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San Andres

Republic of the Philippines, Petitioner,


vs.
Lynette Cabantug- Baguio, Respondent.
Facts:
Martini, a seafarer came to know Lynette (respondent) when they became penpals,
1995. They first met in person on 1996 during which time Martinis contract expired. On
August 12, 1997, Martini and Lynette contracted marriage, following which they moved
to Lynettes parents home in Cebu City. However, Martini only stayed there during
weekends and on his parents house in Lapu-Lapu City on weekdays. Lynette noticed
that her husband was a mamas boy. And she noticed too that when she would call up
Martini at his parents house and his mother was the one who answered the call, she
would deny that he was around. Martini continued on embarking abroad. On the
insistence of his mother, Martinis monetary allotment was shared equally between her
and Lynnette.
After some time, in 1999, Lynette had no communication with Martini and has
stopped receiving her share of the allotment. She soon found out that Martini is in
Alabang, Muntinlupa. When they finally met, Martini told her that they were incompatible
and should part ways. The last time Lynette saw her husband was on October 1999.
Since then, they never communicated. Upon investigation, Lynette found out that
Martini declared in his employment records that he was single, and named his mother
as principal allottee. She filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage before
the Cebu City RTC. She presented several evidence to support her complaint, including
a testimony of one Dr. Gerong stating that Martinis actions and being a mamas boy
constitutes psychological incapacity. By decision, the RTC declared their marriage void.
The OSG, via appeal, challenged the courts decision before the Court of Appeals. The
CA affirmed with the decision of the court a quo. Hence this present petition.
Petitioner contends that the appellate court have gravely erred with their
decision. Firstly, that Dr. Gerongs testimony has legal basis. That abandonment by
ones spouse is only a ground for legal separation, and not of nullity. And in ruling that
defendants being a mamas boy is a sufficient manifestation of psychological
incapacity.
San Andres
Issue:
Whether or not the CA erred in their decision of affirming the RTCs judgment
which declared the marriage between Lynette and Martini Baguio void.
Held:
Yes. Dr. Gerong found that Martinis "personality disorders" including his being a
"mamas boy" are "serious, grave, existing already during the adolescent period and
incurable" and concluded that Martini "appeared" to be dependent upon his family and
unable "to establish a domicile for his family and to support his family."
The doctors findings and conclusion were derived from his interview of Lynnette and
her sister and Lynnettes deposition. From Lynnettes deposition, however, it is gathered
that Martinis failure to establish a common life with her stems from his refusal, not
incapacity, to do so. It is downright incapacity, not refusal or neglect or difficulty, much
less ill will, which renders a marriage void on the ground of psychological incapacity. In
another vein, how the doctor arrived at the conclusion, after interviewing Lynnette and
considering her deposition, that any such personality disorders of Martini have been
existing since Martinis adolescent years has not been explained. It bears recalling that
Martini and Lynnette became pen pals in 1995 and contracted marriage in 1997 when
Martini was already 32 years old, far removed from adolescent years.While the
examination by a physician of a person in order to declare him/her psychological
incapacitated is not required, the root cause thereof must be "medically or clinically
identified." There must thus be evidence to adequately establish the same. There is
none such in the case at bar, however.