Issue(s):
1. Whether a co-ownership was created, thus Mallilin can claim his share in the acquired properties
under Castillo’s name while they cohabited.

Held:
1. Yes, there is a co-ownership. The trial court erred in saying that they could not own
properties in common because they were not capacitated to marry each other during
the time they cohabited.

Art. 144 of the Civil Code applies in cases where a man and a woman live together as husband and wife
without the benefit of marriage provided they are not incapacitated or are without legal impediment to
marry each other or in which the marriage is void ab initio provided it is not bigamous.

Art. 144, therefore, does not cover parties living in an adulterous relationship. However, Art. 148 of the
Family Code now provides for a limited co-ownership in cases where the parties in union are
incapacitated to marry each other. Article 148 of the FC states:

Page 157 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

In cases of cohabitation not falling under the preceding article, only the properties acquired by
both of the parties through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry shall
be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. In the absence of
proof to the contrary, their contributions and corresponding shares are presumed to be equal.
The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint deposits of money and evidences of
credits. HTML

If one of the parties is validly married to another, his or her share in the co-ownership shall
accrue to the absolute community or conjugal partnership existing in such valid marriage. If
the party who acted in bad faith is not validly married to another, his or her share shall be
forfeited in the manner provided in the last paragraph of the preceding article.

The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply even if both parties are in bad faith.

The Family Code, in addition to providing that a co-ownership exists between a man and a woman who
live together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage, likewise provides that, if the parties
are incapacitated to marry each other, properties acquired by them through their joint contribution of
money, property or industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their contributions
which, in the absence of proof to the contrary, is presumed to be equal. There is thus co-ownership even
though the couple are not capacitated to marry each other.

All but one of the properties involved were alleged to have been acquired after the Family Code took effect
on August 3, 1988. With respect to the property acquired before the Family Code took effect if it is shown
that it was really acquired under the regime of the Civil Code, then it should be excluded.

Page 158 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

VALDEZ VS. RTC


G.R. No. 122749, 31 July 1996
Rules on co-ownership applies to marriages void ab initio due to psychological incapacity (Art. 147)

Facts:

Antonio Valdez and Consuelo Gomez married in 1971 and had 5 children. Valdez filed a petition in 1992
for declaration of nullity of their marriage under Article. 36 of the Family Code, which was granted.

Consuelo Gomez sought a clarification of that portion of the decision directing compliance with Articles
50, 51 and 52 of the Family Code. She asserted that the Family Code contained no provisions on the
procedure for the liquidation of common property in "unions without marriage." Parenthetically, during
the hearing on the motion, the children filed a joint affidavit expressing their desire to remain with their
father, Valdez.

The trial court clarified that (1) considering that Article 147 of the Family Code explicitly provides that
the property acquired by both parties during their union, in the absence of proof to the contrary, are
presumed to have been obtained through the joint efforts of the parties and will be owned by them in
equal shares, plaintiff and defendant will own their 'family home' and all their other properties for that
matter in equal shares; (2) the rules on co-ownership under the Civil Code shall govern the liquidation
and partition of the properties; (3) Considering the marriage has been declared void ab initio, pursuant to
Article 147, their property regime is co-ownership, thus Articles 102 (to liquidate ACP) and 109 (to
liquidate CPG) of the FC do not apply.

Valdez moved to for the reconsideration of the order, which was denied. On direct appeal to the Supreme
Court, he argued that Articles 50, 51, and 52 of the FC should apply and that Article 147 of the FC does
not apply to cases where the parties are psychologically incapacitated.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the trial court erred in applying Article 147 of the Family Code and holding that their
property regime is a co-ownership.

Held:
1. Yes, in a void marriage, regardless of the cause thereof, the property relations of the
parties during the period of cohabitation is governed by the provisions of Article 147 or
Article 148, such as the case may be, of the Family Code

Article 147 is a remake of Article 144 of the Civil Code as interpreted and so applied in previous cases; it
provides:

"ART. 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.

"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
Page 159 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

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."

This peculiar kind of co-ownership applies when a man and a woman, suffering no legal impediment to
marry each other, so exclusively live together as husband and wife under a void marriage or without the
benefit of marriage. The term "capacitated" in the provision (in the first paragraph of the law) refers to
the legal capacity of a party to contract marriage, i.e., any "male or female of the age of eighteen years or
upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38" of the Code.

Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work and industry shall be
governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any property acquired during the union is prima
faciepresumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. A party who did not participate in the
acquisition of the property shall still be considered as having contributed thereto jointly if said party's
"efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household.” Unlike the conjugal partnership
of gains, the fruits of the couple's separate property are not included in the co-ownership.

Article 147 of the Family Code, in substance and to the above extent, has clarified Article 144 of the Civil
Code; in addition, the law now expressly provides that
(a) Neither party can dispose or encumber by act inter vivos his or her share in co-ownership
property, without the consent of the other, during the period of cohabitation; and
(b) In the case of a void marriage, any party in bad faith shall forfeit his or her share in the co-
ownership in favor of their common children; in default thereof or waiver by any or all of the
common children, each vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants, or still
in default thereof, to the innocent party. The forfeiture shall take place upon the termination of
the cohabitation or declaration of nullity of the marriage.

When the common-law spouses suffer from a legal impediment to marry or when they do not live
exclusively with each other (as husband and wife ),only the property acquired by both of them through
their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned in common and in proportion
to their respective contributions. Such contributions and corresponding shares, however, are prima
faciepresumed to be equal. The share of any party who is married to another shall accrue to the absolute
community or conjugal partnership, as the case may be, if so existing under a valid marriage. If the party
who has acted in bad faith is not validly married to another, his or her share shall be forfeited in the
manner already heretofore expressed.

Nor did the trial court commit a reversible error in ruling that petitioner and private respondent own the
"family home" and all their common property in equal shares, as well as in concluding that, in the
Page 160 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

liquidation and partition of the property owned in common by them, the provisions on co-ownership under
the Civil Code, not Articles 50, 51 and 52, in relation to Articles 102 and 129, of the Family Code, should
aptly prevail. The rules set up to govern the liquidation of either the absolute community or the conjugal
partnership of gains, the property regimes recognized for valid and voidable marriages (in the latter case
until the contract is annulled ),are irrelevant to the liquidation of the co-ownership that exists between
common-law spouses. 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.

Page 161 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

FRANCISCO VS. MASTER IRON WORKS


G.R. No. 151967, 16 February 2005
Failure to prove paraphernal property; FC retroactively applies to conjugal partnership established before
effectivity of the FC when no vested rights are violated (Art. 147)

Facts:

Josefina Castillo was 24 when she married Eduardo Francisco in January 1983. Francisco was VP in a
private corporation. Josefina acquired 2 parcels of land where Imus Bank executed a deed of absolute sale
in favor of Josefina, married to Eduardo, for the price of P320,000. The 2 parcels of land were in Josefina’s
name “married to Eduardo Francisco.” Eduardo executed an affidavit of waiver where he declared that
prior to his marriage to Josefina, she purchased the land with her savings. Eduardo likewise affixed his
marital conformity when Josefina mortgaged the property for a loan.

In 1990, Eduardo, who was then a general manager of Reach Out Trading, bought 7,500 bags of cement
from Master Iron Works, but failed to pay the price of P768,850. Master Iron filed a complaint for
recovery of the cement or value. The trial court ruled in favor of Master Iron.

The trial court issued a writ of execution. Sheriff Alejo issued a Notice of Levy on Execution/Attachment
over the lots the 2 parcels of land. Josefina executed an Affidavit of Third Party Claim over the 2 parcels
of land, claiming that the 2 parcels of land are here paraphernal property. She requested Sheriff Alejo to
cancel the notice of levy. Master Iron, however, submitted an indemnity bond of P1.3 million. Master Iron
then bid P1.3 million.

Josefina filed a complaint in the RTC praying for enjoin Master Iron from causing the sale of the 2 lands
at public auction. Sheriff Alejo, however, sold the property to Master Iron for P1.3 million. However,
Sheriff Alejo did not execute a certificate of sale because Master Iron failed to remit the sheriffs
commission on the sale. Josefina then filed a complaint for damages and the public auction be declared
void.

Master Iron invoked Article 116 of the Family Code and argued the 2 parcels of lands were conjugal
property, and that Eduardo executed the affidavit of waiver to evade satisfaction . Josefina then filed a
petition to annul her marriage to Eduardo, alleging that when she married Eduardo, he was already
married to a Carmelita Carpio. In this case, Josefina testified she bought the parcels of land with her
siblings’ help without any help from Eduardo. Eduardo, however, testified that he only learned of the
purchase after the fact; and that his gross monthly income was just P10,000.

The trial court declared the public sale null and void, and held that the 2 parcels of land were Josefina’s
exclusive property, applying Articles. 144, 160, 175, and 485 of the Civil Code. The trial court held that
Master Iron failed to prove that Eduardo contributed to the acquisition of the property. The Court of
Appeals reversed the lower court and held that the property was presumed conjugal, and that Josefina
failed to rebut the presumption. The CA Added the affidavit of waiver by Eduardo is contrary to Article
146 of the Civil Code.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the 2 parcels of land are conjugal property, thus answerable for Eduardo’s personal
obligations.

Held:
Page 162 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

1. Yes, Josefina failed to prove she acquired the 2 parcels of land with her personal funds
before cohabitation with Eduardo.

Article 144 of the Civil Code only applies to a relationship between a man and a woman who are not
incapacitated to marry each other, or to one in which the marriage is void ab initio. It does not apply to
adulterous or concubinage relationships. This does not apply in this case.

Under Article 256 of the Family Code, the law can be applied retroactively if it does not prejudice vested
or acquired rights. The petitioner failed to prove that she had any vested right over the property in
question. Since the subject property was acquired during the subsistence of the marriage of Eduardo and
Carmelita, under normal circumstances, the same should be presumed to be conjugal property.

Article 105 of the Family Code of the Philippines provides that the Code shall apply to conjugal
partnership established before the code took effect, without prejudice to vested rights already acquired
under the New Civil Code or other laws. Even if Eduardo and Carmelita were married before the
effectivity of the Family Code of the Philippines, the property still cannot be considered conjugal property
because there can only be but one valid existing marriage at any given time.

Article 148 of the Family Code also debilitates against the petitioners claim since, according to the said
article, a co-ownership may ensue in case of cohabitation where, for instance, one party has a pre-existing
valid marriage provided that the parents prove their actual joint contribution of money, property or
industry and only to the extent of their proportionate interest thereon.

Page 163 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

DINO VS. DINO


G.R. No. 178044, 9 January 2011
Reiteration of Valdes vs. RTC; (Elements of application or Art. 147)

Facts:

Alain Dio and Maria Caridad L. Dino were childhood sweethearts who started living together in 1984
until they separated in 1994, but lived together again in 1996. They wed on 14 January 1998.

In 2001, Alain filed for the nullity of the marriage under Art. 36 of the FC. He alleged that Maria failed in
her marital obligation to give love, support him, and abandoned her responsibility to the family, choosing
instead to go on shooping sprees that depleted family assets. He added that Maria was unfaithful and
sometimes violent. Dr. Tayag, a clinical psychologist, submitted a psychological report establishing that
Maria suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as early as her formative years, which is long-
lasting and incurable. The RTC declared the marriage null and void and ruled that the decree of absolute
nullity of marriage shall only be issued upon compliance with Articles 50 and 51 of the FC.

Alain filed a motion for partial reconsideration of the dissolution of the ACP. The RTC modified its
decision and held that the decree of nullity shall only be issued after liquidation and distribution of
properties under Article 147 of the FC.

Alain directly appealed to the SC, arguing that Section 19(1) Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of
Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages does not apply to Article 147 of the FC.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the RTC erred in ruling that the decree of absolute marriage shall only be issued after
liquidation, partition, and distribution of properties under Article 147 of the FC.

Held:
1. Yes, it has been held in Valdes vs. RTC that in a void marriage, regardless of its cause,
the property relations of the parties during the period of cohabitation is governed
either by Article 147 or Article 148 of the Family Code

Article 147 of the Family Code applies to union of parties who are legally capacitated and not barred by
any impediment to contract marriage, but whose marriage is nonetheless void, such as petitioner and
respondent in the case before the Court.

For Article 147 of the Family Code to apply, the following elements must be present:

1. The man and the woman must be capacitated to marry each other;
2. They live exclusively with each other as husband and wife; and
3. Their union is without the benefit of marriage, or their marriage is void.

The RTC erred in ordering that a decree of absolute nullity of marriage shall be issued only after
liquidation, partition and distribution of the parties properties under Article 147 of the Family Code. The
ruling has no basis because Section 19(1) of the Rule does not apply to cases governed under Articles 147
and 148 of the Family Code. Section 19(1) of the Rule provides:

Page 164 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Sec. 19. Decision. - (1) If the court renders a decision granting the petition, it shall declare
therein that the decree of absolute nullity or decree of annulment shall be issued by the court
only after compliance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code as implemented under the
Rule on Liquidation, Partition and Distribution of Properties.

The pertinent provisions of FC cited in Section 19(1) are:

Article 50. The effects provided for in paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5) of Article 43 and in Article
44 shall also apply in proper cases to marriages which are declared void abinitio or annulled
by final judgment under Articles 40 and 45

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 their presumptive legitimes, unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous
judicial proceedings.

All creditors of the spouses as well as of the absolute community of 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.

Article 51. In said partition, the value of the presumptive legitimes of all common children,
computed as of the date of the final judgment of the trial court, shall be delivered in cash,
property or sound securities, unless the parties, by mutual agreement judicially approved, had
already provided for such matters.

The children of their guardian, or the trustee of their property, may ask for the enforcement of
the judgment.
The delivery of the presumptive legitimes herein prescribed shall in no way prejudice the
ultimate successional rights of the children accruing upon the death of either or both of the
parents; but the value of the properties already received under the decree of annulment or
absolute nullity shall be considered as advances on their legitime.

Clearly, Article 50 of the Family Code that Section 19(1) of the Rule 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. Article 40 of the Family Code contemplates a situation where a second or
bigamous marriage was contracted. Article 45 of the Family Code, on the other hand, refers to voidable
marriages, meaning, marriages which are valid until they are set aside by final judgment of a competent
court in an action for annulment. That is not the case for annulment of marriage under Article 36 of the
Family Code because the marriage is governed by the ordinary rules on co-ownership.

In this case, petitioners marriage to respondent was declared void under Article 36 of the Family Code.
Thus, what governs the liquidation of properties owned in common by petitioner and respondent are the
rules on co-ownership. In Valdes, the Court ruled that the property relations of parties in a void marriage
during the period of cohabitation is governed either by Article 147 or Article 148 of the Family Code.

Page 165 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

JUANIZA VS JOSE
G.R. No. L-50127-28, 30 March 1979
A cohabitating spouse cannot be a co-owner of property when there is a legal impediment to marry (valid
subsisting marriage of the owner-spouse) (Art. 148)

Facts:

Eugenio Jose owned and operated a passenger jeepney, which collided with a freight train of the
Philippine National Railways in November 1969, resulting in the death of 7 passengers and injuries to 5
passengers. Jose was married to Socorro Ramos, but had been cohabiting with Rosalio Arroyo for 16
years.

In the resulting case for damages, the CFI of Laguna ordered Jose and Arroyo to pay damages. Arroyo
filed a motion for partial reconsideration praying the CFI reconsider insofar as it ordered her to pay
damages jointly and severally with Jose. The CFI denied this and applied Article 144 of the Civil Code,
which provides “when a man and woman driving together as husband and wife, but they are not married,
or their marriage is void from the beginning, the property acquired by either or both of them through
their work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.” Arroyo
appealed to the Court of Appeals, which certified her appeal to the SC on a pure question of law.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Article 144 of the Civil Code applies in a case where one of the parties in a common law
relationship is incapacitated to marry.
2. Whether Rosalia, who is not a registered owner of the jeepney, can be held jointly and severally
liable for damages with the registered owner said jeepney.

Held:
1. No, Arroyo cannot be a co-owner of the jeepney.

The co-ownership contemplated in Article 144 of the Civil Code requires that the man and the woman
living together must not in any way be incapacitated to contract marriage. Since Eugenio Jose is legally
married to Socorro Ramos, there is an impediment for him to contract marriage with Rosalia Arroyo.
Under the aforecited provision of the Civil Code, Arroyo cannot be a co-owner of the jeepney. The jeepney
belongs to the conjugal partnership of Jose and his legal wife. There is therefore no basis for the liability
of Arroyo for damages arising from the death of, and physical injuries suffered by, the passengers of the
jeepney which figured in the collision.

2. No, Arroyo who is not the registered owner of the jeepney, can not be liable for
damages.

Only the registered owner of a public service vehicle is responsible for any damages that may arise from
consequences incident to its operation.

Page 166 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

DOCENA V LAPESURA
G.R. No. 140153. 28 March 2001
A husband alone can file the petition without being joined by the wife to defend conjugal property in a suit
(Art. 149)

Facts:

In 1977, Casiano Hombria filed a complaint for recovery of a parcel of land against lessees, Spouses
Docena, who claimed ownership of the land based on occupation since time immemorial. The trial court
ruled in favor of the Docenas, but the CA reversed the trial court and ordered the Docenas to vacate.
Hombria filed a Motion for Execution of the CA decision. Eventually, a writ of demolition was issued. The
Docenas filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, alleging that the trial judge gravely abused discretion
in issuing the writ of demolition. The CA dismissed the petition because the certification of non-forum
shopping was signed by only one of the Docenas.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the petition for certiorari and prohibition.

Held:
1. Yes, the husband alone can file the petition and sign the certification of non-forum
shopping.

Generally, the certificate of non-forum shopping should be signed by all the petitioner case, and that the
signing by only one of them is insufficient. In the case at bar, however, we hold that the subject
Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping signed by the petitioner Antonio Docena alone should be deemed to
constitute substantial compliance with the rules. There are only two petitioners in this case and they are
husband and wife. Their residence is the subject property alleged to be conjugal in the instant verified
petition. The property subject of the original action for recovery is conjugal. Whether it is conjugal under
the New Civil Code or the Family Code, a fact that cannot be determined from the records before us, it is
believed that the certificate on non-forum shopping filed in the Court of Appeals constitutes sufficient
compliance with the rules on forum-shopping.

Under the New Civil Code, the husband is the administrator of the conjugal partnership. The husband
may defend the conjugal partnership in a suit or action without being joined by the wife. Corollarily, the
husband alone may execute the necessary certificate of non-forum shopping to accompany the pleading.
The husband as the statutory administrator of the conjugal property could have filed the petition for
certiorari and prohibition alone, without the concurrence of the wife. If suits to defend an interest in the
conjugal properties may be filed by the husband alone, with more reason, he may sign the certificate of
non-forum shopping to be attached to the petition.

Under the Family Code, the administration of the conjugal property belongs to the husband and the wife
jointly. However, unlike an act of alienation or encumbrance where the consent of both spouses is
required, joint management or administration does not require that the husband and wife always act
together. Each spouse may validly exercise full power of management alone, subject to the intervention of
the court in proper cases as provided under Article 124 of the Family Code. It is believed that even under
the provisions of the Family Code, the husband alone could have filed the petition for certiorari and
prohibition to contest the writs of demolition issued against the conjugal property with the Court of
Appeals without being joined by his wife. The signing of the attached certificate of non-forum shopping
only by the husband is not a fatal defect.
Page 167 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MARTINEZ V MARTINEZ
G.R. No. 162084. 28 June 2005
Compliance with earnest efforts to compromise; (Art. 150)

Facts:

The spouses Martinez were the owners of a parcel of land as well as the house constructed thereon.
Daniel, Sr. executed a Last Will and Testament directing the subdivision of the property into three lots.
He then bequeathed the three lots to each of his sons, namely, Lot B1 to Rodolfo, Lot B2 to Manolo, and
Lot B3 to Daniel, Jr. Manolo was designated as the administrator of the estate.

Rodolfo found a deed of sale purportedly signed by his father, where the latter appears to have sold to
Manolo and his wife Lucila the entire Lot B. Rodolfo filed a complaint for annulment of deed of sale and
cancellation of TCT against his brother Manolo and his sister-in-law Lucila before the RTC. RTC
dismissed the complaint for annulment of deed of sale on the ground that the trial court had no
jurisdiction over the action since there was no allegation in the complaint that the last will of Daniel
Martinez, Sr. had been admitted to probate. Rodolfo appealed the order to the CA.

In the meantime, the spouses Manolo and Lucila Martinez wrote Rodolfo, demanding that he vacate the
property. Rodolfo ignored the letter and refused to do so. This prompted the said spouses to file a
complaint for unlawful detainer against Rodolfo in the MTC of Manila. They alleged that they were the
owners of the property. The spouses Martinez alleged in their position paper that, as required by PD
1508, earnest efforts toward a compromise had been made and/or exerted by them, but that the same
proved futile. No amicable settlement was, likewise, reached by the parties during the preliminary
conference because of irreconcilable differences.

The MTC ruled in favor of Manolo and Lucila and ordered Rodolfo to vacate, and held that they
substiantially complied with Article 151 of the FC based on the allegations of the complaint and the
appended certification to file action by the barangay captain. On appeal, the RTC affirmed the MTC. The
CA reversed the RTC and held that Manolo and Lucia failed to comply with Art. 151 of the FC.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Manolo and Lucila complied with Article 151 of the Family Code.

Held:
1. Yes, they complied because they alleged in the complaint they had initiated proceeding
against Rodolfo for unlawful detainer in the Katarungang Pambarangay as per PD 1509,
and that after due proceeding, no amicable settlement was reached.

Article 151 of the Family Code provides:

Art. 151. No suit between members of the same family shall prosper unless it should appear
from the verified complaint or petition that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been
made, but that the same have failed. If it is shown that no such efforts were, in fact, made, the
case must be dismissed.

This rule shall not apply to cases which may not be the subject of compromise under the Civil
Code.

Page 168 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

The phrase members of the family must be construed in relation to Article 150 of the Family Code, to wit:

Art. 150. Family relations include those:


(1) Between husband and wife;
(2) Between parents and children;
(3) Among other ascendants and descendants; and
(4) Among brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half-blood.

Article 151 of the Family code must be construed strictly, it being an exception to the general rule. Hence,
a sister-in-law or brother-in-law is not included in the enumeration.

The Code Commission pointed out it is difficult to imagine a sadder and more tragic spectacle than a
litigation between members of the same family. It is necessary that every effort should be made toward a
compromise before a litigation is allowed to breed hate and passion in the family and it is known that a
lawsuit between close relatives generates deeper bitterness than between strangers. Failure to comply
with Article 151 would render a complaint premature.

Moreover, petitioner Lucila Martinez, the respondents sister-in-law, was one of the plaintiffs in the MTC.
Lucila is not a member of the same family as that of her deceased husband and Rodolfo.

Page 169 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

HONTIVEROS VS RTC
G.R. No. 125465, 29 June 1999
Article 151 does not apply in a suit not exclusively among family members (Art. 150)

Facts:

In December 1990, Spouses Hontiveros filed a complaint for damages against Gregorio Hontiveros and
Teodora Ayson before the RTC of Iloilo City, alleging that as owners of the parcel of land, they were
deprived of income due to the land registration case filed by Gregorio and Teodora.

Gregorio and Teodora denied they were married and alleged that Gregorio was a widower while Teodora
was single and denied depriving the Hontiveroses possession and income from the land. The Hontiveroses
later filed an amended complaint on which they alleged that earnest efforts towards a compromise were
unsuccessful.

The trial court, however, dismissed the complaint on the ground that it was not verified as required by
Article 151 of the Family Code. The RTC did not believe that earnest efforts had been made to arrive at a
compromise. The Hontiveroses appealed directly to the SC and argued they complied with Article 151 of
the FC.

Issue(s:
1. Whether the RTC erred in dismissing the complaint on the ground that it was not verified as
required by Article 151 of the Family Code.

Held:
1. No, the absence of verification required in Article 151 of the FC does not affect
jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the complaint;

Verification is merely a formal requirement intended to secure an assurance that matters which are
alleged are true and correct. If the court doubts the truth of these allegations, it could have simply
ordered the petitioners to verify them.

The Hontiveroses correctly argue that Article 151 of the FC does not apply since the suit is not exclusively
among family members. They argue that whenever a stranger is a party in a case involving family
members, the requisite showing of earnest efforts to compromise is no longer mandatory. In this case,
Ayson is a stranger to the Hontiveros family.

Page 170 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MANALO VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 129242, 16 January 2001
Art. 151 only applies to ordinary civil actions (Art. 151)

Facts:

Troadio Manalo died intestate on February 14, 1992. He was survived by his wife, Pilar S. Manalo, and
his eleven children, who are all of legal age. At the time of his death, Troadio Manalo left several real
properties located in Manila and in the province of Tarlac including a business under the name and style
Manalo's Machine Shop.

The eight of the surviving children of the late Troadio Manalo filed a petition with the respondent RTC of
Manila of the judicial settlement of the estate of their late father and for the appointment of their brother,
Romeo Manalo, as administrator thereof.

The petitioners, the mother and three other children, opposed the petition, contending that such petition
is actually an ordinary civil action involving members of the same family and that there was absence of
earnest efforts toward compromise among members of the same family. The trial court, however, resolved
in favor of the children in the judicial settlement of estate.

Pilar and the 3 children filed a petition for certiorari before the CA and argued there was an absence of
earnest efforts to compromise among the family members. The CA dismissed the petition. Pilar appealed
to the Supreme Court, raising the issue of absence of earnest efforts to compromise.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the CA erred in upholding the lower court despite the absence of earnest efforts to
compromise.

Held:
1. No, Art 151 of FC which prohibits suit between members of the family absent a
compromise, is not applicable in the case at bar for such is only a special proceeding
and not an ordinary civil action.

The averments and character of relief sought in the complaint or petition determines the nature of an
action of proceeding.

The Petition for Issuance of Letters of Administration, Settlement and Distribution of Estate is a special
proceeding and, as such, it is a remedy whereby the petitioners therein seek to establish a status, a right,
or a particular fact. Romeo and the eight other children herein merely seek to establish the fact of death
of their father and subsequently to be duly recognized as among the heirs of the said deceased so that
they can validly exercise their right to participate in the settlement and liquidation of the estate of the
decedent consistent with the limited and special jurisdiction of the probate court.

Page 171 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ALBANO VS GAPUSAN
A.M. No. 1022-MJ, 7 May 1976
(Art. 151)

Facts:

Albano filed a complaint against Judge Gapusan with ignorance of law for having prepared and notarized
a document providing for the personal separation of husband and wife and extrajudicial liquidation of the
conjugal partnership of Valentina Andres and Guillermo Maligta five years before he was appointed as a
judge. The document stipulated that if either spouse should commit adultery or concubinage, the other
should refrain from filing an action against the other.

Gapusan denied drafting said document and explained the spouses had been separated for a long time
when they signed the separation agreement and that the wife had children with her paramour.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Judge Gapusan is guilty of ignorance of the law for notarizing the void agreement.

Held:
1. Yes, he should be disciplined as a lawyer for notarizing the document, but not as a
judge.

The covenants contained in the said separation agreement are contrary to law, morals and good customs.
Those stipulations undermine the institutions of marriage and the family. "Marriage is not a mere
contract but an inviolable social institution". "The family is a basic social institution which public policy
cherishes and protects."

To preserve the institutions of marriage and the family, the law considers as void "any contract for
personal separation between husband and wife" and "every extrajudicial agreement, during the marriage,
for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership". Before the new Civil Code, it was held that the
extrajudicial dissolution of the conjugal partnership without judicial sanction was void.

A notary should not facilitate the disintegration of a marriage and the family by encouraging the
separation of the spouses and extrajudically dissolving the conjugal partnership.

Gapusan as a member of the bar should be censured for having notarized the void separation agreement
already mentioned.

Page 172 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MODEQUILLO VS BREVA
G.R. No. 86355, 31 May 1990
The constitution of the family home under the FC does not have retroactive effect (Art 152-162)

Facts:

On 29 January 1988, the Court of Appeals rendered judgment ordering Jose Modequillo to pay damages
to Spouses Salinas for the death of the latter’s son. A writ of execution was rendered by the RTC to satisfy
the judgment on the good and chattels of Modequillo and Benito Balubay.

The Sheriff levied on a parcel of residential land in Modequillo’s name. Modequillo filed a motion to set
aside the levy of execution because the residential land is where the family home is built since 1969 prior
to the commence of this case, thus is except from execution, forced sale or attachment under Articles 152
and 153 of the Family Code, except for liabilities mentioned in Article 155 thereof. The trial court,
however, denied the motion.

Modequillo appealed directly to the Supreme Court, arguing that the residential lot and house was first
occupied as his family residence in 1969 and was duly constituted as a family home under the Family
Code, thus exempt from payment of the obligations enumerated in Article 155 of the Family Code.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the residential lot and house is a family home that is exempt from execution for
Modequillo’s liability to pay damages.

Held:
1. No, the debt or liability was incurred at the time of the vehicular accident on 16 March
1976 and the money judgment was rendered on 29 January 1988, both preceded the
effectivity of the Family Code on 3 August 1988.

Art. 162 of the FC provides that the "the provisions of this Chapter shall also govern existing family
residences insofar as said provisions are applicable." It does not mean that Articles 152 and 153 of said
Code have a retroactive effect such that all existing family residences are deemed to have been
constituted as family homes at the time of their occupation prior to the effectivity of the Family Code and
are exempt from execution for the payment of obligations incurred before the effectivity of the Family
Code. Article 162 simply means that all existing family residences at the time of the effectivity of the
Family Code, are considered family homes and are prospectively entitled to the benefits accorded to a
family home under the Family Code. Article 162 does not state that the provisions of Chapter 2, Title V
have a retroactive effect.

Page 173 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MANACOP VS COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 97898, 11 August 1997
Requisites for the family home to be exempt from execution; (Arts. 152-162)

Facts:

On 10 March 1972, Florante Manacop and his wife Euaceli bought a 446-sq.m. residential lot with a
bungalow, for P75,000 in Quezon City.In 1986, E&L Mercantile Inc. filed a complaint against the
Manacops and FF Manacop Construction before the RTC to collect an indebtedness of P3.3 million. The
paties entered into a compromise agreement wherein the Manacops undertook to pay P2 million when
their means permit.

The trial court approved the compromise agreement. Eventually, the compromise agreement was sought
to be enforced against the Manacops’ residential lot. On 21 September 1989, E&L Mercantile alleged that
the residential property could not be considered a family home because the Manacops have been living
abroad and said property should have been judicially constituted as a family home to be exempt from
execution.

The trial court denied the Manacops’ motion to quash the writ of execution and found they had not paid
their debt to E&L Mercantile even if their company had collected receivables amounting to P57 million.
The trial court also held their residence not exempt from execution because it was not duly constituted as
a family home pursuant to the Civil Code.

The CA affirmed the lower court, thus Manacop appealed to the Supreme Court contending that the
residential lot was exempt from execution.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the residential lot was exempt from execution.

Held:
1. No, it is not exempt from execution embodied in Art. 155(2) of the Family Code cited in
Modequillo vs. Breva.

Under the Family Code, a family home is deemed constituted on a house and lot from the time it is
occupied as a family residence. There is no need to constitute the same judicially or extrajudicially as
required in the Civil Code. If the family actually resides in the premises, it is, therefore, a family home as
contemplated by law. Thus, the creditors should take the necessary precautions to protect their interest
before extending credit to the spouses or head of the family who owns the home.

Article 155 of the Family Code also provides as follows:


Art. 155. The family home shall be exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment except:
(1) For nonpayment of taxes;
(2) For debts incurred prior to the constitution of the family home;
(3) For debts secured by mortgages on the premises before or after such constitution; and
(4) For debts due to laborers, mechanics, architects, builders, materialmen and others who
have rendered service or furnished material for the construction of the building.

The exemption provided as aforestated is effective from the time of the constitution of the family home as
such, and lasts so long as any of its beneficiaries actually resides therein.
Page 174 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Manacop incorrectly contends the Modequillo case simply requires occupancy by the petitioner without
judicial or extrajudicial constitution as a family home.

Modequillo explicitly ruled that said provision of the Family Code does not have retroactive effect. In
other words, prior to August 3, 1988, the procedure mandated by the Civil Code had to be followed for a
family home to be constituted as such. There being absolutely no proof that the subject property was
judicially or extrajudicially constituted as a family home, it follows that the laws protective mantle cannot
be availed of by petitioner. Since the debt involved herein was incurred and the assailed orders of the trial
court issued prior to August 3, 1988, the petitioner cannot be shielded by the benevolent provisions of the
Family Code.

Moreover, occuupancy of the family home either by the owner thereof or by any of its beneficiaries must
be actual. That which is actual is something real, or actually existing, as opposed to something merely
possible, or to something which is presumptive or constructive. Property may be occupied by the
beneficiaries enumerated in Art. 154 of the FC:

Art. 154. The beneficiaries of a family home are:


(1) The husband and wife, or an unmarried person who is the head of the family; and
(2) Their parents, ascendants, descendants, brothers and sisters, whether the relationship be
legitimate or illegitimate, who are living in the family home and who depend upon the head of
the family for lead support.

This enumeration may include the in-laws where the family home is constituted jointly by the husband
and wife. But the law definitely excludes maids and overseers. They are not the beneficiaries
contemplated by the Code. Consequently, occupancy of a family home by an overseer like Carmencita V.
Abat in this case.

Page 175 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ANDAL V MACARAIG
G.R. No. L-2474, 30 May 1951
Children born within 300 days following dissolution of marriage are presumed legitimate (Art. 166)

Facts:

Mariano Andal, a minor, assisted by his mother Maria Duenas, as guardian ad litem, brought an action in
the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur for the recovery of the ownership and possession of a parcel
of land in Camarines Sur.

The complaint alleged that Mariano is the surviving son of Emiliano Andal and Maria Duenas; that
Emiliano, who owned the land in question, died on 24 Sept 1942, had possessed the land from 1938 to
1942 when Eduvigis Macaraig entered the subject land.

The proven facts, however, tell another story. Emiliano Andal became sick of tuberculosis in January
Sometime thereafter, his brother, Felix, went to live in his house to help him work his farm. His sickness
became worse that on or about September 10, 1942, he became so weak that he could hardly move and get
up from his bed. On September 10, 1946, Maria Duenas, his wife, eloped with Felix, and both went to live
in the house of Maria's father, until the middle of 1943.Since May, 1942, Felix and Maria had sexual
intercourse and treated each other as husband and wife. On January 1, 1943, Emiliano died without the
presence of his wife,who did not even attend his funeral. On June 17, 1943, Maria J Duenas gave birth to
a boy, who was given the name of Mariano Andal.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Mariano Andal is a legitimate child of the late Emiliano Andal, thus entitled to the
subject property.

Held:
1. Mariano is presumed to be Emiliano’s legitimate son since he was born on 17 June 1943
and Emiliano died on 1 January 1943, and the presumption has not been rebutted.

Mariano is presumed to be Emiliano’s son because because he was born within 300 days following the
dissolution of the marriage. The fact that the husband was seriously sick is not sufficient to overcome the
presumption of legitimacy. This presumption can only be rebutted by proof that it was physically
impossible for the husband to have had access to his wife during the first 120 days of the 300 days next
preceding the birth of the child. Impossibility of access by husband to wife includes absence during the
initial period of conception, impotence which is patent, and incurable; and imprisonment unless it can be
shown that cohabitation took place through corrupt violation of prison regulations. Maria’s illicit
intercourse with a man other than the husband during the initial period does not preclude cohabitation
between husband and wife.

Article 108 of the Civil Code provides:


“Children born after the one hundred and eighty days next following that of the celebration of
marriage or within the three hundred days next following its dissolution or the separation of
the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.
This presumption may be rebutted only by proof that it was physically impossible for the
husband to have had access to his wife during the first one hundred and twenty days of the
three hundred next preceding the birth of the child.”

Page 176 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BENITEZ BADUA V CA
G.R. No. 105625, 24 January 1994
Articles 164-171 of the FC apply when a husband denis his own a child as his own (Art. 166)

Facts:

Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian owned various properties. Isabel died on 25 April 1982, followed
by Vicente on 13 November 1989. Vicente died intestate. Victoria Benitez-Lirio (sister) and Feodor
Benitez (nephew), instituted special proceedings before the RTC praying to be issued letters of
administration of Vicente’s estate in favor of Feodor.

On 2 November 1990, Marissa Benitez-Badua opposed the motion and claimed to be Vicente’s sole heir.
Marissa tried to prove she is the only legitimate child of Vicente and Isabel. She submitted documentary
evidence: Certificate of Live Birth (Exh. 3); (2) Baptismal Certificate (Exh. 4); (3) Income Tax Returns and
Information Sheet for Membership with the GSIS of the late Vicente naming her as his daughter (Exhs.
10 to 21); and (4) School Records (Exhs. 5 & 6). She also testified that the said spouses reared and
continuously treated her as their legitimate daughter.

On the other hand, Victoria and Feodor tried to prove, mostly thru testimonial evidence, that the said
spouses failed to beget a child during their marriage; and that that Marissa was not the biological child of
the said spouses who were unable to physically procreate.

The trial court applied Article 166 and 170 of the FC and ruled in favor of Marissa and dismissed
Victoria’s petition, based on Articles 166 and 170 of the Family Code. The CA, however, reversed the
lower court. Marissa appealed to the SC, and argued the CA failed to apply Arts. 164, 166, 170 and 171 of
the Family Code.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the CA erred in not applying said articles and finding that Marissa Benitez-Badua is the
legitimate child and the sole heir of the late spouses.

Held:
1. No, the above articles will show that they do not contemplate a situation, like in the
instant case, where a child is alleged not to be the biological child of a certain couple.
Rather, these articles govern a situation where a husband (or his heirs) denies as his
own a child of his wife.

Under Article 166, it is the husband who can impugn the legitimacy of said child by proving: (1) it was
physically impossible for him to have sexual intercourse, with his wife within the first 120 days of the 300
days which immediately preceded the birth of the child; (2) that for biological or other scientific reasons,
the child could not have been his child; (3) that in case of children conceived through artificial
insemination, the written authorization or ratification by either parent was obtained through mistake,
fraud, violence, intimidation or undue influence. Articles 170 and 171 reinforce this reading as they speak
of the prescriptive period within which the husband or any of his heirs should file the action impugning
the legitimacy of said child. Doubtless then, the appellate court did not err when it refused to apply these
articles to the case at bench, which is not one where the heirs of the late Vicente are contending that
petitioner is not his child by Isabel. Rather, their clear submission is that petitioner was not born to
Vicente and Isabel.
Page 177 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

CONCEPCION VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 123450, 31 August 2005
A child born during a valid, subsisting marriage is presumed legitimate (Art. 167)

Facts:

Gerardo Concepcion and Maria Theresa Almonte wed on 29 December 1989. Maria gave birth to Jose
Gerardo on 8 December 1990. On 19 December 1991, Gerardo filed a petition to have his marriage
annulled on the ground of bigamy, alleging that 9 years before he married Maria Theresa, she had
married on Mario Gopiao and that marriage was never annulled.

Maria Theresa did not deny marrying Mario when she was 20, but averred the marriage was a sham and
she never lived with Mario. The trial court ruled Maria Theresa’s marriage to Mario was valid and
subsisting, thus annulled her marriage to Gerardo for being bigamous, and declared Jose Gerardo an
illegitimate child. Maria Theresa was awarded custody of Jose Gerardo while Gerardo was granted
visitation rights.

Maria Theresa moved for reconsideration of visiting hours, arguing there was nothing in law granting
visitation rights in favor of the putative father of an illegitimate child and maintained that jose Gerardo’s
surname should be changed to Almonte. Gerardo opposed the motion; the trial court denied Maria
Theresa’s motion.

She appealed to the CA, which brushed aside the common admission of Gerardo and Maria Theresa that
Jose Gerardo was their son. The CA gave little weight to the birth certificate showing he was born less
than a year after his parents were married. The CA reversed the lower court and held that Jose Gerardo
was Maria Theresa and Mario’s child.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the CA erred in holding that Jose Gerardo is Mario and Maria Theresa’s child.

Held:
1. No, the CA properly applied the presumption of legitimacy of a child born or conceived
during the marriage of his parents as per Article 164 of the FC, and the rule against the
mother’s declarations that the child is illegitimate under Article 167 of the FC.

The law requires that every reasonable presumption be made in favor of legitimacy. Gerardo cannot
invoke Article 166(1)(b) of the FC because he has no standing to dispute the status of Jose Gerardo.
Impugning the legitimacy of a child is a strictly personal right of the husband or, in exceptional cases, his
heirs. Since the marriage of Gerardo and Ma. Theresa was void from the very beginning, he never became
her husband and thus never acquired any right to impugn the legitimacy of her child.

The presumption of legitimacy proceeds from the sexual union in marriage, particularly during the period
of conception.[ To overthrow this presumption on the basis of Article 166 (1)(b) of the Family Code, it must
be shown beyond reasonable doubt that there was no access that could have enabled the husband to
father the child. Sexual intercourse is to be presumed where personal access is not disproved, unless such
presumption is rebutted by evidence to the contrary.[

Page 178 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

The presumption is quasi-conclusive and may be refuted only by the evidence of physical impossibility of
coitus between husband and wife within the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately preceded
the birth of the child.

To rebut the presumption, the separation between the spouses must be such as to make marital intimacy
impossible. This may take place, for instance, when they reside in different countries or provinces and
they were never together during the period of conception. Or, the husband was in prison during the period
of conception, unless it appears that sexual union took place through the violation of prison regulations.[

The facts, however, show that Gerardo and Maria Theresa lived together just four kilomters away from
Mario. Not only did both Ma. Theresa and Mario reside in the same city but also that no evidence at all
was presented to disprove personal access between them. Considering these circumstances, the
separation between Ma. Theresa and her lawful husband, Mario, was certainly not such as to make it
physically impossible for them to engage in the marital act.

Sexual union between spouses is assumed. Evidence sufficient to defeat the assumption should be
presented by him who asserts the contrary. There is no such evidence here. Thus, the presumption of
legitimacy in favor of Jose Gerardo, as the issue of the marriage between Ma. Theresa and Mario, stands.

Public policy demands that there be no compromise on the status and filiation of a child. Otherwise, the
child will be at the mercy of those who may be so minded to exploit his defenselessness.

The reliance of Gerardo on Jose Gerardos birth certificate is misplaced. It has no evidentiary value in this
case because it was not offered in evidence before the trial court. The rule is that the court shall not
consider any evidence which has not been formally offered

Moreover, the law itself establishes the status of a child from the moment of his birth. Although a record
of birth or birth certificate may be used as primary evidence of the filiation of a child, as the status of a
child is determined by the law itself, proof of filiation is necessary only when the legitimacy of the child is
being questioned, or when the status of a child born after 300 days following the termination of marriage
is sought to be established.

Here, the status of Jose Gerardo as a legitimate child was not under attack as it could not be contested
collaterally and, even then, only by the husband or, in extraordinary cases, his heirs. Hence, the
presentation of proof of legitimacy in this case was improper and uncalled for.

Page 179 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

LIYAO V LIYAO
G.R. No. 138961, 7 March 2002
Despite a mother’s declaration against its legitimacy, a child born in a valid marriage is presumed
legitimate (Art. 170-171)

Facts:

On 29 November 1976, William Liyao, Jr., represented by his mother Corazon Garcia, filed before the
RTC an action for compulsory recognition as the illegitimate child of the late William Liyao. The
complaint was amended to include the allegation that William Jr. had been in continuous possession and
enjoyment of the status of the child of said Willian, who had recognized and acknowledged Will Jr. as his
child.

Corazon Garcia, on the other hand, is married but living separately from Ramon Yulo for more than 10
years. Corazon cohabited with the late William from 1965 up to his death on 2 December 1975, and lived
together with Corazon’s 2 children from her subsisting marriage, Enrique and Bernadette.

In 1974, Corazon bought a lot from Ortigas which required her husband Ramon Yulo’s signature to show
consent to the sale. On 9 June 1975, Corazon gave birth to William Liyao, Jr. William Liyao visited and
stayed with her and William Jr., and the late William paid for all the hospital expenses. William would
even bring Willy Jr. to the office and introduce him as his good looking son. During Williams lifetime,
several pictures showed William together with William Jr. on various occasions, social gatherings, and
family events.

William’s other children, on the other hand, told a different story, and testified their father and their
mother were legally married and never separated. The trial court granted William Liyao Jr.’s petition and
declared him as the late William’s illegitimate son. The trial court found preponderance of evidence The
Court of Appeals, however, reversed the lower court and said that the law favors legitimacy rather than
the illegitimacy of the child and the presumption of legitimacy is thwarted only on ethnic ground and
proof that marital intimacy between husband and wife is physically impossible in the period provided in
Article 257 and 255 of the Civil Code.

The CA held the pictures and birth certificate were not sufficient proof of William Jr.’s paternity in the
absence of evidence that the deceased William had a hand in the preparation of said certificates and
considering his signature was not found on thebirth certificate.

Issue(s):
1. Whether William Liyao, Jr., may impugn his own legitimacy to claim from the estate of his
supposed father William Liyao?

Page 180 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Held:
1. No, it is settled that a child born within a valid marriage is presumed legitimate even
though the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been
sentenced as an adulteress.

The Civil Code provides that a child born and conceived during a valid marriage is presumed to be
legitimate. The presumption of legitimacy of children does not only flow out from a declaration contained
in the statute but is based on the broad principles of natural justice and the supposed virtue of the
mother. The presumption is grounded in a policy to protect innocent offspring from the odium of
illegitimacy.

The presumption of legitimacy of the child, however, is not conclusive and consequently, may be
overthrown by evidence to the contrary. Hence, Article 255 of the New Civil Code provides:

Article 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the
marriage, and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the
spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.
Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the physical
impossibility of the husband having access to his wife within the first one hundred and twenty
days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the child.
This physical impossibility may be caused:
1) By the impotence of the husband;
2) By the fact that husband and wife were living separately in such a way that access was not
possible;
3) By the serious illness of the husband.

The fact that Corazon Garcia had been living separately from her husband, Ramon Yulo, at the time
petitioner was conceived and born is of no moment. While physical impossibility for the husband to have
sexual intercourse with his wife is one of the grounds for impugning the legitimacy of the child, it bears
emphasis that the grounds for impugning the legitimacy of the child mentioned in Article 255 of the Civil
Code may only be invoked by the husband, or in proper cases, his heirs under the conditions set forth
under Article 262 of the Civil Code. Impugning the legitimacy of the child is a strictly personal right of the
husband, or in exceptional cases, his heirs for the simple reason that he is the one directly confronted
with the scandal and ridicule which the infidelity of his wife produces and he should be the one to decide
whether to conceal that infidelity or expose it in view of the moral and economic interest involved.[28] It is
only in exceptional cases that his heirs are allowed to contest such legitimacy.

The present petition initiated by Corazon G. Garcia as guardian ad litem of the then minor, herein
petitioner, to compel recognition by respondents of petitioner William Liyao, Jr, as the illegitimate son of
the late William Liyao cannot prosper.

Page 181 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ECETA VS. ECETA


G.R. No. 157037, 20 May 2004
Successful establishment of filiation (Art. 172)

Facts:

Rosalina Vde de Eceta married Isaac Eceta sometime in 1962 and begot a son, Vicente. The Ecetas
acquired several properties, including the disputed property in Quezon City. Isaac died in 1967 leaving
behind Rosalina and Vicente as his compulsory heirs.

Vicente died in 1977, but he sired Maria Theresa, an illegitimate daughter. In 1991, Maria Theresa filed a
case before the RTC for partition and accounting with damages against Rosalina, alleging that by virtue
of her father’s death, she became co-heirs with Rosalina and co-owner of the property in Quezon City.
Rosalina averred the QC property is her exclusive property. During pre-trial, the parties admitted their
relationship: Rosalina is Maria Theresa’s grandmother.

The trial court held that Rosalina and Maria Theresa are the only surviving co-hers and co-owners over
the subject property. Rosalina appealed to the CA, which affirmed the RTC. Before the SC, Rosalina
argued on the incompetence of (1) the certified xerox copy of Maria Theresa’s certificate of live birth as
evidence to prove filiation; and (2) Rosalina’s admission that Maria Theresa is her granddaughter.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Rosalina’s admission that Theresa is her granddaughter is enough to prove filiation.

Held:
1. Yes, Maria Theresa successfully established her filitation with Vicente by presenting a
duly authenticated birth certificate, which Vicente himself signed, acknowledging that
she is his daughter.

The filiation of illegitimate children, like legitimate children, is established by (1) the record of birth
appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or (2) an admission of legitimate filiation in a public
document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the absence
thereof, filiation shall be proved by (1) the open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate
child; or (2) any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. The due recognition of an
illegitimate child in a record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic
writing is, in itself, a consummated act of acknowledgement of the child, and no further court action is
required. In fact, any authentic writing is treated not just a ground for compulsory recognition; it is in
itself a voluntary recognition that does not require a separate action for judicial approval.

Page 182 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

CONSTANTINO VS. MENDEZ


G.R. No. 57227, 14 May 1992
Lack of clear and convincing evidence proving filiation (Art. 172)

Facts:

On 5 June 1975, Amelita Constantino filed an action for acknowledgment, support, and damages against
Ivan Mendez before the CFI of Davao. Amelita alleged she met Ivan at Tony’s restaurant in Manila where
she worked as a waitress. Amelita alleged that, the day after they first met, Ivan invited Amelita to dine
with him at Hotel Enrico where he stayed, and that Ivan professed his love and courted Amelita. Ivan
promised her marriage and succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her. Ivan then revealed to
Amelita that he is a married man. However, they repeated seeing each other and Amelita became
pregnant, thus she resigned from work.

Ivan admitted meeting Amelita, but denied having illicit relations with her. Amelita amended the
complaint to implead as co-plaintiff her son Michael Constantino who was born 3 August 1975. The CFI
ruled in favor of Amelita and ordered Ivan to pay damages.

Ivan appealed the propriety of the award of damages while Amelita appealed for recognition of Michael as
Ivan’s illegitimate son. The Court of Appeals set aside the complaint and reversed the lower court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the CA erred in reversing the trial court and held that Amelita did not prove by clear and
convincing evidence that Michael is Ivan’s illegitimate son.

Held:
1. No, Amelita has not proven her claim.

Michael was born 3 August 1975. He must have been conceived about 267 days before his birthday or
sometime in the second week of November 1974. Amelita testified she had sexual contact with Ivan in
November 1974, but her evidence contradicted her testimony. The letter dated 11 February 1975 to Ivan
requesting to meet and informing Ivan that she is 4 months pregnant means Michael was conceived
around 11 October 1974.

Moreover, Amelita revealed in a letter to Mrs. Mendez that she was attached to Ivan because he
possessed traits not possessed by her boyfriend and she had a quarrel with her boyfriend due to gossips,
thus prompting her to leave work.

An order for recognition and support may create an unwholesome atmosphere or may be an irritant in the
family or lives of the parties so that it must be issued only if paternity or filiation is established by clear
and convincing evidence. The burden of proof is on Amelita to establish her affirmative allegations that
Ivan is the father of her son. Consequently, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence establishing
paternity or filiation, the complaint must be dismissed.

Lastly, Amelita’s claim for damages under Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code is not proper. Damages can
only be awarded if sexual intercourse is not a product of voluntariness and mutual desire. She amitted
attraction to Ivan and is the reason why she surrendered her womanhood. Had she believed Ivan’s
promise of marriage, she would have severed relations when Ivan revealed he was a married man.

Page 183 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

BERNABE VS. ALEJO


G.R. No. 140500, 21 January 2002
FC does not apply retroactively when rights are vested; right to recognition under Civil Code (Art. 172)

Facts:

The late fiscal Ernesto Bernage allegedly fathered a son Adrian Bernabe, with his 23-year-old secretary
Carolina Alejo. Adrian was born on 18 September 1981 while Fiscal Bernabe died 13 August 1993 while
his legal wife Rosalina died on 3 December 1993, leaving Ernestina as the sole surviving heir.

On 16 May 1994, Carolina, in behalf of Adrian, filed a complaint praying for him to be declared as Fiscal
Bernabe’s illegitimate son and given a share in Fiscal Bernabe’s estate, which is held by Ernestina as the
sole heir. The RTC dismissed the complaint after applying the Article 175 of the Family Code (death of
the putative father had barred the action) and Uyguangco vs. CA. The CA, however, ruled in the interest
of justice and allowed Adrian to prove he’s Fiscal Bernabe’s illegitimate son since Article 285 of the Civil
Code governs due to his birth in 1981, thus an action for recognition should be filed within 4 years after
the child has attained the age of majority.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the CA erred in ruling that Adrian has a cause of action to file a case for recognition as
provided by Article 285 of the Civil Code, in complete disregard of its repeal by express provisions
of the Family Code.

Held:
1. No, Art. 255 of the Family Code provides the code will not be retroactively applied to
vested rights prior to its enactment. The FC cannot impair Adrian’s right to file for
recognition because it had already been vested prior to the enactment of the FC.

Illegitimate who were still minors at the time the Family Code took effect and whose putative parent died
during their minority are thus given the right to seek recognition (under Article 285 of the Civil Code) for
a period of up to four years from attaining majority age. This vested right was not impaired or taken away
by the passage of the Family Code.

Uyguangco vs CA does not apply because the plaintiff in that case was an illegitimate child was no longer
a minor. In Aruego vs. CA, it was ruled that an action for recognition filed while the Civil Code was in
effect should not be affected by the enactment of the Family Code because the right had already vested.

Carmelita incorrectly argues that the Family Code should be given retroactive effect. Article 285 of the
Civil Code provides for the filing of an action for recognition:

ART. 285. The action for the recognition of natural children may be brought only during the
lifetime of the presumed parents, except in the following cases:
(1) If the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in which case the latter may
file the action before the expiration of four years from the attainment of his majority;
(2) If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should appear of which nothing
had been heard and in which either or both parents recognize the child.
In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from the finding of the
document.

Page 184 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

However, Articles 172, 173, and 175 of the FC have omitted the two exceptions under Article 285 of the
Civil Code:

ART. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:
(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or
(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten
instrument and signed by the parent concerned.

In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:
(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or
(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.

ART. 173. The action to claim legitimacy may be brought by the child during his or her lifetime
and shall be transmitted to the heirs should the child die during minority or in a state of
insanity. In these cases, the heirs shall have a period of five years within which to institute the
action.
The action already commenced by the child shall survive notwithstanding the death of either
or both of the parties.

ART. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and
on the same, evidence as legitimate children.
The action must be brought within the same period specified in Article 173, except when the
action is based on the second paragraph of Article 172, in which case the action may be
brought during the lifetime of the alleged parent.

The FC now provides that an action for the recognition of an illegitimate child must be brought within the
lifetime of the alleged parent. The FC does not distinguish whether the child was still a minor when the
alleged parent died, thus the putative parent is given by the FC a chance to dispute the claim, given that
illegitimate children are usually raised in secrecy and without the legitimate family aware of their
existence.

Article 285 of the Civil Code refers to action for recognition of natural children. A natural child is one
whose parents, at the time of conception, were not disqualified by any legal impediment from marrying
each other A strict and literal interpretation of Article 285 has already been frowned upon by this Court
in the aforesaid case of Aruego, which allowed minors to file a case for recognition even if their parents
were disqualified from marrying each other. At the time of their conception, the two childrens’ parents
were legally disqualified from marrying each other. The Court allowed the Complaint to prosper, even
though it had been filed almost a year after the death of the presumed father. At the time of his death,
both children were still minors.

Moreover, in the earlier case Divinagracia v. Rovira, the Court said that the rules on voluntary and
compulsory acknowledgment of natural children, as well as the prescriptive period for filing such action,
may likewise be applied to spurious children. Therefore, under the Civil Code, natural children have
superior successional rights over spurious ones, but the Rovira case treats them as equals with respect to
other rights, including right to recognition granted by Article 285.

Page 185 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

JISON VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 124853, 24 February 1998
Proving open, continuous possession of illegitimate status; (Art. 172 paragraph 2)

On 13 March 1985, Monina Jison filed a complaint for recognition as an illegitimate child of Francisco
Jison before the RTC. Monina alleged that Francisco had been married to a certain Lilia Lopez Jison
since 1940, but that Francisco impregnated Esperanza Amolar (nanny of Francisco’s daughter Lourdes)
sometime late 1945 or early 1946, thus Monina was born on 6 August 1946. Monina alleged that since
childhood she had enjoyed continuous, implied recognition as an illegitimate child of Francisco who gave
her support and spent for her education, and she obtained a Master’s Degree and became a CPA and a
Central Bank examiner. In view of Francisco’s refusal to expressly recognize her, Monina prayed for
judicial declaration of her illegitimate status and that Francisco support and treat her as such.

Francisco alleged he could not have sexual relations with the nanny as she was no longer employed as
early as 1944 and he never expressly or impliedly recognized Monina as his illegitimate child. Eleven
witnesses testified at trial who revealed that (1) Francisco regularly gave Monina an allowance in secret
without Lilia knowing; (2) Monina stayed with several close relatives who helped Francisco send Monina
to school; (3) several of Francisco’s employees regularly saw Monina visit the former at work where they
called each other papa and iha; (4) it was common knowledge among Francisco’s employees and relatives
that Monina is Francisco’s daughter with Pansay; and (5) Monina found work through Francisco’s
recommendations to his business partners and relatives.

Monina was 40 years old and a Central Bank examiner when she took the witness stand. She presented a
baptismal certificate with Francisco as her father. Monina likewise showed evidence that Francisco
shouldered expenses for her education in different schools after she canvassed prices: University of San
Agustin for 2 years then De Paul College and Western Institute of Technology where she obtained a
degree in commerce in 1967. She passed the CPA in 1974 and took up an MBA in De La Salle University
as evidenced by her transcript where Francisco was listed as guardian. She narrated she met with Atty.
Tirol who told her to go to Iloilo and sign an affidavit before receiving money to go abroad. She refused to
sign the affidavit, however, because it stated she was not Francisco’s daughter. Francisco explained the
affidavit was for his wife’s peace of mind. Monina then returned to Atty. Tirol’s office where a certain
Atty. Divinagracia advised her the affidavit would boomerang against Francisco as it was contrary to law;
she eventually signed the affidavit as she was jobless and needed money to support herself and finish her
studies. She received a check for P15,000 and grabbed a copy of the affidavit before she left. Monina
finally claimed she knew Francisco’s three children.

The trial court, however, dismissed Monina’s complaint and held it was (1) Monina’s testimony was
hearsay and self-serving; (2) and although Monina was not barred by prescription because the benefots of
Article 268 of the Civil Code are accorded to illegitimate children in the same manner provided by the FC,
she was barred by estoppel by deed because she signed the affidavit when she was 25 years old.

The CA reversed the RTC and held that Monina proved with overwhelming evidence the open and
continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child or by other means allowed by the Rules of
Court and special laws, such as baptismal certificate, a judicial admission, testimonies of the witnesses,
common reputation respecting pedigree, as per Article 175 in relation to 172 and 173 of the Family Code.

Issue
1. Whether the CA erred in holding Monina proved filiation to Francisco.
Held:
Page 186 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

1. No, Monina’s evidence hurdles the high standard of proof required to establish
illegitimate filiation in relying upon open and continuous possession of status as an
illegitimate child.

Under Article 175 of the Family Code, illegitimate filiation, such as MONINA's, may be established in the
same way and on the same evidence as that of legitimate children. Article 172 thereof provides the
various forms of evidence by which legitimate filiation is established, thus:

ART. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:
(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or
(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten
instrument signed by the parent concerned.

In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:
(1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or
(2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.

This Article reproduces, with amendments, Articles 265, 266 and 267 of the Civil Code. A high standard
of proof is required for the success of an action to establish illegitimate filiation under the second
paragraph. There must be evidence of the manifestation of the permanent intention of the supposed
father to consider the child as his, by continuous and clear manifestations of parental affection and care,
which cannot be attributed to pure charity. Such acts must be of such a nature that they reveal not only
the conviction of paternity, but also the apparent desire to have and treat the child as such in all relations
in society and in life, not accidentally, but continuously. By continuous is meant uninterrupted and
consistent, but does not require any particular length of time. The foregoing standard of proof required to
establish ones filiation is founded on the principle that an order for recognition and support may create
an unwholesome atmosphere or may be an irritant in the family or lives of the parties, so that it must be
issued only if paternity or filiation is established by clear and convincing evidence. The foregoing
discussion, however, must be situated within the general rules on evidence, in light of the burden of proof
in civil cases, i.e., preponderance of evidence, and the shifting of the burden of evidence in such
cases. Simply put, he who alleges the affirmative of the issue has the burden of proof, and upon the
plaintiff in a civil case, the burden of proof never parts

Monina’s testimonial evidence and witnesses’ testimonies established that (1) Francisco is Monina’s
father; (2) Francisco recognized Monina as his child through overt acts and conduct; and (3) his
recognition has been consistently shown and manifested throughout years publicly, spontaneously, and
continuously, and in an uninterrupted manner. However, Monina’s certificate of live birth is not
competent evidence identifying the putative father when there is no showing said father had a hand in
the preparation of said certificates. Likewise, Francisco’s lack of participation in the preparation of the
baptismal certificates renders the documents incompetent to prove paternity. However, Monina’s school
recordsc corroborate her claim that Francisco spent for her education. The various notes and letters
written by Francisco’s relative attesting to Monina’s filitation are inadmissible under Section 39, Rule 130
of the Rules of Court without an showing that they’re dead or unable to testify. Family reputation or
pedigree under Section 40, Rule 130 is limited to objects enumerated in the second portion of the
provision or “family possessions.” If Monina were truly not Francisco’s daughter, signing the affidavit is
unnecessary. Clearly, the burden of proof shifted to Francisco, whose testimony comprised of mere denials
full of bare unsubstantiated responses.

Page 187 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

CONDE VS. ABAYA


G.R. No. L-4275, 23 March 1909
Action to claim legitimacy vs. Action to enforce acknowledgment; the latter is not transmissible to
descendants or ascendants (Art. 173)

Facts:

Casiano Abaya, died on 6 April 1899, intestate. However, Paula Conde, who claims she had children with
Casiano, moved for the settlement of Abaya’s estate, but was opposed by Casiano’s brother Abaya, who
moved to be declared the sole heir. The facts of the case implies the children, Jose and Teopista, had
already died, thus Paula claimed she should succeed to her late children’s hereditary rights, particularly,
their inheritance from Casiano’s estate.

Paula acknowledged Roman a Casiano’s brother, but alleged her right was superior because she
succeeded her deceased children, who were natural children/compulsory heirs of Casiano. The trial court
ruled that Casiano’s estate should recognize Teopista and Jose Conde as Casiano’s natural children and
that Paula should succeed to the hereditary rights of her children with respect to the inheritance of their
deceased natural father. Roman appealed directly to the Supreme Court and argued the trial court erred
in recognizing one claiming to be a natural child of the decedent in a special proceeding for the
administration and distribution of Casiano’s estate.

Issue(s):
1. Whether an ordinary action for the acknowledgment of deceased natural children may be brought
in special proceedings by a mother claiming do have succeeded the deceased children’s hereditary
rights.

Held:
1. No, only the natural child can exercise the right to file an action for acknowledgment.
This right is not transmitted to descendants or ascendants.

One must understand the difference between an action to claim legitimacy under Article 118 of the Civil
Code and an action to enforce acknowledgement under Article 137 of the Civil Code.

Article 118 provides:

ART. 118. The action to claim its legitimacy may be brought by the child at any time of its
lifetime and shall be transmitted to its heirs, should it die during minority or in a state of
insanity. In such cases the heirs shall be allowed a period of five years in which to institute the
action.

Article 137 provides:

ART. 137. The actions for the acknowledgment of natural children can be
instituted only during the life of the presumed parents, except in the following cases:

1. If the father or mother died during the maturity of the child, in which case the latter may
institute the action before the expiration of the first four years of its maturity.

Page 188 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

2. If, after the death of the father or mother, some instrument, before unknown, should be
discovered in which the child is expressly acknowledged. In this case the action must be
instituted with the six months following the discovery of such instrument.

The right of action that devolves upon the child to claim his legitimacy lasts during his whole life, while
the right to claim the acknowledgment of a natural child lasts only during the life of his presumed
parents. Inasmuch as the right of action accruing to the child to claim his legitimacy lasts during his
whole life, he may exercise it either against the presumed parents, or their heirs; while the right of action
to secure the acknowledgment of a natural child, since it does not last during his whole life, but depends
on that of the presumed parents, as a general rule can only be exercised against the latter. Notably, an
action instituted by a child for legitimacy is transmitted by death to the hers, if it has not lapsed before
then.

Usually the right of action for legitimacy devolving upon the child is of a personal character and pertains
exclusively to him, only the child may exercise it at any time during his lifetime. As an exception, and in
three cases only, it may be transmitted to the heirs of the child, to wit, if he died during his minority, or
while insane, or after action had been already instituted.

An action for the acknowledgment of a natural child may, as an exception, be exercised against the heirs
of the presumed parents in two cases: first, in the event of the death of the latter during the minority of
the child, and second, upon the discovery of some instrument of express acknowledgment of the child,
executed by the father or mother, the existence of which was unknown during the life of the latter. But
such action for the acknowledgment of a natural child can only be exercised by him. It can not be
transmitted to his descendants, or his ascendants.

The right of action pertaining to the child to claim his legitimacy is in all respects superior to that of the
child who claims acknowledgment as a natural child. And it is evident that the right of action to claim his
legitimacy is not one of those rights which the legitimate child may transmit by inheritance to his heirs; it
forms no part of the component rights of his inheritance.

Page 189 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

MARQUINO VS IAC
G.R. No. 72078, 27 June 1994
Reiterates Conde vs. Abaya; action cannot continue after death of putative parent (Art. 176)

Facts:

Bibiana Romano-Pagadora filed an action for judicial declaration, annulment of partition, support, and
damages against Eutiquio Marquino on 10 January 1971 before the CFI. Impleading the latter’s wife,
Maria Terenal-Marquino and legitimate children, Luz, Ana, and Eva.

Bibiana was born on 2 December 1926, allegedly of Eutiqio Marquino, when he was still single. The
Marquino met Bibiana when she was hired as a domestic helper in their household in Dumaguete City.
She received financial assistance from the Marquinos and she claimed continuous possession of the status
of an acknowledged natural child of Eutiquio by direct and unequivocal acts of her father and his family.
The Marquinos, however, denied such acknowledgment.

Bibiana died before she presented her evidence and her heirs substituted her in the case. The Marquinos
motioned to dismiss the case on the ground that the action for recognition is intransmissible because it is
a personal act. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, but Bibiana’s heirs appealed to the IAC,
which reversed the lower court on the ground that although heirs of a deceased natural child cannot bring
an action to compel recognition, they can continue the action already filed. Eutiquio died pending the
appeal before the IAC.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the right of action to compel recognition is instransmissible in character.
2. Whether the heirs of a deceased natural child can continue the action for recognition after the
death of Eutiquio, the putative father.

Held:
1. No, Bibiana’s death tolled the action which is personal and intransmissible.

Article 285 of the Civil Code provides that an action for recognition of natural children may be brought
only during the lifetime of the presumed parents, except in the following cases:

(1) If the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in which case the latter may file the
action before the expiration of four years from the attainment of his majority;

(2) If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should appear of which nothing had been
heard and in which either or both parents recognize the child.
In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from discovery of the document.

The rationale for the rule is to give the alleged parents opportunity to be heard. The reason for the
exceptions is to protect the heirs. It was held in Conde vs. Abaya that the right of action for the
acknowledgment of natural children referred to in Article 285 of the Civil Code can never be transmitted.

Page 190 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

2. No, the putative parent is the party in the best position to oppose an action for
compulsory recognition. The Family Code cannot be retroactively applied because it
will prejudice vested rights.

The need to hear the side of the putative parent is an overwhelming consideration because of the
unsettling effects of such an action on the peace and harmonious relationship in the family of the putative
parent. For this reason, Article 285 provides only two (2) exceptions when an action for recognition
transcends the death of the putative parent. Neither of these exceptions obtains in the case at bench.
Firstly, the death of Eutiquio did not occur during the minority of Bibiana. In fact, she was already forty-
five (45) years old when the recognition case was filed on January 10, 1971. Secondly, no document was
discovered, before unknown, in which Bibiana was expressly acknowledged as a natural child.
Consequently, the respondent court erred in ruling that the action can still be continued against the heirs
of Eutiquio.

Our law providing for the intransmissibility of an action for recognition, however, has been superseded by
the New Family Code which took effect on August 3, 1988.

Under Article 173 of the Family Code, it is now provided:

The action to claim legitimacy may be brought by the child during his or her lifetime and shall
be transmitted to the heirs should the child die during minority or in a state of insanity. In
these cases, the heirs shall have a period of five (5) years within which to institute the action.
The action commenced by the child shall survive notwithstanding the death of either or both of
the parties. (Emphasis supplied)

Pursuant to this provision, the child can bring the action during his or her entire lifetime (not during the
lifetime of the parents) and even after the death of the parents. In other words, the action does not
prescribe as long as he lives.

Be that as it may, Article 173 of the Family Code cannot be given retroactive effect so as to apply to the
case at bench because it will prejudice the vested rights of petitioners transmitted to them at the time of
the death of their father, Eutiquio Marquino. "Vested right" is a right in property which has become fixed
and established and is no longer open to doubt or controversy.

Page 191 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ABADILLA VS. TABILIRAN


A.M. No. MTJ-92-716, 25 October 1995
Legitimation is limited to natural children and cannot include those born of adulterous relations
(Art. 177-180)

Facts:

Maria Blyth Abadilla filed a complaint charging Judge Tabiliran of gross immorality, deceitful conduct,
and corruption unbecoming of a judge by scandalously and publicly cohabiting (and later marrying on 23
May 1986) with Priscilla Q. Baybayan despite his lawful and subsisting marriage with Teresita Banzuela.
Abadilla alleged that Judge Tabiliran falsely represented himself as “single” in the marriage contract.
Judge Tabiliran claimed he was not liable for bigamy becahse he cohabited with and marred Baybayan 25
after his wife left and abandoned him and their family in 1966.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Judge Tabiliran is liable for gross immorality for cohabiting with Baybayan during the
existence of his marriage with Teresita Tabiliran.

Held:
1. Yes, the record shows that Judge Tabiliran started openly living with Baybayan as
early as 1970, shown by the fact that he begot 3 children with her as early as 1970. These
children therefore cannot be legitimated.

Judge Tabiliran’s conduct constitutes gross immoral conduct. Only four years had lapsed since the time
his wife left him, clearly violating the seven-year period under Art. 390 of the Civil Code.

The three children, namely, Buenasol, Venus and Saturn, all surnamed Tabiliran, were born in the year
1970, 1971, and 1975, respectively, and prior to the marriage of respondent to Priscilla, which was in
1986. As a lawyer and a judge, respondent ought to know that, despite his subsequent marriage to
Priscilla, these three children cannot be legitimated nor in any way be considered legitimate since at the
time they were born, there was an existing valid marriage between respondent and his first wife, Teresita
B. Tabiliran.

The applicable legal provision in the case at bar is Article 269 of the Civil Code of the Philippines (R.A.
386 as amended) which provides:

Art. 269. Only natural children can be legitimated. Children born outside of wedlock of parents
who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to
marry each other, are natural.

Legitimation is limited to natural children and cannot include those born of adulterous relations. Article
177 of the Family Code reiterates this provision:

Art. 177. Only children conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of
the conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other
may be legitimated.

The reasons for this limitation are given as follows:


Page 192 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

1) The rationale of legitimation would be destroyed;


2) It would be unfair to the legitimate children in terms of successional rights;
3) There will be the problem of public scandal, unless social mores change;
4) It is too violent to grant the privilege of legitimation to adulterous children as it will destroy the
sanctity of marriage;
5) It will be very scandalous, especially if the parents marry many years after the birth of the child.

It is clear, therefore, that no legal provision, whether old or new, can give refuge to the deceitful
actuations of the respondent.

Page 193 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

TEOTICO VS DEL VAL


G.R. No. L-18753, 26 March 1965
The adopted is an heir of the adopter, but not the relatives of the adopter; adoption is limited to the
adopter and the adopted and does not extend to the relatives. (Adoption)

Facts:

Maria Mortera Vda de Aguirre died on 1 July 1955, leaving an estate worth P600,000, and a will written
in Spanish executed in her residence. Maria willed to P20,000 to Rene Teotico who married his niece,
Josefina Mortera. She also willed to them her usufruct interest in the Calvo building and ownership of it
was left in equal parts to her grandchildren, the children of Rene and Josefina. Maria also instituted
Josefina as sole and universal heir to the remainder of her properties.

Vicente B. Teotica filed a petition for probate of the will before the CFI. Ana del Val Chan, claiming to be
the adopted child of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of Maria, filed an opposition to probate, alleging
that the will was not executed according to law and that the will was executed under duress, threat, or
influence of fear. Vicente filed a motion to dismiss Ana’s opposition because she had no legal personality,
but the court allowed her to intervene as Francisca’s adopted daughter.

The court, however, admitted the will to probate, but declared null the disposition in favor of Rene
Teotico. Rene appealed the nullification the disposition in his favor while Ana appealed the admission of
the will into probate. Relevantly, Ana’s personality to intervene was questioned by Rene.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Ana has the right to intervene in the probate proceedings for the will of her alleged aunt,
the late Maria Vda de Aguirre.

Held
1. No, Ana cannot derive personality from the fact that she as adopted child of Francisca
Mortera because the relationship established by adoption is limited to the adopter and
the adopted, and does not extend to the relatives of the adopting parents or of the
adopted child except only as expressly provided for by law.

No relationship is created between the adopted and the collaterals of the adopting parents. The adopted is
an heir of the adopter, but not the relatives of the adopter.

Ana claims to be an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the deceased, and
also an adopted daughter of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix, but such claim cannot
give her any comfort for, even if it be true, the law does not give her any right to succeed to the estate of
the deceased sister of both Jose Mortera and Francisca Mortera. And this is so because being an
illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural
father. Thus, Article 992 of our Civil Code provides: "An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab
intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother.”

Page 194 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

IN RE: ADOPTION OF MICHELLE LIM


G.R. Nos. 168992-93, 21 May 2009
Effects of Adoption

Facts:

Monina Lim married Primo Lim on 23 June 1974, but childless. Eager to have their own child, they
registered children, who were entrusted to them by Lucia Ayuban and whose parents were unknown, as
their own: Michelle and Michael. The Lims cared for the kids as their own and sent them to exclusive
schools. Unfortunately, Primo died on 28 November 1998. Monina married Angel Olario, an American, on
27 December 2000.

Monina decided to adopt Michelle and Michael by availing of the amnesty given under RA 8552 (Demostic
Adoption Act of 1998) to those individuals who simulated the birth of a child. On 24 April 2002, Monina
filed separate petitions for Michelle and Michael’s adoption. Michelle was already 25 and married while
Michael was 18. Michelle and her husband consented to the adoption, as well as Michael. Olario likewise
executed an Affidavit of Consent. The DSWD issued certification that Michelle and Michael were
considered abandoned children and the whereabouts of their natural parents were unknown.

The trial court dismissed the petitions and ruled that Monina should have petitioned jointly with Olario
since she re-married, as per Section 7(c), Article III of RA 8552 and Article 185 of the Family Code.
Monina motioned for reconsideration, but was denied; the trial court ruled Monina did not fall under any
of the exceptions in said provision and mere consent of the husband was not enough. Monina appealed
directly to the SC, and argued the rule on joint adoption must be relaxed because (1) joint parental
authority is not applicable since Michelle was 25 and Michael was 18; and (2) parental authority is not
necessary anymore since they’ve been emancipated by the age of majority.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Monina, who has re-married, can singly adopt under RA 8552.

Held:
1. No, the word “shall” in Section 7, Article III of RA 8552 means joint adoption is
mandatory.

Section 7, Article III of RA 8552 provides:

SEC. 7. Who May Adopt. - The following may adopt:

(a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights, of good
moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude,
emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years
older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in
keeping with the means of the family. The requirement of sixteen (16) year difference
between the age of the adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the
biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptees parent;

(b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino
nationals: Provided, That his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the
Philippines, that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous
Page 195 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until
the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or
consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to
adopt in his/her country, and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her
country as his/her adopted son/daughter: Provided, further, That the requirements on
residency and certification of the aliens qualification to adopt in his/her country may be
waived for the following:

(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of
consanguinity or affinity; or

(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or

(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse
a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino
spouses; or

(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and
clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.

Husband and wife shall jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

(i) if one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of the other; or

(ii) if one spouse seeks to adopt his/her own illegitimate son/daughter: Provided,
however, That the other spouse has signified his/her consent thereto; or

(iii) if the spouses are legally separated from each other.

In case husband and wife jointly adopt, or one spouse adopts the illegitimate son/daughter of
the other, joint parental authority shall be exercised by the spouses. (Emphasis supplied)

Monina re-married at the time the petitions were filed, thus must jointly adopt. She doesn’t fall under
any of the exceptions as well. First, Michelle and Michael are not the legitimate children of her husband.
Second, the children are not the illegitimate children of Michelle. Third, Michelle and Olario are not
legally separated. Olario’s consent does not suffice. There are certain requirements that Olario must
comply being an American citizen. He must meet the qualifications set forth in Section 7 of RA 8552 such
as: (1) he must prove that his country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines; (2) he
must have been living in the Philippines for at least three continuous years prior to the filing of the
application for adoption; (3) he must maintain such residency until the adoption decree is entered; (4) he
has legal capacity to adopt in his own country; and (5) the adoptee is allowed to enter the adopters
country as the latters adopted child. None of these qualifications were shown and proved during the trial.

Michelle incorrectly contends that joint parental authority is not necessary since the children have
attained the age of majority. Parental authority includes caring for and rearing the children for civic
consciousness and efficiency and the development of their moral, mental and physical character and well-
being. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their
common children. Even the remarriage of the surviving parent shall not affect the parental authority over
the children, unless the court appoints another person to be the guardian of the person or property of the
Page 196 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

children. However, parental authority is merely just one of the effects of legal adoption. Article V of RA
8552 enumerates the effects of adoption, thus:

ARTICLE V
EFFECTS OF ADOPTION

SEC. 16. Parental Authority. - Except in cases where the biological parent is the spouse of the
adopter, all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee shall be severed and the
same shall then be vested on the adopter(s).

SEC. 17. Legitimacy. - The adoptee shall be considered the legitimate son/daughter of the
adopter(s) for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all the rights and obligations
provided by law to legitimate sons/daughters born to them without discrimination of any kind.
To this end, the adoptee is entitled to love, guidance, and support in keeping with the means of
the family.

SEC. 18. Succession. - In legal and intestate succession, the adopter(s) and the adoptee shall
have reciprocal rights of succession without distinction from legitimate filiation. However, if
the adoptee and his/her biological parent(s) had left a will, the law on testamentary succession
shall govern.

Adoption has the following effects:


(1) sever all legal ties between the biological parent(s) and the adoptee, except when the biological parent
is the spouse of the adopter;
(2) deem the adoptee as a legitimate child of the adopter; and
(3) give adopter and adoptee reciprocal rights and obligations arising from the relationship of parent and
child, including but not limited to:
(i) the right of the adopter to choose the name the child is to be known; and
(ii) the right of the adopter and adoptee to be legal and compulsory heirs of each other.

Therefore, even if emancipation terminates parental authority, the adoptee is still considered a legitimate
child of the adopter with all the rights of a legitimate child such as:
(1) to bear the surname of the father and the mother;
(2) to receive support from their parents; and
(3) to be entitled to the legitime and other successional rights. Conversely, the adoptive parents shall,
with respect to the adopted child, enjoy all the benefits to which biological parents are entitled such as
support and successional rights.

Page 197 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

REPUBLIC VS BOBILES
G.R. No. 92326, 24 January 1992
Vested rights in PD 603; FC cannot retroactively apply; adoption statutes are liberally construed
(Adoption)

Facts:

On 2 February 1988, Zenaida Bobiles filed a petition to adopt 6-year-old Jason Condat, who had been
living with their family since he was four, under PD 603, the Child and Youth Welfare Code. PD 603
provided either of the spouses or both could file the petition for adoption. The trial court granted the
petition after all legal requirements and requisite hearing were observed, but the Republic appealed to
the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court. The Family Code took effect on 3 August 1988 while
the appeal was pending before the CA. The FC provided that joint adoption by husband and wife is
mandatory.

Before the Supreme Court, the Republic argued that the petition for adoption should be dismissed for it
was filed solely Zenaida without joining her husband, thus violating Article 185 of the Family Code,
requiring joint adoption. The Republic argued that the Family Code must be applied retroactively to
Zenaida’s petition since she had no vested right to adopt Jason Condat.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the CA erred in not applying the rule on joint adoption under the Family Code to
Zenaida’s petition for adoption under then PD 603, which allowed one spouse to petition for
adoption.

Held:
1. No, jurisdiction of the court is determined by the law in force at the time of the
commencement of the action. Zenaida’s petition for adoption complied with PD 603, and
adoption statues, as well as matters of procedure, should be liberally construed in
paramount consideration of the welfare of the adopted child.

Article 246 of the Family Code provides for retroactive effect of appropriate relevant provisions thereof,
subject to the qualification that such retrospective application will not prejudice or impair vested or
acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws. A vested right is one whose existence,
effectivity and extent does not depend upon events foreign to the will of the holder. Vested rights include
not only legal or equitable title to the enforcement of a demand, but also an exemption from new
obligations created after the right has vested.

Under the Child and Youth Welfare Code, private respondent had the right to file a petition for adoption
by herself, without joining her husband therein. When Mrs. Bobiles filed her petition, she was exercising
her explicit and unconditional right under said law. Upon her filing thereof, her right to file such petition
alone and to have the same proceed to final adjudication, in accordance with the law in force at the time,
was already vested and cannot be prejudiced or impaired by the enactment of a new law.

When Zenaida filed her petition in Special Proceeding No. 1386, the trial court acquired jurisdiction
thereover in accordance with the governing law. Jurisdiction being a matter of substantive law, the
established rule is that the jurisdiction of the court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the
commencement of the action. We do not find in the present case such facts as would constitute it as an

Page 198 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

exception to the rule. Likewise, Dioscoro Bobiles’s affidavit of consent to the adoption was attached,
sufficiently making him co-petitioner.

It is a settled rule therein that adoption statutes, as well as matters of procedure leading up to adoption,
should be liberally construed to carry out the beneficent purposes of the adoption institution and to
protect the adopted child in the rights and privileges coming to it as a result of the adoption.

The welfare of a child is of paramount consideration in proceedings involving its custody and the
propriety of its adoption by another, and the courts to which the application for adoption is made is
charged with the duty of protecting the child and its interests and, to bring those interests fully before it,
it has authority to make rules to accomplish that end.

In the case at bar, the rights concomitant to and conferred by the decree of adoption will be for the best
interests of the child. His adoption is with the consent of his natural parents. The representative of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development unqualifiedly recommended the approval of the petition
for adoption and the trial court dispensed with the trial custody for several commendatory reasons,
especially since the child had been living with the adopting parents since infancy. Further, the said
petition was with the sworn written consent of the children of the adopters.

Adoption statutes, being humane and salutary, hold the interests and welfare of the child to be of
paramount consideration. They are designed to provide homes, parental care and education for
unfortunate, needy or orphaned children and give them the protection of society and family in the person
of the adopted, as well as to allow childless couples or persons to experience the joys of parenthood and
give them legally a child in the person of the adopted for the manifestation of their natural parental
instincts. Every reasonable intendment should be sustained to promote and fulfill these noble and
compassionate objectives of the law.

(N.B: Notice how the Supreme Court’s ruling contrasts with the later strict application of rules in Re:
Adoption of Michelle Lim, which was decided 17 years later).

Page 199 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

TAMARGO VS. COURT OF AAPPEALS


G.R. No. 85044, 3 June 1992
The basis for parental authority for the torts of a minor child is the relationship between parents and
minor living with them and over whom the law presumes the parents exercise supervision and control.
(Adoption)

Facts:

On 20 October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, 10 years old, shot Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle, causing
injuries which resulted in her death. Macario Tamargo, Jennifer’s adopting parent, and Spouses
Tamargo, Jennifer’s natural parents, filed a case for damages before the RTC against Spouses Bundoc.

On 10 December 1981, Spouses Rapisura filed a petition to adopt Adelberto before the CFI that was
granted on 18 November 1982, after Adelberto shot and killed Jennifer. Relevantly, Adelberto lived with
Spouses Bundoc during the accident. Thus, the Bundocs argued that the Rapisuras, as adopting parents,
were indispensable parties since parental authority had shifted to them from the moment the petition for
adoption was filed.

The Rapisuras, however, argued that parental authority had not ceased nor been relinquished by the
filing and granting of a petition for adoption since Adelberto was then actually living with his natural
parents. The trial court dismissed the Tamargos’s complaint and ruled that Adelberto’s natural parents
were not indispensable parties to the action. The Tamargos filed a petition for mandamus and certiorari
questioning the trial court’s decision, but the CA dismissed the petition since the Tamargos lost their
appeal for not filing on time.

The Tamargos appealed to the Supreme Court and argued that the Bundocs are indispensable parties to
the action for damages caused by Adelberto.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the effects of adoption concerning parental authority may be given retroactive effect thus
making the adopting parents the indispensable parties in a damage case filed against their
adopted child for acts committed while in actual custody of the biological parents.

Held:
1. No, the basis for parental liability for the torts of a minor child is the relationship
existing between the parents and the minor child living with them and over whom the
law presumes the parents exercise supervision and control.

Article 58 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code provides that parents and guardians are responsible for
the damage caused by the child under their parental authority in accordance with the civil Code. Article
221 of the Family Code likewise insists that the child, doer of the tortious act, shall have been in the
actual custody of the parents sought to be held liable for the ensuing damage

Article 35 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code provides that parental authority shall be vested in the
adopting parents during the period of supervised trial custody of at least 6 months to assess their
adjustment and emotional readiness for the legal union.

The law imposes civil liability upon the father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, for any
damages that may be caused by a minor child who lives with them. Article 2180 of the Civil Code reads:
Page 200 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions,
but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages
caused by the minor children who live in their company.
xxx xxx xxx
The responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease when the person herein mentioned
prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.
(Emphasis supplied)

The principle of parental liability is a species of vicarious liability where a person is not only liable for
torts committed by himself, but also for torts committed by others with whom he has a certain
relationship and for whom he is responsible. Thus, parental liability is made a natural or logical
consequence of the duties and responsibilities of parents — their parental authority — which includes the
instructing, controlling and disciplining of the child.

The civil liability imposed upon parents for the torts of their minor children living with them, may be
seen to be based upon the parental authority vested by the Civil Code upon such parents. The civil law
assumes that when an unemancipated child living with its parents commits a tortious acts, the parents
were negligent in the performance of their legal and natural duty closely to supervise the child who is in
their custody and control. Parental liability is, in other words, anchored upon parental authority coupled
with presumed parental dereliction in the discharge of the duties accompanying such authority. The
parental dereliction is, of course, only presumed and the presumption can be overtuned under Article
2180 of the Civil Code by proof that the parents had exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family
to prevent the damage.

Adelberto’s shooting of Jennifer with an air rifle occurred when parental authority was still lodged with
the Bundocs, thus they had actual custody and are indispensable parties to the suit. The Bundocs argue
that the decree of adoption vested parental authority to the Rapisuras as adopting parents as of the time
of the filing of the petition for adoption before Adleberto shot Jennifer.

Page 201 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

JAVIER VS LUCERO
G.R. No. L-6706, 29 March 1953
Support includes education of the person even beyond age of majority (Art. 194-208)

Facts:

On 19 November 1937, Salud Arca and Alfredo Javier wed. They already had a son named Alfredo Javier
Jr., who was born before their marriage. After the celebration of marriage, the Alfredo went to US since
he was listed as US Navy. Salud and Alfredo Jr. went to live with her parents while the husband was in
US. The relationship became strained thus Alfredo brought an action for divorce before the Circuit Court
in Alabama.

After getting divorced, Alfredo married Thelma Francis, an American, and bought a house and lot in
Brooklyn, New York. In 1949, Thelma likewise divorced Alfredo for reasons unknown. Alfredo later
retired from the US Navy and returned to the Philippines. Meanwhile, it appears Salud filed a bigamy
case against Alfredo, but he was acquitted.

Salud filed an action for support before the court, which ordered Alfredo to give a monthly allowance of
P60 to Salud and Alredo Jr. Alfredo appealed, but was directed to pay the monthly support pending his
appeal. Alfredo argued that Salud’s status as his wife is being contested and Alfredo Jr. is 21 years old
and no longer entitled to support; and even if he is entitled, the support should not be paid because the
decision is vague.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Alfredo Jr., at age 21, is entitled to support from his father.

Held:
1. Yes, Article 290 of the Civil Code provides that support also includes the education of
the person to be supported "until he complete his education or training for some
profession, trade or vocation even beyond the age of majority."

Based on this article, support was granted to Alfredo Javier Junior. The trial court held that "while it is
true that plaintiff Alfredo Javier Junior, who was born on December 2, 1931, has reached the age of
majority on December 2, 1952, yet, under the last part of article 290 of the new Civil Code, support may
be given him even beyond the age of majority in order to enable him to complete his education, for some
trade or profession."Unquestionably, Alfredo Javier, Jr. is the son of petitioner Alfredo Javier, and if
financial assistance is to be rendered only at the termination of the appeal his education, or the
completion thereof, would be unduly delayed. That is good reason for immediate execution. Petitioner
claims that according to the records Alfredo Javier Jr. "is no longer studying". Yet probably he stopped
going to school due to lack of means, since the petitioner himself admits that his son is just a pre-law
graduate.

But the real grievance of Alfredo Javier is his desire to avoid to support a woman who has desperately
tried to put him in jail, when she accused him of bigamy." Such disgust is easily understandable. But
compliance with legal and contractual duties is not always pleasant. Under the New Civil Code articles
303 and 921 the wife forfeits her husband's support after "she has accused (him) of a crime for which the
law prescribes imprisonment for six years or more, and the accusation has been found to be false."
However, he was acquitted and thus Salud did not forfeit her right to support.

Page 202 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

DE ASIS VS. DE ASIS


G.R. No. 127578, 15 February 1999
Future support cannot be waived nor the subject of a compromise (Art. 194-208)

Facts:

On 14 October 1988, Vircel Andres, as Glen de Asis’s guardian, brought an action for support against
Manuel de Asis before the RTC, alleging that Manuel is Glen’s father who refused to provide support
despite demands. Manuel denied his paternity to Glen. Both parties then moved for the dismissal of the
case, which the RTC granted. On 7 September 1995, another complaint for support was brought against
Manuel de Asis this time in the name of Glen de Asis represented by his mother/legal guardian, Vircel
Andres before the RTC, demanding that Manuel pay monthly support and support in arrears since 1 June
1987.

Manuel moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of res judicata, alleging that this second case for
support was barred by prior judgment which dismissed the first case for support. The trial court denied
Manuel’s motion, thus Manuel filed a petition for certiorari to the Court of Appeals, which dismissed the
same. Manuel filed another petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court, arguing the CA acted with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in upholding the trial court. He
contends that the dismissal of the previous case for support admitted the lack of filiation between him
and Glen, thus negates the current claim for support.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the claim for support is barred by res judicata.

Held:
1. No, the right to receive support can neither be renounced nor transmitted to a third
person nor subject of a compromise.

Article 301 of the Civil Code provides that the right to receive support cannot be renounced, nor can it be
transmitted to a third person. Neither can it be compensated with what the recipient owes the obligor.
Article 2035 of the Civil Code provides that no compromise shall be valid upon the following questions:
civil status of persons, validity of marriage or legal separation, ground for legal separation, future
support, jurisdiction of the courts, and future legitimes.

The right to support being founded upon the need of the recipient to maintain his existence, he is not
entitled to renounce or transfer the right for this would mean sanctioning the voluntary giving up of life
itself. The right to life cannot be renounced; hence, support, which is the means to attain the former,
cannot be renounced. To allow renunciation or transmission or compensation of the family right of a
person to support is virtually to allow either suicide or the conversion of the recipient to a public burden.
This is contrary to public policy. Paternity and filiation or lack of the same is a relationship that must be
judicially established; it is not for the stipulation of the parties. Hence, the first dismissal does not bar the
filing of another action asking for support against Manuel The Civil Code provides that the allowance for
support is provisional because the amount may be increased or decreased depending upon the means of the
giver and the needs of the recipient (Art. 297); the right to receive support cannot be renounced nor can it be
transmitted to a third person; neither can it be compensated with what the recipient owes the obligator
(Art. 301). Furthermore, the right to support can not be waived or transferred to third parties and future
support cannot be the subject of compromise

Page 203 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ESPIRITU VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 115640, 15 March 1995
Courts are mandated to consider all relevant considerations in custody cases, prioritizing the paramount
interest of the children (Arts. 209-215)

Facts:

Reynaldo Espiritu and Teresita Masauding first met in 1976. Teresita left in 1977 for LA, California, to
work as a nurse and acquired immigrant status later. In 1984, Reynaldo was sent by his employer, the
National Steel Corporation, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as liaison officer. Reynaldo and Teresita
maintained a common law relationship. Their daughter, Rosalind, was born on 16 August 1986. Reynaldo
and Teresita wed on 16 August 1986 during a visit to the Philippines. A second child, Reginald Vince, was
born on 12 January 1988. Their relationship deteriorated sometime in 1990. Teresita blamed Reynaldo
for the break-up, stating he was always nagging her about money matters. Reynaldo, on the other hand,
contended that Teresita was a spendthrift. Teresita left Reynaldo and the children to go back to
California.

Reynaldo brought his children back home to the Philippines and left his children with his sister,
Guillerma, while he was sent back to work in Pittsburgh. Teresitea rendered to the Philippines and filed
a petition for the writ of habeas corpus for custody over her children. The trial court dismissed the
petition and suspended Teresita’s parental authority, but granted her visitation rights. The Court of
Appeals reversed the lower court and gave custody to Teresita and visitation rights on weekends to
Reynaldo. Reynaldo appealed to the Supreme Court, assailing the grant of custody to Teresita.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the CA correctly awarded custody to Teresita.

Held:
1. No, the CA blindly applied the law that custody of children below 7 shall be given to the
mother. The record, as found by the trial court, contains evidence that shows Teresita is
unfit.

Article 363 of the Civil Code provides that in all questions on the care, custody, education and property of
the children, the latter's welfare shall be paramount. No mother shall be separated from her child under
seven years of age, unless the court finds compelling reasons for such measure.

Article 213 of the Family Code provides that in case of separation of the parents parental authority shall
be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant
considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age unless the parent chosen is unfit.

The CA blindly based its decision on the report of the Code Commission, which drafted Article 213 that a
child below seven years still needs the loving, tender care that only a mother can give and which,
presumably, a father cannot give in equal measure.

Courts are mandated by the Family Code to take into account all relevant considerations. If a child is
under seven years of age, the law presumes that the mother is the best custodian. The presumption is
strong but it is not conclusive. It can be overcome by "compelling reasons". If a child is over seven, his
choice is paramount but, again, the court is not bound by that choice. In its discretion, the court may find

Page 204 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

the chosen parent unfit and award custody to the other parent, or even to a third party as it deems fit
under the circumstances.

In the present case, both Rosalind and Reginald are now over seven years of age. However, instead of
scrutinizing the choice of the children and verifying whether that parent is fit or unfit, the CA simply
followed statutory presumptions and the seven-year age limit was mechanically treated as an arbitrary
cut-off period and not a guide based on a strong presumption.

Evidence shows that a clinical psychologist’s report found that Rosalind has deep feelings of insecurity
and anxiety arising from strong conflict with her mother and a social welfare case study by the DSWD for
travel clearance required before minors can go abroad stated that Rosalind refused to go to her mother
because she felt unloved and uncared for.

Now, Rosalind and Reginald are over 7 years of age. Nothing in the records show that their father,
Reynaldo, is an unfit person under Article 213 of the Family Code. On the contrary, he’s been trying his
best to give the children the kind of attention and care which the mother is unable to give.

Page 205 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

AMADORA VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. L-47745, 15 April 1988
A teacher-in-charge will be held liable only when acting in loco parentis (Art. 216-219)

Facts:

Alfredo Amadora was shot to death by classmate Pablito Daffon in the auditorium at Colegio de San Jose-
Recoletos on 13 April 1972. His parents filed a case for damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code
against the school, the high school principal, the rector, dean of the boys, the physics teacher, and Daffon.
Alfredo went to school to show his physics experiment as a requirement for graduation, thus he was
under the custody of the school. But the school argued Alfredo was no longer under their custody because
the semester had ended and he only went to school to submit his physics report. Eventually, the trial
court held the school liable, but the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court, thus the school was
completely absolved. The issue in this case hinges on the Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the last
paragraph of which provides, “Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be
liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices so long as they remain in their
custody.”

Issue(s):
1. Whether the school had custody over Alfredo, and is thus, liable for his death on campus.

Held:
1. No, the school cannot be held directly liable under Article 2180 because only the
teacher-in-charge or the head of the school of arts and trades is responsible for the
damage caused by a student or apprentice. Neither of them are answerable to the tort
committed by another student for none of them were charged with custody of the
student or was remiss in the discharge of his duties in connection with such custody.

Article 2180 applies to all schools, academic as well as non-academic. The liability imposed by this article
is supposed to fall directly on the teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades and not on the school
itself. As long as the defendant can show that he had taken the necessary precautions to prevent the
injury complained of, he can exonerate himself from the liability imposed by Article 2180, which also
states that:

The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the Persons herein mentioned
prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damages.

In this connection, it should be observed that the teacher will be held liable not only when he is acting
in loco parentis for the law does not require that the offending student be of minority age. Unlike the
parent, who will be liable only if his child is still a minor, the teacher is held answerable by the law for
the act of the student under him regardless of the student's age.

Alfredo was in the custody of the school despite the fact that classes had formally ended. What is
important is that he was there for a legitimate purpose. The rector, the high school principal and the
dean of boys cannot be held liable because none of them was the teacher-in-charge. Each of them was
exercising only a general authority over the student body and not the direct control and influence exerted
by the teacher placed in charge of particular classes or sections and thus immediately involved in its
discipline. The evidence of the parties does not disclose who the teacher-in-charge of the offending student
was.
Page 206 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

YLARDE VS. AQUINO


G.R. No. L-33722, 29 July 1988
Negligence of the teacher-in-charge; direct and causal relationship to the damage caused under Article
2176 for quasi-delict (Arts. 216-219)

Facts:

Mariano Soriano was the principal of the Gabaldon Primary School. Edgardo Aquino was a teacher. That
time, the school was fittered with many concrete blocks which were remnants of the old school that was
destroyed in World War II. Another teacher, Sergio Banez, started burying them one by one when he
realized they were serious hazards to schoolchildren.

Edgardo, as teacher-in-charge, called four pupils to help digging until the excavation was a meter deep.
Aquino continued digging while the four pupils, Reynaldo Alonso, Francisco Alcantara, Ismael Abaga, and
Novelito Ylarde, were inside the pit throwing out loose soil. Aquino told the children not to touch the
stone, but three of the four kids playfully jumped into the pit. Without warning, one of them jumped on
top of the block, causing it to slide towards the pit, pinning Ylarde to the wall in standing position. He
died three days later. His parents filed a case for damages against Aquino and Soriano based on Article
2176 (quasi-delict), but the lower court dismissed the complaint, on the ground that Aquino exercised the
diligence of a very cautious person. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Aquino and Soriano are liable under Article 2176 and Article 2180 of the Civil Code.

Held:
1. Soriano cannot be liable as the principal because he heads an academic school, not a
school of arts and trades. Aquino is liable under Article 2176 for leaving his pupils in
such a dangerous site, thus there is a direct causal connection to the Ylarde child’s
death.

Aquino is also liable under Article 2180 for his negligence as the teacher-in-charge in preventing any
injury to his students, but the Ylardes based their action on Article 2176, which is separate and distinct
from Article 2180. A teacher who stands in loco parentis to his pupils would have made sure that the
children are protected from all harm in his company.

The negligent act of private respondent Aquino in leaving his pupils in such a dangerous site has a direct
causal connection to the death of the child Ylarde. Left by themselves, it was but natural for the children
to play around. Tired from the strenuous digging, they just had to amuse themselves with whatever they
found. Driven by their playful and adventurous instincts and not knowing the risk they were facing three
of them jumped into the hole while the other one jumped on the stone. Since the stone was so heavy and
the soil was loose from the digging, it was also a natural consequence that the stone would fall into the
hole beside it, causing injury on the unfortunate child caught by its heavy weight. Everything that
occurred was the natural and probable effect of the negligent acts of private respondent Aquino. Needless
to say, the child Ylarde would not have died were it not for the unsafe situation created by private
respondent Aquino which exposed the lives of all the pupils concerned to real danger. A reasonably
prudent person would have foreseen that bringing children to an excavation site, and more so, leaving
them there all by themselves, may result in an accident.

Page 207 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

ST. MARY’S ACADEMY VS. CARPITANOS


G.R. No. 143363, February 6, 2002
School’s negligence must proven as the proximate cause of the damage caused (Arts. 216-219)

Facts:

St. Mary’s Academy of Dipolog City conducted an enrollment drive for SY 1995-1996, which included
visitation of schools from where prospective enrollees were studying. As a student of St. Mary’s, Sherwin
Carpitanos was part of the campaigning group. Unfortunately, the jeep which Sherwin was riding turned
turtle and Sherwin died of his injuries. Vivencio Villanueva owned the jeep and James Daniel II, then 15
years old and a student of St. Mary’s drove the jeep.

On 9 June 1995, claiming damages for the death of their only son Sherwin, Spouses Carpitanos filed a
case against James Daniel II and his parents, the vehicle owner, and St. Mary’s Academy before the RTC.
St. Mary’s Academy was ordered to pay damages. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the lower
court. St. Mary’s appealed to the SC, arguing that the CA erred in holding the school liable for Sherwin’s
death.

Issue(s):
1. Whether St. Mary’s Academy is liable for Sherwin’s death under Articles 218 and 219 of the
Family Code for negligently allowing a minor to drive and not having a teacher accompany the
minor students in the jeep.

Held:
1. No, the Carpitanos failed to show that St. Mary’s negligence was the proximate cause of
Sherwin’s death. Their reliance on Article 219 of the FC was unfounded.

Under Article 218 of the Family Code, the following shall have special parental authority over a minor
child while under their supervision, instruction or custody: (1) the school, its administrators and teachers;
or (2) the individual, entity or institution engaged in child care. This special parental authority and
responsibility applies to all authorized activities, whether inside or outside the premises of the school,
entity or institution. Thus, such authority and responsibility applies to field trips, excursions and other
affairs of the pupils and students outside the school premises whenever authorized by the school or its
teachers.

Under Article 219 of the Family Code, if the person under custody is a minor, those exercising special
parental authority are principally and solidarily liable for damages caused by the acts or omissions of the
unemancipated minor while under their supervision, instruction, or custody. However, it must be shown
that the act or omission considered as negligent was the proximate cause of the injury. Negligence must
have a causal connection to the accident.

The detachment of the steering wheel guide was the immediate cause of the accident, not the reckless
driving of James Daniel. This was the report of the traffic investigator and was not disputed by the
Carpitanos. No evidence was presented showing that the school’s negligence was the proximate cause.
There’s also no evidence showing that the school allowed James to drive the jeep. It is the registered
owner who is liable.

Page 208 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

LIBI V IAC
G.R. No. 70890, 18 September 1992
Civil liability of parents for quasi-delicts committed by their children is primary (Arts. 220-233)

Facts:

Julie Ann Gotiong, 18, and Wendell Libi, 19, were sweethearts. Julie Anne, a freshman commerce student
at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, however, broke up with Wendell after she found him sadistic
and irresponsible. Wendell kept asking Julie Ann to reconcile, but she refused. When Wendell started
threatening her, Julie Ann stayed in the house of her best friend.

Julie Ann and Wendell died on 14 January 1979, each from a single gunshot licensed in the name of
Cresencio Libi. Spouses Gotiong filed a civil case for damages against Spouses Libi. The trial court
dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence. On appeal to the IAC, the decision was reversed and
judgment was rendered against Spouses Libi, who appealed to the Supreme Court.

Issue(s):
1. Whether or not the IAC correctly applied Article 2180 of the Civil Code to hold Spouses Libi liable
for vicarious liability for the death of Julie Ann Gotiong.

Held:
1. Yes, the Libis were gravely remiss in not diligently supervising Wendell’s activities,
despite his minority and immaturity, so much that it was only at the time of his death
that they discovered that Cresencio’s gun was missing.

Amelita Yap Libi, mother of Wendell, testified that her husband, Cresencio Libi, owns a gun which he
kept in a safety deposit box inside a drawer in their bedroom. Each of these petitioners holds a key to the
safety deposit box and Amelita’s key is always in her bag, all of which facts were known to Wendell. They
have never seen their son Wendell taking or using the gun. She admitted, however, that on that fateful
night the gun was no longer in the safety deposit box.

The diligence of a good father of a family required by law in a parent and child relationship consists of the
instruction and supervision of the child. The civil liability of parents for quasi-delicts of their minor
children, as contemplated in Article 2180 of the Civil Code, is primary and not subsidiary. In fact, if we
apply Article 2194 of said code which provides for solidary liability of joint tortfeasors, the persons
responsible for the act or omission, in this case the minor and the father and, in case of his death of
incapacity, the mother, are solidarily liable.

The last paragraph of Article 2180 provides that" (t)he responsibility treated of in this article shall cease
when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family
to prevent damages." The liability of the parents for felonies committed by their minor children is likewise
primary, not subsidiary.

Page 209 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

LAPERAL VS. REPUBLIC


G.R. No. L-18008, 30 October 1962
Article 372 of the Civil Code prevails over Rule 103 for the change of name (Arts. 364-380)

Facts:

On 10 May 1960, Elisa Laperal filed in the CFI a petition to be allowded to use her maiden name, Elisa
Laperal. She had been using her married name, Elisea L. Santamaria, but she desired to use her maiden
name given that she has been given a decree of legal separation from her husband and no longer lives
with him. The City Attorney of Baguio opposed the petition on the ground that it violates Article 372 of
the Civil Code and is not sanctioned by the Rules of Court.

The CFI denied Elisa’s petition on the ground that Article 372 of the Civil Code requires the wife, even
after she is decreed legally separated from her husband, to continue using the name and surname she
employed before the legal separation. However, Elisa motioned for the court to reconsider. The CFI
treated her petition as one for change of name and granted it on the ground that to allow her to continue
using her married name would give rise to confusion in her finances and the liquidation of assets.

The Republic appealed to the Supreme Court, invoking Article 372 of the Civil Code.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the trial court erred in allowing Elisa to use her maiden name.

Held:
1. Yes, Article 372 is mandatory that the wife shall continue using her name and surname
employed before legal separation because legal separation does not sever the vinculum
of marriage.

Rule 103 of the Rules of Court providing for the change of name has been observed, but it is a general law
which cannot prevail over the specific provisions of Article 372 of the Civil Code, otherwise it could be a
circumvention of the law. Anyway, the conjugal partnership had been automatically dissolved upon the
issuance of the decree of legal separation in 1958.

Page 210 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

LLANETA VS. AGRAVA


G.R. No. L-32054, 15 May 1974
Valid change of surname (Art. 364-380)

Facts:

Atanacia Llaneta was once married to Serfain Ferrer with whom she had one child named Victoriano. In
1942, Serafin died and four years later, Atanacia had relations with another man out of which Teresita
was born. After Teresita’s birth, Atanacia brought her and Victoriano to Manila where they lived
together.

Teresita was raised in the household of the Ferrer’s, using the surname of Ferrer. When she was 20, she
applied for a copy of her birth certificate, but she discovered that her registered surname was Llaneta and
that she was the illegitimate child of an unknown father.

Teresita petitioned the court on 18 March 1969 for change of her name from Teresita Llaneta to Teresita
Llaneta Ferrer, but the judge denied her petition, citing the disallowance of a change of name as would
give the false impression of family relationship.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Teresita can rightfully change her name to Teresita Llaneta Ferrer.

Held:
1. Yes, Teresita established that she has been using the surname Ferrer for as long as she
can remember.

All her records put her name down as Teresita Ferrer and all her friends and associates know her only as
Teresita Ferrer, even the late Serafin Ferrer’s nearest of kin who kept illegitimacy’s a secret from her
have tolerated and still approve of her use of the surname Ferrer. Judge Agrava, however, failed to
appreciate that the late Serafin Ferrer’s widowed mother and his brothers came forward supporting
Teresita’s petition.

Page 211 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

SILVERIO VS. REPUBLIC


G.R. No. 174689, 22 October 2007
No law allows the change of birth certificate entries regarding sex on the ground of sex reassignment
surgery (Art. 407-413)

Facts:

On 26 November 2002, Rommel Silverio filed a petition for the change of his first name and sex in his
birth certificate before the RTC of Manila. Silverio alleged he was born in Manila and that his sex was
registered as male and his name as registered was Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio.

He alleged that he is a male transsexual, “anatomically male, but feels, thinks, and acts like a female,”
and he always identified himself with girls since childhood. He underwent sex reassignment surgery in
Thailand. Since then, Silverio lived as a female and was engaged. He sought to have his birth certificate
name changed to “Mely” and his sex to “female.” Silverio testified for himself and he presented Dr. Cruz
and his American fiancé. The trial court ruled in favor of Silverio, but the Republic filed a petition for
certiorari before the Court of Appeals, arguing that there is no law allowing the change of entries in the
birth certificate by reason of sex alteration. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Republic and held
that the trial court’s decision lacked legal basis. Silverio claims that the change of his name and sex is
allowed under Articles 407 to 413 of the Civil Code, Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules of Court, and RA
9048.

Issue(s):
1. Whether Silverio may legally change his name and sex in his birth certificate following sex
reassignment surgery.

Held:
1. No, there is no law allowing the change of entry in the birth certificate as to sex on the
ground of sex reassignment surgery.

A change of name is a privilege, not a right because the State has an interest in the names borne by
individuals and entities for the purposes of identification. Article 376 provides no person can change his
name or surname without judicial authority. Section 1 and 4 of RA 9048, which now governs the change of
first name, provides that

SECTION 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or
Nickname. – No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order,
except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which can be
corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in
accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.

SECTION 4. Grounds for Change of First Name or Nickname. – The petition for change of first
name or nickname may be allowed in any of the following cases:
(1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or
extremely difficult to write or pronounce;
(2) The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the
petitioner and he has been publicly known by that first name or nickname in the community;
or
(3) The change will avoid confusion.
Page 212 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

Silverio’s basis for changing his first name was sex reassignment. RA 9048 does not sanction a change of
first name on such ground. He failed to show any prejudice he might suffer as a result of using his true
name. Moreover, Silverio filed his petition in the improper venue as it should have been in the Office of
the Civil Registrar of Manila where his birth certificate is kept.

Article 412 of the Civil Code provides that no entry in the civil register shall be changed or corrected
without a judicial order. Together with Article 376 of the Civil Code, this provision was amended by RA
9048 in so far as clerical or typographical errors are involved. The correction or change of such matters
can now be made through administrative proceedings and without the need for a judicial order. In effect,
RA 9048 removed from the ambit of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court the correction of such errors. Rule 108
now applies only to substantial changes and corrections in the civil register.

Section 2(c) of RA 9048 defines what a "clerical or typographical error" as

“a mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or


typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous, such as misspelled name
or misspelled place of birth or the like, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the
understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or
records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the change of nationality,
age, status or sex of the petitioner.”

Under RA 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving the change of sex is not a mere clerical or
typographical error. It is a substantial change for which the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of the Rules
of Court. "Status" refers to the circumstances affecting the legal situation (that is, the sum total of
capacities and incapacities) of a person in view of his age, nationality and his family membership

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. In this connection, Article 413 of the Civil Code provides all other matters
pertaining to the registration of civil status shall be governed by special laws. But there is no such special
law in the Philippines governing sex reassignment and its effects. Article 407 contemplates errors that
can be made right.

The changes sought by petitioner will have serious and wide-ranging legal and public policy
consequences. First, even the trial court itself found that the petition was but petitioner’s first step
towards his eventual marriage to his male fiancé.

However, marriage, one of the most sacred social institutions, is a special contract of permanent
union between a man and a woman. One of its essential requisites is the legal capacity of the contracting
parties who must be a male and a female. To grant the changes sought by petitioner will substantially
reconfigure and greatly alter the laws on marriage and family relations. It will allow the union of a man
with another man who has undergone sex reassignment (a male-to-female post-operative transsexual).
Second, there are various laws which apply particularly to women such as the provisions of the Labor
Code on employment of women, certain felonies under the Revised Penal Code and the presumption of
survivorship in case of calamities under Rule 131 of the Rules of Court among others. These laws
underscore the public policy in relation to women which could be substantially affected if petitioner’s
petition were to be granted.

Page 213 of 215


PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

REPUBLIC VS. CAGANDAHAN


G.R. No. 166676, 12 September 2008
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH); SC allowed change of name and gender (Art. 407-413)

Facts:

On 11 December 2003, Jennifer Cagandahan filed a petition for correction of entries in Birth Certificate
before the RTC. She alleged she was born on 13 January 1981 and was registered as a female in the
Certificate of Live Birth, but as she grew older, she developed secondary male characteristics and was
diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), which is a condition where persons afflicted have
both male and female characteristics.

Cagandahan alleged she was diagnosed to have clitoral hyperthropy in her early years and that when she
was 6, an ultrasound revealed that she has small ovaries. At 13, tests showed that her ovarian structures
minimized and she stopped growing without breast or menstrual development. She prayed for her birth
certificate to be corrected such that her gender be changed from female to male and her first name be
changed from Jennifer to Jeff.

As proof, Dr. Sionzon testified and issued a medical certificate stating that Jennifer’s condition is known
as CAH. Dr. Sionzon explained that genetically the body is female, but because the body secrets male
hormones, her female organs did not develop normally and that she has 2 sex organs. This condition is
very rare and permanent. Dr. Sionzon recommended the change because Jennifer had decided to adjust to
her chosen role as male and the gender change would benefit her.

The RTC granted Jennifer’s petition, but the Office of the Solicitor General appealed to the Supreme
Court on a pure question of law. The OSG argued that Jennifer’s petition is fatally defective because,
among others, Rule 108 does not allow sex change or gender change in the birth certificate and that CAH
does not make Jennifer a male.

Issue(s):
1. Whether the trial court erred in ordering the correction of entries in Jennifer’s birth certificate to
change her gender and name based on her medical condition under Rules 103 and 108 of the Rules
of Court.

Held:
1. No, although there is now law on the matter, and in lieu of the effects of CAH, the SC
respected Jennifer’s congenital condition and mature decision to be a male.

Under Rep. Act No. 9048, a correction in the civil registry involving the change of sex is not a mere
clerical or typographical error. It is a substantial change for which the applicable procedure is Rule 108 of
the Rules of Court. Artile 412 of the Civil Code contemplates are provided by Article 407 and 408 of the
Civil Code.

Jennifer undoubtedly has CAH, causing the early appearance of male characteristics. A person with CAH
produces too much androgen, a male hormone. CAH is one of the many conditions that involve intersex
anatomy. Intersexuality applies to humans who cannot be classified male or female and are treated in
different ways in different cultures. They are expected to conform to either male or female gender roles.
Thanks to modern medicine, some intersex people have had their genitalia surgically modified to
resemble either male or female. An intersex individually is considered as suffering from a disorder, which
Page 214 of 215
PERSONS & FAMILY RELATIONS DIGESTS
1st Sem, SY 2017-2018

is always recommended to be treated by surgery or by taking lifetime medication to mold the individual
into either male or female.

Philippine laws compels that a person be classified either as a male or a female, but the Supreme Court is
not controlled by mere appearances when nature itself fundamentally negates such classification. Nature
endowed Jennifer with mied composition: she has female chromosomes, but her system produces high
levels of male hormones. Thus, she has ambiguous genitalia and the phenotypic features of a male.

Where a person is biologically or naturally intersex, the determining factor in his classification would be
what the individual, who reached the age of majority, with good reason, thinks of his or her gender.
Jennifer thinks of himself as a male, considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones,
there is preponderant biological support for considering him as male. Sexual development in intersex
persons makes gender classification at birth inconclusive, thus it is during maturity that the gender is
fixed.

Jennifer has allowed nature to take its course and it has revealed more fully his male characteristics.
Without any law on the matter, the Court will not dictate on Jennifer a matter so innately private as
one’s sexuality and lifestyle preferences. To him belongs the human right to the pursuit of happiness and
health, this he has the choice of what action to take along the path of his sexual development and
maturation.

Page 215 of 215